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 several years its president. He was chosen a director in the Gas Company upon its organization, and is now the president and only surviving member of the original board of directors. He assisted in the organization of the Bank of Mutual Redemption in Boston, and in this institution also he is the only original member left in the board. Mr. Nichols was also a director in the Norwich & Worcester railroad.
October 17th, 1839, he united in marriage with Hannah T. Fairfield, a native of Pomfret, Conn., and the family consisted of one child, a son, Franklin Nichols, deceased.