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Biography of William Irving Bartholomew

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William Bartholomew, second generation in America (see record of Bartholomew family), born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1640-41, was united in marriage to Mary Johnson. Their son, Joseph, a native of Branford.

Connecticut, where he was born in 1682, married Elizabeth Sanger, of Woodstock. Benjamin`, a son by this union, born in Woodstock June 23d, 1723, married Martha Carpenter, one of whose children was Leonard, born in Woodstock in 1758, and married to Sarah Perrin, of Pomfret. Their three children were William6, Margaret and Mary. The birth of William Bartholomew occurred in Woodstock on the 23d of June, 1797. He was in 1820 married to Abigail G. Buck, of Killingly. Their children are: Edward Leonard, Simon, Annis Buck and William irving.

The last named and youngest of these children was born February 7th, 1831, in Pomfret, on the homestead farm, where he still resides. Like the farmers’ sons of that day he had no advantages other than those offered by the common schools, with two or more terms at a neighboring academy. The twelve succeeding years were spent mainly in teaching, after which this calling was abandoned for the congenial labor connected with the management of his attractive ” Locust Hill Farm.” The attention of Mr. Bartholomew was early called to the science of chemistry as applied to agriculture, and the analysis of soils and the food of plants was made by him a special study. The knowledge thus gained very soon established him as a local authority on all matters connected with that subject. He ardently embraced the idea of discovering the ingredients of soils and the needs of crops by the use of chemical fertilizers, and soon became a careful student of these subjects. He instituted, under the auspices of the state, a series of experiments each year for several years, to verify the truth or fallacy of prevailing theories. Some of these experiments have occupied considerable space in the reports of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and other periodicals. An eminent authority alluded to them ” as decidedly the most valuable ever made to his knowledge in this country.” They were translated into German and appeared in the station reports of that country. Mr. Bartholomew has always taken a prominent part in the Pomfret and Woodstock Farmers’ Clubs over which he has presided, and in the various agricultural societies of the county. He has frequently been called to address farmers in different parts of the state on subjects pertaining to agriculture. He was in 1887 appointed a member of the State Board of Agriculture.

He has not only been a close student, but an active citizen in matters pertaining to his town. He has for years been a justice of the peace and selectman, and as a republican represented his constituents in the Connecticut house of representatives for two years. He early became a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of West Thompson. Mr. Bartholomew on the 29th of April, 1858, married Mary J., daughter of Joseph S. Hassard, of Putnam. Their children are: Ada Louise, wife of Arthur H. Strahan; Anne H., married to David Chase; Abby Alice, and Mary Maud.


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