Chicago Beers (J.H.) & Co..

Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. (Volume 1, pt.3) online

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Online LibraryChicago Beers (J.H.) & Co.Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. (Volume 1, pt.3) → online text (page 14 of 94)
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2, 1669, in Alilford, he married Sarah Canfield, who
lived and died in that town. Their son, Joseph
Piatt, was baptized June 15, 1693, and passed his
entire life in .Milford. He was married, Jan. 16,
1720, to Mehitable Fenn, who also died in Mil-
ford. Their son, Joseph, was born in Alilford Xov.

3, 1724, and died there Aug. 30, 1806. Bv occupa-
tion he was a farmer. He married Hannah Buck-
ingham, a relative of Governor Buckingham. Ben-
jamin Piatt, son of Joseph, Jr., and grandfather
of our subject, was iborn in 1756, and mar-
ried .Abigail Green. He served as a soldier in
the Revolutionary war under Capt. Charles Smith,
in Gen. Waterbury's brigade, and participated in
the battle of Danbury. He was made lame for life
during his service.

Benjamin Piatt, Jr., the father of our subject,
was born in 1782, and when a young man came to
Prospect, where he continued to make his home
throughout life, spending his last vears with his
children. He died at the home of his daughter,
Mrs. Alary Ann Clark, of East Hampton. Mass.,
and was buried in Prospect cemetery. He was a
successful man, an earnest member of the Congrega-
tional Church, and quite prominent and influenttal.
For three terms he represented his town in the
State Legislature, also served as selectman and as-
sessor, and filled other local offices. On Jan. 22,
1800, he married Aliss Nancy Bristol, a daughter
of Xathan and Anna (Lambert) Bristol. She died
in 1862, and was also laid to rest in Prospect ceme-
tery. To them were born twelve children, namelv:
Alark, deceased; Alary Ann, wife of Jason Clark,
of East Ham.pton, Alass. ; Benjamin, deceased;
Xancy, deceased wife of Hugh Kilso ; Henrv, who
died in infancy; Adelia. wife of Luther Morse;
Henry, Harris and William, all deceased; Jane;
John R., our subject ; and Augusta, wife of Henry
Stephens.

Reared upon the home farm, John R. Piatt ac-
quired his education in the district schools of that
locality, and on leaving the parental roof, at the age
of seventeen, he worked in a clock shoo at Plymouth
for a short time, after which he took up the car-
penter's trade and followed it until after the Civil
war broke out. Prompted hv a spirit of patriotism,
he enlisted in .Vugust, 1862, for three years, in Com-
pany A, 20th Conn. V. I., under Col. Ross and Capt.



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



•835



Timothy Gilford. His command was assigned to '
the I2th Army Corps. He participated in the battle !
of Gettysburg-, and was with Sherman on his cele- i
brated marcli to tlie sea and all through the Atlanta '
campaign, taking part in various battles. For I
meritorious service on field of battle he was pro-
moted to the rank of lieutenant, and when the war
ended and his services were no longer needed hf
was honorably discharged. He was in :he grand
review at Washington, D. C, and was mustered out
in New Haven. Returning to Prospect, he pur-
chased the Hughes farm of eighty-seven acres, upon
which he has made many substantial improvements,
and where he has since successfully engaged in
general farming and fruit growing.

In 1852 Air. Piatt was united in marriage with
Miss Augusta Carrington, of Baltimore, Aid., a
daughter of Xehemiah Carrington, a West India
merchant, and to them were born two children:
Arthur, who died at the age of three and a half
years ; and Charles, who died at the age of eight
years. The wife and mother died in Prospect, and
was laid to rest in the cemetery there. On Alarch
29, 1893, Mr. Piatt married Elizabeth Hotchkiss,
a native of Prospect, a daughter ot Harry and
Sarah (Hoppin) Hotchkiss, and a granddaughter
of Gideon Hotchkiss. Mr. and Mrs. Piatt are
members of the Congregational Church, and are
highly esteemed by all who know them. He is
a prominent member of Prospect Grange, and politi-
cally has always affiliated with the Republican party.
In 1884 he represented the town in the State Leg-
islature, was selectman a number of years, and
also filled the office of assessor, and of constable
forty years. His official duties were always dis-
charged in a most commendable and satisfactory
manner.

JONAH C. PLATT. An honorable ambition,
sustained by practical ability and unyielding energy,
is a passport to success and the biographies of our
leading citizens furnish many interesting illustra-
tions of the rule. It is a pleasure to present to our
readers such a forceful example as is conveyed in
the following sketch of one of the well-known resi-
dents of Ansonia.

Mr. Piatt was born Nov. 30. 1832, in Milford,
this county, and comes of good New England stock.
Fiske Piatt, our subject's grandfather, was a na-
tive of Milford, Conn., and the greater portion of
his life was spent there, engaged in farming.
Through his grandmother, whose maiden name was
Sarah Newton, our subject is descended from the
Newton family.

Newton Piatt, our subject's father, was born
and reared in Milford, and engaged in farming
there. His death occurred at his homestead at the
age of seventy years. He was prominent in local
affairs, holding various offices, and he and his wit>
were active members of the first Congregational
Church. His wife, Anna Clark, who died at the



age of sixty-four, was born in Milford, the daugh-
ter of Abraham Clark, a well-known agriculturist,
and her mother, Aleiiitable Peck, was also a native i
of Milford. Newton and Anna Piatt had the fol- i
lowing children : Sarah, Airs. Clark, a widow re- !
siding in Orange, this county; Henry N. a resident ■
of Alilford; Adelia C, who married John C. Aler-
win, of Orange (both deceased) ; Charlotte Ann,
who married David N. Clark, of Milford, and died
Oct. 10, 1866 (he afterward married her sister
Leonora) ; Jonah C, our subject ; George F. : Abram
C. ; and Leonora, Airs. Clark.

At the age of sixteen Jonah C. Piatt left home
to learn the carpenters' trade at Ansonia, and on
completing his apprenticeship he followed the trade
as a journeyman for about four years. Later he
was employed for some time as foreman in the same
shop in which he had learned the business, but he
then became interested in raising garden seeds, con-
tinuing about eight years. The next three years
were spent as foreman for his old employer, and
for four years he was engaged in mercantile busi-
ness in a store near his present home, but he then
formed a partnership with Frederick Lines in the
carpenters' trade, under the firm name of F. A. Lines
& Co. They carried on a large business for a num-
ber of years, keeping several workmen employed,
and they built many of the important buildings in
Ansonia and vicinity. Air. Piatt finally sold his in-
terest but did not retire from business entirelv, his
extensive real estate holdings requiring his atten-
tion. He and his wife formerly owned a large
tract of land which was sold in building lots, and
they still own six houses and a store, all in one block.
In the development of other business interests of
the city Air. Piatt has taken an active part and he
has been a director in the Ansonia Savings Bank
since its incorporation, and is now vice-president ;
he was one of the incorporators of that institution.
At the present time he is the only incorporator who
is still on the board of directors. Air. Piatt is also
a member of George Washington Lodge, No. 82. F.
& A. AI. at Ansonia. Politically he is a Republican,
and his fellow townsmen have called him to numer-
ous official positions. In 1884-5 he was in the Leg-
islature, and he has served ten years, 1889- 1898 on
the board of selectmen. For two years he was first
selectman, and from 1894 to the present time he
has served as assessor of .\nsonia, under four
mayors. In 1884 and 1885 he was tax collector
of the town, then a portion of the town of Derby,
and in 1886, 18S7 and 1888 he was again appointed
to that office.

In 1856 Air. Piatt married Aliss Ellen L. Hodge,
who was born in the house adjoining their present
residence. She was one of three children of Ben-
jamin Hodge, and is now the only survivor of the
family. Her father was a highly respected citizen
of the town and was engaged for many years in
raising garden seeds. Air. and Airs. Piatt have had
five children, of whom three are living: (i) An-



836



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



nie married Edward T. Vance, a druggist of Au-
sonia, and has two children, Cljde (wno has at-
tended Worcester Academy, and is now a student
of Yale College) and Helen. (2) Frederick New-
ton died when two years old. (3) Alfred C, a
druggist, who died at the age of twenty-four, mar-
ried ^\Iiss Frances P. Lambert, and had one daugh-
ter, AUie C. C4) Ellen C. married Rev. William
H. L Houghton, an Episcopalian clergyman, now
deceased, ihey had two children, Edna P. and
William H. (5) Franklin B. is secretary of the
Ansonia Electrical Co. He married Miss Carrie
Nettleton, and has one son, Franklin Xewton. Mrs.
Piatt is a communicant of the Episcopal Church,
and one of the active workers in the vicinity.

SEREXO BARTHOLOMEW, one of the
prominent citizens of Wallingford and an active and
useful member of the Congregational Church, is the
subject of this biography. Mr. Bartholomew was
born in the old family homestead on Oct. 2j, 1818. a
son of Samuel and Sylvia (Howd) Bartholomew.
Samuel Bartholomew had but a primitive education
and followed agricultural pursuits all his days. Own-
ing a farm of fifty acres, he continued to improve il-,
and he was noted for his industry and energy, and
as an example of temperate Christian living was
worthy of emulation.

Deacon Sereno Bartholomew attended school in
East Farms and North Durham, worked on his
father's farm, and also assisted on other farms, until
he was eighteen years old, at which time he took
charge of the homestead, where he has remained,
with the exception of two years, which were spent
in the factory of Hall & Elton, learning the trade
of silver plating. Mr. Bartholomew was one of the
first in this section to experiment successfully in to-
bacco raising, but now he devotes a small part of
his 200 acres to the growing of fine peaches.

Perhaps Mr. Bartholomew is better known with-
in the Congregational Church than in any other
place in the community, as. for thirty-one years, he
has held the office of deacon in that body, with dig-
nity and efficiency. At the age of twenty-two, when
in the strength of young manhood, he joined the
church to which he has been devoted during a long
and useful life.

On Sept. 27, 1847, in Middlebury, Conn.,
Sereno Bartholomew was united in marriage
with Sarah A. Benham, who died in 1886.
The children horn of this union were : Cath-
erine, born in 1848, died in 1865: and Franklyn
M., born in 1855, married Harriet E. Tibbals (who
was born in Durham, daughter of David and Nancv
(Strong) Tibbals), and died in 1897. Franklvn
M. Bartholomew grew up on the farm, was edu-
cated at a district school until, at the age of seven-
teen, he spent two school years at a private school.
He was well known throughout Connecticut as be-
ing prominent in Grange circles, and he was instru-
mental in procuring the Grange storehouse located



I at the Air Line depot; and in 1886 he was chosen

' purchasing agent for the Wallingford Grange, hold-

j ing the office imtil he resigned in -1892. The winter

of 1892 lie spent in the employ of a well-known

j Boston house, introducing feeds of various kinds,

I after which he traveled for Mr. Lucien Sanderson.

j of New Haven, Conn., mantifacturer of chemicals

and fertilizers, and in 1895 he was appointed by the

I Governor of Connecticut treasurer of the State

j Board of Agriculture, which office he held at the

I time of his death. The death of the son left his

' aged father to the care of his daughter-in-law, who

now ministers to him.

Deacon Sereno Bartholomew can look back over
many years of a well-spent life. He has always been
interested in public affairs, and his political affilia-
tions are with the Republican party. Hi? high char-
acter has won for him the esteem and respect of the
entire community.

WTLLLA.M S. BISHOP, a worthy citizen aid
representative well-to-do farmer of the town of
Madison, comes of a family which has for genera-
tions been respected as contributing many useful and
substantial citizens to this section. John Bishop,
the first of the name of whom we have record, had
a son John, who married Susan Goldham.

John Bishop, son of John and Susan (Goldham ) .
torn in 1655 in Guilford, Conn., died there Nov. 25.
17:11- He was a life-long farmer, and a man of
influence in the community. On July 3, 1689, he
married Elizabeth Hitchcock, who died March 14,
1712, and on Nov. 18, 1713, he married ^Mary John-
son, by whom he had thirteen children.

John Bishop, eldest son of John, by the first
marriage, was born Aug. 12. 1692, in Guilford,
where he grew to manhood. He removed to East
Guilford, w'here he passed the remainder of his
life, dying there Jan. 28, 1752. On July i, 1719, he
married Abigail Spinning, born May 7, 1699. died
Feb. 22, 1 75 1, and they became the parents of five
children: Prudence, born July 28, 1722. died Aug.

2. 1740; Elizabeth, born Dec. 20, 1725, died Sept.
19, 1754; Rachel, born Feb. 23. 1727, died Dec. i.
1750: John is mentioned below: Abigail, born Oct.
8, 1 73 1, married Dr. Nathaniel Welden.

John Bishop, born April 10, 1729, in East Guil-
ford (now the town of ^ladison), died there April

3, 1807, and was buried in ^Madison cemetery. He
was well known and highly respected in the com-
munity, and was a devout member of the Congre-
gational Church. On Nov. i, 1753, he married
Hannah Hodgkins. born Feb. 16, 1733. died June 9,
1820, and they had a family of five children : Pru-
dence, born Aug. 4, 1754, died Feb. 25, 1834, mar-
ried Samuel Foster: John, born Sept. 3, 1756, died
Sept. 24, 1S48, married Irene Bartlett : Lois bom in
July, 1759. died April 12, 1836, married Molly
Tudd : Rachel, born 1761. inarried William Baily :
William is mentioned below.

William Bishop, born in 1763 in Madison, died



. ■?'




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*^L-^>, J/ i^L



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



837



June 28, 1848, and was laid to rest in the East
cemetery in that town. He was a large land owner.
and engaged successfully in general farming; was
a Whig in politics, and held various local offices ;
was liberal in religious matters, and an active mem-
ber of the Ecclesiastical Society. He married
Lucy Kelsey, who was born in 1778 in Killing-
worth, Conn., and died Aug. 31, 1806, and two chil-
dren came to this union : William Hull, born in
1801, who married Chloe Lee. and died Aug. 20.
1841 ; and Levi, father of our subject, who is men-
tioned below. ]\Ir. Bishop married for his second
wife Mabel ^Murray, a native of Guilford, born in
1776, who passed away Dec. 30, 1868, and to this
marriage were also born two children : John !M.,
born in 182 1, who married Cynthia Hull, and died
March 6, 1881 ; and Lucy Ann, who married Fred-
erick Field, and died Oct. 25, 188 1. All this fam-
ily are buried in the East cemetery in ]\Iadison.

Levi Bishop was born in 1802 in the town of
Madison, and died there Nov. 25, 1887, his remains
being laid to rest in the East cemetery. In his
younger days he followed the water, becoming-
master of a vessel, and also for some time engaged
in the produce business, but he finally settled down
to the calling of his forefathers, and met with
substantial success in his agricultural pursuits. His
adaptability to any line of business or circumstances
stood him in good stead, and in every capacity,
whether public or private, he displayed marked in-
telligence and ability, as well as integrity and a
high sense of duty. Having early received a good
practical education, he broadened his views and his
knowledge by continued reading, and was well in-
formed on subjects of general interest. He was
quite active in public life in his locality. Originally
a Whig in political sentiment, he became a Repub-
lican on the organization of that party and was
quite active in its councils. In religion he was
liberal, striving always to live up to the Golden Rule
in his relations with his fellow men, and his temper-
ate habits and industrious life won him universal
respect.

On Feb. 14, 1828, Islr. Bishop married Miss Polly
M. Coe, who was born Oct. 23, 1802, daughter
of Thomas and Submit (Griswold) Coe, and four
children blessed this union : William S., whose
name introduces this sketch : Harriet E., born in
1836: Catherine E.. born in October. 1845, died
Jan. 27, 1849; ^"d Lucy, wife of John Spencer.
Mrs. Bishop died Dec. 6, 1888, at the home of her
son. and was laid to rest in the East cemetery.

William S. Bishop was born Dec. 25, 1829. in
the town of Madison, grew to manhood on the farm,
and acquired his education in the district schools.
All his life has been devoted to agricultural pursuits,
for he remained on the home place, caring for his
parents in their old age. His tract of seventy acres
is well improved and valuable, and in addition to
general farming he follows stock-raising and cattle
dealing to some extent, by energetic industry win-



ning success in his chosen calling. He is widely
and favorably known in his town as an honest, up-
right citizen, and, like his father, he endeavors to
make his daily life, in his intercourse with all, the
exemplification of his religious views. A Repub-
lican in politics, he is no office seeker, and his in-
fluence is given rather to the supoort of good men
than to party.

On Nov. 9, 1851, Mr. Bishop married Miss
Rosetta ]M. Cook, who was born in 1830, daughter
of Henry Cook, of Madison, and by her had three
children: (i) William L., bom July 26, 1859, died
in infancy. (2) Catherine A., born Sept. 5, 1861,
married James H. Bradley, and they had one child,
Cora May ; for her second husband she married
Almon Johnson, and they have two children, Olive
M. and Wealthy R. (3) Lucy Rosetta, born Aug.
14, 1866, was married July 12, 1884, to James Mc-
Cann, and they have four children, Josephine, Le-
Roy, William and Raymond. On March 26, 1896,
^Ir. Bishop wedded for his second wife Mrs. Hen-
rietta (Thomas) Van Wart, widow of Frank Van
Wart, of an old Revolutionary family.

JOHN BEATTIE. This in his lifetime well-
known quarryman and contractor, late of Leete
Island, Guilford, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland,
June 18, 1820. John Beattie. his father, was a free-
man of that city, and a direct descendant of that
noted Beattie family of Eskdale ]Moor, in Dum-
friesshire, Scotland, whose ancestry has been traced
back more than six centuries, and whose valor and
exploits in peace and war have been celebrated in
the story and song of that country by Sir Walter
Scott and others. On the paternal side his grand-
mother was Nancv Armstrong, a descendant of the
Johnson family, of Dumfriesshire, also prominent
in the affairs of Scotland. The mother of John Be-
attie was Ann Richardson, a daughter of John and
Catherine (Tate) Richardson, both of families be-
longing to Haddington, Scotland.

In 1830, when John Beattie was ten years old,
his parents came to America and settled in Nova
Scotia, Canada, where the father carried on his
trade of stonemason and contractor. He was con-
tractor in the construction of the masonry work on
a canal from Halifax to Pictou. In that locality, on
a small farm, the paternal home in this country was
established, and there the son was sent to school for
a short time ; but, his robust nature rebelling against
the restraint imposed by sedentary life, he preferred
to labor in the fields of his father's farm. In Nova
Scotia he attended with profit a few terms the school
of an excellent man. Rev. Mr. Morrison, andt to
these brief periods his school days were limited.

After a few years' residence in Halifax, Nova
Scotia, and when Jolin would no longer attend
I school, his father proposed to indenture him to
learn the trade of a shoemaker, and had selected a
master for him, whereupon the independent lad gave
so emphatic a demonstration against the step that



)>.''



h.'.r c:-y. .,;■ ;,



838



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



the plan was summarily abandoned. This opposi-
tion was probably the act in life which led him into
the vocation in which he for so many years was
most successfully engaged. Being now thirteen
years old, strong and healthy, with a love for out-
door occupation, his father was persuaded to allow
him to learn the trade of stonecutting. which work
John took up with great spirit. In the course of a
fevkr years the failure of the canal company induced
the Beatties to make their home at Newport. R. I..
whence the father and John went to Xew York to
work at their trade. A year later they proceeded to
Boston, and not long after to Newport, where tlie
father died when John was sixteen vears of age.
The care of the family, consisting of his mother and
four children, the next eldest being ten years of age,
now devolved upon John, who, deeply feeling the
responsibility placed upon him, entered upon his
life work with an earnestness of application that
was bound to bring success. In his trade he became
very skillful, and was a rapid and thorough work-
man. During the next four years he was employed
at Fort Adams, R. I., having, when he was eighteen
years old, his first contract to do work for the Unit-
ed States Government. At the age of twenty years
he was appointed foreman mason of the bridge
builders on a section of the Boston & Troy railroad,
and there for the following two years he had his
first experience in overseeing large numbers of men.
In 1846 he returned to Fort Adams, where he was
appointed master stonecutter bv Gen. W. S. Rose-
crans, and superintended the preparation of the ma-
terial used in that fortification until work was sus-
pended by order of Jefterson Davis, at that time
Secretary of \\'ar. Again, for a year. Mr. Beattie
was with the Boston & Troy Railroad Co.. in his old
capacity. He then went to California as a gold
miner, and for two years and two months had the
experience of an argonaut without realizing- any of
the rewards sometimes associated therewith. Re-
turning to the East, poor in purse and with im-
paired health, his next work was building the stone
towers for the suspension bridge across the Ken-
tucky river at Pleasant Vallev. His health continu-
ing poor, however, he and his brother William next
opened a stonecutter's vard at Newport, in which he
worked a year with beneficial results to his health.

In 1855 Mr. Beattie was engaged in building the
towers for the great bridge across the Ohio, between
Cincinnati and Covington, after which he had an
interest in the construction of Section One, of the
Brooklyn Water Works, at Jamaica. N. Y. That
work being completed, at a loss to him. he spent
some time building bridges on the Wabash railroad
in Indiana, after which he returned to Jamaica. N.
Y., and contracted for the construction of another
section of the water works. This job he personally
superintended, and to such great advantages that he
and his partner cleared 820,000 in eighteen months.
After this he executed many contracts for mason
iwork, in bridges, on railroads, warehouse docks and



lighthouses ; built bridges on the Worcester &
Nashua railroad, on the Old Colony line, and on the
Warren & Fall River railroad ; constructed the piers
for the bridge at Warehouse Point ( using sand
bags for coffer dams for the first time in bridge
construction in this country) and for the Old Col-
ony dock at Newport, all large public works.

In 1865 Mr. Beattie purchased the Harrfson
quarry, at Fall River, but after operating it one year
left it in charge of his brother William and son John,
and opened another quarry at Niantic, Conn. In a
few years he disposed of that interest, and in Feb-
ruary, 1869, he came to Guilford, where he bought
sixteen acres of land at Hoadley's Point, upon which
were very fine ledges of excellent granite. During
the following season he built several houses upon
this tract, doing at the same time the mason work
for the Newport & Wickford railroad On Aug.
22, 1870, he removed permanently to Leete Island,
where he continued to make his home until his
death, Nov. 18, 1899. Here he developed the large
quarry interests until the industry became one of the
largest of the kind in the state. His eranite lands
and real-estate holdings at Leete Island increased to
more than 400 acres, and employment was given to
from 125 to 600 men. their operations being con-



Online LibraryChicago Beers (J.H.) & Co.Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. (Volume 1, pt.3) → online text (page 14 of 94)