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Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. online

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Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. → online text (page 25 of 204)
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latter part of his military career he was detailed for
duty in the office of the provost marshal, and was
so engaged when the war ended.

Jerome Coan returned to Guilford, engaged in
farming for a time, eventually embarking in a mer-
cantile career, in which he was highly successful.
For more than thirty years he was one of the leading
business men of the community, and until he died.
Nov. 4, 1899, held the regard and confidence of the
public to a marked degree. He was buried in the
local cemetery. Mr. Coan was a leading and highly
respected member of the Masonic fraternity, and
affiliated with St. .Mban's Lodge, of Guilford. He
also belonged to Parmelee Post, G. .\. R. .\s a
member of the Congregational Church bis life re-
flected no discredit upon his faith. In his early life
he was a member of the Democratic party, but in
his later years he became a Republican. For some
years he served as justice of the peace.

Mr. Coan was twice married, his first wife be-
ine Frances D. Griswold, a daughter of Russell



COMMEMURATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



803



Griswold, and a iialive of Xorlli Ciuilfonl, where
she died. On Sept. 14, i80y, lie was married to
Mary Frances Judd, who was born in IMoonitield,
Conn., daughter of Henry Green and Sarah Re-
becca (Raymond) Judd. Mr. Coan's son, Joseph
Frankhn, is now engaged in a store at North Guil-
ford, and has already dis])laycd marked aptitude
for a mercantile career. His •youngest child and
only daughter, b'annic Louise, a teacher of music,
married Charles (). liartlett, of Xorth Guilford, Jan.
I, 1901.

^Irs. Coan is a lady of marked character and re-
finement, a devoted mother and a notable housewife.
The family is one of the most respected in the com-
munity, and it is a comfort to the bereaved widow
to feel that her children are beginning life on so
high a plane of character and ambition.

i(_)l]y. r.R.\l)l.I':V V.\LI'.. who is drawing
near his seventy-first birthday, is one of the best-
known and most highly valued citizens of Nauga-
tuck. Three generations of the family have been
born in Litchfield county, his grandfather, F,bcr,
his father. Charles, and himself, and both of his
nearest lineal progenitors were farmers.

Thomas Yale, son of David and Ann (Morton)
Yale, born in England or Wales about 1616, came
to America in 1637 with his step-father. Gov. The-
ophilus Eaton, and others. After the death of
David Yale, his widow, Ann, married Theophilus
Eaton, then an opulent merchant of London. Mr.
Eaton settled as a merchant in Xew Haven in 1638,
with an estate of £300. Gov. Eaton died at Xew
Haven in 1657, and in \C^$?> Thomas Yale accom-
panied his mother and Hannah Eaton, his half-
sister, son Elihu and brother David, to England,
from which countrv Mrs. .\nn (Morton) Eaton
never returned. In the following vear. 1659,
Thomas Yale returned to New Haven, and pur-
cliased lands in part of the towMi which is now
North Haven, settling on them as early as 1660.
He had married, in T645, Mary, daughter of Capt.
Xathaniel Turner, of New Haven. Mr. Yale was
one of the principal men in the colony, a signer of
the Plantation Covenant of New Haven, and filled
with honor many oflfices of trust with credit to him-
self and to the satisfaction of his friends and fellow
colonists. He died in i'')83. leaving an estate of
£479. His wife Mary died in 1704.

(H) Thomas Yale (2), son of Thomas the set-
tler, bom in New Haven about 1647, married
(first) Dec. 11, 1667, Rebecca Gibbards, bom Feb.
26, 1650, daughter of William Gibbards, of New
Haven. Mr. "S'ale became one of the first settlers of
Wallingford. removing thither in 1670, with a small
band of other adventurers. P.y the records of that
town it appears that lie was one of the most active
and energetic men among them. He assisted in the
formation of the church, and in the call of the first
and second ministers. Rev. Samuel Street and Rev.
Samuel Whittelsey. ^fr. Yale was a justice of the



peace, captain of tiie train-band antl moderator of
their meetings. He died in Wallingford, Jan. 26,
1736, and Rebecca, his first wife, and the mother
of all his children, died in Wallingford.

(HI) Theophilus Yale, son of Thomas (2),
born Nov. 13, 1675, married Sarah, daughter of
Rev. Samuel and Alma Street, of the same town
(Wallingford). Mr. Yale was a magistrate from
about 1724 to the date of his death, Sept. 13,
1760. He also filled many other offices, both civil
and military. His widow, Sarah, passed away aged
ninety- four years.

(R') Elihu Yale, son of Theophilus, born ^lay
25, 1703, married (second) Jan. 19, 1732, Juditii
Howe, and died at Cape Breton, Dec. 31, 1745, hav-
ing gone there in the cxpe



Welton, son of Richard, was born Jan. 21,
and died Nov. 20, 1794.

Richard Welton, son of Eliakim, was born on
the old home Oct. 10, 1743, and died Feb. 26, 1820.

Thomas Welton, son of Richard, was born Dec.
8, 1774, was baptized Jan. 5, 1775, and died April
18, 1856. He married Sybil Cook, of Wallingford,
and had a family of si.x children, of whom the eldest
was Lyman, the father of Nelson J. ; Eveline, born
Jan. 23, 1800; Minerva, born jNIarch 19, 1802; Sally
D., deceased in infancy; Sally D. (2) was born
June 14, 1810; and Nancy, born April 12, 1812.
Eveline married Anson Downs, of Waterbury.
Minerva married Burton Payne, of Bristol. Sally
D. married Henry Bronson, of Middlebury, and
Nancy became Mrs. Frederick A. Bradley, of
Bridgeport.

Lyman Welton was born June 15, 1798, and died
Nov. 18, 1882. He was a farmer all his life, resid-
ing on the old place at Buck's Hill. He married
Minerva Judd. who was born in Watertown June
29, 1800, a daughter of Benjamin H. and Anna
(Prindle) Judd, the latter of whom was a daughter
of the Rev. Chauncey Prindle. Three children
came to Lyman Welton and his wife: Henry A.,
born Dec. 2, 1823, is a retired mechanic, now living
in Hartford. Franklin L., born Dec. 11, 1827, died
Nov. I, 1886: he was engaged in the fire insurance
business in Waterbury, where he held the office of
' town clerk and selectman. Nelson J. is mentioned
1 below.

Benjamin H. Judd, father of Mrs. Lyman Wel-
ton, was born Sept. 30, 1770, a son of Joel Judd, and
died May 26, i860. He was a mechanic and cabi-
netmaker of Watertown. The Judd family is de-
scended from one Deacon Thomas Judd, who emi-
I grated from England about 1633, and settled in
Cambridge, Mass. In 1636 he moved to Hartford,
and in 1644 to Farmington. He was one of the
deputies to the General Court in 1647. His death
occurred in 1688. Lieut. Thomas Judd, the rep-
resentative of the second generation of the family
in America, came to Waterbury, where he was one
of the first planters, and represented the town in
the General Sessions for eleven years. He died in
1703, aged about sixty-five. John Judd, son of
Lieut. Thomas, was born in Farmington, married,
and became the father of Benjamin Judd. He died
in 1717. Benjamin Judd was born Aug. 28, 1710,
became a physician of considerable ability, and mar-
ried Abigail Adams, who bore him several children.
.\mong them was Joel Judd, who was born in Wat-
erbury, July 15, 1748, and became a soldier in the
Revolutionary war, in which he was wounded by a
bullet which he carried the remainder of his life.
Joel Judd married Mercy Hickox, and became the
father of Benjamin H., mentioned above as the
father of Mrs. Lvman Welton.




^T^^^. /Vt,^^:^^^



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



80s



Xelson J. \\'eIton spent his bo\liood days on the
farm at Buck's Hill. He was educated in the cHs-
trict school and the Waterbury Academy, where
he studied surveying and civil engineering under
Charles Fabrique. At the age of eighteen he began
teaciiing a district school, and for five years taught
school in the winters in W'olcott and Xaugatuck,
and spent his summers in surveying. In 1850, at
the age of twenty-one, he was appointed county
surveyor for New Haven county. For more than
fifty years Mr. Welton has been a civil engineer and
surveyor, and for many years was the only surveyor
in this part of the county. He still has his office
and is a consulting civil and hydraulic engineer.
The building in which his ofificc is located was built
in 1856, and on its completion Mr. Welton took up
his (|uarters there. In politics Mr. \\'eIton is a
Democrat, and has held many important offices in
the gift of his party, although his personal popular-
ity has gained him many votes outside of the strict
party vote. From 183,^ to 1885 he was city en-
gineer: for five years from 1853 he was city clerk;
from 1852 to 1856, grand juror; from 1856 to 1863,
town clerk ; for twenty-eight years justice of the
peace; in 1859, judge of probate for the district of
Waterbury; in 1861, representative from Water-
bury to the General Assembly ; in 1863 and 1864,
recorder of the city court of Waterbury; in 1867,
president of the board of water commissioners, a
position he held until i8g6, with the exception of a
break of two years. He built the water works, and
for more than thirty years was the general mana-
ger. He was engineer in charge of the construction
of the city's system of sewerage, and in 1878 was
appointed one of the State Board of Engineers for
the inspection of reservoirs and dams, which posi-
tion be still holds. From the formation of the Riv-
erside Cemetery .Association in 1853 Mr. Welton
has been its secretary and superintendent, and since
1865 has served also as its treasurer He has
served several terms as alderman of the city, was
acting mayor (in the absence of Mayor Spencer)
and rendered valuable service in securing the be-
quest under the will of the late Silas Bronson, and
in the establishment of the Bronson librarv in 1870.
IMr. Welton has been identified with many of the
progressive institutions of Waterburv, being one
of the incorporators of the Waterbury Savings
Bank, of which he is at present a director, and he
is also a director in the Waterbury National Bank.
He is greatly interested in the cause of education,
and is a member of the corporation and the present
treasurer of St. Margaret's School for Girls in
Waterbury.

In religious connection Mr. Welton is a com-
municant of the Episco])al Church, where his kin-
dred on both sides have been found. He is a
member and senior warden of St. John's Church.
is agent of the parish and vestry, and is active in
all Church work. For fifty-two years he was con-
nected with the Sunday-school as pupil and



teacher, and for thirty-two years was a vestryman.
I-rom 1877 to 1889 he was parish clerk. In the
Masonic fraternity he has taken high rank. He
took his first degree of Masonry in Harmony
Lodge, No. 42, F. & A. M., Waterbury, Feb. 14,
1856, and was made a Master Mason March 20,
same year. As Master of the lodge he did good
work from 1865 to 1866, and on the formation of
Continental Lodge, No. 76, he became one of its
charter members. Mr. Welton was made a Royal
Arch Mason in Eureka Chapter, No. 22, R. A. M.,
March 10, 1858, and was High Priest of the chap-
ter in 1863 and 1864. On October 13, 18C5, he was
knighted in New Haven Commandery, No. 2, and
became a charter member of Clark Commandery,
No. 7, K. T., of which he w-as Eminent Com-
mancler in 1873 and 1874. In 1881 he received the
Scottish Rite degrees in E. G. Storer Lodge of Per-
fection, in Elm City Council, P. of J., and New
Haven Chapter, Rose Croix. The next year he be-
came a 32d degree Mason, receiving the consistory
grade in Lafayette Consistory, Bridgeport, Conn.
He also belongs to Pyramid Temple, Ancient
Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine,
Bridgeport, and is an honorary member of Mecca
Temple, New York City. In the Grand Masonic
bodies of Connecticut Sir Nelson J. Welton served
as Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery
of Connecticut in 1881 and 1882.

On Jan. 20, 1869, ^Ir. Welton was married to
Mrs. Frances R. P. Lyon, who was born in Smyrna,
N. Y., Oct. 17, 1832. and died Aug. 9, 1900. She
was the daughter of Tulm and .\bbie (Chapin)
Phillips.

GEORGE :\IARSHALL A\"ERILL, the ge-
nial proprietor of "The Ark" at Indian Neck, town
of Branford. was born in that town Oct. 12, 1838,
a son of John and Almira (Hemingway) Averill,
and grandson of David Averill (a seafaring man
of Branford) and his wife, Polly Morris.

John Averill made his home in Branford and
followed the sea. He was a coaster speculator and
captain of vessels for several years, and built several
vessels. He was a native of Branford. in which
town he ever made his home. He married Almira
Hemingway, daughter of Stephen and Polly (An-
drews) Hemingway ,of East Haven, and his chil-
dren were: George M., Harriet J. (Mrs. Lewis
I-'risbiel, Roland G., .Isabel. Frank and Alvira
(Mrs. Adrian Ely).

George M. Averill was educated in the com-
mon schools and Branford Academy, and for a
mmiber of years followed the coast, holding all pos-
sible positions from cook to captain. For twenty-
two years he has been proprietor of "The .Ark." a
most popular resort on Indian Neck, famous for
its shore dinners. The cheery welcome of the
nroprietor and the excellency of the entertainment
have won the good will of the public.

On March 20, 1864, Mr. .\verill was united in



8o6



COMM/-MORATIJ-E BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



marriage with Miss Harriet E., daughter of Russell
BabciK-k, of North Lyme, Conn., and this union has
been blessed with five children: Fred L., an at-
torney by profession, and the present clerk of the
Court of Common Pleas; George Walter, John R.,
Louis S. and Ernest L. In politics Mr. Avcrill is
a stanch Republican, and fraternallv is identitictl
with Widows Sons Lodge, Xo. 66, F. & A. AL

HENRY WATSON FRENCH, the subject of
this sketch, was born in the town of Chicopee,
Mass., July 23, 1837, son of Arasmus French, who
was born in Wendell, Mass., in March, 1813, and
died in New Haven, Conn., in June, 1890.

Samuel IVcnch, grandfather of Henry W., was
born in Wendell, Mass., where he lived all his days
and died at a good old age. He married Lucy Nor-
cross, and a family of seven children was born to
them: Allen, who died young; Arasmus, father of
Henry W. ; Arad, of whom little is known, as he
was of a roving dis]X)sition, and after reaching man-
hood wandered away and was never heard from;
Adaline, who was blind, and died unmarried ; El-
mira, now deceased, who married a Mr. Armstrong
and lived in Montague, Mass. ; ThankfuU, who mar-
ried Milton Sawyer and removed to Glens Falls,
N. Y. (Ix)th are deceased) : and Lucy, a school
teacher in her younger days, who married a Mr.
L'pham and lived in Royalston, Mass., and now a
resident of Athol, that State (she is no\v about
eighty >ears of age). Samuel French was the '"vil-
lage blacksmith" of his town. He served in the
war of the Revolution and in the war of 1812. His
ancestry served in the French and Indian war.

Arasmus French, the father of Henry W., spent
his boyhood days in his native town, ^\'cI^(lcll, work-
ing with his father, the village blacksmith. It is
said of him that at the age of twelve he could shoe
horses. At the age of sixteen he walked to the
town of Lowell, ^lass., where he learned the trade
of machinist with the Lowell Machine Co. From
Lowell he moved to the town of Chicopee, Mass.,
and at the age of twenty-one married Lydia Mor-
ton, daughter of Dr. Joshua Morion, of Athol,
Mass., where she was born in March, 181 1. She
died in September, 1892, in New Haven, Conn. Six
children were born to this union : Lucy Jane mar-
ried J. L. Hungerford, of New Haven, and died in
that city; Henry Watson is the subject proper of
these lines; Ellen Maria died in infancy; Carrie Ar-
delia died in Ravenswood, L. I., at the age of three
years ; William Arasmus is a machinist and lives
in Ansonia, Conn. ; Emma Morton married Charles
L. Deming, and lives in New Haven.

Arasmus French was connected with the Ames
Manufacturing Co. of Chicopee for over ten years,
and while there conceived the idea of knitting stock-
ings by machinery and inv'ented the necessary ap-
paratus. The machine was considered a great won-
der at the time, and was on exhibition in Boston
and later in Barium's ^luseum, New York. The



patents covering the invention were first secured
by Philadelphia parties, and later by a company in
W'aterbury, Conn., and it was the foundation of
the .American Hosiery Co., one of the industries of
the latter city. About 1856 Mr. I^'rcnch removed
to New Haven and became connected with the Win-
chester .\rms Co. He was one of the early
inventors of what is now known as the Win-
chester Repeating Rifle, and he had much to do with
selecting the necessary ammunition therefor. He was
connected with this company at different periods
for nearly forty years. He was also the inventor
of the process of making paper boxes from paper
and other pulp, and of many other devices of value
now in use. In politics Mr. French was a \\ hig
and later a Republican. In religion he was first a
Congregationalist, and later in life a free-thinker
and spiritualist. Both the French and ^Morton fam-
ilies were of the old New England type, and were
associated with the history and development of that
part of Massachusetts to which they were native.
Arasnuis French and his wife are buried in the
New Haven cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut.

Henry W. French, son of Arasmus, spent his ear-
ly boyhood days in the town of Chicopee, Mass..
where he was bom, and at the age of six removed
with his parents to Boston, Mass., and later to New
York, where he attended the public, schools of the
city up to the age of twelve. It then became nec-
essary for him to begin to do for himself. He
worked in various offices and stores until, at about
I the age of fifteen, he went to the town of Ravens-
wood, L. L, where his father was engaged in the
manufacture of ammunition. In 1852 the entire
factory was destroyed by an explosion of powder,
and twenty-eight people were killed. Upon this
disaster the father gave up that dangerous business
and removed to W'aterbury, Conn. At this time —
at the age of sixteen — Henry W. took up an unfin-
ished order for a million cartridges for the use of
the insurgents in Cuba, and completed the same
in West Trov, N. Y. On the completion of this
work he took a position with an uncle in New Bed-
ford, Mass., who was a merchant. In 1834 he went
to A\'atcrbury and was with his father's family
again, and here he learned the trade of machinist
with the Blake & Johnson Co., by whom he was
employed for about ten years. He then accepted a
position as toolmaker with the ^Vate^bury Button
Co., with whom he remained two years. The man-
ufacture of cloth buttons was then in its infancy in
this country, and Mr. French made some valuable
im]3rovenK'nts in the manufacture. After leaving
the last named concern he engaged with the Lane
Manufacturing Co., taking charge of their tool- de-
l^artment, and later advanced to the position of su-
perintendent, which lie held for twelve years. In
1891 he was placed in charge of the claim depart-
ment of his city. In 1892 he became connected with
the W'aterbury Horse Railway Co. and had consid-
erable to do with the amendment of their charter,



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



807



which clianged the name to "Electric Co." and per-
mitted them to extend the line to Xaugatnck. After



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