Location: Windham County CT

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. Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. choose a state: Any AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY INTL Start Now 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...

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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...

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Biography of William Sully Beebe

William Sully Beebe was born at Ithaca, N. Y., in 1341, and educated with a view to his appointment to the Military Academy at West Point. He was one of the president’s appointments there in 1858, on account of the services of his uncle and adopted father, Captain John C. Casey, himself a graduate of 1829, a member of the board of visitors of 1843, chief commissary on General Taylor’s staff in Mexico, ” whose zeal, intelligence and devotion to duty to the hour of his death, gave a peculiar claim and promise of faithful service to his young relative.” He graduated in 1863, fifteenth in a class of twenty-five, was appointed a second lieutenant of ordnance and assigned to St. Louis Arsenal except during the time of Morgan’s raid, when he served as volunteer aid with the forces opposing Morgan in Kentucky and Indiana. At his urgent request he was ordered to the field in the Department of the Gulf as assistant to its chief of ordnance. He applied for detail with the Red River Expedition then starting, and was appointed its chief ordnance officer, taking part in all the battles and actions of that campaign, acting as aid to the general commanding at the battle of Sabine Cross Roads, leading the supports of Nims’ Battery in an attempt to recover it from the enemy, when his horse...

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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...

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Biography of Guilford Smith

Joshua Smith, the grandfather of Guilford Smith, and a native of Lebanon, New London county, subsequently moved to Windham county, Connecticut, where he was both a weaver and a farmer, and in connection with his trade wove cloth for the soldiers during the war of 1812. His children were three sons, Chandler, Charles and Marvin, and five daughters, Myra, Lydia, Laura, Emily and Mary. Charles, of this number, was born in Windham, and early learned the trade of a millwright. In 1828 he began the manufacture of machinery at Stafford Hollow, in Tolland county, and two years later, having built a foundry at South Windham, removed to that point, where he is still interested as the senior member of the firm of Smith, Winchester & Co., conducting a successful business under his judicious management. He married Mary, daughter of Moses and Tabatha Abbe. Their children are a son, Guilford, and a daughter, Mary, wife of P. H. Woodward, of Hartford. Guilford Smith was born May 12th, 1839, in the town of Windham, where he pursued his preliminary studies, and completed his education at a school of higher grade in Ellington, Tolland county. Returning to Windham, he entered the office of Smith, Winchester & Co. as bookkeeper and draftsman, and early became so thoroughly identified with the business as to warrant his admission as a partner. Under his able supervision...

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Biography of Lucius Briggs

Lucius Briggs was born in Coventry, R. I., December 21st, 1825. He is the son of Wanton and Mary Tift Briggs, of Coventry, R. I. Wanton Briggs was the son of Jonathan Briggs, also of Coventry, who served in the revolutionary army from the beginning to the end of the war, taking part in many important, hard fought battles, and received an honorable discharge signed by General Washington himself. Mary Tift Briggs was the daughter of Solomon Tift, of Groton, Conn. He served the cause of his country during the revolutionary period on the ocean. He was taken prisoner and confined for months in the hulk known as the old Jersey prison ship, in New York harbor. The horrors endured by the prisoners is a matter of history. Wanton Briggs was a farmer of Coventry, having a family of seven sons and three daughters. Cotton manufactories were then springing up all over New England, and particularly in Rhode Island, and he decided to leave his farm and locate in a factory village. He selected the village owned by the late Governor Harris in Coventry, and there he remained many years, bringing up his children to habits of industry, and a knowledge of the business three of them have so successfully followed. The subject of this sketch took his place in the mill as soon as his age permitted, and...

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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...

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Biography of William S. Arnold

Andrew Arnold, the grandfather of William S. Arnold, married Catherine Reynolds, of North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Their children were two in number, Philip being the survivor. He was born in Warwick, and married Catherine, daughter of William Searls, and granddaughter of Richard Searls, of Cranston, Rhode Island. The children of Philip and Catherine Arnold were: Andrew R., born in 1810; William S., November 3d, 1811; Albert H., in 1813; George E., in 1816; Jabez, in 1818; Susan E., in 1821; Henry R., in 1823; and Catherine M., in 1827. William S. Arnold, who is a native of Warwick, Rhode Island, at the age of seven years accompanied his father to Woodstock, Connecticut, where, until seventeen, he attended the common schools in winter and spent the summer months on the farm. He then removed to Masonville, in Thompson, and until 1841 filled the position of clerk, subsequently acquiring an interest in the store and cotton factory owned by the Masonville Company. In 1852 he became the exclusive owner of the store, and conducted the business successfully and profitably until the fall of 1867. Mr. Arnold having devoted his whole life without cessation to active business, then determined to retire from trade, and accordingly on the disposal of his interest became a man of leisure. He resided in East Greenwich and North Kingstown, and at other points where he found congenial...

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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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Biography of John McClellan

General Samuel McClellan, the father of the subject of this biography, was born in the town of Worcester. Massachusetts, January 4th, 1730, his parents having emigrated from Kircudbright, on the Firth of Solway, in Scotland. In the French war he served as an ensign and lieutenant of a company, during which service he was wounded. On his return from the provincial campaign he purchased a farm in Woodstock, and there married and settled. At a later date he engaged in mercantile business and established an extensive trade, not only importing his own goods but supplying other merchants as well. The war of the revolution, however, ended his commercial projects and enlisted his interest in the training and equipment of the militia of the county. A fine troop of horse was raised in the towns of Woodstock, Pomfret and Killingly, of which he took command. He rose by successive promotions until commissioned, in 1784, brigadier general of the 5th Brigade, Connecticut militia. In 1776 his regiment was ordered into service, and stationed in and about New Jersey. He was earnestly solicited by General Washington to join the continental army and tendered an important commission, but his domestic and business affairs necessitated a refusal of this offer. Immediately after the invasion and burning of New London and massacre at Fort Groton, he was appointed to the command of the troops stationed...

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Biography of George Buck

David Buck removed from Massachusetts to the part of Killingly now embraced in the town of Putnam, where he conducted a farm and also carried on the trade of a joiner. He was known as an enterprising and successful business man. His children by a first marriage were three sons, David, Jonathan and Aaron, and four daughters, Mrs. Josiah Dean, Mrs. Benjamin Cutler, and two who married Resolved Wheaton. By a second marriage was born a son, David, and a daughter, Eliza, who became Mrs. Henry Adams. Aaron, of this number, was born on the homestead farm in Killingly, upon a portion of which he settled and resided during his lifetime. He married Annie, daughter of Asa Lawrence, of Killingly, whose children were: Lucy, wife of Calvin Leffingwell; Rosamund, wife of Calvin Boyden; Mary, married to Jesse Herendein; Annie, wife of Caleb Howe; Erastus, Elisha, Augustus and George. The last named of these brothers, and the subject of this biographical sketch, was born October 13th, 1810, in Killingly, and until his twentieth year devoted his time to the work of the farm. He enjoyed but limited opportunities of education, and soon found employment in a cotton mill. This not being altogether to his taste, he became one of the leading builders and contractors of the day. For ten years he was employed by Messrs. M. S. Morse & Co....

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Biography of Henry Elliott

The progenitor of the Elliott family in Thompson was Francis Elliott, a mariner, who settled in Salem, Mass., in 1686, and the same year married Abigail, daughter of John Nichols. Their son Thomas, who early in life resided at Middletown, in the same state, in 1723 married Lucy Flint. With his son Joseph he came to Thompson parish in 1749. Joseph Elliott was a revolutionary soldier, and commanded a company at the battle of Bunker Hill. He married Jesusha Bury, whose son Thomas was born in 1759 and died in 1843. He married Chloe, daughter of Issacher Bates, and had children: Aaron, Ebenezer, Ira, Thomas, and a daughter, Catherine. Thomas of this number was born in Thompson, December 24th, 1793, and died February 24th, 1872. He was three times married, the second union being with Polly Dexter, of Killingly. Their children were: Sally, Horace, Marvin D., Henry and Jane E., who died in 1859. Henry Elliott was born July 12th, 1831, in Thompson, and received such an education as the public schools of the town afforded, supplemented by a limited period at Dudley, Mass. The routine of a farmer’s life not being in accord with his energetic temperament, at sixteen he sought a clerkship in Woodstock, and was for two years thus employed. The year 1850 found the young man en route for New York city, determined by his...

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Biography of Charles Harris May

Stephen May, the great-grandfather of Charles Harris May, first settled upon the homestead farm in Woodstock, which he bequeathed to his son Ephraim, familiarly known as ” Captain Ephraim,” who married Abigail Chandler. Their children were: Seth. Asa, Mary, Eliza, Julia and Henrietta. Asa May was born on the homestead farm now owned by the subject of this biographical sketch, where his life was spent as a farmer. He was an influential citizen, active in public affairs, possessing rare executive ability, and highly esteemed for his intellectual gifts and his exemplary character. He was an earnest Mason and much interested in that order. He married Sally, daughter of John May, and had children: Elizabeth, widow of Emerson Rawson; Charles Harris, Ezra C. and Carlo. Mr. May’s death occurred in 1830, at the early age of thirtyseven. His son, Charles Harris, was born September 2d, 1823, on the farm where he resides. He enjoyed some advantages at the public school and at the academy, but is more indebted to his studious habits and careful reading than to other causes for an education. His life work has been that of an industrious and successful farmer. He has been more or less active in town affairs, filled the office of selectman of the town, and held other positions of trust. In 1854 he was elected to the Connecticut legislature. He is a...

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Biography of Gustavus Davis Bates

Tyler Bates, the grandfather of Gustavus D. Bates, was a prosperous farmer in Thompson. His children were Erastus, William, ‘Welcome, Holman, George T., Ann, Chloe, Betsey and Sally. Welcome Bates, also a resident of Thompson, was formerly engaged in teaching, and in his later years became a farmer. He married Jemima E., daughter of Reverend James Grow, of Vermont. Their children are: Elizabeth G., Hannah Augusta, wife of Horatio H. Hutchins; Sarah, deceased; Marvin G., Gustavus Davis, Sarah Jane 2d, deceased, and Welcome E. Gustavus Davis Bates was born October 2d, 1839, in Thompson, where he remained until his twentieth year, receiving his education at the public school and the Thompson academy. He was industriously employed either in a factory or on a farm until sixteen, when his attention was turned to teaching, his field of labor being first in Burrillville, R. I., and later in Thompson. At the age of eighteen the young man entered a store at Grosvenor Dale as clerk, and was thus engaged until his majority was attained, when he enrolled his name as a private in the Seventh Rhode Island regiment during the late war. His promotion, the result of merit, was rapid from corporal to sergeant, first sergeant, second lieutenant, first lieutenant, and acting quartermaster and adjutant. In July, 1864, he was made captain of his former company. Late in 1864 he was...

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Biography of Doctor William Grosvenor

The subject of this biography, was a descendant in the fifth generation from the original purchaser of the Mashamoquet tract. He was the son of Doctor Robert Grosvenor, and was born in Killingly, Conn., April 30th, 1810. He attended the best academies of his native state, and his father, needing his early assistance in the practice of his profession, sent him first to the Chemical Laboratory of Yale College, and afterward to Philadelphia, where, for three years, he had special advantages in connection with the hospitals of the city, and attended the lectures of the Jefferson Medical School, at which he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1830. He immediately became associated with his father in medical practice, and in this connection he continued for four years, when he moved to Providence, and there he spent the ,remainder of his life. The event which occasioned this change of residence, and thus gave a new direction to the whole course of his life, was his marriage to Miss Rosa Anne Mason, daughter of the Hon. James Brown Mason, of Providence. Her parents had died in her childhood, and Miss Mason was the ward of her uncle, Mr. Amasa Mason, of this city. Doctor Grosvenor came to Providence with the intention of continuing the practice of his profession, but finding himself in the midst of associations and interests connected...

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