1883, and Harry Clinton, born March 13, 1885. (4)
Fannie Amelia and (5) Mary Florence (twins) are
at home with their parents, to whom thcv are very
devoted. They are ladies of culture and refinement,
and are quite active and prominent members of the
Daughters of the .American Revolution, the Wom-
en's Club and other social organizations.
The following lines from Mr. Porter's pen are
PSALM XXXII, 17.
Happy the truly honest man:
With no .illiirinK wile.
But cheerfully, he treats you well â€”
In whom there is no guile.
He never will put on deceit
For sake of caining spoil;
He is the one that you can trust â€”
In whom there is no guile.
May the good Lord deliver us
From all that's low or vile;
So (inallv it will he said.
In him there is no guile.
Dec. 2Â«. I'.Hll.
DAVID BROOKS, late of Brooks \'ale, in the
town of Cheshire, was a worthy representative of
one of the prominent old families of New Haven
The first of the name to come to America were
two brothers, Henry and John Brooks, both natives
of the County of Chester, England. Henry was a
stanch supporter of Oliver Cromwell, and fought
under his banner. Upon the restoration of Charles
II to the British throne many of the followers of
Cromwell, known as Roundheads, fled to different
parts of the world, a large number coming to Amer-
ica. Among the latter were Henry and John Brooks,
who settled in New Haven about ifi/O. and were
among the founders of New Haven Colony. Some
time later they removed to Wallingford, and, about
the beginning of the eighteenth century, took ud
land in a jiart of the Colonv which was afterward
set off from the town of Wallingford, and to which
they gave the name of Cheshire, for their native
county in England. Henry Brooks, who came from
Cheshire, in England, became a land owner in
Cheshire. Conn., and it was in his house that the
first religious services in that place were held. He
was an earnest, consistent Christian, and took a
deep interest in the Cheshire Colony, and the infant
church which he was instrumental in establishing.
He was married Dec. 21. 1676, to Hannah Blakeley.
(II) Lieut. Thomas Brooks, son of Henry, was
born in the New Haven Colony March 27, 1679,
and about 1705 removed with his parents to Che-
shire, where he spent the remainder of his life. He
was deeply interested in public affairs, especially
the welfare of his adopted town, and was the first
to petition the General Assembly to organize the
Congregational Church in Cheshire, in 1723, prior
to which time religious services were held in his
home. He died of smallpox May 18, 1732, and was
buried in Cheshire. He was a true and earnest
Christian, self-sacrificing and unselfish, doing all in
his power to advance the educational and moral in-
terests of his community, and his loss was deeply
felt by the church. He secured his title as lieuten-
ant in the militia. In Wallingford he married,
March 25, 1701, Martha Hotchkiss, a native of that
town, a daughter of Ensign Joshua Hotchkiss, and
a granddaughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Cleaver-
ly) Hotchkiss. To this union were born ten chil-
dren, whose names and dates of birth were as fol-
lows : Stephen, May 28, 1702: Marv. May 14,
1704: Thomas, Feb. 14, 1706; Enos, Feb. 15, 1708;
Cornelius, Sept. 10, 1711 : Martha, Feb. 21, 1714;
Mehitable. Feb. 23, 1716: Benjamin, .Vnril 23, 1720;
Henry. March 2, 1723 ; and Thankful, Dec. 19. 1725.
(III) Capt. Enos Brooks, son of Lieut. Thomas,
was born Feb. 15. 1708. and spent his entire life in
Cheshire, where he owned a large amount of land.
Enos was the first Brooks to locate in the south-
western part of the town, now called Brooks Vale.
There, in about 1732, he erected an old-style "lean-
to" house, on the ground where the present Brooks
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
homestead stands. There he died Sept. 22, 1771,
and was laid to rest in the family burying plot in
Cheshire cemetery. lie was captain of a company
in the militia, and was a liberal supporter and active
member of the church. He was noted for his indus-
trious habits, honorable dealing's and sterling worth.
His wife. Tamar, was born in 1706, and died Oct.
7, 1775. Her remains were also interred in Cheshire
( IV) Rev. David Brooks, son of Capt. Enos,
and the father of the man whose name introduces
this article, was born in Cheshire, in 1744, and was
graduated from Yale in 1768; he held the degree
of Master of Arts. He was an ordained minister
of the Congregational Church, but on account of
the unsettled state of the country, due to the Revo-
lution, was never pastor, permanently, of any church.
At the request of his kinsman. Gen. David Wooster,
he prepared and delivered a discourse in Derby,
Conn., in 1774, on the religion of the Revolution.
This discourse attracted nuich attention, was pub-
lished and helped to move public sentiment in favor
of the struggle for independence ; a copy of this
sermon is now in the possession of his descend-
ants. He was a soldier in the Continental anny,
being' among the first quota of men furnished
by the parish of New Cheshire, and was in
the service for eight months ; he entered
as a private, but was afterward apjiointed
quartermaster of his regiment. He was a member
of the Legislature at the time of Rurgoyne's sur-
render, and in January, 1788, he was a delegate to
the State Convention held in Hartford to ratify
and) adopt the Constitution of the United States.
He was a broad-minded man. an honorable citizen
and a good Christian. He died in Cheshire in De-
cember, 1810, and was buried in the family plot in
the cemetery. Rev. David Brooks married Eliza-
beth Doolittle, who was born in 1753, and died Aug.
15, 1831. In their family were ten children, includ-
ing David (our subject) ; Gen. Micah Brooks, a dis-
tinguished citizen of Livingston county, N. Y., and
a member of Congress : and Benedict Brooks, a
prominent citizen of Wyoming county, that State.
(V) David Brooks, whose name introduces this
sketch, was born in Brooks \'ale July 26. I7()i, and
grew to manhood in his native town, where he at-
tended school, and where he afterward followed
farming on the old Brooks homestead. There he
died July 24. 1873, at the age of eighty-two years,
and his remains were interred in Cheshire cemetcrv,
where a suitable nionnment has been erected to his
memory. He was one of the leading and popular
citizens of his community, and was widely and fa-
vorablv known throughout his county, being held
in high regard by all with whom he came in contact.
He was married in Cheshire to Miss Linda Hull, a
native of that town, and a daughter of Samuel Hull,
who is mentioned below. She died at Brooks Vale
April 30, 186;, and now sleeps by the side of her
husband in Cheshire cemetery. To this worthy
couple came the following children : Alonzo, born
in 1814, died in 1887; Clarissa L. married S. S.
Cowles, and died in Farmington, Coiui., in 1861 ;
David, born Jan. 26, 1820, is mentioned below;
Stella Law married William Seth Knowlton, of
Bridgeport, and died in Cheshire July 14, 1884;
Sanuiel Hull is a resident of New Haven; Elizabeth
Brooks, born in 1829, married Henry W. Chatfield,
of Brooklyn, N. Y., and died at Brooks Vale July
12, 1899; Edwin Micah, born in 1831, died in i860;
and Rosa, born Oct. 6, 1835, married Joseph H.
Martin, of Cirand Rapids, Mich., a native of Xorth-
(VI) David Brooks, son of (V) David, was a
man of high attainments and ripe scholarship. He
went to Philadelphia, and with S. F. B. Morse was
engaged in constructing the first telegraph line in
this country. He became widely known as an emi-
nent electrician, and invented an underground cable
for which the Western Union Telegraph Co. paid
him a large sum. He met with excellent success in
his undertakings, and was highly respected and es-
teemed for his sterling worth and many excellencies
of character. His death occurred in Philadelphia
May 30, 1891, and his remains were brought back
to Cheshire for interment. His wife, who bore the
maiden name of Lydia A. Gilbert, was born in Ham-
den, Conn., Feb. 11, T823. and died in Philadelphia
Sept. 22. 1893. Their children were Laura Gilbert,
wife of J. Lowrie Bell; David; Linda, wife of Ed-
ward Troth: .Anna Le Conte. wife of Henry S.
Snow-; and Edwin M.
Linda Hull, the wife of (y) David Brooks,
traced her ancestry to Richard Hull, a native of
Derbvshire, England, who came to America with
the first settlers, and was made a freeman in Dor-
chester, Mass.. in i('>34. About 1637 he removed
to Boston, and from there came to New Haven,
where he took the oath of fidelit}'. He was one of
the founders of the New Haven Colony, and was a
land owner in this county, and lived on what is now-
called Chapel street. He was a God-fearing man
and a good citizen, but not a Puritan, and on that
account came to New Haven, where be died in Sep-
temlicr, 1662. He had two sons â€” John and Joseph
â€” and one daughter. From Joseph descended Gen.
William Hull and Commodore Isaac Hull.
(II) John Hull, son of Richard, was b:irn in
1640, in New Haven, and there grew to manhood.
In 1661 he removed to Stratford, Conn., where he
was numbered among the ]ilanters for seven years.
In 1668 he went to Pawgassett. now Derby, Conn.,
and it is supposed that be was one of the first set-
tlers of that town, which he named Derby for his
father's old home in England. There he made his
home until 1677. and built several dwelling houses
for his sons. He also built the first corn-flour mill
in Wallingford, to which town he removed in 1687,
there buving 700 acres of land, which now forms a
part of Cheshire. He was known as Dr. John Hull,
and is supposed to have been a physician. His death
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
occurred in Wallinglord Dec. 6, i/ii, and he was
buried there. Me was three times married, and the
name of his first wife is unknown. On Oct. 19,
1671, he wedded .Mary Jones, and on Sept. 20, 1699,
married Rebecca Turner. His children by the first
marriai^e were: John, born March 14, 1661 ; Sam-
uel, Feb. 4, 1663; Mary, Oct. 31, 1664; and Joseph,
1662 (who is mentioned below). By the second
union there were five children : Benjamin, bom Oct.
7, 1672, was married Dec. 14, 1695, to Elizabeth
Andrews, and engaged in the jiractice of medicine;
Ebenezer, born in 1673, was married March 4, 1706,
to Lydia Mix, and died in 1709; Richard was born
in 1074; Jeremiah, born in 1679, married Hannah
Cook, of Wallingford, and was also a physician;
and Archer completed the familv.
(HI) Capt. Joseph Hull, son of Dr. John Hull,
was born in 1662 in Derby, and there spent his
entire life, engaged in commercial and agricultural
pursuits. He was a man of great influence in the
community ; represented his town in the General
Assembly; was a worthy member of the Congrega-
tional Church ; and a captain in the militia. He
died in Derby in 1744, and was buried there. He
was the great-grandfather of Commodore Isaac
Hull, who commanded the celebrated frigate "Con-
stitution." In 1691 he wedded Mary .Xichols, a
daughter of Isaac Nichols. She died in 1733. and two
years later he married Hannah Botsford, widow of
John Prindle. She died in Derby, and was buried
there. In his family were children as follows: Sam-
uel, born in 1692 (he made his home in Derby) ;
Joseph, in 1694; Caleb, mentioned below; Abijah,
born in 1697; .Andrew, in 1698: Mary (Mrs. Rus-
sell, of Derby), in 1699: Sarah (Mrs. Beach, of
Stamford), in 1701 : and Nathan, in 1709.
(IV) Caleb Hull, son of Capt. Joseph Hull, was
bom in Derby Feb. 4, 1695, ^nfl at the age of four-
teen went to live with his grandfather. Dr. John
Hull, in \\'allingfor(l, at that gentleman's request.
The Doctor gave him ore hundred acre? of land at
Broad Swamp, now a part of Cheshire, where he
built a house and made many other improvements.
He died there in September, 17S8, and was buried
in Cheshire. A true patriot and loyal American,
he answered to the first call for troops during the
Revolution, although eighty rears of age, and went
to the defense of Boston. He also answered to the
Lexington call, together with his son and grand-
son. He was a man of honor and integrity, and was
one of the representative citizens of his community.
On May t, 1724. he married Mercy Benham. a na-
tive of Wallingford, who died April 19, 1766, and
was laid to rest in Cheshire cemeterv. They had
twelve children, namely: Sarah, born .April 25,
1725, married Reuben .Atwater, of Cheshire: An-
drew, born .Aug. 23. I72f>. died Sept. 2T, 1774 : Mary,
born April 27, 1728. n-as married Oct. 3, 1745, to
Jonathan Hitchcock : Samuel, born March 22, 1730,
is mentioned below; Joseph, born Aug. 29, 1732,
died in infancy; Abijah, born Oct. 11. 1733, died
Dec. 14, 1733; Joseph, born June 10, 1735, died Dec.
; 4. 1735; Caleb, born -May '31, 1736, died Aug. 8,
1736; Submit, born Dec. 12, 1737, died Feb. 13,
1738; Patience, born (.let. 15, 1740, died in Septem-
ber, 1764; Joseph was born April 18, 1741 ; and
Caleb, born Dec. 16, 1742, married Mary Street,
and died June 4, 1767.
(V) Samuel Hull, son of Caleb, was a well-
known and highly respected citizen of Cheshire,
where he was born and reared, and later followed
farming, owning land in that town. He was a
member of the Congregational Church. He served
as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He died
April 27, 1791, and was buried in Cheshire ceme-
tery. In Wallingford he was married, Dec. 26,
^753' to Eunice Cook, who was bom Jime 29, 1735,
a daughter of Capt. Samuel and Hannah (Lewis)
Cook, and granddaughter of Samuel and Hannah
(Ives) Cook, and of Ebenezer and Elizabeth (Mer-
riman) Lewis, of \\'allingford. The children of
this union were as follows : A son, born Jan. i, 1755,
died in infancy; Jedediah was born Feb. 26, 1756;
a son. born Feb. 2, 1758. died in infancy; Samuel,
born May 27, 1759, is mentioned below; Zephaniah,
horn May I, 1761, made his home in Wallingford,
Vt., where he died Feb. 20, 1840; Epaphras, born
April 9, 1763, also died in Wallingford, Vt., April
13, 1827: Eunice, born April 16, 1765, married
Sheriflf Whipple, of Cazenovia, N. Y., and died Dec.
18, 1820; Lois, born Feb. i, 1767, died Oct. 20,
1777 ; Caleb, bom Nov. 9, 1768, died in Wallingford,
Vt.. Aug. 9, 1816; Elizabeth, born Oct. 28. 1770,
died -Aug. 13, 1777: Josephus, bom Aug. 24, 1772,
died in \\'allingford, Vt., March 18, 1813; and Han-
nah, horn Oct:. 11, 1775. married .\. Meacham, of
Wallingford, Vt., and died in 1850.
I (VI) Samuel Hull, son of Samuel, Sr., and fa-
ther of Mrs. David Brooks, was born on the old
Hull homestead in Cheshire, and like his father and
Grandfather was a soldier of the Revolutionarv war.
Throughout life he followed the occupation of farm-
ing in his native town, and was one of the most
highly esteemed and honored citizens of his com-
munity. He died upon his farm Oct. 27, 1848, and
was laid to rest in Cheshire cemeterv. His ^vife,
who bore the maiden name of Abigail Doolittle, was
born May 26, 1766, and died Oct. 10. 1835: her re-
mains were interred in the same cemeterv. They
had ten children, namely: Stella, born March 27,
i/Sf), married Jonathan Law, and died Dec. 13,
T841 : Jedediah was born in 1788: Anne was Ixirn
Jan. 13, 1704; Linda, born Feb. 6, 179^, was the wife
of David Brooks, our subject : Eunice, born Nov.
12. 1798. married Birdsey Booth, of Cuvahoga Falls.
Ohio; Charlotte L.. born Sent. 0. t8oo, married
John Olmsted, of Hartford, Conn. : Samuel Cook,
bom Aug. 4, t8o2. died .Kwtc. 26. 1804; Samuel,
bom Feb. 4. T805, died in Morris. Grundv Co.. 111.:
j Julius, born July i, 1807, married Lucy Ives, and
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
removed to Ohio; and Andrew Franklin, born Jan.
13, 181 1, married Adeline Munson, and died Jan.
HON. WILLIAM E. DOWNES, of New Ha-
ven, now retired, was, a generation ago, one of the
leading manufacturers and prominent citizens of
New Haven county, where his active career of law-
yer, legislator and manufacturer for twenty-five
years was passed.
Mr. Downes was born Aug. 22, 1824, in the
town of Milford, Conn., and is strictly a New Eng-
lander, a product of Connecticut, for here his an-
cestors have figured from the very dawn of the
Colonial period. He is the son of the late Horatio
and Nancy (Smith) Downes, who had much of the
Puritan in their character and aspect, and grandson
of John and Hannah (Stone) Downes, the former
a patriot of the Revolution, and in the family is a
very interesting diary which was kept by him from
1764 to 1810. containing, with very few exceptions.
an entry for every day during that long period.
Among the ancestors of our subject through his
grandmother, Hannah (Stone) Downes, was one of
the t\)unders of the church in Connecticut â€” Rev.
Thomas Hooker, of Hartford : and through his
mother he is in direct line from Gov. Robert Treat,
Rev. Samuel Andrew, of Milford, one of the lead-
ing men in New England and one of the principal
founders of Yale College, and for a dozen or more
years from 1707 rector of it; and he is also through
the same channel in direct line from Edmund Tapp,
one of the first settlers of Milford, and one of the
first five judges of that town.
In boyhood ^^'illiam E. Downes attended the
district schools of his native town and afterward
completed his studies, preparatory to entering col-
lege, with the Rev. Asa AI. Train, of Milford. He
entered Yale College in 1841, and four years later
was graduated in the class of '45, the valedicto-
rian being James G. Gould, a fine scholar and most
gifted man. Mr. Downes chose the profession of
the law as a life work, and in the preparation for
it studied one year under the direction of the late
distinguished lawyer, Hon. Alfred Rlackman, of
New Haven. He then entered the Yale Law School.
and after the usual course of study was admitted
to the Bar of the State of Connecticut in Danbury,
in 1848. In December of the same year he opened
an office in Birmingham, Conn., and began the
practice of his profession, continuing therein until
1863. when be relinquished it and succeeded the late
Dr. Howe, his father-in-law. in the management of
the business of the Howe Manufacturing Co., of
Eirmingham. and remained in its active manage-
ment until 1875, when the burden of the work was
turned over to other hands. As a lawyer Mr.
Downes gained and kept the confidence, respect and
esteem of the community in which he lived, as well
as that of his brethren at the Bar. His business
surelv and steadilv increased as his worth and abil-
ity became known, and when he relin(iuished his
])ractice, it was a source of sincere regret to a nu-
Since the retirement of Mr. Downes from the
active management of the Howe Manufacturing
Co. he has given his time to the management of his
own affairs, and in the performance of the duties
of the many positions of trust and responsibility
which he has filled. For a decade or more he was
president of the Derby Savings Bank. He is a
director and member of the executive committee of
the Ousatonic Water Co., and a director and valued
counsellor and adviser in many other corporations
in Derbv and elsewhere. With the Ousatonic Water
Co. he has been prominently identified from the be-
ginning, having been employed as one of the coun-
sel to obtain a charter for the company from the
Legislature of Connecticut. As early as 1855 he
was sent to the State Legislature from the town of
Derbv. He again represented that town in the same
hody'in 1882," and for the third time in 1883. He
took a prominent part in the establishment of the
"Board of Pardons," and was chiefly instrumental
in procuring tlie passage of the " \ci Concerning
Insane Persons," in the year 1889. and modestly
savs that such satisfaction as he has derived from
his legislative experience arises from his connection
with these two acts. For several years Mr. Downes,
at some sacrifice, filled the office of justice of the
peace in the town of Derbv.
In referring to his make-up, a writer has said:
Mr. Downes is possessed of certain nunlilies rarely found,
as in him, in harmonious combination. While a lover of books,
and of reading and with the instincts and tastes of a scholar, he
is at the same time a practical man of affairs, with an aptitude
for business born of a thorough legal and business training, and
of a large and varied experience. In the many corporations
with which he is connected, his opinion carries much weight
and his counsel is rarely disregarded. While modest and
retiring in disposition, and willing to yield to the judgment of
others in matters of minor importance, he is steadfast in matters
of principle and loval to his convictions at all times, without
regard to consequence. His conclusions are generally reached
only after mature reflection and although they are held with
firmness, the firmness never degenerates into obstinacy. He
has an instinct for justice and a sense of honor "that feels a
stain like a wound." His keen perception of the humorous side
of human nature and conduct, coupled with a genial, kindly
dispo-sition. makes him a delightful companion, and relieves the
' ' prosiness ' ' of many a business meeting.
Politically Mr. Downes has generally acted with
the Republican party. His religious faith is that of
the Con.gre.gational Church.
In t8st Mr. Downes was married to Jane M.,
onlv child of Dr. John I. Howe, of Birmin.gham,
Conn., and their children are: Mrs. Helen G. At-
water, of New Haven. Conn.; William Howe, of
Boston, Mass. : and Mrs. Catherine J. Whiting and
John I. H.. of New Haven. Since 1887 Mr. Downes
has made his home in New Haven.
The late Dr. John- I. Howe, father of Mrs.
Downes. was born in 1793. in Ridgefield, Conn., and
was graduated from the ATedical University of New
York. He was married to Cornelia .\nn. daughter
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
of George Ireland, of New York, and for many
years practiced his profession with skill and success
in that city. As early as 1828 he obtained a patent
on rubber comjxjunds. In 1832 and 1833 he devised
a machine for making pins, and in 1835 the Howe
Manufacturing Co. was organized in \'cw York for
the manufacturing of that article. For thirty years
Dr. Howe had the sole management of the manu-
facturing department of the company. In 1838 the
concern was removed to l^irmingham, Connecticut.
Dr. Howe was in the lead as the first practical
and successful pin manufacturer by means of auto-
matic machinery, one of the most useful inventions
of the country. His death occurred in 1876, when
aged eighty-four years.
DANIEL HUMISTON. Only those lives are
worthy of record that have been potential factors in
the public progress, in promoting the general wel-
fare, or advancing the educational or moral in-
terests of the comnumity. Daniel Humiston, of
Cheshire, was ever faithful to his duties of citi-
zenship, and by the successful conduct of his busi-
ness interests not only promoted his individual suc-
cess, but also advanced the general prosperity. In
his life span of seventy-seven years he accomplished
much, and left behind him an honorable record, well
worthy of perpetuation. He was born in the town
of Cheshire, Sept. 23, 1788, and died Oct. 22, 1865.
The Humiston family is one of the oldest and
most respected in New Haven county, where it was
founded about 1650 by Henry Humiston, who spent
the remainder of his life in \\'allingford, dying Jan.
16, 1663. He was married Aug. 28, 165 1, to Joanna
Walker, and they had four children, namely: Sam-
uel, born Aug. 7, 1652; Nathaniel, Jan. 13, 1654;
Thomas. Oct. 19, 1656; and .\l)igail, May 17, 1661.
James Humiston, grandson of the progenitor of
the family in this country, was Ixirn in New Haven,
and from there removed to Wallingford, where he
died Aug. 17, 1747. On Jan. 7, 1719, he married
Sarah Atwater, and in their family were six chil-
dren: Daniel, born Nov. 16, 1721 ; Stephen, born
Nov. 9, 1723; Noah, born March i, 1729, died Sept.
3, 1729: James, born Oct. 28, 1734 (married Abiah
Ives) ; Hannah; and Noah, born June 13, 1745.
Daniel Humiston, a son of James, and the grand-
fatluT of our subject, was born in Wallingford, and
when a young man came to Cheshire, where he
owned land and engaged in farming throughout his
active business life. There he died July 27, 1767,
and was buried in Cheshire cemetery. His wife,
who lx)re the maiden name of Abigail Doolittle,
died Jan. i, i8ofj, at the age of eighty-three years.