City of Derby
New Haven County

History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut

The History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut, 1642 -- 188O.
by Samuel Orcutt and Ambrose Beardsley

Published: Press of Springfield Printing Company, Springfield, Mass., 1880.

Part 10

Introduction    Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4    Part 5    Part 6    Part 7    Part 8   
Part 9    Part 10    Part 11    Part 12    Part 13    Part 14    Part 15    Part 16    Part 17   




THE territory on which Ansonia stands was originally called the Little Neck, it being formed a neck by the Naugatuck river and Beaver brook. Plum meadow was that part of this neck, which is low land lying between the river and the brook and extending up the brook until it is partly in the rear of the village.

Thomas Wooster, son of the first Edward, seems to have been the first man to own any of the territory of this Little Neck, he being granted one-half of Plum meadow in 1680.

In 1681 John Hull built the first grist-mill in the town on Beaver brook at the upper end of Plum meadow. In October, 1684, the town granted to John Hull and John Griffin, "each of them a home lot in the Little Neck near the ponds." These ponds were caused, most probably, by the dam constructed for the grist-mill.

This locality about the old mill and along the road on the east side of Beaver brook below the dam was called the North End one hundred and fifty years, and is still recognized by that name. John Griffin and his brother, Samuel Griffin, resided in this place, one being a blacksmith, perhaps both. This mill continued some time after 1700, but Hull's mills on the old Naugatuck, absorbed all mill work after about 1710. From this last date the Little Neck was devoted exclusively to farms, unless it might have been that some small enterprises of manufacturing were conducted at the old mill-dam, perhaps a hat factory by James Humphrey and afterwards removed to Humphreysville.

This flourishing and enterprising part of the town is located over a mile above Derby Narrows and Birmingham. On the east and west the hills gradually rise from the Naugatuck, forming a picturesque landscape on either side. Forty years ago a large portion of the locality was a sandy plain with a few scattered farm residences on the elevated grounds. Ansonia proper,


or within the borough limits, contains 456 dwellings, capable of accommodating 600 families, but many of these houses are palatial residences and the surrounding lawns beautified with ornamental trees and shrubbery. There are twelve factories, five churches, two banks, thirty-four stores of all kinds, three schoolhouses, three drug stores, three coal yards, four meat markets, and a great variety of shops where different kinds of goods are made and retailed. The factories are located on the east side of the Naugatuck, and are mostly built of brick or stone. In 1852 a fire destroyed several manufactures, causing an aggregate loss of $75,000, and in 1854 the Ansonia Clock Company was burned at a loss of $120,000, all of which was a great injury to the place.

After Birmingham had become established, as far back as 1836, Anson G. Phelps conceived the idea of utilizing the waters of the Naugatuck for manufacturing purposes upon the west side of the river, and thus making one continuous village (and finally a city), from Birmingham north a distance of two or three miles, the location being eminently beautiful, and he continued in an unsettled state of mind six or eight years before making any purchases of land in view of carrying out his noble project. By this time he had come into possession, by various purchases, of all the desirable real estate on the west side of the river except one piece called the "Old Bassett farm," and which was so situated as to be the key to the whole enterprise. Learning from busy rumor what was going on, Stephen Booth (often called Squire Booth) stepped in to play a sharp game at speculation, and bought the farm for $5,000, a big price in those times, for agricultural purposes. Whether this was done to defeat the grand object of Mr. Phelps or to extort money, is not easily determined, but Mr. Phelps, chagrined at the movement, rested from his labors and took matters coolly, as he was not easily cornered and held in "durance vile" by strategy. At length Peter Phelps, the agent of his uncle, Anson G., made advances to Mr. Booth, and the result, after much circumlocution, was like the last chapter in the history of Rasselas, viz.: "the conclusion in which nothing was concluded." Ten thousand dollars was the sum talked of and partially agreed upon, but no writings were drawn. Meanwhile


Mr. Booth moved into the ancient house on this farm, and when the rising sun greeted the old mansion his speculative brain fancied golden visions of the future while he thus soliloquized: "This farm is the key to Phelps's adventure, and to me these rocks are as diamonds of great value, and I will yet get my price." At the next meeting the old farm had gone up in value to $15,000. Mr. Phelps was ready to strike the first blow could the dog in the manger be removed, and the people, for the success of his project, now became interested. Many stories pro and con were raised about town, and an influential committee from Birmingham, -- Sheldon Bassett, Donald Judson and others -- waited on Mr. Booth, and in vain tried to persuade him to sell his farm, and as he wanted it for cultivating purposes, as he claimed, another was offered worth twice as much, but this seemed no temptation. The farm grew in value upon his mind, and after a while, matters remaining in statu quo, Mr. Booth became anxious, and hearing from one and another that he could get his $15,000, made advances to Peter Phelps, and an hour was appointed for an interview. The meeting was held in the parlor of Doct. Beardsley at Birmingham. After a lengthy preamble Mr. Booth said, "I have concluded to part with the farm, and after all that has been said the lowest price now cash down is $25,000, but if this offer is rejected the lowest figure hereafter will be $30,000." Peter Phelps, the agent who had full powers to close the bargain at $15,000, and expected to do so, spurned the proposition and turning indignantly said: "Go to h--l with your old farm; when you get what we first offered you let us know." This was a back stroke to the wheel of fortune to Mr. Booth and a fatal blow to the city project of Birmingham.

Mr. Phelps now turned his attention to the east side of the Naugatuck, but this was claimed by Old Booth, (as he was now called) simply as a ruse to overreach him, and once more the old farm was held in still higher valuation.

The first survey of the grounds now teeming with the busy life of Ansonia was made by John Clouse, Anson G. Phelps, Almon Farrell and other gentlemen. After nearly a day's tramp around the lots Clouse planted himself upon a high rock near where the Congregational church now stands, and casting


his eyes around, said, "Mr. Phelps, this is one of the finest places for a village in this Western world. I would be content here to live and die, and be buried near this very spot with no other monument to my name than this rock and the memory of those who may come after me." Purchases were immediately made, and about the same time the Seymour dam, built by Raymond French, was bought, which defeated the purpose of a manufacturing village on the west side of the river a mile north of Ansonia, to be called Kinneytown.

Mr. Phelps now bent his masterly energies towards carrying out his plans, and the last lingering hope of selling the diamond farm did not vanish from the mind of Mr. Booth until he saw, in 1845, a long line of Irishmen with picks and shovels, carts and horses ready to commence broad and deep the canal and other foundations for the new village. From the first building erected on Main street, Ansonia has steadily grown in wealth, population and enterprise until she now vies with any manufacturing village in the state. Eagle like, she has spread her wings in all directions, and the old Bassett farm, having undergone many mutations, is now adorned with beautiful lawns and gardens, and dotted with neat little cottages and elegant mansions. Many imprecations were heaped upon Mr. Booth by the people of Derby, for being a stumbling block in the way of Birmingham progress, while the denizens of Ansonia may now rise up and call him blessed.

While Mr. Phelps was one day at Doct. Beardsley's dinner table, about this time, he said "Doctor, we are in a quandary as to what name to give our new village. Some are in favor of calling it Phelpsville, but I have one place by that name already." The Doctor remarked, "I suppose you would like your name associated with the place." "That would be very desirable." Impromptu, the Doctor said, "Take your Christian name, Anson, and make a Latin name of it and call it Ansonia; this will be euphonious, rather poetical, and will carry your name down to the latest generation." Instantly Mr. Phelps dropped his knife and fork, and exclaimed. "That's the name; it suits me exactly;" and at the next meeting of the company it was adopted, and hence it was called Ansonia.

The embankment, a mile and a half long, forming the great


reservoir, was commenced in 1845 and finished in 1846. The first contractors, two in number, from Massachusetts, after expending $10,000, abandoned the work, and it was then given into the hands of Almon Farrell with Abraham Hubbell, the latter having come to Ansonia in April, 1845, and under their supervision it was completed.

THE COPPER MILLS of Ansonia were the first mills built; the company having a capital of $50,000. The foundation was laid in the fall of 1844, by Almon Farrell, and the superstructure was erected by Harvey Johnson the same year. Donald Judson was president of the company, and Sheldon Bassett, secretary and treasurer. In 1854 the big copper mills at Birmingham were removed to Ansonia and merged into the present copper mills of the latter place. Donald Judson soon retired from the company with others, and the concern, most of it, fell into the hands of Anson G. Phelps. Afterwards, for several years, the business was conducted extensively and successfully by Abraham Hubbell, Thomas Whitney, now deceased, and Major Powe.

This "Ansonia Brass and Copper Company" is probably the most extensive manufacturing establishment in the town, having several branch factories in Ansonia, namely, the upper copper mills and the lower wire mills, besides the factories on Main street, all within the limits of the borough. The company has also a branch factory in Brooklyn, N. Y. It owns largely of real estate in the town. The company manufactures largely brass and copper, iron wire, sun-burners, nickel and silver plated sheets, brass-kettles, copper tubing, and many other articles in this line of goods. The good management of this company has added greatly to the wealth and prosperity of Derby, and its business is continually increasing. Its warehouse is the elegant store in Cliff street, Phelps Building, New York.

On an average it employs 175 hands and turns out about $2,000,000 worth of goods annually. The monthly pay-roll for several years past has been from $20,000 to $25,000. The present officers are: William E. Dodge, jun., president; George P. Cowles, vice-president and treasurer; A. A. Cowles, secretary.

THE BIRMINGHAM WATER-POWER COMPANY is now owned by parties in Ansonia, where the office is located. It originally belonged to Smith and Phelps, and was one of the first enter-


prises of Birmingham. It fell into the hands of Anson G. Phelps, and his heirs sold it to the present stockholders in December, 1859. The present officers are: J. H. Bartholomew, president; George P. Cowles, secretary and treasurer; Abraham Hubbell, general superintendent.


The names of statesmen, warriors, philosophers, scientists, and those toiling in the professions may stand out most prominently in history, and the masses accord them the highest honors, yet some of the ablest men in the world have been those engaged in secular pursuits. To carry forward great manufacturing and mercantile interests demands an amount of talent, enterprise, brain power; a broad comprehensive and executive ability far beyond that required in any of the learned professions, -- a knowledge must be obtained that can only be acquired by practical contact with the business world, while many a man would have utterly failed in business pursuits, yet, by devoting all his energies to some special study he has become eminent.

Great manufacturing establishments do not grow up spontaneously from nothing, although nearly all the largest and most successful ones, in this country at least, germinated from very small seed, producing at first but tiny plants which by dint of careful culture have developed to commanding proportions. Every such establishment has been emphatically worked up by the strong hands and active brains of earnest thinking men.

These statements are not only especially applicable to the Wallace and Sons' mammoth establishment, but are equally so to many others alluded to in the pages of this history.

Thomas Wallace, now deceased, came to Derby with his wife and seven children and all his effects on board the Old Parthena and were landed on a bright Sunday morning in May, 1841, at the Birmingham wharf. Captain E. F. Curtiss, commander of the sloop, often said, he "felt proud of having transported from up the Hudson so valuable an acquisition to the town as the Wallace family." Mr. Wallace came here through the influence and in the interests of Doct. Howe of pin notoriety, as a wire drawer. But he was not the first in Derby to manufacture wire from the metal, for William Smith, father


of Wm. W. Smith now of Birmingham, was an adept in this business. He came from England to Derby in 1842 and was an experienced and capital mechanic, but he died in a few years after his arrival. He manufactured from the raw material and drew wire for Charles Atwood and others while in Birmingham.

Thomas Wallace with his sons, John, Thomas and William, whom he taught the trade, by application during about seven years, drew wire for the Howe Pin Company, and in 1848 established with moderate beginning the brass business in Ansonia. Although small at first, the enterprise proved successful, it being in the hands of an experienced, energetic and sagacious man, who, by honest persevering industry and fair dealing with his fellow men, struggling on in his way in life, was granted abundant success, and his business soon grew into promising proportions, and in later years his sons, imbued with the spirit and sturdy methods of the father, imparted fresh vigor to the establishment, enlarging its resources, and in every way meeting the exigencies and demands of the times and of a prosperous business.

From the first factory building erected in 1848, others have almost yearly been added until now the establishment covers, in buildings, an area of nearly five acres of land. A prominent part of these is the tall chimney (the largest in the state) which rises to an altitude of over 200 feet, and in its construction, over 500,000 bricks were used. It is a marvel of strength, beautiful in proportions, and the draught all that could be desired. A novel feature of it is that one of its massive sides is made to do duty as a clock tower, and at the height of eighty feet one of Seth Thomas's celebrated town clocks points to the employes the correct time, as well as to all living in that vicinity.

This noble structure was planned and built under the immediate supervision of Mr. William Wallace, a member of the firm. Most of the main buildings are either stone or brick, and one of the latter has just been erected thirty feet wide and one hundred and forty feet long, four stories high. A large store and warehouse at 89 Chambers street, New York, is connected with this concern. Brass and copper goods, pins, burners and more than a hundred other articles are manufactured from


metals by the Wallace and Sons, and the great perfection and variety of their machinery give them the advantage over competitors, and their goods are found in almost every market in the world. Their business is immense and constantly increasing", and to obtain any just idea of their works and the variety of goods made would require a day's inspection.

The average number of hands employed is 450, and the weekly pay-roll is about $5,000; annual products, over $2,000,000. The present officers are: William Wallace, president; Thomas Wallace, secretary and treasurer.

THE FARRELL FOUNDRY AND MACHINE COMPANY is one of the largest concerns in the town, wdth vast buildings, and does an extensive and varied business. The company was started early in the history of Ansonia by Almon Farrell, and with him were connected the Colburns, formerly of Birmingham. Their first building was erected by Lindley and Johnson, who came to Ansonia from New Haven in 1845. At that time the capital was only $15,000, but it has gradually increased. The company now manufactures chilled-rolls, and about forty different kinds of goods in connection with their branch factory at Waterbury. It has shipped various kinds of iron machinery to France, Germany, Switzerland, England, Sandwich Islands and Cuba. To the latter place they have shipped two sugar mills for crushing sugar cane since 1877, the last one in 1878, which weighed over 320 tons, the heaviest and largest ever cast and built in this country, if not in the world.

Franklin Farrell

The sole management of this establishment has been for many years under the direction of its president, who has brought the stock of the company from a nominal cash capital of $100,000 to a real capital of $500,000. The number of hands employed is 175, and the monthly pay-roll about $11,000. The present officers are: Franklin Farrell, president; Alton Farrell, secretary; E. C. Lewis, agent and treasurer. The annual products, without the Waterbury branch, $500,000.


The accompanying plate represents in part the extensive manufactory of the Osborn and Cheeseman Company, which was built upon the ruins of the Ansonia Clock works, destroyed


by fire in 1854. The present factory, 200 by 50 feet, was built in 1861. The large addition built since, 280 feet long and 40 feet wide, and three stories high, does not appear in the cut.

Osborn and Cheeseman Company

Osborn and Cheeseman conducted a mercantile business in Birmingham some years, and in 1858 went into the hoop-skirt business at that place, and removed to Ansonia in 1859. In 1866 the Osborn and Cheeseman Company was organized with a capital stock of $120,000. Charles Durand was president of the company until 1875, when he sold his interest in the enterprise. The company now manufactures a great variety of goods, such as sheet and brass ware, gilding metal, German silver, copper and German-silver wire, seamless ferrules, and other kinds of metallic goods, which are sold in all parts of the United States. The number of hands employed averages about 250; the monthly pay-roll is about $10,000; and the amount of goods produced about $500,000. The prosperity of the company was never greater than at the present time. The officers of the company are: president, Wilber F. Osborn; treasurer, George W. Cheeseman; secretary, Charles D. Cheeseman.



The Woolen Mill of Ansonia was established by David W. Plumb in 1847, (formerly in the same business in Birmingham,) and was run very successfully during the war of the rebellion. In 1865 Mr. Plumb sold his stock, and the new firm of the Slade Woolen Company was formed with a capital of $100,000. The firm manufactures cassimeres, beavers, doeskins, and various kinds of woolen goods.

The number of hands employed is 135, and the monthly pay-roll $4,000. The annual amount of goods produced is $300,000.

The present officers are: Charles L. Hill, president and treasurer; Morris A. Hill, secretary.

THE ANSONIA LAND AND WATER-POWER COMPANY has for its president, D. Willis James, and for its secretary and treasurer, George P. Cowles.

THE ANSONIA CLOCK COMPANY has for its president, Wm. E. Dodge, Jr.; for its vice-president, George P. Cowles; for secretary and treasurer, A. A. Cowles; and for general manager, Henry I. Davis.

It manufactures clocks in great variety both at Ansonia and Brooklyn, N. Y.

THE W. AND L. HOTCHKISS COMPANY, with an office on Main street, conducts a large and varied business in lumber, doors, sash and blinds. They have been successful dealers in lumber and house building from their boyhood. The business amounts to about $100,000 annually. The officers are: Willis Hotchkiss, president; H. J. Smith, secretary and treasurer.

JOHN B. GARDNER, in his large factory on Main street, manaifactures clock dials and all sorts of clock trimmings, novelties, and picture frames, and employs on an average 40 hands. He started this business in Ansonia in 1857, and has had good success. On the ist of April, 1880, he took his son into partnership, and the firm stands, John B. Gardner & Son. The monthly pay-roll is $2,000.

GEORGE C. SCHNELLER, on Main street, manufactures eyelets, and is doing a brisk business for a manufacturer who has but recently started.


CHARLES SCHNUCKS & COMPANY manufacture nickel and Japan plating; and employ about 40 hands and are doing a lively business.

WALES, TERRELL & COMPANY make fifth wheels for carriages, and have a well established business; the company having been established about ten years.

THE NAUGATUCK VALLEY SENTINEL was started on the 9th of November, 1871, with Jerome and Carpenter, editors and proprietors.

On the 19th of the following April (1872) Mr. Carpenter retired, leaving Mr. Jerome sole editor, and on the 24th of August, 1876, Mr. Jerome sold to Messrs. Emerson and Kramer. On the 1st of September, 1877, Kramer sold his interest to his partner, who has since conducted the paper under the title of "]. M. Emerson & Company."

The paper takes its place with credit among all its stirring neighbors in the Naugatuck Valley, and is an energetic, enterprising publication.

THE ANSONIA OPERA HOUSE, on Main street, was built some years since by a joint stock company at a cost of about $40,000. It is a fine structure of brick, four stories high, and the Hall is one of the finest in the state. It has recently passed into the hands of Dana Bartholomew, and is conducted by him.

The present Ansonia Hotel was built by Lindley and Johnson in 1846, when there was scarcely a finished dwelling in the place. It has had many landlords, but under the proprietorship of Mr. Wm. H. Dayton has a reputation second to none in the Naugatuck Valley.


Ansonia had scarcely an existence as a village when this church was organized in 1848. Previous to this the few families that resided within its circuit were cared for by the First Congregational Church of Derby Narrows. Religious meetings were occasionally held for their accommodation by the pastors of the last named church, and prayer-meetings were maintained by the pious portion of the population.

In the winter of 1848-9, stated religious services on the Sabbath were commenced in the village, but intermitted after a few


months. In the winter of 1849-50 they were renewed and have been regularly continued to the present time. The church, with its covenant and standing rules, was fully organized April 17, 1850, with thirty-one members, as follows, with the names of the churches from which they had been dismissed: From the First Congregational Church of Derby -- Wales Coe, Julia E. Coe, Luther Root, Mary Tucker, Geo. W. Nettleton, Sarah Johnson, Roswell Kimberly, Delia M. Kimberly, Martha Judson, Phebe H. Phelps, Martha Fitch, Nancy Johnson, Eli Carrington and Susan Carrington; from Wolcottville -- Jeremiah H. Bartholomew, Polly H. Bartholomew, Caroline Skinner and Edith Hubbard; from Northfield -- Benjamin Smith, Julia A. Smith; from Plymouth Hollow -- Francis C. Smith; from Oberlin, O., Lester B. Kinney; from Norwalk -- Edwin Ells; from Bristol -- Charles Cramer, Nancy Cramer, Salmon Root and Eliza Root; from Waterbury -- Fred Treadway and Esther J. Treadway; from Plainville -- Lucas H. Carter and Jane Carter.

Colburn's Hall, on Main street, was used temporarily as a place for meetings, and the Rev. J. R. Mershon employed as the stated supply of the church during the first year of its existence; his support being furnished in part by the Home Missionary Society. The winter of 1850-51 was signalized by an extensive work of grace in the community, resulting in the uniting of forty-four persons with the church by profession of their faith. In the meantime a church edifice had been commenced which was completed and dedicated July 1, 1852.

Rev. Owen Street was the first pastor, being installed September I, 1852, and dismissed May, 1857. Following this, for nearly three years, the church was without a settled pastor. Rev. Chauncy Goodrich and Moses Smith and S. L. Thompson, {afterwards missionaries to the Nestorians,) acted as supplies for a considerable portion of the time. Mr. A. L. F'risbie, then pursuing his preparatory studies at Andover, Mass., was called to the pastorate in 1859. Accepting the call, he was not ordained until March 22, i860, and remained until July 11, 1865.

While some women were cleaning the church in October, 1865, it took fire in the flue of the furnace and was entirely destroyed. The present handsome stone structure was immediately built, and dedicated May 25, 1865. During the five years


succeeding the dismissal of Mr. Frisbie, the church was without a pastor, but enjoyed the ministrations of the Rev. Wm. S. Adamson and James T. Hyde about three years. Rev. Charles J. Hill was the next pastor, being installed in September, 1872, and dismissed October 1, 1875. He was succeeded by the Rev. Edward P. Pay son, who commenced his labors December 1, 1875, and still continues his pastoral relations with the church. Like many others, this church has had its struggles and discouragements, but has never been more prosperous than at the present time. The present number of members is 250. The officers of the church and society are: Pastor, Rev Edward P. Payson; deacons, John Jackson and Wales Terrell; clerk, V. Hunger; treasurer, Charles C. Blair; prudential committee, Robert Coe, Wm. H. Corwin and Dana Bartholomew; society's committee, V. Hunger, Josiah H. Whiting and Dana Bartholomew; clerk and collector, Reuben H. Tucker; treasurer, Charles H. Pine.


Christ Church, Ansonia

At the house of Hr. Lorenzo D. Kinney, in Ansonia, a preliminary meeting was held November 25, 1849, for the laudable purpose of forming a new Episcopal parish in this village. The Rev. Thomas Guion, then rector of St. James's Church of Derby, was called to the chair, and Hr. John Lindley appointed secretary. After mutual consultation the meeting adjourned to November 27, 1849, to meet at the residence of Samuel French. Rev. Hr. Guion was present at this adjourned meeting, and the parish was organized under the name of Trinity Church of Ansonia, by the following persons: Samuel French, Charles Cooper, Eleazer Peck, Samuel P. Church, Charles Gale, William B. Bristol, Lorenzo Kinney, John Gray, E. B. Gillett, H. S. Hill, R. H. Johnson, John Lindley, H. L. Smith, L. A. Clinton. Heasures were at once adopted to secure a lot for the erection of a house of public worship, and on the 28th of January, 1850, the following officers were chosen: Senior warden, Samuel French; junior warden, Eleazer Peck; vestrymen, R. H. Johnson, John Lindley, H. S. Hill, John Gray, Charles Gale, H. L. Smith.

Of the above only three are now connected with the parish,


viz.: Lindley, Gale and Smith. Mr. Lindley has been a zealous worker in the parish, having been continuously in office, since its organization, over thirty years.

In this connection it is necessary to mention that when the members of St. James's Church, the old parish of Mansfield, Jewett and others resolved in great harmony and by legal vote in 1841 to remove their edifice from Up Town to Birmingham, as being more central, a few families in the vicinity of the old edifice, who at first acquiesced in the removal, became dissatisfied on seeing the services, bell, organ and records transferred to the new edifice at Birmingham, withdrew from the old church and established regular services in the village schoolhouse Up Town, and at the next diocesan convention applied for admission as a new parish under the name of St. James's of Derby. A request so much at variance with good order was denied and the applicants were recommended to petition for admission as a new parish, and the next year, 1844, were admitted as such under the name of Christ Church, as appears by the following vote of the convention: "Voted that the parish in Derby organized on the first day of June, 1843, under the name of St. James's Parish be and the same is hereby admitted as a new parish into the union of this convention by the name of Christ Church, Derby." Thus was this new parish instituted and recognized as such according to the usages of the Episcopal Church, and when this had taken place the officers of St. James's Church conveyed by deed the grounds and old edifice in good faith to this new parish, and the old church was then re-opened with Rev. N. S. Richardson as its first rector. He was followed by the Rev. Mr. Putnam in his rectorship, who labored with pious zeal and good spirits until this church united with the new parish of Trinity at Ansonia, the latter surrendering their first ecclesiastical name and adopting that of Christ Church. Thus these infant parishes were wisely merged into one. The Rev. Henry Olmstead was the first rector of Trinity, and for a short time religious services were maintained in two localities within the limits of the parish, at Up Town and Ansonia. Messrs. Olmstead and Putnam being a sort of co-rectors, resigned at the same time, and were succeeded by the Rev. Mr, Stryker, under whom all parochial interests were then consol-


idated. Mr. Olmstead remained rector of Trinity less than a year and is now rector of Trinity Church at Branford, and has received the degree of D. D. Mr. Putnam has long since deceased.

The Rev. P. Mansfield Stryker, now deceased, may be considered the second rector of Christ Church at Ansonia, remaining one year, and among the results of his labors were three marriages, six baptisms, five confirmations by Bishop Brownell, and eight burials.

The third rector was the Rev. D. F. Lumsden, who remained over one year. He was deposed from the ministry a few years ago by Bishop Coxe of Western New York.

The fourth rector was the Rev. Samuel G. Appleton, whose labors extended from Easter 1854 to Easter 1856. Mr. Appleton died of apoplexy at Morrisania, N. Y., in 1874.

The fifth rector, the Rev. John Milton Peck, was in charge of the parish ten months. He is now and has been for a number of years rector of Christ Church at Danville, Penn.

The sixth rector, the Rev. Louis French, remained six years. Mr. French, since leaving Ansonia, in 1863, has been rector of St. Luke's Church at Darien, Conn.

The seventh rector, the Rev. Julius H. Ward, remained as such from January, 1864, to August, 1865, and is now located in Boston, engaged in church work.

The eighth rector was the Rev. Charles H. W. Stocking, during whose service of three years and a half there were eighty-one baptisms. He is now rector of Grace Church, Detroit, Mich., and has received the degree of D. D.

The ninth. Rev. J. E. Pratt, was rector from October, 1869, to June, 1872. Mr, Pratt, since leaving, has been rector of Trinity Church at Syracuse, N. Y.

The tenth, the Rev. Samuel R. Fuller, assumed the rectorship in July, 1872, and resigned November, 1874. He is now rector of Christ Church at Corning, N. Y.

The eleventh rector, the Rev. S. B, Duffield, came to this parish in December, 1875, and left March, 1878. Mr. Dufifield is now in charge of St Peter's Church at Monroe, Conn.

After the resignation of Mr. Fuller a vacancy for thirteen months occurred, during which the Rev. Sheldon Davis was in


charge of the parish, he being largely instrumental in gathering the class for confirmation at the beginning of Mr. Duffield's labors.

During the rectorship of Mr. Ward the church edifice was enlarged at an expense of about $2,000. In 1875 it was rebuilt at a cost of $12,000, and adorned with costly and appropriate memorial windows to the embassadors of the church in Derby, viz.: the pious Mansfield and the devout Jewett. The present officers of the church are: rector, Rev. H. T. Widdemer; wardens, John Lindley and E. W. Webster; vestrymen, F. Farrell, J. B. Gardner, H. J. Smith, F. E. Colburn, N. S. Johnson, Chester A. Hawley, Robert Peck, R. R. Wood, H. A. Shipman; Alton Farrell, parish clerk and treasurer.

During the rectorship of Mr. Widdemer since April 20, 1878, there have been one hundred and thirty baptisms, one hundred and sixteen confirmations.

Rev. Mr. Widdemer was born in Philadelphia, July 2, 1848; was prepared for college by his father, the Rev. E. S. Widdemer, now rector of the Church of Reconciliation in New York city; was graduated in 1867 at St. Stephen's College, N. Y., at the head of his class, and pursued his theological course at the Berkeley Divinity School at Middletown, from which he graduated in 1870. He was ordained in Albany, N. Y., July 12, 1870, by Bishop Doane, and advanced to the priesthood July 6, 1872; was a short time rector of St. Ann's Church at Amsterdam, N. Y., and in January, 1875, removed to New York city and became associate rector of the Church of St. John the Baptist. Severing his connection there he was called to the rectorship of Christ Church at Ansonia in April, 1878.

This church is now substantially out of debt, and, dating its organization in 1849, only thirty-one years ago, few parishes in the diocese within that period can show a more rapid or prosperous growth.

The reflection is pleasing that the good seed sown by the early ministers of the church in Derby and their successors has taken deep root and is still producing much fruit.



The Catholic parish of Ansonia was organized in 1866, and the present church edifice built in 1867. The Rev. P. J. O'Dwyer was the first pastor, and his zealous efforts were largely instrumental in -building the church. Father O'Dwyer was born in Ireland and received his ecclesiastical education at "All Hollers College," Dublin. Prior to his pastorate in Ansonia he was a very acceptable and efficient priest of St. Mary's Church, Birmingham, for five years. On his transfer to Norwalk, where he recently died, he was succeeded by the present pastor, the Rev. H. F. Brady, who was born in Ireland, and came to this country in his youth, about thirty-seven years ago. He received his rudimental ecclesiastical education at the College of St. Charles Bonemeo, Philadelphia, where he passed through a course of the classics, metaphysics and ethics. Afterwards he spent eight years in the University of St. Mary's of Illinois, being both student and professor of belles lettres. Not being a subject of that diocese, which then included the whole of that state, he returned from the West and was accepted by the Archbishop of New York, Dr. Hughes, and appointed pastor successively of St. Joseph's and St. Ann's. In 1861 he resigned charge of the latter, went to Europe and attended lectures in Paris for three years. At the end of that time he was offered the degree of D. D., but respectfully declined the honor, saying that he had no ambition to add to his name a tail which so many wagged with so little credit, a degree that was originally granted only to men of talent, great worth and industry.

Returning from Europe he attached himself to the diocese of Hartford, then comprising the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island. He was appointed pastor of St. Patrick's Church, Rhode Island, for a short time, and was then transferred to Naugatuck, Conn., where he remained from 1866 to 1876, when he was transferred to his present parish at Ansonia. His congregation is flourishing, and numbers about 3,000 souls; the largest Christian organization in the town. A commodious parsonage has been built within a year.


Scholarly, and gentlemanly in his manners, Father Brady has won the respect and confidence of the community in which he resides.


This church was organized June 22, 1874, under the state Baptist convention, Dr. Turnbull then being its secretary. Only thirty-nine members joined the church on its organization. The Bible school was instituted by Dr. Turnbull and others with thirty-four scholars. Mr. Sharon Y. Beach of Seymour was very efficient in the office of superintendent, and labored very acceptably until his resignation in 1879. Religious meetings were held at first in the rooms of the Opera House, under the auspices of the "Christian Association," having regular preaching every Sunday by Dr. Turnbull, Rev. E. M. Jerome and others, until a hall was secured in the Hotchkiss Block, Measures were soon taken to build an edifice, which was completed in April, 1877, at a cost of about $15,000, and occupied; the services of the Rev Mr. Jerome being secured as pastor. The membership of the church at this time being seventy-five. On April 1, 1879, Mr. Jerome resigned his pastorate and the church was without a settled minister until February 1, 1880, when the Rev. F. B. Dickinson of Boston was secured. The present membership numbers 107.

The Sunday or Bible school of this church was well and most successfully managed by the unremitting efforts of its superintendent, Mr. Beach, as stated, and when he resigned Doct. B. F. Leach was appointed, and accepted the position, and is successfully conducting this department of the church work.

The present officers of this church are: Rev. F. B. Dickinson, pastor; Henry C. Cook, clerk; Sharon Y. Beach, William Spencer and H. C. Cook, deacons; Doct. F. B. Leach, superintendent; E. N. Barnett, assistant; A. H. Baldwin, secretary; and H. C. Cook, treasurer.

The Sunday-school numbers 120. This is the only Baptist society in the town of Derby; is free from debt, under good management, and is increasing steadily in its usefulness and work.



This church was organized in 1851, Rev. David Osborn being the first pastor while preaching and residing at Seymour. Rev. John L. Peck was pastor in 1852; Rev. E. S. Hibbardin 1853; Rev. John Pegg in 1854 and 5; Rev. J. J. Wooley in 1856 and 7; Rev. Wm. Porteus a part of 1858, and Rev. Wm. Tracy the remainder; Rev. Silosloerthome in 1859; Rev. Wm. Howard in 1860 and 61; Rev. A. B. Pulling in 1862 and 3; Rev. C. F. Mallory in 1864 and 5; Rev. Wm. H. Waddell in 1866 and 7; Rev. C. S. Wing in 1868, 69 and 70; Rev. George P. Mains in 1871 and 2; Rev. S. H. Smith in 1873 and 4; Rev. Mr. Lindsay in 1875 and 6; Rev. J. M. Carroll in 1877; Rev. I. E. Smith in 1878; Rev. R. H. Loomis in 1879 and 80.

The place of worship at first was Colburn's Hall on Main street. The present edifice, a neat and commodious church, erected in 1865, located on Main street near the Farrell foundry, is capable of seating about 600 persons. The membership numbers 180, and the Sunday-school 232.

This church has struggled through many discouragements, but is now in a healthy and prosperous condition.


This institution was incorporated in 1862; the original corporators under the charter being:

George P. Cowles,
John Lindley,
J. H. Bartholomew,
J. M. Colburn,
Abraham Hubbell,
Thomas Whitney,
Egbert Bartlett,
Nathan S. Johnson,
Albert Hotchkiss,
Thomas Wallace, jun.,
William B. Bristol,
David W. Plumb,
Sylvester Barbour,
Jonah C. Piatt,
Richard M. Johnson,
Eli Hotchkiss,
Eleazer Peck,
Willet Bradley.

With the exception of four all are still living. The secretary and treasurer, Mr. Bartlett, is the only officer or person who receives any compensation for services. The institution is prosperous; the amount of deposits constantly increasing, and were on the ist of March, 1880, $367,865.31. The present officers are: president, William B. Bristol; vice-president,


Thomas Wallace; directors, Abraham Hubbell, Robert Peck, Jonah C. Piatt, Dana Bartholomew, John Lindley, Henry J. Smith, Charles L. Hill and James Swan; secretary and treasurer, Egbert Bartlett; auditors, Alton Farrell and Lockwood Hotchkiss.


The residents of Ansonia, early in the year 1861, bought the stock of the "Bank of North America," then located at Seymour, which had been reduced to a low standing by losses and other calamities, and removed it to Ansonia, and changed the name in July, 1861, to that of Ansonia Bank with a capital stock of $100,000, which was afterwards increased to $200,000. In 1865 the name was changed to-the National Bank of Ansonia and is in a prosperous state of success.

The present officers are: Thomas Wallace, president; George P. Cowles, vice-president; Charles H. Pine, cashier. The directors are: Thomas Wallace, George P. Cowles, J. M. Colburn, Wm. B. Bristol, J. H. Bartholomew, Charles L. Hill, Alton Farrell.


Under this name Mr. R. R. Colburn at his old Lead factory on Main street is manufacturing paper boxes, employing several workmen.

Henry B. Whiting is the maker of fish poles, which has become an established, lucrative business.


Ansonia was chartered as a borough by the Legislature at its May session in 1864, and in 1871 the charter was amended giving full powers and privileges ordinarily granted to boroughs. The organization was effected at Bradley's Hotel August 1, 1864, with the following officers: David W. Plumb, warden; A. J. Hine, clerk; Wm. B. Bristol, treasurer; D. F. Hoadley, bailiff. The burgesses are: Wm. B. Bristol, J. H. Bartholomew, Robert Hoadley, Wm. Wallace, John Lindley, M. P. Wilson.

The limits of the borough are quite extended and take in


larger territory than that of Birmingham. The following gentlemen have discharged the duties of wardens since 1865:

Wm. B. Bristol, 4 years,
Egbert Bartlett, 2 years,
Robert Peck, 1 year,
Michael Walsh, 1 year,
Charles F. Williams, 1 year,
Henry B. Whiting, 1 year,
D. F. Hoadley, 2 years,
John B. Quillinan, 1 year,
H. A. Shipman, 1 year.

The present officers are: Henry A. Shipman, warden; Morris Drew, H. C. Spencer, S. B. Bronson, Alfred Barnett, Henry B, Whiting, Patrick B. Fraher, burgesses; Charles H. Pine, treasurer; R. N. Tucker, clerk; D. J. Hayes, bailiff.

The borough is well supplied with water from a distance with sufficient fall to extinguish fires. It was procured at great expense by the Ansonia Water Company, whose officers are: president, Thomas Wallace; secretary and treasurer, Dana Bartholomew; directors, J. H. Bartholomew, Thomas Wallace, Geo. P. Cowles, Wm. R. Slade, Robert Hoadley, A. Hubbell, E. Bartlett, D. Bartholomew, Wm. Wallace.

Ansonia is well protected from fire, having a good supply of water. In 1871 the Eagle Hose Company No. 6 was organized with twenty-nine charter members, with the following officers: F. H. demons, foreman; E. A. Wadhams, assistant; Wm. Powe, 2d assistant, and John H. Hall, secretary and treasurer.

The borough in 1879 removed and enlarged their house, which now stands opposite the Farrell foundry on Main street, and the members of the company at their own expense have furnished their spacious apartments with elegant furniture and a library, papers and periodicals, which make their head-quarters attractive for daily evening meetings. A hook and ladder company is connected and the name has been changed to Eagle Hose and Ladder company No. 6. They number 60 members, many of whom are among the first young men of the place. The present officers are: Wm. Powe, foreman; W. O. Wallace, first assistant; W. S. Hurd, second assistant; Thomas Hurd, treasurer; Fred M. Drew, secretary.

This company constitutes the entire fire department of the borough, and being efficient on every emergency is the pride and boast of the place. In harmony with the active and energetic


fire company of West Ansonia, Ira Newcomb, foreman, and the Fountain Hose, both fitted with necessary apparatus, this part of the town is as well protected from fire as most places within city limits.


George Washington Lodge No. 82, F. and A. M., was organized under a dispensation granted by the Grand Master of Connecticut, dated November 25, 1856. Its charter was granted by the General Lodge of Connecticut at its annual communication in May, 1857, and bears date of May 18, 1857.

The first officers were:
Joseph A. Bunnell, W. M.,
John Wallace, S. W.,
Joseph S. Riggs, J. W.,
Samuel A. Cotter, Treasurer,
Thomas Wallace, jun., Secretary,
John Cowell, S. D.,
T, B. Smith, J. D.,
Rev. J. J. Woolley, Chaplain,
H, Skinner, Tyler.

The present officers are:
A. F. Hoadley, W. M.,
C. T. Beardsley. S. W.,
Frank Middlebrook, J. W.,
George A. Tomlinson, Treasurer,
R. H. Tucker, Secretary,
E. P. Dodge, S. D.,
Philip E. Newsom, J. D.,
Edwin Ells, Chaplain,
Levi B. Boutwell, Tyler.

The lodge room from the start until 1876 was in the building where Randall's store is. The present lodge, room over Johnson & Hotchkiss's store was opened in 1876.

Mount Vernon Chapter, No. 35, R. A. M., was organized under a dispensation granted by Grand High Priest Charles W. Stearns, dated January, 1872. Its charter was granted by the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the state of Connecticut at its annual convocation in May, 1872, and instituted by Grand High Priest W. W. Lee on the 25th of June, 1872.

First officers:
J. N. Whiting, H. P.,
J. E. Remer, K.,
John Lindley S.,
N. Sperry, Treasurer,
George O. Scheller, Secretary,
James Pemberton, P. S.,
D. F. Hoadley, C. of H.,
John Cawell, R. A. C,
N. Skinner, Tyler.

J. H. Whiting was H. P. from the organization until April, 1874, and D. . Hoadley has held that office ever since.


The meetings of this society are held in the rooms of the George Washington Lodge.

Present ofificers:
D. F. Hoadley, H. P.,
F. G. Bassett, K.,
W. W. Joy, S.,
A. T. Hoadley, Treasurer,
J. H. Whiting, Secretary,
P. B. Mackey, P. S.,
J. G. Redshaw, C. of H.,
R. N. Tucker, R. A. C.,
L. B. Boutwell, Tyler.

Knights of Pythias, No. 24, was instituted December 9, 1870, with eleven charter members. Robert Peck was the presiding officer. In January, 1872, the lodge contained seventy members in good standing, and after eight years of varied success, with many disbursements for the sick, it now stands as the banner lodge of the state, and numbers 114 members; has a cash fund of over $1,500, besides $700 in furniture and library.

Garnet Temple Of Honor, No. 24, T. O. H. and T., was instituted December 15, 1877. Met in rooms of I. O. O. F. in Hotchkiss block until 1879, when they removed to the room over Judd Brothers' market.

Charter members:
   First Officers:
   Benj. Hutchinson, W. C. T.,
   Henry Jeynes, sen., W. V. T.,
   Alex. Veitch, W. R.,
   Joseph Closson, Treasurer.
Charles Vandercook,
S. S. Wilcox,
Samuel B. Bronson,
D. T. Sanford,
James Parker,
Walter Baldwin,
George A. Hoyt,
Thomas Law,
Joseph McBrien,
Henry Jeynes, jun.,
George Thompson,
Thomas Davidson,
R. H. Tucker,
William T. Mercer.

The following have been W. C. T.:
Benjamin Hutchinson,
Henry Jeynes, sen.,
Frank A. Snell,
Henry Jeynes, jun.,
Robert Allen.

The present ofificers are:
Robert Allen, W. C. T.,
John A. Lewis, W. V. T.,
F. A. Snell, W. R.,
John Ballantyne, Treasurer.

Whole number of members, 52.

RUBY SOCIAL T. OF H. AND T., No. 13. This is the female branch of the preceding; instituted April 8, 1879. Meet with Garnet Temple of Honor. Membership, total, 55.


First ofificers:
Elizabeth Jeynes, S. P. T.,
Henry Jeynes, sen., B. P. T.,
Lottie L. Smith, S. R.

VETERAN SOLDIERS AND SAILORS' ASSOCIATION OF ANSONIA hold regular meetings the third Monday in each month. It is benevolent in its object and has especial care for the graves of deceased soldiers. Its officers are: John Jackson, president; Charles H. Pine, secretary and treasurer; Julius A. Bristol, W. R. Mott, Charles Stowell, executive committee. It numbers 60 members.

ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS is of long standing and benevolent in its object. Present officers: John M. O'Brian, president; John Cahill, vice-president; Mike Cahill, secretary; Peter Larkins, treasurer. It numbers about 45 members.

FATHER MATHEW T. A. AND B. SOCIETY is benevolent in its character and numbers 30 members. Its officers are: John Cahill, president; John R. Hayes, vice-president; Hugh Graffney, secretary; John O'Brian, treasurer.

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY is benevolent in character, and has for its president, John Lane; secretary and treasurer, Peter McAuliff.

There are other societies of this kind, such as the Young Men's Total Abstinence society, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the Wallace Sick Benefit society, Herman Lodge, No. 400, and perhaps others.


In close proximity to Ansonia proper, separated only by the Naugatuck, is situated this flourishing part of the town. Elevated and facing the east, while overlooking for a long distance the valley, it is one of the most beautiful and desirable locations in Derby. Adorned with many fine residences and away from the noisy hum of machinery, its population is already vieing in improvements with other parts of the town. It contains no factories; only two stores, two meat markets, a school-house, 225 dwelling houses, and a population of 1,000.

The place is blessed with good water from a distant lake, supplied by a running stream; its main streets are lighted; many of the sidewalks are paved -- some flagged; a well organized


fire company, the Fountain Hose with engine house and good apparatus for the extinguishment of fire, -- all these combined with pleasant scenery give promise of future growth and prosperity. Within the limits of the village is located the spacious grounds of the "Evergreen Cemetery" in which the citizens take a just pride. About six years ago an appropriate and imposing Soldiers' Monument was erected in it and dedicated with appropriate ceremonies, to the memory of Derby's heroic dead. It will stand a credit to the patriotic, good people of Ansonia who caused its erection.


Few landmarks remain as reminders of the prosperity of this place before its commercial downfall. The old Leman Stone castle, the tavern and some old dwellings with their surroundings may be pleasant for the oldest inhabitants to contemplate, but ship building is gone, the once lively trade with foreign ports no longer continues, for the cut of railroads against the navigation of the Ousatonic has brought its blessing and advantages and imbued this ancient part of the town with the spirit of modern improvements. Costly mansions now stand on grounds almost venerated one hundred years ago. The population is increasing annually from Up Town to Turkey Hill. The streets are lighted with gas, sidewalks flagged and the people are keeping pace with other sections of the town.

The Derby post-office, in name replete with migration -- now here, now there -- finally in Birmingham and changed to the name of Birmingham post-office, has resulted in giving a new one to the Narrows under the old name of the Derby post-office. But little manufacturing has ever been done in this place. The tannery established by Isaac J. Gilbert fifty or more years ago is still continued, although less extensively, by his son, Abijah H. Gilbert.

The sash and blind factory of David Bradley & Son on Two-Mile brook at Turkey Hill, is one of the oldest establishments of the kind in New Haven county. It furnished the sash and blinds to the first buildings erected in Birmingham, and still continues its work, the products having always been considered of a superior quality.


Agur Gilbert & Sons, makers of planes and other wooden articles are located at Turkey Hill on the same brook, and must be classed among the manufacturers of the town. At the old Hitchcock Oil mill DeWit C. Lockwood for several years has turned out a great variety of Yankee articles in wood, turning in this line having been first started at Birmingham.

Lewis Hotchkiss

The Derby Building and Lumber Company being a prominent establishment at the Narrows its history is here given. It manufactures sash, blinds, doors, and deals largely in lumber, timber and shingles. It was first started at Birmingham in 1836 by Willis and Lewis Hotchkiss, brothers, on the property now owned by Robert N. Bassett. The firm continued the business until 1840 when Willis P. Sperry and Merritt Clarke were taken into partnership and the name of Hotchkiss, Clarke & Co., adopted. Continuing in business until 1850, the company then consolidated with Lindley & Johnson, a firm at Ansonia in the same business, thus forming a joint stock company under the name of Derby Building and Lumber Company, removing their works to Derby Landing. Here was erected a large factory for the prosecution of a wholesale trade. In 1868 these buildings were entirely destroyed by fire, and the energetic managers not discouraged erected a larger factory with increased facilities and improved machinery, and in six weeks from the date of the fire they were again in full operation in the production of merchandise. The facilities of this company for doing'their work are unsurpassed.

The capital stock is $55,000; number of hands employed 50; monthly pay roll about $3,000; annual product of goods about $150,000. The present officers are: president, Wm. E. Burlock; secretary and treasurer, John G. Townsend; general manager, Clark N. Rogers.

An extensive business carried on at the Narrows is the coal trade by Merritt Clarke & Sons of Derby, and Wm. B. Bristol of Ansonia. J. W. Whitlock of West Ansonia is also a coal dealer. The Clarke Sons alone retail annually 5,000 tons of coal, and the whole consumption in the town is estimated at 35,000 tons yearly.

The first coal introduced into Derby was in 1807, by Abijah Smith, father of the founder of Birmingham. The first cargo


of anthracite coal offered for sale in this country was by Abijah Smith. He left Derby in 1806, and in 1807 mined fifty tons of coal in Plymouth, Penn., at the old mine which is now rented to the Lehigh and Wilkesbarre Coal Company, known as the Smith red-ash coal. In November, 1807, Smith purchased an ark for $24, which had been used for the transportation of plaster, and on the 4th day of that month this ark was floated to Plymouth and loaded with fifty tons of anthracite coal and was floated down the Susquehanna river. Safely landed at Columbia, Penn., the German settlers looked with wonder at what they called "black stone," and said Smith must be a crazy man to think of selling such stuff as that. In order to demonstrate the value of coal as an article for fuel Mr. Smith arranged with a landlord of that place, for the use of his fire-place, -- procured a grate made under his directions by a blacksmith, put it into the fire-place, built a fire of wood and put on the coal, but the wood burned out leaving the coal only a little ignited. They poked it much and worked to make it burn, but not succeeding well, left it and went to dinner. When they returned there was a splendid fire, and the effort a victorious success. Persons from Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York beheld with wonder and delighted surprise the burning of this "black stone." The effort being satisfactory Mr. Smith, joined by his brother John Smith in 1808, sent three ark loads of coal to Havre de Grace, and there transferred it to a schooner named Washington and sent it to New York in care of Price and Waterbury, which company sold the coal on commission, disposing of it by chaldrons, and not by tons. After 1808 Abijah and John Smith followed the business of transporting coal in arks down the Susquehanna for a number of years, the annual average of sales to 1820 being about six ark loads. Nearly all the early operators in the coal trade made failures except the Smiths. Some of their descendants are still prosecuting it successfully." [History of Plymouth, Penn., by H. B. Wright, 313.]

In 1820 the annual product of coal for the whole country was less than a thousand tons; now annually thirty-five thousand


consumed in the United States (1879) is estimated at 20,000,000 tons.

In the early process of mining no powder was used, it being all done by the slow process of pick and wedge, but after a time Mr. Smith thought it could be done with powder-blast, and sending to Milford, Conn., obtained the services of John Flanigan, an experienced stone quarrier with powder, and set him at the work, which experiment proved a success. This was in 1818. It should therefore be recorded that John F'lanigan was the first to apply the powder-blast in the coal mines of Pennsylvania, an important experiment in the commencement of a trade which has become so immense in later years.

The first.load of coal brought to Derby was by Abijah Smith, in his coat pocket, as a curiosity, and the credit is due, therefore, to one of Derby's native citizens, for having developed the coal trade.


MINNIE B., a steamboat recently constructed for the purpose, is soon to be put on the river to run from Derby Narrows to Bridgeport in connection with the People's Line to New York, and also for excursions on the Sound. The owner of the boat, Mr. George W. Briggs, has a patent for a newly arranged propelling wheel, and this boat is constructed for demonstrating the value of the patent, as well as to secure transportation of passengers from Derby to New York by water. The wheel is so arranged as to enable the boat to draw two or five feet of water, although of 40 tons burden. Mr. Briggs was formerly of Warwick, Rhode Island. The officers are: commander. Dr. B. F. Leach of Birmingham; pilot, Henry M. Porter of Stratford; engineer, G. H. Bartlett of New Haven.


This place, containing about thirty dwellings, is a little below and in close proximity to Derby Narrows, bordering on Turkey Hill.

A Sunday-school mission was started at this place by Mrs. D. M. Church, June 17, 1877, in her own house, where it continued until a larger place of meeting was needed, when, in


December, 1877, Mr. George Waterman gave the use of a suit of rooms for the mission.

In March, 1878, a school was regularly organized by the election of Mrs. D. M. Church superintendent; Dea. David Bradley, assistant, and Almon Ticknor, treasurer.

Soon after this Mrs. Church was called away from the place, and Dr. B. F. Leach of Birmingham accepted the position of superintendent, which he still holds. In April, 1879 the mission school was re-organized with the same officers; the school numbering 45.

At this Mrs. Almon Ticknor donated a site for a chapel, and a building committee of the following persons was appointed: Mr. Lewis Young, Dea. David Bradley and Mr. Almon Ticknor. The money was raised by subscription, and the work commenced June 8, 1879, and was completed and occupied July 6, 1879, at a cost of $500. The school now numbers about 70.




UPON the petition of Leman Chatfield and others, the town of Seymour was organized in the May session of the General Assembly in 1850, all its territory having been comprised within the original town of Derby. The number of inhabitants contained in it, as given in the general census of 1860, was 1,749, and in 1870, 2,123, a- large proportion of which reside in the manufacturing village of Seymour, on the Naugatuck river. In securing this organization of a new town the inhabitants met with strong opposition, and succeeded in their object only by adopting the name the town now bears.

In 1850 Derby was a strong whig town with a working majority of over two hundred, but the northern portion of it was strongly democratic. A little before this there was a little' post-office fight in which Thomas Burlock took an active part and succeeded in securing the appointment of John W. Storrs as postmaster. At the spring election of 1850 Mr. Burlock was the whig nominee for the Legislature, and H. B. Munson the democratic nominee, and was elected. The proposition of dividing the town entered into the election. Ansonia was then a thriving village, and being central in its location was talked of as the place to build a new Town Hall. Mr. Munson, as representative, saw that the opportunity had come to secure the new town, if it was to be done within many years, and succeeded in that body in obtaining a favorable report from the committee, and his bill passed the Senate before the people of Ansonia were really aware of it. Birmingham and Derby Narrows were rather in favor of the movement for a new town, as there had always been a rivalry between the places, but Ansonia marshaled all its forces in opposition, and would have succeeded had not Mr. Munson made a change of base to save his bill in the House and from the veto of the Governor. The new town was to be called Humphreys, a historical name in


which all were agreed. Mr. Munson and Gen. Pratt, then a member of the House, proposed to drop the name of Humphreys and adopt that of Seymour. Thomas H. Seymour was then Governor, and the town bearing his name it was believed he would not veto the bill, which finally passed the House by two or three majority; the Governor gave his signature, and thus the town was organized.

The deed given by the Indians, of the land in the vicinity of where the village of Seymour now stands, was dated April 22, 1678. The tract thus conveyed extended from the Naugatuck river, eastward, to Mill river, now in Woodbridge, and from Bladen's brook on the north to about where the Henry Wooster house stands, a mile and a half below Seymour village, with the exception that the Indians reserved "the fishing place at Naugatuck, and the plain, and the hill next the river at the fishing place." This reservation included nearly all the territory now occupied by the village of Seymour east of the river, extending over the hill into the hollow.

By this deed [The deed may be seen on page 70 of this book.] it may be seen that this place at that time was known by the name of "Naugatuck." In the report of a committee dated two years before the deed just referred to, this name is used in the same manner: "Plum meadow and the adjacent land is by estimation about twenty acres, lying on the east side the river that cometh from Naugatuck." [Ibid page 59.] This latter record was made in 1676, one year after the organization of the town. It is to be observed, also, that the Fishing Place at Naugatuck is mentioned, and from it may be obtained the meaning of the word Naugatuck. In the Indian language Amaug means fishing place; and suck means tidal water, or a pouring out of water. Hence Amaig-suck, or, as the English caught the sound from the Indians' rapid pronunciation, Naugtuck, was the fishing place at the Falls; and hence Naugatuck was the name of the locality. From what may be seen of the different spellings of the Indian names, it may be concluded that, although regarded by some as "far-fetched," this is not a tenth as much so as to suppose the place was named from "a big tree that stood at Rock Rimmon," a mile distant. Besides,


it may be noted here that if there was a big tree designating any locality in that region, it was probably two miles further from the falls than Rock Rimmon, on what is now called "Chestnut Hill," for that hill was originally called "Chestnut Tree Hill," as if named from one tree. In the onward march of nearly two hundred years, some one hearing the story of a big tree, transplanted it by a forgetful memory from that hill to Rimmon, and then concluded that since tuck in the Indian tongue meant a tree, tuck meant Naugatuck, or the fishing-place-at-the-falls.

The next land purchased in this vicinity, after that in which the reservation was made at the Falls, was secured by David Wooster, son of the first Edward, in a deed from the Indians dated in 1692: "A certain parcel of land on the north-west side of Naugatuck river, in the road that goeth to Rimmon, the Long plain, so called, in the bounds of Derby." This description, of itself, gives no word by which its locality may be known, but one month later Mr. Wooster bought another piece adjoining the first, by which we learn that the first piece included the Long plain at the foot of Castle Rock from the Falls southward, taking the whole plain. The second piece bounded eastwardly with the ledge of rocks (Castle Rock), southward "with a purchase of David Wooster," or in other words, his own land, and northward with the Little river, and westward with another "ledge of rocks." This piece, containing all that part of the village of Seymour west of the Naugatuck Falls, and much more, was bought "in consideration of a shilling in hand received," [See page 96 of this book.] and was reasonably cheap considering the amount of rock it contained. Both of these pieces deeded to David Wooster were included in the Camp's mortgage purchase of 1702, which was " a parcel of land three miles square." [Page 108 of this book.] In 1704 the town voted "that David Wooster have that land that he bought of the Indians on the west side of the Naugatuck river, above the Little river, allowing for highways." How far up the Naugatuck above Seymour this land extended has not been ascertained.

In the year 1678, two months before the purchase of the


tract of land bounded north by Bladen's brook, Col. Ebenezer Johnson bought of the Indians, "three small parcels of land, bounded on the north-west with Rock Rimmon, and on the east with Lebanon, and on the south with a small brook and Naugatuck river, and on the west with a hill on the west side of Naugatuck river so as to take in the little plain." One or more

Rock Rimmon

of these pieces of land must have laid in the valley west of Rock Rimmon, for the town record shows us the following grants: "December 30, 1678. The town have granted to Ebenezer Johnson the upper plain land against Rock Rimmon, and that it shall lie for division land and be so called if Milford do not take away the propriety of it* and the town grant the said

* Having seen, since writing the foregoing chapters, the statement repeated several times as historical, that Milford at first owned the township of Derby, it is proper to say that the first land deeded by the Indians to the Milford Company extended only so far north as to the mouth of Two-Mile brook, which is about a mile below Derby Narrows. Ten years after the organization of the town of Derby, Milford purchased one piece of land of the Indians, lying north of the Derby and New Haven road, and in 1700, another north of the first, and in 1702, another north of the second, extending to the Waterbury line, but each of these joined the township of Derby on the east, as may be seen by the reading in the history of "Seymour and Vicinity," page 6, second edition, and were never any part of Derby territory. The Paugassett Company paid taxes, the first three years that they paid any, direct to the New Haven Company, and after that, thirteen years to Milford, and they attended and supported the church at Milford, but all the doings of the plantation, with the above exceptions, were independent of Milford from first to last, and Milford never pretended to own or be in possession of any territory that ever was claimed by Paugassett or Derby.


Ebenezer liberty to take in another man with him." At the same time also the town granted "to Jeremiah Johnson twenty acres of land at the lower end of the plain against Rock Rimmon, provided highways be not hindered." At the same time they granted to Daniel Collins, John Tibbals and Philip Denman ten acres each. Not quite a month later they granted "liberty to Samuel Riggs to take up twenty acres of land at or near Rock Rimmon on the west side of the river." In 1682 the town "granted Abel Gun ten acres, either on Little river above Naugatuck Falls, or on the Long plain, west side of Nauo-atuck river above the falls, as he shall choose."

Upon searching for the first settling of persons in this part of the town, it was supposed that the first house was erected at Pine's Bridge, but the following records indicate otherwise. One of the three pieces of land purchased by Ebenezer Johnson which is said to be "bounded on the north-west by Rock Rimmon," must have been located south-east of that rock, and hence the division of it was made in thefollowingform in 1683: "To Samuel Riggs, half that land at Rimmon on the north-west of the said Samuel Riggs's cellar, between that and the Rock, and at the same time granted Sergeant Johnson the other half north-west of said cellar." This fixes the cellar south-east of Rimmon, and this was the first beginning for the erection of dwellings anywhere in the vicinity of the present village of Seymour.

In 1700 Maj. Ebenezer Johnson and Ens. Samuel Riggs purchased of the Indians a tract of land extending from their land in the vicinity of Pine's Bridge southward so as to join that


of David Wooster, on the west side of Naugatuck river, and meeting also Tobie's land on the north." [On page 96 of this book the deed says this land was bounded westward with Naugatuck river: it should read eastward.]

When Maj. Ebenezer Johnson and Ens. Samuel Riggs divided their land at Pine's Bridge in 1708, Ensign Riggs accepted that which lay west of the Naugatuck river and south of the brook that enters that river from the west near the bridge, including the "two islands at the mouth of that brook;" and Major Johnson accepted "the land on the east side of said river and on the north side of said brook, with a road six rod wide running upwards by said brook until it come to Tobie Indian's land." It was this land, called by Col. Ebenezer Johnson (for he was then colonel) "my farm at Rimmon," that he divided equally to his sons Timothy and Charles Johnson in 1721. It was also two hundred acres of this land west of the river, that Ens. Samuel Riggs gave to his son Ebenezer Riggs in "December, 1708, with houses and all appurtenances thereunto pertaining," and on which this son settled soon after, and where he died in 1712 or 13, a young man, thirty-one years of age. It is most probable that some of the children of Maj. Ebenezer Johnson settled in this vicinity about the same time Ebenezer Riggs did. They may have settled first south-east of Rimmon, and so far south-east as to be on the Skokorat road where Bennajah Johnson afterwards resided, he being heir to the property of both Jeremiah and Maj. Ebenezer Johnson, for his mother was the eldest daughter of the latter, but probably not so far from the Rock.

It is also recorded that in 1684 "Jeremiah Johnson, jun., was granted a home lot containing four acres, in the Scraping-hole plain," and that John Tibbals was granted a pasture "on both sides of Beaver brook below Scraping-hole plain."

In 1731 the town purchased "all that tract of land known by the name of the Indian Hill, in Derby, situate on the east side of Naugatuck river, near the place called the Falls; all that land that lieth eastward, northward and southward, except the plain that lieth near the Falls up to the foot of the hill." The deed of this land was not given by Chuse, but by John Cookson, John Howd and other Indians, which is proof that Chuse was


not here, nor in possession of this land at that time, nor was he in such relations to the owners of this land as to make it important that he should sign the deed, and therefore it may be inferred, as is the case in the Indian History of this work, that he belonged to a family of the Pootatucks, and that it was some years after this that he was elected sachem and became the established governor of the Indians collected at this place. In the Historical Collections we are told that "At the time Chuse removed here there were but one or two white families in the place, who had settled on Indian Hill;" and it is quite certain the whites did not build on the land until after they had purchased it. And since, as we are informed by the authority just referred to, he resided here forty-eight [Hist. Col. 200.] years, and was residing at Scaticook in 1783, [DeForest, 417.] he must have settled here in 1738 (or only a short time before), the same year that the Indian settlement was commenced in Kent. Chuse "erected his wigwam about six or eight rods north of where the cotton factory now stands, [1836] on the south border of the flat. It was beautifully situated among the white oak trees, and faced the south. He married an Indian woman of the East Haven tribe." [Barber's Hist. Col. 199.] His wife's name was Anna, concerning whom the Rev. Daniel Humphreys made the following record: "September 12, 1779, then Ann Chuse was admitted to communion with the Church of Christ." The Rev. Martin Tullar recorded her name in 1787, "Anna Mawheu," and at the same time he recorded Chuse's name "Joseph Mawheu," as having been a member of the church up to the time of his removal, but when he first joined is not known. In the "Indian History" of this work the name as recorded on the town records was followed, which is "Mauwee" only, but finding since that time on the church records the name "Mawheu," it may be properly concluded that the name in full was Mauweeheu.

In 1780 the town appointed Capt. Bradford Steele and Mr. Gideon Johnson a committee with full power "to take care of the Indian lands in Derby, and let out the same to the best advantage for the support of said Indians, and to take care that there


be no waste made on said land and to render an account of their doings to the town." This opens the way for the supposition that Chuse had already removed to Scaticook, but does not make it certain.

John Howd appears to have been the successor in office to Chuse, as indicated by the signing of deeds, and the following record: "Whereas the Assembly held on the 2d of May, 1810, authorized Joseph Riggs of Derby to sell certain lands, the property of Philip, Moses, Hester, Frank and Mary Seymour, Indians: lands which descended to them from John Howd an Indian," therefore the lands were sold by Lewis Prindle and Betsey Prindle, agents in place of Joseph Riggs, in behalf of these Indians, and two years later some part of this land was sold to Col. David Humphreys, and another piece at the same time to Mrs. Phebe Stiles. This John Howd, Indian, should not be taken for the prominent white citizen some years before, by the same name, and after whom most probably this Indian was named.

At the time the Indian Hill was purchased by the town there were probably some families residing on Little river within two miles of the Falls on the Naugatuck. In August, 1747, "George Abbott of Derby sold to Stephen Perkins of New Haven a saw-mill, grist-mill and dwelling house on Little river, above the Falls."

In 1760 the town granted "to James Pritchard the liberty of the stream of the Little river from its mouth up against the dwelling of said Fairchild to erect and keep in repair a cornmill or mills."

For more than sixteen years the water power of the Little river was utilized in mills of various kinds, within a short distance of the much greater power which might have been secured on the Naugatuck, but the effort to use the latter seemed too great to be undertaken. On the 4th day of October, 1763, Ebenezer Keeney, John Wooster and Joseph Hull, jun., of Derby, purchased of the Indians, one acre of land, including the Falls on the Naugatuck river, and one acre and a half for a road through the Indians' land to the Falls. This deed, which was given for only this small portion of the Indians' reservation, was signed by Joseph Chuse and John Howd, the chief men of


the little tribe. On this land were erected by this company two fulling-mills, a clothier's shop and a saw-mill, before 1803; probably only one fulling-mill was standing there, at first, for some years.

In 1785 John Wooster and Bradford Steele, leased for 999 years, for fifteen pounds, "a certain spot or privilege at a place called Rimmon Falls upon the east side of Naugatuck river, a certain plot of ground to erect a blacksmith-shop, or hammers to go by water, for the purpose of scythe making or other blacksmith work, containing thirty feet of land in front, next to the flume, . . . together with the privilege of setting up grindstones or other work necessary for said work."

The next manufacturing enterprise, apparently, was erected on Bladen's brook, nearly one mile east of the Falls. Thaddeus Hine of Derby sold to Titus Hall Beach of the same town in 1799, "one certain piece of land lying in said Derby on each side of Bladen Brook, so called, containing half an acre on the north side of the middle of said Brook." Upon this land Mr. Beach erected a fulling-mill, and in 1801 sold it and removed to Paterson, N. J. This fulling-mill stood on the site of Mr. Sharon Y. Beach's present paper-mill, at what is called Blue

Soon after the building of the blacksmith shop and scythe manufactory at the Falls, religious services began to be held in this community. The first church in the place was organized about the time of the following record: "Derby, Nov. 3, 1789. This may certify all whom it may concern, that the subscribers have joined and paid towards the support of the Gospel as the Congregational Society in Derby, near Bladen Brook, and mean for the future to support the Gospel there [History of Seymour, 21.]:

Capt. Timothy Baldwin,
Asahel Johnson,
Gideon Johnson,
Capt. Bradford Steele,
Elisha Steele,
Isaac Baldwin,
Turrel Whitmore,
Amos Hine,
Bradford Steele, jun.,
Medad Keeney,
Trueman Loveland,
Ebenezer Warner,
Leverett Pritchard,
Levi Tomlinson,
John Coe,
Ebenezer Beecher Johnson,
Nathan Wheeler,
Bezaleel Peck,
Francis Forque,
Joseph Lines,


Hezekiah Woodin,
John Adee,
Ashbel Loveland,
Moses Clark,
Philo Hinman,
Thomas Hotchkiss.

In furthering the work of establishing a church in this place a deed of land was given according to the following record, by Isaac Johnson: "For and in consideration of Mr. Benjamin Beach of North Haven coming and settling in the Gospel ministry in the Congregational or Independent church in the third school district in the town of Derby, do give unto the said Benjamin Beach and to his heirs and assigns forever, one acre of land lying a little east of the meeting-house in said district, . . . . . being bound north on highway, east, south and west on my own land. November 25, 1789." The house Mr. Beach built on this land is still standing, a little east of the Methodist church, and is owned by Mr. Charles Hyde. In 1791 Mr. Beach bought an acre and a half of Mr. Johnson, "lying east and south" of the first, and in 1799 he bought seventeen acres for $333, at a place called "Success Hill," which he sold in 1810 to John Swift for $686.06, when he (Mr. Beach) is said to be of Cornwall. Mr. Beach is said to have preached here two years before moving his family here, which is very probable since the meeting-house was standing when this land was given him; and it is said to have been built for him to preach in, and in those days such a work could not be done in much less time than two years. The inhabitants were then (1789, soon after the Revolutionary war) residing near the church, in the valley east of Indian Hill, up Bladen's brook, on Skokarat road, at and below Pine's Bridge, on Little river, and a few families on the west side and others on the east side of the Naugatuck, a little distance below the Falls. Such was the situation in 1789, except that the Indians, few in number, were occupying their huts on the plain near the fulling-mills. There may have been a house or two at this time standing on the land belonging to the mill company. For fourteen years after this the enterprise of the place was manifest in clearing away the forests and improving the mill property in the vicinity, until Col. David Humphreys purchased in 1803 the fulling-mills, when everything took on the form of new life. Already (in 1794) the Oxford turnpike had been constructed above the Falls, and there was


much interest in connecting the Falls Bridge with that turnpike and making another turnpike to Derby Landing, and the spirit of progress was running high, just as it did forty-five years later, when the railroad was built.

Col. Humphreys brought his merino sheep (an account of which may be seen in the biography of him) into the town of Derby in 1802, but did not proceed at once to erect the woolen mill. He continued the dressing of cloth in the mills in the usual manner of that day, but a fulling-mill or carding mill was not a spinning and weaving mill of later days; the spinning and weaving were done at the homes of the inhabitants throughout the community. The first wool from his sheep was thus spun and woven, and then dressed at his mills. Col. Humphreys's plans were philanthropic and enterprising to a high degree for his time, but he had not the mechanical skill to run a loom or set up a spindle for the manufacture of woolen cloths; all this was executed by others.

When Col. David Humphreys was on his last visit to England, he was greatly interested in the manufactures of that country and was anxious to introduce them into the United States. At this period he became acquainted with Mr. John Winterbotham, who was then a manufacturer of woolen cloths in the vicinity of Manchester, where he had inherited the business and property of an uncle, after he had been educated to the business and become master of it in all its branches. Arrangements were made by which Mr. Winterbotham was to settle his affairs in England and join the manufacturing enterprise commencing, or about to commence, by a company under the name of T. Vose & Company at Humphreysville, which arrangement he fulfilled and took his place as a junior partner in the firm, and was given the entire charge of the manufacturing department. The other partners were Colonel Humphreys and Capt. T. Vose, neither of whom had any knowledge of the manufacturing business.

Perhaps no person could have been found more capable of filling this arduous position than Mr, Winterbotham. He was in the prime of life, vigorous in mind and in body, and of well tried executive ability, -- a man to meet and conquer difficulties with unflinching perseverance. These qualities he devoted entirely to the management of the factory, allowing himself no amuse-


ments except two or three days shooting in the season when the birds were plentiful, a short bathing season with his family in New Haven once a year, and a ride on horseback now and then. It was a rare thing if he spent an evening away from home, or permitted one to pass without reading aloud to his family. His memory was remarkable; he being able to communicate, at any time, whatever he desired, from books he had read. In all respects he was a plain, outspoken man, simple in his habits, almost austere in the performance of his duties, and so opposed to show and all sorts of pretensions, that he sometimes fell into the opposite extreme and was severe in his scorn of both.

Of Humphreysville and various personages residing there while Colonel Humphreys was living, Mrs. Ann S. Stephens, daughter of Mr. Winterbotham, thus writes in answer to some questions asked by the authors of this work:

"Two nephews of Colonel Humphreys represented him in the manufacturing business, and mav have had considerable interest therein. The younger, William Humphreys -- a fine young man as I first remember him -- was the head of the counting-house, and, I think, cashier. The other, John, must have been a lawyer, for he was known as Judge Humphreys, and lived in one of the best houses in the neighborhood, a square white building that stands now on Falls hill, where the road that leads to Bungy crosses the highway. Judge Humphreys and his wife, an elegant, handsome lady, were great favorites with the Colonel, and were generally looked up to in the neighborhood as superior persons. He was one of the finest looking and most dignified men that I remember. Indeed, the whole Humphreys family were remarkable for great personal beauty, both in that and the next generation. Two of Judge John's daughters, Mrs. Canfield and Mrs. Pease, were beautiful and elegant women. A son of Mrs. Pease has not only retained the family grace of comeliness, but is now one of the first musical geniuses of the country.

"Mrs. Mills, an aged widow lady, when I remember her, was a sister to Colonel Humphreys and lived in a brown house between Judge Humphreys's dwelling and the church which was then, and is now one of the most conspicuous objects on the hills. She married in her old age Chipman Swift, Esq., father


of the Rev. Zephaniah Swift of Derby, and I remember seeing her at the Colonel's rooms during the wedding festivities in her bridal dress, a silver-gray pongee silk, trimmed to the knees with narrow rows of black velvet ribbon, while her soft, gray hair was surmounted by a lace cap brightened with pink ribbons.

"My own first recollections of Humphreysville, or indeed of anything in life, was a low-roofed two-story, or story and a half house in Shrub Oak, about a mile from the factory flats, on the western side of the Naugatuck. This house had a large garden at the back, in which were currant bushes and some peach trees, a front door-yard, shaded by maple trees, in which were lilac bushes and cinnamon roses. This, so far as I know, was the first residence of my parents in this country. It is, I suppose, now standing almost directly opposite a large, wooden residence built by Walter French. From our house, perhaps a quarter of a mile up the road, two other dwellings were in sight, a white house, whose occupants I do not recollect, and a red farm house, lifted from the road by a rise of ground and backed by a fine old orchard. This was called the Pritchard farm, and was owned by a family of that name with which our household became very intimate. On the other side of the way was a stream that emptied into the Naugatuck a mile below. Just opposite the farm, it gathered into a water-power of sufficient volume to drive a rude saw-mill which gave its lively music to the whole neighborhood. Turning back, half way below this dam and the French mansion, stood a red school-house close to the road. In front was a young apple-tree, and the back windows looked into a small pasture lot in which a tall pear tree stood, a perpetual temptation; for the scholars could hear the ripe fruit rustle through the leaves and fall upon the grass where they were forbidden even to search for it. In this red school-house I learned the alphabet, at so tender an age that it all seems like a dream. Abby Punderson, a maiden lady, taught me from Webster's spelling book, bound in wood covered with bright blue paper.

"To me this stately old maid had reached the pinnacle of human dignity when she sat in her high backed, splint bottom chair, holding that spelling-book by the top and pointing out the letters with a pair of bright, sharp pointed scissors, fastened to


her side by a steel chain. The very rattle of her thimble against the wooden cover had an august sound to me.

"This decorous spinster not only taught me the alphabet, but she put the first tiny thimble on my finger and guided my earliest attempts at an over-and-over seam. I can even now hear the click of the knitting-needles and see that ball of yarn roll in her lap, when I was seized with a wild ambition to knit with two needles and went up to that high-backed chair for my first lessons For these branches of useful knowledge I have thanked Abby Punderson a thousand times with a degree of pride and gratitude that I have failed as yet to bestow on my writing-master.

"Doctor Stoddard who lived at that time on the west side of the Naugatuck, sent his children to this school and was perhaps the first intimate friend my father made in this country. He was the principal if not the only physician in the place, and the medical attendant of our family all the time we lived in Humphreysville. I hold his kind attention to me during an attack of typhoid fever in grateful remembrance to this day.

"Indeed Doctor Stoddard was an extraordinary man, celebrated for his professional skill through the whole country, over which his ride often extended both as a practicing and consulting physician. He was a man of wonderful humor and caustic wit, social, eccentric and kind. The poor of that neighborhood had good reason to bless the sight of him when he tied his well-trained horse to their gate posts and entered their dwellings with saddle-bags on his arm, filled with medicines for their relief; for, to those that were unable to pay for his care, the good Doctor was always cheerful and promptly kind. His daughter Hannah, now the wife of Doctor Johnson, was the first school and playmate I ever had. In that red school-house we two tiny children formed a friendship that has lasted pleasantly through all our after life. Her brother Jonathan was also one of my first playmates, and I have a sad, dim remembrance of a sweet little girl named Theresa, whose funeral was among the first mournful scenes that rests upon my mind.

"In this school-house my first friendships were made, and after this fashion my education began. But I could hardly have advanced beyond words of two syllables when our family re-


moved from Shrub Oak to a low-roofecl dwelling on the factory property. This house fronted on the factory, from which it was separated by an open green. A clump of fine oaks stood half way between the two buildings, and a garden ran back to the banks of the river.

"On the left of this house, as you stood facing the factory was a long range of buildings erected as boarding-houses for the operatives, and beyond that, lifted into prominence by an abrupt rise of ground, stood the counting-house, crowned by a cupola which gave it the look of an academy.

"Besides these buildings, there was a paper-mill run by the same water-power that supplied the factory, and opposite to that, a dwelling in which the superintendent lived.

Halfway between the flats and the bridge was a never failing spring which formed a pond and had some fine trees growing on the hill-side behind it. This was called "the Spring Pond," and many of the houses were supplied with water from it. Above this pond on a rise of the road that crossed Bladen's brook, then a bright, wild stream, running through beautifully wooded banks, where we searched for berries and young wintergreens, stood a white basement house, to which William Humphreys brought his bride, a fair, pleasant lady, who was very popular among the people. All these buildings lay low down in the valley of the Naugatuck above the bridge and I believe were a part of the factory property. From "The Falls" to Castle Rock the bottom land was covered with the finest grove of white pines I ever saw. Here and there a grand old oak, a hemlock, a whitewood or tulip tree enriched the solemn monotony of the pines. The highway ran down the sand banks across the bridge through these woods and up "Falls Hill" near the Episcopal church where another group of dwellings appeared. This was the aspect of Humphreysville when I first remember it.

"Among its inhabitants the first person who presents himself to my mind is the man who gave his name to the place. Col. David Humphreys was then a grandly handsome man, who kept up in his appearance and habits all the traditions that have come down to us from the Revolution. I remember him, at first dimly, in a blue coat with large gold -- or what appeared


to be gold -- buttons, a buft" vest and laced ruffles around his wrists and in his bosom. His complexion was soft and blooming like that of a child, and his gray hair, swept back from the forehead, was gathered in a cue behind and tied with a black or red ribbon. His white and plump hands I recollect well, for wherever he met me they were sure to ruffle up my curls, and sometimes my temper, which was frequently tranquilized with some light silver coin ranging anywhere from a "four pence half penny" to a half dollar.

"Whenever this old gentlemen visited Humphreysville, he occupied a suit of rooms in the boarding-house building. These apartments were superintended by a housekeeper with whom I was a petted favorite. They contained pictures, books and many beautiful objects calculated to charm the fancy of a child, all of which I was permitted to examine and admire to my heart's content.

"Colonel Humphreys took great interest in the discipline and education of the apprentice boys attached to the factory. Seventy-three of these boys were indentured, I have been told, at the same time from the New York almshouse, and others from the neighboring villages. For these he established evening and Sunday-schools, with competent teachers; and indulged his military tastes by uniforming them at no light expense as a militia company, drilling them himself. Of course so many lads, gathered from the lower classes of a great city, must have numbered some bad ones. Thefts and other small vices were sometimes discovered, and at such times the offender was given his choice to be rendered up to the legal authorities, or tried and punished by a court organized on the premises. Almost invariably, they elected the latter, where they expected, and usually received a milder sentence than the severe laws of that period would have given.

"Sometimes the Colonel brought very distinguished compatriots to visit the mills of which he was said to be very proud. I remember him dashing up the road one day in an open carriage, drawn by four horses, with Stephen Van Rensselaer, the Albany patroon at his side. They spent some time walking over the premises -- took refreshments at the Colonel's apartments and drove back to a cottage that he owned in Hotchkiss Town on the New Haven road.


"Indeed the old soldier usually came in state when he visited his native town, and his presence there was always followed by more or less commotion.

"One day, coming along the river road, near the bridge, he checked his carriage to learn the meaning of a crowd that had collected on the bank. A child had just been taken from the water insensible and apparently dead. The old man gave a few hasty directions, snatched the reins from his coachman, dashed across the bridge and up Falls hill with the dangerous recklessness of a man who had no thought of his own life, and disappeared. In less time than seemed possible, he dashed back with Doctor Stoddard by his side. His prompt action saved the child, and endeared both the old soldier and the physician more than ever to the people.

"In his business enterprises Col. Humphreys did not forget the literary propensities that had mated him with Trumbull and Barlow in Yale College. He wrote a great deal for the benefit and amusement of the operatives, and the Christmas holidays were frequently celebrated with private theatricals where an original play, of which he was the author, would be performed by the most talented work people, and he more than once took a prominent part in them.

"As the best people of the neighborhood and other towns were invited to form an audience, these plays became a favorite amusement. In fact Col. Humphreys omitted nothing that could arouse the ambition or promote intellectual improvement among the operatives although he did it after a grand military fashion.

"After our removal from Shrub Oaks the nearest school was on the hill back of the sand banks. A new academy had been built in that neighborhood, known up to that time as Chusetown, after some famous Indian chief; but the good town of Derby has always evinced wonderful eagerness in dropping historical names, and when that new academy, with a pretentious belfry, loomed up on the hill, looking proudly down on the cluster of houses at the cross roads, that Indian chief was crowded into the background and Chusetown became 'School Hill.'

"Among these houses on the cross roads, one of which was a country tavern, two or three dwellings were in the progress of


building, one of which was intended for our future residence. They stood on a walled terrace and, in those primitive times, were planned with some degree of taste; but when the time came that the house by the factory was, by agreement, to be vacated, that in Chusetown was hardly half completed. 'Houses to let' were not plentiful in Humphrevsville just then, and the only dwelling in which we could find temporary shelter was a small building on the edge of the pine woods, into which our family was crowded for several months. Happy months they were for my sister Sarah and myself, for we absolutely lived in the pine woods, built our play-houses there, made ourselves acquainted with all the birds-nests, learned how to twist whitewood leaves into drinking cups, and enjoyed our young lives so completely that it was an absolute calamity to us when the new house was ready and we removed into it. This little house, which I am told has sometimes been pointed out as my birthplace, was occupied simply as a convenience until a more commodious one was completed.

"Some time before the death of Colonel Humphreys it was arranged that my father should travel extensively through the South and West. I have an idea that he went in the interest of the firm to extend the market in the principal cities for an over stock of goods. In these travels, which were continued over six months, I infer that the condition of the slaves in the South made a vivid and painful impression on him; for after his return he never arose from family prayers any morning without asking God's grace for the negroes. My father had reached Philadelphia on his way back from this journey, when he was met by the news of Colonel Humphreys's death. The suddenness of this event had given a shock of surprise and grief to every one in the old soldier's native town. He had seemed in good health an hour before his last breath was drawn. He was staying at a hotel in New Haven, and, with the usual courtesy that distinguished all his actions, handed a lady friend to her carriage, stood, hat in hand, until she drove off, when he returned to the room from which he had led her, lay down on the sofa and died.

"Soon after this event, when I was about eight years of age, my father left Humphreysville and purchased a place in the Berkshire hills. Here his children were placed in school and he


had a short season of rest. But a life of semi-activity to a man of his temperament soon became irksome and he grew restive under it. Hearing that a pleasant old homestead was for sale in South Britain, Southbury township, he purchased it and removed back to Connecticut. Directly after this he bought a factory some miles below on a tributary of the Ousatonic, and went into business again.

"During some years he prospered in this new undertaking; but prolonged and uncertain legislation in Congress, that kept the tariff in an unsettled state, made judicious contracts impossible; the year 1829 or 30 found him with heavy payments to meet, a falling and uncertain market and an establishment that for more than a year had been running at a dead loss. This ended in financial ruin. He gave up everything to his creditors, gathered his family about him, and, with the exception of his eldest daughter and myself, who were both married in 1831, removed to Ohio, then deemed, 'the far west.' Here, at the age of 58 years, he secured a tract of wild land, and with the aid of his young sons, the oldest of whom was but sixteen, cleared a farm and built a new home upon it. At the age of eighty-four years he died upon this farm, leaving the best inheritance that any man can give to his children when he said almost with his last words, 'no child of mine has ever given me an hour of pain.'

"Some of his children were born in Seymour.

"Mary, the eldest, married Robert B. Mote, a lawyer and county judge, who died in Auburn, DeKalb county, Indiana, where she is still residing a widow.

"Sarah, the second daughter, married Samuel Woodcock of Ohio, who became quite a land-holder in Savannah, Andrew county, Missouri, and died there leaving her a widow.

"John H. Winterbotham, the fourth child and eldest son, married Mahala Rosecrans, a niece of General Rosecrans of the United States Army. He inherits his father's intellectual ability and firmness of purpose, and has for some years been a state senator of Indiana. He has grown wealthy by close application to business and heads the firm of J. Winterbotham & Sons, contractors for the prison labor of Indiana and Illinois. He resides in Michigan .City, Indiana, and has branch houses in Chicago and Joliet, Illinois.


"Robert, the second living son, is a resident of Columbus, Ohio; a man of independent means and out of business. He married Charlotta Roberts of Fredericktown, Ohio.

"Martha Elizabeth, the fourth daughter, married Fermin Ferrer, a lawyer of Nicaragua, Central America, and resides in New York. William W., the youngest son, inherits his father's qualities of mind and character. He married Elizabeth Miller, the daughter of an influential citizen of Pittsburg, Penn.,from whom they inherited a considerable property in Fort Madison, Iowa, where they reside.

"Ann S., married Edward Stephens of Portland, Me." (See Biog.)


As seen in the account of the M. E. Church in Birmingham, [Page 360 of this book. This account of the M. E. Church in Seymour is taken mostly from Mr. W. C. Sharpe's History of Seymour.] Methodist preaching was introduced in 1791, and the first society formed at the old village of Derby in 1793, with John Coe leader of the class. The members of this society who lived in Chusetown were first organized into a separate society in 1797, but it is probable that their ministers preached here several years before this organization. The first members were: Jesse Johnson, Isaac Baldwin, Sarah Baldwin and Eunice Baldwin. Daniel Rowe of Derby was their first class leader, and the following names were soon added: George Clark, Lucy Hitchcock, Silas Johnson and Oliver Johnson.

The ministers preached wherever they found open doors; once or more in Mrs. Dayton's tavern, the house now owned by William Hull, at the corner of Main and Pearl streets; also in the house of Mr. Stiles, now the residence of Doct. Stoddard. Some years later they preached in the ball-room of the Moulthrop tavern, on the north-east of Hill and Pearl streets. The ministers who were sent to the Middletown circuit, which included this place, were: in 1792, Richard Swain and Aaron Hunt; in 1793, Joshua Taylor and Benjamin Fisher; in 1794, Menzies Raynor and Daniel Ostrander; in 1795, Evan Rogers and Joel Ketchum; in 1796, Joshua Taylor and Lawrence McCombs; in 1797, Michael Coate and Peter Jayne; in 1798, Augustus Jocelyn; in 1799, Ebenezer Stevens; in 1800, James


Coleman and Roger Searle. The Revs. Jacob Brush, George Roberts, Jesse Lee, Freeborn Garrettson and Sylvester Hutchinson served as presiding elders.

For a long time the society continued small and encountered much prejudice and some persecution. On one occasion, while a meeting was held in the house of Isaac Baldwin, which stood on the flat east of H. B. Beecher's auger factory, the persecutors went up a ladder and stopped the top of the chimney in the time of preaching, so that the smoke drove the people out of the house. Squibs of powder were often thrown into the fire in time of worship, to the great annoyance of the people.

The preachers appointed to the circuit from 1801 to 1810 were: in 1801, Abijah Bachelor and Luman Andrus; in 1802, Abner Wood and James Annis; in 1803, Abner Wood and Nathan Emory; in 1804, Ebenezer Washburn and Nathan Emory; in 1805, Ebenezer Washburn and Luman Andrus; in 1806, Luman Andrus and Zalmon Lyon; in 1807, William Thatcher, R. Harris and Oliver Sykes; in 1808. James M. Smith and Phineas Rice; in 1809, Noble W. Thomas and Coles Carpenter; in 1810, Oliver Sykes and Jonathan Lyon.

The presiding elders on the district were; Freeborn Garrettson, Daniel Ostrander, William Thatcher and Joseph Crawford. Freeborn Garrettson held the first quarterly meeting in this place in the old Congregational meeting-house in 1803, and Moses Osborn. a zealous local preacher of Southbury, by his faithful labors in Derby four or five years, prepared the way for a great revival in 1809, when seventy persons were converted in the Neck school-house.

In 1811 the preachers were: Zalmon Lyon and Jesse Hunt; in 1812, Aaron Hunt and Arnold Scholefield. In 1813 Middletown circuit was divided and Stratford was made the head of the new circuit, and Ebenezer Washburn and James Coleman were the preachers. Stratford, Milford, Derby, Humphreysville, Nyumphs, Great Hill, Quaker's Farm, George's Hill, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Newtown, East Village, Stepney and Trumbull were included in the circuit.

Among the early Methodists on Great Hill were Anson Gillett and his wife, five sons and two daughters; Mrs. David Tomlinson, one son and three daughters; Capt. Isaac Bassett


and wife, one son and six daughters, and James Tomlinson and his wife.

In 1814 Nathan Bangs was presiding elder on the New Haven district, and Elijah Woolsey and Henry Ames were the preachers on this circuit, where the preaching was divided -- half a day at Humphreysville, half a day at Nyumphs, and once a fortnight at Derby Neck, it being a revival year at the Neck and Great Hill. The two brothers, Samuel and David Durand, and their wives, were added to the church in the little red schoolhouse which stood north of where the Great Hill church now stands. Samuel was a good singer. In 1815 Elijah Hebard and Benoni English were the preachers on this circuit, but Mr. English soon located at Humphreysville and went into business. This year Walter French, a resident of Humphreysville, received license to exhort, and afterwards to preach, and became a useful, successful minister; having a good memory, a ready utterance, and often spoke with great persuasive influence. He died in 1865, aged over eighty years.

When Nathan Bangs was presiding elder in 1816, he came to preach in the Bell school-house, and stopped with Stiles Johnson on the Skokorat road. After some cautions from his host against doctrinal preaching, he went down in the evening and preached a free salvation to a crowded house, giving Calvinism its portion, as was the custom, and such was the influence of his words that at the close, when he inquired: "Who will have this salvation?" the whole congregation stood up, and a revival ensued. In 1817 the society numbered fifty-six members. On October 31, 1817, the Methodists bought the old Congregational meeting-house, and at watch-meeting the succeeding New Year's eve, an extensive revival commenced in this house, when Jesse and Stiles Johnson, sons of Isaac Johnson, and their wives, united with the Methodist society. Jesse was afterwards a local preacher, a close student of the Bible, but became insane, and after a long confinement died in 1829. Stiles, who died October 4, 1818, by his will gave the land on which the church stands to the Methodist society, and also $334 in money. The old meeting-house was soon after made a two-story building, but not painted.

In 1819 the members of the church constituted three classes;


the leaders being Robert Lee, Timothy Hitchcock and Orrin Peck, the last class being in Woodbridge. The members of Timothy Hitchcock's class were Cynthia Johnson, widow of Stiles, Thomas and Lois Gelyard, Jared and Sally B. Bassett, (daughter of Stiles Johnson), Timothy and Urania Hitchcock, Anna Davis, widow of Reuben, Bezaleel and Martha Peck, Alva Davis and his wife Polly (daughter of Capt. Daniel Holbrook), Hepziba Johnson (daughter of Jesse), and Sheldon Hitchcock. The circuit preachers from 1816 to 1820 were: Nathan Emory, Arnold Scholefield, Reuben Harris, Ezekiel Canfield, Samuel Bushnell, Aaron Pierce, Beardsley Northrop, David Miller and Bela Smith. The circuits were large and two preachers were appointed yearly to each circuit to alternate at the different appointments.

The quarterly meetings of those times were largely attended; the people going from all parts of the circuit to attend services on Saturday and on the Sabbath. The presiding elder was usually present, and preached strong doctrinal sermons; one on Saturday, after which was held the quarterly conference, consisting of all the preachers, exhorters, class leaders and stewards, and one on the Sabbath after the love-feast service. At one of these meetings on Great Hill, in 1820, E. Washburn, presiding elder, fifteen persons were converted in one afternoon.

From 1821 to 1830 the membership of the church was much increased. The preachers were: James Coleman, Laban Clark, E. Barnett, John Nixon, Eli Denniston, Wm. F. Pease, Julius Field, Samuel D. Ferguson, Valentine Buck, John Lucky, Nathaniel Kellogg, Reuben Harris, John Lovejoy and Laban C. Cheney. The presiding elders were: Samuel Merwin, Samuel Lucky, D. Ostrander and Laban Clark.

The circuit was divided in 1828, and this part called Humphreysville and Hamden; at which time Samuel R. Hickox, a local preacher from Southbury, settled in this place and had charge of a grist-mill at the Falls, keeping boarders from the cotton mill, being a good preacher was of great service to the church. In the next year Thomas Ellis, a Welchman and a spinner in the cotton mill, was converted and joined the church, his wife being already a member. He had been a wild young man and a great singer; it being said that he could sing all


night without repeating a song; but in two years after his conversion he had forgotten them all. In consequence of his musical ability he was of great value to the church.

In 183I Daniel Smith was appointed to this circuit, and was assisted by William Bates, a local preacher residing in Humphreysville. In that year a camp meeting was held in the woods west of the present Catholic church in Birmingham, and continued eight days. On the Sabbath ten thousand people were supposed to be there, and the result of the meeting was reported to be one hundred converts. Rev. Sylvester Smith, afterwards long identified with the interests of the church, was present during the whole of that meeting. In this year the churches in South Britain and Middlebury were built, the foundation of one at Waterbury laid, and a parsonage commenced in Humphreysville. Three hundred dollars' worth of books were sold on the circuit, a large amount of missionary money raised, and the ministers' salaries paid. In 1832 Sylvester Smith, a local preacher from Hotchkisstown, now Westville, where he was first licensed in 1850, settled in this village, adding to the strength of the church, at which time Robert Travis was preacher in charge, assisted by Daniel Smith. The parsonage, built by the two brothers Lane, from Monroe, was finished for Mr. Travis. After this the church was an ecclesiastical society under the statute and known as the Methodist society of Humphreysville.

In 1833 Thomas Bainbridge and Chester W. Turner were the preachers on this circuit, the former residing in the parsonage, the latter being a single man, who afterwards married the sister of the Rev. J. D. Smith of the Episcopal church. The next year Humphrey Humphreys and John Crawford were the preachers. Josiah Bowen was in charge of the circuit, and in the middle of 1836 he removed out of the parsonage into a house on Derby Neck, where he remained until his decease not long since. On the ist of October, 1836, Rev. Josiah Smith rented the parsonage and occupied it four years. David Miller was preacher in charge two years, residing on Great Hill, closing his term of service in May, 1839; Owen Sykes having been the assistant preacher several years. Thomas Ellis received license to preach in 1833, and did good service on the circuit until 1838,


when he joined the conference and became a successful itinerant. He died in triumph in May, 1873, aged 68 years.

In 1838-9 the circuit was again divided; so that Birmingham, Waterbury, Middlebury and South Britain sustained each a pastor, and only Humphreysville, Great Hill, Pleasant Vale and Pine's Bridge remained as the Derby circuit.

In 1840-41 Thomas Sparks was the preacher in charge, residing at South Britain, and Ezra Jagger in 1842-3, residing at Great Hill. These were assisted by L. Atwater, a student at Yale, and by Moses Blydenburgh.

On Saturday, March 19, 1842, a quarterly meeting commenced at Southford, and in the absence of the presiding elder. Carpenter, Sylvester Smith preached, and the following Sabbath morning being very pleasant it was impossible for more than half of the people to get into the chapel. Mr. Sparks occupied the pulpit, and Mr. Smith took his stand in the school-room below and preached while half of his congregation were out of doors, unable to obtain seats inside. Mr. Sparks came from England, and was employed a number of years in the Wolcottville cotton factory under the influence of that earnest lay Methodist, Christopher Wolcotft, from which place he went out as a Methodist itinerant, and became quite celebrated as such in the eastern part of New York state. In 1844 Moses Blydenburgh was pastor in charge, residing on Great Hill; he died in 1848, aged 31 years, leaving a widow, and one son who is a lawyer in New Haven. The next two years George L. Fuller was in charge of the circuit, residing at Great Hill, where three of his children were buried.

In the fall of 1846 a subscription was started for a new church edifice at Humphreysville, Sylvester Smith leading with the sum of six hundred dollars; but the burning of the paper mill, of which he was half owner, embarrassed the work although it did not abate his zeal; for during the year he increased his subscription to eight hundred dollars. One brother, who did not at first pledge himself, gave one hundred dollars; another changed from twenty to one hundred, and a good woman changed her subscription from ten to one hundred dollars.

Charles Stearns, preacher in charge, moved into the parsonage in May, 1847, finding the society commencing the new


church. The old meeting-house was sold for one hundred dollars and torn down, after serving its purpose sixty years, and the new one built on the same site Jared Bassett, assisted by Isaac Bassett, built the stone work; all the people aided the enterprise to the extent of their ability, both in money and labor. The corner stone was laid on Saturday, June 19, 1847, Rev. E. W. Smith of Birmingham making the address; Sylvester Smith depositing the case under the stone after announcing .its contents; Charles Stearns, the pastor, conducting the services, assisted by Rev. Wm. B. Curtiss of the Congregational church. The contractor was Amos Hine of Woodbridge; the architect, Lewis Hotchkiss of Birmingham; the bell, weighing 1,150 pounds, was from Meneely's foundry in Troy; and the church was dedicated on Thursday, January 18, 1848, by Bishop E. S. Janes. All the elm trees near the church were set within a year after the dedication.

Ir May, 1849, was in charge of what in the next year was set off from Derby as the town of Seymour, and remained two years with success. David Osborn was the next pastor of Seymour and Ansonia, it being a prosperous year in both places. His successor for two years was Rufus K. Raynolds, an energetic, useful man; Great Hill becoming a separate charge in his second year.

William T. Hill was pastor in 1855-6 for the two churches, Seymour and Great Hill, being prosperous years. Thomas Stevenson was pastor in 1857-8; L. P. Perry, in 1859-60; Albert Booth, in 1861; George L. Taylor, in 1862, this being his first itinerant work. He was a faithful pastor and minister; a fearless defender of the "stars and stripes," and in those troublous times spoke boldly for the Union.

In the summer of 1864, under the pastorate of A. B. Pulling, two festivals were held, by which $800 were secured, which freed the church from debt. Sylvester Smith was appointed pastor in 1866; Joseph Pullman in 1867-8, both eminently successful; Bennett T. Abbott in 1869-70; Joseph Smith in 1871-3, and proved himself an able minister, he being the first pastor who remained in Seymour three consecutive years. In former years he resided in Waterbury as a local preacher, and did much good service here and in Wolcott, Conn. E. H. PVisbie and


James Wiswell, local preachers in New Haven, also rendered good service. Sylvester Smith, a local preacher, during his forty years residence here, was a most active laborer and liberal giver in the church.

During the energetic labors of William R. Webster as pastor, in 1874, a large and commodious parsonage was erected, at a total cost of $2,630; Lugrand Sharpe, Warren French and W. C. Sharpe being the building committee; the old parsonage bringing $2,000.

In 1875 E. H. Dutcher was the pastor; in 1876, Charles A. Tibbals, who soon after united with the Episcopal Church. At this time the church was beautified with an elegant black walnut pulpit presented by H. B. Beacher, Esq., which was first occupied February 4, 1877, by Aaron Pierce of East Village, who was pastor of the church in 1848, and his venerable appearance in his eighty-ninth year constituted an occasion long to be remembered.

In the spring of 1877 J. Vinton became the pastor, and the year was one of success; in which Arthur J. Smith, uniting with the church and feeling called to the ministry, left his employment at the office of the Seynour Record, and entered the Collegiate Institute at Hackettstown, N. J., preparatory to entering college.

Seymour and Great Hill are still connected under the same preacher.


George Kirtland came to Seymour in 1825, and in 1826 or 7, started a Sunday-school with five children, the number increasing to twenty-seven the first year. He continued the school six or seven years, when it was discontinued. The superintendents since the re-organization of the school have been:

1841-2, Samuel R. Hickox.
1843-8, Lugrand Sharp.
1852, John Adams.
1853, Frederick Durand.
1854, William A. Hughes.
1855, William Mallory.
1856-7, Albert W. Lounsbury.
1858, William Mallory.
1859, Wanen French.
1860-1, William N. Storrs.
1862-5, Henry W. Benedict.
1866-7, William N. Storrs.
1868, Sheldon Miles.
1869, William C. Sharpe.
1870-1, William N. Storrs.
1872, William W. Dibble.


1873, Samuel Butler.
1874, Charles N. Blanchard.
1875, Samuel Butler.
1876, Edward N. Botsford.
1877, Henry C. Rogers.
1878, Samuel Butler.
1879, George E. Stockwell.


A meeting was held according to proper notice at the house of Doct. Samuel Sanford, on the 20th of February, 1797, and an Episcopal Ecclesiastical Society was formed. The notice dated February 12, 1797, was served on thirty-nine persons, who were: Reuben Lum, James Manville, Nathan Mansfield, William Tucker, Benjamin Hawley, Russell Tomlinson, Martin Beebe, Enos G. Nettleton, Ephraim Wooster, Nathaniel Holbrook, Jeremiah Gillett, Josiah Nettleton, Philo Holbrook, Edward Hayes, Nathan Stiles, Wilson Hurd, William Church, Abel Church, John Griffin, Daniel Davis, Bowers Washband, Alexander Johnson, Timothy Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Charles French, Israel Bostwick, Moses Riggs and John White. These were professedly Episcopalians. The meeting was organized by the appointment of Benjamin Davis, moderator, and Samuel Sanford, clerk; and Joel Chatfield, Israel French and Jonathan Miles, society committee. As there had been a union of the parish of Great Hill with this new society, the united organization was called Union Church.

At this first meeting a committee was appointed consisting of Benjamin Davis, Edward Hayes, Nathaniel Johnson and John White, to furnish materials for the building of the church. A site was purchased of Leverett Pritchard for $60, on which it now stands, the deed being dated March 23, 1797. Early in the spring the corner-stone was laid by the Rev. Edward Blakeslee, then an assistant to the Rev. Dr. Mansfield of Derby, and during the summer the building was raised, and before winter entirely enclosed.

The inside finishing was delayed, and temporary seats made of slabs.

Of this church Dr. Mansfield of Derby was the first pastor, and his services as rector continued until about 1802, he preaching here one-third of the time, and receiving proportionate support from this society; and the parish continued to render him support until his death in 1820.


In 1802 the Union Bank was established with a capital of $2,000, paid by fifty-seven persons, for the purpose of supporting the ministry, but it proved a troublesome enterprise, and soon after 1811, the contributions were returned to the original owners. Various ministers supplied the church with services portions of the time some twenty years, among whom were Revs. Solomon Blakeslee, Calvin White, Ammi Rogers, Ambrose Todd, James Thompson, Aaron Humphreys, Chauncey Prindle. In 1817 the church was completed inside, and was consecrated September 2d of that year by the Right Rev. John Henry Hobart, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of New York.

A record-book is still preserved, the inscription to which reads: "Parish Records of Union Church, Humphreysville. Stephen Jewett, rector, 1822. On the next page he wrote: "December, 1821. Union Church, Humphreysville, I began to officiate statedly in this parish. On Easter week, 1822, I was regularly called and engaged for one-third of the time at a salary of $500 per annum, and my wood. Easter week, 1824, began to officiate one-half of my time at Humphreysville at the same salary. 1827 burying-ground fenced and church painted. 1828 bell purchased, cost, $6.17; ground in front of the church leveled." The salary mentioned ($500) must have been for the two parishes, Derby and Humphreysville. The bell cost $256.19, and the $6.17, was the cost of freight or something of that kind. In this book Mr. Jewett continued a careful record of baptisms, marriages and burials in Union Parish until 1834, when it ceased. If such a record had been kept by all the ministers of the parishes in old Derby, and preserved, a full genealogy of the families of the town could be given, which cannot now be done.

After the resignation of the Rev. Stephen Jewett in 1832, the Rev. Charles W. Bradlew was rector one year, followed by the Rev. John D. Smith, eleven years, who officiated in this church every Sunday the first five years, and the next two divided his time between this church and St. Peter's of Oxford, after which he confined his labors to this parish. Following the resignation of Rev. Mr. Smith in 1845, the Rev. John Purvis became rector, and continued thus two years; at which time the communicants of the parish numbered about one hundred. The Rev.


Abel Nichols officiated one year following Mr. Purvis, and after him the Rev. William F. Walker accepted the charge of the parish and continued until 185 1, when he removed to New York. From 1851 the Rev. Charles G. Acly officiated two years, and effected the canceling of the debt of $850; then the Rev. O. Evans Shannon became the rector, and in 1856 the name of the church was changed from Union to Trinity.

From this time efforts were made for extensive repairs on the church, which resulted in holding the last services in the old church July 5, 1857, and the consecration of one all new except the frame, by Right Rev. Bishop Williams, on the nth of May, 1858. Some debt remained, which, as usual, cost a great struggle, but was finally canceled.

Rev. Mr. Shannon resigned the rectorship June 1, 1866, having done a great and good work. A little before his resignation the parish purchased a house for a rectory at a cost of $2,500.

The next rector was the Rev. George Seabury, who commenced his services in January, 1867, and continued them until April 21, 1875; a successful term of labor of over eight years.

The present statistics of the parish are nearly as follows: families, 135; baptized members of the church, 410; communicants, 157.

On the 27th day of June, 1875, the steeple of the church was the third time struck by lightning, the damage amounting to about $50.

Of the sixty-three persons who contributed to defray the expenses of finishing the church in 1816, not one is now living.

During the first twenty-five years from the organization of the parish eight clergymen were employed for a specific length of time, and in the next fifty-three years, nine, four of whom had charge of the parish over forty-three years. On the 25th of September, 1875, the Rev. Edwin J. K. Lessel became rector of the parish. [History of Seymour, pp. 25-29.]



Mr. John W. Barber wrote thus of the place at the time he made the drawing [Historical Collections, 201.]:

Humphreysville, in Derby, in 1836

"The accompanying cut shows the appearance of Humphreysville as it is entered upon New Haven road. The Humphreysville Manufacturing Company was organized in 1810. The village is situated in a small valley of the Naugatuck, four and a half miles from its junction with the Ousatonic river at Derby

Landing. It is surrounded with lofty hills excepting the narrow valley through which the Naugatuck passes. The heights south of the village on the western side of the river are lofty, rocky and precipitous. The building seen in the central part of the engraving is the Humphrey sville Cotton Manufactory; it is four stories in height and about one hundred feet long. On the left of the print, on elevated ground, is the Episcopal Church; there are two other houses of worship in the place, one for Congregationalists and one for Methodists; the last two are situated on the heights a few rods south-east from the the centre of the village. Directly underneath the Episcopal Church is seen in the engraving a part of the Naugatuck river with the falls. At this place a ledge of rocks, about twenty feet in height, crosses the


river and forms a perfect dam about two-thirds tlie distance; the remaining third is closed by an artificial dam. This place was formerly known by the name of Rimmon Falls. There are 50 or 60 dwelling houses in the vicinity of the factories and three or four mercantile stores. Most of the dwelling houses are south of the cotton factory; only a few of them appear in the engraving. A small but beautiful grove of pines is situated at the southern extremity of the village, through which the buildings, which are mostly painted white, appear uncommonly beautiful as the village is approached from the south upon the river roads."


A council met on the 12th day of March, 1817, for the purpose of "organizing a church of Christ" in Seymour, "if it should seem to be best." They appointed the Rev. Zephaniah Swift, moderator, and the Rev. Nathaniel W. Taylor, scribe. The council consisted of the Rev. Nathaniel W. Taylor of the Centre Church, New Haven, the Rev. Samuel Merwin of the North Church, New Haven, the Rev. Bennett Tyler of South Britain, the Rev. Bela Kellogg of Franklin, Mass., and the Rev. Zephaniah Swift of Derby. Nine persons presented themselves before the council, producing letters of good standing from other churches, asking to be organized into a church; they were: Joel Beebe and his wife, Bradford Steele and his wife, Ira Smith and his wife, Lewis Holbrook, Hannah P. Johnson and Sally Wheeler. The decision of the body was that "the above named persons be and are hereby organized into a church in this village." This action shows that it was a new organization and not the revival of an old one, which fact throws great doubt upon the supposition that there had been a church previously organized at this place. A society had been established about twenty-eight years before, but a society is not a church among the Congregational people. The labors of the Rev. Benjamin Beach had continued in this place from 1787 to 1805, and from that time to 1812 the worshipers at this place attended other churches to some extent until the settlement of Rev. Zephaniah

* This account of this church is taken mostly from a sermon delivered by Rev. S. C. Leonard, July 9, 1876, as a historical discourse. See History of Seymour, by W. C. Sharpe.


Swift at Derby, in 1813, when he began to supply their pulpit a portion of the time; and, as the result of his labors, they were encouraged, brought together in the purpose to sustain the preaching of the gospel and organized into a church as just stated. The old meeting-house was still standing, and was fitted and used for worship. Of it Mrs. Sarah Jones, daughter of Bradford Steele of Erie, Penn., wrote some twenty-four years ago: "I well remember when it was done off (what doing off there was!). It was divided into pews. It was neither lathed nor plastered, and but poorly clapboarded. Many times have I brushed the snow off the seats before sitting down. Its exterior resembled a barn more than a church. Still it was beloved, and probably had as true worshipers in it as those of modern style."

During the vacancy of the pulpit of this church a new element had been introduced into the place, and Humphreysville, as it was then called, through the establishment of the Woolen Factory, had become an enterprising, growing, lively community; from which state of grace it has never really fallen.

Eighteen days after the church was organized, that is, on the 30th of March, 1817, the Rev. Mr. Swift being present, eighteen members were added to the church, and one of them, Mrs. Daniel White, was still living in 1876, and in her eighty-sixth year. Two months after the organization, the Rev. Bela Kellogg received other members, and a few months later still others were added, and thus quietly but steadily the number increased until at the end of the second year it numbered thirty-four members.

On the 22d of September, 1818, the old meeting-house was sold to the Methodist Church, and in due time, as it could, the new church built a meeting-house overlooking the river, on the eastern bank where the Congregational burying-ground is still to be seen. The church held its services in the Bell schoolhouse while building their new house of worship. The steeple to complete this edifice was built in 1829.

To this church the Rev. Zephaniah Swift ministered some years; giving one-fourth of his time by consent of the Derby church, some of the years, and receiving one-fourth of his salary from this congregation. This church owes much to him, a man


of Stately dignity of bearing, but with a warm heart within him, good, true and faithful; a man who made so powerful an impression on at least one who came under his influence, as to lead him to say that it would be joy enough for him, if he should ever reach heaven, to meet.Zephaniah Swift there.

The Rev. Bela Kellogg was not the pastor of this church, but ministered to it for a time, not long after its beginning.

The Rev. Ephraim G. Swift was pastor from 1825 to 1827. He died in August, 1858.

On the 11th day of May, 1828, the Rev. Amos Pettingil received to membership in the church several individuals, among whom were Isaac Sperry and his wife, Albert Carrington, Adaline and Emeline Sperry and Olive Merriman.

The name of the Rev. Charles Thomson appears first on the records under date of July 20, 1828, and he was installed pastor of the church in April 1830. He came from Dundaff, Penn., and labored about five years and was dismissed. He died in March, 1855.

The Rev. Rollin S. Stone preached for this church from June, 1833, to September, 1834, changing pulpits with Rev. Z. Swift half tl;ie time. Following him the Rev. John E. Bray ministered to the church about seven years and a half, from September, 1834, to April, 1842.

On the 23d of June, 1843, the Rev. William B. Curtiss was called to be the pastor, and he continued his effective work six years, until October, 1849. During this period the present church of this denomination was built, being located in the valley below the Falls, and Mr. Curtiss occupied its pulpit about two years.

Four years and nine days after this house was dedicated, on the 29th of April, 1851, it was opened for the first installation ever held in it. On that day the Rev. E. B. Chamberlin was constituted pastor of the church and society; the installation sermon being preached by the Rev. Fosdick Harrison of Bethany. He was dismissed on account of ill health. May 20, 1852.

The Rev. J. L. Willard commenced his ministry here, September 1, 1852, and continued until May 1, 1855, and was soon after settled at Westville, Conn., where he remains an efficient and successful minister.


About this time the village suffered the loss of a heavy manufacturing industry which necessitated the removal of about thirty families, connected with this congregation, from the place, and this resulted in great discouragement to those who remained. In the midst of this despondency a young man, a graduate of Amherst College, on passing through the place, was induced to engage in the work of supplying the pulpit. This young man was Henry D. Northrop, and an unusual revival was the result of his labors. He labored from August, 1857, nearly through the year 1858.

The ministry here of the Rev. E. C. Baldwin was of a year in length, to May, 1860, and that of the Rev. Sylvester Hine, following, of about the same length.

The Rev. J. L. Mills, now professor in Marietta College, Ohio, preached here two years; the Rev. George A. Uickerman, one year; and the Rev. A. J. Quick, nearly two years and a half.

On the 22d of May, 1868, Allen Clark was ordained in this church as an evangelist, and he ministered to it about one year with much success, the church being largely increased in its membership. Mr. H. P. Collin followed Mr. Clark, being also ordained as an evangelist, and his labors were accompanied with a goodly number of additions to the church. Rev. J. W. Fitch supplied the pulpit about one year, closing in the spring of 1872, and he was followed by the Rev. William J. Thomson, whose labors continued nearly two years, closing October, 1874.

The ministry of the Rev. S. C. Leonard commenced on the 15th of November, 1874, and continued until the summer of 1879, when he removed to supply the pulpit of the Congregational Church at Naugatuck, five miles up the river. His labors were quite successful, and his labors and life highly commended in the community. His historical sermon, as given in the "History of Seymour," is very pleasant reading, and a valuable contribution to the memory of a faithful, toiling people of the past and present age.

It is said that the first deacon of the earliest church in this place was Timothy Baldwin of Derby; if so then there must have been a church organization which he was to serve as deacon, although no records have been seen or heard of confirming the supposition. When the church was organized in 1817 the


two chosen to this service were Bradford Steele and Nehemiah Botsford, and they continued to serve in that office until nearly the close of life. Deacon Steele, in September, 1840, a little more than a year before his death, asked to be released from further official duties, because of his age and infirmities, which was granted. Deacon Botsford made a similar request a little before, which had been granted.

In 1776 Bradford Steele "was a boy of not quite fifteen years of age, and hence was not quite sixteen when he enlisted in the army which represented the cause of freedom. Terrible scenes he passed through, for the memory of one certain day lived with great vividness to the end of his life. It was the 22d day of August, 1777, when he was taken prisoner and treated with a cruelty which was merciless, his very appearance becoming so changed by what he endured in a short time, that his father, when he met him, did not know him. He died in peace, December 23, 1841, at the age of 80.

The church seldom has a firmer friend than Deacon Kinney, some time since deceased. It was from a gift made by him that the society now possesses its convenient parsonage.

The names ascertained of those who have served as deacons are as follows: Capt. Timothy Baldwin, appointed in 1789; Bradford Steele and Nehemiah Botsford, in 1817; Sheldon Kinney and Alfred Hull, 1840; Andrew W. De Forest, 1844; William Kinney, Miles Culver and J. L. Spencer, 1853; W. M. Tuttle, 1858; Charles Bradley (date not known); David Johnson and Levi Lounsbury, 1865; Joshua Kendall, 1868.

The Sunday-school in connection with this church can be traced as far back as the year 1828. The names of those who have served as superintendents, as far as ascertained are: Joel White, George F. De Forest, Andrew De Forest, Sharon Y. Beach, W. M. Tuttle, P. B. Buckingham, George E. Lester, Robert C. Bell, Theodore S. Ladd, Andrew Y. Beach and James Swan.

In less than two months after the church was organized, at a meeting when its first deacons were chosen (May 9, 1817), a librarian for the village church library was appointed, and another committee was appointed to select books.

This church has raised up for service in the great field of


Christian labor, one minister and one missionary. The minister is the Rev. Ira Smith; and the missionary, the Rev. H. A. De Forest of the class of 1832, Yale, who went to Syria, returned with the seeds of fatal disease, and soon ended his work on earth.

The Rev. Robert C. Bell, now the efficient pastor of the Cono-regational Church at Darien in this state, was for a time a member of this church, and comes here to the family home.


In May, 1822, the Humphreysville Manufacturing Company was re-organized with $50,000 capital, and the General Humphreys mill property purchased by it; John H. De Forest being president, and J. Fisher Learning, secretary.

Among the persons induced by General Humphreys to come to America was Thomas Gilyard, son of Edmund and Nancy Gilyard, born in Leeds, England, March 20, 1786, who came to New York in the "Commerce," in the summer of 1807, having had a very fine passage of forty-five days. He immediately commenced work for General Humphreys's Company and continued until March 28, 1810, in the manufacture of cloths, when he learned and engaged in the making of stockings, a new department in the mills. Mr. Gilyard was an active man in the Methodist Church, and his descendants still reside in the community. While General Humphreys was organizing his company of young operatives in the factory, and drilling them in soldierly tactics for their entertainment and elevation, Lady Humphreys, wife of the General, made an elegant silk flag, beautifully embroidered by herself, for the company, and which is still preserved, with its inscription, as follows:

"Humphreysville, Fam Nova Progenes, Perseuerando Pacta Semper Seruanda, MDCCCX."

This shows that the enterprise had attained to good working order and numbers at that date, 1810, and from that time until 1814 the village was lively and prosperous, a variety of manufacturing enterprises being conducted in the village and its vicinity on Little river and Bladen's brook. After the date mentioned the influx of foreign goods almost put an end to American manufacturing, and Humphreysville suffered with all other


places, but upon the organization of the new company in 1822, it took a fresh start and made slow but steady progress until 1837, when political times severely affected the whole country, or a crisis in the country affected politics. The new company rebuilt the dam, widened the water-course to the mill, and constructed the machinery into a cotton mill, by which name it was known many years. There was then one store in the valley and one on the hill near the Episcopal Church. Mr. De Forest lived at first in the Roth house, on the west side of Main street, opposite Pearl, until he built the house now occupied by Raymond French, Esq., in which he resided until his death.

The shop in the fork of the road near the M. E. Church was built in 1825 by Newel Johnson; Isaac Kinney and Jesse Smith owning a portion of the building, which was used as a carpenter and cabinet shop.

In 1828 Samuel R. Hickox, a local preacher from Southbury, settled in the place and took charge of the grist-mill near the Falls. About this time Judson English came from Hotchkisstown, now Westville, and bought the tannery on the premises now owned by Arthur Eider, previously run by Mr. Benham; the bark-mill being further south on the brook just below the railroad crossing. About ten years later Mr. English Sold this property to George Kirtland and removed to Great Hill.

In 1830 Leverett Pritchard was living on the knoll opposite the saw-mill still standing near the upper end of Maple street; having previous to this resided in the house in the rear of Doct. J. Kendall's.

Chester Jones, a paper-maker, built the north "Kirtland house" and kept a store in it. He afterward removed to Ohio, returning in a year or two, and was for several years superintendent of the Humphreysville Manufacturing Company's paper mill, residing in the house close by it. His wife was the daughter of Dea. Bradford Steele. He afterwards removed to Erie. Penn., where he died. Ezekiel Gilbert, having kept store for a time at Squantuck, came to Humphreysville about this time and kept the tavern on Broad street nearly two years, when he built the store now occupied by H. W. Randall.

Such were the beginnings of the enterprises in the village of Humphreysville, a place that is now alive with machinery and


manufacturing ability and appliances, and is capable of becoming much greater than it now is by the development of its water-powers.

One hundred years of manufacturing enterprises have made great changes in the place, but not as many as have been made in Birmingham and Ansonia in fifty years.


The Humphreysville Manufacturing Company, organized in 1810, produced first woolen cloths, then cotton goods, and in 1831 commenced making paper, first with four employes, but increased the number within a month to sixteen. In 1843 this paper-mill passed into the hands of Hodge & Company; the firm consisting of G. L. Hodge, S. Y. Beach and Samuel Roselle; and in 1845 William Buftum purchased the cotton mill and continued its proprietor a few months. In 1850 Sharon Y. Beach bought the claims of the other two proprietors in the paper-mill and removed it to Blue street, where it still remains.

Great have been the changes between that day and the present. The whole territory is filled with buildings and immense manufacturing establishments, a full account of which may be found in Mr. Wm. C. Sharpe's "History of Seymour and Vicinity," a book which is of great value because of the many facts collected and recorded in it. Every family in the town should carefully preserve a copy of it.

In 1851 the capital stock of the Humphreysville Manufacturing Company was estimated at $300,000, and the estimate approved by a committee of the Legislature. In 1859 the stock was reduced to $150,000 by the distribution of property to the stockholders.

The Eagle Manufacturing Company was organized June 27, 1850, with a stock of $50,000, for the manufacture of silk goods, wool and cotton; George Rice being the first president. In 1852 the stock was increased to $100,000; George F. De Forest, president. In 1855 George P. Shelton was president and Harrison Tomlinson, secretary.

In 1852 George P. Shelton, Raymond French, Philo Holbrook, Henry S. Mygatt, Sheldon Kinney, George F. De For-


est, Harrison Tomlinson, John W. Dwight, John Clark and Sylvester Smith were incorporated under the title of the Seymour Savings Bank.

The Union Mercantile Company was established in 1852 with a capital of $4,000. B. W. Smith was the first president, and John J. Rider the second. The store was in the building on the north side of Broad street at the west end of the Naugatuck bridge.

Falls of the Naugatuck at Seymour, 1857

The American Car Company was organized in the spring of 1852 with a stock of $150,000, which amount was increased before the end of the year to $200,000. Five large shops, for the building of railroad cars, were erected, and a large business transacted until the business was removed West. President, J. H. Lyman; directors, Timothy Dwight, J. W. Dwight, Raymond French and others.


The Upson Manufacturing Company was organized in 1852 by Hiram Upson, Horace A. Bradford and Lucius Tuttle, for the manufacture of augers, bits and the like instruments. The business was conducted where the Douglass Manufacturinsr Company's lower shop now stands at the mouth of Little river. The shop was built in 1837, by Timothy D wight, son of President Dwight, and by his heirs sold to H. A. Bradford, and by him to Charles Douglass in 1859.

The Humphreysville Copper Company was organized in 1847 with a capital stock of $40,000; J. W. Dwight, president; Raymond French, Harrison Tomlinson, George Rice, Sheldon Kinney, directors. In 1852 the capital was increased to $200,000, the buildings greatly enlarged and the business increased. In addition to their works in Seymour they established a mill and wharf in East Haven. In 1854 the stock was increased to $390,000, but soon after the liabilities became great and complications ensued. In 1855 a new company was organized, the stock being placed at $750,000 with liberty to increase to $1,000,000. The persons named in the act of incorporation were: John W. Dwight, William Cornwall, George F. De Forest, Henry Bronson, Charles Durand, Sheldon Kinney, Samuel K. Satterlee, Geo. R. A. Ricketts, Henchman S. Soule.

The New Haven Copper Company was organized November 21, 1855, with a capital of $400,000; John W. Dwight, president; Geo. R. A. Ricketts, secretary. After various changes the company was re-organized in 1872, the stock being owned by Lazarus Lissberger, president, Samuel Holmes, Thomas James, Franklin Farrell, and under this management it is one of the heaviest and most reliable industries of the town.


He is successor to the Douglass Manufacturing Company, established in 1856; manufacturer of augers, auger bits, gimlets, hollow augers, expanding Bits, patent auger handles, boring machines, chisels, gauges, drawing-knives, screw-drivers, reamers, etc.

Swan's Mills

In addition to the foregoing, the following are some of the present business enterprises of Seymour:

Humphreysville Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of


augers, auger bits, etc. Proprietors, George H. Robinson, David R. Cook, Norman Sperry, Marcus Sperry.

H. B. Beecher, successor to French, Swift & Co., established in 1847; manufacturer of augers, auger bits, hollow augers, etc.

The Fowler Nail Company, manufacturers of vulcan horseshoe nails. Carlos French, president; Lewis H. Bristol, secretary.

United States Pin Company; Henry I,. Hotchkiss, president; Lewis Bristol, secretary; Carlos French, treasurer.

Henry P. and E. Day, manufacturers of rubber pen-holders, propelling pencils, surgical appliances, etc.

Carlos French, manufacturer of car springs.

W. W. Smith, manufacturer of manilla paper.

Raymond French, manufacturer of plain and steel-plated oxshoes.

Austin G. Day, manufacturer of sub-marine telegraph cable.

Garrett and Beach, manufacturers of German gimlet bits, cast steel reamers and screw-driver bits. Lewis L. Garrett and Samuel Beach.

The Seymour Record, a weekly newspaper, published every Thursday, at the Seymour Printing Office. William C. Sharpe, editor and publisher, and author of the "History of Seymour and Vicinity," a work from which has been taken a large part


of the account here given of the business enterprises of the place.


MORNING STAR LODGE, No. 47, of Free and Accepted Masons, has reached the age of seventy-six years. It was continued under a charter from the M. W. Stephen Titus Hosmer, Esq., Grand Master for. Connecticut, bearing date October 18, 1804. The petitioners to whom the charter was granted were Adam Lum, Veren Dike, Silas Sperry, George W. Thomas, Benjamin Candee, Lewis Wakelee, E. C. Candee, Joel Fitch, Arnold Loveland, William Hurd, William Bronson, Daniel Candee, Abel Wheeler, Samuel Riggs, William Morris, Levi Candee, Nathan Davis, Charles Monson, Jessie Scott, Moses Candee, "Brethren of the Honorable Society of Masons residing in the town of Oxford."

Abel Wheeler is named in the charter as first master, Levi Candee as senior warden and William Morris as junior warden.

The lodge met in Masonic Hall, Oxford, until 1844, when owing to decreased numbers from removals and other causes, the sessions were suspended. It was reorganized May 14, 1851, with George B. Glendining as master, David J. McEwen senior warden, and Alfred French junior warden, and removed to Seymour. E. G. Storer was then grand secretary. Since then the lodge has prospered, its total membership having amounted to about 375.

MECHANIC'S LODGE, No. 73, I. O. O. F., was instituted May 27, 1851; the charter members being Horace A. Bradford, Martin Kelly, Daniel J. Putnam, Julius Bassett, John Hilton, H. P. Davi.s, John Scott, Charles Newton, John L. Hartson, W. W. White, John Davis, J. A. Stevens, W. J. Merrick.

HUMPHREY LODGE, No. 26, Knights of Pythias, was instituted February 8, 1871, the charter members being S. H. Canfield, W. G. Mitchell, George Rogers, F. M. Lum, C. W. James, W. N. Storrs, S. C. Tucker, Charles French, M. R. Castle, F. H. Beecher, V. H. McEwen, George Smith, D. C. Castle.

UPSON POST, No. 40, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized in 1873. William S. Cooper, post commander; Joseph Ineson, adjutant. It was reorganized February 16, 1876.


THE FRIENDLY SONS OF ST. PATRICK is composed of members of Irish birth and their descendants without regard to religion or politics. It was organized at Strapp's Hall, November 2, 1872, by the following named persons: William Hayes, Dennis O'Callaghan, Matthias Bunyan, Francis McMorrow, Charles McCarthy, Michael Regan, Patrick Mahoney, Daniel Mahoney, William Mahoney, Jeremiah Driscol, John Coleman, John Bradley, Timothy O'Brien, Peter Sullivan, Edward Strapp, William Colbert.

History of the Old Town of Derby - End of Part 10

Introduction    Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4    Part 5    Part 6    Part 7    Part 8   
Part 9    Part 10    Part 11    Part 12    Part 13    Part 14    Part 15    Part 16    Part 17   

USGenWeb City of Derby CT Home Page & Search