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Biography of George Taft Murdock

Elisha Murdock, the grandfather of George Taft Murdock, was a prosperous farmer in the town of Uxbridge, Mass. His wife, a Miss Chapin, became the mother of several children, of whom Fuller Murdock, one of their sons, spent his life in Uxbridge, his native town. He married Esther, daughter of James Taft, of Uxbridge. The children of this union were: Philina, born in 1807; Abbie Eliza, in 1808; Moses Taft, in 1810; John, in 1812; Charles, in 1815; Caleb, in 1817; George Taft, March 18th, 1819; Harriet, in 1821; Chapin, in 1823, and Mary Ann, in 1825. The fifth son of this number, George Taft Murdock, is a native of Uxbridge, where, after a period of early youth devoted to school, he at the age of twelve years began those habits of industry which laid the foundation for future success. Entering a woolen factory he was assigned to the task of piecing rolls and thus acquired by his own exertion sufficient means to defray the expenses of his education at the academy at Uxbridge., and at Plymouth, N. H. At the age of twenty-four he embarked with a partner in mercantile ventures in his native town, and continued for six years to conduct a profitable business. Mr. Murdock then engaged in the manufacture of, satinets at -Millbury, Mass., and at Seaconnet Point, R. I., continuing four years in these respective localities. Removing to Worcester, Mass., in 1861, he established the firm of Curtis & Murdock, manufacturers of woolen goods. In 1865 he purchased the present mills at New Boston, meanwhile retaining has residence in Worcester until 1879, when the...

Biography of John O. Fox

John O. Fox was the son of Captain Abiel Fox and his wife Judith Perry. He was born in West Woodstock, July 5th, 1817, and received his education at the common schools near his home, and at the Nichols Academy, at Dudley. His father kept a store at Woodstock, but later removed to Providence, where he was the landlord of a popular public house, well known as ” Fox’s Tavern.” On his decease the family returned to Woodstock. Mr. Fox, before his majority was attained, had formed a copartnership with his brother-in-law, John P. Chamberlin, in trade, and in the manufacture of shoes. They were successful until the financial crisis of 1837, which swept away not only the firm of Chamberlin & Fox, but many other business men of the town. In this failure was involved not only the patrimony, but the earnings of Mr. Fox, and a new start in life was the only alternative. He therefore, in 1840, removed to Putnam, then a rising young village, and was soon appointed to the charge of the depot. This connection was maintained for a period of thirty years, and he himself was the headquarters for the marketing of much of the produce for the adjoining towns, which was shipped to Boston and Providence. He kept for years the only livery stable in the town, and was the first person to bring finished lumber into the place ‘for building purposes. He was one of the leading and influential men of the town, foremost in every enterprise resulting in its growth and development, and ever ready to fill any local office,...

Biography of Franklin Nichols

One of the well-known business men and leading bankers in Connecticut, Franklin Nichols was born in Thompson, Conn., August 11th, 1805. His boyhood was passed in his native town, sharing the advantages of the schools of those days. At an early age he commenced business for himself, in the improvement of extensive farming lands inherited from his father, which honorable vocation he continued with an older brother until May, 1840, when he removed to Norwich and became a member of the firm of Nichols & Eddy, wholesale grocers. The firm subsequently changed to Nichols & Evans, and later to Nichols, Evans & Almy. In 1844 Mr. Nichols retired from the firm and engaged in the cotton business in company with the late Leonard Ballou. He, however, remained in this business but about two years, and then engaged in banking operations. In the spring of 1833 he assisted in obtaining the charter for the Thompson Bank, which was organized in the fall of the same year with eleven directors, all of whom are deceased except himself. He has been prominently identified with the Thames Bank since 1846. He was chosen president in 1851, and has officiated in that capacity to the present time. He has outlived all then associated with him in the board of directors. Mr. Nichols has been a trustee in the Norwich Savings Society since 1851 and its president since 1879. He is the only survivor of the forty trustees in the board at the time of his election. He was also one of the incorporators of the Thames Loan and Trust Company in 1869, and for...

Biographical Sketch of George Thurston Murdock

The only son of George Taft and Abbie A. Murdock, who was born July 4th, 1846, in Uxbridge, Mass., at the age of twelve years removed with his parents to Millbury, and later to Worcester in the same state. His education was received at the Worcester and Wilbraham Academies, after which he entered the finishing room of the mills in the former place, and thus became familiar with the first principles of manufacturing. Coming later to New Boston, he filled the position of accountant until 1866, and then assumed the superintendence of the mills. Two years later he succeeded to the interest of a former partner, who had meanwhile retired. He ultimately became an equal partner, and for many years during his father’s residence in Worcester, assumed almost the entire oversight of the business, the details of which are still managed by him. Mr. Murdock has been a co-worker with his father in’ his efforts to build up and improve the hamlet of New Boston, much of the active labor of which has been performed by him personally. He has been active in both town and county politics, and is at present one of the- town committee. He represented his constituents in the state legislature in 1878, and served on the committees on manufactures and milage. Mr. Murdock was, on the 22d of June, 1869, married to Arrilla R., daughter of Charles D. Thayer, of New Boston. They have one daughter, Mabel Florence, born December 13th,...

Biography of Lucius H. Fuller

Both English and Scotch blood coursed through the veins of Mr. Fuller’s ancestors. His great-grandfather, Deacon Abijah Fuller, had the honor of assisting in the fortification of Bunker Hill, on which occasion he directed the throwing up of the earthworks the night before the battle. He died in 1835 in Hampton, where he was a farmer and a leading citizen. He married Abigail Meacham, whose children were Abigail, Lois, Arthur, Seymour, Clarissa and Luther. Seymour Fuller resided in Hampton, his birthplace, until 1816, the date of his removal to Tolland, Conn. He married in 1811, Louisa, daughter of William Butler and his wife, Louisa Huntington. Their children were: Lucius S., Abigail, wife of Sylvander Harwood, Caroline C., William B. and Melissa J.; of whom Lucius S. is the only survivor. He was born March 12th, 1812, in Hampton, and now resides in Tolland, where he has been a foremost citizen and prominently identified with both county and state affairs. He married July 4th, 1838, Mary Eliza, daughter of John Bliss, Esq., and his wife Sally Abbott, of Tolland. They celebrated their golden wedding July 4th, 1888. Their two surviving children are Lucius H. and Edward E. Lucius H. was born August 31st, 1849, in Tolland, and received a high school and academic education. On returning from school, after a brief interval on the farm, he removed to Putnam in’ February, 1868, and engaged in the insurance business, representing, as agent, many of the most important fire insurance companies in the country. This has, under his able management, grown and extended itself until it now takes rank as one of...

Biography of Benjamin F. Phipps

Deacon Jason Phipps was at an early day an extensive landholder and farmer in Thompson parish, as also a justice of the peace, who exercised his prerogative with an inflexible hand. His son Jason, a soldier of the revolution, married Mary Healy, of Dudley, Mass., whose children were: Peyton Randolph, Salem T., Jason, Polly, Hannah, Mary Ann, Rebecca and Persis. Mr. Phipps resided in Thompson, where he became the owner of much valuable land. His son, Captain Peyton Randolph, was born July 29th, 1789, in the same town, and spent his life as a farmer. He also bore an active part in the militia, of which he was captain, and served in the war of 1812, for which his widow drew a pension. He was on the 26th of May, 1814, married to Clarissa, daughter of Edward Davis, of Dudley, Mass. Their children are eleven in number, as follows: Clarissa D., Benjamin F., Edward D., Lucretia H., Abigail D., William R., Albigence W. (deceased), Lydia R., Zeruiah, Albigence W., and Samuel H. On the 25th of October, 1831, Mr. Phipps was again married to Harriet Davis, sister to his first wife. His death occurred February 2d, 1843. Benjamin F. Phipps was born January 30th, 1816, on the homestead farm which is his present residence. Here his whole life has been spent in the healthful pursuits connected with agriculture. His opportunities for education were confined to a brief period at the neighboring public school, and his time, until twenty-one, was given to his father, who in addition to his farm employments was engaged in teaming between that point and Providence....

Biography of George W. Holt, Jr.

Jonathan Holt, a soldier of the revolution, was the father of Josiah Holt, a native of Hampton, Conn. who during his active life followed the trade of a machinist. He married Mary Prior, who became the mother of a large family, the eldest son, William L., being well-known as a successful manufacturer, and a man of much mechanical skill, both in New England and in the South, to which section he subsequently removed. Another son, George W. Holt, the father of the subject of this biography, was born March 16th, 1816, in Plainfield, Conn., and in 1831 removed to Slatersville, R. I., where he remained until 1870, when Providence became and is at present his home. Entering the cotton mills when a boy he rose through the successive grades, finally becoming superintendent, agent and part owner. Having abandoned active business he still continues the efficient president of the Monohansett Manufacturing Company. Mr. Molt was on the 3d of September, 1839, married to Lucy Dodge, daughter of Barney Dodge, of Smithfield, R. I. Their children are a son, George W., Jr., and a daughter, Ellen Porter. George W. Holt, Jr., was born July 21st, 1840, in Slatersville, where his early education was received at the village school. In 1857 he became a pupil of the Phillips Academy, at Andover, Mass., and one year later entered the Scientific Department of Brown University, where he completed a two years’ course of study. His father was at this time manager of the Slatersville Mills, and also engaged in building and starting the Forestdale Mills, in which Mr. Holt became assistant superintendent, and continued...

Biography of Charles D. Thayer

John and Dacy Thayer were the grandparents of the subject of this biography. Their son John married Ruth Mowery and settled in East Douglas. The children of this marriage were: Mowery, born April 27th, 1811; Charles D., December 26th, 1813; Arrilla, August 9th, 1815. Charles D., the second son, is a native of Douglas, Massachusetts, where he enjoyed the advantages of the public schools, and afterward continued his studies at the Oxford and Uxbridge high schools. He then taught for several terms, and afterward began his business career as a clerk, first at Oxford and then at New Boston. This sedentary life, however, was not to his taste, and he resolved to make farming the vocation of his .life. He assumed charge of his father’s farm in New Boston, managed it with success during the latter’s lifetime, and on his death received a deed of the property, the elder son also enjoying a like inheritance. Mr. Thayer remained on this farm from 1838 until 1869, when his present home near New Boston was purchased. Here he has .since continued the employments of an agriculturist. His business life has been one of integrity and principle. This fact, together with experience and judgment, have rendered his services much sought as trustee and executor. He was formerly a director of the Thompson National Bank. A democrat in his. political views, he has served as assessor, selectman, and in other offices, and received the nomination as candidate for the state legislature, but yielded to the superior strength of the opposing party. Mr. Thayer married November 12th, 1843, Lucy E., daughter of David Nichols,...

Biography of James Winchell Manning

The earliest representative of the Manning family in America emigrated from England in 1634 and settled in the suburbs of Boston, Mass. Ephraim, representing the third generation in line of descent, located in Woodstock, Windham county, where he lived and died. His sop William was a patriot, held a commission as captain during the war of the revolution, and served until , the close of the conflict. His children were six daughters and two sons, William H., the youngest son, being a native of Woodstock, where his birth occurred September 10th, 1776. He later removed to Pomfret, where he died in June, 1862. By his marriage to Lucy Tucker were born five children: Lory, Mary, Ephraim, Lucy and William. He married a second time Lois Paine, of Pomfret, whose children are: James WW., John M., Henry F., Edward P. and Edward P., 2d. The survivors of this number are William, John M. and James W. James W. was born in Pomfret March 8th, 1822, and remained until his twenty-fifth year a resident of that town. He was educated at the Thompson and Woodstock Academies, and the Connecticut Literary Institution, at Suffield, meanwhile at intervals giving a hand at the work of the farm. He then accepted a clerkship and served for two years in that capacity, removing in 1847 to Putnam, where he embarked in the dry goods trade. This business he has continued until the present time, either alone or with partners, the present firm of Manning & Leonard having existed since 1869. Mr. Manning has been prominent in local affairs, and on the organization of the town...

Biography of Marcus F. Towne

David Towne, the grandfather of Marcus F. Towne, married Lucy Upham. Their children were two sons and two daughters, of whom George, born in Thompson, February 18th, 1794, married Sally, daughter of Rufus Tyler. The children of this marriage were: Lucy, who died in youth; Rufus T., Marcus F., Noadiah W. and Lucy U., wife of Joseph S. Perry. Marcus F. Towne was born June 21st, 1824, on the farm in Thompson, where his whole life, with the exception of a single year, has been spent. He attended the common school, and for a short period the high school, after which his attention was given to farming. He also became proficient as a blacksmith, and combined this with his other duties. Mr. Towne entered into a co-partnership with his father, and while farming operated a thresher. He also did more or less teaming. Receiving before his father’s death a deed of a portion of the farm, he subsequently added to this a valuable tract by purchase. He also owns fifty acres in Woodstock, which is used as a pasture land for the fattening of beef for the market. Mr. Towne is a director of the Thompson Savings Bank. He has been for many years director and for two years president of the Woodstock Agricultural Society. He is in politics a republican, was for the years 1873 and 1854 a member of the Connecticut house of representatives, has been for seven years a selectman, and for a long period on the school district committee. He has been for thirty-two years an active, exemplary and useful member of the Congregational church...
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