is supposed to have come to this country from Eng-
land in 1623 with Capt. Robert Gorges. He may
have obtained iX)ssession of Shawmut. which was
then the name of that locality, liy lease or inircliase
from Gorges. He was not driven off by the later
settlers, because of his kind offices to them and his
carefulness not to be obnoxious to them. He is
believed to have graduated from Emmanuel College,
Cambridge, in 1617, and was a clergyman of the
Church of England. He hatl "left England because
, of his dislike of the Lord I'.ishops." He had built a
house in which he lived near a fine spring of water,
that good authorities believe was at the northern
terminus of Leveret street, and near the depot of
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
â– the Lowell railroad. The improvements he had
made showed he must have been there seven or
â– ei^ht years before any others came. lie seemed to
.prefer soliliide. Winthrop and his company, having
located on the other side of the Charles river, at
Â£harlestown, were having much sickness and dis-
tress. Mr. Ulackstone, becoming acquainted with
their condition, went over and invited them to re-
move to his place. His advice and invitation were
accepted, and before August most of them moved
over. Some years later lUackstonc. becoming dis-
'.satisfied with his new neighbors, sold out most of
his property and removed to the borders of Rhode
Island. Lechford says that he was induced to re-
move because he would not join the church. The
â– saying is, he left England because of his dislike of
the Lord Hishops, hut now he did not like the lord
brethren. He was paid a small sum by each of the
new settlers. Purchasing cows with his money,
he went to a place about six miles north of Provi-
dence, at .\ttleborough Gore, on the Blackstone
river. He called it Study Hill, a name which still
clings to it. As at Shawmut, he had fine gardens, or-
chards and meadows in his new locality. There, as
ill t'he former settlement, his were the first apples
produced in the place. In 1765 several of his apple
trees remained and bore fruit. In 1836 three trees
were standing, in appearance very old, and probably
grew from the sprouts of those planted by Black-
stone. These facts are found by Drake in Mr.
Bliss' Historv of Rchoboth. and in Daggett's His-
tory of Attleborough. On July 4, 1659, Rev. Will-
iam Blackstone married Mary Stevenson, widow of
John Stevenson, of Boston. \\'hen Williams and his
associates came to Providence Blackstone occasion-
ally preached for them. He died a month before
the breaking out of King Philip's war. The Indians
ravaged his plantation and burnt up his buildings
and his valuable library. Mr. Blackstone is known
to have left one son, whose posterity are somewhat
r.umerous. Drake thinks that Blackstone should
he the name of the principal street of Boston. His
name does survive there in the park or "square,"
and in several other things and places. The town
cf Blackstone and the river Blackstone also pcrpet-
i;ate his memory.
Soon after 1700 a John Blackstone appeared in
Eranford, Conn. He was a mariner, and came from
Rhode Island with his wife Rebecca. He purchased
considerable land from time to time. As Branford
in those days was quite a port of foreign com-
iTierce, it was natural he should find it and choose
it as a home for his family. He was probably the
grandson of Rev. William Blackstone, of Study Hill.
Tradition relates that his marriage was not agreea-
ble to his friends or his wife's friends, so the young
people resolved to make a new home for themselves
in Connecticut. This Tohn Blackstone began to buv
land near the present "Blackstoneville." in Branford,
and continued from year to year until he was one,
of the largest landholders in the place. Much of
the land is still owned by the lM,.ws^;one families
Capt. John Blackstone, great-grandson of Will-
iam, and son of Jdhn, was horn Jan. 28, 1699. On
April 2, 1727, he married Elizalieth Foote, who died
May 14, 1733. On Nov. 25, 1736, Capt. Blackstone
married Rebecca Harrison, of the same town, who
died Oct. 8, 1765. He passed away Jan. 13, 1785.
His children, all by the first marriage, were: Abi-
gail, bom April 20, 1728, was married Dec. 17,
1750, to Abraham Hoadlcy, of Branford, and died
Sept. 15, 1810. Stephen was born Feb. 15, 1730.
Elizabeth, born Dec. 18. 1731, married Isaac Hoad-
ley. John was born May 7, 1733.
John Blackstone, son of Capt. John, was mar-
ried May 19, 1754, to Rebecca Baldwin, and their
children were: Ann, born Oct. 14, 1759; John,
April 24, 1763; Timothy, Xov. 7, 1765; .Abigail,
July 10. 1768; Edward, Sept. 2, 1770; Stephen
Foote, Dec. 3, 1772; Ebenezer, June 25. 1775;
Ralph, July 5, 1778.
John Blackstone, son of John and Rebecca
(Baldwin) Blackstone, was married Nov. 17, 1788,
to Rebecca Foote, and they had children : Ransom,
born April 17, 1790, never married, and died Dec,
14, 1859. Lucy, born July 23, 1792, was inarried
Nov. 26, 181 5, to John Tyler, and died Nov. 5,
1825. Augustus was born July 24, 1800. The
father of this family was a soldier in the war of
1812, ajid several Blackstones served as minute
men from 1776 to 1779.
Augustus Blackstone married Esther Linsley
Nov. 27, 1822. She died Jan. 19, t866, aged sev-
enty. On Dec. 16, 1866. Augustus Blackstone mar-
ried, for his second wife, Mrs. Ruel Andrews, of
East Haven, who was born March 28, 1801, and
died Dec. 9. 1891. Augustus Blackstone died Feb.
18, 1878. He and ibis fir.st wife had two sons Ixirn
to them, John Augustus and James Linsley. James
Linsley was born Aug. 24, 1832, and on Aug. 20,
1857. married Isabella Lee, of Madison, Conn., who
was born Dec. 2, 1835. Two children came to them:
Lee, born .April 16. 1861 : and Catherine Lee. born
Jan. 23, 1866. This entire familv died March 29,
John Augustus Blackstone was born June 28,
1829, in Branford, where he was reared and received
a common-school education. He became a prosper-
ous and successful farmer there. Mr. 'Blackstone
was married Nov. 7. 1855. to H. Minerva, daughter
of Ruel and Olive (Foot) .Andrews, of East Haven,
and they had two sons, Charles Augustus and Ruel
.Andrews. Mr. Blackstone was selectman of Bran-
ford ten years, and also held the offices of assessor
and constable, and was sheriff of the county. He
died Oct. 2. 1893. leaving memories of an honorable
and useful life.
Charles .Augustus Blackstone was born Sept. 26,
1856. in East Haven, Conn., and grew to manhood
in Branford. where he attended the public school.
Bred to farming, he has made that his life work.
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
and is now livings on a part of the old Blackstone
property. Mr. Blackstone was married Oct. 29,
1879, to Hattic M., daughter of Capt. John Hamil-
ton and Lucy Kelsey (Bishop) Spencer, of Madi-
son, Conn. They have one daughter. Pearl Esther,
born Oct. 23, 1894. Mrs. lilackstone's paternal
grandparents were Elias and Rebinah (Stevens)
Spencer, and her maternal grandparents were Levi
and I'olly (Coe) Bishop.
Mr. and Mrs. Blackstone are members of the
Congregational Church, and he is enrolled in Wid-
ows' Sons' Lodge, No. 66, F. & A. ^L, of which
he is senior warden; Israel Putnam Lodge, No. 31,
A. O. U. W. ; Montowese Lodge. No. 184, N. E.
O. P., the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, and the Su-
preme Lodge at Boston ; the Knights of Honor; and
the Branford Agricultural Society. At the meeting
of the Cirand Lodge of Connecticut, N. E. O. P.,
held in New Haven April 11, 1900. Mr. Blackstone
was elected representative to the Snpraiie Lodge
for two years. Mrs. Blackstone is a member of
Princess Lodge, No. 29, N. E. O. P., the Grand
Lodge of Connecticut, and the Supreme Lodge at
Boston. \n sentiment Mr. Blackstone is a Repub-
lican, but he is no politician. He is fond of the
hunt, and his home is full of fine trophies which tes-
tify to his superior marksmanship.
WILLI. \.M A. RUSSELL, a well-known l)kick-
smith of \\'cst Haven, was born in Bethany, Conn.,
June 6, 1845, the son of Styles A. and Susan An-
His family became identified with Bethany at an
early day and his grandfather Daniel Russell, was
a farmer there. Styles A. Russell, our subject's
father, was born and reared in P>ethany and be-
came a wheelwright by trade, many wheels having
been put in place by him in different places in his
section. He died' in I'ethany aged forty-one years.
His wife, Susan Andrew, who now resides in Derby
â– with one of her sons, is a devout Methodist. She
was horn in Bethany and is a descendant of Rev.
1637, and was one of the twelve founders of Vale
College. Her father William Andrew, died in 1857
and her mother Tem])erance Hotchkiss, in 1887.
She was one of a family of seven children and had
ten cliildren, of whom six are living. Mary mar-
ried Ransom Hitchcock and settled at the old home
in Bethany ; Catherine married Gilliert Doan ; Ellen
(Mrs. Newell) resides in West Haven; Elvira V.
married Thomas Horsfall : William A. was the next
in order of birth; Dwiglit S. is a resident of An-
sonia; Ann E. (Mrs. II. D. Seldon), resides in
Qiester; and Wallace A. lives in Derby.
William A. Russell was. but eight years old when
his father died, and at the age of ten years he made
his home in Orange, where he remained until eight-
een years old. He secured a common-school edu-
cation anfl after learning his trade in Woodbridge he
followed it as a journeyman in Orange two years;
Meriden one year ; and again in Orange for a year.
In 1869 he settled in West Haven, and in 1870 start-
ed in business for himself which he has continued
with one exception from 1884 to 1887 when he was
engaged in the manufacture of adjustable poles, in
Mt. Carmel. His shop at West Haven was burned
in 1895 <"'"^' 'i*^ then built the present sho]) on I'nion
street where he carries on a general blacksmith busi-
ness. In 1869 he married Jane I. Bradley, a na-
tive of liamden, this county, and thev have two
sons: Fred A., born in 1874. is an electrician, and
resides with our subject ; an
1876, is a carpenter in New Haven. Our subject is
a Democrat in politics an
of selectmen in i8<)7 and re-elected in 1898, 1899
and 1901. He has been connected with the Ma-
sonic order for twenty-five years and is a member
of Annawan Lodge, No. 115, F. & A. M., in which
he has held nearly all the offices and is a past master.
He is also a member of Joseph Andrews Chapter
No. 46, being High Priest at the present time, and
of Crawford Council of Fair Haven and New Ha-
ven Commandery, K. T. He is an active worker
in the I. O. O. F., Harmonv Lodge, No. 5, and the
Encampment, and is a charter member of the order
of American Mechanics in which he is a past officer.
He and his family are much esteemed socially and
his wife is a member of the Congregational Church
at W^est Haven.
CHRISTIAN THOGERSON, the proprietor
and successful manager of a retail meat market at
No. 290 Main street, Ansonia, was born in Den-
mark, Jan. 7, 1847, where his ancestors had long
been native to the soil. There his father. Christian
Thogerson, Sr., was born ami reared, and there his
grandfather spent his entire life engaged in the work
of a fanner. The father died at seventy-five years
of age, and the grandfather when past ninety years.
Elsie Christenson, the wife of Christian Thogerson,
Sr., was horn in Denmark, an
four children. Two of her children. Christenson
and Christian, are living, and two are dead. She
died at the age of forty-five.
Christian Thogerson spent the earlier years of
his life in Denmark, where he had such eilucational
advantages as were aft'orded the children of his day.
and became a farmer, in which occupation he was
engaged until he reached the age of thirty-four
years. 'At that age he determined to find a home
in the western world, and crossing the ocean, located
in Ansonia, Conn., where he worked in the slio])S
v.hile mastering the mysteries of the English speech.
.After a time he went into the confectionery business,
in which he was engaged some ten' years. Disposing
of that interest, he opened a retail meat market, and
in this enterprise has met with remarkable success.
His is now the largest market in the city, and tle-
mands the services of four clerks as well as of a
cashier, besides three wagons, and the business
calls are of a high grade. Mr. Thogerson carries
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
everything- in meats and provisions that the best
trade demands. lie is now among- the oldest and
most popular merchants on tlie street.
Mr. Thogerson was married when he was twen-
ty-four years of age to Catherine Madsor, of Den-
mark. Fraternally he belongs to Washing-ton
Lodge. F. & A. .M., and the Foresters of America.
In biJtli these organizations, and in the social walks
of life he is regarded as a genial and ]jleasant gen-
tleman, thoroughly reliable, and honest and upright
to the last degree. lie attends the Episcopal
Church, though both lie and his wife were reared in
the Lutheran fold.
.MJII-IRT KF.XXh'nV. a prominent citizen of
Derby, New liaven county, was born in Scotland,
Aug. 6, 1865, but accompanied his parents to this
country while a mere child. He traces his lineage
back to the Scottish Covenanters of the seventeenth
century, who attested the sincerity of their con-
vicliiins by the willing sacrifice of tlicir lives in the
struggle for religious freedom. His father was
James Kennedy, wlio married Klizabeth Gegie, a
native of I*'(Hnburgh. The elder Kemiedv, on com-
ing to America, took up his residence in Chicago,
where he died in 187 1. His widow still survives
him. Albert was one of a family of seven children,
whose names, in the order of their birth, are as fol-
lows : l<)hn P., James S., All)ert. INIarv, Bessie,
Charles and Jennie. John, the eldest, is a clothier
in Birmingham. England : he takes an active interest
in politics and has been a n-iember of the city council.
James and Charles are residents of Philadelphia,
the first named being connected with a house dealing
in optical goods. May, now Mrs. CofFman, lives
in England. Bessie and Jennie are still unmarried.
.\lbert Kennedy received his scholastic training
in Philadel])hia, but his broader and higher educa-
tion has been self acquired during his contact with
the world and the men who live in it. W'hile yet
a \-outh he went from Philadelphia to Derby, where
he found employment with the corset manufacturing
concern known as the Leopold Kraus Company.
Xot findit-ig his situation congenial, he left to enter
the law office of Senator Frederick W. Holden, with
whom he remained for two years. At the end of
that time he embarked in journalism, organizing the
Transcript Company, of which he was secretary and
treasurer, besides having editorial management of
the paper. The venture did not prove a finaticial
success, and after seven years the company went into
iiisolvencv. and ^[r. Kennedy went into business as
a job printer.
Mr. Kennedy is an ;inleut Democrat, and has al-
ways taken an active interest in politics. He is a
man of extraordinary native intellectual power, pos-
sessing a well regulated, well stored mind, and en-
dowed with remarkable fertility of resource. It is
rot surprising, therefore, that he should have been
successful in ])ublic life. Xor, on the other hand,
is it cause for wonder tliat his fellow citizens, recog-
nizing at once his mental and moral worth, should
have delighted to do him honor. For three years
he served as clerk of the board of Burgesses of
Derby, and was for two years a member of the
board of Aldermen. He served in the General As-
sembly during two terms, and for four years sat
in the State Senate. He has a rich, well-modu-
lated voice, easy grace of diction, and ke-en argu-
mentative power. He is a fluent speaker, often
heard in the legislative chambers and always com-
manding attentive and respectful hearing.
]\Ir. Kennedy is a member of various societies,
being connected with the Poototuck Tribe of Red
Men: the Court of Indian Well, F. of A.; and the
Knights of the Golden Cross. He is also a member
of the Ilotchkiss Ilose Company, of Derby.
GEORGE ERXEST MYERS, M. D., a leading
physician and prominent citizen of Cheshire, was
l)orn in Xewington, Coim., I-'eb. 10, 1867, and is a'
son of George W. and Anna A. (Huntley) Myers,
both of whom survive, and make their home in
Hartford. The Doctor accpiired his literary educa-
tion in the ])ul)lic schotils of his native town and
those of Hartford, and began the study of medicine
with Dr. Howe of that city. Subsequently he at-
tended lectures at the New York University and
the medical college of Burlington, \'t.. and was grad-
uated from the latter institution with the degree of
M. D., in i8y('). Immediately afterward he came
to Cheshire and opened an office, and for the past
five years has successfully engaged in the practice of
his chosen jirofession at this place. Since the death
of Dr. Cornwall, he is the senior practitioner of the
town, and he is now serving as health officer. He
enjoys a large practice which extends throughout
the towns of Prospect, Wolcott, Bethany and
In i8()4, in Hartford, Dr. ^ilyers was married
to Mrs. Elizabeth Deaiie. daughter of Edward John-
son, and widow of John Deane. Politically the
Doctor is a stanch supporter of the men and meas-
ures of the Republican party, and fraternally is a
Royal Arch Mason, a member of Hartford Lodge
ancl Pythagoras Chapter at Hartford, and also a
mend>er of Charter ( )ak Lodge, I. O. O. F. In
social as well as professional circles he stands high
in the esteem of his fellow citizens, for he is a pleas-
ant, genial gentleman, and makes friends of all with
whom he comes in contact. He is a skilled physi-
cian and surgeon, and is meeting with well de-
served success in his chosen calling.
HOBART \\'. CL'RTIS. conspicuous an-iong-
the skilled workers who have made Waterbury
known the world over, was born in Bridgejiort,
Conn., Dec. 28, 1850. a son of Hobart Curtis, and
a grandson of Phillip Curtis.
Phillip Curtis was torn in 1783, probably at
Stratford, Conn., and died May 24, 1857. He wed-
ded Lucy Marland, and after their marriage, they
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
settled in New llavLii, Conn., where he followed
the saddle-maker's trade. They had a family of
ten children: Clarence W., Tcressa, Hobart (the
father of Hobart W.), John, Tliomas P., Lucy,
Mary E., Jane, Lucy and Henry. All the chil-
dren with the exception of Hdbart, lived in New
Hobart Curtis was born in Xcw Haven Sept.
i-4, 1815, and died in Derby, Conn., Sept. 14, 1869.
He married Miss Enuna Francis, of Durham, Conn.,
a daughter of Friend W. I'"rancis. The ancestor
of the .American branch of the Francis family came
from Enj^land in 1651, and settled first at Wethers-
field, later moving to Durham. Mrs. Emma Curtis
died Oct. 7, 1887. Mr. Curtis was a Democrat, and
in religion a member of the Episcopal Church.
Thev had a family of seven children : Thomas I'.
is a printer in Bridgeport; Edward W., a sash and
blind maker in Derbv, died in 1878: Hobart W. ;
Frank H. died in 1885; John P.. and Mary E. both
died voung; and Charles H. is a draughtsman, and
is now living in Xew York City.
Hobart W. Curtis was but a boy when his par-
ents moved from Bridgeport to Litchfield, and he
also lived for a time at Waterbury, and then
at. Derby. He attended school wherever his
people were living, but in 1870. he came to
Waterhurv to serve an apprenticeship as a pat-
tern maker in the shops of the Farrell Found-
ry Co. In this work he developed marked ability,
and the house has kept him with them to the pres-
ent time. Six months "before completing his ap-
prenticeship, he was put in charge of the pattern
department, and has been its foreman many years.
He is now a director and a stockholder in the Com-
pany, and for twenty years he has been financially
interested in its prosperity.
Or* Sept. 18, 187.^, ^ir. Curtis was married to
Miss Julia Drake, of Cheshire, Conn., a daughter
of James S. Drake, who was one of the first busi-
ness men of Waterbury, a generation ago. To this
union were born three children : Chaiies D., a suc-
cessful civil engineer; Elizabeth: and Laura. Mr.
Curtis is a Democrat, and a reliable and patriotic
citizen. With the Odd Fellow fraternity his relations
are close and intimate, and he has been an active
worker in Townsend Lodge, No. 89, I. O. O. F.
for some years, and has passed through all the
chairs. Mr. Curtis and his family attend the Trin-
ity Episcopal Church, and he is a member of the
Waterbury Scientific Society.
GEORGE SIMEON SEELEY, widely known
in Meriden, where he is serving his fourth term as
a member of tlie board of selectmen of the town,
and is now the popular mayor, was lx)rn in Water-
bury Feb. 2, 1846. son of Charles and Amy (Pritch-
ard) Seeley. Both the parents were born in Water-
bury. The paternal grandparents were William
and Patty Seeley, who rearetl a large family.
Roger Pritciiard, the maternal grandfather of
Mr. Seeley, served as a soldier in the war of 1812,
and his father was a soldier in the war of the
Revolution. Roger Pritchard lived in the town of
Waterbury, w^here he was engaged in farming. He
married Chloe Nichols. George S. Seeley and iiis
mother were both lx)rn on the old Pritchard home-
Charles Seeley, father of George S., was a farm-
er in his earlier years, but later became a con-
tractor for stonemason work, locating in Meriden
as early as 1858. He died Nov. 25, 1890, at the
age of sixty-nine years. He was the father of six
children, of whom five lived to reach maturity:
Chloe ]., who became the wife of William Reming-
ton; George Simeon; Charles B., who died in Meri-
den in 1871; Grace A., wife of Henry Ilurlburt;
and Polly, Mrs. Joseph Fredericks, the last three
George Simeon Seeley was reared in Waterbury,
and accompanied his parents to Meriden when he
was twelve years old. His education was received
in the connnon schools, and at the age of nineteen
he began an apprenticeship to the metal turner's
trade, at which he was engaged for twenty-five
j-ears. At the expiration of that long period he
went into his present business, conducting a real-
estate and rent collection agency, in which he has
achieved a decided success.
Mr. Seeley was married Nov. 24, 1867, to Anna
G., daughter of Melvin C. and Esther (Guy) Lee,
of Meriden. To this marriage have come three
children: Frank Guy: Candora Anna, Mrs. James
H. Guernsey ; and Arthur Deshon. Mr. Seeley and
his family are members of St. Andrew's Episcopal
Church, of wibich he has been a vestryman for four-
teen years and treasurer since April 4, 1899. and he
is highly esteemed by his associates in that Iwdy.
He l>elongs to several fraternal orders, holding
membership in Meriden Center Lodge, No. 68. I. O.
O. F., of which he has been treasurer since March
17, 1888 ; and Silver City Lodge, No. 3, A. O. U.
W. In politics Mr. Seeley is a Republican, and he
is one of the workers in his city. He has been
chairman of the Republican town committee since
May, 1900, and has served as alderman and coun-
cilman from the Third ward. In December, 1901,
he was elected mayor, was installed in that office
in January, 1902, 'and is now efficiently performing
the duties appertaining to the incumbency.
HOR.\CE WARNER KIBBE, superintendent
of the farm for the Connecticut School for P.nys. at
Meriden, was born April 27, 1857, in Ellington,
Tolland Co.. Conn., a son of Julius A. and Ellen
The Kibbe family which is the most numerous
in the northern part of Tolland county traces its
history back to Edward Kibbe and Deborah, his
wife, who were residents of Exeter, England, in
1611. In May of that year his son, lulward Kihhe,
was born; he married Mary Partridge, of Exeter,
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
and came lo New England in i<)39, and owned and
conducted a sawmill at Brookline, Mass., in 1640.
Elisha Kibbe, son of Edward, was born in Bos-
ton, Feb. 20, 1643, and came to Enfield. Conn.,
from Brookline, in 1682. accompanied by his wife,
Rachel Cook, whom he married .May 7, i6C)7, and
who flied Sept. 10, 1740, aged ninety-six years, ten
months; he died in Enfield, April 3, 1735, aged
ninety-two years. .According to the records, his three
sons, Edward, Elisha and James, went to what is
now known as Somers, Conn., in 1713, and from