HISTORY OF NEW LONDON COUNTY, CONNECTICUT,
WITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF MANY OF ITS PIONEERS AND PROMINENT MEN.
COMPILED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF D. HAMILTON HURD
J. W. LEWIS & CO., PHILADELPHIA, 1882
PRESS OF J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO., PHILADELPHIA
[transcribed by Janece Streig]
CHAPTER XVIII, PART B.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (Continued).
Hon. Francis B. LOOMIS was born at Lyme, Conn., April 9, 1816. His father, Joel LOOMIS was an influential public man, a frequent representative of his town in the General Assembly, judge of probate for many years, an associate judge of the County Court, and the intimate friend of the late Chief Justice WAITE, of Connecticut, father of Ho. Morrison R. WAITE, the present chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and also Hon. Charles J. MCCURDY, Judge Lodowich BILL, and the leading men of that day.
Mr. LOOMIS' boyhood was passed in his native town, where he attended the public and private select schools, and acquired an education that well fitted him for his subsequent successful business career.
Thus prepared for the active duties of life, on attaining his majority he immediately began the manufacture of woolen goods in his native town, and that with a vigor and wisdom that were rewarded by success from the very beginning. Col. LOOMIS had attained a prominent position in Lyme as a public-spirited citizen of enterprise and ability, and in 1847, just prior to his removal to New London, he was honored by an almost unanimous election to the Lower House of the Legislature. Mr. LOOMIS always manifested quite an interest in military affairs, and when only twenty-one years of age was elected colonel of the Third Regiment of Connecticut Militia and county commissioner.
In 1848 he removed to New London, and at once greatly enlarged his sphere of operations, and has since been prominently identified with the business and financial interests of the city. Soon after his removal to New London he erected the woolen-mills at Montville, and subsequently became the owner of the Rockwell Mills at Norwich and other factories in that town, now owned by the STURDEVANT Bros. He also constructed and managed for some time the steam woolen-mills at New London, which factory was the first of the kind ever built in this city for the production of textile fabrics, of which he was the sole owner. He also erected and owned the woolen-mills at Coventry, Tolland Co. IN the marvelous development of the woolen manufacture from 1840-70, Col. LOOMIS was one of the principal factors, and made the business a grand financial success. Later he secured the exclusive ownership of the large steam cotton-mills at Sag Harbor. The mills were built by the late Gen. JAMES, and were regarded as the model mills of the country. During the civil war his manufacturing was conducted on a more extensive scale than that of any other individual in the State, his employés numbering over twelve hundred, and his mills were running night and day in the fulfillment of government contracts.
Notwithstanding Col. LOOMIS met with almost unparalleled success as a manufacturer, his ability as a financier was no less conspicuous. Quick to perceive proffered advantages, and active in turning them to private and public account, he availed himself o the privileges conferred by the National Banking Act soon after it was passed, and organized the First National Bank of New London, which was one of the first institutions of its kind in the country. He subscribed and owned nearly the whole of the capital stock, and directed its operations in person from the date of organization until its cessation from business in 1877. Investments rarely prove to be more lucrative than did that. Dividends for many years averaged twelve per cent. in gold, and the surplus accumulations more than equaled the capital. During the late rebellion this bank was the government depository for Eastern Connecticut, and for a time held government deposits of over $4,000,000. It was also intrusted with the sale of government bonds, and floated over $20,000,000 of the several issues.
Possessed of an ample fortune, obtained by processes only beneficent to the multitude, Col. LOOMIS retired from manufacturing soon after the close of the war, and employed his energy and resources in stock speculations and railroad enterprises. Some of the former have been of colossal magnitude, while the latter, particularly in the South and West, have also been on a large scale, developing their section of country, enriching its inhabitants, and yielding a rich return to the deserving capitalist.
Politically, Col. LOOMIS began life as a WHIG, and acted with the party until it ceased to exist.
In 1861, when armed rebellion raised his hideous head, he promptly and patriotically devoted himself to the upholding of the Union cause, and lost neither heart nor hope in the darkest and dreariest days of the sanguinary struggle that ensued. He was president of the first war-meeting, held in the old court-house at New London, on the evening of that ever-memorable 12th of April, 1861, when the lightning flashed the intelligence to the expectant North that Confederate shot had been fired at the national colors at Sumter, and that Major ANDERSON and his gallant band were in a state of siege.
Never did the spirits and genius of the Revolutionary fathers shine more resplendently than in an act of Col. LOOMIS' in 1864.
We all remember the dark hours of the early part of 1864. Grim-visaged war stood out in all its manifold horrors before the people of this country. It was an hour of intense gloom. A mighty conflict was imminent, and at this time, on the ever of the horrible carnage which has gone down in history as the battle of the Wilderness, Col. LOOMIS' patriotism was brilliantly displayed in his offer to President LINCOLN to furnish and equip at his own expense one thousand men for one hundred days in order to relieve the garrison at Fort Trumbull, that the regulars stationed there might be sent to the front. This noble offer was not accepted, but the genuine and glowing patriotism which dictated it at the supreme hour of the nation's peril received appropriate acknowledgment from the lamented LINCOLN in the following autograph letter, which was subsequently found among his papers, and was published in RAYMOND's "Life, Public Services, and State Papers of Abraham LINCOLN."
"Executive Mansion, Washington, Aug. 12, 1864.
"My Dear Sir,--I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 28th of April, in which you offer to replace the present garrison at Fort Trumbull with volunteers, which you propose to raise at your own expense. While it seems inexpedient at this time to accept this proposition, on account of the special duties devolving upon the garrison mentioned, I cannot pass unnoticed such a meritorious instance of individual patriotism. Permit me, for the government, to express my cordial thanks to you for this generous and public-spirited offer, which is worthy of note among the many called forth by these times of national trial.
"I am very truly yours obedient servant,
"F. B. LOOMIS, Esq."
Throughout the war, and until 1872, Col. LOOMIS acted with the Republican party, but uniformly declined all overtures to become a candidate for office. This Liberal Republican movement of that year enlisted his heartiest sympathy and co-operation, and he was nominated elector at large on the GREELEY and BROWN ticket. Since then he has been politically identified with the Democratic party. In 1872 he declined the unanimous nomination as candidate for Senator from the Seventh District, and soon after he also declined the congressional nomination from the Third District, which was also unanimously tendered him. He was a delegate at large to the convention that nominated TILDEN and HENDRICKS, and was chairman of the State delegation. He was also Presidential elector at large on the TILDEN and HENDRICKS ticket from Connecticut. In November, 1876, he was elected Lieutenant-Governor on the Democratic ticket, and as presiding officer of the Senate, in the subsequent legislative session, discharged his duties with acceptancy and skill, added to an impartial dignity that commanded respectful attention and grateful applause of political friends and opponents alike. At the close of the session, the last held in the old State-House and the first in the new, Senator BROWN, Republican, of the Eighth District, in the course of his remarks in delivering the farewell of the Senate to its presiding officer, said, "You have treated all questions fairly and honorably, and in a manner to command the respect and approval of all. Strange as it may seem, yet it is true that during the two years you have presided over this body no appeal has been made from the ruling of the chair." Certainly a meritorious record.
Col. LOOMIS was urgently requested to become a candidate for the Lieutenant-Governorship for a second term, and although positively declining the honor, he was chosen by acclamation in the convention, but he refused to stand as the candidate. In the fall of 1880, Col. LOOMIS was a prominent candidate for gubernatorial honors, and it was the belief of all the leading men in the party that his nomination would insure success to the Democratic ticket. His peculiar fitness for the position, in connection with his popularity among the masses, were some of the reasons why Col. LOOMIS should have been the candidate of his party in the critical campaign of 1880. He, however, declined the honor in a characteristic letter, in which he said, "To the end that our noble candidate may be elected, all private ambition should be sacrificed, and all personal self-seeking and local claims subordinated."
Upon the organization of the New London County Historical Society, Hon. L. S. FOSTER was chosen president, and Col. LOOMIS one of the vice-presidents, which position he has since held.
Col. LOOMIS is a public-spirited citizen of a genial and social nature, and very popular with the masses.
William Williams BILLINGS.-There is no prouder or more enduring personal record than the story of a self-reliant, manly, and successful career. It declares that the individual has not only understood his duty and mission, but fulfilled them. The Following biography is highly suggestive of these facts.
William Williams BILLINGS, the honored subject of this sketch, was born in Stonington, Conn., in the year 1802. He attended school at Norwich and New London, to which last-names city his father, the late Hon. Coddington BILLINGS, removed. Having decided upon a collegiate course he was prepared under the tuition of the late Prof. Denison OLMSTEAD, and in 1817, entered Yale College, where he graduated with honor in the class of 1821, of which class of twenty-one not more than eight survive.
After leaving college Mr. BILLINGS at once entered a counting-house, where his business education was begun. He manifested a decided interest in commercial pursuits, and in 1823 and 1824, then only twenty-one years of age, he made voyages to Portugal and France to enlarge his business knowledge and mercantile experience. In about the year 1823, Mr. BILLINGS formed a copartnership with his brother, the late Hon. NOYES BILLINGS, under the firm-name of N. & W. W. BILLINGS, for carrying on the whaling business. Here his indomitable will, business energy, and executive ability were clearly demonstrated. The business rapidly increased, and this enterprising firm soon became extensively and favorably known over all oceans, and was eminently successful in the ownership and agency of whaling ships. The firm continued until the business universally declined, when its affairs were closed and Mr. BILLINGS retired from active business in the possession of a handsome competency.
Since his retirement he has, with an occasional trip to Europe, lived among the people with whom his active business life had been immediately associated, always interested in their success and gladly contributing to their comfort and enjoyment. Mr. BILLINGS is a liberal contributor to all worthy objects, both public and private, being always directed by a thoughtful and positive judgment. In 1828 he unite din marriage with Miss Louisa TROTT, of a family well known in New London. He is a member of St. James' Episcopal Church parish, and his contributions to its maintenance have been munificent.
Although now at the advanced age of nearly eighty years, after a life of unusual activity, Mr. BILLINGS retains in a remarkable degree the vigor and elasticity of youth, and vividly related scenes and incidents of "ye olden time."
Mr. BILLINGS is not a politician, but he is always an earnest supporter of the principles of a free republican government.
Martin Kellogg CADY.-A record of the men conspicuous in New London affairs during the period between the years 1833 and 1876 would be sadly incomplete with the name of Martin K. CADY omitted. A leading merchant for more than forty years, upright and honorable, and beloved by all, well and justly deserves a tribute from the pen of the chronicler of passing events in New London County.
Mr. CADY was born in Bolton, Conn., June 29, 1813. He subsequently removed with his parent to Salem, later to Guilford, and in 1828 located in this city, and in the same year entered the employ of Charles BOLLES as clerk. He remained with Mr. BOLLES one year, when he was offered a clerkship by P. C. & I. TURNER, which he accepted, and three year later-Jan. 1, 1833-commenced business with a Mr. BREWSTER, under the firm-name of BREWSTER & CADY, which continued one year. He then went into the mercantile business for himself. He was always kind to the young man who was struggling for a beginning, and numbers of the leading men of to-day of New London received their business training in the store of Martin K. CADY. He was kind and considerate with his employés, many of whom were unusually long in his service, frequently becoming independent in their circumstances. Honesty and a strict attention to business, coupled with an indomitable will, rendered his life a success. He retired from active business live in January, 1876, and was in the enjoyment of his otium cum dignitate when death laid his hand upon the strong man, and he died Jan. 3, 1881, passing away peacefully,--
"Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him and lies down to pleasant dreams."
Aug. 5, 1841, Mr. CADY united in marriage with Miss Sarah WAY, a native of New London, and their children are as follows: Harriett ALLEN, wife of Capt. R. P. H. DURKEE, U.S.A., of New York, now a member of the firm of PALMER & DURKEE, attorneys, Chicago, Ill.; Martin Kellogg, eldest son, is assistant coiner in the United States mint at San Francisco, and has been for some years. He married Jeannie B., daughter of Hon. Charles GORHAM, of Maysville, Cal. Walter Claflin, youngest son, resides with his mother in New London.
Amos CADY, father of Martin K., was born in Vernon, Conn., May 11, 1780, and his mother, Hannah KELLOGG, was born in Amherst, Mass., July 14, 1786.
Martin K. CADY inspired all with whom he came in contact with unbounded confidence in his common sense and uncompromising integrity. He was a thoroughly practical man, possession a strong will, and when once his plans were formed was diligent and resolute in their speedy and complete execution. He ever manifested a lively interest in all matters tending to advance the welfare of his adopted city. His residence of fifty-three years in New London covered an important part of its history, with which Mr. CADY was closely identified, and no man commanded more universal respect. He was a consistent churchman, a member of St. James' Church, and for many years a vestryman; he was also a member of the Young Men's Christian Association.
His name is honored, his memory cherished at home and abroad by a wide circle of acquaintance, and it will be many years before his please in New London is made good.
Josiah Crosby WALDO.-Rev. Josiah Crosby WALDO was born in Chesterfield, N. H., Dec. 5, 1803. His boyhood was passed in his native town, where also he was educated at the Chesterfield Academy. This was a locally celebrated institution, where the greater portion of the graduates from Dartmouth College were prepared. In 1824 he went to Sarasota Springs and taught school one year, when he returned to Chesterfield and placed himself under the training of the Rev. Hosea BALLOU for the ministry. He soon after supplied various pulpits of the Universalist Church in and about Boston, and in 1828 removed to Cincinnati and became pastor of a young and growing church, since known as the First Universalist Society of Cincinnati. He entered into the work of the ministry in that city with vigor and persistency, and succeed in building up one of the most flourishing and powerful Universalist societies in the United States. It is not too much to say that the growth of that body from a small beginning to one of power and influence was due almost entirely to the earnest efforts in its behalf put forth by Mr. WALDO. Notwithstanding his pastoral duties demanded much of his attention, he established, soon after his settlement, the Sentinel and Star, a Universalist journal, and until 1831 was its managing editor. He wielded a graceful and trenchant pen, and under his able editorial management the paper secured a wide circulation and took prominent rank among the provincial press. In 1832 he resigned his pastorate and withdrew from the management of the Sentinel and Star and returned to Boston. He subsequently officiated in the pastor office in Lynn, Mass., which after a very successful labor of six years he resigned and located at Arlington, Mass., as pastor of the church at that place, where he remained six years. He then removed to Troy, N. U., where he preached until 1854, when, in consequence of the failing health of his wife, he gave up his pastorate and removed to New London, where he has since resided. Upon his removal to this city he supplied the pulpit of the Universalist Church for twelve years; the then retired, and is now enjoying his otium cum dignitate at his beautiful villa in East New London.
In 1831 he united in marriage with Elmira Ruth BALLOU, daughter of Rev. Hosea BALLOU, who died in June, 1856. IN 1865 Mr. WALDO married Caroline MARK, widow of David MARK, of Pekin, Ill., and daughter of Winslow WRIGHT, of Boston, a noted merchant. Mr. WALDO has three children living,--George Curtiss WALDO, editor of the Bridgeport Daily Standard, Clementina Grace, and Maturin Ballou. Politically Mr. WALDO has been a Republican since the second election of Lincoln. Previous to that time he was a Democrat, and cast his first vote for Andrew JACKSON.
Charles D. BOSS was born in Newport, R. I., March 27, 1812. He was educated at the common schools, and at the age of ten years began work as an apprentice at the baking business in Newport, and remained there until he was nineteen years of age. In 1831 he came to New London and entered the employ of William GRAY, proprietor of the pioneer cracker manufactory in this city, which occupied the site of the present establishment of C. D. BOSS & Son. He, however, remained with Mr. GRAY but one year, and then, in company with his brother, Philip M., commenced the manufacture of crackers on Potter Street. Soon after they purchased Mr. GRAY's establishment, and about one year later the partnership was dissolved, Mr. C. D. BOSS becoming sole proprietor, and continuing as such until 1863, when his son, C. D. BOSS, Jr., became associated with him, and the business has since been conducted under the firm-name of C. D. BOSS & Son. From a small beginning this establishment has kept abreast with the rapid strides in mechanics' arts during the last twenty years, and to-day is one of the largest institutions of the kind in this country. The annual product amounts to about two hundred thousand dollars, and the establishment has a daily capacity for using one hundred barrels of flour. One hundred and thirty kinds of crackers are manufactured. This establishment is a monument to the business ability, honesty, and integrity of the subject of this sketch, who for a period of nearly forty years was its active manager and business head. Mr. BOSS is a member of the Second Congregational Church. Politically he was formerly a Whig, later a Republican, and is now a Prohibitionist. The temperance cause finds in Mr. BOSS and able and uncompromising champion. He is one of New London's most honored citizens, and has done much to advance the material, moral, and religious interests of his adopted city.
May 18, 1835, he united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth MASON, and their family consists of two sons and one daughter, viz.: Thomas, pastor of the Congregational Church at Springfield, Vt.; Charles D., Jr., who is associated with his father in business; and Eliza Edith, wife of Robert R. CONGDON, who is also associated with Mr. BOSS in business.
Israel F. BROWN was born in Salem, Conn., Dec. 31, 1810. Soon after his parents removed to Norwich, where he remained until sixteen years of age. He then went to Macon, Ga., and commenced work in a machine-shop at wood-turning. Three years later Mr. BROWN removed to Clinton, Ga., and commenced the manufacture of cotton-gins with Samuel GRISWOLD. He subsequently, in company with Mr. Daniel PRATT, located at McNeil's Mills, near the Alabama River, where he remained about two years and returned to Macon, and soon after (1843) removed to Girard, Ala., and in company with E. T. TAYLOR established a cotton-gin manufactory under the firm-name of E. T. TAYLOR & Co. Two years later he removed to Columbus, Ga., where he erected a large factory, and remained until the year 1858, when he came to New London.
The war paralyzed the business in the Southern States. Mr. BROWN, however, continued to manufacture largely for the Brazilian market. Soon after the war manufactu5ring for the Southern market was resumed, and in 1869 Mr. BROWN organized the Brown Cotton-Gin Company, and has been its president since its organization. Mr. Edward T. BROWN was its first secretary and treasurer, and has officiated in that capacity to the present time. In addition to the large buildings now occupied in the manufacture of gins, the company is now erecting an immense structure on Pequot Avenue, just below Fort Trumbull. This will be one of the largest cotton-gin manufactories in the United States. Mr. BROWN is a thoroughly practical man, and is the owner of thirty valuable patents of his own invention.
In 1847 he united in marriage with Miss Ann SMITH, of Macon, Ga., who died in 1864. Their family consisted of the following, all of whom were born in Georgia: Edward T., Sarah A., wife of George COLFAX, Esq., and George C. The latter is a prominent resident of Macon, Ga.
Mr. BROWN was married a second time to Emma CONANT, May, 1866, a niece of the late William ALBERTSON.
Israel F. BROWN's life has been one of steady and active devotion to business, and his success has been the natural result of his ability to examine and readily comprehend any subject presented to him, power to decide promptly, and courage to act with vigor and persistency in accordance with his convictions. He has gained nothing by mere luck, but everything by perseverance and well-digested plans, and the intelligent application of his energies to the end in view. In social life he is gentlemanly and affable, is a prominent member of the Universalist Church, and is one of New London's most enterprising and honored citizens. Democratic in politics.
Sidney MINER, one of the oldest and most highly respected citizens of New London, was born in this city in the year 1805, and is descended in direct line from Henry MINER, who was born in England in 1339. He traces his lineage through this long line without losing a name or date. He dates his ancestry in this country to Thomas MINER, who emigrated from England with Governor John WINTHROP in the ship "Arabella." He first was one of the colony that located at Saybrook, but in 1643 came with Winthrop to Pequot, now New London, where he built a house and remained until 1654, when he removed to Stonington, and died there in 1690. His son Manasseh was the first male child born in New London. Thomas MINER died, leaving a large landed estate, and the homestead still remains in the possession of his descendants. From him, in the sixth generation, descended Frederick, the father of the subject of our sketch, who was born in Stonington in 1768. He removed to New in about 1795, and engaged in the mercantile business. He died in 1849, aged eighty-one years. He was a useful and reliable citizen, and held many important offices. He had four children, viz.: Hannah, married Rev. Charles Thompson, and subsequently Rev. Joel LINDSLEY, D.D.; Frederick, engages in the whaling and sealing business, and died in New York in 1827; William Wood was a prominent physician in New London many years, and died in 1875.
Sidney, the third son, after acquiring a good common-school education, learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner. Soon after, however, he entered a dry-goods store as clerk, but that business being distasteful to him, he returned to his trade. A short time after he entered the employ of Joseph LAWRENCE as clerk, where he remained a number of years, and finally became associated with him in business. Upon the death of Mr. LAWRENCE a new firm was formed, consisting of his sons and Mr. MINER, in the whaling and sealing business, which continued until 1855, when Mr. MINER withdrew, and since that time has lived a retired life.
In 1834 he united in marriage with Mary A. RAMSDELL, of Mansfield, Conn., and their family consisted of three children. His wife died in 1843, and in 1844 he married Lydia, daughter of Col. William BELCHER, of Granby, formerly of this city.
Politically Mr. MINER is a Democrat of the Jeffersonian school, and has never swerved or deviated from the underlying principles of that honored organization. He has held various official positions within the gift of his fellow-townsmen, and has discharged his duties with eminent ability. He was first alderman for about eight years, assessor, board of relief, was on the school committee, and was financial treasurer until he resigned some years ago, since which time he has refused all public office. He is also a director in the Whaling Bank, and has been for many years.
Mr. MINER also manifests a decided interest in religious matters, and for a long time has been a member of the Society of the First Church of Christ, Congregational, in this city and was very active in the erection of the fine church edifice which was completed in 1852. Mr. MINER's life has been one of great activity and usefulness, and although past the scriptural age of threescore years and ten, he still retains a remarkable degree the vigor and elasticity of youth.
David P. FRANCIS, M.D. -Dr. Francis is emphatically a New England outgrowth, and presents a notable example of the pluck and enterprise that have stamped their impress on the literature, politics, and thought of the land; that have made themselves felt and honored in every profession and callings, and become a power in national affairs.
Born Jan. 22, 1823, at Griswold, New London Co., Conn., he quickly discovered that his fortune must be the work of his own hands, and that if he desired to reach upwards he must depend on his personal endeavor. His father, John FRANCIS, though a leading man in his section, holding many positions of trust, including the probate judgeship, was to heavily burdened by the needs of a large family to help him beyond the advantages that a common-school education affords. The family was of French extraction, and young FRANCIS had inherited the hopefulness of this race, mingled with enough of the Puritan element to make his determination firm and unyielding. He elected to follow the profession of medicine, and to accumulate the means that would enable him to study this began teaching school at the age of sixteen. His first professional studies were carried on in the office of Dr. PHINNEY, of Jewett City, and having there obtained a helpful insight into the mysteries of medicine, he entered the Berkshire Medical College, at Pittsfield, Mass., in 1842, graduating in 1845. He was forced to teach during vacations to obtain the means to carry on his college course, and after graduating settled in New London, his sole capital being the few books he had been able to purchase, his professional knowledge, and the sum of fifty cents.
A thorough student, feeling that to keep abreast of his profession he must have a catholicity of thought that would allow him to examine and use all beneficial discoveries, Dr. FRANCIS soon showed that skill and energy which are the keynotes of success, and became a leading member of the medical fraternity. He married, June 17, 1852, Miss Nancy W. PINKHAM, daughter of Capt. Nathaniel PINKHAM, of Boothbay, Me., and after her death in September, 1855, determined to visit Europe, and there obtain a broader knowledge of the calling he had chosen. He studied both in London and Paris, frequenting the hospitals, and attending in London the lectures of Profs. FERGUSSON, ERICHSEN, and BOWMAN, and in Paris those of Profs. NÉLATON and VELPEAU.
Returning with increased knowledge and skill, his care and thoroughness were soon widely acknowledged, and were rewarded by a practice that plainly demonstrated his usefulness. Generous in the matter of his services, prompt to answer the call of those from whom no reward could come as well as that of the wealthiest man in the section, keeping thoroughly informed regarding all matters pertaining to his profession, and calling to his aid its most advanced thought, his career has been an eminently successful one, and he has demonstrated what determination and study can do, and fills an honored and representative position.
November, 1864, Dr. FRANCIS married his second wife, Miss Carrie C. HULL, of New York City. He is still hale and energetic, an earnest student, a careful practitioner, a steadfast friend, one who feels for the sufferings of his fellows, and stand ready to alleviate them to the full extent of his powers. His early religious training has made Dr. FRANCIS cling to the Congregational Church, though his mind is far too broad to be warped or narrowed by the ruling of any creed. In politics he is a Democratic, of that honest and stable Jacksonian type which hold the nation to be the paramount good of the people. As his liberal thought has made him abjure the sway of creeds, so has it kept him from being bound by such medical laws as to him seemed stultifying and void of help, and he makes use of all truths and scientific discoveries bearing on his profession, his practice being broad in its use of theories and ideas, and fully in accord with the advance and learning of his century.
W. H. H. COMSTOCK.-The COMSTOCKs are a proud old family, reaching away back through a registered pedigree in the "Muniment Office" at Frankford-on-the-Main, Germany, nine generations previous to 1547, at which time Charles Von KOMSTOHK, a baron of the German Empire, was imperiled in the "Von BENEDICT treason" and fled into England with other noblemen of Silesia and Austria. Their arms are or, two bears rampant, sable-muzzled gules in chief; in a base a sword issuing from a crescent, point downward, all red. Upon the arms a baronial helmet of Germany, mantled or, and gules, surmounted by a baron's coronet, jeweled proper; issuing therefrom an elephant rampant, also proper. The bears imply courage, the sword shows that the family as fought against the Turks, the elephant shows personal prowess and sagacity in those bearing the name when the coat of arms was granted. Peter COMSTOCK, late of Lyme, father of W. H. H. COMSTOCK, gives this account of his immediate ancestry: "My father, Capt. Peter COMSTOCK, of Montville, Conn., was born in the year 1732, and died in April, 1802. From him I learned something of the history of his ancestors. He said that there came from England four brothers of that name to New London, Conn., from 1635 to 1640; one of them, by the name of John, had a grant of land on the west side of the river Thames, five miles above New London, extending two miles westerly from said river, on which he settles; one settled in Rhode Island, one in Fairfield County, Conn., and one on the Connecticut River, near the line of East Haddam and Lyme. John left two sons,--John and Samuel. John2 and descendants possessed the old grant, and have continued in possession of almost the entire tract ever since. Samuel's descendants lived in the north part of Montville. One of his grandsons was Nathaniel, who was an elder in the church in New London (North Parish). He had three sons, who settled in Montville, on the estate of their father. Their names were Nathaniel, Jared, and Zebulion. Nathaniel left one son, Peres, who settled in Hartford. Jared left five sons. Samuel and Jared settled in the State of New York. David and Joseph inherited the land of their father. John2, who settled on the old grant, left five son,--James, John3, Benjamin, Peter, and Daniel. James was killed at Fort Griswold, at the storming of that fort by the British, at about eight years o age, consequently he must have been born about the year 1700. He left three sons,--William, James, and Jason. William settled at Cooper's Pattern, State of New York. The other two sons settled at Montville. John3 married Polly LEE, of Lyme, by whom he had two sons, John4 and Nathaniel. John4 was a lieutenant in the colonial army, and was killed at the orchard fight on Long Island. He left three sons,--Oliver, who settled on the homestead in Montville, represented said town in Legislature several times, was many years a justice of the peace and church deacon; Joshua, settled in the State of New York; Elkanah, went as a missionary to Michigan soon after the war of 1812 and settled in Pontiac. Nathan, brother of John4, died young, leaving two sons,--Nathan and Asa. Nathan inherited the estate of his grandfather, John. Benjamin left two sons,--Benjamin and Daniel. Daniel's two sons, Elisha and Daniel, settled in Montville. Elisha had four sons,--Ebenezer, Alpheus, Jeremiah, Perigrene, all of whom were drowned. Peter followed the sea, became master, and died when about thirty years of age. He left four sons,--Peter2, Ransford, Daniel, and Thomas. Peter2 inherited the homestead, was captain in Latimer's regiment in the Continental army, and was stationed at Fort Trumbull when New London was burned. By his first wife, Betsy FITCH, he had two sons, George and Fitch, who settled in Independence, Ohio. He again married, this time a Sarah MIRICK. They had four sons,--Peter3, Jonathan, Elisha Mirick, and Jeremiah. Ransford removed to New York State, and had four sons,--Charles, Jesse, Ransford, and Guy. Daniel settled in Shelburne, Vt., had had two sons,--Zechariah and Elisha. Thomas also went to Vermont, and was killed at the battle of Bennington, and left one son, Thomas. Peter3 and Elisha M. settled in Lyme; Jonathan and Jeremiah in Waterford. Peter3 (born in Montville), after moving to Lyme, married Sally, daughter of Hon. Moses WARREN, of Lyme, became a merchant and prominent man in the town, was judge of probate, held other local offices of trust, represented Montville in Legislature, and the Ninth Senatorial District in the same body. He died Oct. 29, 1862, aged eighty-three. He left four sons,--Moses Warren, Peter A., William H. H., and John J. William H. H. COMSTOCK was born in Lyme, Conn., March 20, 1819. He was educated in the public and private schools of Lyme, and in early life worked on the farm and "clerked" in his father's store, and also was a clerk in New London. Before he was of age he engaged in trade in East Lyme as a merchant in company with his father, under firm-title of William H. H. COMSTOCK & C. This firm continued until 1840, when Mr. COMSTOCK removed to New London and engaged in the grocery business, corner State and Main Streets, with Mr. CONGDON, as CONGDON & COMSTOCK. Selling his interest in this in the fall of 1841, he went to East Lyme and engaged in general merchandise, continuing there as a merchant till 1864, when, selling out, he rested for a year from active business, then removed again to New London, and engaged in business as grocer with Mr. HOWARD, with the firm-title of COMSTOCK & HOWARD. At the end of three years Mr. COMSTOCK purchased the entire interest, and continued the business successfully alone until March, 1880, when he retired from trade, and has spent most of the time since traveling in Europe. He married, Dec. 15, 1842, Eliza A., only daughter of Dr. John L. and Fanny SMITH, of Lyme. They have had five children,--Fanny E. (dec'd), Anna C. (dec'd), Mary E., Wilhelmine S. (dec'd), and Seth S. (dec'd).
In politics Mr. COMSTOCK has been unswervingly Whig and Republican. As such represented East Lyme two terms in State Legislature (1848-59), and the Ninth Senatorial District in 1854 in the same assemblage. The same year he was drawn by lot, one of the six senior senators, as a member of the corporation of Yale College. He was for many years town treasurer, was paymaster-general of Connecticut (appointed by Governor BISSELL), with rank of major. He has held the office of councilman in New London, and is director of the New London City National Bank. He united with the Baptist Church of East Lyme years since, and how holds membership with the First Baptist Church of New London.
Orlando C. GORTON.-The honored subject of this sketch, son of Collins and Mary GROTON, was born in East Lyme, April 12, 1814. He was educated at the common schools in his native town, where he succeeded in securing an education that well qualified him for his subsequent successful business career.
Mr. GORTON remained at home until twenty-one years of age, when he went to Philadelphia, and subsequently embarked in the book trade, traveling extensively through the South and employing many agents. He was very successful in this business, in which he continued about twenty years, and succeeded in acquiring a handsome competency. He then closed up his business in the South, and returned to his native town, purchased the old farm upon which his father had resided for the past twenty years. Wishing to retire from the active management of the farm after about fourteen years, he removed to New London and purchased the place upon which his family now reside, and where his last days were spent.
Mr. GORTON was in every respect a self-made man, and his success was the natural result of his indomitable will and untiring energy. He was Republican in politics, and represented his town in the Legislature.
March 20, 1856, he married Fanny E., daughter of Calvin and Fanny SPENCER, of East Lyme. Their family consisted of the following children: Orlando C., John S., Charles E., Henry (deceased), George A., Fannie, Elizabeth, and Ella.
Mr. GORDON died Nov. 12, 1874.
C. Arnold WEAVER (oldest son of Wanton A. and Ann Weaver), one of the oldest merchants in this city of New London, was born in Lyme, Conn., April 12, 1821. His early boyhood was passed in his native town, and at the age of seven years removed with his parents to New London, where, with the exception of a few year, he has since resided. He received the advantages of a good school education; was diligent, and attentive to his studies, and obtained an education that well fitted him for his subsequent successful business career. Mr. WEAVER's mercantile education was commenced in the store of CADY, BENJAMIN & KING, where he remained one year, and in 1838 entered the employee of WEAVER & ROGERS, merchants, who were conducting business at the site now occupied by Mr. WEAVER. In the spring of 1843, thinking to better his condition, he went to Sag Harbor, L. I., where he remained until January, 1846, when he returned to New London and entered into partnership with WEAVER & ROGERS, his former employers, in the ship chandlery and grocery business, where he has since remained in the active prosecution of the business. He was also engaged in the whaling business, which at one time was largely carried on by New London citizens. He has ever manifested a commendable interest in all matters tending to advance the material and religious interests of his adopted city. He is a leading member of the First Baptist Church, is a present member of the board of trustees, has been deacon of the church some twelve years, and served as the clerk over twenty-five years. Politically he is a Republican, and has been since the organization of that party. He has given his entire attention to his business, and has never sought political distinction; has, however, been a member of the Common Council, and was also a director in the First National Bank, now extinct. In November, 1846, he united in marriage with S. Augusta BROWN, and their family consists of four children, viz.: Frank A., Annie A., Walter B., and Tillie L. In social life Mr. WEAVER is gentlemanly and affable, and one of New London's most honored citizens.
In the year 1870, his health being such that a change and recreation was necessary, upon the recommendation of his physician he took a sea voyage to San Francisco, returning much improved in health and bodily vigor.
The residence of Mr. WEAVER is located on Granite Street, in the most elevated and sightly portion of the city.
Charles TREADWAY, born in Salem, New London Co., Conn., was a descendant of Nathaniel TREADWAY, weaver, of Sudbury, Mass., 1640. This Nathaniel married Sufferance, daughter of Edward HOWE, and removed to Watertown about 1645. He was repeatedly chosen selectman, and died in 1689. TREADWAY is not a common name in New England, and all who bear it are probably descended from Nathaniel, as he and his brother Josiah, who had no son, are the only ones of the name whose arrivals are chronicled. Nathaniel had three sons,--Jonathan (of Sudbury), Josiah (last of Charlestown), and James. His daughter Lydia married Josiah JONES, Sr. Charles TREADWAY was the son of Charles and Lucretia TREADWAY. His grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier, and was a prisoner on the Jersey ships, which impaired his health and finally terminated his life. His father was a mechanic. The common schools of Salem afforded the entire educational advantages of Charles, but these were diligently improved, and when only sixteen we find him teaching a district school, and continued thus engages, in a greater or less degree, for more than thirty years, including twelve and a half consecutive years in New London.
Mr. TREADWAY then engaged in merchandising in New London, in partnership with Daniel LEE, and continued in trade for nearly forty years.
Mr. TREADWAY was twice married. His first wife was Eliza H. LEE, of Waterford, Conn. Of their six children, none survived their father. He married his present wife April 18, 1865. She is the daughter of Joseph and Submit T. (DUNHAM) WOODWARD, of Mansfield, Tolland Co., Conn. Of their three daughters, but one, Jennie Woodward TREADWAY, is now living.
Mr. TREADWAY was a member of the Huntington Street Baptist Church of New London.
He was in early life a Whig in politics, but a Republican from the organization of that party, and was an earnest advocate of its principles. He represented New London in the General Assembly of Connecticut in 1852-53, held various town offices, all the duties connected therewith being done to the satisfaction of his constituents.
As a man, none were more valued than he among the citizens of New London for his sterling worth. Always unobtrusive, conscientious, and active, he was prominent in local politics, religion, and popular education. In the last he was especially interested. As a teacher, he was universally esteemed, and enjoyed the confidence of his pupils in an unusual degree. In all business matters and in all relations of life he was high-minded and honorable, and was actuated by the best motives, and when his death occurred, Dec. 3, 1878, he was sincerely and deeply mourned.
Oscar F. SITES, M.D. , one of the oldest medical practitioners in New London, was born in Freistadt, Silesia, Prussia, March 23, 1810. He first attended the high school in Breslau, Silesia, and was studying medicine in Bonn, on the Rhine, in 1830, when he left the university and joined the revolutionary army of Poland. At the close of the war he went to France and studied homopathy in that country and in Italy. In the year 1836 he came to America and locate din New York City, where he taught music. He also continued the study of his chosen profession, and in 1842 graduated at the Geneva Medical College, at Geneva, N. Y., at that time one of the leading institutions of the day. In 1845, Dr. SITES came to New London, where he has since remained in the active practice of his honorable profession. Giving his profession his undivided attention, he has raised the standard of homopathy in New London, has secured a good practice, and his highly esteemed by friends and fellow-townsmen.
Edward HALLAM was born in New London, Conn., in 1779, received his education at the schools of his native town, and his early manhood was passed as a merchant there. He was largely concerned in West Indian commerce and other shipping interests. In this he continued many years, and was a stirring, energetic business man, public-spirited also, and doing much for the good of New London. He at last met with financial reverses, and proceeded West to try new fields of labor. He engaged as an apothecary of Cincinnati, Ohio, for a few years, and about 1822 or '23 returned to New London, and ever after resided there, becoming largely interested in whaling voyages, which were very successful ventures. He continued thus engaged until his death, March 26, 1847. He married, first, Sarah Sage, daughter of Samuel and Sarah (SAGE) JOHNSON; second, Mary, daughter of Stephen and Esther (SAGE) RAINEY. He left no children, Mrs. HALLAM surviving him ten years. He was of a warm, social disposition, fond of the company of friends, whom he entertained hospitably and pleasantly. He was fond of humor, was himself a great wit, and his friends were held by a strong tie. He was a member, and for several years warden, of the Episcopal Church, and reverenced for his consistent Christian character. He never cared for office, and shrank from public life, but when he died he was more missed by a large circle of friends than many who were laden with worldly titles and honors. Mrs. HALLAM died Nov. 18, 1857, and both lie buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery, New London.