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Biography of Joseph Titus

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Joseph Titus came to Chesterfield in 1777, from Douglas, Mass., soon after his marriage there to Mary Bigelow, and cleared and put in thorough cultivation one of its most rocky, hill-side farms. He was fourth in descent from Robert Titus, who came from near Stanstead Abbey, Hartfordshire, England, in 1635, and finally settled on Long Island. The immigrant was of a family of some note; a brother was the Colonel Titus, of Cromwell’s army, who afterwards espoused the cause of King Charles II., and on the occasion of an attempt upon the life of the Lord Protector, wrote anonymously the famous tract entitled “Killing no Murder,” which created ouch a sensation at the time, and is characterized in the State Trials as “that most able, logical, artificially constructed, and occasionally eloquent treatise,”The children of Joseph were Lucy, Lydia, Joseph, Martin, Mary, Demmis, Isaac, Samuel, Anna and Ezra, but two of whom settled in this town or state. Ezra, born January 15, 1789, married Electa, daughter of John Kneeland. A quiet, methodical man, of few words, carefully considered, apt in illustration, and of great firmness of character, as a teacher he left his impress upon a generation few of whom now remain. From rural homes, in those days of large families, from seventy-five to a hundred, where now perhaps scarce a tenth of that number is to be found, they gathered for a winter term in school-houses far too small for their accommodation, many of them men and women grown and some married, and he taught them in a thorough-going, stern, old-fashioned way, and ruled them as with a rod of iron. Himself self-taught, he was in his locality and his sphere, the famouse teacher of his time. He had a taste for military affairs, and as a colonel of a militia regiment was well known in the county. Selectman in 1836 and 1847. He died March 25, 1869. His children were Elvira E., Ezra B. Alfred W., Arvilla E., Marion M., John 0., Herbert B., Adele E., and Eleanor M., but three of whom are now living.


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