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

Pages 573-579

[transcribed by Janece Streig]



As the HART family has for many years been prominent in the town, a notice of some members of the family, other than Rev. William HART, may not be out of place. The first who came to this county was Stephen HART, of Braintree, Essex county, England, born about 1605. He came with the company that settled Braintree, Mass., that afterward removed to Cambridge, and that constituted the church of which Rev. Thomas HOOKER was afterward pastor. Mr. HART came to Hartford with Mr. HOOKER's company in 1635, and was one of the original proprietors of that place. There is a tradition that the town was named from the ford he discovered and used in crossing the Connecticut River at a low stage of the water, and so from HART's Ford it soon became Hartford, from a natural and easy transition.

His grandson, William, was pastor of the church in Saybrook, and has already been noticed in the proper place. Rev. William HART's oldest son, William, was born at Saybrook, and married Esther Buckingham, daughter of Joseph and his wife, Sarah TULLY, in 1745. He was a merchant, and was an officer in the State militia during the Revolutionary war, and was in the engagement of Danbury. He was afterward a major general, and was for several years a candidate for governor of the State. In 1795, the West Reserve (so called), belonging to the State of Connecticut, was purchased by subscription by a company of wealthy citizens of the State, for $1,200,000. William HART was one of the company, and his subscription was $30,462. In 1785, he was engaged in the mercantile business with his brother Joseph in Hartford, and was much engaged in the West India trade. He was also a merchant at Saybrook. Owing to the destruction of a number of his vessels, while engaged in the West India trade, he and his heirs since have been among the claimants under the French Spoliation Bill, with little probability, however, of realizing anything from it, although years ago France paid these claims to our government. The investment in the Western Reserve lands proved a profitable one to him and his heirs, some of the land still yielding an income to the family, though most of it has been sold. General HART is described as a man of commanding person and presence, with a handsome, manly face, a rich complexion, and fine, clear, dark eyes and hair. He was an accomplished horseman, and often made the journey between Saybrook and Hartford on his favorite saddle horse. An old resident of Hartford, dead years ago, used to tell her great-grandchildren, with much enthusiasm, what an imposing appearance he presented as he rode up to her door, and how it was ever her delight to set before him the very best entertainment the inn afforded.

Major Richard William HART, the only child of Gen. William and Esther BUCKINGHAM, was born at Saybrook, January 15th 1768, and married Miss Elizabeth BULL, of Newport, Rhode Island. Major HART inherited from his father a large fortune, which increased by the rise in value of the land purchased by Gen. HART in the Western Reserve, so that at his death he left an estate valued at half a million dollars, which was divided between his widow and two daughters. He was much esteemed and respected in his native State, and used his means liberally for the good of those about him. He built a large house on the west side of Main street, near the corner of the road leading to New Haven, where he resided till his death. He was for many years a merchant, his store standing for a long time on the corner near his house, but he afterward moved it across Main street, nearly opposite, where it still stands. Major HART died of apoplexy in 1837. He was a man of unusually fine personal appearance and handsome features. His only son died in early youth, but he left two daughters, the oldest of whom, Elizabeth M., married at Saybrook, in 1825, the Rev. William JARVIS, son of Hezekiah JARVIS, of Norwalk, and for a time resided in Saybrook. The second daughter of Major HART, Miss Hetty B. HART, died in Hartford unmarried, aged 76.

Elisha HART, fifth son of Rev. William HART, born in 1758, married Jeannette MCCURDY, of Lyme, and had seven daughters but no sons. They were distinguished for their beauty and accomplishments, and moved in the highest circles of wealth and honor. The eldest daughter, Sarah MCCURDY, married Rev. Dr. Samuel F. JARVIS, of Middletown, from whom she was divorced. Her remains lie in the burial ground on Saybrook Point. The second daughter, Ann MCCURDY, married Commodore Isaac HULL, U. S. N., who distinguished himself in the war of 1812 while in command of the frigate Constitution by capturing the British frigate Guerriere. After the war Commodore HULL was a frequent visitor at Saybrook, and with his wife spent a few weeks at the old mansion nearly every summer for several years till his death in Philadelphia, in 1843. Elizabeth, the fifth daughter, married Hon. Heman ALLEN, formerly member of Congress from Vermont, and minister plenipotentiary to Columbia, South America. He died in 1844, at Burlington, Vermont, where his wife also died. Amelia, sixth daughter, married Captain, afterward Commodore Joseph HULL, U. S. N., a nephew of Commodore Isaac HULL. Three of the daughters died unmarried. One of them, Jeannette M. McCurdy HART, in 1860, gave a handsome iron fence for the front of the ancient cemetery on Saybrook Point.* (*It is said that in the latter part of her life she embraced the Catholic faith. It was by her direction, and at her expense, that one of the inscriptions on the tomb of Lady Fenwick was cut. A simple inscription was well enough, but when she added a huge cross, an offense against good taste was committed, which the descendants of the Saybrook Puritans are not likely to forget or forgive.) Capt. Elisha HART died in May 28th 1842, aged 84. He was also a merchant in Saybrook. His store is still standing on the east side of Main street, and is owned and occupied by T. C. ACTON jr., as a grocery. The post office is also kept in it. Captain HART lived in a large old-fashioned mansion, on the west side of Main street, a little north of his store, which is still standing, though it has recently passed out of the possession of the family. It is surrounded by large shade trees, and is one of the finest locations on the street. After Captain HART's remains were carried out of the front door of the house, the door and blind were closed and a bar nailed across it, which was not removed, nor the door opened till after it passed out of possession of the family-a period of about 40 years. Rev. William HART's house stood very near the spot where this was built, and was moved to the corner opposite the ACTON Library, on what are now the grounds of Mr. T. C. ACTON, and was used for many years by Captain William CLARK as a paint shop. The house of Rev. William HART's son-in-law, Rev. F. W. HOTCHKISS, is still standing, and is nearly opposite Captain Elisha HART's, and is owned and occupied by Mr. Charles W. MORSE, a son of Prof. S. F. B. MORSE, the inventor of the telegraph. Gen William HART built and lived in the house north of the present Congregational church, now owned and occupied by Misses Hetty B. and Nancy WOOD. Captain John HART, another of Rev. William HART's sons, resided in Massachusetts for several years, and then returned to Saybrook, where he lived in the Captain Samuel SHIPMAN house which stood a few rods south of the Congregational parsonage. He died in 1828, aged 78.


One of the early settlers of Saybrook was Lieut. William PRATT, the first of the name in this town. He is supposed to have come with Rev. Thomas HOOKER to Newtown (now Cambridge), Mass., in 1633, from thence to Hartford, Conn., in June 1636. He married Elizabeth CLARK, daughter of John CLARK, first of Saybrook, and afterward of Milford. The date of his death is not known. He attended the General Court as deputy, the 23d and last time, at the session in Hartford, May 9th 1678.


The DICKINSON family, though not among the first settlers, were yet prominent people on Saybrook Point during and after the Revolutionary war. Captain George DICKINSON, who was born in 1770, was for many years a ship master and at times resided in foreign ports as agent. He was at Copenhagen, Denmark, when that city was bombarded by Captain, afterward Lord NELSON, and at his death, in 1857, at the age of 81, was the wealthiest man in the town.


Three of the DENISON family, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, and Charles, were shipmasters, as were their fathers before them. Another well known shipmaster, of later date, was Captain E. E. MORGAN, who, though a native of Lyme, was for many years a resident of Saybrook. He was long identified with the London line of packets, as master, and afterward as agent. At three different times Captain MORGAN's ship was chartered by Joseph BONAPARTE. Captain MORGAN commanded four of the finest packet ships that ever sailed from New York. He died during the last years of the war of the Rebellion. He lived in the house that Major R. W. HART built, and it is still owned by the family.


In the history of the town of Saybrook there are two women whose names will ever be held in grateful, loving remembrance. One was Lady Alice BOTELER or Lady FENWICK, who crossed the ocean with her husband to found a new colony in what was then only a wilderness, inhabited by savages and wild beasts; the other was Elizabeth HART, daughter of Major William HART, of this town, who afterward became the wife of Rev. William JARVIS, a nephew of Bishop JARVIS.

This estimable lady was born in Saybrook in 1798, and was descended from a long line of honored ancestry. She was the child of Christian parents, and grew into womanhood greatly beloved by a large circle of acquaintances and friends. After her marriage she entered heartily into all her husband's plans, and proved a valuable assistant to him in his pastoral work. Hers was not a life exempt from sorrow and suffering; but by Divine grace, each trial and each pain brought with it a deeper faith, a firmer hope, a stronger love, and thus an increase in holiness. With a cheerfulness which scarce showed the patience that was its source, with a deep affection for kindred, on whom in declining years, she leaned with implicit trust, with increasing kindness toward all her many friends, with unshaken faith in God, she lived among those who felt her presence to be a sacred benediction. She died on Saturday, June 18th 1881.

"The gentleness and purity
Through her long life displayed,
In living, loving memory
Can never, never fade."


In the race of life, under a republican form of government, the citizens of a State are equal before the law. But it is nevertheless true that there are certain inequalities of natural gifts, varied as to individuals and expression, which are transmitted from parents to children, from ancestors in past ages to their descendants, furnishing materials for study and often exciting laudable pride. Biography, therefore, becomes interesting in instructive.

Hon. John ALLEN, of Saybrook, Connecticut, the subject of this sketch, who has borne a conspicuous part in public affairs, owed his success, not only to the faithful training of his parents, and the influences surrounding his early life, but to his self culture, and the sturdy stock from which he sprang.

The name, ALLEN, is said to have been of Saxon origin, and to have been originally written "ALWYNE," signifying in that language, Beloved of all.

It often occurs in English history, both civil and ecclesiastical, and is uniformly written "ALLEN."

Among those prominently mentioned are: Thomas ALLEN, sheriff of London in the 20th year of the reign of Henry V., A. D. 1413, and Sir John ALLEN, who was lord mayor of London in the fourth year of Queen Elizabeth, A. D. 1566. Hon. John ALLEN, of Saybrook, was the sixth in descent from Deacon Roger ALLEN, who came from England earlier than 1668, settled in Quinnipiac, now New Haven, and was elected deacon of the First Congregational Church of New Haven colony, of which the Rev. John DAVENPORT, a puritan divine from Coventry, England, was the first pastor. The importance of this office is shown by the following from the New Haven records:

"In 1699, Roger ALLING, having been inadvertently chosen town treasurer when he stood under a nomination for the office of deacon in the church, the election was set aside and another Treasurer chosen."

He was previously chosen a member of the court, and often employed in the settlement of estates and other public business. His house lot was situated on the square now bounded by Church, Chapel, State, and George streets, New Haven.

Other families of the same name have emigrated to this country, and the records show that not less than 25 families of that name came within the first 40 years of the settlement of New England.

Sixty-five persons by the name of Allen graduated from New England Colleges, prior to 1825, of whom 17 were clergymen. Deacon Roger ALLEN, the American ancestor, wrote his own name ALLEN, though the name is spelled differently on some of the records, and is spelled ALLING by a portion of his descendants. His death occurred on the 27th of September 1674, and his property was appraised at £394, 17s.

The line of descent from Roger ALLEN is as follows: Samuel ALLEN, who was his eldest son, died August 28th 1709. Of the date of his birth there is no record. Daniel ALLEN; Timothy ALLEN, born April 17th 1712; Archelaus ALLEN, born in North Haven, December 21st 1738. He removed to Wallingford and thence to Meriden, where he died at an advanced age. His eldest son, Levi, the father of Hon. John ALLEN, was born in Wallingford, New Haven county, Connecticut, in that part of the town known as North Farms, on the 30th day of March 1777. He died on the 27th day of August A. D. 1861.

He was 16 years of age when he removed with his parents to Meriden, where a high plateau of land south of the "Hanging Hills" was purchased for a homestead. He afterward became its owner, and one of the most thrifty and enterprising farmers of that town. On the 20th of January 1814, he married Electa, second daughter of Aaron HALL Esq., of Wallingford, who was a soldier of the Revolution, was with Washington at Valley Forge, and in several engagements in New Jersey, but he was never wounded. On his return from the war Mr. HALL occupied a prominent position in the community where he resided. He was a justice of the peace, an arbiter in controversies, and the public regard for him is attested by the fact that to him was confided the settlement of more than 40 different estates.

The issue of the marriage of Levi ALLEN and Electa HALL, was four children: John, Jennett, William, and Edward Chauncey, all of whom were born at the family homestead in Meriden.

John, the eldest, was born on the 6th day of February A. D. 1815. He received a good common school education, and at 11 years of age was sent to high school at Ellington, established by Rev. John HALL. He subsequently attended the private school of Rev. Mr. CORNWALL, of Cheshire, Connecticut.

At the age of 14 he was placed in the store of Major Elisha A. COWLES, then one of the two stores and three dwelling houses (the only buildings) located near the intersection of Main and Colony streets, now the center of the city of Meriden. For a time thereafter he attended an evening grammar school kept during the winter months by the Rev. Mr. KEELER, rector of "St. Andrew's" Episcopal Church, at his dwelling house, situated on the present site of the house of worship. He also became a member of the Elocution Society and Lyceum, established by the young men of Meriden, for their mutual improvement.

The idea of a Supreme Being in the universe and his personal relations to that Being, quickened his sensibilities, at this early age, and led him into the domain of religious thought. His parents were orthodox Congregationalists, the clergyman of that demonination, the Rev. Hr. HINSDALE, a Princeton theologian, and he was instructed in that belief, but to him many of the tenets of that faith were not satisfactorily apprehended, and they failed to meet his religious wants. His reading and reflection at length resulted in his rejection of the distinctive teachings of John CALVIN and the doctrine of the Trinity, and the adoption of views substantially in accord with those of Dr. William Ellery CHANNING as set forth in his published works. His conscientiousness and habit of thorough investigation had a marked effect upon his subsequent career. By his industrious and studious habits, and upright conduct, he won the confidence and esteem of his employers. His clerkship in Meriden was continued with Major COWLES and his successors in business, TIBBALS, BUTLER & Co., and was thereafter for one year n the employ of General Edwin R. Yale, then a prominent manufacturer of Meriden.

In the spring of 1836, he removed to New York, and entered the service of PERKINS, HOPKINS & White, wholesale merchants, then extensively engaged in the dry good jobbing business with the South. He remained with that firm, in confidential relations, through a period of unusual instability and difficulty in the mercantile affairs of the country, during which time by active participation in the business he gained valuable experience in laying the foundation of his future prosperity. Upon the reorganization of that firm in 1842, he became interested as a partner with PERKINS & HOPKINS, and upon a subsequent organization, the firm name was changed to HOPKINS< ALLEN & Co. It was, however, as a member of the last named firm, whose high reputation was a fitting tribute to its enterprise, integrity, and success, that he became prominently known to the business world.

His intercourse with the people of the South made him familiar with their views and policy in reference to the institution of slavery, and perceiving the growing antagonism between free and slave labor, which foreshadowed serious difficulty to the country, he resolved to withdraw from mercantile business (then conducted largely upon credit) and retire, for a time, to private life. He thereupon removed from New York, and established his residence where his family now resides. Being in active sympathy with the government of the United States in its efforts to maintain its integrity, and suppress the Rebellion, he received an unsought nomination to represent the Nineteenth Senatorial District, in the State of Connecticut, and was elected thereto in 1863, and again in 1864, and in both years was chairman of the joint standing committee on finance, whose labors were of the highest importance in that critical period of public affairs, when the State was raising money for the war. The financial measurers recommended by that committee and adopted by the Legislature, not only enabled the State to creditably place its full quota of men in the filed, but established a policy in the revision of the tax laws, which has met the approval of the people of the State for 20 years, and reduced to a minimum amount the public debt. The present equitable method of taxing railroad property, on the basis of what it will sell for, by which the market value of its stock and bonds is made the measure of value of such property for purposes of taxation, was suggested by him.

On the 17th day of June 1864, Mr. ALLEN introduced into the Connecticut Legislature the first resolution in favor of the abolition of slavery by constitutional amendment, which resolution was as follows:

"General Assembly, May Session, 1864.

"Whereas: The formidable rebellion now existing against the authority of the United Sates originated in a conspiracy to subvert our free institutions and establish a separate government based upon the institution of human slavery; and whereas such slavery is incompatible with the peace, prosperity and union of all portions of our common country; therefore be it

"Resolved: That our Senators and Representatives in Congress be and they are hereby requested, to sue their efforts to secure the passage of Congress of the proposed amendment of the Constitution of the United States, forever prohibiting human slavery within the limits of the Natural Union."

Mr. ALLEN was one of the delegates from Connecticut to meet a convention of loyal Southerners at Philadelphia on the 3d day of September 1866, called to give expression to the sentiments of the people in support of Congress against the defection of Andrew JOHNSON. He was prominent in the movement that arrested the "peace flag" heresy at Saybrook, or the raising of any flag not representing all the States of the Union. He was one of the Fellows of the corporation of Yale College while he was senator in the years aforesaid, the old law being that the six senior senators were members ex officio of that corporation.

In the Hayes presidential campaign of 1876, he was a republican presidential elector in this State.

In 1867, he was elected president of the Peoria, Pekin & Jacksonville Railroad Company, of the State of Illinois, which position he held in the active administration of the property for many years, during which time that part of its road from the town of Virginia to the city of Jacksonville, was constructed.

In 1883, he was again elected to the State Senate from the Twenty-first District, formerly the Nineteenth, and was made chairman of the joint standing committee on railroads, for which his experience in railroad affairs eminently qualified him. During the session of the Legislature of 1884, he was appointed chairman of the commission raised by the General Assembly to inaugurate, with appropriate ceremonies, the Governor BUCKINGHAM Statue, which ceremonies took place on the 18th of June 1884.

As such chairman, it devolved on Mr. ALLEN to introduce the speakers participating in the exercises at the State Capitol. His opening address, in the battle flag vestibule, was as follows:

"Men and Women of Connecticut:

"You have assembled in testimony of your regard for the illustrious patriot, statesman, and Christian, chosen to be the supreme Executive of the people of this State and voice their will, during a period in which their 'lives and fortunes and sacred honor' were at stake, in the greatest struggle for free government the world has witnessed.

"In the presence of these battle flags, and the survivors of those who bore them to victory, you have come to dedicate a statue, erected, in love and gratitude, to the memory of William A. BUCKINGHAM.

"As he looked to the source of all strength for guidance, it is fitting to this occasion, that his pastor for many years, the Rev. Dr. MERRIMAN, commence the exercises with prayer. It is my privilege to present to you Dr. MERRIMAN.

After the prayer, the Hon. Henry B. HARRISON, of the commission for the procurement of the statue, made an address of presentation. The statue was unveiled and received by Governor WALLER, on behalf of the State, and an oration was delivered by Senator O. H. PLATT, from a platform at the north entrance of the Capitol. The benediction was pronounced by President SMITH, of Trinity College. Major John C. KINNEY was the marshal of the day. 7,500 war veterans were present in the parade, and a large concourse of people were assembled on that occasion.

On the 10th of November 1847, Mr. ALLEN married Mary Ann, daughter of Hon. Elisha PHELPS, of Simsbury, Conn., whose father, Major-General Noah PHELPS, served in the French and Indian wars, and was a distinguished officer of the American Revolution.

Seven children were the issue of that marriage: Lucy Phelps, Jane Jennett, Edith Electa (who died in the sixth year of her age) Mary Constance, John H., William Hall, and Grace Electa. Lucy Phelps, the eldest, married Charles Leslie MORGAN, of New York; Jane Jennett married Hon. William HAMERSLEY, of Hartford; and Mary Constance married Benjamin KNOWER, of Scarborough on the Hudson, and New York.

Mr. ALLEN has a keen love of the beautiful in nature, is simple in his habits, thorough in all matters of business, a man of quiet yet dignified demeanor, thoughtful of the wants of others, zealous and earnest in his efforts to promote the public good, conscientious, fearless, truthful, and independent.

His beautiful home is at Old Saybrook, on Maple avenue.


The life of Daniel C. SPENCER affords a striking example of what the young men of America are capable of. Commencing the battle of life at nine years of age, he has not reached half the period allotted to man ere he becomes associated with the largest commercial house in the United States, and when most men are still actively engaged in business pursuits, he is leading a quite life of retirement, with a sufficient competence to place him beyond the possibility of want during his remaining years. He comes from a race of men, however, who have left their impress son every age, from the time of William the Conqueror, when Robert de SPENSER became the steward or "dispenser of the king's bounty," down to the present time.

His American ancestor was Jared SPENCER, who came to this country about 1610, and settled first at what is now Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in 1662 removed to Haddam, in this county, from which place Thomas, one of his sons, removed, in 1685, to Pochaug, now Westbrook. The descendents of Thomas were mostly farmers, but David, the father of Daniel C. SPENCER, was a farmer, mason, and blacksmith. He was born in Westbrook, but removed, early in life, to that part of the town of Saybrook known as Oyster River. He married Rachel, daughter of Asa BUSHNELL, of Westbrook, a descendent of one of the first settlers under the FENWICK patent. By her he had eleven children: David jr., Nancy, Charles, Chauncey, Una Maria, Edwin, Alvin Benjamin, Julia Elizabeth, Daniel Chapman, Harriet Amelia, Emily Ann, and Mary Augusts.

Daniel CHAPMAN, the eighth child and fifth son, was born in that part of Saybrook designated as Oyster River, on the 3d of December 1823. He attended the public school until he was nine years of age, when he went to work on his father's farm, where continued until he was 22 years of age. During this period he attended the public school and academy for a time in the winter. He might have lived and died a farmer, but a Providential misfortune changed the whole current of his life. About this time, while working in the filed, he had a sunstroke, the effects of which compelled him to give up farming, and for three years he filled a clerkship in the stores of his native town and in Westbrook. During this period he familiarized himself with the class of goods usually kept by country merchants, and learned their wants. This was the stepping stone to his subsequent advancement. He next entered the employ of L. L. BISHOP, of New Haven, as traveling salesman, the stock of goods at that time being carried in peddlers' wagons. He entered into the business with his whole soul, and soon acquired a reputation as a salesman that extended beyond the limits of his own State.

Messrs. MOULTON, PLYMPTON, WILLIAMS & co., one of the leading wholesale dry goods firms of New York, heard of him, and after a brief personal interview offered him the entire charge of their fancy goods department. He was fearful that they had overestimated his ability and was reluctant to accept the position, but so anxious were they to secure his services that they at once gave him a check to purchase the time of his unexpired contract from his employer. He remained with the new firm for two years, until their failure, and so well pleased were they with his management of their affairs that Mr. MOULTON, one of the firm, prepared the way for his entrance into the house of CLAFLIN, MELLEN & co., then the second largest dry goods house in the United States. They were at that time located at the Trinity Building, No 111 Broadway. The firm was then contemplating opening a notion department. After a brief interview Mr. SPENCER offered to take charge of it for one year without any compensation. Mr. CLAFLIN declined the offer and insisted on paying him a salary, with the promise of further compensation at the end of the year should the venture prove successful. The department was limited to a small space in the basement; but Mr. SPENCER at once devoted his whole energies to the business, and at the end of the year his purchases and sales had nearly equaled those of some other departments long established. The balance sheet was so satisfactory to Mr. CLAFLIN that he at once gave Mr. SPENCER a check for $1,000 in addition to his salary. The engagement was renewed on the basis of a percentage of the profits, and so rapidly did the business increase that the firm was soon after compelled to change their quarters for the purpose of increasing their facilities. They consequently purchased a sit eon the corner of Church and Worth streets, extending through to West Broadway, covering nearly an acre of ground. On this they erected a mammoth building six stories high. The notion department, under the management of Mr. SPENCER, covered a large portion of the third and also a portion of the fifth floor. This soon equaled in importance that of other departments connected with the business. To handle the immense quantities of goods required the aid of over forty clerks; and to control and direct this number of men, to attend to all the details of the business, required great powers of combination and organization, together with a strong will and decision of character. Mr. SPENCER, however, proved himself equal to the great responsibility. During his connection with the business, covering a period of thirteen years, the house rose from being the second largest to the largest dry goods house in the United States, the sales exceeding those of its distinguished rival by several millions of dollars. The strain, however, proved too great for Mr. SPENCER's powers of endurance, and in the fall of 1867 he broke down completely, and was compelled to give up business. Mr. CLAFLIN urged him to continue his business with the house, and to take as much time as he chose for recuperation and rest; but Mr. SPENCER knew that the mere physical rest would be of little help to him so long as the care and responsibility rested upon him, and this he found it impossible to shake off. He therefore determined to give up business altogether and to spend the remainder of his days, which he then thought were few, in retirement and rest. This he did on the 1st of January 1868.

Soon after it became known to the different employés of his department that he was about to sever his connection with the house, a most touching scene awaited him, which for the time completely unnerved him. It is thus described in the New York Tribune of February 8th 1868:

"Mr. D. C. SPENCER, for many years past, the genial and able manager of the Fancy Good Department of the well known house of Messrs. H. B. CLAFLIN & co., having been obliged, on account of ill health, to retire from business, his late employés, headed by his worthy and efficient successor, Mr. James H. DAY, presented Mr. SPENCER with a superb silver service of the richest, yet most chaste workmanship, contained in a truly elegant black walnut casket. Each piece of the service bears the following inscription:

'Presented to
By his late employés,
On his retiring from business,
Jan. 1, 1868.'

"Accompanying the service was a very handsome card, 36 by 40 inches, incased in a heavy gilt frame, on which is a photograph of the house of CLAFLIN & co., and one of each of the donors. In the center of this card, in an oval space surrounded by the photographs, are these words:

"'We, whose familiar faces surround this Card of Presentation, would respectfully state that in your retirement from business and our midst, we feel that we lose a genial face, a good counseling friend, an exemplary Christian, and a true business man.

"'Expressive of our feelings of high respect for you and our deep regret that your impaired health compels our separation, we ask that you receive this card and service in the spirit in which it is presented as a memento of past pleasant associations.

"'We would further add that it shall be our earnest prayer that your health may be restored, and that you may long be spared to your family and for society's good.'

"To these costly testimonials of the regard of his late employés, and their regret at losing him from their midst, Mr. SPENCER replied in the following characteristic and appropriate letter:

"'Gentleman: No language, however eloquent, can picture the surprise and pleasure awakened in my breast by the elegant present of which you have made me the recipient, and which I shall always prize most highly for its intrinsic worth, and far more as being a testimonial of your regard and esteem for me, and of the pleasure and benefit you have derived from our business relations.

"'When the heart is full, many words seem but to weaken the expression of our gratitude. I will therefore only say that for your handsome gift and the accompanying kind wishes on my behalf, I thank you from the bottom of a grateful heart.

"'It has not been without sincere regret on my part that I have ended our business connection by withdrawing myself from your midst; but although the state of my health has rendered that withdrawal necessary, I shall ever treasure up in my mind the many pleasant memories arising from our past relations, and not one of your faces shall ever cease to be remembered with feelings of deepest interest. I shall always pray earnestly and hopefully that none of those faces may be overcast by clouds of sorrow or disappointment, but that each one of your lives may be crowned with cusses and happiness.'

"This happy affair will long be remembered, both by the recipient and the donors, and the recollection of it will doubtless be a source of great pleasure to them in after years."

Mr. SPENCER had previously purchased a number of acres contiguous to the old homestead property in Saybrook, known as the CHALKER farm. Here he retired to spend his days. The old place was enlarged and improved and soon made to "blossom like a rose." The meadows were turned into cranberry patches on which he spent several thousand dollars in working and improving. He surrounded his residence with trees and flowers until it now has the appearance of fairy land. Amid these surroundings he soon recovered his health and then devoted his energies to making such public improvements in the town as should tend to attract others to this beautiful spot selected by Col. FENWICK as the "garden spot of the earth," more than two hundred years ago. Mr. SPENCER purchased 100 acres of land at Guard House Point, and subsequently, in connection with john F. and R. M. BUSHNELL, purchased 250 acres of what was known as the LYNDE farm, which comprised a pat of the FENWICK estate. This property was sold to the New Saybrook Company, and subsequently laid out in building lots, most of which were disposed of to parties who contemplated erecting summer residences. Soon after Mr. SPENCER had disposed of his interest in this property he became connected with the New Saybrook Company as a stockholder and director. In the erection of the hotel known as the FENWICK Hall, and other extensive improvements made by this company, Mr. SPENCER took an active part.

His strong religious and benevolent nature has led him to make other improvements for the benefit of his neighbors and fellow citizens. He was largely instrumental in the erection of the beautiful stone building occupied by the Grace Episcopal Church, and one of the largest contributors to the building fund. He has been an earnest and devout member and a liberal contributor to its support since he became connected with the church. He holds the office of warden and clerk.

He was one of the pioneers in the Valley Railroad enterprise and was instrumental in securing the present location as the terminus of the road. He is still a director in the company, which position he has held for many years.

Mr. SPENCER is a man of strong and positive convictions, naturally reticent about his own affairs, but always seeking to promote the good and happiness of others. Owing to his strongly sympathetic nature and his kindness of heart he is frequently imposed upon by parties who take advantage of his well known liberality.

On the 12th of October 1851, he married Emily Maria, daughter of William STOKES, of Westbrook, one of the most ardent and enthusiastic patriots, and volunteer in the war of 1812. He was one of the brave men who shouldered his musket and intercepted the retreating British troops after the burning of Essex, in 1814.

The issue of Mr. SPENCER's marriage with Miss STOKES, was eight children: William David, the eldest, born in 1852, became a practicing physician; Ella Maria, born 1856, married Dr. B. W. LEONARD, a prominent dentist of Saybrook; Daniel Stokes, born 1860; Grace Emily, born 1861; George Jarvis, born 1866; Edmond Chapman, born 1869; Frederick Clarence, born 1870; and Henry Russell, born 1875, died on the fifth of May 1876.

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