The History of Middlesex County 1635-1885
J. H. Beers & Co., 36 Vesey Street, New York
[transcribed by Janece Streig]
GENERAL HISTORY OF MIDDLESEX COUNTY.
CLINTON - PROMINENT MEN.
To this man should be given the credit of first organizing a settlement at Killingworth. Born in Kenilworth, England, 1607, he came to Massachusetts in 1639, removed to Connecticut the same year, and settled in Windsor, on the banks of the Farmington River. He was representative to the General Court in 1658, and justice of the peace before 1663. In 1663, the settlement of the plantation at Hammonassett began, and was named Kenilworth, after the place of his birth. It may be remarked that the various changes in the name of the settlement all took place after the death of Edward GRISWOLD, in 1691, and are all the mistakes of clerks and recorders.
Dr. FIELD, in his "Statistical Account," says that Edward GRISWOLD was from Saybrook, but there is no evidence that he was ever a landholder there. His brother, Matthew, settled at Saybrook as the agent of colonel FENWICK. No stone marks the grave of Edward GRISWOLD in Clinton. A very rough slab of granite, marked M. G., is supposed to be in memory of his wife, dated 1670. This is the oldest record in the Clinton burying ground. John GRISWOLD, son of Edward, was a deacon of the church, and a member of the General Court 28 sessions.
Josias HULL, one of the first settlers, emigrated from England to Windsor, Connecticut, about 1640. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph LOOMIS, of Windsor, May 20th 1641. He was deputy to the General court from Windsor in 1659, 1660, and 1662. He removed to Killingworth in 1663, and died November 16th 1675. He was the ancestor of all of the name now residing in Clinton and Killingworth.
Henry CRANE was a school teacher, and the second representative to the General Court from Killingworth. He removed to Durham in 1708.
Joseph WILCOX was born in Killingworth, and was a warrant officer in the Revolutionary war. He married Phebe, daughter of Theophilus MORGAN 2d, January 30th 1785, and became his father-in-law's successor. He was marshal of the State, and brigadier-general of infantry. He became involved in pecuniary difficulties, gave up his property, and removed to Marietta, Ohio, about 1810, and died soon afterward. General WILCOX did much to improve his native place. He built wharves, houses, vessels, planted shade trees, etc. He was admitted to be one of the most capable business men in the town.
CAPTAIN DANIEL GRISWOLD.
Captain Daniel GRISWOLD was a great-grandson of Edward, and was born in 1722. He was a captain of infantry in colonial times, and went with his company to Havana, about 1759. He owned the mills where the Clinton Paper Manufacturing Company are now located. In 1792, he removed with his family to Little Falls, Herkimer county, N. Y. The present residence of Henry WOODSTOCK was occupied by Captain GRISWOLD before his remove and was probably built by him.
JUDGE WILLIAM MORGAN.
Judge William MORGAN, son of the first Theophilus, (see page 233), was born June 1st 1746, and married Miriam MURDOCK, November 23d 1769. He was justice of the peace for many years and also judge of Middlesex County Court. He was a member of the General Assembly, 1804-6. He died January 17th 1824.
Josiah BALDWIN, one of the heroes of the revolutionary war, was born in Killingworth. He enlisted in the French war, in 1759. In 1775, he was first lieutenant of Capt. Samuel GALE's company, and went in command of the company to Ticonderoga to take the British posts there. He was afterward promoted captain, and was authorized to raise, and did raise, a company for the defense of the State. He was twice married, first to Elizabeth REDFIELD, and second to Martha STANNARD. Captain BALDWIN died in 1819.
Elisha ELDERKIN was born in Killingworth and learned the silversmith's trade previous to the Revolutionary war. In 1777, he was living in New Haven. He married Mary, sister of Capt. Caleb BRINTNALL, who was at one time mayor of New Haven. ELDERKIN was a captain of the coast guards, was assigned "captain of whale boats," and did good service. At the close of the war he settled in Killingworth and carried on his trade there. He died November 28th 1822, aged 67 years. His only son, Buckminister Brintnall, was captain of 1st Company, 7th Regiment of Connecticut infantry. He was a brave and faithful man, whose character was above reproach. Nancy, daughter of Elisha ELDERKIN, married Major General Horatio Gates WRIGHT, of Washington, D. C., chief of engineers of United States army, commander of the 6th Corps in the war of the Rebellion. The heirs of Elisha ELDERKIN received a pension for his services in the Revolutionary war.
DR AARON ELLIOT.
Dr. Aaron ELLIOT, son of Rev. Jared ELIOT, was born March 15th 1718, and died December 30th 1785. He married Mary, daughter of Rev. William WORTHINGTON, of Westbrook. She died June 30th 1785. He assisted his father in the manufacture of steel from black sand, and carried on the business after his father's death. He was a physician, deacon of the church, and a colonel of infantry. He was representative to the General Court nine sessions, and also town clerk. At his death the manufacture of steel was abandoned, and has never been revived.
Abel BUELL, born in Killingworth (Clinton), February 1st 1742, was son of John, son of Benjamin, son of first Samuel. His mother was Abigail CHATFIELD. He was an ingenious mechanic and learned the trade of silversmith of Ebenezer CHITTENDEN, of Killingworth. He was married at the age of 19, and at 20 was detected in altering a five shilling note to five pounds. So ingeniously was it done that it could be discovered only by comparing the stubs from which all the colony bills were issued.
Matthew GRISWOLD, the king's attorney, conducted the prosecution (GRISWOLD was a third cousin). As it was his first offense, and because of his previous good character, he was dealt with leniently. His punishment consisted of imprisonment, cropping, and branding. The tip of his ear only was cut off, held on the tongue, and replaced, where it grew on. He was branded on the forehead, so high up that the hair afterward covered the scar. But the hot iron was held on long enough to say, "God save the King." After this he constructed a lapidary machine, believed to have been the first used in this country. With this machine he constructed a very beautiful ring, which was presented to Mr. GRISWOLD, the king's attorney, and his pardon was obtained. About 1790, Abel BUELL removed to New Haven. About this time Bernard ROMANS was constructing a map of North America. A survey of the coast of Florida was wanted. BUELL undertook this task. While at Pensacola, a man, knowing him to be 'ingenious, asked him to break the Governor's seal and replace it without injury. BUELL showed him how, but was arrested for it, and escaped in a boat of his own construction. He was three days at sea, but finally returned home safely. The map was published during the Revolutionary war, and it is believed to have been the first map engraved and published in this country. During the Revolutionary war it was exceedingly difficult to procure types for printing, except French types. Mr. BUELL constructed a type foundry, and employed 15 or 20 boys in manufacturing types. This is believed to have been the first type foundry in America. The Legislature of Connecticut, impressed with the fact of his eminent services, restored to him his forfeited rights. Mr. BUELL and some others were employed by the State in coining coppers. Mr. BUELL constructed all the apparatus for this purpose; and to such perfection did he bring his machinery that he was able to coin 120 a minute. Soon after, he went to England, ostensibly to procure copper for coining, but really to gain some knowledge of machinery for manufacturing cloths. A letter from Mr. BUELL to his sister in New Haven, written from England, is now preserved in the hands of George B. BUTLER, Esq., New York city.
While BUELL was in England he passed through a town where people were constructing a bridge. Through some error or defect in construction the builders could not make this bridge answer any useful purpose. Such was the ingenuity of Mr. BUELL that he was able in a short time to instruct them how to do it in a proper manner. His services were considered so valuable that he was presented with a purse of a hundred guineas. Mr. BUELL returned to this county and brought a Scotchman by the name of MCINTOSH with him. They erected a cotton factory (water power) in Westville, a suburb of New Haven, Conn., one of the first, if not the first of its kind, erected in this country. He made a profession of religion at Stockbridge, Mass., after he was 70 years of age. About the year 1825, BUELL returned to New Haven, poor and needy, and died in the alms house soon after his return, aged about 83.
A specimen of his work as a silversmith is now in possession of Mrs. Joseph J. KELSEY, in Clinton, in the shape of a silver milk pitcher, marked with the maker's initials, A. B. One of BUELL's sister, Abigail, married Samuel GREEN, October 25th 1774, noted as a printer in New Haven, Conn. One sister, Hannah, married Phineas BRADLEY, of New Haven, February 1st 1769. George B. BUTLER, of New York, is a grandson. One brother, John H., was captain and major in United States army 1791-93.
Ebenezer LESTER came to Killingworth at an early age, with his father, who was a tanner, and settled at Waterside, in Clinton. He married a Miss COLFAX, of New London. He was captain of a company in the war of the Revolution. His father-in-law was colonel of the Washington Life Guards. After the war closed he became a merchant in Killingworth. He built and owned several vessels. His store was the building now owned by Mrs. Jeremiah LYNCH, on the north side of Main street, next west of the bridge over Indian River. He began preaching to the Universalists of this place about 1815. About 1831, he received a pension for his services in the Revolution. He died March 17th 1838, aged 83. He left one son, Ebenezer, who settled in Boston.
Captain Noah LESTER, brother of Ebenezer, studied law. He was a captain of artillery in the United States service in 1809, and raised a company in Killingworth. He was then transferred to Fort Trumbull, New London, and afterward to Fort Independence, Boston Harbor, where he was in command at the declaration of the war of 1812. He then resigned, and returned to Killingworth and took up the practice of law. He died about 1820, unmarried.
Amaziah BRAY, son of Rev. Mr. BRAY, of North Guilford, Connecticut, studied law, settled in Killingworth, and married Susan, daughter of Gen. Joseph WILCOX, in 1814. He was commissioned captain of artillery in 1814 and authorized to raise a company in Killingworth for the defense of the State. He was placed in charge of the defense of Clinton Harbor and Saybrook Fort, in May 1814, and served four months. He was afterward promoted colonel of the 2d Regiment of Artillery. A few year later his health failed and he removed to Marietta, Ohio. He returned to Killingworth, and died October 26th 1823, aged 42, and was buried at the expense of the town.
John STANTON, only son of Adam STANTON, married Elisabeth, daughter of Jared ELLIOT Esq., and inherited his father's business. His life was largely devoted to religious subjects. He was justice of the peace for several years, and was an ardent whig. He died September 2d 1864, aged 82, leaving two sons and a daughter. His son, John, occupies the premises in Clinton, on which the first Yale College building stood. The other son, Lewis Elliot, is a practicing lawyer in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a member of the Legislature from that city in 1880, and was chairman of the judiciary committee. The daughter, Elisabeth, died May 5th 1868.
ELY AUGUSTUS ELLIOT.
Ely Augustus ELLIOT, only child of George ELLIOT and Patience LANE, was born September 18th 1791, and was educated at Clinton Academy. He was made a lieutenant of artillery in 1814, and after the war was commissioned brigadier general of artillery. He married Susan M. PRATT, of Saybrook, July 1st 1818. He served in the Coast Guards, as a lieutenant at Saybrook, in command of a section of Amaziah BRAY's company, in 1814. He was a merchant in Clinton from 1815 to 1850. He was president of the board of directors of the New Haven & New London Railroad Company from 1854 to 1857. He delivered the annual address before the Agricultural Society of Middlesex county, at Middletown, in 1849. He was judge of Probate from 1842 to 1844, and in 1846 and 1847. He was State Senator in 1839. He died January 6th 1871. His wife died January 9th the same year, aged 76. They had three children: George E., Henry A., and Charles A. George E. married Cornelia C., daughter of David REDFIELD, and has four children: Mary Cornelia, teacher in Morgan School; Grace R., married Henry Gustave ROGERS, of Naples, Italy, June 27th 1883; Ely Augustus, married Nellie M. HUNT, of Providence, R.I.; and George Edwin, now in Yale college. Henry A. ELLIOT married Phebe Elizabeth, daughter of Captain Levi HULL and Betsey DIBBELL. They have one child, William Henry, who is employed in the office of the Consolidated Railroad Company, New York. He married Ellen CHITTENDEN, of Scranton, Pa. Charles A. ELLIOT married Adelaide Augusta WILCOX, August 14th 1853. By her he has one daughter, Frances, unmarried. He married, second, Mary, daughter of John D. LEFFINGWELL. Their children are John, Susan, Genevieve, and May.
Leet HURD, son of Capt. Caleb Leet HURD and Mary GRISWOLD, was born in Clinton in November 1781. He married Wealthy REDFIELD, February 21st 1810. He learned the trade of ship carpenter, and was master builder of many vessels. He was commissioned lieutenant of the Coast Guards in November 1814, was stationed at Clinton Harbor, and was paid for 34 days' service. He was a member of the Assembly in 1840, and was judge of Probate from 1847 to 1850. He was a great reader, and was well informed on all subjects pertaining to State and national politics. He died October 6th 1879, leaving one son and three daughters.
John L. HULL, son of Hiel HULL, was born September 26th 1808. At the time of his majority he was engaged n the cabinet business. A few years later, in connection with his brother, Alfred, he added the lumber business, which was continued until his death.
He was a member of the Legislature in 1854, 1860, and 1862. He died suddenly, May 3d 1862. He was universally respected, devoted to the welfare of the church, prompt to aid the suffering, and charitable to the poor.
Benjamin WRIGHT was a settler in Killingworth as early as 1660. He is said to have been a squatter on the lands on the west side of Menuketesuc River, near its mouth. His farm included the land given to Rev. James FITCH, then of Saybrook, by the General Court. WRIGHT afterward bough his land of Mr. FITCH, and by the bounds first established was included in Killingworth, and recorded as one of the first settlers. About 1704, the line was changed, placing his residence in Saybrook, and a portion of his farm in Killingworth. When the settlers of Killingworth, in 1663, came to lay out their plantation they found WRIGHT already within their bounds. He had led a solitary life on his beautiful promontory some years, four miles away from the nearest white inhabitant. With an abundance of oysters, clams, and fish in front, and game in the thick forest north and west of his residence, he was literally as well as poetically "Lord of the fowl and the brute." His son, James, in 1700, refused to bring in his list to the town of Saybrook for the year 1699. The General Court ordered £30 to be added to his list of the previous year, and that he be listed at £200. The descendants who occupied the premises refused to be in sympathy with Saybrook. Benjamin WRIGHT was a Catholic from England, and was said to have held a military office under King Charles, but when Cromwell deposed the king, WRIGHT left England and settled in Guilford, Conn. He was there in 1745. His residence was on the corner of State and North streets in Guilford. He owned the land where Guilford Institute now stands. It has been reported and believed that he was arraigned before the Guilford authorities for being a "pestilent fellow." His children were: Benjamin, Jane, Elisabeth, James, Anna, John, Joseph, and Jonathan, who married Asena HAND and went to Wethersfield. Among his descendants are; Hon. William WRIGHT, of New Jersey, at one time United States Senator; Major-General H. G. WRIGHT, of Washington, D. C., and Hon. John B. WRIGHT, State Senator in Connecticut in 1861 and 1862, now deputy collector of internal revenue, residing in Clinton.
DR BENJAMIN GALE.
Dr. Benjamin GALE, practicing physician in Killingworth, next after Rev. Jared ELIOT (see page 19), was born in Goshen, New York, and married Hannah, daughter of Rev. Jared ELIOT, June 6th 1739. He had eight children, two of whom were sons, and died in infancy. Dr. GALE died May 6th 1790.
Dr. Samuel GALE was a nephew of Dr. Benjamin GALE. He was born in GOSHEN, New York, removed to Killingworth, studied medicine with his uncle Benjamin, and married his daughter, Elizabeth, September 4th 1766. He practiced medicine in Killingworth till 1786, when he removed to Troy, New York, where he died January 9th 1799. He was commissioned captain of infantry in 1775. His company marched to Ticonderoga, under command of his lieutenant, Josiah BALDWIN. Capt. GALE also commanded a company that marched to Boston in the "Lexington Alarm."
Samuel GALE, son of the above Samuel, was a physician in Troy, New York. He married Mary Thompson, September 15th 1811. Their son, E. Thompson GALE, is president of the United States National Bank of Troy. He was married, January 17th 1844, to Caroline DEFOREST.
HON. WILLIAM H. BUELL.
It is not for lack of material that the old town of Killingworth has produced fewer distinguished men than some of her sister towns, for this was the original seat of learning in the State, and her youth have always enjoyed fair educational advantages; but for over 200 years her citizens have tilled the soil or sailed the sea, and have been content to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors, many of whom were connected with families who have been prominent in the history of our country.
The maternal ancestor of W. H. BUELL was Edward GRISWOLD, whose record is too well known to require a repetition in this sketch. His paternal ancestors, the BUELLs, were among the original settlers on the plantation of Hammonassett, afterward called Kenilworth.
Hiel, of the fifth generation, the father of W. H. BUELL, followed the occupation of a farmer and fisherman. He married Lucy, daughter of Josiah GRISWOLD, by whom he had six children: Roxana, Hiel, Mary Ann, Heman, Robert, and William H. The latter, who was the youngest of the family, was born November 30th 1806. He had all the advantages of the town for schooling during the winter, and assisted his father in farming and fishing during the summer. From the age of twenty he taught school for eight terms, and during this time apprenticed himself to a shipbuilder; this occupation he followed until 1850, a period of 22 years.
In 1850, he was appointed by the government to take the census of the southern portion of the State, which includes the towns of Clinton, Killingworth, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Essex, Saybrook, Chester, East Haddam, Guilford, and Madison. This was an immense territory for one man, but he did it thoroughly and satisfactorily. Soon after this, prominent lawyers in the State, having unsuccessfully prosecuted bounty land claims, under the act of 1850, the business was undertaken by Mr. BUELL, and through his efforts a number of widows were provided for, that had hitherto been omitted, as well as numerous pensioners.
In 1858-59-60 he was elected State comtroller with Hon. William A. BUCKINGHAM as governor, and in 1861, when the first call for troops was made by President LINCOLN, he rendered material aid in the equipment of the 1st and 2d Regiments, Connecticut Volunteers, which went from New Haven. On the arrival of the 1st Connecticut Regiment at the Washington Navy Yard, General SCOTT remarked that he "thanked God for the arrival of one regiment fully equipped."
Mr. BUELL has held other positions of trust in his native town and county, and has always been prominent in educational matters, and was for some time treasurer of the school fund. He was justice of the peace for two years, and a director in the Clinton National Bank for 14 years. As a financier he has always displayed great executive ability, and he was fitted by nature for a higher position in life than the humble occupation he followed in his native town. His ability as a writer is well known, and it was the unanimous wish of the people of his native town that he should write that portion of the history of Middlesex county; and the writer of this sketch gladly adds his humble tribute of praise to that so freely bestowed by his friends and neighbors.
On the 10th of November 1830, he married Delia A., daughter of Jared BUELL, by whom he had four children: Roxana, Mary Ann, William Henry, and Charles Francis Adams.
Mary Ann, the second child, was married to Dr. E. C. HINE, a practicing physician of Philadelphia, now professor of natural history at Girard College.
William Henry, the third child, married Jessie, the daughter of Hon. Abijah CATLIN, of Harwinton, Conn., formerly State controller, also treasurer of the Connecticut Trust Company of Hartford.
Charles Francis Adams married Kate M. HEANEY, of St. Paul, Minn.
The wife of Mr. BUELL died September 26th 1857, and he has since remained single. He is now nearly 80 years of age, and while he is subject to physical infirmities that render him less active than in former years, his mental faculties remain unimpaired.
THE GALE FAMILY.
The professional exercise of his skill as a physician for more than forty years in Killingworth made Dr. Benjamin GALE not only eminent but renowned. He was lineally a descendant of Edmond GALE who came from England to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and died in Boston, in 1642. His son, Abel, moved in 1704 to Jamaica, on Long Island. In 1721 he changed his residence to Goshen, New York, where some of his posterity still live. His son, Benjamin, having graduated from Yale College, began his professional life as a physician in Killingworth. He married Hannah, the only living daughter of the Rev. Jared ELIOT, also a physician, a grandson of John ELIOT, the celebrated apostle to the Indians of New England.
In the early years of his practice, Dr. GALE, to abate the virulence of small pox among the people, persuaded them to be inoculated with the matter produced by it. Although this mode of treatment was severely censured by many, he, nevertheless was highly successful in lessening the fatal ravages of the much dreaded disease. He afterward wrote an important paper on the practice of inoculation for small pox in the British American provinces, particularly in New England, which was published in the philosophical transactions of 1765. Among the facts presented by him was that the number of deaths from small pox before inoculation was practiced in New England averaged one to seven persons, and that inoculation reduced the rate of mortality to one in thirty. His personal observations on some other diseases appeared in later publications. His biblical knowledge permitted him to become the author of a comprehensive work on the Old Testament prophecies. The wide field of his studies also embraced the science of agriculture, and his paper on "An improvement in the drill-plough" was considered so meritorious by the London Society for the Promotion of the Arts and Sciences, that its members, in 1770, awarded him a gold medal, now in the possession of E. Thompson GALE of Troy. His tomb in the graveyard in Killingworth is marked by a marble tablet on which is inscribed: "In memory of Doctor Benjamin GALE, who after a life of usefulness in his profession and a laborious study of the prophecies fell asleep. May 6, 1790, aged, 75." By the side of his grave is that of his wife, "who having obtained a good report through faith fell asleep. June 27, 1781, aged 68."
Their children were: Elizabeth, born December 3d 1740, married Dr. Samuel GALE; Catharine, born June 21st 1742, married Mr. ATWATER; Mary, born February 3d 1744, married Mr. REDFIELD; Juliana, born November 4th 1746, married Mr. HUBBARD; Hannah, born April 12th 1748, died November 26th 1797. Their two sons, Samuel and Benjamin, and a daughter died in infancy.
Samuel GALE, the son of John GALE, a brother of Dr. Benjamin GALE, was born in Goshen, March 3d 1743. When a youth he entered the office of his uncle Benjamin in Killingworth, to pursue a course of reading to fit him for the practice of medicine. He began his profession as a physician with his uncle, whose eldest daughter, Elizabeth, he married.
The oppressive measurers of the British ministry to coerce the people of the colonies to submit to arbitrary taxation caused him to take up arms in behalf of the burdened colonists. Given a captaincy by Governor Jonathan TRUMBULL, May 1st 1775, he honorably acquitted himself of his commission. At the close of the Revolution he was affected as many other New England men were with the contagious fever of emigration that was spreading in the towns and villages along the Atlantic border.
Early in August 1787, he departed in a sloop from Killingworth, with his wife, five sons (Benjamin, John, Samuel, Roger Townsend, and William) and two daughters, to reside at Lansingburgh on the Upper Hudson. But the vessel when it entered the Hudson was so impeded in its progress up the river by adverse winds and storms that it did not reach VAN DER HEYDEN's Ferry, the site of Troy, until the beginning of September. Anxious to know whether or not the house for which he had previously bargained was occupied, he hastened to Lansingburgh. There he learned that the house was rented to another settler. On his return to the sloop, Jacob D. VAN DER HEYDEN, the owner of the farm adjacent the ferry, persuaded him to settle on some part of his land as several other emigrants had done. Accepting the proferred use of a part of Jacob D. VAN DER HEYDEN's house until he could select a site and built on it a dwelling, Dr. GALE shortly thereafter began the erection of a weather boarded building on the west side of the river road, now River street, and on the second lot south of the present line of Ferry street, and on its completion resided in it with his family until 1798, when he removed to his second home in Troy, No. 199 First street, where he and his wife and all their children, except their sons, John and Samuel, died, and where their daughter Sarah, lived until her death in 1862.
Dr. GALE's skill as a physician quickly obtained for him a considerable practice among the settlers of Troy and the farmers of its neighborhood. In the organization of the First Presbyterian Church he took a leading part. He was elected one of the first trustees of the society, December 31st 1791, which office he held for a number of years. He was also one of the charter members of the first lodge of masons established in the village in 1796, Apollo Lodge, No. 49. His useful life was terminated by death, January 9th 1799, when he was fifty-six years old.
His two sons, Benjamin and John, established themselves as merchants in Troy. His third son, Samuel, born in Killingworth, in 1772, was graduated by the Medical Society of Vermont, May 9th 1792, and was licensed to practice medicine in Troy, April 12th 1798. He afterward removed to the West Indies where for a time he followed his profession. On his return to Troy, he changed his vocation to that of an apothecary. Subsequently he was appointed postmaster of Troy, the duties of which office he discharged from 1804 to 1828. When the Rensselaer Medical Society was organized in Troy, July 1st 1806, he was made its treasurer. He was a member o the first board of directors of the Rensselaer and Saratoga Insurance Company, incorporated in 1814; also one of the managers of the Troy Savings Bank, incorporate din 1823, and also one of the directors of the Farmers' Bank of Troy. In 1811, he married Mary, the daughter of Ezra THOMPSON of Dutchess county. He died July 21st 1839, leaving two surviving sons. E. Thompson and John B. GALE. The former, born in Troy, April 27th 1819, having graduated, in 1837, a civil engineer from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute he became one of the firm of BRINKERHOOF, CATLIN & GALE, hardware merchants. In August 1841, he sailed to Europe, where he remained traveling until November 1842. On his return to the United States, he again actively engaged in the hardware business. In February 1843, the firm was changed to E. Thompson GALE & Co. In 1853, it became CATLIN & SEXTON, Mr. GALE being a silent partner. In 1859, he terminated his connection with the firm, but several years afterward his son, Alfred de Forest GALE entered as a partner, the firm name being changed to LANE, GALE & Co. From 1850 to 1859, Mr. GALE was a director of the Farmers' Bank of Troy, incorporated in 1801. In 1859, he was elected president of the institution, which office he retained until 1865, when the Farmers' Bank and the Bank of Troy, the two oldest banks in the city, were consolidated under the name of the United National Bank of Troy. He was then elected president of the new institution, which position he still holds.
When the construction of the Troy and Boston Railroad was projected in 1848, Mr. GALE greatly furthered the undertaking by his influence and subscriptions. In 1849, he was elected one of the directors of the road. Since the organization of the Troy Gaslight Company in 1848, he has been one of its directors. Since 1859 he has been yearly chosen a director in the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad Company, and for many years a director in the Saratoga and Schenectady, and in the Albany and Vermont Railroad Companies. He has also for a number of years been the first vice-president of the Troy Savings Bank. At present he is the president of the board of trustees of the Troy Young Men's Association. In 154, he married Caroline DE FOREST, a daughter of Benjamin DE FOREST, a prominent merchant of New York city before his decease in 1850. Mr. GALE's wife died in 1864, and his oldest son, Alfred de Forest GALE, in 1877. The surviving children are three daughters and one son, Edward Courtland GALE, a recent graduate from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The later is now the only male descendant living, except his father and uncle, of Dr. Samuel GALE. Mr. GALE's brother, John B. GALE, of the law-firm of GALE, ALDEN & KING, is a resident of Troy.