GENERAL EPAPHRODITUS CHAMPION AND JONATHAN O. MOSLEY.
THE EMMONS FAMILY.
EDWARD D. GRIFFIN.
GEN. DYER THROOP.
FRANCIS H. CONE.
ELIPHALET A. BUCKLEY.
THE CONE FAMILY.
JONATHAN OLMSTEAD CONE.
WILLIAM R. CONE.
THE BRAINERD FAMILY.
HON. JOSEPH SPENCER.
DATUS WILLIAMS, M. D.
GEORGE GILBERT WILLIAMS.
WILLIAM H. GOODSPEED.
GEORGE E. GOODSPEED.
HON. DANIEL B. WARNER.
WILLIAM EBENEZER NICHOLS.
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.
EAST HADDAM - PROMINENT MEN.
DR. ELIPHALET NOTT.
East Haddam, and particularly Millington, has been the birthplace or residence of many prominent men, men whose names have been illustrious in connection with national and State governments; men who have adorned the higher and nobler professions of life; men, and women too, who can be referred to with pride. Many of them sleep in the church yards; many went forth and have never returned from the fields where they so nobly toiled; some still live to adorn their chosen professions.
One of the most remarkable men of the age was Dr. Eliphalet NOTT, who lived during several years of his boyhood on the old road running north from the old Austin BEEBE house in Millington. He lived here with relatives, having been left an orphan at quite an early age. During his early life he had to endure many of the hardships of poverty. For want of shoes he was forced to go barefooted most of the year. When quite young he had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and notwithstanding his limited opportunities, and the obstacles he had to encounter, at the age of 19 passed a successful examination for the degree of Master of Arts, and actually had the degree conferred upon him, by Brown University, without his having attended college a single day. He chose the vocation of the ministry, and after the usual three years' study, was ordained at the age of 22. He was married soon afterward, and with his bride, on horseback, started on his wedding trip to what was then the far West. They stopped and made a settlement at the new village of Cherry Valley, about fifty miles west of Albany. Soon after his settlement the fame of his talents reaching Albany, he was invited to become the past or one of its principal churches, which invitation he accepted. While here he preached his famous sermon on the death of Hamilton, which attracted universal attention, and which still ranks as one of the most eloquent and striking ever delivered in the United States. Seven years after he came to Albany he was called to the presidency of Union College, in the building up and management of which he displayed talents for business that would have sufficed for the government of a nation. He was also the inventor of the famous "NOTT Stove," for burning coal, the patents of which procured a vast revenue, so that when he died he was one of the richest men in the State of New York, west of Albany.
In the 50th year of his presidency he gave to Union college, as a permanent endowment, the sum of $610,000. He held his position during 61 years, and died in the 93d year of his age.
Born before the Revolution, inheriting an almost perfect bodily constitution, with talents of the highest order, which were used only for the benefit of mankind, he lived to see the close of the Rebellion, bequeathing to the world a name and a fame that will never died.
East Haddam boasts of the unusual honor of having two members of Congress at one time, both of whom were elected for several terms, under the old law for electing Congressmen by general ticket. These were General Epaphroditus CHAMPION and Jonathan O. MOSLEY. General CHAMPION lived at the old TYLER place, East Haddam Landing. He was a member of the General Assembly in 1793. He had command of the 24th Regiment of the Connecticut State Militia before his election to Congress. Colonel MOSLEY lived but a little over a mile north of General CHAMPION, on the place now owned by William J. MORGAN. He was a lawyer, and held the office of state's attorney for Middlesex county, from 1797 to 1805. He was elected to Congress for eight terms; had held command of a regiment of State militia, and was also a justice of the peace in town for a number of years. His granddaughter is the wife of the Hon. Hiram WILLEY. His grandson, William O. MOSLEY, resides in Hadlyme. His father, Thomas MOSLEY, was quite a popular physician; was a member of the State Medical Association, and was also a justice of the peace. Timothy GREEN, a resident of the landing, was afterward elected to Congress under the district system. These members all proved themselves a credit to the town, county, and State. Captain GREEN, the father of Timothy was identified with the early history of the town as a large landed proprietor; was captain of a company in the Revolution; was the first postmaster in East Haddam, and held many other positions of trust.
The EMMONS family, which settled on the East Haddam and Colchester Turnpike, where Ralph STARK now resides, furnished several prominent men. Among them were Rev. Nathaniel EMMONS, who settled in Boston, and acquired a national reputation for power and eloquence as a Congregational minister; and Ichabod, his brother, who moved to Berkshire county, and became somewhat noted as a politician. He was sent to the Legislature for many years, and many anecdotes are related of his wit and humor. He declared, at one time, that he should continue going to the Legislature until he had "secured a tax on ministers and jackasses," which were then about the only exemptions, and he kept his word.
Edward Dorr GRIFFIN, who was born near Nathan JEWETT's became a brilliant light in the ministry, a doctor of divinity, and president of Williams College, in Massachusetts. His brother, George GRIFFIN, became equally brilliant as a lawyer, and was for many years a leading member of the bar in New York city, where he amassed a fortune of several hundred thousand dollars by legitimate practice alone. As a birth-place and residence of the legal fraternity East Haddam has been quite famous.
Gen Dyer THROOP was the first judge of the county Court for Middlesex county. He held the office from 1785 to 1789. Previous to this he held the office of justice of the peace. At the close of the Revolutionary war he commanded the 24th Regiment of Connecticut Militia. He died June 4th 1789, at the age of 51.
Francis H. CONE, who died in Georgia a few years since (the oldest son of Joshua CONE), was perhaps, one of the most brilliant men ever raised in this town. He was a distinguished lawyer, afterward elected to the office of judge of the Supreme Court, in the State of Georgia, which position he filled with great credit. Theodore C., and Frederick T., were also graduated of Yale.
Hon. Eliphalet A. BULKLEY practiced law for several years in East Haddam, where he had good success. He afterward removed to Hartford where he continued practice and became very wealthy. He graduated at Yale College in 1824, and is placed upon the records of the Lionian Society as the Hon. Eliphalet Adams BULKLEY, Pres. Soc. Fellow Y. C. Sen. Conn., from East Haddam.
Daniel CONE, born in 1626, came over from Edinboro, Scotland, and settled in Haddam, with his four sons, in 1670. He left one son in Scotland. The family moved to East Haddam a few years afterward, built a log hut, and settled on the farm recently purchased of Jonathan CONE by Benjamin EDWARDS. Until this transfer it had remained in the CONE family. Daniel died in 1706. His sons were: Daniel, Jared, Stephen, and Caleb. One of them retained the homestead; one settled on the spot where Zachary CONE now lives; one near the PALMER place now owned by Mrs. DOANE; and the other near Elijah WARNER's. The homestead finally came into the possession of Capt. Stephen, who in turn bequeathed it by will to Stephen, John and Reuben. Capt. Stephen was buried in the Methodist cemetery in 1752. He occupied a house standing a few rods east of the one above referred to. It was demolished a few years ago. He erected a new dwelling on a spot about ten rods north of the present house, the foundations of which are now completely obliterated. The house was two stories in front and in rear. The settlers in those early days used to assemble, at times and surround the wolves, starting as far as Middle Haddam and driving them down on the neck where they became good targets for the hunters. Stephen used to interest his grandchildren by relating how the family often sat on the back door step and listened to the howling of the wolves as they were driven through the forest. At that time the highway ran from FULLER's Landing, near SCHOFIELD's, in an easterly direction, and struck the Moodus road, near Oliver EMMONS'. The house where Edwards now lives stands directly in this old highway. The property next descended to Stephen and Thomas CONE. Thomas occupied the land where Chloe CONE now lives. She was a direct descendant, her father being Joshua, who was the son of Joel, who was the grandson of Thomas. Stephen third retained the old place which from him descended to Elisha, thence to Elisha second, thence to Stephen, thence to Jonathan. The Thomas branch is now represented by Chloe and her nephew, Theodore. Theodore served in the Rebellion as a colonel in the Confederate army, and is now in Washington, D. C. The daughters of Stephen and Thomas intermarried with the GATES, FULLERS, CHAMPMANS, and WILLIAMs, thus creating a relationship which extends to nearly all the old families in town.
Zachary, Robert S., William E., and the late Helon CONE, of Millington, are direct descendants of Jared, by different branches. Zachary married Elizabeth, daughter of the late Rev. Isaac PARSONS, and retains the old place. A. Jared jr. moved to Millington, married a daughter of the early Matthew SMITH (See SMITH family), and settled on the Balahack road, which runs west from Edwin EMMONS'. The Old Chimney Stock still stands. Then, the road now running by Ephraim MARTIN's did not exist. The old road was several rods west of the present one, but terminated near the same point.
Jared died in 1742. Nehemiah, his son, lived in the Christopher MARSH place, and died in 1819. His children were Mary, Newell, Statira, Sarah, Jared, Lucy, and Betsey. Deacon William E. CONE is a son of NEWELL. He has always resided in East Haddam, has often represented the town in the State Senate, and House of Representatives, has filled the most important town offices, and always performed his duties with great fidelity. His only son, William A., is now living at GOODSPEED's Landing, where he is engaged in the insurance business. William R. CONE, president of the Ętna Bank, Deacon James E. CONE, and the late Sylvanus F. CONE, of Hartford, were from East Haddam.
Obituary.-"Sylvanus F. CONE, brother of Deacon James E. CONE and William R. CONE, president of the Ętna Bank, died yesterday morning at 7 o'clock, of typhoid and malarial fever, at his residence on Warrenton street. Mr. CONE was taken seriously ill the last of February, but having a vigorous constitution he recovered sufficiently to be about and attend to his affairs. About two weeks since, he suffered a relapse, since which time he has failed rapidly. He was born in East Haddam, in August 1814, and moved to this city in 1835, since which time he has resided here continually. He always took a warm interest in public affairs, rarely or never failing to exercise his rights as a citizen. He was, for many years, a member of the board of selectmen, as well as assessor, and filled other important trusts, always performing his duties with scrupulous fidelity. He was possessed of a most genial and kindly disposition, retaining his youthful feelings and appearance to a wonderful degree, and was esteemed and beloved by a large circle of friends and acquaintances. He leaves a wife and four sons, Joseph H., William E., and John B. CONE, of this city, and Augustus F. CONE, who resides in Cincinnati; and one daughter, Miss Ella B. CONE. The funeral service will be held at his late residence on Warrenton street, on Wednesday afternoon."
Of the early settlers near Elijah WARNER's, Isaac CONE was a direct descendant, and owned the farm extending from Bald Hill to Minor GILLETT's, and lived on the place now owned by Thomas GROSS jr. The mother of Timothy HOLMES and Mrs. Hubbard AYRES are also direct descendants of this branch. The family name of this branch in East Haddam, seems to have become extinct with the death of Robert D. CONE, for many years a school teacher. He was a bachelor, and lived for several years with Jonathan CLARK.
The old gambrel roofed house standing on the old road running west from Daniel PECK's was Erastus CONE's. He was uncle of Lord WELLINGTON. Erastus' father was Israel, who was the son of Israel. The father of William H. and Charles was Samuel CONE, who lived where William C. GATES now lives. Just east of GATES' is an old chimney which marks the house where lived Samuel's father, Deacon Nathaniel. One of his sons went to East Hampton and from him the present CONES in Chatham descended. Nathaniel was elected deacon of Millington Church about one year before his death, which occurred April 15th 1790. He had eight sons in the Revolutionary war.
Rev. Spencer H. CONE, the eminent Baptist divine, was born in Millington, just south of E. F. PECK's. For a number of years he stood at the head of a Baptist Church in New York city.
Helon CONE settled in Foxtown, among whose rocks he delved out quite a fortune. He left by will $10,000, in trust to be loaned at low rates of interest to deserving young men of the town-the principal and accumulated interest to be so used forever. Time would render the possibilities of such a fund beyond computation, and he was advised that such a provision would hardly stand the test of law. He revised t and demised that when the sum shall reach $75,000 it shall be applied to the building of a free academy in Millington Society. He died in 1878. His nephew, William H., son of Samuel, died three years before. He was the largest land owner in the town, and for many years exerted a great influence in town affairs. He left one son, William Lyman, now living on Millington Green.
Thus it may be seen that Israel and Samuel formed different branches of the original family, but all of the name of CONE in the United States, forming numerous and wide-spreading branches, may trace their origin to that same old trunk which is represented by Daniel CONE, who settled in Haddam.
Among the 28 proprietors who settled within the limits of Haddam Society on the west side of the river, was Daniel CONE, the ancestor of Jonathan Olmstead CONE. He had been for some time previous a citizen of Hartford, from which place he removed with ten others who composed a part of the 28 proprietors to whom permission was given by the General court, in 1660, to occupy the plantation known as Thirty Mile Island. The deed for the lands was obtained direct from the Indians. In 1685, Daniel CONE with a few others removed to the east side of the river and settled near what was known as Creek row. From that period down to the present time the CONEs have been prominently identified with this locality and have borne a conspicuous part in the history of the town and county.
Stephen, the father of J. O. CONE, was born in the town of East Haddam, where he married Mary FULLER, daughter of Thomas FULLER, a member of the First Congregational Church of Haddam.
Jonathan Olmstead CONE was born in East Haddam, on the 18th of October 1814. He was fitted for college by Rev. Isaac PARSONS, who, in 1813 or 1815 had been an instructor of President WOOLSEY, in Hartford. Young CONE entered Yale College with the class of 1831, and left it in the third term of the freshmen year. He subsequently taught school in the vicinity of his home and afterward in New Jersey. Later in life he traveled quite extensively in the South until he reached Texas. He remained there about a year, until the invasion by Santa Anna. He returned to East Haddam about six months after the battle of San Jacinto, and in 1836 engaged in the manufacturing business, which he continued until 1861. He then purchased the farm which his American ancestor, Daniel CONE, acquired by deed from the Indians in 1662. He disposed of the property in 1870 and retired from business.
He evinced a deep interest in everything that pertained to the welfare and happiness of his fellow citizens. In the settlement of estates and other maters requiring considerable legal ability, he was of great assistance to his neighbors and friends who relied to a large extent on his judgment. He was justice of the peace for eleven or twelve years and judge of Probate for the District of East Haddam from 1850 to 1851. In 1852, he was elected a member of the Legislature.
On the 7th of December 1836, he married Almira O. CARD, daughter of Stanton S. CARD.
Mr. CONE died in 1883, leaving no children. His widow resides in the town of East Haddam, near the village of Moodus.
William R. CONE, of Hartford, son of Joseph W. and Mehitable CONE, was born at East Haddam in 1810. He became a student at Yale College in 1826, studied law in that institution, and was admitted to the bar at New haven in 1832. He then became a partner in practice with William HUNGERFORD Esq., and the partnership continued until the death of the latter, though after 1860, he refused further retainers.
Besides his professional business, Mr. CONE has been largely connected with many of the important enterprises of the day, a list of which cannot be given for want of space.
His wife, to whom he was married in 1833, was Rebecca BREWSTER, seventh in descent from the Puritan Elder, William BREWSTER.
Among the early settlers from Haddam was Daniel BRAINERD jr., who settled at the lower end of the Creek Row, near the spring just below the Royal AYRES place. His father, Daniel, came from England when eight years of age, and was the ancestor of the BRAINERDs in this country. He settled in Haddam in 1662, and was a prosperous and influential man, a justice of the peace in the town, and a deacon in the church. The family is very numerous in this part of the country, and has always ranked among the highest in wealth and influence. Two doctors, Daniel and Hezekiah, were eminent physicians; Thomas, Israel, Timothy G., Elijah, and Nehemiah were popular ministers of the gospel; Hon. Jeremiah and Hon. Hezekiah gained much distinction as legislators and judges, while David and Rev. John earned world-wide renown as missionaries among the Indians. The latter two were children of the Hon. Hezekiah. Their older sister married Gen. Joseph SPENCER, of Millington, in whose family, David, the eminent missionary, lived for four years. David's labors were for a long time with the Lenni Lenape and other tribes along the Delaware River. The finest church in Easton, Pa., is BRAINERD Church, a fitting monument to his name and fame.
Daniel BRAINERD, the original settler, had eight children, as follows: Daniel jr., Hannah, James, Joshua, William, Caleb, Elijah, and Hezekiah. All the BRAINERDS in this country are said to be descendants of these children. Of this town, William O. and Abby BRAINERD, Mrs. Silas NICHOLS, Judah and Benjamin LEWIS, Milton John, and Frank BRAINERD, and many of the DAYS in Westchester, are descendants of Daniel jr. The GATES descended from Hannah. Joshua BRAINERD's residence is marked by the old cellar mound, just south of Selden BRAINERD's; and from this branch descended Colonel Orrin WARNER, Brainerd EMMONS, Miss Lucretia BRAINERD, and Mrs. BLAKEMAN. Joshua was commander of the first military company formed in East Haddam. Erastus and Silas, the Portland quarry owners, are descendants of James. Selden T. BRAINERD, David B., and George SEXTON, of East Haddam; Fisk and Henry BRAINERD, of Haddam Neck, and Cornelius BRAINERD, of Higganum, are descendants of William. Caleb was the ancestor of David BRAINERD, of East Haddam. Mrs. Francis PALMER is a descendant of Elijah. John G. C. BRAINERD, a brilliant writer, editor of the Hartford Mirror and author of a book of poems from which the poem "Machit-Moodus" was copied, was also a native of this town.
Hon. Joseph SPENCER (eldest son of Isaac), married, August 2d 1738, Martha, daughter of Hon. Hezekiah and Dorothy (HOBART) BRAINERD. Joseph Spencer was admitted to the church at Millington, March 23d 1746. He was Assistant (Senator), Connecticut, in 1774 and 1775; and judge of Probate in 1775. "June 30th 1774, in town meeting duly warned-Hon. Joseph SPENCER was chosen moderator, a unanimous vote was recorded for a Declaration of American Rights." "January 6th 1778, Articles of Confederation were unanimously adopted." He presided on this occasion also, and frequently besides (E. H. Records.) In May 1778, he was made a member of the Council of Safety. In the Colonial army, 1756, he was a major, and afterward a colonel, and must have served with some distinction, for at the commencement of the war with Great Britain the State of Connecticut turned immediately to him as a leader, and the Assembly, in the month of March 1775, appointed "Col. David WOOSTER a major-general, and Col Joseph SPENCER, and Israel PUTNAM to be brigadier-generals," thus making him second in rank in the State.
The war had now actually begun, and WASHINGTON had been chosen commander-in-chief. Congress proceeded to appoint four major-generals and eight brigadier-generals; they names Ward C. LEE, SCHUYLER, and PUTNAM for the former positions, and POMEROY, MONTGOMERY, WOOSTER, HEATH, Joseph SPENCER, THOMAS, SULLIVAN, and GREEN for the latter, thus making SPENCER's rank tenth in the Colonial army; but there is nothing which touches a soldier quicker than to see his subordinates placed above him, and there is nothing so destructive to discipline as such promotions, except for cause. Many felt this besides SPENCER, who was at first so offended that he left camp, but was soon induced to return. Gen. Seth POMEROY, the senior brigadier, refused to serve, and SPENCER took rank next to PUTNAM in the army at Boston. In the division of the army by WASHINGTON into three grand divisions, the command of the right wing, on Roxbury Heights, was given to Gen. WARD, the senior major-general, and with him were associated SPENCER and THOMAS, the ranking brigadiers.
In August 1776, SPENCER was commissioned major general by Congress.
TRUMBULL painted most of the military and public men of that day, but seems to have omitted SPENCER.
SPENCER's was the last brigade which left Boston for New York; this was on the 4th of April 1776.
During the occupation of New York SPENCER occupied a redoubt on the present Pike street, between Monroe and Cherry streets, called SPENCER redoubt. He also held the left at Harlem, of the line of defense extended across the city from the Hudson to the Harlem at MCGOWANS's pass. These various positions are now so covered up by the march of population and the growth of the city that they are past recognition, except the pass at the northern extremity of Central Park.
On the 29th of August 1776, WASHINGTON called a council of war on Long Island, at the Dutch Stone Church, near the junction of the present Fulton and Flatbush avenues, in the city of Brooklyn. The following officers were present, viz.: WASHINGTON, PUTNAM, SPENCER, MIFFLIN, MCDOUGAL, SCOTT, WADSWORTH, and PARSONS, and on the 7th of September the question as to the expediency of retaining New York city came before council, and the majority voted to retain it. On the 12th of September, however, another council resolved on the evacuation with only three dissenting votes, which were given by HEATH, Joseph SPENCER, and James CLINTON.
Major General SPENCER was soon after placed in command of all the American forces in the State of Rhode Island, and July 11th 1777, Major General PRESCOTT, the English commander, fell into his hands as a prisoner of war. He was treated kindly by his captor, and in a short time was sent to General WASHINGTON, who exchanged him for General Charles LEE, a prisoner since December 1776.
General SPENCER arranged an expedition in September 1777, which was actually embarked, to cross to Long Island, and surprise the enemy. At the last moment, having learned that the English commander was appraised of his plans, he countermanded the order. The facts proved that he had acted rightly, for the enemy had determined to allow them to land, and then by destroying their boats, to cut off their retreat and make them prisoners. Congress ordered an investigation into the affair, to ascertain why the expedition was not prosecuted, and SPENCER, in indignation at the implied censure, resigned his commission, and General SULLIVAN was sent to Rhode Island to succeed him. On the 30th of August 1778, SPENCER assisted in SULLIVAN's retreat, and this seems to have been his last military service. He then returned to his home on the banks of the Connecticut, and doubtless intended to remain there; but his native State had not forgotten him, and he was elected to represent it in Congress.
He married a second time, in 1756, Hannah BROWN, of WATERBURY, widow of Mr. SOUTHMAID; he united with the church December 13th 1788.
According to the East Haddam town records, "Col. Jos. SPENCER was elected deacon of the Millington Society, November 20th 1767;" afterward the record shows that "he was excused from service during the Revolution" and again, "reelected April 4th 1788." The last town record reads, "Hon. Joseph SPENCER died January 13th 1789, aged 74," to be exact, 74 years, 3 months, and 10 days. He had by his first marriage three daughters and two sons, and by the second marriage four sons and four daughters.
His brother, Rev. Elihu SPENCER, of the College of New Jersey, was born in Millington. His grandson, John SERGEANT, was candidate for vice-president of the United States in 1832.
Elizabeth SPENCER, daughter of Joseph jr., of Millington, became the wife of the Hon. Lewis CASS, candidate for president in 1848.
Hon. Isaac SPENCER, of Millington, was for many years treasurer of the State of Connecticut.
Calvin WILLEY was born at East Haddam, Connecticut, September 15th 1776; he read law and was admitted to the bar in 1798; he served in the State Legislature and Senate a number of years, and was postmaster at Stafford Springs eight years; judge of Probate for seven years; in 1824 he was a presidential elector; and a Senator in Congress from 1825 to 1831. He died at Stafford, Connecticut, August 23d 1858.
Datus WILLIAMS was born in the town of Norwich, Connecticut, February 25th 1793. He was one of nine children, being a descendant in the seventh generation from Robert WILLIAMS, of Roxbury, Mass.
He was a son of a farmer, and in early life enjoyed such educational privileges as were usually accorded to youths similarly circumstanced at that time; that is the privilege of attending the district school in the winter, the rest of the year working on the farm. While thus employed in assisting his father on the farm pertaining to what has since been known as the Bacon Academy, in Colchester, Conn., he formed the purpose of preparing himself for the practice of medicine. With no resources but his own exertions, which would, to many have offered insurmountable obstacles to the accomplishment of such a purpose, we find him soon after teaching school in New Jersey. While thus engaged in supplying himself with the necessary means, he devoted himself to reading and study, preparatory to that of medicine, and in the year 1820 became a pupil of Dr. OSGOOD, of Lebanon, and subsequently of Dr. COGSWELL, of Hartford, Conn.
He attended lectures at the Yale Medical School, and while there, was a chum of Professor Charles HOOKER. He received a license to practice, from Yale College, in 1823, and the same year commenced practice in that part of East Haddam known as Millington. He continued in this place until 1835, when, a vacancy occurring in the western and more populous portion of the town, he moved thither, where he continued in active and successful practice, except when prevented by ill health, up to the time of his death, which occurred November 4th 1867, in the 75th year of his age. For two years previous he had suffered severely from rheumatism, as well as from asthma, a disease to which his family has always been subject, but on the morning of his death he had seemed to be better than for some days before. A few minutes after having passed into the yard, he was discovered by his wife lying upon the ground, as she supposed, in a fit. Dr. H. E. WILLIAMS, a son of the deceased, who was at home at the time, writes: "I immediately ran to him and raised him, but life was already extinct, he having died evidently without a struggle, though yet rigid in apparently the spasm of an apoplectic fit.: As to the immediate cause of death, he suggests further, "either metastatic rheumatism, or, perhaps, valvular ossification."
Dr. WILLIAMS possessed some qualities which constitute the good physician in more than a common degree. At the bedside of the sick he was calm, self-possessed, cheerful, hopeful, and so benefited his patients by inspiring them with hope, as well as by his prescriptions. If in diseases of a mild type he trusted more than some to the vis medicatrix natur, he had good authority for doing so; while he was prompt and not sparing with potent remedies in cases demanding their use. Practicing in a region of rough and hilly roads, a considerable portion of it but sparsely populated, and frequently called upon long and fatiguing rides, very few, it is believed, have more promptly or faithfully responded to the summons of the sick, undeterred by storm, darkness, or little prospect of other compensation than a consciousness of having ministered to the relief of suffering humanity. Imbued with much of the esprit de corps, he was jealous of the honor of the profession, and showed little favor to quacks and their abettors. He usually attended and enjoyed meetings of his profession brethren. By a recommendation of the Connecticut Medical Society, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine from Yale College in 1843. In 1853, he represented the Middlesex County Medical Society at a meeting of the American Medical Association, and repeatedly attended the State convention in the same capacity. He appreciated and improved the privileges of citizenship, and faithfully discharged its duties. He took an interest in whatever pertained to human progress, whether local or general, and kept himself posted therein. In the family and social circle, he was uniformly kind, social and genial.
Dr. WILLIAMs, moreover, thought and acted with reference to the future as well as the present life. In 1839, he became, and continued to the time of his death, a communicant of the First Congregational Church in East Haddam.
In 1824, he married Miss Clarissa M. PECK, daughter of Ezekiel PECK , of Millington Society.
Three children were the result of this marriage: H. E. WILLIAMS, M. D., who graduated at the N. Y. University Medical college in 1847, and practiced his profession in the city of New York until 1864, when he entered the service of his country as assistant surgeon of volunteers. He died from disease contracted while in the service.
George Gilbert, the second son, is president of the Chemical Bank, New York. A third, and the youngest child, a son, died in infancy.
Not only has Middlesex county produced some of the greatest statesmen, jurists, divines, and military heroes that adorn the annals of American History, but some of the most prominent business men and ablest financiers in the country were born and reared side by side with the honest, hard working farmers of this county, and have inherited those sterling traits of character that distinguish the sons of New England wherever they are found.
Among the prominent financiers may be mentioned George Gilbert WILLIAMS, president of the Chemical National Bank of New York, one of the long established, best conducted, and most successful and foremost financial institutions in the great metropolis.
Mr. WILLIAMS comes from a race of men distinguished for their piety, their zeal, and their devoted and firm adherence to the great principles of civil and religious liberty, among whom was Robert WILLIAMS, said to be of Welsh origin. The immediate ancestor of Mr. WILLIAMS was born in Norwich, Conn., and settle din East Haddam. His father was Dr. Datus WILLIAMs, who for forty years was a prominent physician of that town; and his mother was Clarissa Maria PECK, if Millington Society, in the town of East Haddam.
George Gilbert WILLIAMS, the subject of this sketch, was born at East Haddam, on the 9th of October 1826. As a child he was thoughtful, earnest, ambitious, and studious, and faithfully improved every opportunity afforded him for the acquisition of knowledge. At an early age he was instructed at the district school and then at the academy, and afternoons by the clergyman, the Rev. Mr. Isaac PARSONS, in his native town, and then sent to the BRAINERD Academy at Haddam, which was then a flourishing institution. He applied himself with great assiduousness to his studies, and made rapid progress especially in mathematics.
When he was but 15 years of age, at the earnest solicitation of Mr. John Quentin JONES, president of the Chemical Bank, New York, he was sent thither and entered that bank as assistant to the paying teller. The same fidelity, honesty, and application that characterized him as a boy, were displayed in his new relations as a business man, and he rose rapidly, filling the position of paying teller when he was but 20 years of age, being at that time the youngest paying teller in the city of New York. In 1855, he was elected cashier, which position he filled for many years, displaying great financial ability. His judgment and skill were put to the severest test during this period, which included the great financial crisis of '57; the bank passed through the trying ordeal, meeting all its obligations in gold.
From his early childhood he enjoyed the uninterrupted friendship of Mr. JONES, the president of the bank, who was his faithful advisor, companion, and kind benefactor, and on the death of that estimable gentleman, which occurred on the 1st of January 1878, Mr. WILLIAMS was elected to fill the office made vacant by his decease.
He devoted himself to the duties and responsibilities incumbent on the position, but he found time, nevertheless, to satisfy the demands made by his friends to fill other positions of trust and responsibility, especially those that appealed to his sympathies and large hearted benevolence. His is one of the governors of the Lying-in Hospital, of New York, is a director in the Fidelity and Casualty company, formed for the purpose of giving bonds for bank clerks, and others, who are unable to give the necessary security in obtaining positions of trust and responsibility. He is a member of the executive committee of the Union Trust Company, treasurer of the Institute for Savings of Merchants' Clerks, and trustee in the United States Life Insurance Company.
Mr. WILLIAMS' principles are based upon thoughtful and sincere religious convictions, and he is a member and vestryman of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, on Madison avenue.
Economy and prudence, united to careful and judicious investments, have had their usual result, and he has accumulated a liberal fortune, which is used in a liberal but unostentatious manner.
At his beautiful residence on Fifty-eighth street, near Fifth avenue, he entertains his numerous friends, who always find a hearty welcome. In his well assorted library and handsome paintings he finds ample scope for the gratification of his literary and artistic tastes.
With all the new formed associations, however, he still cherishes a special fondness for the scenes of his childhood, and delights to linger near the spot where, under the tender care of fond parents, he received his first impressions of life.
On the 14th of November 1867, he married Virginia, daughter of Aaron KING, of New York. While this union has been blessed by five children, only one, viz., Clara Jay, remains to cheer them in their declining years, the others having passed through the golden gates to await at the portals of Heaven the coming of their parents. Of those who have "gone before" are Nina Buell, born October 20th 1868, died April 11th 1875; Roy Quentin, born October 8th 1874, died September 19th 1882; Clinton Caswell, born May 1st 1877, died May 11th 1877; and Irene, born October 27th 1878, died January 7th 1882.
The secret of Mr. WILLIAM's success may be attributed to his unswerving fidelity, as a religious duty, to every trust committed to him. And his life affords a worthy example to the young men of the present generation, who think that characters are formed and fortunes made within a brief space of time. Nature has not lavished on him extraordinary gifts, but he has made the best use of the opportunities afforded him, and had received his just reward in this worked, with the promise of the reward that is to come, when the Judge of all the earth shall say "well done, good and faithful servant."
Luther BOARDMAN commenced life as a poor boy, and worked his own way up, unaided by relatives or friends. He was the fourth child of Jason BOARDMAN and Lydia DEMING, and was born at Rocky Hill, Connecticut, December 26th 1812. His father and grandfather were both sea captains, and from them he probably inherited those traits of character that were the foundation of his success in life. He attended school during the winter months until he was sixteen, when he apprenticed himself to Ashabel GRISWOLD, a Britannia ware manufacturer, of Meriden, Connecticut, where he continued until he became of age. He then went to South Reading, Massachusetts (now Wakefield), and took charge of an establishment in the same line of business, owned by Burrage Yale, and at the end of two years became himself the proprietor. In 1837, he returned to Meriden, and subsequently removed to Chester, Connecticut, where he associated himself with RUSSELL & BEACH, Brittania and hollow ware manufacturers. Soon after this he started the manufacture of spoons in the same place, and in 1842, he removed to East Haddam, and has since been engaged largely in the manufacture of plated ware.
In 1864 and 1865, he represented the town in the State Legislature, and was one of the delegates from Connecticut to the convention that nominated General GRANT for his first term.
He was one of the original proprietors of, and the largest stockholder in, the Connecticut Valley Railroad and 1st first vice-president. He was for a number of years land commissioner of the State for the road, and as such assisted in laying out and establishing the line of the road, and he was one of the original incorporators and large stockholder in the bank of New England.
October 18th 1838, he married Lydia Ann, daughter of James A. FRARY, by whom he has one child, Norman S., born August 5th 1840.
Dr. FIELD, in his "Statistical History of Middlesex County," gives the names of Nathaniel GOODSPEED as one of the earliest settlers of that part of the town of East Haddam, now known as GOODSPEED's Landing. He came from within the bounds of the Plymouth colony, about 1670, and probably followed the occupation of a farmer. Some of his descendants must have crossed the river, for Joseph GOODSPEED, the father of William H., kept a small store at Tylerville previous to 1804. In that year he removed to East Haddam and opened a store in the old building near the ship yard. He married Laura, daughter of Nathan TYLER, of Haddam, by whom he had six children: George E., William H., Joseph F., Mary Ann, Nathan T., and Sophia. His first wife died in 1832, and not long after he married the widow of Dr. BIGELOW.
William H. was born at East Haddam, on the 29th of December 1815. He attended the public, and part of the time a private school, until he was sixteen years of age. He was smart, active boy, and attended to most of the outdoor business of his father. Soon after he became of age he became a member of the firm with his father and brother, and on the death of his father the business was continued by him and his brother. While he attended strictly to the business of the firm he was active in the promotion of public enterprises. He was one of the original incorporators of the Bank of New England, of which he was first vice-president and subsequently president. He was for a number of years vice-president and manager of the Hartford and New York Steamboat Company; was one of the projectors of the Connecticut Valley Railroad Company, and was indefatigable in his exertions to make the enterprise a success. He, in connection with his brother, was largely engage din the business of ship building, and one of the thirteen gun boats ordered by the Government during the war of the Rebellion was built by him at East Haddam. This was the Kanawaha of 569 tons, built in 1860.
He could never be induced to accept any political nomination, yet he was one of the most active politicians in his native town and used his influence to advance the interests of his friends.
He was never known to shrink from any duty, and whenever he became involved in litigation, either in his private or representative capacity, he would fight to the bitter end for what he believed to be right. He was generous to a fault, and could always be relied upon to aid in any benevolent enterprise. He has left his impress upon the community where he lived and his public acts will remain as a perpetual monument to his memory.
On the 19th of April 1847, he married Louisa M. ROBBINS, of Rocky Hill, Conn. They had two children: Louisa R. and William R.
The death of Mr. GOODSPEED occurred on the 1st of January 1882, and the management of his large and extensive business interests devolved on his son, William R., who has proved himself equal to the important trusts and great responsibility connected herewith. He married, on the 12th of October 1875, Hattie B. SMITH, of Waterbury, Conn., by whom he had two children: Louisa B and William H. His first wife died on the 24th of June 1879, and on the 25th of May 1881, he married Phoebe E. SMITH, of New London. By her he has had one child, Phoebe E., born May 20th 1882.
George E. GOODSPEED, oldest son of Joseph GOODSPEED and Laura TYLER, was born in the town of East Haddam, February 2d 1813. He acquired a fair education in the public schools of his naļve village, with a few months' tuition at a private school of a Mr. CLARK. He entered his father's store as clerk when but 16 years of age, and soon acquired a knowledge of the business that made him a valuable assistant to his father. On his becoming of age he was made a member of the firm. He organized the Bank of New England and was the first president and main support up to the day of his death. Of a naturally quiet and peaceable disposition, he shrunk from litigation and whenever it became necessary to litigate any of the interests with which he was connected he turned the matter over to his brother William.
He had no taste or inclination for politics, and invariably declined to accept any nomination for office.
He was a member of and liberal contributor to the Episcopal church during his life.
March 25th 1844, he married Nancy Green HAYDEN, daughter of Horace HAYDEN, of East Haddam, formerly of Essex, Connecticut, by whom he had four children: Joseph Horace, Georgiana, Carrie Hayden, and George Edward. The third child, Carrie Hayden, died May 29th 1856. The others are all living. The sons reside in Boston, Massachusetts. Joseph Horace is auditor of the Mexican Central Railroad, and George Edward is connected with the Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Company. The death of Mr. GOODSPEED occurred November 16th 1863. His widow and only remaining daughter live together at the homestead.
Daniel WARNER< the ancestor of the East Haddam branch of WARNERS, was one of three brothers who came from Scotland and settled in Massachusetts about 1640. Dr. FIELD mentions one John WARNER, from Sunderland, as among the first settlers of the town of Haddam.
Daniel, the father of Hon. Daniel B. WARNER, was born at the WARNER homestead, on the main road running north and south through the town about one and a quarter miles from the Landing. He followed the occupation of a farmer, and was at the same time engaged in the lumber business. He married Nancy, daughter of John BRAINERD Esq. Eight children were born to them: Phbe Ann, Daniel B., Elijah C. Betsey R., Floretta, Jeannette, Catharine, and John C., five of whom are still living.
Daniel B., the second child, was born at East Haddam, March 24th 1807. He was educated at the public school, with a few month's tuition at a private school kept by Rev. Peter G. CLARK. He was of three years clerk in a store, after which he engaged in the ship lumber business. East Haddam was at that time one of the principal places for ship building on the Connecticut River, and he did a large and prosperous business. In April 1828, he commenced dealing in ship timber and plant, also pine lumber. Some ten years after this he commenced building vessels, which he continued for about 20 years, and some of the largest vessels built on the river were built at his yard. One ship, the Chauncey Jerome jr., built in 1851, registered 2,000 tons.
He was elected to the Legislature in 1848 and 1850, and again in 1880. He was elected to the Senate in 1852 and 1853. During the latter year, Hon. Thomas H. SEYMOUR, who was then governor, received the appointment of minister to Russia; the unexpired term being filled by Lieutenant-Governor POND, and Mr. WARNER was elected president pro tem, of the Senate. Hon William D. SHIPMAN, now one of the most eminent jurists in the country, represented at that time the town of East Haddam in the Legislature.
During his life Mr. WARNER has served his native town and county in various capacities. He was for three years county commissioner, and was postmaster for a number of years. He was a director in the East Haddam Bank, and when in 1865 that institution became embarrassed, after the death of the cashier, who was killed on the steamboat dock, Mr. WARNER was appointed president, and wound up its affairs in a manner exceedingly gratifying to the directors, paying the depositors in full, the losses being borne by the stockholders.
During his early life he took an active interest in military affairs, and was at one time brigade major on the staff of General Oliver WARNER.
On the 17th of April 1835, he married Marry Ann, daughter of Oliver GREEN of East Haddam. Her grandfather, James GREEN, manufactured muskets for the government at this place during the war of the Revolution and was the friend and cotemporary of General Epaphroditus CHAMPION.
The issue of this marriage was five children: Charles B., born July 28th 1839; Mary G., born August 7th 1842; Sydney B., born December 5th 1848; Georgiana L., born April 3d 1852; and Nettie L., born September 22d 1854.
Charles B., the eldest son, was for a time engaged as a clerk in New York city, and subsequently went to China, where he became connected with the house of BRADLEY & co. He remained there for seven years, and on his return to East Haddam, joined his father in the lumber business, the copartnership of father and son continuing down to the present time.
"An honest man's the noblest work of god."-Shakespeare.
There are certain brand of goods in every class of trade that have an established reputation, on which not only the name, but the character, of the individual is stamped.
Many business men adopt as their motto, "Honesty is the best policy," and such persons are governed by no higher motive, being satisfied with the approval of their fellow men; but the man who puts his goods upon the market, resolved that every pound shall contain 16 ounces of pure material, and every yard shall contain 36 inches, honest measurement, looks for the reward of an approving conscience, rather than the good opinion of his fellow men.
Emory JOHNSON, the subject of this sketch, belongs to the later class. Influenced solely by a determination to produce nothing but what will bear the closest scrutiny of a discriminating public, and conscious of the fact that the "All-seeing eye" of the Great Architect of the Universe is always upon him, discovering the "thoughts and intents of his heart," he has not only established a reputation for honest productions, but in all his dealings with his fellow men he has kept in view the golden rule. It is to this, and not to any great gifts of nature, that he owes his success in life. Born and bred an humble tiller of the soil, he learned his first lessons of life while surrounded by good and holy influences, assisted by the teaching of nature and nature's God.
Jared JOHNSON, the father of Emory, was born in the town of Chatham. He married Sally, daughter of Joseph RANSOM, of that town, by whom he had five children, viz., Emory, Sally, John B., Joseph F., and Mary.
Emory, the eldest, was born August 11th 1817, near the society of East Hampton, in the town of Chatham. He was sent to the public school at that place until he was sixteen years of age, working a portion of the time on his father's farm. About 1833, he removed to the town of East Haddam, near the present location of Johnsonville, where he worked at the trade of wagonmaking until he was twenty-two years of age. He subsequently engaged himself to the firm of CARD & HIGGINS, manufacturers of cotton seine twine, knitting cotton, and other cotton goods of a similar character. By strict economy and industry he managed to save up a few hundred dollars, and in 1842 he formed a copartnership with Stanton S. CARD (his father-in-law), Elijah SPENCER, Roswell DAVIDSON, and Jonathan O. CONE. This continued for several years, the firm doing a prosperous business. In 1861, Mr. JOHNSON disposed of his interest in the lower mill, and purchased a new mill privilege that had not hitherto been taken up. On this he erected a new factory, which has since continued in successful operation. Not long after the death of Mr. CARD he acquired possession of the lower mill, which he reconstructed, putting in new machinery and fitting it up with every modern improvement. In all his operations Mr. JOHNSON has been uniformly successful. The demand for his goods has been such that when other mills have been lying idle he has been able to continue running most of the time through the dull season.
The extensive manufacturing facilities and great public improvements in and around Johnsonville indicate the enterprise, the activity, and the energy of the man who for sixty years has labored for their growth and development, and these will remain as an enduring monument to his name long after he has passed away.
The turmoil and excitement of a political life never had any attraction for Mr. JOHNSON, but in 1861, at the solicitation of his fellow citizens, he permitted his name to be used as the Republican nominee for the Legislature, and was elected by a large majority.
Outside of his business affairs his tastes and inclinations have led him to engage in works of charity and benevolence. For more than thirty years he has been an active member of the Methodist church, where he still occupies the position of trustee and steward. He was for a number of years superintendent of the Sunday school, where he labored faithfully to impart that religious instruction which should fit the children for a useful, happy life here on earth, and a more blessed inheritance hereafter. Recently his other duties have compelled him to seek relief from these more active duties, but he still maintains his interest in them and seeks by every means in his power to promote and encourage their growth.
On the 24th of October 1838, he married Eliza A., daughter of Stanton S. CARD, of the town of East Haddam, by whom he has had two children: Elijah Emory, born May 23d 1841, and Stanton C., born March 10th 1851, died July 26th 1871.
The death of his wife occurred on the 10th of April 1882.
Although he has lived to nearly three score and ten years, the age allotted to man, he is still in the enjoyment of all his mental and physical faculties, and is able to give full attention to the management of his large and extensive business.
No name has been more prominently connected with the history of Moodus and of the cotton twine manufacture than that of William E. NICHOLS. He was born in Clinton, August 15th 1806, the third son of Ebenezer and Hannah GRINNELL NICHOLS. About the year 1820, the family moved to Moodus. The son received a common school education, which, by constant reading and application, he improved to a degree beyond that of the boys of his own age. When 17 years old he went to Saybrook to study medicine with Dr. CARTER. There he remained for two years, afterward studying for a short time with Dr. Richard WARNER, of this town. But, at this point, his health broke down, and after a winter of rest spent at Nantucket, he reluctantly gave up the practice of his chosen profession, and went into business with his father, starting with no other capital than his father's experience and his own inventive brain.
Ebenezer NICHOLS had previously, in 1826, put up in the present Red Mill, a machine which he called a "twister," for the making of cotton yarn into seine twine. It is believed that this is the first instance on record of the manufacture of cotton seine twine. The yard was bought of the cotton shirting factories in the vicinity, and, when made into twine, was sold in quantities of a few pounds each to the fishermen along the Sound. Flax and hemp had, up to this time, been the only materials used for nets, and, at first, great difficulty was found in introducing the new material among fishermen. But, by degrees, the prejudice against it was overcome, and in this humble beginning was laid the foundation for the present cotton seine twine industry of America.
But to William E. NICHOLS, the son and c-worker of Ebenezer NICHOLS, is largely due the successful development of the twine industry to its present proportions. In 1827, the twister was moved to the present Stone Mill and a year afterward to the old mill at Bashan. As the demand for the twines increased, other twisters were built. The mill site of the Red Mill was purchased, and about the year 1830, the father and son, in company with Messrs. CARD and HIGGINS, started the first cotton seine twine manufactory. The interests of the other partners were afterward purchased, and we find the accounts kept here in the name of E. NICHOLS & Son until the death of the father in 1842.
The mill known as the East Mill was erected about 1837, by William E. NICHOLS, Timothy GREENE, and R. DAVISON, and the manufacture of gimlets begun in it. This project was abandoned after a few years, and the mill was then fitted up for the manufacture of cotton spool thread. In 1844, this was also abandoned, and Mr. DAVISON having withdrawn from the business, for a short time the mill was controlled by Mr. GREENE alone. But in 1850, the property was purchased by Mr. NICHOLS, and from this time on until 1860, he continued to operate both the Red and East mills in the manufacture of twine.
In 1849, he received a patent for his well known "whirl-agig" twister for making of hard laid twine, which machine has proven a great success, both mechanically and financially. Other important improvements and patents were developed as the business advanced.
In 1865, he associated with himself Messrs. DEMAREST and JORALEMON, of New York, and Z. E. CHAFFEE, of Moodus, and erected the present large factory at the Falls, for the manufacture and knitting of cotton seine netting. This was among the first attempts to knit fish nets by machinery. In 1869, the mill at the Falls, the Red Mill, and the East Mill, were consolidated into one management, under the name of the New York Net and Twine Company. This company became widely and favorably known, and to-day continues to be in successful operation.
William E. NICHOLS, or Dr. NICHOLS, as he was familiarly called, will long be remembered as one of the foremost agents in the growth and prosperity of the village and town. He was one of the active movers in the organization of the Moodus Reservoir company, was the first president of the Moodus Savings Bank, and it is said to have been on his suggestion that the name of the village was changed from Mechanicsville to Moodus. He was a man of wide acquaintance among men, quick thought, and extensive reading, his library being one of the largest private libraries in the State. By his considerate speech, his unpretending ways, his unostentatious gifts, and upright life, he gained the love and respect of the community in which he lived.
He united with the First Congregational Church of East Haddam, July 4th 1858. He was married June 6th 1861, to Catharine T. GILLETTE. She died in Marcy 1869. By her he had two children: William E., born August 27th 1862; and Mary C., born December 23d 1868, both of whom are now living. He died in New York city, of general congestion, April 28th 1878.
GENERAL EPAPHRODITUS CHAMPION AND JONATHAN O. MOSLEY.
THE EMMONS FAMILY.
EDWARD D. GRIFFIN.
GEN. DYER THROOP.
FRANCIS H. CONE.
ELIPHALET A. BUCKLEY.
THE CONE FAMILY.
JONATHAN OLMSTEAD CONE.
WILLIAM R. CONE.
THE BRAINERD FAMILY.
HON. JOSEPH SPENCER.
DATUS WILLIAMS, M. D.
GEORGE GILBERT WILLIAMS.
WILLIAM H. GOODSPEED.
GEORGE E. GOODSPEED.
HON. DANIEL B. WARNER.
WILLIAM EBENEZER NICHOLS.