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Biography of Dr. Ezra Walker

Doctor Ezra Walker, the first resident physician of Ames township, was born December 9, 1776, at Killingly, Connecticut, in which state he studied his profession, and practiced for some years. Removing from Connecticut he settled in Poultney, Vermont, about the year 1800, and from thence migrated with his family to Marietta, in the autumn of 18 to. He remained on the Muskingum till the spring of 1811, when he came with his family, consisting of wife and seven children, into Ames township, and immediately resumed the practice of medicine. He pursued a general practice for more than twenty years, and, in a few families who would never excuse him, he continued to practice for almost forty years, or till near the close of his life. When he began to practice medicine in the county, and for many years later, what with bad roads or no roads at all, absence of bridges, sparse and scattered settlements, etc., his long rides, frequently of fifteen or twenty miles, were always attended with difficulties and sometimes with dangers. In one instance he had to cross the country from where the present town of Plymouth, Washington county, is situated, to another settlement at Barrows’ mill, in Rome township, which took him till far in the evening, when he found himself followed by wolves. As their numbers increased the animals were emboldened to contract their circle around him, till he was obliged to climb into a tree for safety; and there he spent the night, keeping a sharp lookout for his horse beneath, and trying to frighten away the wolves, by beating with a club...

Biographical Sketch of Henry Westcott

James Westcott, the grandfather of Henry Westcott, familiarly known as the ” Captain,” was born March 5th, 1740, and married Martha Tillinghast. Their son Joseph, whose birth occurred April 9th, 1779, in Glocester, Rhode Island, married Esther Richmond of the same town. The children of this union were: Henry; Almira, wife of Jude Sabin; Elizabeth, married to James Wood; and David. Henry, the eldest son, was born April 18th, 1801, in Glocester, and in early childhood removed to East Killingly, where the primitive schools of the day afforded him a beginning for that practical education which was chiefly the growth of experience and observation. In early years a farmer, he afterward identified himself with the commercial interests of East Killingly, and was associated with Thomas Pray as a manufacturer, under the firm name of Westcott & Pray. They built the Ross mill and the Whitestone mill, conducted an extensive business, and were regarded as among the most prosperous owners of mill property in the county. Mr. Westcott’s marked ability, keen discrimination and indomitable perseverance won for him an enviable reputation in financial circles, and carried him safely through many a crisis where a less resolute man would have faltered. In his business relations he enjoyed a record for integrity and generous dealing, while his genial nature made all transactions a matter of pleasure to others. On’ disposing of his interest at East Killingly, he retired to Danielsonville, his residence at the date of his death, on the 5th of June, 1878. Mr. Westcott was an active and honored member of the Baptist church, and contributed with liberality toward the...

Biographical Sketch of Almond M. Paine

Benjamin Paine, the grandfather of Judge Almond M. Paine, was a successful farmer in Glocester, R. I. By his marriage to Phebe Aldrich were born a numerous family of children. The birth of his son, Ransom Paine, occurred December 13th, 1787, and his death on the 15th of January, 1854, in Glocester, where he followed the trade of a wheelwright, and spent the latter years of his life as a farmer. He married Phebe, daughter of Thomas Smith, of the same town, who was born June 12th, 1794, and died March 12th, 1860. Their children are: Almond M., Mary Ann, wife of James M. Adams; Emily, married to Elijah Mann; Adaline M., who died in infancy, and James A. The eldest son, and subject of this biography, was born September 15th, 1820, in Glocester, and received an academic education. At the early age of fifteen he engaged in teaching, and for nine successive years the winters found him at the teacher’s desk, while the healthful employments of the farm engaged his attention during the summer months. In 1846 he removed to Sterling, and four years later made East Killingly his home. Here he embarked in trade as a country merchant, and continued a successful business until his retirement, since which date his time has been largely devoted to the management of his private interests, and to the public service. As a republican he for several years filled the office of Justice of the peace, and was repeatedly elected assessor of his town. In 1857 he was made judge of probate and served four years, having also, during a brief...

Biographical Sketch of Thomas J. Evans

Thomas J. Evans, who was born May 17th, 1826, in Brooklyn, Connecticut, is the son of Elijah Evans, and the grandson of Elisha Evans. His active career was begun at the age of seventeen, as a teacher in Killingly, where he continued for ten successive years, his last term at Dayville having closed with an interesting exhibition, the proceeds of which aided greatly in the purchase of a library and other school supplies. For five years he was engaged in the clothing business in the above village, and his capital was afterward invested in a livery stable which he successfully managed for nine years at the same point. In the year 1878 Mr. Evans erected a substantial brick block in Danielsonville, and the following year made that place his residence. His political connections were with the republican party, which he frequently represented in the various county and town offices. He was for sixteen years a member of the board of education, for five years assessor, three years town clerk, and judge of probate from 1872 to 1886. He was also warden of the borough and a member of the court of burgesses. For two years he was president of the Windham County Agricultural Society and four years its treasurer. Mr. Evans was married in 1850 to Miss Eliza Kennedy. His death occurred in...

Biography of Henry N. Clemons

Henry N. Clemons, cashier of the First National Bank of Killingly, was born in Granby, Conn., son of Allen and Catharine Clemons. He was educated in the district school, the Granby Academy, the Suffield Literary Institution and the Williston Seminary, East Hampton, Mass. He began teaching at sixteen years of age, and taught in Hartland, Granby and Hartford. Conn., and Woonsocket and Central Falls, R. I. He was for a while in the office of the commissioner of the school fund in Hartford, Conn. In 1844 he commenced railroading on the New Haven & Northampton road, with the engineer corps. He served as station agent at Farmington and Collinsville, Conn., and was assistant postmaster at the latter place; then ticket agent of the Providence & Worcester road at Providence. In 1855 he commenced banking, as clerk in the Arcade Bank, at Providence, and in 1856 became teller of the Merchants’ Bank, then the redeeming bank for Rhode Island, in the old Suffolk system. In June, 1864, he was elected cashier of the First National Bank of Killingly, Conn., then just organized, which office he now holds, after more than twenty-five years’ service, a period longer than any other cashier in eastern Connecticut. The capital of the bank is $110,000. With its July dividend, 1889, it had paid back to its stockholders $226,600 in dividends. In August, 1864, he was elected treasurer of the Windham County Savings Bank, and organized the bank, and held that position till 1875. Under his treasurership the bank’s deposits reached $1,300,000. It was the first savings bank in eastern Connecticut to allow interest to commence...

Biographical Sketch of William A. Atwood

Mr. Atwood was one of the most prominent figures in the industrial interests of Killingly. His grandparents were Kimball and Selinda Colgrove Atwood. His father was John Atwood, who married Julia A. Battey. Their son, William Allen, was born August 4th, 1833, in Williamsville, in the town of Killingly, and received more than an elementary education. First entering the Danielsonville High School, he continued his studies at the Scituate Seminary in Rhode Island, and at Wilbraham, Mass., completing his academic education at Middleboro, Mass. He early entered the Williamsville mills, then under the superintendence of his father, and having made himself familiar with their practical workings, soon bore a conspicuous part in the management of the business. The failing health of his father threw much of the responsibility upon his son, and on the death of the former in 1865, the entire direction of this important manufacturing interest was placed in his hands. Under his watchful eye the business made rapid advancement, and at the date of his death, on the 26th of June, 1881, in New York city, had attained a high degree of prosperity. Mr. Atwood was married October 4th, 1855, to Caroline A., daughter of Robert K. and Helen Brown Hargraves. Their four children are: Henry Clinton; Bradford Allen, who died in infancy; Mary Elizabeth, deceased, wife of G. W. Lynn, and William Edwin. Both the sons are interested in the WilliamsVille Manufacturing Company, Henry Clinton being the super.. intendent, assistant treasurer and secretary. Mr. Atwood was also a stockholder in the large mills at Taftville, and a director of the First National Bank of Killingly....

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