Topic: Biography

Biographical Sketch of Rear-Admiral George A. Converse

Born at Norwich, May 13, 1844, son of Dr. Shubael and Louvia (Merrill) Converse; was a cadet at Norwich University from 1859 to 1861; graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1864, with the highest honors in a class of 64 members; attached to the European squadron, 1865- ’69, 1870-9 and 1883-85; instructor at the torpedo station at Newport, R. I.; in command of the U. S. S. Montgomery during the war with Spain; now chief of the bureau of navigation, U. S. Navy. He married Laura Shelby Blood, daughter of Henry and Laura (Shelby) Blood, to whom were born several daughters. Admiral Converse‘s great ability in his chosen profession has received merited recognition from his brother...

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Biography of Doctor Shubael Converse

The son of Shubael and Phoebe Converse was born at Randolph, Vt., September 7, 1805. He studied his profession with Doctor R. D. Mussey of Hanover, N. H., and at Dartmouth College, graduating at that institution in 1828. Soon after he settled in Strafford, where he resided in the practice of medicine until 1837, when he purchased the business and homestead of Doctor Horace Hatch at the southern border of Norwich village, and removing there was engaged in the active pursuit of his professional duties for a period of thirty years, until his sudden decease August 6, 1867. Doctor Converse possessed in a high degree the respect and confidence of the community, both as a citizen and a physician. A man of enlightened views and much public spirit, he was especially interested in the cause of popular education. He was superintendent of schools in Norwich from 1846 to 1854, and again in 1855 and 1856. After the removal of Norwich University to Northfield in 1866, he was prominent in establishing the Norwich Classical and English Boarding School the following year. He represented the town in the legislature in 1845 and 1846 and was chosen a Senator from Windsor County in 1855 and 1856. Among other young men who pursued medical studies with Doctor Converse at Norwich were Doctor Henry Baxter of Highgate and Doctor Charles D. Lewis of Kentucky....

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Biography of Abel Curtis

In the abundance of able men that adorned the first twenty-five years of the history of the town, there is no more brilliant name than that of Abel Curtis. He was a son of Simeon Curtis and came with his father from Lebanon, Conn., where he was born June 13, 1755. The son graduated from Dartmouth College in the class of 1776, being the first graduate from this town, one year earlier than the Rev. Asa Burton. Abel Curtis is first mentioned in connection with town affairs in November, 1778, when he was chosen delegate to the Cornish convention of December following, in company with Peter Olcott and Nathaniel Brown. From this time until his death in 1783, a period full of important events shaping the future of state and country, he was prominent in all the transactions of the town, representative for three years in the legislature; serving on many committees; delegate to Congress in 1782, with Ira Allen and Jonas Fay; assistant judge of the county court in 1782; delegate to the Charlestown convention of January, 1781, sitting at Windsor, by the joint action of which with the legislature of Vermont, the second union of New Hampshire towns was effected on the 22nd of February, following; delegate to the Thetford convention of June 1782, by which he was commissioned agent of the towns of Hartford, Norwich, Bradford,...

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Biography of George Partridge Colvocoresses

Born in Norwich, April 3d, 1847, only son of Captain George Musalas and Eliza F. Colvocoresses. During the civil war he served in the navy as captain’s clerk for over two years on board the U. S. ships “Supply” and ” Saratoga.” He was a cadet at Norwich University and subsequently entered the U. S. Naval Academy in 1864, graduating in 1869. His naval service has been performed on all the foreign stations and on shore as an instructor at the Naval Academy and at the Hydrographic Office. Promoted to Ensign 1870, Master 1872, Lieutenant 1875, Lieutenant-Commander 1897. Commander 1900, Captain 1905. Lieutenant-Commander Colvocoresses was executive officer of the cruiser “Concord” in Commodore Dewey’s squadron at Manila and was advanced five numbers in his grade for “eminent and conspicuous conduct in battle.” He returned home as executive officer of the flag-ship “Olympia.” The following two years he was engaged in preparing for publication the “Naval War Records of the Rebellion,” after which he was appointed to the command of the U. S. Cruiser “Lancaster,” and later the cruiser “Yankee.” Since the expiration of this sea duty he has been employed, at the New York Navy Yard. Commander Colvocoresses married Miss Mary Dwight Baldwin of New York City in 1875 and has two sons, George M., a graduate of Yale University, and mining engineer, and Harold, lieutenant U. S. Marine...

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Biography of George Musalas Colvocoresses

Born in Scio, Grecian Archipelago, October 22, 1816. During the Greek Revolution the Turks invaded that island in 1822, and after narrowly escaping the massacre that followed, George with his mother and two young sisters were carried captives to Smyrna. Through friends in that city he was ransomed and sent in an American brig to Baltimore; much kindness was shown him by members of the Greek Relief Committee, and the story of his misfortunes excited the sympathy of Captain Alden Partridge, head of the military academy then at Norwich, who offered to receive and provide for young Colvocoresses as...

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Biography of Zebina Coit

The death of Zebina Coit at Norwich, September 28, 1886, aged eighty-one years, removed another of the ancient landmarks of the town. Mr. Coit was a son of Captain Samuel Coit, who emigrated to Norwich from the town of the same name in Connecticut over one hundred years ago, and who married Mary Burton, sister of Pierce Burton, Esq., and Henry Burton, at Norwich in 1788. The ancient seat of the Coit family, a family historic in the annals of Connecticut, was in and around New London. Captain Coit, at that time a youth of nineteen, was present as a soldier at the burning of that town by the British under the traitor Benedict Arnold, and the bloody massacre of the garrison of Fort Griswold on Groton Heights, on the opposite bank of the river, at the same time. He died at Norwich in 1851 in his eighty-ninth year. Zebina Coit, born in 1805, lived all his days on the paternal homestead, situated on the height of land in the northwest part of the town near the town lines of Strafford and Sharon. Here Captain Coit kept for many years a well known hostelry, in the old times of stage coaches and travel over the turnpike road laid through town from Chelsea court house, and thence to Montpelier in the year 1807. By reason of the great longevity of...

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Biography of Doctor Thomas S. Brigham

Doctor Thomas S. Brigham was the oldest son of Honorable Paul Brigham, and was born in Coventry, Conn., in 1769, coming to Norwich with his father when twelve years of age. After reaching his majority he studied medicine (with what practitioner is not known) possibly with Doctor Joseph Lewis. This was before the founding of Dartmouth Medical College. When about twenty-five years old Mr. Brigham married Polly Dana, born in 1769, a daughter of General James Dana, and settled in town, where he practiced his profession for several years previous to 1809, when he removed from Norwich, going to Amesbury, Mass., where he married for the second time, becoming the father of five children by this union. From Amesbury he removed to Maine, where he located as a practicing physician. While living in Norwich three sons and two daughters were born to Doctor Brigham. These children and their mother remained in Norwich after the husband and father removed from town, and the family were never reunited thereafter. Doctor Brigham is said to have attained considerable eminence in his profession. He died in...

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Biography of Fairbanks Bush

It is probable that Fairbanks Bush, son of Captain Timothy Bush, came to Norwich with his father when the latter settled in town. His place of birth is not known to us. He first appears as a voter in town in 1807. He married Amy Yeomans. Previous to 1796 he removed to Orange, Vt., but later returned to Norwich, where he died February 24, 1873, lacking but twelve hours of having rounded out a life period of one hundred years. Fairbanks Bush was Norwich’s minstrel poet. We are told that the spirit of our modern age is unfavorable to poetry. However that may be, the poetical temperament and endowment are still found among men, the poet is still born in the world. Among our own townsmen, Mr. Fairbanks Bush was endowed in some degree with the poetic gift. As being a natural musician also, his poetry for the most part took a lyrical shape, which is everywhere the earliest and simplest artificial form of poetical composition. “Lyric poetry is made to be sung, and is song in its nature and essence, Mr. Bush was accustomed to sing his own verses very often from memory. Many that he composed and sung were never committed to writing, and consequently have been lost beyond recall. We give in the latter part of this book a few specimens of the style and scope of...

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Biography of Prof. George Bush

George Bush, one of the most eminent Biblical scholars and Orientalists of his time in America, was born in Norwich, Vt., June 12, 1796, a son of John and Abigal (Marvin) Bush, and grandson of Capt. Timothy Bush. The boyhood of George Bush was mostly passed in Hanover, New Hampshire, whither his father removed when he was quite young. The son gave early indications of superior intelligence. His eldest sister says “he had a ravishing love of books from her first remembrance of him.” He frequented the College library at Hanover and would bring home ponderous volumes, almost as large as he could carry. Old residents remember him riding to mill on horseback with his face hidden in the pages of an open book that he held before him. At the age of nineteen he entered Dartmouth College, graduating in 1818 with the valedictory and the highest honors of his class, which was of more than average ability, containing among others such scholars as Professor William Chamberlain of Dartmouth College, and the late Professor Thomas C. Upham of Bowdoin College. During a part of his college course, Mr. Bush was a private tutor in the family of Honorable Mills Olcott, and there probably was formed an intimate friendship between himself and Rufus Choate of the class of 1819. The two young men chummed together during the college course, and...

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Biography of Paul Brigham

Hon. Paul Brigham, son of Paul and Catharine (Turner) Brigham, born in Coventry, Connecticut, January 17, 1746; married, October 3, 1767, Lydia Sawyer, of Hebron, Connecticut; came to Norwich from Coventry, in the spring of 1782, bringing his family with him, all of his children having been born in Connecticut. In 1788, he built the house on ”Brigham Hill,” for many years occupied by his great-granddaughter, the late Miss Louisa D. Brigham. The farm had been previously owned and occupied by Elihu Baxter. In what esteem Mr. Brigham was held by the people of his adopted state and town, is shown under appropriate heads in other places in this volume. Captain Paul Brigham in the Revolutionary Army, June-August 1777. Mr. Brigham served four years as Captain in the Continental Army in a Connecticut regiment commanded, first, by Colonel Chandler and afterwards by Colonel Isaac Sherman. He entered the Army January 1, 1777, and was discharged April 22, 1781. A portion of the time he served under the immediate command of Washington, and was engaged in the important battles of Germantown, Monmouth, and Fort Mifflin. He was enlisted by General McDougal from Coventry, Conn., and his regiment seems to have been largely composed of men from that section of the State. We have been privileged to read a fragment of a diary kept by Captain Brigham during a part of his...

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Biography of Honorable Daniel Buck

Daniel Buck came to Norwich in 1784 or ’85, and opened the first lawyer’s office in town, on the hill near the old center meeting house, then just being completed and there continued to live and transact business for twenty-five years, or until he removed to Chelsea in 1809. Norwich then contained probably about one thousand inhabitants, but no village, there being at that time not over three or four dwellings where Norwich village now stands. But little is known of Mr. Buck previous to his coming to Norwich. He was born at Hebron, Conn., November 9, 1753, and was the second son and child of Thomas and Jane Buck of that town. He had been a soldier in the Revolution, and had lost an arm at the battle of Bennington. He had also lived some time in Thetford, which was settled largely by people from Hebron, and perhaps also in Hanover, N. H. He acted as secretary to the council in June, 1785, when the Vermont legislature assembled at Norwich, having been assistant secretary of the same body during their session at Rutland the preceding October. He seems to have been a householder at Norwich at this time, as by a resolution of the council on June 17, the treasurer of the State was directed “to pay Daniel Buck twenty shillings hard money for the use of his...

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Biographical Sketch of Crispus Attucks

Attucks, Crispus, An Indian-negro half-blood of Framingham, Mass., near Boston, noted as the leader and first person slain in the Boston massacre of Mar. 5, 1770, the first hostile encounter between the Americans and the British troops, and therefore regarded by historians as the opening fight of the great Revolutionary struggle. In consequence of the resistance of the people of Boston to the enforcement of the recent tax laws a detachment of British troops had been stationed in the town, to the great irritation of the citizens. On Mar. 5 this feeling culminated in an attack on the troops in front of the old State House, by a crowd made up largely of sailors, and said to have been led by Attucks, although this assertion has been denied by some. The troops retaliated by firing into the party, killing four men, of whom Attucks was the first to fall. A monument to his memory was erected in Boston Common by the commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1888. Although the facts in regard to his personality are disputed, the evidence goes to show that Attucks was a sailor, almost a giant in stature, the son of a negro father and all Indian mother of Framingham, or the neighboring village of Natick, formerly the principal Indian mission settlement of Massachusetts. The name Attucks, derived from his mother, appears to be the Natick...

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Biography of George Bartholomew Cook

George Bartholomew Cook, who has been engaged in the operation of the ranch on which he now resides in the Wallowa valley for nearly thirty years, is one of the well known pioneers in the vicinity of Lostine. He was born in Polk County, Oregon, on the 27th of February 1862, and is the son of Thomas L. and Harriet (Jacobs) Cook. The parents came to the Willamette valley in 1854 and there the father engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1879 when together with his family he removed to Wallowa County. Here he passed away the same year, but the mother survived until 1909. The Boyhood and early youth of George Bartholomew Cook were passed on the ranch where he was born, and in the cultivation of which he began to assist at a very early age. He was given the advantages of but a meager education, such schooling as he acquired being obtained in the Willamette valley when he was a lad of between and sixteen years. He accompanied his parents on their removal to Wallowa County in 1879 and here he filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres upon attaining his majority, and has ever since devoted his energies to its cultivation. During the intervening years he has effected marvelous changes in his place, which is located two miles south of Lostine, and now...

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Biography of William La Fayette McCubbin

William La Fayette McCubbin, a well known ranchman of Wallowa county, where he has resided for more than twenty years, was born in Washington county, Oregon, on the 11th of January, 1869, and is a son of John B. and Martha J. (Yarber) McCubbin. The father passed away in 1880, but the mother is still living. William LaFayette McCubbin was only a lad of eleven years at the time of the death of his father. He was reared at Wapinitia, this state, where he attended the public schools in the acquirement of an education until he was sixteen. Feeling that he had a sufficient knowledge to enable him to become self-supporting, he then left school and engaged in the stock-business in that vicinity. In 1900 he removed from Wasco to Wallowa County,. He then withdrew from this and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits in the vicinity of Lostine and this has ever since engaged his entire time and attention. Progressive and enterprising in his methods, Mr. McCubbin has applies himself intelligently to his vocation and is considered an efficient ranchman. On the 20th of October, 1898, Mr. McCubbin completed his arrangements for a home of his own by his marriage to Miss Maude I. Masterson, a daughter of William and Anna Masterson of Lostine, Oregon, and they have become the parents of three children, Bernice, Cecil and Everett,...

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Biography of Crawford Wallace Womack

C. W. (Crawford Wallace) Womack, who lives retired at Lostine, Oregon, is one of the pioneer settlers of Wallowa valley. He was born in Shelby County, Illinois, on October 4, 1844, the son of William and Martha A. (Jordan) Womack, both of whom were natives of Tennessee. The parents were married in Illinois, where they had removed in youth with their parent’s. After their marriage they resided for a short time in Shelby County and then removed to Lee County, Iowa, and later to Putnam County, Missouri. In 1866 they came to Oregon, locating near Lostine, Oregon in Wallowa County, where they purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land. Later they moved into the town of Lostine, where they both passed away, the father, October 15, 1901, at the age of eighty-four years, and the mother February 9, 1901, at the age of eighty-three. They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal church. The father belonged to the Masonic lodge, having joined that order in the early ‘60s. C. W. Womack was reared under the parental roof and acquired his education in the common schools, attending an old time log schoolhouse, with its split logs for benches and its puncheon floor. In 1863, at the age of nineteen, he went with the gold seekers to Pike’s Peak, in Colorado, where he spent the summer, returning that winter to...

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