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 2 of 94)
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witchcraft in 165 1 was his wife. Robert Bassett
(2), son of Robert, the next in the line of Roj'al
M. Bassett's ancestors, was a sergeant in the mi-
litia. He was born in Stratford, and lived and died
there, passing away August 5, 17 jo. Samuel Bas-
sett, son of Robert {2), was the first of the family
to settle in Derby. He went thither in 1716 or
17 17, to occupy and cultivate a farm given him by
his father, at the foot of Great Hill, which is still
known as the "Bassett place." He took a lively
interest in military affairs, being commissioned en-
sign in 1722, lieutenant in 1732, and captain in
1735. He was held in high regard by his neigli-
bors, and for several years filled the office of jus-
tice of peace. On Jan. i, 1719, he married Deborah
Bennett, of Xewtown. Ebenezer Bassett, son of
Samuel ami Deborah (Bennett), was born upon
tlu- paternal farm, and died May 20, 1760. James
Bassett, son of I'lbenczer, born Sept. 16, 1757, was
the great-grandfather of Royal Al. He died Oct.
J4. 184S.

William Bassett, the grandfather of the sub-
ject of this article, was born in Derby July 18,
178 1, and was for many years a successful mer-
cliant there, dying there Xov. 28, 1863, at the ad-
vanced age of eighty-two years. He married Lucy
Smith, also of Derby, and their only child, Sheldon,
was the father of Royal AI.

Sheldon Bassett was one of the leading, substan-
tial and influential citizens of his native place. He
held the office of town cleric. He was associated
with his father in business during his early life, but
in later years was identified with the Birmingham
Iron Foundry Co., which was incorporated in 1850.
lie was a prominent Odd Fellow, having held the
highest offices in the State within the gift of that
fraternity, and organizing its first lodge in Derby.
Mr. Bassett died June 26. 1864, honored and
mourned by the community at large; and warmly
beloved by the innumerable friends whom he had at-
tracted to himself by his amiable disposition and his
sterling moral worth. He married Harriet L. Hull,
who survived him until July 22, 1872. She was a
<laiightcr of Lieut. Samuel Hull, and a niece of
l'"^^"^. flistinguished patriots whose name are as
i^niiliar to everv American. Gen. William and
(-onimodore Isaac Hull. To Sheldon Bassett and
nis wife were born seven children, of whom Royal
\v w^^ second in order of birth. The eldest son,
\\ lihain H., was born Oct. 21, 1827, and died July
18. i.'-V)4; \^Q .^yjg jj hardware merchant in Xew
I oris-. Lavinia H., the third child and eldest

50



daughter, became the wife of Thomas D. De Forest,
of Derby, and died Aug. 7, 1868. Lucy AI. died in
infancy. Lucy P. married Charles F. Colt, of Xew
York, and died Alay 25, 1872. Ellen S. became
Mrs. George H. Xorton, of Xew Haven, and is also
i deceased, having passed away Oct. 26, 1853. Theo-
dore S., the }'oungest member of the family, is a
manufacturer of rubber goods in Xew York.

Royal M. Bassett was born in Derby Oct. 22,
1828. His training at the public schools was
supplemented by a year at Haddani Acad-
emy, and two years' attendance at the Stiles
and Truman French Academy, at Xew Haven.
His father destined him for business pur-
suits, and time has abundantly and convinc-
ingly demonstrated the soundness of the parental
judgment. From youth and through his entire life
Mr. Bassett has manifested commercial genius of
the highest order. He has displayed a comprehen-
sion of mercantile possibilities, a ready grasp of ex-
isting situations, and a capability for handling en-
terprises of the highest magnitude, which are ex-
ceptional. The ability and fidelity with which he
has met and discharged the onerous responsibilities
devolving upon him are attested by the universal
esteem in which he is held by the business world..
He began his long and successful career as sec-
retary of the Birmingham Iron Foundry Co., which,,
as has been said above, was organized in 1850.
This office he filled until the death of his father,.
Sheldon Bassett, in 1864, when he succeeded to the
presidency, his brother Theodore S. becoming sec-
retary and treasurer. In addition to his connec-
tion witn the concern named, he has extensive busi-
ness interests in various parts of the country.
From 1857 until 1887 he was associated with X"elson;
H. Downs in the manufacture of hoop skirts and
corsets. The style of the firm was Downs
& Bassett, and the co-partnership continued until
Air. Downs' death. Mr. Bassett was also one of
the incorporators of the Housatonic Water and the
Derby Gas Companies. With a keen foresight of
the wants of the Pacific railways, he has built and
operated extensive rolling mills along the lines of
the Union and Kansas Pacific Companies. He has
also been connected with various railroad enter-
prises in the far West, having been president of
the Utah Xorthcrn and trustee for the bondholders
of the Utah Western Railway Co. ; after it was
reorganized, in Utah and X'evada, he was chosen
president. He has also been a director of the
X'augatuck Railroad Co. since 1870.

From the foregoing sketch of Mr. Eassett's life
the reader may glean the more important facts of
his ancestry and his business career. Of his per-
sonal characteristics, it is enough to add that he is
a public-spirited citizen, a devoted father, a true
friend and an upright man. He is deeply interested
in the cause of popular education, and was for fif-
teen or twenty years chairman of the Derbv school
board. He is a Freemason, being: a member of



-86



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



King Hiram Lodge, Xo. 6, of Derby. His political
affiliation is with the Democratic party.

On Nov. 9, 1858, jMr. Bassett married
Miss Frances J. Stratton, a daughter of
Sherwood E. Stratton, Esq., of Bridgeport.
She died Feb. 14, 1876, and Air. Bas-
set has not married again. To their union came
three children : Lucy, who died Feb. 4, 1879, ^^ the
age of nineteen; Royal E., a lovable boy, who
passed out of the world Jan. 9, 1865 ; and Sheldon
H. The last named was born April 11, 1867, at Bir-
mingham, Conn., and for a period of three years was
connected with the Bradley Pulverizing Co., of
Boston, who manufacture machines for crushing
Cement Co., of lola, Kans., whose main office is at
ores. He is now at the head of the lola Portland
St. Louis, AIo., in which city Mr. Bassett makes
his home. On May 3, 1896, he was married, at
Kansas City, to Aliss Florence Shafifenbergh.

HENRY AHNOR. Ninety-two years of life,
lilled. with useful effort and crowned with the re-
spect and esteem of his fellow citizens, have left
this venerable resident of Wolcott still hale and
hearty, with every prospect of continued health for
years to come. He has served as town clerk for
over half a century, and his faithful service in public
life as well as his personal worth make the following
history of general interest not only to the readers
of the present day but to future historians of this
section.

The progenitor of the Alinor family in America
was Thomas Alinor, a native of Somerset, England,
and one of the four children born to Clement Alinor,
who died in Somersetshire March 31. 1640. The
son crossed the Atlantic and took up his residence
in Stonington, Conn., in 1683. His children were
John, who located in Woodbury, Conn. ; Thomas ;
Clement, who settled in New London ; Ephraim,
who settled in Stonington ; Judah ; Manassah, who
settled in Stonington ; Joseph ; Samuel ; Ann ;
Maria ; Eunice ; Elizabeth ; and Hannah.

Jedediah Minor, the great-grandfather of our
subject, and a descendant of Clement Minor, was
born in Lyme, Conn., and came to Wolcott about
1756, locating near Wolcott Center, where he owned
land and engaged in farming until his death. His
remains were interred in Wolcott cemetery. He
married Elizabeth Marvin, of Lyme, and to them
were born ten children : Betsy, wife of William
Roberts, of Bristol ; Joseph ; Esther, wife of Samuel
Atkins; Daniel, who was a Revolutionary soldier,
and died of smallpox while in the army ; Caleb ;
Lucretia. wife of Alichael Dayton, of Watertown ;
Lucy, wife of Jesse Alcox ; Theda. wife of William
Barnes, of Southington ; Joshua ; and Elizabeth.

Joseph Alinor, our subject's grandfather, was
born in Lyme, and was twelve years of age when
he came with his parents to Wolcott. He en-
gaged in farminc: throughout life upon the farm
where his father first located, and where our subject



now resides. For seven long years he fought for
American independence as a soldier of the Revo-
lutionary war and rose to the rank of sergeant. He
was a supporter of the Democratic party, and as one
of the prominent citizens of his community he was
called upon to fill public offices. He died on the
home farm, and was buried in the old Wolcott
cemetery. He wedded Mary Upson, daughter of
Capt. Samuel Upson, and to them were born chil-
dren as follows : One who died in infancy, Alay 3,
1783; Archibald, born May 23, 1784; Joseph, April
23, 1786; Wealthy (wife of Elihu Moulthrop),
Dec. 8, 1787; Marcus, July 17, 1790; Marvin, in
August, 1792; Nancy (wife of Orrin Hall), July
12, 1798; and Alary (wife of Ephraim Hall), Nov.
23, 1800.

Archibald Alinor, father of our subject, spent
his entire life on the old homestead in Wolcott and
lived to a ripe old age. By occupation he was a
farmer, and in politics he was first a Democrat and
later a Republican. He was an accomplished pen-
man, and was gifted with a rich voice. He was
recognized as one of the most valued and useful
citizens of his community, was honored with many
town offices, and most efficiently served as justice
of the peace, selectman of Wolcott, town clerk for
twenty-five years, and member of the State Legis-
lature when sessions were held both in New Haven
and Hartford. On Oct. 27, 1808, he married Betsy
Tuttle, a native of Plymouth, Conn., and a daughter
of Daniel Tuttle. She died on the home farm, and
was lard to rest by the side of her husband in Wol-
*cott cemetery. Both were members of the Episco-
pal Church, and were held in high regard by all
who knew them. They had two children, of whom
our subject is the older. Harriet, born Dec. 8, 181 1,
married George W. Wilton, of Waterbury.

Henry Minor, whose name introduces this re-
view, was born Dec. 17, 1809, and is now the oldest
citizen of Wolcott. He attended the district schools
of Wolcott and also a private school taught by John
Clarke, but is mostly self-educated. He never left
the parental roof, and when old enough to be of any
assistance he began to aid in the work of the farm,
having been engaged in asfricultural pursuits on the
homestead ever since. In 1836 he was united in
marriage with Aliss Sarah T. Clark, a native of
Waterbury, and a daughter of Elias and Eliza Clark.
To them was born one son, Theron C. A., now a
resident of Waterbury, who was married Dec. i,
1861, to Sarah J. Warner, a daughter of Erastus
Warner, nf Wolcott, and has two children, Martin
W. and Henry W. Airs. ATinor. who was a most
estimable woman and faithful helpmeet, died in
October, 1895, ^^'^ ^^as laid to rest in the old
cemeterv.

Politically Air. Alinor has been a lifelong Demo-
crat, casting his first Presidential vote for Andrew
Jackson, and in 1896 voting for Palmer and Buck-
ner. One of the prominent and influential citizens
of his community, he has been called upon to fill a



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



7^7



number of official positions of honor and trust, hav-
ing- served as assessor, justice of the peace, and
selectman of Wolcott for twenty years. In 1847
he was first elected town clerk, and has since filled
that office in a most creditable and satisfactory
nianner, having served as such longer than any other
town clerk in the State. He has represented his
town in the Legislature four times, both at Xew
Haven and Hartford. He is still quite active, pos-
sesses an excellent memory, and keeps well posted
on the questions and issues of the day, as well as on
topics of general interest. He is widely and favora-
bly known, and is one of the most honored resi-
dents of his section of the county.

DR. AMOS SHEPARD BLAKE, an inventor
of considerable note, the first resident dentist at
Waterbury, and for many years one of its leading
manufacturers and citizens, was born Jan. 18, 1812,
in Brookfield, Vt., son of Joseph and Prudence
(Shepard) Blake.

Air. Blake received his education at Southmade
Academy and in Scott's Alilitary School, at ]\Iont-
pelier, \'t. He studied dentistry under the direc-
tion of his brother. Dr. E. W. Blake, and resided at
Alstcad, N. H., Montpelier and Chelsea, Vt., and
W'atertown, Conn., before coming to Waterbury, in
1844. Here he established himself, as the first resi-
dent dentist of the place, and for a number of years
enjoyed an extensive practice. From 1852 to 1855
he was superintendent of mines in the Lake Supe-
rior region, making his home at Eagle Harbor, _
Mich. \Vith that exception Dr. Elake made W'ater-
bury his home from 1844 until called to his reward,
Feb. 18, 1895. At the beginning of the Civil war
he withdrew from the practice of his profession
and became interested' in manufacturing. He was
quite a genius, and of an inventive turn of mind.
During the winter of 1830-31 he constructed the
first locomotive ever seen in Xew England. It was
designed to illustrate the practicability of travel by
railroad, and was large enough to carry two pas-
sengers at a time, around a hall, on a circular track.
This model engine was extensively exhibited
throughout the Xew England States bv Asa Har-
rington, of Aliddlesex, Vt. During his lifetime Dr.
Blake invented some nineteen devices and procured
patents on the same. During the Civil war the Doc-
tor was superintendent of the American Flask &
Cap Co., which in a single year delivered one hun-
dred tons of percussion caps to the National Gov-
ernment. He was the originator of Blake. Lamb &
Co., in 1865. manufacturers of articles patented by
himself, the firm consisting then of Dr. Blake. Will-
iam Lamb and Henry R. Chambers. The concern
was incorporated in 1867. with a capital of Sg.ooo.
Dr. Blake becoming the first president. There was
no change in the company until the death of Mr.
Lamb, in 1872. at which time the other members
purchased the interest previously held by him. Dr.
Blake sold his interest in 1883.



For a number of years while in Vermont Dr.
Blake was one of the judges of jail delivery, where
: until recent years the law authorized imprisonment
I for debt. He was one of the selectmen of Water-
; bury in 1846, and during his stay in Michigan he
i was a county commissioner. He held the position
i of councilman, alderman, assessor and road com-
I missioner, and represented Waterbury in the State
j Legislature in 1869, 1874 and 1875. He was one
of the originators of the Riverside Cemetery Asso-
ciation, and was active in promoting the scheme for
raising money by subscription for the cemetery site.
He also took an active part in naming the streets of
Waterbury and getting the street names officially
adopted.

Dr. Blake married Eliza Cordelia, daughter of

' Henry Woodward, of Chelsea, Vt., and children as

follows were born of this union : Mrs. John A

Hitchcock, of Liverpool. England; Caroline E., wife

J of Edward T. Root ; and two sons who died in child-

j hood. The mother of these died Feb. 25, 1895.

I HON. ARTHUR H. BARTHOLOMEW^ first
mayor of the city of Ansonia, is one of the most
active business men and most enterprising citizens,
j and has long held a high place in the esteem of the
public. He is a son of the late Jeremiah H. Bar-
1 tholomew, and was given unusual educational fa-
■ cilities in his youth. After an attendance at the
public schools he entered the "Gunnery," at Wash-
ington, Conn., and from there went to Auburndale,
i Mass., where he spent several months in an acade-
I my. At the age of sixteen he began his apprentice-
! ship in the works of the Ansonia Brass & Copper
I Co. He was quick to take advantage of every op-
portunity, and his insight into the mechanism of
clocks soon made him invaluable to the company.
He rapidly rose to an honored place, but he was
ever looking to the time he could go into business
for himself, and was endeavoring by strict economy
to save enough to make his start. In 1881 he saw
j his ambition realized, and he became a member of
I the firm of Phelps & Bartholomew, and at once
assumed a well-deserved place in the manufacturing
world. The Phelps & Bartholomew Co. manufac-
ture clocks, and their goods find a ready market.
: Through much competition and considerable perse-
cution their business has rapidly increased, owing
to the reliability of their goods. In 1886 the firm
' became a corporation, and now over one hundred
hands are cmplo\-ed.

'Sir. Bartholomew has become largelv interested
! in manv concerns outside of the factory, and has
worthilv filled several positions of honor and trust,
among: them that of director of the Ansonia X'a-
tional Bank, trustee of the Ansonia Savings Bank,
president of the Pine Grove Cemetery Association,
director of the Ansonia Water Co., secretary of the
Ansnnia Hall Co.. and president of the Ansonia
Furniture and Carpet Co. He is also a member
i of the Ansonia Board of Trade.



'.<-! •"\* [■•.!ir.i>



i. - '.'t ■/■!•/:



788



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



In spite of his many duties connected witli his
commercial enterprises, he has had time to look
after the public welfare as few busy men find time
to do. When Ansonia was incorporated as a city,
he was elected for the first mayor, and his careful
business administration has proven of inestimable
benefit to the town, and established a precedent for
succeeding magistrates. In his political attiliations
he is a Republican, but in local affairs he endeavors
to avoid all partisan dealing, ami steadfastly ad-
heres to his determination to keep out of the so-
called "ring." While in office he was loyal ta his
friends, but at the same time he never lost sight
of the fact that he was mayor of the citv, and sworn
to administer its aft'airs to the best of his ability, so
tiiat his appointments were often outside of the Re-
publican ranks. Educational aft'airs find in him a
warm friend, and for ten years he served as chair-
man of the board of education. So popular is he
that when his name appears on a ticket it is sure
to win consideration from men of all parties, as he
acts wisely and well for the general good. During
the time he was in the Legislature. 1886, 1887 and
1893, he served on the committee on Cities and Bor-
oughs, and in 18S7 and in 18Q3 he was House chair-
man of the committee on Corporations. His interest
in his home city is unbounded, and he has given his
hfearty support to all things tending to develop its
resources. Fraternally Mr. Bartholomew is a mem-
ber of the Masonic and Odd Fellows organizations,
having risen to the Knight Templar degree in the
former. His home is one of the handsome modern
residences of the city, and is substantially the same
as that in which he passed his earlier davs.

On Jan. 14, 1874, Mr. Bartholomew married
Miss Henrietta E. Cable, of Oxford. Conn., and
daughter of Horace and Ann (Curtis) Cable, and
they have had four children, the eldest of whom,
Emma, died when two years of age: the others are
Henrietta Cable, Eloise. and Arthur H., Jr. Mrs.
Bartholomew's father was a farmer bv occupation,
and was a fife major of the State militia for many
years. He died some thirty years ago. his wife ten
years ago. !Mrs. Bartholomew's grandfather Curtis
was a prominent man. a civil engineer, and repre-
sented his district several years in the Connecticut
Legislature.

JAAIES PORTER, an honored and highly es-
teemed citizen of Waterbury, now living a retired
life, is the oldest representative of the Porter lamily
in that town. He is a descendant of Daniel Porter,
an early settler of the Connecticut Colcny, who was
one of the first to locate in Farmington. Daniel
Porter was a physician, and was licensed to prac-
tice by the (General Court in 1654, his fees being
established by law. He was also required to visit
the sick in Hartford, Windsor, Wcthersfield and
Middletown. He was more particularly a bone set-
I ter. His death occurred in Farmington in 1690,
and his remains were interred there. He and his



wife, Mary, had the following children: Daniel,
born Feb. 2, 1652, is mentioned below ; Mary, born
Feb. 5, 1654, married Eleazer Knowles, of Wood-
bury; Xehemiah, born Oct. 24, 1656, married Han-
nah Lumm, of Woodbury; Richard was born
March 24, 1658; Anna, born in 1660, died unmar-
ried: John, born Xov. 14, 1662, married Rebecca
Woodford: and Samuel, born Oct. 24, 1665, was
married in 1702 to Abigail Humphreys, of Sims-
bury.

Daniel Porter, son of Dr. Daniel, after reaching
manhood moved to Waterbury, where he spent the
remainder of his life, dying there Jan. 18, 1726.
He married Deborah Holcomb (daughter of Joshua
and Ruth (Sherwood) Holcomb), who died May 4^
1765. at the advanced age of ninety- three years.
Their children were as follows : Daniel, ' born
March 5, 1699, is mentioned below; James, born
April 20, 1700, died in 1786; Thomas, born April
I, 1702, died in 1797; Deborah, born March 6.
1703, married James Baldwin, and died in Watc; -
bury in January, 1801 : Ebenezer, born Dec.24, 1708,
died in 1803: and Ann, born April 28, 1712, mar-
ried Thomas Judd and (second) James Nicholas,
and died at an old age. The father of these chil-
dren was also a physician and surgeon, and in addi-
tion to his medical practice engaged in land sur-
veying. He was quite a prominent citizen of Wat-
erbury and died after making his home there for
over half a century, leaving a large estate. His
was a long-lived family. The Connecticut Journal
of March 5, 1801, contains the following interesting
item concerning persons whose descendants are
numerous in this vicinity, and some of whom still
give evidence that the vigor of the sturdy stock is
but little impaired: "Died in Waterbury, Mrs.
Deborah Baldwin, aged ninety-seven, daughter of
Dr. Daniel Porter, Jr., one of the first settlers of
Waterbury, who died at an advanced age. Her
mother died aged ninety-three; her eldest brother.
Dr. Daniel, died at seventy-six ; her second brother.
Dr. James Porter, at eighty-six ; her third brother,
Capt. Thomas Porter, at ninety-five ; her fourth
brother, Ebenezer, now living at ninety-three ; and
also one sister Ann (the wife of James Nichols;,
now living at ninety."

Daniel Porter (3) was born in Waterbury, and
died there Nov. 14, 1772. Like his father and
grandfather, he also engaged in the practice of med-
icine and surgery. He was a man of influence in
his community, and was honored and respected by
all who knew him. He owned a tract of land be-
tween East Main and ^lill streets and Mad river,
and lived on East Main street. On June 3, 1728,
he married Hannah Hopkins, a daughter of John
and Hannah Hopkins, and sister of Stephen and
Timothy Hopkins. John Hopkins was a son of
Stephen Hopkins and his wife Dorcas Bronson
(daughter of John Bronson), and a grandson of
John Hopkins. Daniel Porter and his wife Han-
nah had children as follows : Preserve, born Nov.



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JjJL^^^VXJ^




COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



789



^3, 1729, was the eldest: Daniel, born March 17,
1 73 1, was a physician and surgeon, died of small-
pox in 1759 at Crown Point, while in the army;
Hannah, born June 16, 1733, married Obediah Sco-
villc; Timothy, born June 19, 1735, is mentioned
below; Susanna, born July 7, 1737, married Daniel
Killuni and (second) John Cossett ; and Anna, born
Dec. 6, 173S, married David Bronson. The mother
of these children died Dec. 31, 1739. By his sec-
ond wife, Joanna, the father had two children:
Elizabeth, who was married in I70'4, to Ard War-
ner; and Jemima, was married in 1762 to
Timothy Scoville.

Timothy Porter, son of Daniel Porter (3), was
a lifelong resident of Waterbury. He. too, devoted
liis time and attention to the medical profession,
was the principal practicing physician of his town
and vicinity, and served as surgeon in the Revo-
lutionary war. Pie was a man of marked ability,
progressive and enterprising, and was a stanch
advocate of higher education. He married ^lar-
garet Skinner, a daughter of Gideon Skinner, of
Bolton, Conn. She was born in 1739, and died in
1813. In their famil)' were seven children : Daniel,



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 2 of 94)