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Full text of "Representative citizens of Connecticut, biographical memorial"

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1204164 



GENETALOGY COLLECTTON 



3 1833 00826 2195 



REPRESENTAIIYE CITIZENS 



-.2^- 



CONNECTICUT 



BIOGRAPHICAL 
MEMORIAL 





UNDER THE EDITORIAL SUPERVISION OF 

QAMIJEL HART . D. D., D. C. L. 



PRESIDENT OF 



CONNECTICUT HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



EDITION DE LUXE 



THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
NEW YORK 

1916 



FOREWORD 1204161 




*HE historic spirit faithful to the record; the discerning judgf- 
ment, unmoved by prejudice and uncolored by undue enthu- 
siasm : — these are as essential in giving the life of the indi- 
vidual as in wrriting the history of a people. Each one of us 
is "the heir of all the ages, in the foremost files of time." We 
build upon the solid foundations laid by the strenuous efiforts 
of the fathers w^ho have gone before us. Nothing is more fitting, and, 
indeed, more important than that we should familiarize ourselves with their 
work and personality; for it is they who have lifted us up to the lofty posi- 
tions from which we are working out our separate careers. "Lest we for- 
get," it is important that we gather up the fleeting memories of the past, 
and give them permanent record in well-chosen words of biography, and in 
such reproduction of the long lost faces as modern science makes possible. 
The State of Connecticut has been the scene of events of vast import- 
ance, and the home of some of the most illustrious men of the nation. Her 
sons have shed luster upon her name in every profession and calling; and 
wherever they have dispersed they have been a power for ideal citizenship 
and good government. Their names adorn every walk of life, — in art, 
science, statesmanship, government, in advanced industrial and commercial 
prosperity. Their achievements constitute an inheritance upon which the 
present generation has entered, and the advantages secured from so great a 
bequeathment depend largely upon the fidelity with which is conducted the 
study of the lives of those who have transmitted so precious a legacy. 

The province of the present work is that of according due recognition to 
many leading and representative citizens who have thus reflected honor 
upon their State and community. It cannot but have a large and increasing 
intrinsic value, in its historic utility, in the interest attaching to the subject 
matter, and in the inspiration derived from the record of worthies of the past 
who have largely made the Nation and the State what they are to-day. For 
by far the greater part, the narratives embrace detailed information drawn 
immediately from family records, and publishers and readers will alike 
gratefully recognize the interest and loyalty to the memory of their forbears, 
that moved the custodians of such information to thus place in preservable 
accessible form records which would otherwise be lost. 

THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY. 




^y^i'Z^o-^f^^i^O-^L^Z^LLu.y^^^Z 




ilronson Mm\)tx Cuttle 

^UTTLE is a name of great antiquity in England, being derived, 
supposedly, from the word Tuthill (Conical hill), a name 
givenin earlier times to a number of localities in that coun- 
try. The family bearing the name, belonging to these places, 
was particularly prominent in Devonshire. It was from 
Hertfordshire, the parish of St. Albans, that William Tuttle, 
the direct ancestor of Bronson Beecher Tuttle, migrated to 
the New England colonies in the year 1635, and from that time to the 
present, the members of the family have held a prominent place among the 
worthy representatives of their adopted land. 

Eben Clark Tuttle, father of Bronson Beecher Tuttle, was born at 
Prospect, Connecticut, in the year 1806, and lived in that town during most 
of his youth and young manhood, removing to Naugatuck, Connecticut, 
when his son, Bronson Beecher, was thirteen years of age. Eben Clark 
Tuttle was the inventor and manufacturer of the modern "gooseneck" form 
of hoe. His business in course of time grew to very large proportions, as his 
invention entirely supplanted in popular favor the old form of the imple- 
ment. He occupied a prominent place in the ranks of manufacturers, being 
scrupulously honorable in all his dealings, and bearing a reputation for 
public and private integrity second to no man in the land. By his honorable 
exertions and moral attributes, he carved out for himself friends, affluence 
and position, and by the strength and force of his character he overcame 
obstacles which to others less courageous and less hopeful would seem 
unsurmountable. 

Bronson Beecher Tuttle was born at Prospect, Connecticut, December 
28, 1835, and there passed the first years of his life. At the age of thirteen he 
went with his father to Naugatuck, and until the time of his death made it 
his home. He was educated at the well known institution of Mr. Daniel 
Chase, in Middletown, Connecticut, and later at the excellent Naugatuck 
High School under the supervision of I'rofessor Lawrence. Upon the com- 
pletion of his studies in the latter institution, he entered the manufactory of 
his father, and mastered the business both in entirety and in detail. This 
business formed the nucleus of what became the large Tuttle interests in 
many parts of the country. In 1857 the principal business was the manufac- 
ture of hoes, rakes, small agricultural implements, etc., and the malleable 
iron department was a very small concern and simply a side issue to the rest 
of the plant. That year the entire business was burned, agricultural works 
and all, and Mr. Eben Clark Tuttle, and several other men interested with 
him in the Tuttle Hoe Manufacturing Company, decided to turn the entire 
malleable iron industry over to Bronson Beecher Tuttle and John H. Whitte- 
more, each about twenty-one years of age, and they rebuilt the malleable 
iron plant, on the same site, and achieved a high degree of success. They 
continued as partners until about 1894 when a stock company was formed. 
Afterwards they were associated together in business and held common 



2 'Bton0on 15ttciftt Cuttle 

interests in many different things, but not in the relation of partners. Mr. 
Whittemore was early employed in New York City, but lost his position 
through panic times and conditions. Mr. Leroy Hinman, a friend of his 
family, induced him to come to Naugatuck, and then the question came up as 
to building the destroyed iron plant. Later Mr. Tuttle became the president 
of the Pratt Manufacturing Company, at No. 71 Broadway, New York City, 
handlers of railroad track supplies. He became identified with the National 
Malleable Iron Company and with many other industrial concerns. From 
these various important interests he derived in course of time a very large 
fortune, and became a dominating figure in the industrial and financial 
world. Through these concerns, he was also connected with institutions of 
a more purely financial character, such as the Naugatuck National Bank and 
the Savings Bank. He was also greatly interested in Chicago real estate. 

While Mr. Tuttle's life was mainly occupied with great manufacturing 
problems and the industrial development of his own and other localities, he 
was very far from being the type of man, too often seen, who confines his 
abilities and interests solely within the limits of his personal pursuits. On 
the contrary, despite the demands made upon both time and energy by the 
great business interests which he represented, he gave generous thought and 
service to many other personal activities, especially such as would advance 
the welfare of the community of which he was a member. One of the 
valuable bequests made by him to Naugatuck was that of a tract of land 
situated in the immediate neighborhood for cemetery purposes. This is now 
controlled and managed by the Grove Cemetery Association, and it was here 
that four years after the death of Mr. Tuttle, a beautiful mortuary chapel 
was erected in his memory by his wife. 

It was inevitable that one so public-spirited and so disinterestedly con- 
cerned in the public welfare should take a keen interest in the political ques- 
tions of the day. He was a member of the Republican party and very influ- 
ential in its councils, yet taking little part in active politics. Nevertheless he 
did not refuse to do his part in oftice, when called upon by his party, and he 
bore its standard as candidate for the General Assembly. Mr. Tuttle's popu- 
larity and prominence were of a kind to make practically certain his election 
from the outset, and his campaign resulted as was expected. During his 
term in the State Senate he held a distinguished place in that body, and 
worked actively in behalf of the people's interests. 

Mr. Tuttle married, October 12, 1859, Mary A. Wilcox, daughter of 
Rodney Wilcox, of Litchfield, Connecticut. She was born October 3, 1835, 
at Madison, Connecticut. Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle were the parents of one child, 
a son, Howard Beecher, born October 25, 1863. He was graduated from 
Yale University with the class of 1887, and is now a large holder of real 
estate and beautiful farm lands. He married, October 24, 1888, Jeanette 
Seymour, of Naugatuck, daughter of Zerah and Minerva (Manchester) Sey- 
mour. Children: Donald Seymour, born February 4, 1890, graduate of 
Yale University; Muriel Seymour, born September 24, 1891, graduate of 
Westover School; Ruby Seymour, born October 19, 1894, graduate of Dana 
Hall. 

The death of Mr. Tuttle left a vacancy in the community impossible to 



Igron0on IBttcbtt Cuttle 3 

fill. He was one of the most prominent manufacturers in the State of Con- 
necticut. His commercial integrity was ever unquestioned. His estimable 
and forceful character and skilled organizing- powers were given broadly and 
generously to the community at large. His personality with its many 
lovable and admirable traits was revealed to the smaller circle which com- 
posed his family and friends. He was a man of marked sensitiveness and 
quiet reserve which gave to his countenance a suggestion of sternness. The 
stranger might suspect him of being cold and reserved, but in truth the 
warmest of hearts beat beneath his breast, and he cherished a sympathy 
broad enough to embrace entire humanity from the highest to the lowest, 
and to include within it all classes and ranks. His religious affiliations were 
with the Congregational church, and he was a constant attendant, an atten- 
tive listener and devout worshiper. As in all matters with which he was 
connected, he was a liberal supporter of the church, both in personal service 
and by generous giving. In the various benevolences and philanthropies 
connected therewith, he was splendidly liberal. It was characteristic of him, 
however, to so guard his beneficence lest it appear ostentatious, that even 
those benefited by him rarely knew their benefactor. His death, which 
occurred September 12, 1903, though sudden and startling, was not unantici- 
pated by Mr. Tuttle for considerable time, and his friends bear witness to 
the unusual courage with which he faced the last dread reality without quail- 
ing, with a mind prepared and tranquil, and a "conscience void of offence 
toward God and man." 

This sketch cannot be more appropriately closed than with a quotation 
from one who delivered the dedicatory address of the Tuttle Memorial 
Chapel, erected through the generosity of Mrs. Tuttle and opened for the 
use of the public in "God's Acre:" 

He achieved success, not by accident, hut by the constant application of effort, and 
by the continued practice of thrift. His attainment, and it was high, did not separate him 
from the humblest humanity if it were honorable. * * * j^^ could discerningly detect 
shams and he spared them not in sharp, sound judgment. He despised any deference to 
himself for his wealth and asked only to be weighed for his worth. He was absolutely 
loyal as a friend. He was a wholesome example as a father. He was fond and faithful 
as a husband. He was fine as a citizen. He lived justly, loved mercy, and walked 
humbly with God. 





Babft Witlh ^lumb 

I AVID WELLS PLUMB was a member of one of the oldest 
New England families, a family representative of the best 
type which came from the "Mother Country" and estab- 
lished the English people as the foundation of the social 
structure in the United States. Dominant and persistent in 
character and blood, it has given the prevailing traits to the 
population of this country, which no subsequent inroads of 
foreign races has sufficed to submerge, and has formed a base for our citizen- 
ship upon which the whole vast and composite fabric of this growing peoole 
is being erected in safety. The Plumb arms are as follows: Argent. A 
bend vaire, or and gules, between two bendlets vert. Crest. Out of a ducal 
coronet, a plume of ostrich feathers, proper. 

It was sometime prior to the year 1634 when the founder of the Plumb 
family in this country came to the then scarcely established Colony of New 
London and settled there. This enterprising voyager was George Plumb, 
of Taworth, Essex, England. From him David Wells Plumb of this sketch 
traced his descent directly to George Plumb, of Essex, being seven genera- 
tions removed from this ancestor. The steps in this descent were as fol- 
lows: George Plumb, already mentioned; John Plumb, born in New Lon- 
don in 1634, married Miss Elizabeth Green about 1662; Joseph Plumb, born 
in Milford, Connecticut, in 1671. married Susannah Newton; Noah Plumb, 
born in Stratford, Connecticut, 1709, married (first) Abiah Piatt and 
(second) Abigail Curtiss ; David Plumb, born June 25, 1751, married Mary 
Beach, December 29, 1776. This David Plumb, who lived during the Revo- 
lutionary period, was also a native of Stratford, and the grandfather of 
David Wells Plumb. His son was another Noah Plumb, born in Trumbull, 
Connecticut, May 3, 1782, and was twice married. His first wife was a lady 
by the name of Thankful Beach, after whose death Mr. Plumb was again 
married, this time to Uvania Wells, the mother of David Wells Plumb. 

David Wells Plumb, the oldest child of Noah and Uvania (Wells) 
Plumb, was born in 1809 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and in that city passed 
his childhood and early youth, attending the local schools and obtaining an 
excellent education thereat. Upon the completion of his schooling, Mr. 
Plumb removed from Bridgeport to Derby, Connecticut, and there entered 
business. He did not remain in that place, however, but soon went to Anso- 
nia. Derby's near neighbor, and there engaged in a woolen trade which he 
conducted with a high degree of success. He rapidly wrought for himself a 
prominent place in the mercantile world of that region, and came to be 
looked upon as one of the most substantial and progressive business men in 
the associated towns of Derby and Ansonia. He did not confine his business 
connections to his own woolen interests, but became identified with a 
number of important concerns in varying departments of industry. Among 
these were the Star Pin Company and the Silver Plate Cutlery Company, in 
both of which he held the position of president, and the Birmingham 



DaufD dOclIg piiimti 5 

National Bank, of which he was vice-president, and director for twenty-two 
years. He was also president of the Housatonic and Shelton Water compa- 
nies. In his various business interests Mr. Plumb amassed a very consider- 
able fortune, which he was ever ready to expend in the most liberal and 
openhanded manner wherever he saw an opportunity of advancing^ the inter- 
ests of the community at large or any deserving- member of it. The public 
interest was always in his thought and he was the principal mover in many 
institutions of which the people are the beneficiaries. Among these is the 
Riverview Park, a project carried out by himself whereby he hoped to pro- 
vide an appropriate playground for the public. This park was planned bv 
him, the grounds laid out, the site selected and the name given all by him, 
and it was he who supplied the necessary funds for its completion. One of 
his chief ambitions for the community was the founding of an adequate 
library at Shelton, in which place he had taken up his abode, and he con- 
nected himself with the Library Association, an organization with this end 
in view. Of this he became the president, and held the office until the end of 
his life. At his death he willed a large fund to the accomplishment of this, 
his pet design. A brother of Mr. Plumb took charge of this matter and in 
course of time one of the handsomest library buildings in the state of Con- 
necticut was reared and became the home of the Plumb Memorial Library. 
This collection is a great benefit to the people of the town, containing, as it 
does, many departments of literature and art, especially one devoted to the 
formation of the juvenile taste and knowledge. 

About all the life of Mr. Plumb hung the mantle of altruism, and even in 
relations which with others are apt to be wholly selfish, this could be noted. 
In his business and commercial interests, for instance, his own aims never 
obscured the rights and hopes of others from his mind, and the interest 
which he felt in the general industrial development of the community played 
at least as prominent a part in directing his acts as did the consideration of 
the success of his personal enterprises. Certain it is that there have been 
few men more directly connected with the rise of the large Derby and Anso- 
nia industries than Mr. Plumb. He retired from active participation in busi- 
ness to his charming home in Shelton, some time before his death, but to 
such a man as Mr. Plumb idleness was impossible and he continued to work 
at the elaboration of his schemes for the advancement of culture and edu- 
cation up to the time of his death. This sad event occurred June 29. 1893, 
at his home in Shelton, and caused a profound sense of loss not only among 
the members of Mr. Plumb's own family and his host of personal friends and 
admirers, but throughout the community at large, who felt only too keenly 
that in him they had been deprived of a sincere and active wellwisher and 
friend. 

Mr. Plumb married, December 7, 1875, Louise Wakelee, a native of the 
country about Shelton, where she was born. They were the parents of no 
children. 

In personal appearance and character, Mr. Plumb was a man of energy 
and force. His well developed head and firm jaw were relieved by a mouth 
and eye that spoke unmistakably of kindliness and humor. He was a man 
of much original thought, and his interest was busy with the great problems 



6 DatJiD mem piumft 

of the ages, religious, philosophical and social, his opinions on these pro- 
found matters being well worthy of consideration. He was a formal mem- 
ber of no church or sect, but his instincts and beliefs were essentially relig- 
ious and moral, and it may truly be said of him that he was, in fact, a far 
better Christian than many of those who professed more loudly. His experi- 
ence with life from his earliest youth had been that stern one which teaches 
that nothing comes without corresponding effort, and he had accordingly 
ordered his life upon a system of self imposed discipline calculated to best 
preserve the strength and health he knew were essential to the accomplish- 
ment of his ends. 

Perhaps no more fitting ending to this sketch of his life could be found 
than the tribute offered to his memory by his fellow directors of the Birm- 
ingham National Bank, upon the occasion of his death, when they adopted 
the following resolutions: 

Mr. David W. Plumb, for twenty-two years vice-president and director of this bank, 
died at his residence in Shelton, on the evening of the 29th of June last, at the age of 
eighty-four years and nine months. Upon us, his associates and fellow directors, falls 
the duty of placing upon record our appreciation of his work and worth. 

His was a long and busy life, the earlier years of which were years of trial and 
struggle. His courage, his patience and perseverance, and, above all, his indomitable 
will and intelligent determination, overcame all obstacles, and won for him a success 
most richly deserved. With ample resources, so worthily gained, having established 
himself in his new home on the heights, and, looking out from its commanding position, 
as he surveys the scene of his future activity, this thoughtful man doubtless outlines the 
plan of his life. His purpose is revealed in the important part taken by him in carrying 
to destined completion that great public work known as the Housatonic Water Com- 
pany ; in fostering and encouraging new enterprises ; in adding another name to the long 
list of towns made strong and prosperous by the thrift and energy of New England 
manufacturers ; in contributing to the endowment of a hospital in the place where he 
was born ; and in the gift which made possible and actual a public park in the place 
where he died. 

As in adversity he had shown himself equal to all its exigencies, so his spotless 
integrity, sound judgment, independence in thought and action, coolness in time of 
financial or other excitement, and faithfulness to duty, revealed him equally equipped 
for the difficulties, may it not be said, greater difficulties, which prosperity brings. As 
adversity could not depress, so prosperity could not elate him. Mr. Plumb was a man 
of character, strong character, simple in his tastes and ways, of pure life, happiest at his 
home. His fondness for reading and a most retenitve memory made his knowledge 
extensive, accurate and responsive to call. I-iis opinions were his own, and when formed 
were not easily changed. 

Summoned many times by a confiding constituency to the legislative councils of the 
State, his fidelity was as conspicuous as his knowledge of the needs and aids, which wise 
legislation should supply, was varied and accurate. With him public office was indeed 
a public trust. In his death this bank has lost an intelligent, efficient, faithful officer, one 
who, believing that the acceptance of office involved the obligation of fulfilling strictly all 
its duties, was uniformally present at its meetings, and by his watchful care and wise 
council rendered invaluable service to this institution. 

The members of this board keenly feel the loss of a courteous and most intelligent 
member, associating with whom has given them the highest appreciation of his character 
and worth. To the family of Mr. Plumb they tender their sincere condolence, and direct 
the secretary to transmit to them this expression of their own loss and their sympathy 
with them in their bereavement. (July, 1893). 




3(of)n ilotoarli Igaiiittemore 

'OHN HOWARD WHTTTEMORE, whose death. May 28, 
1910, deprived Connecticut of one of her most prominent 
and useful citizens, and the industrial world of one of its 
most successful organizers, was a member of an old English 
family which has been traced back to the twelfth century 
and which, from that time onward, has held a distinguished 
position, whether in the land of its origin or in that new 
world which its members, in common with so many hardy compatriots, saw 
fit to adopt. 

The original family name of Mr. Whittemore's ancestors was de Boterel 
(or Botrel), and the first to bear it, of whom we have record, was one Peter 
de Boterel, who flourished in Stafi^ordshire, England, during the middle part 
of the twelfth century. The family, not long after, were given the name of 
the locality where they resided, after the well-nigh universal habit of the 
time, and so became known as Whitemere, a name signifying white mere or 
lake. This spelling was gradually altered and modified, taking many forms 
until the present form of Whittemore was reached. This was not fixed, 
indeed, until after Thomas, who still called himself Whitmore, had come 
from Hitchin, Hertford county, England, in or about 1639, and settled in 
Charlestown, Massachusetts. His descendants continued to reside in that 
locality until 1698, when one of them removed to Mansfield, Connecticut. 

This was Joseph Whittemore, the great-grandfather of John Howard 
Whittemore. In the following generation the family removed to Bolton, 
Connecticut, where they remained a considerable period. Rev. William 
Howe Whittemore, the father of John Howard Whittemore, having been 
born there in the year 1800. The career of Rev. William Howe Whittemore 
was a most honorable and useful one. He was a clergyman of the Congrega- 
tional church, having graduated from the Yale School of Divinity, and 
afterwards had charge of a number of important churches in Massachusetts, 
Connecticut and New York State. For fourteen years he was pastor of the 
Congregational Church of Southbury, Connecticut, and it was while living 
in that town that John Howard Whittemore was born, October 3, 1837. He 
was the third of the four children born to the Rev. Mr. Whittemore and his 
wife. Maria (Clark) Whittemore, a member of one of the oldest New Haven 
families, and one which had distinguished itself in the history of Connec- 
ticut, both as a Colony and State. 

John Howard Whittemore spent his childhood and early youth in the 
town of his birth, attending the local Southbury schools until twelve years 
of age, at which time he was sent to the well known school of General Wil- 
liam H. Russell, at New Haven, known as the Collegiate and Commercial 
Institute. He continued four years there, preparing himself for college, it 
being his intention to enter Yale University. This intention was, however, 
abandoned and he turned instead to a business career, securing a position 
at the age of sixteen years in the firm of Shepard & Morgan, commission 



8 Joftn l^otoarD 2at)ittemote 

brokers. It would have been difficult to find two more capable preceptors in 
all matters pertaining- to the principles and detail of business procedure than 
the two members of this firm, they being Elliott F. Shepard and Edwin D. 
Morgan Jr., and it is very obvious that the }oung man profited by their 
instructions in a degree which drew their favorable attention to him. It is 
obvious from the fact that, upon the dissolution of Shepard & Morgan in 
1857, Mr. Whittemore was at once oflfered a position in the house of the elder 
Mr. Morgan, well known as the "war governor" of New York. He did not 
remain long in this employ, however, removing his residence to Naugatuck, 
Connecticut, as he supposed temporarily, though as a matter of fact it was 
to continue his home for the remainder of his life. 

It was here, in the following year, 1858, while Mr. Whittemore yet 
lacked something of his twenty-first birthday, that he formed an association 
which was to continue through life, and introduced him to the industrial 
career with which his name is so closely identified. This is the great mal- 
leable iron business in the development of which he was so important a 
figure, that his history might almost be said to be that of the industry for 
many years. His manner ol entrance into this line was through securing 
employment with the E. C. Tuttle Company. This work he supposed was 
but temporary, but his handling of it gave so much ground for satisfaction 
that he was still in the firm's service when a few months later the plant was 
destroyed by fire. How great was the favor he had already won in that short 
employment may be gathered from the request of Bronson B. Tuttle, a son 
of E. C. Tuttle, that Mr. Whittemore join him as partner in a new firm 
to be founded. Mr. Whittemore had not desired or intended to remain 
in Naugatuck, his great fondness for New York City urging him to return 
there, but in the light of the serious depression at that time in the business 
world, he felt that it was the part of wisdom to accept this ofifer, and accord- 
ingly the firm of Tuttle & Whittemore was constituted. The art of making- 
malleable iron castings was just beginning to receive attention, and the firm 
of Tuttle & Whittemore was among the first in the country to take up the 
invention in a practical manner. The attempt prospered from the outset and 
the concern grew as did the malleable iron industry, until it became one of 
the largest of its kind in the country. In 1871 it was incorporated under the 
name of the Tuttle & Whittemore Company, and in 1881 it became the 
Naugatuck Malleable Iron Company, with Mr. Whittemore as president, an 
office which he held for upwards of twenty years. As the business of the 
company increased, Mr. Whittemore's influence and prominence in the 
industrial world of the country became very great, and his interests gradu- 
ally widened until they embraced foundries and manufacturies throughout 
the United States. Besides those in Bridgeport these included concerns at 
New York, New Britain, Troy, Sharon, Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis 
and Toledo, in the management of all of which he took an active part, and 
acted as a director of each. 

It was not merely in the malleable iron industry that Mr. Whittemore's 
business intrests lay, however, but throughout the financial world generally 
that his influence was felt. He was a director in the Landers, Frary & Clark 
Corporation and the North and Judd Manufacturing Company, both of New 



3Iol?n IDotoarP mmtemott 9 

Britain, a founder and director of the Naiigatuck National Bank, a trustee 
of the Naugatuck Savings Bank, and he served as president of the Colonial 
Trust Company of Waterbury. He was also the owner of very large real 
estate interests in Chicago and other places. Perhaps the office which gave 
him the most satisfaction, because of the immense concerns at stake, was his 
directorship in the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, and his 
membership upon its executive board. He was a man of very powerful per- 
sonality and the most progressive designs, and after the year 1905 he occu- 
pied a leading place among his fellow directors of the railroad. It was to 
him that the great improvements made in the service after that period were 
due, and especially in the facilities given the people of Naugatuck and 
Waterbury, and the Naugatuck Valley generally. 

Great as were his services to the industrial development of his State and 
the country at large, it is an open question if his most characteristic, and 
even his most important work was not of a more local nature. His great 
efforts toward the beautifying and embellishing of the communities in which 
he lived are of course referred to, efforts occupying a large portion of his 
time during the latter half of his life, and crowned with the most splendid 
success. He was a man of the keenest appreciation of nature, and coming 
in contact with the notable work of Charles Eliot, a son of Dr. Charles Eliot, 
of Harvard, in the direction of landscape architecture, he had his attention 
strongly turned toward that delightful art. He at once conceived the idea 
of applying its principles on a great scale to the problem presented by the 
town of Naugatuck and of Middlebury. where he had established a beautiful 
summer home. These two places and the whole region between were the 
subiect of the most extensive operations, designed to increase the beauty of 
the neighborhood and utilize every natural advantage already enjoved there. 
In Mr. Eliot, and after that gentleman's death in Mr. Warren H. Manning, 
of Boston, Mr. Whittemore found most able lieutenants and assistants in 
the carrying out of his schemes, which in their completion have given a 
unique character to the places involved. Taking his Naugatuck and Middle- 
bury homes as starting points, he gradually put into operation plans which 
involved the cutting of new streets, the planting of trees, the constructing of 
new and the reconstructing of old buildings for public use, all with the end 
of creating and developing a civic centre and the shaping of the entire neigh- 
borhood to an artistic unity with reference to this. Nor was it merely the 
two comnmnities in which his homes were situated that were subjected to 
this treatment. His plans of an even larger mold, contemplated the beauti- 
fying of the whole region. Large tracts of land were acquired to insure 
the continuance of attractive outlooks, entire neighborhoods were cleared 
or planted to increase the natural beauty of the prospects offered by the coun- 
tryside, and changes on a large scale instituted along the line of the Nauga- 
tuck and Middlebury highroad. Under the influence of these far-reaching 
operations, the entire section of country has taken on a new and unique 
beauty, a beauty due to the brilliant mind which conceived and the energetic 
will which carried into effect so large and original an idea. In regard to the 
actual influence for good wrought by all this it would be appropriate to 
quote from the very interesting account of the work written by Mr. Man- 



lo 3Iof)n l^otoarD mbitttmoxe 

ning, who, as above noted, had it in charge after the death of Mr. Eliot. 
Says Mr. Manning: 

Although his field of effort was intentionally limited, the indirect influence of the 
man and his work upon business associates, friends, and observers cannot be measured. 
It has been and will continue to be an important factor in fostering the widespread inter- 
est in civic improvement, the great increase in which is evident to those who during the 
past twenty years have observed the local improvement activities carried on in so many 
places, of which Mr. Whittemore's manifold work is more than typical. I think if we 
were to know how far his breadth of view, his good taste, and his sound business judg- 
ment aflfected the action of others associated with him, we should find that his influence 
was really a very important one. 

Among the individual benefactions of Mr. Whittemore should be men- 
tioned his gift of a large building and site to the hospital valued at $350,000, 
and the endowment of the Howard Whittemore Memorial Library. 

Mr. Whittemore never took an active part in political life, although 
keenly alive to the great issues which agitated the country during his time. 
He was a strong Republican, whose beliefs had been hxed during the Civil 
War period, when he saw something of slavery in the "underground rail- 
way" activities, heard Abraham Lincoln speak, and cast his first ballot for 
that great man. But although he took no active part in politics, his sound 
judgment and perspicacity were so generally recognized that, much to his 
satisfaction, he was appointed a member of the Connecticut Constitutional 
Convention in 1902. He was also a representative to the Republican State 
Convention of 1908, in which, however, the aims for which he labored were 
defeated. In religion Mr. Whittemore was a Congregationalist of a very 
broad and tolerant type. 

Mr. Whittemore married, June 10, 1863, Julia Anna Spencer, a daughter 
of Harris and Thirza (Buckingham) Spencer, of Naugatuck. Connecticut. 
To them were born four children, two sons and two daughters: i. Harris, 
born November 24, 1864, married Justine Morgan Brockway, of New York 
City, September 21, 1892; they have three children: Harris. Jr., Helen 
Brockway and Gentrude Spencer. 2. Gertrude Buckingham. 3. Julia, who 
died in infancy. 4. John Howard, who died in his sixteenth year. 





y^r^ Wr ^^^^^€^^^ 




aaobert lEafeeman Hill 

OBERT WAKEMAN HILL, whose death on July i6. iqog, 
removed from Waterbury one of the most conspicuous 
figures in the life of the community, and one of her most 
prominent and influential citizens, was a member of a well 
known and highly respected family which had resided in 
that region for a number of generations. The coat-of-arms 
of the Hill family: Sable. On a fesse between three 
leopards passant guardant or, spotted of the field, as many escallops, gules. 
His grandfather, Jared Hill, and his father. Samuel Hill, were both import- 
ant men in Waterbury, Connecticut, during their lives, and bequeathed to 
their descendant, Robert Wakeman Hill, the high standards of honor and 
worth it has long been New England's privilege and office to preserve, 
together with the character to maintain them. 

Robert Wakeman Hill was born September 20, 1828, in Waterbury, 
Connecticut, and there lived the better part of his life, although he made 
several extended absences during his youth. He received the elementary 
portion of his education in Waterbury, but later removed to New Haven 
and attended the Young Men's Institute of that place. Upon completing his 
studies he decided to engage in the profession of architecture, and for this 
purpose entered the office of Mr. Henry Austin at New Haven as a student, 
to learn the business of architecture After he had thoroughly mastered the 
details of this business he went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he prac- 
ticed with success for several years, then came to Waterbury, Connecticut, 
where he continued to practice with great success. He was the pioneer 
architect in this section and did much public work for the State, erect- 
ing many of the public buildings, etc. After a most successful career, Mr. 
Hill finally retired from business, and spent the later years of his life at his 
charming home in Waterbury. He had attained the leadership of his pro- 
fession in Connecticut and held it for a number of years before his retire- 
ment. 

Mr. Hill was a conspicuous figure in the general life of Waterbury, his 
sympathies being of too broad a nature to permit him to narrow himself 
within the limits of his own personal interests. He was a member of the 
Republican party, and a keen and intelligent observer of the march of polit- 
ical events, both general and local. In the afifairs of the community his 
voice was an influential one, though purely from its persuasive power, for he 
took no direct part in the game of politics, nor possessed any political 
authority as it is now conceived. Mr. Hill took a prominent part in the 
Manufacturers' Bank of Waterbury, was on the board of directors and vice- 
president at the time of his death. He was very fond of social life and was 
an active participant in a number of important clubs and organizations, 
having been one of the first members of the Waterbury Club, and a member 
of the Mason Clark Commandery, at Waterbury. He was a faithful com- 
municant of St. John's Episcopal Church, in Waterbury, aiding materially 



12 Bobett maktmm l^ill 

with the work of the parish and g^iving generously to the many benevolences 
connected therewith. 

His death occurred about two months before the completion of his 
eighty-first year, and was a loss not only to the host of personal friends, 
sincere and devoted, which his lovable and admirable character had gath- 
ered about him, but also to the community at large, which collectively had 
received a legacy of growth and advancement from his busy life. Mr. Hill 
was unmarried. 





Mmio'^ 




Cljarles ilucfeingfjam jilerrtman 

'HARLES BUCKINGHAM MERRIMAN, in whose death, 
on March 15, 1889, the city of VVaterbury, Connecticut, lost 
one of her most prominent and highly respected citizens, was 
a member of one of the old Connecticut families, a family 
which since early Colonial times has occupied an enviable 
position in the regard of the community. The Merriman 
arms are as follows: A chevron cotised, charged with three 
crescents, between three ravens. Crest. A cubit arm entwined with a ser- 
pent and bearing a sword. Motto: Tcrar dum prosim. 

The first of the name to live in this country was Capt;nn Nathaniel Mer- 
riman, one of the founders of Wallingford, Connecticut, in the year 1670. 
The Merrimans continued to live in Wallingford for four generations, 
taking part in those stirring events which marked the Colonial period in 
New England, one of them lost a wife and daughter killed by Indians, and 
finally in the time of Charles Merriman, who enlisted in the Revolution as 
a drummer, changed their abode to Watertown in the same State. This 
Charles Merriman was the grandfather of Charles Buckingham Merriman, 
of this sketch, and his son was William H. Merriman, father of Charles 
Buckingham Merriman. William H. Merriman was a prosperous merchant 
of Watertown, Connecticut, spent most of his life in that town, but eventually 
removed from there to Waterbury, where he lived for the remainder of his 
years, and where the family has since resided. He married Sarah Bucking- 
ham, of Watertown, a daughter of David and Chloe (Merrill) Buckingham, 
of that place, and member of another eminent New England family. 

Charles Buckingham Merriman, the eldest child of William H. and 
Sarah (Buckingham) Merriman, was born October 9, 1809, in Watertown, 
Connecticut, and there passed his childhood and youth. He received the 
elementary portion of his education in the excellent public schools of Water- 
town, and later attended the Leonard Daggett School, in New Haven. He 
accompanied his parents when they removed to Waterbury, in the year 
1S39, '^"'^ from that time to his death made that city his home. He was 
thirty years of age at the time this move was made, and before that time he 
had laeen associated with his father in the latter's business. On his arrival 
in Waterbury he entered into a partnership with Ezra Stiles, who was 
engaged in a dry goods business in Waterbury, on the corner of Center 
square and Leavenworth street. He continued in this association and 
enjoyed a good business until the year 1843, when he withdrew in order to 
form a partnership with Julius Hotchkiss. under the firm name of the 
Hotchkiss <S: Merriman Manufacturing Company, succeeding the firm of 
Hotchkiss & Prichard. The Hotchkiss & Merriman Manufacturing Com- 
pany was engaged in the manufacture of suspenders and carried on this 
industry on a large scale until January. 1857, when it was merged with 
another concern, the Warren & Newton Manufacturing Company, in the 
same business, into the American Suspender Company. This large corpora- 



14 Cftatles TBucbingftam Qgcrrfman 

tion finally discontinued its business in 1879, after a most successful career, 
which was in no small degree due to the resourceful business management 
of Mr. Merriman, who occupied the office of president in the Hotchkiss & 
Merriman Manufacturing Company for a considerable period. As years 
went on Mr. Merriman became a power in the industrial world of Water- 
bury, and his interests gradually broadened to include many of the most 
important institutions in the city. He became the president of the Water- 
bury Gaslight Company, president of the Waterbury Savings Bank and a 
director of the Citizens' National Bank. 

In spite of his large and varied industrial and business interests, which 
might well be supposed to tax most men's abilities, Mr. Merriman found 
time and energy to devote to many other departments of the community's 
life. Of these particularly may be mentioned politics, in which he was an 
active participant. He was a member of the Republican party and from 
early youth had taken a keen and intelligent interest in all questions of 
public polity, alike the most general and the most local. His high sense of 
right was another force which impelled him to take a hand in the conduct 
of the city's affairs, while his zeal, his prominence and general popularity, 
quickly impressed his party with his availability as a candidate. It thus 
came about that he was elected to the Waterbury Common Council for a 
number of terms, and in 1869 was elected mayor of the city, serving from 
June 14, of that year for a one-year term. His administration was one which 
redounded greatly to his own credit and to the good of the community at 
large. Mr. Merriman was a prominent member of St. John's Protestant 
Episcopal Church of Waterbury for many years, and served for a consid- 
erable period as vestryman. He was an indefatigable worker for the aims of 
the church and the parish and did much to aid the many benevolences con- 
nected therewith. He was a man of most generous instincts and one who 
could not hear unmoved the plea of distress, but his aid was of so unostenta- 
tious a kind, that few if any realized the extent of his benefactions. 

Mr. Merriman married, June 30, 1841, Mary Margaret Field, a daughter 
of Dr. Edward Field, of Waterbury, Connecticut. Dr. Edward Field was 
born July i, 1777. at Enfield, Connecticut, where Mrs. Merriman was born 
March 12, 1817. Mrs. Merriman's death occurred October 5, 1866. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Merriman were born six children, as follows: Charlotte Bucking- 
ham. August 21, 1843, died February 9, 191 1 ; Sarah Morton, born Aug-ust 7, 
1845, died February 20, 1903; Helen, born January 19, 1848; Margaret Field, 
born March 16, 1850, became the wife of Dr. Frank E. Castle, died January 
23, 1911; William Buckingham, born June 11, 1853, married Sarah Kings- 
bury Parsons; Edward Field, born September i, 1854, died June 28, 1909. 




ectMmat\ 




& 



kA 



.ex 



L^e^C- 




JFrebericfe iSenjamin SRtce 

FREDERICK BENJAMIN RICE, in whose death on April 22, 
1905, the city of Waterbury. Connecticut, lost one of the 
most prominent and public spirited of its citizens, was by 
origin and every association a New Englander, although his 
actual birth occurred in the middle west. He was descended 
on both sides of the house from old and highly respected 
Connecticut families, whose honorable records, it was his 
privilege to sustain and even add to. The earliest paternal ancestor who can 
be positively traced was Isaac Rice, who took a creditable and active part in 
the American Revolution, but it seems reasonably certain that the family 
name before that period was Royce, which would prolong the line much 
further. On the maternal side Mr. Rice was able to trace his descent back 
through the well known Bronson family to Richard Bronson who lived in 
England and died as early as 1478. Mr. Rice's parents, who were Archibald 
Elijah and Susan (Bronson) Rice, were natives of Waterbury, and had 
passed their youth in that place, but moved to Hudson. Ohio, where Fred- 
erick Benjamin Rice was born, September 30, 1843. His parents, however, 
did not prolong their stay in Ohio for a great period after his birth, but 
returned to Waterbury while he was a mere child, so that all his youthful 
associations were with the home of his ancestors. It was there that he was 
educated, in the local public schools, and it was there that he spent prac- 
tically his whole life, the only exceptions being short absences such as that 
in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he took a course in Eastman's Business 
College, and his stay in the South with the Union Army during the Civil 
War. Upon the return from the former. Mr. Rice began his business career 
by taking a position as clerk in the employ of the L. D. Smith Company, a 
Waterbury concern in which his father was a stockholder. He later accepted 
a better position, althovigh also clerical, with the Apothecaries Hall Com- 
pany, a large company doing a wholesale and retail drug business. It was 
while thus employed that the Civil War broke out. and in 1862, he enlisted 
in the Union Army. He served for a period of thirteen months, most of 
which time his regiment was in Louisiana in the command of General 
Banks. He enjoyed one well deserved promotion to the rank of corporal in 
Company A, Twenty-third Regiment, Connecticut National Guard. In the 
month of August, 1863, he received his honorable discharge and returning to 
Waterbury, resumed his connection with the Apothecaries Hall Company, 
this time in the capacitv of secretary. Mr. Rice's next business connection 
was with the Waterbury Lumber and Coal Company, in which he took the 
position of secretary, resigning his similar office with the Apothecaries Hall 
Company for the purpose. He remained with the lumber concern during a 
period of several years, and in the meantime his father, who was interested 
in the lumber and coal business secured a controlling interest in the com- 
pany, the elder Mr. Rice and his son finally selling out their interests to a 
New Britain svndicate. It was while an officer in the Waterbury Lumber 



i6 JFreDerick 15eniamin Rice 

and Coal Company that Mr. Rice had his attention directed to that line of 
business which he finally followed with so much success. The rapid growth 
and development of Waterbury were raising the prices of real estate 
throughout the neighborhood to higher and higher levels, and this fact could 
not fail to be apparent to a man of Mr. Rice's perspicacity, nor the correlated 
fact of the great opportunity offered to investment by this property. He at 
once engaged in real estate operations, and the building business on a very 
large scale, and his exertions were undoubtedly a very important factor in 
the development of the city. He particularly directed his attention to 
the development of new tracts of property in the region of the city, and was 
able to foretell the direction of the latter with such accuracy that he never 
made a serious mistake in his operations. These grew to great proportions 
and included several large areas of land of which that known as the "Glebe 
Land" was typical. In the case of the "Glebe Land" Mr. Rice selected a 
tract of what had previously been agricultural land, although agricultural 
land of an extremely ungenerous and difiicult character. It was situated to 
the northwest of the city and Mr. Rice believed that properly handled, it 
might be turned into a splendid and attractive residence section. Accord- 
ingly he spared neither effort nor expense, and in the first place he had 
removed a solid bed of rock some thirty-four feet in height which sur- 
rounded the whole property, an operation which cost him no less than 
twenty-five thousand dollars. The event amply justified him, however, as 
he had at his disposal sixty-five building lots situated on three streets, upon 
which he erected residences of a high type. At present the "Glebe Land" 
forms the flourishing northwest section of the city of Waterbury. During 
the carrying out of this and many other similar operations, Mr. Rice contin- 
ued his building business, with an equal degree of success. From the time of 
his entrance upon this line until his death, he built in all seven hundred and 
twenty-four buildings including all types from dwellings costing as little 
as eighteen hundred dollars, to great business blocks costing one hundred 
thousand. Among the largest and most prominent of these were the Con- 
cordia Hall, the Grand Army of the Republic building, a number of large 
apartment houses. In the "Elton," one of the largest and handsomest hotels 
in New England, he was deeph^ interested. In the case of the last named 
structure it was erected by a company known as the Waterbury Hotel 
Corporation, of which Mr. Rice was the president. Mr. Rice himself gave 
the whole operation his most careful supervision, to which fact is attribu- 
table in large measure the perfection of its fittings and appurtenances, but he 
was not destined to witness its completion, his death intervening shortly 
before. During the latter years of his life Mr. Rice assumed a position of 
great importance in the Waterbury business world, and exercised a great 
power in financial circles in that part of the State. He became president of 
a number of large organizations, besides the Waterbury Hotel Corporation, 
notably the Apothecaries Hall Company, in which he had been clerk and 
secretary years before, and the F. B. Rice Company, a corporation organized 
by himself for the more efficient carrying on of his own great business. 
Besides this he was a director of the Manufacturers' National Bank of 
Waterburv. 



jFreDcricb IBtnjamin Rice 17 

Mr. Rice did not confine his activities to the conduct of his personal 
business or the management of the various great financial interests confided 
to him, onerous as the duties involved in their successful management would 
seem to most men. On the contrary he was an active participant in almost 
all the departments of the community's life. He was greatly interested in 
politics, both local and general, and played a conspicuous part in the man- 
agement of the city's afifairs. His prominence and general popularity made 
him particularly available as a candidate, and he was elected successively 
to the ofiices of tax assessor, which he held for five terms, and councilman for 
three terms, and besides these elective offices he also served at diflferent 
times upon the committees on the water supply, finance and a number of 
other municipal boards. 

Mr. Rice's broad sympathies were such as to interest him vitally in 
many charitable and semi-charitable movements, and in this field also, he 
gave most generously of his time and energies. Three institutions were of 
particular interest to him, the Waterbury Hospital, the Waterbury Indus- 
trial School, and the Girls' Friendly League, all of which he served as a 
member of their governing boards. 

Any estimate of Mr. Rice's character would be incomplete which left out 
his religious affiliations, which played so important a part in his life and 
work. He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Water- 
bury, and took an active part in the work of the parish, materially aiding in 
the support of the many philanthropies connected therewith. He was a man 
in whom business decision and judgment were nicely balanced with a gen- 
erosity of nature and broadness of human interest which made him a partic- 
ularly valuable member of the community and caused his loss to be mourned, 
not only by his immediate family and friends, but by his fellow citizens gen- 
erally. 

Mr. Rice was married, May 23, 1866, to Miss Helen McCullough Mintie, 
a daughter of Alexander and Helen (Kenyon) Mintie. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Rice were born two children, Helen Susan and Archibald Ernest, of whom 
the former died in early childhood, and the latter, together with his mother, 
survives Mr. Rice. Mr. Archibald Ernest Rice succeeds his father in the 
management of the latter's great business and other interests. 




€titoarb ilutler Bunbar 

DWARD BUTLER DUNBAR, in whose death on May 9. 
1907, Bristol, Connecticut, lost one of its most valued citi- 
zens, and one whose name is most closely associated with the 
industrial development of the place, was a member of a very 
ancient Scotch family, which has held a distinguished place 
in the records of the two countries in which it has made its 
residence. The Dunbar arms: Gules. A lion rampant 
argent. A bordure of the last charged with eight roses of the field. (Gules). 
The branch of the Dunbar family of which Mr. Dunbar is a member 
traces its descent from the Dunbars of Grange Hill, founded in Scotland by 
one Ninian Dunbar, born in 1575, and a descendant of George, Earl Dunbar, 
the name being thus derived from the famous Scotch city. The descent as 
thus traced has one break in its continuity, but one which the great balance 
of probability bridges over. It appears that this Ninian Dunbar had a son 
Robert, born in Scotland in the year 1630, of whom trace is lost. In 1655 we 
find a Robert Dunbar just come to America and settling in the colony of 
Hingham, Massachusetts. All the evidence points to its being the same 
man, though the connection has not been absolutely established. He had 
been married in the meantime, though where and to whom is not known, 
other than that the young lady's Christian name was Rose. They came to 
the Colonies together and subsequently became the parents of eight chil- 
dren, and were regarded as among the wealthiest people in the community 
where they had settled. From this worthy ancestor there were descended 
three Johns in as many consecutive generations, the youngest being the 
representative of the family in the Revolutionary period, and was one of 
the three commissioners chosen by Waterbury, Connecticut, to furnish sup- 
plies to the Continental Army. His son Miles Dunbar, the great-grand- 
father of Edward Butler Dunbar, was a young man at the time of the Revo- 
lution, serving in the army as a fife-major. Subsequently he removed to 
Oblong, New York. 

Butler Dunbar, the grandfather of our subject, was a man of great 
enterprise and typical pioneer mold whose taste led him to make his home 
in new regions. He lived for a time in Springville, Pennsylvania, where Mr. 
Dunbar's father was born, later in Connecticut, and finally in Monroe town- 
ship, Mahaska county, Iowa, where he spent the remainder of his life 
engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was an ardent worker in the cause of 
the Congregational church and gained for himself the sobriquet of "Father 
Dunbar." 

It was Edward Lucius Dunbar, son of the above and father of our sub- 
ject, whose birth in Springville, Pennsylvania, has just been mentioned, who 
founded the manufacturing business of which Edward Butler Dunbar later 
became the head. The elder man was possessed of great ability in the line of 
business, a talent which his son inherited, and set himself to supply the 
demands of his times. It was the day of the hoop skirt and crinoline, and 




CP 



(^dMT/iul {M, ^.4Wki^ 



(gPtoatP 'Butler Duntiat 19 

Mr. Dunbar Sr., in partnership with the late Wallace Barnes, established a 
factory for the manufacture of the light steel frames used in those wonderful 
creations of fashion. He also manufactured watch and clock springs and 
clock trimmings, the former plant being situated in New York City, the 
latter in Bristol, Connecticut, where he had made his home. The manufac- 
ture of the watch and clock springs was on a much smaller scale than the 
fashion requirements, but in is nature was a much more stable business. He 
was a man of great public spirit and gave a great deal to the town of his 
adoption, and in 1858 erected the present town hall of Bristol, which on 
account of the business in which its donor had made most of his wealth was 
dubbed by the people of Bristol, "Crinoline Hall," a name which clung to it 
for many years. Mr. Dunbar, Sr., was married to Julia Warner, a native of 
Farmington, Connecticut, and a daughter of Joel and Lucinda Warner, of 
that place. Children: Winthrop Warner, whose sketch is found elsewhere 
in this work. Edward Butler, of whom further; William A.; Mrs. W. W. 
Thorpe; Mrs. L. A. Sanford, and Mrs. George W. Mitchell. 

Edward Butler Dunbar, the second child and son of Edward Lucius and 
Julia (Warner) Dunbar, was born November i, 1842, in Bristol, Hartford 
county, Connecticut, and there, with the exception of two short absences, 
passed his entire life. He attended the local common schools for the elemen- 
tary portion of his education, and later went to Easthampton, Massachu- 
setts, where he took a course in the well known Williston Seminary. In the 
spring of i860, when he had reached the age of eighteen years, and com- 
pleted his course at Williston Seminary, his father sent him to New York 
City, there to help the late William F. Tompkins in his duties as manager of 
Mr. Dunbar, Sr.'s hoop-skirt factory. There were from fifty to seventy-five 
hands employed in the establishment at the time of Mr. Dunbar's arrival, 
and a large business was done. He had been engaged in the place about two 
years, and had gained a considerable knowledge of the detail of its operation, 
when Mr. Tompkins died, and the young man, then only twenty years old, 
was suddenly put in charge of the concern. It was a tremendous responsi- 
bility for one of his years and experience to undertake, but the young man 
did not falter. He quickly seized the reins of management let fall by Mr. 
Tompkins, and in a short time proved himself entire master of the situation. 
For three years longer he carried on the great business with extraordinary 
skill and good judgment, continually adding to the magnitude of the trans- 
actions, and then the inevitable happened. Fashion pronounced against 
crinoline, and the whole bottom dropped out of the business. The mill was 
abandoned and Mr. Dunbar returned to Bristol, after an absence of five 
years, to engage in his father's other business, that of manufacturing clock 
springs and similar parts of small mechanisms. At the time this business 
was conducted on a far smaller scale than the one Mr. Dunbar had received 
his training in and just abandoned. There were not more than half a dozen 
hands employed, and the processes were of a very primitive character, so 
that the capacity of the mill was very limited. With the advent of Mr. Dun- 
bar, and the initiation of his active and energetic management, conditions 
were rapidly altered. One of his most important alterations was the intro- 
duction of modern machinery which quickly revolutionized the industry and 



20 (ODtoatD 'Butlet Dunbar 

at one stroke gave the plant a capacity of from five to eight thousand clock 
springs a day. In an industry such as that in which Mr. Dunbar was 
engaged, while the demand for the output is one to be depended upon, yet 
the demand changes in character with the development of invention. Not 
long after the installation of the mechanisms insisted upon by Mr. Dunbar, 
there was nothing short of a revolution in the methods of spring making 
which required a complete alteration in the arrangements of manufacturers 
to meet the new requirements. This necessity was cheerfully met as has 
been all such changes subsequently, with the result that the business has 
always been kept in the forefront of the industry and has grown and flour- 
ished until it has gained its present great size. To-day the factory has an 
output of many millions of small springs yearly. In this great enterprise the 
three sons of Edward Lucius Dunbar have all participated. Edward Butler, 
Winthrop Warner and William A. Dunbar, under the firm name of Dunbar 
Brothers, which is now recognized as one of the most important industrial 
concerns in the region. Edward Butler Dunbar was during his life the pres- 
ident of the company and in virtue of holding this office became one of the 
commanding figures in the industrial and financial world of Connecticut. 
As was natural in so dominant a personality, his sphere of influence was 
gradually extended and he became identified with many important business 
concerns and financial institutions in that part of the State. He was presi- 
dent of the Bristol National Bank and a member of its board of directors, 
holding the latter position since the foundation of the bank in 1875. He was 
also vice-president and director of the Bristol Savings Bank, having been 
elected to these offices in 1889. Among the most important functions which 
Mr. Dunbar has performed for the business circles of Bristol, is that of presi- 
dent of the Bristol Board of Trade, which under his energetic administration 
was extremely active in furthering the town's welfare. 

Mr. Dunbar's activity was not, however, confined to the operation of 
the great business interests which he controlled. On the contrary there was 
scarcely any aspect of the life of the community of which he was a member, 
that did not find him an active participant. His public spirit was great and 
the energy which enabled him to devote himself to the advancement of so 
many projects not less so. One of his chief interests was politics and he was 
an intelligent observer of the issues agitating the country in his time. A 
staunch member of the Democratic party he gave much of his time to work- 
ing for the attainment of its aims, and his voice was one of the most influen- 
tial in the councils of its local organization. While still a young man his 
fellow Democrats recognized his abilities and his qualifications for public 
office, and it was not long before he appeared one of the most available men 
in the community for political candidacy. He held a number of important 
and responsible offices and filled them to the great satisfaction of his fellow- 
citizens. Particularly interested in the cause of public education and the 
effective training of children, he took a very active part in the advancement 
of the same in Bristol, and from the founding of the new High School held 
the ofiice of chairman of its committee, regarding it with pride as one of the 
best schools in the State. For a number of years he was a member of the 
Board of School Visitors, and for more than a quarter of a century was a 



(ZBDtoarD 'Butler Dunbar 21 

member of the District Committee of the South Side School. In the year 
1869 he was elected to the State Assembly to represent Bristol, and again 
to the same office in 1881. In the year 1885 he was elected State Senator, 
and again in 1887, serving thus for two consecutive terms or until 1889. 
While a member of this body Mr. Dunbar was very active in the interests of 
his constituents and exercised a great influence in passing some very import- 
ant measures for the benefit of workingmen, including the weekly payment 
act, for which and for the child labor law, he made many effective and elo- 
quent speeches. In the year 1890 his name was mentioned as the most desir- 
able candidate for Congress, but Mr. Dunbar declined to consider any such 
nomination. For twenty-six years he was the registrar of elections for the 
First District, and for over twenty years president of the Board of Fire 
Commissioners of Bristol. In the latter capacity he has done valuable work 
for the town, having increased and modernized the equipment to keep pace 
with the advance of modern invention and the growth of the town. It had 
been his father years before who first induced the town to purchase a fire 
engine of the old hand type, and before Mr. Dunbar's retirement, this had 
been replaced by two of the most modern engines driven by steam. In con- 
nection with his interest in education, he busied himself actively for the 
establishment of a public library, and when through his efforts and those of 
others who allied themselves with him in the matter, the Free Public 
Library, became an accomplished fact, Mr. Dunbar was appointed president 
of the institution, and held the oflice until the time of his death. To all these 
manifold activities which seem more than a sufficient task for any man, Mr. 
Dunbar added another work which he no less ardently strove for, his work 
in the advancement of the moral regeneration of the town and the cause of 
the church. He was a life long member of the Congregational church and 
for the last seven years of his life served as deacon. He was also active in 
the Young Men's Christian Association in Bristol, and was president 
between 1886 and 1890, during which time he spared no effort to advance the 
organization. He was a member of the Reliance Council, No. 753, Royal 
Arcanum. 

Edward Butler Dunbar was married, December 23, 1875, to Alice Gid- 
dings, born July 8, 1854, a daughter of Watson Giddings, the well known 
carriage-maker of Bristol. To Mr. and Mrs. Dunbar were born three chil- 
dren, as follows: i. Mamie Eva, born December 17, 1877, died January 18, 
1881. 2. Marguerite Louise, born June 28, 1880, educated in the Bristol 
public schools, with which her father was so closely connected, and in the 
two private seminaries for young ladies, Hayden Hall, Windsor, Connecti- 
cut, and the Gardner School, New York City; she married, June 22, 1904, 
Rev. Charles Shepard, D. D.. professor of Hebrew in the General Theological 
Seminary of New York; three daughters: Katharine, Alice Emma and Mar- 
guerite Dunbar. 3. Edward Giddings, born May 20, 1889, who is now presi- 
dent of the Dunbar Brothers Company. Mrs. Dunbar and her son make 
their home in the beautiful dwelling remodelled by Mr. Dunbar. The orig- 
inal house was an old one built by Chauncey Jerome, the well-known clock- 
maker of Bristol, and was bought and converted into a most charming resi- 
dence by Mr. Dunbar, in which are combined the beauties of the older archi- 
tecture and the conveniences of modern improvements. 



3o|)n H. Sessions 




[OHN HENRY SESSIONS, whose death on April 2, 1902. at 
Bristol, Connecticut, deprived that community of one of its 
foremost business men and most public-spirited citizens, 
belonged to an old New England family, which had its 
origin in Wantage. Berkshire, England. Inquiries insti- 
tuted by the family in America in 1889 at that place resulted 
in the discovery that the name had entirely disappeared from 
the county, and, indeed, that there was but one family of Sessions to be 
found in England. This was resident in Gloucestershire, the county adja- 
cent to Berkshire, and there was little doubt of the common origin of the 
two lines. The English Sessions were people of prominence in the commu- 
nity, J. Sessions, the head of the family, being in 1889 the mayor of the city 
of Gloucester, though at the time eighty years of age. The first to bear the 
name in this country, so far as can be traced, was Alexander Sessions, Sesh- 
ins or Sutchins, as the name was variously spelled. He seems to have been 
born about 1645, as in a deposition made in 1669, he states his age as twenty- 
four years. The place of his birth is not known, however, but the same 
deposition proves him to have been a resident of Andover, Massachusetts, 
at the time it was made, and there is a record of his having been admitted 
as a freeman of that town in 1677. From his time down to the present the 
Sessions held a prominent place in the community and maintained the repu- 
tation for worth and integrity bequeathed them by their ancestors. The 
seventh generation from the original Alexander Sessions was represented by 
John Humphrey Sessions, one of the most distinguished members of his 
family and the father of John Henry Sessions, who forms the subject of this 
sketch. The elder Mr. Sessions was born in Burlington, Connecticut, but 
while still a mere youth came to Bristol, with the industrial development of 
which his name is most closely identified. His business, after the days of his 
apprenticeship, was for a time the operation of a turning mill at Polkville, a 
suburb of Bristol, but he later (1870) took over the business of trunk hard- 
ware manufacture, left by the death of his brother. Albert J. Sessions, and 
established the large and successful house, which later came to be known 
as J. H. Sessions & Son. Besides this large industrial enterprise Mr. Ses- 
sions, Sr., was identified with well nigh every important movement which 
took place in Bristol for the community's advancement. He was one of the 
prime movers in the introduction into the town of many of the public utili- 
ties, including the water supply, the electric lighting plant and the first 
street railway, which came to be known as the Bristol and Plainville Tram- 
way Line. 

He was married to Emily Bunnell, also of Burlington, Connecticut, and 
to them were born three children, as follows: John Henry, the subject of 
this sketch; Carrie Emily, born December 15, 1854; and William Edwin, 
born February 18, 1857, and now president of the great Sessions Foundry 
Company at Bristol. 



3fof)n !^. Sessions 23 

John Henry Sessions, the eldest child of John Humphrey and Emily 
(Bunnell) Sessions, was born February 26, 1849, in Polkville, Connecticut, 
while his father was engaged in carrying on his wood turning business in 
that place. He passed the first twenty years of his life in his native town and 
there received a liberal education in the excellent public schools of the neigh- 
boring place, Bristol. In the year 1869 the whole family removed to the 
center of Bristol, and four years later, Mr. Sessions was taken into partner- 
ship by his father in the latter's great trunk hardware business, the firm 
becoming J. H. Sessions & Son. After his father's death in 1899, Mr. Ses- 
sions became the head of the great business which flourished greatly under 
his able management. He shortly after admitted his son, Albert Leslie Ses- 
sions, into the firm which retained its name of J. H. Sessions & Son. During 
the presidency of Mr. Sessions, and later under that of his son, the business 
has taken its place as one of the most important of the great industries of 
Bristol. Mr. Sessions, as the head of the firm of J. H. Sessions & Son. was a 
conspicuous figure in the industrial and financial world of Bristol, and his 
business capacity still further enlarged his sphere of influence, and asso- 
ciated him with many important business concerns in that region. The 
Bristol Water Company, which was organized largely as the result of his 
father's efforts, on the death of its founder, elected Mr. Sessions president in 
the elder man's place, an ofiice which he was admirably fitted to fill, having 
been intimately connected with the affairs of the company from its inception, 
and served continuously on its board of directors from the first. Another of 
his father's enterprises with which he was connected was the Bristol 
National Bank. This institution which has played so important a part in the 
financial life of Bristol, was founded in 1875 ^y ^ group of men of which 
Mr. Sessions, Sr., was one, and which chose him to head the new concern as 
president. After his death Mr. John Henry Sessions was elected vice-presi- 
dent, an office which he held until death. He was one of the incorporators 
of the Bristol Press Publishing Company. He was also a director of the 
E. N. Welch Manufacturing Company, of Forestville, Connecticut, after its 
reorganization. This concern was again reorganized after Mr. Sessions' 
death and became the Sessions Clock Company under the presidency of his 
brother, William Edwin Sessions. 

While Mr. Sessions naturally found much of his time taken up with his 
manifold business interests, he was never at a loss for opportunity to aid in 
every movement for the advantage of the community. He was deeply inter- 
ested in all that concerned the welfare of his fellow citizens, and interested 
in the conduct of public afi^airs. He was a member of the Republican party, 
and worked heartily for the policies which that party has always stood for, 
but he never took an active part in politics as that phrase is understood, and 
his efforts were purely in the capacity of a private citizen. Though he con- 
sistently refused to be nominated for any elective office, a role for which his 
position in the community and personal popularity would have well fitted 
him, he did accept his appointment, in 1881, as a member of the Board of 
Fire Commissioners of Bristol, and held that office until his death, and from 
1883 he was the secretary of the board. 

Mr. Sessions was an ardent member of the Methodist Episcopal church. 



24 3lot)n 1^. ^cs0ions 

and one who devoted much energy to the work of his congregation, and sup- 
ported in a material way the many philanthropies and benevolences in con- 
nection therewith. He was a prominent member of the Masonic order. The 
personal character of Mr. Sessions was such as to command respect and 
admiration from all his associates and a warm and genuine affection on the 
part of his personal friends. Charitable and tolerant in his judgments of 
other men he was unbending towards himself, and followed out the strictest 
code of morals and honor. He was one who, not content with a religion of 
profession, infused his beliefs into the daily conduct of his life in all its rela- 
tions. Not a little did this appear in the ready charity with which he sought 
to relieve all want that came under his notice and assist worthy effort to 
bear its proper fruit. But though thus generous he shunned ostentation 
instinctively, and from pure native modesty obeyed the precept to "let not 
the left hand know what the right doeth." His loss was felt keenly not 
merely by his immediate family and the large circle of his personal friends, 
which his winning traits of character had drawn about him, but by all his 
associates, however casual, and, indeed, by the community at large. 

Mr. Sessions was married. May 19, 1869, to Maria Francena Woodford, 
a native of West Avon, Connecticut, where she was born September 8, 1848. 
a daughter of Ephraim Woodford, of that place. To them was born one son, 
Albert Leslie Sessions, January 5, 1872, the present head of the business of 
J. H. Sessions & Son. Three years after Mr. Sessions' death the company 
was incorporated under the same name with Albert L. Sessions president, 
treasurer and general manager, and with himself, his mother and his wife 
stockholders and incorporators. Albert L. Sessions was married, February 
7, 1894, to Leila Belle Beach, a daughter of Hon. Henry L. Beach, of Bristol. 
They have been the parents of five children, as follows: Paul Beach, born 
November 19, 1895; Ruth Juliette, born May 14, 1897; John Henry, born 
July 12, 1898; and Judith H. and Janet M., twins, born May 21, 1901. 




Utiles 3ut)Son 




;TILES JUDSON, in whose untimely death on October 25, 
1914, Fairfield county, Connecticut, lost one of its foremost 
citizens and the State bar one of its most distinguished mem- 
bers, was a member of one of the oldest families in the State, 
which from the earliest colonial times has taken a conspic- 
uous part in the afifairs of the community. From the immi- 
grant ancestor, William Judson, who came to this country 
as early as 1634, down to the distinguished lawyer, orator and legislator who 
forms the subject of this sketch, the representatives of the Judson stock have 
been men of action, men whose voices have had a share in moulding affairs 
in the community in which they have for so many generations made their 
home. The first William Judson was a stalwart Yorkshireman, born in that 
county, in "Merry England," sometime near the last of the sixteenth cen- 
tury. He came with his son, Joseph Judson, then a lad of fifteen years, to 
the "New World" and settled for a time in Concord, Massachusetts. Four 
years later, in 1638, his spirit of pioneering yet unsatisfied, he made his way 
into the western part of Connecticut, then but sparsely populated, and set- 
tled on the site of the present town of Stratford. His was the first house 
built in the neighborhood, and remained the only one there for a full year, 
so that to the Judsons belongs the distinction of being without doubt the 
first settlers of Stratford and the founders of the town. To them also 
belongs the distinction of having made it unbrokenly their home from those 
early days to the present. During the Revolutionary period the representa- 
tive of the family was one Daniel Judson, a prominent man in his com- 
munity and one who served for many years in the Connecticut Legislature. 
He was too elderly for active service in the Continental Army, but a son dis- 
tinguished himself not a little therein. This son was Stiles Judson, who 
thus initiated a name which, including his own, has been borne by four con- 
secutive generations of father and son. 

The father of our subject, the third Stiles Judson, was a man of parts, 
who was engaged all his life in those two strenuous occupations, sailing and 
farming. During his young manhood he was before the mast in the ships of 
the East India trade, and at one time "rounded the Horn," on the way to 
California with a number of others who had been seized with the gold fever 
of "forty-nine." He later returned to his native town and there settled down 
to farming, represented the district in the State Assembly, and held many of 
the town offices. He was married to Caroline Peck, a daughter of Samuel 
Peck, and Stiles Judson, Jr., was the only son among four daughters. 

Stiles Judson was born February 13, 1862, in Stratford, and in that place 
made his home during his entire life, although his legal career is largely 
associated with the city of Bridgeport, where his firm had its offices. He 
received an excellent education, attending as a lad the fine schools of his 
native place, both public and private. Completing at these institutions the 
requisite preparation, he matriculated at Yale University in 1883, and enter- 



26 Utiles 31uDson 

ing the law school, there distingTjished himself highly in his studies. He 
was eminently fitted for the profession of the law, possessing an impressive 
presence and an engaging and powerful personality in addition to the mental 
qualifications of a mind capable of long and profound study and thought and 
the most rapid decision in emergency. This somewhat rare union began to 
make itself felt from the outset of his career, even as a student, and did not 
fail to draw the expectant regard of his professors and instructors to the 
young man. He was graduated with the class of 1885 with the degree of 
LL. B., the honor member of his class. He was admitted to the Connecticut 
bar the same year and at once entered the law office of Townsend & 
Watrous, in New Haven. He remained with this firm only about a year and 
in September of 1886, removed to Bridgeport, where he formed a partnership 
with Charles Stuart Canfield, the firm being known as Canfield & Judson, 
a connection which continued up to the time of Mr. Judson's death, with 
the single modification that in the year 1907 Judge John S. Pullman was 
admitted to the firm which thereupon became Canfield, Judson & Pullman, 
and has grown to be one of the best known in Connecticut. Mr. Judson 
quickly made a reputation for himself as one of the ablest lawyers in the 
region, especially in court, where his forensic ability and able grasp of his sub- 
ject made him a most powerful ally and dangerous opponent. His success 
with the jury was phenomenal and it was not long before he had developed a 
very large practice and was handling some of the largest and most import- 
ant cases in the State. Indeed, it was even before his arrival in Bridgeport, 
while he was yet a clerk in the office of Townsend & Watrous, in New 
Haven, that he first attracted attention to himself by his unusual powers. 
It was about the same time also that he began his political activity, in which 
connection, even more than in his professional work, his fame has grown. It 
was not long before he became one of the most popular political speakers 
thereabouts, and the Republican local organization began to look upon him 
as a coming power and a possible candidate for office. And assuredly Mr. 
Judson was a coming power, although, alas for hopes of those in control of 
the party organization, his personality was too strong and definite to fit into 
the ordinary partisan moulds of conventional form. Mr. Judson was a 
staunch Republican, a believer in the principles and many of the policies of 
his party, but he was essentially a reformer, and when he saw what he con- 
sidered abuses he did not stop to discover whether political friend or foe was 
responsible for them, he simply and forcibly pointed them out and demanded 
their removal. In the year 1891, Stratford, in which he had always made his 
home and which began to be proud of this rising young lawyer, elected him 
to the General Assembly of the State. It was during his first term in that 
body that the famous "deadlock" session occurred, in which he took a most 
notable part. His constituents were highly gratified at the position he took 
and the energy with which he pushed his views in the Assembly and 
returned him thereto in 1895, when he was appointed chairman of the judi- 
ciary committee. In the meantime, however, in 1892, he was the party can- 
didate for Secretary of State, for which he was defeated, however, together 
with the whole State ticket, after a most creditable campaign. In 1905 Mr. 
Judson was elected State Senator from the twenty-fifth senatorial district, in 



^tflcg 3luDgon 27 

which his home town is situated, and promptly assumed a leading role as 
champion of reform legislature in the Senate. He was returned in 1907 and 
during the ensuing session he was president pro tempore of the body. 
During both these terms he was chairman of the senate judiciary committee. 
Upon the death of Samuel Fessenden, State's attorney for Fairfield county, 
Mr. Judson was appointed to fill the unexpired term. This was in 1908 
and he was later elected to the same oflke on the splendid showing of his 
record. He continued to hold this ofifice until March 30, 1914, when on his 
own request as a result of failing health, he was removed by order of Judge 
Joseph P. Tuttle. In 1910 Mr. Judson was renominated Senator by the 
Republicans, and the Democratic Convention, meeting shortly afterward, 
endorsed his candidacy, an honor never before received by a candidate from 
that district. The following election he was again the choice of his party, 
and was triumphantly returned after one of the most bitter campaigns ever 
waged in that region. His opponent was Judge Elmore S. Banks, of Fair- 
field, Connecticut, which, strangely enough was situated in the same sena- 
torial district, and the question at issue was the Public Utilities Bill, of 
which he was the champion. After his election he returned to the Senate to 
continue his effective advocacy of the bill there, while Judge Banks was 
sent to the House, to continue his opposition. The final victory was with 
the advocates of the bill, which was passed at that session, largely because 
of the masterly efiforts of Mr. Judson in its behalf. The great amount of 
labor, the intensity of his efiforts in its cause are by some regarded as a con- 
tributory cause of the loss of health which he suffered thereafter, and which 
finally resulted in his death. In 1913 he found the pressure of business inci- 
dent to his office as State's Attorney so great that he was obliged to forego 
any legislative activity, and in 1914. as already mentioned, he resigned that 
office. 

Mr. Judson was a very conspicuous figure in the social world, and a 
member of several important clubs and organizations in Stratford and 
Bridgeport. He was an active Mason, being a member of St. John's Lodge, 
Free and Accepted Masons, of Bridgeport ; Hamilton Commandery, Knights 
Templar, of Bridgeport; and of the Algonquin and Brooklawn clubs of the 
same city. He was also a member of Company K, Fourth Regiment Con- 
necticut National Guard, for ten years, at the end of which period he was 
captain of his company. 

Mr. Judson was married, December 5, 1889, to Minnie L. Miles, of Mil- 
ford, Connecticut, the daughter of George Washington Miles, a well-known 
manufacturer of that place. Mrs. Judson, who graduated from the Yale 
University Art School, devotes much of her time at present to her painting. 
She possesses a great deal of talent in this direction, and is a woman of great 
general culture and unusual social charm. 

In summing up the total of Stiles Judson's work, and the effect of his 
life and efforts upon the community, it must be borne in mind that at heart 
he was a reformer, and that as such, the results of his work are by no means 
to be measured by the formal victories that he won. It is the fate of reformers 
generally that they often win more in their defeats than their victories, and 
so it was in a measure in the case of Mr. Judson. Some of his bitterest con- 



28 %tilcs 3luDson 

flicts were with the "machine" in his own party. He was a consistent oppo- 
nent of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company in all its 
political activities, and during the last year of his State's Attorneyship 
opposed it with great vigor and prosecuted some of its officials. With this 
sinister political force and with the element in the party which represented 
its wishes, he was in continual warfare, as well as with every other factor in 
the party which seemed to him to interfere with the will of the people, and 
as might be expected was often defeated. He was engaged in an effort to 
destroy the power of Allan W. Paige in Fairfield county ; he championed the 
cause of Bulkeley for United States Senator in his fight with Fessenden, and 
strove mightily, though ineffectively, to prevent the Republican nomination 
for Governor of the State going to Judge John P. Studley. Had he been 
content to travel the easy road, he would doubtless have reached greater 
heights politically than he did, but his services to his county and State and 
to his party were unquestionably much the greater in that he chose to oppose 
the intrenched forces of privilege, even when such opposition meant defeat. 
To his object of fighting well the people's battle, he brought his great 
powers, his capacity for long and hard work, his brilliant and active mind 
and his oratory, which all agreed were of the highest type. Thus equipped 
he accomplished against his powerful opponent much that seemed well 
nigh impossible, and often turned what was apparently inevitable defeat into 
brilliant victory. It will be appropriate to close this sketch with an excerpt 
from an editorial which appeared in the "Bridgeport Telegram" on the occa- 
sion of his death. Says the "Telegram :" 

The name of Stiles Judson will be incorporated into the traditions of the Connecticut 
bar. It is doubtful if a more brilliant attorney ever pleaded a case before a Connecticut 
judicial tribune. To an enormous capacity for deep research, Attorney Judson added an 
ability for rapid and brilliant thinking "on his feet," — a very unusual combination. As a 
result he was not only grounded in the law to an extraordinary degree, but he followed 
each trend and turn of a case with the most brilliant (and to his opponent's disconcert- 
ing) ability for taking prompt and generally crushing advantage of any opening that 
offered. When, in addition to these qualifications as a trial attorney, it is remembered 
that he was an orator of rare ability, the possessor of a keen and incisive wit, and 
endowed with a commanding presence, his extraordinary power becomes apparent. 
These qualities led the judges of the superior court to appoint him State's Attorney, and 
he honored the ofifice. At his best, he was truly great ; not alone because of his ability, 
but because he never knowingly used his great powers to take an unfair advantage of a 
weaker opponent, and his first aim always as State's Attorney, was not to secure a con- 
viction but to obtain justice. 

Here it is a pleasure to record what was known to but few, — that in his private prac- 
tice Attorney Judson was a friend of the poor and needy ; that in many a case where an 
unfortunate person was struggling for justice, he took the case, fought it to a brilliant 
conclusion, and then refused to accept a fee, or at least, nothing commensurate with the 
extent and brilliancy of his services. Had he taken another course he would probably 
have been a very rich man. 



litngsburp jFamtlp 




FREDERICK JOHN KINGSBURY, whose death on Septem- 
ber 30, 1910, at the age of eighty-seven years, deprived the 
city of Waterbury, Connecticut, of one of its best known and 
most distinguished citizens, was a member of a very ancient 
English family, the name of Kingsbury or Kyngesbury, as 
it was originally spelled, being frequently met with in the 
fifteenth century and even that preceding it. As early as 
1300, indeed, we hear of one Gilbert de Kingsbury, a churchman of Kings- 
bury, in Warwickshire, with which place the name is very probably asso- 
ciated in its origin. There were also Kingsburys to be found in Suffolk and 
other counties in that part of England a little later. The relationship of the 
various bearers of the name at that time is not of course entirely obtainable, 
but a family becomes traceable in Suffolk in the early part of the sixteenth 
century, and from the time of John Kyngesbury of Great Cornard, Suffolk- 
shire, who died on August 10, 1539, the line is continuous and unbroken 
down to the present day. It was about one hundred years after this date 
that Henry Kingsbury of the sixth generation from the John mentioned 
above, came to this country from Assington, Suffolkshire, with John Win- 
throp, and in 1638 is recorded as one of the founders of Ipswich, Massachu- 
setts, in that year. The Kingsburys were from their advent here active 
members of the community, and quickly became prominent in general 
affairs, religious, civil and military, many of them distinguishing themselves 
greatly in the services they performed for their fellow colonists. The family 
was represented during the Revolution by Judge John Kingsbury, who at 
the breaking out of the struggle was a student in Yale College. He served 
his country on the sea, going on two privateering voyages with his brother 
Jacob. He was a very distinguished man in his time and region. He mar- 
ried Marcia Bronson, a member of another prominent family of Waterbury, 
and was the father of Charles Denison, of whom further. 

Charles Denison Kingsbury, the eldest son of Judge John and Marcia 
(Bronson) Kingsbury, was born December 7, 1795, in Waterbury, in which 
place he passed practically his entire life. The record of his early life is 
most intimately associated with the good old times in Waterbury, and his 
memory was stocked up to the time of his death with a great mass of facts 
of inestimable value and interest to the historian and antiquarian. He first 
attended the local schools and there received the elementary portion of his 
education under some of the well known early teachers of Waterbury, 
among which may be mentioned Miss Hotchkiss, a sister of Deacon Elijah 
Hotchkiss, and the Rev. Virgil H. Barber. Later he went away from home 
to attend the Rev. Daniel Parker's school at Ellsworth, in Sharon. Among 
his schoolfellows were Henry G. Ludlow, the well-known New York clergy- 
man, and Charles A. Goodyear, the inventor. 

In 1812 Mr. Kingsbury, then seventeen years of age, began his success- 
ful mercantile career, in the humble capacity of clerk for the firm of Benedict 



30 IBifnffStJUtpiFamilp 

& Burton in the old store on the corner of Exchange Place and Harrison 
Alley. Here he remained for upwards of two years, when he was seized 
with a serious malady of the lungs, which for a time threatened to end his 
life. He finally recovered, however, but was obliged to stop work for a time. 
For a time he studied medicine under the direction of Dr. Edward Field, his 
friends giving him the name of doctor, which clung to him during the 
remainder of his life. In the latter part of 1814 he once more began active 
work, on this occasion securing a position with the firm of Burton & Leav- 
enworth. His alert mind quickly won the favorable regard of his employers, 
and the following winter, the junior member of the firm, Mr. Leavenworth, 
took him with him on a trip to the South, made for the purpose of introduc- 
ing their clocks in the southern markets. The family still preserve a portion 
of the journal kept by him of his travels. Returning from the South he spent 
considerable time in settling up the business aflfairs of Burton & Leaven- 
worth, the partners of which were dissolving the firm. This work com- 
pleted, he returned once more to the South, making arrangements with the 
publishing house of Mitchell, Ames & White, of Philadelphia, to represent 
them as agent in Virginia. He spent about a year in that State, principally 
in Richmond and vicinity, selling law and medical books, and works of the 
class of Jefferson's "Notes" and Wirt's "Life of Patrick Henry." Mr. Kings- 
bury always referred to this year as a most delightful and profitable experi- 
ence, as it brought him into contact with the cultured people of the section 
often on the friendliest and most agreeable terms. He visited the legal and 
medical men of the neighborhood and often spent a number of days with 
them at their homes. He made one more stay in the South after this, spend- 
ing the winter of 1820-21 in Philadelphia as the agent of the firm of Lewis, 
Grilley & Lewis, manufacturers of buttons in Naugatuck. 

Mr. Kingsbury had been eminently successful in his various enterprises, 
and by this time had saved sufficiently to enable him to embark upon an 
enterprise of his own. In the spring of 1821 he leased in his native city 
of Waterbury the store in which he had already been employed as a clerk, 
and there established a general mercantile business. He eventually pur- 
chased the property, and carried on his enterprise there for nearly twenty 
years. He had but one rival in the same business in Waterbury, the old 
establishment of Leavenworth, Hayden & Scovill, and from the first his 
venture prospered well. The drug store of Dr. Johnson was closed about 
that time, and Mr. Kingsbury added drugs to his already wide line of 
stock. As his business increased and his resources grew larger, Mr. 
Kingsbury engaged in a number of industrial operations, in all of which 
he was successful. He manufactured shoes and harnesses, and was the 
owner of a factory situated on the Mad river, where he manufactured 
pearl buttons. This was on the site now occupied by the large plant of 
the American Mills Company. In 1827 Mr. Kingsbury took into partner- 
ship with him Mr. William Brown, a gentleman who had been his clerk, and 
who later married his employer's sister. Three years later Mr. Brown left 
Waterbury and went to South Carolina, and Mr. Kingsbury took Dr. Fred- 
erick Leavenworth into the business to occupy the place left vacant by Mr. 
Brown. The partners now operated separate stores, Dr. Leavenworth 




(2^,-,;^::^^ 'c/^J^^^^^ ^/^^ 



l^inffSburpjTamnp 31 

taking charge of the drug and grocery departments, and Mr. Kingsbury of 
the general dry goods. In 1835 the two branches were consolidated beneath 
the same roof. 

Mr. Kingsbury's health, never the most robust, began to fail in the year 
183S. and he gradually withdrew entirely from his mercantile and industrial 
interests, and retired to the rural estate left him by his father. Both that 
gentleman and his grandfather had been large property holders in the 
neighborhood, and it now became the purpose of Mr. Kingsbury to operate 
with some degree of adequacy this large tract by cultivating it and putting 
it to farm uses. He developed a great interest in agriculture, and for 
several years carried on extensive farming operations, which under his skill- 
ful direction were a great success. The growth of the city was tending in the 
direction of his property, so that after some years he began to build houses 
and divide his property into lots, which he disposed of to great advantage. 
He was an authority on the matter of old property divisions and ownerships, 
and his mind was indeed a repository of most of the old lore of Waterbury. 
He held a number of public offices in the city, always to the great satisfaction 
of his fellow townsmen, although he did not actively enter politics. For 
years he was affiliated with the First Congregational Church, and at his 
death was the oldest member. The first four ministers of this church were 
the ancestors of his children. Despite his rather delicate health, he lived 
to the venerable age of ninety-five years, retaining his faculties and strength 
to a wonderful degree. His carriage was upright and firm, and he continued 
to keep his own accounts to within five days of his death. This occurred on 
January 16, 1890, in his residence on North Main street, which had been built 
by his great-great-grandfather, Thomas Bronson, in 1760, and occupied by 
himself for nearly sixty years. 

Mr. Kingsbury married Eliza Leavenworth, of Waterbury, a member 
of the distinguished Leavenworth family of that city and New Haven, and a 
daughter of his partner, Dr. Frederick Leavenworth and Fanny (Johnson) 
Leavenworth, his wife. To Mr. and Mrs. Kingsbury were born two chil- 
dren, the elder of whom was Frederick John, of whom further. 

Frederick John Kingsbury, the elder of the two children of Charles 
Denison and Eliza (Leavenworth) Kingsbury, was born January i, 1823, in 
Waterbury, and has there made his home during his entire life. The fond- 
ness for intellectual pursuits which marked his character during his life, 
made its appearance early in his childhood, and was doubtless fostered by 
the circtimstances which surrounded him and the careful training which he 
received at his mother's own hand as a child. He was not a robust boy, and 
his mother, who took much interest in botany and chemistry, constituted 
herself his teacher and took his training into her own hands for a number of 
years, during which the influence of her charming and beauty-loving person- 
ality had a great eflfect in moulding the lad's into a similar form. She read 
to him fairy tales and poetry along with his other lessons, subjects which the 
average lad reared in a rural district had but little opportunity for in those 
days. He spent his time on his father's large farm and as a child will, used 
to play at work with the hands, until, growing older, jest was gradually 
changed to earnest, and by the time he had recovered his health sufificiently 



S2 lSings6iirpjFamiIp 

and was of an age to leave home to complete his education, he was possessed 
of a good practical knowledge of farming. After studying for some years 
under the gentle discipline of his mother, it was thought wise to send him 
from home to a school where he would rub with other boys and learn a little 
of life, as well as prepare himself for college. At this juncture, a maternal 
uncle, the Rev. Abner J. Leavenworth, invited the lad to visit him in Vir- 
ginia, an invitation which was accepted, the excellent clergyman undertak- 
ing to superintend his nephew's studies personally. Here in a very congenial 
atmosphere of books and learning, Mr. Kingsbury spent the better part of 
eighteen months. On his return to the North, he was sent to the Waterbury 
Academy, and there prepared himself for college and the professional course 
which he proposed taking. The Rev. Mr. Seth Fuller was principal of the 
Waterbury Academy at that time, a man of strong personality and much 
erudition, who influenced not a little the forming mind of his talented pupil. 
After completing his studies here, he matriculated at Yale College and 
there, after distinguishing himself and drawing upon himself the favorable 
regard of his professors and instructors, he was graduated with the class of 
1846. He had long before determined to take up the law as a profession, 
and with this purpose in view he studied the subject in the Yale Law .School. 
Here he came in contact with a number of interesting legal minds, among 
which were Chief Justice William L. Storrs and Isaac H. Townsend. He 
then entered the ofiice of the Hon. Thomas C. Perkins, of Hartford, and 
later that of the Hon. Charles G. Loring, of Boston, to complete his reading 
of law. In 1848, two years after his graduation from Yale, he was admitted 
to the Connecticut bar at Boston, and the following year opened a law office 
in his native city. He was successful from the start, and would doubtless 
have made a name for himself in his profession, had it not been for a distract- 
ing cause which eventually led him into an entirely different career. It was 
in the year 1850, when he had been engaged in the practice but a twelve- 
month, that Mr. Kingsbury had his attention directed to the subject of bank- 
ing in such a manner as to induce him to engage in that business. He did 
not at once give up his legal practice, following both occupations for three 
years. He then finally closed his law office and devoted his entire attention 
to banking, in which connection and as a man of scholarly attainments, he 
was best known in Waterbury. His success as a lawyer had been such as to 
attract general attention, and the recognition of his ability and integrity was 
such that his fellow citizens elected him to represent them in the Connecticut 
State Legislature. This was in the year 1850, but two years after his admis- 
sion to the bar, and it was during the term of his service in that body that his 
attention became directed to the subject of banks and banking, and the plan 
of establishing a savings bank took shape in his mind. He procured a char- 
ter for the Waterbury Savings Bank, and his plan was realized. Mr. Kings- 
bury was himself made treasurer of the institution and managed its affairs 
until his death. After finally giving up the law, he devoted his entire atten- 
tion to banking problems and the direction of the Waterbury Savings Bank, 
which owed its existence so largely to his efforts. In the same year that he 
withdrew from legal practice, Mr. Kingsbury and Mr. Abram Ives in asso- 
ciation founded the Citizens' Bank of Waterbury, and the former was 



chosen president. This was in 1853, and he held the post until his death, his 
capable and just management contributing in a large measure to the success 
of the institution. Mr. Kingsbury's position in the financial and business 
circles grew rapidly to one of importance, and in the year 1858 he was 
elected to the directorate of the Scovill Manufacturing Company. He took 
such interest in the affairs of the company and gave so much of his attention 
thereto, that in 1862 his fellow directors determined to put him on the active 
official staff and elected him secretary. Two years later he was made treas- 
urer, and in 1868 he succeeded S. W. Hall as president. For thirty-two years 
he held that oftice and at length in 1900 refused reelection, taking instead the 
office of vice-president, which enabled him to relax somewhat his active 
management of affairs. Nor was this the only important business concern, 
with which he was officially connected. As time went on he became one of 
the most prominent figures in the business world thereabouts, and was asso- 
ciated with railroad and steamboat companies and other concerns. 

It has already been stated that Mr. Kingsbury served his fellow towns- 
men as representative in the State Legislature. This he did on a number of 
occasions. The first was in 1850, at the time his attention was directed to 
banking. Later in 1858, and in 1865 he was again a member of that body and 
was appointed chairman of the banking committee, a position for which his 
experience amply qualified him. During the latter session he was also a 
member of the committee on the revision of the statutes of Connecticut. At 
one time Mr. Kingsbury was urged by the Republican party organization 
in the State to accept the candidacy for Governor of Connecticut, an offer 
which his prominence in many directions and his personal popularity ren- 
dered most appropriate. He was, however, unable to accept it owing to the 
many interests for which responsibility was already resting upon him, and 
which he could not shift and would not neglect. He allowed his name to be 
used as candidate for Lieutenant-Governor, however. The Republican ticket 
was that year defeated so that it was unnecessary for Mr. Kingsbury to 
change any of his private obligations for public ones. In political belief Mr. 
Kingsbury was a staunch supporter of the principles and the policies of the 
Republican party, but was far too independent in thought and action to 
allow partisan considerations to affect his conduct, either as a voter or a 
legislator. 

The list of Mr. Kingsbury's achievements is by no means exhausted in 
recounting those in the business and political worlds. His success in the 
realm of scholarship was quite as conspicuous, and perhaps even dearer to 
his heart, in view of his strong mental tendency in that direction. Mr. 
Kingsbury's work as a business man, as a man of affairs was fine, but he may 
be said to have pursued his literary work con amore. His intellectual attain- 
ments were exceptional and marked by the greatest versatility. He was an 
enthusiast in the cause of general education, and worked hard for its spread 
in many ways. He was treasurer of the Bronson Library Fund from its 
foundation for over thirty years and by careful investments he greatly 
increased the original bequest; was chairman of the book committee and a 
member of the board of agents. In 1881 he was elected a member of the 
corporation of Yale College, and served on that most honorable body until 



34 EingsbiitpjFamilp 

1899. In 1893 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Wil- 
Hams College, and six years later the same degree from Yale. He was 
appointed in 1876, to represent the State of Connecticut in the national 
committee at the centennial exposition in Philadelphia. He was a member 
of many literary and scientific clubs and associations, among which were the 
American Antiquarian Society, the American Historical Association, the 
Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, the New Haven County His- 
torical Society, the Society of Colonial Wars and the University and Cen- 
tury Clubs. He was also a member of the American Social Science Associa- 
tion, a department of knowledge in which he specialized to a considerable 
extent during the latter years of his life. He was president of this associa- 
tion for a number of years. History and genealogy were subjects which 
exercised a strong fascination for him, and he was regarded as an authority 
in all matters pertaining to the records of his home locality. He was the 
author of an excellent history of Waterbury, and with the collaboration of 
Mary Kingsbury Talcott compiled the "Kingsbury Genealogy." Mr. Kings- 
bury was a devoted member of the Episcopal church. 

Mr. Kingsbury was married, April 29, 1851, to Alathea Ruth Scovill, of 
Waterbury, Connecticut, a daughter of William Henry and Eunice Ruth 
(Davies) Scovill, of that place. To Mr. and Mrs. Kingsbury five children 
were born, as follows: i. William Charles, born in July, 1853, died March 
2, 1864. 2. Mary Eunice, born June 9, 1856, married Dr. Charles Steadman 
Bull, of New York City, and became the mother of three children: Fred- 
erick Kingsbury, Ludlow Seguino and Dorothy. 3. Alice Eliza, born May 
4, 1858. 4. Edith Davies, born February 6, i860. 5. Frederick John, Jr.. 
born July 7, 1863, married Adele Townsend, of Oyster Bay, Long Island, by 
whom he has had two children : Ruth, who married Richard Collier Sargent 
and has one son, Richard Collier, Jr., and Frederick John; he is now the 
president of the Bridgeport Brass Company, of Bridgeport, Connecticut. 

The death of Mr. Kingsbury was a loss, not merely to his immediate 
family and the large circle of personal friends, but to the community at 
large, which had, as a whole, benefited by his manifold accomplishments and 
activities. He was an unusual man, an unusual personality, and the story of 
his life has been woven, as it were into the history of the community of 
which it is so essential a part. If one would express briefly the course of 
action which guided him to the unique position which he held among his 
fellow townsmen, he could not do better than quote his own words of advice 
to young men, in which it would seem he summed up his own philosophy 
of conduct. He said: 

"Be honest in your purpose. Practice truthfulness, courtesy, and the 
cultivation of a kindly feeling toward all men. Be industrious and perse- 
vering. Neither court nor shun responsibility, but discharge all obligations 
to the best of your ability. Do the most honorable thing that oflfers and keep 
at it until something comes. Beware of procrastination." 



3lof)n ^. «ltUtamson 



12041G4 




T IS THE progressive, wide-awake men of affairs who make 
the real history of a community, State or Nation, and their 
influence as a potential factor of the body politic is difficult 
to estimate. The examples men furnish of patient purpose 
and steadfast integrity strongly illustrate what is in the 
power of each to accomplish, and there is always a full 
measure of satisfaction in adverting, even in a casual 
manner, to their achievements in advancing the interests of their fellowmen 
and in giving strength and solidity to the institutions which tell so much for 
the prosperity of the community. John H. Williamson, late of Bethel, Con- 
necticut, was a man of this caliber. A public-spirited citizen, he was ready 
at all times to use his means and influence for the promotion of such public 
improvements as were conducive to the comfort and happiness of his fellow- 
men, and there was probably not another man in the community so long 
honored by his residence who was held in higher esteem, regardless of sects, 
politics or professions. He was one of the most unostentatious of men, open- 
hearted and candid in manner, always retaining in his demeanor the 
simplicity and candor of the oldtime gentleman, and his record stands as an 
enduring monument. 

John H. Williamson was born in Carnmonie, a town in the northern 
part of Ireland, December 27, 1851, son of James and Agnes Williamson, 
members of a Scotch colony which had settled there. He received his early 
education in a private school in Belfast. He came to the United States as a 
boy and completed his education at Cooper Institute, New York, where he 
received the degree of mechanical engineer. Shortly after his graduation 
and at the age of nineteen years he entered business as a contractor and 
builder, with offices at the corner of Forty-third street and Broadway, and 
he continued in the same line of business for seventeen years and during that 
long period of time carried out many private and public contracts, one of 
which was the erection of a riding academy on the present site of Pabst 
Grand Circle, and the Majestic Theatre at Columbus Circle, New York, 
which was notable as containing the longest span wood truss ever built in 
the United States. Mr. Williamson was its sole designer as well as builder. 
Another of his buildings of interest to his fellow townsmen was the Presby- 
terian church in Brewster, and he also constructed several gas plants about 
the country, the largest being at Watson, Illinois, and he built several private 
yachts, the most notable of which was that of Commodore Brown, of the 
New York Yacht Club. While in charge of tearing down a building in con- 
nection with a contract for the widening of a street in downtown New York, 
the mistake of a foreman resulted in the collapse of the structure, burying 
him for twenty hours with the splintered end of a joist through his left 
cheek. After discontinuing this business in 18S7 he entered the boiler busi- 
ness as consulting engineer with the Hazleton Boiler Company, of New York, 
and his business interests in connection with this extended to all parts of 



36 3!of)n i^. e^illiamson 

the country. While connected with this firm his inventive genius demon- 
strated itself, and the five patents taken out by him resulted, on the death 
of the firm's president in 1903, in his gaining the ownership and control of 
the business, which he conducted until the time of his death under the name 
of the Connecticut Construction Supply Company. He was an expert in this 
line and as such was called before the Massachusetts Legislature in March, 
1908, and his advice was influential in the making of their revised laws 
regitlating the construction of steam boilers. 

The residence of Mr. Williamson in Bethel covered a period of twenty- 
eight years and during that time he was active in the interests of the town, 
yet his benefactions were conducted in such an unostentatious manner that his 
name was not brought forth prominently in connection therewith. He was 
a man of honest and upright character, lofty ideals and aspirations, thus his 
advice and opinions were sought and respected, and his political influence 
was widely felt. Although brought up in the Presbyterian church he was at 
the time of his death a member of the Protestant Episcopal church of Bethel. 
He was a staunch Republican in politics, and always took an active interest 
in State and local affairs, numbering among his friends the most influential 
men in the State. He stood for progress and the advancement of the people 
and for what was honest and right. He served as a member of the Board of 
Trade, as justice of the peace and as grand juror. His fraternal affiliation 
was with Eureka Lodge, No. 83, Free and Accepted Masons, of which he had 
been a member for many years. 

Mr. Williamson married, January 27, i88c, Julia Reid, daughter of 
Hugh and Mary (Parsons) Reid, the ceremony being performed in Bethel. 
Children: Agnes Belle, a graduate of the New Haven Normal School ; John 
Kennedy, a mining engineer, graduate of Cornell University, class of 1906, 
now superintendent for the Turner Building Company, of New York ; 
Elizabeth, a graduate of the Danbury Normal School, wife of Harry Brown- 
low, of Danbury, Connecticut; Harry Hugh, graduate of Cornell Univer- 
sity, class of 191 1 ; Julia Edna and James Reid, pupils in the Bethel public 
schools. 

Mr. Williamson passed away at his home in Bethel, September 23, 1908. 
He lived to good purpose and achieved a degree of success commensurate 
with his efiforts. By a straightforward and commendable course he made his 
way to a prominent position in the business world, winning the admiration 
of the people of his town and earning a reputation as an enterprising, pro- 
gressive man of affairs and a broad-minded, charitable and upright citizen, 
which the public was not slow to recognize. His was a life of honor and 
trust, and no higher eulogy can be passed upon him than to say the simple 
truth — that his name had never been coupled with anything disreputable 
and that there was never a shadow of a stain upon his reputation for 
integrity and unwavering honesty. He was a consistent man in all he under- 
took, and his career in all the relations of life was utterly without pretense. 




3iof)n i|. jmtartilc. B. B. B. 

HE CITY OF Westport, Connecticut, lost one of its leading 
citizens and prominent professional men in the death there 
on May 24, 191 5, of Dr. John H. McArdle. Dr. McArdle was 
not a native of Westport, nor, for that matter, of Connec- 
ticut at all, but he had lived in that State since early child- 
hood so that he was intimately identified with the life there 
and had scarcely any association with any other section, 
even the region of his birth, save indirectly. He was born in the city of 
Brooklyn, New York, September 2, 1873, so that he was still a young man at 
the time of his death with his career but beginning to bear the fruit of his 
youthful promise. 

He lived in the place of his birth until he had reached the age of eight 
years. He then came to Westport to live with his uncle and aunt, Mr. and 
Mrs. Michael Clear, of that city, who acted as guardians to him during the 
remainder of his childhood and early youth. He received his early and 
general education at the excellent public schools of Westport and afterwards 
returned temporarily to New York to take a course in dental surgery at the 
New York College of Dentistry. Upon graduation from that institution, he 
returned at once to Westport, where he shortly established himself in the 
practice of his profession. He was successful from the outset and very soon 
had built up a large practice which continued to grow steadily until the 
time of his retirement. He became, indeed, one of the leading dentists in 
that part of the State. It was not alone in his profession, however, that Dr. 
McArdle was prominent in the city's affairs, for although a great deal of his 
time and attention was taken up with professional work, yet he always 
interested himself in every important movement undertaken for the city's 
welfare and was identified with not a few of them in a very intimate manner. 
He was particularly interested in the question of education and served as 
secretary of the school board of Westport for a number of years. Religion 
was a matter that played a very important part in the life of Dr. McArdle, 
and few men give up so much time and thought or exert so much energy 
in its cause as did he. He was a Roman Catholic in faith and a most devout 
member of that ancient church. He was directly affiliated with the Church 
of the Assumption in Westport during practically the entire term of his life, 
and was associated with most of the societies and clubs connected there- 
with, as well as materially supporting the various charities of the parish. 
He was one of those connected with the founding of the Holy Name Society 
in that parish and a charter member as well as serving as its president for 
manv years. It was from this church that Dr. McArdle's funeral was finally 
held, a ceremony of much pomp and impressiveness, with a high mass of 
requiem and many representative bodies gathered in the church, while all 
the schools in the city were closed for the day. He was a member of the 
State Dental Association and extremely active in working for the interests 
of his profession. 



38 3foi)n 1^. e^catDIe 

On January 20, 1904, Dr. McArdle was united in marriage with Mar- 
garet Welch, a daughter of Antoine and Mary Welch. To Dr. and Mrs. 
McArdle three children were born during the life of Dr. McArdle and a 
fourth shortly after his death. The names of three of the children are: 
Helen, Margaret, and Kathryn. This brief sketch cannot be more appro- 
priately closed than with the following extract from the local press which 
admirably illustrates how important a place was filled by Dr. McArdle. 

As a token of respect to the inemor}- of Dr. John H. McArdle, whose funeral was 
held this morning, all public schools of town were closed all day, to-day. The services 
this morning at 10.30 o'clock were the most impressive seen in Westport for years. 
The Church of the Assumption was packed to the doors with the great throng of friends 
and relatives who had come to pay their last respects to the man who had lived amongst 
them .since early childhood. The Rev. J. J. Mitty, a professor of theology at Dunwoodie 
Seminary, New York State, was the celebrant at a solemn high mass of requiem, assisted 
by the Rev. John Carroll, a former pastor of the church, acting as deacon ; and the Rev. 
James C. O'Brien, of Stamford, as sub-deacon. * * * Acting as master of cere- 
monies was the Rev. Father C. J. McCann. of Manchester, who, previous to his ordination 
in the priesthood as a young man, had been a companion of the late Dr. McArdle. Seated 
in the sanctuary were the Rev. Father J. J. Duggan, pastor of the church ; Rev. T. J. 
Finn, Norwalk ; Rev. Father Doyle, of New York, and the Rev. Father Riley, a Holy 
Ghost Father of Norwalk. At the close of the mass the Rev. Father Duggan preached 
a funeral oration that reached the hearts of the scores of friends seated in the church. 





Augustus ^abin Cl)ase 

UGUSTUS SABIN CHASE, who for nearly half a century 
was closely and potently associated in active life with the 
industrial and civic development of Waterbury, was born 
in Pomfret, Connecticut, August 15, 1828. He was one 
of three children of Captain Seth and Eliza Hempstead 
(Dodge) Chase, and their only son. He was descended from 
the earliest Puritan settlers of New England, and in him 
survived many of their sterling qualities. 

Mr. Chase's boyhood was spent on his father's farm, which had also 
belonged to his grandfather, and is still owned by the family. At sixteen he 
was a student at Woodstock Academy, and two years later he took charge of 
a country school in Brooklyn, Connecticut. Next he moved to Killingly, and 
went to work as a clerk in a store belonging to the Danielson Manufacturing 
Company. When Mr. Chase was twenty-two, an old Windham county resi- 
dent. Dyer Ames, Jr., cashier of the Waterbury National Bank, and a former 
resident of Brooklyn, made inquiries in Windham county for a young man 
to take a position in the W^aterbury Bank. His selection fell upon Mr. 
Chase, who in 1850 took a subordinate position in the bank. In the follow- 
ing year he became assistant cashier; in 1852, cashier; and in 1864 at the age 
of thirty-six, its president, a position which he held for more than thirty 
years, or until the time of his death. Not very long after settling in Water- 
burv, Mr. Chase became interested in manufacturing, an interest that con- 
tinued during the remainder of his life. He was a stockholder and officer in 
many of Waterbury's successful companies, and of some of the most promi- 
nent he was president. At the time of his death he was president of the 
Waterbury Manufacturing Company, of the Benedict and Burnham Com- 
pany, of the Waterbury Watch Company, and of the Waterbury Buckle 
Company. Of these, the Waterbury Manufacturing Company, which he 
established in association with his eldest son, Henry S. Chase, was exclu- 
sively a family enterprise. It has grown from small beginnings to be one of 
the largest brass manufacturing plants in the Naugatuck valley, and in asso- 
ciation with the Chase Rolling Mill Company and the Chase Metal Works, 
Incorporated, both of which were established by the family after Mr. 
Chase's death in 1896, constitutes as a whole one of the important factors in 
the brass business of the country. 

Mr. Chase had always taken an active interest in newspapers, having 
largely for his model a provincial paper of the character of the "Springfield 
Republican." He was one of the original stockholders of the American 
Printing Company, which was organized in 1868 to continue the publication 
of the "Waterbury American" (founded in 1844), and with a small group 
controlled its policy and promoted its development. From 1877 until his 
death he was president of the American Printing Company and its impres- 
sive building and well equipped plant on Grand street were constructed by 
Mr. Chase and his son to give to a journal in which he felt keen pride a home 



40 Augustus ^a&tn C&ase 

suitable to its reputation. While in no sense a club man, he believed in the 
club principle rightly expressed, and was one of the founders of the Water- 
bury Club, and its first president. His interest in education was represented 
by the active service he gave to St. Margaret's School, of which he was a 
trustee, and of whose board he was treasurer from its establishment. He 
was one of the original members of the Second Congregational Society, and 
was an active member of the Waterbury Hospital Corporation. For the 
hospital he obtained, through his friendship with the late Erastus de Forest, 
the beautiful site from which it has recently moved to its present location. 
He was the first treasurer of the city of Waterbury, and served the city on 
the school and water boards, and as a member of the board of agents of the 
Bronson Library. In his earlier years he also served the town for one term 
in the Connecticut house of representatives. 

Mr. Chase's success in business was due to qualities not uncommon in 
themselves, but rare in combination. His judgment was cool and deliberate : 
but, his judgment satisfied, he brought to the execution of his plans opti- 
mism and courage as radical in their way as the preliminary planning was 
conservative. He had faith in those with whom he was associated, many of 
them being of his own selection. And there grew up around him a group of 
young men who looked to him for the hopeful stimulus that springs from 
buoyant faith. A self-reliant man, he relied on others to do their part, and 
made them feel his confidence and appreciation. At once just and sympa- 
thetic, he interested himself in all those whose concerns touched him. He 
was never so busy as to lack time to listen and to advise. 

Mr. Chase also enjoyed, what many business men of his great responsi- 
bilities lack, a taste for literature and art. A home-keeping man, he gave 
much of his time to his library, and was a steady and discriminating reader 
of the best books. He loved beauty in form and color, and when at Madrid 
just before his untimely death, at Paris, June 7, 1896, he by instinct chose 
without guidance the first masterpieces of the Prado. He was no less a lover 
of nature. Few men have brought into their maturer years so keen and 
affectionate a memory of the country life of their boyhood. It was the great 
pleasure of his hours of relaxation to cultivate and beautify the Rose Hill 
estate where he lived with his family during his later years. As a citizen Mr. 
Chase was public-spirited, interested in all matters of local concern, helpful 
and generous, accepting the responsibilities of his position, sensitive for the 
reputation and welfare of the community, and responsive to the claims of 
society upon his duty, charity and neighborly kindness. 

On September 7, 1854, Mr. Chase married Martha Clark Starkweather, 
daughter of Dr. Rodney Starkweather, of Chesterfield, Massachusetts. Six 
children were born to them, three sons and three daughters. Mrs. Chase 
survived her husband for ten years, dying December i, 1906. The six chil- 
dren are still living, and there are now in the family twenty-two grandchil- 
dren, of whom seven are boys and fifteen are girls. 

The sons, all of whom are graduates of the academic department of 
Yale, have followed most successfully in the business career of their father. 
Henry Sabin Chase, the eldest, and Frederick Starkweather Chase, the 
youngest of the three sons, are associated closely in the control and man- 



augu0tus Ratlin Ci)a0e 



41 



agement of the Chase Metal Works and its two allied plants. The other son. 
Irving Hall Chase, began his business career upon leaving college in 1880, 
with the Waterbury Clock Company, of which he is now the president and 
treasurer, and in whose ownership his father was largely interested, and on 
whose directorate he served for more than twenty years. Of the daughters, 
Helen E. Chase is the eldest. Mary Eliza Chase, the second daughter, is the 
wife of Arthur Reed Kimball, a resident of Waterbury, and the business 
manager of the "Waterbury American," in which Mr. Chase was so largely 
interested. The third daughter, Alice M. Chase, married Dr. Edward C. 
Streeter, and they are residents of Boston. 





F the great professions — arms, law and medicine — that illus- 
trious trio which has for centuries given to the world some 
of its noblest leaders and benefactors, that of medicine is 
certainly the most gracious. Its votaries, unlike those of 
arms and the law, wage war not with any portion of man- 
kind, but with the enemies of the human race at large, and 
in their hour of triumph they hear none but friendly voices. 
The warrior comes from the battlefield bearing the palm of the victor, hear- 
ing at the same time the shouts and plaudits of his triumphant followers and 
the groans and defiance of the vanquished; the laurels won in intellectual 
controversy crown the brow of the advocate, while the mingled voices of 
applause and execration resound through the forum ; but the physician's 
conquest is the subjugation of disease, his paeans are sung by those whom he 
has redeemed from suffering and possibly from death, and when his weapons 
fail to cope with an adversary whom he can never wholly vanquish, his sym- 
pathy alleviates the pang he cannot avert. In the foremost ranks of these 
helpers of humanity stood the late Dr. Timothy Huggins Bishop, of national 
reputation as a physician and surgeon. 

The name of Bishop is a noted one in professional lines for a number of 
generations, and is of ancient English origin. Just how the title of a sacred 
ofiice of the Catholic church came to be used for a surname is lost in the 
obscurity of ancient history. It is suggested that it must have been a per- 
sonal name, or a nickname, of some progenitor, just as major and deacon 
are sometimes given. Bishop was in common use in England as a surname 
many centuries ago, and no less than eleven hundred immigrants came from 
there to Massachusetts prior to 1650 with their families. A number of 
branches of the English Bishop family bear coats-of-arms, and have had 
titles and dignities of various sorts. 

Dr. Timothy Huggins Bishop was born in New Haven, Connecticut, 
March 8, 1837, and died, in that city, December 25, 1906. He was a son of 
Dr. E. Huggins Bishop and Hannah Maria (Lewis) Bishop, both born in 
Southington, Connecticut. Seth Lewis, father of Hannah Maria (Lewis) 
Bishop, was on the staff of General Washington and was one of the first 
members of the Society of the Cincinnati. Dr. E. Huggins Bishop was a dis- 
tinguished physician and philanthropist, and not only transmitted to his son 
his own remarkable professional abilities, but fostered them by the most 
liberal training, and the inestimable advantage of personal advice and 
guidance during the years when his son was making for himself the honor- 
able position and widespread reputation which he later attained. 

Dr. Timothy Huggins Bishop received his preparatory education in the 
schools of his native city, and then matriculated at Yale, being graduated 
from the medical department of this institution after he had enlisted for 
service in the Civil War. He served throughout the war, gaining much 
valuable experience, and earning great commendation for his bravery as well 




dTimotlt^ 3^.^t5K<Jp 



Cimotftp i0ugsin0 lgi0l)op 43 

as for his skill. For some time he was connected with the hospital at Alex- 
andria, near Washington, District of Columbia, and then with the Soldiers' 
Hospital of New Haven, serving at this last named hospital as long as his 
services were needed after the close of the war. He never entirely severed 
his connection with this hospital, serving for many years as secretary, giving 
his time and advice without any thought of remuneration, and was one of 
the principal factors in making it the magnificent institution it has become at 
the present day. Later he engaged in general practice in association with 
his father, continuing to make a specialty of surgery, however, but retired 
from practice some years prior to his death. He was a member of the Order 
of the Cincinnati, of the Society of Colonial Wars, and a life member of the 
New Haven Colony Historical Society, in the work of which he was greatly 
interested, especially that part of it relating to genealogy and patriotic 
affairs. He was a member of the Connecticut Medical Society, in which he 
filled the ofifice of secretary. In political matters he gave his allegiance to 
the Republican party, although he never cared to hold public office, and he 
was a devout attendant at the services of the Episcopal church. 

Dr. Bishop married, at Guilford, Connecticut, June i, 1864, Jane Maria 
Bennett, born in New Haven. Connecticut, a daughter of the Rev. Lorenzo 
Thompson Bennett, D. D., and Maria (Smith) Bennett, the former a native 
of Saratoga county, New York, the latter born in Connecticut. Children: 
I. Dr. Louis Bennett Bishop, born June 5, 1865; was graduated from Yale 
University in the class of 1886, and from the Medical School of this Univer- 
sity in 1889; he is engaged in the practice of his profession in New Haven: 
he is a great admirer of the taxidermist's art, and has one of the finest collec- 
tions of stuffed birds in America; he married, July 16, 1910, Leona Bayliss, 
of Port Jefferson, Long Lsland, New York, and they have one child, Her- 
bert B., born August 20, 1912. 2. Herbert Morton, born July 9, 1868; was 
graduated from Yale University in the class of 1890, and from Yale Law 
School in 1892; he is engaged in the real estate business in New York City, 
was a member of the famous New Haven Grays, and is a member of the 
Quinnipack Club of New Haven; he married, October 15, 1913, Marion C. 
Voos, of New York. 3. May Lillian, born May 31, 1873 ; married, September 
10, 1907, John Walcott Thompson, an attorney of Salt Lake City, a son 
of General J. Milton Thompson, United States army, now retired; they 
live in Salt Lake City, Utah; children: Walcott Bishop, born December 8, 
1908; Margaret Hildegarde, September 10, 1910; Dorothy Jane, June 3, 
1912. Mrs. Timothy Huggins Bishop lives in a fine home at No. 215 Church 
street. New Haven. 

Dr. Bishop was a man of great sagacity, quick perceptions, sound judg- 
ment, noble impulses and remarkable force. Of unblemished reputation, he 
commanded the respect and confidence of the entire community. He devoted 
his life to a noble calling and was crowned with its choicest rewards. The 
true physician, in the exercise of his beneficent calling, heeds neither nation- 
ality nor distinction of class. Alike to him are the prince and the pauper, 
and into both the palace and the hovel he comes as a messenger of hope and 
healing. The acquisition was nothing to him save as a means of giving a 



44 



Cimotljp l^uggfns TSfsbop 



material form and practical force to his projects for the uplifting of human- 
ity. Many there are in the ranks of this illustrious profession, to the honor 
of human nature be it said, to whom the above description would apply, but 
the voice, not of his home city alone, nor even of his native State, but of the 
Nation, would declare that of none could it be said with greater truthfulness 
than of Dr. Bishop. 





JUu^-o^ Sl . ff^zc^/^ 




antireto leafjeeler ^l)iUtps, M* B. 

NDREW WHEELER PHILLIPS. Ph. D., for fifteen years 
Dean of the Yale Graduate School, a noted mathematician, 
died at his home, 409 Humphrey street. New Haven, Con- 
necticut, January 20, 191 5. Professor Phillips was son of 
Dennison and Wealthy Browning (Wheeler) Phillips, and 
was born March 14, 1844, in the town of Griswold, New 
London county, Connecticut. The Phillips family was very 
early in Norwich, and for several generations in Griswold, and Professor 
Phillips was descended from fine old New England stock. He had the best 
kind of home training, under a father and mother thrifty, intelligent, and 
devoutly religious. His early years were spent on his father's farm. When 
quite young he was inspired with an ambition to become a teacher, — a not 
unnatural ambition, in view of his unusual talents in that direction. Begin- 
ning when a lad of sixteen, he taught four years in the public schools of 
Eastern Connecticut, and at the same time continued his study of the higher 
branches, especially of mathematics, both privately and at a select school 
kept during three summer vacations in Jewett City. From 1864 to 1875 ^^ 
was instructor in mathematics at the Episcopal Academy in Cheshire, Con- 
necticut. Pursuing advanced studies in mathematics under Professor 
Hubert A. Newton, he obtained in 1873 the degree of Bachelor of Philoso- 
phy, which was followed in 1877, after graduate courses in mathematics, 
physics, and the political and social sciences, by the degree of Doctor of 
Philosophy. In 1875 Trinity College conferred upon him the honorary 
degree of Master of Arts. 

Professor Phillips was called to Yale in 1876 as tutor in mathematics, 
was promoted to be Assistant Professor in 1881, and Professor in 1891. 
Four years later he became Dean of the Graduate School, these promotions 
coming to him in deserved recognition of his unusual ability as a teacher 
and administrator. He was for many years Secretary of both branches of 
the College Faculty, and was Secretary of the Bicentennial Committee, 
which raised nearly two million dollars for the erection of the Bicentennial 
buildings known as Woolsey, Memorial and University Halls. Probably no 
member of the Faculty was more widely known among Yale alumni. After 
thirty-five years on the Yale Faculty, he retired from active service in 191 1. 
His career as a teacher and administrative ofiicer extended over a full half- 
century. He gained the education that fitted him so well for his work at 
Yale mostly by private study. He was never a pupil in a high school, and 
never an undergraduate student in a college. 

Professor Phillips was greatly interested in preparatory schools. In 
1883 he was chosen Trustee of the Episcopal Academy of Connecticut at 
Cheshire, and three years later was made a Trustee of the Hopkins Gram- 
mar School in New Haven. When the Hotchkiss School at Lakeville was 
established in 1891, he was placed on the first Board of Trustees and later 
became President of the Board. 



46 anDreto ^fjeeler pf)iIHp0 

Professor Phillips was joint author of several mathematical works, 
including "Transcendental Curves" with Professor Newton, "Graphic Alge- 
bra" and "The Orbit of Swift's Comet" with Professor William Beebe, "The 
Elements of Geometry" with Professor Irving Fisher, and "Trigonometry 
and Tables" with Dr. Wendell M. Strong. For a period of thirteen years he 
edited the "Connecticut Almanac," and various papers on higher mathe- 
matics and astronomy were contributed by him to scientific and educational 
journals. He was a member of the American Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science, of the American Mathematical Society, and of the Con- 
necticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was a member of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, and acted in political movements with the Republicans. 

In announcing the death of Professor Phillips at the College chapel 
service on the twenty-first, the chaplain, a former pupil, after paying a just 
tribute to the deceased, read the Parable of the Good Samaritan, saying that 
this character in the parable most nearly represented Professor Phillips' life. 

On the morning of January 22 the following editorial appeared in a 
New Haven paper : 

To residents of this city and to many generations of Yale men, the unexpected death 
of Professor Andrew Wheeler Phillips in this city on Wednesday night was a very real 
loss. During his long and notable connection with the University, whose welfare and 
best interests it was his proud delight to serve, he was to the men of Yale ".^ndy" Phil- 
lips. Many New Haveners not identified with the University also knew him as well and 
as favorably as "Andy" Phillips. The career of the man who, in an unlooked-for manner, 
has at the allotted time of threescore years and ten ceased from his interesting and 
valuable labors, is too well known to call for any extended comment here. The whole- 
some product of the New England soil, Andrew Phillips was early aware of that rare 
summons, a call to devote his talents and the potentialities of a great heart to the high 
calling of education. His course of teaching in the public schools of eastern Connecticut ; 
his subsequent establishment of a place of high regard among the students, alumni and 
friends of the Cheshire Academy, where he began to teach mathematics in 1864 and con- 
tinued for more than a decade; his teaching career at Yale, where from the year 1877 
until a few years ago he was successively tutor, assistant professor, and professor of 
mathematics ; and his notable record in the administrative office of Dean of the Yale 
Graduate School from 1895 to his retirement from the active service of the University in 
191 1 — all revealed the natural teacher. Possessed to an uncommon degree of the essen- 
tial and unquenchable spirit of youth, he understood boys and young men. It was this 
fine feeling from the human wants of the men who under his tutelage wandered through 
the mazes of calculus (which he, if any one, could render intelligible) and the other 
mysteries of higher mathematics, that made him "Andy" and not "Professor" Phillips. 
That was a rare compliment, and it pleased the man's very human vanity and gave him a 
store of the choicest memories, which were ever ready for recital. It might be consid- 
ered in the nature of a paradox that the author of mathematical text-books, and the 
occasional designer of wall paper by ingeniously plotted mathematical curves, should 
have possessed a distinct literary gift with a happy knack of turning a phrase, but such 
was the case. Here again the genial good nature of the man came to the surface, and the 
numerous recipients of letters of felicitation or consolation, done in graceful verse or 
striking prose, had "Andy" Phillips to thank for a happier outlook on life. A young old 
man — if to have reached the age of seventy and still be a boy at heart is to be old — he 
bore his years gracefully. The friends of "Andy" Phillips were not ready to let him go, 
so much good cheer and positive helpfulness were still to be radiated. He will be missed. 

Professor Phillips was married (first) April 23, 1867, to Maria Scoville 
Clarke, who died February 22, 1896; (second) June 27, 1912, to Mrs. Agnes 
DuBois Northrop (born Hitchcock) of Waterbury, Connecticut, who sur- 
vived him. 




jBtatbamel €ugene Wlortin, 01* B* 

'HE RANKS of the medical profession in New England have 
presented us with many illustrious names which have mer- 
ited the respect and honor of their fellow citizens for many 
brilliant achievements, but of none who more justly deserved 
this meed of praise than that of Dr. Nathaniel Eugene 
Wordin, for many years a leader of his profession in Con- 
necticut and one of the foremost citizens of the city of 
Bridgeport in that State. His death, which occurred on May lo, 191 5, was 
profoundly mourned among a host of personal friends and one of the largest 
clienteles in that part of the country. He was sprung of a splendid old Con- 
necticut family which had been identified with Bridgeport since its earliest 
beginnings, having come there it seems probable from Stratford, Connec- 
ticut, as early as 1772. Captain William Wordin. presumably the son of 
Thomas and Dorcas (Cooke) Wordin, of the latter city, was the person in 
whom the removal to Bridgeport was made, he being the purchaser of land 
where now is located the corner of State and Park avenues. This property 
remained the homestead of the Wordin family for many years, the ancestors 
of the present generation being most of them born there. 

On the maternal side, also. Dr. Wordin was descended from a fine New- 
England house, the Leavenworths. founded here by Thomas Leavenworth, 
who came to this country shortly after the restoration of Charles H. and 
sometime prior to the year 1664, when his name first appears on the records 
of Woodbury, Connecticut. Dr. Wordin's parents were well known resi- 
dents of Bridgeport, his father being a successful merchant there and con- 
ducting a large business in drugs. 

Dr. Nathaniel Eugene Wordin was born May 26, 1844, on the old 
Wordin Homestead in Bridgeport, and, with the exception of a compara- 
tively short time during his youth has always identified himself and his 
activities with that place. The first sixteen years of his life were passed 
there and during this time he laid the foundation of his unusually liberal 
education at the excellent local public schools. When he had attained the age 
of sixteen years he was sent South to Petersburg, Virginia, to attend there a 
school conducted by an uncle, the Rev. Mr. Leavenworth, a Presbyterian 
clergyman. This was in the year i860, and the following year the Civil 
War broke out. Young Mr. Wordin was involved in a number of exciting 
adventures and only just managed to get back to the North, taking passage 
on the steamer "Northern Star," the last to run the Confederate blockade 
from Richmond. A year later, feeling the great wave of patriotism that 
then swept the country, he enlisted in Company I, Sixth Regiment Connec- 
ticut Volunteers, though he was but eighteen years of age. His quickness 
and coolness were soon remarked by his officers and he was detailed as secre- 
tary and orderly to Colonel Chatfield in command of the Sixth Connecticut 
Regiment, a post that he held for some time when he was sent South to join 



48 Jl3at|)aniel OBugcne MIotDIn 

his regiment, as an orderly and secretary, and later was clerk at headquar- 
ters, all during the war. He remained with the regiment until it was mus- 
tered out in 1865. During the latter part of the great struggle, the Sixth 
Connecticut Regiment formed a part of the Tenth Army Corps and saw 
active service in the extreme southeast during the campaign in that quarter 
which culminated in the march to Richmond and the close of hostilities. He 
was one of those who entered Richmond with the victorious Federal army 
and it was his hand that drew up the order of General Shepley putting the 
city under martial law. He had the distinction also of drawing up many of 
General Grant's orders at the time concerning the disposition of troops, etc. 
This long suspension of his normal life having at length ended, the 
young man returned to the North and there resumed the studies that had 
been so rudely interrupted. He had already determined upon medicine as a 
career and now began courses looking in that direction. He first prepared 
himself for college by attending the Golden Hill Institute at Bridgeport, 
and it was while studying there that he first met the young lady who was 
afterwards to be his wife. The young man was by taste and character a 
student and he devoted himself to many literary subjects, not necessary in 
the pursuit of his professional work, but merely because of his fondness for 
such subjects. After graduation from the Golden Hill Institute, he matricu- 
lated at Yale University, where he continued his brilliant career as a student. 
He was a prominent member of his class and took an active part in the life 
of the student body of which he was a popular member. He was a member 
of the Linonia, Kappa Sigma Epsilon and Alpha Delta Phi fraternities. He 
graduated with many honors with the class of 1870. He next turned his 
attention more particularly to his professional work and attended the Yale 
Medical School for one year and then for two years attended the Jefferson 
Medical School at Philadelphia, from which he graduated in 1873. Return- 
ing to his native city, Bridgeport, he at once began the practice of his pro- 
fession there and was from the outset highly successful. He established his 
home and ofiice at No. 174 Fairfield avenue, Bridgeport, and there made his 
headquarters during the twenty-nine years that he remained in practice until 
his death. This practice was a very large one for his fame was not confined 
to the city where he dwelt, or even to the State, but spread abroad through- 
out New England and he was soon regarded as one of the leaders of his pro- 
fession in that part of the world. He was a man who was never content to 
rest on the achievements of the past nor to content himself with anything 
less than the latest knowledge of his subject, so that he ever kept well 
abreast of the times, and this was the easier to him as his taste was for study 
and research. In the year 1879 he took a special course in post-graduate 
work at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in diseases of the eye, and thereafter 
specialized to a certain extent in this complaint. His original intention had 
been, on taking up this study, to remove to Aintal in central Turkey and 
there take up the practice of his specialty, but this idea was finally aban- 
doned and he remained at home. He did not give up his general practice, 
and, indeed, rather increased it than otherwise, but he took as much time as 
possible for his special work. 




JHortJtn 



J^atfjaniel (gugene ^otPfn 49 

Besides his private practice Dr. Wordin was associated professionally 
with a number of hospitals and other institutions where his services were 
invaluable. He was on the staff of the Bridgeport Hospital, one of the 
managers of the Fairfield County Temporary Home, and physician to the 
Bridgeport Protestant Orphan Asylum for forty years. In 1890 he was 
appointed by Governor Bulkeley to be a member of the State Board of 
Health, an office which he held so effectively that he was continued in it for 
nine years. Besides these posts involving the direct use of his professional 
knowledge, he also held others in connection with the profession but of a 
more general kind. He belonged to many medical clubs and organizations 
and his unusually energetic nature rendered him active in all. He belonged 
to the Bridgeport Medical Society and was secretary two years and presi- 
dent three years. He was a member of the Fairfield County Medical Society, 
and of the State Society, and for seventeen years was secretary of the same 
and its president for one year. During his incumbency he was very active in 
publishing the reports of the society, compiling and editing the same with 
infinite care and labor. In the year 1892, on the occasion of the one hun- 
dredth anniversary of the organization he brought out a "Centennial Vol- 
ume" consisting of over one thousand pages, entirely the work of his hands. 
He was also a member of the National American Association, the American 
Public Health Association and a charter member of the American Academy 
of Medicine. 

The activities of some men must often surprise their fellows because of 
their variety and number and the endless store of energy necessary for 
taking part in them all. Such was remarkably the case with Dr. Wordin 
who, besides the many professional and semi-professional demands already 
cited, was active in a number of other departments of the community's life. 
He was conspicuous socially and was an honored member of many of the 
most prominent clubs. In memory of his early soldier days, he belonged to 
Elias Howe Post, No. 3, Grand Army of the Republic, and besides this he 
was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the United Order of 
the Golden Cross, the Contemporary Club, the Sea Side Club, and in con- 
nection with his literary pursuits, of the Fairfield County Historical Society. 
In the matter of religion he was afiiliated with the First Congregational 
Church of Bridgeport, holding the post of deacon therein for a considerable 
period, and making himself active in Christian-Endeavor work as well as in 
the Young Men's Christian Association. 

It has already been stated that during his attendance upon his courses 
in the Golden Hill Institute while a young man. Dr. Wordin had met the 
young lady who was afterwards to become his wife. This was Eliza Wood- 
ruff Barnes, a daughter of Dr. Julius Steele Barnes, a graduate of Yale Col- 
lege and Yale Medical School, and a practicing physician of Southington, 
Connecticut. The friendship which the two young people formed at that 
time soon ripened into love, and was kept up by correspondence during the 
young man's absence at college and medical school. Some years later Miss 
Barnes went to Wilmington, Delaware, where she was offered a position as 
school teacher, and there Dr. Wordin also went and married her, Christmas 

CONN-4 



so Jl3at[)aniel (ZBugcne COotDfn 

Day, 1879. To them was born one daughter, Laura Barnes, now deceased. 
Mrs. Wordin, who survives her husband, is related to many of the promi- 
nent Connecticut families and is herself a conspicuous figure in the society 
of the city. 

Dr. Wordin's fondness for literary pursuits has been cited above and it 
was characteristic of his active nature that he should have followed them 
indefatigably. Receiving a most liberal educaton in the arts and sciences in 
his youth, of which he availed himself to the utmost, he continued to follow 
up these, to him, delightful matters during the remainder of his life, and 
justly bore the reputation of great culture and profound learning. As was 
very natural, his own professional studies occupied the first place in his 
interest and he spared no pains to perfect himself in these. He was also 
very fond of travel and these two tastes he more than once combined in trips 
that he took for pleasure and profit. In 1899, for instance, he travelled to the 
Pacific coast, and three years later he went to Mexico where he spent a year. 
He also spent much time in original writing, and many of his papers on 
medical subjects were read before the American Association and other 
societies of which he was a member. As a man he was universally respected 
and loved, and the sorrow caused by his death was not confined to any com- 
munity or class but extended to all who were acquainted with him even the 
most casually. Illustrative of the tone of the tributes paid his memory 
after that sad event the "Bridgeport Telegram" may be quoted, which in 
the course of a long obituary notice said: 

The death of Dr. Wordin removes one of Bridgeport's foremost citizens, a man 
widely known for his kindly nature and his interest in the public welfare, beloved by all 
who knew him. Dr. Wordin was of that serene temperament which drew respect for his 
opinions from even those who differed with him. Like many of the old school physicians 
he gave much of his time and service to alleviating pain and suffering, with no hope of 
recompense. 

As one spoke so spoke all, and the reputation which he held at once as a 
physician and as a man should prove an example to all young men who con- 
template undertaking that difficult career in which he so nobly distinguished 
himself. 




L/C-M^-L-- X/i^-cL^ 



7-S.-tiLe--r'-<-^ 



©Itber (S^tltiersleebe 




, LIVER GILDERSLEEVE, in whose death on July 26, 1912, 
not only his home community, but the State of Connecticut, 
lost one of its worthiest sons, was a member of an old and 
prominent New England family, which is to-day represented 
in many parts of the country by distinguished men of the 
name, the descendants all, through divers branches, from the 
original immigrant ancestor, who in the early colonial times 
founded the family in America. This ancestor was Richard Gildersleeve, 
who was born in the year 1601 in Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England, and 
came from there to the New England colonies at a time the precise date 
of which is unknown, but which must have been in his early manhood. The 
first record we have of him in the new land is contained in the Colonial 
Records of 1636, where he is mentioned as the owner of two hundred and 
fifty-odd acres in Wethersfield, Connecticut. He seemed to be possessed of 
the instincts of the pioneer, and was ever moving forward to unsettled 
regions as civilization followed him. In 1641, he formed one of the group of 
men who pushed themselves a little further west and founded the city of 
Stamford, and four years later he was once more of the party who pushed 
across the Long Island Sound, and settled Hempstead, Long Island. Here, 
in this colony in the wilderness which bore the same name as his birthplace 
in old England, he finally took up his abode, remaining one of the most 
prominent men in the little place for some forty years. From his time down- 
ward, the record of his family has been one of long and distinguished service, 
first to the colonies and later to the republic which was reared upon that 
base. And not only in the Gildersleeve line proper, but in those families 
with which through the course of years it allied itself. Two generations 
from the founder there branched off from the line that we are considering, 
the Gildersleeve family which is now represented by its distinguished son. 
Justice Gildersleeve of the New York Supreme Court. From the generation 
following came another branch from which is descended Professor Basil 
Lanneau Gildersleeve. author of a Latin Grammar bearing his name and 
other text-books, founder of the "American Journal of Philology," and 
holder of the chair of Greek in Johns Hopkins University. From still 
another offshoot are descended the Gildersleeves of Kingston, Canada, who 
have large transportation interests and are prominent politically there. 

Obediah Gildersleeve, the great-grandson of the original Richard 
Gildersleeve, was born in Huntington. Long Island, in the year 1728, and 
founded the ship-building business in which Oliver Gildersleeve is at present 
engaged, it being thus one of the oldest industries in the .State. This Obe- 
diah Gildersleeve was also the one to establish the home of the family in 
what is now known as Gildersleeve, Portland, Connectiut, on the river of 
that name, where his descendants have ever since dwelt. It was in the year 
1776 that he moved to this place and in that year that he started to build 



52 Dlitjet (!5fIDcrsIeeVje 

ships. It was as early as 1790 that his son Philip built the famous old war- 
ship "Connecticut" for the United States Navy. 

It was Philip's son, Sylvester Gildersleeve, the grandfather of our sub- 
ject, who organized the business under the firm name of S. Gildersleeve & 
Sons, which it continues to bear to this day. It v^^as also this member of the 
family who was instrumental in establishing a line of packets between New 
York City and Galveston, Texas, and developing a trade between the two 
ports in which fifteen vessels were employed, all of which were built by S. 
Gildersleeve & Sons. Sylvester Gildersleeve was a man of parts and occu- 
pied a position of great prominence among his fellow citizens of Gilder- 
sleeve and Portland. He lived to be ninety-one years of age and there is 
an interesting photograph of him seated upon the same sofa with his son 
Henry, his grandson Oliver and his great-grandson Alfred Gildersleeve, four 
generations of ship-builders. Since then Alfred has grown up and has now 
a son Alfred, Jr., who if he follows in the footsteps of his forebears, as there 
seems every reason to believe he will, will make the seventh generation of 
ship-builders in his family. 

Oliver Gildersleeve was born into this business, just as he was born 
into the old family mansion at Gildersleeve, when he first saw the light on 
March 6, 1844. He passed his entire life in Gildersleeve with the exception 
of the short time he was away at school, and indeed received the elementary 
portion of his education there in the local schools. He later attended the 
Chase Private School of Middletown, Connecticut, and completed his course 
of studies at the Public High School in Hartford. Upon graduating from 
the latter institution, at the age of seventeen, he entered the ship-building 
establishment of S. Gildersleeve & Sons as an apprentice. If it is true that 
Mr. Gildersleeve was born into the ancestral business, it is equally true that 
no favor was shown him, nor, indeed, any of the Gildersleeve children, in the 
work required of them in their apprenticeship. The men of the line have had 
far too much practical sense to allow their children to hope for the direction 
of an industry without that experience and skilled training which alone 
could render them fitted to the task. It thus happened that the training of 
Oliver Gildersleeve in the business which he was one day to head, was long 
and arduous and consisted of every kind of work used in connection with 
the building of vessels of every kind, so that to quote a local publication, 
when the time came for him to assume the management of the concern he 
could "plan, draft, estimate, contract for a vessel of any size, can do any part 
of the work, and build the whole vessel with his hands, give him time 
enough." At the time of his entrance into the establishment, there was on 
the ways a vessel destined to obtain national fame, and it was upon its con- 
struction that the youth performed his first labor. This was the gunboat 
"Cayuga," which was being built for the United States government, and 
which later took part in the Union attack upon New Orleans in the Civil 
War, leading the fleet in the capture of that place. The old gunboat 
"Cayuga" was number eighty-three of the vessels built by S. Gildersleeve & 
Sons, but during the connection of Mr. Gildersleeve with the yard, in the 
neighborhood of one hundred and fifty vessels were added to these, showing 
how great has been the activity since that day. 



SDWott (gflDerslcctie 53 

Mr. Gildersleeve's position as head of this large and important indus- 
trial enterprise was sufficient to make him a prominent figure in the business 
life of his community, but his interests by no means stopped there. He was 
a man interested in all industrial growth, not merely from the selfish attitude 
of the investor, but from that of the public spirited citizen who desires to see 
all that can benefit the community proper. How energetic he was in the 
matter of the town's industrial interest is admirably shown in the case of 
the National Stamping and Enamelling Company of New York which had 
had for many years a plant at Portland, Connecticut, which at one time had 
employed six hundred hands in its extensive operations. The plant was an 
enormous one covering one hundred and thirty-five thousand square feet of 
land with its buildings and altogether occupying eighteen acres. In the 
latter part of the past century and for the first five years of the present one, 
this great factory had been practically abandoned, no work was carried on 
there and the valuable buildings and equipment were rapidly deteriorating. 
These facts coming to the notice of Mr. Gildersleeve, awakened in him a 
desire to remedy what he considered a most unfortunate state of affairs, 
and he set about with characteristic energy to reestablish the business. He 
interested a number of New Yock capitalists in the matter and in connec- 
tion with them bought the entire property. The Maine Product Company 
was then organized and with new machinery installed in a part of the old 
plant, a large business in mica products was established. With the taking 
over of the business of the National Gum and Mica Company of New York 
City, it became the largest concern of the kind in the United States. The 
remainder of the great plant they rented to the New England Enamelling 
Company of Middletown, Connecticut, which has developed a great indus- 
try of its own, and promises, indeed, to do a larger business than that carried 
by its predecessors. This is but one example of the many enterprises with 
the organization or rehabilitation of which Mr. Gildersleeve was identified. 
He was actively engaged in the management in one or another capacity 
of well-nigh every concern of importance in the neighborhood. He 
was especially active in introducing into Portland and other communi- 
ties the public utilities upon which to such a large extent the development of 
a modern community depends. He was the founder and president of the 
Portland Water Company of Portland, Connecticut, from 1889 until his 
death; the Portland Street Railway Company, from 1893 to 1896; the Mid- 
dletown Street Railway Company of Middletown, Connecticut; the Gilder- 
sleeve and Cromwell Ferry Company of Cromwell, Connecticut ; the Middle- 
sex Quarry Company of Portland; the Phoenix Lead Mining Company of 
Silver Cliflf, Colorado; the Brown Wire Gun Company of New York City; 
and vice-president and treasurer of the Maine Product Company from its 
organization in 1905 until his death. He was also a director in the First 
National Bank of Portland; the Alabama Barge and Coal Company of Tide- 
water, Alabama; the United States Graphotype Company of New York; 
the Texas and Pacific Coal Company of Thurber, Texas; the Ideal Manu- 
facturing Company of Gildersleeve, Connecticut ; and trustee of the Free- 
stone Savings Bank of Portland, Connecticut ; of property under the will of 
Henry Gildersleeve, and of the S. Gildersleeve School Fund of Gildersleeve, 



54 ©Utier (SilDetsIeetie 

Connecticut. Mr. Gildersleeve was also interested for a number of years in 
the shipping commission business of his brother, Sylvester Gildersleeve, 
w^ith offices at No. 84 South street. New York City, and in 1897 he estab- 
lished at No. I Broadway. New York, under the management of his son, 
Louis Gildersleeve, an agency for the sale or hiring of the vessels con- 
structed at the yards in Gildersleeve. This agency has succeeded admirably 
under the direction of the young man who seems to have inherited much of 
his father's business ability. In reading over this great list of prominent 
companies and corporations one cannot help being impressed with the mag- 
nitude of Mr. Gildersleeve's labors, for he was no figurehead allowing the 
use of his name at the head of official lists and on directorates for advertis- 
ing purposes, but a hard worker who really took part in the labors of man- 
agement. Yet even this gives no adequate idea of the real extent of his 
activities which invaded every department of the community's life. Mr. 
Gildersleeve did not, it is true, enter politics in the usual sense of that term, 
yet even in politics he did take a disinterested part, and in the year 1900, an 
active one. He had always been a staunch member of the Democratic party 
and a strong supporter of the principles for which that party stood and was, 
of course, looked upon as something of a leader by his political fellows, on 
account of his general influence in the community. It is probable, however, 
that no one was more surprised than he, probably no one as much, when he 
learned in 1900 that he had been chosen the Democratic candidate for Con- 
gress. It was an exciting campaign and Mr. Gildersleeve's known rectitude 
and his personal popularity counted for much, so that in the election he ran 
far ahead of his party, but even personal considerations were not sufficient 
to overcome the normal Republican majority in the district, so that he was 
defeated, though by a very small margin. 

Mr. Gildersleeve was prominently identified with the social and club 
life of the community and, indeed, was a member of many associations of 
nation wide fame and importance. Among others he belonged to the 
National Geographic Society of Washington, D. C, the Civil Federation of 
New England, the Middlesex County Historical Society of Middletown, 
Connecticut, and the Association of the Descendants of Andrew Ward. 

Throughout his life Mr. Gildersleeve exhibited a growing interest in, 
and devotion to, the cause of religion and the Episcopal church, of which 
he was a lifelong member. For many years he attended divine service in 
Trinity Church, Portland, and since 1884 was a warden thereof until his 
death. In the same year (1884) he was elected a delegate to the Annual 
Diocesan Episcopal Convention, an office which he held and performed the 
functions of. until the time of his death. He was also a member of the 
Diocesan Committee to cooperate with the General Board of Missions, the 
Diocesan Committee on Finance and of the Diocesan Committee appointed 
to raise the "Missionary Thank Ofifering" to be presented by the men of 
the church at the General Convention in Richmond, in gratitude for the 
three hundred years of English Christianity, from the settlement of James- 
town in 1607 until that year, 1907. Not only was he interested in diocesan 
matters, but he took an active part in the work of the parish and served as 
superintendent of the Sunday-school from 1872 until his death. He was 



SDIiijer (SilDetsIcetie 55 

chairman for two years of the Building Committee of the John Henry Hall 
Memorial Parish House, and in 1900 himself established a memorial fund in 
connection with the church. He was also a member of the Church Club of 
Connecticut for a number of years. 

Mr. Gildersleeve was married, November 8, 1871, to Miss Mary Ellen 
Hall, a native of Portland, and a daughter of Hon. Alfred Hall, of that 
place. The Hall family is a very old one in that part of the country and 
was descended originally from John Hall, a first settler in Hartford and 
Middletown. To Mr. and Mrs. Gildersleeve were born eight children, two 
of whom died before their father, and the rest survive him with their 
mother. They were as follows : Alfred, born August 23, 1872, married Miss 
Lucy C. Ibbetson and had by her three children, Marion Hall, Lucille 
Darling and Alfred Henry; Walter, born August 23, 1874; Louis, born 
September 22, 1877, and died July 3, 1913; Emily Hall, born 1879, ^"^ died 
August 12, 1880; Elizabeth Jarvis, born June 6, 1882, and died January 18, 
1883; Charles, born December 11, 1884, and married Miss Margaret McLen- 
nan; Nelson Hall, born September 14, 1887, and Oliver, Jr., born March 
9, 1890. 

The personal character of Mr. Gildersleeve was a most admirable one, 
and of a kind calculated to win him true friends and admirers. To the 
sterling qualities of an unquestionable honor and an unusual persistency in 
seeking his objects, he added a simplicity and directness of outlook rare 
indeed. He was absolutely unpretentious both in his manner of living and 
in his relations with his fellowmen, and maintained for his sons the same 
simple conditions under which his own character had developed and with a 
like result in their case. He was one of the best known and best loved 
figures in the community and his death was felt as a loss not merely by his 
immediate family and his host of personal friends, but by all his fellow 
townsfolk, none of whom but had benefited, at least indirectly, as the result 
of his activities. 





Cljarles Eortng lEfjttman 

'HE death of the Hon. Charles Loring Whitman on March 8, 
1886, deprived the town of Farmington, Connecticut, of one 
of its most highly valued citizens, and the State of a most 
distinguished Democrat, a man loved and respected by all. 
He was sprung of one of those splendid old houses which, 
settling in New England early in the Colonial period, have 
grown up and identified themselves with the history of that 
region through all the stiri:ing years that preceded the birth of the new 
Nation, and the years of peaceful development subsequent thereto. 

John Whitman, the founder of the family in this country, came from 
the region of Holt, England, to the little colony at Weymouth, Massachu- 
setts, in the latter part of the seventeenth century, there being a record of 
his admission as a freeman there in 1678-79. It was in the days of his grand- 
son, the Rev. Samuel Whitman, that the removal to Farmington, Connecti- 
cut, took place, to which place he was called as minister, and which from 
that day to this has been the home of the family. The great-grandson of this 
worthy and able clergyman was William Whitman, the father of Charles 
Loring Whitman, a native and lifelong resident of the beautiful old home- 
stead which had been occupied by the family since its arrival in Farmington, 
and which during his life was used as a hotel. Mr. Whitman, Sr., was a 
well known figure in the neighborhood, and "Whitman's Hotel," as it was 
universally known, gained, together with its shrewd and intelligent propri- 
etor, a wide reputation. He married, October 12, 1812, Elizabeth Whiting, 
of Beverly, Massachusetts, and a daughter of Zenas and Leah (Loring) 
Whiting, of that place. They were the parents of four children, as follows: 
Ann Sophia, born September 15, 1816, afterwards became Mrs. Henry 
Farnam, of New Haven, and the mother of Professor Henry Walcott Far- 
nam, of Yale University; William Henry, born March 18, 1823; Charles 
Loring, of whom further; George Bronson. 

Charles Loring Whitman, the third child of William and Elizabeth 
(Whiting) Whitman, was born in the old Whitman home in Farmington, 
May 27, 1826. He passed his entire boyhood in his native town, and there 
attended the public schools, where he laid the foundation of his splendid 
education. He later attended a school at Hingham, Massachusetts, the 
Hingham Academy, from which he graduated. Although his course at this 
institution completed his schooling, it was very far from ending his educa- 
tion, which, as in the case of all true students, only ended with his life. He 
was a constant reader and a keen observer, an untired seeker after knowl- 
edge, so that throughout all his years he added to his store. After leaving 
the school at Hingham, he went to Boston and there secured a position as 
clerk in a dry goods store. He did not remain in this employment for a great 
period, however, as the advancing years of his father called him back to 
Farmington to take his share of the burdens of the business there. His 
father lived to the venerable age of ninety-four years, and during the latter 




^mntat ilxarlts 'foi'nio, If hitman 



C&arleg noting mbitman 57 

part of his life his son took up the management of the hotel more and more, 
until at his father's death there was no perceptible difference in its manage- 
ment. He shortly discontinued the business entirely, receiving about that 
time the appointment as judge of probate. He retained the old mansion as 
his home, however, a home filled with intimate and ancient tradition and 
association. 

From early youth up Mr. Whitman was greatly interested in the polit- 
ical issues which confronted country, State and town, and upon his return 
from Boston to Farmington, identified himself with the local organization 
of the Democratic party, of whose principles he was an ardent supporter all 
his life. It was not a great while before he became the recognized leader of 
his party in that part of the State. He was urged to accept the nomination 
to the State Senate by his fellow Democrats in view of his great prominence 
in the party and his general popularity. He accepted the honor and was 
duly elected to the office, serving as a member of that body until his death, 
which was, indeed, the result of a stroke of apoplexy with which he was 
stricken while attending a legislative session. 

Mr. Whitman was a man of strong religious feelings and beliefs, but 
independent in thought and action. He had been reared in the Congrega- 
tional church, the traditional mode of worship in the Whitman family, but 
became strongly interested in the Episcopal doctrine and form, and eventu- 
ally joined that church. He and Mrs. Whitman were conspicuous among 
the founders of the Episcopal church at Farmington, through their activity 
securing a mission there. Mr. Whitman did not live to see the actual erec- 
tion of the church building, an occurrence which took place some years after 
his death. As in every other matter which he took up, Mr. Whitman was 
most energetic in the work he did in connection with the church. He 
entered into it with heart and soul, and left no stone unturned to accomplish 
his cherished project. 

Mr. Whitman married, in August, 1863, Caroline E. Thompson, a 
native of Rochester, New York, and the daughter of Lemuel and Eliza Allen 
(Hall) Thompson, who were natives of Rochester, New York, and of 
Cornish, New Hampshire, respectively. 

There is no doubt that the career of Mr. Whitman, successful as it had 
already been, would have known a still more brilliant future, had not death 
so abruptly cut it short. One of the chief factors in his success was undoubt- 
edly his remarkable power of making friends, but this power in turn 
depended upon some of the most fundamental virtues for its existence. That 
he should first attract those who came in casual association was doubtless 
due to the attractive exterior, the ready wit and simple candor, but the 
transformation of these into faithful friends was possible only to the pro- 
found trust which all men felt in the perfect sincerity of his nature and the 
honest disinterestedness of his intentions. The certainty of their confi- 
dence in him is nowhere better illustrated than in the common appeal that 
was made to him to settle disputes and quarrels. Mr. Whitman had never 
taken up the practice of the law, yet people flocked to him in large numbers 
with their complaints, and although his reward was rarely more than a 



58 Cftarles JLotfng mbitman 

"thank you," yet he never failed to win the lifelong friendship of those he 
counselled. His popularity was very widespread, and the news of his death 
was felt as a loss in all parts of the State, but the strongest affection was felt 
for him in his own home district and it was there that he gave most gener- 
ously of his friendship and service. It has already been remarked that he 
was an enthusiastic Democrat and an ardent Episcopalian, but he never 
allowed his generosity to be limited by considerations of creed or political 
belief, but gave freely to all who stood in need. His generosity was pro- 
verbial, and yet his benefactions were so unostentatious that but few were 
aware of their extent. It was truly said of him that "the world is better for 
such men as Charles Loring Whitman having lived in it." His death has left 
a gap in the life of his community, which despite the twenty-nine years that 
have elapsed is still unfilled. 




3o|)n (Bilhtxt 2aoot 




OHN GILBERT ROOT, in whose death on February 14, 
1910, the city of Hartford lost one of its most distinguished 
citizens, though not himself a native of Connecticut, was a 
scion of good old Connecticut stock, tracing his descent in 
the direct male line from another John Root, one of the early 
settlers of Farmington in that State. He was the son of 
Silas and Merilla (Chapman) Root, old residents of West- 
field, Massachusetts, where he was born April 20, 1835. 

Mr. Root passed his childhood and early youth in his native town and 
gained his education in the local schools. He left these institutions early, 
however, speedily mastered his studies there, and at the age of sixteen he 
secured a position in the Westfield Bank, making thus a start in the line of 
activity in which he was to continue his business career through life. He 
was already, at this early age, possessed of more than the usual share of 
intelligence and ambition, and his alertness and readiness for hard work 
compelled the respect and admiration of his employers. As was natural 
under the circumstances, the young man soon met with advancement, and 
as it was his purpose in all of the positions filled by him during the course of 
his promotion to gain as complete a mastery of the details of banking as was 
possible, he soon became unusually well versed in his business, and a val- 
uable adjunct of the bank. At the age of twenty years, after four years of 
this training, which was the more valuable because it was received in a rural 
bank, where duties are not so highly subdivided as in the larger city institu- 
tions, and each man has an opportunity to take part in a larger number of 
departments, Mr. Root received an offer to take the position of teller in the 
Hartford County Bank of Hartford, Connecticut. He at once accepted this 
oflfer, and in 1855 removed there, to the city which was ever after to remain 
his home and the scene of the many busy activities of his life. After a short 
period of employment with this bank, he left to associate himself with the 
Hartford Trust Company, in the capacity of treasurer. Here he remained 
for about a year and a half, but in the meantime the bank, unwilling to part 
with his services, ofifered him the position of cashier as an inducement for 
him to return. This he finally determined to do, and in 1871 assumed the 
duties of this responsible office, filling them in an eminently satisfactory 
manner for a period of twenty years. In the meantime the name of the 
institution had been changed and it had become the American National 
Bank, with the late Rowland Swift, who had preceded Mr. Root as cashier, 
the president. On December 19, 1883, Mr. Root was elected president of the 
Farmers' and Mechanics' National Bank of Hartford, an office which he 
held until his death, over a period of above twenty-six years. The Farmers' 
and Mechanics' Bank has since that time become consolidated with the 
Hartford National Bank. Mr. Root's great knowledge of banking and his 
general business acumen were invaluable to the institutions he was asso- 
ciated with, and gave him, as president of the Farmers' and Mechanics' 



6o Slobn (2JiI6ctt Koot 

National Bank, a very prominent and influential position in financial circles, 
not only in Hartford, but generally throughout the State. This was greatly 
increased by his connection with many important financial and industrial 
concerns in the capacity of director. Among these were the Security Com- 
pany, and the Mechanics' Savings Bank, of which he was a trustee, and the 
Spring Grove Cemetery Association, of which he was at dififerent times a 
director, treasurer and president. 

Mr. Root's activities were very far from being measured by his business 
interests, however great and important as these were. There was, indeed, 
scarcely an important movement of any kind going on in the city with which 
he was not connected. While by no means the conventional politician, he 
exerted a strong and wholesome influence upon the political situation in 
Hartford. He was a strong believer in the principles and policies of the 
Republican party, and an observer in a large way of the political issues in 
the country, but he did not identify himself with the local organization of 
his party to any extent, preferring to remain quite free from partisan influ- 
ence in his political course. When, however, it became necessary in the 
year 1888 for the Republicans to nominate a strong candidate for mayor of 
Hartford, Mr. Root's prominence and personal popularity made him easily 
the most available candidate and he was offered the nomination. Although 
his aspirations lay by no means in the direction of public ofiice, and though 
he valued highly his independence as a private citizen, yet he would not say 
no to the obviously popular demand made for him by his fellow citizens. His 
campaign was a notable one against the Democratic candidacy of C. M. 
Joslyn, whom he defeated by a vote of three thousand, five hundred and 
sixty-two against three thousand, three hundred and five. Mr. Root suc- 
ceeded Morgan G. Bulkeley as mayor of Hartford and served his fellow citi- 
zens in that capacity for two years, doing much that was eminently for their 
advancement during that time. He was greatly interested in the cause of 
public education, and in 1891, after his term as mayor had expired, was 
elected a member of the High School Committee and served thereon for four 
years. At the time of the agitation for the bridge across the Connecticut 
river, John Gilbert Root was one of its strongest advocates, and when the 
Connecticut River Bridge and Highway District Commission was formed in 
1895, he was made a member, attending every meeting of the body which 
his health permitted. At the time of the dedication of the bridge in October, 
1908, he took an active part in the ceremonies and the three days festivities, 
deriving great pleasure from them, for he felt a strong civic pride in the 
possession of the splendid structure and the great improvements which 
accompanied its opening on the east side of the river. 

Mr. Root was all his life intimately identified with the military organi- 
zations in Connecticut. He joined the Union army in the Civil War and 
served through that momentous conflict as captain of Company B, Twenty- 
second Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers. After the close of the war he 
returned to his adopted city, and continued his association with the military 
organizations there. After the death of Colonel George S. Burnham, who 
had held the office of president of the association formed by the Twenty- 
second Regiment, Mr. Root took his place as life president, and, as the title 



3Io[)n (g)fI6ettiaoot 6i 

implies, still held the office at the time of his death. He was for a number 
of years a member, and later a veteran, of the First Company of the Govern- 
or's Foot Guard, and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Veteran 
Corps. He was a member of the Hartford City Guard and later a veteran 
of that body. He was a member of the Robert O. Tyler Post, Grand Army 
of the Republic, and for many years a trustee of its relief fund, and he was 
also a member of the Army and Navy Club. 

It would seem enough to tax the energies of any man, what has been 
enumerated above as the various departments of the life of the community 
in which Mr. Root participated. But his interests were of the broadest, his 
sympathies the most inclusive, and there were but few things that went on 
which possessed any real value to the community at large or any group of its 
members that he did not have a hand in. He was a conspicuous figure in the 
social world in Hartford, and a member of prominent clubs, but perhaps that 
which interested him most in this direction and claimed most of his attention 
was his membership in the Masonic Order, in which he was very prominent. 
He was, indeed, one of the best known Masons of the State. He became a 
member of Hartford Lodge, No. 88, Free and Accepted Masons, as early as 
December 19, 1859, and eight years later was made its worshipful master, 
and at the time of his death was the oldest past master in Connecticut. He 
was also a member of the Actual Past Masters' Association of the Masonic 
District of Hartford, Connecticut. He was grand treasurer of the Grand 
Lodge of Connecticut, Free and Accepted Masons, from January 19, 1882, to 
January 15, 1896, when he resigned from that honorable but responsible 
ofifice. He was also a member of the Pythagoras Chapter, Royal Arch 
Masons, and of the F. Walcott Council of the Royal and Select Masters, and 
of the Washington Commandery, Knights Templar, in which he was 
knighted, March 29, 1861, and of which he became the eminent commander 
in 1869, and at the time of his death was the senior past commander thereof. 
He was chosen grand commander of the Grand Commandery of Connecticut 
in 1875, and lived to be the senior past grand commander. He was a mem- 
ber of the Charter Oak Lodge of Perfection; the Hartford Council, Princes 
of Jerusalem, and the Cyrus Goodell Chapter of Rose Croix. He was also 
a member of the Connecticut Sovereign Consistory, Supreme Princes of the 
Royal Secret, of Norwich, and received the thirty-third degree on September 
18, 1894. 

Mr. Root married, December 12, 1876, in Hartford, Isabella S. Camp, a 
daughter of Joseph and Clarissa Camp, of that place. Mrs. Root survives 
her husband. 

The religious affiliations of Mr. Root were with the Pearl Street Con- 
gregational Church, of which he became a member in 1858. He was an 
ardent worker in the cause of the church and of religion generally, and 
materially aided in the support of the many benevolences connected with the 
congregation, and at the time of his death was a member of the prudential 
committee. 

John Gilbert Root was undoubtedly one of the most active citizens of 
Hartford, and one of the most public spirited during his life in that city. His 



62 31oftn (gjlfaett Koot 

strong sense of justice, his sincerity, and unimpeachable integrity in all 
public dealings, gained him the admiration of all his fellows, and his aflfabil- 
ity and frankness of manner, his lack of ostentation, and open-hearted 
friendship for all, won him no less surely their affection. Despite his amaz- 
ing activity which seemed to embrace all that the city interested itself in, 
he was nevertheless one of the most domestic of men, loving his home and 
the society of his family and intimate friends, as that could be enjoyed on 
his own hearth. He was also a great and wide reader, and possessed of the 
delightful culture and refinement which seems the wellnigh universal 
accompaniment of the lover of books. In all circles where his face was 
known, from the family fireside to the executive building of the city, high 
and low, rich and poor, his death has left a gap impossible to fill and difficult 
to forget. The whole community, indeed, feels keenly the loss of one who 
labored so earnestly and effectively, and who accomplished so much for its 
advancement. 





©liber C. Bmiti), ifl. M. 

^HERE is something that appeals to the popular imagination 
as intrinsically noble about the adoption of a profession the 
object of which is the alleviation of human suffering, such, 
for instance, as medicine, especially where, as in this case, 
the sacrifice of many of the comforts and pleasures which 
men count so highly is involved. When in addition to this, 
however, the task is not only voluntarily chosen but carried 
out in the most altruistic spirit and in the face of difficulties quite special 
and peculiar, the circumstances rise toward the heroic and the sincere 
admiration of all is claimed. Such was the case in a high degree in the life 
of Dr. Oliver C. Smith, of Hartford, Connecticut, whose death in that city 
on March 27, 191 5, deprived the whole community of a friend and bene- 
factor. 

Dr. Smith was born November 29, 1859, in the city that all his life has 
been the scene of his energetic and invaluable career, a son of William B. and 
Virginia (Thrall) Smith, old residents there. He attended the West Middle 
School and the Hartford High School where he gained his general educa- 
tion, and afterwards took a course in the Hannum Business College to pre- 
pare himself for the serious business of life. It was in a measure an accident 
that his attention became directed to medicine as a career, and an unfor- 
tunate accident Dr. Smith doubtless regarded it at the time of its occur- 
rence. This was nothing less than a serious illness which completely pros- 
trated him at the age of nineteen years and just when he was ambi- 
tious to make a beginning in life. During this illness he was under the care 
of Dr. James H. Waterman, a well-known physician of Westfield, Massa- 
chusetts, who, perceiving the youth to take a keen interest in medicine, 
encouraged him to look further into the matter and gave him his advice to 
choose it as a career. His interest being a very real one, the young man took 
the advice to the extent of entering Dr. Waterman's office, where he studied 
for a period of eighteen months. By the end of that time he had seen enough 
of the situation to have made up his mind very definitely on the subject, and 
accordingly in the year 1880 he matriculated at the Long Island Medical 
College. Here he applied himself with an ardor that was characteristic, 
and soon won the regard of his instructors and professors, as well as of the 
student body. He won many honors during his years of study here, being 
the president of his class, winning the Atkinson prize and standing third in 
general marks out of a class of eighty. While in the second year of his 
course he won a competitive examination which entitled him to the position 
of ambulance surgeon, and he also acted as substitute interne in the Long 
Island General Hospital during the same period. How earnest he was in the 
pursuance of his career may be seen in the fact that in the vacation of 1881, 
instead of giving the time to recreation, he sailed on board the steamer 
"City of Para" to Rio de Janeiro as surgeon. After his graduation he at once 
began practice, at first in the ofiice of Dr. Jonathan Curtis, of Hartford, and 



64 miMei C ^mitft 

later independently. He was one of those rare physicians who, to an un- 
usual technical knowledge, add a keen intuition into the nature and signifi- 
cance of symptoms, so that he was an eminently successful diagnostician 
and quickly built up a large private practice. He was a man of too much 
skill, however, to be allowed to remain entirely in private work, the more 
especially as his interest turned chiefly to surgery, skill in which is so 
greatly in demand in public medical institutions. When the St. Francis 
Hospital was formed he became a member of the surgical staff, where he 
remained until two years later, when he began his association with the 
Hartford Hospital, which continued until the time of his death. Besides this 
connection he was consulting surgeon of the Litchfield County Hospital, the 
Middlesex County Hospital, the New Britain General Hospital and the 
Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. He was also 
greatly interested in the Charter Oak Hospital in Hartford, and it is not a 
little to his efl^orts that the success of this institution is due. During his 
career on these several staffs, and in the extensive private practice which he 
never gave up, Dr. Smith gained the reputation of being one of the foremost 
surgeons in the State and was regarded as a leader in his profession not 
merely by the laity, but by the brilliant men of that profession as well. In 
June, 1914, he received a very welcome tribute by the conferment upon him 
by Yale University of the honorary degree of Master of Arts. He was 
president of the Connecticut Medical Society and a member of the county 
and city societies, as well as of the American Medical Association. He was 
also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He was also appointed 
surgeon-general of Connecticut by Governor Henry Roberts and held that 
office during the latter's administration. 

Dr. Smith married, October 22, 1886, Clarabel Waterman, of Westfield, 
Massachusetts, a daughter of the Dr. Waterman who first turned his atten- 
tion to medicine and in whose ofiice his earliest studies were prosecuted. 
Mrs. Smith's death occurred in 1896. To them were born two children, 
twins: Oliver Harrison Smith, and Clarabel V. Smith, now Mrs. Paul M. 
Butterworth, of Hartford. To the Butterworths have been born two chil- 
dren, Virginia and Oliver Butterworth. 

Such are, in brief, the principal events and facts in connection with Dr. 
Smith's career, but, though they thus formally sketch that career, they can 
in no wise give an idea of the great value of his life to the community. 
Rising to the head of his profession as a surgeon, his life was one long 
record of self-abnegation and the neglect of his own affairs for those of 
others. Careless of his own health in his campaign for that of his fellows, 
nor did he consider his pecuniary advantage any more, his services being as 
free to the poorest as to those of wealth. It was during the last three years 
of his life, however, that the courageous, self-sacrificing nature of Dr. Smith 
was most conspicuously shown. It was during this period that he suffered 
from the disease that finally proved his death, and which is supposed to have 
been induced in the first place by his having become infected during the 
course of an operation performed by himself. Though from the outset Dr. 
Smith realized his peril, he never hesitated in the performance of his duties, 
but proceeded to fulfill them as calmly as though he were not himself 



mi'oet €♦ ^mitb 65 

threatened. He did not even complain to those nearest and dearest to him 
so that, although the progress of his trouble was most painful, no one fully 
realized what was taking place. At length, upon returning from the Inter- 
national Conference of Surgeons held in London in 1913, at which he had 
read an original treatise, he confided his case to Dr. William Mayo, a friend 
and one of the foremost surgeons of the world. Dr. Mayo examined him but 
discovered that his case was beyond even his skill. His interest apparently 
undampened. Dr. Smith returned to his duties, and though for many months 
he was unable to touch any solid nourishment, continued to perform them 
with unabated good judgment and skill up to within three weeks of his 
death. There were few men so deeply mourned in that region when at last 
the sad event occurred, and but few whose memory received so many testi- 
monials of respect and afifection. The local press joined in a chorus of 
praise of his virtues and his invaluable services, and his fellow members of 
the profession throughout the State were not less unanimous. The will left 
by Dr. Smith is characteristic of the large heart and wide sympathies of the 
man, a large portion of his estate being left to medical charities and other 
philanthropic causes. It would be impossible even to notice here all the 
tributes that were paid his memory by his confreres, much less to quote them 
with any degree of completeness, yet there are a number which can scarcely 
be passed over, and which may furnish an appropriate ending to this brief 
sketch by illustrating at first hand the feelings that his associates bore him. 
A number of such tributes were collected in the daily press and it is from this 
source that the following selections are made. The "Hartford Daily 
Courant" published a long obituary article headed "Hartford's great sur- 
geon. Dr. O. C. Smith, is dead," in the course of which the following 
appeared: 

If there is any one thing that the life of Dr. Smith shows, aside from the example 
that his skill has set to other surgeons and physicians, it is the lesson of his courage. 
This is a trait that was with him from the beginning of his career, when, as a boy, he 
decided to become a doctor and surmounted all the obstacles that poverty and poor 
health could put in his way. And it was a trait that was brought to its finest essence in 
his last years. 

Of his professional associates the following examples will serve as 
typical. The distinguished physician. Dr. E. Terry Smith, said of him: 

Dr. Oliver C. Smith had the most unselfish, sympathetic, self-denying nature that I 
have ever known. He lived entirely for others and the memory of his life of devotion 
to his profession and loyalty to his friends will be cherished by all who knew him as a 
most precious possession. His unbounded courage and resignation during the last three 
years have been an inspiration to all with whom he came in contact. 

Dr. Frederick Crossfield had this to say : 

The death of Dr. Smith comes as a great shock. Hartford has lost not only a great 
citizen but a genial gentleman and a great surgeon. No matter where one met him, at 
the hospital at the medical society, on the street or elsewhere, he always had a whole- 
hearted greeting and a kind word. 

Dr. Edward B. Hooker said in part: 

CONN-5 



66 ffl)Uiaec €♦ ^mltft 

Dr. Smith's great ability is so widely known and his reputation is so firmly estab- 
lished that I need hardly speak of the professional side of his character. I regard him as 
one of the foremost surgeons not only of this State, but of the entire country. It is, 
however, of the man I would speak— the strong, gentle, patient, kindly man, bringing 
healing with his skillful hands and courage with his sympathetic, cheerful spirit. * * * 
His was a rich life, rich in high aspirations, rich in achievement, rich in the spirit in 
which it has now entered upon a new life. 

Dr. Walter R. Steiner said of him : 

The profession in Connecticut feel that they have lost a friend whose sympathetic, 
kindly ways not only endeared him to all the patients with whom he came in contact but 
to all the physicians as well. The interest he showed in raising the standards of the 
medical profession in Connecticut and the efforts which he made for that purpose will be 
long remembered. 

We yield to nature's tear and sigh 

But grief before our faith recedes ; 
The true physician does not die. 

He lives in comrades' hearts and deeds; 
His dauntless soul no fears appall, 

He knows how frail is human breath : 
So one by one her warriors fall. 

Yet life is victor over death. 

One of the most eloquent and true tributes was that of the Rev. Dr. 
John Coleman Adams, who said in the course of an address at the funeral 
service: 

The great asset of any community is the manhood of its citizens. It may boast of 
its artificers, its builders, its traders, its financiers, but it forgets all that they have done 
to remember what they are. There is something finer in a man than in anything that he 
says or does. * * * Our friend was a great surgeon, his skill and his judgment and his 
initiative were of incalculable value to his fellow-men. But they were only incidental to 
the greater traits that he was acquiring as he wrought at his profession, the things that 
cannot be shaken — courage, fidelity, devotion, sympathy, service and love. These were 
the fruits of the greater business in which he was engaged — the business of living. 
* * * But this man confirmed in his living that line of Bayard Taylor's — 

The bravest are the tenderest 
The loving are the daring. 




^cc^Ce.^'Z^ &'^o-/^ ^^ <^ (^-^-^^^ 



Caleb 3(acbson Camp 




HE type which has become familiar to the world as the suc- 
cessful New Englander, practical and worldly-wise, yet 
governed in all afifairs by the most scrupulous and strict 
ethical code, stern in removing obstacles from the road, yet 
generous even to the enemy, is nowhere better exemplified 
than in Caleb Jackson Camp, in whose death on June 19, 
1909, Winsted, Connecticut, lost one of its most prominent 
citizens, and a figure which carried down into our own times something of the 
picturesque quality of the past. The successful New Englanders of the past 
generation, men who were responsible for the great industrial and mercan- 
tile development of that region, enjoyed, most of them, the juncture in their 
own persons of two sets of circumstances, calculated in combination to pro- 
duce the strong character by which we recognize the type. For these men 
were at once the product of culture and refinement, being descended often 
from the best English stock, and yet were so placed that hard work and 
frugal living were the necessary conditions of success and livelihood itself. 

Such was the case with Mr. Camp, who on both sides of the house was 
descended from fine old English families whose record in the '"New World" 
had maintained the high standard they already occupied. On his father's 
side the line runs back to Sir Thomas Parsons, of London, and to one Alder- 
man Radclifife. of "London Town," a well known figure in his day and gen- 
eration. In the maternal line the first traceable ancestor was Sir Thomas 
Stebbins, baronet, of England. Elder John Strong of Northampton was an 
ancestor on both sides, and both sides have a fine Revolutionary record. Mr. 
Camp's grandfather, Moses Camp, was a soldier in the Nineteenth Continen- 
tal Regiment under Colonel Webb, and with his company commanded by 
Captain Bostwick, took part in the famous crossing of the Delaware at 
Trenton, on the evening of Christmas Day, 1776, when Washington accom- 
plished his brilliant coup in the face of the English army. A great-grand- 
father of Mr. Camp was Lieutenant Samuel Gaylord of the Seventh Con- 
necticut Regiment, and a great-uncle on the maternal side was General 
Giles Jackson, General Gates' chief of staff. Mr. Camp's parents were 
Samuel and Mercy (Sheldon) Camp, residents of Winsted, Litchfield 
county, Connecticut. 

Caleb Jackson Camp was born in the town of Winchester, June 12, 1815, 
and spent the first fifteen years of his life on his father's farm. During this 
time he attended the local common school, gaining what a bright and alert 
brain could from the somewhat rudimentary education offered there, and 
later supplementing this with two years at the village academy. After com- 
pleting his studies in this institution, Mr. Camp left the parental roof, and 
removing to the neighboring place, Winsted, secured a position as clerk in 
the general store of Lucius Clarke. Mr. Camp's coming to Winsted and 
engaging in the mercantile business were for life, and he never changed the 
one as his place of residence or the other as his occupation. A capacity for 



68 Caleb Jackson Camp 

hard work and unusual quickness in mastering detail, together with a 
pleasant manner and the willingness and even desire to do his best in his 
employer's interests, quickly gained recognition for him, and after only four 
years, when he was but nineteen years of age, he was taken into partnership 
by Mr. Clarke and given a voice in the conduct of the business. Upon the 
retirement of Mr. Clarke later, the firm became known as M. & C. J. 
Camp, and carried on the same business successfully for many years, 
becoming a factor in the life of Winsted in more ways than one. It quickly 
grew under the able management of Mr. Camp until it became the largest 
and most prosperous house of the kind in Litchfield county. Indeed, so 
great grew its reputation, not merely for successful business methods, but 
for the probity and honesty with which its aflfairs were managed, that par- 
ents anxious for their sons to engage in the mercantile life strove to have 
them serve their apprenticeship in the establishment, which might be 
regarded as a sort of industrial training school for the region. But it is not 
alone in this manner that the firm of M. & C. J. Camp contributed to the 
development of the town. It reached out, or rather Mr. Camp reached out 
through its instrumentality, beyond the limits of the mercantile business to 
the control and operation of many enterprises which were of great value in 
building up the town. Such was the case of the Union Chair Company of 
Robertsville, which was owned and managed by the Camp firm for thirty- 
five years. Another of Mr. Camp's ventures, engineered through the firm, 
was the construction of the first brick building block in Winsted, an invest- 
ment which proved highly lucrative. A part of this enterprise was the build- 
ing and fitting out of a large public auditorium in this block, which was not 
the least successful feature, remaining, as it did, the largest and most popu- 
lar hall in Winsted for a number of years. It was Mr. Camp also who was 
instrumental in introducing stone sidewalks in Winsted, and his firm organ- 
ized the town's first gas company. But he did not confine his attention to 
home enterprise exclusively. He was interested in western industry and a 
great believer in the development of that vast region. The State of Minne- 
sota especially engaged his attention and in 1874 he organized and founded 
the Winona Savings Bank in the Minnesota town of that name. The insti- 
tution is now a thriving one, Mr. Camp remaining a trustee for some thirty 
years. The Winona institution was not the only bank in the organization 
of which Mr. Camp had a hand. He was one of the twenty-two incorpora- 
tors who in i860 founded the Winsted Savings Bank and was a director 
until his death, he surviving the others by more than thirteen years. He was 
one of those elected directors of the Hurlbut Bank of W^insted upon its 
organization in 1857, an office which he continued to hold until his death. 
He was president of the Connecticut Western Road, and during his term of 
office the stock advanced one hundred per cent. 

Besides the many business ventures in which Mr. Camp was engaged 
he was closely associated with many other departments of the life of the 
community. He was greatly interested in the political issues which at that 
time agitated the country, and was a firm adherent of the principles of the 
Republican party. He was a devoted member of the Congregational church, 
and most active in the work of the congregation. He contributed substan- 



€aleb 3iacb0on Camp 69 

tially to the support of the many benevolences connected with the church 
and to its advancement generally. He also gave much of his time to the 
temperance cause in Winsted. At his death he left a fund of twenty-five 
thousand dollars to be used in bettering the condition of people who had 
met with reverses after having seen better times. 

Mr. Camp's personality was well expressed in his appearance. The 
large, well developed head, the clear and candid eye, the firm mouth, 
bespoke their analogues in his character. There was much to suggest the 
gentleman of the old school in both looks and manners, and the coutesy of 
the one and the uncompromising firmness of the practical man of the world 
fittingly complemented and modified each other. During the many years of 
his residence in Winsted he was looked up to as few other men in the com- 
munity; with respect for the unimpeachable integrity, the clear-sighted 
sagacity, and strong public spirit that marked him, but with aff"ection also 
for his tact in dealing with men, his spontaneous generosity, and the demo- 
cratic attitude he maintained towards his fellowman, which made him easy 
of approach and appreciative in listening to the humblest. There is many a 
man in Winsted to-day who has good occasion to remember these traits as 
Mr. Camp showed them, many a man whose start in life was assured by the 
generous assistance, the kindly advice of this worthy man. 

Mr. Camp was married, May 22, 1839, to Mary Beach, a native of Win- 
sted, and a daughter of the Rev. James Beach, for thirty-six years the pastor 
of the Congregational church in that place. They were the parents of five 
children, three of whom survive their parents. They are Mary Mehitable, 
now Mrs. Hermon E. Curtis, of Redlands, California; Augusta, now Mrs. 
Franklin A. Resing, of Winona, Minnesota, and Ellen Baldwin, of Win- 
sted. The two other children, James and Anna, died very young. Mrs. 
Camp died December 18, 1880, and on November i, 1883, Mr. Camp married 
Sarah M. Bovd, of Waldoboro, Maine. 



i&urton iBonlt} iSrpan 




• URTON GOULD BRYAN, in whose death, May 20, 191 1, the 
city of Waterbury, Connecticut, lost one of the most promi- 
nent of her citizens, and the banking world of Connecticut a 
most conspicuous figure, was a member of an old New Eng- 
land family which for many generations has held a respected 
place in the regard of Milford and the surrounding region. 
Indeed, his emigrant ancestor was one of those that founded 
the old town in early colonial days. Alexander Bryan came from England 
in 1693 and with several other settlers purchased the site of the present town 
of Milford from the Indians. The price paid for this concession was, we are 
informed by the ancient records, six coats, ten blankets, one kettle, twelve 
hatchets and hoes, two dozen knives and one dozen small glasses. Mr. 
Bryan's father was Edward Bryan, a farmer of Litchfield county, Connec- 
ticut, in the region of Watertown. The elder Mr. Bryan was well known in 
the community for his upright life and high sense. 

Burton Gould Bryan was born September 2j, 1846, in Watertown, Con- 
necticut, and spent the first eighteen years of his life on his father's farm, 
gaining there that splendid training which was once the lot of a large pro- 
portion of the youth of America, and of which nothing yet discovered can 
quite take the place, not even "higher education." Of the advantages of the 
latter Mr. Bryan was quite innocent, the schooling of which farmers' boys 
could avail themselves being in that day and generation decidedly meager. 
Nevertheless the youth grew up with abundant ambition, and the bright wits 
and steadfastness of purpose to realize it. Indeed, he was typical of so many 
men bred in that region and age, men who decided in mere childhood upon 
some career, and never wavering, bending all circumstances to their pur- 
pose, finally realized their early hopes. In the case of Mr. Bryan the career 
was banking. While still a boy attending school and doing light work on 
his father's farm he settled it in his own mind that he would be a banker, 
and to this end he marshalled all his powers and resources. When eighteen 
years of age he managed to get three months' study at the Eastman Business 
College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and after this rather slight prepara- 
tion he entered upon the career which was eventually to raise him to the 
office of bank president and make him one of the powers in the Connecticut 
business world. His first position was with a real estate concern in Water- 
bury, which gave him employment as a bookkeeper, and to this city he 
removed and there began a residence which was to continue during the 
greater part of his life. Leaving the real estate company Mr. Bryan next 
found employment with the Naugatuck Woolen Company in the same 
capacity, that of bookeeper, where he remained for a few years. His next 
move was a long way from home, but it was into the desired line of work. 
The skill and ability which he displayed in his comparatively humble posi- 
tion of bookkeeper began at length to win him recognition, and he received 
an oflfer from the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company of Wilmington, 




O^Xi^^*^^^^- C^ CzJJ^ 



ISutton ©ouID 'Btpan 71 

North Carolina, to become its cashier. Mr. Bryan accepted, but did not stay 
a great while in the South, returning to Waterbury to take the position of 
teller in the Manufacturers' National Bank of that city. At length, with a 
number of other men prominent in banking circles, Mr. Bryan set on foot 
the movement to organize the Fourth National Bank of Waterbury, and at 
length had the satisfaction of seeing his project triumphantly begun. He 
hrst took the office of cashier of the new concern, but in 1889 was chosen 
president, an office which he held until his death. His connection with the 
banking world was not limited to this one concern, however. In addition 
thereto he held the position of secretary in the Colonial Trust Company, 
and served on the directorates of a number of important financial and indus- 
trial institutions. 

Besides his business connections Mr. Bryan took an active part in many 
other departments of the community's life. He was particularly interested 
in the conduct of public afifairs, and exercised a considerable influence in 
local politics, though he made and adhered strictly to the rule not to accept 
any public office, a rule which he but twice departed from, once when he 
served for a time as clerk of the Board of Common Council, and again when 
he was elected town treasurer for two years. He was a prominent figure in 
the social life of Waterbury and in fraternal circles there, and a member of 
many orders and clubs. Among these may be named the Royal Arcanum 
and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was also a member of the 
Masonic order and had received the thirty-second degree in the Scottish 
Rite and held every position up to the commandery. In spite of his many 
and onerous duties Mr. Bryan found time to engage in outdoor life and 
exercise, which he enjoyed and held to be essential as a relaxation from the 
tension of business. He was especially fond of golf and belonged to the 
Waterbury Golf Club. His religious affiliation was with the Congregational 
Church, and he was a faithful member of the Second Church of that denomi- 
nation in Waterbury, aiding eft'ectively in the work of the congregation and 
materially supporting the many benevolences connected therewith. 

Mr. Bryan married, April 14, 1868, Fannie K. Peck, of Watertown. To 
them were born two children, of whom one, a son, Wilbur Peck Bryan, is 
now living. Mr. Bryan, Jr., has followed in the footsteps of his father and 
entered the banking business, in which he is now treading the high road to 
success, and already holds the office of cashier in the Fourth National Bank. 
He married Agnes Smith, of Waterbury, and they are the parents of two 
children, a son, Alexander, and a charming daughter. Helen Bryan. 



ilKltles ammi Cuttle 






DEALS and standards change from age to age, from epoch to 
epoch, one might almost say from year to year, and a world 
which but a brief period in the past was still devoted to the 
general notion of aristocracy has now become frankly demo- 
cratic and scorns what it once held sacred. Our own Amer- 
ica was of course, one of the first among nations to accept 
the new standards in this particular, and now, for over a 
century, the United States has stood as the type of republican institutions 
before the world. And yet, despite all changes of the kind, there is always a 
core of the permanent in human ideals that perseveres even in the midst of a 
reaction so violent as the post-Revolutionary hatred of aristocracy in this 
country, so that even here, amid the new ways of life, a new aristocracy — 
that of ability — found soil in which to flourish. Nowhere did this demo- 
cratic aristocracy — if the phrase is permissible — display itself in more char- 
acteristic garb than in the city of Hartford, Connecticut, where, indeed, the 
virtues of both systems seemed to go hand in hand. Nowhere could be seen 
the graces and amenities generally associated with a privileged class to 
greater advantage than there, and nowhere could be found a more simple, 
democratic attitude combined therewith. Many are the names of families 
which from that day to this have maintained the beautiful traditions of 
virtue and honor which have exerted so great an influence for good in the 
growth and development of our nation. 

Among these names none deserves a higher place than that of Tuttle 
which, from the time of its founder, William Tuttle, who in the year 1635 
landed in Boston, has handed down through several collateral lines the ster- 
ling traits and abilities that from the first distingiiished its bearers. His 
arms are described as follows: Azure, on a bend doubly cotised, a lion pas- 
sant, sable. Crest. On a mount vert, a bird, proper, in the beak a branch of 
olive. Motto, Pax. It is from one of these lines descended Joseph Tuttle, 
a younger son of the above-mentioned William Tuttle that Miles Ammi 
Tuttle, whose career forms the subject-matter of this sketch, was sprung. 
He was of the seventh generation from the original William Tuttle, and 
the son of Samuel Tuttle, who for many years took rank among the most 
prominent merchants of Hartford. The great mercantile business in Hart- 
ford, so long associated with the name of Tuttle, was founded by Samuel 
Tuttle, who in the early part of the century began a trade in groceries, grass 
seed and various supplies. He gradually specialized in grindstones, and it 
was in this commodity that he eventually built up his great business. He 
was married to Betsey Hotchkiss, a daughter of Isaac and Lydia (Fields) 
Hotchkiss, of Cheshire, Connecticut. To Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle were born ten 
children, as follows: Esther Rowe; Miles Ammi, mentioned at length 
below; Samuel Hotchkiss, died in early youth; Sally, died in early youth; 
Samuel Hotchkiss (2), died in early youth; William Frederick, of whom a 
sketch appears in this work; Sarah Elizabeth, who married Dr. Gurdon W. 




SAMUEL TUTTLF.. 

(Born 1773, died 1850) 

Founder of the firm of S. Tuttle c^' Sons, Hartford, Conn. 




Tuttle 



fi©fles ammi Cuttle 73 

Russell, and died July 16, 1871 ; Samuel Isaac and Reuel Hotchkiss, of both 
of whom there appear sketches in this work. 

Miles Animi Tuttle, the second child and eldest son of Samuel and 
Betsey (Hotchkiss) Tuttle, was born December 21, 1802, in New Haven, 
Connecticut. While still a mere child he accompanied his parents to Hart- 
ford, when they took up their abode there, and it was with that city that his 
whole life is associated. It was here that he grew to manhood and received 
his education, and it was here that he first entered the business world in 
which he was to experience so marked a success. By the time he was ready 
to engage in business his father had established a reputation second to none 
as a merchant, and was able to give a position in his own establishment to 
his eldest son, of whom he was justly proud. Besides his connection with his 
father's concern the young man was an adjuster for the ^Etna Fire Insur- 
ance Company of Hartford, and also a director in the company, travelled 
extensively about the country, thus laying the foundation of that great taste 
for travel that in later life distinguished him. He was eventually admitted 
as a partner in his father's firm, and in 1851, after the death of the elder man, 
became its senior member, holding that position until his own death, Octo- 
ber 26, 1858. He occupied a position of great influence in the business and 
financial world of Hartford, and the mercantile trade which had already 
reached such great proportions under his father's management grew still 
larger under his. He continued his association with the .^tna Fire Insur- 
ance Company also and was elected a director thereof, and he held a similar 
position with the Farmers' and Mechanics' National Bank of Hartford for a 
number of years. Among the other financial institutions with which he was 
connected should be mentioned the Society for Savings, of which he was a 
trustee. In spite of his great activity in this line, the interests of Mr. Tuttle 
were far from being confined to the business world. He inherited his full 
share of the public spirit of his ancestors, and identified himself with many 
of the most important movements for the betterment of the community and 
the advancement of the common weal. He was particularly interested in 
religious work and was a devoted member of the Christ Episcopal Church of 
Hartford and engaged actively in the work of the parish, teaching in the 
Sunday school and otherwise assisting in the advancement of its objects and 
ends. He was also a director of the Hartford Hospital and materially 
assisted other important philanthropic causes. 

Mr. Tuttle was a man of wide experience and general knowledge of the 
world, a cultured man with an interest in all that was best in human knowl- 
edge, and he stood as a type of enlightenment and cosmopolitanism in his 
home community. His fondness for traveling has already been remarked, 
and he journeyed to many parts of the world for his own pleasure, and it was 
during a trip to Paris for his health that he met his death. He was buried in 
the city of Hartford, December 22, 1858, where his name still stands among 
those who have represented the best ideals of business and good citizenship. 



?SatlUam Jlrciierttfe Cuttle 




HE GAINING of great material success for himself and a 
position of power and control in the business world of Hart- 
ford, Connecticut, has been in no wise incompatible in the 
case of William Frederick Tuttle, with the rendering of 
great service to the community of which he was so distin- 
guished a member prior to his death, February 22, 1895. To 
those who actually witnessed his career with their own eyes 
it appeared, indeed, that his personal interests were of secondary import- 
ance, so much greater was the energy and time spent by him in affairs of 
wider and more general interest. Preeminently a man of affairs he made his 
activities subserve the double end of his own ambition and the public wel- 
fare, activities so numerous and varied in their scope and character that it is 
a matter of difficulty to think of any one of them as particularly his own. 
Hartford was the scene of his active career and his memory is there held in 
the highest respect and veneration by all those who knew, or even came into 
the most casual contact with him, and by the community at large, which is 
not insensible of the good influence which his example exerted and still 
exerts. He was a scion of the Tuttle family of Connecticut, of which some 
slight particulars have been given elsewhere in this work, and through 
which he was related to many of the proudest New England names, from 
which he inherited the sterling traits of mind and character which marked 
him. 

William Frederick Tuttle, the seventh child of Samuel and Betsey 
(Hotchkiss) Tuttle, was born April 8, 1812, in Hartford, Connecticut, and 
reared there. At first he attended a school kept by Miss Rebecca Butler, 
on North Main street, next, the Center District School, and at the age of 
twelve years became a pupil at the Literary School kept by Mr. George 
Patten, from which he was graduated at the age of fifteen years, and then 
commenced his business career as a clerk in his father's store, a connection 
which was maintained until he had attained his majority. At this period 
he became a member of the firm of S. Tuttle & Sons, dealers on a very exten- 
sive scale in groceries, grass seed, gypsum and grindstones, making a 
specialty of the latter commodity. This great business, which had been 
established and operated by the business genius of his father, was well 
known throughout the city, and returned a substantial fortune to one and all 
of the partners. In the year 1850 the father died, and Mr. Tuttle continued 
to conduct the business in association with his two brothers, Miles Ammi 
and Samuel Isaac Tuttle, of whom sketches appear in this work. With 
the death of the eldest brother. Miles Ammi Tuttle, in 1858, Frederick Wil- 
liam Tuttle also withdrew from the business. This retirement did not mean 
a withdrawal from business life generally, however, for Mr. Tuttle continued 
many of the important associations he had formed and even entered into 
others at this time. He succeeded his brother as director of both the JEArn. 




^^^..^I^^^^^:^^^-**-*- 




muiiam JFtcDetIck Cuttle 75 

Insurance Company of Hartford and the Farmers' and Mechanics' National 
Bank of the same city, holding these honorable offices thirty-seven years. 

But it was not alone in business that Mr. Tuttle became prominent in 
the community. There were but few departments of the city's life in which 
he was not a conspicuous figure, politics being about the only exception, a 
realm from which he voluntarily remained aloof. But in religious and phil- 
anthropic work, in social life, and even in military circles, his name was well 
known. He was affiliated with the Episcopal church, and a lifelong member 
of Christ Church of that denomination in Hartford, holding for many years 
the office of warden and vestryman, was a teacher in the Sunday school, and 
did much active work for the advancement of both. He was a director of the 
Hartford Hospital and the Retreat for the Insane, and auditor of the 
accounts of the last-mentioned institutions. He held the rank of lieutenant 
in the body of militia known as the Governor's Foot Guard, was a member of 
the Veteran Association, and a member of the Hartford Volunteer Fire 
Department. He also held membership in the Hartford Horticultural Soci- 
ety, the Connecticut Agricultural Society, the Hartford Club, the Piscato- 
rious Club of Hartford, and gave his political support to the Republican 
party. For many years he was a subscriber to "The Hartford Courant." the 
"Atlantic Monthly" and Littel's "Living Age." His favorite newspaper 
was "The Boston Transcript." He was fond of the studies of history and 
astronomy; his favorite novelist was Sir Walter Scott and his favorite poet 
was James Russell Lowell. He was quiet and unassuming in manner, and 
loved his home and family. 

Mr. Tuttle was united in marriage with Sarah Ramsey, of Hartford, 
on November i, 1838. Mrs. Tuttle was a daughter of Jonathan and Sarah 
( Allyn) Ramsey, of Hartford, and a member of one of the oldest and most 
honorable houses, both in this country and Great Britain. As early as the 
year 1200 the Ramseys or Ramsays were well known in Scotland, and 
through various collateral lines the present members of the family can trace 
their descent from many of the greatest kings of antiquity, both in France and 
England. The Ramsey coat-of-arms is thus described: An eagle displayed 
sable, beaked and membered gules. Charged on the breast with an escutch- 
eon of the last. Crest : A unicorn's head couped argent, maned and horned 
or. Motto : Spernit periciila virtus. The founder of the line in this country 
was Hugh Ramsay, who is known to have lived in Londonderry, New 
Hampshire, as early as 1720. To Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle were born four chil- 
dren: Sarah, deceased; Catherine, deceased; Grace, died January 31, 1883; 
and Jane, who makes her residence in Hartford, where she is a prominent 
figure in the Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and in 
the Connecticut Society of the Daughters of Founders and Patriots of 
America. 

It is a popular notion that the reward of merit is often withheld until 
after the death of him who should receive it, and that recognition is only 
accorded too late to be enjoyed. But this is but a poor compliment to the 
perception of humanity at large which, as a rule, is far too keen not to both 
note and reward such talents as tend to its own advantage. Certainly this 



76 



COilliam iFtcOericb Cuttle 



is true of the intelligent and generously disposed people of this country, as 
the lives of thousands of our men of talent and ability most admirably illus- 
trate, and none better than that of the subject of this sketch. A normal, 
wholesome life, typical of the virtues of his race, v^^ell filled with healthy 
endeavor and the exercise of his faculties, he stands as an admirable example 
of worthy success to all ambitious of the same, of a success won, not at the 
expense of the rights and interests of others, but almost as an incident, a 
byproduct of the pure act of living, which to him was in itself the great end. 




g)amuel 3saac Cuttle 




'HE INFLUENCE of a man of culture in a community is of 
that subtle, intangible kind well-nigh impossible to gauge 
or measure by ordinarily accepted standards. Here is noth- 
ing definite to lay our yard-stick to, as it were, no record of 
dollars amassed, of laws enacted, of unfortunates given 
assistance, or of the thousand and one things that are the 
pledges of other lines of accomplishment, whereby men cal- 
culate the degree of their success. For in the case of culture its immediate 
effect is often hardly realized even by those experiencing it, and its enlight- 
ening, uplifting influence, even when strong enough to be directly felt, can 
rarely be traced accurately to its source. Yet the influence is none the less 
real because it is difficult to measure, and its result is often to be perceived 
when least expected in some spontaneous expression of regard or respect 
for the man who stands for its ideal, or in the loosening of some prejudice, 
the surrender of some provincialism on the part of those who, through con- 
tact with such an one, have imbibed something of his larger outlook While 
the Tuttle family of Connecticut has distinguished itself in many depart- 
ments of endeavor, while its name during the past century has been identi- 
fied with many concrete achievements, and especially with one of the import- 
ant mercantile enterprises of the city of Hartford, it is probably as exponents 
of general enlightenment and culture that its members have exerted the 
greatest influence upon the communities where they have resided. This 
was conspicuously the case with Samuel Isaac Tuttle, whose name heads this 
brief record, and whose career, successful in many things, was chiefly 
noticeable for the kind of achievement just described. He was a son of Sam- 
uel Tuttle and Betsey (Hotchkiss) Tuttle and was related on both sides of 
the house to many of the oldest and most prominent families in the State. 
His father was one of the best known merchants and business men in Hart- 
ford during the first half of the nineteenth century and the founder of the 
firm of S. Tuttle & Sons. 

Samuel Isaac Tuttle was born December i6, 1819, in Hartford, Connec- 
ticut. He passed his whole life in Hartford, where his father was engaged 
in business during his youth, gaining there his education, attending the 
excellent public schools of the city. Upon reaching the age of manhood he 
was, like his brothers, taken into partnership in the firm of S. Tuttle & Sons, 
and was engaged actively in this business for a number of years. The enter- 
prise, already large at the time of the father's death, continued to still further 
grow under the most capable management of Mr. Tuttle and his brothers. 
Miles Ammi and William Frederick Tuttle. of whom sketches appear in this 
work, until the three gentlemen came to be regarded as among the most 
important factors in the business situation in Hartford. 

On March 31, 1842, Mr. Tuttle was united in marriage with Louisa 
Ramsey, of Hartford, a daughter of Jonathan and Sarah (Allyn) Ramsey, 
of that city, and by this union allied the Tuttle family with some of the 



78 Samuel 30aac Cuttle 

oldest and most distinguished houses both in this country and abroad. To 
Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle were born four children, as follows : i. Ellen, now Mrs. 
D. Waldo Johnson, and the mother of one son. Waldo Tuttle Johnson, who 
married Emma Crozier, of Philadelphia; they have four children: Ethel 
Frances, deceased; Arthur Crozier; Sydney Guilbert, and Samuel Isaac Tut- 
tle Johnson. 2. Louisa, died aged three years. 3. Alice Gertrude, who 
resides in Hartford. 4. Samuel William, who married Anna E. Strong, a 
daughter of Elsworth Strong, of Portland, Connecticut. 

There are some men whose achievements are at once apparent on a 
mere recitation of the events of their careers, but, as has already been sug- 
gested in the introduction of this sketch, the method of recitation fails com- 
pletely when the accomplishment is in the direction of mind and character 
development rather than of material success. In the case of such men as 
Mr. Tuttle, though they have done much, it is not so much what they have 
done as what they have been that should be dwelt upon. As a man Mr. Tut- 
tle will long be remembered by those who were fortunate enough to come 
into contact with his vivid personality. Of a striking appearance and man- 
ner he attracted at once those who had dealings with him, an attraction 
which was speedily confirmed and transformed into admiration by the ster- 
ling virtues which he exhibited. In the business world, in the many semi- 
public movements with which he was identified, his conduct was in every 
respect admirable, his integrity unquestioned, his wisdom always vindi- 
cated. In all the private relations of life, also, his conduct might well serve 
as a model, his domestic instincts being unusually strong and his faithfulness 
to his social obligations generally exceptional. He was a wide reader, a 
traveller of note, his taste in aesthetic matters was discriminating and all his 
enjoyments wholesome and manly. His life may well serve as a type of the 
good citizen, the devoted friend, the afifectionate father and husband. 




ClitoartJ Baniel Steele 




^HE death of Edward r3aniel Steele, of Waterbury, Connecti- 
cut, on May 24, 1900, was a great loss to that city, where for 
many years he was a conspicuous figure, both in the business 
and industrial world and in that of politics and public affairs. 
Although he was most closely identified with the life of 
Waterbury, and resided there for the greater part of his life, 
Mr. Steele was not a native of that city, nor, indeed, of Con- 
necticut at all. His parents were Hiram and Nancy (Turner) Steele, mem- 
bers of a New York State family, and residents of Lima in that State. 

Edward Daniel Steele was born in Lima, New York, November 20, 
1838, but accompanied his parents while still a mere child to Bloomfield, 
where he passed the years of his childhood and early youth until he had 
reached the age of eighteen. He received his education in the schools of that 
place, but after completing his studies removed to Waterbury, Connecticut, 
beginning a residence which was to continue the remainder of his life. He 
secured a position with the Waterbury Brass Company, one of Waterbury's 
great industrial concerns, and it speaks well for the stability of character 
and persistence of purpose in the young man that he never, during his long 
career, severed that connection, which covered a period of forty-two years. 
His natural alertness of mind, his ability to apply practically the knowledge 
which he picked up, together with his great capacity for hard work, soon 
drew to him the favorable attention of his employers, and he was started 
upon that series of promotions which finally placed him in the next highest 
office within the gift of the company, and made him a power in the Connecti- 
cut industrial world. In course of time he became the secretary and treasurer 
of the concern, a double office which he held for a considerable period of 
years, and was then elected vice-president and treasurer, continuing in this 
post until his death. He was also made a director of the same company. 
As his prominence in the financial circles grew, Mr. Steele extended the 
sphere of his control and influence beyond the limits of any single institu- 
tion. He became a stockholder in many industrial concerns, having an abid- 
ing faith in the development of Waterbury's industries and the general 
growth of the city. He served as director in many corporations both of 
Waterbury and of Providence, Rhode Island, notably the Waterbury Sav- 
ings Bank, and the Meriden and Waterbury Railroad Company, and was 
vice-president of the latter as well. 

Prominent as was Mr. Steele in the business world, he is perhaps even 
better remembered as a man of aft'airs and a fearless exponent of the right as 
he saw it, in the political activities of the region. He was a staunch mem- 
ber of the Republican party, and a keen observer of the political issues agi- 
tating the country during his life. His personal popularity together with 
the position he occupied in the city, made him an ideal candidate for some 
important office, a fact which the local organization of his party was not 



8o aBDtoatD Daniel Steele 

slow in perceiving. They accordingly offered him the nomination for State 
Senator in the year 1896, and he was triumphantly chosen in the election 
which followed, serving through the term of 1897. 

Mr. Steele's activities were of a varied order, and his interests embraced 
practically all the departments of life in the city. He was a well known 
figure in the Waterbury social world, of which his refinement and unusual 
culture made him an ornament, and he was a member in a number of clubs 
and fraternities, notably the Sons of American Revolution, and the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, of which he was a member of Nosahogan 
Lodge, of Waterbury. Mr. Steele was a strongly religious man, and was 
affiliated with the Episcopal church and was an active worker in its inter- 
ests in Waterbur\. He was one of those who organized Trinity Church 
and parish, and was a faithful member thereof, and a consistent attendant 
at the services. The organization was accomplished in the year 1892, and 
Mr. Steele was appointed a member of the first vestry, and in 1892 he was 
elected junior warden. He always took an active part in the work of the 
parish, and was a generous supporter of the many benevolences connected 
therewith. 

Mr. Steele was a man in whom the public and private virtues were 
admirably balanced. He was regarded in the business world and, indeed, 
in all his public relations as one whose principles were above reproach, 
whose strict ideals of honor and justice were applied to every detail of his 
business conduct, and in no wise compromised, by his unusual sagacity as a 
business man. Nor was it only in his dealings with his business associates 
that these characteristics were displayed. It was with his employees and 
subordinates in the various concerns in which he exercised control that they 
were perhaps most conspicuous. His courtesy and unfailing concern for 
their welfare made him highly popular with them and established the esteem 
in which he was held on the firmest kind of basis. In his private life these 
virtues had their analogues. A quiet and retiring nature made him a strong 
lover of home and domestic ties, and his unfailing geniality endeared him 
to family and friends of whom he possessed many. His death at so early an 
age as sixty-two years, while his vigor remained unimpaired and he was 
still in the zenith of his usefulness, was felt as a loss not only by his imme- 
diate and personal associates, but by the community at large. 

Mr. Steele married, April 5, 1864, Sarah C. Merriman, a daughter of 
Joseph P. Merriman, of Waterbury, Connecticut. To them were born two 
children, who with their mother survive Mr. Steele. The elder was a daugh- 
ter, Mary Elizabeth, who is now the wife of Roger Watkyns, of Troy, New 
York, and the mother of two children, Steele and Edward S. Mr. Steele's 
second child was a son. Dr. Harry Merriman Steele, who has devoted much 
time to the study of his profession of medicine, both at home and abroad, 
and especially at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; he is now a 
practicing physician in New Haven. Dr. Steele married Elizabeth Kissam, 
of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who bore him two children, Charlotte Merri- 
man and Harrv Merriman Steele. 




?12amt|)rcip ?»arner Bunbar 

[NTHROP WARNER DUNBAR, in whose death, on Decem- 
ber 31, 1912, Bristol, Connecticut, lost one of her worthiest 
and most respected citizens, was a member of a very old 
family which has held a most honorable place in the life of 
both this country, where it has resided since early colonial 
times, and in Scotland, where it had its origin. It is believed 
that the name came originally from the ancient Scotch city 
of Dunbar, which figured so prominently in the romantic history of that 
country, throughout the long and troublous period of the wars with Eng- 
land. The Dunbars of America are, it is believed, descendants of George, 
Earl Dunbar, through the founder of the Dunbar family of Grange Hill, one 
Ninian Dunbar, back to whom the line may be traced unbrokenly with the 
exception of one insignificant gap, which every probability seems to render 
negligible. This break occurs in the life of Ninian's son, Robert Dunbar, 
born in 1630, of whom we lose sight for a time until Robert Dunbar turns up 
a settler in Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1655, ^"d the immigrant ancestor of 
the American line. From this Robert Dunbar the descent is direct to our 
subject, who is of the eighth generation from him. 

Robert Dunbar was followed by three Johns consecutively, which 
brought the family down to the Revolution, the 3'oungest of the name having 
five sons, all of whom fought in that momentous struggle. One of these was 
Miles Dunbar, the great-grandfather of Winthrop Warner Dunbar. It was 
in the life of Miles Dunbar that the family first wandered from the soil of 
New England, when it removed to New York State and there took up its 
abode for a time. In the following generation Butler Dunbar, the grand- 
father of our subject, went still farther afield. Indeed, there was much of 
the explorer and pioneer in his nature, and after living for a time in Pennsyl- 
vania and Connecticut he traveled west and settled in Monroe township. 
Mahaska county, Iowa, where he eventually died. 

His son was Edward Lucius Dunbar, the father of Winthrop Warner 
Dunbar, and a most prominent citizen of Bristol, Connecticut. Edward 
Lucius Dunbar did not accompany his father to the West, but being taken 
a fevvf years after his birth, which occurred in Springville, Pennsylvania, to 
the town of Bristol, he there grew to manhood and continued to make it his 
home the rest of his life. He was engaged in manufacturing clock springs 
and trimmings and the steel frames used in the construction of the hoop- 
skirt and crinoline. It was the former industry that formed the foundation 
of the immense business since developed by his three sons. The hoop-skirt 
manufactory was of course abandoned when taste decreed another style, but 
during the continuance of the custom it was a most paying industry and 
made Mr. Dunbar, Sr., a rich man. The present town hall of Bristol was 
erected and donated to the town by him. and was popularly known as "Crin- 
oline Hall" for a long period. Mr. Dunbar, Sr.. was married to Julia 

CONN-Vol III_6 



82 JiQintfjrop mntntt Dunliat 

Warner, a native of Farmington, Connecticut, and a daughter of Joel and 
Lucinda Warner, of that place. Mr. and Mrs. Dunbar, Sr., were the parents 
of six children, as follows : Winthrop W., the subject of this sketch ; Edward 
B., elsewhere mentioned in this work ; William A. ; three daughters, now 
Mrs. W. W. Thorpe, Mrs. L. A. Sanford and Mrs. George W. Mitchell. 

Winthrop Warner Dunbar, the eldest child of Edward Lucius and 
Julia (Warner) Dunbar, was born February 25, 1841, in Bristol, Connec- 
ticut, and there continued to make his home all his life. Up to the time of 
reaching his seventeenth year he attended the local schools, and upon com- 
pleting his studies entered his father's factory in Bristol. The Bristol plant 
was where the springs and clock parts were manufactured, the hoop-skirt 
mill being situated in New York City. It was to the latter that the second 
brother was sent to gain his experience, but upon the going out of crinoline 
he also entered the Bristol works. The third brother, William A. Dunbar, 
though he had at first sought employment elsewhere, finally found his way 
to the same place and, upon the death of their father, the three brothers 
organized the firm of Dunbar Brothers to carry on the business. Although 
a decidedly primitive establishment at the time the three brothers came into 
control of its management, under their skillful direction it soon developed 
greatly and by dint of installing machinery and keeping constantly abreast 
of the time in all equipment, and by specializing strictly in small springs, a 
business has been built up which takes its place as one of the most important 
industries in that region so well known for its great industrial works. The 
mills of Dunbar Brothers have now a capacity of many millions of springs 
yearly. 

While Mr. Dunbar was greatly interested in politics, and was an acute 
observer of the issues agitating the country in his day, he never took an 
active part in local politics and consistently declined offers of nomination 
for numerous offices made to him by his party. He was a Democrat in prin- 
ciple, and worked heartily for the advancement of the policies identified with 
the party name, but ever in the capacity of a private citizen. He was, how- 
ever, a prominent figure in social and fraternal circles in the town, and held 
membership in many organizations. He belonged to the Stephen Terry 
Lodge, No. 59, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Bristol; the E. L. 
Dunbar Encampment, No. 32, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the 
Royal Arcanum. Mr. Dunbar was an ardent member of the Congregational 
church, having for many years faithfully attended its services and taken an 
active part in the work of the congregation. 

Mr. Dunbar was married. May 3, 1862, to Sarah Anna Wheeler, a native 
of Griswold, Connecticut, where she was born June 3, 1840, and a daughter 
of Oliver Lepenwell and Lydia Almira (Button) Wheeler, of that place. 
Mr. and Mrs. Dunbar were the parents of three children, as follows: Charles 
Edward, born November 18, 1865; Alice May, born April 13, 1868, married 
Carl Virgil Mason, of Unionville, Connecticut, where he is a prominent real 
estate dealer; Beatrice Estelle, born June 22, 1874, died August 29 of the 
same year. Mr. Dunbar died in Bristol, Connecticut, December 31, 1912. 

It seems appropriate to say here a few words concerning Charles Ed- 
ward Dunbar, whose career gives so much promise for the future. He was 



mimbtop mumet Dunftat 



83 



reared in Bristol, the town of his birth, attending" the local schools for the 
elementary portion of his education and later attending the Williston Semi- 
nary at Easthampton, Massachusetts. He then took a course in Hannum's 
Business College at Hartford, from which institution he was graduated in 
1887. He was then appointed to the position of superintendent in the firm 
of Dunbar Brothers, and there exhibited his unusual business capacity to the 
best advantage. He was married, July 2, 1889, to Elizabeth Bulkley Nott, 
a native of Bristol and a daughter of William and Mary (Smith) Nott. To 
them has been born one child, a son, Winthrop William Dunbar. 




(ffiltUtam Sa. ©rtutt 




'ILLIAM R. ORCUTT was during his life one of the most 
distinguished citizens of Rockville, Tolland county, Con- 
necticut, and to no one during its history does that town 
owe more than to hirti. Mr. Orcutt was not a native of 
Rockville, having been born in Stafford, Connecticut, a few 
miles east of Stafford Springs, of a fine old Connecticut 
family which had been resident in the State from Revolu- 
tionary days. His parents were William and Eliza (Converse) Orcutt, the 
former being a farmer and one of the pioneer foundrymen of that region. 

William R. Orcutt was born May i8, 1824, and spent the early years of 
his childhood in his native town, attending the district school, which like 
most of such institutions in the rural parts, at that period, was an extremely 
crude affair, where only the most elementary subjects were taught, and 
where the birch was regarded as the best inducement to studious habits. 
The lad was an ambitious one, however, and was by no means content with 
the meagre facilities offered by this school, so he sought to increase his oppor- 
tunities by every means in his power. He had a strong ambition to study 
law, but he was one of a family of thirteen children, and his father found it 
impossible to grant his desire. When only fourteen years of age he left his 
father's farm and his studies, and made his way to the town of Windsor 
Locks, where a maternal uncle, H. A. Converse, was the owner of a foundry. 
With this relative the youth found employment and thus embarked in a 
business in which he continued for a large portion of his life. He set himself 
the task at once of mastering the detail of the industry, with such success 
that as a youth of nineteen, after having been employed for but five years, 
he was fully capable of running the whole establishment and directing the 
work of the thirty-five or forty hands employed therein. He was promoted 
to a responsible position where this direction became his duty, and he 
remained in this capacity until he received an offer of a similar position with 
a larger foundry in South Coventry. While employed in the latter place he 
took advantage of the educational opportunities offered to the mill em- 
ployees by Professor John Hall, and pursued his studies for some time under 
that skillful and wise guidance. The ambition of Mr. Orcutt's life at this 
time was to make himself free of employers of all sorts and strike out in busi- 
ness for himself, and this by dint of hard work and careful economy he was 
eventually enabled to do. 

In 1847 he formed a partnership with Mr. Charles Hall, and the two 
came to Rockville, where they established a foundry business under the firm 
name of Orcutt & Hall. There had been some doubt in the minds of the 
young partners as to the desirability of Rockville as a location for their new 
plant, and their intention was originally merely to try the place before set- 
tling definitely and for good. The period was one especially favorable to the 
foundry business, and the new firm began to thrive from the start. It was a 
time when the great industrial development of Connecticut had just gotten 





>^-^ 





^flUam R. ©rcutt 85 

under way, and mills and factories of all sorts were in course of construction 
or in project for the near future. Under the circumstances it is not wonderful 
that there should have been a great opportunity for those engaged in the 
business chosen by Mr. Orcutt. To take advantage of that opportunity in 
an adequate manner, and develop the industry in the face of a lively compe- 
tition, was no such simple matter, however, and Mr. Orcutt's business acu- 
men and his ability as a manager were called into requisition. He rightly 
believed that only by the production of the very highest quality of work, and 
the living up to the spirit as well as the letter of all contracts, could perma- 
nent success be won, and consequently the firm of Orcutt & Hall came to 
have the name of the manufacturers of the finest quality of foundry work 
in the region, and their business grew accordingly. In course of time Mr. 
Orcutt bought out his partner's interest in the business and continued it 
alone with a very high degree of success. It had been his intention to remain 
but a short time in Rockville. at the time of his first arrival in the place, but 
to the change of plans which induced him to make it his permanent home a 
number of factors contributed. The success of his business there was un- 
doubtedly an important consideration in his new determination, but it is 
doubtful if it was the first. 

Rockville was a young and growing place and it was evident to one of 
Mr. Orcutt's acute business sense that those who identified themselves with 
this promising development would benefit as it increased. Especiallv was 
this obvious in the case of real estate, which had already shown signs of an 
upward tendency suggestive of great things to follow. Mr. Orcutt was far 
too good a business man to neglect these opportunities, and it was not long 
before he invested in Rockville property. Bound thus by this powerful 
interest to the new place, Mr. Orcutt remained to superintend his new inter- 
ests there, and thus became one of the most active real estate agents and 
himself one of the largest owners in the town. His purchases of land were 
made most judiciously and soon turned out to be a most paying investment, 
nor was the advantage at all one-sided, since Mr. Orcutt was the most 
public-spirited of men and took every occasion to develop his property in a 
way which reacted most beneficially for the whole town. Shortly after his 
arrival in Rockville, he purchased of John H. Martin, then a large property 
owner in the region, the entire tract on East Main street, which fronts on 
the canal, and which now forms the very center of Rockville's town site. At 
that time, however, only the farseeing business man, such as Mr. Orcutt, 
could have foretold its value, as it was somewhat to one side of the first 
growth of the place and occupied by but two buildings. These were its 
owner's, Mr. Martin, bakery, a small frame building, and an equally small 
structure of the same sort, occupied as a wheelwright's shop. Mr. Orcutt's 
forecast of the growth of Rockville was justified by the event, and he was 
prompt to meet the growing demands for space and conveniences by erect- 
ing up-to-date structures on the tract. Business buildings of many kinds, but 
all of a type to bring credit on the town, were the result of his labors, and in 
addition to this he set about building new and good roads, repairing old ones, 
and generally opening up the neighborhood. Among the structures which 
arose at his initiative were the handsome brick building since occupied by 



86 mniiam E. Dtcutt 



the Metcalf drug establishment and the Talcott grocery store, and the 
group of buildings known as the "Monitor Block." He was, indeed, the 
builder of a very large portion of the business district of Rockville. He 
built the beautiful Terraces and also Central Park. 

Up to the year i860 his operations included the purchase and sale of 
real estate, but after that date the latter side of the transaction was discon- 
tinued, and Mr. Orcutt merely rented his property, which had grown too 
valuable for disposal. The management of this took up more and more of 
his time as the density of the business population grew, and greater demands 
for space and convenience arose, until at length he sold out his foundry busi- 
ness to the late Cyrus White, and retired from participation in that industry 
entirely. Among his enterprises was one in which he had the interest of the 
town in view even more than his own, but which, in spite of that, he met 
with much opposition. This was the construction and operation of the Rock- 
ville railroad, one of his dearest projects, the responsibility for which he had 
to shoulder well nigh alone at the outset. Out of his private pocket came 
the entire expense of the original survey, and it was under his personal 
supervision that the road was built and the rolling stock purchased. Once 
in operation, however, and the advantage to the town patent to every eye, 
the opposition ceased, and its champion was made its first superintendent, 
and received the congratulations of the very men which before had opposed 
him. Besides those already mentioned, Mr. Orcutt was associated with 
many of the large financial and industrial enterprises, and occupied an 
extremely influential place in business circles in the region. 

But Mr. Orcutt's activities were by no means measured by his business 
interests, however large and important these may have been. He was no 
less ardent a worker in purely public movements than in those in which a 
pecuniary advantage lay for him. He was the founder of the original volun- 
teer fire department, and was instrumental in inducing all the leading men 
of that time to join. He was made the first chief of the department, and 
when the question of purchasing a fire engine came up he was sent to New 
York City for the purpose. This was partly on account of his great interest 
in the matter, and also because he was naturally very much of a mechanic, 
and his judgment could be depended upon in the matter. The purchase 
made, his interest in the engine induced him to remain for some time in the 
city in order that he might witness the putting together of its parts and 
thus gain an intimate knowledge of its construction and manner of use, a 
knowledge which was of value later. 

Mr. Orcutt was one whose broad sympathies and active mind led him to 
take a deep and vital interest in the political issues of his time and in the 
conduct of public affairs generally, both national and local. Originally he 
was a member of the Whig party, his first presidential vote being cast for 
Henry Clay, but with the founding of the Republican party he became a 
member and was a faithful, though independent, believer in its principles 
and policies thereafter. He was elected selectman in Rockville, and held 
that office for twelve years to the great satisfaction of all his fellow towns- 
men, political friends and foes alike, so much so, indeed, that they reelected 
him again and again, his name often appearing as candidate on three party 



mniiam H, SPrcutt 87 

tickets. Mr. Orcutt's religious affiliations were with the Congregational 
church, and in this as in all other matters with which he was connected he 
was an unselfish and indefatigable worker. 

Mr. Orcutt married, September 6, 1848, Frances L. Skinner, a daughter 
of Nelson and Fanny (Skinner) Skinner, and a member of a prominent and 
honored family of that name, the history of which extends back to pre- 
Revolutionary days. Mrs. Orcutt was born in Vernon, Connecticut, Sep- 
tember II, 1828, and survives her husband, still residing in the old family 
home on East Main street, Rockville, with Mrs. William Francis Orcutt, 
her daughter-in-law. Mrs. Orcutt, Sr., is a member of the Sabra Trumbull 
Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. To Mr. Orcutt and her- 
self was born one child, a son, William Francis Orcutt, a sketch of whom 
follows. 

William R. Orcutt's death occurred on May 15, 1882, from pneumonia, 
and removed from Rockville one of the most important factors in its de- 
velopment and progress. He was in the best sense of the phrase a self-made 
man, and his success was based on those fundamental virtues of honesty and 
integrity, without which it is never secure. There is an interesting and 
characteristic story of him, as a boy, and his possession of nine pence, his 
first capital. This modest sum he hoarded, adding gradually to it, until he 
had sufficient to buy him a gun, whereupon he procured a fowling piece and 
soon worked up a trade in game which in time made him independent. So 
from small to large he slowly worked, pursuing the same policy all through 
his life, until he had finally developed the great estate, now in the possession 
of his family. But though he worked so steadily and consistently for this 
purpose, he never compromised his ideals for its attainment, holding stead- 
fastly all his life to the standard he had set himself. 





lEiUtam JFrancis ©rcutt 

ILLIAM FRANCIS ORCUTT, in whose death on March 25, 
191 1, Rockville, Connecticut, lost one of its most highly 
respected citizens, was a member of an old New England 
family which for many generations held an honorable place 
in the regard of the community. The two names, William 
and Orcutt, are in combination a sort of inheritance among 
the men of this family, there being at one time as many as 
four generations living at once who could claim it. In the present case not 
only our subject, but his father and grandfather, bore it, though in different 
combinations. William Francis Orcutt was a son of William R. and Fran- 
ces L (Skinner) Orcutt, the latter surviving both her husband and her son. 
Mr. Orcutt was born in the town of Vernon, Rockville, Tolland county, 
Connecticut, June 19, 1850, and with the exception of a few short periods 
lived there all his life. He inherited the sterling character and virtues of his 
father, and worthily took up the latter's work in and for Rockville, after the 
death of the elder man. As a child and growing boy he lived in Rockville 
and gained his education at the local public schools and the Munson Acad- 
emy. As he grew into young manhood his health was somewhat feeble, and 
after the completion of his schooling his father decided to send him abroad 
for a period of travel in the hope of his regaining it. The elder man planned 
to join his son after a time in Europe and complete with him a tour of the 
countries there. As health for the youth was the prime object of the trip, 
and time was no consideration, he embarked upon a slow sailing vessel, 
promising himself benefit from the long ocean voyage. Fate was not slow 
in seconding these attempts for a long voyage, and that with a vengeance. 
The vessel shortly after sailing encountered storm after storm which drove 
her so much out of her course that in time she lost track of her position 
altogether and it was six weeks before she finally recovered herself. In the 
meantime Mr. Orcutt, Sr., had taken a speedier craft, with the intention of 
meeting his son abroad, but he arrived long before him, and being totally 
unaware of what had befallen his ship, had to await in much anxiety his 
arrival. It all turned out well in the end, however, the two meeting and 
traveling all over Europe together, even taking in Egypt and spending nine 
months abroad. Mr. Orcutt was nineteen years of age at the time of this 
experience, which occurring at an extremely impressionable age, awakened 
in him a powerful interest in other lands and peoples, and gave him a strong 
taste for travel. Once in his later life he again gratified this taste by a trip 
in Europe, this time in his mother's company. Among other things accom- 
plished by the first journey was the renewal of his health in a great measure, 
and upon his return he secured employment in the Rockville National Bank 
at Rockville. He was highly gifted in mathematics, and devoted himself to 
the practical but complex subject of accounting to such good purpose that 
he became an expert accountant. His training in the Rockville bank was a 
great aid in this work, his accomplishments in turn rendering him a very 



mUUnm jFrancis SDrcutt 89 

valuable adjunct to the institution. After a brief period spent in this service, 
one of the ofificers of the bank proposed to the young man that he accom- 
pany him to Paterson, New Jersey, where he intended joining another bank- 
ing firm. This Mr. Orcutt decided to do, as the offer held out considerable 
opportunity for advancement. There he remained for upwards of seven years 
in the employ of the bank and undoubtedly had a brilliant career before him 
in this field had not the failing health of his father, and the necessity for some- 
one to supervise his great interests in Rockville, caused him to return. After 
the death of the elder man in 1882, when only fifty-eight years of age, Mr. 
Orcutt at once entered into the possession and control of these great prop- 
erties, and thereafter spent his time in their management. The destructive 
fire of 1895, which did such great damage in Rockville, did not spare the 
property of Mr. Orcutt. who suffered a heavy financial loss thereby, many " 
of the buildings standing on the property being destroyed. The property 
was in the very center of the Rockville business district and included many 
of the most important business blocks and individual office buildings in the 
town. Of course in such a locality, a loss such as that occasioned by the fire 
was merely temporary, and Mr. Orcutt set about rebuilding promptly. In 
this operation he confined himself almost exclusively to substantial brick 
business blocks of a few stories in height, and it is largely to him that Rock- 
ville is indebted for the handsome yet dignified appearance of its business 
district. Under the skillful direction of Mr. Orcutt and in response to the 
general growth of the town, the estate increased greatly in value, until at the 
present time it represents a large fortune to its owners. The property is 
located for the most part on the south side of East Main street, and the west 
side of Market street, and runs from the former thoroughfare to the canal, 
so that it contains much of the most thickly peopled region of the city, where 
the greatest demand for space exists, and as Mr. Orcutt carried out the 
policy of his father, never to sell any portion of the estate, the large tract 
remains intact and constitutes an unusual possession, a tribute to the far- 
seeing and good business traits of two generations of the family. 

Mr. Orcutt followed in the footsteps of his father politically. Deeply 
interested in the political issues of his day, he was an intelligent observer of 
the problems which claimed the country's attention, and was a staunch sup- 
porter of the solutions of these problems offered by the Republican party. 
He did not, however, take an active part in local politics as did his father, 
and shrank from holding public office, preferring to exert such influence as 
he could in his capacity of private citizen. 

Mr. Orcutt married, September 25, 1884, Ella L. Brown, a daughter of 
Jeremiah N. and Delia (Canin) Brown, of Palmer, Massachusetts. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Orcutt were born two children, as follows: Mildred F., now the 
wife of Professor F. T. Gilbert, of Hartford ; and Dorothy E., who now lives 
with her mother and grandmother, Mrs. William R. Orcutt, in the old 
Orcutt family home on East Main street. Mrs. William Francis Orcutt is 
a woman of many admirable accomplishments. She occupies a prominent 
position in the social world of Rockville and her charm as a hostess is pro- 
verbial. She possesses a remarkable business ability also, the more unusual 
since it is found in a woman whose training was naturally in other direc- 



90 muiinm Jftancis ©rcutt 

tions, and now conducts, with great skill and a very high degree of success, 
the management of the great Orcutt estate, and the large real estate busi- 
ness founded by Mr. Orcutt, Sr., and now descended to her through her hus- 
band. 

William Francis Orcutt was a man of the most sterling character. His 
death, which occurred when he was but fifty-nine years of age, and at the 
height of his powers, deprived the community of an influence at once great 
and beneficent. This effect was, indeed, of that subtle kind which is more 
the result of example than the direct fruit of striking deeds and works 
accomplished, and which is, of course, much more difficult to measure and 
gauge than the other. It is not, however, less potent nor less characteristic 
in its action. His honor and integrity were unimpeachable, and in all his 
business relations he maintained that high standard of justice and fair deal- 
ing which his father had instituted. He realized the value of credit in busi- 
ness, and made it his aim to preserve and increase the reputation of all the 
institutions with which he was at any time associated, a policy which 
resulted in their great good. Nor was he less scrupulous in the relations of 
private life. He was one of those for whom the mere profession of a formal 
religious belief is not sufficient. The moral principles which he held, he 
strove to translate into the terms of common, every-day conduct, that they 
might become a practical guide in life. His code of ethics was high and 
strict, and even a little stern, but no one could call it harsh or Puritanic as 
applied to anyone but himself. For other men and their shortcomings he 
had the readiest charity and tolerance, a tolerance which won for him not 
only the respect, but the affection of all those who entered into even the 
most casual relations with him. It was in his home, however, that these 
virtues found their most complete and graceful expression. There he was 
surrounded by the society which he loved best, that of his own household, 
and the intimate friends who formed a sort of larger family, and there he 
was most easily and completely himself. Those qualities which drew men 
to him were not of that external kind whose power flies almost as soon as it 
is felt, but rather such as only served to confirm the initial affection into a 
deep and abiding friendship. Thus it was that he possessed an unusually 
large group of faithful friends, for whom he maintained an equal fidelity. 
He was a man of great culture and a wide familiarity with life and the world 
at large. His travels abroad had given him that breadth of outlook which is 
so valuable to the man who deals in large interests in that it consists in a 
knowledge of the motives and ways of men. He was one of those men who 
mature slowly, but whose prime lasts indefinitely, and there is little doubt, 
if death had not found him at so untimely an age, that the influence of his 
personality would have assumed even larger proportions in the community 
of which he was a member. As it is that community will miss it greatly and 
find it impossible to replace. 




^Satlbur iSrainarli JFoster 

^HE death of Wilbur Brainard Foster, on March 20, 1906, re- 
moved from Rockville, Connecticut, while still in the prime 
of his strength and manhood, one of the most highly re- 
spected and prominent citizens of that place, a successful 
merchant and public man. He was a descendant of sturdy 
old New England stock, his parents having been old resi- 
dents of Monson, Massachusetts, and later moved to Tol- 
land county, Connecticut. His parents were William Joseph and Mary 
(Pufifer) Foster, the former establishing a successful clothing business in 
Rockville, which since his death has been continued on a large scale by his 
family, notably by Wilbur B. Foster. 

Wilbur Brainard Foster was born March 31, 1853, on his father's farm 
at Monson, Massachusetts, and there spent his childhood, attending the 
local public schools, and later the Monson Academy there. He thus had the 
benefit of that training in youth which has been the origin of the strongest 
and wisest Americans, that life of combined school and farm work, with 
healthy, strength-giving tasks, and recreation, and that close contact with 
the realities of nature, which develops and sweetens a man's character. 
While yet a mere youth, Mr. Foster accompanied his parents to Rockville, 
and there began his business career in the humble capacity of clerk in his 
father's store. His father bought out the Boston Clothing Store in Rock- 
ville and at his death his son took his place, being made president of that 
company. Later he formed a partnership with Mr. C. K. Gamwell and they 
had a store in the old Doane Block which was destroyed by fire; they then 
moved to a small building which was built for them west of the Exchange 
Block. Afterward they opened a branch store in Palmer, Massachusetts, 
which later Mr. Gamwell bought out. In 1885 Mr. Foster sold out to Mar- 
cus Harris and a year or so later Mr. Foster and Frank M. Bingham formed 
a partnership under the firm name of Foster & Bingham, which bought 
back the business. This partnership continued until 1896, when it was dis- 
solved, Mr. Bingham continuing the store. About a year later Mr. Foster 
formed a partnership with C. W. Morrill, of Hartford, and bought out W. H. 
Kelsey & Son. Later Mr. Foster returned to Rockville and established a 
clothing business on Market street under the firm name of Foster & Son, 
which he and his son conducted until 1904. He then retired from the mer- 
cantile business. 

It was not alone in the mercantile field that Mr. Foster won distinction 
in Rockville. On the contrary, he was active in nearly every department of 
the community's life, and especially in the realm of public afifairs. All his 
life he was keenly interested in political issues and questions of public polity, 
and his attention was strongly drawn to the conduct of the local public 
functions. He was a member of the Democratic party, and was conspicu- 
ously identified with the local organization in Rockville, and took an active 



92 mUbut TBtainatU JFostet 

part in politics. He did good service in the Democratic cause and was 
appointed postmaster of Rockville by President Cleveland, serving through- 
out that administration. He w^as greatly interested in the cause of public 
education, and for many years served the people of Rockville faithfully and 
well as a member of the school board. While occupying this responsible 
office, his course was always above suspicion in its disinterestedness, and he 
refused absolutely to have anything to do with partisan considerations, or to 
play politics in any way in connection with this duty. As a consequence his 
fellow townsmen, appreciating the unusual record, retained him in office for 
many years. 

Mr. Foster was a man of wide interests and sympathies, and extremely 
fond of the intercourse of his fellows. He was a prominent figure in the 
fraternal and club circles of Rockville. and was a member of the Independ- 
ent Order of Odd Fellows, the Foresters of America and the American Asso- 
ciation of United Workmen. He was a man of strong religious feeling and 
beliefs and attended the Congregational church of Rockville. He was also 
an active worker in the cause of religion and supported materially the many 
charities and benevolences in connection with the Congregational work, con- 
tributing generously of time, money and energy. Worthy charity made a 
strong appeal to him, and he served for a term of years as trustee of the 
Insane Hospital in Rockville. 

Mr. Foster married, December 26, 1872, Mary Edna Winchell, a native 
of Rockville, born March 16, 185 1, daughter of Cyrus and Hester Ann 
(Bumpstead) Winchell, of that place. Mrs. Foster's father, Cyrus Winchell, 
was one of the leading citizens of Rockville in his time, a conspicuous figure 
among the men who were identified with the industrial and financial de- 
velopment, vice-president of the People's Savings Bank and was a director 
of the Rockville National Bank, and many other important concerns. To 
Mr. and Mrs. Foster were born three children, two sons and a daughter, as 
follows: William J., who married Lina C. Bentley, and now resides with 
his wife in Rockville; Minnie W., who married Dr. H. L. Riley, formerly of 
Hartford and now of Boulder, Colorado; Harry D., who died September 11. 
1907, at the age of twenty-eight years. Mrs. Foster and the two elder chil- 
dren survive Mr. Foster. Until October 5, 1914, Mrs. Foster's mother, 
Mrs. Cyrus Winchell, had lived with her, her death occurring on that date 
at the advanced age of eighty-eight years. 

In spite of his many activities, which led him much into public and social 
life, Mr. Foster was essentially a domestic man. It was the ties of the fam- 
ily, the household, the home that bound him closest, and his happiest hours 
were spent by his own hearth-stone. He was an afifectionate and faithful 
friend and enjoyed the society of his intimates only next to that of his own 
household. The afifection and trustworthiness of his character begot the 
same in those who had dealings with him, and people rarely remained 
merely acquaintances, that relation strengthening to friendship easily, so 
that he had a very large circle of friends in fact as well as in name. He was 
a man who, not content with the mere profession of religion, strove to trans- 
late his beliefs into the terms of every-day life, and make it a practical guide 



mUbm IBtainatD jFostct 



93 



to conduct. His sense of justice was extremely developed and his attitude 
towards his fellows was tolerant and unassuming, truly democratic, so that 
all men, alike the highest and the most humble, felt at home in their inter- 
course with him. His loss was felt deeply, not only by his immediate family 
and friends, but by the community at large. 





iiBlartus ilKlorton iSacon 

^HE death of Marcus Morton Bacon on September 6, 191 1, at 
Hartford, Connecticut, lost to that city one of its most prom- 
inent merchants and public-spirited citizens and a member 
of a very old and honorable house, distinguished both in 
Connecticut and in the neighboring State of New York. 
The "war governor" of New York State, Edwin Denison 
Morgan, was a great-uncle of Mr. Bacon, Governor Mor- 
gan's sister, Phoebe Morgan, having married his grandfather. His parents 
were William A. and Caroline (Stone) Bacon, both natives of Connecticut 
and old residents of Hartford, their home being the old Morgan homestead 
situated on Front street, the principal thoroughfare of the city. It was 
William A. Bacon who founded the great bottling business which still is in 
full operation by the family, built the big works on Shelton street, where he 
afterwards met his death while at work. William A. and Caroline (Stone) 
Bacon were also parents of another son, Belma A. Bacon, living at the 
present time (1915). 

Marcus Morton Bacon was born January i, 1843, i" the old Morgan 
mansion on Front street, Hartford, and there passed the years of his child- 
hood, attending the excellent public schools of the city and there gaining a 
fine general education. He completed this schooling early, however, and 
at the age of fourteen or fifteen years he began work in his father's bottling 
establishing. His life was no sinecure, for he was employed to drive the 
wagon over a long country route, and was obliged to be at work at five 
o'clock in the morning. He was an industrious, hard-working youth, how- 
ever, and managed to learn much of the detail of the business, so that he was 
soon promoted to more responsible positions, in all of which he did highly 
efficient work. As his father grew older, the young man came to take more 
and more of the direction of afifairs on his own shoulders, and when the 
elder man met his tragic death in the accident at the railroad station, where 
he was on business connected with the factory, his son was able and ready 
to step into his place in the management. This control of the business he 
retained until the time of his own death many years later, and exercised it 
with such judgment and skill that the concern flourished greatly, and when 
the time came for him to turn the afifairs of the company over to his suc- 
cessor, they were found to be in the most prosperous condition. The busi- 
ness, indeed, grew to very large proportions during his management, and 
became one of the largest of the kind within that region. His business talent 
was unusual and his policies were all based on the firm foundation of scrupu- 
lous honesty, so that his dealings with all his business associates was of a 
nature to win him the highest reputation, thus insuring permanence to his 
success. As he had succeeded his father in the ownership and control of the 
company, so he was succeeded by his son Herbert, who is now the successful 
head of the firm. 

Mr. Bacon had many interests outside the conduct of his business, and 




tyiiarau -^Corton l/jacon 



09arcus ggotton IBacon 95 

was an active participant in many departments of the city's life. He was 
extremely public-spirited and took a great deal of interest in the conduct of 
the com.munity's affairs, and there were but few movements undertaken for 
the advancement thereof which appealed to him for aid in vain. He was also 
much of a thinker in the matter of the political issues of the day, both local 
and national, and a strong supporter of the principles and policies of the 
Democratic party. He was a retiring- man, however, and never allied him- 
self actively with the local organization, nor desired to hold any public office, 
preferring to exert what influence he might in his capacity of private citizen. 
He did join the bucket corps of the volunteer fire department of that day in 
Hartford and worked energetically for the advantage of the department. 
Mr. Bacon was always a prominent figure in Hartford social circles, and his 
house was noted for its open hospitality and the delightful welcome 
accorded to such as were privileged to visit it. He was also the possessor of 
a great deal of taste and artistic appreciation, which his ample fortune per- 
mitted to find a natural expression in the graceful elegance of his home. 
He was very fond of horses and driving and owned many fine specimens 
of the animal, in which he took great pride. He owned as well a motor car, 
when that invention had become practicable, and took a great deal of pleas- 
ure in its operation. 

Mr. Bacon was twice married, his first wife being Delia Case, of Hart- 
ford, Connecticut, daughter of Wallace Case, deceased, former citizen of 
Hartford. To them were born four children, as follows: Grace A., now 
Mrs. W. L. Wakefield, of Hartford, three children: Mildred, Helen, Eliza- 
beth; Catherine, now Mrs. George H. Coe, of East Orange, New Jersey, 
four children: Catherine, George H.. Jr., Robert Bacon and Walter Wake- 
field, twins; Frances D. ; and Herbert Morton, married Isobella M. Hunting- 
ton, of Hartford, and is now the owner of the valuable Bacon Bottling 
Works, two children: Herbert Morton, Jr., and Jane Morgan. Some time 
after the death of his first wife, February 2-j, 1895, Mr. Bacon married Mrs. 
Sophia Smith, nee Michael, a daughter of John and Laura C. Michael, of 
Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Michael was a native of Scotland, who came 
in young manhood to this country and settled in Hartford. Mrs. Bacon was 
the widow of James Sumner Smith, of the firm of Smith, Fowler & Miller, 
of Hartford, Connecticut, where he was a prominent figure in the business 
world. He was a son of Sumner and Mary (Goodwin) Smith, his maternal 
grandfather, having been Horace Goodwin, the first major of the Putnam 
Phalanx. Mrs. Bacon is the mother of two children by her first marriage, 
Allan Goodwin, who died in infancy; and Julia, who is now Mrs. Andrew R. 
Mussel, of Hartford. Since the death of Mr. Bacon, Mrs. Bacon has resided 
with her daughter at No. 306 Maple avenue. Hartford. She is a woman of 
remarkable business ability and it has been due to her excellent manage- 
ment of it that some valuable shore property belonging to the Bacons has 
been developed. 

With all his talents Mr. Bacon was essentially a domestic man. He was 
very retiring, and though he greatly enjoyed the society of his friends he 
shrank from putting himself in a position where he might become con- 



96 



Qgatcus Qgotton 'Bacon 



spicuous. Though so uniformly successful and so universally liked and 
admired on account of his sense of justice by all whom he met in his business 
life, yet his chief happiness was found in the retirement of his own home and 
in the intercourse of his own household. The same qualities that made him 
a devoted husband and parent also made him a faithful friend, so that of the 
great number who were originally attracted to him because of his unusual 
personality, there were none who did not remain bound to him by a sense of 
his sterling worth and simple heart. To his family and to these devoted 
friends, and further yet, to the citizens of his native Hartford, his death is a 
very real loss and leaves a gap which it will be difficult indeed to fill. 





"JcK £/)g^o. 




^eter ®obson mi 3o})n Strong Bobson 

'HE CAREER of two such men as Peter Dobson and his son, 
John Strong Dobson, could not very well occur without 
strongly influencing the community in which they lived, 
particularly a community like Vernon, Connecticut, where 
the elder man settled, just at the beginning of its growth, and 
the great industrial development of which is so largely attri- 
butable to his intelligent initiative and energy and that of his 
successor and son. 

Peter Dobson was not a native of Connecticut or, indeed of this country, 
having emigrated to America from England as a young man, but he was one 
of essentially democratic feelings and principles, believing strongly in repub- 
lican institutions, and at once fell into the ways of his adopted land, in the 
future of which he had the strongest and most abiding faith. He was born 
August 5, 1784, in Preston, Lancashire, England, and there passed the first 
twenty-five years of his life, learning much about the cotton manufactur- 
ing industry, in that region where it forms so large and important an inter- 
est. He was a man who from his earliest youth displayed extraordinary 
scientific ability, to such an extent that even before coming to this country 
his attainments as a mathematician were recognized in scientific circles in 
England, and he had in his possession a letter from the well known mathe- 
matician and author, Hutton, stating that he had learned in recent publica- 
tions of his mathematical gifts and desiring him to take part in an examina- 
tion for an official position then open in the Royal Military Academy at 
Woolwich. Upon his arrival in Vernon, it became Mr. Dobson's task to 
establish the manufacture of cotton in that region, a task which he success- 
fully accomplished, introducing the first cotton spinning machinery in the 
place, when in 1810, at the age of twenty-six, he with the assistance of 
several others whom he had interested in the project, built a mill on the spot 
in Vernon which is to this day known as "Dobson's Mills." The newly 
founded business was progressing favorably when it received a very serious 
blow which only the patient genius of Mr. Dobson made it possible for it to 
survive. This was the outbreak of the War of 1812 with England, with its 
accompanying bitterness of the Federals against the government and all 
American sympathies and interests. In the city of Hartford, which was the 
principal market for Vernon manufactures, this feeling was especially 
strong among the conservative and powerful merchants, who carried their 
prejudice to the point of declining to deal in American products. Mr. Dob- 
son, who was already a far better American and democrat than many of 
those born in the country, was hard pushed to find a market for the output 
of his mills. He was obliged to resort to selling to peddlers and all sorts of 
makeshifts to dispose of it. The storm blew over at length, however, 
and from that time onward the result w^as insured. Mr. Dobson's associates 
were all active and energetic men and the business flourished greatly not 
only during the long life of its founder, but down to the present time, though 
it now bears another name and is under other ownership. During his life 
Mr. Dobson witnessed the growth of the great homes of industrial enter- 



96b Peter Dolison anD 3[ol)n Strong Dofison 

prises, many of which owed their origin in a measure to his own act in estab- 
lishing the cotton industry there. He witnessed the great development of 
Rockville and of Vernon, in which latter place he had his home. 

While Mr. Dobson's work in the direction of industrial development 
was invaluable to his region, it was not by any means his only occupation, 
nor indeed the work for which he afterwards became well known. This lay 
rather in the direction of science, in which his achievements were of extreme 
importance, and received wide recognition both in this country and abroad, 
chiefly, perhaps, in the latter. He was a man of great powers of observation, 
and that of a close kind, and of original thought, the possessor of a mind 
well capable of classifying and relating the knowledge thus gained. Geology 
was the subject which, perhaps, shared the greater portion of his time 
and attention, together with mathematics. In the former he did some very 
valuable research work, and was the originator of the theory of the action 
of ice on rock during the glacial periods of geology, now in general accept- 
ance. Like the apple and Sir Isaac Newton, it was an apparently common- 
place phenomenon which first drew his thought in the right direction. At 
the time of excavating for the foundations of his cotton factory, he noticed 
a number of large boulders dug out from the clay and gravel of which the 
soil was composed. These boulders weighed all the way from ten hundred- 
weight to fifteen tons or more, and many of them were scratched and 
abraded on the under side in a manner at first sight very puzzling. Most 
men would not even have observed the fact, and of the comparatively few 
who did, the majority would have confessed themselves at a loss. Not so 
Mr. Dobson, however. He turned over carefully in his mind all his previous 
knowledge of geology, and after considerable thought came to the con- 
clusion by a process of elimination that the only way in which such curious 
parallel marks could have been made was for the rocks to have been dragged 
in a fixed position over other rocks or gravel. But what agency could hold 
rocks of that size fixed while it bore them along with sufficient force to crush 
and abrade their lower surfaces. Not water certainly, but at least a form 
of water — ice. Great masses of ice in movement would treat rocks held in 
suspension in precisely that manner, and even in the present day, the great 
alpine glaciers of the world were known to carry immense masses of soil and 
rocks from the heights to the plains below. These ideas Mr. Dobson com- 
municated to the "American Journal of Science" in an essay of scarcely more 
than a page in length, but in such terse and convincing terms that Mr. Silli- 
man, the publisher, printed it, without foreseeing, however, how great a 
revolution in glacial theories it would cause. Sixteen years later in an 
address delivered before the Geological Society of London, on the occasion 
of an anniversary meeting, Sir Roderick Murchison, president of the society, 
referred to this very brief article of Mr. Dobson, and after saying much in 
praise of both the theory and its author, closed his address with the follow- 
ing words: 

Apologising, therefore, for having detained you so long, and for having previously 
too much extended a similar mode of reasoning, I take leave of the glacial theory in 
congratulating American science upon having the original author of the best glacial 
theory, though his name has escaped notice ; and in recommending to you the terse 
arguments of Peter Dobson, a previous acquaintance with which might have saved 
volumes of disputation on both sides of the Atlantic. 




To/i >i cy/f<i^t^ k^ ooSo^/i 



Peter Do&son anD 3lof)n Strong Dofison 96c 

This utterance of Sir Robert Murchison, then regarded as one of the 
leading authorities in the world on the subject, quickly brought Mr. Dob- 
son's name into public notice, especially among geologists the world over. 
In this country he was especially praised by Professors Silliman and Hitch- 
cock, both well known authorities, as well as by many other men regarded 
as authorities in their several lines. 

Mr. Dobson was twice married, the first time to Betsey Chapman, a 
native of Ellington, Connecticut. To them were born two children, William 
and Mary. Mrs. Dobson died in the year 1816, and in 1817 Mr. Dobson was 
married to Sophia Strong, a daughter of John and Lydia (Sumner) Strong, 
of East Windsor, Connecticut. The children of the second marriage were 
as follows: John Strong, mentioned at length below, and Charlotte, who 
became the wife of Dr. A. R. Goodrich, of Vernon, Connecticut. 

Mr. Dobson lived many years in his adopted country, his death occur- 
ring on March 18, 1878, at the venerable age of ninety-three years and seven 
months. During that long period, he proved himself an ideal citizen, and no 
native-born American could have shown more faith in and devotion to 
American ideals and institutions. The terms Democrat and Republican 
were indiscriminately applied to the members of the Democratic party of 
that day, and in both names Mr. Dobson gloried. He was absolutely staunch 
in his Democratic beliefs and a stout champion of the contention that the 
common people were quite capable of managing their own affairs. Unfor- 
tunately for him, the region in which he lived was the very stronghold of the 
Whigs, who did not smile at all upon his sturdy independence, and he thus 
lost the opportunity to occupy the position in the world of public affairs to 
which his mind and capabilities, as well as his interest, entitled him. But 
in spite of even this disadvantage he was the recipient of many marks of his 
townsfolk's trust, which he well deserved and merited. His character was 
one of those straightforward, courageous ones, which scorned to be other 
than perfectly open and frank in the expression of its beliefs and opinions, 
and although this won him some enemies among those of different views, it 
won him many more friends and the admiration of the community generally. 
His personality was attractive; large and powerfully built, his physical char- 
acteristics seemed in harmony with his decided will and original mind, and 
added to the general impression of force which he gave. Rarely angry, 
always self-controlled, his very calmness made him a dangerous adversary, 
all his faculties being ever on the alert for attack and defence. But this trait 
was not that most strongly suggested by his appearance and manner. A 
strong sense of justice and the kindliest of hearts ever stood in the way of 
his using his uncommon powers in an aggressive or tyrannical manner ; his 
democracy was not one of belief only, but of nature, and he felt himself the 
brother and companion of all men, high and low. 

John Strong Dobson, the only son of Peter Dobson by his second mar- 
riage, inherited many of his father's sterling virtues, and succeeded him in 
the work he did for the community. He was born May 18, 1818, in Vernon, 
Connecticut, and spent much of his childhood in his native place. When he 
came of age to attend school, he was sent away from home to institutions, 
first in East Hartford, Connecticut, and later in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, 
where he gained an excellent general education. Upon completing this 
schooling he returned to Vernon and at once entered his father's establish- 



96d Peter Do60on anD 3fo!jn Strong Dobson 

ment, where he learned the business of cotton manufacture in every detail. 
In the year 185 1 he took complete charge of the Vernon manufacturing 
interests, and continued the success which they had enjoyed under his 
father's able management. These interests were finally disposed of, and Mr. 
Dobson gave his time and attention to other matters. His position in the 
industrial world had been such that his influence was felt also through- 
out financial circles in that region, and he became directly connected with a 
number of institutions, among which may be mentioned the First National 
Bank of Rockville and the Savings Bank of Rockville. 

A most impressive tribute to the character of Mr. Dobson, and a proof 
that sterling qualities and strong personality can overcome even the most 
untoward circumstances, is contained in his career in politics and public 
affairs. Like his father before him he was the staunchest of Democrats, in 
feelings and convictions, and was indeed a member of the Democratic 
party. Like his father, also, he was one of the most outspoken of men, 
expressing his opinions with perfect frankness on every question, while 
Vernon also continued in its almost violent anti-Democratic sentiment. In 
spite of the strong opposition against him on political grounds, the influence 
of his personality on the community and the admiration felt by all towards 
his strong integrity and good judgment was such that he was repeatedly 
elected to public oflice, and that though he never in any way sought it. In 
1852 he was a State Senator, and served in that responsible office to the 
entire satisfaction of his district, winning for himself a reputation as a man 
of great power and the deepest convictions. He was the youngest member 
of the Senate during his term, but notwithstanding made a decided impres- 
sion upon that body. In 1876 he was appointed State Auditor of Public 
Institutions and in that same year was a Presidential Elector. 

John Strong Dobson married, January 21, 1841, Julia Woodbridge 
White, a daughter of John J. White, of Hartford. Mr. White was a very 
well known instructor in his home city, and a mathematician of great ability, 
the author of a standard text-book of arithmetic, used in many schools 
throughout the country. He was of that courtly type of gentleman which 
seems to be passing from us to our great loss. He was of an unusually attrac- 
tive personality, possessed of the most polished manners, and with an un- 
usually keen sense of humor which found its chief expression in clever re- 
partee, which, however, he never used with malice or cruelty. He was a 
very prominent member of the Masonic order, and had reached a high degree 
therein. To Mr. and Mrs. Dobson was born one child, a daughter, Emma S., 
who became the wife of Rienzi B. Parker, a sketch of whom appears else- 
where in this work. 

However great the achievement of Mr. Dobson in public life and busi- 
ness, his real success lay rather in the position he reached in the admiration 
and affection of his friends and neighbors, who had so keen a respect for his 
judgment and strong sense that they often approached him for the settle- 
ment of disputes and the distribution of estates, much as the patriarchs of 
olden days were sought. His death which occurred December 15, 1882, 
was a very real loss to the entire community, which as a whole had bene- 
fitted so greatly through his activities. The Dobsons, father and son, will 
long be remembered in that region as the two men who, perhaps more than 
any others, contributed to the general welfare of the place. 



3Rten?t iSelcljer ^arfeer 




'HE DEATH of Rienzi Belcher Parker on April 12, 1912, 
removed from the city of Hartford, Connecticut, one of its 
active and public-spirited citizens and a scion of one of the 
old New England families v^hose name has held an honored 
place in the annals of the community from the earliest Colo- 
nial times dov^n to the present. Though not a native of Hart- 
ford, Mr. Parker and three generations of his forbears had 
lived in Connecticut, his great-grandfather, Ephraim Parker, moving to that 
State in his early youth, sometime prior to 1750. Before that time the 
Parkers had resided in Massachusetts from 1640 or earlier, when James 
Parker came from England and settled in Woburn, and from whom are 
sprung the family of which Rienzi B. Parker is a member. It is probable 
that this James Parker was related to some or all of the other men of that 
name who settled in that neighborhood at about the same time, who were 
also the progenitors of lines bearing the name. Certain it is that he was a 
man of energy and enterprise who took an active part in the stirring events 
of those days, and whether as a pious God-fearing church member, a wise 
counselor in public matters or a stout Indian fighter, was a leader in the 
community. 

Lucius Parker, father of Rienzi B. Parker, was a native of Willington, 
Connecticut. As a young man he was employed in the factory of Peter 
Dobson, whose granddaughter, Emma S. Dobson, later became the wife 
of Rienzi B. Parker. Lucius Parker was connected all his life with cotton 
manufacture in Connecticut and became a wealthy man thereby. He mar- 
ried Bathsheba Belcher, and among their children was Rienzi Belcher, of 
whom further. 

Rienzi Belcher Parker was born February 15, 1838, in South Coventry, 
Connecticut, and there passed his childhood up to nine years, when he re- 
moved to Manchester, Connecticut, where his father established cotton 
mills, and after completing his education at the local school and high-grade 
school in Ellington, began work in the cotton mill, in the year 1859. and 
remained in his father's employ for seven years. In 1866 he withdrew from 
this association, having determined to embark in a manufacturing enter- 
prise on his own account. For this purpose he removed to Vernon, Con- 
necticut, and there established a cotton manufactory, which he conducted 
with a high degree of success. In 1890 he removed to Hartford, Connec- 
ticut, where he became interested in the life insurance business, and three 
years after his removal there he was elected president of the Hartford Life 
Insurance Company, an office which he held until 1900, when after seven 
years' notable services he retired from active business life. He continued a 
director in the First National Bank of Hartford and of the Security Com- 
pany, both important Hartford concerns until the end of his life. His busi- 

I'ONN-Vol HI- 



98 laien^i IBelthtt parket 

ness acumen was extraordinary, and he seemed to realize instinctively what 
would be successful as an enterprise. 

Though interested theoretically in the political issues which were 
agitating the public in that day, and a keen observer of them, he did not take 
an active part in politics, or ally himself to any local party organization be- 
yond what was essential to the discharge of his duty as a citizen. He was a 
member of the Republican party, and believed in its general principles and 
policies, but was swayed by no partisan considerations in the formation of 
his independent judgment. 

Mr. Parker was a man of the world, a successful business man, pro- 
gressive, keeping abreast of the quickly moving times in which he lived, yet 
possessed in the fullest measure of those sterling virtues which are perhaps 
more closely associated with an age that is passing than that now in its 
zenith, the virtues of the strictest business integrity, an integrity which 
would rather suffer personal reverses than fail one jot of its ideal, and of a 
courtesy which justly regarded itself as an expression of civilized life. 
Though deeply engaged in his business pursuits, he had time and the inclina- 
tion to give much of his attention to his home and family life, enjoying 
nothing more than that intimate intercourse which was to be had in those 
relations. He was a man of long and strong friendships and one whose 
example left an impress for good upon the community at large. 

Mr. Parker married, September 13, 1865, Emma S. Dobson, of Vernon, 
Connecticut, daughter of John S. and Julia Woodbridge (White) Dobson, 
of that place. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Parker: i. John Dobson, born 
September 25, 1866; married Edith, daughter of the late Dr. P. W. Ells- 
worth, of Hartford, who bore him three children: John Dobson, Jr., Brad- 
ford Ellsworth, Robert Townshend. 2. Julia W., who became the wife of 
Collins W. Benton, of Hartford. 3. Lucius R., born December 21. 1872; 
married Marie Antonietta, of Turin, Italy, who died June 18, 1902, leaving 
one child, Rienzi Belcher, 2nd. Mrs. Rienzi B. Parker is a daughter of John 
S. Dobson, a prominent figure in Vernon and the region about, a sketch of 
whom appears elsewhere in this work, and a granddaughter of Peter Dob- 
son. Mrs. Parker is a graduate of the once famous "Hartford Female Semi- 
nary," founded by Catherine Beecher, class of 1861. She still resides at No. 
300 Farmington avenue, Hartford. 



Calcott 




MONG the distinguished families in New England is that of 
the Talcotts of Hartford, which from the earliest Colonial 
times has been resident in that region, and one of whose 
members was a founder of the city. The name is a very old 
English one and is first found in Warwickshire, whence it 
made its way into Essex, where originated the line which 
forms the subject of this sketch. From that olden time has 
come down even to the present, through generation after generation, the 
arms of the family : Argent, on a pale sable, three roses of the field ; and the 
crest, a demi-griffin erased, argent, wings endorsed collared sable, charged 
with three roses of the first ; and the proud motto : Virtus sola nobilitas. 

During the earliest period of the stay in Essex, there is difificulty in trac- 
ing the' descent of the members of the family, and a perfectly unbroken chain 
is only to be established from the time of one John Talcott, who lived in 
Colchester, Essex, about the middle of the sixteenth century. From the 
records it is known that he dwelt there before 1558, this fact and a number of 
others concerning him having come down to us. Among these is that he 
was twice married, together with the names of his wives and the date of 
death, approximately, as in the autumn of 1606. See pedigree chart given in 
vol. 50, p. 135, N. E. Hist. Gen. Register, taken from the Harleian MSS., 
1 137, p. 148. It is from his first wife that the American branch of the family 
is descended, she being a Miss Wells, by whom he had three children. A 
son of the first John Talcott, who inherited his name, died two years before 
his father, left a wife and five children, one of whom, a third John Talcott, 
was the immigrant ancestor, and the founder of the house in this country 
and State. 

The third John Talcott was a man of parts who made an important 
place for himself in the life of the colony and left a very considerable fortune 
to his descendants. He sailed for America on the ship "Lion," June 22, 1632, 
landed in Boston and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he re- 
mained for a few years. He was admitted as a freeman and became a deputy 
to the General Court and a selectman. In 1636, only four years after his 
arrival, he sold his property in Cambridge, and joined the party of the Rev, 
Mr. Hooker, accompanying that leader to Connecticut, where the city of 
Hartford was founded by them. He was very prominent in the aflfairs of 
the new community, being a member of the committee that sat with the first 
Court of Magistrates, 1637-39, and became a deputy to the General Court, 
1639-1652; assistant, 1652-1660, and finally treasurer of the colony from 
1654 to 1660, as well as holding a number of minor offices at various times. 
"The Worshipful Mr. John Talcott," as he was called, was married to Doro- 
thy Mott, a daughter of John and Alice (Harrington) Mott, of Wiston, 
County Suffolk, England, and granddaughter of Mark Mott, of Braintree, 
County Essex. The elder of their two children was a fourth John Talcott, a 



loo Calcott 

very distinguished man, and a great soldier, whose reputation as an Indian 
fighter extended throughout the New England Colonies. It was Lieutenant- 
Colonel John Talcott who brought about the abrupt end to King Philip's 
War in 1676, after the death of that redoubtable chief, by ambushing the 
Indians at a ford in the Housatonic river as they were retreating for protec- 
tion from their Indian allies in New York. The battle that was fought there 
has recently been commemorated by the dedication of a monument in Great 
Harrington, Massachusetts, at a point near the ford. Both the sons of the 
Worshipful John Talcott left descendants in Hartford, and also in Hartford 
county, and the Hon. Joseph Talcott, for seventeen years, 1724-1741, Gov- 
ernor of Connecticut, was a son of Lieutenant-Colonel John Talcott. 

Although we have no positive record of the date and place of Captain 
Samuel Talcott's birth, it seems probable that it occurred in Cambridge 
toward the latter part of 1634 or the first of the following year. However 
this may have been, he undoubtedly spent all his mature life in Connecticut, 
though he returned to Cambridge to attend Harvard College, from which 
he graduated in the class of 1658. He did not live in Hartford for any great 
period of time, but settled in Wethersfield and became a prominent figure in 
the life of that community, and there his death occurred, November 11, 1691. 
He was deputy from Wethersfield to the General Court, 1669-1684; assistant, 
1683-1691. In 1679 he was appointed lieutenant of the Hartford County 
Troop; October 16, 1681, captain. He commanded the company of dragoons 
sent to Deerfield at the outbreak of King William's War in 16(50. He also 
commanded the Hartford County Troop when it escorted Sir Edmund 
Andros into Hartford in October, 1687. He was married to Hannah Hol- 
yoke, a daughter of Captain Elizur and Hannah (Pynchon) Holyoke, of 
Springfield, and granddaughter of William Pynchon, the founder of Spring- 
field, and they were the parents of ten children, eight sons and two daugh- 
ters. It was from this large family of sons that a number of the Talcott 
families, now living in Connecticut, are sprung. 

One of the eight sons of Captain Samuel Talcott was Benjamin Talcott, 
known as Deacon and Lieutenant Benjamin Talcott, who was born at 
Wethersfield, March i, 1674, removing from there to Glastonbury, Connec- 
ticut, in 1699, where he built him a house and continued to dwell until his 
death in 1727. This house on the main street was fortified and used as a 
garrison house. It stood until 185 1, when it was pulled down. This farm, 
now owned by a great-grandson of the late Jared G. Talcott, has been owned 
by Benjamin and his descendants for over two centuries. Deacon Talcott 
was twice married, all his children being born of his first wife, who was 
Sarah (Hollister) Talcott, a daughter of John and Sarah (Goodrich) Hollis- 
ter, the Hollisters being an old Connecticut family of Wethersfield and 
Glastonbury. Among his descendants were Elijah Horatio Talcott, the well 
known business man of Torrington, Connecticut, and Allen Butler Talcott, 
the gifted artist and landscape painter. 

One of Deacon Talcott's sons was Colonel Elizur Talcott, who was born 
at Glastonbury, December 31, 1709. He was a prominent man in that region 
and distinguished himself for gallant service in the old French War and the 
Revolution. He was the owner of a great deal of property in many parts 



Calcott loi 

of the country, and among these was a large tract on the Susquehanna 
river (Wyoming), which he afterwards lost through a defect in the title. He 
served in the French and Indian War in 1756, and was captain of a troop of 
horse in the Sixth Connecticut Regiment in the Crown Point expedition, and 
at the opening of the Revolution was colonel of the Sixth Connecticut Regi- 
ment. Colonel Talcott had already registered himself an ardent patriot and 
was moderator of the town meeting held in Glastonbury to denounce the 
Boston Port bill. He was by no means a young man when the revolt in the 
colonies so long smouldering at length flamed out, yet despite his sixty- 
seven years was promptly at the head of his command. He continued active 
in 1776, leading his troops in the neighborhood of New York until after the 
arrival of the British. At his age, however, the hardships of active military 
life proved too great a strain, and he was carried home on a litter, his health 
so broken that it was impossible for him to return to the front, though he 
earnestly desired to do so. He was married to Ruth Wright, a noted beauty 
of the day, and a daughter of Daniel and Elinor (Benton) Wright, of an 
old and highly respected Connecticut family, founded in this country by 
Thomas Wright, who settled in Wethersfield in 1639, ^"d was the original 
owner of Wright's Island, in the Connecticut river. Ruth (Wright) Talcott 
died in Glastonbury in 1791, at the age of eighty-three years, and Colonel 
Talcott followed her in 1797, at the age of eighty-eight years. They were 
the parents of twelve children, as follows: Ruth, born October 17. 1731, 
died September 10, 1747; Prudence, born June 6, 1734, married John Good- 
rich, and died October 18, 1752; Rachel, born August i, 1736, married, Feb- 
ruary 23, 1759, Theodore Hale, and died August 10, 1824; Elizur, born Au- 
gust 27, 1738, died February 16, 1750; Isaac, born August 29, 1740, died 
August 6, 1815; Daniel, born May 8, 1743, died February 12, 1748; George, 
born November 30, 1745, died February 22, 1750; Daniel, born July 2-j, 1748, 
died December 3, 1751 ; Elizur, born December, 1750, died at Oswego, New 
York, November 28, 1831 ; Ruth, born May 11, 1753, married, July 7, 1773, 
Thomas White; George, mentioned below; and Prudence, born December 
2, 1757, married, February 13, 1780, George Welles. 

George Talcott, the eleventh child of this large family, was born Sep- 
tember 30, 1755, at Glastonbury, and passed his entire life in that charming 
place. He inherited from his father the house built by his grandfather, 
Lieutenant Benjamin Talcott, in 1699, and always lived there. He was well- 
to-do and prominent in the community. He served in the Revolution and 
was with the Continental army on its hard-fought retreat from Long Island. 
He was twice married, the first time to Vienna Bradford, daughter of Dr. 
Jeremiah and Rebecca (Dart) Bradford, of Middle Haddam, and later to 
Abigail Goodrich, a daughter of Captain John and Abigail (Deming) Good- 
rich, of Glastonbury. His oldest child by his second wife was Brigadier- 
General George Talcott, of the United States army, who began life as a 
business man in New York, but entered the regular army during the War 
of 1812, being promoted captain in the ordnance corps. He continued in 
the service and in 1832 was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the ordnance 
corps and also inspector of arsenals and armories; in 1848 he was appointed 
colonel and chief of the ordnance corps, and in 1849, brevet brigadier- 



ro2 Calcott 

general. He died in Albanj-, New York. April 25, 1862. The youngest son 
of George Talcott, Andrew, born in Glastonbury, April 20, 1797, was gradu- 
ated from West Point in 1818, standing No. 2 in his class. He became 
second lieutenant in the engineer corps, and accompanied General Atkinson 
on an expedition to establish militar}^ posts on the upper Missouri and Yel- 
lowstone rivers. He was also employed on much other construction and 
engineering work, especially on the defenses at Hampton Roads and New- 
port and Fort Hamilton, New York. In 1830 he was appointed captain of 
the engineer corps. For seven years, 1828-1835, he served as astronomer 
for determining the boundary line between the States of Ohio and Michigan, 
and during this service he invented the astronomical instrument and the 
method for finding latitude by zenith distances. Both the instrument and 
method bear his name. He resigned his commission in 1836, and took up 
general practice as a civil engineer, and during that time performed much 
United States government work, surveying boundaries, etc. In 1857 he 
was appointed chief engineer in charge of the construction of the railway 
from Vera Cruz to Mexico City. This undertaking was interfered with by 
political disturbances and Colonel Talcott returned to the United States in 
1859. After the breaking out of the Civil War, in 1861, he was appointed 
chief engineer of the State of Virginia, with charge of river, coast and 
harbor defences. This position he retained for about one year, then he 
returned to Mexico and resumed charge of his former work there under the 
Imperial government. After the downfall of Maximilian, in 1867, Colonel 
Talcott left Mexico for Europe, and finally returned to the United States. 
He died in Richmond, Virginia, April 22, 1883. 

One of the children of George Talcott by his second wife was Russell 
Talcott, who was born at Glastonbury, September 22, 1788. In 1806 he went 
to New York City, where he remained for four years, and where his brother, 
afterwards General George Talcott, of the United States army, was then 
living. In 1810, however, he returned to Connecticut, where he took up his 
abode in Hartford and entered into a partnership with Ward Woodbridge, 
under the firm name of Woodbridge & Talcott, and engaged in the industry 
of manufacturing cotton goods. The firm had a cotton factory at Monson, 
Massachusetts, and there Mr. Talcott had to spend much of his time in 
active direction of the mill. He married, June 5, 181 5, Harriet Kingsbury, 
a daughter of the Hon. Andrew and Mary (Osborn) Kingsbury, of Hart- 
ford. Mr. Kingsbury held the office of Treasurer of the State of Connecti- 
cut for twenty-five years, 1794-1818. By this union were united two old and 
honorable houses in Connecticut, and it is of interest that the Kingsbury 
family, as well as that of the Talcotts, had its first origin in Warwickshire, 
England. There were two children born to Mr. and Mrs. Talcott: Mary 
Kingsbury, born September 23. 1816, died .\pril 28, 1838; and Russell Good- 
rich, mentioned below. Mr. Talcott lived but a little more than a month 
after the birth of his son, and died in Hartford. September 26, 1818. 

Russell Goodrich Talcott, the second child and only son of Russell and 
Harriet (Kingsbury) Talcott, was born August 15, 1818, in Hartford, and 
in that city spent practically the whole of his Ife. After leaving the Hart- 
ford Grammar School, he began his successful business career as a clerk in 



Calcott 103 

the employ of Hudson & Goodwin, who carried on a large book business in 
Hartford. He left this concern to take a position with the Hartford Bank, 
where he remained four years. In 1844 he gave up business life temporarily 
to travel in Europe, spending that year and 1845 abroad. His tastes were of 
a kind to appreciate fully this splendid opportunity and to take advantage 
of it to the utmost. His natural fondness for art and literature there re- 
ceived a very strong stimulus, so that he was, indeed, something of an en- 
thusiast on these subjects all his life. Upon his return to America, he formed 
a partnership with E. G. Ripley, under the style of Ripley & Talcott, and 
engaged in the iron business in Hartford. In this enterprise they were very 
successful and Mr. Talcott displayed a great deal of business ability and 
skill. But it was not so much in the world of business and industry that 
Mr. Talcott was well known as through his active participation in the 
various movements undertaken for the advantage of the community at 
large. He was very public-spirited and took a keen interest in the affairs 
of the community, albeit he never identified himself with any political organi- 
zation and still less sought for public office. It was more in the direction of 
educational and charitable movements that his interests and activities led, 
and in these departments he was particularly active. He was a director in 
the Hartford and other banks, and he was the first vice-president and later 
the president of the Young Men's Institute. He was also the secretary and 
member of the board of managers of the Retreat for the Insane for a number 
of years. He was a man of strong religious feelings and beliefs and as a 
young man was a member of the Center Congregational Church. Later he 
was one of the prime movers in the founding of the Pearl Street Congrega- 
tional Church, now called Immanuel Church, on Farmington avenue, and 
after the formation of that congregation he remained a member until the 
time of his death. 

He married, October 28, 1846. Mary Seymour, a native of Hartford, 
where she was born November i, 1820, a daughter of Charles and Catherine 
(Perkins) Seymour, of that city. This marriage was the means of uniting 
another distinguished New England family with the Talcotts. the Seymours 
having been founded here by Richard Seymour, who settled in Hartford as 
early as 1639. Mrs. Talcott was descended from no less than than four Gov- 
ernors of Connecticut, Governor John Haynes, Governor George Wyllys, 
Governor John Webster and Governor William Pitkin, besides many other 
distinguished men in the early period of this country's history. To Mr. and 
Mrs. Russell G. Talcott was born one child, a daughter, Mary Kingsbury 
Talcott, mentioned below. Mr. Talcott's death occurred when he was still 
a young man but forty-four years of age, on March 3, 1863, and that of his 
wife twenty years later, April 18, 1883. 

Mary Kingsbury Talcott, the only child of Russell Goodrich and Mary 
(Seymour) Talcott, was born in Hartford, November 3, 1847, and is now 
living in that city at No. 135 Sigourney street. She is very much of an his- 
torian, antiquarian and genealogist, and has written much on matters con- 
nected with the local history and tradition of her native region and with the 
records of her own and allied families. Among her most valuable work is 
her contribution to the "Memorial History of Hartford County," published 



I04 



Calcott 



in 1886, the work entitled the "Talcott Papers," edited by her for the Con- 
necticut Historical Society and consisting of the correspondence of Gov- 
ernor Joseph Talcott, the chapter on Hartford in G. P. Putnam's Sons' 
"Historic Towns of New England," 1898, and a genealogy of the Kings- 
bury family, which she compiled in collaboration with her kinsman, Fred- 
erick John Kingsbury, of Waterbury, published in 1905. She is a member 
of many societies having the preservation of the traditions of the country as 
their aim and purpose, among these, the Society of Mayflower Descendants, 
the New England Historic-Genealogical Society, the Connecticut Historical 
Society, the American Historical Society, the Society for the Preservation 
of New England Antiquities, the Society of Genealogists of London, the 
Ruth Wyllys Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the 
Connecticut Society of Colonial Dames. She also held the office of registrar 
of the Colonial Dames for twenty years, and has been registrar of the Ruth 
Wyllys Chapter since its organization in 1892. 





Cfjomas l?Ear})am itoomte 

UDGE THOMAS WARHAM LOOMIS, in whose death on 
August 3, 1895, Windsor, Connecticut, lost one of its most 
distinguished citizens, was a member of a family which first 
in the old world and then in the new has held for centuries 
a prominent and honorable place in the community. The 
name is a very ancient one, and, as was the case with prac- 
tically all proper names in the past, was most variously 
spelled. Lomas, Lumas, Lommas and Lomes, as well as many other 
variants were used, but the first of these seems gradually to have come to be 
standard English spelling as Loomis has come to be the American. Derby- 
shire was the home of the ancient family which bore for its arms: Argent 
between two pallets, gules. Three fleurs-de-lis in pale sable. A chief azure. 
The crest was: On a chapeau a pelican vulning herself proper. The above 
appears in Burke's books of heraldry. 

Joseph Loomis was the representative of this old house, who abandoned 
his home and a successful business to try his fortune in the newly found 
world across the sea, about which in that early perior hung a veil of romance, 
which every adventurous spirit in western Europe felt an overwhelming im- 
pulse to raise. Joseph Loomis was a substantial draper of Braintree in 
Essex, with much to bind him to his native land and occupation, yet at the 
unromantic age of forty-eight he sailed from London, April 11, 1638, landed 
in Boston a few months later, and making his way to Windsor, Connecticut, 
two years later, settled there in the wilderness. He was the founder of the 
family in America and occupied a position of prominence in the new com- 
munity. His original home at Windsor, which was situated near the mouth 
of the Farmington river and was known as "The Island," is still in the 
possession of the descendants and was the lifelong home of Judge Loomis. 
From the time of Joseph Loomis down to the present the family has played 
an active and honorable part in the affairs of the State. The father of Judge 
Loomis was Odiah Loomis, who was born at "The Island," September 28, 
1783, and lived there, farming the old estate until his death. He was a 
staunch Democrat in politics, and served his town in the State Legislature 
for a time. He was a Congregationalist in religion, and a sturdy, independ- 
ent character, an excellent example of the men the new nation was turning 
out. He married Harriet Allyn, a daughter of Samuel and Jerusha (Bissell) 
Allyn, and had by her seven children, of whom Judge Loomis was the 
youngest. 

Thomas Warham Loomis was born March i, 1827, at the ancient 
family homestead, "The Island," and made Windsor his lifelong home as 
had his father before him. He left the parental roof for a short time as a 
young man, it is true, but after a very little while returned and took up the 
occupation of farmer which he continued to follow to within fifteen years 
of his death. He received his education at the schools of his native place 
and upon completing his studies went to New York City, where he was 



io6 Cfjomas aaatljam JLoomis 

employed for some years in a mercantile establishment. He left this occupa- 
tion upon being called home to take charge of the old family estate and 
farm, at the time when his father was obliged to give up the active care 
thereof. He was chosen to take the eldef man's place because, being the 
youngest of the children, he had not at that time become deeply interested in 
any business, and could more easily sever such connections as he had formed 
than the others. After his return to Windsor, the young man settled down 
to the congenial duties of agriculture and continued these until about 1881, 
when he retired from all active work save what was involved in his official 
duties. He was extremely successful in his agricultural operations and lived 
a delightful life much on the pattern of the old planters and the rural aristoc- 
racy of the picturesque past. He was himself a gentleman of the old school, 
courtly and yet democratic, and "The Island." though it was conducted 
upon the most approved modern principles as far as its agricultural opera- 
tions were concerned, possessed an atmosphere which made it seem to the 
visitor like a fragment of a more gracious age. 

Notwithstanding the fact that his occupation was calculated to encour- 
age a life of retirement, Judge Loomis was a conspicuous figure in the affairs 
of the community, his activity being at once the cause and the result of the 
offices which he held at various times in his career. The sterling, upright 
character of the man appealed to a community where such virtues are valued 
highly and in course of time he held all the more important offices within 
the gift of the town, his conduct in each capacity serving to make his fellow 
citizens only the more anxious to honor him and avail themselves of such 
disinterested service. He was for a number of years a judge of probate and 
established for himself a splendid record in that office, attending to the busi- 
ness of others with the same zeal and interest that he showed in his own. 
In the year 1857 he was elected by the town of Windsor to represent it in 
the State Legislature and he served in that body both then and in the year 
1862. In 1874 he became State Senator, being elected to that body from the 
Third Senatorial District. He made his influence much felt in both of these 
offices and served his constituents to their great satisfaction. From an early 
age Judge Loomis was keenly interested in general political questions and 
the conduct of public affairs. He was an original thinker upon these sub- 
jects and a strong upholder of the general principles of the Democratic 
party, of which he was a life-long member. He was affiliated with the 
Episcopal church and was for many years an ardent worker in the interests 
of the church and a strong supporter of the work of his parish. In the 
realm of social life he was a prominent figure, and he was always ready to 
join in any movement undertaken for the advancement of the community 
or any portion thereof. He was one of the trustees of the Loomis Institute 
which was endowed by the children of Colonel James Loomis, who was an 
uncle of Thomas W. Loomis. Judge Loomis was an active factor in the 
preliminary work on this institution, but as he died in 1895, and the buildings 
were not erected until 1913-14, he, of course, had nothing to do with the 
erection of the buildings. In 1914 this institution, founded in memory of 
Joseph Loomis, the representative of this family, who first settled in Amer- 




J^ 






Cf)omag Mlar&am Hoomis 107 

ica, consisting of a number of fine buildings and located on the old Loomis 
estate, was opened. 

Judge Loomis married, November 17, 1858, Jennie Griswold Cooke, a 
native of Windsor, Connecticut, born November 11, 1831, and a daughter of 
Allen and Mary (Griswold) Cooke, of that place. To them were born two 
children, as follows: Allyn, born November 21, i860, a graduate of Yale at 
the age of twenty-three, and died June 20. 1884; Jennie, born June 21, 1871, 
and now resides with her mother in the old family estate, "The Island." She 
has inherited many of the qualities and the intelligence of her father, won 
her B. S. at Wellesley College, from which she graduated with the class of 
1892, and has taken her father's place on the board of trustees of the Loomis 
Institute. She is also the secretary of the Loomis Family Association of 
America. 

Judge Loomis' death occurred at Littleton, New Hampshire, while on 
a trip to the White mountains to regain his health. It was a severe blow to 
the entire community, where for so many years he had been a familiar figure 
and where for an equal period he had constantly won for himself a high 
degree of honor and affection from his fellows. He was a man of the most 
sterling virtues and the trust and confidence reposed in him by the commun- 
ity at large was the best tribute that could have been paid to his character 
and qualifications. A devoted husband and father, a faithful friend and a 
public-spirited citizen, he was known and loved for his virtues and winning 
personality far and wide among all classes of men. 





2^eb, saeuel Hotcl^fetSiS Cuttle 

HE sudden death of the Rev. Reuel Hotchkiss Tuttle, on Au- 
gust 13, 1887, at the age of sixty-three years, was a severe 
loss to the town of Windsor, Connecticut, and deprived the 
Episcopal church in New England of one of its most earnest, 
indefatigable and devoted servants and ministers. He was 
a member of a very old and much honored Connecticut fam- 
ily, and one which of recent years, as well as in the past, has 
given to that State some of its most valued and prominent citizens. Espe- 
cially has this been so in the realm of industrial development, where the 
names of Eben Clark Tuttle and Bronson Beecher Tuttle will be remem- 
bered as among the most successful leaders and organizers. 

The founder of the family in this country was William Tuttle, a de- 
scendant of the Tuttles of Hertfordshire, where the name is very ancient, 
and is supposed to have originated from the word ''tuthill," signifying a 
round or conical hill. The Tuttle arms are thus described : Azure, on a bend 
doubly cotised, a lion passant, sable. Crest : On a mount vert, a bird, proper, 
in the beak a branch of olive. Motto : Pax. 

This William Tuttle sailed for the American colonies as early as the 
year 1635, in the good ship "Planter," with two brothers, Richard and John, 
one of whom returned to the old country and eventually died in Ireland, 
and the other became a resident of Boston, dying there in 1640. They came 
from the parish of St. Albans, in Hertfordshire, and William settled first in 
Boston, and later in Charlestown and Ipswich, and finally located in New 
Haven, Connecticut. From that time down to the present, Connecticut has 
remained the home of many branches of the family, the one which we are 
at present tracing having its abode in New Haven, East Haven, and of late 
years in Hartford. The parents of the Rev. Mr. Tuttle were Samuel and 
Betsey (Hotchkiss) Tuttle, of Hartford and East Haven, respectively, and 
long residents in the former city, where Mr. Tuttle, Sr., was a well known 
and successful merchant, engaged in trade with the West Indies and Can- 
ada. Mrs. Tuttle was also a descendant of a New England house, the immi- 
grant ancestor having been Samuel Hotchkiss, of Essex, England, who set- 
tled in New Haven as early as 1641. 

Reuel Hotchkiss Tuttle was the youngest of ten children, many of 
whom became prominent figures in the life of Hartford and other places, 
and was born July 16, 1824, in Hartford, passing there his childhood and 
early youth. In Hartford also he gained the better part of that liberal edu- 
cation for which he was remarkable, with the exception of those studies 
especially devoted to the study of theology. He attended the excellent 
public schools and was a graduate of the old grammar school. He later 
matriculated at Trinity College, from which, after a brilliant career, he was 
graduated with the class of 1847. 

Mr. Tuttle was naturally a close and profound student, and at the end 
of his college course possessed many scholarly attainments; his chief inter- 




-^^^^i^ ...i/^, <L^Z^:^^^^ 



Hcuel l^otcbkfss Cuttle 109 

est, however, at that time, as it had been from early youth, and as it remained 
throughout life, being in theology and the problems and the service of the 
church. To these problems and to this service he had determined to dedi- 
cate his life ; and as a first step in this direction he entered the General Theo- 
logical Seminary in New York City. After his graduation from this insti- 
tution in the year 1849 he continued his training for the ministry as a lay 
reader, first in the Episcopal church at Plymouth, Connecticut, and then 
at Thompsonville, in the same State. His ordination occurred at Christ 
Church, Hartford, June 30, 1850, as a deacon, and he was in Thompson- 
ville. Connecticut, as a deacon from 1850 to 1853, then was called to take 
charge of the church at Old Town, Maine, by the Right Rev. Bishop Bur- 
gess, formerly of Hartford, who was well acquainted with the Tuttle family, 
and had been their rector. He remained in Old Town for a period of about 
two years, during which time he was admitted to the priesthood, and then 
received a call to St. John's Church, at Salisbury. Connecticut, and removed 
to that town, where he took charge of the parish for five years and made 
himself much honored and beloved there. Mr. Tuttle's next charge was at 
Crompton, Rhode Island, whither he was called by the Right Rev. Bishop 
Clark in 1858, and where he continued his service for about eighteen months. 
The next call which Mr. Tuttle received was to Windsor, Connecticut, where 
the Episcopal church, founded as a mission by Bishop Coxe, then of St. 
John's Church, Hartford, was in its infancy, and known as St. Gabriel's. Up 
to the time of Mr. Tuttle's incumbency there had been no resident clergy- 
man, he being the first to take the place. He at once entered upon his new 
labors heart and soul, and during the ten years of his connection with the 
parish as its rector brought it to an important position in the diocese while 
developing it. One of the tasks that he undertook was the erection of a suit- 
able church building, and this work he carried to a successful conclusion. 
Indeed, he was not only the prime mover in this work, but through his fam- 
ily was among the largest contributors to the building fund, his own first 
ofifering being the first made, and that in thanksgiving for the recovery of a 
little daughter from a serious illness. The result of his generosity and efforts 
was the handsome structure erected at a cost of twenty-five thousand dol- 
lars, which so long has been an ornament to the town. After ten years of 
the most devoted service as pastor, the Rev. Mr. Tuttle was obliged to resign 
his charge, to the great grief of all concerned, himself and his parishioners. 
The cause of this generally regretted resignation of Mr. Tuttle was a severe 
affection of the throat, which made it impossible for him to use his voice as 
required by his priestly duties. He was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Judkins 
in his pastorate, but did not leave Windsor, which he continued to make his 
home until his death. He continued also a member of the parish over which 
he had presided during the incumbency of three clergymen, his successors, 
and it is a remarkable tribute to the gentle charity of his nature that 
although he continued to take an active part in church aflfairs, he was always 
in perfect harmony with the men who had taken his place, nor made the 
extremely delicate relation in which he found himself toward them in the 
least apparent. 

But although he was obliged reluctantly to give up the work which he 



no Reuel ^otcftbiss Cuttle 

most loved, Rev. Mr. Tuttle was not the man to allow himself to enter a' 
depressed retirement. On the contrary, he only pursued other tasks with 
the more energy, as he was obliged to drop the chief of them. He was 
greatly interested in the cause of education and gave generously of his time 
and efiforts to it, and served on the board of school visitors, acting for some 
time as chairman, visiting all the schools of the various districts of the town, 
and acting on the school committee of the third district of the town of 
Windsor for many years. Among the various works he accomplished for 
the benefit of Windsor and its neighborhood was the compilation and writ- 
ing of the general history of Windsor for incorporation in the "History of 
Hartford County," in which his erudition and scholarship were displayed to 
advantage. 

Rev. Mr. Tuttle married, May lo, 1853, in the city of Boston, Massachu- 
setts, Sarah Ann Crompton, a native of Holcomb, Lancashire, England, and 
a daughter of William and Sarah (Lowe) Crompton, old residents of that 
place. Mr. Crompton was an inventor and scientist of some note in Eng- 
land, one of his inventions being the Crompton loom for the manufacture of 
woolen goods, which won him a wide reputation. To Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle 
were born four children, as follows: i. Annie Elizabeth, born March 13, 1854, 
died January 19, 1902; married. October 24, 1883, Elijah Cooper Johnson, to 
whom she bore three children: Margery Catherine, Crompton Tuttle and 
Kenneth Clark. 2. and 3. Lorine Russell and Amy Crompton, twins, both 
of whom died in infancy. 4. Reuel Crompton, born September 24, 1866; a 
graduate of Hartford high school in 1885, of Trinity College as Bachelor of 
Arts in 1889, receiving also the degree of Master of Arts, and he is also a 
graduate of the School of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts; Mr. Tuttle 
is an artist professionally, having opened a studio in Hartford in November, 
1904, and a member of the Art Students' League of New York; his educa- 
tion, besides that received at the Art Students' League, has been obtained in 
Paris; he is unmarried, and makes his home with his mother in Windsor. 

The warmth of devotion felt for the Rev. Mr. Tuttle by all those who 
came in contact with his gracious personality was the best of tributes to him 
and the surest indication of the truly Christian ideal upon which his conduct 
was moulded. Before all other considerations he placed that of the church 
and its welfare on the earth, and to the realization of its ideal he devoted his 
time, his energy, and his life. It would be impossible to close this sketch- 
more fittingly than with the words of those who had come into personal 
contact with him, and knew at first hand of the great influence for good 
which he exerted in the community. From many sources came tributes of 
praise and appreciation of him and his work during the period just follow- 
ing his death, and from among these it would seem appropriate to quote 
from two. The first is the article which appeared in "The Hartford Times," 
in its issue of August 15, 1887, which, at the risk of some slight repetition, 
is given nearly in full. It was as follows : 

The sudden death of the Rev R. H. Tuttle, which occurred at his residence Satur- 
day night, has cast a sadness over Windsor. Mr. Tuttle was a man of high intellect with 
a broad and liberal mind. Quiet and unassuming, he had endeared himself to all. His 
many acts of charity and deeds of kindness will never be publicly known, but he will be 



ReucI l^otcbbfsg Cuttle m 

severely missed by many. His loss will also be felt by the townspeople generally, but 
more so in the school department, especially the board of school visitors, of which he 
was for several years chairman. * * * Grace Church Society, of which he was the 
first rector, are still greater losers, and none of the members would have been more 
missed. His whole life seemed to have been wrapped up in the welfare of the church. 

The following words are from a memorial issued at the time of his 
death by the rector, wardens and vestrymen of Grace Church, Windsor, 
where so large a part of his time was spent, and to the service of which he 
gave so much thought and energy : 

Rev. Reuel Hotchkiss Tuttle was called to his reward on Saturday, August 13, 
1887, at the age of sixty-three. He was the first resident rector of Grace Church. His 
pastorate was blessed with abundant success, and his holy influence was evident in the 
growth, prosperity and peace of the flock. A beautiful stone church was erected in 1864, 
owing its inception to a generous thank oiifering made by Mr. Tuttle for the recovery of 
his beloved daughter from serious illness, an offering which stimulated the people to 
great liberality. It was a sad affliction to both parties when he relinquished the rector- 
ship, and his position afterwards was one of peculiar delicacy, but the patient gentleness 
which he showed, and the perfect harmony between him and his three successors in office, 
were tokens of a Christian character highly perfected. He loved to do what he could 
in conducting public worship and teaching in the Sunday school, assisting the rector or 
supplying vacancies in the neighborhood. He was clerk of the parish and a member of 
the vestry. Much of his time was devoted to the oversight of public schools. He will 
be long remembered for his faithful services to the church and the community, and still 
more for his saintly example and kindness to all, his wisdom and refinement. He was 
such a clergyman as St. Paul describes, giving no ofTence in anything, that the ministry 
be not blamed ; but in all things ajiproving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much 
patience, by pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy 
Ghost, and by love unfeigned. We believe that when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, 
he shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. His afflicted family we com- 
mend to the God of consolation, with assurances of our affectionate sympathy. 

The Rev. Mr. Tuttle lies in the ancient Palisado Cemetery, in the town 
he served so many years. Upon the earnest request of the people of Wind- 
sor in general, who wished their beloved pastor to be buried in Windsor, the 
family removed their burial lot and the remains of the deceased daughters 
from Spring Grove Cemetery, Hartford, to Windsor. 



ilenrp a, Hunttnston 




N the death of the Hon. Henry A. Huntington, on March 7, 
1912, Hartford and Windsor. Connecticut, lost one of the 
most distinguished citizens of the community and one whose 
career promised great things for the future which was not to 
come. His parents were Alonzo C. and Priscilla (Strick- 
land) Huntington, old residents of Poquonock. Connecticut, 
where his father was a prominent man, and represented his 
district in the State Legislature. The Huntington arms are as follows: 
Argent. Three lions rampant, purpure. Crest : Argent, a demi lion issuing 
from a wreath. 

Henry A. Huntington was himself born in Poquonock, near Windsor, 
Connecticut, March 2, 1865, and there passed his childhood, attending the 
excellent public schools at Windsor, and later the Windsor Academy. After 
completing his studies in these institutions he turned his attention to teach- 
ing as a profession, and for a time taught in the local school in Poquonock. 
His interest, however, became fixed upon the law, and he determined to 
make it his profession if it was possible. He began reading law with Judge 
Griswold, and later attended the law school at Yale University, from which 
he was graduated with the class of i8q2, and was admitted to the Connecti- 
cut bar in the same year. His first experience in his new profession was in 
the law firm of Gross, Hyde & Shipman, at that time Hyde, Gross & Hyde, 
of Hartford. From the outset Mr. Huntington exhibited marked ability as 
an attorney and it was soon possible for him to sever his connection with 
his associates and engage in practice on his own account. He was at once 
successful and quickly made an enviable reputation for himself on the score 
of both ability and unimpeachable integrity. His office was in the building 
of the Hartford Trust Company and there it remained until the time of his 
death. 

The great popularity which Mr. Huntington enjoyed both in Hartford 
and his native neighborhood, and his rapid rise to the position of one of the 
leaders of the bar in Hartford county, drew the eyes of the local party 
leaders upon him as available as a candidate for the State Legislature. He 
had already served as town clerk for a number of years and made an excel- 
lent name for himself as a public officer. In 1910 he was nominated and 
elected to the Legislature to represent the town of Windsor, running con- 
siderably ahead of his party ticket at the polls. Mr. Huntington was par- 
ticularly well fitted for this task and very soon made himself felt as one of 
the leaders of the Republican group in the House, and his great legal knowl- 
edge proved invaluable in the discussion of legislation. It also secured for 
him the appointment as a member of the Judiciary Committee, in which he 
did splendid work during the continuance of the session. A splendid chance 
came to Mr. Huntington to display his qualifications as a leader in the 
absence of Representative E. S. Banks, of Fairfield, the chairman of the 





wo ^ 





xdin^im^ 




IDcnrp a. Huntington 113 

body, whose place he took. It was in this responsible position that Mr. 
Huntington's great ability first began to display itself adequately, and he 
won praise on all sides, even from his political adversaries. His sense of jus- 
tice was sure, and it was his obvious purpose to work for the advantage of 
the community generally, and not of any faction thereof, so that it happened 
that he made many and warm friends among the members on the Demo- 
cratic side of the House, who appreciated the equitable treatment accorded 
to them. It is small wonder that during this term of 191 1, in which he 
established so fine a record for himself, he should have drawn the attention 
of a larger section of his party, and the question of his candidacy for Con- 
gress should have arisen. He did not himself encourage this idea, but 
despite this attitude on his part there is little doubt that he would have 
received the nomination from the First Congressional District this year had 
his life been spared. 

Besides his political activity Mr. Huntington was greatly interested in 
a private business venture, which he engaged in in association with his 
brother, Charles Huntington, of Poquonock. This was the raising of 
tobacco, in which enterprise they were extremely successful. He was a 
prominent figure also in the social and fraternal circles of Windsor and 
Hartford, and a member of the Masonic order and the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows. He was not formally connected with any church, yet was 
the possessor of strong religious feelings, and was interested in the cause 
of religion, although his practice might be unorthodox. 

Mr. Huntington was married. February 27, 1900, to Miss Mary M. 
Clark, a native of Montreal, but a resident of Windsor, Connecticut, a 
daughter of Horace D. and Margaret (Conor) Clark, the father a native of 
East Granby, Connecticut, the mother a native of Cleveland, Ohio, both now 
deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Huntington were born three children, who, with 
their mother, survive Mr. Huntington. They are Clark Chester, Walter 
Treadway and Mary Margaret. Mr. Huntington's parents also survive him. 

The life of Mr. Huntington was one well worthy to serve as a model of 
earnest and disinterested public service. Possessed of qualities above the 
ordinary, of an unusually capable and alert mind, of a winning personality, 
and a fine legal training, he gave the better part of his talents in the service 
of his community, content if he received the reward contained in a knowl- 
edge of his work well done. The sterling virtues of simplicity and charity, 
which were the essential factors in this unusual altruism, were not over- 
looked by his fellow citizens, however, who admired, and wished to reward 
him for them, so that there is little doubt that his career would have been a 
brilliant one, as it certainly deserved to be, had not his tragic death cut it 
short in the prime of his achievement. His untimely death was felt as a loss 
by all those who had associated with him even casually, and cast a gloom 
over the entire community where his virtues and attractions were known. 
In the Legislature, too, there was none who did not feel a strong sense of 
loss, and the general sentiment was well expressed by Speaker Scott, upon 
learning of his colleague's death, with whose appropriate words this sketch 
closes: 

CONN-Vol 111-8 



114 



l^enrp 3. Huntington 



Mr. Huntington was regarded by, not only myself, but by the chairmen of the com- 
mittees of the last General Assembly as one of the strongest men in the House. He was 
conscientious in attending upon his legislative duties, always uniformly fair and broad- 
minded, and he brought to the treatment of the problems which developed in the last 
Assembly a breadth of view and a trained mind that were of great value in bringing 
legislative order out of chaos. 

It was not a surprise to me personally that Mr. Huntington should have exercised 
so strong an influence upon his fellow legislators, because I had known him for twenty 
years and was acquainted with the choice faculties which he manifested in his legisla- 
tive work. The loss sustained by the town of Windsor in the death of so prominent and 
public-spirited a citizen is shared by the entire .State. 





i/y> 7//L1 Ca^'>Tr^ 



Samuel if^ills Capron 




'ITH a virile intellect that made him a power as an educator, 
and with a gentleness of spirit that appreciated and enjoyed 
the beauty of the tiniest flower, the late Samuel Mills Cap- 
ron, of Hartford, Connecticut, was a man who, once known, 
could never be forgotten. He left the impress of his splendid 
nature upon all with whom he came in contact and his influ- 
ence was a vital force in the lives of those who came under 
his teachings. By the very constitution of his mind he was destined to be an 
instructor of men. When he was called from this life the institution of learn- 
ing with which he was connected and the city in which he resided suffered an 
almost irreparable loss, which, however, came with deepest force in his home 
and in the circle of his intimate friends. Men of learning sought his com- 
panionship and found him a peer, yet he had a heart that reached out to the 
humblest and a ready sympathy quick in response. Those who were asso- 
ciated with him and came to know the full reach of his nature in its intel- 
lectual and spiritual development speak of him in words only of the highest 
praise. He was a man great and able, true and kind, and his life was ^is 
white as the sunlight. 

Samuel Mills Capron was born in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, May 15, 
1832, and died at his home in Hartford, Connecticut, January 4, 1874. He 
was a son of William Cargill and Chloe (Day) Capron, both born in Ux- 
bridge, and both descended from old New England families. Samuel Mills 
Capron was prepared for entrance to college at Phillips Academy, at An- 
dover, Massachusetts, which was at that time in charge of Dr. D. S. Taylor, 
an eminent educator. Mr. Capron was graduated from Yale College in the 
class of 1853, other members of it being Andrew D. White, later president 
of Cornell University; Hon. Wayne McVeagh, of Pennsylvania; E. C. Sted- 
man. the poet; and the Hon. Henry C. Robinson, of Hartford. He then 
came to Hartford, where he was given the management of the Hopkins 
Grammar School, included in which was the classical department of the 
high school. His brother, William B. Capron, had been the principal of the 
latter for six years. His health having become impaired by his arduous and 
conscientious labors, Mr. Capron went abroad in 1863 and spent a year or 
more in foreign travel and study. Upon his return to Hartford in the spring 
of 1865 he was appointed principal of the Hartford public high school, in 
addition to the Hopkins Grammar School, and was the efficient incumbent 
of this until his lamented death. All his life he gave himself to the cause of 
education with a whole-hearted devotion that was as admirable as it was 
productive of results. As an instructor in the classical languages, Mr. Cap- 
ron had all the scholars who were preparing for college under his charge for 
at least one year, and his excellence as a teacher has been reflected in the 
very creditable position that numbers of them have taken in the various 
callings of life. Graduates and scholars alike were ready to profess a pecu- 
liar respect and affection for him. Pupils who came under his instruction 



ii6 Samuel ^1110 Capron 

received the full benefit of his ripe scholarship, and felt the inspiring influ- 
ence of his own interest in the work. The year after he was placed in charge 
of the school the graduates were three in number; in 1873 they were forty- 
four. Under Mr. Capron's careful supervision the reputation of the institu- 
tion increased until, at the time of his death, none stood higher among the 
preparatory schools of the country, and at Yale College it was almost invari- 
ably, the case that among the best scholars of each class were to be found 
representatives of this school. 

On the occasion of his first visit to Europe, Mr. Capron was accom- 
panied by his wife and sister, and five other relatives, but he stayed in 
Europe four months longer than the other members of the party, the greater 
part of this time being spent in Germany, where he made a thorough study 
of the language of the country. He visited Europe a second time in the sum- 
mer of 1871, in the company of three of his pupils, when the entire time was 
spent in Great Britain and Ireland. His return from his first European trip 
was in November, 1864, in the midst of the Civil War turmoil, and at the 
period of the most alarming depression of the currency. His resignation had 
not been accepted by the board of trustees of the grammar school, but feel- 
ing that the funds of the school, though affording a fair salary in ante-war 
days, would not now give a comfortable support, and being urged to engage 
in the business of manufacturing he left Hartford and returned to his native 
town. It should be said, also, that he had brought from Europe a stock of 
vigorous health, which his previous experience made him disinclined to risk 
in the confinement of school teaching. But the subject came up again and 
in a new aspect. After a time he was followed to Uxbridge by a committee 
of the high school, who contemplated a reorganization of the school, and 
urged him to accept the post of principal — a post of much more than his 
former influence and responsibility, and now attended with an ofifer of nearly 
double his former salary. He again took the subject under consideration, 
and the result of his deliberations was his return to Hartford. 

Mr. Capron married, in November. 1854, Eunice M. Chapin, whom he 
had known from early youth. Five children blessed this union, of whom the 
two first mentioned died in childhood: Helen Maria. Alice Louise, Clara 
Day, Bertha Chapin and William Cargill. Mr. Capron was a deacon in the 
Asylum Hill Congregational Church. 

In order to give a faint idea of the high esteem in which Mr. Capron 
was held, it is fitting that this brief review of his life should close with a few 
extracts from some of the articles written at the time of his death. Mar- 
garet A. Blythe wrote about him as "The Man and the Teacher" as follows: 

No one can write of Mr. Capron without fearing that his words will read like an 
ideal sketch of the perfect man. Of all the men whose lives were ever written, this is 
he whom his biographer would least desire to overpraise. Living, he loved the truth, 
and shunned applause ; the voice would be unfriendly that should affront his ashes with 
a eulogy misplaced. Yet words truly spoken of him, let them be guarded how they may, 
will seem to praise him out of reason. Nor can one action of his life be named. — far less 
can the sum of his work be reckoned. — unless one should speak of that matchless character 
which his friends would gladly leave to be its own remembrancer ; for what he did was 
the result of what he was, and what he was, was still the measure of what he could do. 
It is not always so. Many a time the teacher, the poet, the preacher, is greater than the 



Samuel QgiUg Capron 117 

man ; but he, who surpassed other men in so much, was above them not least in this, that 
he was more real in all his qualities than they. His teaching was himself. He was not 
a teacher of genius, if by genius is meant a development of one faculty at the expense 
of others. He was great as the head of a school through the same qualities which 
would have made him great anywhere else. If he had been in business, he would have 
understood that business so much better than anyone else that he would speedily have 
become necessary to it. If he had been the colonel of a regiment, he would have been 
deeply feared, passionately loved, and intrepidly followed by his men. If he had been a 
prime minister, he would have been the mild, unconscious autocrat of his cabinet. * ♦ 
Those who most valued Mr. Capron wondered sometimes what it was in him that 
inspired his scholars with so deep a respect for his abilities. It was not scholarship, for 
the great mass of them never met him in the class room. His addresses to the school 
were remarkable only for directness and simplicity. It could not all be an impression 
filtering down through the senior class, always a small and exclusive body. Yet the 
least and last urchin of the fourth class would speak of him with awe as a smart man. 
So far as this estimate is to be ascribed to any one quality in him, it was doubtless due 
to his extraordinary executive faculty. In all the daily exigencies of the school, the thou- 
sand-and-one questions, involving a host of conflicting interests and remote considera- 
tions, all endlessly complicated with each other, which come up for the principal's deci- 
sion, he was never at fault, never flurried, never uncertain. * * * To all who lived 
and labored with him, Mr. Capron was a power, a succor, and an inspiration. There 
were those to whom he was something more. No one can fully understand his relations 
with his teacher^ who does not know what he became to some of them, when out of 
long companionship and unbroken faith a cloudless friendship dawned, and in its sun- 
shine the secret sweetness of his nature unfolded leaf by leaf. * * * These are 
words; too vain and vague to express the power and meaning of his life. If from his 
upper sphere one born of a nobler race came down and clasped us, held us a little while 
in converse, and departed, could we more describe him than to say of his face that it 
was fair, and of his voice that it was lovely? Only the speech of the immortals can 
rightly syllable immortal beauty. That in our friend which was but common and earthly 
we may reveal ; his diviner part eludes our praise. 

Thomas A. Thacher, Professor in Yale Colleg-e, said of the scholarship 
and character of Mr. Capron, in part : 

If now we ask what was the cause of his success as a teacher, our answer must be, 
that it was in the man, in what he was, in his qualities and characteristics. It was the 
outworking of the man within into the sweet, and consistent and busy activities of his 
life, that made him the great and growing blessing to the commimity. The good man, 
out of the good treasure of his heart, brought forth good things. That substratum of a 
strong and, at the same time, lovely character, was the essential thing. Without that his 
outward life could not have been what it was, or, even if it could have been, it would 
have wanted that intangible life giving power which has a deeper spring than is visible 
to the eye. * * * Whatever he had to do he had the habit of doing judiciously. He 
was quick to discover what was worth while, and what was idle and useless, and thus 
escape the waste and annoyance to himself and to others, which come from the hesitation 
of a feeble judgment. He was a thorough scholar, and he made his pupils feel that no 
other scholarship was worthy of the name nor of any great value. * * * Who that 
was ever under the instruction of Mr. Capron does not still feel the influence of his per- 
sonal character upon himself? He was eminent for his nice scholarship, but as a man he 
was more. In his combination of the rare scholar and the rare man he became a model 
teacher. 

From the obituary notices of the press we quote the following extracts: 
"We have never seen another person who did his work so unobtrusively. He 
was exceedingly modest, but he had not the false timidity of inefficiency. 
Here was a man who, without the least show or apparent ambition of 
applause or self assertion, was doing day by day a great work." "Add to all 
this that he was a man of eminently refined tastes, an accomplished and 



ii8 Samuel Q^ills Capton 

thoroughly accurate scholar, a noble gentleman, and a consistent Christian, 
and what more can be said?" "It would be wrong, perhaps, to say of any 
man that his place can never be filled. Our best men and women die and 
the world's affairs go on, and the places of the dead are filled to more or less 
acceptance, and everything seems, on the surface and face of affairs, to go 
on as well as formerly. Yet there are losses by death which can only be 
regarded as public calamities. To this community the death of Samuel 
M. Capron is felt to be such a loss." "It was just this subtle personality 
of Mr. Capron, summed up in a thoroughly genuine and manly character — 
the scholar, the gentleman, the Christian — adding to his treasures of learn- 
ing and culture the priceless gift of a true and faithful heart, transmuting the 
teacher's duty into joy, and his responsibility into love, that won such gen- 
eral and affectionate esteem, and made him such a social power, and opened 
at last the fountains of grief which caused a whole city to lift up its voice and 
weep." 

Were we to quote from all the addresses and printed articles published 
in memory of Mr. Capron, volumes would be filled; the few here given 
ampl}^ show the high esteem in which he was held. 





( 



(Ju^^c JlTiight Xoamh 




3Btotgl)t Soornts, Hit. 35. 

'HERE are certain men whose lives, because of some quality 
of distinction or union of such qualities, seem to stand out 
among those of their fellows, distinct and separate, like a 
musical tone among many sounds, not because of its loud- 
ness, but because the human ear naturally discriminates in 
favor of something quite perfect and satisfying in itself. Of 
such clear-cut quality, of such distinct and distinguished 
individuality, was the life and personality of the Hon. Dwight Loomis, LL. 
D., late associate justice of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, in whose 
death, September 17, 1903, the bench and bar lost one of their brightest 
ornaments, and the community a public-spirited citizen and a just judge. 

Judge Loomis was a member of one of the oldest and most highly- 
respected families in the State, the founder of which in this country was 
one Joseph Loomis, a woolen draper of Braintree in the county of Essex, 
England, from which he sailed for the American colonies in 1638, and in 
the same year became one of the first settlers of Windsor, Connecticut. 
There, and in other parts of the State his descendants have continued 
to live down to the present time, taking an active and distinguished part in 
the affairs of the community and always maintaining a well-deserved posi- 
tion of prominence. The father of Judge Loomis was Captain Elam Loomis, 
a successful farmer of Columbia, Tolland county, of whose marriage with 
Mary Pinneo, a ladv of French descent, Dwight Loomis was the fourth 
child. 

Dwight Loomis was born at Columbia on the old Tolland county farm, 
and there passed the years of his childhood, gaining his general education at 
the local public schools and the academies at Monson and Amherst. Massa- 
chusetts. These advantages the youth supplemented with much independ- 
ent reading and study, and with association with such friends as he knew 
would be able to impart knowledge and culture to him. One of the sources 
that he repaired to in this quest was a debating society which existed in 
Columbia during his youth, at which all manner of subjects were discussed, 
and of which the young man was a very active member. Indeed it was in 
connection with the debates in which he participated at this time that he 
received the first training in addressing public gatherings, of which he later 
achieved such mastery. Even at this early age he had acquired the art of 
interesting and inspiring others with his ideas and feelings, and of this 
faculty he was able to avail himself most appropriately in the first work 
which he took up upon leaving school. This was teaching, in which he 
was extremely successful, making for himself a very considerable reputation 
as an instructor. He had determined in the meantime, however, to take up 
the law as a profession, and accordingly, after a few years spent in teaching, 
entered the office of the Hon. John H. Brockway, at Ellington, Connecticut. 
This was in 1844 and after remaining for some time with his learned pre- 



I20 DtofgbtLoomis 

ceptor. he matriculated at the Yale Law School, from which he was gradu- 
ated with the class of 1847. 

The town of Rockville was at that time without a lawyer, and Mr. 
Brockway, who was one of the leaders of the bar in Tolland county, pro- 
posed to his former pupil that he should become associated with him as a 
partner and represent the firm in that town. This proposition Mr. L.oomis 
assented to with delight, and upon his admission to the bar at once made his 
home there. His character was one that quickly inspired confidence, positive 
and self-confident, yet without any of that aggressiveness which inspires 
envy and animosity, so that he was quickly a well-known figure in the com- 
munity, with a growing practice and reputation. Nor did he disappoint the 
expectations of his friends. He had been a hard student and knew his sub- 
ject well and this, combined with a great love for it and many natural quali- 
fications, brought him remarkable success in his cases. 

It was but four years after his advent in that locality when his fellow 
townsmen, realizing that he was one of the rising young men, made him 
their candidate for the State Assembly, his election duly following in the 
same year — 185 1. Notwithstanding his youth he quickly gained a position 
of prominence in this body and established a reputation, remarkable in one 
so young, as a brilliant debater and wise legislator. His faithful champion- 
ship of the interests of the State in general and his home community in 
particular, irrespective of partisan considerations, increased his popularity 
greatly, and confirmed the impression of him as a man whom they could 
trust. His career, however, had fallen upon troublous times, and the intense 
feeling and violent agitation incident to the slave question and preceding the 
birth of the Republican party, were already in evidence. With the latter 
momentous event Mr. Loomis was concerned, having been the choice of 
his region as State Representative to the National Convention held in Phil- 
adelphia in 1856, at which the Republican party was founded. The follow- 
ing year he was elected to the State Senate from the Twenty-first District 
and during his term in that body was chosen chairman of the judiciary com- 
mittee, a position of the greatest responsibility and calling for legal attain- 
ments of a high order. In 1859 he was elected to the Thirty-sixth Congress 
from the First Congressional District of Connecticut. This was under the 
circumstances a remarkable achievement, as the district, considered doubtful 
at best by the party, was rendered still further so by the entrance of a dis- 
appointed aspirant for the Republican nomination, as an independent. In 
spite of this serious handicap Mr. Loomis was elected and again elected 
to the Thirty-seventh Congress, after a unanimous renomination. His 
record during his term as Congressman was a splendid one, attending so 
strictly to his duties that he seldom even missed a vote, he was a shining 
example to his confreres, and reaped the fruit of their very unanimous 
approval and honor. He was chosen chairman of the committee on ex- 
penditures in the Treasury Department, a heavy responsibility, and he was 
also a member of the committee on elections. 

It was not so much from the point of view of the formal observation of 
his duties and obligations, however, that honor is due Mr. Loomis as because 
of the courageous attitude he assumed in the face of the appalling respon- 



DtoigfjtLoomis! 121 

sibilities of those ominous days. The close of Buchanan's administration 
and the opening of Lincoln's witnessed the rapid development of that con- 
troversy w^hich came to a head with the outbreak of the terrible war which 
was to last so long and drain the nation of so much wealth and so many 
valuable lives, and for those in whose hands lay the shaping of events the 
burden was indeed a heavy one. Fortunate indeed was the Nation that 
among those who helped to guide the ship of state in those days were so 
many brave men who faced the emergency squarely and did not hesitate to 
follow the course they believed in, not rashly, but calmly and with a com- 
plete appreciation of the consequences involved. Among these men Mr. 
Loomis was a leader. None saw more clearly than he the perils and horrors 
that were to come, yet he saw also that the future of the Nation depended 
on keeping a bold face and showing no vacillation, and he and all of his mind 
united to uphold the hands of the great President in his efforts to preserve 
intact the Union. In the spring of 1864 Mr. Loomis was elected a Judge of 
the Superior Court of Connecticut for a term of eight years, and in 1872 was 
reelected. He did not serve out his second term, however, as the resignation 
of Judge Phelps, of the Supreme Court, left a vacancy in that august tribunal 
which Judge Loomis was chosen to fill. The account of this appointment is 
one which illustrates very vividly the profound respect and admiration in 
which Judge Loomis was held in the community, and is briefly as follows: 
Judge Phelps, whose resignation left the Supreme Court short one member, 
was a Democrat, and the only one of his fellows of that political belief. The 
'Governor and the legislative majority were, however. Democratic, and the 
choice of Judge Loomis would mean that the Supreme Court would become 
unanimously Republican through the act of a Democratic Legislature. Yet 
without regard for partisan considerations, the choice was made and the 
Judge was raised to the highest bench in the State. In after years Judge 
Loomis used to refer to this election as the greatest compliment he had ever 
received and the most satisfactory episode in his political career, and to the 
action of the Democratic Legislature as one of the most disinterested and 
honorable actions of the kind with which he was familiar. Judge Loomis 
was reelected to his high office and held it steadily until he reached the age 
prescribed by law for the retirement of judges, when the General Assembly 
appointed him a State referee. 

In 1892 he removed to Hartford, in which city he made his home for 
the remainder of his life, a life that remained active in the public service 
until the very end. As State referee he arbitrated some important disputes 
including that between the State, Yale University and Storrs' Agricultural 
School. His latter years were also rendered busy by his collaboration with 
J. Gilbert Calhoun, of Hartford, in the writing of the important work 
entitled "The Judicial and Civil History of Connecticut." In 1896, a year 
after the publication of this work, Yale University conferred upon him the 
degree of Doctor of Laws, and for some time he acted as a lecturer at the 
law school of the university. He continued in harness to the very last, and it 
was on his return from a hearing at Torrington, Connecticut, in his capacity 
as State referee, that his death resulted from a sudden stroke. 

Judge Loomis married, November 26, 1848, Mary E. Bill, a daughter of 



122 DtoigfttLoomis 

Josiah Bissell Bill, of Rockville, and a sister of Judge Benezet Hough Bill, 
of that place. Mrs. Loomis was born February 14, 1822, in Susquehanna 
county, Pennsylvania, and died June i, 1864. On May 28, 1866, he married 
(second) Jennie E. Kendall, of Beloit, Wisconsin, but a native of Connecti- 
cut, a daughter of Elisha Hubbard and Mary (Holcomb) Kendall, of that 
place. She was born July 10, 1841, and died March 6, 1876. To them was 
born a daughter, Jennie Grace Loomis, now Mrs. D. W. Williams. 

No mere record of events can give an adequate impression of the feeling 
in which Judge Loomis was held in the communities where he made his 
home and, indeed, throughout the State which he so long and faithfully 
served. Perhaps nothing can fully convey a sense of it, yet it would seem 
that if anything could it would be those testimonials which poured in at the 
time of his death, in which, from full hearts, his friends and associates spoke 
their veneration and love. The closing pages of this sketch cannot be better 
employed therefore than in quoting some of the more important of these. 

The judges of the Supreme Court of Connecticut passed resolutions 
upon the occasion of his death which, after a brief resume of his career, 
closed as follows: 

Judge Loomis was a God-fearing man of the antique type, one who ever lived as in 
the Great Taskmaster's eye. He honored every office he was called upon to fill, he never 
betrayed a trust, or consciously neglected a duty, and never was found wanting. He 
was a trusted counsellor, a wise law-giver, an ideal judge, a patriotic citizen, a Christian 
gentleman, a man tried and found true in every relation of life. His reported opinions 
are models of their kind, and easily take rank with the best in our reports. In them the 
facts are found fairly and clearly stated, the reasoning is clear-cut, logical, convincing, 
and in reaching the conclusion no real difficulty in the case is evaded, nor any fair objec- 
tion left unanswered. His character and ability won for him the love and esteem of his 
associates on the bench, and his uprightness, his kindly nature, his unfailing courtesy, 
and the combined dignity and simplicity of the man, won for him the respect and con- 
fidence of the bar, and of the people. He was the best of the predecessors in office of 
the present members of this court, and they, mindful of the worth of the man, of his 
distinguished services to the State and Nation, take this occasion to pay this tribute to 
his memory. 

Similar resolutions were passed by the city council, the Hartford Life 
Insurance Company, the George Maxwell Library Association, the Loomis 
Institute, and many other important societies and organizations with which 
Judge Loomis was in some way connected. Those of the Loomis Institute 
ran in part as follows : 

In the fullness of years, and of honors that were accorded to him in recognition of 
his true worth, of a lineage that has given the community, the State, and the Nation, 
from the colonial days, men of strength and power, statesmen, jurists, soldiers, scientists, 
and men of affairs and bearing in the seventh generation the family name of one of the 
pioneers in the settlement of Windsor, the ancestor of the founders of this institute, 
whose purpose is to provide for those in need a free and gratuitous education, and the 
means to advancement in useful knowledge, we count ourselves most fortunate in the 
choice of the Hon. Dwight Loomis as its president three years ago, in his acceptance of 
that office, and in its administration. * * * j\ sound lawyer, a learned judge, a true 
patriot, a loyal friend, courteous always, and considerate of others' opinions, steadfast 
in his own convictions and in his reasons for them, with a firm hold on the confidence 
and regard of all who knew him, Judge Loomis leaves to them a legacy of honor in all 
things, and to us, his associates in this philanthropic trust, an abiding memory of his 
services to this institute, in his wise counsel, and his deep personal interest in the con- 
duct of its affairs. 




^nt^ib Wibrd UilUams 




©abtti liltllarti Mltlltams 

'T has often been claimed, and with considerable show of truth, 
that Americans as a class are deficient in those qualities 
which in other lands and among other races have produced 
great developments of art and literature. But upon closer 
examination the accusation falls to the ground, and particu- 
larly in the case of imagination, that most essential of qual- 
ities in all artistic accomplishment. Imagination is a pos- 
session of our own countrymen, just as it is of the rest of mankind, but the 
circumstances which have attended our growth as a people have been such 
as to divert its action into strange channels and give to it an unaccustomed 
and even uncharacteristic expression. To be cast upon a new world and 
with problems, first a wilderness which threatened to engulf us, and then 
later a vast domain of unrivaled wealth to be developed, this was our fate 
as a people and it is not surprising that our attention should have been 
closely chained to the practical problems of existence, and with small oppor- 
tunity for those flights which have so distinguished other times and places, 
but which we found it necessary to postpone to a future date. Within our 
own especial province, however, our imaginations have been active enough 
as the vast commercial and industrial enterprises of the country bear elo- 
quent witness to, and as the marvelous mechanical inventions of Americans 
no less convincingly prove. For everything of a creative nature is essentially 
an eflfort of the imagination, whether it be an epic or the founding of some 
great establishment for purely practical purposes. 

It has been in the latter direction obviously that the creative imagina- 
tion of America has exerted itself, and nowhere has there been shown a 
greater or more striking example of its effects than in industrial New Eng- 
land, one of the greatest manufacturing regions of the world. Even in such 
a region as this, among such giants of material progress, there stand out 
certain names as, at once, peculiarly typical and peculiarly prominent ex- 
amples of the genius for affairs which has distinguished the entire people. 
Such a name is Williams, the patronymic of an old and distinguished New 
England family, whose members from earliest colonial times have played a 
prominent part in the affairs of the community, and have during the past 
few generations built up one of the greatest industries of its kind in the 
world. 

The American ancestor of this notable house was one Robert Williams, 
who came to this country from England in or before 1638, in which year he 
was admitted as a freeman at Roxbury. Massachusetts. For six genera- 
tions, down to the time of James Baker Williams, the father of the gentle- 
man whose name heads this sketch, we have a list of distinguished clergy- 
men, doctors and soldiers, who served their country and fellowmen in all 
manner of self-sacrificing and disinterested ways. 

The life of James Baker Williams, however, fell upon the time when the 
need for industrial and commercial development, if not the paramount, was 



124 Damp gflaniato aBilUams 

at least one of the most important in the country, and quick to perceive the 
opportunity which the new conditions offered, he turned his attention to 
these matters. The opening of his career certainly did not suggest a great 
future, or rather would not to-daj-, with our more impatient outlook, for Mr. 
Williams started life as a clerk in a drug store on the munificent salary of 
twenty-five dollars a year. However, like so many of his place and genera- 
tion, he turned the little to the great by the alchemy of his cleverness and 
industry, until the outcome was the great J. B. Williams Company, manu- 
facturers of shaving soap, known wherever civilized man uses the razor. 

David Willard Williams, the second child of James Baker and Jerusha 
(Hollister) Williams, was born April 12, 1853. at Glastonbury, Connecticut, 
where his father had moved at the beginning of his career as a manufacturer, 
from the ancestral home at Lebanon in the same State. The childish asso- 
ciations of the boy were with Glastonbury and there, at the local schools, he 
obtained a general education. He also attended the .Sheffield School, at Yale 
University, 1873-75, ^ member of the class of '76, but did not take his last 
year of study, because of ill health. In 1876 he entered the employ of J. B. 
Williams & Company, manufacturers of soaps, as traveling salesman. In 
1880 he began the manufacture of soaps on his own account, as head of the 
firm of D. W. Williams & Company. In 1885 the J. B. Williams Company 
was incorporated, succeeding J. B. Williams & Company, and buying out 
D. W. Williams & Company. D. W. Williams was made superintendent of 
the new company, and later vice-president. His father died March 2, 1907, 
and D. W. Williams at once succeeded him as president of the J. B. Wil- 
liams Company, but though he continued his eft'ective management he did 
not live much over two years longer in which to carry out his plans, his 
death occurring June 8, 1909, when only fifty-six years of age. Besides his 
presidency of the soap manufactory, Mr. Williams was associated with 
many other important institutions as director and in various other capac- 
ities, exhibiting in each case the same genius for management. 

But it was not merely as a man of business that Mr. Williams distin- 
guished himself in connection with his home city. Before he had even 
entered business, he had interested himself in political and economic ques- 
tions, and this interest, as he grew older, became a strong fondness for the 
problems of the practical conduct of local public affairs. He early gave his 
allegiance to the Republican party, though not in any partisan sense, but 
merely because he had independently arrived at conclusions corresponding 
to the principles it stood for. With the local organization of his party he 
allied himself and took an active part in politics, though without any 
thought of ofiice or influence for himself. In the year 1893, without any 
effort on his own part, he received the nomination of his party for the Gen- 
eral Assembly of the State and was duly elected and reelected in 1895, serv- 
ing for two terms in that body and making for himself an enviable reputa- 
tion for disinterestedness and capability as a lawmaker. He was a con- 
spicuous figure in the social circles of Glastonbury, and a member of a num- 
ber of influential clubs there and elsewhere, among which may be named 
the Hartford Club of that citv and the Yale Club of New York Citv. He was 



DatitD minatn cailUams 125 

also a member of the Society of the Sons of the American Revokition and of 
the Society of Colonial Wars. 

All his life, since he had attained the years of understanding, Mr. Wil- 
liams had been connected with the First Church of Christ in Glastonbury, 
and had participated in the work with ardor. Upon the incorporation of the 
church in 1896 he was elected its president, an office he continued to hold 
during the remainder of his life. At his father's death he succeeded him as 
deacon, and in both of these offices he did most valuable service to the inter- 
ests of religion. He was greatly concerned for the cause of religion gener- 
ally, and was associated with many movements for advancing it, notably 
with the Hartford Theological Seminary, of which he was a trustee. 

Mr. Williams was twice married, his first wife being Helen Penfield 
Rankin, a daughter of the Rev. S. G. W. Rankin, of Glastonbury, to whom 
he was united in marriage, October 23, 1876. She died in the year 1901. On 
August 30, 1905, Mr. Williams married (second) Jennie G. Loomis, the only 
daughter of Judge Dwight Loomis, of Hartford, a sketch of whom precedes 
this. Mrs. Williams survives her husband. To Mr. Williams by his first 
wife there were born five children, as follows: Helen Louise, born in 1878; 
James Willard, 1885; Mildred, 1887; Ruth Clarice, 1890; Isabel Stoddard, 
1894. Of his second marriage there was born one son, Dwight Loomis, in 
1909. 

Mr. Williams' untimely death was a great loss to many important inter- 
ests, to say nothing of the personal sorrow to those who had been fortunate 
enough to know him well. Great indeed were the number of testimonials 
which appeared on this sad occasion in the form of resolutions passed by the 
organizations to which he belonged, as well as many others from newspaper 
editorials to the letters of personal friends. It seems appropriate to give a 
number of these, which show as nothing else can the position which he held 
in the regard of his fellow citizens. The Business Men's Association of 
Glastonbury passed resolutions which read in part as follows: 

Whereas, Almighty God, in His infinite wisdom, has seen fit to remove from our 
midst our esteemed friend and co-worker, Mr. David Willard Williams, and whereas, 
we are deeply sensible of the loss sustained, not only by our association, but by the com- 
munity at large : Now, therefore, be it Resolved, that it is the sense of this association to 
express to the family of the deceased our heartfelt sympathy in the loss of so good a 
husband and kind a father, whose private and public life were so blameless as to be an 
example to the young and an inspiration to all with whom he came in contact. Although 
his business duties, as head of an institution of world-wide reputation, were onerous, he 
always found time to speak the kindly word and extend the helping hand. Mr. Williams 
possessed not only the regard of his employees, but also their affections in a degree 
quite unusual in the industrial world. He has always taken a deep interest in public 
affairs and represented this, his native town, for two terms of the General Assembly, 
where his grasp of affairs and breadth of sympathy obtained for him a wide acquaintance 
and an enviable reputation. 

A number of the great business concerns with which he was connected 
also passed resolutions, among which were his own huge house, the J. B. 
Williams Company, the Williams Brothers Manufacturing Company, and 
the New England Gold and Copper Mining Company. Those passed by the 
first of these read as follows : 



126 Dat)iD CSIillatD muiitimfi 



Resolved : That by the removal by death of David Willard Williams, the president 
of this company, June 8, 1909, we have lost one, who by his kindly and aiTectionate 
nature, his unfailing cheerfulness and courtesy, and loyalty to the interests of the com- 
pany, had endeared himself to every one connected with it. That we all shall greatly 
miss his genial presence and deeply deplore his loss as an associate, and to the com- 
munity in which he exerted a large influence for good. 

The testimonial of the New England Gold and Copper Mining Com- 
pany read in part as follows: 

In the passing by death of Mr. David W. Williams, the business world has lost a 
strong factor. He was a staunch supporter of every honest worthy enterprise, ever 
ready to lend his counsel and aid to that which measured up to the standard of right. 
His keen perception, staunch integrity and never-failing loyalty made him a man to be 
desired in any position. His strong hand grasp, ready smile and sweet comradeship 
invariably won the hearts of his associates and inspired confidence in the sincerity of 
his life. He was a man who moved quietly but with great force and effectively and 
maintained the respect and good will of all. His life among us was a splendid example 
of a strong upright Christian man who worked for a principle and never wavered from 
his sense of right and duty. 

Among the most valuable testimonials which appeared at the time of 
his death were two sets of resolutions passed, the one by the First Church 
of Christ in Glastonbury, and the other by the executive committee thereof. 
They follow in the order given : 

Whereas, in the Divine order of nature, David Willard Williams, president of the 
corporation of the First Church of Christ in Glastonbury, and a member of its board of 
deacons, has been removed from us by death, Resolved : That in his death the church 
has lost a most efficient officer whose sincere devotion to all the interests of the church 
was unceasing, and whose generous service of the church was in the spirit of Him who 
came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. That the church has lost a brother 
beloved of all ; whose life was unspotted from the world ; whose love for his friends, his 
neighbors, his associates in business, his employees, his fellow townsmen, his brethren 
in the church, ever manifested itself in loving service ; whose human sympathies forgot 
all social or religious or racial lines ; whose kindly and cordial manner won for him 
many and devoted friends ; whose simple faith in God and whole-hearted love for Jesus 
Christ quickened the faith and stimulated the service of all. 

Those of the executive committee ran : 

Whereas, It has pleased our Heavenly Father to take unto Himself our beloved 
friend and counsellor, David Willard Williams, who for thirteen years was president 
of the church corporation and of this committee ; therefore be it Resolved, That while 
humbly bowing to Divine Wisdom, we, the officers of this church, do hereby express our 
deep sorrow and regret over the loss of one so long the efficient head of this organization, 
and one whose wise and loving counsel was always sought and freely given Also be it 
Resolved, That these resolutions be spread upon the records of this committee, and a 
copy sent to his family. 




®tmotl;y AUijn 



Ctmotljp iiKl. ailpn 




*ROM the beginning of its historV; Hartford, Connecticut, 
has been the home of distinguished men whose deeds have 
written themselves upon the history of our country. Its 
name has been associated with the names of those who 
have formed a sort of aristocracy of intellect and culture, 
and is representative of all that is best and most worthy 
in the New England character. Perhaps among all the 
groups of strong and virtuous men which the city has given birth to 
and fostered to a ripe and capable manhood, there is none of which it 
has more reason to feel proud than that long succession of merchants 
and leaders of industrial enterprise who have done so much to develop 
its material growth, and who have left the mark of their personalities 
and ideals upon business in such a manner and to such an extent as to have 
raised its standard throughout the country and given it a higher place 
in the general regard. Typical of this group, of which, indeed, he was one 
of the leaders for many years, was Timothy M. Allyn, than whom, during 
the long period of his active career, no one was more closely identified with 
the development of the city or took part in more various aspects of its life. 
Timothy M. Allyn was born in 1800, in one of the old houses still stand- 
ing just within the city limits near the Windsor line. The place was at that 
time well out in the country, and consisted of a small farm owned by his 
father, who cultivated it and made bricks to eke out his none too abundant 
living. The family was large, and consisted of eleven children, of whom 
Timothy was the youngest, a disadvantage under the circumstances, and 
which was augmented by the fact that he was of delicate constitution and 
generally in poor health. In him was exemplified, however, the health- 
giving powers of the wholesome rural life in which the greatest possible time 
is spent in the open air in the pursuit of occupations that develop not only 
the body but the mental faculties. Like the sons of farmers in those days, 
he was expected to aid with the work of cultivating the land, and, as he did 
so, his health gradually improved until he had laid the foundation of the 
great physical strength and endurance which remained with him during all 
the latter part of his life and enabled him to continue his activities long after 
the time when most men are obliged to abandon them. He persevered in his 
work for his father until he had reached his majority, when he determined 
to embark upon an enterprise of his own. For this purpose he very wisely 
chose an occupation of which he had already had some experience, namely 
that of making bricks, a task in which he had often assisted his father. 
It was a task which involved much difficult labor, however, but at which 
the young man worked with the greatest ardor, actually making with his 
own hands as many as one hundred and twenty thousand bricks in the 
course of a single year. Mr. Allyn's friends well remember hearing him 
recount with much gusto the labors he accomplished in those days, which 
involved hauling sand for mixture with the clay, the mixing process itself 



128 Cimot!)p ^. mm 

during- which he drove the cattle as they trod it together in the old-fash- 
ioned manner, the cutting of wood for the kiln, the burning of the bricks, 
the hauling to Hartford, and the final disposal of them there at the price of 
four dollars and a half per thousand. It seems but a pitiful return for so 
much hard labor, yet Mr. Allyn continued to make his livelihood thus for 
a considerable period, before turning his hand to other things. It was the 
period, however, when all eyes, especially all youthful eyes, were being 
turned to the western part of this great continent and a multitude of tales, 
some false or exaggerated, but many true, were circulated regarding the 
opportunities that there awaited enterprise and courage. Like many of his 
fellows, Mr. Allyn barkened readily to these accounts and in 1825, when he 
had reached the age of twenty-five years, he took a position as a book sales- 
man and traveled in Ohio and other parts of the middle west doing an 
excellent business and laying aside a considerable portion of his earnings. 
Two years later he took the little capital he had accumulated and, return- 
ing to the east, took up his abode in New York City and there entered the 
wholesale dry goods business. His venture was necessarily a small one at 
the outset, but Mr. Allyn was g-ifted with unusual business perspicacity and 
it was not long before his trade began to increase greatly and he was soon 
the owner of a large establishment and making a great deal of money. The 
dry goods business was in those days much simpler than it is now, but even 
then it involved much detail, and this Mr. Allyn is said to have mastered 
within six weeks. He did not remain a great while in New York, however, 
but after three years, during which he had become an experienced and suc- 
cessful merchant, he returned to his native city of Hartford and there, in 
partnership with one of his brothers, founded the important dry goods house 
with which he was identified so long. His brother retired from the firm after 
a short time and Mr. Allyn continued it alone until the year 1848. The 
directory of Hartford in 1843 contained the following direction: "T. M. 
Allyn, commission merchant and wholesale dealer in American and foreign 
dry goods, Nos. 9 and 11 Asylum street." This location is now occupied by 
Gemmill, Burnham & Company's establishment. In 1848 he retired from 
active business for a time, having amassed a very substantial fortune and 
made a reputation as one of the most successful and trustworthy mer- 
chants and business men in the city. His retirement was in part due to the 
fact that other interests of his were becoming very large and required more 
and more of his time and attention. These were his large property holdings 
in the city which, with foresight, he had invested much of his fortune in, 
foreseeing the rise in values that must accompany the increase in popula- 
tion and rapid industrial development. He could not remain entirely aloof 
from the business in which he had been so successful and grown to take so 
great an interest, however, and he later became a partner of the firm of 
Spencer, White & Company, engaged in the wholesale dry goods trade 
at No. 22 Asylum street. In this, however, he did not actively engage in 
the management of the concern. Besides his real estate interests, Mr. Allyn 
became connected with a number of important corporations and financial 
institutions in Hartford, which at once greatly increased his fortune and 
gave the prestige and weight of his name and reputation to these concerns, 



Cimotfjp £0. aUpn 129 

a valuable financial asset in itself, to say nothing of the share he took in 
their active management in his capacity of director. He held this office in 
the Hartford Corporation, the Connecticut Western railroad, the Connec- 
ticut Fire Insurance Company, the Hartford Steam Company, the Security 
Company, the Spring Grove Cemetery, and the Connecticut School of 
Design. He was also a director and at one time president of the Hartford 
Carpet Company, and a very large stockholder in the Atlas Fire Insurance 
Company. The property w^hich he owned in the city Mr. Allyn went about 
developing in a way that should not only serve his own ends, but prove a 
benefit to the community generally. Among the large and handsome 
buildings, of which he erected many, may be mentioned the Charter Oak 
Bank building and Allyn Hall, put up about i860. Altogether there were 
but few men in Hartford at that time so prominent in the financial and 
business world as Mr. Allyn, nor were there many fortunes as large as 
his. 

But it was not alone in this department of activity that Mr. Allyn was 
active. It was almost inevitable that a man of his prominence and wealth 
and of his public spirit, should be drawn into public life, especially as he took 
so keen an interest in general political questions. He was one of those who 
joined the Republican party early in its career, and from that time until the 
end of his life he was a firm supporter of its principles. He early allied him- 
self with its organization in Hartford and rapidly became a leader therein. 
He was elected alderman, and served in that capacity for a number of years, 
and was a member of the Water Commission for a time. In 1858 he was 
elected mayor of the city, and held that office until the close of i860, and as 
early as 1843 ^^^ had been sent from Hartford to the State Legislature. 
From 1864 to 1867 he was major of the Putnam Phalanx, the best known 
military body in the city. 

Mr. Allyn was a man of strong philanthropic instincts, and he gave 
generously to many charitable institutions and movements. He was highly 
interested in the movement to establish industrial schools for those who 
could not otherwise gain a training in the trades, and was one of the prin- 
cipal supporters of the Industrial School for Girls at Middletown, Con- 
necticut, as well as a director, and one of its principal buildings was erected 
by him at a large cost and was known as the Allyn Home. He also ofi^ered 
one hundred thousand dollars to the city of Hartford to be applied to the 
founding of a similar institution for boys, an equal sum to be raised by the 
city. This offer was declined. He was a man of strong but liberal views 
in religion, and for a number of years was a member of the Unitarian 
church which stood on the present site of the Charter Oak Bank. The 
church was finally abandoned and as its site was sold to the banking cor- 
poration, the building was disposed of to Trinity Church, and the material 
used in the construction of the new church building on Asylum Hill. It 
is illustrative of the general confidence reposed in Mr. Allyn that he should 
have been chosen by both parties to the contract to conduct the nego- 
tiations, and it is evidence of his tact and fairmindedness that they were 
both satisfied. 

CONN-Vol 111-9 



I30 Cimotftp 60. align 

Mr. AUyn was united in marriage with Miss Susan Pratt, and to them 
were born seven children, four of whom survive their father. They are as 
follows: Arthur W., whose rose to the rank of major in the United States 
army, but resigned from the service in 1880, and is now engaged in a mer- 
cantile business in Chicago; a son, who settled in Wisconsin, where he is 
engaged in farming on a very large scale; another son, who has resided in 
Europe for a number of years; and Robert, who became his father's business 
assistant some few years before the latter's death, and whose sketch follows. 
One of the deceased sons of Mr. Allyn was Justice Joseph Pratt Allyn, an 
honored figure on the Arizona bench when the territorial government of 
that region was organized. 

The death of Mr. Allyn occurred August 25, 1882, and was the occasion 
of universal mourning, since they were few indeed to whom his abilities 
and activities had not made him known, and since this knowledge was not 
wider than the affection and honor to which it gave birth. As a token of 
this fact the manifold testimonials spoken and written on that sad occasion 
are an abundant evidence; the press of Hartford and the State particularly 
voicing the general feeling. From the "Hartford Daily Courant." which 
printed a long obituary notice, the following excerpt is taken, which will 
illustrate this sentiment and appropriately close this short sketch: 

His familiar figure has been often seen on the streets, often in his carriage, of which 
he was his own driver, or on horseback, where his striking resemblance to George Wash- 
ington was a matter of general comment. This resemblance was marked a few years ago 
when he was major of the Putnam Phalanx and dressed in the continental uniform. For 
one of his advanced years, he has led for a long time rather an active life in looking after 
his real estate interests, for he was one of the largest renters in the city. He was one of 
Hartford's representative citizens, and his loss will be felt in many circles. * * ♦ 
To works of charity and philanthropy he has given with liberality in very many 
instances, and in all enterprises involving the welfare of the city he has taken a lively 
interest. The loss of such a man as T. M. Allyn is a matter of much moment to the 
community. 





^^ 



SRohert ailpn 




^HE death of Robert Allyn on February 2, 1896, in Hartford, 
Connecticut, deprived that city of one of its most promi- 
nent and wealthy citizens, and a man who all his life had 
been identified with the progress and advancement of the 
community. He was a member of a family which had long 
made its residence in that city, and the son of Timothy M. 
Allyn, one of the foremost of its citizens in his day. The 
Allyn arms are as follows: Paly of ten argent and azure. Over all a cross 
potent or. Crest: A lion salient sable and a tower or and argent. Motto: 
Fortiter Gcrit Cruccm. 

Timothy M. Allyn was born in the year 1800 on his father's farm in the 
vicinity of Hartford and there passed the years of his childhood and early 
youth engaged in gaining his education and in the work of the farm. He 
was the youngest of eleven children and much of his time was occupied in 
working the brick kiln which his father ran in connection with his other 
work. He cut the wood and mixed and baked the bricks and it is said that 
he himself made in one year one hundred and twenty thousand bricks, which 
were eventually sold in Hartford at the rate of four dollars and fifty cents a 
thousand. He remained on the farm until he had reached the age of twenty- 
five years, when he left the parental roof and went west as far as Ohio, 
where he travelled for some time. Two years later he returned east and 
settled for a time in New York City, where he was connected with a whole- 
sale dry goods business for three years. In 1830 he came once more to 
Hartford and this time located in the city proper, where, in partnership with 
his brothers, he started a store on Asylum street. The venture was emi- 
nently successful and Mr. Allyn, Sr., remained in business until the year 
1848, when he retired entirely from his mercantile enterprises and devoted 
himself to caring for his large estate. While still but a young man he had 
foreseen the growth to which Hartford was destined, and with more than 
usual business judgment had set himself to take advantage of it by wise and 
extensive investments in real estate in the districts in which he believed the 
development would prove greatest. The event justified his policy. His prop- 
erty rapidly grew in value and he soon began large building operations, erect- 
ing in i860 the well known hotel called Allyn Hall and a little later the Char- 
ter Oak Bank Building and a number of other large and important edifices. 
His activities were by no means purely selfish, for although he was of course 
made wealthy by these operations the city generally was also greatly stimu- 
lated in its development and strongly benefited thereby. His services and 
the general integrity and ability of his character were recognized by the 
district in which he dwelt, and he was elected an alderman for several terms 
and in 1858 became a member of the water commission for a period of three 
years. He was a staunch Republican in politics and in 1843 was elected on 
that party's ticket to the Connecticut State Legislature, in which body he 



132 Roliertsnpn 

most eflfectively represented his city. He was a man of very great public 
spirit and had the welfare of his native city greatly at heart. He at one 
time offered it the sum of one hundred thousand dollars on the condition 
that an equal sum be raised for the founding of an industrial school for boys, 
and later offered the AUyn Hall Building and forty thousand dollars in cash 
for a library for the Young Men's Institute, but unfortunately the city was 
not in a position to take advantage of either offer. For many years Timothy 
M. Allyn was a member of the Unitarian church. He was very liberal in his 
religious views, but a staunch and practical Christian, and after his death a 
beautiful memorial was erected to him in the shape of the Allyn Chapel in 
the Spring Grove Cemetery. He was a man who left a lasting influence 
upon the community in which he dwelt and a memory which will always be 
honored. He was married to Susan Pratt, a daughter of Joseph Pratt. To 
them were born seven children, of whom Robert Allyn, the subject of this 
sketch, was the youngest. Timothy M. Allyn died in the year 1882, and 
Mrs. Allyn survived him about six years. 

Robert Allyn was born March 8, 1849, i^i the city of Hartford, where he 
made his home during his entire life. He was educated in Hartford, and 
after completing his education turned to the management of his estate. At 
the time this was left him by his father it was already of great value, con- 
sisting principally of valuable real estate properties, and since that time, as 
a result of both the natural increase of properties incident to the growth of 
the city, and the skillful management of Mr. Allyn, this value has been 
greatly added to. About 1889 Mr. Allyn took charge of the management of 
the Allyn House, which up to then had been under the direction of a cousin, 
the late Robert J. Allyn. He had always taken an interest in the manage- 
ment of the property, but after his cousin's death he superintended the 
whole matter, although his name was never publicly associated with the 
management of the hotel. Before his death Mr. Allyn was one of the 
wealthiest men in the community and paid taxes on property valued at four 
hundred thousand dollars. 

Mr. Allyn was a very public-spirited man and was interested in many 
of the movements for the advancement of the community. He was a mem- 
ber of the Republican party and a keen and intelligent thinker on political 
subjects, although he never entered actively into the affairs of his city. Mr. 
Allyn was married, January 30, 1877, to Alice Belle Main, of Brooklyn, Con- 
necticut, a daughter of Elias H. and Sarah S. (Dorrance) Main, of that 
place. To them were born two children, who, with their mother, survive 
Mr. Allyn. They are Robert J. and Dorothy Belle. Robert J. Allyn married 
Louise Graham ; they live in Hartford and have one daughter, Mary Belle. 

The character of Mr. Allyn was one which won respect and recognition 
in all quarters. To the fundamental virtues of an unimpeachable integrity 
and a tolerant outlook upon life and his fellows he added the graces of 
enlightenment and culture, ease of manner, conversational powers and the 
cosmopolitan breadth of vision. He was fond of social intercourse with con- 
genial spirits, and was a pleasure to his friends and an ornament to those 
functions, which a man of prominence must constantly attend in the pursu- 




-"'^ftl;!!?! 



^v9-" 



Kobettailpn 



133 



ance of his ends and duties. But despite his social tastes and powers he was 
possessed of all the domestic virtues and found the greatest happiness in the 
society of his own household and the pleasures of his home. His death was 
felt as a loss throughout the communit)^ which all his life had been his home 
and the scene of his busv activities. 




3(oI)n ifltClarp 




'HE spirit which is willing to give the majority or any large 
fraction of its time and energy in the service of its fellows 
is not of such frequent occurrence to-day that we can afford 
to pass it by without comment and commendation. There 
are many ideals abroad at present, some better, some worse, 
and it is encouraging to note that more and more stress and 
emphasis is coming to be laid on the former, nevertheless it is 
only too obvious that, lay it to what cause we will, there is a pretty strong 
proclivity for each to take care of himself without much regard for the other 
fellow. It is the more refreshing, therefore, when we happen upon some con- 
spicuous example of the contrary intention and note the career of a man who 
is content to pass the major part of his life in the public service, and sacrifice, 
not only the reward which might otherwise accrue as the result of his 
efforts, but even the comforts of a permanent home, so dear to the hearts of 
all. Nor does it minimize the lesson to be learned from such a career to 
know that, when at length the energies were turned to private ends, the 
highest success was realized, but rather emphasizes still further the self- 
restraint involved in turning such faculties to a task from which the personal 
return must of necessity be totally incommensurate with the service rend- 
ered. Such was the case in the life of Mr. John McClary, whose death in 
Hartford on July 7, 1909, removed from that city one who, despite his long 
employment in the government service, had, in the comparatively short time 
he had devoted to it, made himself one of the most successful business men in 
the city. 

John McClary was of Scotch parentage and inherited his full share of 
the positive virtues of his race, courage, perseverance and practical common 
sense, which have proved so valuable an element in weaving the fabric of 
American citizenship. The arms of the McClary family are : Or. A chevron 
azure between three roses gules. Both his parents, John and Ellen (Reilly) 
McClary, were natives of Glasgow, Scotland, and there passed their youth 
and were married. They later emigrated to the United States and made 
their home in Boston, where John McClary Jr. was born. While he was yet 
but a little lad his parents moved once more, this time to Wakefield, Massa- 
chusetts, and it was in that town that he was reared and there his youthful 
associations were formed. It was in Wakefield also, that he attended school 
and received his education up to the age of fifteen years. Two years prior to 
this there occurred an event which modified his whole subsequent life, as it 
did that of many millions besides. This was the outbreak of the Civil War, 
in 1 861, when Mr. McClary was only thirteen years of age, an age which 
rendered it impossible for him to enlist in spite of his youthful desire to do 
so. However, in 1863, he left school and was given a place in the Signal 
Corps of the United States Army, in which he saw active service until the 
close of hostilities. He came into close contact with many of the stirring 
events of those days, and was actually in the Ford Theatre in Washington 



3Iof)n 00cCIarp 135 

and witnessed the assassination of the great President, and experienced all 
the excitement and violent feeling of those days. He did not give up his posi- 
tion in the Signal Service at the end of the w^ar, but retired for a time and, 
returning North, took up his abode with his sister, Mrs. Mary Wetherby, in 
Springfield, Massachusetts. He made his home with his sister in Spring- 
field for a number of years and during that time became associated with 
Colonel Bartholomew and James L. Thompson in the Adams Express Com- 
pany, a connection which continued for a considerable period. In the latter 
part of the year 1868 Mr. McClary resumed active work for the Signal Ser- 
vice and went West with his young wife, whom he had recently married. 
His work was in connection with the Weather Bureau, and involved con- 
siderable moving from place to place, so that they resided at different times 
in Chicago, Texas, and various parts of Idaho, and, indeed, wherever they 
were ordered. Their last home in the West was in California where they 
were stationed about i8go, and the following year he gave up active service 
and returned to the East. Mr. and Mrs. McClary now made their home in 
Hartford, Connecticut, and there he bought out the woodworking factory 
and from that time on devoted his attention to its operation. In this enter- 
prise he was highly successful and developed a very large business, taking 
his place among the ranks of Hartford's substantial business men. He con- 
tinued actively in this line until within a short time of his death. 

Although a very strong Republican in politics and keenly interested in 
the issues which confronted the country in that day, Mr. McClary never 
cared to enter the political arena actively, though he did his best as a private 
citizen to further the causes in which he believed. He was, however, very 
active in the social and club life of Hartford, after taking up his residence in 
that city, and his name was included in many of the most important and 
influential organizations. He was, for instance, a member of the Grand 
Army of the Republic, the Army and Navy Club and the Masonic order, in 
the latter of which he had attained the thirty-second degree, and was a 
member of Washington Commandery, Knights Templar, and Mecca Temple, 
Mystic Shrine. His afiiliations in the matter of religion were with the Epis- 
copal church, in the work of which he was also active, one very effective way 
in which he served for many years was as a chorister, he being possessed of 
a very fine voice. 

On September 28, 1868, while still a resident of Springfield, Massachu- 
setts, Mr. McClary was united in marriage with Miss Jennie Cutler, of Bos- 
ton, a daughter of Nathan M. and Columbia (Shearer) Cutler, of that city. 
Mr. Cutler was himself a native of Farmington, Maine, a son of Judge 
Nathan M. Cutler, but lived the major part of his life in Boston, where he 
held a position as inspector in the United States Customs House until his 
death. His wife was born in Palmer, Massachusetts, and was the daugh- 
ter of Judge Daniel and Sarah (King) Shearer. Sarah (King) Shearer was 
a daughter of Jesse King, 3rd, of Palmer, Massachusetts, of an early and 
prominent family in that neighborhood. Jesse King, 3rd, married Mary 
Graham, daughter of Rev. Mr. Graham, of Pelham. Mr. and Mrs. Cutler 
both died when their daughter. Mrs. McClary, was a little girl, and she was 
brought up by her aunt, Mrs. A. V. Blanchard, of Palmer, Massachusetts. 



136 3lo!)n e^cCIatp 

Mr. McClary erected a very handsome residence at No. 56 Highland avenue, 
Hartford, all the fine v^oodwork used in the construction of which came 
from his ow^n factory. 

The life which is most worthy of honor is that which has been of the 
greatest value to the greatest number of its fellows, and surely those should 
rank high in the scale who have given up their time and individual ambitions 
in the service, of one kind or another, of their country, as did Mr. McClary. 
For many years he and Mrs. McClary were denied what might be called a 
really permanent home, and wandered hither and yon about the West in the 
discharge of duties for which he was paid but a small return, when gauged 
by what his abilities afterwards earned when directed to his private ends. 
But at no time did it ever enter his mind to complain, and it was character- 
istic of him that he worked as cheerfully and energetically at the public 
tasks as at his own. It is pleasant to set down the record of such a life as 
this, which may well serve as an example to his community in the future. 





3cil)n CotitJington Ikinm^ 

OHN CODDINGTON KINNEY, whose death on April 22, 
1891, caused universal mourning throughout the city of 
Hartford, Connecticut, which had been his home for so 
many years, was one of the best known and most beloved 
citizens of that place, having been identified with all that 
was best in its growth and progress during the long period 
of his residence there. He was not a native of Hartford, 
nor of New England at all for that matter, although his people had origi- 
nally come from the Nutmeg State, and his father was born there. Some 
time previous to his birth the family had moved to New York State and 
settled in the town of Nassau, where his father, the Rev. Ezra Dennison 
Kinney, had charge of a church. 

John Coddington Kinney, or Major Kinney as he became, was born in 
Nassau, New York, February 21, 1839, but the following 5^ear was taken to 
Darien, Connecticut, by his parents, and ever thereafter made his home in 
that State. He grew up in Darien and attended the excellent local schools 
of the place, where he obtained the preliminary portion of his education. 
He was very bright in his studies, and both at this time and later distin- 
guished himself in his classes to the extent of drawing the favorable notice 
of his professors and instructors upon his work. After completing his 
course in the schools and gaining a first rate foundation in the essentials, he 
matriculated in Yale College, where he soon made a large reputation for 
himself both as a student and a popular member of the undergraduate body. 
The class of which he was a member held a number of celebrated men, who 
afterwards took prominent places in difl:'erent departments of life in various 
parts of the country. Among these was Simeon E. Baldwin, who later 
became Governor of Connecticut ; Tracy Peck ; Justice H. B. Freeman ; Bray- 
ton Ives and S. H. I.yman. There was also the late E. R. Sill, the well 
known lyrical poet, of whom Major Kinney was a warm friend and admirer, 
a strong attachment existing between the two, who had many points of 
sympathy and many grounds of congenial interest and common belief. 
Major Kinney graduated with the class of 1861 and though his subsequent 
life, of course, took him away from any close association with the college, 
yet he always retained his feelings of profound love and veneration, as well 
as gratitude for his alma mater, and it was, indeed, one of the honors which 
he most prized, that on the occasion of the inauguration of Professor 
Dwight as president of Yale, he was chosen marshal for the occasion. 

During his childhood and early youth Major Kinney had been strongly 
under the influence of religious feeling and belief, and it had been his inten- 
tion to enter the ministry as had his father before him, but this determina- 
tion was rudely altered by the outbreak of the Civil War. The enthusiasm 
and patriotism of times like that are hard to appreciate in the midst of more 
quiet circumstances, and we find it difficult to picture to ourselves the 
strengh of emotion which will reverse in a moment the cherished projects of 



138 3fol)n CoDDington l^innep 

a lifetime. Yet so it is. Joining with the great wave of those who placed 
patriotism and the cause of the Union before all personal considerations, he 
enlisted in the United States Army as a member of Company A, Thirteenth 
Regiment of Infantry, Connecticut \^olunteers. He was offered a commis- 
sion at the time, but this he declined, preferring rather to serve as a private 
in the ranks until through merit he had actually won his promotion. His 
experience in the war was a perilous and eventful one, and through those 
long years between November, 1861, when he enlisted, and August 12, 1865, 
when he was mustered out, he had much hard campaigning and fighting to 
do. The Thirteenth Connecticut was quickly in the midst of active service, 
and it was not long before the young private won his commission for bravery 
and efficient service. Wounded at the battle of Irish Bend, Louisiana, he 
was soon able to join once more the colors, and was with the expedition 
under General Banks early in 1864. In the month of May in the same year, 
he was detailed to the signal service, and had the distinction of being placed 
with Admiral Farragut, on board that officer's flagship, "Hartford." Farra- 
gut's fleet was at that time preparing for the ascent of Mobile Bay, and in 
the famous engagement that followed, Major Kinney was a participant. 
Not only that but he was actually in the mainmast with Farragut, and with 
his signals, transmitting his orders to the fleet. It was a position and an 
office of peril, but the young soldier performed it well and lived to enjoy the 
recollection of it. Indeed, his recitals in after years of these and many other 
experiences during the dreadful war, were the delight of many, possessing 
as they did a simplicity and directness which robbed them of the least sug- 
gestion of ostentation, and a vividness of description which brought before 
his hearers with wonderful distinctness the scenes of long ago. There was 
a great charm in these tales and many times did he have to repeat them for 
the entertainment of his household and friends. On August 12, 1865, he was 
honorably discharged from the service, but he did not return North to his 
Connecticut home at once, having become interested in property and farm- 
ing in Florida. In association with Judge V. B. Chamberlin, he went to that 
State and there conducted a plantation for a period of two years. In 1867 
he returned to Connecticut, where he took up newspaper work, in which he 
continued until within a year of his death. For some time he was in Water- 
bury, Connecticut, where he was connected with the "Waterbury Ameri- 
can," much of the time in the capacity of editor, but in 1872 he removed to 
Hartford and joined the staff of the "'Courant," remaining for eighteen 
years. During this time he served in many varying capacities for the paper, 
and always retained the strongest interest in the success of the publication, 
even after retiring from active connection with it, and always continued 
an occasional contributor and a daily visitor. His influence on public opin- 
ion while on the stafl:" of the "Courant," through the medium of the sheet, 
was certainly very great, and not less admirable, his pure, disinterested atti- 
tude setting a high standard for newspaper utterance. 

No man was ever more retiring and less anxious to stand in the public 
eye than Major Kinney, and. though always keenly interested in political 
issues and the conduct of public affairs, both local and national, he never 
sought to hold office. His ability was so marked and his disinterestedness so 



31oJ)n CoDDington l^innep 139 

obvious, however, that his fellow citizens would not let him remain in the 
obscurity of private life, and on a number of occasions elected him to offices 
of various kinds. In the year 1882 he was appointed United States Marshal 
and served in that capacity for four years, and in 1890 he was appointed by 
President Harrison postmaster of Hartford. It was on the occasion of his 
taking this new office that Major Kinney gave up his connection with the 
"Courant," as he felt that his duties were of so large and responsible a kind 
that they should not divide his attention with any other matter. It is a 
remarkable fact and one well illustrating the essential disinterestedness of 
the man, that for both these important offices, that of marshal and that of 
postmaster, his name was proposed by others quite unknown to himself, so 
that the appointments both came as surprises to him. In these posts, as in 
all the others he had at any time filled, the duties of the offices were filled 
to the entire satisfaction of his fellow citizens, political friend and foe alike, 
all of whom united in praise of him. The conduct of the postoffice had 
never been better than under his rule, and he would doubtless have caused 
still further improvements had not his death occurred only the following 
year and stopped the good work. 

It was not alone in newspaper and political circles that Major Kinney 
was active in Hartford. During the nineteen years in which he made that 
city his home, there was scarcely a department of activity of real value in 
which he was not a participant. No movement could be proposed for the 
advancement of the community which was not sure of his aid and support, 
if in his judgment it was feasible. His judgment, too, was excellent, and 
while generous in the extreme he nevertheless quickly detected what was 
weak or impracticable. He was a prominent figure in the social world of 
the city, and a member of many of the most important clubs and other organ- 
izations there. It was, of course, natural that military organizations and 
those based on military service of some kind should be particularly interest- 
ing to him, and such was the case. The company known as the Governor's 
Foot Guard was particularly dear to him and for many years he gave it con- 
stant attention and thought. He was largely instrumental in securing the 
new armory for the body, and in many ways was of the greatest service to 
it. He was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, of the Sons of the 
American Revolution, of the Grand Army of the Republic and of the Loyal 
Legion. He was one of the original members of the Army and Navy Club 
of Hartford, and its secretary from the time of its foundation until his death. 
Major Kinney was greatly interested in the problem ofi^ered by our treat- 
ment of the American Indians, and was a recognized authority on the sub- 
ject. He was accordingly appointed secretary of the Mohonk Indian Con- 
ference, and held that office for a number of years. 

Major Kinney was married, March 7, 1867, to Miss Sara E. Thomson, 
of New Haven, a daughter of Dr. Charles Steele and Susan Coit (Belcher) 
Thomson. Mrs. Kinney was a most congenial companion for her husband, 
being fond of most of the things of which he was. and with many tastes and 
beliefs in common. She is a member of the Daughters of the American 
Revolution, and for fourteen vears was State Regent for Connecticut. She 



I40 31ol)n CoDDington Mnmy 

survives her husband and is one of the most prominent figures in Hartford 
social life. 

Major Kinney was undoubtedly a most unique character, combining, as 
he did, so many traits which are not often met together in one personality. 
His life was grounded on the basic virtues of honor, sincerity, justice, and a 
strong unshaken purpose. Yet withal he was one of the most gentle souls, 
and easily moved by the misfortunes of others, and always ready to hold out 
a helping hand to the unfortunate, without stopping to inquire too curiously 
how they had come by their ill luck. It was not only with material aid that 
he assisted his needy fellows. His whole nature went out to theirs with 
such a ready and spontaneous sympathy, that hearts were healed by the very 
atmosphere of cheer that emanated from him. Honesty spoke in his every 
word and manner, so that people instinctively trusted him and felt no further 
concern for that for which he had made himself responsible. Particularly 
was this so in the matter of public office, and the conduct of whatever matter 
he was put in charge, was left without question to him, in the confidence 
that his honor and judgment would amply safeguard it. Nor was he more 
lacking in the graces of culture and refinement than in these more funda- 
mental virtues. As a companion he was simply charming, his conversational 
powers being of the greatest, though one of their chief charms was their 
delightful simplicity — one might almost call it naivete. The vivid fresh- 
ness of his tales of his past experiences has already been commented upon, 
and to this power he added that of wit and quiet humor and the ability to 
"speak on his feet." He was consequently in great demand as a speaker 
and was that rara avis, one who can make a delightful and instructive after- 
dinner address. His home life was an ideal one, the relations of the house- 
hold harmonious, and his companionship with his wife one of the strongest 
factors in his life. His death, which occurred at the early age of fifty-two 
years, cutting short a most valuable career at its very zenith of achievement, 
was felt as a personal loss, not only by the members of his immediate family 
and the host of devoted friends which his winning personality had gathered 
around him, but by the community at large, but few of whose members had 
not benefited by his activities and example. It seems fitting to close this 
sketch with the words of the paper, which in an article written at the time 
of his death, said in part as follows: 

A brave, loyal and honest heart * * * everyone knew him, and everyone who 
did respected him for courageous devotion to what was right, his frank, outspoken way 
and his honesty. The only use he had for duplicity was to despise it. There was never 
any doubt as to where he stood on any question, and yet there was always an almost 
womanly gentleness of nature that endeared him to all. 

He was a singularly helpful man, always ready to serve another. In private life he 
was always freighted with the cares of others who turned to him because of the certainty 
of his sympathy and aid, and in public affairs when anything was to be done, the rest of 
us ceased to be anxious about it if Major Kinney agreed to undertake the work. 
********* 

The man who came to Hartford a stranger in 1872, he dies, one of the most widely 
known men in the city, leaving it better for the work he has done. 




i 



y 



€t)toin Strong 




AJOR EDWIN STRONG, whose death on April 6, 191 1, at 
the age of sixty-seven years, deprived the city of Hartford, 
Connecticut, of one of its best known and most honored 
citizens, was a member of old New England stock, his family 
having made their residence in Hartford for many years. 
His parents were Ezra and Harriet (Rowley) Strong, whose 
fine, old-fashioned dwelling at No. 79 Church street on the 
corner of Ann street, still stands as the family home. Ezra Strong was 
engaged in the business of book binding and making of maps, and he estab- 
lished an enviable reputation for himself as a responsible and capable man of 
business. He died at the early age of forty-one years, just in the prime of 
life, leaving a considerable fortune to his family, consisting of considerable 
Hartford real estate and other valuable property. 

Major Edwin Strong was born November 19, 1843, ^^ the old family 
mansion on Church and Ann streets, where he continued to make his home 
during his entire life. He received his education in the schools of his native 
city, attending for some years the local public schools, including the high 
school, and later taking a course at Bird's well known school for boys. He 
was possessed of an alert mind and did well in his studies, drawing the favor- 
able attention of his teachers to himself and his work. The elder Mr. Strong 
had shown great foresight in his selection of sites for investment, and among 
the properties which had come to the hand of his son was that very valuable 
plot adjacent on the north to Exchange corner on Main street, together 
with the business building standing thereon. With so great an estate to 
look after. Major Strong's time and attention were well filled, and to this he 
also added the management of other financial interests. 

From an early age he had taken a keen interest in the political questions 
and issues with which the community were confronted. He was equally 
interested in local and national issues and turned to the principles and 
policies of the Republican party as the best solutions to be found. He was 
always a staunch supporter of these principles, and cast his ballot for the 
candidates of that party. Wishing to identify himself more closely with the 
organization, he became a member of the Republican Club of Hartford, and 
was speedily drawn into active participation in local affairs and politics. 
Possessed of considerable energy and strongly interested in the cause, he 
made himself valuable to the party, and was soon under consideration by the 
local leaders as a possible candidate for office. His strength and availability 
were greatly increased by the large following of personal friends and 
admirers, which his attractive and manly personality had made for him 
among the young men of the district, and in 1873 he became the candidate 
for city councilman for the old second ward. After an exciting campaign, 
in the course of which the youthful candidate did some excellent work, he 
was triumphantly elected. Major Strong was at the time of his election not 
yet thirty years of age, but he served his term to the eminent satisfaction of 



142 OBDtoin Strong 

his constituents and the community generally. He was twice returned to 
the office, in 1882, and again the year following. Major Strong's interest 
was not of the personally interested sort that actuates only too many of our 
politicians of to-day. On the contrary, it was of a very public-spirited and 
altruistic order, and its mainspring was the real good of the community. As 
time went on he became more and more interested in the question of provid- 
ing for the poor of the city, and in 1903 was appointed by Mayor Alexander 
Harbison to serve on the Board of Charity Commissioners. He was also 
deeply interested in the cause of education and served for twelve years as a 
member of the board of the Brown School, serving in that capacity at the 
time of his death. 

He was a very young man at the outbreak of the Civil War, but in 1865 
he enlisted in Company F, Hartford City Guard, or as it was then called, 
Battery D, Connecticut National Guard, and served with his company for a 
term of five years. Later he entered the \^eteran City Guard Battalion and 
was very prominent in the organization. He was the recipient of rapid pro- 
motion and in 1908 was made major of the corps. He was a faithful sup- 
porter of the Pearl Street Congregational Church, of Hartford, materially 
aiding with effort and money many of the philanthropies and benevolences 
connected with the work in the city. 

The name of Major Strong was closely identified in the minds of the 
people of Hartford with the development and progress of their city. Con- 
servative and prudent as was his mind, it was none the less open to convic- 
tion and the innovation which really offered a substantial advantage did 
not have to await its establishment before enlisting his sympathy and aid. 
This characteristic of the man was well typified in his home, the old house 
at the corner of Church and Ann streets, a landmark of the olden times, the 
venerable dwelling being the first in Hartford to be fitted with gas fixtures 
and to use that new illuminating medium at the time of its introduction. 
This structure was sold by Mrs. Strong to the Young Women's Christian 
Association. 

Major Strong was a man of very broad views and sympathies, which 
found expression not only in what is known as public spirit, but in charity 
and tolerance and that most altruistic virtue, a democratic attitude towards 
his fellow-men of whatever position and wherever found. His generosity 
was great. It has already been remarked that he was greatly interested in 
the question of public charities, and served for some time on the commission 
which had that branch of the city's activities under control. This activity 
naturally brought him very largely into public notice, and he became one of 
the most conspicuous figures in Hartford, where the respect and admiration 
in which he was held amounted to a very genuine affection. Not less was 
this so in the purely private relations which bound him to his family and 
friends. This being so it is not surprising to note how deeply and generally 
was felt the loss occasioned by his death. 

Major Strong married, October 29, 1874, Annie Forbes, a native of 
East Hartford, daughter of Charles and Mary Ann Forbes, of that town. 
To Major and Mrs. Strong were born four children : i . Grace Carleton, died 
aged fourteen months. 2. Edwin Allen, a member of the well known Wall 



OEDtoin Strong 



143 



street firm of Harris, Winthrop & Company ; married Theodora Beinicke, of 
New York City, where they reside; they have one child, Elizabeth. 3. Louie 
Palmer, who was well known in insurance circles, having been connected 
with the Aetna Life Insurance Company, of Hartford; he died on Decora- 
tion Day, 191 1, at the age of thirty-two years. 4. Annie Strong Baxter; has 
one child, Barbara Strong Baxter; they are residents of New York City. 




Samuel Hassett 




LTHOUGH Samuel Bassett was a native of New York City 
and his family were all New Yorkers, yet all the associations 
of the busy active years of his manhood are with the town 
of New Britain, Connecticut, which was his chosen home 
during the greater portion of his life, and which in his death 
on August 14, 191 1, lost one of its most distinguished citi- 
zens and one who had its interests most closely at heart. Mr. 
Bassett was the son of William A. and Glovina (Ryder) Bassett. both of 
New York, the former of whom lost his life while in charge of the New York 
news fleet when his son was but sixteen months of age, so that the latter 
had no recollection of him. .Samuel Bassett was born in New York City, 
September 25, 1841, and there spent much of his boyhood, attending a 
private school for the elementary part of his education, and later completing 
his studies at the Classical and Commercial Institute in Port Chester, New 
York, from which he graduated October i, i860. He distinguished himself 
in his studies, drawing the favorable regard of the professors and instructors 
upon him and making the most of the liberal education which he thus en- 
joyed. He had been out of school but a short time when the bitter disputes 
between the opponents and supporters of slavery reached a climax, in the 
outbreak of the Civil War, and Mr. Bassett was prompt to respond to the 
needs of the Union and enlist in the army. He saw much active service and 
became first a first lieutenant in the One Hundred and Thirty-fifth New 
York Infantry, and later as captain in the Sixth New York Heavy Artillery. 
In the same regiment as Mr. Bassett were three young men, brothers and 
members of a family of Smiths, which had long been resident in Peekskill, 
New York. These young men w^ere friends of Mr. Bassett, who in 1862, 
while the war was still raging, was married to Miss Jennie Smith, their 
sister. She was a daughter of Philip and Mary Smith, of Peekskill, where 
they occupied a very prominent position socially. The wedding was cele- 
brated September 2, 1862, and among the guests was Chauncey M. Depew, 
who had known Mrs. Bassett all through her girlhood. Mrs. Bassett joined 
her husband in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, while he was located there 
during the war, but was unable to stay any great length of time, as the Con- 
federate army took from her everything she had, including her wedding 
dress and other clothes, so that she was obliged to return to New York in a . 
calico dress. 

At the close of the war Mr. Bassett returned to the North and for a 
time found employment as paymaster in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. During 
the five-year period which he spent in this work, he met the late Mr. Andrew 
Corbin, who was at the time looking after his business interests in New 
York City. Mr. Corbin was impressed with the ability and sterling good 
qualities of the young man and offered him a place in the concern of the P. 
and F. Corbin Company, of New Britain, Connecticut. The position was to 
be that of paymaster, and Mr. Bassett accepted at once, accompanying Mr. 



Samuel ISassett 145 

Corbin back to the Connecticut town, when he returned there in 1872. From 
that time on Mr. Bassett made New Britain his permanent home until the 
day of his death, and grew more and more closely identified with the life of 
the city, taking a most active part in business, politics and every other move- 
ment of importance connected with the place. He remained for sixteen 
years in the employ of the Corbin concern, but long before the expiration of 
that period he had become a conspicuous figure in the political world, and 
had held a number of offices of responsibility and trust. It was not, indeed, 
more than five years after his making his home in the town that Mr. Bassett 
was chosen first selectman of the town, holding that position from 1877 until 
1893, when he resigned to accept the appointment of President Cleveland as 
postmaster of New Britain. He continued to be postmaster until 1898, when 
he accepted the nomination of his party for Lieutenant-Governor of the 
State. Mr. Bassett was a Democrat, and he realized that his chances of 
election were exceedingly slim in a State where the normal Republican ma- 
jority was very large. He did not hesitate, however, for any fear of lost 
prestige, but showed his devotion to his party and its aims by at once accept- 
ing the nomination. As he expected, the party ticket was defeated, but Mr. 
Bassett did not discontinue his efiforts in the cause of his party and its prin- 
ciples. In the year 1900 he was nominated for mayor of New Britain on the 
Democratic ticket, and was elected to that office on that occasion and twice 
after that held the same office. During his term as mayor he was chosen to 
fill the office of a selectman who had died, and it thus came about that he 
acted in the double capacity for some time. In the spring of 1910, he was 
appointed a member of the Board of Assessors by Mr. Halloran who was at 
that time mayor. 

Mr. Bassett's interests and activities were not, however, limited to the 
spheres of business and politics. He was a prominent figure socially in New 
Britain, and belonged to most of the important social and fraternal organi- 
zations in the place. He was particularly prominent in the Masonic order, 
and held a number of important offices. He was past master of Centennial 
Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; high priest of Giddings Chapter, Royal 
Arch Masons; master in Doric Council; grand master of the grand lodge; 
grand high priest of the grand chapter, and grand master of the grand 
council. Besides these Masonic offices Mr. Bassett was deputy chief of the 
Red Men, past assistant quartermaster of the Putnam Phalanx, and a 
member of the New Britain l^odge of the Elks. 

During his college days Mr. Bassett had become a member of the Epis- 
copal church, but Mrs. Bassett was a Baptist and after his marriage to her, 
he attended that church with her, becoming a devoted attendant at divine 
service in the First Baptist Church of New Britain. His charity was of .a 
large and comprehensive kind which included all men without reference to 
creed, race or color, and he was ready to support any movement which 
seemed to him for the advancement of the city or any of its members. He 
served for a long period and with devoted energy on the board of directors 
of the New Britain General Hospital. 

The above is a record, more or less complete, of the formal relations of 

CONN-Vol m_io 



146 Samuel 15a00ctt 

Mr. Bassett with the community of New Britain, but of the informal position 
which he held in the minds and hearts of his fellow citizens it is not so easy 
to speak with adequacy. His political career was an excellent example of 
how personally popular he was, since, though a Democrat, he was honored 
with the longest term as selectman and mayor that any one has enjoyed 
there, though the place is something of a Republican stronghold. His elec- 
tion, under these circumstances, three consecutive times to the office of 
mayor was an honor that Mr. Bassett prized very highly, and he was prac- 
tically as well pleased, during a campaign he made for the position of sheriflF 
of Hartford county, that, though he was defeated, he nevertheless carried 
every ward in the city of New Britain, his Republican home town. Such 
esteem and afifection felt by a whole community for one man tells its own 
tale, and declares him the possessor of those sterling qualities of character, 
upon which alone such general recognition can be built. At the time of his 
death the City Council met in special session to take appropriate action, the 
city flag hung at half mast and practically all the city officials attended the 
funeral in a body. His death was felt as a personal loss by a great number 
of his fellow men, and all the news publications of the locality united in 
declaring how greatly all would miss the cheer and .good spirits which radi- 
ated from him. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bassett were the parents of one child who died in infancy. 
Mrs. Bassett survives her husband. 

One reason for Mr. Bassett's great popularity was undoubtedly the 
name he made for himself as the friend of the poor man. Scrupulous about 
his appearance — he was known as the "silk hat mayor" — his democracy was 
so essential in his nature that all men felt it instinctively, and the poor recog- 
nized him as their champion. Among the concrete things that he performed 
in their behalf was the introduction into New Britain of the practice of 
regular weekly payment of wages to employees. This he first put into effect 
in the offices of the Corbin people, and it was afterwards taken up by em- 
ployers generally who realized the justice of the plan. One of the note- 
worthy traits of Mr. Bassett was his great fondness for home and all the 
relations of domestic life. Within the sacred precincts of his household he 
was always cheerful and optimistic, never allowing outside troubles to in- 
trude themselves upon the family circle. His devotion to his "ain fireside" 
was quite remarkable in a man so greatly occupied with the conduct of public 
affairs. 




Clitoart) Hotoarti Preston 

DWARD HOWARD PRESTON, whose untimely death on 
December 7, 1912, cast a gloom over the town of Rockville, 
Connecticut, and its environs, was undoubtedly one of the 
best known and most popular figures of his time in that 
section of the State. He was a member of a family which for 
many years had made its home in Tolland county, his 
parents being Dr. G. H. Preston and Sarah (Cogswell) 
Preston, the former being a highly regarded physician of Tolland, where he 
practiced medicine for many years. Edward Howard Preston was himself 
born in the town of Tolland, Tolland county, Connecticut, on June 5, 1851, 
and there passed his childhood and early youth until he reached the age of 
seventeen years. In the meantime he had gained a first-class education in 
the various local institutions of learning, the Monson Academy, and finally 
the Connecticut Literary Institute, at Suffield, Connecticut. In this latter 
institution he completed his studies, and upon graduation, left the parental 
roof and repaired to Hartford, where he secured a position as errand boy in 
the dry goods establishment of Talcott & Post, getting his start in the busi- 
ness world from the bottom rung of the ladder. This was in the year 1868, 
and he continued in the employ of this firm for upwards of twelve years, 
during which time he was advanced rapidly to more responsible posts. His 
quick and alert brain, his altogether sunny and winning personality, and his 
capacity for steady hard work, made him a valuable adjunct to the business, 
and won for him the promotions he received. But these qualities, though they 
drew the favorable attention of his employers to himself, were in the end 
the means of his separation from them. For thus it happened: The young 
man was possessed of the worthy ambition to be independent in business, 
and left no stone unturned to accomplish his end. At the end of twelve 
years of earnest, intelligent labor, coupled with the most consistent frugal- 
ity, he found himself in a position to realize his ambition and embark in 
business on his own account. His first venture was in South Coventry, 
whither he repaired and, with his brother-in-law, established a manufactory 
of bed quilts. He continued in this line for the better part of a year, when 
the opportunity arose for his purchasing the furniture and undertaking busi- 
ness of Peter Wendheiser, who was well established in these lines in Rock- 
ville at that time. Mr. Preston quickly availed himself of this opportunity, 
and in the month of September, 1881, he removed to the town which for so 
many years was to remain his home and the scene of his busy career. From 
the outset his enterprise was successful, and under his capable management 
he had before a great while developed a very large business and established 
a most enviable reputation for reliability and integrity in the town. Mr. 
Preston was thirty years of age when he came to Rockville upon his new 
venture, and three years later, in 1884, he bought out the carpet business 
of Henry & Grant, and adding it to the other lines he was already operating, 
conducted them all with a high degree of success until the time of his death. 



148 (ZBDtoarD l^otoacD Preston 

From that time down he was regarded as one of the most substantial and 
representative merchants of Rockville, and even as he grew in prominence 
in business circles, so did he grow in the afifection of the community. As his 
business came in time to be one of the largest of its kind in Tolland county, 
his interests also widened, and he became connected with a number of im- 
portant financial institutions, such as the People's Savings Bank, of which 
he was a director for many years, and was eventually elected president, an 
office which he held until his death. He was also a director of the Rockville 
National Bank, the Rockville Building and Loan Association and of the 
Rockville Fair Association Company. His connection with these concerns 
gave him a place of much influence in financial and business circles, an in- 
fluence which he always exerted in the most disinterested, unselfish direc- 
tion, and to the best advantage of the community. He was extremely public 
spirited, and was always interested deeply in any movement looking to the 
welfare of the community, giving generously of time, money and energy 
to its furtherance. 

But it was not by any means as merely a business man that Mr. Preston 
was prominent in his adopted community. He was an active participant in 
many departments of the city's life, and prominent in all those wherein he 
took part. He was a conspicuous figure in the social world of Rockville, 
especially in connection with club and fraternity activities, being a member 
of many orders and similar organizations. It is characteristic of Mr. Pres- 
ton that whatever he entered he followed enthusiastically, and this was cer- 
tainly true of his career in the Masonic order, of which he was a very promi- 
nent member. He was a member of Fayette Lodge, No. 69, Free and Ac- 
cepted Masons; Adoniram Chapter, No. 18, Royal Arch Masons, of Rock- 
ville; Washington Commandery, of Hartford, Knights Templar; and the 
Norwich Consistory, of Norwich. He had attained to the thirty-second 
degree of Masonry. He was also a member of the Rising Star Lodge, Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows; Damon Lodge, Knights of Pythias; Rock- 
ville Lodge, Ancient Order of United Workmen; Rockville Council, Order 
of United American Mechanics; Court Hearts of Oak, Foresters of America. 
Besides these orders he was member of the Rockville Business Men's Asso- 
ciation, and an honorary member of the Rockville Turn Society. Mr, 
Preston was closely identified with the local military organizations and was 
a member, and later, a veteran of Company K, First Regiment, Connecticut 
National Guard; and a lieutenant in the Putnam Phalanx of Hartford. 

Mr. Preston was married, April 11, 1883, to Miss Isabelle E. Pinney, a 
native of Ellington, Connecticut, and a daughter of the late Edwin Pinney, 
of that town. Mrs. Preston survives her husband, as do also a brother, 
George Preston, a prominent hardware merchant in Norwich, and a sister, 
now Mrs. Henry Young, of Tolland. 

It was more as a man, as a personality, than for anything formal which 
he achieved in the business world or any other department of the com- 
munity's activity, that Mr. Preston held the regard of his fellow citizens. 
Indeed, in this direction he may be said to have held a unique position in 
Rockville. His sunny good temper was proverbial, and attracted friends 
until he doubtless possessed more than any other man in the city. "Ed" 



(gPtoatP IDotoarD pregton 149 

Preston belonged to the community in a very unusual manner, and quite 
aside from any material advantage which may have accrued to the place 
from his activities, his life is w^oven into the fabric of Rockville's history 
and has become an essential part thereof. Never was this more emphatically 
shown than on the sad occasion of his funeral. It was undoubtedly the 
largest gathering that had ever drawn together in Rockville to do honor to 
the memory of one of its citizens, and during the ceremony every place of 
business, including even the saloons, were closed as by common consent. 
The expressions of grief and respect were spontaneous and so universal that 
the family felt a general acknowledgment was appropriate and printed a 
card of thanks in the papers. It is fitting, however, that those who knew Mr. 
Preston personally should have the last word in his praise, and accordingly 
this sketch will close with their expressions. The Rockville papers, and, in- 
deed, many of those in surrounding places, joined in a perfect chorus of 
praise of the man and regret for his death. The "Hartford Globe" and the 
"Springfield Republican" had prominent articles, and the local publications 
noticed both his death and funeral most fully. The "I-eader" published an 
article, two columns in length, in its edition of December 12, entitled "Casts 
Gloom Over Entire Community," and in the same issue an appreciative 
editorial. In the same paper of later date there appeared two accounts of the 
funeral services, from one of which the following is quoted: 

More eloquent than any written or spoken word was the funeral of the late Edward 
Howard Preston, notice of whose death appeared in Tuesday's "Leader." It was a mag- 
nificent tribute to the memory of this good man, who brought so much of joy and bright- 
ness into the lives of others. Public services were held at 2.30 o'clock at the Union Con- 
gregational Church, following prayers at the Preston residence on Park street for the 
family and relatives. Church and chapel were not large enough to house those who 
desired to pay their last tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased. Many who 
were unable to get into the church, after the service was over, passed through the church 
and viewed the remains. Many eyes were wet with tears. 

"The Rockville Journal," in its issue of December 12, says in part : 

This community was stunned by the news of the death of Edward H. Preston, 
which occurred at i.io Saturday morning at his house on Park street, after a brief illness. 
People at first were incredulous: they couldn't believe that genial "Ed" Preston, as he 
was known to everyone, was no more ; they were dumfounded by the news ; it seemed as 
if everything had come to a standstill ; all were appalled by the news and wondered how 
the community could get along without him, he had been with us so long and filled such 
a prominent place. 

Mr. Preston had always been one of our most useful and active men, a splendid type 
of citizenship ; genial and jolly, optimistic and overflowing with good nature. As one of 
the many who had known him intimately remarked, he had never been seen out of 
temper. He was genial and generous, always ready to listen to a call for assistance and 
extend a helping hand, as many a person can testify. 

The death of Mr. Preston is certainly a severe blow to Rockville, as one cannot 
name a man who would be more missed. His activities were so many and varied, all of 
which he entered into with enthusiastic and intelligent interest. 

Rockville certainly suffered an irreparable blow in his death ; no one can exactly 
fill the place he filled, either in a business sense or in the affections of his townspeople. 

Not less than the papers were the various business concerns and social 
organizations of which he was a member, in the expression of afifection and 



ISO OBDtoarD l^otoatD Preston 

sorrow. They all passed resolutions of a notable character. Those of the 
People's Savings Bank were as follows : 

Whereas, the untimely death on the 7th day of December, A. D. 1912, of Edward 
Howard Preston, president of the People's Savings Bank since July, 1908, is keenly felt 
by all officials in the bank in which he rendered a faithful service for over twenty-four 
years and in whose welfare he manifested at all times a profound and abiding solicitude ; 
and we sharing in the general grief and desiring to manifest our sensibility on the occa- 
sion of his death : Therefore 

Be it Resolved, That his broad kindliness of nature, his sweetness and gentleness of 
character, his lofty integrity, his tender aiTections and home virtues, his glad hand and 
his smile of sunshine, were among the many kindly and unselfish attributes which we 
knew and loved. By us and by the community at large he will live in grateful memory 
as a gentleman of noble heart, an affectionate husband and a sturdy friend. 

The resolutions of the Rockville National Bank were: 

Whereas, in the inscrutable wisdom of an omnipotent Providence, our friend and 
fellow director, Mr. Edward H. Preston, has been suddenly removed from us by death, 
therefore 

Be it Resolved, That we deeply deplore the loss of a man of his sunny nature, one 
who always had a pleasant word and a smile for old and young; 

That we realize his loss to us in a business way, of his knowledge of men and his 
ability to advise in financial matters; 

That we appreciate and hereby acknowledge the comfort he has been to many of 
us in a professional way, that while he could not carry our burdens at such times, yet by 
his sympathetic consideration of us, and his willingness to do all he could to help us, he 
has made some rough places smoother, and he has made us his firm friends; 

That we extend our sincere sympathy to his family in their deep affliction ; 

That we cause these resolutions to be spread on the records and a copy sent to Mrs. 
Preston. 

Among the other resolutions of orders and other organizations, one 
more may be quoted. They are those of the Veteran Corps of Company K, 
First Infantry Regiment, Connecticut National Guard, which run as fol- 
lows: 

Another comrade has answered the last roll call and passed from our ranks. 

Comrade Edward H. Preston was a charter member of Company K and served his 
term of enlistment with loyalty and fidelity. We of the earlier days will recall his cheery 
ways and the deep interest he took in the welfare and success of the company. 

He will be greatly missed from the community in which he was for many years a 
leading and influential citizen, and from our meetings and councils. 

We desire to place on record a tribute to his memory and worth as a good citizen, 
loyal friend and true comrade and to express our sympathy to the family. 

Resolved, That this minute be spread upon the records of this corps and that a copy 
of the same be sent to the family. 

The Rev. Mr. Charles H. Ricketts, of Norwich, concluded his effective 
address at Mr. Preston's funeral with the following quotation from Long- 
fellow: 

Take them, O Death ! and bear away 

Whatever thou canst call thine own ! 
Thine image stamped upon this clay 
Doth give thee that, but that alone. 

Oliver Wendell Holmes' "The Boys" was also quoted (by the Rev. Mr. 
P. E. Thomas) as descriptive of Mr. Preston, as follows: 



dBDtoatD I^otoatD Preston 151 

You hear that boy laughing? You think he's all fun 
But the angels laugh, too, at the good he has done ; 
And the children all laugh as they troop to his call, 
And the poor man that knows him laughs loudest of all. 

It seems appropriate to close this brief account of a good man with an 
original poem by "F. M." dedicated 

TO THE MEMORY OF "ED" PRESTON. 



Now he, whose work of tender ministration 

So oft has lightened Death's oppressing load, 

.And brought some touch of kind alleviation, 
Himself has gone the unreturning road. 

But thinking of his life, who dwells on sadness? 

Though his the frequent partnership with grief. 
His heart was ever filled with warmth and gladness, 

Not gloom was his, but radiant belief! 

Yet not because his heart was void of feeling 

Through long familiarity with pain. 
For oft his manly sympathy brought healing 

To stricken souls, and bade them hope again. 

Yes, he has passed ; but for long years remaining 
Will stay with us the memory of a face 

Whose open frankness, still new friendships gaining. 
Was wont to brighten many a gathering-place. 

His brothers, in the mystic bonds united, 

His friends who knew him only as a man. 

Alike will miss his greeting, that delighted 
As honest, hearty goodness only can. 

To those his very nearest, who shall offer 

The rightful comfort at this clouded hour? 

Yet are we still constrained some words to proffer. 

However weak — God's voice may give them power ! 

Farewell! dear "Ed." Yet not in hopeless pity 

We speed you to that bourne past human ken. 

But trust you leave our own for some glad city 
Where dwell the souls of Nature's Gentlemen. 



C{)arle0 H. ^mitl) 




|NE of the representative merchants of Hartford, Connecti- 
cut, and one of its most deservedly honored citizens, was 
Charles H. Smith, whose death occurred there on Friday, 
May 24, 1907, at the age of seventy-nine years. He was a 
member of one of the oldest New England families, which 
from the earliest colonial times has held a distinguished 
place in the regard of the community. The founder of the 
family in America was Richard Smith, one of the original proprietors of the 
town of Lyme, Connecticut, in which region his descendants have made 
their home ever since. Another ancestor of Mr. Smith was Elder William 
Brewster, who landed at Plymouth in 1620, one of the original "Mayflower" 
colonists, and from whom Mr. Smith traced descent in both paternal and 
maternal lines. Scarcely less distinguished was Mr. Smith's ancestry, in 
the maternal line, through which he was able to trace his descent from 
Samuel Gorton, one of the striking figures of New England history in that 
early time, whose strong beliefs and personality made him something of a 
storm center, and who, when driven from his places of abode by his irate 
opponents, founded, with some associates, the town of Warwick, Rhode 
Island. Mr. Smith's parents were Elisha and Mary (Gorton) Smith, both 
natives of East Lyme, Connecticut, where they passed their entire lives. 
He held the rank of sergeant during the War of 1812. 

Charles H. Smith was born October 27, 1828, in East Lyme, on the old 
family farm, at that time operated by his father. The first fourteen years of 
his life he resided there, attending the local public school, where he gained 
the preliminaries of his education, and doing light farm work. When he 
reached the age of fourteen years, he was sent to Westfield, Massachusetts, 
to live with his brother, the Rev. William Angus Smith, whose home was in 
that town. This brother was nearly twenty years older than Mr. Smith, 
and sent the lad to Westfield Academy, where it was intended that he 
should receive a liberal education. It was unfortunate, particularly in view 
of the excellent standing which he won as a student, that pecuniary condi- 
tions were such that he had to be withdrawn at the end of his second year 
and started at work. He came at once to Hartford, where another brother, 
John Gorton Smith, had been successfully engaged in the dry goods busi- 
ness from the year 1838. His establishment was located on Main street, not 
far from Pearl street, and was familiarly known as the "Long Brick Store," 
and it was here that many of the well known merchants of the city in later 
days passed the days of their apprenticeship in business. Such was the case 
with our subject, who in 1844, was given a clerkship in his brother's estab- 
lishment. He was a youth sixteen years of age at that time, and from 
then until his death was closely identified with the growth of the business, 
financial and industrial interests of the city. His bright, alert mind and his 
strong purpose to succeed, which gave him a well-nigh unlimited capacity 
for hard work, recommended him to his brother, who steadily advanced him 



Cftarleg \^. ^mftb 153 

in rank, until b}' dint of economy he was able to save up a considerable sum 
of money, which he hoarded away against the opportunity which he felt sure 
would some day arise. Nor was he mistaken. In 1851 John G. Smith removed 
from Hartford to New York City, and the younger man bought his dry 
goods business and continued to conduct it with a very high degree of suc- 
cess for upwards of twenty years. Under his most capable management the 
business grew to very large proportions and Mr. Smith himself assumed a 
very important place in the business world, and by degrees became asso- 
ciated with many of the largest and most important industrial and financial 
concerns in the city. In 1871, after twenty years of the closest personal 
attention to the conduct of his own personal enterprise and of almost equal 
effort on behalf of the others he was connected with, Mr. Smith's health gave 
out and he was obliged to retire from active life temporarily. He sold his 
dry goods trade to the firm of Brown, Thompson & Companv, the prede- 
cessors of the present concern of that name. Mr. Smith was at that time a 
trustee of the Connecticut Trust and Safe Deposit Company, and had been 
since the time of its incorporation, and a director of the Phoenix Insurance 
Company. He had also been one of the founders of the Smyth Manufactur- 
ing Company and was a director at this time. All these connections he 
retained, but gave up for a time all active participation in their manage- 
ment. It was not until 1877, six years after his retirement that Mr. Smith 
once more returned to active business life. He now formed a partnership 
with Mr. Edwin D. Tiffany, and his son, Charles Howell Smith, the firm 
engaging in a general brokerage business in which they handled both local 
and western securities. In the year 1894, Mr. Smith, Jr., died, and in the 
same year the elder man finally retired from active business life. He 
resigned his directorship in the Smyth Manufacturing Company at the last 
annual meeting of directors before his death, but his connection with the 
other institutions he continued to the end. 

It was not alone in the business world, by any means, that Mr. Smith 
occupied a prominent place in the life of the city. Though never taking an 
active part in politics, he had very strong opinions and beliefs in regard to 
the issues and questions of public import with which the country was at that 
time confronted, and exerted not a little influence purely in the capacity of 
private citizen. He was a staunch member of the Republican party, and a 
supporter of its principles and policies. He was a conspicuous figure in the 
social and philanthropic life of Hartford, and was a member of many of the 
most important clubs and societies, among others, the Connecticut Histori- 
cal Society and the Hartford Club. During the years of his life that Mr. 
Smith gave up to leisure, for reasons of health or otherwise, he did much 
travelling, especially in Europe and made many keen observations on the 
customs and manners of the men of other climes. 

Mr. Smith was a constant attendant of the South Congregational 
Church of Hartford for fully sixty years, and was a very prominent and 
active member of the congregation and a generous supporter of the philan- 
thropic and other work connected therewith. He was for many years a close 
personal friend of the pastor, the Rev. Dr. Edwin Pond Parker. 

Mr. Smith was twice married, the first time in the year 1852, to Harriet 



154 Cftarlcg ^, ^mitb 

E. Hills, a daughter of Howell R. Hills, a wholesale dealer in boots and shoes 
in Hartford. There was one son born to this union, and Mrs. Smith died in 
1855. In the year 1861 Mr. Smith was married, on August 22, to Jane T. 
Hills, a daughter of Ellery Hills, who for over fifty years was a prominent 
merchant in Hartford. Mrs. Smith is a sister of the distinguished numis- 
matist and collector, Jonas Coolidge Hills, a sketch of whom appears else- 
where in this work. Mr. Smith's son by his first marriage, Charles Howell 
Smith, who has already been mentioned in this article, was born in 1853, and 
died at the age of forty-one years. Besides his partnership with his father 
in the brokerage business, he was secretary and treasurer of the Valley rail- 
road. He was married to Kate Kemble, of Paw Paw, Michigan, and by her 
had one child, Robert Kemble Smith, who with his mother and Mrs. Smith, 
Sr., resides in the handsome dwelling purchased by Mr. Smith at No. 593 
Farmington avenue, Hartford, in 1896. Robert Kemble Smith attended the 
Hotchkiss School at Lakeville, Connecticut, and Williams College, and is 
now connected with the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, of 
Hartford, Connecticut. 

From the year 1844, when Mr. Smith first came to Hartford, a youth of 
sixteen, he has been closely identified with the industrial and financial 
growth of the city. He was, at the time of his death, one of the oldest citi- 
zens, and his memory was a repository of much of the local history and tra- 
dition of the city, during his life and earlier. It was, indeed, but a town 
when he first made his home there, and he was often heard to observe that he 
had watched its growth from a population of nine to eighty thousand 
inhabitants. But it was as more than a mere observer, however close and 
affectionate, that Mr. Smith was associated with this growth. It was 
rather as one of the most active participants therein, whose eflforts were 
primarily directed towards the advancement of the community of which he 
was a member. He was possessed of unyielding will and purpose, and he 
brought these strong traits to bear upon those enterprises in which he en- 
gaged with the inevitable result that they prospered greatly. His unim- 
peachable integrity, and rare sense of justice soon won for him an enviable 
reputation, both as a business man and in the more personal relations of life, 
and there were few men living in the city so highly honored and respected 
as was he. The religion he professed he practiced also, the church life 
which he adhered to so faithful for so many years, was of practical signifi- 
cance to him, and its experiences to be translated into the terms of conduct 
for the guidance of every-day life. He lived to a good old age, and death, 
when it overtook him, came only in the due course of nature, yet it was felt 
as a personal loss, not merely by his immediate family and the large circle of 
friends which his unassuming personality had won him from every walk in 
life, but by the community generally, which had as a whole benefited so 
greatly as a result of his life and labors. 




C})arles ^tti) CreaDtoap 

N THE DEATH of Charles Seth Treadway, on January 27, 
1905, the town of Bristol, Hartford county, Connecticut, lost 
one of its most prominent and public spirited citizens, and 
one who has been in the highest degree identified with the 
great development of that place during the past three 
decades. His parents, Charles and Emily (Candee) Tread- 
way, were residents of Bristol and there Mr. Treadway was 
born on January 24, 1848. 

He continued to live there and attended the local public schools until he 
had reached the age of twelve when his parents removed to Winsted. Con- 
necticut. From there they later removed to Waterbury, Connecticut, where 
the youth attended the high school. It was in Waterbury that he entered 
upon the business career, which was to make him a prominent figure in the 
Connecticut financial and industrial world. The first few years of this career 
were marked by a number of beginnings in several different lines, suc- 
cessively made, and each leading to something of greater promise. Having 
completed his schooling at the age of fifteen years, he entered the employ- 
ment of The Waterbury Clock Company, with which his father was con- 
nected, to learn the trade of clockmaker. He did not remain there more 
than a few months, leaving to accept an ofifer of a clerical position in the 
Waterbury post office. It was due to A. S. Chase, at that time president of 
the Waterbury National Bank, that Mr. Treadway finally entered the busi- 
ness which, more than any other, was to form his life work. This gentle- 
man on his visits to the post office had observed the youth and been im- 
pressed with his air of alert industry. It is reported that approaching him 
one day, he asked him if he would like to learn the banking business. The 
young man replied promptly that he would, whereupon the ofifer of position 
of office boy in Mr. Chase's institution was made and at once accepted. And 
now, as before, his keen intellect and willingness to work hard impressed 
Mr. Chase, and he was rapidly promoted, through a number of intermediate 
positions, to that of teller, he being at the time of his appointment, one of 
the youngest men to hold that responsible position in the State of Connec- 
ticut. Mr. Treadway had in the meantime made the acquaintance of the 
late Andrew Terry, founder of the Andrew Terry Company, of Terryville, 
Connecticut, manufacturers of malleable iron. Mr. Terry was impressed 
with the young man's ability and invited him to join him in a western enter- 
prise which he had under consideration. Mr. I'readway at once agreed to 
the proposition and together with Mr. Terry went to the town of Lawrence, 
Kansas, which was at that time feeling the effects of the great boom enjoyed 
by that section of the country. In this promising environment a bank was 
opened of which Mr. Terry was the president and Mr. Treadway the secre- 
tary and teller. The enterprise prospered and Mr. Treadway remained in 
the Kansas town for four years in the capacity mentioned above. In the 
year 1875 the Bristol National Bank was organized by John Humphrey 
Sessions and a number of his associates. To these gentlemen the name of 



156 Cbarles ^etf) CceaDtoap 

Mr. Treadway was mentioned as that of one eminently fitted to take charg^e of 
the cashier's department of the new institution, and they accordingly wrote 
him in the west and made him the offer of the position of cashier. Mr. 
Treadway at once accepted and returned to his native place to assume his 
new duties after an absence of about thirteen years. Though he thus renewed 
his residence and associations with Bristol, he never forgot his friendships 
in Waterbury, nor lost his affection for the place itself, and that the converse 
of this is also true may be seen in the notices which appeared in the Water- 
bury papers on the occasion of his death. Mr. Treadway continued to act 
as cashier of the Bristol bank until the year 1899, when, upon the death of 
Mr. Sessions, he was elected president, an office which he held until his own 
demise sixteen years later. Under his capable management, the bank con- 
tinued its successful development until it became one of the prominent 
institutions in financial Connecticut. 

The business operations of Mr. Treadway were not actuated solely by 
personal considerations and many of his most characteristic successes were 
achieved with the general development of the community quite as much in 
mind as his private interests. Ten years of banking in Bristol had given 
Mr. Treadway a conspicuous position in that town and it was as a man of 
influence that he started in the year 1883, a definite movement toward the 
improvement of conditions there. In spite of his unselfishness and broad 
conception of public welfare his plans met with considerable opposition on 
the part of the extreme conservatists in the community. Mr. Treadway 
and his associates were not the men, however, to be deterred by obstacles, 
and they proceeded surely towards their goal. Their plan was the estab- 
lishment of an adequate public water supply and to this end the Bristol 
Water Company was organized with John H. Sessions at its head. The 
plant which was finally constructed is one of the most modern and effective 
in the State of Connecticut, and to its final success Mr. Treadway devoted 
his great energies, mastering its construction and operation in the greatest 
detail. At the death of Mr. Sessions, Mr. Treadway succeeded him as 
president of the water company and served in that capacity until the 
end of his life. His next movement in the interest of the town was towards 
the installing of electric lights, and in this matter also his efforts were 
crowned with success and the year following the establishment of the Bristol 
Water Company saw that of the Bristol Electric Light Company, with Mr. 
Sessions again at the head. The lighting company was, however, absorbed 
ten years later by the Bristol and Plainville Tramway Company, also the 
product of Mr. Treadway's enterprise, and which carried on a successful 
transportation and lighting business. At the death of Mr. Sessions, Mr. 
Treadway succeeded to the presidency of these companies and held the ofiice 
until within a few months of his death, when ill health obliged him to give 
up the manifold duties connected with their management. It was largely due 
to his skill and judgment that the various public utilities were so successful 
and that the operating companies were placed upon such sound financial basis. 

Mr. Treadway's interests were not confined to enterprises of this semi- 
public type, however, for he has played an equally important part in the 
industrial development of the town. One of the largest concerns with which 
he was connected was the New Departure Manufacturing Company. The 



Cljarles %ttb CreaDtoap 157 

company was organized in 1887, and a few years later Mr. Treadway became 
a stockholder, and in 1900 was elected its president to succeed W. A. Gra- 
ham. The business at once felt the stimulus of his progressive management 
and grew rapidly until it attained enormous size and an international 
activity. It possesses at the present time a market for its products, such as 
bells, brakes for bicycles, ball bearings, steel balls, and many other devices 
in all parts of the world. A branch factory was established in Germany 
some time before Mr. Treadway's death. The association of Mr. Treadway 
with Everett Horton was also the cause of a large concern known as the 
Horton Manufacturing Company. Mr. Horton was the inventor of a steel 
fishing rod which he had patented and Mr. Treadway and a number of asso- 
ciates organized a company for the manufacture of this article. Of this C. F. 
Pope of New York (a close personal friend of Mr.- Treadway's) was chosen 
president, but Mr. Treadway was the treasurer and upon him devolved the 
control of the business. He was also the vice-president of the Bristol Brass 
Company, and held the same office in the Bristol Manufacturing Company. 
He was a director of many important concerns, notably the Blakesley 
Novelty Company, the Bristol Press Publishing Company, the Southington 
National Bank, and for a period of the Waterbury American. 

A man so closely and prominently identified with large and semi-public 
undertakings, as was Mr. Treadway, would find it out of the question to 
remain aloof in matters of more formal public concern. To this result, too, 
was contributary a keen interest in public issues generally, particularly those 
of local application. It was practically inevitable, therefore, that he should 
become connected with local politics, and that, becoming thus connected, 
he would exert a profound influence on the conduct of public affairs. Not- 
withstanding this Mr. Treadway endeavored to the best of his ability to 
avoid public office without, however, complete success. He was elected a 
representative from Bristol to the Connecticut General Assembly in 1882. 
He was treasurer of the town of Bristol from 1888 to 1900 inclusive, and 
treasurer of the borough from its incorporation in 1894 to 1901 inclusive. 
He also served on the board of directors of the Free Public Library from its 
organization in 1892 until his death, and was at one time treasurer of the 
first school district. It would seem that the duties and obligations involved 
in the many offices public and private, enumerated above would have proved 
as great a burden as any man could successfully bear, yet Mr. Treadway 
found time and energy to devote to social life, and was included in the 
membership of many clubs and orders. He belonged to the Townsend 
Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Waterbury, and to Reliance 
Council, Royal Arcanum of Bristol. He was a director of the Farmington 
Country Club and a member of the board of governors, and at one time 
vice-president of the club. He was also a member of the Waterbury Club, 
the Bristol Golf Club, and the Bristol Business Men's Association. 

Mr. Treadway was married, December 22, 1873, to Margaret Terry, of 
Lawrence, Kansas, a daughter of Andrew Terry, of that place. To them two 
children were born, as follows: Susan Emily, who died when but four years 
old, and Charles Terry, now a resident of Bristol and treasurer of The New 
Departure Manufacturing Company. Mrs. Treadway's death occurred in 
1880. On January 24, 1884, Mr. Treadway was again married, this time to 



158 Cbatles Setft CreaDtoap 

Lucy Hurlburt Townsend, of Waterbury, a daughter of Georg-e L. Town- 
send, a resident of that place. To them four children were born: Townsend 
Gillette, Morton Candee, Lucy Margaret, and Harry, who died in infancy. 
The three others with their mother survive Mr. Treadway. 

Of the influence of Mr. Treadway upon the community, and of the 
regard which the community held him in, it is perhaps more appropriate to 
let those who directly felt these things speak. And of such words we have 
no lack. The "Bristol Press" on the occasion of his death concluded a long 
commemorative article as follows: 

Mistakes were rare indeed in his career. He studied problems coming to him for 
sohition, with conservatism born of bank training, yet with the progressiveness of a 
promoter of large successes. No man was ever truer to the trust of his fellow men, none 
more worthy of reputation for unfailing honesty and fairness in all dealing. 

His opinions were carefully formed, firmly held, even against opposition that 
would have overwhelmed most men. Once he saw a course to be right, he held to it 
with that remarkable tenacity of will that makes men masters and leaders. 

His mental capacity was large, carrying the details of affairs in which he was inter- 
ested, without confusion of facts. 

In his home and with his friends, his devotion was sweet. In dealing with the 
public he always tried to meet men on a level, always tried to be fair and if perchance 
he felt that he had not been just, his efTort was prompt to make amends. Outspoken at 
all times, deception had no place in his ethics of conduct. 

Mr. Treadway's life has gone into the structure of the community. His death 
marks the sacrifice of a personality that was eminently valuable, and a loss, the apprecia- 
tion of which will be better estimated with every day that passes. 

Not only the Bristol papers, but those of Waterbury, joined in the 
chorus of praise and sorrow over the sad event, but perhaps the most appro- 
priate ending to this sketch is the resolutions passed at this time by the 
directors of the Bristol National Bank, an act in which this institution was 
joined by the many other concerns with which Mr. Treadway was asso- 
ciated. Those of the bank read: 

At a meeting of the directors of the Bristol National Bank, held Monday, January 
30, 1905, it was voted that the following be spread upon the records of the bank: 

The members of this board have learned with profound sorrow of the death on the 
27th inst. of their late esteemed president, Charles S. Treadway, and desire to express 
their high appreciation of him as a valuable citizen in this community, having been iden- 
tified with so many of its manufacturing and industrial enterprises. It is largely due to 
his wisdom as a financier and to his superior business qualities that these have been 
successful and thus contributed to the prosperity of the town. 

We feel that in all these years his connection with the various industries has been 
one of credit to himself and of lasting benefit to the town. 

He was connected with this bank from its organization in 1875, acting as cashier 
until 1899, when upon the death of Mr. John H. Sessions, he succeeded to the presidency, 
holding these positions to the satisfaction of both ofiicers and patrons of the bank. 

We, as directors of this bank, fully realize that in the death of Mr. Treadway we 
have lost a trusted manager, a wise counsellor and one in whose judgment in matters 
pertaining to this institution we have had implicit confidence that he has always acted 
from the best motives of what he thought was right and just. We shall miss him at 
our board meetings where he has always been ready in a cheerful manner to impart any 
information asked for pertaining to the bank. He has pas.sed away universally respected 
and mourned. 

To his family we tender our heartfelt sympathy in their bereavement. 

Voted, that "the bank be closed from i o'clock Monday the 30th until 12 o'clock 
Tuesday the 31st, and that the members of this board shall attend the funeral in a body. 

Voted, that a copy of the above be sent to his family and published in the Bristol 
Press. 




©tto jfrebericfe ^trun? 

N THAT GROUP of capable and talented men whose efforts 
have given Bristol, Connecticut, the place it holds in the 
industrial world, must be included the name of Otto Fred- 
erick Strunz, who, though a foreigner by birth, was identified 
all his life with the development of his adopted city and in 
whose death that city suffered a real loss. Mr. Strunz was 
a member of a race which has contributed a great and im- 
portant element to the composite American population and leavened it with 
its strong virtues of indefatigable industry, thrift and unwavering pursuit 
of its objective. He was a son of William Strunz, a native of the city of 
Crimmitzschau, Saxony, where he was a cloth weaver by trade. Like so 
many of his fellow countrymen, he left his native land during the years 
which followed the revolutionary movement of 1848-49, when much of the 
best blood of the Fatherland was obliged to seek haven in the New World, 
and like them came over to the United States. William Strunz married 
Louisa Diesner, a native of his own town, who became the mother of his 
nine children, several of whom were born before their migration to the new 
home in the west. Among these was Otto Frederick, who was born in 
Saxony on December 14, 1850. In 1854 his parents and their five children 
settled in Broad Brook, Connecticut, where the father secured the position 
of inspector of the product of the woolen mills of the community, holding the 
same until his final retirement from active business. Of his five children 
who came with him to this country, as well as the four that were born here, 
all continued residents of the United States, and most of them remained in 
Connecticut, though two went so far afield as San Francisco, California, and 
one settled in Palatka, Florida. 

Otto Frederick Strunz passed the years of his childhood and early youth 
in Broad Brook, where his father had settled upon coming to this country, 
and there received his education, attending the local public schools until six- 
teen years of age. There also he began his career in the world of business, 
though the beginning would scarcely suggest how successful it was to be- 
come. He was apprenticed to an establishment to learn the trade of wool 
dyeing, and there remained about three years, mastering in the meantime 
all the detail of the work. Abandoning this work, however, he took up car- 
pentry, and was employed at his new task for three years by Ralph Belknap, 
of Broad Brook. He had a desire, however, which grew as time went on, to 
go to a larger place where he might find a larger sphere of activity, and 
accordingly, in the year 1871, he moved to Bristol, and there was employed 
by Elbert Case for four years as a joiner, and later by other contracting 
firms remaining in this employment until 1879. During this period Mr. 
Strunz displayed in a preeminent degree those qualities which so distinguish 
his race, industry and thrift, and was in consequence, at the close of it able 
to purchase a coal business and embark upon an enterprise of his own. The 
business which he purchased was that of A. C. Hendee, already well estab- 



i6o ©tto JFteDerick ^ttun? 

Hshed and having its offices in the rear of what is now known as Eaton's 
elevator. He was eminently successful in this venture and continued in the 
coal business after he had retired from many of his later enterprises. The 
next of these was the establishment, in 1880, of the Bristol Bakery, which 
was very successful, and which he continued for a period of eight years and 
more, finally selling out to J. W. Lounsbury. His purpose in so selling this 
paying business was that he might be enabled to lead a more retired life and 
enjoy more at his leisure the fruits of his efforts, but this purpose was 
defeated in a measure by the very success of those efforts. His success had 
been so marked, and his ability in the management of his affairs so obvious, 
that he had made for himself a large reputation in the business world of 
Bristol, and a number of prominent men, perceiving his talents, desired to 
avail themselves of them. This group of men were those public spirited 
citizens who had been the prime movers in introducing the various public 
utilities into Bristol. Among these was the Bristol electric lighting system, 
owned and operated by the Bristol Electric Light Company, and it was of 
this plant that they desired Mr. Strunz to assume the management. This 
thev prevailed upon him to do, and he continued his work as superintendent 
for a period of five years. It was at this time that the tramway line between 
Bristol and Plainville was introduced by the same group of financiers and 
business men, Mr. Strunz having joined with them in this venture, and be- 
coming a director of the new concern, known as the Plainville and Bristol 
Tramway Company. Besides the running of cars between the two places, 
this company also absorbed the old electric light company and carried on the 
business of the latter. The management of Mr. Strunz had been so highly 
successful that he v/as pressed to take the same office, that of superintendent, 
in the consolidated concern, and eventually consented. He continued his 
most efficient system of management for a considerable period, contributing 
in a great measure to the success of the operations, and the placing of the 
utility on a firm basis, but the result of his arduous exertions finally told 
upon his health, and he felt constrained to hand in his resignation. This of 
course applied merely to his function as superintendent, and after a most 
reluctant acceptance on the part of the directors, he still continued his serv- 
ices as one of that board. Besides these important interests Mr. Strunz had 
become connected with a number of important industrial concerns, and was 
one of the most influential figures in Bristol business circles. He was a 
director of the Codling Manufacturing Company of Bristol and in the great 
watch company of Forestville, Connecticut, known as the E. N. Welch Com- 
pany, and which was later reorganized as the Sessions Watch Company. 

One of the most important enterprises in which Mr. Strunz was inter- 
ested was of quite another order from those above enumerated. The 
"Bristol Press" is the oldest paper in Bristol, and has played an important 
part in the formation of public opinion and in influencing the conduct of 
political affairs in that city. It is, and always has been, an independent pub- 
lication, and in Mr. Strunz's time was controlled by the same group of 
public spirited men at whose solicitation he had taken up the management 
of the electric company. He became also interested in the paper and was 



SDtto jFreDeticb ^trun? i6i 

chosen its president and treasurer, offices which he held most capably, the 
publication developing- greatly during his period of control. 

While Mr. Strunz cannot be said to have ever actively taken part in 
politics, his interest in them was great and he was a keen observer both of 
the general issues which then agitated the country, and of the more local 
issues in connection with State and municipal affairs. He was a member of 
the Republican party, and although he did not seek any public office, indeed 
rather avoided it where it was consistent with his idea of duty to the com- 
munity, the local Republican organization, were not slow in recognizing his 
availability as a candidate. His prominence in the financial and business 
world, and his great personal popularity were certainly reason enough for 
this opinion, which the event proved well founded. He was offered the 
nomination for the State Legislature to represent Bristol. Though he had 
been very far from seeking this distinction, he would not refuse it and was 
elected and effectively represented his town during the term of two years 
from 1898 to I goo. 

Mr. Strunz was a conspicuous figure in the social and fraternal life of 
Bristol, and was a member of a number of orders and similar organizations 
of that character. He was a member of the Masonic order, and of Hiram 
Temple, No. 90, Knights of Khorassan, of New Britain, and of E. Lodge, No. 
9, Knights of Pythias. He was a member and a faithful attendant at the 
services of the Congregational church, taking an active part in the work of 
the congregation. He was interested in the Sunday school, and being a 
musician of ability, contributed to its success by playing in the Sunday 
school orchestra. 

Mr. Strunz married May 30, 1878, S. Addie Thompson, a daughter of 
Hiram C. Thompson, of Bristol, Connecticut. Mrs. Strunz survives her 
husband. To them was born one child, a daughter Hermina, who died at the 
age of two years. Mrs. Strunz is a member of an old and highly respected 
family of Connecticut, her ancestors having played a part in the early history 
of this country, as may be seen in the fact that she is a member of the 
Daughters of the American Revolution. 



coNN-voiiii-11 



Henrp Hetfetoitt) 




'HE death of Henry Beckwith on November 28, 1887, in Bris- 
tol, Connecticut, was a great loss to that town in which he 
had all his life resided and pla^'ed a prominent part in the 
community life and the conduct of public affairs. His fam- 
ily was a highly respected one in the neighborhood and Mr. 
Beckwith was himself born in Bristol, July 28, 1821. He 
was educated at the local schools and attended the academy 
for the completion of his studies. After his graduation from this institution, 
he applied himself to mastering the difficult and delicate trade of the worker 
in gold leaf, which he did not follow for any great period, however, turning 
rather to the business world, in which he remained the rest of his life and 
enjoyed a very considerable success. His first position was with the Bristol 
Brass Company, one of Bristol's large industrial concerns, engaged in the 
manufacture of metal implements of divers kinds. Mr. Beckwith took a 
position with this company as secretary and general superintendent of the 
spoon department and continued associated with the company until his 
death. 

It was not in this connection, however, that he was best known in Bris- 
tol. He was a prominent figure in the industrial world, to be sure, but it was 
as a popular man of affairs that his real influence lay. He was a stanch 
member of the Republican party and was greatly interested in the political 
issues that in his time agitated the country. He was unfortunately very 
much of an invalid, and his ill health prevented him from taking as great a 
part in politics as he would have liked to do. In spite of this handicap, how- 
ever, he allied himself with the local organization and did what it was possi- 
ble for him to, serving on a number of committees in the capacity of chair- 
man, and exerting a strong influence in the councils of the party. He was 
chosen justice of the peace about 1847, ^^"d continued to hold that responsi- 
ble and important office for thirty years. Although his health would not 
permit him to take as active a part as he desired in affairs, it seems remark- 
able, in reviewing his career, to see how active he was, in spite of that same 
invalidism. There are many men in perfect health who have the name for 
energy who do no more or even less than he. He was, for an instance, inca- 
pacitated from serving in the army in the Civil War, but, determined to be 
of the utmost service to the Union cause permitted him, he bestirred him- 
self in the matter of recruiting and did much in that direction of real value. 
Among the many duties which he took upon himself were those connected 
with a directorship in the Bristol Savings Bank, and a place on the commit- 
tee which regulated the loans made by that institution. He also held the 
offices of constable and tax assessor for Bristol at dift"erent times. 

Mr. Beckwith was an eminently religious man in the true sense of that 
phrase, and despite the many calls upon his time and energy, despite respon- 
sibilities and tasks which would seem overburdensome for any but the most 
robust health, he added to these much hard work in the cause of the church 



^entp IBccbtoitt) 163 

of which he was a member. This was the First Congregational Church of 
Bristol, which he joined in 1858, and at whose services he was after that date 
a consistent attendant. He was a valued member of the congregation, tak- 
ing his full share of the work and responsibilities of that body, and serving 
it in a number of capacities. He was clerk of the Congregational Society 
for twenty-five years, clerk of the church for eighteen, and treasurer for 
twelve, in all of which offices he discharged his duties to the highest satis- 
faction of his fellow church members, and to the credit of the church. He 
was also interested in the conduct of the Sunday school and held the post of 
superintendent of that body for four years, when he resigned on account of 
ill health. He was a hard worker and a generous benefactor in all church 
movements, and liberally supported the many philanthropies in connection 
therewith. 

Mr. Beckwith was married, July 14, 1851, to Charlotte Miriam Skinner, 
a native of East Windsor, Connecticut, and to them were born two children, 
Mary Catherine and Julia Esther, both of whom survive Mr. Beckwith. The 
former, Mary Catherine, is now Mrs. L. B. Brewster, of Waterbury, Con- 
necticut. 




(Bilbtxt Henrp illafeeslep 

'N the death of Gilbert Henry Blakesley, on June 7, 191 1, Bris- 
tol, Connecticut, lost one of its foremost citizens and a man 
whose virtues would have brought credit to any place. He 
was a native of Bristol, having been born July 7, 1840, in 
Edgewood, then known as Polkville, a suburb of the larger 
place. His parents were Henry T. and Julia (Simpson) 
Blakesley, who when he was still a child moved from Bristol 
and settled in New Haven. They did not remain in that city a great while, 
however, as Mrs. Blakesley died when her son was but six years old, and Mr. 
Blakesley soon returned to Bristol, with his son. 

Gilbert Henry Blakesley attended the local schools of Bristol, and lived 
there until he reached the age of eighteen years, when he went to Hartford, 
where he remained two years, spending that time in mastering the trade of 
jeweler which, however, he abandoned. All peaceful occupations were 
broken off at about that time by the outbreak of the Civil War, and Mr. 
Blakesley enlisted in the army when twenty-two years of age, one of the 
great host of patriots ready to sacrifice everything for the preservation of 
the Union. Mr. Blakesley joined Company K of the Sixteenth Regiment of 
Connecticut Volunteers, and was soon at the front with his fellows and 
engaged in active service. He continued for several months, when he and 
another soldier came home with the body of Captain Manross. He was of an 
inventive and mechanical mind, and before a great while patented a clever 
device of his invention. He was without the necessary capital to put the 
device on the market and cast about to find some one to finance the scheme. 
At length he found a company in Hamilton, Ontario, willing to purchase his 
invention outright, and this proposition he agreed to, afterwards entering 
the employ of the same people. He remained in this service for a time, but 
eventually returned to Bristol, which then became his home for the remain- 
der of his life and the scene of all his busy activities. After this final return, 
he found employment in a number of different manufacturing concerns 
where his mechanical ability gained him consideration and promotion and 
where he learned much that was valuable to him in his career. At length he 
became the superintendent of the Jones Shop, which stood in those days 
where the great factory of the "New Departure" Company is now located. 
While still thus employed Mr. Blakesley began manufacturing operations 
on his own account, in the same shop, his specialties being fancy pendulums 
and garters. His business in these commodities grew so rapidly that it soon 
became necessary to find independent accommodations for their manufac- 
ture, and he moved accordingly to the old Darrow Shop situated on Meadow 
street, where he continued for a few years, and then closed it out. 

In 1887 he organized the Blakesley Novelty Company, with Mr. Blakes- 
ley as president, for the manufacture of elastic goods. It was under the 
circumstances in which Mr. Blakesley found himself at this time that his 
mechanical genius found its best expression, and feeling no restraining influ- 



©iltjcrt l^enrp TBIakeslcp 165 

ence, he at once went to work and devised not only many novelties for the 
trade, but many of the mechanisms for use in their manufacture, and much 
of the present equipment is his invention. Indeed the development of this 
industry became properly his life work, and it is due alike to his mechanical 
genius and his ability as a business manager that the concern prospered. 
At the time of the company's organization it was located at the corner of 
Main and School streets, in what was known as the Root Clock Shop. Here 
the business was housed until the building of the present factory on Laurel 
street. Mr. Blakesley was also associated with the Bristol Press Publishing 
Company. 

Indeed, Mr. Blakesley in his entire connection with the afifairs of Bristol 
showed a disinterestedness most admirable. A strong adherent of the Re- 
publican party and of its principles and policies, he never sought to benefit 
himself by the connection, nor to use his official influence to further any 
personal aim. He was for several years the chairman of the town committee 
of the local organization, but he seemed always to regard this as a purely 
private function which any citizen might fill out of interest in the aims of 
the party, but giving him no rights in return in his dealings with official- 
dom. He rather sought to remain entirely within the sphere of private 
citizenship, yet when his party required his services as candidate, he would 
not say no. He served his fellow citizens for four years on the board of bur- 
gesses and for two years as warden of the borough of Bristol. 

Outside of his work in building up the industry which bears his name, 
Mr. Blakesley gave more time and energy to the development of the fire de- 
partment of Bristol than to any one other object. Certainly it was chief 
among his civic interests, and the story of his connection with it is an inter- 
esting one. For many years he served on the board consisting of five mem- 
bers which had charge of Bristol's precautions against fire and did admirable 
service, serving as its secretary from the death of John Birge until his own 
death. When he first joined the board the department was of a somewhat 
primitive order, but Mr. Blakesley at once set to work with ardor, and with 
the definite purpose of making it one of the best and most efficient in the 
State of Connecticut. He was able to accomplish great results in this direc- 
tion, working at the improvement in both the personnel and the equipment 
of the department, and keeping a supervising eye over the men's interests. 
Indeed, he was at great pains to see to it that all was well with the force, 
not merely in the relation of the individuals to the department, but in their 
more remote private affairs, and often followed up any hint of trouble, and 
by his kind and fatherly advice and his generosity, often rendered invaluable 
help. In short he became on the best of terms with the men, who in conse- 
quence felt a willingness to go to any lengths to please him and gratify his 
well known ambition for the department. This attitude on the part of the 
men caused an esprit-de-corps, most advantageous to the department. One 
of Mr. Blakesley's particular ambitions for the department was to have 
installed the new type of auto chemical engine which has since so largely 
taken the place of the horse-drawn machines. It was largely due to his 
efforts that in 1909, two years before his death, the town actually purchased 
one of these engines. The two years were amply sufficient to prove all that 



1 66 



(Qilbett ^enrp IBlabesIep 



Mr. Blakesley had claimed for the device, and he thus had the satisfaction 
of witnessing the triumph of his views and their general acceptance. He 
was a member of the G. W. Thompson Post, Grand Army of the Republic ; 
a charter member of Bristol Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of 
Elks; of Franklin Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; of Bristol Club and 
of the Army and Navy Club. 

Mr. Blakesley married, December 22, 1897, Elizabeth Norton, a native 
of Bristol, daughter of Charles and Martha (Stocking) Norton, of Bristol. 
Mrs. Blakesley survives her husband. 





acfjille JFrancots ifKltgeon 

CHILLE FRANCOIS MIGEON, in whose death on Janu- 
ary I, 1903, Torring-ton, Connecticut, lost one of its fore- 
most citizens and the man who, of all others, was most 
closely identified with its industrial development, was of 
French descent, and exemplified well in his own person the 
virtues of that brilliant race, which has accomplished such 
wonders in the cause of progress and contributed so valuable 
an element to the complex fabric of the American population. He came of 
a well known and prominent French family and was related to many of the 
old houses in that country. He was one of a household consisting of seven 
children, the other six being daughters, and his parents were Henri and 
Marie Louise (Baudelot) Migeon. 

Henri Migeon was a man of parts. He was born in Haraucourt, 
France, September 11, 1799, and in manhood became associated with the 
woolen industry in his own country. The opportunity for development held 
forth by the youthful republic of the American continent, now for the first 
time able to turn its undivided attention to its own needs and opportunities, 
appealed to the enterprising merchants of France, who rightly felt assured 
of a kindly welcome in the countrj' which they had so effectively befriended 
in the time of its utmost need. This opportunity was already being taken 
advantage of by the Americans themselves, when in 1828, Henri Migeon 
came to this country for the purpose of introducing French machinery for 
the manufacture of woolen goods. M. Migeon came well accredited, bear- 
ing letters of introduction from the Marquis de Lafayette to Philip Hone, 
at that time mayor of New York. His purpose in visiting this country being 
made known, he was very well received, and ottered much encouragement. 
He returned, accordingly, to France, bearing with him many messages to 
his noble patron from the distinguished men of this country, intending to 
return and push his campaign with vigor. So much had he been impressed, 
indeed, by conditions in the United States, that he decided to make it more 
than a temporary residence, and when he returned in 1829 it was to bring 
his family with him and make here a permanent home. The advantages of 
the devices which he brought with him from France had become apparent, 
and more than one place sought to induce him to settle there. Governor 
Wolcott, of Connecticut, sought to persuade him to live in Wolcottville in 
that State, now Torrington, which had been named for the Governor on 
account of the aid he had given it in its early years. But although M. 
Migeon came finally to live there, he did not at once accept the Governor's 
ofifer chosing rather Millbury, Massachusetts, where he considered the 
financial inducements superior. He remained in this place but four years, 
however, and in 1833 removed to Wolcottville or Torrington, where he be- 
came associated with the woolen mills which were the early representatives 
of what later became one of Torrington's great industries. These mills 
were largely owned by Governor Wolcott and members of the Wolcott 



i68 3cf)iUe jFcancois Q^igeon 

family, and M. Migeon was employed there for a number of years. He be- 
came the owner of the Dr. Oliver Wolcott estate at Litchfield, and there 
made his home for a time. But Henri Migeon's talent was not merely for 
business management, but included great mechanical ability, and in the 
year 1837 he patented a device of his own for the refinishing of broadcloths, 
which he sought to introduce into the trade. In this effort he was phenome- 
nally successful, but his success was well deserved for his method revolution- 
ized the industry and brought to him a fortune. He went to New York City 
during the remaining years of his active life and there made his headquar- 
ters. M. Migeon did not, however, choose to remain in active business all 
his life, and in 1854, while still comparatively a young man, he retired to his 
home in Torrington and there spent the remainder of his days, engaged in 
many movements for the benefit of his adopted community. He was a 
highly cultivated man, and one well versed in politics of the world and in 
literature. He was also a man of great public spirit and placed his attain- 
ments unreservedly at the disposal of the American town in which he had 
chosen to live. He perceived the advantage to the community of beautiful 
streets and set out many handsome shade trees for their adornment. He 
was also greatly interested in the public schools and did much to render 
their work as effective as possible, besides making great friends with the 
pupils, to whom he was accustomed to make presents. In the centennial 
year he presented all the children attending the various grades with gold 
coins, one for each child, with the date. 1876, engraved thereon. But though 
M. Migeon thus became a loyal American, he never lost his interest in and 
his love for France, to which he made a number of trips, during one of which 
he was presented to the Emperor Napoleon HI. 

Achille Francois Migeon, the worthy son of a worthy father, was born 
on February 7, 1834, in Millbury, Massachusetts, but did not remain there. 
His parents had already made their home in Torrington, and there, after his 
birth, they took him, his childhood up to the age of nine years being passed 
in that town. In 1843 his parents once more moved, this time to Litchfield, 
Connecticut, where his father had purchased the Wolcott estate. It was in 
Litchfield that he began his education, attending the local schools for the 
elementary part of his studies. Here too there was developed another factor 
in his liberal education. His father was extremely fond of horticultural "pur- 
suits, and this fondness the broad acres of the Wolcott estate gave him 
opportunity to indulge to the fullest. From this beautiful occupation the 
growing boy derived much advantage, finding it a strong influence for cul- 
ture in his life. His next regular schooling' was at an institution in Tarry- 
town, New York, and he completed his preparatory studies in the Irvington 
Institute. He then matriculated in the Hampden Institute and took a more 
advanced course. His keen, alert and comprehensive intellect early began 
to display itself, and his success in his studies drew the favorable attention 
of his instructors upon him. His quickness brought him through his classes 
with unusual celerity, so that at the early age of sixteen he had completed 
his schooling and was ready to begin his business career. His first experi- 
ence in the mercantile world was as a clerk in a store in Waterbury, Connec- 
ticut, where he remained long enough to gain an elementary knowledge of 



acijille jFrancois a^igeon 169 

American business methods. His father was naturally desirous for him to 
become acquainted with the details of the woolen industry with a view to 
his eventually taking a place in the former's business, and he was accord- 
ingly sent at the age of eighteen to the Middlesex Mills in Lowell, Massa- 
chusetts, where he might observe the various steps in the manufacture of 
these goods. He remained thus employed for a period of eighteen months, 
his unusually quick intelligence aiding him in mastering his subject, and 
then became associated with his father's business in New York City. In 
the year 1855, upon reaching the age of twenty-one years, Mr. Migeon, and 
his brother-in-law, Mr. Turrell, bought the Migeon business from the father 
and conducted it in partnership for the succeeding nine years. In 1864 Mr. 
Migeon sold out his interest to Mr. Turrell, and returning to Torrington he 
began there that career which has been so largely instrumental in developing 
the great industries which to-day distinguish that prosperous city. His 
first venture in this direction was the establishment on a firm financial foot- 
ing of what has now become the Union Hardware Company of Torrington. 
He had already become interested in this concern, and it was due in large 
measure to his energetic management that the company entered upon that 
growth which has made it of recent years one of the largest and most im- 
portant of the Torrington business houses. It was he who had the business 
moved to its present quarters, and caused the construction of buildings to 
provide adequate space for its accommodation. He was soon elected to the 
ofiice of president, which he held for many years. One of the largest and 
most important of all Mr. Migeon's enterprises is the Excelsior Needle Com- 
pany, which, with three other gentlemen. Mr. Migeon organized in 1866. 
The factory at that time consisted of a single small stone buildings with a 
rude shed in the rear, situated out from Torrington on a hillside. But the 
method of needle making was a great improvement over anything in use 
at that time, and this, coupled with Mr. Migeon's great executive ability, 
brought the company through one of the most phenomenal growths, even in 
that region and period of rapid industrial development, until it reached its 
present position as one of the most important industrial enterprises in the 
State of Connecticut, and the largest needle manufacturing plant in the 
world. Of this great concern Mr. Migeon was president up to the time of 
his death. The story of the Excelsior Needle Company and the Union 
Hardware Company was repeated in a number of other cases in an equally 
striking manner. He was one of the principal promoters and the president 
of the Eagle Bicycle Company, and a director of the Coe Brass Manufactur- 
ing Company, the Hendey Machine Company, and the Turner & Seymour 
Manufacturing Company, all among the most important enterprises of Tor- 
rington. He was also a stockholder in the Torrington Water Works. 

But Mr. Migeon's activities, though chiefly directed to the situation 
around Torrington, were not confined to it exclusively. Wherever the in- 
dustrial opportunity seemed to warrant it his interest was awakened. He 
became president of the Bridgeport Copper Company of Connecticut, and 
the vice-president of the Parott Silver and Copper Company of Butte, Mon- 
tana. Beginning in almost all of these cases in a very small way, Mr. 
Migeon and his various associates were responsible for a general industrial 



lyo acbille JFrancois gpigeon 

development, and took the initiative in what has, more than any other 
single factor, caused the grow^th of Torrington from its rank as a small rural 
town to its present great importance. As little Wolcottville owed its exist- 
ence largely to the Wolcott family, so Torrington of the present day owes 
its prosperity in a great measure to the energy and enterprise of Achille 
Francois Migeon. 

Mr. Migeon was married, September i, 1858, to Elizabeth Farrell, a 
native of Waterbury, a daughter of Almon and Ruth E. (Warner) Farrell. 
To them were born two children, as follows: Virginia Baudelot, now the 
wife of Dr. Edwin E. Swift, of New York City; and Clara Louise, now Mrs. 
Robert C. Swayze, of Torrington. Mr. Migeon's wife and children survive 
him. 

Mr. Migeon's death occurred in Jacksonville, Florida, whither he had 
gone to spend the winter for the sake of his health. It seems appropriate to 
close this sketch with the words printed at the time of his death by the 
Torrington "Evening Register." The local organ says in part: 

With the dawning of the new year came the news of the passing away of this man, 
whose strong identification with the business interests of Torrington together with his 
sweet and graceful charm as a citizen and friend make his loss a personal one to the 
community. 





©rsamus 2Roman JFpler 

RSAMUS ROMAN FYI.ER, in whose death on November 
22, 1909. Torrington, Connecticut, lost one of her most dis- 
tinguished citizens and one who played an active and influ- 
ential part in the affairs of the State of Connecticut, was 
typical of a large class of successful men of affairs, who in 
the past generation had so much to do with the phenomenal 
development of New England during that period. He was 
a member of an ancient and respected New England family which had come 
to this country in the earliest colonial times and from that time onward had 
occupied a prominent position in the life of the new land. 

The immigrant ancestor of the Fylers in America was Lieutenant Wal- 
ter Fyler, a native of England, who came to the colonies as early as the year 
1634 and settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts, where the early records 
show him to have been a freeman on May 14, of that year. In later life he 
removed to Windsor, Connecticut. The representative of the family in 
Revolutionary times was one Stephen Fyler, the grandfather of Orsamus 
R. Fyler, and a prominent man in the community at that date. He served 
in the war for independence, and although the records are somewhat vague 
on the point, it seems probable that his term of service lasted from imme- 
diately after his marriage to Polly Collier, of Windsor, in July, 1778, until 
the end of the struggle. He received a pension for many years. He was a 
very energetic man and engaged in all manner of enterprises, besides his 
farming, and operated all manner of mills. He was a man possessed, not only 
of physical courage, but of the moral kind as well, as is well illustrated in an 
episode related of him among his descendants. He was according to this 
account one of a jury before whom a trial was prosecuted. The other jurors 
were seemingly moved by interested motives to attempt to bring about a 
miscarriage of justice, which was only prevented by Mr. Fyler's refusal to 
concur in a verdict which he felt to be iniquitous, and in holding out in this 
for week after week under the most severe pressure, until the judge was 
finally obliged to discharge the jury. 

The father of Orsamus R. Fyler was Harlow Fyler, a son of the above 
Stephen Fyler, and a man who inherited his many fine qualities. He was a 
most capable business man and carried on many of his father's enterprises, 
including a factory for the manufacture of cheese, and a brick kiln. He grew 
very well-to-do and wielded a great influence in the course of events in his 
community. He married for his second wife Sibyl R. Tolles, a daughter of 
Joseph and Rosannah (Peck) Tolles, of Montague, Massachusetts. 

Orsamus Roman Fyler, the eighth and youngest child of Harlow and 
Sibyl R. (Tolles) Fyler, was born January 17, 1840, at Torrington, Connec- 
ticut, and there passed his childhood and youth until the outbreak of the 
Civil War when he was a young man of twenty-one. He obtained the more 
elementary portion of his education at the local public schools, and later 
completed his studies at Wesleyan Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. 



172 Drsamus Koman jFpIer 

Shortly after his graduation from this institution came the call from Presi- 
dent Lincoln for volunteers in the cause of the Union, a call to which Mr. 
Fyler readily responded. He enlisted in the Nineteenth Regiment of Con- 
necticut Volunteers and was mustered into service. His regiment was later 
transformed into an artillery regiment, as the Second Connecticut Heavy 
Artillery, and Mr. Fyler was appointed to aid in recruiting the ranks. He 
was extremely successful in this undertaking, and with the assistance of a 
number of others, succeeded in raising the roll of the regiment to eighteen 
hundred men. He was commissioned a second lieutenant on February 6, 
1864, mustered in at Arlington, Virginia, on March 4 of the same year, and 
soon thereafter saw active service. His regiment, under the command of 
Colonel Leverett W. Wessells, took part in a number of important actions, 
among them being those of North Anna, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Welden 
Railroad and Winchester. In many of these great encounters, the Second 
Connecticut Heavy Artillery saw some severe fighting, but in none more so 
than in the battles of Cold Harbor and Winchester. In the former the regi- 
ment came into direct contact with the forces under General Longstreet and 
after a desperate struggle were repulsed, though not until they had left three 
hundred and twenty-three of their number on the field, one hundred and 
twenty-nine of whom were either killed or mortally wounded. In this action 
Lieutenant Fyler came off unscathed, but he was not so fortunate at Win- 
chester. In the latter engagement the regiment played a most important 
part and was largely instrumental in saving the day for the Union army. 
The lost numbered one hundred and thirty-six killed and mortally wounded, 
fourteen of whom were officers, including a number of his fellow lieutenants. 
Lieutenant Fyler himself received a wound in his leg of a most serious 
nature, which crippled him for life, so that he was ever after obliged to use 
a crutch. This accident of course rendered him unfit for further service, 
but it was some time before he could return home, the wound confining him 
in a military hospital. Before it was possible to leave for the North, two 
events occurred which were in some measure a compensation for what he 
had suffered. The first was his commission as first lieutenant, which he 
received while on his back, and which was awarded for gallantry in the field 
at Winchester. The second occurrence was the casting of his first ballot for 
the candidacy of Abraham Lincoln for President. Lieutenant Fyler recov- 
ered at length sufficientl}^ to return to his home in Torrington, but some 
idea of the seriousness of his wound may be gathered from the fact that a 
year elapsed after his return before he was able to engage in active business 
of any kind. 

His first enterprise in the business world was the establishment of a 
flour and grain trade under the firm name of O. R. Fyler & Company. He 
conducted this business with considerable success for a matter of about two 
years, when he received a political appointment which materially altered the 
course of his career. After this event, which occurred in 1866. although Mr. 
Fyler was associated with other important business and financial institu- 
tions, these became of secondary importance and outside the main work of 
his life, that of his service to the State. Such business enterprises as he was 
later connected with were of a semi-public nature, such as the introduction 



©rsamus Koman JFpIet 173 

of a city water supply into Torrington, in which he was one of the prime 
movers. He served with Senator Isaac W. Brooks and Charles F. Brooker 
on the committee appointed by the town to conduct the original investiga- 
tions regarding the proposed water works, and later with the same asso- 
ciates had charge of the securing of subscriptions and the work of construc- 
tion. He was also appointed superintendent of the work and it was under 
his supervision that the plant was installed. Another such enterprise was 
the organization and putting into operation of an electric railway between 
Torrington and Winsted, Connecticut, the success of which enterprise was 
largely due to his efforts. It was his energy and perseverance which suc- 
ceeded in forming the corporation known as the Torrington and Winches- 
ter Tramway Company by which the road was constructed. It was later 
absorbed by the great Connecticut Company and became a part of its exten- 
sive system of trolley lines. 

The appointment referred to above, which turned the attention of Mr. 
Fyler to politics, was made in 1866 by President Andrew Johnson, and was 
for the postmastership of Torrington, an office which he held uninterrupt- 
edly for a period of nineteen years, being twice reappointed by President 
Grant, once by Hayes and once by Garfield, this being one of the very few 
appointments of the sort made in Connecticut before the President's assassi- 
nation. His management of this office was of a kind to establish his reputa- 
tion in the community both as an efficient officer and a disinterested public 
servant. The department was never run more to the people's satisfaction 
than during his regime, and at its close affairs were found in the most 
splendid condition. His tenure of office was finally terminated by the elec- 
tion of the Democratic President, Grover Cleveland. It is unfortunate that 
the idea of going into politics has to-day such sinister connotations, that it 
so easily conveys the idea of reproach to the average person. In its simple, 
old sense, before politics had reached the pitch of corruption which an 
awakening public conscience is bringing to light, to enter politics implied 
only one thing, a dominant interest in the conduct of public affairs. It was 
upon such grounds that the great statesmen whose names we venerate as the 
founders and moulders of the Republic entered politics, and despite the 
popular skepticism it forms one of the principal grounds to-day for those 
who take the same action. It was for this reason, at bottom a most altru- 
istic one, that Mr. Fyler chose his career. He had always been a keen and 
interested observer of the course of political events, and held strong opin- 
ions on the issues, both local and national, which agitated the community. 
His political eclipse upon the accession of Grover Cleveland to the presi- 
dency was of short duration, and he was appointed on July i, of the follow- 
ing year (1886), by Governor Henry B. Harrison, insurance commissioner 
of the State. Mr. Fyler's appointment was due, it is said, in a large measure 
to the campaign waged in his favor by Stephen A. Hubbard, of the Hartford 
"Courant," who had a boundless admiration for the natural gifts and scrupu- 
lous honor of the man. In the larger and more responsible office of insur- 
ance commissioner, Mr. Fyler measured amply up to the stature of his new 
duties, difficult and unfamiliar to him as they were. He corrected many 
abuses which had continued unchecked up to his time. He instituted search- 



174 Drsamus Koman JFpIet 

ing inquiries into the condition of the various companies of the State, taking 
for granted nothing and not even accepting for examinations, with the result 
that some of the well known companies, among them the Charter Oak, and 
the Continental Life Insurance companies, went into the hands of receivers. 
His inquiry into the condition of the insurance financially was made with 
especial reference to their holdings in western real estate. His activities 
were productive of great changes for the better in the insurance world 
throughout the State and were commended highly by right-thinking busi- 
ness men and financiers, and by the people at large. Mr. Fyler lent his aid 
to the Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company of Hartford, in the matter 
of its reorganizing on a mutual basis, and supervised the operation. His 
conduct of the department was so satisfactory that he was reappointed by 
Governors P. C. Lounsbury and Morgan C. Bulkeley, and when at last he 
turned over the work to his successor, it was a reorganized and systematized 
department that the latter had to begin with. Mr. Fyler became the candi- 
date of his party for the State Legislature, in 1886, and won the election, 
representing Torrington in the following session. He was also sent by his 
town as a representative to the State Constitutional Convention held in the 
year 1902. In the year 1896, during the campaign of McKinley for the 
Presidency, Mr. Fyler accepted the chairmanship of the Republican central 
committee of the State and made one of the most efficient chairmen the 
party has ever had. His work, however, was extremely arduous and when 
he added still more to it in the shape of his labors in the constitutional con- 
vention, his health gave way, and he was seized with an attack of nervous 
prostration which lasted for several years. He was obliged to resign as 
chairman of the central committee, and did so with great regret, as he had 
held that office during some of the most memorable struggles that had tried 
the State organization of the party, struggles which had owed their success- 
ful termination in no small degree to the strong though tactful handling 
of the State chairman. In the course of time Mr. Fyler made a complete 
recovery from his trying malady, and with his recovery came also renewed 
political activity. In the year 1897 he was appointed by Governor Lorrin A. 
Cooke to a membership in the State railroad commission, an office which he 
was holding at the time of his death. 

Besides his political activities, Mr. Fyler was an active participant in 
many departments of the community's life. He was a prominent figure in 
the social life of the town and was always ready with aid of all kinds for any 
movement that seemed in his judgment calculated to advance the interests 
of Torrington. He never forgot his sometime military associations and 
always kept them up as far as he could, being a prominent and enthusiastic 
member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. He served on the com- 
mission formed to honor the memory of General Sedgwick with a monu- 
ment. He attended the Congregational church. 

Mr. Fyler's personal character was one which impressed itself irresist- 
ably upon all men. His strong, open face inspired immediate confidence, 
a confidence which he did everything to justify in every relation of life. 
How greatly his loss was felt, not only by his immediate family and friends, 
but by a wide circle of associates, may be gathered from the number and 



©t0amus Koman jFpIer 175 

variety of the messages of condolences sent to his stricken family at the 
time of his death. These included words from President Taft, Governor 
Wepks of Connecticut. Senators Buckley and Brandegee, and many other 
prominent men throughout the State and country. 

Mr. Fyler was married, December 14, 1865. to Mary E. Vaill, of Tor- 
rington, a daughter of David and Sarah (Bliss) Vaill, of that place. Mrs. 
Fyler is a member of a very well known New England family, descended 
from Jeremiah Vaill, the immigrant ancestor, who came to America and set- 
tled in Salem, Massachusetts, as early as 1639. To Mr. and Mrs. Fyler was 
born one child, a daughter, Gertrude B. Fyler, who became the wife of Ed- 
ward Henry Hotchkiss, of Torrington. 




(S^eorge ®. ISaorfeman 




*HOUGH NOT a native of Torrington, Connecticut, nor indeed 
of America at all, George D. Workman was as closely 
identified with the industrial growth of that place, and his 
death on June 7, IQ09, was as great a loss to it as any of its 
native sons. Mr. Workman was a member of that dominant 
race which first settled the colonies which later became the 
United States, and which has contributed so greatly to the 
makeup of our composite American population, throughout the warp and 
woof of whose fabric its blood is commingled, and to the formation of the 
institutions which so splendidly distinguish this young nation. The coat- 
of-arms of the Workman family is as follows: Gules. Quartered. First. 
A tower argent. Second. The fasces of the Roman lictors sustaining a cross 
quartered argent and sable. Third. Three swallows, sable. Fourth. Argent, 
a hand flesh colored, holding a cross sharpened at bottom azure. Motto: I 
trust in God. 

He was born in Gloucester, England, July 2;^,, 1835, but did not live there 
more than a year. His father, who had married Caroline Franklin, a native 
of his own town of Gloucester, came to America in 1836, bringing with him 
his wife and two children ; his grandfather, James Workman, came later. 
Once in the United States Samuel Workman, our subject's father, settled 
in New York City where he secured employment as a wool grader. He did 
not remain long in New York, however, but a year later removed to Tor- 
rington, Connecticut, where he found work of the same kind, and so George 
D. Workman first came to the place which was to be his home and the scene 
of his busy activity until the close of his life. Mr. Workman, Sr., was an 
extremely industrious and frugal man and, after working for some years in 
his emplovment as wool-grader, he found himself able to buy an interest in 
the Union Manufacturing Company, of Torrington, the business of which 
was the making of woolen cloth. This gave him the start he had desired and 
he continued to buy stock from time to time until, in 1873, fourteen years 
from his first purchase, he was actually the largest stockholder in the firm 
and owned a controlling interest. For some time prior to this he had acted 
as wool-buyer for the company, and he continued in this position until the 
year 1861. His death occurred in 1879. 

In the pleasant town of Torrington, George D. Workman grew up to 
manhood, the child of increasingly good circumstances, as his father's 
affairs prospered. For his education he attended the excellent local schools, 
where his bright, alert mind won for him the favorable regard of his instruc- 
tors. Upon completing his studies he entered at once the mill of the Union 
Manufacturing Company, and there, under the able guidance of his father, 
learned the details of woolen manufacture. When his father resigned from 
active service as wool-buyer in 1861, young Mr. Workman took his place and 
very shortly made himself an important factor in the company. Following 
his father's example he began in 1865, to buy stock, and in 1883 became the 




4,XMi>::^-. 




J>^/iii(if( // ^ r/r /^frf /^ 



(Seorge D. Cfilotbman 177 

largest holder, just ten years after his father had accomplished the same 
thing-. In 1873 he entered the office of the concern with the position of agent 
and treasurer and was soon on the high-road to the control of the business. 
His ability and grasp of his subject made him an invaluable member of the 
management and in the year 1883, at the same time he became the principal 
stockholder, he was elected president of the company. Mr. Workman's 
younger brother, John Workman, and a nephew, Samuel C. Workman, also 
entered the business and became officers therein, the former treasurer and 
the latter secretary. Under the able management of the Workmans, the 
business has thriven enormously and is now regarded as one of the most 
important industrial enterprises in the region of Torrington. The company 
was organized in 1845, ^"d always maintained its excellent reputation as the 
maker of first quality of woolen goods, but its growth was not so phe- 
nomenal until Mr. Workman's business genius began to be felt in the con- 
duct of afifairs. In the year 1894 the name was changed to the present one, 
the Warrenton Woolen Company, and in 1907 the operations had become so 
large that it was necessary to seek larger quarters. A large tract was bought 
in the northern part of the borough and a new and splendid plant con- 
structed, and fitted with every modern appliance and the most complete 
equipment for the manufacture of woolen goods. Formerly the sole maker 
of a well known quality of broad cloth, the company now devotes itself as 
a specialty to the manufacture of the fine grade of cloth used in the making 
of uniforms, such as those worn by military and police bodies. The business 
employs more than a hundred hands and the period of development initiated 
by Mr. Workman still continues. As head of the woolen business Mr. 
Workman's position in the industrial and financial worlds of Torrington 
was very influential and it was rendered even more so through his connec- 
tion with other important institutions. He was president of the Torrington 
National Bank, and through that association exerted a beneficial influence in 
financial circles throughout the region. He also established and was presi- 
dent of the Workman-Rawlinson Company of Toirington, which transacted 
a large business in furniture in the town. Besides these various ventures, 
Mr. Workman also entered the great field of public utilities, and became the 
president of Torrington Electric Light Company. 

Mr. Workman was a man of the most extraordinary powers, a business 
genius, with a great talent for organization and an ability to foresee con- 
tingencies that was remarkable, but although he gave the best of his energies 
to that department of endeavor for which his talents fitted him, and was 
known first and last as a business man and an industrial leader, he was also 
well known as a most public spirited citizen, ready at all times and to the 
best of his powers to aid whatever movement was really to the advantage 
of the community. His life was one that might well serve the youth of his 
town as a model of good citizenship, possessed, as it was of so many elements 
of strength and virtue. He was a lifelong member of the Episcopal church 
in Torrington, of which his father had been one of the founders, and for 
many years was an ardent participant in the work of the parish, and a sup- 
porter of the many benevolences connected therewith. He made an import- 
ant place for himself in his adopted country, and his death left a gap, at once 
in the Connecticut industrial world and in the community of his fellowmen. 

CONN-VoI III_12 



Henrp (Bilkttt Colt 




^HE DEATH OF Henry Gillette Colt, of Winsted, Connecti- 
cut, on November 21, 1897, deprived that city of one of its 
most useful and energetic citizens, and one wrho was most 
closely identified with its life and traditions. Mr. Colt was 
sprung from fine old New England stock, his parents being 
Henry and Chloe (Catlin) Colt, old and highly-respected 
residents of Torringford, Connecticut. Mr. Colt, Sr., was 
born there on November 25, 1800, Mrs. Colt being a native of Harwinton in 
the same State, where her birth occurred on June 24, 1805. They were 
married October 19, 1829, and the Mr. Colt of this sketch was the eldest of 
their five children. 

Henry Gillette Colt was born November 2, 1832, at Torringford, Con- 
necticut, and there passed the greater part of his childhood in the midst of 
that beautiful and wholesome rural environment. His father was a success- 
ful farmer and blacksmith and it was on his large farm that the lad lived 
his life out-of-doors, and laid the foundation of a strong and healthy man- 
hood. He attended for a time the local school, but reaching the age where 
he could be trusted to care for himself, his father who thought more 
advanced instruction advisable, sent him to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 
there to attend the well known Williams Academy. After his education at 
Williams Academy he spent two years in New Haven in the office of Anson 
J. Colt, coal dealer. Before returning to the farm he was traveling salesman 
for a year. He returned to Torringford and his father's house where he 
remained until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. Mr. Colt was at that 
time twenty-nine years of age and he at once olifered his services to his 
country, enlisting, May 7, 1861, in the Second Regiment Infantry, Connec- 
ticut Volunteers, as a private. He received an honorable discharge from the 
service on August 7 of the same year and returned once more to Torring- 
ford. He left Torringford finally in 1867 and removed to Winsted, where he 
continued to live during the remainder of his life, and where he soon became 
associated with the industrial interests. His first connection of this sort was 
with the Strong Manufacturing Company, makers of casket trimmings on a 
large scale. Of this concern he was elected a director in 1871, and in 1877 
became the general manager. His great energy and skill in handling men 
now were displayed to the greatest advantage, and under his management 
the business increased conspicuously. Three years before his death, his 
health which until then had appeared excellent, failed him and he was forced 
to retire from active participation in the afi^airs of the concern. Even after 
this retirement, however, he was sought by his successors for advice, and 
until the day of his death continued to exercise a potent influence upon the 
policies of the company. Mr. Colt's business interests did not end with the 
Strong Manufacturing Company, and he became connected with several 
other important institutions among which may be mentioned the Winsted 
Silk Company, the Winsted Edge Tool Works and the Winsted Savings 




S-^-tyt^ 



.^^/~ 



^entp (£)fnettc Colt 179 

Bank of which he was vice-president. For a number of years he occupied 
one of the most prominent places in business activities of that section, and 
exercised a great influence upon the course of industrial and financial 
development there. 

During his early years Mr. Colt was an active figure in politics, and 
while still a resident of Torringford was very prominent in the Republican 
party. In 1863, but shortly after his return from active service in the war, he 
became the candidate of that party for the State Legislature and served in 
that body for a term. After his removal to Winsted, though he retained his 
former keen interest in all political questions, he withdrew from active 
political work, and rather avoided than sought public office of any kind. 
On questions of local and national importance he leaned to independent 
views and was generally known among his associates for his progressive 
ideas as well as for tolerance of the opinions of others. For many years he 
was a member of the Society of the Second Congregational Church of 
Winsted, aiding materially the work connected with the church, its many 
charities and benevolences. 

Mr. Colt married, March 19, 1874, Annette Griswold, at Winsted. Mrs. 
Colt was a native of Norfolk, Connecticut, born June 23, 1849, daughter of 
James and Catharine (Lane) Griswold, old residents of that place. At a 
very early age she accompanied her parents to Indiana, where she passed 
her girlhood. At the age of seventeen she returned to be educated in New 
England and attended Mrs. Phillips' School in Winsted. Her death occurred 
May I, 1886. Soon her sister, Mrs. H. G. Millard, came to have the care of 
the children and since that day remains in charge of the household. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Colt had been born three children, two of whom are now living 
and the third deceased. The eldest of the children is Ella Chloe, born De- 
cember 19, 1874; she attended the Robbins School at Norfolk, Connecticut, 
and later Wellesley College, from which she was graduated with the class of 
1897; she is the wife of Harrison G. Fay, A. M., a graduate of Harvard 
University and teacher in New York Training School ; they have three chil- 
dren: Henry Colt, Priscilla Brigham and Gilbert Jefiferson. The second 
child of Mr. and Mrs. Colt, also a daughter, is Florence Annette, born Janu- 
ary 7, 1876; educated at the Boxwood School in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and 
at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn ; she is now a resident of Winsted, where she 
still dwells with Mrs. Millard in the beautiful home owned by Mr. Colt at 
No. 55 Walnut street. The third child of Mr. and Mrs. Colt was a son, 
Henry Lane, born July 15, 1877, died February 24, 1901 ; he received his 
education at the Robbins School at Norfolk, the Worcester Academy and a 
business college in Boston. 

Mr. Colt's citizenship was of a kind that might well serve as a model 
for the young men of the community. Possessing those sterling virtues 
which are typical of New England character, simplicity and straightforward 
democracy, he represented that union of idealism and practical sense which 
renders the most valuable service to the community. His place in the busi- 
ness world was an enviable one, and he had a universal reputation for the 
most undeviating integrity and the soundest judgment. He was not a jot 
less admired as a man than was he as a financier and captain of industry, 



[8o 



^entp (g>illette Colt 



indeed the memory of him in his private relations, as a husband and father, 
as the head of his household, as a good neighbor and friend, is perhaps more 
vivid than that of the successful man of afifairs. He was a social man, 
delighting in the society of his fellows, especially when it was of an informal, 
spontaneous nature, though for that more formal kind of social function he 
had no great fondness. His chief happiness was found in the life of his 
home, where his own individuality found its readiest and most typical 
expression, not only in his own conduct, but in moulding the external 
features of the house and place to fit his taste and fancy. It is for this reason 
one notices a charm in No. 55 Walnut street which is lacking in many more 
pretentious homes. 





I 



3(ap €llerp ^pauHJing 




AY ELLERY SPAULDING, in whose death on January 6, 
191 1, Winsted, Connecticut, lost one of the most prominent 
of its citizens, and the Connecticut business world a con- 
spicuous figure, was the product of that special set of con- 
ditions which obtained as nowhere else in colonial America, 
and have continued almost unbrokenly down to the present 
time. These conditions were such that culture, education 
and refinement were subjected to a severe simplicity of life unusual, so that 
men and women possessing all these advantages were thrown upon an 
economic equality with the humblest. However such people may have felt 
at the time about this state of affairs, the resultant development in New 
England has certainly displayed a population whose high character speaks 
loudly in favor of the arrangement. 

The Spaulding family, of which the subject of this sketch is a member, 
is one of three lines resident in this country, of which all but a few recent 
immigrants who bear the name of Spaulding are members. The immigrant 
ancestor of this particular line was Edward Spaulding. who came from 
England about the year 1630, and settled in Braintree, Massachusetts, where 
he became prominent. His name appears on the list of proprietors as early 
as 1640, and he was a freeman on May 13 of the same year. He was one of 
the petitioners for the grant for the town of Chelmsford, made October i, 
1645, ^"d he became one of the original settlers of that place, where he con- 
tinued to live the rest of his life. He was one of the most influential men in 
the community he had helped to found, and held many offices of trust, 
among them being selectman for a number of years, in 1648 a juryman, and 
in 1663 the surveyor of highways. From this worthy forebear, a long line 
of capable and cultivated men have arisen, who nevertheless were obliged 
by the exigencies of their situation in a new and untamed continent to resort 
to the two primitive occupations, husbandry and war. In the time of the 
grandfather of Mr. Spaulding, the family removed to Northampton, Fulton 
county. New York, where its occupation continued to be farming. Mr. 
Spaulding's father, Lockwood Spaulding, was a native of Northampton, 
New York, and a lifelong resident of the place, where he became a man of 
distinction, a deacon of the church and a justice of the peace. He was mar- 
ried to Miss Mary Ann Spaulding who was the mother of his six children. 
Jay Ellery Spaulding, the third child of Lockwood and Mary Ann 
(Spaulding) Spaulding, was a native of Northampton, Fulton county. New 
York, where he was born August 15, 1846. He was educated in the local 
public schools and passed the first twenty years of his life in his native town. 
In the year 1866 he removed to the State of Connecticut, which had for so 
long been the home of his forebears, and settled in Winsted, Litchfield 
county, where he secured a position as clerk in a hardware store. After a 
time spent in this employment he engaged in the same business for two years 
in partnership with J. J. Whiting and S. F. Dickerman, of Winsted. Like 



1 82 3lap (BUttv ^pauIDing 

so many of the young men of that day Mr. Spaulding was possessed of a 
strong desire to see the West, the vast size and boundless opportunities of 
which were even more alluring in that day than at present, when it has been 
more completely reduced to the order of things known. He consequently 
seized the first opportunity of going out in that region and accepted the 
ofifer of a position in the Old National Bank of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He 
did not remain in the West later than the year 1872, when he returned to 
Winsted, Connecticut, and there commenced the long and close association 
with J. G. Wetmore which only terminated with the latter's death. Mr. Wet- 
more and himself became interested in the New England Pin Company. 
Mr. Wetmore becoming president of the concern, and Mr. Spaulding general 
ofiice man. Upon the death of Mr. Wetmore he became treasurer and 
general manager of the concern, and later became president of the company, 
and what was already a flourishing business rapidly grew to its present great 
proportions, and took rank among the largest and most important indus- 
trial enterprises in that region. The unusual business capacity of Mr. 
Spaulding, which was in the main responsible for this result, soon made 
him a conspicuous figure in financial and industrial circles of Winsted and 
his interests rapidly grew wider until he became connected with many of the 
most important business concerns in the neighborhood. Such was the case 
with the Carter-Hakes Machine Company, the New England Knitting Com- 
pany, and the Morgan Silverplate Company, of all of which he was the 
president and a member of the board of directors. He was also vice-presi- 
dent of the Citizens Printing Company, and president of the Music Hall. He 
became a power in the industrial world and was honored as one of the fore- 
most business men in the community. 

But great as was his influence in this direction, and great as were his 
activities in connection with all his manifold business interests, Mr. Spauld- 
ing did not do as so many of our modern captains of industry are prone to, 
that is wrap themselves up in an impenetrable atmosphere of business from 
which they never descend to the consideration of other things. Mr. Spauld- 
ing was possessed of too wide an understanding not to perceive that such a 
course means the inevitable narrowing of a man's outlook and sympathies, 
and the atrophy of his being. Pursuing the opposite course, he forever 
sought to widen the horizon of his activities, to develop his sympathies and 
increase the points of contact which he possessed with his fellow men. This 
was not a conscious efifort on his part but rather the instinctive conduct of a 
man who had seen too much of the great world of life to desire to shut him- 
self up in the small world of his private interests. It was for this reason that 
he took a vital interest in all movements for the improvement of his adopted 
town, and aided with his time and energy all such as appeared to him of 
genuine value. He served on the committee appointed by the town to take 
charge of the improvements made in the water system, and as a trustee of 
the Memorial Park and Soldiers Monument Associations. In politics too, 
Mr. Spaulding took an active part but always actuated by the purest, most 
disinterested motives. He was a member of the Republican party, and a 
keen observer of, and a wise commentator on the political issues which 
agitated the country during his life. Nor was he less interested in local 



3|ap (Ellcrp ©pauIDfng 183 

issues, and the conduct of State and municipal affairs. A man of Mr. Spauld- 
ing's business prominence, who possessed in addition the highest social 
standing, and a deep and genuine popularity, measured up in every par- 
ticular to the standard of a successful political candidate, could not be long 
overlooked as such by the local organization of his party. He had served his 
fellow citizens already for many years as burgess and warden of the bor- 
ough of Winsted, and for fourteen years was treasurer of the town, when he 
was offered and accepted the nomination for General Assemblyman to repre- 
sent his town in the State Legislature. He was elected and served as a 
member of that body during the year 1895, serving also on the Committee 
on Incorporations and as clerk of the Litchfield County Representatives. 

Another of the manifold activities of Mr. Spaulding was in connection 
with the fire department, in which he was very much interested. He was 
vice-president of the State Association of Firemen, and did much to develop 
the efficiency of fire protection in his own town, and indirectly elsewhere. 
But even this does not exhaust the list of Mr. Spaulding's interests and 
manifold activities. He was a conspicuous figure in the social life of the 
community and an active member of many fraternities, clubs and other 
similar organizations. He was a member of the St. Andrew's Lodge, Free 
and Accepted Masons, of Winsted; of the Unity Lodge, Knights of Pythias; 
of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of Winsted, and of the 
Improved Order of Red Men. 

Mr. Spaulding's character was an unusual one, a fact reflected in his 
personal appearance, wherein might be seen a combination of rare traits. 
Perhaps the first of these to catch the eye of the stranger was the look of 
indomitable resolution, always the accompaniment of the strict moralist, 
who allows no personal consideration to conflict with his idea of honor and 
duty to his fellowmen. It is also easy to note the acute, intelligent eye of the 
man of the world, the purposeful man, the man not easily deceived. Yet 
these characters, which if unbalanced so easily lead to hardness and indiffer- 
ence to the rights of others, are obviously in his instance modified and soft- 
ened by a kindly human sympathy, and an abiding sense of humor. If it was 
the first of these traits which caught the notice of the stranger, it was the 
last which his friends were most conscious of. These qualities showing out 
in his countenance had their homologues in his actual character, a character 
which gave him a leading place among his fellow citizens, and made his 
death felt as a loss not only by his immediate family and personal friends, 
but in a real sense by the community at large. 

Mr. Spaulding was twice married. His first wife was Miss Elizabeth 
Rossiter Wetmore, whom he married May g, 1872, and who died February 
II, 1890. Of this union were born two children, the eldest of whom was a 
daughter, Louise Wetmore, born August 30, 1873, and died May 24, 1914. 
She was married, June 12, 1895, to the Hon. James W. Husted, of Peekskill, 
New York, who has just been elected Congressman from New York State. 
The father of the Hon. Mr. Husted was also James W. Husted, a member of 
the General Assembly of New York State, and speaker of the House for a 
number of years. Both father and son were members of the Assembly and 
both leaders of the Republican party in their State. To Mr. and Mrs. Husted 



184 3[ag (gllerp ^pauIDmg 

were born six children, as follows: James W., Jr., May 15, 1896; John G., 
October 8, 1897; Priscilla Alden. February 25, 1899; David R., April i, 1900; 
Ellery S., March 3, 1901 ; and Robert, January 27, 1906. The second child of 
Mr. and Mrs. Spaulding was John Wetmore, born November 9, 1878, and 
died March 27, 1895. Mr. Spaulding married, on June 30, 1892, Miss Grace 
W. Hopkins, of Winsted. She was born at Torringford, April 27, 1867, a 
daughter of Edward T. and Gertrude (Waterman) Hopkins, of that place. 





(Seorge WlafeefieHi i^Jjelps 

EORGE WAKEFIELD PHELPS, in whose death on June 6, 
1896, Winsted, Connecticut, lost one of its most highly- 
respected citizens, was a member of the old and eminent 
Phelps family which has been so closely identified with the 
life and activities of New England from the earliest colonial 
times, and which has contributed so many worthy sons. The 
name, from the time of his earliest traceable forebears, has 
been greatly and frequently altered in spelling, its origin being undoubtedly 
the Christian name of Phillip, with the "s" added to signify the son of. About 
the year 1520 there was born in Tewksbury, Gloucestershire, England, one 
James Phelps, who was the common ancestor of the many related branches 
of the family in Connecticut. 

His grandson, William Phelps, was the immigrant, coming to America 
with his brother George, his wife and six children, on board the good ship, 
"Mary and John," Captain Squeb, from Plymouth. He landed at Nantasket, 
now Hull, May 30, 1630, after a voyage lasting two months and ten days, 
and settled at Dorchester, being indeed one of the founders of the place. He 
became a freeman later in the same year and was a prominent man in the 
community, holding many positions, serving on commissions, and generally 
making himself a conspicuous figure in the region. He was one of the jurors 
in the first jury trial ever held in New England. William Phelps later 
removed to Windsor, Connecticut, and eventually became Governor of the 
Windsor Colony. From this ancestor are descended a number of collateral 
lines, which have given to Connecticut such men as Guy R. Phelps, Eli 
Phelps, William H. Phelps and George W. Phelps, who was of the seventh 
generation from the immigrant ancestor. 

William H. Phelps, the father of George Wakefield Phelps, was one of 
Winsted's most eminent citizens, and most closely identified with the great 
industrial and business development of that place. He lived in the West a 
part of his life, in the city of Chicago, and while there founded the success- 
ful mercantile house, which years after, when the original firm had sold their 
interest to others, became the great nationally famous house of Marshall 
Field & Company. In the meantime Mr. Phelps had returned to Winsted, 
Connecticut, and there organized and founded the Hurlbut Bank, holding 
the office of president until his death. A great many of Winsted's best 
known men have been associated with this institution, and many have had 
their business training within its walls. William H. Phelps married, in 1840, 
Lucy C. Wakefield, of Winsted, who became the mother of his two children, 
of whom George Wakefield was the elder. 

George Wakefield Phelps was born July 25. 1842, in Hitchcocksville, 
Litchfield county, Connecticut. He passed his whole life in Winsted, where 
he gained the more elementary portion of his education, attending the local 
schools. He later went to school in Litchfield and Essex, and finally com- 
pleted his studies in the well known Everett School of Hampden, Connec- 



1 86 (George maktUtlH Pfielpis 

ticut. After graduating from the last named institution, he was given a 
position in the Hurlbut Bank in Winsted, of which his father was the presi- 
dent. His easy grasp of the details of the banking business quickly won him 
promotion and it was not long before he had risen to the ofifice of cashier. 
He did not carry his financial career any further, however, resigning from 
the bank upon the death of his father in 1864. 

Mr. Phelps was better known in Winsted as a man of affairs than as a 
banker, and in the former sphere of activity he was a prominent and popular 
figure. He was a keen observer of the course of political events during his 
life, and his judgments in the matter of the issues which at that time agitated 
the country were both sound and tolerant. He was a lifelong member of the 
Democratic party, and a staunch upholder of its principles and policies. He 
took an active part in the local organization of the party and his voice was 
for many years influential in its councils. The conduct of the afifairs of the 
community interested him greatly from the most altruistic of motives. He 
was the candidate of his party for offices a number of times and served his 
fellow citizens most faithfully and effectively as warden of the borough, and 
later as Winsted's representative in the State Legislature. Mr. Phelps 
attended the Episcopal church at Winsted. He was very active in the work 
of the parish, serving as vestryman for a number of years, and materially 
supporting the philanthropies connected therewith. He was a man of strong 
religious feeling who, not content with its mere profession, translated his 
belief into the terms of his daily life and conduct, and observed a truly Chris- 
tian attitude in his associations with all men. 

Mr. Phelps married, February, 1867, Ellen M. Forbes, a native of Shef- 
field, Massachusetts, born November 13, 1840, and a daughter of William A. 
and Minerva (Shears) Forbes, of that place. To Mr. and Mrs. Phelps were 
born four children, three sons and a daughter. The eldest of these was 
Launcelot Lawrence Phelps, born June 4, 1869, and died September 15 in 
the same year. Judith Bigelow Phelps was the second child, born November 
8, 1870, and now Mrs. Ralph W. Holmes, of Winsted, and the mother of two 
daughters, Ellen, born May 30, 1908, and Belinda, born July 27, 1910. The 
third child of Mr. Phelps is William Henry Phelps, now the cashier of the 
Hurlbut Bank, having succeeded to the position formerly held by his father 
in the institution founded by his grandfather; he married Mary Pelton and 
has one child, George, born May 10, 1909. Mr. Phelps' fourth and youngest 
child is Launcelot, born August 24, 1880, educated at the local public schools 
and at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and now the train master at 
Utica of the New York Central railroad; he married Olivia Smith, and by 
her has had two children, Pierson Smith, born April 19, 1907, and Mary 
Morton, born May 24, 1909. 



Henrp (S^ap 




ENRY GAY, in whose death on May 17, 1908, Winsted, Con- 
necticut, lost one of the most respected and well loved of its 
citizens, was a splendid example of those strong men who, 
in the past generation, brought so tremendous an industrial 
and financial development to New England. Like so many of 
his contemporaries, Mr. Gay was the product of two factors, 
which are apparently well fitted in combination to produce 
the strong yet polished type that has made New England famous. These 
factors are those of a cultured and refined origin and an environment of 
simplicity with wealth just sufficient for the necessities of life and hard work 
the condition of continued livelihood. As to the first of these factors, Mr. 
Gay was descended on both sides of the house from fine old English stock, 
both paternal and maternal families coming to America during early colonial 
days. The immigrant ancestor on his father's side was John Gay, who came 
from England and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, in the year 1630, 
being a grantee in the great dividends and in Beaver Brook plow-lands. He 
was admitted as a freeman May 6, 1635, and later removed to Dedham, then 
known as Contentment, Massachusetts, where he died in 1688. The mater- 
nal ancestor was John Reed, a native of Cornwall, England, who when 
young served in Oliver Cromwell's army, and after the restoration crossed 
to the colonies and settled in Providence, Rhode Island. He later removed 
to Norwalk, Connecticut, where his name is mentioned in the records of 
1687. From both of these sources, honorable and prominent careers may be 
traced in their respective families until they finally converge in the parents 
of Mr. Gay. These were Henry Sanford and Mary (Reed) Gay, the former 
a native of Sharon, Connecticut, where he was born, March 14, 1790, and the 
latter of Salisbury in the same State, her birth taking place April 5, 1796. It 
was upon his father's farm at Salisbury, that Henry Gay of this sketch first 
saw the light of day on April 5, 1834. His mother died when he was little 
more than three years of age. His father was a man of the highest ideals 
and the boy grew up under the best of influences. He continued to live on 
his father's farm and there gave such of his time as could be spared from the 
necessary schooling to aiding his father in the farm work. It is probably in 
this, his healthy youthful environment, that the second factor in the develop- 
ment of his sterling character is to be found. Certain it is that there is no 
training to be found better calculated to develop such characters as we 
possess than the wholesome labor of the farm, involving, as it does, the 
closest contact with the simple, elemental facts of Nature. 

In such an enviroment Mr. Gay passed the first years of his life, growing 
through boyhood to early manhood. For the more formal part of his educa- 
tion he attended the local schools. He must have been of an exceedingly 
bright mind even in those early days, for he was able to absorb all the educa- 
tion which the district common school had to offer and attend the semi- 
naries, first at Salisbury and then at Winsted for three years, before he was 



i88 l^cntp aap 

fourteen years of age. His lot was similar to the majority of farmers' sons 
in that day and generation, in that the exigencies of his circumstances forced 
him to become self-supporting early, so at fourteen, he abandoned school 
and found employment as clerk in a country dry goods store at the little 
town of Lakeville, Connecticut. He continued in this service for four years, 
and then left Lakeville and made his way to Falls Village, Connecticut, 
where a position had been ofifered him in the Iron Bank and thus entered 
upon the career in which he was to make so important a place for himself. 
He did not remain long with the Iron Bank, but in 1854, when twenty years 
old, came to Winsted, which remained his home until his death, and there 
once more devoted himself to banking. His unusual mind and the great 
grasp of the business which he quickly attained to, soon made him a promi- 
nent figure in the banking and financial world of that region, and in the 
course of his career of more than fifty years, identified him with prac- 
tically all the important institutions of the kind thereabouts, as well as with 
many industrial and business concerns. The list of these is an extraordinary 
one, and conveys some idea of the part played by him in the development of 
Winsted and the surrounding region. He was for many years president of 
the Hurlbut National Bank of Winsted, and of the Winsted Edge Tool Com- 
panv. He was also a director in the latter concern and in the following: The 
William L. Gilbert Clock Company; the Winsted Hosiery Company; the 
New England Knitting Company; the George Dudley and Sons Company; 
the Morgan Silver Plate Company; the Winsted Gas Company; the Con- 
necticut Western Railway Company; the Richards Hardware Company; 
the Winsted Silk Company and the Citizens' Printing Company. He was 
also a member of the partnership known as the Winsted Yarn Company. In 
spite of the manifold duties connected with the management of these con- 
cerns, a task which would seem in itself a quite sufficient burden for the 
average shoulders to bear, Mr. Gay was one of the most active figures in 
Winsted in many other aspects of the city's life. In all measures for the 
improvement of the community, he was prominent, giving with equal gener- 
osity of his time, his money and his energy. He was president of the Gilbert 
Home and a trustee of the Gilbert School, being himself the donor of the 
land upon which the former stands. He was president of the Winchester 
Soldiers Memorial Park Association, incorporator of the Litchfield County 
Hospital and chairman of the trustees of its permanent funds; and he was 
president of the Beardsley Library. He was also greatly interested in the 
development of real estate in Winsted and the neighborhood, and dealt 
extensively therein. 

Another sphere of activities in which Mr. Gay's abilities and character 
shone with peculiar lustre was that of politics. He was one of the original 
members of the Republican party, when it was founded in 1854, and that 
party held his allegiance until his death, or rather the principles for which 
the party stood, for Mr. Gay was far too independent a character to follow 
save where his reason and judgment led. He was always active in local 
afifairs, and his voice was one of the most influential in the local Republican 
councils. The party was not slow in realizing that Mr. Gay's prominence and 
universal popularity would make him the strongest available candidate for 



J^enrp (Sap 189 

many offices within the gift of the State. He was nominated and duly elected 
six times to represent the town of Winchester, in the State Legislature, 
serving in that body from 1875 to 1877, ^"d l^ter in the years 1879, ^S^S ^^^ 
i88q. His well known mastery of the banking situation in the State caused 
him to be placed upon the legislative committee on finance, where he served 
as chairman, during his last term. 

Mr. Gay was married, May 20, 1857, when twenty-three years of age, 
to Charlotte E. Watson, a native of New Hartford. Connecticut, where she 
was born January 8, 1835, and a daughter of Thomas and Emeline (Curtis) 
Watson, of that place. Mrs. Gay, who survives her husband, is a member of 
a well known Connecticut family, which migrated from England to that 
colony sometime prior to 1644, in which year the name of John Watson 
appears in the Hartford records as a juror. To Mr. and Mrs. Gay was born 
one child, Mary Watson Gay, born June 19, i860, died August 25, 1901 ; 
married Dr. Edward L. Pratt, a prominent physician of Winsted. Their 
son, Henry Gay Pratt, who was born May 25. 1891, graduated from the 
Winsted High School when eighteen, then spent a year traveling abroad, 
then entered Colby College and graduated from there June, 1914, and is now 
a student in the University of Law, at Boston, Massachusetts. 

Upon the personality of Henry Gay no clearer light can be thrown than 
that contained in the phrase he used to employ to describe his work in life, 
"making rough ground smooth." And let it be quickly admitted that there 
are few more noble functions. His appearance bore out well the implication 
contained in the words. The kindly, great hearted gentleman is disclosed in 
his genial smile and level, candid eyes, the man who knows the world too 
well to entertain an intolerant thought for his fellows, the man who would 
do what he could to render the paths which we mortals tread more easy, who 
would make "rough ground smooth" as well as he might. He possessed 
great business capacity, and was looked up to for his advice by all his asso- 
ciates in that world, but there are many of whom this may be said; he was 
of unimpeachable integrity in all the relations of life, but so are many men. 
What gave him his especial distinction was that charitable outlook upon life 
which is shared by but few of us, that milk of human kindness which made 
him ready to listen to all men high and low, because they were men, and con- 
sequently his brothers, which made him lend a helping hand to so many and 
make the ground smooth for all who associated with him. There was 
scarcely a department of life in the community which did not feel his death 
a very real loss, each in its own way missed him, from the family of which 
he was so beloved a member to the community at large, every member of 
which had something to feel grateful to him for, even if it were only the 
most casual contact with a personality which irradiated good cheer. For 
over fifty years Mr. Gay was a member of the Second Congregational 
Church of Winsted, and during the entire time he was active in the work of 
the congregation. His religion was a very important factor in his life, and it 
was that true religion which, not content with occasional profession, be- 
comes part and parcel of the daily life. 




I^enrp Austin iSotsfort 

HISTORY OF the lives of well known men of the State of 
Connecticut would be incomplete did it not contain a record 
of Henry Austin Botsford, late of Hartford, Connecticut. 
As a man and as a citizen he displayed a personal worth and 
an excellence of character that not only commanded the 
respect of those with whom he was associated but won him 
the warmest personal admiration and the staunchest friend- 
ships. With a mind and heart deeply concerned with the afifairs of life, the 
interests of humanity in general, and those problems bearing upon the wel- 
fare of the race, he nevertheless possessed good business capacity and pro- 
vided well for his family, becoming a highly successful man in the accepted 
sense of the term of gaining wealth. Aside from his business afifairs, how- 
ever, he found time for the championship of many progressive public meas- 
ures, recognized the opportunities for reform, advancement and improve- 
ment, and labored effectively and earnestly for the general good. Mr. Bots- 
ford was a descendant of an old Connecticut family. 

His father, William Botsford, was born in that State, and was the 
owner of a farm at Watertown, which he sold, purchased one in Salisbury, 
and lived on that until his death. He married Fanny Baldwin, of Litchfield. 
Henry Austin Botsford was born on the homestead in Watertown, Con- 
necticut, April 23, 182 1, and died on Easter Sunday, April 14, 1895. He was 
very young when he removed to Salisbury with his parents, and received his 
school education in that town. This was the usual one of a farmer's son in 
those days, which meant that he attended the district school for a short 
period each winter, and devoted his entire time during the summer months 
to the cultivation of the farm. Later he became a clerk for his brother, who 
conducted a store in the State of New York. Returning to his native State 
in 1851, he purchased and conducted a large hotel at Falls Village, and lived 
there three years. He was deputy sheriff of Litchfield county, Connecticut, 
for ten years; sheriff four years, succeeding the late General Leverett W. 
Wessels; tax collector for a time; and held other public offices. During the 
Civil War he was appointed assistant provost marshal of the Fourth Dis- 
trict, by Governor Buckingham, and was stationed at Bridgeport, Connec- 
ticut, under Henry Wessels. His next occupation was that of running a 
stage line between Litchfield and East Litchfield. He was the proprietor of 
two hotels, and the conduct and management of these consumed so much of 
his time that he sold his stage route to George Kinney, one of his employees. 
Mr. Botsford also had important banking interests at Falls Village, being a 
director of the village bank, and it was one of his greatest pleasures to 
assist young men just starting out in life. He lived in Winsted until 1872, 
when he removed to Hartford, Connecticut, with the interests of which city 
he was identified until his death. He established himself in the hay and 
grain business, entering into a partnership with Smith, Northam & Robin- 
son, the firm name being changed to read H. A. Botsford & Company, and 




zJ^e^Tho^^ S^.c^oii-Jx^ . 



j^emy Austin ^otsf orD 191 

he sliipped the first car load of dressed beef in New England. November i, 
1875, Smith, Northam & Robinson disposed of their interest in the business 
to Clarence B. Ingraham, the firm becoming- Botsford & Ingraham, and re- 
mained so until 1882, when it was changed to Botsford, Ingraham & Swift, 
by the admission to partnership of G. F. Swift, of Chicago, and E. C. Swift, 
of Boston. For several years the firm conducted business at the foot of 
Windsor street, but about 1900 abandoned the hay and feed department 
and removed to Church street because of the superior shipping facilities of 
this location. 

Mr. Botsford had a number of other business interests. He was a 
director in the Charter Oak National Bank and the Connecticut Western 
Railroad Company; had been a director in the Loan & Guarantee Company 
of Connecticut, at Hartford ; a member of the Board of Trade and of the 
Merchants' Exchange. The Young Men's Christian Association had his 
cordial support, and he gave liberally of his time as well as of his means. 
While he continued to give his political support to the Republican party, he 
never held public office in Hartford. For many years he had been a regular 
attendant at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church. His fraternal mem- 
bership was with St. Paul's Lodge, No. 11, Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons, of Litchfield, Connecticut. He was a great lover, and a fine judge, 
of good horses, cattle, etc., and he always had many valuable horses in his 
stables. He had traveled extensively, had been a keen observer, and could 
talk very entertainingly of what he had seen. He was an afifectionate and 
devoted husband and father, and in spite of the important nature of many of 
his business transactions would never allow any business matter to interfere 
with any arrangement he had made for the pleasure of his family. 

Mr. Botsford married. May 30, 1850, Hannah Holmes, who died Janu- 
ary 28, 1901, a daughter of Reuben and (Krains) Holmes, of North 

East, Dutchess county, New York. One child blessed this union, Mary 
Baldwin, to whom we are greatly indebted for the information she has 
furnished, and who resides at 121 Sigourney street. 

Following are copies of resolutions adopted at the time of the death of 
Mr. Botsford, which show conclusively the high esteem in which he was 
held: 

At a meeting of the directors of the Charter Oak National Bank, held 
Monday, April 15, 1895, the following action was taken regarding the death 
of Henry A. Botsford : 

We have learned of the death, after a long and painful illness, of Mr. Henry A. 
Botsford, one of our associates, and we now place on record the estimation in which we 
held his character as an associate, friend and citizen, and his services as a director. Mr. 
Botsford was punctual and faithful in the discharge of the duties of his position, candid, 
considerate and discriminating in his judgment. His disposition was genial and kindly, 
his bearing patient and quiet, his friendship of great value. He was a man to be trusted 
implicitly. We greatly regret that the association so highly esteemed is now broken. 

At a special meeting of the Retail Marketmen's Association of Hart- 
ford, held April 15, 1895, it was voted: 

Whereas, in view of the loss we have sustained by the death of Henry A. Botsford, 
who in the course of many years of business association we have come to regard as a 



192 



8)enrp au0tin TSotsforD 



kind and sympathetic friend in trouble, a faithful counsellor in business matters and at 
all times an honorable Christian gentleman, and of the still greater loss sustained by 
those who were nearest and dearest to him, therefore, be it 

Resolved, That it is but a just tribute to the memory of the departed to say that in 
regretting his removal from our midst, we mourn for one who was in every way worthy 
of our respect and regard. 

Resolved, That we sincerely condole with the family of the deceased, on the dispen- 
sation with which it has pleased Divine Providence to afflict them, and commend them 
for consolation to Him who orders all things for the best and whose chastisements are 
meant in mercy. 

Resolved, That a delegation from this association attend the funeral services and 
that we close our places of business from two to four o'clock P. M. on Tuesday. 

Resolved, That this heartfelt testimonial of our sympathy and sorrow be forwarded 
to the family of our departed friend by the secretary of this association. 





^^^-^^^;^^:^^^^ 



Cijarles ^in^ 




HE DEATH of Charles King, or Deacon Charles King, as he 
was familiarly known, on June 9, 1913, caused the loss to 
Hartford, Connecticut, of one of its most honored citizens, 
a patriarchal figure who for many long years was identified 
with all that was best and worthiest in the life of the com- 
munity. He was a member of the old King family of Enfield, 
Connecticut, his parents being Seth and Marcia (Bugbee) 
King, who spent the greater part of their lives in Hartford, where the father 
was connected with the Aetna Fire Insurance Company for a period of over 
forty years. His wife's family, the Bugbees, were of old Vermont stock, 
both families bearing an enviable reputation in the several communities of 
their residence. A son of Seth King. William H. King, following in his 
father's footsteps, became connected with the Aetna Company, and finally 
was elected vice-president thereof. 

Charles King was born May 8. 1825, in Chicopee, Massachusetts, but 
while still a little child went with his parents to live in Hartford, which 
subsequently formed his home during the remainder of his active life. He 
attended, for a time the excellent public schools of the city, but at the age 
of fifteen years left his studies and turned his attention to the serious busi- 
ness of life. He secured a position with Smith, Bourne & Company, now 
Smith & Weathington, dealers in saddlery and leather goods, and there 
learned the business in all its detail, his aptitude and capacity for hard work 
making him highly valued by his employers. He received rapid promotion 
at their hands, and in due course of time was admitted by them into part- 
nership. He continued as a member of the firm until the year 1870, when he 
severed his connection with the concern and went west for a time. He 
stayed in Chicago for a few weeks, being in that city during the great fire, 
and then returned to Hartford and bought out the business of William 
Phillips, a dealer in stoves, furnaces and tinware generally. The store was 
on Main street, next door to the old Fourth Congregational Church, and Mr. 
King did not alter the location, remaining there for a period of fully twenty 
years, during which time the business prospered greatly under his capable 
management. His business policy was of a nature to gain and secure the 
best type of trade, as he always put the very best quality of work and 
material into his jobs, living up to the spirit as well as the letter of his con- 
tracts. After twenty years of most deserved prosperity, he retired entirely 
from active business, having made a prominent position for himself in mer- 
cantile and commercial circles in Hartford. In 1898 he built the handsome 
residence in which he died, and which is still the family home, on Windsor 
avenue, one of the finest residential districts in the city. Mr. King was a 
deeply religious man and one who gave much of his time and attention to the 
cause of his church. He was for many years a member of the Windsor 
Avenue Congregational Church, and was indeed a charter member, being 

CONN-VoI III-13 



194 C&acles l^ing 

one of the prime movers in the founding- of the church in the year 1870. 
Four years later he was elected deacon, an ofifice he held during the rest of 
his life. He was always active in the work of the congregation, serving in 
the Sunday school as a teacher and generously contributing to the support 
of the many benevolences and philanthropies connected with the congrega- 
tion. He was not of that type of Christians who are content with a profes- 
sion of their faith once a week, but rather strove to translate his beliefs into 
the terms of everyday conduct and make them a practical guide in life. In 
this task he succeeded well and whether it was in the realm of business or 
the more personal relations of life, he was in all things and at all times a 
staunch and upright Christian man. 

Mr. King was married, June 17, 1850, to Maria C. Olmsted, of Enfield, 
Connecticut, a daughter of Norton and Clarissa M. (Allen) Olmsted, of that 
place. To Mr. and Mrs. King were born five children, as follows: Emma 
M. ; Charles O. ; George Allen, married Harriet Cleveland, who bore him two 
children, Dorothy C. and Louis C. ; Sarah Adelaide, became Mrs. Isaac 
Bragaw, of Hartford, and the mother of six children, Allan C, Charles K., 
Alice K., Emma K., Mary A. and Louis K. ; Louis Henry, who died at the 
age of twenty years. 

Though not a native of Hartford, Mr. King was one of the most familiar 
and most honored figures in the life of the city. He added to the rugged and 
simple strength of his character, the graces and amenities most potent in 
winning men's affections, without sacrificing any of the former virtue. It 
was through his own unaided efforts that he won his place in the world, yet 
despite the ability to mingle successfully with his fellowmen, he found his 
chief happiness in his family circle, and the hours he most enjoyed were 
spent by his own hearth. He was greatly devoted to nature and the great 
outdoors in all its aspects, and was especially fond of flowers. 

It seems appropriate to end this sketch with a quotation from the 
"Little Minister," the periodical published by the Windsor Avenue Congre- 
gational Church, of which Deacon King had been so long a member. On the 
occasion of his death, "The Little Minister" says in a special article : 

The passing from us of Deacon Charles King, on June 9, after a lingering illness, 
has left our entire church family mourning the loss. To realize that he has gone beyond 
returning and that we are still to press forward in the life and work of the church he so 
much loved and to which he gave his life and thought, brings a sense of great and solemn 
loneliness and grief. 

He has stood for this church in all its life and activities, having been a charter 
member in 1870. He was first elected a deacon in 1874, serving in that ofiSce until the 
day of his death. 

He was a teacher in the Sunday school for many years. A number of our promi- 
nent members were boys in his classes and remember gratefully his teachings and earn- 
est interest in their spiritual welfare. 

He was not given to the spectacular, but to the quiet, steady service of every day 
work and helpfulness. 

His was an unswerving loyalty and quiet fervency of spirit, which acted as the 
patriarchal head of the spiritual forces of the church life, yet lacked nothing of the busi- 
ness interest and ability without which even the church would be stranded, and fail to 
reach its best development. 

We remember with delight the occasions when his voice has been raised in the dis- 
cussion of ways and means, and his words of wisdom and strength carried the lagging 



courage over the hard places where lack of faith had made stumblings and hesitations. 
He had the courage and power of conviction. 

We shall miss his earnest and uplifting prayers in the family gatherings when he 
took us with him up to the very throne of God in the petitions which seemed made up 
of each individual's longings for the better way and the closer walk with God. 

We shall miss his friendship. That sincere interest in the life and action of those 
about him, and the fund of quiet humor which made him an interesting and interested 
factor in every gathering of family sociability and in every social function of the church. 

We shall miss that enthusiasm which kept him young even to the ripe old age of 
eighty-eight years, and which inspired us all to renewed effort from year to year to bring 
the church up to its fullest capacity for Christian service in this community. 

We shall miss his comings and goings, but shall continue to feel his presence among 
us ; the spirit of his consecration and love will go on still, blessing and cheering and help- 
ing, since he belongs by right of character and life among those of whom it has been 
said "They shall not see death." He has lived well, and will continue to live in the lives 
of those with whom he came in contact. 

To his family we would extend our most heartfelt sympathy and love in this time 
of separation and grief. May the God of him who has gone before, continue to bless, 
guide and comfort their households of faith and hope. 

So be our passing 
The task accomplished and the long day done. 
The wages taken, and in the heart 
Some late lark singing. 
Let us be gathered to the quiet west 
The sundown splendid and serene. 




3ol)n Stanley parsons 

'HERE HAS ALWAYS been a tendency to associate together 
the names of places and the men who lived there, especially 
in olden times when the one was often transferred to the 
other, especially in the case of men and families being called 
after those places in which they made their homes. This was 
doubtless natural in consideration of the long periods of time 
that families would remain in one place or district, until they 
had, as it were, taken root. It is interesting to note that much the same 
tendency, though not carried so far, is to be discovered in a modern com- 
munity, in which families have a tendency to long residence, so that in New 
England are found families closely identified with certain localities and 
thought of in the popular mind as almost a part and parcel of them. 

The old Connecticut family of Parsons is an example of this, the repre- 
sentatives of which for generations have made their home in the town of 
Unionville in that State until to mention the name Parsons anywhere in the 
region suggests the place and its environs. Luther T. Parsons was a man of 
prominence in Unionville during the early decades of the past century, tak- 
ing part in the affairs of the community and making himself much respected 
and admired. He was the owner of a three hundred acre farm on the edge 
of the village, in the direction of Farmington, where he followed the manly 
and wholesome occupation of agriculture, making an ample living, without 
ever becoming wealthy. He held many positions of trust in Unionville and 
three times represented it in the Connecticut State Legislature. His wife 
was a Miss Louisa Bull, a member of another old Connecticut house, and 
both of them lived and died on the farm, he at the age of sixty-eight and she 
when seventy-two years old. They were the parents of thirteen children, 
one of whom was the father of the gentleman whose name heads this article. 
They were Martin L., Mary, Prescott, Charles, Edgar, Jvilius, Sarah, An- 
toinette, all of whom are deceased, and Cornelia, Julia, Frances, Kate and 
Alice. 

Martin L. Parsons, the father of John Stanley Parsons, was born on his 
father's fine farm of three hundred acres, where his childhood was spent in 
healthy labor. Later in life he entered business for himself, and through his 
own efforts developed a large contracting and building trade, in connection 
with which he also kept a lumber and general merchandise store. His busi- 
ness prospered greatly and he erected some of the largest and handsomest 
buildings in the vicinity. His wife, who was Miss Georgia A. Thompson 
before her marriage, is still living in Unionville. 

John Stanley Parsons, the second son of Martin L. and Georgia A. 
(Thompson) Parsons, was born August 2, 1863, in LInionville, and there 
passed his childhood and early youth in acquiring an education in the local 
public schools. He was naturally a bright, earnest lad, and made the best of 
his advantages, and would doubtless have succeeded in any career which 
opportunity had opened to him. As it was, upon leaving school, his father 



3foI)n ^tanlcp parsons 197 

employed him in his own flourishing business, the youth quickly mastering 
the details and making himself in all respects very useful. He also learned 
the trade of carpenter, and some time later went to Mount Vernon, New 
York, where there was an excellent position awaiting him. He did not 
remain in that city for a great while, however, as his father offered him a 
partnership in his business if he would return to Unionville in 1888. This 
offer the young man accepted at once, and he thus became connected with 
the business in which he was to continue during the remainder of his life. 
After the death of the elder man, Mr. Parsons continued to run both the 
contracting end of the business and the store, in partnership with a younger 
brother, L. A. Parsons. This partnership was finally dissolved by the pur- 
chase of his brother's interest by Mr. Parsons, after which he continued the 
sole owner until his death. Under the very able management of Mr. Par- 
sons both departments of the business thrived greatly, and he erected a great 
number of buildings in the rapidly growing region of Unionville and the 
adjacent country side. Upon the death of Mr. Parsons, September 5, 1908, 
the business passed into the hands of two of his brothers, L. A. Parsons, who 
had already been connected with it, and Guy R. Parsons, who have continued 
it successfully down to the present time. 

John Stanley Parsons married, July, 1882, Alice Latimer, a daughter of 
Amon and Lucia Amanda (Case) Latimer, of Simsbury, Connecticut, 
where Mr. Latimer was regarded as one of the most substantial and pros- 
perous farmers in the neighborhood. Mr. and Mrs. Parsons were the parents 
of three children, as follows : Edna L. ; Ward C, who married Cloffie M. St. 
Cyr, and is now a resident of Unionville; and Robert E., who married J. 
Marie Swanston, and resides in Unionville. Mr. Parsons is survived by his 
wife and children. During his life he constructed a very handsome dwell- 
ing for himself and family situated on Farmington avenue, Unionville, and 
this is now occupied by his sons. Ward C. and Robert E. Parsons and fami- 
lies, Mrs. Parsons, Sr., having built another handsome residence for her own 
use since her husband's death, which she now occupies. 

There is, of course, no formula for success, one man accomplishing his 
ends by means that seem the diametrical opposite of those which some other 
employs. One's strength seems to lie in self-advertisement, to make progress 
he must call attention to himself and win the admiration and wonder of 
those whom he uses as his instruments, while with another silence appears 
as necessary as noise to the first. There are, of course, a thousand vari- 
ations to each of these general classes, and we distinguish easily between 
him who needs silence or obscurity for his deeds, and him who prefers them 
merely as a part of a modest, retiring nature. Perhaps it is to the latter 
class that the subject of the present article belonged. A man he was who did 
not try to proclaim his own merits, so convinced was he that good wine 
needs no bush, that he concerned himself solely with the performance in the 
very fullest sense of his engagements. The result fully justified him in his 
policy, his success was great and no wide system of advertisement could 
have resulted in a more enviable reputation or an achievement more sub- 
stantial. Whatever may be thought of the method from the point of view of 
business, there is one thing certain, however, that with the ending of such a 



198 3[oi)n ^tanleg Par0ong 

life the knowledge of its worth must inevitably pass, save in-so-far as it 
depends upon the efforts of others for its preservation. Thus the more self- 
effacing a man is, the more incumbent is it upon others to put in some per- 
manent form his record, if it be a worthy one, that it may not cease to serve 
as an example for the guidance of others. Nay there is an added reason why 
such a man should have his fame spread, for modesty is an added virtue, and 
one which, perhaps above all others, we need to have presented to us, and 
which, by a strange paradox, most readily hides even itself. It would be 
impossible within the limits of a sketch such as this to tell fully the story of 
a life such as Mr. Parsons', or to formulate an adequate estimate of his 
character and achievement. But a few of his virtues may be touched upon, 
and those perhaps the most characteristic were connected, first, with his 
high moral sense and devotion to religious teaching, and second, to his great 
love of home and family. He was a member of the Congregational church 
and was for many years an ardent worker in its cause. Nor was he content 
with the mere formal profession of its tenets, but strove in all ways and at 
all times to make it a practical guide for his conduct in the daily relations of 
life. Another of Mr. Parsons' strongest instincts was the domestic one, and 
it was in the familiar intercourse of his home that he really found his greatest 
delight. His mind never wearied of devising ways and means of increasing 
the happiness and pleasure of those who made up his household, and in these 
innocent delights he joined with a gusto and enthusiasm that were infec- 
tious. This was a side of his character which only the more intimate of his 
associates were familiar with, but there were none, even the most casual 
acquaintances, who did not realize the fundamental trustworthiness of the 
nature of this high-minded citizen, good neighbor and true friend. 




C^^^^^^i^,^ (;^£^^^^.^^_. 




CJjarles SRocfetoell Mtlim 

N THE DEATH of Charles Rockwell Belden on March i8, 
1902, the city of Hartford, Connecticut, lost one of its most 
successful merchants and enterprising business men, and 
one who has been closely identified with the growth and 
development of that community throughout his life. He was 
a member of an old Hartford family, his parents having been 
Seth and Abigail Sophia (Steadman) Belden, well known 
residents there, his father a merchant and successful dealer in stone. 

Mr. Belden was one of three children born to his parents, his birth 
occurring on January 24, 1850, in Hartford, which place he made the scene 
of his busy and active life. He obtained his education in the local public 
schools, which have a reputation for excellence throughout the State, and 
after completing his studies, he went into the tailoring business, remaining 
for a short time, then entered his father's stone establishment where he 
remained about two years. Here he thoroughly mastered the details of mer- 
cantile life and prepared himself for his successful career. About the year 
1882 he was instrumental in founding the Hartford Coal Company, in con- 
junction with a number of capitalists. This concern was highly successful 
and developed to a great size. In course of time Mr. Belden was elected to 
the double office of president and treasurer of the concern and held them 
until his death. 

Throughout his successful business career Mr. Belden displayed the 
great talents he possessed for organization and management, and became 
in course of time one of the really prominent figures in the financial circles 
of the city. His enterprises were conducted with that unusual union of con- 
servative caution and progressive boldness that marks the true master of 
his craft, and which won for him the speedy and spontaneous recognition 
of his confreres. Had his death been delayed even to the age usually allotted 
to man, his career would doubtless have carried him to great heights. 

It was not alone in the business world that Mr. Belden interested him- 
self or showed his ability. A man of broad sympathies, he had always been 
from youth interested keenly in the conduct of public affairs, and an intelli- 
gent observer of the political issues which agitated the country at the time. 
He was a firm adherent of the Republican party and of the principles for 
which it stood, although he was the possessor of far too independent a mind 
to allow himself to be swayed in his judgment by partisan reasons. It was 
not long, indeed, before the local organization of his party, with which he 
had allied himself, began to perceive his availability for public office, and to 
act accordingly. Well known and prominent in the life of the community, 
he had a personal popularity, which augured well for his candidacy, and the 
only difficulty to be overcome was his own retiring disposition and reluc- 
tance to undertake conspicuous public duties. He was, however, at length 
prevailed upon to accept his party's nomination to the Court of Common 
Council of Hartford, and being elected from the Third Ward he represented 



Cftatlcs Hocktuell IBelUtn 



that district during the term of 1875 in a manner highly satisfactory to his 
constituents. He could not be prevailed upon to accept further distinction 
in this line, but he continued to exert an influence upon the local councils of 
his party in the capacity of a private citizen. 

There were but few departments in the life of his community that Mr. 
Belden did not participate actively in. He was a prominent figure in the 
social and club life of the place and belonged to a number of the secret fra- 
ternities there. He was a member of the St. John's Lodge, Free and Accepted 
Masons, of Hartford; of the B. H. Webb Council, Royal Arcanum; of the 
Hartford Council of the Improved Order of Heptasophs; and the Sicaogg 
Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men. 

Mr. Belden married. May 28, 1868. Mary E. Sill, a daughter of Micah 
and Adelaide (Raphel) Sill, of Hartford. To Mr. and Mrs. Belden were 
born three children, as follows: i. Frederick Seth, who succeeded his father 
as president and treasurer of the Hartford Coal Company; married Sidney 
Hansen, and by her had two children, Kathleen and Ruth. 2. Caroline Sill, 
now Mrs. James E. Brooks, of Orange, New Jersey, and the mother of two 
children, Charles and Eleanore. 3. Louise, now Mrs. William C. Hill, of 
Sunbury, Pennsylvania. Mr. Belden is survived by Mrs. Belden and their 
three children, the former being still a resident of the charming Belden home 
at No. 905 Asylum avenue, Hartford. 

Charles Rockwell Belden was a man of unusual tastes and mental attain- 
ments, and one whose personal traits recommended him to a large circle of 
devoted friends. To those fundamental virtues of honesty and strength of 
purpose upon which all good character must be founded, he added the more 
unusual qualities of a cultured mind and tastes along with the truly demo- 
cratic outlook upon life which draws men's hearts and insures their good 
will. His manner was an open one which made even strangers, and those 
of all classes, feel at home in his presence. In spite of his active life, he pos- 
sessed the strongest fondness for domestic and home ties, enjoying nothing 
so greatly as the intercourse with his own family and household circle by his 
"ain fireside." His untimely death, coming as it did in his fifty-third year, 
cut short a most useful life and was felt as a real loss, not only by the mem- 
bers of his family and his host of faithful friends, but by his fellow towns- 
men generally, but few of whom had not benefited, at least, indirectly, 
through his wholesome activities. 




R. WILLIAM H. SAGE, in whose death on March lo, 1909. 
at the advanced age of eighty-four years. New Haven, Con- 
necticut, lost one of its most revered and loved citizens, and 
the profession of medicine in the State one of its leading 
members, was a member of a Massachusetts family of cul- 
ture and refinement, his parents being old residents of the 
town of Sandisfield there. 
Dr. Sage was born in Sandisfield. Massachusetts, March 15. 1825, and 
there passed the years of his early childhood. When he came of an age to 
attend school, he was sent to the excellent academy at Westfield. Massachu- 
setts, where he gained his general education, and prepared himself for his 
later technical studies. For even as a mere youth he had decided upon the 
profession as his life's work, and with characteristic energy and purpose, 
bent every circumstance to that end. Having completed his studies at the 
institution in Westfield, he matriculated at the School of Medicine of Yale 
University, and after a brilliant college career, graduated with the class of 
1849. The following year he moved to Unionville, Connecticut, being 
attracted to that place by the fact that a cousin of his was about to give up 
his practice there and proposed to the newly fledged physician to take his 
place. From the outset Dr. Sage was highly successful, and in a few years 
made himself the leading physician in the region of about twenty-five miles 
from Unionville, and built up a large and remunerative practice. He gained 
also the highest kind of reputation, not only as a physician, but as a man. 
For, indeed, his ministrations were by no means exclusively for bodily ail- 
ments, rather there was scarcely a misfortune of any kind that he was not 
ready to do his best to relieve, and he was as much a family friend and 
advisor as doctor of medicine. Not that the other side was neglected, for all 
through the countryside he gained a name for skill in every department of 
his profession. He was still in Unionville at the time of the Civil War, and 
did the finest kind of work in alleviating the sufferings of the families and 
relatives left behind during that dreadful period. 

A remarkable example of the earnestness and sincerity of Dr. Sage's 
nature, and a no less remarkable proof of the hold he had upon his patients' 
confidence and affection, occurred while he was still a practitioner in Union- 
ville. At this time the attention of Dr. Sage was more and more drawn to 
homoeopathy, his interest more and more awakened. He had started in 
practice as an unqualified allopath, and that school of medicine he followed 
about two years, when he took up homoeopathy, in which he built up his 
great practice, yet when he found that, after maturer study, his convictions 
pointed to the opposite school, he did not hesitate, but without regard to the 
effect it might have upon his practice or reputation, he began to work accord- 
ing to his later convictions. His triumph lay in the sequel, for his patients, 
almost in a body, made the change with him and continued to place them- 
selves in his charge. 



202 aailliam 1^. ^age 

After more than twenty years spent in Unionville, Dr. Sage, to the 
great sorrow of his patients, and, indeed, of the whole community, removed 
to New Haven, where he took over the prcatice of Dr. Charles Skifif, of that 
city. In New Haven the story of his success in Unionville was but repeated 
on a larger scale, and he soon became, without doubt, one of the leading 
physicians in the city and one of the most prominent members of the pro- 
fession in the New England States. He continued his practice in New 
Haven for rather more than a quarter of a century, and during that period 
was verv active in general medical affairs as well as in his own practice. 
One of the valuable works achieved by him was what he did in the founding 
of Grace Homoeopathic Hospital in New Haven, which owed its origin 
largely to his energy and generosity. This institution continues to this day 
its useful and successful career. Dr. Sage lived for a number of years in a 
house on Howe street. New Haven, but in 1899, his age being then seventy- 
four years, he retired entirely from active practice, and removed to Wood- 
bury. Connecticut, where he passed the remaining years of his life. Dr. Sage 
built a country home for himself at Woodbury, Connecticut. A stately 
mansion, surrounded by a noble estate bordering on the charming Pom- 
peraug river, was the result of his taste and judgment, and here he engaged 
in the congenial occupation of farming for his recreation. Even here, in his 
leisure and retirement, Dr. Sage showed his thought of his neighbors in a 
unique and beautiful manner by converting that part of his property border- 
ing upon the river into a park which he threw open to the public. 

Dr. Sage married, October i, 1851, Elizabeth Victoria Pinney. of Hart- 
ford, Connecticut, a daughter of Almon Erastus and Elizabeth Woodbridge 
(Patterson) Pinney, old residents of that place. To them were born three 
children, but one of whom survives. They were William Henry, who died 
at the age of twenty-two months; Frederick Hollister, who died April 25, 
1895, ^t the age of thirty-eight years; and Dr. Henry Pinney Sage, now a 
successful practicing ph^^sician with his home at No. 48 Howe street, New 
Haven. Mrs. Sage also survives her husband. 

To his career as physician Dr. Sage brought a most happy combination 
of traits and qualities that could scarcely be improved upon to spell success 
in that line of endeavor. A cool and collected mind which allowed no mat- 
ter of mere feeling to interfere with it in questions of diagnosis and prescrip- 
tion, he nevertheless had an abundant share of sympathy for trouble of all 
kinds, which he never withheld when it might serve to alleviate without 
harm. Nor was it, as has already been remarked, sympathy for bodily ail- 
ments only, but for mental as well, and so great was his personal magnetism 
that he drew even the most reserved to confide in him and speak freely of 
their griefs, so that in addition to his character of physician, he occupied in 
many households almost the position of a father-confessor of olden times. 
Added to these an exhaustless energy that feared not to take upon itself any 
task, however difficult, so it was in the line of duty, and the reason for his 
phenomenal success becomes apparent. The part which Dr. Sage played in 
the families where he visited, of doctor, counsellor, friend, was played more 
or less, according to the character of the man, by the old type of family phy- 
sician generally, and was, indeed, looked upon as belonging to the character. 



William ^. ^age 203 

This is rather unfortunately changing, and the medical man, as he becomes 
more the specialist, becomes also more the cold and impersonal type of 
scientist, who gives his advice, collects his fee and departs w^ithout com- 
ment. Of course, how far this is carried depends upon the individual, and 
the amount of the milk of human kindness he may possess, but the ten- 
dency is in that direction, because there is less opportunity for friendship to 
ripen and mellow. Certain it is, that more and more rarely do we find men 
of the type of Dr. Sage playing his noble role and gaining the respect and 
affection of an entire community. As time goes on the physician becomes 
more and more closely identified in the public mind with his lancet and his 
pill, necessary, but to be avoided. The career of Dr. Sage might well serve 
as a model for young men generally, as to how strict integrity, an open 
heart and hand, indefatigable effort to one end, and unswerving adherence 
to one's ideal, lead at length to great and lasting success, and an envi- 
able place in the hearts of one's fellows. There were but few people who 
did not feel his death as a personal loss, in any of the three communities in 
which he had lived during his active career. 




Hiram ^Roberts 




EYOND doubt we all find attractive whatever has to do with 
the traditions of the land wherein our ancestors have dwelt 
and it maybe distinguished themselves, and there is prob- 
ably no region so gloomy but that some heart has thrilled at 
its recollection, yet it would certainly seem that the people 
of New England had a double share of the charming and 
stirring in the associations which center about their home 
and forebears. For there seems to hang over the conditions which sur- 
rounded the makers of our country an atmosphere made up of the most 
diverse elements, in which the stern reality of facts and a haunting romance 
were strangely mingled; the romance of the wilderness against which they 
so courageously took up arms to subdue it and the uncompromising harsh- 
ness of that same wilderness in its actual contact with the strangers, and 
only surpassed by the uncompromising strength of those strangers. In 
one of his delightful essays Chesterton gives the reasons as he conceives 
them, why an old-fashioned fairy tale contains more actual truth than a 
modern problem story. According to him in the latter case the hero is eccen- 
tric if not insane and moves through a sane and even prosaic world, in the 
former it is the hero who remains divinely sane as he journeys through a 
creation wild and fantastic, a true picture, he tells us of man. Certainly it 
must have appeared their own state to the practical, energetic Englishman 
placed, as they were, in that untamed land surrounded on all sides by un- 
solved mysteries and a strange and semi-hostile savage race. But like the 
hero in the fairy tale, they remained sane and courageous and in course of 
time subdued the wilderness and brought it to its present state. It is little 
wonder, therefore, that the story contains a fascination for us or that the 
men and women bred under such conditions should have presented unusually 
strong qualities in their make-up. These were to have been expected. It is 
not quite so obvious at first sight, however, why they should have developed 
those graces for which we love them, the deep courtesy, the open-hearted 
hospitality, the cosmopolitan culture which so greatly distinguished them. 
Certain it is that they did develop them and that we might look far before 
we should find better examples of these fine things than among our New 
England ancestry. Of such stock, and himself a worthy representative of 
it, was the distinguished gentleman whose name heads this brief sketch and 
whose death in Bloomfield, Connecticut, September 6, 1845, deprived that 
region of one of its leading citizens. 

Hiram Roberts was born January 19, 1797, in Wintonbury, which is 
now the town of Bloomfield, which remained his home for practically his 
entire life. He was a scion of a well known and well connected Connecticut 
family, whose coat-of-arms is as follows: Arms — Azure, on a chevron 
argent, three mullets, sable. Crest — An eagle, displayed, argent, gorged 
with a chaplet vert. The founder of the family in this country was one 
Lemuel Roberts, who came to the colonies from England in or before the 




Snbrrts 



I^iram mofierts 205 

year 1688 and settled in Connecticut. A descendant of this first T.emuel 
Roberts, and who bore the identical name, was the father of Hiram Roberts, 
of this sketch. The second Lemuel Roberts was a large landowner whose 
estate was in the neighborhood of Bloomfield, in which town he also oper- 
ated a hotel which stood opposite what is now known as Roberts Park, 
named in honor of the family. This hotel was extremely successful and 
was run by him until his death. Lemuel Roberts was married to Roxy 
Gillett and it was of this union that Hiram Roberts was born. 

The early days of Hiram Roberts were spent in his native town in 
attendance upon the local schools. It was a period but little following the 
Revolution, and the country and its institutions were still in a formative 
state, conditions of life more or less unsettled and school opportunities 
naturally poor. Yet of such opportunities as existed Mr. Roberts took the 
utmost advantage, and this supplemented by large reading on his own 
account, gave him a most liberal education, especially for that day and gen- 
eration. Upon completing his schooling, like all wise men he never com- 
pleted his education, but was always a student, but upon completing his 
schooling Mr. Roberts engaged in business for himself, a sort of commercial 
trading in which he bought and sold goods of various descriptions in various 
parts of the country, travelling about by stage coach from place to place, 
his objective being those places where the particular commodity he was 
carrying would bring the largest price, just as a trading ship would cruise 
from place to place with varying cargoes. After some time spent in this 
manner, he established himself in commercial business at Bloomfield, Con- 
necticut, and was very successful. He became, indeed, one of the leading 
men of business in the town, and as his fortune grew so did his reputation 
likewise as one whose integrity was beyond question. 

But it was not merely in his business activities that Mr. Roberts was 
successful or in which he gained an enviable reputation among his fellow 
townsmen. He early entered the politics of his town and State and it was 
not long before his confreres induced him to accept nominations for the 
various town offices. Despite a naturally retiring disposition, Mr. Roberts 
was not one to draw back from what he regarded as his public duties, and, 
as his nominations were quite regularly followed by his election, he spent 
much of his time in the public service, to that service's great advantage. He 
was at length elected to the State Legislature and for a number of years 
served in that body, first as Assemblyman and later as State Senator. The 
side of reform and improvement could always count on his friendship and 
active aid, and his consistent regard for the best interests of the community 
without reference to party lines and distinctions won the praise and respect 
of all men. Among the causes to which he was pledged, being, indeed, 
among the earliest of their friends, were those of temperance and the anti- 
slavery movement that later developed such force in his home region. 

Mr. Roberts married, November 24, 1825, Polly Bidwell, a daughter of 
Jonathan and Ann (Brown) Bidwell, old residents of Bloomfield. Mrs. 
Roberts died February 5, 1852. To them were horn six children, as follows: 
Hiram, died January 15, 1831 ; Sarah Ann, died July 29, 1845; Mary Jane, 
died November 27, 1855; George Bidwell, died September 22, 1834; Emily 



2o6 l^itam Hobetts 

and Caroline L., both residents of Hartford. The second daughter, Mary 
Jane, was married to George Mills, of Bloomfield, and to them was born one 
son, Hiram Roberts Mills, who died May 9, 1906. The third daughter, 
Emily, was married to Lewis T. Fenn, of Hartford, and they are the parents 
of two children, John, who married Edna Howell, of Port Jervis, New York, 
who bore him two children, Phillip Curtis and Edward Howell, and Mary 
Roberts, who married Willard D. Brown, of Lexington, Massachusetts, and 
bore him one child, Sarah Emily. 

The affection with which his fellow citizens regarded Mr. Roberts was 
of that permanent and substantial kind that is based on admiration and 
respect. His virtues were a sterling type, the outcome of an essential sim- 
plicity of character which made impossible alike means and end other than 
the obvious, straightforward one. His charity for his fellows was at once 
broad and deep and of that most effective kind that understands the spiritual 
as well as the bodily needs, and ministers to them though they may never be 
expressed. He was especially interested in the ambitions of the young men 
that he came in contact with and there were many such that he aided to 
realization. The following brief picture was drawn of him by the pen of his 
friend and associate, the Hon. Francis Gillett, of Hartford, who prepared an 
obituary of him shortly after his death. We quote in part: 

He was, says Mr. Gillett, one of the most prominent men of Bloomfield and in con- 
sequence of his sound judgments and impartial decisions, he was universally consulted 
by his townsmen on matters both public and private, being by all highly esteemed and 
respected. He represented his district in the State Senate, filled many important town 
offices, and, but for his modesty and retiring disposition, would doubtless have taken 
high position in the political world, for which he was well qualified. * * * In the 
various relations which Mr. Roberts sustained in life he was faithful and exemplary ; in 
his business transactions he was honest and upright, as a neighbor he was kind and 
obliging, as a magistrate he was intelligent and just — much consulted for information 
and advice, as a citizen he was virtuous and patriotic — such was the confidence of his 
fellow citizens in his sound judgment and integrity that he was often honored with 
public trusts and was elected to a seat in each branch of the State Legislature. In the 
varied intercourse of life he was remarkable for equanimity and self-possession and of 
few men could be said more truthfully than of him "He walked life's thorny way with 
feelings calm and even." Amid storms of public excitement he was generally cool and 
unruffled, and while he was firm in his own opinions, he was careful to treat his oppo- 
nents with respectful kindness and courtesy. In his temper there was nothing like 
asperity, no harshness, no bitterness — on the contrary, his whole character was softened 
and adorned by mildness and benignity. 




Henrp l?atntI)rop Hurlburt 

ENRY WINTHROP HURLBURT, whose untimely death 
on Tune 7, 1884, robbed the city of one of its public-spirited 
citizens and those who knew him personally of a devoted 
friend, was a member of an old and most honorable Con- 
necticut family, the founder of which was one Thomas Hurl- 
but, who with ten companions formed the party of 

Gardiner, a royal engineer, and with him crossed the Atlan- 
tic and settled in Connecticut, where they founded the town of Saybrook. 
Thomas Hurlbut did not remain a resident of Saybrook, however, but later 
removed to Wethersfield, where he made his permanent home, many of his 
descendants being found to-day in and about Hartford. Various members 
of the family have departed from the original manner of spelling their 
patronymic, "Hurlbut," as it is given here, varying it to Hurlburt and Hurl- 
bert. 

Mr. Hurlburt's father was Joseph O. Hurlburt, who was a resident of 
East Hartford for many years. He was a man of great force of character 
and an educator of distinction. He eventually removed to Wethersfield, 
Connecticut, where he took charge of the Wethersfield High School for a 
long period of years, exercising a great influence for good not only upon the 
young people whose education was intrusted to his care, but upon his fellow 
townsfolk generally, so that he became a recognized leader in the public 
affairs of the region, where he was much beloved and honored. His wife 
was Amelia Hills, of East Hartford, before marriage. 

Henry Winthrop Hurlburt was born February 13, 1851, in East Hart- 
ford, and there passed his youth, attending the Hartford public schools for 
his education. Upon completing his course of studies in these institutions, 
he secured emplo3^ment with a firm of jewelers, D. H. Buell & Company, as 
it was then called, but now known as the Hansel & Sloan Company. For 
many years the company has been the leading dealers in jewelry in the city 
of Hartford, and Mr. Hurlburt was well pleased with his employers and the 
character of the work assigned to him. That the satisfaction was recipro- 
cated is obvious from the fact that from that time until his death, Mr. Hurl- 
burt remained in the same employment, enjoying in the meantime a series 
of promotions. Throughout his brief career he displayed marked business 
ability and had not death cut short his career at the early age of thirty-three 
years, there is no doubt he would have highly distinguished himself in the 
mercantile world and become a dominant influence in the business affairs of 
the city. 

Besides his activity in the business he had chosen, Mr. Hurlburt partici- 
pated in the general life of the city in which he had made his home. He was 
keenly interested in politics, and though he did not ally himself actively with 
any of the local organizations he was a strong believer in the principles of 
and a staunch supporter of the Republican party. He was a Congregational- 
ist in religion and for many j^ears was faithful in attendance at divine service 
in the Pearl Street Congregational Church of Hartford, and so continued 



2o8 i^encp mintbtop i^urltiutt 

until his death, since which event, however, his family have become identi- 
fied with the handsome new church recently erected on Farmington avenue, 
at a point not far from their residence. 

On October 28, 1873, Mr. Hurlburt was united in marriage with Mary 
L. Goodwin, of Hartford, a daughter of Henry A. and Louisa (Hubbard) 
Goodwin, long residents of that city. The Goodwin family has been promi- 
nent in the affairs of New England since early Colonial days, and Mrs. Hurl- 
burt is related to many of the distinguished figures in the history of that 
region. The founder of the line in this country was Ozias Goodwin, one 
of those who, with Thomas Hooker, founded Hartford. Mrs. Hurlburt's 
descent also leads directly back to Governor Haynes, the first to hold that 
title and office in Connecticut. Her father, Henry A. Goodwin, was a very 
able business man and was the founder of the important drug establishment 
now bearing the name of the Goodwin Drug Company and occupying the 
busiest corner in the city of Hartford. Business talent seems, indeed, to run 
in the family, and it is a brother of Mrs. Hurlburt, Henry H. Goodwin, that 
is the partner in the great firm of Tucker & Goodwin, the largest wholesale 
dealers in flour in that part of New England. To Mr. and Mrs. Hurlburt 
were born four daughters, two of whom, with their mother, survive their 
father. They were as follows: Anna Louise, now Mrs. W. F. Hale, of Hart- 
ford ; Nellie May, now Mrs. Clarence Whitney, of Hartford ; Mabel Goodwin 
and Florence Amelia, both deceased. 

It was during an epidemic of diphtheria in Hartford that Mr. Hurlburt 
was carried off by that dread disease, and to make more tragic what was, in 
itself sad enough, his youngest daughter also died of the same malady in 
the same week. He had scarcely reached the prime of life when his career, 
which promised so brilliantly for the future, was thus cut off, depriving the 
community of one who could scarcely have failed to make himself a leader 
in any department of activity he might have chosen to engage in. He was a 
man of the most sterling virtues, respected at once by high and low, rich and 
poor, since there was no difference in his treatment of men because of any 
class distinctions. He was easy of access to all and those who were for- 
tunate enough to be counted among his friends found him, not merely faith- 
fulness itself, but the most attractive of companions. He was a favorite 
among men, both for these qualities of intrinsic worth and because of the 
community of interests that existed between him and his fellows. His 
tastes and pleasures were all of the wholesome manly kind that men in gen- 
eral understand and sympathize in, healthy out-of-doors sports, such as 
boating and competitive games, were his recreation, and in all of them he 
was able to maintain his ability. He was a skillful yachtman, and spent 
much of his spare time on the water. Nor was it alone the things of the body 
that Mr. Hurlburt cultivated. His tastes were discriminating and cultured 
and he was an authority on more than one branch of art work. He was espe- 
cially skillful in the question of rare and old china and other wares, and this 
fondness he was enabled to indulge on a large scale in collecting for his firm, 
in connection with the business. His death caused a gloom to settle upon all 
who associated with him, even casually, and was the cause of many testi- 
monials of the respect and affection in which he was held by the community 
at large. 



^* Henrp (J^oobricf) 




N a large and high sense of the phrase the late P. Henry Good- 
rich was one of the most distinguished citizens of Glaston- 
bury. Connecticut, one of those who was most closely identi- 
fied with the wonderful development of that town's industrial 
importance, and one in whose death on September 20, 1900, 
it sufifered a loss that it will be difficult indeed to forget. As 
such his record deserves in a double sense that detailed 
preservation which alone the printed word can secure for it, not only as the 
meed of virtuous achievement, but as a benefit to posterity which cannot fail 
to be influenced by the accounts of worth and merit, and thus be brought into 
direct contact with a cheering and inspiring influence which has otherwise 
ceased to exist. For Mr. Goodrich was a man whose career exemplifies the 
old faith in the final victory of virtuous and patient efifort in the race of life, 
and which may well stand as a type of good citizenship and staunch, honor- 
able manhood. 

P. Henry Goodrich was born May 27. 1840, in Portland, Connecticut, 
and there passed the years of his childhood, attending the local public 
schools, where he gained the rudimentary portion of his education. He was 
later a student for one term in the school conducted by a Mr. Quinby, well 
known as a teacher in that day and place, in the old church building at Port- 
land. Still later he was sent away from home to the Chase School at Mid- 
dletown, where he completed his studies. He was a youth of a very enter- 
prising nature and in 1858, when but eighteen years of age, he, like so many 
young men of that day, went out into the great West to seek his fortime. 
He settled in Champaign, Illinois, where he purchased a fine farm, although 
undeveloped, and there engaged in farming and stock raising for about two 
years. During the period of terrible stress and uncertainty preceding the 
Civil War, the feelings of Mr. Goodrich, as well as his beliefs, were all 
enlisted in the cause of the threatened Union, so that thereafter he always 
counted it a privilege to have cast his first vote for the great President, who 
through the crises held so firmly the helm of the ship of state. Upon the 
actual outbreak of hostilities, he at once determined to give his services and 
if need be his life for the cause he so much loved, but desiring to serve among 
the men of his native region, he returned at once to Connecticut in order to 
enlist. The opportunity came with the formation of the Twentieth Regi- 
ment of Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. He, with other recruits, joined 
Company D of this force as a private, and was ordered South at once, where 
he was soon in the midst of active service. Indeed, the only delay was that 
at Arlington, \''irginia, where the regiment was drilled. The first great 
engagement in which the Twentieth Connecticut took part was the battle of 
Chancellorsville, in which Company D held an exposed position with great 
gallantry, three orderlies who were dispatched with orders for them to retire 
being shot before they could reach them. Battle, skirmish, and hard cam- 

CONN_Vol IU-14 



2IO p. i^entp (SooDticij 

paigning followed each other without intermission, the first winter being 
spent in Virginia, and fortune bringing them around at length to the terrible 
field of Gettysburg. The Twentieth Connecticut formed a part of the 
Twelfth Army Corps under command of General Slocum, which reached 
the field on the afternoon of the first day, and thereafter was in the thick of 
the conflict. In the spring of 1864 he was forced to leave his regiment 
for a time, being laid up as an invalid in the military hospital at Atlanta. 
He recovered, however, and in the autumn of the same year took part 
in the great march of Sherman to the sea. It was on March 19, 1865, 
that he was finally disabled from taking further part in the war, a bullet 
passing through his foot and giving him a wound that for a long period 
proved extremely troublesome. He was in the field hospital for a time and 
was from there removed to the hospital at Newbern, North Carolina, and 
then to the transport vessel "Northern Light." It was while on board the 
"Northern Light" off Newbern that the joyful news reached him and his 
companions of the surrender of General Lee. Upon reaching New York 
he was honorably discharged from the service in Tune, 1865, having reached 
the rank of orderl}^ sergeant from that of private. 

He had sold his farm in Champaign county, Illinois, before enlisting 
for the war, but now that peace had once more been restored, he turned 
his thoughts westward again, where he hoped to resume his business with 
his brother, so rudel)' interrupted four years before. He was unable to carry 
out his intention, however, for some time, as his foot had been so badly 
wounded that it was impossible for him to get about on it and he was obliged 
to play the part of invalid. It was not until 1867 that he found it possible to 
return to Illinois, and he then did not stay a great while, for in 1869 he came 
once more to Connecticut, this time settling in Glastonbury, where he 
entered the employ of an uncle, Frederick Welles, who was engaged in the 
tobacco business on a large scale in that town. In time Mr. Welles retired 
from active management, when Mr. Goodrich, in partnership with Charles 
F. Tag and son, of New York, continued it. The business consisted in the 
buying up, packing and wholesale marketing of the tobacco grown in the 
Glastonbury neighborhood, and was very profitable. Later the New York 
parties withdrew and left Mr. Goodrich to carry it on alone, which he did 
most successfully until 1893, when other interests of more importance 
induced him to lease it and withdraw from participation. 

It was during this time that Mr. Goodrich became connected with 
those large industries which have occupied so important a place in the 
Glastonbury business world, and the origin and development of which were 
so largely due to his genius for management and indefatigable industry. 
The first of these was the Eagle Sterling Company, which after a period in 
Glastonbury, finally removed to another locality. In 1894 Mr. Goodrich 
with a number of associates organized the Riverside Paper Manufacturing 
Company of Glastonbury, which, upon the removal of the Eagle Sterling 
Company, occupied the latter's plant. He was chosen president and treas- 
urer and held these offices until the day of his death, developing the industry 
from its small beginnings to the proportions which it later assumed. The 
specialty of this concern was the manufacture of heavy paper boards for use 



p, ^encp ^ooDricft 211 

in binding, trunk making and similar work, and in which it did a very large 
business. Mr. Goodrich was also president of the Glastonbury Steam Boat 
Wharf Company, which under his capable direction was exceedingly suc- 
cessful. Besides these enterprises at home in the East, Mr. Goodrich re- 
tained some interests in the West, and was one of those who established 
the Goodrich Brothers Banking Company of Fairbury, Nebraska, which was 
highly successful in its financial operations and of which he was for many 
years vice-president and a director. 

Thus prominently engaged in the industrial and financial realms, Mr. 
Goodrich, nevertheless, did not lose his interest in other departments of life, 
nor his sympathy with other aims and traditions. It is a natural temptation, 
alas, too often yielded to by busy men of affairs, to forget in their absorbing 
occupation the other aspects of life and to underrate such men as are en- 
gaged in their pursuit, but into this error Mr. Goodrich did not fall. He 
entered freely into local politics, identified himself with the Republican party 
and with its organization in his district, and as a young man, while living in 
Portland, was elected a justice of the peace. After coming to live in Glas- 
tonbury, he continued his political activities and was soon elected first select- 
man. He served his fellow citizens in this position four years faithfully and 
well, and a like term as auditor of the town. He became very well known 
and popular as time went on, and in 1884 and again in 1897 was elected to 
represent the town in the State Legislature. He made his presence felt in 
that body and was chosen a member of the military committee during both 
his terms. He was extremely fond of social intercourse with his fellows and 
naturally felt his old comrades of war times the most congenial possible 
companions. He gratified this taste by means of membership in Tyler Post, 
No. 50, Grand Army of the Republic, the headquarters being at Hartford. 
In religion Mr. Goodrich was affiliated with the Congregational church, he 
and his family being members of the church of that denomination in Glas- 
tonbury. Just prior to his death he had been chosen a member of the invest- 
ment committee of this church, after having served as president of the cor- 
poration for several years. He was also a member of the St. James' Ceme- 
tery Association of Glastonbury. 

Mr. Goodrich was united in marriage, October 14, 1869, to Helen E. 
Wells, a daughter of Henry and Mary A. (Freeman) Wells, of Portland, 
Connecticut. Mrs. Goodrich survives her husband. Of this union were 
born eight children, as follows: Arthur B., now president, managing the 
great business of the Riverside Paper Manufacturing Company, left by his 
father; Leslie W., a graduate of Cornell and Yale universities, and now a 
resident of Hartford; Sarah M., a graduate of the Glastonbury Academy; 
Joseph E., a graduate of Williston Seminary and Cornell University, and 
now doing concrete contracting in Hartford; Ralph S. ; Bertha H. ; Henry 
C, deceased; Ethel J. 

Among the many self-made men of Glastonbury and that region of 
Connecticut, none deserve higher esteem than P. Henry Goodrich. Few, 
indeed, have attained to a larger measure of material success, and none 
with a closer adherence to true ideals of life. With but few opportunities, 



212 1^. ptmv (S)00Dtic5 

with many obstacles, he began life courageously, without a complaint 
against fate or fortune, and by sheer force of will, coupled with integrity of 
purpose and a naturally clever head, he won an exceptional success and the 
respect and admiration of the entire community. Such men are not to be 
found every day, but when they are their lustre travels far. 




(BtoxQt ifKla^toell 




^HERE are not many families that have sustained so high a 
character through so great a term of years and in so many 
different climes as have the Maxwells, originally of the pur- 
est Scotch blood, but now distributed throughout the civil- 
ized, and, to some extent, even in the uncivilized, quarters 
of the globe. But whether in their native Scotland, where 
they were known in Dumfriesshire, Renfrewshire, Lannark- 
shire and many other parts before the year 1200; whether in Ulster, where 
a branch of the house settled, or whether in New England, where that 
branch of the family with which we are especially concerned has made its 
home, the men of that name have acquitted themselves with distinction and 
won positions of prominence in the various homes they have chosen. 

Of the well-known New England branch, the founder in this country 
was Hugh Maxwell, who came from County Tyrone, Ireland, and settled in 
Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1733, removing later to the little settlement of 
Heath in the same colony. His son Hugh, who like himself had been born 
in Ireland, was the youngest of six children and was brought to the new 
home in the wilderness when but six weeks of age. He grew up amid the 
wild surroundings of the colonies and ultimately took a prominent part in 
the affairs of the region, distinguishing himself as an Indian fighter in what 
are described as "five fatiguing and dangerous campaigns" under the com- 
mand of General Johnson. He was one of the bold spirits who would rather 
face death than the trespass of the foreign government on what he conceived 
to be his rights, and had much to do with the precipitation of hostilities 
leading up to the Revolution. He had a hand in the famous "Boston Tea 
Party," helped to plan and erect the fortifications behind which the Ameri- 
cans fought at Bunker Hill, and was himself slightly wounded in that en- 
gagement. He entered the war with the rank of captain and left it a colonel 
after a long term of arduous service, and was one of the thirteen officers 
who originally formed the Massachusetts section of the Society of the Cin- 
cinnati. His wife was, before her marriage, Bridget Monroe, of Lexington, 
Massachusetts, and the youngest of their seven children was the father of 
the distinguished citizen and manufacturer of Connecticut who forms the 
subject of this sketch. This seventh child was Sylvester Maxwell, a well- 
known lawyer of Heath, Massachusetts, during the early years of this coun- 
try's history as an independent nation. He was married to Tirzah Taylor, 
of Buckland, by whom he was the father of eight children. 

George Maxwell, the fifth child of Sylvester and Tirzah (Taylor) Max- 
well, was born July 30, 1817, in the town of Charlemont, Massachusetts. 
He was educated in the public schools of his native town, and remained in 
his father's house until he had reached the age of seventeen years. He then 
left to attend the Fellenberg Academy at Greenfield, Massachusetts, where 
he made his home and later secured a clerical position in a store there. It 
was in 1843 that Mr. Maxwell finally moved to Rockville, Connecticut, 



214 (George Q^aitoell 

where from that day until his death he made his home and where he engaged 
in those great industrial enterprises with which his name is inseparably asso- 
ciated. For a time after coming to the town he was connected with Stanley 
White in a mercantile business situated at the southwest corner of Main 
and Union streets, but in the late forties entered into those relations so bene- 
ficial to both, with the New England Company, manufacturers of woolen 
goods. From this time really dates his rise into prominence in the industrial 
world in which he was soon a leader and one of the dominant factors in that 
part of the State. As time went on not only industrial companies, but other 
concerns, notably those connected with the public utilities of the town, came 
under his influence and in the direction of all he displayed the same capacity 
and broad-minded consideration of the interests of other that distinguished 
him through life. He was president of the New England Company from 
the time of its reorganization, president and treasurer of the Hockanum 
Manufacturing Company, president and treasurer of the Springville Manu- 
facturing Company, president of the Rockville National Bank, the Rockville 
Gas Company, of the Water and Aqueduct Company, the Rockville Railway 
Company, and a director in many other corporations and companies among 
which should be noted the Society for Savings of Hartford, the Hartford 
Trust Company and the National Fire Insurance Company. The mere enu- 
meration of these great interests in which he held a directing influence is an 
indication of the important position he occupied in the development of the 
industries and business of the region, but it can give no adequate knowl- 
edge of the immense work which he actually did in this direction, or the pub- 
lic spirit he showed in all his policies. 

Nor was his activity confined to the realm of business, however great 
the demands made upon his time and energies thereby, for he did not hesi- 
tate to participate in many other departments of the community's life. For 
an example, he took the keenest interest in the question of politics, he was a 
lifelong member of the Republican party, and served his fellow citizens in a 
number of ofiicial capacities, among them as member of the State General 
Assembly in 1871 and as State Senator in 1S72. Mr. Maxwell was one of 
those men to whom religious belief and experience is a very real matter and 
forms an important factor in life. For many years he was a deacon in the 
Second Congregational Church of Rockville and later held the same office 
in the Union Congregational Church of Rockville. He had the cause of 
religion and the church ever in mind and did a great deal of efifective work 
for its advancement. In this connection also it should be mentioned that he 
was a trustee of the Hartford Theological Seminary. Unlike many men 
whose lives have been devoted to the founding and development of great 
business enterprises, he appreciated and sympathized with other aims in life 
and even with the failure of others less capable of fighting the battle of life 
than himself. It was for this reason that he was ever striving to relieve mis- 
fortune in all forms wherever he saw it, and was a liberal supporter of many 
worthy charities and benevolences. These he aided as cures for conditions 
already existing, but he was still more interested in preventive measures, 
and believing that education was the great fosterer of those qualities which 
make for successful effort and normal life, he was especially active in his 



©eorge Qiaitoell 215 

endeavor to spread knowledge and enlightenment through the medium of 
the public schools and elsewhere. He was the founder of the Rockville Pub- 
lic Reading Room, and of the Rockville Public Library. It was therefore 
doubly appropriate that after his death his wife and children should have 
presented Rockville with a splendid library building as a memorial to him. 

George Maxwell was united in marriage, November 3, 1846, with 
Harriet Kellogg, a native of Rockville, and a daughter of George Kellogg, 
a prominent and highly respected citizen of that place. To them were 
born nine children of whom four are now living, as follows: Francis T., J. 
Alice, William and Robert. The sons have inherited their father's great 
business talents as well as his other qualifications for good citizenship, and 
in their various relations to the life of their community figure among the 
prominent men in the State of Connecticut. 

The death of George Maxwell, which occurred April 2, i8gi, removed 
one of the most striking figures from a society where strong characters and 
brilliant personalities were the rule rather than the exception. He possessed 
in a high degree all those personal qualities which mark the best types of his 
race; a strong moral sense, unimpeachable honesty and integrity of purpose, 
courage and unlimited capacity for hard work. If, as Carlyle remarks, 
"genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains," then surely Mr. Maxwell 
might make a strong plea to be regarded as a genius of high degree. To 
these sterner virtues he added a genial candor of temperament, the humor 
that seems an inseparable accompaniment to a due sense of proportion, and 
a gentleness towards weakness that made men who felt their cause to be 
just instinctively turn to him, as to a friend, for support and encourage- 
ment. His was a character that, aside from his great material achievements, 
could not fail to afifect powerfully any environment in which it might have 
been placed and which, in his death, left a gap which even years have failed 
entirely to fill. 




[TRONG character and the ability to lead others is, doubtless, 
like other qualities, an inheritable trait so that we need feel 
no surprise when we see the sons of capable fathers growing 
up themselves resolute and commanding figures. Yet, when 
we pause to think of the incalculably complex ancestries of 
each and all of us, of the myriad diverse elements that enter 
a family with every marriage so that generation after gen- 
eration our relationships multiply in some staggering geometric progres- 
sion, it would appear that no character could remain fixed beyond a couple 
of generations at the most and that family peculiarities must forever flux 
and flow, forever shift and change with almost the speed of, and a far 
greater variety than, any kaleidoscope. Truly we are in a very grave sense 
at the mercy of our ancestors and our one comfort should be that out of any 
thousand such, nine hundred and ninety-nine will prove to be the proverbial 
"good men and true." But however this may be, however appearances seem 
against it, the fact remains that in many families we see generation after 
generation displaying the same virile energy, the same capacity for leader- 
ship that marked the great man their progenitor in a remote past. It would 
be difificult, perhaps, to find a better illustration of this fact than in the his- 
tory of the distinguished Hooker family, of Hartford, Connecticut, which, 
from the time of that man of iron strength, Thomas Hooker, the founder of 
Hartford, has still continued to produce men who have played brilliant and 
prominent parts in the afi^airs of the community upon which they have so 
peculiar a claim. One of the latest of these was the distinguished gentleman 
whose name heads this brief notice, Edward Williams Hooker, ex-Mayor, 
State Senator, and one of the most influential men in Connecticut's capital 
city, whose death there on the second day of September, 191 5, at the untimely 
age of less than fifty years, was felt as a public loss. 

Edward Williams Hooker was born October 19, 1865, in the city of Hart- 
ford. He traced his descent back to one John Hooker, who dwelt in Devon- 
shire, England, in the latter part of the fifteenth or the early years of the 
sixteenth century, two generations prior to the emigration from that coun- 
try to America. The immigrant ancestor in this country, the Rev. Thomas 
Hooker, is too well known to need discussion here, founder of the colony of 
Connecticut and father of its constitution, his story is a part of American 
history. Besides this great figure, Mr. Hooker numbered among his ances- 
tors such men as the Rev. Samuel Hooker, Hon. John Hooker and Bryan 
Hooker who lived from 1763 to 1826 and was one of those who introduced 
the manufacture of wool in Connecticut. His father, Bryan Edward Hooker, 
son of the above Bryan Hooker, was also a conspicuous figure in the com- 
munity, being himself a prominent woolen manufacturer and representing 
his district in the State Legislature. Edward Williams Hooker passed the 
years of his childhood and early youth in the house of his father in Hart- 
ford, attending there the excellent public schools and finally graduating 




^'~^cuS)\^:9^itny£mf, 



dBDtoatD mUUams looker 217 

from the high school with the class of 1885. He was just twenty years of 
age at this time and he at once secured a position in the Broad Brook Woolen 
Manufacturing- Company with which his father was connected in the capac- 
ity of treasurer and general manager for above forty years. Here he had 
his first taste of business life and applying himself with commendable indus- 
try to his task, became thoroughly conversant with all the details of the 
woolen industry and learned to card, sort, spin, weave and design with his 
own hand as well as to superintend the work of others in all the various 
operations in the great mills. As it happened, however, he was not destined 
to engage in the business for any great length of time for in 1895 the con- 
cern passed out of the hands of his father and his partners, being purchased 
by its present owners, Messrs. Ogden and Brook. The ten years spent by 
him in the manner described had made a capable business man of Mr. 
Hooker, whose ability was generally recognized and he had no difficulty in 
securing an excellent place with the Perkins Electric Switch Manufacturing 
Company as its secretary and treasurer. He remained four years with this 
concern and then resigned the oflnce to engage in business on his own 
account. In partnership with Hiram C. Nickerson, of New York City, he 
founded a brokerage firm under the style of Hooker & Nickerson, with 
offices in the Catlin Building on the corner of Main and Asylum streets, the 
site now occupied by the Hartford National Bank. This association was 
severed and later Mr. Hooker engaged in the insurance business in partner- 
ship with William R. Penrose as Hooker & Penrose, securing the Hartford 
agency for the New York Underwriters, the Commercial Union and the 
Palatine Insurance companies, as well as of some less important concerns. 
The ofiices of Hooker & Penrose are in the Connecticut Mutual Building, 
Mr. Hooker continuing actively as its head until his death. 

Although his business enterprises were all of them eminently success- 
ful and he, himself, a prominent figure in the business world, it is not in that 
connection that Mr. Hooker was best known in Hartford, but rather as a 
public official and man of affairs. All during his youth he had been keenly 
interested in political questions, and he was a strong adherent to the prin- 
ciples and policies of the Republican party. As time went on and he grew 
to be more and more a familiar figure in the city, and his popularity became 
wider, his party began to note in him the material for a strong candidate and 
representations were made to him on their part. For some time, however, 
Mr. Hooker turned a deaf ear to these proposals, he was busy establishing 
the firm of Hooker & Penrose on the firmest kind of footing and did not 
feel that he should suspend that operation until it was complete. At length, 
however, came a time when he felt justified in relaxing somewhat his atten- 
tion to business and turning it to something even more interesting to him, 
the conduct of public afifairs. It was two years before his fortieth birthday 
that he was unanimously nominated by the Republican caucus as a repre- 
sentative to the Connecticut General Assembly and at the following election 
he was chosen to that responsible office by a satisfactory majority. For two 
years he did eflfective work for the community in that body and gained 
an enviable reputation, not only with the general public, but with his col- 
leagues. He was appointed to the chairmanship of the committee on banks 



2i8 (gptoatp milUamg ^oobet 

and was extremely active in the deliberations of all kinds, leaving a very- 
definite impress of his character and personality on the Assembly. In the 
spring of the year 1908 Mr. Hooker's name was proposed as candidate for 
mayor of Hartford and met with immediate favor. That the descendant of 
Thomas Hooker should occupy the place of chief executive in the city he 
had founded appealed to men's idea of the appropriate and, indeed, was not 
without a similar appeal to the mind of Mr. Hooker himself. Once the mat- 
ter was arranged and he had thoroughly made up his mind to accept the 
offer, Mr. Hooker threw himself into the campaign heart and soul and won 
with very satisfactory majorities both in the primaries and the election, the 
latter against so formidable an opponent as ex-Mayor Ignatius A. Sullivan. 
In spite of his victory, however, certain political forces which he had very 
consciously and deliberately antagonized began now to work against his 
further career and the contest between them developed so far as to very 
nearly become an open rupture. The local organization of his party in Hart- 
ford was a powerful one and, as is common in such cases, was much under 
the influence of certain interests which should always remain outside of 
politics. To receive directions from these influences was something that Mr. 
Hooker, who was extremely independent in thought and action, could not 
and would not brook and this disposition to disregard the mandates of the 
powers that be never displayed itself more conspicuously than during the time 
he served in the mayoral capacity. He was very active in the community's 
affairs and it was due to his efforts that a number of reforms were instituted 
very much in its interest. All these things were watched by his opponents 
with a disapproving eye and when the time came for the next mayoral elec- 
tion, the word had gone forth among the "machine's" henchmen that Hooker 
should be defeated. The story of the following campaign with these forces 
arrayed against him is of great interest and certainly great credit to Mayor 
Hooker. He had won during his term of ofifice the respect and even the 
affection of the community and this, with its usual perspicacity, the "ma- 
chine" did not dare openly to oppose. He received, therefore, a unanimous 
nomination in the party primaries, but at election there was enough dis- 
affection from the ticket to throw the choice to his Democratic rival. Judge 
Edward L. Smith. Having accomplished this rather doubtful victory 
against him, the sinister powers were obliged to withdraw temporarily from 
action in the face of an awakened popular suspicion regarding the causes of 
Mr. Hooker's defeat and the result was that in the autumn of the same year 
— 1910 — he was nominated and elected to the State Senate from the Second 
District. It is a remarkable tribute to his ability and popularity that two 
years later he was again elected Senator, although the elections went almost 
unbrokenly Democratic that year. The Democrats themselves explained the 
matter by the remark that Mr. Hooker was more essentially democratic than 
many who bore the party name, and doubtless this had much to do with it, 
but though it won for him on that occasion, it was this same sturdy democ- 
racy that purchased his disfavor with his adversaries. During his office in 
the State Senate he continued his work for the public interests with the same 
disinterestedness and courage, the same disregard of results, and at the same 
time his struggle with the "machine" continued also. What would have 



(ZBDtoarD Williams l^ookec 219 

been the final outcome there is no means of guessing, the power of corrup- 
tion was great, but it had against it a strong, resourceful and popular man, 
who might very well have won in the end had his life but been spared him. 
Of him one of the more independent of the Hartford papers, the "Daily 
Times," wrote: 

There were qualities about the man that would have made him an ideal representa- 
tive of the people in public life, whether in the State House or in the halls of Congress. 
But he would not cater to the party machine. He was inclined to be an insurgent, and 
to preserve itself, of course, the machine must necessarily be against him. People who 
watched Hooker closely in the Legislature felt that it would be a boon to the State if 
his party would advance such a man to the Governorship or send him to Congress. But 
the powers which controlled nominations had other plans. Hooker's independence of 
dictation was too pronounced. Yet his power was such that no machine could com- 
pletely sidetrack him. Had he retained his health, there is no assurance that his career 
would not eventually have been rounded out in public positions of the greatest trust and 
honor. 

That a man who had such large and varied duties in both public and 
business life should have found time to engage actively in the social life of 
the city seems remarkable, yet so strong were his social instincts and so 
great his energy that he managed to do so and was undoubtedly one of the 
most conspicuous figures in the community. He was a member of many 
clubs and fraternal orders and he also belonged to the military body known 
as the Governor's Foot Guard, having the rank of captain, and to the First 
Regiment of Infantry, afterwards holding the rank of major in the veteran 
association. He belonged to the local lodge of the Benevolent and Protec- 
tive Order of Elks and was very prominent in Masonic circles, being a mem- 
ber of the Lafayette Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Pythagoras Chap- 
ter, Royal Arch Masons ; Wolcott Council, Royal and Select Masters ; Wash- 
ington Commandery, Knights Templar; Charter Oak Lodge of Perfection; 
Hartford Council, Princes of Jerusalem; Cyrus Goodell Chapter of Rose 
Croix. He was also a member of the Charter Oak Lodge, Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows; Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth Branch, Connecticut 
Society, Sons of the American Revolution; John Hay Lodge, Knights of 
Pythias, and Sphinx Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic 
Shrine. He was an associate member of the Connecticut Consistory, Sov- 
ereign Princes of the Royal Secret. He had taken his thirty-second degree 
in Masonry. He was a man of strong religious beliefs and a devoted mem- 
ber of the First Church of Christ (Congregational), of Hartford, and for a 
number of years was chairman of the business committee. 

Mayor Hooker was married on November 12, 1889, to Mary Mather 
Turner, of Philadelphia, where she was born February 26, 1866, a daughter 
of Dr. Charles P. Turner, and granddaughter of Major Roland Mather, of 
Hartford. Mrs. Hooker is a woman of charming personality, possessing 
those innate qualities of mind and heart so necessary to the success and 
happiness of domestic life, and Mr. Hooker was devoted to his home and 
family, finding at his own fireside a haven of peace and comfort from the 
storms and trials of public life. To them were born two children, as fol- 
lows: Rosalie, September 26, 1892, and Roland Mather, September 10, 1900. 

In the final analysis the influence of the things a man does is almost 



220 OBDtoiaiD muiiam^ ^ookec 

always outweighed by that other influence of what he is, and the case of Mr. 
Hooker is no exception to this rule. It is possibly a dangerous speculation to 
compare such intangible things as influences both of which are so consider- 
able, and yet large as was the service wrought by Mr. Hooker as mayor, as 
legislator and in the thousand and one relations of life in which concrete, 
material things were accomplished by him, there are few who will not agree 
to the proposition that as an example of true and sterling manhood he did 
not perform a still larger and higher service. Let some of those who knew 
him personally and had felt the efifect of his strong personality close this 
brief and of necessity, inadequate notice. Shortly after his death Mayor 
Lawler, of Hartford, made the following remarks before a committee of 
which both he and Senator Hooker were members: 

The death of ex-Maj'or Hooker, a fellow member of our committee, comes to us 
with a severe shock. The name of Hooker has been honorably associated with the his- 
tory of Hartford. He filled the chief magistracy of our city with ability and integrity 
and his public life always found him fearless and independent, and no one ever con- 
nected with the government of the city had higher-minded ideals of public service, or 
a keener appreciation of a public trust. The community has suffered a heavy loss in a 
citizen who was a vigorous type of strong manhood, who was beloved by all who knew 
him and whose memory will hold an abiding place in the hearts of all our citizens. 

His pastor at the Center Church spoke of him as follows: 

I was connected with Senator Hooker in the Center Church for a long time. He 
was elected chairman of the business committee many times and he always executed 
these affairs as faithfully as if they had been his own and to the entire satisfaction of the 
members of the church. A word of criticism or complaint concerning his efforts in these 
directions was never heard. 

Judge Edward L. Smith, Senator Hooker's old rival for the office of 
mayor, said : 

Mr. Hooker was genial, sincere, frank and an honorably ambitious political oppo- 
nent. In health he had a sturdy good fellowship that marked him as a maker of friends. 
Long continued illness was a stiff test of character. His patience, his endurance, his 
retention in the time of physical trouble and his generous and unselfish thoughtfulness 
have shown how successfully he met the test. He died bravely. He leaves a multitude 
of friends who grieve that his life was so shortened. 

His colleague, Senator E. Hart Fenn, spoke of him in the following 
words: 

Fearless for what he believed to be right and having no patience with underhanded- 
ness and sham, he exerted a strong influence on the Legislature and his counsel was 
sought for and was highly valued. In private life he was of an exceptionally attractive 
personality and delighted in the society of friends and held them with strong bonds. He 
always looked on the brightest side of life and bore his long illness without a murmur. 




Baniel 3^tngsburp, 01* B- 

'O all who admit that from high example new good springs, 
and that the more widely known is a noble life, the more 
far-reaching necessarily must its influence be, it must appear 
obvious that the preservation for posterity of the records of 
such a man as that of the distinguished physician, whose 
name heads this article, subserves the double purpose of sat- 
isfying the demands of gratitude, which insists upon such 
poor tribute in return for his good deeds, and of sowing as widely as possible 
the seeds of encouragement and inspiration which the knowledge of such 
virtues must bear for all of us. For many years Dr. Kingsbury held a re- 
markable prestige in a profession which, as much as any, requires for its 
practice those qualities of self-possession and control, mental vigor and 
clear-sightedness, and an optimistic view of life without regard for circum- 
stances, which are of the most admirable and admired possessions of men. 
Beginning life with no external advantages, in an environment strange to 
him. he forged his way to a position of fortune and honor in the community, 
and left behind him a memory which will long survive him as a grateful 
possession in the minds and hearts of all who came in contact with him. 

Daniel Kingsbury, M. D., was a scion of the strong and simple stock of 
rural New England, his father being Sanford Kingsbury, who for many 
years followed the life of a farmer in Tolland county, Connecticut, and mar- 
ried Cynthia Baxter, a daughter of a well known farmer of that region. Of 
the five children of this worthy couple Daniel was the fourth, his birth occur- 
ring in Hartford, Connecticut, January 22. 1828, though his youth was 
passed in the rural district of Tolland, where his father had his farm. It was 
but a meagre education which he was able to obtain there, the schools being 
of a primitive type, and his personal circumstances being such that had they 
been of the best, he could have taken but small advantage of them. His 
preparation was, indeed, little as compared to what is to-day considered 
necessary for a man proposing to enter one of the professions, but this lack 
he more than made up for later through his independent studies, and the 
spontaneous activity of a mind quick to absorb knowledge from all sources 
and extract the pith of experience. His formal schooling consisted of a few 
years at a local grammar school, after which he was obliged, while still a 
mere lad, to devote himself to making his living. He made his way to Hart- 
ford, the city of his birth, and there fortune favored him so far as to lead him 
into the home and the employ of Dr. Sperry, who had an excellent practice, 
and, as he was soon to show, a still more excellent heart. When young 
Kingsbury first came to him he employed the lad as office boy to take care 
of his offices on Main street, but a few doors from the old Center Church. 
The munificent wages which accompanied this employment amounted to 
seventy-five cents a week, with board, but this the good doctor soon supple- 
mented with what was of far more value, his interest, sympathy and friend- 
ship for one who was obviously earnest and ambitious, as well as industrious 



222 Daniel ffilfngsbutp 

and sincere. Thus encouraged the lad set about studying medicine at the 
advice of his friend, and that the more especially as Dr. Sperry offered to 
oversee his reading on this subject and play the part of tutor to him, insofar 
as his duties w^ould permit. This pleasant relationship between the two 
continued for four years, during which time the young man made most 
notable progress and reflected great credit upon his kind preceptor. He 
then attended a course of lectures on medicine conducted under the auspices 
of the Connecticut Botanical Society, and at their conclusion received a 
diploma which entitled him to the degree of Doctor of Medicine and the 
right to practice his profession. 

This was early in the year 185 1, and he at once began active practice in 
New London. He did not continue in that city, however, but after a winter 
spent in Hartford with his good friend, Dr. Sperry, went to Glastonbury, 
Connecticut, where he established himself on June 2, 1852, and which was 
destined to remain his home and the scene of his great success during the 
remainder of his life. From the very outset his practice flourished and in 
course of time he won for himself a reputation as one of the leading physi- 
cians in that part of the State. He identified himself with the interests of 
his profession and became a member of the various medical associations and 
societies, local and general, and was recognized as an authority on many 
branches of medical knowledge. His active practice Dr. Kingsbury con- 
tinued with unabated energy and devotion until he was nearly seventy years 
of age, when he began gradually to retire, turning over as he did so his great 
practice to his son, Dr. William Sanford Kingsbury, who is now the recog- 
nized successor to his father throughout the region of Glastonbury. Dr. 
Kingsbury, in spite of his retirement from practice, continued to live an 
active and valuable life to the venerable age of eighty-six years, his death 
occurring in Glastonbury, November 16, 1914. Upon his arrival in Glaston- 
bury many years ago he first opened his office in the house of Asa Wells, of 
that place, and twice thereafter moved his quarters, coming in 1858 to the 
handsome offices he occupied at the time of his decease. 

Though his professional duties were very binding and left him but little 
time for other occupations, whether of business or pleasure, yet Dr. Kings- 
bury never allowed his interest to die in the other aspects of the busy life of 
the wide-awake community about him. Though he could not enter local 
politics in any active manner, he kept himself well abreast of the issues of 
the day, his clear mind and incisive reasoning leading him always to a defi- 
nite position as regarded the many questions confronting country. State and 
town. He was a life-long member of the Republican party with the prin- 
ciples of which he was strongly in agreement. His religious affiliations 
were with the Episcopal church, and he was one of the early members of the 
parish founded in Glastonbury. He gave generously of time and energy to 
his religious duties, acting as treasurer of the parish almost from its begin- 
ning, and holding at one time the office of senior warden. He was fond of 
social intercourse, though the time he could indulge this taste was naturally 
very limited, which was probably the reason also why he was not a member 
of more clubs and organizations of a social character. He was a member of 
Daskam Lodge, No. 86, Free and Accepted Masons, of Glastonbury. 



Daniel iBlingsburp 223 

Dr. Kingsbury was twice married. His first wife, to whom he was mar- 
ried in October, 1853, was Mary Chapman Loomis, a native of Tolland 
coimty, and a daughter of Elmer and Cynthia (Davis) Loomis. Of this 
marriage there were two children: i. Frances Estelle, born April 13, 1856; 
attended Mount Holyoke Seminary; married, 1880, the Rev. Thomas H. 
Gordon ; he was rector of St. John's Church, Chews, New Jersey, for twenty- 
three years; Mr. and Mrs. Gordon now reside in Trenton, New Jersey. 2. 
Carrie Alice, born March 4, 1858, lives in Glastonbury. Mrs. Kingsbury 
died August 10, 1859, and on June 12, 1862, Dr. Kingsbury was married to 
Lucy M. Cone, of East Haddam, Connecticut, a daughter of Erastus and 
Lucy B. (Beebe) Cone, of that place. There were three children of this 
union, as follows: i. Mary Aurelia, born July 3, 1865; graduated from the 
Glastonbury Academy, where she was afterwards an assistant teacher; 
studied in Germany; was graduated from the Pratt Institute School of 
Library Science, 1899; has been librarian of Erasmus Hall High School, 
Brooklyn, New York, since 1901 ; she was the first trained high school 
librarian in the United States. 2. William Sanford, born September 17, 
1867; graduated from Hartford High School; received degree of Bachelor 
of Science from Trinity College. Hartford, Connecticut, 1891 ; graduated 
from Yale Medical School, 1896; was interne in St. John's Hospital, Lowell, 
Massachusetts, for one j^ear; since that time he has been a practicing physi- 
cian in Glastonbury, Connecticut; he represented his town in the Legisla- 
ture, 1905; in 1898 he married Mary L. Raymond, of Boston, Massachu- 
setts; they have two children: Elizabeth and Lienor Prince. 3. Lucie Eve- 
lyn, born July 4, 1869; was graduated from Mount Holyoke College, 1891 ; 
received degree of Bachelor of Arts from Radcliffe College, 1902; taught in 
the high schools of East Hartford, Connecticut, and Montclair, New Jersey; 
married, 1907, Dr. Charles G. Rankin: resides in Glastonbury. 

It is not always an easy matter to state in definite terms the reasons for 
the success won by this or that man in his chosen career. The subtle qualities 
of the mind and character are combined in still more subtle unions which 
often defy analysis. There are, of course, always to be noted as present 
certain great underlying traits of character such as impregnable honesty, 
unwearying industry, and a broad understanding of and sympathy with 
human character, without which no success that is really worth while is 
possible. But having called attention to these things the analyst of char- 
acter is often at a loss how to proceed. The efl^ect of personality is realized 
intuitively without reference to whether it can or cannot be explained. Such 
was very largely true in the case of Dr. Kingsbury. One might not be able 
to account for it other than in the bare, elementary way already described, 
and yet it was true that one could not be in contact with him more than a 
moment without feeling a sort of innate power which was highly impressive 
and convincing. Perhaps it can best be put by saying that he had the faculty 
of making his fellows trust him, not only his intentions, but his ability to 
carry out these intentions. This is, of course, only a way of putting ofif the 
ultimate question of his influence, another step, and leaving it ultimately 
unsolved, yet perhaps it may throw as much light on the matter as the 
nature of the case will permit. Whatever its origin it was certainly an in- 



224 Daniel l^ingsbutp 

valuable faculty for a physician. Dr. Kingsbury's patients instinctively felt 
it. and the position which he occupied w^ith them transcended that of the 
mere practitioner, and he seemed largely a doctor of souls as vi^ell as of 
bodies. It is a relation that practically never obtains in this day of special- 
ists and highly trained attendants, and which required something unusual 
in the personality even of the old fashioned general practitioner, for its full 
development, but was entirely realized by Dr. Kingsbury with his great 
clientele, so that he was at once physician, counselor and trusted friend, to 
whom one might turn with confidence in time of doubt and trouble. To say 
of a man that he occupied such a position, and to say of him further that he 
occupied it adequately, that he betrayed no trust, and offered no foolish 
counsel, that he was a friend of every man, "at his most need to go by his 
side." is surely one of the greatest tributes which can be paid him, and such 
indeed may truly be said of Dr. Kingsbury. This sketch cannot be more 
appropriately closed than in the words of the set of resolutions adopted by 
the rector, wardens and vestrymen of St. James' Parish, Glastonbury, No- 
vember 28, 1914, in memory of him who had for so long been a faithful 
friend and co-laborer in the interests of the church. It expresses strongly 
and feelingly the respect and affection with which he inspired those with 
whom he associated, and makes plain how deeply his influence entered into 
the fabric of the community of which he was a member. The resolutions 
follow: 

Inasmuch as it has pleased Almighty God to call to Paradise the soul of the late 
Dr. Daniel Kingsbury. 

Resolved, That the Rector, Wardens and Vestry of St. James' Parish, wishing to 
express their sense of the loss the church in this town has sustained in the calling away 
of one who has faithfully served the parish for many years, do place on record this tribute 
to his memory. 

He has served the parish as Senior Warden, Treasurer and Vestr3fman. In each 
office he has been faithful and efficient. He has given generously of his thought, his 
interest, his time, his money, his prayers. To him as much as any one individual is due 
the organization, growth and prosperity of this parish. The honesty and integrity of 
his business dealings, his upright and consistent daily life, his constant participation in 
the services and sacraments of the church, his strong and unfaltering trust in God, won 
the esteem of all and the love of many. We thank God for his example and friendship; 
and we pray that light perpetual may shine upon him, and that he and we may be par- 
takers of the Heavenly Kingdom. And be it 

Resolved, That we extend to his bereaved children our tenderest sympathies, and 
that we assure them of our earnest prayers that He who doeth all things well will grant 
them strength in this time of trouble, and the eternal peace which passeth all under- 
standing. 

(Signed) Edwakd G. Reynolds, Rector, 

and Committee 
Giles H. Wadsworth, 
Harry E. Welles. 



€ItsI)a S^islep 




^HE SETTING DOWN of the personal records of the men 
who, by dint of worthy effort, have raised themselves to a 
high position upon the ladder of success and secured them- 
selves in the respect of their fellows must always be a work 
of value. Self-made men, who have accomplished much by 
reason of their personal qualities and left the impress of their 
individuality upon the business and general life of the com- 
munities where they have lived and worked, men who have affected for good 
such customs and institutions as have come within the sphere of their 
influence, have, unwittingly perhaps, but none the less truly, reared for them- 
selves monuments more enduring than those of stone or brass. Such dis- 
tinction may well be claimed for Elisha Risley, whose career forms the 
subject-matter of this brief sketch and whose death on January 13, 1900, at 
Hartford, Connecticut, deprived that city of one of its most substantial men 
of business and a citizen of the highest type. He was a member of a very 
old Connecticut family, the immigrant ancestor, Richard Risley, was a man 
of good old English stock and formed one of the numerous party that 
accompanied Thomas Hooker upon that expedition which had for its result 
the founding of Hartford. In this city he settled and there and in other 
parts of the State his descendants have lived from that day to this. And if 
upon his father's side Mr. Risley is of English descent, this is equally true of 
the maternal line, he displaying the characteristic virtues of that strong and 
dominant race. 

Mr. Risley's father, Ralph Risley, was a native of Hockanum, near 
Glastonbur3^ Connecticut, a very prominent man in that part of the country, 
and most typical of the splendid Connecticut farming population which for 
so many years has been the back-bone, as it were, of that entire region. He 
was a sturdy Democrat of the old school, an ardent believer in the rights oi 
the common man and in his ability to take care of his own interests, a man 
of strong religious beliefs and feelings, an ardent Methodist and withal a 
clever business man and possessed of great executive ability. Six feet in 
height, spare and strong, he was a capable worker in the agricultural occu- 
pation he had chosen, in which he was highly successful. He and Deacon 
Horace Williams were the pioneer market gardners in the region, disposing 
of their produce in Hartford, and came to be regarded as the two wealthiest 
men in East Hartford in their day. Mr. Risley. Sr., was married to Anne 
Winslow, a daughter of Pardner Winslow, of East Hartford, and by her 
was the father of a large family of children, of which the Mr. Risley of this 
sketch was the youngest. The eldest brother, Ralph Risley, Jr., also dis- 
tinguished himself as a business man in Hartford. 

Elisha Risley was born in East Hartford, January 11, 1843, and spent 
the first eight years of his life in that place in his father's house, one of the 
two first brick dwellings on that side of the river. Deacon Horace Williams' 

CONN-Vol III-IS 



226 Clis&a Hislep 

being the other. Mr. Risley, Sr., died about the time his son had completed 
his eighth year, and thereupon the lad was sent to dwell with his guardian, 
Squire Thaddeus Welles, who in turn sent him to a boarding school in Ver- 
mont. He was always a quick ambitious lad and it was in this institution 
that he gained the beginnings of the excellent education that he acquired. 
He later attended an advanced school in East Hampton, Connecticut, where 
he completed the same. He was about nineteen years of age when the Civil 
War broke out, whereupon he enlisted in Company H, Sixteenth Regiment 
Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, and was ordered to the front, where he 
saw much active service, and took part in many notable engagements. He 
was wounded at the battle of Antietam and after remaining in the hospital 
for some time he returned to the north upon receiving his honorable dis- 
charge. Still ardent to serve his country, however, he secured an appoint- 
ment as clerk in the Navy Department, Gideon Welles, then Secretary of the 
Navy, being a native of the same region as Mr. Risley. It was only after the 
close of hostilities and the withdrawal of Mr. Risley from the government's 
employ, that his real business career may be said to have begun. He was 
first engaged in business in New Britain, Connecticut, but shortly after- 
wards became associated with a school friend, Edward Gridley, in the iron 
trade. He was employed as manager of the iron works at Amenia, New 
York State, between the years 1868 and 1875, and then went to Springfield, 
Massachusetts. In the latter place he became associated with the Connec- 
ticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, in the capacity of general agent for 
the western part of Massachusetts, and it is with this company that the most 
important part of his business career is identified. He remained in Spring- 
field about six years, or until 1882, when in January of that year he was 
appointed superintendent of agents for the company and removed to Hart- 
ford where he could take up his work at the central office. The position 
now assumed by Mr. Risley was an extremely responsible one as well as 
very desirable, and it is said that he was selected from a field of about one 
hundred contestants for the place, on account of the remarkable showing he 
had made in the western Massachusetts agency and because of his grasp of 
the general principles of insurance far above that of the average agent. He 
filled the difficult and delicate office with great skill and ability for eighteen 
years and more, and only ceased when death called him. During that time 
he had gained a high reputation in the insurance world as an expert in the 
business and came to be regarded as one of the most substantial men in 
the city. His activities were far from being confined to his business inter- 
ests or even to his private affairs at all. On the contrary he was a man of 
the broadest sympathies and interests and found himself connected with 
almost all the important movements in the city which had to do with im- 
provement and the advancement of the common weal. One of the most 
important of his activities was in connection with his religion and church, a 
matter in which he was most profoundly interested. He was an Episco- 
palian in belief and a member of Trinity parish, Hartford, for many years. 
He participated in the church work and aided very materially the many 
benevolences in connection therewith, being a member of the vestry for a 
considerable period. He was prominent in Masonic circles in the city, a 



(glisfta Kistep 227 

member of the Free and Accepted Masons, the Royal Arch Masons, and the 
Knights Templar, of Boston. 

While still engaged in the iron business in New York, or to be more 
precise, on February ii, 1874, Mr. Risley was united in marriage with Sarah 
Reed, of Amenia, New York State, a daughter of Edward and Abbie 
(Hatch) Reed, of that town. To them were born six children, as follows: 
Abbie H., now Mrs. Arthur D. Chaffee, of Willimantic, Connecticut, and the 
mother of four children, Ruth R., Dwight and Marion, twins, and Barbara: 
Emily Welles, now the wife of Hon. William W. Seymour, of Tacoma, 
Washington ; Ann Winslow, who resides with her mother ; George Edward, 
who married Edith Hall and is a resident of Hartford; Florence S., died in 
early youth; and Ralph Green, a lieutenant in the United States Navy and 
stationed at Annapolis, graduating from the United States Naval Academy 
with the class of 191 1. Mrs. Risley and five of their children survive Mr. 
Risley, and she is still a resident of West Hartford, where she makes her 
home in the attractive dwelling on Farmington avenue. 




Babtti Ctlton 




^HE STORY OF the life of the late David Tilton, of Hartford, 
Connecticut, who until a few years prior to his death was a 
manufacturer of wide-spread reputation, was one of steady 
and persistent effort towards worthy ambitions, and of the 
success which step by step was won by his industry and 
talents. Occupying a recognized and enviable position 
among the well known citizens of Hartford, he might point 
with pride to the fact that he had gained this place owing to no favor or mere 
accident, but to his own native ability and sound judgment, and to the wise 
foresight by which he had carefully fitted himself for the work towards 
which his inclination directed him. High ideals were coupled in him with 
that force of character and that tenacity of purpose which must inevitably 
bring forth fruit in a well merited success. The family from which he was 
descended was undoubtedly of Saxon origin. The town of Tilton in Leices- 
tershire was in existence prior to the time of William the Conqueror and the 
town and family are mentioned in "Domesday Book." We are told that 
certain members of the family made honorable records in the Crusades (Sir 
John Tilton, Knight), and tradition says that the lives of both Edward I. 
and Edward HI. were saved by Tiltons, that seven of the family fought at 
Bosworth Field, under Henry, against Richard, several of them losing their 
lives on that day. 

David Tilton was born in Meredith, New Hampshire, November 29, 
1834, and died in Hartford, Connecticut, April 26, 1914. He received an 
excellent and substantial education in the common schools of his native 
town, and at the age of sixteen years was apprenticed to learn his trade in 
the Amoskeag Mills, in New Hampshire, where fire engines were manufac- 
tured. He was also employed for a time in the shops of the Northfield 
Central Vermont Railway Company. He then went to Hartford, Connec- 
ticut, where his first position was with the Colt's Firearms Company, but at 
the expiration of one year he went to Yonkers, New York, where he re- 
mained two years, then spent two further years in New Orleans, Louisiana. 
In 1867 he returned to Hartford and entered the employ of the National 
Screw Company, where he gained a thorough and practical knowledge of all 
the details connected with the manufacture of screws of every description. 
He was employed in various shops in Hartford, and in Lakewood, New 
Jersey, during the years from 1869 to 1875, and in the latter year went to 
Castleton, New York, where he formed the connection with the Atlantic 
Screw Company which was to be of such importance and benefit to him and 
the entire country. The history of the Atlantic Screw Works is an interest- 
ing one, and is as follows : 

In 1875 a concern started to make wood screws at Castleton, New York, 
taking the name of the town for a firm name. At the end of a short two 
years, this company had lost seventy thousand dollars of its own money, 
and thirty-five thousand dollars, borrowed from George W. Bruce, a whole- 




Wdxnh Hiltint 



DanfD Cilton 229 

sale hardware merchant of New York City. Mr. Bruce took possession of 
the plant in 1877, in order to secure his loan. So worthless, upon examina- 
tion, were the original machines found to be, that they were thrown into 
the scrap heap. In the meantime, however, David Tilton, who had been 
superintendent of the works, being of an inventive and ingenious turn of 
mind, had made a number of improvements in the devices for threading, and 
Mr. Bruce was so impressed by these, that he decided to develop the machine 
with the view of reviving the business. His faith was not misplaced. A 
model was set up in Brooklyn, New York, and so satisfactory were the 
results obtained when tests were made for quality and quantity, that other 
machines of the same type were immediately constructed. The manufacture 
was transferred to Hartford in 1879, where it was located in Colt's West 
Armory, and work was formally resumed under the business name of 
Atlantic Screw Works. Mr. Bruce spent about three years abroad, during a 
part of this time being assisted by Mr. Tilton, who personally superintended 
the exhibition of the threader in France and Belgium. He took out a 
number of foreign patents and built duplicate machines for use in Europe, 
but failing health and loss of eyesight obliged Mr. Bruce to abandon the 
enterprise, he returned to his home in New York, and died in 1887. So 
appreciative was he of the debt he owed to Mr. Tilton for his long, valuable 
and faithful service, that he made a handsome provision for him in his will, 
and also stipulated that the Atlantic Screw Works should be sold to him on 
very easy terms. Mr. Tilton remained the sole owner of the factory until 
April 6, 1908, when he retired in favor of his son, Fred N. Tilton. Under 
the management of the younger Mr. Tilton the manufactory continued to 
gain in importance, and to make satisfactory returns. On January 18, 191 5, 
the Atlantic Screw Works filed a certificate of organization with the Secre- 
tary of State. The capital stock is one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, 
the value of each share being one hundred dollars. One thousand four hun- 
dred and ninety-four shares are the property of Fred N. Tilton, the others 
being owned respectively by Morton F. Miner, Andrew W. Bowman, Leon 
P. Broadhurst, Samuel S. Chamberlain, Charles D. Rice and Samuel M. 
Stone. The present factory building was erected in 1902, and is a substan- 
tial, modern, brick structure, especially equipped for the work done in it. In 
1910 it was found necessary to add another building to the original structure, 
as its capacity had been outgrown, and alterations and improvements have 
been made throughout the establishment from time to time, as occasion 
demanded. The regular product of the factory is wood screws of every 
description, and by reason of the improved pointing and threading machines, 
the machinery invented by the late Mr. Tilton, the screws secure good 
points, round smooth bodies, and true, well-slotted heads. A specialty of 
the company is brass and bronze metal screws, with flat, round and oval 
heads. 

Mr. Tilton married, November 29, 1859, Mary Jane Russell, born in 
Manchester, New Hampshire, in 1839, <^i^d at the beautiful summer resi- 
dence of the family, at Bow, New Hampshire, November 2, 1901. They 
had four children : Nella M., who died February 2"/, 191 1 ; she was the widow 
of Horace G. Lord, born at Red Key, Indiana, June 29, 1851, died in Hart- 



230 DatiiD Cilton 

ford, Connecticut, October 24, 1900; he had been identified with Colt's 
Works for a quarter of a century, during a number of years holding the 
position of foreman. Warra B., who married Morton F. Miner, associated 
with the Atlantic Screw Works ; they reside at 127 Jefferson street, Hartford. 
Lela Alice, to whom we are indebted for much of the data upon which this 
sketch is based. Fred N., mentioned above; he married Alice B. Curry, and 
resides at No. 82 Charter Oak avenue; they have one child, Doris B. 

David Tilton was a man who never sought popularity, but those who 
came in contact with him in social life were attracted by his geniality, affa- 
bility and old time courtesy. He had a natural kindness of heart which no 
stress of business ever diminished, and he made many sincere and admiring 
friends. Few men possessed a cleaner heart or a clearer conscience. 

Albert Tilton, brother of David Tilton, was born August 19, 1839, and 
died May 5, 1914. He was the dean of the force of the Winchester Repeat- 
ing Arms Company, having been made general superintendent in 1892, and 
held this position until early in 1914, when he was made mechanical advisor 
in order to relieve him of the great care and responsibilities he had should- 
ered until that time. 





ttll^sses 3^n^i^ctt ^rxjrkhtei^ 




^Ipsses ilaplien iSrocfetoap 

'HE DEATH OF Ulysses Hayden Brockway at Hartford, 
Connecticut, May 15, 1914, deprived that city of one of the 
business figures in its business world, a man who for many 
years had stood as a type of the conservative, successful 
merchant, the substantial and public-spirited citizen. Mr. 
Brockway came of the sturdy rural stock of Connecticut, his 
family having followed farming as an occupation for many 
years in the region of Lyine. The coat-of-arms of the Brockway family is 
as follows: Gules: A fleur de lis argent, on a chief of the second (argent) 
a lion passant guardant of the first (gules). Two bars wavy, each charged 
with three pales wavy, gules. Crest: An escallop or. 

He was born at Hamburg, in the town of Lyme, July 19, 1851, a son of 
Jedediah and Elizabeth (Lord) Brockway, old residents of that place, and 
there passed the days of his childhood on his father's farm, living the not 
easy but wholesome life of a farmer's son of that time, and attending the 
district school for his education, and having to trudge a full two miles to it 
every morning. The most vivid recollections which he possessed of this 
part of his life was in connection with the Civil War which broke out when 
he was but ten years old, and thus too young to give his services in the cause 
he loved. What his childish ability could compass, however, that he did, 
playing the drum for the contingent of recruits which was drilled at Lyme. 
The lad was an ambitious one. and from early childhood was determined to 
alter his lot from that of farmer, which fate seemed to intend for him, to that 
of the business man in a city, where he might see more of the world and 
take a more vital part in the life of his fellows. Accordingly at the age of 
only sixteen years he threw down his hoe and left the parental roof, making 
his way to Hartford. It was not a great while before the bright, alert youth 
secured a position with Franklin Clark, a merchant tailor at No. 132 State 
street, Hartford. The business that Mr. Brockway thus became connected 
with, as though it were by chance hap, was the oldest tailor establishment in 
the city, having been founded as far back as 1824 by Robert Buell, and did 
a trade of the highest class. It was a piece of rare good fortune for the 
young man to thus become connected with the concern with which he was 
to remain associated for the remainder of his life. He gave eminent satis- 
faction to his employer and his promotion was rapid, so that upon the retire- 
ment of Mr. Clark in 1878, he and Mr. J. H. W. Wenk continued the business 
under the style of Wenk & Brockway. Eight years later Mr. Brockway 
became the sole proprietor of the business, and from that time until his death 
it was conducted under the style of U. H. Brockway & Company. Under 
his masterly management the business grew greatly and became one of the 
most important commercial concerns of the kind in Hartford. It was a 
long rise from errand boy and clerk, as he had started out, to the position 
of one of the first merchants of the city, and Mr. Brockway used to take 
great pleasure in recounting the circumstances thereof, especially of the 
time spent in the first humble position, when as errand boy he was obliged to 



232 Cllpsses ^apDen TBrocbtoap 

make his deliveries on foot instead of taking the horse-cars which then were 
the only means of conveyance in the streets, for, as he would explain, in those 
days money was worth more than time. Throughout the long period of its 
establishment the old mercantile house has always stood in its original loca- 
tion at No. 132 State street, and as soon as Mr. Brockway was in a position 
to own his own home he purchased a dwelling at No. 16 Chapel street, and 
there, on account of its accessibility to his business, continued to live until 
the time of his death. 

Mr. Brockway's business, though he directed his most earnest efforts to 
its development, yet did not occupy so much of his time and attention that 
he had none to spare on other matters. Public affairs had always interested 
him from his first coming to the city, and he entered local politics with zeal 
and enthusiasm, though with the most disinterested motives. He was a 
staunch Republican in his beliefs and was one of the founders and a charter 
member of the Republican Club of Hartford. Though he did not seek his 
personal advantage in any way in his political course, yet his availability as 
a candidate was so obvious that he was early given the nomination to the 
City Council from the old First Ward, and was duly elected and reelected, 
serving three terms on that body in 1883, 1884 and 1885. The year follow- 
ing he was chosen alderman from the same ward and served his constituents 
and the community well and faithfully in that capacity during four terms, or 
until 1890. In the year 1896 he was appointed by Mayor Miles B. Preston 
a member of the water commission, and reappointed in 1899 to the same 
office, acting in this capacity for six consecutive years. He was chosen a 
member of the committee of the Second North School District, and served 
for many years thereon, as his interest in education was particularly keen, 
and the task was one of love. He was greatly interested in the Henry Bar- 
nard School situated in that district and labored most faithfully in the inter- 
ests of the pupils and teachers connected therewith. His fellow members of 
the committee, upon the occasion of his death, drew up a set of resolutions 
expressive of their affection and admiration, which is quoted at length 
hereafter. Mr. Brockway was for many years a member of the Farmington 
Avenue Congregational Church, and during that time was devoted to its 
interests, attending service there with the greatest regularity, and giving 
liberally of both time and money in its support and that of its various philan- 
thropies. He served also as auditor for a numbet of years. 

Mr. Brockway married, November 17, 1880, Harriet Norton, a native of 
Collinsville, Connecticut, daughter of Seth Porter and Elizabeth (Wilcox) 
Norton, of that place, and both members of old and honored Connecti- 
cut families. Mr. Norton was a man of prominence in his community 
and occupied the position of superintendent of the Collins Manufacturing 
Company at Collinsville, Connecticut, for many years. To Mr. and 
Mrs. Brockway were born two children: i. Elizabeth Norton, born Feb- 
ruary 12, 1882, died November 9, 1907; she was a graduate of Hart- 
ford High School of 1899, also graduate of Smith College, 1903; she was 
secretary of the Second North School, of which she was a graduate. She 
was a member of Smith College Club and of the Daughters of the Amer- 
ican Revolution. Miss Brockway possessed many unusual traits of mind 
and heart, and her death brought sincere sorrow to a wide circle of 



aip0se0 IDapDen iBtocbtoa^ 233 

acquaintances. The funeral services were conducted by the Rev. Dr. Wil- 
liam De Loss Love, pastor of the Farmington Avenue Congregational 
Church; interment in Cedar Hill Cemetery. 2. Ulysses Hayden. Jr., born 
July 20, 1890; he is a graduate of Yale University, class of 191 1, and is now 
prominently associated with the Travellers Insurance Company of Hart- 
ford. Like his father before him he is active in local politics and is now a 
member of the City Council. He resides with his mother at No. 136 Sigour- 
ney street, whither they moved after the death of his father. 

Mr. Brockway was a self-made man in the fullest sense of the term. 
Starting as a friendless youth in a strange city, by dint of his unaided efforts, 
he worked into a position of great prominence and won an enviable reputa- 
tion for himself in his adopted community, for integrity and capability. His 
sense of duty was ever the strongest motive in his life, and his friends used 
to remark, in reference to his devotion to his church and business, that he 
divided his time between "mill and meeting." They should have added 
home, however, for there was never anyone more devoted to his family and 
hearthstone than Mr. Brockway, or a more devoted husband and father. The 
same sterling qualities which made him loved at home, and respected univer- 
sally in his public and business life, also gathered about him many faithful 
friends whose fidelity he repaid in kind. He was never weary of working for 
the benefit of the community and identified himself with many movements 
undertaken for the general good. He was an unusual combination of the 
conservative and progressive, seeking to find the good in both the old and 
the new. He was "a gentleman of the old school" and all that that phrase 
implies of grace and courtliness, yet he kept well abreast of the times in all 
practical affairs. He was a rare and admirable character in every way and 
one of those of whom it may be said that the world is better for his having 
lived there. It seems appropriate to close this sketch with the resolutions 
adopted in his honor by the committee of the Second North School District, 
of which he had for so long been a faithful member, at its meeting on the 
evening of July 9, 1914, and which ran as follows : 

The Second North School District recognizes in the death of Mr. Ulysses H. Brock- 
way, for twenty-two years a member of the District Committee, the loss of a devoted 
servant of the interests of the District. A warm friend of the teachers and pupils and 
an example of upright, consistent and unobtrusive citizenship, which has been of distinct 
value to the youth of the District and of the community. During his long term of service 
for the District he was a faithful conservator of its best interests, a wise counsellor and 
a self-sacrificing official. His loss will be keenly felt by his associates upon the commit- 
tee, by the teachers of the school and by his many friends in the District and in the com- 
munity which he has well served by his quiet, unassuming, but effective life. 

(Signed) Frank R. Kellogg, 

James P. Berry, 
Solomon Mallev, 
District Committee. 

These resolutions, which were presented to Mrs. Brockway and to Mr. 
Brockway, Jr., in the form of a handsome volume bound in leather and silk 
lined, were but one of the great number of tributes which came in at that 
time from friends and associates, in all parts of the city and its environment, 
and were an eloquent tribute to the affection and respect in which he was 
universally held. 



^tt\) porter Jtorton 




|NE OF THE old New England families that has won distinc- 
tion throughout the length of the history of that part of the 
world, in the persons of its various representatives, is that of 
Norton, whose residence in Connecticut has lasted many 
years and has identified those who bear the name most 
closely with the life and traditions of the State. During the 
Revolution the name was especially distinguished in the 
person of Colonel Ichabod Norton, who took a most effective part in that 
historic struggle on the side of democracy and freedom. Colonel Norton 
was married to Ruth Strong, who played her own part in those troublous 
times in a manner which, if less striking, was equally courageous with that 
of her husband. One of their children, George Norton, was the father of the 
distinguished gentleman whose name heads this brief article. George Nor- 
ton was a prosperous planter or farmer on a large scale, first at Farmington, 
whence he moved about 1800, then at Granby and finally at Avon, where he 
died on May 11, 1833. His life had extended from the Revolutionary period 
— he was born in November, 1782, during the half century succeeding the 
successful termination of the war, and he saw the country for which his 
father had labored so faithfully, reach a period of strength and security both 
internally and externally. He was married to Eliza Frisbie so that their 
children were related to a great number of the principal families in the 
region, among which should be mentioned the Hookers and Strongs of 
Farmington. 

The following is a description of the coat-of-arms of the Norton family, 
quartering St. Loe, Russell, De La Riviere, etc., etc. : 

Arms: Quarterly of eleven. In Chief: i. Argent, on a bend sable, be- 
tween two lions rampant of the second, three escallops of the field. 2. Ar- 
gent, vair azure. 3. Argent, a bend engrailed sable between two mullets 
counterchanged, all within a bordure engrailed of the second. 4. Argent, 
bordure sable, charged with ten besants, martlet of the second. 

In Fess: i. Sable, chevron ermine between three pheons argent. 2. 
Argent, bend sable, three annulets of the field. 3. Sable, three goats passant 
argent. 4. Ermine, cross engrailed gules. 

In Base: i. Argent, manche gules. 2. Gules, saltire or between four 
leopards' face argent. 3. Azure, two bars dansette or. 

Crest : On a torse of the colors. Greyhound couped or, collared per fess 
gules between two barrulets of the second. 

Mantle: Sable and argent, the first veined or. 

Seth Porter Norton, son of George and Eliza (Frisbie) Norton, was 
born May 16, 1823, at Avon, Connecticut, and there passed the years of his 
childhood. He received an excellent education at the schools of Collinsville, 
but discontinued his studies at an early age to begin his business career. His 
father died when he was but ten years of age and the youth's ambitious 
nature urged him to engage in the activities of the great world. Collinsville, 




i'ptli Bnrtpr Norton 




lEliHalirth litlrnx 5(nrtnn 



®etf) Porter Jl3orton 235 

the manufacturing town in which were located the schools he attended, was 
named for the family which had established the most important industry 
in the region, the Collins, operators of the well known Collins Company, 
makers of plows, axes and other implements for use in farming and allied 
occupations. The Collins Company was a very large concern doing an 
immense business in these commodities in New England and it was to secure 
a position in this company that young Mr. Norton determined upon. His 
alert mind and pleasant bearing made this a matter of no great difficulty and 
when but eighteen years of age he began that connection which was to con- 
tinue during the remainder of his life. His first position in the Collins Com- 
pany was, of course, a subordinate one, but the same qualities that had 
gained him admittance in the first place also secured his advance, and he had 
soon entered upon that course of promotion that was eventually to place 
him as superintendent of the great plant. It was while still holding this 
office, in which his efforts contributed not a little to the prosperity of the 
business, that death found him still in harness and still laboring faithfully 
for the interests that employed him. 

Mr. Norton had his own efforts to thank for the success he won in the 
business world. He was self-made in the best sense of that phrase, and he 
gave to others the full equivalent of what he gained in labor of hand or brain. 
Nor was he less successful in other realms than in that of business. Indeed 
he was even better known in his home town in his relation to politics and 
public affairs than in business and he held a very prominent place in the com- 
munity's regard because of the disinterested and efficient manner in which 
he discharged his duties in the various official posts with which he was 
honored by his fellow townsmen. He held many such positions in the affairs 
of the city, and was finally elected in the year 1867 to the State Legislature 
to represent his town, and was returned to that body a number of times by 
his well satisfied constituents. It seems quite beyond doubt that a career so 
auspiciously begun would have carried Mr. Norton to a very high place in 
the political life of his State had it not been for his untimely death which 
ended so abruptly what seemed to presage so largely for the future. But it 
is the most futile of things to speculate on such contingencies, and it is cer- 
tainly sufficient to note that for a young man of but forty-four years of age, 
his achievements were very great and the more so in that they were wrought 
without any compromise of the most scrupulous demands of integrity and 
justice. He was, indeed, a man of strong religious feeling and one who 
strove with more than the usual measure of success, perhaps, to base his 
conduct in everyday affairs in the teachings of the church and its ministers. 
He was a lifelong Congregationalist and a member of the church of that 
denomination in Collinsville during his residence there. He was also an 
ardent worker in the interests of his church and of religion in general and 
took an active part in the life of that body. He was a man of many talents, 
not the least of which was in the realm of music, and this ability he turned 
to the use of the church, taking an active part in the choir, of which he vvas 
the leader for a long period, and giving freely of his knowledge and fine voice 
for the adorning of the service and the edification of his fellow worshippers. 

Mr. Norton married (first) Aurelia Humason, of New Britain, Connec- 



236 ^etj) porter jQorton 

ticut, December 23, 1845. To this union was born one child, a daughter 
Mary, now deceased. Mrs. Norton herself died September 2, 1849. Mr. 
Norton married (second) January i, 1851, Elizabeth Esther Wilcox, of 
Simsbury, Connecticut. Mrs. Norton was the daughter of Averitt and Sally 
(TuUer) Wilcox, old and respected residents of Simsbury. Their children 
were as follows: Charles Everett, deceased; Harriet Elizabeth, who was 
married, November 17, 1880, to Ulysses H. Brockway, of Hartford; William 
Averitt, deceased; George Wilcox; and Charles Robinson, deceased. Mr. 
Norton was survived by his wife a number of years, his death occurring 
October 29, 1867, hers September 23, 1901. 

The character of Mr. Norton was an exceptionally strong one, one that 
exhibited at their best many of the fine traits for which New England has 
become famous. His integrity was never questioned, his sense of justice and 
the rights of others was highly developed and was never transgressed by 
him in his actions even when self-interest urged otherwise. It thus hap- 
pened that his successful career was not marked by the losing of old friends 
or the making of new foes such as so frequently mar success, but rather were 
the old friends bound more closely to him by the manly simplicity of his 
deportment which no amount of the sunshine of prosperity could spoil, while 
the same quality won him hosts of others from among those with whom he 
associated in all the relations of life. His home at Collinsville, near the 
church, was a charming one and reflected the culture which made it what 
it was. Devotedly attached to it he was, as well as to all the circumstances 
of home life, his domestic life being a most ideal one, united as it was by 
every bond of affection and sympathy among the members of the household. 
It was here that he most enjoyed to spend the hours of relaxation from busi- 
ness cares and worries, preferring it to a wider social activity, although his 
traits of character were such as to make him highly popular in such wider 
circles. Nor did he think it proper to absent himself entirely from such 
intercourse, and came to be, indeed, a conspicuous figure in the Collinsville 
social world. In all respects, indeed, he was a most valuable and exemplary 
citizen, and in spite of his youth may be numbered among those who have 
potently affected the community for good. 





Jj/^^AAl^ir-rrW^ 




^Killtam austtn ifWoore 

ILLIAM AUSTIN MOORE, late of Hartford, Connecticut, 
partook in remarkable degree of those qualities of energy, 
thrift and sound judgment which have distinguished the 
New England families from the beginning. His ancestry- 
was among the early settlers of Connecticut, and is de- 
scended from Andrew Moore, who appeared at Poquonock, 
in the town of Windsor, Connecticut, as early as 1671. His 
marriage there to Sarah Phelps, daughter of Samuel Phelps, and grand- 
daughter of William Phelps, the immigrant (who came to Dorchester, Mas- 
sachusetts, in 1630, and settled in Windsor in 1636), is recorded February 15, 
1 67 1. The Phelps family came from Tewksbury, England, on the ship 
"Mary and John," and Sarah Griswold, wife of William Phelps, was born in 
Kennelworth, England, in 1628, and came to America with her father, 
Edward Griswold, in 1639. They also settled in Windsor. Andrew Moore 
rendered service in the struggle with the Indians at Simsbury, for which he 
received one pound, seventeen shillings. He was active in many ways in the 
affairs of ancient Windsor; had a grant of land at Salmon Brook, now 
Granby, Connecticut, in 1680, and is described at that time as Andrew 
Moore, the carpenter, of Windsor, Connecticut. He died November 29, 
1719, and the inventory of his estate amounted to 320 pounds. He was sur- 
vived by his wife, who was administratrix of his estate. At his residence in 
Windsor he had fifteen acres of land, with house and barn, carpenter's tools, 
farming implements, a cider mill, loom, spinning wheel, sword and belt, and 
a library prized at eight shillings, besides two pieces of land in Simsbury. 

(II) Amos Moore, youngest son of Andrew Moore, born October 19, 
1698, was a farmer in Windsor, where he died February 20, 1785. His house, 
barn and lands were valued at 496 pounds. He married, May 21, 1720, 
Martha, daughter of Obadiah and Christian (Winchel) Owen, born August 
16, 1698, died May 20, 1780. 

(III) Jonah Moore, third son of Amos Moore, born March 25, 1735, in 
Simsbury, was a soldier of the Revolution, and died November 28, 1813, at 
Turkey Hills, now East Granby. He married. May 22, 1758, in Boston, 
Mary, daughter of William and Mercy (Gibbs) Ridout, born 1733, died De- 
cember I, 1807. 

(IV) Ridout Moore, second son of Jonah Moore, baptized May 25, 
1766, at St. Andrew's Church, Simsbury, was a farmer in Hartland, Con- 
necticut, and bought and sold lands in Turkey Hills. He married, June 14, 
1784, in Simsbury, Rachel, daughter of Bildad and Mercy (Forward) Eaton. 

(V) Pliny Moore, son of Ridout Moore, born about 1785. died in 
Becket, Massachusetts, December 19, 1841. He lived most of his life in that 
town. He married, March 5, 1806, Sally, daughter of Edward and Polly 
(Chaffee) Davis. She died September i, 1837. 

(VI) Asa Moore, fourth son of Pliny and Sally (Davis) Moore, was 
born May 5, 1819, in Becket, and died at Syracuse, New York, January 13, 



238 SxUilliam austin 8©oote 

1869. He was largely self-educated, was a man of large figure, great 
strength and fine presence. In 1852 he removed to Grove City, Ohio, where 
he was for a time a successful merchant, and removed thence, in company 
with his brother, Austin Moore, to Florida. In 1857 he took charge of the 
latter's estate in Brooklyn, New York, whither he removed, and continued 
to reside until 1868, when he went to Syracuse. He married in Sheffield, 
Massachusetts, June 7, 1842, Olive Dudley, daughter of William Cullen and 
Eliza Elvira (Clarke) Peet, of Sheffield, Massachusetts. Children: George 
Edward, born June 14, 1843, i" Sheffield, died unmarried, in Syracuse; 
Luther Henry, May 23, 1845, '" Becket, died while a soldier of the Civil 
War, at NewlDern, North Carolina, July 8, 1864; Ellen E., January 14, 1847, 
in Becket ; William Austin, of further mention. 

(VII) William Austin Moore, son of Asa and Olive D. (Peet) Moore, 
was born November 7, 1854, at Grove City, Ohio, and died January 31, 1914, 
at his home in Hartford, Connecticut. He attended the public schools of 
Brooklyn, and Syracuse, New York, and at the age of seventeen years 
entered the insurance office of M. V. B. Bull, agent of the Phoenix Mutual 
Life Insurance Company, at Albany, New York. In 1874 he removed to 
Hartford Connecticut, where he passed the remainder of his life. Here he 
entered the home office of the Phoenix Insurance Company, where he be- 
came an expert accountant, and won his promotion, until he became first 
vice-president of the company, and one of the best known insurance men in 
New England. He was elected assistant superintendent of the company, 
April 12, 1897, and was made a director, October 13, 1902, secretary, January 
27, 1903, and first vice-president, December 2^, 1904. In early life he traveled 
much in the interest of the company, and was very fond of outdoor life. He 
was much interested in the care and development of the parks of Hartford, 
was a member of the Hartford Golf Club, and of the Republican Club. For 
six years he was a police commissioner of Hartford, was also a member of 
the park commission, and of the City Council, and in every relation of life 
proved himself a man of the highest integrity, earning and enjoying the 
esteem of his fellows. For twenty-two years he lived on Madison street, in 
the southern part of the city, and in 1902 acquired a very handsome residence 
on Farmington avenue, where his widow now resides. Mr. Moore was espe- 
cially devoted to his home, and accepted public station only as a duty which 
he felt that he owed to the municipality in which he lived and prospered, and 
in whose welfare and development he was deeply interested. He married, 
in Hartford, October 8, 1878, Ida Pratt Cargill, born April 11, 1855, daughter 
of Dennis and Esther Pratt (Cadwell) Cargill. They were the parents of 
two children: Marjorie Peet, born October 16, 1888, she was married, Feb- 
ruary 17, 191 5, to Robert Longley Bridgman, Jr., and William Cadwell, born 
Mav 20, 1898. 




Clistja Cgarton HtUiarti 

^UT FEW REGIONS have such good cause as has New Eng- 
land to boast of the men whose names, forming a brilliant 
galaxy, are indissolubly associated with her gigantic indus- 
trial development, whose unwearied, undiscouraged efforts 
have turned, in a little over a century, a rural, undeveloped 
country into one of the greatest manufacturing communities 
in the world. Thousands of such men there were who gave 
their whole lifetime, surrendering present ease and comfort to the building 
up of great business concerns which should realize the ideals they had 
formed, and which now, in their triumphant sequel, stand as models for the 
imitation of the world. Such a man was Elisha Edgarton Milliard and such 
a concern the E. E. Milliard Company, which bears the distinction of being 
the oldest manufactory of woolen goods in continuous operation in the 
country, and has for eighty or more years been in control of the Milliard 
family. 

Mr. Milliard was born December 8, 1807, in Mansfield, Connecticut, and 
was left an orphan at the tender age of three years. He was taken by his 
uncle. Mr. Edgarton, a blacksmith, and brought up as one of his family in 
his home at Mansfield Center, Connecticut, where he was sent to school and 
received his education. In 1824 he had completed his studies and sought 
employment, being ambitious to at once begin his career. For the bright 
and alert youth of seventeen this was a matter of no great difficulty, and he 
soon found himself apprenticed to Sidney Pitkin, manufacturer oi woolen 
goods and owner of a mill which even in that early da)' was not new. This 
mill had been founded in the latter part of the eighteenth century by a Mr. 
Buckland, and was manufacturing blankets for the United States soldiers 
during the War of 1812, and it was not long after this that Mr. Pitkin had 
come into possession. Young Mr. Milliard more than fulfilled the expecta- 
tions which his intelligent bearing had given promise of, and his promotion 
under Mr. Pitkin was extremely rapid, so that it was in 1832, but eight years 
from the time he had entered as an apprentice, that he was admitted to the 
firm as a partner, and at once began the active management of afi^airs which 
he continued until his death. Shortly after his admission as a partner Mr. 
Pitkin retired and Mr. Milliard became the sole owner of the property and 
the head in name as well as in fact. In 1840 he admitted to partnership 
Ralph G. Spencer, and for thirty-one years the business was conducted under 
the style of Milliard & Spencer. In 1871, however, Mr. Milliard purchased 
his partner's interest and at once took his son, Elisha C. Milliard, into the 
firm. This association continued until the elder man's death on February 
3, 1881. Under the masterly management of Elisha Edgarton Milliard the 
industry had grown to great proportions and at one time two mills in South 
Manchester were in operation, also one of them occupying the present site 
of the Milliard works. The two in South Manchester were later purchased 
by Cheney Brothers and are at present used by them as a woodworking mill. 



240 (IBIisl)a dBDgarton li^illiarD 

Nor was this the extent of Mr. Hilliard's manufacturing interests. Besides 
the South Manchester mills he also owned a factory in Vernon Center and 
another at Glastonbury, Connecticut. These various enterprises were all 
successful and Mr. Hilliard grew to be very wealthy and became a prominent 
figure in the community. Before the introduction of the great silk industry 
in South Manchester, the Hilliard enterprise was one of the largest and 
most important in the region, and though the latter has eclipsed it relatively, 
the woolen concern has actually increased its size up to the present day and 
is now in a most prosperous condition and doing the largest business it has 
done in all its long career. Since the death of Mr. Hilliard, his son, Elisha 
C. Hilliard, has remained at the head of the concern and has continued the 
wise management and policy of the elder man. In 1893 the company was 
incorporated under the name of the E. E. Hilliard Company with the present 
Mr. Hilliard as its president. In the year 1901 the company purchased of the 
Peter Adams Company an old paper mill which had been partly destroyed by 
fire some time before and never rebuilt. This property and the exceptionally 
fine water rights which went with it the Hilliard company began at once to 
utilize. On the site of the old paper mill, a modern power plant was erected 
in which the force developed by the fall of water was transformed into elec- 
tricity and conveyed by wires to the Hilliard mill. The capacity of this plant 
is four hundred horse power and it now supplies a large proportion of the 
power utilized by the mill. 

Mr. Hilliard married, May 6, 1835, Charlotte D. Spencer, a native of 
Bolton, Connecticut, and a daughter of Selden Spencer, of that place. Mrs. 
Hilliard survived her husband for thirteen years, dying on June 17. 1894. 
To them were born five children, as follows: Elizabeth, deceased; Maria 
Henrietta, deceased; Adelaide Clementine, who is now a resident in the 
old family mansion situated near Manchester, Connecticut ; Mary Ellen, now 
the wife of Dr. James W. Cooper, of Hartford; and Elisha Clinton, of Hart- 
ford, who has already been mentioned as the president of the E. E. Hilliard 
Company. 

The phrase which perhaps best sums up the achievements of the strong 
and successful sons of New England, with that terse completeness which 
idiomatic forms alone possess, is the familiar one "a self-made man." This 
Elisha Edgarton Hilliard was preeminently a man who made the very most 
of limited opportunities, and turned difliculties into stepping stones for 
further advancement with naught save his own native energy and intelli- 
gence. An inflexible will which bent for no obstacle, he nevertheless had an 
abiding sense of justice and never failed to consider the rights of other men 
with whom he came in contact, no matter how greatly it might appear to 
his advantage. To his great capacity for the practical affairs of the world, 
he added an idealism in a high degree unusual, and was a strongly religious 
man, and a faithful church member. His religious afiiliations were with the 
Congregational church, and for many years he was a member of the North 
Church of that denomination, and a faithful worker in the cause of its 
advancement. He was a deacon also and filled that ofiice with enthusiasm, 
doing all that lay in his power for the support of the church and its many 
benevolences. Through all his busy life he held to the high ideals he had 



I 



misba dBDgatton lt)iIIiatD 



241 



set for himself and was equally above reproach in his business and personal 
relations. His fondness for his family and home was very strong and he 
found his chief happiness in the intimate intercourse of his own household. 
However much his mind might be occupied with the pressure of business, 
he never forgot the wants and desires of those about him, and was forever 
devising means whereby he might further the pleasure and happiness of 
those about him. In all respects, howsoever he may be viewed, he was a man 
to which any community might be proud to point as a member, and which 
it could most appropriately hold up to its youth as a type of good citizenship. 




CONH-Vol HI -16 



01. &xMox^ Bton 




N THE DEATH of M. Bradford Scott, West Hartford, Con- 
necticut, lost a citizen who made for himself a prominent 
place in the life of the city, not only in business circles, but 
in the world of philanthropy, in church affairs, and in every 
enterprise which had for its object the advancement and bet- 
terment of the community with which he had been so long 
a time closely identified. He had inherited in rich measure 
the sterling qualities so characteristic of his ancestors, and in this connection 
it seems appropriate to give brief mention to the origin of the name Scott. 

According to the historian Boethius (and his theory is supported by 
Vermundus, Cornelius and Scoleger), the origin of this name goes back to 
extreme antiquity. Boethius avers that it is derived from Scota, the 
daughter of that Pharaoh, King of Egypt, who was drowned in the Red Sea. 
The history reads like a fairy tale. Gathelus, son of Cecrops, first King of 
Athens, and a native of Egypt, became so insolent and troublesome at the 
court of his father, that he was banished the kingdom. Accompanied by a 
large band of fugitives, he left Greece and went to Egypt in the time of 
Moses, at a time when Pharaoh was engaged in a war with neighboring 
nations. Joining in forces with the Egyptians, he was made a general, and 
soon subdued the natives at war with Pharaoh, and so won the favor of that 
monarch that the latter gave his daughter, Scota, in marriage to Gathelus. 
About this time Egypt was visited with the plague mentioned in the Bible. 
In order to escape from this scourge, Gathelus and Scota, his wife, with a 
large number of Greeks and Egyptians, put to sea, and landing in Spain, 
called that portion of the country Port Gathale, now known as Portugal. 
On account of the affection Gathelus bore his wife, Scota, he named the 
people Scottis. After years of bloody warfare with the barbarians of Spain, 
Gathelus, with his colony, sailed for and landed in Ireland, and afterwards 
went over to the northern part of Britain, which was called Scotland (the 
land of the Scots) from the Scots who planted themselves there. We have 
the testimony of Seneca that the name of Scot was known to some writer in 
the first century. The Bishop of Aberdeen, who searched all the monu- 
ments of antiquity in Scotland, says that all agree that the name of Scott 
was derived from Scota, the most important person in the colony. Long 
anterior to the general use of surnames, natives of Scotland who migrated 
to England or other countries added Scotus to their proper names to indicate 
their nativity or descent. Among these was John Duns Scotus, one of the 
greatest scholars of his time, of whom Halles says that thirty thousand 
people attended his lectures at Oxford. As we come down to the Norman 
period in England, distinguished people who had Scotch blood in their veins 
added the Christian name "le Scot," as John le Scot, last Earl of Chester, 
and his grandnephew, William Baliol le Scot, ancestor of the Scotts of Scotts 
Hall, Kent. The old Norman church at Bradbourne, Kent, contains many 
monuments of the Scotts of Scotts Hall, some of which date back to the 




TTTt^o^/^yzI^^ 



09. IBtaDfotD Scott 243 

thirteenth century. In Kent, Staffordshire and the Scotch border, for long 
generations the family of Scott has been one of great wealth and power. At 
one period it was said that the Scotts of Scotts Hall could travel from 
Bradbourne to London, some fifty or sixty miles, without leaving the estates 
of the family connections. It is an historical record that in 1665 "Lady Anna 
Scott was esteemed the greatest fortune and most accomplished lady of the 
Isle of Britain." In Scotch history we meet with John Scott, a native of 
Cheshire, England, who was elected Bishop of St. Andrews in 1178. The 
first of the name of Scott in England after surnames came into general use 
was John Scott, the last Earl of Chester, born in 1206. Sir Peter Scott, first 
mayor of Newcastle in 1251, and Sir Nicholas, his son, capital bailiff of New- 
castle in 1269, date from the same century. The name has also had many 
distinguished representatives in this country. 

Moses Scott, father of M. Bradford Scott, was the possessor of a re- 
markably fine voice, and he was frequently called upon as a singer on public 
occasions of varied character. In his earlier years he had taken up the study 
of medicine, intending to follow the medical profession, but he abandoned 
the idea in favor of the drug business, and was the successful proprietor and 
manager of a drug store in Manchester for many years, his brother William 
being a physician in the same city. He married Esther Salisbury. 

M. Bradford Scott was born October 25, 1843, ^nd died May 25, 1906. 
His education was a sound and practical one, and when he entered upon his 
business career he was successful in all that he undertook. For a period of 
thirty years he filled the responsible position of cashier of the Hartford 
Fire Insurance Company, which position he held at the time of his death. 
For many years he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hartford 
Trust Company, being the incumbent of this office at the time of his 
lamented death. Both of these companies, as well as a number of other 
institutions, held special meetings at the time of the death of Mr. Scott, 
resolutions being passed in his memory, and these were presented to the 
bereaved family. In political matters Mr. Scott always supported the Repub- 
lican party, and although he never sought office, but let "the office seek the 
man," as he expressed it, he was honored by election to the Legislature 
from Manchester in 1884, and served with credit and honor to himself and 
his constituents, and also served in the City Council as alderman. He was 
a devout member of the Congregational church, serving as chairman of the 
business committee, in which capacity the church profited greatly by his 
practical advice. He had inherited his father's talent and musical ability, 
and for many years had charge of the choir in the church with which he was 
affiliated in Manchester. His fraternal affiliations were with the Order of 
Free and Accepted Masons, the Sons of the American Revolution, and the 
Republican Club. One of his chief forms of recreation was found in travel- 
ing, and he had traveled extensively in this country, and had visited Europe 
in 1894. 

Mr. Scott married Mary E. Clark, daughter of Albert and Mary (War- 
ren) Clark, of Connecticut. Mrs. Scott was a faithful and earnest helpmeet 
to her honored husband; she is loved and respected by all, there being today 
no woman who occupies a more enviable position in the circles in which she 



244 ^' 'BtaDforD %tott 

moves, for her many friends and acquaintances have learned to prize her for 
her beautiful character and useful life. Thus, in a brief v^^ay, has been out- 
lined the career of M. Bradford Scott. The cause of humanity never had a 
truer friend than this valued gentleman who has passed to the higher life. 
The stereotyped words customary on such occasions seem but mockery in 
writing of such a man when we remember all the grand traits that went to 
make the character of this, one of nature's noblemen. In all the relations of 
life — family, church, state and society — he displayed that consistent gentle- 
manly spirit, that innate refinement and unswerving integrity that endeared 
him alike to man, woman and child. Indeed, the greatest eulogy that can 
be pronounced on any man may be consistently said of him, "He was true 
and faithful to every duty and trust reposed in him." The only child of Mr. 
and Mrs. Scott is Henry Walter Scott, who lives in Hartford, and married 
Jennie Hill ; they have one child : Bradford Hill Scott. 





t-^^t^K^ 



laobert ISaeller 




^O INVESTIGATE THE careers of those men who, in the 
truly Democratic communities of America, without favor or 
advantage of any kind over their fellows, have by their own 
courage and ability made their way up the ladder of success, 
cannot fail to be of benefit, since it must bring to light many 
till then hidden treasures of character and mind, to serve as 
models for future generations, generations which with the 
advance of the arts and the multiplication of comforts and luxury, might be 
tempted to relax somewhat from the severe but wholesome ideals of duty 
which in the past have borne such worthy fruit. Nor is it only such figures as 
have won their successes in public life and gained for themselves the applause 
of the world that will serve this turn, but not less so those whose accom- 
plishments have been along more secluded ways, who maybe have not been 
known to more than a comparatively small acquaintance, but whose per- 
sonalities have acted as an inspiration within those limits, whose example 
has tended only and always to foster virtue and discourage evil. Among the 
ranks of these may well appear the name of Robert Weller, whose brief life, 
coming to an untimely end, May i6, 1913, at the age of forty-five years, de- 
prived the city of Hartford, Connecticut, of one of its rising citizens, his 
large circle of acquaintances of a faithful friend, his family of a devoted 
husband and father, and the world of an honest man. Indeed it might be 
prophesied with every show of reason that Mr. Weller's talents would have 
made him known to a larger public and proclaimed themselves in a more far- 
reaching tone, for the future promised well and his powers had scarcely 
reached their zenith, had it not been for the death which so abruptly brought 
to a close a career so brilliant. 

Mr. Weller was a native of New York City, born September 12, 1868, 
remaining in the place of his birth during the years of his childhood and 
early youth. He learned the engraving trade in Hartford, Connecticut. 
Upon reaching manhood he began a tour of the western part of the United 
States, where he had the good fortune to meet his prospective wife and 
marry her. It was then that he returned to the east, and this time took up 
his abode in the charming city of Hartford, where he continued to live dur- 
ing the remainder of his brief life, and where he quickly established himself 
in business. The business he chose was that of engraving and designing, and 
his office was situated at No. 177 Asylum street. The real talent of Mr. 
Weller in the line he had chosen, combined with an excellent sense of busi- 
ness, brought him rapidly into the first ranks of his profession, and insured 
him from the outset a very considerable success and that enviable reputation 
for integrity and ability which can only be the outcome of real industry and 
a consistent regard for obligations and the rights of others. As time went 
on his measure of success grew rapidly and he was regarded as one of the 
prominent men in the community at the time of his death. Mr. Weller was 
a man of much public spirit and during his residence in Hartford was con- 
nected with many movements for the advancement of civic interests and the 



246 mo6ett mtutt 

benefit of the community at large. He was also very charitably inclined and 
concerned himself not a little for the advantage of those less fortunate 
members of the community which are obliged to depend on the efforts of 
others in whole or in part. He was a man of strong religious instincts and 
beliefs, and afifiliated with the Episcopal church. During the years spent 
in Hartford he was a member first of Christ Church and later of St. James' 
Parish, and was active in working for its cause and the interests of religion 
in general. 

As has already been remarked, it was during the tour which he made of 
the west that Mr. Weller met the young lady who soon after became his wife. 
This occurred in the progressive city of Peoria, Illinois, where he was travel- 
ing in the year 1894. The young lady was Frances Maud Todhunter, a 
daughter of John and Catherine (Scott) Todhunter, old and highly- 
respected residents of that place. It was on March 15, 1894, that Mr. Weller 
and Miss Todhunter were united in marriage, and shortly thereafter the 
youthful couple made their home in Hartford, where Mrs. Weller and the 
four children of their union still reside, having all survived Mr. Weller. The 
married life of Mr. and Mrs. Weller was indeed an ideal one in every do- 
mestic relation. Their children are Lillian Elizabeth, Raymond Francis, 
Florence Josephine and Ruth Maud. 

Death, always tragic in itself, contains a double share of that quality 
when it occurs in the very heyday of a man's vigor and the full tide of his 
activity, leaving so many hopeful beginnings unfinished, and so many links 
with the world abruptly severed. Nevertheless, there is a certain consola- 
tion in many cases of the kind to be gained from the observation that into 
the comparatively short period of life there has been, if the phrase be per- 
missible, as many years worth of action and event, as into the more slowly 
moving currents of lives which, measured by the clock, seem longer. Cer- 
tain it is that, if time is relative, and but measured by the passing of events, 
the lives of such men as Mr. Weller, crowded with happenings and plans, 
"full of a number of things," as Stevenson put it, must appear as long to their 
possessors as those of other men, and lacking withal in the inconveniences 
of old age and the decay of faculties. Even in the efifect upon the com- 
munity the same truth holds good, and many a young man such as Mr. 
Weller has left, not merely a more vivid impression, but an influence abso- 
lutely larger in bulk, so to speak, than the average man whose death only 
comes after the allotted term of three score years and ten. As far as Mr. 
Weller's influence upon those about him was concerned, it was doubtless 
large, and what is even more to the point, wholly salutary. One way in 
which it was exerted was through his art which in a man of his artistic 
sense and ability could not fail to exercise a refining and cultivating power 
upon all those who came in contact with it. Perhaps even more potent, 
however, was the influence exerted directly by his personality, in virtue of 
his many sterling virtues, and his strength of character. His associates 
universally felt its spell, recognizing his fine qualities and paying tribute to 
them with admiration and afifection which were wholly spontaneous. His 
conduct in every relation of life was most commendable, and whether as a 
husband and father, whether as a friend or a citizen, or whether simply as a 
man among men, he might well serve as a model for the youth of future 
generations. 




^ 






Jfreliertcfe a* 3Robbtns 




N EUROPE, especially in England, it is very common to come 
upon business houses that, like the aristocratic estates of the 
nobility, have continued for more than one or two genera- 
tions in the control of one family, the possessors of which 
feel quite as strong and rather more wholesome pride in the 
stability and reputation of their mercantile enterprises as 
ever the aristocrat can. In this country, on the other hand, 
such houses are of much more rare occurrence and it is only in New England, 
where they approach in number and character the similar institutions 
abroad. Like her namesake across the sea. New England, however, can 
show many such houses, industrial, commercial, and financial, whose prin- 
cipals feel the same strong and wholesome pride, and maintain just as jeal- 
ously the traditions and ideals thereof, traditions and ideals which they be- 
lieve with great justice to be the cause of their success and permanence. An 
excellent example of such a mercantile establishment is the furniture business 
of Robbins Brothers, Incorporated, of Hartford, Connecticut, with which 
the gentleman whose name heads this brief sketch was associated during his 
entire life. The business was founded by his father as early as the year 
1826 under the name of Robbins & Winship, at the corner of Main and Mul- 
berry streets, opposite what is now the Wadsworth Atheneum. At that 
time they manufactured all their furniture and employed quite a force of 
men, having a number of apprentices learning the business in the different 
branches. Their lumber was bought at auction in New York City in the 
log and sawed to order. It was the rosewood and black walnut period in 
furniture making and French carvers were engaged to do the carving, espe- 
cially on the rosewood pieces. This continued until the starting up of the 
large furniture factories in the West in the heart of the lumber regions and 
the development of railroad transportation. Since then, manufacturing has 
continued in only a limited way, the firm buying most of its merchandise. 
And just as the business is an excellent example of such permanent estab- 
lishments that far outlast the lives of those who are responsible for their 
conception and start, so Mr. Robbins himself was an equally good example 
of the substantial business man and merchant that has thriven so abund- 
antly in that part of the world. 

Frederick A. Robbins was a member of a very old and distinguished 
New England family, the representatives of which for many generations 
had been closely identified with the public afi^airs of the community where 
they dwelt. He was born December 5, 1841, in the city of Hartford, and in 
that city passed his entire life. His childhood and early youth were spent as 
they are in most instances today, in the pursuit of education and the innocent 
pleasures of children, though in the case of Mr. Robbins an unusual share 
was given to the former, the lad being early of a serious and ambitious 
nature. Fifteen years before his birth, his father, Philemon F. Robbins, 
founded the business that was so long to survive him and which was to play 



248 jFrcDcrick 3. IRobbin0 

so important a part in the Hartford commercial world. This business pros- 
pered from the outset and at the time of young Mr. Robbins' leaving school, 
was already regarded as among the important concerns in the city. A few 
years later the firm name became Robbins, Winship & Company, Frederick 
A. Robbins entering the firm, and about 1882 was changed to Robbins 
Brothers, being composed of Frederick A. and his brother, Philemon W. 
Robbins. On May i, 1914, the business was moved to No. 310 Pearl street 
and incorporated, becoming Robbins Brothers, Incorporated, with Frederick 
A. Robbins president. The business is to-day very nearly ninety years old 
and a great measure of this success is the direct result of the clear judgment 
and grasp of the business principles possessed by Mr. Frederick A. Robbins, 
which for so many years were always at the disposal of its needs. 

Mr. Robbins was interested in a general way in the political issues of his 
time and in their application to local afi^airs, but his retiring disposition with- 
held him from taking an active part therein and allying himself to the local 
organization of the party, of which he was a member. He was possessed of 
strong religious beliefs and feelings and was a lifelong member of Christ 
Episcopal Church of Hartford. 

Mr. Robbins was united in marriage with Cordelia Fay Loomis, of 
Hartford, on June 17, 1879. She was the daughter of Henry A. and Cynthia 
M. (Pease) Loomis, of Suffield, Connecticut. To them were born three 
children who, with their mother, survive Mr. Robbins. They are Frederick 
A. Robbins, Jr., a resident of Hartford, Nellie L., now Mrs. Edward C. 
Swan, of West Hartford, and Fay Loomis, a resident of Hartford. 

The qualities which chiefly distinguished Mr. Robbins throughout his 
entire career, even in the latter part of it when success would seem to have 
encouraged some relaxation of efifort, were those of the most scrupulous 
conscientiousness to the tasks he undertook to perform and an integrity 
above reproach in every relation of life. He was one of those comparatively 
rare individuals to whom religion is not a matter of profession pure and 
simple, but a practical guide for the problems and difticulties of every day 
life and labor. His treatment of others accorded well with this high ideal, 
and it was truly in a Christian spirit that he dealt with his associates of every 
kind, whether business or personal, gaining in return a respect and venera- 
tion from the whole community that will long outlast the term of his mortal 
life. A man of retiring disposition, he was particularly devoted to the 
society of his own family and household, and was never so happy as when 
enjoying this gentle intercourse. He was a devoted friend, husband and 
father, and throughout life displayed a noble disinterestedness in connection 
with his own happiness, being always ready and willing to sacrifice it if by 
so doing that of others whom he loved could be assured. 




f^^-.^L 




3(ames S^sepl) ifHorcom 

HOSE STRANGE REGIONS in which is to be found some 
of the wildest and most beautiful scenery in the world, com- 
prised in the rugged islands which, bounding the north and 
west coast of Scotland, extend their greatly lessened bulk in 
two branches southward, the one following the coast of 
Ireland along the shores of Donegal, the other penetrating 
the Irish Sea, are, considering their proximity to such 
centers of civilization as the British Isles, surprisingly little known popu- 
larly, and when thought of at all are thought of rather as the romantic realms 
of fairies than as the abodes of ordinary mortals like ourselves. This isolation 
is largely due to the natural peculiarities shared by them. Bold and rocky, 
thev rear themselves up from the stormy seas that flow about them, and do 
not by their surface encourage the industries of their inhabitants, nor do 
their shores permit an easy approach either to travellers or traders. One of 
the southernmost of these islands, the climate of which is rendered far more 
mild and peaceful by its sheltered position in the Irish Sea, is the strange 
little kingdom of Man, assuredly, one of the smallest realms that can lay 
claim to any degree of independence in the world. For centuries it retained 
its own traditions and customs, its own government and laws, and even to- 
day is in a large measure independent of the imperial parliament of its great 
neighbor and which, passing over the prerogatives of Man, extends its con- 
trol into the ultimate parts of the earth. The island is but little over thirty 
miles in length and but little more than one-half as broad, it has a population 
of about fifty-five thousand souls, yet it retains a large degree of independ- 
ence and is the scene of many beautiful and interesting old ruins, tokens of 
its former pride and strength. 

It was here, in the little town of Kirkpatrick, amid these picturesque 
and romantic surroundings, that James Joseph Morcom, whose name heads 
this brief sketch, and whose later life was spent in the midst of scenes so dif- 
ferent as the busy industry of the new world, was born October 21, 1852. He 
was a son of James and Elizabeth (Bawden) Morcom, who lived and died 
in their native land, although the father made one trip to the American con- 
tinent. James Joseph Morcom did not remain a great while in Man, but 
accompanied his father while a mere lad upon the voyage to America just 
spoken of, and never returned. His father was a bridge architect and it was 
in pursuit of his calling that he came to this country, or rather to Canada, 
where he did considerable important work, and among other things built 
the Victoria bridge over the St. Lawrence river at Montreal, Canada. The 
lad also found employment, and that speedily, his alert, receptive mind 
recommending him to whoever he approached. He secured a position as a 
bookkeeper with the Grand Trunk railroad at the Montreal office when but 
twelve years of age. He made an excellent record at his new task, and was 
in line for promotion, but he was fond of moving about and seeing the world, 
so that after a few years he gave up the Grand Trunk, moved to the West 



250 31ames 3losep|) dotcom 

and went on with his railroading there. He was employed by the Wabash 
Railroad Company. When he left the Grand Trunk he held the position 
of auditor of accounts, and in the companies he transferred his services 
to he held similar positions in the accounting departments. While he 
was in the Wabash, Mr. Gait, the manager of that company, took a fancy 
to the clever youth and appointed him his private secretary. With Mr. Gait 
he went to St. Louis. While in that western city he became interested in 
the great possibilities that were opening up to the insurance business at that 
time, and a little later entered upon his long association with the Travelers' 
Insurance Company of Hartford. For a time he represented the company 
as a special agent in St. Louis, but later returned to the East, now taking 
up his abode in the home city of the new concern. It was in 1880 that he 
first became connected with the Travelers, and in 1884 that he settled in 
Hartford. Upon reaching that city he was installed in the home ofiF.ce and 
there given the position of assistant adjuster and later as chief adjuster of 
the company. The latter office he held for eight years or until the time of 
his death. There was no one living at the time who held a greater reputa- 
tion as an insurance adjuster than Mr. Morcom, who was highly prized by 
the Travelers as a most efficient officer. 

During his residence in Hartford he took a very active part in the gen- 
eral life of the place and was connected with many important organizations 
and clubs, as well as with many independent movements undertaken for the 
welfare of the community. He was not, however, very active in politics, 
although a strong believer in the principles and policies of the Republican 
party and accustomed to support its candidates at the polls. In religion he 
was affiliated with the Episcopal church, the faith of his forefathers, but 
attended the Congregational church in Hartford. Socially he was a promi- 
nent figure and was included in the membership of several organizations of 
a fraternal character. Among these was the Masonic order, he being a 
member of St. John's Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of Hartford. He 
was also a member of the Hartford Club of Hartford and the Maple Hill 
Golf Club of New Britain. 

Mr. Morcom was united in marriage on September 10, 1874, with Mary 
Ann McKay, of Hemmersford. Province of Quebec, Canada, a daughter of 
William Alexander and Margaret (Brownlee) McKay, residents of that 
town. Mrs. Morcom survives her husband, together with the three sons 
born of their union, as follows: William James, now living in Boston with 
his wife, who was Mabel Dwyer, and their little daughter, Doris McKay 
Morcom; Frederick Charles, now a resident of Houston, Texas, where he 
married Sparke Hastings, by whom he had two sons, James Stewart and 
Robert Sparke; Clifford Bawden, who married Hazel Moore and now lives 
in Hartford with his wife and son, Clifford B., Jr. The eldest son. William 
James, is now connected with the same company of which his father was 
for so many years an officer, and is now agency auditor for the Travelers' 
Insurance Company. 

Mr. Morcom's death, which occurred in his charming home at No. 27 
Sumner street, Hartford, of heart trouble, February 15, 1907, cut short a 
career already remarkably successful, and which promised still greater 



3|ames 31ogep|) gj^otcom 251 

things for the future. He was but in his fifty-fourth year, a man in appar- 
ently robust health, who was scarcely known in his whole business career 
to have missed a day on account of sickness. The trouble which finally 
killed him was that insidious one of the heart, angina pectoris, which did not 
even render him indisposed until a couple of days before the end. his final 
attack being so sudden that the physician sent for did not have time to reach 
him before death intervened. He was a great loss to the insurance world, 
where he held a high rank in the opinions of his fellows, and also to the 
community at large, where he was well known and greatly liked. He pos- 
sessed a very large circle of friends, since, indeed, all were connected with 
him in any manner desired to be called by that name. His sterling qualities 
recommended him to all and won at once the respect and afifection of those 
who came in contact with him, even in the most casual way. Though a 
stranger by birth he entirely identified himself with the life and traditions of 
his adopted land and well lived up to its best standards and ideals. 




2:ut)loto iSarfeer 



I 




UDLOW BARKER'S life presents one of those rare instances 
of whole-souled devotion to a single cause or subject which 
recognizes no difficulties nor obstacles and presses on with- 
out deviation to its intended end, such instances as may well 
serve as examples of consistency of desire and constancy of 
efifort. Neither by birth nor parentage was Mr. Barker an 
American, if that title be unduly restricted to the inhabitants 
of the United States, but he was a native of the sister realm of Canada, and 
lived the major part of his life in New England, so that he was in all matters 
identified with the interests of this country and wholly of ourselves. 

He was born in Fredericton, one of the two largest towns of New 
Brunswick, Canada, November 25, 1828, a son of Samuel and Eunice Ann 
(Harper) Barker, old residents of that place, where, too, he spent his early 
years. These years were employed in the acquisition of a first class educa- 
tion in the local schools, an advantage that was shared by the whole faiuily 
of five children. From a very early age he displayed an unusual interest in 
music, and seemed to derive the greatest enjoyment from its performance, 
so that, as he grew older, it became his object to follow some line of occu- 
pation that should involve as much of his beloved art as possible. Mr. 
Barker was not the first member of his family who displayed this particular 
bent, an uncle on his mother's side of the house having engaged in the busi- 
ness of manufacturing pianos in Boston, and his parents, who with better 
judgment than is displayed by most seconded his determination, sending 
him to the United States and to Boston, where he might learn his uncle's 
trade. Accordingly, while still a mere lad, he made the journey to that city 
and was there received by the relative already mentioned, Mr. Edward 
Harper, who took him under his care and tutelage. He rapidly learned the 
business of piano making and at the same time followed a course of musical 
instruction in Boston under the best masters obtainable, by which he profited 
greatly. His attention was largely turned to the subject of choir and organ 
work in which he became extremely proficient, and gained the reputation, 
well deserved, of a thorough musician. In the year 1849. he left Boston and 
came to the city of Hartford, Connecticut, with which place his musical 
career is chiefly associated. It was with the double purpose of opening a 
piano establishment and becoming the organist of the South Congregational 
Church there that he removed to Hartford, which from that time to the end 
of his life remained his home. He continued in that business until his death, 
doing a very thriving trade and becoming one of the best known dealers in 
the country. He was popularly known as the "king of piano salesmen." 
His business was very large and there was no State from Maine to California 
to which he did not send his instruments. His first place of business in Hart- 
ford was in the old State Bank Building. These quarters, however, soon 
became quite inadequate to accommodate the growing trade and he removed 
to the Union Hall Building. Eventually these quarters also proved too lim- 




t-^^Zyl't/'- 



HuDIoto 'Barker 



253 



ited and he once more removed, this time to No. 151 and 153 Asylum street, 
where for forty years the business has been conducted successfully. 

For two years after his arrival in Hartford Mr. Barker held the position 
of organist in the South Congregational Church and there quickly won fame 
as a brilliant and able performer. At the expiration of the two years, he 
received an offer from the First Baptist Church to become its organist, an 
offer he gladly accepted, since he was a member of the church himself, adher- 
ring to that form of worship. For twenty-one years or more he continued 
to hold this position, maintaining and increasing his reputation, and finally 
withdrew to take the same position with the Center Congregational Church, 
where he remained ten years. But his musical activities did not by any 
means end here. In the year 1878 Mr. Barker organized a male chorus of 
some fifty voices, chosen from among the singers who accompanied the 
great Moody and Sankey revival of that time. This chorus, in which he took 
especial pleasure, remained together under Mr. Barker's leadership for many 
years, and furnished a high order of music for all sorts of public occasions, 
including important funerals and Memorial Day exercises, etc. For twenty 
years he acted as the instructor and leader of the Hartford Male Chorus, as 
the organization was called, and it was due to his efforts that the city became 
early acquainted with much of the best in musical art. The city owes him 
another debt of gratitude only second to that due him for his introduction 
there of the best compositions of the great masters of all ages, and that is on 
account of his efforts in bringing before it many of the greatest virtuosos of 
the day. It was due to his efforts that such singers as Mme. Parepa Rosa, 
such pianists as Von Bulow, Thalberg and De Poehmann made their bows in 
Hartford, as well as many others of lesser note. Nor even yet is the list of 
his services to music and his adopted city exhausted. He was a highly suc- 
cessful teacher and trained many who have since become well known in the 
art. He gave his first lessons in harmony to Dudley Buck, and his own 
ardent enthusiasm in the cause of his art without doubt stimulated and 
inspired his pupils to their best efforts. 

So deeply interested and engaged was Mr. Barker in his art and the 
various occupations to which it gave rise, that it is not surprising that he 
did not find a great deal of time for other activities, yet there was one matter 
in which he always took a vital interest and showed himself ready to labor 
for with zeal and understanding. This was his religion, in the cause of 
which he was ever an ardent worker, giving much of his valuable time and 
energy in its behalf. It has already been noticed that he was a member of 
the Baptist church and it was in this connection that he became an organ- 
izer, and for ten years the president of the Farmington Avenue Christian 
Association which held religious services in the Whitting Lane schoolhouse 
and the Prospect Avenue Chapter House of the King's Daughters. 

Mr. Barker was twice married. His first wife was Lilla A. Bolles, a 
daughter of Edward Bolles, of the well known firm of Bolles & Sexton, of 
Hartford, with whom he was united in marriage on May 3, 1853. To this 
union three children were born, two of whom survive their father. They 
are: W. L. B. Barker, of Hartford, who married Mary E. Ely, by whom he 
has two children, Edward Bolles and Clarence Ludlow; and Cora E., who 



254 JLuDloto IBatker 

is now the wife of W. D. Allen, of Evanston, Illinois, and the mother of one 
daughter, an only child, Ruth Barker Allen, a graduate of Vassar, class of 
1914. Mr. Barker's third child was Lilla, who died in infancy. Mrs. Barker 
died in 1878, and in 1890 Mr. Barker was united in marriage with Paulina 
S. Northrop, of Hartford, a daughter of Ezra Graves and Elizabeth 
(Mygatt) Northrop, old and respected citizens of that place. Her father, 
Mr. Northrop, was one of the early merchants of Hartford and one of those 
who helped to set the standards of probity and integrity that have so long 
defined the business methods of that city. Mrs. Barker survives her hus- 
band and has a fine residence at No. 620 Farmington avenue, Hartford, and 
devotes her time almost exclusively to charitable work. 

Mr. Barker's death occurred November 21, 1910, and brought to a close 
a long life of varied activity and great usefulness. The event cast a gloom 
over the whole city for there were few, indeed, who did not recall with afifec- 
tion his genial personality and the services for which all felt indebted to him. 
As a mark of respect all the music stores in the city closed their doors dur- 
ing the funeral services, which were of a most impressive nature. It is more 
difficult to gauge the good wrought by a man whose time and attention is 
devoted to so intangible a matter as art, than though his eflforts had been 
expended in some more concrete and material endeavor. Let us not there- 
fore make the mistake of underrating it, however. Who can reckon the 
good wrought, even upon themselves, by the subtle influence of music, that 
least reducible of all the arts, whose subject matter does not even appear to 
be derived from nature, unless, indeed, it be the fundamental rhythms not 
directly appreciable to sense. Who can reckon the effect, and yet there are 
but few who will not acknowledge its wellnigh overwhelming impulse to 
action and life, an impulse as potent as it is inexplicable. So that we can say 
with confidence that the career of one who has efifectively labored for this 
high purpose is one which leaves the deepest kind of an impression upon all 
with whom his work is brought in contact, even though the recipients of his 
benefits are themselves unaware of its existence other than at the moment of 
receiving it. If it be true, as who can doubt, that the idea is the root of all 
action whatsoever, then we cannot value too highly either the art which so 
potently stimulates the imagination and all the spiritual faculties, or the 
earnest efforts of the men who labor therein. As a factor in the culture of 
Hartford Mr. Barker must and does rank high in the estimation of his fellow 
citizens. 



1 




Cljomas ©afees 




COUNTRY has but one ruler, whether he be king, emperor 
or president. Leaders in miHtary circles, also, are compara- 
tively few. But the field of business is limitless and offers 
innumerable opportunities for men of laudable ambition, 
strong determination and unfaltering diligence. It is a trite 
but true saying that there is always room at the top, and 
when one has advanced far beyond others who perhaps 
started out ahead of him on the highway of life, it is because he has exerted 
in superior degree those qualities which constitute the basis of success. This 
was the case of the late Thomas Oakes, of Hartford, Connecticut, who 
through his own diligence, persistency of purpose, and capable management 
became one of the most successful plumbing contractors of the city. His 
name, however, was not alone a prominent one in business circles, but in the 
military records of the State, and in Masonic circles, in both of which his 
influence was beneficially felt. 

Thomas Oakes was born in Manchester, England, November 2, 1837, 
and died in Hartford, Connecticut, February 24, 1913, as the result of an 
attack of pneumonia, from which he had been suffering a few days. Until 
that time he had been in excellent health. He was educated in his native 
city, where he was also apprenticed to learn the plumber's trade, which he 
mastered before leaving England. Enthusiastic in all he undertook, Mr. 
Oakes was closely identified with military organizations in his native coun- 
try, and served as sergeant in the Lancashire Royal Engineer Volunteers. 
Not long after attaining his majority he decided that the New World offered 
better opportunities for a young man of ambition and energy, and came to 
this country during the progress of the Civil War. He at once proceeded to 
Hartford, Connecticut, where he made his home and established himself in 
business as a plumbing contractor. The principle underlying the conduct 
of his business was strict integrity and reliability, and the success he 
achieved is ample testimony to the wisdom of his business methods. He 
attained great prominence in the Masonic fraternity, being a member of 
Hartford Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons ; Pythagoras Chapter, Royal 
Arch Masons; Washington Commandery, Knights Templar ; Wolcott Coun- 
cil, Royal and Select Masters; Sphinx Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles 
of the Mystic Shrine. He and Mrs. Oakes were members of the Eastern 
Star. The family are members of Trinity Episcopal Church, Hartford, 
Connecticut. 

Not long after taking up his residence in Hartford, Mr. Oakes became 
a member of the Connecticut National Guard, serving as color sergeant of 
the first company of that body. Later he was a corporal in the First Com- 
pany, Governor's Foot Guard. The name of Mr. Oakes is a synonym for 
probity, and while undoubtedly he was not without that honorable ambition 
which is so powerful and useful as an incentive to activity, in public affairs, 
he regarded the pursuits of his private and business life as being in them- 



256 Cftomag fl)akes 

selves abundantly worthy of his best efforts. The funeral of Mr. Oakes 
took place from his home, No. 124 Huntington street, the various bodies 
w^ith which he had affiliated attending, and every organization, and numer- 
ous business firms with which he had been connected, sent beautiful floral 
contributions. He was interred in the family plot at Cedar Hill Cemetery. 
Mr. Oakes married, in 1868, Mary Ella Davis, daughter of Thomas 
Davis. She is also a native of Manchester, England. She survives him with 
their children: Mrs. Charles Yates, Mrs. R. T. Seymour, Mrs. R. W. Pen- 
field, Mrs. W. S. Morris, Mrs. W. M. Corkins, T.' Edward, J. Albert, and 
William E. Oakes, all of Hartford. Robert B. Oakes died December 25, 
1906, aged twenty-four years; he was a member of the class of 1907, Pratt 
Institute, Brooklyn; would have graduated in June, 1907, but died on 
Christmas Day, 1906; he was born in Hartford, Connecticut, April 15, 1882; 
he was the youngest of the nine children; was a member of Hartford Lodge 
of Masons. 





E0llm iauttJ lalbuitn 




SRoIIin Babili ilaltitDin 

'HIS is a success worshiping- age. It is the men of deeds and 
accomplishment that we delight in honoring. We demand 
success, and, as though in response, we have a progress in 
all the departments of material achievement such as the 
world has never before witnessed. Perhaps the most char- 
acteristic of all the achievements of the day is that in the 
line of industrial and commercial development and it is the 
leaders of activity in this direction that are our choicest heroes. Among the 
important merchants of Hartford, Connecticut, of the generation just 
passed, the name of Rollin David Baldwin is conspicuous, as much for the 
high principles he observed in the conduct of his business as for the success 
that attended it. His death on March 2, 1905, removed from Hartford one 
who in the fullest sense of the term was a progressive, virile, self-made 
American citizen, thoroughly in harmony with the spirit of this modern 
age. and who, in compassing his own success, performed a corresponding 
service for the community of which he was a member. 

The Baldwin family coat-of-arms is thus described: Argent: A saltire 
sable. Crest: On a mount vert, a cockatrice argent combed, wattled and 
beaded or, ducally gorged and lined of the last. 

Rollin David Baldwin was a scion of fine old New England stock, his 
ancestors for a number of generations back having been fine examples of 
the hardy and intelligent farming people of the region. He was born July 
19, 1848, on a farm which had been the possession of his paternal grand- 
mother's family for many years, situated near Sandersfield, Berkshire 
county, Massachusetts, a son of Darwin Jason and Lorinda (Mills) Baldwin. 
Mr. Baldwin, Sr., was born on the same farm as was his son and lived all his 
life there, successfully operating the farm which became his by inheritance. 
His wife was a native of Connecticut and bore her husband three children: 
Frederick, deceased; Mary, now Mrs. Dallas J. Persons, of Winsted, Con- 
necticut; and Rollin David. 

Among these wholesome but rural surroundings Rollin David Baldwin 
grew up, attending the local district school for his education, and later re- 
ceiving a year's instruction at the South Berkshire Institute in New Marl- 
borough, Massachusetts. After completing his studies he returned to his 
father's farm and took up his father's occupation, following it there until he 
was twenty-seven years of age. On November 15, 1875, however, he left 
the old place for good, and having saved up a considerable sum of money, 
went to Colebrook River, Connecticut, where he entered into partnership 
with George S. Ives, the owner of a general store in that place. He con- 
tinued in this association for a period of fifteen years, the business being in 
a highly flourishing state in the meantime, and there gained experience and 
a large amount of technical knowledge of business methods and practice. 
The same enterprise and ambition which had induced him to abandon farm- 

CONN-Vol in-17 



258 mollin DatiiD ^alDtoin 

ing and engaged in a mercantile pursuit, urged him still further, however, 
and in January, 1890, he sold out his interest in the Colebrook River busi- 
ness to a Mr. Leander Cotton, and removed to Hartford, w^here he believed 
a larger field of opportunity awaited him. In this he was not deceived, for 
he had been in that city but two weeks before he secured a position as travel- 
ling salesman with the E. S. Kibby Company, dealers in wholesale groceries 
on a large scale. In this capacity he was eminently successful, yet he con- 
tinued therein but ten months, when he received and accepted an offer to 
become the partner of Edward Persons, of Winsted, Connecticut, in the lat- 
ter's grocery and dry goods business there. For three years this connection 
continued and then the two partners separated, Mr. Baldwin taking the 
grocery business, and Mr. Persons the dry goods, each as his share. In the 
year 1897 Mr. Baldwin returned to Hartford, having received an offer from 
the E. S. Kibby Company of a partnership in the concern, together with the 
office of secretary. This offer he accepted and at once took up his new 
duties, retaining the position until his death. The business of the Kibby 
concern was very large and still further increased during his connection with 
it. He became widely known in commercial circles throughout the city and 
was regarded as one of the most substantial and influential business men of 
Hartford. 

From early youth Mr. Baldwin took a keen interest in the conduct of 
public affairs. He was the possessor of a keen and original mind, and did a 
great deal of thinking for himself on political questions. He was an adher- 
ent to the principles and policies of the Democratic party. His moving from 
place to place, with a comparatively short residence in any one locality, 
militated against his achieving the high position he was undoubtedly worthy 
of in politics, but with even this handicap he gained a considerable distinc- 
tion in the ranks of the Democratic party in Connecticut. Wherever he hap- 
pened to be dwelling he allied himself with the local organization and 
quickly proved himself possessed of the qualities of a leader. While a resi- 
dent of Colebrook, he became very prominent in local affairs, and was elected 
and reelected selectman of the place until he had served in this capacity for 
a term of eight years. He was finally sent as a representative to the State 
Legislature from Colebrook, and served most efficiently on that body during 
the year 1885. He was also selectman in Winsted for a year. Mr. Baldwin 
was a conspicuous figure in social circles in the various places where he 
lived, and was particularly prominent as a member of the Masonic fraternity, 
in which he had taken the thirty-second degree, and was also a Knights 
Templar. He was a member of many of the divisions of the order, including 
Pyramid Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Bridgeport. 

Mr. Baldwin married, May i, 1870, Ellen J. Murphy, a native of Cole- 
brook, Connecticut, and a daughter of John and Augusta (Baxter) Murphy, 
of that place. Mr. Murphy's family was a prominent one in Rhode Island 
for many years, though he himself was born in New York State, a son of 
Eben and Lois (Manchester) Murphy. His maternal grandfather was dis- 
tinguished as a soldier in the Revolution. Mrs. Murphy was born in Cole- 
brook, and there she and her husband lived after their marriage. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Baldwin were born three children, as follows: Jennie Augusta, 



1 



RoIIin DatiiD IBalDtoin 259 

now Mrs. H. Elbert Moffat, of Hartford; John Darwin, who married Miss 
Lena M. Smith, and now, with his wife and one child, Rollin Smith, resides 
in Winsted, Connecticut ; and Grove Baxter, now a resident of Hartford, 
where he married Edna Belle Scoville, who has borne him two children, 
Richard Scoville and Alice Martha. 

Mr. Baldwin was one of those forceful personalities whose initiative 
lead them normally to assume and to be accorded the place of leaders among 
their fellows. Perhaps the chief element in this kind of success is a kind of 
mental force which causes one to hold his ideas with enthusiasm. With Mr. 
Baldwin this was markedly the case. Not only were his ideas powerful 
intrinsically, but his maintenance of them was of a kind to impress those 
about him and cause them instinctively to defer their opinions to his. It 
was this quality which made him so quickly assume a position of influ- 
ence in all of the many places which he called his home, and in all of the 
many activities that he took up. Of course there was something else beneath 
this that insured, as it were, his success. No man, however powerful his 
personality, can retain his hold of success and influence without a founda- 
tion of those sterling virtues that are so conspicuous in the hardy stock 
from which Mr. Baldwin descended. Honesty, perseverence, self-control, 
must all be present or men will not brook to be led. But all these traits of 
character Mr. Baldwin possessed in full measure, as well as many other 
qualities of manner and bearing which, if not so fundamental, at least con- 
tributed potently to the general effect which his personality produced. 
Altogether he was a man of parts, well calculated to exert a potent influence 
upon all with whom he came in contact, and whose death was a serious loss 
to the great circle of friends and associates which he had formed, as well as 
to the community at large. He was buried with the Masonic ritual in Win- 
sted, Connecticut. 




%mim C})arles i|ump})rep 

UCIUS CHARLES HUMPHREY was a native of Pennsyl- 
vania, and a scion of an old and highly-honored family of 
that State, but practically his entire life w^as spent in Connec- 
ticut, where he became closely identified with the business 
interests of Unionville, Hartford county, and was otherwise 
prominent in the affairs of the community, so that his death 
on December 6, 1912, at the age of sixty-two years, was felt 
as a loss by the entire town. Mr. Humphrey's parents were Eucius and 
Emeline (Judd) Humphrey, of Orwell, a town of Bradford county, Penn- 
sylvania, where he was a successful farmer, but they were former residents 
of Connecticut. 

Lucius Charles Humphrey was born in Orwell, Pennsylvania, July 7, 
1850, and passed the early years of his childhood there on his father's farm, 
attending the local schools, and laying that fine foundation of health and 
wholesome living which may be gained from no other source as easily as 
from a youth spent in such rural environment and occupation. While he 
was a lad in "his teens" his father moved back to Connecticut, settling at 
first in Avon, where he purchased a farm. He did not remain a great while 
in that neighborhood, however, but went on to Unionville, where he resumed 
his agricultural occupations and the lad his schooling. Upon the completion 
of his studies, Lucius C. Humphrey found speedy employment in the town 
of Unionville with the Upson Nut Company, and remained associated with 
that firm for the remainder of his life. His mind was an alert one, and he 
quickly made himself master of the details of the business and gave such 
satisfaction to his employers with his work that his promotion was rapid, 
and he became in due course of time one of the foremen of the concern. In 
this position he remained twenty years, retiring therefrom only one year 
before his death. 

He was also keenly interested in politics, both in a general sense and in 
the conduct of local public affairs. He was a staunch Republican in his prin- 
ciples and joined the town organization of that party, of which he grew to 
be a prominent and active member. He was register of voters for many 
years, up to the time of his death. He was given the Republican nomination 
for the State Legislature in the year 1882, and was duly elected to that body 
to represent the town of Farmington, serving thereon for one session, two 
years. One of the local matters in which Mr. Humphrey took a great 
interest was the fire department. From the organization of the Tunxis Fire 
Department, he was the foreman and served as such until his death, and 
gave devoted service to the interests of the company, working hard to ad- 
vance it in all ways possible. The department showed the appreciation that 
it felt by making him a very handsome gift of a silver loving cup in 1908. 
Mr. Humphrey was a very prominent figure in the social world, and a very 
active member of many clubs and organizations in the neighborhood. 
Among these may be mentioned the Masonic order and the Knights of 




iCurtuB (Eltarba ii|umpl|rfy. 



Luciu0 Cftarles IDumpfttep 261 

Pythias, to the local lodges of both of which he belonged. His religious 
affiliations were with the Congregational church and he was a member for 
many years of the First Church of Christ of that denomination. 

It was through his business associations that Mr. Humphrey first made 
the acquaintance of the young lady to whom he was afterwards married. 
The Upson Nut Companj^ with which he was connected for so many years, 
was originally founded by Dwight Langden, and afterwards passed into the 
control of Andrew Upson, who was president of the concern at the time Mr. 
Humphrey was foreman. Mr. Upson was the brother of Mrs. Langden and 
when that lady, after the death of her first husband, was married to Samuel 
Frisbee, the latter was made treasurer and secretary of the company, and 
held that position while Mr. Humphrey was connected with it. One of the 
daughters of Seth Upson, Emma A. Upson, was married to George H. 
Fuller, a prosperous farmer and wood-turner of Unionville, Connecticut, 
and a veteran of the Civil War in which he had distinguished himself as 
lieutenant in Company D, Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteer In- 
fantry. It was to a granddaughter of Seth Upson, Ella Georgia Fuller, and 
a daughter of George H. and Emma A. (Upson) Fuller, that Mr. Humphrey 
was married September 30, 1875. Mrs. Humphrey is a native of Unionville 
and has passed her entire life in that town. She survives her husband, 
together with two of their four children, who are also residents of Union- 
ville. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Humphrey were as follows: Harry 
D., who died as a young man of twenty-three years; Clayton W., who mar- 
ried Anna Pelitier, of Unionville; Lucius E., who married Georgia E. Taft, 
of Unionville; and Wilfred K., who died when but nineteen years of age. 

Mr. Humphrey was a man of high ideals to which he adhered with an 
unusual degree of faithfulness in the conduct of his life, and might well be 
pointed out as a model of good citizenship. In all the relations of life he 
displayed those cardinal virtues that have come to be associated with the 
best type of New England character, an uncompromising idealism united 
with a most practical sense of worldly affairs. His success was of that quiet 
kind which integrity and just dealing with one's fellow men is sure to bring 
when coupled with ability such as his, a success of the permanent type which 
the years increase and render more secure because it rests on the firm foun- 
dation of the trust and confidence of the community. In his career as public 
servant he showed himself without any personal ambition and actuated 
with no desire other than to further the advantage of the community, and to 
strengthen his party wherever that did not conflict with the public weal. 
His private virtues were not less remarkable than his public, and the deep 
affection with which his family and intimate friends regarded him is the best 
tribute which can be paid to the strength and sincerity of his domestic in- 
stincts. He was the most devoted of husbands and parents, ever seeking 
the happiness of those about him, and the most faithful friend, winning by 
his charming personality a host of intimates who repaid his fidelity in like 
kind. The community at large has felt the wholesome and inspiriting effect 
of his example and it will be long before its members cease to miss the kindly 
and genial influence which surrounded him and bettered those with whom he 
came in contact. 




©rbtlle 3|tttI)totfe ^latt 

N a time when political and governmental corruption has be- 
come a byword and the term politician a reproach it is re- 
freshing, indeed, to turn to the record of such a man as Sen- 
ator Orville Hitchcock Piatt, of Connecticut, a record un- 
sullied by the smallest lapse in the faithful discharge of his 
high duties, by any indirectness or intrigue, or by the plausi- 
ble setting up of political expediency in the place of the pub- 
lic interest, a record marked by faithful service and faithful devotion to prin- 
ciple. Senator Piatt was the scion of a very old and illustrious family which, 
even before its early advent in the country, was already prominent in the 
affairs of the Old World. As early as 1326 a Piatt was accorded a coat-of- 
arms in England and several branches of the family received this mark of 
distinction between that time and the reign of Elizabeth. It is in America, 
however, that the name has won the brightest lustre where, ever since its 
founding here by Deacon Richard Piatt prior to 1638, the men who have 
borne it have proved themselves of sturdy patriotism, holders of the beliefs 
and doers of the deeds that finally made this a free and independent Nation. 
Two of the Platts, one a direct ancestor of Senator Piatt, were imprisoned 
by Governor Andros of New York on account of their sturdy independence, 
and his grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War, and was one of those 
to suffer on the terrible prison ships in New York harbor. The Platts as a 
general thing followed farming throughout their long residence in New 
England and the father of Senator Piatt was engaged in this occupation all 
his life at Washington, Connecticut. He was a man of parts and in addition 
to his farming was active in the affairs of his community, serving as deputy 
sheriff of the county and judge of probate, and at times exhibiting the versa- 
tility of his talents by teaching school. He was married to Almyra Hitch- 
cock in 1817 and Orville Hitchcock Piatt was the second son and child of this 
union. 

Orville Hitchcock Piatt was born July 19, 1827, in the town of Wash- 
ington, Connecticut. He received the training common to the sons of farm- 
ers in that day, namely, his winters spent in school and his summers at work 
on his father's acres. It was a hard life, but it bred a stalwart race. He 
first attended the local public schools, but later went to the academy in his 
home town, where he came in contact with a remarkable personality and 
one that was destined to have a strong and beneficent influence upon his 
own development. This personality was that of Frederick W. Gunn, the 
principal of the academy, from whom it derived the name of "The Gun- 
nery," and by which it has since been known far and wide. Frederick W. 
Gunn was a man of great mental strength and rare individuality. He was 
greatly beloved and honored by his pupils, and he did much to train them 
into the simple, straightforward manhood that was his ideal, and which he, 
himself, so well exemplified. Mr. Piatt was at the impressionable age of 
thirteen when he first attended Mr. Gunn's school, which then was situated 




(hvUO. ii~.M.at=:r 



ffl)rtiillg lDitc|)coc& piatt 263 

at Judea, Connecticut, and for a number of years thereafter came into the 
closest association with him both in the school and in his family life. Mr. 
Gunn was one of eight children, all of whom became prominently connected 
with the Abolitionist movement, so that his pupils diminished greatly in 
number and at one time were reduced to nine, all the children of Abolition- 
ists, so that he was forced to move his school to smaller quarters, locating 
on the site of the present "Gunnery." During this time Mr. Piatt lived in the 
home of Mr. Gunn in the winter and after the second year of the school in 
its new location acted as an assistant instructor. Later Mr. Gunn was 
chosen principal of a large school in Towanda and persuaded Mr. Piatt, to 
whom he was deeply attached, to accompany him as his assistant. These 
years of strong devotion to a character of such a splendid type were happy 
ones for the young man and valuable also, his character forming under these 
fortunate circumstances, for there are but few things that affect a young 
man's life more strongly than such a period of hero-worship if it be centered 
upon a worthy object. How strong were his feelings may be seen in the 
article penned by him for a memorial volume brought out in honor of Mr. 
Gunn shortly after his death, in which he states that, "He was more to me 
than a teacher; my love for him was the love one has for father, brother 
and friend." At length, however, this ideal association had to be broken to 
a large extent, Mr. Piatt's choice of a profession being the law, which 
claimed the major part of his time and energies. He was twenty years of 
age when he took up reading law in the office of Hon. Gideon H. Hollister, 
of Litchfield, Connecticut, profiting greatly under the preceptorship of this 
able attorney. He was admitted to the bar in Litchfield county, and after- 
wards in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, returning to the town of Towanda, 
where he began his active practice in the office of Hon. Ulysses Mercur, 
afterwards of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. In 1851 he returned to 
Connecticut and established himself in the practice of his profession at 
Meriden, which also was his legal residence, notwithstanding that he always 
looked upon Washington as one of his homes. 

The age was a stirring one in American affairs upon which Mr. Piatt's 
youth had fallen, and less sensitive spirits than his were strongly affected 
by the problems that demanded solution of that generation. Mr. Piatt felt 
keenly the momentous character of these problems and how greatly their 
solution might affect the future of the country, and with the generous ardor 
of youth he threw himself into the work of solution. His first direct effort 
in this direction was shortly after his coming to Meriden, when he became 
associate editor of "The Whig," a local paper given to the candid discussion 
of public issues and which continued for a period of some three years an in- 
fluence in the community. These three years were of value to Mr. Piatt as a 
training in the art of expression and in bringing- him into contact with men of 
all kinds and the world of affairs. He did not abandon his practice of the law 
during this time, however, although at first this was no arduous task, the 
difficulties that usually attach to the working up of a legal practice by no 
means sparing him. He was gradually gaining a name as a young man of 
originality and parts, however, and in 1853 found himself a candidate for 
judge of probate and was duly elected, serving three years. Work and re- 



264 ©rtJille ©itcftcock piatt 

sponsibilities began to pile up now, but he proved himself amply capable of 
taking care of them and his reputation grew both in degree and extension. 
In 1855 he received the appointment to the clerkship of the Connecticut 
State Senate and served in that capacity. The great crisis in politics which 
was finally to become sectional and express itself in the terrible Civil War 
was now becoming definite and the year 1858 was marked by the forma- 
tion of the Republican party, destined to play so great a part in the fortunes 
of the country. Mr. Piatt was one of the original members of the new politi- 
cal birth, and from that time until his death continued a staunch supporter 
of its principles and policies. His political career now took a great step for- 
ward, and with his election to the office of Secretary of State for Connecti- 
cut, he became a factor to be reckoned with in public affairs. He was already 
recognized at this early day as a man who could not be bought or influenced 
by any personal consideration in the discharge of his public duties, and this 
firm honor, a quality in high demand with new parties, quite as much as his 
marked ability, won him his election as State Senator in 1861. He served 
during that term and in 1864 was elected to the State Assembly. In this 
body he was made chairman of the judiciary committee, a post that carried 
with it the acknowledged leadership of the party in the House. It was a 
time of the gravest responsibilities, with the Civil War at its height and the 
most violent feelings existing between, not only the parties, but even be- 
tween the factions of the same. But it was no common leader that the 
Republican members of the Connecticut House had in this young man for 
whom they conceived an increasing respect. One interesting contest at this 
time in which Mr. Piatt took a decisive part was that connected with the 
proposition that the soldiers in the field be permitted to vote. A constitu- 
tional amendment was required for this, which in its turn required a two- 
thirds vote in the House. After a close debate the vote was taken and re- 
sulted in the two-thirds necessary for affirmation, but an obstacle still stood 
in their way. A number of representatives were absent and the speaker 
ruled that a two-thirds vote of those present was not sufficient, the constitu- 
tional rule applying to the whole House in his contention. From this Mr. 
Piatt appealed and eventually won his point and that of his party, and 
opened the way to casting the ballot for the soldiers engaged in actively 
defending their State and the Union. Mr. Piatt next held an important 
public office in 1869, when he was again elected to the Assembly and then 
chosen Speaker of the House. In this new capacity he displayed the qual- 
ities that had already placed him so high in the regard of his fellows, and 
under his firm and skillful guidance the Legislature transacted a very large 
volume of important business in a manner greatly to the advantage of the 
community at large. His party associates were full)' aware of how strong 
a candidate Mr. Piatt would make for wellnigh any office and were keenly 
alive to the desirability of his continuance in politics, but at the close of this 
term in the Legislature he found it desirable to withdraw temporarily. 

During the years that had passed he had given a very large percentage 
of his time to the public business and that in spite of the fact that his own 
legal practice was growing greatly in proportions. His reputation as a 
lawyer had of course some effect upon the course of his political career, but 






ffi)rtiillc l^itcbcocb piatt 265 

perhaps the converse was even more true that his political career was a large 
factor in the increase of the practice. However this may be, the latter had 
developed so much that it was necessary to give it his undivided attention for 
a time and he was obliged to disregard the strong pressure brought to bear 
upon him and retired into private life. Of course the life of a prominent 
lawyer is in any case but semi-private and Mr. Piatt continued to come into 
contact with affairs to a certain extent. A great deal of very important 
litigation was entrusted to him at this epoch and the masterly manner in 
which he handled it but added fresh laurels to his name. He possessed many 
of the qualities associated with the ideal jurist, a clear and concise reason 
that enabled him to pick out the essential fact from amidst a mass of detail, 
great erudition in his subject and the capacity for long and close study 
which he bestowed on every case. For eight years he continued to give his 
undivided attention to his practice and established himself as one of the 
leaders of the State bar, but in 1877 he accepted the appointment of State's 
Attorney for New Haven county and thus once more entered the stormy 
arena of politics and public affairs. This office was but the entering wedge, 
as it were, for two years later he was launched into the very thick of the 
matter by his election to the United States Senate. A Republican himself 
he succeeded Senator W. H. Barnum, a Democrat, but from that time on- 
ward until his death he continued to hold this high office, his term being 
renewed at each successive election. There have been few periods in which 
the elements in national life struggling for control have been more varied 
and complex than during our recent political era, few periods in which sel- 
fish strife and interested motives have played a greater part in the conduct 
of affairs. Among these conflicting cross currents of purpose and action, 
the figure of Mr. Piatt, actuated by no thought of self but the most imper- 
sonal desire to witness the right, rose conspicuously, winning for itself the 
spontaneous admiration of all worthy men whether political friends or 
opponents. Mr. Piatt spoke truly when he said during the course of a speech 
made at a reception in his honor shortly after his first election as Senator: 
"That which is right is priceless to me; and all the campaigns and achieve- 
ments of the Republican party in which I have participated I have never 
steered a middle course, but have done what I thought right." 

As time went on Senator Piatt grew to hold a more and more prominent 
place in the deliberations of the august body of which he was a member, 
and his voice to gain greater and greater weight with his confreres. This is 
well shown by the very prominent part that he played in the important legis- 
lation of the period and the various committees upon which he served. It 
would be impossible to treat adequately the part played by him in the event- 
ful years comprised in the last two decades of the century just passed and the 
opening of the present one, for to do so would necessitate a resume of the 
legislation enacted in that period and the compass of a large volume. But 
the mere enumeration of the more important issues in the decision of which 
he was active will show him to have been beyond question one of the most 
conspicuous figures of that epoch. In all such issues none ever questioned 
his integrity of motive and his judgment was equally unquestioned. One 
of the first of these great issues was that of international copyright (to 



266 flOrtiille l^itcbcock piatt 

establish the right to brain property). A long and vigorous campaign had 
been waged by a group of right-minded men to promote this obviously 
righteous measure, yet so great was the opposition from certain corrupt 
sources and so great the indifference on the part of most men that their 
efforts had seemed almost unavailing. The question, however, was very 
prominent in Congress and the final passage of a bill making possible the 
copyright bill, which gives the exclusive right of any author in his literary 
work, was due in a very large measure to his unwearied and able efiforts. 
The patent question, adequate protection of our wards, the Indians, cur- 
rency and financial matters, the protection of American industries by tariflf 
regulations, were also among the issues upon which he spoke with no uncer- 
tain voice and in which his influence was felt most potently. One of the 
greatest services rendered by him to the country, however, was through his 
action in the tangled problems arising out of our war with Spain and in- 
volving the matter of our right to acquire territory and our attitude towards 
colonies and dependent peoples. Especially was his attitude towards Cuba 
notable for its courage and disinterestedness and culminated in the cele- 
brated Piatt amendment, which became a law on the second of March, 1901, 
and provided the basis of the future relations of this country and the youth- 
ful republic that our efiforts had created. His services as chairman of the 
committee on Cuban relations were followed by others of a no less notable 
kind. In the issue between labor and capital that was disturbing the coun- 
try, and, indeed, still is, he played an important part and as chairman of the 
judiciary committee in the Fifty-eighth Congress, the value of his work can 
hardly be overestimated. This Congress had a comparatively brief term, 
but the business before it was enormous in volume and extremely vital in 
character, and this fact, together with the very serious apprehension and 
anxiety felt by Senator Piatt concerning the radical tendencies then making 
themselves felt, exercised a deteriorating efifect upon his health from which 
he never entirely recovered. The great mental concentration and the gen- 
eral demands made upon his energies by this session used up his nerve force 
too rapidly and this efifect was brought to a climax by the impeachment of 
Judge Swayne, of Florida, by the House of Representatives. Already with 
more work on their hands than they could conveniently dispose of, the mem- 
bers of the Senate were obliged to sit as a high court upon the impeachment 
proceedings. Senator Frye, the president pro tempore, was ill at the time 
and unable to preside at the trial and this most trying duty devolved upon 
the shoulders of Mr. Piatt as chairman of the judiciary committee. The 
latter might with equal reason have pleaded the same excuse, but his ex- 
ceedingly keen sense of duty made him go through with the ordeal, although 
throughout the time he was battling with the sheer force of his will with a 
growing malady. He was able to complete his task, however, and further- 
more to finish his share of the business which wellnigh crushed him and his 
colleagues before the inauguration of the new administration on March 4. 
While Mr. Piatt feared the growing force of certain radical tendencies, 
he was very far from a reactionist in his beliefs and was a strong supporter 
of the more progressive element in his party as represented by Theodore 
Roosevelt, and during the administration of Mr. Roosevelt as President, 



apttiille ^itcbcocfe piatt 267 

strongly supported his policies. Charles Henry Butler, reporter of the 
United States Supreme Court, had arranged to give Mr. Piatt a dinner on 
March i8, 1905, in honor of his completion of twenty-six years of continu- 
ous service as Senator, but this w^as frustrated by the death of General Haw- 
ley, the junior Senator from Connecticut. The invitations were withdrawn, 
but those who were bidden wrote letters of appreciation to the guest of 
honor, of which that of President Roosevelt, whose second term had just 
begun, is typical. President Roosevelt's letter ran as follows: "My dear 
Mr. Butler: May I, through you, extend my heartiest greetings to the guest 
of the evening. Senator O. H. Piatt? It is difficult to say what I really think 
of Senator Piatt without seeming to use extravagant expression. I do not 
know a man in public life who is more loved and honored, or who has done 
more substantial and disinterested service to the country. It makes one feel 
really proud as an American, to have such a man occupying such a place in 
the councils of the Nation. As for me personally, I have now been asso- 
ciated with him intimately during four sessions of Congress, and I cannot 
overstate my obligations to him, not only for what he has done by speech 
and vote, but because it gives me heart and strength to see and consult with 
so fearless, high-minded, practicable, and far-sighted a public servant. 
Wishing you a most pleasant evening, believe me. sincerely yours, Theodore 
Roosevelt." It was at the funeral of General Hawley, which Senator Piatt 
attended shortly after, and at which he was obliged to stand hatless a long 
time in the blustering March weather, that he brought his illness to an 
active state from which he never recovered, and about a month later his 
own death occurred on Good Friday, April 21, 1905. 

Senator Piatt was twice married, the first time on May 15, 1850, to 
Annie Bull, of Towanda, Pennsylvania, the only daughter of James Perry and 
Ann (Wallis) Bull, of that place. To them were born two children: James 
Perry, who in 1902 was appointed a justice of the United States District 
Court, died January 26, 1913 ; and Daniel Gould, deceased in childhood. The 
first Mrs. Piatt died in November, 1893, and on April 29, 1897, Mr. Piatt was 
married to Mrs. Jeannie Penniman Hoyt, widow of George A. Hoyt, of 
Stamford, Connecticut, and daughter of Hon. Truman Smith, United States 
Senator from Connecticut. Mrs. Piatt survives her husband and still resides 
at Washington, Connecticut, the birthplace and home of Senator Piatt for 
so many years. 

It is out of the question to deal adequately with a personality at once so 
large and so many-sided as that of Senator Piatt. The sterling honor and 
integrity which formed the very basis of it has been indicated to some extent 
in the foregoing account, but what has not and cannot be given is the efifect 
produced upon all who associated with him by the character as a whole. 
Honest and sincere he was primarily, but he was also a man of the broadest 
charity and tolerance, kindly and responsive and full of ready sympathy for 
those who stood in need. One of his most strongly marked traits was his 
fondness for nature and out-of-door life, and this was a great asset to him 
throughout his whole career. He spent a considerable portion of the sum- 
mer each year in the Adirondacks, living in the open air, fishing, hunting 
and blazing trails. He was a skillful fisherman and would often be gone for 



268 mmm j^itcftcocb piatt 

a whole day from camp following his favorite streams, yet it was said of him 
that it was more the delight of the woods through which he must wander 
and the sense of freedom and primitive life that lured him than the sport 
itself. There is little doubt that these wholesome, quiet summers were the 
cause of his being able to endure for so many years the tremendous strain 
of his work in Congress. An intelligent and witty conversationalist, a man 
of great culture and of wide reading, he was, as a matter of course, a delight- 
ful companion and his personal friends valued most highly the privilege of 
their intimate association with him. In spite of the immense amount of time 
and effort he was obliged to spend in the public service, he contrived to find 
time and occasion for intercourse with family and friends, occasions which 
he enjoyed more than aught else. He was an author of ability and learning 
on historical and archaeological subjects and the study of these in connection 
with his home State was a favorite recreation. Of a deeply religious nature, 
the influence that he exercised in the community worked for good and he 
will long remain in the memory of his fellow citizens as a model of good 
citizenship and sterling manhood. 





WtUiam lilaltio Uplie 

EYOND argument one of the foremost men of the Connecti- 
cut bar, Mr. Hyde in ability and achievement was compara- 
ble with the best lawyers of any period of the State's history. 
A keen intellect allied with the judicial temperament, force 
of character and poise of judgment produced the able law- 
yer, a charming personality won him warm friendships, 
while his courage, independence and public spirit won the 
respect and confidence that gave his leadership force. His vision rose above 
the needs and aspirations of his home city, Hartford, though they never 
ceased to concern his great heart, and in a large sense and wholly through 
his own impressive personality belonged to the State. In all gatherings of 
men, large or small, which had the good fortune to number him among 
them, his force, poise and quality were instinctively felt. He did not have 
to argue himself into the good graces of men, his mental and emotional 
attitude being convincing of themselves where his conclusions did not 
always win the sympathy of his hearers. One knew that he was striking at 
what he believed to be the truth, and the idea of his ever faltering in the line 
of conduct he had adopted for his guidance was never expressed. 

Few men have ever so succeeded in winning the affection of a commun- 
ity, an affection that came not because he sought for popularity but because 
it was his due. He never sought office nor did he ever shirk a public duty, 
and no man was more independent in forming opinions or more ready in 
expressing them. He was incapable of currying favor, his warm heart, his 
genial, sympathetic disposition, his public spirit, combined to win that favor. 
Great as was his legal attainment, great as was his public service, they pale 
before the fact that men loved him and that : 

None knew him but to love him, 
None named him, but to praise. 

Mr. Hyde traced his paternal ancestry in America to William Hyde, 
born in England, one of the founders of Hartford, also of Norwich, Con- 
necticut, a gentleman of wealth and importance. The line of descent is 
through Samuel Hyde, the only son of William Hyde, born 1637, died 1677, 
a leading citizen of Norwich West Farms. He married Jane Lee. Thomas 
Hyde, son of Samuel Hyde, born July, 1672, died April 9, 1755; married 
Mary Backus. Their son. Captain Jacob Hyde, born January 20, 1703, mar- 
ried Hannah Kingsbury, who bore him Ephraim Hyde, born April 23, 1734. 
He married Martha Giddings. Their son, Nathaniel Hyde, was born at 
Stafford, Connecticut, March 7, 1757, and was an iron founder. His first 
wife, Sarah (Strong) Hyde, bore him a son, Alvan Hyde, who succeeded his 
father in business and was for many years an iron manufacturer of Stafford. 
He married Sarah Pinney, whose second child, Alvan Pinney Hyde, mar- 
ried, September 12, 1849, Frances Elizabeth Waldo, daughter of Judge 
Loren P. Waldo, with whom his son-in-law was associated in legal practice. 



270 milliam malDo l^gPe 

Their eldest son was William Waldo Hyde, to whose memory this tribute of 
respect is dedicated. 

The Waldo ancestry traces in America to Cornelius Waldo, first men- 
tioned in Salem, Massachusetts, records, July 6, 1647. He married Hannah, 
daughter of John Cogswell, who came from England on the ship "Angel 
Gabriel." Their son, John Waldo, a soldier of King Philip's War, married 
Rebecca Adams. Their son, Edward Waldo, teacher, farmer, deacon, deputy 
and lieutenant, built a house in that part of Windham, now Scotland, about 
1714. that is yet standing occupied by a descendant. He married (first) 
Thankful Dimmock. Their son, Edward (2) Waldo, married Abigail Elder- 
kin. Their son, Zachariah Waldo, an eminent citizen, was a soldier of the 
Revolution from Canterbury. Zachariah Waldo married (first) Elizabeth 
Wright. Their son, Ebenezer Waldo, born in Canterbury, died in Tolland, 
Connecticut, a man of prominence. He married Cynthia Parish. Their son, 
Loren Pinckney Waldo, born February 2, 1802, died 1881, became one of 
the leading lawyers of Connecticut, filled many offices in State and Nation, 
member of Thirt3'-first Congress, judge of the Superior Court of Connecti- 
cut, one of the leading Democrats of his day. He married Frances Elizabeth 
Eldridge, a granddaughter of Charles Eldridge, severely wounded in the 
massacre at Fort Griswold, and of Captain Elijah Avery, killed in the same 
massacre. Their daughter, Frances Elizabeth Waldo, married, September 
12, 1849, Alvan Pinney Hyde. Their son was William Waldo Hyde. 

From such distinguished paternal and maternal ancestry came William 
Waldo Hyde, who was born in Tolland, Connecticut, March 25, 1854, died in 
Hartford, at the Charter Oak Hospital, Saturday, October 30, 191 5. When 
he was ten years of age his parents removed to Hartford, where in connection 
with Judge Loren P. Waldo and Governor Richard D. Hubbard, Alvan P. 
Hyde became a member of one of the leading law firms of the State, Waldo, 
Hubbard & Hyde. Until 1872 William Waldo Hyde attended the public 
schools of Hartford, finishing with the high school, graduating class of 1872. 
He then entered Yale University, whence he was graduated with the Bach- 
elor's degree, class of 1876, a class distinguished in the quality of its mem- 
bers. Among his classmates was Arthur Twining Hadley, president of 
Yale; Otto T. Bannard and General Theodore A. Bingham, of New York; 
Dr. E. J. McKnight, of Hartford; and Elmer P. Howe, the widely known 
Boston lawyer. 

Logically, William Waldo Hyde was destined to become a lawyer, 
heredity and environment almost compelling that profession. Fortunately 
his personal inclinations agreed with the logical view, and after two years 
study under his honored father and a year at Boston University Law School 
he was in 1878 admitted to the Connecticut bar at Hartford. His first ex- 
perience in law practice was as clerk in the ofiice of Waldo, Hubbard & 
Hyde. At Judge Waldo's death in 1881 the firm reorganized as Hubbard, 
Hyde & Gross, the partners being Governor Hubbard, Alvan P. Hyde and 
Charles E. Gross, but later William Waldo Hyde and Frank E. Hyde were 
admitted. On Governor Hubbard's death the four remaining partners re- 
organized as Hyde, Gross & Hyde. When the death of Alvan P. Hyde again 
disrupted the firm, Charles E. Gross, William Waldo Hyde and Arthur L. 



mUUnm ^alDo I^pDe 271 

Shipman formed the firm Gross, Hyde & Shipman. Later Charles Welles 
Gross, a son of the senior partner, and Alvan Waldo Hyde, a son of William 
Waldo Hyde, were admitted to partnership. 

Mr. Hyde was identified with much important litigation in the State and 
Federal courts, appearing before State and United States Supreme Courts 
in cases of unusual importance involving momentous issues. For twenty- 
five years he was general counsel of the board of water commissioners and 
was the leader in the passage of the special act of general assembly, legal- 
izing the acquisition of the Nepaug property. From April, 1910. to May, 
1912, he was corporation counsel, and in March, 1914, was appointed by 
Mayor Cheney a member of the city charter revision committee, and to 
present the revised charter to the General Assembly of 191 5. His last ap- 
pearance in the Supreme Court was early in the month of October, 191 5, 
when he argued the case of the Hartford board of water commissioners 
against property owners, on defendant's appeal from a decision by Judge 
Case, of the Superior Court. Another important work of his last two years 
was as trustee of the Connecticut Company, appointed with four others to 
take over that company. To this work he brought wide experience and 
ripened judgment that rendered him a most valuable addition to the board. 
He declined many offers of financial trust, devoting himself to his large 
and weighty practice, though always responding to every call to the public 
service. 

From 1885 to 1899 he was actively identified with civic affairs other 
than legal. From 1885 to 1891 he was a member of the board of school 
visitors, and acting school visitor, or superintendent of schools during that 
period. In that capacity he labored earnestly to bring the schools to a 
higher plane of efficiency, a work in which he succeeded. From 1888 to 1891 
he was a member of the board of street commissioners, also from 1897 to 
1899, and president of the board in 1890, 1891 and 1899 In 1895 and 1896 
he was a member of the board of health. 

A Democrat in politics, Mr. Hyde in 1892 as candidate for mayor carried 
Hartford for the Democracy for the first time in a decade in an important 
city election. He had as an opponent on the Republican ticket General 
Henry C. Dwight, who polled three thousand eight hundred and twenty- 
eight votes against Mr. Hyde's four thousand six hundred and seven. He is 
yet spoken of as "one of the best mayors Hartford ever had." 

Neither legal life, to which he brought an inherited and personal love, 
nor public life, which he met as a duty of good citizenship, filled the measure 
of his activity. He was a trustee of the Connecticut Hospital for the Insane 
and a director of the Dime Savings Bank. As a member of the .South Con- 
gregational Church he met the responsibilities of a churchman as he met 
every other obligation of life. In social intercourse he met his fellow-men 
in club, fraternity and society and with them pursued the highest objects 
of each. His clubs were the Hartford, Hartford Golf, Country. University 
(New York), Yale (New York), Graduates (New Haven), and Nayasset, of 
Springfield, Massachusetts. 

His patriotic and Colonial ancestry rendered him eligible to about every 
organization of note based on Colonial residence and Revolutionary service. 



272 223iIIiam ^SlalDo l^pDe 

He was affiliated with the Society of Mayflower Descendants in Connecticut, 
the Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth Branch of the Connecticut Society, Sons 
of the American Revolution, and the Society of Colonial Wars in Connec- 
ticut. 

In fraternity his affiliations were entirely Masonic and included all 
degrees of the York Rite and of the Scottish Rite up to and including the 
thirty-second. He was a master Mason of Saint John's Lodge, Free and 
Accepted Masons; a companion of Pythagoras Chapter, Royal Arch 
Masons; a cryptic Mason of Wolcott Council, Royal and Select Masters; a 
sir knight of Washington Commandery, Knights Templar; and a noble of 
Sphinx Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. In Scottish Rite he held the 
fourteen degrees of Charter Oak Lodge of Perfection ; the degrees of Hart- 
ford Council, Princes of Jerusalem ; Cyrus Goodell Chapter of Rose Croix, 
and of Connecticut Consistory, Sovereign Princes of the Royal Secret, 
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. 

This necessarily brief review of the life activity of a great man would 
be incomplete did it not refer to that other side of his nature, not so well 
known to the public as his legal and civic greatness. His love of fun, his 
genial good nature and the charm of his social qualities were known and 
appreciated only in fullest measure by those privileged to call him friend. 
He had a quick sympathy which responded instantly to the good fortune or 
misfortune of his friends; and the warmth of his congratulations made suc- 
cess sweeter, while his word of consolation lightened the heaviness of sor- 
row and he was always ready to help the weak one, or aid the discouraged. 
His courtesy to young lawyers was unfailing and while an opponent at the 
bar to be dreaded, he was always willing to extend any courtesy to opposing 
counsel consistent with the proper conduct of his case. 

There was another element of his character worthy of special note, his 
courage and adaptability. It was said of his father that "as a rough and 
tumble fighter in court he had no superior. All cases were the same to 
him. Cases involving bookkeeping, patents, contracts, the usual run of dis- 
putes of all kinds and criminal cases he could try with equal facility and his 
courage never failed him." The son inherited many of his lawyer-like char- 
acteristics from that father, and men called him a man of "indomitable 
courage" pursuing what he believed a proper course in the face of all 
obstacles and any opposition. A quiet man yet when aroused one of the 
most eloquent. 

Mr. Hyde married, December i, 1877, Helen Eliza Watson, his class- 
mate in high school, daughter of George W. Watson, of Hartford, who sur- 
vives him with two children: Elizabeth and Alvan Waldo Hyde, the latter 
his father's partner in the firm of Gross, Hyde & Shipman. He married 
(first) Helen Elizabeth Howard, who bore him two children: Helen Waldo 
and Elizabeth Howard. He married (second) Theresa MacGillivray and has 
two children: Jeanette MacGillivray and William Waldo Hyde (2). 




appleton SRobbtns iliUper 

'T IS THE duty of every community to put in some permanent 
form the records of those good and able men who have dv^elt 
and worked in it, in order that the memory of their acts shall 
be kept ever fresh in the minds of posterity and serve as a 
wholesome example to young men preparing themselves to 
take their turn at public duties, and as an object lesson in 
the proper use of those talents with which they have been 
entrusted. And even more especially is this the case when he whose life 
by reason of its value has become in a sense public property is possessed of 
that modesty and retirement of nature that rather seeks to hide than to 
reveal his story. Thus the virtue of modesty in a double sense adds to the 
obligation, since it is in itself worthy of record and because its presence 
renders it less probable that the other virtues will be known and appreciated. 
Such was conspicuously the case with the honored citizen whose name 
heads this brief sketch, who very literally obeyed the scriptural injunction 
not to let his left hand know what his right did, so that even now only a por- 
tion of his good deeds and his influence in the community can be made 
known. 

Appleton Robbins Hillyer was born September 2, 1833, in the town of 
East Granby, Connecticut, a son of General Charles Tudor and Catherine 
(Robbins) Hillyer, of that place. The father was a man well known beyond 
the limits of his home-town and its neighborhood, and he held the rank of 
Adjutant-General on the staff of the Governor of the State. The son passed 
the first nineteen years of his life in his native town, gaining his education 
in the local schools and neighboring academies. In his twentieth year he 
came to the city of Hartford, and there remained for the long period of 
sixty-three years, his death occurring in that city on April 21, 191 5, at the 
age of eighty-two. His first position in Hartford was that of a clerk in the 
post office under Ezra Hamilton, at that time postmaster. Soon, however, 
he received his introduction to a line of business which he was to make par- 
ticularly his own for all the remainder of his life. On this occupation he 
entered in the humble position of clerk in the State Bank, where it was 
agreed by his father and himself that it would be well for him to learn the 
details of banking. His father was at the time president of the Charter 
Oak Bank, and presently the young man was transferred to a clerkship in 
that institution. From the outset he displayed great ability in this work, and 
it was not long before he began to make his personality felt beyond the insti- 
tution in which he was employed. He was one of the most active among the 
group of men who organized the Aetna Bank, and did a great deal of the 
work which prepared for the organization. The reward came with the suc- 
cessful consummation of their project and the first meeting of the directors 
of the new institution was held September 9, 1857. At this meeting Judge 
Eliphalet A. Bulkeley was chosen president, and Mr. Hillyer was chosen to 



274 appleton Boftftins j^illpet 

the office of cashier, a position which he held for a period of thirty years, 
during the presidencies of Judge Bulkeley, Oliver G. Terry and William R. 
Cone. Upon the retirement of Mr. Cone, Mr. Hillyer was elected, March 
31, 1887, president and director of the bank, which he had served so long 
and disinterestedly. His presidency continued but four years, for on April 
I, 1891, he resigned that office, though he remained a director, and from 1897 
vice-president, until the time of his death. In 1907 the Aetna National Bank, 
as its title then was, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation, and 
the fiftieth anniversary of Mr. Hillyer's connection with it, by a reception in 
his honor at the Hartford Club, which was attended by many of the most 
prominent men in the city and State, and at which he was presented by his 
associates with a handsome silver loving cup. It was a matter of pride for 
the bank that it was one of a very few banks in the United States with a 
surplus equalling its capital, a distinction due in no small measure to Mr. 
Hillyer's skill and ability. His interests were not confined to the Aetna 
National Bank, but they extended to many important business and indus- 
trial enterprises. Among these may be mentioned the Society for Savings, 
of which he was vice-president, and also the Aetna Life Insurance Company 
and the Case Lockwood and Brainard Company, in both of which he was a 
director. 

But prominent and influential as he was in the business world, it was 
hardly in that connection that Mr. Hillyer was best known in Hartford. 
Rather it was as a man of affairs and philanthropist that the greater number 
of his fellow citizens came in contact with him. Politically he was a staunch 
Republican, but he did not seek office, his other duties being of so exacting 
a nature that he felt he could not devote to official service the energy and 
time that his strict sense of obligation to the public would demand. But 
there were few movements undertaken for the public good that did not 
enlist his support, provided only that they appealed to his sense of the 
practical and useful. He was particularly interested in the welfare of the 
young men of the city, and therefore in the Young Men's Christian Associ- 
ation, towards which he showed the greatest liberality. His father had also 
been interested in this organization, and had presented it with a site for its 
building; and in memory of his father, Mr. Hillyer and his sister gave an 
endowment fund for the establishment of an educational department in 
connection with the association to be known as the Hillyer Institute. Only 
two years before his death Mr. Hillyer greatly increased his benefactions to 
the association. At that time the board of trustees had determined upon 
the erection of a large addition at the cost of three hundred thousand dollars, 
which the growth of the membership and the increase of the activities rend- 
ered necessary. When Mr. Hillyer was approached on this matter he con- 
tributed at once one-half of the necessary sum. His munificent generosity 
was also shown in other directions. As a member of the Windsor Avenue 
Congregational Church, he did much to increase its usefulness. He served 
on its prudential committee, was a regular attendant at its services, gave 
largely in support of all its projects, and with his sister presented the church 
with its present parsonage. 

On June 10, 1879, Mr. Hillyer married Dotha Bushnell, a daughter of 



appleton Roftbins Ipillget 275 

the Rev. Dr. Horace Bushnell, the celebrated Hartford citizen, preacher, and 
writer, then pastor of the North Congregational Church, whose name is 
everywhere held in honor. Mrs. Hillyer survives him. To them were born 
three children : Mary B., now the wife of Mr. Charles F. T. Seaverns, of 
Hartford; Lucy Tudor, and Catherine Robbins, both deceased. 

The death of Mr. Hillyer brought the sense of great loss to the citv and 
was the occasion of general mourning. A tribute of the most impressive sort 
was paid to his memory in a multitude of expressions of admiration for the 
man and sorrow for his death which came from all classes of people and 
from the institutions with which he was associated. For Mr. Hillyer was a 
man essentially democratic in his outlook upon life and had many true 
friends, for all of whom, even the most humble, he had always a kindly word 
or a helping hand. The Aetna Life Insurance Company and the Young 
Men's Christian Association at once ordered the flags on their buildings to 
be set at half-mast and a number of institutions passed appropriate resolu- 
tions. The press also joined in the universal chorus of praise. A number 
of these testimonials follow as the most appropriate close to a sketch which 
the limits of space prevent from being more than a most imperfect tribute 
to one of whose simple virtue might well be said that 

Kind hearts are more than coronets 
And simple faith than Norman blood. 

Mr. George C. Hubert, general secretary of the Young Men's Christian 
Association, speaking of Mr. Hillyer, said as follows: 

Mr. Hillyer represented in his life the choicest Christian principles, modesty, integ- 
rity, and the desire to serve others were among his outstanding characteristics. Because 
of his aversion to publicity his life of good and great and generous acts is far too little 
known to the younger generation of the community. He was deeply interested in the 
welfare of young men and women. His interest in them was as broad as their human 
needs. As a benefactor of the local Young Men's Christian Association he took delight 
in giving in a princely manner to endow its educational work, now known as the Hillyer 
Institute of the Young Men's Christian Association, and also to make possible the erec- 
tion of the new building which is this week to be pronounced completed. But his hearty, 
personal sympathetic interest followed his gifts. He gave in no impersonal fashion. His 
first interest was in the men his gifts were serving, and his face lighted with the keenest 
pleasure when he heard of individuals, men and boys, who were personally helped by the 
agencies his gifts were aiding. His life will be an inspiration to many others to high, 
unselfish, and noble living. His native streets will see him no more, but his good deeds 
will live after him. 

Many other tributes of like kind were paid Mr. Hillyer by his associates 
such as that of Alfred Spencer, Jr., president of the Aetna National Bank, 
who said: 

I have not the words at my command to express my regard for Mr. Hillyer. It was 
a pleasure to be associated with him in business for twenty-four years. He was the 
truest kind of a friend and a man of the loftiest ideals and character I have often 
leaned on him for advice and counsel. 

From the Hartford "Times" came the following: 

Hartford owes much to the Hillyer family. It owes much to Appleton R. Hillyer, 
whose death occurred yesterday at the ripe age of eighty-two. Mr. Hillyer was a 



276 appleton Rotiftins J^illper 

believer in the use of wealth for the good it can do. His gifts were munificent and intel- 
ligently bestowed. He was always found aiding worthy causes. In his death Hartford 
loses a genuine friend and one of her very best citizens. 

The resolutions of the Aetna National Bank, with which Mr. Hillyer 
was associated for well nigh sixty years, follow: 

At a regular meeting of the Board of Directors of The Aetna National Bank of 
Hartford, held April 26, 1915, the following resolutions were unanimously passed: 

Whereas : The Board of Directors and Officers of The Aetna National Bank of 
Hartford have lost a valued member in the decease of Mr. Appleton Robbins Hillyer, 
who was so closely associated with The Aetna National Bank continuously since the 
organization of the corporation in 1857 ; be it therefore 

Resolved, That we but express the sentiment of all the Directors and Officers when 
we affirm that his death is a serious misfortune for this Bank and a personal loss to each 
member of its Board and Official Stafif. 

Resolved, That his quiet counsel, his loyal assistance and sympathy, his devotion 
to the interests of the Bank he served, his impartial attitude to those who labored with 
him will be cherished as a lasting memory of worthiness to those who are left to carry 
on the upbuilding of firm principles and a sound institution he loved so well. 

Resolved, That his death means a loss to the State, City and Church ; that the civic 
pride and unselfish support he at all times exhibited, lent and will continue to lend an 
inspiration to those who were fortunate enough to work with him. 

Resolved, That as a testimonial of our regard and esteem for him who was first 
Cashier, then Director, President and Vice-President of this Bank, it is ordered that these 
resolutions be incorporated in the records of this Bank, and that the Cashier be directed 
to send to the family of Mr. Hillyer an engrossed copy thereof, with an expression of 
our sincere sympathy. 





CUstoortt) ifKlorton tCracp 

'HERE ARE SOME lives which, although if measured by 
years and months and days appear all too brief, have yet 
been so crowded with events and useful service that gauged 
by the true standard of things accomplished, are in that 
sense longer than many of their fellows though these may 
have outlasted the allotted three score years and ten. The 
case of the Rev. Ellsworth Morton Tracy whose name heads 
this sketch, most admirably exemplifies this proposition. His death at 
Thomaston, Connecticut, on September ii, 1913, cut short before the com- 
pletion of his thirty-ninth year a career at once brilliant and full of the 
promise of future value, yet so rich in activities beneficial to his fellows had 
been the few years allowed him by destiny, so strong had beat in him the 
pulse of existence, that, if the figure be permissible, he seemed to have pressed 
into the mould of those years a larger measure of life than that with which 
most men are blessed. 

Ellsworth Morton Tracy was born April 17, 1875, in Waterbury, Con- 
necticut. He was a son of Morton and Ida (Kilborn) Tracy, honored 
residents of that town, and through both was descended from fine old New 
England stock. He spent the years of his childhood in his father's house in 
his native town, engaged in the appropriate occupations of that age. Chief 
of these was the gaining of his education, the seriousness of which task 
seemed to impress the lad at an unusually early age. Indeed it was in his life 
at school that his unusual powers first made themselves apparent in an unmis- 
takable manner, and he soon began to attract the attention of his instructors 
by the progress he made in his studies and the standing he maintained in 
the class room. He was a born student and when in 1896 he graduated from 
the high school, he was class valedictorian and carried oft' most of the honors. 
From the high school he went at once to Trinity College, Hartford, where 
he again distinguished himself and from which he graduated with the class 
of 1900. In the meantime he had decided definitely upon his career in life. 
Possessed of strong religious feelings from childhood, it had become more 
and more his conviction that his duty lay in this direction and, accordingly 
he now bent his efforts to prepare himself well for his high calling. After his 
graduation from Trinity, Mr. Tracy at once entered the General Theological 
Seminary in New York to pursue his studies in divinity. He was graduated 
therefrom with the class of 1903 and the same year was ordained a deacon 
in the Church of the Holy Trinity at Middletown, Connecticut. After a year 
spent in this preliminary service, he was raised to the priesthood and given 
charge of his first parish at Ogdensburg, New York. From Ogdensburg he 
was sent to Maplewood, New Jersey, where he remained until 1909, when 
he was finally put in charge of Trinity Church, Thomaston. He arrived in 
his new parish in the early autumn and at once began his work there with 
energy. In this he was highly successful, a magnetic personality and a 
very sincere zeal acting together to draw his little flock under his most 



278 aBIlstoorti) Q^otton Ctacp 

beneficent influence. He worked most faithfully at his task and in a very- 
short time made himself a distinct force in the community in all its depart- 
ments of activity. He took a much more active part in public affairs than 
the majority of his fellow clergymen and served in some of the town offices, 
notably as director of the public library and member of the Board of Educa- 
tion. In the year 1912 he was elected from Thomaston to the State House 
of Representatives and represented his town there during the term which 
followed with great disinterestedness and efficiency. While a member of 
that body he was chosen house chairman of the Committee on Education, 
in which capacity he did valuable service, not only to his home district, but 
to the State generally. In the more immediate work of the parish, too, he 
accomplished much and it was he who succeeded in establishing the parish 
house and who organized a body of boy scouts among the children. The 
children were, indeed, an object of especial interest and solicitude to him, 
and he did a great deal toward their happiness and training. He was a man 
of the most charitable impulses and never withheld any aid that it was in his 
power to give from any worthy cause. 

On May 31, 1904, Mr. Tracy was united in marriage with Bertha Bristol, 
a native of Naugatuck, a daughter of Benjamin H. and Pauline (Phelps) 
Bristol, of that place. Born to Mr. and Mrs. Tracy were three children: 
Ellsworth Morton, Jr., Phelps Kilborn. and Bristol Potter (posthumous), 
who with their mother survive Mr. Tracy. 

The death of Mr. Tracy, coming as it did in the prime of life, to a man 
so useful to the community, was severely felt by all who had associated with 
him in any way or at any time. His sterling virtues and essentially manly 
and courageous character had won the admiration and affection of all so that 
his removal by death was felt as a loss of a beneficent and potent influence 
and one that could hardly be spared. His fondness for young people and his 
charitable impulses have already been noticed and there are many both 
among the old and young who can look back to aid of many kinds extended 
to them of which only he and they were aware, for it was ever his way to 
hush the rumor of his own good works both on account of the recipient and 
his own modesty. His strong convictions, while they made him positive of 
speech and action, never interfered with his broad tolerance for the beliefs 
and opinions of others. As his example while he lived, so may now his 
memory serve to keep alive in the hearts of the coming generation for whom 
he took so much thought, an ideal of strong, clean manhood and devoted 
Christian service. 




ISatUtam (Bolt} j&rinsmalie 

'HERE IS SOMETHING eminently satisfactory in the sight 
of a thorough scholar, an exponent of culture in its highest 
and best sense, casting aside the cloak in which his kind is 
so apt to enshroud themselves from public view, and coming 
forth into the market place to mingle familiarly with every- 
day people in their every-day affairs. The laity in this age of 
scant veneration, while they may feel some awe for the 
scholar, are not without contempt for him too, in the long run, conceiving 
that he is a creature of books and old libraries with little of the tingling sense 
of nature's vast movements, one whose existence is wrapped up in theory 
and hypothesis and who should be at a loss did he find himself confronted 
with one of the flaming verities of life. But when such a one surprises him by 
voluntarily confronting this same nature and dealing quite as well if not 
better with those same verities as the scarred man of the world, then is the 
latter's scorn turned suddenly to a most hearty and spontaneous admiration 
and he grudges no success that he may win. Such was William Gold Brins- 
made, student, scholar and man of wide culture, yet withal a man of affairs 
and one whose influence was felt directly in the community. 

Mr. Brinsmade was born January 21, 1858, at Springfield, Hampden 
county, Massachusetts, a son of William Bartlett and Charlotte Blake 
(Chapin) Brinsmade, and was descended on both sides of the house from 
fine old New England families. The founder of the Brinsmade line in this 
country was John Brinsmade, who came from England and settled in 
Charlestown, Massachusetts, some time prior to the year 1638. He removed 
to Stratford, Connecticut, in 1650, being one of the early settlers of that 
beautiful old town and was very prominent in its aff"airs, representing it for 
a time in the General Court. From that time onward the Brinsmades have 
occupied a distinguished position in the community and taken leading parts 
in the church, on the bench and at the bar and in the army, as well as in 
many other departments of activity. The Chapin family also is very old, 
being founded in America by Deacon Samuel Chapin, who came from Wales 
and settled in Springfield, Massachusetts, about 1640, nor have its members 
distinguished themselves less than those of the paternal line. The father 
of Mr. Brinsmade, William Bartlett Brinsmade. as the son of General 
Daniel B. Brinsmade, and was himself an able and well known engineer, 
for many years holding the position of superintendent of the Connecticut 
River railroad. 

William Gold Brinsmade passed the years of childhood and early youth 
in the home of his father at Springfield. He early displayed the scholarly 
abilities that so greatly distinguished him later, and it was at once his 
father's desire and his own that he should receive the best possible education. 
He received his early instructions in the excellent public schools of Spring- 
field, and prepared for his college course in the high school there. He matri- 
culated at Harvard University in the year 1877 ^"<^ graduated therefrom 



28o mUliam ©oID ISrinsmaDe 

with the class of 1881, after distinguishing himself in his studies and with 
the degree of A. B. He had gained a strong taste for school and college 
life and determined to follow the profession of teaching as his career. 
Accordingly he sought and secured without difficulty a position as instructor 
in the well known Gunnery School at Washington, Connecticut, and there, 
upon the opening of the school term after his graduation, he started in his 
new work. He was successful from the outset, having a manner which 
instantly won him the friendship of the boys under his charge, and he 
established a basis of understanding between teacher and pupil very advan- 
tageous for the school. He began teaching at the Gunnery in September, 
1881, the classics being his subject, continuing in this capacity thirteen years, 
making in the meantime his department a model one. In 1894 it became pos- 
sible for Mr. Brinsmade to carry out a project that he had long been con- 
templating, and severing' his connection with the Gunnery he established the 
Ridge School for Boys at Washington, Connecticut, on his own account. The 
Ridge School was designed for the preparation of twenty odd boys for col- 
lege and the skill and knowledge of Mr. Brinsmade was expended to make 
it perfect of its kind. It is situated on what is known as the old Brins- 
made farm which has been in the family for generations and was originally 
owned by the Rev. Daniel Brinsmade, a great-grandson of the immigrant, 
John Brinsmade. It is situated ideally and the limited number of pupils made 
it possible for Mr. Brinsmade to give his individual attention to each scholar 
who thus benefited directly by the association. 

But Mr. Brinsmade was not the kind of man to retire into the seclusion 
of school and content himself with the society of his pupils, however much 
he may have loved them. His sympathies and interests were too broad to 
permit of his doing such a thing and he entered actively into the general life 
of the community where he had chosen to make his home. He was especially 
interested in the matter of religion and, as was to have been expected, educa- 
tional afifairs. He was elected in 1888 a member of the town school com- 
mittee and was continued in that position until his death, holding the offices 
of secretary and chairman of the board for a considerable period. He was 
also chosen secretary of the Washington I-ibrary Association, and in 1889 
became clerk of the First Ecclesiastical Society of Washington, and in 1892 
chairman of its society committee, both of which positions he held until his 
death. Mr. Brinsmade could number among his various abilities a very 
marked musical talent which he had cultivated with his usual pains. This he 
turned to the increase of his own and other people's pleasure and edification, 
taking the directorship of the choir in the Congregational church. He alsp 
led the Washington Glee Club for some time, giving one or two concerts a 
year, but later resigned to take a similar position with the Washington 
Choral Club, a larger and more ambitious organization. Politically he was 
affiliated with no party, displaying in this connection the same independence 
of thought and action that always characterized him. He voted entirely 
independently for whatever cause or candidate was approved by his con- 
science and judgment. He was conspicuous socially, being very popular 
among a large circle of friends, and was a member of many organizations of 
a social and semi-social character. Among these should be mentioned the 



JOilliam (J5oID IBrinsmaDe 281 

Harvard Union, the Harvard Club of Connecticut, the Harvard Teachers' 
Association, the Connecticut Association of High and Classical School 
Teachers, the Litchfield County University Club, the Civil Service Reform 
Association and the Pi Eta fraternity of Harvard. 

On December 23, 1885, Mr. Brinsmade was united in marriage with 
Ada Gibson Colton, of Warren, Connecticut, a daughter of the Rev. W. S. 
and Lucy P. (Gibson) Colton, of that place. Mr. Colton was a graduate of 
Yale University in 1850 and for over thirty years held pastorates in Connec- 
ticut. To Mr. and Mrs. Brinsmade was born one daughter, Dorothy Chapin 
Brinsmade, who now resides with her mother in Washington, Connecticut. 

The character of Mr. Brinsmade was one peculiarly well fitted to exert 
a beneficial influence upon those with whom he was associated. As has 
already been suggested, he was one of those unusual men who are able to 
make use of an exceptional degree of culture and learning in a popular 
manner and thus influence a larger circle of men than is usually the case. An 
attractive personality quickly won the stranger to become the friend and once 
thus won, his obviously sterling character, with its simple sincerity and devo- 
tion, bound the friendship to be life-long. The young people, of whom so 
many came into that close association with him of teacher and pupil, were 
devoted to him even beyond the devotion of their elders, and there are many 
young men in various parts of the country who look back upon his influence 
in their schooldays as one of the most important factors in their develop- 
ment. 





iflajor ISitlliam 3atfe8on Iffiilooti 

T HAS BEEN viniversally conceded that the busiest men are 
those who always find time to spare in order to assume addi- 
tional duties, and apparently they are able to accomplish 
wonders. The very simple principle lying at the root of this 
state of affairs is systematic and methodical work. Every 
moment of time is given its full valuation, and every phase 
of life is appreciated in proportion to the useful work which 
has been faithfully performed. A man who was a fine exponent of this 
admirable class of men was Major William Jackson Wood, late of Hartford, 
Connecticut, who was as efficient in the world of finance as in that of com- 
merce, and whose patriotism and devotion to his country ranked second to 
none. 

Major William Jackson Wood was born in Rockaway, Morris county, 
New Jersey, March 28, 1836, and died at his home in Hartford, Connecticut, 
October 25, 1885. He was a son of Freeman and Mary Burwell (Jackson) 
Wood, the former a prominent iron manufacturer of New Jersey. The pre- 
paratory education of Major Wood was acquired at Flushing, Long Island, 
and he then matriculated at the College of New Jersey, now Princeton Uni- 
versity, and was graduated from this institution in the class of 1856. Having 
decided to follow the legal profession, he commenced the study of law, and 
was admitted to the bar, June 9, 1859, and at once commenced the active 
practice of his profession. He was successfully engaged in this when, in 
1862, he was elected to serve in the State Legislature. He performed his 
duties in the Legislature with great credit, and in 1863, enlisted in the Union 
army, and was identified with this struggle in various capacities until its 
conclusion. As a member of General Gilmore's staff" he displayed marked 
ability, and also as a disbursing officer at Hilton Head, South Carolina. 
Later he was stationed at Hartford and Boston, being connected with the 
office in those places for the payment of discharged New England volunteers. 
Upon the termination of the war in 1865, Major Wood engaged in the iron 
business at Troy, New York, in association with Corning, Wilson & Com- 
pany, and so signal were the services he rendered in this connection, that two 
years later, he was appointed vice-president and manager of the Collins 
Company, at Collinsville, Connecticut. While still connected with the firm 
in Troy, Major Wood, in association with some others, was instrumental in 
introducing the Bessemer steel rails for railroad use. Upon the death of 
E. B. Watkinson, president of the Collins Company, Major Wood was 
selected to succeed him, in 1884, and was still the incumbent of this office 
at the time of his death. While still living in Rockaway, New Jersey, Major 
Wood was the cashier of that institution, and he also served as clerk of the 
town in 1859. During his residence in Hartford at the close of the war, 
Major Wood had made many friends, and in 1873. he took up his permanent 
residence there. The sterling integrity of Major Wood was recognized by 
his fellow citizens, and he was chosen to fill many responsible positions. 



S^afot caniiam 3Iacbson SHooD 283 

Among these were: President of the Connecticut Trust & Safe Deposit 
Company; director of the National Exchange Bank; director of the Connec- 
ticut Fire Insurance Company; director of the American School for the 
Deaf; and vice-president of the Hartford Library Association. In the social 
and religious life of the community he was equally active, and was a member 
of Asylum Hill Congregational Church, exerting a beneficial influence 
among the young people of the congregation. He was a close friend of 
General Hawley, and took a deep interest in all political matters. He was 
a deep and earnest thinker as well as student, especially in the science of 
metallurgy, was considered an authority in this field, and was about to pub- 
lish a work on this subject when he passed away. 

Major Wood married, in 1866, Frances P. Howe, a daughter of Edmund 
Grant and Frances (Kies) Howe, residents of Hartford, where the former 
was at one time president of the National Exchange Bank. Major and Mrs. 
Wood had one child: Ethel, now Mrs. Herbert I. Thomas, of Ottawa, 
Canada. 





Ctitoarli ^Saooiruff Seymour 

'HERE IS SOMETHING extremely delightful about the great 
fund of associations that has grouped itself about the legal 
life in our eastern United States that can only be fully appre- 
ciated by one who has seen it at home, so to speak. There is 
something intimate about the atmosphere in which these 
associations envelope themselves that makes one feel upon 
entering it almost as though he were being introduced to a 
large and attractive family, the members of which have their racy jests, their 
shrewd wit, and a great body of traditions in common. And what traditions 
they are, rich, keen, the product of many a brilliant mind and profound 
spirit, which, in the heat of legal conflict, or in the warmth of noble comrade- 
ship, have knocked from one another, like flint from steel, these sparks of 
verbal fire, or drawn forth like summer sun, these fruits of kindly wisdom 
and trenchant philosophy. A thousand splendid personalities have in their 
time enjoyed this common possession and added each one his own quota of 
individuality to enrich still further what those who followed them should 
receive. It is with one of these that the present brief sketch is concerned, a 
man of deep erudition especially in the realm of his profession, of clear, alert 
intellect, of forceful utterance, but above all, of kindly, virtuous spirit. 

Edward Woodrufif Seymour was born August 30, 1832, at Litchfield, 
Connecticut, and died October 16, 1892, when but sixty years of age and in 
the midst of a brilliant career. He was a member of a most illustrious family 
which for hundreds of years traces its descent in this country and in Eng- 
land. The coat-of-arms of the Seymour family is as follows: Quarterly: 
First and fourth, or, on a pile gules, between six fleurs-de-lis azure three lions 
of England (being the coat of augmentation granted by King Henry the 
Eighth on his marriage with Lady Jane Seymour) ; second and third, gules 
two wings conjoined in lure, the tips downward, or, for Seymour. Crest; 
Out of a ducal coronet or, a phoenix of the last, issuing from flames proper. 
Supporters: Dexter, a unicorn argent armed, maned, and tufted or, gorged 
with a ducal collar, per pale, azure and or, to which is affixed a chain of the 
last; sinister, a bull azure ducally gorged, chained, hoofed and armed or. 
Motto : Foy pour devoir. 

The dukes of Somerset were Seymours and it is from a cadet branch of 
this house that the American line is derived, the founder thereof being one 
Richard Seymour, who was an early settler in Hartford. He came to that 
point probably in 1639, one year after its founding by Thomas Hooker and 
his followers. He did not stay in Hartford, however, but was one of those 
who founded Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1650, the reason assigned by tradition 
being that his religious convictions did not coincide with those of the worthy 
Hooker and his flock, and he found it expedient to seek a home in the wilder- 
ness. The descendants of Richard Seymour have maintained to this day the 
high reputation won by their ancestor, and indeed in the past two genera- 
tions have greatly augmented it. The father of Edward Woodruff Seymour 




<^C</7^- 



r 



OBDtoatD C^ooDcuff ^epmour 285 

was Orig-en Storrs Seymour who, throughout his long life, was intimately 
associated with the bench and bar of Connecticut. A leader of the bar, he 
was raised in rank upon the bench until he became chief justice of the 
Supreme Court of Errors, the highest tribunal in the State, an office that he 
held until the constitutional age limit, and he was in a large measure the 
author of Connecticut's modern code practice, adopted by the Legislature 
in 1879. He was married to Lucy M. Woodruff, of Litchfield, a daughter of 
Morris and Candace (Catlin) Woodrufif, of that town, and it was their eldest 
child whose career forms the subject matter of this article. 

Judge Seymour passed practically his entire life in his native town, but 
spent a part of his boyhood in Farmington, Connecticut, where he attended 
the Classical School of Simeon and Edward L. Hart, preparing himself for 
a collegiate course, and later spent four years at New Haven w^hile a student 
in Yale University. At the latter institution he was a member of the class 
of 1853, famous for the many notable men it contained, and graduated in 
that year with the degree of A. B. There was but one profession possible for 
the son of Judge Origen Storrs Seymour, and indeed it was the young man's 
uninfluenced inclination which led him to take up the study of law. This he 
did in his father's office to such good effect that in 1856 he was admitted to 
the bar in Litchfield county. He at once began practice in association with 
his father, and from the outset was successful. The recommendation which 
the very name he bore constituted was found by all whose litigation he con- 
ducted to be entirely realized in his own abilities and talents. In 1870 his 
father was elected a judge of the Supreme Court of Errors in Connecticut 
and three years later became chief justice. Of course all participation on the 
part of the elder man in the practice was cut short by this election and his son 
conducted the work alone. After five years, however, he formed a new part- 
nership with his younger brother, Morris W. Seymour, the two making their 
headquarters in Bridgeport where a very large practice was built up. The 
young man was extremely successful in the cases he handled and was at an 
early age recognized as one of the leaders of the State bar. 

Following in the footsteps of his father and of many of his ancestors, 
Judge Seymour early turned his attention to politics and the conduct of 
public affairs. He was chosen judge of probate not long after his appearance 
in the legal world, and in 1859 he was elected to represent his native town 
in the State Legislature, serving in that year and the next and again during, 
the term of 1870-71. In 1882 he was elected a State Senator and was con- 
tinued in that office until 1886, by a community most grateful for the emi- 
nent .services received at his hand. Chief Justice Origen S. Seymour died in 
1881, and eight years later his son became an associate member of the august 
body over which he had presided. His powers were displayed to the best 
advantage in his high office where the highest ideals of justice and mercy 
and the most incorruptible honor are of such paramount importance to the 
community. He served but three years therein when death interrupted his 
brilliant and useful career, while still his powers and faculties were in their 
very prime. As a member of the Supreme Court of Errors, by his conduct on 
that high tribunal, Judge Seymour worthily crowned a reputation already 
most enviable, yet there seems but little doubt that had his life been spared 



286 (COtoatD mootituU ^epmour 

him through those maturer years when, as a rule, the chief laurels of the 
jurist are won, he would have reached even higher dignities and honors. 
Of his services on this bench Judge Augustus H. Fenn said at the time of 
his death: "While of his services upon that court, this is neither the time 
nor place to speak with fullness, it has been the privilege of the writer to 
know them somewhat thoroughly, and because of such knowledge he can 
the more truly bear witness of the rare spirit of fidelity to duty, to justice, to 
law, as a living, pervading and beneficent rule of action, with which, whether 
upon the bench listening to and weighing the arguments and contentions of 
counsel, in private study, in the consultation room, or in the written opinions 
of the court which bear his name, the high duties of that great office were 
faithfully discharged." 

On May 12, 1864, Judge Seymour was united in marriage with Mary 
Floyd Talmadge, a native of New York City, born May 26, 1831, a daughter 
of Frederick Augustus and Elizabeth (Canfield) Talmadge, of that place. 
Mrs. Seymour survives her husband and continues to reside in Litchfield. 
She is a member of an illustrious New England family which has resided 
there since about the year 1630, the members of which have played a most 
conspicuous part in the history of that region. She numbers among her 
ancestors the renowned Colonel Benjamin Talmadge, of Revolutionary 
fame, whose exploits against the British were of so notable a character as to 
receive especial notice from Congress and congratulations from General 
Washington. 

It is of course impossible in an account of this kind to more than most 
inadequately suggest the character of such a man as Judge Seymour. His 
characteristics may be suggested separately and illustrated feebly in the 
bare account of his career, but their combination in one personality and the 
influence of such personality upon all those with whom it associated must 
remain impossible. We may pay tribute to his unimpeachable honor, his 
strength of purpose, his courage of conviction, his general intelligence and 
enlightenment, his culture and his domestic virtues, all of which were pos- 
sessed in the highest degree by Judge Seymour, yet the concrete man still 
eludes us. Yet is this inability shared by all save the pen of genius and the 
pen, also, of love which, through its emotional insight, partakes of the quali- 
ties of genius. It is therefore appropriate to close with some quotations from 
the pens of his dear and intimate associates, who wrote of him at the time of 
his death with the clear image of their friend before them in mental vision. 
Of his qualities as a lawyer Henry C. Robinson wrote as follows: 

As a lawyer he was thorough, quick in perception, sound in reflection, pleasing and 
effective in speech. He prepared his cases conscientiously. His knowledge of men, his 
quick wit, his rare apprehension of humor and humorous things, his abounding good 
judgment, his intellectual alacrity in emergencies, and his courage in a crisis gave him 
a fine outfit for practice. He cross-examined a witness always with skill and sometimes 
with genius. But no temptation to score a point ever led him into the petty tyranny of 
abusing a witness. He wore the golden rule on his heart and remembered that the man 
in the witness box was a brother. Asa judge, without being hortatory, he warmed his 
opinions with wholesome morals. Such ethics, for instance, as we find in the opinion of 
Coupland vs. Housatonic Railroad Company, in the Sixty-first Connecticut, make good 
reading. His career as a lawyer and judge strengthens our attachment to our profession 
which he adorned. 



(ZBDtoarD COooDruff Scpmout 



287 



Of him Governor Richard D. Hubbard said in the course of an address: 

I think we can all say in very truth and soberness and with nothing of extravagance 
in eulogy, that we just lost the foremost, undeniably the foremost lawyer, and take for 
all in all the noblest citizen of our State. If it be too much to say of a son, whose years 
were almost a score less than those of the father, surely it is not too much to affirm that 
never did son tread more worthily in the footsteps of an honored parent, and never did 
untimely death break truer promise than this which has deprived our State of those years 
of ripened usefulness, which would have made the career of the son as fruitful in honor, 
and all good, and good to all, as that of the sire. But God knows best, and doubtless 
what is is for the best. Certainly to him who lies crowned with the beatitude of Christ 
upon the pure in heart, it is well. 





JFranfe ISaoolikilige Cljenep 

'HE DEATH OF Colonel Frank Woodbridge Cheney at his 
home in South Manchester, Connecticut, May 26, 1909, 
removed from that community one of the most popular and 
well beloved figures in its busy life, and from the State of 
Connecticut one of its most influential and prominent citi- 
zens. The Cheney family is representative of the fine old 
New England stock which has played so important a part 
in shaping the destinies of this youthful nation, its members having for many 
years made their home in South Manchester and East Hartford. The first 
of the name to reside in this section was Benjamin Cheney, the great-great- 
grandfather of Colonel Cheney, a prominent man in the community who did 
a flourishing business as a wheelwright, joiner and carpenter, besides being 
the owner of a large and valuable tract of land there. It was not until the 
time of Charles Cheney, great-grandson of the above and father of Colonel 
Cheney, that the family removed from South Manchester, and even then it 
was but a temporary removal, Mr. Cheney returning to take his part in the 
organization and development of the great Cheney Brothers silk business, 
and to take part in the early difiiculties and discouragements which in the 
first years of its existence beset what is now one of the greatest industries of 
the State. 

Frank Woodbridge Cheney, the second of the six children born to 
Charles and Waitstill Dexter (Shaw) Cheney, was born June 5, 1832, at 
Providence, Rhode Island, but passed only the earliest years in that city, 
being yet a mere child when his parents removed to Ohio. Upon the farm 
purchased by Mr. Cheney, Sr., the major part of his boyhood was passed, 
and it was during this period that he gained the elementary portion of his 
education. This healthful life and the wholesome pleasures and tasks laid 
the foundation of Mr. Cheney's strength and endurance which he so greatly 
needed in the active, busy life which he subsequently led. Before he had 
grown to manhood, however, his father returned to Providence, and there 
the youth completed his education, attending for a time the excellent city 
schools, and later Brown University. He was taken into the Cheney silk 
concern by his father, and evidently showed ability from the outset, since in 
1854 he was already elected a director of the firm, a position to which he had 
worked from the humble one of punching a dye stick in about four years. 
The business was at this time undergoing a succession of difficulties, and in 
1858 it was felt that it could not meet the competition of some of its rivals, 
without having a representative in China. Young Mr. Cheney was chosen 
for this responsible post, and in 1858 started for the east, remaining about 
three years in China and Japan, purchasing silk. This was but a short time 
after the ports of the former country had been opened to foreigners, and for 
some time Mr. Cheney was one of twelve men of the white race in that great 
empire. The firm which he represented there, however, was greatly bene- 
fited by his intelligent efiforts on its behalf, and from that time forward began 



jTrank saaooD&riDge CJjenep 289 

its great development which was in no small measure due to the business 
genius of Mr. Cheney. The year 1861 saw the return of Mr. Cheney to the 
United States, and it was while he was in Egypt that he learned of the 
outbreak of the Civil War. He lost no time in completing his journey, and 
upon arriving at home at once threw himself heart and soul into recruiting 
for the Union army. He was one of those most instrumental in organizing 
the Sixteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, of which he was appointed 
lieutenant-colonel, and with which he departed for the front. The Six- 
teenth Connecticut saw active service from the start, and it was at the battle 
of Antietam, September 17, 1862, that Colonel Cheney was shot through the 
arm while leading his men in a charge. Upon recovering sufficiently to be 
able to leave the hospital, he was discharged from the service because of his 
disability caused by the wound. 

In the year 1858, at the time of his departure, Mr. Cheney had been 
made assistant treasurer, and now, upon his return from the war, he entered 
into the duties more immediately connected with his position. In 1874 his 
father, who occupied the place of treasurer and secretary of the Cheney 
Brothers corporation, died, and young Mr. Cheney was elected to these 
offices in his place. From this time he assumed the general management 
of the whole huge concern, and to this really enormous task he brought a 
degree of consummate skill, judgment and tact, which have resulted in 
greatly increasing the volume of business and redounded to his own great 
credit and reputation as a business leader. Besides his management of the 
company, he was also well known in the silk business generally, as one who 
was active in its interests. He was a prominent figure in the Silk Associ- 
ation of America, and only a year before his death was placed in a committee 
with Mr. J. Huber by the association to urge upon Congress a revision of the 
silk tariff. A man as prominent and influential as Mr. Cheney in one line 
of business rarely confines himself entirely within the scope of that par- 
ticular interest, and this was certainly the case with Mr. Cheney, who was 
identified with many of the largest and most important financial and indus- 
trial institutions in the State as an officer or director. He was a director of 
the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, the National Fire Insur- 
ance Company, and the Hartford Steam-boiler Insurance Company. He 
was also elected a director of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Rail- 
road Company, on the death of ex-Mayor Leverett Brainard, of Hartford, 
and this important office gave him much influence in transportation circles 
throughout that region, and this influence he exerted for the good of his com- 
munity. 

But it was not by any means only in the business world, however large 
his interests might be within its scope, that Colonel Cheney was active. 
Although of a most retiring disposition and shrinking from taking public 
office of any kind, his extreme popularity rendered it inevitable that he 
should take part in the political world, even though it might be against his 
will and inclination. He was a strong supporter of the Republican party 
and its principles, and in 1892 the State organization urged upon him the 
nomination for Lieutenant-Governor. The year happened to be that of the 

CONN— Vol III-19 



290 jFcank COooDfitiDge Cftenep 

"deadfall" issue, upon which the Democrats were easily victorious, and 
Colonel Cheney suffered defeat with the rest of his party. Two years later 
he was nominated by the Republicans for Governor of the State, but the 
Democratic star had not yet set, and once more he was defeated. He re- 
marked with a smile when the news was brought him that he had paid for 
a room at the Allyn House together with a box of cigars and plenty of 
experience, and that he would now take a bath and wash off the politics. He 
was not able to entirely rid himself of politics even then, however, for eight 
years later, while traveling in Europe, he received a cablegram from the 
people of Manchester asking him to return and act as their representative at 
the State Constitutional Convention. This he agreed to do, and returned at 
once from his travels. Colonel Cheney was very prominent in the social 
world of Hartford and Manchester, and belonged to many prominent clubs 
and other organizations in that region. He was of course a member of the 
Connecticut Sixteenth Regiment Association, with which he had served 
in the Civil War, and so great was his popularity with the members that he 
was elected president for life thereof. On his seventy-fifth birthday, one 
year before his death, the survivors of the regiment met at his house and pre- 
sented Colonel and Mrs. Cheney with a handsome silver loving cup. He 
was also a member of Drake Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and the 
Veteran Association of the Hartford City Guard. He was a director of the 
Hartford Retreat, the Watkinson Farm School, and the American School 
for the Deaf. 

Colonel Cheney was married, November 3, 1863, at Hartford, to Mary 
Bushnell, of that city, the second daughter of the Rev. Dr. Horace Bush- 
nell, one of the most distinguished citizens of Hartford, after whom was 
named the beautiful Bushnell Park in that city. To Colonel and Mrs. 
Cheney were born twelve children, as follows: Emily, now Mrs. Barrett 
Learned, of Washington; Charles, who succeeded his father as secretary 
and treasurer of the Cheney Brothers corporation; Horace Bushnell; John 
Davenport; Howell; Seth Leslie; Ward, of whom brief mention is made be- 
low; Austin; Frank Dexter; Dorothy; Marjorie; Ruth, now Mrs. C. A. 
Goodwin, of Hartford. 

The seventh child. Ward Cheney, born May 26, 1876, was a graduate 
of Yale University, with the class of 1896. At the outbreak of the Spanish 
War, he volunteered for service and enlisted with Company G, First Regi- 
ment Connecticut Volunteers. He later received a commission in the regular 
army, having decided to follow a military career, and being attached to the 
Fourth United States Infantry, served in this country for a time, and was 
taken ill with typhoid fever at Fort Sheridan, near Chicago. Upon his 
recovery he was sent with his regiment to the Philippines, and there met 
his death, January 7, 1900, in an engagement with insurgent natives at Imus. 
The young man was only twenty-four years old and very popular both 
among his fellows in the army and in his home region in Connecticut. His 
death was universally regretted. 

Colonel Cheney was a strong and simple character, typical of New Eng- 
land, the union of the idealist and the practical man of affairs, valuable in 
any community where he appears. This combination of characteristics was 



jFtanb gaooDbtiDge C&eneg 291 

admirably exemplified in his business life. He was known to be entirely 
practical in the conduct of the great interests that were entrusted to his care, 
yet merely to win for himself and associates large dividends was by no means 
his object. It was under him that the plan, now in such universal use in 
New England, of employers and employees uniting in subscribing to a fund 
for the benefit of tubercular working men and women originated. Toward 
the community as a whole he was ever moved to some generous and public- 
spirited deed, and that in spite of an instinctive shrinking from appearing 
publicly, and even from social life on its formal side. He was indeed devoted 
to the society of his friends, and found his chief pleasures in the intimate 
intercourse of the household and home. His death was a very real loss to 
all classes in the community. 




3(o})n Hurlbut WiUtt 




OHN HURLBUT WHITE, late of Hartford, long probate 

judge of the Hartford district, was one of those unassuming 

men whose true worth is best known to their near associates. 

He was descended from Thomas Hurlbut, a blacksmith, who 

came with Lion Gardiner to Saybrook, Connecticut, in 1635, 

and was very seriously wounded in a conflict with the 

Indians. As early as 1640 he settled in Wethersfield, where 

he was an original proprietor and prominent in the conduct of public affairs, 

serving as deputy to the General Court, and was the second largest taxpayer 

at the time of his death. 

John Hurlbut White was born November 23, 1833, in East Glaston- 
bury, Connecticut, son of Eleazer Sweetland and Alma Holmes (Hurlbut) 
White. He died January 4, 1912, at Hartford, where he was universally 
esteemed and respected as an official and a citizen. After receiving an 
academic education he went to Hartford in 1851, and read law in the office 
of Hon. Heman H. Barbour. He was admitted to the bar March 12, 1858, 
and immediately entered upon the practice of his profession, taking an active 
interest in political affairs, in affiliation with the Democratic party. In i860 
he was elected city auditor of Hartford, on the Democratic ticket, and three 
years later was elected judge of probate for the district of Hartford, which 
includes Glastonbury, Windsor Locks, Bloomfield, Rocky Hill, West Hart- 
ford, Newington and Wethersfield. At the time of his election it also 
included East Hartford, which was separated in May, 1887. For twenty- 
three years Judge White continued to administer his office, which he re- 
signed in January, 1887, to resume the active practice of law. His long term 
of office demonstrates his popularity with the public, which was greatly 
attached to him because of his fairness and sympathy with those in trouble. 
As much of his business was transacted with people who had been recently 
bereaved, his kindly and sympathetic nature facilitated the discharge of his 
duty, and made these relations as pleasant as possible under the circum- 
stances. Judge White was always a student and reader, and he brought to 
his practice, after resigning the judgeship, a well-trained mind and a ripe 
experience, and his success was worthily won. During the Civil War he was 
appointed with Ezra Hall as commissioner to take the votes of Connecticut 
soldiers in the field in the presidential election of 1864, and the discharge of 
this trust consumed a period of six weeks. He was one of the organizers of 
the Capewell Horse-Nail Company, with which he was first associated as 
counsel and director, later vice-president, and at the time of his death was its 
president. He was many years director of the Farmers & Mechanics Na- 
tional Bank, which is now merged with the Hartford National Bank. From 
1858 he was continuously a member of the North Congregational Church, 
which later became the Park Congregational Church. He acted on various 
committees of the church, and was among its most faithful adherents. Judge 
White filled various positions of trust and settled many estates, including 



31o&n ^ud&nt mtiitt 293 

that of Henry Keney, of whose will he was one of the executors. Thencefor- 
ward, until the time of his death, he was one of the four trustees of Keney 
Park. For many years he was president of the Probate Assembly of Con- 
necticut, and for six years was a member of the State Board of Mediation 
and Arbitration. In i860 he joined the First Company, Governor's Foot 
Guard, and later became a member of the Veteran Corps, of which he was 
at one time president. 

He married, June 6, i860, Jennie M. Cook, daughter of George and 
Sarah (Woodruff) Cook, of Litchfield, Connecticut. Mrs. White is de- 
scended from Joseph Wadsworth, who hid the charter in the historic Charter 
Oak, which incident gave its name to the tree, and is known to every 
school boy of America. A maternal ancestor, John Woodruff, was with 
Washington at Valley Forge, and present at the execution of the unfor- 
tunate Major Andre. She is the mother of Henry C. White, a well-known 
artist, now residing in Waterford, Connecticut. He married Grace H. 
Holbrook, of Hartford, daughter of Caleb M. and Elizabeth (Nelson) Hol- 
brook, both now deceased. Of this marriage there are two children: i. 
John Holbrook White, associated with the Travelers' Insurance Company 
of Hartford; married Eleanor Walker, and has two daughters, Frances 
Holbrook and Grace Walker. 2. Nelson Cook White, now a student at Pom- 
fret, Connecticut. 



Scibn ^mttf) (S^rap 




"OHN SMITH GRAY was born in Hartford, September i6, 
1816. He was the son of Samuel and Ann (Smith) Gray, 
and a descendant of Lion Gardiner, of Gardiner's Island. His 
grandfather was Colonel Ebenezer Gray, of Windham, an 
officer in the Continental army and one of the original 
members of the Society of the Cincinnati. 

He began business as a clerk in a wholesale drug store, 
after which, when about twenty years old, he spent a year in Cuba on the 
sugar estate of his grandfather, John Smith. Here he acquired some knowl- 
edge of the Spanish language which enabled him later to carry on an export 
trade with South America. In his early business life Mr. Gray was a member 
of the firm of Fales & Gray, manufacturers of railroad cars. Later he was 
in the hardware firm, originally Leroy & Company, now Tracy, Robinson & 
Robinson. About the year 1880 he left this business and with his son, John 
Watkinson Gray, started the Hartford Rubber Works which was later sold 
out to the Pope Manufacturing Company. He retired from business in 
1892 on the death of his son. 

On May 9, 1848, Mr. Gray married Mary Watkinson, daughter of 
Robert and Maria (Champion) Watkinson, born February 23, 1823. They 
had three children as follows: Ellen Watkinson; John Watkinson, who 
married Clara Bolter, and Annie, who married the Rev. John Humphrey 
Barbour. 

John Smith Gray was a lifelong and devoted member of the Episcopal 
church. He grew up in the parish of Christ Church, of which his mother was 
a member. He was parish clerk from 1843 to 1849 ^-nd became junior warden 
in 1861. In 1863 he moved to the western part of the city, was connected 
with Trinity Church almost from its foundation and for many years was a 
member of the vestry. He was habitually at church twice on Sunday, had 
family prayers daily in his home and grace at table. He was also a regular 
communicant of the church. John Smith Gray was a Republican in politics. 
He took no conspicuous part in public life, but was representative of the 
best type of those Hartford merchants of earlier days whose high moral 
standards leave a valuable example to posterity. 

On May 9, 1898, Mr. and Mrs. Gray celebrated their golden wedding 
and on June 24, 1899, after a short illness, Mr. Gray died. 




EV. JOHN HUMPHREY BARBOUR, long a useful member 
of the Episcopal clergy of Connecticut, and a teacher of 
theology, was born May 29, 1854, in Torrington, son of 
Judge Henry Stiles and Pamela Jane (Bartholomew) Bar- 
bour, and died April 29, 1900, at Middletown. He prepared 
for college, was admitted to Amherst in 1869, but soon after 
determined to enter the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal 
church, and withdrew from Amherst before the close of his academic year. 
Immediately thereafter he entered Trinity College, Hartford, and was con- 
firmed by Bishop Williams on Trinity Sunday, 1870. In college he gained 
distinction and was graduated in 1873 with special honors in chemistry, 
natural science and mathematics. In the autumn of the same year he entered 
Berkeley Divinity School at Middletown, and was ordained deacon by 
Bishop Williams, May 31, 1876, at the annual ordination of the school, along 
with thirteen others. Very soon he became assistant minister at Trinity 
Church, Hartford, with charge of Grace Chapel at Parkville. This was 
nearly two years before he had attained the canonical age for ordination to 
the priesthood. On September 18, 1878, he was ordained priest in Trinity 
Church. Rev. Samuel Hart, his superior at Berkeley Divinity School, said 
of him : 

During the thirteen years of his ministry at Parkville he was indefatigable in his 
labors among the people of his charge, devoting himself to his work as pastor and min- 
ister, and at the same time he did not fail to continue his studies in the many depart- 
ments of learning to which his mind was drawn and participate in those which had to do 
with the understanding of Holy Scripture. To an especially clear discernment and 
apprehension of truth was added a ready facility in its statement and in commending 
it to the minds of others ; and he greatly enjoyed the opportunity for study which came 
to him from living in the neighborhood of his alma mater. During the academic year 
1878-79, he filled a temporary appointment as tutor in mathematics ; and having been 
from the time of his return to Hartford the assistant librarian of the college, with prac- 
tically full charge, he was given the title of librarian in 1882. It fell to his lot to 
rearrange the books in the library on their removal to the place provided for them in the 
new college buildings, and to prepare a card catalogue on modern principles of classi- 
fication ; and this was done with unstinted labor and great enthusiasm. Very few per- 
sons will ever know, except from the testimony of those who are familiar with all the 
details of this work, how great is the debt which the college owes to Dr. Barbour for 
the labor which he bestowed upon the library ; and it was a real compensation to him 
that he saw it grow in number of volumes and in usefulness. While in Hartford he 
prepared a brief but excellent manual of instructions for confirmation, and also wrote, 
or rather compiled, "The Beginnings of the Historic Episcopate," a collection of passages 
from the New Testament, and from Christian authors before the year 250, bearing on 
the history of the ministry of the church, to which were appended tables and a diagram 
prepared in his characteristically clear and ingenious manner. 

In 1889, a vacancy having occurred in the professorship of the literature and inter- 
pretation of the New Testament in the Berkeley Divinity School, Mr. Barbour was 
called to that chair. He brought to his new duties a well furnished mind, trained in one 
direction by pastoral work, and in another by academic associations, quick to under- 
stand and patient to learn and it was not necessary for him to go back to resume his 
studies from the time of his ordination, for he had kept remarkably well in touch with 
the progress of scholarship during those years. He was also appointed librarian of the 
Divinity School, and it was a part of his duty there, as at the college, to take charge of a 
library on i-ts removal to a new building, with the special pleasure which came from 



296 3fol)n l^umpfjrep ISatfiout 

planning for the arranging of the building itself. But it was the study and teaching of 
the New Testament to which he devoted himself with unfailing interest for eleven 
years, not neglecting what might be called the external and more especially scholastic 
side of the work; and never forgetting that one cannot learn the spirit without the study 
of the letter, but seeking above all for the spiritual meaning, and taking his students in 
their three years' course through the whole of the New Testament, either in Greek or 
in English. He contributed at times to periodicals, his most valuable writing of this 
kind being an investigation of the composition of the Apocalypse, and the latest an 
article on the study of the New Testament, published in the "Churchman" of April 21 
(of the 3'ear 1900) ; and he wrote valuable papers on various subjects for clerical meet- 
ings and gatherings of scholars. He was for several years before his death one of the 
examining chaplains of the diocese, and at its last commencement his alma mater con- 
ferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. It may also be noted here that he 
served for some time as secretary of the alumni of the college, and that of late years he 
had been secretary of the alumni of the Divinity School. 

On Maunday Thursday, April 12, Dr. Barbour celebrated Holy Communion in the 
chapel of the Divinity School, attended two later services, and met his classes as usual. 
Returning home he was obliged to cease work, and was unable again to leave his room. 

Dr. Barbour married Annie Gray, daughter of the late John S. Gray, of 
Hartford, and their surviving children are: i. Ellen Gray, married Dr. 
Walter Ashley Glines, of Porto Rico, and they have one child, Virginia S. 
2. Dr. Henry Gray Barbour, pharmacologist at Yale Medical School ; he mar- 
ried Lilla Chittenden, and they have two children, Henry C. and Dorothy 
Gray. 3. Rev. Paul Humphrey Barbour, married Mary W. Bailey, vifho died 
in September, 1914; they had one child, Paul Humphrey. 

Dr. Hart delivered a memorial sermon at Grace Chapel. Parkville, May 
13, 1900, in which were included the following words: 

He read and studied diligently and methodically, so that he knew what intelligent 
people were thinking about ; he kept himself well informed in many matters of science, 
and knew a great deal about God's works in nature and of the ways in which in which 
men studied them and wrote about them ; and for these reasons his mind was always 
fresh and his thoughts were quick and ready. But with all and above all he studied God's 
Holy Word, the Old Testament and the New ; not merely reading day by day the lessons 
as they were appointed in the Prayer Book, with special readings on Sundays of the 
chapters and parts of chapters which are not in the daily lessons, but making a careful 
study of one book of the Bible after another, in the language in which it was written, 
and thus, as he had been charged to do when he was ordained, "by daily reading and 
weighing the Scriptures, he waxed riper and stronger in his ministry," and he instructed 
you, his people, out of the Scriptures, the word of truth. His preaching seemed plain 
and simple, but it was for the very reason that he took pains with it ; and he was care- 
ful always to explain what was meant by the text or passage about which he was preach- 
ing, so that there were not many congregations who could have learned from their 
clergyman more than you had the opportunity of learning. What he wrote out, he wrote 
out carefully and clearly ; and for his unwritten sermons he took pains to have an outline 
just as carefully and clearly prepared, and he knew precisely what he wanted to say and 
why he wanted to say it. That word of truth of which St. James speaks in the text was 
the life of his soul, or rather a means by which he took ever firmer hold on the Lord 
Jesus Christ as the life of his soul ; and God made him in this way to be a kind of first- 
fruits, quick in his apprehension, patient in his study, ready in his expression, helpful 
in his commendation of sacred truth ; no doubt benefiting himself in this way, but most 
certainly benefiting those who heard him ; and first-fruits representing and blessing 
those who were in it brought to God. * * * 

And we know that the life has not ended. We cannot tell what that well-furnished 
mind and well-disciplined soul is learning in Paradise ; but we do know that it is still 
"increasing and going forwards in the knowledge and faith of God and the Son of God 
by the H0I3' Spirit." We cannot tell for what ministry in the kingdom, the world of 
resurrection he shall be found specially meet in the great and unending day of God, but 
we are sure that they who are true teachers shall then have a brightness, not for their 
own glory but to lead others to greater visions of truth, and that they who instruct many 
for righteousness shall shine as the stars, with unfading and beneficent brightness, for- 
ever and ever. 




*EW, IF ANY, residents of Hartford, Connecticut, were more 
widely or favorably known than the late Edwin Hopkins 
Arnold, president of the Trout Brook Ice & Feed Company. 
He was a man of amiable disposition, and sustained an irre- 
proachable reputation for reliability as well as enterprise. 
He possessed the courtesy and gentlemanly qualities of the 
old school, and the circle of his friends was almost co-exten- 
sive with the circle of his acquaintances. Closely connected with the business 
life of the city for many years, he was honored and esteemed wherever he 
was known, while his memory is cherished by those with whom he came in 
close contact. Of engaging personal appearance, he was the soul of kind- 
liness and geniality, while deference and attention to the opinions of others 
were of his marked characteristics. His family is an ancient one, and he 
traced his descent in a direct line to Elder William Brewster. 

Harvey Arnold, his father, was born in East Hampton, Connecticut, 
July 29, 1795, and died in West Hartford, Connecticut, February 18, 1847. 
He was an enterprising and energetic man, and removed to Hartford some 
time in the forties. There he purchased a large tract of land which extended 
from what is now Prospect avenue to Whiting street, and from Farmington 
avenue to Park street. His business enterprises were varied and extensive 
in their scope. He married Betsey Sears, who died in 1850, and they had 
children, all now deceased : Merrick ; Prescott ; Edwin Hopkins, whose name 
heads this sketch; Lavinia, who married Oliver Shelton. 

Edwin Hopkins Arnold was born in East Hampton, Connecticut, No- 
vember 27, 1830, and died at his beautiful home in West Hartford, Connec- 
ticut, October 14, 1905. His educational training was commenced in his 
native town and completed at the West Hartford Academy, from which he 
was graduated. He was about fourteen years of age at the time the family 
removed to Hartford, where they resided on the land above mentioned. 
Upon the death of the father, the estate was divided among the children, and 
Mr. Arnold added considerably to his share. He did a great deal to improve 
and develop that section of the city, and in recognition of this fact Arnold- 
dale Road in West Hartford received its name. Subsequently he sold his 
farm and purchased ten acres on Farmington avenue, on which the fine 
family residence, No. 892, is still located. He cultivated this plot of ground 
as a "gentleman farmer," finding in this his chief form of recreation. In 
association with his son, Frederick Wadsworth Arnold, he organized the 
Trout Brook Ice Sz Feed Company, a corporation of which he was chosen 
president, and remained the efficient incumbent of this office until death put 
an end to his activities. In matters connected with politics he was a staunch 
Republican, and while he gave his support to this party, he was never de- 
sirous of holding public office. Devoted to his wife and children, he sought 
and found his pleasures in the home circle, which was the gathering place of 



298 (JBDtDin l^opkin0 ^rnolD 

a large circle of friends, the home being noted for its openhanded hospi- 
tality. 

Mr. Arnold married (first) Augusta Flagg, a daughter of George and 
Mary (Goodman) Flagg, of West Hartford; Mrs. Arnold died in West 
Hartford in 1858. Mr. Arnold married (second) May 22, 1861, Harriet Mait- 
land Wadsworth, born in Hartford, May 25, 1841, daughter of Oliver and 
Rosa Anna (Isham) Wadsworth, both born in Hartford, where he was en- 
gaged in the saddlery and trunk business. He was a direct descendant of 
Joseph Wadsworth, who hid the charter in the now famous "Charter Oak." 
Children by the first marriage : Charles Edwin, who lives in the family resi- 
dence on Farmington avenue ; Mary Elizabeth, married Charles S. Mills, of 
Westfield, Massachusetts, and has a daughter, Edith Arnold, who married 
F. S. Smith, of Beverly, Massachusetts, and has children, Peter and Eliza- 
beth; Ada Mess, secretary of the Society of Mayflower Descendants, also 
lives in the family home on Farmington avenue. The children of the second 
marriage are : Frederick Wadsworth, who succeeded his father as president 
of the Trout Brook Ice & Feed Company; Grace, who married L. C. Daniels, 

and has children, Ruth and Mildred ; and , who married L. A. Sheldon, 

of West Hartford. 

Mrs. Arnold comes of a family distinguished in the history of Connec- 
ticut. She remembers, how, as a child, her father playfully placed her in the 
hollow of the old "Charter Oak," and there told her the story of the tree, and 
the part it and her ancestor, Joseph Wadsworth, had played in the history 
of the State. She has contributed much valuable data concerning the correct 
story of the "Oak," made famous by her illustrious ancestor. Her essay on 
this subject was favorably commented upon by many of our local historical 
writers. 

The name Wadsworth is derived, it is supposed, from Wood's Court, or 
court in the woods, the inference being that some ancestor of the present 
family held court in a wood — hence, literally, Woodscourt; in German, 
Waldes-hoff ; in Anglo-Saxon, Waldes-weorth. The name is quite common 
in England, especially in the Yorkshire district, where it now seems probable 
the early ancestors of the American family hailed from. 




MONO THE CONSPICUOUS figures of Hartford county, 
Connecticut, during a generation that is past, and well de- 
serving remembrance in our own and future times, should be 
numbered that of Dr. Jared Whitfield Pardee, of Bristol, a 
man famous in his day alike for his professional skill, an un- 
usually keen intellect, which often found its expression in a 
somewhat caustic wit, and his staunch churchmanship 
which he defended with all the vigor of a strong personality and powerful 
convictions. He was a member of a family very well known in that region 
and which had resided in New England from the earliest Colonial times, the 
immigrant ancestors being George and Martha Pardee. George Pardee was 
by origin a Huguenot, but it seems probable that he came to the American 
colonies with an English family v/hich settled in Morris Cove, Connecticut, 
in the year 1653. The parents of Dr. Jared W. Pardee were Leavitt and Eliz- 
abeth (Hemingway) Pardee, old and respected residents of Bristol during 
Revolutionary times. To this venerable couple were born four children: 
Sally, Jared Whitfield, the subject of this sketch ; Amy, and Leavitt, Jr. 

The Pardee coat-of-arms is thus described : Or, a chevron azure between 
three stars of sixteen points of the second. 

Dr. Jared Whitfield Pardee was born on January i, 1792, in Morris 
Cove, Connecticut, and there gained his education at the local schools, and 
also attended Yale College, from which he was graduated. He was a man of 
very decided character and at an early age decided upon medicine as his 
choice of careers. In accordance with this determination, he attended the 
Yale Medical School at New Haven, where he bore himself with distinction 
and from which he graduated in the last year of the presidency of the famous 
Timothy Dwight. He established himself in practice in Bristol and very 
shortly made a reputation for himself as a clever diagnostician and a pro- 
found student of his subject, to say nothing of his equal fame as something 
of an original genius. During a period of upwards of fifty years he con- 
tinued to practice his profession in that neighborhood and came to be one 
of the best known figures thereabouts, his reputation, indeed, spreading be- 
yond the limits of his own community. He was a very ardent Democrat in 
political belief and became a valuable ally of that party in Hartford county, 
from the vigor of his espousal of its principles and policies. The same vigor 
which characterized his political opinions, and which by his enemies was 
regarded as approachng violence, also marked his other beliefs which he 
supported, one and all, with all the weapons of a keen wit and emphatic utter- 
ance. As has already been remarked, he was a very ardent churchman, of 
the Episcopalian persuasion, a cause which he never failed to defend by 
every appropriate means. 

In January, 1817, Dr. Pardee was united in marriage with Ruth Norton 
Upson, of Bristol, Connecticut, where she was born January 2, 1795, a 
daughter of Asa and Ruth (Norton) Upson, of Berlin, Connecticut. She 



300 JareD mhMtlH parDce 

died August 13, 1874, having borne her husband seven children, as follows: 
Czarina Elizabeth, who became Mrs. Asa Russell, of Great Barrington; 
Dwight Whitfield Pardee, the eminent Connecticut jurist, of whom a sketch 
follows in this work; Milette, died in infancy; Sarah, died young; Cora, died 
in 1906; child, died in infancy; and Sarah N., now a resident of Hartford. 

The death of Dr. Pardee on January 6, 1867, brought to an end a career 
in every respect most successful, for in spite of the strength of his convic- 
tions and his mode of pressing them, of which his opponents complained, he 
was essentially one of the best hearted men in the world and however great 
his foes, politically or religiously, he seldom had to bear any personal ani- 
mosity, never, indeed, from such frank and open characters as his own. 
For this reason his success may be said to have been well rounded and 
complete, for this is true of the men who make friends, but not of those who 
make enemies, be their formal achievements what they may. Dr. Pardee, 
then, was a man who made friends and was accordingly successful in the 
best sense of the term, a man who stood for something definite in the com- 
munity, one of those figures that everyone knows better than he does the 
mayor or the judge, one who, as Chesterton tells us, is too large an individual 
to fit into any official pigeon hole and consequently remains in private life 
where his service to his fellows can remain more distinctively his own. 





®tDtgI)t Wl!)ttfteItJ ^arliee 

USTICE DWIGHT WHITFIELD PARDEE, late of the 
Supreme Court of Connecticut, was one of a comparatively 
few men who have carried down into our own day the high 
and splendid traditions of the Connecticut bar, established 
in times gone by through the brilliant achievements of some 
of the most eminent barristers in the history of our country. 
He was the second of the seven children of Dr. Jared Whitfield 
and Ruth Norton (Upson) Pardee, of Bristol, Hartford county, Connecticut, 
where he was himself born February 1 1, 1822. His father was a man of very 
remarkable powers who was well known throughout the county, and it was 
from him that his son inherited some measure of his ability, although in 
general character they were different enough. Dr. Pardee was a man of 
means and gave to Dwight W. the best of educations, sending him at first 
to the Waterbury Academy to prepare for a college career. The lad was 
unusually precocious in his studies, and was but fourteen years of age when, 
having graduated from this institution, he entered Trinity College, Hart- 
ford. At Trinity College he further distinuished himself and graduated 
therefrom with honors with the class of 1840. He also had the advantage 
of private tutors, and there were but few who could boast of a wider famil- 
iarity with the knowledge of the schools then he. It had been decided that 
he should follow the profession of law, by this time, and he accordingly took 
up the study of this subject with his usual ardoi- and success under several 
masters. Among these should be mentioned the Hon. Isaac Toucy, later 
Attorney-General of the United States, under whose preceptorship the 
young man studied and with whom he was afterwards in partnership for a 
time. He also took the course in the Yale Law School at New Haven, from 
which he graduated. Being admitted to the bar the same year he was taken 
into the partnership already noticed by Mr. Toucy, who had formed a very 
high opinion of the young- man's powers, and was soon embarked on the 
practice of his profession in Hartford, a city which ever afterwards remained 
his home. His fame as a successful attorney grew rapidly and he was soon 
a recognized leader of the county bar and some of the most important litiga- 
tion of the period was intrusted to his able hands. Like his father before 
him, the rising young lawyer was a strong adherent to the principles of the 
Democratic party, and it is the greater tribute to his powers that, in a period 
when these principles were coming more and more into popular disfavor, his 
political career should have been so successful. 

It was in the year 1857 that he first made his appearance in a con- 
spicuous role in this realm, being then elected to the Connecticut State 
Senate, and serving with great effectiveness during the next two years. 
It was a time of extremely bitter partisan feeling, the period immediately 
preceding the outbreak of the war. The influence of Judge Pardee was 
exerted in company with that of Richard D. Hubbard and Charles H. 
Northam, who represented Hartford in the State House of Representatives, 



302 Dtaiig&t mftitficlD patPec 

and of other Democrats of the same calibre, to prevent hostilities, but in 
vain. The next step in his political career was that which made him justice 
of the Superior Court in Hartford county on the retirement of Justices 
Waldo and Seymour from that body, and thereafter his activities are even 
more closely identified with the bench than with the bar. This election was 
made in 1863 and he continued in the office for ten years, and in 1873 was 
elected associate justice of the Supreme Court of Connecticut. The term of 
office in this the highest court of the State is eight years and Justice Pardee 
served for two of these, finally retiring on account of ill health at the end of 
the second and in his sixty-eighth year. He had in the meantime made for 
himself a reputation second to none as a wise judge and capable lawyer, a 
reputation that will live long in the memory of his fellow judges and attor- 
neys and of the community generally. In the year 1878 Justice Pardee 
received an honor that he valued highly in the shape of the honorary degree 
of LL. D. from his old alma mater, Trinity College. 

Justice Pardee was married in June, 1847, to Henrietta Porter, of Hart- 
ford, a daughter of Solomon Porter, of that city, of which he was a very promi- 
nent citizen. Two children were born of this union who died in early child- 
hood and the death of Mrs. Pardee occurred not long after in 1863. Justice 
Pardee never remarried, making his home with three sisters at No. 62 
Capitol avenue, Hartford, where death finally claimed him October 6, 1893. 
The funeral, which was a very impressive one, was held from St. John's 
Episcopal Church in the city, of which Justice Pardee had been a devoted 
member for many years and of which at the time of his death he was senior 
warden. It was attended by many eminent men, who represented the 
important interests with which he had been connected in life. The judges 
of the Connecticut Supreme Court attended and the president and faculty of 
Trinity College as well as many of the most prominent figures in the State 
and county bar. The honorary pallbearers were Justice Elisha Carpenter, of 
the Supreme Court; Justice Nethaniel Shipman, of the United States Circuit 
Court ; ex-Justice Dwight Loomis, of the Supreme Court ; President George 
Williamson and ex-President Thomas R. Pynchon, of Trinity College; Hon. 
Henry C. Robinson; George W. Wooley, junior warden of St. John's 
Church; James A. Smith and Dr. W. A. M. Wainright, vestrymen of the 
church; and President George F. Hills, of the State Bank in Hartford. 

But no adequate impression of the life and achievements of Justice 
Pardee can be given by a bare record of the principal events of his career. 
Though these indeed indicate the powers necessary to win a notable success, 
yet they give but a bald outline of the man himself whose attractions won 
him the friendship of a whole community and whose sterling virtues per- 
formed the still greater feat of retaining it. To give a picture in any degree 
adequate of him as a man, it will be necessary to turn to the expressions of 
admiration and sorrow which flowed from the lips and pens of the men who 
knew him personally at the time of his death and which form a tribute to his 
memory of which any man might well be proud. Among these the resolu- 
tions of St. John's Church are conspicuous as well as typical, and read as 
follows : 



Dtoigftt mmtfjcin patPec 303 

At a meeting of the vestry of St. John's Church held Saturday, October 7, 1893, the 
following- minute was adopted : In the death of its honored and beloved senior warden, 
Dwight Whitfield Pardee, LL. D., St. John's Parish has suiifered an irreparable loss! 
Long identified with its history, he has ever served the parish with unswerving fidelity 
and loyal devotion. Baptized, confirmed, married, and afterwards an earnest Sunday 
school teacher within its walls, he, for the longest part of his life, has been faithful in 
his devotion to St. John's. More than once by his unerring wisdom, clearness of judg- 
ment and unfaltering righteousness he has proved himself to be her warmest friend and 
supporter. With a loving yet firm hand he has guided her in some anxious moments. 
His noble career as a jurist of the highest order, his faithful puplic service and the uni- 
versal acknowledgment of his broadness of mind and creed, are sources of pride and 
inspiration to those who were privileged to serve with him in the work of this parish. 
Faithful to the teachings of the church, constant in his attendance upon all her services 
and holy communions, reverent and devout in manner, he is ever a pattern to others of a 
life that can be hid with Christ in God. Righteous and loving, firm and tender-hearted, 
filled with noble ideals and always compassionate to the weak, he fulfilled in the largest 
degree the conception of a true manhood. It is in memory of so wise and good a friend 
of the parish and of our city life outside that we ofifer this loving tribute to his char- 
acter. 

In the course of a memorial sermon, preached by the Rev. Mr. Bradin, 
rector of St. John's, shortly after Justice Pardee's death, that worthy divine 
said: 

"His mind was a thanksgiving to the power that made him, it was blessedness and 
love " How accurately these lines by Wordsworth described him all who knew him will 
perceive. He had that fineess of nature, that ])hysical and mental organization which is 
capable of most delicate sensations and sympathies, of which Ruskin speaks as a prime 
characteristic of the gentleman. He sedulously strove to conceal from the public view 
his nameless acts of love and kindness. He was a just judge who feared God and 
regarded man. His eye was single and all his convictions, conceptions and statements 
were luminous. But I think he was more and better than a just and righteous man. 
He was a good man. There was a Christian grace in him that greatly enriched and 
beautified the natural strength and justice of his mind. For it should be said that Judge 
Pardee was a most devout and exemplary Christian man. He believed in the gospel 
with all the strength of his mind and heart. He walked in its ways and diligently prac- 
ticed its precepts. He was kind and merciful and charitable after his power. The poor, 
the sick, the sorrowful and all who were needy had in him a rare friend and helper. 
* * * Judge Pardee's departure is a sore bereavement to our city. Such men as he 
give us a feeling of social security. Every good cause here has lost in him a potent 
champion. The poor and needy have lost in him a generous helper. The people have 
lost a wise and faithful friend. Not only the particular church of which he was an hon- 
ored and influential member, but all churches of the city, have lost a strong and polished 
pillar. 

Illustrative of the last claim in the Rev. Mr. Bradin's address, there was 
another church of dififerent denomination, whose rector also spoke words 
in praise of Justice Pardee's memory. This was the Rev. Dr. E. P. Parker, 
of the South Congregational Church, who, in the course of his sermon spoke 
as follows: 

It is not too much to say that Judge Pardee was held in respect, esteem and confi- 
dence by the entire community in which he lived and which he served through a long 
term of years. * * * And surely never did there live on earth a man of kindlier 
nature. Indulgent listener was he to the tongue of garrulous age, nor did the sick man's 
tale, to his fraternal sympathy addressed, obtain reluctant hearing. By those who knew 
him more intimately he was regarded with admiration for the wealth of his intellect and 
moral endowment,' and cherished with warm affection for his singularly gentle and 
amiable qualities of heart. He was a man whom no one could have passed without 
remark. Active and nervous was his gait, his limbs and his whole figure breathing 
intelligence. 



304 Dtoigftt mbitfjein parPee 

One of the warmest and most appreciative memorials was a brief notice 
from the pen of a lifelong friend of Justice Pardee, who knew him well and 
perhaps understood his character more adequately than any other. We 
quote in part from it as follows : 

Judge Pardee had in a high degree the judicial faculty. He was never embarrassed 
by the complicated facts that overweight so many of the cases that go to our higher 
courts. He was able to precipitate, as by the touch of an alchemist, the questions of law 
which they held in solution. With a quickness of appreciation often thought incom- 
patible with a proper judicial deliberativeness, he had a remarkable soundness of prac- 
tical judgment and a great sense of justice. Though never led astray by any fondness 
for speculation, he had a rare faculty of dealing with moral questions and exploring new 
regions of legal inquiry. He had less book-learning than some less able judges, but had 
a clear comprehension of legal principles and a thorough mastery of the law and its 
science. His opinions are written in language of great condensation and vigor, often epi- 
gramatic and quaint in its conciseness and point, always clear, always freighted with 
meaning, and without being in the slightest degree ambitious or inclined to be ornate, 
yet of a high literary quality. No verbiage ever burdened anything which he wrote or 
uttered ; no weak word or thought ever came from his lips or his pen. He was a very 
modest man and of a retiring disposition. He rarely appeared upon a public platform or 
took an active part in public meetings. This was true of his early years at the bar as well 
as of his later on the bench. He was quiet in his demeanor, not at all self-assertive or 
demonstrative, positive in his views but never aggressive in declaring them, a shrewd 
and intelligent observer of public men and public afifairs, but keeping his comments, 
sometimes caustic, always keen and racy, for private conversation. He had a fine sense 
of humor and was often a witty contributor to the entertainment of a dinner party or a 
circle of friends, but it was generally by way of reply to the remarks of others and' upon 
the suggestion of the moment. He was never a talker in the ordinary sense of the word. 
Judge Pardee was a man of the highest moral tone. No one ever imputed to him an 
unworthy motive. He was a man of absolute and most scrupulous integrity and had 
the unlimited confidence of the public as such. He was a liberal giver to worthy char- 
ities : his gifts, often large, being made where practicable in a way to avoid public obser- 
vation. No one could be more free from ostentation or pretense, none of plainer or more 
simple habits. He was tall and slender and in later years of his life, his abundant hair 
and beard, whitened by age, gave him a striking appearance upon the bench and street. 
His dark eye was one of remarkable richness and depth. * * * j.jg took great inter- 
est in Trinity College and for many years was one of its trustees, and made it the ulti- 
mate legatee of a part of his estate. * * * The death of Judge Pardee gave to the 
whole community a sense of loss, but to the writer of this imperfect sketch of him it 
brought a great personal bereavement and sorrow. We had been pleasantly acquainted 
from our early manhood as brethren at the Hartford bar, with a high esteem for him on 
my part, but during the sixteen years that he was a member of the Supreme Court, I 
being then its reporter, there grew up between us a very fond friendship. To no one 
outside of my own family did I look for companionship in my declining years so much 
as to him. It is with a sense almost of desolation that I think of his returnless absence, 
and it is among my pleasantest thoughts that we shall soon meet in a renewed and abid- 
ing companionship. 

Such then was Justice Pardee and it may well be supposed that the man 
who could inspire such sentiments of love and admiration on the part of his 
friends — for the above tribute is but typical — must have played a very im- 
portant part and exercised a great influence for good upon the community 
that was so fortunate as to count him a member. And this was undoubtedly 
the case. Whether regarded from the standpoint of his relatives and per- 
sonal friends, from that of his many associates of the bench and bar, or from 
that of the community at large, he was a man who had wrought a good 
work, whose name deserves to live long in the grateful memory of his 
fellows. 




iteabitt ^omerop &mtU 

T IS ONLY of comparatively recent years that the inestimable 
benefits conferred upon the community by the sober business 
man and merchant are coming- to have their due share of 
recognition, and that the records of these men are being set 
down alongside of those more showy ones connected with 
military service and the affairs of State, as most truly repre- 
sentative of human life, and in the aggregate the most 
largely contributive to the sum of human happiness. This growing appre- 
ciation of the part played by those concerned with the commercial and 
financial interests of the community has been coincident with a profound 
change in the organization of society itself, a change which has involved the 
shifting of its base from war to industry. Before this change had taken 
place, although the value of the merchant was realized in a dim sort of way 
by the warlike lords of creation, it was tinged with scarcely more consider- 
ation than that accorded to the creatures of the chase which were thought 
valuable indeed, but merely valuable as prey for their fierce and insatiate 
desires, a consideration typified by the robber barons of mediaeval Germany 
for the traders whose caravans they hoped to plunder. In the gradual 
emergence into popular notice and respect of a mode of life essentially far 
more noble than that which originally despised it, this country, with its 
republican institutions, its democratic ideals and independent defiance of 
old formulae, has played a prominent, perhaps the most prominent, part. 
In the United States of America, while we have amply honored those who 
have sacrified themselves in war to the common weal, as we have honored 
those who have sacrificed themselves in any calling, we have refused to 
accept the dictum of a past age and foreign clime that there is anything 
intrinsically honorable in the warlike calling, giving our admiration instead 
to pursuits which in their very nature tend to upbuild, not to destroy, which 
would give and preserve life, not take it. It therefore becomes our appro- 
priate function to set down the records of such men as have established 
reputations for character and ability in these occupations which more than 
any others are typical of life as we find it here in our midst at the present 
time. There is probably no other region which has been and still is more 
productive in such records than that of New England, the development of 
whose great industrial interests is associated with a host of names recog- 
nized by all as those of great enterprises, but which were originally borne 
by their founders who were the great leaders and captains in this wholly 
beneficent campaign for the conquest of the realms of inanimate nature, and 
the spread of human power and comfort. Among these names there is one 
which holds a high place in the regard of the people of Connecticut, espe- 
cially those of Hartford county in the neighborhood of the charming town 
of Suffield. This is the name of Bissell, which from the earliest Colonial 
times has been borne by men who have displayed ability in worldly affairs 

CONN—Vol III— 20 



3o6 Leatiitt pomerop IBissell 

and a certain inherent leadership causing them to occupy prominent places 
among their fellows. True in these particulars to the traditions of his name 
was the late Leavitt Pomeroy Bissell, who from very early in his life took 
and held a conspicuous place as a business man in his native region, where 
he made his home during the comparatively few years that were granted him 
on earth. His death, which occurred September 24, 1913, cut short a most 
brilliant career when he was but forty-eight years of age, his powers in 
their zenith, his ambitions bearing but their earliest fruit. He was the elder 
of the two sons of Charles Samuel and Maria E. (Pomeroy) Bissell, of Suf- 
field, Connecticut. His father, and brother, Charles Chauncey Bissell, were 
both prominent in Suffield, and sketches of both appear in this work. 

Leavitt Pomeroy Bissell was born in the picturesque and charming 
town of Suffield, April 18, 1865, and as soon as he was of an age to learn he 
was sent to the local public schools, where he at once established his claim 
to be considered as possessed of brains and abilities above the average. He 
was the child of wealthy parents and there was no need for him to abandon 
the studies in which he distinguished himself at an unduly early age, so 
having attended the public schools for a period of years, he was entered at 
the famous Suffield school known as the Connecticut Literary Institute. 
His studies here and a year at the Wilbraham Academy in the town of that 
name completed his formal education, but a man like Mr. Bissell never 
entirely finishes his work in this line, his faculties for absorbing knowledge 
being apparently intuitive, so that to the end of his life he was in a true 
sense a student. At the age of nineteen years, having completed his school- 
ing, he at once entered business life, securing a position as clerk with the 
Travelers' Insurance Company of Hartford. He remained with this com- 
pany but six years, but during that time displayed such marked business 
ability that he was promoted to the position ranking next to that of auditor 
in the latter's department. In the year 1890 he received an offer to enter 
into partnership with a Mr. W. D. Drake in the manufacture of cigars under 
the firm name of W. D. Drake & Company. This business was located in 
Suffield and flourished from the start. In the year 1895 Mr. Drake died, 
leaving Mr. Bissell the sole owner and manager of the business which still 
more rapidly increased in his control. From this beginning Mr. Bissell be- 
came more and more closely interested in the tobacco business and more and 
more closely identified with it until he was recognized as one of the leading 
merchants and one of the most potent influences in the trade. In 1897 he 
became interested in leaf tobacco as a member of the firm of R. F. Brome & 
Company, and shortly afterwards bought out his partner's interest and car- 
ried on the concern alone. In 1898 his brother joined him in this enterprise 
and the firm of L. P. Bissell Brother & Company was formed, which did one 
of the largest trades of the kind in the region. But Mr. Bissell's interest 
became still further inclusive of the tobacco business when he took up the 
cultivation of the plant itself. For this purpose he formed what was known 
as the Bissell-Graves Syndicate, and at the time of his death was sole pro- 
prietor. Mr. Bissell had upwards of one hundred and fifty acres under 
cultivation, making him the largest individual tobacco grower in New Eng- 
land. Some idea may be gained as to the size of his operations from the 



Lcatittt pometog Igtgsell 307 

knowledge that in his various concerns he had at times as many as five 
hundred men on his various pay rolls, a fact which also gives point to the 
statement that he was a benefactor to his native place and responsible in a 
large measure for its prosperity. 

But it was not merely through the medium of his private business that 
he took part in the life of his community and served its interests notably. 
He was a man of truly democratic instincts and was, in a very real sense, the 
friend of everyone and a good townsman. He took part in the cheerful 
social life of the place, being a member of many clubs and organizations. 
In the Masonic order he was particularly prominent, a member of Apollo 
Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Washington Chapter and Sufifield 
Council of Suffield: Washington Commandery, Knights Templar, and 
Sphinx Temple of the Mystic Shrine of Hartford. He was also a member of 
Torrington Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and a charter 
member of Gideon Granger Lodge, Knights of Pythias, of Suffield. Re- 
ligiously he was affiliated with the Baptist church and was a faithful and 
earnest worker in its interests. His generosity and zeal in the cause of 
Masonry was well illustrated by his gift of a handsome organ to the new 
Masonic Temple presented to Apollo Lodge by Charles L. Spencer. 

Leavitt Pomeroy Bissell was united in marriage with Mary Weston 
Gilbert, of Suffield, daughter of Weston and Mary (Loomis) Gilbert, old and 
respected residents of that town. The marriage was celebrated January i8, 
1888, five children being born of the union, two of whom, with their mother, 
have survived Mr. Bissell's death. These are Arthur G. and Mary W. 
Bissell. 

The untimely death of Mr. Bissell was caused by an attack of pneu- 
monia contracted while on a tour of pleasure. He had been ill a little earlier 
in the year, but seemed quite recovered and had decided upon a short holi- 
day to recover his accustomed strength. This he proposed spending with 
a party of friends in an automobile tour which had for its objective point, 
Detroit, Michigan, and the grand circuit races which were held there. It 
was on their return from this city that the party were overtaken by a rain 
storm and in Mr. Bissell's weakened state the exposure brought on pneu- 
monia. He was obliged to seek a haven in Buffalo and there a few days 
later he died. His death was a very severe loss to his native community for 
which he had done so much, a great deal more, indeed, than will ever be 
realized by any single individual, for his charities were extensive and so 
conducted that no one but the immediate recipient was aware of any par- 
ticular act of assistance. He truly fulfilled the injunction not to let his left 
hand know the deeds of his right. His memory is highly revered and at the 
time of his death the entire press of the region united in a chorus of praise 
of his energetic and blameless career. 

In the course of a long obituary article the "Windsor Locks Journal" 
said in part: 

Mr. Bissell was a man of more than ordinary business ability and had been very 
successful in all his undertakings. He gave a large number of people employment and 
was very liberal with his help. His heart was always open to people in trouble and the 
world at large will never know of the many acts of kindness and charity that have 



3o8 Leatiitt pometop 15isgeII 

brightened the lives of less fortunate people than himself. His large and varied inter- 
ests in the business life of the town and his prominence in the social and fraternal life 
will make his death more keenly felt. 

Speaking of his funeral a Springfield paper said among other things: 

The funeral of Leavitt P. Bissell, one of the leading citizens of Suffield, who died at 
Buffalo on Wednesday, was held at the home yesterday at two-thirty o'clock. The 
people of the town showed their respect to their fellow townsman, who was the largest 
individual tobacco grower in New England, by closing all places of business during 
the ceremony and attending in large numbers. It was easily the largest funeral ever seen 
in Suffield. 

In the course of its remarks on the same occasion the follow^ing 
appeared: 

Leavitt Pomeroy Bissell, forty-eight, the town's leading business man, died suddenly 
on Wednesday at Buffalo, New York, from pneumonia which he contracted while on 
an automobile trip with a party of friends to Detroit, Michigan, where they attended the 
grand circuit races. * * * Early in life Mr. Bissell developed sterling qualities as a 
manager and by hard and persistant work built up the largest industry in the town, and 
his sudden death has cast a mantle of gloom over the entire town, the townspeople with 
whom he was in daily contact being hardly able to realize that their friend and benefactor 
is dead. 

The qualities that made Mr. Bissell so highly respected in his business 
dealing of good-faith and simple honor were exhibited in equal degree in the 
private relations of life, making him highly beloved wherever he was known. 
He was a domestic man, a man who loved the society of household and inti- 
mates and whose companionship was in turn welcomed by them as a treas- 
ure of great price. His tastes were many and diverse and he was fortunate 
in being able to gratify them more than the majority of men. One of his 
chief amusements was driving, and he appreciated the qualities of a horse 
as well as any man. Some of the best known trotters in that part of the 
country found their way to and remained in his stables. Healthy outdoor 
life was delightful to him and he was a strong advocate of it for the young, 
to whom he believed it brought the highest blessings. He was a singularly 
well-rounded character, a personality which has been and will continue to be 
greatly missed. 




iNE OF THE most distinguished members of the American 
diplomatic service during the past generation was William 
Woodville Rockhill, the gentleman whose name heads this 
brief review, and whose death at Honolulu, December 8, 
1914, was a loss to the entire country. Possessed of such 
unusual abilities that he excelled in whatever branch of 
activity he engaged in, a diplomatist, a statesman, an eth- 
nologist, an orientalist, Mr. Rockhill performed work in each department 
which entitled him to be regarded as a master therein. 

William Woodville Rockhill was born April i, 1854, in Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania, a son of Thomas Cadwallader and Dorothy Anna (Wood- 
ville) Rockhill, the former named a prominent citizen of that place. He did 
not remain long either in the city or the country of his birth, but was taken 
abroad, and passed his youth in France and in that country received his 
education. He attended the great French military school of St. Cyr and 
was one of the few American graduates of the institution. His education 
was a very complete one and his training familiarized him with European 
conditions to such an extent that he was regarded as especially well fitted 
for the post when, in 1884, he received an appointment as second secretary 
of the American legation at Pekin, China. Mr. Rockhill thus made his bow 
simultaneously to the American diplomatic service and to the Chinese 
Empire, two matters that were to engage his attention and effort during the 
greater part of the remainder of his life. He was not long in convincing 
his superiors that his qualifications were by no means limited to his train- 
ing, but that he possessed a natural adaptability which rendered him an 
invaluable agent in dealing with the characters of other peoples and races, 
yet of a firmness of purpose that removed all fear of his being imposed upon. 
Not less important, perhaps, then either of these qualities was the great and 
sympathetic interest that he developed in the peoples that he came in 
contact with, an interest that led him into some of the other fields of effort in 
which he distinguished himself so highly. This was, in fact, the impulse 
that urged him to undertake two journeys of exploration in China, Mon- 
golia and Thibet, 1888-92, which brought him into the most intimate contact 
with the country people of that vast realm who, far from the influence of the 
outside world, preserved their characteristic manners and customs in great 
purity. Mr. Rockhill served as chief clerk in the United States State 
Department, 1893-94, and from that time on his advancement in the service 
was brilliant in the extreme. He served as third assistant Secretary of State, 
1894-95, and was first assistant secretary in 1S96-97. In the latter named year 
he was appointed minister to Greece, Roumania and Servia by President 
McKinley, and went to Athens, in which city he set up his headquarters, 
but he resigned from this position in May, 1899. His travels in the Balkan 
region and Turkey were extensive and awakened a profound interest on his 
part in the peoples of that remote land. After his return to the United 



3IO Icailliam COooDtJiIle Kockftill 

States, he was appointed to the responsible ofifice of director of the Bureau 
of American Republics. Six years he remained in this position, performing 
invaluable service to the cause of mutual understanding among the countries 
in this hemisphere. In July, 1900, he w^as appointed commissioner of the 
United States to China and returned to the scene of his earliest diplomatic 
work with great pleasure, his interest in that great civilization having rather 
augmented than abated in the intervening years. From February to Sep- 
tember, 1901, he served as plenipotentiary of the United States to the 
Congress of Pekin, signing the final protocol of September 7, 1901, and in 
October, 1901, he resumed duty at the Bureau of American Republics. He 
also received the appointment as Ambassador to St. Petersburg, and, after 
two years' service, was transferred, at his own request, to Constantinople, 
where he remained until relieved by Ambassador Maugenthau. Shortly 
afterward he received a request from Yuan Shi Kai, president of the Chinese 
Republic, to fill the responsible office of personal adviser of the president, 
who was one of the prominent men of his nation with whom Mr. Rockhill 
had formed a friendship during his residence in the far east. This request 
Mr. Rockhill felt as an honor and hastened to accept, but fate had deter- 
mined otherwise and it was while on his voyage across the Pacific Ocean 
that the malady that was to prove fatal attacked him. He was obliged to 
land in Honolulu and never left that place. 

As has already been remarked, Mr. Rockhill's achievements were not by 
any means confined to the diplomatic world, although what he did there 
was enough to establish his record as one of the leading citizens of his 
country, but extended into many other departments where they were equally 
distinguished. He had taken advantage of his long residence in eastern 
lands to learn maii}^ of ttteir languages and was a most accomplished 
linguist, reading and speaking as many as eight tongues among which were 
included Chinese and their cognate dialects. He was also regarded as one of 
the foremost authorities on the ethnology of these races and an orientalist 
of distinction. His reports on various phases of Chinese rvu-al life, some of 
them but little known to the outside world, attracted favorable attention 
from the Smithsonian Institute, which later twice commissioned him to 
make long journeys through the central parts of Asia, especially Thibet, in 
the interests of ethnological science. Many of these regions were forbidden 
to strangers because of the jealousy and suspicion of the natives, but Mr. 
Rockhill was allowed to go and returned laden with stores of the most 
important knowledge which he afterwards classified and combined in his 
great work on Thibet and several lesser books and monographs. What he 
has done for our knowledge of the far east, as he has also done, though on a 
slightly smaller scale, for that of the near east also, entitles him to great 
credit, and there are but few scholars who have equaled him in the extent 
and accuracy of his knowledge of the entire Asiatic continent. He was a 
corresponding member of the French Academy (Academic des Sciences et 
Belles Lettres) having been admitted to membership in 191 3. He was an 
oflicer of the Foreign Legion and served three years in Africa. 

Although born in Philadelphia, Mr. Rockhill's life had been spent 
almost entirely abroad or in the national capital. The place that he regarded 



^iniam mooDtiilU Hocbbill 311 

more in the light of home than any other was Litchfield, Connecticut, where 
he spent as much of his leisure time as possible and which was the native 
place of his wife. He married, April 25, 1900, Edith H. Perkins, daughter 
of J. Deming and Margaretta (Dotterer) Perkins. 

This necessarily brief article cannot be more appropriately ended than 
by the quotation in part of editorials appearing at the time of Mr. Rockhill's 
death in two such representative papers as the "New York Post" and the 
"Boston Herald." In the course of its remarks the former paper says : 

His was an exceptionally useful and varied career. Few Americans have ever 
obtained so wide a knowledge of the Far Fast as has come to him during eight years of 
diplomatic service in China, in addition to three years in China and Thibet on scientific 
expeditions in the interest of the Smithsonian Institution. When it is added that he 
served four years in the State Department, was for two years Minister to Greece, Rou- 
mania and Servia, and was Ambassador to Russia and Turkey, from 1909 to 191 3, his 
remarkable diplomatic experience is evident. For special missions such as the repre- 
sentation of the United States in the settlement of the Boxer trouble, he was frequently 
called upon. 

Said the "Boston Herald:" 

Just thirty years ago in the administration of Chester Arthur, William W. Rockhill 
entered the diplomatic service of the United States as Secretary of Legation. He has 
been either in the Department at Washington or at foreign posts most of the time since 
then. This has given him an exceptional experience in diplomacy for an American, and 
particularly for one destined to enjoy but sixty years of life. His record, which may be 
found in another column, tells an impressive story of preparation, training, capacity. 
And in no other line of the world's activity do the advantages of accumulated experi- 
ence count for more. It is to be regretted that the Wilson administration saw fit to 
break the line of such distinguished service. He had been advanced so regularly during 
the two earlier Democratic administrations that many persons thought him a Democrat ; 
in reality he was as free from all partisan, sectional and factional impulses as would be 
expected of one of his cosmopolitan tastes and training. We need more such men in 
our public service, and when we get them we ought to give them an adequate tenure. 



% Beming ^erfetns 




T IS SELDOM that one can say with absokUe truth that the 
labors of the successful man have been, without exception, 
of benefit to the community, that his task has been a purely 
unselfish and altruistic one, that he has consistently placed 
the good of his fellows above his own interest in his heart 
and worked for that first and foremost, relegating his own 
personal affairs to the background. Yet that such was true 
of J. Deming Perkins, of Litchfield, Connecticut, no one who came into even 
the remotest contact with him will deny and one of the best witnesses to its 
verity was the universal mourning that followed his death on March 20, 
1911. 

J. Deming Perkins was a member of a fine old New England family and 
was connected with many illustrious names on both sides of the house. His 
parents were Charles and Clarissa (Deming) Perkins, the father one of the 
Norwich family of that name and the mother a daughter of Julius Deming, 
for many years the foremost merchant and business man of Litchfield and 
related to Bacons, Champions and other prominent families in that region. 
J. Deming Perkins was born March 16, 1830, in Litchfield, but did not remain 
there long, his childhood and early youth being passed in New York City, 
where he gained his education and later engaged in the importing business. 
He lived in New York until about 1867, when he came to Litchfield, and 
there he threw himself heart and soul into the aftairs of the region and soon 
assumed a leading place among the business men of affairs in that part of 
the State. Indeed, the advantage of the community became well nigh a 
ruling passion with him and from that time onward absorbed the major 
part of his attention and time. Perhaps the greatest service he performed 
for the place was in connection with its railroad communication with the rest 
of the world. The natural advantages of Litchfield and the surrounding 
country side fitted it preeminently as a summer resort, but its isolation pre- 
vented its charms from being generally known, and those who were aware 
of them from taking advantage of their knowledge. This shortcoming it 
became the purpose of Mr. Perkins to remedy, truly a herculean task. It 
was necessary for him to convince his fellow townsmen, some of them con- 
servative enough, of its desirability in the first place, and secondly to per- 
form the same conversion for the powers in control of the New Haven & 
Hartford Railroad Company, the great concern controlling all the transpor- 
tation facilities in the State at that time. Nothing daunted, Mr. Perkins set 
about his great enterprise with a will, his powerful and attractive personality 
making itself immediately felt. In this work he had a most enthusiastic 
and effective colleague in the person of his brother-in-law, Edwin McNeill, 
who seconded his efforts indefatigably. Between them they gained the 
sympathy and support of the majority of Litchfield's leading men, as well as 
those of the surrounding towns of Roxbury, Morris and Washington, and 
began an earnest campaign for the accomplishment of their purpose. The 



% Deming Perkins 3 1 3 

gentlemen thus combined were in control of a very large amount of capital 
and eventually were able to finance and build the Shepaug Valley railroad 
which the New Haven road later took over and which constitutes the present 
Litchfield branch of the road. The difficulties of all kinds being finally 
overcome the first train ran over the new rails in January, 1872. Most 
appropriately, Mr. Perkins was elected first president of the company and 
it was under his most capable management that the concern grew and pros- 
pered and with it the town of Litchfield. 

Although, as above remarked, this was probably the most far-reaching 
in its efifects of all the achievements of Mr. Perkins, there is another with 
which his name is even more warmly remembered b}^ his fellow citizens. 
This is in connection with the water supply and formation of the fire depart- 
ment, with which he was most closely identified, more closely, indeed, than 
any other member of the community. His activity in this matter followed 
the second of the two fires which in 1886 and 1888 did such great damage 
to the town. With his usual energy he pushed matters to a rapid con- 
clusion and, as a sort of climax to his efforts, himself built and donated to 
the town its present splendid fire house, costing not less than sixty thousand 
dollars. But the fire house was not an ordinary structure of the sort, for in 
it Mr. Perkins saw an opportunity to embody certain theories of his own for 
benefiting the young men of the community. The building thus took on a 
character quite unique among similar structures and, indeed, the department 
itself became an instrument for many good things besides the extinguish- 
ment of fire. It became a sort of club for the young men of so desirable a 
kind that its active membership of seventy-five is always filled and there is a 
long waiting list. Besides its character of fire house, therefore, the building 
assumed that of a club house and general meeting place for young men and 
that of a nature to make a particular appeal to most, without the features to 
be found in the saloon, on the one hand, or the Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation on the other. The place was fitted up with accommodations for read- 
ing, billiards, pool, cards and games of a similar kind, and possessed a hand- 
some bowling alley in attachment. During the remainder of his life Mr. Per- 
kins was regarded as the patron and presiding genius of this body, which pre- 
sented him on the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday with a handsome 
loving cup, and it is probable that if the average citizen of Litchfield were 
asked to point out some one thing most intimately connected with Mr. 
Perkins in his town, he would not indicate the railroad station or even his 
own handsome residence, but this fire house and meeting place for young 
men. 

But there were other directions as well as these tangible matters in 
which Mr. Perkins served his much beholden town, and not the least of these 
was in the realm of politics. He was a strong Republican in his views and 
opinions and was closely allied to his party's local organization and was its 
staunch supporter, yet he always rose superior to partisan considerations 
in his official acts and kept the welfare of the whole community before his 
eyes, like the Pole Star to the mariner. For Mr. Perkins held responsible 
office in the interests of his fellow citizens, having been elected in the year 
1893 to represent the then Twentieth District in the General Assembly of the 



314 % Deming l^ctklng 

State. He was appointed during his term to the chairmanship of the com- 
mittee on State prison. In the year 1896 he was one of the presidential 
electors aad was particularly active in the nomination of William McKinley 
for the presidency, and was generous of time, effort and money. In 1900 he 
was sent as a delegate to the National Convention which renominated Mr. 
McKinley, where he once again played a prominent part. Another of his 
activities in connection with politics was the founding in Litchfield of the 
Republican Club and procuring speakers to address the townspeople under 
the auspices of that wide-awake society. Socially Mr. Perkins was a con- 
spicuous figure, and was prominently associated with the clubs and other 
organization of that kind in Litchfield. He was one of the principal organ- 
izers of the Litchfield Club and for years served it on the board of directors 
and as its vice-president. He was also a member of the Society of Colonial 
Wars, being highly interested in the early history of his native region. 
Another organization of a very different kind, however, with which he was 
connected, and which illustrates the wide interest he took in all the institu- 
tions of the region and his truly charitable intention was the Norwich Hos- 
pital for the Insane, of which he was a trustee from the time of its founda- 
tion. 

On January 16, 1868, Mr. Perkins was united in marriage with Mar- 
garetta Dotterer, of Pennsylvania, a daughter of Davis H. and Anne Emlin 
(Warner) Dotterer. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Perkins: 
Edith H., who became the wife of the Hon. William Woodville Rockhill, 
United States Ambassador to Russia and Turkey, of whom a sketch appears 
elsewhere in this work; and J. Deming, Jr., who lived to display unusual 
brilliancy in his chosen profession of the law, dying in Denver, Colorado, 
at the very outset of a splendidly promising career. 

Of the personal character of Mr. Perkins, better cannot be done than to 
quote from the words of a fellow townsman as they appeared in the obituary 
article in the "Litchfield Enquirer" of March 23. 191 1, the first issue after his 
death, which ran in part as follows : 

To-day all Litchfield mourns. The flags are at half mast and the places of business 
closed. The entire town is paying the last tribute of affectionate respect to one who 
brought it only honor ; who loved and worked for it all his life ; who gave his time and 
his means that it might be a better and happier place in which to live. Rich and poor, 
old and young alike, do reverence to our illustrious dead — the Hon. J. Deming Perkins. 
As he had lived, so he passed from the scenes of this world to that never ending life of 
higher usefulness beyond the grave, peacefully, quietly, happily * * * In writing 
of J. Deming Perkins one can but feel the utter inadequacy of a sketch of his life or even 
of a personal tribute. He was no ordinary man and lived no ordinary life. He was 
essentially of the old school, a most courteous and refined gentleman. His mind and 
heart were full of lofty thoughts and aspirations. He was ever doing for others and, as 
is so often the case, in many instances it seemed as if his unselfishness were not appre- 
ciated as it should have been. The word Litchfield meant a tremendous lot to him. He 
had her history at his tongue's end and no one man in this town ever did more, if as 
much, as he to preserve its best traditions. He was a real friend to everyone and never 
seemed happier than when working for others. He followed close in the footsteps of 
the "Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" and was always bearing the burden of 
others. The influence of the life of such a man in the community where he lived is that 
community's one best asset ; it lasts forever. 




MONG THE MANY prominent physicians who have 
appeared in the western part of Connecticut during the past 
generation, but few have been as well known as Dr. Robert 
G. Hassard, whose death at Thomaston on January 21, 1914, 
deprived Litchfield county of an active and picturesque 
character and the profession of medicine of one of its leaders 
in that region. 
Dr. Hassard was not a native of Connecticut, but was born in 1842 in 
the town of Great Barrington among the most picturesque of the Berkshire 
Hills in Massachusetts. He spent but the first five years of his life there, how- 
ever, his father dying in 1847 ^"d his mother promptly moving to New Haven, 
Connecticut. Here he passed his boyhood, gaining his education at the 
Cheshire Academy and later at the Yale Medical School, he having settled 
on this profession as a career some time before. He distinguished himself 
in his medical courses and was very near the point of graduation when the 
Civil War broke out and cut short his plans for the future as it did that of 
thousands of others. The first call of the Federal government for troops 
took place before the north had fully awakened to the seriousness of the 
situation and the term of enlistment was set as three months. Robert G. 
Hassard was one of the first to respond. Leaving his studies uncompleted, 
he enlisted in April, 1861, in Company D, First Regiment of Connecticut 
Volunteer Infantry. During the three months of his enlistment he saw but 
little service, and upon being mustered out he hastened back to New Haven 
and passed his medical examinations, taking the degree of M. D. with 
honors. His graduation from the Yale Medical School occurred in the 
summer of 1862, and on October 28th of the same year he again enlisted, 
this time in the Nineteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry. On 
January i following he was mustered in as assistant surgeon of this regi- 
ment which was shortly afterwards changed to the Second Connecticut 
Heavy Artillery. Sent at once to the front with his regiment, Dr. Hassard 
was quickly in the midst of active operations and from that time throughout 
the war took part in a number of engagements and saw much hard service. 
He was wounded a number of times but managed to escape without severe 
injury and was sound in health and limb at the close of the struggle. When 
this finally occurred and Dr. Hassard was for a second time mustered out, he 
returned at once to the north and settled in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and 
there established himself in practice temporarily. Some time later he 
removed his home and practice to Brooklyn and Sayville, Long Island, and 
for a number of years he did a large and lucrative business there and gained 
an enviable reputation for skill and ability. The climate so near the coast 
did not, however, agree with him and he was obliged reluctantly to abandon 
it and move inland. The place chosen by him to regain his health was the 
little town of Harwinton, Connecticut, where he expected to remain only 
until he had regained his strength and could renew his practice elsewhere. 



3i6 Koftert a. ^assatD 

He was persuaded, however, by his friends to remain and take up the prac- 
tice of his profession there. He remained five years in that location and was 
highly successful. In 1885, however, he removed to Thomaston, and there- 
after made that town his home until the time of his death. Besides his 
private practice, Dr. Hassard held the oftice of health officer for Thomaston 
for some ten years, during which period he accomplished a great deal of 
good for the community. During his residence in Thomaston he was affi- 
liated with Trinity Church. He always maintained his military associations 
and was an active member of Russel Post, Grand Army of the Republic. 

On June 9, 1881, Dr. Hassard was united in marriage with Mary L. 
Udell, a resident of New York City. Mrs. Hassard survives her husband and 
still resides in Thomaston. 




n 



2RicJ)arli Holmes (S^ap 




^ARMINGTON, Connecticut, lost one of its most highly- 
esteemed citizens on March i8, 1903, in the death of Richard 
Holmes Gay, who, though not himself a native, was a 
member of a family long associated with that charming 
town, and residents of Connecticut since early Colonial 
times. 

John Gay, the founder of the family in this country, 
came from England and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts, as early as 
1630, moving thence to Dedham in the same State, where he died March 
4, 1688. At Dedham his descendants continued to live, occupying a promi- 
nent place in the community until the early part of the eighteenth century 
when another John Gay, the great-grandson of the first of that name, 
removed to Litchfield, Connecticut, and later to Sharon. It was a son of 
this John Gay, Fisher Gay, who figured so prominently in the Revolution, 
serving as lieutenant-colonel in Colonel Wolcott's regiment during the 
fighting which led up to the evacuation of Boston by the British, and later 
as colonel commanding one of the Connecticut regiments in the campaign 
on Long Island and for the occupation of New York, meeting his death in 
this service. He was the great-grandfather of Richard Holmes Gay and 
was the first of the family to make his home in Farmington. His grandson, 
William Gay, the father of Richard Holmes Gay, was born in that town, 
but later, at the age of sixteen years, went to Lansingburg, New York, and 
then remained a number of years engaged in a mercantile business in 
Albany. While living in New York State, he married Ruth Marilda Holmes, 
December 30, 1830, a native of Shodack, New York, a daughter of Jotham 
and Amy (Knapp) Holmes, old residents of Saratoga, New York. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Gay five children were born, as follows : Richard Holmes, of whom 
further; Erastus, born July 26, 1843, "ow deceased; Caroline Bement, born 
July 18, 1846, now a resident of New York City; William Treadwell, born 
September 25, 1850, died in his fifth year; and a boy, born June 27, 185 1, died 
in early infancy. Mr. Gay, Sr., returned to Farmington, while still a young 
man. and there continued his mercantile business very successfully. He 
bought in the town a store long known as the "Little Red Store," established 
as early as 1786, and conducted it in a first class manner, building up a large 
and prosperous business. His son Erastus later succeeded to this business 
and continued its success up to the time of his own death. 

Richard Holmes Gay, the eldest son of William and Ruth Marilda 
(Holmes) Gay, was born April 7, 1832, in Albany, New York, and there 
passed the earliest years of his life. Before he had grown out of childhood, 
however, his parents removed to Farmington and took him with them. He 
was now of an age to attend school and was sent accordingly to a private 
school in Farmington, where he gained an excellent general education. His 
father had large interests in Farmington, and was a prominent man there, 
owning much valuable real estate, and holding the presidency of the savings 



3i8 KicljarD l^olmes <©ap 

bank, so that his son had the best advantages. His health as a lad was poor, 
however, and at an early age he abandoned his studies and entered his 
father's store in the elder man's employ. He was a clever business man 
and made himself very useful, but finally decided to attempt an enterprise 
of his own in a larger field. He accordingly removed to Hartford, where 
he formed a partnership with a Mr. Hastings and engaged in the dry goods 
business. From the outset the trade prospered greatly and he became very 
well-to-do. Eventually, Mr. Gay retired from this connection and returned 
to Farmington, where he became associated with the bank in the capacity of 
treasurer. He was very active in the affairs of his town and gained a reputa- 
tion for great public spirit. During his stay in Hartford he had become a 
member of the Fourth Congregational Church and been elected a deacon, 
and on his return to Farmington he joined the Congregational church there 
and became very active in the work connected therewith. Mr. Gay was 
greatly interested in political questions, and was a keen and intelligent 
thinker on the issues with which the country was confronted. He was a 
strong adherent of the principles and policies of the Republican party, but 
never allowed his partisan feelings to interfere with the exercise of his own 
judgment. 

Mr. Gay was married, September 25, 1856, in Orange, New Jersey, to 
Gertrude Rivington Palmer, a native of Whitehall, Washington county. 
New York, and a daughter of Hanloke Woodruff and Mary (Rivington) 
Palmer, natives of Albany, New York. They had lived for many years in 
Whitehall, New York, where Mr. Palmer was the cashier of the local bank. 
The family finally moved to New York City, where Mr. Palmer entered the 
stock market and became a member of the exchange. He was a man of 
strong religious feelings and beliefs and a prominent member of the Presby- 
terian church. His death occurred in Poughkeepsie, New York. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Gay were born four children, as follows : i. Mary Rivington, born 
August 21, 1857, at Farmington; married, April 28, 1880, to John Stanley 
Cowles, to whom she bore two children, Gertrude and Marguerite; she died 
February 2, 1892. 2. Margaret Palmer, born December 12, 1858, at Farm- 
ington; now a resident of that place. 3. Anna Rivington, born June 30, 
1861, at Hartford, Connecticut, died at the age of eight years. 4. Gertrude 
Holmes, born October 13, 1874, at Farmington; married. May 18, 1899, 
William Kimball, of Bristol, Connecticut, and became the mother of one 
charming little daughter, Mary. Mrs. Gay survives her husband and now 
resides with her daughter, Miss Margaret P. Gay, in the old home at Farm- 
ington, which is not only filled with associations of the early history and 
traditions of the region, but reflects the culture and charm of its inmates in 
this generation. 

Richard Holmes Gay occupied a very prominent place in the life of 
Farmington and in the regard of his fellow townsmen., who felt strongly 
the influence of his strong, manly character, and honored him accordingly. 
His nature was firmly built upon those fundamental virtues which have in 
an unusual degree distinguished the New England people in times past and 
present. He possessed sincerity, integrity and probity, which went hand in 
hand with industry and thrift, and these were enlightened and improved by 






ElicfjarD l^olmes (©ap 319 

the touch of culture and the cosmopolitan outlook which culture brings. He 
shared in the enlig-htenment which has brought the world through 
science in this age. but not in the skepticism which seems to have been its 
usual accompaniment. His religious life was a very real experience for him, 
and he threw himself heart and soul into the cause of the church of which he 
was a member, never grudging time, money or effort spent in its behalf. The 
prominent position which he occupied in the congregation of the Fourth 
Church of Hartford was repeated in the Farmington congregation, where 
he held the office of deacon for twenty-five years and was senior deacon 
at the time of his death. He possessed the domestic virtues in large measure, 
and found great happiness in the wholesome intercourse of the family, and 
proved himself a devoted husband and loving father. His friends also found 
him true to his professions, and even the most casual associate felt warmed 
to him because of his friendly bearing and outspoken, candid manner. It 
will be appropriate to let one of them speak for him, one who knew him as 
well as any outside of the members of his own household, and who is 
peculiarly fitted to know whereof he speaks. The Rev. Mr. J. G. Johnson, 
pastor of the Farmington Church, said of him in an address delivered at the 
time of his death, and quoted in a Hartford paper : "It was a privilege to know 
him, to have the benefit of his kind and loving disposition ; there was never a 
blot on his fine character and if there was a man without sin, he was that 
man. All who knew him mourn his death." 




^SaiUiam (S^rap 




•HE INVENTIVE GENIUS of New Englanders has played 
no small part in the wonderful material advancement made 
by human society during- the last half century. There is 
scarcely a department of life in which inventors of this part 
of the world have not labored with the most striking results, 
and in vast numbers they have led the world. It entirely 
eludes the imagination what the state of affairs would be 
today had they not labored and wrought, for invention leads to invention 
so that without many of the wonderful devices whole systems of collateral 
and dependent inventions would have failed of their very being and we 
should at the present time possess a far less complete mastery over the forces 
of nature than, as a matter of fact, we do enjoy today. It is very fitting, 
therefore, that we should not miss any opportunity of honoring the names of 
these clever men who have toiled for our benefit, or of acknowledging our 
debt of gratitude by commemorating their names to the best of our ability. 
It is of one of these versatile geniuses that it is the business of this brief 
sketch all inadequately to treat, William Gray with a number of valuable 
inventions to his credit, whose death in the city of Hartford on January 25, 
1903, deprived that city of one of its leading citizens. 

William Gray was born December 17, 1850, at TarifTville, Connecticut, 
a son of Neil and Mary (Simpson) Gray, well known residents of that place. 
He passed but a few years in the town of his birth, the business of his father, 
which was that of bridge builder, necessitating a change of residence, and 
the whole family removed to Boston while he was still a mere lad. He 
attended the schools of the city, and upon completing his studies secured 
a position in a large drug establishment. It was his father's intention that 
he should learn this business, but as time went on he discovered that his 
heart was not in it at all, that he could awaken no interest in the matter, and 
he very wisely decided to abandon it and try his hand at something else. 
Instead of opposing, his father fully concurred in this determination, and the 
more so, as the young man exhibited marked signs of the inventive pro- 
clivity that afterwards distinguished him. His next position was more after 
his heart and was indeed the very place where his abilities had the best 
opportunity to display themselves. It was a machine shop in which he 
was located and he quickly demonstrated his value to his new employers, 
both by the skill and dexterity of his manual work and his ingenuity in over- 
coming difiiculties. He did not remain a great while in this employ, how- 
ever, for shortly afterwards he received an offer from the great Colt Manu- 
facturing Company to take a position in the arms factory and this he at once 
accepted. He worked as a polisher for some time until he became an expert 
in that line, and some time subsequently received a still better offer from the 
Pratt & Whitney Machine Company to take charge of the polishing depart- 
ment. Here he remained for a period of fifteen or sixteen years and during 
that period developed many of the inventions with which his name is asso- 




llilliam <bvuv 



muiiam (Qtup 321 

ciated. One of the earliest of these, a simple matter, was the means never- 
theless of making- him a very handsome pecuniary return. This was the 
sand-handle baseball bat, a device to prevent that instrument from slipping 
in the hands of its wielder and which he patented and sold to the great 
sporting goods establishment of Spaulding in Chicago. Another thing 
devised by him along the same line was the inflatable chest guard for 
catchers in that game, and this has since come into practically universal use 
and brought in handsome returns to Mr. Gray. The first of these articles 
was worn in a baseball game in the city of Hartford and its inventor had 
the satisfaction of witnessing the first demonstration of its good qualities. 
More in line with his own immediate occupation was what has been called 
the Gray belt shifter, for rapidly changing the direction and character in 
steam and electric power transferred by belting. This very clever arrange- 
ment he sold to his own employers, the Pratt & Whitney people. Perhaps 
the most successful of all Mr. Gray's inventions, however, was the telephone 
pay station for public booths, a device which greatly increased the receipts of 
the telephone company, especially in rural districts, and meant a very com- 
fortable fortune for Mr. Gray. It soon became possible for him to retire from 
more active business on the income derived from these and other inventions 
and devote himself entirely to the inventive work that he loved above all 
other things. Unfortunately, at the same time his health began to fail, and 
after a period of several years of progressively increasing invalidism, he 
finally yielded to the advance of his trouble, his death occurring when he was 
but fifty-two 3^ears of age. 

Mr. Gray was a man of wide interests and sympathies and strong social 
instincts and played a prominent part in the general life of the community 
of which he was a member. He was always attracted by military matters 
and when a very young man joined the militia of his State, enlisting in 
Company G, First Regiment Connecticut National Guard, known at that 
time as the Buckingham Rifles. Captain Joseph H. Barnum. He was after- 
wards transferred to Company H. Hartford Light Guard, in which body he 
rose to the rank of lieutenant. Besides these associations, he was also 
prominently connected with the Hartford Lodge, No. 19, Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks. 

Mr. Gray was twice married and his second wife, who was Louise 
Bubser, of Hartford, and to whom he was united August 21, 1879, survives 
him and is still a resident of Hartford. Four children also survive him, as 
follows: Elizabeth E., now Mrs. L. S. Caswell, of New York City; Wil- 
helmina Louise, now the wife of F. F. Spencer, of West Hartford, and the 
mother of one child, Frederick F.. born February 28, 1914; Raymond N., and 
Mabel A., at home. 

Mr. Gray possessed that quiet, self-possessed and thoughtful air that 
we instinctively associate with the scientist and inventor and which is 
usually the indication of a strong personality and character. But while 
he thus bore the marks of the thinker about him, he was also, as a matter of 
fact, an alert business man, a man of the world, a man of aflfairs, as those 
who dealt with him were quick to learn. The basis of his character, as it 

CONH-VoI III -21 



322 



William ($tap 



must be of all really worthy character, was an essential honesty of stand- 
point that directed and controlled his whole career, making of it some- 
thing- that might well be held up as an example to the youth of the com- 
munity. Practical and alert in business matters as he was, he never forgot 
the rights and interests of others in following his own, and an appeal to him 
from one in need always drew a ready and generous response. Nor were his 
relations in the midst of his family and personal friends less praiseworthy 
than these more general ones, and as a father and husband his conduct was 
as commendable as it was as a citizen and a man. 





gjplbester Clarfe Bunljam 

PON FOUNDATIONS, strong and true, laid by the founder, 
James G. Batterson, his successor, Sylvester Clark Dunham, 
carried to completion that business so magnificent in its 
proportions, so far reaching in its philanthropy, known 
to the world as The Travelers' Insurance Company of Hart- 
ford. He came to the Travelers' in 1885 when that com- 
pany's growing business made it advisable to have a lawyer 
as member of the home office force, and as general counsel carried the com- 
pany through many periods of attack from vicious legislation and litigation. 
He became a member of the board of directors, January 2"], 1897, vice- 
president, January i, 1899, his election in accordance with his selection by 
President Batterson as his logical successor. Mr. Batterson died September 
5, 1901, and on October 14, following, Mr. Dunham was elected president. 

He was a remarkably able man, had a real genius for organization, and 
the faculty of retaining and strengthening the respect and afifection of the 
army of associates and helpers of which he was officially the head. Fairness 
was an element of his character and he was immovable in maintaining the 
reign of justice and fair play in the great company which prospered so 
marvelously under his leadership. He had made his own way to eminence 
by diligence, industry, fidelity and scrupulous integrity, and when these 
qualities were found in another, they always received recognition from him. 
His broad mind permitted a benevolent view of mankind and his life is a 
lesson of enlightened citizenship worthy of study and emulation. 

He sprang from honored ancestry traced through eighteen generations 
to Rychard Dunham, of record in Devonshire, England, in 1294. John 
Dunham, of the eleventh recorded generation, was the founder of the family 
in America. He was born in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, in 1589. Scrooby 
was the birthplace of Elder William Brewster, another of the Pilgrim 
Fathers, and it was at Scrooby that the Pilgrim church was organized. The 
religious persecution that drove the Pilgrims to America also caused, it is 
claimed by the family historian, John Dunham to change his name tempor- 
arily and that he is the John Goodman who came over in the "Mayflower" 
and signed the "compact." A son John (2) born in Leyden, Holland, about 
1620, was succeeded by John (3), he by a son Ebenezer, whose son Ebenezer 
(2) was the father of Jonathan Dunham, a captain in the Revolutionary 
army. Ralph, son of Captain Jonathan Dunham, was the father of Jonathan 
Lyman Dunham, born at Mansfield, Tolland county, Connecticut, Novem- 
ber 15, 1814, died February 25, 1886, who married, June 9, 1844, Abigail 
Hunt Eldridge. She was the daughter of Elijah Eldridge and traced her 
ancestry to Elder William Brewster and to John Hopkins of the "May- 
flower" Company. Jonathan Lyman Dunham had two sons, Edwin Lyman, 
and Sylvester Clark Dunham, whose recent death brought sorrow to the 
entire city of Hartford. 

From so distinguished an ancestry came Sylvester Clark Dunham, born 



324 ^glticgtcr Clark SDtinftam 

in Mansfield, Connecticut, April 24, 1846, died at his home, No. 830 Prospect 
avenue, Hartford, after a very short illness, October 26, 191 5. His parents 
moved to Portage, Ohio, in 1857, and there he resided until 1865 w^hen he 
returned to Connecticut. Those eight years wrere spent in acquiring an 
education in farming and in teaching school. He was ambitious and v^^illing, 
endured the sacrifices necessary to compass a year at Mount Union College. 
This with his public school and academy study was his institutional train- 
ing, his education being largely through self study, literary society member- 
ship and a wide course of reading of the best authors. Dickens and Shake- 
speare especially furnishing him pleasure and benefit. He taught from 1863 
until 1865, then returned to his native State, entered the State Normal School 
at New Britain, whence he was graduated at the head of the class of 1867. 

After graduation he combined journalistic work with the study of law, 
became editor of the "New Britain Record," was clerk of the city and police 
court for three years also prosecuting legal study in the office of Charles E. 
Mitchell, of New Britain. In 1871 he was admitted to the Hartford county 
bar, located in the city of Hartford, formed an association with Henry C. 
Robinson, with whose office he was allied until 1883. In 1882 and 1883 he 
was city attorney, and after completing his term returned to New Britain 
where for one year he was secretary of the P. & F. Corbin Company. His 
interest in the Corbin industries and their successor, the American Hard- 
ware Company, did not terminate with his resignation as secretary, but 
continued all his life being at the time of his death a director of the last 
named. During these years Mr. Dunham had acquired high reputation as a 
lawyer, being particularly successful in cases requiring research and deep 
study to unravel their intricacies. He had grown with the years, and when 
in 1885 the Travelers' Insurance Company of Hartford, found it advisable 
to add a legal department to their growing business, President Batterson 
selected Mr. Dunham for the position of general counsel. He was officially 
appointed at a directors meeting held November 2, 1885, and at once re- 
moved his residence from New Britain to Hartford, that city being his home 
ever afterwards. 

As general counsel for the Travelers' he acquired intimate and con- 
fidential knowledge of the company's affairs and was adviser concerning 
contract forms, how litigation could be avoided and conducting it when 
necessary. His work took him to almost every State in the Union and to 
Mexico, his most important case being the widely discussed Colorado litiga- 
tion. The Travelers' had invested largely in irrigation projects in the San 
Juan and other valleys of Colorado in 1885, and later became involved in 
litigation through the operations of the Colorado Loan and Trust Company 
that threatened serious loss. Suit was brought against the Travelers' for 
more than $1,000,000 and was pending when Mr. Dunham became general 
counsel for the company. He gave the case practically his entire time and 
during its life of seven years, made twenty-seven trips to Colorado, a State 
at that time unscrupulous in its treatment of eastern capital. It was believed 
at the time that the Travelers' would lose heavily and its "dry ditches" in 
Colorado were spoken of in derision by rival companies. But in the end Mr. 
Dunham brought the case to successful issue, recovering complete title to 



^pltiestet Clarb Dunftam 325 

70,000 acres arable land in Colorado, the irrigating canals carrying water to 
them and a judgment for $90,000. Other companies shared in this victory 
and Mr. Dunham was appointed secretary-treasurer of the holding com- 
panies formed to hold titles to the lands, the Travelers' being the principal 
stockholder in those companies. 

Such service, combined with his intimate acquaintance with financial 
interests, insurance law, history and general policy of the Travelers', logic- 
ally rendered his connection with the directorate of the company desirable. 
He was elected director, January 27, 1897, vice-president, January 11. 1899, 
president, October 14, 1901. 

Up to this point Mr. Dunham's service to the Travelers' had been as a 
subordinate, although given the freest exercise of his own judgment, and 
supreme authority in the legal department. He was now at the head of a 
great institution, in command of an army of subordinates, officials and pri- 
vates, the interests of thousands of policy holders to be conserved, assets of 
$33,000,000 to be safeguarded, and an aggressive policy to be continued for 
the acquisition of new business. As he had met every situation in life so 
he met this, squarely, bravely, wisely and honorably. He became a great 
insurance leader, familiar with every difficult problem of the business, and 
was sought in counsel far and near. He shared the burdens that fell upon 
his associates, who served him willingly with respect, affection and effi- 
ciency. He held true to the strictest principles of integrity, possessed a clear 
perception of what was good, what was true, what was honest, with strength 
and courage to live and act accordingly. He was always courteous and kind, 
sympathetic, patient and forebearing; careful to see that fair treatment 
was accorded every one with whom he came in contact. He was a worthy 
successor to the founder and president, Mr. Batterson, and by training well 
qualified to lead and direct the Travelers' fortunes. Poise and amiability 
were strong elements of his character and to his pleasing personality, added 
the virtues that made him a prince among men ; a great financier, controlling 
at his death a company whose assets of $33,000,000 had grown during his 
fourteen years of administration to $100,000,000. 

While his business crown will ever be his management of the Travelers' 
he had other important connections in the manufacturing and financial 
world. He was an ex-president of American Board of Casualty and Surety 
Underwriters, a leading member of the association of Life Insurance Presi- 
dents, president of the Travelers' Bank and Trust Company, vice-president 
of the National Exchange Bank of Hartford, and a director of the Metro- 
politan Bank and American Surety Company, both of New York City, the 
United Gas and Electric Corporation, the American Hardware Company of 
New Britain, the Glastonbury Knitting Company of Glastonbury, the 
Phoenix Fire Insurance Company, the Hartford City Gas Light Company, 
Colts Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company, the Underwood Type- 
writer Company, and the First Reinsurance Company of Connecticut. 

Outside the realm of business Mr. Dunham was well known, his genial 
social nature leading into various clubs while his patriotic ancestry opened 
wide the doors of the societies basing their membership upon Colonial resi- 
dence or Revolutionary service. In 1903-1904 he lectured at Yale Univer- 



326 ^pltoestet Clarb Dunljam 

sity, a series of special lectures on the science of insurance, appearing also in 
book form. He served his city as water commissioner from 1893 to 1895 
inclusive, and in 1910-1911 M^as a member of the board of finance. In 
religious faith he was a Congregationalist, and in political affiliation a 
Republican. His societies were the Society of Mayflower Descendants, the 
Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth branch of the Connecticut Society, Sons of the 
Revolution, the Order of Founders and Patriots. His clubs were the Hart- 
ford Golf, Farmington Country, Twentieth Century, of which he was an 
ex-president, and the Union League, the latter of New York City. 

Mr. Dunham married, October 18, 1877, Mary Mercy, daughter of Dr. 
James H. Austin, of Bristol, who survives him with one son, Donald Austin 
Dunham, a graduate of Yale, class of "03," now assistant secretary of the 
Travelers' Insurance Company. He married Edna J. Halstead. of New York 
City, and has two children, Sylvia W. and Donald Austin, Jr. 




3acob S^pman (Greene 




OYALTY, COURAGE, GENTLENESS and an abiding sense 
of justice and duty are the qualities which, perhaps above 
all others, we should pick out as forming the keystone of 
Colonel Jacob Lyman Greene's character, a character that 
for many years exerted a wholesome and uplifting influence 
upon the community that was fortunate enough to count him 
as a member and upon the development of one of the 
greatest of American enterprises — life insurance. The careers of many men 
are easy of treatment by the chronicler for the reason that their labors 
have been directed in one particular channel, towards one prime objective 
which may at once be singled out as the essential matter of their lives about 
which all other circumstances may be grouped, by which they be measured. 
In the case of Colonel Greene, however, so great was his versatility, so 
numerous the spheres of activity in which he distinguished himself, that it 
would perhaps be difficult to accord any one of them the place of paramount 
importance and significance in his life. 

Jacob Lyman Greene was a native of Maine, where, in the picturesque 
town of Waterford, he was born August 9, 1837. He was a son of Captain 
Jacob H. and Sarah W. (Frye) Greene, both members of well known New 
England families, the mother being a descendant of Major-General Joseph 
Frye of the Revolutionary army, who distinguished himself in that momen- 
tous struggle, serving under General Washington. In the son's character 
there was a large measure of both his parents, as we find them described, 
their strong and somewhat contrasted qualities being mutually modified in 
him. The father, a man of somewhat stern nature originally, the result of 
generations of puritan ancestors, had himself been trained in that atmos- 
phere, and bequeathed his son a strong will and deep religious convictions 
which never left him. From his mother, who was a most gracious and 
lovable personality, the softer traits of character came, modifying some- 
what the uncompromising type of his beliefs, though, in so far as those of 
a religious nature were concerned, they were rather deepened than otherwise 
by his maternal inheritance. The parents were in very moderate circum- 
stances and made many sacrifices for their children's welfare, and these in 
return denied themselves much for their elders. Their life was spent on the 
elder Mr. Greene's farm, a property situated among the highlands of that 
part of the State, where, if the work was hard, the life was healthy. Certain 
it is that the growing lad thrived in his environment, mentally and phy- 
sically, and grew rapidly to a strong and wholesome manhood. The life led 
by our farmers has often been thought poor and meagre, their children to- 
day are seeking the cities as a relief from hard work and loneliness, yet it 
would be difficult to show any training to-day, however great modern im- 
provements may appear, that has given to the world so large a body of well 
trained men, mentally as well as physically, men of self control and resource, 
men capable of turning their hands and brains to anything, from following 



328 3iacolJ Lpman accenc 

the plow to commanding an army or presiding over the destinies of a nation. 
Such was the earl}^ discipline of Colonel Greene nor were its characteristic 
effects tardy in showing themselves. He early developed a strong ambition 
to succeed in life and it became his first great object to secure such an educa- 
tion as would place him with no handicap against him in the race for this 
goal. His first schooling was necessarily in the rather primitive local 
schools, but here his purpose and determination stood him in good stead so 
that he gained more than the average pupil from the inadequate courses and 
eventually prepared himself for college. It had been his intention for some 
time past to take up the law as a profession and with this end in view he 
attended the law department of the University of Michigan and was later 
admitted to the bar. It was not the will of fate, however, that he should 
devote himself to this profession, in which his versatile talents would doubt- 
less have caused him to shine, nor, indeed, to any peaceful occupation for 
some years to come. The dreadful cloud of civil strife had long been gather- 
ing and now culminated in that great war which threatened the integrity of 
the beloved Union and did in fact rock it to the foundations. The young 
man did not hesitate as to his duty, but enlisted in Company G, Seventh 
Regiment of Michigan Infantry with the rank of first lieutenant. This was 
on August 22, 1861, he having not even taken the time to return to his home 
before his departure for the front. He was honorably discharged January 
28, 1862. On July 14, 1863, he again entered the service with the commission 
of captain in the Sixth Michigan Cavalry Regiment, but he was not miistered 
in at that time. On September 4th of the same year he served as assistant 
adjutant-general. He was taken prisoner and held for a time in Libby 
Prison and several other places, but was finally paroled toward the latter 
part of the year 1864. He served in a number of campaigns, both as assist- 
ant adjutant-general and in the line and was brevetted lieutenant-colonel, 
March 13, 1865, "for distinguished gallantry at the battle of Trevilian Sta- 
tion, Virginia, and faithful and meritorious services during the war." He 
served with General Custer from September 4th. He also served as chief-of- 
staft' to Major-General George A. Custer during the latter's campaign in 
Louisiana and Texas. Mustered out and finally discharged from the service 
March 20, 1866, at the close of the war. Colonel Greene's distinguished serv- 
ices to his country were brought to an end and another phase in his life was 
about to begin. 

In the troublous times immediately succeeding the termination of hos- 
tilities Colonel Greene returned to the north and at first made his home in 
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where his elder brother, Dr. William Warren 
Greene was at that time living. This gentleman was prominently connected 
with the Berkshire Life Insurance Company besides being one of the leading 
physicians of the city. At the instance of his brother Colonel Greene entered 
the employ of this concern, where he very soon rendered himself of so much 
value that he attracted the notice of the heads of the company. He was 
soon recalled from his agency to the principal office of the company and 
there made assistant secretary. In the capacity as secretary he gave a great 
deal of time to the study of his subject and soon became a recognized 
authority thereon, many articles from his pen appearing on the various 



3laco& Lpman ©teenc 329 

departments of insurance and actuarial problems. He would doubtless have 
risen higher in the Berkshire Company had not these articles attracted the 
attention of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company of Hartford, 
and brought him an offer of the assistant secretaryship of that large con- 
cern. This Colonel Greene accepted and removed to the Connecticut city in 
June, 1870, where, indeed, he was to spend the remainder of his life. The 
following year he was elected secretary, and in 1878 became president, hold- 
ing the latter office until the time of his death. It was characteristic of 
Colonel Greene that having once taken up this new work, he gave to it the 
best that was in him so that its problems became the most interesting to 
him and its demands the most imperative next to those which he acknowl- 
edged as a Christian and a citizen. His ideals as expressed in the policy of 
the great company over whose affairs he presided, were very high and might 
well stand as models today. It was a firm conviction of his that the insur- 
ance company existed for the sole purpose of insuring its policy holders, 
with no ulterior purposes whatsoever, that its obligations were exclusively 
to these and stopped short with the paying of losses, and furthermore that 
the principle of mutuality should alone operate in its control. These purely 
disinterested notions were not by any means uncombatted and he met some 
strong opponents in the insurance world, but they have one by one disap- 
peared while the principles enunciated by Colonel Greene have been accepted 
as standard in insurance circles all the world over, however far the practice 
may sometimes depart from them. He wrote many articles on the subject 
and his yearly reports to his company are looked upon as models of their 
kind. He was naturally looked up to as one of the leading citizens of Hart- 
ford and his judgment so highly prized that it was consulted by all sorts of 
people in every manner of contingency. 

The pen of Colonel Greene was a rarely powerful one and was always 
devoted, in the language of the Rt. Rev. Bishop Brewster, "to high and gen- 
erous purposes." He was a man of profound knowledge of financial prin- 
ciples and more than once exerted himself in the defence of what he believed 
sound business policies. One of these occasions was during the agitation 
over the silver question, when he opposed with all his might the proposition 
to make that metal a standard of currency value on a par with gold. "Bi- 
metallism, or the Double Standard," "Our Currency Problems," "The Silver 
Question," and "What is 'A Sound Currency'?" are among the articles 
written by him on this subject and which, in the form of reprints, were cir- 
culated in all parts of the country and proved among the most effective 
refutations of the popular financial heresy of the time. Aside from such 
valuable service as this in the cause he believed in Colonel Greene did not 
take an active part in politics and refused all offers of public office. The 
deeply religious nature of Colonel Greene has already been hinted at. He 
was a lifelong member of the Episcopal church and was "the representative 
layman" in the conventions held in the Diocese of Connecticut. The number 
of institutions industrial, financial, educational, scientific, of which he was 
a member was very large, and so conscientious was he that he neglected none 
of them but fulfilled his obligations to all with completeness. Among these 
should especially be mentioned the venerable Trinity College of Hartford 



330 3Iacoli Lpman (Steenc 

of which he was secretary of the board of trustees, and in the service of 
which he devoted a great amount of time and efifort. 

The death of Colonel Greene, which occurred on March 29, 1905, in his 
sixty-eighth year, was the occasion of a remarkable demonstration on the 
part of the community with which he had been so long and intimately identi- 
fied. The whole city seemed to unite in an expression of mingled praise and 
grief ; the institutions of which he had been a member passed resolutions, the 
prominent citizens all gave public testimony of their regard and afifection, 
and the press of the State joined in the universal chorus, with an unanimity 
rarely shown, but which the character of its subject rendered only fitting. 
During his life Colonel Greene had always held his pen ready to honor the 
memories of worthy fellow citizens and to champion those to whom he felt 
less than due honor had been given, as his delightful booklet on General 
William B. Franklin so admirably illustrates, and it was most appropriate 
that his own memory should have been similarly honored. It will be a fitting 
close for this brief sketch, to quote from a few of the more important of these 
memorials, which illustrate as nothing else can the regard which the com- 
munity felt for its departed member. From the long memorial resolutions 
adopted by the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, Colonel 
Greene's home company, as it were, the following is typical : 

The best asset in a community is its strong men, men of honor, of integrity and 
courage, of loyalty to Church and State, men who stand for righteousness, for charity to 
their fellows and interest in their welfare, for fair play in society, in civic aflfairs, in poli- 
tics, and who abhor subterfuges and chicanery and self-seeking. 

These are the men of real moral worth, usually unconscious of the influence they 
carry with them, who give character to a city at home and abroad, and whose conspic- 
uous virtues and abilities make them mighty forces amid the general multitude. No one 
who knew him, here or elsewhere, questions that among these men of power stood 
Colonel Greene. All men accord him that distinction. 

From the vestry of Trinity Church came a tribute of which the follow- 
ing is a part : 

* * * In all our deliberations his wise counsel and sane leadership followed the 
lines of lofty principle and never for a moment swerved either to the right hand or to 
the left. His clear spiritual vision carried him straight to the heart of every problem, 
and eventually led to its proper solution. 

With these strong qualities went a sympathy of mind and a broad compassion, 
which embraced not only those nearest to him, but all others who had a claim upon his 
help. It is not for us to measure the benefactions of a man who did not permit his left 
hand to know what his right hand was doing, and yet we cannot forbear to say how 
much his benevolent spirit and generous help enriched not only this parish, but bene- 
fitted countless enterprises as well as individuals who turned to him for aid. 

The tribute of his close personal friend. Bishop Brewster, has already 
been most briefly quoted, the following being a longer excerpt : 

* * * Over and above these relations I shall always think of him as the brave 
soldier who carried the cavalryman's dash into everything he did, the man sagacious and 
able in matters of finance and of executive administration, the public-spirited citizen, the 
writer and orator, always devoting voice and pen to high and generous purposes, the 
warm-hearted and open-handed friend of his brother men, the high-minded Christian 
gentleman. * * * God has taught us much through this brave soldier-saint, this 
modern example of chivalrous knighthood, this illustration of citizenship in the kingdom 
of God and of the church's royal priesthood. 



31acob Lpman ©reene 331 

It is impressive to consider these whole-hearted tributes and many- 
others of the same character from men and institutions standing them- 
selves so high in popular esteem, but perhaps the most convincing evidence 
of all of the man's sterling virtues and unwravering honor is to be found in 
his own words, written under what must have been a bitter temptation to 
do otherwise, as quoted in the sermon of the Rev. Mr. Twichell, preached 
shortly after the other's death. The whole extract follows: 

During the prolonged suspension of the exchange of prisoners in the Civil War, 
occasioned by the refusal of the Confederate government to exchange negro soldiers of 
the Union that had fallen into its hands, a proposal was made by the authorities of that 
government to the whole body of Union prisoners of all ranks to send a delegation of 
their number, under parole to Washington to induce, if possible, the United States gov- 
ernment to consent to the resumption of exchange, but of white men only. 

At that time Colonel Greene, then a captain, and for several weary months a pris- 
oner, was confined at Macon, Georgia. Some of his fellow captives, in their misery, 
despairing of deliverance, were disposed to accept the proposal and set about taking 
measures accordingly. But there were others, young cavalry Captain Greene among 
them, who were of a diflferent view. Which view he, on behalf of those who shared it 
with him, expressed in a paper to be signed by them, addressed to President Lincoln 
and Secretary of State Stanton, in which they said (I give his own words from an 
account of the affair furnished me in writing, some years since for use in a Memorial 
Day address) that, while it was their earnest desire to serve in the field rather than lie 
and die in inaction, they recognized the necessity that the government should keep equal 
faith with all who served under its flag ; that its faith and honor were more than all else 
and were pledged to these colored men ; and they did not desire the government to break 
that faith for their benefit ; rather would they take their evil fortune with what patience 
they might and bide the event. 

Such was Jacob L. Greene in his youth, and such he was to the end of his days. He 
counted not the cost of any fidelity. Whatsover things were true, honest, just, pure, of 
good report, he loved. They entered into the ideal of the manhood to which he aspired. 




3(o|)n Igaatfetnson (S^rap 

T IS WONDERFUL how an idea, apparently most simple, 
will often change the whole course of a great industry — nay, 
create new ones not dreamed of before, and profoundly 
modify many of the circumstances of our daily life. We 
shall find, however, if we stop to think of it that such seem- 
ingly simple thoughts are by no means the most apt to occur 
to our minds, that simple is by no means synonymous with 
ease, that, as a matter of fact, the simple things of life are the most profound 
and the most baffling. The story of how a simple invention wrought the 
great changes hinted at above is contained in the record of the life and 
career of John Watkinson Gray, of Hartford, Connecticut, whose untimely 
death in that city on June i, i8q2, deprived the community of a most striking 
figure and himself of some of the fairest fruits of his well earned success. 

John Watkinson Gray was a native of Hartford, born there March 19, 
1851. of the splendid stock by whose courage and industry, enterprise ancj 
intelligence the present great prosperity of the New England States has 
been built up. The Gray family is one of a small group of families that have 
made Hartford their home since its founding in 1636 by the Rev. Thomas 
Hooker. It was one of that doughty clergyman's scarcely less doughty fol- 
lowers who founded the family in this country, Ebenezer Gray, from whom 
our subject is descended in the seventh generation. Another of his dis- 
tinguished ancestors was Colonel Ebenezer Gray, who behaved himself with 
distinction as an ofiicer in the war for freedom. Mr. Gray's father, John 
Smith Gray, was a prominent citizen of Hartford, connected as a silent 
partner with the large hardware house of Tracy & Tarbox. His wife was a 
Miss Mary Watkinson, born in Hartford, a daughter of Robert W^atkinson, 
a native of England. 

The childhood of Mr. Gray was passed in the usual pursuits of that age 
and principally in obtaining an education in the excellent public schools of 
his native city. Graduating from the high school where he had prepared 
himself for a college course, he matriculated in the year 186S at Trinity Col- 
lege and there won considerable renown as a scholar. Graduating with the 
class of 1872 he at once found employment in the hardware establishment 
of his father's partners, Tracy & Tarbox, and there gained a large experience 
with business principles and methods that was invaluable to him in after 
years. He remained but a year with this concern, however, and his next 
experience was in 1874 when he bought out the Goodyear rubber establish- 
ment and engaged in that business on his own account. He started a factory 
for the manufacture of the goods he dealt in, but at first, most wisely, did all 
on a small scale until he became acquainted with his market and had gotten 
all the detail working accurately. Rubber goods for use in all kinds of 
mechanical devices were his specialty, and the cleverness and ingenuity of 
some of these soon directed his own original mind to the problem of these 
uses. His first invention was an epoch making one. It was nothing more 



3iOf)n Miatkinson (©tap 333 

or less than the solid rubber tire for the wheels of vehicles. His first applica- 
tion of this simple but revolutionary device was to the wheels of bicycles, 
but its splendid results there at once suggested to his fertile mind its appli- 
cation elsewhere. The advantages of the rubber tire do not need to be 
urged, in fact, so obvious are they that even then, in spite of the human 
habit of looking askance at the unfamiliar, not much persuasion was 
required. Quickly the business grew to gigantic proportions and Mr. Gray 
found himself on the fair road to immense wealth. But even this was not 
all. Mr. Gray had been already manufacturing several kinds of rubber 
tubing, some of the machinery for the manufacture of which was his own 
invention. His thoughts were directed to this tubing and its uses at about 
the time his tires were beginning to win their great recognition and out of 
the combination arose first the idea of the cushion and then of the pneumatic 
tire. Against the latter his friends and associates were strongly arrayed, 
urging him to give up the idea of its manufacture, their idea being that it was 
likely to involve him in losses which would negative the results of his former 
success. But strong in his faith in so sterling a device, he disregarded these 
warnings with results which almost instantly justified his judgment. He 
had already the contract to supply the great Pope Manufacturing Company 
with all the tires used in the manufacture of their various forms of vehicles, 
and now this progressive concern adopted the pneumatic tire idea with 
avidity. Mr. Gray began to witness his products traveling to all parts of the 
earth and was already regarded as one of the wealthiest and most successful 
of Connecticut merchants when his death came at the age of only forty-one 
years. Had his life been spared there is little doubt that he would have 
been one of the best known figures in the business world as well as one of 
the richest men in the country for his patent soon became of inestimable 
value and from his one business grew up one of the great industries of the 
United States. Indeed, in one sense, it was his invention that made the 
automobile a practical possibility, a change in transportation methods rising 
therefrom which it would be difficult to overestimate. After his death Mrs. 
Gray sold the business to the Pope Manufacturing Company and it now 
forms the tire department of that concern. 

A man who, like Mr. Gray, becomes involved in some great movement 
is apt to find that the demands it makes upon his time, energies and atten- 
tion are of so imperative a nature that other claims have in a measure to be 
neglected. Its sweep and momentum are so great that it carries one along 
with it, sometimes even against one's will. In the last particular, it is true, 
this was not the case with Mr. Gray. He was quite wrapped up in his work 
and the problems that it involved, problems that his inventive genius found 
particularly appealing, but the rest of the proposition applies to him as to 
others in his position and he found but little time for other matters. There 
was always one thing, however, for which he made the opportunity and that 
was the matter of his religion. His religious instincts and beliefs were strong 
and he took an active part in church matters. He was a lifelong member of 
Trinity Episcopal Church in Hartford and did much to support its work and 
the many philanthropic movements in connection therewith. Of an ex- 
tremely attractive presence and manner, Mr. Gray was also a great favorite 



334 3Iol)n COatkinson ®rap 

in the social circles in which he moved and his ability as a musician made 
him doubly in demand, but the time that he could give to these pastimes was 
at best limited. It was the same in politics. Strongly interested in the polit- 
ical issues of the day and a staunch supporter of the Republican party, he 
was quite unable to enter the local activities of his party, far less to run for 
office as his talents so well fitted him. 

Mr. Gray was married, on April 8, 1875. to Clara M. Bolter, of Hartford, 
a daughter of James and Mary (Bartholomew) Bolter, her father being one 
of the best known financiers in the State. On both sides of the house she 
is descended from distinguished families, and in one line traces her ancestry 
back to the time of William the Conqueror in England. To Mr. and Mrs. 
Gray were born three children: Robert Watkinson, Mary Bartholomew 
and Clara. Robert Watkinson Gray is a graduate of Trinity College of the 
class of 1898. To him has descended his father's inventive ability and he 
has already distinguished himself by bringing out that useful and ingenious 
device, the "universal joint" and the Gray marine engine. Mary Bartholo- 
mew Gray is now the wife of Professor Walter Boughton Pitkin, of 
Columbia University, and resides in Dover, New Jersey. Clara Gray is now 
Mrs. William Gildersleeve, of Gildersleeve, Connecticut. 




1 

i 



3ames iSolter 




COLLECTION OF the lives of the great industrial leaders, 
merchants and financiers of Hartford, Connecticut, of the 
past generation would make one of the most important 
chapters in the history of American business and would cer- 
tainly form one of the most cogent arguments for those 
stricter business ideals of the past, displaying, as it would, 
the splendid successes, the great and permanent qualities of 
the institutions founded securely upon these principles as on a rock. The 
scrupulousness, the punctilliousness in every point of honor habitiual in those 
days have grown slightly out of fashion to-day, when the motto is that busi- 
ness is business and we smile in rather a tolerant mood for those who profess 
consideration for their competitors or even for their patrons, yet the day 
scarcely passes that some crash in the business world does not point the moral 
that the old standards were the best, and that what they may have lacked in 
speed they more than made up in safety. We might search far indeed with- 
out finding a better example of these fine old men of business who, placing 
their honor before their success, insured the latter, than James Bolter, for 
twenty-five years the honored head of the Hartford National Bank, whose 
death in Hartford on September 6, 1900, deprived that city of one of its 
most distinguished citizens, and the New England financial world of one of 
its leading figures. 

James Bolter was the fourth and youngest child of William and Nancy 
(Pomeroy) Bolter, of Northampton, Massachusetts, where his father was 
engaged in carriage making most of his life. He had originally come from 
Norfolkshire, England, in early youth and settled in Northampton, where he 
lived and died. On his mother's side of the house Mr. Bolter was descended 
from very illustrious stock, the family tracing its descent back through the 
Pomeroys of Devonshire to the time of William the Conqueror. Nor was it 
only in the mother country that the name has gained lustre, for Pomeroys 
have distinguished themselves in this country, in the Colonial and Revolu- 
tionary periods as well as in more modern times. In the possession of its 
members to-day there are old letters, handed down as heirlooms, of the 
greatest possible value and interest from those old days when the winning 
of the continent was but just begun. From General Seth Pomeroy there is 
a collection of letters describing the French and Indian War in which he 
was engaged and one of them describing to Lieutenant Daniel Pomeroy's 
widow the death of her husband in an engagement of that time. 

James Bolter was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, June 27, 1815, 
and passed the years of his childhood and youth there. He obtained his 
education in the local public schools, and shortly after completing his studies 
went west. On this occasion he spent a couple of years in St. Louis, Mis- 
souri. He returned east and in 1832 came to Hartford, Connecticut, where 
he secured a position as a clerk in the grocery store of C. H. Northam. After 
a short period in this establishment, he went once more to St. Louis, remain- 



336 3Iamc0 TBoIter 

ing about a year this time. Conditions were rather uncertain in the western 
city at that period and Mr. Bolter lost nearly every cent he had in the 
world, returning almost penniless to Hartford. Here he formed a partner- 
ship with Ellery Hills in the wholesale grocery business, an association 
which continued four years under the style of Hills & Bolter. In the year 
1843 his former employer, C. H. Northam, offered Mr. Bolter a partnership 
in his large and well established business and this he accepted, the firm be- 
coming C. H. Northam & Company. During the next seventeen years he 
remained in this connection, gaining business experience and a reputation 
as a clear-headed merchant that extended throughout the community. His 
ability was thus brought to the notice of prominent men generally and in 
January, i860, he was offered the position of cashier in the Hartford Bank 
which he at once accepted. This was the beginning of his long and notable 
career as banker and financier, the foundation upon which the larger part 
of his fame rests. He entered heart and soul into the new work and from 
that time, during a period of nearly fifty years, labored unceasingly in the 
interests of the institution. In the year 1874 he was elected president of the 
bank which flourished greatly under his able management for more than a 
quarter of a century and was known as one of the most important factors in 
the financial world of New England. The career of this great bank was a 
phenomenal one and deserves a brief review in this place. The Hartford 
Bank was founded in the year 1792 and is now the oldest institution of the 
kind in the city. The men who organized it were among the leading and 
most capable financiers of the period and included John Caldwell among 
their number who became its first president. From that time during the 
one hundred and eight years of its existence until the death of Mr. Bolter 
in 1900, it had but seven presidents, all of whom were men of parts whose 
policies and methods spelled success for the bank. In the year 1865 it was 
nationalized and became the Hartford National Bank, and one of the first 
steps undertaken by Mr. Bolter upon taking the office of president was the 
entire remodelling of the banking rooms and their reconstruction upon a 
much larger scale and the most modern principles. This had the effect of 
turning them into one of the handsomest and most perfectly equipped offices 
in the State as was appropriate to the foremost position it held there. Al- 
though the fifth bank established in the United States and consequently one 
of the oldest in existence to-day, it has always remained a most progressive 
institution and to this day continues to lead the way in the adoption of the 
best modern banking methods, and it stands to-day as a type of the most 
substantial and secure financial house, one that represents the true ideal of a 
bank as a safeguard for the savings of all men, not primarily as a means of 
enriching a few. The splendid traditions of so long a period Mr. Bolter 
fully sympathized with, and it was one of his greatest prides that he lived up 
to them in every sense and that under his direction the bank still further 
increased its prestige and its usefulness in the community. His own asso- 
ciation with it had antedated his appointment as cashier, as in 1852 he had 
been made a director, so that for forty-eight years he had had a voice in the 
direction of its affairs. 

It was not merely as president of the Hartford National Bank that Mr. 



3fames ISolter 337 

Bolter was prominent in the financial world for he was connected with many 
of the most important concerns in the region as a director. Among these 
should he mentioned the Dime Savings Bank, the Hartford County Mutual 
Fire Insurance Company and the P. & F. Corbin Company of New Britain, 
Connecticut. Insurance was another of the interests of the Connecticut city 
with the development of which Mr. Bolter was connected. The bank was 
one of the first institutions to begin the practice of insuring fire and marine 
risks a number of years before regular insurance companies were formed and 
this branch of its transactions were very profitably continued under Mr. 
Bolter's management. It was here and in similar institutions that the germ 
of that great development started that has since made Hartford one of the 
greatest insurance centers of the world and added so greatly to its wealth 
and renown. Mr. Bolter's interest in the great industry did not cease at the 
doors of his own concern, however, as his connection with the Hartford 
County Mutual Fire Insurance Company shows, but was of a broad and 
altruistic nature, as indeed were all his interests in business. In this con- 
nection it is interesting to note that he was the very first policy holder in the 
then just organized Travelers Accident Insurance Company of Hartford, 
now one of the largest companies in the world with a capital of one hundred 
million dollars. His early policy insured Mr. Bolter against accident be- 
tween the post office and his home on Buckingham street. 

Although Mr. Bolter's time and energies were naturally engaged by his 
business interests in a very large degree they were by no means so monopo- 
lized by them as to cause him to withdraw from the other normal relations 
of life as so many of our more modern financiers seem disposed to do. On 
the contrary there was scarcely a movement of importance in any depart- 
ment of the city's life in which he was not interested, and which, if he 
favored its aims and methods, he did not effectively support with money or 
labor. He was a man of large mental vision who could discern, better than 
most men, the working of great principles in the society of which he was a 
member. This very naturally led him to the study and observation of 
politics, in which he became keenly interested, giving his support to the 
principles for which the Democratic party stands. He even entered local 
politics and took a more or less active part in his party's aims and organiza- 
tion in the city. The demands of his other duties made it out of the question 
for him to hold public office himself to any extent, so that despite the fact 
that he was strongly urged to accept nominations, he pretty consistently 
refused, though on two or three occasions he served as councilman and 
alderman in the city government. Socially he was a very active man and 
took a prominent part in the life of several important clubs and organiza- 
tions. He was a member of the Hartford Club, the Zodiac Driving Club and 
the Colonial Club, and in his early manhood had joined St. John's Lodge, 
Free and Accepted Masons, of Hartford. In his youth, also, he was con- 
nected with the militia of that period and served on the staff' of Governor 
Joseph Trumbull of Connecticut. In the matter of religion Mr. Bolter was 
afffliated with the Episcopal church and it was in keeping with his character 
that he felt deeply and seriously on the subject. He gave much time indeed 

CONN-Vol m_22 



338 31ames Igoltet 

to the advancement of the cause of the church and of religion generally, was 
a member of the Church Club of the State, a trustee of donations and be- 
quests of the Episcopal Church of the State and a lay delegate to the 
diocesan conventions. 

On February ii, 1846, Mr. Bolter was united in marriage with Mary 
Bartholomew, of Hartford, where she was born July 7, 1820, a daughter of 
Roswell and Sally Johnson (Stone) Bartholomew, very prominent residents 
of the city. The Bartholomew family is descended from William Bartholo- 
mew, of Ipswich, Massachusetts, where he settled after coming from Eng- 
land in 1634. To Mr. and Mrs. Bolter were born three children, as follows: 
James, Jr., married, in 1881, Ellen A. Brown, by whom he had a daughter, 
Mary E. ; Alice E. ; Clara M., who became Mrs. John W. Gray, of Hartford. 

Such a character as that of Mr. Bolter is a possession of value to any 
community, not only on account of the material things accomplished by him, 
these were important enough, but still more in virtue of the thing he was, 
the note of virtue and worth struck by his personality, the standard uncon- 
sciously set up by which all men thenceforth must measure themselves and 
their fellows. It is very curious how such forces operate, how invisible to the 
eye they are and yet how potent for good. For example, Mr. Bolter's 
charities, though very large, were performed so quietly that but very few 
people had the remotest notion of their proportions. He delighted to aid 
such young men as seemed to be burdened with unusually great obstacles at 
the outset of their careers, yet of whose honest intentions he was assured. 
Many are the successful men who owe their fortune in a great measure to 
these kindly ofhces on his part, but it is quite evident that assistance of this 
kind would be of so delicate a nature in the majority of cases that neither 
giver nor recipient would refer to it and the world-at-large guess nothing. 
And yet his great-hearted philanthropy was instinctively felt by all men with 
the same certainty as if each individual act had been published abroad and, 
indeed, more so, since the very modesty of their suppression was an element 
of added strength. Thus it was that while living his example was so strong, 
and that now his memory is entitled to an enduring place in the records of 
his community. 



(S^eorge 3* Cope 




HE MEN WHO give the tone and character to any com- 
munity and determine what it is are not the few geniuses 
that arise therein and who would be exceptions anywhere, 
but the rank and file of its people, those who do its work, per- 
form its manifold functions and take vital part in its every- 
day, work-a-day life; those, in short, who form its essential 
structure. And this being true it is obvious that the men 
whose careers best give expression to this communal character are again not 
the exceptions, but those who show in themselves the average qualities of 
their fellows but sharpened and defined and made typical by unusually vivid 
personalities or strong character. Such a one might well be accounted 
George J. Cope, who displayed throughout his life in a high degree those 
strong, staunch qualities we think of as typically New England and which 
have made that region proverbial for a strange union of idealism and prac- 
ticality wellnigh invincible. 

George J. Cope was a son of John and Mary (Schellenberger) Cope, of 
West Hartford, Connecticut, and was himself born there July i6. 1868. But 
shortly after his birth his parents removed to Farmington, a short distance 
outside of Hartford, and settled in what is known as "Scotts-Swamp Dis- 
trict" and there made their home for several years. During that period Mr. 
Cope grew into boyhood and attended the local schools for his education. 
The circumstances of his parents did not admit of his carrying on this task 
as long as he desired and he was little more than a lad when he was forced 
to seek some means of earning his livelihood. With this end in view he 
returned to Hartford and apprenticed himself to his brother-in-law, W. W. 
Keller, who conducted a plumbing establishment in the city, and there 
learned that trade. To this end he applied himself with good effect and 
remained for five years with Mr. Keller making himself a master of his craft 
in all its detail and fitting himself to manage an establishment of his own. 
In the year 1890 he concluded himself prepared for this responsibility and 
accordingly withdrew from his previous employ and engaged in business on 
his own account in partnership with a brother under the style of Cope 
Brothers, Incorporated. During his apprenticeship Mr. Cope had won the 
reputation as an unusually hard worker, and this he certainly did not lose 
subsequently. To begin a new business is never an easy matter, and these 
two young men, without any particular influence or prominent acquaintance, 
found it difficult enough for the first few years. They did not waste time in 
repining, however, but set themselves at once to the matter in hand and 
worked with such a will that the effects of their labor soon made itself 
manifest. Their shop was opened in the first place at No. 94 State street, 
and it was here that their first success was experienced. As time