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Biography of James W. and Elisha S. Converse

The descent of the Converse family, of Thompson, from Roger de Coigneries, one of the trusted chieftains of William the Conqueror, has been elsewhere given in this volume, and need not be repeated here.. The first member of the family to emigrate from England to America was Deacon Edward Convers, who settled in Woburn, Mass. His grandson, Samuel Convers, in 1710 removed to, Thompson parish, then Killingly, and became the progenitor of all branches of the family who bear the name, in Thompson. In the line of descent was Edward Convers, whose son Jonathan was the father of Deacon Jonathan Converse (the orthography of the name having been at this time changed), who resided in Thompson. His son, Elisha Converse, born in 1786, married, in 1807 Betsey, daughter of Deacon James Wheaton, of the same town. Their sons, James W. and Elisha Slade Converse, are the subjects of this biography. James W. Converse was born in Thompson, Windham county, Conn., January 11th, 1808, and in early youth removed with his parents successively to Woodstock, in the same county, to Dover and Needham, Mass. In 1821, while yet a mere lad, he started for Boston, a poor boy, and there began an eventful, useful and very successful career. He obtained employment with his uncles, Joseph and Benjamin Converse, who afterward assisted him to begin business in the Boylston Market. In 1832 he formed a co-partnership with William Hardwick, for the purpose of conducting the boot, shoe and leather business in Boston. One year later he joined Isaac Field in the hide and leather trade. Later he became a partner of...

Biography of Chandler A. Spalding

Obed Spalding married Margaret Ames. Their son, Eleazer Spalding, married Sarah Parks and resided in Killingly, now Putnam, where he owned a farm, and also during the winter months engaged in teaching. He had two children, a son, Chandler A., and a daughter, Mary Ann, wife of George W. Keith. Chandler A. Spalding was born April 24th, 1810, on the farm in Killingly, and in the residence occupied by him during his lifetime. Having the misfortune to lose his father when but twelve years of age, he began active labor at the age of fourteen, and such was his aptitude and judgment, that soon after, with his mother, he conducted the farm. He received a common English education at the district school, but was too much engrossed with the responsible duties thus early thrown upon him to afford much time for study. On the 11th of February, 1835, he married Charity Gilbert, of Pomfret, whose children are: Caroline C., Albert, Emily, Loren and Charles, all now deceased. Mrs. Spalding’s death occurred January 4th, 1861. Mr. Spalding having already owned one-third of the estate, on his marriage purchased the remaining two-thirds from his mother and sister, thus becoming sole owner of the homestead farm, on which he settled. He married a second time January 27th, 1862, Emily, daughter of Wareham Williams, of Pomfret, who survives him. Mr. Spalding was in politics a republican, but not ambitious for office, and filled no other positions than those which enabled him to be of service to his native town. He was one of the incorporators and a director of the Putnam National Bank....

Biography of Ezra Dean

Ezra Dean was born in Killingly, Connecticut, on the 31st of August, 1813, and when twelve years of age, on the death of his father, came to Woodstock to reside with an uncle, who was then engaged in the business of a tanner and currier. He attended the nearest school for one or more years and then entered the tannery, with the intention of learning the trade. On the death of his relative he purchased the tannery, in connection with a small farm, and there resided until his death, December 7th, 1871. Mr. Dean evinced much ability and forethought in the management of his business, and soon established it on a firm and successful basis. He was a liberal and public spirited citizen, contributing his means and lending his influence to most of the worthy objects that appealed to his generosity. He was faithful in discharge of both public and private trusts, making integrity and probity ruling principles in his life. He was one of the foremost contributors to Woodstock Academy, and to many other worthy projects. Mr. Dean represented his town in the state house of representatives in 1850, and was elected to the senate for the years 1852 and 1853. Iii 1861 he filled the office of state treasurer. He was appointed by President Lincoln collector of internal revenue in 1864, and the following year voluntarily resigned the office on account of failing health. He was again elected to the legislature in 1869. He was also a director of the First National Bank, of Putnam. Mr. Dean, on the 13th of December, 1837, married Pamelia B., daughter...

Biography of Stephen Oliver Bowen

Stephen and Rebecca Bowen were the grandparents of the subject of this biography. His parents were Oliver and Betsey Bowen, the former having removed to Eastford in 1822, where he resided until his death, in 1879. He was during his active life a successful farmer and produce dealer. His wife survived him and is still a resident of Eastford. Their son, Stephen O. Bowen, was born in Eastford, April 8th, 1840. He received an elementary education, and afterward spent a season at the State Normal school, pursuing his studies with a view to proficiency as a teacher. The succeeding ten or more winters were devoted to teaching, the summer months being given to farming and dealing in live stock. Though most of his life a successful farmer, he was for some time engaged in trade, and has been for several years an extensive dealer in and shipper of horses. By honest dealing and strict integrity he has established an enviable reputation in this department of traffic, and won a large and increasing patronage. Mr. Bowen has been active in all the public measures affecting his town, and one of its prominent political factors. Reared in the Jeffersonian school of democracy, he has ever been a steadfast exponent of its principles. He was a delegate to the national democratic convention, held at St. Louis in 1888, and for several years the popular candidate of the party for representative in the state legislature, against a heavy majority. To this office he was elected in 1876, during which session he served on the school fund committee. He has filled nearly all the...

Biography of Edward Aldrich

Edward Aldrich, the grandfather of the subject of this biography, resided on the homestead farm in Thompson. His son Easick, a native of Douglas, spent the chief portion of his life in Thompson. He married Miriam Howland, of Burrillville, R. I., whose children were: Elizabeth, Edward, John, Viletta and Eddy. Edward Aldrich, the eldest of these sons, was born on the 25th of July, 1808, in Thompson, where he became a pupil of the neighboring school and afterward pursued his studies for one or more terms at Dudley, Mass. His education was, however, more the result of judicious reading and of habits of reflection, than of training under masters, and he may therefore be spoken of as self-taught. His father having purchased a farm in Thompson, Mr. Aldrich devoted his life to agriculture until 1870. when failing health compelled a cessation from active labor. He then retired to the residence in Woodstock which is the present home of Mrs. Aldrich. He was for many years engaged in the purchase and sale of stock, which transactions were conducted with much success. An early whig and later a republican, he served many terms as selectman, was for a long period justice of the peace, and frequently represented his town in the legislature. During the late war he was a loyal and zealous supporter of the government. Mr. Aldrich was a man of excellent judgment and undoubted integrity. His services were therefore often sought as appraiser and arbitrator, and in the settlement of estates. He was one of the directors of the Thompson Bank. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal...

Biography of Marquis Green

Thomas Green, the progenitor of the Green family in America, came from England in 1635, and settled in Malden, Mass. His son Henry, born in 1638, married in 1671, Esther Hasse. Among their seven children was a son Henry, born in 1672, who married in 1695, Hannah Flagg. Their son Henry, the third of the name, born in 1696, married Judith – , and resided in Killingly. A son John by this marriage, born in 1736, one of six children, was the father of Benjamin, whose birth occurred March 11th, 1766. He married Tamer Moffat, to whom were born four children. By a second marriage to Esther Jewett were seven children, -the youngest of whom is the subject of this biography. Marquis Green was born January 19th, 1816, in Thompson, where he attended the public schools and concluded his studies at the academy at Millbury, Mass. At the age of seventeen, he learned the carpenter’s trade, and for a period of thirty-five years was actively employed in this department of industry. In 1848 his present home in Woodstock was purchased, to which, after a life of activity, he retired in 1868, and has since that date been engaged in the improvement of the property. Mr. Green has been to some extent identified with public life. In politics he was formerly an old line whig, and later joined the republican ranks. He has officiated as selectman of his town, and in 1871 was its representative in the legislature, serving on the committee on constitutional amendments. He was one of the incorporators of the Putnam Savings Bank. Mr. Green was married...

Biographical Sketch of Jonathan Hatch

Samuel Hatch, the grandfather of the subject of this biography, married Naomi Phelps. Their son Jonathan, a resident of Lebanon, Connecticut, was married to Betsey Payne of the same town. The children of this union were Samuel 0., Eliza, Chester P., Jonathan, and James C., of whom Chester P. and Jonathan are the only survivors. The latter was born in Lebanon, October 21st, 1817, and until’ the age of sixteen resided on the homestead farm. He received a rudimentary education, and on deciding to encourage his taste for mechanics, entered the shops of Phelps & Spafford at South Windham as an apprentice. Here his services were speedily made valuable as a journeyman, until an interest in the business was acquired under the firm name of Smith, Winchester & Co. Mr. Hatch retained his connection with the business for thirty years, retiring from the firm in 1877. Meanwhile this attractive field of labor furnished aid for the development of his inventive genius. He secured various patents on machinery, the ‘right to some being transferred to the firm while others were reserved by him. His attention is still given to inventions, the most important being the construction of a machine for the manufacture of paper by a new process, the patent for which was obtained in August, 1889. This is but one of several patents obtained by him on inventions of more or less importance. Mr. Hatch has, aside from his business interests, given more or less attention to matters of a public and political nature. He has been for four years selectman of his town and represented his constituents in...

Biography of Jerome E. Bates

Clement Bates, of Hertfordshire, England, aged 40, with his wife Ann, and their children, James, Clement, Rachel, Joseph and Benjamin, came to America in the ship Elisabeth,” April 6th, 1635, and settled in Hingham, Mass. Clement Bates died in Hingham, September 17th, 1671. His son Joseph, by wife Hester, was the father of Joseph, who was the father of eight children, settled in that part of Scituate now Hanover, in 1695, and died there July 9th, 1740. His son, Joseph, married Mary Bowker, who died a widow, July 30th, 1759. Jacob Bates, the ancestor of the Thompson branch of the Bates family, left Hingham as early as 1730, and after spending some years in Bellingham, Mass., settled in Thompson with his two sons, John and Elijah. His son, Elijah, spent his life as a farmer in his native town, and was the father of George, Tyler, Reuben, Moses, Elijah, William and Jacob. William Bates, born 1784, whose life was devoted to agricultural pursuits, married Sally, daughter of Edward Joslin, whose children were three sons-William, Walter and Winsor-and five daughters. Walter Bates, a manufacturer of furniture, was born in Thompson, January 31st, 1814, and still resides in his native town. He married Mary Jacobs, daughter of Thomas Elliott, of the same town, and became the father of eleven children: Jerome E., Lowell H., Mary J., William N., George F., Julia A., John L., Josephine W., Frank J., and two who died in infancy. The coat of arms presented to the early English branch of the Bates family was for valorous deeds performed during the Crusades. Jerome E. Bates was born...

Biography of William Lyon, 4th

The progenitor of the Lyon family in Connecticut was William Lyon, born in 1675, who when fourteen years of age, came with an uncle to Woodstock and settled on the homestead farm now owned by Mrs. William Lyon and Mrs. Emma Lyon Frink. William Lyon, his eldest son, born in 1700, was the father of eight children, of whom Elijah, born in 1727, had among his children a son William, born November 11th, 1778, who was the father of William 4th, the subject of this biography, born October 7th, 1801. His birthplace was the homestead farm, which has passed by inheritance into the hands the eldest son in the successive generations of the family since it was first acquired. Mr. Lyon received a common school education and was early made familiar with the details of a farmer’s life by his father, with the hope that he would succeed to his calling. The bent of his son’s mind lay in the direction of a trade, and the skill with which he, unaided, erected the frame and built a barn on the farm, decided his fate as a carpenter and master builder. This trade he followed with great success for many years, his services having been in general demand in both town and county. On the 31st of October, 1832, when thirty-one years of age, he married Harriet, daughter of Benjamin Green, of Thompson. Their Children are a daughter Emma, Mrs. Frink, and a son Origen, who entered the army during the late war, was in several engagements and died from disease contracted during his period of service. William Lyon on...

Biography of George S. Moulton

The subject of this sketch, George S. Moulton, was the son of Harvey Moulton and Anna M. Turner, who were married October 29th, 1828. He was born in the town of Mansfield, Tolland county, Conn., on the 13th of September, 1829, and was the eldest of six children. He received a thorough elementary education, and in youth spent several years on a farm. Being, however, ambitious for a wider field of activity than was open to him in the country, he went to Willimantic and entered the Windham Company’s stores, of which (after a few years of service) he became proprietor. In 1853 he married Caroline F., daughter of John S. Hazen of Worthington, Mass.Their three children are: Cora L., now the wife of A. L. Hatheway, Georgianna and Everett Huntington. In the infancy of the Willimantic Linen Company he removed to New York as agent for the sale of their thread. In conjunction with this business he dealt largely in commercial paper and was also interested in other enterprises in that city which, aided by his superior judgment and executive ability, were eminently successful. In 1869 he was compelled by failing health to abandon active business and retire to his country home at Windham, near the scene of his birth and his earliest experiences in commercial life. A Republican in politics, he was above subterfuges and in all things honest and honorable. He represented the town of Windham in the Connecticut house of representatives in 1871 and again in 1877, and in 1878 was elected to the senate from the 13th Senatorial district, filling both positions with ability....
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