Place, William Bryant

     William Bryant Place is living on a farm of sixty-five acres at Northford but has practically retired from active business. For sixteen years he was foreman for the Winchester Cartridge Company and was for a long period superintendent of the Peters Cartridge Company in Ohio, but returned to Connecticut and since 1908 has resided at his present place in Northford, giving general supervision to the farm work in order to be out of doors. He has passed the seventy-sixth milestone on life's journey, his birth having occurred in Stamford, New York. January 21, 1841, his parents being Welcome F. and Louise (Tucker) Place. The father was born in Stamford, New York, where he learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed for many years at Stamford and subsequently at Pleasant Valley, New York. There his wile died and he afterward retired from active business, taking up his abode in the home of his daughter of Stevenson, near what is now Derby, Connecticut, and there he passed away. To him and his wife were born seven children, five of whom are living: William Bryant; George F., a resident of Buffalo, New York; Emma, the wife of James H. Wheeler, of Stevenson, Connecticut: Joshua; and Temperance, who is living in Syracuse. New York.
     William B, Place, after acquiring his education at Pleasant Valley, New York, devoted some attention to farm work and was also employed in a cotton factory at Pleasant Valley in his young manhood. He then began learning the trade of a machinist in the works of the Sedgwick Machine Company at Poughkeepsie, New York, but while thus engaged he put aside all business and personal considerations in order to respond to the country's call for troops, enlisting as a member of Company C. One Hundred and Fiftieth New York Volunteer Infantry, in 1861. He later joined Company F of the Sixtieth New York Volunteer Infantry, with which he served throughout the Civil war. He first joined the army on the outbreak of hostilities between the north and the south, and continued at the front until victory crowned the Union arms, receiving an honorable discharge at Ogdensburg, New York. He participated in many hotly contested engagements, including the battle of Gettysburg. When the war was over Mr. Place returned to Poughkeepsie and again entered the employ of the Sedgwick Machine Company, with which he remained until 1867, when he went to New Haven, where he was superintendent of machinery in the paper shell department of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company for sixteen years. He resigned that position to become superintendent of the American Buckle & Cartridge Company at West Haven, where he remained for three years. The company then sold out to the combine and Mr. Place became superintendent of the Peters Cartridge Company, which was then organized, a plant being built at Kings Mills. Ohio. He continued at that location as superintendent until his health failed and he resigned. In 1906 he returned to West Haven, Connecticut, but his health continued poor and in 1908, in order to live in the country, he bought his present farm, a highly improved place of sixty five acres in Northford, on the state road. Here he makes his home, performing such tasks as he feels inclined to undertake, while his son operates the farm.
     On the 15th of April, 1865, Mr. Place was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Emeline Free, of Stamford, New York. She was born in Schultzville, Dutchess county, New York, within six miles of the birthplace of her husband, and is a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Sleight) Free, the former a native of England and the latter of Dutchess county, New York. To Mr. and Mrs. Place were born seven children, four of whom are living. Annie, born in Poughkeepsie, New York, is the wife of Samuel C. Deming, a grocer of New Haven, and they have one child, William H. Louise, born in Poughkeepsie, is the wife of William E. Waterbury, a grocer of New Haven, and they have two children, Iva L. and Edmund P. Fred B., born in New Haven, married Elizabeth Newcomb and has one child, Harold B., Kate May, born in New Haven, is the wife of James Harry Comstock, a grocer of West Haven, Connecticut. One of the brothers of Mrs. Place served in the same company during the Civil war as her husband.
     In his political views Mr. Place has always been a strong advocate of democratic principles and has given unfaltering support to the party. He served as selectman of North Branford and also as a member of the school board and has ever been interested in progress and development along all those lines that have to do with progressive citizenship. He be-came a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Kings Mills, Ohio, and was also a member of the Masonic fraternity at Lebanon, Ohio, but is not active in those organizations at the present time. His has been a busy and useful life and it is well that in the evening of his days he has the leisure which is now his—the reward of his industry and perseverance.

Modern History of New Haven
Eastern New Haven County


Volume II

New York – Chicago
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 

pgs 378 - 379

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pages / text are copyrighted by
Elaine Kidd O'Leary & 
Anne Taylor-Czaplewski
May 2002