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Location: Windham County CT

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...

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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.,...

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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’...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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...

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Biography of Milton Stratton Morse

Oliver Morse, the father of Milton Stratton Morse, and a native of Sharon, Massachusetts, was first a carpenter, then a farmer. He married Waitstill Stratton, of Foxboro, where their son, Milton Stratton, was born, December 25th, 1799. When very young his father removed to Wrentham, Massachusetts, the scene of Milton’s earliest connection with cotton manufacturing. He began work in a small factory, his first task being that of picking cotton and placing it on the cards, which labor was continued for two years. He was then apprenticed to the blacksmith’s trade, but the terms of the contract not being complied with, he returned home at the age of thirteen, his father having removed his family to Attleboro, while he sought employment at Pawtucket. The lad remained at home about a year, engaged in braiding straw and picking cotton by hand for firms in Pawtucket. He next worked for Zeba Kent, in his mill at Seekonk and on his farm, often going to the woods with two yoke of oxen and a horse to load ship timber destined for the shipyards at Warwick, Rhode Island. Early in 1815 his father removed to a farm. in East Providence, where his son assisted him for a year, subsequently living with his uncle at Foxboro. At the end of a year he entered a cotton mill at Attleboro, and was speedily made overseer...

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Biography of Aaron White

Aaron White died at Quinebaug, in the town of Thompson, April 15th, 1886, aged 87 years and six months. He was born in Boylston, Mass., October 8th, 1798, and was the eldest of ten children, seven sons and three daughters, of Aaron and Mary White. His ancestry were of the early puritan settlers of Eastern Massachusetts, and among them on the side of his mother, were the Adams’ of Boston, her grandmother being a sister of Governor Samuel Adams, a distinguished patriot of the revolution. His father kept a country store, cultivated an adjoining farm, was a leading man in town affairs, town clerk for twenty-two years, many years a member of the board of selectmen, and repeatedly a representative to the legislature. The father having determined to give his son, Aaron, Jr., the advantages of a liberal education, sent him to the academies in New Salem and Leicester, and in his fourteenth year the boy entered Harvard, graduating in the class of 1817. Having concluded to establish himself in the practice of law in Rhode Island, Mr. White after a brief period of study in the offices of General George L. Barnes, of Woonsocket, in Smithfield, and of the late judge Thomas Burgess, of Providence, was admitted to the bar of Rhode Island, at Providence, at the September term of the supreme court, 1820 a little under twenty-two...

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Biography of George M. Morse

George M. Morse, the second son of Milton S. and Susanna Blake Morse, spent his youth in and about the city of Providence. His early years were devoted to study at the schools of Providence, where he remained until the age of eighteen, when on removing to Putnam he interested himself for a year in the store belonging to the company with which his father was connected. Again making Providence his home, he spent several years in that city, and at Putnam, ultimately locating in the spring of 1856 in the latter place, where he was made the superintendent of the Morse mills. This responsible position he filled for many years and finally assumed the entire management of the property. In 1869 the company was granted a charter, and the year following Mr. Morse became one of the corporate owners. The Nightingale mills under the firm name of M. S. Morse & Son, were from 1858 to 1568 operated by the yard. In 1872 the Powhatan mills were erected under the personal supervision of Mr. Morse, who superintended every detail of their construction, placed the machinery, and successfully started them. Of the three corporations located at Putnam, Milton S. horse and his son were the managers, the entire responsibility devolving upon the subject of this sketch on the death of his father. He still continues the competent head of...

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Biographical Sketch of Ebenezer Bishop

The grandfather of the subject of this biography was Ebenezer Bishop, a native of Lisbon, Conn., who removed in later life to North Woodstock, where he engaged in the practice of medicine until his death in October, 1834. He married Sarah Lyon, whose six children were: Amasa, Hezekiah, Elisha, Ebenezer, Tabitha and Delia. Hezekiah, of this number, was born December 2d, 1804, in North Woodstock, where he engaged in farming and participated actively in the affairs of the town until his death, which occurred in 1863. He married Martha D., daughter of Captain Judah Lyon, a citizen of much prominence in his day. The children of this union were: Sarah L., Ebenezer, Anna M. and Esther E. Ebenezer, the only son, was born February 19th, 1841, in North Woodstock, where his early years were mainly spent. He became a pupil of the Woodstock and Plainfield Academies, and completed his studies at the State Normal school, after which for a brief period he engaged in teaching. In 1861, on the call of the government for troops for the suppression of the rebellion, he left his duties on the farm and enrolled his name as a member of the First Connecticut Cavalry, continuing for three years in the service. He experienced all the trying vicissitudes of a soldier’s life, and participated in the following engagements: Second Battle of Bull Run, Cross...

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Biography of Captain Alfred M. Parker

Captain Alfred M. Parker is a lineal descendant of Captain John Parker, who commanded a detachment of colonial troops at the eventful battle of Lexington during the war of the revolution. Among the children of his son Eben, who resided in Boston, was John, also a resident of the same city, who married Rebecca Young of Boston. Their children are: Horace B., a member of the firm of Parker, Holmes & Co., of Boston; Alfred M.., and two daughters, Isabella L., wife of George J. Tufts, and Ella J. Alfred M. Parker was born October 26th, 1852, in Boston, where he resided until the age of twelve, meanwhile attending the public schools and laying the foundation for a substantial elementary education. The three succeeding years were spent in Medford, after which he removed to St. Louis, to familiarize himself with the boot and shoe trade. The firm with which he engaged managed two stores, and Captain Parker was connected in turn with both, finally transferring his relations to the more important, in which he was chief accountant. After a business connection of six years with this firm, he returned to Boston, and became travelling salesman for Messrs. Batchelder & Lincoln, a prominent wholesale boot and shoe house of that city. This engagement continued for a period of four years, when Putnam became his home. Here he purchased the business...

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Biography of Abel Child

Benjamin Child emigrated from Great Britain to America in 1630, and became the head of most of the families of that name. A type of character patriarchal in the best sense, earnest in purpose, and in the promotion of that Puritanic stamp of piety for which the Massachusetts settlers were distinguished, he was one of the thirty who contributed toward the erection of the first church in Roxbury. Bearing the name of the youngest son of the head of the Israelites, like that patriarch, ” in the land wherein he was a stranger,” he became the father of twelve children, three of whom were baptized by the renowned John Eliot, their pastor. Benjamin, the second son of Benjamin and Mary Child, married in 1683, Grace, daughter of Deacon Edward and Grace Bett Morris, Mr. Morris being one of the projectors and an early settler of the town of Woodstock. Their eldest son Ephraim, married in 1710, Priscilla Harris, of Brookline, Mass. The second son by the latter union was Daniel, who married Ruth Curtis, and became the’ father of Abel Child, whose wife was Rebecca Allard. Stephen, one of the sons by the latter marriage, was united to Abigail Carter, of Dudley, Mass., and had seven children, of whom Elizabeth married Reverend Lucian Burleigh, of Plainfield; Caroline married William Chandler, of Woodstock; Abby became Mrs. Ashley Mills, of Thompson,...

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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...

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