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Edited "by 

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Settlement and Early History.— Civil Government.— Town Officers.— Town 
Buildings.— Branford Borough.— Probate District.— Public Highways.— 
General Industrial Interests. — Branford Village. — Beach and Shore Re- 
sorts.— Stony Creek Village.— Secret and Beneficial Orders. — The G. A. 
R. and the Soldiers' Monument. — Education.— Congregational Church 
and Society.— Trinity (P. E.) Church.— Baptist Church.— Methodist 
Church.— Lutheran Church.— St. Mary's (R. C.) Church.— Cemeteries.— 
Biographical Sketches 1 



Location and Description.— Settlement and Settlers.— Civil Organization. — 
General Industrial Interests.— Bare Plain.— North Branford Village. — 
Northford. — Masonic Lodge. — Patrons of Husbandry.— Educational 
Affairs. — North Branford Congregational Church. — Northford Congrega- 
tional Church.— The "Enrolled" Church.— Zion (Protestant Episcopal) 
Church.— Bare Plain Union Chapel.— Cemeteries.— Roster of Captain 
Eells Company in the Revolution.— Soldiers' Monument.— Biographical 
Sketches 72 



Location and Description. — Natural Features and Points of Interest. — The 
Pioneers. — Civil Government. — Probate District. — Magistrates and Jus- 
tices. — Town Buildings. — Cemeteries.— Roads and Bridges.— Industrial 
Pursuits. — Guilford Borough. — Lodges and Societies. — Religious Inter- 
ests. — Educational and Literary. — Some Distinguished Citizens. — Physi- 
cians and Lawyers. — Military Matters. — Soldiers' Monument. — Biographi- 
cal Sketches 108 



Location and Description.— Settlement and Settlers. — Old Houses. — Civil 
Organization and Civil Officers. — Madison Green. — Highways. — Industrial 
Interests. — East River. — North Madison. — Madison Village. — The Beach. 
— Physicians. — Educational and Religious. — Lodges. — Cemeteries. — Mili- 
tary Affairs. — Biographical Sketches 183 




Geographical and Descriptive. — The Indians. — The Early Settlers. — Civil 
Government. — Roads, Ferries and Bridges. — Shipbuilding, Commerce 
and Trade. — Milford Village. — Woodmont. — Wheeler's Farm. — Public 
Houses. — Manufacturing Interests. — Banks. — Newspapers. — Post Office. 
— Fire Company. — Agricultural Society. — Secret Orders. — Soldiers' 
Monuments. — Educational and Professional. — Churches. — Cemeteries. 
— Military Affairs. — 250th Anniversary. — Biographical Sketches 210 



Location and Natural Features. — Geology and Mineralogy. — Flora. — Indus- 
tries. — The Regicide Judges. — Amity Society. — Union Society. — Chapel. 
— Ministers. — Burial Grounds. — Prominent Citizens. — List of Early In- 
habitants. — First Town Meeting. — Town Officers. — Town House. — Roads. 
— Physicians. — Biographical Sketches 28£ 



Location and Description. — Civil Organization. — Town Officers. — Business 
Interests. — Physicians. — Religious and Educational Interests. — Cemeter- 
ies. — Revolutionary Incident. — Biographical Sketches 311 



Location and Natural Features. — Incorporation. — Civil List. — Highways. — 
West Haven Village and Its Various Interests. — The Village of Orange. 
— Tyler City. — Allingtown. — West Haven Congregational Church. — 
Christ Church (P. E.).— West Haven M. E. Church.— St. Lawrence 
Church (R. C). — Orange Congregational Church. — Orange Cemetery. — 
Biographical Sketches 330 



Location.— The Indians.— Early Trading Post.— Purchase of Lands.— The 
Proprietors.— Civil Government.— Extracts from Town Records. — Fer- 
ries, Roads, Bridges, etc.— Early Commercial Interests and Shipbuilding. 
—Derby Village.— Burtville.— Birmingham and Its Manufacturing Inter- 
ests.— Merchants.— Hotels.— Banks.— The Press.— Post Office.— Physi- 
cians and Lawyers. — The Borough. — Fire Department.— Water Com- 
pany. — Gas Company.— Street Railways. — Driving Park.— Societies and 
Lodges. — Soldiers' Monument 365 



Educational Interests.— Early Religious Interests.— First Congregational 
Church in Derby.— Birmingham Congregational Church.— Young Men's 
Christian Association.— Episcopal Churches. — The Methodist Episcopal 
Denomination.— Union Chapels.— African M. E. Church.— Roman Catho- 
lic Church.— Cemeteries.— Biographical Sketches 41T 




Location and Description. — Civil Government. — The Borough of Ansonia. — 
West Ansonia. — Manufacturing Interests. — Banks. — Post Office. — The 
Press. — Opera House. — Water Companies. — Physicians and Lawyers. — 
Lodges and Societies. — Soldiers' Monument. — Congregational Church. — 
Christ Church. — Young Men's Christian Association. — Emanuel Free 
Church. — Methodist Episcopal Church. — Baptist Church. — Second (Col- 
ored) Baptist Church. — Roman Catholic Church. — Schools. — Biographical 
Sketches 476 



Description. — Purchase of Lands from the Indians. — Early Settlers and Their 
Descendants. — Civil Organization. — Town Officers. — Business Interests. 
— Oxford Village and Its Various Interests. — Physicians. — Religious and 
Educational. — Sheldon Clark. — Burial Places. — Samuel Candee. — Militia. 
— Biographical Sketches 531 



Geographical and Descriptive. — The Indians. — The Settlers. — Civil Organi- 
zation. — Public Thoroughfares. — Village of Seymour. — Hotels. — Mer- 
chants. — Post Office. — Banks. — Physicians and Attorneys. — The Press. — 
Libraries. — Lodges and Societies. — Manufacturing Interests. — Schools. — 
Churches. — Cemeteries. — Biographical Sketches 551 



Location and Description. — Land Purchases. — Settlement and Settlers. — 
Civil Organization. — Town Officers. — Pines Bridge. — Cemetery. — Indus- 
trial Interests. — Societies. — Methodist Episcopal Church. — High Rock 
Grove.— Biographical Sketches 615 



Location and Description. — Settlement and Early Events. — Waterbury City. 
— Other Business Centers. — Civil Organization of the Town. — Probate 
District. — Courts. — Waterbury Borough. — First City Charter. — Charter 
of 1867.— Mayors and Clerks.— City Hall.— Police Department.— Street 
Improvement. — Fire Department. — Water Works. — Gas and Electric 
Lighting. — Parks. — Statistics. — Manufacturing Enterprises. — Banks. — 
Insurance Company. — Horse Railway Company. — The Periodical Press. 
— Post Office. — Public Houses. — Prominent Merchants. — Physicians and 
Lawyers. — Lodges and Societies. — Educational Matters. — Churches. — 
Hospital. — Cemeteries. — Military Matters. — Biographical Sketches 626 




Location and Description.— Allotment of Lands and Settlement.— Civil Or- 
ganization.— Town Officers.— Probate Court.— Town Hall,— Town Farm. 
—Roads and Bridges.— Manufacturing Interests.— Straitsville.— Nauga- 
tuck Village.— Savings Bank and Building Association.— Naugatuck Na- 
tional Bank.— Electric Light Company. — Gas Company.— Water Com- 
pany.— Fire Company.— Telephone Company. — The Periodical Press. — 
Post Office.— Inns and Hotels. — Stores and Merchants. — Physicians. — 
Secretand Social Orders. — Schools.— Libraries. — Congregational Church. 
—St. Michael's (Protestant Episcopal) Church.— Methodist Episcopal 
Church. — Union City Mission Chapel. — Swedish Lutheran Chapel. — 
Baptists. — St. Francis (R. C.) Courch. — Soldiers' Monument. — Cemeter- 
ies. — Biographical Sketches 699 



Description and Natural Features. — Settlement and Settlers. — Civil Organi- 
zation. — Town Officers. — Roads and Bridges. — General Interests. — Mid- 
dlebury Village. — Physicians. — Quassepaug Lake. — Schools. — Religious 
Interests. — Cemetery. — Biographical Sketches 757 



Location and Description.— The Pootatuck Indians.— The Early Settlers. — 
Civil Organization. — Business Interests. — South Britain. — Southford and 
its Various Interests. — Physicians and Lawyers.— Religious Interests. — 
Cemeteries.— Military Affairs.— Biographical Sketches 774 



Settlement.— Civil Organization.— First Town Meeting.— Town Clerks.— Pub- 
lic Green.— Public Highways.— Schools.— Industrial Interests.— Wolcott 
Center. — Woodtick.— Physicians.— Religious Matters.— Cemeteries. — 
Biographical Sketches 808 


Allerton , George M 736 

Ailing, Charles B 434 

Augur, Reuben N 95 

Bartholomew, Arthur H 506 

Bartholomew, Dana 504 

Bartlett, Egbert ' g08 

Bassett, Robert N 436 

Bassett, Royal M ' 438 

Beattie, John 166 



Birdseye, Thomas S 442 

Blake, Rufus W 444 

Blakeman, George 446 

Bristol, Charles E 510 

Camp, Robert 768 

Chaffee, Charles S 448 

Clark, Charles E 450 

Colburn, James M 452 

Coupland, Charles 594 

De Wolfe, Alva G 598 

Fagan, James 732 

Farrel, Franklin 512 

French, Raymond 600 

Gager , Edwin B 454 

Gardner, John B 514 

Gaylord, Charles W 66 

Hall, Ransom B 825 

Hallock, Edwin 456 

Hill, Alden H 102 

Holden, Frederick W 492 

Jackson, Charles C 518 

James, Thomas 604 

Kellogg, Stephen W 688 

Kingsbury, Frederick J 690 

Leete, Calvin M 178 

Leete, Rufus N 176 

Lewis, Edward C 692 

Limburner, Robert B 546 

Lines, John M 304 

Lounsbury, Charles H 606 

Maltby, William H 104 

Merwin, William M 272 

Peck, George H 458 

Peck, Henry H 694 

Phillips, Albert W 460 

Plant, Samuel 68 

Piatt, Alfred L 696 

Piatt, David 358 

Plumb, David W 462 

Rogers, Henry 70 

Sanford, Samuel P 549 

Schaffer, Frederick F 747 

Schneller, George O 522 

Shelton, Edward N 464 

Smith, Charles H 748 

Stevens, David S., Jr 106 

Stiles, David J 802 

Storrs, Carlos H 610 

Swan, James 612 

Tomlinson. Charles A 278 

Torrance, David 466 

Tuttle, Joel 182 

Twitchell, Homer 752 



Upson, Evelyn M 826 

Wallace, Thomas, Sr 468 

Wallace, Thomas 528 

Wallace, William 526 

Ward, William 754 

Wheeler, Elisha 806 

Williams, William H 472 

Wooster, William B 474 


" Stillwood," Residence of John M. Lines 305 





Settlement and Early History. — Civil Government. — Town Officers. — Town Buildings. — 
Branford Borough. — Probate District. — Public Highways. — General Industrial In- 
terests. — Branford Village. — Beach and Shore Resorts. — Stony Creek Village. — 
Secret and Beneficial Orders. — The G. A. R. and the Soldiers' Monument. — Educa- 
tion. — Congregational Church and Society. — Trinity (P. E.) Church. — Baptist 
Church.— Methodist Church.— Lutheran Church.— St. Mary's (R. C.) Church. — 
Cemeteries. — Biographical Sketches. 

BRANFORD is one of the shore towns of the county. It is be- 
tween seven and eight miles, along the sound, between Guil- 
ford on the east and East Haven on the west. From North 
Branford south to the coast line the distance is between four and five 
miles. The surface is uneven, there being in some localities high 
hills. Many of these having a smooth surface, are tillable to the sum- 
mit. In the western part some of the Branford hills attain consider- 
able elevation and are designated by local names. In the southeast 
outcroppings of granite are manifest and the soil is less fertile than in 
other localities. Along Stony creek that rock has been extensively 
quarried for building purposes. That stream empties into the sound 
at a cluster of numerous islands, several hundred in number, large and 
small, called Thimble islands. Farther west is still another clus- 
ter, called Indian islands. The streams are small, Branford river, 
flowing through the central part, being the most important. Near the 
sound its course is winding, and for several miles it is a tidal stream, 
admitting vessels of from 50 to 75 tons burden. In the vales and low- 
lands the soil is strong and very productive. It has been found, with 
proper fertilization, to be admirably adapted for garden crops, and a 
number of inhabitants have lately engaged in that pursuit. The up- 
lands are better for grazing and fruit. Agriculture is still a leading 
occupation of many citizens. Formerly property was much more 
equalized than at present, and in consequence the town was long ex- 


empt from an indigent population. In 1835, according to J. W. Bar- 
ber", there was but one town pauper. In the last half century this con- 
dition of things has been changed to a considerable extent by the in- 
troduction of new industries and the use of much of the area for 
suburban and summer residences. 

Concerning the early settlers of the locality first known as Totoket* 
there is much diversity of opinion. Some writers insist that the town 
was depopulated by the going away of Mr. Pierson and his followers, 
and Doctor Trumbull says that for a long time no organic existence 
■was maintained, Branford being reinvested with town privileges in 
1685. These assertions do not appear to be sustained by the investi- 
gations of the Reverend Elijah C. Baldwin, whose account of early 
events is given in the following annals: 

" In the month of December, 1638, the New Haven settlers bought 
an additional tract of land of the Indians. It was ten miles in length, 
north and south, and extended eight miles east of the Quinnipiac 
river. It was bought of Montowese, son of Sowheog, the sachem of 
Mattabeseck Indians. Sowheog was a powerful sachem. His fort 
was at Middletown, on a hill, where, by means of his whistle, he could 
call around him 500 warriors very quickly. His dominion embraced 
a portion of this county. The Indians of Branford were governed by 
his son. The deed was signed by Montowese and Sausounck. Their 
tribe then was very small (ten men with their families). Montowese's 
signature was a bow and arrow. Sausounck's was a rude hatchet. 
This tract of land included the present territory of Branford. Its 
boundaries were Lake Saltonstall and the river on the west, Stony 
river (not Stony creek) on the east, the sound on the south, and a line 
ten miles back from the sound on the north. The boundaries have 
never varied much from these original lines. On the east, Guilford 
has a small tract that once belonged to the original Branford. This 
territory was then called Totoket, from the Indian name of a range of 
hills in the northern part. Its shores were a favorite resort for the 
Indians of the neighboring settlements, as well as of Totoket. Fish 
and clams were abundant. For some years after its purchase little 
use was made of it except for hunting. The Indians were allowed 
to hunt and plant also. A few squatters occasionally pushed in along 
the shore. Notable among these was a Thomas Mulliner, and he 
thus became a cause of considerable trouble to the early settlers. 
From him comes the name 'Mulliner's neck,' long applied to the 
region now called 'Branford Point.' 

"September 3d, 1640. the general court at New Haven made a 
grant of Totoket to Mr. Samuel Eaton, brother of Governor The- 
*Some writers interpret Totoket to mean " The place of the Tidal River," 
i.e., Branford river; others say with equal positiveness that the name was 
derived from the range of mountains terminating in North Branford. The 
present name, Branford, is said to have been derived from Brentford, a village 
in England, where some of the early settlers lived before coming to America. 


•ophilus Eaton, upon the condition of his procuring a number of his 
friends from England to settle on its lands. Mr. Eaton failed to 
fulfill this condition. He went to England to procure settlers, but 
never returned. 

"In 1643 Totoket was granted to Mr. William Swaine and others 
of Wethersfield. The record read thus: 'Totoket, a place fit for a 
small plantation, betwixt New Haven and Guilford, and purchased 
from the Indians, was granted to Mr.Swayne and some others of Weth- 
ersfield, they repaying the charge which is betwixt 12 and 13/, and 
joyning in one jurisdiction with New Haven and the forenamed plan- 
tations, upon the same fundamental agreement settled in October, 
1643, which they duely considering, readjlye accepted.' 

"The removal from Wethersfield was the result of divisions in the 
church there. There were several ministers in the Wethersfield 
settlement. Each natiirally desired to be the minister, and each had 
his special friends. They had not then learned the more modern pol- 
icy of leaving each faction to gather around its own choice and sup- 
port him as well as they could. They could support only one, but 
which should he be ? 

"Advice being sought from Davenport, of New Haven, and others, 
a separation was advised. Some went to Stamford; others, and the 
larger number, came to Bran ford. 

" The men who had bought Totoket for a settlement came to oc- 
cupy their purchase early in 1644. Their names were: Samuel Swaine, 
William Swaine, Luther Bradfield, John Plum, Robert Abbott, John 
Robbins, William Palmer, Samuel Nettleton, Roger Betts, John Lins- 
ley, Robert Rose, John Morris, Michael Palmer, Francis Linsley. 
Thomas Whitehead, John Hill, Daniel Dod, Richard Harrison, Sigis- 
mond Richalls, Thomas Blachly, John Edwards, Robert Meaker, Rich- 
ard Mather, Jonathan Sargent, Richard Williams, Jonathan England, 
William Merchant, Edward Frisbie, John Horton, Samuel Pond, 
Thomas Lupton, Richard Richards, Edward Treadway, Samuel Plumb 
and Charles Taintor. These were mostly from Wethersfield. 

" Thomas Mulliner was already on hand. And from New Haven 
came Jasper Crane, Lawrence Ward, George Ward, Richard Lawrence 
and Reverend John Sherman. Several had their wives and children 
with them. These were the first year's inhabitants. 

" Coming early in the year 1644, they began to clear off the forests, 
build shelters for themselves and their cattle, prepare land for culti- 
vation, gather hay from the fertile meadows, and organize society. 
The abundance of shell fish found along the shores no doubt made it 
comparatively easy to procure food. By the first of October they have 
a minister who resides with them and serves them regularly; this was 
Reverend John Sherman. He was born in Dedham, county of Essex, 
England, December 26th, 1613. He entered the University of Cam- 
bridge at an early age, but left college when ready for his degree, un- 


der the character of a college puritan. In 1634-5 he came to New 
England. He preached his first sermon at Watertown, Mass., under a 
large tree. His preaching was much admired. One minister said: 
' Brethren, we must look to ourselves and our ministry, for this young 
divine will outdo us all.' He spent at least one year in Totoket. He 
preached in several places. He also acted as judge and magistrate 
for the colony. He died August 8th, 16S5. His great-grandson, 
Roger Sherman, was one of the signers of the declaration of inde- 

" The new inhabitants make their first division of lands in June, 
1644. This is the first thing recorded upon the ancient records of the 
town. It reads thus: ' June 18th, 1644, this dai it is ordered that the 
meadow in this plantation shall be divided into 4 parts, and then divided 
by lott, viz.: all the meadow that lyeth on the right hand side of the 
town that is earliest settled shall be in the first dividend, and all the 
meadow that lyeth by the river on the left side and all upwards from 
that place where it is considered a bridge must be, is for the 2d divi- 
dend: Also 3dly all the meadow that lyeth downe the river from the 
place where it was considered a bridge must be, and all that lyeth 
within the compass of that piece of ground called the plaine shall be 
in the 3d dividend. 4thly all the meadow left beside in the towne that 
is knowne shall be in the 4th dividend. This meadow is to be bounded 
and prized by Robert Rose, William Palmer, Samuel Swaine, John 
Horton, Richard Harrison, and Thomas Blachly, with all convenient 
speede, and then the lott to be cast.' 

" The people first settled along the river, mostly on the western and 
northern side. Indian Neck was left to the Indian inhabitants. The 
new settlers very soon had trouble with Mulliner. The court record 
is, ' 3d of Feb., 1644, Thos. Moulenor, sen'r, and Thomas Moulinor, 
his son, being charged with sundry miscarryages and breach of peace 
but nott issued. Itt was referred to another court and the meane time 
it was ordered that they shall both enter into a recognisance of each 
man 100 /, to keep the publique peace and be of the good behavior to- 
wards all people, and especially towards the inhabitants of Totoket.' 

"To show some of the vexations of that first year an instance is here 
given. November 11th, 1644, 'Upon complaint made by some of the 
planters of Totoket, that the Mohegin Indians have done much dam- 
age to them by setting their traps in the walke of their cattell, itt was 
ordered that the marshall shall goe with Thomas Whitway to warnne 
Uncus or his brother, or else come and speake with the Gov- 
ernor and the magistrates.' 

" This name Foxen shows the origin of the title given to a well- 
known section in the northwestern part of the town. 

" Among the first buildings which the settlers put up were a house 
for the minister, and a meeting house. The minister's house may 
have been near the present residence of William Russell. The meet- 


ing house was built in the front part of the present burying yard. It 
was a kind of block-house, and was surrounded by palisades, as a de- 
fense against possible Indian attacks. During the hours of worship 
some one or more of the settlers stood guard near the entrance of the 
stockade. All carried their firearms when they went to meeting. 
They were not afraid of Totoket Indians, but of raiding bands of other 
tribes, who attacked Indians and whites alike in the town. It is a tra- 
dition that the Totoket Indians had to resist attacks of that kind in 
defense of their hunting and fishing grounds. A sort of fort was built 
by them near the present residence of William Bryan (of the Monto- 
wese Hotel), and once, at least, a sanguinary battle was fought there. 

" The houses first built by the settlers were rude and small, — the 
common houses of to-day are palaces in comparison, both in size and 
appearance, and furniture. The work for both men and women was 
hard. Their vigilance must be constant; their crops were meagre and 
uncertain; their methods of cultivating the soil were rude; their tools 
were few and clumsy. They also had to guard individuals from pur- 
chasing or receiving gifts of land from any Indian without the con- 
sent of the town. They also required all new-comers to agree to bear 
their proportion of expenses for sustaining a minister. 

" ' Samuel Swaine complayned of Mr. Mullyner for neglecting of 
travnings, watchings, and bringing- of his arms when it was his turne 
on the Lord's Days.' Mr. M. makes acknowledgment and promises to 
do better. 

" During the second and third years of life in this new settlement 
a number of other families came in to join those already here. The 
most notable of the new-comers was the Reverend Abraham Pierson, 
from Southampton, Long Island. He came with his wife Abigail and 
at least two children, one of which was a son Abraham, afterward the 
first president of Yale College. Several other families came with him 
or soon afterwards, from the same place. Reverend Abraham Pierson 
was born in Yorkshire, England; he was graduated at the University 
of Cambridge in 1632; he was Episcopally ordained while in England; 
he preached for some years in his own country. He came to Boston 
in 1639 and joined the church there. For a time he preached at Lynn, 
Mass., where he was again ordained. In 1640 a portion of the inhab- 
itants of Lynn, 'finding themselves straitened,' removed, with Mr. 
Pierson, to Long Island. They made an ineffective attempt to settle 
on the west end of the island. They then went to the east and settled 
Southampton. When they came to decide whether they would be un- 
der New Haven jurisdiction or that of Connecticut colony, the larger 
part chose the latter, because, in their view, more liberal. 

" Mr. Pierson and some others were dissatisfied, and, therefore, re- 
moved to Totoket, which was under New Haven jurisdiction. Sprague 
says, ' Mr. Pierson agreed with John Davenport in wishing to rest all 
civil as well as ecclesiastical power in the church, and to allow none 


but church members to act in the choice of the officers of government- 
or to be eligible as such.' Accordingly, he desired to be under the 
New Haven jurisdiction, which sustained this view of civil govern- 
ment. Coming to Totoket he was chosen pastor. The people give 
him a liberal share of the land and provide otherwise for his support. 
This is seen by a record a little later. September 22d, 1650, ' It was 
ordered that the minister's pay shall be brought each half year. For 
every milch cow he shall have two pounds of butter, in part pay every 
year; for the rest, for the first half year in beef, or pork, or Indian 
corn, or wampum — for the second half year in wheat and pease, good 
and marketable.' 

"1659. February 24th. 'At a town meeting it was granted by the 
consent of the town to Mr. Pierson that he shall have the use of the 
whole five hundred pound lot that he has formerly used which is the 
meadow of a two hundred pound lot that did not belong to his house 
when he bought it; that was granted to him for as long as he shall live 
in the town, and if he shall live in the town till his death then it is 
given to his wife and his children for their use forever.' This will 
show the requirements made upon new comers. 

" It is evident that new settlers were coming every year, as new 
names appear in the votes of the town and allotments of land. They 
were so careful to secure uniformity of action, and to have each meas- 
ure considered by all the people, they made strict rules concerning 
attendance upon all their meetings. They laid heavy fines upon such 
as neglected to attend when they were duly warned. 

" There was no bell to sound out the call to meeting. A man was 
therefore appointed to beat the drum as a call. One of the town 
charges in that day was 3 shillings for a pair of drum sticks. In those 
early days constant vigilance was required to guard against lawless 
men and wild beasts. 

" One of the town votes reads thus: 'June 24th, 1650, This day it is 
ordered that if any man or woman, young or old, shall be taken by 
the watch abroad in the night after ten of the clock, and cannot give 
a sufficient reason therefor to the watch of their being abroad, shall 
for every such fault pay 12 pence or other coudine punishment as the 
court shall require. 

" During these first ten years of their history the settlers were dis- 
turbed by troubles with the Dutch. England was ruled by CromwelL 
There was war between England and Holland. The Dutch were push- 
ing their trading settlements all along the New England coast as well 
as in New York and down the Atlantic coast. Of course the English 
people here shared in the controversy. The Dutch made a short stop- 
at Totoket, had a landing and are believed to have built a small trad- 
ing house. Their 'stay was sufficient to give the name ' Dutch house 
wharf to one of the river landings. The name is retained to this 


"The early settlers were much engaged in traveling by water. 
Coasters have always been a numerous and important class in Bran- 
ford. It is recorded that in 1651 fifty men from New Haven and To- 
toket. in attempting to settle their land at Delaware, were imprisoned 
by the Dutch governor. The people here instituted vigorous meas- 
ures to defend themselves from possible attacks from the Dutch. 
But so serious did this matter become that, in 1653, New Haven and 
Connecticut colonies united in an appeal to Cromwell for help against 
the Dutch." 

In spite of these apprehensions, it does not appear that the Dutch 
injured any one at Bran ford, and in the main the town was as fairly 
prosperous as any other community of like age in the country. The 
principles and practices of Mr. Pierson's community had been estab- 
lished, when the town was again agitated by the question of the union 
of the colonies, and before it was decided affairs in Branford were 
very much unsettled. How this matter affected the town is thus de- 
scribed by Mr. Baldwin: 

" From the first settlement of Connecticut by the English, in 1635, 
little official correspondence passed between the settlers and the Eng- 
lish government till 1661. Companies settled about where they chose. 
The most of attention on the part of the British government to the 
new colonies is ascribed to the civil troubles at home. King Charles 
I. was dethroned and executed in 1649. Oliver Cromwell was made 
protector in 1653; he died in 165S; his son Richard succeeded him, but 
resigned in 1659. Charles II. ascended the throne in 1661. Soon fol- 
lowed the dreadful revenges he took upon such as had been concerned 
in removing his father. This furnished the romantic episode of the 
long concealed regicides, Goffe, Whalley and Dixwell, so interesting 
to all readers of our early history. 

" The colonies of Connecticut and New Haven were separate gov- 
ernments, though Connecticut claimed jurisdiction over the whole by 
virtue of their first patent; there had been some talk between them 
about it, but nothing decisive occurred until a new charter was ob- 
tained from the new king. Then Connecticut purchased her claim of 
jurisdiction and the New Haven towns were constrained, though with 
sorrow, to submit. 

" The coming of royal commissioners from England, in 1664, to 
look after the king's interests here, hastened the union. There was 
danger, if they continued divided, that the Duke of York's grant would 
be purchased; this would have carried the boundary of New York to 
the Connecticut river, and so left our state very small indeed. A 
peaceable union saved the two colonies. But some could not be recon- 
ciled to this change; Mr. Pierson and his friends were especially 
grieved; they saw in this new jurisdiction the destruction of all their 
hopes; they did not believe there could be a good and safe government 
unless the voting and office holding were in the hands of professional 


Christian men. We can imagine the earnest and absorbing talk the 
subject must have occasioned in these men's homes, both in week days 
and on the Sabbath. Having spent so much labor in building houses, 
fences, etc., having cleared the land, built bridges, mills, and so many 
needed helpers to comfortable living, it was a serious matter to think 
of leaving all, to go into another wilderness and begin again. The 
labors of twenty-three years meant a great deal, yet their consciences 
constrained them. They sent agents to examine and buy lands for 
them on the Passaic river in New Jersey. Some persons from Guil- 
ford and Milford shared in the proposed enterprise of a new settle- 

" The agents having returned and made report of their commission, 
a large number of the people of Branford held a meeting on the 30th 
of October, 166G, which is thus noted: 'At a meeting touching the in- 
tended design of many of the inhabitants of Branford, the following 
was subscribed: Deut. 1. 13; Ex. xviii, 21; Deut. xvii, 15; Jer. xxxvi, 21. 
1. That none shall be admitted free-men or free burgesses within our 
town upon Passaic River, in the Province of New Jersey, but such 
planters as are members of some or other of the Congregational 
churches, nor shall any but such be chosen to magistracy or to carry 
on any part of civil judicature, or as deputies or assistants to have 
power to vote in establishing laws, and making or repealing them, or 
to any chief military trust or office, nor shall any but such church 
members have any vote in any such elections; though all others ad- 
mitted to be planters have right to their proper inheritance, and do 
and shall enjoy all other civil liberties and privileges according to all 
laws, orders, grants which are, or shall hereafter be made for this 
town. 2. We shall, with care and diligence, provide for the mainten- 
ance of the purity of religion professed in the Congregational churches.' 
Whereunto subscribed the inhabitants from Branford: Jasper Crane, 
Abra. Pierson, Samuel Swaine, Lawrence Ward, Thomas Blatchley, 
Samuel Plum, Josiah Ward, Samuel Rose, Thomas Pierson, John 
Ward, John Catling, Richard Harrison, Ebenezer Canfield, John Ward, 
Sen., Ed. Ball, John Harrison, John Crane, Thomas Wrentington, De- 
livered Crane, Aaron Blatchley, Richard Lawrence, John Johnson, 
Thomas Lyon (his L. mark). — 23. 

' Most of these signers moved with Mr. Pierson to Newark (New- 
work). They comprised many of the most prominent inhabitants 
of Branford. They went by vessel down Long Island sound. 
This is the way most of the first settlers came to Branford. Those 
from Wethersfield came down the Connecticut river and along the 
shore; those from Southampton and New Haven also came by water 
in most cases. They built and used small coasting vessels from the 

•' We have evidence that Branford was by no means depopulated ; 
the town records were not removed; other settlers came in, buying and 


occupying the houses and lands of such as had removed. Some that 
had proposed to go, not making a favorable sale of their property, de- 
cided to remain. Mr. Pierson engaged the Reverend John Bowers to 
preach to those who remained, and he paid him to the end of the year 

Newark was the third colony Mr. Pierson helped to plant. Now 
he sat down under a code of laws of his own choice, with his hopes 
realized, and remained with his people until his death, August 9th, 

" Though so many had removed, the rest showed they were not 
discouraged. June 20th, 1667, they met and took vigorous measures 
to rally the planters to hope and courage. They voted and put on 
record this agreement: ' Forasmuch as that it appears that the under- 
taking and the settlement of this place of Branford was procured by 
and for men of Congregational principles, as to church order, accord- 
ing to the platform of discipline agreed on by the synod of 48, or 
thereabouts, drawn from the word of God in the main; we, that yet 
remain here, can say that we have found much peace and quietness, to 
•our great comfort, for the which we desire to bless God; and that it 
may so remain to such as do continue their abode in this place, and to 
•such as shall come in to fill up the rooms of those that are removed, 
and that do intend to remove from this place of Branford. We all do 
see cause now for to agree that an orthodox minister of that judgment 
shall be called to it and among us. The gathering of such a church 
shall be encouraged. The upholdment of such church officers shall 
not want our proportional supply of maintenance, according to rule. 
We will not in any wise encroach upon or disturb their liberties in so 
walking from time to time, and at all times: nor will we be in any 
ways injurious to them in civil or ecclesiastical respects. And this we 
freely and voluntarily engage ourselves unto, jointly and severally, so 
long as we remain inhabitants of this place, and this we bind our- 
selves unto by our subscription to this agreement. It is also agreed 
that whoever shall come for purchase or to be admitted or planted 
here, shall so subscribe before admittance or his bargain be valid in 
law among us.' Jasper Crane, Jonathan Rose, John Wilford, Thomas 
Blatchly, Samuel Plum, Michael Taintor, John Collins, Michael Pal- 
mer, John Ward, John Linsley, George Adams, John Whitehead, 
Samuel Ward, Edward Frisbie, Henry Gretwich, Matthew Biskatt, 
Thomas Harrison, Thomas Wheadon, John Robing, Robert Foote, 
George Page, Thomas Gutsill, Samuel Swaine, Samuel Pond, Isaac 
Bradley, William Rosewell, Peter Tyler, John Anams, Moses Blachly, 
John Frisbie, William Maltbie, Bartholomew Goodrich, Sigismond 
Richalls, George Seward, Edward Ball, William Hoadley, Eleazer Stent, 
John Rogers, Samuel Bradfield, John Charles, Edward Barker, An- 
thony Hand, Thomas Sargent, Daniel Swaine, John Linsley, Jr., John 
Rose. John Taintor, Francis Linsley — 48. Six of the signers of this 


agreement afterward went to Newark. John Wilford, Thomas 
Blatchly, John Collins and Michael Taintor are put forward as leaders. 
They are directed to buy Richard Harrison's house and lands for a 
minister. The people pledge themselves to pay for them. They re- 
quire all new-comers to do the same."* 

In addition to those who removed or remained, it is known that 26 
persons died before 1(566, which would indicate that while the popula- 
tion of Branford was not as great as that of some other towns, at that 
period, the improvements must have been of considerable importance. 

New and desirable settlers were added yearly, and under the more 
liberal policy of the united colonies, the work of development was car- 
ried forward. Of the new men who settled here was William Rose- 
well, a merchant in New Haven. December, 24th, 1672, the town gave 
him, " in consideration of his setting up a saw mill upon Beaver brook 
and selling the people boards and timber at a specified price, the priv 
ilege of cutting the wood he needed for timber, etc., provided he cut 
none within a mile of the furnace pond. Mr. Rosewell built a house 
about where Mrs. Peggy Fowler now lives. He gave it to his wife, 
Catherine (Russell) as a marriage portion. He continued to buy land 
of different parties until he owned a large estate. He was also en- 
gaged in trade between New England and Barbadoes. He probably 
had vessels built for his trade near Peggy Fowler's. He died July 
19th, 1674. His widow died in 1698. Of their three children only one, 
a daughter, outlived the parents. 

" John and Noah Rogers came from Long Island, and were sons of 
William Rogers of Southampton and Hempstead; Eleazer Stent came 
from New Haven with his mother and sisters. His father was a 
Protestant minister who had sailed from England for Virginia. He 
died on the passage. His family afterward came to New Haven. His 
widow married Thomas Beaumond. She was again a widow when the 
family came to Branford. She again married Thomas Harrison, of 
Branford. Eleazer Stent was in Branford as early as 1667. He was a 
freeman in 1672; was granted six acres as a home lot. It was between 
the Russell place and ' fig lane,' going back to the river, not on the 
highway at first. He was soon made town clerk, to assist John Wil- 
ford. He continued after Wilford died, and for many years. In 1683 
he was granted a small piece of land near ' Little Plain brook.' 1687, 
March 4th, he was granted ten acres at ' dirty swamp, along Guildford 
old road;' was chosen ' commissioner ' May 3d, 1688; same day was given 
six acres upon the hill west of Brushy plain, on condition of his giving 
up six acres of ' dirty swamp.' John Plant, to whom, 1683, February, 
the town gave six acres upon Mulliner's hill. His son, James, 
was born February 22d, 1685. February 4th, 1688, the town gave John 
Plant six acres more on the ' half way hill,' that is half way to ' iron 

* Baldwin. 


" Isaac Bradley, who came from New Haven and settled near Stony 
river, and was granted land. The ' Bradley farm,' near the East 
Haven line, south of the main road, was long owned by his family. 

"John Collins, a shoemaker, came from Guilford. George Bald- 
win, a blacksmith, came from Milford. 1688, October 4th, the town 
gave him ' Sawpit's ' lot, also land at ' Cattholes,' also swamp between 
' the narrow of dirty swamp and world's end path.' In 1691 the town 
gave him five or six acres below Brushy plain. In 1694, August 14th, 
he was also chosen constable, and to ' beat the drum ' for Sabbath and 
other meetings. He was paid thirty shillings for it. In 1697 he was 
chosen collector of taxes. 

" Richard Towner. His first grant near Canoe brook, 1690. April 
8th, he changed his land ' near Bartholomew Goodrich, at the old mill 
brook.' 1692, November 2d, he was chosen to have the oversight of 
young people on Sabbath days. He gave name to ' Towner's hill.' 
William Bartholomew was here and agreed to build a corn mill. 
Thomas Gutsell was settled near Branford Point; from him came the 
name 'Goodsell's Point.' His wife Ruth (Butler) deserted him, going 
off to Providence, R. I., with Joseph Woodward. 

" During these years the town kept up a ' train band.' 1687, April 
5th, town agreed to furnish a silk flag for the soldiers, paying Edward 
Johnson for work upon it. 

"John Blakiston came here soon after 1700; he was a mariner. He 
began to buy land near the present Blackstoneville, and continued, 
from year to year, until he was one of the largest landholders in the 
town. He is believed to have been the grandson or great-grandson of 
the William Blackstone who built the first house in Boston, Mass. He 
then owned much of the land upon which the present city of Boston 
is built. Boston preserves the name in one of her streets. He is also 
believed to have been a near relative of Sir William Blackstone of 
England, a name so well known and honored. 

" This John Blackiston came over from Rhode Island. Tradition 
relates that his marriage was not agreeable to his friends, or his wife's 
friends, so the young people resolved to make a new home for them- 
selves in this town. All the Blackstones of Branford were and are his 
descendants. Much of the land originally purchased by the first John 
Blackiston, is still retained in the Blackstone family of to-day. Rhode 
Island and Massachusetts have their Blackstone river, Blackstone canal 
and town of Blackstone. This name has been closely identified with 
the important interests of Branford for 150 years. It has also sent out 
honored branches to other places." 

Near the same time (1700), Reverend Gurdon Saltonstall came to 
Branford and married Elizabeth, daughter of William Rosewell, the 
trader and ship builder, and who had left a large estate in the town. 
In 1707 he was elected governor of the colony, and was reelected until 
his death, in 1725. Soon after being elected governor he built a large 


mansion on the Rosewell property, near the Furnace pond, which he 
occupied most of the time, living at New London the remainder of 
the time, and was buried at the latter place. From the fact of his resi- 
dence here Saltonstall lake took its name. The house is still standing 
and was for many years one of the grandest on the shore, being fitted 
up in a style becoming the station of a governor. 

Nathaniel Johnson was another important settler after 1700. He 
was a merchant from the old country, and brought much wealth to the 
town, which he invested in lands. " He bought the two hundred acres 
that had been given to Thomas Mulliner, Jr., in the northwest cor- 
ner of the town. Mulliner and his wife moved to Westchester, N.Y., 
and the name ceased here. Mr. Johnson is believed to have built the 
house that stood where Mrs. Peggy Fowler now lives. It was burned, 
with all the barns near it, about sixty years ago. It made so large and 
hot a fire the people had great difficulty in saving the other houses in 
the street. Samuel Barker was another wealthy man who came about 
the same time. His first purchase was 42 acres at ' Littleworth,' of 
Philip Pond in 1734. He gave the Reverend Mr. Robbins five acres 
.the same year. Mr. Barker is believed to have built the house still 
standing on Cherry hill. That house was finely finished and furnished 
for its day. It had pictured tiles around its fire places. Some of those 
tiles are still to be seen. Some are preserved by the family of James 
F. Morris, who once owned the place. The place was sold to Ralph 
Isaacs, a man of some considerable fame in this place during the war 
of the revolution. His daughter married an Ingersoll, and became 
the mother of the Iugersolls now so well known in New Haven. 
Another family of note coming here about the same time was the 
Gould family. That family furnished the physicians for Branford for 
about 100 years. They are believed to have built the house that stood 
between the present Stedman and Robinson places on the Main street. 
Richard Gould, M. D., came to America from North Country, County 
Devon, parish of Oakhampton. He was born April 28th, 1662. He 
■died March 9th, 1746, aged 84. 

" William Gould, his son, was born at the same place February 11th, 
1693. He was a physician here July 2d, 1757. He had three wives and 
ten children. His son, William Gould, Jr., M.D.,was born here Novem- 
ber 17th, 1727, and died July 29th, 1805. He had a son, Orchard Gould, 
M.D., who was born March 1st, 1764, and died February 4th, 1819. His 
brother, James Gould, was an eminent lawyer and judge for many years. 
His sister, Elizabeth, was the wife of Hon. Roger M. Sherman, of Fair- 
field. Mrs. Mary Daniels, who built the house where Mr. Henry Nich- 
ols now lives, was a daughter of Doctor Orchard Gould." 

James Gould was born in Branford December 5th, 1770; graduated 
from Yale in 1794, and received degree of LL.D. in 1819. He was one 
■of the most learned men of his times, and his contributions to litera- 
ture are chaste and elegant to an unusual decree. 


" Richard Gould, M.D., must have practiced medicine here for a 
number of years. He was much esteemed, as is evident from his being 
elected tythingman in 1728. Only the most dignified and trusted men 
were chosen to this office in that day. William Gould, his son, pur- 
chased several tracts of land at Paved street and Hopyard plain. Some 
of that land is still owned by Elias Gould, the only male descendant 
of the name now living in Branford. 

" Another physician lived in Branford at that time — Isaac Barthol- 
omew, M.D. He became a large owner of land, buying a great deal 
at Hopyard plain. This name has been a prominent one in Branford 
since the first William Bartholomew, who built the first dam and the 
first corn mill on the Branford river. It used to be pronounced ' Bot- 
tlemy,' or ' Barthlemy.' 

" John Guy and Orchard Guy are. the first names of another some- 
what influential family. John Guy, in 1723, buys Eleazer Stent's place, 
near the town street. Orchard Guy, a little later, has a house near the 
place where Charles Wilford now lives. 

" October 10th, 1737, Andrew Beach, of Fairfield, buys an acre of 
land, a house and barn at Mill plain, of Archibald McNeil. The house 
was evidently built by McNeil. The place is now owned and lived in 
by Timothy Palmer and family. 

" The land just north was owned by Roger Tyler. Mr. Jordan 
Rogers owned what Mr. Timothy Palmer's new house stands on. Mr. 
Andrew Beach is believed to be the ancestor of all the Branford 
Beaches. He was a ' cordwainer ' — what we now call a shoemaker. 
Archibald McNeil may have built that old house. He bought and sold 
several places, and is believed to have built several houses. He once 
owned a house that stood about between Hattie Hoadley's house and 
the Blackstone house. 

" In 1734 Ephraim Parish bought of Solomon Palmer five and a 
half acres of land and a new house-frame and a barn. Mr. Palmer had 
bought the land of Bezaleel Tyler. It is the place so long the home 
of Reverend Timothy O. Gillett and wife. Mr. Parish built the house; 
he had a son, Ephraim, and a grandson, Russell Parish. This Russell 
sold it to Reverend T. O. Gillett in 1811. Russell Parish had kept a 
hotel there for a number of years. 

" In 1733, William Barker sold a piece of his home lot to Reverend 
Philemon Robbins. It was on ' Pig lane,' or Barker's lane, and known 
as Foot's lot. That is probably the lot on which the Reverend Mr. 
Robbins built his house. This lane ran down to the meadows, both 
east and west of what is now the main road. It ran by the south side of 
William Averill's house, and south of the Catholic church on the west 
side of the street. There were houses on that lane, one supposed to 
be the first Stent house, down at the east end of the meadow; another 
half way to the road, believed by some to be the first Robert Foote 


" There was a road in those early days which commenced back of 
Mrs. Peggy Foster's house, and ran along the meadow up to the main 
road, back of the Baptist church. There were at least three houses on 
that road— one close to the railroad, said to have been the first frame 
house in Branford; another about west of Captain William Averill's 
place; another west of Mr. John Foot's place. Another road turned 
west from this last, near the Stent lot, and followed the meadows round 
to Page's Point. 

" In December, 1736, Samuel Stent died. He had been a public- 
spirited and useful man; he left money to the church and ^10 to the 
town for the care of the poor. This sum was loaned on interest by the 
selectmen. As it ceased to appear in any reports after a few years, it 
was probably lost. During these years, from 1735 to the first years of 
the war of the revolution, Branford rapidly grew in population and 
wealth. The land was taken up and cleared and cultivated over a 
great part of its surface. Many vessels were built and quite a foreign 
trade grew up. A new wharf was built at the Dutch House landing, 
by Samuel Barker, in the year 1752. 

" The whole territory of Branford belonged to those who were pro- 
prietors at the time of obtaining the patent, and such as they sold to. 
When a new settler came and bought, he shared in whatever new di- 
visions of unappropriated lands were made. There were three divisions 
before the year 1700. There were four more before 1750. The greater 
part of all Branford territory was taken up between 1700 and 1740. 
The fourth division took up most of the present territory of North 
Branford. The fifth division took a great part of Stony Creek section. 
There were meetings of the proprietors separate from the town meet- 
ings. These continued even down to within the memory of some now 
living. Their records show to whom each parcel of land was origi- 
nally given. In assigning land, they left places for roads to such land; 
these were the highways, and they were few. Most of the roads now 
in use have been opened during the last sixty years. 

" In Branford, as in some of the other towns, slavery was a recog- 
nized institution, Indians and negroes being sold in bondage. The 
more wealthy families had usually two or more colored men and 
women. These servants, as they were called, were often a very inter- 
esting part of the household." 

" Among the foregoing Richard Harrison came to Branford about 
1650, and died in 1653. One of his sons, Richard, removed to New 
Jersey in 1666. It is supposed that the family came from Virginia and 
was connected with the Harrisons of that state. Thomas Harrison, 
another son of Richard, remained in the town. He had five sons, who 
left numerous descendants, among them being Governor Henry B. 
Harrison, Hon. Lynde Harrison and others. One of the five sons, 
Thomas, and his son, Nathaniel, and grandson, Nathaniel, Jr., were 
very prominent men in their day, filling many positions of honor and 


trust. The Harrison family is still numerously and honorably repre- 
sented in Branford and North Branford." 

Another settler of prominence was William Maltby, who for along 
time was one of the iustices of the quorum and was usually called 
Judge Maltby. Samuel Maltby graduated from Yale, and also became 
prominent in affairs. Most of this family removed. 

Captain William Hoadley, born about 1630, and supposed to have 
been a brother of Reverend John Hoadley, of Guilford (who returned 
to England in 1650), was an early merchant of Branford. He left a 
large family, and from them have descended members who attained 
honorable distinction; as Governor George Hoadley of Ohio, Charles 
J. Hoadley, LL. D., state librarian; David Hoadley, the architect, and 
his son David, president of the Panama railroad, and others who were 
active in the town's affairs. 

Edward Barker was one of the leading men in the western part of 
the town. His son, Samuel, graduated from Yale, and bore the title 
of Mister. One of his sons, Samuel S., who graduated from Yale in 
1772, was an officer in the revolution, resigning as major in 1782. 
Both he and his father removed to Beekman, N. Y., where he died in 

Noah Rogers, another early prominent settler, also had a grandson, 
Captain Edward Rogers, who took an active part in the revolution. 
Removing to New York, his son, Edward, became a member of Con- 
gress after 1840. 

Colonel Edward Russell, a son of Mr. John Russell, one of the lead- 
ing public men in his time, was a captain in Colonel Douglass' regi- 
ment, in 1776, and the same year became a major in General Wooster's 
■command. In 1778 he received the rank of colonel and did much 
service in the war. 

An idea of the names of many of the citizens of Branford may be 
obtained from the following lists, which have been compiled from the 
town books, in the periods named, where they were registered as own- 
ers of ear marks for their cattle : 

1747: Nathaniel Page, Benjamin Barnes, Ebenezer Harrison, John 
Parrish, Joel Parrish, Nathan Goodrich, Abraham Foote, Nathaniel 
Butler, Isaac Harrison, Daniel Hoadley, Nathaniel Frisbie. 

1748: Samuel Barker, Thomas Rogers, William Barker, Benjamin 
Palmer, John Butler, John Potter, Josiah Harrison, Daniel Harrison, 
Wheeler Brown, Samuel Palmer, Aaron Baldwin, Eiios Barnes, Joseph 

1749: Elisha Frisbie, Daniel Page, Noah Frisbie, Daniel Butler, 
Eliphalet Howd, James Barker, Samuel Rose, Isaac Hoadley, Daniel 

1750: John Ford, Joseph Palmer, Abel Butler, Josiah Butler, Sam- 
uel Butler, Asa Leete, David Leavitt, Eleazer Stent, Samuel Stent, 
Samuel Kirkham, Abraham Hoadley. 


1751: Benjamin Bartholomew, Daniel Rogers, Joseph Bartholomew, 
Daniel Bradley, Samuel Russell, Jehiel Whedon, Samuel Maltbie, 
[ohn Russell, Edward Russell, Joshua Dudley. 

1752: Daniel Johnson, Timothy Harrison, Samuel Rose, Elnathan 
Beach, John Plant, Abraham Plant, Samuel Barker, Abraham Har- 

1 7.13: Stephen Blackstone, Jacob Hoadley, Samuel Rogers, Josiah 
Fowler, Ebenezer Linsley, Edward Brockway, Silas Parker, David 
Tyler, Benjamin Plant, Richard Towner, Jonathan Plant, John Smith, 
Elisha Smith, Jonathan Russell, Jr., Nathaniel Taintor, Thomas 

1754: John Johnson, David Hudson, Ebenezer Russell, Jonathan 
Whedon, John Linsley, Jr., Stephen Harrison, Joseph Rogers, Eben- 
ezer Hoadley, Daniel Baldwin, Stephen Foote, Joseph Wilford, James 

1756: James Baldwin, Daniel Palmer, Jacob Palmer, David Hudson. 

1757: Phineas Baldwin, David Foote, Jr., William Gould, Ebenezer 

175S: Joseph Finch, Reuben Whedon, Nathaniel Goodrich, Timothy 
Frisbie, Amos Seward, Josiah Parrish, Thomas Frisbie. 

1759: John Barnes, Richard Baldwin, David Linsley, David Good- 
rich, John Welford, Joseph Tyler, Joseph Tyler, Jr., Jonathan Good- 

1760: Samuel Barker, 2d, Isaac Palmer, Jeremiah Woolut, Nathan- 
iel Harrison, John Welford, Jr., Abel Page, William Harrison. 

1761: Papillon Barker, Edward Rogers, Samuel Baldwin. Abijah 
Hobart, Thomas Norton. 

1762: Reverend Warham Williams, Jacob Linsley, Ephraim Foote, 
Samuel H. Torrey, Nathan Foote, Timothy Hoadley, Wilkinson Howd, 
Obadiah Winters, Abraham Rogers, John Blackiston, Jr. 

1763: Ralph Hoadley, Isaac Linsley, Thomas Stent, Eli Rogers, 
John Rose, Solomon Rose. 

1764: Isaac Foote, Obed Linsley, John Harrison, Rufus Palmer, 
Noah Baldwin, Jr. 

1765: Ezekiel Hays, George Baldwin, Timothy Russell, Edward 
Barker, Timothy Palmer, Samuel Still, Othniel Stent, Jeremiah Scar- 
ritt, Minor Merrick. 

1766: Solomon Tyler, Benjamin Linsley, Ebenezer Truesdell, 
Thomas Russell, Jared Robinson, Peter Harrison, Bille Rose. 

1767: Isaac Tyler, Stephen Potter, Zaccheus Baldwin, Bartholomew 
Goodrich, Timothy Goodrich, Samuel Russell, Jr., Amos Harrison. 

1768: Jonathan Linsley, Rufus Hoadley, Samuel Buel, Asa Foote, 
John Butler, 2d, Samuel Harrison, Jr., Orchard Guy, Samuel Maltbie, 
Jonathan Truesdell, Joseph Chidsey. 

1769: Samuel Hoadley, Judah Howd, Ozias Tyler, John Negus, 
Joseph Page, Joel Rogers, John Stent. 


1770: Jared Barker, Roger Tyler, Samuel Ford, Josiah Harrison, 
Jonathan Tyler, Peter Tyler, Jason Rogers, Ephraim Beach, Jareb 
Palmer, Jabez Palmer, Rufus Palmer, Nicholas Palmer, William Good- 
rich, Bille Tyler, Samuel Byington, Elisha Barker, Reuben Page. 

1771: Daniel Page, James Maltbie.Timothy Hoadley, Enoch Staples, 
Jonathan Maltbie, Bernard Lintot, Samuel Hand, Samuel Eells. 

1772: Samuel Page, Jr., Edward Mulford, Russell Barker, Rogers 
Tyler, Jairus Bunnell, Edward Stent, Benjamin Tyler, Samuel 

1773: Jonathan Beers, Freeman Crocker, Ebenezer Rogers, David 
Rose, John Johnson. 

1774: Samuel Foote, David Harrison, Jr., Asahel Tyler, Obadiah 
Tyler, William Douglas, Jeremiah Johnson, John Monroe. 

1775: Elihu Stone, John Harrington, Hezekiah Palmer, Abijah 
Rogers, Ammi Harrison, Peter Harrison, Ichabod Culpepper, Joseph 
Rogers, Jr., William Monroe. 

1776: Jonathan Towner, Jonathan Bartholomew, Samuel Tyler, 
Ebenezer Beach, Matthew Butler, Isaac Hotchkiss, Benjamin Hoadley, 
Israel Baldwin, Israel Linsley, Elihu Linsley, Timothy Barker, Jr., 
Aaron Morris, Jesse Stent, Ransom B. Harlow, Solomon Goodrich, 
Samuel Howe, Samuel Howe, Jr., Solomon Talmadge, John Butler, 
3d, Major Edward Russell, John Russell, Joseph Parmalee, Timothy 

1777: Timothy Chidsey, Barnabas Palmer, Collins Page, Isaac In- 
graham, James Goodrich, Estus Barker, Michael Taintor, Jr., Medad 
Taintor, Jonathan Towner, Ephraim Parrish, Lemuel Johnson, Cor- 
nelius Johnson, Samuel Griffing, Artemas Johnson. 

1778: Elnathan Tyler, Amaziah Rose, Gideon Goodrich, Jr., Rose- 
well Chidsey, Robert Olds, Hooker Frisbie, Benjamin Maltbie, Zaccheus 

1779: Edwin Harrison, Rufus Linsley, Nathan Rose, Wooster Har- 
rison, Isaac Smith, Elihu Rogers, Oliver Lanfair, John Augur, Malachi 
Rogers, Benjamin Barker. 

1780: William Scott, William McQueen, Captain Benjamin Baldwin, 
John Rogers, Captain Reuben Rose. 

Some doubt attaches to the early records of the town, and it is 
questioned whether they are complete. Certainly, on some points, 
they are obscure and imperfectly preserved. But it is not true, as is 
often said, that the early Branford records were carried to Newark, 
New Jersey, when Mr. Pierson and his adherents removed thither, in 
1666-7. John Plum, the first clerk, died in Branford in 1658, and his 
successor gathered up his accounts and preserved them as well as he 
could, after he had copied them. These records of Eleazer Stent show 
nice care in the writing, but their orthography is in the peculiar style 
of two hundred years ago. Most of the early records pertain to affairs 
of the planters in relation to the allotment and disposition of lands, 


the care of the herds and flocks, and the support of a minister, as 

"December 15th, 1645. This day it was ordered that Mr. Sher- 
man should be allowed a year, to begin from the 1st of October, 


" This day it was ordered by the inhabitants of this place (com- 
monly called Totokett), that John Plum shall keep the town books. 
It is ordered, also, that all the inhabitants shall give in their estate 
unto John Plum by the 25th of this month, and the second day of 
the week next following all the inhabitants are to meet at Mr. 
Sherman's house by eight of the clock, upon the penalty of losing 
of twelve pence." 

"December the 28th, 1645. It is ordered this day that Mr. Pal- 
mer, Mr. Swaine, Samuel Swaine and John Plum shall go to-morrow 
to New Haven to meet Mr. Mulliner at the Governor's, to agree 
upon a way both for Mr. Mulliner, the accommodating and voting, 
and any other difference that is between him and the town. It is 
ordered, also, that any one under a 100th shall be accommodated 
according to that rule that Mr. Sherman, Mr. Swaine, Goodman, Rose, 
and John Plum did bring in. Those that have a 100j bond accord- 
ing to the former order. Moreover, it is ordered that Mr. Palmer, 
in consideration of some former expense and also for the good serv- 
vices he has done the town, and also for the public business 
that he is to do the town for one year following as they call him 
thereunto, he is to have that piece of meadow which lyeth at the 
end or side of his lot to the neck, and also upland apportionable 
to it." 

This shows that Mr. Palmer was the first town agent chosen. 

" The 2nd month, the 10th day, 1646. This day it was agreed by 
the town and Francis Linsley that the said Francis shall keep the 
heard of cows and heifers from the 16th of this month to the 16th of 
the 9th, and he to call for them by the sun half an hour high in the 
morning and to bring them home at that time in the evening, and he 
must blow a horn, or make some other noise, before he come in the 
morning and also in the evening, that we may be ready to turn them 
out of our yards, and to return them in the evening." They further 
arrange that he is to have one Sabbath out of four. If any of the cat- 
tle get lost he is to look for them four days, with a man to help, at his 
own charge. 

Another important public measure was the surrounding the town 
or much'of it by a strong fence. 

; ' The 16th of the 9th month, 1646. This dai it is ordered that there 
shall a fence be made from the sea, beginning near that neck where 
Thos. Mulliner sometime dwelt, to run about five miles to the sea near 
a place where the Indians now dwell. And four miles of this fence is 
to be done according as it shall fall to men by lott. And the first lott 


that shall be drawn is to begin within one-quarter of a mile next that 
part of the sea first mentioned, and so every one shall do his part ac- 
cording as he shall be drawn, as he that is drawn first shall make first, 
so every one severally shall do it according as their name shall be 
drawn then following. And the rest that remains shall be done in 
generall. This fence is to be finished by the first of May next, and no 
man is to take any timber but right against his fence. And whoever 
defaults of not doing by the time appointed every one shall forfeit to 
the town two shillings per pound a rod or span or pole. And for every 
day after this it shall not be done every one that is defective shall pay 
sixpence a day for every rod or span or pole until it be made, and also 
pai the damages that shall come whoever defaults of not making. The 
fence is to be 4 feet 2 inches. It is to be a log fence." 

" The 27th of the 3d month 1647. This day it is agreed between 
the Townsmen of Totokett and John Edwards of Wethersfield, of Con- 
necticut, that the said John Edwards hath agreed to pay all the 
charges that have arose within the said Totokett from the beginning 
of the plantation unto this present day, with equal proportion with 
each man according to estate he gave in both for himself and his son 
and that as well in respect of joyning the preaching of the word of 
God as all other common charges that have occurred to this planta- 

Many domestic matters were very carefully regulated, the most 
explicit rules being adopted in the town meetings. If, for instance, a 
man wanted to own a gun, he had to secure the town's consent. De- 
cember 31st, 1718, " Charles Tyler asked for that liberty, but the town 
thought it would not be safe and voted in the negative." 

A demand having been created for various products of the town, 
their shipment was regulated. February 6th, 1717, the town votes that 
none should be allowed to cut staves on the town's land without 
special permission from the town. About this time (1717) the town 
had to regulate the gathering of " bayberries." These small, waxy 
balls, found on bushes, were useful in making wax. This wax entered 
into the manufacture of several very useful articles — especially of 
blacking and salve. It continued to be an article of trade in Branford' 
down to within the last fifty years. In 1717 the town forbid the gath- 
ering of these berries on the highways and common before Septem- 
ber 15th. A fine of ten shillings was exacted for each violation of 
the law. 

A deed from the Indians for all the lands in Branford bounds was 
secured in 1685, and February 16th that year the town received its 
patent from the colony. It was signed by Governor Robert Treat, and 
was granted Mr. William Rosewell, Ensign Thomas Harrison, William 
Hoadley, Samuel Pond, Edward Barker, William Maltby, Lieutenant 
Eleazer Stent, John Frisby and John Tayntor, representing all the 
settlers. Both instruments were properly recorded July 13th, 1719. 


Since the war for the Union among the first selectmen have been: 
John Bishop, David Beach, Henry E. Towner, Thomas S. McDermott, 
John Plant, George H. Page, J. August Blackstone, Richard S. Bradley, 
William R. Foote and Daniel O. Brien. 

In the same period the town treasurers were: Elizur Rogers, Eli F. 
Rogers, and the past thirteen years, Henry H. Stedman. 

John Plum was the first town clerk, and left papers which Eleazer 
Stent afterward copied. None of Mr. Plum's writings have been 
found. He died in 1648, and John Wilford was chosen in his place. 
Succeeding him the town clerks served until the years set after their 
names: Eleazer Stent, to 1705; William Maltbie, 1710; John Russell, 
1712; Nathaniel Harrison, 1714; John Russell, 1721; Samuel Maltbie, 
1746; John Russell. 1747; Israel Baldwin, 1748; John Russell, 1754; 
Nathaniel Harrison, 1758; Samuel Barker, 1775; William Monroe, 
1776; Samuel Barker, 1781; Edward Russell, 1794; Samuel Gould, 1798; 
Orchard Gould, 1818; Samuel Frisbie, 1824; John Barker, 1825; Samuel 
Frisbie, 1839; William Tyler, 1841; William R. Frisbie, 1843; Wil- 
loughby L. Lay, 1847; Orrin D. Squire, 1858; Samuel Beach, 1861; J. 
E. Russell, 1866; A. M. Babcock, 1867; Elizur Rogers, 1870; Eli F. 
Rogers, 1876; Henry H. Stedman, 1891, deceased the same year and 
was succeeded by Walter Foote. 

The town hall at Branford is a large, two-story frame building, 
centrally located on the green. It was erected in 1857, thoroughly re- 
paired in 1869, and placed in good condition since that time. In 1875 
a fine safe, manufactured at Branford by James E. Russell, was placed 
in the office of the town treasurer. 

The town prison or lockup was erected in the rear of the town hall 
in 1878-9. It is a small, strong stone building and cost $1,100. 

The town poor farm was purchased in 1874, at a cost of $3,200. It 
was thereafter greatly improved. 

By an act of the general assembly, January 15th, 1874, the town 
was divided into two voting districts — Branford and Stony Creek. In 
1890 the latter had about one hundred voters, or about one-eighth of 
the whole number of polls cast. 

An act of the general assembly, July 25th, 1867, authorized the in- 
corporation of Branford village as a borough, and the matter of or- 
ganization was placed in the hands of John R. Holcomb, Samuel E. 
Linsley and Elizur Rogers. A board of officers was elected the fol- 
lowing September, but the organization was soon dropped. In 1883 
the privileges of the act were revived and another election was or- 
dered to be called by Samuel E. Linsley and T. F. Hammer. But 
this, like the former movement in this direction, was also void of prac- 
tical results. 

The affairs of the town are carried on at a yearly outlay of about 
$17,000, about one-seventh of that amount being used for the mainte- 
nance of the poor. There was, in 1890, a debt of $31,470.97, $30,000 


of which was bonded. The grand list of the previous year was $1,- 
581,618, and the rate of taxation 12 mills. 

The Branford Probate District was established in 1850, when it was 
set off from the Guilford district. The first court was held July 8th, 
1850, Levi S. Parsons being the judge, and Ebenezer B. Barker the 
clerk. The subsequent judges have been the following: 1S53, O. D. 
Squire; 1854. John J. Bartholomew; 1863, J. E. Russell; 1869, Edward 
R. Landon, of Guilford, acting judge; 1870, Eli F. Rogers; 1879, Henry 
H. Stedman. 

It has been stated that when the proprietors laid out the land they 
usually made allowance for roads, but evidently there were no fenced 
roads for many years after the town was settled. Fences were gradu- 
ally made, as different persons found it needful to have them. They 
did not always conform to the highway, as laid out; they often en- 
croached, and thus much land is now held by individuals that really 
belongs to the town as highway. Most of the roads, before the year 
1800, were only cart paths to peoples' houses and fields. In most in- 
stances they were called lanes, and often received some outlandish 
names. Many of the people of the town were opposed to the location 
of general highways, and it is said that the petition of the people of 
"North Parish," in 1741, for a road to connect them with Guilford, was 
pending several years before it was granted, and other roads to points 
outside of the town shared a like fate. 

The town has had no turnpikes, but the Shore road following, in a 
general way, the old "Totoket path" of the very 6rst settlers, has gen- 
erally been improved to an easy condition. In the past thirty years 
nearly all the principal highways, whose courses in many places have 
been modified over the original layout, have been graded and made 
hard and smooth by covering them with paving material found in 
abundance near Cherry hill. In the main, all the principal roads are 
now well improved. 

The streams of the town being narrow, it has been a small item to 
maintain the bridges. One of the most important is the stone bridge 
at the foot of Montowese street, which was built in 1869 and provided 
with tide gates. In 1874 a part of it was swept away, but was sub- 
stantially repaired, and is now an attractive structure. The pile bridge, 
next below, was built in recent years. 

The railway through the town was got in operation in the summer 
of 1852. A station was first located at Branford village, later another 
at Stony Creek, and still later, the third, at Pine Orchard. The first 
two have become important points on the Shore Line railroad. 

The wants of the early settlers were supplied by several mills, 
erected on the streams of the town, among the first improvements of 
the kind being a tide mill, near where is now the Branford Point 
bridge. Later the Bartholomews and others built a mill higher up 


the stream, at Mill Plain, and mills have been there continued until 
the present time. 

The town united with New Haven in granting liberty to set up 
iron works at Saltonstall lake, at that time called the Great pond, and 
later known as Furnace pond, voting aid to encourage the enterprise, 
from 1655 until 1658. These were the pioneer iron works in the state. 
The power has ever since operated some kind of machinery, a small 
feed mill being at present kept up. On Beaver brook, above this 
point, William Rosewell built a saw mill about 1672. On other small 
streams machinery was set up, as the wants of the town demanded, but 
the operations were on a small scale. 

The Branford Lock Works rank as one of the oldest and the lead- 
ing industry in the town. They are the outgrowth of small industries 
established in the early part of the century. About 1809 Orrin D. 
Squire became a resident of the village, and as a skillful blacksmith 
carried on a shop in the rear of the "Hayes Garden." Near the same 
time L. D. Hosley and Daniel Nichols had a small foundry on the 
brook, above the village. They united their interests and established 
a new plant, where are now the works, removing some of their old 
buildings to that place. At that time the " hollow" was a part of a 
wood lot, being full of trees and stumps. They engaged in a general 
foundry business and made fine castings and stoves, which had a good 
reputation. Subsequently the variety of products was increased and 
changes of the firm occurred. 

In 1852 the business passed to the " Squire & Parsons Manufactur- 
ing Company," which had among its members Levi Parsons, Lyman 
Squire and William S. Kirkham, and the manufacture of locks was 
extensively begun. After several years the company failed, and in 
1862 the property passed to Thomas Kennedy, a practical lock maker 
of New York. He brought to his assistance skilled labor and im- 
proved machinery, much of which he devised himself, and soon cre- 
ated a vast business, which in 1865 he placed under the management 
of the present corporation, which was organized with a capital of 
$150,000. Thomas Kennedy was elected president, and so served 
until his death, in 1880. John H. Royal was the first secretary, and 
was succeeded by E. F. Jones, who now serves in that capacity, and is 
also treasurer of the company. A. L. Runyan succeeded Kennedy as 
president; John J. Kennedy is the general superintendent and W. f. 
Powes the general agent of the works. 

The plant is valued at a quarter of a million of dollars and covers 
nearly five acres of land. Most of the buildings are brick, and afford 
a working capacity for 500 people. In addition, many of the operations 
are performed by machinery, peculiar to this establishment, making 
it possible to produce 500 dozen complete locks and knobs per day, 
some of them being very handsome in design and finish. About five 


tons of iron, brass and nickel are consumed daily, and this industry 
has contributed very much to the prosperity of the town. 

The Bran ford Malleable Iron Fittings Company have extensive 
works opposite the railway depot, at Page's Point. The first improve- 
ment there was made after the building of the railroad, by Elizur 
Rogers, who built a dock and opened a coal yard, which are still con- 
tinued. On the west, and having the facilities of the railroad and 
Branford river, the manufacture of iron articles was soon after begun 
by the "Totoket Company," which was incorporated in October, 1854, 
with a capital of §16,000. Among the principal stockholders were 
William H. Perry, William S. Kirkham, F. Northrup, L. S. Parsons, 
John Plant, Samuel O. Plant, Henry L. Baldwin, William Blackstone, 
Gurdon Bradley, A. & E. Rogers, Eli F. Rogers, J. Henry Page, Henry 
Rogers, David Beach and William Wadsworth. Operations were 
begun in 1855, on malleable iron, brass and wrought iron goods. Two 
years later Henry Rogers was authorized to sell the property of the 
"Totoket Company," and for several years Elizur Rogers and B. H. 
Hadley, as Rogers & Hadley, carried on the business. In 1864 the 
present corporation took charge of the property and developed the 
business to its fine proportions. 

The plant is one of the largest in the Union, devoted to this line of 
manufactures, which embraces fittings of every nature. About four 
acres are covered with substantially constructed brick buildings, a 
number of them being several stories high, and the main structure is 
more than 200 feet long. One foundry is also 200 feet long and two 
others are of less length. There are two large annealing rooms and 
other spacious buildings, adapted for the uses of the company. Power 
is furnished by ponderous engines, and every department is equipped 
with labor-saving machinery, but the works give employment, aside 
from these devices, to nearly 300 persons. A specialty is made of the 
manufacture of goods from semi-steel, which have proved excellent 
substitutes for drop forgings and gun metals, and all goods are manu- 
factured on a basis of chemical analysis. 

The company has since 1865 been officered by J. J. Walworth, presi- 
dent; E. C. Hammer, secretary and treasurer; T. F. Hammer, general 
manager at Branford; and R. E. Hammer, general superintendent. 
Under the direction of the Messrs. Hammer the business has become 
very prosperous and is continually increasing. 

The manufacture of carriages was for many years an important 
industry at Branford, F. A. Holcomb & Sons being large builders, in 
the eastern part of the village, before their removal to New Haven. 
Another company had its works on Page's Point, where they were de- 
stroyed by fire and not rebuilt, when the business was wound up. At 
the old Dutch House wharf, in shops which are now idle, Alexander 
Van Wie at one time made carriage parts on an extensive scale. These 


buildings were occupied in 1874-9 by James E. Russell and others in 
the manufacture of large and small safes, patented by Russell. 

Another abandoned interest is ship building, which, about eighty 
years ago, gave occupation to scores of people, and yards were main- 
tained at various points on the Branford river, as high up as Mill 
Plain. At the latter place a vessel called the " Laura Hoadley " was 
built. The yard at Hubbard's bridge was occupied by various build- 
ers, and was used as late as 1875, when Captain Russell Pond built a 
small craft at that place. Here was built a vessel called the " Lottery," 
" which was castaway at Little Egg Harbor, and all her crew lost with 

At Page's Point a number of vessels were built, among them being 
the " Friendship." the " Ariel," and the " Mary Ann." The last 
was named for the daughter of Rose well Sheldon, who presented the 
colors and a looking glass when she was launched. This vessel was 
also ill-fated, and was lost on Oyster Pond Point. At Goodsell's Point 
Harvey Frisbie built small vessels, and had the conveniences for "grav- 
ing" vessels. 

In this period of vessel building coastwise commerce was quite 
active, but has been very limited since the era of railroads. Quite a 
trade was carried on with the upper New England states in shipping 
thither dried fruit and other farm products, and bringing back fish 
and ship timber. Many of the young men led a seafaring life, and 
the young women and boys found occupation on the farm, picking 
juniper berries and wax berries, or sewed buckskin gloves or bound 
shoes for parties outside of town. The spinning of twine for ship- 
ment to the fishing coasts was much followed at one time. 

The town also had some trade with foreign ports, and near the close 
of the last century Branford was made a port of entry. The harbor 
master lived at Dutch House wharf, and the building used for the cus- 
toms service stood there many years after the port was abandoned. 
Some time after this Elnathan Linsley built a wharf at Branford Point, 
and that became the principal landing point. The water there at the 
highest is about 15 feet deep, and steamboats land there in summer. 
The place later became more important as a summer resort. Among 
the mariners of the town were members of the Blackstone, Harrison 
and Palmer families, who were also ship owners. Captain John Black- 
stone settled here after 1700, coming from Rhode Island. He pros- 
pered in his affairs and became a large landowner, at the place called 
" Blackstoneville," where some of the property is still held by de- 
scendants. Captain James Blackstone, of this family, became very 
aged, and had a long and varied experience as a seaman. Captain 
Furrington Harrison was in the West Indies trade, carrying cattle to 
those islands. He died in 1808. Captain Ammi Harrison was also a 
well-known mariner. Captain Edward Palmer was the owner of a 
good schooner, called the " Betsey." Only small vessels now ascend 


this river, the traffic by this means being very limited. But few sea- 
men now reside in the town. 

For more than a century of years many of the inhabitants found 
much subsistence in the sea food afforded by the Branford coast, and 
for some years oysters were an article of commerce. This extraor- 
dinary demand upon the natural beds exhausted them, and regulations 
for their protection were early found necessary. In 1789 the town 
voted to regulate the catching of oysters; and it was provided that 
from April 1st to November 1st of each year no bivalves should be 
taken, under a penalty of $7 for each offense. From November 1st 
to the following April permits might be obtained to take two bushels 
in the course of 4S hours, one permit only being issued to a family. 
For many years the natural beds afforded delicious oysters, and the 
Branford river and other inlets were much frequented by fishermen- 
" In Branford Harbor no oysters are raised to sell, and the outside 
oyster grounds in town jurisdiction are, as a rule, too shoal for safe 
cultivation."* In recent years the interest in this business has in- 
creased, and under a system of cultivation the oyster fisheries of Bran- 
ford have become important industries. There are about 1,000 acres 
under the jurisdiction of the town, and more than 1,300 acres con- 
trolled by the state. In 1890 the town had 13 oyster planters, among 
them being Lewis Shepard, E. B. Beach, N. H. Bishop, N. C. Frink, 
Henry Hall, Oliver Knowles, C. C. Smith, G. Smith & Sons, and the 
Stony Creek Oyster Company. The latter corporation was organized 
after the late civil war, and in 1868 reported a capital of $28,000, and 
a board of directors composed of Nathan C. Frink, H. Lynde Harri- 
son, William H. Holt, T. N. Parmalee, William Blackstone and F. A. 
Holcomb. Henry Rogers was the president. In 1890 the capital was 
reported at $42,000; real estate valued at $9,500; and had personal 
property to the amount of $7,500. W. J. Clark was the president of 
the company, and F. E. Smith, secretary. 

Nearly the entire oyster business has been centered at Stony Creek, 
where it gives employment to a number of men. Five vessels are 
employed in the business. The oysters grown at Stony Creek are of 
superior quality, and are in demand beyond the supply. Even while 
yet confined to the natural beds they were much sought, and frequently 
parties from the interior would visit this place, encamping for several 
days, until a supply of oysters had been obtained. 

On Indian Neck salt was made in limited quantities in the early 
part of the present century; and along Saltonstall lake an effort was 
made to manufacture peat fuel by a company organized for that pur- 
pose in 1871. The project was, however, abandoned before any satis- 
factory results were obtained. 

Near the same time the Pine Orchard Granite Company was organ- 
ized, with a capital of $50,000, to develop the granite deposits in that 

♦Henry H. Stedman, 1890. 


section, but that project was also abandoned. The granite quarries at 
Stony Creek have been more successfully operated, there being sev- 
eral which are carried on extensively. The quarry near the railway 
station was opened by B. N. Green, and the one farther east by John 
Beattie. From the quarry at ,; Red Hill," on the north side of the 
railway, a stone is taken which closely resembles the red Scotch 
granite, and is susceptible of a very fine polish. 

These interests are more fully noted in the account of Stony Creek. 

Branford Village, long called Branford Center, is about eight miles 
east of New Haven, on Branford river, several miles from the sound. 
It has a very pleasant location, the principal part being on a consider- 
able elevation, which also affords good natural drainage and sites for 
attractive homes. Until 25 years ago the village was less important 
that at present, much of its growth having been made in this latter 
period, in consequence of prosperous manufactories and the desirabil- 
ity of Branford as a summer resort. These circumstances have also 
made Branford one of the most important stations on the Shore Line 
railroad, both the freight and passenger traffic for this point being 
heavy. When the road was completed, in 1852. the station was located 
at the foot of Montowese street, where was also the village wharf. A 
few years later Elizur Rogers began his improvements at Page's 
Point, opening a new street to that place from Main street, in the old 
village, and the depot was soon after located west of the Page Point 
wharf. In 1887 a very spacious and handsome station for passenger 
use was erected and has since been occupied. It is of brick and is one 
of the finest structures of the kind in the county. 

The upper or older part of the village is built around the green — 
an irregular tract of land, nearly three-fourths of a mile in length, and 
coming to an apex at the west end. The east end is about 30 rods 
wide. For a long time it was much neglected, but has been made at- 
tractive by planting it with elms and maples. Upon it stand three 
church edifices (Congregational, Episcopal and Baptist), the old acad- 
emy, the town hall and the soldiers' monument. On the north side is 
the principal business street of the village, which is also the main high- 
way from New Haven east. Formerly that thoroughfare was chiefly 
on the south side of the "Green," to Montowese street, down to Ho- 
bart's bridge, thence east to Stony creek. On these streets were built 
the first good homes of the early settlers, and some of the old build- 
ings still remain. The first house south of the cemetery, on the east 
side of Montowese street, was the Russell place, where were kept for 
several years the books which formed the nucleus of Yale library. 
Opposite was the Welford place. Lower down the street lived David 
Staples, father of Captain Enoch Staples, who is credited with com- 
manding a privateersman in the revolution, and it is said that he lost 
his life while attempting to board one of the enemy's vessels. The 
building on the other side of the street is the Bradley place and is one 


of the oldest in the town. Nearer the river were the Hobart and the 
Captain Ammi Harrison places, both being well-known in their day. 
The railroad destroyed the former place. 

On North Main street lived another cluster of Harrisons; .William 
having his residence on the hill, Jonathan on the lot where is now the 
school house, and Captain Farrington Harrison where now lives Henry 
G. Harrison. This house remains much as it was built, in 1757. 
Others of the old-time residences have been modernized and in Bran- 
ford, more than in some of the other shore towns, is seen the handi- 
work of the architects of the present time. 

Ezekiel Hayes, great-grandfather of the ex-president, built a house 
on the site of the present Totoket Hotel, in 1757. He was a toolmaker, 
having a shop on the brook in the rear of his garden. He there also 
made cow bells for the early settlers, in addition to his other work. 
In the course of time this house was taken and kept by Giles Barker 
as a tavern. He had previously kept a public house on the Nichols 
lot, which was burned down. Lorenzo Blackstone improved the Hayes 
house, enlarging it to a three-story building, and for some time the 
Totoket Hotel was favorably known. It is still kept as a public place, 
but with varying success. 

A mile or more east of the village the " Half Way House " (mid- 
way between New Haven and Guilford) was kept many years by Da- 
vid Towner; and near the Guilford line Joseph Frisbie had another 
public house. 

Among the traders and principal merchants of the village, after 
1800, was Mason Hobart, at the end of Meadow street. In the same 
locality Nathaniel Johnson was a merchant, large land-owner and ship- 
builder. He erected a large house on the site of the present Fowler 
place, which burned down about 80 years ago. 

On the hill on North Main street, Rosewell and Jephtha B. Shel- 
don and Timothy Johnson merchandised in the early part of this cen- 
tury, and the buildings they occupied still remain; Levi Bradley was 
on the other side of Alain street and Phineas Bushnell was in the west- 
ern part of the village. Business now began to concentrate at the 
" hollow," where the proprietors of the foundry had stores. In 1825 
Judah Frisbie built a store on what is known as the Rogers lot, where 
next traded Henry Taintor. Both removed, and in 1833 Eli F. Rog- 
ers there began merchandising and continued at that stand until 1868, 
when he built a business house on the north side of the street. In 
1869 he was succeeded by Kimberley & Scranton, who removed to New 
Haven. This is now the J. Hutchinson & Co. stand. The village has 
a dozen other stores. 

The Branford post office was long kept by Jonathan Barker at his 
house, where is now the residence of H. D. Nichols. In 1827 O. D. 
Squire had the office in a small building near the lock works, and the 
income that year was $51.34, less than half the income of the Guilford 


office the same year. .Sometime about 1845 the office was removed to 
the brick store kept by the company, and Lyman Squire was the post- 
master. In 1849 Eli F. Rogers became the postmaster and continued 
until 1862. He was succeeded by Philo Hall, who served until 1886, 
when Henry D. Linsley was appointed and was the incumbent until 
January 13th, 1891, when B. B. Bunnell became the postmaster. 

Branford is now a postal money order office. Six mails are received 
daily, and from this office is supplied the mail of the Short Beach post 
office, which was established in 1887, with Mrs. Ruth Clapp as the post- 
mistress. At Branford a new office has been occupied since April, 

A few newspapers have been published in the village, the first 
being the Branford Weekly Gleaner. It was published in 1878, and later 
by Philo Hall and others, when it was merged with the Shore Line 
Times, of New Haven. Another paper, also of short duration, was 
published by Willis Hopson. Neither publication received the sup- 
port it merited. 

It is probable that Doctor Richard Gould was the first permanent 
physician in the town, coming after 1700 and residing here until his 
death, March 9th, 1746, 84 years of age. Contemporary in the latter 
years of his practice was his son, Doctor William Gould, who was also 
born at Oakhampton, England, in 1692, and who died in 1757. The lat- 
ter had also a son William, who was a physician in the town, and who 
was born here in 1727 and died in 1805. In 1787 he was given permission 
to "set up for the inoculation of small pox for the space of one year, 
under the direction and terms of the government." He was the father 
of Doctor William Gould, born in 1752, who died in 1809, and of Doc- 
tor Orchard Gould, the last of this famous family of physicians to prac- 
tice here. Doctor Orchard Gould was born in 1764 and died in 1819. 
His home was on the hill where is now the Elizur Rogers place. All 
these physicians are interred in the old cemeterv. 

About the time of the first Doctor Gould, Doctor Isaac Bartholo- 
mew was in practice some years, but removed to Middletown. He was 
a son of William Bartholomew, the miller. Later a Doctor Herpin 
was a practitioner, coming from Milford. He probably remained only 
a short time. In the latter part of the last century Doctor Joel North- 
rup was in Branford, and lived where is now the Congregational par- 

Doctor Willoughby L. Lay came from Lynn, Mass., and after 
many years of practice died in 1858. He lived in the house now occu- 
pied by his son, James W. Lay. His practice passed to Doctor H. V. 
C. Holcomb, who also died in the town some time about 1871. Doctor 
Newton B. Hall was a student of the latter, and after several years of 
practice in Branford also deceased. 

As early as 1S72 Doctor C. W. Gay lord* located in the village and 
biographical sketch in this chapter. 


continues in active practice. Near the same time Doctor E. W. Brain- 
erd came from East Haven, and after some years was killed at Monto- 
wese street railway crossing, while on his way to Stony Creek. At 
the latter place the physicians have been Doctors G. P. Reynolds and 
E. C. M. Hall, none residing there in 1890. Doctor Isaac P. Leete, an 
eclectic practitioner, has been in Branford a score of years, and in the 
regular school of practice have been the past eight years, Doctor 
Walter H. Zink; and the past six years, Doctor A. J. Tenney. 

In 1890 the attorney resident at Branford was Edmund Zacher, who 
also maintained an office in New Haven. In the same way Lynde 
Harrison lived in the village a number of years. Jay E. Russell was 
an attorney at Branford after the late war, but after several years re- 
moved to California. Edward H. Rogers removed to New York and 
William A. Wright to New Haven. The town has had but few resi- 
dent attorneys. 

Since the completion of the railroad, in 1852, the sea shore of Bran- 
ford has become very popular, and has been greatly improved for sum- 
mer visitors and residence purposes. Along nearly its entire length 
may be found attractive cottages, hotels or pleasure grounds, and the 
several localities, designated by the names of Short Beach, Double 
Beach, Lanfair's Cove, Branford Point, Pawson Park, Indian Neck, 
Blackstone's Cove, Pine Orchard, Point Pleasant and Stony Creek, all 
have advocates of their merits and claims upon those who love sea-side 
attractions. In area Indian Neck is the most extensive of the above 
localities. As its name indicates, it was a natural home for the In- 
dians, and after the settlement of the whites they were encouraged to 
live there upon small tracts of land, some of which they cultivated, 
but subsisted mainly in fishing. Thus some of them lived on the 
"Neck" until a century after the coming of the whites. In the mean- 
time, the town had purchased these lands of the Indians and set them 
aside for the support of the church. A tract for that purpose was 
purchased as early as 1685, and the acquisition continued until the 
First Society practically controlled the lands in that section. In 1770 
the society began leasing these lands for a term of seven years, the 
rental being about $200 per year, and continued that practice until 
1S60. After that period the rental was increased, and the lands netted 
the society about $400 per year. In 1867 Samuel Beach secured a lease 
of Indian Neck for 99 years, with the privilege of sub-leasing, but 
under restrictions which strictly protect its morals; and from this 
time on the improvements for summer homes began. By the terms 
of the new lease, the First church society realizes about $900 per year. 

The extreme southwestern part of the " Neck " is known as " Jaf- 
frey's Point," from Indians who had their lands at that place, and who, 
in 1702, sold some of their possessions to William Maltbie. East of 
this was the 34-acre farm of the Indian Pawson, some of which was 
high and attractive ground. This and other lands in that locality have 


been improved as "Pawson Park"— a very pleasant and well regulated 
day resort and picnic grounds. 

On the main part of Indian Neck. Elias Pond made the first sub- 
stantial improvement, building an English house. On the shore the 
Taunton Seine Company had leased lands for fishing purposes, and 
from this circumstance were derived the names Taunton Beach and 
Taunton island, off shore from that place. In the same locality are 
Clam island and Shumake island, the latter being first owned by An- 
drew Beach, the first of that name in this locality. On another part of 
the coast William Frisbie had a small fishery. Near the same place 
Captain Lynde Frisbie built a small house for the entertainment of 
visitors, which, with enlargements, became known as the Indian Neck 
House — a hotel kept by Eli Goodrich and others. After 1866 William 
Bryan built another summer hotel, called the Montowese House. Fine 
cottages were built soon after by Thomas R. Trowbridge, Thomas 
Gallaudet and many others, until the entire shore has been lined with 
artistic and pleasant cottages, owned by people in all parts of the 
state, who were attracted not only by the scenic surroundings, but by 
the security against objectionable elements afforded by the provisions 
of the lease exacted by the society. 

At Short Beach the first house for summer entertainment was built 
about 1852, by Harrison Bristol, and at that time the place was a com- 
parative forest. Here are now cottages for several hundred people, 
many of them being permanent residents, and the place has a village- 
like appearance, having a small chapel, a school building, a post office 
and a few business places. 

At Branford Point Elnathan Linsley made the first improvements, 
which converted that locality into a public place. Others succeeded 
him and the present Branford Point House is owned by George T. 
Parker. It has enjoyed a large patronage. The groves at the point 
are pleasant, and there being a landing point for steamboats, the place 
is much visited some seasons. 

On the coast eastward is Pine Orchard, so-called on account of the 
fine grove of pines near the sandy beach. The locality has afforded 
good fishing and clamming, and has been visited for that purpose with 
much regularity the past hundred years. In later years many of those 
who went there were entertained by Jerre Sheldon, who lived on the 
road from Damascus to Stony Creek. Truman Sheldon, a son, suc- 
ceeded his father as a dispenser of public hospitality, and established 
a popular place, the fame of " Mother Sheldon " being widely known 
as a caterer. In still more recent years their sons, Edward and George 
Sheldon, established a very popular place, and Pine Orchard has be- 
come a favorably known resort. New roads have been constructed to 
this locality, and the railroad has established a station. A number of 
fine cottages have been, built in recent years. 


Stony Creek village* is in the southeastern part of the town and 
off shore are the Thimble islands, having attractive peach surround- 
ings. Long before the settlement of the whites, these localities were 
famous resorts of the Indians, who here found fish and game in great 
abundance. In no other places on the Long Island shores were there 
found such immense beds of oyster and clam shells as were seen here 
on the coming of the first settlers, showing that it must have taken 
ages to accumulate them. The village derived its name from the 
creek in this locality, and the stream was so called on account of the 
nature of the bed over which its waters course. The Thimble islands 
form a pleasant and interesting group, being scattered in a somewhat 
promiscuous manner, forming harbors and places of shelter from 
storms for pleasure boats and vessels in the coastwise trade. Tradi- 
tion has associated the name of Captain Kidd, the freebooter and 
pirate, with one of these harbors. It is said that toward the close of 
the seventeenth century he made it a place of rendezvous and some- 
times came ashore for supplies. On one occasion some of the citizens 
went on board his ship, but not liking the looks of the craft, hastily 
ended their visit. Not long after this a division of the common lands 
of the town was made, when the name of " Kidd's Harbour " was ap- 
plied to one of these localities. It is very probable, however, that 
Kidd's real rendezvous was at Gardner's island, 35 miles to the east- 
ward, and that he may have barely visited this place. 

The islands are about 25 in number and have been favorite pleas- 
ure resorts ever since there is any account of them, but in later years 
they have become more widely known. In 1847 Captain William Brien 
purchased one of them, called Pot Rock island, and built on it a house 
for the entertainment of visiting parties and others who might claim 
its hospitality. This house has since been enlarged and steamboats 
make two trips a day between this point and New Haven when the 
season is fairly under way. About 50 cottages have been built on the 
different islands, some of them being very handsome. Most of them 
are occupied from May till October, but in July and August this sec- 
tion is most populous. In those months a steamboat also plies regu- 
larly between these islands and the mainland at Stony Creek. 

In 1874 the general assembly constituted Stony Creek the second 
voting district of the town of Branford. It was made to include about 
a mile and a half from east to west and, including the islands, about 
the same distance from north to south. 

The Stony Creek section was not early settled, on account of the 
rough and broken nature of the land, which made it less inviting than 
other parts of the town. 

" This region was comprised in the fifth division of Branford. This 
was made before 1700. The first allowance to any settler of land there 
was to Francis Norton, March 13th, 1671. The record says: ' His lott 

* From data by Henry Rogers. 


is to be at Stony Creek, by the sea.' In 1673 William Leete, Esq. v 
was granted lands somewhat east of Stony Creek. His grant was for 
a lease of twenty-one years, and he was required to build a house 
upon it to hold it. October 20th, 1680, Richard Butler obtained a 
farm there. He was allowed six acres more in 1686, if he would build 
a house within three years. Abraham and William Hoadley soon be- 
came owners there. Thus we have the name ' Hoadley's Neck ' for 
the portion next to Guilford, by the sea. The Frisbies soon after ap- 
pear as owners there. William Barker, Edward Barker, Jonathan 
Barker, Daniel Palmer, Abraham Howd, John Rogers and others soon 
settled there. These persons mostly purchased of the heirs of the 
proprietors, who lived elsewhere, but who shared in every new division 
of land. Thus Dorcas Rose well, of New Haven, sold to Edward Bar- 
ker ' land in the fifth division at Stony Creek, in 1716.' The same 
family names are to be found on some of the same property to- 
day. Names of places in the old deeds and boundaries are: ' Brook 
Creek.' 'Little Island,' 'Brushy Corner,' 'Wolf-Pitt Island,' 'Hog- 
Pound Hill,' ' Sea Hill,' and 'Chestnut Hill.' We first meet the name 
' Thimble Islands ' in a deed of ' Shell Island ' to Isaac Cook, Novem- 
ber 3d, 1739. The first roads were laid out in 1710. 

" Stony Creek became a school district in 1788. On December 8th 
of that year the town of Branford granted to Pennock Howd, John 
Rogers, Jr., Timothy Barker, Abraham Rogers, Stewart Gaylord, Isaac 
Rogers, Barnabus Palmer, Demetrius Cook, Jr., Ebenezer Frisbie, Jr., 
Elias Pond, Daniel Jones, Uzziel Cook and Edward Frisbie their re- 
quest for a separate school district."* 

Most of these were young men, who, besides tilling their small 
farms, found occupation part of the time in the fishing business in the 
rivers of Maine, or coasting to New York with wood, which was at 
one time quite a considerable interest. A few also sailed from these 
shores to the West Indies. After the decline of the shipping busi- 
ness some of the older families removed. 

We have spoken of the abundance of sea food and how popular 
Stony Creek was among the Aborigines, who statedly visited these 
places. It became no less popular among the whites, and very 
early there was an influx of fishermen and others from abroad. Many 
of the latter were farmers who came here for a few days' diversion. 
Some of these visitors were not very careful as to their manner of 
living here, falling into customs so outlandish that the natives desig- 
nated this class as " Portugese." This lack of restraint also attracted 
a better class of people, whose recreations, though free, were less 
harmful. One of the latter class was Reverend Samuel Eells, a socia- 
ble man of much native wit. It is related of him that on one occasion 
when he and a geuial company of friends had visited this place " he 
suggested to them (many being his parishioners), that if any were 


officers they should leave their oaths under a juniper bush, above the 
large flat rock in the road; church members should leave their cove- 
nants there, and upon their return they might take them up and carry 
them back home unsullied by any improper conduct at the beach." 
But this, most likely, is also a mere tradition of a time removed and 
obscured by the lapse of a hundred years. 

The building of the Shore Line railroad, in 1850, very materially 
changed the life of Stony Creek, opening a new future for it. This 
enterprise was, to a considerable extent, the work of the president, 
secretary and treasurer of the old New Haven & New London Rail- 
road Company, Frederick R. Griffing and Ralph D. Smyth, of Guilford. 
At that time Stony Creek was very sparsely settled, but a station was 
located, with the expectation that such a step would develop this coun- 
try. Looking at the improvements which have been made, no one can 
doubt the wisdom of their judgment in this matter. New life was 
transmitted to Stony Creek, and improvement after improvement has 
been made until the present fair condition has been attained. 

In 1853 the Stony Creek post office was established, with Timothy 
Barker as the postmaster, and it has steadily increased in importance. 
Soon after new roads were laid out, upon which a number of fine cot- 
tages have been constructed. Hotels and other business houses were 
opened to accommodate the summer visitors, and the permanent pop- 
ulation has from year to year been augmented, as other interests 
were established, until a number of these business places have also 
become permanent. 

Theodore Howd has for many years been the principal merchant 
in the place, the post office being kept in his store. 

" All these businesses brought in more people, various other busi- 
nesses and much money. Enlargement and improvement have been 
seen in consequence on every hand. 

" But, after all, the greatest charm of Stony Creek is its fitness 
for a popular ' watering place.' This is becoming more and more 
its chief feature. 

" Twenty years ago Mr. Giles Baldwin and Mr. Timothy Barker 
used to have a few summer boarders at their pleasant homes. David 
Barber also had a few at his house, which was then farthest toward 
the sea. Mr. James Douglass came and carried on a hotel with good 
success for some years. Mr. Henry Rogers, Mr. John Russell, Mr. H. 
Bishop and some others received their friends as visitors or boarders> 
more or less, during the season. 

" None of these could really have foreseen the extent to which the 
business of entertaining visitors has since grown at Stony Creek. The 
multitudes who now find their way by cars or carriage or boat to Stony 
Creek and its Thimble Islands, can hardly understand from what small 
beginnings these places have grown in fifteen years. Besides the well 
known hotels of ■ Brainard's,' ' Frink's,' ' Barnes,' and the ' Flying 


Point House ' of ' Northrop's,' there are hundreds of residences and 
cottages covering the main land and the numerous islands. The 
progress is greater each year. This resort gains in favor with good 
people every season, and thousands now visit Stony Creek during the 
summer months to enjoy the beauty and rest afforded." 

In 1865 a fine new school house was built, and about ten years later 
it was found necessary to increase the capacity of the school room by 
building another house. 

In the old red school house Deacon Giles Baldwin started a mission 
Sunday school, in 1863, and two years later regular preaching services 
were established by Reverend Elijah C. Baldwin, of the First Society 
of Branford. Before that time occasional services had been held at 
the same place by Reverend Timothy P. Gillett and others. The in- 
creased interest encouraged the building of a small church upon a lot 
donated by Henry Rogers. It was dedicated July 8th, 1866, but in 
1877 it became necessary to enlarge it. Abraham Baldwin aided much 
in securing an organ, and Timothy Barker, of San Francisco, gave a 
Sunday school library and bell. These provisions permitted the or- 
ganization of the Stony Creek Congregational church, January 16th, 
1877, with 34 members. Reverend C. W. Hill was the first pastor, 
serving a year, when he was followed by Reverend F. M. Taylor. In 
May, 1888, Reverend Andrew Mclntyre became the pastor, and the 
church reported 75 members. Mission services are also held at Stony 
Creek by the Swedish Lutherans and the Roman Catholics. 

Soon after the building of the railroad an examination of the gran- 
ite ledges in this locality convinced quarrymen that they were very 
valuable. The stone is of fine grain and has several shades of color. 
In 1858 B. G. Green purchased a tract of land, upon which he opened 
a quarry soon after, in which he employed 50 men, and operated suc- 
cessfully about 15 years. 

In 1870 John Beattie.of Newport, R. I., purchased a tract at Hoad- 
ley's Neck, on the east side of the creek, where he opened extensive 
quarries. But in 1882 this part of the town was set off to Guilford. 
Mr. Beattie has operated very extensively, at times employing several 
hundred men. In the same locality, but on the opposite side of the 
creek, the Branford Granite Company secured a tract in 1889, which 
has been already developed to a considerable extent. The company 
is composed of Brooklyn capitalists, and from 100 to 150 men are em- 
ployed, in a well equipped quarry. Here are found bluish-grey and 
reddish colored granites, which are equal to any produced in this 

A quarry of red granite was opened a mile north of the railroad, 
by some New Yorkers, some time in 1875. It was not well equipped, 
but the quality of the granite was fine, and from it has been obtained 
the material for making some of the granite columns in the legislative 
chambers at Albany and Hartford. After some years Samuel Bab- 


cock, of Middletown, secured the property and organized the Stony 
Creek Red Granite Company to operate it. This quarry has also been 
well equipped and large shipments have been made. About 150 men 
are employed, and the company is engaged in filling large contracts. 

In 1SS8 the well known contractors, Norcross Brothers, of Worces- 
ter, Mass., purchased tracts of land adjoining the above, and opened 
an extensive quarry, which is supplied with all modern equipments, 
including a special railway connection with the Shore Line railroad. 
The capital stock of the company is $250,000. The quality of the prod- 
ucts is very superior. 

Still another quarry is operated by the Totoket Granite Company, 
in which 60 men are employed. The products are of a pinkish color 
and of a fine quality. In other localities are found fine deposits of 
granite, which, no doubt, will also be developed in the future, and 
which will add much to the prosperity of Stony Creek. 

Widow's Son Lodge, No. 66, F. & A. M., is the oldest secret organi- 
zation in the town. It was instituted September 27th, 1825, with the 
following charter members: John Polter, Joel Polter, John Foote, Mer- 
ritt Foote,Calvin Frisbie, Asa Norton, Orrin D. Squire, Lyman Frisbie, 
Edmund Palmer, Samuel Russell, James W. Frisbie, Judah Frisbie, 
Lorrin D. Hosley, Ruel Chidsey, William Tyler, Ebenezer Linsley, 
William Bryan, Doctor Willoughby L. Lay. 

Of this body of men, William Bryan was the only survivor in 1890. 
Many additions to the membership were early made, but through 
some informality the charter of the Lodge was revoked in 1842. The 
following year it was restored, but after six years, in 1849, it was again 
revoked, and for five years the meetings of the Lodge were inter- 
mitted. Since the second restoration of the charter, in 1854, the Lodge 
has been prosperous to an unusual degree, considering the limited 
jurisdiction. In 1890 there were 126 members in good standing and 
the following principal officers: Trustees, E. Zacher, C. W. Covert, 
John Eades; W. M., W. N. Boynton; treasurer, C. F. Bradley; secre- 
tary, L. A. Merriam. Among the past masters have been: Orrin D. 
Squire, Merritt Foote, William Nash, H. V. C. Holcomb, H. F. Nichols. 
William D. Hendricks, N. B. Hall, Frank E. Welford, Herbert Jones, 
Harvey Beach, Henry H. Stedman, Joseph F. Nettleton, Samuel A. 
Welford, Josiah Jones, George H. Newell, E. E. Isbell, W. Boynton, 
John Eades, Francis Clark and C. A. Hoadley. 

Woodland Lodge, No. 39, K. of P., was instituted February 26th, 
1882, with twenty charter members and the following principal offi- 
cers: B. F. Hosley, past chancellor; W. H. Zink, M. D., chancellor com- 
mander: J. Curtis, vice commander. The Lodge has been very pros- 
perous, having in the fall of 1890 98 members. Its meetings are held 
in a finely furnished hall in the Armory Building, which is sub-let by 
this Lodge to six other societies. A number of sick and funeral bene- 
fits have been paid. At this time the principal officers were: C. H. 


Van Wie, past chancellor; George W. Hull, chancellor commander; H. 

B. Terhune, vice commander; W. H. Felker, keeper of records and 

Endowment Rank, Section 891, K. of P., was started November 
17th, 1888, with 15 members and $23,000 of insurance. In the fall of 
1890 the members numbered 30, and the insurance amounted to 

B. F. Hosley Division, No. 13, Uniform Rank, K. of P., was organ- 
ized June 9th, 1890, with 34 members in full uniform, and E. C. John- 
son, captain; George W. Hull, recorder. The membership of the divi- 
sion has been increased to 41, and all these branches of the Knights 
of Pythias are prosperous. 

The town has had a large number of purely beneficiary orders, a 
number of which have succeeded in establishing themselves so well 
that the) 7 continue prosperous. Among the oldest of these are the 
First Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which was incor- 
porated January 28th, 1878: and the Court Totoket, No. 7196, Ancient 
Order of Foresters of America, which was instituted November 7th, 
1884, with 11 members. In the fall of 1890 the total belonging was 
118, and George W. Hull was the chief ranger. It is duly incorpor- 
ated by an act of the general assembly. The court has property to- 
the amount of $1,000, besides having paid many sick and other bene- 
fits, on a basis of $9 dues per year. 

In the Second Degree of this order was instituted February 26th, 
1886, Sanctuary Totoket, No. 7196, Ancient Order of Shepherds, with 
James Galligan, John Winthrop, George W. Hull, J. W. Cliffe and 11 
other charter members. This has also increased its membership, 
there being in the fall of 1890 23 members. 

El Dorado Council, No. 10, K. of C, was instituted in August, 1884, 
with 12 charter members. Its membership increased rapidly, there 
being in the fall of 1890 119 persons belonging, all of them in good 
standing. The principal officers were: Grand knight, John J. Buckley; 
deputy grand knight, John B. Reilley; recording secretary, Luke 
Quinn; financial secretary, Thomas Scanlan; treasurer, Martin Burke. 
The Lodge has a sick benefit fund of $1,500, paying $5 per week to 
members who are awarded that kind of support. 

Totoket Lodge, No. 3019, Knights of Honor, was organized No- 
vember 20th, 1883, with the following charter members: C. F. Brad- 
ley, W. E. Beach, F. T. Bradley, John Eades, W. E. Fowler, Walter 
Foote, D. W. Goddard, C. W. Gaylord, W. W. Hawkes, B. F. Hosley, 

C. A. Hoadley, H. F. Jourdan, E. C. Johnson, G. H. Newell, L. F.Nich- 
ols, F. E. Peckham, A. B. Palmer, E. H. Parshley, W. T. Robinson, I. 
N.Spencer, Jr., J. C. Sharney, N. R. Terhune, W. A. Wright, S. A. 
Welford and Edmund Zacher. The membership in 1890 was 60, and 
H. C. Woodstock was the dictator. Those who had passed that office 
were: W. A. Wright, George Newell, E. Zacher, B. F. Hosley, H. N. 


Way, Henry Jourdan and Frank Jerald. Doctors C. W. Gaylord and 

A. J. Tenney were the medical examiners. 

Among the distinctively labor organizations were an assembly of 
Knights of Labor and a society in the Iron Moulders' Union, both of 
which had a good membership. 

In the domain of temperance societies has been St. Mary's Total 
Abstinence and Beneficial Society, which for nearly a score of years 
has been doing a good work among the young Catholic people of this 
town. Of more recent organization, and doing a similar work among 
the Protestant youth, were the Knights of the Golden Cross and Bran- 
ford Division, No. 16, Sons of Temperance, each having an increasing 

Mason Rogers Post. No. 7, G. A. R.. is a flourishing organization. 
It was instituted July 28th, 1881, with the following charter members: 
Isaac Van Benthusan, J. Edward Turner, Joseph Curtis, Edward D. 
Sheldon, Henry Z. Nichols, Elizur C. Johnson, James W. Lay, Obed 
Tyler, Michael Kinner, Joseph F. Nettleton, Samuel S. Cook, David 
Sliney, A. Judson Smith, Nicholas R. Terhune, Jerome Baldwin, Cal- 
vin L. Ely, Alvin M. Thayer, John Hutchinson, George Bliss, William 
Donahue, Walter E. Fowler, Franklin Bradley, Burton T. Buel, Arami 

B. Parmer and Ammi B. Barker. In 1890 the membership was but 
slightly greater, the number belonging being thirty. The post com- 
manders have been Calvin L. Ely, Henry Z. Nichols, Nicholas R. Ter- 
hune, Ammi B. Barker, Henry W. Hubbard, Walter E. Fowler, J. Ed- 
win Towner, Elizur C. Johnson and J. Atwood Linsley. 

This Post was instrumental in the building of the beautiful Soldiers' 
Monument, standing on Branford Green, between the middle and west 
end church edifices. It raised for that object $1,000, the town of Bran- 
ford gave $1,000, and the patriotic non-resident citizens of the town 
added $1,000 more— the total cost of the pile being about $3,000. The 
monument was built by the Smith Granite Company of Westerly, R. 
I., and is wholly of the celebrated granite of that section. It consists 
of a large base, two semi-bases (the upper one being inscribed: G. A. 
R., 1885) and a large die, on the cap-stone of which is the shaft, which 
is surmounted by the figure of a soldier, more than seven feet high, 
whose arms encircle a flag. The entire height is about thirty feet. 

The dedicatory inscription is on the north face of the die: 


To Her Brave Sons 

Who Fought in the War 

of the Rebellion 


One Country. One Flag. 

On the shaft are cut shields and engraven the principal battlefields 
in which Branford soldiers were engaged: 



S H. 


Port Hudson. 

New Berne. 

The town's monument committee was composed of John Hutchin- 
son, Samuel Beach, James W. Lay, T. F. Hammer, John P. Callahan, 
Joseph Curtis and Edward F. Jones, who also arranged for the dedi- 
cation, October 28th, 1885. The occasion was one of great interest and 
brought together a large concourse of people. Among those in attend- 
ance was the venerable Captain James Blackstoue, 93 years of age; the 
governor of the state and other distinguished citizens. Reverend J. 
O. Peck was the orator of the occasion. The Second Platoon of Bat- 
tery A (Branford artillery company) fired a military salute, and thus 
was given to the public one of the most artistic and substantial monu- 
ments in the county. 

At Stony Creek a Lodge of the Sons of St. George has been estab- 
lished in recent years, which has been well maintained. 

The following account of early educational matters is from the pen 
of Reverend Elijah C. Baldwin: 

" The duty of properly educating children soon began to receive 
attention. May 21st, 1655, ' It is agreed by the consent of the whole 
to give toward the maintaining of a college at New Haven, to give 
our part of a rate of sixty pounds by the year, year after year.' 

" The same year laws were made for the whole colony by Gov- 
ernor Theophilus Eaton, and the next year these were the require- 
ments : 

" ' Whereas too many parents and masters, either through an over 
tender respect to their own occasions and businesse, or not duly con- 
sidering the good of their children and apprentices, have too much 
neglected duty m their education while they are young and capable of 
learning: // is ordered, That the deputies for the particular court in 
each plantation within this jurisdiction, for the time being, or where 
there is no such deputies the constable or other officer or officers in 
public trust, shall, from time to time, have a vigilant eye over their 
brethren and neighbors, within the limit of the said plantation, that 
all parents and masters doe duly endeavor, either by their own ability 
and labour or by improving such schoolmaster or other helpers and 
means as the plantation afford, or the family may conveniently pro- 
vide, that all their children and apprentices, as they grow capable, 
may, through God's blessing, attain at least so much as to be able duly 


to read the Scriptures and other good and profitable printed books in 
the English language, being their native language, and in some com- 
petent manner to understand the main grounds and principles of chris- 
tian religion necessary to salvation.' 

"Penalties were also provided for such as neglected their children's 

" Reverend Abraham Pierson, pastor of the church here, beside 
faithfully attending to his own people, was careful not to neglect the 
heathen families in the same territory. He regularly preached to the 
Indians. He prepared and had printed a catechism for them. He 
was versed in the Indian language, so that he could do this. His ac- 
quaintance with the Indian tongue was useful in other ways; he was 
frequently called to act as interpreter, especially before the court. J. 
Hammond Trumbull has given specimens of this catechism. A cita- 
tion will show the kind of meat set before these Indians ' in their buck- 
skin and war paint' : Question — ' How do you prove that there is but 
one God ?' Answer — ' Because the reason why singular things of the 
same kind are multiplied is not to be found in the nature of God, for 
the reason why such like things are multiplied is from the fruitfulness 
of their causes; but God hath no cause of his being, but is of himself ; 
therefore he is one. 2. Because singular things of the same kind, 
when they are multiplied, are differenced among themselves by their 
singular properties; but there can not be found another God different 
from this by any such like properties.' 

" Mr. Pierson had a regular salary for his labors among the In- 
dians; it was paid by a missionary society in England — ' The Commis- 
sioners for the United Colonies of New England.' This salary some- 
times amounted to $150 a year. To induce the Indians to attend upon 
his ministrations rewards were offered. 

" In the effort to secure the settlement and growth of the town 
after the Newark removal, education was neglected. For many years 
the schools were few and far between. Several times, in the period, 
the people were fined for not having a school as the law required. 
There were a few teachers employed, as John Arnold, in 1678; Eleazur 
Stent, in 1680-1, and in several later years. Thomas Sargeant, in 1684; 
S. Mansfield, in 1691; Richard Wilford, in 1700; Eleazur Stent again in 
1701, at forty dollars a month. Again in 1702. Then John Collins, in 
1708. These schools were only for a few months in the winter. The 
town paid part of the wages, the parents paid the rest. The effect of 
so little interest in schools was this. Nearly a whole generation grew 
up in ignorance. This is seen in the frequency with which both men 
and women ' make their mark ' in signing deeds and other docu- 

In the early part of the present century, according to President 
Dwight, the interest in education was very feeble. There were at that 
time in the South Society five districts, each provided with a school 


house. The one at Stony Creek was provided in 1789 upon the peti- 
tion of eleven inhabitants of that locality. In the meantime, what is 
now North Branford was far more active in promoting the cause of 
education, and a number of their youth were securing the benefits of 
academic instruction. 

At Branford village a select school was taught by Reverend Tim- 
othy P. Gillett, some time after the war of 1812, which there, also,- 
awakened a desire for schools of a higher grade, and which led to the 
establishment of an academy, in 1820. Benjamin R. Fowler, Calvin 
Frisbie, Philemon Tyler, John Beach and others, aided by Mr. Gillett, 
were active in this movement, and secured the town's consent to erect 
the buildings on the south side of the green. A two-story frame house, 
with a belfry, was put up, which is still standing in that locality. For 
a number of years Branford Academy had a good reputation, and the 
stockholders were rewarded by having a school in their midst, which 
well served its purpose. The academy was continued with varying 
success until 1S66, Miss Jane Hoadley being the last teacher. Others 
who are remembered as having taught there were: Reverend Gillett, 
Deacon Samuel Frisbie and Lynde Harrison. The latter was instru- 
mental in securing a school library of several hundred volumes. The 
upper story of the academy building has long been used as a Masonic 

The usefulness of the academy was at an end after the consolida- 
tion of the public schools of the town. Gradually these were improved, 
and with the increase of wealth there was a demand for better build- 
ings. About the time of the late war this question was much agitated, 
but the unusual expense at that time prevented action. Finally the 
village school building was so poor that the public moneys were re- 
fused. After much effort, $3,500 was voted for a new school house, 
and soon after a public graded school was established in it. In 1881 
it was enlarged, and it has since been fitted up in a very thorough 
manner, the property being an object of pride in the community. It 
is valued at about $8,000. In recent years very neat school buildings 
have been erected in some of the other districts of the town. 

As early as 1875 the high school at the village, under the princi- 
palship of E. Zacher, was well sustained. In 1881 William E. Hatch 
became the principal in the new house. G. L. Faxon succeeded him 
in 1883, and under his direction the schools at the village were more 
properly graded. A course of three years was established for the 
high school, and ten grades outside of that. C. R. Stiles became the 
principal in 1885, and since 1887 H. S. Gulliver has been at the head 
of the schools at the village. Six rooms are occupied. The children 
here enumerated number 400, and in the entire town 773. The entire 
school expenses per year are about $8,000. For a number of years 
Doctors Walter H. Zink and C. W. Gaylord have been the acting 
school visitors, and have aided much in promoting the interest in 
popular education. 


Most of the early settlers of Branford were plain people, but were 
-men of strict Puritan principles, " men of stern integrity and zealous 
for religious liberty, so far as its principles were then understood. 
The doctrines of their creed were Calvinistic, or those which were 
embodied shortly after in the Cambridge and Westminster Confes- 
sions of Faith. In church polity they were Congregationalists, hold- 
ing the doctrine of parity, or of one order in the ministry, and that 
all ministers are of equal official rank; and that each parochial church 
is an ecclesiastical body complete in itself, with power to elect its own 
pastors and deacons, to decide on the proper qualifications of those 
who offer themselves for admission to membership with them, and to 
receive, to discipline and exclude, as the majority shall judge to be 
agreeable to the laws of Christ, the only head, law-giver and king of 
the church. They further held to the propriety of asking advice from 
other churches, reserving the right to follow or reject such advice, ac- 
cording to their judgment of expediency. In common with other 
colonists of that age, they acted on the scheme of carrying the gospel 
and its ordinances, education and its advantages, with them, and hav- 
ing the church, the minister and the school coeval with their set- 

Hence, before their organization into a church estate they built a 
log meeting house, and as early as October, 1644, had Mr. John Sher- 
man, one of the first settlers, preaching for them on a salary. He was 
a man of superior talents, and ministered to them until 1646, when the 
settlement of the Reverend Abraham Pierson left him free to go to 
Watertown, where he was settled in the ministry, and where he died 
at the age of seventy-two years. 

The Reverend Abraham Pierson has been properly regarded as the 
first pastor of the church. Coming from South Hampton, L. I., with a 
part of his congregation from that place, and being a man of char- 
acter and influence, he was here also the controlling spirit in all the 
affairs of the town until his removal to Newark, as has been stated. 

" Mr. Pierson preached in the log meeting house which stood in 
the old grave yard, near the willow tree now there. One of the orig- 
inal palisades which stood around that house is now to be seen on Mr. 
William Russell's place. The Sabbath services consisted of two ser- 
mons, each an hour long, timed by the hour glass standing on the pul- 
pit. There was also a prayer, and two or three hymns were sung, 
but there was no scripture reading nor any musical instruments. 

•' Men and women sat on opposite sides of the house, the boys sat 
by themselves, attended by a ' tithing man,' to keep order. Children 
were baptized in the meeting house, generally on the next Sabbath 
after their birth; sometimes on the day of their birth. Marriages 
were as often performed by some magistrate as by a minister. There 
were no public religious services at funerals; minister and people all 

*Reverend Timothy P. Gillett. 


attended and assisted silently and solemnly until the remains were 
buried. The meeting house roof, and so, in fact, the roofs of all the 
houses, were thatched— sedgegrass was the material used. 

" A little before the Newark removal Robert Rose died— April 
4th, 1665. He gave by will, six pounds, thirteen shillings and four 
pence to the church. This was probably the first legacy ever left to 
the Congreg-ational church of Branford. The example thus early fur- 
nished has been followed by several others since."* 

When Mr. Pierson removed to Newark, in the summer of 1666, he 
employed John Bowers, of Guilford, to preach for those remaining 
until the end of the year, when the town engaged him, as is shown 
by the following record: 

January 6th, 1667. "This certifieth that the inhabitants of the 
town of Branford did engaee themselves unto Mr. Bowers for to allow 
and pay unto him the sum of thirty pounds and the cutting and cart- 
ingof wood, and to be rent free in the house and lands that are bought 
for a minister, and he is to be free from all town rates for himself and 
his estate, for and in consideration that the said Mr. Bowers is for to 
carry on the work of the ministry one whole year here in Branford, 
and his time is for to begin the 9th Dec, 1666, and the town doth 
promise to bear his charges of diet till he come with his family." 

They renewed this arrangement from year to year until 1671, when 
he was invited to settle with them and carry on the work of the 
ministry. He accepted the invitation, but the call not being unani- 
mous, there was some trouble, which caused him to leave and settle 
over the Derby church, in 1672. 

" They new have ten years of candidating. March 12th, 1677, they 
call a Mr. ,Stowe, but he does not accept. October 24th, 1677, they wish 
a Mr. Wise to remain with them through the winter. He was a very 
large man and famous as a wrestler. They have a Reverend Daniel 
Russell for a few months. August 1st, 1678, they call Reverend John 
Harriman. A month later they call Reverend Samuel Mather, offer- 
ing him sixty pounds salary and the minister's house and lands. He 
stays a while; they build him a barn, paying for the work in land. 

" In 1679 they consider the question of building a new meeting 
house. They conclude to enlarge the old one to twice its size. Mr. 
Mather serves them, off and on, till 1681. With the hope of keeping 
him they agree to petition the general court for liberty ' to embody 
in a church estate.' Men, not Christians, and those willing to support 
a religion that left them free to their chosen habits, had so far directed 
the policy of Branford since Pierson had left. Hence their difficulty 
in obtaining a minister. December 6th, 1681, they conclude to seek 
God's help; they invite the Reverend Mr. Eliot, of Guilford, to come 
and carry on ' a day of humiliation ' and prayer with them. April 
1st, 1682, they call Reverend Jonah Fordham, but he refuses. Febru- 

*Reverend Elijah C. Baldwin. 


ary 13th, 1683, they call a Mr. Oakes. Being doubtful of his accept- 
ance they concluded to let the minister's house and lands, as they 
record it, ' at an outcry by a piece of candle.' By this is meant a short 
piece of candle was lighted, at the time of the sale, and the auctioneer 
cried up the property until the candle burned out. He that bid high- 
est during that time obtained whatever was offered. Samuel Pond, 
for four pounds and six shillings, on this occasion, obtained the use of 
the property. He was to vacate it when they had a minister to need 
it; but that was not till three years later. Mr. Oakes proposing to go- 
to ' the Bay,' that is to Massachusetts, the town ' agreed to sit still and 
not be in motion to look out for other help ' until they hear from him. 
He never returns. November 7th, 1683, they call a Mr. Younglove. 
January 7th, 1684, they call Reverend John Wilson. April 29th, 1684, 
they call Mr. Mather again. Then they try Reverend John Cotton, 
Jr., and a Mr. Woodruff and a Mr. Emerson. February 1st, 1686, Rev- 
erend Samuel Russell is introduced to Branford people. The now 
sufficiently humbled people are drawn to him. He is called, and 

" Having the Reverend Samuel Russell now living with them, they 
move to reorganize the church. June 7th, 1 687, ' Whereas motion hath 
been made to Reverend Samuel Russell respecting his settlement or 
taking office in a church way, and having also applyed and solicited to 
the general court for liberty to embody, and being granted, as also it 
being moved to Mr. Russell, by those that are members of churches,' 
the town agreed to reserve their motion and desire, leaving it to a 
committee to prosecute the work as they and Mr. Russell shall agree. 

" March 7th, 1688, their affairs had so progressed they were ready 
for an organized church. They then entered into and signed the fol- 
lowing covenant: 

" ' It having pleased God of his grace to call up to the visible pro- 
fession of religion, and being now by his providence called to unite 
together for the carrying on the ordinances of God amongst us, we do, 
therefore, with self-abasement and sorrow of our great unworthiness, 
yet in obedience to the gospel of our Lord Jesus, we do this day, be- 
fore God and his people, give up ourselves and ours first unto God and 
then one to another, to work together to attendance to all those duties 
and enjoyment of all those privileges of the covenant of grace that 
are to be attended and enjoyed in a particular visible church, mak- 
ing the 1 Scriptures to be our rule. We do declare it to be our pur- 
pose, as God shall assist, both in our principles and practice in all 
substantials to work in a consonance with the churches of Christ 
with whom we hold communion. Samuel Russell, John Frisby, 
Ebenezer Stent, Peter Tyler, Samuel Pond, Daniel Swaine, Aaron 
Blatchly, Samuel Betts, Thomas Sergeant, Elizabeth Barker, Hamot 
Maltby, Saroi Blatchley, Miriam Pond, Dorcas Taintor, Elizabeth 
Stent, Hamot Wheadon, Elizabeth Pamer, Hamot Frisbie, Deliver- 


ance Rose, Mary Betts, Ruth Frisby, Saroi Page, Saroi Gutsil, Jane 

" In April others signed, as: John Rose, Francis Tyler, Abigail 
Russell, Elizabeth Rose, Wid. Linsley, Wid. Nash, Esther Wheadon. 

" In November others still, as: Jonathan Frisby, Jono. Maltby, 
Thomas Topping."* 

This may be regarded as the beginning of the church organiza- 
tion proper. The town and the society thereafter became distinct, 
the latter managing, in a measure, its own affairs. They had begun, 
in 108."), the acquisition of the lands on Indian Neck for the support 
of the minister, and during this pastorate much of the land now 
owned was acquired. 

Reverend Samuel Russell was a son of Reverend John Russell, of 
Hadley, and was a graduate of Cambridge College. His salary was 
;£60 and the society gave him as a settlement the town house and lands 
connected with it, and he lived at that place as early as 1686. 

"The years that follow show increase and prosperity in church and 
•town. They soon add to the minister's salary and occasionally grant 
him more land, until he becomes about the largest land-holder in the 

" January 2d, 1692, they give Mr. Russell a deed of the parsonage 
property which was built in 1690. 

" April 5th, 1697, they grant to Mr. Russell and others the privilege 
of setting up a saw mill. The next year they grant Mr. Russell the 
use of the grass in the burying yard for ten years, if he will fence it 
in. Then it is probable the old cedar palisades were used by Mr. Rus- 
sell in making this fence, the first fence around the graveyard." 

The Russell parsonage remained substantially as built until about 
1825, when it was modernized. It became noted as being the building 
in which the meeting was held which led to the formation of Yale Col- 
lege, and for several years the library of the new institution was kept 

In 1687 " the town agreed to white-lime the meeting house, but 
September 28th, 1699, it was unanimously agreed to build a new meet- 
ing house, ' the form of it to be about forty foot square, an upright 
wall from the ground to the plate.' Appointed Mr. William Maltbie, 
Mr. Edward Barker and Mr. William Hoadley, Eleazur Stent, Lt. Sam- 
uel Pond, Ensign Thomas Harrison, Jr., and Searg. John Rose, or any 
■five of them, to be a committee to manage the work from time to 

" November 30th, 1699. ' Whereas it hath been agreed upon by the 
town to build a new meeting house, and there being different notions 
respecting the form— some being for a square house and others for a 
long brick house with lean-to— it is agreed by the town that a lott shall 
be drawn to decide the matter, and it is agreed that Benj. Harrington 

* Reverend E. C. Baldwin. 


shall draw the lott.' The lot being drawn fell for a square meeting 
house. The form of the tower and turret was left to the committee. 
The inhabitants agreed to work out their proportions of expense as 
near as they can in such work as the committee judge them capable. 
The committee were to deduct from wages of those who come late or 
are negligent. They sell the new part of the old house to help pay 
joiners for work on the new house. They sell the old part of the old 
house to Richard Wilford for teaching school. This new house stood 
on the common, about in front of the town hall. 

" June 27th, 1701. ' It is agreed that the congregation in Branford 
do meet together to worship in the old meeting house next Lord's Day, 
and that the next following we meet in the new house.' 

" They gave several men liberty to put pews for themselves in the 
church there, to be for their families ever after, for a reasonable rent. 
This house stood till 1744. In 1738 they voted to build anew meeting 
house, just west of the old one. When it was done, they pulled down 
the old one." 

Mr. Russell's ministry closed with his life, June 25th, 1731, when 
he was 71 years of age. His pastorate was continued a little more than 
43 years, but in the last six years he was not able, on account of bodily 
ailments, to preach much, and by mutual arrangement the pulpit was 
supplied by Reverend Samuel Sherman and others. 

Until 1725 the entire original town attended services at the meet- 
ing house on Branford green, but this year the inhabitants were divided 
into two parishes, those living on the North Farms becoming the 
North Branford Society, and the original society became the old or 
South Society. The church was also divided, and the town assisted in 
building the two meeting houses required. 

Mr. Russell has been styled " the second father of Branford." He 
was a talented man, and by the ministers of his time was looked upon 
as a leader. Including those who joined when the church was or- 
ganized, he added 300 to the membership of the church. He was a 
warm friend of Yale College, serving as a trustee from 1701 to 1731. 
He contributed to its support liberally himself, and induced his people 
to do the same. Four of his sons were graduated from that institu- 
tion, viz.: John, Samuel, Daniel and Ebenezer. His other sons were 
Jonathan and Ithiel, and their descendants became worthy and hon- 
orable citizens, 

Efforts were made after the death of Mr. Russell to secure Rev- 
erends Samuel Sherman and Ebenezer Silliman as pastors. Both had 
preached on calls, but failed to settle. The church was now without 
a pastor until 1733, when Reverend Philemon Robbins was secured. 
In the summer of 1732 he came with a classmate of Harvard, from 
which college they had just graduated, to attend the commencement 
of Yale. 

" While Mr. Robbins was at New Haven a person came from Bran- 


ford to procure some one to preach as a candidate; and he, being 
recommended as a suitable person, consented to go in that capacity. 
The people are pleased with him, and, September 18th, 1732, ask him 
to come four weeks on probation. October 9th, 1732, they give him a 
■call to settle, offering £400 as a settlement, to be paid in two years; 
also £130 per annum for the first four years, and after that £140 per 
year and his firewood." 

He accepted the call, and began his ministry with the following: 
"October 9th, 1732. I had an invitation to settle in the work of the 
ministry in the South Society in Branford, Connecticut, Dec. 27th, 
1732. I accepted the call. Feb. 7th, 1733, I was ordained to the pas- 
toral office in Branford South Society. Philemon Robbins." 

"Mr. Robbins found here a church of 125 members — 43 males and 
82 females. There were 218 additions during his ministry of 47 years. 
In the first years the gains were numerous. In the years of opposition 
and trouble the gains were few. In the first year the church chose 
Captain John Russell as deacon. 

" December 24th, 1736, Mr. Robbins married Hannah Foot, the 
daughter of Isaac and Rebecca Foot, of Branford. Then the people 
helped their minister to build a house. That house is still standing, 
perhaps the second oldest house in Branford. It is owned and occu- 
pied by Mr. Michael Harding-. The original house has been added to 
and much improved by the present owner. Mr. Robbins spent his 
married life in it, and his nine children were born there." 

In the ministry of Mr. Robbins occurred some of the most import- 
ant and stirring events in the history of the town. About 1740 here, 
as well as elsewhere in the New England states, much attention was 
paid to the subject of religion, the minds of the people being espec- 
ially awakened by the preaching of evangelists, who went from town 
to town on this mission. Mr. Robbins believed in these special efforts 
to quicken the spiritual life of the church, and insisted on " spiritual 
growth as evidence of conversion. He adopted measures to promote 
such life. In addition to the usual meetings he encouraged prayer 
and conference meetings. He at times had extra preaching services. 
He was ready to encourage revival efforts everywhere. It seems 
strange to Christians now that any one should object. Yet many did, 
even ministers. So much objection was made, in a number of towns, 
divisions occurred, and new churches were formed. The more actively 
inclined felt compelled to the step by the opposition they met in the 
old church. Of course Mr. Robbins and those like him were jealously 
regarded by such as differed from them. Perhaps he, rather more 
than others, because he had come in from Massachusetts, where they 
did not so highly esteem the Saybrook Platform. 

" At this time Reverend Jonathan Merick was the minister at North 
Branford, and Reverend Warham Williams was minister at Northfordr 
Reverend Thomas Ruggles, Jr., was at Guilford, and Reverend Samuel 


Whittlesey at Wallingford, Jacob Hemingway at East Haven, and 
Reverend Isaac Stiles at North Haven, and young Samuel Russell at 
North Guilford. "* 

At this time the "great revival preacher, George Whitfield, had been 
making his remarkable tour through our country. He met great op- 
position in New England. Many Connecticut ministers were espec- 
ially hostile. Mr. Robbins favored him, and so, with a few others, bore 
the stigma of ' new lights.' They were looked upon with great dis- 
favor by the other pastors. 

' One special cause of complaint grew up from the desire of many 
people in various towns to have the ' new lights ' ministers preach for 
them. Some of the earnest preachers were willing to do so. Rever- 
end Mr. Humphreys, of Derby, consented to preach to a Baptist 
church; he was expelled for it. Reverend Timothy Allen, of West 
Haven, was also expelled. He had been heard to say, ' That the read- 
ing of the Scriptures, without the Spirit's aid, will no more convert a 
sinner than reading an old almanack.' He was a devoted minister, 
but he was too spiritual for his church. Mr. Lee, of Salisbury; Leaven- 
worth, of Waterbury, and Todd, of Northbury, were also expelled for 
similar faults. Mr. Robbins' turn came next." 

The opportunity for prosecuting him presented itself very soon in 
the violation of the rules of the Consociation, adopted at Guilford, the 
latter part of 1741. One of its acts was to vote " That for a minister 
to enter into another minister's parish, and preach or administer the 
Seals of the Covenant, without the consent of or in opposition to the 
settled minister of the parish is disorderly. Notwithstanding, if a 
considerable number of people in the parish are desirous to hear an- 
other minister preach, provided the same be orthodox and sound in 
the Faith, and not notoriously faulty in censuring other persons, or 
guilty of any other scandal. We think it ordinarily advisable for the 
minister of the parish to gratify them by giving his consent upon their 
suitable application to him for it, unless neighboring ministers should 
advise against it." " Not satisfied with this, these ministers went to 
the general assembly and got a law passed which was an outrage to 
every principle of justice. One provision was this: ' 3. If any minis- 
ter, or ministers, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, 
shall presume to preach in any parish, not under his immediate care 
and charge, the minister of the parish where he shall so offend, or the 
civil authority, or any of the committee of said parish, shall give in- 
formation thereof, in meeting, under their hands to the clerk of the 
society or parish where such offending minister doth belong, which 
clerk shall receive such information and lodge and keep the same on 
file in his office, and no assistant or justice of the peace in this colony, 
shall sign any warrant for collecting any minister's rate, without first 
receiving a certificate from the clerk of the society or parish where 
♦Reverend Elijah Baldwin. 


such rate is to be collected, that no such information as is above men- 
tioned, hath been received by him or lodged in his office.' This was 
an example of what cruel wrongs may be done by professed good 
men in the name of religion. In their eager desire to carry certain 
ends they deemed for the good of Zion, they violated every principle 
of justice, and forgot every Christian virtue. Of course their efforts 
only increased the evils they hoped to destroy. The records of 
them are another monument of the folly of doing evil that good may 

"Some time in the early part of December, 1741, Mr. Robbins had 
an invitation to preach at the Baptist church in Wallingford. These 
Baptists lived within the bounds of the First Society or parish in Wal- 
lingford. They were formerly in the Congregational church, but had 
gone off. and professing Baptist principles had set up by themselves. 
Some years before Mr. Robbins came to Connecticut they had em- 
ployed a Separate minister. Mr. John Merriman, who was ordained 
their pastor. By the advice of the governor, no rates had been col- 
lected from them by the First Society for several years. 

"Mr. Robbins returned no positive answer to the first overture. 
Soon after he received the following letter : 

" ' To Mr. Robbins, Branford. 
" Sir: — After suitable respects to yourself, this note is to inform 
you that Mr. Bellamy has been with us at Wallingford, and preached 
in our Baptist's society to very good satisfaction and success on sev- 
eral persons both of our people, and also those of your denomination 
with whom we desire to join heartily in the internals of religion, 
though we can't in form; so that it seems to be the desire of both de- 
nominations here, that yourself would oblige us with a sermon or two 
as soon as you can after the next week; and please to send me when. 
This is also my desire for the good of souls and the glory of God. 
"Sir, yours in good affection, 

John Merriman, Elder. 
" Wallingford, Dec. 23d, 1741.' 

"Mr. Robbins accepted the invitation and agreed to go on January 
6th, 1742. The day before he was to preach he was handed a note 
from two of the members of the Congregational church of Walling- 
ford, requesting him not to preach for the Baptists. But he could see 
no reason why he should break his engagement. There were many 
reasons why he should keep it. He accordingly went and preached 
twice to full congregations. 

" Mr. Robbins had preached in Wallingford on January 6th, 1742. 
The Consociation met at New Haven February 9th, 1742. Mr. The- 
ophilus Yale, a member of the Consociation, messenger from Walling- 
ford church, exhibited a complaint against Mr. Robbins in the form of 


an indictment. Mr. Robbins could never get a copy for himself, but 
it ran like this : 

" ' The subscriber, do certify, in way of complaint, to this reverend 
Consociation, that on the 6th day of January last past, the Rev. Mr. 
Philemon Robbins did enter into the First Society of Wallingford, and 
preached in a disorderly manner, in contempt of the authority of this 
Consociation, without the consent of the Rev. Mr. Whittlesey, pastor 
of said society; contrary to the act of the Guilford Council; contrary 
to an act of this Consociation, and contrary to the desire of his neigh- 
boring ministers, and a great number of church members in Walling- 

" Theophilus Yale.' " 

" Mr. Robbins, who was present, observed that there was nothing 
said in the complaint of its being contrary to the law of God. ' We 
know not how to answer for preaching any more than for praying, 
unless they would tell him wherein was the crime of it. They told 
him it was expressed in the complaint as contrary to the act of the 
Guilford Council, etc' Mr. Robbins said he did not know what were 
the acts of the Guilford Council when he preached at Wallingford. 
Whatever they were they had not even then been read to or accepted 
by the Consociation. Where there was no law there could be no trans- 
gression. As it being contrary to the desire of two neighboring min- 
isters and a great many church members, there was no rule in the 
word of God or Saybrook Platform that obliged one to attend such 
desire in preaching. They referred him to the vote of the Consocia- 
tion to any act of that Consociation instructing their delegates to the 
Guilford Council. He answered that such a vote did not bind the 
Consociation to any act of that council ; that he was not guilty even 
under that vote, because he had not been into another man's parish 
to preach. The Baptists were a church gathered by themselves. They 
had a minister ordained over them. He had preached for them at 
their minister's desire. The collector of Mr. Whittlesey's society had 
been advised by the governor not to require taxes of these Baptists. 
He had. moreover, sent to them proclamation for fasts and thanksgiv- 
ings as to other churches. But they claimed that the Baptists were 
not by the letter of the law a legal society, so decided his preaching 
to be disorderly. They required him to make confession, and gave 
him over night to think of it. But he declined to do what they re- 
quired. They then passed judgment on him as follows: 'At a meet- 
ing of the Convocation of New Haven County, convened by and ac- 
cording to adjournment at New Haven, February 9th, 1741-2. A 
complaint being given in by Theophilus Yale, Esq., a member of the 
First church in Wallingford, against the Rev. Philemon Robbins, pas- 
tor of the First church in Branford, within this county, that the said 
Mr. Philemon Robbins has preached in said First society in Walling- 



ford, in a disorderly and offensive manner, as by said complaint is set 
forth and laid before this Consociation: 

•• ' Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. Robbins so preaching was disor- 

"'' Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. Philemon Robbins should not sit as 
a member of this council for his disorderly preaching.' 

"This judgment being read, Mr. Robbins took leave, went home 
and made this memorandum: 'The crime is preaching to the Bap- 
tists, and the punishment is being secluded from the Consociation.' 

" But, unexpectedly, the punishment is turned into a crime, and 
becomes the burden of more serious complaints. At the next meet- 
ing of the association he found a complaint against him from some of 
his own people. Everything seemed to be managed in the greatest 
secrecy, for he only learned of it at the last moment. The association 
sent him this notice: 

" ' The Association of the County of New Haven convened at New 
Cheshire May 31st, 1743. To the Rev. Mr. Philemon Robbins, Pastor 
of the First Church in Branford. Reverend Sir, and dear Brother; By 
a paper, given into this association by one of the members of your 
church, and signed by six members of the same, we are given to un- 
derstand that there is an uneasiness among a number of your people, 
with your conduct and management in sundry particulars; and, hoping 
that it may be of good service, we have desired a number of our body, 
viz.: the Rev. Messrs. Jacob Hemingway, Samuel Russell, Samuel Hall, 
Isaac Stiles and Jonathan Merrick, to repair to Branford on the second 
Tuesday of June next, to make inquiry into the difficulties among your 
people, and shall rejoice if they may be instrumental of good and 
peace among you; and hoping you will take this in good part, and treat 
the motion candidly, we heartily wish you well. 

' Test, Thomas Ruggles, Scribe. 

' By order of Association.' 

" When he found who of his people had petitioned for this, he was 
much surprised. One was an old non compos mentis man, unable to at- 
tend church; others were persons who had never given him any reason 
to believe they were uneasy. Three were persons who had annoyed 
him before, and who had evidently moved against him at the instiga- 
tion and advice of some of the ministers. He could never get a copy 
of the things complained of; but, as near as he could learn by diligent 
inquiry, they were these: 

" 1st. That Mr. Robbins has set up lectures, without a vote of the 
church for it. 

"2d. That he denies the platform. 

"3d. That he has baptized a child at New Haven. 

" 4th. That he is a promoter of divisions and separations. 

"5th. That he admits members of the separate church at New 
Haven to the Communion." 


The number and nature of these charges showed very plainly that 
these members had been instigated by some of the ministers of the 
Consociation. Mr. Robbins soon quieted the apprehensions of his 
parishioners and even made everything satisfactory to the five mem- 
bers who had complained of him. But his opponents were not satis- 
fied. New complaints were lodged, at the instance of the opposing 
ministers, and nothing Mr. Robbins could say or do would satisfy 
them. After a protracted trial of two years and much agitation, the Con- 
sociation formally deposed him from the ministry. 

" His church and people now took the case in their own hands. In- 
stead of using the liberty which the law of the legislature gave them, 
they paid their minister's salary with more cheerfulness and punctu- 
ality than before. Instead of admitting the charges of error filed 
against him before Consociation, the church, nem. con., met and rebut- 
ted them thus: ' We are of opinion that what is contained in the arti- 
cles against the pastor of this church, respecting doctrines and princi- 
ples, is very wrongfully and injuriously charged, and disagreeable,' 
contrary to 'the known course and tenor of his preaching. We think 
Mr. Robbins preaches the doctrines of grace more clearly than in some 
of the first years of his ministry among us; and yet we have too much 
reason to fear that our uneasy brethren and neighbours, especially 
some of the principal of them, are dissatisfied on account of those doc- 
trines: which doctrines, for our part, we think are clearly revealed in 
the word of God, and adhered to by the reformed churches, as appears 
by their confessions of faith and catechisms; and we trust God has and 
will implant them in our hearts, and enable us to maintain them as 
long as we live.' No very pleasant decision for such men as Whittle- 
sey and Stiles, who had ordained and given the right hand of fellow- 
ship to young Robbins, and whose new light was now so brilliant as 
to give pain to their visual organs. He was ecclesiastically silenced 
and deposed. His flock would not submit. They voluntarily with- 
drew from the compact into which they had entered with the neigh- 
boring churches about 38 years before. They retained their minister 
and loved him the more for his trials and his increased soundness in 
the faith. His opponents appealed to the assembly for aid to quell or 
to awe this rebellious spirit. . The assembly, in May, 1748, cited the 
society to appear before them and answer to the complaint. The soci- 
ety appointed John Russell, Esq., and Samuel Barker to be their agents 
or attorneys, to appear before the assembly and show reasons why the 
prayer of said petition should not be granted. The assembly, after 
hearing the parties, appointed a council of seven ministers from dif- 
ferent parts of the colony, requesting them to repair to Branford and 
hear the parties, and endeavor to make peace in the society. On hear- 
ing the decision of the assembly, the society here voted to request and 
entreat the ministers so appointed by the assembly, together with 
messengers from their respective churches, to meet at Branford, on 


Wednesday, the 29th of June, 1748. Bat the council never met. 
Though requested again in July, that they would be pleased to come 
and attend to the business of their appointment, they came not. Being 
let alone, the difficulties died out. The days of Mr. Robbins were 
thenceforth spent in peace with his people— in the love and confidence 
of his church and of the whole community. Without any formal act 
of restoration, he was called gradually into the councils and associa- 
tions of his brethren."" 

Being received into the Consociation and the association, Mr. Rob- 
bins remained an honored and trusted member until his death, August 
13th, 1781. He preached the preceding day with unusual animation, 
closing his sermon with the words " Glory! glory!" After dinner, on 
the day of his death, he sat down in his arm chair and was soon ap- 
parently asleep, but, as it proved, went quietly out of this life into the 
next. Two of his sons became eminent as ministers. His later de- 
scendants, also, have honored the name. 

Not long after the settlement of Mr. Robbins it was determined to 
build a new meeting house. " March 15th, 1738, the Society moves to 
build a new meeting house. October 11th, 1738, they decide to build 
it west of the old one, and 64 feet long by 44 feet wide, with 24 foot 
posts, but nearly two years pass away before they really get to work 
at the new house." It was occupied in 1744, and was in the style of 
that day, a two-story house without a spire. In 1803 a steeple was built 
to the house and a clock placed in the spire. With other repairs this 
meeting house was used until 1843, when it was removed and a part 
of the present brick edifice was occupied, in the pastorate of the Rev- 
erend T. P. Gillett. This house was practically rebuilt in 1868-9, in 
Mr. Baldwin's pastorate. A new front, with tower and steeple, was- 
built, and the rear was lengthened 15 feet, making the building very 
commodious. It was also thoroughly refitted and a new organ pro- 
vided. The entire outlay was about $26,000. It has since been re- 
paired. In 1889 a very fine parsonage, costing $7,000, was erected on 
the old Frisbie lot, in the rear of the church edifice. All the property 
is in good condition. 

After the death of Mr. Robbins the pulpit was vacant several years, 
when Reverend Jason Atwater was secured as the next pastor. He 
was a native of Hamden, Conn., and a graduate of Yale College. He 
was ordained by the Consociation, March 10th, 1784. He died of con- 
sumption, June 10th, 1794. His pastorate was ten years and three 
months. The society gave him £300 settlement, and £100 salary, with 
the privilege of cutting firewood from the society's lands. During his 
ministry 96 were added to the church; the baptisms were 187, of which 
number 19 were adults; marriages, 96. 

The next pastor, Reverend Lynde Huntington, was a native of 
Norwich, and a graduate of Yale. He was ordained the 28th of Oc- 

* Reverend T. P. Gillett. 


tober, 1795, and died of consumption, September 20th, 1804. The so- 
ciety gave him as a settlement £300, and £95 salary, " with the priv- 
ilege of cutting wood sufficient for his own fires from the Society's 
lands, so long as he shall continue to preach in said Society." The 
additions to the church under his ministry were 50; the baptisms 
121, adults 2; marriages, 50. 

Reverend Timothy P. Gillett, son of Reverend Alexander Gillett, 
of Torrington, was settled as the next pastor. He was ordained June 
15th, 1S0S. The society gave him a " a salary of $500, to be paid an- 
nually, until from continued ill health and infirmity he is no longer 
able to perform the duties of the gospel ministry among them," 
with the privilege of cutting his firewood from the society's land. His 
salary was not increased, remaining as fixed until he ceased to be the 
active pastor. But so frugal was he, without being mean or miserly, 
that, without engaging in any speculations, his estate in 1881 amounted 
to $80,000, some of which was given to benevolent objects. During 
his pastorate many additions were made to the membership of the 
church, the last years of his life being the most fruitful. He continued 
as pastor emeritus until the fall of 1866. His health having failed, 
Reverend Jacob G. Miller was appointed colleague pastor in 1859, and 
so served until 1864. The following year Reverend Elijah C. Baldwin 
was settled in a like relation, and after Mr. Gillett's death became the 
pastor. He continued until 1878. He was an able and conscientious 
minister and the last to remain a term of years. Since his departure 
the acting pastors have been: 1878-80, Reverend C. W. Hill; 1880-84, 
Cyrus P.Osborne; 1885-88, Henry Pearson Bake; 1888,Thomas Bickford. 
On the 1st of January, 1889, the latter was settled as the pastor. 
He was ordained to the ministry in 1875. His labors here the past 
year have been successful, about fifty members being added, making 
the present US90) membership 340, contributed by 190 families in the 
parish. In addition to its labors at home the church has encouraged 
mission services at Short Beach, and aided in establishing the church 
at Stony Creek. 

The church maintains a well equipped Sabbath school of several 
hundred members, having Horace B. Meigs as superintendent, and 
has also a number of aid societies connected with it. 

The following have been the deacons and the years of their elec- 
tion: Lawrence Ward, uncertain: John Rose, uncertain; George Bald- 
win, uncertain; Samuel Harrington, after 1689; Samuel Rose, after 1689; 
John Russell, 1733; Edward Barker, 1757; Nathaniel Foot, 1763; El- 
nathan Beach, 1763; Stephen Smith, 1771; Daniel Maltbie, 1771; Samuel 
Rogers, 1777; Zaccheus Baldwin, 1795; Samuel Tyler, 1800; Samuel 
Frisbie, 1809; Eli Fowler, 1816; Harvey Page, 1851; Jeremiah Russell, 

1852; -William Linsley, 1857; John Plant, ; -Austin M.Babcock,1869. 

Of the foregoing, John Russell, who was a son of Reverend Samuel 
Russell, was, in his day, one of the most distinguished civilians in town. 
♦Now in office. 


The following Congregational ministers have been raised up in the 
town of Branford: Reverends Joseph Barker, John Tyler Benedict, 
Thomas Wells Bray, Andrew Bartholomew, Samuel Barker, Thomas 
Canfield, John Cornwall, John Foote, Levi Frisbie, Josiah Frisbie, 
Dana Goodsell, George Justus Harrison, Jared Harrison, Roger Har- 
rison, L. I. Hoadley, Lewis F. Morris. Solomon Palmer, Abraham Pier- 
son, Ammi R. Robbins, Chandler Robbins. D.D., Samuel Russell, 
Ebenezer Russell. Lemuel Tyler and Samuel Whiting. 

Trinity Church (Protestant Episcopal)* had its origin in the dissent- 
ing minority of the First Society, or those who were avowed opponents 
of Mr. Robbins after he had become a " new light." In 1748 these 
opponents of Mr. Robbins petitioned the general court for aid in car- 
rying into effect the decree of the New Haven Consociation, debarring 
him from ministerial duties, and to the obeyance of which he paid no 
heed. The petitioners were Nathaniel Harrison, Nathaniel Johnson, 
Joseph Frisbie, Noah Rogers, Jo/in Rogers, John Rogers, Jr., John Linsley, 
Jonathan Hoadley, John Hoadley, Nathaniel Hoadley, Benjamin Palmer, 
Demetrius Cook, Ebenezer Frisbie, Orchard Guy, Daniel Palmer, Samuel 
Maltby, Nathaniel Butler, Joseph Bishop, Samuel Frisbie, Mieha Palmer, 
Jr., Noah Baldwin, Abraham Palmer, Ebenezer Linsley, Uzal Cook, Nathan- 
iel Frisbie, Isaae Cook, Abijah Hobart, Daniel Frisbie, Jonathan Good- 

The names in italics represent the families which probably em- 
braced Episcopacy, though it is by no means certain that every per- 
son so indicated became a churchman. Many of the foregoing remained 
Congregationalists, forgetting, in the course of a few years, their dis- 
affection with the " new light " doctrines. 

In September, 1748, Reverend Matthew Graves, missionary from 
New London, and Doctor Samuel Johnson, from Stratford, held Epis- 
copal services in the town, and thereafter they were continued with 
some regularity, so that the church properly had its beginning in that 
year. A few years later the society was more fully organized and un- 
der its direction regular missionaries served it : Reverend Matthew 
Graves in 1748; Samuel Johnson, D.D., in 1748, 1752 and 1766; Eben- 
ezer Punderson, 1752-61; Solomon Palmer, 1763-6; Bela Hubbard, D. 
D., 1767-84. During the revolution the feeling against the Episcopal 
church was very strong and but little advance was made. The society 
had, in these latter years, only a nominal existence, and in June, 1784, 
steps were taken to reorganize and to found the present parish. This 
act was consummated November 29th, 1784, when the following were 
elected as the first parish officers: Mr. Ebenezer Linsley and Captain 
Samuel Russell, church wardens; Captain John Russell, Obed Linsley, 
Thomas Frisbie, John Rogers, Jr., Papillian Barker, Captain Ebenezer 
Barker and Edward Barker, vestrymen; William Monro, clerk of the 
church and society. 

*From data by Reverend M. K. Bailey, Eli F. Rogers, Esq., and others. 



At the same meeting a vote was passed with the intention of pro- 
curing Mr. Sayre as their minister, and he probably was in charge 
while the church was building. 

The next step was the formal notice of organization given to the 
First Society, so as to secure exemption from paying rates. This no- 
tice was signed by the following: 

'Ebenezer Linsley 
Jonathan Hoadley 
Ralph Isaacs 
Isaac Rogers 
Jonathan Hoadley jur 
Samuel Russell 
Thomas Frisbie 
Ebenezer Barker 
Abraham Rogers 
Ebenezer Frisbie 
John Garrett 
Nathaniel Palmer 
Thomas Barker 
Peter Grant 
Samuel Whedon 
John Rogers jur 
Pennock Houd 
Stewart Gaylord 
Ebenezer Frisbie jur 
Timothy Barker 
Elias Pond 
Richard Spink 
Andrew Morris 
Edmund Morris 
Papillian Barker 
Archelaus Barker 
Daniel Frisbie jur 

Barnabas Palmer 
Obed Linsley 
William Monro 
John Russell 
Allen Smith 
George Cook 
Oliver Landfair jur 
Roswell Chidsey 
George Friend 
Sarah Johnson 
Martha Olds 
John Cory 
Jacob Rogers 
Thomas Rose 
John Potter jur 
Daniel Jones 
Abel Frisbie 
Jonathan Barker 
Benjamin Barker 
Obediah Tyler 
Ebenezer Linsley 3d 
John Butler 
Samuel Russell jur 
Moses vStork 
Samuel Palmer jur 
John Rogers 
Ebenezer Linsley jur- 

" By order of said Episcopal Church or Congregation in legal meet- 
ing assembled, holden in said Branford first society on the 11th day of 
December A.D. 1784. 

Will.m Monro Clerk — 

Ebenezer Linsley 
Samuel Russell 
Samuel Whedon 
John Russell 
Obed Linsley 
Thomas Frisbie 
Papillian Barker 
John Rogers jur 

' f Committee- 


" We whose names are in the foregoing, beg leave to address the 
first society, and to assure them that we wish them peace in Jesus 
Christ; and they with us may enjoy every blessing this world can afford, 
and eternal happiness in the World to come— By Order of the Episco- 
pal Church or Congregation in the first society in Branford." 

After some little delay and consideration the matter was settled 
by a decision that the Episcopal society should be exempt from the 
payment of all rates for the benefit of the First society, after Decem- 
ber 13th, 1784, since which time Trinity parish has had a recognized 
independent existence. 

The next step was to build a church, but here, as in many other 
places in the county, the selection of a site was attended with some 

" It was voted, December 28th, 1784, to build a church not to ex- 
ceed 50 feet by 38, and John Russell, William Monro, Captain Samuel 
Russell, Obed Linsley, Abraham Rogers, Papillian Barker and Eben- 
ezer Barker were appointed a committee to receive subscriptions, 
transact all business of building, and to search the First society's rec- 
ords to see whether liberty had formerly been granted to build a 
church, and in case it had not, to make application for it. William 
Monro and Captain John Russell were also appointed to see an attor- 
ney about the rates, and to petition the county court for liberty to 
build a church. Neither of these committees seem to have gotten 
much satisfaction, for March 7th, 1785, Samuel Russell, John Russell, 
Ebenezer Barker, John Rogers, Jr., Abraham Rogers, Obed Linsley 
and William Monro were appointed to determine where the church 
should be built. This committee examined two sites — ' the hill where 
the timber now lies, likewise the ground near the school house hol- 
low.' March 25th, it was voted to build on this hill, which was called 
Baldwin's hill, if a title could be had. Where Baldwin's hill was can- 
not be decided, but probabilities indicate a site near the residence of 
Mr. Philander Hopson. This did not prove satisfactory, and the place 
selected was 'the ground near the school house hollow.' The de- 
cision was referred to Jonathan Ingersoll, Esq., of New Haven, and he 
fixed it. 

' Meanwhile the subscription paper had been started. The first 
copy was drawn up December 28th, 1784, without doubt at the parish 
meeting. In this list several names appear which are not among the 
founders, one of them being Cambrig Primus, probably a slave or freed- 
man, who subscribed six shillings. A second list, showing amounts 
subscribed, paid and due, gives the sum total as .£300—10—0. The 
tax list of forty-three members of the parish in 1786 aggregated 
.£1,533—10—3. A part of the subscriptions were paid in labor and 

' The timber was drawn in February of 1785, the work on the 
frame was probably done in June and July. August 12th a contract 


was given to Jacob Tyler, of Southington, to complete the church 
which was then raised. It was for £50, one-third to be paid in cattle 
and cash, and two-thirds in West India rum and dry goods, the rum 
being valued at three shillings or fifty cents per gallon. In December 
men were still working at the pillars. The first parish meeting in 
the church was warned for the first Monday in May, 1786. In the 
period between December and May, then, the church was occupied. 

" Three names appear in the documents of the time as most promi- 
nent—those of Samuel Russell. Ebenezer Linsley and Ralph Isaacs. 
They did a great deal of work for the parish, and were liberal in their 
contributions. The parish meetings were frequently held at the houses 
of the former two. Captain Russell and Ralph Isaacs made frequent 
journeys on parish business. The latter lived in the old farm house 
at Cherry hill. He entertained the clergy, and his contributions in 
money were larger than those of anyone else. 

"At this point of the parish history we find the old church stand- 
ing northwest of the present edifice, where a line of the foundation 
stones still appears through the turf. It was unpretentious, being 
built somewhat after the school house model. But it represented 
much perseverance and toil. There was no recessed chancel, but a 
semi-circular rail enclosed the altar and the chancel space. The whole 
Sunday school used to gather about the rail to be catechised at the 
visit of the bishop. The pulpit was very high and stood against the 
wall, having a small dark robing room under it. It was afterward 
moved forward, and a convenient robing room placed behind it, the 
chancel was made square, reduced in size, and pews were added. The 
altar at first stood directly in front of the pulpit— afterward near the 
chancel rail, with a space behind it. Over the entrance was a semi- 
circular gallery, the ends extending about half the length of the 
church. The pillars were a conspicuous feature of the interior, and 
seem to have cost considerable labor. At one time it was intended to 
erect a spire, and the timber was drawn to the church. It was, how- 
ever, sold, and formed the spire of the Congregational church preced- 
ing the present one. It was pulled over, at the demolition of that edi- 
fice, and people who saw it fall remember how it quivered in the air 
like a serpent before it came down. 

" For about forty years there was no way of heating the old church. 
A stove for burning wood was put in about 1825, the pipe being put 
through a window. Another was added a dozen years later. The 
seats were free, and the men and boys sat on one side, the women and 
children on the other." 

With some minor repairs the church was used as built until 1840, 
when the old gallery was replaced by a new one. In 1845 the rectory 
property, which had been secured by a stock company after 1840, was 
transferred to the parish, and near the same time a pipe organ was 
placed in the church. A new church edifice being deemed necessary, 


funds were raised in 1850, and Harry Barker, Isaac H. Palmer, Levi 
S. Parsons, David Averill and Benjamin Rogers were appointed a 
building- committee. A plan which was deemed quite advanced for 
the times was selected, and the corner stone of the building was laid 
in April, 1851. The church was consecrated by Bishop Brownell Jan- 
uary 27th, 1852. Four years later the improved parsonage and the 
church were fully paid, leaving the parish free from debt. 

The parish has been the recipient of a number of generous gifts, 
among them being, in 1859, the sum of $524 from Abraham Rogers; 
in 1867, bonds from General Schuyler Hamilton, who was for a num- 
ber of years a devoted member of the church, to the amount of $1,000; 
in 1867, $404 from Captain David Barker, to provide free sittings in 
the church; in 1872, $500 from the estate of Mrs. Mary Daniels; in 1880, 
the Chapel of Grace, from Isaac H. Brown and his friends; in 1882, a 
bequest from Eli Goodrich, amounting to about $9,500. 

The parish is prosperous financially and in numbers of members, 
having 140 families and 213 registered communicants. Its total yearly 
contributions are about $2,000. 

The senior wardens of the church have been as follows: 1784-6, 
Ebenezer Linsley; 1787-1804, Samuel Russell; 1805, Isaac Hoadley; 
1806-7, Samuel Russell; 1808-12, Andrew Morris; 1813-14, Ebenezer 
Linsley, Jr.; 1815, Timothy Johnson; 1816-18, Ebenezer Linsley; 1819, 
Timothy Johnson; 1820, Ebenezer Linsley; 1821-2, Timothy Johnson; 
1823-4, Ebenezer Linsley; 1825-8, Abraham Rogers, Jr.; 1829-30, Tim- 
othy Johnson; 1831-2, Abraham Rogers; 1833, Timothy Johnson; 1834,. 
Abraham Rogers: 1835, Timothy Johnson; 1836, Edward Linsley; 
1837-43, Timothy Johnson; 1844-8, Edward Linsley; 1849-54, Isaac 
H. Palmer; 1855, Orrin Hoadley; 1856-7, Isaac H. Palmer; 1858-63, 
Orrin Hoadley; 1864-88, Isaac H. Palmer; 1889—, Walter E. Fowler. 

The clergymen who have served the parish have been the follow- 
ing: Reverend Samuel Johnson, D.D., 1748, occasional services; Mat- 
thew Graves, 1748, occasional services; Ebenezer Punderson, 1752-61, 
stated services part of the time; Solomon Palmer, 1763-6, stated serv- 
ices part of the time; Bela Hubbard, D.D., 1767-83, probably occasional 
services; James Sayre, 1784-6, probably resident minister, church 
built; John Bowden, D.D., 1785, one visit known; Jeremiah Learning, 
D.D., 1787, one visit known; Edward Blakeslee, 1788-90, probably 
stated services part of the time; Tillotson Bronson, D.D., 1789, one 
visit known; Ambrose Hull, 1790-91, resident minister; Manoah Smith 
Miles, 1795-7, resident minister; Ammi Rogers, 1801-04, stated serv- 
ices part of the time; Virgil H. Barber, 1806, one visit known; Charles 
Seabury, 1808, one visit known; Benjamin Benham, 1809, two visits 
known, probably in charge; J.D.Jones, 1809-11, without doubt in 
charge of cure; Elijah G. Plumb, 1811-18, resident minister; Ashbel 
Baldwin, 1816, one visit recorded; Origen P. Holcomb, 1820-3, resi- 
dent minister; Joseph Perry, 1821, also in 1819; John M. Garfield, 


1S23-8, stated services; James Keeler, 1828-9, resident minister; Wil- 
liam T. Potter, 1830, stated services; Edward J. Ives, 1831-2, stated 
services; David Baldwin, 1834-8, stated services; Levi H.Carson, 1838- 
40, entire services; Pascal P. Kidder, 1840-3, resident rector; Frederick 
Miller, 1844-9, resident minister: William H. Rees, 1850, resident rec- 
tor; Henry Olmstead, Jr., 1851-62, resident rector; Clayton Eddy, 1862- 
4, resident rector; Frederick D. Lewin, 1864, resident rector; David 
Bishop, 1866-9, resident rector; George C. Griswold, 1870-2, resident 
rector; Henry Olmstead, D.D., 1872-82, resident rector; Charles H. 
Plummer, 1882-3, one year; Melville K. Bailey, 1885-91, resident rec- 
tor; F. B. Whitcomb, since June, 1891. 

The longest ministry was that of Reverend Henry Olmstead, who 
died in the service of the church October 30th, 1882. An appropriate 
tablet, commemorating the 21 years of service which he gave the par- 
ish, has been placed in the church. His age was 64 years. In his 
ministry the Chapel of Grace, at Branford Point, built mainly by Isaac 
H. Brown and his friends, of Grace church, New York, was donated to 
the parish. Another well-beloved pastor was Frederick Miller, who 
died as rector of this church October 3d, 1849, aged 39 years. Both 
are buried beneath the chancel of the church. 

In the ministry of Reverend John M. Garfield the Sunday school 
was founded, about 1826, and soon had 50 members. After a few years 
it went down, and in 1834 it was reorganized by Isaac H. Tuttle. Eli 
F. Rogers became the superintendent and acted continuously until 
1865. Samuel E. Linsley then became the superintendent and served 
until his death, September 22d, 1883. Since 1834 Eli F. Rogers has 
been an officer of the Sunday school, which has about 160 members. 

The Branford Baptist Church was constituted in 1838. In the year 
1836 Mrs. Nicholas Andrews, a devout member of the Wallingford 
Baptist church, lived in Branford, and at her request her pastor. Rev- 
erend Simeon Shailer, visited the town and preached. He was fol- 
lowed, in 1837, by Reverend Amos D. Watrous, whose services at- 
tracted many, but also awakened some hostile feeling and acts of 
violence towards him and his property. Not disheartened, Reverend 
David T. Shailer came next, beginning regular Sabbath services in 
the old Academy building, in December, 1837. The following spring 
a large chamber in the Andrews house was fitted up as a place of 
worship, and April 8th, 1838, occurred the first public baptism in the 
village, Woodward Page and Abigail Johnson being immersed in the 
river, near the Neck bridge, in the presence of a great throng of peo- 
ple. The same season were also baptized Charles Hopson, George W. 
Johnson, Betsy Beers, Nicholas Andrews, Nelson J. Linsley, James 
Barker and wife, Mary Ann Goodrich, Irene Page, Maria Russell, Char- 
lotte Covert, Mary Beers and Nancy Hopson. These and ten others 
were, on the 19th of December. 1838, constituted as the foregoing 


A larger place for meetings having become necessary, the town 
yielded its consent that a house should be built on the site of the old 
whipping post on the -'green," and the members gave materials and 
labor toward building the house, Mr. Shailer himself helping to hew 
some of the timbers. Nelson J. Linsley supervised the work of build- 
ing. The church edifice was dedicated July 11th, 1840, but not free 
from debt. It was more or less a burden on the society for twenty 
years, being finally lifted by the Ladies' Aid Society, of which Mrs. 
Martha Barker was the president. In 1859, in the pastorate of the 
Reverend P. G. Wightman, the house was remodelled, the interior es- 
pecially being much changed. In 1866 the work of bettering the 
church building was still further carried on at an outlay of $1,800. A 
baptistery was built in 1888 and more repairs were made at an outlay 
of $1,000. The property is worth $3,500, and the church has 300 sit- 

In 1876 a fine parsonage was built on Rogers street, which is valued 
at $3,000, $1,500 being contributed by Ara Baldwin and Mrs. James 

The church has been reasonably prosperous, having now about 150 
members. It has had but two clerks — James Barker, from 1838 until 
1882, and James Fowler since that time. 

Those elected as deacons were: in 183S, Nicholas Andrews; 1843, 
James Barker, Nelson J. Linsley; 1853, Samuel D. Linsley, Giles T. 
Baldwin; 1868, James Palmer; 1874, Philander Hopson;* 1879, Har- 
vey Beach, Henry W. Hubbard,* Elizur Johnson.* 

For many years Giles Baldwin had a Sabbath school at Stony Creek, 
and after 1874 Deacon Philander Hopson continued the good work a 
number of years at both Branford and Stony Creek. Of the former 
school H.W. Hubbard was the superintendent in 1889, and the scholars 
numbered about 100. 

The ministers of the church have been the following: Reverend 
D. T. Shailer until April, 1844, when the church had 62 members; A. 
C. Wheat, 1845, for three and a half years; Calvin Topliff, one year; 
Lucius Atwater, 1850-4; R. H. Bolles, 1855-6; D. T. Shailer, supply, 
1857; P. G. Wightman, 1858-63; A. H. Simons, 1864-7; Curtis Keeney, 
eight months; Henry A. Wildridge, eight months; Warren Mason, 
1870-3; five supplies in 1874-7; Melville Thwing, first to occupy the 
parsonage; C. C. Smith, July, 1877, to May, 1885; J. A. Bailey, supply 
\\ years-; P. G. Wightman, supply from October, 1886, to April, 1S87, 
and pastor since that time. From his historical sermon, preached on 
the 50th anniversary of the founding of the church, in 1888, this ac- 
count has been compiled. 

Attempts were made by the Methodists as early as 1836 and since 
to establish a church at Branford, but for many years without success. 
In 1875 the effort was renewed, and a small congregation was organ - 

*Present deacons. 


ized, which built a house of worship on the street on the south side 
of the green. Unfortunately the organization of this society was not 
long continued, and in 1878 it disbanded. The building was later 
purchased by Doctor Gaylord, who converted it into a neat public hall. 

The Tabor Church (Swedish Evangelical Lutheran) occupies a 
commanding location in the southern part of the village. It is a 
Gothic frame edifice, 40 by 58 feet, with a brick basement and hand- 
some corner tower. The corner stone was laid October 20th, 1889, and 
the church was formally dedicated August 10th, 1890. The interior is 
handsomely finished, and the entire property cost $5,152. It was built 
mainly by the efforts of the Swedes and Finlanders in this locality, 
the building committee being composed of P. A. R. Engquist, Gustaf 
Dahlgren, Joseph Mattson, Peter Palson, Herman Mickelson, H. Jacob- 
son, John Gulland, Charles Damberg. The congregation occupying 
this house was organized in the fall of 1887, with a few members. But 
there has been a steady and encouraging increase, there being now 
more than one hundred members belonging. The meetings were 
first held in the basement of the Congregational meeting house, Rev- 
erend Henry Jacobson being the minister. 

St. Mary's Church (Roman Catholic). The mass of the Catholic 
church was first said in Branford at the house of Francis Harding, in 
the summer of 1851. That family was one of the first professing the 
Catholic faith to take up its abode in the town, and a son, Michael 
Patrick Harding, who was born April 15th, 1850, was the first native 
Irish-American of Branford. The officiating priest at this mass was 
the Reverend Father John Sheridan, who came from New Haven, and 
was followed by Father Matthew Hart, of St. Patrick's church of the 
same city, who opened the ground for the church, which was raised 
in 1855, while Father John Lynch was in charge of the mission, which 
was now here maintained by St. Patrick's parish. In 1861 Reverend 
James Bohen was assigned to the parish, composed of the shore towns 
east of New Haven, and in 1862 was followed by Reverend Thomas 
Quinn. Reverend James F. Campbell became the priest in 1865 and 
enlarged the church building. After three years he was followed by 
Reverend Thomas Mullen. Since September 1st, 1876, the resident 
priest has been Reverend Edward Martin. Branford became a dis- 
tinct parish in the spring of 1887, when Guilford was set off. It con- 
tained, in 1890, 177 families and 1,200 persons, and was growing in 
numbers and influence. 

Besides the church building the parish owns a fine priest's house 
and two places of interments. The old cemetery, in the northern part 
of the village, is well filled, and contains a number of handsome mon- 
uments. The new one of 14 acres is east of the village, and was pur- 
chased in 1889 for $2,500. 

Until the present century the town had but one public place of 
burial — the cemetery at Branford village. On the 30th of November, 


1810, the burial place at Mill Plain was occupied, young Ammi Beach 
being- the first interred there. The area is small, but the ground is 
well enclosed and filled with graves, many being marked with head- 
stones. These indicate the burial at that place of members of the 
Beach, Baldwin, Bartholomew, Barker, Downs, Frisbie, Hoadley, Nor- 
ton, Tyler, Towner and Rogers families. The third place of burial 
was opened at Damascus, June 18th, 1812, and Mrs. Lucretia Day was 
the first person buried at that place. After the dates named the latter 
two places were used mainly by the inhabitants of the Stony Creek 
section until 187C, when the cemetery was opened in that locality. 

The Catholics have a place of burial at Bran ford village, and 
another east of Branford river, on the Guilford road. 

The old cemetery has been used from the time of settlement. It 
contains many graves, some of which are unmarked. The area has 
been increased from time to time, a large addition being made after 
1850. Mrs. Sally Gillett gave $2,000 as a fund for the care of the cem- 
etery, and that proper attention might be paid to the graves of her- 
self and consort. A brown sandstone monument marks this resting 
place in the new part of the cemetery, and the inscriptions are as 

Rev. Timothy P. Gillett, 
Died Nov. 5, 1866, 
Aged 86 Yr's, 
A preacher of the Gospel 61 years, and pastor of the First Cong'l Church in Bran- 
ford 58 years. 
" I know in whom I have believed." 
Mrs Sally Gillett, 
wife OF 
Rev. Timothy P. Gillett, 
Died May 20, 1887, 
Aged 100 Years & 2 Months. 

In the old part of the cemetery, near the spot where stood the first 
meeting house, is the table monument to the memory of Reverend 
Samuel Russell and his wife. In the same part of the cemetery are 
the graves of Reverend George L. Russell, who died in 1844, and of 
Reverend Rutherford Russell, who died in 1876. In this cemetery is 
also the well marked grave of Reverend Philemon Robbins, who died 
August 13th, 1781. 


Daniel Averill, born in 1817, is a son of David and Polly (Morris) 
Averill, and grandson of Daniel Averill, who was a drummer in the 
revolutionary war. Mr. Averill followed the sea in coasting and West 
India trade until 1877. He married Jane, daughter of Seth Bradley, of 
East Chatham, N. Y. They have two children: Delbert C. and La- 
verne S. Delbert married Estella Shepard, of Branford, and has one 


son, Roy Victor, born in 1880. Laverne married Samuel Hodgkinson 
of England, and has one son, Harold Daniel, born 1890. 

'Henry W. Averill, born in 1851, is a son of Samuel and Myrtie 
(Fowler) Averill, and grandson of Daniel Averill. Mr. Averill is a 
farmer. He married Hattie, daughter of Albert C. Gardiner, of Rhode 

John U. Baldwin, born in 1836 at Carmel, N. Y., is a son of Arvah 
and Harriet (Carpenter) Baldwin. He came to Guilford with his 
parents when a boy, and after his marriage settled at his present 
home in Branford. He is a farmer and butcher. He married Mary 
E., daughter of Alva Kelsey. Their children are: A. Earle and Mel- 
vina C. 

Harvey R. Barker is the only son of James and Martha (Beach) 
Barker, and grandson of Captain Archilus Barker, who was a revolu- 
tionary soldier and sea captain. Mr. Barker is a farmer. He married 
Sarah, daughter of Richard Hubbard. They have three children: 
James, who is a farmer with his father; Elizabeth A., now Mrs. Fred 
Smith; and Susan J., now Mrs. E. R. Monroe. 

David Beach, born in 1817. is a son of John and Sally (Harrison) 
Beach, and grandson of John H. Beach. Mr. Beach is a farmer, 
though the two sons operate the farm at present. He married Sylvia 
Baldwin. Their children were: Betsey B., John H., who married Car- 
rie Linsley; Frank E., who married Alida Duncan; and two that died 
in infancy. 

John Bishop, son of Jonathan C. and Lydia (Tyler) Bishop, and 
grandson of James Bishop, was born in 1818, and is the youngest of 
five children. Mr. Bishop is a farmer. For twelve years he was select- 
man of Branford. He married Thankful K., daughter of Elias Gould. 
They have two children living: Elias G. and Sarah E. (Mrs. William 
Whiting); and two died in infancy. 

John Augustus Blackstone is a son of Augustus and Esther (Lins- 
ley) Blackstone, and grandson of John, whose father, John, was a son 
of John Blackstone, who died in 1785, and is supposed to be a grand- 
son of William Blackstone, who came to New England in the early 
part of the seventeenth century. Mr. Blackstone was born in 1829. 
He was married in 1855 to H. Minerva, daughter of Rewel Andrews. 
They have two sons: Charles A. and Ruel A., both married and fol- 
lowing- the business of farming- with their father. Mr. Blackstone has 
held the office of selectman eight successive years, also tax collector, 
assessor and town agent. 

Ralph Blackstone, born in 1825, is a son of Ralph and Sally (Pond) 
Blackstone, and grandson of John, whose father, John, was a son of 
John, a descendant of William Blackstone. Mr. Blackstone is a far- 
mer. He married Mary, daughter of Orrin Hoadley. She died, leav- 
ing two daughters, Valnette and Emeline E. 


Richard Bradley, born in 1850, is a son of Gurdon and Ann M« 
(Spink) Bradley, and grandson of Timothy^Bradley. Mr. Bradley is a 
contractor and builder, and has worked at carpentering for twenty 
years. He was selectman one year. He married Mary C, daughter of 
Leonard and Harriet E. (Yale) Smith. Their children are: Frank S., 
Harriet E. and Charles, who died in infancy. 

Frank E. Brainard, son of John W. and Esther L. (Bailey) Brain- 
ard, grandson of Deanthiuem Brainard, and great-grandson of Sylves- 
ter O. Brainard, was born in 1861. Mr. Brainard has been a merchant 
at Stony Creek since 1884. He married Anna, daughter of Ira M. 
Brown. They have one daughter, Florence. 

Terence Brannigan came from Ireland in 1868. He is an iron 
moulder by trade. He has lived in Branford since 1876, and since 
1888 has kept a dry goods and clothing store. He married Catharine 

A. Winnithan. They have five children: Angeline, Daniel, Jeremiah, 
Terence and Catharine. 

Ebenezer J. Coe, who died in 1889, aged 72 years, came from Mid- 
dlefield to Stony Creek in 1854. He married Phebe, daughter of John 
and Esther (Coe) Burdsey. Their children are: Ruth B. (Mrs. Els- 
worth Austin), John W. (of Meriden), Mattie R. (Mrs.W. C. Maynard), 
and Fannie R. (Mrs. W. Wallace). Mr. Coe kept the " Three Elms 
House" for several years prior to his death, and his widow and daugh- 
ter now keep it. 

Elbert H. Coe, born in 1820 in Middlefield, Conn., is a son of Amos 
and Harriet (Johnson) Coe, and grandson of Seth Coe. Mr. Coe, in 
1859, came from Middlefield to Stony Creek, where he has since been 
a farmer. He married Louisa C, daughter of Alfred Bailey. Their 
children are: Ellen (Mrs. Joseph Howard), Harriet (Mrs. Lembert 
Chidsey), Timothy A., Phebe (Mrs. Walter Foote), and one daughter 
that died, Ida. Timothy A. Coe was born in 1857, and is a farmer and 
milkman. He married Martha, daughter of Bela Foote. 

Samuel S. Cook, born in 1825, is a son of Samuel and Margaret 
(Hobert) Cook, and grandson of Joseph Cook. Mr. Cook was a shoe 
manufacturer until the war began. He was in the army in Company 

B, 27th Connecticut Volunteers, as sergeant nine months. He then 
followed the sea for twelve years, after which he was foreman of the 
packing department of the Malleable Iron Fittings Company for ten 
years. He married Caroline C, daughter of Chandler and Lucy Lor- 
etta (Collins) Page. They had four children : Alice E. (Mrs. L. J. 
Nichols), Anderson S., and two sons that died— Everett E. and Ever- 
ett A. 

Eckford Davis, born in 1836 in Killingworth, is a son of Lewis and 
Sally (Burr) Davis, and grandson of Peter Davis. Mr. Davis came 
from Killingworth to Branford in 1860, where he has been a farmer. 
He married Sarah E., daughter of Eber Beach, granddaughter of An- 
drew, and great-granddaughter of Ephraim, whose father, Andrew 


Beach, in 1737, came to Branford and settled near where Mr. and Mrs. 
Davis now live. Their only daughter, Mary T., is now Mrs. Elon Bragg. 

C. Wilbur Field, son of Danforth C. and Lucretia (Griswold) Field, 
grandson of James E. and great-grandson of Samuel Field, was born 
in 1837. Mr. Field is a farmer. He married Sarah, daughter of 
George Bailey. Their children were: George W. (deceased), Charles 
M. (deceased), Minnie I., Homer W. (deceased), Fannie E., James C, 
Wallace D., Elsie J. and Lillia L. 

George C. Field, son of Danforth and Lucretia (Griswold) Field, 
was born in 1836, and is a blacksmith and farmer. He married Sarah, 
daughter of George L. Dowd. They have an adopted son, George I. 

William R. Foote, oldest living son of Samuel and Sarah E. (Rus- 
sell) Foote, was born in 1848, and is a farmer. He was two years 
selectman, and has held other town offices. He married Nettie, daugh- 
ter of Samuel Averill. Their children are: Wallace H. and Mabel L., 
living; and Ada and Roland T., deceased. 

Charles Woodward Gaylord, M.D., was born in Wallingford, this 
county, August 28th, 1846, and his parents are still residents of that 
town. He was the eldest of three children born to David and Bertha 
(Bartholomew) Gaylord, the other members of the family being Wil- 
liam Bartholomew, who became a business man of Meriden, where he 
died in October, 1889, aged 40 years; and a daughter, Ida, who married 
Frank Brown, of Meriden. Charles W. Gaylord is grandson of John 
Gaylord, whose father, John, was one of three brothers — Elias, Nathan 
and John — who came from England and settled in Cheshire and Wal- 
lingford, in the locality long known as Gaylord hill. In the war of 
the revolution the grandfather, John, served in defense of the colony 
of Connecticut, having warmly espoused the patriot cause. 

Doctor Gaylord spent his boyhood days on his father's farm, until 
he was 18 years old, when he went to the Connecticut Literary Insti- 
tution at Suffield, where he was two years preparing for college. In 
the fall of 1866 he entered Yale, and graduated from that institution 
in 1870. He soon after began to qualify himself for the medical pro- 
fession, beginning his studies in the Yale Medical School, and pursu- 
ing also a course in the Bellevue Hospital and the College of Physi- 
cians and Surgeons, in the city of New York. In the summer of 1872 
he graduated from the Yale school, and for a few months assisted 
Doctor Benjamin Franklin Harrison, of Wallingford, in his practice. 
In November, 1872, he located at Branford, where he established an 
independent practice, which soon grew to large proportions, and which 
has been successfully continued in this and the adjoining towns. 
Although comparatively a young man, Doctor Gaylord ranks as one of 
the leading country practitioners in the county. He is a member of 
the Connecticut State and New Haven County Medical Societies. 
Since the passage of the new coroner's law, he has served as medical 
examiner for the towns of Branford and North Branford. 


On the 27th of February, 1873, Doctor Gaylord was married to Miss 
Anna Rose, of Essex, Conn. Two sons and three daughters have 
come to bless this union, viz.: Lynde Vincent, January 31st, 1874; 
Bertha Rose, June 5th, 1876; Anna Evangeline, July 8th, 1884; Charles 
William, February 27th, 1889; Ruth Marguerite, March 21st, 1891. 

Doctor Gaylord is enterprising, progressive and public-spirited, 
and has warmly identified himself with the best interests of his 
adopted home. He was an active member of the Branford Village Im- 
provement Society as long as it existed, and to its efforts can be attrib- 
uted much of the changes wrought in the appearance of the place. 
He was also interested in the establishment and maintenance of a vil- 
lage lyceum, under whose auspices several instructive courses of lec- 
tures were held. In the furtherance of this purpose to provide for 
the entertainment and instruction of the community, he fitted up, in 
1879, a public hall, which he has since made one of the most cosy little 
opera houses in smaller places. He has taken an unabated interest in 
schools, serving as chairman of the board of education, and for a num- 
ber of years was the acting school visitor. In this period the schools 
were greatly improved and are yearly advanced to a higher plane. 
Since being at Branford, Doctor Gaylord has been a member of the 
Congregational church, and gives it a warm support. His political 
preferences have allied him to the republican party, but he is in no 
sense a partisan when the interests of the town are at stake. In this 
relation he has endeavored, at all times,- to conform his life to the best 
standard of true citizenship — to be energetic and progressive in his 
own affairs, but ever to be mindful of his obligations to his town and 
the state which protects his home. 

Charles H. Grannis, son of John and Sally Griffin Grannis, was 
born in 1851. His grandfather was Jared Grannis. Mr. Grannis has 
been twelve years in the meat business, and since November, 1888, has 
owned a market of his own. 

Michael P. Harding, son of Francis and Ellen Harding, was born 
in 1850, and was the first child born in Branford of Irish parentage. 
Mr. Harding succeeded his father in the mercantile trade in 1871, the 
latter dying in August of that year. He was representative in 1876 
of general assembly. At present he stands the fifth highest taxpayer 
of the town taxes. He is vice-president of the Branford Savings Bank, 
and has held a number of different public offices in the town. 

Henry G. Harrison, born in 1831, is a son of John and Betsey Har- 
rison. He was married April 11th, 1869, to Harriet L., daughter of 
Harry and Nancy (Towner) Rogers, and granddaughter of Jarus 

William H. Hartley, born in 1844, in New Haven, is a son of 
William and Sarah (White) Hartley, and grandson of William Hartley. 
Mr. Hartley is a farmer. In 1871 he bought the old Governor Salton- 
stall homestead, at the foot of Saltonstall lake, where he now lives. 

CJi^A.. c rcl ?K.& 


He married Mary Woods. They have six children: Mary A., Sarah 
G., Annie M., Theresa, Josephine and William. 

Benjamin A. Hosley,sonof LoringD. and Anna A. (Beach) Hosley, 
was born in 1823, and is a farmer. He was married in 1849 to Lois 
W., daughter of William Ward, of Vermont. Their children are: 
Benjamin F., Anna M. (Mrs. George W. Dory), John H., M. Carrie 
(Mrs. G. W. McClunie), William H., Edward K., and one that died— 
Judith E. Benjamin F. Hosley, eldest son of Benjamin A., was born 
in 1852, and is a contractor and builder. He married Idella, daughter 
of Russell and Lydia (Tyler) Pond. 

Henry W. Hubbard, born in 1833, in Hartford, is a son of Richard 
and Rebecca Hubbard. Mr. Hubbard is a blacksmith and wagon 
maker. He came from Middletown, Conn., to Branford in 1855, and 
has worked at his trade since that time, with the exception of nine 
months, when he was in the civil war, in Company B, 27th Connecti- 
cut Volunteers. He married Emma P., daughter of James Linsley- 
They have three daughters: Ida P., Henrietta W. and Luella L. 

Frederick Jourdan, born in 1822, at Basel, Switzerland, came to 
Branford in 1850, where he was a butcher and farmer until 1876, when 
he began the lumber and coal business, which he and his son have 
since conducted. He married Fannie E., daughter of Edward Lins- 
ley. They have one son, Henry F. Mr. Jourdan has been a mem- 
ber of the school board for a number of years, and has held other 
town offices. 

George W. Lanfair, born in 1830, is a son of Oliver and Chloe 
(Steele) Lanfair, and grandson of Oliver Lanfair. Mr. Lanfair is a 
carriage maker by trade. He is now a farmer, owning and occupying 
the homestead of his father and grandfather, at Double Beach. His 
first wife was Emily Augur, who died leaving four children: Charles, 
Edna, Nellie and Sadie. His present wife was Mattie, daughter of 
Sheldon Hitchcock. 

Peter A. Lundquist, born in Sweden in 1846, is the son of P. J. Lund- 
quist. He came to Connecticut in 1872, and to Stony Creek in 1878, 
where he has since been a stone mason. His wife was Sophia 

Daniel O'Brien, born in 1845 in Ireland, is a son of John O'Brien. 
He came to Branford in 1854. He has been employed in the knob 
department of the Branford Lock Works since 1862, and since 1874 has 
been foreman of the department. He has been selectman three terms, 
and a member of the school board twelve years. He married Kate 
O'Donnell and has twelve children. 

Sidney V. Osborn, born March 10th, 1856, in Woodbury, Conn., is 
a son of Aaron and Polly (Bishop) Osborn, and grandson of Daniel 
Osborn. Mr. Osborn came to Branford May 7th, 1879, where he has 
since been a farmer. He was for one year assessor of the town, in 
1889, and one of the board of selectmen in 1890 and 1891. He mar- 


ried May 6th. 1S79, Emma, daughter of Daniel and Alvira Tyler, of 
Middlebury, New Haven county, Conn., and granddaughter of Daniel 
Tyler, of Middlebury. They have one son, Sidney V., Jr., born Janu- 
ary 23d, 1888. 

George Palmer, born in 1829, is a son of Lauren and Polly (Butler) 
Palmer, and grandson of Jared Palmer. Mr. Palmer is a farmer, and 
has what are acknowledged to be the finest farm barns in the town. 
He has been for 25 years insurance agent, and for 30 years agent for 
farm implements. He married Ellen J., daughter of Hezekiah War- 
ner, of Wheeling, W. V. They have one daughter, Fannie, a school 

Samuel Orrin Plant was born in Branford, January 24th, 1815. 
He is a son of Samuel and Sarah (Frisbie) Plant, and was the young- 
est of their family of five children, namely: Anderson, deceased in Bran- 
ford, the father of Henry B. Plant, the president of the Plant system 
of Southern transportation companies; Sarah, married Judah Frisbie, 
a merchant of New Haven; John, a deacon of the church, and who 
died as a farmer at Plantsville; Mary R., deceased at the age of 17 
years; and Samuel O. 

The father of this family was a son of Benjamin Plant, who de- 
scended from the Plant family which was among the early settlers of 
Branford, and whose allotment of land was in the fertile little valley, 
a mile from the village, and bounded on the west by the Branford 
hills. Here for six generations have been the homes of the Plant fam- 
ily in Branford, and for many years the place bore the name of Plants- 
ville. At this place lived Samuel Plant, when he served as a coast 
guard in the war of 1S12, and here he died in July, 1861, aged 90 

Benjamin Plant, the grandfather of Samuel O., also rendered mili- 
tary service. In the revolution he and two of his sons were enlisted. 
One of them was with Washington in his perilous retreat across the 
Delaware; the other son, Timothy, was killed at the battle of German- 
town. The maternal grandfather, Joseph Frisbie, was also a patriot 
and there is a tradition that he was with the detachment of soldiers at 
the execution of Major Andre. Mr. Plant thus being of revolutionary 
stock, has become a member of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of 
the American Revolution. 

Samuel O. Plant was educated in the common schools of his native 
town, at the academy at Branford, and also attended the boys' school 
of General James N. Palmer, at New Haven, where he was a class- 
mate of General A. H. Terry. In February, 1841, he married Mary 
A., daughter of the venerable Captain James Blackstone, of Branford. 
By this union two children attained mature years: Ellen B. Plant, of 
Branford; and Sarah F., who became the wife of Judge Lynde Harri- 
son, of New Haven. 

Since his boyhood Mr. Plant has been a farmer, and to that occu- 

6/ & /Xh^ 



pation has industriously confined his efforts, achieving- well-merited 
success. Although limiting himself to the private walks of life, he is 
well-known and enjoys the respect and esteem of his townsmen as one 
of the leading citizens of Branford. Mr. Plant was a whig until that 
party ceased to exist, and has since been a republican. For the past 
fifty years he has been a member of the Branford Congregational 

Willis T. Robinson, born in 1847, is a son of John H. and Julia A. 
(Tyler) Robinson. He has been engaged in mercantile trade in Bran- 
ford for a number of years. He married Lucy F., daughter of Gilbert 
Gaylord. Their children are: James H.. Oswin H., and one that died, 
John G. Mr. Robinson was a member of the house of representatives 
in 1886. 

Henry Rogers, born at Branford July 31st, 1821, is a descendant 
of two of the oldest and most respected families in the county. He is 
a son of Abraham and Fanny (Fowler) Rogers, a grandson of Abraham 
Rogers, great-grandson of John Rogers, whose father, also John, was 
a son of Noah Rogers, the first of the family name to settle in Bran- 
ford. It is claimed on good authority that the latter's ancestor.William 
Rogers, was a son of Thomas Rogers, who came from England in the 
"Mayflower," in 1620. Some of his sons, according to Governor Brad- 
ford,* had been left in England, but followed their father to this 
country, and William was at Wethersfield as early as 1640. He prob- 
ably removed with Andrew Ward and his company to Stamford, 
Conn., about 1641, and later went with the company to Hempstead, 
L. I., where he was allotted some land. He afterward moved to 
Southampton, L. I., where he died about 1650, and his widow deceased 
at Huntington, L. I., about 1664. From the latter place, about three 
years later, the youngest son, Noah, removed to Branford. Here he 
married, April 8th, 1673, Elizabeth Taintor, and had a family of four 
sons and three daughters. Their son, John, married Lydia Frisbie, 
daughter of John Frisbie, January 17th, 1713. Of their family of four 
sons and the same number of daughters, John, the great-grandfather 
of the subject of this sketch, was one. He married Thankful, daugh- 
ter of Nathaniel Harrison, Jr., Esq., and one of their five children was 
Abraham Rogers, the grandfather. The wives of the foregoing 
Rogers' ancestors were daughters of some of the earliest and most 
prominent settlers of Branford. Lydia Frisbie was a granddaughter 
of Reverend John Bowers, one of the first ministers in Branford, and 
Michael Taintor, John Frisbie, Nathaniel Harrison and Nathaniel 

* History of Plymouth Plantation 1636, p. 449. 

[Passengers in the " Mayflower."] 

" Thomas Rogers Joseph his sone his other children came afterwards." 

P. 543: "Thomas Rogers dyed in the first sickness, but his son Joseph is 
still living and is Married and hath 6 children." 

" The rest of Thomas Rogers [children] came over and are married and 
have many children." 


Harrison, Jr., as well as Noah Rogers, were frequently, in their day. 
members of the general court. 

Abraham Rogers, senior, was married in Branford, March 11th. 
1773, to Hannah, daughter of Benjamin Palmer, and of their family 
of six children there was but the one son, Abraham, the father of 
Henry Rogers. The elder Rogers removed to Stony Creek, where he 
died in 1827, being at that time one of the largest landowners of the 
town. Besides being a farmer he was in the coasting trade, and owned 
several vessels. He served in the revolution, being with the Connec- 
ticut militia in their retreat on Long Island, in the fall of 1776. 

On November 16th, 1809, Abraham Rogers, Jr., married Fanny, 
daughter of Eli Fowler, of Branford. They reared a family of four 
sons: Eli F., born July 15th, 1811; Abraham, born June 11th, 1813; 
Elizur, born November 2d, 1816; Henry, born July 31st, 1821. All 
settled in Branford, becoming useful and honored citizens. The father 
remained on the homestead, and for many years was a justice of the 
peace, besides holding other town offices. He died in 1870. In the 
war of 1812 he was first lieutenant in the 5th Company, 2d Regiment 
of state corps of troops. In 1814 the British, under Commander 
Hardy, blockaded the Long Island sound coasts, and threatened to 
make incursions into Connecticut. Troops were called out and the 
5th Company, with Lieutenant Rogers in command, was in service 
from September 12th, 1814, until the following October 20th. Most of 
the service was at New Haven, in the regiment of Colonel Sanford. 

The maternal ancestry of Henry Rogers is equally important, the 
descent being from William Fowler, the magistrate, who came to 
America in 1637, and who was one of the leading settlers of Milford. 
From that town John Fowler moved to Guilford in 1649, marrying 
Mary Hubbard, of Guilford (daughter of George Hubbard, formerly 
of Wethersfield), and in his new home became a man of note. His 
son, Abraham, born in 1652, married in 1677, Elizabeth, daughter of 
Deacon George Bartlett. They were the parents of Abraham Fowler, 
Jr., born in 1683. The elder Abraham Fowler was one of the most 
important men of the town in his day, representing it in the general 
courts and serving as a justice until his death in 1720. The last eight 
years of his life he was a member of the governor's council. In 
1720 his son, Abraham Fowler, Jr., married Elizabeth, daughter of 
Daniel Hubbard, Jr., and their youngest child, Noah, was born in 1730. 
The latter married Deborah Pendleton, daughter of Joshua Pendleton, 
of Stonington, who was a descendant of Andrew Ward, one of the very 
first settlers of Connecticut, and who helped to found that plantation. 
She also descended from William Spencer, who was one of the depu- 
ties of the new colony in 1639. Noah Fowler became a large land 
owner, living on a part of his estate in Guilford, near the Branford 
line. His revolutionary service was very honorable. He marched 
with his company, as its captain, to the relief of Boston in 1775, served 






as major of his regiment in the Long Island retreat in 1776, and was 
on the coast guard many times during the war. At the formation of 
the 27th Regiment of militia, about 1780, he was appointed its colonel. 

His son, Eli Fowler, maternal grandfather of Henry Rogers, was 
born April 1st, 1765, and in 1784 married Mary, daughter of Ebenezer 
Hopson, of Guilford. About 1790 he settled on a»part of his father's 
estate, in Branford, which he occupied until his death in 1850. He 
was a man of great prominence and served in many official capacities. 
In 1797 he was elected a member of the state legislature and was re- 
turned to that body 17 times, the last time being in 1819. In ISIS he 
was a member of the constitutional convention; in 1806 he was ap- 
pointed a brigadier general of Connecticut Militia; January 8th, 1814, 
he was commissioned colonel of a regiment of artillery to defend the 
state coast; from 1816 until his death he was a deacon of the Congre- 
gational church. One of his five daughters, Fanny, born April 24th, 
1789, was the wife of Abraham Rogers, Jr. She was a most excellent 
woman and was held in great esteem. 

Henry Rogers, her youngest son, was reared on the old homestead 
as a farmer, living there and following that occupation until 1870, 
when he began to divide his land into building lots, and his former 
farm is now covered with the principal part of the village of Stony 
Creek. He was also active in the introduction of the present system 
of oyster cultivation at Stony Creek, and has been concerned in the 
development of those celebrated beds. In 1851, at the first election of 
the people for that office, he was elected justice of the peace and served 
until 1858. In 1877 he was a member of the general assembly of the 
state and has held numerous minor offices, to the satisfaction of his 
townsmen, who hold his worth in high esteem. 

Mr. Rogers was married May 16th, 1849, to Elizabeth, daughter of 
John Townsend, of Oneida county, N. Y. The only child by this union 
is a son, Edward Henry, born September 4th, 1854. He graduated 
from Yale in 1875 and from the law school of that university in 1877, 
and is now a successful attorney in New York city. 

John Rogers, born in 1821, is a son of Jarus and Fannie (Frisby) 
Rogers, and grandson of Isaac Rogers. He is a farmer. He was se- 
lectman two years. He married Mary C, daughter of Peter Winn. 
They had two children: Ida O. and J. Sumner, both deceased. 

Charles H. Wilford, born in 1842, is a son of John and Lucretia 
(Goodnow) Wilford, grandson of John Augustus, and great-grandson 
of John Wilford. Mr. Wilford is an iron moulder by trade. Since 
1874 he has been engaged in the butchering business. He was mar- 
ried in 1866, to Hattie, daughter of John Grannis. They have five 
children living and have lost three. 



Location and Description. — Settlement and Settlers. — Civil Organization. — General 
Industrial Interests.— Bare Plain.— North Branford Village.— Northford.— Masonic 
Lodge. — Patrons of Husbandry. — Educational Affairs. — North Branford Congrega- 
tional Church.— Northford Congregational Church.— The "Enrolled" Church. — 
Zion (Protestant Episcopal) Church. — St. Andrew's (Protestant Episcopal) Church. 
—Bare Plain Union Chapel.— Cemeteries.— Roster of Captain Eells Company in the 
Revolution. — Soldiers' Monument. — Biographical Sketches. 

IN 1831 the " North Society " and the " Northford Society," in the 
old town of Branford, were formed into a new town, with the name 
of North Branford. It is about five and a half miles long from 
north to south, and a little more than four miles wide. The Totoket 
mountain extends through the greater part of it from northeast to 
southwest, causing a large part of the area to be unfit for cultivation. 
Other sections are hilly, but east and west of the general ranges are 
some pleasantly located and fertile lands, which have been well im- 
proved. The west section is drained by Farm river and its affluent 
brooks. The former is the outlet of Pistapaug lake and affords several 
small but good water powers. In East Haven this stream is called 
Stony river. Along it are some pleasant vales and meadow lands. 
The east section is drained by Stony creek and Branford river, both 
small streams. Agriculture is the chief occupation of the inhabitants 
and the town has had, in all periods, a number of substantial farmers. 
It has also been noted for the sturdy, self-reliant nature of its inhabi- 
tants, as well as the general intelligence which characterized them. 

Regarding the early settlements of the town, the Reverend Elijah 
C. Baldwin, who thoroughly investigated it, said: 

" It seems quite clear that when the territory Totoket was pur- 
chased of the Indians, in 1638, two white families were already on the 
ground. One was Thomas Mulliner, who claimed as his a large tract 
in Branford Point region. The other was Thomas Whitway. He was 
living in the vicinity of Foxon. Both were identified with the early 
settlement of North Branford. As Whitway \s settlement was within 
the Branford lines, it must have been a portion of the region since and 
now called Bare Plain. The New Haven purchasers, before selling to 
the Branford settlers, arranged with Mulliner to give up a consider- 
able portion of his claim. Whitway was left to enjoy peaceable pos- 
session of his, partly because the land was not wanted and partly be- 


cause he made himself useful. He understood the Indian language 
and could act as interpreter on occasion. ' Nov. 11, 1644, upon com- 
plaint made by some of the planters of Totoket, that the Mohegan In- 
dians have done much damage to them by setting their traps in the 
walks of their cattell, itt was ordered that the marshall shall goe with 
Thomas Whitway to warne Uncus or his brother, or else Foxon to 
come and speake with the Governor and the' The 
name Foxon shows the origin of the designation of the western por- 
tion of this locality. Whitway went with the marshal to interpret 
for him without doubt. Thomas Whitway died on December 12th, 
1651. His lands were reclaimed by the town because he seems to 
have left no heirs to continue in possession of them. Other parties 
beginning to occupy them, the town in 1695 took measures before the 
court to keep them off, E. Stent and John Rose to enter caveat upon 
such lands at a special court at New Haven April 23d, 1695. 

" Thomas Mulliner also died in due time, but his son, Thomas, who 
was his sole heir, so far as known, was living in 1691. That year it is 
on record that Thomas Mulliner and his wife, Martha, give up all 
other claims to land, and are given 200 acres of land in the extreme 
northwest corner of the town. This was a piece almost square, 
bounded by New Haven and Wallingford. In 1714, December 25th, 
Horseman Mulliner and his wife Elizabeth sell to Nathaniel Johnson 
the 200 acres. The Mulliners moved then to Westchester county, New 
York, and no more appear in Branford history. 

" In 1687, March 4, John Rosewell, Samuel Hoadley, Joseph Foot, 
Josiah Frisbie, William Barker, John Maltbie* and Isaac Bartholomew 
were granted a parcel of land one mile square in the western and 
northerly part of the town. That grant must have included much of 
the land in the district of Bare Plain. The conditions were that each 
man was to build a habitable house and settle on his land within three 
years. If any failed to do this they could not hold the property. 
These were young men starting out to secure homes for themselves. 
There is much reason to believe that Foote, Maltbie, Hoadley, Frisbie 
and Bartholomew did settle on these lands." They were thus the 
founders of families that have ever since been in North Branford. 

"Josiah Frisbie was the son of Edward Frisbie. John Maultbie was 
probably the son of William Maultbie, and Joseph Foote was the son 
of Robert Foote. Samuel Hoadley was probably the son of William 
Hoadley, who was, August 25th, 1697, granted the privilege of setting 
up a saw mill on Stony river (Farm river), if he would agree to sell 
boards at five shillings, and not take more than half a log to pay for 
sawing it. William Maultbie was a justice and magistrate in the town. 
September 28th, 1699, he was granted the liberty to retail 'rhum.' 
March 21st, 1700, John Maultbie removes to New London, and sells to 
his father William. 

*Also spelled Maultbie. 


" Captain Jonathan Rose, son of Robert Rose, built a house near 
Hop- Yard Plain before A700." His father was one of the Branford 
original proprietors. There is a tradition " that Robert Rose owned 
ten cows and sixty horses; also, that the Sunday ' milking ' was always 
given to the poor. The Bible he brought with him from England, 
printed in 1599, is still extant. It has been, in its time, the property 
of three or four deacons of the Rose family." Colonel George Rose, 
prominent in the later affairs of the town, who died in 18S4, was a 

"Bare Plain was settled by Frisbie, Hoadley and others before 1700. 
John Linsley and Bartholomew Goodrich were among the earliest and 
largest owners of North Branford lands. Ensign Isaac Harrison and 
Eleazer Stent drew lands on others' rights, which they had bought, 
and thus were early owners. June 6th, 1700, John Coley, of New Lon- 
don, a grandson of John Linsley, of Branford, sells a Bare Plain farm 
to John Barnes. It was land on which the new chapel is now built. 
The Barnes house stood out in the middle of this farm lot, south of 
the present chapel. This John Barnes gets liberty from the town, 
October 26th, 1702, to build a Sabbath day house on the common at 
Branford Center. Other families were rapidly pushing up to settle 
in the northern half of Branford territory. Hence there was a ne- 
cessity of another division of lands." It was completed March 9th, 

: ' This was the fourth proprietor's division and a long step toward 
equalizing rights. It disposed of most of the lands now in North 
Branford. It also confirmed the titles of several who were already in 
possession. There were fourteen different parcels. A roughly drawn 
map of this division is to be found upon the 223d page of the 2d vol- 
ume of Branford town records. Along the Wallingford line, from west 
to east, were Thomas Mulliner, Thomas Wheadon and Ensign Harri- 
son, who drew for William Hoadley. 

" The next range below, from west to east, was drawn by Josiah 
Frisbie for Samuel Frisbie, Eleazer Stent for the Rosewell family, 
John Linsley for Bartholomew Goodrich. Below Rosewell was Wil- 
liam Hoodly again. The eastern tier extending from boundary of 
present Northfield Society to Guilford road at Paved street comprised 
the particles of Jonathan Rose, Micah Palmer, Samuel Pond and 
Thomas Gutsell. Next west was a tier assigned to John Rose, Noah 
Rogers and William Maultbie. Still another tier west was set to Mr. 
Maultbie, Nathaniel Foote, Josiah Frisbie and William Barker for 
Thomas Sargeant." 

Concerning the Northford section, the Reverend A. C. Pierce said 
in his historical sermon, in 1876 : 

" With respect to the precise time of settlement, it is not easy now 
to determine it with absolute certainty; but from the earliest dates to 
be found upon the tombstones in your cemetery, and from some other 


evidence, traditional and otherwise, of which I have been able to 
avail myself,! have judged that this must have taken place not far 
from the year 1720. The tradition is, that various individuals from 
the town of Branford, to which the parish then belonged, in the pur- 
suit of a larger success in their industry, and with something of that 
roving and adventurous spirit which has ever characterized the people 
of our New England towns, and which has so rapidly peopled the 
broad West, were accustomed to leave their homes in the opening 
spring with their provisions and implements of husbandry for a sort 
of backwoods life through the summer months, occupying "clearings" 
at the base of your mountain range, from which they gathered ample 
crops, returning again by their woods' path with the approach of win- 
ter to enjoy the fruits of their summer absence, in the bosom of their 

"The first encampments of these Branford laborers, it is said, were 
at the foot of the mountain, near the dwelling long occupied by Dea- 
con Ralph Linsley — the place of these encampments, determined, per- 
haps, by the fact that there the laborers were well sheltered by the 
high bluff from southern and easterly winds, and that there they might 
avail themselves of pure and abundant supplies of water from a never- 
failing spring, still held in high esteem. 

" But evidently this migratory sort of life could not long continue, 
and arrangements for a continuous residence in the Northford ' clear- 
ing ' must have been shortly made. Near the fountain already alluded 
to, a cellar, filled in by the plowshare but a few years ago, was pointed 
out as the probable site of the first permanent dwelling, or rather, I 
should say, the first erected and occupied by the white men, for in this 
immediate vicinity and along side the pelucid stream above were 
numerous wigwams of the Indians, two or three of which were inhab- 
ited by their dusky owners within the memory of those who were the 
oldest residents of the parish when my own ministry here began." 

These young men were the descendants of the following early" set- 
tlers of the old town of Branford: Michael Taintor, Robert Foote, Peter 
Tyler, John Rogers, John Linsley, John Frisbie, William Maltby, 
Francis Linsley, Edward Frisbie, Thomas Harrison,William Hoadley, 
John Taintor, William Bartholomew. They were soon after joined by 
families bearing the names of Cook, Harrington, Barnes, Baldwin, 
Todd, Munson and Rose. In most instances these names are still per- 
petuated by the present inhabitants, and around them clusters most 
of the history of the parish. Among later prominent settlers here 
were the Smiths, Fowlers, Williams, Elliotts, Beaches and Whitneys— 
all good types of true New England citizens. 

Like in most of the inland hill towns of the state, the population 
has, in the last half century, decreased instead of increased. In 1880 
there were 1,025 inhabitants; in 1890 there were two hundred inhabi- 
tants less, but the grand list was about the same as in 1880. 


The North Branford people began to ask to be a separate town 
soon after the revolutionary war, in which they had taken a very ac- 
tive part. In 1799 they asked the legislature to help them to this. 
The town strongly opposed the effort. For a time town meetings 
were held alternately in the two societies. April 22d, 1751, meetings 
were held at Hopyard Plain to do business for both societies. Sep- 
tember 21st, 1790 — Voted to hold future town meetings at First So- 
ciety's meeting house. 

North Branford was finally organized as a town under the terms of 
an act passed by the May (1831) session of the general assembly. The 
first town election was held at the Congregational meeting house, in 
North Branford village, June 13th, 1831, Benjamin Page acting as the 
clerk, and was chosen to that office and treasurer. Jesse Linsley, Sam- 
uel Bartholomew and Eleazer Harrison were chosen selectmen. 
Luther Chidsey, Timothy R. Palmer, L. Talmadge, Gideon Baldwin, 
De Grosse Fowler and Wyllys Linsey were chosen tythingmen. The 
highway districts were altered and placed in charge of John Maltby, 
Jonathan Rose, 2d, Timothy Bartholomew, Jr., Richard Linsley, Jared 
Potter, Rufus Rogers, 2d, Levi Rose, Jr. It was voted to hold the 
meetings alternately in the North Branford Society and in the North- 
ford Society. 

At the next regular meeting Rufus Rogers, 2d, Ralph Linsley and 
Samuel Foote were chosen as a board of relief. 

The town clerks since the organization of the town have been the 
following: 1831, Benjamin Page; 1832, Joseph Munroe; 1833, John 
Linsley; 1834, Ralph Linsley; 1835-43, Benjamin Page, Jr.; 1844, Wil- 
liam M. Fowler; 1845-9, Francis C. Bartholomew; 1850-63, Benjamin 
Page, Jr.; 1864-70, T. Russell Palmer; 1871, Charles Page. 

In the same period the first selectmen have been: 1831, Captain 
Jesse Linsley; 1832, John Rose, 2d; 1833, Timothy Bartholomew; 1834, 
Walter R. Foote; 1835, Jesse Linsley; 1836-7, Chauncey Linsley; 1838, 
Walter R. Foote; 1839-41, George Rose; 1842, Samuel Rose; 1843, 
George Rose; 1844, Timothy Bartholomew; 1845-6, Walter R. Foote; 
1847, Langdon Harrison; 1848-9, Levi Talmadge; 1850, Whitney El- 
liott; 1851-2, Judson Page; 1853-4, Prelate Dernick; 1855-7, George 
Rose; 1858-9, Charles Todd; 1860-2, George Rose; 1863, William D. 
Ford; 1864, George Rose; 1865-7, Martin C. Bishop; 1868, George 
Rose: 1869-70, Martin C. Bishop; 1871-7, Alden H. Hill; 1878-81, 
George Rose; 1882, Alden H. Hill; 1883-4, Herbert O. Page; 1885, 
William D. Ford; 1886, Isaac B. Linsley; 1887, Alden H. Hill; 1888-90, 
Herbert O. Page. 

The town meetings continue to be held alternately in the first 
and the second societies, the basement of the meeting house being 
rented for that purpose. All manner of accounts are also kept sep- 
arately under the heads of these societies. No public buildings are 
owned by the town. The yearly expenditures of the town are more 


than $7,000, about $1,800 of which is applied to the maintenance of 
schools. About $2,100 is expended annually on roads and bridges, 
and the highways are in fair condition. For many years the roads of 
the town were mere pathways. The highway to North Guilford was 
not located until after 1745. One of the earliest and best roads is 
that connecting Northford and North Branford villages. The town 
has no railway, but Northford station, on the Air Line railroad, in 
North Haven, affords the necessary facilities of that nature a few miles 
from Northford. 

"Among the earliest interests of North Branford, besides farming, 
were fulling mills and barkers' mills, in which cloth was shrunk and 
cleaned and hides were tanned. In 1734 Edward Petty was permitted 
to set up both a saw mill and fulling mill on the river not far from 
the center. In 1742 Barnabus Woodcock had both fulling mill and 
barkers' mill on Long Hill. He soon sold to James Burwell. In 1744 
James Burwell was given liberty to set up fulling mill on the river, 
just south of the North Branford church." 

In the Connecticut Journal of November 25th, 1801, appeared the 
following advertisement of a fulling mill in this town: 

"John Maltby 

Informs his Customers and others, as water is scarce among the Clothiers, he has 

a good supply of water, and dresses cloth in the neatest order, that he is in want 

of what is called Cash, for which he will dress cloth on the shortest notice. 

■ He lives in Northford, a place called Pog, 

North from Branford, along as you'd Jog. 

" Two years before this, Calvin Mansfield, who had removed from 
Northford to North Haven, advertised a new mill there. John Maltby, 
who had bought the old works at Branford, writes: ' Messers Printers, 
I saw in vour paper, No. 1665, a pompous advertisement of one Calvin 
Mansfield, of North Haven, setting forth a plurality of clothiers' works. 
That gentleman seemeth to be very fond of showing his name in the 
public prints. I believe he never owned clothier's works anywhere; I 
am certain that the clothier's shop and tools which he advertises for 
sale is not his, but the property of the subscriber, and it is not for 
sale. I should not have noticed the imposition so much as to put 
pen to paper had I been alone concerned. But this trouble I give my- 
self to undeceive the public. John Maltby, Northford, in Branford, 
Oct. 1st, 1799.' 

" This letter called out Mansfield's reply, which is a specimen of the 
amenities of discussion then prevailing: ' Messers Printers: If my 
optics did not fail I saw in your Journal, No. 1666, a scurvy publication 
of a certain John Maltby. of Northford. This Maltby, I fancy, thinks 
it a pretty novelty to publish his name also, and that in opposition to 
his betters;— children and fools have sometimes doubtless spoken the 
truth, but Maltby appears to me an exception to this general rule. I 
shall not enlarge, but observe simply that the clothier's works which 


I advertised in your paper, No. 1665, are in fact Foot's and my prop- 
erty, and for sale with an indisputable title. The public will need no 
further conviction than to come and see the records and the subscriber. 
I shall not make another reply to any stuff of Maltby's, but subscribe 
myself the public's most obedient servant, Calvin Mansfield, North 
Haven, Oct. 7th. 1799.' "* 

Mansfield was eccentric, but had a genius for invention, and his 
sons, Sherlock and Hiram, were pioneer manufacturers of wooden 
buttons and combs, near the village of Northford. John Maltby also 
carried on a large cooperage, the products being carted to Fair Haven. 
The clothing works were last operated by Henry De Wolf, and the site 
is now used by William M. Foote for the manufacture of carriage wood 

Fifty years ago this little Farm river began to be much used to fur- 
nish the power needed to carry on the industries devised by some 
of the citizens of Northford, there being here an unusual amount 
of inventive ability put to practical use. Maltby Fowler was, next to 
Mansfield, one of the first of these Northford inventors. He produced 
machinery for making metal buttons, combs, spoons, gimlets and pins. 
The machine for making the latter articles was one of the first of the 
kind in this country, and was sold to Waterbury parties when pin 
making was there begun. The sons of Maltby Fowler — William, 
■ George, De Grosse, Horace, Frederick and Thaddeus — also had me- 
chanical ability, and most of them invented useful and meritorious 
articles. All are deceased. About 1840 Horace Fowler invented a 
machine for embossing silk. Thaddeus Fowler was one of the most 
successful inventors of this family. He made a very satisfactory pin 
machine, which was used about five years at Northford, in the old 
Maltby mill building, by the United States Pin Company, when the 
interest was transferred to Seymour, of which place Thaddeus Fowler 
became a citizen. 

Frederick Fowler invented a machine for rolling brass lamp and 
household goods, and in company with F. C. Bartholomew, Isaac H. 
Bartholomew and others, formed the Northford Manufacturing Com- 
pany, which was organized in April, 1854. They occupied large shops, 
supplementing the water power with steam, and successfully operated 
about thirty years. Large quantities of tin, japanned and household 
goods were manufactured and shipped to all parts of the country. 
Operations were last carried on by F. C. Bartholomew, but for several 
years the shops have been idle. 

The Fowlers and Bartholomews, as the Northford Hook & Eye 
Company, made those articles several years, and later manufactured 
rivets, but sold the machinery to parties in Chicago. About 1855 
Isaac H. Bartholomew and Frederick Fowler invented a machine for 
perforating tinware, which was a very useful device. In recent years 
♦Reverend E. C. Baldwin. 


the former and his sons, Edward and George G. Bartholomew, engaged 
in the invention and manufacture of devices for electrical liehtinsr, 
occupying a part of the old hook and eye factory. Dynamos and other 
appliances are made. 

At Northford David S. Stevens and others formerly manufactured 
iron and steel plated spoons, the industry giving work to about thirty 
persons, but after twenty years it was allowed to go down and the 
buildings have been left in a state of decay. On another site, on Farm 
river, E. C. Maltby manufactured wooden goods, such as buttons, 
spoons, etc., but later successfully engaged in the process of manu- 
facturing dessicated cocoanut goods. The latter works became exten- 
sive, about forty persons being employed. This industry was re- 
moved to Shelton, and the buildings are now occupied by the exten- 
sive card printing and novelty business of D. S. Stevens, Jr., which 
is one of the chief occupations in the town. Until September, 1890, 
the works were owned by the Stevens Brothers (H. M. & D. S.), when 
the former removed to Wallingford. 

At Northford a modern creamery has become a recent and success- 
ful industry. The milk of 300 cows is consumed. 

On Farm river, at Bare Plain, the Rogers mills have been operated 
the best part of two hundred years. Samuel A. Rogers was the last 
of that family to own them, the proprietor since 1880 being Charles 
Page. In the neighborhood of Branford village lumber mills were 
run by Joshua Rose, Charles Todd, the Partridge family and 
the Foote family. At the latter site Samuel Foote had a carding 
mill, in which members of the Linsley family were also interested. 
A small grist mill, by Samuel Foote, is now kept at that place. At 
the next site below the milling interests were controlled in 1890 by 
Alden H. Hill, who was largely engaged in getting out ship timber 
for the builders at Fair Haven. For a short time Edward A. Lins- 
ley had a small forge in the southwestern part of the town, where he 
wrought axes of a good quality. 

Bare Plain is a general name applied to the level tract of land a 
little north of the southwest 'section of the town. When the whites 
came there was but a scant growth of trees in that locality, hence the 
name. Here was begun the first mercantile business in the town, 
according to the account of Mr. Baldwin: 

" The first and only store in those days for the northern farmers 
was kept in the house now owned by Mr. Marquand, half way up the 
hill, above James Linsley 's, at Bare Plain. There were several Frisbie 
families living in that vicinity, and one of them kept the store." 

At a later period, on the old New Haven road, Colonel Thaddeus 
Harrison had a very popular country tavern; this is now the farm 
house of his son, Jerome Harrison. In this section Doctor Increase 
Harrison practiced medicine half a century ago, and Doctor Jacob 
Linsley was located here at a later period. 


In 1880 a chapel was built at Bare Plain, and in 1889 a post office was 
opened near by, with the name of Totoket. A. J. Smith is the post- 
master. A daily mail, by stage from New Haven, is supplied. Here 
are also the card works of H. D. Bartholomew and A. J. Smith, and 
several mechanic shops in addition to the foregoing, complete the 

North Branford village was the next business point of the town. 
It has a pleasant location, five miles from Branford village, and about 
nine miles from New Haven. There are several dozen buildings, in- 
cluding two stores, shops, a fine new school house and Congregational 
and Episcopal houses of worship. The card works of C. W. Barker 
the past seven years is a thriving industry. 

This was formerly more of a business place than at present, the 
" Totoket Store " having a large trade when Russell Clark occupied 
it. Since 1882 Ralph Beers has been the occupant, and was the post- 
master in 1890. Preceding him were, as postmasters, C. W. Barker, 
Albert Piatt, Russell Clark and Jasper Monroe, the latter merchandis- 
ing in the village about 1840. At the post office is kept a small pub- 
lic library, established in 1889, which is controlled by the North Bran- 
ford Library Association. Reverend Franklin Countryman is the gen- 
eral manager. 

Doctor Sheldon Beardsley lived here a number of years, following 
his profession until his death. After a time Doctor Edward A. Ward 
was located, and skillfully served the wants of the sick. Doctor Wel- 
lington Campbell remained a few years; and Doctor H. O. Brown, who 
removed in 1889, was the last located practitioner. 

Public houses were formerly kept by Philo and Nathan Harrison. 
Since 1852 there has been little demand for such accommodations. 

Northford is near the north line of the town, on the west side of 
the Totoket mountain, from which it is separated by Farm river. For 
many years it was known by the Indian name Paug. There are an 
Episcopal church and an attractive brown stone meeting house, be- 
longing to the Congregational society; a good Masonic Lodge, several 
factories, and about a dozen fine residences. The place has long been 
known as one of the most thrifty of its size in the state, and is also 
one of the most intelligent communities in the county. The removal 
of several industries has diminished the population and relative influ- 
ence of the place. 

In 1827 Augustus Tyler was the postmaster of the Northford office, 
and the income was $42.02. Malachi Cook next held the office at his 
store, north of the churches, where it was kept in 1841 by Timothy 
Bartholomew. William Evarts was an innkeeper, and also kept the 
post office. Henry C. Hart was long in charge. Thomas A. Smith 
came next, at the same stand, and since March, 1889, Henry N. Pardee 
has been the postmaster. For many years it was a second-class presi- 


deritial office, being now in the third class. Several mails per day 
are supplied from Northford station, distant two and a half miles. 

Reuben Harrison had a store fifty years ago, one mile north of the 
churches, where Lorenzo E. Harrison had a fruit distillery at a later 
day. In the same locality Doctor Joseph Foote was a medical practi- 
tioner many years. A Doctor Baldwin practiced later, but the past 
two years the town has not had a resident physician. 

Corinthian Lodge. No. 103, F. & A. M., was instituted at Northford 
in 1868, with the following as charter members : John M. Page (first 
master), Milo A. Todd, Thomas A. Smith, R. N. Augur, John H. Mans- 
field, Edgar F. Eaton, Philo Williams, J. H. Bartholomew, F. C. Bar- 
tholomew. Considering its limited jurisdiction, the Lodge has pros- 
pered very much, and had, in 1890, 72 members, with T. F. Barnes, 
master; E. F. Eaton, secretary; S. M. Foote, treasurer; J. A. Smith, 
senior warden; and J. H. Baldwin, junior warden. The intermediate 
past masters have been: L. Peet Tuttle, Henry N. Pardee, Guernsey 
B. Smith, T. F. Barnes, A. L. Dayton, E. F. Eaton, Urban T. Harrison, 
S. M. Foote and John P. Potter. 

In 1870 the meetings of the Lodge were convened in Association 
Hall, at Northford, built that year by a company organized for that 
purpose. This was destroyed by fire in the summer of 1878, and many 
of the Lodge records were also burned. The hall was rebuilt the same 
year, and is still in use. It is a three-story edifice, the first being used 
as a store, the second as a public hall, and in the third is the finely 
furnished Masonic hall. 

In this hall are held the meetings of Northford Grange, No. 80, P. 
of H., which is well supported. Totoket Grange, No. 83, holds its 
meetings in Totoket Hall. Both bodies are doing a good educational 
work in their respective localities. Of the former Dwight M. Foote 
was the master in 1890, and Charles Linsley of the latter. 

Foxon Grange, No. 84, in the northern part of East Haven, also 
draws upon North Branford for some of its membership. At this time 
Charles W. Granniss was the master. 

This part of Branford shared the interest of the old town in the 
cause of education, and soon after the North Parish was established 
provision was made for schools. 

" Nov. 5, 1736 — Town vote to build a school house near Edward 
Frisbie's on the country road. 

" March 29, 1732— Gave 40 acres for school lands in No. B. 
" 1734— Laid out 60 acres on farther Great Hill for school for 
No. B. 

" 1760 — Grant school to people of Bare Plain. 

" 1760, May 30 — Grant to people of north of Great Hill money for 

In the Northford parish, too, arrangements were made for schools 
soon after the machinery of the parish was gotten into operation. 


"At first, and until 1752, the entire parish was comprised in a single 
school district. A division was then effected, creating one district 
north and one south of the meeting house. Three years after, in 1755, 
a third district was organized, and still a fourth in 1769, these arrange- 
ments all being made, and common school education supervised— not 
by the town, as now, but by the Ecclesiastical Society." 

A deep interest was taken in these primary schools, and although 
there have not been any academies or schools of higher order to which 
the youth of Northford might readily resort, the thirst for knowledge 
was so keen that many acquired an education in colleges and profes- 
sional schools elsewhere. 

" Few parishes in the state, and perhaps none of equal population, 
have given to the world so large a number of liberally educated men 
— so goodlv a number of emigrant sons, who have served their gener- 
ation in the varied fields of professional labor — as Northford, and of 
these it is she speaks with something of the honest exultation of the 
noble Roman mother, who pointed to her sons as they returned from 
the public schools, saying, 'These are my jewels.' Of these sons, 31, 
so far as I am informed, have been graduated at Yale College. 

" The legal profession has been represented by four Northford 
men, as follows; Noah Linsley, Douglas Fowler, George Hoadley and 
Gustavus R. Elliott. 

" Nineteen at least have borne, and for the most part honored, the 
diplomas of the medical schools. I give their names without any at- 
tention to their arrangement in chronological order: Doctors Malachi 
Foote, William Foote, Salmon Frisbie, — - Auger, Stephen Todd, 
Jehiel Hoadley, Augustus Williams, Joseph Foote, Lyman Cook, Har- 
vey Elliot, William Baldwin, Chauncey Foote, Jared Linsley, Benjamin 
F. Harrison, D. A. Tyler, Benjamin Fowler, Anson Foote, Elizur 
Beach and John Linsley. 

"Sixteen have entered the ministerial profession. Their names 
are as follows : Reverends Medad Rogers, Lemuel Tyler, Jonathan 
Maltby, Mr. Rose, L. Ives Hoadley, Isaac Maltby, Oliver D. Cook, Eli 
Smith, Samuel Whitney, James H. Linsley, John Maltby, Erastus 
Maltby, Benjamin S. J. Page, Harvey Linsley, L. S. Hough and Ste- 
phen C. Loper. 

"Thus 39 have represented the parish in the three leading profes- 
sions. In this connection mention should be made of Reverend Al- 
bert Barnes, author of ' Barnes' Notes,' etc., who, though not born here, 
was of Northford parentage ; his father, Rufus Barnes, and mother, 
Anne Frisbie, were natives, and lived here until their marriage, when 
they removed to New York state. And also of the two female mission- 
aries whose early homes were here— Mrs. Epaphras Chapman, mission- 
ary among the Indians, and Mrs. Dwight Baldwin, at the Sandwich 

" Reverends Samuel Whitney and Eli Smith, already mentioned, 


were also prominently engaged in missionary labor, the one at the 
Sandwich Islands, the other in Syria."* 

At North Branford village a very neat school house was completed 
in the fall of 1SS9, and was first occupied December 30th, that year. 
It has 56 sittings and cost $1,400. The character of school buildings 
in other localities is also being improved. 

Many learned men claim the old "North Parish" as their home or 
birthplace. Miss Martha Russell, a native of Bare Plain, is an author- 
ess whose works of fiction are read by many admirers of her talent. 

The religious interests of the town embrace two Congregational 
and two Episcopal churches and a Union chapel at Bare Plain. Con- 
cerning the early religious history of the town, the Reverend Elijah 
C. Baldwin said, in his " Annals of Branford ": 

" For a number of years the ' North Farmers,' as they were called, 
came to meeting at Branford, and were under the ministrations of 
Reverend Samuel Russell. As there were but few roads, and those 
poor, and the people had no carriages, the journey was slow and 
difficult. It was made on foot or on horseback, along the poorly- 
made paths, through forests and swamps. But the word of God 
and the privileges of the sanctuary were prized in those days. The 
journey took them all day. The whole family went, carrying their 
wood, also weapons for defense, hence .Sabbath day houses were 
built to accommodate both family and horses. Having no fires in 
the meeting house, they went to these houses for warmth and bodily 
refreshment. In 1706 the town granted to Stephen Foote, Daniel 
Barker, John Frisbie and Edward Frisbie, ' North Farmers,' the 
privilege of building Sabbath day houses on the common at Bran- 
ford Village. 

"Mr. Russell and others also occasionally preached for them, in 
their own locality, worship being held in private houses. But this 
only had the effect of strengthening the desire to have a minister 
of their own, at 'North Farms,' and for this privilege they peti- 
tioned. Naturally the people of the lower part of the town were 
reluctant to have so many valuable families separated from them. 
Not getting consent from the town they petitioned the general as- 
sembly in May, 1717, for relief. (Col. Rec.) This pressure led the 
town, the same year, to vote liberty to the people at Sibbie's Hill to 
have a minister for four months. Sibbie's Hill is just north of the 
present center of North Branford. This name comes from an Indian 
sachem, who once lived there near a spring of water which bears the 
same name. Daniel Page, afterward Deacon, one of the first settlers, 
lived near the summit of this hill. It is said that the services of the 
extra minister were held at his house. All expenses were paid from 
the town treasury, and collected from a tax on the property of the 
whole town. 

*Reverend A. C. Pierce. 


" Thus encouraged, they renewed their efforts for a new society in 
1717, and the town consented so far that it appointed a committee on 
proposed bounds. They ran the line from ' Rose's meadow,' ' Rattle- 
snake rocks,' 'Sawmill,' ' Long Hill,' and ' Cedar Swamp.' All were 
not quite satisfied with the first bounds, so they were changed a little. 
The North farmers had their minister longer and longer each year 
until on September 27th, 1722, they ask to have him permanently set- 
tled. The town therefore voted to set up another society, purchase 
minister's lot, build a meeting house and a house for the minister. In 
1722, October 8th, the proprietors gave 200 acres for parsonage lands 
at Jod's lot on the east side of Great hill for the new society. 

" December 30th, 1723 — The North Farmers came with their request 
again and asked for a change of bounds. It was voted that if they 
would sit down contented with their former bounds then the town 
would go equal shares with them in building and perfecting a meet- 
ing house within those same bounds, of forty feet in length and thirty 
feet in breadth. The petitioners to which this answer was given were 
Jonathan Butler, David Barker, John Harrison, Benjamin Linsley and 
Samuel Harrison. 

" In May 12th, 1724, the town voted 'that the whole town would, 
as one m respect that they are numerous, so that one meeting house 
is not sufficient to contain them, build another, have another minister, 
and to maintain each of them by one rate.' On June 23d of the same 
year, they vote to go on with the building at ' North Farms,' the build- 
ing to be 45 by 35 feet. December 28th in the same year they recon- 
sidered the vote about the meeting house and minister, changing: 
bounds and location. Three sites were debated. It was finally de- 
cided to locate it ' on the knoll on the west side of the river, at the 
place near Samuel Harrison's.' This spot was a few feet south of the 
present meeting house in North Branford. The town vote £200 for 
the house if the North Farmers will accept the terms. But all is not 
quite satisfactory. Therefore, on August 5th, 1725, the town appointed 
a joint committee to arrange the matter. By December 14th, 1725, 
they have come to an agreement, and they appointed collectors for 
each society. They also arrange for the payment of the new meeting 
house bills. Isaac Foote, Lieutenant Rose, John Harrison, Daniel 
Barker and Josiah Rogers were the committee appointed to direct the 
building of the meeting house. It was not finished until 1732. 

"Tradition says that Reverend Samuel Russell went up and offered 
prayer at the erection of the frame of the new meetinghouse. At the 
raising an accident occurred, which might have been very serious. 
One of the heavy upright beams fell from its position into the midst, 
as it seemed, of the people. Beams used then were very heavy. But, 
by a kind providence interposing, no one was struck or injured by the 
falling timber. 

" That meeting house had its location very near the present newer 


structure at the center. It stood and was used until after the present 
meeting house was finished. It is remembered by some persons now 
living. Its windows were small and diamond-shaped and numerous. 
It had doors on the east, west and south sides. The pulpit was high 
and shut-in galleries went around three sides, and they were quite 
high. The floor of the house was a step below the sills as you entered. 
Box pews for families covered the floor. Above the pulpit was hung 
a square, roof-like structure for a sounding board. In later years the 
bats had nests in this and occupied them with impunity, because of 
many years accumulation of dust and filth, that seemed out of the 
reach of all cleaning efforts that were made in those days. It was no 
uncommon thing for a bat to get loose during a service and go scoot- 
ing through the house, to the manifest discomfort of many in the con- 
gregation. A number of the ' North farmers ' lived near the Walling- 
ford line, but they came down to 'Sibbie's hill' to attend worship for a 
number of years." 

In the latter part of 1725 the North Ecclesiastical Society was or- 
ganized, and the town was amicably divided into two parishes. The 
old church at Branford was also divided, dismissing members to form 
the North Branford church. In 1726 the ecclesiastical societies began 
to keep their records separate from those of the town. 

" March 3d, 1726 — The town granted the privilege of a burying 
yard to the North society. The oldest stone in it records the death of 
Isaac Bartholomew in 1727. He was the second, if not the first, regu- 
lar physician the town had." 

The North Society also settled its first minister in 1726 — Reverend 
Jonathan Merick, who was born in Springfield, Mass., in 1700, and who 
had graduated at Yale in 1725. He was ordained the following year, 
his only charge being the North Branford church, which was organ- 
ized about the time of his settlement, or in 1727. The town helped 
him to build a house on the farm which it had furnished him, and 
which until a few years ago was in the possession of his descendants, 
who at one time were numerous in this locality. Mr. Merick had a 
tall, commanding stature, and wore one of the large, old-fashioned 
wigs. His ministry closed in 1769, in consequence of a paralysis, 
which laid him aside from his duties. His last public act was to pre- 
side as moderator of a church meeting, held February 23d, 1769, to 
appoint a day for the ordination of his successor, Reverend Samuel 
Eells. His signature appears, then, for the last time, on the church 
records. His grave, in the little enclosure just east of the North Bran- 
ford meeting house, has a stone, with this inscription : 

In Memory of 
Rev. Jonathan Merick, 
Consort to Mrs. Jerusha Merick, and first Pastor of the 2d Church of Christ in 
Branford, who departed this life June 2d, Anno Domini, 1772, ,-Etatis Sua 72; in 
Officio Ministerei 43. Remember them who have spoken unto you the word of 
God. Our Fathers, where are they? and the Prophets, do they live forever? 


The successor of Mr. Merick, Samuel Eells, who became the second 
pastor, was born in Middletown in 1745, and here ordained in 1769. 
The parish voted him a settlement of £200 and the material for build- 
ing a house. He was a man of vivacious temperament, and was much 
esteemed by his people. In 1777 he preached a sermon on the need of 
prompt response to the demand of the governor for troops, and plac- 
ing himself at the head of the North Branford company, marched to 
the defense of the country. His commission as chaplain was dated 
January 14th, 1777, and was signed by Jonathan Trumbull. Both the 
commission and the muster roll* are deposited in Yale library. Mr. 
Eells died April 3d, 1808, and was buried at North Branford. He 
added 104 members to the church, being the largest number added by 
any one minister. 

At the beginning of his pastorate in 1769, he prepared the first list 
of the members of the church, numbering at that time 70. These be- 
longed to the following families: Barnes, Buel, Barker, Baldwin, But- 
ler, Collins, Foote, Ford, Harrison, Hubbard, Hoadley, Linsley, Nor- 
ton, Merrick, Page, Palmer, Russell, Rogers, Rose, Scarritt, Tyler, 
Whedon and Wolcott. The names of many of these families are per- 
petuated in the present membership. 

In the early history of the church the mode of worship was differ- 
ent from the present. Jonathan Butler was elected as the first singing 
clerk. Abiel Linsley and Abraham Whedon were next appointed to 
"set the Psalms," and in 1735 it was voted to give the clerk "liberty to 
tune the Psalms which way he pleaseth." 

In 1770 William Whedon and Ithiel Russell were appointed chor- 
isters, and in 1780 the society maintained a singing school. In 1792 
the "Musical Society of North Branford" had a flourishing existence. 
"In 1799 the society paid its singers $10 per year, and they purchased 
books at their own expense, and trained themselves in singing." 

In 17S9 the pews of the church were "dignified," but the practice 
was soon abandoned. 

The third minister of the church was Charles Atwater, who was 
born in New Haven in 1786. In March, 1809, he was ordained to this 
pastorate by President Dwight, of Yale, and served until his death, 
February 21st, 1825. He was acceptable and useful, and his memory 
is still cherished. He is also buried in the North Branford cemetery. 
His home in the town was the present parsonage, which was remod- 
elled in 1859. The three sons of Mr. Atwater, George and Doctor 
David F., of Springfield, and James, of Brooklyn, have become promi- 
nent and useful men. 

Reverend Judson A. Root became the fourth pastor, in the old 
meeting house, October 15th, 1828. In his pastorate this house was 
taken down, the society voting, February 28th, 1831, to remove it, after 
having been in use more than a hundred years. The new meeting 

* See copy, in this chapter. 


house was begun May 26th, 1830, six feet north of the old house, and 
was dedicated in April, 1831. In the winter of 1870-1, a pulpit recess 
was added and the house was thoroughly renovated. It has since been 
kept in good repair. The church property was further improved in 
the fall of 1886, when a neat frame Gothic chapel and parish house was 
built, near the main edifice. Its cost was about $2,000, which was 
largely the gift of Mrs. George Rose and Mrs. Lucretia Plant, assisted 
by others of the parish. This house was dedicated January 16th, 1887. 

Mr. Root's pastorate continued until 1834, and 58 members were 
added to the church. 

Reverend Henry B. Camp became the pastor in 1835, but was com- 
pelled by sickness to leave in 1836. 

On the 17th of January, 1838, Reverend John D. Baldwin became 
the sixth pastor, and remained until 1844. In that period 60 members 
were added to the church, 25 joining in September, 1840. Mr. Bald- 
win was a man of marked ability, and after his removal to Worcester, 
Mass., he became a distinguished author. 

The subsequent pastors of the church were: Reverend George I. 
Wood, 1844-50; Whitman Peck, 1851-5; George I. Wood, 1855-9; Will- 
iam B. Curtis, 1860-7; E. J. Clark, 1867-77; John W. Beach, 1878-9; D. 
N. Prentice, 1880-2. Since May, 1882, the acting pastor has been Rev- 
erend Franklin Countryman. 

The ministers raised up in this parish have been the following: 
Reverends Henry Gilbert, Ammi Linsley, Alonzo Loper, Fosdick Har- 
rison, Jared Harrison, Marcus Harrison, Roger Harrison, Lewis Mun- 
ger, Edward Strong Peck, Ammi Rogers, David Rose, Levi Rose. 

The deacon elected when the church was formed was Benjamin 
Barnes, who lived on the main road across Bare Plain. Prior to 1734 
Daniel Page, who lived on "Sibbie's" hill, was elected another dea- 
con. In 1743 Israel Baldwin, who had removed to this parish from 
Milford, was appointed the third deacon. In 1765 he was found dead 
on " Great hill," a sudden sickness overtaking him, after he had gone 
t'o that place on business. The subsequeut deacons were elected in 
about the years set opposite their names: Ithiel Russell, 1754; Barna- 
bas Mulford, 1769; Ebenezer Russell, 1772; Aaron Baldwin, 1778: 
Israel Baldwin, 1798; Daniel Russell, 1808; Daniel Whedon, 1822 
Sidney Alden, 1822; Thomas Plant, 1838; Samuel F. Russell. 1846 
Luther Chidsey, 1846; Timothy R. Palmer, 1870; Charles Page, 1870 
George C. Linsley, 1883. The last two served in 1S90. At this time 
the parish had 90 members, belonging to 85 families. The Sabbath 
school had 150 members. 

The following account of the Northford Congregational Church 
was compiled from a historical discourse by Reverend A. C. Pierce, 
October 8th, 1876. 

For about 40 years the inhabitants in the extreme northern part 
of the old town of Branford worshipped at places remote from their 


homes, for a long time at what is now North Branford village. The 
distance was great and the facilities of travel few, but these Sab- 
bath day journeys were made without much relief until 1734, when 
the general court of Connecticut, upon the petition of Peter Tyler, 
Samuel Harrington, Bezaleel Tyler and others living in the north- 
erly part of the " North Parish," ordered "That said memorialists 
shall be allowed liberty to have some Orthodox Minister preach the 
gospel to them during the months of December, January, February 
and March annually, and during said time they shall be free from pay- 
ing church rates to said North Parish." 

The remaining months of the year the inhabitants of this section 
attended the meetings of Reverend Jonathan Merick, held at the 
" Center," or North Branford village, continuing that arrangement 
eleven years longer, when the third ecclesiastical society in the town 
of Branford was formed, to include these " Northerly inhabitants " of 
the Second or North Society. Their meeting for parish organization 
was held June 24th, 1745, at the house of Benjamin Hand. Samuel 
Harrington moderated, and Josiah Rogers served as clerk. They then 
" agreed by a major vote that the name of the place shall be called 
Salem." This title, so significant of the amicable feeling which at- 
tended the organization of the parish, was set aside in December, 1751, 
when the name of " Northford " first appears in its stead in the parish 
records. It is not plain what induced the change, as there does not 
appear to have been a local circumstance to warrant the taking of such 
an " incongruous name." 

" At the commencement of their existence as a distinct religious 
community, public worship, it would seem, was held in a private dwell- 
ing at first, and probably for the entire period prior to the completion 
of the first meeting house, or rather until the building was so far ad- 
vanced as to allow worship within its walls, at the residence of Mr. 
Isaac Ingraham." 

" In June or July of 1746, one year from the establishment of pub- 
lic worship, application was made to the general court for the appoint- 
ment of commissioners to ' locate a meeting house,' a measure adopted , 
as we may suppose, on account of some diversity of views as to where 
the edifice should stand, or to avoid subsequent divisions, such as are 
so likely to grow out of locating public buildings. 

" In compliance with the desire of the petitioners, the general court 
voted permission to build a house of worship, and appointed ' Capt. 
John Hubbard, Capt. Jonathan Allen and Mr. John Hitchcock, all of 
New Haven, to locate said house,' which committee in due time made 
its report to the court, and thereupon it was voted, that 'Said house of 
worship be erected in the highway, on the west side of the path, twenty- 
rods north of Samuel Bartholomew's house, the sills to enclose a wal- 
nut staddle thereon standing, with a heap of stones around it.' In the 
following spring a building committee was appointed, and the work 
was undertaken. 


" The edifice erected was at first without a steeple, which append- 
age was added in 1796 — 49 years after the body of the house was built 
— and a bell, the same now in use, was placed upon its deck. Even 
the lower part of the house was not finished until 1752, and the gal- 
leries not until 1760." 

The old meeting house was used for the last time April 25th, 1847. 
Most of that time it was simply a barn-like structure, and there were 
no heating appointments except foot stoves. Yet here the inhabitants 
attended in goodly numbers, and within its rude walls several genera- 
tions were edified in spiritual things. Bare and uninviting as it was, 
no doubt to them the old house was not altogether an unlovely object, 
and had become endeared to them by many pleasant associations. 

In 1846 the present stone edifice was begun, and was dedicated 
April 28th, 1847, Doctor Leonard Bacon preaching the dedicatory ser- 
mon. Its appearance indicated a fine structure, but unfortunately the 
walls of the tower were so poorly built that it was found necessary in 
1863 to take them down and rebuild them, the work involving an out- 
lay of $800. In 1873 the walls of the church gave way, and were re- 
built at an expense of $3,400, but the building now presents a sub- 
stantial appearance. In more recent years it has been embellished 
and a fine parsonage has been provided nearer the church edifice than 
the old parish home, which has become the rectory of the Episcopal 

Five years after the organization of the " Salem " parish the church 
was formally constituted, June 13th, 1750, of the following male mem- 
bers: Captain Aaron Cook, Deacon Samuel Harrington, Samuel Barnes, 
John Baldwin, 2d, Ensign Josiah Rogers, Jr., Joseph Linsley, Isaac 
Foote, Jr., Stephen Todd, Abel Munson, Merriman Munson, Abraham 
Bartholomew, Peter Tyler, Timothy Rose, Daniel Maltbie, John Tain- 
tor, Samuel Goodsell, Joseph Elwell and Enos Barnes. 

On the first Sabbath in July following 23 females, most of them 
relatives of the foregoing, were added to the roll. Most of them had 
been dismissed from neighboring churches to form the new body. 
The membership increased, but the parish support was diminished in 
1763, by the formation in this territory of St. Andrew's Episcopal 
parish, whose existence has been continued until the present time. 
In 1801 there was here organized another body, called the " Enrolled 
Church," which was composed of members of the Northford church, 
who had become disaffected with Mr. Noyes' preaching. They enrolled 
themselves as dissenters from the views and feelings of the old church, 
and organized themselves as a new body, with the above name. A 
house of worship was built in 1805, in which services were statedly 
maintained, but no minister was ever installed. Among the ministers 
who preached for the " Enrolled Church " were Reverends Hunting- 
ton, Barrows, Claudius Herrick, Eliphalet B.Coleman and Jeremiah At- 
water, D. D. The feeling which caused the separation continued until 


1833, when, through the mediation of the association, the differences 
were adjusted and the matter was healed, so that most of the members 
of the " Enrolled Church " returned to the mother society, and the 
new body disbanded. 

The changes in the industrial life of this section caused the re- 
moval of many of the inhabitants and a corresponding decrease of the 
membership of the church. In 1890 the families in the parish num- 
bered 58, and there were 23 male and 53 female members. 

Soon after the parish was formed an effort was made to secure a 
settled minister, but a number of calls were extended before the invi- 
tation was honored. Finally Warham Williams consented to come, 
and the 13th of June, 1750, was appointed as the day for his ordination. 
It was looked forward to with no little interest by the people of the 
parish and such a large attendance was anticipated that it was voted 
by the Society " That Isaac Ingraham. Paul Tyler, and John Thomp- 
son, shall be a committee to take care of the meeting house doors or- 
dination day, to keep folks out." 

" Mr. Williams was of Puritan ancestry, his great-grandparents on 
both sides having come from England at the time of the Puritan exo- 
dus. He was grandson of Reverend John Williams, who was carried 
captive by the Indians from Deerfield to Canada, in 1704, and was son 
of Reverend Stephen Williams, D.D., of Long Meadow, Mass. He was 
graduated at Yale College, in which institution he was shortly after 
elected tutor, and in the corporation of which he served as Felfow 
from the time of his early ministry to the time of his death." 

" His ministry continued through a period of 38 years, and was one 
of marked success, there having been added to the church during his 
pastorate, including the 23 original members who were constituted a 
church on the day of his ordination, 256 individuals, an average of 
something more than six each year through his entire ministry. He 
fell asleep April 4th, 1788, in the 63d year of his life, and ' his sepulchre 
is with you unto this day.' 

" After the decease of Mr. Williams the pulpit was variously sup- 
plied for a period of two years. 

" In March, 1790, the labors of Reverend Matthew Noyes began. 
In May, proposals were made for his permanent establishment in the 
pastorate; the proposal for his support being, that he should receive 
£200 settlement, and £90 annually as his salary. 

" In the following August his ordination took place, the sermon 
being preached by Reverend Dr. Goodrich, of Durham. He was a 
native of Lyme, Conn., a descendant, as was his predecessor, of Puri- 
tan ancestry, being in the fifth generation from, Reverend James 
Noyes, who came from England in 1634 and settled in Newbury, 

' Mr. Noyes' academic education he received at Yale College (of 
which he also was afterward a member of the corporation), and his 


theological studies were pursued under the instructions of Rever- 
end Dr. Whitney, of Brooklyn, Conn. His pastorate • here continued 
through a period of 44 years, and under his ministry there was an in- 
gathering to the church of 201 individuals. His labors as pastor were 
suspended in 1833; his pastoral relations were dissolved in 1835, and 
in 1837, on the 25th of September, he finished his course, departing 
this life in the 76th year of his age."* 

" He was a methodical and vigorous thinker and his mind was re- 
markably ready in the phraseology of the Scriptures." These qualities 
endeared him to the community and he was one of the most honored 
clergymen of his times. 

On the 1st of December, 1835, Reverend William J. Boardman was 
installed as the third pastor, and served the church eleven years. He 
was ordained to the ministry at North Haven September 20th, 1820, 
and spent his entire ministerial life with these two churches. He died 
at Northford October 1st, 1849. 

The pulpit was now supplied for about six years by (among others) . 
Reverend Henry Steel Clark, D.D., Reverend Edward Root and Rev- 
erend Charles H. Bullard, but June 8th, 1853, Reverend A. C. Pierce 
became the pastor and served until July 1st, 1866. His ministry was 
pleasant and successful, 72 persons being added to the membership of 
the church. 

For about two years Reverend A. C. Hurd was the stated supply, 
when'in December, 1869, Reverend George DeF. Folsom became the 
acting pastor, continuing until his resignation, April 4th, 1879. He 
was followed by the Reverend E. A. Winslow, and in November, 1880, 
Reverend Theodore A. Leete became the pastor, continuing until May 
6th, 1S83. Henry S. Snyder was here next ordained, October 28th, 
1885, to a pastorate which ended May 6th, 1S88. Since August 5th, 
1888, the acting pastor has been Reverend J. Lee Nott. 

In passing from the ministry it is natural to speak of the deacons 
as office-bearers in the church. They have served in the following 
order: Deacons Josiah Rogers and Merriman Munson, chosen when 
the church was organized; Deacons Benjamin Maltby and Phineas 
Baldwin, chosen April 2d, 1778; Deacon Benjamin Maltby, Jr., chosen 
December 1st, 1791; Solomon Fowler, chosen December 3d, 1801;. 
Stephen Maltby, chosen May 31st, 1804; Munson Linsley, chosen Feb- 
ruary 2d, 1809; Ralph Linsley, February 2d, 1826; Thomas Smith, 
February 2d, 1832; Charles Foote, October 3d, 1844; and William 
Maltby, March 4th, 1863, the latter being this office-bearer in 1890. 

A permanent fund for the benefit of the church has been estab- 
lished by the generosity of friends. Among such benefactors mention 
should be made of Deacon Samuel Harrington, who, in 1754, gave .£20 ■ 
to the society for their permanent use in the maintenance of a dissent- 
ing minister; of John Taintor, who bequeathed a farm, valued at about 

* Reverend Pierce. 


$2,500, for a like purpose; of Ebenezer H. Fowler, who left for the 
society real estate and personal property to the value of some $4,000; 
also, of Doctor Jared Linsley, of New York city, who, on more than 
one occasion, particularly when the parsonage was purchased, mani- 
fested his love for his native parish and his generosity of spirit in 
methods more expressive than mere kind words and good wishes; of 
Mrs. Ruth Maltby, who bequeathed, at her decease, the sum of $100; 
and of Mr. Julius Maltby, who, at his decease, donated to the society 

Zion Church (Protestant Episcopal) is located at North Branford 
village. A preliminary meeting to consider the propriety of organiz- 
ing such a body was held at the house of Chauncey Linsley, March 12th, 
1812, when, as a result of the deliberations, the permission of the bishop 
was asked to proceed. He granted the desired privilege and, April 2d, 
1812, the following were constituted the Episcopal Society of North 
Branford : Augustus Baldwin, Jesse Linsley, Jonathan Foote, Jacob 
Barker, Sherman Bunnell, Jacob M. Tyler, Nicholas O. Thompson and 
Jonathan B. Potter. 

The three first named were elected as vestrymen. Other members 
from the Harrison, Monroe and Rose families were added, and in 1813 
Reverend Elijah G. Plumb was secured for one-eighth of his time as 
the first minister. He also preached at Northford, Branford and 
at East Haven. Subsequently a similar arrangement was continued 
with other churches in Branford and Guilford, the Reverend David 
Baldwin being the well-beloved rector for many years, in connection 
with the church at Guilford. In 1890 the parishes of North Guilford 
and North Branford were served by one rector — Reverend W. H. 
Dean, residing in the former parish. 

The North Branford parish reported 20 families and 25 registered 
•communicants. About $500 was raised in the parish for church pur- 
poses each year. 

In 1818 the parish voted to build a church 32 by 42 feet, and ap- 
pointed as a building committee David Rose, Samuel Baldwin, Jr., 
Chauncey Linsley, Augustus Baldwin, with Jesse Linsley as treasurer. 
Not being able to obtain public land upon which to build, a lot was 
bought, in the village of North Branford, of Jairus Harrison, a part of 
which was set aside for burial purposes. This was laid out into lots, 
which were divided, in 1829, among the Baldwin, Rose, Linsley, But- 
ler and other families. 

In 1827 the church was painted, and in 1840 was more thoroughly 
finished and repaired by Charles Todd, Joshua Rose and Jesse Lins- 
ley. In the fall of 1863 it was enlarged and much beautified, and May 
30th, 1864, the church was duly consecrated by Bishop John Williams. 
Stained glass windows were placed in the church in 1886, and it is now 
a comfortable place of worship, with 150 sittings. 

Among the wardens of the church have been Jonathan Foote, Jesse 


Linsley, Jonathan Rose, Chauncey Linsley, Charles Todd, Joshua Rose, 
Martin C. Bishop, John H. Harrison, Jr., Jesse L. Harrison and George 
W. Dudley. The vestrymen in 1890 were Albert Todd, Samuel L. 
Hale and E. M. Fields. Martin C. Bishop was the superintendent of 
the Sunday school, which had several dozen members. 

St. Andrew's Church (Protestant Episcopal) at Northford was or- 
ganized much earlier. The agitation and discussion of theological 
subjects, after the time of the "great awakening," caused a number of 
families to renounce Congregationalism, as defined by the "Saybrook 
Platform," and some of these were later led to associate themselves 
with churchmen in an Episcopal society which was formed in 1763. 
The original members of this society were: Paul Tyler, Ichabod Foote, 
Joseph Darien, Samuel Maltby, David Rogers, Jonah Todd, Phineas 
Beach, Joseph Finch and John Johnson. 

Some of these had been connected with the Episcopal church at 
Guilford, and no doubt occasionally attended worship at that place, 
even though the distance was so remote. It was the nearest point 
where the worship of the Church of England was at that time main- 

Soon after this Episcopal society was formed steps were taken to 
build a church at Northford. A lot of land was secured from James 
Howd, who gave a deed for the same, December 31st, 1763. The fol- 
lowing year the church was completed for use, and in a repaired form 
served its intended purpose until 1845, when the house at present oc- 
cupied was built. It has sittings for 200 persons, and repairs in recent 
years have made it inviting and comfortable. 

Opposite the church edifice is the old but substantial rectory of the 
parish. A part of the house was built about 1750, as the residence of 
Reverend Warham Williams, of the Congregational society, whose 
parsonage it became. After the death of Mr. Williams, in April, 1788, 
the house was occupied by the well-to-do Reverend Matthew Noyes, 
until his death, September 25th, 1839. At this time he was reputed to 
be one of the wealthiest clergymen in the state,* and the house con- 
tained many comforts not found in ordinary homes. In August, 1866, 
through the efforts of Rector Sheldon Davis, the house became the 
property of the parish, and was much repaired. In his ministry of 
six years the church was also thoroughly renovated. 

For many years the church had the ministerial service of rectors 
of near-by parishes, Mr. Davis being settled here in the summer of 
1866. In 1872 Reverend D. H. Short, D.D., became the rector, and so 
served four years and five months. He was succeeded by Reverend 
John Coleman, who resigned after two years, in September, 1879. 
Reverend Clayton Eddy was the minister in 1880, and July 3d, 1881, 
Reverend George Buck began a rectorship, which was terminated De- 
cember, 1886. Since the fall of 1889, the rector has been Reverend 
Warren H. Robberts. 

* J. W. Barber, Hist. Col., p, 240. 


The parish has 40 families, 200 individuals and 50 registered com- 
municants. The wardens in 1890 were Douglas Williams and E. A. C. 

Bare Plain Union Chapel is a frame building, seating 100 people, 
and was erected in 1880 at a cost of $1,300. It is controlled by an 
association, incorporated March 3d, 1880; and in 1890 the trustees 
were: Isaac B. Linsley, Charles E. Linsley arid Herbert O. Page. 
While all persuasions can obtain consent to use this house, which is 
intended for the accommodation of the people of the western part 
of the town, it is used mainly by the Congregationalists of the North 
Branford church. Since 1886 Reverend Charles Page has held regu- 
lar services at this place. In 1885 he became a licentiate of the 
New Haven East Association. 

Near this chapel is the Bare Plain Cemetery, which was opened 
in the spring of 1860, on the land of Jerome Harrison. The orig- 
inal area was half an acre. In 1877 it was enlarged by the addition 
of an acre, purchased by the Bare Plain Cemetery Association, which 
now controls the ground. The person first interred was Miss Amoret 
Harrison, in April, 1860. Since that time it has been much used. 

The cemetery at Northford embraces several acres, and is kept 
in fair order. It contains many monuments, some being costly and 
of fine design, which commemorate the memories and virtues of the 
Williams, Tyler, Maltby, Hoadley, Foote, Smith, Augur, Linsley, 
Cook, Todd, Elliott, Harrison and Bartholomew families. A head- 
stone indicates that Captain Stephen Smith died June 22d, 1851, aged 
100 years and 8 weeks. 

Dr. Jared Linsley 

Born in Northford 

Oct. 30, 1803, 

July 12, 1887. 

For over fifty years he was a practicing physician in New York city. 
Here are also the graves of several of the former pastors of the 
Northford society. 

At North Branford village are small places of interment in con- 
nection with both of the churches at that place. 

Roster of Captain Eells' Company in the Revolution: Captain, 
Samuel Eells; first lieutenant, Samuel Baldwin; second lieutenant, 
Jacob Bunnell; sergeants, Ebenezer Linsley, Isaac Foot, John White, 
Lud. Munson, Abraham Foot; corporals, Uriah Collins, Samuel Har- 
rison, Samuel Brown, Jacob Page; musicians, John Bunnell, Joseph 
Whedon, Moses Baldwin; privates, Samuel Augustus Barker, Ambrose 
Baldwin, James Barker, Benjamin Bartholomew, Daniel Baldwin, 
Jairus Bunnell, Phineas Baldwin, Jacob Barker, Gideon Bartholomew, 
Jonathan Byington, Titus Cook, Stephen Cook, Hooker Frisbie, Isaac 
Frisbie, Samuel Ford, Gideon Goodrich, Daniel Hoadley, Ralph Hoad- 


ley, Jairus Harrison, Rufus Harrison, Isaac Hanford, Benjamin Harri- 
son, Reuben Johnson, John Linsley, Jonathan Munson, James Pier- 
pont, Samuel Peck, John Potter, Solomon Rose, Jonathan Russell, 
Ebenezer Rogers, Joseph Smith, Dan Smith, Othniel Stent, Ebenezer 
Truesdell, Solomon Talmadge, Asa Todd, Jonathan Tyler, Medad 

Later in the war the town quickly responded and some of its citi- 
zens were at New Haven to repel the British invasion July 5th, 1779. 
" John Baldwin was shot by the enemy and left dead upon the field." 

In the early part of the revolution Colonel William Douglas, who 
lived on the farm now occupied by Douglas Williams, a descendant, 
was in command of a regiment of Connecticut troops. " He contracted 
consumption, as a consequence of exposure, and died before the war 
was concluded." His memory is still cherished in the town. 

The Soldiers' Monument at North Branford is the first monument 
in the United States erected to the memory of the defenders of the 
Union in the war of the rebellion. The movement to build it was be- 
gun soon after the declaration of peace, in 1865, and a committee was 
appointed to raise funds for that object. This consisted of Russell 
Clark, Jonathan Foote and Henry Rogers, the latter being at that time 
located at Branford village as an attorney. About $2,000 was secured 
and the building of the monument was begun, of Stony Creek granite. 
The last piece was swung into place the following year and on the 12th 
of April, 1866, the monument was dedicated, an oration being pro- 
nounced by General E. M. Lee. The monument stands on North 
Branford Village green, west of the meeting house, and makes a pile 
about 20 feet high. It consists of a massive base, die, semi-base and 
shaft. The inscriptions are — on the shaft: 


On the die: 

Our Soldiers: 

James H. Scranton. 
J. Henry Palmer. 
Walter A. Stone. 
Albert F. Wheaton. 
Josiah Johnson. 
John F. Robinson. 
Dayton R. Scranton. 


Charles E. Ailing, born in Hamden, Conn., in 1846, is a son of Ezra 
and. Emily (Bassett) Ailing, and grandson of Merritt Ailing. Mr. Ai- 
ling is a farmer in Northford, where he has lived for several years. 
He is one of the selectmen of North Branford. He married Jennette, 
daughter of Charles D. and Mary (Linsley) Maltby, granddaughter of 
Samuel, and great-granddaughter of Benjamin Maltby. They have 
.two children: Morris E. and Mary M. 


Reuben Neros Augur, one of the largest farmers of Northford, 
was born September 27th, 1S22, on a homestead in the southern part 
of that society, still owned by members of his family. He was a son 
of Joel and grandson of John Augur, one of the early prominent set- 
tlers of that part of the county. His father died July 5th, 1873, aged 
more than 83 years. He had been twice married and reared five chil- 
dren. His first wife was Abigail Barnes, by whom he had this son, 
Reuben N., and three daughters, viz.: Abigail Angeline, married John 
Allen, of Wallingford; Phcebe Eliza, married Henry Loper, of Guil- 
ford, now resides in New Haven; and Correlia, married Thelos Todd, 
of Northford. The second wife of Joel Augur was Mrs. Hannah 
Tripp, by whom he had one son, John P. Augur, who deceased in 
North Branford. 

Reuben N. Augur left his father's farm when he was sixteen years 
of age, with a limited common school education, to learn the butcher's 
trade in New Haven. He followed that occupation until 1850, when 
he returned to Northford, where he has since resided, and has been 
very successfully engaged as a farmer and cattle and horse dealer. 
He owns 450 acres of highly improved land, and the surroundings 
bear evidence of thrifty management. Mr. Augur is a very active, 
industrious man, possesses good judgment and dilligently applies him- 
self to his chosen occupation. In his relations to the community he 
is a good, useful citizen, warmly favoring such measures as will pro- 
mote the welfare of his native town. He is a democrat, and no office 
seeker, but represented North Branford in the state legislature in 1859. 
As a member of the Episcopal society of Northford, he is a most 
liberal supporter of the work of that church, and his charity in other 
causes is unstinted. He is also an honored member of Corinthian 
Lodge, No. 103, F. & A. M., of Northford, and ranks as one of the 
leading men of that community. 

Reuben N. Augur was married November 26th, 1846, to Esther E. 
Todd, who died October 23d, 1849, aged 23 years, and leaving one son, 
Elbert Reuben, born October 5th, 1847, who died July 22d, 1879, at 
Middletown, Conn. For his second wife Mr. Augur married a sister 
of the foregoing, Maria C. Todd, October 28th, 1850, who died Janu- 
ary 3d, 1873, at the age of 40 years. By this union there were three 

1. Robert Duane, born November 24th, 1851, who died August 23d, 
1883, in the society of Northford. He left surviving his widow, Mar- 
garet Evans. 

2. Ella Maria, born April 27th, 1854, married Henry M. Stevens, of 
Northford, and now resides in Wallingford. 

3. Watson Davis, born May 1st, 1856, who married Agnes Gertrude 
Stevens, of Northford, and is now a citizen of Middletown. 

Mr. Augur was married to his third and present wife, Mrs. Margaret 
E. Hall, December 26th, 1876. She was a daughter of Daniel Barnes, 

/ 7 

Y \ t " ( ( 4-LA 



of North Haven, and widow of James T. Hall, of the same town. By 
her former marriage she had one son, Frank E. Hall, born October 
ISth, 1856, who is now a resident of New York city. 

Clarence W. Barker, born in 1856, is a son of Eliphalet and Martha 
(McCoy) Barker, and grandson of Chandler Barker. In 1879 Mr. Bar- 
ker began a card printing business in Branford, and in 1883 he moved 
the business to its present place at North Branford. Since 1885 he has 
had a novelty and toy department. He married Minnie, daughter of 
Henry D. and Sarah (Talmadge) Bartholomew. They have four chil- 
dren: Florence E., Clarence D., Fred W. and Bertram L. 

Harrison Barker, born in 1837, is the only son of Elon and Anice 
(Harrison) Barker, and grandson of Joel, whose father, Jacob, was a 
son of Daniel, whose father, Daniel Barker, was one of the first set- 
tlers in North Branford. Air. Barker has two sisters — Caroline and 
Emily. He is a farmer on the farm where his father resided up to 
the time of his death, in 1883. 

Henry D. Bartholomew, born in 1832, is a son of Samuel and Nancy 
G. ( Wolcott) Bartholomew, and grandson of Timothy Bartholomew. 
Mr. Bartholomew married Sarah, daughter of Levi and Marietta (Foote) 
Talmadge, granddaughter of Enos, whose father was Solomon Tal- 
madge. They have two children: Bertie L. and Minnie G. (Mrs. C.W. 

Isaac H. Bartholomew is a brother of Francis C. Bartholomew, men- 
tioned in Wallingford, with whom he was engaged in manufacturing 
here for a number of years prior to 1872. Mr. Bartholomew married 
Delia, daughter of Horace Fowler. They have two sons: Edward F. 
and George W. They lost four children : Emma, Hattie, Mary and 

Sedley D. Bartlett, born in 1S48 in North Madison, Conn., is a son 
of David and Mariette (Stevens) Bartlett. He is a painter and paper 
hanger by trade. He came to North Branford in 1878, and since 1882 
has kept a store here. He married Mary E., daughter of E. Washing- 
ton Dudley. 

Ralph Beers, born in 1843, is the only son of Frederick and Amelia 
(Palmer) Beers, grandson of Samuel, and great-grandson of Pitman, 
whose father was Wheeler Beers. Some of his ancestors served in the 
revolutionary war. Samuel Beers, a great-uncle, was killed in Septem- 
ber, 1777, aged 25 years. Mr. Beers has been engaged in mercantile 
trade since 1866, and since 1883 has owned and operated a store in 
North Branford. He has been the postmaster since 1883, with the ex- 
ception of three years. His wife was Sarah Smith. They have one 
daughter, Florence L., and one son. 

Martin C. Bishop, born in 1823, is a son of Augustus and Patty 
(Loper) Bishop. Mr. Bishop is a joiner by trade. He came from 
North Guilford to North Branford in 1859. He was several years select- 
man, and in 1870 was representative in the legislature. His first wife 


was Angfeline A. Chittenden, and his second wife was Janette A., 
daughter of Jacob Griswold. They have one daughter, Ellen, wife of 
Frank Foot. 

Edward J. Buel, born in 1833, in Clinton, Conn., is a son of Will- 
iam A. and Rosetta (Stevens) Buel, and grandson of Oliver, whose 
father, James, was a son of Reuben Buel. Mr. Buel is a mason by 
trade. He lived in Ohio and Michigan from 1840 until 1875, when he 
came back to Connecticut. He served in the late war in Company D> 
75th Ohio Volunteers; was a prisoner at Andersonville and Florence, 
S. C, for six months. He married Lovina Manley, who died leaving 
three children: Minnie A., Clifford E. and Elbert E. His second wife 
was Mrs. Dorliska A. Griswold, daughter of Heman and Mabel (Field) 
Stone. Mrs. Buel had one son by her former marriage, Charles Gris- 

Edwin A. Buell, born in 1832 in Clinton, Conn., is a son of Horace 
Buell. He is a tinsmith by trade, and came to Northford in 1858. He 
was in the late war in Company K, 15th Connecticut Volunteers, for 
three years. He married Mary Amelia, daughter of Seneca and Mary 
(Hart) Barnes, and granddaughter of Samuel Barnes. 

Frank O. Burr, born in Haddam, Conn., in 1853, is a son of Ste- 
phen D. and Fannie A. (Lane) Burr, and grandson of David Burr. He 
came to North Bran ford in 1875, where he is a farmer. He married 
Sarah L., daughter of Richard and Lucretia B. Russell, and grand- 
daughter of Jonathan Russell. They have one daughter, Lucretia H. 

Luther Chidsey, born 1800, died 1872, was a son of Caleb and Re- 
becca (Page) Chidsey, and grandson of Isaac Chidsey. Mr. Chidsey 
was a farmer. He married Eliza, daughter of David Palmer. Their 
children are: Grace (Mrs. Noah Foot), Mariette, Leverett (married 
Mary Grannis), Myrick (married Emma, daughter of John Grannisand 
sister of Leverett's wife, and has two children, Georgia L. and Wal- 
ter), and Emma (Mrs. Edward Newton). 

Rebecca S. Clark, daughter of Ebenezer and Sarah M. (Smith) Wil- 
cox, married, first, Nelson Burr, of Haddam, who died, leaving one 
daughter, Sarah M., who married Ellis Stevens, and has three chil- 
dren: Elbert W., Flora B. and Willie E. Mrs. Burr afterward married 
Admerald Clark, of Durham. They came from Durham to North 
Branford in 1885, and three years later Mr. Clark died. 

Reverend Frank Countryman was born in New Haven, September 
23d, 1849, and is a son of Nicholas and Louisa (Hine) Countryman. At 
the age of 13 he entered Hopkins Grammar .School, New Haven, and 
prepared for Yale College; entered Yale College in 1866, and graduated 
in 1870; then studied (1871-2) in Yale Theological Seminary. He was 
married first, December 26th, 1870, at New Haven, to Mary I., oldest 
daughter of Judge Pickett, of city court, New Haven. She died August 
24th, 1877, leaving no children. Mr. Countryman married Miss Ella S. 
Butricks, of New Haven, November 18th, 1880, and they have one child, 


Ella May, born November 9th, 1882. Mr. Countryman preached in 
Brownington, Vt., during the summers of 1872 and 1873; was pastor 
at Prospect, Conn., 1874 to 1877; preached at Georgetown, Conn., 1880 
to 1882; pastor at North Branford, Conn., since 1882. He is a member 
of the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the Revolution, and a de- 
scendant of revolutionary stock. 

E. Washington Dudley, born in 1824, in Madison, is a son of David 
and Abigail (Stevens) Dudley, and grandson of David Dudley. Mr. 
Dudley came from North Madison to North Branford in 1876. He 
married first, Jane, daughter of Gaylord Munger. She died, leaving 
four children: Helen A. (Mrs. Edson S. Beardsley), Mary E. and Martha 

E. (twins), and Frank E. Mary E. married Sedley D. Bartlett, and 
Martha E. married George B. Stone. His second wife was Emeline, 
daughter of Elihu Stevens. 

Bela H. Foote, born in 1816, is a son of Rufus and Elizabeth (Har- 
rison) Foote, and grandson of Daniel, whose father, Daniel, was a son 
of Joseph, whose father, Robert, was a son of Nathaniel Foote. Mr. 
Foote first married Almira Pierpoint, who died, leaving one son, Adel- 
bert P. His second marriage was with Mary, daughter of John and 
Esther (Coe) Birdsey. Their children are: Martha A. (Mrs. T. A. Coe), 
Carrie L. (Mrs. S. A. Barnes), and Ella M. (Mrs. O. C. Kelsey). Mr. 
Foote is a farmer. 

John M. Foote, born in 1819, is a son of Edwin and Salina (Maltby) 
Foote, grandson of Elihu, and great-grandson of Daniel, whose father, 
Daniel, was a son of Joseph, whose father, Robert, was a son of Na- 
thaniel Foote, of Wethersfield, Conn., the first settler. Mr. Foote 
is a farmer. His first marriage was with Sarah A. Monson, who 
died leaving one son, Sereno M., who married Rose Cooper, and has 
three children: Laura, S. Scott and John H. Mr. Foote's second wife 
was Mrs. Lydia J. Crook, a daughter of Hezekiah Towner, of New 
Milford, Pa. 

Lynde H. Foote, son of Warren W. and Lucinda (Harrison) Foote, 
and grandson of Elihu Foote, was born in 1834, and is a farmer. He 
married Juliette, daughter of George W. Gedney. They have one 
daughter, Flora G. 

Noah Foot, born in 1825, is a son of Walter R. and Sally A. (Har- 
rison) Foot, and grandson of Jonathan Foot. Mr. Foot represented 
the town in the legislature in 1872, and has held several town offices. 
He married Grace, daughter of Luther and Eliza (Palmer). Chidsey. 
They have two sons, George and Frank. 

George L. Ford, born in 1839, is the youngest son of William and 
Sarah (Rose) Ford, grandson of Davis, and great-grandson of Samuel 
Ford. Mr. Ford is a farmer. He married Lois R., daughter of Luther 

F. Dudley. They have four children: Walter D., Frederick L., Robert 
N. and George D. 

Andrew M. Gates, born in 1831, is a son of Andrew M. and Lucinda 


(Augur) Gates, and grandson of John Gates. Mr. Gates is a farmer. 
His first marriage was with Olive E., daughter of Harvey and Lydia 
Auorur. She died leaving two children: Andrew M. and Addie M. 
His present wife is Laura, daughter of Eliaday Harrison. 

J. Henry Gates, born in 1831, is a son of John M. and Sylvia (Pal- 
mer) Gates, and grandson of John Gates, who came to North Branford 
in 1793. Mr. Gates represented the town in the legislature in 1889, 
and has been selectman one year. He married Sarah L., daughter of 
Charles and Louisa A. (Monson) Todd, granddaughter of Albert, whose 
father Charles, was a son of Albert Todd. They have three children: 
Charles M., Sylvia L. and John H. 

John A. Gates, born in 1836, is a son of Andrew M. and Charlotte 
(Robinson) Gates. He married Grace A., daughter of George Augur. 
They have one daughter, Mary Etta, wife of Charles E. Linsley. 

Jerome Harrison, born in 1806, was the only child of Thaddeus and 
Betsey Harrison, grandson of Butler, and great-grandson of Timothy, 
whose father Josiah, was a son of Nathaniel, whose father Thomas, 
with his brother Richard Harrison, came to Branford about 1644. Mr. 
Harrison is a farmer. He was a member of the house of representa- 
tives in 1S84 as a democrat. He married Lydia Chidsey, daughter of 
.Samuel and Betsey (Holt) Chidsey. Their only daughter, Amorette 
W., died at the age of 17 years. 

Jesse L. Harrison, son of John H. and Sally (Linsley) Harrison, 
and grandson of Martin Harrison, is a farmer and dairyman. His first 
wife was Anna Jackson, who died leaving one daughter, Anna J. His 
present wife was Marion E., daughter of Russell and Emily (Dud- 
ley) Foote. They have one son, Robert R., and one daughter, Sallie 

John C. Harrison, born in 1838, is a son of Amos and Harriet (Hart) 
Harrison, grandson of Amos A., and great-grandson of Amos Harri- 
son. Mr. Harrison is a farmer. He was for two years selectman. 
His first wife was Stella, daughter of Darius Hull of Cheshire. His 
present wife is Susan Emily, daughter of Bradford J. Hull, of Wood- 
bury, Conn. Their children were: Charles C. (deceased), Amos L., 
Harvey C. and Clarence E. 

Nathan Harrison, born in 1836, is a son of Albert and Ann (Foote) 
Harrison, grandson of Nathan, and great-grandson of Nathan, whose 
father, Josiah, was a son of Nathaniel, and grandson of Thomas Har- 
rison. Mr. Harrison is a farmer. He served nine months in the war 
in Company B, 27th Connecticut Volunteers. He married A. Louisa, 
daughter of Nelson Strickland. Their children are: N. Irving, Albert, 
Lewis, Leroy, Frederick and John. 

Roderick E. Harrison, born in 1845, is a son of Amos and Harriet 
(Hart) Harrison, and is a farmer. He is one of the selectmen of the 
town. He married Ella E., daughter of Sherman J. Nettleton, of Dur- 
ham. They have one daughter, Callie E. 


Rufus Harrison, born in 1821, is a son of Eliaday and Rebecca 
(Rose) Harrison, grandson of Nathan, and great-grandson of Nathan, 
whose father, Josiah, was a son of Nathaniel, and grandson of Thomas 
Harrison. Mr. Harrison is a farmer. 

Urban T. Harrison, born in 1855, is a son of Lorenzo E. and An- 
toinette (Todd) Harrison, and grandson of Benajah Todd. He has 
been a turner in Simpson, Hall, Miller & Co.'s shop, at Wallingford, 
for a number of years. He has two sisters: Ella (Mrs. T. F. Barnes) 
and Louise. 

Ai.den Hopson Hill, a son of Arden and Flora (Davis) Hill, was 
born in Killingworth, Conn., September 4th, 1831. He was the seventh 
of nine children and the elder of two brothers. His parents were 
farmers in very moderate circumstances, whose income would not 
permit them to educate their children, and the school days of Alden 
H. were limited to an attendance of three months in the winter, when 
he was fourteen years of age. What knowledge he subsequently ac- 
quired was obtained in the school of experience, aided by a thought- 
ful disposition and an observant nature. He was thus early in life 
thrown upon his own resources, and began by working out as a farm 
laborer. As a result of his first season's labors he paid $70 into the 
family fund; and from this time until he was twenty years of age all 
his earnings were devoted to the relief of his parents and sisters. To 
accomplish that purpose he worked incessantly, never losing a day, 
and often making over-time, being most faithful in the discharge of 
his filial obligations. Several seasons were spent in North Branford, 
working in that manner, in the fields, woods and mills, and in 1864 
he became a permanent resident of the town. Since that time he has 
here built up, by his tireless energy and industrious habits, the for- 
tune he now enjoys. He erected his fine home in 1879. 

His first business venture, in the season of 1864 — a contract to fur- 
nish ship timber for vessel builders in an adjoining town — resulted in 
a loss to him of $1,000. But, not discouraged and profitting by his 
experience, he persevered in the same industry, and has been very 
successful in his subsequent undertakings. He invested in the stock 
of thirteen vessels, for which he furnished material, and is now a part 
owner in ten of them. Since 1865 he has operated the Chidsey mills, 
below North Branford Center, and later, as their owner, rebuilt them. 
He has also become a large land owner, and engaged in other enter- 
prises which have enabled him to employ constantly from three to 
thirteen men, he thus being the most active business man of the 
town. In his relations to the community in which he resides, Mr. Hill 
enjoys the confidence and esteem of those who know him, and in all 
his dealings he has endeavored to conform his actions to the teachings 
of the golden rule. He is benevolent and public-spirited, ever being 
ready to take a foremost part in the affairs of the church, schools and 
town, filling the office of selectman eight years. As the representa- 


tive from North Branford in the state legislature in 1878, he helped to 
dedicate the new state capitol. In politics he is a republican, but has 
held himself free from partisan feeling. He is an active member of 
the North Branford Congregational society, and has for several years 
been chairman of the society's committee. The work of that church 
has his generous support. In his success in life and conduct as a citi- 
zen, he affords a commendable example of one of the best types of 
our self-made men. 

Mr. Hill was married November 18th, 1879, to Sarah E., daughter 
of Judson and Mariette (Thompson) Page, of North Branford, who 
was born December 8th, 1847. She is a woman of much worth, and 
has ably seconded him in his life work. They have two children : 
Raymond Thompson, born January 11th, 1883; and Alden Judson, born 
August 12th, 1886. 

Charles F. Holabird, born at Sheffield, Mass., in 1857, is a son of 
Hiram B. and Mariette (Vosberg) Holabird. He married Bertha, 
daughter of Alfred Russell. They have four children: Royal R., 
Charles L., Douglass B. and Ralph H. 

Charles E. Linsley, born in 1856, is a son of Edward and Emeline 

A. (Hall) Linsley, and grandson of Isaac Linsley. He was married in 
1890, to Mary Etta, daughter of John A. Gates. Mr. Linsley's father 
died in 1875. He has one sister living, Lucinda Rose. A brother, 
Edwin H., was born in 1S65 and died in 1886. 

George C. Linsley, born in 1842, is a son of Edward A. and Mary A. 
(Baldwin) Linsley, grandson of Solomon, and great-grandson of Rufus 
Linsley. Mr. Linsley is a farmer. He has been for. eight years dea- 
con of the North Branford Congregational church. He married Het- 
tie L. Ball, who died, leaving one son, Merwin B. His present wife is 
Vernelia A. Smith. They have two sons: Charles S. and Ernest C. 

Isaac B. Linsley, born in 1845, is the only child of John and Lydia 
E. (Hall) Linsley. He is the great-great-grandson of John Linsley, 
who was the first settler on the farm, which has gone from father to 
son until the present owner, Isaac Linsley. Mr. Isaac B. Linsley was 
two years selectman and has held other town offices. 

James H. Linsley, born in 1835, is a son of John S. and Eliza A. 
(Halsey) Linsley, and grandson of James Linsley. Mr. Linsley gradu- 
ated from the Connecticut State Normal School in 1857, and taught 
school several winters in this and other states. He is a farmer. He 
served in the late war in Company C, 10th Connecticut Volunteers, 
from September, 1861, until August, 1865, and was wounded three 
times. In November, 1864, he was mustered as captain of the com- 
pany. He had two brothers in the service: Benjamin M., who was 
killed at the battle of the Wilderness; and John S., who is now a phy- 
sician. Another brother is a clergyman. Mr. Linsley was represent- 
ative from this town in 1867. He married Catharine D., daughter of 
Dean Conant, of New Hampshire. They have two children: Eleanor 

B. and Arthur M. 

^^<^^ fe^tiL 



Solomon Linsley, born in 1819, is a son of Elijah and Delia (Foote) 
Linsley, grandson of Solomon, and great-grandson of Joseph Linsley. 
Mr. Linsley is a farmer. His first wife, Adaline Hull, died leaving one 
son, Noah. His second wife was Mrs. Hannah Bradley, daughter of 
Augustus Hemingway. Mr. Linsley has been selectman two years, 
and has held other town offices. 

William Maltby, farmer, born in 1825, is a son of Henry and Ruth 
(Hart) Maltby. He is a deacon of the Congregational church, which 
office he has held for the past 25 years. He has taken an active inter- 
est in all that pertains to the best good of the public schools in his 
town, having been a member of the school board for more than 35 
years. He represented his town in the legislature of 1881. He mar- 
ried Esther, daughter of Doctor Rice Hall, and has two daughters- 
Ophelia H. and Mary J. A son, William T., died in childhood. 

William Hall Maltby is a direct descendant of one of the oldest 
families in the eastern part of the county. He was born in Northford 
Society, August 29th, 1810, and was the elder child of Thaddeus and 
Elizabeth (Hall) Maltby. Their younger child, also a son, Isaac, born 
in 1819, removed to California, where he died in 1889, leaving an only 
son, Herbert. The grandfather of William H. Maltby was Benjamin 
Maltby, a large farmer and miller in Branford. He died May 10th, 
1823, aged 68 years. He had been married first, January 22d, 1778, to 
Rebecca Taintor, who died in May, 1786, leaving him five children. 
By a second marriage there were five more children, the ten being as 
follows: Thaddeus (the father of William H.), born January 15th, 
1779, married Elizabeth Hall, May 18th, 1809, died January 12th, 
1873, being within three days of 94 years of age; Benjamin, born No- 
vember 11th, 1780, married Wealthy W. Chittenden in 1811, and died 
in 1S34; De Grosse, born September 14th, 1782, married Sarah Smith, 
October 11th, 1807, died February, 1872; Elizabeth, born June 20th, 
1784, married Bennett Bronson, May, 1820, died June, 1840; Rebecca, 
born April 19th, 1786, died April 22d, 1836; Julius, born January 5th, 
1788, married Melinda Fowler, May, 1819, died October, 1872; Samuel, 
born January 27th, 1790, married A. De Witt, September, 1816, died 
January 28th, 1881; Elbridge, born January 23d, 1792. married Jane 
Ball, November, 1822, died in 1863; Erastus, born December 2d, 1796, 
married Almira Smith, September 7th, 1826; Eliza R., born April 13th, 
1800, married Jonathan C. Fowler, April, 1820. 

William H. Maltby was reared a farmer, and for many years ac- 
tively followed that pursuit, his habits of industry and frugality aid- 
ing him in accumulating considerable property. He was thus en- 
gaged in Wallingford from 1836 until 1842, and for the next twenty- 
one years in the town of Durham. In 1863 he returned to the old 
homestead, in Northford, where he has since resided, honored and 
respected by all who know him. Although now advanced in age, he 
retains his vivacious disposition and cheerful nature, which are among 


his chief characteristics, in spite of bodily affliction. On the 17th of 
December, 1845, his hip was dislocated by a fall over the drum of the 
water wheel of a saw mill, which precipitated him a great distance 
and badly injured him; but after a year he recovered, and thereafter 
led a very busy life. He has taken a warm interest in the affairs of 
the towns in which he resided, and for a number of years was a select- 
man, both in Durham and in North Branford. The latter town he 
represented in the state legislature in 1871. He is a republican and 
a member of the Northford Congregational church, and member of 
the prudential committee. In the earlier years of his manhood he was 
much interested in military matters, and for several years he was in 
command of the Northford company. 

Mr. Maltby was married September 30th, 1836, to Polly A., daughter 
of Rufus Foote, of Northford, who died November 27th, 1872. By 
this union there were three children: Benjamin E., born February 
21st, 1840, died March 29th, 1841; William E.. born April 7th, 1843, 
died March 31st, 1S64; Elbridge Lyman Hall, born August 23d, 1846, 
now living in the city of Boston. Mr. Maltby was united in marriage 
the second time April 30th, 1873, to his present wife, Martha, daughter 
of John Birdsey and Esther Coe, of Middlefield, Conn., and grand- 
daughter of John Birdsey of the same town. 

George H. Munger, born in 1827 in North Madison, Conn., is a son 
of Gaylord and Densie (Stephens) Munger, and grandson of Josiah 
Munger. He came from North Madison to North Branford in 1868, 
where he has been a farmer. He married Emily, daughter of David 
and Betsey (Norton) Russell. They have three daughters: Martha C. 
(Mrs. Erastus Dudley), Belle A. (Mrs. C. A. Harrison) and Helen R. 
M. (Mrs. C. M. Bergstresser). 

Charles Page, born in 1839, is a son of Benjamin and Sarah E. (Mer- 
riam) Page, grandson of Benjamin, and great-grandson of Daniel, 
whose father, Daniel, was a son of George Page, who was among the 
first settlers of Branford. Mr. Page attended the schools of this and 
surrounding towns, spent one term in the State Normal School, and 
later he took a special course in Yale Theological Seminary and was 
licensed to preach in 1885. He taught school nine years in this vicin- 
ity. He was a member of the house of representatives in 1874, and 
has been town clerk and treasurer since 1871. He married Elbertine 
A., daughter of Luther F. Dudley. Their children are: Charles A., 
Edson C. and May C. Mr. Page has three brothers and one sister: 
John M., Benjamin, Martha E. and Robert. 

Herbert O. Page, born in 1846, is a son of Judson and Mariette 
(Thompson) Page, and is a farmer. He has been for four years chair- 
man of the board of selectmen, and has held other town offices. He 
was a member of the house of representatives in 1886. He married 
Betsey R., daughter of John R. Baldwin, whose father, Noah, was a 
son of Edward, and grandson of Noah, who was a son of Noah, and 

y/^- MA 


he a son of George Baldwin. They have two children: Herbert D. 
and Helen Gertrude. 

Thomas Palmer, born in 1817 at Stonington, Conn., is a son of 
Thomas and Lydia (Austin) Palmer, grandson of George and great- 
grandson of Andrew Palmer. Mr. Palmer followed the sea more or 
less from the age of nine years until 1872. Several years of that time 
he was in command of vessels. He came to North Branford in 1873, 
where he now lives. He married Eliza Hiscock, and their children are: 
Charles, George, Edith, Edgar, Jefferson, Daisy, Rosa E., and three 
that died — Thomas, Eliza and Edward. 

Seth Russell, born in 1814, is a son of Augustus and Lydia (Rose) 
Russell, and grandson of Jonathan, whose father, Jonathan, was a son 
of Reverend Samuel Russell. Mr. Russell is a carpenter and farmer. 
He was a member of the house of representatives in 1866. He mar- 
ried, first, Abbie Chidsey, who died, leaving two children: Susan (Mrs. 
Samuel Thompson) and Clark. His second wife was Ann Hecock, and 
his present wife was. Elizabeth Baldwin. 

A. Judson Smith, born in 1841, is a son of Henry and Emily (Wat- 
son ) Smith, grandson of Abner, and great-grandson of Pollicarpus, who 
came from Barnstable, Mass., to East Haddam,Conn. The latter was 
a son of Heman, whose father, Nathaniel, was a son of Heman Smith, 
who, it appears from the records of Barnstable, was made a freeman 
there in 1642. Mr. Smith is a tinsmith by trade. He came to Bran- 
ford in 1867, and from that time until 1888 he carried on the hard- 
ware business there, and since that time he has lived in North Bran- 
ford. In September, 1889, he was appointed the first postmaster at 
Totoket. His first marriage was with Aphelia Pyatt. .She died, leav- 
ing three children: Nettie E., Etta M. and Albert W. His second wife 
was Mary S. Hand. Their children are: Mary E., Ruth E., Bessie S. 
and Margaret L. 

Thomas A. Smith, born in 1827, is a son of Thomas and Hannah 
(Tuttle) Smith. He was for several years engaged in the manufactur- 
ing business in Northford, but since 1875 has been a merchant. He 
was for 12 years postmaster of Northford. He held the office of select- 
man and was for two years a representative in the legislature. His 
first wife, Ann Delia Harrison, died, leaving one son, Albert H. His 
present wife is Martha E., daughter of Benjamin Page. 

David Stearns Stevens, Jr., was born at Quinnipiac, in the town 
of North Haven, April 5th, 1857, and is a son of David and Eliza (Ben- 
jamin) Stevens. He was the fifth of six children born to them, viz.: 
Albert Benjamin, who died in Northford; Alice Eliza, married Jared 
B. Bassett, of North Haven; Elizur Seneca, of the firm of Maltby, 
Stevens & Curtiss, of Wallingford; Henry M., also residing at Walling- 
ford; David Stearns, the subject of this sketch; and Agnes Gertrude, 
married Watson D. Augur, of Middletown. By a second marriage, to 
Frances J. Hart, Mr. Stevens had two more children: Frances Jane 


and Peter DeForest, both living in Virginia, to which state the father 
removed in 1883. He had become a resident of Northford in 1868 and 
for a number of years there carried on business as a spoon manu- 

As a boy, David S. worked in his father's shops, attending mean- 
time the common schools of Northford, but completed his preliminary 
education at General Russell's institute in New Haven. In 1875 he 
returned to his home in Northford, where he then began the card-print- 
ing business in his father's spoon shop, with an outfit costing $36, 
which his father advanced to him. From the beginning his efforts 
were attended with success and the industry grew so rapidly that, in 
1880, the present commodious rooms in the old Maltby Works were 
secured. In these new quarters the business was developed until it 
became one of the leading interests of the kind in this country. As 
many as fifty hands have been employed in carrying on the opera- 
tions, which embrace the manufacture and printing of an endless vari- 
ety of plain and fancy cards and scrap-book pictures, which are sold in 
every part of the Union. In 1880 his brother, Henry M., became asso- 
ciated with him, the firm since that time being Stevens Brothers.. 
Since 1890 the latter has been in charge of the Wallingford branch of 
the business, which was established that year. 

Mr. Stevens possesses a fertile brain, which has enabled him to 
keep in advance of the ever-varying changes of his business and to 
constantly devise or add new features, which have further enlarged 
it. He has also developed a capacity for affairs which entitles him 
properly to a place among the representative successful self-made men 
of the county. His skill, tact and indomitable energy and persever- 
ance have brought him business prosperity and an honored name. He 
is much esteemed in the community in which he resides and has iden- 
tified himself with its best interests, serving them so far as the urgent 
demands of his business would permit. 

Mr. Stevens was married October 9th, 1S79, to Clara Hoadley, 
daughter of E. C. and Hannah Maltby, who was born September 27th,. 
1857. Her mother, Hannah Hoadley, was a daughter of the Reverend 
L. Ives Hoadlev, who was an honored minister of the Congregational 
church. Five children have been born as the fruit of that union: 
Douglas Maltby, September 4th, 1880; Clifford Fleetwood, July 9th, 
1885; Wilbur Benjamin, December 3d, 1886; David Stearns, July 23d, 
1888; Clara Marguerite, December 31st, 1889. 

Mr. Stevens resides in the E. C. Maltby place, at Northford, which 
has been finely fitted up for his home. 

Albert Todd, born in 1834, is a son of Charles and Ann Louisa 
(Munson) Todd, grandson of Albert, and great-grandson of Charles 
Todd. Mr. Todd is a farmer. He married Orpha A., daughter of 
Samuel and Laura (Jones) Smith. They have two children living: 
Charles S. and Louisa L. One died, Lewis A. 



Willys Tucker, born in 1821, is a son of Sheldon and Betsey (Dor- 
man) Tucker, and grandson of Oliver Tucker. He is a farmer and 
blacksmith. Since 1861 he has been agent for farm implements. He 
married Submit, daughter of John and Jerusha (Rossiter) Graves. 
They have two children: Ellen M., wife of Edgar Eaton, and Alice L., 
wife of Charles Munson. Mr. Tucker has served several years as 

Douglas Williams, born in 1830, is a son of Herman H. and Sarah 
J. (Douglass) Williams, and grandson of Herman, whose father was 
Herman Williams. His maternal grandfather was Captain William 
Douglass, son of Colonel William Douglass. Mr. Williams is a far- 
mer. His first wife, Jeanette L. Foote, died, leaving three children: 
Benjamin D., Herman H. and Davis F. His second wife was Eugenia, 
daughter of Warram W. Foote, and sister of the first wife. His present 
wife was Mrs. Ann L. Shove, daughter of Abiatha Foote. 



Location and Description. — Natural Features and Points of Interest. — The Pioneers. — 
Civil Government. — Probate District. — Magistrates and Justices. — Town Buildings. 
— Cemeteries. — Roads and Bridges. — Industrial Pursuits. — Guilford Borough. — 
Lodges and Societies — Religious Interests. — Educational and Literary. — Some 
Distinguished Citizens. — Physicians and Lawyers. — Military Matters. — Soldiers' 
Monument. — Biographical Sketches. 

THE original town of Guilford included the present town and 
Madison, which was set off in 1826. It stretched along the 
shore of Long Island sound from Branford to Killingworth, a 
distance of nearly ten miles, and was nearly eleven miles long from 
south to north. At the north end the width was not quite five miles, 
and at other points it was irregular. The boundary between Branford 
and Guilford was a straight line from the mouth of Stony creek to the 
center of Pistapaug pond, upon which cornered the towns of Walling- 
ford, Branford, Guilford and Durham. The pond is a mile long from 
north to south, and half a mile wide. From this common center a 
line, extending northeast to the western branch of the Hammonassett 
river, formed the northern boundary, and separated Guilford from 
Durham. The eastern boundary was down that stream to the Ham- 
monassett proper, thence down the middle of the river to Dudley's 
creek, thence down to West rock, on the sound. This separated the 
town from Killingworth. In this territory were for many years four 
Congregational societies, viz.: Guilford First Society, North Guilford, 
East Guilford (now Madison), and North Bristol (now North Madison). 
The latter two and a narrow strip, two miles long from the sound 
north, of the First Society, were constituted the town of Madison, thus 
leaving Guilford with a mean length of eleven miles and an average 
width of four miles, the town of Madison forming the eastern bound- 
ary, and having the East river in part as the dividing line. 

That stream, called by the Indians Ruttawoo, has its source in sev- 
eral brooks, or branches, in the northern part of the old town, which 
unite at Nut Plains. Then it takes a southwesterly course, and emp- 
ties its waters into Guilford harbor, east of Guilford Point. For some 
distance it is a tidal stream, and is navigable for sloops to East River 
bridge, where are several wharves, in the town of Madison. Near its 
mouth are Sawpits, Quarry and the Farmers' wharves. The other 


principal stream of the town is the Menuncatuc, or West river, which 
is the outlet of Quinnebaug or Quonepaug pond, in North Guilford. 
This pond or lake is two miles long from north to south, and a little 
more than a fourth of a mile wide. Its waters are very deep, and the 
environing scenery is attractive. Southwest is a smaller sheet of 
water called West pond, whose small outlet flows into West river. 
The latter stream has a southerly course to the west of Guilford, bor- 
ough, and empties into the harbor west of the point. It is also a tidal 
stream as high as the village, where small wharves have been con- 
structed. East creek is a small stream occupying an intermediate 
position between the above streams, and also emptying near the neck 
or mouth of East river. 

Guilford harbor is too shallow to afford a good entrance for vessels. 
At low mark there are six feet of water on the bar, and twelve feet at 
full tide. A higher flow sometimes submerges the lowlands along the 
rivers. In these fiats and channels are found clams of superior qual- 
ity, and the East River oysters are regarded by epicures as the finest 
flavored in the state. The quantity is limited, and the price is high. 
An effort was made to build a breakwater to improve the harbor, which 
has been filling up from the wash of the waters of the sound, but the 
government refused an appropriation. In 1703 Guilford was desig- 
nated by the general assembly as one of the eight ports of entry in 
the colony, and Josiah Rossiter was made naval officer. In the latter 
part of the last century Guilford was made tributary to New Haven 
harbor. Two miles west is Sachem's Head harbor, which is a small 
but deep body of water, almost wholly land locked, and before the 
period of light-houses was much used as a night station for vessels in 
the coastwise trade. Before 1775 this harbor was also used by vessels 
in trade with the West Indies. Many cargoes of cattleand other stock 
were shipped from that point, and lumber was also shipped to some 
extent. Still further southwest is another expanse of still water, wash- 
ing Leete's island on the east. It is too shallow for shipping purposes, 
but was formerly a favorite place for fishing. 

At both of these larger harbors the land projects in points, which 
have for manv years been esteemed as summer resorts. Guilford 
Point, a mile or more below the village, has thus been used more than 
a century. Later a hotel was built, known as the Point House, which 
increased the popularity of the place. This house is now old, but has 
an attractive location, with quieting surroundings. Before the use of 
the railroad, steamboats landed passengers at this point. A good road 
now leads to it from the village railway station. 

Sachem's Head, the other point, is three and a half miles southwest 
from the village, and is more abrupt and picturesque than the former. 
It derived its peculiar name from an incident in the war upon the 
Pequots at their fort on Mystic river. 


" The defeat of the Pequots took place May 26th, 1637, by the Eng- 
lish under Captain Mason, and their allies, the Narragansett Indians, 
and a remnant took flight along the ' shore trail ' of the Indians west- 
ward, pursued by a few English under Captain Stoughton and Indians 
under Uncas. The English kept a reserve force on board their trans- 
ports, which coasted along the shore, scouring every inlet for detached 
bands of the retreating foe. When the land party under Stoughton 
and Uncas had reached this head-land projecting into the Sound Uncas, 
who knew Indian craft, left the trail and made a thorough search of 
the point. A chief and several warriors were found. The refugees 
made effort to escape by swimming across the narrow part of the har- 
bor, and were captured as they landed. The Sachem was shot dead 
with an arrow by Uncas, who cut off his head and placed it between 
the limbs of an oak tree, which grew around the skull, holding it 
firmly for years, and from this tragedy originated the name ' Sachem's 
Head.' "* 

This expedition of Captain Stoughton was one of the means which 
led to the settlement of the county, first at New Haven, and later 
brought the Guilford settlers to that place and this section. 

" It has been said that Captain Stoughton on his return with the 
fleet put in for refuge and spent a few days in the beautiful bay of 
the 'Red Mountains,' later the ' Fayre Haven ' of the Whitfield com- 
pany, and observing its many advantages for a commercial town site 
he, on his return to Massachusetts Bay, informed Governor Eaton and 
company, who had just landed, of its adaptability for settlement, and 
the Governor, notwithstanding advantageous offers which had been 
made at Boston, Salem and Lynn for their settlement, and also the 
lateness of the season, came here with a company to view this ' prom- 
ised land.' On being satisfied with its conditions which invited set- 
tlement, he at once made all preliminary steps necessary for its pur- 
chase of the then nearly extinct tribes (the Ouinnipiacs), and built a 
hut and left a small company to hold and occupy the territory until 
the next spring. He then returned and took possession of his new 

From New Haven attention was directed to the desirable lands of 
Guilford and Milford, which, no doubt, were soon after prospected, 
with a view to their acquisition by the whites. 

A little east of Sachem's Head is a place called Bloody Cove, where 
is said to have occurred a fatal skirmish between Uncas and his clan 
and the Pequots before the above capture took place. 

Sachem's Head point became well known as a seaside resort half a 
century ago, and was for many years a fashionable summer watering 
place. A hotel, with accommodations for several hundred guests, was 
erected, and the grounds were finely laid out for the accommodation 
of the visitors. It was for many years largely patronized, but was de- 
♦Captain Townsend. 


stroyed by fire in June, 1865. After some years the locality became 
popular for seaside cottages, and is again growing much in favor. 

Between Guilford and Sachem's Head points is a projection of 
land called Mulberry point; and at the sound extremity of Leete's 
Island is Leete's point. The name Leete's Island is applied to the 
southwestern part of the town, much of which is low land. Off shore 
from Guilford harbor, and some distance from it, is Falcon or Faulk- 
ner's island, which is a part of this town. After belonging to various 
parties it was sold in 1801 to the United States government for $325, 
and a lighthouse has since been built on it, which has made this part 
of the sound comparatively safe.* 

The surface of Guilford presents a varied aspect. The northern 
part is elevated and broken by the northeastern extremity of Totoket 
mountain, which extends into its territory several miles, terminating 
in a bold bluff. Along Ouinnebaug pond and extending south to 
North Guilford Center are also a series of hills, some of them very 
steep. South of this are elevations bearing the local names of Long 
hill, a high ridge on the west side of the West river; Moose hill, of 
less altitude, extending into the town of Branford; and Clapboard hill, 
the elevation between the East creek and East river. South of these 
the change to the lowlands is rapid, there being only small elevations, 
showing upheavals of granite rock, with a hard and compact soil. 
Much of the entire surface is of a stony nature, better fitted for wood- 
lands than for cultivation. But along the shore are alluvial plains and 
along the streams are some intervales having strong and generous 
soils, which with proper tillage yield profitable crops. Corn, wheat 
and the root crops have given bountiful returns and the agriculture 
of the town in its extent and products is not exceeded by an equal area 
in the county. 

Along the sound and several miles back the lands are either 
swampy or are alluvial deposits, naturally very fertile, and are still 
further enriched by skillful fertilization. For many years this was 
the section first tilled by the Guilford settlers and before their coming 
had been the favorite planting ground of the Indians, who called it 
Menuncatuc. All the bounties of nature were here generously pro- 
vided—a strong, fertile and easily cultivated soil, game and water fowl, 
fresh fish and sea food. These conditions, also, most naturally at- 
tracted the attention of the whites to this locality and led to the early 
purchase of the Indian lands. 

That part of Guilford on the coast, lying between the East river 
(Ruttawoo) and the Stony creek (Agicomook), was purchased of the 
sachem squaw of Menuncatuck, Shaumpishuh, acting for the Indian in- 
habitants, who agreed to the sale September 29th, 1639. The commis- 

* At the general court at Hartford, October 18th, 1677, "Liberty was granted 
to Andrew Leete to purchase Falcon Island and Goose Island * * which 

.said Islands lie before or near Guilford." (.Col. Rec. of Conn.. 1665-77.) 


sioners for the whites were Henry Whitfield, Robert Kitehell, William 
Chittenden, William Leete, John Bishop and John Cofhnge. The pay- 
ment was a dozen each of coats, glasses, pairs of shoes, hatchets, hoes, 
pairs of stockings, knives, hats, porringers, spoons, fathoms of wam- 
pum, four kettles and two English coats. Most of the Indians now 
removed to Branford and East Haven, but a few received liberty to 
remain for a time at Ruttawoo. 

"At the time of the above pirrchase it was understood that the deed 
for the land should remain in the hands of the above committee of 
planters until a church should be formed, to whom it should then be 
given and under whose superintendence the lands should be divided 
out to those interested in them. The English settlement was com- 
menced immediately after this purchase on the ground where is 
now Guilford borough, the plain and some other lands near by 
having already been cleared by the natives and prepared for culti- 

The first settlers were mostly emigrants from the counties of 
Kent and Surrey, in England, and came to America in 1639 in two 
vessels. They landed at New Haven and remained there a short 
time as a distinct company, and were not a part of the New Haven 
planters or company. Many of them were persons of position and 
influence in England and nearly all were farmers in that country. 
Their sole purpose in coming to the new world was that they might 
have greater religious liberty and the advantages of a community 
having a concordance of belief. Accordingly, while yet on ship- 
board, they organized themselves as a separate community and 
entered into relations which are expressed by the following cove- 

" We, whose names are hereunder written, intending by God's 
gracious permission to plant ourselves in New England, and if it 
may be, in the southerly part, about Ouinnipiack: We do faithfully 
promise each to each, for ourselves and families, and those that be- 
long to us; that we will, the Lord assisting us, sit down and join 
ourselves together in one intire plantation; and to be helpful each 
to the other in every common work, according to every man's abil- 
ity and as need shall require; and we promise not to desert or leave 
each other or the plantation, but with the consent of the rest, or 
the greater part of the company who have entered into this engage- 

"As for our gathering together in a church way, and the choice of 
officers and members to be joined together in that way, we do refer 
ourselves until such time as it shall please God to settle us in our plan- 

" In witness whereof we subscribe our hands, the first day of June, 

*R. 1 1. Smith. 


"Robert Kitchell, John Hughes, 

John Bishop, William Dudley, 

Francis Bushnell, John Parmelin, 

William Chittenden, John Mepham, 

William Leete, Thomas Norton, 

Thomas Joaues, Abraham Cruttenden, 

John Jurdon, Francis Chatfield, 

William Stone, William Halle, 

John Hoadly, Thomas Naish, 

John Stone, Henry Kingsnorth, 

William Plane, Henry Doude, 

Richard Gutridge, Thomas Cooke, 
Henry Whitfield." 

It is said that the vessel which bore this company was a ship of 
about 350 tons burden and, sailing from London about May 25th, 1639, 
entered New Haven harbor some time near the beginning of July. It 
is claimed that Whitfield's vessel was the first that ever cast anchor in 
the waters of the Quinnipiac. " The sight did so please the captain of 
the ship and all the passengers that he called New Haven harbor 'the 
Fayre Haven.' " But for some reason it was changed to New Haven, 
and nearly two centuries later the very prosperous east part of the 
town was called Fair Haven. 

After landing at New Haven they soon, under the friendly direc- 
tion of Mr. Davenport and Mr. Eaton, selected Menuncatuc as the 
place for their plantation, and not long thereafter named the new town 
Guilford, after a city in their native Surrey. 

The leader of these 25 gentlemen and yeomen* was the Reverend 
Henry Whitfield, a gentleman of influence and wealth, both elements 
being freely used by him in establishing his plantation. In temporal 
as well as in spiritual matters he was the foremost of the " English 
planters of Menuncatuc," and the first improvements were made under 
his direction. One of the first acts was to locate a town site, which 
was done by following the English fashion of laying out a market 
place or green of oblong shape and building around it. This being 
done, they commenced building homes for themselves, the houses of 
some of the planters being put up in a very substantial manner of 
stone, and also after the style of the better English farm houses of 
that period. 

The famous old stone house of Guilford was built by Mr. Whitfield 
in 1639-40, and was probably the best in the village. It was made un- 
usually strong, so that it would also serve as a means of defense against 
Indians. It is still standing, although in a remodelled condition. 

* The first planters were of these two ranks— gentlemen and yeomen. The 
former were men of wealth and bore the title of Mr. The commonality were 
spoken of without a title prefixed, or were called goodman or neighbor. But 
none of these planters were poor, and but few had servants. 


Until 18GS the original form was preserved, and even now the large 
■stone chimney and the north wall remain as they were put up, 250 
years ago, making this the oldest English built house in the United 
States. It occupies a good site on slightly rising ground, which over- 
looks the great plain south of the village, and gives a fine prospect of 
the sound. Mr. Whitfield had a large family of grown children, and 
it is said that the first marriage in the town was here held, when Mr. 
John Higginson took to wife one of his daughters. The wedding 
feast was very simple, consisting of pork and pease. 

The original Whitfield house was described, in 1859, by R. D. 
Smith, as follows: 

"The walls are of stone from a ledge eighty rods distant to the east. 
The material was probably brought on handbarrows across a swamp, 
over a rude carfseway, which is still to be traced. A small addition 
has in modern times been made to the back of the house, but there is 
no question that the main building remains in its original state, even 
to the oak of the beams, floors, doors and window sashes. * * * * 
In the recesses of the windows are broad seats. Within the memory 
of some of the residents of the town the panes of glass were of dia- 
mond shape. 

" The height of the first story is seven feet and two-thirds, the 
height of the second is six feet and three-quarters. At the southerly 
corner in the second story there was originally an embrasure about a 
foot wide, with a stone flooring, which remains. The exterior walls 
are now closed up, but not the walls within. 

"The walls at the front and back of the house terminate at the floor 
of the attic, and the rafters lie upon them. The angle of the roof is 
sixty degrees, making the base and sides equal. At the end of the 
wing by the chimney is a 'recess,' which must have been intended as a 
place of concealment. The interior walls have the appearance of 
touching the chimney, like the walls at the northwest end, but the re- 
moval of a board discovers two closets, which project beyond the 
lower part of the building. 

" This noted residence was sold by Mr. Whitfield on his removal to 
England in 1652 to Major Thompson, of London, an important man in 
England during the commonwealth, and continued in his family until 
October 22d, 1772, when Mr. Wyllys Elliot, of Guilford, bought it for 
£3, 000, Massachusetts money." 

In 1890 this house and much of the original Whitfield plantation 
was the property of Mrs. Sarah B. Cone, and was in a well preserved 

Other stone houses were built soon after by Jasper Stillwell, on 
the lot north of Mr. Whitfield; by Mr. John Higginson, on the south- 
west corner of the green, on the south side of Bridge street; by Sam- 
uel Desborough, west, on the same side of the street. Opposite them 
' lived planters Ward and Bishop. Mr. Robert Kitchell lived west of 


the northwest corner of the green, and John Fowler lived on the op- 
posite corner. Mr. William Leete was farther west, on the river, and 
Mr. William Chittenden was on the opposite side of the street, the 
lots being still occupied by his descendants. But no building except 
the Whitfield house remains. 

The next step of the planters was to increase the area of the town, 
so as to have ample lands for every one. Additional purchases 
were made of the Indians by Mr. Whitfield, September 20th, 1641, 
when he bought of the sachem Weekwosh the territory along the 
sound eastward from the East river to Tuxis Pond, for a small con- 
sideration of clothing. The right of Weekwosh to sell this land 
being doubted, the title was perfected by another purchase of Uncas, 
the sachem of the Mohegans, who claimed the land by right of con- 
quest of the Pequots in 1637, when the last of their warriors was slain 
by Captain Stoughton in the swamp at Fairfield. This purchase was 
made December 17th, 1641, by Mr. Whitfield, Robert Kitchell, William 
Chittenden and others of the English planters, and embraced the land 
on the sound between the points named and north through the town- 
ship. The consideration was four coats, two kettles, four fathoms of 
wampum, four hatchets and three hoes. 

In the meantime the remaining territory of the old town had been 
secured of the Indians by Colonel George Fenwick. of Saybrook, who 
was a personal friend of Mr. Whitfield and other planters of Guilford. 

" Mr. Whitfield being desirous of extending the township still fur- 
ther eastward, made repeated application to his friend Fenwick to 
convey to his plantation a tract lying between Tuxis and Hammon- 
asset rivers, which Mr. Fenwick had bought of Uncas, and in a letter 
dated October 22d, 1645, Mr. Fenwick gave this tract to Guilford, on 
conditions that the planters would ' accommodate Mr. Whitfield with 
land to his content,' and he was authorized to hold the land until the 
conditions should be fulfilled. 

" This grant from Mr. Fenwick was accepted by Guilford, which 
made Mr. Whitfield several allotments of land, which he afterward 
deeded to the town, the 20th of August, 1650, for the consideration of 
£20, paid in wheat." 

Other purchases were made of Indian claimants, the last being in 
1686, when much of what is now North Guilford was bought of the 
Indian Nausup, for £16 12s. 

For many years the great concern of the planters was the proper 
distribution of the foregoing land. Some of it was held in commons 
many years, and others were fenced as common meadows, common ox 
pastures and common young cattle pastures. Before 1666 two allot- 
ments of land had been made; the third took place in 1667: another, 
including North Guilford lands, in 1691. Subsequently other divisions 
were made, there being in all more than half a dozen allotments, 
and the business of the proprietors was not closed up until 1831. 


It is known that there were forty planters in "1639, but owing to 
the vagueness of the records their names cannot be given with any 
degree of certainty. In 1651 the following were the freemen of the 
town: Henry Whitfield, Jno. Higginson, George Hubbard, Mr. Samuel 
Disborow, Mr. Robert Kitchell, Mr. William Chittenden, Mr. William 
Leete, Thomas Jordan, John Hoadley, John Scranton, George Bartlett, 
Jasper Stillwell, Alexander Chalker, John Stone, Thomas Jones, Wil- 
liam Hall, Thomas Betts, John Parmelin, Sr., Henry Kingsworth, 
Thomas Cook, Richard Bristow, John Parmelin, Jr., John Fowler, Wil- 
liam Dudley, Richard Gutteridge, Abraham Cruttenden, Sr., Edward 
Benton, John Evarts. 

The following were planters in Guilford before this period, 1652, 
but had not yet been admitted as freemen; or, in other words, they 
were not accepted church members: John Bishop, Sr., Thomas Chat- 
field, Francis Bushnell, Henry Dowd, Richard Hues, George Chatfield, 
William Stone, John Stevens, Benjamin Wright, John Linsley, John 
Johnson, John Sheader, Samuel Blachley, Thomas French, Stephen 
Bishop, Thomas Stevens, William Boreman, Edward Sewers, George 
Highland, Abraham Cruttenden, Jr. 

Some of the original planters had died before this period, or had 
removed. Among these were John Cofhnge and Thomas Norton. 
Thomas Mills died in 1648, John Mepham in 1649, John Jordan in 
1649, William Somers in 1650, and Francis Austin in 1646; the last 
named being one of the drowned on the ill-fated Lamberton ship, 
which sailed from New Haven that year. 

Some of the foregoing planters did not come directly to Guilford, 
but were first located elsewhere. John Higginson came from Salem, 
Mass., in 1641; John Fowler and Edward Benton came from Milford, 
and George Hubbard was first at Wethersfield and later at Milford. 
Doctor Bryan Rossiter came in October, 1651, having purchased the 
holdings of Samuel Desborough. William Seward came from England 
to New Haven and from the latter place to Guilford in 1651. He was 
the first tanner and was also captain of the train band. 

John Baldwin came from Milford in 1651; William Johnson from 
New Haven in 1653; John Hill, a carpenter, from England in 1654; 
John Graves from Hartford in 1657, and Thomas Clarke and Thomas 
Meacock came from Milford about 1659 or earlier. Richard Hubball 
was admitted a planter in 1654, and the same year John Hodgkin* 
came from Essex, England. 

In 1652 John Smith came from Fairfield as the blacksmith and took 
the oath of fidelity in 1654. A large tract of land was given him upon 
condition of his settlement, and that he follow his trade in the town 
five years. This he did, but for some cause did not remain much 
longer, removing, with others, to Killingworth in 1664. So urgent 
was the need for a smith that in 1675 Samuel Baldwin was invited to 

* This name was modified to Hotchkin and still later to Hotchkiss. 


come from Fairfield and liberal inducements were held out for him to 
settle, by giving him a site on the village green for his shop, and lands 

In 1657 the following were the freemen and the dates of their sub- 
sequent deaths: William Leete, removed to Hartford as governor, died 
April, 1683; Robert Kitchell, removed to Newark 1666, died October, 
1671; William Chittenden, February, 1660; George Hubbard, January, 
1683; Mr. Bryan Rossiter, .September, 1672; Mr. John Bishop, January, 
1661; Abraham Cruttenden, Sr., January, 1683; William Dudley, March, 
1684; William Johnson, October, 1702; Benjamin Wright, Sr., March, 
1677; William Stone, November, 1683; Thomas Cooke, December, 1692; 
John Stevens, September, 1670; John Fowler, September, 1670; John 
Hill, June, 1689; John Parmelin, Sr., November, 1659; John Evarts, 
May, 1669; Thomas French; William Seward, March, 1689; William 
Stevens, January, 1703; Henry Kingsworth, July, 1668; Richard Gutt- 
ridge, May, 1676; Henry Dowd, August, 1668; William Hall, May, 1669; 
John Scranton, August, 1671; Edward Benton, October, 1680; Daniel 
Benton, June, 1672; John Meigs, January, 1671; Richard Bristow, Sep- 
tember, 1683; John Johnson, November, 1681; John Sheader, June, 
1670; Richard Hubball, 1692; John Parmelin, Jr.,January, 1687; Abra- 
ham Cruttenden, Jr., September, 1694; John Graves, December, 1695; 
George Highland, January, 1692; John Rossiter, September, 1670; 
John Baldwin, removed to Norwich, 1661; Thomas Clark, died October, 
1668; Richard Hughes, Jul} 7 , 1658; John Stone, February, 1687; George 
Bartlett, August, 1669; Henry Goldam, 1661; Nicholas Munger, Octo- 
ber, 1668; George Chatfield, June, 1671: John Bishop, Jr., October, 
1683; Stephen Bishop, June, 1690. 

Of the freemen in the former list a number had removed and a few 
had died. Francis Bushnell removed to Saybrook; John Linsley and 
Edward Sewers removed to Branford; a number removed to Killing- 
worth, and a few returned to England. But a number of new plant- 
ers and freemen were received into the town, so that in 1672, when 
the fourth division of land was made, the proprietors were more than 
a hundred in number. The list of freemen of that period embraced 
the names of 63 persons. Among these were Joseph Clay, Josiah 
Wilcox, Obadiah Wilcoxon, Joseph Hand, Jonathan Hoyt and Thomas 
Meacock. Edward Lee came about 1675; James Hooker, the first 
judge of the probate court, came from Farmingham before 1700; Peter 
Tallman, about 1684; Thomas Griswold, 1695; John Bailey, John Sar- 
gent, Matthew Bellamy and Ephraim Darwin came earlier. The latter 
resided near the rocks, at the head of Fair street, and owned consider- 
able property at that place. Hence the name Ephraim Rocks. Another 
wealthy planter was Mr. Thomas Robinson, who bought the allotment 
of Thomas Coffinge, one of the original settlers. Along about 1700 
among the admitted planters were Comfort Starr, Charles Caldwell, 
Abraham Kimberley, Jasper Griffing and Joseph Pynchon, all of 


whom, and their descendants, became prominent in the affairs of the 

North Guilford was surveyed and divided in 1705. Soon after this 
was done some of the planters began to improve their allotments, going 
from their homes, in the First Society, on Monday and returning on 
Saturday. During the week they had a common habitation in the new 
section, from which circumstance the place was first called Cohabit. 
Their numbers increased so rapidly that in 1719 they received liberty 
to organize as a separate society. This community has always been 
noted for its excellent class of citizens, many of whom were highly 
educated. A large proportion of the present inhabitants are the de- 
scendants of the following, who were among the early settlers of this 
locality, namely: Timothy and Nathaniel Baldwin, George and Daniel 
Bartlett, Ebenezer and Joseph Benton, Samuel and Ebenezer Bishop, 
Joseph Clark, Daniel and John Collins, William Dudley, Samuel and 
Joseph Fowler, William Hall, Samuel Hopson, John Hubbard, Ben- 
jamin Leete, Jonathan Robinson, Josiah and Joshua Stone, all of whom 
were from the lower part of the old town. Nathaniel Parks and Ed- 
ward Parks, the latter a tailor from the East Guilford Society, were 
also among the first at North Guilford, as was Theophilus Rossiter, 
from the same society. Later settlers in that section were Eben- 
ezer Talman and John Chidsey. In 1800 the official census gave the 
population of North Guilford as 540; and thirty years later it was only 
eight more. In 1850, or twenty years later, the population was even 
smaller, being only 495. In the same period the population of the 
First Society indicated a small but steady increase, being 1,629 in 1S00, 
and 2,158 in 1850. About two-thirds lived in the borough, and in this 
society also the rural population has decreased. 

The inhabitants of Guilford have always been characterized for their 
conservative views and fixed purposes. These traits, continued from 
generation to generation, have been the means of keeping a large 
proportion of the estates of the original settlers in the family name, 
or in the hands of the descendants, who cherish the traditions of the 
past. Hence, here a larger proportion of the old homesteads have 
been allowed to remain unchanged than in any other part of the 
county. There are in the town more than a hundred houses a century 
old, and at least thirty that are 150 years old. And so substantially 
have most of these been built that nearly all of them are in good re- 
pair. vSome of them seem to have partaken of the nature of the occu- 
pants to change but very little, and are now substantially as they were 
a century ago. 

The quarto-millennial celebration of the settlement of Guilford 
was held in Madison and Guilford borough, September 8th, 9th and 
10th, 1889. The exercises arranged for the occasion were highly in- 
teresting and instructive in the history of the town, and the attend- 
ance of citizens and visitors from abroad was in keeping with the im- 
portance of the event. 


It has been seen that the planters agreed that all public matters 
should be left in the hands of the six persons to whom the Indians 
deeded the land, to be held in trust until a church should be formed, 
when the management should be surrendered to that body. But in 
fact only four persons exercised the civil power until the church was 
organized, in 1643, viz.: Robert Kitchell, William Chittenden, John 
Bishop and William Leete. How they managed the affairs of the 
plantation in the interim, when Guilford was in reality an independent 
body, is not known, as no records of that period have been preserved. 
The church being formed they surrendered their trust, and that body 
now managed the affairs of the town. 

As Guilford became a part of the combination forming the New 
Haven colony in 1043, the inhabitants now adhered to the agreement 
made in the Newman barn, in all their affairs, civil and religious. 

" Their form of government was something siugular. Like that of 
New Haven, it was a pure aristocracy, yet modeled and exercised in a 
peculiar way. They had one magistrate allowed them as part of the 
New Haven colony, of which he was one of the assistants and council, 
who was their head, and invested with the whole executive and judi- 
cial power. But the planters were allowed to choose annually three 
or four deputies to sit with him, in judging and awarding punishment 
in all civil cases, in courts held by him, called general courts. The 
inhabitants were divided into two classes or orders, by the names of 
freemen and planters. The freemen consisted of all the church mem- 
bers who partook of the sacrament, and no others were admitted. 
They were all under oath agreeably to their plan of government. Out 
of their number were those deputies and all public officers chosen; 
and by them was managed all public business that was regarded either 
interesting or honorable. The second class included all the inhab- 
itants of the town, who composed their town meetings, which were 
styled, emphatically, general courts. It was, however, required that 
they should be of age (21 years) and have a certain estate to qualify 
them to act in said meetings. In these town meetings, or general 
courts, all divisions of land were limited and established, and all the 
by or peculiar laws, for the well ordering of the plantation, were made. 
And, in general, all transgressions of the town laws, relating fo the 
buying or selling of lands, were punished, and fines and stripes were 
imposed and executed according to the nature of the offense by the 
judgment of said judicial court. Besides these general assemblies of 
the planters and the said magistrate's court, they appointed particular 
courts for the administration of justice, much like our justices' courts 
at present. These were held quarterly through the year. The magis- 
trate presided in these courts and deputies were annually chosen to sit 
in council with him in these courts; also, by the freemen. Like New 
Haven, they had no juries in any trial; their deputies in some meas- 
ure supplied that defect. From this court lay appeals, in allowed cases, 


to the court of assistants at New Haven. Mr. Samuel Desborow was 
the first magistrate who held the courts. In general, their judgment 
was final and decisive. Town officers were annually chosen, viz., 
marshals, a secretary, surveyors of the highways, etc., much as in the 
present manner. Military order and discipline were soon established, 
and watch and ward were kept, day and night, under a very strict 
charge; and the punishments for defaults in this duty were very severe 
and exactly executed."* 

The early assistants of Magistrate Samuel Desborough, chosen by 
the freemen of the town, were William Chittenden, William Leete, 
Robert Kitchell, John Bishop, John Jordan, George Hubbard and 
John Fowler. Upon the return of Judge Desborough to England in 
1651, William Leete was chosen magistrate and continued in that office 
until the union of the colonies in 1665, and several years thereafter. 

A very good rule adopted by the planters of Guilford was that no 
man should put more than ^500 into the common stock for purchas- 
ing and settling the town and that no person should sell or purchase 
his rights without leave of the town. After the attendant expenses 
were paid, lots of land were assigned in proportion to the money ex- 
pended in the general purchase, and the number of members in his 
family. These rules prevented too great disparity in the circum- 
stances of the people, and put the poor upon somewhat near the same 
plane as the rich. Another good provision was that all the planters 
should be present at the meetings of the general court (town meetings), 
where the second class or planters could be heard as well as the free- 
men, provided none of them should "continue speech longer by im- 
pertinences, needless repetitions or multiplication of words, which 
rather tends to darken than clear the truth or right of the matter." 

The representatives or deputies of Guilford — Samuel Desborough 
and William Leete — first attended the general court of the New Haven 
colony jurisdiction July 6th, 1643, in the records of which session first 
appears, officially, the present title of the town. At this meeting Guil- 
ford was ordered to pay a tax of £5 " towards the charges about the 
combination." In this confederation Guilford took an important part 
and for many years furnished some of the principal officers. William 
Leete was the deputy governor from 1658 to 1660, and then governor 
until the colony ceased to exist. 

In 1656 the town was agitated in consequence of a fear that the 
Dutch would make an incursion into this region, and that year Crom- 
well made an offer to such of the colony as desired, to remove to Ja- 
maica, where he could better afford them protection. In answer to 
this proposition they said that, " for divers reasons they could not con- 
clude that God called them to a present remove thither." 

The union of Guilford with the Connecticut confederation was 
warmly advocated by some of the citizens of the town, especially by 
* Reverend Thomas Ruggles, Jr., mss. of Guilford, 1769. 


Doctor Bryan Rossiter and his son, John, but was as bitterly opposed 
by others. As early as December, 1662, the former tendered their 
allegiance to Connecticut, and being encouraged by commissions, re- 
turned to vex and annoy those who did not favor the movement. So 
the matter was agitated until May, 1665, when the union was perma- 
nently concluded. In the meantime, Doctor Rossiter, tiring of his 
troublesome life, had moved out of the jurisdiction of New Haven col- 
ony, going to Killingworth in 1664. He returned upon the announce- 
ment of the union, but the idea of subordinating the church to the 
extent of giving every voter an equal voice in the affairs of the colony 
was so repulsive to Robert Kitchell and others, that they removed with 
Mr. Pierson, of Branford, to found the colony of Newark, N. J., upon 
the original New Haven idea. 

The town having acquired titles to their lands from the Indians, or 
arranged for the same, now proceeded, under the act of 1684, to secure 
a patent from the colony for the same. At a meeting held November 
4th, 1685, it was voted to secure a patent, and the following twelve 
men were designated as patentees, in behalf of the then ninety pro- 
prietors: Andrew Leete, Esq., Mr. Josiah Rossiter, Lieutenant William 
Seward, Deacon William Johnson, Deacon John Graves, Mr. John Col- 
lins, Mr. John Stone, Mr. Stephen Bishop, Sergeant Daniel Hubbard, 
Mr. Abraham Cruttenden, Sergeant John Chittenden and Mr. John 
Meigs. The charter was granted December 7th, 1685, and by vote of 
the town placed in the keeping of "Andrew Leete, William Seward 
and Josiah Rossiter for the town's use." 

In 1088 the townsmen were empowered " to look after the town's 
bounds and to defend the town's rights against any that shall infringe 

In 1722 the town ordered a saw mill built for the common good of 
the town. In 1724 the surplus funds of the mills were divided: £B5 for 
a bell for Guilford; £8 for one for Madison; and £3 for one for North 

The towns of Branford, Guilford, Durham, Killingworth and Say- 
brook, having been constituted a probate district in 1719, with the seat 
of the court at Guilford, attempts were made at five different times, 
from 1718 to 1753, to form a Guilford county. In every instance the 
bill, after passing the house, failed in the senate. In 1739 the town 
voted .£100 extra "for gaol and court house," if such a county should 
be ordered. As late as 1824 the ambition to be a shire town was cher- 
ished by Guilford, which was willing to be annexed to Middlesex 
county, if it could thus become a " half shire town." Failing in that, 
the town consented to the formation of Madison, in 1826, after having 
combatted the idea since 1699. 

The action of the town upon other matters of public interest is 
detailed in the following pages. 

Before the formation of the county courts, in L666, probate busi- 



ness was done by particular courts, called for that purpose. Subse- 
quently the county courts had all the probate business, until the divi- 
sion of the county into probate districts. Guilford district was ordered 
in October, 1719, to embrace the towns of Guilford, Branford (except 
Northford, which belongs to Wallingford district), Killingworth and 
Saybrook. The latter two were set off in 1780 to form the district of 
Saybrook. Madison was created a separate district in 1834, and the 
Branfords were created another in 1850, leaving the Guilford district 
as it now is, confined to the town of Guilford. 

The judges of the district, the years of their appointment and their 
places of residence have been the following: James Hooker, 1720, 
Guilford; Colonel Samuel Hill, 1740, Guilford; Colonel Timothy Stone, 
1752, Guilford; Nathaniel Hill, 1765, Guilford; Aaron Elliott, 1772, Kil- 
lingworth; Samuel Barker, 1780, Branford; Colonel Edward Russell, 
1782, Branford; Henry Hill, 1810, Guilford; Major Samuel Fowler, 
1834, Guilford; Reuben Elliott, 1835, Guilford; Joel Tuttle, 1838, Guil- 
ford; George Griswold, 1S42, Guilford; John R. Wilcox (acting), 1843, 
Madison; George Landon, 1843, Guilford; Ralph D. Smith, 1844, Guil- 
ford; George Landon, 1846, Guilford; Ralph D. Smith, 1847, Guilford; 
George Landon, 1850, Guilford; Edward R. Landon, 1854 to 18S2; Ed- 
win C. Woodruff, 1S82 to 1886; Henry H. Stedman, Branford (acting 
judge), May, 1886, to January, 1887; Charles H. Post, since January, 

Among those who served man) 7 years as clerks were Colonel Sam- 
uel Hill, Henry- Hill, Nathaniel Hill, John Elliot ff William Todd, 
Ralph D. Smith, Edward R. Landon, Sylvanus Clark, William F. Isbell 
and George S. Davis, the latter serving in 1890. 

The magistrates and justices of Guilford the first two hundred 
years were as follows: 1644-51, Samuel Desborough ; 1644, Governor 
William Leete; 1670, George Hubbard; 1676, Andrew Leete; 1698, Jo- 
siah Rossi ter; 1705, Abraham Fowler; 1712, James Hooker; 1734, Col- 
onel Samuel Hill; 1746, Captain Andrew Ward; 1748, Colonel Timothy 
Stone; 1752, Nathaniel Hill; 1753, Samuel Robinson and Doctor Nathan- 
iel Ruggles; 1772, Samuel Brown and Joseph Pynchon; 1774, John 
Burgis; 1778, General Andrew Ward; 1780, Thomas Burgis; 1781, Wil- 
liam Starr; 1792, Henry Hill; 1794, Abram Chittenden; 1800, Nathaniel 
Rossiter; 1802, Nathaniel Griffing and Colonel Samuel Robinson; 1807, 
Samuel Fowler; 1815, Joseph Elliott; 1818, William Todd, Esq.; 1819, 
Timothy Stone, Esq., Reuben Elliott, Abraham Coan, William Spen- 
cer and George Griswold; 1821, George Landon; 1830, Samuel Elliott; 
1832, Comfort Starr; 1833, George Hart and Samuel Scranton; 1834, 
Colonel George A. Foote and Ralph D. Smith; 1835, Doctor Anson 
Foote, Henry Loper and Samuel C. Spencer; 1838, S. C. Johnson, Amos 
Seward, Doctor Joel Canfield and A. S. Fowler; 1840, John Burgis; 
1841, Reuben Stone; 1842, Walter Osborn, Alvah B. Goldsmith, Elisha 
Hutchinson, Horace Norton and Daniel Chittenden; 1843, S. A. Bar- 


ker, William Kelsey and J. H. Bartlett; 1S44, Samuel Robinson, Henry 
W. Chittenden, Edward R. Landon and Albert B. Wildman. 

The North Guilford magistrates and justices for the first one hun- 
dred years and the times of their appointment were: 1749, William 
Dudley and Theophilus Rossiter; 1750, Samuel Hopson; 1769, Deacon 
Simeon Chittenden; 1772, Oliver Dudley; 1779, General Augustus Col- 
lins; 1800, Nathan Chidsey; 1814, Thomas R. Bray; 1818, David S. 
Fowler; 1820, Jared Scranton and Henry Elliott; 1829, Colonel Abel 
Rossiter; 1830, Richard Fowler; 1832, Samuel W. Dudley; 1836,Wyllys 
Ellrott, Alfred Norton and Victor Fowler; 1839, William M. Dudley; 
L840, Ammi Fowler; 1841, Benjamin Rossiter; 1845, John R. Rossiter; 
1847, Augustus E. Bartlett and Whitney Elliott; 1848, Nathaniel Bart- 
lett and Timothy Rossiter; 1849, Edmund M. Field and Stephen Fow- 
ler; 1850, John G. Johnson. 

The town clerks of Guilford have been the following: 1639- 02, Wil- 
liam Leete; 1662-5, George Bartlett; 1665-8, Samuel Kitchell; 1668-73, 
William Johnson; 1673-85, John Graves; 1685-1706, Josiah Rossiter; 
1706-7, Joseph Dudley; 1707-16, Josiah Rossiter; 1716-17, John French 
1717-20, Samuel Hill; 1720-1, Andrew Ward; 1721-52, Samuel Hill 
1752-71, Nathaniel Hill; 1771-6, Ebenezer Parmelee; 1776-99, Thomas 
Burgis, Jr.; 1799-1801, John H. Fowler; 1801-35, Samuel Fowler; 1835 
-8, Reuben Stone; 1838-43, Joel Tuttle; 1843-8, Henry W. Chitten- 
den; 1848-83, Edward R. Landon; 18s: 1 , 5, Kdwin C.Woodruff; 1885 
6, Wallace G. Fowler; 1886 , Charles H. Post. 

For more than a hundred years the meetings of the town were held 
in the meeting houses of the First Society. In 1773 the matter of build- 
ing a town hall was discussed, but no definite action was taken. There- 
upon a public hall was begun by private enterprise, which in April, 
1775, the town voted "to take the house which hath been begun and 
partly finished by a number of subscribers, and to complete it." The 
sum of .£90 had been expended, and the building was offered as a free 
donation, on condition that it be used for all public gatherings. It was 
not wholly completed until 1793. In 1801 the lower part was fitted up 
and leased for a " Store of dry and West India goods." In 1812 the 
upper part of the house was rearranged so as to hold more people, and 
Baptist and Methodist meetings were held there. In 1830 the hall was 
removed to its present site, where it still stands, antiquated and in a 
dilapidated condition. 

In 1852 and 1856 futile attempts were made to build a new hall. A 
special meeting, in 1870, was also fruitless of action. In 1888 the 
matter was so far considered that Harvey W. Spencer, John W. Nor- 
ton and George W. Seward were appointed a committee on a town 
hall. They reported, June 1st, 1889, that a site on the east of the green 
could be secured, and that a suitable hall, with town offices, would cost 
$12,000 if built of brick, and $8,000 if constructed of wood. In that 
condition the matter has since rested, although the town sadly needs 
a creditable hall. 


The propriety of building an almshouse was considered as early as 
1699, and liberty was given to set a small house on the green. But 
nothing further appears to have been done until 1790, when another 
unsuccessful attempt was made to put up such a building. Usually, 
in olden times, there were not many poor, and their care was generally 
sold to citizens of the town by the selectmen. As late as 1810 they 
were disposed of at public vendues " to whomever shall undertake to 
keep them the cheapest." 

In 1814 a poor house was secured in the western part of the borough, 
at an outlay of $2,080, in which from twenty to thirty persons were 
maintained annually until 1827. In the division of the town property, 
after Madison was set off, this property was awarded to that town, Guil- 
ford taking the town mill. In 1849 another almshouse, east of the vil- 
lage, was purchased and used until 1848, when it was sold and the 
present almshouse, near Jones bridge was secured. About $1,000 per 
year is paid for the support of the poor at that place, and as much 
more for the proper care of the indigent outside of the almshouse. 

The first interments in the town were made at Guilford village, and 
for more than 150 years the village green, in the rear of the meeting 
house, was the place of burial. These graves were neglected and un- 
enclosed until about 1800. For many years the dead were borne 
thither on hand biers. In 1691 the town chose Joseph Dudley " for 
the making of coffins on all occasions of death." Joseph Tustin was 
soon after chosen grave digger and compensated at the rate of four 
shillings per adult grave and " three shillings for lesser persons." 

In 1731 the town voted " that the palls or cloaths to cover the coffins 
of ye Dead, when carried to their graves, shall be purchased at town 
charge and paid for out of the earnings of the mill, and Each of the 
three Societies shall have the benefit of one cloath." 

In 1817-18 the burial places on the green were vacated, many of 
those lying there being reinterred in the East cemetery, often called 
the Alder Brook burying ground, about a mile east of the green; and 
others found a more quiet spot in the West burying ground, in Guil- 
ford, about the same distance on the opposite side of the green. Both 
places are of easy access and of appropriate selection. The latter 
ground passed under the control of Joel Griffing, Joel Tuttle, Samuel 
Fowler, Friend Collins and others, as corporators, in October, 1818. 
In the fall of 1862 lands were bought of Bildad Bishop and Samuel C. 
Spencer to enlarge the cemetery; and at this time a new corporation 
was formed, which had among its members Doctor Alvan Talcott, John 
Hale, H. W. Chittenden and many others. In 1890 this cemetery pre- 
sented a well kept appearance and had considerable area. 

The Alder Brook or Guilford East cemetery also passed under the 
control of an association, incorporated September 26th, 1866, which 
had among its members Fitz-Greene Halleck, Thomas R. Pynchon > 
George E. Kimberly, Doctor Henry Benton and nearly one hundred 


others. It is not as large as the West cemetery, but contains more old 
stones, some of which are quaintly inscribed. These inscriptions, of 
an earlier date than 1800, and others of the town, in the same period, 
have been published by the New Haven County Historical Society. 
Here is the grave of the poet, Fitz-Greene Halleck, born in Guilford 
July 8th, 1700, and who died in the town November 19th, 1807. On 
the 8th of July, 1869, a monument placed over his grave by loving 
friends and admirers, was dedicated. On that occasion his friend and 
brother poet, George Hill, read an original sonnet, and Bayard Taylor 
delivered an eulogistic oration. The monument is plain and unpre- 
tentious, but is much visited. The cemetery is substantially enclosed. 

A place of burial was opened on Moose hill, in 1801, and one on 
Nut plains, in 1817. Both are small and less used now than formerlv. 

The cemetery at North Guilford, opened soon after the settlement 
of that part of the town, has a most beautiful location, on a hill near 
the church edifices, and commands a view of much of the surround- 
ing country. It contains several acres and is well kept. There are 
hundreds of headstones to the memory of many of the former inhabi- 
tants of this part of Guilford. Some have inscriptions which flavor of 
quaintness, while others are decidedly pathetic, as, for example: 

On a Friendly Visit 
Daniel Lyman 
Died Sept. 28, 1795; 
in the 27 year 
of his age. 
In his profession very judicious and useful. His early death is greatly la- 

Tims pain and prospects pain our years, 
We meet to mingle groans and tears 
And bid the painful last farewell. 

Burials were made at Leete's Island at an early day by the people 
of that locality. With the increase of population more attention was 
paid to this place of interment, and it has recently been enlarged. In 
1885 it passed under the control of an incorporated body, which has 
improved the appearance of the cemetery. 

The East river was ordered bridged in 1049, and since that time 
bridges have been maintained on the various roads where they cross 
the streams, which are small. The oldest road is the main thorough- 
fare from New Haven to Saybrook, and was used since the settlement 
of the town. It followed, in a general way, the shore trail of the In- 
dians. Although never improved as a turnpike, it has, in the main, 
always been good. In May, 1794, it was made a part of the great mail 
route of the states, from Maine to Georgia, and stages used this thor- 
oughfare until forty years ago. In 1818, the Pettipauge & Guilford 
Turnpike Company was authorized to build a road from the former 
place, in Saybrook, to the stage road in Guilford. 


The Guilford & Durham Turnpike Company was authorized in 
1824. A road from Guilford green was built northward, 13£ miles, to 
a point on the New Haven and Middletown road. From Guilford the 
road was extended to .Sachems' Head harbor, four miles more. As 
this turnpike followed the intervales of the stream much of the way, it 
had a fine location, and for many years was much used. It has long 
since been a public highway. 

The New Haven & New London railway was chartered in 1848 to 
construct a road through the towns on the shore of the Long Island 
sound. The construction was commenced in 1S51, and the first pas- 
senger train was run over the road, from New Haven to the Connecti- 
cut river, July 1st, 1852. This road and eastern connections were re- 
organized as the Shore Line railroad; and as a division by that name 
it is now a part of the consolidated system of the New York, New 
Haven & Hartford Railroad Company. It was leased to the latter 
company in 1870. The train service is very good. Stations are main- 
tained at Guilford village and Leete's Island. 

Nearly all the first inhabitants of the town were planters or far- 
mers, and it is said that for many years some of the mechanic arts 
were not carried on, which resulted in many inconveniences to the 
community. However, in time, most of the necessary tradesmen were 
secured, and thence for a century the town was almost exclusively de- 
voted to agriculture; and even to the present time that pursuit princi- 
pally occupies the attention of the inhabitants. Hence in Guilford, 
more than in any other town in the county, are found the customs and 
practices which years ago characterized rural New England, and which 
have been promotive of the full development of a sturdy, self-reliant 
and intelligent class of people. 

The usual grain and lumber mills were early provided, and have 
been continued to serve the wants of the people as confined to their 
local demands. In early times the cutting and shipment of cedar lum- 
ber was so actively carried on that the town issued an order of prohi- 
bition, lest that timber should be altogether exhausted. 

The first grain mill was commenced in 1643 and completed two 
years later. It was begun by Mr. Whitfield, on a contract to build 
and operate a tide mill for certain privileges, but was finished and first 
operated by Robert Kitchell. After vain attempts, several years, to 
make the tide mill work satisfactorily, the site was abandoned and a 
site on the lowest power of the West river sequestered by the town, on 
which the mill was built with better results. The town has retained 
the ownership of the property, and the mill has been rebuilt a number 
of times. The present frame was put up in 1854. The power is suffi- 
cient to operate three runs of burrs. 

Higher up this stream a site for clothiers' works was granted to 
Samuel Johnson in 1707. At first little else was done than fulling the 
cloth, but later weaving and dressing machinery was added. The 


Johnsons carried it on until about fifty years ago, the last owner also 
being- a Samuel Johnson. 

Other mills and small works were established, so that in 1838 the 
town had four saw mills, three grain mills, three fulling mills and four 
tanneries. About this period, after the manner of those times, large 
quantities of shoes were made, in different parts of the town, and ship- 
ped to markets outside of the state. Previous to this time Daniel Hub- 
bard had in successful operation an extensive carriage-making estab- 
lishment, whose business declined, after 1837, and later that industry 
in the-town was carried on in a limited manner only. In more recent 
years George A. Hull & Son have been carrying on a hub and spoke 
factory on the West river, near the old fulling mill. Water and steam 
power are used and half a dozen men are employed. In 1850 Samuel 
Jones had a shop for making carriage parts. 

In the same locality, some time about 1857, E. C. Bishop and others 
had an iron foundry, where they made grindstone castings, etc., and 
among their products, for a time, were also castings for the street car 
works of John Stephenson, of New York. The industry was not long 
continued, but Reuben Bull & Co. were there later. 

The building of small sailing craft was carried on from the begin- 
ning, and later larger vessels were built. A shipyard, in which many 
men worked, was many years maintained at Jones' bridge, where 
among the best known builders were Nathaniel Griffing. Frederick 
Grifhng, George Graves and William W. Baldwin. The latter discon- 
tinued sometime about 1849, but here built a fully-rigged schooner, 
which sailed for California, carrying out some of the argonauts. It is 
said that some Guilford men were on board of that vessel. At this 
point a saw mill was also operated. On the East river was another 
shipyard, where sea-going vessels were built by Eben S. Hotchkiss, 
William H. Caldwell and others. In more recent years small craft 
only were there built. When business was at its best as many as fifty 
men were employed at that yard. Some of the craft built were owned 
by inhabitants of the town, who were engaged in the coasting trade, 
and a few vessels of this kind are still kept in Guilford. A few of the 
inhabitants of Guilford were also engaged in the West Indies trade. 

About 1847 O. B. Fowler and Charles Bishop bought out the Hull 
Foundry, at Clinton, and removed it to Guilford, setting it up at the 
wharf by Jones' bridge. They made plow castings and general work. 
Bishop, who had come from Meriden, sold out to Fowler the following 
year, and returned to that city. The foundry was now moved to the 
Xausup brook, where it crosses Fair street, where a large building 
was put up and the manufacture of sad irons added. In 1854 the place 
was called the " Nausup Foundry and Machine Shop," and O. B. Fowler 
was the agent in charge. The property was soon after sold to Israel 
S. Spencer and his son, Christopher. Later another son, George B., 
was added to the firm, which became, after the father's death in 1867, 


I. S. Spencer's Sons, and has since so continued. The Spencers began 
making plows complete and made other castings to which wood work 
was here added, so that it became necessary, as the products were in- 
creased, to enlarge the factory from time to time. In 1S69 a brick 
foundry, 60 by 100 feet, was built, in which was a cupola having a 
capacity for five tons. Castings for school furniture and sewing ma- 
chines were extensively made. In March, 1872, the part of the works 
fronting on the street was burned, when a two-story brick shop, 66 by 
110 feet, took its place. In 1880 the works were further enlarged and 
a seven-ton cupola built. The manufacture of scales of all kinds was 
now begun, using the patterns of the Universal Scale Company of New 
Haven. In 1883 a brass foundry was added. Steam power was sup- 
plied in 1872. The works manufacture a large variety of products, 
and have become the most important industry in the town. Nearly 
one hundred men are employed. 

In the spring of 1849 a joint stock corporation was organized, as 
the Guilford Manufacturing Company, of which Harlow Isbell was the 
president, and which had among the directors Jonathan Bishop, Samuel 
C. Spencer, George Bartlett, Horace Norton, Rufus N. Leete and Al- 
vah B. Goldsmith. The company purchased in May, 1849, the Baldwin 
shipyard and other property at the Jones Bridge wharf , and established 
a fine plant on its five and a half acres. Steam engines and heavy ma- 
chinery of various kinds were manufactured, which were shipped by 
boat from this place. In the fall of 1850 the company bought out 
Junius S. Norton's lock and knob manufactory, on High street, which 
had been erected a few years previous. A part of this building was 
occupied by Ransom Gaylord, in the manufacture of gimlets, which 
business he also sold out to the company in 1851. On the plant near 
the bridge E. L. Ripley had papier niacin' works the same time, and 
business appeared to prosper on all hands, when reverses came which 
resulted in the failure of the corporation. The manufactured goods 
and the machinery were sold at a sacrifice, and for some years the 
property stood idle. After the war one of the buildings at the wharf 
was removed to the north side of the green, where it now serves as 
Music Hall. Other buildings on that site were converted into tene- 

In 186S the old lock and knob works were occupied by J. W. Scher- 
merhorn & Co., for the manufacture of school furniture and apparatus, 
which here developed into an important industry. Many men were 
employed and large quantities of goods were shipped to all parts of 
the Union. The money stringency in 1877 affected this line of manu- 
facture, which was here discontinued that year. 

After being idle a few years the property passed to the Guilford 
Enterprise Company, composed of Amos Gates, H. E. Norton and 
others, who manufactured vegetable ivory buttons, etc. The old works 
burned down, and about half a dozen years ago a good brick factory 


was located in its place. That business was last carried on by Edwin 
C. Woodruff, E. H. Butler and others. In February. 1888, the plant 
became the property of the Guilford Savings Bank, and in 1890 it was 
leased to the Paragon Novelty Company, transferred to this place from 
New Haven. 

In spite of these reverses the town deemed it proper to encourage 
the spirit of manufacturing, and October 6th, 1884, "Voted, that the 
selectmen be instructed to abate the taxes on all the property owned 
by any.manufacturing company, or company coming into the town for 
the purpose of carrying on business." 

Since that time several enterprises have been set on foot. Early in 
1886 the citizens of Guilford united in raising a fund of $25,000 for 
the purpose of establishing a manufacturing plant for the production 
of textile goods. This fund was placed in the care of E. H. Butler, 
Alvan Talcott and S. W. Landon as trustees. A lot of ground near 
the railway station was donated by A. G. Sommer, on which was built 
a large, fine frame mill and an engine room, in which a good Harris- 
Corliss engine was placed. The mill was stocked with machinery for 
spinning weaving silk, by William O. Atwood, and about sixty opera- 
tives were employed. After two years Atwood failed, and the mill, 
after being idle a year, was operated a year by Singleton & Co. The 
next lessees were George H. Rose & Co., who operated until May, 1890, 
since which time the mill has again been idle. 

Within the past six years the cultivation of tomatoes has become 
an important industry in the town, and several canning establishments 
have been started. The Guilford Canning Company, composed of 
Messrs. Griswold, Dudley, Hubbard and others, put up a, large cannery 
in the northern part of the village, which was extensively operated 
two years. On Water street is the cannery of the Sachem"s Head 
Canning Company, which has a capacity of 20,000 cans per day. Since 
1886 L. N. Benton has been the proprietor. In mid-season more than 
one hundred people are employed. The products have a most excel- 
lent reputation, widely advertising the name of the town. 

The latest industrial venture is the Guilford Creamery, established 
in March, 1889. by a joint stock company, of which E. C. Bishop was 
the president. The creamery has a working capacity for 500 cows, and 
is fitted with modern machinery. 

In 1837 the quarrying of granite for export was begun on an exten- 
sive scale in the southeastern part of the borough, near East river. 
The material for a number of public buildings in New York was here 
procured. In recent years the quarry has become subordinate to the 
one at Leete's Island, where building stone of superior quality abounds. 
It was opened about twenty years ago by John Beattie, and by him 
has been successfully developed into one of the most extensive and 
important industries in the town. 


A: Mulberry point were formerly fish oil works, carried on by Messrs. 

'burn, which have been abandoned. 

irly eighty years ago the Farmers' Wharf was an important 

place in the town. It was built in 1S12 on the East river, at the foot 

of Harbor st >ut as early as 166.5. to the tide mill formerly at 

that point), by the Farmers' Wharf Company, incorporated January 

. th, 1812. Land for the wharf was purchased of Samuel Fowler. 

The companv was composed of Samuel Elliott. William Hubbard, Joel 

tie. Reuben Elliott & Co.. Solomon Stone, Jr., Timothy Johnson, 

Daniel L. Bent::. Peletiah Leete, William Landon, Jonathan Bishop, 

raham T. Chittenden & Co., Charles Chalker. Isaac Benton and 

Frederick Lee. of Guilford; and Silas Benton and Silas Benton. Jr.. of 

Bran ford. 

These parties not only used the wharf themselves, but gave that 
privilege to others, the charter permitting the charge of wharfage. It 
has long since been abandoned, although small sloops still touch there 
and " wharves in the town. 

The village of Guilford was incorporated as a borough in October, 
181" dian Todd authorized to call the first meeting. It was 

he". 5th, 1S15, when the following were elected -. Ward. 

1 Griffing: burges-es. William Todd. Reuben Elliott. Thomas Bur- 
giss. William Spen. aham Coan, Jonathan Bishop: clerk. Sam- 

nel Fowler: treasurer, Timotl - ie; bailiff. Reuben Stone. 

Extensive by-laws were passed January 12th. 1816. and the streets 
were officially named tha 

the 17th of July, 1874. the chai the borough was gre 

.nded. and the b sas then s general way. embraced 

the terr : che W. river, and as high up 

si earn as the ancient Bradley ship yard, thence up the stream to 

Xcr I road. thenc. - 1 down 

am to the S pitbridg nee 

ae to the eastern : of the old Farmers' wharf , on the 

:o the place of beginning, at Hogs- 
This embraces the major part of the "Great Plain" of t set- 

gth from the s nearly 1£ miles, 

and .:h front ... to west of 14; miles. It ; as all 

the public buiL: tigs of the s .y-q and most of the 

population . 

iges .re not :'. d. as 

mc> don of the borough ha- . training 

seeking a -' :gh 

. Xew H a - jng 

.1 become w ss. 

raachin. g s org ... 


properly man it. In 1890 the fire inspectors were: D. A. Benton, Wil- 
liam E. Weld, A. Hinckley. George W. Hill and Charles Griswold. 

The following have been the wardens of the borough: 1816-8, Joel 
Griffing; 1819-20, William Todd; 1821, Nathaniel Griffing: 1822-4, Sam- 
uel Elliott; 182:.-?. William Todd; 1S28-9, Jedediah Lathrop; 1830-1, 
William Todd; 1832, Samuel C. Johnson; 1833-4, George Griswold; 
1S35-6, Samuel Scranton; 1837-8, George Hart; 1839-40, Anson Foote; 
1S41-2, Miles Munger; 1843-4, Elisha Hutchinson; 1845-8, Joel Tuttle; 
1849-52, "Ralph D. Smith; 1853-4, James A. Norton; 1855-7, Edward R. 
Landon; 1858-9, Russell Benton; 1860, Franklin C. Phelps; 1861, Reu- 
ben L. Fowler; 1862, William C. Dudley; 1863-8, Reuben L. Fowler; 
1869-71, Russell Crampton; 1S72-3, Reuben L. Fowler; 1874-7, George 
B. Spencer; 187S, E. C. Bishop; 1879, George B. Spencer; 1880, John 
Graves; 1881-5, John S.Starr; 1886-90, William T. Dowd. 

In the same period the following have been the clerks: Samuel 
Fowler, Reuben Stone, Abraham Fowler, Amos Seward, Samuel Fow- 
ler, Jr., George C. Griswold, W T illiam Hale, Richard Weld. Roger Gris- 
wold, Charles W. Landon, Sylvenus Clark, Edward R. Landon, Bev- 
erly Monroe, John S. Elliott, John A. Stanton, Charles Griswold, L. 
O. Chittenden, H. Pendleton, Jr., Henry W. Spencer. George W. Sew- 
ard, F. C. Spencer. 

The borough is sixteen miles east of New Haven, and since 1852 
has been a station on the Shore Line railroad. The situation is very 
pleasant, and the surroundings have been much improved by the 
planting of trees and the laying out of lawns, which give the village 
a quiet and restful appearance. Nearly all the buildings are of wood, 
many of them being large and substantial, their erection ante-dating 
the present century. Here is also the famous old stone house, built 
by the founder of the village, Reverend Henry Whitfield, in 1639, 
thus being the oldest English built house in America. There are two 
Congregational meeting houses, and Episcopal, Catholic and Method- 
ist churches; a public hall, a savings bank, several manufacturing es- 
tablishments and a dozen other business places. Within the limits of 
the borough are several thousand inhabitants. 

When the town was first settled and the village established in the 
upper part of the plain, the custom of these times was followed, and a 
market place or public square set aside, on which the meeting house 
and other public buildings were to be set. Around the square the 
homes of the planters were to be placed. The tract thus reserved 
embraced nearly twelve acres of woodland, about half as wide as long. 
Its surface was broken by hillocks, rocks and depressions, forming 
pond holes or basins of stagnant water. Some of the trees were cut 
down when the first meeting house was placed upon the square, but 
measures were early taken to protect them, and they were ordered to 
be left standihg. Other trees along the highways were preserved, be- 
cause they "are found by experience to be of public benefit and advan- 


tage, therefore, for promoting the same, the selectmen are to mark 
therrTwith a G, and then there is a penalty following their being cut 
down." In other ways, however, the square was allowed to become a 
nuisance. The public buildings were placed on it without regard to 
system, and the central part was unwisely used as a place of burial. 
Other parts, and even the sacred resting place of the dead, became the 
favorite haunt of hogs and cows, who revelled among rank weeds and 
garbage until the place looked very forbidding indeed, at the begin- 
ning of the present century. At night, when the sun set, the cows 
lowed, the geese screeched, and the swine lay off in sonorous sleep. 
Smartweed and milkweed had their rights there, and the scraggy sides 
of poplars and willows were polished by the scrawny hides of itching 
cattle. The gouty land rose in humps and knolls, and the water ooz- 
ing out formed natural cisterns, partly drained by those camp follow- 
ers, the hogs and cows. At the upper end stood the already aged 
town house and the academy, where Mistress Halleck, the poet's 
mother, once wielded the ferule. There was the whipping post, too, 
for larger children. 

But soon after the public sense was quickened by the evil appear- 
ance of this spot, and its improvement began. The burial places were 
vacated in 1817 and new cemeteries begun about a mile away, on either 
side of the village. The rocks were removed, the low places filled up, 
and the unsightly poplar trees gave place to the more graceful and 
honored elms. The removal of the public buildings followed. The 
Congregational meeting house found a more suitable site north of the 
green in 1830, and the same year the town house and the old academy 
were removed to lots in the rear of that building. The last building 
removed was the Episcopal church, in 1838, which found a new site on 
the east of the green. The preceding year the ground was enclosed 
by a simple white railing, and it now began to develop into the beauty 
spot which is justly an object of pride of all good citizens. Much of 
the later embellishment was produced by the efforts of the ladies' 
society of " United Workers," formed in 1874, which has directed its 
further improvement with good taste and loving hands. 

The green now has the appearance of an attractive green sward, 
studded with stately elm trees, whose grateful shade extends comfort 
and rest. But at stated periods, on important occasions, its quiet 
beauty is disturbed by gatherings of citizens, which give life and ani- 
mated aspect to its precincts. Near the center of the green a soldiers' 
monument has been erected, whose natural beauty is much enhanced 
by its sylvan surroundings. 

The Guilford Savings Bank was organized October 1st, 1875. Its 
first officers were: Edward R. Landon, president; Alfred G. Hull, vice- 
president; Beverly Monroe, treasurer; Henry E. Fowler, secretary. 
Christopher Spencer succeeded Landon as president, and in 1884 was 
succeeded by Lewis R. Elliott, who has since been at the head of the 


institution. Charles Griswold was elected secretary and treasurer of 
the bank in 18S3, and so served until Jul}- 1st, 1889, when he was suc- 
ceeded by the present incumbent, H. W. Spencer. E. H. Butler is the 
present vice-president. There are 25 trustees. The bank was opened 
for business in Beverly Monroe's store, moving to its present house in 
1883. The deposits, January, 1890, were nearly $142,000, and there 
was a surplus fund of $5,000. 

The first periodical published at Guilford was the Clionian Banner, 
a small paper issued by the members of the Clionian Literary Society 
of Guilford village. It had a limited circulation and a short exist- 

The first general newspaper was the Shore Line Sentinel, whose first 
issue bore date March 8th, 1877. The office of publication was in the 
old Chamberlain building and the paper was here continued about a 
year, when for want of proper encouragement it was removed to the 
interior of the state. It was a large, handsome sheet, devoted to the 
local interests of the shore towns, and W. F. Hendrick was the editor 
and publisher. 

In more recent years the Guilford Item was published as a more dis- 
tinctly village local weekly, but it, too, was short-lived. The office was 
in the Kelsey building, on Whitfield street, and the material was re- 
moved. Since that time several small job printing offices have been 
set up in the village. 

The post office at Guilford village was established in 1789. In May, 
1794, the office was supplied by the great mail route from Boston to New 
York. After 1837 the stages furnished a daily mail supply. The 
service since 1852 has been by railway and embraces several mails per 
day. Medad Stone was an early postmaster, as was also Reuben Elli- 
ott, the latter keeping the office many years on Boston street. Amos 
Seward, a later postmaster, lived on the west side of the green. George 
Hart, Albert Wildman, Elisha Hutchinson and Franklin C.Phelps 
were postmasters up to the close of the civil war. Henry E. Norton 
followed; and for sixteen years prior to 18S5, Captain Charles Gris- 
wold was the postmaster. Then came Henry W. Spencer, four years, 
succeeded in 1889 by the present incumbent, George N. Bradley. 
Since the war of 1865 a post office has been established at Leete's 
Island, and for a longer period there has been an office at North 

Formerly the town had hotels of good repute, the Bradley inn, 
opposite the northwest corner of the green, being favorably known 
until after the building of the railway. The house was large and 
had pillars extending through both stories. It has been converted 
into a residence. Before the period of stage lines, in 1794, the town 
had ordinaries and inns, but they did not attain any special import- 
ance. Indeed, the custom of the town did not favor it. We are 
told that there was " no such thing as tavern haunting and little 


wasting of time in drinking and fruitless diversion." These habits 
of sobriety and industry are largely continued to the present time. 
Along the shore a number of hotels were formerly maintained; 
the Harbor House, at the foot of Harbor street; the Pavilion Hotel, 
on Guilford Point, by Robert Hunt, and still continued as a sum- 
mer hotel; the Sachem's Head House, by Samuel Barker, burned in 
1865; and the Walnut Grove House, on Leete's Island, by H. Ives, 
being the principal ones. At Sachem's Head, summer hotels have 
more recently been opened. 

Among the merchants of the village are remembered the Chitten- 
dens, the Elliotts, and a few others of half a century ago. The 
Hales were in trade many years, Henry Hale continuing since 1856. 
J. Monroe & Son established a trade many years ago, which is also 
still carried on by Beverly Monroe. Russell Clark merchandised 
here before removing to New Haven. 

At North Guilford stores have also been kept the greater part of a 
century, among those later in trade being Edmund Field, Charles 
Lane, and at that stand in 1890 was Jerome Coan. Half a mile north 
was the store of Baldwin C. Dudley, where was also kept the North 
Guilford post office. More recently stores have been opened at Leete's 

Prior to the revolution some members of the Masonic order resided 
at Guilford, who complained of the long distance they were obliged to 
travel to attend the meetings of the order. Desiring that a Lodge be 
established in their town, they made application to the Provincial 
Grand Lodge of North America for that privilege, and that body 
granted them a charter July 10th, 1771. The petitioners were Timothy 
Ward, Bilious Ward, David Landon, Timothy Ludinton, Eber Water- 
house, Asher Fairchild, Benjamin Stone, Giles Trubee and William 
Johnson. In due time the organization of St. Alban's Lodge, No. 38, 
F. & A. M., was effected, with Bilious Ward as the first master. He 
was also at the head of the Lodge the next two years. In 1774-5 the 
master was Eli Foote. The names of those who presided from 1775 to 
1797 cannot be given, as the records of that period were burned in 
the fire of 1862, when Music Hall, where the Lodge held its meetings, 
was destroyed. Prior to the occupancy of that building the Lodge met 
in the old academy building. The present Masonic hall is in the up- 
per rooms of Henry Hale's block, which has been neatly fitted up for 
that purpose. 

The Lodge met statedly until 1827, when its charter was revoked, 
and was not restored until 1851, when the Lodge was revived, and has 
in the main since had a fair degree of prosperity. In the fall of 1S90 
one hundred members were reported. 

Besides the masters named the following brethren have served in 
that position: 1797, Isaac Chalker; 1798, George Cleveland; 1799, Oliver 
Bray; 1800, Jedediah Lathrop; 1801, George Cleveland; 1802-3, Joel 


Griffing; 1804-6, Jeremiah Parmelee; 1807, William Spencer; 180S 9, 
Peletiah Leete; 1810, Thomas Powers; 1811, Jeremiah Parmelee; 1812 
-13, Jedediah Lathrop; 1814, Abraham L. Chittenden; 1815-16, Joseph 
Griffing; 1817-19, Jedediah Lathrop; 1820-3, Amos Seward; 1824, Mer- 
ritt Foote; 1825-6, Jedediah Lathrop; 1827, AmosSeward; 1851, Charles 
A. Ball; 1852, C. L. Crowell; 1853, Charles W. Miller; 1854, C. L. Crowell; 
1855-62, Asahel B. Morse; 1863-6, Henry B. Stannard; 1867-9, William 
T. Dowd; 1870-1, Henry B. Stannard; 1872-3, William T. Dowd; 1874 
-5, C. HT Norton; 1876, William T. Dowd; 1877, C. H. Norton. And 
since that time, in the order named, Hart Landon, A. B. Palmer, George 
S. Davis, Charles W. Walkley, S. J. Griswold and Samuel W. Landon. 

Halleck Chapter, No. 4, R. A. M., was instituted at Guilford, Octo- 
ber 3d, 18S3, with H. I. Fisk as the first high priest. In that office he 
was followed by C. H. Norton, E. S. Bishop, C.W. Walkley and George 
S. Davis. Other officers in 1890 were: K., Nelson S. Leete; S., Francis 
Beattie; secretary, C. H. Norton; treasurer, J. T. Wildman; C. IL, 
Charles H. Post;" P. S., J. W. Oughton; R. A. C, Edwin S. Spencer. 
This is the only Chapter on the coast between New Haven and New 
London, and has 25 members. Its convocations are held in Masonic 

Menuncatuck Lodge, No. 62, I. O. O. F., was organized in 1849» 
Among the charter members were Reuben L. Fowler, Asahel B.Morse, 
Russell Crampton, Henry B. Stannard, Horace Fowler, Edward R. 
Benton, Amos Griswold and Alpha Morse. After an existence of a 
number of years the meetings were allowed to lapse and the Lodge 
went down. But on the 25th of February, 1880, it was resuscitated, 
with the foregoing charter members and these additional: H. Pendle- 
ton, Jr., Henry W. Leete, Charles W. Walkley, Richard E. Benton and 
Edwin H. Griswold. In May, 1890, the Lodge had 76 members and an 
accumulated fund of $1,200. which was in care of trustees: E. H. But- 
ler, George W. Walkley and George P. Rolf. The meetings were 
held in Masonic Hall. 

Whitfield Council, No. 1034, Royal Arcanum, was instituted April 
19th, 1887, with 27 charter members. In October, 1890, the Council 
had 45 members. It has had a continued growth and but one death, 
that of S. W. Landon, in the summer of 1890. The $3,000 benefit was 
paid to his heirs within a month of his decease. The first regent of 
the Council was H. S. Wedmore, and that office was filled in 1890 by 
F. P. Knowles. The trustees at this time were: George S. Davis, E. II. 
Griswold and H. S. Putney. The meetings of the Council are held in 
Masonic Hall. 

Parmelee Post, No. 42, G. A. R., was instituted June 17th, 1873, with 
the following charter members: Alfred N. Wilcox, Charles Griswold, 
Henry B. Dudley, Joel Griswold, Eber S. Fowler, John Coulter, Henry 
H. Mack, Julian F. Watrous, H. Lynde Harrison, Samuel J. Griswold. 
Edward Griswold. The Post has mustered a number of members, and 


had in the fall of 1890 65 comrades belonging. Captain Charles Gris- 
wold was the first commander. The other commanders, in the order 
of their service, were: H. Lynde Harrison, Alfred N. Wilcox, William 
H. Harrison, Julian F. Watrous, Edward R. Benton, L. Odell Chitten- 
den, Joel C. Page, Adolph G. Sommer, E. Roger Davis, Edson S. Bishop, 
John W. Oughton, Hart Landon, Sylvester R. Snow, Charles Griswold 
and L. Odell Chittenden. The Post was instrumental in the building 
of the soldiers' monument, and has promoted the decoration of the 
graves of deceased comrades. 

A Woman's Relief Corps was organized in March, 1888, as an ad- 
junct of the above Post, Mrs. Charles Griswold being the first presi- 
dent and Mrs. Hart Landon the present. The original membership of 
17 has been increased to more than 30. 

The United Workers for Public Improvement, more commonly 
called the "U. W. P. I.," was organized February 9th, 1874, by some of 
the energetic, public-spirited ladies of Guilford, to beautify and im- 
prove the village. The society has been maintained in the spirit in 
which it was organized, ever embracing in its membership the leading 
ladies of the community. Their efforts have led to the material im- 
provement and embellishment of the village in the way of having 
trees planted, sidewalks built, streets lighted, and properly caring for 
the public grounds. As an incidental feature in the accomplishment 
of these objects, the society published in 1877 the MSS. History of 
Guilford, prepared by the Hon. Ralph D. Smith, under the direction 
of its committee, Miss Nettie Fowler and Mrs. Ripley Baylies, and 
devoted the proceeds from the sale of the book to the prosecution of 
its work. 

The public efforts of the ladies have stimulated private and indi- 
vidual improvement to such an extent that much of old Guilford has 
been clothed with a new dress, presenting a clean, orderly and well 
preserved appearance. 

The Guilford Agricultural Society, as a temporary body, was formed 
a few years after the war. Its permanent organization took place in 
1872, and June 25th, 1874, it was incorporated with the following mem- 
bership, who had before sustained a voluntary relation to the society 
and Farmers' Club, viz.: John Elliott, Lewis R. Elliott, Henry Fowler, 
William T. Foote, William W. Fowler, Sidney Leete, J. W. Norton, 
Richard Wilcox, William E. Weed, J. S. Benton, Sylvester Snow, 
Henry R. Spencer, William D. Hull, Edwin O. Davis, Henry N. Davis, 
D. L. Davis, Lewis Fowler, Samuel Cruttenden, Charles F. Leete. To 
these were soon added Jerome Coan, George B. Spencer, Richard H. 
Woodruff, Richard W. Starr, Arthur S. Fowler, E. Roger Davis, Charles 
L. Benton, Dudley Chittenden, Everett L. Dudley, Daniel L. Spencer, 
Roger C. Leete, H. Francis Dudley, William H. Lee, Henry H. Gris- 
wold, George W. Dudley, Wilbur F. Rossiter, Richard F. Kelsey, and 
many others. 


The society succeeded in awakening- an interest in agriculture, 
which had been languishing, and has been carried on with general 
g-ood results. Under its auspices more than a dozen of very success- 
ful agricultural, mechanical and industrial exhibitions have been held, 
which have stimulated competition and attracted large numbers of 
people annually. Usually these shows are held in the public green 
and in Music Hall. On these occasions the display of the famous 
Guilford red cattle is especially fine, affording a sight seldom witnessed 
in any other town in the county, hundreds of yokes sometimes being 
in the grand parade, preliminary to the competitive examination. 

The society has a large membership, and in 1S90 had the following- 
officers: President, Robert E. Davis; vice-presidents, S. R. Snow, D. R. 
Spencer; secretary, George L. Griswold; treasurer, George B. Spencer; 
directors, George W. Dudley, Charles H. Davis, E. J. Chittenden, E. G. 
Davis, John Benton, William S. Leete, William H. Lee, George Rolfe, 
R. H. Woodruff, R. T. Kelsey, J. C. Potter, R. C. Wilcox, George Car- 
ter, Charles Walkley, R. L. Parker. 

Guilford Grange, No. 81, P. of H., was organized April 6th, 1888, 
with 15 members. In May, 1890, those belonging numbered 50. 
Meetings of great interest are held semi-monthly in Armory Hall. 
The executive committee in the summer of 1890 was John B. Hubbard, 
George W. Dudley and J. W. Norton. 

North Guilford Grange, No. 104, though but recently organized, 
has attained considerable prosperity. Its membership is mainly in 
the northern part of the town, where the Grange is looked upon with 
favor as an educational and social factor. 

Undoubtedly the " great design " of the early settlers of the town 
was religion and the formation of a church in which they might enjoy 
Gospel privileges as best suited themselves. They clearly express 
this purpose in their " Plantation Covenant," June 1st, 1639, even be- 
fore their place of habitation had been selected, when they speak of 
being gathered together "in a church way after such time as it shall 
please God to settle us in our plantation." The latter object having 
been secured, they now turn to the accomplishment of the purpose 
which primarily led them into the new world, where they might better 
seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; or, as they empha- 
sized the purpose in 1643, "The mayne ends which were propounded 
to ourselves in our coming hither and settling down together are, that 
we may settle and uphold the ordinances of God in an explicit Con- 
gregational church way, with most purity, peace and liberty for the 
benefit both of ourselves and posterity after us." This idea was fully 
■consummated June 19th, 1643, when 

The Guilford Congregational Church was formally organized. The 
method they pursued was the same as had been adopted by the New 
Haven and Milford churches: "Seven Pillars" were chosen as the basis 


of the organization, and to these the remainder of the company joined 
themselves to constitute the church. 

These seven pillars were: Mr. Henry Whitfield, Mr. John Higgin- 
son, Samuel Desborough, William Leete, Jacob Sheafe, John Mepham,. 
and John Hoadly. They now drew up a "Doctrine of Faith," which 
was used in an unamended form until 1837, to which they first for- 
mally assented, then entered into covenant relations with each other. 
After this others of the planters were added, upon similar confession 
of faith and expression of covenant belief, and being approved church 
members were also dignified as freemen. This gave them the right 
to fully participate in the affairs of the plantation. Here as in New 
Haven only church members could vote or hold office, until after the 
union of New Haven colony with other colonies in the state in 1665. 
How man}' of the planters were excluded by this provision is not 
known, as the early church records have not been preserved. For 
many years no deacons or ruling elders were elected, and the tempor- 
alities of the church were managed by three men chosen annually. 

" To the church thus constituted the four planters — Robert Kit- 
chell, William Chittenden, John Bishop and William Leete — who had 
been entrusted with the control of affairs until a church should be 
gathered, resigned their trust, and by the church thus organized the 
civil polity of the plantation was thereupon established."* The 
church, it will be seen, thus became the all important factor in the 
community, and for many years everything else was subordinated 
to it. 

It appears strange that a community which placed such an esti- 
mate upon the church relation should not have been organized into 
that form earlier; but it is probable that there was some cause for the 
delay, or the need may not have been so apparent since, no doubt, 
they regularly maintained worship. Mr. Whitfield had been the pas- 
tor of some of the members in England, and at least one of them, 
Thomas Norton, had been a. warden in his church at Ockley. That 
there may have been some temporary organization appears from the 
fact that in 1641 Mr. John Higginson had been secured as a teacher, 
and both were continued by the church in their former relations; and 
as Mr. Whitfield had been ordained in England, that formality was 
not here followed by the new church. 

It is probable that the first meetings were held in the stone house 
of Mr. Whitfield, built in 1689, which was first " fitted up with folding 
partitions " to afford the necessary room. But a stone meeting house, 
with a thatched roof, was soon built on the northwest part of the 
green. It may have been completed in 1643, at the time the church 
was organized. In 1651 it was ordered to be rethatched " and clayed 
before winter," which would indicate that it was perhaps hurriedly 
finished. Its capacity was increased in 1668, when a gallery was built 

* Reverend Cornelius L. Kitchell. 


across the west end or side, for the building was -about 25 feet square, 
and the sides of the roof, which were now covered with lumber, came 
to a point in the center. In 1672 a porch was added and in 1679, more 
room being wanted, it was agreed to build galleries on all the sides 
and a porch on the south side. Again it was enlarged in 16S1, and in 
that manner was used until 1712. 

Notwithstanding the parish of East Guilford had been formed in 
1703, the attendance at church was so large that a new meeting house 
was demanded and secured in 1713. This was a large wooden struct- 
ure, 46 by 83 feet, and three stories high, so as to afford double gal- 
leries. At the west end a steeple, 120 feet high, was added, in which 
a bell was placed about 1725: and about the same time a clock was 
made for it and given to the society by Ebenezer Parmelee, a skillful 
mechanic of the town. It is said that this was the first meeting house 
in the state thus equipped. In a repaired condition the old clock is 
still in use in the present church spire. Up to 1726 the drum was used 
to warn the people to attend meetings, according to the custom of 
those times. In the old meeting house the men sat in one part and 
the women in another; and in the new building it was ordered, in 1713, 
that " men and women sit together in the meeting house in the pews;" 
which were assigned to families according to age, social position and 
the property list. This meeting house, which stood near the center of 
the green, was used about 117 years. 

Early in 1S2S it was determined to build a new meeting house, 
and after some effort to raise the necessary means, thirty members of 
the society agreed to build the house, taking the risk of being reim- 
bursed from the sale of pews. A lot opposite the north end of the 
green was selected, on which the corner stone of the present edifice 
was laid June 5th, 1829. It is 60 by 80 feet, with a pulpit recess of six 
feet, and originally cost more than $7,000. As dedicated May 19th, 
1830, it was a large, imposing frame building, and for those times was 
deemed very complete. The old house was now demolished and re- 
moved from the green. In 1861 the present meeting house was very 
materially improved and modernized, especially the interior. In 1868 
Mrs. Mary G. Chittenden presented the society with a superb organ. 
Recent repairs have made this building and the parsonage adjoining 
attractive and comfortable. On the 20th of May, 1830, the pews of 
the meeting house were sold for more than enough to pay all the 
bills contracted in its erection, and the ownership remained in the 
purchasers until 1850, when they were deeded back to the society, 
which has since annually rented them. 

The Reverend Henry Whitfield continued his pastoral labors un- 
til October, 1651, when he returned to England. His congregation 
had become greatly attached to him, for he was not only a pastor, 
but, in the words of Mr. Ruggles, " He was properly the father of 
the plantation; lov'd his flock tenderly and was extremely belov'd 


by them." His preaching had been most acceptable, "delivering 
himself with a peculiar dignity, beauty and solemnity." Hence 
when the time came for him to leave his church the people of the 
town "followed him to the water's side with many tears," and 
bade adieu to him who had in all things amongst them been the 
foremost. Coming to Guilford with what seemed great means, his 
estate had become much exhausted by helping his people and sup- 
porting his large family, so that when a living was offered him in 
England, under the protectorate, he felt it his duty to return; and 
he ended his life in the ministry in the city of Winchester. 

Henry Whitfield was the son of a lawyer and was designed by 
his father for that profession. But he became a minister of the 
established church of England and served at Ockley, in Surrey. 
For twenty years he conformed to the church of England, when, 
through his acquaintance with some distinguished non-conformists, 
as Hooker, Davenport and Eaton, he also became a non-conformist, 
among whom, on account of his ability and wealth, he took a promi- 
nent place. From the fact that his family remained in Guilford 
some eight years longer, it has been inferred that it may have been 
Mr. Whitfield's purpose to return, but in 1659 all the remaining 
members, including his son-in-law, the Reverend John Higginson, 
left the town, and his landed property passed into other hands. 

While the church mourned the loss of its beloved pastor, it was 
soon called upon to suffer a still further loss in the departure of two 
more of its seven pillars: Mr. Samuel Desborough, who returned to 
England in 1651, and Mr. John Hoadley, who went two years later. 
In the meantime the teacher of the church, Mr. John Higginson, con- 
tinued to preach, and September 5th, 1653, was settled as the pastor. 
He remained until 1659, when he also purposed to return to England. 
Sailing for England, contrary winds forced the vessel back into Salem, 
where his father had been settled in the ministry in 1629 as the first 
pastor of that church. The pulpit being vacant, he was persuaded to 
settle there as the pastor, and was installed August 29th, 1660. He 
continued until his death, December 9th, 1708, in the 93d year of his 
age, after having been in the ministry 72 years. In his twenty years' 
stay in the town he aided largely in forming the character of the com- 
munity, and was respected both as a teacher and as a preacher. 

The departure from Guilford of Reverend John Higginson marked 
an ebbing period in the history of the church, and for several years 
matters were in a confused condition. Reverend John Cotton, who 
had married a daughter of Doctor Bryan Rossiter, was here part of 
the time, as was also Reverend John Bowers, who was afterward the 
pastor of the Derby church. A call was extended to Reverend In- 
crease Mather in 1663, and the town was much elated at the prospect 
of his acceptance; but he declined the call the next spring. In this 
state of affairs some of the planters removed and the town suffered 
in consequence. 


"After they had waded through these troublesome times Provi- 
dence provided for them a pastor after God's own heart to feed them 
with knowledge and understanding. For about the year 1664 or 1665, 
the renowned Mr. Joseph Eliot, son of the famous and pious Mr. John 
Eliot of Roxbury (the Indian New England Apostle) was called and 
ordained to the pastoral office in this church." " The church and town 
greatly flourished under his successful ministry. After this burning 
and shining light had ministered to the good people about thirty 
years, he deceased May 24th, 1694, to the inexpressible grief of his 
beloved flock whose memory is not forgotten to this day."* 

The Reverend Thomas Ruggles was settled as the next pastor 
November 20th, 1695, " and after he had faithfully fed the flock, he 
deceased June 1st, 1728, in the 34th year of his ministry and the 58th 
year of his age." His son, Thomas Ruggles, Jr., succeeded him in 
the pastorate March 26th, 1729. His accession was attended by an un- 
fortunate disagreement which caused the formation of the Fourth 
church. And yet Mr. Ruggles acquitted himself a careful, prudent 
pastor, " a lover of good men and a friend to mankind." He died 
November 19th, 1770. His powers having failed, Reverend Amos 
Fowler was settled as his colleague June 8th, 1757, and after his death 
became the pastor. He was also a native of Guilford, and graduated 
from Yale in 1753. He died, greatly respected, February 10th, L800. 
Reverend Israel Brainerd, of Haddam, was installed as the next pastor 
June 11th, 1800, and was dismissed six years later. In this period 
there was much unrest in the congregation and the spiritual life of the 
church was very low. He could not yield himself to the demands of 
his people, and after a vain effort to quicken them, left the town. 

The church was now without a pastor six months, when, Decem- 
ber 10th, 1806, Reverend Aaron Dutton was settled as the minister. 
At the time he was installed there were less than thirty active mem- 
mers, but so successful was his ministry of 36 years, that at its close, 
June 8th, 1842. there were more than 400 members. He was a man of 
marked character and ability, and " resigned his pastorate chiefly on 
account of the difference of opinion between himself and many of his 
congregation on the subject of negro slavery in the United States." 
He left the parish for the sake of harmony, but the continued agitation 
of the subject resulted in the organization of the present Third church. 
It is to be regretted that efforts to unite the two churches, made after 
the cause of the separation had been removed and forever settled, 
have not been attended with more encouraging results. The united 
congregations would constitute one grand and powerful church. 

Since the pastorate of Mr. Dutton the following have been the 
ministers : Reverend E. Edwin Hall, settled October 25th, 1843, dis- 
missed July 24th, 1855, at his own request, to make a visit to Europe; 
Henry Wickes, May 22d, 1856, to July 21st, 1858; William S. Smith. May 

* Ruggles mss., 1769. 


3d, 1859, to July 3d, 1865; Cornelius L. Kitchell followed the Reverend 
E. Edwin Hall, who had supplied the pulpit, and was settled April 
13th, 1870, resigned March 24th, 1873. October 4th, 1873, Reverend 
Theodore L. Day became acting pastor, and remained until May 4th, 
1876. The pulpit was now supplied by the Reverends H. R. Harris, 
Andrew W. Archibald and George S. Thrall. January 2d, 1879, Rev- 
erend Henry Fink became the acting pastor, until his death, Aug- 
ust 27th, 1879. March 10th, 1S80, Reverend Frank H. Taylor was in- 
stalled, and was dismissed September 3d, 1883, when Reverend S. M. 
Keller supplied the pulpit. In May, 1884, Reverend E. M. Vittum was 
here ordained, and was dismissed December 15th, 1888. On the 1st 
of August, 1889, Reverend Charles H. Mcintosh became the supply 
for one year, and continued in the summer of 1890. 

In the town have been raised up as ministers, among others, the 
following in the First Society: Tared Eliot, Timothy Cullins, Bela Hub- 
bard, D.D., Thomas Ruggles, Timothy Stone, Thomas Ruggles, Jr., 
William Leete, Jr., Edwin H. Seward, Beriah Hotchkin, Henry Rob- 
inson, S. W. Dutton, D. D., Henry L. Hall, Daniel Collins, Edmund 
Ward, Samuel Johnson, D. D., William Seward, Andrew Fowler, Joy 
H. Fairchild, Thomas Dutton, Theodore A. Leete, John H. Fowler, 
Sherman Griswold, Martin Dudley, Edward C. Starr, John W. Starr. 

From the North Guilford part have gone Nathaniel Bartlett, Amos 
Fowler, Aaron C. Collins, Lyman Beecher, Angus B. Collins, Jared 
Tyler, Abraham C. Baldwin, John E. Bray, Stephen A. Loper and 

Several new churches have from time to time been formed as off- 
shoots from this church; the Congregational church of East Guilford, 
now Madison, in 1703; the Congregational church in North Guilford, 
in 1719; the church in Guilford called the Fourth church, in 1731, now 
disbanded ; the Congregational church in North Bristol, now North 
Madison, in 1757; and the Third Congregational church of Guilford, in 
1843. The Episcopal church of Guilford, in 1743, and the Methodist 
church of Guilford, in 1836, also received, at their organization, sev- 
eral members from this church. 

The members in 1S90 numbered 332, belonging to 185 families in 
the parish. 

The following were chosen and served as deacons of the church: 
George Bartlett, 1664; John Fowler, 1664; John Graves, 1666; William 
Johnson, November, 1673; John Meigs, 1696; Samuel Johnson, 1713; 
James Hooker, 1702; Thomas Hall, 1727; William Seward, 1730; Tim- 
othy Stone, 1742; Doctor Nathaniel Ruggles, 1751: Ebenezer Bartlett, 
1765; John Burgis, November 2d, 1775; Thomas Burgis, November 5th, 
1794; Samuel Chittenden, June 19th, 1799; Abraham Chittenden, July 
2d, 1799; David Bishop, April 29th, 1802; Ambrose Leete, December 2d, 
1807; Thomas Hart, March 29th, 1809; Anson Chittenden, March 29th, 
1809; William Starr, December 3d, 1813; John B. Chittenden, October 


3d, 1823; Comfort Starr, August 30th, 1827; Jason Seward, August 30th, 
1827; Abraham Dudley, August 30th, L827; Samuel Robinson, May 3d, 
1832; Albert A. Leete, May 3d, 1832; Edward L. Leete, November 14th, 
1852; Eli Parmelee, November 14th, 1852; "Edwin O. Davis, January 
8th, 1871; -'John Graves, March 30th, 1877; -John W. Norton, March 
30th, 1877; *E. Walter Leete, November 25th, 1883. 

The North Guilford Congregational church was formally organized 
in 1725. For a number of years the settlers of this part of the town 
attended worship at Guilford village, going thither at much inconven- 
ience. Application was then made for the means of winter preaching, 
and in May, 1720, the general assembly incorporated the inhabitants 
into a society ,f to enable them to build a meeting house at some suit- 
able place in their midst. A plain house was put up in 1723, which 
was, with repairs, made to do service until it was replaced by the 
second or original part of the present house, built in 1814. This meet- 
ing house has been materially changed, and the repairs at different 
times have made it an inviting place. Its location is most charming, 
being on a hill, overlooking the greater part of the North Guilford 
section. Near by is a comfortable parsonage, and on the opposite side 
is the new and attractive parish house. The latter reflects great credit 
upon the enterprise, taste and forethought of the community. It was 
carried to completion largely through the instrumentality of pastor 
Frank R. Kahler and Augustus Bartlett, the latter donating $500 for 
that purpose. Other generous friends contributed the balance, the 
entire cost being about $1,600. The house has room for general church 
and social meetings, a school room and a library. It was occupied in 
the fall of 1888. 

At the formal organization of the church, June Kith, 1725, Reverend 
Samuel Russell became the pastor. He was a son of Reverend Samuel 
Russell of the Branford church, and graduated from Yale in 1712. His 
service as pastor continued until his death, January 19th, 1746, but as 
the records of that period have not been preserved, it is not known 
how largely he augmented the church membership. 

After several years Reverend John Richards, of Waterbury, who 
graduated from Yale in 1745, was ordained in November, 1748, and 
was dismissed at his own request December, 1765. In his ministry 85 
persons were added to the church. 

The third pastor was Reverend Thomas Wells Bray, a native of 
Branford. He graduated from Yale in 1765, was ordained pastor of 
this church December, 1766, and died in the service of the parish April 
23d, 1808. He was a pious, exemplary and successful preacher, and 
167 members were admitted as the result of his labors. 

Reverend William Fowler Vaill was ordained as the pastor Decem- 
ber 21st, 1808, and served in that office until April 20th, 1820, when he 
left to become a missionary in Arkansas. He graduated from Yale in 
* Present deacons. t Known as the " Third Society in Guilford." 


1S06, and here fitted quite a number of young men for that institution. 
He also added about thirty persons to the church membership. 

In September, 1821, Reverend Zolva Whitmore was settled in the 
pastorate, and continued until August, 1846. Then, for several years, 
the pulpit was supplied. 

Reverend John L. Ambler was the acting pastor in 184S, and the 
Reverend Henry Eddy served in the same way from January, 1849, to 
March, 1851. Reverend Fosdic Harrison was the acting pastor from 
November, 1851, to November, 1854, and in the summer of 1853 had 
a good revival, eleven persons being added by profession of faith. 
Reverend Abraham C. Baldwin was next the acting pastor, from De- 
cember 1854, until October, 1S55. In this period the church edifice 
was repaired. 

Reverend Thomas R. Dutton began an acting pastorate December 
9th, 1855, which was continued to Ma) 7 1st, 1859. In the spring and 
summer of 1858 there was a notable revival, which added 24 to the 
membership, and in all 37 were added during his pastorate. 

Reverend Richard Chittenden began supplying the pulpit in July, 
1859, was ordained to the pastorate August 1st, 1860, and dismissed in 
1864. The next minister was Reverend William Howard, who was 
installed December 20th, 1865, and who, after an acceptable ministry, 
was dismissed in 1875. 

Since that time the pulpit has been supplied or filled by acting 
pastors, among them being the Reverends William B. Curtis, Frank 
R. Kahler, until the fall of 1888; and since March, 1889, Reverend 
Harry C. McKnight. At this time the church had on its rolls 118 
members, 11 of whom lived outside of the town. The families in the 
parish numbered 86, and an invested fund helped to support the Gos- 
pel work. 

From all accounts the deacons at the organization of the church 
were George Bartlett and William Dudley. Subsequently those in 
the deacon's office were: Theophilus Rossiter, Simeon Chittenden, 
Selah Dudley, John Bartlett, Robert Griffiiig, Joel Rose, Levi Chit- 
tenden, Timothy Rossiter, Benjamin Rossiter, William R. Collins, 
Samuel W. Dudley, John R. Rossiter and M. L. Chittenden, the latter 
being the clerk. 

The Fourth Society in Guilford may here be appropriately noted. 
The elder Ruggles, pastor of the First church, died in 1728, and was 
succeeded in 1729 by his son, Thomas Ruggles, Jr. His settlement 
gave cause for dissatisfaction to 29 of the 80 male communicants, who 
protested that he was "not such a distinguishing, experimental and 
animating preacher as they desired." They and others, more than 
fifty in all, withdrew and set up separate worship, building a small 
meeting house in 1730, on a lot facing the north end of the green, 
after all efforts at reconciliation had failed. Although the dissent- 
ients were but few in number, they were not without influence, and 


succeeded, after several attempts, in being incorporated in 1733 as a 
separate society, with the same bounds as the First society, in spite of 
the vigorous protest of that body. They now had Reverend Edmund 
Wood, who had preached for them as a candidate for the ministry, or- 
dained September 21st, 1733, as their first pastor. Mr. Wood was a 
native of the town, graduated from Yale in 1727, and served as pastor 
until 1735, when he was dismissed and deposed by a council called for 
that purpose. He subsequently became an Episcopalian, but never 
took orders in that church. He died in 1779, aged 73 years. 

The society was without a pastor for eight years, and being deter- 
mined to maintain its organization, in spite of legislative and other 
efforts to unite them to the parent society, ordained Reverend James 
Sproat as its second pastor, August 23d, 1743. He was dismissed Octo- 
ber 18th, 1768, and not long thereafter was installed over the Second 
Presbyterian church of Philadelphia. His learning and ability secured 
for him the title of D. D., which he fitly honored. He died in Phila- 
delphia in the fall of 1798, himself, wife and several children being 
victims of the yellow fever scourge. 

The successor of Doctor Sproat at Guilford was Reverend Daniel 
Brewer, who was settled as the pastor September 18th, 1771. In the 
course of a few years he became a believer in the doctrines of the 
Sandemanians, or that none but Christ and his apostles should be ad- 
mitted as preachers, and of course no longer preached himself. He 
was dismissed in 1775. 

The last settled minister was Reverend Beriah Hotchkin, who was 
ordained as pastor August 17th, 1785, and was dismissed in March, 
1789, to become a missionary in the wilds of New York. He was a 
native of the town, and from his boyhood was devoted to religious 

After the removal of Mr. Hotchkin the Fourth church rapidly de- 
clined, until but few members remained. In 1810, by legislative 
enactment, sixteen members were returned to the First church, which 
practically ended the existence of the Fourth society, which had for 
so many years been an unhappy factor in the community; and thence- 
forth, for manj' years, the First church was again supreme. 

The following were elected as the deacons of the Fourth church: 
1733, Samuel Cruttenden; 1740, Daniel Benton; 1755, Peletiah Leete 
and Seth Morse; 1766, Daniel Leete; 1768, Joseph Bartlett; 1772, John 
Davis; 1773, Peletiah Leete, 2d; 1776, John Hall; 1786, Ambrose Leete 
and James Corwin. 

The Third Congregational Church in Guilford is also an offshoot 
of the First church. Toward the close of the pastorate of Reverend 
Aaron Dutton the. congregation was much distracted and divided by 
the agitation of the subject of American slavery, with a result that a 
considerable proportion of those who were opponents of slavery with- 
drew to form a separate congregation. These avowed friends of the 


African slave, to the number of 123 persons, were organized as the 
above body by an ecclesiastical council held in Guilford, November 
23d, 1843. 

It was at once determined to build a meeting house, and December 
19th, 1843, William Hart, Jonathan Bishop, Samuel Seward, Jonathan 
Parmelee and George Bartlett were appointed in behalf of the congre- 
gation to carry on the work. The corner stone was laid July 17th, 

1844, upon a lot on the east side of the green, which was secured with 
some difficulty, as many citizens were opposed to the building (as they 
called it) of " an abolitionist meeting house." However, the house 
was rapidly pushed to completion, and was dedicated January 1st, 
] ( S4o, when the first pastor was also installed. In the summer and fall 
of 1862 this house was remodelled at a cost of $2,600. A suitable or- 
gan was supplied in 1873, a chapel built in 1879, and an infant class 
room added in 1880. More recent repairs have made this a comforta- 
ble place of worship. 

Reverend David Root, who became the first pastor, January 1st, 

1845, was an experienced minister, and came to this church from the 
First Congregational church at Waterbury. He gave the church faith- 
ful service, and was relieved at his own request, April 6th, 1851. He 
died in Chicago, 111., at the residence of his son-in-law, Horace White, 
August 30th, 1873, aged 82 years, but was brought to Alderbrook cem- 
etery for interment. 

Reverend Richard Manning Chipman, the second pastor, was in- 
ducted into that office January 14th, 1852, and remained until May 
19th, 1858. He was an able preacher and writer, numerous publica- 
tions bearing testimony to his skill and diligence. During the war 
he was active in the interests of the freedmen. 

The third pastor of the church, Reverend George I. Wood, was in- 
stalled November 30th, 1858, and remained until October, 1867, when 
physical ailment compelled him to resign. 

Reverend George M. Boynton, the fourth pastor, was born in 1837, 
in Brooklyn, N. Y., graduated from Yale in 1858, was installed pastor 
of this church, June 24th, 1868, and was dismissed December 1st, 1872, 
to become the pastor of a Congregational church in Newark, N. J. 

The next and the present pastor, Reverend George W. Banks, was 
here installed June 18th, 1874. His long pastorate has been peaceful 
and prosperous. He was born in 1839, graduated from Yale in 1863, 
and from its Theological Seminary in 1866, and prior to his settlement 
at Guilford served the Bethlehem church. 

In 1890 the parish of the Third church contained 213 families, and 
there were 310 resident members. The Sabbath school had an average 
attendance of 200 members, and Clifford F. Bishop was its superin- 
tendent. Beverly Monroe was the church clerk, and George W. Hill 
the treasurer. 

Those elected as deacons have been the following: 1843, Asher 


Dudley; 1844, Leverett Griswold; 1844, Julius A. Dowd; 1852, Alfred 
G. Hull; 1877, James D. Hall; 1877, Henry E. Norton; 1880, Edwin A. 
Leete, 1881, Lucius Dudley; 1881, Richard Bartlett; 1882, Calvin M. 
Leete, 1883, George W. Hill. The three last named were the active 
deacons in 1890. 

Christ Church (Protestant Episcopal) had its origin in a society of 
conformists to the Church of England, which was organized Septem- 
ber oth, 1744, under the auspices of the London "Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts." Among these conform- 
ists living in the parish of the First society, were, in 1746, Samuel 
Collins, Nathaniel Johnson, Edmund Ward, Ebenezer Bishop and John 
Collins. About this time they voted to build a church, which was 
raised in 1747, and consecrated in March, 1750, by Reverend Samuel 
Johnson, of Stratford, a native of this town. The Liturgy of the 
Church of England was now regularly employed, there being lay ser- 
vices or preaching by missionaries of the above society — by Reverend 
Ebenezer Punderson, and from 1764 until 1767 by Reverend Bela Hub- 
bard, another native of the town, but serving as a missionary at New 
Haven. He was born in 1739, and died highly respected, in 1812. 
Other missionaries were Reverends Roger Viets, in 1770; Abraham 
Jarvis, in 1773; Ashbel Baldwin, in 1790, and David Butler for a few 
years after 1792. The preaching services were at long intervals, and 
the membership consequently remained small. 

In 1801 the church had its first rector in the person of Reverend 
Nathan B. Burgess, who was at the same time the rector of the par- 
ishes of Branford, North Guilford and Killingworth. His service con- 
tinued until September, 1805. In November, 1806, Reverend David 
Baldwin began preaching in all the foregoing parishes except Bran- 
ford and became the settled minister in March, 1807, but was not or- 
dained as the priest until April, 1809. After 1824 he confined his 
labors almost wholly to the two parishes in Guilford until 1834, when 
he resigned his rectorship of Christ church, but continued serving St. 
John's, or North Guilford parish, in connection with the Zion parish 
in North Branford and others, until 1851. At the beginning of his 
ministry the church membership was greatly augmented and the par- 
ish first began to assume the position which it has since retained among 
other religious bodies of the town. Mr. Baldwin died in the 83d year 
of his age and was buried in Alderbrook Cemetery. His grave is 
marked by a monument: " Erected to his revered memory, in recog- 
nition of his valued ministrations, by grateful parishioners and other 
friends in Guilford and the adjoining parishes, where he officiated 
more than half a century." For a quarter of a century he was the only 
resident Episcopal minister on the sound shore between New Haven 
and New London. 

From July, 1834, until Easter, 1835, the parish had the entire serv- 
ice of Reverend Lorenzo T. Bennett, when he resigned to become asso- 


ciated with Doctor Croswell, of the Episcopal church of New Haven. 
Subsequently the ministers were: May, 1835, to October, 1835, Rever- 
end William N. Hawks, who resigned on account of ill health; in 
March, 1836, Reverend Levi H. Carson became the rector and served 
the parish two years, when, in April, 1S38, Reverend Edward J. 
Darken became the rector and also remained two years. 

In the last two rectorates the present Christ church was built and 
occupied. The old house on the green, which had been in use since 
1750, had become unfitted by age and no longer served as a proper 
place of worship. Early in 1836 the parish, which had at that time 67 
communicant members, began to build the new church on a lot east 
of the old house. The corner stone was laid June 24th, 1836, and 
December 12th, 1838, the church was dedicated, when the old church 
was removed from the green, and was the last building taken off that 
public ground. The church was built in the Gothic style, of native 
granite. 44 by 64 feet, and cost originally $7,500. In 1872 a recess 
chancel was added and improvements made at a cost of $5,000 more, 
which have made the church very attractive. It is also the most sub- 
stantial in the eastern part of the county. 

The rectorship of Reverend Lorenzo T. Bennett, D.D., was the most 
important in the history of the parish. Born in 1805, he graduated 
from Yale in 1825, and was ordained to the diaconate in 1834. He 
became rector of Christ church July 12th, 1840, and continued solely 
in charge until July 12th, 1880. He was then made rector emeritus by 
order of the parish and so continued until his death. September 2d, 
1889. He was thus, with his first service at this church, connected 
with the parish more than fifty years, and was much revered for his 
qualities of mind and goodness of heart, not only by his parishioners 
but by the citizens in general. He died very suddenly at the railway 
station, where he had gone to take passage on an early train. 

On the 24th of April, 1881, Reverend William G. Andrews, D.D., 
became the rector of the parish and has in every way acquitted him- 
self a worthy successor of Doctor Bennett. The affairs of the parish 
remain in a prosperous condition, there being, in the fall of 1890, 110 
families and 163 communicant members. The Sunday school had 108 

The parish has a fine fund for the promulgation of its work. Lega- 
cies were given by Charles Collins, $1,000; William H. Hubbard, 
$10,000; Franklin M. Hill, $300; and Captain William Tyler, $5,522.. 
The Hubbard bequest was not realized in full in consequence of 
losses to his estate in Virginia during the rebellion. 

The following have been wardens of the parish: 1799, Thomas 
Powers, Charles Collins; 1820, Abraham Coan, Jedediah Lathrop; 1824, 
Erastus C. Kimberley; 1825, Thomas Burgis; 1833, Henry Loper; 1840, 
Thomas Burgis; 1854, John H. Bartlett; 1861, George A. Foote; 1863, 
E. C. Kimberley; 1872-90, George B. Spencer; 1874, Henry Hale;. 


1876, George C. Kimberley; 1881, William Skinner; 1890, George S. 

George C. Griswold was the parish clerk from 1845 to 1889, when 
John S. Elliott was elected. 

St. John's Church (Protestant Episcopal) of North Guilford was 
organized in 1747. There were at first but a few families conforming 
to the church of England, but these were united, and in 1748 they 
built a small, plain house of worship on the south slope of the hill, 
about forty rods south of the present St. John's church. Here public 
worship was statedly held by the ministers of the foregoing church. 
In 1765 the male members — George Bartlett, John Hubbard, John 
Fowler, Nehemiah Griswold, Abraham Hubbard, David Fowler, Jared 
Scranton, Eber Hubbard, Abner Fowler, James Pelton and George 
Bartlett — agreed to pay Reverend Bela Hubbard ,£20 for his services 
as a minister part of a year; and these were probably the principal 
early members of the church. 

The old house having become dilapidated, a new one was begun in 
1812, which was several years in building, and was consecrated June 
7th, 1817, as St. John's church, by Bishop John Hobart, of New York. 
About 1860 a chancel was added to the original building and the other 
property of the parish was also thoroughly repaired, mainly through 
the efforts of Reverend Oliver Hopson, then rector. In more recent 
years the church building has again been modernized and has been 
made fairly comfortable. The church has an attractive location and 
in the same neighborhood is the rectory, on a tract of six acres of 
land. This parish also has an endowment fund of several thousand 
dollars. In 1890 there were 21 families and 45 communicant mem- 
bers. A small Sunday school is also maintained. 

Reverend David Baldwin was the beloved rector from 1809 until 
1851, and was followed in 1853 by Reverend Alpheus Geer and later 
by Oliver Hopson. The last rector was Reverend W. H. Dean, who 
began in 1889 to serve this and the North Branford parish. 

At this time George W. Dudley and Albert B. Potter were the 
wardens, and P. K. Hoadley, E. W. Leete and Norris Hubbard the 

Among the early church officials were, in 1761, Jared Hubbard, 
Ebenezer Talman and Nehemiah Griswold, committee; George Bart- 
lett, Jr., parish clerk; in 1781, Nehemiah Griswold and Abraham Hub- 
bard, church wardens; John Fowler, Sr„ George Bartlett and David 
Fowler, vestrymen; in 1789, Abraham Hubbard and Jared Scranton, 

The Guilford Baptist Church was organized in 1808. Baptist ser- 
vices were first held some time after 1800, by Reverend John Gano 
Whitman, of Groton, who occasionally preached in the town. This 
led to the organization, June 30th, 1808, of the above church. There 
were 19 constituent members, some of whom withdrew from the 


Pirsl Congregational church, and others had been members of the 
dissolved Fourth society. The meetings were held in the old acad- 
. 1,1 building. February 24th, 1823, Alvah B. Goldsmith was or- 
dained as the first regular pastor, and at the same time his father, 
foshua Goldsmith, was ordained as the first deacon. These appear 
to li.iv been the <>n]y prominent officials of the society, which never 
became strong. Its maximum membership (36 ) was reached in 1826, 
and tin reafti i the church declined until its dissolution took place 
I" for< 1840 Elder Goldsmith remained in the town and was a 
much respected and trusted citizen. In the latter years of his life 
In professions were those of a Quaker. He died in June, 1863. 

The Methodist I Episcopal Church was organized about 1838. It is 
probable thai [esse Lee preached the first Methodist sermon in the 
tow n I te held a meeting in the house of Ebenezer Hopson, on Bos- 
ton street, as early as 1 789. In 1811 Bishop Asbury also visited Guil- 
ford and preached here, but no attempt was made to form a church 
until man) years later. The efforts which led to an organization were 
made by Reverend Nathan Kellogg, who preached a number of times 
in the private houses of such as were favorable to the movement. In 
1886 Reverend Charles Chittenden was assigned to this place by the 
New N erk Conference, and his missionary labors and the fruits of a 
revival, in the winter of 1837 8, enabled him to organize the present 
church. He was a very devoted, energetic man. and began the build- 
Ing of a house o( worship on a lot secured on the west side of the 
green, William Hale offered to donate the timber, and Mr. Chitten- 
den led some of his members in the work of preparing the material, 
and helped to fell the first tree. In IS^S he was succeeded by Rever- 
end llart P, Pease, during who-. the h< . - is com] -ted 
and dedicated. It was originally .. frame house. 36 by 48 feet, but its 
app< ebeenchang The first board of 
trustees was composed of John Hale, William Hale. Henry Griffin, 
uel 1 eete, Samuel A. Barker. Lucius Elliott, F. C, Phelps and A. 

S cceeding Mr. Pease amongol i - . ore IS50, came Reverend 

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half of the Sabbath. He lived at the southwest corner of the green, 
and was in Guilford from 1641 until 1659. Tuition was reckoned at 
the rate of 4 shillings per quarter for " each child put to school."* A 
school house was built on the green as early as 1645, which was dis- 
placed by a new one in 1671. Both were very plain. Until after 1700 
the town had but this one school house, but others were built soon 
after. In 1702 the " East Farmers " were given liberty to have a school, 
and the same privilege was given the " North Farmers," not many 
years later, after that section was settled. 

After Mr. Higginson left the town, other teachers were employed, 
a few only remaining for more than several years. These were paid 
salaries of from £20 to £30 per year. Among other teachers who 
were appointed were: In 1671, Matthew Bellamy; 1675, Jonathan Pit- 
man; 1682, John Collins; 1690, Thomas Higginson; 1694, Mr. Elliott; 
1700, John Collins; 1701, Captain Andrew Ward; 1706, James Elliott; 
1720, Doctor William Johnson; and thence for about three-quarters of 
a century the Johnson family supplied the teachers. 

The state of Connecticut adopted the district system in 1794, and 
under this plan the town was divided into more than one district. In 
the period about 1800 four schools were at the village. These occu- 
pied one building, standing on the green, and were not in four separ- 
ate school houses, on that plot of ground, as may be inferred from the 
account of President Dwight on his visit to this part of the county. 
About 1830 this building was removed from the green to its present 
site on the North Guilford turnpike. 

In 1824 the Lancasterian system was applied to the schools, and 
continued five years. Under this method all the schools in the village 
were taught in the town house. In the meantime an academy or 
select school was taught in the old school house, among the teachers 
being AlvanTalcott and Samuel Robinson. In 1829 the village public 
school was divided into four classes, of which the highest, or academic, 
was taught from 1831 to 1834, by R. D. Smith. He was followed by 
Luman Whedon, Julius N. Dowd and others. In 1837 the village part 
of the town was divided into four sections and school houses built for 
their accommodation. The northwest section used the academy. A 
part of the building was occupied by a Mr. Dudley for his high school 
in 1838 and later. Schools of this nature continued to be taught until 
the Guilford Institute supplanted them. 

In the course of time the four districts at the Center and another 
near by were merged into a "Union" district. In 1890 there were in 
the town, including the Union district, in all ten districts, in which 
there were 512 children of school age. From this number 322 pupils 

*An effort was made in 1660 to establish a grammar school in the jurisdiction 
of New Haven, in order that "learning might be promoted as a means for the 
fitting of instruments for publique service in church and commonwealth." To 
encourage this plan, which at that time failed, the inhabitants of Guilford offered 
the Whitfield stone house as a seat for the school. 


were secured. The schools are maintained at a cost of nearly $5,000 
per annum, half of which is raised by town taxation. In the North 
Guilford part of the town there are four schools, viz.: The North, the 
South, the Bluff and the Center. These have an attendance of about 
75 pupils. The school at the Center has been graded. The Leete's 
Island school had an enrollment of 40 pupils. At this time the school 
visitors were: Henry R. Spencer, Henry M. Rossiter, Daniel R. Spen- 
cer, Reverend W. G. Andrews, Jerome Coan, L. A. Kimberley, Doctor 
G. H. Beebe, Reverend G. W. Banks and Reverend L. T. Bennett. 
The latter resigned June 11th, 1889, after having served the cause of 
education in this town about half a century. 

The Guilford Institute was erected and endowed through the 
munificence of Mrs. Sarah Griffing, the widow of Hon. Nathaniel Grif- 
fing, and Hon. Simeon B. Chittenden, of Brooklyn, N. Y. The former 
deeded the land on which to build the institute, near " Ephraim's 
Rocks," in the northwestern part of the village, August 21st, 1854, and 
also gave the sum of $10,000. The latter set aside $10,000 for an en- 
dowment fund. October 12th, 1855. Mrs. Griffing stipulated that the 
ministers of the First Congregational church should be members of 
the board of trustees, cx-officio, and that while the school should be 
non-sectarian, that " the Bible should always be used in said school 
as the foundation of all education for usefulness and happiness." 

The first board of trustees was incorporated in August, 1854, and 
was composed of Reverend E. Edwin Hall, Henry W. Chittenden, 
Ralph D. Smith, Abraham C. Baldwin, Sherman Graves, Simeon 
B. Chittenden and Alvan Talcott. The latter continuously served 
until 1890. Others associated with him on the board at that time were 
Reverends George W. Banks and C. H. Mcintosh, E. Walter Leete, 
Henry D. Coan, Samuel B. Chittenden and Charles Griswold. 

The corner stone of the building was laid September 13th, 1854, 
and a year later the substantial stone structure was ready for occu- 
pancy. The first term of the institute was opened September 3d, 1855, 
with appropriate public exercises, and Eli T. Mack as the first princi- 
pal. There was considerable interest in the school, and in the first 
years of its existence the attendance was very good, not only from 
Guilford, but from the surrounding towns. Among the pupils thus 
coming from Madison was an active, promising youth, who became 
distinguished as W. H. H. Murray. The institute appears to have 
served its purpose in the first twenty years, and since 1875 has been 
occupied as the high school of the town, an arrangement to that end 
having been made with the trustees. 

The principals of the school have been the following, in the order 
of their appointment : 1855, Eli T. Mack; 1S58, Augustine Hart; I860, 
J. Wilson Ward; 1862, Henry S. Barnum; 1863, Joseph L. Daniels; 1864, 
Winthrop D. Sheldon; 1865, W. A. Ayres; 1866, Edwin H. Wilson; 1867, 
James P. Hoyt; 1869, F. S. Thompson; 1871, Charles E. Gordon; 1872, 


John P. Slocum; 1875, Jairus P.Moore; 1879, Melville Stone; 1880, 
Charles H. Levermore; 1883, W. H. Buell; 1884, Carll A. Lev/is; 1887, 
Hart Lewis; 1888, Charles L. Wallace; 1889, Arthur M. Hyde. 

" The people of Guilford have always been well educated, and 
the Triennial Catalogue of Yale University counts over 160 names 
of Guilford men; while part of the college was situated in the old 
town in its early years, when the tutors, John Hart, of Madison, 
and Samuel Johnson, of Guilford, lived at home and had their classes 
with them."* 

The cause of education had a valuable adjunct in the public 
libraries which were early established. In 1737 some of the inhabi- 
tants of Guilford and others living in the towns on the east formed a 
library which was quite valuable in those days. When the company 
was dissolved, before 1800, the library contained about 400 volumes, 
having among them a number of standard and valuable books. A 
new library was now formed in Guilford village, to which some of the 
books of the old library were transferred. Another library was soon 
after formed by the young people of the same community and in May, 
1823, these were united to form the Union Library. In 1838 it had 
600 volumes. Not many years thereafter, for want of proper care, it 
went down and for many years the remaining books were stored in an 
old loft. In 1880 they were removed and incorporated with the Insti- 
tute Library. 

In 1760 a public library was formed in North Guilford, which was 
nearly destroyed by fire in 1794. New books were added until there 
were 185 volumes. In 1838 only about 100 books remained and the 
library was soon after dissolved. In 1887 a Young People's Literary 
Society was formed, which raised funds for another library. In the 
fall of 1890 it contained about 200 volumes and was kept at the house 
of Mrs. Scranton. 

The North Guilford select school, taught many years in a small 
building which stood in the new addition to the cemetery, served a 
noble purpose after 1800 and for about fifty years. John E. Chandler, 
who afterward became a missionary to India, was one of the teachers. 
Deacon John R. Rossiter taught for twenty years. The building was 
removed in 1876. 

Not a few treasures in the literary storehouses of this country 
were gathered or contributed by inhabitants or descendants of the 
founders of Guilford in periods reaching from the settlement to the 
present time. One of the latter class+ quaintly says: " Guilford was 
born with a book in her hand," and gives the credit of the first author- 
ship to the founder and leader of the Guilford colony, the Reverend 
Henry Whitfield. Some of his sermons and letters were published, as 

* Bernard C. Steiner. 

+ Henry P. Robinson (of Reverend Henry Whitfield, 1639) in his discourse on 
Literature in Madison and Guilford, anniversary 1889. 


were also the sermons on important subjects cf Reverends John Hig- 
ginson, Joseph Eliot and John Cotton, his successors as ministers of 
the First church. 

Reverend Jared Eliot, son of Reverend Joseph, who preached in 
Killingworth, but who followed the art of agriculture in Guilford, was 
a pioneer writer in a field which has since been extensively covered. 
Beginning in 1747, he wrote a series of "Essays upon Field Husbandry 
in New'England," which proved very popular and brought to his 
acquaintance and friendship scientists of this and foreign countries. 
He died in 1763. One of his pupils was Reverend Samuel Johnson, a 
very bright, witty and learned man. In 1767 he published a small 
Hebrew grammar, and some of his other books were issued at an 
earlier day. He was born in Guilford in 1696, and after graduating 
from Yale College in 1714, he was for several years one of its tutors 
and had his classes in the town. Becoming a minister of the estab- 
lished church, he later became a Churchman and a profound theolo- 
gian. He was elected the first president of Columbia College. He 
died in 1772. 

Another bright man of that period was Reverend Thomas Rug- 
gles, Jr. In addition to the publication of some of his sermons his 
authorship embraced a manuscript history of Guilford up to 1769, 
most of which has been printed. He died in 1770. 

Other ministers of the town who contributed to the literary life 
in the periods in which they lived, were the following: Reverend 
Jonathan Todd, of the Madison Society, in 1749; John Eliot, of the 
same society, in 1810 and earlier, who was a very scholarly man; 
David Dudley Field, born in Madison in 1781, graduated from Yale 
in 1802, and who died in 1867, author of a number of books on local 
history and other works; Aaron Dutton published a notable sermon 
in 1815; Abraham Chittenden Baldwin, born in North Guilford in 
1804, died in 1887, was the author, among other admirable works, 
of a prize essay, " Letters to a Christian Shareholder," published in 
1857; S. W. S. Dutton, born in Guilford in 1814, and who deceased 
in 1866, was a prolific writer on theological and contemporary sub- 
jects; Samuel Fiske, of Madison, who died in the army May 22d, 1864, 
wrote letters for the press as "Dunn Browne," which were "as graphic, 
genial and bright as the man himself."* 

A number of laymen also gave expression to rich literary thoughts 
which entertained and ennobled. Among those of minor nature may 
be noted the Nortons, Elijah and Colonel Rufus, the latter being a 
writer of short hymns and poems, which did not pass out of the manu- 
script state; John P. Foote, of Cincinnati, a native of the town, was 
a clear writer and biographer. 

Ralph D. Smith, a lineal descendant of John Smith, who came to 
Milford in 1640, was born in Southbury in 1804, graduated from Yale in 

* Robinson. 


1827, was admitted to the bar in 1831, in November of which year he 
came to Guilford, where he died September 11th, 1874. Besides being 
a lawyer of good reputation and practice extended beyond the limits 
of his village, he was an industrious and painstaking author. He wrote 
sketches of the graduates of Yale College from 1702 to 1767, and other 
sketches pertaining to the university, of which institution his sons, 
Walter H. and Richard E., were also graduates in 1863 and 1866, re- 
spectively. His researches in the local history of Guilford have been 
very valuable. After his death some of his manuscripts on Guilford 
were published. 

Doctor Alvan Talcott also prepared a valuable genealogy of the 
citizens of Guilford. In May, 1890, his manuscripts embraced 30,000 
names, 1,700 belonging to the Norton family. He noted 100 families 
fully and 78 more not so completely. This exhaustive work was do- 
nated to Yale College, from which the doctor graduated in 1824, and 
from the medical department in 1831. 

The town has produced several poets of national reputation. The 
foremost of these, Fitz-Greene Halleck, occupied a position which 
brought him the honor of having the first bronze statue in a public 
place erected to the memory of an American poet. This figure, of 
heroic size, is in Central Park, New York, near the statues of Shakes- 
peare and Sir Walter Scott. 

Fitz-Greene Halleck was the son of Israel and Mary (Eliot) Hal- 
leck, and was born in Guilford, July 8th, 1790. When but a lad his 
poetic nature found expression in verses of promise and merit, which 
are still extant. At the age of 15 he became a grocer's clerk at Guil- 
ford, and so continued until 1811. He then went to New York and 
entered the banking house of Jacob Barker, also as a clerk. Visiting 
Europe in 1822, he formed the acquaintance of many literary men of the 
Old World. In 1832 he entered the service of John Jacob Astor, and 
in his banking house he remained until Astor's death, in 1848. He 
received an annuity of $200 from the elder Astor, to which was added 
a gift of $10,000 by William B. Astor. In 1849 Halleck returned to 
Guilford, where he continued to reside until his death, November 19th, 
1867. For many years his home was in the old house opposite the 
southwest corner of the green, and he was a well known personage to 
many of the present' inhabitants of the village, where he was beloved 
as much as he was admired abroad. 

George Hill, a brother poet, was born in Guilford, January 29th, 
1796. After graduating from Yale College, in 1816, he was in public 
service at home and abroad until about 1856, when he retired to 
private life, taking up his residence at Guilford, where he died De- 
cember 15th, 1871. At that time his volume of short poems had 
passed several editions. They were carefully written and show fine 
poetic taste. In the last years of his life Mr. Hill was very unobtru- 
sive and retired in his habits, but his gentle manners caused him to be 
much esteemed. 


Abraham Bradley, 3d, who was born in Guilford, December 11th, 
1731, and who in the latter years of his life was a deputy postmaster 
general, was also a poet of some merit, and his verses on pioneer life 
in Guilford are fairly descriptive and entertaining of a period which 
always awakens interest. 

Many of the settlers of the town and their descendants became dis- 
tinguished in civil and other avocations of life. Samuel Disbrowe or 
Disborough, who came with Whitfield, a young man of 24, was one of 
the "seven pillars" of the church, and served as magistrate of the 
plantation from 1643 until 1651. In the latter year he returned to 
England, where he became one of the principals in the Cromwell ac- 
cession, and held many important trusts in England and Scotland. He 
died in the latter country in 1690. 

Another of the " seven pillars," Reverend John Hoadley, while not 
so active in civil affairs, became noted after his return to England, as 
the ancestor of two of the most distinguished prelates of their times. 
In 1642 he was married in Guilford to Sara, daughter of Francis Bush- 
nell, one of the foremost of Guilford's planters, and their grandsons 
John and his brother Benjamin, attained the highest ecclesiastical 

The male descendants of Francis Bushnell were prominent in every 
generation in the ordinary walks of life;- and another daughter, Eliza- 
beth, married William Johnson, another of the leading planters. Their 
son, Samuel, was the father of the Reverend Samuel Johnson. D. D., 
who was the president of King's (Columbia) College, from 1754 until 
1763. His son, William Samuel Johnson, was the first United States 
senator under the national confederation, serving from 1789 until 1791. 
He was also one of the most learned men of his times. The Univer- 
sity of Oxford conferred upon him the degree of D. D. 

William Chittenden was another of the foremost planters of Guil- 
ford, and being a brother-in-law of Whitfield, had one of the choicest 
locations on the Menuncatuc river, in the northwestern part of the 
first settlement, which is still owned by descendants. He was the 
military leader of the community, and also held civil offices. One of 
his grandsons, Ebenezer, married a sister of Reverend Samuel John- 
son, and settled in Madison. Their eldest son, also called Ebenezer, 
moved to New Haven, where he became a mechanic of great skill. A 
younger son, Thomas, born in 1730, at the age of 20 left his paternal 
home and removed to Salisbury, and in 1774 to the Onion River local- 
ity in Vermont. He was elected the first governor of that state in 
1778, and continued to hold that office 18 years. He died in 1797. Sub- 
sequently his son, Martin, twice occupied that office. Of the Chitten- 
den stock which remained on the Guilford homestead, Simeon B.Chit- 
tenden was a descendant. He was born March 9th, 1814, and remov- 

*Cornelius S. Bushnell, a native of Madison, was instrumental in furnishing 
Captain Ericsson the means to complete his monitor in use in the civil war. 


ing to New York, became one of the merchant princes of the metrop- 
olis. His benefactions in the town and the county are well known. 
Through his liberality the erection of the fine library building on 
Yale campus, lately occupied, was made possible. 

The Leete family has ever been one of the most important in the 
annals of Guilford. The first of that name and one of the founders of 
the town, rose to the rank of a colonial statesman, and was a worthy 
peer of Thomas Hooker and John Winthrop, Jr., in the early history 
of Connecticut. William Leete was born of a good family, in 1613, 
and was, therefore, 26 years of age when he came to Guilford. He 
was bred to the law, and was a clerk in the Bishop's Court in Eng- 
land. In the old country he was a neighbor of Disborough, and suc- 
ceeded him here as the first magistrate. He was chosen deputy gov- 
ernor of the New Haven colony from 1658 to 1661, when he was 
chosen governor of that colony, serving until the union with Connecti- 
cut in 1665. Four years later he was elected deputy governor of the 
united colonies, in which office he served until 1676. He was then 
elected governor and was reelected until his death in 1683. He thus 
served in a magisterial capacity forty years, and was one of the best 
trusted men in the colony. He was buried at Hartford, and his grave 
was for a long time unknown, but was discovered about 1830, in the 
ancient burial ground of that place. 

He left a numerous family in Guilford, and his eldest son, John, 
who died November 25th, 1692, is said to have been the first white 
child born in the town. Another son, Andrew, was active in the 
management of the affairs of the colony and the town. He was mar- 
ried to a daughter of Thomas Jordan, Esq., and after the return of his 
father-in-law to England, about 1660, lived on his estate, on the north- 
west corner of the green. It is said that he here kept for a time the 
charter of the colony, which he was instrumental in recovering, in 
the period when Major Andross had usurped the government. 

The Guilford home of Governor William Leete was opposite the 
Chittenden place, on the east bank of the West river, where he had a 
store or warehouse, in the cellar of which he secreted the Judges 
Whalley and Goffe, some time between June 11th and June 20th, 1660. 
They spent about a week here and at Mr. Rossiter's, being supplied 
with victuals from the governor's table. This property passed to Caleb 
Stone in 1714, was long owned by Timothy Stone, and is now the 
property of Leverett C. Stone. The old store building has long since 
disappeared, but the cellar in which the judges were hidden remains 
practically as built, and is now covered by a barn. In other parts of 
the town descendants of William Leete remain, and his name has 
been ineffaceably affixed to the southwestern part of Guilford. 

Doctor Bryan Rossiter came to Guilford in 1651, upon the depart- 
ure of Samuel Disborough, whose large estate he purchased. As 
Leete was the first lawyer, so he was the first physician, and like his 


professional neighbor, was a man of great force of mind and character. 
He was, moreover, a physician of ability, and it is claimed that he 
made the first post mortem,ihat is a matter of record, in Connecticut, in 
Hartford, in 1662.* Doctor Rossiter was very warmly interested in 
bringing about the union of the Connecticut colonies in 1665, and his 
action in this matter caused offense to some of the New Haven colon- 
ists. He died at Guilford September 30th, 1672. His son, Josiah Ros- 
siter, who died in 1716, was actively interested in the affairs of the 
town and the county. A daughter married John Cotton, and their 
descendants became distinguished in Massachusetts affairs. Descend- 
ants of the Rossiter family have remained in the town, and have 
always held an honored place in the estimation of the inhabitants. 

Samuel Baldwin, the blacksmith, was the founder of another fam- 
ily, which is greatly esteemed in the town and especially honored in 
North Guilford, from which have gone some of its best representa- 
tives. He was the ancestor of Abraham Baldwin, who was born in 
North Guilford, November 6th, 1754. Graduating from Yale College 
in 1772, he was a tutor from 1775 to 1779. He studied theology, and 
was a chaplain in the continental army several years. In 17S4, at the 
request of his friend, General Greene, he removed to Georgia, was 
admitted to the bar, and was elected a member of the continental con- 
gress. As a member from Georgia of the constitutional convention, 
in 1787, he drafted the constitution, which was finally adopted, and 
has been called the "Father of the Constitution." He was also instru- 
mental in founding the University of Georgia, having been placed at 
the head of the system of education in 17S5. He died at Washington, 
March 4th, 1807, as a United States senator from Georgia. His 
brother, Henry, became a distinguished justice of the United States 
supreme court; and their sis'er was the wife of Joel Barlow, the author 
and diplomat at the French court. 

Doctor Stephen C. Bartlett was another brilliant native of North 
Guilford, where he was born April 19th, 1839. He was thoroughly 
educated in the medical profession, and after practicing at Naugatuck 
settled at Waterbury, where he died at the early age of 40 years, but 
not before he had given abundant evidence of his great medical skill. 

James Hooker, Esq., the first judge of the probate court, was a son- 
in-law of William Leete, Esq. He lived in the town about 40 years, 
dying in 1740. His successor, Colonel Samuel Hill, who was one of 
the principal public men of his time, was then elected judge, and 
served in that position until his death in 1752. He was also for a time 
judge of the county court. His son, Nathaniel, and grandson, Henry, 
also became eminent in public affairs. So also were Colonel Timothy 
Stone, General Andrew Ward, Nathaniel Griffing, etc., who enjoyed 
the highest honors in the gift of the town. In the same connection 
may be given the name of General Augustus Collins, who had been 

* Colonial Records, Vol. I., p. 396. 


in the revolution. He served in 64 consecutive sessions of the legisla- 
ture of the state, before 1813. His sister, Lorain, married Oliver Wol- 
cott, the first secretary of state under President Washington, and who 
was one of Connecticut's signers of the declaration of independence, 
and afterward governor of the state. 

Among other notable men, as natives who attained distinction else- 
where, was Doctor David Dudley Field, born in Madison in 1771, son 
of Captain Timothy Field of the revolutionary army. He was the 
father of the famous Field sons, David Dudley, Cyrus West, Stephen 
and Henry Martyn, all of them men of national reputation. Doctor 
Bela Hubbard, born in Guilford in 173!), became a distinguished Epis- 
copal minister in the county, dying in New Haven in 1812. Reverend 
Andrew Fowler, born in 1765, became an Episcopal missionary, and 
died at Charleston, S. C, in 1851. The names of other and later public 
men are found in the civil lists of the town and county. 

The physicians of the town have been the following: 

At Guilford village.— Doctor Bryan Rossiter, died at Guilford Sep- 
tember 30th, 1672. 

Doctor Anthony Lahore, died at Guilford March 19th, 1712. 

Doctor Nathaniel Ruggles, died at Guilford 1794, as. 82 years. 

Doctor John Redfield, born at Guilford 1818, ae. 78 years. 

Doctor Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, died at Guilford 1796, ae. 36 

Doctor Jared Redfield, died at Guilford 1821, ae. 50 years. 

Doctor Seth H. Rogers, died at Guilford 1807, se. 35 years. 

Doctor Lewis Collins, removed. 

Doctor David Marvin, removed, 1811. 

Doctor Elias Shipman, removed to New Haven. 

Doctor Lyman Strong, removed to Hebron. 

Doctor Anson Foote, died at Guilford 1841, as. 57 years. 

Doctor Joel Canfield, died at Guilford 1877. Had located in North 
Guilford in 1824 and in Guilford village 1825. 

Doctor Elias Hutchinson, located 1838, removed 1849. 

Doctor Alvan Talcott, graduated from Yale, Medical Department, 
1831, located at Guilford in 1841; was in active practice until 1886, 
when he was one of the oldest physicians in the county. He died Jan- 
uary 17th, 1891, in his 87th year. 

Doctor Gideon Perry Reynolds located in 1870, and still continues 
in practice. 

Doctor Frederick P. Griswold was in practice from 1878 to 1883; 
Doctor Charles H. Hamilton from 1883 to 1886; Doctor George H. 
Beebe located in 1886, and continues in practice; so also does Doctor 
H. I. Fisk, an eclectic physician. 

At North Guilford were, at different times after 1800, the following: 

Doctor David Brooks, removed to New York, where he died, in 
January, 1826. 


Doctor Samuel Fitch, died August 8th, 1847, aged 71 years. 

Doctor Joel Canfield, from 1824 until 1825. 

Doctor George Kirtland, died 1825, aged 25 years. 

Doctors Julius Willard, Richard Dennison and Justin W. Smith 
removed after short periods of practice. 

After the death of Doctor Rossiter, and for about 50 years later, 
the town purchased medicines and distributed them out of the com- 
mon stock. July 3d, 1679, a meeting was held to consider whether the 
inhabitants would buy " Mrs. Cosster's physic and physical drugs," 
" and was answered by a unanimous vote that they would buy them." 
Subsequently, August 28th, 1679, " Lieut. William Seward was chosen 
and appointed to fetch or procure the Physic and Physical drugs bought 
of Mrs. Cosster, brought to Guilford and deliver them into the hands 
of Mr. Joseph Elliott for the town's use." 

The mortality was at first not great, and there were for many years 
no epidemic diseases. Later the death rate was greater, being about 
one death to every 69 persons in the course of a year. 

The staid habits of the people of the town, with its fixed popula- 
tion, gave little occasion, the first 150 years, for the employment of a 
lawyer. Ralph D. Smith was one of the first after William Todd to 
devote himself almost exclusively to the legal profession. He settled 
in Guilford in November, 1831, and remained in the town until his 
death, in 1874. Previous to that time Edward R. Landon, who had 
read law with him, was also a practicing attorney, and was thus en- 
gaged until his death, in 18S3. H. Lynde Harrison lived in the town 
a number of years, but his practice was mainly in New Haven. Will- 
iam Kelsey, after being here a while, removed to Cheshire. Edwin 
C. Woodruff died in the town in May, 1886, and Hollis T. Walker has 
since been the attorney. 

While the people of the town were not warlike, provision for de- 
fense was early made. A train band was organized, which had in 1665 
William Seward as its captain; George Bartlett, as lieutenant; and 
Samuel Kitchell, ensign. At that time the town stock of ammunition 
was reported as 140 pounds of powder and 235 pounds of lead. In 1672 
the "town's arms were mended " by a mechanic, who came from Hart- 
ford for that purpose, so as to be ready in case of Indian attack. Up 
to this time there had been but little fear on account of the local In- 
dians, and there never was any hostility between them and the whites. 
The danger apprehended was from Indian incursions. 

In the period of King Philip's war the town was active. In 1676 
it voted to fortify two houses, and all males over fourteen years of age 
were pressed into the work of speedily building them. The town 
voted " that all damage to housing by enemies shall be borne and 
made good by the towne in generall;" and also voted " to grant tenn 
acres of land to every soldier from Guilford " serving under Major 


Robert Treat and Mr. John Talcott. It thus anticipated the bounty 
land warrant system of the United States. 

In 1690 Reverend Mr. Eliot's house was again fortified, and it was 
voted that " the great guns be set up on carriages and fitted for ser- 
vice." In 1697 these guns or cannon were desired by Connecticut, but 
the town refused to give them up, " as they wanted them for their own 
defense against the common enemy." They were finally sold in 1739. 
But a company of artillerists has almost continually been a feature of 
the military life of Guilford. In the present century there was a com- 
pany of " Flying Artillery," of which Joel Griswold was the captain. 
In the rebellion 36 men were in the First Light Artillery of Connec- 
ticut Volunteers. Since the war a section of artillery has been main- 
tained in the town, which has been united with the platoon in Bran- 
ford in forming a company — Battery A — of which, in 1890, Arthur S. 
Fowler, of Guilford, was the captain. 

In 1705 a train band was formed in East Guilford, and in 1728 
another at North Guilford. 

In 1745 Colonel Andrew Ward, of Guilford, commanded a company 
at Louisburg, in which were some Guilford men; and in the expedition 
at Fort William Henry, Oliver Dudley and Nathaniel Johnson had 
companies of Guilford soldiers. 

In the second French war there were also two companies of Guil- 
ford men, commanded by General Andrew Ward, son of the above 
Colonel Andrew Ward, and Colonel Ichabod Scranton, of East Guil- 
ford, and were at the battle of Lake George. It is said that an Indian 
picket attached to the Guilford troops found the wounded Baron 
Dieskau and carried him as a prisoner into the English lines. In 
this excursion Enos Bishop, of North Madison, served as a lieutenant. 

In the war for independence Guilford took a patriotic position, a 
few only adhering to the cause of the royalists. The acts of the con- 
tinental congress were endorsed as early as December, 1774. The fol- 
lowing spring 45 men, under Colonel Noah Fowler, and 23 under En- 
sign Jehiel Meigs, held themselves ready to move after the alarm at 
Lexington. General Ward was at Valley Forge with some Connecti- 
cut troops, and others of Guilford's sons distinguished themselves on 
fields of battle elsewhere. 

From the fall of 1776 until the close of the war the town main- 
tained a watch upon its coast, a guard of 24 men being set nightly, and 
received but little aid from the state. In 1777 a bounty of £\0 was 
voted to soldiers enlisting for three years, and this offer was thrice re- 
newed later. In 1779 these bounties and other taxes caused the rate 
to be five shillings on the pound, payable in such things as the select- 
men might deem necessary. 

Some of the movements of the war were performed on Guilford 
soil. " May 29th, 1777, Col. Return J. Meigs, of Guilford stock, led an 
expedition from Sachem's Head in three sloops and thirteen whale 


boats. In twenty-four hours, with one hundred and seventy men, he 
crossed the Sound to Sag Harbor; broke up a depot of the British there, 
destroying much property; took ninety-six prisoners without losing a 
man; and returned safely to Sachem's Head. For this service Congress 
voted him a sword."* 

The British, however, soon retaliated. On the 17th of June follow- 
ing a party from three ships landed at Sachem's Head and burned the 
house of Solomon Leete and two barns. In the following December 
the house of Timothy Shelley was burned. But the most serious at- 
tack was made at Leete's Island June 18th, 1781. A party of British 
and tories, in all about 150 men, from two brigs and a schooner, landed 
at that point, burned the guard house built by Deacon Pelatiah Leete 
and a house and barns of Daniel Leete. They now made a movement 
toward the village of Guilford, but were met by the company of Cap- 
tain Peter Vail, who took shelter behind rocks and fences and opened 
a spirited attack. Captain Vail became exhausted from the heat and 
soon afterward died from the effects. The Guilford men, under com- 
mand of Lieutenant Timothy Field, succeeded in driving the enemy 
to its boats, with the loss of several men. Simeon Leete and Ebenezer 
Hart were mortally wounded. 

The last incursion of the British was made near the East Wharf, in 
Madison, in 1782. The militia, under Captain Phineas Meigs, suc- 
ceeded in repelling their advance, but not until Captain Meigs had 
been killed. He was shot through the head. 

In 1783 Samuel Lee, Jr., who had been a lieutenant in the Guilford 
company, was commissioned its captain and the company became a 
part of the 2Sth Regiment. 

In the summer of 1780 a young man by the name of Tucker worked 
as a farm hand for Deacon Daniel Leete, who resided at Leete's Island. 
In the fall he left, but received the idea (probably a correct one) that 
Deacon Leete had considerable money. About this time marauding 
parties from within the British lines were in the habit of plundering 
along the coast; consequently all the inhabitants able to bear arms 
were enrolled as a coast guard and detailed in squads of from ten to 
fifteen, under a sergeant, and stationed at different exposed points as 
a protection to the inhabitants. Leete's Island was one guard station, 
but no guard had been regularly kept there during Tucker's stay. 
After he left a small guard was maintained at the guard house, and a 
sentry stood at his post every night, though the season was so far ad- 
vanced that no one expected an enemy. About 3 o'clock one morning 
near the last of October, a boat with about a dozen armed men landed 
at a little harbor about half a mile west of Deacon Leete's house, where 
an old man was making salt. They inquired if a guard was kept at 
the guard house. He told them he believed not; so they compelled 
the old man to go with them to find Deacon Leete's. When they ar- 

*Bernard C. Steiner. 


rived they stationed part of their number at the west kitchen door, 
while others endeavored to find the front door. The party at the 
kitchen door knocked loudly for admittance and Ambrose, one of the 
deacon's sons, ran to the door and opened it, to learn the cause of the 
disturbance One of the gang made a blow at him with a cutlass, but 
it being dark he struck too high, and the casing over the door received 
the force of the blow, though his neck received a slight incision. As 
he drew back another of the party fired his gun at him, the ball pass- 
ing under his arm and lodging in the wall. The report alarmed the 
guard and they turned out. The enemy heard them and drew off some 
eight or ten yards for consultation. In the meantime the sentry, who 
had been dozing in the deacon's wood pile, awoke and hearing some 
talking, listened a moment and heard a voice, which he recognized as 

Tucker's, say, " You may do as you please, I'll be d d if I go till I 

make Deacon Leete's money jink." It was so dark the sentry could 
see nothing, but he fired his gun in the direction of the voices. The 
party at once drew off and the guard was too small to feel it safe to 
pursue. On the next day the dead body of Tucker was found in a 
small brook a few rods west of the house, with two bullets through his 
head. The body was rolled in a blanket and buried in a hole below 
high water mark, at the head of the Island bay, so-called. 

While but few men of Guilford were killed outright in the war of 
the revolution, a number died from exposure and sickness contracted 
in the service. Doctor Alvan Talcott placed the number at twenty 
and gave the following as their names: Timothy Barnes.William Fair- 
child, Lewis Fairchild, Eber Hall, Timothy Luddington, Seth Morse, 
Bridgeman Murray, Captain Phineas Meigs, Abel Saxton, William Sa- 
bine, David Field, Joseph Hotchkin, Ebenezer Hart, Abner Leete, 
Simeon Leete, Captain Jehiel Meigs, Wait Munger, Samuel Stevens, 
Daniel Stone, Samuel Ward. 

The war of 1812 did not produce any stirring events in the town. 
A volunteer artillery company was raised, which had two brass field 
pieces, kept in the town house; and an iron cannon was kept in Madi- 
son, to be used as was the one in the revolution, to give the signal of 
invasion. A company of state troops, formed in this town and Bran- 
ford, commanded by Abraham I. Chittenden, Abraham Rogers and 
William Todd, was in service a short time as a reserve corps at New 
London and New Haven. 

The War for the Union — 1861-5 — awoke the spirit of patriotism in 
Guilford to a wonderful extent; and at no stage was there any lagging 
of ardor to prosecute it, so far as the town was concerned, to a success- 
ful issue. Beginning with the special meeting held April 30th, 1861, 
until the close of war, action to that end was taken at the regular meet- 
ings and at seven meetings called especially for that purpose. In all, 
Guilford contributed 308 men and $21,166 in money, besides the 


amounts raised by the Christian and Sanitary Commissions, aggregat- 
ing- about $10,000 more. With scarcely any exception, the leading citi- 
zens were all active in this cause. Before the close of the war 60 of 
the heroic sons of Guilford had laid down their lives. After many 
years their bravery was fitly commemorated. 

A movement to build a Soldiers' Monument, begun in 1872, met 
with but indifferent success and was abandoned. Several years later 
the matter was again taken up, when Ed. Griswold and others were 
appointed a soliciting committee, which raised a fund of about $1,300. 
This encouraged those interested to adopt plans for a monument, 
by modifying one of the designs prepared by J. G. Batterson, of 
Hartford, consisting of a base, die and pedestal, surmounted by a 
figure. The contract for all but the latter was awarded to John 
Beattie, the material selected by him being Leete's Island granite. 

The base was laid with ceremonies May 30th, 1877, on which occa- 
sion W. H. H. Murray delivered the oration. In 1879 the die, on which 
were cut the names of many soldiers who fell in the service, was placed 
upon the base, and thus for eight years the monument was left stand- 
ing in an incomplete condition. In 1884 the work was revived and the 
matter was placed in the hands of an executive committee composed 
of J. Lynde Harrison, Miss Kate Foote and Charles Griswold, who 
raised the necessary funds to complete the monument. In this they 
were much encouraged by Hon. Simeon B. Chittenden, of New York, 
and Mrs. Sarah B. Cone, also a native of the town. A contract was 
made with Thomas Phillips & Sons, of New Haven, to cut out of 
Quincy granite the statue of an infantry soldier, standing at rest, 
which was to be placed upon the pile already standing in the center 
of the green. This figure was ready to place in position the follow- 
ing year, and the monument was dedicated June 2d, 1887. Among 
the throng in attendance were Governor Lounsbury and staff, 
Senators Hawley and Piatt, and a number of Grand Army Posts 
from neighboring towns. Charles Griswold was the marshal of the 

The monument as it stands is about fifteen feet high and has at- 
tractive proportions. Its entire cost was about $2,500. On one of the 
faces of the die are engraved the words: 

"In memory of the men of Guilford who fell, and in 
honor of those who served in the war for the Union, the 
grateful town erects this monument, that their example 
may speak to coming generations." 

Also are inscribed, on the pedestal, the names of the important bat- 
tles in which they participated, viz.: 

•' Antietam, Fredericksburg, Port Royal and Gettysburg." 

It reflects credit upon the town in spite of the fact that it took ten 
years to complete what should at once have been finished. 



John W. Barker, born in 1828, is a son of Samuel A. and Mary Ann 
(Kirkum) Barker, grandson of Joel, great-grandson of Jacob, and great- 
great-grandson of Daniel, whose father, Daniel, was among the early 
settlers of North Branford. Mr. Barker is a carriage maker by trade. 
In 1877 he built the Sachem's Head House, which he has kept open to 
the public since that time as a summer hotel. He married Mary A. 
Serry. Their children are: Charles A., Nettie M., Lottie M. (Mrs. E. 
J. Parmelee), William S. and Edward B. 

Cyrus Olcott Bartlett, born in 1829, is the eldest son of Nathaniel 
and Bertha (Cook) Bartlett, grandson of Samuel and great-grandson of 
John Bartlett. Mr. Bartlett is a farmer. He married Frances H.> 
daughter of Austin Fowler. Their children are: Amy F. and Charles 
O. They lost one daughter, Mary F. 

David Bartlett, born in 1815, is a son of Stephen and Nancy (Fow- 
ler) Bartlett, and grandson of John, whose father, Henry, was a son of 
George Bartlett. Mr. Bartlett is a farmer, and has held several town 
offices. In 1877 and 1879 he was representative to the legislature. 
He married Ruth Frances, daughter of Erastus Dudley. She died in 
1889. They had two children: James D. and one that died, Melzar F. 

Edwin W. Bartlett, born in 1839, is a brother of Cyrus O. Bartlett. 
He is a farmer. He married Annis S., daughter of Nathan C. Dudley. 
Their children are: Bertha, Edwin N., Mary and Erastus D. Mr. Bart- 
lett was selectman eleven years. 

John Beattie, the well known quarryman and contractor, of Leete's 
Island, Guilford, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, June 18th, 1824. 
His father was John Beattie,* a freeman of that city, who was a direct 
descendant of the noted Beattie family of Eskdale Moor, in Dumfries- 
shire, Scotland, whose ancestry has been traced back more than six cen- 
turies, and whose valor and exploits in peace and war have been cele- 
brated in the story and song of that country, by Sir Walter Scott and 
others. On the paternal side his grandmother was Nanes Armstrong, 
a descendant of the Johnson family, of Dumfriesshire, also prominent 
in the affairs of Scotland. The mother of John Beattie was Ann 
Richardson, a daughter of John Richardson, whose wife was Catherine 
Tate, and both families belonged to Haddington, Scotland. 

In 1830, when John Beattie was about six years of age, his parents 
removed to America and settled at Newport, R. I., where his father 
carried on his trade as stone mason and contractor, and at that place 
the paternal home in this country was established, on a small farm. 
Here the son was sent to school for a short time, but his robust nature 
rebelled against the restraint imposed upon him by such a life, and he 
preferred to work in the fields on his father's farm. Subsequently, in 

*From time immemorial the oldest son of each generation of the Beattie 
family was named John. 


Nova Scotia, he attended with profit, for a few terms, the school of an 
excellent man, the Reverend Mr. Morrison, his school days being thus 
limited to these brief periods. In the meantime his father had re- 
moved from Newport to Nova Scotia, where he was engaged as the 
contractor in the construction of the masonry work on a canal from 
Halifax to Pictou. 

After a few years residence in the former town, when John would 
no longer attend school, his father purposed to indenture him to learn 
the trade of a shoemaker, and had selected a master for him, where- 
upon the independent lad gave so emphatic a demonstration against 
such a step that the plan was summarily abandoned. This opposition 
was probably the act in his life which led him into the avocation in 
which he has for so many years been most successfully engaged. Being 
now thirteen years old, strong and healthy, with a love for out-door 
occupation, his father was persuaded to allow him to learn the trade 
of stone cutting, which work John took up with great spirit. In the 
course of a few years the failure of the canal company induced the 
Beatties to return to their home at Newport, when the father and John 
went to New York to work at their trade. A year later they went to 
Boston, and not long after to Newport, where the father died when 
John was 16 years of age. The care of the family, consisting of his 
mother and four children, the next oldest being ten years, devolved 
upon John, who, deeply feeling the responsibility placed upon him, 
now entered upon his life-work with an earnestness of application that 
was bound to bring success. He became very skillful in his trade, and 
was a rapid and thorough workman. The next four years he was en- 
gaged at Fort Adams, R. I., having, when he was 18 years of age, his 
first contract to do work for the United States government. At the age 
of 20 years he was appointed foreman mason of the bridge builders on 
a section of the Boston & Troy railroad, where for two years he had 
his first experience in overseeing large numbers of men. In 1846 he 
returned to Fort Adams, where he was appointed master stone cutter 
by General W. S. Rosecrans, and superintended the preparation of 
the material used in that fortification until work was suspended by 
order of Jefferson Davis, at that time the secretary of war. Again, 
for a year, he was with the Boston & Troy Railroad Company in his 
old capacity, when he went to California as a gold miner, and for two 
years and two months had the experience of that occupation, without 
realizing any of the rewards sometimes associated with it. Returning 
to the East, poor in purse and with impaired health, his next work was 
building the stone towers for the suspension bridge across the Ken- 
tucky river, at Pleasant Valley. His health continuing poor he and 
his brother, William, next opened a stone cutter's yard at Newport, in 
which he worked a year with beneficial results to his health. 

In 1855 he built the towers for the great bridge across the Ohio, 
between Cincinnati and Covington, after which he had an interest in 


the construction of Section 1 of the Brooklyn Water Works, at Jamai- 
ca, N. Y. That being completed, at a loss to him, he next spent some 
time building bridges on the Wabash railroad in Indiana, after which 
he again returned to Jamaica, N. Y., and contracted for the construc- 
tion of another section of the water works. This job he personally 
superintended, and to such great advantage that he and his partner 
cleared $20,000 in eighteen months. After this he executed many 
contracts for mason work in bridges, on railroads, warehouse docks 
and lighthouses. He built bridges on the Worcester & Nashua rail- 
road, on the Old Colony Line, and the Warren & Fall River railroad. 
He constructed the piers for the bridge at Warehouse Point and the 
Old Colony dock at Newport, all large public works. 

In 186. r > he purchased the Harrison Quarry, at Fall River, but after 
operating it one year left it in charge of his brother William and son 
John, and opened another quarry at Niantic, Conn. In a few years 
he disposed of that interest, and in February, 1869, came to Guilford, 
where he bought 16 acres of land at Hoadley's Point, upon which were 
very fine ledges of excellent granite. The following season he built 
several houses upon this- tract, doing at the same time the mason work 
of the Newport & Wickford railroad. On the 22d of August, 1870, he 
removed permanently to Leete's Island, which has since been his home, 
where he has developed the large quarrying interests at that place, 
until the industry has become one of the largest of the kind in the 
state. His granite lands and real estate at Leete's Island have been 
increased to more than 400 acres of land. He employs from 125 to 
600 men, their operations being conducted in a systematic manner 
and aided by modern appliances. The products are readily trans- 
ported to many different localities by the Shore Line railroad, running 
through his lands, and by a fleet of vessels owned by him and laden at 
his own docks, at Hoadley's Point. The granite of his quarries is of 
several qualities: blue, pink and white — which are here cut, carved 
and polished into any desired forms — and a coarse-grained gray, hav- 
ing a carrying capacity of 18,000 pounds to the square inch, which is 
much used for building purposes. A large quantity was thus supplied 
for the construction of the roadway of the New York & Harlem rail- 
road, from the river to the Grand Central depot, in New York city. 
Much of the stone in the Brooklyn bridge was procured at Leete's 
Island, and the granite pedestal for the statue of " Liberty," on Bed- 
loe's Island, in New York bay, was furnished from these quarries. 

Mr. Beattie has a thorough, practical knowledge of every depart- 
ment of work carried on by him, and having great industry, pluck and 
fine executive ability, he has prospered in his affairs and has earned 
the distinction of being one .of the foremost business men in the east- 
ern part of the county. He has a strong physique and is liberally en- 
dowed with many of the distinguishing characteristics of the Scottish 
race. He was twice married; first to Ann Kelly, in 1842, by whom he 


had four children: John, living at Fall River, Mass., the inventor of 
the Amalgamated Battery Compound; Frank, superintendent of quar- 
ries at Leete's Island; George, deceased in 1887; and Isabella, married 
George Sanborn, of Leete's Island. For his second wife he married, 
in 1870, Mary Gay, of Guilford, and the children by this union were: 
Elizabeth, who deceased in 1878; and two sons, Peter and Thomas, 
residing with their father at his pleasant home on Hoadley's Point, 
Leete's Island. 

Dan L. Benton, born in 1810, is a son of Dan L. and Betsey (Seward) 
Benton, and grandson of Silas and Abigail (Linsley) Benton. Mr. 
Benton is a farmer. He married Marietta, daughter of Montgomery 
Norton. She died, leaving one son, Darwin N. His second marriage 
was with Elizabeth A., daughter of Sacket and Polly (Bassett) Blak- 
sley, and granddaughter of Joel Blaksley. Their children are: Hur- 
bert L., Charles L. and Edward W. 

Darwin N. Benton, born in 1834, is a son of Dan L. and Marietta E. 
(Norton) Benton. He was a grain merchant since 1872, and since 1881 
has been engaged in canning fruit in Guilford. 

Richard H. Benton, born in 1823, is a brother of Dan L. Benton. 
He is a farmer. He married Charlotte, daughter of Beverly and 
Parna (Gould) Parkis. Their children are: Hattie E. Mattie S. and 
Richard B. They lost one daughter in infancy. 

Elisha C. Bishop, son of Jonathan and Polly Maria Bishop, was born 
in 1824. His grandfather, Jonathan, was a son of David, whose father, 
David, was a son of John, whose father, John, was a son of John 
Bishop, who came from England in 1639, and was one of the orig- 
inal settlers of Guilford. Mr. Bishop is now a farmer. He repre- 
sented the town in the legislature in 18S2, and has served sev- 
eral terms as selectman. He married Charlotte G. Fowler in 1846. 
She died in October, 18S5. Their children were: Frederick C, who 
died in infancy; Frederick C, Robert D., who died in infancy; Robert 
A., Edward F., Mary C, Frank H., Ida and Eva, twins; Richard M„ 
■died in infancy; Marilla C. and Ernest S. His present wife is Cor- 
nelia, a sister of his first wife. 

Walter G. Bishop, born in Meriden in 1827, is a son of Martin and 
Sylvina (Bradley) Bishop, and grandson of Benjamin Bishop, of North 
Haven. He is a moulder by trade. In 1871 he came to Guilford, 
where he has followed farming. His first wife was Dorcas J. Hunger- 
ford, of Harwinton. His second marriage was with Nancy M., daugh- 
ter of Rufus N. Leete, of Guilford, who died, leaving three children: 
Dexter L., Burton W. and Grace S. His present wife was Ellen L. 
Leete, sister of his second wife. 

Albert C. Brewer, born in 1864, is a son of Alva G. and H. Alice 
(Palmer) Brewer, and grandson of Thomas Brewer, who came from 
England when a young man, and about 50 years ago settled where Al- 
bert C. now lives. Alva G. Brewer was a farmer, and died in 1887, 


aged 49 years. His children were: Nellie (Mrs. Richard H. Woodruff i. 
Albert C., Fannie, Elizabeth (Mrs. William Blatchley), Angeline, 
Harry, Mary and Hattie. 

Elisaph H. Butler, born in 1848 in Norfolk, Conn., is a son of Levi 
and Clarinda E. (Sanford) Butler, and grandson of Elisaph Butler. 
Mr. Butler came to Guilford in 1854. In 1870 he became one of the 
hardware firm of S. Robinson & Co., succeeding Chester Buckley in 
the business. In 1887 Mr. Butler bought the interest of his partner, 
and now conducts the business in his own name. He is vice-president 
of the Guilford Savings Bank, has been several years burgess of the 
borough, and is now justice of the peace. He married Fannie E., 
daughter of Stephen Robinson. Their children are: William S., Jennie 
C, Hattie M. and Robert B. They lost four children. 

David D. Carter, born in 1821 in Clinton, is a son of Jared and Polly 
(Dibbell) Carter. He came to Guilford in 1843, where he has since 
been a farmer. He married Mary J., daughter of William and Betsey 
(Dudley) Chittenden. Their son, George W., married Alice Wilcox, 
and they have two children: George E. and Harry W. 

David D. Chittenden, born in 1817 and died in 1890, was a son of 
David D., grandson of Simeon, and great-grandson of Simeon Chitten- 
den. Mr. Chittenden married Abbie Ann, daughter of Erastus and 
Ruth (Fowler) Dudley, who survives him. Their children are: George 
M., David Dwight, Ruth F. (deceased), Dudley, Frederick and Lucy F. 

Dudley Chittenden, born in 1851. is a son of David D. Chittenden. 
He is a farmer. He married Mary E., daughter of Darwin Page, and 
has three sons: George D., David D. and Harold. 

Simeon Chittenden was a son of Simeon, and grandson of Simeon 
Chittenden. He had six children: Henry W., William V. and Jerusha,. 
deceased; and Parnel F., Martin Luther and John D. Henry W. was 
born October 14th, 1817, and had four children, of whom Charles R., 
Henry and Maria Louise deceased, and one, Charles R., is living. 
William V. was born November 28th, 1822, and had four children. 
Three are deceased — Henry Scott, Emily L. and William H. The sur- 
vivor is Simeon D. Jerusha Chittenden was born June 12th, 1826, and 
died June 18th, 1826. Parnel F. married E. Frank Dudley. Martin L. 
Chittenden owns and occupies his father's homestead. John D. mar- 
ried Lucy A., daughter of Timothy Rossiter. Their children are: 
Sarah T. and Charles F., and two that died — William H. and Franklin 
F. J. William H. was a young man of much promise. He graduated 
from the medical department of Yale College in 1883, and began prac- 
tice at Branford, but on account of failing health was obliged to return 
home, and died October 18th, 1884, aged 26 years. 

Jerome Coan, born in 1834, is a son of John and Elizabeth (Hart) 
Coan, and grandson of John, who was a revolutionary soldier, who 
was a son of John, and grandson of John, whose father, Peter, was born 
in 1697, in Germany, and in 1715, with his parents and two younger 


brothers. George and Abraham, came to America. In 1736 Peter set- 
tled at North Guilford, near where Jerome now lives. Mr. Coan is a 
merchant. He served three years in the late war in Company E, 15th 
Connecticut Volunteers. He married Frances D. Griswold, who died 
in 1859. He married for his second wife Mary F., daughter of Henry 
Judd. Their children are: Joseph F. and Fannie L. 

Owen Cunningham, son of Dennis Cunningham, was born in Ire- 
land in 1832, and came to America in 1838. He learned the copper- 
smith trade in Buffalo, N. Y., and at the age of 20 went to Chicago, 
where he lived until 1880, when he came to Guilford. He served in 
the war of the rebellion in Company K, 23d Illinois Volunteers, for 
about three years. He married Ann Driscoll. 

Deacon Edwin O. Davis, born in 1825, is a son of Joel and Polly 
(Loper) Davis, and grandson of James Davis, who was a revolutionary 
soldier, and came from Southold, L. I., to Guilford, where he married 
Ruth Griswold and had nine children. Mr. Davis is a farmer. He mar- 
ried in 1849, Martha S., daughter of Dan L. Benton. Their children 
are: Anna S., now Mrs. J. P. Slocum; Robert E., who is a farmer with 
his father; and Martha E., now Mrs. Frank E. Fowler. Mr. and Mrs. 
Davis have 11 grandchildren. 

George S. Davis, born in 1854, is the eldest son of George W. and 
Cornelia (Smith) Davis, and grandson of Joel Davis. Mr. Davis was 
eight years in Hartford as merchant's clerk, and was then four years 
clerk in the Guilford post office. Since 18S3 he has been a grocery 
merchant. He is now serving his sixth term as town treasurer, and in 
1889 he represented the town in the legislature. He married Anna G. 
Fowler. They have one daughter, Elizabeth G. They lost one son in 

Sherman W. Davis, born in lS26in Killingworth, was a son of Zina 
and Amanda (.Stephens) Davis. He is a farmer. He married Emma 
J., daughter of Nathan Aldrich. Their children are: Ella (Mrs. Frank 
Hill), Mrs. Phebe J. Dudley and Mrs. Flora E. Dudley. 

Emily G. (Davis) Demarest is a daughter of Joel and Polly (Loper) 
Davis. She married first Samuel Madden, a furniture dealer of New 
York, who died in 1869, aged 50 years. They had eight sons: Oscar 
E., Samuel C, Joel D., Albert F., Harry G., Lewis A., Allen E. and 
Charles W. They lost one daughter, Ella P. Mrs. Demarest has her 
home in Guilford, near the place of her birth. 

Julius A. Dowd, born in 1806, was the eldest of twelve children of 
Julius and Clarissa (Stone) Dowd, grandson of Ebenezer, and great- 
grandson of Ebenezer, whose father, Thomas, was a son of Thomas, 
and a grandson of Henry Dowd, who came from England in 1639 and 
died in Guilford in 1668. Mr. Dowd is a shoemaker by trade and has 
followed the business through life except 20 years, during which time 
he was a farmer. He married Mrs. Nancy Terry, who died leaving 
one daughter, Mary C, now Mrs. Virgil Hotchkiss. His second mar- 


riage was with Mrs. Abigail Tibbies, daughter of Doctor Jonathan 
Todd, of Madison. 

William T. Dowd, born in 1828 in Madison, is a son of Rufus and 
Rebecca (Bishop) Dowd, and grandson of Moses Dowd. He is a joiner 
by trade. He is now filling his fifth term as warden of the borough. 
He married Mary J. Pomeroy. They have two children: William H. 
and Mary, now Mrs. Louis P. Anderson. 

Ebenezer F. Dudley, born in 1819, is a son of Erastus and Ruth 
(Fowler) Dudley, grandson of Luther, and great-grandson of Jared, 
whose father. William, was a son of Joseph, and grandson of William 
Dudley. Mr. Dudley, like most of his ancestors, is a farmer. He mar- 
ried Nancy A., daughter of Timothy Fowler. She died in February, 
1890, leaving two sons: Baldwin C. and Ira F. 

George C. Dudley, born in 1S42, is a son of Samuel W. and Lucy A. 
(Chittenden) Dudley, and grandson of Ambrose Dudley. Mr. Dudley 
is a farmer on the homestead of his father and grandfather. Samuel 
W. Dudley was a farmer, was for a number of years representative in 
the legislature and one term state senator. He had six children: 
Charles S., Henry C, who died in the army: Elizabeth, James A., 
George C. and William R., who is a teacher at Cornell. 

John Hooker Dudley is a son of Hooker and Mary (Evarts) Dudley, 
grandson of John, and great-grandson of Nathaniel, whose father, 
Caleb, was a son of Caleb, grandson of Joseph, and great-grandson of 
William Dudley. Mr. Dudley is an enterprising and successful farmer, 
owning and occupying the homestead of his father. 

Lucian W. Dudley, born in 1830 in Guilford, is a son of David and 
Abigail (Stevens) Dudley, grandson of Roswell, and great-grandson of 
Lutenant, who was a son of Deacon David Dudley. Mr. Dudley was 
a manufacturer of turned wood in Madison several years, and he was 
for 14 years engaged in mercantile trade in Norwich. Since 18S4 he 
has been a farmer in Guilford. While in Madison he held several 
town offices. He married Mary E., daughter of Erastus Page. Their 
children are: William H., M.D., and George W., who is a farmer with 
his father. 

Nathan C. Dudley, born in 1821, is a son of Erastus and Ruth 
(Fowler) Dudley, and grandson of Luther, whose father was Jared 
Dudley. Mr. Dudley was a tanner and farmer until 1875, and since 
that time has lived retired. He married Annis S., daughter of Benja- 
min Rossiter. Their children are: Annis S., now Mrs. Edwin W. 
Bartlett; Erastus, Lucy E., Catharine B. and Mary R., deceased June 
23d, 1883. 

Harvey Elliot, born in 1830, is a son of Willis and Lucy (Camp) 
Elliot, grandson of Timothy, and great-grandson of Abial, whose father, 
Reverend Joseph, was a son of John Elliot, the apostle to the Indians. 
Mr. Elliot is a farmer. He married Jane Coulter, who died in Febru- 


ary, 1887. They had four children: Frederick W., Harry L., Jennie 
L. and Fannie L. Frederick W. has charge of the home farm. 

Lewis R. Elliot, born in 1819, is a son of Charles and Chloe (Pardee) 
Elliot. He is president of the Guilford Savings Bank. He is a farmer, 
though the more laborious part of the work he has surrendered to his 
son. His house stands on the site where, in 1664, Reverend Joseph 
Elliot built his first residence in the town, and the family have owned 
the place continuously since that time. His first marriage was with 
Fannie Griswold. She died leaving one daughter, Fannie, now Mrs. 
Herbert Benton. His second wife was Catharine Graves. They have 
two children: Edward and Elizabeth. 

Arthur S. Fowler, born in 1844, is a son of Captain Harry B. and 
Caroline (Williams) Fowler, and grandson of Bildad Fowler. Mr. 
Fowler is a farmer. He is now serving his second term as assessor. 
He married Charlotte A., daughter of John J. Bartholomew, of Bran- 
ford. They have one daughter living, Annice B., and lost one, Bessie I. 
Mr. Fowler enlisted as private in Battery A, C. N. G., in May, 1874; 
was promoted to corporal 1877; to sergeant 1879; to second lieutenant 
December 5th, 1881: to first lieutenant January 22d, 1883; to captain 
March 11th, 1886, which position he now holds. 

Charles Griswold was born July 26th, 1841, at Guilford, Conn., the 
youngest in a family of nine. His father, Joel Griswold, was one of 
the staunch New Englanders of the old school, a man of influence in 
town affairs. Charles Griswold worked on his father's farm until he 
was 21, attending school during the winter at the Guilford Institute. 
At his father's desire, he planned to study civil engineering, and with 
this in view, so shaped his winters' studies as to fit himself to enter the 
Sheffield School at Yale. But the wise men of the town said there 
would be no more railroads built, and such a course of study would not 
be profitable. About this time the war broke out, and the young man 
enlisted as soon as he attained his majority. He served first as pri- 
vate, then as sergeant in the 15th Regiment, and participated in the 
battles of Fredericksburg, Suffolk Road, etc. After 18 months of this 
service, he was made captain in the 29th Connecticut Volunteers (col- 
ored), in which capacity he served until the close of the war, about two 
years, experiencing some hard fighting in Maryland, Virginia, North 
and South Carolina and Texas. He was present at the surrender of 
Richmond, his regiment being one of the first to enter the city. Since 
the war he has been identified with Guilford interests in many forms. 
For several years he was a merchant, for 17 years postmaster, for ten 
years treasurer of the Guilford Savings Bank, served on the school 
board as secretary or president for 25 years, represented the town in 
the legislature of 1887; in fact, has held almost every office which falls 
to the lot of public-spirited and popular citizens of a New England 
town. In June, 1889, he was appointed bank commissioner of Connec- 
ticut, which office he still holds. Mr. Griswold is a member of the 


First Congregational church, Guilford. He was married in 1864, to 
Mary E. Griswold, of Guilford. He has two children, both of mature 
age. He was assistant quartermaster general of the department of 
Connecticut, G. A. R., for one term, and served as commander of the 
Grand Army Post in his native town for three years. 

Henry H. Griswold, born in 1847, is the only son of Russell M. and 
Polly F. (Hill) Griswold, grandson of Jacob, and great-grandson of 
Nathan Griswold. Mr. Griswold is a farmer. He married Frances, 
daughter of E. Frank and Parnella (Chittenden) Dudley. 

John E. Griswold, born in 1825, is the eldest son of Henry and 
Nancy (Elliot) Griswold, and grandson of John Griswold. He is a 
farmer. He married Mary Deborah, daughter of Daniel Goldsmith. 
Their children are: Henry D., Lydia G. (Mrs. Robert Davis), Frank 
R., Edward E., John L. (deceased), Walter S., Minnie M., Russell (de- 
ceased), and Jennie, who died in infancy. 

Ornn Hoadley was born in Branford in 1788, and died May 29th, 
1864. For 16 consecutive years he was warden of Trinity church, 
Branford, and he was selectman several terms. He learned the black- 
smith trade when young, and later became a farmer, owning at the 
time of his death 200 acres of land. He had one brother, Alvin, a 
blacksmith, who settled in the town of Tinmouth, Vt. Orrin Hoadley 
married, first, Hannah Frisbie, who had two sons — Alonzo and Lor- 
enzo. His second wife was Julia Tyler, who had eight children, only 
two of whom are living — Ann and Paschal Kidder. His third wife 
was Sarah Wetherholt, of Terre Haute, 111. Paschal K. Hoadley, born 
in 1845, came, in 1868, from Branford to North Guilford, where he is 
a farmer. He married, first, Jane Honce, who died, leaving one son, 
James Morgan. His second wife was Sarah, daughter of Joseph Hub- 
bard. Their children are: Alvin and Lucy Alvena (were twins), 
Mary A., Grace W., Ethna E., Ralph L. and Homer R. Alvin died, 
aged nine months. 

John Hubbard, born in 1804, is the youngest son of Daniel and 
Hannah (Fowler) Hubbard. His grandfather was Daniel, whose 
father, grandfather and great-great-grandfather bore the same name, 
and back of the last mentioned Daniel was George Hubbard, born in 
England in 1595, came to Guilford in 1650, and settled where John 
now lives. Mr. Hubbard has been a farmer and drover. He married 
Mary Linsley, who died, leaving one daughter, Mary L. His second 
marriage was with Charlotte Rose. They have five children: Han- 
nah, William H., Ellen, James R. and John B. 

George W. Hull, born in 1839, is the only son of E. Willis and 
Rohama (Davis) Hull. Mr. Hull is a farmer. He married Eugenia, 
daughter of Asa Morse. Their children are: George W., Jr., and Lan- 
ette R. 

James M. Hunt, son of Robert Hunt, was born in Hartford county 
in 1823, and came to Guilford in 1844 with his father, who at that time 


took charge of the Guilford Point House, purchasing the property- 
three years later. Mr. Hunt succeeded his father as proprietor of the 
house, and is its present owner. He married Lucy A., daughter of 
Horace Norton. They have one daughter, Harriet L., now Mrs. S. M. 
Bryant. They lost one son, Robert N. 

Rufus Norton and Calvin Miner Leete, brothers, two of the 
oldest and most respected citizens of Leete's Island, are lineal descend- 
ants, in the seventh generation, of Governor William Leete, the progen- 
itor of most of the Leetes in America. The prominence of Governor 
Leete in the Menuncatuc plantation and town of Guilford, and his 
official relation to the colony of New Haven, and later the United 
Connecticut colonies, are fully noted in the foregoing pages. He died 
in the service of the state, April 16th, 1683, after having resided in 
this country about 44 years. His oldest son, John, born in Guilford in 
1639 (and said to be the first white child born in this town ), married, 
in 1670, Mary, daughter of William and Joanna (Sheafe) Chittenden, 
and their fifth child, Pelatiah, born March 26th, 1681, was the great- 
great-grandfather of the subjects of this sketch. 

On the 1st of July, 1705, Deacon Pelatiah Leete married Abigail, 
daughter of Abraham and Elizabeth i Bartlett) Fowler, and soon after 
they removed to Leete's Island, where no settlement had before been 
made. But the land had been allotted to his grandfather, Governor 
William Leete, after proper purchase from the Indians, and the title 
for the greater part of this soil has never been out of this family. 
Upon these ancestral acres six generations of Leetes have resided as 
farmers, members of each one being content to remain and follow the 
occupation of their forefathers, most of them with success and profit. 
Originally the soil here was very fertile, and it is said of Deacon Leete 
that he farmed so successfully that he did not consider a hundred 
bushels of shelled corn to the acre more than an average yield. He 
also had a herd of 100 head of neat cattle. In 1735 he erected a large 
house on a commanding spot of his farm, overlooking the waters of 
the sound, in which he lived until his death, October 13th, 1768. His 
widow died October 22d the following year. They had lived together 
63 years. This house was a noted landmark in the time of the revo- 
lution,- and was later occupied by descendants in several generations. 
In 1874 it was demolished, and upon its site was erected the present 
residence of one of the foregoing brothers, Deacon Calvin M. Leete. 

The eldest son of Deacon Pelatiah Leete, Daniel, born October 14th, 
1709, also became a deacon of the Fourth Congregational church. He 
married June 14th, 1738, Rhoda, daughter of Caleb and Sarah (Meigs) 
Stone, and resided at Leete's Island, where he died October 1st, 1772. 
His wife had deceased earlier, December 23d, 1769, at the age of 50 
years. Their third child -was Ambrose, the grandfather of the brothers, 
whose portraits are here given. 
*See account of the revolution. 


Like his father and grandfather, Ambrose Leete was also a deacon 
of the Conereo-ational church. He was chosen to that office in the 
Fourth church in 1786, and by the First church in 1807. He was born 
January 19th, 1748, and November 10th, 1773, married Miranda, daught- 
er of William and Rachel (White) Chittenden. He died February 
14th, 1809. but his widow survived until September 16th. 1838, when 
she deceased at the age of 91-J- years. Their third child was Miner, 
the father of Rufus N. and Calvin M. Leete. 

Miner Leete was born June 30th. 1779. He was married November 
17th, 1807, to Lucinda, daughter of Colonel Rufus and Hannah (Cook) 
Norton, who was born in Guilford, November 18th, 1780. They lived 
and died at Leete's Island, he deceasing November 7th, 1826, and she 
August 28th, 1848. Of their five children the youngest was the only 
daughter, Louisa Maria, born August 20th, 1822, died unmarried, July 
29th, 1855. The sons were: Edward L., Rufus N., Theodore A. and 
Calvin M. Deacon Edward Lorenzo was born June 28th, 1810, and 
married April 29th, 1833, Sylvia, daughter of Daniel and Lucy (Chit- 
tenden) Fowler, born in North Guilford, May 2d, 1807. He died at 
Leete's Island, May 3d, 1884, leaving two children, Edward Walter and 
Lucy Louisa. Deacon Leete was very active in the affairs of the town, 
taking especial interest in the cause of education. He was a very use- 
ful man in this community, and " had the respect, esteem and confi- 
dence of all who associated with him, and all justly considered him 
a personal friend." In the latter years of his life he compiled the 
Leete Genealogy, from which many of these facts have been taken. 

The third son, Reverend Theodore Adgate. was born May 18th, 
1814. He graduated from Yale College in 1839, and subsequently from 
the Yale Theological Seminary. From 1845 to 1859 he was the pastor 
of the First church in Windsor, Conn. Later he removed to Long 
Meadow, Mass. He was married to Mary C. White, of that place, and 
had three children: Ella Louisa, Reverend William White and Theo- 
dore Woolsey. His death occurred April 28th, 1886, at Long Meadow, 

Rufus N. Leete, the second son of Miner and Lucinda (Norton) 
Leete, was born August 17th, 1812, and was reared on his father's farm 
at Leete's Island. Upon reaching manhood he adopted that occupa- 
tion, and has intelligently followed it to the present time, his industry 
being rewarded by an encouraging measure of success. In 1S48 he 
built and occupied his present home on Leete's Island proper. He was 
married October 23d, 1833, to Sarah, daughter of Ezra S. and Abigail 
(Norton) Bishop, and six children were born to them, namely: Nancy 
Maria, October 23d, 1834, married, February 12th, 1862, Walter G. 
Bishop, of Meriden, and died in Guilford, April 4th, 1886; Richard 
Miner, born November 20th, 1836, married, November 14th, 1861, Mary 
E., daughter of Anson and Fanny Norton; Roger Calvin, born August 
30th, 1838, married, October, 1869, Helen A. Park, of Sheshequin, Pa.; 


Ellen Lucretia, born August 20th, 1840, married, February 22d, 1887, 
W. G. Bishop; Rufus Burton, born June 22d, 1843; Margaret Elizabeth, 
born March 11th, 1846. The latter two reside with their parents, on 
the homestead, and the remaining members of the family also live in 
the town of Guilford. 

Rufus N. Leete has a retiring disposition, but is esteemed by those 
who know him as a man of strict integrity, and honorable in all his 
actions of life. He is very steadfast in his convictions, and consist- 
ently maintains them in politics and religion. He has remained at- 
tached to the principles of democracy in spite of continued adverse 
majority against his party in this town, hence was not called to serve 
in public capacity. During the existence of the Baptist society in Guil- 
ford he was a member of that body, and warmly supported its work. 
In these professions and acts he is a conscientious and just man. Mr. 
Leete has been interested in the industrial development of his native 
town, aside from his farm pursuits. He was a large stockholder of the 
Guilford Manufacturing Company, and discharged his obligations to 
that unfortunate enterprise in a manner creditable to his integrity and 
honor as a man. For a number of years he has been an efficient mem- 
ber of the board of trustees of the Guilford Savings Bank, and his 
sound judgment in business matters is much esteemed. 

Deacon Calvin M. Leete, the youngest son of Miner and Lucinda 
(Norton) Leete, was born on the homestead now occupied by him, Oc- 
tober 18th, 1816. After having attended the common schools he began 
work on his father's farm, but was obliged, when 19 years of age, to 
seek another locality, on account of his health. He spent several years 
in Meriden, when he returned much improved, and thenceforth fol- 
lowed the pursuit of farming on a place where four generations of his 
ancestors had previously cultivated the soil. His industry, thrift and 
intelligent application enabled him to prosper and succeed in his chosen 
avocation. These same characteristics, exercised in his other affairs, 
have been attended with equally gratifying results, and he thus be- 
came one of the foremost men of the town. Although averse to hold- 
ing office, he was elected as one of the representatives of Guilford in 
the state legislature in 1856, again in 1862, and for the third time in 
1878. He also served the town in other capacities, and has always 
taken a warm interest in its affairs. 

Early in life he became deeply interested in the human rights of 
man, and warmly espoused the cause of the blacks in the South. He 
cast his vote for Birney and Hale, on the abolition tickets, voted for 
Van Buren in the free soil movement, and since that time has been a 
republican. In 1839 he became a member of the Congregational church 
in Meriden, from which he was transferred to the Third church in 
Guilford. Of this church he has long been a leading member, serving 
as a deacon the past ten years. His worthy and consistent life in this 


relation, added to his other good qualities as a citizen, has caused him 
to be sincerely respected and esteemed by all who know him. 

Deacon Calvin M. Leete was married, February 7th, 1806, to Lucy 
M., daughter of Morris A. and Clarinda (Graves) Leete, and the fruit 
of this union was one son, Calvin Morris, born January 11th, 1867, now 
living in the paternal home. 

Edward Walter Leete, born in 1834, is the only son of Deacon Ed- 
ward L. and Sylvia (Fowler) Leete, grandson of Miner, great-grandson 
of Ambrose, and great-great-grandson of Daniel, whose father, Pela- 
tiah, was a son of John, and a grandson of Governor William Leete. 
Mr. Leete, like his ancestors, is a farmer. He has held the offices of 
assessor, tax collector, justice and member of the board of education. 
Mr. Leete is also a deacon in the First Congregational church in Guil- 
ford, a trustee of the Guilford Institute, and the manager of several 
fiduciary trusts. His wife, Harriet, is a daughter of Daniel L. Rogers, 
of Cornwall, Conn. Their children are: Abbie L., Edward R., William 
S., vSarah T., died October 25th, 1891; and one son that died in infancy. 

George E. Meigs, born in Guilford, is a son of Erastus, and grand- 
son of Isaac Meigs, both seafaring men. Mr. Meigs' mother was a 
Walkley. She left eight children: Anna E., George E., Clara, William, 
Sarah, Charles, Richard and Walter. Mr. Meigs has spent the greater 
part of his life in mercantile trade in Guilford. 

Asahel B. Morse, born in 1827, is a son of Alpha and Phebe (Nor- 
ton) Morse, and grandson of Jonathan Morse. Mr. Morse spent his 
early life in coasting and fishing, and after keeping the town farm six 
years, took charge of the town mill in 1861, and has operated it since 
that time. He was for six years selectman and has held minor town 
offices. He married Martha Ray. Their children are: Eugenia, Mary, 
Anna, Fred, Harry, and Kate, deceased. 

Henry A. Norton, born in 1846, was a son of Billy and Mary (Dud- 
ley) Norton, and grandson of Abel, whose father, Charles Norton, came 
to North Guilford and married Mary Gould, whose father owned the 
farm where Mr. Norton spent his life. He was a farmer and died in 
1872. He married Annette E., daughter of Theophilus and Eliza A. 
(Chittenden) Rossiter. They had one son, Roland B. 

John W. Norton, born in 1839, is a son of John and Ruth (Dudley) 
Norton, grandson of Eber, and great-grandson of Reuben,whose father, 
Thomas, was a son of John, whose father, Thomas Norton, was born 
in 1582, came to America in 1639, and died in Guilford in 1648. Mr. 
Norton is a farmer. He has been three years selectman, two terms 
representative and is now one of the board of assessors. He was mar- 
ried in 1839, to Adalaide E. Kimberly, who died leaving one son, Wal- 
lace D. His present wife was Elizabeth R. Dudley. 

Eli Parmelee, born in 1808, was a son of Jonathan and Elizabeth 
(Hart) Parmelee. Mr. Parmelee was a farmer. He died in Guilford 
in 1882. He married Betsey A., daughter of Dan L. Benton, in 1830. 

^ oZZ 


They had two children: Annie Elizabeth, now Mrs. Edward Griswold; 
and Ellen C, who died aged six years. 

Henry E. Parmelee, born in 1830, is the youngest son of Jonathan 
and Maria (Dudley) Parmelee, and a grandson of Jonathan Parmelee. 
Mr. Parmelee is a farmer. He has served the town as assessor and 
selectman, and in 1889 was representative in the legislature. He was 
in the war of the rebellion in Company 1, 14th Connecticut Volunteers, 
from August 7th, 1862, to December 23d, 1863. He married Georgi- 
anna, daughter of Theophilus Rossiter. Their two sons, Herbert E. and 
Edgar P., are both married, and follow the vocation of their father. 

G. Perry Reynolds, M.D., born in February, 1829, in Norwich, 
Conn., is a son of Henry B. and Amanda i Merriss) Reynolds, and grand- 
son of Jonathan Reynolds. Doctor Reynolds attended the public 
schools of Norwich and Lyme, and the Essex Academy, and after 
studying with Doctor William A. Babcock, graduated from New York 
Medical University in 1852. He began practice in Berlin, Conn., 
and subsequently went to Spragiie, from which place he entered the 
United States service in the 11th Connecticut Volunteers as surgeon 
in 1863, serving until the close of the war. He then began private 
practice at Killingworth, Conn., where he remained until 1870, when 
he came to Guilford, where he has since practiced. He married Mary 
A. Rogers in 1852. She died May 24th, 1879, leaving two children: 
Herbert S., M.D., of Clinton; and Edith E., a teacher in Meriden, 

George P. Rolf, born in 1849 in England, is a son of Henry Rolf. 
He came to Madison when one year old, and in 1870 came to Guilford, 
where he followed the mason's trade until 1881, when he bought a 
livery business of George Davis, and formed a partnership with Mr. 
Redfield, under the firm name of Rolf & Redfield, which business they 
conducted until January 1st, 1891, when he bought out Mr. Redfield 
and carried on the business in the name of George P. Rolf. He mar- 
ried Mary, daughter of William Storer. They have one son, Fred. 

David B. Rossiter, born in 1819, is a son of Benjamin and Cathar- 
ine L. (Brooks) Rossiter, grandson of Timothy, and great-grandson of 
Benjamin Rossiter. Mr. Rossiter is a farmer. He has held various 
town offices and was representative in 1867. He married Carile M., 
daughter of Theophilus Rossiter. Their children are: Daniel W., 
Susan A., Erwin W., Wilbur T., Eliza A., Ellen S., Jennie A. and an 
infant son, all of whom are deceased except Erwin W. and Wilbur T., 
who are farmers at North Guilford. 

Edgar P. Rossiter, born in 1826, is a son of Theophilus and Eliza 
A. (Chittenden) Rossiter, grandson of William, and great-grandson of 
Theophilus Rossiter. Mr. Rossiter is a fanner. He has held various 
town offices, and in 1885 he was in the legislature. He married Mrs. 
Elvira C. Rossiter, daughter of Augustus Bishop. They have had two 
children: Grace E. and Edgar E., both deceased. 


John R. Rossiter, born in 1817, is the eldest son of Benjamin, 
grandson of Timothy, and great-grandson of Benjamin, whose father, 
Nathaniel, was a son of Joseph and grandson of Doctor Bryan Rossi- 
ter. Mr. Rossiter is a farmer. He served four terms as representa- 
tive, has been about 40 years on the school board and 30 years acting 
school visitor. He married Frances C, daughter of Eber Critten- 
den. Their children are: Benjamin, Adeline, John, Catharine (de- 
ceased), Lois, Frances, Mary, Anna and Ruth F. (deceased). Mr. 
Rossiter has been for 40 years deacon of the North Guilford church. 

Christopher Spencer, born in 1831, is a son of Isaac S. and Char- 
lotte B. Spencer. His early life was spent on a farm with his grand- 
father, Samuel Spencer. He left the farm to enter the employ of the 
Guilford Manufacturing Company, where he served his apprenticeship 
in company with ex-Governor H. B. Bigelow and others. There he 
remained until the failure of the company. He afterward held im- 
portant positions in stores in New York and Ravenna, Ohio, returning 
from the last named place to Branford, Conn., where he took the posi- 
tion of superintendent of the foundry of the Squires & Parsons Manu- 
facturing Company, now Branford Lock Works. Leaving there in 
1857, he came to Guilford and began business with his father in the 
firm now known as I. S. Spencer's Sons, of which firm he is the senior 
member. Mr. Spencer married Jane E., daughter of Jonathan Collins. 
They have three sons: Frederick C, Edwin S. and Walter T. 

George B. Spencer, born in 1841, is one of seven children of Isaac 
S. and Charlotte (Brickell) Spencer, and grandson of Samuel Spencer. 
Mr. Spencer has been engaged in manufacturing in Guilford since 
1857. He is now one of the firm of I. S. Spencer's Sons. He was 
representative in 1874, selectman one year, warden of the borough 
four years, and several years burgess. He married Emma F., daugh- 
ter of Chester Bickley. They have two sons: Samuel and Chester S. 

Leverett C. Stone, born in 1819, is a son of Reuben and Lucinda 
(Camp) Stone, and grandson of Timothy, whose father, Reuben, was 
a son of Caleb, he a son of Nathaniel, whose father, John, was a son of 
Reverend William Stone of England. Mr. Stone, like most of the 
people of Guilford, has been a farmer. He married Adaline, daughter 
of Charles and Chloe (Pardee) Elliot. Their two children are: Anna 
Mary and William L., who married Elizabeth Morrill, and has two 
children: Adaline E. and William M. 

Alvan Talcott, M. D., born in Vernon, Conn., in 1804, was a son of 
Alvan and Philomela (Root) Talcott, and grandson of Benjamin Tal- 
cott. Doctor Talcott fitted for college in his native town, under the 
instruction of Reverend William Ealy, entered Yale in 1820, and after 
graduating in 1824, taught different academies for a few years, and in 
1831 graduated from Yale Medical School and began practice in his 
native town. In 1841 he came to Guilford, where he practiced until a 
few years ago, when he retired. He married Olive N., daughter of 


Abel Chittenden. She died in 1882. Their three children were: 
William H., who was lost at sea in 1856; Sarah, who died in 1866; and 
a daughter that died in infancy. Doctor Talcott died January 17th, 
1891. leaving valuable genealogical manuscripts to the New Haven 
Colony Historical Society. A short time before his death he gave 
Yale College $25,000 to endow a Greek professorship. 

Levi W. Thrall, born in 1825, in Torrington, Conn., is a son of 
Lawrence and Sarah (Dutton) Thrall, and grandson of Levi Thrall. 
He came to Guilford in 1867, where he has since been engaged in 
raising fruit and garden truck. He married Amelia Beecher, who 
died, leaving nine children: Sarah, Martha, Laura, Beecher, Charles, 
Henry, Anna, Walter and Levi. His present wife was Antoinette 

Joel Tuttle was born in Guilford, May 8th, 1792, and died 
one of the most respected citizens of that town, May 1st, 1855. He 
was the youngest child and only son of Joel and Elizabeth (Fowler) 
Tuttle, the other members of their family being five daughters. His 
mother belonged to one of Guilford's oldest families, and died Sep- 
tember 26th, 1842, aged a little more than 91 years. His father was a 
son of Joel and Rebecca Tuttle, of New Haven, where he was born, 
September 1st, 1746. About the beginning of the revolution he re- 
moved to Guilford, where his first wife, Anna Crawford, died, in Octo- 
ber, 1775, and where, in October, 1778, he married Elizabeth Fowler. 
He deceased November 30th, 1822. The Tuttles were lineal descend- 
ants of William Tuttle, who settled on Stony Creek, in East Haven, 
about 1645, and from that place members of his family removed to 
various parts of the county, where they prospered and became influ- 
ential citizens. 

The boyhood education of Joel Tuttle, the subject of this sketch, 
was limited to the instruction imparted in the common schools of 
his native town, but he was a great reader and diligent student in 
his later years, becoming remarkably well self-educated. He early 
showed an inclination for business pursuits, and he was trained for 
mercantile trade, which avocation he successfully followed until about 
1850. His store was on Broad street, west of the new residence which 
he occupied as a homestead in the latter days of his life. 

He was very energetic and industrious, prospering in his affairs, 
and became one of the leading business men of this part of the county. 
The care of a farm also received his attention, and he was much in- 
terested in the construction of the Shore Line railroad. He had a 
clear judgment and his integrity was unsullied. Hence his advice on 
business matters was often sought, and many safely rested on his 
counsels. He manifested a warm interest in the affairs of the town, 
and his fellow-townsmen appreciated his worth by electing him to 
various positions of honor and trust. He was a judge of the probate 
court, and served as a representative from Guilford in the state legis- 


lature. Although not a member of any Christian church, he lived a 
life of the strictest morality, and was esteemed a just and upright man. 

Joel Tuttle was married April 23d, 1851, to Lucy E., daughter of 
Isaac and Harriet Sage, of Cromwell, Conn., and two children were 
born to them: Joel Edward, March 8th, 1852, died August 29th, the 
same year; and William .Sage, December 28th, 1853, who died July 
27th, 1867. He was a youth of unusual promise, and his intellectual 
development was, for one of his years, very brilliant. His mother 
fitly perpetuated his memory by giving the Olivet, Michigan, College 
a memorial library fund of $15,000. Mrs. Tuttle was a woman of 
many excellent qualities, and, like her husband, was much esteemed 
in this community. The Tuttle homestead is now occupied by her 
sister, Miss Clara I. Sage. 

Charles W. Walkley, born in 1837, is a son of Roswell S. and Jeru- 
sha B. (Stone) Walkley, grandson of William, and great-grandson of 
William Walkley. Mr. Walkley is a fisherman and farmer. He mar- 
ried Jane E., daughter of Henry W. and Eliza A. (Morse) Lee, and 
granddaughter of Frederick W. Lee. They have two adopted daugh- 
ters: Addie S. and Louie H. 

William E. Weld, son of George and Mabel (Fowler) Weld, grand- 
son of Edmund and Charlotte (Stone) Weld, and great-grandson of 
Joseph Weld, was born in 1815. In early life he was a carpenter, lum- 
ber dealer and builder, but now devotes his attention to farming. He 
married Myrta M. Holcomb. Their children are: Jennie C. (Mrs. 
Charles Shelton), William Edwin, and Julia A., who died in infancy. 

Richard C. Wilcox, born in 1846, is a son of Almon O. and Ruth D. 
(Kennedy) Wilcox. Mr. Wilcox is a farmer. He married Lucy, 
daughter of Edgar and Jane (Robinson) Page. Their children are: 
Lewis C, Elmer E., Edgar A. and Richard L. 

Eleazer Woodruff, born in 1819, in Killingworth, is a son of Alonzo 
and Hannah (Davis) Woodruff. Mr. Woodruff is a farmer. He kept 
the Guilford town mill for 23 years. He married Harriet A., daugh- 
ter of Christopher B. Davis. She died December 14th, 1890. Their 
children are: Richard H., Lucy and Edwin C. Richard H. married 
Isabell Parmelee, November 1st, 1882. She died April 27th, 1885, at 
the age of 26 years, leaving one son, Henry. He afterward married 
Nellie R. Brewer, and has two children, Hattie and Alva. Richard 
H. is a farmer. Lucy, now Mrs. Frank Griswold, has one son, John. 
Edwin C. was a graduate of Yale College, class of '72, graduating at 
the age of 20 years. He married, July 15th, 1884. He died May 17th, 
1886, at the age of 34 years. He was town clerk and judge of pro- 
bate in the town of Guilford at the time of his death. 

jL£ J£#£, 



Location and Description.— Settlement and Settlers.— Old Houses.— Civil Organization 
and Civil Officers.— Madison Green. —High ways. —Industrial Interests.— East River. 
— North Madison.— Madison Village.— The Beach.— Physicians.— Educational and 

Religious.— Lodges.— Cemeteries.— Military Affairs.— Biographical Sketches. 

THE town of Madison occupies the southeastern part of the county. 
It extends north from the sound, between the East and the 
Hammonassett rivers, about nine miles, and averages about four 
miles in width. The northern part is very broken and a considerable 
portion still remains as woodland. Along the coast the soil is sandy, 
but has been made fairly fertile by the use of guano and menhaden 
fish, of which large quantities are ploughed under annually. This 
system of fertilization was begun in 1798. 

The streams of the town are small and unimportant. Near the 
southern central part is Tuxis pond, which has a small and sluggish 
outlet. Off the shore is a small island by the same name. At various 
points near the shore are upheavals of rock, which have been quarried 
for flagging stone, and large quantities have been shipped out of the 
town. The shore presents a few irregularities, but is mainly an un- 
broken beach. The principal points are Hogshead, in the southwest, 
and Hammonassett, in the southeast. The East river at the lower end 
divides Madison from Guilford, and the sound forms a long neck of 
land, which is a part of Madison. The river between the railroad to 
the sound is a natural bed for oysters and clams, both of which are 
finely flavored and often numerous. Of their value a citizen has re- 
cently said, that he "would rather own the river than the whole town 
of Madison." The fishery gives occupation to about a score of regular 

Title to the Indian lands in the town was early acquired by the 
" English Planters of Menuncatuck," as is related in the account of 
Guilford, of which Madison was a part more than a century and a half. 
Under the direction of Guilford the first settlements were made. As 
early as 1645 a part of what is now Madison was improved as a com- 
mon field for the planters, and regulations were made concerning it. 
In this territory the Indians had cleared a large tract, upon which the 
planters were encouraged to settle. In 1656 some of the uplands of 
the town were surveyed and divided according to the proprietors' list. 


In 1666 the meadows in the East Quarter were divided; and in 1675 
all the lands at that place were fenced as a common field. 

John Meigs was one of the first settlers of the town. He came from 
New Haven and bought a hundred-pound allotment at Hammonas- 
sett in 1653, but did not remain permanently in the town. His father, 
Vincent Meigs, an old man, was with him and died in the town in 
1658. Not long thereafter John Meigs removed to Killingworth, but 
his son, John Meigs, Jr., afterward came to East Guilford, and from 
him have descended the numerous family bearing that name in Madi- 
son, for more than two hundred years. In the war of the revolution 
the Meigs family rendered valiant service. 

Nathan Bradley and his brother, Stephen, came from England be- 
fore they had attained their ages. They had intended to land at New 
Haven, but were obliged to land at Saybrook, and starting for their 
point of destination through the wilderness, concluded to remain in 
Guilford. In 1658, when their names first appear in the town records, 
Nathan was twenty and Stephen but sixteen years of age. The former 
settled in the eastern part of the town, near the Killingworth line; the 
latter lived on Neck Plain. Nathan Bradley became a great hunter, 
and in pursuit of game was the first to ascend the Hammonassett to 
its source in the small lake, which was called in his honor, Nathan's 
pond. It is said that in his lifetime he killed several hundred deer 
and bears, besides many other smaller wild animals. He lived to an 
advanced age. 

Another early settler on Neck Plain was Dennis Crampton, who, 
prior to 1660, lived on South lane, in Guilford. In his new home he 
became wealthy and the descendants numerous. 

Before 1672 Joseph Hand came from East Hampton, Long Island, 
and joined the East farmers; and later, Jonathan Hoyt, of Windsor, 
who received liberty, December 9th, 1671, to remain in Guilford over 
winter, became a part of the same community. 

" In 1672, as appears from an official letter of that period, the fol- 
fo wing persons resided in what is now Eastern Madison: Ebenezer 
Thompson, Nathan Bradley, William Leete, John Scranton, James 
Hill, John Meigs, Joseph Hand, Thomas Cruttenden and Thomas Wil- 
lard. The latter came from Deerfield soon after. Still later came 
Joseph Wilcox, from Middletown. In Liberty street Thomas Dowd 
was an earl)' settler." 

" In the Neck, were Benjamin Stone, Stephen Bradley, Daniel 
Blatchley, Caleb Parmelee, and Dennis Crampton, in about 1660 or 
earlier, and afterwards Josiah and Caleb Bishop, James Lee, Ebenezer 
Chittenden, and Samuel Leete, all from Guilford; also, Thomas Wil- 
cox, from Middletown; Jonathan Bassett, from Chester; and Seth Stone, 
from Guilford, about 1760. John Scranton, John and Ebenezer French, 

*From the Reverend James A. Gallup's Historical Discourse, November 
16th, is;;. 


John French, Jun., John Grave, Nathaniel Evarts, Cornelius and John 
Dowd, and Thomas Hotchkin, from Guilford; Jonathan Hoyt, from 
Windsor; and Ebenezer Field, from Deerfield, Mass., were among the 
first settlers in the central part of the town; also, Nathaniel and John 
Alis, from Bolton; and Jonathan Judd, from Farmington. 

"Jonathan Murray came from Scotland, and settled about 168S in 
the neighborhood called Scotland, which took its name from him; 
John Bishop, from Guilford, also located there. 

" Benjamin Hand located north of ' Short Rocks.' John Hotchkin 
and Ebenezer Dudley, from the Center; and Jedediah Coe, from Dur- 
ham, settled in the neighborhood of the ' Horse Pond.' In the Woods 
District were John Wilcox, from Middletown; Moses Blatchley, from 
Guilford; Nathaniel Stevens, from Killingworth; Joseph and Janna 
Hand, Jared Willard, Samuel Field, Joseph and Hull Cruttenden, sons 
of settlers in the south part of the town; also Christopher Foster, from 
South Hampton, L. I., in 1745. West of the Woods School House were 
Abraham Dowd and Josiah Dudley, from Guilford; John Grave, from 
Hartford; and David Field, son of Ebenezer Field. 

" John Muuger, grandson of Nicholas Munger, John Pierson, from 
Killingworth; and William Bartlett, an Englishman, immediately 
from Barbadoes, settled in ' Flanders.' 

"In the 'Copse' were Ebenezer Grave, son of John Grave, the 
elder; Ebenezer Field, 2d, and Josiah Everts. North of these was 
Jonathan Lee, from Guilford; and to the west, over Neck River, was 
Ebenezer Munger, brother of John Munger. 

" ' Nicholas Munger, who came from England when a youth, settled 
north of Neck River, on the public road, as soon as 1651. Samuel 
Stone settled near him, and Reuben Norton a little west; they were 
both from Guilford.' 

" At the Quarter were James and Jonathan Evarts, Bezaleel Bristol, 
and at an early period Samuel Chittenden." 

The same writer says: " From the famous ship's company, East 
Guilford appropriates the names of Bishop, Chittenden, Leete, Stone, 
Dudley, Norton, Cruttenden and Naish," and added in honorable array 
later "the names of Munger, Willard, Meigs, Smith, Crampton, Kel- 
sey, Hill, Hart, Todd, Grave, Hoyt, Hull, Bradley." 

" The name of Field is an East Guilford trophy," that famous 
family having a clear Madison origin; so also honor is reflected upon 
the town by the names of Hand, Scranton, Bushnell, Dowd and Lee, 
all of whom can trace their lineage back to the time when these hum- 
ble beginnings were made in East Guilford and North Bristol societies. 
The town never became very populous nor wealthy. In 1800 there 
were in the First society, 939 inhabitants; and in North Madison, 489. 
Thirty years later the latter society had only 480 inhabitants, while 
the former had 1,262. In 1S80 the total population was less, being but 
1,672, and the grand list did not reach $800,000. The population in 
1880 was 1,429. 


In Madison, as in Guilford, many old houses may still be found, 
sixty or seventy being more than a hundred years old. Among the 
very old ones remaining are, at Hammonassett, the Nathan Bradley 
house, built in 1G80; in Madison village, the Deacon John French house, 
built in 1675, and the Deacon John Graves house, built in 1680; in the 
Neck district, the Bassett house, built in 1680; in the Woods district, 
the Return Jonathan Wilcox house, built in 1680; and in the North 
Madison section a house owned in 1890 by Nelson A. Taylor, built in 
1689. Madison warmly united with Guilford, in September, 1889, in 
celebrating the 250th anniversary of the settlement of the town, the 
services being begun September 8th, by the exercises in the Madison 
church, when the Reverend J. A. Gallup preached the historical ser- 
mon. Much of the data for this sketch has been gleaned from his 

As the east end of old Guilford became more populous, the farmers 
living there petitioned the town for liberty to become a village, etc. 
Such a request, made in 1699, was refused, rather curtly, because of 
the displeasure of Guilford at the act of the planters in asking priv- 
ilege to pay minister's rates at Killingworth (to which place they were 
five miles nearer than to Guilford), which the legislature had granted 
in 1695. Nothing daunted, the petition was renewed, and with better 
success, as will be seen from the following extracts: 

" To the inhabitants of the towne of Guilford, honored and much 
respected Gentlemen and friends, we whose names are underwritten, 
your humble petitioners sheweth that whare as the providence of God 
hath far stated the lands of our habitation, as that we cannot without 
great difficultie and inconveniency, attend the publick worship of god 
in his house and ordinances with yourselves in guilford, which present 
surcomstances continuing as they have bene, and are preiodisiall to us, 
so they will be of equall preiodice to our children and posteritie; 
Whereupon we account it our duty to seek releuef and desier your 
favorable judgment for the upbuilding the publick worship of God 
among ourselves, in order to ferder adress to the General Cort for con- 

which sd. grant as we aprehend being so reasonable for ous to desier, 
and yourselves to allow, we humbly submit to your serious and more 
maturer consediration and ever pray, dated at the esterly farms the 
4 of March 170| 

John French, Janna Meigs, 

Ebenezer French, Benjamin Hand, 

John Dudley, Jonathan Murry, 

John French, Jun., John Scranton, 

Caleb parmely, Thomas Willard, 

Ebenezer dudley, John Thompson, 

Joseph Parks, Joseph Hand, 

Jonathan hoit, Nathan Bradley, 


Moses blachly, Obadiah Wilcoxen, 

nathaniel Everts, Jeames Hill, 

Daniel blachly, Nathaniel Steevens, 

Benjamin Stone, Thomas Critenden, 

Nathaniel Dudley. Stephen Hand, 

Thomas Hodgken, Thomas Doud, 

Ebenezer Field, Cornelous Doud." 
John Meigs, 

To this Petition the following reply was made by the town of Guil- 

" At a Touwn meting held aprall ye 6, 1703, in answare to our sd. 
este farmers Petitioners dated march 4, 170$ the touwn then Voted, 
that the sd. este farmers on the east side of neck river, have libarty 
granted them by the touwn of Gilford, to be a societie by them selves 
and to procure a minister among themselves in case the General 
Coart aprove and confirme the same, they paying their dues to the 
minister of Guilford untill they have provided a minister among 

The town having assented to this proposition, Mr. Joseph Hand 
was directed to bear the petition of the inhabitants to the general as- 
sembly, at Hartford, and that body on May 13th, 1703, granted their 
request upon the same conditions as the town. In 1705 the East So- 
ciety was freed of town charges; and in 1707 the society was formally 
incorporated. Three years later the name East Guilford was first used. 
In 1753 the North Bristol society was incorporated. 

After several futile attempts these two societies were incorporated 
as a town by the May, 1826, general assembly, Captain Frederick Lee 
and others petitioning that body in behalf of the two parishes. The 
town was named Madison in compliment to the president, and its 
bounds were ordered to be the same as those of the constituent 

The first town meeting was held June 19th, 1826, when the follow- 
ing were chosen: Clerk and treasurer, Walter P. Munger; selectmen, 
Ebenezer Dudley, Reynolds Webb, Joel Blatchley, Joel Munger; con- 
stables, Seth Ely, Galen Dowd; assessors, Nathan W. Hopson, Walter 
P. Munger; board of relief, Timothy Grave, William Blatchley, Curtis 
Wilcox; fence viewers, Stephen Stone, Elisha Bassett, Cyrus Bradley, 
Josiah Coan, Joseph Hill; grand jurors, Samuel Robinson, Truman 
Munger, Timothy Dowd; tythingmen, Hubbard Scranton, Julius N. 
Dowd, Gaylord Munger, Hubbard Munger, Truman N. Wilcox; hay- 
wards, Augustus Grave, Wyllys Munson, Truman N. Wilcox, Austin 
Evarts, Enos Rogers, Austin Chittenden; sealer of weights, Eber Judd; 
sealer of measures, Josiah Munger, Nathan Crampton, Jr.; pound 
keepers, Philip G. Hill, Simon L. Ely, Joel Blatchley, Frederick Will- 
iam Scranton, Pitman Wheaton, Josiah Coan, Abraham Hill. 

*Guilford town records. 


Walter P. Munger was the treasurer of Madison more than a quar- 
ter of a century, and in 1852 received the thanks of the town for his 
faithfulness to his trust. In 1837, when the town received its share 
of the United States surplus fund, which was accepted as a town de- 
posit, Walter P. Munger, Jedediah Field and William Blatchley were 
appointed managers of the fund. 

In 1832 the town endeavored to secure Buell's Mills, on the Ham- 
monassett river, for its use, but failed to reach definite action. The 
meetings of the town were held alternately in the South and North 
societies, then more frequently in the basement of the meeting house, 
at Madison village. In November, 1837, this was so much out of re- 
pair that the town meeting was adjourned to the house of Frederick 
S. Field. The following year the town secured the right to meet in 
the basement of the new church by paying for the same. This has 
since been designated as the town hall. In the same locality, in recent 
years, a small fireproof brick building was erected, in which are the 
offices of the town. Substantial vaults have been provided for the 

The town clerks of Madison from its organization to the present 
time have been the following: 1826-48, Walter P. Munger; 1849-61, 
Joseph W. Dudley; 1862-3, E. S. Smith; 1864-7, Henry B. Wilcox; 
1868, Reuben Shaler; 1869-71, Henry B. Wilcox; 1872, Dennis Tuttle; 
1873-90, Henry B. Wilcox. 

In May, 1834, the general assembly constituted Madison as a sep- 
arate probate district, taking it from the district of Guilford. Samuel 
Robinson was the first judge, serving two years. Since 1S72 Henry B. 
Wilcox has been the judge. Other judges, serving in order in the 
intermediate period, were: Reynolds C. Webb, Jesse Crampton, John 
R. Wilcox, Joseph W. Dudley, M. L. Dowd, Luman H. Whedon, Lu- 
cius B. Tuttle and William S. Hull. The clerks have been: Jonathan 
F. Todd, John R. Wilcox, Thomas C. Ward, Jonathan R. Crampton, 
Richard E. Rice, William B. Crampton, George C. Dowd, Charles M. 
Wilcox, Frederick T. Dowd, C. Henry Whedon, William S. Hull, Ezra 
S. Smith, Henry B. Wilcox, Joseph J. Meigs, Manfred A. Wilcox, H. 
Clifford Wilcox. 

The following were the early justices of the peace of the East So- 
ciety: Jarena Meigs, Benjamin Hand, Thomas Hodgkin, John Graves, 
Josiah Meigs, Timothy Todd, Timothy Hill, Elias Graves, Jonathan 
Todd, Daniel Hand, Jr. 

The public square, or Madison green, contains about four acres, 
lying near the present center of Madison village. For many years it 
was an open common, unimproved and neglected. In 1826 the First 
society voted to sequester the land for a "Publick square and parade 
ground, and for other publick purposes, for all citizens of this society 
and others to use, improve and enjoy." In 1842 it was voted inex- 
pedient to have any public building on the green, and in 1845 its im- 


provement as a park was begun. This liberty was accorded to Thomas 
Scranton, Timothy V. Meigs, Baldwin Hart and others. The ground 
was now cleared, trees planted and a railing placed around the square. 
About half of the green was reserved for a parade ground. Around 
it, or near by, are the principal public buildings of the town, and in 
1890 the locality presented a pleasing appearance. 

The first bridge across the East river was built in 1649; the one 
across the Hammonassett in 1690. In 1714 the town directed that 
there should be an open highway to the bridge. The only turnpike 
in the town, the "Pettipauge and Guilford Pike," surrendered its char- 
ter after about sixteen years, and in 1840 the town voted to use it as a 
highway. The Shore road east has for more than two centuries been 
the main thoroughfare. Since July, 1852, the town has had the rail- 
way facilities afforded by the Shore Line Division of the New York, 
New Haven & Hartford railroad. Stations are maintained at Madison 
village and East River. Prior to this the products of the town were 
shipped from the wharves on the sound or East river, several being in 
the town. In this period the vessels owned in Madison were valued 
at more than $50,000. A number were engaged in the white fishing 
business, which was here first begun in 1798, the fish being used for 
fertilizing purposes. 

For many years the inhabitants of the town were almost exclu- 
sively devoted to agriculture, but later ship building and the timber 
interests of the town gave employment to many people. In the north- 
ern part of the town, which was heavily timbered, large quantities of 
charcoal were burned. At East River bridge Samuel H. Chittenden 
had a lumber mill, sash and blind factory, from about 1825 until before 
the civil war, which were extensively operated, and had the reputation 
of being one of the best establishments of the kind on the New Haven 
county coast. The machinery was removed many years ago. Near 
by Eber S. Hotchkiss built a small sloop, drawing it to the water's 
edge by oxen. Later he was an extensive builder of vessels in this 
locality, on the Guilford side. From the East River wharf packets 
plied to New York regularly. For some years Captain Henry Critten- 
den commanded one of these vessels, and was the first to bring a cargo 
of anthracite coal into the town. The shipment was but fifteen tons, 
but the supply lasted three years. ■ Russell Crampton and Captain 
Fred Bishop were also sloop owners. Philo Blatchley was one of the 
last to touch here regularly. Much ship timber was taken from this 
point, and a limited quantity is still sent forward by rail. 

At West Wharf, Deacon Abel Hoyt was an active ship builder 
about 1830, employing from two to fifty men. Among other craft he 
built was a large brig, called the " Madison." Many vessels for the 
West Indies trade were built. Jonathan S. Hoyt was the last builder 
at that place, discontinuing about 1856. 

At the East Wharf ship building has been carried on more than 


seventy years. Colonel Ichabod L. Scranton was there about 1825, 
and built from three to five vessels per year. Usually they were 
about BOO tons burden. Charles M. Miner was one of his workmen, 
and after 1843 was more or less engaged at that point, becoming the 
master of the yard. In 1860 he associated his son, William C, with 
him, and their firm achieved an enviable reputation as ship builders. 
Many fine vessels were constructed, among them being one, in 1868, 
called the "Alaska" — a bark of 1,200 tons for the Mediterranean sea 
trade. Scores of three-masted schooners were built, and about forty 
men were employed. The firm continued until 1884. Since that time 
William C. Miner, as marine architect, has superintended the yard for 
various builders, operations at times being extensively carried on, 
from 75 to 90 men being given employment. In the fall of 1890 two 
large vessels, on the stocks and nearly ready to launch, were con- 
sumed by fire. 

North of the village of Madison small sloops were built many years 
ago by John S. Miner, and small craft were also built on the Hammon- 

Madison has had mills for grinding grain and sawing lumber since 
1699, when the town of Guilford aided the East Farmers in acquiring 
those interests. Among the best known mills in the town are those 
on the Hammonassett, operated by the Hull family. On the same 
stream paper mills were operated for some time. Two miles north of 
Madison the wood turning shop of William Whedon, and later of his 
son, Webster D., is a small but active industry. The quarrying of 
flag stones in various parts of the town has afforded profitable occu- 
pation to a number of men; and the marble works of Julian Shelley 
give employment to several more, on the old Shore road. 

At East River, Munger & Son are manufacturers of school appara- 
tus. This interest was begun in New Haven by George Munger, who 
first made liquid slating. In 1868 he removed to Guilford, and was a 
member of the firm of J. W. Schermerhorn & Co., which there made 
school apparatus. He located at East River in 1877, and with his son, 
George B. Munger, established the present business. Well equipped 
shops are occupied and about a dozen men are engaged in the manu- 
facture of blackboards and blackboard goods. Steam is used as the 
motive power. 

East River is a straggling hamlet on the railroad about midway 
between Guilford and Madison village. A station was first located in 
1871, but for lack of patronage it was soon discontinued. In 1876 the 
present station was opened, and the place has since that time grown 
to its present condition as a business point. Samuel D. Crittenden has 
here merchandised since 1871, and for most of the time has been the 
postmaster of the East River office, which supplies mail for about 600 
people, there being six mails per day. There is a small chapel and a 
public library. 


A post office is also maintained at North Madison, and in the same 
locality stores and shops have long been kept. 

Madison village has a very pleasant location, about half a mile from 
the beach of Long Island sound, and is built mainly on the street par- 
alleling it. This street is from four to ten rods wide, and has in most 
parts several rows of large elms, with the intermediate spaces well 
turfed, giving the place an attractive appearance. In the village 
proper it is about a mile and a half long. Leading from it to the rail- 
way station is another fine, wide street, about a quarter of a mile long. 
Many of the houses are old and stand on large lots, making a strag- 
gling appearance, yet indicating quiet comfort. There are also a 
number of business places, widely scattered, a fine Congregational 
meeting house, a Methodist church, a Masonic Hall, the new Hand 
Academy and several other school buildings. 

The Madison post office has had as postmasters, in the last fifty 
years, S. F. Willard, J. R. Meigs, John Wilcox, Charles E. Scranton, J. 
Myron Hull and, since August, 1889, H. N. Coe. It is a money order 
office, and there are eight mails daily, distributing a large volume of 

Timothy Todd was a merchant at Madison after 1747, but studied 
medicine and removed to Vermont. David Cruttenden and Luman 
Stone were merchants in the present century. Ichabod L. Scranton 
was in trade fifty years ago. He was followed by Horace Dudley, 
who built the brick store in 1834. This has for many years been occu- 
pied by the Dowd family. At the green, stores were kept by A. & J. 
Tibbals, John R. Wilcox, Curtis Wilcox and others. Since 1861 James 
R. Meigs has merchandised at Madison. 

Madison Beach, at and near the village, has become a popular sea- 
side resort, many attractive cottages being erected in the past ten 
years. Prior to that time several good hotels had invited the visits of 
hundreds of guests. Among these were the hotel of H. B. Wilcox, 
the " Sea Shore House," of Artemas Flower, and the " Hammonassett 
House," of H. L. Parker. The latter is still continued. The beach 
in Madison is hard and in long stretches, and the bathing is safe. 

The Reverend James A. Gallup says the following physicians prac- 
ticed in Madison: Doctors Isaac Knight, Jonathan Todd, Abraham 
Blatchley, William C. Griffith, David Pritchard, George W. Scranton, 
George Stone, Reynold C. Webb, Edwin Bidwell, Joseph J. Meigs 
and Daniel M. Webb. The latter and A. D. Ayers were in practice in 

.Schools were early established in the East society and in North 
Bristol. In 1800 the First society had four schools, and also had a 
good library. In 1821 Captain Frederick Lee, who had commanded 
a revenue cutter in the war of 1812, built an academy a mile west of 
the green. In 1825 Lee's Academy was incorporated and the building 
drawn to the green, by Frederick Lee, James Graves, Jedediah Field, 


Samuel Robinson, Jr., and others. The latter was the teacher, and 
was followed, in 1840. by Richard E. Rice. Other teachers were : 
Theodore A. Leete, William Wallace Wilcox, John R. Freeman, 
George Sutton and Stillman Rice. The academy had for many years 
a splendid reputation. The building-, a two story frame, was used 
more recently for both public and private schools. In 1889 it was 
thoroughly repaired, and is now wholly used for public schools. 

East of this venerable institution is the new Hand Academy, 
erected in 1884 by Daniel Hand and presented, November 23d, 1884, 
by him to the town of Madison, upon the following conditions : 

1. To be known always as the Hand Academy. 

2. To be kept unencumbered and in good repair, and to be used as 
an academy only, where the youth of the town may receive a higher 
grade of education than in the common schools of said town. 

3. The town to provide suitable teachers and to keep the academy 
open to all who may wish to attend the same, at least eight months in 
the year. 

The building was erected under the direction of Mr. Daniel Hand^ 
of Guilford, and his attorney, Judge Luzon B. Morris, of New Haven. 
It stands on a spacious lot, which has been enclosed with an iron fence. 
The building is two stories high, of brick, with granite trimmings, of 
attractive architecture, and has been well arranged for high school 
purposes. The school has a regular course of study, graduating 
those who complete it, and has about 25 students yearly. To his gift 
of an academy to his native town of Madison, Daniel Hand has 
added sundry pieces of land in the town, the income of which is to be 
used for the academy's support. 

Mr. Daniel Hand, who died in 1891, was the donor of $1,000,000 to 
the "Hand Fund" of the American Missionary Association. It is said 
that this was the largest gift of charity made by an American during 
life. This munificent sum was largely the proceeds of the settlement 
of business carried on by Mr. Hand and George W.Williams, of Charles- 
ton, S. C, in the South before the war. During the rebellion Mr. 
Hand came to the North, supposing that he should lose all his inter- 
ests. But Mr. Williams, with singular and rare honor, continued the 
business to a successful end, and paid, of his own accord, the above 
large amount to Mr. Hand, as his share of the proceeds of their sev- 
eral ventures, and Mr. Hand, very wisely, has devoted the greater 
part of it to the education of the freedmen where the money was 

The Hand Academy is supported by an annual outlay of about 
$1,000, and the other schools cost about $2,500 per year. Over two 
hundred pupils are enrolled, and there is an increasing interest in 
education. In 1890 the acting school visitors of the dozen schools were 
James L. Parker and Reverend W. E. B. Moore. The Reverend J. A. 
Gallup was the examining committee. 


The Madison Farmers' Library Association was incorporated in 
March, 1831. A good library was established, which was usually kept 
in the Boston street school house, and books were given out periodi- 
cally. It is said that in this circulation a peculiar method was pur- 
sued. The librarian called out the titles of the books, when those 
present wanting them bid on them, according to the degree of inter- 
est they had in the books. After a score of years the library went 

At East River, a small public building for a reading room and 
social gatherings was built, in 1874, by Horace B. Washburne, of New 
York, and the citizens of that locality. In this the East River Library 
Company, incorporated in 1876, has established a library which had in 
1890 nearly 1,200 volumes. Besides the local support given it, the 
library has an endowment fund, given by Mr. Washburne, which 
yields $150 per year. In 1890 the directors of the association were: 
Samuel D. Cruttenden, H. D. Knowles, I. L. Scranton, S. H. Chitten- 
den and E. W. Munger. William B. Chittenden is secretary of the 
company, and Miss Carrie Leete the librarian. 

In the audience room of the above building a Union Sunday school 
was established in 1890. 

The Madison Library Association was organized January 9th, 1878, 
with J. Myron Hull, president ; Mrs. J. A. Gallup, secretary; Dennis 
Tuttle, treasurer; Mrs. Frank Lee, librarian; H. B. Wilcox and Mrs. 
William Wilcox, trustees. The association prospered, and in 1883 
was incorporated. In 1890 there were 25 annual, 13 semi-annual and 
9 quarterly members. The library contained 650 volumes of well- 
selected books, besides a large quantity of periodical matter. It was 
opened three days in the week and was well patronized. At this time 
Reverend J. A. Gallup was the president, Miss M. E. Redfield the sec- 
retary, and Miss Fannie Fisk the librarian. This library is kept at 
Madison village. 

It has been seen that the early settlers, in order to enjoy church 
privileges, were obliged to go to Guilford or Killingworth, and that 
parish privileges were not fully realized until 1707. But pending the 
efforts to secure these privileges, the planters took measures to build 
a meeting house, which should be used by the new society. As early 
as February 13th, 1701, " at a meeting of the easterly farmers, it was 
agreed that, provided that the town of Guilford give us liberty to erect 
a meeting house, that we will set the meeting house between John 
Grave's house and Jonathan Hoit's," which would be between the 
present residences of Deacon J. T. Lee and Mrs. Betsey Grave, a spot 
on the southeastern section of the present green; and it was there that 
the first meeting house was located, near the site of the one which sue- 
ceeded it. It had neither bell nor steeple, and was at first without 
galleries, and was built in 1705. 

December 2d, 1714, the " societie voted a 2-peny roat to build the 


galliros," also " that they wold not build the pues with the gallery," 
and " that they wold have seats in thegalleres." February 11th, 1715, 
it was voted " that the tow peuni reat that was granted to build the 
gallery, be paid in money, or in wheat at six shiling per bushel, or in 
corn at tow shiling and six-pence per bushel, or flax at eight-pence 
per pound, or ots at one shiling six-pence per bushel." 

Permission was given from time to time to individuals to put up 
pews in the gallery at their own expense and for their own use. 
Abraham Bishop and Stephen Bradley were " granted liberty to build 
a peu over the gallery stares, provided it baint a damieg to ye going 
up into ye gallerys." John French and Nathaniel Dudley " to build 
peus between ye est gallirie stares and the south door," and "between 
the west gallery stares and south door," and to have the " emprove- 
ment of them till ye societie see caus to order otherways." 

" October ye 25, year 1717, it was voted, that they will have eaight 
new winda freames in ther meting-hous, and they will have them put 
up in ther loer tiers of windars, and casements, and glass." It was, 
probably, without glass windows at first. In December, 1721, it was 
" voted to build up the hinder seats in side gallery, and banister them, 
and that the younger sort of men to set in the bannestered seat, and 
ye boys to set in ye meddlemost seat, and the like order to be in ye 
este gallery, by the younger sort of maids and garls;" also " voted to 
have a seat built before the foremost seat in the square body of ye 
meeting house for boys and girls to set on, and another on the hind 
part of sd square body, for the boys and garls to set on; also to build 
a pew on the west side of the pulpit, for Mrs. Hart to set in, and to 
move the pew este side of the pulpit up to the pulpit, for the aged 
widdows to set in, and to make the rest of the hy ground into seats." 

Thus we have a fair idea of the first meeting house in which the 
fathers worshipped in this place. The pulpit was on the north. There 
were outside doors on the south, east and west. The gallery stairs 
were in the southeast and southwest corners of the audience room. 
Pews were built, to some extent, around the sides, and long seats were 
placed in the square body or center of the house. It was finished un- 
doubtedly in native wood, and was innocent of paint, varnish and car- 
pets. Externally it was a barn-like edifice, without paint or ornament- 
ation, panel or cornice. Instead of the bell to call the people together, 
they used the drum, which answered the double purpose of calling to- 
gether the assembly for worship and of sounding an alarm in case of 
attack by the Indians. 

" At a society's meeting, held December 2, 1714, John Grave was 
chosen to beat the drum on Sabbath days and other publick days, 
for twenty shiling the year;" this salary was cut down the next 
year to " 13 shiling and 4d.," and " Widdow Martha Dudley was 
chosen to sweep the meeting-house this year, and to do it for twenty 


There were no fires to build and no candles to light, as evening: 
meetings were not then thought of; no carpets to sweep or cushions to 
keep in order. The sexton's duties were not arduous or expensive. 
Another matter of importance was to have the congregation properly 
seated, and in order to do this a committee was appointed to " dignify 
the meeting house," that is, to seat those attending according to their 
ages, social position and the lists of rates paid. Twelve men were 
chosen " to have inspection over the youth on Sabbath days and other 
public days." A watch was also kept against Indian attack. In 1706 
a house was built for the accommodation o'f the minister. 

The organization of the church now properly followed, and in No- 
vember, 1707, was formed the present Congregational church of Mad- 
ison. The same time the first pastor, the Reverend John Hart, was 
installed. He was born at Framingham, in 1682, studied three years 
at Cambridge, removed toSaybrook in 1702, and became the sole mem- 
ber of the senior class of Yale College, from which he graduated in 
1703, being the first graduate in course of that institution. He was 
soon after elected a tutor of that college, and probably had some of his 
classes at Madison, as he first preached here as early as 1705, serving 
the newly formed society before his installation. He continued as the 
pious, exemplary pastor until his death, March 4th, 1731, and added 
about 80 members to the church. He was interred in the West 

It was with some little difficulty that the next pastor was settled, 
calls being given in turn to Abraham Todd, Thomas Weld and Job 
Parker, before Jonathan Todd was finally invited to settle, August 
27th, 1733. He was ordained October 24th, 1733, and at once began 
the work of harmonizing the church, which had become distracted in 
this period of two years and eight months, in which there was no 
minister. Mr. Todd was born in New Haven in 1713, graduated from 
Yale in 1732, and was ordained when he was but twenty years old. He 
took a high rank as a scholar, being one of the most accomplished 
linguists of his day, and was also highly esteemed as a pastor and 
preacher. In the epidemic of 1750-1, when 43 of his parishioners died, 
he was callled upon to labor incessantly among the sick and the dying. 
But, although his labors were so arduous, -'he outlived all in his parish 
who were heads of families when he was ordained, and during his 
ministry he buried twice his whole congregation. He had held, at his 
death, the pastoral office longer than any other person in the state— 57 
years and 4 months." He died February 24th, 1791, full of years, good 
works and honors. In his ministry about ten persons per year were 
added to the church, the number belonging at his decease being 84. A 
monument in West Cemetery fitly tells of his worth. 

Soon after the settlement of Mr. Todd the building of a new meet- 
ing house was agitated, a vote to that effect being taken December 
17th, 1736. But the question of site and other matters connected with 


the building prevented the speedy completion of the house, and it was 
not dedicated until May, 1743. " This meeting house, which is re- 
membered by many now living, stood on the southeastern section of 
the present green, which was then an open common. It was two 
stories, had two tiers of windows, and entrances on the south, east and 
west. In 1799 a steeple was built on the west end of the meeting 
house, and in 1801 a bell was purchased, which superseded the drum 
that up to this time had continued to call the assembly together for 
worship on the Sabbath. 

" The internal arrangement of the house was quite similar to the 
one which preceded it. The pulpit was on the north side, and was 
reached by a long, winding flight of stairs and entered through sub- 
stantial doors, while over it hung the ' sounding board ' — a bulky, pear- 
shaped contrivance of wood, suspended over the minister's head, to 
the anxious solicitude of the timid and the youthful of the congrega- 
tion, lest, by some mischance, it should break from its fastenings and 
fall upon the preacher's head, bringing to an untimely end both the 
sermon and the preacher. There were pews around the walls of the 
church, and an outside tier on the square body. On either side of the 
broad aisle were long seats, while the deacons sat below the pulpit and 
behind the communion table. The stairs leading to the galleries were 
in the southeastern and southwestern corners of the audience room. 
This house was considered large and handsome in its day."* 

The plan of seating it was the same as that of the first house, and 
seating committees were appointed as late as October 1 0th, 1831, the 
following being last designated to serve in that capacity: Jesse Cramp- 
ton, J. T. Lee, Ichabod L. Scranton, Frederic L. Whedon, Walter P. 
Munger, Cyrus Bradley and Amos Bishop, all of them influential men 
in their day, as this was a most delicate duty to perform, so that none 
would be offended. 

The successor of Mr. Todd was Reverend John Elliott, D.D., who 
was ordained to the pastoral office November 2d, 1791 . He was born 
in Killingworth in 176S, and was a grandson of Reverend Jared Elli- 
ott, who was a son of Reverend Joseph Eliot, of the Guilford church. 
Entering Yale in 1782, he graduated with high honors and scholarly 
attainments in 1786. Before his settlement here he had preached for 
Mr. Todd when the latter's infirmities prevented him from doing so, 
and his ministry here was continued also till his death, December 17th, 
1824. He was a wise, judicious and devoted minister, thoroughly con- 
secrated to his work and living only for its better advancement. His 
admissions to the membership averaged about ten per year, and through 
his instrumentality the " Ministerial Fund " was begun in 1815, whose 
income first became available in 1855. By additions and wise manage- 
ment the fund now amounts to more than $12,000. In Doctor Elliott's 
pastorate the Sunday school was also established in 1820, the pastor 

♦Reverend J. A. Gallup. 


and the church warmly cooperating to that end. It has been a most 
valuable auxiliary in the work of the parish. 

For a time, after Doctor Elliott's decease, Reverend William C. 
Fowler supplied the pulpit and declined an invitation to settle as pas- 
tor. The fourth person in that office was Reverend Samuel Nicholas 
Shepard, who was ordained November 2d, 1825. He was a learned, 
vigorous preacher, faithfully serving his parishioners, among whom 
his life was ended September 30th, 1856, when but 57 years of age. 
He yearly added to the membership, the average for his ministry be- 
ing more than 16 per year. In his ministry the third and the present 
meeting house was built. 

The first action of the society, with reference to a new meeting 
house, was taken January 11th, 1837; and January 22d they voted "to 
build a house for the worship of God," provided $2,500 be obtained by 
subscription. February 15th, the following persons were appointed a 
building committee: Benjamin Hart, Jedediah Field, Eber S. Hotch- 
kiss, Alva O. Wilcox and Timothy V. Meigs. It was voted to have 
the desk opposite the doors, " that there be three aisles," " that the 
wall slips be set bending, so as to face the desk," " to have the walls of 
the house arched," " that the posts be thirty feet high, on a basement 
of five feet," " to have a steeple with a spire." April 10th, it was voted, 
" to have the new house located on Dea. Hart's land, provided it can 
be obtained without expense to the society;" if not, " to move the 
present stakes one inch, and locate the house there." 

The present site was finally fixed upon, but became the occasion of 
a very bitter controversy. Alienations and divisions followed, result- 
ing, in 1841, in the withdrawal of 47 members of the church for the 
purpose of forming a new and independent church. Measures were 
taken for the erection of a new meeting house. This breach in the 
church and society, which threatened the most serious consequences, 
was finally, through the kindly mediation of the Consociation, happily 
adjusted, and those who had withdrawn were restored to fellowship, 
and the lines of separation gradually faded out through the friendly 
aid of time and the grace of God. 

The architect and builder of the new meeting house was Mr. Vol- 
ney Pierce. A very sad accident occurred in raising a heavy truss 
beam. The frame of the tower to which it was attached, and by which 
it was being raised, gave way and fell, precipitating those on it to the 
ground. Two workmen, by the name of H. M. Pierce and John A. 
Smith, were instantly killed. This was May 19th, 1838. The bell of 
the old house was sold to the society in North Madison, and a new one 
procured for this house. The tower clock, which still regulates the 
time-pieces of the village, was transferred to its present position from 
the old meeting house. The new meeting house was formally dedi- 
cated November 21st, 1838. The following year the basement was 
fitted ud for a town hall and has since so been used. 


In 1867 the house was so thoroughly reconstructed that it practi- 
cally became a new edifice, and was rededicated November 21st, 1867, 
as one of the most comely country churches in the county,. An organ 
costing $2,600 was supplied, and was first used on August 8th, 1869. 
Still later a convenient chapel was built, the entire outlay of these 
improvements being more than $19,000, all of which has been paid, 
leaving the parish free from debt. 

Reverend Samuel Fisk, the fifth pastor of the church, was ordained 
June 3d, 1857. He was born in Shelburne, Mass., July 23d, 1828, and 
graduated from Amherst College in 1848, afterward serving three 
years as tutor of that institution. Subsequently he traveled in Europe 
and other foreign countries, and published his keen observations in a 
volume called " Dunn Browne Abroad." To this was afterward added 
a companion volume of his experiences in the army of the Union, 
which he entered as a private August 23d, 1862. He was soon after 
elected captain of Company G, of the regiment in which he enlisted, 
and served in that office until his death, May 22d, 1864, from wounds 
received in the battle of the Wilderness. He was brought to Madi- 
son, where funeral services were held May 26th, when the remains 
were taken to Shelburne Falls for interment among his kindred. He 
was thus the first pastor buried away from the scenes of his labors at 

Mr. Fisk was beloved by the entire community and was eminently 
successful as a pastor, and during his ministry of a little more than 
seven years, 82 were added to the church. 

" During Mr. Fisk's absence in the army his pulpit was supplied 
for about two years by Reverend S. A. Loper. After Mr. Fisk's death 
various persons supplied the pulpit, several with reference to settle- 
ment. Reverend Thomas M. Boss preached here with general accept- 
ance for six months or more." 

The sixth and present pastor of the church, Reverend James A. 
Gallup, was born in Ledyard, Conn., and is a son of Deacon Russel 
Gallup, of the Congregational church of that place, of which the Rev- 
erend Timothy Tuttle was pastor for 53 years. He prepared for col- 
lege at Phillips' Academy, Andover, Mass.; entered Yale in 1847, and 
graduated in 1851; studied theology in New Haven; was licensed to 
preach by the New Haven Central Association, July 6th, 1853, and 
was ordained and settled over the Cono-reo-ational church in Essex, 
Conn., May 17th, 1854. A call to the pastoral office of this church was 
extended to him September 18th, 1865. He was dismissed from the 
church in Essex October 4th, 1865, and signified his acceptance of the 
call of this church and society October 5th. He began his labors here 
the first Sabbath in October, and was installed November 2d, 1865. 

Mr. Gallup, like his predecessors, has consecrated his life to the 
work of the parish, and consequently the church has continued to 
prosper. During his ministry the changes in the East meeting house 


have been made, placing the temporalities of the parish in excellent 
condition. More than 360 members have been added to the church by 
him, which had in 1889 359 members. The families in the parish 
numbered 225. The Sabbath school had 200 members enrolled, and 
Webster D. Whedon was the superintendent. Joseph S. Scranton was 
the treasurer of the church and Everett G. Hill the treasurer. 

The deacons of the church for the first 150 years of its existence 
and the time they were chosen were as follows: John Meigs, 1707; 
Benjamin Stone, 1707; John French, 1718; Timothy Meigs, 1745; Josiah 
Meigs, 1751; John Grave, 1753; Timothy Hill, 1763; Thomas Stone, 
1774; Benjamin Hart, 1781: Levi Ward, 1791; Timothy Hill, 1798; 
Phineas Meigs, 1S06; Ashbel Bradley, 1807; Abel Hoyt, 1817; William 
Hart, 1824; Benjamin Hart, 1828; Josiah Griswold, 1828; Jason Seward, 
1841; Zenas Wilcox, 1850; J. Trumbull Lee, 1850; Walter P. Munger, 
1850; Martin L. Dowd, 1857; William C. Bushnell, 1859. 

The church has raised up the following as ministers: Moses Bart- 
lett, William Hart, William Stone, Timothy Field, David D. Field, 
D.D., Erastus Scranton, Harvey Bushnell, William C. Fowler, Ralph 
S. Crampton, Stephen A. Loper, Andrew L. Stone, Seth B. Stone, James 
L. Willard, William B. Lee, Chauncey D. Murray, Pascal Murray, W. 

H. H. Murray, Marshall V. Meigs, Timothy J. Lee, Charles Dowd, 

Buell, Wedworth Dowd. 

The North Madison Congregational church was regularly consti- 
tuted in 1757. The North Madison locality was first settled by the 
Bristol family and a few others, who for many years attended church 
at Guilford, and after the formation of the First or East Guilford so- 
ciety, at the latter place. Samuel Bristol died in 1692. He had two 
sons, Samuel and Bezaleel. The latter was born in 1681, and became 
a very prominent man in that community and the town, as did also 
his sons, Bezaleel, Richard and Nathan. He was active in his efforts 
to have a distinct society, and when that liberty was granted, on their 
petition of March 5th, 1752, the society was named for him. North 
Bristol. This title the church and society retained until about 1830, 
when the present name was adopted. 

The first application for the right to set up public worship was 
made December 3d, 1744, when the North Madison inhabitants asked 
for liberty " to have winter preaching among themselves the three 
winter months and the month of March." In 1748 they petitioned 
"for leave to be a winter parish." On the order, in 1753, that a "div- 
ident line be fixed between the old society and the new," a line was 
run, "To begin at the mouth of hog pound Brook, thence by sd. hog 
pound to the mouth of Jay swamp Brook, thence to the old Saw-mill 
dam, Called Capt. Seward's saw mill." 

The society was embodied into a church state March 23d, 1757, the 
following being enrolled as members: John Albs, Mary Allis, wife of 
John; Joshua Bishop, Silence Bishop, wife of Joshua; Susanna Bishop. 


daughter of Joshua; Sarah Bristol, wife of Eezaleel; Mercy Crampton, 
David Dudley, Dinah Dudley, wife of David; David Dudley, 2d, Mary 
Dudley, wife of David, 2d; David Field, Anna Field, Wife of David; 
Thomas French, Sarah French, wife of Thomas; John Hopson, Milli- 
cent Hopson, wife of John; David Seward, Martha Seward, wife of 
David; Jerusha Shelley, wife of John; Nathaniel Stevens, Sarah Ste- 
vens, wife of Nathaniel; Samuel Teal, Anna Teal, wife of Samuel; 
John Wilcox. 

On the 8th of June, 1757, Reverend Richard Ely was ordained and 
installed as the first pastor. The ceremony took place at Guilford, 
and at the same time Mr. Amos Fowler was set over the Guilford 
church. He was dismissed August 30th, 1785. 

In the history of the church six more ministers were installed, 
namely: Reverend Simon Backus, installed October, 1790, dismissed 
April, 1801 ; John Ely, installed October, 1812, died November, 1827, 
aged 64; David Metcalf, installed May, 1S29, dismissed September, 
1831; Jared Andrus, installed June, 1832, died in November, 1832, aged 
48; Stephen Hayes, installed June, 1833, dismissed June, 1838; Amos 
LeFavor, installed December, 1838, dismissed December, 1840. 

From the ministry of Mr. Ely to that of Mr. Backus was a period 
of five years; and from that of Mr. Backus to that of Mr. John Ely 
eleven years, during which the church was without a pastor. The 
names of the ministers are not given in the records. 

The uninstalled or acting pastors of the church have been the fol- 
lowing: Reverend Judson A. Root, April 1st, 1841— April 1st, 1842; 
Lent S. Hough, April, 1842— April, 1845; Martin Dudley, April, 1845— 
April, 1846; William Case, April, 1846— April, 1847; James T. Terry, 
April, 1847— April, 1848; Reuben Torrey, April, 1848— October, 1852; 
Phineas Blakeman, January 1st, 1853— January 1st, 1858; Samuel 
Howe, August, 1858— April 1st, 1866; Elbridge W. Meritt, July 22d, 
1866— January 14th, 1867; Clinton M. Jones, May 1st, 1867— May 1st, 
1st, 1870; Francis Dyer, September, 1870— November, 1873; Dighton 
Moses, April 1st, 1874— April 1st, 1875; F. F. Rea, three months in 
1875; Richard H. Gidman, December 1st, 1875— December 1st, 1884; 
William E. B. Moore, April 1st, 1S85, and continues to the present 

The deacons of the church have been: Thomas French, chosen 
1757, resigned 1765, died 1772, aged 73; David Dudley, chosen 1758, 
died 1780, aged 73; Caleb Munger, chosen 1765, died 1797; David Dud- 
ley, chosen 1775, died 1807, aged 9.0; John Hopson, chosen 1782, died 
1786, aged 65; Aaron Stone, chosen 1796, died 1821, aged 80; John Hop- 
son, chosen 1812, died 1820, aged 65; Noah Benton, chosen June, 1820, 
died 1847, aged 84; Bela Munger, chosen December 1820, died 1861; 
Hubbard S. Munger, chosen 1839, died 1858, aged 64; Alanson Red- 
field, chosen 1846, resigned 1853; Henry S. Hill, chosen 1853; Timothy 
Norton, chosen 1853, died 1877, aged 64; Judson H. Munger, chosen 


The house of worship, according to the last church manual, was 
the " Society House," until the first meeting house was erected. 
This house stood at the end of the old cross-road, a little north of 
Deacon J. H. Munger's. 

The first meeting house was raised in June, 1765. It stood a few 
rods northeast of the present house. This house was 32 by 45 feet. 
It had no steeple or chimney. There were three doors— one at the 
middle of the south side and a door at the middle of each end, all 
opening directly into the audience room. There was a gallery on the 
south side and across each end. The pulpit was on the north side. It 
was built in 1780, and with a sounding board. The pews were square. 
The last pews were built about 1784, 19 years after the house was 
raised. This first meeting house was used for public worship 72 years. 
The second and present house of worship was built in 1837. The cor- 
ner stone was laid July 4th, 1837. It was dedicated February 14th, 
1838. The pastor, Reverend Stephen Hayes, preached the sermon 
from Hag. ii: 9. The pulpit was exchanged for the present platform 
and desk in 1873. New seats were put in, the walls and ceiling painted 
and the roof shingled in 1889. 

The church has about 90 members. In the Sabbath school, which 
was organized in 1826, are 125 persons enrolled. Three-fifths attend 
regularly. Since 1865 the school has been maintained during the whole 

In the North Madison part of the town an Episcopal society was 
organized in the last century, which had, in 1800, as officers: Ashbel 
Fowler and David Blackley, wardens; James Pardee and Noah Hill, 
vestrymen; and Nathan Fowler, clerk. In 1801 it voted to secure the 
services for part of the time, of Reverend Nathan R. Burgis, as min- 
ister. Meetings were held in private houses and in the Town Hill 
school house. 

On the 25th of April, 1805, this North Bristol Episcopal Society 
and the North Killingworth society voted to consolidate and become 
the Union Episcopal Church, and that the meetings should be held in 
North Killingworth. Later they became known as the Emanuel 
Parish, in Middlesex county, and occupied a house of worship half a 
mile from the Hammonassett river, in Killingworth. 

It was with some difficulty that Methodism was established in Mad- 
ison, and an effort to that end encountered strong opposition. Yet it 
was successfully overcome in 1839 by Reverend James H. Perry, who 
preached in a school house, where the class he had organized met 
regularly. Fortune soon favored these pioneer Methodists and enabled 
them to secure the meeting house built by the disaffected members of 
the First church, who, happily, through the medium of the Consocia- 
tion, had been reconciled to the parent church. That building, 
erected by Ebenezer Dudley, Galen Dowd, Russell Evarts, Marion 
Foster, Frederick Dowd, Noah Bradley and others, in an improved 


condition, has since been the Methodist church, and in it the congre 
gation has grown to respectable proportions. In 1890 the members 
numbered 85, and the official board was composed of James L. Parker, 
Charles M. Miner, William C. Miner, Charles Smith, Philander Lewis, 
Thomas Pentilow, Frederick W. Hull, Almon L. Miner, James H. 
Dowd, Timothy Dowd. Henry D. Latham is a local preacher. 

Since 1S89 the church is served with Guilford. The following min- 
isters were appointed to take charge, as indicated by the records of the 
Conference: 1842, Reverend W. Tlbbals; 1846, H. D. Latham; 1848, T. 
A. Lovejoy; 1849, George S. Hare; 1851, G. Stillman; 1858, J. L. Peck; 
1855, W. H. Russell; 1857, B. Reclford; 1867, J. R. Hammond; 1868. A. 
K. Crawford; 1869, G. W. Allen; 1870, J. O. Munson; 1871, H. D.Lath- 
am; 1874, W. F. Markwick; 1875, J. B. Shepherd; 1877, H. D. Latham; 
1878, H. H. Hayden; 1880, H. D. Latham; 1881, W. A. Thomas; 1882, 
W. F. Markwick; 1884, J. J. Moffett; 1885, W. E. Jeffries; 1886, W. H. 
Lawrence; 1887, H. G. McLaughlin; 1888, J. H. Crofut; 1889, S. G. 

Methodism was introduced into the Black Rock or Rockland dis- 
trict of Madison much earlier. A class was there organized before the 
present century, and a meeting house was built in that locality about 
1803. The membership has never been large, and the circuit relations 
extend into the adjoining county. 

Madison Lodge, No. 87, F. & A. M., was instituted May 24th, 1859, 
the petitioners for the charter being Horace Butler, Samuel F. Wil- 
lard, Samuel Dudley, John M. Bishop, Jonathan Willard, William W. 
Hart and Thomas White. Others admitted in 1859 were George Keep, 
William H. Dowd, Charles M. Wilcox, Daniel M. Webb, Serreno H. 
Scranton. The members admitted in 1S60-1 were William B. Hunter, 
George A. Kelsey, William H. Caldwell, Edwin A. Hill, George A. 
Olcott, Daniel C. Davis, Mortimer Buell, Henry A. Pendleton and Nor- 
man G. Scranton. In 1862 sixteen members were admitted, and in 
1863, twelve. The members numbered 72 in 1890, and the meetings 
were held in a fine hall over the " Brick Store," on Boston street. The 
past masters of the Lodge have been the following: Frederick T. Carl, 
Frank C. Dowd, Phineas M. Griswold, Hiram Hull, Alexander H. 
Johnson, William F. Markwick, John H. Meigs, William H. Morgan,. 
George B. Munger, Edward S. Scranton, Kelley E. Spencer, Ebenezer 
S. Walkley, Henry B. Wilcox. The latter has for man) 7 years been 
secretary of the Lodge. 

Friendship Lodge, No. 67, I. O. O. F., was instituted at Madison, 
July 11th, 1849. Its meetings were held in the hall named above, and 
for several years the Lodge prospered. In 1853 Charles A. Willard 
was the noble grand, and in 1855 S. F. Willard. Soon after the Lodge 
went down. Other social orders were for short periods maintained, 
when, owing to decreasing population, they discontinued their meetings 

The town has a number of places of interment, five cemeteries re- 


ceiving the care of the town authorities. It is supposed that first in- 
terments were made in the Hammonassett cemetery, where are buried 
among' others, members of the Meigs family. It is said that Vincent 
Meigs died in 1658, and was the first person buried in the town. This 
cemetery was the first fenced in the old town of Guilford, being en- 
closed in 1758, " because its Herbage being worth something." In the 
East cemetery is a stone bearing date 1682. 

The West cemetery is the principal one in the town, and was used 
as early as 1688, when Samuel, the six year old son of John French, 
was buried there. In 1789 it was first fenced. Numerous interments 
have been there made, the aggregate number being more than 1,800 — 
greater than the present population of the town. It has been several 
times enlarged, and in 1867 was placed in care of the Madison Ceme- 
tery Association, incorporated that year. There are many quaint in- 
scriptions on the old, lichen-covered brown stones. Here are interred 
among others, Captan Jehiel Meigs, of the revolutionary army, who 
died in New York in December, 1776, but was brought home for burial; 
also Captain Phineas Meigs, who fell in action near the East wharf, in 
conflict with the British enemy, May 19th, 1782. He was aged 74 

Many seafaring men have found a haven of rest, and the tomb of 
one of them bears this unique inscription: 

E. G. . 


to the Memory of 
Capt. Edward Griffin, 
who departed this life 

August 3d, 1802. 

Aged 40 years. 

Though Boreas blasts and Neptunes waves 

Have tos'd me to and fro, 
In spite of both, by God's decree, 

I Harbor here below. 

Where I do now at Anchor ride 

With many of our fleet, 
Yet once again I must set sail 

Our Admiral Christ to meet. 

Two pastors of Madison church— the Reverend Jonathan Todd, 
who died in 1791 , and the Reverend John Hart, who died in 1731— lie 
close together in this hallowed ground, in which also repose the well- 
beloved pastors, Elliott and Shepard. 

The Summer Hill Cemetery is also controlled by an association, 
which secured its charter in 1868. Its use is limited to the people of 
that locality, as is also the cemetery at Rockland, in the northern part 
of the town, to the inhabitants of the upper end of Madison. For each 
of these five cemeteries the town provided sextons in 1890. 


The military history of Madison, prior to its organization in 1826, 
is almost inseparable from that of the mother town. But as early as 
1705, the farmers of East Guilford had their own train band, and the 
following were the commanders in the periods named, before 1800: 
1704, Lieutenant Nathaniel Stevens; 1709, Lieutenant Stephen Bishop; 
1714, Captain Stephen Bishop; 1716, Captain Janna Meigs; 1731, Cap- 
tain John Scranton; 1737, Captain Thomas Hodgkin; 1741, Captain 
Nathaniel Stevens; 1747, Captain Jehiel Meigs; 1762, Captain Timothy 
Hill; 1773, Captain Daniel Hand; 1778, Captain Elias Graves; 1780, 
Captain Gilbert Dudley; 1782, Captain Timothy Field; 1786, Captain 
Jonathan Todd; 1792, Captain Josiah Munger; 1797, Captain Benjamin 
B. Wilcox. 

In the revolution a cannon was kept in the town, to be used for 
signal purposes, in case the enemy should land. But one such attempt 
was made — the inroad at East Wharf, May 19th, 17S2 — when the ven- 
erable Captain Phineas Meigs was killed. It is said that three of the 
enemy also lost their lives. 

In the war of 1812 this coast was also guarded, but beyond the mili- 
tia service of some of the citizens, nothing transpired. 

In the devotion to the cause of the Union, from 1S61-5, Madison did 
not lag. She sent out in all 208 men and raised $16,065 in money. 
Five special meetings were held to prosecute the war, and the town 
also gave up to the cause its beloved pastor, Reverend Samuel Fisk, 
who will always be honored by Madison. He left the pulpit of the 
Congregational church and mustered, August 8th, 1862, in the Eighth 
regiment. Within a short time he was promoted captain of Company 
G, and on May 23d, 1864, died from wounds received in active service. 

Madison also claims the honor of the citizenship of the man who 
suggested and aided in building the Ericsson Monitor, that credit be- 
longing to C. S. Bushnell, of this town. 


Doctor Alveno D. Ayer was born in 1851 in Windham, Conn. His 
father, William D. Ayer, was a descendant of John Ayer, one of the 
first settlers of Franklin, Conn., in 1665, and who came from England 
with his parents in 1630 and settled in Massachusetts. William D. 
Ayer was foreman and moulder in Smith, Winchester & Co.'s shop in 
South Windham for 30 years. Doctor Ayer received his preliminary 
education in the district school, and when 16 years old attended a pri- 
vate school under the tutorship of Doctor Robinson and Lawyer Ben- 
nett, continuing four years. He began the study of medicine in 1870. 
In 1874 he went to Springvale, Me., remaining there about nine 
months with Doctor Alva M. Dam, after which he was traveling sales- 
man for drugs and medicines for two years, at the same time continu- 
ing his studies. He then studied for awhile with Doctor Isaac B. 
Gallup, of Willimantic, Conn., attending a course of medicine in a 


medical college in Philadelphia, after which he went to Glover. Vt., 
and practiced there as assistant to Hon. W. F. Tern pleton, M.D. In 
1877 he was licensed to practice medicine in the state of Vermont, and 
in 1878 began practice in Winhall, Vt. In 1880 he went to Indian- 
apolis, Ind., with Doctor S. S. Boots, a member of the Indiana State 
Board of Health, and entered the Eclectic Medical College, receiving 
the degree of M.D. in 1881. In the same year he returned to Vermont 
and practiced there until 1885. Since 1887 he has practiced in Madi- 
son. In 1889 he took a special course of instruction at the New York 
Polyclinic Hospital on the diseases of women, under Professors James 

B. Hunter, Paul F. Munde and W. Gill Wylie, and on the diseases of 
the nervous system under Professor Landon C. Gray. Doctor Ayer is 
a member and officer of the Masonic Lodge of Madison and a member 
of Madison Grange, No. 120, P. of H., and lecturer; also a member of 
the State Grange. He is a member of the school board and acting 
school visitor for the northern part of the town; also a member of 
the I. O. O. F. and Royal Arcanum. During the winter and spring of 
1890-1, by invitation, he delivered lectures in various places before the 
Grange on the use and abuse of corsets and alcohol. 

Horace N. Coe was born in Madison. He was appointed postmas- 
ter of Madison June 22d, 1889, succeeding J. Myron Hull. Mr. Coe 
represented the town in the legislature in 1881. 

Samuel D. Cruttenden was born in Guilford and came to Madison 
and commenced business in 1870 as a merchant, succeeding H. E. Nor- 
ton. He moved to the town of Madison in 1872. He conducts a gen- 
eral store and grocery. He has held the office of postmaster since 
1870, with the exception of four years under Cleveland's administra- 
tion. He has held the office of justice of the peace in Madison for 
twelve years. 

Frank C. Dowd, born in New Jersey, is a son of George Curtis 
Dowd, and grandson of George Dowd, all merchants of Madison. The 
business was established by Horace L.Dudley and was owned by George 

C. Dowd and his father a number of years. George C. Dowd was a 
soldier in the war of the rebellion. He enlisted in 1862 in the 14th 
Connecticut Volunteers for nine months, then reenlisted and served 
until the close of the war. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge 
of Madison, and secretary of the Lodge for ten years or more. He 
died in 1880. His son at this time was clerk in a store at Bridgeport, 
Conn., but came home and became proprietor of the store in Madison. 
He has enlarged the business and made it successful. He has been 
twice elected master of the Masonic Lodge of Madison. 

Jason Dudley, born in Madison in 1885, is a son of Phineas, who 
was born in Killingworth. His mother was Catharine Bradley, a de- 
scendant of Noah Bradley, one of the pioneers of the town. They had 
two sons, Launcellot and Jason, both natives of Madison. Jason has 
been twice married, first to Imogene Kellsey, of Clinton, by whom he 


had two children. For his second wife he married B. Amelia Kellsey, 
of Clinton. They have one daughter, Katie A. Mr. Dudley has been 
selectman and constable. He is a member of Clinton Grange, No. 77, 
P. of H. 

Joel M. Hill, born in Madison in 1833, is a son of Daniel and grand- 
son of Noah Hill. He came from Killingworth, Conn., and settled in 
the town of Madison, on what is called Opening hill. Daniel Hill 
married Betsey Munger, of Madison. They had three sons: Henry S., 
Joel M. and Horace O. They still live on or near the old homestead 
on Opening hill, near North Madison post office. Joel M. Hill mar- 
ried Mary H. Munger in 1854. They have two children: Louisa B., 
born 1857; and Ralph B., born 1862. Mr. Hill has always taken an 
active part in town affairs, has held the offices of collector and school 
visitor, and is selectman of the town. His father held the office of 
selectman, and was also justice of the peace a number of years. Joel 
M. is a member of Madison Grange, No. 120, P. of H. 

J. Myron Hull, born in Madison, is a son of William S. Hull, a na- 
tive of Killingworth. William S. Hull was active in town affairs of 
Madison from 1840 until his death, which occurred in November, 1890. 
He held nearly all the town offices except town clerk. He was deputy 
sheriff of New Haven county 28 years. J. Myron Hull was postmas- 
ter of Madison under Cleveland's administration. He has been select- 
man, town clerk, chairman of the board of education, and a trustee of 
the high school since it was established, in 1884. 

John Erastus Lewis, born in Haddam, Conn., February 9th, 1815, 
is the son of Levi and grandson of Francis. His mother was Sarah, 
daughter of Phineas Doane. Mr. Lewis came to Madison while quite 
young, and was educated in the common schools. He then com- 
menced- farming, and has made that his life occupation. February 
13th, 1854, he married Drusilla, daughter of Coleman Clark. They 
had three children: Walter C, Wallace F. and Catharine S. 

George Munger, son of George N. and grandson of George, was 
born in New Haven, November 27th, 1827. He there received his 
education, and when 21 years old came to Madison and engaged in 
the manufacture of sash and blinds. Later he became interested in 
the making of school supplies, and in 1876 established a factory in 
Madison, which is still in operation. November 28th, 1850, he married 
Cornelia L. Jacobs, of New Haven. They had two children: Emma 
L., born April 5th, 1852, who is now the wife of William T. Foote, of 
Guilford; and George B., born May 18th, 1854. Mr. Munger is one of 
the trustees of the Hand Academy. 

S. Arthur Scranton, born in Madison in 1852, is a son of Daniel H. 
and grandson of Hubbard Scranton. During the rebellion Hubbard 
Scranton furnished vegetables for the war department at Washington, 
and ran a coasting line from Madison to Georgetown, D. C. Mr. 
Scranton lives with his aunt, the widow of Philemon A. Scranton, who 


was a cotton merchant of Augusta, Ga., during the late war. The 
house where he resides was purchased in 1874. It is one of the oldest 
houses in Madison, and was built by a Captain Griffin about 150 years 
ago. The grandmother of S. Arthur, the widow of Hubbard, died in 
January, 1891, at the age of 99 years. She lived in the house where 
she died, for 78 years. Hubbard Scranton always took an active part 
m church and town affairs, and represented Madison in the legisla- 
ture. He died in 1874, aged 84 years. S. Arthur Scranton has been 
deputy sheriff of New Haven county seven years. He is a dealer in 
market truck and ice. The Scranton family is one of the pioneer fam- 
ilies of Madison. 

Serreno H. Scranton was born in Madison, March 1st, 1811. His 
father, Jonathan, married Roxana Crampton, daughter of Ashville. 
He received his education in the common schools and at Lee's Acad- 
emy. His career has been quite eventful and interesting. His first 
occupation was that of farming, but being ambitious, he invested his 
small capital in a sea vessel. For 14 years he followed the sea, mak- 
ing his business a financial success. He was president of the Shore 
Line railroad 14 years; also general manager of the New Orleans, Mo- 
bile & Texas railroad for some time. He has been representative 
three times, and was senator in 1870. In 1833 he married Susan Dowd, 
daughter of William. They had nine children: Roxana R., Jonathan 
S., Edward S., Jonathan S., William D., Charles W., Catharine L., 
George C. and Alice. 

George A. Shelley, son of Julius Shelley, was born in Madison in 
1827. He has followed the marble business since 1847 in his native 
town. He was married to Georgiana Field in 1849, who died in 1883. 
Their first son, Charles Henry, died in 1856, in the fifth year of his 
age. Charles Elliott, their second son, died in Weber, Utah, in 1884, 
aged 27, supposed to have been murdered on his way home from Cali- 
fornia. His body was found the year following and brought home 
and buried. George A. was married again in 1886 to Kate E. Smith, 
his present wife, who was born in Madison in 1847. 

J. Willis Tucker, born in Madison in 1818, is a son of James W., 
who was born in North Madison. His mother was from Middlefield, 
Conn. She died at the age of 44 and left 11 children. J. Willis is the 
only member of the family living in Madison. He has been married 
twice; first to Sarah Wilcox, of Madison, by whom he had four chil- 
dren. For his second wife he married Mrs. Clarissa Dudley, of Madi- 
son. He has been grand juror a number of years, is a member of the 
First Ecclesiastical society, and he has been treasurer of the minis- 
terial fund 21 years. Mr. Tucker is a farmer and a large land holder. 
For the last six years he has been engaged in ship building. He 
was one-third loser in two vessels that burned June 2d, 1890, at Mad- 


Doctor Daniel Meigs Webb was born in Madison April 6th, 1822, 
and is a son of Doctor Reynolds Webb, born in Chester, Conn. Daniel 
M. was graduated from the academic department of Yale in 1846, and 
from the medical department in 1849. He began the practice of med- 
icine in 1849 in Madison. His father practiced medicine in the same 
town. His grandfather, also named Reynold Webb, served in the 
revolutionary war, and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis. 
Doctor Daniel M. Webb is a member of the State Medical Society. 
He is a member of Madison Lodge, No. 87, F. & A. M., of Franklin 
Chapter, R. A. M., No. 2; Harmony Council, R. & S. M., No. 8, and of 
New Haven Commandery, No. 2, K. T. 

John A. Willard, born in Madison in 1820, is a son of James and 
Susan Claning Willard. James was a native of Madison and his wife 
was born in Newport, R. I. The father of James, Hile Willard. was 
also a native of Madison, and a member of one of the pioneer families 
of the town. John A. married Ellen Wellman, of Clinton, in 1845. 
They have two children: Edward N. and Nellie L., who married 
Charles B. Upston, of Bristol, Conn., and has one daughter. Edward 
married Nellie Graves, of Madison, and has one daughter. John A. is 
a member of the F. & A. M. of Madison. He owns Sea View farm, 
near the village of Madison, on which he was born, and which has re- 
mained in the possession of the family ever since. 

Alva O. Wilcox was many years a prominent man in Madison. 
For many years he had the contract with the United States govern- 
ment for carrying the mails between New Haven and New London. 
He established the first stage route between these two cities, and later 
was active in building the Shore Line railroad, thus connecting by 
"Shore route" New York with Boston. His son, William M. Wilcox, 
at the time of his death in 1874, was superintendent of the Shore Line 
railroad. William M. married a daughter of Talcott Bradley. Mr. 
Bradley was one of the four leading abolitionists that year after year had 
the courage to cast their votes for the abolition of slavery. Three of 
his sons — Lieutenant John, William and Henry — served in the war of 
the rebellion. Lieutenant John and William Bradley lost their lives 
in defense of their country. Henry served until the close of the war, 
was twice wounded and once taken prisoner. Doctor Ashabel Bradley, 
father of Talcott, was a soldier in the revolutionary war, in Colonel 
Wolcott's Regiment, from 1777 to 1783. 

George A. Wilcox, born in Madison, is a son of Jonathan S.. whose 
father, Jonathan, was a son of Thomas, who settled in Madison in 
1743, and was a descendant of John, who was one of the original pro- 
prietors of Hartford, Conn. (1637). George A. Wilcox is an attorney- 
at-law, and has an office at Detroit, Mich., where he resides a part of 
the time. His mother wasChloe, daughter of Daniel Hand, a descend- 
ant of Joseph Hand, one of the first settlers of the Hammonassett dis- 
trict, a part of the town of Madison. He settled here about 1660, and 


was a son of John Hand, emigrant, from Kent, England, first to Lynn, 
Mass. (about 1640), thence to Southampton and East Hampton, L. I. 

Henry Beals Wilcox, born in Madison, February 1st, 1821, is the 
son of Abel and grandson of Joseph. He is a member of one of the 
pioneer families, and his ancestry can be traced back to the earliest 
settlement in Connecticut in both lines. His mother's name was Anna 
Field, daughter of Timothy, son of David. Our subject's education 
began in the common schools, and was completed at Lee's Academy. 
When twenty years of age he commenced teaching school, and taught 
25 seasons; one year in Iowa, one and a half years in Kentucky, and 
the rest of the time in Connecticut. In 1862 he enlisted in the 27th 
Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, and was wounded during the en- 
gagement at Fredericksburg, December 13th, 1862, a minie ball pass- 
ing through his right lung, and for some time no one thought he would 
live. In October, 1863, he was elected town clerk; in 1864 justice of 
the peace; and in 1869 judge of the probate court for the district of 
Madison, and held these offices up to January, 1891, when he became 
70 years of age and consequently disqualified. He was, also, during 
the aforesaid time, for 15 years a member of the board of education. 
January 1st, 1851, he married Lucetta Woodruff, and together they 
lived over 40 years, she dying February 9th, 1891. He had two chil- 
dren: Henry Clifford, a graduate of Union College, 1874, died in 18S2; 
and Dwight Woodruff, married, and has two children, now living in 
Kansas. Mr. Wilcox is a member of the Congregational church, a 
member of Madison Lodge, No. 87, F. & A. M., also of the G. A. R. 
Post at Guilford. 

Manfred A. Wilcox, son of Abel, was born in Madison, May 15th, 
1830. His mother's name was Anna Field, daughter of Timothy. He 
received his education at the common schools, and has made farming 
his occupation. His first marriage was to Nancy S. Smith, daughter 
of Reuben, June 27th, 1852. By her he had one child, Nancy S., born 
March 24th, 1857. Mrs. Wilcox died April 4th, 1857. He next mar- 
ried Jeannette L. Snow, daughter of Arthur, October 16th, 1864. They 
have four children: Blanche E.. born September 2d, 1866, died March 
4th, 1867; Edward A., born July 31st, 1869: Jessie L., born May 4th, 
1872; and Walter A., born March 5th, 1874. Mr. Wilcox has held 
several town offices, including justice of the peace and clerk of pro- 
bate court. 




Geographical and Descriptive. — The Indians. — The Early Settlers. — Civil Government. 
— Roads, Ferries and Bridges. — Shipbuilding, Commerce and Trade. — Milford Vil- 
lage. — Woodniont. — Wheeler's Farm. — Public Houses. — Manufacturing Interests. — 
Banks. — Newspapers. — Post Office. — Fire Company.— Agricultural Society. — Secret 
Orders.— Soldiers' Monuments. — Educational and Professional. — Churches. — Ceme- 
teries. — Military Affairs. — 350th Anniversary. — Biographical Sketches. 

THE town of Milford, dating from its settlement, in 1639, is, next 
to New Haven, the oldest in the county, and one of the oldest 
in the state. When purchased of the Indians, and for several 
years later, this territory was called Wepawaug,* but since November 
24th, 1640, the formal name has been Milford. The town occupies the 
southwestern corner of the county, being bounded on the south by 
Long Island sound, on the west by the Housatonic river, and northeast 
by the town of Orange, its area having a triangular shape, the apex 
being at Poconoc point. The general surface is level, there being no 
high hills and only a limited amount of broken land. In some local- 
ities the rock crops out and the ground is covered with boulders. In 
the eastern part of the town is a considerable deposit of fine serpen- 
tine marble, discovered in 1811, and later developed to some extent. 
Limestone may be obtained in the northern part of the town, flagging 
stone in the western part, and shale rock in other parts. Hence, the 
soil is also variable, and is usually fairly fertile. By skillful cultiva- 
tion it has been made productive enough to make agriculture, which 
has been made the leading occupation of the inhabitants, remunera- 
tive. There are in the town considerable areas of alluvial lands, some 
of which are scarcely above the water level, and bear evidence that in 
periods not very remote they were submerged. Among these tracts 
are the Great and New Meadows, along the Housatonic, and the French 
and Indian River meadows. Along the sound inlets are tidal lands, 
and in other parts of the town are swamps of considerable extent, 
the chief ones being called Dreadful, Great and Mohawk swamps. 

The streams of the town are not large, but afford fair drainage. 
The Wepawaug or Mill river is a little more than a dozen miles long 
from its source in Woodbridge through its course in Orange and the 
central part of this town to its mouth at Milford harbor. It affords 

*Also spelled Wepawage. 


a number of good mill seats. The Indian river also rises in Wood- 
bridge, but in the eastern part, and flowing southwest finds an out- 
let in Indian gulf or Milford gulf, whose waters pour into the sound 
near those of Milford harbor. In the extreme east is the Oyster 
river, separating the coast parts of Milford and Orange. The West 
End brook is in the western part of the village of Milford and flows 
into the harbor, below the village. Beaver brook is in the western 
part of the town, flowing southwest, and emptying into the Housatonic. 
At the mouth of this river, which is here about one mile wide, a long, 
sandy beach has been formed by the contra action of the waves on 
the sound and those flowing into the river, which is called Poconoc 
or Milford Point. It has for hundreds of years been a favorite resort 
of fishermen, and was once improved for a seaside resort. Eastward 
along the sound is next a point of land called Meadow's End, east 
of which are salt meadows. Extending thence eastward to the harbor 
is Burn's Point, a high, dry point of land, which has been improved 
for summer residences. A small beach permits bathing. Off this 
shore and about three-fourths of a mile from it is Charles or Milford 
island. It is pleasantly shaped, and contains about ten acres of land, 
much of which was formerly timbered. The Indians called it Poqua- 
paug, and it was a place where they delighted to resort in the 
summer. It is said that the sachem, Ansantawae, here had his " big 
wigwam." The bar between the island and the shore is bare about 
half of the time, and formerly afforded excellent clamming, fine ones 
being found there. 

" On the 17th of March, 1657, the town granted liberty to Charles 
Deal, a tobacco planter, to purchase and enjoy the island for a to- 
bacco plantation, provided he would not use the buildings for any 
other purpose than as a tobacco house, and that he would not trade 
with the Dutch or the Indians, or suffer disorderly seamen to make 
it a place of resort." From his ownership the name Charles' island 
is derived. In 1835 it was purchased by John Harris, of New York, 
who fitted it up for a country seat. Later it was used as a day re- 
sort by excursionists, brought thither by steamers from New Haven 
and Bridgeport. Since that time the island has been denuded of 
everything except some small trees and bushes, and is now a com- 
parative waste. 

East of the harbor are Indian Neck and Welch's Point, so named 
for Thomas Welch, an early owner. This has a good beach, and 
fine summer residences have been erected on the high lands over- 
looking the sound. Next eastward is Pond Point, named for Charles 
Pond, the owner of a large tract of land in that locality; and Mer- 
win's Point, still further to the eastward, took its name from Miles 
Merwin, the original settler. Burwell's Farm, or the newly developed 
section of Woodmont Beach, is the last point of land in the town, 
which has become a favorite resort on account of its bathing priv- 


ileges afforded by this shore. All along the sound to Indian Neck are 
a number of sightly places, some of which have been improved for 
beautiful homes. 

In the records of Milford appear more than 80 names of localities 
in the town, some of which have long since become obsolete, by reason 
of the changes in the topography of the country. Other old names 
have been displaced by new ones, some more and others less appro- 
priate than the original titles. 

When the whites prospected this country they found it in the pos- 
session of a strong tribe of Paugasuck Indians, who called this section 
Wepawaug. From this fact these aborigines were sometimes called 
Wepawaug, and later, Milford Indians. Their sachem was Ansanta- 
way or Ansantawae, whose "big wigwam" was on Charles' island. 
They appear to have been kindly disposed toward the whites, but 
lived in dread of the Mohawks and other Indians. They were super- 
stitious and indulged much in pow-wows. Their incantations were 
wild and fantastic in the extreme. On such occasions, led on by their 
priests, they would dance around a camp fire in the most excitable 
manner, and often hurled their choicest treasures in it, in the belief 
that such an act would appease the spirits. 

These Indians lived in four principal villages: on the Wepawaug, 
near where is now the Episcopal church, where also lived at times the 
sachem, Ansantawae; another near Washington bridge, near which 
place they had a fortress for defense against the Mohawks; a third at 
Turkey hill, where was one of their principal places of burial, and 
where Indians were buried as late as 1794. A fourth village was at 
Poconoc Point, and smaller ones at Oronoque and Burwell's Farm. 
Their principal planting grounds were on Mill Neck and along the 
Housatonic. They subsisted largely in fishing, and often exchanged 
their sea food for the game brought hither by the Indians from the in- 
terior. Their wampum were black and white perforated shells, three 
of the former and six of the latter passing current for an English 

Ansantawae's tribe claimed all the land from the Oyster river to 
the Housatonic, and from the sound north to Beacon Hill brook, a dis- 
tance of about twenty miles, where it joined the Mattatuck country. 
The first purchase by the whites was made February 12th, 1639, and 
comprised about two miles of land at Milford village. The sale was 
made with "twig and turf," indicating that the Indians were willing 
to surrender the soil and all that grew upon it. The deed in trust for 
the planters was given to William Fowler, Edmund Tapp, Zachariah 
Whitman, Benjamin Fenn and Alexander Bryan. The consideration 
was "6 coats, 10 blankets, 1 kettle, besides a number of hoes, knives, 
hatchets and glasses (small mirrors)." Ansantawae and other princi- 
pal Indians signed the instrument. At different times, later, other 
purchases were made of land along the Housatonic in 1656, and of the 


Indian Neck in 1660. In the latter tract 20 acres were reserved for 
planting purposes. Afterward, this too was sold, apparently reluctant- 
ly, for they demanded a proviso that in case of danger Ansantawae, his 
wife and sons might have " liberty to sit down for shelter in some 
place near the town, where the townsmen should think most fit." The 
central and northern parts of the Indian domains were purchased in 
1685, 1700 and 1702, the last purchase being of lands along the Beacon 
brook, in what are now the towns of Bethany and Beacon Falls. 

After the lower lands had been sold, the Indians complained that 
they had nowhere to live, when the town set aside one hundred acres 
on Turkey hill, upon which, under restrictions, the Indians might find 
homes. This land was under the care of a committee appointed for 
that purpose, and which in 1777 was composed of Captain Benjamin 
Hine, Stephen Gunn, Esq., and Lieutenant Benjamin Fenn. It is said 
that Ansantawae died here about 1676, but some of his descendants 
remained as long as 1820. The decay of the Indians was rapid. In 
1731, when Con-que-po-ta-na, the sachem of the Milford Indians, died 
in Derby, he had but 60 men under him. Gradually the number be- 
came less, and most of the remaining members removed to the West, 
where they became a part of the Six Nations.* A few stragglers only 
remained until their death. Some of the Indians who removed, or 
their descendants, occasionally visited the town, and as late as 1831 
a band of thirty persons came hither from the Lake Champlain region 
to visit Poconoc Point. They remained a few days, and it was learned 
that they had a tradition that their ancestors were from this region. 
"They had come for the last time to visit the hunting ground of their 

Although the Indians appeared friendly toward the whites, the 
planters, soon after settlement, provided a means of safety and defense 
by erecting a palisade nearly a mile square around the village, enclos- 
ing land on both sides of the Wepawaug. The trunks of trees twelve 
feet long were taken, and so closely set together that a man could not 
crowd through the line. In times of danger sentinels were posted 
every few rods, who were relieved at sunset by drum beat from the top 
of the meeting house Each planter, as a member of the " train band," 
was required to do guard duty every fifth day. On the Sabbath and 
" lecture days " armed men went to the meeting house, and the mus- 
kets were also kept close at hand while working in the fields. In 1645 
-6 there was such a feeling of unrest among the Indians that a guard 
was kept day and night. About this time the Indians set fire to the 
adjacent country, but the settlers fortunately arrested the flames be- 
fore they reached the palisade. But much damage was done to the 
timber in the swamps north and west of the village. 

A few years later, in 1648, occurred in the town a severe battle be- 
tween the Wepawaug and Mohawk Indians. The,latter, with a view 

* Lambert. t Baldwin. 


of surprising the Wepawaugs in their fort, on the Housatonic, had se- 
creted themselves in a swamp about a mile from Washington bridge. 
They were discovered by some whites, who reported their presence to 
the Wepawaugs, who arose in such number and attacked the Mohawks 
that the invaders were defeated — some being killed and others taken 
captive. A stout Mohawk prisoner was stripped naked and tied to a 
tree in the swamp, to be tortured by mosquitoes. Here he was dis- 
covered by Thomas Hine, one of the early settlers, who released him, 
and after caring for his wants, permitted him to return to his own coun- 
try. This humane act pleased the Indians, who ever after revered the 
Hine family and pledged their protection to them. They used to say 
of the Hines, " they did not die like other pale faces, but went to the 
West, where the Great Spirit took them into his big wigwam and made 
them great men." 

The Indians were again troublesome in 1653, and up to 1656, and 
the town threatened to impose a penalty for harboring them. Soon 
after a good deal of prejudice existed against the Indians, who really 
were harmless enough, and in 1671 some young men of the town de- 
stroyed their fort on the Housatonic. But whether this was done from 
hatred of the Indians or from a spirit of adventure is not very clear. 
They went at the dead of night, and working with the utmost secresy, 
razed the fort to the ground. This very much angered the Indians, 
but instead of seeking revenge they complained to Benjamin Fenn 
and Robert Treat, seeking redress through them. As a consequence 
the ten young men implicated were cited to appear before the court at 
New Haven, when they were properly fined £10. This satisfied the 
Indians, who now rebuilt the fort. 

In the spring of 1700 danger was again apprehended, and the palis- 
ade having been removed, to guard against Indian attack it was ordered 
that Mr. Prudden's house, on the east side of the Wepawaug, and the 
house of George Clark, at the " West End," should be fortified as 
places of refuge for the infirm, the women and the children. That 
the work might speedily be done, all able-bodied male persons over 16 
years of age were ordered forthwith to assist in the undertaking. Lib- 
erty was also granted to the inhabitants of Burwell's Farm to erect some 
measure of defense. For several years there was a general alarm in 
the town and surrounding country, but so far as known not a single 
English inhabitant of Milford lost his life at the hands of an Indian 
in this town. In King Philip's war some of the inhabitants were en- 
gaged, and in the later French and Indian wars several of the inhab- 
tants lost their lives, some falling in battle and others dying from sick- 
nesses contracted in camp. 

Through apprehension that Milford might be an objective point 
of attack some British troops were quartered in the town in the 
winter of 1757-8, and in a revel the town hall was burned. The 
Crown subsequently remitted ,£50 to assist in defraying this damage. 


It is said that in these later troubles some of the inhabitants of the 
town accompanied General Putnam in an expedition to Cuba,* and 
there was no full sense of security until the war had closed. 

Most of the pioneer settlers of Milford came from Essex, Hereford 
and York counties, in England, and rendezvoused in New Haven in 
1638 and 1639, preparatory to taking up their abode in the Wepawaug 
country. After the purchase of the lands, in the spring of the latter 
year, active preparations were made to occupy and improve them. The 
material for " the common house " and their household utensils were 
put on board a vessel which sailed for Milford harbor, in the fall of 1639, 
and was probably the first to land there. The body of planters moved 
by land from New Haven, following the Indian foot paths, driving 
their domestic animals before them. Sergeant Thomas Tibbals piloted 
the company through the woods to the place of destination, "he hav- 
ing been there a number of times before." For this service the town, 
in 1670, voted him as a free gift two parcels of land lying in Westfield, 
" both parcels containing ten measured acres." The planters and their 
goods arrived safe at the head of Milford harbor, where the " common 
house " was set up, probably near where are now Baldwin's straw and 
matting works; and a few temporary houses were also built for imme- 
diate occupation, and until the planters could each build his home upon 
a lot properly assigned. Matters had so far progressed by November 
20th, 1639, that a meeting for civil organization and regulation was 
held, when 44 persons, by reason of being accepted church members, 
were recognized as free planters, having a full voice in the town's 
affairs. Ten others, it appears, were with the company or came soon 
after, but not yet having been received into the church, were not free- 
menf at the time named. 

The first list of freemen or pioneer planters embraced the follow- 
ing 44 men: Zachariah Whitman, died in 1666; Thomas Welch, 16S1 
Thomas Wheeler, 1675; Edmond Tapp, 1653; Thomas Buckingham 
1657; Richard Miles, 1667; Richard Piatt, 1671; Thomas Tapping, 1684 
Mr. Peter Prudden, 1656; William Fowler, 1660; John Astwood, 1654 
Richard Baldwin, 1665; Benjamin Fenn, 1662; Samuel Coley, 1684 
John Babcock, removed in 1651; Henry Stonhill, 1651; Nathaniel 
Baldwin, died in 1692; James Prudden, 1648; Thomas Baker, removed 
in 1650; George Clark, Sr., died in 1690; George Hubbard, removed in 
1650; Doctor Jasper Gunn, died in 1670; John Fletcher, 1662; Alexan- 
der Bryan, 1679; Francis Bolt, 1649; Micah Tompkins, 1649: John Bird- 
sey, removed in 1649; Edmund Harvey, died in 1648; John Lane, 1669 
William East, 1681; Thomas Lawrence, 1648: Thomas Sandford. 168] 
Timothy Baldwin, 1664; George Clark, Jr., 1690; John Burwell, 1649 
Henry Bottsford, 1686; Joseph Baldwin, 1690; Philip Hatley, removed 
in 1649; Nicholas Camp, died in 1706; John Rogers, 1684; Thomas Uffat, 
1691; Nathaniel Brisco, 1683: Thomas Tibbals, 1703; John Sherman, 

*Lambert. fSee account of the First Church. 


removed in 1645, died in 1685. The other ten planters were: Robert 
Plumb, died in 1655; Roger Terrill, 1682; Joseph Northrop, 1699; John 
Baldwin, 16S1; William Slough, 1681; Andrew Benton, removed in 
1666, died in 1681; William Brooke, died in 1G84; Robert Treat, 1712; 
Henry Lyon, 1712; John Fowler, removed in 1660. 

It has been estimated that the foregoing 54 persons, most of them 
heads of families, represented 200 inhabitants, living in the town as 
early as the spring of 1640. 

Before 1685, 69 more free planters joined those named above, 
among them being: Joshua Atwater, came in 1655; Henry Allen, 
Edward Adams, Joseph Ashbam, Haerts Albers, Thomas Andrews, 
Thomas Beardsley, came 1647; John Brown, came 1648; Thomas 
Beach, came 1658; Thomas Bayley, Roger Betts, Thomas Betts, 
Thomas Campfield, Robert Downs, 1660; Charles Deal. 1657; Robert 
Dennison, Gilbert Davidson, Samuel Eells, 1664; John Ford, 1644; 
Thomas Ford, Thomas Farman, Nathaniel Farrand, Stephen Free- 
man, John Fisk, Nathaniel Gould, Joseph Guernsey, Thomas Hine, 
1646; Richard Houghton, Thomas Hayes, Richard Holbrook, Richard 
Hollingworth, Jonathan Ingersoll, 1698; Walter Joye, Jesse Lambert, 
1680; Jonathan Law, 1664; Simon Lobdell. Miles Merwin, 1645; Miles 
Moore, Jonathan Marsh, Thomas Mecock, Samuel Nettleton, 1645; 
Roger Newton, Francis Norton, Joseph Peck, 1645; John Prindle, 1645; 
Roger Pritchard, 1653; Abraham Pierson, James Prime, David Phillips, 
Edward Riggs, 1646; William Roberts, Thomas Read, John Smith, 
1643; Richard Shute, Joseph Sill, John Stream, John Stone, Vincent 
Stilson, Peter Simpson, Henry Tomlinson, 1652; Edward Turner, 
William Tyler, John Woodruff, 1685; Edward Wooster, 1651; Edward 
Wilkinson, Thomas Ward, Joseph Waters. 

The first settlers located themselves on each side of the Mill river 
and the West End brook, probably for the convenience of water for 
themselves and cattle. Their house lots were laid out in parallel, 
narrow slips, containing each about three acres. Some of them had 
double, i. e., two slips adjoining. Each planter was to erect a good 
house on his lot within three years, or it was to go back to the town. 

The first fence enclosed the Gulf neck, which was called Eastfield, 
and was the common lot of those located on the river. The second 
fence enclosed Westfield, or all the land down to the Great Meadow, 
and was the common lot of the planters residing at the West End. 
The tract called Mill Neck was owned by both the East End and the 
West End inhabitants. Each lot holder had also a right to the mead- 
ows in the harbor, or Great Meadow tracts. 

The planters at first enclosed their home lots in common, each man 
making and maintaining a share of fence, according to his quantity of 
land. In 1645 they agreed to make their division fences. By this 
time most of the planters had erected frame houses, in the old leanto 
style, which were covered with rent-oak shingles, and had windows of 


diamond glass. Their object in settling thus close together was for 
security in case of an attack from the Indians. 

They soon surrounded their settlement with palisades twelve feet 
high, so thickly set a man could not come between. They enclosed a 
square mile of land on both sides of the Wepawaug. As the popula- 
tion increased, and the danger from Indian attack became less, the 
land further from the center was laid out and settled. 

House lot owners in 1645: Lot No. 1, John Astwood; 2, Richard Bald- 
win; 3, Benjamin Fenn; 4, Samuel Cooley; 5, John Peacocke; 6, Henry 
Stonhill; 7, Nathaniel Baldwin; 8, James Prudden; 9, John Sherman; 10, 
Thomas Baker; 11, Stephen Freeman: 12, John Fletcher; 13, John Bald- 
win; 14, Frances Bolt; 15, Micah Tomkins; 16, John Birdseye; 17, Ed- 
ward Harvey; 18, John Lane; 19, William East; 20, Thomas Lawrence 
(sold to William East); 21, Thomas Sanford; 22, Timothy Baldwin; 23, 
Alexander Bryan; 24, Jasper Gunn; 25, Thomas Hine; 26, Henry Lyon; 
27, John Stream; 28, William Slough; 29, James Prime; 30, Thomas 
Reed; 31, Robert Denison; 32, Zachariah Whitman; 33, Thomas Welch; 
34, Thomas Wheeler; 35, Mr. Edmond Tapp; 36, Thomas Buckingham; 
37, Robert Plum; 38, Richard Piatt; 39, Thomas Tapping; 40, Mr. Peter 
Prudden; 41, Mr. William Fowler; 42, Thomas Lawrence; 43, George 
Clark, Jr.; 44, John Burwell; 45, Henry Botsford; 46, John Smith; 47, 
John Rogers; 48, Philip Hatley; 49, Roger Tyrrell; 50, Nicholas Camp; 
,51, John Fowler; 52, Joseph Baldwin; 53, Thomas Tibbals; 54, Widow 
Martha Beard: 55, Thomas Campfield; 56, Thomas Ford; 57, William 
Roberts; 58, John Smith; 59, Thomas Bailey; 60, William Brookes; 61, 
John Brown; 62, Nathaniel Briscoe; 63, Edward Riggs; 64, Andrew 
Benton; 65, George Clark, Sr.; 66, George Hubbard (sold to John 

When the public buildings were erected, the First Congregational 
meeting house was built against lot No. 9; Second Congregational 
meeting house against No. 38; Episcopal church against No. 17, and 
town house against No. 15. 

The regicide judges — William Goffe and Edward Whalley — sought 
shelter and refuge at Milford, coming here August 19th, 1661, and re- 
maining about two years. They were securely hidden in the base- 
ment of a shop which stood on lot No. 15, which had been allotted to 
Micah Tomkins. But few people knew of this concealment at Mil- 
ford, and so well was the secret kept that even the daughters of Mr. 
Tomkins, who sometimes spun and wove in the shop, were unaware 
of the presence of the judges in the room beneath them. 

At this period the population of the town was 500 or more, and the 
planters were constantly receiving new additions to their numbers. 
About the close of that century new settlements were established in 
various parts of the town— at Burwell's Farm, on the sound; at Wheel- 
er's Farm, on the Housatonic; at Bryan's Farm, north of the Center, 
and at other points in what are now Woodbridge, Bethany, Orange, 


Derby, Ansonia and Seymour in this county. In 1702 the town pur- 
chased the tract of Indian land called Weantinoque and settled it as 
New Milford. Many others from this place early located at Newtown, 
Watertown, Durham and Greenwich, in this state; at Huntington, on 
Long Island; at Newark, N. J.; New Milford, Pa., and Talmadge.Ohio. 

In 1774 the population of the town was — whites, 1,965; Indians, 162. 
In 1810 the inhabitants numbered 2,674. In 1850, after all the towns 
had been set off that originally were a part of Milford, the population 
was 2,465. Since that time there has been no decrease. In 1890 the 
inhabitants numbered 3,811. 

Not being under the jurisdiction of any civil government until 
1644, when the town joined in forming the extended New Haven 
colony, the planters met November 20th, 1639, to adopt a polity for 
their little republic. Forty-four persons were accorded a full voice in 
this meeting, and ten others, as soon as received into church fellow- 
ship, were to be entitled to engage in the town's affairs, being then 
also freemen or "free planters." At this meeting the following clearly 
expressed and comprehensive civil compact was voted on and adopted: 

" That the power of electing officers and persons to divide the land 
into lots, to take orders for the timber, and to manage the common 
interests of the plantation, should be in the church only, and that per- 
sons so chosen should be only among themselves. 

" That they would guide themselves in all their doings by the 
written word of God, till such time as a body of laws should be estab- 

" That five men should be chosen for judges in all civil affairs, to 
try all causes between man and man, and as a court to punish any 
offence and misdemeanor. 

" That the persons invested with the magistracy should have power 
to call a general court whenever they might see cause, or the public 
good require. 

" That they should hold particular court once in six weeks, wherein 
should be tried such causes as might be brought before them, they to 
examine witnesses upon oath as need should require. 

" That, according to the sum of money which each person paid to- 
ward the public charges, in such proportion should he receive or be 
repaid in lands, and that all planters who might come after should pay 
their share equally for some public use. 

" That William Fowler, Edmond Tapp, Zachariah Whitman, John 
Astwood and Richard Miles be the first judges." 

A year later, November 24th, 1640, at the third meeting of the 
general court of the Wepawaug planters, a town seal was adopted, the 
capital letters M. F.* being blended and placed in the figure of a heart. 
This being done, "With common consent and general vote of the free- 
men, the plantation was named Milford." 

* Probably means United Milford Freemen. 


It was also voted at this court, " So that justice be done between 
man and man (because false weights and false measures are an abomi- 
nation in the sight of the Lord), that all measures for commerce, for 
buying and selling, should be made equal to the standard used at 
New Haven, which was brought from the Bay, and to be sealed by 
Jasper Gunn; and that whoever shall buy or sell by any measure 
not legally sealed should forfeit for every such default 5s." 

At this meeting John Sherman was elected judge in place of Rich- 
ard Miles. In 1641 Reverend Mr. Prudden was chosen in place of 
John Astwood, but in May, that year, he was excused from longer 
serving, and John Astwood was again chosen. In 1(143 the judges 
were William Fowler, Edmond Tapp, Zachariah Whitman, George 
Clark and Jasper Gunn. 

In 1644 Milford united with the towns of New Haven, Stamford, 
Guilford and Southold (L. I.) in forming the New Haven jurisdiction. 
But there was some objection because Milford had " formerly taken 
in as free burgesses six planters who were not in church fellowship." 
The matter was compromised by a condition that the six men should 
" never be chosen deputies, or into any public trust, for the jurisdic- 
tion, nor to be allowed to vote for magistrates, and that none should 
afterward be admitted freemen but church members." 

In this jurisdiction the town had two magistrates, and sent two 
deputies to the general court, which convened at New Haven. Will- 
iam Fowler and Edmond Tapp were those chosen the first magis- 
trates, and John Astwood and John Sherman the first deputies. 

The New Haven jurisdiction was dissolved in 1664, and the colony 
of Connecticut formed in 1665, largely through the efforts of two Mil- 
ford men, Benjamin Fenn and Robert Treat. Hence the town has 
sustained three civil relations: As an independent plantation, from 
1639 to 1644; as a member of the New Haven colony or jurisdiction 
until 1665, and as a member of the colony and state of Connecticut 
since the latter date. 

Much of the early affairs of the town pertained to the purchase and 
disposition of the lands in the plantation. Besides the first allotments, 
already noted, it was voted in 1674, " There should be two miles of land 
sequestered to lie in common for the use of the town, and not any of it to 
be laid out without the consent of three-fourths of the inhabitants; to be- 
gin at the uttermost houses in the town and to go two miles on each 
side." This tract was especially intended for the use of the town flock 
of sheep, which was kept for the common profit of the people for 

nearly one hundred years. At times the flock had as many as 1 .." 

sheep, in the care of hired shepherds. The income was used in pay- 
ing town expenses. After 1688 this tract of land was divided among 
the planters by a vote of the town. 

In the disposition of the common lands each planter was allotted 
meadow land, either on the East or Indian river or on the harbor 


meadows. Four shillings per acre was paid into the treasury for every 
acre allotted. In addition to the first allotments the town decreed di- 
visions in 1645 in the eastern part of Milford; in 1646, meadow lands; 
in 1658, the Newfield; in 1660, Indian Neck (which had just been pur- 
chased of the Indians) was divided among 15 planters, and other divi- 
sions were made in 1676, 1679 and 1689. Later allotments were made 
in 1712, when there were 197 proprietors. The Oyster Neck and 
Ferry lands were the last laid out, in 1805. They were allotted ac- 
cording to the list of 1686. 

No land records were kept before 1646, but soon thereafter strin- 
gent regulations were made, requiring proper bounds and records to 
be strictly noted and entered. 

The ancient boundary lines between this and the adjoining towns 
were established: Between Milford and New Haven in April, 1672; 
between Milford and Derby in May, 1680, and between Milford and 
Waterbury in April, 1738. 

The patent to the town from the general court of the colony was 
dated May 25th, 1685, and was given to " Robert Treat, Esq., Mr. 
Richard Bryan, Capt. Samuel Eells, Capt. John Beard, Mr. George 
Clark and Lieut. Samuel Burwell and the rest of the inhabitants 
of the township of Milford." It was signed by Robert Treat, 
governor. After this patent was given further purchases were 
made by the town, and in 1713 it was determined to ask for a 
new patent, which should comprehend all the territory, and which 
should contain the name of every individual proprietor. To further 
this end " Jonathan Law, Esq., Major Samuel Eells, Serg. Zachariah 
Baldwin, Ensign Samuel Gunn, Capt. Joseph Treat, Ensign George 
Clark and Mr. Samuel Clark, Jun., were chosen a committee 
to take care about drawing up said patent." The instrument was 
carefully drawn up by Jonathan Law, Esq., and described the original 
purchases covered by the first patent and the additional purchases in 
1693 north of Bladen's brook, which extended the bounds from the 
" Sea " south to Beacon Hill river, north; with New Haven on the 
east and the Housatonic and Derby on the west. In the description 
Milford island, Edward Wooster's island and Duck island were in- 
cluded as parts of Milford territory. The patent bore the names of 
235 freeholders, and was signed by Governor Gurdon Saltonstall, May 
22d, 1713. 

The area thus described by the above patent was reduced by the 
incorporation of the town of Woodbridge in 1784, and further by the 
■erection of the town of Orange in 1822. 

Besides the first judges, already named, some of the other judges 
in the first sixty years of the town were William East, George Treat, 
Alexander Bryan, Thomas Clark, Samuel Eells, John Beard, Richard 
Bryan, Samuel Newton and Joseph Treat. 

After 1698 and for the next ninety years following the town had 


as justices or commissioners, among others: Richard Baldwin, Roger 
Newton, Jonathan Law, Samuel Andrew, Samuel Gunn, Robert Treat, 
John Fowler, Nathaniel Baldwin, Joseph Woodruff, David Baldwin, 
Ephraim Strong, David Ingersoll, Gideon Buckingham, Isaac Miles, 
Samuel Treat, Stephen Gunn, Lewis Mallett and Samuel Dibble. The 
years in which they served cannot be accurately given, and the imper- 
fect condition of the records also precludes the giving of complete 
lists of other officers. Hence they are given in an abridged form. 

The town clerks of Milford and the years in which they were cho- 
sen have been the following: 1640, Robert Treat; 1648, Richard Bald- 
win: 1680, Samuel Eells; 1685, Daniel Buckingham; 1689, Thomas 
Oviatt; 1692, Alexander Bryan; 1698, Richard Bryan; 1705, John Law, 
Jr.; 1718, John Fowler; 1756, John Fowler, Jr.; 1774, David B. Inger- 
soll; 1775, Samuel Whittlesey; 1776, Gideon Buckingham; 1809, Abra- 
ham V. H. De Witt; 1813, Samuel Higbey; 1836, David L. Baldwin; 
1862, William Durand; 1864, D. L. Hubbell; 1865, Selah Strong; 1867, 
Arthur N. Clark; 1871, Phineas S. Bristol; 1872, Thomas W. Stowr 
1873, William H. Pond; 1876-90, John W. Fowler. 

Since 1850 the first selectmen and town agents have been elected as 
follows: 1850-61, Samuel B. Gunn; 1802-4, Selah Strong; 1865-7, 
Simeon L. Bristol; 1868, Mark Tibbals; 1869, Phineas S. Bristol; 1770-2, 
Mark Tibbals; 1873-4, William Brotherton; 1875-6, John N. Bucking- 
ham ; 1877-86, Charles W. Beardsley ; 1887, William H. Andrews; 
1888-90, Isaac C. Smith. 

In the same period, the treasurers of the various funds have been 
Selah Strong, Nathan Fenn, Samuel Beach, Alfred Mallett, Isaac T. 
Rogers, David Miles, Phineas S. Bristol and Edward G. Miles. 

The Milford Probate District was established May 30th, 1832. Prior 
to that time business of that nature was done at New Haven, from 
which the town was now set off as a separate district. The first court 
was held July 11th, 1832, William Strong being the judge and David 
C. Baldwin the clerk. The subsequent judges were elected as below 
1837, Abijah Carrington; 1842, William Durand; 1845, Selah .Strong 
1847, Abijah Carrington; 1848, Andrew French; 1850, William Strong 
1851, Andrew French; 1S52, David L. Baldwin. In 1855 Samuel B 
Gunn was elected judge, succeeding David L. Baldwin, who became 
inelligible by reason of being more than seventy years of age. But 
the latter was appointed clerk, and the two sustained that relation 
until 1863, when John W. Fowler was elected judge. He so served 
until 1877, when age made him inelligible, and William G. Mitchell 
was elected judge and John W. Fowler clerk, each serving twelve 
years. In 1889 George M. Gunn was elected judge and John W. Fow- 
ler continued as clerk, at the age of 82 years. 

Public business was first transacted at the "Common House," 
erected at the head of the harbor on the settlement of the planters. 
Next the meeting house was used, but after schools were established 


a town house was built. It was placed upon public lands at the angle 
where is now the town hall. In 1699 a school or town hall was author- 
ized to be built at the " West End," which stood, and was used the 
greater part of a hundred years. The " East End " town house gave 
place to a new and larger building in 1734, which was burned in the 
winter of 1758 in a revel by some British troops which were quartered 
in it, having been brought here in consequence of the French and In- 
dian wars. The British government paid the town .£50 for this dam- 
age, toward building a new town house, which was put up in 1760 by 
John Hopkins. This stood until about 1845, and was last used as a 
place of worship by the Baptists of Milford. It was a substantial 
frame, 30 by 45 feet, and had a very plain appearance. 

In 1S33 a new town house was built, also on the small green and in 
front of the old town house. This building was 32 by 42 feet and two 
stories high, the upper room being used for school purposes. Elijah 
Baldwin was the builder, and it cost $1,200. Its location in the angle 
of the green caused that plat of ground to look unattractive; hence, in 
1854, the house was moved up and placed in line with the Baptist 
meeting house, built upon the site of the old town house. The Bap- 
tists disbanding, their church building was purchased by the town in 
1866, and has since been used for a town auditorium. In 1875 this 
building and the old town house were merged in the present town 
edifice, which is used for school and public purposes. The small green 
has also been improved, and in 1876 one of the finest liberty poles in 
the state was erected at the lower angle. These improvements are 
noteworthy and attractive, and reflect credit upon the town. 

In 1824 the town purchased a poor farm at Burwell's Corner, which 
contained 23 acres. This was further improved, and was used as a 
home for indigent persons until 1873, when it was ordered sold and 
other provision made for the care of the town's poor. 

In 1740 the town voted " to buy a new bell of about 600 pounds 
weight, the old one being cracked." The same year Ebenezer Parme- 
lee set up a brass clock, which gave good satisfaction a number of 
years. In 1825 it was unwisely replaced by a wooden clock, which was 
a greater failure than the old one, which had been sold for a trifle. 
After some delay the wooden affair was cast out and a good clock sup- 
plied. The town clock is still a feature of the life at Milford village, 
and retains its place in the tower of the First meeting house. 

It is said of the early roads of Milford that they were not laid out, 
but the land was; and that cart paths were made where the trees were 
the thinnest, so as to reach each farm without much reference to course, 
As the best lands were first picked out and the roads followed them, 
about all the vacant land was regarded as the roadway. After the 
roads were once laid out they were also left very wide. Broad street 
was originally 40 rods wide, and most of the present houses stand on 
what was the highway. The old New Haven road was laid out 16 rods 


wide; the Harbor road, 10 rods; and the Mill Neck road, 6 rods wide. 
On these roads and the roads on both sides of the Wepawaug the 
abutting property holders have so much encroached that but little sem- 
blance of the original highways is left, and many of the houses stand 
on "Squatter's claims." 

Some of the early roads to principal points followed the Indian 
trails much of the way. The old Turkey Hill, Burwell's Farm, New 
Haven and the Poconoc Point roads are almost identical with the In- 
dian pathways found by the early settlers. For many years there was 
considerable objection to the better system of roads, or building them 
according to modern methods. Hence, when turnpikes were projected, 
there was much opposition. The road from Derby Narrows to New 
Haven, through the northern part of Milford (now Orange) was bit- 
terly opposed in 1798, and so also in 1802, " it was voted to oppose the 
New Haven and Milford Turnpike Company running the turnpike road 
through people's land, but to have them keep the old road, except cut- 
ting off short corners." But in spite of this opposition both roads were 
built and were afterward much appreciated by the people. The gen- 
eral course of the latter highway through the town was from northeast 
to southwest, and it was opened to the public in the beginning of the 
present century. At Milford village the Wepawaug was crossed, be- 
tween the first and second dams, the company building the so-called 
Jefferson bridge. The company also owned the first Washington 
bridge across the Housatonic. As the stage route from New Haven 
to New York, this road was much used until after the completion of 
the railroad in the same course. 

The construction of the railroad was begun in 184f>, and a through 
train from New York first ran through Milford December 28th, 1848. 
William Strong was the first agent at Milford village, and was suc- 
ceeded by Peter Hobart, who was the first telegrapher at this station. 
The Naugatuck Valley railway was joined to the main line at the Housa- 
tonic bridge in 1849. The first bridge was of wood. The present 
elegant iron bridge was erected in 1884. Full station facilities at the 
junction were established in the fall of 1890, when a ticket office was 
added to the adjuncts already there. 

When the " new" road was located through the lots in the middle 
of the village, in 1805, it was so vigorously opposed that suits for dam- 
ages followed, and the matter was carried to the county court for set- 

The green or park in Broad street, in Milford, was improved by the 
town fn 1854, and a railing was built around it. For a long time the 
west end was low and swampy, but it has been drained and much 

The necessity for better facilities for crossing the Housatonic im- 
pelled the town to early establish a ferry, and it was set up in 1675, at 
a point above Washington bridge. To encourage the settlement of a 


ferryman, forty acres of land were there sequestered. In 1731, under 
a new act of the general assembly, the town built a two-story*frame 
house for the ferryman, and provided other suitable accommodations 
and boats. In 1758 these were thoroughly repaired. October 1st, 
1798, Washington bridge having been built so that it was no longer 
necessary to have the ferry, the town voted to sell all the property, 
and William Hopkins became the purchaser. The old county road 
led to the ferry, and was here called the Ferry road. In 1785 its pres- 
ent course to " Hog Rock " was located. This is an immense boulder, 
one mile east of Washington bridge, and it is said its name was de- 
rived from the following circumstance: 

" Once four young men upon y e rock 
Sate down at Shuffle-board one day, 
When y e Devill appeared in shape of a hogg, 
And frighten'd y'm so they scampered awaye, 
And left Olde Nick to finish ye play." 

The story runs that the hog came from the bushes near by, and 
walked around the rock, as the boys were playing cards upon the top 
of it, one Sabbath morning. Its peculiar actions convinced the boys 
that it must be the messenger of the evil one, and they beat a hasty 
retreat. During the revolutionary war the rock was devoted to a better 
use by an ardent patriot, Peter Pierett, Jr., who cut in large letters on 
the north side the words " Liberty, 1776." 

Another ferry was long kept up at Oronoque, and this means of 
crossing streams was employed at other points until bridges could be 

The first bridge in the town was ordered at the November 24th, 
1640, meeting, " to be built with all possible expedition." This was 
called the Meeting House bridge, and has ever since been kept up. 
The next one built was at Fowler's mill, near the mouth of the Wepa- 
waug, which was put up in 1645. On its site was built, in 1889, the 
town's beautiful memorial bridge, commemorative of the 250th anni- 
versary of the settlement of Milford. It is a handsome stone arch 
structure, with graceful and artistic lines, and at the west approach 
is a tower of peculiar beauty and substantial appearance, also built of 
stone and covered with tile. On this and on the north side of the 
bridge are many historical inscriptions. The bridge cost about $3,100, 
and is one of the most pleasing objects in the town. 

The first Gulf bridge was the third in the town, and was built in 
1662. In 1810 another wooden structure took its place, which was used 
in a repaired condition until 1890, when a good stone and iron bridge 
was erected in its stead, at a cost of more than $6,000. Plumb's, or the 
Indian River bridge, on the old County road, was first built in 1706; 
King's bridge in 1711; a bridge across the Wepawaug, between the 
meeting house and Fowler's Mill bridge, in 1723. This was below 
where is now the Episcopal church. It was abandoned after the Jef- 


ferson bridge, a short distance above, was built, about the beginning of 
the present century. Oyster River bridge was built by New Haven 
and Milford in 1753. The North street foot bridge was first built in 
1768, and the bridge at Jehiel Bristol's in 1819. 

The Washington bridge, over the Housatonic, was begun in 1797 
and completed in the following year. In the spring of 1806 an ice 
gorge carried away a part of it. In 1808 it was rebuilt at an expense 
of $8,000, which sum was raised by a lottery. The bridge at first had 
a narrow draw, which was the cause of much trouble, the inhabitants 
of Derby and the Upper Housatonic demanding its removal. After 
much litigation the difficulty was overcome by the sale of the bridge 
to other parties. Later it was kept up by the towns of Milford and 
Stratford, but in 1889 the counties of New Haven and Fairfield assumed 
control, and by these bodies it is now kept in good condition. It is a 
long wooden structure, with a roomy side draw, permitting the pas- 
sage of the largest boats. 

Milford village is the center of population, wealth and influence of 
the town. It is one of the oldest and most attractive places in the 
county, and but few villages in the state surpass it for quiet beauty 
and pleasing environments. The village has a good and healthy loca- 
tion, on both sides of the Wepawaug river and Milford harbor, near 
Long Island sound, with beach and sailing privileges. The streets are 
wide, well kept and afford pleasant drives. Many of them are adorned 
with aged and stately elms and other shade trees. Capacious resi- 
dences, some of them of modern architecture and costly, are set in 
large yards of greensward, giving the village a retired and perhaps 
drowsy appearance. There are also a large number of quaint and 
well preserved old mansions, betokening the architecture of former 

"The old houses have a musty odor, but they were built to last. 
On the front doors one may see wrought-iron hinges in the form of a 
T, with long arms and wooden door latches; the doorstep is an uncut 
stone. In the garrets one finds hops spread on the floor to dry, colos- 
sal band boxes, the hair trunk and the lank, glazed gripsack of our 
fathers. In many door yards the old style well-sweep still remains in 
use. One old dwelling, as black as coal, has an overhanging third 
story, supported by carved brackets; another has a row of small dor- 
mer windows in the front of its roof, which are the admiration of 
architects. But, above all, there is an air of innate connection and 
relationship between house and house and surroundings which a new 
house cannot have, and which makes the indefinable, but no less posi- 
tive, physiogomy and atmosphere of the old home so gracious and so 
dignified. The giant trees protect it from sun and tempest; around 
and over it have grown vines and flowers, memories and traditions."* 
There are a score of business places, a Masonic hall, savings bank. 
*W. H. Downes, in Neiv England Magazine. 


several grood manufacturing: establishments, a fine town hall and 
Union school house, Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist and Catho- 
lic church edifices, and several thousand contented inhabitants, many 
leading retired lives. 

The settlement of the village and the town are coeval, the place 
being founded in 1639. Their history is also practically the same as 
related in these pages. The event of founding Milford, as indicated 
by the 25(>th anniversary, was fitly celebrated August 28th, 1889, when 
the beautiful Memorial bridge at the foot of Broad street was dedi- 
cated in honor of the occasion. 

Woodmont is a post office and station on the New Haven railroad 
in the eastern part of the town, near the Long Island sound. Extend- 
ing to the beach and along the shore, a village of several hundred in- 
habitants, most of them summer residents only, has lately sprung up; 
but the improvements lately begun and projected will not only make 
this an attractive place of resort, but will also invite a settled popula- 
tion. In the past year some handsome residences were erected and 
the roads much improved. 

This locality was long known as " Burwell's Farm," from the fact 
that large tracts of land were owned here by John Burwell, one of the 
first planters of Milford. He had a son, Lieutenant Samuel Burwell, 
and the latter's sons, Nathan and Samuel, were the first settlers of 
this part of the town, about 1690. They became well-to-do farmers, 
and at one time their descendants here were numerous; a few only 

In the northwestern part of the town, near the Housatonic river, 
Joseph Wheeler settled in 1705, and from that time the locality be- 
came known as Wheeler's Farm. Previously it was called the " Upper 
Meadows," and Sergeant Camp had hop yards there in the seven- 
teenth century. The rich, alluvial lands were well adapted for their 
growth, and the fertility of the soil also attracted many good farmers 
to this section, which for many years was one of the best- tilled in the 
town. Fine farm buildings were put up. At the river was formerly 
a small ship yard. In late years this has been an ordinary farming 

Henry Tomlinson, who was by trade a weaver, was authorized in 
1654 as the first keeper of an ordinary in Milford. His place was 
on the old county road, a dozen or more rods west of the meeting 
house. Not fulfilling the requirements .of the town, he was succeeded 
in the course of a year by Richard Bryan, and that family kept the 
place many years. Others followed. In 1789 Andrew Clark was the 
keeper. There is a tradition that in that year General George Wash- 
ington was a guest of the house, when, according to Lambert, the fol- 
lowing incident occurred: " Washington, not much relishing his sup- 
per of boiled meat and potatoes, called for a bowl of milk, which was 
brought him, with a pewter suoon in it, having a broken handle. He 


asked for a silver spoon, but was told that the house afforded none, 
whereupon he gave the servant maid a two-shilling piece, and told 
her to go and borrow one. She accordingly borrowed one for him at 
the minister's." David Butler was the last keeper of the old inn, 
when it was discontinued about 1824. 

John Camp opened a tavern on lot No. 50, in the "West End," in 
1705, and about 1710 Samuel Miles opened another public house in the 
village. As the travel by land increased these places had a good pa- 
tronage. Some time about 1800 a tavern was opened at the east end 
of Washington bridge, on the Housatonic, which for a number of 
years was quite popular. Later, Benajah Thompson had a public 
house at Poconoc Point, which had a fine reputation, and fifty years 
ago was patronized as a sea-side resort. Later and more modern sea- 
side places were opened, nearer the village, on Burns' Point, and the 
former places have been discontinued. 

At the beginning of the present century, when Broad street be- 
came a general thoroughfare for east and west travel, two public 
houses were opened on it, opposite each other and near the center of 
the village — the Milford House and the Washington House. The lat- 
ter was on the south side of the street, and was kept by Captain Ste- 
phen Trowbridge. He was also a well-known sailor and sea captain, 
and as such crossed the Atlantic 100 times. The tavern was discon- 
tinued many years ago, but Captain Trowbridge lived until 1S76, 
when he died at the age of 95 years. 

Of the Milford House Nathan Merwin was the popular landlord 
fifty years ago and later. Since his time the house has been much en- 
larged, some of the most substantial alterations being made after the 
rebellion, by Andrew Hepburn, who had been a sutler in the army. It 
has been continuously used as a hotel, and has had a number of 

When the town was settled the harbor was clear of obstructions, 
permitting vessels to land where is now Fowler's mill, where a wharf 
was built. Gradually the channel filled up and became so shallow that 
navigation was practically abandoned. Efforts were made to improve 
the harbor, and in 1877 the United States government caused the chan- 
nel to be dredged, when immense quantities of mud were removed. 
At the same time a stone breakwater, about 300 yards long, and jet- 
ties were built at the mouth of Indian gulf. This being done, small 
vessels could again ascend to Baldwin's wharf. 

The first merchant and trader was Alexander Bryan. As early as 
1640 he sent a sloop to Boston, which was laden with furs he had 
bought of the Indians, and which returned with goods for the plant- 
ers. In May, 1 650, the town granted him a lot at the corner of Broad 
street and Dock lane, on which he built a store or warehouse. The 
same year he built a wharf at Dock lane, which he resigned to the 


town in 1653 on condition that the town would keep it in repair. This, 
was done, and for many years it was known as the Town Wharf. 
There were now two wharves, this one and the first one at Fowler's 
mill. In 1655 Richard Bryan, son of Alexander, was given liberty to 
build another store, 18 by 30 feet, on the opposite side of the lane. 
Below Alexander Bryan's store was the store and warehouse of Will- 
iam East, and near by was the tannery of Miles Merwin. These three 
merchants owned in 1675 two brigs and one sloop. The former were 
used in the West Indies trade, carrying thither horses, cattle, cornmeal 
and timber. Returning, they were laden with rum and molasses, and 
it is said that the New Haven planters first got their supplies here. 
The sloop was used in the Boston and coast trade by Alexander Bryan, 
whose credit with the merchants of the Bay was so high that his note 
of hand passed as current among them as bank bills of this day in our 
present trade. 

About this time John Maltbie was also in trade. In 1685 Nicholas 
Camp built a store at the "West End," where he lived, and he became 
a well known business man of the town. " In 1696 Mungo Nisbett 
traded here, by way of New York."* 

In 1714 Samuel Clark was a merchant and bought Richard Bryan's 
store. In 1730 Peter Pierett, a Frenchman, came to Milford, where he 
was a merchant, and traded with France many years. He built the 
lower wharf, on the west side of the harbor, afterward purchased by 
Milford and known as the Town wharf. About the same time John 
Gibbs carried on a trade with Holland. Louis Lyron, another French- 
man, traded here about 1740. At this time the port of Milford was 
widely known at home and in foreign parts. 

In 1790 Captain Charles Pond, a seafaring man, who had commanded 
the " New Defense" in 1779 as a privateer, and others engaged in 
trade, shipbuilding and merchandising, as Charles Pond & Co. In 1793 
they built the wharf on Gulf Neck, where is now the Merwin oyster 
industry. In 1811 Adam Pond, a son of Captain Charles Pond, and 
others formed the firm of Pond, Fowler & Co., and continued in trade 
until 1823. He was a successful foreign trader, and was well known 
among the shippers of New York. Pond, Baldwin & Co. were also in 
trade until 1814, when the firm was dissolved. Later came Miles, 
Strong & Miles, who were largely engaged in the shipping trade until 
the failure of the firm in 1821, since which time there has been but 
little foreign trade with Milford. 

Ships were built at Milford as early as 1690, by Bethuel Langstaff, 
who that year built a 150-ton brig for Alexander Bryan. In 1695 he 
built another vessel for Boston parties. 

The " Sea Flower," built for Richard Bryan, was launched in 1717, 
and from that time, for a little more than one hundred years ship- 
building was one of the leading industries of the town. Nearly every 

* Lambert. 


trader built his own vessels, and several yards were maintained at the 
village. A few small vessels were also built at Wheeler's Farm, on 
the Housatonic. 

About 1760 Eli Gunn came to Milford and had a ship yard near his 
residence. In later times the principal ship yard was on the east side 
of the harbor, below Fowler's mill. Another yard was on the west 
side, between Dock lane and Wharf street. 

Among the master builders were Isaac Jones, called " Boss " Jones, 
and "Boss" John Rhodes. As ship carpenters there were, among 
others, John Hepburn, William Tibbals, Newton Northrup, Nathan 
Bristol, John Bump, Samuel Greene, John Bassett, John Rood, Caleb 
Northrup, Isaac Bristol, Samuel B. Gunn and Asa Gunn. Other ship 
builders were William Durand, David and William Atwater, Abraham 
Tomlinson and Farrand Clark. 

Captain Noah Kelsey, who had a shop near the Episcopal church, 
made many of the vessel irons used. Two of the last vessels of any 
size launched were the " Isabella," in 1818, and the " Marcellus," in 
1820. This was built for Captain David P. Halsey, but was sold to 
Captain Nathan Gillett. The builders were W. H. Fowler and D. L. 

The venerable John W. Fowler says that in the period of Milford's 
greatest commercial activity, for about thirty years, ending in 1820, 
the following vessels were owned in Milford and sailed from that 

Ships: " Hesperus," by Pond, Baldwin & Co.; " Garune," by Miles, 
Strong & Miles; " Chase," "Vaucher," " Hamlet," by Stephen A. and 
Isaac Treat. Brigs: " Charles," " Susan," " Martha," " Pond," by Pond, 
Baldwin & Co.; " Calena," " Behurin,"by Tomlinson & Clark; " Wepo- 
wage," " Milford," by Miles, Strong & Miles; " Friendship," " Thomas," 
by S. A. & I. Treat; " Patriot," by William Durand. 

The schooners built or sailing from Milford in the interests of the 
above were more than a dozen in number, and there was about the 
same number of sloops. 

A number of seafaring men dwelt at Milford, and it has been esti- 
mated that the casualties of such a life caused more than one hundred 
persons to find their last resting places in the waters of the mighty 
deep. It should be noted in this connection that an unusual propor- 
tion of Milford's seamen became the commanders of their vessels, 
which commends the bravery and the intelligence of this class of citi- 
zens. Indeed, some of the best people of the town followed the sea, 
and "at one time nearly every house contained a retired sea captain 
or the memory of one." Among those who rose to the rank of captain 
were: Benedict Bull, James Bull, Freeman Bassett, Mix Bradley, Philip 
Bull, Nehemiah Bristol, Edward Brown, William Coggeshall, Farrand 
Clark, Freegift Coggeshall, Charles Coggeshall, William Coggeshall, 


Tr., George Coggeshall,* Isaac Dickinson, Samuel Dickinson, William 
Davidson, Howe Davidson, Samuel Davis, David Foster, Joseph Green, 
William Glenney, James Hitchcock, Richard Hepburn, David Hepburn, 
John Hepburn, William Larrabee. Daniel Miles, Isaac Miles, Daniel 
Mallory, Benajah Mallory, Robert Meadows, William Nott, Charles 
Pond, Charles H. Pond, Adam Pond, Peter Pond, Samuel Peck, Dan 
Peck, Joel Plumb, James Riley, Josiah Rogers, Stephen Stow, Anthony 
Stow, Samuel Stow, Samuel Stow, 2d, Phineas Stow, William Sanford, 
Frederick Stow, Elisha H. Stow, Henry Turner, Isaac Treat, William 
Tomlinson, Samuel Tibbals, David Treat, Stephen Trowbridge. 

In the ordinary lines of merchandising, Abraham Tomlinson & 
Co. were in trade at the beginning of the century, and in 1802 David 
L. Baldwin was one of their clerks. He became one of Milford's mer- 
chants, and was in trade until 1854. Contemporary with him latterly 
were Mark Tibbals, John W. Merwin and A. Clark. Nathan Fenn, 
a later merchant, was killed by burglars who entered his store. 
P. S. Bristol and the Cornwalls were merchants of a later period, the 
latter continuing and having as contemporaries the Fords, Platts, 
Shepherds and Buckinghams. 

About 1850 M. & J. A. Curtis opened a drug store, which has been 
carried on since 1865 by James T. Higby, now one of the oldest mer- 
chants in the village. On the 10th of December, 1887, a part of this 
business block was destroyed by fire. All trade is limited to local de- 
mand of the town, having a score of stores. 

On the 9th of March, 1640, the planters arranged with William 
Fowler, one of the five judges and one of the chief men among them, 
to have a mill. An advantageous natural site, on the lowest power of 
the Wepawaug, with the perpetual use of the stream at that place, was 
granted him, and the mill was set going as early as September, 1640. 
The mill was estimated worth at least ,£180, and was the first in the 
county. The second one, at New Haven ( Whitneyville), was built by 

* Captain George Coggeshall made 80 sea voyages between 1799 and 1854, 
and wrote a book in 1851, recounting his experiences. His literary ability was of 
no mean order, as will be seen by the following epitaph, which he wrote for his 
nephew, Captain Freegift Coggeshall: 

" Here in this lonely, humble bed, 

Where myrtle and wild roses grow, 
A son of Neptune rests his head, 
For, reader, 'tis his watch below. 

" Long hath he done his duty well. 

And weathered many a stormy blast; 
But now, when gentle breezes swell, 
He's safely moored in peace at last. 

" Tread lightly, sailors, o'er his grave, 
His virtues claim a kindred tear; 
And yet why mourn a brother brave 
Who rests from all his labors here?" 


William Fowler, the son of the above William Fowler, in 1645. In 
this year (1645) the Milford mill was injured by a freshet, but was soon 
repaired, the town voting the help of the brethren to that end. At 
this place a grist mill has been continuously operated ever since, and 
the owners have always been members of the Fowler family. The 
present owner, William M. Fowler, obtained possession of the property 
in 1884, and soon thereafter erected the mill now standing on the 
original site, which has been thus occupied by five different mills. 
Another singular circumstance is that the present owner is the eighth 
William Fowler, in the ninth generation of the family, that has suc- 
cessfully carried on this mill property. 

Soon after the grist mill was started a saw mill was added, but the 
latter was removed many years ago. 

The mill site next above, on the Wepawaug, was improved in 1675. 
The town made an order, September 29th, 1674, when liberty was 
granted to Elder Buckingham and others to build a saw mill and a 
fulling mill at that point, and they were put up on the east side of the 
stream. In the month of December, 1702, the town requested the 
owners of this site to build a grist mill with at least two sets of stones, 
" one for English grain and the other for Indian grain, and a good 
boult so ye men, if they wish, may boult yr own fioure." The mill 
was built on the southwest side of the stream, and is still continued. 
The saw mill was taken down in 1836 and a woolen mill erected in its 
place by Townsend, Dickinson & Co. For several years they made 
satinets on an extensive scale, when the mill was destroyed by fire. 
A smaller mill was then built, but the death of Dickinson soon brought 
this enterprise to an untimely end. Subsequently this building and 
others at the same place were used in the carriage business. 

A mill was also early built on Beaver brook, west of the village. 
In May, 1689, Captain Samuel Eells, Timothy Baldwin and Samuel 
Couch were given liberty to build a fulling mill at that place, on Bald- 
win's land. Some time after the revolution the power was utilized for 
a grist mill, which was owned and run by the Prince family more than 
half a century, but has been disused many years. 

On the East river the third grist mill in the town was built by John 
Plumb, the town granting him the necessary liberty in December, 
1706. As conditions of this right he agreed to build a causeway and 
keep the same in repair, and to grind the grist of " the towns people 
in preference to those of strangers." The grist mill was allowed to go 
down, and about 1825 the power was used to saw stone for the Milford 
Marble Company, whose quarries were near this locality. The marble 
is of the kind called Verde antique, and was discovered in 1811 by Solo- 
mon Baldwin, at that time a student in Yale from Huntington. A 
company was formed to quarry the marble, and for some years it was 
actively engaged, when the quality no longer held out. From this 
quarry four chimney pieces were supplied for the Capitol at Washing- 


ton. In later years small lumber mills have been carried on by the 
Clark Brothers and H. M. Rose, the stream furnishing limited power. 
In this part of the town the scenery is very attractive along the river. 

On the 18th of February, 1714, liberty was granted to a company of 
forty persons to build a tide mill at the Indian Gulf outlet. This was 
kept up a number of years, and about the time of the revolution a new 
mill was built. The latter was swept away March 5th, 1843, and a 
new mill was built, which was last used for grinding barytes. Some 
time before the late war this was removed, and no mill has been there 
since that time. 

In 1815 there were in Milford and in the Milford part of Orange six 
grist mills, seven saw mills, four fulling mills, one oil mill, two card- 
ing machines, one large woollen factory, and two ship yards. 

It is said that among the early settlers there was a great want of 
mechanics, but upon proper encouragement by the town the various 
trades were soon represented. George Clark, Jr., was the carpenter; 
Nathaniel Baldwin the cooper; John Baldwin the tailor; John Smith, 
the blacksmith, having his shop near the town house; and Ephraim 
Strong was a later blacksmith. Edward Adams and Miles Merwin 
were the tanners. The latter's yard was near Bryan's Wharf, and the 
business was long carried on by his family. There were shoemakers, 
but it is said that " for fifty years there was no saddler in town; sheep- 
skins were used for saddles, and in such demand that the Stratford 
people used to say, ' If the Devil should go into Milford in the shape 
of a lamb they would skin him to get his hide for a saddle.' "* 

Henry Tomlinson and Richard Holbrook were weavers, but in 
many families weaving was carried on, and the fulling mill put up in 
1675 was the first in the colony. In 1720 Lewis Wilkinson had a 
clothier's shop on the island, below Meeting House bridge. An in- 
dustry which was important, but which was discontinued so many years 
ago that few know that it was ever carried on, was brewing. In 1651 
Edward Wooster, a brewer, had a hop yard on Mill river. He later 
had another yard in the lower part of the present town of Ansonia. 
Sergeant Camp, another brewer, had a hop yard on the Housatonic. 
Brewing houses were maintained until about 1750. 

The manufacture of carriages was for many years an important 
industry in the town. About 1830 Dennis Beach and his brothers, 
Hammond and Harvey, began on a small scale in a shop near his resi- 
dence. In 1837 they built the dam in the upper part of Milford vil. 
lage, and used its power in this industry, and continued a number of 
years. A little earlier, about 1834, Brown, Frazer & Co. put up car- 
riage works on the site of the post office block, manufacturing for the 
Southern trade. Charles Pond Strong was also interested later. Oper- 
ations were discontinued about 1847, when the shop was used for a 
cabinet factory a short time. 

*Reverend Elijah C. Baldwin. 


In 1837 Rogers, Gardner & Davis had carriage works on Broad 
street, near the Trowbridge tavern, which passed to Isaac T. Rogers, 
who manufactured until his removal to Brooklyn, N. Y. Beecher & 
Miles, at the old fulling mill property, above Jefferson bridge, were 
the last to operate on an extensive scale, and continued until about 
1853, when the industry here declined. When fully carried on several 
hundred men were employed, and Milford carriages had a splendid 
reputation in Southern and Western markets. Since the year named 
small shops only in these mechanic arts have been occupied. 

Shoe manufacturing has for many years engaged the attention of 
some of the people of Milford. At first small shops were occupied, in 
which the uppers were cut and given out to be bound and trimmed at 
home, when the shoe was returned to the shop to be completed. In 
this way shoemaking was carried on by Samuel C. Glenney, John 
Smith, Miles Davidson, Jonah Piatt, Joseph Merwin and others, a con- 
siderable business in the aggregate being done. In about 1852 the 
factory system was adopted by Davidson & Clark. During the war a 
brisk business was done, manufacturing army shoes, the firm of J. O. 
Silliman & Co., in the Merwin shop, being very active, and it was the 
first in the place to use machinery. Silliman, Glenney and some others 
moved to New York. 

In 1855 Albert A. Baldwin engaged in shoe manufacturing, occupy- 
ing a shop on the hill at the " West End," and having several appren- 
tices. In 1865 he more fully adopted the factory system, and employed 
the machinery at that time available, working with success, so that 
larger accommodations were demanded. In February, 1875, a part of 
the spacious factory on Broad street was occupied. In 1885 it was en- 
larged to its present proportions — a four-story building, 35 by 100 feet, 
with an addition 40 by 60 feet. The motor is a 60 horse-power engine, 
and the factory as equipped with modern machinery, has a working 
capacity for 200 people. Many hundred pairs of women's fine grade 
shoes are daily made, and this establishment is one of the most suc- 
cessful of the kind in the county. Albert A. Baldwin has been con- 
tinuously identified with this industry as the controlling head, but for 
a number of years has had Guy Lambkin, of Boston, as an associate 
partner, the firm being Baldwin & Lambkin. Distributing stores are 
maintained in Boston and New York, and a retail store in Milford. 

In the northern part of the village a paper box factory was estab- 
lished by Payne & Todd. But after a few years the latter removed the 
interest to New Haven, and the building was enlarged for a shoe fac- 
tory by Walp & Co. After occupying it a short time the interest was 
removed to Lynn, Mass., in L890. 

X. A. Baldwin, of Milford, was one of the pioneer manufacturers 
of straw goods for headwear, by machinery. In 1853 he began work 
experimentally in a small shop at Bryan Wharf. His operations soon 
•convinced him that there was a new era for straw goods manufacture, 


and that there was a possibility of one girl and the straw sewing ma- 
chine doing as much work as could be done by twenty girls working 
by hand only. Acting upon this idea he caused the sewing machine 
to be still further perfected and had scores of them placed in position 
in his newly-built factory. Operations were now extensively carried 
on, sewing braided straw he imported from China and Japan. The 
business having assumed such large proportions, in 1866, it passed un- 
der the management of the Milford Straw-Sewing Machine Company, 
of which N. A. Baldwin was the treasurer and manager; and it so con- 
tinued until the expiration of the Bosworth patents. In 1867-8 oper- 
ations were so extensive that about 700 persons were employed and 
thousands of dozens of hats were fully finished each day. In later 
years the working force has not been so great, but with the aid of im- 
proved machinery the product still attains immense proportions. The 
factory buildings, erected and enlarged from time to time, form a 
plant which had, in 1890, an aggregate floor space 25 feet wide and 
three-quarters of a mile long. The main buildings are brick, and 
there is also a fine block of brick tenements. An immense warehouse 
affords storage for finished goods, which embrace a vast variety of 
styles and many qualities of products. The plant has its own wharf, 
and manufactures its own gas for heating and lighting purposes, the 
coal used being unloaded from barges in its yards direct, and heavy 
goods find shipment in the same way. 

To the manufacture of straw goods was here added, in 1888. the 
production of floor matting, by machinery, operated by steam power, 
which has already become an important industry, and the first of the 
kind in the Union. The machines designed and here constructed 
weave goods far superior to hand work, and will permit a variety of 
styles which will have a marked effect upon the matting trade. Both 
foreign and domestic straws are used, and this interest is being stead- 
ily expanded. It is carried on by the Mitchell Manufacturing Com- 
pany, incorporated May 28th, 1888, of which John M. Forbes, of New 
York, is president, and N. A. Baldwin, treasurer. Under his manage- 
ment it is becoming as great a success as the straw goods manufac- 

The Milford Steam Power Company was incorporated May 5th, 
1873, with a capital stock of $25,000, to encourage manufacturing in- 
terests to locate and operate in the village. Soon after the organiza- 
tion James T. Higby was chosen president and P. S. Bristol secretary 
and treasurer, and these officers have since been continued. Ground 
for a plant was purchased, upon which the company erected substan- 
tial brick factory buildings, having an aggregate length of several 
hundred feet, and 32 feet wide, and a 25 horse power steam engine 
was provided. This has been occupied by various interests. From 
1873 until 1879 Henry G. Thompson and others there manufactured 
shoe lasting machinery, removing to New Haven in the latter year. 


Next the occupants were the Automatic Tool Company, removed here 
from New York, and which remained about a year. Patent nippers 
and wire cutters were made. 

The Connecticut Shoe Company, incorporated in March, 1882, for 
the manufacture of patent horse shoes, were the next to occupy the 
buildings, under a lease from the Power Company. They soon re- 
moved to a distant state. In 1884 an industry was there started as 
the Milford Harness Company, which name was changed to the Mil- 
ford Manufacturing Company. Hames and saddlery hardware were 
made. In the summer of 1S90 this company removed to New Jersey, 
and in July of the same year the buildings were taken as the works of 
the National Electrical Manufacturing Company of New York city. 
The capital stock is $200,000, and all kinds of electrical appliances are 
manufactured. J. G. Noyes is the general manager of the company, 
and F. A. Lane the superintendent at Milford. About 100 skillful 
workmen are employed, and this promises to become an important in- 

The seed growing interests of Milford have, in the past six years, 
attained generous proportions. The soil and climate of the town are 
well adapted, and with skillful cultivation good returns have been se- 
cured. Seeds were grown in this town and Orange many years ago, 
but lately a specialty has been made in growing onion, turnip and 
sweet corn seeds for the leading seedmen of the country. The prod- 
uct ranks high, the seeds here grown maturing finely. A number of 
farmers devote attention to this interest, growing seeds for local seeds- 
men more extensively engaged, such as Charles W. Beardsley, Dennis 
Fenn, Everett B. Clark, Alburtis N. Clark, George F. Piatt and others 
of Milford; and S. D. Woodruff and others of Orange. 

The oyster interests of Milford are important. The early settlers 
had a considerable source of food supply in the fish, clams and oysters 
afforded by the coasts of the town, and in more recent years the culti- 
vation and shipment of oysters, taken from beds off the sound shore, 
have been very profitable. So important was this matter, as early as 
1764, that the town passed laws regulating the time and manner of 
taking oysters. In that year a penalty of £1 was imposed for every 
act of catching in the months between April and September. Subse- 
quently this has remained a matter for much legislation, both by the 
state and the town, and many regulations have been made to protect 
the interest. 

Oysters were especially plentiful many years ago at Poconoc Point, 
and the lands laid out there in 1752 were called the "Oyster Banks." 
Clams were also abundant, and the Naugatuck and Pootatuck Indians 
used to resort there yearly, for the purpose (as they expressed it. " to 
salt,*') of catching clams, which they dried and hung on strings to be 
carried inland, where, they used them with their fresh meat food. 
Later, the whites visited this point and remained a few days, until a 


supply of oysters could be obtained. Huts covered with moss and 
sea-weed were occupied by those engaged in the fishing business, and 
in 1836 it was said of this locality: " There is a street containing about 
15 or 20 huts of this description, covered with sea-weed, etc., which are 
quite novel in their appearance. About 50 or 60 persons, engaged in 
the oyster business, reside in these habitations during the winter 
months, and four or five have their families with them."* 

Along the east shore of the Housatonic river, from this point 
northward in the town, were also formerly valuable shad fisheries. 
Many seines were cast in the months of April, May and June, and vast 
quantities of that excellent fish were taken. But these industries have 
almost wholly passed away. Both oysters and fish have become 
scarce, owing to the changes in the beach at the Point and the defile- 
ment of the water in the river by factories on the streams above. At 
other points along the shore the natural oyster beds have been much 
depleted, but oysters and clams of good quality may still be obtained. 

With a view of increasing the product of oysters by artificial plant- 
ing, the Gulf Pond Oyster Company was formed after the late war, 
having among its members William S. Pond, Edward G. Burns, Will- 
iam M. Merwin and others. The gulf was planted with oysters, and 
arrangements were made to regulate the flow of the tide so as to pro- 
mote their growth. But the waters were too muddy and shallow, and 
the experiment was not a success. But this venture led one of the old 
company, William M. Merwin, to engage in deep-water planting, a 
mile or more off the Milford coast, and after some effort he succeeded 
in establishing a large and profitable industry. His beds yield annu- 
ally thousands of bushels of fine oysters, which are dredged and 
brought to Merwin's wharf (where was the old Pond or Gulf wharf), 
where they are prepared for shipment to northern markets. Two 
small steamers are kept in this service, and the business on an ex- 
tended scale is still carried on by Mr. Merwin and his sons. 

A menhaden fish rendering establishment at Welch's Point has 
had a checkered and unsavory existence at other points along the 
coast. Although an industry of some importance, it is so located that 
its operations have been enjoined as a nuisance. 

The Milford Savings Bank was chartered in 1872, and organized 
January 18th, 1875, with the following officers: President, Isaac T. 
Rogers; vice-president, Albert A. Baldwin; treasurer, Phineas S. Bris- 
tol; secretary, John W. Fowler. In 1890 George M. Gunn succeeded 
Colonel Rogers as president, but the secretary and the treasurer have 
continuously served in those offices. The bank was opened for busi- 
ness in P. S. Bristol's store in February, 1875, but in 1887 the present 
banking house on Broad street was occupied. The bank has been a 
convenience to the village, and has been successfully conducted. In 
January, 1890, the deposits amounted to more than $210,000, and there 
was a surplus fund of $18,556.75. 

* Barber's Hist. Col.. 238. 


An earlier banking enterprise was carried on a short time about 
1835 by the Milford Banking and Mining Company. The institution 
was known as the Phoenix Bank, and it was mainly a bank of issue, 
and was based on the mines at West Haven. Charles Clark was the 
cashier, and Doctor Andrew Franks the president, representing for- 
eign stockholders. The venture was not successful. 

Among the newspaper ventures The Milford Telegram is given the 
priority. It was begun in January, 1873, by George H. Carpenter. 
After being issued a few years, the name was changed to the Milford 
Sentinel, and in 1876 C. D. Page was the editor. Not receiving suffi- 
cient patronage, it was discontinued not long thereafter. 

The Milford post office was established at the beginning of the 
present century, and William Durand was a pioneer postmaster. 
Later, Jireh Bull was the postmaster, serving until 1824, the office be- 
ing kept on Broad street. William Strong was the postmaster in 1825 
and later; Doctor L. N. Beardsley from 1841 to 1845. In the latter 
year D. L. Hubbell was appointed, and for three years had the office 
at the corner of Wharf and Broad streets, then at John W. Merwin's 
store, where letter boxes were first used, about fifty boxes being pro- 
vided. William Brotherton was appointed in 1854, and held the office 
until 1861. The subsequent appointees have been : Thomas Corn- 
wall, 1861-6; William Brotherton, 1866-9; Joseph L. Clark, 1869-87; 
William B. Brotherton, since 1887. The office is in a well-appointed 
building, has eight mails per day, and its business is steadily in- 

The general assembly of 1838 authorized a fire company at Milford, 
which was organized in 1839 as a volunteer association — the Milford 
Fire Company No. 1, or the Wepowage Company. Of this body 
Theodore Buddington was the foreman. Subsequently in the same 
capacity were Wilson Plumb, David Miles and Mark Tibbals, and the 
company included some of the leading men of the village. 

The first engine proving too large, it was returned to New York 
and a gallery or side-bar engine, requiring half a dozen men on each 
side to operate it, was procured. This was used a number of years, 
when a second-hand engine was purchased at New Haven, also like 
the first, with moneys raised by subscription. 

The town having taken charge of the apparatus, sold both the old 
machines and had the present Button hand engine built to order for 
$1,800. This is called the " Arctic," and is a good machine, capable of 
throwing three streams to a perpendicular height of 150 feet. The 
company has two service hose carts and a fine glass hose parade car- 
riage, the latter purchased in the fall of 1890. The other equipments 
are ample for the service required. The company is fully manned, 
having 75 members and Charles H. Munson as the foreman. 

In 1854 the town appointed William S. Pond, David Miles and 
Samuel B. Baldwin as a committee to select a site for an engine house. 


This was built on the north side of the railroad. In 1857 it was en- 
larged by the addition of fifteen feet to the rear. It has since been 
much improved. The second story has been handsomely fitted up as 
the company's parlor. In 1886 a good bell was placed in the tower. 

The town has been exempt from general conflagrations, but in the 
fall of 1886 there were a number of incendiary fires, confined mostly 
to detached buildings. 

The Milford and Orange Agricultural Society was incorporated in 
1866, George Cornwall being a prime mover in its organization. For 
several years fairs were held on Milford Green, but in 1872 fine 
grounds were secured and fitted up on the " Meadow Side " farm of 
Nathan G. Pond, in the southwestern part of the village. A half-mile 
track was laid and considerable interest created in speeding horses, 
and the exhibition of the finer grades of live stock. A declining in- 
terest compelled the holding of fairs to be discontinued in 1881, and 
since that the existence of the society has been nominal only. At the 
new grounds several very interesting and successful fairs were held. 

Prior to 1800 a number of Masons resided in the town as members 
of King Hiram Lodge, of Derby, which claimed jurisdiction over this 
territory. About the beginning of the present century an effort was 
made to establish a Lodge at Milford, but the purpose was not carried 
out, and there was no such organization until Ansantawae Lodge, No. 
89, F. and A. M., was instituted October 21st, 1859. There were but 
eight charter members, namely, Daniel Buckingham, John N. Buck- 
ingham, Thomas A. Dutton, Frank Mallett, David Miles, James Sweet, 
Harvey Treat and Stephen Trowbridge. To this small number have 
been added more than 200 members, the number belonging- in 1890 
being 112. Doctor Thomas A. Dutton was the first master, and also 
served in 1860 and 1866. Other masters have been the following, in 
order of service: John N. Buckingham, David Miles, Lockwood Burns, 
Alfred B. Mallett, Charles Davidson. Jr., Nathan E. Smith, Charles 
Van Horn, Phineas S. Bristol, Colin A. Campbell, William A. Bull, 
Samuel N. Oviatt, George H. Kingsley, Fred J. Pope, H. D. Simonds, 
George A. Roberts, Colin A. Campbell, Elbert D. Ford; the latter serv- 
ing since 1888. 

After meeting nearly twenty years in a rented hall, the Lodge de- 
termined in 1878 to build its own home. A desirable lot on the north 
side of Broad street was secured, and the corner stone laid August 
6th, 1878. The building is a substantial two-story structure of brick, 
and has an attractive exterior. The Lodge room, in the second story, 
is handsomely furnished, and the value of the Lodge property approx- 
imates $10,000. Ansantawae ranks as one of the leading Masonic 
bodies in the county, and since March 12th, 1889, has been an incor- 
porated body. 

Lucia Chapter, No. 25, Eastern Star, was organized April 28th, 1886, 
and formally instituted January 6th, 1887. Its semi-monthly meetings 
are attended with interest. 


Wepowage Lodge, No. 14, I. O. O. F., was instituted July 11th, 
1844. Among the charter members were John N. Buckingham, Ben- 
jamin D. Wells, F. C. Dayton and William Bush. The latter survived 
in 1890, being more than 85 years of age. The meetings of the 
Lodge have not been interrupted since the date of the charter. In 
July, 1890, the number belonging was 155. 

The first meetings were held in the basement of the Plymouth 
church, from which they were moved to a room over G. & M. Tib- 
bals' about 1849. This place was occupied until 1880, when the pres- 
ent hall on Broad street was secured and furnished at a cost of $1,000. 
The regalia of the Lodge is valued at $900, and there is a benefit fund 
of nearly $8,000. 

For 25 years David Miles was the secretary of the Lodge, serving 
until 1876. Since that time, Edward G. Miles, his son, has filled that 
office. William Bush was the treasurer more than 30 years, and was 
succeeded by Sanford Hawkins, since in office. 

In 1890 the Lodge had 53 past grands, as follows: William Bush, 
€. N. Peck, Mark Tibbals, A. S. Bristol, Samuel C. Peck, Samuel A. 
Miles, George N. Osborne, L. M. Welch, Ralph W. Chidsey, Samuel 
R. Baldwin, Isaac C. Smith, Charles S. Bottsford, Ephraim Curtiss, 
Nathan C. Piatt, Charles P. Morris, Theodore Piatt, Charles M. Smith, 
James G. Peck, Edward G. Miles, J. F. Canfield, Henry E. Smith, Elli- 
ott N. Smith, Jasper L. Miles, T. F. Camp, John W. Buckingham, De 
Witt C. Beardslee, Owen T. Clark, D. P. Marvin, A. H. Bristol, E. C. 
Piatt, S. H. Baldwin, George E. Baldwin, L. H. Northrop, William B. 
Bush, Samuel N. Higby. H. E. Baldwin, Alfred Plumb, Sanford Haw- 
kins, Charles W. Piatt. Robert W. Clark, George S. Gillett, R. R. Hep- 
burn, Noyes R. Bailey, E. B. Heady, A. B. Gardner, E. E. Bradley, An- 
drew Clark, A. C. Tibbals, S. R. Smith, L. M. Fairbanks, W. S. Putney, 
W. M. Irving, W. S. Clark, E. J. Hungerford. 

George Van Horn* Post, No. 39, G. A. R., was organized at Milford 
June 29th, 1871, with twelve charter members. The Post has since 
prospered, enough members being mustered to make the number 53 
in November, 1S90. It was largely instrumental in the erection of 
the soldiers' monument, holding a fair in the winter of 1887-8, at- 
which $2,100 was realized. The remainder of the amount needed, 
about $2,800, was raised by subscription, largely by the members of 
the Post. The following have been the commanders: 1871-2, John W. 
Buckingham; 1873, C. I. Isbell; 1874, George E. Tilton; 1875, E. B. 
Baldwin; 1876-80, John W. Buckingham; 1881, Charles W. Ford; 1882, 
John W. Buckingham; 18S3, Edgar Van Horn; 1884, Charles J. Morris; 
1S85-7, Wallace S. Chase; 1888, George W. Coy; 1889, Nelson L. Stone; 
1890, S. A. Warburton. 

* Named for George Van Horn, one of the first at Milford to enlist in Com- 
pany D, Connecticut Volunteers, and was at the battle of Bull Run. Re-enlisted 
in First Connecticut Light Artillery, and served to the close of the war. Being 
ill, he took a voyage and died at sea, October 3d, 1866, aged 25 years. 


The George Van Horn Relief Corps, No. 33, was organized May 
11th, 1888, with twelve members, which number has been more than 

The Milford soldiers' monument was dedicated August 30th, 1888, 
with impressive ceremonies, which were witnessed by a large con- 
course of people. Governor Lounsbury and his staff were in attend- 
ance; Isaac C. Smith was the grand marshal, and Judge A. H. Fenn 
made an address. The well arranged decorations, consisting of thous- 
ands of flags and Japanese lanterns, added to the beauty of the occasion. 

The monument occupies a central location on Broad street, and 
stands on a mound, graded and surrounded by granite coping. Ap- 
proaching it are wide concrete walks. It is a beautiful piece of work- 
manship, of Ryegate granite, weighing about 37 tons, arranged as four 
bases, inscribed die, plinth, second die and pedestal, on which is a life- 
size figure of a soldier at "parade rest," and facing east. On the same 
side of the monument is the inscription " Gettysburg," over the na- 
tional coat of arms, in relief, and underneath is "1888." On the east 
die are the words: 

" To the bravery of the men who risked their lives that the nation 
might live— 1861— 1865." 

On the west side of the monument, on the second die, is the word 
"Appomatox," over the Grand Army badge, in bold relief. A lower 
inscription is, " Erected by George Van Horn Post, No. 39, G. A. R., 
and Friends." 

On the north side is " Fort Fisher," over a foul anchor and can- 
non balls, in relief ; and on the south, " Port Hudson," with crossed 
cannon, cut in relief. 

The monument cost complete about $5,000, and is not only artisti- 
cally attractive, but very substantial. 

The revolutionary soldiers' monument is in the southwest corner 
of the Milford cemetery. It is about 30 feet high, and the material is 
Portland free stone of a brownish color. It was erected under an act 
of the general assembly, passed in May, 1852, which appropriated $600 
for that object, and appointed Charles H. Pond, John K. Bristol and John 
W. Fowler as a local committee to carry out the provisions of the act. 
The people of Milford also contributed labor and aided the project in 
other ways. The corner stone was laid October 28th, 1852, in the 
presence of 3,000 people, by Governor Seymour. Lieutenant-Governor 
C. H. Pond read a narrative, detailing some incidents in the history 
of the unfortunate soldiers, whose memory was thus commemorated. 

On the south side of the monument are the arms of the state and 
the following words, giving the story of the memorial : 

Soldiers' Monument. 
In honor of 
Forty-six American Soldiers, who sacrificed their lives in struggling for the Inde- 
pendence of their country, this Monument was erected in 1852, by the joint lib- 


erality of the General Assembly, the people of Milford and other contributing 

Two hundred American soldiers, in a destitute, sickly and dying condition, 
were brought from a British Prison ship, then lying near New York, and sud- 
denly cast upon our shore from a British cartel ship, on the first of January, 1777. 

The inhabitants of Milford made the most charitable efforts for the relief of 
the strangers; yet notwithstanding all their kind ministrations in one month 
these forty-six died and were buried in one common grave. 

Their names and residences are inscribed on this Monument. 

Who shall say that Republics are ungrateful ? 

None of these unfortunates was from the county, but most of them 
were from this state or New England. A few only were from other 
states. It is said of these soldiers "that on being cast ashore as many 
as could traveled to town, in the snow; those who could not walk were 
conveyed to the town house, which was converted into a hospital, and 
some were quartered in charitable families."* 

Captain Stephen Stow, one of Milford's citizens, was especially ac- 
tive in ministering to these poor men, doing so at the sacrifice of his 
own life. It was but proper, therefore, that his name should also ap- 
pear upon this monument, and July 11th, 1872, the legislature so or- 
dered. The inscription on the east side, as placed there by Commit- 
teemen Phineas S. Bristol, Samuel B. Gunn and James W. Beach, is as 

In Memory of 

Capt. Stephen Stow, 

of Milford, 

Who died Feb. 8, 1777, aged 51 years. 

To administer to the wants and soothe the miseries of these sick and dying 
soldiers was a work of extreme self-denial and danger, as many of them were 
suffering from loathsome and contagious maladies. 

Stephen Stow voluntarily left his family to relieve these suffering men, he 
contracted disease from them, died and was buried with them. He had already 
given four sons to serve in the War for Independence. To commemorate his 
self-sacrificing devotion to his country and to humanity, the Legislature of Con- 
necticut resolved that his name should be inscribed 

Upon this Monument. 

The graves of these men and of Captain Stow are in the southern 
part of the cemetery, near the monument, but are otherwise un- 

Names of soldiers, 1861-5, buried at Milford; Augustus Clark, L5th 
C.V.; George Prince, 15th C.V.; Hezekiah E. Smith, 27th C.V.; George 
Van Horn, 1st Light Battery; Henry A. Downs, 10th C. V.; Treat A. 
Mark, 27th C. V.; George H. Glenney, 10th C. V; Samuel C. Glenney, 
1st Heavy Artillery; Chauncey S. Baldwin, 15th C. V.; William D. 
Trowbridge, 23d N. Y. V.; Sidney H. Plumb, 27th C. V.; Charles E. 
Cornwall, 27th C. V.; Lewis W. Nettleton, 15th C. V.; DeWitt Bald- 
win, N. Y. V.; Theodore M. Clark, 15th C. V.; Noyes A. Treat, 10th C. 

* Barber's Historical Col., p. 583. 


V.; Thomas Tuthill, 6th N. Y. V.; Elliott W. Nettleton, 20th C. V.; 
Luke Stowe, 1st C. Heavy Artillery; William A. Northrop, 13th C. V.; 
Charles Robinson, 1st N. J. V.; Chester Peck, 13th C. V.; Thomas Wil- 
liams, 9th N. Y. V.; George W. Hine, 27th C. V.; William H. Harris, 
12th C. V.; Sidney Stowe, 93d Ohio V.; William L. Graham, 1st Light 
Battery; Wallace W. Graham, 27th C. V.; Brainard Smith, 10th C.V.; 
George T. Peck, 10th C. V.; Smith Canfield, 12th C. V.; John H. Bald- 
win, 104th Ohio V.; Dwight A. Rallis, 29th C. V.; Charles H. R. Botts- 
ford, 15th C. V.; Thomas Haley, 15th C. V.; Marcus Higby, 17th C.V.; 
John G. Clark, 27th C. V.; Russell Whitcomb, regiment unknown. 

In the South are interred the following Milford soldiers: Elliott 
W. Beach, 10th C. V.; Samuel Clark, 27th C. V.; George W. Manville, 
15th C. V.; Joseph Wilson, U. S. Regulars; James McGuiness, 15th C. 
V.; Carl Michael, 27th C. V.; Erasmus Oviatt, 10th C. V.; Horace Law- 
den, unknown; Levi Summers, unknown; Victor Woods, unknown. 

The early inhabitants of the town took an especial interest in edu- 
cation, and that matter was held to be of importance next to the church. 
Jasper Gunn, one of the first settlers and the first physician, was also 
the first teacher. Previous to 1656 Richard Bryan also instructed the 
youth of the Milford planters. A Latin school was early maintained, 
and it appears that more attention was paid to higher education in 
schools than to primary instruction, which most likely was imparted 
at home. In December, 1696, the town voted that a school should be 
kept a whole year, and that the selectmen were to provide an " able 
teacher." To carry out this purpose £30 was appropriated. Evidently 
the school was a success, for in 1697 it was voted " there should be 
thirty-five pounds allowed out of the town treasury to maintain a Latin 
school, the honorable Governor and the Rev. Samuel Andrew to at- 
tend to the business." The town also ordered " that the Selectmen 
should see that the school is attended by such scholars as need learn- 
ing." Reverend Samuel Andrew was one of the most earnest patrons 
of education in the colony, and largely through his efforts Yale Col- 
lege was established. When he was rector of that institution he had 
the senior class at Milford several years. 

In 1699 the town voted £40 for the support of schools. Of this sum 
£12 were to be used to keep up a winter school at the West End, and 
liberty was granted to the inhabitants of that part of the town to build 
a school or town house. The school at the East End was now kept up 
all the year. Fifty years later, in 1750, a school tax of 40 shillings 
was levied on every £1,000 in the grand levy, and amounts paid by the 
inhabitants of the Amity Society, Bryan's Farm, Wheeler's Farm and 
Burwell's Farm were to be returned to them, so that schools could be 
set up in their own localities. This was done, and about that period 
the town had at least six schools. 

In November, 1797, the town was formed into a school society, and 
officers were appointed to receive the moneys accruing to the town 


from the sale of Western lands belonging to the state. Of this board 
Stephen Gunn was the treasurer, and Gideon Buckingham the clerk. 

The school in the village was usually kept in the town house,* and 
even to this day the school building and the town hall are practically 
under one roof. But in addition to the public schools, select instruc- 
tion was imparted, and in 1810 the Milford Academy was erected. 
This was a frame house which stood on the hillside on the east of the 
Wepawaug, between the two meeting houses. From its opening in 
1810, to 1825, Elijah Bryan was the good but stern teacher. Later, 
Oliver H. Hammond and Jonas French taught there acceptably. Af- 
ter the public schools were elevated to a higher standard it was no 
longer kept up. In this period Reverend Bezaleel Pinneo had a num- 
ber of private students, fitting some thirty boys for college between 
1800 and 1845. 

On the first of April, 1875, all the school districts of the town were 
abolished and a new district formed of the consolidated schools, ordi- 
nary schools to be held in Nos. 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11, and a graded school 
to be established at Milford village. A board of education was cho- 
sen, composed of twelve members, one from each of the former dis- 
tricts. The town house was ordered to be enlarged, and Isaac T. 
Rogers, Nathan C. Tomlinson, C. F. Bosworth, James A. Smith, Sam- 
uel N. Beecher, Albert A. Baldwin and Nathan E. Smith were 
appointed a building committee. They reported December 27th, 
1875, that their work was finished and that the cost of the building 
and the furnishing of the same was $15,934.53. More recently the 
building has been enlarged and improved, and is now commodious 
and attractive. Six schools are taught in this building, and from the 
high school half a dozen pupils are graduated yearly. About 450 pu- 
pils are registered annually, and the schools are maintained at an out- 
lay of more than $5,000 per year, more than three-fifths of which is 
drawn from the town treasury. 

As adjuncts of the schools and the churches libraries were estab- 
lished at different periods, and some of them were long successfully 
maintained. The Milford Library was formed in 1745 by the First 
Church Society, and had a good collection of books, most of them 
treating on theological subjects. It was kept up about one hundred 
years, but in its latter existence did not have many books, in conse- 
quence of the relaxed vigilance in keeping up the library. 

The Associate Library was established in March, 1761, mainly by 
members of the Second Society. It had fewer books than the older 
library, but they covered a wider range of subjects. After about sixty 
years of usefulness it was dissolved. 

In later years a number of libraries have been formed, but which 
were, after the lapse of a few years, allowed to go down. The Milford 
Lyceum Library has recently been incorporated. It has a good selec- 
tion of books and the promise of a successful future. 

* See Town Houses, etc. 


The citizens of Milford claim, with a reasonable degree of pride, 
that an unusual proportion of its inhabitants were men of liberal edu- 
cation, who graduated from some of the leading colleges of the Union, 
by far the greatest proportion from Yale. The subjoined list gives 
the names of many who took degrees in institutions of learning, like 
Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Trinity and Oberlin, in periods of time from 
1668 to the present. Most of these names have been taken from the 
Reverend Erastus Scranton's MSS.: Samuel Andrew, Samuel An- 
drew, Jr., Reverend Thomas Buckingham, Reverend Daniel Bucking- 
ham, Reverend Stephen Buckingham, Gideon Buckingham, Benedict 
Bull, William Bryan, David Baldwin, Joseph Bryan, Isaac Baldwin, 
William Bristol, Reverend Elijah C. Baldwin, D. W. Baldwin, Rev- 
erend John Gunn Baird, George William Baird, Dennis Beach, Doctor 
Ferdinand Beach, Walter Beach, Henry Baldwin, Reverend Cornelius 
Bristol, Doctor George L. Beardsley, Doctor William Beardsley, Rev- 
erend Thomas Canfield, Doctor Edward Carrington, Thomas Clark, 
John Camp, Joseph Clark, Nicholas Camp, George Clark, Jr., Samuel 
Carrington, Abijah Carrington, John Clark, Gamaliel Clark, John 
Churchill, Reverend John Eells, Nathaniel Eells, John Eells, Colonel 
Benjamin Fenn, Phineas Fisk, Benjamin Fisk, Nathan Fenn, Daniel 
Fannon, Nathaniel Farrand, Daniel Farrand, Franklin H. Fowler, 
Reverend Joseph Fowler, W. H. N. Ford, Nathaniel Gunn, George 
Miles Gunn, Doctor John Herpin, John Herpin, Jr., Reverend Jona- 
than Ingersoll, Jared Ingersoll, David Ingersoll, David Ingersoll 2d, 
David B. Ingersoll, Jonathan Law, Richard Law, John Law, Reverend 
N. T. Merwin, Reverend Henry G. Marshall, D. P. Merwin, Colonel 
Roger Newton, Christopher Newton, Reverend John Prudden, Job 
Prudden,Nehemiah Prudden, Timothy Pinneo, Otis Pinneo, Ebenezer 
Pinneo, John Plumb, Joseph Piatt, Charles H. Pond, Henry Piatt, 
Robert T. Piatt, Ephraim Strong, Joseph Smith, Reverend Samuel 
Treat, Robert Treat, Esq., Reverend Solomon Treat, Robert Treat, Jr., 
Esq.; Reverend Richard Treat, Charles Treat, Richard Treat, D. D., 
Samuel Treat, Bethuel Treat, Abner L. Train, Zachariah Whitman, 1st, 
Elnathan Whitman, Zachariah Whitman, Reverend Samuel Whittle- 
sey, Samuel Whittlesey. Esq., Reverend Daniel Welch, Reverend 
Whitman Welch, Gideon Woodruff, Reverend Joseph Whiting. 

In addition to these were others highly educated, as Captain John 
Astwood, who had a classical education. He was one of the first 
judges. Going to London on business for the colony, he died there 
about 1653. Reverend John Sherman also had a superior education. 
From him, in line of descent, came Roger Sherman; and from George 
Clark came Abraham Clark, of New Jersey, another of the signers of 
the declaration of independence. 

Three of the foregoing were governors of the state. Robert Treat, 
the first, came with Mr. Prudden to Milford. At the first meeting of 
the planters he was chosen to assist in surveying and laying out the 


township. He was one of the five judges, and in 1661 was chosen a 
magistrate of the New Haven colony, and continued in that office four 
years. In 1664, through his influence and that of Benjamin Fenn, 
Milford was induced to break off from the New Haven colony and join 
the Connecticut colony, and soon the union of all the colonies was 
effected. He served in King Philip's war as a major of Connecticut 
troops. In 1683 he was elected governor of the colony and served 15 
years. He was a man of superior parts, and lived to be more than 88 
years of age, dying in 1710. 

The second governor from this town was Jonathan Law, son of 
Jonathan and Sarah (Clark) Law, of this town. He was born in 1674 
and graduated from Harvard in 1695. Three years later he commenced 
the practice of law at Milford, and acquired a good reputation as a 
counsellor. He was chosen a deputy governor, in which office Robert 
Treat had also served, and was elected to the office of governor in 1741, 
and annually thereafter until his death in November, 1750. Charles 
H. Pond was elected lieutenant governor in April, 1853, and upon the 
resignation of Governor Thomas Seymour, served as governor for 
eleven months. He died in 1860. 

Captain Samuel Eells was an attorney in the town, and was an im- 
portant man in its affairs. Gideon Buckingham was also a man of 
note, whose counsel was much sought, and the memory of the pious 
Roger Newton still continues. He was judge of the court of common 
pleas 33 years, and until his death, in 1771, in the 87th year of his age. 
It was said- of him that " Newton, as steel inflexible from right, in 
Faith, in Law, in Equity, in Fight." Others of the foregoing were 
counsellors at law, and in 1890 those in that profession at Milford were: 
George M. Gunn, Henry C. Piatt, William B. Stoddard, Henry Stod- 
dard and Frederick W. Babcock. 

Notwithstanding Milford is a remarkably healthy town, and has 
been exempt from epidemic diseases to an unusual degree, it has always 
had its full quota of physicians. Among the first settlers was Doctor 
Jasper Gunn, who was also a planter and the school teacher. Doctor 
John Durand also practiced here in the seventeenth century, then re- 
moved to Derby. Doctor John Fisk was here soon after. Doctor John 
Herpin, a native of France, was here for 50 years, until his death in 
November, 1765, at the age of 74 years. " He practiced physick and 
surgery in this place with distinguished reputation," if the inscription 
on his tombstone can be believed. He evidently prospered, for in 
1725, ten years after his location, he purchased the Richard Bryan 
place, which was owned by the Herpins until 17S5, when it became the 
property of Captain Charles Pond, a ship master, who was the father 
of Governor Charles H. Pond. It was known as the Pond Mansion 
until about 1860, and was one of the historic houses of the place. 

Other physicians have been: Doctors Ezekiel Newton, Zebulon 
Gillett, James Clark, Elias Carrington, Samuel Whittlesey, Caleb Aus- 


tin, John Rossiter, Abraham Tomlinson, John Carrington, Charles 
Beardsley, Elijah F. Bryan, Andrew French, Joseph Tomlinson, Lucius 
N. Beardsley, Thomas A. Dutton, Hull Allen. The latter still lives 
in the town, very aged, but has not been in active practice for some 
years. Doctor W. H. Andrews, who died in January, 1890, practiced 
here 16 years as an allopath. Others at present at Milford, in the 
practice of the same school of medicine, are Doctor E. B. Heady, Doc- 
tor Edwin C. Beach and Doctor F. Bayard Jackman. Doctor W. L. 
Putney is the homeopath; and others of that school were Doctors Reed, 
E. P. Gregory, Charles Sterling and Charles Bray. 

From 1712 to 1720 Doctor Andrew Warner was a botanic physician, 
and was called the " Indian doctor," because he used herbs only. 

In 1836 Doctor Edwin Woodruff, a Thompsonian, had a large prac- 
tice in Milford. 

Milford was founded as a religious community. Many of its early 
settlers had, in the old country, been the parishioners of the first min- 
ister of the town, and came with him or followed him to the new 
world. The}' were bound to him and to one another by the ties of 
association and some by family connections, which were so strong that 
they cheerfully accepted the privations which awaited them if they 
could remain under the leadership of their beloved minister. Rever- 
end Peter Prudden was a worthy leader in such a movement. His 
judgment had been matured by age, and he was also well educated. 
He had, before his coming, wealth, influence and position in England, 
and among his hearers in Herefordshire were many persons of dis- 
tinction and wealth. His was an animated and fervent nature, which 
would naturally attract and hold genial friends as warm personal fol- 
lowers. Hence, when because of his " non-conformity," he was driven 
from his station by persecution, whence he fled to New England, a 
devoted band went with him, and others later followed. Being desir- 
able citizens, they were besought to remain in Massachusetts, and the 
records of Dedham show that land was there apportioned to Mr. Prud- 
den and 15 of his followers, which they did not accept. They decided 
to cast their lot farther to the westward, and joined Eaton and his asso- 
ciates in the search for a new home in what is now New Haven county. 
Thus we find them, April 18th, 1638, with Mr. Davenport and his ad- 
herents, observing their first Sabbath in their chosen territory by 
worshipping God under the spreading branches of a friendly oak at 
New Haven. In the morning Mr. Davenport preached, and in the af- 
ternoon, at the same place, Mr. Prudden discoursed from the text 
Matt. 3:3: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the 
way of Lord and make His paths straight." 

Until a permanent place could be gotten for the Prudden colony, 
they abode at New Haven, keeping themselves distinct, in that part 
known as the Herefordshire Quarter. Mr. Prudden, meantime, was 
preaching for the church at Wethersfield, where he also so warmly 


attached some of the principal settlers of that place that when he left 
they followed him, " that they might enjoy his pious and fervent med- 
itations." " It was thus that Gov. Robert Treat, John Astwood, Jasper 
Gunn, the Rev. John Sherman and others came to Milford." The 
number at New Haven was also augmented by new arrivals from Es- 
sex and York counties. 

The selection and purchase of a home for the Herefordshire people 
(which was consummated in the latter part of February, 1639), and 
the discussion of the best methods of church and civil o-overnment 
had earnestly engaged the attention of the people at New Haven in 
the intervening period. Grave questions were to be considered and 
decided. It was desired that justice should be done to all who had as- 
sumed or should assume a part in this project of founding a new gov- 
ernment and a new church, but it had already become apparent that 
there should also be a restricting qualification before a full voice in all 
the affairs should be granted. Most were disposed to limit voting and 
office holding to those who were approved in matters of personal piety, 
i. e., church members, but Reverend Samuel Eaton stood for the prin- 
ciple that all proprietors should have a vote. Davenport, and it is be- 
lieved, Prudden, stood for the former qualification, and their views 
prevailed. Davenport held that as they had come as reformers they 
should go to the full length of their convictions; that hardly any 
reformation went beyond where it was left by the original reformers; 
and that those coming after them might not be able to carry out the 
measures which they conceived were right, but which, through motives 
of policy, brought about by the circumstances of settlement, etc., they 
were asked to modify. 

This vexed question being out of the way, as finally decided at the 
meeting, June 4th, 1639, at the "great barn " of Robert Newman, in 
which all the free planters of New Haven, Guilford and Milford par- 
ticipated, and where other important matters were also considered, 
the way was opened for the formation of a church society. A pre- 
liminary step was the selection of seven of the best and most tried 
men, as a basis upon which the membership should be built. Upon 
these "seven pillars " rested all the care and responsibility of exam- 
ining and passing on the fitness of the succeeding members. A cove- 
nant, embodying the principles of belief as expressed in the prelimi- 
nary meeting, was also prepared, and the 22d day of August, 1639. se- 
lected as the time for organizing both Mr. Davenport's and Mr. Prud- 
den's churches. 

The council called for this occasion embraced the neighboring 
churches, and was also held in Mr. Newman's " mighty barn," in New 
Haven. The " seven pillars" selected for each church now appeared 
before the council and congregation, and after giving their religious 
experience and belief and reciting the covenant, were taken by the 


hand by members of the council, as a sign of fellowship, and the or- 
ganization was complete. 

Mr. Prudden's church became known as the First Church of Christ, 
at Milford, of which it is recorded : " The Church of Christ at Milford 
was first gathered at New Haven uppon Aug. 22, 1639. The persons 
first joyning in the formation were those whose names are next under 
mentioned. Peter Prudden, Zachariah Whitman, William Fowler, 
John Astwood, Edmond Tapp, Thomas Buckingham, Thomas Welsh." 

To these "seven pillars" other members were added from time to 
time, six at New Haven before the removal to Milford. At the latter 
place William East was the first received, March 8th, 1640.* 

It is probable that the Reverend Peter Prudden occasionally 
preached before the removal to Milford, the following March, but he 
was not formally ordained as the pastor until April 18th, 1640. His 
own record of the event is in the following words: "At Milford, I, Peter 
Prudden was called to ye office of a Pastour in this church, and or- 
dayned at New Haven, by Zachariah Whitman, William Fowler, Ed- 
mond Tapp, designed by ye church for that work; Zach. Whitman 
being ye moderator for that meeting in a day of solmn humiliation, 
upon ye 3d Saturday in April, being, I remember, ye 18th day of ye 
month, 1640." 

The ordination took place at New Haven, probably for the con- 
venience of the clergymen who wished to attend — Reverends John 
Davenport, Samuel Eaton, Ezekiel Cheever and others. 

A pastor having been secured, a teacher, or assistant pastor, was 
next called. This office was tendered Reverend John Sherman, but 
he declined it for fear that local jealousies might arise. The call was 
not extended to any one else, and the office in Milford became extinct. 
In 1645 Mr. Sherman was connected with the Branford settlement. 

In the early history of the church it had ruling elders, the first 
ordained to that office being one of the "seven pillars" — Zachariah 
Whitman, on the 26th of January, 1645. He probably served until his 
death, in 1666. Two others were ordained to the same office in 1673: 
John Clark, who died the following year, and Daniel Buckingham, 
whose death occurred in 1712, after which the office was no longer 

It is probable that the church had an acting deacon from the time 
of its organization, but no election to fill that office is recorded prior 
to the one held July 3d, 1645, when ten men were placed in nomina- 
tion, and George Clark, Jr., and Benjamin Fenn elected. But so care- 
ful was the church of the character of those called that they were not 
ordained for two years, when, on account of family matters, Mr. Clark 
was excused and Mr. Fenn only ordained. Six years later George 
Clark, Sr., was chosen and ordained the second deacon. The church was 
now fully officered, and under Mr. Prudden's ministry was quiet and 

* Reverend J. A. Biddle's sermon. 


prosperous to the extent warranted by his prudent nature. " He was 
fervid and earnest as a preacher, but owing to his desire to keep the 
church free from unworthy members, only 100 were received by him 
into church fellowship. At his death the church numbered about 94 
members in a population of about 500." The pastorate of Mr. Prud- 
den continued 16 years, and was terminated by his death, in July, 
1656. A fine tablet in the present house of worship appropriately com- 
memorates his worth. 

One of the first acts of the planters of the town was to order the 
building of a meeting house. The five judges were directed, Novem- 
ber 24th, 1640, "to lay out a meeting house 30 feet square, after such a 
manner as they should judge most convenient for the public good." 
It is believed that this house was like the one at New Haven. "It was 
two stories high, had a sharp roof (a four-sided peaked roof), on the top 
of which was a turret, where sentry could stand and look out for In- 
dians, and where a drum was beat to call people together Sabbaths 
and town meeting days, &c." 

This house, though so plain, was not finished for several years. As 
the town grew and the population demanded more room, the accom- 
modations were expanded by putting galleries in it. In 1697 a gal- 
lery was placed across the west end of the house, which stood facing 
west, where was one door as an entrance. In 1707 one was built 
across the north end, and in 1709 another on the south side. Still it 
was necessary to husband all the room, and in the latter year the town 
voted "that whoever needlessly sat out of his seat should forfeit five 

The pulpit occupied an elevated position on the east side of the 
house, and near the door were several seats for "the use of the armed 
men who were expected to come to the Sabbath worship with muskets 
fully prepared to repel any sudden attack from Indians. These were 
at times troublesome and dangerous. In their outbreaks they would 
rush up to the palisades, deride the settlers as cowards for keeping 
themselves in a pen, challenge them to come out and fight like brave 
men, boasting that they kept the English 'shut up all one as pigs.' In 
1646 there was such alarm the entire 'train band' went to meeting on 
Sabbaths and Lecture days, sentinels were placed on the palisades a 
few rods apart, the people even went to their fields in armed com- 

As late as 1700 there was so much fear of Indians that houses were 
fortified at different ends of the town, yet there is no account of any 
Milford man being killed by Indians. 

A new meeting house was voted in 1727. It was 80 by 65 feet, 
and three stories high, having two galleries, an upper one for 
slaves and other blacks, who had become numerous then. There 
were three entrances to this house, one south, another east and another 
west. The pulpit was on the north side. This house had a steeple 95 


feet high. The new house had long benches till 1775, when pews 
were made. In 1803 the interior was arched, the upper gallery being 
thus shut up. The society very early had a bell, but in 1740 procured 
a new one weighing six hundred pounds. The same year a tower 
clock was put up in the steeple. 

" The house was built from the proceeds of a tax levied for that 
purpose and from the profits of the flock of sheep kept by the town." 

It should be borne in mind that this large house was necessary to 
properly accommodate all the people of the town, which had not yet 
been reduced by the formation of new towns out of its northern terri- 
tory, man}'- people coming fifteen miles to meeting. 

With some repairs and improvements this meeting house was used 
nearly a hundred years. But about 1820 it became alarmingly shaky. 
When ministers from abroad came to preach here they would hurry 
through their sermon lest the old building should come down upon 
their heads. The fame of the rickety old house went abroad in the 
state. Finally, a committee was appointed to examine it. They re- 
ported it to be safe. But the terrific September gale of 1821 decided 
the question, and in 1822 a resolution to tear down the creaky building 
and construct a new one was passed by a vote of 91 to 31. Upon the 
16th of February, 1823, the people gathered to worship for the last 
time in the ancient temple. Its venerable walls had echoed to 6.000 
sermons. They had looked down upon S13 persons as they were ad- 
mitted into church fellowship.* 

The old house was razed on the 25th of March, 1823, and upon its 
site the original part of the present building was put up the same year 
by Captain Michael Peck, at a cost of $8,000. The original size was 54 
by 70 feet and 27 feet in height. While this house was building the 
congregation worshipped in the Episcopal church. The appliances for 
heating were first introduced in 1831, when two stoves were supplied. 

In the basement of the meeting house a lecture room was fitted up, 
but during the pastorate of Doctor Brace, ending in 1863, a chapel 
was built, the meeting house repaired and a new bell supplied. Since 
that time the house has had other repairs and has been much im- 
proved in appearance. In 1S90 it was an attractive and valuable 

After the death of Mr. Prudden the church was four years without 
a pastor, when on July 29th, 1660, Reverend Roger Newton was re- 
ceived, and ordained August 22d, the same year. He was a son-in-law of 
Reverend Thomas Hooker, of Hartford, and had studied theology with 
him, and was reputed a sound and judicious preacher. But disturb- 
ances arose in his parish beyond his power to control, and his situation 
here was very trying. Yet he swerved not from the faith of the 
founders of the church to lower the standard of admission or by con- 
senting to the Half-way Covenant. He was a studious man and had 

* Doctor Biddle's sermon. 


accumulated one of the finest libraries in his day, more than 200 vol- 
umes in all, most of them devoted to his calling.- His ministry covered 
a period of 23 years, and was terminated by his death, June 7th, 1683. 
In all he received 164 persons into church fellowship, and left it 200 

After a vacancy of several years the third pastor was secured in the 
person of Samuel Andrew, in his day a superior man. He graduated 
from Harvard in 1675, and for five or six years was a tutor in the col- 
lege. In October, 1685, he was ordained to the pastorate of this church, 
and also continued until his death, January 24th, 1737, nearly 82 years 
of age. He was pastor more than 50 years, and received into the 
church 530 members. 

Mr. Andrew was one of the leading men in New England, and one 
of the most active in promoting higher education in the colony. " He 
gave a great deal of time and thought to the establishment and build-, 
ing up of Yale College, of which he was one of the principal founders. 
In 1707 he was appointed rector pro tern., in which capacity he served 
for twelve or thirteen years. He served for 38 years as a member of 
the college corporation, from its beginning until his death." * 

In the later years of his ministry the church adopted the " Half- 
way Covenant " idea, in consequence of which the material interests 
of the church were advanced, perhaps to the hurt of the spiritual good 
of the community. " It brought many into the church who were full 
of carnal ideas and plans. If the finances were nourishing and the 
people outwardly moral, not much was said of other requirements." 
This state of affairs also made the established church not only domi- 
nant, by reason of the fact that every one must pay rates for its sup- 
port, but there was created a selfish motive for keeping it dominant,, 
and the laws were shaped to perpetuate that end. A further conse- 
quence was that the church in this colony became as intolerant of re- 
ligious views not held by itself as was the church in England from 
which they had fled for the purpose of enjoying greater religious 

At Milford the evil effects of this policy were soon manifested in the 
clashing of opinions and prolonged contention. 

A short time before the death of Mr. Andrew, Reverend Samuel 
Whittlesey, of Wallingford, was called as his colleague pastor. Both 
the church and the town extended such an invitation, the latter in 
November, 1736. At that time Mr. Whittlesey was about 23 years of 
age, and was a young man of much ability and promise. He was a 
son of Reverend Samuel Whittlesey, pastor of the Wallingford church, 
and had graduated from Yale College in 1729, when he was but 16 
years of age, being the earliest son of a graduate of that institution to 
receive a degree. He probably imbibed his father's views in regard 
to the evangelistic labors of Whitfield and others who preached re- 
vival sermons, being in his belief an "Old Light." 

* Doctor Biddle's sermon. 


In the church at Milford was a considerable element, especially 
among the young members, who looked with favor upon the " New 
Light " doctrines. These objected to Mr. Whittlesey's settlement, and 
the matter was agitated through the greater part of 1737. Finally Mr. 
Whittlesey was ordained in December, 1737. The " New Light " be- 
lievers withdrew as " Separatists," and January 5th, 1741, were organ- 
ized as the present Plymouth church. Thence, for some years, the 
strife and persecution were intensified in bitterness, and it was not 
until 1776 that the two bodies consented to fellowship each other. 

It is said of Mr. Whittlesey that while he was firm in his belief as 
an "Old Light," and perhaps as such partook of the feeling against 
the new movement, he did not advise the persecution which followed 
their efforts to set up their own worship. He is described as having 
been a man having a lovely, sweet spirit, "gifted in prayer, devout 
and affectionate." After being pastor 31 years, in which period he 
received about 300 members, he died October 22d, 1768, aged 54 years. 

After some little delay in filling the pastoral office, Reverend 
Samuel Wales, a tutor in Yale College, was ordained December 19th, 
1770. For a short time in 1776 he was a chaplain in the continental 
army. In 17S2 he resigned to become a professor of divinity in Yale 
College. He was a D. D. of both Yale and Princeton Colleges, and 
possessed an unusual combination of talents. Under his administra- 
tion the " Halfway Covenant was discarded, 107 members were added 
to the church, and a much better spirit was engendered in the town."* 

Another interval of two years followed, when the sixth pastor, Rev- 
erend William Lockwood, was chosen. After graduating from Yale 
in 1774, he served as chaplain in the revolutionary army. In 1779-80 
he was a tutor in Yale. He was ordained pastor of this church March 
17th. 1784, but after twelve years he was compelled to resign on ac- 
count of ill health. He was dismissed in April, 1796. 

The same year began the lifelong pastorate of Reverend Bezaleel 
Pinneo, which was, next to that of Mr. Andrew, the most noteworthy. 
" He was regarded as one of the ablest ministers of the period, being 
talked of for president of Yale College after the death of President 
Dwight. Had he been a graduate he might have been chosen thus."f 
He graduated from Dartmouth in 1791, and was ordained in October, 
1796. He was at this time in his 28th year, strong of body, and with 
a fresh and vigorous intellect, remarkably well disciplined and bal- 
anced. He was also remarkably prudent and consecrated to his work, 
so that revivals of religion occurred during his entire ministry. In 
his pastorate of 44 years over 700 persons were added to the church. 
In addition to his pastoral duties he fitted about thirty boys for college 
and had several theological students. In July, 1839, he asked for the 
help of an assistant pastor, and his wish was complied with January 
4th, 1840, when Reverend David B. Coe was called to fill that position. 
* Doctor Biddle's sermon. t Reverend E. C. Baldwin's sermon. 


He was a tutor in Yale, from which he had graduated in 1837. His 
services here were continued about three and a half years and over 
200 were added to the church, when he removed to New York city, 
where he some years after was appointed secretary of A. H. M. S., 
which position he has long filled. Mr. Pinneo continued until his 
death, September 16th, 1849, in the 81st year of his age and the 53d 
of the ministry. 

In 1845 Reverend Jonathan Brace was installed as the colleague of 
Father Pinneo, and after his death continued as pastor 18 years, when 
he resigned to remove to Hartford to devote himself to his duties as 
editor of the Religious Herald. 

The tenth minister of the church was Reverend James W. Hub- 
bell, ordained September 21st, 1864, and dismissed January 1st, 1869, 
to become the pastor of the College Street church, in New Haven. 

Reverend Albert J. Lyman was installed pastor September 7th, 
1870, but after a little more than three years was obliged by ill health to 
resign. He left in December, 1873. In the latter year the member- 
ship of the church reached its maximum, 581. After a vacancy of two 
years Reverend J. A. Biddle became the pastor, and so continued ac- 
ceptably several years. On the 9th of July, 1876, he delivered a his- 
torical sermon, from which many of the facts in this account are 

Reverend Seneca M. Keeler was the acting pastor from November, 
1880, till March, 1883. He was followed by Reverend Newell M. Cal- 
houn for several years, from June, 1884. Reverend Frank I. Ferguson 
was the pastor from 1888 until the spring of 1890. In the summer and 
fall of the latter year the pulpit was vacant. 

In the fall of 1890 the church had a membership of nearly 500, and 
the aggregate membership was over 3,000. The greatest addition in 
any one year was in 1843, when 145 were added; the greatest number 
added at one time was in 1872, under the ministry of Mr. Lyman, when 
88 persons joined. 

The First church is properly the parent of the, Plymouth Society, 
and of the Orange church. To form the latter 30 members withdrew 
in February, 1805. 

In the first hundred years of the history of the church the deacons 
were, in the order named: Zachariah Whitman, Benjamin Fenn, John 
Fletcher, George Clark, Sr., Jasper Gunn, Richard Piatt, Thomas Clark, 
John Camp, Josiah Piatt, Joseph Clark and Richard Piatt, Jr. In the 
next hundred years they were: John Smith. Nathaniel Buckingham, 
Thomas Clark, Samuel Woodruff, Thomas Baldwin, Daniel Clark, 
Stephen Gunn, Samuel Treat, Samuel Piatt, Joseph Piatt, David Buck- 
ingham, Benedict A. Law, Benjamin Bull, John Whiting, Nathan Net- 
tleton, William Fenn, Horatio Downs, George Mann,Thaddeus Plumb, 
Samuel A. Marshall. And in the last fifty years those in the deacon's 
office have been: John Benjamin, Jr., William Plumb, Samuel C. 


Glenney, Theophilus Miles, George G. Baldwin, H. R. Beach, Caleb 
T. Merwin, James B. Benjamin, Elliott B. Piatt, Charles W. Miles, Jo- 
seph Benjamin, Richard Piatt, John Benjamin, George F. Piatt, O. E. 
Nettleton, Henry N. Piatt, Darius T. Whitcomb and E. B. Clark. The 
latter five served in 1889. At the same time the church clerk was 
George F. Piatt, and the Sunday-school superintendent, S. N. Oviatt. 
The school had more than 300 members. It is one of the oldest in the 
county, "and is thoroughly furnished unto every good work." 

Other auxiliaries of the church are the Women's T. M. S., organ- 
ized in 1877; the Ladies' Benevolent Union, organized in 1886; and 
the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, permanently or- 
ganized in 1887, each doing a good work in their spheres. 

The 250th anniversary of the founding of the church was appro- 
priately celebrated August 25th, 1889. The historical address was 
by the Reverend Elijah C. Baldwin. Reverend David B.Coe, the old- 
est living ex-pastor, administered the sacrament to about 1,000 com- 
municants. Other interesting and impressive services were held, 
among them being the presentation and placing in the meeting house 
of fine memorials to the following former pastors: Reverend Peter 
Prudden, 1639-56; Roger Newton, 1660-83; Samuel Andrew, 1685-1738; 
Samuel Whittlesey, 1737-68; Bezaleel Pinneo, 1796-1849; Jonathan 
Brace, 1845-63. 

The tablets are chaste and are inscribed with some salient facts in 
regard to their several pastorates. Hundreds of loving friends con- 
tributed to their erection. 

The Plymouth Church, or as it was long known, the Second 
Congregational Church of Milford, was formed mainly of dissenters 
from the First church. In 1737, near the close of the tninistry of 
Reverend Samuel Andrew, a colleague pastor was called, in the per- 
son of Reverend Samuel Whittlesey, of Wallingford. His settlement 
was opposed by a considerable minority, who accused him of inclin- 
ing too much toward Arminianism, and being, therefore, doctrinally 
unsound. After much discussion of the matter they consented to his 
ordination, provided " that if, at the end of six months they should re- 
main unsatisfied, they should have the liberty of another chosen by 
them, to be settled in the ministry as the colleague of (the new pas- 
tor) Mr. Whittlesey." It appears that in this probationary period Mr. 
Whittlesey so much guarded himself against the utterance of so-called 
unsound doctrines that the minority did not " move for a compliance 
of the agreement." But soon after the expiration of the six months 
he gave them cause for uneasiness, " by declaring from the desk such 
doctrines as they did not believe were agreeable to the Word of God, 
neither were embraced by their pious predecessors, the Fathers of 

They made complaint, but the church failing to take cognizance of 
their grievance, the county association was appealed to, in May, 1740, 


for advice and counsel. But they were told by the "Reverend Fathers 
of that body that they had no advice to give," "thus slighting them in 
their distressed and afflicted state." 

An appeal was next made to the town, in December, 1740, also to 
no purpose, "the Hon. Jonathan Law, moderator of the meeting, ap- 
pearing not pleased with it and putting it aside." 

Failing in every attempt to obtain relief, they availed themselves 
of their right to dissent from the church constitution and to "declare 
for the excellent establishment of the Church of Scotland," or to avow 
themselves to be Presbyterians and to incorporate as such under the 
laws of the colony. To this end the following persons agreed to 
apply to the "next county court and there perform what the act re- 
quired:" Seth Plumb, Peleg Baldwin. Jesse Smith, Samuel Merchant, 
Samuel Hines, Gyles Oviatt, Deliverance Downs, Jonathan Fowler, 
Samuel Hine, Daniel Collins, Joseph Prichard, Joseph Northrup, John 
Baldwin, Josiah Hine, Joel Baldwin, Andrew Santford, Jr., Samuel 
Bristol, Jesse Lambert, Samuel Santford, Jr., Daniel Downs, Lewis 
Mallett, John Oviatt, James Smith, Samuel Eells, Nathaniel Bucking- 
ham, Samuel Oviatt, Jr., William Fenn, Andrew Santford, George 
Clark, Benjamin Fenn, Jeremiah Peck, Joseph Smith, Bartholomew 
Sears, Thomas Welch, William Sewall Sears, Joseph Fenn, Jr., John 
Downs, Nathaniel Eells, Samuel Eells, Jr., John Smith, Joseph Howman, 
Lemuel Smith, Josiah Tibbals, Samuel Oviatt, Samuel Hine, Jr., Hor- 
ace Peck. 

These were all members of the First church, and as such declared 
their "sober dissent." Twelve others soon joined them, and their 
cause gained sympathy every day. The matter coming before the 
court, in January, 1741. that body put it off until the April term, and 
then still further postponed action, advising them " not to prosecute 
their dissent," thinking that the feeling created in Milford that year 
by Reverend Mr. Tennant's preaching might indicate a way of relief. 
But this hope not being realized, the plea before the court was con- 
tinued in November, 1741. To their great surprise, the judges would 
not admit their dissent, dismissing it on a technicality. A new me- 
morial, couched in the language of the statute, was now presented, 
proclaiming their "dissent," without expressing "assent" to any form 
of church government, which was placed on file. They also agreed, 
November 30th, 1741, to set up a separate assembly, if thirty families 
would unite for that purpose. These were secured, and in January, 
1742, they qualified themselves according to the " English act of Tol- 
eration," as Separatists from the church established by the laws of the 

But in the meantime the decided opposition of the First church 
was awakened, and a series of petty persecutions followed. The 
ministers at their public meetings were cited to appear before the 
magistrates as disorderly transient persons. In this way Benajah 


Case, A.M., of Simsbury, was brought before Governor Jonathan Law, 
January 17th, 1742, charged with preaching to the "sober dissenters." 
After two days trial, in which the governor made many apparent pre- 
judicial rulings against Mr. Case, he was adjudged guilty and sen- 
tenced to pay in all 41 shillings and 4 pence. Mr. Case refused to do 
this, when he was taken to the New Haven jail until the sentence 
should be satisfied. 

But the congregation was not discouraged, and in June, 1742, de- 
cided to build a meeting house, asking the consent of the town to set 
it on public land. This privilege being refused, a lot was purchased 
of Bartholomew Sears, east of the old meeting house and on the op- 
posite side of the river, the county court granting the necessary lib- 
erty November 9th, 1742. The first sermon in it was preached by 
Reverend John Eells, in April, 1743. The house was very plain and 
had no steeple until 1799, when one was built by subscription, Ste- 
phen Treat, Esq., donating the bell for the same. The house was 
used until 1833, when a part of the present edifice took its place. 

Complaint having been made of Mr. Eell's preaching, the constable 
searched for him, "but he could not be found." Mr. Kent, who was 
the second person to preach in this house, was also complained of, 
" but could not be apprehended." 

In April. 1743, the church placed itself under the care of the Pres- 
bytery of New Brunswick, and in June that year Reverend Richard 
Treat, of that body, came and preached so acceptably that his settle- 
ment as a minister was most earnestly desired. But his charge in 
New Jersey would not consent to his leaving them. Meantime, Mr. 
Whittlesey and his "Old Light" adherents had not become more tol- 
erant. But so strongly were they opposed to those holding " New 
Light" views that, up to 1743, he had refused the use of his pulpit to 
five ministers in good standing, but who differed with him on the 
points which were then engaging the attention of the people in so 
earnest a manner. Hence, to appease the popular desire to hear them, 
on one occasion one of these visiting brethren preached from the door- 
step of the meeting house to more than a thousand people. 

In 1743 the persecution reached its climax. In August of that 
year Reverend Samuel Finlay, president of Princeton College, by the 
approval of the New Brunswick Presbytery, preached twice for the 
dissenters; but he was apprehended for disorderly conduct, prose- 
cuted, condemned and ordered by Governor Law to "be transported 
as a vagrant from town to town by the constable of each town." This 
outrageous sentence reacted upon the opposition, and greater liberty 
was accorded in the course of a few years. 

In May, 1750, the general assembly released the dissenters from 
paying taxes to the First society, and gave them certain parish priv- 
ileges. In 1760 they became an ecclesiastical society of the estab- 
lished church, holding their first regular meetings as the Second 


Society in Milford, October 27th, 1760. Thus the society and church 
were designated until May, 1S59, when the general assembly author- 
ized the name to be changed to the Plymouth Society of Milford, by 
which title it and the church have since been known. 

In 1870 the meeting house, built in 1833, was enlarged by an addi- 
tion to the rear end, the organ loft was changed and a new organ sup- 
plied. About $7,000 was thus expended. In 1889 repairs and 
improvements to the amount of $3,000 were made, and the building 
is now in a fine condition, and the society is said to be prosperous. 
The parish contains 145 families, and the church has 250 members. 
The Sabbath school has about 200 members. 

A pastor was settled before parish privileges were accorded. 
Through the efforts of Ephraim Strong, a leader in the new church, 
and who was by nature and education well qualified for the work 
(having graduated from Yale in 1737), his brother-in-law, Job Prudden, 
was settled as the first regular minister. Reverend Job Prudden was the 
great-grandson of Reverend Peter Prudden, the first minister of the 
town. He graduated from Yale in 1743, and was ordained to the pas- 
torate of the church in May, 1747, by the Presbytery of New Bruns- 
wick. Two delegates from Milford, his native town, accompanied him 
to New Jersey. He proved himself faithful, efficient and so prudent 
that much of the embittered feeling: against the new church wore 
away. After a pastorate of 27 years he took sick of the small-pox 
while visiting a parishioner, and died June 24th, 1774. His tombstone 
has been fitly inscribed: "A bountiful benefactor to mankind, well be- 
loved in his life, and much lamented in his death." He left his prop- 
erty to the church, in addition to having contributed £100 toward 
a ministerial fund of $3,500, which was raised in his pastorate. This 
fun'd and his benefaction have greatly aided in carrying on the work of 
the church in these later periods. 

Reverend Josiah Sherman, a native of Watertown, Mass., and a 
great-grandson of John .Sherman, one of the first settlers of the town, 
was the second pastor. He was . installed August 23d, 1775, and dis- 
missed June 21st, 1781. He died in Woodbridge, November 24th, 

The third pastor was Reverend David Tullar, installed November 
17th, 1784, and dismissed December 8th, 1802. In his ministry a great 
religious awakening occurred, beginning in August, 1797, and continu- 
ing through the following year, when 70 persons were added to the 
church. In man}' households family prayer was established, which 
greatly increased the piety of the town. 

Reverend Sherman Johnson was ordained the fourth pastor Feb- 
ruary 6th, 1805, but died May 21st, 1806. He was followed by Rever- 
end Caleb Pitkin, ordained March 16th, 1S0S, and dismissed October, 
1816. In the latter year 25 persons were added to the church. 

This revival spirit continued during the pastorate of Reverend 


Jehu Clark, who was installed December 10th, 1817. In 1821 40 united 
with the church. He was dismissed in 1826. 

The seventh pastor was Reverend Asa M. Train. He was ordained 
July 2d, 1828, and dismissed January 2d, 1850. In his pastorate oc- 
curred five revivals, from which resulted 223 additions, the largest 
number — S3 — joining in 1843. 

Reverend J. M. Sherwood was installed May 29th, 1851, and dis- 
missed October 20th, 1852. The next pastorate was also short — Rev- 
erend S. G. Dodd being ordained October 20th, 1852, and dismissed 
July 19th, 1854. 

In November of the latter year Reverend W. C. Schofield began 
the tenth pastorate, which was terminated in April, 1S0S. The begin- 
ning was characterized by a revival which continued eight months, 
and 80 persons were added to the church. 

From October 15th, 1858, till December 17th, 1861, Reverend W. 
Nye Harvey was the stated supply; and the same relation was sus- 
tained by Reverend J. M. Sherwood from March, 1863, till March, 

Reverend George H. Griffin was ordained and installed as the 
regular pastor June 22d, 1865, and continued that relation until Feb- 
ruary 18th, 1885. In this period of twenty years many were ad- 
ded to the church. 

The pastorate of Reverend N. G. Axtell began September 1st, 1885, 
and was terminated May 28th, 1889. The present pastor, Reverend 
C. H. Upson, was called September 29th, 1889, and has served as the 
regular minister since February 1st, 1890. 

Under the Presbyterian form of government Ephraim Strong, 
Noah Baldwin, Nathaniel Cunningham and Benjamin Fenn were 
elected elders of the church. 

Since the office of deacon has had a recognized place the following 
have been chosen: Joseph Treat, William Atwater, Samuel Piatt, J. 
Benedict Bull, Henry Bull, William Durand, Samuel Higby, Noah 
Kelsey, Allen C. Bull, William Fenn, Harvey Mallory, Theophilus 
Miles, Bryan Clark, Amos Smith Bristol, Frank H. Woodruff, Nathan 
T. Smith and A. A. Baldwin. The three last named now serve. The 
latter is also the church clerk and the treasurer. 

A Protestant Episcopal church was formed in Milford in 1764. The 
contention between the two factions in the First Congregational 
church, consequent upon the settlement of Reverend Mr. Whittlesey 
as the pastor, encouraged the formation of a society professing the 
doctrines of the Church of England. Accordingly, with that end 
in view, clergymen visited the town and preached; Reverend Mr. Ar- 
nold in 1736, and others soon after. In 1743 Reverend William Lyon, 
as a missionary of the English society, preached in the town, and 
some lands were secured as a parish glebe. But no parish was 
formed until 1764, when one was constituted of 20 families. To these 


sermons were read by Richard Clark, a lay reader, who afterward 
went to England for holy orders. In September, 1704, Reverend Doc- 
tor Mansfield, of the Derby church, who sometimes preached in Mil- 
ford, here administered the first public communion, 20 persons partic 
ipating in these solemn rites. 

In 1765 the parish was placed under the care of Doctor Johnson, of 
Stratford, who preached at both places, but later appointed Samuel 
Tingley lay reader for the Milford church. Reverend Mr. Kneeland 
also preached, continuing until the revolution. In this period a house 
of worship was begun in 1771, which was completed and consecrated 
in March, 1775, as St. George's Church. 

In consequence of the feeling against the Church of England dur- 
ing the war for independence, no minister was maintained for ten 
years. But in 17S6 Reverend Henry Van Dyke became the minister 
of this and the West Haven church. A like relation was sustained by 
Reverend David Belding two years later. From 1788 to 1814 only 
occasional services were held, when Reverend Nathan P. Burgess for 
two years preached one-fourth of his time. From 1S16 until 1819 Rev- 
erend Doctor William Smith served the Milford and West Haven 
churches. Then came a vacancy of more than four years, when, in 
1823, Reverend John M. Garfield was the minister a short time. After 
tiiis the church was again served with Stratford. 

In 1831 Reverend Gurdon Coit preached one-half his time; from 
1833 to 1835, Reverend William H. Walter; 1835 to 1837, Reverend R. 
Camp; and then came the Reverends S. Stocking and Edward J. Ives. 
In 1843 Reverend Ferdinand E. White became rector and served the 
church five years. He was succeeded in May, 1848, by Reverend 
James Dixon Carder, whose rectorship continued until 1861. It was 
one of the most eventful in the history of the church. In 1850 the old 
church building, which was a wooden structure without a spire, but 
having an architecture which was not unattractive, was taken down. 
As a consecrated building it had been used about 75 years. A new 
church edifice of stone was built upon the same lot, at a cost of $7,000, 
which was dedicated in 1851 as St. Peter's Church. This building is 
not only substantial, but is very neat, and with repairs and improve- 
ments has been still further beautified. It has 300 sittings in the nave 
of the house. The spire is 100 feet high and is also of stone. On the 
same lot is a fine rectory, put up after the church. 

After Mr. Carder the following served as rectors: 1861 to 1864, 
Reverend Storrs O. Seymour; 1864 to 1S6S, Thomas E. Pattison; 1869 
to 1871, Henry R. Howard; 1871 to 1S76, A. Douglas Miller; 1876 to 
1878, J. H. Van Buren;* 1878 to 1890, John H. Fitzgerald. Since 1800 
the rector has been Reverend F. I. Paradise. 

In 1890 the parish of St. Peter's had as clerk John W. Fowler; as 
♦Being a candidate for holy orders, he was here ordained a deacon May 31st, 
1876, and a minister June 25th, 1877; he now served as rector till May 1st, 1878, 


wardens, Henry Cornwall, Samuel L. Burns; as vestrymen, Isaac T. 
Rogers, John W. Fowler, P. S. Bristol, Joseph S. Ferris, Thomas Corn- 
wall, Edward P. Avery, Henry Davidson, Charles A. Tomlinson, Wil- 
liam Cecil Durand, Frederick Cornwall, Eldridge L. Cornwall, Warren 
G. Plumb, Henry C. C. Miles, De Witt C. Burns. The number of 
families in the parish was 100; the individuals, 350; the registered 
communicants, 160. In the Sunday school were 15 teachers and 100 

The Milford Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1836. 
Reverend Jesse Lee preached the first Methodist sermon in the town 
August 16th, 1789. He spoke in the town house, which was crowded 
with attentive listeners. On two other occasions, subsequently, he 
preached here, but appears to have made no lasting impression, for he 
said that he had no invitation to call at any man's house, nor did he 
become acquainted with any person. He further added, at this ap- 
parent lack of hospitality, " If I can but be useful, I am willing to re- 
main unknown among men." After this the town was occasionally 
visited by itinerant ministers, and local preachers from the neighbor- 
ing churches also came, preaching as they had opportunity. 

In 1822 Reverend E. Barnett preached and organized a small class, 
some of whom had been converted by the preaching of a Mr. Water- 
bury, whose labors among the sailors especially had been successful, 
as he himself was a converted sailor. Later meetings were held in a 
house near the mill, owned by Elizur Fowler. In 1833 Reverend Hum- 
phrey Humphries made an effort to more fully organize the work in 
Milford without satisfactory results. But two years later Eliakim Fenn 
and several others who had been converted, commenced to hold meet- 
ings at Burwell's Farms. About this time,- also, Deacon Ebenezer Ail- 
ing, of Orange, was licensed to preach and held meetings in various 
parts of the town with much success. More than twenty persons were 
converted. Accordingly, in 1836, on the 12th of August, the Milford 
church was organized, with 27 members. Of these ten joined by letter 
from the First church, among them being Eliakim Fenn, Stephen 
Gunn, Nathan Gunn, Thomas Burwell, Lamson B. Clark and Eliza L. 
Gunn, the latter surviving as a member in the fall of 1890. Milford 
was now taken up as a regular appointment, with Reverend Ebenezer 
Ailing as the pastor. The meetings were held in the old Baptist church 
(the old town hall), and at the end of the year about 60 members were 
reported. The society now purchased Bristol's shoe shop, and moved 
it to a site on North street, near the Orange road. Heman Bangs 
was the presiding elder, and aided in fully establishing the church. 

In 1837 Reverend J. C. Goodrich became the first resident pastor, 
and was followed by Reverend Josiah Bowen, in 1838; Ira Abbott, in 
1839; and Lewis Lum, in 1840. The following two years the confer- 
ence made no appointment for Milford, but the brethren nevertheless 
decided to build a house of worship, which was begun in 1843. The 


corner stone was laid in the fall of that year by the pastor, Reverend 
J. B. Wakeley, and the church was dedicated December 5th, 1844. 
The house cost $3,000, and some debt remained to burden the society. 

In 1845 Reverend Stephen B. Bangs was appointed pastor; in 1846, 
William F. Smith; in 1847, G. S. Hare. On account of the poverty of 
the society no regular minister was appointed until 1852, when Rev- 
erend L. A. Hubbell was assigned. A notable revival had just ended, 
and 33 persons had been added to the church. 

Ground for a parsonage was now bought, which was built in 1854- 
5, during the pastorate of Reverend M. N. Olmstead. 

In 1875-6 the church building was remodelled and repaired, at an 
outlay of §2,500; and lesser repairs were made in 1882 and again in 
1886. The church debt was fully removed in 1885. In later years 
the membership of the church has also been increased, there being 130 
in 1890. 

Among the later pastors have been the Reverends W. Bool, Daniel 
Nash, S. C. Keller, G. Perrine.W.W. McGuire, K. K. Diossy, G. Loomis, 
W. Ross, E. H. Rowlandson.W. Treviddy, E. Rowlandson, J. M. Carroll 
and since April, 1890, Reverend J. A. Macmillan. 

Connected with the church is a Sabbath school of more than 100 
members, which has George H. Woods as the superintendent, and a 
Society of Christian Endeavor, which was organized February 9th, 
1888, with seven members. In 1890 the number belonging was 32. 

The Milford Baptist Church was organized August 28th, 1831, by 
Reverend James H. Linsley, of the Stratford church. There were 
about 25 covenanting members, and John Smith was chosen the first 
deacon. Subsequently, in the same office, were D. L. Hubbell, Jason 
Clark, Anon Clark and Thaddeus Smith. For some years the mem- 
bership increased, but as the population of the town changed, the na- 
tive element removing and foreigners taking their places, the society 
became so weak that its organization was discontinued. The new 
meeting house, which was erected in the period of the church's pros- 
perity, in 1845-6, was, through the treasurer of the society, Thaddeus 
Smith, sold to the town in 1866, and has since formed a part of the 
town house. In a remodelled condition it is now the audience room 
of the public building. 

Among the Baptist ministers who preached here there is none re- 
membered with greater pleasure than Reverend Oliver H. Hammond. 
He was highly educated and a very ready speaker. Reverends John 
H. Waterbury, Dryden S. Viets and Mr. Davis were also ministers. 
Most of the remaining Baptist members connected themselves with 
other Protestant churches, and at present but very few of that faith 
remain in the town. 

St. Mary's Church (Roman Catholic) had its beginning in the influx 
of Irish laborers, consequent upon the building of the New Haven 
railroad. A visiting priest came here in 1848, and gathering together 


the believers in Catholicism, said mass to them in a private house. 
Encouraged by the increasing interest, Reverend Edward O'Brien, of 
St. Mary's church, New Haven, who now had the care of this people, 
erected a small church in the eastern part of the village, southeast of 
the cemetery, which was occupied in September, 1853, as the St. Mary's 
church. Subsequently this work sustained a mission relation to the 
parish of Birmingham, and was greatly built up by Reverend Father 
Kennedv. A larger church was demanded, and its erection was begun 
in 1882 by him on a fine lot on the corner of Gulf street and New 
Haven avenue. This was dedicated June 25th, 1883, by the Right 
Reverend Bishop McMahon. It has 400 sittings, and cost about $12,- 
000. As the parish had a limited membership, mostly of the poorer 
classes, it required much sacrifice to accomplish this purpose, but the 
parish has nevertheless since prospered, and in 1885 became separate 
from other churches. That year Reverend J. Larkin became the first 
resident priest. For his accommodation a fine parsonage was subse- 
quently erected opposite the church. The old church is used for 
school purposes. The parish is now fully equipped, and is growing in 
numbers and influence. There are not quite one hundred families at 
this time. 

The Catholic cemetery is on the Indian river, south of the New 
Haven road. The land was purchased in 1868, but it was not dedi- 
cated until about ten years later. 

It is said that the first death in the town was a child of William 
East, June 18th, 1644, aged 1 year. The first adult death was Sarah, 
wife of Nicholas Camp, who died September 6th, 1645. These and 
others dying up to 1675 were buried in a part of Mr. Peter Prudden's 
garden, set aside for that purpose. Mr. Prudden himself was buried 
there in 1656. Not quite 40 years after the town was settled the south- 
east portion of the present burial place was laid out, but it was a part 
of the commons until 1756, when it was fenced on three sides, the 
swamp being on the east side On the south side was now a road three 
rods wide, whose course was afterward taken by the railroad. In this 
part 46 revolutionary soldiers were buried in 1777. Since that time 
the cemetery has been much enlarged and its neglected condition im- 
proved. Its appearance was very much bettered in 1863, and in more 
recent years it has been placed in care of a superintendent, under 
whose direction it looks more like a modern place of interment. 

There are many quaint inscriptions on the older stones, which have 
been transcribed and published by the New Haven Historical Society. 
A number of handsome monuments mark the resting places of Mil- 
ford's worthy citizens dying in more recent times. In the southwest 
part is the revolutionary soldiers' monument, erected in 1852. 

The cemetery contains the graves of three Connecticut governors — 
Treat, Law and Pond — Judge Roger Newton and several of the former 
pastors of the churches. 


In 1825 the town purchased a hearse; in 1866 a new hearse was pur- 
chased, also by the town, which still controls the cemetery. 

As early as 1640 the Milford planters, able-bodied males over L6 
years of age, were formed into a "Train Band," or local militia, with 
the following officers: Captain, John Astwood; lieutenant, William 
Fowler: ensign, Alexander Bryan: sergeant, William East. The com- 
pany had six general trainings per year, three in the spring and three 
in the fall. In 1699 the population of the town warranted the forma- 
tion of two companies, commanded by Roger Newton and Joseph 
Woodruff. They were that year provided with new equipments, colors 
and drums, and were drilled to a fine state of proficiency. 

Besides the foregoing there were others captain: Robert Treat, 
in 1662; John Beard, in 1670; William Fowler, 2d, in 1677; Samuel 
Eells, in 1680; Samuel Burwell, in 1690; Josiah Prime, in 1692; Samuel 
Bryan, in 1696; Samuel Newton, in 1698; Benjamin Fenn, in 1708; 
Joseph Treat, in 1712. Others in command of militia companies before 
the revolution were Captains Thomas Clark, Elias Clark, Josiah Buck- 
ingham, Isaac Treat, Samuel Buckingham, Nathan Baldwin, Theodore 
Miles, John Woodruff, Benjamin Fenn, Arnold Tibbals, Benjamin 
Bull, Nathan Clark. 

Roger Newton rose to the rank of colonel, and that title was also 
bestowed upon Benjamin Fenn, in 1737; Richard Bryan, in 1770. 
David Baldwin became a major in 1784. 

Of the later military organizations, the Milford Grenadiers achieved 
an enviable reputation. The company was organized in 1796, the first 
officers being: Daniel Sackett, captain; Abram V. H. De Witt, lieuten- 
ant, and Benjamin Bull, ensign. At first there were 25 members, who 
voluntarily enlisted in 1795 to serve in the 32d Regiment, of the Second 
Brigade of the militia of the state. The original uniform, which they 
themselves provided, " consisted of scarlet coats with buff facings, and 
gold lace trimmings, drab knee breeches, with buckles, and suwarrow 
boots with tassels; pointed caps, about 18 inches high, of cloth, red 
front and buff back, with side edges and plume of ostrich feathers; a 
narrow frontlet was added afterwards, of same material. 

"On the first Sunday after their equipment they marched in ' full 
regimentals' to the meeting house, and no doubt a discourse was deliv- 
ered and a blessing invoked on the occasion, by the then youthful 
and greatly beloved Mr. Pinneo. 

"At a later period, the buff breeches gave place to blue broadcloth 
pants, with the lace and silk trimmings, and about 181.") white pants 
were adopted, and continued during their existence. 

" Wherever and whenever they appeared, they were the company. 
and the observed of all. Their tall and lofty bearing, faultless in 
dress, equipments and discipline, marching and counter-marching to 
the music of Isaac Tibbals, Charles Baldwin, Nathan Baldwin, fifers; 
and Joseph Fowler, Hubbard Botsford and Isaac Davidson, drummers. 


rendered them ever welcome among their friends, but a terror to their 
foes. The reputation of the gallant New York Seventh Regiment was 
never more enviable or deeply cherished by her citizens than was this 
brave and patriotic corps."-' 

In the war of 1812. when Joseph Piatt was the captain, the com- 
pany marched to old Fort Trumbull to repel the British if they should 
attempt to land from their vessels, which appeared off shore. But the 
enemy soon left these parts, and -the Grenadiers saw no further ser- 
vice in that war. In 1816 the company attained its zenith, having in 
all about 70 men, and embracing the leading young men of the town. 
A waning interest, caused by dissatisfaction by being deprived of its 
time-honored position, on the right of the regiment, and the organi- 
zation of an artillery company at Milford, led to the dissolution of the 
company, in 1836, while Charles Tibbals was the captain. Two years 
later another light infantry company was in existence, with Jason 
Bristol, captain, and Captain John Smith commanded the artillery. 
The former disbanded in 1849. The latter was for many years a suc- 
cessful organization. 

Many of the members of the celebrated Grenadiers were honored 
by promotions in the state militia, and became regimental and brig- 
ade commanders. Among them are remembered the following: Col- 
onel Daniel Sackett, Colonel Benjamin Bull, Colonel William Fenn, 
Colonel Stephen B. Ford, Colonel Andrew Beard, Colonel William 
Piatt, Colonel Abel R. Hine and Colonel Isaac T. Rogers; Major Sam- 
uel Higby, Major Barnabas Woodstock and Major Samuel B. Gunn. 
None of the later military organizations was as long continued or be- 
came as renowned as the Grenadiers. 

The inhabitants of Milford warmly espoused the patriot cause in 
the struggle for the independence of the colonies. At the commence- 
ment of the revolution they expressed themselves as being unani- 
mously opposed to the oppressive measures of the British ministry, 
and opened a subscription "for the relief and support of such poor in- 
habitants of Boston as were immediate sufferers by the Port Bill." 
The town also later contributed liberally for the relief of the people of 

Measures for defense were early urged. May 1st, 1775, "voted that 
all the great guns be mounted and be made ready for use, and that 
the selectmen provide powder and balls at the Town Expense." 

A minute post was at once established, under the direction of Cap- 
tain Isaac Miles. In the spring of 1776 a small earthwork was erected 
at Burns' Point, about where is now Colonel Fall's residence, in which 
a battery of guns was placed for the defense of the harbor. It was 
erected by the town, aided by the colony, and was called Fort Trum- 
bull. From this fact arose the name of Trumbull avenue, in that lo- 
cality. A lookout was also kept at Burwell's Farm, and another at 
Poconoc Point. 

* Hon. John W. Fowler. 


On the first of January, 1777. a transport bearing a flag of truce 
appeared at the mouth of the harbor and landed 200 sick American 
■prisoners, of whom 46 died in a short time and were buried in a com- 
mon grave. The same year the town provided its full quota of men, 
and the selectmen were directed to " furnish guns, bayonets and pro- 
visions for such as are called forth for the defence of the Liberty of 
America." A premium of £10 was offered per head to enlist during 
the war, and Captain Samuel Peck's company of 72 men marched for 
the seat of war. Three of the townsmen were killed at the battle of 

In January, 1778, the town expressed its approval of the articles of 
confederation adopted by the colonies. In 1779 20 British transports 
lay off the harbor several days, but did not land, except a few soldiers 
who came ashore at Pond Point and plundered the house of Miles 
Merwin, the family being at that time in the village. No buildings 
were burned during the war, but some property was stolen by the 
"Cow Boys," of New York, who sometimes visited the town and com- 
mitted depredations in the way of stealing cattle, sheep, etc., which 
they carried to Long Island and sold to the British forces. Lambert 
says that in 1780a band of twelve of these marauders was captured on 
an island in the Housatonic, near Turkey hill, but the particulars in 
regard to it are somewhat vague. 

There were but few tory sympathizers, and owing to the over- 
whelming sentiment in favor of the Americans, they were not trouble- 
some; but after the war a few loyalist families moved to Nova Scotia. 
In the war of 1812 a small guard was kept for a time in Milford 
harbor, but among the inhabitants there was but little interest taken 
in the war, as the town in general did not approve it. 

The 250th Anniversary and Founders' Memorial was one of the 
most interesting and important events that have occurred in the town. 
At the annual town meeting in October, 1888, action was taken 
to appropriately celebrate the founding of Milford on the 250th 
anniversary, the following year. In pursuance of that purpose the 
town appointed a committee, consisting of Charles A. Tomlinson. 
Phineas S. Bristol, Nathan G. Pond, William Cecil Durand and Charles 
H. Trowbridge, who decided that a memorial bridge at Fowler's Mill 
would best perpetuate the event to be observed, and be as well an en- 
during monument to the founders of the Wepawaug plantation or 
Milford colony. This idea was successfully carried out, as is attested 
by the artistic and substantial handiwork at the spot designated. The 
memorial arch and tower, crowned with tablets and mementoes in 
honor of the leading founders of the plantation, is one of the most 
pleasing objects in the town, and, while attractive, is also useful and 
strikingly appropriate. The erection was made possible by appropri- 
ations from the town and the liberal aid of patriotic citizens in Milford 
and other places. 


The work was dedicated and the general celebration of the event 
was held August 28th, 1889. On the morning of that day 42 guns 
were fired, the village bells were rung and there was a parade, show- 
ing various phases of Indian and pioneer life; also an industrial ex- 
hibit, showing products from 1639 to 1889. Isaac C. Smith was the 
chief marshal, A. A. Baldwin the president of the day, General Joseph 
R. Hawley the orator; a concert was given by the Wheeler and Wil- 
son Band; Governor Morgan G. Bulkeley and others made addresses. 
A vast concourse of people was in attendance, and the occasion was 
full of credit to the people of the town. 


Doctor Hull Allen, born in Westport, Conn., May 16th, 1798, is a 
son of Gabriel Allen, of that place. Doctor Allen was educated in 
Westport, studied medicine one year with Doctor Chetwood, of Eliza- 
bethtown, N. J., and attended medical lectures in New York. He 
taught the young ladies' seminary at Trenton, N. J., about one year. 
He was licensed to practice medicine at Newark, N. J., in 1821, and 
commenced the practice of medicine at Sparta, N. J. He came to 
Milford in 1821, and practiced there until 1870, when he gave up act- 
ive practice. He does some office practice still. He was 93 years old 
May 16th, 1891. He is the oldest physician in New Haven county, if 
not the oldest in New England. He has been three times married. 
By his first wife, Susan Piatt, he had three children. One daughter, 
now living with him, is. the only child surviving. He has also one 
granddaughter living with him, and one grandson in New Haven. 
His second wife was Elizabeth Clark, and his third wife Susan Phil- 
lips, of Fishkill, N. Y. Doctor Allen is a member of the state and 
county medical societies. The meetings of the latter have frequently 
been held at his house. He has frequently consulted with the leading 
physicians of New Haven county, is held in high esteem by them, 
and has the utmost respect of his townspeople. 

Charles W. Beardsley, son of Charles Beardsley, was born in 
Stratford, Conn., May 27th, 1829, and in the year 1844 he removed 
with his father's family to Milford. He is descended from William 
Beardsley, one of the first settlers of the town of Stratford, from whom 
he takes the name William, and from the Beach family through his 
great-grandmother, Sarah, daughter of Israel Beach, 2d, of Stratford. 
His mother was Sarah, daughter of Hezekiah Baldwin, of Milford. 
a descendent of one of the first settlers of that town; and he regards 
his success in life as very largely the result of the early training and 
Christian advice of his mother. The first American ancestor above 
alluded to, William Beardsley, came from England in 1635, in the ship 
" Planter," commanded by Captain Travice. He was then only 30 
years of age, but had a wife and three children, all of whom accompa- 
nied him hither. He came from Stratford-on-Avon (the birthplace of 


William Shakespeare), and was made a freeman in Massachusetts, but 
afterward, in 1639, settled in the Connecticut township, to which the 
family gave the name of Stratford in honor of the English town from 
which they had emigrated. The town of Avon, N. Y., was also named 
by descendants of William Beardsley, who settled there, in honor of 
the old river in England. William Beardsley was a deputy for Strat- 
ford in 1645, and for seven years thereafter, and was a man of much 
prominence in early colonial times. He died in 1660, at the age of 56, 
leaving three children. The succession in the line of the subject of 
this sketch was through Joseph Beardsley, the youngest son. The 
generations from Joseph were John, Andrew, Henry, William Henry 
and Charles, the latter being the father of Charles W. Beardsley, the 
present subject. Charles W. is the oldest of a family of eight chil- 
dren, the brothers and sisters being the following, all of whom are 
now living and residents of Milford, except as otherwise stated: Abi- 
gail, now the wife of Charles R. Baldwin, of Milford; Alvira, Heze- 
kiah, an extensive contractor and builder in Milford; George, now 
residing in New Haven; Theodore, a prominent builder of Springfield, 
Mass.; Sarah J. wife of Edward Clark, of Milford; and Frederick, the 

Mr. Charles W. Beardsley was educated in the common and select 
schools of his native town, and commenced learning the shoe business 
at the age of 15, which he followed for 18 years. His health partially 
failing by close confinement in his work, he engaged in the stock and 
produce business, importing the same from Montreal, Canada; and 
continued this business twelve years. He then bought one of the best 
farms in the town of Milford, and is engaged in the seed business for 
Peter Henderson & Company, of New York city. Mr. Beardsley has 
bred some of the finest Jersey cattle that have appeared in America, 
and for which he has obtained large prices. He has held the offices 
of town agent and first selectman for twelve successive years, and was 
one of the directors of the Milford Savings Bank. He is a member of 
the Odd Fellows' Lodge in Milford, a member of the board of educa- 
tion and a director of the Steam Power Manufacturing Company. He 
has been a member of the fire department for 22 years, and a member 
of the Second Company, Governor's Foot Guards (organized 1775) un- 
der Governor Buckingham. He was elected a member of the house of 
representatives of Connecticut by the democratic party in 1889 for two 
years, and served on the railroad committee, and was commissioner on 
the Washington bridge. He gave a full history of the old bridge, and 
when the bill came before the house to have the structure made a free 
bridge, supported by New Haven and Fairfield counties, he made a 
strong argument in favor of the free bridge system, and the bill was 
passed. He was reelected a member of the house of representatives 
for the years ] 891-2, and is again a member of the railroad committee, 
and he accepted from Governor Bulkeley an appointment as shell-fish 


Mr. Beardsley joined the First Congregational church at Milford in 
the year 1850, and is esteemed in his native town and in the town 
where he resides, and wherever known, as an honorable and upright 
citizen. He married Sarah, daughter of Elnathan Baldwin, of Milford. 
in 1850, and has the following children: De Witt Clinton, who mar- 
ried Miss Martha P. Avery, of Stratford, and has three children, Medo- 
rah H., Maud C. and Stanley A. Beardsley; Sarah Etta, who married 
•Charles Clark, of Milford, and had two children, George W. and El- 
wood R. Clark; and Charles Frederick, the youngest, who resides at 
home, and is in company with his father in the seed business. The 
Beardsley family is a quite numerous one in Connecticut, and in all its 
branches has maintained the honorable reputation transmitted through 
succeeding generations, from William Beardsley, the venerated an- 

Hezekiah B. Beardsley, born in Stratford, is a brother of Charles 
W. Beardsley. He came to Milford with his parents when eight years 
old. He was educated in Milford, and studied mathematics in New 
Haven with George Beckwith, and architecture one year, then learned 
the trade of carpenter and builder with Jirah Stowe, of Milford, and 
finished with Elijah Baldwin. With a son of the latter, George G. 
Baldwin, Mr. Beardsley carried on the business of building until 1872, 
and since that time has continued alone. He has built many of the 
finest residences in Milford and other places. He married Mary, 
daughter of Marcus Stowe, of Milford, in 1861. They have one 
daughter, Helen, who married Frederick S. Beardsley, of Stratford. 
They reside in Brunswick, Georgia, and have one daughter, Helen 
May. Mr. H. B. Beardsley has been a director of the Milford Savings 
Bank for the past eight years. 

Henry J. Bristol, born in Milford in 1880, is a son of Johnson Bris- 
tol. The latter established the store now kept by Henry J., on North 
avenue, Milford, about 1829, and conducted it until 1872, when Henry 
J. succeeded him. He is a dealer in groceries and feed. He has been 
assessor and member of the board of relief. He has been treasurer of 
the Masonic Lodge of Milford for 16 years, and is a member of the 
Royal Arch Chapter of Birmingham. He married Emma A. Thomas, 
of New Haven, in 1856. They have three children: Frank T. (in bus- 
iness in New York), Harry and Lillian F. Mrs. Bristol is a relative of 
the Kimberly family, of West Haven. Her mother, Mary Kimberly, 
daughter of Eliakim, of West Haven, married Captain Asahel 

Phineas S. Bristol, born in Milford, in 1823, was a son of Nehemiah 
and Elizabeth (Stowe) Bristol), and grandson of Nathan and Anna 
Bristol. Nathan was a soldier in the revolution, and fought in the 
battles of Long Island and White Plains. He was a son of Richard 
and Mary Bristol. Richard was a son of Daniel, whose father, Henry, 
came from England and settled in New Haven, about 1670. The ma- 


ternal grandfather of Phineas S. Bristol was William Stowe, son of 
Stephen, who died from disease contracted while nnrsing the sick 
soldiers of the revolutionary war. He had four sons in the war: John, 
Stephen, Jedediah and Samuel. The father of Stephen Stowe was the 
Reverend Samuel Stowe, who settled and preached in Middletown, 
Conn., in 1052. He was a son of Deacon John Stowe, who came from 
England in 1634, settled in Boston, and from there moved to Roxbury 
in 1839. He was born in England in 1595. He was a member of the 
Ancient and Honorable Artillery, of Boston, and a member of the 
general court of the colony of Massachusetts, in 1639. Phineas S. 
Bristol was three times married: first to Elizabeth G., daughter of 
Captain Samuel Tibbals. By her he had one son, Reverend Cornelius 
Bristol, born in 1863. He is a minister in charge of St. Alban's Epis- 
copal church in Danielsonville, Conn. Mr. Bristol's second wife was 
Ann M., daughter of Isaac Baldwin. His third wife is Laura A., 
daughter of Samuel Peck. Mr. Bristol learned the trade of shoemaker 
when young, and afterward was a merchant in Wallingford, Conn., in 
New York city, and then in Milford from 1862 to 1875, when he be- 
came treasurer of the Milford Savings Bank. He represented Milford 
in the legislature in 1871, was first selectman in 1870, and was justice 
of the peace for 25 years. Shortly before the death of Mr. Bristol (which 
occurred March 14th, 1891), he was made a member of the Connecti- 
cut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. 

Theodore Bristol, born in Milford in 1837, is a son of Johnson Bris- 
tol, and grandson of Jehial Bristol, both natives of Milford. He en- 
gaged in the livery business in Milford in 1873, with I. C. Smith, suc- 
ceeding Warren Bradley, who succeeded George B. Wheeler, the 
founder of the livery business in Milford. The firm of Smith & Bris- 
tol was dissolved in 1878, Mr. Smith retiring. Since this time Mr- 
Bristol has continued the business alone. He has been twice married: 
first to Caroline A. Merwin, of Milford. By her he had one daughter, 
Julia E., who married Walter Irving, of Milford. For his second wife 
he married Rachel C. Wright, of Clinton, Conn., by whom he has one 
daughter, Grace L., also one son, Royal M., who died at the age of six 
years and five months. 

William B. Brotherton, born in Milford in 1849, is a son of William 
Brotherton, of Westport, Conn., who came to Milford in 1S38, and was 
postmaster from 1852 to 1861, and from 1865 to 1869. William B. was 
educated in Milford, and married Mary A. Chappell, of New London 
county, Conn., in 1873. They have four children: Harold L., Gracie 
B., Frank C. and Edward B. Mr. Brotherton was appointed postmaster 
of Milford in 1S87. The office of postmaster has been held in the 
Brotherton family under all democratic administrations since 1852. 

Frank P. Buckingham, born in Milford in 1852, is a son of Daniel, 
and grandson of Daniel, descendants of Thomas Buckingham, who 
came from England and settled in Milford in 1639. Frank P. was edu- 


cated in Milford, learned the carpenter's trade when a boy, and has 
since followed it. He has been boss carpenter of the Milford Straw 
Manufacturing Company for the last twenty years. He is a member 
of the Masonic and Odd Fellows societies, and a member of the 
American Provident Union of Milford. He is assessor of taxes. 
He married Sarah Judd, of Watertown, Conn., in 1875. They have 
two sons and two daughters: Marion L., Daniel F., Leah J. and For- 
rester L. 

Alonzo W. Burns, son of Samuel L. and grandson of Samuel Burns, 
was born in Milford in 1840, was educated here and learned the trade 
of cooper. Since 1875 he has been engaged in the clam and fish 
trade. He married Maria E. Ford, of Milford. He was elected to the 
legislature in 1873 and 1891, and has been a member of the board of 

W. Cecil Durand, born in Milford June 15th, 1851, is a son of Cal- 
vin and Sarah Cecil (Hunter) Durand (the latter a native of Savannah, 
Ga.), and grandson of William Durand. Calvin Durand was born in 
Milford in 1802, and was a merchant in New York 56 years, for 17 
years of the firm of Goodhue & Co., 64 South street. His brother, 
Mason A. Durand, was one of the founders of the National Blues of 
the city of New Haven. Another brother, William Durand, was sur- 
veyor of the port of New Haven eight years, was the first democrat 
elected to the legislature from Milford, and held the offices of judge 
of probate and town clerk. W. Cecil Durand was educated in New 
York and New Haven, completing his studies at the Sheffield Scien- 
tific School of New Haven in 1871. He was elected to the legislature 
from Milford in 1882, 1883 and 1888. He has been twice married; 
first to Lizzie C. Ford, of Milford, in 1885. She died August 18th, 
1888; and June 17th, 1890, he married Clara Baldwin Clark, of Milford. 
In July, 1891, he was chosen treasurer and secretary of the Milford 
Savings Bank. He was a state auditor (Conn.), from July 1st, 1889, to 
July 1st, 1891. 

Dennis Fenn, born m Milford in 1837, is a son of Dan and grand- 
son of Dan, whose father, Benjamin, was a son of Lieutenant Ben- 
jamin, all descendants from Benjamin Fenn, the settler of 1639. 
Dennis' mother was Maria Bradley. He had one brother, George 
Newton Fenn, who settled in Illinois in 1856. Dennis married, in 
1865, Eva M., daughter of Ephraim Brown, of Milford. They have 
four children: Benjamin, Nathan H., Anna M. and Harry D. Mr. 
Fenn has been interested in the town affairs, was a member of the 
State Board of Agriculture two years, and is a member of the Indian 
River Grange of Milford. He has always been a farmer and seed 
grower. He owns the farm originally owned by Benjamin, the set- 
tler. It was eiven to him for settling outside the stockade, and has 
remained in the Fenn family 250 years. 


Doctor Elias Buell Heady was born in Norfolk, Conn.. July 28th, 
1846, and is a son of Clark Heady, of the same town. He was edu- 
cated at the Norfolk high school and at the South Berkshire Institute, 
Mass. He taught school after this, and then took a course at East- 
man's Business College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., graduating February 
15th, 1866. He commenced the study of medicine with Doctor H. M. 
Knight in 1869, was with him three years, and during this time at- 
tended the Yale Medical College, graduating in 1872. He commenced 
the practice of medicine in the spring of 1872 in Cornwall, Conn., 
practiced there eight years, and came to Milford in March, 1880, 
where he has since practiced. He is a member of the New Haven 
County and State Medical societies, honorary member of the Bridge- 
port Medical Association, and a member of the I. O. O. F., of Milford. 
He makes a specialty of surgery. He married, in 1874, Julia V. Kel- 
logg, of Cornwall, Conn. They have two sons: Louis E. and Carlton 
K. Heady. 

Frank M. Howe was born in Painesville, Ohio, in 1852, and re- 
ceived his education there. His father, George E. Howe, has had 
charge of the state reformatory at Meriden 12 years. Frank M. Howe 
was appointed superintendent of the reform school at Lansing, Mich., 
in 1S72, when he was 20 years of age. He was called "the boy super- 
intendent," and was the youngest state officer in the country. He held 
this position seven years, when he resigned to come East to take the 
same position in the reform school at Providence, R. I., in 1880. He 
remained at the latter place over three years, when, on account of ill 
health, he was compelled to resign. He introduced many reforms 
both at Lansing and at Providence. He came to Milford in Septem- 
ber, 1884, and established a private school, known as Elmwood School 
for Boys. 

James W. Kelley was born in Haverhill, Mass., in 1857, learned the 
shoemaking trade there, came to Milford in 1878, and engaged with 
Baldwin & Lamkin, shoe manufacturers. He married Mary Purcell, 
of Milford, in 1881. They have three children: David P., Agnes and 
Richard. Mr. Kelley is a retail dealer in liquors, teas and coffee. In 
politics he is a democrat, and has served his party on town and dis- 
trict committees. He is grand knight of Tinto Council, No. 47, K. of 
C. This council was organized September 5th, 1888. 

James. McCarthy was born in Ireland in 1830, and came to America 
in 1860. He settled first in New York, and removed to Bridgeport, 
Conn., in 1S63. He enlisted from there in Company F, 14th Connecti- 
cut Volunteers. He was wounded before Petersburg, in his right knee, 
and was discharged in April, 1865. He came to Milford in 1868, and 
has since been engaged in the clothing trade. He has been justice of 
the peace for the past 12 years, and selectman five years. He is a 
director and incorporator of the Milford Savings Bank. He was mar- 
ried in 1869, and has four children. 



William Merritt Merwin, a son of Merritt and Catherine (Peck) 
Merwin, was born in Milford in 1827. He is a lineal descendant of 
John, the son of Miles Merwin, one of the original settlers of the town, 
who was the progenitor of all those of that name in this part of the 
county. Miles Merwin died in 1697, and his grave, in the old burial 
plot of Milford, was the only one of the first Wepawaug planters 
marked by a headstone. He was a man of considerable property, and 
as his estate was entailed, a number of generations of his descendants 
remained in Milford, each one embracing representative citizens in 
this and adjoining towns. Among his descendants in New Haven is 
Lieutenant Governor Samuel E. Merwin, one of the leading attorneys 
of that city. 

William M. Merwin, whose portrait appears in this book, has the 
well-merited distinction of being one of the most successful business 
men in Milford in the present period of time. He was reared in this 
town, and has ever been identified with its interests, but having ap- 
plied himself closely to his own affairs, became but little known in 
public capacities. After being engaged in the coasting trade, he suc- 
cessfully grew garden seeds, following that occupation a number of 
years. Later, nearly a score of years ago, he became interested in the 
cultivation of oysters in the waters of his native town, being one of 
the pioneers in that industry, which he developed to its present im- 
portant condition, with beneficial results to himself and his family. In 
this avocation he has had abundant opportunity to exercise those 
characteristics which most distinguish him, and which have been such 
fruitful factors in his success. To his excellent habits of living and 
business he added an inexhaustible fund of energy, a worthy ambition 
to overcome every obstacle which interfered with his interests, and 
labored ceaselessly to accomplish his purposes. Although often beset 
with difficulties which would have discouraged a person of a less san- 
guine nature, he was indefatigable in every effort until his business 
was established upon a firm basis. 

As related in the foregoing pages, the first efforts at oyster culture 
in the Gulf pond were failures, on account of the shallow waters and 
the impeded flow of sediment, which smothered the young plant. A 
bed of oysters placed in the outer waters of the bay in 1875 by Mr. 
Merwin and others, was also an expensive and disastrous experiment. 
A severe storm, which washed the sand into the sound, almost wholly 
destroyed it. After three years efforts of that nature, he began plant- 
ing for himself in deeper water, farther in the sound, in order to secure 
better protection from these external elements. His neighbors pre- 
dicted failure, but he risked the venture and succeeded in cultivating 
a very fine crop of superior oysters. His sons, Uumond P. and Mer- 
ritt W., now joined him, the firm becoming William M. Merwin & 
Sons, which has since been continued. 

* About this time they buoyed off 200 acres, near Pond Point, in 


water from 20 to 50 feet deep, upon which they planted, on gravelly 
bottom.'full grown oysters and shells. This venture was also entirely 
successful, a large set was secured, and the belief of Mr. Merwin that 
deep water oyster culture could here be profitably carried on was fully 
confirmed. After this the area of the beds was largely increased, there 
being in 1881 one hundred acres under successful cultivation. Other 
privileges were subsequently buoyed off, until ten years later the firm 
cultivated 1,000 acres on which 1,000,000 bushels of fine native oysters 
were growing. The product finds a ready sale in home markets, and 
a large export trade with Liverpool has been established. The indus- 
try hasjbecome one of the largest of the kind in the county, and from 
20 to 50 persons are employed in carrying it on. Since 1878 Mr. Mer- 
win has spent his winters at Rock Ledge, Florida, being the second 
citizen of Connecticut to locate at a point where is now such a numer- 
ous colony from the state of his nativity. There, as in Milford, his 
energy and practical ideas have greatly assisted in the development of 
the country, until it has become one of the most desirable sections of 
that state. 

Mr. Merwin was married in 1849 to Sarah C, daughter of Harvey 
Peck, of Orange, and their only children are the foregoing sons. 
Dumond P., born August 9th, 1853, married October 1st, 1874, A. 
Berthena, daughter of David Bristol, and they have two children, Al- 
bert Dumond and William Harvey. The younger son, Merritt W., 
was born February 6th, 1856, and 'was married October 1st, 1877, to 
Julia, daughter of George Elmer, of Milford. The fruits of their union 
are three daughters: Lottie E., Grace and Katie. 

I. Atwater Merwin was born April 26th. 1819, m Milford, on 
the farm he now occupies, which has been in the Merwin family 
for many generations. His father, Benedict, was a son of the fifth 
Miles Merwin that was born on the same farm. I. Atwater Merwin is 
in the seventh generation from the first Miles Merwin, one of the first 
settlers of Milford, in 1639. Mr. Merwin married Susan H., daughter 
of James A. Giddings, of New Milford, January 7th, 1857. She is a 
relative of Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, of Ohio. She was born July 4th, 
1833. They have four children: Mary Belle, born 1857; Charles A., 
born 1862; James Dwight, born 1865; and Rosalie G., born 1873. Mr. 
Merwin was educated at Milford and Wilton, Conn. He has been en- 
gaged largely as dealer in cattle. He was major of the 3d Battalion 
of Light Artillery for six years. He resides at Pond Point, near where 
the British landed in the war of revolution. The house is on the site 
of one sacked by the British. 

Edward G. Miles was born in Milford, February 2d, 1S46. in the 
house where he now resides. He is a son of David and Martha (Baldwin) 
Miles, and grandson of David, all natives of Milford. David Miles 
held the office of selectman of Milford a number of years. The Miles 
family is among the old families of Milford. Edward G. was educated 


in Milford, and has always been a farmer. He has been assessor and 
member of the board of relief, and was elected town treasurer in 1888, 
'89. '90 and '91. He married Mary, daughter of William Brooks, in 
1870. They have one son, David Dewitt Brooks Miles. Mr. Miles is 
a member of the order of Odd Fellows, and has been secretary of the 
same 14 years, succeeding his father, who had been secretary 25 years. 
He is a member of the Grange, and clerk of the First Ecclesiastical 

Charles J. Morris, born in Woodbridge, Conn., in 1835, is a son of 
Nathan R., and grandson of Asa Morris. He learned blacksmithing 
in Bethany, with Sidney Sperry, commencing when 17 years old. He 
followed this trade in Bethany and Orange until 1861, when he en- 
listed in the 27th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, for nine months. 
He was in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. He was 
taken prisoner at the latter battle and sent to Richmond, but was soon 
paroled and sent North. He was discharged after serving one year. 
He came to Milford in 1863, and was eno-aged at blacksmithing with 
A. H. Ailing nine years, then with N. R. Ford three years, then formed 
a partnership with the latter lasting three years. He came to the shop 
he now occupies on River street in 1879, and established business 
alone. He married Emma L. Buckingham, of Milford, in 1874. They 
have three children: George A., Bessie L. and Clifford B. 

Joseph W. Nettleton, born in Milford in 1824, is a son of William 
and Nancy (Rogers) Nettleton, and grandson of Benajah Nettleton. 
Joseph W. is the only one of the family now living. He married in 
1847 Elizabeth A., daughter of Stephen B. Ford, of Milford. Joseph 
W. had one sister, Julia A., who married T. S. Ford, and died in New 
Haven, March 20th, 1848; and one brother, Garry Nettleton, who died 
at Janesville, Wisconsin, April 12th, 1869, aged 41. He was an archi- 
tect and builder. Mr. Nettleton has always been a farmer. He takes 
an active interest in political matters and is a republican. 

John G. North was born in Berlin, Conn., in 1823, graduated from 
Berlin Academy at the age of 14, was clerk in post office, drug store, 
dry goods and grocery stores and railroad station until he was 20 years 
of age, then he commenced the insurance business in 1843, and is in 
continuance of the business the oldest life insurance agent living in the 
United States, and is the only agent now living that commenced with 
the Connecticut Mutual Life at its organization, in 1846. He has been 
fire insurance agent for 48 years. He represents the Aetna, Phoenix, 
Hartford, National Insurance Company of North America, Fire Asso- 
ciation, Liverpool, London & Globe, Royal and other insurance com- 
panies, that have aggregate assets of over $100,000,000. Mr. North 
married Elizabeth Dickinson in 1843, and has two sons and three 
daughters. Both sons are engaged in the insurance business, John C. 
with his father in New Haven, and Edward C. in Boston. His three 
daughters all married Yale graduates; Mary married Reverend Eras- 


tus Blakesley, of Spencer, Mass.; Sarah married Doctor S. P. Warren, 
of Portland, Maine; and Nellie married S. T. Dutton, superintendent 
of public schools of Brookline, Mass. Mr. North moved to Milford in 
1887, and has an office both here and in New Haven. He was an offi- 
cer in the Sunday School Union of New Haven over a quarter of a 
century, and more than fifty years a teacher or superintendent of .Sun- 
day schools. He was for many years manager of the lectures of John 
B. Gough and Henry Ward Beecher and others. He is the noted judge 
who, by the large fines he has imposed upon violators of the liquor law 
and houses of ill-fame in 63 cases, has closed up several saloons and 
broken up every known house of ill-fame in the town. 

Samuel N. Oviatt, born in Milford September 17th, 1840, is a son 
of Samuel, grandson of Abel and great-grandson of Samuel Oviatt. 
Abel built the first store at the junction of Tomlinson, Main and 
West streets, in Milford, in 1820. He was succeeded by his two sons, 
Samuel and Curtis, in 1821. They added tanning and the lumber 
business to their grocery trade about 1824. In 1825 they took in two 
new partners— Charles Baldwin and Nathan Botsford. Samuel Oviatt 
succeeded this firm in 1826, and continued until 1850, when he was 
succeeded by Tuttle & Nettleton. He bought them out in 1855, and 
continued until 1863. The store was afterward used for a dwelling 
house until 1871, when Samuel N. Oviatt commenced the general store 
business there and has continued since. He married Mary Furman, 
of Mdford, in 1872. They have one son and one daughter: Rennie P. 
and Abby. 

Henry C. Piatt, born in Milford in 1832, is a son of Jonah Piatt 
and a descendant of Deacon Richard Piatt, who settled in Milford in 
1639. Henry C. is the sixth generation from Deacon Richard. He 
was educated at Yale College, studied law in New York city, was ad- 
mitted to the bar in New York in June, 1861, practiced law thereuntil 
1869, then came to New Haven, and has practiced there since. He 
has continued his residence in Milford all his life. He has never 
sought office, but was justice of the peace several years. 

N. Dwight Piatt, born in Milford in 1848, is a son of Nathan and 
Sarah S. Piatt, grandson of Nathan and great-grandson of Joseph. 
Nathan and Sarah had three sons : George F., Norman S. and N. 
Dwight. The first and last are residents of Milford, while Norman S. 
resides in Cheshire. George F. and N. Dwight are farmers and fruit 
and seed growers. N. Dwight Piatt married M. Lizzie Manville, of 
Milford, in 1869. They have one son, Frank N. In politics the Platts 
are republicans. 

Theodore Piatt, born in Milford November 20th, 1837, is a son of 
Clark and grandson of Jonah Piatt, and a descendant of Richard Piatt, 
one of the first settlers of Milford in 1639. Theodore Piatt was a 
member of the firm of Piatt & Merwin, which succeeded John W. Mer- 
win in 1874 in the grocery business. This firm continued until Jan- 


uary 1st, 1889, when it was succeeded by Theodore Piatt & Co., con- 
sisting of Theodore and his brother, Nathan C. Piatt. They are also 
engaged in raising seed. This business was established in 1858. 
Their farm is located at Pond Point, in this town. Mr. Piatt is a 
member of the Odd Fellows' Lodge, Encampment and Grand Canton. 

Doctor Willis S. Putney, born in New York city May 26th, 1859, at 
the parsonage of the Second Street M. E. church, is a son of the late 
Reverend Rufus C. Putne}^, a Methodist clergyman. Willis S. was 
educated at the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute, studied 
medicine under Doctor William H. Hanford, of Brooklyn, graduated 
from the New York Homeopathic Medical College in 1882, and com- 
menced the practice of medicine in Bethel, Conn., in 1882. After a 
practice there of two years, he removed to Milford in 1884, and has 
since practiced there. His office and residence is at the west end of 
Broad street. He is a member of the Connecticut Homeopathic Medi- 
cal society, a member of the I. O. O. F. of Milford, examining physi- 
cian of Volunteer Council, No. 819, Royal Arcanum of Milford, mem- 
ber of the board of education and of the board of health of Milford. 
He married Helen S., daughter of Doctor John Young, of Brooklyn, 
N. Y., in 1883. They have one son, Edward W. 

Isaac T. Rogers, born in Milford in 1813, was a son of Josiah 
Rogers, who was a sea captain, and died about the time Isaac T. was 
born. The latter was educated in New Haven, where his mother 
moved when he was nine years old. He first engaged in the manu- 
facture of carriages in Milford, and afterward moved to New York 
and engaged in importing and exporting goods between New York 
city and London, with his twin brother, Henry S. Rogers. He retired 
from this business in 1S60, and for the last 32 years of his life made 
Milford his home, devoting his time to public affairs. He was acting 
school visitor for a quarter of a century. He took an active part in 
securing the charter of the Milford Savings Bank, and was president 
of the bank until September, 1890, when he resigned. He married, 
in 1842, Martha Ann Ingersoll, and they had three children: George 
Ingersoll, in the State Insurance Department, Hartford; Helen Louisa, 
married Charles Tuttle, of New York ; and Martha Amelia, married 
Doctor Frank Hamilton Whittemore, of New Haven. Mr. Rogers 
died May 19th, 1891. 

John E. Rogers, born in Milford in 1834, is a son of Joseph and 
Anna (Nettleton) Rogers, and grandson of Joseph Rogers. They were 
descendants of John Rogers, one of the settlers of Milford in 1639. 
Joseph and Anna (Nettleton) Rogers had six children, five of whom 
are still living: John E., George E., Theodore H., Elizabeth A. and 
Mary A. Charles J. died in 1872. John E. has been twice married. 
His first wife was Charlotte Plumb, of Milford. They were married in 
1861 and had no children. For his second wife he married, in 1888, 
Ella L. Wilcox, of Cromwell, Conn. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rogers are 


members of the First Congregational church, of Milford. He is a 
farmer. On his farm the Bridgeport M. E. Conference held their an- 
nual camp meetings from 1858 until 1874. His brother, George E., 
was twice married. His first wife was Alice Crosby and his second 
wife was Harriet M. Pope. By his second wife he had two sons. He 
served nine months in the war of the rebellion. He is a member of 
the F. & A. M. and of the G. A. R. 

David E. Smith, born in Milford in 1848, is a son of Richard E., 
grandson of David, and great-grandson of David Smith. Richard E. 
married Mehitable, daughter of Enoch Clark, whose father, David, 
was a son of Isaac Clark. David E. Smith learned the trade of car- 
penter and builder when 18 years old, and became a contractor and 
builder as early as 1870. He built St. Mary's church, of Milford, in 
1S82, and St. Lawrence's church, of West Haven, in 1886, and has 
erected some of the finest residences of Milford and other places. He 
established a lumber yard in Milford in 1876, and July 1st, 1890, one 
in Bridgeport, Conn., known as the Burns & Smith Lumber Company. 
He employs in his building business 25 men. He married, May 31st, 
1871, Emma F. Studley, of Bridgeport. They have six daughters and 
one son. 

Edwin P. Smith, born in Middletown, Conn., in 1813, was a son of 
Edwin and Harriet (Porter) Smith, and grandson of Nathaniel, whose 
father, Lamberton ,was a son of Lamberton, and he a son of Captain Sam- 
uel Smith, whose father, Lieutenant Samuel, was a son of George Smith, 
one of the first settlers of New Haven, who came with Davenport and 
Eaton. Lieutenant Samuel married Obedience, daughter of Captain 
George Lamberton, who came from England in 1638 and settled in 
New Haven. Captain Lamberton came in 1635 to Boston, afterward 
returned to England, and came with the Davenport and Eaton com- 
pany in 1638. Edwin P. was engaged in business in New York, from 
1836 until 1S72, as a distiller and sugar refiner, with William M. John- 
son & Sons. He built the first sugar house in which white sugars 
were made by the centrifugal process. He removed to Milford with 
his family in 1884, and died January 5th, 1890. He married Mary, 
daughter of Peter Hepburn, of Brooklyn, N. Y. They had three 
daughters and two sons. The father of Mrs. Smith, Peter Hepburn, 
was born in Milford in 1795, and was the son of Nathaniel and Abigail 
(Merwin) Hepburn. She is a direct descendant of the first Miles Mer- 
win of Milford. 

Isaac C. Smith, born in Milford, October 21st, 1832, is a son of 
Nathan, and grandson of Isaac, both natives of Milford. He was edu- 
cated in Milford, learned the trade of shoemaker, and followed it about 
five years. He then worked in the straw shop of Milford six years, 
then engaged in the butcher business and followed it 23 years. Retir- 
ing from this in 1873, he followed the livery business ten years. He 
has also practiced veterinary surgery for the past 30 years, having 


studied one year in New York, and under Doctor W. J. Sullivan, of 
New Haven. He now makes a specialty of breeding fine Jersey stock 
on his farm in Milford. He was elected first selectman and town 
agent in 1885, 1887, 1888, 1889 and 1890. He married Laura A., daugh- 
ter of William Piatt, of Milford, in 1854. They have one son, George 
W., born in I860, now engaged in the butchering business in Milford. 
Isaac C. Smith was an active member of the Governor's Horse Guards 
of New Haven for 15 years, and is still an honorary member. He has 
held all the offices in this company, from private to major. 

Nathan E. Smith, born in Milford in 1833, is a son of Nathaniel and 
Susan (Merwin) Smith, and grandson of Theophilus M. and Abigail 
G. (Nettleton) Smith. Theophilus was a son of Nathaniel and Cath- 
erine (Miles) Smith, and grandson of Joseph and Martha (Bryan) Smith. 
Joseph was a son of Benjamin and Sarah (Haughter) Smith, and grand- 
son of William Smith, who came from England and settled on Long 
Island, and afterward came to Milford. Nathan E. Smith married 
Sarah A. Buckingham, of Milford, March 10th, 1857. Her father was 
Jonah C, son of Daniel, grandson of Daniel, a descendant of Thomas 
Buckingham, one of the pioneer settlers of Milford in 1639. Mr. and 
Mrs. Smith have three children: Charles E., born February 22d, 1858; 
Carrie I., August 22d, 1859, and Frederick A., February 12th, 1874. 
Mr. Smith has taken an active part in the school affairs of Milford, 
and has been a member of the board of education 18 years. 

Charles A. Tomlinson, one of the most active of the young citi- 
zens of Milford and at present the sheriff of New Haven county, is a 
descendant, in direct line in the eighth generation, of Henry Tomlin- 
son, one of the first to bear that name in America. That ancestor 
was a son of George Tomlinson, of Derby, in Derbyshire, England, 
who, "according to tradition, was a native of Yorkshire, where the 
family name runs back in history several hundred years." The 
father removed to Derby, where the son was reared to his trade — that 
of a weaver, which, according to the prevailing custom in England in 
the sixteenth century, gave them the same social position as the mer- 
chants or the " Landed Gentry," or the class next below the nobility 
of that country. The family arms brought to America by Henry 
Tomlinson indicates by its ornamentation that in earlier periods the 
Tomlinsons descended from some line of kings. In England, as well 
as in America, the family has had representatives eminent in political, 
professional and military life, and all the members have, by their 
worth, to a large degree, commanded the esteem of the communities 
in which they have resided. A number, in different generations, be- 
came noted in the pursuits of the law, medicine and theology, several 
attaining high official positions. Gideon Tomlinson, in the sixth gen- 
eration from Henry, the founder of the family in America, graduated 
from Yale College in 1802. In 1819 he was elected member of con- 


gress from Connecticut, and served eight years in that body. He was 
elected governor of the state in 1827, and held that office until he was 
chosen United States senator in 1831. In 1836 he was elected the first 
president of the Housatonic Railroad Company. Besides Governor 
Tomlinson there were fifteen other Tomlinson graduates of Yale Col- 
lege from 1744 to 188,1. Some of the Tomlinsons became distin- 
guished educators, and others attained distinction as successfitl man- 
ufacturers or business men. Reverend David Gibson Tomlinson, of 
the seventh generation, an uncle of Sheriff Charles A., was a most 
worthy and useful Episcopal minister, who died as the rector of Em- 
manuel church, in Weston, Conn., November 3d, 1864. With few ex- 
ceptions, the Tomlinsons of every generation have been earnest 
churchmen, and while, in consequence of this training, some adhered 
to the British crown in the troublous times of the revolution, most of 
them were staunch patriots, and a number were soldiers in the Amer- 
ican armies. As showing their devotion to the duties they had 
assumed, the following anecdote is told: 

"Caleb Tomlinson, of Huntington, being a soldier in the revolu- 
tion, was sent by General Wooster with a dispatch to General Wash- 
ington. Being from the same neighborhood as Gen. Wooster, young 
Tomlinson was selected by the general because he knew him to be a 
plucky Yankee, although a little uncultivated in his manners, but one 
to be trusted for the discharge of duty. 

"Arriving at headquarters, he asked to see Gen. Washington, but 
was told by the guard, ' You cannot see him.' ' But I must; I have a 
dispatch for him from Gen. Wooster.' The guard reported to Wash- 
ington, and he was admitted to the presence of the general, who was 
seated at a rude table, writing, when Tomlinson handed the dispatch, 
and Washington, on reading it, nodded assent, and asked, 'Anything 
more?' ' Nothing.' said Tomlinson, ' but an answer from you.' 'Do 
you presume to tell me what I must do?' inquired the general. ' No, 
General, but I'll be darned if I leave these quarters without something 
to show that I have discharged my duty as a soldier.' Rising from 
his seat, Washington remarked, 'You are from Connecticut, I per- 
ceive.' ' I am, sir,' was the reply. Tapping him on the shoulder, the 
General said, ' Young man, I wish to the God of battles I had more 
such soldiers as you. You shall be granted your request.' " 

Henry Tomlinson and his wife, Alice, and several children, after 
having come to America from Derbyshire, England, settled in Milford 
in 1652, where the town granted him a home lot " by the water side," 
on which to build his weaver shop. Later, he was elected as the 
" keeper of the ordinary," and was thus brought into prominence in 
the town's affairs. In the course of four years he removed to Strat- 
ford, where he became a large owner of lands, purchased of the In- 
dians, in Derby and other localities. He died at Stratford, March Kit In, 


1681, leaving a large estate to his wife, five married daughters and his 
two sons, Agur and Jonas, the latter being the paternal ancestor of 
the subject of this sketch. He settled on Great Hill, in Derby, about 
1675, on the tract of land given him by his father, where he died the 
latter part of 1692. Of his four children, all sons, Abraham, the eldest, 
also resided, as a farmer, on Great Hill, and was prominent in the 
affairs of old Derby. His will, made in 1739, devised a large estate 
to his wife and six children, the eldest of these being Jonah, the an- 
cestor of Sheriff Tomlinson. He was born in Derby in 1712, and died 
in that town in 1796, when his estate inventoried nearly .£2,500. His 
wife was Mar}?, daughter of Reverend Joseph Moss, of Derby, and their 
children were nine in number, the eldest being Abraham, the pater- 
nal great-grandfather of Charles A. 

Abraham Tomlinson, born in 1738, became a physician and surgeon, 
and after some years removed to Milford, where he died December 
29th, J 816. Besides being active as a medical practitioner, he was also 
a merchant, and engaged largely in the shipping trade with the West 
Indies. His third son, David, born in 1767, married Anna, daughter 
of David Camp, of Milford, and of their eleven children the tenth, 
Nathan Camp, was the father of Charles A. Tomlinson. The grand- 
father, David, died in 1825. 

Nathan Camp Tomlinson, born in Milford in 1813, married in 1835, 
Susan Catharine, daughter of Hezekiah Baldwin, of Milford, a descend- 
ant of one of the first settlers of the town. He was a farmer and very 
prominent in all the matters pertaining to the welfare of his native 
place. The father deceased November 21st, 1885; the mother had de- 
parted this life at the homestead on Broad street, May 5th, 1884, leav- 
ing a family of five daughters and one son, Charles Abraham. 

Charles A. Tomlinson was born in Milford, July 19th, 1848, and 
was educated in the schools of his native town. He next worked as a 
mechanic in some of the factories of Milford, but in 1874 he was en- 
gaged in the coal trade, which he has since successfully followed. Oc- 
tober 27th, 1868, he married Lucia E., daughter of Fowler Sperry, of 
Milford, and they have four living children: Edward Sperry, born Sep- 
tember 20th, 1870; Kate Louise, Ada May and Bertha Hart. Since his 
boyhood Mr. Tomlinson has taken an active interest in the affairs of 
Milford, and has served it in many official capacities. For fifteen years 
he was a member of the board of education, serving that body as its 
secretary. For a longer period he was one of the vestrymen of St. 
Peter's Episcopal church, and the treasurer of Ansantawae Masonic 
Lodge at Milford. In 1876 he was elected one of the representatives 
of Milford in the state legislature, and was reelected in 1877. He was 
again chosen in 1882 and 1886. In November, 1890, he was elected 
sheriff of New Haven county, and since June, 1891, he has discharged 
the duties of that office. The principles of democracy have always 


been advocated by him, and in 1888 he was one of the delegates from 
Connecticut to the convention at St. Louis, which renominated Grover 
Cleveland. In all his feelings he is energetic and progressive, encour- 
aging whatever measure will promote the welfare of his native town. 
He is the president of the Milford Board of Trade, and the secretary 
of the Steam Power Company. When the soldiers' monument was 
erected, in 1888, he was at the head of one of the chief committees, and 
was also the chairman of the Memorial Committee, which so successfully 
commemorated, in 1889, the 250th anniversary of the settlement of 
Milford, which has so highly honored his citizenship. 



Bv Reverend S. P. Marvin. 

Location and Natural Features. — Geology and Mineralogy. — Flora. — Industries. — The 
Regicide Judges. — Amity Society. — Union Society. — Chapel. — Ministers. — Burial 
Grounds. — Prominent Citizens. — List of Early Inhabitants. — First Town Meeting. — 
Town Officers. — Town House. — Roads. — Physicians. — Biographical Sketches. 

THE town of Woodbridge lies northwest of New Haven, having 
New Haven and Orange for its southern boundary, Derby, An- 
sonia and Seymour on the west, Bethany on the north, and the 
West Rock range of hills on the east. It was incorporated in 1784. 
The scenery of Woodbridge is picturesque and attractive. From 
numerous points may be seen the city of New Haven, the mouth of 
its harbor and Long Island sound, with its white sails or its palatial 
steamers, as they pass to their destined ports. From some of its eleva- 
tions may be seen more than fifty miles of Long Island sound, and of 
the north shore of Long Island. Round Top and its companion, Tom- 
linson hill, are each of them over 600 feet high, and from their tops 
may be seen with a glass, in addition to the extensive view of the sound 
and Long Island, some 15 of the towns which surround them. The 
late President Woolsey, of Yale College, when taking the view from 
these hills, remarked: " We have no view in the vicinity of New Haven 
to equal this." 

The Ravine has long been attractive for its romantic and delight- 
ful driveway, with its high and shaded bluffs on the one side, and its 
clear, silvery brook on the other, rushing over the pebble stones at one 
time, and at another forming a cascade, at the foot of which a pool in 
sleeping beauty mirrors the bold and rugged rocks and trees of the 
over-hanging banks, and the fleecy clouds floating in the sky above it. 

The streams abound with the speckled trout, the glens with the 
partridge, quail and woodcock, while the forests are made musical with 
the chatter of the red and grey squirrel. 

Woodbridge is celebrated for its healthy atmosphere. Beingseven 
miles from Long Island sound, and having an altitude of from four to 
six hundred feet above the sea level, it combines the sea and mountain 
air, making a most delightful and healthful atmosphere. Those who 
have resided in other localities say that the atmosphere of Woodbridge 


is as good as at Litchfield in this state, or any place within a hundred 
miles of New Haven. It is a suggestion of some of the old physicians 
of New Haven when anything is the matter with the babies, " Take 
them up to Woodbridge. The Woodbridge air is better than any 
medicine I can give them." Woodbridge is also celebrated for the ex- 
cellence of its water, which is noted for its purity and coolness. The 
necessity of ice is hardly felt, so cool and refreshing is the water from 
its numerous springs. 

The soil is a rich loam, which holds the fertilizing properties which 
are put upon it, and their influence may be seen for years. The sur- 
face is somewhat uneven and stony, but when once cleared of stones 
it amply repays in productiveness for all the labor of removing them. 

In some parts of the town are immense boulders, the relics of the 
glacial period, while the eastern valley and the Sperry's farm plains 
give evidence that they were once covered with water, which was an 
arm or bay of the sound. 

The gneiss and granite are the prevailing kinds of stone. Slate is 
found, but not in quantity or quality to repay its being prepared for 
the market. In the northwest part of the town indications of silver 
have been sufficient to attract the " prospector," and boreings have 
been made, but not with satisfactory results. Along the hills on the 
east side is found the argillo magnesian limestone, out of which 
cement similar to the Rosendale is made. Quite extensive works 
were started for its production, but for some reason the venture did 
not prove a success. 

The fruits and flowers common to this part of New England flour- 
ish here. Apples, pears and quinces are quite productive. The peach 
is somewhat unreliable, though in some years produces a valuable 
crop. The wild flowers are abundant in variety, decking the hillsides 
and rendering beautiful the ravines. The cardinal flower grow\s bril- 
liant by the brooksides. The pitcher plant, quite rare in most 
places, grows in the meadows. The pipsissewa and the trailing ar- 
butus are found in the woods. 

Agriculture in its various forms maybe said to be the principal in- 
dustry of the place. Market gardening is carried on to some extent, 
and milk is extensively produced for the New Haven market and the 
villages of Ansonia, Birmingham and Seymour. Woodbridge was 
once famous for its excellent beef, but the great corporations of Chi- 
cago and Kansas City have so extended the dressed beef industry that 
the raising of beef by the farmers is not so profitable as formerly. 
The cattle trade was once extensive and lucrative, but at present D. 
N. Clark is the only cattle broker doing business between Albany 
and New Haven and the surrounding villages. 

Quite a number of mechanics and other business men are engaged 
in the city, and ride back and forth night and morning. 

The friction match had its orio;in in this town. Messrs. Anson 


Beecher, William A. Clark and Thomas Sanford were pioneers in the 
business. Mr. Beecher moved his business to Westville, where, under 
the direction of Mr. Eben and Wheeler Beecher and their brothers, it 
assumed large proportions, and became a source of great wealth. 
William A.Clark continued to carry on the business in the north part 
of the town, gaining a high reputation for his matches and a compe- 
tence of wealth. After his death, under the management of his son- 
in-law, Frederick P. Newton, it was absorbed in the Diamond Match 
Company and removed to Westville. 

The timber trade was at one time quite extensively carried on by 
James J. Baldwin and others between this place and New York, but 
with his advanced years the business has declined. 

Though the Judges' cave on West Rock is just without the limits 
of the town, still there are several locations which have a historic in- 
terest as places to which the regicides fled, or where they secreted 
themselves, and were aided by the early settlers of Woodbridge. There 
are several places which bear names evidently derived from their 
having been the residence of the exiles, such as the " Lodge," the 
" Harbor," the " Spring," "Hatchet's Harbor," and others. Of these 
places the Lodge was probably the one most frequented by them. 
This was in the northwest part of the town. Reverend I. P. Warren, 
in his history of the three judges, thus speaks of it: " Here by the 
side of a ledge of rocks, some 20 feet high, was built a cabin of stone, 
9 by 10 feet in dimension and covered over by trunks and leaves of 
trees. From the top of the ledge is a fine view of the city and Long 
Island sound, with the intervening villages and scattered farms and 
dwellings. A little spring of clear water issues from the crevices of a 
rock a few rods distant." " This," says President Stiles, at one time 
president of Yale College, " was undoubtedly their great and principal 
lodge." The " Harbor " was about three quarters of a mile above 
Halsted Bishop's, on the stream across which the New Haven Water 
Company have built their large dam. Another hiding place was with 
Mr. Richard Sperry, the ancestor of the Sperrys, once so numerous on 
the flat known as " Sperry 's Farm." It is evident that to Woodbridge 
and its inhabitants, as much as to any other place or people, the regi- 
cides owed their escape from the emissaries of Charles the Second, 
who had come over from England to apprehend them. 

The Ecclesiastical Society of Amity (including Bethany till 1763) 
was formed in 1737.* After petitioning the general court for 20 years, 
•consent was granted, and it was formed from the northwest part of 
the town of New Haven, with the addition of one mile and six score 
rods in width from the northeast part of Milford, and in length, from 
an east and west line about four miles south from the Waterbury line. 
Before this, those living on the New Haven side had gone to the First 
church of New Haven, and those on the Milford side to the First 

* Incorporated in 1739. 


church of Milford, some of them having to go ten or twelve miles to 
church on the Sabbath and to procure the administration of covenant 
ordinances for their children. 

The first record which we have of the society reads thus: "At a 
meeting of the inhabetence of the parish of Amety, in the town of 
new haven legally warned, met on the twenty-seventh day of October, 
1738. And at said meeting, by vote, in the first place made choice of 
Cap. iack Johnson for their moderator. Secondly, thay by vote 
made choice of Ebenezer peck as their society dark and sworn accord- 
ing to law, thirdly and sum more then tue thirds of said inhabetence 
convened voted to build a hous to meet in for the worship of God and 
none dessented thereafrom said intention." 

They then appointed a society committee and laid a tax of three 
pence on the pound, to be paid in one month, for the support of the 
Gospel, and voted " There should be two places for meeting, viz., that 
the dwelling hous of Mr. Joseph Willmot and the dwelling hous of 
Mr. Joseph Perkins shall be the places for the meeting for divine sar- 
veces." The location of the meeting house was to be determined by 
the following vote: " It was then voted that the county survear with 
tue chain bearers under oth shal be cald out between this and the firs 
day of Jenewary to measure and compute the distance of way from 
each of the inhabetance to sum sartain place to build a meeting hous 
for the worship of God." The size of the house was to be " fifty and 
five foot in length aud forty foot in width." 

The internal arrangement of this house was with square pews all 
around the four sides, except that part of one side occupied by the 
pulpit. There was an aisle leading from the front dcor to the pulpit 
through the center, and two rows of pews each side of this broad aisle. 
The pulpit was elevated some ten feet above the audience, with a can- 
opy or sounding board suspended over it. The deacons' seat was un- 
der the pulpit, facing the audience. 

At a subsequent meeting, May 13th, 1740, they voted to ask the 
advice of the association "for a minister to preach to us in order for a 
settlement. Left. Ebenezer Becher and insin Barnabas Baldwin be a 
comtee to make our requests to the association for a minister." The 
advice of the association was probably favorable, as on the 30th of 
June following they voted they would have preaching on the second 
Sabbath day in August. Probably this meeting on the second Sabbath 
of August, 1740, was the first meeting held in the new meeting house. 
At first they were not successful with their candidates. Reverends 
Gideon Mills, Mr. Whittlesey and Nathan Birdsey were each employed 
as candidates, but for some reason did not settle with them. The next 
candidate was more fortunate. Mr. Benjamin Woodbridge. having 
preached as a probationer, won the affections and confidence of the 
good people of Amity, and received a call May 13th, 1742. His settle- 
ment was to be ^fiOO, with the condition that if he " turned to any 


other practice or opinion than that on which this church is or shall be 
settled," and he cease to be the pastor of the church, the settlement 
was to revert to the parish again. In addition to the settlement he 
was to have as a permanent salary ,£200 a year. After some explana- 
tions by the parish, Mr. Woodbridge accepted the call and was in- 
installed on the 3d of November, 1742. Captain Isaac Johnson and 
Theophilus Baldwin were elected deacons, and the church adopted the 
" Halfway Covenant." 

No one was allowed in those times to hold a religious meeting or 
to give an exhortation in any meeting without consent of the proper 
authorities. Accordingly, on the 24th of November, the following 
vote was passed: " There was chosen by the church in Amity, as their 
representatives for sd church, with the Pastor, to order for the 
opening and shutting of the pulpit doors, "and for giving leave or pro- 
hibiting any persons preaching or exhorting publicly, according to the 
laws of the government on that occasion, Dea Isaac Johnson, Francis 
Griffin and Dea Theophilus Baldwin." 

Very soon after the church was finished rules were adopted for 
seating it and dignifying the seats. The males and females sat on 
opposite sides of the house. In all cases the men sat on the right of 
the minister and the women on the left; the dignity of a person was 
reckoned from the amount of his tax rate for the building of the meeting 
house. " Each person should sit according to their building part." 
As this dignifying the meeting house was peculiar to the fathers, the 
following rules or votes respecting it are given: " Voted, that the two 
foremost seats should be the highest seats. 2. That the two pews on 
the right and left hand of the fore doors should be the next highest 
seats. 3. That the two pews on the right and left hand of the pulpit 
should be the next highest seats. 4. That the two next seats to the 
fore seats the next highest seats. 5. That the the third seats in the 
equare body should be equal to the four seats in the front gallery." 
And so they proceeded through the house. The corner pews under 
the gallery stairs were the lowest in dignity. " All persons, males at 
21 and girls at 18, were to be seated." In 1753 the church was reseated 
and dignified, and this proviso added to previous rules: " That but one 
head should be reconed to a man in order to advance him in seating." 

In the early years of the parish clocks were not in use in the 
churches, and the length of the service was determined by an hour- 
glass. When the service commenced the hour-glass was placed upon 
one end. When the sand had run through it was turned on the other, 
and when it had run through a second time the meeting closed. 

To provide for the comfort of the worshippers, as stoves were not 
in existence, they built " Sabba-day houses" upon the green. These 
were one story high and about 15 feet square, with a fireplace. A row 
of these houses extended across the north and east sides of the green. 
Usually two families united and spent the noon in each of them. 


Tradition has it that often the cider bottle was brought and passed 
around, but a better one is that noon prayer-meetings were frequently 
held in them. These "Sabba-day houses " became a source of conten- 
tion, as some of their owners would rent them to tramps to the annoy- 
ance of the neighbors. Accordingly, one Saturday night a company 
of men repaired to the green and tore down all the Sabba-day 
houses on the east side of the green but one. It being too near morn- 
ing to pull that down without being detected, they wrote on the door 
with chalk, "Be ye a/so ready." Molly Woodbridge, when she heard of 
it, said, "Thai was a very solemn admonition." 

In 1761 they voted " to shingle the roof and color the sides and 
ends of the house and that a number of gentlemen might build a bell 
chamber on the top of the meeting house at their own cost." In the 
following year (1762) the north part of the parish was set off, and con- 
stituted the parish of Bethany. The territorial center of the parish of 
Amity remained at the same place where the " survear and tue 
chain bearers" had located the center of the " inhabetance" 20 years 
before. It was about 1802 that the canopy was lowered and a window 
put in back of the pulpit. The house was again painted, and a tax 
levied in dollars and cents, the first mention made of money of this 
denomination on the society's records. In 1831 a committee was ap- 
pointed to build a new church and to dispose of the old one. The 
new meeting house was located but a few rods from the old one, and 
was a great improvement in internal arrangement, as well as archi- 
tecture, on its predecessor. 

The parish has ever kept up with the progress of the age in taste 
and refinement. In 1862-3 they remodelled the interior and beautifully 
frescoed it, and built a pulpit recess on the back of the house, making 
it a most attractive audience room, which has been taken as a model 
by several other parishes. 

In 186;") a neat fence was built enclosing the church green, and in 
the following spring the grounds were laid out with walks, and trees 
were set out, making a beautiful park. A few years later a lecture 
room and church parlor was built and connected with the church, 
$500 of the expense of which was defrayed by Mrs. Zina Carring- 
ton. In 1891 Mrs. Mary Clark Treat gave the church a beautiful 
pipe organ, as a memorial of her father's family, Mr. Treat Clark. 

During the pastorate of Reverend Jason Allen, those who were op- 
posed to him, uniting with those belonging to other denominations, 
formed a new society, calling it the " Union Society." They built a 
meeting house, which stood opposite the west part of the church green. 
They seem to have been aggressive and bitter in their opposition to 
the old society of Amity, and attempted to obtain a part or the whole 
of the fund, but were unsuccessful in their purpose. The meetings in 
the united meeting house were held by different denominations. 


After struggling for existence a few years the organization was 
given up and the meeting house sold, to be removed to Ansoma, where 
it was reconstructed into a tenement house. Most of the families who 
were interested in that organization have either left the place or are 
identified with the First church. 

In the north part of the parish within a few years a chapel has been 
built, which is supplied by ministers from different denominations, 
and where a Sabbath school is maintained. 

The first pastor of the Amity church was Reverend Benjamin 
Woodbridge, who held the office 48 years, and until his death. He had 
a settlement of .£500, and an annual salary after the fourth year of 
his settlement of £200. A minister in those days was settled for life, 
and a certain amount was given for his settlement, which was inde- 
pendent of his salary. His long pastorate seems to have been success- 
ful and harmonious. He was suspected of being a tory in revolution- 
ary times, and the church appointed a committee to wait on him re- 
specting his political views and loyalty to the cause of the colonies. His 
reply was that when the United Colonies had gained their independ- 
ence he would take the " oath of fidelity." The success of the colon- 
ies led him, however, to take the oath as a loyal citizen. At the form- 
ation of the town it was named after him, for which honor he gave 
them a copy of " Whitley's Annotations on the Epistles," which is still 
preserved in the library at the parsonage in Woodbridge; also a copy 
of " Annotations by several eminent Dutch Divines," which was given 
to the Congregational society of Bethany. He died December 4th, 
1785. His remains were deposited in the cemetery near the center 
of the town. His wife sleeps beside him, and his daughter, Mary, 
lies near them. The society erected a monument over his grave, 
with the following inscription: "The Rev. Benj. Woodbridge, 1st min- 
ister of the town of Woodbridge, died on the 24th of Dec, 1785, in the 
75th year of his age, and 44th of his Ministry. This Gentn was of a 
fine constitution. Little elated or depressed with various fortunes, of 
excellent mental powers, he had a public education, was a good scholar, 
an able divine, a wise counsellor, he was plain and unaffected in his 
manners and dress. His conversation was free and instructive and 
unreserved, as the words of his mouth were the sentiments of his 
heart (his friendship was void of dissimulation, his learning of ped- 
antry, his charity of ostentation, and his religion of superstition and 
bigotry, his life was a portrait of Christian virtues). With serenity 
and filial obedience he submitted to his summons and welcomed death 
as the messenger to introduce him to a better world." 

Immediately under this inscription is the following of his wife: 
" Mrs. Mary Woodbridge, the Virtuous and Agreeable Consort of Rev. 
Benj. Woodbridge, deceased, who died on the 19th day of Dec, 1786, 
in the 72d year of her age. Her friends and acquaintances who have 


experienced her charity and known her worth will long remember her 
with pleasure." 

The second pastor of the church was Reverend Eliphalet Ball, who 
was settled as colleague with Mr. Wooclbridge some two years before 
his death. Mr. Ball's pastorate lasted only about five years. His rea- 
sons for resigning were his advanced age, some disaffection in the 
parish, the desire of his children to have him with them, and " Tke 
thought of eating tin- bread of tkose who are unwilling to give it is iery 
disagreeable and mortifying." He soon removed to Ballston, N. Y., 
which it is said was named after him. 

The Reverend David Lewis Beebe, having supplied the church for 
some time previous, received a call to settle on a salary of ;£100 per 
annum. He was installed February 22d, 1791. Mr. Beebe was the son 
of Reverend James Beebe, pastor of the Congregational church at 
Trumbull, and who served in the French and Canadian war as chap- 
lain. David was born in Trumbull, and graduated at Yale College in 
1785. His pastorate with the Woodbridge church continued for nine 
years, when his health failed and he was obliged to resign. The evi- 
dences of his faithful and zealous efforts for the good of his people 
were manifest on every hand. The council dissolving the pastoral re- 
lation commended him for his "orthodox zeal and fidelity in the work 
of the evangelical ministry." 

After the failure of his health he went into the mercantile business, 
and had a store at Northford and then at Wallingford. At the time 
of his death he was in business at Catskill, N. Y., where he died in 
1S03. Mrs. Beebe was the daughter of Mr. Caleb Atwater. She was 
born in Wallingford, and died in 1845, aged 76. She was a model 
minister's wife, and after her removal from the parish it was a sufficient 
condemnation of any mode of operations in the parish to say " Mrs. 
Beebe didn't do it so." Among the descendants of Mr. and Mrs. Beebe 
are Brigadier-General H. B. Carrington, of the United States army, 
and Mrs. Gilbert, the wife of Reverend E. R. Gilbert, so long pastor 
of the Congregational church at Wallingford. 

The fourth pastor of the church was Reverend Claudius Herrick, 
who was settled on a salary of " 140 pounds, lawful money." His pas- 
torate was eminentlv successful, but owing to a failure of health it 
lasted but little more than four years. After his dismission he re- 
moved to New Haven, where he established a young ladies' seminary, 
one of the first in the city. He died May 26th, 1831. Mr. Herrick 
was largely successful, both as pastor and teacher. Mild, pleasant and 
cheerful, yet ever sober and earnest, his influence, both in the parish 
and the school, impressed others with the worth and beauty of the 
Christian life. He was a man of culture and refinement. He was the 
father of the late Edward Herrick, for so many years librarian and 
treasurer of Yale College, and of Reverend Henry Herrick, of Wood- 
stock, this state, both of whom were born in this town. 


The fifth pastor of the church was Reverend Jason Allen, who was 
ordained April 11th, 1810. The society was not unanimous in his 
call. When the vote was taken it was challenged and the house was 
divided; 71 voted yea, and 14 no. He accepted the call, and at his in- 
stallation Doctor Dwight was overheard to say to Mr. Allen, " This 
church is one of the best in the Union." His pastorate, however, was 
af ended with opposition and embarrassments. The opposition in- 
creased. Political feuds were rife, and the elements of discord with- 
drew from the parish, formed a union society and attempted to get 
the whole or a part of the bank fund without success. In all the op- 
position Mr. Allen bore himself with dignity and Christian urbanity, 
and in spite of the opposition maintained his pastorate for 16 years. 
The council which sat at his dismission say: " They are happy to find 
that nothing has been alleged against the Reverend Jason Allen, and 
that they are able to bear their decided testimony to his Christian 
and ministerial character, as having through a series of years proved 
himself a sound, faithful, active and prudent preacher and laborer in 
the vineyard of our common Lord." Mr. Allen soon removed to the 
state of New York. 

Reverend Prince Hawes was ordained the 2d of December, 1828- 
Two years had now passed since the dismissal of Mr. Allen, and 
the clouds which at that time threatened the peace of this Israel had 
passed away, and the day spring from on high was shining in his 
brightness and power. During Mr. Hawes' pastorate the new meet- 
ing house was built, and the old proverb seems to have been fulfilled 
in his case : " The minister who builds a house of worship never 
preaches in it." His pastorate, commencing so auspiciously, lasted but 
five years and four months. He was dismissed by the Consociation 
April 21st, 1824, and died suddenly December 17th or 18th, 184S, in 
Brooklyn, N. Y. 

After the dismissal of Mr. Hawes, the church was without a set- 
tled pastor for some nine years, during which time they were sup- 
plied by different ministers, among whom were the Reverend Asa B. 
Smith, whose labors were greatly blessed, and Reverend Walter R. 
Long, who labored with them three years, received a call and en- 
deared himself to the parish, but declined to settle with them. The 
year 1843 is memorable in the parish for the installation of Reverend 
Samuel H. Elliot. After supplying the church two years, he was or- 
dained its seventh pastor, on the 9th of November. The church grew 
under Mr. Elliot's ministrations, and in addition to his pastoral labors 
he wrote the " Memoirs of Emily Perkins," also " Parish Side," 
" Rolling Ridge," and the sequel to " Rolling Ridge." He was dis- 
missed December 3d, 1849, ministering to the church in all eight 
years and three months. He was afterward settled in Westville, 
where he established a boarding school. From Westville he removed 
to New Haven, where he died, September 15th, 1869, aged 60 years. 


He married Marian L. Harvey, of New York city, by whom he had 
three sons and a daughter. Two of his sons, Charles and Henry, 
were born in Woodbridge, and graduated at Yale College, traveled in 
Europe and settled in New York city. The daughter married and 
lives in Cooperstown, N. Y. 

After the dismissal of Mr. Elliot, the church depended .upon stated 
supplies for about nine years. Reverends Owen Street, Alfred .C. 
Raymond, Jesse Guernsey and David Peck occupied different inter- 
vals of this time, and ministered with success and acceptance to the 

Reverend A. D. Stowel, the eighth pastor, was ordained November 
l?th, 1S5S, and dismissed April 3d, 1860. Mr. Stowel removed to 
Massachusetts, and from there to Elmira, N. Y. Reverend D. M. El- 
wood supplied the church from 1862 to 1864. 

Reverend S. P. Marvin, the ninth pastor, was settled over the 
church February 22d, 1865. The 25th anniversary of his settlement 
was observed in 1890. Reverend Hiram Eddy, D.D., who preached 
his installation sermon, was present on the occasion. The pastor 
preached a 25th anniversary sermon, which was printed. During his 
ministry the park around the church has been enclosed with a neat 
fence, trees have been set out, a new lecture room and ladies' parlor 
have been built, and a new pipe organ has been presented to the 
church by Mrs. Mary A. Clark Treat, as a memorial of her father's 
family, Mr. Treat Clark. During the 25 years Professor C. T. Walker 
has been choir leader and organist. 

The fathers of Woodbridge early showed a proper care and regard 
for the memory and resting places of the dead. In 1743 arrangements 
were made for burying grounds. Isaac Sperry, Captain Johnson and 
others were appointed a committee to select burying places for the 
society. At a subsequent meeting in 1745 they voted that ''three 
burying cloths should be purchased for the three sarval parts of sd 
society by donation or contribution by the inhabitants of sd society." 
At a subsequent meeting a committee was appointed to fence round 
the burying grounds in the society, and a tax laid to defray the ex- 
pense. Since then the burying grounds have been enlarged from 
time to time and beautified. In 1887 the one in the Middle district, 
under the direction of S. P. Perkins, was greatly improved, and all of 
them are kept in good order and show the respect of the people for 
the loved memories of their departed ones. 

The tombstone of Reverend Josiah Sherman, who died very sud- 
denly while laboring with the church, has the following inscription: 
" In memory of Rev. Josiah Sherman, minister of the Gospel, Ob. Nov. 
24 A D 17S9, M. 60. The learned scholar, the eloquent orator, the 
exemplary Christian, the faithful pastor, the kind husband and parent, 
and the humble follower of Jesus Christ. Piety adorned his useful 
life and in the moments of a painful death enabled him to triumph in 


the hope of heaven. Much impressed himself and conscious of his 
awful danger, by him the violated law spoke its thunders and by him 
in strains as sweet as ever angels use the Gospel whispered peace." 

Captain Isaac Johnson was among the most prominent of the early 
settlers. He lived in the south part of the town, near the Orange 
line, 011 the farm now owned by Nathan P. Peck. He was moderator 
of the first meeting called to organize the ecclesiastical society of 
Amity, and of almost all public meetings, and on all committees when 
questions of importance were to be considered, whether civil or ecclesi- 
astical. He was the first captain and the first deacon elected ; also 
captain in the revolutionary war. Among his descendants was Presi- 
dent Andrew Johnson, whose ancestry lie buried in the cemetery on 
the East side. 

Inscription on his tombstone: "Here lieth the Body of Isaac John- 
son, the first captain and the first deacon in Amity. A guide to this 
infant society, a zealous promoter of the worship of God, A Benefac- 
tor & faithful servant to ye Chr. When best known best loved. 
Who lived long, lived well and died happy in the hope of the Gospel 
OEt of 23d 1750 in the 78 year of his age." 

Captain Stephen Sanford was one of the original members of the 
church, and lived on the farm owned in later years by Mr. Nelson 
Newman. He was honored by his fellow townsmen, and took a deep 
interest in the church. He made the church a present of a silver 
communion cup and baptismal bowl. At his death he left a large 
landed estate, which was afterward sold, and from which, with other 
funds which he also gave the parish, was derived a large part of the 
society's present fund for the support of the Gospel. As an apprecia- 
tion of his services the following inscription was placed upon the 
monument erected to his memory: 

" Capt. Stephen Sanford of Woodbridge departed this life on the 
6th day of January 1779 in the 72 year of his age. His character was 
reputable as a man and a Christian, had the advancement of Christ's 
Kingdom in this place so much at heart that he made a testamentary 
gift to this society of much the largest part of his estate, amounting to 
930 pounds L. M., and appropriated the same to the support of the 
ministry in this society. This society therefore, as an acknowledge- 
ment and lasting memorv of their gratitude for so liberal and distin- 
guished a benefaction, at their own expense have erected this monu- 

Thomas Darling joined the church at Woodbridge in 1782, from 
New Haven. He was a valuable acquisition, and became one of the 
most prominent and efficient citizens, as well as members of the 
church. He was honored with, positions of trust by his fellow citi- 
zens. The epitaph upon his tombstone, which is given below, por- 
trays a character of surpassing excellence and a life of unblemished 
usefulness. Of his sons, Noyes became a judge of the New Haven 


county court. Thomas lived on the old homestead. He was a promi- 
nent supporter of the Woodbridge church and of every good work. 
He was honored with positions of trust by the town, and beloved by 
all who knew him. His grandson, G. Halsted Bishop, occupies the 
ancestral home. 

" In memory of Thomas Darling Esq who died Dec 1st 1815 Aged 
63 years. He was distinguished for sound judgment and integrity in 
the discharge of public duties and purity of heart in the relations of 
private life. As a magistrate he was a peace maker, and just ; as a 
member of society indulgent, upright and kind; as a professor of re- 
ligion an example of tender and modest piety. To the Christian 
church an ornament and firm support. He remembered his Creator 
in the days of his youth, and in advancing age, and in the hour of 
death the faith of his Redeemer was his comfort and strength. Re- 
spected, esteemed, beloved here below, he is gone, we trust, to be ap- 
proved, honored and blest above." 

The name of John Lines occurs among those who were first organ- 
ized into the church. One of his descendants was David Lines. In 
his early boyhood David was intractable, uncouth, awkward and un- 
ambitious. It is said he once ran away into the swamp to keep away 
from his friends. Later he took to a seafaring life. He became con- 
nected with the Havre line of packets and was promoted till he be- 
came master of the vessel he sailed. The uncouth country boy we 
find captain of the steamship "Arago," and one of the most successful 
and popular navigators of the times. The following inscription is on 
the massive monument erected to his memory: 

" David Lines, Born at Woodbridge, Conn., died at Niagara, New 
York, falling it is supposed into the river above the great falls on 
Sabbath morning June 15th, 1862, aged 59. He was a seaman from his 
youth; he sailed early to the Pacific, to South American ports, to the 
Mediterranean, and for 30 years was connected with the Havre Pack- 
ets. He was long known as commander of the Steamship Arago and 
crossed the Atlantic nearly 240 times. Under his skillful seamanship 
thousands passed safely over the seas, for the Lord did guide him and 
lead him to his desired haven. By them he was esteemed and greatly 
beloved and his untimely death lamented; a man of temperate habits, 
of great kindness, of true friendship, of liberal charity. His toils 
and enterprises were rewarded with a fortune, and a generous nature 
led him to befriend the poor. A veteran sailor, an honored man; he 
now sleeps the sleep that knows no waking." 

The Baldwin family, which are quite numerous in the town, trace 
their genealogy to Richard Baldwin, who was baptized in the parish 
of Aston, Clinton, Buckinghamshire, England, August 25th, 1622. 
Barnabas, whose father's name was Barnabas, and who was the grand- 
son of Richard, was one of the fifteen set off from Milford in 1738 to 
form the parish of Amity, and one of the first members of the church. 


He was made ensign of the Sixth Company of New Haven in 1739, 
and in 1749 captain of the company of Amity. From his sons we have 
the different branches of the Baldwin family in the town. Captain 
James Baldwin lived on the tract of land sold by the Indian chief, 
Towtanimoe, to his ancestor, Richard Baldwin. He was a successful 
business man, public-spirited and ready to lend a helping hand to every 
good object. He was selectman of the town 27 years, town agent 5 
other years, and was sent to the legislature 4 years. 

Captain Ephraim Baldwin was one of the most prominent men of 
his times, both in town and parish affairs. He often represented 
his town in the legislature, and was one of the large-hearted support- 
ers of the church. Of the names which have come down to the present 
none are more honored than his. He was eminently a peace maker 
and a firm support to every good enterprise. 

Two of the original eight who were constituted the church of Amity 
were Ebenezer Beecher and Ebenezer Beecher, Jr. Ebenezer mar- 
ried Louise, daughter of Captain Isaac Johnson. The Beechers have 
always been prominent in the parish. Joseph Beecher gave the land 
for the church park, originally containing five acres. 

There were two branches of the Clark family in Woodbridge. One 
branch came from Mr. David Clark; the other from Ensign George 
Clark, both of Milford. The two branches unite in the marriage of 
Noyes Clark and Mary Abigail Clark. 

Mr. Treat Clark, who was a descendant of Ensign George Clark, 
married Miss Ann Maria Peck. He was an extensive farmer and cat- 
tle broker. He was one of the board of selectmen for 13 years, and 
represented the town in the state legislature four terms. Few men in 
the town were more highly respected and esteemed for urbanity and 
kindly assistance wherever he could be of benefit to others. The only 
child that survived him was his daughter, Mary Angeline Clark, who 
married Hon. Amos S. Treat, who represented the town of Woodbridge 
three years in the state legislature, and was honored with the speaker- 
ship of the house. He afterward moved to Bridgeport, where he ac- 
cumulated a large property, and was one of the leading men of the 

The name Peck has been from the first prominent in the annals of 
Woodbridge. At the organization of the ecclesiastical society of 
Amity, in 1738, after they " made choice of Capt. Isack Johnson " for 
their moderator, " Secondly, They by vote made choice of Ebenezer 
Peck as their society dark and sworn according to law." He was 
probably the son of Benjamin Peck, and the grandson of Henry Peck, 
who is supposed to have come to this country with Eaton and Daven- 
port. There were two branches of the Peck family which settled in 
Woodbridge, the descendants of Joseph Peck of Milford, and those of 
Henry Peck of New Haven. The line of Joseph of Milford is Joseph,' 
Joseph 2 , Jeremiah 3 , Phineas*. From Phineas' we have Phineas', who 


entered the service in the war of the revolution, and was taken pris- 
oner and confined in the old sugar house in New York, where so many- 
perished through the inhumanity of the British. Tradition says he 
was reduced to a mere skeleton, but was finally released and brought 
home by men on a hand litter from New York. He soon after died.* 

Mr. John Peck became one of the master masons and contractors 
in New Haven. At one time he was an alderman of the city. He 
was a prominent member and supporter of the College Street church. 
After acquiring a competence he returned to his native town, Wood- 
bridge, which honored him with positions of trust, and sent him as 
representative twice to the legislature. He was a valuable aid in civil 
and ecclesiastical affairs. 

Mr. Edwin J. Peck removed to Indianapolis, Ind., where he became 
a man of large wealth and influence. He was an elder in the Presby- 
terian church, and active in promoting the moral and Christian inter- 
ests of the city. He was deeply interested in Sabbath schools and 
education, and gave a large part of his fortune to Wabash College. 

The Newtons of Woodbridge descended from Reverend Roger 
Newton, the second pastor of Milford, who married Mary, daughter of 
Reverend Thomas Hooker, the first pastor of Hartford. Lieutenant 
Samuel Newton was a large landholder and prominent in town and 
parish affairs. It was from his house that the council for the settle- 
ment of all the early pastors took up their march for the sanctuary. 
General Booth, of Meriden, was a son of his daughter Mary. Another 
of his descendants was Senator Newton Booth, of California. Among 
others of the name who distinguished themselves was Nelson Newton, 
who was a most valuable and public spirited citizen, at one time state 
senator from his district, and holding office under the United States 

Daniel Smith united with the church in Amity December 26th, 
1742. From him descended Daniel Smith, 2d, whose son, Daniel Treat 
Smith, became a prominent member of the society and church. The 
parsonage of Reverend Mr. Woodbridge, consisting of a house and 
farm, was given to him as a remuneration for the care and support of 
Molly Woodbridge during her lifetime. Mr. Smith was a blacksmith 
by trade, and was sirict in his Puritan faith and practices. At four 
o'clock every Saturday afternoon his workmen in his shop laid aside 
all work, and were called into the house to wash and prepare for the 
Sabbath. He was a man of large influence both in the society of 
Amity.and in the town, and greatly respected for his integrity and 
moral worth. 

Of his descendants Mr. Willis Smith became a master mason and 
contractor in the city of New Haven. Some of the finest buildings in 
that city, and the soldiers' monument in East Park, were constructed 

*Peck genealogy. 


under his supervision. Another son. Isaac T. Smith, after residing in 
Woodbridge, removed to the city. 

Deacon David Smith was a prominent man in the church and so- 
ciety of Woodbridge, and was largely connected by marriage with the 
other families of the place. One sister became the wife of Doctor 
Goodsell, another the wife of Phineas Peck and mother of Deacon 
William Peck. Deacon Smith was a man of sterling integrity, and his 
memory remains carrying the fragrance of Christian charity to the 
present day. 

Stephen Peck Perkins learned the mason's trade and became a 
prominent contractor in the city. He was a skillful and thorough 
workman. There was never a question but that work entrusted to 
him would be done well. He retired from business and built an ele- 
gant villa in his native town near the old homestead of his childhood. 
He was honored and beloved by his fellow townsmen. They con- 
ferred upon him important civil offices, and sent him to the legislature. 
He was foremost in all efforts for the welfare of the town and the 
prosperity of the church. 

The first settlement in the town was made by Richard Sperry, 
whose house stood at Sperry Farms, in the bend of the road at the foot 
of the hill, in that locality. One of his descendants was Enoch Sperry, 
who had a mill on Brush brook. He was a very active business man, 
and also carried on clothing works, making: this one of the busiest 
points in the town. At one time seven roads led to these mills, in 
place of the one now existing. Enoch Sperry lost his life at the hands 
of an insane man. Several of the Sperry family descended from him 
are among the most prominent of New Haven's citizens. The " Sperry 
Farms " in this town embraced very choice lands. 

In addition to the foregoing settlers and principal citizens, the fol- 
lowing is a list of those living in the town prior to April 12th, 1784, as 
shown by the oath of fidelity, subscribed before Caleb Beecher, a jus- 
tice of the peace of the town: Benjamin Woodbridge, Eliphalet Ball, 
Thomas Darling, Esq., David Perkins, Ailing Sperry, Elijah Sperry, 
Benjamin Hotchkiss, Jonathan Perkins, Abel Smith, Bezaleel Peck, 
Lazarus Clark, Nathan Piatt, Thomas Baldwin, Joseph Colens, Jared 
Tolles, Isaac Sperry, Lucas Lines, Samuel Brisco, Joel Hine, Jonathan 
Peck, Hezekiah Thomas, Eliakim Sperry, Nathaniel Sperry, Abraham 
Hotchkiss, Barnabas Baldwin, Jr., Samuel Johnson, Jr., Francis Mar- 
tin, Caleb Peck, John Thomas, Daniel Tolles, David Thomas, Judah 
Andrews, Daniel Smith, Jared Beecher, Ebenezer Beecher, Joseph 
Downs, Elias Hotchkiss, S. Burrall Smith, Richard Russell, Jr., Zenas 
Peck, Archibald Perkins, Thomas Perkins, Ezekiel Hotchkiss, Aaron 
Clark, Joel Colens, Thomas Darling. Jr., Roger Peck, Thomas Ailing, 
Elijah Sperry, Andrew Bradley, Wilmot Bradley, James Wheeler, 
Amos Stilson, Samuel Beecher, Titus Smith, Benajah Peck, David 
Freeman, Samuel Fisk Peck, Abel Ives, George Gunn, Jesse Johnson, 


Christopher Newton, Barnabas Baldwin, Moses Sanford, David Smith, 
Solomon Gilbard, Jason Sanford, Samuel Downs, Timothy Ball, Jr., 
Simeon Sperry, Benjamin Peck, Lemuel Sperry, David Ford, Lieuten- 
ant Sperry, Richard Sperry, Asa Sperry, Nathaniel Tuttle, Ebenezer 
Sperry, Uriah Tuttle, Philo F. Dibble, Azariah Perkins, Caleb Geer, 
Hezekiah Smith, Nathan Clark, Asa Hunterton, Joel Sperry, Joseph 
Peck, Joseph Merwin, Amadus Dibble, Allen Carrington, Samuel 
Beach, Amos Stillson, Barnabas Baldwin, Jr., Jonathan Peck, Jr., Eli- 
jah Osborne, Nathan Sperry, Hezekiah Smith, Francis Martin, Oscar 
Hunterton, Jared Beecher, Eliakim Sperry, Aaron Clark, Abraham 

This taking of the oath of fidelity was one of the first acts after the 
incorporation of the parishes of Amity and Bethany into a town, Jan- 
uary, 1784, with the name of Woodbridge, in compliment to Reverend 
Benjamin Woodbridge, who had then been the pastor of the Amity 
church for more than forty years. The deference which was paid the 
minister is shown by the fact that but very few towns in the colony 
were named after persons, the names of places being preferred. He 
died about two years later. 

The first town meeting was held February 17th, 1784, when the 
following principal officers were chosen : Selectmen, Captain Ezra 
Sperry, Jacob Hotchkiss, John Dibble, Esq., Captain Samuel Osborne; 
clerk, Amos Perkins; collector, Reuben Beecher; listers, Amos Thomas, 
David Smith, Charles Baldwin, Roger Peck, John Thomas, Raymond 

The town clerks of Woodbridge from 1784 have been: 1784-92, 
Amos Perkins; 1793-5, David Cook; 1796-7, Doctor Thomas Goodsell; 
1798-1804, Samuel Osborne; 1805, Jehiel Castle; 1806-9, Samuel Os- 
borne; 1810-29, Justus Thomas; 1830-1, Andrew Castle; 1832-6, Joseph 
W. Davis; 1837-50, Beril P. Smith; 1851-77, Marcus Earl Baldwin; 
1878. William H. Warner; 1879-89, Marcus Earl Baldwin. 

Among the selectmen before 1800 were the following: Thomas 
Darling, Samuel Newton, Jonathan Andrews, Enoch Norton, Nathan 
Clark, David French, Jonathan Peck, Jesse Beecher, Joseph Beecher, 
v/Samuel Osborne, Daniel Beecher, Nathaniel Tuttle, Timothy Ball, 
Daniel Hotchkiss, Raymond Sanford, Oliver Buckingham, Roger 
Peck, Amos Thomas, Charles Baldwin, Eli Sanford, John Thomas, 
Nathan Piatt, Richard Baldwin, Eber Downs, Joel Goodyear, Moses 
Hine, Eliakim Sperry, Ailing Carrington, Jason Hotchkiss, Jared 
Beecher, Charles Bradley, Hezekiah Thomas, Daniel Tolles, David 
Smith, John Russell, Isaac Sperry, Medad Hotchkiss, Samuel T. Peck, 
David Hotchkiss, Hezekiah Baldwin. 

In the same office there were, in the present century, in the orig- 
inal town: Timothy Hitchcock. Isaac Hemingway, Philo Dibble, Doc- 
tor Thomas Goodsell, Enoch Newton. Captain Samuel Newton, Will- 
iam Andrews, David Wooding, Demas Sperry, Chauncey Tolles, Isaac 


Hotchkiss, Eliakim Terrell, Roger Ailing, Beri Beecher, Reuben 
Hitchcock, Jabez Hitchcock, Colonel Joel Hine, Archibald Perkins, 
Timothy Bradley, Noyes Darling, Enoch Beecher, Robert Clarke. 

And among the selectmen since Bethany was set off in 1832, have 
been: Samuel Peck, Lyman Manville, William W. Peck, James A. 
Darling, Joseph W. Davis, Edward Hine, John Andrews, Levi Peck, 
James J. Baldwin, Nathan P. Thomas, Daniel C. Augur, Henry Hi- 
cox,! Alvin Perkins, Lewis Russell, Sidney B. Sperry, Samuel P. New- 
ton, Leverett Carrington, Lewis Thomas, John Peck, Theodore R. 
Baldwin, Rollin C. Newton, Frederick F. Finney, William Clark, Wil- 
liam H. Hotchkiss, Thomas Darling, Beril P.Smith, David R. Baldwin, 
Nelson Newton, Lyman A. Bradley, Samuel F. Perkins, Thomas San- 
ford, Abner S. Baldwin, Jared Sperry, Henry F. Merwin, Mortimer 
G. Perkins, Nathan P. Peck, Theron A. Todd, Stephen P. Bradley, 
James F. Nichols. 

Among the treasurers in more recent years were : William A. 
Warner, Phineas E. Peck, J. L. Terrell and Wells M. Beecher. 

In 1786 the town " Voted to agree with Jacob Hotchkiss, or any 
other man, to build a town house the bigness of MilfordTown House, 
for seventy pounds." 

It was built so as to permit the meeting of 1787 to be held in it. It 
had three seats on the south side and alike number on the north side. 
"There was a table eight feet long and suitable benches that could 
be moved." The place where it stood is still known as the town house 
lot. After the parish of Bethany was formed a public building was 
erected in that section, and the town meetings alternated between the 
two parishes until each was recognized as a distinct town. In late 
years no separate town hall has been maintained. 

The location and improvement of the public roads has demanded 
unusual attention, in every period of the town's history. In 1784 it 
was voted to repair the West River bridge. In 1798 the Straits 
Turnpike Company used part of the public roads in locating its high- 
way. The Oxford and Derby turnpikes were located at later periods, 
and each, in its day. was an important thoroughfare. The general 
course of all of these roads is southeast toward New Haven, but pass- 
ing through the town in different sections, they afforded easy means 
of communication. They have been kept in fair repair by the town, 
and are still the leading- thoroughfares of travel. This is one of the 
few towns of the county which has no railway within its bounds. 

Doctor Thomas Goodsell was one of the first located physicians, 
being here soon after the organization of the town. In 1796 he was 
also licensed as a taverner. In that period public houses were also 
kept by Captain Samuel Osborne, David Perkins and Elijah Sanford. 

In 1814 Doctor Isaac Goodsell was located in Woodbridge as a prac- 
titioner of medicine. The physicians in 1890 were: Doctors Silas C. 
Hubbell and J. W. Barker. In recent years no stores have been kept 


in the town, and the principal source of mail supply is from the West- 
ville post office, in the town of New Haven. 

The population of the town is small, being in 1890 920. The grand 

list was $401,807. 


Daniel C. Augur, born in New Haven in 1807, was a son of Joel, 
and grandson of Isaac Augur. Joel married Phila, daughter of Joshua 
Newhall,who wasa revolutionary soldier. Theirchildren were: Lewis, 
Daniel C, Joel, George, Wealthy A., Susan and Elizabeth B. Daniel 
C. Augur, from 1822 to 1829, was a resident of Bridgeport, Conn., where 
he learned the shoemaker's trade. From 1829 to 1838 he resided in 
New Haven. In 183S he removed to Woodbridge, where he after- 
ward resided. In 1839 he engaged in the butcher business in New 
Haven, which he conducted for 17 years, doing a wholesale and retail 
business. From that time until his death he was extensively engaged 
in growing garden seeds. He was a selectman of the town, and was 
assessor for ten years, also justice of the peace and notary public sev- 
eral years. From 1830 to 1834 he was a captain in the state militia. 
Captain Augur was thrice married: first, in 1828, to Delia Middlebrook, 
by whom he had three children: Minot, Amelia E. and Charles P. He 
married for his second wife Caroline E. Clark, and for his third wife 
Miranda Allen. Minot married Ruth, daughter of Bennett B. Peck, 
of Woodbridge. Amelia E. is the wife of Judge Henry Stoddard. 
Charles P. was married in 1871 to Isabel Allen, of Westport, Conn. 
Their children are: Edith, Erroll, Elma, Ethel, Eimer, Eunice, Elsie 
and Edna. Daniel C. Augur died October 24th, 1890. At the time of 
his death he was the oldest Odd Fellow and the oldest militia officer in 
the state. 

Ira W. Baldwin, born in Woodbridge in 1839, is a son of Abner S., 
grandson of Abner, and great-grandson of Jeremiah Baldwin. Mr. 
Baldwin is a farmer and has always resided in Woodbridge and 
Orange. He married, in 1862, Esther C, daughter of W T illiam An- 
drew, of Orange. Theirchildren are Frank I. and Fannie E. 

John J. Baldwin, born in Woodbridge in 1852, is a son of Abner S.. 
whose father, Abner, was a son of Deacon Richard Baldwin, also an 
elder of the church. Abner S. was born in Woodbridge in 1809, and 
married Mary A. Camp. Their children were: Delia, Emily, Nancy, 
Ira W., Everett, Allison, Mary and John J. Abner S. Baldwin held 
the office of selectman for several years, also justice of the peace, and 
taught school. John T. Baldwin is engaged in farming and the milk- 
business. He married, in 1872, Ellen F., daughter of Parson Baldwin, 
of Woodbridge. They have two children: Burton J., born in 1875, 
now pursuing a preparatory college course at the Hopkins Grammar 
School, New Haven; and Adella F.. born in 1877, at West End Insti- 
tute, New Haven. 


Doctor John W. Barker, born in New York city in 1836, was edu- 
cated at the Yale Medical School, graduating in 1860. He immediately 
began the practice of his profession at Easthampton, Mass. He re- 
mained there less than three years. Going to New Haven he practiced 
there until 1871, when he settled in Woodbridge, where he has since 
resided. He is a member of the State and County Medical Societies, 
and during his residence in New Haven was a member of the New 
Haven Medical Society. 

Charles N. Beecher, born in Woodbridge in 1821, is a son of Amos 
and grandson of Enoch, both of whom were residents of Woodbridge 
and farmers. Enoch kept a store in Woodbridge at one time. Amos 
Beecher married Charlotte, daughter of Silas Baldwin, of Woodbridge, 
and their children were: Charles N., Mary A., Elizabeth A., George E., 
Charlotte M., Alonzo E., Franklin A. and Jane V. Charles N. Beecher 
was married, in 1858, to Mary Warner, of Mt. Carmel, Conn. They 
have one son, Charles L., born in 1859, married Gertrude Ladd, of Sey- 
mour. Charles L. is secretary of the board of education, and of the 
Woodbridge Grange. 

John J. Beecher, born in Woodbridge in 1824, is a son of Reuben, 
and grandson of Ephraim, whose father is supposed to have been 
named Reuben. Ephraim Beecher was one of the early residents of 
Woodbridg;e, and one of the leading" men of his dav. He served in 
the war of 1812. He married Sarah Dorrance, and had ten children, 
all of whom lived to maturity, and the majority to the advanced age 
of 70 and 80 years. They were: Pattie, Bela, Malinda, Reuben M., 
Demon, Elizabeth A., Sally, Riley, Lydia C. and David. Reuben M. 
Beecher was born in Woodbridge in 1791, and married Mary, daughter 
■of Silas Baldwin. Their children were: John J., Catherine L., Wells 
M., Edward I. and Francis M.; the two last died young. John J. 
Beecher has mostly been a resident of Woodbridge, has held a num- 
ber of the important offices of the town, and is now deacon of the 
church. In 1S62 he enlisted in the 10th Connecticut Volunteers, and 
served three years. He married, in 1846, Maria Carrington, of Chesh- 
ire, Conn. They had two children: Helen M. and one that died in 
infancy. Helen M. married Carlos D. Blakeman, of Stratford, Conn. 
Wells M. Beecher was born in Woodbridge in 1833, and married, in 
1859, Carrie W. Fuller, of Orange, Mass. They have had two chil- 
dren: Frank Wheaton, born June 29th, 1861, died the following Octo- 
ber; and Edward W. Mr. Beecher was appointed town treasurer in 
1887, to fill a vacancy, and elected to the same office in 1888 and 1889. 
He is secretary and treasurer of the Congregational church of Wood- 

Jacob Beiseigel, born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, December 
25th, 1827, came to America in 1854, and to Woodbridge in 1855, 
where he has since resided, engagfed in farming-. He was married in 
1857 to Clara Schwartz weller. Their children are: Mary, Kate, 


Jacob, Jr., Clara, Julia, Amelia and Frank. Julia married Charles 
Parker; Mary married Albert Liefield; Clara married Edward Buhlus. 

Jacob Beiseigel, Jr., born in Woodbridge October 5th, 1860, is a son 
of Jacob and Clara (Schwartzweller) Beisiegel, and grandson of Jacob. 
Jacob Beisiegel, Jr., was married in 1889 to Mamie Russell. He is a 
member of the Woodbridge Congregational church and of the Grange. 

G. Halsted Bishop, born in New Haven in 1S64, is a son of Charles, 
whose father, John, was a son of Ichabod Bishop, who was a resident 
of East Haven and one of its leading men. Charles Bishop was born 
January 14th, 1817, in East Haven. He carried on a coal business for 
several years, and afterward engaged in the wholesale grocery trade. 
He died in 1869. He married, in 1845, Mary A., daughter of Thomas 
Darling. They had six children, only two of whom lived to grow up 
— G. Halsted and Mary R. Thomas Darling was born May 3d, 1793. 
He was a son of Thomas, he a son of Thomas, and he a son of Thomas, 
who was one of the early settlers of Woodbridge. Thomas Darling, 
the 4th, was a prominent man in Woodbridge. He was its representa- 
tive three terms. He married Lucy, daughter of Samuel Newton, and 
they had three daughters: Jane, Mary A. and Lucia. 

Stephen P. Bradley, born in Woodbridge in 1832, is a son of Abner, 
whose father, Abner, was a son of Abner Bradley. All were residents 
of Woodbridge and farmers, except the father of Stephen P., who was 
a mason. He married Abia, daughter of Stephen Peck. Their chil- 
dren were: Stephen P. and Rowe S. Stephen P. Bradley was engaged 
in farming until 1870, when he engaged in the mercantile trade, which 
he carried on for eleven years, nine in Westville and two in New 
Haven. In 1889 he again engaged in trade at Westville, which he car- 
ries on at the present time. He has held the office of selectman for 
five years and assessor for eight years. He married, in 1854, Betsey 
A., daughter of James J. Baldwin, of Woodbridge. They have one 
son, Charles A., born 1858, married in 1S82 Addie W. Burgess. 

Oliver Stoddard Chatfield, born in Derby (now Seymour) in 1794, 
was a son of Joel and grandson of Elnathan, who was a son of Edwin. 
Joel Chatfield married Ruth Stoddard. His son, Oliver Stoddard Chat- 
field, married Abigail Tuttle.and their children were: Mary J., George 
W., Martha A., Howard G., Henry W., Ruth A. and Charles C. He 
graduated from Yale College, and at one time published the New Eng- 
land Journal of Education, at Boston, Mass. Mary J. married, in 1849, 
Friend C. Ford, son of Jared and grandson of Elias Ford. 

John Currie, born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, in 1829, is a son of 
David and Agnes (Gillispie) Currie, and grandson of James Currie. 
He came to America in 1853, and in 1863 settled in Woodbridge and 
enea^ed in farming-. He owns and resides on the homestead of Rev- 
erend Woodbridge, after whom the town was named. The residence 
on the place was built in 1697. Mr. Currie is a member of the Con- 
gregational church of Woodbridge. He was married in 1856 to Ellen 


Nesbitt. Their children were; Mary, David and Agnes. In 1882 he 
married for his second wife Elizabeth Johnstone. They have two chil- 
dren: Archibald and Amy. 

David E. Currie, born in Canada in 1860, is a son of John and 
Ellen (Nesbitt) Currie, grandson of David and great-grandson of 
James Currie. In 1863 his parents settled in Woodbridge, where he 
has since resided. Since 1880 he has been engaged in the milk busi- 
ness. He married, in 1883, Addie L. Church, of West Haven. 

Lauren Doolittle, born in Hamden in 1819, is a son of Reuben and 
grandson of Caleb. Lauren Doolittle settled in Woodbridge in 1847, 
and married Ann E. Parker. Their children are: Sarah, who married 
Francis Gorham; Frank, who married Hattie Beecher; Grace, who mar- 
ried Burnet Dorman; Herbert, married Kate Hotchkiss; George, mar- 
ried Ida Hotchkiss; and Willie. Mrs. Doolittle's father was Ebenezer 
P. Parker, son of Ebenezer. Her mother's maiden name was Huldah 

Willis Doolittle, born in Hamden in 1810, is a son of Reuben and 
grandson of Caleb Doolittle. Caleb married Hannah Merriman. Reu- 
ben Doolittle married Rhoda, daughter of John Wooding. Their chil- 
dren were : Alfred, Isaac, Alma, Ana, Seymour, Wealthy, Reuben, 
Willis, Lucius, Huldah, Lauren and Burnett. Willis Doolittle settled 
in Woodbridge in 1837, and married, the same year, Abigail, daughter 
of Phineas Hitchcock. Mr. Doolittle has held the office of justice of 
the peace. 

John W. Downs, born in Woodbridge in 1830, is a son of Joseph, 
and grandson of Joseph Downes, all natives of Woodbridge, and 
farmers. Joseph, the 1st, married Rhoda Beecher, November 17th, 
1780, and their children were: Mary, born March 16th, 1781; Lucy, July 
8th, 1783; Content, February 17th, 1786; Elizabeth, April 13th, 1788; 
Shelden, April 7th, 1790; Sarah, June 6th, 1792; Amanda, April 29th, 
1796; Caroline, September 2d, 1799; Joseph, September 5th, 1801. Jo- 
seph, 2d, married Adeline Morris, of Oxford, and their children were: 
Albert B., John W. and Andrew E. Albert B. and John W. are living. 
Albert B. Downs served in the Second Connecticut Regiment during 
the late war, and was captain of a company. He married Celeste 
Dowd. John W. Downs settled in New Haven early in life, and learned 
the trade of saddler and harness maker, which he followed for some 
years. For the past 28 years he has been engaged in the manufacture 
of root beer. In 1881 he returned to Woodbridge, where he has since 
resided. He married, in 1857, Ann E. Browne. Their children are: 
Albert W., Mary A., Anna M., Katie B., Lily D. and Cora E. 

Frederick F. Finney, born in Norwalk, Conn., in 1837. is a son of 
Charles, and grandson of Charles Finney. Charles, father of Freder- 
ick, married Abigail Webb. Their children were: George L., Freder- 
ick F. and Oscar F. Frederick F. came to Woodbridge in 1870, and 
with the exception of five years spent in New Haven, has since re- 


sided there. He was elected representative in 1887, and first selectman 
in 1888 and 1889. He was married in 1S64 to Esther L. Hitchcock. 
They have two sons: Franklin H. and Edward A. 

Charles C. Hitchcock, born in New Haven in 1837, is a son of 
Chester Hitchcock, who was a carriage maker, and carried on that bus- 
iness in New Haven for nearly 40 years. He married Julia Nettleton, 
of Naugatuck. Their children were: Charles C, Mary, Anna, Har- 
riett, Ella, George and Albert. Ella and Albert are deceased. Charles 
C. Hitchcock worked at carriage making in New Haven for several 
years, and in 1S72 settled in Woodbridge and engaged in the milk 
business and farming. He enlisted in the 13th Connecticut Regiment, 
Company K, and served over three years. In 1872 he married Jennie 
E. Royce, of Willington, Conn. Their children are: George H. (de- 
ceased), Nellie J. and Chester C. 

Lewis Hitchcock, born in Bethany in 1838, is a son of Amos, and 
grandson of Amos, who came from New Haven, settled in Bethany, 
and served in the war of 1812. He married Sarah Sperry. Their chil- 
dren were: Phineas, Ransom, Amos, Hannah and Minerva. Amos 
Hitchcock, Jr., married Abby L. Judson. Their children were: Sarah, 
Alice, Ransom, LeAvis, Lucien (deceased), Ellen and Irene. Sarah 
married Jared Sperry; Alice married Lyman Sperry; Ransom married 
Mary Russell; Ellen married Stiles C. Williams. Lewis Hitchcock 
was married in 1860 to Velina, daughter of Edward Hine, of Wood- 
bridge. They have three children: Nellie E., Helen and Edward. Mr. 
Hitchcock settled in Woodbridge about 1866. He enlisted in the 27th 
Regiment in 1862, and served nine months. Ransom Hitchcock also 
enlisted in the same regiment. 

Alfred F. Key, born in New York city in 1844, is a son of Frederick 
Key. He resided in Philadelphia for a time, and later in New Haven, 
where he was bookkeeper for the Scoville Manufacturing Company. 
He settled in Woodbridge in 1871. He is a member of Montowese 
Lodge, I. O. O. F., of New Haven. In 1873 he married Emily, daughter 
of Allen Peck, of Woodbridge. They have two children: Ella L. and 
Frederick W. Allen Peck married Julia Spencer. They had six chil- 
dren: Zina, Austin, Martha, Zina, James and Emily. Only James and 
Emily are living. 

Jacob Kunz, born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1842, came to America 
in 1865, and in 1866 settled in New Haven, where he resided until 
1878, when he removed to Woodbridge, and has since resided there. 
He engaged in farming. He married Margarita Knecht. Their chil- 
dren were: Annie, John J. and Charles. Mrs. Kunz died in 1878. In 
1879 Mr. Kunz married Elizabeth Herpich. Their children are: Eliz- 
abeth and Christiana. 

John M. Lines, of Woodbridge, Conn., was born in Woodbridge 
September 15th, 1830. About four miles west of the city of New 
Haven, along the Seymour turnpike, is situated "Stillwood," the resi- 


dence of Mr. Lines. It is named for its quietness, in the midst of sur- 
rounding copse and wood. Ample wealth has added the charm of art 
to the rustic beauty of nature. The closely shaven lawn, the green 
fields, the growing crops, the great elms, and the fruit-bearing trees, 
the capacious and richly appointed residence situated in the midst, 
the barns and carriage houses and other buildino-s in the rear and at a 
little distance, make " Stillwood " one of the most attractive estates to 
be found in the environs of New Haven. The place has long been 
held in the Lines family; it has been an ancestral estate, and now the 
seventh generation dwells where long since the pioneer settlers of 
the Lines stock, in the early history of New Haven county, made their 

So early as January 1st, 1772, there met and married two from 
leading families of the county, James Lines and Susanna Ailing. 
Their eldest daughter, Sarah, married James Landon and settled in 
Litchfield county. Their son, John Lines, was born in Woodbridge 
April 30th, 1777, and settled near the homestead. He married Betsey 
Perkins, January 8th, 1S00. Their children numbered five: Charles, 
born November 15th, 1S00; David, born July 1st, 1803; Anna, born 
October 27th, 1805; Ailing, born November' 2d, 1791, and Betsey. The 
last two died young in life, Betsey on March 7th, 1824, at 15 years of 

Charles Lines inherited the paternal estate, and married Asenath 

David Lines left home to seek his fortune elsewhere. Inclination 
led him to the sea; he was only 14 years of age, and was determined 
sooner or later to become a seaman. His father being in South 
America, his mother and older brother Charles, observing his purpose 
so strongly set, and his uneasiness to go, fitted him out, and obtained 
a position for him from the port of New Haven. His first sea voyage 
was a sealing expedition to the Pacific. He was gone three years, 
and the young man came home with about $300 as his share of the 
ship's profits. While absent he had perceived the difference between 
being the master and the common sailor. He resolved that the high- 
est was none too high for his hopes and his achievements; hence when 
he came home, he put himself under the instruction of a competent 
scholar for the study of the science of navigation, intending soon to 
rise to the first position as a seaman. The science having been well 
mastered, he went to New York, and entered the service of the firm 
of Fox & Livingstone, owners of the packet line of clipper-built 
ships plying between New York and Havre, France. He soon became 
captain, and for a few years ran to and fro. He next sailed on voy- 
ages to ports of South America and the Mediterranean, in the interests 
of the same company; and so successful were his mercantile expedi- 
tions that from his share he soon had several thousands of dollars to 
invest. These he wisely placed with the company, and when steam- 



























ships were built and put on the packet line, the company became the 
" New York and Havre Steamship Navigation Company." 

Mr. Mortimer Livingstone was chosen president and agent of the 
company. Captain David Lines, who had now become a heavy stock- 
holder, was put in charge of the " Humboldt." She was plied success- 
fully, until in one voyage, running short of coal, she put in to the port 
of Halifax, Nova Scotia. A pilot was taken on board, and going in 
the harbor, he ran the steamer on the rocks and she was wrecked. 

Captain Lines was now placed in charge of another steamship of 
the company, the " Arago." This ship he ran with great success, 
making a very popular line between this country and France. So ap- 
preciated was he as a captain and a gentleman, that resolutions and 
testimonials of the highest character were frequently presented to him 
by the passengers. One of these is here recorded, and the eminent 
names bespeak their own worth. 

A Card. 

U. S. M. Steamer " Arago," New York, April 23d, 1856. 
Captain David Lines: — 

Dear Sir: — The passengers in the " Arago," from Havre to New York, cannot, 
in justice to their own feelings, bid you farewell without expressing their deep 
and grateful sense of your conduct as the commander of this noble steamer 
throughout the last voyage. Whilst your seamanship, vigilance and devoted at- 
tention to your official duties have inspired them with the utmost confidence, 
your kindness and gentlemanly bearing in our social intercourse have made us 
all your personal friends. We wish you with all our hearts health, prosperity 
and happiness. It would be unjust were we to conclude without a tribute to the 
alacrity and skill with which the officers and crew have at all times obeyed your 
commands. Indeed there could not be a better ordered ship, and this, under 
Providence, has produced a perfect sense of security in all of us amid the dangers 
of the sea. 

Yours respectfully. 

Signed — James Buchanan, Henri Charles Dubois, George Dickinson, J. G. 
Adams, E. T. Dickinson. F. A. Livingstone, J. W. Tucker, Samuel Penniman, 
Louis K. Bridge, G. Kreisler, and all the passengers. 

So sincerely trusted and worthy of trust was Captain Lines, that 
gentlemen placed their wives and children in his care. He would 
take them to France, act as chaperon to a limited extent to them 
there, and bring them home in safety. He crossed the ocean to and 
fro in all about 240 times. 

When the president of the company, Mr. M. Livingstone, died, 
Captain Lines was appointed president and agent in his stead. His 
closest friends were of the first people of New York and France. He 
amassed a large fortune, and by his sterling manliness and elegant 
manners won great confidence and esteem. The town of Woodbridge 
is highly honored in her son. 

Captain Lines disappeared on June 15th, 1862. He was visiting 
Niagara Falls in search of health, and registered at the International 
Hotel. The last seen of him he went out of the door of the hotel, 


and, it is supposed, he wandered too near the yawning chasm and fell 
over. Relatives and friends made diligent search for him and offered 
a reward of $1,000 for the recovery of his body, but it was never 
found. He was not, for the God of the sea, whose mighty working he 
had so often seen on the ocean, took him. 

His sister, Mrs. Anna Sperry, of New Haven, and his nephew, Mr. 
John M. Lines, erected alargeand costly cenotaph in the Woodbridge 
cemetery. On its various sides are recorded the principal events of 
his life, the generous, upright quality of his nature, and the great 
respect in which he was held. The inscription of one face is as fol- 
lows: » 

" He was esteemed and beloved, and his untimely death lamented; a man of 
temperate habits, of great kindness, of true friendship, of liberal charity. His 
toils and enterprises were rewarded with a fortune, and a generous nature led 
him to befriend the poor — a veteran sailor — an honored man; he now sleeps the 
sleep that knows no waking." 

Charles Lines, the eldest son of John and Betsey Lines, remained 
at home, caring for his mother during the prolonged absence of his 
father, John Lines, in South America. He married Asenath Ailing. 
He was a thrifty farmer on the family homestead, a man of great in- 
dustry as of sterling virtue, and well maintained the good name 
of the Lines family. He died when only 56 years of age, July 11th, 
1857. His wife, Asenath, survived him until October 11th, 1862, aged 
71 years. 

Their only son was John M. Lines, whose portrait appears in this 
work to represent both his family and his town. He attended the 
district school until he was 16 years of age, and pursued his studies 
farther in a private school in New Haven. But he, too, like his uncle 
David, had the passion for trying the " hazard of new fortunes," and 
his uncle invited him to the office of the New York & Havre Steam- 
ship Navigation Company in New York. Subsequently he crossed 
the ocean and went to Paris. There he entered the great school, 
"The Institution Massin," for the study of French. He remained 
about one year, and returned to New York and home in 1854, his 
father's broken health demanding the filial attentions of his son. A 
few months later he married, July 21st, 1854, Miss Adeline Curley, of 
New York. The young married couple found enough to do on the 
large homestead, and in filial devotion to their parents, to whose es- 
tate they were the heirs. It was also their great good fortune, a little 
later, to come into possession of a large portion of their Uncle David 
Lines' estate. So that wealth, beside that of their own thrifty making, 
centered in to them from two distinct lines. 

And not without a sense of responsibility have these large advan- 
tages been used. The homestead ha's been greatly beautified, and the 
town improved in a variety of ways. A large family has been raised 
and educated ; the poor have been comforted, the church has been 


aided and society benefitted. Mr. and Mrs. Lines have social qualities 
equalled only by their kindness of nature and moral worth. In all 
their large circle of acquaintance they are esteemed as choice friends. 

Nine children have been born to them: Mrs. Ella Asenath Lewis, 
of Minneapolis; David Charles, of New York (Yale University, 1880); 
Isabella, who died November 11th, 1863, at nearly five years of age; 
Harriett M.; Mrs. Adeline M. Marsh, of Kansas City, Mo.; Maude 
Ethel; Eugenia, who died June 30th, 1868, aged eight months; John 
Marshall, Jr., and Thomas Clarkson, who died August 20th, 1876, at 
about ten months of age. 

Mr. Lines has refused in unmistakable terms all town offices. In 
politics he is nominally a democrat, but so popular among all his 
townsmen that, in 1884, he went to the general assembly from old 
republican Woodbridge — an occurrence which had not happened be- 
fore in thirty years. Mr. Lines is a Knight Templar and thirty-second 
degree Mason, and an Odd Fellow of the highest rank. He is chief 
of staff to General Foster, of the Patriarchs Militant of the state, and 
one of the few from Connecticut who wear the highest honors. 

His family are parishioners of the Episcopal church, and " .Still- 
wood " the abode of plenty and happiness. 

Michael McCarthy was born in Quebec, Canada, in 1848. His 
father, Dennis McCarthy, emigrated to Canada from Ireland, settled 
in North Haven about 1850, and later removed to Orange, where he 
now resides. Michael settled in Woodbridge in 1877, and engaged in 
farming. He married, the same year, Ellen Dargen. They have four 
children: Benson, Helen, James and Mary. 

David W. Marks, born in Willing, Allegany county, N. Y.,in 1860, 
is a son of David B., born 1819, he a son of Levi, born 1792, he a son of 
of Abraham, he a son of Zachariah.and he a son of Mordecai, who was 
born in England in 1706 and came to this country and settled in New 
Haven count)'. David B. Marks was a native of Milford, as was also 
Levi, his father. The latter married Esther Tolles. David B. Marks 
married Helen S. Hall. David W. Marks settled in Woodbridge in 
1879, and is engaged in farming. He married Hattie, daughter of 
John L. Sperry, in 1880. They have two children: Herbert S. and 
Archer A. 

Chauncy S. Morris, born in Woodbridge in 1821, is a son of Nathan 
R., and he a son of Asa Morris, all residents of Woodbridge. Nathan 
R. Morris married Lucy Wooding. Their children were: Chauncy S., 
Sarah E., Charles J. Charles J. enlisted in Company A, 27th Connec- 
ticut Regiment, and served through the war. Chauncy S. Morris mar- 
ried, in 1852, Mabel Hotchkiss. They have one son, Dennis B., born in 
1857. He married, in 1876, Addie Warner. 

Charles L. Northrop was born in Bethany in 1828. He was the son 
of Marvin and Mary Northrop, who were also natives of Bethany. 
Charles L. married Adaline F. Andrew, of Bethanv, in 1850. She was 


the daughter of Nehemiah and Phinett Sperry Andrew. They had 
five children, three now living: Mary A., born in 1851; Elmer T., born 
in 1854; Willie D., born in 1858; Hattie B., born in 1860, died in 1888; 
Sarah P., born in 1S56, died in 1880. Charles L. learned the trade of 
carpenter and joiner when a young man. He came to Woodbridge 
in 1860, and for 25 years he was employed in the match factory of 

Frank G. Northrop, born in Bethany, now a part of Woodbridge, 
in 1852, is a son of Allen and Jane (French) Northrop. His grand- 
father was Bela, and his great-grandfather Jedediah Northrop, a wheel- 
wright. Bela was in the lumber business. He built a saw mill on 
the place now owned by Frank G. This business was afterward car- 
ried on by his son, Allen Northrop. Frank G. now owns a saw and 
grist mill upon the same site. Allen and Jane Northrop had nine 
children: Frank G., Lucia, Louise, Oscar (deceased), Annie, Mary, 
Fred., Harry and Edwin (deceased). 

Silas J. Peck, born in Woodbridge in 1867, is a son of Henry C, 
grandson of Silas J., and great-grandson of Phineas, who was a son of 
Fiske Peck. Henry C. Peck married Susan C, daughter of Captain 
James J. Baldwin. They have three children: Newton J., Silas J. and 
Annie E. Newton J. married, in 1889, Bertha H. Thompson. 
Silas J. Peck was married, in 1889, to Eva S. Hollenbeck, and has 
one son. 

W'illiam J. Peck, born in Woodbridge in 1852, is a son of Aurelius 
and Ruth A. (Osborn) Peck. Jerry Peck, his grandfather, was a soldier 
in the revolutionary war. Aurelius Peck's children were: Mary, Jane, 
Eliza, Sarah, Helen, Edwin, John, Nathan, Fred., Hiram, William J. 
and Daniel. William J., Hiram, Fred, and Eliza are living. William 
J. Peck was married in 1875 to Agnes A. Halliday. Their children 
are: Nellie, Hattie, Mary and Edna. Mr. Peck is a joiner by trade, 
but is engaged in farming at present. He is a member of the A. O. 
U.W., and Knights of Honor. Edwin Peck enlisted in the war of the 
rebellion, and died in the service. 

William W. Peck, born in Woodbridge in 1832, is a son of William, 
grandson of Captain Phineas, and great-grandson of Fiske. The 
latter's father is supposed to have been named Phineas. He settled in 
Woodbridge at an early date, the family being one of the oldest in the 
town. William Peck married Elizabeth, daughter of Chauncy Tolles, 
of Bethany. Their children were: George C, William W. and Leon- 
ard E., living; and Elizabeth J., deceased. William Peck represented 
the town of Woodbridge in the legislature two terms. William W. 
was married in 1853 to Mary J. Fairchild, and their children are: 
Charles J., Will. F., Arthur T., Minnie L. and Lucy E. Mr. Peck 
represented the town in the legislature in 1880 and 1881. He held the 
office of selectman seven years in succession, and he has also been 
grand juror. 


Henry Perthes, born in Saxony, Germany, in 1845, is a son of Carl 
Perthes. He came to America in 1869, and until 1874 was a resident 
of Catskill, N. Y. In that year he settled in Seymour, where he re- 
sided until 1890, when he purchased a fine residence in Woodbridge. 
He bought a hotel in Seymour in 1882, and three blocks of houses in 
1888. He was married in 1871 to Paulina Heiman. They have three 
children: Annie. Laura and Oscar. 

Lewis Russell, born in Woodbridge in 1805, was a son of Lemuel, 
and grandson of William Russell. Lemuel married Betsey Hotchkiss, 
and their children were: Dolly, Nehemiah, George, Lewis, William 
and Isaac. Lewis Russell held the offices of selectman and town treas- 
urer several years, and represented the town in the legislature two 
terms. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Camp and Elizabeth New- 
ton. They have one daughter, Elizabeth. Mr. Russell died in 1885. 
He was a member of the Congregational church of Woodbridge. 

John F. Shepherd was born in North Haven in 1855. His father 
was Franklin, son of Ziba, and grandson of John Shepherd, all resi- 
dents of New Haven county. Franklin Shepherd married Sarah 
Mansfield, and had two sons — Roswell and John F. — and five daugh- 
ters—Mary, Mabel, Leeta, Elizabeth and Esther. John F. Shepherd 
settled in Woodbridge in 1887, and engaged in farming. He married, 
in 1884, Margaret Roche. They have three children: Mary E., John 
J. and Susan. 

George R. Sperry, born in Woodbridge in 1826, is a son of Albert, 
whose father, Eliakim, was a son of Eliakim. George R. is a joiner 
by trade, and worked at that business for many years. He has been a 
prominent member of the Congregational church of Woodbridge for 
many years. He always resided in Woodbridge until recently, when 
he took up his residence in New Haven. He married Marietta, daugh- 
ter of Elihu Beecher, and their children were: Albert L., Harry R., 
Burton P. and Carrie L. (deceased). Albert L. Sperry was born in 
Woodbridge in 1850, learned the joiner's trade, and after working at 
it for some years, engaged in farming and the milk business. He 
was married in 1874, to Laura J., daughter of William F. Morgan. 
Their children are: Frederick G., Arthur B., Frank A. and Minot 
M. Mr. Sperry is a member of the Congregational church of Wood- 

William H.Warner was born in Woodbridge January 23d, 1853, 
and married Mary Eliza, daughter of Mark and Martha S. Tucker, of 
Woodbridge, July 31st, 1876. They have one child, Mary Helen 
Warner, born April 25th, 1879. W. H. Warner entered the work of 
teaching in the fall of 1873, and taught in various schools until No- 
vember, 1888, except from December, 1880, to May, 1885, during which 
time he was employed by the Diamond Match Company as book- 
keeper. From April, 1875, to July, 1878, he was principal of the Sey- 
mour High School. Since November, 1888, he has been connected 


with Bennett, Sloan & Co., of New York. He has held numerous 
offices in his native town. He has been school visitor 16 years, being 
often chairman of the board of school visitors, and four years secretary 
and acting visitor. He has been elected justice of the peace several 
times, grand juror, town clerk in 1879, and collector of taxes for three 
years. He is one of the charter members of the Woodbridge Grange, 
and was elected overseer in December, 1890. 

William C. White, born in Bethany in 1817, was a son of John and 
Martha (Hotchkiss) White. His grandfather, John, was a son of Lieu- 
tenant John, he a son of Deacon John, he a son of Captain John, and 
he a great-grandson of Elder John White, who came from England in 
1632. John and Martha (Hotchkiss) White's children were: Joel, 
Elisha, John E. and William C. Joel was a resident of Oxford for 
upward of 40 years, was a member of the legislature from that town 
in 1846, state senator in 1851 , and judge of probate for several years. 
Elisha White settled in New York state and died there. John E. 
died in early manhood. William C. married Harriet, daughter of 
Abel Prince, of Bethany. They had one daughter, Harriet May. 
William C. White resided in Bethany until 1866, when he removed to 
Woodbridge, where he died November 15th, 1881. Mrs. White died 
in 1873. 

Stiles C. Williams was born in Naugatuck in 1843. His father was 
John M., and his grandfather was Jonathan Williams, a resident of 
Woodbury. John M. Williams married Lucy C. Clark. They had 
three sons: Henry C, Stiles C. and Nelson B. Henry C. was a car- 
penter by trade. He settled in Ansonia. He enlisted in Company E, 
7th Connecticut Volunteers, and served four years. He married Mar- 
tha Dean, and died in Ansonia in 1887. Nelson B. Williams was also 
a carpenter. He enlisted in the 2d Connecticut Artillery. He mar- 
ried Louise Meiggs, and died in 1889. Stiles C. Williams has always 
been engaged in farming, with the exception of five years, during 
which he was employed by the Douglass Manufacturing Company, 
auger manufacturers, at Seymour. In 1869 he settled in Bethany, 
where he resided until 1882, when he settled in Woodbridge. In 1867 
he married Ellen H. Hitchcock, of Bethany. They have three chil- 
dren: Lucy I., Ida S. and Walter S. 



Location and Description. — Civil Organization. — Town Officers. — Business Interests. — 
Physicians. — Religious and Educational Interests. — Cemeteries. — Revolutionary In- 
cident. — Biographical Sketches. 

BETHANY was incorporated as a parish in 1762, and became a 
town in 1832, being up to that time a part of Woodbridge. 
The central part is nearly 12 miles from the city of New Haven, 
which is the market for most of the products of the town. On the 
north are the towns of Naugatuck and Oxford; on the east is Hamden; 
on the south Woodbridge; and on the west are the towns of Seymour 
and Beacon Falls. Bethany is about five miles long, and not quite 
four miles wide from east to west, but is somewhat irregular in shape. 
The general surface is elevated, and in parts somewhat broken by 
high hills, especially along its borders. Hence some sections are 
rather sterile; but in other parts are pleasantly located and productive 
lands, being especially adapted for meadows and grazing. The town 
was noted for its fine timber lands, and small areas still remain, while 
on the hills may be seen many wood lots of attractive appearance, af- 
fording a very pleasant landscape, which is dotted with cosy farm im- 

The town has no large streams, the drainage being afforded by 
small brooks, which are tributary to West river, in the southeastern 
part; Sargent's river, in the southern central part; Bladen's brook, in 
the southwest, and Beacon Hill brook, in the northwest. The latter 
flows through a narrow defile, on the north of the hill, into the Nau- 
gatuck, and its mill seats are mainly in the town of Naugatuck. On the 
other streams the power is very feeble. 

Bethany is one of the few towns which has no railroad within its 
bounds, but for 50 years the Watertown or Straits turnpike afforded 
comparatively easy communication. It is still one of the main high- 
ways in the northern and eastern parts, but for many years has been 
under the care of the town. 

The territory in Bethany was included in the purchases made from 
the Indians in behalf of the towns of New Haven and Milford. The 
early settlements, also, are a part of the history of these towns and of 
Woodbridge and are not here reproduced. Some of the principal 
families, in the different parts of the town, were: the Hotchkiss, Peck 


and Hitchcock, in the interior and southwest; the French and Louns- 
bnry, in the west; the Bradley, Beard and Perkins, in the north; the 
Tuttle, Beecher and Tolles, in the east; the Clark, Sperry and Hitch- 
cock, in the south. The population of the town has steadily declined, 
as will be seen from the official tables. 

Bethany was constituted a civil and ecclesiastical district by the gen- 
eral assembly held at New Haven in October, 1762, which acted upon 
the memorial of Joel Hotchkiss and others living in the northern part 
of the parish of Amity. They represented that by reason of the 
length of the parish, from north to south, they (who lived in the north- 
ern part) were much inconvenienced to attend public worship, on ac- 
count of the great distance, and prayed that the old parish be divided 
by an east and west line, drawn from the south end of the dwelling of 
the widow Hannah Sperry. This was done, and the northern part was 
constituted a distinct parish, with all the appertaining privileges, and 
received the name of Bethany. 

Parish relations were sustained with New Haven and Milford until 
the parishes of Amity and Bethany were incorporated as the town of 
Woodbridge, in 1784. In May, 1832, the parish of Bethany became a 
separate town, the limits and name remaining unchanged. In 1844 a 
part of Bethany was set to Naugatuck, and another part was set off in 
1871, to help form Beacon Falls. 

The first town meeting of Bethany was held at the Congregational 
meeting house, June 11th, 1832, and Reuben Judd was the moderator. 
The officers chosen were: Town clerk, Hezekiah Thomas; selectmen, 
Reuben Judd, Andrew Beecher, Theophilus Smith, John Russell, 
Archibald A. Perkins; constables, Burr Perkins, Leverett Thomas; 
grand jurors, Ebenezer Piatt, Jesse Beecher, Libbeus Dickerman, Abel 
Prince, Abraham Hotchkiss; tythingmen, Leonard Todd, Miles Hitch- 
cock, Grant Hitchcock, Joel Andrews, Eli Terrell, Ahira Collins, Clark 
Hotchkiss, Major Lounsbury, Anon Atwater, Lewis Bishop, Leverett 
Benham, Eden Johnson; fence viewers, Isaac Hine, Timothy Louns- 
bury, Lysias Beecher, Abel Prince, Elihu Robinson. 

In August, 1832, the selectmen of Woodbridge and Bethany ran 
and described the bounds between the two towns, Elihu Dickerman as 
county surveyor assisting them. Those first charged with the care of 
the roads were: Adonijah French, Daniel Russell, Enos Perkins, Abi- 
jah P. Judd, Nathan Prince, x\bijah Chatfield, Benjamin M. Collins, 
Burr Perkins, David Hotchkiss, Jesse Beecher, Amos Hitchcock, Jr., 
Ebenezer Piatt, Joseph Bradley, Eli Todd, Marshall Baldwin, Oliver 
vS. Chatfield, Sidney Downs and John Wooding. 

The highways of the town are fairly well maintained, at a yearly 
expense of about $1,500. The total expenses of the town approximate 
$5,000 per year, requiring a tax of thirteen mills on the dollar. The 
grand list of the town has steadily decreased the past four years, being 
$280,057.62 in 1889. 


Since the incorporation of Bethany the following have been the 
town clerks: 1832-44, Hezekiah Thomas; 1845, Edwin Lines; 1846-9, 
Asa C. Woodward; 1850-4, Jason W. Bradley; 1855-79, Nathan Clark; 
L880-9, Edwin N. Clark. 

In the same period the following, among others, have been the se- 
lectmen: Andrew Beecher, Harry French, Lewis Lines, Miles French, 
P. B. Hine, Enos Perkins, Darius Driver, Sidney Sperry, Justus Peck, 
Marcus W. Bradley, Edwin Buckingham, Henry E. Lounsbury, .Samuel 
G. Davidson, E. O. Pardee, Jason W. Bradley, Theophilus Smith, Ed- 
win Pardee, Horace Tolles, Anthony H. Stoddart, Abel Prince, Lev- 
erett Shares, Guy Perkins, Dennis Beecher, Robert Clark, D. N. Clark, 
Samuel R. Woodward, Charles C. Perkins, David Carrington, Jasper 
B. Todd. The first selectman for a number of years has been Samuel 
R. Woodward. 

In 1S54 the probate district of Bethany was formed, and Jason W. 
Bradley was the judge. He served until the fall of 1856, when An- 
drew Beecher succeeded him. Since the fall of 1863 the judge has 
been Nathan Clark. He is also the commissioner of the superior 

With but little exception the sole occupation of the people of Beth- 
any has been agriculture. .Since the northwestern part of the town 
was set off to Naugatuck, which included the best part of Beacon Hill 
brook, there have remained but few small water powers, some of which 
have been turned to account in operating small mills. No unusual 
manufactories have been carried on, except for a few years, about 
1845, when Hezekiah Thomas had a pocket-book factory at the center, 
in which he employed a number of young people. He also had a small 
store and kept the Bethany post office. Subsequently this was kept 
by Wales F. Perkins, at his tavern, in the northern part of the town. 
For ten years, after 1855, the office was kept by Nathan Clark, at his 
residence in the southern part of the town. Mrs. Mary A. Sperry next 
was the postmistress, for fourteen years, and was succeeded in 1879 
by the present incumbent, Mrs. M. E. Hitchcock. The mail supply is 
daily from Westville. The office is again kept at the center, which is 
a small hamlet, consisting of the Congregational and Episcopal 
churches and half a dozen residences. There is a small green, which 
will bear better improvement. The former green was on the hill, 
half a mile south. This was abandoned when the present Congrega- 
tional meeting house was built. 

Along the old county road, which became later the Straitsville 
turnpike, and which is still the main highway between Naugatuck 
and New Haven, shops, stores and inns were early opened, and some 
are still continued. At Straitsville was the Collins tavern, of excel- 
lent reputation, and the accessories of a country village, all of which 
have declined or passed away. On the road farther east Archibald 
Perkins had a tavern, which was kept prior to the revolution. It be- 


came widely known, and at one time was much patronized by trav- 
elers, but since 1S50 its business has greatly declined, ^fter Perkins 
the landlords were : his son, Guy, his grandson, W. F., Richard War- 
riss and others. It is still best known as Perkins' inn. Here was 
once kept the Bethany post office, and usually there was a small store. 
Mechanic shops are still carried on in this locality. Those of Beecher 
Hotchkiss at one time employed a number of men. 

The old Woodin tavern, nearer New Haven, on the pike, was kept 
many years by Theophilus Smith, but was converted into a farm 
house. In this part of the town Hezekiah Hitchcock made nails by 
hand, working on a small scale. 

Among the physicians who were located in the town are remem- 
bered Doctor Hezekiah Hooker, who was in the parish of Bethany in 
the times of the revolution and until his death in 1798. He lived on 
the old green, half a mile south of the present center, and was a neigh- 
bor of the Reverend Stephen Hawley. Doctor Jehiel Castle was a 
practitioner in the town many years, also remaining until his death. 
He is interred in the Episcopal cemetery, and was at the time of his 
demise an aged man. Doctor Andrew Castle, his son, lived in Wood- 
bridge, but was buried in Bethany, about twenty years ago. He was 
a brilliant man, a successful physician, and enjoyed a large practice. 

Some time about 1840 Doctor Lucian Spencer became a resident of 
Bethany, coming from Naugatuck, where he had previously practiced. 
He was a son-in-law of John Thomas, Esq., and lived on his old home- 
stead, where is now the farm residence of George Woodward, a mile 
north of the center. One cold night in February, 1844, the house was 
destroyed by fire. In it were asleep two sons of Doctor Spencer, John 
and Henry, aged 12 and 14 years, whom it was vainly endeavored to 
arouse. In his efforts to save them Doctor Spencer entered a room, 
where he was caught by the flames, and all three lost their lives. The 
event cast a sad gloom over the entire surrounding country, as Doctor 
Spencer was well known and much esteemed. 

Doctor AsaC. Woodward succeeded to the practice of Doctor Spen- 
cer. He had graduated from Yale in January, 1844, and located in 
Bethany in April the same year. Here he abode until his death, in 
May, 1881, aged not quite 69 years. He was the last regular practi- 
tioner permanently located in the town, although Doctor Burton C. 
Case subsequently lived here a short time. A son of Doctor Wood- 
ward, Doctor Edward P. Woodward, was m practice in Bethany a few 
months in 1861, when he located in Bristol. 

The first settlers were dependent upon the churches in New Haven 
and Milford for spiritual instruction, until the parish of Amity was 
created, in 1739. Over this the Reverend Benjamin Woodbridge was 
settled as the regular pastor three years later, and these comforts and 
means could now be more readily enjoyed, although the distance for 
many was still very great. As the northern part of Amity parish be- 


came more thickly settled, there arose a desire for a place of worship 
in their own locality, which soon after found expression in petitions for 
that object. But that end was not attained for a number of years. It 
was not until October, 1762, that the parish of Bethany was consti- 
tuted and a new ecclesiastical society ordered. Its organization took 
place November 13th, 1762, at a meeting over which Deacon Joel 
Hotchkiss moderated and James Sherman served as clerk. These 
were sworn to faithfully attend to their offices by Samuel Sherman, 
Esq. A society committee was then chosen, consisting of Timothy 
Peck, John White, Isaac Beecher, Daniel Tolles and Joel Hotchkiss. 
These were prominent, representative men, and well calculated to set 
on foot a measure in which all were so much interested. They voted 
to hold meetings from December until April, and that there should be 
a tax levied of 1^ pence on the pound of valuation. Gershom Thomas 
was appointed collector of this rate. The meetings were held in the 
school house, which the Amity society had built, in 1750, on the road 
about a mile south of the present center, and which was used until the 
first church edifice could be occupied. Apparently these winter meet- 
ings gave encouragement to the belief that a pastor could be sustained, 
and in August, 1763, Reverend Stephen Hawley was called to that 
office. He accepted, and on the 12th of October, 1763, he was prop- 
erly ordained as the first pastor. At this time, also, the church was 
organized, but who were the original members cannot, in the absence 
of proper records, be clearly determined. Joel Hotchkiss and John 
White were the deacons, and among other early members or adher- 
ents of the church were James Warren, Caleb Tuttle, Hezekiah Clark, 
Peter Perkins, Reuben Sperry, Samuel Downs, Jesse Bradley, Nehe- 
miah Tolles, Thomas Johnson, Ebenezer Bishop, John Perkins, Sam- 
uel Bisco, John Lines, Eliphalet Johnson, Joseph Hotchkiss, Isaac 
Sperry, David Thomas and David French. 

In 1763 the society agreed to purchase three public lots of Nathan 
Sanford, and began agitating the propriety of building a meeting 
house; but several years elapsed before final action was taken. In De- 
cember, 1767, it was voted to build a meeting house, 40 by 50 feet, and 
Deacon Joel Hotchkiss, Timothy Peck, Daniel Tolles, Isaac Beecher, 
Hezekiah Clark, Daniel Beecher, Timothy Ball, Deacon John White, 
Samuel Bisco and Israel Thomas were appointed " to procure boards, 
clapboards, shingles, nails and glass to build the meeting house in 
1768." A rate of four pence on the pound was laid, and Benajah Peck 
was to collect it. A delay of another year followed, and we find 
that, in December, 1768, the society again voted to set up the house 
the next spring. The work of building was placed in charge of a 
committee, which was authorized to hire workmen to hew and score 
timbers, at the rate of 3 shillings 6 pence per day. The deacons were 
charged with the work of culling the clapboards and shingles, gath- 


ered for the meeting house, so that none but good material should be 
used. In March, 1709, liberty was given to add a belfry. 

In the meantime the parish had been enlarged by the annexation, 
in 1769, of that part of Milford south of the top of Beacon hill and that 
part of Derby lying between Bethany, as formed, and the Naugatuck 
river. This made the selection of a site for a meeting house more 
difficult. On application for this purpose, the committee appointed by 
the county court set the stake on the lands of Isaac Hotchkiss and En- 
sign Clark, and Israel Thomas and Isaac Beecher were appointed to 
purchase the land. But the society demanded a vote on this site, on the 
hill, half a mile south of the present green, when 29 members ex- 
pressed themselves in favor of it, and the following ten persons 
claimed that it was too far south, viz.: Timothy Peck, Titus Peck, Jesse 
Bradley, Uri Tuttle, Daniel Beecher, Nathaniel Tuttle, Ephraim 
Turner, Charles Todd, John Lounsbury and Lemuel Ward, all of 
whom will be recognized as residents of the northern part of the par- 
ish. The meeting house was so far completed that it was occupied in 
January. 1770. but was not wholly finished for a number of years. In 
1776 the galleries were finished, and the interior made more comfort- 
able. In 1790 the house was repaired and painted, the committee for 
this purpose being John Thomas, Nathaniel Tuttle, Hezekiah Thomas, 
Lazarus Tolles and Reuben Sperry. The following year box pews 
were placed in the house. In about that condition the meeting house 
was used for 40 years, when it was found necessary to build a new 
one. Again the question of a site proved to be a disturbing factor, 
and several years were spent in a fruitless effort to find one which 
should please all concerned. 

In 1830 a committee was appointed to propose a plan for a new 
meeting house, whose report was accepted in 1831, and the following 
appointed a committee to execute the same: John Thomas, Silas 
Hotchkiss, Elihu Sanford, Lewis Hine and Hiram Hotchkiss. Elihu 
Robinson, Demas Sperry and Theophilus Smith were empowered to sell 
the old green. The present edifice was erected in 1832-3. In 1866 it 
was remodelled at a cost of more than $2,500, the interior being ma- 
terially changed. This was done under the direction of Jason W. 
Bradley. William O. White and Justus Peck. In 1885 the meeting 
house was further beautified, at an outlay of $500, and was, in 1890, a 
pleasant place of worship. It has a good location, at the center, nearly 
opposite the Episcopal church. 

The Reverend Stephen Hawley was the pastor of the church until 
his death in the summer of 1804 — a period of more than 40 years. Un- 
der his ministry the church prospered; and if there were any antago- 
nistic elements he had so well succeeded in harmonizing them that 
there were no marked discordances. A short time before his decease 
he was unable fully to attend to his pastoral duties, and June 6th, 
1804, the Reverend Isaac Jones, of Woodbridge, was ordained as his 


colleague. He appears to have been a young man of ability, progres- 
sive in his ideas, and possessed many good parts. But he failed to 
lead the entire congregation, and, it is said, by disregarding the advice 
of some of the older members, in the choice of a wife- from among 
the many comely maidens of the parish, incurred their ill-will to such 
an extent that they became positively opposed to him, and conjured 
up many things to embarrass his work. The unfortunate feeling 
which was thus created assumed such proportions that a meeting of 
the Consociation was called to adjudicate the matter. As a result of 
its deliberations, on the 18th of November, 1806, that body declared 
Mr. Jones deposed from the pastoral office. But Mr. Jones and many 
members of the church were not disposed to accept this interference 
with what they regarded his private rights, without protesting, as the 
following record will show: " In the matter of complaint against the 
Rev. Isaac Jones, some of them preferred by Medad Hotchkiss, 
not a member of the church, the Consociation of the Western District 
of New Haven County was called upon to act. Thereupon after sev- 
eral days meeting, on the 16th of Oct., 1806, a church meeting was 
called which declared that the church was independent of the associa- 
tion." This report was signed by Reverend Isaac Jones, moderator 
and clerk of the meeting; John Woodin, Joseph Collins, Eden John- 
son, Jesse Beecher, Jesse Terrell, Deacon Phineas Terrell, Deacon 
Hezekiah Beecher, Daniel Tolles, Moses Clark, Joel Hine, Amos 
Hotchkiss, Bezaleel Peck and Joel Andrews. 

The church being thus divided into two strong factions, practically 
became disrupted, and for several years religious services were sus- 
pended. Mr. Jones and many of his adherents became Episcopalians, 
and the organization of the Congregational society was not legally 
maintained. Upon complaint to the proper authorities notice was 
served that the parish privileges would be forfeited unless officers of 
the society were duly elected. Accordingly a meeting was legally 
warned, in 1809, and officers were elected anew, namely: Clerk and 
treasurer, Timothy Hitchcock; committee, John Thomas, Medad 
Hotchkiss, Isaac Hotchkiss, Jabez Hitchcock and Jesse Atwater; col- 
lector, Joel Hotchkiss; bank committee, Demas Sperry, John Terrell, 
Silas Hotchkiss, Jesse Bradley. 

A church bank or fund for the support of the gospel was started as 
early as 1763, and not many years after Deacon Isaac Johnson left a 
legacy which was placed in its care. Under the quickening influence 
of the new organization, it was purposed in December, 1809, to raise 
the fund to $5,000 and place the disposition of it in the hands of the 
bank committee. John Thomas was the largest subscriber, being 
pledged for $700; Elihu Sanford for $250, and the subscribers for 

* Mr. Jones, like a true lover, preferred to marry the girl of his own choice, 
and secured a most amiable wife in the person of the Miss Thomas, to whom he 
was wedded. 


smaller amounts were: Joel Hotchkiss, Isaac Hotchkiss, Jabez Hitch- 
cock, Jesse Atwater, Demas Sperry, Timothy Hitchcock, Joel Hotch- 
kiss, William Andrews, Silas Hotchkiss, Amos Hitchcock, Seymour 
Hotchkiss, Sheldon Hotchkiss, Elam Sperry, Jesse Terrell, Chilson 
Sperry, Harvey Hotchkiss, Jacob Hotchkiss, John Nettleton, John 
Terry, Elias Hotchkiss, Isaac Clark, David Perkins, Chauncey Tolles, 
Joseph Bradley, Eunice Sperry, Richard Stone, Ruth Lines, Eli Hitch- 
cock, Medad Hotchkiss. Robert Clark, Alvan Sperry, Ebenezer D. 
Thomas, Zedekiah Hotchkiss, Zacheus Hotchkiss, Timothy Beecher, 
David Atwater, Amos Wilmot, John Wilmot and Valentine Wilmot. 
The fund has been augmented from time to time by subscriptions and 
bequests, until, in 1890, it amounted to about $8,000. The fund com- 
mittee was last composed of Henry F. Peck, A. C. Rosha and Ransom 
Hitchcock; James Megin was the clerk of the society, and E. N. Clark 
the secretary. 

The society having been placed upon a more substantial footing 
by its complete reorganization and the proceeds of the foregoing 
fund, again secured a regular pastor. August 22d, 1810, the Reverend 
Nathan G. Huntingdon was installed and continued until 1823. The 
following year Reverend Abraham Ailing became the minister, and 
was followed by Reverend Ephraim Swift. From November 7th, 
1832, until June 17th, 1834, the pastor was Reverend Jairus Wilcox; 
August, 1834, until June 7th, 1836, John B. Kendall. After this there 
were many other ministers — stated and irregular supplies — among 
them being about 1840, Samuel Clark; 1843, D. B. Butts; 1849, F. Har- 
rison; 1855, E. W. Robinson; and, subsequently, John Churchill, Wil- 
liam N. Belden, Ira Smith, Augustus Smith, Seth C. Bruce, William 
S. Woodruff and students from the Divinity School of Yale College. 
From Bethany have gone as Congregational ministers John Thomas 
Andrews and Israel Perkins Warren, D.D. 

Besides those already named as deacons, Jabez Hitchcock and 
Jesse Bradley served in that capacity in 1823. Some time about 1829 
Clark Hotchkiss was elected, and was still a deacon in 1890, although 
unfitted by his great age for active service. In 187S David A. Louns- 
bury was elected; and in 1883 Thomas Horsfall. The church has 
about 50 members. 

Some of the first records of Christ Church (Protestant Episcopal) are 
lost or mislaid, which prevents giving a complete account of the early 
history. From contemporary accounts- it appears that the churchmen 
in the parish of Bethany desired to build a house of worship as early 
as 1783, and that in the furtherance of that object Timothy Peck, 
Timothy Ball and Isaac Beecher were appointed a committee by the 
parish society " to assist in finding a place to set a church on, and lib- 
erty is given to said churchmen to have any place near the meeting 
house they could get on the southwest corner of Dr. Hooker's lot." 

*The records of the Congregational church. 


This place was not selected, but some time thereafter a small and ex- 
ceedingly plain church was built on a lot a mile east of the present 
edifice, and a fourth of a mile west of the old turnpike. The place is 
still called the " church corner," and is the property of D.G.David- 
son. The organization of a church and the formation of a parish be- 
fore 1800 followed, and after the difficulty with the Reverend Isaac 
Jones, in the Congregational church, he and many others of that body 
became Episcopalians. At that time Christ church received such an 
impetus that it has, in many respects, been the principal religious body 
in the town ever since. In consequence it was possible to build a 
larger church, more centrally located, and to determine the center of 
the town, regardless of the old green on the hill. This house was 
built in 1810 by means secured by subscriptions, and by labor donated. 
An application was also made to the assembly for permission to raise 
$],()()() by a lottery scheme, but it does not appear that anything was 
realized by that project, and it is probable that the church was built 
without that questionable aid. In 1875 the church was thoroughly re- 
paired inside and outside, at an outlay of $2,000. In 1S85 a pipe organ 
was purchased, costing $1,000, and the building still more repaired. 
The building is a shapely frame, surmounted by a spire, in which is a 
good bell. There is also a good rectory. 

The Reverend William A. Curtis was a minister of the church in 
1813, and after the Reverend Isaac Jones, Jr., became a churchman he 
was called to minister in spiritual things. He was the minister many 
years, and the parish under his care contained many families. In 1830 
there were 126 families, prominent among them being those of An- 
drew Beach, Beri E. Beecher, William Burnham, Edward Bucking- 
ham, Oliver Buckingham, Hezekiah Brown, Doctor Jehiel Castle, Rus- 
sell Chatfield, Henry A. Carrington, Darius Driver, Jesse A. Doolittle, 
Charles French, Harry French, Asaph French, Eber Hotchkiss, George 
Hotchkiss, Hai-ley Hotchkiss, Archibald Perkins, A. A. Perkins, Guy 
Perkins, Abel Prince, Edwin Pardee, Levi Marks, Ezra S.Sperry.Enos 
Sperry, Hezekiah Thomas, Seymour Tuttle, Charles S. Tuttle and 
Henry A. Smith. From the foregoing families and those descended 
from them much of the present membership is derived. In 1890 there 
were 61 families, having 190 individuals; and the registered commu- 
nicants numbered 86. The official members were: Wardens, Noyes 
Wheeler, Jasper B. Todd; vestrymen, Samuel G. Davidson, Samuel 
R.Woodward and Theron E. Allen; clerk, George B Hotchkiss; treas- 
urer, Ernest Hotchkiss. 

Among the rectors and ministers of the church have been, since 
1840: Reverend Isaac Jones; 1842-6, F. B. Woodward; 1846-8, Dexter 
Potter; 1848-52, Henry Zell; 1853, John M. Guion; 1854-5, Henry 
Townsend; 1855, Charles J. Todd; 1856-8, James Adams; 1858-63, F. 
B. Woodward; 1864-8, H. S. Atwater; 1869-74, Martin Moody; 1875 
•80, C. W. Colton; 1881-7, Lewis F. Morris; 1887-9, Walter D. Hum- 


The church has a supporting fund of $4,500, bequeathed by Anson 
Perkins, $2,000; Dwight E. Todd, $1,000; Leonard Todd, $500; Juliana 
Bradley, $500; and Hannah Beecher, $500. 

In connection with these old parishes schools were established and 
maintained to the extent of the ability of the people of those times. 
In 1750 ,£30 was expended in building the first school house in the 
southern part of the parish; and in 1780 one was built in the northern 
part. In 1890 the town had an interest in six districts, having from 24 
to 34 weeks of school, which were maintained at an outlay of about 

About 1800 considerable freedom of opinion on religious matters 
prevailed. There was, also, as has been stated, much disaffection in 
the Congregational church, which caused many persons to leave, to 
seek more harmonious fellowship. Hence, when a class of Methodists 
was formed, in the western part of the town, it had an active support 
which it would not otherwise have received, and for a few years pros- 
pered to an unusual degree. The removal of a number of people from 
the town, after 1820, and a better condition in the established church, 
weakened the class, and it was not permanently maintained. Among 
the members were some of the French, Lounsbury and Wheeler fam- 
ilies. In the eastern part of the town, also, the doctrines of the Meth- 
odists received early acceptance, which resulted, later, in the building 
of a house of worship for that denomination. The meeting house is 
on the old New Haven road, southeast of the center. It is a plain 
frame, resting on a brick basement, put up at a cost of $1,200, and was 
dedicated in August, 1841. There are sittings in the main room for 
200 people, and in 1890 the house was in fair order. Part of the lot 
on which it stands is devoted to burial purposes, in which interments 
were made prior to the building of the church. The trustees in 1890 
were: Jerome A. Downs, Allen Lounsbury, Thomas H. Brooks, Sher- 
rill Brooks, D. B. Hoadley, William H. Lounsbury and Benajah 

Among the first Methodists in this locality are remembered Joel 
Andrews, George F. Peck, Philo Sanford and members of their fam- 
ilies. In 1890 there were 25 members — a smaller number than a dozen 
years ago. This church and the one atWestville have for many years 
constituted a charge, having a minister in common. The principal 
appointees have been the following: 1828, Reverend N. Kellogg; 1836, 

A. S. Francis; 1837-8, J. Bowen; 1840-1, Charles W. Chapman; 1848-9, 

B. Pillsbury; 1850-1, C. F. Mallory; 1852-3, J. B. Merrone; 1854-5, F. B. 
Chandler; 1856, G. S. Gilbert; 1857-8, G. Stillman; 1859-60, J. M. Car- 
roll; 1861-2, W. Lawrence; 1863-5, W. H. Warded; 1866, C. H. Buck; 
1867-8, John Dickinson ; 1869-70, J. A. Dean; 1871-3, J. E. Richards; 
1874, T. D. Littlewood; 1875-7, W. D. Thompson; 187S-80, J. M. Car- 
roll; 1881-3, S. K. Smith; 1884, G. L. Thompson; 1885, A. Hulead; 
1886-8, C. W. Fordham; 1889, A. McNicholl. 


The cemeteries are small places of burial in the Lounsbury neigh- 
borhood, in the northwestern part of the town; in the Carrington 
neighborhood, in the northeastern part of the town; at the Methodist 
church, in the eastern part; and in the Sperry neighborhood, in the 
southeast. Most of these were established for local convenience, and 
some of them have been used only to a limited extent. The most in- 
terest centers around the ancient cemetery. This is more than a 
mile south of the churches, and is located on a dry, sandy side hill. 
Being removed from the main highways, it appears somewhat iso- 
lated. The area is more than an acre, which is enclosed with a good 
stone fence, and the ground is fairly kept. Here are the graves of 
some of the oldest families in the present town. Among the head- 
stones may be seen several whose inscriptions have become obliter- 
ated by age. Others have a modern appearance and were more re- 
cently put up by descendants of the deceased. The one marking the 
grave of Reverend Stephen Hawley,the first pastor of the church, was 
put up by the congregation, on its first centennial anniversary, Octo- 
ber 12th, 1863. He died July 17th, 1804, aged 66 years. 

The cemetery adjoining the lot of the Episcopal church is spacious, 
neatly enclosed, and contains a number of fine monuments. The place 
presents an attractive appearance. Since 1851 it has been under the 
care and control of the " Union Burial Association," which took the 
old ground and enlarged and improved the same. In 1890 the princi- 
pal officers of this association were: President, Dwight L. Johnson; 
treasurer, Samuel R. Woodward; and secretary, George B. Hotchkiss. 
This may be considered the principal place of interment, and it is well 

One of the most stirring incidents in the history of the county 
during the revolution occurred in Bethany. Along the Naugatuck 
lived many adherents of the British crown. Their opinions were 
made more steadfast because of a belief that their religious obliga- 
tions demanded that they should be royalists. They were churchmen 
and their societies were established or supported by the " Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," which required of 
those aided an oath of fidelity to British rule. Religious duty was 
stronger than feelings of patriotism, provoked by oppressive rule. In 
this they were no exception to many other communities in other parts 
of the country, and many were really blameless in their purposes. 
Bethany, it appears, was so far removed from the course of the armies 
as to be free from predatory incursions. This effected a sense of se- 
curity which induced some families to take up their residence in the 
parish, in preference to their old homes, where life and property were 
less secure. Among the new residents was Captain Ebenezer Dayton, 
who had been a merchant at Brook Haven, Long Island, where he was 
also interested in an American privateersman. He had amassed much 
property in trade, and by the latter means, which made his stay in 


Long Island perilous. Hence he brought his family and movable 
effects to Bethany. He secured a house on the old " green," where 
was, also, besides the church, the houses of Reverend Stephen Hawley 
and Doctor Hooker. The movements of Captain Dayton appear to 
have been known to his tory neighbors on Long Island, and the fact 
of his having so much money probably awakened their cupidity to 
such an extent that a plan was laid to capture it at the new home. 
Alexander Graham was entrusted with the details of this movement. 
He secured a commission for such an expedition from General Howe, 
the British commander, and set out to execute it. Going to old Derby 
about the middle of March, 1780, he stopped at the tavern of Turell 
Whittemore, which stood on a bluff a mile below where is now Sey- 
mour. Here he unfolded his plans to some tory sympathizers, showed 
his commission, and asked them to enlist. He succeeded in forming 
a company of six persons, and on Tuesday night, March 14th, 1780, 
they left their rendezvous for Bethany. At the time of the raid Cap- 
tain Dayton was away in Boston, and Mrs. Phebe Dayton, her three 
small children and two negro slave children were the only inmates of 
the house. A little after midnight Graham and his company, who were 
well armed, forced their way into the house, bound Mrs. Dayton and 
prevented her from making an outcry. 

They deliberately ransacked the house for the next two hours, and 
destroyed some property which they could not carry with them. In 
all they secured in gold, silver, bonds, notes and other valuables about 
.£5,000 worth of property. Hastily leaving the Dayton mansion, at 
about two o'clock at night, they passed Perkins' tavern to Salem Bridge 
(now Naugatuck), on their way to Gunntown, near which place some 
of the foragers lived. On the way, near Naugatuck, they passed a 
young man, 19 years of age, named Chauncy Judd, who was just re- 
turning home from a visit to his sweetheart. Judd recognized some 
of them as his neighbors, and fearing he would expose them, they took 
him along. Proceeding beyond Gunntown, they were secreted several 
days at the David Wooster, Sr., mansion, still standing, in the south- 
eastern part of Middlebury. The robbery of the Dayton house and 
the mysterious disappearance of Chauncy Judd, created intense ex- 
citement in that part of the country, which was increased by the fact 
that the whigs and tories were here pretty evenly divided. From Da- 
vid Wooster's the robbers fled to the tavern of Captain John Wooster, 
in the southern part of Oxford, which stood near his celebrated " Deer 
Park." Near by they were secreted a day and a night, when they fled 
to Derby, where they took a boat and quickly rowed down the river. 
By this time they were discovered and were pursued by horsemen on 
the shore, but succeeded in reaching the sound ahead of them. They 
reached Long Island in safety, but the following night all but one, 
who escaped by jumping out of the window, were captured by pur- 
suing parties, who crossed the sound in whale boats, commanded by 


Captains William Clarke and James Harvey. They recovered the 
stolen goods and released Chauncy Judd and restored him to his 
parents. The robber leader, Graham, was found to be a deserter 
from the continental army, and was sent to Morristown, where a court 
martial condemned him to be executed. 

" The others (the five under Graham) were put on trial in the su- 
perior court of New Haven, with David Wooster, Sr., Noah Candee, 
Daniel Johnson, William Seeley, Francis Noble and Lemuel Wooding 
(Whittemore's barkeeper). Two of the accused, Scott and Cady, were 
allowed to turn state's evidence. All the others were found guilty. 
David Wooster, Henry Wooster, Jr., and Samuel Doolittle (principals 
in the expedition) were each sentenced to a fine of £50 and imprison- 
ment for four years, in the Newgate state prison.* Noah Candee and 
David Wooster, Sr., were fined each £500 and imprisoned nine months 
in Hartford jail. Daniel Johnson was fined £250 and imprisoned nine 
months. Francis Noble was fined £50 and imprisoned one year. 
William Seeley was fined £25 and imprisoned nine months. Lemuel 
Wooding was fined £25 and imprisoned six months. In addition, Cap- 
tain Dayton recovered heavy damages in civil suits against the differ- 
ent parties, amounting to several thousand pounds. Mr. Judd also 
recovered £800 from the robbers and their accessories for damages to 
his son. This summary punishment was as discouraging to the tories 
of the vicinity as it was encouraging to the struggling patriots.''^ 

It may be proper to add in this connection that Chauncy Judd 
married his sweetheart and became one of the leading men of Nauga- 
tuck. The other parties in this affair continued after the war, as they 
were before these troublous times, to be leading men in their several 
communities, and preserved the respect of their fellow citizens. In 
several cases their confiscated property was restored by acts of the gen- 
eral assembly. 


Azariah Andrew, born in Bethany in 1821, is a son of Job and 
grandson of William Andrew. Job Andrew was a soldier in the war 
of 1812. He represented the town of Bethany in the legislature one 
year. He married Lois Prince. Their children were: Maria, Jere- 
miah, Azariah, Nathan and Eliza. Azariah Andrew married Sarah A. 
Pardee in 1856. Their children are: Fannie, born 1S58; Mary E.,born 
I860; Noyes, born 1857; and John D., born 1861. Fannie married John 
Early, and Mary E. married M. S. Burgess. 

Russell M. Beach, born in Bethany in 1830, is a son of Roger M., 
and grandson of Jason Beach. Roger M. married Mary, daughter of 
Moses Russell. Mr. Beach is a farmer, and most of his life has been 
spent in Bethany. He was married in 1852 to Eliza B., daughter of 

* Barber says they escaped and fled to Nova Scotia. 

t Sharped History of Seymour, p. 147. 


Stephen Anthony, of Meriden. Their children are: Dencie, born 
1854, married James Cahoun; Elsie, born 1858, died 1869; Mary, born 
1860, died 1874; Elmer J., born 1862, and Lizzie A., born 1866. 

Allen C. Beard, born in Milford, Conn., in 1S13, is a son of Colonel 
Andrew Beard and Nancy Camp. His grandfather was also named An- 
drew Beard. Allen C. learned the shoemaker trade and worked at it 
several years. He came to Bethany in 1844, where he has since re- 
sided, engaged in farming and working at his trade. He was married 
in 1840 to Abigail, daughter of William Smith, of Milford. Their 
children were: Abigail A., born 1840; Susan A., born 1842; Marian C; 
Andrew A., born 1848; Kate S., born 1850; Sarah M., born 1853; Flora 
G., born 1855; and William, born 1858. All are living but William. 
Abigail A. married Dennis Smith; Susan A. married William Louns- 
bury; Marian C. married Caleb Smith; Kate S. married Arthur J. Lacy; 
Sarah M. married Zeri Beach. Mr. Beard is a member of Bethany 
Presbyterian church. His wife died in 1870. 

David Burnham, the first of his family to settle in New Haven 
county, came from England and settled in East Haven, and later in 
Bethany, then a part of Woodbridge. He married Martha Barker for 
his first wife. For his second he married Mrs. Rachel Luddington, 
whose maiden name was Tuttle. Their children were: James, Will- 
iam and Martha. James married Lois Johnson. Martha married 
John Mansfield. William married Harriet, daughter of Ami Hoadley, 
and their children were: Adaline, David A., Emeline, Martha, Mar- 
garet and Sarah J. Margaret Burnham married George L. Woodruff, 
son of Merritt Woodruff. Their children are: Mary S., married to 
Charles E. Ball, and Georgiana L., married to Ellis O. Warner. Will- 
iam Burnham was born June 11th, 1795, and died July 29th, 1882. 
Harriet, his wife, was born October 20th, 1794, and died March 2d, 

Abram E. Carrington, born in 1829, is a son of Daniel and grand- 
son of David Carrington. Daniel was a blacksmith, and all his boys 
were engaged in farming. Daniel Carrington married Rachel A. Dor- 
man, of Hamden. Their children were: David, Albert, Abram, Eliza, 
.Sarah and Emily. Abram E. Carrington was married in 1857 to Sarah 
Pritchard. Their children were: Ida, Charles and Ella. For his sec- 
ond wife he married Mary J. Patterson, of Naugatuck. Their chil- 
dren are: Otis, Burton, Henry, Rachel, Hiram and Ralph. From about 
1847 to 1870 Mr. Carrington resided in Seymour, and since that time 
in Bethany. 

Henry A. Carrington, born in Bethany in 1808, was a son of Allen 
and grandson of Abraham Carrington. Allen married for his first 
wife Hulda Allen. They had two children, Emily and Nehemiah. 
His second wife was Nancy Atwood. Their children were: J. Ben- 
nett, William, Henry A., Edward, Charles and George. William is 
the only one living. J. Bennett Carrington was editor of the New 


Haven Journal and Courier for many years. Henry A. Carrington re- 
sided in Bethany. He married, in 1832, Samantha Tolles, daughter of 
Daniel and granddaughter of Daniel Tolles. They had four children; 
Edward H.. who married Fannie E. Lounsbury; Mary S.,who married 
Wales H. French; Josephine, married for her first husband H. W. 
Beecher, and for the second Hagot Bogigian; and Justine, married 
Frank L. Coe. Henry A. Carrington died in 1855. 

Ransom Chatfield, born in Seymour in 1842, is a son of Joel R. and 
Mary (Tomlinson) Chatfield, and grandson of Joel Chatfield, who was 
one of the early settlers of Humphreysville, having a saw and grist 
mill there. Joel R. Chatfield's children were: Clark, Lucinda, John, 
Edwin, Ransom, Hiram, Mary, Joel and Charlotte, living; and Hattie, 
deceased. Ransom Chatfield has resided in Bethany since 1871. He 
married Sarah L. Gilyard in 1806. They have two children: Benja- 
min N. and Bernice M. 

Nathan Clark, born in that part of Woodbridge now Bethany, in 
1824, is a son of Isaac and grandson of Isaac, both of whom were na- 
tives of Milford, Conn. Isaac Clark, the father of Nathan, married 
Esther, daughter of Deacon Joseph Treat, descended from Robert 
Treat, who was lieutenant-governor of the state of Connecticut 17 years, 
and governor 15 years. Isaac Clark held the office of selectman of 
the old town of Woodbridge for eight years in succession. Nathan 
Clark was elected town clerk and treasurer of Bethany in 1855, and 
held those offices continuously until 1881. He was elected probate 
judge in 1862, and has held the office continuously since that date. He 
was also postmaster of Bethany for eight years. Mr. Clark was mar- 
ried in 1843, to Sarah L. Lounsbury. Their children are: Emma S., 
born 1844, and Edwin N., born 1851. Emma S. married Pearl P. 
Sperry. Their children are: Isidore S., Belle E., Pearl P. and Harold 
C. Edwin N. Clark was married in 1874, to Hannah Basham. Their 
children are: Eugene F., Walter E., Lena B., Ruby B. and Frank J. 
Edwin N. Clark succeeded his father as town clerk and treasurer, and 
has held those offices since. 

Andrew J. Doolittle, born in Bethany in 1842, is a son of Isaac, and 
grandson of Reuben Doolittle. Isaac Doolittle married Urusula, 
daughter of Ami Hoadley, of Bethany. Their children were: Andrew 
J , Ellen S., Mary and Luther. Luther enlisted in the 10th Connecti- 
cut Regiment, and was killed at the battle of Kingston, N. C. Ellen 
S. (deceased) married George Dorman; Mary J. (deceased) married Heze- 
kiah Lindsley. Andrew J. was married in 1870, to Josephine, daugh- 
ter of Benjamin Bishop, of Woodbridge. They had one son, Arthur 
H. Doolittle. Mrs. Doolittle died several years ago. Mr, Doolittle 
served nine months in the war of the rebellion in Company H, 23d 
Connecticut Regiment. He is a member of Admiral Foote Post, No. 
17, G. A. R., of New Haven. He was elected representative in 1888, 
and has also been assessor and selectman. 


Dennis W. Doolittle, born in Hamden, Conn., in 1843, is a son of 
Bennett and Minerva (Warner) Doolittle, grandson of Reuben, and 
great-grandson of Caleb Doolittle, all residents of Hamden. Caleb is 
supposed to have removed from Wallingford and settled in Hamden. 
Dennis W. Doolittle kept a grocery store at Mt. Carmel, Conn., for 
a short time, and in New Haven for about 15 years. He was engaged 
in the coal and wood business there for several years. He settled in 
Bethany in 18S4, and in 1886 opened a grocery store there, being also 
engaged in farming. He was married in 1867, to Evelina I., daugh- 
ter of Philos Dorman. The}' had no children. For his second wife 
he married, in 1878, Rosa N. Dorman, sister of his first wife. Their 
children are: Cleveland B., born 1884, and Warren P., born 1885. 

Denzil B. Hoadley, born in Bethany in 1844, is a son of Garry and 
Lucy (Doolittle) Hoadley, and grandson of Ami Hoadley, both of 
whom were residents of Bethany. Ami Hoadley built a grist mill in 
Bethany, which has been run by his son and grandson up to the pres- 
ent time. Garry Hoadley had two children, Denzil B. and Harriet A., 
who married Frederic Warner. Denzil B., besides conducting a saw 
and grist mill, is also a carpenter and builder, and is engaged in farm- 
ing. He was married in 1865, to Anna J., daughter of William Moak- 
ley. There were born to them four children: George T., born 1875, 
died 1890; Edwin D., born 1877; Jessie L., born 1881, died 1S83; and 
Hattie J., born 1886. Mr. Hoadley is a member of Bethany M. E. 
church. He was elected to the legislature in 1881 on the democratic 

Garry B. Johnson, born in Humphreysville (now Seymour) in 1817, 
is a son of Garry, whose father, Ebenezer B., was a son of Asahel, who 
was one of the first settlers in Humphreysville. Ebenezer was a sol- 
dier in the war of 1812. Garry Johnson married Harriet, daughter of 
David Hotchkiss. Garry B. Johnson settled in Bethany in 1855, and 
is engaged in farming. He has held the offices of selectman and 
grand juror several terms, and was elected to the legislature, in 1873 
and in 1874. In 1841 he married Huldah, daughter of Reuben Doo- 
little, of Hamden. Their children were: Frances (deceased), Dwight 
L., Frances (deceased), Frank B. (deceased) and Frank. He married 
for his second wife, in 1871, Polly, widow of Nehemiah Tclles. Frank 
B. Johnson married Belinda Atwood. Dwight L. was married in 1874, 
to Harriet Wellman. They have three children living: Treat, Walter 
and Edgar. Mr. Johnson represented the town in 18S6. 

William H. Lounsbury, 2d, born in Oxford in 1833, is a son of 
Crownage, and grandson of Jaras, whose father, John, was a son of 
Timothy Lounsbury. Crownage Lounsbury married Samantha, daugh- 
ter of Harvey Hotchkiss. Their children were: William H., 2d, Mark 
and Sarah. William H. Lounsbury, 2d, worked at tool making for many 
years, and was foreman of the tool department at Sing Sing prison 
for one year. He settled in Bethany in 1863, and is engaged in farm- 


ing and dairying. He was married, in 1859, to Julia A. Ladne. They 
have two children, Jennie and Mark L. 

William McClure, son of Thomas and Ellen (Johnson) McClure, 
was born in Park, County Leitrim, Ireland, in 1810, came to America 
in 1852, and settled in Bethany, where he died in 1869. He married 
Hannah Lipsett in 1838. They had eight children: Catherine, born in 
1839; Thomas B., 1841; Hannah, 1843; Robert, 1845; William, 1849; 
Laura E., 1853; James E., 1858; and Richard C.,1860. Catherine mar- 
ried Darius Collins. Thomas B. married Lucretia Beecher. William 
married Margaret Kelley. They have one son, Herbert. Catherine's 
children are: Perry M., Etta M., Abrarn L., Laura A., Fannie M., Eva 
E. and Alice J. 

Edmund Peck, born in Greenwich, Conn., in 1817, is a son of Rufus, 
he a son of Ebenezer, he a son of Ebenezer, and he a son of Ebenezer 
Peck, who came from England and settled in Greenwich, Conn., founded 
the Methodist church there, and was its first pastor. Edmund Peck 
studied for the ministry, and for over 30 years has been a Methodist 
minister. He was pastor of the Bethany M. E. church for one year, 
about 30 years ago, and for another year about 15 years later. He 
took up his permanent residence in Bethany in 1884. He married for 
his first wife Charlotte, daughter of Samuel F. Peck, of Sharon, Conn., 
in 1855. They had one daughter, Charlotte A. He was married the 
second time, in 1862, to Elizabeth B., daughter of Theophilus Smith. 
They have three children: Mary E., Laura B. and Charles E. The- 
ophilus Smith was a native of Milford, and settled in Bethany, where 
he resided nearly 50 years. He kept a hotel and store for many years 
on the New Haven & Waterbury turnpike, and for several years 
kept a select school. His wife was Eliza, daughter of Lycius 

Adrian C. Rosha, born in Bethany in 1839, is a son of Elexis and 
Esther Rosha, the latter a daughter of Ebenezer Hitchcock, of Bethany. 
Mr. Rosha has always been a farmer. He enlisted in the 27th Connec- 
ticut Infantry, in October, 1862, and served until July, 1863. He mar- 
ried, in 1868, Anna G., daughter of Clark Hotchkiss. Their children 
are: Clifton and Eugene. In 1874 he married Fannie Hotchkiss, sister 
of his first wife. They have one son, Herbert. Clark Hotchkiss was 
born in Bethany in 1803, and died July 3d, 1890. He was a son of 
Isaac, and he a son of Isaac Hotchkiss. Isaac, the father of Clark, mar- 
ried Elizabeth Clark. Clark Hotchkiss married Caroline A. Sperry. 
Their children were: Martha, Mary, Isaac, Sarah, Fannie, Julia, Anna 
and Arthur. Martha married Lyman Gaylord; Mary married Elizur 
Hickok, and for her second husband Thomas Cocran; Isaac married 
Mary Reed; Julia married Thomas Higgins; Arthur married Eugenia 
Sperry. Mr. and Mrs. Hotchkiss were members of Bethany Congre- 
gational church for 62 years. 


jasper B. Todd, born in Bethany in 1842. is a son of Leonard, he a 
son of Ely, he a son of Jonah, he a son of Stephen, he a son of Samuel, 
he a son of Samuel, and he a son of Christopher Todd, who came 
from England to Boston in 1637. It is thought he settled in New- 
Haven. He died in 1686. Jonah Todd was the first of the family to 
settle in Bethany, coming from Branford, Conn. He died in 1803. 
Ely Todd, his son, was born in Bethany, June 29th, 1772, and died in 
1847. Leonard Todd was born in Bethany, November 8th, 1800. He 
married Julia B., daughter of Elam Bradley, of Hamden, and died in 
1876. The widow still survives him. They celebrated their golden 
wedding. Their children were: Grace, Emily, Margaret, Celia, Street 
B., Dwight E. and Jasper B. Grace married Reverend F. B. Wood- 
ward, M. D.; Emily married Isaac Perkins, Margaret married Chauncy 
T. Beecher; Celia married Wales C. Dickerman; Street B. mar- 
ried Sarah A. Hotchkiss; Dwight E. married Mrs. Kate E. Bishop; 
and Jasper B. married Mary A. Moody. Street B. represented the town 
of Bethany in the legislature in 1880. Jasper B. was elected select- 
man in 1888 and 1889. He is a warden in the Episcopal church. 

Nehemiah Tolles, born in Bethany in 1810, died in 1853, was a son 
of Daniel, and grandson of Daniel, who was a resident of Derby, 
Conn. Nehemiah Tolles married Polly, daughter of Captain Jesse 
Beecher. Their children were: Daniel, married Maria Newton; De 
Etta, married Jerome Downs; and Christine, married Edward Beecher, 
son of Lyman Beecher, and had one daughter, Leta Beecher. Edward 
Beecher was elected representative from Bethany in 1878. He died 
in 1881. Daniel Tolles, father of Nehemiah, married Mary Hine. 
Captain Jesse Beecher (named for his father) married Sarah Lines, and 
their children were: Hoel, Jesse, Emeline, Sarah, Polly and Hen- 

Benajah Tuttle, born in Woodbridge (now Bethany) November 3d, 
1812, is a son of Calvin and Sylvia (Smith) Tuttle, and grandson of 
Uri Tuttle, who came from Hamden and settled in Bethany Decem- 
ber 5th, 1764. Uri was the fifth generation from William Tuttle. who 
came from England in the ship " Planter" in 1635. He landed in 
Boston and settled in or near New Haven. Calvin Tuttle was born 
in Bethany in 1786. In his family were six children: Benajah, Jere- 
miah, Elizabeth H., Edwin A., Horace and Sylvia E. Only two are 
living, Benajah and Elizabeth H. Edwin A. married Malinda Tuttle 
in 1862. Benajah married Mrs. Alice C. Sperry in 1S69. Benajah 
learned dentistry, and that, in connection with farming, has been his 
business. Uri Tuttle, born 1737, married Thankful Ives. Their chil- 
dren were: Jeremiah, Amasa, Uri, Chauncey, Mary, Uri 3 , Elam, Ben- 
ajah, Seymour and Calvin. 

Lambert Wooding, born in Bethany in 1825, is a son of Levi and 
Polly (Bradley) Woodiug of Woodbridge, grandson of Elijah, and 


great-grandson of John Wooding; all residents of Woodbridge. Lam- 
bert Wooding was married in 1865 to Celia A., daughter of George 
W. Royce. They have two children living, George L. and William L. 
Winthrop D. died in 1808, Frank H. died in infancy in 1875, and 
Grace A. died in 1873. 

Samuel R. Woodward, born in Morris, Conn., in 1S44, is a son of 
Sherman P. and grandson of Reuben S. Woodward. He settled in 
Bethany in 1872. He has been highway commissioner, justice of the 
peace and secretary of the board of education; was elected selectman 
in 1878, and first selectman in 1879, and with the exception of nine 
months has been first selectman and town agent to the present time; 
and was elected representative in 18S2. He was married in 1872 to 
Mrs. Charlotte F. Bigelow, daughter of Justus Peck. Their children 
are: Daisy E., Florence E. and Sherman P. Justus Peck, born in 
Cheshire in 1809, was a son of Asa Peck. Justus worked on the old 
Farmington Canal, and ran the first through boat on the same. He 
came to Bethany in 1843. He was a farmer, and was a prominent 
member of the Bethany Congregational church. He held the office of 
selectman several years, and was justice of the peace. He married, 
in 1834, Marietta Moss, and for his second wife, in 1839, Jane, daugh- 
ter of Harry French, of Bethany. Their children were: Harry F., 
Charlotte F. and Marietta J., who married William J. Francis, of 
Wallingford. Charlotte F. married Henry M. Bigelow for her first 
husband and Samuel R. Woodward for the second. Harry F. Peck 
married Lydia A. Wood, of Beacon Falls. Their children are: Henry 
B., Nelson J. and Edwin H. Justus Peck died February 3d, 1885. 


Location and Natural Features. — Incorporation. — Civil List. — Highways. — West Haven 
Village and its Various Interests. — The Village of Orange. — Tyler City. — Ailing- 
town. — West Haven Congregational Church. — Christ Church (P. E.). — West Haven 
M. E. Church. — St. Lawrence Church (R. C). — Orange Congregational Church. — 
Orange Cemetery. — Biographical Sketches. 

THE town of Orange is west of New Haven, north of Long Island 
sound and Milford, and south of Derby and Woodbridge. On 
the west are Milford and the Housatonic river. Its length from 
east to west is more than six miles, and the average width is about 
three and a half miles. The shape of the town is somewhat irregu- 
lar, in consequence of taking some natural features as boundary lines. 
On the southeast they follow the waters of New Haven bay or harbor, 
with West river as the upper line of division from New Haven. On 
the southwest, separating the coast ports of Orange and Milford, is 
Oyster river. Eastward, to the New Haven harbor, much of the 
sound shore affords a very fine beach, a part of which has been im- 
proved for a pleasure resort. The principal improvements of this 
nature are at and near Savin Rock, less than two miles south of West 
Haven green, and consist of several dozen villas and buildings for 
the accommodation of the public. Savin Rock is a large ledge ex- 
tending some distance into the sound. Here General Garth's division 
of British troops landed, July 5th, 1779, when occurred the invasion of 
New Haven. It is said that the locality was so named on account of 
an evergreen shrub which grew upon this shore when the country 
was settled. The shore surroundings at this point are very pleasant, 
and their attractions are constantly increasing. 

The general surface of the town is hilly, but there are some level 
lands along the streams — Indian river, Wepawaug and Bare brook — 
where productive farms are cultivated, and are especially adapted for 
the growth of vegetable seeds. In several localities mineral deposits, 
principally silver and copper, have attracted the attention of miners, 
in consequence of the discoveries of David Lambert in 1818. Later a 
New York mining company developed a copper mine in the same 
range of rocks, but the operations did not yield profitable returns. 
Agriculture has, from the beginning, been the chief occupation, but 
in recent vears manufacturing; has received more attention. 


The grand list of 1S89 indicated taxable property to the amount of 
$2,657,342, some of it being detailed as follows: Acres of land, 16,185, 
value $1,146,006; dwelling houses, 1,016, value $1,002,729; manufac- 
tories, 20, value $33,150; horses, 590, value, $31,446; neat cattle, 1,469, 
value $29,751; stores, 11, value $13,450; capital in trade, $27,825; manu- 
facturing operations, $107,325; earnings of vessels, $7,754; oyster 
grounds, $31,516. 

Orange was incorporated May 28th, 1822, to include in its body 
politic the parish of North Milford, in the town of Milford, and the 
parish of West Haven, in the town of New Haven. A new name 
being necessary, many terms were suggested, but the present title 
was selected, finally, " in commemoration of the benefits received 
from William, Prince of Orange, by Connecticut when a colony; par- 
ticularly in the restoration of their charter privileges, after the tyr- 
anny and usurpation of Sir Edmund Andross."* 

The first town meeting was held at the North Milford meeting 
house, on the second Monday in June, 1822, when the following were 
chosen as the principal officers: Town clerk, Benjamin L. Lambert; 
selectmen, John Bryan, Jr., Ichabod Woodruff, Aaron Thomas, Lyman 
Law; treasurer, Nathan Clark; tythingmen, George Treat, Aaron 
Clark, Jr., Simeon Smith, Bradford Smith, Lyman Pruitt, Samuel L. 

Since that time the town clerks have been: 1823-33, Solomon John- 
■ son; 1834, Lyman Prindle; 1835-49, William Woodruff; 1850-4, Sidney 
Pardee; 1855-6, J. Seymour Pardee; 1857-87, Elias T. Main; 1888- , 
Walter A. Main. 

Among others who served as selectmen or town agents were: 
Nathan Merwin, Aaron Clark, James Reynolds', James Fitts, Albert F. 
Miles, Benjamin T. Clark, from 1850 until 1879; Albert Candee, Henry 
W. Palmer, Dennis B. Stone, Isaac Hine, George H. Ailing, Enoch 
Clark, George W. Tuttle, Samuel L. Smith, James Graham, Luther 
Fowler, David Piatt, George R. Kelsey, Isaac P. Treat, E. W. Wilmot, 
Charles T. Sherman, Charles F. Smith, Elbee J. Treat, Joseph An- 
drews, Andrew D. Thomas, David Piatt, William C. Russell. 

The town affairs are carried on at an outlay of about $30,000 yearly, 
about one-third being for the benefit of schools, and another third for 
the improvement of the highways. The Derby turnpike, passing 
through the upper part of the town, is still a toll road. The Milford 
turnpike, through the town, nearer the center, was vacated and be- 
came a public highway many years ago, its usefulness having been 
destroyed by the New York & New Haven railroad, which was built 
through the town in 1848. A well-ordered station is maintained at 
West Haven. The Derby railroad built through the town, in recent 
years, has stations at Orange, Tyler City and Allingtown. By these 
means the towns has easy communication with outside points. 

* Barber's Hist. Col., p. 246. 


West Haven village is on the west side of New Haven harbor, and 
about one mile from Long Island sound. It has a pleasant location, 
on an elevated plain, and has a number of handsome, wide streets, 
some of which are well shaded by large trees. The buildings lots are 
large, and some of the residences stand on spacious, well-improved 
grounds, which contribute to the pleasing appearance of the place. 
The center of the old village was at West Haven green, about three 
and a half miles from New Haven green. The railway station is half 
a mile nearer the city. Since July 4th, 1867, the old part of the village 
has been connected with the city by the West Haven horse railway. 
The same company afterward extended its lines through the village 
to Savin Rock. The system is well managed, and has advanced the 
prosperity of the town. The headquarters of the company are at 
West Haven, and, in 1891, it was officered by Israel A. Kelsey. presi- 
dent; William H. Tallmadge, secretary and treasurer, and W. W. 
Ward, superintendent. West Haven green was formerly somewhat 
marshy, but more that 50 years ago its improvement was begun, and 
it has been carried on to a considerable extent. It now has a fine 
lawndike appearance, with regular paths laid out through it. It is 
graced by a fine liberty pole, and contains also the Congregational 
meeting house and the old burial ground. On the south are the Epis- 
copal church and grave yard. In the east part of the village are 
Methodist and Catholic churches. Near the same locality are Tem- 
perance Hall, used by the Sons of Temperance, and the Women's 
Christian Union, and the magnificent Union school building, which 
was first occupied in the fall of 1889. The rooms are 10 in number, 
each one capable of accommodating 50 pupils. It is one of the most 
pleasing edifices of the kind in the county. On the corner of Main 
street and Campbell avenue is Thompson's Block, a public business 
building, erected in 1874. In it are the public offices, halls and the 
West Haven Reading Rooms, recently established under favorable 

In this building is also kept the West Haven post office, finely fit- 
ted up, and which supplies mail for 3,000 patrons. The service is five 
mails per day. Harris G. Eames is the postmaster, serving since De- 
cember 6th, 1890. His predecessor was George H. Thomas, who suc- 
ceeded Frederick Bishop. 

West Haven was incorporated as a borough in 1873, and is gov- 
erned by a board of warden and burgesses. These were, in 1891: 
Warden, E. J. Crawford; burgesses, Dennis Kimberley, Samuel Bry- 
ant, Lee Bishop, Charles Sherman, Israel Kelsey and Arthur Ben- 
ham. A. C. Heitman was the clerk, and John F. Barnett the treasurer. 
About $10,000 is expended yearly in public improvements and main- 
taining public interests. 

There is a system of public water supply, furnished by the West 
Haven Water Company, which has been in operation the past five 


years. Several reservoirs have been built, northwest of the village, 
into which water from a brook is pumped and carried thence by mains 
through the principal streets and to the sound shore. There are 19 
street hydrants and 3 public water tanks, maintained at a yearly out- 
lay of about $500. The borough has a fire warden and owns a fire en- 
gine, which is manned by a volunteer company. Since 1887 the 
borough has had its streets illuminated by electricity, there being 46 
public and 3 private arc lamps. There are also gas lights, both illum- 
inants being furnished by New Haven companies. These improve- 
ments have been conducive to the prosperity of the borough, whose 
present growth is measured by 50 new houses erected yearly. 

For many years the development of the village was slow, and for a 
term of years was practically at a standstill, the most of the improve- 
ments having been made within the present half century. Prior to 
this century this locality was generally called the " West Farms " of 
New Haven, and the inhabitants of this section were usually spoken 
of as the "West Farimers." One of the houses occupied by one of 
these farmers, and which was built in 1695, is still standing as the 
property of the Collins family. A house, built in 1745, which was 
long owned by Captain Anson Clinton, stood until 1889, when it was 
removed to make place for the new mansion of Rollin W. Hine. 

George Lamberton owned property on the " West side," which was 
divided among heirs, Samuel Smith, Captain John Ailing and William 
Trowbridge. Deacon Thomas Stephens was an early settler and be- 
came very aged. Thomas Painter was one of the original settlers, 
having Edward Thomas as a neighbor. The Benhams, Wards, Clarkes, 
Browns and Thompsons were also here as pioneers. Later, some of 
the principal farmers of West Haven were Thomas Painter, James 
Reynolds, Newton Stephens, Eli Kimberly, Ezra Candee, Nehemiah 
Kimberley, Albert Candee, Isaac Hine, Joseph Prindle, Captain Icha- 
bod Smith, Captain Anson Clinton, Captain Albert Thomas and the 
Ward brothers — Henry, Thomas, Elliott and Jacob— who were also 
vessel owners and seamen. Formerly many of the inhabitants were 
thus engaged, and boat building was also carried on. For a number 
of years a ship yard has been kept up, on the West Haven side of the 
harbor. In 1891 four-masted schooners for the coastwise trade were 
built there by Gessner & Marr, employment being given to a large 
number of men. Henry Sutton was a former ship-builder, and 
launched a number of schooners of large capacity. 

Most of the manufacturing interests of the town have been cen- 
tered at West Haven. One of the first factories opened here was that 
of the West Haven Buckle Company, which was incorporated in 1853. 
Among those interested were S. S. Hartshorne, Silas Thompson, Edgar 
M. Smith and George R. Kesley. Since that time operations have 
been carried on successfully and profitably, over three-quarters of a 
million of dollars having been paid to the stockholders of the com- 


pany as dividends. Nearly a hundred persons are employed. In 
1891 the secretary and treasurer of the company was D. S. Thompson. 

For many years George R. Kelsey was the successful manager of 
the above company, and his patents contributed much to the success 
of that corporation. In 1883 he established the American Buckle & 
Cartridge Company, of West Haven, of which Israel A. Kelsey was 
the president and treasurer in 1890. This company occupies works 
in the southern part of the village, and several dozen hands are em- 
ployed, under the superintendency of M. L. Bassett. Buckles for 
men's wear are the principal manufactures. 

In the same locality are the extensive works of the Mathushek 
Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of musical instruments. 
Operations were here begun in 1876, as the Parmalee Piano Company, 
from which has been evolved the present corporation, one of the 
most successful of the kind in the state. From 40 to 60 superior 
pianos are made every month, and many skillful mechanics are em- 
ployed. Piano stools have also been manufactured in the town by 
various corporations. 

The Graham Manufacturing Company manufactures keys and key 
blanks; water pipes are made by the Connecticut Patent Water Pipe 
Company; carriages by Grannis & Russell, and adjustable carriage 
poles by the Bishop Pole Company. All these industries give em- 
ployment to hundreds of men. 

The West Haven Budget, a local weekly paper, was established in 
January, 1885. The past four years it has been edited and published 
by F. S. Tower. An earlier paper published here was the Church and 
Home, issued in 1882-3, as a monthly, devoted to the objects indicated 
by its name. Reverend Norman J. Squires was the editor. 

Physicians have for many years resided at West Haven, those lo- 
cated there in 1890 being Doctors John F. Barnett, Durell Shepard, 
William V. Wilson and C. A. Bevan. 

Annawon Lodge, No. 115, F. & A. M., was chartered June 16th, 
1873, upon the petition of the following Masonic brethren residing in 
West Haven: D. S. Thompson, Jarvis E. Kelsey, Stephen G. Hotch- 
kiss, M. S. Leonard, James C. Hyde, W. W. Ward, Joseph Andrews, 
William A. Cross, Isaac T. Baker, Henry C. Thomas, James McAlpine, 
James H. Peck, James B. Thomas, Norman W. Domkee, John E. 
Marr, E. E. Wildes, George Warner, Francis Kettle, David T. John- 
son, Luther C. Fowler, Elizur Pond, Frederick W. Bishop, Charles C. 
Adams, William Church, John M. Aimes, Joel N. Andrews, Stephen E. 
Booth, H. I. Thompson, Samuel Mallory, Henry A.Thompson, Joseph 
B. Thompson, George Edward Cleeton, Franklin Robinson, Robert 
M. Gesner, Zadoc R. Morse, Nelson S. Wilmot, Charles C. Smith. J. J. 
Butler, Edward Pritchard, Edward L. Bradley, Edgar M. Beebe, T. W. 
Johnson, Thomas E. Newton. The Lodge has prospered, and now 
has about one hundred members. 


The West Haven Volunteer Memorial Association was organized 
in 18S6. In June, 1888, the Oak Grove Cemetery Association pre- 
sented the former body with a lot in its cemetery, in which Union sol- 
diers could be interred and a memorial erected. The lot was dedi- 
cated to this use in May, 1SS9. William E. Augur, W. L. G. Prichard 
and Harry I. Thompson were appointed a committee to raise funds 
to erect a memorial. This was properly dedicated September 10th, 

The first interments at West Haven were made on the public 
green, which was used for that purpose until about thirty years ago, 
when a more secluded place for interments was provided by the Oak 
Grove Cemetery Association. This body was incorporated Novem- 
ber 27th, 1860. The cemetery has been tastefully laid out and is 
neatly kept. 

The village of Orange, often called the " Center," is west of the 
center of the town. It is a station on the Derby railroad, and is lo- 
cated in one of the pleasantest parts of the town. In this locality are 
some good farms and substantial improvements. The lands here 
were surveyed and laid out in 1687, but no settlement was made until 
a number of years after 1700. Richard Bryan, Jr., son of Richard 
Bryan, of Milford, was the first to locate here permanently, opening 
some good farms. From this circumstance this part of the town was 
called "Bryan's Farms." A descendant, John, lived south of the 
"green," and his son, Richard, had a store on the west side of that 
plot of ground. The settlement of other farmers was invited, and as 
early as 1750 the inhabitants were so numerous that a winter school 
was set up. 

After 1804 the locality became known as "North Milford," retain- 
ing that title until after the formation of the town, in 1822. In the 
year first named a public library was here established, which had, in 
1S16, 144 volumes, mostly on religious subjects, which is an index of 
the character of the inhabitants — they were sober, intelligent and in- 
dustrious. Among the inhabitants of this period was Jonathan 
Rogers, having a homestead south of the green. His sons, Jonathan 
T. and Jonah, remained in this locality. Benjamin Clark lived on 
the east side of the green, where his son, Benjamin T., an aged and 
respected citizen, still resides. Colonel Alpheus Clark lived on the 
present Wellington Andrew place ; Colonel Asa Piatt, a large and 
wealthy farmer, on the Ed. Russell place. North of the church lived 
Deacon Jonathan Treat, who died in 1820. His sons, Jonathan and 
Jireh, also opened farms and long occupied them. These places are 
now in the possession of their grandsons. Northwest of the church 
lived David Treat, the father of sons named William, Leverett and 
David. In the same locality were Josiah and Jonathan Fowler. Other 
well-known residents were Matthew Woodruff, Benedict Law, Curtis 
Somers, the Fenns and the Andrews. In many instances the de- 
scendants remain. 


In more recent years stores have been kept in this village by Rich- 
ard Bryan, S. F. Oviatt and others. William J.Scobie has traded here 
a few years. The latter is also the postmaster of the Orange office, 
succeeding S. F. Oviatt, who had kept it in the railway station, where 
he was the first agent. Preceding him as postmasters, before 186J, 
were William T. Grant, Benjamin T. Clark and Dennis B. Stone. The 
office has two mails per day. 

In 1822 Doctor Josiah M. Colburn, who had that year graduated 
from Yale, located here as a practicing physician. He continued, with 
much success, until 1889, when he removed to Derby. An extended 
biographical sketch of Doctor Colburn appears in another part of this 
volume. Other physicians remained only short periods. 

The water power of the Wepawaug in this locality was early util- 
ized in operating small mills, some of which are continued, on a lim- 
ited scale, for the accommodation of the community. The Alhngs 
successfully manufactured woolen goods in a small factory on this 
stream, but many years ago removed to Birmingham, where their 
Wepawaug mill has become noted for the variety and extent of its 
productions, that industry being among the largest of the kind in the 

Many years ago an academy building was put up, a short distance 
from the green, in which good schools were kept. The ruins of this 
house still remain. Within the past decade a fine two-story school 
building and public hall has been built on the east side of the green, 
where the youth of the hamlet are well instructed. 

Tyler City is a hamlet two miles east from Orange village and four 
miles from New Haven. It is a station on the Derby railroad. It 
contains a few buildings, among them being a shop occupied by the 
Peerless Button Hole Attachment Company, which was incorporated 
in 1887. A large building was erected here for a private school, 
which was later occupied as the county home of refuge. A post office, 
with the name of the station, is maintained. 

Allingtown, named for the Ailing family, is near the West river, 
two miles from New Haven station. It is mainly suburban to New 
Haven city. Besides a number of residences, it contains a Gospel 
Union chapel, which was dedicated December 7th, 1890. Near this 
place is the grave of the British Adjutant Campbell, who was killed 
while leading the advance on New Haven. A monument has recently 
been set to mark the spot so long neglected. 

An effort was made as early as 1712 by some of th