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.
ESSEX - PROMINENT MEN.
CAPTAIN HENRY L. CHAMPLIN.
Captain Henry L. CHAPLIN was long known and highly esteemed as a ship master and owner of the first London line of packets from New York. He was the son of Silas CHAMPLIN and Elizabeth Lay, and was born at Lyme on the 16th of July 1786. He enjoyed fair educational advantages, and commenced his seafaring life at a very early age. Reliable, steady, and correct in his deportment, strictly temperate in his habits, he soon became mate of a ship. About 1807, when he was only twenty-one years of age, he was put in charge of a packet in the Savannah trade by the firm of Hall & Hall, of New York, and continued in their employ, a favorite with owners and passengers, until the war of 1812. Subsequently he was the founder and principal owner of the first line of London packet ships. His mild and manly bearing, his high moral and upright qualities, together with his prudence, carefulness, skill, and great presence of mind, made him deservedly popular as a commander. He was remarkably successful in all his voyages, and never lost a vessel, and scarcely ever a small spar or sail, and never had to call on the underwriters for a dollar; a fact more noticeable, as he had charge of many different ships of the line, as they were built from time to time. For a considerable period previous to his death he had retired from the sea, having a comfortable and tasteful residence at Essex. Captain CHAMPLIN was no ordinary man. Coming from a highly respectable family, yet he had no wealthy or influential friends to assist him in rising in the world, and it was by his integrity, prudence, and perseverance, that he became a noted, prominent, and useful man. Having been eminently successful in business himself, he took delight in helping worthy young men forward in the world. Not a few who have attained eminence as sea captains, began their course with him, while in active service, and many others have been assisted to important posts on shipboard, and in other pursuits through his personal efforts and influence since his retirement from the sea. The poor always found in him a kind and thoughtful benefactor, and the afflicted and troubled, a sympathizing friend. He was deeply interested in the good order and intelligence of the community, and in the support of the institutions of the gospel at home and abroad. As an upright and honorable man, as a judicious and safe counselor, as a liberal benefactor, and as a useful and Christian citizen, he stood deservedly high in the esteem of all who knew him. On the 11th of November 1815, he married Amelia P. HAYDEN, of Essex, Conn., by whom he had ten children, two only of whom are now living: one, a daughter, Mrs. E. C. STEPHENSON, now a resident at the homestead; the other, a son, Charles CHAMPLIN, a resident of Chicago, Ill. The death of Captain CHAMPLIN occurred on the 15th of May 1859.
HON. SAMUEL INGHAM.
The following biographical sketch of Samuel INGHAM was prepared soon after his death by Hon. William D. SHIPMAN. Samuel INGHAM was born in Hebron, Conn., September 5th 1793, and died in Essex, in the same State, November 10th 1881. All the education he received previous to his professional studies was learned from the common schools. He studied law in the office of Governor MATTOCKS at Peacham, Vermont, and with the late Judge GILBERT, in Hebron, in this State. He was admitted to the bar in Tolland county, Conn., in 1815. He practiced his profession during the first four years in Canaan, Vermont, and Jewett City, Connecticut. In 1819, he removed to Essex (then a part of the town of Saybrook), where he continued to reside until his death. From 1828 to 1834, Mr. INGHAM represented Saybrook in the Lower House of the Legislature. In 1834 he was speaker. He was reelected in 1835, and again made speaker. At the same election he was chosen a member of Congress, but of course on being officially notified of his election to Congress, he vacated his seat in the State Legislature. He was reelected to Congress in 1837, and served for two years as chairman of the committee on naval affairs. In 1839, he was again a candidate for Congress, but was defeated at the polls by the late Chief Justice STORRS. His failure to be returned to Congress was a source of great regret, not only to his fiends at home, but to the members of that body over which he had repeatedly presided as chairman of the committee of the whole, with great skill and ability during some of its most stormy and protracted sessions. Had he been reelected he would undoubtedly have been the candidate of his party for speaker, the third federal office in power and dignity; a position for which he was imminently fitted. In 1843 and 1850, Mr. INGHAM was a member of the State Senate. In 1851, he was returned to the lower branch of the Legislature and elected speaker. For nine years he was state attorney for Middlesex county, and for four judge of the County Court. He was also tendered a seat on the bench of the Superior Court and Supreme Court of Errors, but declined. From 1858 to 1861, he was commissioner of customs in the Treasury Department at Washington. Mr. INGHAM was also four times a candidate for governor of the State, receiving the full vote of his party, but failed through the defeat of the latter. This long career in connection with prominent public office naturally suggests inquiry touching the personal and professional character of the man who, for nearly forty years, filled so large a space in the eye of the public. It will be interesting to not some of the characteristics of the times in which he lived. Born during the first administration of Washington, and coming to the bar at the close of the second war with Great Britain, his youth and early manhood covered a period in which our political institutions were being formed, and the foundations of the federal government laid. The conduct of public affairs involved the discussion and settlement of great questions on which preceding history shed but a feeble light. By the public men of that day were distinguished by his personal qualities and eminent public virtues. Such and atmosphere was favorable to the development of sterling traits in rising and thoughtful young minds. When Mr. INGHAM came to the bar, and during the most active part of his professional life, he was brought into contact with many able and accomplished lawyers, both on the bench and in the forum. But it was an age of simple habits, small libraries, small fees, and limited resources. No marked success was to be obtained except by constant, self-reliant labor, and upright conduct. These habits and qualities Mr. INGHAM illustrated throughout his long life, and they made him honorably conspicuous at the bar and in public station. Though he was without the advantage of a university education, though he was neither a polished orator nor an elegant writer, he rose to eminence in public affairs, and became, in one respect at least, a formidable power at the bar. It cannot be said that, in the discussion of legal questions, he exhibited what a distinguished lawyer has called "deadly precision'" for his mind was distinguished rather for its robust sense than for acute or exact reasoning. But in his best days he had few equals as an advocate before the jury; a function far more important in his time than at the present day. With gigantic frame, an imposing presence, a powerful voice, rendered effective by deep and unaffected emotion, aroused by sympathy with and zeal for his cause and client, he often made a powerful impression which carried conviction to the minds he was addressing. It can truly be said of Mr. HINGHAM, that he was, under Providence, the architect of his own fortunes, and rose to prominence by his own merits. From 1819 to the end of his life, he resided in a country village in a rural county, where there was no circle of powerful friends to accelerate his advancement in public or professional life. He sprung from an humble origin. What honors he received, therefore, did not come by gift or inheritance, but were won by manly personal effort. Mr. INGHAM's private character was without a stain. His habits were simple and unostentatious. For the last twenty years of his life he was an earnest and consistent member of the Episcopal church, and until his health failed, a regular and devout attendant on its ministrations, and a liberal contributor to its support. Dying at an advanced age, and after years of retirement from active life, Mr. INGHAM's departure made no ripple on the stream of human affairs, whose current sets steadily toward the grave, and drops into its silence and darkness the distinguished and the obscure. But those who remember him in his full vigor will not soon forget the massive, antique figure which has so quietly passed away.
HON. JAMES PHELPS.
Hon. James PHELPS was born in Colebrook, Litchfield county, Conn., on the 12th of January 1822. His father was Dr. Lancelot PHELPS, who was for many years a prominent citizen of the State, and one of representatives in Congress form 1835 to 1839. Hon. James PHELPS received his early education at the common schools of his native town, and subsequently attended the Episcopal Academy of Cheshire, Conn. He afterward entered Washington, now Trinity College, at Hartford, but owing to a sever illness during the first year of his course, he was obliged to relinquish his studies for a long period. As soon as his health would permit he commenced reading law with Hon. Isaac TOUCEY, of Hartford. In 1842, he removed to Essex, Conn., and studied with Hon. Samuel INGHAM. He was also for a time in the law department of Yale College. He was admitted to the bar in 1845. Besides holding the office of judge of Probate and other local positions, he was a member of the State Legislature in 1853, 1854, and 1856, and of the State Senate in 1858 and 1859. In 1863, he was elected by the legislature a judge of the Superior court for the regular term of eight years. He was reelected in 1871, and in 1873 was elected judge of the Supreme Court of Errors, and resigned in the spring of 1875, upon his election to the Forty-fourth Congress. He was re-elected to the Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth, and Forty-seventh Congresses as a democrat. In the 44th congress he was appointed on the standing committee on the District of Columbia, pensions, and foreign affairs, and on the special committee to investigate frauds in the Louisiana election, and in the revenue in the collection district of St. Louis. In the 45th and 46th Congresses he was assigned a place on the committee of ways and means, and during that time the entire subjects of tariff, internal revenue, and refunding of the national debt were exhaustively considered and reported on by that committee. He also served in the 46th Congress on the committee on expenditures in the Navy Department. On financial questions his votes and his views were in accord with those of a large majority of his party in the House of Representatives; but not with those of a majority in his section of the Union. He favored the resumption of specie payment when it could be safely and properly accomplished, but was opposed to its being prematurely forced by violent and extreme contraction of the currency, and was an earnest advocate of the restoration of the standard silver dollar. He was noted for faithful and assiduous attention to the interests and wants of his constituents at the capital and in the different departments of the government. He was unwearied in his personal attention to the pension claims o the soldiers in his district. He procured the establishment of the breakwater at the entrance of New Haven Harbor, and the extensive permanent work for the improvement of the channel of the Connecticut River below Hartford, and liberal appropriations for those works and for other needed improvements in his district. During his last term he was the only democratic representative from the State in the 47th Congress, and the fact that immediately preceding his first election his district had for six years been represented by a republican is convincing evidence of his popularity with his constituents. His elections to a judgeship were each time made by a Legislature politically opposed to him, and the two last were by the unanimous votes of both houses. His professional and public life have been so entirely honorable that no suspicion has ever thrown even a shadow over his character for uprightness and integrity. He makes no pretension to those classical accomplishments which are the valuable results of a long course of university training and culture. He claims nothing from ancestry or pedigree, and nothing of popularity or ability or professional attainments and success, which are not common to all others of similar advantages. Whatever of merit he possesses has been acquired by persevering industry, energy of purpose, and fidelity to principles, which have secured for him a reasonable measure of public confidence and support. In his private life, he is quiet, modest, and unassuming, and during his forty years' residence in the little village of Essex, he has obtained a strong hold on the hearts of the people. His is the confidential advisor and friend alike of the rich and poor, and no man has ever lived in the community whose loss would be more deeply felt. He has been for many years a faithful consistent, and devoted member and a liberal supporter of the Episcopal church. On the 30th of September 1845, he married Lydia A., daughter of Hon. Samuel INGHAM. Two children were born to them: Samuel INGHAM and James Lancelot PHELPS.
SAMUEL MERRITT COMSTOCK.
In the Muniment office at Frankfort-on-the Main, in Germany, is a pedigree of the COMSTOCK family, spelled KOMSTOCK and COMSTOHK, which gives nine generations previous to 1547, when Charles VAN COMSTOCK, a baron o the Roman Empire, was implicated in the VAN BENEDICT treason, and escaped into England with several noblemen of Austria and Silesia. The arms of the family are Or; two bears rampant; Sable, muzzled; Gules, in chief, and in base as work issuing from a crescent. Upon the arms a baronial helmet of the German Empire mantled on gold; and Gules surmounted by a baron's coronet, jeweled, thence from an elephant rampant, also proper. The following explanation is given of the arms, viz., the bears imply courage; the sword issuing from the crescent shows that the family had fought against the Turks. The elephant in the crest was given as an indication of personal prowess and sagacity. It is not a difficult matter to trace in the life of Samuel M. COMSTOCK, the subject of this sketch, the distinguishing characteristics peculiar to the baronial ancestor. The personal "prowess and sagacity" indicated by the elephant in the crest, were exhibited in Mr. COMSTOCK to a marked degree. It was a common saying among his friends that he "laid his plans three years ahead," and saw the end from the beginning. That he was a man of great foresight, of unflinching courage, strong will, and determination of character, is admitted by all who knew him, and to the possession of these qualities he was indebted to a great extent for is uniform success in life. Samuel COMSTOCK, his father, was captain of a vessel engaged in the West India trade. He married Rebecca CARTER, by whom he had ten children. Samuel M., the ninth, was born in that part of Potapaug Parish now known as Ivoryton, in the present town of Essex, on the 14th of August 1809. He enjoyed the usual advantages of a common school education, and commenced early in life to earn his own living. When he was 20 years of age he went to work in the comb factory, located on the present site of the Connecticut Valley Manufacturing Company. He soon acquired a knowledge of the details of the business, and doubtless saw at that time where great improvements could be made in the process of manufacture. In 1834, he commenced the manufacture of screw drivers in connection with Joseph A., his brother, and Edwin GRISWOLD, under the name of COMSTOCK & GRISWOLD, in the building at present occupied by Horace G. JONES for the manufacture of axe helves. Finding the business unprofitable it was discontinued at the end of six months, and the building fitted up with new machinery for the manufacture of combs and ivory goods. In this Mr. COMSTOCK had ample opportunity for the display of his inventive genius and mechanical ingenuity. Old methods were discarded and improved labor saving machinery substituted. The old fashioned tooth picks and fine tooth combs were about the only class of goods manufactured from the ivory at that time, but the prolific brain of Mr. COMSTOCK was continually at work, devising new plans and opening new fields for utilizing the material and economizing the cost of production. No sooner was a new article of manufacture decided upon by the firm than the inventive genius of Mr. COMSTOCK contrived the method for its production. His was a thoroughly practical mind. He had no visionary theories, or castles in the air, for his plans were put into immediate execution as fast as they were developed. In 1847, he sold his interest and severed his connection with COMSTOCK & GRISWOLD, and (having purchased the water privilege now owned by the COMSTOCK & CHENEY Company) started in the same business alone. Later he associated with him his young nephews, and for many years continued the business under the firm name of S. M. COMSTOCK & Co. New buildings were erected and further improvements made in the methods of manufacture, and an almost endless variety of goods produced of every conceivable style and pattern. To his inventive and mechanical genius Mr. COMSTOCK united rare business qualifications seldom found in any one man. This is shown by his uniform success in business. From the start the business has been one of continued steady growth. The village of Ivoryton, which a few years ago was almost a wilderness, is now one of the most beautiful villages in the State, and this has been accomplished mainly through his efforts. He was large hearted, liberal, and generous. While not connected with any particular sect or denomination, he gave liberally to the support of religious and benevolent objects. He was kind and considerate to his employés, and while, during working hours, he required a faithful performance of duty from every man, yet when the labors of the day were completed, he engaged heartily in the sports of the men and took an active interest in everything that concerned their welfare or happiness. While deservedly popular in the community he had little time to devote to politics. In 1869, however, he accepted the nomination for the legislature, and was elected by a large majority. In 1860, he became connected with the Deep River Ivory Comb Company, and was president and treasurer of the company until its reorganization in 1864. He was a man of enlarged views, honest and upright in all his dealings with his fellow men, and endeavored strictly to obey the golden rule. November 29th 1838, he married Harriet HOVEY, of Mansfield, Connecticut, whose ancestor, Rev. John RUSSEL, of Hadley, Massachusetts, was famous for the active part he took in sheltering the regicides who fled to this country during the reign of Charles II. Miss HOVEY was a niece of Rev. Aaron HOVEY, who, for a number of years, was pastor of the congregational church at Centerbrook. Eleven children were the issue of Mr. COMSTOCK's marriage with Miss HOVEY. Two died in infancy, and one, a promising youth, Walter Merritt, died in early manhood. Six children are now living: George Hovey, Elizabeth A., Harriet S., Robert Henry, Elliot B., and Archibald Welch. Robert H. and Elliot B. are actively engaged in the COMSTOCK CHENEY Company, the former as director and the latter as secretary of the company. Elizabeth A. married John E. NORTHROP, the present treasurer of the company. Many of the older inhabitants remember the grandfather of Mr. COMSTOCK as a Revolutionary pensioner, who, during the days of their childhood, entertained them during the long winter nights with his thrilling accounts of the scenes of the American Revolution. The death of Mr. COMSTOCK occurred January 18th 1878 at Wilmington, North Carolina.
DAVID W. MANWARING.
Sixty-three years ago, on the 2d of October 1821, David W. MANWARING was born in the little old fashioned one and a half story frame house, situated at the foot of Little Point, near the Upper Cove at Essex, Conn. His parents were poor and could not afford to give him even the limited advantages for acquiring an education which is playmates enjoyed. When he was but 13 years of age, his father died, leaving a widow and five children, one boy, David, the oldest, and four daughters. The responsibility of caring for his widowed mother and sisters weighed heavily on his mind, and young as he was, he determined to make an effort to support them. Six months after his father's death, he left home without his mother's knowledge, and landed in New York, friendless and alone, on the 12th of June 1835. The only capital he possessed was a brave heart and an honest face; with these he soon obtained a situation in a grocery kept by Abraham LEGGETT, on Front street, where he was employed to build fires, sweep the store, and run on errands at a salary of $3.00 a month, with board and washing. At the end of the first week, his homesickness confined him to his bed, but Mrs. LEGGETT, with a mother's intuition, discovered the cause of his sickness, and kindly offered to let him go home. He was afraid to trust himself, however, and kept up bravely until the feeling wore off. He remained with Mr. LEGGETT five years, his waged being increased from year to year, until they reached $25 a month. When he arrived at the age of nineteen, he concluded to "paddle his own canoe," and after sending home all his wages except $2, he walked down South street, looking for a safe investment. He found a vessel loaded with conch shells, which were then in great demand as a substitute for cameos. On his investment of $2, he realized $40. The manufacture of bags and sacks from burlaps, for general commercial purposes, was first established in this country by him, early in the year 1839. He is now the oldest and largest manufacturer and dealer in the United States. He hired a loft at 250 Front street, and commenced making bags by hand, but the increasing demand for the use of bags compelled Mr. MANWARING to use sewing machines in his loft instead of hand. Perceiving with a quick eye and a long head the outlet for bags in the future was going to be enormous, he commenced to make improvements to meet this demand. He now occupies 248 and 258 Front street, also 271 Water street. The Front street warehouses are used by him for the storage of his materials for making new bags, also for his second hand bags; with the exception of the upper lofts, which are devoted to bag making by hand labor. Ten years ago he built the factory at 271 Water street, extending through the block and connecting with 250 Front street. It is well equipped with steam-driven machinery for the manufacture of bags of all sizes and descriptions, for the transportation of such merchandise as grain, flour, coffee, salt, fertilizers, ores, etc. Mr. MANWARING is not only an extensive manufacturer of bags, but a large imported of burlaps and bagging coming chiefly from Dundee, Scotland, the principal seat of its manufacture. He buys this material direct from the manufacturer, as he buys everything else connected with his business from first hands to enable him to manufacture cheap, buying for cash only. He has extensive business connections through agents, in London, Liverpool, Antwerp, Havre, Barcelona, Lisbon, Calcutta, and other prominent foreign seaport cities. His business in the home trade extends north, south, east, and west. His house is well known to all the buyers of bags. His integrity and honesty have secured for him the bulk of the business. The first floor of the Water street factory is used for office purposes. The second floor is the printing and marking department, where a large number of girls are employed in stamping names and various devices upon bags by means of metal marking plates. Upon the third, fourth, and fifty floors, the bags are cut and sewed together by a large number of sewing machines running by steam and operated by girls. At the top of the factory is situated the steam engine and boiler; also the repairing room for the sewing machines, which is in charge of a skillful engineer and machinist. The machinery includes one of the best automatic spooling machines ever invented; twelve spools can be spooled at once, and the arrangement is such that more can be added if required. The spooling machine is required to spin the sewing cord on spools for the operators who make the bags. The engine also operates the hoisting machinery by which stock and goods are raised and lowered. The number of hands employed is about 200. The capacity of the factory is equal to the daily production of 35,000 bags of various kinds. Mr. MANWARING is also a loaner of bags to steamship companies and shipping houses for the exportation of grain to Europe. Not less than five million bags are annually rented by shippers from the port of New York alone. After arrival at destination they are emptied, baled together, and re-shipped to the owner to be put in order for another voyage. The duration of their services varies, but averages about five voyages. His business is with the large buyers of bags only, orders from 100,000 to 500,000 bags at a time being a common occurrence. The total number of bags handled by him last year exceeded 15,000,000. His factory is called the "Pioneer Bag Factory," as he was the pioneer in the business. His son, William M., is associated with him in business, and between them they hold three memberships on the produce exchange, two on the maritime exchange, and two on the hay and produce exchange. His house is so well known throughout the United States and Europe, that it makes it unnecessary for him to send out drummers to solicit business, as his competitors are obliged to do; there being no buyers of bags in large lots, but what write or wire him for quotations before closing their purchases; every one dealing with him unite in saying, that whatever Mr. MANWARING says or represents they can depend on. His word is his bond, and in many large transactions not even is he asked to give a written contract. Soon after Mr. MANWARING commenced business for himself he felt the necessity of an education. With only a "tallow dip" for a light he studied through the long winter nights, and finally employed a teacher to assist him. By this means he fitted himself to manage his increasing business. The first deposit he ever made was in the Seventh Ward Bank for $191. Since then he has deposited millions. He has been a stockholder there for many years, and has been frequently solicited to become a director in the several institutions with which he is connected. Among his business friends he is honored and cherished, as but few men are. He is of a genial disposition, has a kind word for everyone, and everybody. He is a devout Christian, and has been one from his early years. For 24 years he was a trustee and member of the Calvary Baptist Church, where he was one of its leading and active members; but is now a trustee and member of the Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, of which the Rev. Dr. ARMITAGE is pastor. He is liberal to charitable purposes, giving to those who are in need, but doing it in such a way that but few know who is the donor, he being very modest in this respect. He married Elmira, daughter of William F. BRADDOCK, of Essex, Connecticut, by whom he had three children: David W., doing business by himself; William M., associated with his father; Juliet S., deceased. His wife died June 17th 1872. His present wife is Adelaide E. MOORE, daughter of William and Margaret MOORE and granddaughter of Gen. Amariah KIBBE, general of Connecticut Militia, Somers, Connecticut. She is a very estimable lady, and is esteemed by all those who are fortunate enough to make her acquaintance. Mr. MANWARING resides at 66 West fifty-third street, New York, which house he owns.
ALVAN F. WHITTEMORE.
The common American ancestor of the WHITTEMORE family was Thomas WHITTEMORE, who came to this country between 1639 and 1645, and settled in that part of Charlestown, Mass., which is now embraced within the limits of the town of Everett, Mass. In the New England Genealogical Register appears the following: "Earlier than the year 1300, we find the first recorded name, i. e., John, Lord of WHYTEMERE, having his domicile at WHYTEMERE, on the northeast side of the parish of Bobbington, in the manor of Claverly, in Shropshire. At the present time the same locality bears the name of WHITTEMORE. It is recorded by two historians that WHITTEMORE Hall, at WHITTEMORE, was the place of origin of the WHITTEMORE family. The Anglo-Saxon of the word WHYTEMERE is white meadow, or lake, and the first John, Lord of WHYTEMERE, derived the name of the family from the place where they originally resided." Daniel, the great-grandfather of A. F. WHITTEMORE, was born in Boston, Mass., February 5th 1715, on the homestead of Thomas the American ancestor of the WHITTEMORE family. He removed to New London, Conn., previous to 1738, as the marriage records of New London show that he married that year. Alvan F. WHITTEMORE, the subject of this sketch, was born in New London, on the 22d of August 1796. He removed to Essex, Conn., in 1821, and engaged in the mercantile business. He soon after married Eliza, daughter of Nathan PRATT, a manufacturing jeweler. By her he had seven children: George, Alvan, Isaac, William, Elizabeth, Samuel, and Henry. Not long after the death of his first wife, which occurred August 6th 1833, he married Mrs. Teresa MASSON, widow of Thomas MASSON, who had two children by her first husband: Thomas and Jane. The result of the second marriage was four children: Maria, Jane Masson, Elmer, and Louisa. Mr. WHITTEMORE was the first postmaster of the borough of Essex, and held the office consecutively for 25 years, being what was then known as a 'hard-shell democrat." His removal took place under President TAYLOR's administration. He was earnestly solicited by representatives of both parties to again accept the appointment, but positively declined. He was at one time largely engaged in the shipbuilding interests with Richard P. WILLIAMS, and was also engaged with that gentleman in the harbor improvements at the mouth of the Connecticut River, from 1838 to 1842. He carried on quite an extensive manufacturing business-principally toilet soaps and patent medicines. He was the first one in this country, if not in the world, to utilize bayberry tallow in the manufacture of toilet soaps. He was one of the first in this country to introduce the witch haze, the manufacture of which was commenced in 1846. During his whole life, he was actively engaged in public matters. He was a man of positive convictions, and while during his early life he engaged in the sale of spirituous liquors, he became one of the earliest advocates of temperance. The one paramount object of his life, however, seemed to be promotion of religious enterprises. All this thoughts and energies were centered in this object. He united with the Baptist church in 1821, and from that time up to the day he received a paralytic stroke in 1860, he was one of the most earnest and devoted members of that church. Educated in the school of adversity, he was extremely economical in his habits, but very liberal in his charities, practicing the most rigid self-denial to aid in relieving the wants of others, or in the advancement of the cause of religion. Some years previous to his death, he received a stroke, which impaired his mental faculties, and he became quite childish before his death, which occurred on the 17th of January 1867. His wife survived him about 10 years, her death occurring on the 13 of January 1877. Four children are all that remain: Rev. J. S. WHITTEMORE, who is at present pastor of the Presbyterian church at Norwood, Mercer county, Illinois; Henry; and Rev. R. E. WHITTEMORE, who gave up preaching some years ago and has since been largely engaged in the manufacture of witch hazel and toilet soaps at Clinton, Connecticut.
It is a remarkable coincidence that the names of both the paternal and maternal ancestors of Henry WHITTEMORE have almost the same meaning. In the New England Genealogical Record it is stated that "The Anglo-Saxon of the word WHYTEMERE is white meadow or lake, and the first John, Lord of WHYTEMERE, derived the name of the family from the place where they originally resided." The maternal ancestor of Mr. WHITTEMORE was Lieut. William PRATT, one of the eleven proprietors who settled under the FENWICK Patent at "Eight-Mile Meadow," subsequently known as Potapaug, in the town of Saybrook previous to 1648. In the genealogy of the PRATT family appears the following.
"The motto belonging to the emblazonry of PRATT of Ryster Hall in Norfolk, thus alludes to the etymology of the name: 'Rident Florentia Prata,' "the flowing meadows smile." The name PRATT is from Pratum-a meadow. John de PRATELLIS was a favorite minister of Richard Cr de Lion. William de PRATELLIS (or William PRATT), the brother of John, was the English ancestor of Lieut. William PRATT. In 1191, William de PRATELLIS accompanied King Richard to the Holy Land. King Richard, on a certain occasion went out hawking, accompanied by a small escort. Becoming fatigued he fell asleep and was surprised by a body of Turks. A sharp conflict ensued, and the king would have been captured but for William de PRATELLIS (William PRATT), who called out that he was the king and permitted himself to be captured, thus enabling the king to escape. He was afterward ransomed by King Richard, and knighted for his valor. Henry WHITTEMORE, or, as appears by the town records, Henry Warner WHITTEMORE, was born at Essex, Conn., on the 28th of July 1833, his birth being the cause of his mother's death. Being deprived of a mother's care in infancy, he became a weak, puny child, unable to avail himself to any extent of the educational advantages afforded by the public school and academy of his native town, and it was not until he received the appointment of a clerkship with the Pontchartain Railroad Company, at New Orleans, La., to which place he removed n 1854, that he realized the importance of a more thorough education. By hard study for two or three hours before breakfast, and during the long winter evenings, he soon qualified himself for the rapid advancement that followed. At the end of two years he was made chief transportation clerk of the road, and harbor master at Lake Pontchartrain, and on the death of the superintendent in 1859 he was appointed to fill the vacancy, holding for a time the combined offices of superintendent, secretary, and treasurer. At the first meeting of the board of directors, following the death of the superintendent, Mr. WHITTEMORE was elected secretary and treasurer of the company. At the end of the first year his failing health compelled him to resign the position, much to the regret of his associates in the board of directors. He was immediately offered the secretaryship of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad Company, at that time the longest road in the United States. This however, he was compelled to decline for the same reason. He soon after removed to Memphis, Tenn. On the breaking out of the war, in 1861, he inlisted in the Confederate army, but was soon after relieved from duty, owing to ill health, and other physical disabilities. After the surrender of Memphis in 1862, he returned to his native town, where he remained for a short time, and then removed to New York, and for some years was employed as bookkeeper and treasurer in a large dry goods jobbing house. In 1869, he organized a stock company, for the manufacture of wood carpeting and parquet flooring, of which he was the inventor. After placing the business on a firm basis, he sold his interest and bought a farm in Rockland county. Here he had leisure to devote to literary pursuits, of which he was excessively fond. He devoted several months to the compiling of the Revolutionary history of Rockland county, and in 1878 he organized the Rockland County Historical and Forestry Society, of which he was an active member for several years. In 1879, he organized the Wayne Monument Association, and was chairman of the executive committee and principal manager of the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the storming of Stony Point, held on the 16th of July 1879. In August 1883, he returned to his native county of Middlesex for the purpose of compiling its history. He entered upon the work with his accustomed energy and enthusiasm, and soon after engaged a valuable corps of assistants to write up each separate town in the county. Persevering, self-reliant, and independent, he entered upon every undertaking with a determination to succeed, and seldom failed, his motto being: "What I will to do I can do." In his business and social relations he has always been scrupulously honest, truthful, and conscientious, and fearless in the discharge of every known duty. Strong in his convictions, but sensitive in his nature, he is cautious in giving expression to his views, for fear of causing offense or wounding the feelings of others. He was for many years actively engaged in Sunday school work, and, being excessively fond of children, he never failed to interest and instruct them. He has been for many years a member of the Baptist church, but is very liberal in his views, and confines his labors to no church or sect. On the 1st of October 1857, he married Eliza Kingsley HOLT, of New Orleans, La. They have seven living children, having lost three. Four were born at the South and three at the North. Robin, the youngest, was born at Washington's Headquarters, Tappan, M. Y., on the 26th of October 1878.
SAMUEL B. MILLER.
Samuel B. MILLER, wholesale commission fish dealer, No. 7, Fulton Market, New York city, was born at Hempstead, Queens county, Long Island, March 13th 1820. His father was a weaver; but, in 1827, came to Fulton Market, and from then until 1851, the year of his death, was engaged in the fish trade. When but 13 years of age Mr. MILLER came to this market and began work for his father, with whom he stayed two years. At the expiration of this time, the ambitious lad made oath "never to work for wage again for a man on the land," and boldly struck out for himself as a dealer in fish. This occupation he has followed ever since; and, April 1st 1884, completed his fifty-first year as a fish merchant. In 1851, his brother, Charles-a prominent citizen of Brooklyn, who, at the time of his decease, in October 1873, was an alderman of that city, representing the First Ward-became a partner, remaining in the firm until his death. In that year Mr. MILLER gave an interest in his business to his two sons, Ernest M. and Clarence G., which they still retain; though the original firm name, S. B. MILLER remains unchanged. Mr. MILLER was married in 1841, to Miss Mary Ann VAN MATER, by whom he had seven children, five of them-three daughters and two sons-now living. Mr. MILLER is, in a certain sense, the father of the Fulton Fish Market, being the oldest dealer there, and has seen the commencement of the business career of very other members. He is rich in reminiscences connected with this famous market. From him we learn that, while now there are about one hundred and fifty varieties of eatable fish sold in this market, 50 years ago there were but six or eight. Oysters were then a staple article. Prices averaged about as now. The old market was merely a platform, and the market men were forced to transact their dealings, in all weather, without covering. In 1869, the fish dealers of the market secured a charter from the State of New York, empowering the commissioner of the sinking fund of New York city to lease the bulkhead and one half the slip to the "Fulton Market Fish Mongers' Association," for the purpose of building and sustaining a public market. A stock company was formed with a capital of $200,000-Mr. MILLER being a charter member-and the bulkhead leased. At the expiration of the lease it was renewed for 10 years, at a cost of $6,500 yearly, and the present building, at a cost of $135,000, was erected. The building is 193 by 64 feet, with 193 feet water front, and is entirely over water, being supported by 274 spiles, and is one of the strongest frame edifices in the State. Annual rentals are paid by all members; 250,000 pounds of fish are daily handled there. Mr. MILLER is a man possessing many necessary qualifications to success. His ability to endure long physical strain is remarkable; while, coupled with this is a keen, far-seeing mind and strict integrity. He expects the same of his fellowmen; and, while positive and quick in his business life, he is a most genial man. He has the rare faculty of inspiring both affection and respect in all with whom he comes in contact; and we are glad to note that his financial success has been commensurate with his intrinsic worth. He has for 13 years been president of the Fish Mongers' Association. In politics, Mr. MILLER acted with the whigs until the breaking out of the late war, from which time he has been a member of the democratic party. In voting for city officers, it is the man he seeks to hone, not the party. Mr. MILLER, while still a hard worker, is not unmindful of the pleasures of those near and dear to him. In 1865, he purchased, in the village of Essex, the WILLIAMS house and some land adjoining that had belonged to Miss Polly GLOVER. There was a small house on the property, which Mr. MILLER remodeled and made large additions to, making a most beautiful summer residence, which he has appropriately names the Valley Home. He has ever since occupied it during the summer months. Mr. MILLER is well known to the citizens of Essex and vicinity, having divided his time between this and his home in Brooklyn for the last 18 years. Of a very social disposition naturally, Mr. MILLER entertains, during the summer season, many friends from the city and elsewhere, who are always loth to leave his hospitable roof. Indeed, while his family now consists of only himself and wife, his summer home is seldom inhabited with less than a dozen people.
CAPTAIN WILLIAM W. URQUHART.
The subject of this sketch, a son of the late Captain John URQUHART, was born in Essex, June 26th 1838. He entered the merchant service when quite young, and, at the age of 21 years, was mater of the fine ship American Eagle, of E. MORGAN's Sons' London line. He has always been remarkably fortunate in his profession, and has made some of the quickest trips across the Atlantic on record. At the time of the loss of the French steamship Ville du Havre, Captain URQUHART was in command of the ship Trimountain. On the morning after the disaster he received the rescued crew and passengers of the Ville du Havre from Loch Earn to his own vessel, where they were kindly cared for, and landed safely at Cardiff, Wales. For his kindness to the survivors of the wrecked vessel, Captain URQUHART was presented with a handsome silver service, costing $1,500. He also received, from the citizens of Bristol, England, a handsome silver salver, and from the French Transatlantic Steamship Company, a fine gold chronometer and chain. In 1879, while in command of the Isaac Webb, Captain URQUHART rescued the crew of a disabled British bard, the Ivolina, of Falmouth, and carried them to Liverpool. For this service he received a beautiful and costly silver beaker, gold lined, having embossed gold bands, and bearing an appropriate inscription