Location: Windham County CT

Biography of Joseph M. Morse

The progenitor of the Morse family in Woodstock is Anthony Morse, who, on his emigration to America, settled in Newbury, Mass., in 1635, and died in 1686. His son, Deacon Benjamin Morse, born in March, 1640, married Ruth Sawyer. His son, Benjamin, Jr., born in 1668, married Susannah Merrill. Their son, Abel, was united in marriage to Grace Parker, whose son, Doctor Parker Morse, A.M., married Hannah Huse, and became the father of eight children, one of whom was Abel Morse, who married Sarah Holbrook, and had twelve children. Leonard Morse, a son by the latter union, was born October 27th, 1770, and resided in Woodstock. He married Remembrance, daughter of Joseph Meacham, to whom were born six childreni, as follows: Albert (deceased), Nathan, Nelson, Stephen, Joseph M. and Charles D. Joseph M. Morse, the subject of this biography, and the fifth son of Leonard and Remembrance Morse, was born in Woodstock, April 1st, 1823, and educated at the common schools. He until the age of seventeen, assisted at the work of the farm, and then learned the carriage maker’s trade, which he followed for several years, first in Woodstock and later in Wilmington, N. C., Bowling Green, Ky., and elsewhere. In 1862 he responded to the call of the government for troops to suppress the rebellion, and joined the Twenty-sixth regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, for a period of one...

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Biography of John A. Carpenter

Robert Carpenter, of Greenwich, R. I., the great-grandfather of John A. Carpenter, on the 26th of October, 1755, married Charity Roberts, of Warwick, in the same state. Their children were: Christopher, John, Phebe and Marcy. John of this number, who resided in West Greenwich, married Sarah Stone, and had children: Christopher, Phebe, Patience, Robert and Amos. The last-named and youngest of these children, Amos, on the 19th of June, 1813, married Mary, daughter of Joseph Bailey, of West Greenwich. Their children were: Maria, Sarah C., Marcy S., Patience S., Olive B., George W., John A., Charles B. and Mary E., of whom five are deceased. John Anthony, the second son, was born June 23d, 1828, in West Greenwich, and at the age of eight years removed to Putnam, then Pomfret, where he pursued his studies at the district school, and meanwhile until 1846 assisted his father in the work of the farm. He then engaged in teaching in the schools of Putnam and vicinity, the intervals when not thus occupied being employed as before, on his father’s farm. In 1857 he entered the office of the Morse Mills Company as accountant, paymaster and manager of the merchandise department, and remained thus occupied until 1866, when he was elected cashier of the First National Bank of Putnam, of which he was one of the incorporators, and has since that time...

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Biography of Frank M. Messenger

Samuel Messenger, the grandfather of Frank M. Messenger, married Lavina Blake, of Wrentham, Massachusetts. Their children were five sons and five daughters, of whom Silas was born in Stoddard, New Hampshire, and during his active life was both a farmer and a house carpenter in his native place. He married Arvilla, daughter of Isaac Copeland, of the same town. Their children were: Mary, Alma, Erskine, Addison, Edson Winslow, Henry E., George B., Alice C., Frank M. and Helen A., of whom three are deceased-Addison, whose death occurred while a soldier in the late war; George B., who died in childhood, and Helen A., at the age of nine years. Frank M. Messenger was born on the 3d of April, 1852, in Stoddard, New Hampshire, where, until the age of fourteen, he remained upon his father’s farm, meanwhile attending the neighboring school for two terms each year. Removing with his parents to Munsonville, New Hampshire, he sought employment in a chair factory, and there continued until,. the age of sixteen, meanwhile pursuing his studies during intervals of leisure. He next found employment in a cotton factory, and later spent a year as clerk in Norway, Maine. After a period of work in the chair factory a second time, he at nineteen accepted an engagement as card grinder in a cotton factory at Winchendon, Massachusetts, and was soon promoted to second...

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Biographical Sketch of Nathan E. Morse

Nathan E. Morse is a descendant of Anthony Morse mentioned in the preceding sketch. His grandfather, Abel Morse, married Sarah Holbrook. Their son Nathan, born October 14th, 1785, was twice married, first in 1822, to Rebecca Child, and second to Mary Mills. By his first wife he had three childrenAbel, George and Nathan E. Abel, born August 20th, 1823, married Mary Elliott, of Thompson, and died February 25th, 1858. George, born May 19th, 1825, married Sylvia C. May, of Woodstock, and is county commissioner. Nathan Eugene Morse was born in Woodstock November 12th, 1829, and was married August 29th, 1850, to Sarah B., daughter of John Fowler, of Woodstock. They have had three children-Susie E., born June 14th, 1855, wife of Nathaniel G. Williams, of Brooklyn, Conn., and two who died in infancy Nathan E. Morse received an academical education, and at the age of 18 years engaged in teaching, which he followed for several winters, working on the farm in summer. At 20 years of age he commenced farming on the Jonathan Carpenter farm, continuing there for .five years. He then engaged in mercantile pursuits for six years, and has since followed farming, and during this time has been engaged in the mail contracting business and lumbering. In politics he is a republican. He has settled many estates, has been a member of the school board twenty years,...

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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...

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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...

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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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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 Albert C. Greene

Abel Greene, the grandfather of Albert C. Greene, resided in West Greenwich, Rhode Island. Jeremiah Greene, a son of the former, also a resident for years of West Greenwich, where he engaged in the milling business, and was also a skillful carpenter, married Freelove Hopkins, of the same town. Their children were five sons and seven daughters, the youngest with one exception being Albert C. Greene, who was born in West Greenwich, February 21st, 1823, and in infancy removed with his parents to Plainfield. His education was such as the common schools afforded, and very limited. His father’s death during his son’s infancy threw the lad largely upon his own resources, and at the age of eight years he entered a factory where the long day of service extended from daylight until dark. Subsequently working on a farm and attending the winter term of the public school, at the age of twenty-three he entered a sash and blind factory and spent five years at that trade. Mr. Greene next engaged in hearing ship timber and finally established himself as a house carpenter, which occupation he followed for many years. Preferring an agricultural life, he in 1868 purchased the farm on which he resides in Plainfield, and cultivated the land until 1884, when he was succeeded by his son. He has since practically abandoned active business, though occasionally resuming his...

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Biography of James Pike

John Pike, the common ancestor of the branch of the Pike family residing in Connecticut, settled in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1664. He was the progenitor of Jonas Pike, of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, who married a descendant of Peregrine White, the first white child born in New England. Their four sons were: David, Ephraim, Jonas and Jesse. There was also one daughter, Amy. David married Elizabeth Pitman, of Newport, Rhode Island. Their children were two sons, William and James Pitman; and two daughters, Lucy, wife of David Bayless, and Nancy, who married Abijah Prouty. William Pike left Sturbridge in 1810 and settled in Sterling. He learned from his father, who was by trade a hatter, the art of coloring. In the year 1811 he began the dyeing of cotton yarns and later assumed the charge of the dye house of the Sterling Manufacturing Company. Removing to Pawtucket he introduced the bleaching of cottons by chlorine, and thus superseded the primitive method of bleaching in the sun. In 1814 he was employed by the Sterling Manufacturing Company, and a year later started the manufacture of pyroligneous acid for the use of the dyers’ art. About this date he established the firm of William Pike & Co., for the manufacture of the above acid, in Sterling. He married Lydia Campbell, to whom were born five children, the only survivors being James, the subject...

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Biography of Joseph Hutchins

Nicholas Hutchins emigrated from England about the year 1670, in the reign of Charles the Second, and settled in Groton, Massachusetts. His two children were John and Joseph, the former of whom was born in Groton in the year 1678, and married a Miss Whitney. Their five children were: Joshua, John, Benjamin, Sarah and Abigail. Having lost his wife he removed to Plainfield, Connecticut, and married a Mrs. Pierce (formerly a Miss Weyman), whose children by this union were: Joseph, Weyman, Ezra, Silas, Anna, Keziah, Ruth and Mary. Joseph Hutchins was born in 1711, and married Sarah Levins, whose children were: Sarah, Rachel, Mahitable, John, Amasa, Judith, Sophia and Eunice. Amasa Hutchins was born in 1748, and in 1788 married Hannah Leffingwell, whose five children were: Joseph, Jeremiah, Samuel, Eunice and Marvin W. Joseph, of this number, whose birth occurred February 23d, 1789, in Killingly, removed to Plainfield and was married in 1817 to Nancy Bacon. Their children were Mary, Joseph, Horace, Hannah and Nancy. The eldest son, Joseph Hutchins, the subject of this biography, was born March 4th, 1820, in the town of Plainfield, with which he has during his whole life been identified both as a public man and a private citizen. The public schools and the Plainfield Academy afforded the opportunity for acquiring a thorough knowledge of the elementary branches of study, after which for four...

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Biography of Avery A. Stanton

The subject of this sketch was born in Preston, Conn., in 1837, is a son of Lodowick Stanton, and the great-great-grandson of General Thomas Stanton, who came from England and settled in Stonington, Conn. His great-grandfather, John Stanton (known as Warrior Stanton), served in the French and Indian war and also fought in the revolutionary war, coming from battle with eighteen bullet holes shot through his coat. The mother of Avery A. Stanton was a daughter of Deacon John Stanton, who was a son f Joshua Stanton, whose father Washington also came from England. His brothers are Captain John L. (who fell at the siege of Port Hudson), Alburtus S. and Reverend William E. In 1848, Mr. Stanton and his mother removed to Voluntown, Conn., his father having died one year previous. He received his education at the schools of Voluntown, East Greenwich, R. I., and at the Connecticut Literary Institution, of Suffield, Conn. He taught school about eight years in Eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island, and in 1862 settled in the town of Sterling, Conn., where he has since resided, engaged in farming and the lumber business. In 1864 he was elected one of the school visitors of Sterling, which position he held for twenty-four years. In 1873 he was elected first selectman, and has held other important town offices, being town agent and auditor for a number...

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Biography of Edwin Milner

John Milner, the father of Edwin Milner, married Charlotte Dews, to whom were born four children: Edwin, Hannah, wife of Christopher Richardson, of Newark, New Jersey; Sarah, deceased, and John H., of Moosup, who married Mary Fidler. Edwin, the eldest of these children, was born in Horbury, Yorkshire, England, December 1st, 1842, and in his fourth year emigrated with his parents to America, landing in Boston, from whence they soon after removed to East Greenwich, Rhode Island, and resided in that borough until 1854. In 1856 Westerly in the same state became the home of the family, where at the age of nine years the lad entered a woolen mill, and in due time became familiar with the process of manufacturing woolen goods. In his nineteenth year an interval was spent at school, and a thorough knowledge of the English branches obtained, after which the business of his life-that of a woolen manufacturer-was resumed. In 1863 he was employed by the Pequot Manufacturing Company at Montville, Connecticut, and in 1865 removed to Old Lyme, Connecticut, where under the firm name of John Milner & Son, he embarked in manufacturing. Returning again to Westerly, Mr. Milner engaged with his father in the purchase and sale of wool, and in 1874, on formin-, a copartnership with D. L. Aldrich, he began the manufacture of woolen goods at Plainville, Richmond Switch, Rhode...

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Biography of William H. Putnam

Mr. Putnam is a lineal descendant of that brave general and distinguished patriot, Israel Putnam, whose son, Daniel Putnam, was the grandfather of the subject of this biography. William, one of his sons, married Mary Spalding, whose children were: Caroline M., Harriet W., William H., Elizabeth, Asa S., Jane, Anne, and three who died in early life. William H. Putnam was born February 2d, 1812, in Holland, Massachusetts, and in childhood removed to Brooklyn, where the residue of his life was passed. The best schools obtainable at that early day afforded him a knowledge of the elementary branches, and the work connected with his father’s farm occupied his time until after his marriage. On the 12th of March, 1834, he was united to Miss Eliza, daughter of Captain John Day, of Brooklyn, who died on the 27th of May, 1880. Their children are: Harriet G., Mary, wife of James Perkins; John D., Sarah, deceased; Kate B. and Albert D. Mr. Putnam, two years after his marriage, leased the farm belonging to Captain Day, of which he finally became the owner. He cultivated its fertile acres, and made it his residence until 1877, the year of his removal to the village of Brooklyn, his son, Albert D., meanwhile succeeding to his farming interests. Mr. Putnam interested himself in matters pertaining to his town, and as a republican held various local...

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Biography of Hon. James S. T. Stranahan

The Stranahan family had its origin in the Parish of Strachan, Kincardin county, Scotland, whence the name, which has also been spelled Strahan. Subsequently some of the members of this Strachan (now Stranahan) family, yielding to the inducements of King James I. to repeople that section, settled with other Scotchmen in the North of Ireland. Here their thrift, enterprise and success as farmers and manufacturers attracted wide attention, while their rigid adherence to their religious belief was equally conspicuous. They became, as it were, a new and heroic race, whose numbers were greatly augmented by the persecutions of the Stuart dynasty and by the rebellions of 1715″ and 1745. It was natural that the prosperity of this independent and God-fearing people should incur the hostility of an avaricious government, and they were forced by its exactions and rigorous regulations to seek, beyond the seas, a freer verge for their religious and industrial life. They came to America, and how well they have left their imprint upon our common history, every thoughtful student knows. To them and the descendants of these. Scotch-Irish the United States owe much of their glory, wealth and enterprise. One of these hardy emigrants to America in 1725 was James Stranahan, the founder of the family by that name in the United States. He was a prosperous and intelligent farmer, and purchased lands in Scituate, R....

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