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Full text of "Other days in Greenwich, or, Tales and reminiscences of an old New England town"

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M. L 

■•^o^v oo' ^""":rTioS 


3 1833 01151 4178 

Digitized by the Internet Arciiive 

in 2009 witii funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 








/oCci^ ^ 









Copyright, 1913 




In my days of boyhood and youth, a running 
mate, as we called him, belonged to every one. 

There was always some congenial spirit, 
who shared confidences, excursions and social 
events, who, in school and out, was a recog- 
nized companion. 




'T NEVER learned the ivonder of thai lane. 

Drenched with the Sinniner rain, 
IVhcre throngJi )iti/ boi/ish feet were icont to pass. 
Until I left it for the passionate toxcn, 
jMarble and iron and brass. 

Filled iritli all langliter; i/ea, and filled, alas, 
IVith life's immortal pain!" 

Charles Hanson Towne 


The Author 
Photo by E. Starr Sanford 



IliLustuations xiii 

Introduction xvii 

I The Village 1 

II Commercial Greknwich 17 

III The Town 25 

IV The White Bridge 54 

-^ V Banksville and Stanwich 61 

VI The Davis Dock 68 

VII Rockridge and Dearfield 73 

VIII Theodore H. Mead Farm 86 

IX The Titus Mead Farm 92 

X The Second Congregational Chi'rch . 100 
XI The Story of a Street — Greenwich Ave- 
nue 117 

XII W^ar Times 125 

XIII Rev. W^illiam H. H. Murray . . . .141 

XIV Along Putnam Avenue 153 

XV The Days of Boss Tweed 161 

XVI William M. Tweed in Greenwich . . . 180 

XVII LiNwooD — THE John Romer .... 202 

XVIII The Tweed Family 217 

XIX The Escape of William M. Tweed . . 225 

XX The Old Town Hall 233 

XXI The Lewis and jNIason Families . . . 244 

XXII The Old Black Walnut Tree . . . 250 





Rocky Neck — the Silleck House . 

. 256 


Railroads in the Early Days . 

. 266 


Riverside axd Soitnd Beach 

. 280 


The Octagon House .... 

. 286 


The Old Mill at Stonybrooke 

. 291 


The Old Mill at Davis Landing . 

. 299 


The Ancient Highways 

. 306 


Belle Haven 






Banksville Stage Frontispiece 


Frederick A. Hubbard ix 

Daniel S. Mead 3 

D. Smith Mead Driving Cows to Pasture 5 

S. Merwin Mead Homestead 6 

S. Merwin Mead 7 

Alvan Mead 8 

Luther Prescott Hubbard 9 

L. P. Hubbard Homestead 11 

Stephen A. Stoothoff l^ 

Zaccheus Mead Lane 13 

Deep Hole 15 

Post Office, 1859 18 

Post Office, 1861 19 

Joseph E. Brush 20 

John Dayton '21 

First Business Building Erected on Greenwich Avenue, 185 1 22 

Abraham Reynolds 26 

Captain Caleb Holmes 26 

Augustus X. Reynolds 27 

Stephen L. Radford 28 

Jonas Mead Homestead 29 

Milo Mead 30 

Deacon Jonas ^Nlead 31 

Windsor Chair used by Deacon Jonas Mead 32 

John R. Grigg . . ' 33 

Judge Augustus Mead 31 

Homestead of Augustus ]\Iead in 1859 35 

Squire Samuel Close 36 

Oliver Mead Homestead 39 

Miss Sally Mead . 11 

Oliver Mead 12 

Pottery made by Deacon Abraham Mead, 1790 .... 13 

The White Bridge, 1861 55 

Church at Banksville 62 

The Stanwich Church, Shubel Brush Homestead .... 63 

William Brush Homestead 64 

Old Inn at Stanwich 67 



"Dcarfield's" Thos. A. Mead Homestead 74 

Thomas A. Mead 75 

Zacclieus Mead Homestead 77 

Zaccheus Mead 2nd 79 

Natlianiel Witherell 81 

Buttermilk Falls 91 

Titus Mead Homestead 93 

Mrs. Lucy ^lumford Mead 94 

Putnam Cottage 95 

Solomon Mead 97 

Robert Williams Mead 101 

Second Congregational Church in 1879 103 

Insets: Rev. Dr. Joel H. Linsley 

Rev. Dr. Frederick G. Clark 
Rev. Dr. George A. Gordon 
Early Church Buildings 113 

Inset: Rev. Joel Mann 

Rockefeller Park in 1860 116 

Henry M. Benedict 119 

Shadrach M. Brush 121 

Captain W. L. Lyon 123 

Elnathan Husted" 126 

Alvord Peck 126 

Isaac L. Mead 

Corporal William Bird joy 

W^illiam Purdy 

Serg. Caleb Holmes 

John Bush Matthews 129 

James Gerald 129 

Major D. M. Mead . 130 

I>ieut. Thomas R. Mead 
Henrv H. Mead 

Silas "e. Mead ^ 131 

Lieut. David W. Mead 
William Morrison 

L. P. Hubbard. Jr 13.9 

William Smith 131 

Lyman Mead 134 

Caj^tain Sclleck L. White 
Corporal Alexander Ferris 

Lieut. W. L. Savage ]- 135 

Serg. Norvel Green 
Corporal Willis H. Wilcox 

James H. Hoyt, M.D 137 




Charles H. Seaman 137 

Lieut. Benjamin Wriglit 138 

Colonel Otis 139 

Serg. William Long 110 

Amos Mead Lvon IK) 

Rev. W. H. H. Murray 112 

Thomas Ritch 118 

Mrs. W. H. H. Murray 119 

Residence of Beale N. Lewis 151 

Dr. Wm. G. Peck 156 

William M. Tweed 163 

Tweed's Island, 1871 182 

Captain BrinckerhofF 181 

Americus Club House 185 

The Tweed Bath House 189 

Daniel S. Mead, Jr 190 

H. W. R. Hoyt, 1869 190 

Judge Heusted W. R. Hoyt 191 

H. W. R. Hoyt at age of 20 193 

Philander Button 191 

Dr. L. P. Jones 195 

Joseph G. Merritt 196 

T. F. Secor 206 

Captain Thomas Mayo 207 

Sanford Mead 208 

Stephen G. White 209 

Frank Shepard 220 

James Elphick 230 

Town Hall 234 

George J. Smith 235 

Town Hall in 1878 236 

Robert M. Bruce 237 

Amos M. Brush 211 

Miss Sarah Lewis 217 

Dr. Darius ]\Iead 218 

Sackett Homestead 251 

Reserved Lot in 1876, Ephraim Read Homestead and Marble 

House . .261 

John G. Wellstood 261 

Locomotive No. 27 267 

Moses Cristy 268 

New York Terminals of the New Haven and Harlem Rail- 
roads in 1818 and 1871 271 

Greenwich R. R. Station, 1859 273 

William H. Wallace at age of 16 275 




Cliarles H. Wright at '24 276 

William H. Wallace as Assistant Superintendent New Haven 

R. R 277 

Looking down the Harbor in 1859 279 

Luke A. Lockwood 282 

Amasa A. Marks 283 

The Octagon House 287 

Brush Knaj)]) 289 

The Old Mill at Stonybrooke 
Inset: Edmund Mead 1st 

Edmund Mead 2nd 293 

Lower Falls, Stonybrooke 295 

Snapshots at Stonybrooke 297 

The Old Mill at Davis Landing, 1868 301 

Woodsey Road 307 

Round Hill Woodshed 308 

Isaac Howe Mead 309 

Charles Mead 310 

Edward Mead 311 

Edward Mead Homestead 311 

Joseph Brush 312 

Joseph Brush Homestead 313 

Holly Inn, Cos Cob 311 

Falls near the Old Rolling Mill 315 

Elkanah Mead Homestead 316 

Elkanah Mead 317 

Church at North Greenwich 319 

Odle C. Knapp 320 

Nelson Bush 323 

Nelson Bush Homestead 329 



This volume is not a history. It is a collection of 
personal reminiscences and a few stories of local in- 
terest, told to the author years ago. They all relate 
to the Town of Greenwich, Connecticut, wliere the 
author has resided since 1859. 

He came to that town at the age of seven. All 
the impressive scenes of the war of '61 -'65 are firmly 
fixed in his memory. A boy of that age is every- 
where; he sees and hears everything and he never 

The records of the town have always been a de- 
light: those quaint old books that contain so many 
suggestions of other days. And when, years ago, 
the old men told stories of local events long past, 
they Avere treasured and often verified with particu- 
lar dates and names. 

Names and dates herein contained are believed to 
be correct. Certainly the dates are, as in no instance 
has a date been given until accuracy was first assured. 
The book is intensely personal. In some respects it 
may be deemed to be trivial. If it were a history — 
staid and dignified — that criticism might be just. 
But Daniel ^lerritt ^Nlead and Spencer P. ^Nlead are 
the local historians and they have done their work 

The province of this volume is to deal with families 



and their home farms. Great farms that raised so 
many potatoes, years ago, that the town controlled 
the New York market afterwards became residence 
parks. Their improvement brought great wealth; 
new streets were laid out and from a quiet rural com- 
munity Greenwich became a lively city subiu'b. 

How this happened and when is told herein. 

The photographs are included because it is believed 
they will be of interest. No payment for tlieir in- 
sertion has been exacted, except the actual cost of 
the plate. ]Many dollars would have been paid for 
others could they have been obtained. 

It has taken twenty-two years to gather the 
material for this book and now that the work is done 
the task is laid aside only with a feeling of regret. 

It has been pleasant to read and talk of tlie other 
days; to imagine how some of the characters looked; 
of what their home life consisted; how conscientious 
and careful they were and to realize tliat in many 
cases, notwithstanding their restricted environment, 
they builded better tlian they knew. 

GuEENWicH, ^Iay 1, 1913. 





WHAT is now the Borough, with a fringe of out- 
lying territory, consisted in 1859 of farms. 
The Thomas A. ^Nlead and Zaccheus ^lead farms, 
comprising over three hundred acres, lay to the west 
and northwest of the village center. Abraham B. 
Davis' farm lay to the southwest and the farms of 
D. Smith ]Mead, Silas ^lerwin ^Nlead and Dr. Theo- 
dore L. JNIason were in the center, while the Phil- 
ander Button, Theodore H. JNlead and Titus ^Nlead 
farms lay to the northeast and east. 

These farms were profitable and were managed 
with all the skill which had been handed down from 
generation to generation of practical farmers. Per- 
haps jNIr. Button and Dr. ]\Iason should be excepted 
as their occupations were teaching and the practice 
of medicine, farming being merely an incident. But 
the others were in every sense of the word farmers 
and they were good farmers, devoting their energy 
and judgment to tilling their productive acres to 



the best advantage. It is less than thirty years ago 
that CoL ^Mead's farm barns stood where Judge 
James F. Walsh's house now stands at 111 West 
Putnam Avenue. 

Col. Thomas, as he was called for short, owned a 
famous herd of yellow cows and his ox barn con- 
tained several yoke of sleek oxen. The farm was 
known as Dearfields to which I have devoted another 

The Abraham B. Davis farm adjoined Col. Mead's 
farm on the south. He was commonly called Benson 
Davis. He was a native of the town, his birthplace 
being at Davis I^anding where the old tide mill was 
operated so many years and with his brother, Silas, 
went to New York where he made a fortune in the 
flour business. 

In the eighteenth century the farm had belonged 
to William Bush. He came to Greenwich from 
New York about 1750. He was a young man of 
wealth, the only son of a retired shipping merchant. 
It is said tliat his shoe buckles were of the finest 
wrought silver and his small clothes were of the 
choicest silk. He had the swiftest horses, the finest 
oxen and the greatest herd of sheep and his acres 
were broad and fertile. The house he built was the 
talk of the town and upon his death, Jan.uary 8, 1802, 
his will disposed of a large estate. He left an only 
daughter, Rebecca, who became the wife of John R. 
Cozine, from whom she obtained a divorce en- 
abling her to convey her land as a single woman. 



She sold the farm to the Davises and on ^lay 7, 18.5^3, 
Abraham B. acquired from the others a complete 
title to the thirty acres. 

I recall an antiquated colonial farmhouse that 
stood west of the present so-called Green Court Inn, 


During the last years of his life he daily drove his cows to pasture 
in the manner shown 

which had been the homestead of William Bush be- 
fore and during the war of the Revolution. 

As Abraham B. Davis grew rich he desired a bet- 
ter house and about 1869, under the supervision of 
Samuel Adams, the old house was removed and the 
present one, known as the Green Court Inn, erected. 



Here he lived summer and winter i>oint>- to New 
York daily until hi.s death February -1, 1870. 

After the death of the widow, Eleanor R. Davis, 
who had acquired the farm by a will that was stub- 
bornly contested for many months by Mr. Davis' 
brothers and sisters, Henry R. ^Marshall purchased 
the farm. 

Till- farm of Daniel Smith ^lead was pretty much 

Built 1809 

all in the village. It consisted of about one hundred 
and sixty acres including eleven acres now occupied 
by the Havemeyer School. It extended east to 
Davis Avenue, then called Eove I^ane and soutli to 
the railroad. It was a portion of a great tract of 
land that in tlie middle of the eighteenth century had 
belonged to Daniel Smith, the father-in-law of 
Daniel Smith jNIead and for whom his son was 
named. D. Smith ]Mead, the grandson, lived in a 
house built many years ago but in 1870, when the de- 



sire for the ^Mansard or French roof appeared its 
colonial form was wiped ont. 

The house still stands at No. 359 Greenwich Ave- 
nue and is owned by the family. The other part be- 
lono-ed to Silas ^lerwin ^Nlead, a brother of U. Smith 
^lead, the second. 

Merwin JNIead, as he was generally called, lived in 
the house at No. 2iVS 
Greenwich Avenue now 
owned by Dr. AVilliam 
Burke. This house was 
built in 1809. The ^Nler- 
win ]Mead farm extended 
north from his brother's 
farm along Greenwich 
Avenue and across to Da- 
vis Avenue. It was JNIer- 
win JNIead who laid out s. merwin mead 

Elm Street and about the year 18.58 planted the 
elm trees that afterward suggested the name it 
bears. He was one of the most public spirited of the 
older generation. The streets tliat were laid out 
through his farm represented his contribution to the 
public improvement and he never asked for land 

The tract north, of Elm Street belonged to Edwin 
JNIead, a brother, who with Aaron Woolsey, of Bed- 
ford, N. Y., as a partner, divided the land into half 
acre plots then considered small and disposed of them 
to William Tiers, Isaac Weed and others. ]Mr. 



Tiers lived where the Cramer building- now stands 
and Mr. Weed lived where the li])rary is located. 
What is now^ Rockefeller Park belonged to Henry 
M. Benedict, Brush Knapp and Alvan ^Nlead. 



These men owned contiguous property amounting 
to nearly one himdred and fifty acres, devoted to 
cultivation and containing two fine apple orchards. 

Occasionally may be seen along Lincoln or I^ex- 
ington Avenues the stump of an old tree and it is 
possible tliat in some of the back yards of the nu- 


C^CcuAjSa- P/h€^(lerZZ^C^<^^-(^£<yr-^^ 



merous cottages that now occupy this territory may be 
found a fruitful apple tree, a relic of one of the old 

To me this tract is particularly interesting because 
in my boyhood days it constituted my trapping and 
hunting ground. 

Purchased in 1859 with savings accumuhited by the non use of tobacco 

jNIy home from 1859 to 1883 was the house now 
owned by Dr. E. O. Parker at No. 68 East Putnam 

In the early days when the farms of which I have 
spoken were devoted to the business of agriculture, 
there were few trees to obstruct the view and from 
any portion of my father's home place the Sound was 
visible for manv miles. Ancient stone walls divided 



the fields tliat abounded in quail and meadow lark. 
Piping- Brook ran full before numerous drains bad 
cut off its sup]:)ly and the muskrat and an occasional 
mink contributed to my somewhat limited supply of 
pocket money. 

In winter the snow often drifted over the stone 
walls making it possible to coast on the crust over 
much of this extended territory. 

Early in the sixties, 
Henry JNI. Benedict, in 
the mterest of his children 
an.d incidentally in his 
boys' playmates, flooded 
a portion of liis land for a 
skating pond. 

Occasionally I walk 
along the streets that 
have cut the Benedict 
place in pieces and en- 
deavor to locate some 
of the old haunts so familiar in other days. Re- 
cently in the backyard of one of the newly erected 
houses I found a remnant of the old dam and a little 
further south I identified the old buttonwood tree that 
grew near it. JNIr. Benedict was devoted to liis boys 
and liis daughter. Belle, now ]Mrs. William C. Horn, 
and their wants were seldom denied. 

After the skating pond was established it was 
thought necessary to build a small house whicli was 
warmed by a w^ood stove, thus enabling the children 




to put on their skates in comfort. Tliis building 
Avhich was erected ))y Stephen A. Stoothoft', who did 
all jNIr. Benedict's work, stood a few rods east of the 


rear line of Frank V. R. Reynolds' house on ^lason 

The chapter on tlie Octagon house tells of Brush 
Knapp who owned the orchard south of the Benedict 
land. I^incoln Avenaie now runs directly through 
it. There are several prominent trees on this one 



hundred and fifty acre tract which still live. Near 
what is now called Putnam Terrace stood an ash tree 
whose trunk was twelve feet in circumference. It 
was considered a detriment to the Sound view many 
years ago and was cut down, but near the home of 
Miss Amelia Knapp may be seen small trees of this 
variety which have sprung from the roots of the par- 
ent tree. Two or three buttonball trees graced the 
landscape but they are all gone except the remains 
of the one near the old dam. 

The great oak tree now on the front lawn of B. 
Frank Finney, on Mason Street, was a popular 
shelter for the cows that were pastured in that field 
and the triplet-trunk silver maple on the corner of 
Mason Street and Lexington Avenue looks just as 
it did fifty years ago. 

When the autumn days came all the boys were in- 
terested in nut gathering. The Mason farm had sev- 
eral fine hickory trees, one of which still stands on 
the front lawn of Frank V. R. Reynolds' place. An- 
other stands in the rear of Dr. J. A. Clark's place on 
Mason Street and the remains of one that was on the 
Merwin INIead farm still stands on the corner of ISIa- 
son and Elm Streets. 

Dr. Mason was engaged in the active practice of 
his profession in Brooklyn and his farm was man- 
aged by George Wellner, whose name I learned 
3^ears afterwards; a good hearted German who must 
have emigrated to this country late in life as he 
spoke very broken English. We called him Dutch 



George, having heard others call him hy that name, 
and he never resented it. 

He was inclined to tease us sometimes but always 
acceded to our request for the privilege of gather- 


ing nuts on the ^Nlason farm. Longer excursions for 
nuts took us down Zaccheus ^Mead's lane and to the 
chestnut trees near "Sheep Pen" on the Thomas A. 
Mead farm. 

It will therefore a])pear that the one hundred and 
fifty acre parcel I have described did not include all 
the playground of the boys of those times. It was 
our immediate reservation but frequently we made 
excursions to the east across what is now JNIilbank to 



Theodore H. Mead's brook (called the brook 
"Brothers"), for a swmi. 

Then the notion wonld take iis in the other direc- 
tion across Col. ^Mead's farm to "Sheep Pen," a fa- 
mous swimming hole long ago filled up with sand 
because there were no more sheep to wash. Some- 
times we enjoyed a picnic, perched on the rocky sides 
of Deep Hole, a rustic spot that is practically un- 
changed. Occasionally we walked down Love Lane, 
now Davis Avenue, to the old tide mill and under its 
protecting shadow undressed and dove from the rocks 
still visible north of the causeway. 

In tliose days there was no road across the dam. 
AVhat is now Bruce Park was the Isaac Howe ^Nlead 
farm and behind a great ledge of rocks, on the west- 
erly side of the pond, long since removed, we felt that 
bathing clothes were quite superfluous. The Davis 
pond was always popular as a bathing place because 
no account need be taken of the tide. At low water 
the gate was down and tlie pond was full. 




THE preceding chapter has dealt with some of 
the rural parts of Greenwich, but no allusion 
has been made to its commercial interests. 

These interests were so insignificant that they are 
mentioned only to make the story of Greenwich com- 
plete. Before and during the war of 1861. it is my 
impression that Xewman & Hewes of ^Nlianus, in 
their general store did more business than all others 

The Upper I^anding, as ^Nlianus is still called, 
was a busy place and from thence most of our farm 
products were shipped. Joseph Brush, at Cos Cob 
also did a large business. 

The village of Greenwich was not without stores 
and although thev were called general stores thev 
were not conducted like the general store in prosper- 
ous communities at the present time. Remote places 
in New England have such stores to-day as we had 
fifty years ago. 

Putnam Avenue was then called ]Main Street, the 
successor of the main country road, a name that had 
been used for manv generations. At the corner of 



Putnam Avenue and Sherwood Place, then called 
Mechanic Street, was the business center for a number 
of jxars. Under President James Buchanan the post 
office had been located in what is now known as Dr. 
Frank ]M. Holly's cottage and Squire Samuel Close 
was postmaster. But when President Lincoln was 


elected the office of jjostmaster went to Joseph E. 
Brush and the office, about six feet square, was 
opened in the building now owned and occupied by 
Frederick Denson. 

iNIr. Brush and later Brush & Wright, Benjamin 
Wright being the partner, ran a general store. 
They kept everything but fresh meats, including dry 



goods, paints, oils, a general line of groceries and a 
limited stock of hardware and crockery. 

On the opposite corner stood the old Congrega- 
tional Chnrch a large frame strncture which had heen 
moved in 18G0 after the construction of the present 


stone edifice. Col. Thomas A. Mead and his nephew, 
Amos INI. Brush, were the owners of the property. 
It stood on the northeast corner of Putnam Avenue 
and Sherwood Place and was occupied hy Dr. James 
Aiken's drug store, Linus Weed's jewelry store, the 
law office of Julius B. Curtis and the town offices. 
The upper floor was a public hall, where were held 



many spirited meetings and lectures during the time 
of the war. 

In wliat is now the front door yard of Dr. Virgil 
C. Piatti's residence, close to the street line, stood a 
small one-story building, used as a meat market by 
John Henderson. It stood on land leased of Dr. 
Mason and was not removed till about 1870. 

Abram Ackei- kept a grocery store in a two-story 

frame building that stood 

^,„„^ w'liere the eastern end of 

L |H^.. the Eenox House now 

-^0^ T§ >1^^^ stands. The old building 

^vas removed to the rear 
of the present structure in 
187'3 and was converted 
into servan.ts' quarters for 
tl.e liotel. It still stands 

Peter Ackei". a })rother 
of Abram Acker, for 
many years conducted a grocery store in a frame 
building, standing where Isaac T. ^lead's building is 
now located, on the corner of Putnam and Greenwich 
Avenues. A piazza ran across the south side of this 
building from which was a fine view of I^ong Island 
Sound. It was reached by a long flight of steps 
which afforded a comfortable roosting place for a lot 
of genial fellows, who would occasionally crawl down 
the stairs and through a cellar door that was always 


Wartime Postmaster 


invitingly open. Expensive bars were then un- 
known liereabouts, and a draught of New England 

rum did not come amiss, altliough served across the 
head of a barrel. 

INlatthew ]Mead kept a cobbler's shop nearly oppo- 
site the John A. Bullard garage. 

Benjamin Peck, and later Frank Holmes, con- 



ducted a dry-goods store in a large frame building 
which for many years after was occupied by the 
Greenwich Savings Bank, standing on what is now 
Mrs. L. P. Jones' land. 

AVENUE 1854 

John Dayton, wlio died August 18, 1908, was the 
first man to ventin*e the purchase of a lot on Green- 
wich Avenue for business purposes. He was thought 
to be injudicious when he and Daniel INIerritt JNIead, 
as a partner, paid $500 for a lot 50x150, On this 
land they built the frame building now occupied by 
the Greenwich Savings Bank. The first floor was 
the Dayton shoe store and Counselor jNIead con- 



ducted a law office in the second story which was snb- 
sequently used for many years by Col. Heusted W. 
R. Hoyt for the same purpose. 

Peter Acker's garden lay along the west side of 
the avenue down to the grocery store of Oliver Lock- 
wood, whose stand was where Benjamin I^ockwood's 
restaurant and Arthur Phillips' store are now lo- 

Henry Held conducted the only meat market on 
Greenwich Avenue and that was open only during the 
forenoon. It occupied the frame building now 
owned by S. A. and H. L. Brush at No. 74. It was 
not profitable to keep the store open in the afternoon 
and evening, the business being insufficient. Xo de- 
liveries were made and many of tlie peo])le of wealtli, 
for those days, carried their purchases home. 

John H. JNIerritt's fish market, which also served 
home-made ice cream in the hot weather, stood on 
Capt. Wm. L. Lyon's land, where th.e Trust Co.'s 
building now stands. Later it was moved across the 
street and is now occupied as a plumber's store by 
Elias S. Peck. 

These stores were all the village had. Even the 
tinner and the plumber were missing. There was 
little for a plumber to do, there being no public wa- 
ter supply. If a tea kettle needed repair or a house 
required tinning. Port Chester artisans did tlie work, 
unless a traveling tinker happened to call. 

It was not till nearly the close of the war that 
William and Robert Talbot, brothers, arrived and 



opened a plumbing and tinning shop at the head of 
the avenue on land then belonging to Jacob T. Weed 
and still in the jjossession of his family. The build- 
ing was removed several years ago. A number of 
descendants of the Talbot brothers are well-known 
residents of the Borough. 

With no street lights, very few side walks, and 
they of the crudest kind, it is easy to realize what a 
quiet country village Greenwich was during the war. 
Very few ventured out at night and those who went 
to an evening meeting or to pay a social call usually 
carried a lantern. JNIoonlight nights were always 
counted on and when the snow was on the ground 
coasting and sleigh-riding were greatly enjoyed. 




THE previous chapters have dealt with the village 
and its immediate surroundings, but no allusion 
has been made to the township. 

There are many who have no idea of the territorial 
extent of Greenwich. It is nearly as large as the 
District of Columbia. Before the days of rural free 
mail delivery it had a half dozen post offices and to- 
day it has four railway stations — Greenwich., Cos 
Cob, Riverside and Sound Beach. 

In 1859 it was a farming community producing 
hay, grain, potatoes, apples and milk in such (|uanti- 
ties that its population had become wealthy. The 
farms were generally unincumbered and railroad, 
bank and insurance stocks were largely lield. Of 
course in those days the measure of wealth was much 
smaller than at present Init most of the farmers were 
worth fifty thousand dollars, ])esides their farms 
valued at about one hundred dollars an acre. 

The population was about 6,500 and the assessed 
valuation for taxation was $2,882,353 which included 
nine hundred and nin.ety-seven houses valued at 
$701,580, showing that about three-fourths of the 
taxes were levied on farm lan.ds, and that therein lay 
the importance of the town. 





As I have shown, Mianiis liad more commercial 
interests than Horse Neck, the usual name for the 


The ''Lower I^anding," 
or Cos Col), liad its mar- 
ket boats, as well as 
^lianus and from these 
two jjoints most of the 
farm products found their 
way to the city. Capt. 
Daniel jNIerritt at Piping 
Point, near the foot of 
Arch Street (the landing 
having been covered by the present railroad embank- 
ment), and Capt. Caleb Holmes at Rocky Neck had 
all tliey could do in the transportation of produce, 
})iit the other side of the town outnumbered 
them in freight tonnage. ! 

Oliver ^lead, Thomas 
A. JNIead, Stephen L. 
Radford, Zaccheus jNIead, 
Charles JNIead, Al)raham 
and Augustus N. Rey- 
nolds of North Street and 
their neighbors, I^ot and 
Drake Mead, were a few 
of the large sliippers of 
farm produce. 

Milk went away by train every night in large quan- 
tities, wliile now not a can goes out but instead 



1 81-^-1 SS? 


many cans are imported from the northern counties 
of Xew York and ^Massachusetts. 

Ignoring, for the present the territory north of the 
Parsonage Road, it may he interesting to recall the 
various farms that composed that part of the town 
now included in its thickly settled southern portion, 
exclusive of the village. 

At Byram, and on the point of the same name, in- 
cluding very much of 
East Port Chester were 
the farms of Jonas ]Mead 
and Daniel Lyon. That 
part of the town was 
in closer communication 
with Port Chester than 
with our own village hut 
on the Sabbath day Dea- 
con Jonas ]Mead, his sons, 
^lark and 3Iilo, and three 
old ladies with poke bon- 
nets, seemingly representatives of generations long 
departed were regular attendants at the Second Con- 
gregational Church. 

The Lyons were, I think. Episcopalians and at- 
tended church in Port Chester. 

Sunday consisted of sacred and solemn hours and 
its observance was strict. 

Xow that houses, some very large and expensive 
and many of more modest proportions cover this ter- 
ritory it is hard to realize how beautifully rural 




Byram Point was half a century ago. Tlirusting its 
liead above a nifj-ged ledge in which its roots are fas- 
tened an ancient cedar tree may be occasionally seen, 
a relic of the wild and artistic growth that finally at- 



tracted such purchasers as William J. Tingue and 
Charles and Henry R. JNIallory. The soil between 
the out cro]jping rocks was extremely fertile and those 
patient, plodding farmers wrested what they consid- 
ered a fortune from the land which later produced to 



their descendants sudden and marvelous wealth in the 
quick turning of real estate deals. 

]Milo ]Mead has been called the Sage of Xew I^eb- 
anon, his name for East Port Chester. His father, 
Deacon Jonas Mead, died August 2, 1871. 

His estate consisted of about seven thousand dol- 


Torn down 1911 

lars in personal property and one hundred and forty- 
two and one-half acres of land appraised at $40,000. 
This land went to his two sons, ]Mark and jNIilo, but 
remained undivided until January, 1879, when all the 
shore front consisting of thirty acres and much land 
besides was set off to ^lark ^lead while his brother, 



JNIilo, had to content himself with inland pr()])erty, 
althongh eight acres liad a frontage on the l^yram 
River, wliere the New Lebanon docks were afterwards 

Upon acquiring- this land, Milo Mead had it sur- 


veyed and divided into lots fifty feet wide, naming 
the whole oNIeadville. Subsequently this name was 
abandoned and the name NeW' Lebanon adopted and 
persistently adhered to down to the day of his death, 
August 2, 19()(). Once when asked the significance 
of the name, he stated that the cedars reminded him 
of those in I^ebanon of Bible history. 

However, the name w^as never popular. The mer- 
chants preferred East Port Chester and William J. 



Tinffue favored Hawthorne, after his woolen mills 
at Glenville. For a short time the post office hore 
this latter name. The school district was called Xew 
Lehanon in consideration of a gift of valuable land 
for school purposes. 

Henry A. ^Nlerritt could 
purchase the rivei* front 
only upon condition that 
the dock he contemplated 
building should be called 
the Xew I^ebanon dock, 
which name it still retains. 
The Opera House, the 
Danish clul) house and 
the town dock, located 
on land given by 
Mr. Meads and a few 
places of business, still 
bear the name. dkai ;;x .ioxas mkad 

The Danish club house is Mr. JNlead's best monu- 
ment. He gave the land and furnished the money 
for its construction. In front of the building, which 
is of brick, with stone trimmings, is a bronze has re- 
lief of ]Mr. Mead and beneath it the inscription 
"The Sage of New Lebanon." 

It is a work of art and a very correct likeness, 
though so high in the wall that it is seldom noticed. 
The artist was Carta Christensen, a young lady of 

There is a large population of Danes in Kast Port 



Chester, and tliey held ]Mr. ^lead in high esteem, 
primarily hecause he was willing to dispose of his 
land to them at reasonable prices when he might have 
sold to much better advantage to the wealthy for 
large estates. 

The th-irty-acre tract of Sound Shore front set off 

to ^lark ^lead was 
({uickly sold and is now 
occupied by such places 
as those of Joseph ^lil- 
bank, John H. Hanan. 
Charles ^lallory and Ed- 
gar E. ]Marston, president 
of the Farmers' I^oan and 
Trust Co. 

Farther west was the 
farm of John R. Grigg, 
somewhat remote because is now Hamilton 
xVvenue with a trolley line 
was but a right of way 
with gates now and then. 
But his broad fields were 
none the less productive 
and all his life he devoted himself to their cultiva- 
tion. The old white farmhouse, still standing, was 
then a landmark all by itself, commanding a broad 
view of Long Island Sound. But it has been 
dwarfed and rendered insignificant by great three- 
story Italian apartment houses and by numerous mod- 



Used hy Deacon .loiias Mead and 
his son Milo. Xow the j)roj)- 
ertv of the Author 


era cottages in the near-by Jaynes Park, a portion of 
the original farm. 

Just across the valley, on the next ridge to the 
east, was the farm of Augustus ^Nlead. The old 
homestead moved back a few rods from the street 
and enlarged is now known as Homestead Hall, a 
popular summer hotel. Open the town records of 
fifty years ago and almost 
every page reveals his 
name. He was a careful, 
methodical, an^l thrifty 
farmer of ample means 
and possessing the charac- 
teristics of wisdom and 
moderation. He was a 
man of deliberate judg- 
ment and those who had 
no claims upon him, ex- 
ce])t that they were his townsmen went to him for 
advice and counsel. 

I do not intend to imply that he was not progres- 
sive; onJy that always before he made a move he was 
sure of his ground. Those who were his contem])o- 
raries say that he was a close reader of scientific pul)- 
lications and that he gave careful attention to the 
products of the patent office. Any new devices in 
farming implements particularly interested him and 
in his outbuildings were many examples of oddly con- 
structed 2)lows and harrows with which he had ex- 
perimented. He was a thorough believer in anv 


JOHX P.. CliKU! 


change of nietliods suggestive of progress. He was 
tlie first man to build an ice house in town. 

He hekl various offices of trust including the initial 
judgeship of the Court of Probate. I recall exactly 


About 18(j0 

how he looked as he drove along in a square box 
wagon and tied his brown horse. Dandy, to a stone 
post stan_ding under a great ehn tree, whose branches 
still hang over the little building that held the Pro- 
bate Court and the Post Office. His name has been 
perpetuated in his son, Augustus I. Mead, and his 
grandson, Augustus, son of Nelson R. INIead. 


THE TOWN 13345^;,2 

I can not refrain at this ])()int from (lit>res.sin<>' a 
little to tell the story of the Post Office building, as 
revealed in the town records, showing as it does the 
confidence in business matters enjoyed l)y the men of 
those days. Samuel Close was postmaster in 18.59. 


He had succeeded Isaac Weed in 1881 and, with the 
exception of four years prior to 18.54, when Joseph 
E. Brush was postmaster, held the office till the elec- 
tion of President Lincoln in 18G0. He and Judge 
INIead were the leaders in their party and it fell to 
them to arrange for quarters for the new Judge of 
Probate. Mr. Close then owned the property at 20 East 
Putnam Avenue no^\' owned by Dr. Frank ^I. Holly. 
, As soon as Augustus ^Nlead was elected Judge of 
Probate he hired of ^Ir. Close the nortlieast corner 



of his door yard and, at his own expense, erected 
a frame huikhng which is still standing. The lease 
was executed Decemher 3, 1853. It recites the fact 
that Judge Mead had already erected the building. 
The lease provided that it should be used only for the 
office of town clerk, tlie post office and Coin-t of Pro- 
bate. As the building was only 20x28 the limita- 
tion of its use seems to have been hardly necessary. 

The postmaster was to 
have the exclusive rioht to 
occu]jy the first story, but 
not to interfere with 
Judge JNIead in passing 
through in order to get to 
tile second story, which 
indicates the location of 
the Probate Court and 
carries with it the sugges- 
tion that Mr. Close re- 
ceived his ground rent in 
the partial use of the building erected by Judge JNIead. 
Judge JNIead died April 22, 1864, still the nominal 
owner of the building. In the settlement of his es- 
tate, although the l)uilding was a fixture and actually 
belonged to jNIr. Close as the lease had terminated 
October 1, 1858, it was appraised in the estate of 
Judge Mead at $300. On June 8, 1864, Elkanah 
^lead, as administrator of Judge ^Mead's estate, sold 
the building, at the appraisal, to Rebecca R. ]Mayo, 
the wife of Captain Thomas INIavo and the daughter 


III 18()0 


of JNIr. Close. Dr. Holly has improved and greatly- 
enlarged the building making it a very tasty cottage. 

The front wing represents the original building 
and the identical letter slot is still at the left of the 
front door. 

But the great farm, tlie farm with a history, was 
owned by Oliver ^Nlead and a jjortion of it is now 
known as Field Point Park. To-day it is beautiful 
with its fine residences, its sweeping lawns and its 
brilliant flower beds, visible from the water, the 
growth of trees and foliage having cut off tlie view 
from any other point. But all its rural simplicity 
has departed. It lies like an over-turned spoon one 
hundred and ten acres south of the liomestead, and 
once from any part of it the view of Sound and village 
was unobstructed. Those who live on the charming 
outer circle of this wonderful point have all the view 
they desire. 

There are ancient oak trees on this land, some of 
them perhaps of the forest primeval. There were 
springs, some very close to the shore, where the cat- 
tle drank and where the Round Hill and Stanwicli 
l^icknickers filled their pails. The stone A\'alls were 
in many places ten feet wide, blasted from the land 
by the first settler, Zophar jNIead. 

Years before the Revolution all the territory be- 
tween Horse Xeck Brook and the extremity of the 
Point was common land — a great horse pasture, into 
which any of the inhabitants could turn their horses. 
The early records call it "Horse Xeck Field Point" 



from which the original name of the village, Horse 
Neck, Avas derived. 

In the latter part of the eighteenth century 
Abraham JNIead conducted a pottery where the Held 
House u-ow stands. He had two sons, Isaac and 
Zophar. The latter settled on tlie lower portion of 
Field Point and was the father of Oliver. Isaac 
settled on the northern portion and was the fatlier of 
Augustus INIead. It was the understanding between 
the sons that their father should divide his time be- 
tween them. AVhen the old ])lace at Indian Harbor 
was given up Abraham INlead went to live with his 
son Isaac, dying before the first year of his residence 
with him had expired. 

Abraham JNIead was a devout and influential mem- 
ber of the Second Congregational Church and to dis- 
tinguish him from some of the other JNIeads with the 
same given name, lie was called Deacon Potter from 
liis occupation. 

Rut to return to the southerly portion of Field 
Point where Oliver INIead was born and died. When 
I was a boy he was a man of inferior physical 
strenoth, liviu"" in the old homestead, a bachelor, but 
surrounded with all the comforts that liis life re- 
quired. He moved about the farm slowly and ])ain- 
fully, leaning upon, a cane and giving to his men in- 
telligent directions for their work. He was noted 
for his fine oxen of which he had several yoke, as a 
pair was called. He frequently loaned to his neigh- 
bors his oxen, but it was said tliat he was so solicitous 



for their welfare that he sent a douhle team or two 
pair when hut one pair was requested. Every por- 
tion of Field Point was under tlie most careful culti- 

The old oak trees still standing along the easterly 
shore, now owned hy 
George F. Dominick and 
perhaps some others, and 
one or two on the extreme 
point now owned hy Sey- 
mour J. Hyde, were his 
pride. On one occasion 
he spoke of them as shad- 
ing his cultivated land to 
its damage, hut added 
that he could well afford 
the diminished crops, tlie 
trees were so grand. 

]Mr. jNIead never took 
any active part in puhlic 
affairs. He was a mem- 
her of the Second Congre- por 
gational Church and a 
liberal giver to every worthy benevolent cause. He 
died March 19, 1887, at the age of 87 years. 

In addition to Field Point he owned Hound Island 
and considerable other land. The inventory of his 
estate shows 166 acres of land valued at $64,800 and 
$108,076.22 of personalty. 

For years the eyes of wealthy men had been on 



many years in the family of 
Oliver Mead 


Field Point, with its fine shore front, more than a 
mile in extent. Occasionally it was reported that 
^Ir. IMead had been offered large sums to part with 
this land, some of which he had bono'ht, but most of 


which was ancestral estate. But the old man, feeble 
as he was, outlived many wlio had coveted those 
broad acres. 

When he died his last will, dated December 1, 
1882, w^as filed for probate and at once a most in- 
teresting discussion arose among both lawyers and 



laymen as to what disposition he had made of tlie 

His cousin, Oliver D. ^Nlead, now president of the 
Greenwich National Bank, had lived with Oliver 
JNIead for several years hefore liis deaths and the old 
man had enjoyed, during tliat time, the comfort and 
solace of the young-er man's wife and daughters. 
But some of the lawyers said that Oliver I). ^lead 
had only a life estate in this fine property and was 
not able to convey a perfect fee title. Others took 


tl:ie opposite view and while the discussion was rife 
no one cared to purchase, whatever his own opinion 
of the matter might be. The cause of contention 
was the seventeenth clause of the will which I venture 
to quote in full. 

"I give, devise and bequeatli all my real estate, 
"wheresoever situated including my burial plot, all my 
"stock and farming utensils on said real estate, all 
"my household furniture of every description and all 
"my w^earing apparel to Oliver D. ^Nlead to him and 
"to his heirs forever. If the said Oliver D. Mead 



"should die without leaving any heirs, then and in 
"that event I give my said real estate to Augustus 
"I. JNIead to him and his heirs forever." 

While the discussion continued Oliver D. ^Nlead 
was in possession, certainly with perfect propriety, 
for at least he liad a life estate. Rut it was no easy 
burden in the days of unprofitable fai-ming to 
carry on such a farm and pay the taxes; at least that 
is my own conclusion. 

Under tliese circumstances it was quite natural for 
3Ir. ^lead to welcome a possilile piu'chaser for at 
least a portion of the property whatever the title. 
Therefore, in. the sj^ring of 1895, a proposition was 
made that tlie town purchase Round Island includ- 
ing a considerable parcel on the main land for a pub- 
lic ])ark. The price fixed was seventy-five thousand 
dollars. A special meeting was held on the eighth of 
April and resulted in the appointment of a committee 
of purchase, consisting of George G. ^NIcNall, John 
H. Ranks and Sheldon E. jNIinor. 

The deed was signed but was never delivered, be- 
cause many of the residents of Relle Haven believed 
that the extension of the shore road to the island which 
was contemplated in the deal and the maintenance of 
a public imrli at that place would be undesirable. 
Influenx'c from many sources was brough.t to bear on 
the parties interested and it was concluded to aban- 
don the matter. It has been a great regret to many 
who at the time opposed it, that the park was not 
established and especially since it has become known 



that John D. Chapman, the present owner of Round 
Island paid very much more and hought considerably 
less land than was contemplated in the park scheme. 

But there came a time, three years later, wh.en th.e 
question of title went to the courts and our Su])reme 
Court of Errors decided that Oliver D. ^lead's title 
was perfect. 

The case arose upon a contract for the sale of a 
portion of the land wliich had first been purcliased 
by Judge R. Jay Walsh who contracted to sell it to 
James JNIcCutcheon. The latter took the ground 
that Judge Walsh had an imperfect title and could 
not carry out his contract to convey the fee of the 
land. Probably as far as these litigants were con- 
cerned, the suit was a friendly one, the sole object 
being to have the will reviewed and its meaning de- 
termined by the highest Court in Connecticut. But 
when the matter actually got into court other inter- 
ests were cited in; the arguments of all the counsel 
were very full and complete and appearances indi- 
cated that the suit could scarcely be termed friendly 
but one in which those interested wanted all that be- 
longed to them. 

The case first went to the Superior Court and 
without the introduction of testimonv the following' 
finding of facts was agreed upon. 

"That Oliver U. ]Mead derived his title to Field 
"Point under the will of his cousin, Oliver ^Nlead. 
"That at the time of the execution of the will Oliver 
"D. Mead and his three children were living and are 



"still living. That Augustus I. Mead is living and 
"that he has two children. That Oliver JNlead de- 
"rived his title from his father, Zophar jNIead, hy will 
"in 1844 and that Zoj^har JNIead derived title to a 
"portion of the farm from his father Abraham JNlead, 
"in 1827. Upon the death of Oliver JNIead, Oliver 
"D. and his family were in possession of the farm, 
"having been living there some time in the control 
"and management of the property. Both the father 
"and mother of Augustus I. ^lead were first cousins 
"of Oliver Mead. Oliver uVIead's nearest relations 
"were first cousins. He was never married." 

Under the 17th section of tlie will, previously 
quoted, Samuel Fessenden of Stamford, arguing for 
the defendant, claimed that Oliver I). JNIead took an 
absolute title and that the provision regarding the 
death of Oliver D. "without leaving any heirs" was 
intended only to provide for the contingency of 
Oliver D. dying before the death of Oliver. That 
the intent must govern unless it is contrary to law. 
He claimed that the 17th section of the will in con- 
nection with the 19th section and surrounding cir- 
cumstances clearly indicated that it was the intention 
of the testator to create an absolute estate. 

The 19th section of the will reads as follows: "If 
"there should not be enough estate outside of what I 
"have given to Oliver D. Mead to ])ay all the legacies 
"($86,000) then and in that event I order and direct 
"the executor hereinafter appointed to pay each pro 
"rata. If any of the legatees should die before mv 



"decease, then and in that event, the legacy I have 
"given to such legatee or legatees, 1 give and devise 
"to the heirs of such deceased legatee or legatees." 

Taking the two sections 3Ir. Fessenden argued that 
it was the intention of Oliver ^Nlead to leave the real 
estate to Oliver D,, provided he outlived him. If he 
died before the testator, leaving heirs, he intended 
that they should inherit the estate absolutely. If 
Oliver D. died before Oliver, leaving no heirs, then 
it was intended that Augustus I. jNIead should take 
the land absolutely. A legatee is one who takes per- 
sonal property under a will and a devisee is one who 
takes land. The counsel argued that these two 
words had been employed by the testator without 
distinguishing any difference in their meaning. 
Hence, he claimed that the 19th section included the 
devise to Oliver D. JNIead, when he provided that the 
children of such legatees should take, if the legatee 
died before the death of the testator, showing that 
the second half of the 17th section of the will was 
only to provide against a lapse of the devise. He 
reasoned that tlie provision in the 19th section that 
"If there should not be enough outside of what he 
had given Oliver D. to pay all the legacies they were 
to be paid pro rata" showed conclusively that Oliver 
intended Oliver D. to take the farm unincumbered 
and untrammeled by any burden whatsoever. 

In reply, John E. Keeler, of Stamford, argued 
that Oliver D. Mead did not acquire an absolute title 
to the land devised to him under the will. He said: 



"To support the view that OHver D. ^lead heeame 
possessed of an ahsohite title, it is necessary to claim 
one of two things, either that all of the 17th section 
after the first sentence is to be rejected as repugnant 
and of no meaning; or that the words 'die without 
leaving any heirs' refer to Oliver D. JNIead's death 
before the death of the testator, Oliver Mead. 

"It cannot be seriously contended that all of tlie 
"second sentence is to be set aside as having no mean- 
"ing. Evidently the testator had two methods of 
"disposition in mind as relating to his real estate, 
"turning upon the time of the death of Oliver D. 

"If the latter died before him he desired the 
"property to go immediately to his lieirs in fee; these 
"heirs were children of Oliver D. ^lead in being at 
"the time of the making of the will; but if Oliver D. 
"^lead died after Oliver ]Mead leaving no children 
"then an entirely different disposition takes place and 
"Augustus I. ]Mead succeeds to the property." 

^Ir. John C Chamberlain, of Bridgeport, repi'e- 
senting Augustus I. ^lead and his children, argued 
that Oliver D. Mead had an estate tail in the land, 
relying largely upon a case decided by the same 
Court in June, 1896, entitled Chestro vs. Palmer, 58 
Conn. Reports, page 207, in which the construction 
of a will was sought, the will reading quite like the 
will of Oliver ^Nlead. "In that case the Court de- 
"cided that the estate created by the will was only an 



"estate tail and that the whole situation was so sim- 
"ilar to that found in Chestro vs. Palmer that it is 
"apparently impossible to construe this estate in 
"Oliver D. ^Nlead to be anything more than a fee tail, 
"without overruling all the law of the State upon the 

]Mr. Chamberlain's contention concerning the 
rights of Augustus I. uNIead in the property was 
much wider than the claim made by JNIr. Keeler. 
While ISlr. Keeler recognized the possible accession 
to the land by the children and grandchildren of 
Oliver D. INlead, Mr. Chamberlain argued that the 
"remainder," after the death of Oliver D. INlead, 
would go to Augustus I. Mead and that the descend- 
ants of Oliver D. JNIead would have no interest after 
the death of their father. Answering ]Mr. Fessen- 
den with relation to a provision of the testator in the 
19th section whereby the legacies were to be paid 
pro rata if there should not be money enough, "Sir. 
Chamberlain said that the clause was not inconsistent 
w4th his claim. "Oliver JNIead had entailed the land 
"and it was to go to future generations, hence it 
"could not be sold to pay legacies but must be kept 

Nor did he think that possession and occupation 
of the premises by Oliver D. INlead before the death 
of Oliver jVIead was inconsistent with the theory that 
Oliver INlead intended his cousin to occupy the place 
for life. 



"Tile property was partly ancestral estate and if 
"there had been no will Angustus I. Mead and his 
"brother, Nelson B. Mead, wonld have taken the land 
"to the exclusion of Oliver D. JNIead, and it is not 
"strange that the old man desired it to remain in the 
"same branch of the family from whence it had come 
"to him." 

Chief Justice Andrew's wrote the opinion in which 
he pursued much the same method of reasoning as 
did "Sir. Fessenden in his argument. I quote from 
the opinion. 

"The language in the 17th paragraph, in its first 
"clause, creates in Oliver D. ISIead an absolute es- 
"tate in fee simple, in the lands in question. Tliis 
"Coiu't in a very recent case, JNIansfield vs. Shelton, 
"67 Conn. Reports, page 390, and after an exam- 
"ination of the prior cases, held that an express gift 
"in fee simple will not be reduced to a life estate by 
"mere implication from a subsequent gift over, but 
"may be by subsequent language clearly indicating 
"intent and equivalent to a positive provision. 

"The words of the second clause of the 17th para- 
"graph, which are supposed to have the effect of re- 
"ducing the fee simple title created in Oliver I). 
"jNIead to a lesser estate are: 'If the said Oliver D. 
"Mead should die without leaving any heir, then, 
"&c.' Read literally these words mean nothing. 
"No man can die without leaving any heirs. The 
"law presumes, until the contrary is shown, that 
"every deceased person leaves heirs. It is argued 



that the word heirs ought to he read as meaning chil- 

In a suitable case the Court might possibly adopt 
such a reading. But in tlie present case, where the 
eifect of the changed reading would be to defeat 
the very clearly expressed general intent of the tes- 
tator, as well as to reduce an express gift in fee 
simple to a lesser estate, tlie Court would hardly 
feel authorized to do so. . . . There is another 
rule of construction which has been follow^ed many 
times by this Court, and which is decisive of this 
case. It is, that when in a will an estate in fee is 
followed by an apparently inconsistent limitation, 
the whole should be reconciled by reading the latter 
disposition as applying exclusively to the event of 
the prior devisee in fee dying in the lifetime of the 
testator. The intention of the testator being, it is 
considered, to provide a substituted devisee in a case 
of a lapse. This construction gives effect to all the 
words of the will and makes all its parts consistent. 
The reference in the 19th clause to the estate 'given 
to Oliver D. ^lead' was evidently intended to cover 
whatever was disposed of by the 17th clause. Part 
of that — the personal estate — was unquestionably 
an absolute gift. It is therefore reasonable to sup- 
pose that as the testator in this reference made no 
discrimination, he had intended none, between the 
real and personal property, and understood that he 
had given an absolute estate in both. 



"It is also to be considered that if the provision 
"for Oliver's death without leaving any heirs were 
"read as one as to his death without leaving any sur- 
"viving issue, whether it occurred either before or 
"after that of the testator, then it contemplated a 
"devise to such issue, which would be void un.der the 
"former statute of per2)etuities. 

"The construction which we adopt, on the other 
"hand, by confining the effect of this clause to a 
"death before that of the testator, makes this clause 
"valid and satisfies the rule that when a devise may 
"fairly be read either as a legal or an illegal one, tlie 
"former meaning is preferred. 

"From all the words of the will examined in the 
"liglit of the circumstances, we are persuaded that 
"Oliver ^lead intended by his will to give, and did 
"give, to Oliver D. ^lead an estate in fee simple in 
"all his lands." 

This decision was generally satisfactory among 
those disinterested. It was suggested by some that 
the opinion was strained in the interest of an expedi- 
ency. It is true that the pul)lic interests would not 
be conserved by tying up for many years such a 
valuable tract of land and a feeling of satisfaction 
was manifest, when it became known that Field Point 
l]ad been purchased by a corporation known as the 
Field Point Land Co., for the purpose of develop- 
ment. The deed executed by Oliver D. ]Mead recited 
a nominal consideration but the actual consideration 



was probably greater than in any other of our re- 
corded conveyances. 

Sales of the land were consummated as soon as 
the company had laid out the property, and intro- 
duced light, water, sewerage and roads. It has been 
said that the land sold, all of wliich had shore front, 
brought from ten to fifteen thousand dollars an acre 
and no lot was sold less than three acres in area. 




T)EFORE taking up another farm that made 
■^^ rural Greenwich in other days, the okl white 
bridge occurs to me as a subject for this chapter. 
It may serve to })reak the monotony of my story. 

Davis' Creek is spanned })y a raih'oad bridge near 
the new pumping station, like scores of others along 
the line. But in 1859, a covered bridge of heavy 
frame, shingle roofed and shaped like a spireless 
church covered the creek above the old mill. It was 
then about eleven years old. It was painted a 
glistening white and with the exception of the black 
smirches at the top from the belching smoke stacks 
was kept as neat and clean as a country church. 

Engineers on the night trains have often told how, 
as soon as they roimded the curve leaving Cos Cob, 
the white bridge would loom up before them, appar- 
ently double its actual size and glistening like a snow 
bank in the moonlight. None of the trainmen ever 
had any affection for the white bridge. It stood in 
a spot, until within thirty years, the most isolated 
between New York and Springfield. Overhanging 
hills covered with scrub oaks and tall cedars, but re- 
vealing white, spectral-like tombstones in the old 



Davis burying- gTound, were on the north, wh.ile on the 
other sides the diversity of forest and meadow land, 
which in the glow of daylight were romantic in the 
extreme, at night were w'eird and uncanny enough. 

The white bridge was removed about 1880. but like 
its neighbor, the old mill, it had been a landmark for 
many a day. 

Queer stories were often told by superstitious en- 
gineers of the goblins that played at night al)out the 
old bridge and swung their spectral lanterns before 
the cab windows as tlie locomotive leaped into the 
resounding and trembling structure. 

In the daytime the place was often fre(iuented 
by school children — l)y those who ought to have been 
at school. Girls and boys alike would scurry across 
the ties as a train rounded the curve and hiding be- 
liind the great timbers of the bridge would liold on 
to the iron braces till the train had thundered through. 
It was a dan.gerous spot and eleven lives were the toll 
of the white bridge. 

Besides the ghost stories that the trainmen used to 
tell about the bridge, there w^as one tale told of this 
spot that was really true. 

About the year 1860 the night train for Boston, 
consisting of baggage express and sleeping cars, was 
made up at 27th Street and hauled by horses through 
the Park Avenue tunnel to 42nd Street. Here, 
while the cars were being coupled in what was a far 
uptown street, surrounded by tlie whitewashed cabins 
of squatters, the home of goats and thieves, the ex- 



press car was boarded by two robbers. How they 
were able to force the door and get into the car no 
one can tell, but they succeeded either by the aid of 
a confederate trainman or by mere chance. Some 
have said that the door was carelessly left open and 
that the thieves, happening to be about, saw their 
opportunity and seized it. Be that as it may they 
"■ot into the car and shut tlie door after them. 

The car was filled with treasure — government 
bonds, bank notes and bags upon bags of gold coin. 
No one was ever able or willing to tell just how many 
millions of dollars was in that rolling treasure house 
that niglit. 

As the train started on its trip how the thieves must 
have exulted in tlieir rich find! The boxes and bags 
in which the securities and gold were packed, were 
immediately })roken open and their contents exam- 
ined with care. JVIany bags of gold and packages of 
bank notes were piled up by the door and the non- 
negotiable bonds and other securities were left in a 
litter upon the floor. Tlie gold and bank notes could 
be safely handled and of these there was a fortune 
larger than the wildest fancy of the thieves had ever 
conceived of. What use then to bother with securi- 
ties that probably were registered^ These, repre- 
senting millions of dollars which the robbers trampled 
in the reeling car were to them of no more value than 
so much brown paper. They were surfeited with the 
wealth of gold and l)ank notes. 

The first stop to be made was at the Cos Cob draw- 



bridge, where all trains paused, and this the thieves 
probably knew, indeed they seem to have been 
familiar with the country about the white bridge, 
as the circumstances I am about to narrate will 

As the train approached this secluded spot the rob- 
bers began to unload the car. The bags of gold and 
bundles of bank notes were thrown out as though an 
immense scoop had shoveled them through the door. 
For a mile the track was littered with wealth. As 
the train moved across the Cos Cob bridge, the rob- 
bers had alighted, leaving the door open. This was 
observed at Stamford and the robbery reported. 

Every eif ort was made to recover the treasure and 
to apprehend the robbers but not a clew was left to 
their identity. They were never apprehended. 

Some of the money came to light and in the most 
peculiar places. Bundles of bank notes were found 
in hollow trees and bags of gold to a large amount 
were found secreted among the upper truss beams 
of the white bridge. It was here indeed that the 
largest amount of the stolen treasure was discov- 
ered, for the robbers had evidently believed it a 
safe bank in which temporarily to deposit their ill- 
gotten hoard. And it doubtless would have been had 
not the jarring of a train shaken one of the canvas 
bags filled with gold almost into the lap of a young 
lady who had baited her line for crabs beneath the old 

For manv vears the railroad men called the present 


othp:r days ix Greenwich 

bridge, without roof and painted black, the "white 
bridge" after the one that really was white. 

About the old white bridge more tales cluster than 
I could tell in a day. Tales of ball games in the 
layman Mead meadow near })y, now fenced in as a 
part of JNIilbank; tales of love and tales of greed. 

INIany of my readers w^ill remember that summer 
night in 1876 when the old bridge was filled with 
boulders and cross ties into which the shore line ex- 
press ran with terrible force. That no blood w^as 
shed that night was tlie will of a kind l^rovidence, 
which protected the unconscious occupants of the long 
line of sleeping cars that Mailed while the trainmen 
tumbled the obstructions into the creek below. And 
the same protection ])erhaps enabled the villains who 
had planned a r()bl)ery to escape to the woods, where 
the engineer saw them stumbling across the graves in 
the Davis Cemetery. 

But no recollections of the white bridge are pleas- 
anter than to those who remember it as a rendezvous 
for crabbers. 

In the quiet days of September when the haze of 
autumn rested on the creek and veiled the woods be- 
yond, who has not, in other days, stretched liimself 
u})on the bit of sand beneath the railway bank, now 
covered by the pump house, and waited for the lazy 
bite of the succulent crab? Rut the crabs are 
as scarce these days as the gold in the span of the 
new white bridge. 





BANKSVIU.E lies at the extreme northern 
edge of the town. It has a chnreli of (jiiaint 
construction. The post office is in a village store. 
located a few feet over the line, in the State of New 

The outlook of the village is towards the north 
where the wooded hills of North Castle and ^liddle 
Patent are in full sight. The water courses all run 
to the north and eventually join the waters of the 

^Nlany years ago — perhaps seventy — when slioe- 
making was all done hy hand, the village of Banks- 
ville was largely engaged in that industry. For 
thirty years or more it kept in touch with Greenwich 
through the Banksville stage, which carried mail and 
passengers. Silas Derby, the owner of the line, was 
a quaint old character who passed away some years 
ago but who was well-kn.own by the older generation. 
His mode of dress, the trim of his whiskers and his 
cheery "Yap" to his steeds will be readily recalled. 

Several vears ago a busy South Street merchant 
enquired whether Derby was still driving the Banks- 
ville stage and being answered in the affirmative he 
went on to say: 

"When I was a young lad mv grandmother, who 



lived on the west road, Stanwich, would send me out 
to meet the stage for the mail as it made its daily 
trip. Often through the summer. I made the trip to 
the steamhoat dock, fished all day and came back with 
Derby at night. Recently I had occasion to again 
visit Greenwich, after an absence of twenty years, 

and there was dear old 
Derby, the only familiar 
object, driving exactly the 
same rig he had in the 
early sixties." 

Of course tlie man's im- 
pression of the rig was in- 
coi-rect, althougli the style 
and color of the turnout 
never changed. 

Once I interviewed the 
old gentleman. It was 
near the close of his life. Among other things he 
told me the following incidents: 

"Along in the late fifties ^liss Ann Purdy came 
from Syracuse to Banksville. She bought the house 
opposite the post office, considerably enlarged it and 
established a boarding school for girls and boys. 
Much to the surprise of everyone in Banksville she 
soon had a houseful and roomed a few outside. 

"At that time there was no regular communication 
with the village and she induced me to start the 
Banksville and Greenwich stage line. She lent me 
one hundred dollars and I made my first trip June 


CHrHCII AT li.\XKS\Il,l,K 


23, 1861. For many years I carried ten passengers 
daily. The pupils and teachers patronized me freely 
and even after the school was abandoned, way down 
into the seventies, the business was pretty good. 

Photo by J. C. Bonnett 

"^ly line was a feeder to the steamer JoJin Romer 
and the president, Sanford ^lead, always passed me 
to New^ York and back, but I seldom went. In 
those days the members of the Americus Club often 
hired me to drive them to Rye Beach or Stamford 
and many times I had Boss Tweed with me on the 
front seat. 

"I left Banksville at six o'clock, caught the Romer 



at seven and left my railroad passengers for the 7.21 
train. This gave me all day in the village, as I did 
not leave on the return trip until the arrival of the 
steamer at ahout six o'cloek. 

''But business isn't what it onee was and sometimes 



Photo In- J. C. Boiinctt 

on the up trip the hills seem steeper and longer than 
they onee did and the horses seem to pull with a 
greater effort. Tlien it is that I realize that the 
Avhole rig from the driver down is getting old and 
that the best of life lies far, far behind." 

South of Banksville lies Stanwieh, even more 
(piaint than its sister village. It had a eountry store 
that was closed when the rural free delivery drove 



out the postoffice, but there still remains an old inn. 
now used as a dwelling and a beautiful country 
church, built in the latter part of the eighteenth 

Its graceful white spire first comes in view as one 
drives north bv Rockwood Lake. The wide shingles 
that cover it are hand wrought and its large windows 
are glazed with diminutive panes. What a crime it 
would be to supplant those ancient lights with modern 
stained glass windows! 

A beautiful stained glass window is a joy forever, 
provided it is correctly placed. Such a window in a 
country church, which nestles among trees, or is 
shadowed by mountains, or commands a broad pros- 
pect of hill and dale, is an intrusion. But in a city 
church among brick walls, the beauty of stained glass 
takes the place of nature's decoration, and helps the 
worshiper to forget the sordid world about him. 

In this connection I must quote from the Right 
Rev. William Lawrence, the Bishop of ]Massa- 
chusetts. Recently he spoke of the rededication of 
the old Xorth Church in Boston — the ancient house 
of worship from whose belfry the lanterns are said to 
have shone forth which guided Paul Revere on his 
famous ride: 

"Fortunately no stained glass has ever desecrated 
these windows. Xo painted glass can give greater 
beauty than the sky and the swinging branches of the 
trees seen through the transparent panes of a Colonial 

[65] ■ 


Everything about the church, inside and out, is 
consistent with its age. It rests peacefully under the 
shadow of great trees that have afforded comfort and 
delight to several generations. 

In other days much of this territory belonged to 
Charles, William and Shubel Brush, with the Inger- 
sols also appearing as land owners. 

Many of the Stanwich people were interested in 
tanning, Shubel Brush being the last to engage in it. 
He lived on the corner, back of the church in an 
ancient house, which since his death has been much 
changed architecturally. 

His brother, AVilliam, lived on the cross road in an 
antique mansion now included within the boimds of 
Semloh farm. Reverse the spelling and you have the 
owner's name. 

The little village of Stanwich is suggestive of by- 
gone days, when the stagecoach to Bedford made a 
stop at the old Inn. That building is now owned 
by jNIrs. A. Leta Bonnett, of New Haven, and Har- 
riette L. Lockwood, granddaughters of Shubel 
Brush. It presents a story of the long ago in its 
sweeping roof and quaint windows. 

Within, its wide fireplaces, in each room, and its 
brick oven suggest the near-by forest, with its ample 
supply of wood. The second floor was designed for 
a ball room and as occasion required, the partitions 
were hooked to the ceiling and the young peo])le, 
with their friends from Bedford, and North Castle, 
made merry all the night long. 



Stories are told of a flourishiiio- bovs' boardinii' 
school on the west road kept by Theodore June. 

There were debating clubs in the olden days of 
which there are many traditions and a few stray 

Sometimes I have heard this hamlet called East 
Stanwich. The old records give the name of Stan- 
wich to all the territory below Banksville, extending 
east as far as "the Farms" in Stamford Township. 

The direct road from the Borough to Bedford 
through Stanwich has always been known as "the 
west street." 

There seems to be no reason for applying the name 
of East Stanwich to what is now and has always been 
the center of Stanwich. 

Photo bv J. C. Bennett 




JUST at this point 1 must write of the Davis' 
Dock, over which tliere has heen iiiiich Htiga- 
tion, and the ownership of which is still misunder- 
stood. At a town meeting held in Greenwich, June 
15, 1716, the following resolution was adopted. It 
has generally been known as the Justus Bush grant 
and I give it exactly as it appears in the Common 
place book in our I^and Records. 

"The Towne by vot do give &: grant unto ]Mr. 
"Justice Bush of Xew York the privilege of the 
"stream of horseneck brook below the country road to 
"build a grist mill or mills upon & sd Justice Bush 
"is to build said mill within two years time from this 
"date & to m-ind for the inhabitants of Green- 
"wich what grain they shall bring to his mill to be 
"ground & not to put them by for strangers & he is 
"to have liberty to gett stones & timber upon com- 
"mon lands for buildings and mill & also to sett up 
"a store house upon said landing, & said Justice 
"Bush is constantly to maintain a sufficient grist mill 
"ujion sd stream, except said mill should come to 
"some accident bv fire or otherwise, & said Justice 



"Bush do not rebuild her again within three years 
"time then the said stream k privileges to return for 
"their use and benefit as formerly; and further ]Mr. 
"Ebenezer INIead &c Angel Husted &, John Ferris are 
"chosen to lay out the landing and highway on the 
"north side of Horseneck brook." 

What did this grant mean? Was the mill to be 
built on town property or on the Bush property, the 
grant applying only to the use of the bi'ook which 
"Sir. Bush had under his title to the shore of the 
stream? The Davis family, who succeeded the Bush 
ownership, always supposed they owned the fee of the 
land and for many generations they paid the town 
taxes thereon. 

In 1837 considerable contention arose over this 
property, which then included a dock as well as a 
mill. But the only question was as to whether it was 
a public or private dock. The distinction is wholly 
as to whether wharfage has ])een charged or not. A 
private dock may be maintained upon one's own 
shore front but when the owner accepts wharfage it 
immediately becomes a public dock to which any ves- 
sel may tie upon the due tender of wharfage. 

After the death of Eleanor R. Davis this property 
belonged, under her will, to Mrs. Amelia J. Dougan 
and an action was tried in tlie Court of Common 
Pleas between Mrs. Dougan and the town to deter- 
mine her rights therein. 

It seems from the decision of the Court of Errors, 
to which the case went for final determination, that 



after the litigation was over the question of the own- 
ership of the land was still undetermined. 

There was a tradition that the same (juestion had 
once before been tried and considerable time and 
money were expended in an effort to find the old 

Finally, after the Dougan case was disposed of 
the papers were discovered among the criminal files, 
stored in the garret of the County Court House in 
Bridgeport. These files disclosed the fact that in 
1837 the question as to whether the dock was pul)lic 
or private was determined in favor of Walter Davis 
then the owner. 

Capt. Charles Studwell, a boat owner, assumed 
to use the dock without paying ]Mr. Davis 
wharfage and thereupon he l)rought suit claiming 
$30 damages. The case was tried before Ephraim 
Golden, a justice of the peace, and the hearing began 
September 12, 1837, at the Inn of Benjamin Page 
at Mianus Landing. 

Jacob Dayton, Jr., was the constable who served 
the papers and his fees were taxed at ninety-four 

After due hearing, tlie Court, on October 11, ren- 
dered a judgment for $8.00 for the plaintiff, Walter 
Davis, with his costs taxed at $10.41, and an appeal 
M-as taken to the County Court. 

This suit was remarkable for the personnel of the 
Counsel engaged. 

Charles Hawley, of Stamford, one of the most 



eminent lawyers of the State, signed the writ. He 
appeared in the Page Inn at Mianus and tried and 
won the suit for jNIr. Davis. 

Associated with him was the famous Roger INIinot 
Sherman, who, shortly after the trial of the case, lie- 
came a judge of the Supreme Court. He died in 
Fairfield in 1844. 

The trial of the case created intense excitement in 
town and was the subject of much discussion for 
years afterward. Capt. Studwell, being defeated, 
appealed through his counsel, Joshua B. Ferris, of 
Stamford, then a youth, to the County Court (since 
abolished) where the case was tried before a jury 
consisting of AValter Sherwood, Stephen Raymond, 
]Moses Birkly, Jr., Christopher Hubbel, Benjamin 
C. Smith, Samuel Beardsley, William B. Dyer, 
Horace Waterbury, John Holmes, Isaac Scofield, 
Noah Knapp and John Young. The trial occurred 
in Fairfield, then the County Seat, in April, 1839. 
and resulted in a judgment for ^Ir. Davis. An ar- 
rest of judgment was filed and final judgment was 
not entered until May 18, 1840. 

The witnesses who appeared before the Justice at 
jNIianus and before the County Court were Silas 
Davis, a son of the plaintiff, B. ^lorrell, "SI. ISIead, 
J. L. Bush, William Hubbard, Joseph Brush, Paul 
Ferris and Samuel Ferris. After this, the Davises, 
for several generations, continued to collect wharfage. 
In jNlrs. Dougan's case, referred to above, the 
Supreme Court of Errors decided that tlie dnck was 



a public dock l)iit tlie (question of the ownership of 
the land was not determined. The case is reported in 
77 Con. Rep., page 444. 

In terminating the opinion written by Judge Hall, 
the Court says: "The answer does not allege owner- 
ship in the town })iit that the locus [the place] was a 
public dock and landing place." 





ECURRIXCx aaain to the centrallv-located 

farms as outlined in the beginning of Chapter 
I, I desire herein to include in one description the 
farms of Thomas A. ^lead and Zaccheus ^lead. 

These two farms, divided by the Cilenville road, 
comprising three or four hundred acres, stretched 
away from the Post Road, in valley and hill to the 
north and west, ending in woodland. 

The Thomas A. Mead homestead was built in 
1799 by Richard ^lead and is known as Dear field. 
The name is not misspelled but has a significant 
meaning. Various stories are told of its derivation : 
the one most likely to be true is as follows: One of 
Richard Mead's family, in writing to a friend, de- 
scribed the fields of waving grain through the valleys, 
along the knolls and ridges to the "Hemlock Woods" ; 
all visible from the windows of the house and char- 
acterizes them as "dear fields." 

Dearfield Drive takes its name from the same inci- 

The Thomas A. INIead farm is now known as Edge- 
wood Park, and the Zaccheus ]Mead farm as Rock 



Fifty years ago looking north from the Post Road 
at all that great acreage, the two farms seemed one. 
There were plowed fields, waving grain and rock- 
ribbed hills, while to the west the beautifnl Hemlock 
Woods always took the last rays of the setting sun. 

The Zaccheus ^lead homestead, lately the home of 




Thos. A. Mead Homestead 
Built 1799 

Charles B. Read, deceased, stood out all alone, 
prominent against the northern sky. In all that 
great stretch from the Post Road to the w^oods at the 
north and west, there was scarcely a tree, excepting 
two or three apple orchards and the small wood lot 
near the residence of Judge Charles D. Burnes on 
Brookside Drive. 

Farmers always were solicitous for their lands 



under cultivation and a shaded field was usually un- 
productive. But I recall how desolate that old 
Zaccheus ]Mead homestead looked standing all alone 
against the steely gray winter sky. 

From the same point of view it is now lost in a 



jungle of shade trees or by the obstruction of inter- 
vening buildings. 

This great territory was divided by ancient stone 
walls, thick and straight and frequently intersected 
by other similar walls. These walls were made of 



boulders that could be drawn only by four pair of 
oxen and lifted to their place by a derrick. AValls 
were thus frequent because of the supply of stone 
dug from the earth to make the cultivated fields. 

Not far from the Edgewood Inn, which, with the 
Park of the same name, occupies a small portion of 
the Thomas A. jNIead farm, one may still see a few 
examples of the wall-building skill of the generation 
that lived before and just after the Revolution. 
There are still remaining short pieces of old walls, 
covered with moss and ^ ines, so wide that a horse and 
buggy could be driven along the top. Rut most of 
the old walls have been broken to pieces an.d are 
occupying their place in modern liouse construction. 

The old homestead at Rock Ridge was owned and 
occupied by two men of the same name — Zaccheus 
Mead. Tlie first was the grandfather of the second, 
but 1 have no knowledge of the generation between, 
except tliat Job and Elsie were the parents of 

However, the old liomestead and its one hundred 
and fifty acres went, by will, from grandfather to 
grandson of the same name. 

Opposite the "Boulders" now the home of E. B. 
Close, the rock caverns of that jagged granite pile, 
rising more than fifty feet in height, afforded a safe 
hiding place, when the British red coats made life 
uncomfortable for the Greenwich patriots. There 
was no road near there when I was a boy, but one 
day, going through those woods in company with my 



father and Col. Thomas, as ^Ir. Mead was ahiiost 
always called, the latter pointed out the rocks as the 
hiding place of refugees during the war. It wasn't 
quite clear to me what was meant by refugees but 
the words sounded spookish, and the surrounding- 
dense woods, with the murmur of Horseneck Krook, 

In 18.59 

were not agreeable to mv nerves and I never go 
through there without recalling the incident. The 
brook is the same and so are the trees and rocks but 
the human habitations have taken awa}^ all the som- 
ber mystery of my first visit. 

It is possible that the old homestead still standing 
supplanted one earlier built, but I am inclined to be- 



lieve that the first one, an old sweep-])ack, was prob- 
ably enlarged and improved, thus creating the present 
building. But whether so or not the present house 
is the oldest in Rock Ridge. 

Inside I believe it is appropriately furnished in 
antique and certainly with much more luxury than 
was enjoyed by either of its former occupants. 

The first Zaccheus was an old man when he died, 
October 27, 1846. Having lived all his life in the 
old place lie had gathered about him a few Windsor 
chairs, as well as some straight back rush bottoms, 
and on a winter night, when the great open fireplace 
was the onlv means of heating the living room, the 
big high-backed settle was the most comfortable spot 
in which to crack nuts, eat apples or drink cider be- 
fore the cheerful fire. 

If some of the Rock Ridge folks could see the 
house as it was then, how they would wax enthusi- 
astic over the ancient high-posted and canopied beds, 
the mahogany tables and brass warming pans; the 
blue dishes in the corner cupboards and all those 
quaint and lowly things that made the Colonial house- 
keeper contented and happy. He had all these 
things because they and many more articles are 
enumerated in the inventory of his estate. Beyond 
these simple articles of personal property he had 
nothing but the wagon, the pung and the chaise. 

Zaccheus made his will on the 15th day of April, 
1833, — thirteen years before his death. And thereby 
the old farm went to the grandson, Zaccheus, subject 



to the life use of one-third hy the widow. Her name 
was Dehorah and she continued to enjoy her Hfe 
estate until September 8, 1853. 

The old man Q'ave Deborah only the use of one- 



third of the farm and the buildings and he must have 
strained a point in his conception of the law of dower 
when he gave her the unrestricted use of all his house- 
hold furniture "except the clock and birch bedstead 
and bed and bedding and warming pan." The clock 
was a tall one that stood in the living room while the 



banjo clock that hung in the hall was called the time- 

What has l^econie of all those interesting old relics? 
They must have remained in the homestead many 
years, hut I imagine that finally when the clock and 
the timepiece, in the days of a later generation re- 
fused to go, they were discarded for modern ones on 
the theory that they were old and all worn out. I 
think the second Zaccheus must have kept them, be- 
cause as I recall him, during war times, he was just 
such an old-fashioned man as would hold on to the 
goods of his ancestors. He was accustomed to drive 
along the dusty road every Sunday in his antique 
wagon drawn by a fat and logy gray horse, headed 
for the Seconal Congregational Church, where he 
stayed till the close of the afternoon service at three 
o'clock. His wife and his only child, Hannah R. 
]Mead, were always with him. 

jNIany are still living who recall with interest the 
members of this quaint family. 

Hannah came into possession of the farm in the 
spring of 187^ and there she and her mother lived, 
honored and respected by all who knew^ them. 

Hannah died in 1882 and her mother, Laura 
Mead, continued to live in the old liomestead until 
January 18, 189.3. Although she outlived her daugh- 
ter so many years she was kindly cared for l)y 
Nathaniel AVitherell \^'ho supplied her with every 
comfort in her last days. 

Why Nathaniel Withered? 





Hannah R. ^lead was a very benevolent woman. 
In her last will she gave legacy after legacy to 
benevolent societies and institutions of learning. 
While she reserved to her mother a life estate, there 
was practically nothing left but the old homestead 
and the farm. The old lady could scarcely be ex- 
pected to get a living and jjay her taxes from the 
sale of produce. That day had passed. 

As I look over Rock Ridge and note its beautiful 
villas, its fine lawns and productive gardens, it is hard 
to realize that less than twenty-five years ago the 
whole place was solemnly appraised at twelve thou- 
sand dollars. And what is still more remarkable, 
that appraisal is three thousand dollars less than it 
was after the death of the first Zaccheus in 184*0. 

I am not criticizing the appraisers but only point- 
ing out the fact that two generations ago our farms 
had a greater value than they had a generation ago, 
because the value was estimated on their productive- 
ness. In 1846 they were making their owners rich. 
Did you ever notice the old potato cellar on Round 
Island and on many of the way back farms? 

In 1872 all this was changed. The great west had 
used up the eastern farmer and farms were hardly 
salable. Xow that is all changed again. The auto- 
mobile has made the distant farm available and the 
fruit-grower has discovered that the New England 
apple is the best of all. 

The farm being in the market, ]Mr. Witherell 
bought it with the widow's life estate remaining. 



Tliis is how he iJot it. Everybody, especially, a mis- 
sionary society or a striig(»ling college, is looking for 
the present rather than the future dollar. And a long 
list of quit-claim deeds from all the l)eneficiaries 
under Hannah R. INIead's will sliows how tlie title 
passed. It was an uncertainty how long the life 
tenant woidd be an encumbrance, but three years be- 
fore her death Mr. ^^^itherell gathered in all the 
shares and became the owner. 

And how fortunate for the old lady that he did, 
for while the various benevolent societies were con- 
ducting their operations in foreign lands they might 
not liave been so attentive to the aged life tenant at 
Rock Ridge as was ^Ir. Witherell. 

The records are silent as to the cost of Rock Ridge 
but I have it on very good authority that it w^as 

The i"oads and avenues were laid out. sewer and 
water pipes introduced and when the park was all 
completed three acre plots sold for $15,000. 

Such transactions as this account for the remark- 
able growth of (xreenwich. 

In 1872 the Zaccheus jNIead farm was assessed at 
$12,000. but now Rock Ridge, with all its im])rove- 
ments, pays taxes on an assessment fifty times greater 
than that insignificant amount. 

Xot long after ]Mr. Witherell came to Greenwich 
he opened a Fresh Air Home for children at Indian 
Field. At that time the Isaac Howe JNIead home- 
stead was standing, and here lie located ''The Fold," 



as the home was called. Rut he discovered that no 
facilities for obtaining water existed, and for this 
reason he moved "The Fold" to Rock Ridge. It was 
located on the cedar knoll now occupied by William 
F. Decker's handsome bungalow. Xot less than two 
hundred children were cared for at one time. 

In a house nearby called "Cherryvale," owned by 
^Ir. Witherell, for six consecutive seasons the AVork- 
ing Girls' Vacation Society of New York gave health- 
ful rest and recreation to the hard workini>- o'irls, 
thirty-five at a time. 

As the town grew these institutions were found to 
be too near the village, and their abandonment was 
deemed advisable. 




THE farms lying to the east of the village be- 
longed to Theodore H. Mead, Philander But- 
ton and Titus ^Nlead. The Titus ^Nlead farm will be 
considered later and an allusion to the Button farm 
is included in one of the chapters devoted to William 
M. Tweed. 

The Theodore H. ]Mead farm consisted of sixty- 
five acres, according to the record, but was actually 
about eighty acres in extent. It included the ancient 
house at the foot of Putnam Hill, now owned by 
John INIaher. It was from the front porch of this 
house, in the early morning of February 26, 1779, 
that Gen. Ebenezer Mead saw Gen. Putnam make 
his famous escape from the British dragoons. It 
was the General's grandson, Theodore, M'ho owned 
and occupied the house when I first saw it. 

It is difficult now to realize that in 1859 Theodore 
H. Mead was only thirty-seven years old and that 
when he died, January 18, 1876, he was but fifty-four 
years old. He always seemed an elderly man, owing 
perhaps to the fact that my eyes were youthful and 
also to the peculiar mode of dress adopted by ]Mr. 
Mead. He always wore a slouch hat, a shirt that 



was decidedly negligee and trousers thrust into the 
tops of boots that were never blacked. He rarely 
wore a coat. He had the habit of riding to the vil- 
lage for his mail, without a saddle and often witliout 
a bridle. There was nothing about the man or about 
his farm suggestive of tidiness. The bars were 
generally down and his cattle out. 

And yet, notwithstanding these defects, he was a 
man well born and well schooled. He was proud of 
his ancestry and of the fact that he was born in tlie 
old homestead at the foot of Putnam Hill that had 
housed his warrior grandsire. His wife was the 
daughter of Rev. William Cooper ^lead, D.D., 
LL.D., of Xorwalk, an eminent divine well known 
throughout Xew England. 

His father married twice and he was the youngest 
of eleven children. He had a half-brother. Rev. 
Ebenezer ^Nlead, who was a Congregational minister. 

He often expressed the regret that his father was 
not able to afford him a liberal and professional edu- 
cation. He died in the same room in wliich he was 

He had converted the ten acre meadow into a pond, 
since known as "Ten Acres," splendid for skating but 
used for the purpose of gathering ice and for many 
years he alone dealt in it. Just east of the home- 
stead was a mill site, still extant, which aiForded ex- 
cellent water power by which a saw mill and cider 
mill were in commission all the year round. It is 
only a few years ago that the mill was removed but 



the pond remains an ornament to tlie Milton C. 
Xichols place, recently erected near it. 

Giving attention to the mill and ice crop ex])lained 
in part M'hy the farm was not more carefully culti- 
vated. Furthermore his sixty-five acres included 
considerable woodland from which wood was carted 
to various people about the village and in Cos Cob. 
The balance, devoted to cultivation, was probably no 
more than enough to maintain his oxen, a few cows, 
sheejj and a pair of horses. 

Another reason for the lack of attention given to 
the farm and mill was ]Mr. JNIead's growing passion 
for speculation. 

He was always in a hurry to get rich and followed 
the gold market with a vigilant eye. During the 
war of 18()1 and up to 187*) gold was at a premium 
over currency which necessitated its purchase in the 
o])en market when required for mercantile pur])oses 
or the payment of customs duties. The gold board 
in New York city, as the exchange was called, was 
opened to trade in gold coin, just as stocks are in the 
regular exchange. 

Frequently gold fluctuated ra])i(lly and many 
countrymen, like ]Mr. ^Nlead, were interested in buy- 
ing and selling for a (|uick profit. He was therefore 
always a borrower and constantly in trouble with 
small local creditors. A large number of attach- 
ments were filed against his farm and sometimes 
judgments were entered against him. This condi- 
tion of affairs arose from his inattention to business 



and not because lie desired to ignore the demands of 
creditors. ^Vllenever lie was sued he took it as a 
matter of course, paid the costs, treated the sheriff 
to a glass of cider and repeated the operation two or 
three times within the next week. 

Volume 39 of the land records devoted to real 
estate attachments tells the full story of Theodore's 
troubles, tliough perhaps I ought not to characterize 
them thus for "Sir. ^lead rarely was troubled with 

He liked children, perhaps because he had none of 
his own. AVhen the Cos Cob boys, students at the 
Academy, came up the hill by the mill — a very steep 
hill that long ago disappeared under modern grading 
and road making — he would often call them in and 
removing the bung of a barrel filled with sweet cider 
supply them with, the necessary straws. If the cider 
was running through the spout from the press he 
would hand them a tin cup with which to drink their 
fill. In winter these same boys and many others 
helped to float the ice cakes down to the slide. 

On one occasion ^Nlr. ^Nlead was invited to attend the 
annual din.ner of the New England Society in the 
City of New York and promptly accepted. 

He went with my father and I then realized that 
Theodore H. ^Nlead, dressed in dark clothes, with 
polished Ijoots and a silk hat, was a very handsome 
man. Once riding along on a bay nag that seemed 
too frail to carry him, he drew up in front of the 
Academy, then on the corner where Dr. F. C. Hyde's 



house stands, while the boys were enjoying the noon 
recess. Calhng us around him he told the story of 
Putnam's ride giving it to us just as he had heard it 
from the lips of his grandfather, an eye witness. 

When jNIr. ^Nlead died his creditors were numerous 
and eventually his estate was settled as an insolvent 

Col. Thomas A. ^Nlead had loaned him ten thou- 
sand dollars made up of various small sums and his 
appeal from the commissioners on Theodore's estate 
furnishes some law, still unrevoked. It is only neces- 
sary for me to refer to the 46 Vol. of Conn. Reports, 
page 417, and to suggest that if the details of a 
financial wreck are interesting they may there be 

I started to tell about the farm but have devoted 
most of the chapter to its eccentric owner. 

The estate being insolvent all of the farm was sold 
at auction by order of the Court of Probate. It was 
a rainy morning in the spring of 1881, and yet there 
was a good deal of money in the crowd that gathered 
about the auctioneer, in front of the old homestead. 
The sixty-five acres, with ice house, mill right, 
barns and the grand old Colonial liouse, brought only 
$5,400, less than $100 an acre. The widow, Corneha 
J. Mead, was then living and as the property was 
sold subject to her dower it had an intiuence to de- 
press the price. 

Subsequently, Solomon ^lead, John Dayton and 
Allen H. Close, as distributors appointed by the 



court, set out to her the use for hfe of the house aud 
about four acres of land. 

She died on the 26th day of October, 1881. The 
property went to Henry Webb and afterwards to 
John ^laher and much of their fortune may be traced 
to that fortunate purchase on that rainy spring morn- 
ing in 1881. If you ask the genial ice and coal 
dealer, John ^Nlaher, how much he has made out of 

Photo by I. L. Mead 

the farm he will respond with a jolly laugh and noth- 
ing more. The small parcel recently sold is said to 
have brought $20,000. 

The farm included a large tract on the south side 
of the road now included in jNIilbank and the famous 
and romantic Buttermilk Falls tract on the north. 
Here are the homes of E. Belcher ^lead and J. ]M. 
Menendez, with rustic ledges, beautiful trees, the ever 
murmuring brook and the view of Ix)ng Island Sound. 




17^ VER V one knows Titu.s ^lead's hill. It is one 
-^ of the old names that still remain. It is appro- 
priate, for at its erest, for many years lived a farmer 
of that name. The line of splendid maple trees along 
the road side was planted hy him nearly ninety years 

He died ^lareh 'iG, 18()<). at the age of sixty-five 
years. By him Mere hnilt some of the stone walls 
that divide tlie fields an^l many of the drains that have 
made the land so fertile. He was ])rominent in town 
affairs, when I Avas a hoy. and for many years was 
Town Treasnrer. 

His wife was Lney ]Mumford ^Nlead, danghter of 
Andrew ]Mead, who died April 21, 1821, "a patriot 
of the Revolution," according to his epitaph. 

Titus ^Nlead was one of the wealthy men of his 
time. He had a large and profita})le farm, with a 
short haul to the market sloops. The inven.tory of 
his estate reveals only the choicest securities and a 
long list of local mortgages. 

He was a liheral man. As the treasurer of a cer- 
tain lodge, in the village it was said that he alwavs 



paid tlie bills although they were fai in excess of the 
receipts for which he was always uuaniniously re- 

He wrote his own will, using- a 2)rinted blank in 
which it was necessary oidy to insert tlie name of 
his wife as sole legatee and devisee. He executed 
it July 9, 1862, which fact would appear of no 
moment except that the names of the subscribing 

irrrs .mi:.\i) ho.mkstkad 

In 1859 

witnesses bring back to me a vivid recollection of an 
old Avheelwright's shop shaded by a mammoth button- 
ball tree which stood where the First Presbyterian 
Church now stands. Joseph E. Russell ran the shop 
and George S. Ray worked for him. Samuel Close, 
the Town Clerk and Justice of the Peace, had his 
office near-by. This office is fully described in Chap- 
ter III of this volume. 

These three men witnessed the execution of the will 
and we can readily imagine Squire Close calling th.e 
other two to come across to his little office, while the 



shop was left alone, without danger of anyone call- 
ing- during those dull days. 

Titus Mead's widow outlived him twenty-two 
years and many of her personal friends survive her. 
She was a delightful lady of the old school and it 
always gave me the greatest pleasure to call upon her. 
The year after her husband's death, in 1870, she 
built the house on lower Xorth Street since very 

much enlai-ged by the late 
H. P. Whittaker, and 
now belonging to his es- 
tate. He called the place 

I^iving in the village 
was much more to her 
taste, than living in the 
old farmhouse at the top 
of the hill, after her hus- 
band had gone. But she 
thought a great deal of 
the place and although she had many offers she would 
not part with it. She did, however, sell many acres of 
her farm, including Crest View to Henry C. Bos well, 
and the Wilham H. Teed and Thomas Young tracts. 
"The Chimneys" and "Athelcroft" were built by 
Clarence M. Hyde and his late brother on a ])ortion of 
Mrs. Mead's farm. It became the good fortune later 
of Mrs. Mary E. Andrews to purchase from the lAicy 
M. INIead estate the valuable tract upon which stands 
the fine house built by her and since her decease 





owned by her daughter, INIrs. F. Kissam Brown. She 
also owns the old Titus ^Nlead homestead and she and 
her husband have shown their wisdom and good taste 
in retaining the old house much as it appeared, in 
the days that followed the Revolution when it was 
one of the mansions of the town. 

Adjoining the Titus ^Nlead farm on the south lies 


"he home for ne rly a century of Hezekiali and John J. 
Tracy, father and son 

territory that has an interesting Revolutionary his- 

In 1775 Israel Knapp lived in what is now known 
as Putnam cottage. He also owned many acres in 
the neighborhood of "Great Hill" as it was called be- 
fore Putnam's exploit. Dying without a will his 
land descended to his widow and heirs who subse- 
quently sold it to Reuben Holmes. He was a man 
of character, education and standing; by profession 
a teacher, bv trade a shoemaker. He had a large 



family and their support taxed his abilities to the ut- 
most. In his school by day, he sat on his bench at 
niglit and was not satisfied if he failed to finish half 
a dozen pair of shoes weekly. 

But finally he abandoned the struggle, sold his real 
estate August 16, 1823, and moved to what was then 
the far west, Geneva, Cayuga County, Xew York. 
Mrs. Hannah ^lead bought the property consisting 
of thirty-two acres, for $.3,.3()(). She was the widow 
of Joshua jNIead who died early in life leaving an 
only child, Solomon, so well known to the present 
generation. This parcel of land extended north and 
included land now owned by the Parmelee J. IVIcFad- 
den estate. 

One of the daughters of Israel Knapp was Amy 
K. Thom])son, who appears to have retained an in- 
terest in her father's land and upon her decease her 
four children, Harriet, Cornelia, James and Caroline, 
conveyed it to Solomon JNIead's motlier. 

^Ir. ^lead always spoke of his mother with great 
admiration and affection and all her transactions indi- 
cate that she was a AA'oman of unusual ability. She 
died ^larch 14, 1844, at the age of 70, leaving Solo- 
mon as her sole heir at law. 

Solomon JNIead was a prominent man in Greenwich 
all his life and at his decease June 14, 1898, it was 
found that he was wortli more than any other native 
of the town, who had passed his days here. 

He was an intelligent, practical and painstaking 
man. AVhile his mother owned the little farm of 



thirty-one acres, which she never encumbered, he 
made many improvemen.ts upon the property. Tlie 
bhnd ditches he laid for drainage purposes still re- 



main to attest his skillful, scientific handlino- of the 

Its present appearance, due to change in fence 
lines, opening of highways, demolition of old build- 
ings, the erection of new ones, and the ])lanting of 



fruit and ornamental trees — is very different from 
its appearance eighty years ago, 

I^ong before my remembrance an old house and a 
barn stood near the highway between the present 
Whittaker and ^NIcFadden places. Xot many years 
ago I found the old well near the present line of high- 
way in front of the old cellar hole. These old build- 
ings are immortalized in Daniel jNIerritt Mead's his- 
tory of Greenwich, pages 156, 157 and 158. 

After the tenancy of the Holmes family in the Put- 
nam cottage it was owned and occupied by Hezekiah 
and John Jay Tracy, father and son, for nearly a 
century. They were both men of attainments and 
they each occupied the office of Town Clerk for many 
years. John Jay was secretary of the Tammany So- 
ciety in X"ew York. The public records kept by 
these men are models of penmanship at a time when a 
(piill pen only was used. 

For many years the street running near the Put- 
nam cottage through land of A. Foster Higgins was 
appropriately called Tracy Street. Its present name 
of Park Avenue has no particular significance. 

Prior to 1858 Solomon ]Mead lived in an old fash- 
ioned sweep-back, standing just inside the gateway 
leadino- to the stone mansion erected bv him in 1854- 
1858. The house is known as Xo. 48 INIaple Avenue 
and has recently been occupied by the family of 
William Cooney. After the completion of the new 
residence, in 1859, the old one was removed. It was 
a prototype of the old Jared ]Mead house, described 



ill Chapter XIV. Under its front windows were 
bunches of phlox and some marigolds were nodding 
in the summer breeze when I first saw it. It had a 
comfortable "sit down" appearance, characteristic of 
all the old gray shingle, low studded sweep-backs of 
the eighteenth century. Xear its north end was the 
well house in which an empty bucket hung over 
the curb. It was overshadowed by the great stone 
house which was then completed, and it was only a 
short time afterward that it disappeared and the old 
cellar hole was filled. 

]Mr. ]Mead began to })uild the present stone house 
in 1854 and completed it in 1858. The method of 
thorough construction adopted by its owner attracted 
wide attention. The walls were hollow to prevent 
dampness and the stones were laid up in shell lime. 

jNIr. ]Mead has often told me that in those days, 
from his front piazza, he enjoyed an unobstructed 
view of Long Island Sound as far east as the Xor- 
walk Islands. But in late years the shade trees 
growing tall and rank have destroyed much of the 
summer view. 





X Xovemlier 9, 191G, will occur the two hun- 
dredth anniversary of the estahlislinient of the 
Second Congregational Churcli. The one hundred 
and fiftieth anniversary was held in ]8()(> and was 
one of the most important that ever occiuM-ed in 
Greenwich. A similar occasion in these days would 
cause less in.terest outside the cluu'ch membershi]), 
because the population is larger, more varied in re- 
ligious faith, and ])erhaps more secular in (lis])ositinn. 
Rut the celebi-ation in 18()() was largely attended and 
created among the members of all religious sects a 
general interest. 

The present stone church, a creation of Leopold 
Eidlitz, one of the most famous church architects of 
the Nineteenth century, arouses the admiration of 
every resident of Greenwicl], whatevei- his creed or 

It was built in 1856 under somewhat peculiar cir- 
cumstances. Its predecessors had })een com])ara- 
tively cheap, wooden affairs and when the building 
of a new church was agitated Mr. Robert Williams 
IVIead led the minority in advocating the construction 



of the present building. Xot only plans hut a per- 
fect model in plaster were shown, displayino- the 
splendid ])roportions and lines of the proposed 


1814 1875 

The proposition was strongly opposed on the 
ground of expense, but finally when "Sir. ^lead de- 
clared it could be built for thirty thousand dollars 
someone at the church meeting expressed a doubt as 
to his ability to find a contractor to undertake the 
work at that price. It is not unlikely that ]Mr. ^Nlead 



realized this, for he promptly replied tliat he woidd 
take the contract himself. 

He was not a contractor and never had been one, 
but he built the church and when the thirt}^ thousand 
dollar appropriation was exhausted he sold his own 
securities to continue and complete the building. 

His monument stands near the church and bears 
the same inscription that is cut in the tomb of Sir 
Christopher Wren in St. Pauls, London. "Si mouii- 
nientum quarae circumspice" — "If you would see his 
monument look about." 

I fear that Robert Williams INIead never received 
half the credit that should liave been his for building 
the handsomest church spire in New England. 

He was a son of Dr. Darius INIead, whose home 
was on the crest of Putnam Hill. He had made a 
fortune in mercantile pursuits in New York City. 
When he built the church he resided in the house now 
owned and occupied by his nephew, Frederick Mead. 
On April 11, 1864, he sold this property to D. Jack- 
son Steward, who held it till April 15, 1868, when he 
sold it to Edward Slosson, a retired New York 
lawyer. jNIrs. Annie Turnbull Slosson, his widow, 
a well-known writer, now resides in New York. 
After the death of JNIr. Slosson, by a deed dated ]May 
28, 1872, the property went to Frederick INIead, tlie 
father of its present owner. 

The interior of the church was remodeled in 11)00, 
at an expense of about thirty tliousand dolhirs. 
Those who had the matter in hand probably acted 


(N"o clock at that time) 
Pastors: Rev. Dr. Joel H. Linsley, Rev. Dr. Frederick G. Clark, 
Rev. Dr. George A. Gordon 


for the best interests of the ehiirch. However, sueh 
a radical change was a great disappointment to me. 

There is one incident in connection witli tlie ])uihl- 
ing of this clmrch tliat sliould not be omitted. AVlien 
it was fully completed with the outside scaffolding 
still surrounding the spire several ladies, members 
of the church, climbed on open ladders, from scaf- 
fold to scaffold, till tliey reached the circuhir cap 
stone, eight feet in diameter, around wliicli they sat 
and ate their supper, undisturl)ed by the fact that 
they were two liundred and twelve feet above the 
ground. ^Nlrs. Julia A. Button, ^Nliss Clarissa ^Nlead 
and ]Mrs. Edward ^lead were among the number. 

But to recur to the celebration of 1806. It comes 
back to me like an occurrence of yesterday. Per- 
liti]3s its most remarkable feature was the liistorical 
address by Rev. Joel H. Einsley, D.D., which Avas 
his last public effort. He had been the pastor of the 
church for nineteen years and was then the honorary 
but retired pastor. His address, finished and scliol- 
arly, was replete with matters of local history and 
startling in its prophetic portrayal of the speaker's 
vision of the future, in these words. 

"This town will not for many years, if ever, be a 
place distinguished for business or rapid advance in 
population. On this very account it is all the better 
for a place of quiet homes, and as a seat for the best 
educational institutions." 

The committee of arrangements consisted of Dea- 
con Philander Button, Deacon Jonas ^lead, Dr. T. 



S. Pinneo, William A. Howe and Ech^ard P. Holly. 
They were appointed at a meeting of the chureh held 
in March, 1866. 

During the summer the work of arranging details 
became so onerous that the committee was enlarged 
by adding the following men : Isaac L. INIead, Alex- 
ander ^lead, Zophar JNIead, Shadrach INI. Brush. Ben- 
jamin Wright, Arthur D. ]Mead, George H. jNIills, 
Gideon Reynolds and the following ladies: ]Mrs. Ed- 
ward :Mead, JNIrs. Philander Button, ]Mrs. T. S. 
Pinneo, ]Mrs. Joseph Brush, Mrs. Augustus N. 
Reynolds, 3Irs. Benjamin Wright, ^Nlrs. Elizabeth 
S. Hoyt, Mrs. Stephen Holly, ^Nlrs. Moses Cristy, 
Mrs. Xehemiah Howe, Mrs. Daniel ^lerritt JNIead, 
Mrs. Charles H. Seaman, ^Irs. William B. Sher- 
wood, ^Irs. Thomas Ritch, ]Mrs. Lockwood P. Clark, 
:Mrs. Caleb Holmes, ]Mrs. Alfred Bell, ^Mrs. Isaac 
Peck, ]Mrs. Jabez ^Nlead, JNIrs. Stephen G. White, 
Mrs. Henry M. Bailey, Mrs. William T. Reynolds, 
Mrs. Eewis A. ^Nlerritt, ]Miss Hannah ]M. oNIead, ^liss 
Eliza J. Scofield, Mrs. Joseph E. Russell, Miss 
Louisa INIead. 

As I write these names their owners' faces all come 
])ack to me. Of the committee of men four survive 
and })ut one of the committee of women is liv- 

The day was one of the finest of the season. It 
was one of those glorious autumn days for which 
Greenwich has always been so famous and when 
doult often arises wliether there is more beauty in 



the blue waters of the Sound or in the wealth of forest 
trees, flaming with scarlet and orange. 

The church was decorated with festoons and 
wreaths of evergreen, tastefully interwoven with au- 
tumn flowers. Upon the Mall over the speakers' 
platform, in the rear of where the organ now stands 
was the following inscription: 



OUR father's god is our god 
The printed programme, a copy of which lies be- 
fore me, announced the following order of exercises. 

1. Invocation rev. platt t. hoi-ly 

2. Reading the Scriptures rev. f. g. clark, d.d. 

3. Antliem — "O, How I^ovely is Zion." 

4. Prayer rev. joel m ann 

5. Historical Discourse rev. j. h. lixsley, d.d. 

6. Praifcr rev. SxVMUEl howe 

7. Anthem — "Praise Ye the Lord." 

8. Benediction rev. stephex hurbeij, 

Recess For Coleatiox 
p. M. 

9. Anthem. 

10. Welcoming Address rev. w. h. h. murray 

11. Historical Paper william a. howe 

12. Anthem 

13. History Stillson Benevolent Society 


Would it be possible in this generation to hold an 
audience on such an occasion all day long? 



The historical address, as I h.ave stated, was the 
crowning effort of Dr. I^insley's l)nsy life. He died 
jNIarch 22, 18 08. It may not be amiss to qnote here 
the peroration of that disconrse. 

"This is, my hearers, of all tlie days since Feaks 
and Patrick cnt the waves of the Sound with their 
light boat, fastened her to Elizabeth Xeck, and by 
peacefnl purchase took possession of these fair fields 
for civilized man, the best and brightest, the one in 
which it is the greatest privilege to live. 

"That our children and children's children are to 
see a still brighter one, I liope, nay, I believe. 

"And when we scatter at the close of this auspicious 
occasion from this beloved hill of Zion, let us retire 
with gratitnde for what our fatliers bequeathed to 
us from the past; with rejoicing in the present, 
the lines have fallen to us in pleasant places, and with 
full j)ur])()se of heart, that, (xod hel})ing us, we will 
transmit a still richer inheritance to those who shall 
come after us, even to the latest generations." 

The afternoon session opened with an address of 
welcome by Rev. W. II. H. ^Murray which seemed 
to be particularly directed to the ministers present 
who had formerly been pastors of the cliurch. 

Mr. ^Murray was at that time a young man of 
twenty-six years and acting pastor of tlie church. 
To most of the guests he was unknown, but the ad- 
dress of welcome thrilled every soul and left such an 
impression that tlie memory of Murray was never 



I recall distinctly, how in tlic midst of his addi'css. 
he ran his fingers througli his thick, raven locks and, 
turning his massive figure towards Rev. Joel ^lann, 
the oldest ex-pastor, said: "But more especially do 
we rejoice that you, the most aged of this group, 
whose sun, though glowing and bright, is near the 
border of the horizon, should once more be with us, 
to behold and be made happy at the sight of our 
prosperity, lief ore the shadows deepen farther, and 
you, passing through them, be lost to our eyes. 

"It is well, too, that those of us in this congregation 
whose heads, in the passage of years, have whitened 
with yours, should see once more the familiar faces, 
the countenances of former an.d still beloved pastors, 
before that hand, which smites the cloud for all, 
smites it asunder for us, and our eyes close on ter- 
restrial objects forever." 

I think the most touching incident of the day oc- 
curred at its close, when oMr. ^Murray rose and said : 
"There is one man, my good friends, w^ho did you a 
service to-day which we cannot too highly appreciate. 
The graves have been alluded to, and it is well th.ey 
should be; but before we go out let us remember the 
cradles. There are ears too young to hear oiu" speech 
to-night, and eyes not yet instructed in vision, so that 
they may read the motto above our heads; and there 
is one man sitting here before you who has done a 
service for this class that I can not overrate. A hand 
has been reached into the past; into the dark past of 
tradition, and out of it fetched something more valu- 



able than gold; and it is more pleasant for me to 
think of it, because that hand is aged, and whether it 
reaches backward or forward, it will reach not many 
years again. The man who has done you a service 
you can never repay is Rev. Dr. Linsley. We 
cannot consent to separate until this aged man, 
wlio has long been your teacher, and who has done 
you such service, shall have received a public expres- 
sion of your respect })y this audience rising in his 

I shall never forget the thrill that went through 
that great audience, as rising to their feet, ^Nlr, JNlur- 
ray said: ''Receive, my aged friend, this mark of a 
])e()ples' respect. The thanks of men are common, 
but the thanks of the multitude are few." For more 
than forty-six years have I carried in my memory 
the burning incidents of that day. Xo one present 
has lived to forget and again and again has the story 
been told to the new generation, those w^io now 
stand in th.e place of the fathers. 

I cannot conclude this chapter without referring 
to George A. Gordon, D.D., pastor of the old South 
Church, Boston. He came to Greenwich, as the pas- 
tor of the Second Congregational Church, when he 
was on the sunny side of thirty. 

He was born in Scotland. He has often told of 
his first job in America, when as a greenhorn he 
hired out to a blacksmith, who never paid him. After 
that he took care of the Rev. ]Mr. Angler's fiu-nace 
in Cambridge who saw that the boy had brains and 



educated hioi. This same ]Mr. Angier afterwards 
supplied the pulpit of the Second Congregational 
Church to which ^Ir. Gordon was suhsequently 

Before these two men met ^Ir. Gordon had but one 
given name — George, but afterwards Angier was in- 
serted as the middle name. 

]Mr. Angier preaching at Greenwich suggested 
young Gordon for the pastorate and he accepted al- 
though qualified for a larger field. To a man of his 
ability and resources the Greenwich church was as 
restricted and confining as a fiying cage to a skylark. 

And yet when the summons came from the old 
South Church he hesitated. He loved Greenwich 
and his people and they loved him. The town was 
more rural thirty years ago and he loved the country. 
Round Island, Field Point and all the territory near 
were open to his saunterings. His parishioners be- 
sought him not to leave and for two years he heeded 
them and refused to go. 

On the 23d of October, 1912, he came back to 
Greenwich to take part in his old church in the in- 
stallation of Rev. Charles F. Taylor. He was the 
same Gordon, refined and matured. He spoke feel- 
ingly of the other days but nothing he said had more 
pathos and love in it than his allusion to a roll of pa- 
per among his revered treasures. Tied with a blue 
ribbon, the paper once white, but now yellow with 
time, contained six hundred and fifty signa- 
tures of those who thus asked him to remain their 



pastor. Some were children, now active men and 
women and many were old men who have gone to the 
hereafter. And then turning to th.e new pastor he 
said: "There is the same fountain of loyalty and love 
here as there was thirty years ago." 

There have heen four Congregational churches in 
the village, all occujjying nearly the same location. 
Of the first house of worship, in which the Rev. ]Mr. 
Morgan preached, little is known, except that it was 
32x26 and like the one in "Old Town" (now Sound 

The second was erected in 173() and was a plain 
barn-like structure, oOx.-Jo, surmounted by a tower 
which was taken down in 1749. There was a door at 
each end and one in the side. Twenty square pews 
were located about the sides of the liouse and there 
were five in the south gallery. 

This structure gave way to the third house in 1798. 
It was in this building that stoves were introduced 
in 1818, in the face of great opposition. On the first 
Sunday of their appearance the congregation was 
almost overcome by the heat, but it was learned after 
the service that the stoves contained no fires and that 
the intense heat was but the force of imagination. 

When the foundation for the present building was 
laid, it became necessary to move the old church about 
one hundred feet south. Here it was continued in 
use till December 5, 1858, when Rev. Dr. Linsley de- 
livered in it the last sermon, which was in the form of 
a commemorative discourse. 



W 1 '1 •! f. < ! 1 

1 f ' I • ? 'I « ! ■^- ^- 

Insert — Rev. Joel .Mann 


The following year the huiklino- was sold to 
Thomas A. ^lead and Amos ]M. Brush, who subse- 
quently mo^'ed it to the corner of Putnam Avenue 
and Sherwood Place, then ^lechanic Street. 

But before moving it, the steeple was cut down. 
The columns at the belfry were first sawed nearly olf , 
Stephen Sillick and Henry Waring Howard, then 
apprentices to Stephen Sherw^ood, doing the work. 
A long rope had first lieen attached to the top of 
the spire and carried down beyond the Town House 
and tied to an ox cart belonging to Joseph Brush. 
]Mr. Brush drove a sturdy pair of cattle, that he 
claimed were equal to pidling the moon, if he could 
get a line to it. Everything being made fast the 
cattle were started. The line grew taut; the steeple 
bent, then vibrated under the increased tension, while 
the ox cart went up in the air, and falling back to 
its place the steeple snapped cart and oxen more 
than fifty feet up the road and landed tliem in one 
promiscuous heap. The steeple was finally con- 
quered by loading the cart with heavy stones. 

This building, after its removal, has been spoken of 
in Chapter II. Here Dr. Sylvester INIead first ap- 
peared as the successor of Dr. Aiken in the drug busi- 
ness, and George E. Scofield began to learn the art 
of prescription filling. 

On the afternoon of July 3, 1866, a small boy 
thoughtlessly tossed a lighted fire cracker upon the 
roof of the old church and at sun-set it was a smoking 



But tlie present eliurch ])iiilcling every one knows. 
Of I^eopold Eidlitz, an architect of fame, it has been 
said that of all his successful designs, none is more 
graceful than that beautiful spire. Where can you 


The large elm at the left now shades tiie home of Charles 

A. Taylor on Coimeetieut A\enue 

drive in Greenwich and lose sight of it^ You see it 
as 3"ou ascend every hill. The gleam of its weather 
vane reaches every valley. Between the delicate 
lines of its open columns the setting sun will often 
pierce till it looks as thougl] it were a part of the 
azure blue, without a foundation upon earth, resting 
in the clouds. 




EliGHTY years ago, the road to Pipino- I'oint. 
was eighteen feet wide, dusty in summer and 
muddy in winter and yet it was a much traveled way. 
Did it not lead all Stanwich and Banksville to the 
home of the humhle clam, and wliat Round Hill man 
has not traveled it in search of the hardy hlack fish? 

How many hundred thousand bushels of potatoes 
have been hauled over it to find their way from 
Daniel ^lerritt's dock to the city of New York!' 
When the crop was ready for the diggers the farmers 
often worked all night under a bright October moon 
and in the early morning their teams waited their 
turn to unload at the dock. 

What is now Arch Street was then the only con- 
tinuation of our present Greenwich Avenue. 

Beyond was the farm of Daniel S. ]Mead, the 
grandfather of Oliver D. ^Nlead and south of the 
present railway line, on Rocky Neck, was a forest of 
great trees, beneath which the luiderbrush grew rank 
and tangled. 

The road to Piping Point, as the old records term 
it, deflected to the southwest from a point near the 
present Police Headquarters. Xo. 270 Greenwich 
Avenue, and ran over the top of a knoll that oc- 



ciipied what is now the front lawn of tlie Havemeyer 

On the crest of this knoll, at least twenty feet high, 
stood, within my recollection, a snug little cottage. 
Near the front door on the south side of the h.ouse a 
long well sweep pointed to the north star and the wa- 
ter that came up in the oaken hucket was cool and 
sweet. How many teamsters have sto])])ed for the 
cooling draught and to gossip a moment, with the 
little old lady who lived there! Not a house then 
save one from that hill to the head of the creek and 
no trees to shade the cultivated fields. Can you 
imagine the view the little house had from its vine 
embowered porcli f 

Further north on the east side of this same way 
was a never failing spring much thought of by those 
same teamsters. It bubbled up at the top of a knoll 
on the spot where now stands the Prescott building at 
105 Greenwich Avenue, and when that building was 
erected in 1891 the spring was uncovered and at con- 
siderable expense turned into the sewer. It had 
})een covered up many years before, when Dr, Lewis 
owned the farm and it was sorely missed. It had 
come to be considered common pro])erty and tlie foot 
])ath that led to it was worn deep by the passage of 
many feet. It was a cozy nook, too, for the bushes 
grew high above it and kept the sun from its lim])id 
waters. To what degradation has it fallen that it 
should be buried beneath a brick building and emp- 
tied into a sewer! 



But as early as 18,54 tlie road had lost much of its 
rural aspect. The railroad, then in operation five 
years, had brought the town nearer to Xew York. 

President Gold Exchange Bank, X. Y. 
Warden, Borough of Greenwich 

Outsiders had discovered the natural beauties of the 
place and had begun to settle here. 

Among those who came about 1850 was Henry ^I. 
Benedict, a man of great abilitv, of magnificent 



figure and large wealth. He resided on Putnam 
Avenue till 1873, when he removed to Brooklyn. 
He died in 1896 at Sunset Park, X. Y. 

iNIr. Benedict did not like the road to the depot 
and he set ahout to have it widened. Application 
was made to the selectmen but there was a general 
opposition to the scheme. Eighteen feet was deemed 
quite wide enough, because it had answered the pur- 
pose for generations. The selectmen ])erhaps were 
of the same opinion, for nothing was done. jNIr. 
Benedict then employed Julius B. Curtis, a young- 
lawyer of Greenwich, subsequently located until his 
death in Stamford. He ])rought an action to the 
County Court, then having jurisdiction, and after 
some time accomplished his purpose and opened the 
road, which then received the name of Greenwich 

With the widening of the street real estate began 
to look up. It was considered a side street, Putnam 
Avenue, then called jNIain Street, claiming all the pre- 
tensions of a business thoroughfare. As a residence 
street Greenwich Avenue was considered attractive. 
Any part of it commanded a fine Sound view and 
tliere was no obstruction to the refreshing southwest 

Edwin JMead, a brother of Daniel S. ^Nlead, now 
residino' in California, at the aoe of ninetv-three, came 
into possession, by inheritance, of a number of acres 
north of Elm Street. He had his land surveyed 
and divided into three-quarter-acre plots, offering 



them at six liuiidred dollars each. In tliose days 
such a plot was considered very small and the price 
asked quite extravagant. 

William ]M. Tiers bought the corner lot, where 
afterwards, for so many 
years resided Dr. T. 
S. Pinneo. Isaac Weed 
bought the plot now occu- 
pied by the library and 
Shadrach Isl. Brush se- 
cured the plot still owned 
by his sons, S. Augustus 
and Henry L. Brush, 
^lost of these sales were 
made in the spring and 
summer of 1855. I have 
avenue in Chapter II, and 
told something of this 
there is very little left to say concerning its progress 
excej^t what is known to this generation, and that is 
not the province of tliis volume. 

The old town building, now occupied by flayer H. 
Cohen, is still the property of the town. Its story is 
told in Chapter XX. 

From the head of the avenue was once a steep hill; 
rustic old stone walls were on portions of either side 
and young men and boys found it a convenient place 
to coast in winter, as late as thirty years ago. 

Hanford ]Mead had a tannery where Benjamin 
Lockwood's restaurant is located and later, on Sep- 



In early days did a large business 
at ^Nlianus. Suliseqiiently con- 
ducted hnnher business at Rocky 


tember 4, 1854, Henry Held opened a market in a 
buildino- lie liad ereeted near the tan vats. He was 
then the owner of all the land on the west side of the 
avenne from Peter Aeker's to Capt. Lyon's, where 
the Trnst Company's bnilding is located. 

A Port Chester newspaper came out will) the an- 
nouncement that "Sir. Held was about to build "a 
new, elegant, imposing and commodious market 
building." This was an innovation that was un- 
looked for and besides it was the beginning of a "side 
street" and a street, too, that did not possess popular 
favor. W^hen the newspaper later came out with a 
description of the l)uilding "to be filled with brick 
and surmounted by a balloon frame," it was the gen- 
eral opinion about the vilhige tliat anything in the 
nature of a balloon, was decidedly unstable, was likely 
to be disastrously affected by air currents, and on 
a windy day would be a menace to those who hap- 
pened along that way. 

In Peter Acker's store the subject of the balloon 
frame was discussed night after night and many a 
hot word was ])assed over the subject. No one dis- 
puted the undesirableness of such a structure — it 
was not that: they were all opposed to the bal- 
loon frame, and they couldn't agree as to how such 
a thing could be framed. Solomon S. Gansej^ 
said he believed they had ])een used some in other 
parts — "in mild climates where the wind blew easy" — 
but they had generally been set up where they were 
protected by forest trees. He thought he could 



frame one, and he bad a theory of construction which 
most of the others failed to favor and hence tlie heated 
argument over Held's balloon frame. 

But the building- went up, and as the first building 
in town to be framed after the balloon method, it at- 
tracted wide local attention. For those days it was 
really fine. Inside, the 
marble top counters, 
against the wall, meat 
hooks of the latest device, 
the pictures of fat cattle 
and the polished horns 
that stood out from the 
wall, with streaming red 
and blue ribbons at their 
tips, made an impressive 
appearance. JNIr. Held 
was pojnilar with all his 
customers. Xo more honest or conscientious man ever 
lived. He had many opportunities to invest in "Wall 
wStreet and to buy Greenwich real estate, but he 
availed himself of Wall Street opportunities not at all 
and his local real estate holdings were never large. 

One morning Capt. Wm. I^. Lyon, who then 
owned the Voorhis property, tried to sell him all the 
land south of the market, now Xo. 74 Greenwich Ave- 
nue to w^here the Greenwich drug store stands, for 
eleven hundred dollars "and trade it out in meat." 

It is not surprising that JNIr. Held promptly de- 
clined to pay what was then a large price for land he 
did not require. 





The old man was faithful to his market patrons 
for many years and at last one afternoon down at 
Indian Harhor, his life went ont with the ebhing tide 
that Howed under liis window, a man honored and 
respected by all wdio knew him. 




DURING the last days of President Buchanan's 
administration, and up to the time that Fort 
Sumter was fired on, poHtics in Greenwich were so 
warm that they sometimes became bitter. 

The South liad many symj^athizers, called Cop- 
perheads, while those who favored the abolition of 
slavery, at whatever cost, were called Black Republi- 
cans. From this it must not be inferred that no mem- 
ber of the Democratic party favored the abolition of 
slavery, for there were many among them known as 
War Democrats, who agreed on that point with 
members of the other party, sometimes termed Radi- 
cals. The shooting of young Col. Ellsworth, the 
first blood shed in the war — it was really a murder — 
created great excitement, as it probably did all over 
the country. His photograph encircled with a l)road 
band of black, was on sale at the local stores and 
many in the village displayed the picture on their 
front mantels. 

Long special trains of cars often went tln-ough, 
the bands playing and the car platforms filled with 
soldiers. In some instances flags were disphn^ed 



i;!,.\Ai ![AX HUSTKI) 

Co. I loth C. V. 

Died in si-r\ ice, 1S()4. 

along tlie sides of tlie cars and beneatli tlie folds of 

the flag appeared the 
name and number of the 
regiment and eoinpany. 

The boys about tlie vil- 
lage found a great deal 
of interest in watching 
these trains aud discuss- 
ino' amonij; themselves the 
places from whence the 
soldiers hailed, all of them 
coming from Elaine and 
other eastern States. Be- 
ing too young to enlist, 

tliey declared that they regretted it and one or two 

made application for the ])osition of drummer lioy, 

but with what success I 

do not recall, 

A fine, tall Hag pole 

was erected at tiie foot of 

Lafayette I'lace through 

the efforts of William 

Scofield, and a few years 

ago, when the watei-mg- 

trougli was ])ut tliere. the 

decayed remains of the 

old pole were taken out alvohd teck 

„ , 1 1 mi 1 Kii. ISfil Co. I loth C. v., Dis. 

ot the ground. I he pole is.ii 

remained there and was in use as late as 1872, when it 
had so far decayed that it was removed. 


Serg. Co. I 17th Ct. V 


En. Co. I 10th C. V. imj. Di> 

close of war 


Kn. IS(iL I)is. 11S()4. Co. I lOth 
C. V. Br. 184J. I). I9(H 

Fell in battle before Richmond 
Oct. 13, 1864, aged 22, while in 
command Co. I lOth C. V. 


Co. I 10th C. V. Served 3 vrs. 

This pole, when it was first contemplated, was a 
subject of great delight 
and anticipation. For sev- 
eral months it lay along 
the side of Lafayette 
Place, while the car- 
penters and painters 
smoothed and polished its 
surface. Lying prostrate 
it looked very short and 
when it ^vas finally raised 

and a topmast added, it 
exceeded the ex2)ectations 
of all. A magnificent flag, purchased by sub- 
scription, floated from the mast head every day. 

Standing where Oscar 
Tuthill and his brother 
conduct the Round Hill 
Farms Dairy, was a small 
frame two-story buildiug. 
which subsequently was 
used by the town for 
public offices and in 
1874 was hired by Henry 
B. ^larshall. who therein 
established the beginning 
of the present ^Marshall's 
^larket. During the early 
davs of the war this building was used as an enlisting 



Co. I 10th C. V. 

En. 1861. Died in service 


station. Billy Acker with his drum and William 
Johnson with his fife were constantly at work drum- 
ming enthusiasm into possible recruits. It was an 
attractive front door for the boys who hung around 
,^ while the recruiting 

officer measured the 
applicants and took 
their descriptions be- 
fore including them 
in the list of raw re- 

Com])any I of the 
Tenth Conn. Volun- 
teers was the first to 
go to the seat of war 
and included some of 
the finest young men 
in town. Daniel INIer- 
ritt jNIead, after- 
wards JNIajor, was 
the captain of this 
company and for 
some weeks before 
they left he was about the streets in his bright new 
uniform ; on drill days with his sword at his side. 

We thought him a grand and im]K)sing figure, as 
indeed he ^vas, and he received the admiration of all 
the boys, without, probably, realizing it. 

]My brother, I.^. P. Hubbard, Jr.. had enlisted for 
three years in a jNIanchester, New Hampshire, Regi- 



Wlio wt-nt out as Ca]itain 


En. lS(il. Dit'd in service Cant. 

of Co. C 10th C. V. 

En. Co. I loth C. V. ISIiJ. lie- 
.siliiifd lS(i:! 


En. lSCr2 

Co. I lOth C. V. 

Discliai'ged chjse 

of war 


Co. I 10th C. V. Died in service 

Apr. ;20th, 18G;2, at age of -21 


Born 1841. En. 1861 Co. I 10th 

C. V. Discharged close of war 


ment and this gave nie a good standing with the other 
boys of my own age, whose elder brothers and fa- 
thers had enhsted. Snbsequently when my brother 
made us a visit on furlough I was very proud to 
walk by his side as he went al)out tlie village in his 

Finally on a beautiful 
Autumn day in 1861 — • 
September 25 — came the 
departure of Company I. 
The soldier boys, for they 
were generally aliout 
t^^'enty-one years of age, 
gathered in the old Town 
Hall which stood where 
the Soldiers' monument 
so appropriately stands. 

I quote from the diary 
of Capt. Daniel ^Nlerritt 

"On the morning of the 
"2oth of September we 
"found ourselves ready to leave, with about tifty-tive 
"men for rendezvous. 

"Our friends, at home, by thousands escorted us to 
"the depot, having procured a brass band from New 
"Roehelle. We marched to Putnam Hill to meet an 
"expected escort from ^lianus which failed to come. 
"Then we returned to the Congregational Church 
"where prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. Linsley and 



Served :i Year>, Wounded Battle of 
Bull Run 


"a sword presented to the Captain. The presenta- 
"tion speech was made by Julius B. Curtis in behalf 
"of the donors, who were Stephen G, White, Wil- 
"liam Smith, Eyman JNIead, and Charles H. Seaman. 
"An affectionate leave-taking from friends was 
"tlien had, when we took up our line of ^larch to the 
"depot. On our way cheers an.d tears were alternat- 
"ing. At the depot a speech was made by Dr. 





"James II. Hoyt and rephed to })y the Captain, 
wlien leave-taking was renewed and continued until 
"the arrival of the train, wlien we left in tlie hist car 
"for Hartford." 

JNIany of tlie soldiers were members of Dr. liins- 
ley's church and while I was too young to appreciate 
his ])rayer, it was said to have been very fervent. I 
recall how his hands trembled as he extended them 
in his final benediction. 

All the village boys followed the soldiers and min- 



Co. I loth (\ V. 

Died in service Aiiir. lS(il. 

ET. W. E. SW'AdE 

CD. I lOtli C. \'. 

E.n. 1S!)1. Dis. IS()4 


En. 1S()1 

Co. I 10th C. V 


1 S() 1 


Color bearer Co. 1 10th C. V. 

Killed at Drnrv's Bluff, 1864 


En. 1801. Served 3 yrs. Co. I 10th 

C. V. 




vSurgeoii General State of 


o'led in the crowd that filled the walk on either side 
of the dusty road. 

Until five years ago a 
black mulberry tree grew^ 
on the east side of Green- 
wich Avenue just below 
the row of new^ brick 
stores. As I reached the 
mul])erry tree there was 
a slight pause in the 
ranks. Lieutenant Ben- 
jamin Wright and Ser- 
geant William Long, 
marching side by side, 
drew near. I noticed the dust across the shoulders 
of their new uniforms, and then came to me the 

impression that one of 
them would never come 
back. And so it was — 
Long was one of tlie first 
to lay down his life. 

Company I was re- 
markable in the fact that 
its ranks included no less 
than twelve pair of broth- 
ers. They were Erastus 
and James Burns, David 
and Jared Finch; John 
and Holly Hubbard; Wil- 
liam and Drake Marshall ; Charles and John ]McCann ; 




William and (Teorge Jeriiian; Stephen and Henry 
Brady; George and ^.Villiani Robbins; TiOuis and 
Jolm SchafFer; Henry and AVarren Seott; Aaron 

and John Sherwood, 
and John and Thomas 

In addition to this 
there were three in- 
stances where father 
and son stood side by 
side, and in the ran.ks 
of the Company were 
tliree brothers-in-law. 
After the soldiers 
had departed they 
were constantly in 
mind and after every 
engagement the pa- 
pers were carefully 
scanned for news of 
boys at the front. 
Tetters came often. 


the envelopes covered with spirited pictures of war 
scenes. Indeed, plain white envelopes were seldom 
seen in those days, a Hag in colors usually occupying 
the left hand corner. 

The Sanitary Commission had a branch here, made 
up of ladies who sewed for the well soldiers and put 
up bandages and lint for the sick and wounded. 



Mi f • 



Boxes were sent out by the families of soldiers filled 
with such simple things as corn meal, onions, salt and 
pepper; essential, but often difficult to get at the front. 
Quite frequently the 
great flag hung at 
half mast and then 
the boys would won- 
der who had gone 
and whethei- by shot, 
shell or disease. 

There w^ere mil- 
itary funerals of 
which I recall that 
of William Donohue 
and later the more 
imposing funerals of 
Sergeant AVilliam 
Long, Thomas R. 
Mead, Henry ]Mead, 
and Caleb ]M. 
Holmes, all of Com- 
pany I, also that of 
Oliver D. Benson of 
another regiment. 

When ]Major Daniel ^lerritt ^lead was brought 
home in a dying condition the sympathy of all was 
aroused, and as he lay sick for two weeks in the old 
homestead on the Post Road many a prayer was of- 
fered for his recovery. But he passed away on the 


Of the lOth Reg. Conn. Volunteers. Not 
a Greeinvieh man hut l)el{)ve(l hy every 
niemher of Co. I 


19th day of September, 1862, at tlie early age of 


His funeral was hekl in 
the Second Congrega- 
tional Chmx'h and I recall 
that his military hat and 
sword rested upon the 
coffin. The church was 
crowded to such an extent 
that tile support imder 

.:t , . the west gallery snapped 

SERG. WILLIAM LONG like the report of a pistol 

En. ]H«1 Co. I 10th C. V. Died ^^^j^j^ ^|^^ ^^^^j ,^^ ^^^ ^j^^ 
.Morris Island. ISfiS ^ 

people. Few realized the 
cause of the peculiar 

It was a sad morning in 
April, 180.5. when the 
news of the assassination 
of President Lincoln 
reached Greenwich. ^Nlem- 
bers of both political par- 
ties bowed their heads in 
sorrow and the emblems 
of moiu'iiing were univer- 

The follow^ing chapter 
contains an account of ^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^.^^ 

the sermon preached by Master's Mate u. s. n., isei-isoo. 

RTTiT-11- TT TT l.;\^t year on staff of .\dnir. 

ev. VVllliam H. H. Po,-ter'. in several important 

eniiagements inchidins): Fort 

Murray on this occasion. 




^lURRAY was born in Guilford, Conn., 
April 26, 1840. He was graduated from Yale and 
from a school of Theology, becoming acting pastor 
of the Second Congregational Church at the age of 
twentY-four. He remained as lono- as the church 
could keep him, but in 1866 the First Congregational 
Church of jNIeriden offered him a liberal salary and 
he left. 

When he came to Greenwich he was, in years, 
scarcely more than a boy, yet he had the poise and 
dignity of a mature man. He stood OYer six feet 
in height, was straight as an arrow, and of massiYC 
physique. His large, well-shaped head was coYered 
with abundant black hair. His eyes fairly glittered 
with life and animation. 

He had an unbroken colt that he kept at Col. 
Thomas A. JNIead's, also a row boat on the Sound. 
In almost cYcry Congregational home were dis- 
played, in conspicuous places, the photographs of 
JNIr. and ^Nlrs. ^Murray. All of the old generation 
remember him distinctly. The younger generation 
has little knowledge of him, because he disappeared 



from public life many years ago and the old ])hoto- 
graphs have been hidden away or destroyed. He 
was clever, handsome and magnetic and fearless in 


*• ^1 l- 

W. H. 11. MURRAY 

At tlie age of 34. 

his preaching. His originality was unique, usually 
pleasing and often startling. 

In speaking of himself in tlie latter years of his 
life he once said: 'T was born of j)oor parents, as 
the majority of Xew England boys were in my day. 
There had never been a rich rascal in our familv, nor 



did I come of literary stock. Xo college-bred dunce 
had ever handicapped us with his incapable respect- 
ability. I had, therefore, a fair start. The Con- 
necticut ^Nlurrays were not afraid to tell the truth to 
any man and could swear heartily at hypocritical 
meanness — at least my father could. At the age of 
seven I began to earn my own living, as every boy 
should. At fourteen I read all the books I could lay 
my hands on. At sixteen I began to prepare for 
college. I had no help, no encouragement. INIy 
father opposed me in my efforts and my mother said 
nothing. jNIy old neighbors in their ignorance said: 
'I wonder what liill ^lurray thinks he can make of 
himself?' But I persevered. I was sensitive to 
ridicule. I had an impediment in my speech, but I 
had taken hold of the rope of knowledge with a good 
grip and I held on. 

"I started for Yale with four dollars and sixty- 
eight cents in my pocket and two small carpet bags 
in my hands — one for my few books, tlie other for 
my few clothes. While at the university I was urged 
by family and friends, more than once, to give it up. 
One winter I lived for four weeks on a diet that cost 
fifty-six cents a week: Indian meal and water — not 
over much meal and a good deal too much water. 
I went through the entire course — I don't remember 
that I lost a week. I was graduated crammed full 
of the knowledge of books from enormous reading, 
seasoned with a fair proficiency in the studies of the 
curriculum, but not over seasoned. Then witliout 



pause I went to East Windsor, where they take 
young men as Christians and make them over into 
Calvinists, and studied old world theology." 

While at Greenwich "Sir. ^Murray made his tirst ex- 
cursion into the Adirondack wilderness. It was then 
almost an unknown territory. While at INIeriden he 
23assed his summer vacations in the Adirondacks and 
wrote to the Meridcn Recorder a series of letters that 
M'ere afterwards incorporated into a hook entitled 
"Adventures in the Wilderness," which made him a 
literary celebrity and gave liim a name that always 
stuck — "Adirondack ^Murray." 

A])()ut the same time appeared in the ^itJantic 
MontJtlif a story entitled "A Ride with a ^lad Horse 
in a Freight Car." which was said to contain the best 
description of a horse in action tliat was ever written. 

Before coming to Greenwich, ]Mr. ]Murray had 
married the daughter of Sh.eldon Hull, a prosperous 
farmer of Essex, Conn. Her sister, Ida Hull, lived 
with them while in Greenwicli and attended the 

The news of the assassin.ation of President Lin- 
coln reached Greenwich on Saturday morning at 
eight o'clock. Before noon a meeting of the pastor 
and deacons of the Second Congregational Church 
was held and it was voted to drape the interior of the 
church in black. ^Ir. ^Murray agreed to preach an 
appropriate sermon the following morning. 

A number of tlie active young men and women, as- 
sisted l)y Mr. ^lurray, had completed the decorations 



by sunset. They covered the front of the galleries, 
twisted the black muslin a])()ut the posts, looped it 
around the pulpit and strung it above the organ, till 
the great edifice looked heavy with the folds of black, 
from which were visible, here and there, the bright 
colors of the stars and stripes. 

After it was all finished, ^Murray said: "I'll take 
a little outdoor exercise after supper and when I re- 
turn I'll prepare the special sermon for to-morrow." 

Late that night there was a light in his study in the 
church. He had a window open and he coidd hear 
the voices of the peepers in the distance. Plis heavy 
black hair hung like a great shock over his brow. 
His thoughts, at times, came too fast for his fingers; 
but at the weird hour when the night begins to change 
to another day, he laid down his pen, put out the 
light, and with body erect as in the morning, he 
strode across the yard to the parsonage door. 

The next morning as he arose to deliver his sermon 
to an immense audience, his face for a moment 
clouded with sorrow. His voice, always heavy, res- 
onant and musical, was at first husky, but as he 
caught the sympathy of his hearers, his voice cleared 
and, without a note, he delivered one of the most elo- 
quent discourses ever heard in that church. 

He began: "To-day the wicked triumj^h and the 
"good are brought low. Two days ago the Republic 
"stood erect, strong and valiant; her foot advanced 
"and countenance radiant with hope. To-day she 
"lies prostrate upon the ground, her features stained 



"with the traces of recent grief, and her voice lifted 
"in lamentation." 

The sermon of this boy of twenty-four was filled 
with the wisdom of a sage. As he drew toward the 
close he said: "Nor is he wholly gone! He lives; 
"not in bodily presence, but yet he lives, in the his- 
"tory of his times, in the memory of his age — in the 
"affections of ns all. His name will not be forgot- 
"ten. The living of to-day will tell it to the unborn 
"and they, in turn, will repeat it to the remotest age. 
"Amid the doings of the great of every clime will his 
"deeds be recorded. Among the teachings of the 
"wise will his sayings be written. In galleries where 
"wealth gathers the faces of the loved and the re- 
"nowned will his portrait be suspended, and in hum- 
"bler homes and in lowlier hearts will his face and 
"his memory be retained, until the present has be- 
"come the past, and tlie children cease to be moved 
"by the traditions of the fathers. 

"We cannot measure him to-day. Years must 
"pass before his influence on his age can be estimated. 
"It needs the contrast of history to reveal his great- 
"ness. In tlie native vigor of his intellect, in the sin- 
"cerity of his purpose, in the originality of his views, 
"in the simplicity of his faith, and in his sympathy 
"for the oppressed, what potentate of his time will 
"l)ear a comparison with this backwoodsman of 
"America^ Untaught in the formalities of courts, 
"he aped not their customs. Unostentatious, he as- 
"pired to nothing beyond his reach and seemed to 



"reach more than he aspired after. He was incapa- 
"ble of bitterness, and in this doth his greatness most 
"appear, that having defamers, he heeded them not, 
"persecuted by enemies he hated them not, reviled by 
"inferiors, he retorted not." 

It is sad to think that a man as capable as ^Murray 
should have gone to pieces, like a ship on a ledge. 
Leaving jNIeriden, he was the settled pastor of Park 
Street Church, Boston, at the age of twenty-eight. 
But in Boston his career seemed a striking case of a 
square peg trying to fit into a round hole. Sport of 
all kinds fascinated the man, and the conventionali- 
ties that hedge about the ministerial cloth became ex- 
ceedingly distasteful to him. 

To the Park Street Church deacons it was equally 
distasteful to have the name of their pastor connected 
constantly with horse racing. \Vhether jNIr. jNIurray 
ever risked money on the races, was never established, 
but that he organized the Boston Buckboard Co. to 
introduce a trotting sulky, deemed by him of superior 
quality and put a good deal of time into the business 
of breeding ^lorgan horses at his Guilford farm, 
there is no question. At one time the Guilford es- 
tate, which included the old homestead, which he had 
purchased after it went out of the family, was worth 
seventy-two thousand dollars, a fact quite sufficient 
to reassure those whom ]Mr. JNIurray had persuaded 
to invest heavily in the Buckboard Co. 

Racing and religion soon began to be blended by 
JNIr. ^lurray in a manner most severely criticized. 




He owned and edited a weekly paper called The 
Golden Ihile, which had a laroe niini})er of subscrib- 
ers in (xi'eenwich. In this paper matters pertain- 
in <>• to the turf and the church were treated with so 
loose an attempt at im])artiality that tliere seemed at 
times to be a leaning towards favoring the turf the 

more. As a natural con- 
^ . sequence, in 1874, he Avas 

4^ ^ forced to resign from 

Park Street Church. But 
for the following three 
years he drew great audi- 
ences to Music Hall 
where he preached lib- 
erty, free speech and inde- 
pendent action. 

As a pulpit orator he 
was incomparable. There 
was a peculiar charm in his delivery, a magnetism in 
his presence and a profound logic in his reasoning, 
which rendered his talks positive rhetorical studies. 
His religion, at this time, was the doctrine of common 

There was no egotism in his manner, no narrowness 
in his ideas. To liear him was to realize his powers 
of mind. To meet him was to comprehend his graces 
of manner, and to know him was to appreciate his 
goodness of heart. 

However he certainly had no business ability. 
The Golden Rule failed and to the l)uckboard enter- 





prise there came a financial crisis. One morning- the 
pastor, author, editor and manufacturer was missing. 
P^rom Texas he sent a letter to the Boston newspapers 
declaring- that husiness had called him to that distant 


III 18()4. 

State. He insisted that he had always intended to 
retire from public life when he was forty and that it 
was in fulfillment of this determination tliat he left 
Boston a few weeks before his fortieth birthday. 

In the fall of 1881 ^lurray conceived a project of 
shipping Texas wood to Chicago and other northern 



manufactiirino- centers, but as the scheme necessitated 
the transportation of material which could be secured 
better and cheaper nearer home, its chance of success 
was sliglit. Yet Murray so believed in it that he built 
a mill on the Guadalupe, about forty miles from San 
Antonio, and went there to conduct it. He also in- 
duced people to invest in this singular enterprise. 
At this time he became, himself, a teamster. He 
dressed in brown overalls, cowhide boots and a blue 
and white checked shirt. Then as he left New 
England — with many debts behind him; so jNIr. JNIur- 
ray left Texas. 

In the winter of 1883, tlie late Thomas Ritch told 
me that he found him running a restaurant called 
tile ''Snow Shoe" in ^Montreal where JNIurray himself, 
in cap and apron, had cooked and served for him a 
plate of buckwheat cakes. Here he met so many of 
his old parishioners that the restaurant actually served 
as an entering wedge for the man's return to the 
world again. 

The winter of 1884 he w^as back again on the Bos- 
ton lecture platform. That same winter, or the next, 
he lectured in Ray's Hall in Greenwich. A few of 
his old friends w^re present, but nearly every one had 
forgotten the eloquent preacher of twenty years be- 
fore. And yet, after all his vicissitudes, his charm of 
old had not departed. That niglit he read from his 
own works "How John Norton, the trapper, kept his 
Christmas," a vivid and exquisitely pathetic descrip- 
tion of a lonely mountaineer's perilous tramp to in- 



sure a happy Christmas to another. As tlie story 
was read, with the same deep resonant voice of old, 
those who heard it could not hut do homage to the 
liumanity and genius of its writer. 

Before I close this painful chapter I must recur to 
INIrs. jNIurray or the story will he incomplete. She 
was a remarkable woman, possessed of unusual in- 
tellectual power. The year that her husband left 
her she entered the New York ^Medical School for a 
term. Then she went to Europe and for three years 
studied in Vienna jNledical College and finally was 
graduated in surgery as well as medicine, with high 
honors. She was the first American woman to re- 
ceive, in Europe, a diploma entitling her to practice 
as a surgeon. Returning to her native land she 
opened an office in New Haven. 

The same year that his wife divorced him ]Mr. 
INIurray married jNIiss Frances ]M. Rivers of ^lont- 
real, a Catholic. With her and their four daughters 
he long lived happily in retirement at tlie old home- 
stead in Guilford and there he died in 11)06 in the 
same room in which he was born. His body was laid 
at rest under an old apple tree near the house. 

The following lines were written by INIr. ^Murray 
in 1867 as a prelude to a sermon on Faithfulness: 

The play is done — the curtain drops 

Slow falling to the prompter's bell ; 

A moment yet the actor stops, 

And looks around to say farewell, 

It is an irksome word and task. 

And when he's laughed and said his sav, 



He sliows, as he removes the mask^ 

A face that's anything but gay. 

So each shall mourn, in life's advance, 

Dear hopes, dear friends, untimely killed — - 

Shall grieve for many a forfeit chance, 

And longing passion unfulfilled. 

Amen ! Whatever fate be sent. 

Pray God the heart may kindly glow. 

Although the head with cares be bent, 

And whitened with the winter's snow. 




AT the opening of the nineteentli century tliere 
were but tliree jjrominent trees on the main 
country road from Putnam Hill to Toll Gate Hill. 
The husbandman.'s ax kept the hedge rows trimmed 
and ornamental trees were rarely set out, as they 
shaded tlie growing crops. 

The three trees that held their branches high in the 
air were plainly A'isible from vessels cruising in the 
Sound. They were button-ball trees; one stood in 
fron.t of the old Hobby tavern on what is now the 
J. H. Fennessy property on East Putnam Avenue; 
another spread its immense limbs over Dearfields, the 
home of Richard ^lead, later of Col. Thomas A. 
Mead; and the other, until 1911, stood in front of 
the Peter Acker homestead on Putnam Avemie. 
This latter tree was the smallest of the trio, but had 
been stmxly and vigorous at the opening of the Revo- 
lutionary War. 

The Hobby tavern stood almost exactly on the 
ground occupied by ]Mr. Fennessy's beautiful house 
of antique style. Capt. John Hobby had been active 
in the eighteenth century, but on the l.'3th of May, 
1802, when probably an old man, he sold all his Horse 



Neck real estate to Hannah Courtney. This con- 
sisted of twenty-two acres, near the ^Meeting House, 
on l)oth sides of the Post Road. He hounded the 
southerly tract on the east l)y land of Jared ^lead 
and on the south hy land of the Rev. Dr. Isaac I^ewis. 


Erected 1S()7. Subsequently the lionie of Henry M. Benedict and 
Dr. William Cuy Peck 

Subsequent deeds bound it on the west by land of Dr. 
Lewis, and it apparen^tly extended east to wdiat is now 
the Frederick ^Nlead place, west to the present line 
of INIason Street and south to land now owned by the 
Greenwich Hospital. The tract on the north side 
of the road included property now known as the Elms 
and a considerable tract west of it. But the land 
still further west, belonging to Dr. Carl E. ^Martin 



and Walter "Si. Anderson and Ada ]M. Cook, be- 
longed to Thomas Hobby, probably a brother of the 

It is clear that Captain Hobby lived on the south 
side of the road and probably on the commanding 
eminence where Henry ]M. Benedict lived so many 
years, and afterward owned and occupied by Pro- 
fessor Wm. Guy Peck of West Point and Columbia 
College. That the house had long been an inn, and 
that it was of ample dimensions, shaded by the great 
button-ball tree, there is no doubt. But the shrewd 
Captain Hobby in his deed to ^Nliss Courtney, a Xew 
York lady of wealth and social j^osition, makes no 
allusion to a tavern, inn, or public house, but de- 
scribed the buildings as a "mansion house and barn." 

jNIiss Courtney paid $2,84<8.7.> for the liandsomest 
piece of property in the village of Horse Xeck. At 
that time, however, it could hardly be termed a vil- 
lage. There were but few houses, well scattered and 
whatever commercial interests Greenwich liad were 
centered at ^lianus, where the Town Clerk's office 
Mas located. 

From the hilltop purchased by ^liss Courtney was 
an unobstructed view in all directions. It was said 
that travelers by stage coach along the Post Road 
anticipated with pleasure that part of tlie trij:) from 
Putnam Hill to Toll Gate Hill where the view of 
tile Sound was unbroken and unobstructed the entire 

]My father made the stage coach trip from Xew 


:# W»}^ 



York to Boston in 1888, and stopped at wliat was 
then tlie Mansion House, since called the Lenox 
House, kept hy Augustus Lyon. He (my father) 
often referred to the fact the two front rooms 
of the present Lenox House, are identical with tlie 
two front rooms of that ancien.t hostelry — the 3Ian- 
sion Plouse. 

Hannah Courtney owned the Ilohby pro])erty hut 

five years. It is easy to 
imaoine that she did not 
find it uninterestino-, but 
that it Avas remote from 
New York, and that the 
means of transportation 
l)V sloop or stage coach 
were not agreeable. At 
all events on November 
11,1 807, for the consider- 
ation of 'l^oOO, she sold it 
to Reale N. Lewis. It is not likely that ^Nliss Court- 
ney suffered such a loss, or that JSIr. Lewis made such 
a good bargain as to actually get the pro])erty for 
-$.)()({, which was doubtless a nominal consideration. 
They were cousins. 

Reale N. Lewis was also from New York City, and 
was a son of the Rev. Dr. Isaac Lewis. He was an 
able lawyer of large wealth. As soon as he accjuired 
the land, he removed the Hobby tavern and built 
what was then con.sidered a grand mansion. It was 
not dee]) but it was wide, built like three cubes, a 



large one in the cen.ter, and one at eaeh end for wings. 
He died possessed of the proj>erty in the spring of 
1817, leaving a widow, Elizabeth Lewis, but no lineal 
heirs. His death occurred seven years before that of 
his distinguished father. 

On ]May 11, 1829, the brothers and sisters of Beale 
X. Lewis conveyed the same twenty-two acres to 
Peter Tillott. James Tillott and Susan Seymour. 
They w^ere probably speculators as they subsequently 
ow^ned other land in town, and did consideralile con- 
veyancing. But the venture does not a])pear to have 
been profitable as they held the land till April 4, 1833, 
when they sold it at cost to Alvan Mead. 

In 1833 Cornelia J. Graham and 3Iary E. Graham, 
sisters, were conducting a school on the north side of 
the Post Road where they owned considerable real 
estate. The Alvan ^Nlead purchase was bounded on 
the east by their property. The school was carried 
on in the house now known as the Elms. Tlie Til- 
lotts and ^liss Seymour must liave been exceedingly 
tired of carrying the property as they accepted tlie 
entire purchase price in a note secured by mortgage. 

Alvan ^lead held it four years when, on Fe])ruary 
6, 1837, he sold it to Obadiah Peck at a profit of 

]Mr. Peck was one of oiu' earliest real estate specu- 
lators. At that time two acres was considered a 
small plot. ]Mr. Peck was also a house builder. His 
aim was to improve the land with buildings and sell 
at a profit. He occupied the Beale X. Lewis home- 



stead whose south windows and broad veranda com- 
manded a splendid view of Lond Island Sound and 
the intervening coun.try. Here Henry ^I. Benedict 
subsequently resided for nearly twenty years. This 
same house was torn down by L. V. Harkness after 
he purchased it from the William G. Peck estate, 
Jvme 15, 1891. 

J5ut to return to Obadiah Peck. In 1854 he built 
the home so long occupied by the late Jj. P. Hubbard 
and now owned by Dr. Edward (). Parker. Then 
he built the Ranks homestead recently moved by Mrs. 
Nathaniel Witherell to make room for the new Young 
JNIen's Christian Association building. This last 
venture of jNIr. Peck's was disastrous and he made a 
bad financial failure. 

Before closing this chapter and leaving the neigh- 
borhood I have been describing, I must allude to the 
homestead of Jared JNIead, v/hich stood where now 
stands the Frederick ]Mea(l homestead. 

Jared jNIead was the father of Alvan ^lead and 
here Alvan was born in 1795. The house was an 
old-fashioned sweep-back, covered with shingles to 
the sills, which were close to the ground. In the 
center of the house was a great stone chimney which 
afforded an open fire place in each room of its two 
stories. Down the hill a short distance were the 
somber farm barns. "Sir. JNIead was a sprightly little 
man with a numerous family. He was prominent 
and active in the affairs of the fleeting House, hard 
by on the hill. Perhaps it should be called the Sec- 



Olid Congregational Church but he always called it 
"The JNIeeting House." 

The house was double, the hall in the center ex- 
tending from the front door to the great chimney, 
where winding stairs with white painted banisters 
and a cherry rail led to the second story. On one 
side of this hall was the living room and the other the 
"best room," in later years called the "parlor." Both 
these rooms had grand old tire places with crane 
and pot hooks, blackened by the smoke and flame. 
The hearth was an enormous slab of blue stone, 
cracked across from the heat of the great logs, seven 
feet long, that l)lazed merrily all the winter day and 
smoiddered under a bed of ashes all night. 

It was 3Ir. ^Mead's duty as an active member of the 
church to supply the Sabbath attendants w^ith ma- 
terial for their foot stoves. On Saturday an unusual 
supply of fire wood was stacked against the chimney 
jambs and by ten o'clock, Sunday, a large quantity 
of live coals was heaped in the spacious chimney place. 
As the old bell in the ^Meeting House was calling the 
parishioners to worship, they would repair to "Sir. 
INIead's and fill their foot stoves with live coals. 

It was, however, a rule of the family that no com- 
munication whatever should be had with those who 
called and no member of the family should go into 
the "best room," lest it be said that they were enter- 
taining visitors on the Sabbath day. Those who 
came understood and approved of the rule. They 
opened the door unbidden and tilling their stoves with 



coals went out with quiet dignity, Tliere was no 
levity; no common-place remarks, only the most for- 
mal salutations were made. If anything was said, 
it referred to tlie discourse wliicli they expected to 
hear, or at noon, when the stoves were replenished, 
concerning the sermon which they had lieard. The 
afternoon was a repetition of the morning and the 
winter twilight was scarcely an hour away when the 
church was closed. 




AT the present time there are many people resid- 
ing in Greenwich who have never heard of Boss 
Tweed. Since his day the new generation has heen 
taimht historv but local characters like Tweed have 
usually been ignored. During the past five years I 
have made a test and have been surprised how the 
once notorious politician has been forgotten. For 
that reason this chapter will be devoted to the man, 
without any allusion to his residence in Greenwich. 

I attended Tweed's trial diu'ing the fall of 1873 
and also did some clerical work for the Committee 
of Seventy, being then a law student in Xew York 
City. But much that follows in this chapter has been 
culled from R. R. Wilson, who wrote a pamphlet on 
the subject which is said to have been suppressed. 

Until the year 1834 the ^Mayor of the City of New 
York was chosen either by the State Council of Ap- 
pointments or by the Common Council of the city. 
After 1834, however, that official was elected by the 
citizens. In 1846 the judiciary was made elective 
and thereafter most local offices were chosen by popu- 
lar vote. During the first seventy years of Xew 
York's historv as a free citv the Democratic partv 



was the one usually in power. The Federalists and 
after them the AVhigs occasionally secured control of 
affairs, but the Democrats always recovered their 
hold on the reins. 

And without exception all the Democratic ^Mayors 
of that period owed their election to Tammany Hall, 
a secret association whose social and benevolent aims 
had been early put aside for political ones. 

Business men, then as now, shrank from political 
activity, while tlie men who directed Tammany Hall 
kn.ew how to drill and control the mass of poor and 
ioiiorant voters, mainlv of foreign birth, who after 
1840 constituted a majority of the voters. Still the 
majority which assured the continuance in or return 
to 2)()wer of Tammauy Hall and its allies was often 
a narrow one and victories were <>'ained by fraud, 
intimidation and violence at the polls. 

The master spirit of the organization in the early 
'5()'s was Fernando Wood, an able and resolute man, 
who held to the })elief that success was the criterion 
in politics, and that almost anything was justifiable 
to win it. 

In 18.54- ^Vood became ^layor, and was reelected 
at the end of two years. Then he quarreled with his 
associates in Tammany Hall and failed of a reelec- 
tion in 18.58. Following this he formed ^Mozart Hall 
as a rival organization, and with its help and that of 
the mob in the lower wards succeeded in 1800 in de- 
feating Tammany Hall and putting himself at the 
head of the City (xoverument. 


Photo by Brady in 1871 


In 1862 Tammany again secured control, and for 
several years political corruption was rife in the City 
of Xew York. 

This era of corruption was made easy by radical 
changes in methods of municipal administration ef- 
fected in 1857. In that j^ear a new charter was 
passed for the city, which, besides dividing tlie re- 
sponsibility among the local officers, created a number 
of Boards and Commissions, the heads of which were 
not appointed by the JMayor, but elected by the voters 
of the city, as were also the Comptroller and Corpora- 
tion Counsel. 

More important still, coincident with the enact- 
ment of the new charter, a law was passed establishing 
for the County of Xew York a Board of Supervisors, 
chosen by popular vote, which was made inde- 
pendent of the city authorities, and vested with 
power to levy tlie local taxes and to direct those 
branches of administration which in the State at large 
were relegated to the county authorities. 

One of the first to discover the chance for private 
gain at public expense made possible by the legisla- 
tive changes of 18.57 was William ^I. Tweed, a native 
of the city. He was a man of Scotch parentage, who 
after failing in business as a chairmaker had in the 
late '-iO's turned to politics as a means of livelihood. 

He became first a member and then foreman of 
one of the volunteer fire companies of the period, 
known as the Big Six, thereby achieving popularity, 
which brought him to the attention of Tammany 



leaders. He was elected an Alderman of the city 
in 18,50 and in 1853 was chosen a member of Congress. 
But he never cared for Washington and in 1857 he 
was elected Pul)lic School Commissioner and subse- 
quently State Senator. 

^Meanwhile Tweed had himself elected to the newly 
created Board of Supervisors, of which lie was four 
times chosen president and of which he remained the 
directing spirit until 1870 when it passed out of ex- 

I^eadership of this board, which had the power of 
auditing accoiuits, gave him an opportunity to se- 
cure various privileges which were frauds u])on the 
city, and lie made the most of it. Tlius obtaining 
control of an obscure newspaper, he secured the pas- 
sage of a l)iil by the legislature making it the official 
organ of the City (rovernment and it was paid over a 
million dollars for printing the proceedings of the 
Common Council, which no one read. 

He also established a company for the printing of 
blank forms and vouchers for which in one year 
$2,800,000 was charged. A stationers company con- 
trolled by Tweed whicli furnished all the stationery 
used in the public institutions and departments re- 
ceived some three million dollars a year. Tweed em- 
ployed certain persons as executive heads of these 
companies who were also upon the city pay rolls, some 
receiving" monev for work never done. AVliile serv- 
ing as State Senator and president of the Board of 
Supervisors, Tweed also held the office of Deputy 



Street Commissioner witli ''authority to a])point as 
many as a thousand othee holders, many of wliom 
did no work exce])t to serve him, yet were ])ai(l out of 
the city treasury." 

By such methods as tliese Tweed advanced in a 
few years from poverty to *>Teat wealth, and at the 
same time, made himself undisputed master of Tam- 
many Hall. 

In 1863 he was chosen chairman of the General 
Committee of the oroanization and Grand Sachem 
of the Tammany Society. In 1863, also, he assured 
Tammany Hall's ah solute control of the city hy ef- 
fecting a truce with its rival organization. A\^)od's 
Mozart Hall, the price of peace being Wood's elec- 
tion to Congress. This truce brought Tweed two 
efficient lieutenants, A. Oakey Hall and Albert 
Cardoza, an able lawyer, wlio was made a judge of 
one of the city courts. Two other men placed upon 
the benx'h about the same time because "they could 
be relied upon," were John H. ]McCunn and George 
G. Barnard. Other politicians who came into close 
alliance with Tweed were Richard B. Connolly and 
Peter B. Sweeny. 

In 1865 Tweed and his associates secured the elec- 
tion of John T. Hoffman- as ^Nlayor and three years 
later he was elected Governor. At that time the 
charge was freely made that Hoffman's election was 
secured by the practice of frauds described as colossal 
and "embracing every known method of corruption 
in the ballot box." Tammany Hall at the same time 



secured control of the legislature of the State and the 
Common Council of the City. 

Hall succeeded Hoffman as ]Mayor; Connolly be- 
came City Comptroller; James Sweeny was City 
Chamberlain and with Tweed supreme in the street 
department and the Board of Supervisors, the ring 
which had long been in the process of formation "be- 
came completely organized and matured." Then 
Tweed and his lieutenants set to work to secure a 
new city charter, which would make doubly sure their 
control of the finances of the city. 

This charter became a law in 1870. It abolished 
the Board of Supervisors, again vesting its functions 
in the ^Mayor, Recorder and Aldermen of the city, 
and centered responsil)ility for the administration of 
municipal affairs in the INIayor, who was given au- 
thority to appoint all his impoi'tant subordinates. 
It surrendered the Police Department to men con- 
trolled by the ring; it re-organized the Park Depart- 
ment in such manner that three of the five commis- 
sioners became for five years each, tools of Tweed; 
it vacated the office of Street Commissioner, vesting 
all the powers of the office in a Commissioner of 
Public Works to be appointed by the INIayor for a 
term of four years. Tweed received the appoint- 
ment. The Governor had no power to remove him 
on charges. He could only be impeached through 
charges made by the Mayor, and could only be tried 
in case every one of the six judges of the Court of 
Common Pleas was present. 



The new charter also created a Board of Apportion- 
ment made up of the JNIayor, Comptroller, Commis- 
sioner of Puhlic Works and President of the Park 
Department, and vested with power to make all neces- 
sary appropriations for the conduct of the city gov- 
ernment. The men who composed this l)oard were 
Hall, Connolly, Tweed and Sweeny, who had re- 
signed the office of Citv Cliamherlain to hecome 
President of the Park Department. And in this 
way the ring secured unchecked control of the ex- 
penditures of the city. 

Yet another tool for plunder was forged at this 
time. By a special act of the legislature a Board of 
Audit was created and it was vested with power to ex- 
amine and allow all claims against the city prior to 
1870. Its purpose was to put money into the pockets 
of members of the ring and to reimburse them for 
the large sums they had been compelled to spend to 
secure the adoption of the new chartei- by the legisla- 
ture. This pm-pose was promptly put into execution 
and in less than four months after its creation orders 
were made by the Board of Audit for the ])ayment 
of claims to the amount of $6,312,500, ninety j^er 
cent, of which went into the pockets of the members 
of the ring. 

Various other special legislative acts were passed 
whereby the ring had power to raise and expend 
nearly fifty millions of dollars in a single year. 

Other laws were passed which placed the ring in 
more complete control of the Board of P^ducation 



and of the Police and Health Boards, while there 
was also created a Board of Street Opening and Im- 
provement, composed of the ^Nlayor, Comptroller, 
Commissioner of Puhlic Works and Tax Commis- 
sioner, vested with power whenever its memhers 
"deemed it for the public interest so to do" to close, 
open, widen or straighten any or all of the streets of 
the city. 

The passage of these laws marked the culmination 
of the ring's power, and it has been said that during 
the winter they were being enacted "Tweed lived in 
Albany with all the state of a sovereign who had 
prodigious favors to bestow or awful penalties to en- 
force." There seemed never to have entered his mind 
a suspicion of the jjower of an aroused public opin- 

Tlie story of the downfall of the ring, however, 
should be prefaced by a brief description of the meth- 
ods which it employed to fill the pockets of its mem- 
bers. The opening or widening of streets Avas one 
of the most fruitful sources of illicit gain. A favorite 
method of fraud practiced by the ring consisted in the 
payment of enormously increased bills to mechanics, 
arch.itects, furniture makers, and, in some instances 
to unknown persons for supplies and services. It 
was the expectation that an honest bill would be 
raised from sixty to ninety per cent. The average 
increase was such as to make it possible to give sixty- 
seven per cent, to the ring, th,e confederates being al- 
lowed to keep the thirty-three per cent., and of that 



thirty-three per cent, probably one-half was a fraud- 
ulent increase. 

This game reached a climax in the County Court 
House, still standing in City Hall Park. Work on 
this structure was begun under a stipulation that the 
cost should not exceed $2,50,000, but before 1871 more 
than eight millions had been spent on it, one million 
of which was ultimately traced to Tweed's pocket. 

When a contractor submitted a bill he would be 
told to swell the amount of the total, at the same 
time being given to un.derstand that payment de- 
pended upon compliance with this order. Then a 
warrant woidd be drawn for the padded claim and 
the contractor paid a sum slightly in excess of his 
original bill, while the balance would be divided 
among the members of the ring. Xor was there any 
immediate danger of detection. Tweed as Commis- 
sioner of Public Works would order work done; as 
President of the Board of Supervisors he would see 
to it that the bills were passed, and then the County 
Auditor, who was his pliant tool, would issue warrants 
of payment. 

All this time suspicion was rife in the community. 
Thomas Xast, tlie cartoonist for Harper's Weekly, 
was constantly illustrating the iniquities of the ring. 
Tweed's face and figure, with the blazing diamond in 
his shirt front, were always before the public. He 
once said, "I don't care what the papers print so much 
but I don't like those pictures," and in the end they 
were the cause of Tweed's apprehension. 



One of the politieiaiis of the period was James 
O'Brien, a former slierifF of the county, who in 1871 
was the leader of the Young Democracy, an organiza- 
tion which had for its purpose the overthrow of the 
power of Tweed in Tammany Hall. 

Through O'Brien's influence a friend of his named 
Copeland had secured a place as an accountant in the 
office of tlie Comptroller. The magnitude of tlie city 
expenditures recorded in the hooks and the fact tliat 
these enormous payments were made to a few persons 
aroused Copeland's suspicions. He transcrihed the 
figures and showed tlie transcript to ^Ir. O'Brien. 
They were taken hy the latter to the office of a daily 
newspaper in tlie city and ofl'ered for publication but 
were "declined with thanks." 

Thereupon "Sir. O'Brien called upon George Jones, 
publisher of the Times, and handed him the transcripts 
from the Comptroller's accounts. ^Ir. Jones con- 
sulted his editorial staff and it was decided that the 
figures should be published. This decision was made 
known to Mr. O'Brien, who took the incriminating 
accounts, retained them for a short time and then 
returned them to Mr. Jones with the unconditional 
permission to publish. 

TM^eed in some manner discovered that his guilty 
secrets were about to be published and his desperate 
efforts to forestall the publication were as charac- 
teristic of him as their complete defeat was charac- 
teristic of JNIr. Jones. 

Tweed sent an offer to buy the Times at any price. 



The emissary who was sent promptly reported the 
faihire of his mission. Tweed's next move was so 
extraordinary that JNlr. Jones' own account of wliat 
happened, taken from Harper's JVceldi/ of Fe!)ruary 
22, 1890, deserves to he reproduced here. 

"This conversation (l)etween Tweed's emissary 
"and 3Ir. Jones) occurred in Jones' office in the 
"^^ Times Building, then down town in Printing House 
"Square. A lawyer who was a tenant in the build- 
"ing sent for JNIr. Jones to come to his office, as he 
"wished to see him on an important matter. Think- 
"ing that the business pertained to the l)uilding, ]Mr. 
"Jones went to the lawyer's office, and, being ushered 
"into a private room, was confronted by Richard 
"B. Connolly, the Comptroller, Tweed's partner in 
"crime. T don't w^ant to see this man,' said ^Ir. 
"Jones and he turned to go out of the room. Tor 
"God's sake!' exclaimed Connolly, 'let me say one 
"word to you.' At this appeal ]Mr. Jones stopped. 
"Connolly then made a proposition to forego the 
"publication of the documents Jones had in his pos- 
"session, and offered him an enormous sum of money 
"to do this. The amount of this offer was five mil- 
"lion dollars. As Connolly waited for the answer 
"Mr. Jones said, T don't think the Devil will ever 
"make a higher bid for me than that!' Connolly 
"then began to plead, and drew a graphic picture with 
"what one could do with such a sum. He concluded 
"by saying: 'Why, with five million dollars you 
"can go to Europe and live like a prince!' 'Yes,' 



"said ^Ir. Jones, 'but I should know that I was a 
rascal.' " 

The first installment of the accounts was printed in 
the Times July 22, 1871. They showed the payment 
of the sum of $5,663,646 during the years 1869 and 
1870 for "repairs and furniture" for the new Court 
House. Each warrant was signed by Comptroller 
Connolly and JNIayor Hall, and all were endorsed to 
"Ingersoll & Co.," that is, James H. Ingersoll, the 
agent of the ring. 

The Times followed with other installments of 
secret accounts more fully reyealing the extent of 
the plundering. 

It had unmasked the ring and it pursued its ad- 
yantage with extraordinary energy. An immense 
number of copies of each issue of the paper contain- 
ing the figures, running into hundreds of tliousands, 
was published. These proofs awakened the slumber- 
ing city. The Committee of Seyenty, made up of 
prominent citizens, was formed early in September to 
obtain legal proof of the frauds reyealed by the Times 
and to prosecute the offenders. At the same time 
Samuel J. Tilden, aided by Charles O'Conor and 
Francis Kernan, all three lawyers of great ability, 
set to work to achieye the same end. ^Vlr. O'Conor, 
who was then the unchallenged leader of the X^ew 
York bar, consented to aid in the inyestigation only 
upon condition that he should serye without com- 

The task of bringing the offenders to justice ap- 



peared at the outset a difficult and nearly hopeless 
one. Tweed was insolent and defiant. The Board 
of Aldermen and all the local officers were members 
of the ring. 

But in September, 1871, an effective weapon was 
unexpectedly placed in the hands of ]Mr. Tilden. 
One morning in that month he was visited by a mes- 
senger from Comptroller Connolly, who was con- 
vinced that it was Tweed's intention to offer him up 
as a sacrifice to appease public sentiment on the 
charge that the frauds had been committed in his 
department, by his connivance and for his exclusive 

This the messenger explained to Mr. Tilden, and 
asked the latter's advice, suggesting that it might be 
best for Connolly to resign his office. Subsequently 
JNIr. Tilden suggested that Connolly appoint Andrew 
H. Green, an eminent and honored lawyer, his deputy 
and then surrender the office to him. This was done 
and Mr. Green became head of the Comptroller's 
office, with power to examine and publish all ex- 
penditures under the ring, and to prevent any con- 
tinuation of the fraudulent practices. 

Though a partially successful attempt was made to 
burn all the vouchers soon after ]Mr. Green took pos- 
session, of the charred scraps remaining (great 
bundles of them), ]Mr. Tilden was engaged for some 
ten days in making a searching analysis, which fiu'- 
nished legal proof of the crime. He succeeded also 
in tracing through one of the banks the checks which 



had been issued in payment of the accounts wliich 
the vouch.ers purported to represent. 

Indeed. ^Ir. Tilden's study of the vouchers and the 
.bank accoinits has often been pronounced one of the 
most remarkable pieces of analysis ever offered to 
the courts. Judge Noah Davis, of the Supreme 
Court, who sat upon the trial of Tweed, an.d heard this 
demonstration offered in evidence, afterwards de- 
clared it as perfect a specimen of logic and mathemat- 
ical proof as the books any\\'here contained. 

With checks, stubs, charred vouchers and other 
documents, jNIr. Tilden was able to show the exact 
amount of money stolen in each given instance and 
the exact division of the spoils. It was, however, 
then or later impossil)le to make an accurate estimate 
of the total amount of money stolen by the ring. Be- 
tween 1800 and 1871 the debt of the city increased 
from $2().()()(),()()0 to $101, ()()(),()()(), and it is believed 
that at least -$14,000,000 of this increase represented 
fraud and theft. 

The appointment of INIr. Green acting Comptroller 
thoroughly alarmed Tweed, and he made des2)erate 
attempts to stem the tide that was setting against 
him. At the Democratic State Convention, held in 
October, he received the nomination to the State Sen- 
ate and his personal popularity in his district, where 
he had been bountiful in his gifts to the poor, assured 
his election. But he never took his seat. He was 
arrested October 26, 1871. in a civil action instituted 
by the Committee of Seventv and released on bail. 



In December lie was indicted for fraud and felony, 
and two weeks later he resigned his post as Commis- 
sioner of Public Works, ceasing about the same time 
to be the official head of Tammany HalL He was 
brought to trial after many delays in January, 1873, 
but the ring still retained sufKcient influence to se- 
cure a disagreement of the jury. 

On a second trial in the following November he was 
convicted on fifty out of fifty-five charges against 
him and sentenced by Judge Davis to an aggregate 
of twelve years imprisonment. But at the end of 
the year, Tweed was released, the Court of Appeals 
holding that he ccnild not begin to serve a new sen- 
tence of a year at the end of a term of service of 
punishment upon another count. 

He was at once re-arrested upon civil actions to 
recover six million dollars stolen from the city, and 
being unable to obtain l^ail was kept in confinement 
in Ludlow Street jail. There he remained until De- 
cember. 187.5, when he efl'ected his escape and was 
next heard of in Vigo, Spain. Here he was arrested 
and brought back in a Federal man-of-war and re- 
turned to jail. This was in November, 1876, and in 
the following ]March the city recovered judgment 
against him for $6,500,000. He could not pay. 
In April, 1878, he died in jail. 

I have told this lon.g story of Tweed in order that 
what follows, connecting him with Greenwich, may 
be more significant to the younger generation. And 
before I close this chapter it should appear that 



Tweed, more than any other man of his time, fore- 
saw New York's imperial future. 

It was at his initiative that, in 1868, the legislature 
chartered a company for the construction of a rapid 
transit subway on lines nearly identical with the 
lower half of the route now in operation, and in the 
same year he was instrumental in setting apart in 
Central Pai'k a site for the present ^letropolitan 
Museum of Art. 

Credit must he given him for the establishment 
of fine floating baths, the Newsboys' Lodging House 
and the city's paid Are department, which has since 
])ecome a model for the world. He did much to aid 
the extension and betterment of Central Park, and it 
is a matter of record that those who had the work in 
charge never appealed to him in vain for legislation 
or for funds. 

No suspicion of fraud ever attached to this great 
undertaking, and it is said that Tweed ordered his 
followers to keep hands off the park. Another great 
work designed and accomplished by Tweed was the 
widening of Broadway from 32nd to 59th Street and 
the construction of what was long known as the 
Boulevard, but is now officially a section of Broad- 
w^ay, and which before its improvement was a narrow 
unpaved country road. He also led in the creation 
of the system of city-owned and improved water 
front, in which $60,000,000 is invested, and which has 
proved a boon to commerce and at the present time 
affords what is regarded by students of the subject 



as the most striking example offered here or abroad 
of profitable municipal ownership. "Tweed was not 
all bad," once declared the late jNIayor William I^. 
Strong. "He gave ns the Boulevard, the annexed 
district, streets, parks, docks, schools and hospitals." 




WILLIAM ]NL TWEED was a prominent char- 
acter in Greenwich for a number of years. He 
took no part in the affairs of tlie town, but his pres- 
ence was felt, with an effect very different on some 
than others. The sensible, well-bred men and women 
of the place greatly regretted his presence. They 
felt that the town could not grow in wealth and 
character, rendering Greenwich desirable as a place 
of residence so lon.g as lie remained to make it no- 

It probably was true in those years that outsiders 
gave us a sneer when they alluded to Greenwich as 
the home of TwTcd and the rendezvous of the Ameri- 
cus Club. Hut to the boys wlio admired his checker- 
board team, his ponies and dog carts, he was an o])ject 
of admiration. If they ever noticed Tom Xast's 
caricatures in Ilarper'n W ccMij, the purpose of such 
things was probably lost and as for reading all the 
papers said about liim, detrimental to liis reputation, 
they hardly took the pains. He was a living hero, 
with untold wealth, a great deal of which he dispensed 
locally with a liberal hand. 

It is not certain whether he came here in 1860 or 



1861. The first knowledge that came to any of the 
village boys was that a number of tents were pitclied 
on Round Island just south of the old potato cellar. 
And this fact left us in considerable uncertainty as to 
what the tents meant. It was the talk among the 
boatmen in the harbor and at Ephraim Read's on the 
steamboat dock that the tents were occupied l)y a 
club, but Tweed's name was not mentioned and it 
was not until the following summer that the name 
Americus Club was heard. 

But Tweed had visited Greenwich during the first 
summer that the tents appeared. Certain members 
of the club, which afterwards l)ecame the Americus 
Club, had preceded him. This club was both social 
and political, being composed of Republicans and 
Democrats, although more of the latter prevailed 
than the former. I have never seen a list of the 
members during those early years of the club's exist- 
ence, but I have a complete list of tlie membership 
of 1871, which was the most prosperous year in the 
clul)'s history. 

It was George E. ^lann, Charles H. Hall and P. 
B. Van Arsdale who one day hired a sailboat at City 
Island and sailed up the Sound, with the expectation 
of returning before sunset. But the weather sud- 
denly changed after they had left Execution I^ight 
far astern and rather than go about in the stiff south- 
west breeze that was l)lowing, they concluded to make 
a harbor for the night. Accordingly, they found 
good holding ground for the anchor under the lee 



of Round Island and the tender took them ashore 
where they pitched a tent wliich they brouglit from 
the yacht. 

The place was entirely new to them and they did 
not realize its beauty until the following morning. 
I have often heard Charles H. Hall tell of that next 
morning when the sun rose and revealed all the 
beauty of their surroundings. 

Finch's Island, later known as Tweed's Island, had 
a beautiful grove of trees and its irregular shores 

tw?:ed\s island, isti 

were not disfigured by sea walls. Captain's Island 
lighthouse was a short wooden affair to which was 
attached the diminutive home of the keeper. The 
same little house is now used as a summer kitchen 
and store room, the present stone building being 
erected in 1808. There was no fog horn then. 

The more the young fellows looked around the 
better they liked the place and it was not until after- 
noon that they sailed for New York. Hall, who was 
afterwards secretary of the Americus Club, was one 
of the clerks in the Tombs Police Court. He was 
always a Republican, but he was a great favorite with 



Mr. Tweed and as long as Tweed's influence lasted 
Charlie Hall had a lucrative place. 

]Mr. Tweed was foreman of the Big Six Volunteer 
Fire Co. with headquarters in an engine house on the 
Bowery. All the members of this company sooner 
or later were members of the Americus Club. 

Tweed was accustomed to sit with the firemen 
around the engine house and he soon learned of the 
trip up the Sound and of the discovery made by his 
three mates. Their frequent allusion to the beauty 
of the spot finally caught Tweed's attention, with 
such force that he determined to investigate for him- 

Tweed and Hall took the train one afternoon con- 
sisting of an old wood-burning engine and yellow, 
gilt-trimmed cars, making the trip in the best time 
of those days, one hour and twenty minutes from 27th 
Street. They called on Oliver ]Mead, then owner of 
the property, and secured his permission to camp out 
on Round Island. They took possession a few days 
afterward and remained to the end of the season. 
They had two or three sailboats with enormous jibs 
and when they were not bathing on the beach or fish- 
ing or sailing, they were over at Rocky Neck. 

The saloon on the point was an attraction as was 
Capt. Abraham BrinckerhofF's back dooryard, where 
they exchanged sea tales and discussed the merits of 
their boats by the hour. Later Captain Brincker- 
holf and ^Ir. Tweed became very warm friends, and 
the latter gave the Captain many souvenirs and pic- 



tures, that constituted an interesting asset in his es- 
tate after his death. Among these are three photo- 
graphs hy A. (rurney, framed in ])lack wahiut and 
hanging at the present time in my office. One rep- 
resents Indian Harhor from Tweed's Island, includ- 
ing the first cluh house built the year following the 
fii-st camp on Round Island. 
This building was of simple architecture, two 

stories high, with a broad 
veranda. Painted under 
the peak of the roof in 
prominen.t black letters 
were the words "Ameri- 
cus Club of Xew York." 
It must have been about 
one hundred feet in 
width. On the first floor 
was a spacious reception 
room, a dining-room and 
a kitchen in the rear. 
This house stood on the extremity of the point nearly 
in front of where Elias C. Renedict's house now 
stands. When the new house, which afterwards was 
known, as the Morton House and later the Indian 
Harbor Hotel, was built, the old house was removed 
to a point in "Chimney Corner," now occupied by ^Ir. 
Renedict's loal house. There it remained, somewhat 
altered and enlarged as the servants' quarters for the 
hotel until 1892 \vhen it was torn down with all the 
other buildings on the Point. 





The other picture represents jNIr. Tweed with the 
members of the chib o-athered about him^ on the rocks 
at the west side of the house and on the veranda; two 
groups of "the boys," as Tweed used to call them. It 
is quite easy to distinguish their features. The presi- 
dent of the club is dressed in a frock coat buttoned 
close about him. His hat is off, and a white neck- 
tie is beneath his chin. By his side stands Charles 
H. Hall, somewhat foppishly dressed in white 
trousers and dark coat. John and Dick Kimmons, 
great tall twins, and P. B. Van Arsdale are close to 
George E. Mann, who was Commodore in charge of 
the club fleet. These pictures were taken August 
30, 1863. 

The other picture that Captain Brinckerhofl" had, 
was a quarter size India ink photograph of ]Mr. 
Tweed by the artist Brady, a famous war-time pho- 
tographer. This picture was autographed but un- 
dated. It originally hung in the parlor of the new 
club house, and went into the possession of Capt. 
BrinckerhofF wlien the club broke up. John W. De- 
laney of this place now owns it. 

In tlie original club house the Americus boys found 
their greatest enjoyment. It was more like a camp. 
The members appeared in their shirt sleeves, and 
lolled about on the rocks, or under the shade of the 
tall oaks, enjoying in the most unrestricted fashion 
their summer outing. Occasionally a visitor from the 
city or the village would appear, in which event Sec- 
'. [187] 


retary Hall would do the honors, with an old-fash- 
ioned cake hasket and a little w^ine. 

Sometimes the chib members, in a body, would 
saunter up to the villao-e, a very small collection of 
houses then, with a post office that paid the postmaster 
only $2.50 per annum. But when they did appear, 
with all sorts of pranks played upon each other and 
with jolly songs there was no one in the village that 
did not realize it, especially the children. 

The new club house was completed in 1871 and 
stood on the point till the summer of 1892. It was 
three stories high, with a mansard roof, a tall tower, 
from which extended east and north two wings, termi- 
nating also in towers. It was a well-proportioned 
building, not architecturally bad, although the archi- 
tect. Gage Inslee, had a lingering law suit in our 
courts in the endeavor to collect his fees. It occu- 
pied a commanding place on the point and, painted 
white, was a lan^dmark for many miles up and down 
the Sound. 

The summer of 1872 was the first season of its oc- 
cupancy after its full completion. It had been fur- 
nished without regard to expense. The carpet in 
the great front room was woven abroad, on,e single 
piece, a hundred feet long, with tigers' heads in the 
corners an.d the center, A grinning tiger was the 
emblem of the club and Pettier & Stymus. who had 
big contracts for city furnishings, jiut the tiger's head 
upon every piece of furniture wherever it was pos- 


WILLIA^SI :M. tweed 

But ]Mr. Tweed and his associates were never happy 
in this building. He had a grand room in the cen- 
tral tower, and Secretary Hall's suite was next, but 
in 1873 the revelations came and the place was aban- 
doned as a club house. It was said that $105,000 was 
the expense of running the club that season. 

Tw^eed's best enjoyment of his club was before 

Built 1870 

1870. He was considered, in Greenwich, a very rich 
man and yet compared with the owners of the pres- 
ent-day fortunes, his circumstances were moderate. 
He was an extremely generous man, and indeed it 
has many times been said that had he not been anx- 
ious to enrich every one of his acquaintances no no- 
tice would have been taken of his irregularities. The 
amount he made out of the city contracts was small 
compared to the sums which went to his friends; and 
some whom he supposed were his friends were dis- 



loyal in tlie (>l()()niy fall of 1873 when his arrest and 

indictment were accomplished. 

No man from Green- 
wich, however humhle, 
ever went to that little 
office in Duane Street for 
help that he did not get it. 
If Mr. Tweed heard of a 
threatened foreclosure he 
hought the mortgage and 
collected such interest as 
.^^x^nT ^. i.,^^,,^ t t^ic mortgagors found it 

DAMEL S. MEAU, Jr. ^ ^ 

1840-1888 convenient to pay. The 

Land Records show these transactions and they also 
sliow where from time to time, Mr. Tweed took a deed 
of a small piece of pro])- 
erty, which it was said the 
owners were unahle to dis- 
])ose of to any one else. 

Early in the summer of 
1870, Mr. Tweed desired 
to have a family bath- 
house and with that end in 
view" he purcliased on 
June 3, of Daniel S. 
^lead, three hundred and 
thirty-five feet of land on 
the easterly side of Rocky Neck harbor. The price he 
])ai(l was $2,()()(). 

On the mud fiats south of the causeway to William 



State Senator 1869 
1 84;?-! 894 

As Judge of the Borough Court 


J. Smith's dock, he hiiilt an octagonal bath house, 
which was daily used by his family at high tide. The 
interior contained a bathing pool, the mud liaving 
been removed, and replaced by a large (juantity of 
fine sand. Around this central pool were a num- 
ber of rooms for tlie bath- 
ers, and it afforded a safe 
and secluded bathing 
place, approached by a 
wooden bridge from the 
shore. Mr. Tweed sel- 
dom, if ever, visited this 

After the stress of hard 
times, on February 8. 
1876, he sold this water 
front to Daniel S. ^lead, 
Jr., a son of the original 
owner, for $1,000. The 
sale included the bath- 
house which is said to have 
cost more than a thousand 
dollars. The house was subse(|uently moved to the 
shore and for a time was used as a dwelling. Later 
it was con.verted into an office for the Electric Light 
Co. and is now used by that company as a store room. 
The outward appearance of the building and its color 
remain the same, with the possible exception of an 
added cupola. Portions of this land wliich cost 
Tweed twenty-seven dollars a front foot, have since 


H. W. R. HOYT 

Aa-e of -'() 


been sold for about two buiidred dollars per foot. 
After Mr. Tweed was arrested in 1873 the late 
Col. Heiisted W. R. Hoyt was his local counsel. 
William L. Ferris, a clerk in his office, made frequent 
trips to Eudlow Street jail in those days. Tweed 
occupied three splendidly furnished rooms on the 
ground floor. The first was a reception room cov- 
ered with velvet carpet and supplied with luxurious 

couches and chairs. Ad- 
joining was the business 
office where his private 
secretary, S. Foster 
Dewey, had his desk and 
MMprY beyond that was ]Mr. 

^^LmII^^^^ Tweed's bedroom. 

p^ JmKl^ Once when money 

seemed to be a little 
scarce witli the old man, 
PHILANDER liLTTOX he brought out a large 
1812-1878 i^^^j^^y^ ^f promissory 

notes, given by oyster men and mechanics, but the 
notes were of no value. "Well," said JMr. Tweed, 
"they had a value once. I had a lot of pleasure in 
taking them, when the money was needed." 

It was in 18()5, after he had established the Ameri- 
cus Club in their first house at Indian Harbor that 
JNIr. Tweed became an actual resident of the village, 
although voting in New York. He bought of Lillie 
A. Hardenbrook what had been known as the Phil- 
ander Button place. ]Mr. Button, who w^as the prin- 


WILLIAM :M. tweed 

cipal of the Greenwich Academy, had purchased it 
April 1, 1848, of Alvan ^Nlead for $5,400. It in- 
cluded eighty acres, now a part of ^lilbank. He 
built a modest house on it and sold the buildin^g and 
forty acres, in January, 1859, to Mrs. Hardenbrook 
for $15,000. She sold it to JNIr. Tweed's wife, INIary 
Jane Tweed, in 1865, for $18,000. 

INIr. Tweed remodeled 
and enlarged the house 
and built a $40,000 barn 
that attracted a great 
deal of attention locally 
as well as in Xew York. 
The Xetc York Sun sent 
up a reporter who de- 
scribed this wonderful 
barn and its contents, 
telling how the horses 

M^ere standing on pleated 
straw. The barn remained in use till about 1907 
when it was torn down. 

^Ir. Robert Williamson, the superintendent at ^Slil- 
bank, has told me that it was no easy matter to ac- 
complish, as the building was braced with hackmatack 
braces and trimmed with black walnut and other ex- 
pensive wood. 

Tweed was a lover of horses and he had some fine 
ones in his barn. His checkerboard four-in-hand 
team, to which I have already alluded, consisted of 
coal black and milk white horses, a black and white 



In 1884 


and a white and black in alternating colors. They 
were driven to a very hi^j'h two-seated depot wagon. 
The year 1867 was remarkable for the craze for high 

Tweed occupied the back seat of this conveyance, 
with its enormously high springs. Usually his son 
was by his side, but his great weight of nearly three 

hundred pounds gave the 
wagon a decided list. 
He generally wore a 
stove pipe hat and the 
closely buttoned frock 
coat and white tie. It 
was this rig which took 
him to the railroad sta- 
tion that summer morn- 
ing in 1870 when he 
bought the eighteen acres 
of Frederick ^Nlead. 
E. Jay Edwards i-ecently told this story in The 
Evening Mail, but I allude to it particularly because 
in some quarters it has been doubted and the asser- 
tion made tliat Mr. JNIead never owned land east of 
wdiat is now ]VIilbank Avenue. 

That street was a very narrow country road in 
those days, called I.rOve Lane. It was never digni- 
fied with a proper street name until 3Irs. Jeremiah 
iNIilbank generously put the Town Clock in the Con- 
gregational Church steeple and then Dr. Leander 
P. Jones had it changed to ^lilbank Avenue. 





In 1870 Frederick JNIead owned eighteen acres 
directly across the street from the Congregational 
Church, bounded on the west by I^ove Lane and on 
the south by Davis Lane, now Davis Avenue. There 
were a few^ apple trees on it and at times ^Ir. Mead 
used it for pasture. It made a fine romping place 
for the Academy boys. Down at the soutli end was 
an old yellow barn, the front doors o^' which were 
locked with a padlock much larger than is made m 
these days. This lock made a fine target, although 
it w^as quite a long time before any one of the l)oys 
was able to put a bullet from a pistol through the 
keyhole of that lock. It was finally accomplished 
however and the back of the lock knocked off' by a 
man now very well known in New York City, as a 
mining engineer. 

Tweed had long wanted this land, and when ]Mr. 
Mead declined to put a price on it, T^vee(l said, 
"Well, you will take a Tweed price, will you not?" 
He had paid for several small places about town, 
anything that the owners demanded and when the 
price was large, as it always was, it had been usual 
to designate it as a "Tweed price." Tweed knew this 
and when he intimated that he was willing to pay a 
"Tweed price," he expected to pay more than the land 
was worth. In reply jNIr. jNIead said, "Why, yes. 
I'll sell for $55,000," which was at least four times 
the actual value of the land at that time. But it did 
not feaze ^Ir. Tweed. He asked Joseph G. ^Nlerritt, 
the ticket agent at the railroad station, for pen and ink 



and taking out a pocket check book he wrote a check 
for the amount to ^Ir. ^Mead's order and asked him to 
send him a deed conveying the property to JNIary 
Jane Tweed. She hekl it until 1879, when it was 
inckided with all the rest of the Tweed place in the 
sale to Jeremiah JNlilbank for $4*7, oOO. 

When Tweed bought this land the stone fence that 
enclosed it from the street was perhaps a century old, 
and somewhat out of order. He replaced it with 
the present bluestone wall, which extends from the 
property of A. Foster Higgins along Putnam Ave- 
nue, down ^Milbank Avenue to where the old yellow 
barn stood at the top of the hill across the road from 
the cemetery. 

In those days the north end of I^ove Lane at its 
junction witli Putnam Avenue turned with an angle 
to tlie west. AA'^hen it was known tliat ^Ir. Tweed 
was about to build the new stone wall, ^Ir. Solomon 
JNIead, a member of the Board of Burgesses, called 
upon him to see how much he would ask for a small 
angle of this valuable land to straighten the road. 
"Xot a cent, not a cent," said ]Mr. Tweed. "Take 
all you want; just l^ave your surveyor drive the stakes 
and I will build my \^'all according to his lines." And 
the wall stands there to-day just as perfect as when 
JNIr. Tweed finished it, more than forty-two years 

Before I close this chapter it seems best to give 
the entire roll of members of the Americus Club in 



1871. 3Iany of them besides Tweed were promi- 
nent and will be remembered by the older generation. 
Perhaps in no other way ^Wll this list be permanently 
preserved. The officers were William ^I. Tweed, 
237 Broadway, President; Henry Smith, 300 :SIul- 
berry St., Vice President ; Charles H. Hall, 135 ]Madi- 
son St., Secretary; George E. ^Nlann, 197 ]Mon- 
roe St., Captain; John Vanderbeck, 221 Christie St., 
Actuary. Besides the officers were the following 
members: John S. Betts, Francis Vanderbeck, John 
^IcGarigal, P. B. Van Arsdale, William Davison, 
Lewis J. Kirk, Edward A. Davin, Lawrence Clancy, 
Francis Kinney, Edward ^larrenner, William H. 
SchafFer, William B. Dunley, Joseph Southworth, 
John Scott, Edward J. Shandley, George W. Butt, 
James ^I. ^Nlacgregor, William I^. Ely, Christian AV. 
Schaffer, Walter Roche, Peter D. Braisted, Edward 
D. Bassford, Andrew J. Garvey, William K. 
O'Brien, George W. Rosevelt, Patrick II. Keenan, 
Joseph Shannon, James L. ]Miller, Terence Farley, 
Sheridan Shook, William H. Charlock. John T. 
Barnard, James Watson, Henry H. Huelat, Edward 
Boyle, William P. Stymus, John Pickford, Jr., 
Owen W. Brennan, Eugene Durnin, Charles G. 
Cornell, John J. Ford, Edwin ]M. Hagerty, Edward 
Hogan, Claudius S. Grafulla, ]\Iorgan Jones, Wes- 
ley S. Yard, John T. King, Edward Kearney, Joseph 
B. Young, Cornelius Corson, Robert ^I. Taylor, 
Edward Jones, Joseph A. Jackson, Amaziah D. 



Barber, Charles L. Fleming, Jacob Sharp, Edward 
Cuddy, James O'Brien, John Satterlee, Andrew 
Bleakley, Thomas Donohoe, JNIartin B. Brown, 
Thomas E. Tripler, John T. INIcGowan, John INIc. B. 
Davidson, James H. Ingersoll, William C. Rogers, 
Sol. Sayles, Ell)irt A. Woodward, George S. Miller, 
John H. Keyser, William C. Dewey, Daniel Berrien, 
David Miller, James Ryan, ^lichael J. Shandley, 
Isaac J. Oliver, Charles L. Lawrence, Henry D. 
Felter, John F. Chamberlain, James W. Boyle, 
Chris O'Connor, Kruseman van Elten, Daniel 
Winants, Alexander Frear, James Fisk, Jr., Jay 
Gould, Thomas Kirkpatrick, Joseph G. Harrison, 
Reeves E. Selmes, Charles E. Loew, Thomas C. 
Fields, George H. ^Mitchell, John Pyne, James J. 
Gumbleton, Thomas H. Ferris, Tlios. J. O'Donohue, 
James E. Jones, John Garvey, James L. Ilarway, 
T. Augustus Phillips, John M. Carnochan, Matthew 
T. Brennan, James Barker, AVilliam B. Borrows, 
Henry A. Barnum, Schayler Halsey, James S. Wat- 
son, Newell Sturtevant, James W. Collier, Henry 
T. Helmbold, George A. Osgood, John Brice, 
Francis McCabe, Jolm H. Harnett, James PI Coul- 
ter, Gunning S. Bedford, George G. Barnard, An- 
drew Bleakley, Jr., Augustus Funk, Peter Trainer, 
William Schirmer, Adolph E. Georgi, Joseph Koch, 
William Van Tassell, John Pentland, Thomas Ca- 
nary, S. Foster Dewey, Dennis Burns, James JNIc- 
Gowan, George G. Wolf, Frank S. E. Beck, Joseph 
D. C. Andrade, John D. Welch, Jr., Henry M. Wil- 


willia:m m. tweed 

Hams, Albert H. Wood, John W. Oliver, James 
G. Dimond, George B. Van Brnnt, Alex W. Harvey, 
Richard O'Gorman, William Hitchman, Thomas J. 





THE 2)lace, now known as JNIilbank, owned by 
^Irs. A. A. Anderson, was tlie home of William 
jNI. Tweed. The present property includes mnch 
more territory, eiglity acres being its extent, when it 
was known as Linwood. ]Mr. Tweed was very proud 
of the place and lavished money on it without stint. 
The name Einwood seems to have been a favorite 
of his, because lie had a yacht of the same name and 
the word was prominent on his stationery. 

Tlie yacht IJtncood was a modest craft, possibly a 
catboat. His big sailing yacht, a jib and mainsail 
boat, bore the name of his wife, Mary Jane Tweed. 
These boats, and indeed all tlie pleasure boats in the 
har])or in those days, would not compare very favor- 
ably with the boats of the present time. When it was 
reported that Tweed had built a steam yacht, a good 
deal of interest was manifest along the water front. 
There may have been steam yachts long before, but 
none had been in this harbor, at least not to remain 
any length of time. 

When she came steaming in from Northport where 
she was launched, she was considered a wonder. Dr. 
William Schirmer, Abraham Brinckerhoff, Simeon 



Morrell and a string of the club members were on the 
steamboat dock as she came to an anchor. It seemed 
to me that none of them was very enthusiastic about 

Her hull was shaped somewhat like an ocean-going 
tuff, although only half the size of such a vessel. 
Her graceful mold was well-nigh destroyed in ef- 
fect by the boxlike structure which made a large, 
high, and elegantly furnished cabin. She had side 
wheels, housed in like those of an old-fasliioned ferry- 
boat, and her name which w^as displayed on the pilot 
house in large gilt letters was that of the owner. 
Tweed took a great deal of comfort in his pioneer 
steam yacht. 

In tliose days races among the oyster l)oats were 
common and regattas, in which those boats figured, 
were organized several times during the season. 
They were very fast jib and mainsail boats and often 
stowed below were balloon jibs and topsails that on 
occasion were run up to their , places, when some 
other similar craft was showing a disposition to take 
the lead. There were no steamers then for oyster 
dredging and among the owners of these sailing ves- 
sels there was much rivalry. It was not limited to 
Greenwich oystermen, for these graceful little ves- 
sels came to join in the regattas from across the 
Sound. They came also from Norwalk, Five iNIile 
River and JNIamaroneck. 

Nothing pleased Mr. Tweed better than to witness 
a race between these boats, and he always tendered 



his steam yacht for the use of the judges and the 
press. Of coiu'se that meant an elaborate spread in 
the cabin, with a lot of guests always eager to quench 
their thirst. While the yacht was homely, she was 
very comfortable, for the saloon was large, hioh and 
square. The table in the center on such occasions 
was loaded with all kinds of good things. 

To a hungry youth — and wdiat youth is not in- 
variably hungry — these yacht races were memorable 
events. Plenty to see and plenty to eat, what ex- 
periences were they! And how^ well I recall the al- 
most affectionate way in which ^Ir. Tweed would put 
his 2)udgy hand on my shoulder, with the remark, 
"Boy, did you get enough down below!' Better go 
down and get another bird or a plate of whitebait." 
Of course he had no interest in me, except such feel- 
ings as any host possesses for a guest, but beyond 
that was his intense desire to stand well with the press. 
In a mixed crowd his first thought was for the news- 
paper representatives. 

He had a great admiration and affection for 
Greenwich. He often steamed the yacht down to 
Jones' Stone and then back to the mouth of the Cos 
Cob harbor, and back again to Byram, all the while 
watching and commenting on the beauty of the shore. 

One day he asked me to bring my camp stool near 
the capacious chair he occupied in the bow, and with 
a wave of his hand he directed my attention to all 
the wooded shore from Byram Point to Cos Cob, re- 
marking: 'T shall not live to see the day, but possibly 



you, and certainly your children, will see all this 
land occupied by the fine estates of New York })usi- 
ness men. In my judgment Ochre Point at New- 
port is not as favorable for places of residence as 
Field Point and Nelson Rush's farm." The latter 
is now Relle Haven Park. Perhaps I looked in- 
credulous, for he at once repeated the prophecy with 
emphasis an.d with just the suspicion of a shadow on 
his face he added: "When I am dead, say twenty- 
five years from now, I wish you would come out here 
and see how near I have hit it." He never lived to 
see his dream realized, })ut it came true in less time 
than he allotted. 

His great hobby during those days was a daily 
steamboat to New York. He supposed that such an 
enterprise would yield a large pecimiary profit, and 
the subject was frequently on his lips, when aboard 
the yacht. He would call a few members of the club 
about him, an.d ask their opinion, none of whom knew 
anything more about it than he; yet he would seek 
from them information on the cost of coal, the prob- 
able number of passengers and the amount of freight 
likely to be carried. He exercised his own judgment 
finally, but he was led astray in this instance by his 
overweening desire to increase the popularity and the 
convenience of Indian Harbor. 

While he could figiu'e out in a moment the prob- 
able majority of a certain candidate in a city elec- 
tion, he had no idea of the possibility of the success 
or failure of such an enterprise. Indeed, it is prob- 



able that he no anxiety on that point, provided 
he accomplished his purpose. 

One day as we were sitting on the wide cane settee 
back of the pilot house jNIr. Tweed appealed to Capt. 
Abe BrinckerhofF and I recall how the latter twisted 
the tobacco under his tongue and drawled out: "She 
won't earn the purser's salary, ]Mr. Tweed." The 

latter looked quite crest- 
fallen, and said, "Do you 
tliink so, Abe?" And 
that was all he did say 
for fully ten minutes ex- 
cept to order up some 

But as usual JNIr. 
Tweed had his way, and 
he had a steamboat, the 
T. F. SECOR beautiful John liomcr. 

1809-1901 gi^g ^^.^g ^ ^.gj,y f^^^ |3^^^ 

and she did not end her career until the middle 
eighties when she was on the line between Boston, 
Hingham, Hull and Nantasket. 

He talked about his plans, as they matured. He 
was very particular about a bartender, and eventu- 
ally he selected just the right man as well as excellent 
officers for the steamer. 

The Romer came from Wilmington, Del. She 
was built by tlie famous firm of Harlan & Hollings- 
worth and was supplied with Allaire engines. The 
Allaire Engine Co. built most of the marine engines 



installed immediately after the war. The president 
of the Allaire Co. was Theodocius F. Secor, who 
resided on Lake Avenue for many years and died 
April 27, 1901, at the age of 92. His widow still 
lives here. 

The Romer's furnishings were luxurious and her 
speed was greater than most boats of her length and 
tonnage. The price, 
asked was $.50,000, but 
her owners were pecun- 
iarily embarrassed and 
]Mr. Tweed got her for 
$35,000 — a great bar- 
gain. He was never 
known to haggle at a 
price, and doubtless some 
of the officers of the cor- 
poration known as the 
Greenwich & Rye Steam- 
boat Co. should have the credit of making the pur- 

This corporation was formed early in 1866. Capt. 
Thomas jNIayo, whose daughters still reside here, was 
elected its president, and Sanford ]Mead, secretary. 
Subsequently Philander Button, then principal of 
the Academy, occupied the position of president. 
The capital stock was $75,000, of which $70,000 was 
paid in, one-half of which went for the piu'chase of 
the Homer. ]Mr. Tweed held 200 shares, par value 
$100, and members of the Americus Club held a suffi- 





cieiit number, with ]Mr. Tweed, to control the com- 
pany. The bahmce of the stock was held in small 
lots in Greenwich and Port Chester. 

The boat was decidedly popular, as is evident from 
the fact that her gross earnings the first year were 
$21,7<)3.1.5, expenses $21,417.28, leaving a net bal- 
ance of only $.'54.3.87. This small amount was kept 

as a reserve fund to dis- 
appear the following year 
in financial chaos. The 
summer of 1867 was the 
last of the Romer in 
these waters. 

In passing, I must re- 
call two of her officers — 
Captain Stephen G. 
White and the pilot. 
Hilly Witherwax. Capt. 
White had had experi- 
ence as a steamboat captain on the Pacific Coast, and 
he made an efficient and popular commander. He 
was a round, jolly man with a merry laugh, the ring 
of which I well remember. His son, Warren P. 
White, is a resident of Greenwich, as is also his daugh- 
ter, ]Mrs. lAicy M. Delano. 

Pilot ^Vitllerwax had been commander and part 
owner of a sky-sail yard flyer, that had successfully 
rounded Cape Horn so many times that he was worth 
$50,000 — a snug fortune for those days. He had re- 
tired from the sea wlien ^Nlr. Tweed met him and he 





consented to take a position on the Romcr as a favor 
to ^Ir. Tweed. He was a typical sailor. His 
square built form had the power of an ox, while his 
sphinx-like face recalls the former Vice-President 
of the United States, William A. Wheeler. 

To make the boat pop- 
ular, the company re- 
sorted to every legitimate 
means to introduce her 
to the public. With this 
end in view a grand 
Fourth of July excursion 
to Xew Haven, with 
Dodworth's band in at- 
tendance, was announced 
in 1867. The proposed 
trip was the talk of the 
town, and when on that 
beautiful summer morn- 
ing, the order was given 
to cast off the lines, the 
boat was loaded with a 
party decidedly miscellaneous in its make-up, but evi- 
dently happy and bent on having a good time. 

As we passed Red Rock, I remember well how 
Capt. White stood forward, chewing an unlighted 
cigar and congratulating everybody on the beauty 
of the morning. But Billy Witherwax was unusu- 
ally glum and once as I met him aside from the 
crowd, he significantly remarked, "Capt. White likes 





this weather, hut I don't. Look out for a hlow when 
the tide turns." I inquired why he thought so, and 
he rephed, "jNIares' tails to the s\ith'ard!" and diving 
into the pilot house closed the door. 

Eveiything went well until after we left New 
Haven to return. I had forgotten Pilot Wither- 
wax's remark about the mares' tails, when I suddenly 
became conscious of the fact that the wind was fresh- 
ening and that the sky was becoming overcast. 
Ladies were sending for extra wraps and there was 
a general disposition to seek the seclusion of the 
cabin. Inside, the roll of the vessel became more per- 
ceptible; a general complaint concerning the close- 
ness of the atmosphere was heard and then followed 
a stampede for the deck. The storm had arisen with 
great suddenness, and as the passengers came out, 
many of them were drenched with flying spray. The 
boat rolled terribly, and the noise of the guards strik- 
ing the water as she lay in the trough of the sea 
struck terror to the now thoroughly frightened ex- 
cursionists. Two lunch counters and a liberally 
stocked bar had been well patronized all the morn- 
ing. In the tumult of the angry elements there 
seemed to be universal nausea attributable in part to 
the choppy sea and in part to the conviviality of the 

Under the circumstances two hundred and fifty 
people found it necessary to visit the boat's rail and 
as the wind was blowing a gale, broadside on, the sea- 



sick excursionists found the weather rail unsatisfac- 

They all, therefore, with one accord sought the lee 
rail and there endeavored to relieve their sufferings. 
As the steamer was three decks high, two-thirds of 
the passengers suffered intensely from their location 
and the only clean hats, coats and honnets were in 
possession of those who occupied the upper deck. Xo 
sicker, sorrier or more dejected set of human beings 
ever landed in Port Chester than those who. late tliat 
night, went ashore from the Roiner. It was deemed 
unsafe to land at Greenwich. 

^lany of the present generation have never heard 
of this sea trip because those of the older generation 
hate to think of it, and never speak of it. 

There is one other incident in connection with the 
Roiner that I cannot omit. Greenwich has always 
been interested in temperance, if one may judge 
from the societies and legions which have usually ex- 
isted here. In 1866 that famous but erratic man, 
William H. H. ^lurray, was the preacher at the Sec- 
ond Congregational Church. He was a strong ad- 
vocate of temperance. He rejoiced over the new 
steamboat, but when he was told that a bar was to be 
maintained he predicted the failure of the enterprise. 
It was his wish that the boat should be run without 
a bar, and in a quiet way he made every effort to 
have his wish complied with. The stock list showed 
a large number of Congregationalists who doubtless 
would have been glad to have no bar, but the Tweed 



stock controlled and the bar was an established fact. 
Sanford JNIead made every endeavor to keep ont the 

Mr. jNIurray, however, was not satisfied. He be- 
lieved that it was his dnty to preach against that bar, 
even if some of the company's directors did occupy 
prominent ])ews in liis church. Accordingly, the 
sermon was announced a week in advance and tlie 
church was crowded. I cannot recall the text, nor 
can 1 remember much about the sermon. There was, 
however, one exclamation from tlie preacher that I 
have never forgottfu. Pie alluded to the fact that 
excuses had been made for the existence of the bar 
and that one of the officers had informed liim that it 
was "out of sight; way down below." Then shaking 
his black locks from his forehead in that tragic way 
so common to him he added: "And, l)rethren. so 
is hell, way down below!" Foin* years after that 
memorable sermon was delivered, JNIurray was the 
pastor of the Park Street Church, in Boston, 
and the John Romcr was running from Rowe's 
Wharf in the same city to Hull, Hingham and 

As I have said, the Homer was a boat of great 
speed and no steamer of her size going out of the 
port of New York could overhaul her. The Sea- 
tvanhaka was a fine boat running to Sea Cliff. She 
was twice the size of the Homer, with engines of enor- 
mous power for a small boat, and equally well 
manned and officered. She represented the wealth of 



Roslyii and Sea Cliff and was launched early in 18(>(>. 
The claim was freely made that her speed would ex- 
ceed that of any other steamer on the Sound. 

The Romer had always been able to take the lead 
on the run from her berth to Kxecution Li()ht, and 
it struck Capt. AVhite and Billy Witherwax rather 
hard to think of giving up their laurels. For a time 
they managed to keep out of the Seawanlialxci's way. 
but finally on the second day of June, 1867, it was 
apparent to all on board that a race was inevitable. 
One of the officers of the Romer gave me this account 
of the affair: 

"We had three-quarters of an hour's start of the 
''Seawanliaha, but as we approached Throgg's Xeck 
"we could see her astern, gaining ra])idly. Pilot 
"Witherwax was at the wheel and Capt. White 
"stood aft with a pair of glasses watching the on- 
"coming steamer. Kvery two or three minutes With- 
"erwax would ring for more steam, till at last John 
"Darrah, the engineer, called through the speaking 
"tube that he was doing all he could and that it was 
"useless to keep ringing, as the throttle was wide open 
"and there was no more steam to be had. 'Well, 
"make more steam,' was Witherwax's reply; in re- 
"sponse to which I lieard the engineer groan as 
"though the task imposed upon him was hopeless. 

"It was evident that the pilot intended, if possible, 
"to keep the lead until he could reach the narrow 
"channel between Riker's Island and Barrow's Point, 
"for beyond that he thought that once ahead of the 



"Seaxcanhaka he could maintain his position for 
"the balance of tlie trip. The intense interest in the 
"pilot house and the engine room amounted to ex- 
"citement among the j)assengers and many bets were 
"made on the residt. Some of the Americus Club 
"boys on the quarter deck became hilarious and the 
"secretary of the Steamboat Co., who happened to be 
"aboard, went to the bartender and said, 'Now 
"Henry, I wish you would go a little easy with the 
"boys.' 'AVhy, what do you mean, ]Mr. Mead?' said 
"Henry. 'Well, I mean,' was the reply, 'that while 
"this race lasts you must give the boys sarsaparilla 
"when they ask for whisky, and if they call for 
"brandy, make it a point to serve seltzer.' Henry 
"smiled at the idea of thus fooling an Americus Club 
"man but nevertheless he promised to try it. 

"But to return to the race. Pilot Witherwax had 
"calculated correctly, for he succeeded in getting 
"abreast of North Brother Island before the Seawan- 
''haka began to lap over the Komcr. At this point 
"she was slii:)ping by at the rate of about ten feet a 
"minute, guard to guard, with the Homer so close 
"that conversation was easily carried on between the 
"two vessels. 

"The j^assengers and crews of both boats were now 
"in a fever heat of excitement. 

"I think I never saw such a crazy lot as yelled at 
"each other across the span of a dozen feet between 
"the two boats. Women shook their parasols in the 
"air and S(|uealed like a flock of geese. 



"Billy Witherwax's face was as stern as an In- 
"dian's. Again he gave the bell for more steam only 
"to be disappointed. Every minute made a decided 
"difference in the relative position of the contending 
"steamers, and it was plain that something more must 
"be done, and without delay, or the Romer w^ould be 
"left behind. 

"Witherwax again sought the tube and yelled: 
" 'Give her more fire. If you can't find anything 
"else throw Pat. Donnelly into the furnace. We 
"must have more fire, and I guess he'll burn.' 

"Patrick Donnelly, only recently deceased, then 
"occupied a responsible position on the quarter deck 
"of the Romer. He knew all about the freight and 
"how it was stowed. He knew^ exactly where to put 
"his hand on a tub of Abe Acker's lard and when 
"he heard the order repeated by the engineer, ratlier 
"than be sacrificed himself, he produced the lard. 
"The fireman seized it and flung it on the coals. The 
"steamer leaped ahead like a sailboat in a squall. 
"Black smoke belched from the stack. Slie walked 
"by the Secncanhaka as the Pilgrim will pass the 
'\Sarah Thorp. 

"Witlierwax's triumph was complete and he held 
"the Romer on her course in an undisputed lead all 
"the way to Twenty-third Street." 

The Seawatihaka never bothered the Romer again, 
but I never pass the "sunken meadows" and see the 
ghostly hog frame of the lost Seaivanliaka rising 
amid the swaying drift of sedge grass that I do not 



recall the fact that the 2nd June, 1880, when she was 
driven onto those meadows, wreathed in flames, was 
the thirteenth anniversary of her famons race with 
the John Bonier. 




THK members of ]Mr. Tweed's family were well 
known about the villaf>e. While many of the vil- 
lagers treated them with something like an air of awe, 
they mixed in quite well and those who knew them 
liked them. 

The oldest son was William ^L, Jr. We knew 
him as "Billy" and he was quite intimate with Henrj^ 
]M. FitzGerald and Stephen G. White. 

Billy Tweed was a fine-lookini)- vouno- man in those 
days. He was tall and straight, carried himself 
well, and wore Dundreary whiskers. If a man could 
raise a good pair of "side-boards," as such whiskers 
were called, he was all right. And this Billy had 
done to perfection. 

It is somewhat singular that William ]M. Tweed, 
Jr., married a Greenwicli girl whom he met in New 
York City. Her father and many earlier gen.era- 
tions were natives of the town and lived at Davis 
Landing. Her father was Silas Davis, who for 
many years was engaged in the flour business in Xew 
York under the firm name of Davis & Benson. He 
had made a large fortune and his daughter had all 
the advantages afforded by wealth. She ^\ as then a 
beautiful girl of fin.e character and she is still a hand- 



some woman, upon whom the hand of time has rested 
lightly. Her husband died about 1908. 

The next son was Richard. He had a very fast 
black horse that he drove at top speed from Maple 
Avenue to Putnam Hill. It was his habit to do this 
nearly every day, till the warden of the Borough put 
a stop to it by telling Dick that if he wanted to trot 
his horse, he had better enter him at Jerome Park. 
Richard went to Europe in 1879, subsequently mar- 
ried the widow of his brother Charles and shortly 
afterward died in Paris. 

There were two daughters whose names I do not 
recall. They married two wealthy lirothers by the 
name of ^IcGuinness who resided in New Orleans 
and tliere they went to live about 1871. I am told 
that one is still living and moves in the best circles 
of that aristocratic southern city. 

Josephine came next. She was a young lady of 
great l)eauty, a brunette, and was about eighteen 
years old when her father was at the height of his 
glory. She drove a pair of beautifully matched, 
high-spirited black horses. It was certainly a pleas- 
ure to observe the skill and dignity with wliich she 
would rein the team up in front of the post office for 
the afternoon mail. She married a wealthy New 
Yorker by the name of Frederick Douglas and in 
1898 they were living on Staten Island. 

Jennie was a school girl in 1865 and was thus well 
known by the school children of that period. Hers 
was a short life, as she died before she was twenty. 



Charlie was a romping boy in his early teens, with 
a lively pony and without nuicli time for his books. 
School had little attraction for him and at one time he 
had a tutor. Had he lived in these days he would 
have possessed a high power motor car, if not a fly- 
ing: machine. But everybody liked Charlie Tweed 
and all were saddened at the news of his death some 
years after Lin wood was sold. 

George was a baby in 1865. Of him 1 never had a 
very intimate knowledge, as he died in early youth. 

After Tweed's troubles began in 1873, the glory 
of Linwood began to wane. The checkerboard team 
was seen no more and many of the other fine horses 
were sold. ^Nloney ceased to flow in, and after the 
incarceration in I^udlow Street jail, the demands that 
were made upon Tweed by his lawyers for a defense 
fund were large. John Graham, bewigged and al- 
ways wearing kid gloves with the Angers amputated, 
was his chief counsel. Elihu Root, now so well 
known, was at the head of a younger coterie of men 
who worked up the details of the defense that did not 

All this required large sums of money and from 
time to time various things w^ere sold at Linwood. 
The greenhouses were stripped of rare plants and 
many articles that had special value because of their 
association, were quietly disposed of for a substantial 
consideration. When Greenwich Avenue was re- 
cently widened at its lower end, on what was formerly 
the Thomas Ritch property, I saw a couple of ornate 



i]'on lamp posts pulled down that formerly stood in 
front of the house at Linwood. There were many 
other things that found their way into the possession 
of Greenwich people who afterwards would some- 
times covertly allude to their origin. 

By this it must not he inferred that the family was 
impoverished. Mrs. Tweed owned valua])le real es- 

. tate here and in New 
York City and it was 
prohahly only hecause of 
a desire to limit expenses 
and prepare for the final 
disposition of Linwood 
that she made such dis- 
position of her person- 
alty. The property was 
listed with many real es- 
tate agencies in New 
York City and was 
brought to the attention of many local capitalists, but 
it remained unsold year after year, when the pi'ice 
asked for eighty acres was only fifty thousand dollars. 
Finally in the fall of 1878 a syndicate was formed 
consisting of A. Foster Higgins, Solomon ]Mead, 
Frank Sliepard, principal of the Academy, and one 
or two others, whose names I do not recall. To one 
of the syndicate, whose name is not mentioned, was 
entrusted the duty of closing the deal. 

The purpose of the syndicate was to establish a 
residence park, something like Rockefeller Park, al- 



III IS(i<) 


though the demand for lioiise lots was not as aetive 
in those days as it was after the puhlie water and 
sewers had been intro(hieed. It would liave made, 
however, an ideal residence park and it was the pioneei" 
effort in that direction. The matter dragged along 
through the winter montlis of 1878, without any re- 
port to the syndicate, and finally in February, 1871), 
its members awoke to the fact that the land liad 
sli])ped away from them and had become the prop- 
erty of Jeremiah ]Milbank, having sold for $47,500. 

AVhen the title was being closed in the old Town 
Clerk's office I asked William M. Tweed, Jr., who 
represented his mother, liow it happened tliat the 
$50,000 offer was rejected. "No sucli an offer was 
made," said he. "I would have been glad of $2,500 
more, but the offer that came to me from the syndi- 
cate w^as $40,000 and I was told that no better offer 
would be made." It was just one of those Httle inci- 
dents, growhig out of lack of judgment, probably, 
that often attend real estate transactions and are far- 
reaching in tlieir consequences. 

In 1868 and 1869 ^Nlr. Tweed was in the height of 
his glory. He ruled New York with an iron hand and 
yet there must have been times when he realized that 
his political power rested on a thin sliell of corru])tion. 
liable any day to collapse and plunge him into a 
vortex of adverse public sentiment. He loved flat- 
tery and he hated to be criticised. Tom Nast, Har- 
pers' famous cartoonist, had even then sharpened his 
pencil and occasionally Tweed appeared in the 



WecMy with a blazing diamond in his shirt front. 
But nothing in those years appeared that seemed 
serious to Tweed, although they greatly annoyed him. 

As an offset to such influences. Senator Harry 
Genet and a few of that ilk started a oeneral contri- 
bution to a fund for a public statue to ]Mr. Tweed, to 
be erected in Central Park. These men realized what 
many people have failed to give jNIr. Tweed credit 
for, and that was his remarkable conception of the 
future of the City of New York. He often ex- 
])resse(l regret that jNlanhattan Island with its mag- 
niflcent Mater front, should have been laid out in 
angles and squares, and it was he who planned the 
Boulevard and Riverside Drive. 

During this period he cast about for sustaining 
influences an.d in the summer of 1868 and 18H9 he 
invited the children of the city orphan asylum on 
Randall's Island to visit him at I^inwood. They 
were called for short the "Randall's Island children," 
and their coming was announced several days in ad- 
vance. Dodworth's band — Tweed would have noth- 
ing else — came with them on a steamboat chartered 
for the occasion. They were marched up Green- 
wich Avenue and down Putnam Avenue to Linwood, 
with the band in advance and most of the villagers 
looking on with pride at the benevolent act of their 
distinguished neighbor. ]Mr. Tweed in his silk hat 
and frock coat with the inevitable white tie, stood 
out on the lawn in front of the house and reviewed 
his youthful guests; on one occasion addressing tliem 



as the future voters of the great nietropohs. After 
this ceremony they dishanded, with evident reHef, 
and were turned loose on the Linwood grounds, to the 
great disgust of Theodore H. ^Nlead, whose ap])le 
orchard adjoined and suffered accordingly. 

Perhaps it was the same spirit of assumed henevo- 
lence that caused him to donate to one of the village 
churches a sandstone baptistry around the base of 
which was inscribed, with letters deeply cut, the 
words, "The gift of William :M. Tweed, 18()9." It 
still remains within the church, although it lias lost 
its former jjlace of prominence. 

During this period he was also recognized as gen- 
erous to the bearer of a subscription paper and the 
object mattered not; black or white. Catholic or 
Protestant, all were received with a benign smile and 
a ready response. 

On one occasion the good ladies of a certain re- 
ligious organization called upon him with the request 
for a subscription for an organ. Before approach- 
ing him, however, they had gathered up all the sub- 
scriptions possible, but had found rather hard sled- 
ding, with the result that the pledges were only half 

Taking the subscription paper, he footed up the 
various small amounts, with the stub of a pencil he 
had taken from his vest pocket, and looking over his 
gold-rimmed glasses at the somewhat awed commit- 
tee, he said, "Well, what is the damn thing going to 
cost, anyway?" 



The ladies were shocked at tlie expression, but a 
(juickly drawn clieck for the balance required, served 
as a relief for their feelings, and they left express- 
ing many thanks and a world of good wishes. 




IX Chapter XV allusion lias l)eeii made to the escape 
of Tweed from jail and his subsequent a])prehen- 
sion and arrest in Vii>'o, Spain. One of his own ap- 
pointees in the Sheriff's office took him out for a ride; 
he stopped to make a call at his own home in the city, 
and he never appeared a<»'ain until several months 
had elapsed. ^lany accounts have been given of his 
escape and of his place of hiding before he em])arke(l 
for Spain, but all of them are very far from the 

Before I relate the actual story of his esca])e, let me 
recall certain facts, within tlie memory of many 
Greenwich people, which are closely connected with 
that event. 

On the ninth day of June. 1870. one Isaac Mosher 
sold twenty-four acres of land and a farm house 
northwest of Cos Cob village to Lydia G. ^IcMullen, 
the wife of William JNlc Mullen. The price ])aid was 
$12,300 and the transaction was closed in the office 
of Col. Heusted W. R. Hoyt, counsel for JNlr. Ta\ eed. 
The latter was present on the occasion and su])se- 
quently he gave a great deal of attention to the im- 
provements made to the property. This place is lo- 



cated on tlie easterly side of the hi"-hwav runniiifir 
northerly from the Post Road near the residence of 
Augustus and Catherine ]Mead which was then known 
as the Edward ^lead homestead. The house is still 
standing, hut since the days of Tweed has been much 
enlarged and more recently has been known as the 
Ardendale Sanitarium. Pie introduced ]Mrs. Mc- 
jNIullen as his niece and it was understood that she 
and her husband were, to a certain extent, dependent 
upon him. 

Andrew J. (xarvey, a member of the Americus 
Clul), and generally known, from his numerous con- 
tracts, as the city plasterer, paid all the repair bills 
on the ^Ic^lullen house. Garvey usually left the 
train at Cos Cob carrying a carpetbag filled with 
greenbacks with which to pay the mechanics and ma- 
terial men employed on the job. Subsequently in 
one of the ring prosecutions in the New York Su- 
preme Court, the fact ap]jeared that, at least the 
plastering, if not all of the repair work on the ^Ic- 
Mullen house, was charged to the city. 

At that period the Cos Cob station agent was a 
young man who has since been a prominent resident 
and officeholder in the Borough. He had consider- 
able to do with handling the freight and express pack- 
ages for the JNIc^Mullen house, to his pecuniar}^ ad- 
vantage, and after the family moved in, he continued 
to be a great favorite with them because of his uni- 
versal courtesy and promptness. 

On his home trip from the Duane Street office in 



New York, JNlr. Tweed usually left the train at 
Greenwich, but, as he held in high esteem his nephew 
and niece, it is not stran*>e that occasionally he was 
invited to \rdss the night with them at Cos Cob. 

The young station agent began to notice that the 
9.15 evening train at Cos Cob would frequently stop 
a thousand feet west of the station, down by Edward 
Mead's bars, and then crawl up to the station. In 
the glare of the headlight it was hard to determine 
why the pause was made, as down the length of the 
train was impenetrable darkness. Frank Hermance 
was the conductor of the train. He was one of the 
old-fashioned conductors, who carried a lantern with 
his name ground on the glass globe and a rose in his 
buttonhole. When he entered the door he came with 
a bound and a smile and many will recall how he 
purred the words, "Good morning, brother," as he 
punched the tickets. 

It was the duty of the station agent to report such 
an irregularity as halting a train down by Edward 
JNIead's bars and especially when the occurrence was 
frequent. Finally he told ^Ir. Hermance that he 
would be obliged to report him if it occurred again, 
but Frank only smiled and gave the station agent a 
friendly salute as he started his train. 

About this time Tweed was indicted by the Grand 
Jury of Xew York County, locked up in the Tombs 
and upon the trial before Judge Noah Davis and a 
jury was convicted. Judge Davis had never been 
a friend of Tweed's and on the opening day of the 



trial, Joliii Graham, bis leading- counsel, very humbly 
suggested that His Honor "was disqualified," for 
which insinuation INIr, (Traham was promptly fined 
$250. Rut the charge to the jury was fair and the 
only critieism counsel for the defense made was "the 
remarkable sentence imposed by the Court." 

He was convieted on fifty out of fifty-five charges 
against him and sentenced by Judge Davis to an 
aggregate of twelve years imprisonment. He might 
have been sentenced for sixty years, but Judge Davis 
deeided that he would give bJm a sentence ])roportion- 
ate to his avei"age share in the stealings; that is that he 
would give him twenty per cent, of what he might 
have im})osed uj)on him. 

Tlien the (juestion was generally discussed as to 
whether a cumulative senteiiee, as it was ealled, was 
legal, (xraham appealed to the (Tcneral Term, now 
called the Appellate Division, and was defeated, but 
afterwards the Court of Ai)peals held that 'I'weed 
could not })egin to serve a new sentence of a year at 
the end of a term of service of ])unishment upon an- 
other count. 

jNleanwhile Tweed went to RlackwelTs Island and 
began to serve his sentence, occupying a double 
room luxuriously furnished, near the northeast end 
of the penitentiary building. In going down the 
East River, on the Brooklyn side you may still see 
in the grim walls of the great building a double win- 
dow, the only one, which was made expressly to add 
to the comfort of ]Mr. Tweed in his days of imprison- 



meiit, when he was heiiit>' attended by the officers wiio 
awed tlieir appointment to their prisoner. 

Upon the reversal of the jndgment by th.e Conrt 
of Appeals ]Mr. Tweed was re-arrested and held in 
IakIIow Street jail under the eivil suit brought by the 
city for six million dollars damages and it was from 
this place that one night he made his escape. 

It is unnecessary here to go into the ])articulars 
of that escape furtlier than as they are connected 
with and apply to the town of Greenwich. Tweed 
had disappeared and there was no clew to his where- 
abouts. Andrew H. Green, Charles O'Conor, 
J()se])h H. Choate and the others of the famous Com- 
mittee of Seventy offered a reward of fifty thousand 
dollars for his apprehension. If you will read the 
newspapers of those days you will notice that from 
the time of his departure till he was reported in Vigo, 
Spain, there is no positive account of his whereabouts. 
There were at least two men, however, who might 
have made the story clear. One was the young sta- 
tion agent at Cos Cob and the other was George AV. 

It was in the early winter of 187.5 that the Cos 
Cob agent, who had just laid aside an evening paper 
telling of the escape of Tweed and advertising the 
fifty-thousand dollar reward notice, that the 9.1.5 
train again made its mysterious stop at Edward 
Mead's bars. The agent was angry. The conduc- 
tor had disregarded his threat to report him, and was 
again disobeying the rules. Seizing a lantern he ran 



down the track. As he passed beyond the glare of 
the headlight and reached the baggage car, he saw 
the side door slide open. At that moment a w^oman 
from })ehind smashed his lantern. Bewildered in the 
sudden, darkness, he stepped forward and put his 
hand on the great bulk of William JNI. Tweed. There 
was a man with him and a woman followed, leaping 

across the ditch beside 
the track, and up the 
bank through Edw^ard 
iNIead's bars. There a 
carriage was in waiting 
and George W. Hoff- 
man was on the box. 
Who was Hoffman? 
I He was not a member of 
the Americus Clul) and I 
' could never get anv defi- 

.lA.MKS KLPHICK . . . ' 

18:24—1889 nite information as to 

W'ho he W'as, except that Philip X. Jackson, the son 
of an Americus Club man, said he was one of Tweed's 
men. Jackson was a messenger in the Xew York Su- 
preme Court by Tweed's appointment and in the late 
seventies and early eighties was the trial justice in 

After Tweed's death Hoffman came to Green- 
wicli to reside. He apparently had considerable 
money and he purchased of James Elphick a large 
area of oyster ground. A long and serious litigation 
then followed between Elphick and Hoffman over 



the contracts for the purchase of this oyster ground, 
and the case finally terminated in the Court of Errors 
in favor of Mr. Elphick and is reported in the 49th 
volume of Connecticut Reports. 

While this litigation was in progress, I saw much 
of Hoffman and on more than one occasion lie ad- 
mitted that Tweed came up on the 9.15 on the night 
in ({uestion, occupying the baggage car. Hoffman 
never told how" he got Tweed into the car at 42nd 
Street, but at that time there was ample opportunity 
to walk, unseen,, down wdiat had once been Fourth 
Avenue, on the south side of the train and slip into 
the baggage car. 

From Cos Cob the carriage, with Tweed in it, was 
driven to the ^NIcMullen house, where his last meal 
in Greenwich was eaten. Thence he was driveii across 
to Tarrytown where a tug chartered by Hoffman 
was waiting. This tug took ^Ir. Tweed down to the 
lower bay and to an outgoing freight steamer bound 
for Cuba. 

In the port of Havana under the beetling walls 
of jNIoro Castle Tweed was transferred to another 
steamer bound for Spain and was subsequently cap- 
tiu'ed at Vigo and sent back to Ludlow Street jail 
where he died April 12, 1878, at the age of fifty-five. 

Often I have thought of that $50,000 reward that 
the 3'oung station agent made no attempt to earn. 
How easy it would have been to telegraph the authori- 
ties who had offered the reward, and to have caught 
Tweed that night as his last dinner in the ^NIc^NIullen 



house was being served. The agent knew exactly 
where he was. He was poor then, but now he is 
worth more than twice the amount of that reward. 
Once I asked him about it. He took from his lips 
an expensive cigar and contemplated reflectively its 
lono', unbroken ash. Then he looked at me and said, 
"I thought of it, but how could I?" 




THE old Town Hall, which stood where tlie Sol- 
diers' ^Monument now stands, was hurned the 
night of October 15, 1874. This building had lieen 
used many years for public meetings, theatrical 
shows, church fairs, elections, and as a court room 
for the trial Justice of the Peace. 

It was a single room, lighted by eight windows, 
containing a portable bench for the covu't and an 
enclosure for the lawyers, which usually stood on the 
east side of the room. The Selectmen and otiier town 
officials had their offices in a small frame building, on 
Greenwich Avenue, which stood where the brick 
building of Tuthill Brothers now stands. At a later 
date the officials occupied rooms in the old Congre- 
gational Cliurch building after it was removed to the 
corner of Putnam Avenue and Sherwood Place. 

At the time of the fire it had outlived its useful- 
ness. As early as 1873 the question of a new town 
hall was seriously considered. At the annual meet- 
ing in that year, Luke A. Lockwood, Drake ^Nlead, 
William J, ^Nlead, Odle C, Knapp and Thomas A, 
jNIead were appointed to inquire into the expediency 
of erecting a new building. This committee was also 



charged with the duty of recommending the location, 
the size, architectural character and internal arrange- 
ment of such a building, and the estimated cost. 
The following year the committee was continued. 


Drawn from description by Carleton W. Hubbard 

having reported progress. A set of plans had been 
prepared for a building which was to be erected on 
the northeast corner of Putnam Avenue and Sher- 
wood Place, then considered the business center. 
These plans were afterwards framed and for many 
years luing on the wall of the Town Clerk's office. 

INIr. George Jackson Smith, the Town Clerk at 
that time, had a habit of lioasting of his expensive 



wall decoration, for the picture cost the town twelve 
hundred dollars. 

It woidd seem, however, that many were interested 
in the suhject and desirous of carrying out the plans, 
because in 1874 the Selectmen were authorized to ap- 
ply to the General Assembly for authority to bond 
the town for $75,000, for the purpose of building a 
new town hall. A spe- 
cial town meeting was 
called Xovember 28, 
1878, and the Town Hall 
C o m m i 1 1 e e was in- 
structed to present plans 
and make report to a 
"special meeting here- 
after to be called to con- 
sider the whole subject 
of a new Town Hall." 
While the new Town Hall was being discussed, the 
officials moved into Aaron P. Ferris' new building, 
which had been erected for a hotel and is the building 
now owned by the town and occupied by ]Mayer H. 

The town paid an annual rent of $600. The Se- 
lectmen occupied the south side and the Town Clerk 
and Judge of Probate the north side, first floor. The 
second and third floors were occupied as tenements 
until the first of July, 1875, when the second floor 
was converted into public oflices. ^Nlyron L. ]Mason, 





Edward J. Wright. Charles Cameron, I^eaiider P. 
Jones, INLI).. Dr. Beverly E. Mead, R. Jay Walsh, 
James F. Walsh, Frederick A. Huhliard and pos- 
sihlv others ocenpied offices on the second floor of this 


.riihn IL I{a\ juul John E. Ray stand in the foresiround under tlie 

tree ])lanted liv Edward J. Wriglit 

It was crowded, uncomfortable and badly ar- 
ranged for such ])urposes and yet for years it was 
the only phice for an office because it was the actual 
business center. The Assessors, Board of Relief 
and Tax Collector all found places wherever they 
could, unless actually excluded by a justice trial, held 
in the Selectmen's office. 



But the .sc'lit'ine to build a new town hall was for- 
gotten and we might still be using the Aaron P. Fer- 
ris building, but for the liberality of the late Robert 
]M. Bruce who, with his sister, ^liss Sarah Bruce, 
donated the new liuildiu". 


Besides many other benevolent gifts, donated to Greenwich its Town 
Hall, Puhlie Park and Hospital 

On ^lay 15, 187o, "Sir. Ferris made a written prop- 
osition to sell his buildin^g to the town. He described 
the property as 50 feet wide and 25-i feet deep and 
the price named was $11,500, to be paid in a series of 
notes, drawmg interest at the rate of seven per cent., 
payable over a term of ten years. The proposition 



was accepted at a special town meeting and the town 
took title and still owns the property; the front half 
of Avhich yields a rental of ahout twelve hundred dol- 
lars a year and reserves shed room in the rear. 

At the time the town took title we had no public 
water, sewers or lights. The water supply for the 
town ])uilding was a large well, which was filled up 
in 1896. But the occupants of the building realized 
its unsanitary condition and at the annual town meet- 
ing in 1878 the Town Clerk and the Judge of Pro- 
bate were appointed a committee "whose duty it shall 
be, at an expense not exceeding $300, to make needed 
repairs and improvements in and about the rear of 
the town building, for the purpose of proper use and 
protection of the well; to effect safe and convenient 
exit from the rear doors of the building; to build a 
cistern for the use of the tenants and as a provision 
against fire." At the same meeting it was voted to 
build a lockup and it is still standing as a storage 
room in the rear of Cohen's store. 

But for seventeen years matters went on in this 
way without a ripple until September 9, 1895, when 
an attempt was made to purchase the land adjoining 
on the south owned by JNIarj^ F, Dayton and now 
occupied by Elias S. Peck. It was thought that the 
lot enlarged to a width of 100 feet would warrant the 
town in tearing down the old building and erect- 
in"- a new town hall about fiftv feet back from the 
street, with light on all sides. But the proposition 
was voted down and we struggled on under the old 




conditions until January 1, 1906, when the new town 
hall was occupied. 

Both of these old town buildings are of peculiar 
interest. The first one was probably built about 
1830 and represented a building tyjjical of the rural, 
farming people. The illustration which is given is 
made from a description of the building, there being- 
no photograph of it in existence. But the drawing 
so accurately illustrates the old ])uilding that those 
of the older generation will at once recognize it. 
During all those fervid times before and during the 
war of 1861 it was used as a polling place, as indeed 
it was up to the time of its destruction. But in the 
war time it was the place of many an angry debate 
and many incidents occurred which are still talked 

Two very estimable and prominent neighbors once 
got into a hot political dispute on an election day. 
One resisted the entrance of the other, through the 
door, with the result that one of the doors was pulled 
oif the hinges and the two contestants with the door 
rolled down the hill. 

From 1854* till long after the war tlie Borough 
meetings were held in the old town hall, })ut the Bur- 
gesses met at private houses and usually at tlie home 
of the Clerk. 

I first knew of Borough meetings in 1860. Billy 
Trumble, a quaint little old man, was the town jani- 
tor. For a number of years he had been man of all 
work for th.e Rev. Dr. Joel H. Linsley, and, holding 



such a post, he fancied he knew all the affairs of the 

The old man had quite an attraction for me and 
his sterling character and odd sayings made their im- 
pression. It was his duty to open and light the hall 
for the annual meetings of the Borough. 

After he had arranged the henches and dusted the 
chairs, he would take his seat and with the immense 
hrass door key across his lap await the coming of the 

On such occasions I enjoyed sitting by his side and 
listening to the queer stories of what he claimed to 
have seen and heard around the old white church, 
then standing in front of the present stone edifice. 
I was only a small boy, ])ut I realize how the old man 
enjoyed impressing upon my youthful fancy his visits 
at night to the pulpit and the pews, where he routed 
out the bats that were circling around in the moon- 

In those days the workmen were busy on the new 
ch.urch and piles of rubliish and blocks of cut stone 
occupied every possible place about tlie town hall. 
The cellar had also been invaded by the stonecut- 
ters and it was a weird place at night after they had 
abandoned it to the darkness and the bats. One of 
Billy's duties was to gatlier up the chisels and ham- 
mers which tile workmen liad carelessly left, and as 
his "chores" at the parsonage, as he called his small 
errands about the place, often kept him till his lan- 
tern was needed, it was my great delight to go with 



him on such nocturnal trips, poking about among the 
chips for the stray tools. 

But nothing was more agreeable to Billy than the 
occasion of the annual Borough meeting. I think he 
felt (piite as important as the Warden and he was 
certainly better paid, as 
that official drew no sal- 

After the arrival of the 
Warden the next man to 
appear was Robert W. 
JNIead, the clerk. These 
officials would talk a few 
minutes, but no one else 
appearing, the Warden 
would step over to the 
parsonage, while the 
clerk would hurry up to 
Solomon ^lead's and 
Charles H. Seaman's, 
and Billv, while I tagged 
at his heels, would be sent 
down to invite Henry M. 
Benedict, L. P. Hubbard, Joseph E. Brush and 
George Selhck up to vote. 

It was invariably the case in those days that a suf- 
ficient number of voters to fill the offices would not 
attend the meetings except upon personal solicitation, 
and Billy and I did most of the roping in. ]My part 
was to carrv the lantern. He had an odd but very 


In 1S()0 


jDolite way of touching his hat and saying, "Please, 
sir, there are only four at the meeting and it takes 
eight to fill the offices. Won't you come up and vote 
for somehody, and somehody will vote for you?" 

Such an appeal was irresistihle and we elected the 
full Board. I can remember no other moderator in 
that building on election days except Amos ]M. Brush. 

In those times there was not such a system of regis- 
tration and such a poll list as are now employed. 
Of course, the Town Clerk's record showed who wei'e 
voters and when they became voters. Both political 
parties were represented at the polls and there was 
always a record of the number of votes deposited. 

Mr. Brush, the moderator, stood behind the ballot 
box and as the voter deposited his ballot ]Mr. Brush 
would poke it down among the others with liis lead 
pencil. On one occasion a voter, whose political be- 
lief was opposed to that of the moderator, charged 
the latter with not depositing his ballot in the box. 
"Stop the voting," said Mr. Brush, "unlock the box 
and count the ballots," which was quickly done, and 
the disgruntled voter was satisfied that his ballot was 
among the others and not upon the floor, as he had 

In the old days when the town building on Green- 
wich Avenue was filled with tenants, a local wit 
dubbed it "Lincoln's Inn," and a young man who 
then resided here but who subsequently became a 
grave and learned professor in a great American Uni- 
versity wrote the following lines which were x)ub- 




lished in the Stamford Herald. The first and last 
verses only are quoted: 

Oh, I wish I livfd in Lincohi's Inn 
Where the signs are made of gilt and tin ; 
With my feet in a chair I'd sit and grin. 
It's tlie way they do in Lincoln's Inn. 

Then at night when the darkness is complete^ 
When tlie faithful watchman treads his beat, 
And his boots resound in the silent street. 
Full many a spectre, weird, he sees. 
The ghosts of departed lawyers' fees 
And spirits pale of all degrees. 
Who perch in the dark; on the signs of tin — 
Oh. a rare old ])lace is Lincoln's Inn. 





EWIS and jMasou Streets are named after two 
prominent old-time families. One of the most 
interesting' spots in the Borough, rife as it is with 
historic memories, is the northeast corner of Putnam 
Avenue and I^afayette Place, where the Rev. Dr. 
Lewis lived, and which was suhsequently owned by 
his daughter, JNIrs. INIary E. Mason, and his grand- 
son, Theodore L. JNIason, ^l.D. 

Before the war of the Revolution this corner and 
many acres besides belonged to Henry jNIead. He 
was the landlord of a Colonial tavern which stood 
near the junction of tlie main country road and the 
road to Sherwood's Bridge, now Glenville. Here he 
entertained, in such style as the times permitted, Gen. 
Putnam, Gen. Lafayette and other Revolutionary 

Times were hard in Greenwich after the close of 
the war and Henry ]Mead struggled along for a few 
years and then moved with his family to New York 
City. As far as is known, none of them returned. 

He sold the old homestead or tavern in 1787 for 
three hundred and twenty pounds. The land, 
bounded northerly by the highway and what is now 
the Lenox House property and westerly by the road 




to Piping Point, now Greenwich Avenue, was pur- 
chased from Amos JNIead and Henry ^Nlead, respec- 

Lewis Street divides the southerly tract and was 
very appropriately named after Dr. Lewis. 

He was a man of note throughout Xew England. 
He was graduated from Yale College in the class of 
17<>.5, and entered the ministry of the Congregational 
Church. His long and lahorious professional life 
was largely passed in tlie pastorate of the Second 
Congregational Society in this town., which position 
he assumed in 1786 and occupied for tliirty-three 
years. In 1792 Vale College conferred on him the 
degree of Doctor of Divinity, and from 1816 to 1818 
he was a memher of the Corporation, and in 181() was 
made a Fellow of tlie College. Upon acijuiring the 
property he at once proceeded to remove the Henry 
^lead house, and as the church then had no parson- 
age, he built a fine Colonial mansion about seventy- 
five feet back from the corner. 

The old fig tree, still tliere, was planted by liim and 
it grew verv near the south end of the house. It was 
a beautiful house in all its proportions and in the 
look of hospitality wliich always pervaded it. It was 
built in the summer of 1786, but was not an old-fash- 
ioned swee])-back, because the Colonies had become in- 
dependent, and the necessity for a one-story house, 
which is said to have been exempt from taxation by 
the Crown, no longer existed. 

I have had many interesting conversations with the 



late Col. Thomas A. JNIead, Solomon S. ^lead, D. 
Smith Mead and Isaac I.^. ^Nlead concerning this old 
mansion. There was no conflict among them as to 
the location and appearance of the house. As the fig 
tree grew near the south end, it is easy to locate it. 
The house faced the west, and from the front door, 
over which was an old-time porch with a graceful 
trellis, a walk hetween rows of hox-wood lead to La- 
fayette Place. 

It was considered a grand house and its owner was 
looked up to by old and young as a wise and good 
man. It was his home for thirty-three years, and 
during that period it was the center of social and re- 
ligious activities. "He was kind and affectionate in 
his social relations, and for piety and learning emi- 
nently distinguished," according to his epitaph. It 
is easy to believe he wielded a powerful influence for 
good in the community. 

Dr. Eewis died August 27, 1840, at the age of 
ninety-five, leaving six children and a considerable es- 

Here, also, on November 20, 1821, died, at the 
early age of twenty-four, ^Nliss Elizabeth Stillson of 
Bethlehem, Conn., a member of the family of Dr. 
Lewis, for whom the Stillson Benevolent Society of 
the Second Congregational Church was named. 

The children who survived Dr. Lewis were Zaeh- 
ariah; Isaac, who succeeded his father as pastor of the 
church; INIrs. Piatt BufFett of Stanwich; "Sirs. jNIary 
E. jNIason, widow of David JNIason; Roswell W., and 



Sarah. ^Irs. Hannah Lewis, the mother of these 
children, died in April, 1829. 

On the 10th of Decemher, 1846, all the Lewis prop- 
erty was conveyed to ^Nlary E. ]Mason and Sarah 
Lewis, and until 1850 they were inmates of tlie old 
mansion. Later they moved to the new house which 
was huilt in that year and is still standing. ^lary E. 
Mason was the mother of 
Dr. Theodore L. ^Nlason, ^^ 

for whom Mason Street, 
opened in 1881, was ap- 
propriately named. 

JNIiss Sarah Lewis was 
very active in the church 
that for so many years 
had been under the pas- 
torate of her father and 
brother. She organized 
the Sunday School, and 
was its first superintendent. Her portrait hangs 
ujjon the wall in the Sunday School room. 

In 1801 David JNIason, Esq., married Mary Eliza- 
beth I^ewis, daughter of the Rev. Dr. I^ewis. at the 
old homestead. He was a lawyer of al)ility and as 
an advocate had special influence. He was engaged 
in practice in Cooperstown, N. Y., with ^Ir. AVilliam 
Cooper, an elder brother of James Fenimore Coo])er. 

His cousin was Jeremiah Mason of Boston, who in 
his day often crossed swords with Daniel Webster in 
the courts of ^lassachusetts and New Hampshire. 


1 784-1 S(SO 


David ^Nlasoii wa.s the father of three children, of 
whom Theodore L. INIason was tlie eldest. At his 
death his widow and children removed to Dr. Eewis' 
residence in Greenwich, where Theodore's youth and 
early manhood were spent. Under the direction of 
various teachers, and notahly in the private school of 
his uncle, the Rev. Piatt RufFett of Stanwich, he re- 
ceived a tlioi-ouii'li training in English and the 

classics. Later he he- 
came a medical student 
under the direction of Dr. 
Darius ]Mead, who lived 
on the top of Putnam 
Hill where Edwin H. 
Raker's h o u s e n o w 
stands. Dr. ]Mead gave 
the young men who 
studied under him clinical 
instruction at the hedside 
of the sick, as well as in- 
struction in the proper text hooks. 

Suhsequently young Dr. JNIason was graduated 
from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New 
York and practiced a few months in Cireenwich. 
He then went to AVilton, Conn., and later to New 
York City, removing from there to Rrooklyn, N. Y., 
in 1834, where he remained in the active practice of 
his profession until his death February 12, 1882. 
He frequently visited Greenwich and during his life 




In 18(j() 



was well known in this town. After his death the 
land on hoth sides of INIason and Lewis Streets as 
well as that alono- Greenwich Avenne was sold. 




THE oreat ])lack walnut tree that stands on ]Mrs. 
George E. Nichols' front lawn on jMaple 
Avenue is said to be the largest in the State. It is 
certainly a very old tree and was a seedling long be- 
fore the Revolution. It must have been planted very 
early in the eighteenth century and it is not improb- 
able that the Rev. Abraham Todd, a minister who 
served the Second Congregational Church for forty 
years, planted it with his own hands. At that time 
and until 188.3 the church owned no parsonage, but 
in addition to his salary the minister was given the 
use of the "parsonage lands." 

JNIr. Todd was graduated from Yale in 1727 and 
came to Greenwich five years later. For those days 
his salary was princely. He received a "settlement" 
of one thousand dollars, the use of the parsonage 
lands and five hundred dollars per annum, besides 
firewood, and after three years an additional one 
hundred and fifty dollars ])er annum. ; 

As ]Mr. Todd on the 29th of May, 1733, purchased 
for eleven hundred dollars twelve acres of land of 
Theophilus Peck, with liis homestead, we may as- 
sume that the "settlement" money above referred to 



M'as thus invested and here was estabhshed the j)ar- 

These twelve acres were identical with the land 
now extending from Patterson Avenue south to 
property of Edward Brush and ^vest beyond ^laher 


Built 1779. Suhseqiu'iitly the homes of James W. Doiniiiiek and Jolin 
Sniffen. Remodeled IS.jO. The old tree does not ajipear in tiie 

Avenue. In this tract stood for many years the 
John Sniffin house. When jNIr. Todd bought the 
land it was bounded on the east by Xorth Street, 
the name by which ^Nlaple Avenue was known until 
long after the adoption of a Borough government in 

The house occupied bv Mr. Todd until his death 



in 177'^ stood well back from the road, in what was 
subseqaently called the old orchard. ISir. Alvan 
JNlead, who died at an advanced age in 1881, was able 
to locate the house by tradition and to describe it as 
an old-fashioned sweep-back, facing the south. 

]Mr. Todd left seven children. Five years after 
his death they sold, for twenty-three liundred and 
fifty dollars, the place occupied ])y the family for more 
than forty years. Neliemiah jNlead, Jr., was the 
purchaser and it may not be uninteresting to copy the 
descri])tion of tlie property as it appears in his deed. 
He purcl^ased from the Todd heirs "Fourteen acres, 
"be it more or less, with a dwelling house and barn 
"thereon, northward of the Country road (meaning 
"what is now Putnam Avenue) it being that house 
"and land whereon our honored father. Rev. Abra- 
"ham Todd, deceased, lately lived. Bounded East- 
"erly ])y North Street, Northerly by land of 
"Humphrey Denton, ^^^esterly by land of Justus 
"Sackett in part and partly by land of Isaac Holmes, 
"Jr., and Southerly by land of Justus Sackett." 

JNIr. ^Nlead held it for only nine months when, on 
December 1-, 1778, he sold it for one pound more than 
lie paid to Justus Sackett, 

It was jNIr. Sackett who built the original John 
Sniffin homestead under the shade of the old black 
walnut tree and it was probably built immediately 
after he came into possession, in the Summer of 1779. 
Here he lived until January 15, 1827, when, he died 
at the age of eighty-seven years. 




In passing it may not l)e amiss to (|uote from "Sir. 
Sackett's will in which he speaks of the "Todd lots," 
referring to the location near the old orchard, the 
former home of Rev. Abraham Todd. This spot is 
not far from the place occn])ied by the recently re- 
moved and remodeled "Sniff'en homestead" on Pat- 
terson Avenue belonging to William H. Hoggson. 
To his son he gives his black boy "Charles" and the 
ancestral tall clock, showing that slavery was extant 
in Connecticut as late as 1815, when the will was 
dated, and that the tall clock was then valued more 
than by later generations. 

Anna Sackett, the widow, continued to reside in. 
the homestead in the enjoyment of her dower until 
February 15, 1887, when she died at the age of ninety- 
six years. Justus Sackett, Jr., was the next owner 
of the property. He a])pears to have been some- 
what of a trader in real estate, for in 1882 he acquired 
contiguous property extending north and west as far 
as Sanford ^lead's and south to Augustus Lyon's, 
later known as the Perry land and now belonging to 
William G. and Percy A. Rockefeller. He did not 
hesitate to borrow money and give mortgages, a 
somewhat unusual proceeding in those days. But on 
INIarch 19, 18-1(), he seems to have been willing to 
abdicate in favor of his son, William H. Sackett, to 
whom he gave a deed of more than fifty acres, re- 
serving to himself a life estate. 

William H. Sackett continued to reside in the old 
homestead under the famous tree until 1851 when 



he sold the property to Justus Ralph Sackett, who 
held it until October 1, 1852, when he sold and 
conveyed it to James W. Dominick. And now 
we get down to the memory of many Greenwich 

James W. Dominick and his brother, AVilliam, who 
resided on Putnam Avenue in the house now owned 
by INIrs. Susan C. Talbot, were two of the early 
Greenwich commuters. They each possessed a fam- 
ily of likely boys, who have sustained their early 
reputations and are now men, well known in financial 
circles being honored and respected by all. George 
F. Dominick and his son of the same name are both 
residents, but James W. Dominick's sons have never 
lived here. 

JNIr. James W. Dominick was rated a rich man and 
he belonged to a lineage of culture and refinement. 
Therefore the old Sackett homestead built in 1779 
was not to his liking. It is true it possessed some 
attractive features, both within and without. The 
wide fireplace, the quaint mantel cupboards, the 
long shingles and the colonial roof with its diminu- 
tive dormers were artistic, but more room was needed 
and hence, more than fifty years ago, the remodeling 
was accomplished. Until it was moved in 1906 to 
make room for the new X^ichols house it remained 
unchanged. It went to John SnifFen jNIay 19, 1864, 
and continued in his possession until his death Janu- 
ary 31, 1888. It was subsequently sold by the widow 
and heirs. 



The Sackett boys, the Dominick boys and the 

SnifFen boys all had a happy home under the old 

black walnut tree which may continue to grow for 
centuries to come. 




A^IOXG the cherished articles of personal prop- 
erty found among the effects of the late Solo- 
mon jNIead and now owned by his nephew, Elbert 
A. Silleck, is a map of "Rocky Xeck Point." Ex- 
actly given, the title of the map is as follows: "]Map 
"of eleven acres of land lying on Rocky Xeck Point, 
"Greenwich steamboat landing, laid out into build- 
"ing lots 50 feet front on the road, unless otherwise 
"expressed upon tlie map and extending to the water. 
"Surveyed October, 1836, and plotted from a scale of 
"132 feet to one inch by Wm. H. Holly, X. Currier 
"Eith., Cor. Xassau and Spruce Streets, X. Y." 

The map shows Indian Harbor Point, Field 
Point and an island then called Great Island, but 
now Round Island. It also shows the depth of 
water at the steamboat landing to be six feet at low 
tide, and it indicates the course of a steamboat to 
Stamford and Sawpits. The latter place now has 
the more dignified name of Port Chester. At the 
foot of the map is written in ink, "the above lots to 
be sold on the 'iSd of ]\Iarch, 1837." This is sug- 
gestive of a vendue, as an auction in those da3^s was 
called. There were fifty-eight lots and one acre on 
the extreme point was reserved. 




From the fact that this map was lithographed hy 
the firm afterwards so well known as Currier & Ives, 
it is clear that the puhlic vendue must have heen ex- 
tensively advertised. 

At that time New York City was a day's journey 
away and was reached usually by market sloop and 
sometimes by team down the stage road. 

Greenwich was then sparsely settled, devoted to 
agriculture exclusively, and i)ossessed of considerable 
wealth. The land in (juestion was wild, filled with 
rocks, an.d seamed with ledges overshadowed by 
enormous trees. Tlie eleven acres included all the 
land south of the north line of the property of Wil- 
liam H. Teed. 

It appears from the records that as early as 17*2,5, 
all the land from Grigg Street south to the end of the 
point and east as far as the Held House was called 
"Rockie Xecke." It was common land, as wild as 
the Adirondack forest. About that time it was ap- 
portioned off by the town to the different taxpayers, 
who were called "Proprietors," in proportion to their 
respective assessmen.t lists. Under the apportion- 
ment and by a few subsequent conveyances all of 
"Rockie Xecke" went into the possession of two 
brothers, Daniel Smith and John Smith, 

Through the marriage of a daughter of Daniel 
Smith much of this property went to Daniel Smith 
^Nlead, the grandfather of Oliver D, JNIead. 

When the Rocky Xeck Co. was formed Daniel 
Smith ^lead was deceased and the company bought 



the land of his lieirs. This purchase represented the 
first effort of hind speculators in Greenwich. 

I often talked with those interested in the venture 
and I recall very distinctly the details of the transac- 
tion as they were given to me and as they are found 
in the puhlic records. It was a wild and rocky 
stretch with nothing hut a cart path over the line of 
the present highway. 

No attempt had heen made to cultivate any part 
of it. ^lany of the primeval forest trees were still 
standing — great oaks that had stretched their limbs 
across the Indian paths of a century earlier. There 
were bowlders of enormous size covered with a wealth 
of moss, and resting in beds of lichens and ferns that 
grew with rank luxiu'iance about their base. One 
larger and more rustic than all the others was shaj^ed 
like a great chair, filled with moss and backed with ce- 
dars over which the woodbine trailed in graceful profu- 
sion. It was well named the "Indian Chief's Throne." 
To cut such a piece of land as that into fifty-eight 
building lots seemed a wild and chimerical scheme. 

But as I read the list of stockholders of the Rocky 
Neck Co. I find them all men of nerve and character, 
as far as I knew them, and I have a personal knowl- 
edge of all but three. These were John D. Spader, 
who held three shares, Benjamin Andrews, two shares 
and Thomas Simons four shares. jNIr. Spader was 
the man who subsequently married a daughter of 
Silas Davis and the other two were probably residents 
of New York. 



The other stockholders were Silas Davis, one 
share; Augustus Lyon, five shares; William A. 
Husted, two shares ; Jonathan A. Close, three shares ; 
Walter Davis, one share; Alvan JNIead, one share; 
Solomon JNIead, three shares; Daniel S. JNIead, one 
share; Zaccheus Mead, Jr., two shares; Husted 
Hobby, two shares; Abraham B. Davis, three shares; 
and Thomas A. jNIead, two shares. Each share had 
a par value of one hundred dollars. 

Silas Davis appears to have been the leader of the 
enterprise, as he held what was termed a refusal of 
the property for $3500. At the present time it would 
be called a thirty-day option, except that Mr. Davis 
had nothing in writing. But perhaps he was merely 
carrying out the instruction's of such men as Solomon 
INIead and Thomas A. Mead in securing the option. 
At that time Solomon JNIead was only twenty-eight 
years old and as he lived here all his life and died at 
the age of ninety, possessed of more than a million 
of dollars, it is fair to assume tliat this apparently 
crazy investment was advised an.d perliaps urged by 
him. Although he thouglit the price too liigh, he 
finally approved the sclieme, put up his three hun- 
dred dollars and carefully preserved the map, pos- 
sibly as a reminder that in this enterprise he made 
some of his first dollars. 

The company was formed under the joint stock 
laws, and the articles of the association which appear 
in the land records were evidently prepared by a 



Tile purpose of tlie association was to accjuire the 
land and to build a store house or store houses, and 
a wharf in order that passengers and freight to 
Stamford, Xew Vork and other points could be 
transported. This was clearly a bid to steamboats 
and sailing vessels to call for passengers and produce, 
but no suggestion was made that the company should 
engage in the trans])ortation business. 

The corporation was, however, to be a close one 
and a special ])rovision was made whereby any stock 
seeking a purchaser must be offered to the other 
stockholders. This was too good a thing to afford 
even a taste to outsiders. 

The first meeting was called for September 14, 
1836, at seven o'clock in the evening at the inn of 
Augustus Lyon. The name of that inn, which was 
one of the stage stops on the mail route between Xew 
Vork and lioston, was "The ]\Iansion House," since 
known as the Lenox House. Here all the incorjx)- 
rators gathered and evidently without any lawyer, 
because all they did was to sign the articles of incor- 
poration. There appears to have been no election 
of officers or directors. However, we can imagine 
what a jolly time these young men had in the front 
room of the inn that September night. They all ])ut 
up their money, and in due time the land was con- 
veyed and in the following month "Bill Hen" Holly, 
of Stamford, as everybody called him, made the sur- 
vey and map. 

The following Spring sales began to l)e made, but 



they were not very active and many times the owners 
were ahnost discouraged. 

It is not unreasonable to suppose that most of the 
buyers were discouraged too, for Captain Abraham 
Brinckerhoff , who bouglit one of the lots from tlie 
map. discovered when he made his way in l)etween 


the rocks and trees, that in order to reach his lot he 
would have to buy two more. 

The map shows one acre reserved on the extreme 
point. This was afterwards known as the Ephriam 
Read property and includes the Indian Harbor 
yacht club house and grounds and the cottage sites 
on the east side of the road, built by Charles T. Wills, 
now owned by the Indian Harbor yacht club. The 
incorporators all agreed that the reservation should 
be made, but no two of them thought alike as to the 
purpose of the reservation. One wanted it for a com- 



mon cow 2)a.sture, after the trees were removed, for 
the use of those who might buy aud build on the lots. 
Another suggested that such a dense forest would 
supply sufficient firewood for all who might buy 
lots. Another urged the erection of a cider mill. 
William A. Husted thought that the lumber could 
be shipped to Xew York at a large profit and the 
cleared ground used for an apple orchard. Col. 
JNIead [who, by the way, had no such title tlien, but 
was just Thomas] and Solomon ^Nlead thought that 
as the reservation had been made, there was n.o imme- 
diate necessity of passing upon the question of its 
disposition. They thought that would take care of 
itself, and indeed it did. 

Four of the company built potato cellars where the 
Silleck House now stands. They were built with 
openings at either end, like the one on Round Island, 
which bears the date, 1827. These cellars belonged 
to Solomon jNIead, Thomas A. JNIead and Zaccheus 
JNIead, Jr., but it is uncertain who owned the fourth 
one. The Silleck House was erected over these very 
cellars in 1838, just one year after they were built. 

This l)uilding, a small affair, owned by Jared 
Mead, proved to be unsuccessful. Situated near the 
shore with a dense forest on three sides, it was an 
ideal spot for a quiet summer retreat. The trouble 
with the "White House," as Mr. JNIead called it, was 
due to the fact that table supplies were difficult to 
obtain. At that time there was no market in Green- 
wich. To supply the table with meat it was Jared 




Mead's custom to purchase lambs and calves of the 
farmers and ])utclier them on the premises. Vege- 
tables were secured at the market sloops. Butter 
was difficult to buy as the farmers preferred to send 
it to Xew York. The cows were pastured on Field 
Point, assuring a good supply of milk and cream. 
The water was brought from one of the Field Point 
springs, there being no well near the hotel. Apples 
were free to anyone who would gather them. 

]Mr. INIead had a good class of boarders at what 
was then thought to be remunerative prices, but he 
found it quite a struggle to maintain a satisfactory 
table. His fried fish, broiled lobsters, succulent oys- 
ters and scallops were considered most palatable, but 
there always came a time when the appetite demanded 
fresh meat. 

In the spring of 1849, when the railroad was just 
six months old, he sold out to ^Irs. Fanny Rimyan 
and ]Mrs. ]Mary Dennis. These ladies, although they 
were joint owners of the real estate, were partners in 
business only one summer. On the 9th of February, 
1850, ]Mrs. Dennis sold out to Thomas Funston. 
His w^ife was "Sirs. Runyan's sister and ^Irs, Elbert 
A. Silleck is his granddaughter. 

In the winter of 1854-5 upon the death of "Sirs. 
Funston, ^Ir. Funston sold his interest to Thaddeus 
Silleck, although he did not take title till ^lay 25 of 
the latter year. 

The Silleck House is the oldest hotel on either 
shore of the Sound from Sands' Point to Stonington. 



These details have been carefully gathered for the 
reason that it has many times been erroneously stated 
that Thaddeus Silleck was the founder of the hotel 
bearing his name since 1876. 

jNIrs. Runyan died at Rocky Neck Jan. 26, 1913, 
aged 98. From her I obtained many interesting facts 
about the White House long before the war. Imag- 
ine board at $2.50 per week! And yet she and Mr. 

Silleck had many serious 
conferences that first year 
.\ of their partnership over 

the advisability of in- 
creasing the rate a single 
dollar. But when it was 
done, to their great sur- 
prise, nobody objected 
and they found it just as 
easy to collect the $3.50 
as the old rate. 

The old registers show 
the class of boarders was 
exceptionally good. Among them were Prof. King 
of Cohnnbia College, W. B. Taylor, the New York 
postmaster, Robert "SI. Bruce, Horace Greeley, 
Charles A. Whitney, Jolm G. Wellstood, Charles G. 
Cornell, Peter Asten, Archibald Parks, John Hoey, 
afterwards President of the Adams Express Co., and 
his talented wife, for many years the leading lady at 

Years ago there was a fascination about Greenwich 


JOHN C. W I',1.I,S1()()I) 


Fatlier of Town Clerk Wellstood 


that to some extent has disappeared. The place was 
rather inaccessible, the roads were poor, there were 
no sidewalks or modern conveniences of any kind, 
bnt there was the beautiful Sound, serene skies, the 
broad fields, with no barbed wire fences or trespass 
signs, so that all the blessings seemed to be individual 
in which one's ownership was perfect. 

This is probably what made Greenwich so popular 
when once established as a place of quiet enjoyment. 
The children and the grandchildren of many of those 
early boarders are still patronizing the Silleck House. 

The old land company has been well-nigh side- 
tracked. Let us see how it finished. The amount 
invested had been small but the stockholders sighed 
for dividends, and some were so disappointed that 
they sold out to the others at a loss. But the re- 
served acre on the point saved the day to those who 
held on and about 18.50 all the land had been sold at 
constantly increasing prices. When the final settle- 
ment was made there was distributed to the survivors 
a net profit of a substantial amount. 

Before Solomon ^lead died, that reserved acre had 
been sold for about fifty thousand dollars. How 
much Solomon ]Mead made out of his first venture is 
unknown, but he was one of the survivors and he 
always said he was satisfied with the result. 

When I look at the map that he folded away so 
many years ago, I am inclined to believe that he re- 
garded the Rockv Xeck I^and Co. as the corner stone 
of his great fortime. 




EARIA^ ill the nineteenth century there was con- 
siderable activity in our General Assembly, in 
granting charters to railroads. The turnjjikes and 
canals of the preceding century had proved remu- 
nerative and it was reasoned that railroads as means 
of transportation would be still more profitable. 

In 18.32 the Xorwich & Worcester was incorpo- 
rated, followed in 1836 by the Housatonic; the Xew 
A^ork k Xew Haven in 1844; the Xaugatuck in 1845, 
and the Xew Haven & Xorthampton in 1846. 

I am not aware when these roads were constructed 
but the Xew Haven R. R. sent its first train through 
Greenwich on Christmas day, 1848. Among the 
passengers from Xew York was William Henry 
Mead and he is the last survivor of the Greenwich 
people who were on that train. He was also on the 
first trolley car that came up Greenwich Avenue, 
August 17, 1901. 

It has been said that tlie first construction of the 
Xew Haven railroad was quite a crude affair. But in 
1859 it was double-tracked and had in a great 
measure recovered from the financial difficulties into 
which its first president, Robert Schuyler of Xew 
York, had plunged it, 



In the early days a stockholder, and there were 
many in Greenwich, was never willing to admit that 
he owned a share. Owing to what were termed the 
"Schnyler frauds" and also to great losses occasioned 
b}" the Xorwalk disaster whicli occurred ^lay 6, 1853, 
when a train ran into an open draw and killed fifty 
jjassengers, the stock had very little value. At that 
time Justin R. Buckley of New York was president 



N. Y. & N. H. R. R. 

and among the directors were Capt. William L. 
Lyon of Greenwich and J. W. Leeds of Stamford. 

Capt. Lyon owned and occupied what is now known 
as the John Voorhis homestead on Putnam Avenue, 
with extensive gardens and lawns extending along 
Greenwich Avenue as far south as the garage of 
Allen Brothers. He was the grandfather of Luke 
Vincent Lockwood. 

James H. Hoyt of Stamford was Superintendent 
and he possessed greater power and influence in the 



management of the road than the president, wlio was 
little known in Connecticut. Superintendent Hoyt 
was the father of George H. Hoyt, who hegan his 
business career as ticket agent in the Stamford station 
and at the time of liis death had, for many years, been 
president of the Stamford Savings Bank. 

The rails were light, rarely meeting at the ends, 
being plugged with a block of wood. The rails rested 

on wliat were called 
"chairs' and were not 
fastened so as to make a 
practically continuous rail 
as at present. To travel 
on such a railroad re- 
quired considerable forti- 
tude as well as patience. 

Greenwich had seven 
trains each way in 1859 
and no Sunday trains. 
There were five trains to 
New York in the morning, namely the .5.20, 6.36, 7.21, 
8.37 and 11.36. The 7.21 was the popular morning 
train, used by the commuters, of whom tliere were a 
very limited number. Of these I recall Robert ]M. 
Bruce, John G. Wellstood, Charles A. Whitney, 
Moses Christy, Luther Prescott Hubbard and Henry 
M. Benedict. 

From New York the first train left Twenty-seventh 
Street at 7 a. m. The cars were drawn up Fourth 
Avenue — four horses to each car — to 32nd Street [a 





little later to -l^nd Street] where a wood burning 
engine was attached. Tliink of sueli a thing happen- 
ing now in front of the new Yanderbilt Hotel! 

The first stop was at Williamsbridge at T-'i?. This 
was originally tlie northern terminus of the Harlem 
railroad, the first railroad built out of New York, and 
on the north side of the track may still be seen the 
remains of the foundation of the old turntable. 

The stations following were ^It. Yernon, Xew 
Rochelle, ^Nlamaroneck, Rye and Port Chester, reacli- 
ing Greenwicli at 8.21. There were no such stations 
as Columbus Ave., 12oth St., Pelham, Larchmont or 
Harrison. There was at that time no Soutli Nor- 
walk, but at the Xorwalk station a horse car line 
ran to the Borough of Xorwalk. 

The time table of that year, a bit of yellow paper, 
printed on both sides and only six by ten inclies in 
size, is among my possessions. The difi'erence be- 
tween that modest little aflfair and the through time 
table of to-day, with its sixty-two pages, represents 
the difference in the importance of the road then and 
at the present time. 

This was before the days of consolidations and the 
inconveniences of transportation of half a century 
ago have been eliminated by the union of corporation's. 

We take a parlor car at X^ew York, and in five 
hours, liaving had all the comforts of a delightful 
journey, step out at the South Station in Boston. 
But on this little yellow time table there is no assur- 
ance that the Boston express — there were two daily — 



would ever carry you beyond New Haven. That 
was the end of the hue and upon arrival you were 
turned over to another road. If the trains made 
good connections you might expect to reach Boston 
in seven hours, including ten minute stops for refresh- 
ments, at such points as Hartford, Springfield and 
AVorcester. You were in charge of a new set of 
trainmen, without uniforms, and vou ioffoed on over 
a rough roadbed, dodging hot cinders from the engine 
and swaying back and forth in the narrow rigid seats. 

There existed scarcely a community of interest 
between the New Haven road, seventy-two miles 
long, and the other roads of the State. The first 
train out of New York left at 7 a. m. and passengers 
for the Danbury & Norwalk R. R. were told to 
take that train and change cars at Norwalk. The 
same remark was made of the Housatonic, the Naug- 
atuck and New London R. R. Companies. Each 
was an in.dependent concern, never waiting beyond its 
time of departiu'e. Tlie New Haven road simply 
suggested, but not in words, "we will take you where 
you can find another railroad and you take your 

Rut the road was making money and paying ten 
per cent dividends, with a good surplus in the treas- 
ury. Indeed the law makes it compulsory to pay to 
the State all railroad earnings in excess of ten per 
cent unless the same is required for equipment or 
roadbed. It is needless to say that the State has 
never received a dividend. There were enough op- 



portunities to make improvements and one of these 
was in new locomotives. 

When Xo. 27 came out the directors gave Currier 
& Ives of Xew York a commission to make litho- 
graph prints, in colors, of the engine and they were 
ffiven away to friends of the road. It was a lioht 


affair, with a great l]ulging smoke stack, the driving 
wheels painted a gay red, but half the weight of an 
ordinary yard engine of the present day. 

In the spring of 1868 two parlor cars were put on 
the Boston express trains. These it was believed 
would add materially to the comfort of the traveler. 
These cars were of the English Coach model, divided 



into compartments with a door from eacli opening 
onto the running board. They were called "New 
York" and "Boston" and left each city about eight 
o'clock. They were supplied by the Wagner Parlor 
Car Co. They were never popular and the following 
year one was destroyed in a train shed fire and the 
other w^as withdrawn. 

The club car was unknown in those days but cer- 
tain commuters who desired to play cards occupied 
their own camp chairs in the baggage car. These 
chairs Avere in charge of the baggage master, who had 
little else to do, and his compensation was a generous 
Christmas collection. This was the origin of the 
present club car service. 

The location of the Greenwich station in 18.59 was 
about seventy feet north of the present site but the 
building now in use is the same, enlarged and im- 
proved, when the four tracks were laid in 189.3. 

It was a quiet si)ot, where that old station stood 
fifty years ago. Henry Sackett's great farm barn 
across the road, south of where the Daly building 
now stands, gave forth an aroma of the country as 
the passengers left the train and walked past it on a 
lane twelve feet wide to Greenwich Avenue. There 
was always one hack in attendance, owned and oper- 
ated by William Elliott. He was a man of various 
responsibilities, for besides being the hackman he 
was the ticket agent, baggage master an,d hotel pro- 
prietor. He was just such a bustling type of thin, 
sinewy man as one finds to-day occupying?; similar 




positions, at remote little stations in ^Nlaine and New 

In those days there was no telegraph station and 


At ag-L- of 1() 

it was years afterwards before the Adams Ex])ress 
Co. took any notice of Greenwich. 

It was ]Mr. Elliott's custom to sit on the station 
platform during the long- summer days, fighting flies 
and dozing away the time l)etween trains, while the 
bovs would sneak up behind him and tickle his ears 



with a tiiiiotliy liead. When they tired of this, they 
would go down under the stone arch, after which the 
street has since heen named, and, hurrvino- alonu' the 
dusty road in their haste to get into the water at 

the head of the creek, shed 
their clothing, one ])iece 
after another, until there 
was scarcely a ]3ause be- 
fore they were nude and 

But the hoys' fun was 
considerably curtailed af- 
ter Mr. Elliott employed 
William H. A¥allace as 
an assistant. Although 
''Billy" Wallace was then 
only sixteen years old he 
felt the res])()nsibihties of 
his position and the hoys 
had to stop fooling around 
the station, although it was 
several years before the swimming hole was aban- 

Tliere wasn't much for young Wallace to do but 
])aint the chairs and scrub the floors, but he made the 
old station such a model one that it attracted the at- 
tention of the officials. His reputation for cleanli- 
ness must have been well established among the school 
children, for I know that the following incident actu- 
ally occurred: One day Charles H. Wright, the 



Age of J4 


principal of the public school, was walking along the 
track with a favorite scholar. The summer sun was 
just sinking in the west as the man and hoy looked 
ahead at the glittering rails and exclaimed "How 
beautiful!" At their feet 
the iron was dull and tar- 
nished but where the sun- 
light struck tliem, in front 
of the station and down 
at the Field Point cross- 
ing, the rails shone like 
burnished silver. 

"It is the finger of God 
in the sunshine, my boy. 
that turns this homely 
iron to those threads of 
silver," said the teacher. 
The boy replied, "Oh, no 
scouring 'em." 

However, ]Mr. ^Vallace secured the confidence of 
the officials and became the first liaggage master at 
the station. Then he succeeded ]Mr, Elliott as ticket 
agent and from freight conductor to conductor of one 
of the finest throush trains, he finally became assist- 
ant superintendent, which position he held for many 
years, with an office at New Haven. He died at his 
home on ^Nlilbank Avenue April 5, 1906. 

In those days there were no through freight trains ; 
one local that ran down in the forenoon and back 
at night. Conductor Jones was in charge with old 


\s Asst. Sunt. X. Y., X. H. & H. 
H. R. 

Eillv Wallace has been 


engine No. 10. He knew everybody on the line and 
after his freight was loaded he was sometimes reluc- 
tant to leave till an especially good story was told. 

The milk train down at 10.30 at night was some- 
times used by passengers who occupied the caboose. 

The conductors and brakemen were not compelled 
to wear a uniform, the only mark of their official posi- 
tion being a piece of metal, fastened to the front of 
the cap marked "Conductor" or "Brakeman." But 
the conductor then had all the responsibility of run- 
ning his train, while now tlie trains are controlled by 
tlie tower men. They were often the recipients of 
presents from commuters in the form of gold watches 
and lanterns of rich cut glass, bearing the name of the 

The cars were low, and covered with a flat roof, with- 
out ventilators, with very small windows and lighted 
])y four coach lamps containing coal oil. This ab- 
sence of light recpiired the conductor to have a lantern 
on his arm while punching and collecting tickets and 
reading by the passengers was impossible. At each 
end of th.e car was a long wood stove, by the side of 
which was a wood box, usually flUed with white birch. 
The brakeman attended to the fire and "broke" the 
train at the call of the engineer by two sharp whistles. 

Every train carried a "water boy" whose duty it 
was to go through the train occasionally and su])])ly 
the passengers with water carried in a tin receptacle 
resembling a watering pot, without the rose, and sur- 
rounded by half a dozen glasses in tin brackets. 



JNIany of the old time conductors rose from the humble 
post of water boy, entering the service at the age of 
fourteen. , 

It was certainly no easy task to travel and yet I 
recall one occasion when I rode with my father over 
the "Old Colony & Xewport R. R.," such rolling stock 
as I have described was referred to as the ''luxuries of 
travel" and so it was in comparison to the stage coach 
and canal which, as means of transportation, had been 
abandoned but comparatively few years. 






PRIOR to 1870 Riverside was unnamed and 
Sound Reach was Old Greenwich. A century 
earher it was "Old Town." All that portion of the 
town now known as Sound Reach is historic ground. 
In 1640 it was called Monakawaye, that name oradu- 
ally limiting itself to the point, which, a few years 
later, hecame Klizaheth Xeck, which name it retained 
for many years. I^ater, it hore the name of Old 
Greenwich Point and J. Kennedy Tod calls it Innis 

It received its first Knglish name from Klizabeth 
Peaks, who, under the first Indian deed, hecame a 
part owner of that territory and with lier husl)and, 
John Peaks, lived on the beautiful point. "Good ]Ma 
Peaks," as she was called, w^as a daughter of John 
Winthrop, who was (xovernor of ^lassachusetts w^ith 
little intermission from 1(580 until his death in 1649. 
She and her husband, with Capt. Daniel Patrick, 
Capt. John Plnderhill, JefFre Perris, and a few 
others, were the first settlers of Greenwich and they 
established themselves along the shore of the Sound. 

Patrick and I^nderhill were fighting characters and 
gallantly shared with Ca])t. John ^lason, another 




fighting man, the liardsliips and glories of tlie Pequot 
War in 1637. The other settlers were men of peace. 

Feaks and Patrick came to Greenwich early in 
1640. Tliey were acting under the authority and in 
behalf of the Colony of Xew Haven and they at once 
opened negotiations with the Senawaye Indians for 
the purchase of land for a settlement. The red men, 
caring less for land than^ for coats and blankets, were 
quite willing to part witli their ancient possessions, 
and on July 18, 1640, they formally executed to Feaks 
and Patrick a conveyance of a large tract including 
all of what is now Sound Beach. This deed was un- 
recorded for forty-five years, when it took its place in 
Vol. 1, page 1, of the Greenwich Land Records, where 
the copy now is, yellow and faded with, age but per- 
fectly legible, under a magnifying glass, and signed 
by old Amogorone, whose name is now associated 
with the Greenwich Fire Department. 

In the early sixties there was nothing but open 
fields, beautiful trees, along the highways and a mag- 
nificent view at Sound Beach. Of course it had 
farmers and they Mere prosperous, because tlie soil 
was wonderfully productive — the place often being 
called the garden spot of Greenwich. The soil is 
black, free from ledge or bowlder and well adapted 
to the cultivation of celery, strawberries and aspar- 
agus. When it was out of season on the farm there 
was an oyster boat in the cove near by, for the Sound 
Beach farmer plowed the sea as well as the land. 

The old Ferris homestead, still standing, was at the 



entrance gate of tlie Sound shore, where scallops in 
large quantities were caught after the first of October. 
Durinii" the warm summer days after the hay had 
been gathered and the potatoes hoed for the last time, 
the farmers from Greenwich and Stamford, and some 

even from Bedford, made 

it a point to give their 

a» «- families an outing on the 

' *-- broad beach or they would 

camp out for a week or 

^ Uvo un.der the great oaks 

'^, / ,^ that grow on the point. 

Riverside had no rail- 
road station until about 
1870. Both the station 
LIKE A. LOCKWOOD and the ])ost office were 

is;33-i905 established through the 

efforts of Jeremiah W. Atwater and Luke A. 
Lockwood. JNIr. Atwater and his family came 
to Greenwich from Brooklyn and bought a house 
and lot of Titus ^lead on February 27, 186.5. 
The place was located on the west side of North 
Street and is now owned by William F. H. I^ock- 
wood. jNIr. Atwater was a commuter on the railroad, 
having a real estate office in New York. Some three 
or four years afterwards he moved to wdiat is now 
Riverside and fjegan the active development of that 
part of the town. He bought large tracts at what 
were considered large prices but what he sold brought 
him a good profit. He also engaged in house con- 



struction, building some of tlie ]) houses in River- 
side and thus improving his land was better able to 
dispose of it. , 

He was verv ODtimistic and althouoh the hard 


times of 1873 and the years that preceded the re- 
sumption of specie payments made his schemes of 
development more difficult, he never lost courage but 
was always confident that in the end he would "come 
in a sure winner," as^ in fact, he did. 

Luke A. Lockwood, a New York lawyer who lived 
at the old homestead and died November 20, 1905, in 



the house in wliich he was horn, gave to ]Mr. Atwater 
hearty encouragement and thus were estahhshed the 
railroad station, a post office, and St. Paul's chapel, 
now an Episcojjal Church independent of Christ 
Church, organized originally as a private corporation. 

The growth and importance of Soun.d Reach may 
he largely attrihuted to tlie efforts of Amasa A. 
^larks. He w^as a New York manufacturer and 
business man, who came to (Greenwich and, on Janu- 
ary 12, 187'i, bought of Charles Hendrie, Jr., about 
twxnty-five acres of shore front land for $10,500. 
The price he paid for the land shows that he was a 
])ioneer. The man who sold him the land was a native 
and tlie old homestead still stands, a beautiful 
example of an old-time mansion. 

Mr. Cliarles Hendrie had a brother, J. W. Hendrie, 
who is well remembered by his neighbors at Sound 
Reach. He was a graduate of Yale College, a mem- 
ber of tlie famous class of 1851, and upon receiving 
his degree he embarked for California. In the city 
of San Francisco, where he was early a large land- 
owner, lie became rich from the profits of the gold 
mines. The law school building at Yale, known as 
Hendrie Hall, was his gift. 

INIr. INIarks and Mr. Hendrie, who in those early 
days spent a few months each year at the old liome- 
stead, cooperated as far as possible in the improve- 
ment of the roads, the construction of a new school 
building and in manv other ways made their influence 
felt in the community. ^Ir. INIarks left a son, Wil- 




liam 1.1. ]Mark.s, who is still a resident of Sound 
Beach, heing the public spirited owner of Laddin's 
Rock Farm. George E. JNIarks, another son, who in 
his younger days was a civil engineer in town, is now 
a resident of New York City. 

The advent of the railroad in 1848 led many of the 
old residents to believe that a station would be located 
in that neighborhood. Gilbert ^larshall resided in 
the house still standing nearly opposite the present 
Sound Beach station. He owned considerable land 
in that vicinity and it was his desire to have a station 
at that point. 

It is difficult to imagine for whose accommodation 
it was required, but JNIr. Marshall was determined to 
get the station and he got it — on the map. In his 
deed of a part of the right of way he had his lawyer in- 
sert these words: "Said Com])any is to esta))lish a 
"regular stopping place on said land and if said Com- 
"pany should fail to use it as a passenger depot for 
"three months at any one time after said road shall 
"have been completed between New Haven and New 
"York, then the said land shall revert to and ])ecome 
"the property of said ^Marshall." 

The old man told me it was just as strong as 
Charles Hawley could write it and still the station 
remained a promise unfulfilled for thirty-one years 
and long after the old man had passed away. For 
years before his death I often saw him standing at tlie 
south door as the train rattled by looking as if he was 
still waiting and expecting the long deferred statioi^. 




THE Greenwich Hospital on Milbank Avenue 
occupies land wliere formerly stood the Octagon 

In the spring of 1859 this house stood alone in a 
wide territory of farm land. It had been built about 
two years. ]Mason Street, then called on a map in 
the Town Clerk's office "First Avenue," had not been 
opened and Milbank Avenue from Putnam Avenue 
to Davis Avenue was called I.,ove I^ane, sometimes 
jMill Lane. South of that it went by the name of 
Second Avenue. 

Aaron Woolsey and Edwin Mead owned all that 
tract north of Elm Street bounded on the east by jNIil- 
bank Avenue, on the west by Green-wich Avenue and 
extending nortli to the Mason property, now Lewis 
Street. This land was all very productive and from 
the Octagon House was an unbroken view, south and 
west across fields of timothy and grain. 

Solomon S. Gansey built the house from plans 
claimed by him to be original. He said he expected to 
build a house of an entirely new and original style 
of architecture and the plan as first drawn showed 
one more story than was finally constructed. The 



third story for lack of funds was omitted and the 
cupola occupied its place. 

Jacob T. Weed had an inn at the head of (xveen- 
wich Avenue, in those days, and among those who 
made the inn a place of rendezvous, particularly Sat- 


urday nights, was the builder, ]Mr. Gansey. When 
JNIr. Gansey showed the plans to INIr. Weed, the latter 
suggested that the house be built out of plumb, so as 
to resemble the leaning tower of Piza. INIr. Gansey 
told JNIr. Weed that he didn't know what he meant, 
but that he had a suspicion that JNIr. Weed was 
laughing at him. 

However, the house construction, went on with its 



windows and doors on eight sides, till it was com- 
pleted in the imperfect manner already described. 

Brnsli Knapp was a native of Greenwich who, 
when he was a youth, had left the Round Hill farm 
for Xew York City. He became wealthy as a whole- 
sale grocer and in 1850 retired, and purchased of 
A\^illiam I^. I^yon seven acres and a dwelling house 
on Xorth Street, now the property of Cornelius 
Mead and lately occupied by George Guion. 

On the second of April, 1859, he bought the 
Octagon house of George A. Palmer for $5,000, in- 
cluding one and one-half acres of land. The same 
month lie bought of Aaron Woolsey of Bedford, 
N. Y., for $1,500 five acres adjoining his first pur- 
chase. At that time the opening of Avhat is now ]Ma- 
son Street between Elm and the present I^ewis Street 
was somewhat uncertain, as shown by jNIr. Knapp's 
deed which reads as follows : 

"In case the said Brush Knapp and adjoining 
"owners shall deside to keep it (First Avenue) per- 
"maiiently closed then eacli party shall own to the 
"center of said First Avenue, opposite the land owned 
"by him." 

It was about ten years before this portion of ^Nlason 
Street was opened and it held the name of First 
Avenue till 1881 when it was extended north to Put- 
nam Avenue and the street, for its entire length, 
named ]Mason Street. 

jNIr. Knapp had been an active business man in 




Xew York and for those days had amassed a fortune. 
He was pleased with tlie location and surroundings of 
the house, but he often stated that when the place was 
new to liini he had to take his bearings with some care, 
lest in attempting to go out at the front door he 
emerged at the back door, so confusing was the con- 
struction of his eight sided house. 

Mr. Knapp 
was a man of 
excellent judg- 
ment and was 
active in the 
management of 
Borougli affairs, 
occui^ying the 
position of Bur- 
g e s s ma n y 
terms. His keen 
business instinct 
enabled him as 
the Borough 
grew to sell off 
from time to 
time portions of 
his original purchase until he had gotten his money 
back several times over, and still retained his home 
with ample ground. 

AVhen ^lason Street was opened from Elm Street 
to Lewis Street he built one of the first houses on the 



At 75 


street, wliere his daughters, Amelia and INIartha 
Kna])p, lived for a luimber of years. The house is 
now owned by David K. Allen. 

In 1885 JNlr. Knapp sold the liome to ^lary War- 
ing INIead and went to live in the JNIason Street house, 
where his last days were spent. 



THE oi.D :miij, at stonybkooke 

THE first house north of Cornehus Mead's on the 
road to Stanwich is th.e home of George P. 
Waterbnry, known as Stonybrooke, and recently 
purchased by J. Howland Hunt. One huncb'ed and 
seventy years ago this road was called the By- 
field Road. No one knows why it ])ore that name, 
but it is fre(juently mentioned in the early land records 
and may have referred to a road l)y a field, at a time 
when cleared ground was rare. 

The house, which stands on a knoll beneath an an- 
cient elm, looks out across a merry brook and down 
a road, curving betw^een moss-covered stone walls. 
Beyond this road, with its graceful curves, is a broad 
stretch of meadow% called in the old deeds "the Hook 
land," and still farther away the trees of a dense 
forest meet the sky line. 

The first settler on this spot, tlien common land, 
was Caleb ^lead. He was born in 1G93 and tradition 
has it that he was forty-one years old when he built 
the first house at Stonybrooke. It was on the exact 
spot where the present house stands. In 17.50 at the 
age of fifty-six Caleb jNIead died, leaving three sturdy 
sons, Caleb, Jeremiah and Titus. 



Caleb, the father, left a will by which he gave all 
his land, divided and undivided, "lying in Greenwich 
Township, Fairfield County, Connecticut Colony, in 
New England," to be equally divided between his 
three sons, above mentioned. After his death the 
l)oys made division of the huid by the exchange of 
quit claim deeds, and the homestead went to Jeremiah. 

The following year, 1751, Jeremiah tore down the 
old house, and using some of the ohl frame. ])uilt the 
western half of the ])resent house. Tlie tire])Iaces 
in the kitchen and living-room and in tlie chambers 
above are suggestive of a time when tliey were the 
only means of cooking tlie food and warming the 
house. The eastern half of the house lias been built 
within the last sixty years. That portion of the 
liouse first built, reveals massive oak beams, wrought 
iron nails and handmade latches and hinges that tell 
of house construction methods one hundred and fifty 
years ago. 

It is pr()ba])le tliat al)out this time the mill site on 
the property was first utilized. 

While the dam was rebuilt in 1880 and bears that 
date, it is well known that the new dam gave place 
to one of more ancient construction and by some it has 
been claimed that Caleb Mead, the first settler, made 
use of the water j)()wer for a cider mill, traces of the 
foundations of which are still pointed out in the 
orchard south of the house. It is more likely, how- 
evei", tliat the first use of the water power was for a 
saw mill. It is known that many of the earliest 





houses in Greenwich were supplied with material 
sawed at tliat mill. Jeremiah Mead ran the mill and 
managed the farm during his life. 

His son, Edmund JNIead, taking up the work after 
his death, raised a familv of twelve children. The lat- 

Power for the churn and ice-cream freezer 

ter consisted of six hoys — James, Reuhen, Allen, Al- 
fred, Edmund and Irving, and six daughters, I^aura, 
Eunice, Anna, livdia, Emeline and Samantha. 
Upon the third son, Allen, the father of Dr. Beverly 
E. JNIead, devolved early in life the management of 
the old mill. He measured the lumher and therehy 
learned to solve manv a mathematical prohlem which 



the school l)oys of those clays could not master. He 
learned music when musical attainments were not 
looked upon ^\■ith favor by the hard-working farmers, 
but Allen caught many a spare moment among the 
logs around the old mill to study the art of music 
as taught ])y Lowell Mason, a famous Boston teacher 
who had a class in Stamford. 

Eater, the farm descended to the son, Edmund, 
who ran the mill for many years and died at the old 
place IMay 9, 1893. He was the father of Irving 
Mead of Stanwich and of jNIrs. John H. Banks of the 
Borough. It was less than thirty years ago that the 
mill wheel was st()p])e(l and the old mill was given 
over to the storage of plows and liarrows. It was 
torn down about 1909. 

The illustration shows how the old building rested 
aoainst a "reat tree. But for that tree it would have 
fallen several years before it finally Ijecame unsafe. 
It was probably the last of its kind near the village 
and it was an interesting relic of the generations that 
have gone before. 





IN an early chapter, reference has been made to tlie 
old Davis mill. It was a great disappointment to 
me that it had to be torn down, becanse I always 
loved the old mill. I caught eels under its great 
wheel before I was ten years old. I dove from the 
rocks into the pond, and swam with the tide through 
the race-way and as I grew older I fished for snap- 
pers from the window on the south side. I knew 
every mysterious nook and cranny in tlie old building. 

But at last it grew so weak with age that it was 
no longer safe to allow it to stand. The upper part 
of the building was sound. Every timber and plank 
in it were hewn from the native forests and the marks 
of the adze were visible. Some of the oak was as 
hard as bone, but the sills and the lower floor timbers 
had for so many years felt the direct influence of the 
salt water that they w^ere thoroughly decayed and 
there was great danger of a complete collapse. 

The mill was built in 1705. At that time Church 
and State were closely united. Ecclesiastical prop- 
erty was town property. The meeting house, as the 
name indicates, was used for both religious and secu- 
lar purposes. The minister was supported by the 
taxpayers, and the town meeting hired and discharged 



as it saw fit. Rev. Joseph ^Morgan was the minister 
in that year and hy a vote of tlie town, January 9, 
1704, he was oranted the privilege of hnilding a mill 
on Cos C'oh river. 

The stream referred to as Cos Coh river was some- 
times known as Brothers hrook and later Davis' creek. 
jNIany have supposed that the river referred to is the 
creek at Cos Cob, but in tliis they are mistaken, ms 
that was always called in the records the "JMyan.os 

The grant to build the mill was accorded to Mr. 
^ioi-gan with a view to aiding in his support, and as 
a convenience to tlie inhabitants who wanted their 
corn ground. Rut the mill was very profitable and 
it became a serious (|uestio]i with the deacons of the 
church whether "Sir. ^lorgan was not devoting less 
time to the s])iritual interests of his ])arish and more 
to the I'unuiiig of the mill than was best for those 

The town had given to ^Ir. Morgan thirty acres 
of common land and a liouse lot where the village is 
now located, and the people thought he should be 
tliere most of the time, rather than at the mill. 

There was, however, a difference of opinion as to 
whether ^Ir. JNIorgan was justified in his course and 
therefore at a town meeting held July 20, 1708, it 
was voted to leave the matter for decision to the minis- 
ters of the County, very much as such differences in 
these days would be settled. 

Ebenezer Mead and Caleb Knapp were appointed 


i\ f» 

-45 J 

1 :iM 


a committee to lay the subject before the united min- 
istry of Fairfiehl County and the result was adverse 
to Mr. Morgan. The ministers decided that ^Ir. 
JNIorgan ought to hire a competent miller, while its 
owner should attend to the spiritual wants of his 

The matter was decided with great jjromptness, 
but ]Mr. ^Morgan showed a reluctance to yield and on 
the 27th of August. 1708, the town voted that :Mr. 
JNIorgan must obey or the committee should hire an- 
other minister by "ye last of September." 

However, ]Mr. ^lorgan held out till the 17th of 
October, when he gave up the fight, stuck to his mill, 
and the committee secured another preacher. 

The mill must have been a source of great profit, 
for after ]Mr. ^lorgan's death it was sold at auction 
for a large price, and what seems very singular to a 
man who had no interests here — to a genuine out- 
sider by the name of Valentine. He lived in Oyster 
Bay, Long Island, then called "Nassau Island." He 
owned a trading sloop, that had frequently made a 
harbor in "Chimney Corner" and in that way Capt. 
Valentine knew of the value of the property and was 
present when it was offered for sale. 

The Valentine family owned the old mill till 1761 
when it was sold to Thomas Davis, who also came 
from Oyster bay. He ran the mill up to the time of 
the Revolutionary war. His two sons, Stephen and 
Elisha, ran it jointly during the war. Elisha Davis 
was a Tory and secretly ground grain for the British 



fleet lying in tlie Sonnd. Stephen Davis remained 
loyal and at the end of the war the State of Con- 
neetient, lieing able to convict Elisha Davis of his 
offense, confiscated his property, which constituted 
the undivided half of tlie mill. 

Afterwards, liy an act of the General Assembly 
and in conformity with the treaty of peace with Great 
Britain, Stephen Davis ])ouoht back the sliare which 
liad been taken from liis l)r()ther and for many peace- 
ful years thereafter the wheel went round with every 
tide for the convenience of tlie people and the profit 
of Stephen Davis. 

For more than a century thereafter, the white- 
aproned miller that lifted the sacks of grain in at 
the old Dutch door and passed back tlie meal into 
the waiting ox cart, was a Davis. 

Ste})hen Davis was laid at rest with his father on 
the liillside, in the woods just north of the railroad 
and was followed by his sons and his grandsons, all 
millers. Tliere was Silas, Walter the "Commodore," 
Henry and last of all, Edward, who died in the winter 
of 1891. 

He loved the old mill but he realized that its end 
had come and the day before the demolition began 
he went all through it in his half blindness. He 
passed his hands over the girders and the floor timbers 
and stroked the long shingles as though they were 
creatures of life and knew him and realized the part- 
ing hour. The warming pan, the old brass andirons 
and the ancient clock of his forefathers were all in 



the mill, but were taken out witli tender care and not 
long since I saw the clock, now more than two liundred 
years old, still ticking- the time away in the shop of 
Henry Schifferdecker. 

Although the old mill is gone, all the surroundings 
are much as they were fifty years ago. The winding 
road with the wayside well, the pictiu'esque Avails, 
the granite bowlders, mciss-covered and overgrown 
with stunted cedars and climbing vines, the bold and 
Avooded shores up and down the creek all lend a charm 
to Davis Landing that the removal of the old mill 
has not eifaced. 




THE highway commissioner, I.,eon H. Peck, says 
there are about one hundred and seventy-five 
miles of public ways and streets in (xreenwich. 

During the last half century they have increased 
in small proportion to the growth of the town. The 
map of (xreenwich, from a siu'vey made in October, 
1757, and April, 177'i, a copy of which appears in 
Spencer P. jNIead's history, shows practically the 
same highways that ai"e in use to-day. 

As a boy and youth I was familiar with all the 
roads. ^Nlany of the old landmarks have disap- 
peared; the dirt road has been changed to macadam; 
grades have been altered; ancient stone walls have 
been sacrificed to the greed of the house builder and 
curves have been eliminated to accommodate the 
swift moving motor car. 

I like to think of them as they were in other days, 
althou"h we are not without artistic and beautiful 
highways. But fifty years ago all our roads ran 
between ancient walls of granite bowlders, softened 
with the moss of a century and overrun with creep- 
ing vines. The stone fences were one of the prettiest 
featiu'es of an afternoon drive. They were as 



crooked in their winding as the track of an adder. 
They were strangely irregnhir in shape; some h)W 
and some high; some of small stones and some of 
massive howlders. 

jNIany of them would have fallen to the ground hut 
for the tenacious grasp of the ivy that ran in and out 
the fissures of the rock and held them like the strong- 
est mortar. Some of them were so huried heneath 


the foliage tliat only here and there was revealed 
a glimjjse of their mossy surface. It was hard to 
believe that they were the creation of man, and not 
the wild growth of nature. 

JNIany of the roads were shaded and some of them 
w^ere typical "woodsy roads" where the maiden hair 
fern would rustle against the spokes of the wheels 
and the overhanging chestnuts brusli against the 
carriage top. 

The farmhouses all had a look of prosperity. 
The massive chimneys were the style of a century 



before, wlieii the great open fireplace was the only 
method of heating the house. Some of the fields 
were rugged with rocks. The plowman would 
dodge between the ledges and back and go ahead 
again with perfect indifference. The soil was sweet 
and warm l)etween the rocks and the harvest always 

The houses were never connected, l)v woodsheds, 


Avith the barns, as in Xew Hampshire and in many 
parts of jNIassachusetts. The snow has never pre- 
vailed sufficiently in these jjarts to warrant such a 
construction of farm buildings that a fire in one of 
them means certain destruction to all. 

The woodshed was usually a feature among the 
farm l)uildings, although at points near the village 
it had often been degraded into a storehouse for 
broken down farm implements, among which the 
hens would steal their nests and hatch their young, 
out of season and in open defiance. For what 



farmer's boy would hunt for eggs between tlie rusty 
knives of discarded mowing machines^ But in the 
northern part of the town the woodshed continued 
to perform its 
(hity of a century 
earUer. In the 
fall and early 
winter it was 
piled to the roof 
w i t h seasoning 
hickory and ap- 
ple tree wood and 
its 2^erfume was 
easily detected. 
As the shades of " 
evening came on 
one could see the 
thin line of wood 
smoke from the 
great chimney 
and often the 
odor of flap- jacks 
came out at the 
half open door. 

The Greenwich farmers always lived well. I used 
to note the bee skips about the back yard and the 
milk cans upon pegs in the cleansin.g sunlight. 
There were vegetable gardens, apple orchards and 
melon patches. Rows of ^lason jars in the pantry 
told of how they had everything "in season and out." 



Snapshot by Xelson B. Mt-ad 



In other days the walk to Cos Cob was over the 
Post Road unless one avoided the dust in summer 
and the mud in winter by going "across lots" from 
Davis I^anding over the dam and through tlie Isaac 
Howe JNIead farm, now Bruce Park. In laying out 
Bruce Park care was taken to preserve all the natural 
and rustic features of the place, but the removal of 

the old stone fences and 
the construction of invit- 
ing drives has taken away 
all the seclusion that its 
former inaccessibility as- 

South of the Isaac 
Howe Mead farm was the 
farm of Charles JNIead, 
usually known as jNIead's 
Point, for it has a magn.if- 
icent water front. It had 
yielded liay and grain to successive generations of 
Meads. The ancestral home stood not far from the 
present house owned by his sons. Whitman S. JMead 
and Charles N. JNIead. The old house, which was su- 
perseded by the new house longer ago than I can re- 
meml)er, had Dutch doors and a brick oven which 
told something of the family life of those who lived 
there more than a century ago. Like all Greenwich 
farms, it had its potato cellar and once on the key- 
stone of its arch I dug the moss from the words 
"Noah Mead, 1812." The marks of the chisel re- 




vealed the hand of a boy who like the boys of to-day 

had left his name and the date for future generations 

to read. The same boy r-^ — -^■ 

lived to honored manhood 

and died at the age of 


Isaac Howe ]Mead lived 
in the first brick house 
built in Greenw^ich. It 
stood near the road in 
front of the present home 
of WiUiam H. Truesdale. 
Along the lane, for the 
road was scarcely more, 
where this house stood, the oaks are very old and thrifty 
and even in these days artists find many a subject 




Built 18:5;^ 

for their brush. Cos Cob harbor and the Sound are 
in plain sight and to the northwest one could look 
across the fields and over the tree tops, now Avithin 



the enclosure of jNIilbaiik, to the village with its tall 
church spire. 

Just north of the Isaac Howe ^Nlead house, on the 
same road, was a square white house still standino', 

.)()Si:!'ll Ultl'SH 

but now surrounded l)y other dwellings which was 
the lionie of I^ivman ^lead. He was prominent in 
town affairs for many years, and a member of the 

A little farther along, through a road that retains 



all of its former l)eauty, is the old Post Road at Cos 
Cob. Opposite the junction of these roads stands 
one of the old-time mansions, with its four great 
chimneys an.d its chaste and artistic front door im- 


This house and the Ei)hrann Lane, James Waring, and Robert Clark 
houses were the homes at one time of fifty-three children. In the 
Brush Homestead were born all of the fourteen children in the family 
with the exce]ition of Amos, the eldest, who was born in Horseneck 

mortalized by Nutting, the artist. It bears the date, 
1832. The home of Edward ^Nlead, for many years 
it was the center of the social life of earlier days 
when all the children were there to join in the merry 
times that cannot be forgotten. Tliere is only one 
Cos Cob in the world, and that is our Cos Cob. 



A few years ago some one — perhaps more than 
one — conceived the idea of changing the name of 
Cos Coh to Bayport. An apphcation was made to 
the Post Office Department, and the name of the office 


was actually changed to the very common name of 
Bayport. But, fortunately, the railroad company 
declined to change the name of the station. The 
school authorities clung to the old name for the district 
and poor little Bayport was only six feet square, 
being a small part of a small room, where the resi- 
dents of Cos Col) went for their daily mail. 

There are two very old residences in the center of 
Cos Cob and once there was an old tide mill. The 
mill, when it was destroyed by fire January 28, 1899, 
was one of the oldest buildings in town. The two old 



residences are on opposite sides of the road, the one 
on the east side being the Joseph Brush homestead 
which has long since been abandoned as a dwelling. 
The one on the west, belonging to jNIrs. Edward P. 


Holly, is a popular inn. Within its walls are many in- 
teresting pieces of antique furniture. The shining 
brass knocker, on the broad front door, the diminutive 
window panes, the steep pitch of the rear roof and 
the massive chimney all tell their story of the long 

It is said that artists enjoy this inn and JNIr. Hobart 
B. Jacobs tells me that he knows of no better oppor- 
tunity for the use of pencil or brush than amid the 



surroundings of Cos Col). The old mill was a study 
in itself and many a picture has heen drawn of its 
open door with the grist-laden miller within and the 
foaming water below, that had "ground the grist and 
will never turn the wheel again." 

An odd kind of a mill is a tide mill, for it will not 


grind except at the ebb of the tide, and to take it 
at the ebb the miller must ofttimes work at the mid- 
night hour. 

Xearl)y was the Palmer & DufF shipyard. Plow 
many years it was the center of activity at Cos Cob! 
The click of the ship carpenter's hammer and the 
smell of oakum will never depart from my memory. 

Going north from Cos Cob, the Cognewaugh Road 
always had its attractions. It was narrow and 
crooked and the hills were steep. The trees hung 
low and the tangled vines grew close to the track 
of the wheels. It was along such a road that one 
would expect to find abandoned farms, but there were 



never any such farms in Greenwich. There were, 
however, a number of abandoned houses and on more 
than one occasion I found a spot where a house had 
sometime stood and nothing remained but a gnarled 
cherry tree and an overgrown hlac bush, rehcs of 
the front dooryard. The locust trees grew on that 
road and in the spring the 
air was heavy with the 
fragrance of their blos- 

Near some of the aban- 
doned houses , were piles 
of locust, in lengths for 
posts, looking old and 
storm-beaten as though 
they had been entirely 
forgotten and liiid ]io 
value. Years ago — more than fifty — these small 
places ^\'ere occupied by operatives in the rolling mill 
long ago abandoned. 

Th.e Cognewaugh Road enters the North Cos Cob 
Road, not far from the little settlement, with school- 
house and church- that once went by the name of 
Dingletown, perhaps because the cow bells were so 
often heard in that neighborhood. Not far away 
was the home of Elkanah ^lead. It was a great 
white house visible for half a mile down the road. 
Here he lived for forty-eight years. He saw his 
children, that were spared, grow up to honor and 





cherish him in his decHiiing years. How much, of 
joy and sorrow came to him in this home! So much 
that it made liim the sweet-tempered and genial old 
man that everyone loved and respected. 

The heauty of Greenwich is in its valleys as well 
as its hills. There is much life and w^armth hidden 
in the meadows and by the hrooksides. And in 
other days most of the farmers appreciated the 
beauties of n.ature. It is true they were living in 
houses, built by earlier generations, who had had no 
time to look beyond the hay field. In many instances 
magnificent views had been obstructed by planting 
apple orchards or by th.e erection of barns and out- 
])uildings, when perhaps a hundred acres more de- 
sirable for such pin-pose had been left open for culti- 
vation. But they were always quick to admit the 
mistake and to point out the prominent knolls on the 
farm, where a view could be obtained and where, in 
many instances, have since been built fine residences 
for city people who appreciate the country. 

One of these is Benjamin T. Fairchild, who bought 
the sightly Caleb W. Merritt home at North Green- 
wich years before the automobile had made the place 
accessible and furnished it throughout with Colonial 
furnitiu'c. He may drive or ride one of his fine 
horses across to Round Hill, but his automobile, 
never. Down in that deep valley, approached by a 
tortuous road, runs the infant Byram roaring over 
the rocks of an ancient millsite. Here in Revo- 
lutionary days the military operations in Westchester 



County and in Western Connecticut were conceived 
and planned. 

The old mill, which long ago disappeared, was the 
meeting place of the Generals and on one occasion 
in 1781 Washington himself was present to advise 
and encourage. 

Round Hill was always a fascinating place. It 
was so quiet, so rural, 
so peaceful. Perhaps to- 
day it has as many attrac- 
tions as in the past, hut 
they are not (piite the 
same. Grand mansions, 
beautiful lawns, tall 
fences and formidable 
gateways o c c u p y the 
places of many old houses 
with well-sweeps in the 
yards and the simple latch 
gates that led out to the 
road. In the early morning hours the salty, pungent 
odor of the sea-marsh, seven miles away, has often 
been borne to my nostrils by a favorable wind. 

Perhaps Saturday night in Round Hill was no 
different from other weekday nights and yet some- 
times as I drove through that quiet hamlet there ap- 
peared evidences that the week's work had terminated 
differently from that of other nights. The farmer 
boys had tidied up the side-bar buggy and the silver- 
mounted harness, preparatory to the Sunday drive 


BY FIRE DEC. 15, 1895 


with their best girls. The carriage house doors were 
still open, while the pool of water by the grassy wash- 
stand, the rubber boots and the water-soaked overalls 




drip])ing on their pegs told their own story. Round 
Hill was a village with a store, a post office and a 
hill of the same name. To see the hill in all its glory 
one must ascend it at high noon of a clear October 
day and look at the horizon of forest, farms and water 
in one grand sweeping circle. It is now the prop- 
erty of the banker, William Stewart Tod, but once 



eight acres on the summit helonged to Frederick 
Bonner, one of the sons of Robert Bonner, of Phila- 
delphia Ledger fame. 

Fred Bonner was tlie chum of Alexander Taylor, 
Jr., and once, when on the latter's steam yacht, SJcij- 
lark, cruising in the Sound he saw through the glasses 
Round Hill with its single apple tree at the apex. 
Turning to Taylor he said, "Alex, do you see that 
land that lies nearer to Heayen than any other in 
sight? I want to buy it." And within a month it 
was his. 

The old store at Round Hill stood on the west side 
of the road, in those days, but since it has been 
moyed across the way. It belongs to Nathaniel A. 
Knapp, but the name "(). C. Knapp" over the door 
has looked the same since the son was a baby boy, 
making mud pies with his brothers and sisters in the 
little pools about the hitching posts. 




RECURRIXG finally to the farms which consti- 
tuted rural (xreenwich half a century ago, the 
Xelson Bush farm, now Belle Haven, comes naturally 
to mind. In 1882 this farm was put on the market 
at forty thousand dollars. George H. and Henry 
Dayton hought six acres of it for $6,000, which 
brought the price of the balance down to $34,000. 
Subsequently the Belle Haven Land Co. paid that 
amount to the Bush heirs and acquired the land. A 
tract of twelve acres was also ])urchased of Augustus 
1. ]Mead for $12,000, located about where the Hackett 
Day, Wilbur S. Wright, Thompson and Tyler cot- 
tages stand. This made the total original cost of 
Belle Haven, before any improvements were made, 
about $46,000, quite small compared to the price of 
$150,000, paid for the D. Smith iNIead farm in 1907. 
I visited the ground with about a dozen prospective 
stockholders early in the spring of 1883. Xo finer 
day could have been selected for the purpose. There 
was just a reminiscence of winter in the air and the 
soiled snow lay in ridges along tlie north side of the 
stone walls. But the sun was warm an^d the twitter 
of the bluebirds and the joyful whistle of the meadow 
lark, the first of all oiu" song birds, could be heard 



across the fields. The matter of the purchase was 
practically settled that day and Belle Haven, the first 
residence park that Greenwich ever had, was an as- 

^ ~«j%^-„((in«& -m-^.y^ • 



sured fact hefore the cheery trees liad hlossonied. 
Before this, land had been divided into building plots 
such as Rocky Xeck, but this was the first land specu- 
lation that could really claim the name of a residence 
park. In 1882 all the land now included in Belle 
Haven exceptino- the William H. ]McCord property 



and about forty acres besides, was assessed for town 
taxes at $15,490, yielding an annual tax of $193.62. 
The taxes now paid by the various owners at Belle 
Haven amount to many thousand dollars. The 
men who bravely took up the Belle Haven enterprise 
saw many dark days and in 1885, '86 and '87 the sales 
were slow and expenses heavy. There were mo- 
ments, perhaps, when they wished they had taken 
pronounced views against farm land on that spring 
day in 1888. 

Capt. Thomas JNIayo, Nathaniel Witherell and 
Robert M. Bruce were among the pioneers in the 
Belle Haven scheme. It is interesting to think of 
Belle Haven, when it was an open farm many years 
ago. Once I knew an old man who gave his personal 
recollections of the place as it appeared early in the 
last century. On the Byram side of Belle Haven 
was what was known as the Banks lands, consisting 
of 29 acres, and after the park was quite well built up, 
it was bought of Nelson B. INIead for $9,000. This 
occurred in January, 1889. It was shortly after this 
that I had an interview with the old man and his 
recollections are as follows: 

"I enjoyed going down there as early as 1820, 
"when Samuel Bush owned what is now the upper 
"portion of the park. ]My recollection of the old 
"gentleman is very distinct. Never a great talker, 
"he possessed plenty of ideas and the quaint origi- 
"nality with which they were expressed, made it worth 
"all it cost to get them. When alone he said but 




"little, but when I lured him up to Deacon Abraham 
"jNIead's or down to John Banks' he would talk, 
"especially if he got onto the subject of Obadiah 
"Banks' will. Obadiah was the father of nine chil- 
"dren, all of whom grew to full age, and in the early 
"years of the nineteenth centm-y lived in that part of 
"Belle Haven purchased of Xelson B. Mead. The old 
"man died in 1790. He had been jjersonally inter- 
"ested in the Revolutionary war, and the flint-lock 
"gun that hung above the mantel had been his pride. 
"His son, John Banks, and the widow, Elizabeth, 
"never removed it, and I used to see it just as it hung 
"when its owner's silent form was carried out of the 
"narrow south door for its last resting place. Well, 
"Obadiah's will was always an interesting topic for 
"Sam Bush and Deacon Abraham ]Mead. Sam never 
"liked it. He used to say that Obadiah's widow 
"was altogether too restricted in her rights to the 
"farm, and that when he made his will he would pro- 
"vide that his widow should have the use of all his 
"farm for twenty-one years after his death. And 
"that is exactly what he did when he came to make his 
"^Wll along in corn-husking time in 1826. But he 
"used to complain to the Deacon that the widow Banks 
"had too liberal a dower in the use of the house and 
"barn which Deacon ^lead had set out to her in the 
"following language: 

" 'The one-third part of the dwelling house, being 
"the w^est room, with the chamber above said room 
"and one-third part of the cellar, with the privi- 



lege of the entry and chamber stairs to go to and 
from said cliamber, and to bake in the oven; also 
the one-third part of the barn being the west bay, 
with the liberty of the floor to cart in and throngh.' 

"Sam thonght that the mother and girls could 
manage their unity of interest in the oven, but that 
when a sudden shower was coming up and tlie widow 
and her sons, Ben, Daniel, John and Joshua, were 
each getting in their hay, on their respective parcels, 
thej^ were all likely to get a load to the barn at the 
same time and in the strife for the 'liberty of the 
floor' the hay miglit get wet. It was certainly a 
small barn for all that was expected of it, and I 
felt a little sorry to hear that it was torn- down last 
week. Sam Bush at times would tell us of his boy- 
hood days and how, in the summer evenings, he used 
to sit by Obadiah's west door, and count the potato 
laden sloops sail down the Sound. He thought a 
wonderful sight of Obadiah's children, the oldest of 
whom was quite grown, but the little tow-lieaded 
ones were a merry lot and they were in and out at 
the door, off to the barn and back, across the knoll 
to tlie sliore, singing and laughing like school chil- 
dren at recess. 

"When winter came and the snow fell deep in the 
Field Point Road and drifted across the lane. Dea- 
con Abraliam ^lead's boys, Isaac and Zophar, ac- 
companied by the Ban.ks boys with their ox team, 
would join forces in breaking the roads. After 
tlie work was done and the evening chores at the 



'barn accomplished, how natural it was for the boys 
'to retrace their steps over the newly beaten track 
'to Obadiah's home, wliere the glow of the great open 
'fire filled the south room and shone out of the win- 
'dows across the snow, to where the tide had tumbled 
'the ice against the scarred and seamed rocks along 
'the shore. 

"The striped cider mug on the shelf, the apple 
'basket and the pop corn bag, were not greater at- 
'tractions to them than the merry girls gathered in 
'a half circle about the hearth. 

"I remember well just how the old Banks home- 
'stead looked, both without and witliin. In the cor- 
'ner cupboard of the south room was the best blue 
'china, that made a beautiful array, and so precious 
'that to-day the few pieces that remain would almost 
'bring their weight in silver. Their odd but grace- 
'ful shapes were decorated with historic scenes, of 
'which I recall Washington crossing the Delaware, 
'the siege of Yorktown and the landing of Columbus. 
'One could eat veal pie and study history at the same 

"Near the china cupboard was a square mahogany 
'clock, trimmed with brass, that has long outlived 
'its owner, for in a certain ofiice in the village it still 
'ticks the time away. Upstairs, the great canopied 
'bedsteads were piled high with featliers, and the 
'small windows were curtained with the most delicate 
'shades of chintz. There were two pictiu'e mirrors 
'that hung on the wall; one of exquisite design and 



workmanship, representing the fierce marine strug- 
gle between the frigates Gucrriere and Constitution 
in the war of 1812. 

"Tlie Cotistitiition on even keel, her flags flying, 
but her sails riven with shot, was firing with terrible 
effect upon the hapless Gucrriere lying almost upon 
her beam ends, with her foremast gone by the 
board, and her severed shrouds hanging over the bul- 

"Sam Bush bouglit the mirror in New York in 
1813 for his neighbor, Thomas Hobby, and after ^Ir. 
Hobby's death John Banks bought it at a vendue. 
The other mirror was much older, but more crude 
in design and workmanship. It represented a girl 
— a grotesque little thing — with a basket on her arm 
and her forefinger in her mouth. Her rosy cheeks 
and red boots were of the same tint and she stood 
out against a yellow background and beneath a 
scarlet canopy. 

"For more than twenty-five years after Obadiah 
died, his son, John Banks, occupied the old 
homestead, but his brothers Uan, Joshua, Ben and 
their sister Elizabeth from time to time sold their 
lands to Deacon Abraham Mead, till finally in 1825, 
after the deacon had died, John Banks sold the home- 
stead to Isaac Mead, the son of Abraham INIead and 
the grandfather of Nelson B. Mead." 

Just as the old man gave me these facts, with here 
and there some verbal changes and the occasional 
insertion of a date, I have written them. As I sat 



listening to the story I could see him close his eyes 
as though visions of the past filled hjs mind. With 
the present he showed no sympathy, and expressed no 
interest except as it pointed to the past and to those 
who had gone hefore. 

In his anticipations of the future he again saw his 

NKl.SOX lU Sll Il().Mi:.Sl'KAI) 
Belle Haven 

old neighhors. He remembered them as patient, in- 
dustrious, sober. Their hours of enjoyment, aside 
from those given to the cultivation of the soil, which 
was their life, were few. Their integrity was pro- 
verbial and their confidence in tlie honesty and purity 
of their fellow men, unlimited. Sentiment and af- 
fection in their natures were not so much lacking as 
the ability or disposition to express them. 



A sturdy, honest, reputable race were they of 
whom their descendants may well be proud and whose 
sterling qualities very generally have descended to 
the presen.t generation. 





Acker, Abraham, -20, 215 

Acker, Peter, 20; garden and 

homestead of, 23, 122, 153 
Acker, William, drums up recruits, 

Adams, Samuel, 5 
Aiken, Dr. James, 19, 115 
Allen, David K., property of, 289 
Allen Brothers, garage of, 267 
Allaire Engines, used in marine 

service, 20fi, 207 
Americiis Club. 180, 181, 182, 184, 

187, 188, 189, 194; members of, 
— 63, 199, 200, 201, 203, 205, 207, 

Amogorone, 281 
Andrews, Benjamin, 258 
Andrews, (Mrs.) Mary E., prop- 
erty of, 94 
Andrews, Chief Justice, sitting in 

trial. Mead will case, opinion 

of, 50 
Anderson, Walter M., projiertv of, 

Anderson, (Mrs.) A. A., jiropertv 

of, 202 
Andrade, Joseph D. C, 200 
Apples, become a product of 

Greenwich farms, 83 
Apartment houses, Italian, 32 
Arch Street, 26, 117 
Arclendale Sauifarhim, 226 
Artisans, Port Chester, employed 

in Greenwich, 23 
Asten, Peter, 264 
Athelcroft, 94 
Atwater, Jeremiah W., 282, 284 

Bniley, (Mrs.) Henry M., 106 
Baker, Edwin H., residence of, 248 
Balloon frame building, projection 

of causes comment, 122 
Banks, Beniamin, 326, ,328 
Banks, Daniel, ,326, 328 

Banks, (Mrs.) Elizabeth, 325, 328 

Banks, John, 44, 325, 326, 328 

Banks, (Mrs.) Jolui H., 296 

Banks, Joshua, 326, 328 

Banks, Obadiah, homestead of, 
325, 326, .327; will of, 325, 326 

Banks' Homestead, built by Oba- 
diah Peck, 158 

Banksville, 61, 117 

]5anksville stage, connecting link 
with Greenwich, 61 

Baptistrv, donated bv Wm. M. 
Tweed, 1869, 22'^ 

Barber, Amaziah D., 200 

Barker, James, 200 

Barnard, George G., 167, 200 

Barnum, Henry A., 200 

Barnard, JoIiii't., 199 

Barrow's Point, 21,3 

Bars, unknown in Greenwich, 21 

Bassford, Edward D., 199 

Bathhouse, The Tweed, 190, 193 

Bay])ort, 314 

Beck, Frank S. E., 200 

Bedford, 282 

Bedford, Gunning S., 200 

Bedford stage, sto])])ed at Sfnn- 
wich Iini, 6() 

Bell, (Mrs.) Alfred, 106 

Belle Haven, 322, 32,3, 324; objec- 
tion of residents to extension 
of shore road, 44 

Belle Haven Land Co., jirojierty 
of, 322 

Belle Haven Park, 205 

Benedict, (Miss) Belle, 12 

Benedict, Elias C, residence of, 

Benedict, Henry M., 8, 12, 119, 241, 
268; residence of, 155, 158; se- 
cures widening of Greenwich 
Avenue, 120 

Benedict Place. 12, 13 

Benson, Oli'er D.. 139 

Berrien, Daniel, 200 



Betts, John S., 199 

Big Six Volunteer Fire Co., 165, 

Black Republicans, abolitionists so 

called, 1:^5 
Black well's Island, Wni. M. Tweed 

sent to, 2^8 
Black Walnut Tree, the old, 250 
Bleaklev, Andrew, 200 
Bleaklev, Andrew, Jr., 200 
Bonnett, (Mrs.) A. I.eta, ()(> 
Bonner, Frederick, property of, 

Borrows, William B., 200 
Boswell, Henry C, ])roperty of, 94 
Boulders. The, home of F.. li. 

Close, 76 
Bo vie, Fdward, 199 
Bovle, James W., 200 
Bradv, Henry, 138 
Brady, Stejihen, 138 
Braisted, Peter D., 199 
Brennan, Matthew T., 200 
Brennan, Owen W., 199 
Brice, John, 200 
Brinckerhoff, Cajitain Abraiiam, 

183, 187, 202, 206, 261 
Brookside Drive, 74 
Brothers' Brook, 16, 300 
Brown, (Mrs.) F. Kissam, ])ro])- 

ertv of, 95 
Brown,' Martin B., 200 
Bruce Park. 16, 310 
Bruce, Robert M., 237, 264, 268, 

Bruce, (Miss) Sarah, 237 
Briish, Amos M., 19, 115, 242 
Brush, S. Augustus, T21 
15rush, Cliarles, jjropcrty of, 66 
Brush, Edward, pro])erty of, 251 
Brush, Henry L., 23, 121 
Brush, Joseph, 17, 18, 35, 115, 241; 

homestead of, 315 
Brush, (Mrs.) Josei)h, 106 
Brush, S. A., 23 
Brush, Shadrach M., 106; ))roiU'rtv 

of, 121 
Brush, Shubel, granddaughters of, 

66; ])roperty of, 66 
Brush, William, property of, 66 
Buchanan, James, Pres. U. S. .V., 

18, 125 
Buckley, Justin R., 267 
Buffett, Rev. Piatt, 348 
BuflFett, (Mrs.) Piatt. 246 
BuUard, John A., 21 

Burying ground, the Davis, 57, 60 

Burke, Dr. AVilliam, 7 

Burnes, Judge Charles D., prop- 
erty of, 74 

Burns, Dennis, 200 

Burns, Erastus, 137 

Burns, James, 137 

Bush, Xelson, farm of, 205, 322 

Bush, Rebecca, 2 

Bush, Samuel, 325, 326, 328; prop- 
erty of, 324 

Bush, William, 2, 5 

Butt, George W., 199 

Buttermilk Falls, tract so called, 

Button-ball Trees, the old, 153 

Button, (Mrs.) Julia A., 105 

Button, Philander, 105, 194, 207; 
farm of, 1, 86, 194 

Button, Philander (Mrs.), 106 

Byfield Road, the, 291 

Byram, 27, 204, 324 

Byram Point, 27, 204; rural con- 
dition of, 28 

Byram River, 30, 318 

Cameron, Charles, 236 

Canary, Thomas, 200 

Captain's Island, lighthouse on, 

Cardoza, Albert, 167 
Carnochan, John M., 200 
Central Park, Tweed statue pro- 

jiosed for, ^^^ 
Chamberlain, John C, attorney in 

Mead will case, 48, 49 
Chamberlain, John F., 200 
Chapman, John D., owner of 

Round Island, 45 
Charlock, John T., 199 
Cherrfii'ale. Recreation Home for 

Working Girls at, 85 
( 'hiniiiei/s'. the, 94 
Chimney Corner, the, 184, 303 
Choate," Jose})h H., 229 
Cliristensen, Carla, artist, 31 
Cristy, Moses, 268 
Cristv, (Mrs.) Moses, 106 
City "island, 181 
C'a'rk, Dr. J. A., home of, 14 
Clark, (Mrs.) Eockwood P., 106 
Clancy, Lawrence, 199 
Close," Allen H., 90 
Close, E. B. owner of the "Bould- 
ers,'' 76 
Close, Jonathan A., 259 



Close, Samuel, 18, 35, ST, 93 

Coasting, favorite jilace for, 1:21 

Cognewaiigh Road, ;51(), 317 

Cohen, Maver H., JSo; proj)ertv 
of, l-'l," ;?38 

Collier, James W., ;?00 

Colonial Tavern, Mead's, 2U 

Columbia, District of, compared in 
size with Greenwich, :;?5 

Company I, Tenth Conn, ^'olun- 
teers, first to go to war, 130, 
133, 137 

Committee of Seventv, work of, 
161, 174, 17(), :?-'9 ■ 

Congregational Church, old, 19; 
first edifice, 115; second edi- 
fice 1730, 11:3; third edifice 
1798, 11-2; burning of 1866, 115 

Connolly, Richard B., 167, 169, 
173", 175 

Cooney, William, residence of, 98 

Cook, Ada ]\I., property of, 155 

Cooper, "William, associate of 
David Mason. 217 

Copjierheads, Southern symjiathiz- 
ers called, 125 

Cornell, Charles G., 199, ;364 

Corson, Cornelius, 199 

Cos Cob, 17, 25, 26, 54, 88, :?04, 
225, 226, 229, 231, 310, 313, 
314, 316; Harbor, 311; River, 

Coulter, James E., 200 

Courtney, (Miss) Hannah, prop- 
erty of, 154, 155, 156 

Cozine, John R., 2 

Crabs, found at old White Bridge, 

Cretit Viev. sale of, 94 

Cramer Building, 8 

Creamer, Thomas J.. 201 

Cuddy, Edward, 200 

Curtis, Julius B., attorney for H. 
M. Benedict, 19, 120, "134 

Daly Building, 274 

Dam, the old, 12, 14, 16 

Dandi/. horse owned by Judge 

Mead, 34 
Danes, po])ulation in East Port 

Chester. 31 
Danish Club House, Iniilt by Milo 

Mead, 31 
Darrah, John. 213 
Davin, Edward A., 199 
Davis Avenue, 6, 7, 16, 197, 286 


Davis, Abraham B., 2, 5, 259; 

farm of, 1 
Davis' Creek, 54, 300 
Davis Cemetery, 57, 60 
Davis" Dock, origin of, 68; owned 

and held by Davis family, 69; 

litigation over ownership, 69, 

70, 71; jury in litigation over 

ownershi}>, 71 ; witnesses called 

in suit over ownership of, 71 ; 

ownership of Walter Davis, 

sustained 1837, 70, 71 
Davis, Edward, 304 
Davis, Eleanor R., 6; estate of. 6, 

Davis, Elisha, 303, 304 
Davis, Henry, 304 
Davis Landing, 2, 217, 310 
Davis Lane, 197 
Davis Mill, old, 57, 299, 300, 303, 

304, 305 
Davis. Judge Xoah, 176, 177. 227, 

Davis Pond. 16 
Davis, Silas, 2, 25H, 259, 304 
Davis, Stephen, 303, 304 
Davis, Thomas, 303 
Davis, Walter, 259, 304 
Davidson, John McB., 200 
Davison, William, 199 
Day, Hackett, residence of, 322 
Dayton. George H.. property of, 

■ 322 
Dayton, Henry, property of, 322 
Dayton. Jacob, Jr.. 70 
Dayton, John, 22, 90 
Dayton, Mary F., ]>roj)erty of, 238 
Dearfields. 2," 153 
Dearfield, built in 1799, 73; origin 

of name, 73 
Dearfield Drive, origin of name, 

Deep Hole, 16 
Decker, William F., residence of, 

Delano, (Mrs.) Lucy M., 208 
Democratic Party, during war 

times. 125 
Dennis, (Mrs.) Mary, 263 
Denson, Frederick, proiierty of, 18 
Denton. Humphrey, 252 
Derby, Silas, 61, 62; reminiscences 

of, 62, 63 
Dewey, S. Foster, secretary to 

Wm. M. Tweed, 194, 200 
Dewey, William C, 200 



Dimond, James G., 301 

Dingletown, so called, 317 

Dodworth's Band, :.^09, 222 

Docks, the Town, 31 

Dock, the Daniel Merritt, 117 

Dominick, George F., 25i; prop- 
erty of, 41 

Dominick, George F., Jr., 354 

Dominick, James W., 354 

Dominick, William, 354 

Donnelly, Patrick, 315 

Donoluie, Thomas, 300 

Donohue, William, 139 

Douffan, (Mrs.) Amelia J., prop- 
erty of, 69 

Douglas, Frederick, 318 

Draw Bridge, the Cos Cob, 58, 59 

Duane Street, office of Tweed in, 

Dunley, William B., 199 

Durnin, Eugene, 199 

East Putnam Avenue, 11, 153 

East River, the, 338 

E(hf('iro(i(l Inn. 76 

Edf/eirood Park. 73, 76 

Edwards, E. Jay, writer for N. Y. 
Evening Mail. 196 

Eidlitz, Leopold, architect of Con- 
gregational Church, 100, 116 

Electric Eight Co., office of, 193 

Elizabeth Xcck, 380 

Elliott, William. 374, 375, 377 

Ellsworth, Col., shooting of, 135 

Elm Street, 7, 14, 130, 386, 388, 

EIm.<i. The, 154, 157 

Elphick, James, 330, 331 

Elten, Kruseman van, 200 

Elv, William !>., 199 

Engine No. 10, 378 

Engine No. 37, 373 

Enlisting station, the wartime, 130 

Episco]ial Ciiurch, Riverside, 384 

Episco)>alians, earlv, 37 

Execution Light, 181, 313 

Farley, Terence, 199 

Farms, early iminciunbered, 25 

Farm ]iroducts, 1859, 25; sent to 

N. Y., 26 
Farm prod>ice, earlv shippers of, 

Farmers, early Greenwich, 1, 2; 

average wealth in 1859 of, 25 

Fairchild, Benjamin T., residence 

of, 318 
Feaks, (Mrs.) Elizabeth, 280 
Feaks, John, 380, 381 
Fclter, Henry D., 300 
Fennessy, J. H., property of, 153 
Ferris, Aaron P., j)ropertv of, 335, 

Ferris, Jeff re, 280; homestead of, 

Ferris, Joshua B., attorney Davis' 

Dock Suit, 71 
Ferris, Thomas H., 300 
Ferris, Wm. L., 194 
Fessenden, Sanniel, attorney in 

Mead will case, 46, 47, 49, 50 
Field Point, 111, 305, 256, 277,- 

early settlers on, 38; originally 

conunon land, 37; centre of in- 
terest, 43; cultivation of, 41; 

sales of shore front, 53 
Field Point P(trk, part of original 

Oliver Mead Farm, 37 
Field Point Pasture, 263 
Field Point Road, 326 
Field Point s])rings, 263 
Fields, Thomas C, 200 
Finch, David, 137 
Finch's Island, 182 
Finch, Jared, 137 
I'innev, B. Frank, 14 
First "Avenue, 286, 288 
Fi7-st Presbyterian Church, 93 
Fisk, James, Jr., 200 
Fitz Gerald, Henrv M., 217 
Five Mile River, 203 
Flag pole, erected during wartime, 

126, 139, 139 
Fleming, Charles !>., 300 
Fold, Tiie, a home for children, 84, 

Ford, John J.. 199 
Fort Sumter, fired upon in Civil 

War, 135 
Frear, Alexander, 300 
Freight tonnage, early, 36 
Fre.^h Air Home, opened by Xa- 

tlianiel Witherell, 84 
Funk, Augustus, 300 
Fuiiston, Thomas, 363 ^^ 

Gansey, Solomon S., 133, 286, 287 
Garvey, Andrew J., 199, 226 
Garvev, John, 200 
Genet,' Harry, 233 
Georsii, Adolph E., 300 



Golden, Kphraiiii, 70, 71 
Gordon, Kev. Cieorge A., D.D., 
])a.stor of Second Cong-. 
Church, 110, 111 
Gould, Jay, 200 

Glenville, 2M; woolen mills at, 31 
Glenville Road, divided Mead 

farms, 73 
Grafulla, Claudius S., 199 
Graham, (Miss) Cornelia J., 157 
Graham, John, chief counsel for 

Wm. M. Tweed, ;;?19, ;?^'8 
Graham, (Miss) Mary E.. 157 
Grand Jury indicts Wm. M. 

Tweed, 221 
Grant, the Justus Bush, (iS, (i!) 
Great Hill, owned by Israel 

Knajip, 95 
Great Island, 256 
Greeley, Horace, 26i 
Green, Andrew H., 175, 17(5, 229 
Green Court lun, 5 
Greenwich Academy, 195, 197, 207, 

Greenwich Avenue, 7, ;^0, 22, 23, 
118, 123, 137, 319, 222, 233, 
212, 24:5, 2i9, 266, 267, 271, 
2H6; first purchase of land for 
business ])ur])oses, 22; original 
widening- of, \20 
Greenwich Fire De]>artment, ::?81 
Greenwich Hospital, 28(); property 

of, 154 
Greenwich Library, 8 
Greenwich, ^Mead's History of, 98 
Greenwich & live Steamlioat Co., 

formed 1866, 207 
Greenwich Savings Bank, 22 
Greenwich Trust Co., building of, 

23, 122 
Grigg, John R., farm of, 32 
Grigg Street, :357 
Gurney, A., 184 
Guion George, 2?>S 
Gumbleton, James J., 200 

Hagerty, Edwin M., 199 
Hall, A. Oaklev, 167, 169, 174 
Hall, Charles "H., 181, IS2, 183, 

187, 188, 189, 199 
Hall, Judge, hands down decision 

in Davis Dock litigation, 72 
Halsey, Schuyler, 200 
Hamilton Avenue, 32 
Hanan, John H., property of, 32 

Ilardenbrook, (Miss) Lillie A., 

l)r()]H-rty of, 194, 195 
Harkncss, L. V., property of, 158 
Harnett, John H., :-'00 
Ilarperx' Weekli/, 222 
Harrison, Joseph G., 200 
Harway, James L., :200 
Har\ey, Alex W., 200 
Havemeyer School, 6, 118 
Hawley, Charles, attorney Davis' 

Dock suit, 70, :385 
Hawthorne, origin of name, 31 
Held House, site of old jiotterv 

plant, 38, 257 
Held, Henry, meat market of, x?3, 

\22, 123 
Heml)ol<l, Henry T., 200 
Hemlock Woods, 73, 74 
Henderson, John, market of, 20 
Hendrie, Charles, Jr., property of, 

Hendrie, J. W., ::284 
Hermance, Frank, :?37 
Higgins, A. Foster, 220; property 

of, 98, 198 
Historians, local, X^'II 
Hitchman, William, ;.'01 
Hobby, Ca])tain John, 153, 155 
Hobby, Husted, -.'59 
noJ>}ni Tarerii. 153, 156 
Hobliy, Thomas, 3J8; ])ro]ierty of, 

Hoey, John, 261 
Hoey, (Mrs.) John, J64 
Hoffman, George W.. 229. 230, 231 
Hoffman, John T., Mayor of New 

York 1865, 167, 168 
Hogan, Edward, 199 
Hoggson, William H., residence of, 

Holly, Edward P., 106 
Holly. (Mrs.) Edward P., 315 
Holly, Frank M., M.D., property 

of, 35, 37 
Holly, (Mrs.) Stephen, 106 
Holly, William H., 360 
IfnIIti Inn. 315 
Hohiies, Captain Caleb, 26 
Holmes, Caleb M., 139 
Holmes, (Mrs.) Caleb, 106 
Holmes, Frank, 2\ 
Holmes, Reuben, characteristics 

of, 96; ])roperty of, 95 
Holmes, Isaac, Jr., 252 
Homestead IlaJJ. origin of. 33 
Hook lands, the so called, 291 



Horse Neck, :26; origin of name, 

Horse Xeck, HohI)\' ])r()i)ertv in, 
154 ■ 

Horse Xeck Brook, 77; territory 
near, 37 

Horse Xeck Field Point, original 
name, 38 

Houses, muiiber l)uilt and assessed 
up to 1859, 25 

Howard, Henry Waring, 115 

Howe, (Mrs.) "Xehemiah, 10(j 

Howe, William A., KXi 

Hoyt, (Mrs.) Elizabeth H., 10() 

Hoyt, George H., 2()S 

HoVt, Col. Heusted W. li., J3, 194, 
■ 235 

Hoyt, Dr. James H., 267, 268; de- 
livers farewell speech to Co. I, 

Hubbard, Frederick A., 236; home 
in 1859, 11 

Hubbard, Holly, 137 

Hubbard, John, 137 

Hubbard, L. P., J41, 26H; home- 
stead of, 157 

Hubbard, L. P., Jr., enlists in X. 
H. Regiment, 130 

Huelat, Henrv H., 199 

Hunt, J. Hovvland, ^91 

Husted, William A., ^59, 262 

Hvde, Clarence M., property of, 

Hyde, Dr. F. C, i)roi)erty of, 90 

Hvde, Seymour J., property of, 
' 41 ■ 

Ice cream, sold in fish market, 23 
Ice house, first in town, 34 
Indian Chief's Throne, landmark 

at Rocky Xeck, i?58 
Indian Field, Fresh Air Home at, 

Indian Harbor, 121, 184, 194, 205; 

Mead Home at, 38 
Indian Harbor Hotel, 184 
Indian Harlior Point, 256 
Indian Harbor Yacht Clul), 26, 

Ingcrsoll, James H., 174, 200 
Ingersolls', property of, 66 
Innift Arden, 280 
Inslee, Gage, architect, 188 

Jackson, Joseph A., 199 

Jackson, Philij) X., 230 
Jacobs, Hobart B., 315 
Javnes Park, jiart of Grigg.s' farm, 

Jerman, George, 138 
Jerman, AVilliam, 138 
Jerome Park, 218 
John Romer, the, 63, 64, 206, 207, 

208, 209, 211, 212, 213, 214, 

215, 216 
Johnson, William, solicits recruits 

with fife, 130 
Jones, Conductor, 277 
Jones, Edward, 199 
Jones, George, j)ublisher of the 

A". Y. Times, 172, 173, 174 
Jones, James E., 200 
Jones, Dr. Leander P., 196, 236 
Jones, Morgan, 199 
Jones' Stone, 204 
June, Theodore, kept boarding 

scluK)l for boys, 67 

Kearney, pjdward, 199 

Keeler, John E., attorney in Mead 

will case, 47, 48, 49 
Keenan, Patrick H., 199 
Kernan, Francis, 174 
Keyser, John H., 200 
Kimmons, John, 187 
Kimmons, Richard, 187 
King, John T., 199 
King, Professor, 264 
Kinne\', Francis, 199 
Kirk, "Lewis J., 199 
Kirk]>atrick, Thomas, 200 
Knapp, (Miss) Amelia, 14, 289 
Knapp, Brush, 8, 13, 288, 289, 290 
Kna}))), Caleb, .300 
Kna])]), Israel, jiropertv of, 95 
Knai)p, (Miss) Martha, 289 
Knaj)]), X'athaniel A., property of, 

Kna]))), Odle C, 233, 321 
Koch, Josei)h, 200 

I>addin's Rock Farm, 285 

Lafayette, General, 244 

Lafayette Place, 126, 129, 244, 246 

I^ake Avenue, 207 

Lawrence, Charles I^., 200 

Lawrence, Rt. Rev. William, 
Bishop of Mass., decries use 
of stained windows, 65 

Leeds, J. W., 267 

Lciio.r House, 20, 156, 244 



Lewis, Beale N., 15(3; property of, 

156, 15T 
Lewis, Rev. Dr. Isaac, 15(5, 346, 

247, 248; residence of, 118, 

154, 244, 245, 246, 248 
Lewis, (Mrs.) Elizabeth, widow of 

Rev. Dr. Lewis, 157 
Lewis, (Mrs.) Hannah, wife of 

Dr. Lewis, 247 
Lewis, (Miss) Mary Elizabeth, 247 
Lewis, Roswell AV.", 246 
Lewis, (Miss) Sarah, 247 
Lewis Street, 244, 245, 249, 286, 

288, 289 
Lewis, Zachariah, 246 
I^exino-ton Avenue, 8, 14 
Lincoln, Abraham, Pres. U. S. A., 

18, 35, 140, 144 
Lincoln Avenue, 8, 1,3 
Lincoln's Inn, so called, 242 
Linslev, Rev. Joel H., D.D., Pastor 

2nd Cong. Church, 105, 108, 

112, 133, 239 
Linwood. 202, 219, 220, 2^2, 223 
Llnirood, the vacht owned bv Wni. 

M. Tweed, 202 
Lockwood, Beniamin, property of, 

23, 121 
Lockwood, (Miss) Harriette L., 

property of, 66 
Lockwood, i.uke A., 233, 282, 283 
Lockwood, I^uke V., 267 
Lockwood, Oliver, grocery of, 23 
Lockwood, "William F. H., ^iroji- 

erty of, 282, 283 
Lowe, Charles E., 200 
Long Island Sound, 153, 181, 183, 

188, 203, 263. 280, 282, 311; 

view of, 11, 14, 20, 32. 37, 91, 

99, 155, 158; Sound shore 

tract, 32 
Long, Serg. William, 137, 139 
I,ove Lane, 6, 16, 196, 197, 198, 286 
Lower Landing, 26 
Lyon, Augustus, 156, 259; property 

of, 253 
Lyon, Daniel, farm of, 27 
Lvon, Captain William L., 23, 122, 

123, 267; property of, 122, 288 
Ludlow Street Jail, 194, 219, 229, 


Macgregor, Jameson, 199 
Maher, John, property of, 86, 91 
Maher Avenue, 251 

Maine, soldiers from State of. 12() 

Main Street, 17, 120 

Mallory, Charles, 28; ]>ro])crty of. 

Mallory, Henry R., 28 
Mania roneck, 203 
Mann, Rev. Joel, ex-pastor of 

Second Cong. Church, 109 
Mann, Commodore Geo. 15., 181, 

187, 199 
Mansion House, the, 156 
Ma])le Avenue, 98, 218, 250, 251 
.Markets, Early, o])en only in the 

forenoon, 23 
Marks, Amasa A., 284 
Marks, George E., 285 
Marks, William L., 285 
Marrenner, Edward. 199 
Marshall, Drake, 137 
Marshall, Gilbert, residence of, 285 
Marshall, Henry B.. 6, 129 
Marshall, William, 137 
Marston, Edgar L., property of, 32 
Martin, Dr. Carl E., pro])erty of, 

Mason, David, 246, 247, 248 
Mason t'arm, the, 14, 15 
Mason, Jeremiah, 247 
Mason, Captain John, 280 
Mason, (Mrs.) Mary E., 244, 246, 

Mason, Myron L., 235 
Mason, Dr. Theodore L., 14, 20, 

244, 247, ^'48; farm of, 1 
Mason Street, 13, 14, 154, 244, 249, 

286, 288, 289 
Mayo, Captain Thomas, 36, 207, 324 
Mayo, (Mrs.) Rebecca R., 36 
McCabe, Francis, 200 
McCann, Charles, 137 
McCann, John, 137 
McCord, William H., jiropcrty of, 

McCunn, John H., 167 
McCutcheon, James, 45 
McFadden, Parmelee J., estate of, 

McGarigal, John, 199 
McGowan, James, 200 
McGowan, John T., 200 
McGuinness brothers, 218 
McMullen, William, 22r); property 

of, 231 
Mc:\Iullen, (Mrs.) Lydia G., 226; 

nroperty of, 225 
McXall, George G., 44 



Mead, Deacon Abraham, 38, 3-25, 

Mead, Alexander, 106 
Mead, Alfred, :39,5 
Mead, Allen, 295, 396 
Mead, Alvan, 8, 158, 359; property 

of, 157 
Mead, Amos, 345 
Mead, Andrew, 93 
Mead, (Miss) Anna, 395 
Mead, Arthur D., 106 
Mead, Augustus, 33 
Mead, Augustus, son of Isaac 

Mead, 38; farm of, 33 
Mead, Augustus, son of X. B. 

Mead, 34-; residence of, 336 
Mead, Augustus I., 34; property 

of, 333 
Mead, Judge Augustus, 35, 3() 
Mead, E. Belcher, home of, 91 
.Alead, Dr. lieverley E., 336, 395 
Mead, Caleb, 391," 393 
Mead, Caleb, Jr., 391 
Mead, (Miss) Catherine, 336 
Mead, Charles, -26; farm of, 310 
Mead, Charles X., 310 
Mead, (Miss) Clari.ssa, 105 
Mead, Cornelius, property of, 388, 

Mead, (Mrs.) Cornelia J.. 90 
Mead, Major Daniel Merritt XVII, 
22; cai)tain of Co. I, 26, 130; 
sword ji resented to, 134; ex- 
tracts from diary, 133; re- 
turns dying, 139; death and 
fimeral of, 140 
Mead, (Mrs.) Daniel Merritt, 106 
Mead. Daniel S., 130, 359; property 

of, 117, 190, 357 
Mead, Daniel 8., Jr., property of, 

Mead, Daniel Smith, 6 
Mead, D. Smith, 6, 346; farm of, 

1, 6, 333 
Mead, D. Snuth, 2nd, 7 
Mead, Dr. Darius, 103, 348 
Mead, (Mrs.) Deborah, 79 
Mead, Drake, 26, 333 
Mead, General Ebenezer, sees Gen. 
Putnam esca])e from British, 
1779, 86 
Mead, Pev. Ebenezer, half brother 

of Theodore H., 87 
Mead. Edmund, 395, 396 
Mead, Edmund, Jr., 395 

Mead, Edward, home of, 236, 227, 

329, 230, 313 
Mead, (Mrs.) Edward, 105, 106 
Mead, Edwin, 7, 386; property of, 

Mead, Elkanah, administrator. Es- 
tate of Judge Mead, 36; home- 
stead of, 317 

Mead, (Mrs.) Elsie, 76 

Mead, (Miss) Emeline, 395 

Mead, (Miss) Eunice, 295 

Mead, Frederick, 103; property of, 
103, 154, 158, 159, 196, 197 

Mead, Hanford, 121 

Mead, (Miss) Hannah M., 106 

Mead, (Mrs.) Hannah, i)r()i)erty 
of, 9() 

Mead. (Miss) Hannah P., 80; leg- 
acies of, 83 

Mead, Henry, 245; property of, 

Mead, Henry, military fimeral of, 

M<'(nrx Hintory. 306 

Mead, Isaac, 38, 336, 338 

Mead, Isaac Howe, farm of, 16, 
84, 310, 311, 313 

Mead, Isaac L., 106, 346; l)ui]ding 
of, 20 

Mead, Irving, 295, 296 

Mead, (Mrs.) Jabez, 106 

Mead, James, 295 

Mead, Jared, property of, 154, 158, 
262, 263 

Mead, Jeremiah, 291, 292, 295 

Mead, Job, 76 

Mead, Deacon Jones, 27, 105; death 
of, 39; Estate of, 27, 29 

Mead, Joshua, 96 

Mead, (Miss) Laura, 295 

Mead, (Mrs.) Laura, 80 

Mead, Lot, 26 

Mead, (Miss) Louisa, 106 

Mead. (Mrs.) Lucy Mumford, 93, 

Mead, (Miss) Lydia, 395 

Mead, I^'man, part donator of 
sword, 134; homestead of, 

Mead, Lyman, meadow, 60 

Mead, Matthew, 21 

Mead, Mark, 27, 29; property of, 

Mead, Mary Waring, property of, 

>'ead, Merwin, farm of, 14 



Mead, Milo, ;-^7, -'9, SO; licld in es- 
teem by Danes, '.m 
Mead, Xelienilali, Jr., J52; property 

of, 25 J 
Mead, Xelson B., 34, 328; property 

of, 324 
Mead, Oliver, 26, 3S, 183; conten- 
tion over will of, 43, 45, 46, 47, 
48, 49, 50, 51, 52; Estate of, 
41; farm of, 37; Errors, Su- 
preme Court of, decides for 
jierfect title to Oliver Mead 
farm, 45; last will and testa- 
ment of, 42, 43, 44, 4(), 47, 51 

3Iead, Oliver D., 43, 44, 117, 257 

fJead's Point, 310 

Mead, Richard, 73; homestead of, 

Mead, Reuben, 295 

Mead, Robert Williams, 241; ad- 
vocates new church building, 
100; home and interests of, 
102; builds Second Cong. 
Church, 10:2 

Mead, (Miss) Samantha, 295 

Mead, Sanford, 207, 212, 214; Pres- 
ident Greenwich & Rye Steam- 
boat Comjiany, 63; property 
of, 253 

Mead, Silas Merwin, 7; farm of, 1 

Mead, Solomon, 90, 9(5, 97, 198, 220, 
241, 24(), 256, 259, 262, 265; 
early residence of, 98; later 
residence, 99; farm of, 98 

Mead, Spencer P., XVII 

Mead, Dr. Sylvester, 115 

Mead, Theodore H., characteristics 
of, 86, 88, 89; farm of, sold by 
order of Probate Court, 90; 
speculations of, 88, 89, 90; 
property of, 16, 86, 223 

Mead, Theodore, 86 

Mead, Colonel Thomas A.. 2, 16, 19, 
26, 77, 233, 246. 259, 262; home 
of, 153; loans to Theodore H., 
90; buys old Cong. Church 
building, 115; farm, 1, 15, 73, 

Mead, Thomas R., military funeral 
of, 139 

Mead, Titus, 291; Town Treasurer, 
92; hill so called, 92; will of, 
93; property of, 1, 86, 92, 95, 

Mead, Whitman S., 310 

-Mead, Rev. William Cooper, D.D., 

L. E. D., 87 
Mead, William Henry, 266 
Mead, William J., 233 
Meadville, origin of, 30 
Mead, Zaccheus, 26; characteristics 

of, 78, 80; ])roperty of, 1, 

73, 74, 75, 77; prjvisions of 

will, 79 
Mead's Lane, Zaccheus, 15 
Mead, Zaccheus, 2nd, 76, 78, 259. 

Mead, Zophar, 38, 106, .326; one of 

original settlers, 37 
3Iechanic Street, 115 
Meeting House, the old. 154, 158 
iNIenendcz, ,1. M., property of, 91 
Merritt, Calel) W., farm" of, 318 
Merritt, Henry A., coiulitions gov- 
erning his ]nirchase of dock 

property. 31 
Merritt, Josej^h G., 197 
Merritt, John H., 23 
Merritt. (Mrs.) Lewis A., 106 
Metro])olitan Museum of Art, site 

of. 178 
Mianus, 17, 26, 155 
Miaiuis River, streams that join, 

Middle Patent, hills of, 61 
Milbank, 15. 91, 195, 202, 312 
Milbank Avenue, 196, 198. 277, 286; 

origin of name, 196 
Milbank, Jeremiah, 198; jirojierty 

of, 221 
Milbiink, (Mrs.) Jeremiah, donates 

Town Clock, 196 
Milbank, Joseph, property of, 32 
Milk, jiresent im])ortations of, 27; 

shi))ments of, 26 
Miller, David, 200 
Miller, George S., 200 
Miller, James L., 199 
Mills, George H., 106 
Mill Lftne, 2H6 
Minor, Sheldon E., 44 
Mitchell. George H., 200 
Monakawaye, 280 
Morgan, Rev. Joseph, 300, 303; 

pastor in first house of wor- 
ship, 112 
Morrell, Simeon, 203 
Morton House, 184 
Mosher, Isaac, pro])erty of, 225 
Mozart Hall, established by Mayor 

W(>(k1, 162, 167 



Mulberry tree, old landmark on 
Greenwich Avenue, 137 

Murray, Rev. William H. H., 140, 
201, 212; birth and early days 
of, 141, 143; characteristics 
and life of, 141, U2, 143, 144, 
147, 148, 149, 150; delivers ad- 
dress of welcome, 108, 109, 
110; pastorate at Greenwich, 
141 ; sermons and writings of, 
144, 145, 147, 148, 150, 151, 152, 
312; lectures in Ray's Hall, 

Murray, (Mrs.) W. H. H., 141, 
144, 151 

Mvanos River, 300 

Nast, Thomas, cartoonist for II ar- 
pei-'s Weeklif, 171, 180, 221 

News Boys' Lodging House, estab- 
lishment of, 178 

New Haven, excursion on the John 
Rnmer to, 209, 210, 211 

New Lebanon, docks at, 30, 31 ; 
school district of, 31 ; Sage of, 
29; origin of name, 30 

Newman and Hewes, 17 

Newport, 205 

New York, Munici])al and ])olitical 
affairs from 1834-1873. Ifil, 
1()2, 1H3, 165, lfi(i, 107, 168, 169, 
170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 
177, 178, 179 

Nichols, Milton C, property of, 88 

Nichols, (Mrs.) George E., 250 

North Brother Island, 214 

North Castle, hills of, 61 

North Cos Cob Road, 317 

North Greenwich, 318 

Northport, 202 

North Street, 26, 94, 251, 288 

Norwalk, 203; horsecar line at, 269 

Norwalk Islands, visible from Solo- 
mon Mead homestead, 99 

O'Brien, James, 172, 200 
O'Brien, William K., 199 
O'Connor, Charles, 174, 229 
O'Connor, Chris., 200 
O'Donohue, Thos. J., 200 
O'Gorman, Richard, 201 
Oak trees. The Oliver Mead, 41 
Ochre Point, 205 


Octagon House, the, 13, 286, 287, 

Old Greenwich, 280 
Old Greenwich Point, 280 
Oliver, John W., 201 
Oliver, Isaac J., 200 
Old Town, 280 
Osgood, George A., 200 
Opera House, 31 

Park Avenue, originally Tracy 

Street, 98 
Park Street Church, Boston, 212 
Parsonage Road, 27 
Patterson Avenue, 251, 253 
Palmer, George A., property of, 

Page, Benjamin, owner (1837) of 

Inn at Mianus Landing, 70, 71 
Parker, Dr. Edward O., 11; home- 
stead of, 158 
Parks, Archibald, 264 
Parlor cars, first used 1868, 273 
Patrick, Captain Daniel, 280, 281 
Peck, Benjamin, 21 
Peck, Elia's S., 23, 238 
Peck, (Mrs.) Isaac, 106 
Peck, Leon H., 306 
Peck, Obadiah, 157; property of, 

157, 158 
Peck, Theopliilus, ]iroperty of, 250 
Peck, Prof. Wm. Guv, residence of, 

155; estate of, 158 
Pentland, John, 200 
Pequot War, 1637, 281 
Perry Land, known as, 253 
Phillijis, Arthur, 23 
Phillii)s, T. Augustus, 200 
Piatti, Dr. ^"irgil C, ])roperty of, 

Pick ford, John, Jr., 199 
Pilffrim. the, 215 
Pinneo, Dr. T. S., 106; residence 

of, 121 
Pinneo, (Mrs.) T. S., 106 
Piping Brook, 12 
Piping Point, 26 
Piping Point Road, 117, 245 
Police Headquarters, 117 
Population, 1859, 25 
Port Chester, 27, 208, 211, 256; 

East, 27, 29, 30 
Post Road, 73, 74, 139, 154, 155, 

157, 226, 310, 313 
Post Offices, early, 25, 34, 35 
Potato cellars, old, 310 



Pottery, made bv Deacon Abraham 

Mead, 1790," 43 
Prescott Building, 118 
Prescniirt. owned by H. P. Whit- 
taker, 94 
Probate Court, initial judge of, 34; 

location of, 34, 3(), 235 
Proprietors, original term applied 

to taxjiayers 1725, 357 
Purdy, (Miss) Ann, establishes 

boarding school, 62 
Pumping station, the new, 54 
Putnam Ayenue, 2, 17, 18, 20, 35, 

115, 1:20, 153, 198, 222, 233, 23i, 

2U, 267, 2S6, 288 
Putnam Cottage, 95, 98 
Putnam, General, 90, 244 
Putnam Hill, 86, 87, 153, 155, 218, 

Putnam Terrace, 14 
Pyne, John, 200 

Radford, Stephen I.., 26 

Radicals, Republicans called, 125 

Railroads, early, 266, 267, 268, 269. 
270, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 

Railway stations, four in Green- 
wich, 25 

Randall's Island, or])han children 
from, yisit LinwoocI, 222 

Ray, George S., wheelwright, 93 

Read, Charles B., 74 

Read, Ephraim, 180; property of, 

Red Rock, 209 

Regattas, in Tweed's day, 203 

Reynolds, Abraham, 26 

Reynolds, Augustus N., 26 

Reynolds, (Mrs.) Augustus X., 106 

Reynolds, Gideon, 106 

Reynolds, Frank, V. R., house of, 
" 13, 14 

Reynolds, (Mrs.) William T., 106 

Riker's Island, 213 

Ritch, Thomas, 150; pro])erty of, 

Ritch, (Mrs.) Thomas, 106 

Riyers, (Miss) Frances M., 151 

Riyerside, 25, 280, 282 

Roads, ancient, 306, 307, 308, 310 

Rogers, William C, 200 

Round Hill, 37, 117 

Round Hill Farms Dairy, 129 

Robbins, George, 138 

Robbins, William, 138 

Roche, Walter, 199 
Rockefeller Park, 8, 220 
Rockefeller, Percy A., property of, 

Rockefeller, William G., projierty 

of, 253 
Rock Ridge, 73, 76; oldest house 

in, 78; appraised yalue of, 83; 

sale of, 84; becomes site of 

Fresh Air Home for children, 

Rocky Xeck, 26, 117, 183, 190, 257, 

258, 323 

Rocky Xeck Company, the, 257, 

259, 260, 262, 265 

Rocky Xeck Point 1836, Map of, 

Rocky Point, 184 
Rockwood Lake, 65 
Root, Elihu, junior counsel for 

Wm. .M. Tweed, 219 
Roseyelt, George W., 199 
Roslyn, 213 
Round Island, 111, 180, 182, 183, 

256; potato cellar on, 83, 

182, 262; owned by Oliyer 

Mead, 41 ; pro]>osed purchase 

by Town of, 44 
Round Hill, 288, 318, 319, 320, 321 
Runyan, (Mrs.) Fanny, 263, 264 
Rural free deliyery, before days 

of, 25 
Russell, Joseph E., 93 
Russell, (Mrs.) Joseph E., 106 
Ryan, James, 200 
Rye Beach, 63 

Sackett, (Mrs.) Anna, 253 
Sackett, Henry, farm of, 274 
Sackett, Justu's, 252 
Sackett, Justus, Jr., 253 
Sackett, Justus Raljin, 254 
Sackett, William H., 253 
Sand's Point, 263 
Sanitary Conimission. has branch 

in Greenwich, 138 
Sarah Thorp, the, 215 
Satterlee, John, 200 
Sawpits, 256 
Sayles, Solomon, 200 
Sciiaffer, Christian AV., 199 
Schaffer, John, 138 
Schaffer, Eouis. 138 
Schaffer, William H., 199 
Schifferdecker, Henry, 305 - • 



Sc-hiriiier, Dr. William, 200, 30i? 
Shipyard, the Palmer & Duff, 316 
Schuyler, Robert, Pres. New Haven 

R. R., 266 
Scofield, (Miss) Eliza J., 106 
Scofield, George E., 115 
Scofield, William, 126 
Scott, John, 199 
Scott, Henry, 138 
Scott, Warren, 138 
Sea CliflF, 212, 313 
Seaman, Charles H., 134, 941 
Seaman, (Mrs.) Charles H., 106 
Second Congregational Church, 37, 

144, 159, 196, 19T, 211, 350; 

anniversaries of, 100, 107; 

Conijiany I assembles in, 133; 

members of, 38, 41, 80, 105, 

134, 311; present edifice built 

1856. 100; remodelled 1900, 

Secor, Tlu'odocius F., 307 
Selectmen, offices of, 333, 335, 236 
Selmes, Reeves E., 300 
Semloh Farm, 66 
Senawave Indians, 381 
Seairaiihfika. the, 313, 313, 314, 315 
Sevniour, (Miss) Susan, property 

of, 157 
ShaiuUey, Edward J., 199 
Shandley, Michael J., 300 
Shannon, Josejili, 199 
Sharp, Jacob, 300 
Shepard, Frank, 330 
Sheep Pen, 15, 16 
Sherman, Roger Miiiot, attorney in 

Davis' Dock suit, 71 
Sherwood, Aaron, 138 
Sherwood, John, 138 
Sherwood, Ste])hen, 115 
Sherwood, (Mrs.) William B., 106 
Sherwood's Bridge, 344 
Sherwood Place, 18, 19, 115, 333, 

Shi]i])ing, ]ioints of, 36 
Shook, Sheridan, 199 
Sidewalks, absence of, 34 
Silleck, Elbert A., 256 
Silleck, (Mrs.) Elbert A., 363 
Silleck, Cleorge, 341 
Sillerk- J/diifie, 363, 363, 265 
Silleck, Thaddeus, 263, 364 
Sillick, Stephen, 115 
Simons, Thomas, 358 
Skating Pond, old, 12 
Slavery, extant in Conn. 1815, 253 

Slosson, Edward, 103 

Slosson, (Mrs.) Annie Turnbull, 

Smith, Daniel, 6; jiroperty of, 257 
Smith, George Jackson, 234 
Smith, Henry, 199 
Smith, John, property of, 257 
Smith, William J., 134, 193 
Sniffin, .lolin, homestead of, 251, 

252, 25:i, 254, 255 
Soldiers' Monument, 133, 233 
Sound Beach, 25, 280, 281, 284, 

South worth, Josei)h, 199 
Spader, John D., 358 
Spring, the old, 118 
Stamford, 63, 256, 282 
Stamford Savings Bank, 368 
Stanwich, 37, 117; location of, 64; 

old church at, 65, 66; old de- 
bating clubs of, 67; tanning 

industry in, 66; East, name ap- 

])lied improperly to Stanwich 

Center, 67 
Stamrirh Inn, the, 65 
Stanwich Road, the, 291 
Staten Island, 318 
Steward, D. Jackson, 103 
Stillson Benevolent Society, origin 

of name, 346 
Stillson, (Miss) Elizabeth, death 

of, 346 
Stonybrooke, 391 
Stonington, 363 
Stoothoff, Stephen A., 13 
Stores, early, 17, 18, 19, 30, 31, 22, 

23, 24 
Stoves, first used in church 1818, 

Streets, imlighted, 34 
Strong, William E., Mayor of New 

York, 179 
Studwell, Capt. Charles, party to 

suit over Davis' Dock owner- 

shi]), 70, 71 
Sturtevant, Newell, 300 
Stynuis, William P., 199 
Simda\-, early observance of, 27, 

159, 160 " 
Sunken Meadows, the so called, 215 
Sweeny, Peter B., 167, 169 

Talbot, Robert, 23; descendants of, 

Talbot, William, 23; descendants 

of, 24 





Tarrytown, 231 

Taylor, Alexander, Jr., '321 

Taylor, Rev. Charles F., installed 

as pastor. 111 
Tavlor, Robert M., 199 
Taylor, W. B., 264 
Tammanii Hall, early history of, 

162," 165, 167, 168, 172, 177 
Teed, Wm. H., tract so called, 

Ten Acres, mill site at, S7 ; skating 

pond, 87 
Thompson, (Mrs.) Amy K., 96 
Thompson, (Miss) Caroline, 96 
Tiiom])son, (Miss) Cornelia, 96 
Thomiison, (Miss) Harriet, 96 
Thompson, James, 96 
Throggs' Xeck, 213 
Tiers, William M., 7, 121 

of, 8 
Tilden, Samuel J., 174, 17,5, 
Tillott, Peter, property of, 
Tingne. William J., 28, 31 
Tod, J. Kennedy, 280 
Tod, William Stewart, jiroperty of, 

Todd, Rev. Abraham, 250, 251, 252; 

residence of, 251, 252, 253 
Toll Gate Hill, 153, 155 
Town Building, original, 36 
Town Clerk, office of, 155, 235 
Town Clock, donated by Mrs. Jere- 
miah Milbank, 196 
Town Hall, old, 233; used as ren- 
dezvous for Company I, 133; 
new, built 1906, 239 
Town offices, old, 19 
Tracy, Hezekiah, property of, 98 
Tracy, John Jay, jirojierty of, 98 
Tracy Street, origin of name, 98 
Trainer, Peter, 200 
Tripler, Thomas E., 200 
Trolley cars, first rini in 1901, 266 
Truesdale, AVilliam H., property 

of, 311 
Tnnul)le, "Billy," 239, 240, 241, 242 
Tutliill, Oscar, ])ro])erty of, 129 
Tuthill Building, 233 
Tweed, Charles, 219 
Tweed, George, 219 
Tweed's Island, 182, 184 
Tweed, (Miss) Jennie, 218 
Tweed, (Miss) Josephine, 218 
Tweed, (Mrs.) Mary Jane, 195, 198, 

Tweed, Man/ Jane, vacht owned liy 
Wm. M." Tweed," 202, 203, 204 ' 

Tweed Price, origin of saying; pur- 
chase of Mead acres by Tweed, 

Tweed, Ric'hard, 218 

Tweed, Wm. M., 63, 86, 199, 202, 
203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 
212, 217, 218, 219, 221, iii, 223, 
225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231 ; 
life and characteristics of, Kil, 
16,5, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 
. 172, 173, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 
180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 187, 188, 
189, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 
198, 199; trial of, 1883, 161, 
176, 177; escaj)e of, 177; 
projiertv of, 257 

Tweed, Wm". M., Jr., 217, 221 

I'nderhill, Cajitain 
L']i]ier Landing, 17 

Jolni, 280 


^'alentine, Ca])tain, 

^"aluation, represented by taxation 

in 1859, 25 
Van Arsdale, P. B., 181, 187, 199 
^'an Brunt, George B., 201 
\'anderbeck, Francis, 199 
Vanderbeck, John, 199 
^'an Tassell, William, 200 
^'oorhis, John, homestead of, 1:.j, 


Wallace, William H., 276, 277 

Walls, ancient stone, 76 

Wall Street, Greenwich investors 

in, 123 
Walsh. Judge James F.. 2, 236 
Walsh, Judge R. Jay, 45, 236 
War Democrats, favor abolition, 

Waterbury, Geo. P., ]iroperty of, 

Watson, James, 199 
Watson, James S., 200 
Webb, Henry, jiroperty of, 91 
Webster, Daniel, 247 
AVeed, Isaac, 7 ; Postmaster to 

1831, 35; projierty of, 8, 121 
Weed, Jacob T., 287; jiroperty of, 

Weed, I.inus, store of, 19 
Welch, John D., Jr., 200 
Wellner, George, 14 
AWIlstcMxl, John G., 264, 268 



West Street, tlie direct road to 
Bedford from the Borough, 67 

Wheeler, William A., Vice-Pres. U. 
S. A., ^09 

White Bridge, the old, 54; money 
found in, 59; rendezvous of 
crab hunters, GO; removed 
about 1880, 57; the robbery at, 
58; wreck prevented at, 1876, 

White House, the, (see also Silleck 
House), 26:2, ^64 

White, Captain, Stephen G., 208, 
209, 213 

White, Stephen G., 217; part 
donator of sword, 134 

White, (Mrs.) Stephen G., 106 

White, Warren P., 208 

Whitnev, Charles A., 264, 268 

Whittaker, H. P., property of, 94 

Williainsbridge, first terminus of 
H. li. P., 269 

Williams, Henrv M., 301 

Williamson, Robert, 195 

Wills, Charles T., 261 

Wilson, John, 138 

Wilson, P. P., writings of, 161 

"Wilson, Thomas, 138 

Winants, Daniel, 200 

Winthrop, John, Governor of 

Mass., 1630, 280 
Witherell, Nathaniel, 80, 83, 324; 

becomes owner of Pock Ridge, 

Witherell, (Mrs.) Nathaniel, 158 
Witherwax, Pilot Billv, 208, 209, 

210, 213, 214, 215 
Wolf, George G., 200 
Wood, Al!)ert H., 201 
Wood, Fernando, Mayor of New 

York 1854, 162 
Woodward, Elbirt A., 200 
Woolsey, Aaron, 7, 286; property 

of," 288 
Working Girls' Vacation Society, 

recreation home of, 85 
Wright, Lieut. Benjamin, 18, 106, 

Wright, (Mrs.) Benjamin, 106 
Wright, Charles H.,'276, 277 
Wright, Pdward J., 236 
Wright, Wilbur S., property of, 


Yard, Wesley S., 199 

Young, Joseph B., 199 

Young, Thomas, tract so called, 

Y. M. C. A. Building, the, 158 



^mckniM dtm/ui« 

^^^ DSC. 65