Norris Galpin Osborn.

Men of mark in Connecticut; ideals of American life told in biographies and autobiographies of eminent living Americans (Volume 1) online

. (page 10 of 30)
Online LibraryNorris Galpin OsbornMen of mark in Connecticut; ideals of American life told in biographies and autobiographies of eminent living Americans (Volume 1) → online text (page 10 of 30)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

was a soldier in the Eevolutionary War. When he was a very young
boy George Lounsbury went to Eidgefield to live and that town was
his home during the rest of his life. He was a youth of marked
literary tastes and ability and naturally sought the highest education.
After a course at the Eidgefield Academy he entered Yale College,
where he was graduated with the class of 1863. Intending to be a
Protestant Episcopal minister he then entered Bergely Divinity
School at Middletown, Connecticut, and was graduated from that
institution in 1866. He began his ministry as rector of the Protest-
ant Episcopal Church at Suffield, but a chronic throat affliction made
it impossible for him to continue in the ministry.

Upon leaving the ministry Mr. Lounsbury entered into partner-
ship with his brother in the shoe manufacturing business under the
firm name of Lounsbury Brothers. He continued in that business
during his whole subsequent life, though he had many outside busi-
ness interests which were uniformly successful. Mr. Lounsbury's
executive ability and loyal service to the Eepublican party could not
but receive definite appreciation and, in 1894, he was elected State
senator from the twelfth district by an unprecedented majority. In
1895 he was chairman of the committee on finance, in 1896 he was
elected senator for a second term, and in 1897 became chairman of
the committee on humane institutions. In 1898 he was elected
governor of Connecticut and filled that office with the utmost tact and
more that the ordinary ability.


George Edward Lounsbury was a man of great strength of char-
acter and remarkable mental grasp, an unusually clever writer, whose
diction was exceptionally clear and at times classical. He was a keen
discerner of men and measures; reticent in disposition and of few
words, he was nevertheless approachable to all. His reticence was
no indication of indifference, for no man had a livelier interest in
public affairs or a more genuine sympathy with his fellow men. In
his own neighborhood, nothing so thoroughly characterized him as the
breadth and extent of his charities and benefactions. As the chief
executive of the State, his addresses were admirable for their clearness
and directness, and in their literary quality to no small degree
reflected the thorough training of his earlier years. Wesleyan Uni-
versity bestowed upon him the honorary degree of LL.D. He was
a man of quiet tastes and few club interests. His greatest enjoyment
in recreation from the work of life was in hunting and fishing. Mrs.
Lounsbury was Mrs. Frances Josephine Whedon of Amherst, Massa-
chusetts, whom he married in November, 1894. No children were
born to Mr. and Mrs. Lounsbury.

• ' /f^ ,^^;;;;,X^^^^.^^i^5^^


necticut, president of the Merchants' Exchange National Bank
of New York, and consequently one of the leading financiers
of that city, was born in Ridgefield, Fairfield County, Connecticut,
January 10th, 1844. He traces his ancestry to Richard Lounsbury,
who came from Yorkshire, England, by way of Holland and settled
in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1651. Mr. Lounsbury's father was
Nathan Lounsbury, a farmer, who held various town offices in Ridge-
field and was once a member of the House of Representatives. He
was a man of strong convictions and of earnest Christian character,
a man who was never afraid to express his views and to live up to
them. Mr. Lounsbury's mother was Delia A. Scofield Lounsbury, and
in her he had the blessing and influence of another strong character.
Strong and vigorous and a typical New England farmer's boy,
Mr. Lounsbury spent his boyhood days in healthy activity, the best
possible foundation for his future busy career. Although he was
obliged to perform farm labor of all kinds he was an eager student
and found time for fruitful and extensive reading. The Bible was
the chief literature in the Lounsbury household. Next to that Mr.
Lounsbury delighted in works on mathematics, oratory, and public
debating, all prophetic of his future career as a financier and a
politician. He secured a thorough academic education at the district
schools and academy at Ridgefield, after which he became interested
in the wholesale shoe business in New York, where he studied the
business thoroughly and made himself familiar with all its depart-
ments, and soon organized the firm of Lounsbury Brothers, shoe
manufacturers at New Haven, which later moved to South Norwalk
and became Lounsbury, Mathewson & Company.

When the Civil War broke out Mr. Lounsbury enlisted as a
private in the 17th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, and served
until sickness necessitated his honorable discharge. After the War
he settled down to business life, but his patriotic zeal had been
quickened and his eloquence as a public speaker had proved him
a leader of men. In 1874 he was elected representative from
Ridgefield, and his experience and reputation as a public speaker
were greatly added to by his speeches on behalf of temperance. He


was one of the foremost speakers during the Blaine campaign in
1884. In 1885 he was unanimously elected president of the Mer-
chants' Exchange National Bank of New York, a position which
his integrity and business tact so well deserved. In addition to this
high position Mr. Lounsbury is a trustee of the American Bank
Note Company, president of the Preferred Accident Insurance Com-
pany, vice-president of the Washington Trust Company, a director
in the Worcester Salt Company, and a trustee of Wesley an University,
which institution has conferred upon him the honorary degree of

In 1887 and 1888 Mr. Lounsbury was governor of the State
of Connecticut, and the fair-minded, capable, and honorable way
in which he took the helm won him the greatest respect and
admiration. His championship of the questions of labor and tem-
perance, and his influence in the passing of the Incorrigible Crim-
nals' Act evinced both his high moral standards and his great
executive ability, as well as his consistent Kepublicanism.

A notable incident worthy of record is the fact that for the
first time in the history of this country two brothers, Phineas and
George Lounsbury, have been governors of the same state.

In Mr, Lounsbury's private life there is also much of noteworthy
interest. His early home life afforded a highly religious training,
and the uplift of the good Puritan doctrines inculcated then has
borne fruit throughout his later life. Mr. Lounsbury is a devoted
member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was, in 1888, lay
delegate to the General Conference of that body. Socially he is a
member of the Union League Club, of the Eepublican Club of
New York, of the Hardware Club, and of the New England Society.
His favorite sport is fishing "every time." In 1867 Mr. Lounsbury
married Jane Wright. They have had no children. Their home is in
Eidgefield, where Mr. Lounsbury spends much of his time, in spite
of his many business ties in New York.

For the benefit of those who seek a practical ideal to shape their
lives along successful lines Mr. Lounsbury gives the following sig-
nificant advice: "Imbibe and practice Christian ideas, preach and
practice purity in politics, be kind and considerate in your treat-
ment of others. Honor your father and mother. Be just, have
mercy and observe the Golden Eule. Remember that it is not
money but character that makes men."



Qj^yLc^t^/.c^c..C^ ^^^^W^ c^t^^i^



KINGSBURY, FREDEEICK JOHN", LL.D.,a successful banker
of Waterbury, was born in that city on the first day of Janu-
ary, 1823. He comes of an old and distinguished New Eng-
land family. Henry Kingsbury, his first American ancestor, came
to this country from Assington in Suffolk County, England, with
Governor John Winthrop, and was one of the founders of Ipswich,
Massachusetts. Later he settled in Haverhill, where he became one
of the influential citizens of the town. Henry Kingsbury's son and
grandson, each named Joseph, left Haverhill in 1707, coming to Nor-
wich, where they took an active and prominent part in town, church,
and military affairs. Mr. Kingsbury's father was Charles Denison
Kingsbury, a prosperous merchant and farmer, who held the offices of
town treasurer, selectman, and member of the school board. He was
a large landowner and is remembered as a quiet gentleman of refined
manners and of strong intellect.

The early days of Frederick were passed in the town in which he
was born. He was a quiet boy, had delicate health and suffered much
from dyspepsia. He grew from childhood under the watchful care of
his mother, who was his teacher for several years. She taught him to
read and made his early lessons easy by teaching him childish poetry
and many old rhymes and tales. In this manner he early acquired a
fondness for books, a characteristic which he has retained through life.
He was the favorite of both his grandfathers, who were professional
men and taught him many things which have been useful to him in
later life. After first playing at work with the men on his father's
farm, he gradually learned to make himself really helpful, and before
leaving home to go to college, he had become a practical farmer. Hav-
ing learned his first lessons from his mother he was sent to Waterbury
Academy, where, under the care of Seth Fuller, he was prepared for
college. Like every Connecticut young man who is fortunate enough
to have the opportunity, he went to Yale, where he was graduated with
the class of 1846. He then studied law at the New Haven Law School,


where he received his first legal lessons under the guidance of Chief
Justice William L. Storrs, and later he entered the office of the Hon.
Charles G. Loring in Boston. After acquiring his preliminary legal
knowledge, he began the practice of law in Waterbury. He was
successful as a young lawyer, but after four years he gave up his grow-
ing practice to engage in the banking business, an occupation which
he has since continued.

Mr. Kingsbury became a bank officer in 1850 and for the past
half century he has been engaged in large financial, manufacturing,
and railroad enterprises. He has steadily prospered and now holds an
enviable position in the business world. He is president of the Citi-
zens National Bank, and director of the Scovill Manufacturing Com-
pany. During his long career he has been director in many corpora-
tions, and secretary, treasurer, and president of railroad companies,
steamboat companies, libraries, and hospitals. Although his business
interests have made heavy demands upon his time he has always found
opportunity to aid his fellow citizens, both as a holder of public office
and as a private individual.

When a young lawyer his integrity and ability soon attracted
attention and he was chosen by his townsmen to represent Waterbury
in the State House of Kepresentatives. This was in 1850, and it was
while in the Legislature that Mr. Kingsbury first conceived the idea of
starting a savings bank in his city. In 1850, 1858 and again in 1865
he was reelected to the legislature, where, in order that the public
might reap the advantage of his experience in the banking world, he
was made chairman on the committee on banks. When in 1876 the
great International Centennial Exhibition was held in Philadelphia,
Mr. Kingsbury was selected to represent Connecticut as member of the
state committee. He was afterwards urged to accept the Eepublican
nomination for governor of Connecticut. Owing to the pressure of
business he was compelled to decline this high honor, but he consented
to become the party's candidate for lieutenant-governor. As the
Eepublican ticket was defeated, Mr. Kingsbury was not forced to
leave private life. He has always remained true to his political party,
but has never held any other political office. He has, however, made
himself useful to the community as an active member of many clubs
and societies, especially of those which have for their object the dis-
semination of useful knowledge. For several years he was president of
the American Social Science Association, of which he is still an active

member. He is a member, also, of the Society of Colonial Wars, of
the New Haven History Society, of the American Antiquarian Society,
and of the American Historical Association. He was a member of the
Corporation of Yale University from 1887 to 1899.

Mr. Kingsbury has greatly enhanced his scholarly attainments
by general reading, by careful study and by taking a live interest in
intellectual pursuits. His efforts have been recognized by the leading
educational institutions of the country. In 1848 he received from
Yale the degree of A.M. In 1892 the honorary degree of LL.D. was
conferred upon him by Williams College, and in 1899 the same distinc-
tion was given him by Yale University. Like most intellectual men,
he finds pleasure in the companionship of educated people. He is a
member of the Century Club, and of the University Clubs of New
York City and of New Haven.

In 1851, shortly after beginning the practice of law, Mr. Kings-
bury married Alathea Euth Scovill. He became the father of five
children, three of whom are living. He is a member of the Protestant
Episcopal Church, and his religion finds practical expression in his
belief that every man should do his duty in whatever position in life
it has pleased God to place him. It is this idea, supplemented by a
modest ambition, which has made Frederick John Kingsbury work for
success in life. In looking back over his long life he feels that he has
done as well as he had any right to expect. He is now very fond of
driving, but in his younger days horseback riding and walking were his
favorite methods of relaxation from the usual cares of an active busi-
ness life.

A man who has passed the age of eighty, and the story of whose
success in life contains not a single dark page, has a right, if not a
duty, to give to the generations which are following him, the benefit
of his advice. Mr. Kingsburjr's words to younger men are : "Be honest
in your purpose. Practice truthfulness, courtesy, and the cultivation
of a kindly feeling toward all men. Be industrious and persevering.
Neither court nor shun responsibility, but discharge all obligations to
the best of your ability. Do the most honorable thing that offers and
keep at it until something better comes. Beware of procrastination."
These are the principles which he has followed and they have guided
him to a high and honorable position among his fellow men.


CUTLEE, EALPH WILLIAM, president of the Hartford
Trust Company and one of the most able and prominent
bankers in Connecticut, was born in ISTewton, Massachusetts,
February 21st, 1853, of a long line of distinguished ancestors, the
first of whom to settle in America was James Cutler, who came
from England to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1634. James Cutler
was assigned twenty-eight acres of land in the "First Great Divide"
and later moved to Lexington, where the cellar of his house is
still to be seen. His son, James Cutler (second), served in King
Philip's War and was the father of Thomas Cutler, who purchased
in 1750 in Warren, Massachusetts, a farm of three hundred acres,
which is in the family to-day. Deacon Thomas Cutler, son of
Thomas Cutler, was prominent in the history of Warren, Massa-
chusetts, and his son, Ebenezer Cutler, was a lieutenant in the
Revolution, Eben Cutler, Mr. Ealph Cutler's father, was a jeweler in
Boston and a member of the Massachusetts House of Eepresenta-
tives in 1865-6. He was a man of marked integrity, energy, and
thrift. Mr. Cutler's mother, whose maiden name was Caroline
Elizabeth Holman, was a descendant of Ensign John Holman, one
of the original settlers of Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1630, who
came from England in the ship "Mary and John" and afterwards
served as selectman, and as ensign in the Pequot War. He was a
member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston.
Mr. Cutler is also able to trace his ancestry to Governor George Wyllys,
Governor William Pynchon, Major William Whiting, Captain Daniel
Clark, and the Eev. Manasseh Cutler, a pioneer settler of Ohio and
the Western Eeserve.

Ealph Cutler's boyhood was spent in the city of Boston and he
received his education at the English High School, where he was
graduated at the age of sixteen as a "Franklin Medal scholar." He was
strong and athletic and was brought up on the principle that what
was worth doing at all was worth doing well and he believes that


his parents' confidence in his ability to succeed was the greatest
inspiration of his life. He was as active mentally as he was physically
and he has always enjoyed broad general reading as much as he lias
golf, tennis, rowing, and baseball, in which he has taken great
interest and pleasure.

The first work which Mr. Cutler entered upon after leaving
school was in the wholesale grocery business in Boston and his few
years' experience in mercantile life was valuable for the knowledge
of men and of business methods which he gained thereby. In 1880,
when Mr. Cutler was twenty-seven years old, he came to Hartford
to become treasurer of the Hartford Trust Company, thus entering
upon the banking career which he has pursued ever since. In 1887
he was elected president of the company and became the youngest
bank president in the State. He still holds this responsible position,
for which his intimate knowledge of the details of banking, his clear
judgment, and rare executive ability make him particularly well

In public affairs Mr. Cutler is as active and as prominent as he
is in banking affairs. He is a Eepublican in political affiliations and
in 1883-4 he was a member of the Court of Common Council. He
was appointed fire commissioner in 1896 and served two terms of
three years each. In 1905 he was appointed commissioner of the
Board of Finance under the amended charter of the city of Hartford,
and he has been treasurer of the Connecticut Humane Society since
its organization in 1880. He is a member of the Society of Colonial
Wars, was Gentleman of the Council at the organization of that
society in 1893 and is now its treasurer. He is a member of the
Sons of the American Revolution, of the Twentieth Century Club, of
the Hartford Club and of the Eepublican Club of Hartford. His
religious views connect him with the Congregational Church.

Or the sixth of January, 1880, Mr. Cutler was married to Grace
Dennis, daughter of Eodney Dennis, a founder and former secre-
tary of the Travelers Insurance Company. Three children, a son
and two daughters, have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cutler: Char-
lotte Elizabeth Cutler, born March 2nd, 1882, married ISTovember
22nd, 1905, to Joseph H. Woodward, Actuary of State of Connecti-
cut; Ealph Dennis Cutler, born April 16th, 1885; Euth Holman
Cutler, born October 2nd, 1886.


SPENCEE, ALFEED, JE., president of the ^tna National Bank
of Hartford, was born in Suffield, Hartford County, Connecti-
cut, on October 29th, 1851. He is the son of Alfred Spencer,
a prosperous farmer, and Frances Caroline (Eeid) Spencer. His
ancestors were English. The first to come to America was Thomas
Spencer, who settled in Hartford.

Mr. Spencer spent the early days of his life on his father's farm.
He was a sturdy youngster and performed the usual tasks expected
of a country boy of his day. Early home influences had a great
effect upon his later life. The influence of his mother on his moral
and spiritual nature was very marked. Among other valuable les-
sons he was taught that to work was honorable. His school train-
ing was received at the Connecticut Literary Institution at Suffield
and later at the Edward Place School at Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

When, in 1872, he started out to earn his own livelihood, a position
in the First National Bank at Suffield seemed the most promising
one which presented itself. He remained in this bank for nearly
twenty years, becoming first bookkeeper and then cashier. In 1891
he moved to Hartford and became cashier in the ^tna National
Bank. After being cashier for eight years he, in 1899, became presi-
dent of the bank, a position which he still holds.

In 1879 Mr. Spencer was married to Ella Susan Nichols. They
have had two children, both of whom are living. In politics Mr.
Spencer is a Eepublican, but, although he takes an interest in party
affairs, he has never held public office. He attends the Baptist
Church, he is prominent in the Masonic Order and is a noble of the
Order of the Mystic Shrine. His favorite form of amusement is out-
door sports of all kinds. His entire life has been devoted to the
banking business and his success in this line is the result of natural
aptitude and persistent effort. He made but one change in his
business career. After he became cashier of the bank, which he
entered as a messenger, he moved to a larger city to accept a similar


position in a larger institution. The story of his career should
encourage younger men to have patience and persist in their present
occupation, remembering how Mr. Spencer rose from messenger boy
to bank president with but one change in his business connections.


MOEGAN, WILLIAM DENISON, was bom in Brooklyn,
New York, December 19th, 1873. His father, William
Gardner Morgan, is a descendant of James Morgan, of Wales,
who settled in New London, Connecticut, when the city was only a
hamlet, — a few families gathered together for mutual help and pro-
tection. His mother, Elizabeth Cook (Hall) Morgan, is a woman of
strong though gentle character, and her example was an important
influence in her son's spiritual and moral life.

In childhood Mr. Morgan was strong and healthy, and at the
age of thirteen began earning a partial livelihood working as a news-
paper carrier on both a morning and evening route. This was in
addition to his school work, and had the effect, he believes, of making
him regular in his habits and giving him the desire to increase his
independence. His favorite books during childhood and youth were
those of Washington Irving, Dickens, and Thackeray, and later, on
banking subjects.

Mr. Morgan had desired and planned to attend a technical college
after his course in the common schools of Hartford, but this idea
had to be given up, circumstances forbidding its being carried out.
In 1890, at sixteen years of age, he decided that it was necessary
for him to become self-supporting, and accordingly he took the first
position that offered, — that of runner for the ^tna National Bank.
Here he has steadily risen, being promoted to the position of general
clerk in 1892, discount clerk in 1894, and in 1899 he was elected
cashier of the bank, and is still serving in that capacity.

On October 17th, 1900, he married Lucile Snow Couch, of Provi-
dence, and they have one child, a daughter. Mr. Morgan is an
authority on banking, having given it an exhaustive study, and in
1898, in collaboration with Mr. Henry M. Sperry, published the
Bankers' Maturity Guide and Holliday Calendar. Mr. Morgan at-
tends the Episcopal Church, is a member of the Church Club of 1
Hartford, and of the Bachelors' Club of Hartford. He finds his


recreation in the companionships which these organizations afford,
and in out-of-door sports, — principally hunting, canoeing and horse-
back riding. In politics he is a Republican.


WILCOX, FEANK LANGDON, represents a family that has
been prominent and influential in New England since early
Colonial days. On his paternal side Mr. Wilcox is a lineal
descendant of John Wilcox, who came from England about 1630,
and was one of the original proprietors of Hartford. On his
maternal side he is descended from Deacon Paul Peck and the Eev.
Thomas Hooker, the latter the famous divine and statesman, and
both proprietors of Hartford in 1639. Another distinguished ancestor
was Major John Mason, the apostle to the Indians. Several other
ancestors, both Peck and Savage by name, fought in the Colonial,
Indian, and Eevolutionary wars. Mr, Wilcox's ancestors have always
been extensive landowners in Berlin and East Berlin and Middle-
tovm, Connecticut, and instrumental in building up the industries of
those towns.

Samuel Curtis Wilcox and Anna Scoville Peck were Mr. Wilcox's

Online LibraryNorris Galpin OsbornMen of mark in Connecticut; ideals of American life told in biographies and autobiographies of eminent living Americans (Volume 1) → online text (page 10 of 30)