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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Governor Lorrin A. Cooke, 1897-1899. He is a Free Mason, an Elk,
and a member of the Royal Arcanum, the Union League, the Young
Men's Republican Club, and of the Connecticut Society of the Sons
of the American Revolution. In religion he is a Congregationalist.
While his duties are too exacting to allow him much time to himself,
he gets into the country when he can and he is fond of the simple
life there.

His wife, Marie P. Sperry of New Haven, whom he married
October 8th, 1879, and whose writings over the nom de plume of
"Rhea" are well remembered, died suddenly while addressing an
audience in South Hampton, Connecticut, November 10th, 1904. He
has one son, Walter M. His home is at No. 23 Lynwood Place, New


LEEDS, CHARLES HENRY, retired manufacturer, ex-mayor
J and a leading citizen of Stamford, Connecticut, was born in
New York City, January 9th, 1834, the son of Samuel and
Mary Warren Mellen Leeds. Through his father he is a descendant,
in the eighth generation, of Richard Leeds, who cmigratc.l from (ircat
Yarmouth, England, in 1637, and settled in Dorchester, Massachu-
setts. His mother was a granddaughter of Lieut. Col. James Mel-
len, a Revolutionary officer. Another of his ancestors was Solomon
Stoddard, the divine, who was graduated from Harvard in 1662, and
still another was Col. Israel Williams, who participated in the French
and Indian Wars

Charles Henry Leeds fitted for college at Phillips Academy,
Andover, Massachusetts, and was graduated from Yale University in
1854. After leaving college he engaged in the business of manufac-
turing straw goods in New York and continued at this business for
thirty years. In 1883 he moved to Stamford, Connecticut, which has
been his home ever since. At the time of his removal to Stamford
he gave up the straw goods business and for the next four years he was
secretary of the Stationers' Board of Trade of New York City. Since
1888 he has not been actively engaged in business, but he has been
one of Stamford's busiest and most useful citizens. In 1893 he was
elected warden of the borough and during his term of service Stam-
ford was incorporated as a city and he was made its first mayor in
1894, He has always been a loj^al and leading Republican in
political allegiance. In 1897 he was appointed a deputy collector of
the United States Custom Service of the Fairfield district in charge
of the sub-port of Stamford and he still fills that office. Mr. Leeds
is a trustee and treasurer of the Stamford Presbyterian Society and
treasurer and manager of the Children's Home of Stamford. He
has been secretary, was for twelve years treasurer, and is now a
director of the Stamford Yacht Club and he was for a number of
years treasurer and a governor of the Stamford Suburban Club. He


has been very active in the organization and promotion of the Stam-
ford Hospital, of which he is a director and one of the executive

On the twenty-first of December, 1865, Mr. Leeds married Sarah
Perley Lambert, daughter of William G. Lambert of Few York City.
She is descended on her father's side, in the seventh generation, from
Francis Lambert, who, with several others, came from Eowley, Eng-
land, under the leadership of the Kev. Ezekiel Eogers, and founded
the town of Eowley, Massachusetts, in 1639. Mr. and Mrs. Leeds
have had seven children, of whom six, four sons and two daughters,
are now living. All the sons are graduates of Yale University.




MITCHELL, CHARLES ELLIOTT, lawyer, was born in the
town of Bristol, Hartford County, Connecticut, May 11th,
1837. On his mother's side Mr. Mitchell traces his ancestry
to Thomas Hooker, the famous Puritan preacher popularly regarded
as the founder of Connecticut. Ira Hooker, Mr. Mitchell's maternal
grandfather, a farmer and manufacturer of Bristol, Connecticut, waa
several times a member of the legislature. On his father's side Mr.
Mitchell is descended from William Mitchell, who came from Scot-
land and settled in Bristol shortly before the Revolution. Hia
paternal grandfather was George Mitchell, a man of probity and
prominence, a State senator, and a leading manufacturer, Mr.
Mitchell's father was George H. Mitchell, a merchant and the post-
master of Bristol. His mother was Lurene Hooker Mitchell, and her
influence, which was very strong on his intellectual life, was most
lasting and helpful. To her encouragement he ascribes very largely
the success that has been his.

Living in a village and endowed with vigorous health, Mr.
Mitchell's youthful days were filled with wholesome industry. He
had a decided penchant for legal studies, and a native mechanical
taste that led to an intimate acquaintance with the manufacturing
industries of his town. He was fond of gymnastics, but above all he
was fond of good literature. Macaula/s history and essays, biogra-
phies of statesmen, other English essays and poetry gave him the
greatest delight. Like so many other successful men, he combined
work and schooling, for he assisted his father in the post office while
he was preparing for college, studying in the office and reciting
sometimes to the principal of the high school, and at other times
to one of the clergymen of the place. He supplemented this frag-
mentary preparation with a year at WiUiston Seminary. He then
entered Brown University and received his degree in 1861. For a
time he served acceptably as principal of the Bristol High School, and
later on he entered the Albany Law School, from which he was


graduated in 1864 with the degree of LL.B. From his early boyhood
Mr. Mitchell has had a strong natural preference for the study and
practice of law, and this purpose so early formed and so persistently
followed and fostered has insured his success at the Bar. He began as
a general practitioner of law in New Britain, but gradually, by a
process of natural selection rather than by conscious choice, he
inclined to making a specialty of patent law. His practice soon
became extensive in patent and trademark cases, giving him a national
reputation and taking him frequently to the Supreme Court of the
United States. In response to the general desire of the patent
lawyers of the country, Mr. Mitchell was appointed Commissioner of
Patents by President Harrison. During his service as commissioner,
he conducted its affairs on sound business principles, introducing
various reforms, and brought the work of issuing patents into a
condition equal to the pressure of the incoming applications, a most
important step. In the fall of 1891 he resigned and removed to
New York, where he practiced his profession very assiduously until
1902, when he returned to Connecticut and soon resumed his residence
in New Britain.

Confining his efforts and interests to his profession, Mr. Mitchell
has generally held aloof from public life, and as he has never sought
political office, his excursions into politics have been so slight as to
hardly amount to exceptions to his rule of adhering to one purpose
in life. He is a Republican in political creed, and although at times
not wholly satisfied with the policies of his party, he has never desired
to shift his allegiance. In 1880 and 1881 he was a member of the
Connecticut House. In 1880 he was chairman of the committee on
corporations and in 1881 an influential member of the Judiciary com-
mittee. In the presidential campaigns of 1884 and 1888 he made
several speeches. He was the first city attorney of New Britain.

During his residence in New York, he was principally engaged in
electric litigation, being employed by the General Electric Company
in many cases relating to Edison's incandescent lamp and other
electrical inventions. At one time and another he has been con-
cerned in litigations involving the inventions of Edison, Tesla, Brush,
Thomson, and others of the great inventors of the electrical art.

Besides his legal and occasional political interests, Mr. Mitchell
has always been deeply interested in the material, moral, and reli-


gious life of his home city. In addition to holding the presidency
of the Stanley Rule & Level Company he is director in various other
manufacturing companies. Recently, owing to his somewhat impaired
eyesight, he has withdrawn to some extent from the practice of law.
He is a member of the American Bar Association, of the Association
of the Bar of the City of New York, the Hartford County Bar, the
Century Association, the University Club, the Hardware Club, the
New Britain Club, the New England Society, and while in New
York was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of
that city.

Mr. Mitchell was married to Cornelia A. Chamberlain, a sister
of Ex-Governor Chamberlain, in 1866. They have three sons, Robert
C, Charles H., and George Henry. The eldest and youngest are
practicing law in New York. Charles H. is clerk of the city and
police courts of New Britain.

It has been said that Mr. Mitchell's motto in life has been "to
deserve success," believing that the constitution of things is such
that success can be obtained in that way better than in any other.


S PERRY, ELLIE NEWTON", manufacturer, was born in Wood-
bridge, New Haven County, Connecticut, January 18th, 1857.
His father, Milo D. Sperry, son of Elihu and Anna (Lines)
Sperry, was a hard-working farmer, of sterling honesty, who married
Mary Lucinda, daughter of Lewis and Lucinda (Higgins) Newton
of Woodbridge. His first ancestor in America was Richard Sperry,
a native of Wales, who arrived in the New Haven Colony about 1643.

Ellie Newton Sperry was a child in the possession of fair health,
brought up in the country, and accustomed to hard work on his
father's farm from his very early boyhood. Farm work was dis-
tasteful to the ambitious lad and his inclination was in the direction
of machinery and manufacturing. His mother was his moral guide
and her example and patient helpfulness largely directed his life. His
school training was limited to the primary school and to self-
instruction largely derived from books on mechanics and manufactur-

His duty to his family enforced him to remain on the farm until
he was twenty-five years of age and in the meantime he had married,
October 8th, 1879, Lida Adaline, daughter of Marcus Earl and
Martha Ann (Peck) Baldwin of Woodbridge. They have two
children, Bertha Lida, born February 1, 1881, and Ralph Milo, born
May 10th, 1882.

In 1882 he left the farm and took a position in a manufacturing
concern, which change in vocation was the beginning of a successful
life work. The business he engaged in was carried on by the
Monumental Bronze Company of Bridgeport and he rose to the
position of treasurer and general manager and in 1892 resigned his
official position to organize the Bridgeport Hardware Manufacturing
Company. This business he sold out in 1902 and returned to the
Monumental Bronze Company and soon after was elected president
of the concern.

He served his adopted city as an alderman and president of the


board; a police commissioner and president of the board of police-
a member of the board of charities; as president of the Brid-rcport
Board of Trade, and in various other capacities where his duty or the
choice of his fellow citizens called him. He has been a director of the
Bridgeport National Bank since 1890, and a trustee, receiver, or a-ent
of numerous estates, etc. As a manufacturer he has taken out sev'iral
patents used in the business. He is a member of the Seaside, Brook-
lawn Country, and Yacht clubs of Bridgeport and was for' a time
governor of the Bridgeport Yacht Club. His political affiliation is
with the Eepublican party and he has never found occasion to change
his allegiance to that party. He attends the Congregational Church
and is a liberal contributor to the various charities directed by that

To young men Mr. Sperry gives this advice: "Be honest,
systematic, work early and late, never be afraid that you will do more
than your share, and strike when the iron is hot."


treasurer of the Hockanum Manufacturing Company, was
born in Rockville, Tolland County, Connecticut, Jan-
uary 4th, 1861. He is the son of the late Hon. George Maxwell and
Harriet Kellogg Maxwell. His father was treasurer of the Hockanum
Company and one of the most prominent men of his town. George
Maxwell founded the Rockville Public Library and was greatly inter-
ested in the Congregational Church of which he was a deacon.

The founder of the Maxwell family in America was Hugh Max-
well, who came to this country in 1733. He, like the other ancestors,
was of Scotch-Irish descent. He bore a distinguished part in the
French and Indian and Revolutionary wars, and was wounded at
the battle of Bunker Hill, in which he took part as captain of a
company of minute men.

Spending his youth in the town of Rockville, Colonel Maxwell
received his education at the public schools of that town. He was
an earnest student and was graduated from the Rockville High School
in the class of 1878. He entered immediately upon his business
career, his first position being with the Hockanum Manufacturing
Company in 1878. He was soon made secretary of the company, and
upon the death of his father he was made treasurer. Besides this
position, which Colonel Maxwell still holds, there are many other
offices which he fills. He is director in the New England and
Springville manufacturing companies, in the ^tna Indemnity Com-
pany of Hartford, in the Rockville National Bank, the Rockville
Building and Loan Association, the National Fire Insurance Com-
pany of Hartford, and also in the Rockville Fire Insurance Company.
Colonel Maxwell is a vice-president of the Connecticut Red Cross
Society, a member of the American Geographical Society, the Metro-
politan Museum, New York, and the Hartford Club. He is president
of the Rockville Public Library, which his father founded. Colonel
Maxwell takes an active interest in politics, and has always been a

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thorough Republican. In 1896, he served in the common council of
Eockville, and in 1898 he represented the town of Vernon in the State
Legislature, serving on the committee on insurance as chairman
during his term of office. In 1900 he was State senator from the 23rd
district, this time serving as chairman on the committee on education.

Besides his business and political positions, Colonel Maxwell has
been active in military affairs. As colonel on the staff of Gov. Morgan
G. Bulkeley, he represented his city and State at the World's Fair in
Chicago in 1893.

On November 18th, 1896, Colonel Maxwell married Florence
Russell Parsons, whose ancestors were prominent Colonial settlers in
Connecticut and Massachusetts. Three daughters have been born to
Colonel and Mrs. Maxwell.

Colonel Maxwell is a member of the Society of Colonial Wars
and of the Sons of the Revolution. He is a member of the Union
Congregational Church, and in his church interests as well as in
business and public service he consistently upholds the creditable
example of his father.


EMEESON, JAMES MARION, editor of the Ansonia Sentinel
is a Maryland man by birth, having been born in Denton,
Caroline County, in that state, on December 14th, 1845, but
he belongs to-day, not to Ansonia and New Haven County alone, but
to all the State of Connecticut.

His "father before him," John H. Emerson, was an editor and
deputy assessor of internal revenue ; a man of marked characteristics,
positive and firm in his convictions. He came of early English stock
as did his wife, Sarah L. Emerson. The family records were
destroyed by the fire which burned the Dorchester County Court

After spending his boyhood in the country and attending the
Denton Academy, Mr. Emerson finished his studies in Washington
College, Chestertown, Maryland, where he was graduated with the
class of '63. He began at once upon his career as a newspaper man.
His first position was that of editor of a weekly paper in Denton, and
he made a success of it.

In 1876 he came to Ansonia, where he bought the Ansonia Senti-
nel, then a weekly, and the job printing office in connection. The
community was then small and was well served by dailies
from New Haven and Waterbury, but from the weekly to an
evening daily was but a short step. Not only in Ansonia, Derby,
Birmingham, and throughout the Naugatuck Valley had
readers been attracted by the virility of the Sentinel, but people
throughout the State had come to look with interest for the senti-
ments of the editor, particularly in State affairs. There was no par-
tisan bias, but just the simple, straightforward opinion of a keen ob-
eerver and an independent commentator. Newswise, also, the paper
is clean, honest, and enterprising.

Mr. Emerson is a Republican in politics, but partisanship has
no part in the policy of his paper. In his religious faith he is a
Congregationalist. Had he had a taste for political preferment, Mr.


Emerson has had no time to devote to the duties of elective oirico ; the
responsibility of the editorial chair has commanded all his energy
and faculties, and his fellow citizens recognize that there he gives
them most faithful service.

Mr. Emerson has been married twice. His first wife was T^izzie
N. Steward of New Jersey, who died in 1871. His present wife was
Julia B. Foord of Delaware. He has had six children, of whom three,
Howard Foord, John Ralph, and Lilian May, are living. His home
is ut No. 38 William Street, Ansonia.


GILLETT, ARTHUR LIN^COLN, A.M., D.D., clergyman, and
professor of apologetics at the Hartford Theological Seminary^
was born in Westfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, Janu-
ary 5th, 1859. He is descended from Jonathan Gillett, who came
from England to Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1630, and afterwards
removed to Windsor, Connecticut, and from William Fowler, who
came from England to Boston in 1637 and the following year settled
in New Haven. Doctor Gillett's parents were Edward Bates and
Lucy Douglas (Fowler) Gillett. His father was a lawyer, a most
brilliant speaker, and a writer gifted with a rare literary style and he
was also a man of prominence in public life, having been State
representative and senator and district attorney for fourteen years.

In boyhood Arthur Gillett was healthy and strong and his early
days were spent in the country in the usual "New England way." He
prepared for college at the Westfield High School and at Williston
Seminary, Easthampton, Massachusetts, and then entered Amherst
College. He was graduated from Amherst in 1880 with the A.B.
degree. He then studied for three years at the Hartford Theological
Seminary, where he was graduated in 1883. He returned to Hartford
for a year of post-graduate study, and the same year, 1884, received
the degree of A.M. from Amherst College. The summer following he
entered upon his ministry at Plymouth (Congregational) Church, Mil-
waukee, Wisconsin, where he acted as pastor's assistant. x\fter a year's
service in this church he left to become pastor of Plymouth Church,
Grand Forks, North Dakota, where he remained three years, at the
end of which, in 1888, he returned East and was engaged as an
instructor at the Hartford Theological Seminary, with which insti-
tution he has been connected ever since that time. From 1889 to
1891 he studied in Germany as fellow of the Hartford Seminary. In
1890 he became associate professor of his subject, apologetics, and
since 1895 he has been professor. Since 1894 he has been editor in
chief of the Hartford Seminary Record.


In 1901 Amherst College conferred upon Professor Gillett the
honorary degree of D.D. Since 1900 he has been a trustee of Smith
College and since 1903 he has been a member of the prudential com-
mittee of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
He is a member of the American Oriental Society, belonging to the
section for comparative religion, and also of the American Philo-
sophical Association. In politics he is a Eepublican. On June 22nd,
1887, Doctor Gillett married Mary Bradford Swift of Hartford,
who died January 15th, 1901. Two of her three sons survive her.




Max Adler 243

Simeon E. Baldwin 91

Charles E. Billings 435

Theodore Bodenwein 35

Frank B. Brandegee 55

Morgan G. Bulkeley 47

David N. Camp 408

Walter Camp 429

Abiram Chamberlain 149

William H. Chapman 443

Charles H. Clark 231

William B. Clark 210

O. Vincent Coffin 160

James S. Elton 451

Henry F. EngUsh 381

Jacob L. Greene 458

William A. Grippin 201

Arthur T. Hadley 105

Frederic B. Hall 87

William Hamersley 97

Alfred E. Hammer 470

William H. Hart 397

E. Stevens Henry 64

Edvsrin W. Higgins 77

Ebenezer J. Hill 70

John M. Holcombe 291

Marcus H. Holcomb 363

George H. Hoyt 389

Frederick J. Kingsbury 180

Everett J. Lake 354


George L. Idlley 75

Charles H. Lounsbury 260

George E. Lounsbury 172

Phineas C. Lounsbury 176

Flavel S. Luther, Jr 124

Francis W. Marsh 222

Frank T. Maxwell 485

Charles S. Mellen 270

Orange Merwin 280

Asahel Mitchell 43

Charles E.Mitchell 478

George P. McLean 153

Henry H.Peck 337

MUes Lewis Peck 326

Samuel O. Prentice 101

Bradford P. Raymond 136

Henry Roberts 25

Albert L. Sessions 313

William E. Sessions 303

DeWitt C. Skilton 346

Nehemiah D. Sperry 59

James Swan 416

John M. Taylor 463

David Torrance 81

Thomas M. Waller 165

James F. Walsh 39

Pierce N. Welch 251

Eli Whitney 370

Frank L. Wilcox 191

Rollin S. Woodruff 31




Max Adler 242

John W. Ailing 274

Wilbur O. Atwater 316

Simeon E. Baldwin 90

Elmore S. Banks 263

Royal M. Bassett 432

Henry A. Beers 120

Alvah N. Belding 254

Francis G. Benedict 140

Edward B. Bennett 194

Frank L. Bigelow 454

Charles E. Billings 434

Theodore Bodenwein 34

Frank B. Brandegee 64

Lewis C. Brastow 217

Burton G. Bryan 257

John R. Buck 237

Morgan G. Bulkeley 46

Willie O. Burr 265

David N. Camp 409

Walter Camp 428

Abiram Chamberlain 148

Charles F. Chapin 357

William H. Chapman 442

Louis R. Cheney 240

Russell H. Chittenden 116

Charles H. Clark 230

William B. Clark 211

O. Vincent Coffin 161

Herbert W. Conn 145

Homer S. Cummings 386

Howard J. Curtis 358

WilUam P. Curtiss 456

Ralph W. Cutler 184

Charles S. Davidson 323

James D. Dewell 360

Arthur M. Dickinson 334

Charles A. Dinsmore 376


Charles L. Edwards 878

James S. Elton 450

James M. Emerson 488

Albert H. Emery 851

Henry F. Enghsh 880

Henry W. Famam 294

Henry Ferguson 132

Irving Fisher 298

Charles N. Flagg 866

Karl W. Genthe 134

Arthur L. Gillett 490

Arthur L. Goodrich 448

Jacob L. Greene 459

William A. Grippin 200

Arthur T. Hadley 104

John H. Hale 402

Frederic B. Hall 86

William Hamersley 96

Alfred E. Hanmier 471

A. Park Hammond 246

Samuel Hart 426

William H. Hart 396

William F. Henney 235

E. Stevens Henry 65

Edwin W. Higgins 76

Ebenezer J. HiU 71

John M. Holcombe 290

Marcus H. Holcomb 362

Thomas Hooker 276

George H. Hoyt 388

John Day Jackson 373

Charles F. Johnson 130

Edwin O. Keeler 267

Greene Kendrick 392

Arthur R. Kimball 311

Frederick J. Kingsbury 181

Oscar Kuhns 320

Henry R. Lang 307


William M. Lathrop 394

Walter J. Leavenworth 342

Charles H. Leeds 475

George L. Lilley 74

Edward Keeler Lockwood 198

Charles H. Lounsbury 261

George E. Lounsbury 173

Phineas C. Lounsbury 177

Thomas R. Lounsbury 422

Flavel S. Luther, Jr 125

Everett J. Lake 355

Burton Mansfield 205

Mahlon H. Marlin 421

Francis W. Marsh 223

Prank T. Maxwell 484

William Maxwell 248

Archibald McNeil 340

Charles S. MeUen 271

Watson J. Miller 439

Asahel Mitchell 42

Charles E. Mitchell 479

Edwin K. Mitchell 446

John R. Montgomery 441

Orange Merwin 281

William D. Morgan 188

George P. McLean 152

Henry H. Peck 336

Miles Lewis Peck 827

Moses A. Pendleton 344

Henry A. Perkins 368

John J. Phelan 349

Charles W. Pickett 473

Edgar L. Pond 207

Samuel O. Prentice 100

Bradford P. Raymond 137


Stephen E. Reed 330

Charles B. Richards 309

Eugene L. Richards 283

Henry Roberts 24

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 28 of 30)