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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1887 to 1889, member of the Eepublican State Central Committee
one term, delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1884
and he was elected in 1894 as representative in the Fifty-Fourth
Congress and has served in that capacity continuously ever since. He
spent eight years in studying sound money as member of the bank-
ing and currency committee in Congress and is now a member
of the ways and means committee in Congress.

Outside of his many public and business duties Mr. Hill finds
time and heart for religious, social, and patriotic interests. He is a
Methodist in creed, was a member of the Methodist General Con-
ference in 1892, and taught a Bible class in Sunday School for nine-
teen years. He is a member of the Order of Odd Fellows and was



HON. EBENEZEE HILL. 73

Grand Master of the State Order for two terms and a Grand Kep-
resentative to the United States Grand Lodge for two terms. He
is a member of the Sons of the American Eevolution. His favorite
diversions are reading, walking, and traveling in this country and
abroad. On June 15th, 1868, Congressman Hill married Mary Ellen
Mossman of Amherst, Massachusetts, by whom he has had four chil-
dren, Frederick Asbury, born 1869, a graduate of Yale University,
1893, and of Yale Law School, 1895, Judge Advocate with rank of
lieutenant-colonel on staff of General James H. Wilson in the Spanish-
American War; Clara Mossman, a graduate of Vassar College, 1895;
Helena Charlotte (Mrs. Walter H. Weed), a graduate of Vassar,
1896, and A.M. of Vassar, and Elsie Mary, a graduate of Vassar,
1906.

Congressman E. J. Hill is a veteran in public service, a success-
ful business man, and a man of marked worth and ability to whose
words of advice it is a privilege to listen. He advocates two things:
"First, practice economy and always live within your income ; second,
try to know some one thing better than anyone else does while still
having a general knowledge of all important live questions. Practice
the art of selecting the essentials for study and investigation."

On September 22nd, 1906, Mr. Hill was unanimously re-nominated
for Congressman.



GEORGE LEAVENS LILLEY

LILLE Y, GEORGE LEAVENS, Congressman, merchant, and
real estate man, of Waterbury, New Haven County, Connecti-
cut, was bom in Oxford, Worcester County, Massachusetts,
August 3rd, 1859. He is descended from George Lilley, who settled
in Eeading, Massachusetts, in 1636. Mr. Lilley's father was John
Leavens Lilley, a farmer and marketman, whom he describes as ^'a
bundle of nervous energy and activity." His mother was Caroline
Ward Adams Lilley, whose character was a great moral force in her
son's life.

A heritage of ambition and plenty of work for the exercise of
that ambition fell to Mr, Lille/s lot in his early youth, and he was
exceptionally fitted for that lot. He was constitutionally rugged and
vigorous and lived on a farm where there was ample chance to put his
strength to constant and practical use. His brief education was ac-
quired with great difficulty and many interruptions. He was very
fond of history, which was the bulk of his reading. His chief school-
ing consisted of two years at the Worcester Technical Institute.

Since "coming to man's estate" Mr. Lilley has been engaged in
the real estate business and in the provision and produce business in
Waterbury, and his prosperity has been as rapid and as great as his
early ability and success promised. His value to his community and
to the Eepublican party has been especially shown by his election to
the State Legislature in November, 1900, and in 1902 by his election
to Congress as Representative at large from Connecticut, and still
further by his re-election to the latter office in 1904. In addition to
his business interests and public services Mr. Lilley has many social
and fraternal interests. He is a member of the Union League Club of
New Haven, of the Waterbury Club, of the Masons, the Elks, and the
Foresters. He is also a member of the State Republican Committee,
and director of the Torrington National Bank. He is a member
of the Protestant Episcopal Church. His favorite amusements are
horseback riding and automobiling. On June 17th, 1884, Mr. Lilley



GEORGE LEAVENS LILLEY 76

married Anna E. H. Steele. All of the three children who have been
bom to Mr. and Mrs. Lilley are now living.

In summing up the causes of his success in life Mr. Lilley says
that the first impulse to win that success came in those early hours of
the early days of his life, when he first experienced mercantile life and
developed the merchant's instinct. Contact with other men has been
the chief influence upon his success in later life. As to the results he
says, "No man has ever accomplished all he hoped. The best he can
do is to keep everlastingly at it, trying with all his might;" and for
the further guidance of those coming after him he emphasizes the
importance of cultivating "unadulterated honesty, frankness, and
politeness, coupled with a will to do and to dare — a determination to
permit no obstacles to stand in the way of achieving the goal of an
honest ambition," and he adds, "It is my belief that every young man
with the Roosevelt- Jerome energy and the foregoing traits can carry to
a successful conclusion anything he undertakes."

On September 20th, 1906, Mr. Lilley was unanimously re-nomi-
nated for Congress.



EDWIN WERTER HIGGINS

HIGGINS, EDWIN WERTER, lawyer and Congressman, of
Norwich, New London County, Connecticut, was bom in
Clinton, Middlesex County, Connecticut, July 2nd, 1874, the
son of Werter C. Higgins and Grace A. Higgins, who was the daughter
of Henry M. and Ann Crane Taintor. Silas Higgins, the paternal
grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was for years prominent in
the business and public life of eastern Connecticut. Mr. Higgins'
father is a manufacturer of steam heaters and a man whose most prom-
inent characteristic is j&delity to principle. Mr. Higgins' earliest ances-
tors in America were Jonathan Sexton, who came from England to
Plymouth in 1620, and later settled in Windsor, Connecticut; Medad
Taintor, who was born in 1757 and came from England to Branford,
Connecticut, and Heman Higgins of Midddletown, Connecticut. The
early ancestors of Mr. Higgins were identified with the Plymouth and
Massachusetts Bay Colonies and three of his great-grandfathers took
part in the American Revolution.

Most of Mr. Higgins' youth was spent in Norwich, Connecticut,
where from choice during vacation periods he often busied himself
with both manual and clerical work in the shops and offices of Nor-
wich. He was blessed with good health and found the keenest enjoy-
ment in outdoor sports. After a course at the Norwich Free Academy
he entered the law department of Yale University and graduated in
1897 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. While at Yale he served
one term as secretary of the Kent Club, the leading debating
society of the law department, and became a member of the Yale
chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa.

Since leaving college Mr. Higgins has devoted himself to the
practice of law, and his profession with the performance of various
public services has occupied Mr. Higgins' time since graduation. In

1899 he was elected a member of the General Assembly as representa-
tive from Norwich and served on the judiciary committee. From

1900 until he resigned in 1905 he served as health officer for New




^^-S^-yiAj^JU^ 60 . ?4rY^^V^"«-t^



EDWIN WERTER HIGGINS 79

London County, being appointed by the Judges of the Superior Court
of the State; from 1901 to 1903 he was corporation counsel for the city
of Norwich; in 1904 he was a delegate to the Eepublican National Con-
vention at Chicago, representing Connecticut on the committee on.
resolutions; in 1905 he was appointed prosecuting attorney of Nor-
wich and has been for six years and is now a member of the Repub-
lican State Central Committee. On October 2nd, 1905, he was given
still higher political honor by his election as Representative from the
Third District in the Congress of the United States. Since 1903
he has been director and secretary of the Groton and Stonington
Street Railway Company and is connected with other prominent busi-
ness interests in his section of the State. On October 6th, 1906, Mr.
Higgins was unanimously re-nominated for Congress.

On September 31st, 1904, Mr. Higgins married Alice M. Neff of
Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Mr. Higgins served three years and a
half in Co. 9, C. N. C, Third Regiment, is a member of the Chelsea
Boat Club, the Arcanum Club of Norwich, the Sons of the American
Revolution of Connecticut and the Citizens Corp of the G. A. R. He
is particularly fond of outdoor life and his favorite sports are hunting
and fishing. Though still a young man, Mr. Higgins has won himself
a place of distinction as a lawyer and as a public man, as his pro-
fessional and political offices show.



DAVID TORRANCE

TOEEANCE, DAVID, late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
of Errors of Connecticut, the son of Walter and Annie Tor-
rance, was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, March 3rd, 1840.
After the death of his father, his mother with her young children
came to this country in 1849 and settled at Norwich, Connecticut. At
the age of nine David went to work in a cotton mill there, and sub-
sequently learned and for some years worked at the trade of paper
making.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, his younger brother, James
Torrance, went out with the Third Connecticut Volunteers, served his
term and re-enlisted in the Thirteenth Eegiment, meeting his death
with that devoted band of Union soldiers at Port Hudson in 1863.
David felt constrained to remain at his work till that stirring summer
of 1863, when illusions as to the uprising were dissipated and the call
of duty sounded in sternest tones for such as he. On the 17th of July,
1862, he enlisted as a private in Company A of the Eighteenth Con-
necticut Volunteers, and was speedily made a sergeant in the company.

On July 13th, 1863, the regiment saw its first fighting. General
Milroy with barely 7,000 men undertook to hold back General Early
with 30,000 men and eighty-seven field guns, at Winchester, Virginia.
On the 15th, the Eighteenth, commanded by Colonel William G. Ely,
was in the van in a charge made upon one of the enemy's batteries.
After three successive but unavailing charges in which the regiment
lost heavily, it was forced to surrender, and Torrance with many of
his comrades became a prisoner of war. General Walker of Stone-
wall Jackson's brigade feelingly voiced the admiration of the foe for
the bravery displayed by the regiment and, in attestation, returned
Colonel Ely's sword to him upon the field.

General Milroy said to these brave men, after they had returned
from captivity: "To your valor I owe my safety. You come from a
state whose soldiers never disgrace themselves nor their flag. I am
proud of you."




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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 4 of 30)