The History of Middlesex County 1635-1885
J. H. Beers & Co., 36 Vesey Street, New York
Pages 229-241
Town of Clinton
By Hon. William H. BUELL
[transcribed by Janece Streig]


Clinton is the southwest town of Middlesex county, and is 22 miles south of Middletown, 25 miles east of New Haven, and 25 miles west of New London. It is bounded on the north by Killingworth, on the east by Westbrook, on the south by Long Island Sound, and on the west by Madison, in New haven county. Its breadth on Long Island Sound is three miles, and on the north line four and one-half miles. Its length from north to south is five miles. The surface in the southern portion of the town is generally level and in the north moderately hilly. On the borders of the Sound are large tracts of marine alluvial or salt marsh. It is watered by the Hammonassett River, which washed its western borders; the Indian river, which flows south through the center of the town; the Menunketesue River, which runs through the eastern section, and other smaller streams. There is a safe and commodious harbor in the southern part of the town.


Main street, Clinton, is the original Killingworth, where the first settlers build their residences after laying out a street and locating 21 "homesteads." A committee from the General Court ordered and directed the affair. The persons who had pledged themselves to settle there, and signed a paper to that effect, were permitted to draw lots. Lot No. 1 was on the south side of Main street, next east of Indian River, and in front of the hill already selected as "meeting House Hill." This lot was drawn by Thomas SMITH and is now occupied and owned by George E. ELLIOTT Esq. The 21st lot was drawn by Samuel BUEL, and is located north of the residence of Henry A. LYNE. It was bounded on the north by the highway, which was the place of crossing the hill near where Mrs. John BUELL lives. This road led up to the fording place on the Hammonassett River, above the crossing of the Shore Line Railroad. There were no means of crossing the Hammonassett River, except by boats, until 1675 or 1676,when the bridge known so long as the "Farm Bridge" was built. For 12 years at least there was no communication with Guilford, except by fording or by boats. At the present time an iron bridge spans the Hammonassett River. It was built in 1882. at a cost pf $2,200, one-half of which was paid by Madison and one-half by Clinton.


Clinton was set off from the town of Killingworth by a special act of the Legislature, at its May session in 1838, on the petition of Henry TAINTOR, David DIBBELL, and others. The causes of the separation and complains were that Killingworth had a great many roads to repair, and that it was too far for those freemen living in the South Society to go attend town meetings in Killingworth. By mutual consent State elections were held in the South Society and town meetings in North Society. But the animus of the movements for separation was political dissatisfaction. The North Society was strongly democratic and the South Society was as strongly whig. It was difficult to transport voters from the South Society to the North Society to attend to town affairs, so that the voters of the North Parish had the disposal of town affairs wholly in their own hands. The grand list of Clinton since its separation has been as follows: in 1840, $404,566; 1860, $605,455; 1870, $617,205.32; 1883, $666,499. In 1883, there were, according to the assessment books, 8,868 acres taxable land, 334 dwelling houses, 155 horses, and 578 cattle.


Representatives.-The town of Clinton has been represented in the General Assembly by the following named persons: Josiah C. CRITTENDEN, 1839; Leet HURD, 1840; David REDFIELD, 1841, 1842; Edward WRIGHT, 1843, 1844; Aaron G. HURD, 1845, 1852; Samuel R. DIBBLE, 1846; George B. HILLIARD, 1847, 1848, 1861; George CARTER jr., 1849, 1851; Henry TAINTOR, 1850; George E. ELLIOT, 1853; John L. HULL, 1854, 1860, 1862; Edwin PARKS, 1855, 1856; Dota L. WRIGHT, 1857, 1858; RUSSELL STANNARD, 1859; John P. JOHNSON, 1863, 1864, 1883; Rutherford RUSSELL, 1865, 1866; Andrew J. HURD, 1867, 1868; James L. DAVIS, 1869, 1870; George W. HULL, 1871, 1872, David C. WRIGHT, 1873, 1874; William KELSEY, 1875, 1876; Giles C. GRINNELL, 1877, 1878; Charles a. ELLIOT, 1879; George A. OLCOTT, 1880-1882; Asa S. PELTON, 1884.

Town Clerks.-The town clerks of Clinton have been: David DIBBELL jr., from 1838 to October1841; Alfred HULL, from October 1841 to October 1877; Henry C. HULL, from October 1877 to October 1884; and Daniel W. STEVENS, the present clerk, elected in October 1884.

Clinton Probate District.-The old town of Killingworth was set off from Saybrook Probate District in 1834, and was known as Killingworth District until May 1838, when the name was changed to Clinton. The district included the present towns of Clinton and Killingworth till 1861, then the latter town was made a district by itself. The judges of the court have been: George CARTER Esq., 1834, 1835, 1838-42; 1844-46; David WRIGHT Esq., 1835-38; Ely A. ELLIOT, 1842-44; 1846, 1847; Leet HURD, 1847-50; Philander STEVENS, 1850-52; David REDFIELD, 1852 (Died November 12, 1852); Alfred HULL, 1852, 1853, 1855, 1856, 1861-77; John D. LEFFINGWELL, 1853, 1854; Henry HULL, 1854, 1855, 1857-59; George E. ELLIOT, 1856, 1857, 1859-62; Henry C. HULL, 1877, still in office.

WAR OF 1812.

The military record of the war of 1812 for Clinton has never been written. All historians have neglected this town. Hollister, in his "History of Connecticut," speaks of other depredations by the British beside Stonington and Essex, but does not say where. Field, in his "Statistical Account," gives a full account of the burning of vessels at Essex, April 8th 1814, but says nothing about Killingworth, now Clinton. In the war of 1812, Clinton had one company of infantry, Connecticut Militia, composed of military subjects liable to do military duty, commanded by Capt. Benjamin HURD. They were paid for 10 days' service as soldiers, but were not paid for volunteer service on numerous occasions of alarm.

In the harbor of Clinton were several coasting vessels blockaded. There were stores for the British to plunper and burn, but they did not succeed in landing. Capt. Richard A. FARNHAM, now 80 years of age, has always resided at the head of Clinton Harbor. He was 10 years old in 1814, and he says that there were as many as 10 attacks on this harbor during the war. The most serious one was in November 1814, the day before Thanksgiving. The sloop of war Atalanta and the brig Bover chased a coasting schooner, owned in Haddam, into Clinton Harbor and attempted to burn her, and fitted out a line of barges for that purpose. But the citizens and the artillery company, commanded by Capt. Amaziah BRAY, were on hand and ready to attack. The barges did not reach the schooner; the two brass six-pounder (artillery guns) and two four-pounder (iron guns), owned by the citizens, drove them back to their ships. The ship and brig kept up their firing upon the town all day. Happily, the shallow water kept them so far from the shore that the balls did not reach to the dwellings. The boys dug up these balls and kept them as trophies.

In 1813, the citizens were left without military protection. But in 1814, a guard was maintained from May to December. The British fleet occupied Gardiner's Bay, at the east side of Long Island, and the passage of Long Island sound was wholly blockaded. Time after time, during the summer of 1814, the alarm bell rang for the citizens to turn out. Constant alarm and anxiety prevailed all that summer. The citizens, a large majority of whom were in favor of war, were always prepared for an attack. This fact became known to Capt. Thomas HARDY, who commanded the British squadron, and he swore vengeance against them, and threatened to burn them out.

The most thrilling incident was the one related by Gideon KELSEY, who was born in 1764, and lived at the head of the harbor. Seeing a large Block Island boat passing the harbor, he said to two neighbors, Silas and William WILCOX, "Let us go down and get a shot at them. It is a British boat full of men." KELSEY took his horse and his old kings arm and rode down and headed off the boat at Saul's Point, east of the harbor. Hitching his horse n the rear, he got a shot at the boat, with buck shot at close range. Again he loaded and fired. Then the two neighbors arrive, and they loaded while he fired, until the boat was too far away to be damaged. The next year the same boat came into Clinton Harbor, somewhat patched. She lay near KELSEY's house, and when he inquired what was the matter with the boat, he was told that the British had her during the war, and had been shot into somewhere in the sound, and that nine men were killed, and buried on Block Island. KELSEY thought he recognized the boat as the one he fired into.

Capt. Amaziah BRAY was commissioned by Governor John Cotton SMITH to enlist a company of artillery for the defense of the State. One-half of the company was located for guard duty at Saybrook and one-half at Clinton, for two months in 1814. This company received several serious attacks from the British fleet at Clinton, all of which were repelled without loss to the company. Amaziah BRAY was a lawyer, practicing at Clinton. He died October 26 1823, aged 42 years.

Leet HURD Esq., was authorized to raise a company, November 26th 1814, for the defense of Clinton Harbor, and served till December 16, 1814. This was the last guard of the war of 1812.


The following extracts from the records show the action which Clinton took in the great civil war of 1861-5. The first meting was called May 14, 1861, "For the purpose of aiding in some way for the defense of our country, by providing for the persons or families of such persons as may enlist or have enlisted in the service of the United States. Also to hear and act upon the report of a committee appointed to ascertain that may be necessary to forward the object of the meeting. Also for the purpose of providing for and furnishing, and lighting, and taking care of a room, to be used for an armory and military drill room."

At this meeting a room was ordered, which was to be lighted and occupied by "subjects of military duty, who shall form themselves into a military company." A special meeting was held August 25 1862, and it was

"Voted: That for the purpose of encouraging enlistments under the recent and last call of he President of the United States upon the loyal States for 300,000 additional troops to serve for the term of nine months, the town of Clinton will pay the sum of twenty-five Dollars to each citizen of this Town, who has enlisted or who shall enlist into the Military service of the United States and be duly accepted to serve during the term of nine months aforesaid, to the number of our quota. And that the Selectmen be and they are hereby directed to pay the volunteers agreeable to this vote. And to make such loans as may be required for such payments.'

August 4th 1862.-"Voted: That for the purpose of encouraging enlistments under the recent and last call of the President of the United States upon the loyal States for 300,000 additional troops to serve for the term of nine months, the town of Clinton will pay the sum of twenty-five Dollars to each citizen of this town, who has enlisted or who shall enlist into the Military service of the United States and be duly accepted to serve during the term of nine months aforesaid, to the number of our quota. And that the Selectmen be and they are hereby directed to pay the volunteers agreeable to this vote. And to make such loans as may be required for such payments."

August 4th 1852.-"Voted, That for the purpose of encouraging enlistments under the recent call of the President * * * * * for 300,000 additional Troops, the town of Clinton, in addition to all other bounties and compensations, will pay the sum of one hundred dollars for each citizen of this town who, since July 1st, 1862, has enlisted, or who shall, on or before the 20th day of August 1862, voluntarily enlist into the military service of the United States and be duly accepted to serve during the war, either in the old regiments already in the field or in the new regiments now recruiting, or soon to be raised, to the number of our quota to be required for the above 300,000. And the selectmen be and are authorized to extend the time for voluntary enlistments from the 20th day of August 1862, to the end of sixty days form the first day of July 1862, at their discretion. And the Selectmen are hereby directed to pay the volunteers agreeable to this vote, and to make such loans as may be required for such payments."

Henry A. ELLIOT and Silas WELLMAN were selectmen at this time. At a special meeting, September 16, 1862, called "upon the petition of Henry HULL and others, it was

"Voted, That we give the drafted men of this town for the nine months' call, one hundred dollars each, and that seventy-five dollars in addition to the twenty-five dollars previously voted, be given to the nine months' volunteers.

"Voted, That the Selectmen be and are hereby directed to pay the drafted men and volunteers, agreeable to the vote this day passed, at any time when called for after they have been mustered into the service of the United States, and make such loans as may be required for such payment.:

October 15, 1863, the selectmen were directed to investigate the claims against the town for bounties by volunteers and drafted men, and to "report at a future meeting;" and at a special meeting November 4th following, it was

"Voted, That the Selectmen be and they are hereby directed to borrow money and pay the $75 to each of the 9 mo's volunteers agreeable to the vote passed at the Special Town meeting, held on the 16th day of Sept. 1862."


A portion of the town was incorporated in 1820, as a borough. Austin OLCOTT Esq.,*{Dr. Austin OLCOTT died May 18, 1843, aged 68 years (See page 24).} was authorized to call the first meeting of electors. By-laws were enacted for protection against the spread of fire, for the protection of shell fishery, permitting the planting of shade trees on the streets, and other favorable privileges not granted to towns. For several years considerable interest was taken in the enterprise. In 1833, the charter was renewed. About 1838, the annual meetings were neglected, and they have not since been renewed.

Clinton has four churches: on Congregational, one Methodist, one Baptist, and one Episcopal; a town hall; the Morgan School; two parks; two hotels; one bank; eight principal stores; two drug stores; two meat markets; two fish markets; one axe handle factory; one paper mill; one flour mill; two saw mills; a factory for manufacturing small tools; one tin ware manufactory; one establishment for manufacturing fancy soap and extract of witch hazel.

A stone arch bridge was built across the Indian River, at Main street, in 1876, at the cost of nearly $5,000. The Shore Line Branch of the Consolidated Railroad Company is building a stone arch bridge across Indian River, for a double track, about 200 feet north of the Main street bridge.


"At a town meeting, held November 27th 1676, it was agreed upon and voted that all the land from John KELSEY's {John KELSEY was a son of William KELSEY} cow yard, that now is so over to John ROSSITER's house Lot shall lie in Common forever."

This park layout is now the East Green. A school house has been erected on it since the Revolutionary war closed, and has been renewed three times. The present building was erected about 1844.


In 1846, Buckminister B. ELDERKIN, George L. HURD Esq. And others living on East Main street, succeeded in a arousing a spirit of enterprise in tree planting. In the early spring of that year elm trees were planted on the East Green, on East Main street. These were carefully watered during two summers followings, and now several of the trees measure nearly eight feet and a half in circumference, two feet from the ground, and the whole presents a beautiful part worthy of the originators.

Previous to 1846, tree planting has made some progress, especially the planting of hard maples, and Main street, Clinton, is celebrated for its continuous double row of trees for the distance of a mile and a half. In April 1881, Hon. B. G. NORTHROP offered a premium of $100 to the persons who should set out the greatest number of trees during that year. This stimulus produced a large number of shade trees on the cross streets of Clinton that will, in time, make the village look almost like a forest of trees.


A society library was organized in the First Society of Killingworth in 1790. Rev. Achilles MANSFIELD, pastor of the Fist Society, is credited with the honor of awakening an interest in the subject and organizing this institution. In 1819, it had 208 volumes (Field's Statistical Account). This library was held in shares at $1 each, perpetual shareholders. The reading of the books was disposed of once a month by auction, to be kept one month, and each shareholder might bid for the privilege of reading. This library was very popular, and was the means of great good for many years. The officers, consisting of a librarian and a standing committee, were elected annually. Meetings were held regularly until about 1830.

In 1872, a new library was organized, called the Morgan Library. Shares are held at $1 each for one year. Shareholders have the right to take books free, others can take them by paying five cents a week. It has 743 volumes, and issues books twice each week.


In 1856, a bank of discount was chartered, with a capital of $75,000. The stock was all subscribed, and the bank went into operation November 18th of the same year. The year 1857 was remarkable for being on of the panic years. Of the five banks chartered at the same session of the Legislature, Clinton National Bank is the only one now in existence.

The first board of directors consisted of John D. LEFFINGWELL, Henry TAINTOR, William HULL, John L. HULL, Luke E. WOOD, William H. BUELL; Horace L. SILL, of Old Lyme, Connecticut; Jonathan NICHOLSON, of New Haven; and Charles B. WRIGHT of Killingworth. John D. LEFFINGWELL was elected the first president, and continues to hold that office. Alfred HULL was the first cashier. His term of office closed at his death, May 24th 1877. His successor is Ezra E. POST. The institutional became a national Bank April 27th 1865. The shares have sold as high as $150. It has never failed to declare dividends semi-annually. In 1882, the directors ordered a new building, and they now have the elegant brick structure, occupied exclusively by the bank. The Clinton National is the only bank of discount on the Shore Line Railroad, between New Haven and New London. The present directors are John D. LEFFINGWELL, Luke E. WOOD, John B. WRIGHT, William H. LAY, of Westbrook, Elisha E. WRIGHT, Edwin M. BRADLEY, Charles A. ELLIOT, Elias W. WELLMAN, and Ezra E. POST.


A Masonic lodge known as the Trinity Lodge, was organized in Clinton, in 1797. The first officers were: Noah LESTER, W. M.; Aaron ELLIOT, S. W.; Eli KELSEY, J. W.; David WRIGHT, secretary and treasurer. In 1825, after the death of the W. M., Amaziah BRAY, the charter was forfeited and taken away, and no record of the members exists in Clinton. Benjamin P. JONES, born in 1792, joined this lodge in 1822, as he says, and he is the only member now living.

September 23d 1864, a new lodge was chartered, called the Jeptha Lodge. The number of members now living is 75. The officers for 1884 are: Charles E. CARTER, W. M.; James W. BROOKS, S. W.; Hiram L. DEE, J. W.; John H. PARKER, secretary; Ezra E. POST; treasurer; W. H. ANDREWS, S. D.; Henry STEVENS, J. D.; Charles E. WELLMAN, S. S.; George A. OLCOTT, J. S. John H. PARKER is a director of the Masonic Mutual Benefit Association of New Haven.


This society was organized February 15th 1879, and was incorporate din 1880. The first officers were: John P. JOHNSON, president; Herbert G. WROTH and MORGAN PIERSON, vice-presidents; Joseph H. SPERRY, secretary; Ezra E. POST, treasurer. Six very successful fairs have been held, the last one October 1st 1884. The premiums have always been paid in full, and the financial affairs of the society are, and always have been, on a secure basis. No gambling has ever been allowed on or about the grounds. The present officers are: George E. ELLIOT, president; Edwin H. WRIGHT and Marshall B. JOHNSON, vice-presidents; Sylvester P. HULL, secretary; Ezra E. POST, treasurer.


In 1852, the New Haven & New London Railroad was finished from New Haven to New London, and the first passenger train carried stockholders free, on the 4th of July 1852. The people of Clinton subscribed to the stock, and bought second mortgage bonds, and lost all (about $28,000) in about three years, the road going into the hands of first mortgage bondholders. They have leased the road to the New York, New Haven & Hartford Company, known as the Consolidated Railroad company, and this road is now known as the Shore Line. There are 22 trains daily, except Sundays.


It is not known who first opened a store in Killingworth for the sale of goods, but it is reasonable to suppose that for the first 30 years of the settlers' life there was no need of any. In 1689 there were 45 taxable persons. It is tradition that Dr. Aaron ELIOT had a store on the south side of West Main street, where Dr. D. A. FOX now lives, and flourished there before 1750.

Josiah BUELL had a store on the south side of East Main street, on the premises where Hon. William H. BUELL resides, as early as 1720. He was born March 7th 1691, and died November 11th 1732. His only son, Hiel BUELL, succeeded him in the same store. He used to go to Boston on horseback and buy and bring home dry goods. He was elected captain of a troop of horse in 1767. He kept a hotel during the Revolutionary war. He died May 8th 1812, aged 88 years.

Theophilus MORGAN, from Guilford, Conn., kept a store on the south side of East main street as early as 1750. He built the dwelling house and store now occupied by his great-granddaughter, Miss Miriam MORGAN. He died November 33d 1766, aged 63. Theophilus MORGAN Esq., son of the above Theophilus, engaged in the West India trade before the Revolutionary war, sold goods from the same store, and lived in the same house. The war broke up his trade with the West Indies, and he died February 7th 1788. He imported rum and molasses and sold to inhabitants as well as at wholesale to dealers in other towns. He bought cattle and horses, hay, oats, staves, and hoops for export. "Rich as Squire MORGAN" was a common expression among old people here 50 years ago. His estate inventories between 7,000 and 8,000.

Adam STANTON, from Rhode Island, had a store at the head of Clinton Harbor before the Revolutionary war. During the war he manufactured salt from sea water, and sold it at great prices. The house where he lived and traded stood on the spot where Capt. R. A. FRANHAM now lives. After the war Mr. STANTON bought a large unfinished dwelling house and store, built where formerly stood the college. Capt. Walter HILLIARD commenced the house, and died and left it unfinished. Adam STANTON kept a large assortment of goods, including medicines, up to about 1830. He died October 16th 1834.

George and William CARTER, brothers kept a store on the south side of West Main street. Their stock was quite extensive, including medicines, and they carried on the business from the close of the war of 1812 till about 1835, on the premises now owned by Charles D. STEVENS.

Ely A. ELIOT and Capt. WARREN Chapman opened a store on the north side of West main street, at the close of the war of 1812, at the corner of Main and High streets. The store buildings are now owned by Charles A. ELLIOT. This store has always been stocked with dry goods, groceries, crockery, and hardware, and formerly had a large trade with people of the North society.

John ROSITER, farmer, commenced a store on the east side of Liberty street, about 1818. He did a small business, selling groceries and liquors. He died December 19th 1841, aged 67, and the business was closed up soon afterward.

All of these stores retailed liquors, and between 1800 and 1830 dissipation was very prevalent.

The merchants of Clinton at the present time are: John ANDREWS, groceries; T. E. MORGAN, general store; William H. PARKS, general store; Horace KELSEY, fancy goods and notions; ELLIOT Brothers (Henry A. and Charles A.), flour, feed, and coal; William HULL, groceries and provisions; William H. HULL, bakery; H. & E. W. WELLMAN, general store; A. S. PELTON & Son, general store, boots and shoes, and medicines; HOSMER & WRIGHT, drugs and medicines; Giles C. GRINNEL, boots and shows; Henry A. LYNE, harness, etc,; William B. LEWIS, harness, etc.; Leonard SMITH, notions, fruits, segars, etc.


This is at present one of the leading industries of Clinton, and it has been developed within the last half century. Mr. A. J. HURD, one of the principal dealers, commenced planting, within the borders of this town, about 30 years ago. He now plants from 3,000 to 5,000 bushels. These are brought from Virginia and various points on Long Island Sound. Clinton oysters are among the best in the market.


Beside the three districts consolidated in the Morgan School there are three other districts not consolidated. There are 283 children between 4 and 16 years of age, who draw public money to the amount of $213. Town deposit fund, $133.44. Total expense of public schools, $1,827.64. All expenses except State aid are paid from Morgan School fund.

THE MORGAN SCHOOL.-This school is justly considered one of the best institutions of learning in the State. Its establishment is due to the munificent liberality of Charles MORGAN, of New York city. Charles MORGAN, son of Colonel George MORGAN and Elizabeth REDFIELD, and grandson of Theophilus MORGAN, a wealthy merchant and ship owner in Clinton previous to the Revolutionary war, was born in Clinton, April 21st 1795. October 12th 1869, the first steps were taken by Mr. MORGAN for establishing this school, and December 7th 1871 witnessed its formal dedication, the founder himself being present to receive the congratulations of the people of Clinton, and the friends of education in this State generally. The idea of doing something noble for the place of his own birth and that of his ancestors, was first suggested to Mr. MORGAN by his old friend, and the teacher of his youth, Leet HURD, Esq. Then 87 years of age, a descendant of Governor William Leet, of Connecticut. Promptly and wisely Mr. MORGAN resolved to commence with a free high school for the people of Clinton, while alive and well, being then 74 years of age. He appointed John D. LEFFINGWELL, Alfred HULL, Andrew J. HURD, and George E. ELLIOT, trustees, as the almoners of his bounty. To these gentlemen, Mr. MORGAN confided the whole business of purchasing, contracting for, organizing, and equipping the Morgan School. The expense incurred in purchasing a site, erecting and equipping the building amounted to $60,000. The building is 75 by 60 feet, three stories high, with Mansard roof and high stoop basement. The above sum was supplemented by a further gift of $50,000 for supporting the school.

Mr. MORGAN died in New York, May 8th 1878, at the age of 83. Previous to his death he had left $100,000 more for the support of the school. The sum total of his gifts to the school amount to over $300,000. It was a favorite remark of his that no other $300,000 of his wealth had ever given him so much pleasure. At the dedications, Mr. MORGAN was surrounded by a distinguished company of divines, lawyers, educators, and citizens of Clinton and adjoining towns; President Porter and Professor Thatcher, of Yale, Gen. William S. PIERSON, of Windsor, Connecticut, a descendant of Rev. Abraham PIERSON, first rector of Yale college, and second minister to the early settlers of Clinton. Rev. C. L. GOODELL, of New Britain, Connecticut, delivered the address. Speeches are made by governor Marshall JEWELL, Hon. L. W. STANTON, of Hartford, a native of Clinton, and others.

The school was opened April 8th 1872. The first principal was E. W. WINSLOW, of Amherst, Massachusetts, a graduate of Amherst College, class of 1870. The school comprised one high school, two intermediate, and two primary departments, taking all the primary pupils of three school districts on Main street, all the advanced scholars residing in Clinton, and such non-residents as on application were admitted by the trustees. The organizing and grading were successfully accomplished by Mr. WINSLOW, and under him the school became favorably known, both at home and abroad. The first graduate was Joseph H. SPERRY, a native of Clinton, and the present assistant principal. In 1876, it sent its first graduates to Yale college, where its graduates have gained and maintained high positions in scholarship. Since then, it has furnished Yale, Hamilton, Columbia, Cornell, and Wesleyan with pupils that do it honor. The majority of its lady graduates have become teachers. Joseph H. SPERRY has been assistant principal since 1875. In 1878, Mr. WINSLOW resigned his position as principal, and entered the ministry. Dwight HOLBROOK, of Sing, Sing, New York, a graduate of Hamilton College, class of 1875, succeeds Mr. WINSLOW as principal.

In the summer of 1879, the trustees decided to enlarge the principal's residence which had previously been located on the premises.

In 1880, the new residence was completed, and it is now occupied by Prof. HOLBROOK and his family. The Morgan School Building is of brick, with light colored granite trimmings. The upper floor is a large hall. It is finished in hard wood, heated by steam, and is well supplied with water from a large tank in the roof filled by one of Erricson's hot air engines. The school building and principal's residence compare favorably with any similar buildings in the country. The school is equipped with apparatus for illustrating the science of physics, has a well furnished laboratory, and a valuable library of 1,500 volumes, including books of reference and general reading matter for the pupils.

Since its organization this institution has graduated 56 pupils; 27 male and 29 female. The average annual attendance as been 230. The present arrangement of the grades is as follows: lower primary, upper primary, lower grammar, upper grammar, and intermediate, each one room; and high school, two rooms. There are two male and five female teachers. Beside the English branches, Greek, Latin, French, and German are taught. The trustees are at present discussing the propriety of erecting a separate building for the library.

Prof. B. G. NORTHROP, late secretary of the State Board of Education, says, in one of his reports to the State Legislature: "The Morgan School has accomplished grander results, so far, than Yale College accomplished during the lifetime of its first president." Mr. MORGAN left with the trustees a sum of money sufficient for prizes for scholarship, and these prizes have been applied annually. Alfred HULL, one of the first trustees, died May 24th 1877, and Elisha K. REDFIELD was elected to fill his place. The school building and principal's residence are situated on the north side of East Main street. The grounds are 600 feet deep and 223 feet wide.



The original settlers of Killingworth were Congregationalists from the Puritan stock of the early settlers of Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield, and no other church or religious society made its appearance in the town until after the expiration of 130 years. The Halfway Covenant prevailed from the beginning, admitting members to the church record and to the privilege of having their children baptized, but none were admitted to full communion except on profession of faith. This arrangement, which had been unpopular since 1764, was done away with in 1817. The records show that there were 105 persons connected with the church before 1694.

The first minister, Rev. John WOODBRIDGE, became settled pastor in 1667. He was born in Andover, Mass., in 1644, and graduated from Harvard in 1664. He was a son of Rev. John WOODBRIDGE, from Stanton, Wiltshire, England. His salary was 60 a year, and he was voted (March 1669) 60 toward building a house. The General Court, in 1671, granted to "Mr. John WOODBRIDGE, of Kenilworth, 250 acres of land for a farm, Provided he take it up where it may not prejudice any former grant to any plantation or particular person." He resigned in 1679, removed to Wethersfield, and died in 1690.

In 1694, fifteen years after the removal of Mr. WOODBRIDGE, Rev. Abraham PIERSON jr., was settled here. He was probably born in South Hampton, L. I., where his father had been pastor. Before settling in Killingworth Abraham PIERSON jr. had been colleague pastor of a church in Newark, N. J., with his father. While at Killingworth he was chosen, by a voluntary assembly of ministers in 1700, one of a committee to "found, erect, and govern a college." In 1701, the General Court granted the desired charter for the institution which in after years became Yale College. At a meeting of the trustees, November 7th of the same year, Mr. PIERSON was chosen to take charge of the college "in its instruction and government with the title of rector." By a vote of the trustees the college had been located at Saybrook, and older and more important settlement. But Mr. PIERSON had the qualifications, in the estimation of the trustees, "to govern and teach," and if he undertook the charge the college must come to him, and it did. A building was erected near his residence, and was standing after 1790, and vestiges still remain sufficient to identify the spot on which it stood. The testimony of Capt. Leet HURD, often repeated, is, that he remembered the building well. It was known as the Old College, and was located on the homestead of John A. STANTON Esq. Abraham PIERSON died March 5th 1707, aged 61 years. Short was his career as first rector of Yale College, but he laid the foundations well and others built successfully. Two years after the settlement of Mr. PIERSON, "the town concluded by their voat to hire Mr. BROWN to keep skoul for one quarter of year, and for his pains therein to give him nine pounds; the one half of it to be paid by the skollers and the other halfe by the town." This is the first record of a school, and the first school house was build in 1703.

The third pastor was Rev. Jared ELIOT, son of Rev. Joseph ELIOT, of Guilford, Conn., and grandson of the Apostle ELIOT, of Massachusetts. He was ordained pastor in "Kenelworth" in 1709. He had preached to the people of Killingworth for about two years before his ordination. He was a pupil of Rector PIERSON who, on his deathbed, recommended to his people that they should employ and settle Mr. ELIOT. Jared ELIOT died April 22d 1763. He was a physician as well as minister. During his 54 years of ministry in Killingworth, he rose to a height of popularity as an author and medical practitioner, such as no other at that time in the colony had reached. His biographer says that he was unquestionably the first physician in his day in Connecticut. He was often called to go long distances, and in many cases received patients into his family for treatment. He was an excellent botanist and a distinguished agriculturist. He introduced the white mulberry tree and the silk worm into Connecticut, and published a treatise on the subject. His essays on agriculture, first published in 1760, were recovered from oblivion by the Massachusetts State Agricultural Society and republished in 1811. He also was a mineralogist. His attention was called to the iron ores in the vicinity, out of which he made pig iron; but the supply of ore was too small to make it profitable. But of the back sand found on the shores of the Sound, east of Clinton Harbor and west of Duck Island Bay, he made a great success, converting it into the best steel known at that time. With the aid of a blacksmith, Elnathan STEVENS, he converted some of this sand into steel and then into a jack knife, which he presented to the Royal Society of Arts in London, and was granted a gold medal (still in existence). In connection with his son, Aaron ELIOT, he constructed works for reducing sand iron to steel. He wrote and published a treatise on the subject, describing his methods. A copy of this work (probably the only one in existence) is in the hands of his great-great-grandson, George E. ELLIOT Esq. The book is 6 by 3 inches and contains 34 pages. It was printed n 1762, by John HOLT, New York. The book is a very interesting discourse on the origin of iron and iron sand, their uses, manner of melting, etc., showing extensive research, and application of his own theories. Dr. ELIOT married Elizabeth SMITHSON, of Guildford. She died Feb 18th 1761. They had 11 children. He became an extensive land holder, and a considerable portion has come down to his posterity through four generations.

Rev. Eliphalet HUNTINGTON was the fourth pastor. He was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, graduated from Yale College in 1759, and was settled here January 11th 1764. He married, April 24th 1766, Sarah, daughter of Joseph and granddaughter of Rev. Jared ELIOT. She was born July 24th 1751. Mr. HUNTINGTON died of smallpox, February 8th 1777. It is said that he called to a stranger passing in the street to inquire for news from the army. The stranger had the smallpox, and Mr. HUNTINGTON contracted the fatal disease. He is represented as having been large and fine looking, a devoted Christian, and a patriot who took a deep interest in the success of the cause of independence.

The fifth pastor, Rev. Achilles MANSFIELD, a native of New Haven, was installed January 6th 1779. He married Sarah, widow of Rev. Mr. HUNTINGTON. The house he occupied is now owned and occupied by Mrs. Henry TAINTOR. He died July 22d 1814, and his wife died December 27th 1817, aged 69. He left three children: Nathan, a graduate of Yale College, died April 6th 1813, aged 28; Elizabeth, married Dr. Austin OLCOTT, May 6th 1807; and Susan, born January 31st 1786, married Rev. Joseph HUNTINGTON, of Boston, May 18th 1809.

The sixth minister, Rev. Hart TALCOTT, began preaching here January 26th 1817, and was installed June 10th the same year. He was dismissed, at his own request, January 26th 1824.

Dissensions followed the removal of Mr. TALCOTT. Certain prominent brethren were subjected to discipline, December 14th 1826. The church was divided into two nearly equal parts. The majority, holding the real estate, employed Rev. Peter CROCKER, from Dartmouth, Mass., to preach to them. The quarrel continued till 1831, when a settlement of difficulties was effected. The conditions were that Mr. CROCKER should leave, the deacons on each side should resign, the church to be no longer consociated, and an entirely new board of deacons should be elected. This result was precipitated by a great revival, which commenced in September 1829.

Rev. Luke WOOD, the seventh pastor, was installed October 13th 1831. He was born in Somers, Conn., in 1777, graduated from Dartmouth College in 1803, and studied theology with Dr. Nathaniel EMMONS. He was dismissed in March 1834, and died August 22d 1851, aged 74 years. The eighth minister, Rev. Lewis FOSTOR, was born in Hartland, Conn., in 1806, graduated from Yale College in 1831, was ordained pastor of this church December 3d 1834, and died in Clinton, October 27th 1839.

Rev. Orlo D. HINE, of New Milford, Conn., was the ninth pastor. He was ordained and installed over this church, April 14th 1841. He was dismissed, October 14th 1842, and is now settled in Lebanon, Conn.

Rev. Enoch S. HUNTINGTON was installed May 24th 1843, and dismissed March 26th 1850. He was born at Ashford, Connecticut, and died in Danbury, Connecticut, April 7th 1862.

Rev. James D. MOORE began his ministry here March 10th 1850, and was dismissed May 1st 1866. He was born in England, educated at Middlebury College, Vermont, and graduated from the Theological Seminary of Yale College. During his ministry, 123 were added to the church, and 53 were added the first Sabbath after his dismissal. His dismissal was the occasion of great grief to a large portion of his church, and he is still remembered with sincere regard. He had a good classical education, united with a fund of general knowledge. He died at Hartford, January 17th, 1869, and was buried in the Clinton Cemetery.

Rev. William E. BROOKS was ordained and installed May 23d 1867. He was a native of Maine, and had been captain of a company of volunteers from that State in the war of the Rebellion. He was dismissed May 1st 1874. He preached a bi-centennial sermon, November 13th 1867, it being the 200th anniversary of the organization of the church. He is now the president of a college in Austin, Texas.

Rev. J. Henry BLISS commenced his labors as acting pastor, January 1st 1875, and still officiates. Mr. BLISS is a graduate of Hartford Theological Institute. The church has 215 members now living and residing in Clinton.

The first meeting house, erected in 1667, was located on the hill near where the present church stands. This gave place to a better one about 1700. At a town meeting, August 20th 1703:

"It was offered unto the town by several of the neighbors which had by subscription purchased a bell in or to be hung up in the meeting house whether they would accept of said bell and hang it at the Town charge which was consented to and voted."

"December 29th 1724 it was voted to have the Bell recast with an addition of 50 pounds of copper and one quarter so much pewter and employ Mr. LINSCOMB of Saybrook to do the work upon condition that he do it for twelve pounds and that he demand nothing for his labor if he fails in the well performance of his work."

Rev. Jared ELIOT, in his will gave "as a testimony of affectionate regard" for the society, 10 toward the support of a school in the society, and 5 toward the purchase of a bell.

November 24th 1823, the church voted to appropriate $40 to purchase a stove. This is believed to have been the first attempt to warm a meeting house in Killingworth. A new steeple was added to the church in 1809. The old house was removed and the present church edifice was built in 1833, at a cost of $4,000; additions, $2,500. It was enlarged 16 feet in 1858, and in 1877, it was remodeled at a cost of over $5,600. An organ was placed in the church in 1870, at accost of $4,200.


The Baptists of Killingworth organized first as a society in 1797. The records of this organization are not to be found.

"An account of the number of the Baptists in Killingworth, October 1st, 1822, who belong to the Second Baptist Church in Saybrook: Elisha ELDERKIN, Thankful CARTER, Henry ARCHBALD, Phebe TREAT, Charlotte PARKS, Lydia MORGAN, Amelia WATERHOUSE, Elder Pierpont BROCKETT, Sarah BROCKETT, Mary ELDERKIN, Hannah SMITH, Samuel LESTER, Sally BUELL, Pamela CLANNIN."

The First Baptist Church of Christ, in Killingworth, was constituted September 22d 1825. The names of the first members were: William CARTER, Hannah CARTER, Phebe TREAT, Charlotte PARKS, Ruth CRANE, Hannah NICHOLS, Lydia MORGAN, Pierpont BROCKETT, Sally BROCKETT, Jennett M. LOOMIS, John S. GIFFING, Mary ELDERKIN, Parnell PECK, John A. PECK, Samuel LESTER, Betsey HERON, Abner FARNHAM, Amelia WATERHOUSE, Lucy WATERHOUSE, John PEIRSON, Sally GRIFFITH, Sally BUELL, Julia REDFIELD, Polly PIERSON, Pamela CLANNING, Deacon Benjamin CARTER, Samuel W. GLADDING. This church recognizes no ministerial authority. The affairs are managed by three trustees, who are elected annually. The minister whom they hire becomes a member of the church. He is not installed, but is licensed to preach by the association of Baptist ministers. The First church edifice, built in 1835, was 38 by 40 feet. This building, greatly improved, is their present house of worship. It is valued at $4,000, and is situated on the south side of East Main street. Previous to 1835, the society worshipped in the town hall. The society was incorporated as the Clinton Baptist Church in 1863. Its numbers 99 living members. The present minister is Rev. A. J. CHANDLER.


There was a society of Universalists who flourished about the time of the war of 1812, and continued to hold meetings in the east school house until about 1828, when they disbanded. Their preacher was Captain Ebenezer LESTER. It is not known that he was a regularly ordained minister, but it is known that he administered the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and baptized. Some of the members had seceded from the Congregational church, and the following is from the records of that church, December 30 1813:

"Whereas, our brother and sister, Jared ELLIOT and Clarissa his wife, have withdrawn from the watch and fellowship of this church and joined the society called Universalists, therefore voted to withdraw, and this church doth hereby withdraw our fellowship, watch, & care from the said Jared ELIOT and Clarissa his wife, at the same time signifying that in case they should be convinced that they are in an error and seek restoration to this church that hath embosomed their fathers *{This Jared ELLIOT was the grandson of Dr. Jared ELIOT, former pastor of the Congregational church. He was a Justice of the Peace and a member of the general Assembly. He died September 25th 1841.} we shall joyfully receive them to union with us," etc.

The Universalists never owned a house of worship here.


The first Methodist class in Killingworth (now Clinton) was formed in 1829, and consisted of the following persons: John Hopson WILCOX and Ann his wife, Edwin PARKS and Mary his wife, Richard HANDY and his wife, Mrs. Polly BUELL, Mrs. Sophia BUELL, Mrs. Hannah BUELL, Laura HANDLY, and Nathan BROOKS. The first minister was Rev. Nathaniel KELLOGG. The first church building was erected in 1830, and stood on the south side of West main street. It was abandoned and sold in 1855. The present edifice was built in 1855, and cost, with improvements since made, about $10,000. The society has a convenient parsonage near the church. There have been a number of interesting revivals during its history. The present number of members is 178.


"Organization of the Parish of the Holy Advent in Clinton, 1873.

"We the subscribers, composed of residents of the towns of Clinton, Madison, and Westbrook in the State of Connecticut, being desirous of becoming a body corporate under the constitution and law of said State, for the purpose of establishing and supporting the worship of Almighty God according to the doctrines and discipline and liturgy of the Protestant Episcopal Church in these United States and in communion with the same, do hereby resolve and constitute ourselves and our successors into an organized association or corporation under the constitution and laws o this State. And for the aforesaid purpose of a society or parish of the said church to be known in law as the Episcopal Society of the "Holy Advent Church" in the town of Clinton, county of Middlesex, in the State of Connecticut.

"in witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands this 10th day of September, A. D., 1873.

Daniel M. WEBB, M. Josephine WARREN,
David A. WRIGHT, Mary G. JUDSON,

"Clinton Sept. 10th 1873. Certified and authorized to call a meting bearing date five days before said meeting.

"Elias W. WELLMAN, Justice of the Peace."

The chapel of "Holy Advent Church" was consecrated by Rt. Rev. John WILLIAMS, bishop of the diocese of Connecticut, July 8th 1880.



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