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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land county ^lary Cauthern, a native of that county,
and to their union were born eight children: (i)
Roberta married Charles B.^ililler, and is now living
in Palo Alto,Cal. :(2) Frances (now deceased I mar-
ried Capt. John Kendrick, who preceded her to the
grave; (3) Jane A. married John H. Parr, and both
died in Baltimore; (4) Silas Xoel is mentioned be-
low; (5) Albert died in Ohio; (6) Henry died in
Baltimore; (7) James is in the United States navy,
and was in the late Spanish war; (8) Milton died in
the Civil war while serving under Gen. McClellan.
Mrs. Edmonds died in Washington in December,
1845. She was a member of the Baptist Church,
and a woman of the most estimable character.

Silas Noel Edmonds attended the city schools of
Alexandria, and was only fifteen years old when his
father died. The following year he removed to
Baltimore, where he served an apprenticeship at the
carpenter's trade with Charles \\'ebb, a contract
builder of that city, remaining with him until he
: came of age. Young Edmonds had nothing with
! which to face the world except his trade. In 1849
he came to Wallingford, and worked at his trade
I for five years, building in that time several of the
-^more pretentious homes of the town. In 1855 he
went to Georgetown, S. C, and built one of the
; largest and stateliest homes in that part of the State.
; In 1856 he came back to Wallingford, and was ap-
pointed station agent of the Hartford & New Haven
Railroad, and at the same time was made agent of
the Adams Express Co. For over forty years he
filled these positions of trust and responsibility with
satisfaction to the company and the public, as well
as with credit to himself. During these years he
witnessed the growth of a small railroad to the great
corporation now known as the New York, New Ha-
ven & Hartford Railroad. In the beginning only
one man was employed about the depot, now there
are fifteen. Mr. Edmonds superintended the con-
struction of his own depot, freight house and other
buildings, and during forty years took only one va-
cation. He was retired by the company at his own
request, in consideration of his long and devoted
services.

Mr. Edmonds was married in 1852 to Miss
Seraphina Reynolds, \\ho was born in Wallingford,
daughter of Judge John D. and Lydia (Scarrett)
Reynolds. Her father was a judge of probate in
the towns of Wallingford, Eranford and Cheshire,
and was the son of Hezekiah Reynolds, well known
to the last generation.

Mr. Edmonds belongs to the Blue lodge, hold-



ing membership in Compass Lodge, F. & A. AI. He
attends the Episcopal Church, in which he has
served as vestryman. He is one of the oldest Demo-
crats of Wallingford, and has served on the school
board for five years. He was a member of the build-
ing committee when the high school was erected, and
did valuable service in that connection. For two
years he was a member of the court of burgesses.

LOREN RUSSELL CARTER, prominent in
real estate business, fire insurance, loans, etc., Wat-
erbury, is a native of Connecticut, born Oct. 16,
1854, in Warren, Litchfield county.

Russell Carter, his father, was of the same na-
tivity, born in 1792, a son of Buel Carter, who
was born in 1766 in Warren, Conn., a son of Sam-
uel (born in Hebron, Conn.), a son of Thomas
Sr. (born in 1684, in Woburn, Mass.), a son of
Thomas (born in England.) Of these, Samuel
(great-grandfather of Loren R.) and his two
brothers, Thomas and Joseph, all served in the
Revolutionary war. This same Samuel Carter mar-
ried on May 4, 1759, Martha Buel, of Litchfield.
Conn., and settled on a farm in Warren, where they
reared a family of eleven children ; he represented
Warren in the State Legislature in 1788 and 1797.

Buel Carter, grandfather of Loren R., was
reared on the home farm in Warren, Conn., and
died there in 1856. He married Eunice Peck, and
by her had three children: (i) Martha (now de-
ceased) married Burton Gilbert, a merchant, who
accumulated considerable means. (2) Loraine mar-
ried George Starr, a ion of Rev. Peter Starr, who
for fifty years was a minister of the Congregational
Church in Warren ; George Starr was a farmer and
died in Warren. (3) Russell was the youngest.

Russell Carter, father of our subject, was a
farmer in Warren, Conn., thence moving to Water-
bury in 1856, where he died in 1870. He was twice
married, first to Rebecca Stone, by whom he had
two children, Buel and Harriet, of whom Buel died
in May, 1900, in' Warren, on the old homestead —
the dwelling having been built about one hundred
years ago; and Harriet (now deceased) married
Charles V. ^lolthrop. Russell Carter married (sec-
ond) Laura Hills, a daughter of John Hills (who
was born in Glastonbury, Conn., and was a farmer
by occupation) and his wife, Esther Hale (also of
Glastonbury, and a collateral relative of Nathan
Hale, of Revolutionary fame). Three children
were born to this union, viz. : Rebecca, who died
at the age of sixteen years; Loren R., our subject:
Eleanor, who died when five years old. The mother
is still living, now aged seventy-seven years, and
makes her home in Waterbury, with her son, Loren
R. Russell Carter was in politics a Democrat, and
he represented the town of Warren in the State
Legislature several times : was also a selectman —
in fact held most of the town offices, being prom-
inently identified with the place.

Loren R. Carter, the subject proper of this



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COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



885



memoir, was about ei.cfhteen months old when his
parents came to Waterbury, and here he attended
the public schools. W'esleyan Academy and East-
man r.usiness Colleg:e. Laying aside his books, he
was with F. L. Allen, hardware merchant. Water-
bury, for some time, and then commenced building
houses in the western part of the city, in 1892 tak-
ing up the business of real-estate, fire insurance,
loans, etc. He is owner of considerable improved
real estate in the town and city of Waterbury.

On Sept. 20, 1879, Lo en R. Carter married
Irene E. Hendrick, of Waterbury, a daughter of
Joseph Hendrick. a native of New York citv, whose
father was born in England. Three children have
been born to Air. and Mrs. Carter: L. Russell,
who is attending Yale College, Academic depart-
ment ; Earl Buel and Ethel L. In religious faith
our subject and his wife are Baptists ; in politics he
is a Republican ; and socially, he is affiliated with
Townsend Lodge, No. 89, I. O. O. F.

GEORGE W. DIVINE (deceased). In every
community there dwell men who rise by their own
inherent ability to a recognized position as leaders
in the social, intellectual and political life of the
people. In the town of Seymour, the estimable busi-
ness man whose name appears above, for many
years took an active part in public affairs, wielding
A wide influence for the general welfare, shaping
and directing opinion by his clear insight into events
and by his unflagging devotion to those causes
which he believed essential to the public weal.

Mr. Divine was born in Newburgh, Orange Co.,
N. Y., Feb. 5, 1822, a son of Henry and Phoebe
(Tilton) Divine, and grandson of Samuel Divine,
-who reared a large family and passed the declining
years of his life in Sullivan county, N. Y. Henry
Divine, the father of our subject, was born in New-
"burgh, N. Y., and acquired the blacksmith trade
which he followed until his death at the age of
thirty-eight years. His wife. Phoebe Tilton. was
an aunt of Theodore Tilton, and was born in Sulli-
van county, N. Y., a daughter of Joseph Tilton,
.who served through the Revolutionary war on the
■Staff of Gen. Washington. Like her husband, she
died in middle life, at the age of thirty-nine years.
They were members of the Baptist Church. To
Henry and Phoebe Divine were born seven children,
two of whom, Mrs. G. Leavenworth, of Seymour,
and Airs. Phoebe Blake, of North Haven, are yet
living.

George W. Divine was reared at Newburgh.
At the age of eighteen years he enlisted in the 2nd
United States Infantry, and served five years, par-
ticipating in the Seminole war. He followed brick
-making at North Haven, Conn., for a time, then en-
gaged in the manufacture of bits at Hamden and
later at Humphreysville, now Seymour. About
1853 ^''s removed to Millville, Rensselaer Co., N.
Y., where he lived four years. During that time
he was actively engaged in politics, and was elected



justice of the peace. Returning to Seymour he con-
tinued bit making, and also the manufacture of edge
tools until his death. April 18, 1887, at the age of
sixty -five years. He was a skilled mechanic and
was especially expert in operating the trip hammer,
with which he manufactured bits. Mr. Divine pos-
sessed a judicial turn of mind, and for twelve years
served as justice of the peace. He also transacted
a large amount of legal business. He was a thor-
oughly informed man and was active in public af-
fairs. He was elected in 1879 a member of the
State Legislature, serving with credit to himself
and to the complete satisfaction of his constituents.
Among the local offices which he filled were select-
man and grand juror. He was an eloquent speaker,
convincing in argument, and conducted at one time
in Westville a series of debates, which lasted four-
teen weeks. In religious faith he was a zealous
member of the Disciple Church. For six years he
was captain of the Humphreysville Grays, and dur-
ing the Civil war he raised two companies ; one un-
der Capt. William Wyant, became a part of the 5th
regiment, and the other under Capt. W. Smith, a
part of the 20th regiment. He also drilled many
companies, preparatory to their active service in
the field.

On Nov. 28, 1847, Mr. Divine married Miss
Martha G. Bassett, a native of Humphreysville. now
Seymour, daughter of Abel and Martha (Peck)
Bassett and granddaughter of Abraham Bassett, who
was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Abel Bas-
sett was a carpenter and millwright by trade, and
spent his entire life at Seymour. He was a soldier
in the war of 1812. To himself and wife were born
nine children, of whom two are living, Julia A.
(Clark), and the widow of our subject, who is the
youngest of the family. Abel and Martha Peck
were members of the Episcopal Church. He died
March 23, 1864, aged seventy-seven years, and his
wife Sept. 6, 1850, aged fifty-seven years. To our
subject and his wife were born two. children. Julia
A. married Willard G. Alitchell, who was a
soldier in the Civil war. a member of Company A,
52d Mass. V. I., and who died Aug. 22, 1876. His
widow now makes her home with her mother.

George A. Divine, the other child of George
W. and Alartha Divine, was born Sept. 6, 1850, in
Seymour, where he was reared and educated, and
where he spent most of his years. He is a skillful
musician and in that profession he has traveled quite
extensively. He was with P. T. Barnum one sum-
mer, and has played with Washburn and a number
of other noted persons. He is a leader of the band
and is a skillful player of the cornet, bass viol and
the violin. He transposes music rapidly, and is a
member of the Concordia Singing Society, and has
played with the Second Regiment Band. In politics
George A. Divine is a Republican, and in October,
1898, he was elected selectman, acting as first se-
lectman ; he is now serving his third term, having
been re-elected in October, 1900, and again in 1901.



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886



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



He is a member of Morniiiij Star Lod^e, F. & A.
M., at Seymour, and a charter member of the Xon-
nawank Lodge, Red Men. He is afifiHated with the
Knights of Pythias, of which he is treasurer, and
is a member of the Citizens Hook & Ladder Co. He
married, Jan. 13. 1873, Jennie E. Short, who was
born in Derby, daughter of Ephraim Short, a black-
smith of that town.

Both Mrs. Martha Divine and her daughter,
Mrs. Mitcliell, have been active and prominent mem-
bers of the Eastern Star for twenty-seven vears.
They are also members of the Amaranth Society,
and of the Bassett Family Association. They are
members of the Disciple Church, and among the
leading social families of Seymour.

Jason Bassett. a brother of Mrs. Divine, was a
builder and architect of rare ability. He erected
the Episcopal churches at Hartford, Xaugatuck and
Huntington before he was twenty-one years old.
He followed his profession at Xew York and later
at Rochester, where he made the specifications for
the handsome court house in that city. He removed
to Buffalo, and had there designed and constructed
some of its more elegant structures when his useful
and brilliant career was cut short in 1850, at the
age of forty-four years. Another brother, David
Bassett, settled at Racine, Wis., where he bought
land, cleared it, erected the first water wheel there,
and became one of its most prominent citizens. He
died in California in 1853.

JUDGE GEORGE DEFOREST BISSELL,
who is now living a retired life in Xaugatuck, was
born in Torrington, this State, April 24, 1828. and
is^a representative of a good old Colonial family.
His grandfather, Elisha Bissell, was bom in Spring-
field, Mass., in 1743, and died in 1808 in Torring-
ton. He married Roxy Bissell, and located at
Windsor Hill, Conn., where they reared a family of
five children, namely: Seth, born in 1782, lived in
Windsor, -and died in 1798; Elisha, born in 1787,
died in 181 1 ; Roxy, born in 1788, married Richard
Bristol, a farmer of Harwinton, Conn., and died in
1846; George, the father of our subject, was next
in order of birth: and Sila, born in 1793, married
Erastus Hodges, of Torrington, and (second) Ru-
fus Pickett, of Morris, and died in 1869.

George Bissell, our subject's father, was born
in Windsor Hill, in 1790, and there grew to man-
hood. He married Sarah Woodrulif, of Torring-
ton. Her father, John Woodruff, was a native of
Oxford, and was a farmer by occupation : he served
as a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and saw
Major Andre executed. After their marriage Mr.
and Mrs. Bissell located in Torrington. where the
father was first engaged in farming and later in
tanning, so continuing until his death, April 19,
1835. His wife, who long survived him, passed
away Sept. 4, 1894. They had but two children,
the older being Sarah \., who was born July 7,



1824, and died unmarried, Sept. 8, 1898. In politics
the father was a Whig, and in religious belief both
he and his wife were Congregationalists.

George DeForest Bissell was seven years of age
when, with his mother, he removed to Litchfield,
Coim., where he was reared and educated. In earlv
life he engaged in farming and school teaching,
and then went to Rock Island, 111., where he clerked
in a commission house for three years. Returning
to Litchfield, Conn., in 1859, he was engaged in
clerking there until 1863, when he went to New
Haven and was'emplo\-ed as clerk in the '"Tremont
House" for three years. At the end of that time
he entered the office of the probate judge at Hart-
ford, and remained there for three years. In 1869
he came to N'augatuck, where he served as book-
keeper and secretary of the Tuttle Manufacturing
j Co., for about seventeen years, or until appointed
! postmaster at that place. He assumed the duties of
1 that office April i, 1887, and capably discharged the
same for two years and a half, since which time he
has lived retired.
I On June 5, 1870, Judge Bissell married Miss Lil-
I lian Adella Clarke, of Prospect, Conn., a daughter
of Sela Clarke, and they have one son, George De
i Forest, Jr. They attend the Congregational Church,
and are held in high regard by all who know them.
Fraternally the Judge is a member of Shepherd's
Lodge, No. 78, A. F. & A. M., of N'augatuck-; and
politically, he is a stanch supporter of the Demo-
cratic party. He was the first warden of Nauga-
tuck ; has served as selectman : was town clerk for
about six years: and judge of probate four years.
He has been found true to every trust reposed in
him, and has made a most efficient and popular
officer.

ENSIGN NORTHROP, an honored veteran of
the Civil war, has been for many years a resident
of Waterbury, where he has established an envia-
ble reputation for himself both as a man of unques-
tioned probity and as a skilled worker, connected
with one of the largest industrial establishments of
that busy city.

Mr. Northrop was born in Chili, Monroe Co.,
N. Y., March 13, 1834, son of Miles Northrop, who
was born in Cornwall, Conn., July 20, 1805, and
died in Orleans county, N. Y.. in 1891. Aliles
Northrop left home at the age of sixteen, and what
knowledge is now obtainable of his parentage and
ancestrv is very obscure. He went into Genesee
county, N. Y., at that time far from the old home,
not only in distance but in the time necessary to
cover it. There was little communication, and the
young man drifted away from all intimate touch
with his family. He learned the cooper's trade, and
worked at same in Genesee. Monroe and Orleans-
counties, N. Y. He married Eliza Ensign, who
was born in Sheffield, Mass.. a daughter of Freeman
Ensign, and died in Orleans county, N. Y., in 1890;



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COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



887



hho was about a year older than her husband. The
l-jisi'-'Ps were long settled in Massachusetts, and
were of French extraction. ^Miles Northrop was
the father of nine children: George was a farmer
in New York, and later removed to Florida where
he died. Emeline married Edwin Hinche, a cooper
in Chautauqua county, N. Y., and is now deceased.
Sarah is the wife of George Phillips, a Genesee
countv farmer. Warren is a farmer in Orleans
county. Ensign is our subject. Betsy marrieil
Hcnrv Fierce (who died in the Civil war), and is
now deceased. Mary married George (Jswell, and
they are living in Cherry Creek, X. Y. Ellen mar-
ried Henry Hale, and they live in Alichigan. Es-
ther died unmarried.

Ensign Northrop lived in Genesee county, X.
Y., until he was twenty-two years of age. and then
engaged in farming in Chautauqua county. At
the 'breaking out of the Civil war he enlisted in
Company K, 112th X. Y. \ . L, serving three years.
and seeing much active duty. He was a faithful
soldier, and made a record of which he mav be
justly proud. In 1869 he went into Virginia to trv
northern farming in the South, but the result of
the experiment was not encouraging, and in the
spring of 1870. returning Xorth, he located at Wat-
erbury. where his home has been to the present time.
Mr. Xorth rop entered the employ of the Scovill
Manufacturing Co. in 1870, and is still with them.
I-'or twenty-seven years he has liecn engaged in saw-
ing brass on the same machine.

Mr. X^'orthrop and Miss Eunice Hinche were
married Sept. 20, 1855. Mrs. Xorthrop was born
in Chili, Monroe Co., X'. \'., daughter of Joseph
Hinche, a farmer, and is of I'rench extraction. To
this union were born three children: Miles, who
died at the age of fourteen : Charles, a foreman in
the White Dental Works, at Princess P.ay, Staten
Island; and Anna, wife of Edward Smith, of Xaug-
atuck. Conn., a contractor and builder of more than
local standing. Mr. Xorthrop is a Republican, and
is a member of Wadhams Post. G. A. R. Since earlv
youth he has been a member of the Baptist Church.

JOHN M. REDSHAW, the father of Samuel
G. Redshaw, was born in Leeds. England, and re-
mained in his native country, followins" the business
of a cloth manufacturer, until after his marriage.
When he came to this country he settled in Derby,
where he resumed his trade, and followed it for
some years in connection with the firm of Plunrb
& Beach. Mr. Plumb finally came to Ansonia. and
started a business in this city under the name of
Plumb & Co., John M. Redshaw being the "com-
pany." When the establishment passed into the
hands of a stock company, Mr. Redshaw remained
as a stockholder and superintendent of a depart-
ment as long as the business was continued. He
lived retired from active labor for a time before
his death, on Feb. 3, 1899, at the age of seventy-nine



years. He married Sarah Gaunt, who was born
in the same town as her husband, a daughter of
Samuel CJaunt, and they had five children, three oi:
whom are living: Moses W. living in Bridgeport,
Conn. Samuel G. is mentioned below; and Joseph,
who lives in West Haven. The father was a well-
known and active member of the community in his
time. He came to Ansonia about 1844. and saw it
change from a farming communit}' to a great indus-
trial center. P'raternally he was a Mason, and was
enrolled in George Washington Lodge, A. F. & A.
M., Mt. X'ernon Chapter. R. A. M.. and other Ma-
sonic organizations. He belonged to the Congre-
gational Church. John M. Redshaw's only brother,
Thomas M., served in the Union army during the
Civil war, and was killed in the battle of Gettys-
burg, and Thomas M. Redshaw Post, G. .\. R., at
Ansonia, commemorates his name.

Samuel G. Redshaw was born in Ansonia,
Conn.. July 2~, 1849, and there he spent his earh-
life in attendance upon the local schools. On reach-
ing manhood he entered the woolen mill, and after
a time bought out the bo.x factory of A. B. Hen-
dricks, carrying on the business in a small way,
without the aid of machinery, and employing onlv
three girls. By close attention and the constant ef-
fort to please his patrons he has steadily increased
his trade. On July i. 1896, he became the owner
of the factory in Derby, and working the two to-
gether he doubled his output, but he sold the latter
in November, 1899, removing part of the machinery
i-O his plant in Ansonia. His trade is strictly local,
and the demand crowds the productive power of his
business to the utmost.

Mr. Redshaw was married in 1877 to Amelia
Lawton. a daughter of Lewis Lawton, who lived in
W^insted, and was a spinner by trade. i\Irs. Red-
shaw is one of a family of four children. Her par-
ents are both deceased, both passing away at the
age of si.xty-nine years, and within a month of one
another. They were members of the Episcopal
Church.

Mr. and Mrs. Redshaw have two sons: John
Lewis, the elder, is a stenographer and book-keeper
for his father. Charles Joseph, the younger boy,
is fitting himself for college.

Mr. Redshaw is a Republican in politics, but has
refused all propositions to accept local offices. Long
ago he united with the ]vIasonic fraternity, being
now a veteran Mason, and holding membership in
Washington Lodge, A. F. & A. M., the chapter, R.
A. M., X'ew Haven Commandery, and Pryamid
Temple of the Mystic Shrine, having progressed as
far as the 32d degree. He has held all the offices
in the Blue Lodge, and those up to master in the
chapter. He is also a member of the Eastern Star,
of which he was grand patron of the State in 181 )S.
in that year making more than forty official visits,
calling on every chapter in the State. Mr. Redshaw
is also a veteran Odd Fellow, being enrolled in



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COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



NaiTgatuck Lodge, No. 63, where he has filled all
the offices ; in Hope Encampment, No. 26, of which 1
he is past chief patriarch ; and in the Grand En- j
campment. He is connected with the A. O. U. W. i
and the Improved Order of Heptasophs. For
twenty-five years Mr. Redshaw has been a member
of Eagle Hose Co., No. 6. He and all his family are
members of Christ Church.

FREDERICK WILLIAM BROCKSIEPER ■
(deceased). The country that has produced a Bis- '•
marck and a Schiller, a V'on .Moltke and a Goethe, I
has contributed in no small way to the best develop- j
ment of America, for the habits of industrv, the ■
stern self-denial, the sterling integrity and the '
faculty of true enjoyment and cheerful' living are
characteristic of the German race, and this com-
bination forms a citizen of value to any countrv.
A native of the Fatherland, Frederick Willian;
Brocksieper was one of the best known and most
highly respected citizens of North Haven, Connec-
ticut, i

Frederick \Y . Brocksieper, Sr.. his father, was
Ijorn in Iserlohn,"in the northern part of West-
phalia, Germany, where he engaged in the manu-
facture of hardware very extensively, being the first
manufacturer of screws in that country, A thriftv ;



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 26 of 94)