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.
MIDDLETOWN - PROMINENT MEN.
Pages 152 - 173.
REV. SAMUEL STOW.
Rev. Samuel Stow came to Mattabesett in 1651. He was the youngest of the four sons of John and Elizabeth Stow, who "arrived at New England the 17th of the 3d month ano 1634," and was then twelve years of age. He graduated in the first class of Harvard College, 1645, studied for the ministry, was employed in Massachusetts for a time, and on his removal here became the founder and pastor of the "First Ecclesiastical Society" in this city, and was recognized by the General court as "their engaged minister," as recorded in volumes of the Colonial Records.
In March 1669 he made an appeal to the General Court (still extant) to settle differences that had arisen between him and his people, which resulted thus:
"That the people of Middletown are free from Mr. STOW as their engaged minister. 2dly. That the people of Middletown shall give to Mr. STOW L'rs Testimonial as drawn up by the worshipfull Governor in ye Courte. And Mr. STOW is not infringed of his liberty to preach in Middletown to such as will attend him, until there be a settled minister there. It is ordered by this Court, that ye people Middletown shall pay unto Mr. STOW for his labour in ye ministry the year past £40, which is to be paid unto --- by the 10th of April next."* (*TRUMBULL's Colonial Records, Vol. 1, pp. 361, 362.)
He continued his work in various places, and founded churches. In 1680, twenty persons from Simsbury petitioned the Legislature thus: the petitioners "having knowledge and tryall of Mr. Samuell STOW in ye labours of ye Word, & doctrine of ye Gospell, manifest their desire, for his continuance, to be a Pastor and Watchman over our Souls and ye Souls of ours, and ask ye countenance of the General Court to their settlement and order;" which petition was granted and the order given.* (*Col. Rec. Vol. III, p. 191.)
He married Hope FLETCHER, the daughter of William FLETCHER, of Chelmsford, Mass. With the exception of John, his oldest son, born at Charlestown, Mass., June 16th 1650, his children were all born here.† († His home lot consisted of five acres, situated on the northwest corner of Main and Washington streets, running west on the last-names to what is now Pearl, or near there, and the remainder on Main street.) After his retirement from the work of the ministry, he wrote several books for the press, one of which was probably the earliest history of New England, and is not know known to be extant, another on the conversion of the Jews, all of which appear in the inventory of his estate. He held during his life, 1374 acres of land, some of which he deeded to his children, some he gave instructions in his will that it be sold, and the proceeds be used to present a Bible to each of the numerous young men among his kindred bearing his name. He also bequeathed a large tract in Newfield and Westfield to the town, and thus laid the foundation of the first free schools here, an example which was followed by Nathaniel WHITE and Jasper CLEMENTS. These bequests combined are the source of the present town school fund.
As his two sons died without male heirs, the name of STOW is extinct in his line, but the standing of his descendants at this day shows the fulfillment of the promise of "the jealous God" who "sheweth mercy unto thousands of them that love him and keep his commandments."
He died at Middletown, May 8th 1704, aged 82. The table monument in the Riverside Burying Ground, supposed to be his, is devoid of any inscription, time and the elements combined having left the surface smooth.
HON. GILES HAMLIN.
Hon. Giles HAMLIN, ancestor of the early and very respectable family of that name, came from some part of England, and became a resident of Middletown, probably in 1650. He was probably a seafaring man. He was the first person admitted to the communion of the church under Rev. Mr. COLLINS, and was elected to the Colonial Council in 1685, and annually thereafter till his death, except during the usurpation of Andross. He died in 1689.
Hon. John HAMLIN, eldest son of Giles, inherited the sterling qualities of his father, and served the public for a much longer period. He was an assistant, from 1694 to 1730. In 1715 he was appointed a judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the county of Hartford, and from 1716 to 1721, he was an assistant judge of the Superior Court. He died in 1733, at the age of 75.
Hon. Jabez HAMLIN, son of John, was held in equally as high esteem as were his father and grandfather, and was still more extensively employed in public life. He was early made a colonel of militia, and was in the commission of the peace in 1733 or 1734, and was a justice of the Quorum from 1745 till 1754. He was a judge of the Hartford County Court from 1754 till 1784, was judge of the Court of Probate from 1752 till 1789, and mayor of the city of Middletown from its incorporation till his death. He was annually elected an assistant from 1758 till 1767. Although he supported an unpopular measure, such was his personal popularity that he was at once sent as a representative to the Assembly and was made speaker of the House, a position which he continued to occupy till he was returned to the Council in 1773. He died in 1791, at the age of 82.
COMMODORE THOMAS MCDONOUGH.
Although not a native of Middletown, the alliance of Commodore MCDONOUGH with the family of a prominent citizen, Nathaniel SHALER, gives this town a right to claim him as one of its sons.
Thomas MCDONOUGH was born in the county of New Castle, Delaware, in 1783. He became a midshipman in the navy at the age of 17, and was with the American fleet in the Mediterranean, where he took part in the destruction of the frigate Philadelphia, which had been captured by the Tripolitans, and the capture of a Tripolitan gun-boat. His gallantry in these affairs led to his promotion to the rank of lieutenant.
No noteworthy event in his life occurred between the Tripolitan war and that of 1812, except that he had been made a captain. In that year he took the command of the United States force on Lake Champlain, and carried the army of General Dearborn into Canada without encountering opposition from the British force. No active operations occurred on the lake till the autumn of 1814, though both parties were busily employed in strengthening their naval forces.
On the 11th of September in that year, the celebrated battle between the two naval forces took place in front of Plattsburg. The British squadron, which was superior in force, was commanded by Commodore DOWNIE, and that of the Americans by Captain MCDONOUGH.
It is unnecessary to give here a description of this battle, which lasted two hours and twenty minutes, and during which the ships of the commanders, the Confiance and the Saratoga, were the principal objects of attack. The former was hulled 105 times, and the latter received 55 shots, principally twenty-four pounders, in her hull.
"The personal deportment of Capt. MCDONOUGH in the engagement, like that of Capt. PERRY in the battle of Lake Erie, was the subject of general admiration. His coolness was undisturbed throughout all the trying scenes on board his own ship, and although trying against a vessel of double the force and nearly twice the tonnage of the Saratoga he met and resisted her attacks with a constancy that seemed to set defeat at defiance. The winding of the Saratoga, under such circumstances, exposed as she was to the raking broadsides of the Confiance and the Linnet, especially the latter, was a bold, seamanlike, and masterly measure, that required unusual decision and fortitude to imagine and execute. Most men would have believed that, without a single gun on the side engages, a fourth of the people cut down, and their ship a wreck, enough injury had been received to justify submission; but Capt. MCDONOUGH found the means to secure a victory in the desperate situation of the Saratoga."
Though he had been honored before he was still more highly honored after this battle. Congress voted him a medal, and different States and towns complimented him by gifts. The State of New York gave him a thousand acres of land, and the State of Vermont, two hundred, situated in full view of the lake, near the scene of his victory. The Legislature of New York also voted him a splendid sword, and another, costing $1,300, was presented to him by the officers and seamen whom he had commanded in the Mediterranean. The State of Delaware also presented him with a massive silver tea set, on which was a suitable inscription. He was promoted for his services in this action.
Commodore MCDONOUGH continued in the naval service till near the time of his death. His last cruise was in the Mediterranean, in command of the old frigate Constitution, in 1825. By reason of failing health he resigned the command of that vessel, and embarked from Gibraltar in October 1825. On the 10th of the next month he died at sea. His remains were brought to New York, and thence to Middletown, where they were interred in the old cemetery, near the bank of the Connecticut River. A modest marble monument marks the place of his interment.
WILLIAM L. STORRS.
William Lucius STORRS was born in Middletown, Connecticut, March 25th 1795, graduated at Yale College in 1814, and adopted the law as a profession. He was a member of the State Assembly in 1827, 1828, 1829, and 1834, serving as a speaker in 1834. He was a member of Congress from Connecticut from 1829 to 1833, and again from 1839 to 1840. In June 1840, he resigned to accept the appointment of associate judge of the Court of Errors. In 1846, he was appointed professor of law In Yale College, and served in that capacity till 1847. In 1856, he was appointed chief justice of the Court of Errors, and held that position until his death in Hartford, June 25th 1861.
HENRY R. STORRS.
Henry R. STORRS, elder brother of William L., was born in Middletown in 1785 or 1787, and graduated from Yale College in 1804. He practiced law some years at Utica, N. Y., and during his residence there was a representative in Congress from 1819 to 1821, and again from 1823 to 1831. After leaving Congress, he removed to the city of New York, where he became very eminent in his profession. He was possessed of extensive aquirements, uncommon powers of discrimination, and great logical exactness. He was a powerful elocutionist and as a debater in Congress he stood conspicuous in the first rank. He died at New Haven, July 29th 1837.
JAMES T. PRATT.
James T. PRATT was born in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1805, and was bred a farmer, which occupation he followed. He served in the Connecticut Legislature; and was a representative in Congress from that State from 1853 to 1855. He was also a delegate to the "Peace Congress" of 1861.
RT. REV. JOHN WILLIAMS, D.D., LL.D.*
*BY REV. FREDERIC GARDINER, D.D.
Rt. Rev. John WILLIAMS, D.D., LL. D., was born in Old or North Deerfield, Mass., August 30th 1817. He was the only child of Ephraim WILLIAMS, a lawyer and author of the first volume of the Massachusetts Reports, and of Emily (TROWBRIDGE) WILLIAMS. His parents were Unitarians and he was educated in that faith. He attended school at the academy in his native town, which was considered an excellent school, and later was sent to Northfield, where there was an academy with a high reputation. In 1831, he entered Harvard College, where he remained two years. Here he had an intimate friend, afterward Rev. Benjamin DAVIS, and in consequence of discussions with him and of careful study of the prayer book, he determined to connect himself with the Episcopal Church. In consequence of the change he wished to be transferred to a church college. Accordingly, with the cordial consent of his father, he left Harvard and entered what was then Washington (now Trinity) College, Hartford. This brought him into relations with Bishop BROWNELL, who had resigned the presidency of the college in 1831, and who continued to live in Hartford and take an active interest in the affairs of the college, and with the Rev. Dr. Samuel F. JARVIS, then on of its professors. He graduated n 1835. In the autumn of that year, having become a candidate for Holy Orders, he entered the Theological Seminary in New York, but after a short time was called home by the illness of his father and remained with him until his death. Then, after a little delay in Hartford, he came to Middletown to resume his theological studies with the Rev. Dr. JARVIS, who had become rector of Christ Church (now the Church of the Holy Trinity) in that city. Having completed his studies, he was ordained deacon, together with his friend Abner JACKSON (afterwards successively a tutor and a professor in Trinity, and president, first of Hobart, and then of Trinity College) by Bishop BROWNELL in the church at Middletown, September 2d 1838. After his ordination he continued a tutor in Trinity College, a position which he had taken in 1837, until 1840. Being still below the canonical age of 24 required for ordination to the priesthood, he went abroad with his mother for a little less than a year, spending most of the time in England and Scotland, although he also made a short visit to Paris.
On his return he became assistant to the Rev. Dr. JARVIS, at Middletown, for one year, and in 1842 was called to the rectorship of St. George's Church, Schenectady, N. Y. In 1848, he was elected president of Trinity College and removed to Hartford. Bishop BROWNELL was now advanced in years, and in 185, when he was already past "three score years and ten," it became necessary to elect an assistant Bishop. The choice fell with unanimity upon Dr. WILLIAMS, and he was consecrated in St. John's Church, Hartford, October 29th 1851. The increasing infirmity of Bishop BROWNELL threw upon him nearly the whole work of the diocese, but he nevertheless retained the presidency of Trinity College two years longer, finally resigning in 1853.
During his presidency, and chiefly through his personal exertions, the very small endowment of the college was considerably increased. When he resigned the office of president, he still retained that of vice-chancellor, becoming chancellor, ex-officio, on the death of Bishop BROWNELL, and his active interest in the welfare of the college has never flagged. He still continued to lecture on history to each of the two upper classes.
In the year 1854, he removed to Middletown with his mother, and has since lived there. The occasion for this exchange of residence was the incorporation of the Berkeley Divinity School, for which Middletown was considered the most suitable location. This school has grown out of a theological department of Trinity College which existed during his presidency. On the establishment of the Divinity School he became its dean, and has ever since taken his full share in the instruction of its students, in addition to his abundant labors as bishop of a rapidly developing diocese.
January 13th 1865, Bishop BROWNELL died and Bishop WILLIAMS become the sole bishop of the diocese. He has lived to see a remarkable development of its strength and vigor under his able administration. The number of its parishes has increased by one-half, while that of its clergy has grown in a still larger ration; the number of families connected with it has nearly doubled, and that of its communicants has more than doubled; the average annual number of baptisms has also doubled, while the conformations have more than doubled. The various institutions of the diocese have been correspondingly strengthened, and several important ones have been established and grown to a vigorous manhood. There have also been founded, in connection with the various parishes, a number of charitable institutions, such has homes for the aged and infirm, and for orphans. The contributions for parochial and benevolent purposes have multiplied thirty fold.
Honorary degrees of S. T. D., or D. D., were received from Union College in 1847, from Trinity in 1849, from Columbia in 1851, and from Yale in 1883; that of LL. D. was conferred by Hobart College in 1870.
The Bishop's mother died in 1872, on the day of the ordination of the graduating class of the Berkeley Divinity School. With that faithfulness at once to filial and to official duty which has characterized his whole life, the Bishop remained at her side during the early part of the service, giving directions that he should be summoned when is official duty began. Before that moment arrived, Mrs. WILLIAMS had passed to her rest, and the Bishop, having watched her latest breath, entered the Chancel to bestow the authority of the ministry upon the young men whom he had trained for its duties.
According to the rule prevailing from the organization of the Episcopal Church in this country, the oldest of the bishops in the order of consecration has always been the Presiding Bishop in the Church. In the growth of the Church this office, which was at first one of little more than formal honor, has gradually become of considerable responsibility and importance. At the General Convention of 1883, the rule was so far changed that Bishop WILLIAMS, being then fourth in order of seniority, was chosen chairman of the House of Bishops and "Assessor" (a new office) to the Presiding Bishop. He thus became practically the recognized head of the American Episcopal Church.
This short notice of one of the most honored of the citizens of Middlesex, and of Connecticut, and one of the most prominent of the member of the Episcopal Church in America cannot fitly be closed without mention of an incident of historic interest. After the close of the war of the Revolution, the American Church applied to the English Church for the consecration of bishops. Dr. Samuel SEABURY was the one chosen by the Church in Connecticut, and sent to England for this purpose. It was found, however, that the connection of the Church in England with the State interposed serious obstacles to the granting of the request. After long negotiations and tedious delays, of the successful termination of which there seemed little hope, Dr. SEABURY, in accordance with his instructions, finally turned to the Church of Scotland, and was duly consecrated at Aberdeen, November 14th 1784. This event supplied the American Church with the long desired Episcopacy, and was a turning point in the negotiations by which two other bishops (WHITE and PROVOOST) were consecrated in England, February 4th 1787, and a third (MADISON), September 19th 1790. Bishop SEABURY, however, was the first Presiding Bishop of the American Church. It was deemed eminently fitting that the centennial anniversary of his consecration should be observed at Aberdeen, and Bishop WILLIAMS, with several of the other bishops, and with several of the clergy of Connecticut, were present by invitation on the occasion. Bishop WILLIAMS, as the direct successor of Bishop SEABURY, and as the representative of the American Church, preached the especial sermon of the anniversary, and spent several months in England and Scotland.
GEN. JOSEPH K. F. MANSFIELD.
The ancestry of General Mansfield were of English extraction. They appear among the most distinguished names in the early settlement and history of the colonies. He was the son of Henry Stephen MANSFIELD and Mary FENNO, daughter of Ephraim FENNO, of Middletown, Conn. Henry Stephen MANSFIELD was born at New Haven, Conn., February 1st 1762. On the 3d of August 1786, he married Mary, daughter of Ephraim FENNO, by whom he had six children: Henry Stephen, born May 26th 1785; John Fenno, born January 9th 1788; Mary Grace Caroline, born June 4th 1792; Grace Totten, born February 13th 1799; Hannah Fenno, born February 24th 1801; Joseph King Fenno, born December 22d 1803.
The second son, John Fenno, was in command of a company of light infantry from Cincinnati, under General HULL, in the War of 1812, and shared the disaster of his disgraceful surrender. Upon his release, while crossing Lake Erie, he contracted a fever, and, soon after his return to Cincinnati, died at the house of a friend, not of fever alone, but of a broken heart.
Joseph King Fenno, the subject of this sketch, was born in New Haven, Conn. In 1817, he entered the Military Academy at West Point, and graduated with high honors in 1822, being second in his class. In accordance with regulations governing the appointment of cadets to the corps of engineers, Cadet MANSFIELD was, on the 1st of July 1822, appointed brevet second lieutenant of engineers. Army promotions at that time were slow; and he did not receive his commission as first lieutenant until 1832. In July 1838, he was promoted to the rank of a captain, and on the outbreak of the Mexican War was intrusted with the responsible part of chief engineer of the army commanded by Major-General Taylor during the years 1846 and 1847.
In the defense of Fort Brown, which was attacked on the 3d of May and heroically defended until the 9th, Captain MANSFIELD was particularly distinguished and received the brevet of major for his services.
In the three days conflict at Monterey, 21st 22d, and 23d of September 1846, Major MANSFIELD again distinguished himself, and was brevetted lieutenant-colonel for gallant and meritorious conduct. At the storming of Monterey, he was severely wounded, but in five months after, February 1847, he was again at his post, being brevetted colonel for gallant services in the battle of Buena Vista, February 23d 1847.
Generals H. W. HALLECK, G. B. MCCLELLAN, Horatio E. WRIGHT, G. W. CULLUM, W. L. ROSECRANS, John NEWTON, G. FOSTER, H. W. BENHAM, S. G. BARNARD, Charles E. BLUNT, Quincy A. GILMAN, and Quartermaster General MEIGS. The Confederate Generals Robert E. LEE, Peter G. T. BEAUREGARD, and Charles S. STEWART were also officers in this corps at the same time.
On the resignation of Inspector General George A. MCCALL, Colonel MANSFIELD was selected, may 28th 1853, to fill the important post of inspector general, with the full rank of colonel, and thereupon resigned his rank as captain of engineers. He continued to perform the duties of inspector general of the United States Army until May 14th 1861, at which date he was renominated by the president for one of the brigadier generalships in the regular army, then just created by Congress. Soon after this appointment he was summoned to Washington and assigned to the command of the defenses. SCOTT did not quite agree to his suggestion to fortify Arlington Heights; but he went ahead on his own responsibility. All the forts around Washington were engineered by General MANSFIELD, and built under his superintendence. For a time he was in command of Newport News, and led our forces in the capture of Norfolk. He was there when he received orders to take command of BANK's corps under General MCCLELLAN. Being greatly pleased at the thought of a more active life in the service of his country, he made hast to reach his command and came up with the army before Sharpsburg the night before the battle. On the following day, September 17th, while gallantly leading his troops into action, he fell, mortally wounded. Internal hemorrhage ensued, and on the dawn of the 18th, Major-General MANSFIELD gave his life a willing sacrifice to his country.
THE ALSOP FAMILY.
Thomas WANDELL, of Newtown, Long Island, was the founder of the ALSOP family, through Richard ALSOP, this nephew, whom he brought from England when a mere boy, about the year 1665, and adopted as his son and heir. It is said of Mr. WANDELL, the founder, that "the one act of his life in Newtown, which serves to perpetuate his name in local history, was his effort to thwart the burning of human beings for witchcraft. He was foreman of the jury that tried Ralph HALL and wife, and acquitted them." The great qualities of mind and heart possessed by WANDELL were impressed upon his young protégé and relative, and these have been transmitted, untarnished, through all succeeding generations down to the present time. Richard ALSOP fell into the possession of WANDELL's property about the year 1691, and continued "lord of the manor" until his death in 1718. He left three sons and several daughters. Of the sons, there were Thomas, Richard, and John, who became prominent in the legal profession and mercantile life. John removed to Esopus, on the Hudson River, where he became a prominent attorney.
Richard ALSOP, the 1st of Middletown, was probably born at Esopus. At an early age he was placed in the store of Phillip LIVINGSTON Esq., New York, where he received a thorough mercantile education. He came to Middletown about 1750, and commenced business in the lower rooms of the old town house, which then stood in the middle of Main street, just above Washington street. He was one of the pioneers in the West India trade, in which he was remarkably successful, and accumulated a large fortune. There were no established insurance companies at this time, and he not only took his own risks, but insured vessels for others on his private responsibility. He was a man of broad, liberal views, public spirited, and engaged heartily in all works of charity and benevolence. He was one of the charter members of St. John's Lodge, F. & A. M., which then comprised most of the leading men in the State. He was twice elected master, and was a member of the committee that framed the by-laws. He was a member of the State Legislature and occupied other public positions.
Richard ALSOP 2d, the eldest son of Richard ALSOP, the 1st of Middletown, was born at the homestead, January 27th 1761. His early education was intended to fit him for a mercantile life that he might become the worthy successor of his father, but "man proposes, God disposes." The ardent imagination of the youth-his fondness for literary pursuits, and the death of his father when he was only fifteen years of age-too young to assume the duties and responsibilities attached to his father's position-all combined to change the current of his life, and, while the heavy burden of managing the father's complex affairs fell on the mother, he was left to follow his own inclinations. On his brow the muses has already placed their wreath, and in his "Charms of Fancy," written later in life, he beautifully portrays the genius of the poet of which he himself was the embodiment. He says:
"But in full force with influence unconfin'd
Thou hold'st dominion o'ver the Poet's mind,
Fir'd by thy tough divine, in brightest hue,
Each varied object meets his raptur'd view;
A lovlier dress the face of Nature shows,
Far richer tints the fobes of May adorn,
More splendent glories paint the blush of morn,
Sublimity a grander mien assumes,
And loveliness in fairer beauty blooms;
While scene of wonder to his view arise
And all Elyslum opens on his eyes."
He pays a fitting tribute to his contemporaries in the following lines:
"The Muses sing: lo! TRUMBULL wakes the lyre,
With all the fervor of poetic fire.
Superior Poet! In whose classic strain
In bright accordance wit and fancy reign;
Whose powers of genius, in their ample range,
Comprise each subject and each tuneful change,
Each charm of melody to Phœbus dear
The grave, the gay, the tender and severe.
Majestic DWIGHT, sublime in epic strain,
Paints the fierce horrors of the cromson'd plain;
And, in Virgilian BARLOW's tuneful lines,
With added splendor, great COLUMBUS shines."
Dr FIELD, in his "Statistical History of Middlesex County," says of him:
"Though occasionally engaged in agricultural and commercial pursuits, Mr. ALSOP spent most of his days in the pursuit of elegant literature, for which he had an unusual fondness. In this pursuit he became familiarly acquainted with the literature of his own country and of the principal European nations. His love of poetry was enthusiastic, and was abundantly gratified by reading and composition. Numerous poetical pieces published by him in newspapers and magazines, issued in different forms, were well received, and did honor to his genius. His translation of MOLINA's History of Chili, the Universal Receipt Book, and the Narrative of the Sufferings of John R. JEWIT, have also given him a respectable standing as a prose writer. All his compositions are characterized by purity of expression, and indicate that delicacy of thought and feeling which appeared in his private life.
"As a man, as a scholar and as a writer, Mr. ALSOP will long be remembered with affection and respect by his numerous acquaintances."
Charles Richard ALSOP was graduated from Yale College in 1821, studied law in the office of Jonathan BARNES, Esq., and was admitted to the bar in this State. He then attended the lectures of Chancellor KENT in New York, and was admitted to the bar there. He returned to Middletown, his native place, in 1832. Upon the resignation of Noah A. PHELPS, Esq., he was elected mayor of the city, April 25th 1843, for the residue of the term. He was then re-elected for two years, after which he declined a re-election. He projected the movement for the New York & Boston Railroad, known as Air Line Road. He also obtained the charter for the Middletown, how the Berlin Branch Railroad.
He was president of this road until its consolidation with the Hartford, New Haven & Springfield Railroad Company. He was one of the original corporators of the New Yew York & Boston Railroad Company, and in November 1850, was elected president of it. He was several times elected to the State Senate.
Captain Joseph Wright ALSOP was the eighth child, and second son of Richard ALSOP, the 1st of Middletown. He was born on the 2d of March 1772. The death of his father, when he was but four years of age, left him dependent on his mother, to whose careful training he was indebted for his cusses in life. With the exception of the extensive library left by his father, he had no other educational advantages than those afforded by the public schools of his native town. At an early age he evinced a taste for a seafaring life, which he subsequently followed, commencing as a cabin boy, and continuing until he became master of a vessel. This experience afforded him the opportunity of reopening the extensive West India trade established by his father many years previous. He subsequently formed a copartnership with Chauncey WHITTLESEY, which continued for several years, until the death of Mr. WHITTLESEY. Not long after this Mr. CARRINGTON was taken in as partner under the firm name of ALSOP & CARRINGTON. At a later period another change took place in the firm, and Mr. Henry CHAUNCEY, who married a daughter of Captain ALSOP, became a member of the firm under the name of ALSOP & CHAUNCEY. After a successful business of some years, Mr. CHAUNCEY withdrew from the firm and removed to Valparaiso, where he became connected with the house of ALSOP & Co., established several years previous by Richard ALSOP, a son of Richard ALSOP 2d.
Captain ALSOP was a man deservedly popular and proved himself a worthy representative of his distinguished predecesors. He was in hearty sympathy with and an active promoter of all works of public improvement and benevolence in his native town.
On the 5th of November 1797, he married Lucy, daughter of Chauncey WHITTLESEY, by whom he had six children: Lucy Whittlesey, born December 13th 1798, died August 15th 1855; Charles R., born December 25th 1802, died March 4th 1865; Joseph W., born November 22d 1804, died February 26th 1878; Clara Pomeroy, born March 2d 1807, still living; Elizabeth W., born March 25th 1809, still living; Mary W., born March 3d 1815, died January 2d 1877.
Lucy Whittlesey ALSOP married Henry CHAUNCEY, of the firm of ALSOP & CHAUNCEY; Elizabeth W. married George HOPPEN, of Providence, R. I.; Mary W. married Thomas D. MUTTER, a professor in Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia; Clara Pomeroy, the third and fifth child of Captain Joseph Wright ALSOP, is still living at the hold homestead on Washington street. She never married, but her "lines have fallen in pleasant places, and she has enjoyed in goodly heritage." During her long and useful life she has been actively engage din works of charity and benevolence. She was one of the early promoters, and has been for many years an active supporter of the Widows' Home. Many a poor woman of gentle birth, who, but for this institution, might have been left to the "cold charity of the world," has found a comfortable home, and thus has been enabled to pass her declining years in peace and happiness.
Joseph W. ALSOP, the third child of Joseph Wright ALSOP, and Lucy WHITTLESEY, and grandchild of Richard ALSOP 1st, of Middletown, was born in Middletown, November 22d 1804. At an early age his father designed him for commercial pursuits, for which he had a special fondness and ability, inherited from his father and grandfather. Added to the usual advantages for acquiring an education, his father employed a private tutor to train and fit him for the counting house. It is said of him that in his youth as well as in his manhood he never experienced the sensation of fear, and it may be truly said of him that he was sans et sans reproche. At the age of 15 he entered the house of ALSOP & CHAUNCEY, of New York, of which firm his father was the senior member.
In 1824, he went to New York and engaged as clerk in one of the oldest commercial houses.
He afterward returned to Middletown as partner with ALSOP & CHAUNCEY. The house at this time had a large share of the West India trade, and he made several voyages to St. Croix and other commercial ports. About the year 1834, he returned to New York and established himself in business. On the return of Mr. CHAUNCEY, in 1840, from whither he had gone, in 1830, in connection with the house of ALSOP & Co., at Valparaiso, the firm of ALSOP & CHAUNCEY, of South street, New York, was established.
Mr. ALSOP was the first president of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad. He was succeeded by Gen. George B. MCCLELLAN, and was afterward receiver of it for ten years. He was director of the Seaman's Savings Bank, New York, and was treasurer of it for some years. He was at one time a director in the Illinois Central Railroad Company, from the stockholders of which he received a very handsome testimonial in the shape of a valuable silver service. He was a firm friend of the poor and unfortunate, and frequently made personal sacrifices to aid others.
On the 25th of October 1837, he married Mary Alsop OLIVER, daughter of Francis J. OLIVER, of Boston, by whom he had one child, J. W. ALSOP.
His death occurred on the 26th of February 1878.
Dr. J. W. ALSOP was the only child of Joseph W. ALSOP and Mary Alsop OLIVER. He was born in New York city, in August 1838, and was educated at the Yale and Columbia Scientific Schools. He also pursued a complete course of medical study, graduating from the Medical Department of the University of New York, in 1864. He has served in both boards of the Middletown Court of Common Council, and was a member of the House from Middletown in 1873, holding the position of chairman of the School Fund Committee on the part of that body. He was represented the 22d Senatorial District in the State Legislature for four successive terms beginning with 1881. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Hospital for the Insane at Middletown, also of the Russell Library, and trustee and treasurer of St. Luke's Home. He is largely interested in agriculture and stock breeding, and his learning has been of incalculable value as chairman of the Agricultural Committee in the State Legislature, while in other branches of legislation his scholarly attainments, knowledge of affairs, and executive ability have won for him the esteem and confidence of his associates.
The homestead of the English ancestor of the FISK family was at Stadhaugh Manor, parish of Laxfield, Suffolk, England.
Phineas FISKE, the American ancestor, came to Wenham, Mass., in 1641. Captain John FISKE, of the fourth generation, moved to Haddam soon after its settlement. John FISKE, of the fifth generation, moved to Portland and afterward to Middletown, where he became town clerk. His son, Bezaleel, born in Portland in 1774, was town clerk of Middletown for some years.
John, of the seventh generation, was the only child of Bezaleel FISK and Margaret ROCKWELL, and was born on the 5th of August 1771. He succeeded his father as town clerk of Middletown in 1797, and continued to hold the position until his death, which occurred on the 13th of February 1847, a period of nearly fifty years. He was also town treasurer from October 1822 till his death. He was city clerk from January 1793 to January 1818, and from January 1819 till his death. He was city treasurer from January 1818 till his death. He was clerk of Probate, clerk of the Superior Court, and county treasurer. By his death seven offices were made vacant. He was sometimes called the "clerk universal." He was very careful, painstaking, and methodical in his habits; kind, genial, and sociable in his nature, and was probably missed more than any man who ever lived in the town.
A number of his descendants are now living, among whom is John FISKE, a grandson, whose reputation as an author is almost world-wide.
REV. SAMUEL E. JARVIS.
Samuel Farmer JARVIS, the youngest child of the Rt. Rev. Abraham JARVIS, the second Bishop of Connecticut, was born January 20th 1786. His early education was under his father's instruction, and he graduated from Yale College in 1805.
He was ordained to the diaconate in 1810, and advanced to the priesthood in 1881. He was a rector till 1819, when he became a professor in the General Technological Seminary, in the city of New York.
From 1820 till 1826 he was rector of St. Paul's Church, Boston, and in that time he was one of the editors of the Gospel Advocate. He then visited Europe, here he remained nine years, or till 1835. He then returned to his native country and became professor of Oriental Literature in Trinity College.
In 1837, he resigned his professorship and became rector of Christ Church, in Middletown, a position which he relinquished in 1842. He then entered on missionary work in the vicinity of Middletown, and continued it to within a few months of his death, which took place in March 1851.
In 1819, the degree of S. T. D. was conferred on him by the University of Pennsylvania, and that of LL. D. by Trinity College.
Dr. JARVIS was the author of many able contributions to church literature, but in 1838 he was appointed by the General Convention to his greatest work, that of the historiographer of the church.
As a man and a Christian he was without reproach. As a preacher he was remarkable for the clear and elegant style in which he set forth weighty truths. Few men ever wrote purer English, none ever put more matter into their sermons. His manner in the pulpit was grave and dignified. He used but little gesture, though the tones of his voice were earnest and solemn.
HON. EBENEZER JACKSON JR.
Hon. Ebenezer JACKSON jr. was born at Savannah, Ga. isn 1796. He was a graduate of St. Mary's College, Baltimore, and was a law student at Litchfield, Conn. He practiced law about four years in Philadelphia, but in 1827 he removed to Middletown where he passed the remainder of his life.
He was an active politician, and was elected to the Legislature in 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, and 1846. He was a member of the 23d Congress, during the administration of President Andrew JACKSON. While a member of the Legislature he took an efficient part in procuring charters for the Air Line Railroad.
In the later years of his life he was much interested in the Indian Hill Cemetery, and was many years the president of the association.
He was man of great force of character, and of a dignified and commanding appearance. He died in 1874. His family are residents of Middletown.
EDWIN FERRY JOHNSON.
Edwin Ferry JOHNSON was born in Essex, Vermont, May 3d 1803. His early life afforded little opportunity for more than for more than the simplest common school education, outside of his father's office. In 1817, at the age of 14, he was engaged in land surveying in Vermont, and in 1818, assisted his father in the survey of the northeastern boundary line between the United States and British Provinces. At the age of 18, he became "teacher of arithmetic and geometry" in the military academy of Captain PARTRIDGE, at Norwich, Vermont, and later, "instructor in civil engineering, mathematics, and tactics," in the same institution, after its removal to Middletown, Connecticut. At the age of 26, he began his more strictly professional career, having already had a fair practical experience in the filed and written a treatise on surveying. He was one of the first and ablest advocated of railway construction in this country, and the pioneer engineer in this untried path. Railway connection between the waters of the Hudson and Mississippi, and the superiority of the railway to the canal system, has been the subject of his thoughts and instructions since 1826, and in 1828, he "had come to the conclusion that railways must ultimately take the lead of canals." In 1829, he published a review of a pamphlet on this subject, issued by Mr. W. REDFIELD, and not only pointed out the proper route for a railway from the Hudson to the Mississippi, fixing the western terminus at Rock Island, Illinois, but gave the reasons for his belief in the superiority of railways, and concluded with the following, then startling, prediction:
"Railways as a means of intercommunication possess properties which in most situations will render them superior to canals; and with reference to the United States, considering how diversified is the surface by hills and valleys, railways, when properly constructed, will be found the most valuable and effective; and ultimately, when their merits become better known and more fully appreciated, by far the greater portion of the inland travel will be conducted upon them."
From this period his professional career may be briefly summarized. In 1829 and 1830, he was engaged in a survey of the land lines of the Erie and Champlain Canals; 1830, Catskill & Canajoharie Railroad; 1831, Potomac Bridge and water supply of New York; 1833, assistant engineer Chenango Canal; 1834, Res. Engineer Utica & Schenectady Railroad; 1835, chief engineer Auburn & Syracuse Railroad, also of Ontario & Hudson Ship Canal, and of the Auburn Canal Dam; 1836, associate engineer New York & Erie Railroad; 1837, chief engineer of the same; 1838, chief engineer Ogdensburgh & Champlain Railroad, and New York & Albany Railroad; 1839, president of Stevens Joint Stock Corporation, Hoboken, N. J.; 1840-41, chief engineer New York & Albany Railroad; 1842-43, same; 1844, same; 1845, chief engineer Whitehall Railroad, and New York & Boston Air Line Railroad; 1846, chief engineer Oswego & Syracuse Railroad; 1848, chief engineer New York & Boston Railroad; 1850, chief engineer Rock River Valley Union Railroad, Wisconsin.
Before this he had conceived the idea of a Pacific railway, and during the next three years he devoted his leisure time to writing an exhaustive preliminary report upon the northern route, which was published in 1854.
This work, which he regarded justly as the crowning one of his life, professionally, was a wonderful example of foresight, skill, labor, and faith; for it must be remembered that in 1851-52 the project of railway connection between the Great Lakes and the Pacific was almost as startling, and to many seemed quite as visionary as did, in 1829, the proposed Great Western Railway from the Hudson to the Mississippi. The survey, or rather reconnoisance of General STEVENS, was not made until 1854, and his report, when published, seemed but a confirmation of what Mr. JOHNSON had written, and the actual barometrical measurements and description of the ground traversed did not materially differ from the estimates upon Mr. JOHNSON's profiles and the maps he had published, based on these latter were upon a mass of reading and a rare experience, aided by a peculiarly clear judgment.
In 1866, Mr. JOHNSON made a survey at the Falls of Niagara, for a ship canal and marine railway, in which he had long been interested. In 1867, he became chief engineer of the Northern Pacific Railroad. This he resigned in 1876, to take the place of consulting engineer, which position he held until his death.
Mr. JOHNSON fully identified himself with the business interests and prosperity of his adopted city, Middletown, Conn., during the forty years he was a resident. He held many positions of honor and trust, and was always actively interested in the cause of education. He was mayor of the city in 1856-57, and State Senator at the same time. Three times he declined a nomination to the Legislature. In 1862, he was called to Washington in consultation with the president and secretary of war on the then situation. He was offered, but declined a general's commission and a command in the Southwest, and later the position of assistant secretary of war. At the request of the War Office in 1863, he gave his opinion upon a general plan of operations, and made a report upon the northeastern coast defenses. He was the author of many valuable professional works and numerous scientific, philosophical, and political papers, and contributed to reviews and journals of the day. He was the recipient of honorary degrees from many colleges, and held honorary memberships in scientific and philosophical associations. His life was one of constant activity, of steadfast faith, and faithful endeavor. He die din New York, April 12th 1872.
JESSE G. BALDWIN.
Jesse G. BALDWIN was the son of a farmer in Meriden, Connecticut, where he was born, in 1804. He received a common school education, and at the age of 19 became a peddler. In 1827, he was a merchant in Oxford, Connecticut, in partnership with his brother, Seymour W., and in 1833, they came to Middletown, where they were merchants and manufacturers of silver spoons and plated ware. He continued business, with different partners and alone, till the temporary failure of his health.
In 1858, he became president of the Central National Bank of Middletown, and he still holds the position. He is also president of the People's Insurance Company, and of the Indian Hill Cemetery Association.
In 1835, he took a firm stand and an active part in the anti-slavery movement that then commenced, and he was actually subjected to mob violence. He lived, however, to see the principles, which he had the courage to advocate when they were unpopular, triumph. He has been distinguished for his firm adherence to his convictions of right.
His wife was Lydia RICE of Meriden. They had six children, four of whom have died.
HON. SAMUEL D. HUBBARD.
The subject of this sketch was born in Middletown, on the 10th of August 1799. He was the son of Hon. Elijah HUBBARD, and Abigail, daughter of Dr. John DICKINSON, of Middletown. He attended school until he was nine years of age, when he was sent to boarding school, at Rocky Hill. He was subsequently placed under the tutorship of Rev. David SMITH of Durham, who prepared him for college. He graduated at Yale, in 1818, and studied law with his uncle, Judge DICKINSON, of Troy. After completing his studies, he returned to his native city, intending to commence the practice of his profession, but the death of his father in the interim compelled him to devote his whole time to the settlement of the estate; and in furtherance of this object he subsequently entered into partnership with Mr. John R. WATKINSON in the manufacture of woolen goods, etc. This proving a successful venture enabled him in the course of a few years to complete the settlement of his father's estate and retire with a competence. He then devoted himself to public affairs, and as a member of the whig party he became a firm advocate of a protective tariff. On this issue, he was elected to the 29th Congress, receiving 7,266 votes, while STEWART, his democratic opponent, received but 5,814. He was re-elected to the 30th Congress, receiving 7,325 votes, while his democratic opponent, Hon. Samuel H. INGHAM, of Saybrook, received 6,668, there being at this time 416 Abolitionist and scattering votes. He remained in Congress from 1845 to 1849, and during this period he distinguished himself as a public debater, and by his upright course and firm adherence to the principles of his party, he made many warm friends, among whom were Hon. Millard FILLMORE and General Winfield SCOTT. On the death of Zachary TALOR, FILLMORE became president of the United States and Mr. HUBBARD was appointed postmaster-general; his term of office extending from August 31st 1852 to March 7th 1853. He was a warm supporter of SCOTT for the presidency, and had SCOTT been elected Mr. HUBBARD would have been a member of his cabinet. While he was acting as postmaster-general, a scene occurred in the rotunda of the Capitol, similar to that enacted in the halls of Congress between Preston BROOKS and Charles SUMNER. A Southern Congressman, named BRIGGS, who had applied to Mr. HUBBARD for an appointment for one of his constituents and was refused, met him in the rotunda and struck him unawares a violent blow. The affair caused a great excitement and an hour afterward his house was surrounded with inquiring friends, desiring to know the extent of his injuries, and expressing in the strongest terms their indignation at the outrage. They were informed, however, that Mr. HUBBARD had gone out to dine with a friend and that he took no further notice of the affront. In those days, when all differences were settled by a resort to the "code," it required more courage to refuse than to accept a challenge. In Mr. HUBBARD's own words the alternative was instantly forced upon him: "Shall I defend myself and perhaps conquer my assailant, and thus present to the world the spectacle that a cabinet minister engaged in an unseemly broil; or shall I maintain my own dignity and that of the administration by utterly ignoring the attack?" and among those who most applauded his decision were many prominent southerners.
Mr. HUBBARD was one of the few men who predicted the final issue of the "irrepressible conflict," which then agitated both the North and South. He foresaw the end from the beginning, but was firmly opposed to any compromise with the South. He never lived to witness the birth of a new union through the "baptism of blood."
In February 1835, he married Jane, daughter of Isaac MILES, of Milford, Connecticut, who still survives him. He had no children. His niece, Miss S. C. CLARKE, has filled the place of a daughter. With filial love and devotion she cared for him during his life; and since his death (which occurred on the 8th of October 1855) she has been the constant and faithful attendant of the widow. Viewing it from the standpoint of a Republican government, of which she is justly proud, Miss CLARKE comes from a long line of illustrious ancestors. She is a daughter of John Hopkins CLARKE, who was a grandson of Admiral Esek HOPKINS, the first admiral of the United States Navy, and a grand nephew of Stephen HOPKINS, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
HON. HENRY G. HUBBARD.
"Some men are born great;
Others achieve greatness;
Others have greatness thrust on them."
The combined elements of mind and heart that constitute true greatness are often transmitted from one generation to another, being developed more or less in each succeeding generation.
In the life of Hon. Henry G. HUBBARD, it will be found that the qualities of mind and heart that have made him one of the most successful business men in the country, as well as one of the most popular men among his political constituents, were inherited from his father and grandfather, and have been developed in him to a remarkable degree. He comes from a long line of paternal and maternal ancestors who have distinguished themselves in the various walks of life. His grandfather was a successful West India merchant both before and after the Revolutionary war, and during the war was commissary and superintendent of stores for the army. He was for twenty-eight years member of the General Assembly, and for a number of years was president of the Middletown Bank. Elijah, his son, and the father of Henry G., was born in Middletown, July 30th 1777, was graduated at Yale, studied law at Litchfield, and subsequently practiced law in New London. He returned to Middletown after the death of his father, and, on the 26th of October 1810, he married Lydia, daughter of Samuel MATHER, of Lyme, by whom he had four children: Elijah KENT, born October 18th 1812; Henry Griswold, born October 8th 1814; Margaret Sill, born October 7th 1817; and John Marshall, born July 28th 1832.
Henry G., the above mentioned, attended school in Middletown until he was 14 years of age, when he was sent to Captain PARTRIDGE's Military Academy, at Norwich, Vermont. He subsequently attended Ellington High School and afterward entered Wesleyan University. His health failing, he was compelled to seek more active pursuits. At t 17 he entered the office of J. & S. BALDWIN, as clerk. He subsequently went to New York, where he was engaged as a clerk with Jabez HUBBARD, a commission merchant in woollen goods. This was a foundation of his mercantile education. In 1833, he returned to Middletown where he opened a dry goods store, in connection with Jesse G. BALDWIN. When he was but 21 years of age, he became a stockholder in, and soon after manager of, the RUSSELL Manufacturing Company.
In 1866, he was elected State Senator, from the 18th Senatorial District, which then consisted of Middletown, Durham, Chatham, Portland, and Cromwell. He has since been a director in the Middletown National Bank since 1844; has been trustee and manager of the Middletown Savings Bank for several years, and was at one time president of that institution.
The great powers of mind and inventive genius of Mr. HUBBARD have been developed in his connection with, and management of, the RUSSELL Manufacturing Company.
At a period of life when most men think of retiring from business, his mind is as active as ever, and he guides and controls this combination of human machinery with as much ease as the commander-in-chief of an army moved his forces on the field of battle. His individual history in indelibly inscribed in the history of this company, and among the hundreds of men, women, and children employed in the five great mills, many are known to him personally, and have been the recipients of a thousand little acts of kindness unknown to the outside world, for in these he has invariably obeyed the Scripture injunction, "Let not thy right hand know what thy left hand doeth." When the RUSSELL Manufacturing Company shall be forgotten, his name will be remembered, for it is written upon the hearts of hundreds who have been the recipients of his kindness, and they will tell it to their children, and to their children's children, and to the generations yet unborn.
While possessed of great wealth, Mr. HUBBARD is quiet and unostentatious in his private life, and is equally approachable to the humblest mechanic or the highest potentate, for he recognized the fact "that all men are born free and equal." There is no display in his public charities. The Episcopal church at South Farms was erected and is maintained principally by his individual contributions. He is liberal in his religious views, recognizing equally the claims of his Catholic or Protestant employes, and he offered to erect a Catholic church at Higganum, so that those of a different faith might worship according to the dictates of their own conscience.
On June 20th 1844, Mr. HUBBARD married Charlotte R., daughter of Commodore Thomas MACDONOUGH, by whom he has had three children: Margaret Sill, born March 30th 1845; Lucy Macdonough, born November 6th 1846; Charlotte Elizabeth, born June 3d 1848.
Lucy Macdonough was married to Samuel RUSSELL, grandson of Samuel RUSSELL, who is a large stockholder in and vice-president of the RUSSELL Manufacturing Company. Lucy Macdonough died February 2d 1876.
HON. JULIUS HOTCHKISS.
Hon. Julius HOTCHKISS was a remarkable example of a self made man. With no other capital in life than a strong, robust constitution, a brave and honest heart, and an indomitable will, he rose from the humble position of a farmer's son to wealth, influence, and honor.
He was the son of Woodward HOTCHKISS and Mary CASTLE, who had seven children. Julius, the fourth child, was born at Waterbury, Connecticut, on the 11th of July 1810. He was educated at the public school, with a few months' tuition at the Litchfield Academy, and completed his studies at the early age of 16. When he was but 17, he commenced teaching school in his native village, and not long after this he went on the road as a traveling salesman, and continued for two or three years. He then opened a store at Birmingham, Conn., which proved a successful venture. There was at that time but two or three houses in the place. He continued in business at Birmingham for about five years, and then returned to his native village, where he commenced the manufacture of cotton webbing and suspenders, under the firm name of The HOTCHKISS and MERRIMAN Company, subsequently known as The American Suspender Company. He finally disposed of his interest in that company, and in 1857, removed to Middletown and acquired a large interest in the RUSSELL Manufacturing Company, of which he was for some years manager. When Waterbury was incorporated a city, he was nominated by both parties for mayor, and received nearly the unanimous vote.
In politics he was an old line whig, but, on the dissolution of that party, he joined the democratic ranks, and became an active partisan. In 1867, he was elected from the Second District as representative to the Fortieth Congress. This was during the administration of President JOHNSON.
In 1870, he was elected lieutenant governor of the State, Hon. James ENGLISH being governor. This closed his public career, and he returned to private life, and devoted himself to reading and study, of which he was excessively fond; his large and well-assorted library affording him ample opportunity to gratify his tastes.
He was an earnest and devout Christian, and was a member of what was known as the "New Church," which was founded on the teaching of Emanuel SWEDENBORG. As there was no established church of that denomination in Middletown, he offered one of the other churches $2,000 if they would allow a Swedenborgian minister to occupy their pulpit two Sabbaths in the year. The offer, however, was declined. He seemed anxious to impart to others a knowledge of what he believed to be the teachings of the Word of God, and on this account he was looked upon by many as rather eccentric, but his so-called "eccentricities" were the outgrowth of his honest convictions, and a sincere desire on his part to do good and make others happy. He was exceedingly liberal and charitable towards all who entertained opposite views to his own; and as an illustration of his liberality to other churches, it is stated that when an appeal was made to him to aid in the erection of the Episcopal church in Middletown, he gave his check for $1,000.
He was somewhat reserved in his demeanor, but kind and genial in his disposition, and ever ready to lend a helping hand to the poor and unfortunate. He believed in and practiced the command, "Let not thy right hand know what thy left hand doeth."
On the 29th of April 1832, he married Melissa, daughter of Enoch PERKINS, of Oxford, by whom he had five children: Cornelia Augusta, Minnie Amelia, Marian, Fannie J., and Charles Frederick.
Minnie Amelia married Charles G. R. VINAL, of Middletown; Marian married Martin A. KNAPP, of Syracuse, N. Y.; and Charles Frederick married Jennie L. MARSH, of the same place.
The death of Mr. HOTCHKISS occurred on the 23d day of December 1879. His mother lived to be nearly 100 years old.
Mrs. HOTCHKISS, the widow, resides with her three children at the beautiful homestead at Pameacha, where she manages the extensive business and other interests of her deceased husband. She is a woman of rare executive ability, and, faithful to the memory of her husband, her remaining years are spent in doing good, and in trying to inculcate the faith cherished by herself and her husband. While time has marked its furrows on her cheeks and the snows of many winters have whitened her hair, she is still strong and vigorous, her mental aculties are clear, and her strongly sympathetic nature impresses all who come in contact with her.
BRAYLEY, in his work entitles "The Beauties of England and Wales," says: "The family took the surname from Kilburne, in Yorkshire, where they were originally seated." The first mentioned was John KILBURNE, of Kilburne, in Yorkshire, 1426. Thomas KILBORNE, the ancestor of the American KILBOURNES, embarked with a portion of his family from London for New England, in the ship Increase, on the 15th of April 1635, and settled with his family in Wethersfield, Connecticut. Jonathan, the father of the subject of the present sketch, was born in East Haddam, Connecticut, January 18th 1769; married Elizabeth FARNHAM, April 21st 1791; and settled in Clinton, Connecticut, where he died October 10th 1850. His wife, Elizabeth, died March 11th 1828. Their children were: Abner, Leonard, Phenetta, Aaron, Jonathan and Betsey (twins), and Peter Edward, born nine years afterward.
Jonathan KILBOURN, one of the twins and the fourth son of the above named, was born in Killingworth, Connecticut, November 4th 1801. The virtues of his ancestors, as sown by the motto of the KILBOURNS, Vincit Veritas (Truth Conquers), have been fully exemplified in him. With only the limited advantages afforded by a common school education, he has risen step by step in life, and has filled many positions of trust and honor. He worked on the farm with his father until he became of age. In 1825, he removed to Middletown and engaged in the manufacture of rifles for the Government. He subsequently removed to Whitneyville, Connecticut, where he remained for two years. While living here he became a member of the Day Spring Lodge, F. & A. M. On the 16th of January 1827, he married Sallie B., daughter of Godfrey HOPKINS, of Chatham. By her he had one child which lived only eleven days. He returned to Middletown in 1828. In 1829, he opened a grocery in the old building formerly used as a post office and custom house, nearly adjoining the present KILBOURN House. He continued in this business until 1838, and was very successful. In 1836, he opened a hotel on the present site of the KILBOURN House, which was a popular place of resort for many years. He sold the property in 1873, which was subsequently burned, and the new brick edifice erected.
In his adopted town and city, where he has resided for over 50 years, he has been much of the time in public life. He has been a selectman of the town, member of the Common Council for three or four years, and chief engineer of the fire department. In 1846, he was appointed State bank director by the Legislature, and in 1850 he was appointed State committee on the Middlesex Turnpike Company. He has been director of the Middlesex County Bank, director of the Meriden Bank, director of the Connecticut River and Long Island Steamboat Company, director of the Middlesex Insurance Company, and director of the Boston & New York Railroad Company. He has been one of the "bright and shining lights" of masonry for nearly sixty years. He affiliated with St. John's Lodge in this city, in 1828, passed through the several chairs of the "blue lodge," and is now the oldest past master of St. John's Lodge living and is probably one of the oldest if not the oldest in the State. He was master of St. John's Lodge during the Morgan excitement, when a man's reputation was at stake and sometimes his life was in jeopardy, but with a conscious rectitude of purpose he took a firm, bold stand, and brought the lodge safely through all its difficulties.
He has been equally prominent in the Royal Arch Chapter, the Commandery, and Council, and for many years has attended as delegate to the State and National gatherings.
The first wife of Mr. KILBOURN died December 29th 1835, and in 1837 he married Mrs. Sophia HART, widow of William HART, and daughter of Burwell NEWTON, of Durham. The issue of this marriage was two children: Sophia Elizabeth, born September 8th 1840; and Jonathan Burwell, born August 22d 1843. The son, Jonathan, is at present living in Pueblo, Colorado, where he is engaged in business. The daughter resides with her parents at the homestead.