The History of Middlesex County 1635-1885
J. H. Beers & Co., 36 Vesey Street, New York

[transcribed by Janece Streig]


Pages 530 - 536



There is no name on any of the town records of Middlesex county that forms such a perfect connecting link between the present and the past as that of GILDERSLEEVE. It is also associated with the early history of Connecticut; the name of Richard GILDERSLEEVE appearing in 1636, on page 5, volume 1, Colonial Records, now in the library in the new capitol at Hartford. The same name appears in the SAVAGE Genealogy, volume 2, page 252, and in FARMER's Genealogy, page 121, both in the Wadsworth Atheneum at Hartford. In 1663, Richard GILDERSLEEVE was a resident of Hempstead, L. I., and an ancestor of Obadiah, the grandfather of Sylvester, who came to Chatham from Sag Harbor, L. I., in 1776, and commenced the business of shipbuilding at that part of Portland now known as GILDERSLEEVE. The first yard was started a short distance south of the present one. Philip, his son, the father of Sylvester, succeeded him, and was master carpenter on the government ship Connecticut, built here about 1800. On the 4th of May 1780, Philip married Temperance GIBBS, of Windsor, Conn., by whom he had six children: Jeremiah, born August 24th 1781; Betsey, born April 23d 1783; Henry, born November 8th 1785; Lothrop, born December 16th 1787; Sylvester, born February 25th 1795; Cynthia, born March 28th 1797.

Sylvester, the subject of this sketch, was born February 25th 1795, in the little old two story red frame house situated on Indian Hill, at the northerly end of Chatham (now the portion of Portland called GILDERSLEEVE). He attended the district school until he was eighteen years of age. He then commenced work in his father's ship yard. This was during the war of 1812, at which time, owing to the operations of the British army in Canada, our government was engaged in construction war vessels on the western lakes. In 1815, when young GILDERSLEEVE was but 20 years of age he went, in company with some 500 workmen, to Sackett's Harbor, N. Y., to build for the government a one hundred gun ship, which was then one of the larges ever built in this country-the combined fleet of Commodore MACDONOUGH at the battle of lake Champlain mounting but 86 guns. Two of these monster ships were being constructed at the same time. The weather was cold and the men were provided with a liberal supply of "grog," then considered an indispensable part of the rations. The ships were never completed, as the declaration of peace soon after rendered them useless, and the men returned home, some of them making nearly the whole journey on foot.

Soon after his return to Chatham young GILDERSLEEVE started in business for himself. His first vessel, built in 1821, was a one hundred ton vessel, called the Boston Packet. Since that he has constructed upwards of one hundred vessels of from one hundred up to fourteen hundred tons each, one of which, the ship S. GILDERSLEEVE, was burned by the privateer Alabama, and paid for by the government, out of the Geneva award. He continued in active business up to within seventeen years past, and has lived to see his sons and his grandson succeed him in the same business, his grandson, Oliver GILDERSLEEVE, now engaged in shipbuilding, being the fifth generation in that business in the same place.

In 1869, he added to the business of the place by building the steam saw and planning mill, and wagon shops, now in full operation.

His gifts to his children, and donations to objects outside his family, approximate in the aggregate $75,000, and it does not seem out of place to mention here some of them, as it may be an incentive to others to "go and do likewise."

He contributed over $6,000 toward building the present Episcopal church, $3,000 of which was donated at a period when the building had remained for five years unfinished, for lack of funds. This donation, which was entirely voluntary on his part, was an incentive to renewed efforts, which finally resulted in the completion of the building in 1882. For the enlargement of the cemetery belonging to the Portland Burial Ground Association he gave a large tract of land. He built an additional story to the school house in his district, at a cost of $2,000, for a public hall, and to make room for a high school, now bearing his name, where young men could be fitted for college; and for its future support endowed it with an additional fund of $12,000, which placed it on a substantial basis. The school is now in a flourishing condition. The clock on the First congregational Church was another of his gifts.

Many are the substantial evidences, in his native place and elsewhere, that he has lived, and not wholly for himself, and that his works do follow him, and these will remain an enduring monument to his memory. His active life covers a long and wide range of varied business, and other interests. He was for many years a director of the Middletown (now National) Bank, and, at the organization of the First National Bank of Portland, in 1865, was chosen president, and held the office up to 1879. He was also president of the Freestone Savings Bank from its organization until 1879; has been president of the Middletown Ferry Company; director of the Middlesex Quarry Company, of Portland, and the Middlesex Mutual Assurance Company, of Middletown.

In connection with William and Joseph J. HENDLEY, and Alexander KEITH, of Middletown, he built, in 1836, the schooner William Bryan, the first vessel that ever sailed from New York to Texas as a regular packet. From that vessel the New York and Galveston line of packets was formed, consisting at first of five ships and two barques, all but one built by him. Messrs. John H. BROWER & Co., were the New York, and William HENDLEY & Co., the Galveston agents of the line, which continued up to the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1861.

In 1814, he married Rebecca (born June 1794), daughter of William DIXON, of Chatham, by whom he had four children: Louisa Matilda, born May 12th 1815, married Col. Elijah MILLER, of South Glastonbury, Connecticut; Henry, born April 1817; Philip, born July 5th 1819, died October 12th 1853; Esther Rebecca, born April 1st 1823, married Jonah C. BUCKINGHAM, of Barnwell C. H., South Carolina.

The first wife of Mr. GILDERSLEEVE died August 10th 1824. On the 17th of November 1828, he married Emily SHEPARD (born July 21st 1804), widow of George CORNWALL, and daughter of Andrew SHEPARD, of Chatham. By her he had six children: Sylvester Shepard and Statira, twins, born September 1st 1829 (the first died October 2d 1852; the second married Charles A. JARVIS, of Portland, secretary and treasurer of the Middlesex Quarry Company, died November 7th 1864); Isabella, born July 23 1833, married H. Hobart GILLUM, died May 23d 1855; Ferdinand, born August 20th 1840; Lavalette, born December 6th 1841, died December 16th 1841; Helen Augusta, born July 21st 1845, married William W. COE, now president of the First National Bank of Portland.

The second wife of Mr. GILDERSLEEVE died on the 14th of July 1877. He still survives her, being now in his 90th year, and with the exception of a defective eyesight is in full possession of all his faculties, his memory remaining unimpaired.


The eldest son of Sylvester and Rebecca GILDERSLEEVE inherits from his father those rate traits of character that have distinguished the GILDERSLEEVEs, not only as a family of successful shipbuilders and merchants, but as a family who are noted for their public spirit and large hearted benevolence.

Henry was born in Portland, in that part of town now known as GILDERSLEEVE, on the 7th of April 1817. He enjoyed the limited educational advantages afforded by the district school, but acquired sufficient knowledge of the rudimental branches to fit him for the occupation he had chosen. At the age of 17, he commenced in his father's yard to learn the business of shipbuilding, and soon acquired a thorough knowledge of the details of the business. At the age of 25, he was taken into partnership with his father, under the firm name of S. GILDERSLEEVE & Son. In December 1872, he associated himself with the house of BENTLEY, GILDERSLEEVE & Co., shipping and commission merchants, on South street, New York. He retained his connection with the Portland shipbuilding firm and at the end of ten years he retired from the New York firm, resigning in favor of his son, Sylvester, who still continues the business in connection with his brother, Oliver, under the firm name of S. GILDERSLEEVE & Co. Henry GILDERSLEEVE, since retiring from his New York business, had devoted his whole time and attention to the shipbuilding and other interests with which he is connected in his native town.

On the 29th of March 1839, he married Nancy, daughter of Samuel BUCKINGHAM, of Milford, Conn., by whom he had one child, viz: Philip, born February 1st 1842. His first wife died on the 14th of March 1842, and on the 25th of May 1843, he married Emily F., daughter of Oliver NORTHAM, of Marlborough, Conn., by whom he had seven children: Oliver, born March 6th 1844; Emily Shepard, born September 8th 1846; Mary Smith, born March 8th 1848, died October 18th 1851; Anna Sophia, born February 26th 1850, died August 27th 1854; Sylvester, born November 24th 1852; Louisa Rebecca, born May 9th 1857; Henry, born September 4th 1858.

Emily Shepard, the second child of Mr. GILDERSLEEVE, was married on the 20th of September 1871, to Captain H. FULLER, of Osterville, Mass.

Sylvester, the fifty child, married Minerva E. JOHNSON, December 9th 1874. He is one of the firm of S. GILDERSLEEVE & Co., shipping and general commission merchants, 84 South street, New York.

Louisa Rebecca married Charles L., son of Charles A. JARVIS, of Portland, on the 13th of September, 1882.

Mr. GILDERSLEEVE has been identifies with many public enterprises outside of his shipbuilding interests. He was for a number of years a director in the Hartford Steamboat Company, and is now president of the Portland and Middletown Ferry Company, and a director in the Middlesex Quarry Company, also the First National Bank of Portland; and trustee of the Freestone Savings Bank. He has been for many years an active member and a liberal supported of the Trinity Episcopal Church at Portland, was a large contributor to the fund for the erection of the building, and a member of the building committee.

In 1860, he represented the democratic party in the State Legislature, and sustained every measure for the vigorous prosecution of the war.


Ferdinand GILDERSLEEVE, the fourth child of Sylvester and Emily SHEPARD GILDERSLEEVE, was born on the 20th day of August 1840, in the part of town of Portland now called GILDERSLEEVE. The GILDERSLEEVES came originally to this country from Holland, and the SHEPARDS from England, so that the Dutch and English characteristics combine in the subject of this sketch. He attended the district school in his native village till nearly twelve, and was for the three following years at boarding school. He then, in 1855, at the age of fifteen, entered his father's store, and soon after becoming twenty-one he was admitted to the membership in the firm of S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, shipbuilders and merchants. He is now and has been continuously connected and identified with the business since first entering it.

The establishing of the post office at Gildersleeve, in May 1872, was largely the result of his efforts. He was the first postmaster and continues to hold the office.

In 1879, he succeeded his father as president of The First National Bank of Portland, and held the office for two years; is now a director in the same bank, and in The Middlesex Quarry Company, a trustee and director in The Freestone Savings Bank; a vestryman of Trinity (Episcopal) Church; and for many years has been a notary public. He was a member of the town board of education for several terms; has been on various committees on enterprises and improvements in the town, and trustee for school and other funds.

The well known Portland Lyceum was organized mainly by his brother, Sylvester Shepard GILDERSLEEVE, in 1848. At Sylvester's death, in 1852, the Lyceum was closed. Ferdinand, with a few others, revived it in 1861, when it began its second series of interesting meetings and lectures.

Mr. GILDERSLEEVE married, on the 29th of October 1879, Adelaide Edna, born March 12th 1845, daughter of William R. and Mary A. SMITH, of Portland, by whom he had one child, William, born September 23d 1880. His first wife died September 28th 1880.

On the 12th of September 1883, he married Harriet Elizabeth, born January 8th 1860, of Hartford, Conn., eldest daughter of Ralph and Sarah A. NORTHAM, formerly of Portland. Her paternal grandmother, Sophia SMITH, was a descendant of Ralph SMITH who came over in the May Flower.

Mr. GILDERSLEEVE was the first child born on the homestead, where he now lives with his father, and where he has made his home, with the exception of his boarding school days, six months travel in Europe in 1864, and various trips in his own country at different times and in Canada.


The eldest son Henry and Emily F. GILDERSLEEVE is a worthy representative of his honored sire and grandsire-a man of robust constitution and great force of character, combined with excellent business qualifications. He was born on the 6th of March 1844. He received his education at the Hartford high school, and at the age of 17 entered his father's shipyard, where he soon acquired the art of practical shipbuilding, and at the age of 21 became a partner; since which time he has largely increased the business, having added a marine railway capable of hauling vessels of 700 tons burden, and built a large ice house, provided with steam machinery and all the necessary appliances for gathering ice from the Connecticut River, for shipment to New York and southern ports.

In 1881, he became a member of the firm of S. GILDERSLEEVE & Co., shipping and commission merchants, 84 South street, New York, he being the active managing owner of the fleet of vessels controlled by that house, which are owned principally by the GILDERSLEEVE family. As a young man he was very desirous of seeing the world, and at the age of 27 had visited the principal cities of his own country, Europe, and Canada. Possessing an excellent memory, he acquired a fund of information which has been utilized to good advantage in his business. In his works of charity and benevolence he has fully sustained the reputation of the GILDERSLEEVE family. He is a junior warden of Trinity Episcopal Church of Portland, and has variously officiated as lay reader, Sunday school superintendent, and teacher.

He is a trustee of the "GILDERSLEEVE High School Fund," and has served three years on the district school committee; also for a number of years was a prominent debater and officer in the "Portland Lyceum."

On the 8th of November 1871, he married Mary Ellen, daughter of Hon. Alfred HALL, a representative of one of the oldest and most influential families in the town of Portland, who were among the first settlers of the town of Chatham. By her he has five children: Alfred, born August 23d 1872; Walter, born August 23d 1874; Louis, born September 22d 1877; Emily Hall, born June 9th 1879, died August 12th 1880; Elizabeth Jarvis, born June 6th 1881, died January 18th 1883.


In the JARVIS genealogy, it is stated that the JARVIS families of the United States and of British America are of English extraction, though originally from Normandy, whence they emigrated into England. The original name was GERVAIS. Their seal was at Bretagne, and the first name found is Jean GERVAIS, who lived about the year 1400. The arms of the GERVAIS family was a shield, "D'or, a une pomme de piu, places au canton dextre du chef: et un chauette places au canton senestre accompagnee en pointe d'un crapaud, le tout de sable."

Both in this country and Europe, the name JARVIS has been enrolled in almost all the learned professions and pursuits in life. It has given dignity to the bench and bar; it has graced the professions of medicine and surgery; it has adorned the pulpit and the stage; it has entwined its garlands of poetry with music and painting, and has thundered its deeds of daring over the ocean wave and among the distant islands of the sea. Ear St. VINCENT, Sr. John JARVIS, the renowned British admiral, was a noble type of the hero and English sailor. The late Bishop JARVIS and his son, the Rev. Samuel Farmer JARVIS, D. D., LL. D., were among the most prominent divines of the Episcopal Church. John Wesley JARVIS was one of the most accomplished artists of his time.

The earliest records of any settlement of the JARVISES in this country, show the name of one John JARVICE as living in Virginia, February 16th 1623; and John JARVIS is mentioned in the records of Boston as one of the coroner's jury, September 28th 1648.

Dr. George Oglevie JARVIS, the subject of this sketch, was the son of John JARVIS and Elizabeth BOUTLE, and was born in New Canaan, Conn., on the 14th of July 1795.

He was a thorough English scholar and an educator of youth during his earlier manhood and scholastic life. He studied his profession with his brother-in-law, Dr. Truman Spencer WETMORE, of Winchester, Conn. He was licensed to practice medicine and surgery in 1817, and first settled in Torrington. After the expiration of two years, he removed to Colebrook, where he remained until 1840, when he left for Portland. There he practiced his profession with increasing patronage and success until he died, a victim to erysipelas and diphtheria. He received the degree of M. D. from Yale College in 1846.

He was greatly beloved by the people of Portland with whom he lived for so many years, and at his death left a large circle of friends to mourn his loss.

Dr. JARVIS was of an inventive turn of mind and his genius and skill were largely exercised in that direction. His "Adjuster," an instrument for the more ready and easy manner of reducing and replacing fractures and dislocations proved a success, and gave him an enviable notoriety. At one time he visited Europe, where he remained several months. In London they recognized his genius and ability, and, by special invitation, he delivered a course of lectures on "Fractures and Dislocation," before the learned magnates of that ancient and intellectual city. These were published at the time in the London Lancet. As a mark of respect for the man, and as an acknowledgment of his genius, learning, and skill, the "Society for the Promotion of Arts and Commerce" presented him the largest gold medal ever received by an American. Prince Albert was president of the society, and the doctor has the distinguished honor of receiving it at the hand of the prince himself.

During the last days of the doctor's life he prepared a work on electricity and ozone. It was carefully written and showed that the author was not only an accomplished scholar, but a profound thinker and scientist.

Dr. JARVIS was a model husband and father, and a genial friend and companion. He was the soul of hospitality and honor, and was never more happy than when surrounded by a circle of his neighbors and friends. With a keen and appreciative musical ear, his whole life seemed rounded as with pleasant harmonies.

Dr. JARVIS married a very estimable lady, Miss Philamela MARSHALL, by whom he had six children, who were devoted to their parents, and who loved to meet with them around the domestic hearth. Firm in the doctrines of the Episcopal Church, their Christmas and other holidays were the occasions of the most happy and interesting reunions, and of the renewal of delightful associations.

Charles Alpheus, the eldest son of Dr. JARVIS, has been for many years secretary of the Middlesex Quarry Company, in Portland.

Dr. George C. JARVIS, the youngest son of Dr. George O. JARVIS, is one of the most prominent and successful physicians in Hartford, Conn. His early education was received at the district school, which he attended until he was fifteen years of age, after which he spent a year at the Military Academy at Norwich, Vt., and a year with the Rev. S. M. EMERY, of Portland, Conn. He entered Trinity College in 1851, and remained through the junior year, leaving in 1853. He spent the next three years as clerk in a drug store in Middletown, thereby acquiring a practical acquaintance with the meteria medica.

Dr. JARVIS commenced the study of medicine with his father, whose extensive surgical practice gave unusual facilities for illustrations in this branch of the profession. He studied, also, about a year, with the distinguished gynecologist, Dr. J. Marion SIMS. He attended lectures at the Medical Department of the New York University, from which he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine, March 1861. He commenced the practice of his profession in Stamford, but remained only a few months, entering the army as assistant surgeon, First Battalion Connecticut Cavalry, receiving his commission December 1861. He was promoted as surgeon of the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, October 1862, and served honorably and with distinction through the war, being mustered out July 20th 1865. His army record was noted for bravery and gallantry, as well as that of a skillful and reliable surgeon, as is shown in many places of trust and responsibility.

On the return of Dr. JARVIS from the war, he settled in Hartford, Connecticut, and soon won position as one of the leading surgeons in the State, thereby receiving a large general and consultation practice.

In 1869, he was appointed examining surgeon for pensions, and on the organization of the board in Hartford, was appointed its president. For six years he was a member of the examining committee for conferring degrees at the Medical Institution of Yale College, and relinquished the position through ill health.

In 1874, he was appointed one of the visiting surgeons to the Hartford Hospital.


John, the progenitor of the hall family in this country, was born at Kent, England, in 1584, and died in Middletown, Conn., May 26th 1663. He came to this country in 1633, and settled at Cambridge, Mass., but soon after removed to Roxbury, where the prefix of respect, Mr., was accorded to him on the records of Mr. ELLIOT's church. In those days the prefix of Mr. was given to very few persons, and generally indicated that they were entitled to a coat of arms.

Six years later he removed to Hartford, Conn., where he was subsequently made surveyor of highways.

He drew the home lot No. 77, of six acres, on the brow of Lord's Hill, which he sold, in 1650, to William SPENCER.

The HALL lot No. 77 is the same as the SIGOURNEY place, and since occupied y governor CATLIN.

In 1650, he removed to Middletown, of which town he as one of the original settlers.

The home lot, containing five acres, as located on the corner of Main and Washington streets, running to the Great River, and adjoining, on the north, the home lot of his son-in-law, Thomas WETMORE.

On the 19th of March 1659, he received the appointment by the General Court "for the entry and recording such goods as are subject to customs for Middletown."

Concerning the second generation, we find that John HALL, who was also born in England, was town clerk and recorder from 1665 to the end of his life in 1694.

He also represented the town in General Court in 1653, and at several other times.

The following epitaph appears on his tombstone in the old cemetery, near the Connecticut River:

"Here lyes our Deacon HALL, who studied peach with all. Was upright in his life, void of malignant strife. Gone to his rest, left us in sorrow. Doubtless his good works will him follow."

Samuel HALL, of the third generation of Middletown HALLS, and the progenitor of the same family in Portland, settled first at Middletown, Upper Houses, now Cromwell. As appears by the records he was made deacon of the church at that place, February 10th 1716. He subsequently removed to East Middletown, now Portland, where he purchased a farm. On the 9th of November 1721, he was elected deacon of the Congregational church and held the office during life.

John HALL, of the fourth generation, was born at Middletown, Upper houses, August 19th 1699, but moved to East Middletown, now Portland, where he died January 3d 1767.

John HALL, of the fifth generation, was born at East Middletown, now Portland, June 1st 1723, and died March 7th 1754.

Joel HALL, of the sixth generation, was born at Portland, April 5th 1753, and died May 25th 1818.

He, with Nathaniel SHALER, first started the quarrying business, and formed the SHALER & HALL Quarry Company, which was afterward, with other quarry interests, in 1842, organized as the Middlesex Quarry Company.

He was married, May 29th 1774 to Hannah RANNEY, by whom he had seven children: Joel, born January 10th 1776; Samuel, born November 20th 1777; Abigail, born January 10th 1780, married John COLEBY; Esther, born March 18th 1786, married Robert PATTEN; Jesse, born June 28th 1787; Joseph, born August 21st 1789; Hannah, born August 14th 1791, married John PAYNE.

Samuel HALL, of the seventh generation, was born November 20th 1777, and died October 6th 1849. He was married October 6th 1798, to Ruth, daughter of David and Ruth BATES, by whom he had ten children.

He settled at Turin, N. Y., where he had a farm, and was a civil engineer. He laid out the first road from Rome, N. Y., to Sackett's Harbor.

About 1804, he removed to Portland, and joined his father in the quarrying business, in which he took an active part until 1834, at which time he retired from business.

Hon. Alfred HALL, of the eighth generation of the HALLs of America, was born in Portland, November 15th 1809. His father was Samuel HALL, who married Ruth, daughter of David and Ruth BATES. The issue o this marriage was 10 children, Alfred being the sixth. He attended the public school until he was 12 years of age, when he as sent to the Episcopal Academy at Cheshire, Connecticut, where he fitted for college. At the age of 14 he entered Washington (now Trinity) College, Hartford, he then being among the first students who entered at its organization. He graduated in 1827, and was soon after appointed tutor at the college in Geneva, New York, now Hobart College, where he remained for two or three years. In 1830, he delivered the masters' oration at Trinity College. He then attended Cambridge Law School, after which he returned to Middletown, where he commenced the study of law with Judge Samuel STORRS. He was admitted to the bar in 1832, and practiced law at that place until 1834, when he removed to Portland, and joined his father in the SHALER & HALL Quarry Company, now Middlesex Quarry Company. This business arrangement continued until 1845.

He identified himself with the present SHALER & HALL Quarry Company, which was organized about that time, and he subsequently acquired a large interest in it, and became its president and agent, which positions he held until 1858, when he resigned and again took up the practice of law.

He always took an active part in politics and public education, and was elected to the Legislature in the years 1847, 1851, 1852, and 1858. In 1853, he was elected to the Senate from the 18th District. He was one of the trustees of the State Normal School for many years.

His oldest son, Samuel, was the first on of a graduate to graduate from Trinity College.

He was exceedingly popular with the masses and was a liberal supported of all public enterprises. He was an active member of the Episcopal church during his life, and gave freely to all works of charity and benevolence. He was greatly beloved by his friends and honored and respected by his political opponents.

On the 10th of September 1833, he married Maria L., daughter of Seth and Maria WHITING, of Hartford, by whom he had eight children: Samuel, born October 14th 1834; Alfred G., born February 6th 1837, died September 15th 1867; Maria W., born July 3d 1839, died March 13th 1844; Jane W., born August 1st 1841, died March 21st 1844; James P., born May 18th 1844; Mary E., born December 29th 1846, married Oliver, son of Henry GILDERSLEEVE, November 8th 1870; John H., born March 24th 1849; Alice E., born November 6th 1851.

Mr. HALL died on the 10th of September 1873. His wife survived him nine years, and died on the 11th of July 1882.

John H., the fourth son and sixth child of Hon. Alfred HALL, was born at Portland, March 24th 1849. He attended school at Portland until he was 12 years of age, when he was sent to Professor CHASE's preparatory school at Middletown. Subsequently he attended the Episcopal Academy, at Cheshire, Conn., where he remained until he was 17, when he removed to New York and entered the house of STURGES, BENNETT & co., as clerk. He continued with this firm for five years, when he returned to Portland and assisted in the organization of the HEATH & SMITH Manufacturing Company. In 1872, he again went to New York and engaged in the printing business, but returned to Portland in 1877, and purchased of T. R. PICKERING, a half interest in the manufacture of the PICKERING, a half interest in the manufacture of the PICKERING steam engine governors. In this he has been very successful and they have a large business which extends throughout the United States and Europe. He also owns a large interest in the SHALER & HALL Quarry Company.

On the 9th of February 1870, he married Sarah G., daughter of William H. and Elizabeth LOINES, of New York city, by whom he has had four children: Clarence L., born December 17th 1871; Alfred W., born January 8th 1873, died September 22d 1873; Grace L., born December 24th 1878; Mattie P., born January 2d 1883, died August 8th 1883.

Mr. HALL is one of the most enterprising and pushing young men of Portland, and takes an active part in all public undertakings.


The oldest son of Erastus BRAINERD sen., was born at Portland, Conn., July 27th 1819. He attended the public school in his native town for a short time, and was then sent to a private school in Boston where he remained for two years. He then took a preparatory course of study, commencing with Rev. Mr. CORSON, at Windham, Conn., and afterward at Guilford, intending to enter the military school at West Point. Circumstances, however, induced a change, and at the age of 21 he entered the office of the quarry company, which was then owned principally by his father and his uncle.

Subsequently the management of the business devolved on him in connection with Mr. Frederick HALL, and after his father's death he assumed the management of the entire business. It was then a partnership concern, but owing the complications arising from a diversity of interests it was organized into a stock company and Mr. BRAINERD was elected president and general manager.

It is to his ability, his honesty, integrity, and uprightness of character that he owes his advancement in life, although he inherits from his worthy ancestors those virtues that have characterized them through each successive generation. His individual history is stamped on the history of the Episcopal church of Portland, of which he has been a lifelong member, and his generous gifts to that and other benevolent objects are too well known to require repetition in a biographical sketch.

While he has always been ready to assist in every political movement that tended to promote honest legislation and place good men in office, he has invariably declined to accept office himself except on one occasion, in 1880, when he was one of the presidential electors that helped to elect Garfield.

On the 10th of October 1843, he married Emily H., daughter of Captain Henry CHURCHILL, of Portland, by whom he had one child, Emily Co., who was married to Charles H., son of Captain Charles BUCKLEY, of Southport, and who, while traveling with his wife on the continent, died in Paris, leaving three children. She was subsequently married to George P. HART, of New York city.


The early settlers of East Middletown, or what is now known as Portland, were a hardy, industrious race of farmers. They felled the trees, planted the first crops, and thus prepared the way for the civilization that followed, and while many of their descendants have left the plow, and have been successful in other avocations, a few have continued to till the soil, and have demonstrated the fact, that if a man has energy, perseverance, industry, and economy he will succeed in any undertaking. To this class belongs Mr. Nelson SHEPARD, a descendant of one of the oldest settlers in the town of Portland.

Erastus, the father of Nelson SHEPARD, married Monor, daughter of Luther GOODRICH, of Chatham. By her he had seven children: Emily, born 1812; Edward 1st, born 1814; Edward 2d, born 1816; Delia L., born 1818; Nelson, born 1820; Caroline, born 1822; Maria, born 1824. The first wife of Mr. SHEPARD died in 1832, and the same year he married Desire, daughter of Samuel WILCOX, by whom he had one child, Henry S., born September 13th 1833.

Nelson SHEPARD, the subject of this sketch, was born in the town of Chatham, or what is now called Portland, on the 25th of December 1820. He attended the public school a few weeks each year; the remainder of the time was spent in working on his father's farm. When he became of age he continued to work for his father, receiving $10 a month wages for eight months of the year. On the death of his father he inherited about 60 acres of land. This was the only capital on which was based his subsequent success. By strict economy and hard labor he was enabled to make several improvements on the farm, and in 1856, he built a new house on the site of the old homestead. When partly finished it took fire and burned to the ground. Instead of sitting down and mourning over his loss, he again went to work with a will and determination that surprised his neighbors, and he soon retrieved his losses, and distanced all his neighbors. About this time he commenced raising tobacco, which proved a very successful venture, and he has now accumulated a sufficient sum to support him in his declining years, and place him beyond the possibility of want.

He has been for six years a director in the National Bank of Portland and in the Freestone Saving Bank; is also a stockholder in the Middlesex Quarry Company. He has served as selectman o his town for three years, and as county commissioner for three years. He is an active member and vestryman of the Episcopal church at Glastonbury. On the 20th of November 1844, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Noah TRYON, of Glastonbury, by whom he had five children: Gertrude Elizabeth, born May 29th 1848; Isabella Leland, born November 11th 1850; Lizzie A., born October 30th 1853, died July 7th 1856; Carrie E., born November 11th 1857, died February 7th 1870; Andrew Nelson, born May 5th 1861. Gertrude E., the eldest child, was married to Henry CORNWALL, on the 3d of November 1869 (he was a volunteer in the war of the Rebellion; enlisted in Twentieth Regiments, and served till close of war with honor and credit); and Isabella Leland was married to Erastus Hubbard CROSBY, 2d, on the 14th of May 1880.

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