Norris Galpin Osborn.

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

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parents. His father was a manufacturer and farmer. He was a man
of exceptionable business ability, and his business career was most
interesting and prosperous. His marked characteristics were in-
dustry, honesty, perseverance, and common sense. He was at various
times representative and selectman of his town and an officer in many
manufacturing, commercial, and financial institutions. He con-
solidated various factories manufacturing similar lines into the Peck,
Stow & Wilcox Company, and was vice-president of the company until
his death. He started the Berlin Iron Bridge Company, and was its
first president. Until it was absorbed by the United States Steel
Corporation it was one of the leading bridge companies in the world.
Mr. Wilcox's mother was his "chief inspiration and guide to every-
thing that was good."

The date of Mr. Wilcox's birth was January 6th, 1859 ; his birth-
place Berlin, Hartford County. Brought up in the country and
endowed with excellent health, Mr. Wilcox was chiefly interested in
out-of-door life and athletic sports. He has always kept up his



interest in athletics, and his favorite recreations to-day are baseball,
cricket, golf, and all outdoor sports. His favorite authors as a boy
were Scott and Cooper, but most of his leisure of recent years has
been given to general reading.

Beginning his education in a district school Mr. Wilcox continued
it at the Berlin Academy. He then prepared for college at St. Paul's
School, Concord, New Hampshire, and went to Trinity College, Hart-
ford, graduating in 1880 with the degree of M.A.

The following fall he began work as a clerk in the office and pack-
ing room of the Kensington factory of the Peck, Stow & Wilcox Com-
pany, Parental wishes and his own "natural affinity" determined
this course. His desire for success was an outgrowth of family and
personal pride.

Mr. Wilcox rose rapidly to responsible business positions. In
1885 he became manager of the Kensington plant, the company in
which he began as clerk, and later became the vice-president of
the company. After the Kensington plant was destroyed by fire,
Mr. Wilcox became associated with the Berlin Iron Bridge Company,
and was its treasurer from 1890 to 1900. He is director in several
corporations and banks. In 1893 he was Eepublican representative
from Berlin, and in 1903 he was senator from the second district.
He has held several of the minor offices in his native town; been
chairman of some of the important legislative committees and was
president of the Connecticut Commission to the Louisiana Purchase
Exposition at St. Louis in 1904. He has taken an active part in the
Second Congregational Church, Berlin, and is the superintendent
of its Sunday school. He is a member of the college fraternity of
"Delta Psi," of the Knights Templar and other Masonic Orders, of
the Engineers Club of New York, the Hardware Club of New York,
the Hartford Club, the New Britain Club, and the Country Club
of Farmington. He is also a member of the Society of Colonial
Wars in the State of Connecticut, and Judge Advocate on the staff of
the first Company of Governor's Foot Guards.

The secret of Mr. Wilcox's success lies in the virtues which he
recommends as antidotes for failure — "Promptness, square dealing,
industry, and temperance."


BENNETT, HON. EDWARD BEOWN, lawyer, postmaster of
Hartford, president of the Farmington River Power Com-
pany, and of the Hartford City Gas Light Company, and
holder of many public offices, was bom in Hampton, Windham County,
Connecticut, April 12th, 1843. His early ancestors were sturdy New
England farmers, the first of whom came from England to Ipswich,
Massachusetts, and later to Hampton, Connecticut. Mr. Bennett's
father was William Bennett, a farmer, who was representative in the
General Assembly, selectman, and otherwise prominent in the public
life of the community. Mr. Bennett's mother was Marina Brown

Until he was eighteen years old Edward Bennett lived on his
father's farm, attending school in season, and "farming" the rest of
the time. He left home in 1860 to take a two years' course at Williston
Seminary, after which he entered Yale University and was graduated
in 1866. He then returned to Hampton and studied law with Gov.
Chauncey P. Cleveland, and afterwards with Franklin Chamberlain in
Hartford. He was admitted to the Windham County Bar in 1868, and
began to practice law in his native town, and in 1869 he opened a
law office in Hartford. In the same year in which he began his legal
practice, that is in 1868, he was made representative to the General
Assembly of Connecticut, and the following year he was made assist-
ant clerk of the House, and in 1870 he was made clerk of the Senate.
From 1872-3 he was clerk of the Hartford Police Court, and in 1872
he was made a member of the Common Council. From 1878 to 1891
he served as judge of the Hartford City Court. In May, 1891, he
became postmaster of Hartford and served until 1896, and in 1900 he
was reappointed and still holds the office. He has always been a
strong supporter of the Republican party, and has served on the State
central committee as its secretary.

In addition to his profession and his public offices Judge Bennett
has had many business interests. He has been president and treasurer


of the Farmington Eiver Power Company since 1890, and president
of the Hartford City Gas Light Company since 1894, He is a director
of the American School for the Deaf at Hartford. He is a member
of no secret societies or Masonic orders. His religious connections
are with the Asylum Hill Congregational Church. Always blessed
with robust health, Judge Bennett delights in physical activity.
When in college he was on the 'Varsity crew for three years.
Bicycling is his favorite exercise now.

Mrs. Bennett, whom he married in April, 1877, was Alice How-
ard, daughter of the Hon. James L. Howard. Their home is at 67
Collins Street, Hartford.


WATEOUS, GEOEGE DUTTON, D.C.L., attorney at law,
instructor in Yale Law School, and one of New Haven's
well known citizens, was born in that city September 18th,
1858. His father was George Henry Watrous, a lawyer and president
of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Eailroad from 1879 to
1887 and a leader in local affairs, who was several times a member
of the General Assembly. He was characterized by a high sense of
honor and justice and by an extraordinary capacity for hard work.
Mr. Watrous's mother was Harriet Joy (Button) Watrous, a daughter
of Governor Henry Button, who died when he was but thirteen years
old, but whose influence was especially strong on his moral and
spiritual life.

After the regular course at the common schools and a year
at Professor Henness's German school George B. Watrous spent six
years at Hopkins Grammar School and then entered Yale University.
He took his B.A. degree in 1879 and during the following year he
earned his living by teaching a private school of his own at Litch-
field, Connecticut. In 1880 he entered Yale Law School, where he
remained a year. He then spent a year at Columbia Law School
and then a year abroad, after which he returned to the Yale Law
School and took his LL.B. degree in 1883 and his M.L. degree in
1884. He supported himself by tutoring during almost his entire
course in the law school and he continued his studies until 1890,
when he took the degree of B.C.L. From 1892 to 1895 he was an
assistant professor in the Yale Law School and in 1895 he was made
professor and has filled the chair ever since. He has praticed law
in New Haven ever since his admission to the bar in 1883 and his
practice has been active and varied.

In addition to his work as a lawyer and as an educator George
Button Watrous has been identified wth many business and mu-
nicipal interests. He is a director in several local corporations,
including the New Haven Water Company, the New Haven Gas


Light Company and the City Bank and he was a director in the local
street railway company until they sold out in 1904. He has served
on the boards of councilmen and aldermen and was a member of
the commission to draft a new charter for New Haven in 1893-1894.
In 1905 he was appointed a member of the Commission on Uniform
Municipal Charters. He has been a director in the Free Public
Library of JSTew Haven. In politics he has always been an adherent
of the Eepublican party. He is a member of the American Bar
Association, of the American Historical Association, of the American
Academy of Political and Social Science, of the American Forestry
Association, the National Geographic Society, of the University
Club of New York, the Graduates Club, the Union League and
Quinnipiack clubs of New Haven and of the Deta Kappa Epsilon
and other college fraternities. He attends the Center Church (Con-
gregational). His most congenial out-of-door recreations are bicycle
riding, tennis, and gardening. Mrs. Watrous was Bertha Agnes
Downer, whom he married on June 7th, 1888, and by whom he has
had six children, all now living.

As an educator, scholar, and lawyer George Dutton Watrous is
generally recognized as an earnest and hard-working man. He
believes that hard work under the spur of necessity has taught him
the most important and valuable of all lessons and has had the
greatest influence ever exerted upon his life and its success.


LOCKWOOD, EDWARD KEELER, merchant and prominent
citizen of Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut, was born
there on the fourteenth of November, 1828. On his father's
side he is of English descent and his mother's ancestors, the Keelers,
came from Scotland. His grandfather, Aaron Keeler, was in the
War of 1812 and his sons, John, Nathan, and Seth, went West to
help found Norwalk, Ohio. Mr. Lockwood's father, Carmi Lock-
wood, a manufacturer of woolen and cotton goods, was a leading
citizen of Norwalk and was selectman, bank director, treasurer and
director of the Norwalk Gas Light Company, and vestryman of St,
Paul's Church. He was a man of careful mental habits and firm
determination in the proper performance of all duties. Mr. Lock-
wood's mother was Laura Keeler Lockwood, a "w^oman of admirable
character and strong moral influence.

The boy, Edward Lockwood, was a typical country boy, healthy
and active and brought up to understand the necessity of forming
industrious habits by doing necessary chores around the house and
farm before and after school hours. He was educated at Professor
Coffin's Academy and Professor Storrs Hall Academy. He was
extremely studious and always strove to be at the head of all his
classes. In 1847 he began work as a clerk in his father's store and
remained in that capacity until he became of age, when he was given
an active interest in the business. The occupation of merchant was
chosen both through parental advice and personal preference, and he
has continued in the mercantile business throughout his entire
life. He succeeded his father as director of the Norwalk Gas Light
Company and as director in the National Bank of Norwalk. He
was also, at one time, director of the First National Bank of South
Norwalk and is now a trustee of the Norwalk Savings Society. From
1865 to 1867 Mr. Lockwood was selectman of Norwalk.

In church interests as well as in business and public affairs Mr.
Lockwood has followed his father's worthy example. In 1865 he


was made a vestryman of St. Paul's (Episcopal) Church, in 1882
he became junior warden and in 1903 senior warden of that church.
He was parish treasurer for sixteen years and is now chairman
of the finance committee and of the committee on repairs and
supplies for the parish. In politics Mr. Lockwood was formerly
a Whig and is now a Republican. He has been through
all the chairs in Our Brothers' Lodge, No. 10, I. 0. 0. F., and
was once treasurer of that lodge, but he took a card of withdrawal
forty years ago because he did not have time to attend to fraternal
matters. On the 24th of October, 1854, Mr. Lockwood married
Harriet S. Warner of East Haddam, Connecticut. No children have
been born to Mr. and Mrs. Lockwood.

Mr. Lockwood condenses the advice which the experiences of a
long and fruitful life enable him to give with especial import and
says, very simply, "Get an education and cultivate proper observance
of all laws."


GRIPPIN, WILLIAM AVERY, president of the Bridgeport
Malleable Iron Company, of the Troy Malleable Iron Com-
pany of Troy, New York, and of the Vulcan Iron Works of
New Britain, Connecticut, was born in Corinth, Saratoga County,
New York, February 33rd, 1851. The ancestry of the Grippin family
is traced to Welch and English origin. Their first emigration was to
Vermont, but later they settled in Corinth, New York. Elijah Grip-
pin, Mr. Grippin's great-grandfather, participated in the Revolution-
ary War from 1776 to 1783. Mr. Grippin's parents were Alonzo J.
Grippin and Mary Burritt. His father was a farmer of Corinth and
a man highly respected. His most marked characteristics were a
sincere Christian spirit and high moral principles. His mother was
a woman of deep spirituality and her influence on her son was very

Mr. Grippin, though not a strong boy, enjoyed the duties and
tasks of his early country life and considers these early days of
labor on the farm as most beneficial to his health and character,
adding that, "the influence of work well done is for good with boy as
with man." He was devoted to books, especially the Bible and
historical works.

While experiencing no serious difficulties in acquiring an educa-
tion, Mr. Grippin received a very brief one, consisting of that offered
by the country, district, and village public schools and the academy at
Ballston Spa, New York, and terminating when he was fifteen. This,
however, was supplemented by a commercial course at Eastman's
Business College, Poughkeepsie, New York, in the spring and summer
of 1869.

In September, 1869, Mr. Grippin began his business life at general
office work with a firm manufacturing malle&ble iron castings at
Troy, New York. He took this step from personal preference,
guided by what he terms "providential circumstances," actuated by
the firm belief that, "if anything is worth doing at all, it is worth
doing well and that advancement and success are sure to follow

3 y//v//////'/" ,'■ ' ^^'/'//'/'//^


consistent action in this line." That Mr. Grippin began his career
with the proper ideas for a young man is amply proved by the highly
important positions to which he has been elected in the industrial
world. In 1884 he became president of the Troy Malleable Iron
Company, which position he still holds, and treasurer of the Bridge-
port Malleable Iron Company, of which he became vice-president in
July, 1904, and president in November of the same year. Since
November, 1890, he has been president of the Vulcan Iron Works of
New Britain. He is director in several other manufacturing com-
panies, and in the Pequonnock National Bank of Bridgeport and the
Century Bank of the City of New York.

Between 1894 and 1904 Mr. Grippin served two unexpired terms
and one full three year term on the Board of Apportionment and
Taxation of Bridgeport. He is a member of the Seaside Club, of the
Contemporary Club, of the Bridgeport Yacht Club, and the Scientific
Historical Society of Bridgeport. In politics Mr Grippin is identified
with the Eepublican party, from which he has never turned his al-
legiance on any national issue, though on local issues he favors the
best man regardless of party. In religious views Mr. Grippin is a
Baptist, and is very prominent and active in church work as will
be seen from the following: From October, 1896, to October, 1900,
he was president of the Connecticut Baptist Convention, and since
April, 1904, has served on the executive board of the American
Baptist Home Mission Society of New York. He was president of
the Baptist Social Union of Connecticut during 1901-1903 and con-
tinues an active member.

On November 10th, 1875, Mr. Grippin married Adell Jackson of
Ballston Spa, New York. They have two children, a son, William
Jackson, general manager and treasurer of the Bridgeport Malleable
Iron Company, and a daughter, Edna Adell. Mr. Grippin's home,
since 1884, has been at Marina Park, Bridgeport, Connecticut, with
a summer home, "Blythewood," at Lake George, New York.

Beginning like so many of our foremost American citizens, in the
simple, healthy, industrious life of farming, Mr. Grippin has made
his way with rapid strides to places of recognized importance in the
business world. Along the pathway of business success he has
gathered a broad culture and lively spiritual interests. To young
men who would succeed in life he says : "Be prompt, systematic,


thorough, honest, industrious, and temperate; stand firmly for prin-
ciple, avoid debt, and strive to keep expenditures well within income.
If you do not find just what you would like to do, take what you can
find and do it so well that something more desirable will follow as
a natural result. Do not wait for something to turn up, but turn np
something, — in other words, make opportunities."






MANSFIELD, BUKTON, one of the foremost members of the
New Haven bar, was bom in Hamden, New Haven County,
Connecticut, April 4th, 1856. He is the son of Jesse Mer-
rick Mansfield and Catharine Betsey (Warner) Mansfield. His
father was a prosperous farmer and business man in Hamden, where
he held the position of selectman and other town ofiices. Four years
after the birth of his son he moved to the city. Mr. Mansfield's
ancestors were among the early English settlers in New England;
the first to arrive in this country were Kichard and Gilian Mansfield,
who came to New Haven in 1639.

Young Mansfield was a strong, healthy boy, who spent the first
years of his life in the country. He was fortunate in being able
to receive a careful school and university training before starting
out for himself in life, but even when a boy he had each day his
regular tasks to perform, many of them involving manual labor.
It was no doubt in this manner that he developed the habits of
industry and perseverance which have characterized his life's work.
After attending the Eaton public school in New Haven, he went to
the Kectory School in Hamden, and later to the Hopkins Grammar
School in New Haven, where he was prepared for Yale College. He
was graduated from Yale with the class of 1875, receiving the degree
of Ph.B. He then became a clerk in the Probate Court in New
Haven, a position which he held for one year. Having decided to
adopt the legal profession, he matriculated at the Yale Law School
and in 1878 received his degree of LL.B. The same year he was
admitted to the bar in New Haven, and began a legal practice, which
he has continued without interruption, allowing no foreign con-
siderations to interfere with his professional work. Equipped with
the best legal preparation offered by one of the first law schools in the
country, and endowed with natural ability, patience, and perse-
verance, he has worked hard and achieved success. His high standing
in the community is due to what he has accomplished in his legal


work. He has served his conununity as a member of various city
commissions and for two years, ending in 1895, as insurance com-
missioner of the State. In politics, he is associated with the Demo-
cratic party, but on the silver issue he changed temporarily his
party allegiance, as did the greater number of those who term them-
selves Gold Democrats. He is president of the Connecticut Savings
Bank of New Haven, succeeding the late Governor Morris.

In 1900 Mr, Mansfield was married to Anna Eosalie Mix. He
has no children. His chief form of amusement and recreation is
horseback riding. He is a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church,
in which he has been a power and a leader of the laymen, and also a
member of several important committees in the diocese of Connecti-
cut. "Honesty, patience, and perseverance" are the principles which
he believes in, practices, and teaches. His life has been one of
real success and these ideals are what helped him attain this success
while still a comparatively young man. As a student of art he has
few superiors, and owns a collection of rare interest, which he has
made with enthusiasm and judgment.


POND, EDGAR LeEOY, president of the Andrew Terry
Company, of Terryville, Connecticut, manufacturers of mal-
leable iron castings, was born in Plymouth, Connecticut,
March 3rd, 1854. He is a descendant of Phineas Pond, who came
from England to Branford, Connecticut, about 1735. Mr. Pond's
father was Alexander Pond, a farmer, who served his townsmen as
selectman and in other capacities and was known as a man of
promptness in all his dealings. Mr. Pond's mother, whose maiden
name was Lydia Gaylord, was a woman of forceful character and her
influence was very strong on her son's moral and spiritual life.

Though he was a frail boy Edgar Pond spent an industrious
boyhood, for he worked on the farm until he was fifteen years old
and this labor implanted habits of industry. He attended the dis-
trict school during its sessions and this was the extent of his edu-
cation. The death of his mother had broken up the home and he
availed himself of the first position open to him at the age of fif-
teen, which was a clerkship in the country store of W. H. Scott &
Company in Terryville. He has been identified with the mercantile
and manufacturing interests of Terryville ever since, and from his
beginning at the bottom thirty-three years ago he has justly attained
to the presidency of the Andrew Terry Company, which was started
by the late Andrew Terry in 1847, and was the first malleable iron
foundry in Connecticut. The company was incorporated about 1860.

In 1886 Mr. Pond was chosen to represent his town in the State
Legislature, and in 1901 he was elected State senator. He has held
many local offices and has always been a consistent member
of the Republican party. He is a member of the Congregational
Church, of the Sons of the American Revolution, in which organiza-
tion he is a member of the board of managers, and he has been
state commander of the Order of the United American Mechanics.
Fraternally he is a member of the order of F. and A. M., of the
A. 0, U. W., and 0. U. A. M. Golf is his favorite outdoor amuse-


On the sixth of November, 1878, Mr. Pond married Ella
Antoinette Goodwin, Of the three children born to Mr. and Mrs.
Pond two are now living, Edgar LeRoy Pond, Jr., bom Decembei
26th, 1883, a graduate of Yale in the class of 1904, now in Yale Law
School, and Dwight Warren, born September 24th, 1889, now in high
school. The family home is at Terryville.

Weighing his failures and successes in life, Mr. Pond says: **I
have failed partly by lack of confidence in my own ability. I am
sure that such success as I have had in life has been gained by
carrying out to the best of my ability whatever responsibility was
placed upon me, whether it was small or great. My advice to young
men is, 'Whatever you attempt to do, do it/ "


CLAKK, WILLIAM BRADDOCK, president of the ^tna (Fire)
Insurance Company, is a man who stands well up in the front
ranks of the workers in this country whose lives are an impel-
ling force of good to others. His constant watchword through life
has been "get to the head," and through his own individual efforts
he stands to-day foremost in the profession with which he has been
identified for nearly a half century.

Mr. Clark was born in Hartford, Connecticut, June 39th, 1841.
He was the son of Abel N. Clark and Emily I. (Braddock) Clark.
The family, several generations back, is of fine old English stock, but
since the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620 it has been con-
nected with the making and preservation of the institutions of this
country. Late in the year 1635 John Clark, the first of the name in
America, removed from his temporary home in Cambridge, Massa-
chusetts (formerly Newton), to Hartford, in company with other
settlers of the State. His name appears on the monument to Hart-
ford's fathers which stands in the historic old Center burying ground.
Through Matthew, John, and Abel Clark the family descended to

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 11 of 30)