United States. Congress. Senate. Select Committee.

The historical, statistical and industrial review of the state of Connecticut online

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takers, they do an extensive business as dealers in
undertakers' supplies, and are also well-known to
the trade as manufacturers of cofiios and caskets,
keeping twenty-five people at work jiroducing the

The establishment embraces three large buildings,
and the motive power for the manufactory is fur-
nished by a forty-horse power engine.

Commercial travelers represent them in many of
the New England States, where most of their trade

Mr. Geo. W. Woolley, the senior member of the
firm, is a native of Glastonbury, Conn., and was
sixty-one years of age, February 22, 1883. He has
long been identified with church matters, being
vestryman and warden for many years of St. John's
Church. He is one of Hartford's oldest citizens,
and is endeared to all for his many social qualities
and for his fund of sympathy which always re-
sponds to those bereft of relatives and friends.
As in most pursuits, undertakers are born, not
made, and this well-known fact applies in the
case of Mr. Woolley, and has done much towards
his achieving preferment in his chosen pursuit.

Of late years the details of this business has been
left to the care of the junior member of the firm,
Mr. Geo. H. Woolley. He is a native of Hartford,
and is thirty-seven years of age. He received a
liberal and preparatory chissical education at the
Brookfield Academy with the intention of entering
college, but one of those tides in the affairs of men
carried him at once into the business world, for
which he fitted himself at a commercial school in
his native city, and received his early business
education in the American National Bank. For a



time he was a resident of a Western State, resuming
his residence about the time he became a partner
with his father. For the last four years lie has
made a study of the art of embalming, in which he
takes great interest.

The firm are well-known, long-estalilished, and
preserve the excellent reputation for reliability and
financial success, the foundation of which was so
long ago commenced by the senior member.

himself and to his constituents. Later he de-
clined further political preferment as alderman,
finding it necessary to give his entire attention
to his growing business.

John Otis, Moulding and Planing Mill, Man-
ufacturer of Pine and Hardwood Mouldings, No.
133 Sheldon Street. — Tlie extensive moulding lius-
iness of Mr. John Otis was established by that
gentleman at its present location about six years
ago, and has grown from modest dimensions until
the business transacted now amounts to about
$30,000 annually, and gives employment to ten
people. The pl^nintc and moulding mill occupies
the greater portion of a building 23.5 x 24 in size.
Here are manufactured all the different patterns of
pine and hardwood mouldings known to the
trade, and here, also, the great steam planing
machines turn out vast quantities of dressed lum-
ber for the numerous lumber dealers of Hartford
and vicinity. The large steam engine which diives
the numerous planers, saws, moulding machines,
etc., is kept constantly busy, and the mill presents
a scene of unusual activity and l)usiness bustle.
The office, in its fitting, is a model of the carpen-
ter's skill, and is a fitting place in wliich to transact
so large a business. In addition to the cares of
his own business, Mr. Otis has the management of
the extensive manufacturing property in which
his works with others are situated, he being the
agent for the American Screw Company, who are
its owners.

Mr. Otis is a native of New York, about forty-
five years of age, and lias resided here for over fif-
teen years. Since his advent in tlie business world,
he has been unusually successful. From a busi-
ness requiring comparatively but little capital, he
has established one of large dimensions which
ranks among the first in the State.

A. C. Hills, Pealer in Flour, Grain and
Feed, Hay and Straw, No. 126 Main Street.— On
March 1st, 1875, Mr. Augustus C. HiOs estab-
lished his jjresent business at No. 126 Main street,
where he has since enjoyed a large degree of
prosperity. In addition to his ofiice and sales-
room, which is 30x125 feet, he has a large store-
house ia the rear and one on the line of the N.
Y., N. H. & H. Railroad.

The amount of business done in flour, grain,
feed, hav and straw amounts to about $175,000,
and the trade extends throughout the city and to
the surrounding villages.

Mr. Hills is a native of East Hartford, Connec-
ticut, born in 1845, and for eleven years has Vieen
identified with his jjresent business, previous to
which he was a weU-kuown grocer in Hartford.

He is essentially, and always has been, a thor-
ough business man, without ambition for i)oliti-
cai honors, but was prevailed upon to represent
his fellow citizens, on the Republican ticket, as
a member of the City Government from the third
ward in 1876-7, which he did with honor to

W. F. Whittelsey & Co., Merchant Tailors,
Men's and Boys' Fine Ready-made Clotliing, Nos.
34, 3(j and 38 Asylum Street.— Mr. W. F. Whittel-
sey, doing business under the firm name that heads
this article, is probably tlie oldest in his line of
business in Hartford, and ])erhaps in the State of
Connecticut. The store occupied by him is on the
ground fioor of a liuilding owned by the AUyn es-
tate, and known as Whittelsey's Block, and is
about 40 X 70 feet in size. The trade is entirely
retail, and consists largely of custom work, al-
though there is carried a stock of ready made goods
amounting in value to about §40,000. An average
of fifteen people are constantly employed, the larger
portion being engaged in the manufacture of cus-
tom work in a large room located in the second
story of the building. Mr. Whittelsey originally
established himself in business about forty years
ago, being then located on MuU>erry street, moving
thence to Main street. After carrying on business
in these locations for some years, he sold out and
went to Sandusky, Oliio, remaining there for tliree
years. He then returned to Hartford, and re-estab-
lished himself in liusiness on State street, where he
remained for eight years, removing thence to his
present quarters about twenty-two years ago.

Mr. Whittelsey is a native of East Windsor,
Conn., and was born on Novemljer 4, 1822. Hs
came to Hartford when he was fifteen years of age,
and after serving for two years as clerk in a gro-
cery store, apprenticed himself to the firm of H.
S. Larkum & Co., then prominent in the clothing
trade, going into business for liimsclf at the expi-
ration of his term of apprenticeship. Although
frequently solicited to l:)ecome a candidate for of-
fice, Mr. Wliittelsey has ]iersistently declined, pre-
ferring to give his undivided attention to his growing
business. He is regarded as one of tlie most solid
merchants of Hartford, and is universally respected.

R. P.Ivenyou & Co., Manufacturers and Jol)-
bers in Hats, Caps. Furs, etc., No. 337 Main Street.—
Thii house of R. P. Kenyon &, Co. was established
in 1874, by Mr. R. P. Kenyon. who does business
under the firm name at the head of this notice. For
four years prior to going into business on his own
account, Mr. Kenyon liad been a memlier of the
firm of Stillman & Co., and had been in the employ
of tlieir jiredecessors, Messrs. Daniels & Priest,
from lioyhood. The store occupied as a salesroom
by Kenyon & Co., is situated on the northerly side
of Main street, near Asylum street, and in close
contiguity to the business centre of Hartford. It is
20 x 85 feet in size, but forms only a portion of the
space occupied by the business, there being besides
a basement almost tlie entire size of the building, a
two-story factory in the rear, and two floors of a
large liuilding on Asylum street, known as Whittel-
sey's Block, wliere the wholesale stock of hats are
stored, and from whence they are sold and shipped.
In addition to the three or four salesmen constantly
on the road, Mr. Kenyon employs an average of
sixteen men, and from ten to sixty girls, .according



to the season. The business is both wliolcsale and
retail in huts, Mr. Kenyon beinj]; the .sole local
agent for Diinlai) of New York, and C!liristie of
Loudon, the celi-inatod hat nianufaeturers, while
the trade in tlie finer classes of furs is probalily the
larj^est iu Hartford or its vicinity. Tlie extent of
territory covered l)y tlie operations of this liou.se
embraces all the New England and many of tlie
adjacent States, and the yearly volume of business
foots up to aliout $200,000. Mr. Kenyon makes a
specialty of fine furs, making an annual visit to
Europe to secure the high class of goods demanded
bv his trade. This liouse carries a stock of from
140,000 to SGO.OOO, and is the only jobbing con-
cern of its class of any size in the State of Connecti-

Mr. Kenyon is a native of Plainficld, Conn., and
was born in 1st7. In 1804 lie entered tlie navy as
Paymaster's (Uerk, and served in tliat capacity until
1807. Otv liis return home in that year he stopped
in Hartford, takiiiii a course in tlie Bryant &
Stratton Business College, after which he entered
the service of Messrs. Daniels & Priest, working
himself from tlie position of errand boy to the
enviable jiosition he now occupies in the business
world. Mr. Kenyon has been for ten years a mem-
ber of the Putnam Phalanx, in which time-honored
organization lie now holds the position of Sergeant-
IMajor. He is one of Hartford's leading business

Smith, Northam & Co. (James A. Smith,
Chas. H. Northam, E. V. Mitchell), Flour,
Grain and Feed, No. 129 State Street.— The
business carried on by this firm was established
in 1855, as an agency for a Bridgeport flouring
mill. The original firm was W. Hawes & Co.,
they being succeeded in 1860 by Hawes k Smith,
in 1866 by Smith, Northam k Robinson, and
finally, in July, 1882, by Smith, Northam Jt Co.
Since its inception this business has grown from
an agency with annual sales of about §75,000,
until it is now the leading grain business iu New
England. The new mUl, the largest meal mill in
the country, lately erected on Windsor street,
has a capacity of aliout 6,000 bushels of meal jJer
day, about twelve car loads, and is furnished
with all the latest improved machinery and ap-
pliances for the lightening and ex^jediting labor.
So complete, in fact, are these, that four men are
enabled to unload, grind, sack and reload a car
of corn iu two liours. The warehouse, adjoin-
ing the mill, is situated between the tracks of
the New York, New Haven and Hartford and the
New York and New England Railroads, thus en-
abling the firm to ship goods direct from the
warehouse, saving the trouble and expense of
teaming. Cars are unloaded by machinery, and
everything that is possible to be done by the aid
of steam is so accomplished. It is frequently
the case that an order for an assorted car load of
grain, meal and feed is filled in fifteen minutes
after its receipt. Besides the immense business
done at the warehouse, the firm delivers to any
station in New England car hjads of grain, from
300 to 500 of which are constantly on the road,
moving annually more than 5,000,0110 liushels of
grain, about 15,000 tons of bran, middlings and
rye feed, and nearly 100,000 barrels of flour.

This extraordinary business is the outgrowth of
a fair ijeginning and a result of energetic busi-
ness methods and fair dealing.

Mr. James A. Smith, tlie senior member of the
firm, was lioru in Glastonbury, Conn., about
forty-four years ago, but has lived in Hartford
.since 185(1, lieing educated in and graduating
at the high school here. He is a director in the
jFitna Insurance Co. as well as in the Pheenix
National Bank.

Mr. Charh's H. Northam is a native of Wash-
ington Village, R. I., liorn on March 9th, 1842.
He has resided in Hartford for a long time, and
is justly regarded- as one of her leading citizens.
Mr. Northam's education was finished at Suffield,
a short time prior to his entering active business

Mr. E. V. Mitchell, the junior member of the
house, was born in Sangerville, Me., and is
twenty-eight years of age. He has been a part-
ner iu the house only since July, 1882, but was
connected with it about eight years iu a confi-
dential eajiacity. Mr. Mitehellis a graduate of
the Framiugham, Mass., high school, also Bry-
ant k Stratton Business College iu Boston, and
demonstrates in his business the benefits to be
had iu that admirable institution.

The firm of Smith, Northam & Co. stand in
the very first class as regards extent and

Lester, Pope & Co. (Henry and C. H.
Lester and F. B. Pope), Interior Decorators, No. 43
Asylum Street. — The firm of Lester, Pope & Co.,
interior decorators, at No. 42 Asylum street, is one
of tlie youngest in its line 'in Hartford, but has
already won its way to a large and profitable busi-
ness wliich is increasing in such rapid ratio as to
warrant tlie belief that a very few years will see the
house among the foremost in its line. The firm was
formed and the business established on the 15th of
September, 1882, and, owing to the long connec-
tion of all the partners with the trade in other
houses, sprang at once into favorable and jjrofit-
able notice. The members of the firm, save the
senior partner, are practical men, and with their
assistants are able to turn out a large quantity of
work iu their line. The staple of their stock "con-
sists of wall-paper, shades, draperies, lambrequins,
rugs, ornaments of all kinds, etc., while the finer
grades of carpets are sold by sample. All interior
furnishing is done and a specialty is made of sup-
plying everything needed for comfort and elegance,
taking a house from the builder and rendering itto
the owner completely finished iu all the details of
furnishing. Mr. Henry Lester is a native of East
Hartford, about sixty-three years of age, and has
resided in Hartford since his birth.

Mr. C. H. Lester, his son, is a native of
Hartford, and was born in 1844. He has been in
the pres-'ut business for eighteen years, most of
that time with the house of Hart, Merriam & Co.,
and is regarded as one of the best and most
tasteful workmen in the business.

Mr. F. B. Pope was born in Woodbury, Conn.,
and is about twenty-six years of age. He has
been resident in Hartford since boyhood, and,
like Mr. Lester, served a long term with Hart,
Merriam k, Co. The house is well regarded iu



business circles and promises to have a prosperous

inent member of the South Church, in the welfare
of which he takes much interest.

Chauncey B. Boardman, Hack, Livery and
Sale Stables, No. 104 Main Street. — It is something
more .than twenty-five years ago since Mr. C. O.
Gilbert started a livery stable at this location. After
a time it was Messrs. Gilbert & Co., and then again
Mr. Chas. O. Gilbert.

In 1860, Maj. C. B. Boardman inaugurated a sim-
ilar establishment on State street, removing from
there to his present location in 1875, purchasing the
stock and good-will of the same from Mr. Gilbert,
and combining the two establishments, made the
business one of the largest of its class in the State.

The stable has from thirty to thirty-five horses for
livery and hack purposes, and from ten to fifteen

Quite a business is transacted in the sale and ex-
change of horses, which is one of Mr. Boardman s

There is, probably, no other stable in the city
which runs as many hacks as this, the number being

Mr. Boardman is a native of Hartford, and forty-
three years of age. He has since a youth taken
great interest in military matters, having enlisted in
the First Governor's Horse Guards as far back as the
year 1855. His zeal and energy have been illus-
trated in the fact that, from that time to this, a
period of nearly thirty years, he has never missed a
training or parade, an appreciation of which is
shown in his being elected major, an oflice he has
held for thirteen years.

Major Boardman started in life as a carpenter and
builder, having served an apprenticeship to that
end, but his love for horses led him into this, his
life pursuit, in which he is classed as one of the
most popular in Hartford.

He has been an alderman and member of the City
Council from the Fourth, now the Eighth Ward, of
his native city, which is one of the evidences of the
popularity he enjoys among his fellow-citizens.

A. H. Tillinghast, Dealer in Choice Gro-
ceries, Provisions, etc., No. 93 Main Street. — One
of the most extensive, well-known and reliable
retail groceries in Hartford is that of Mr. AJva
H. Tillinghast, located at No. 93 Main street.

Tlie business was established by Mr. Henry B.
Rhodes, in the adjoining store, and jjurchased by
Mr. Tillinghast April 1st, 1868, who continued in
the same place till three years since, when he re-
moved to his present location. Both of these
stores are old business stands of thirty years
record. No. 93 Main street is 22x75 feet in size,
and contains a large stock of choice groceries,
provisions, fruit, wood, willow and stone ware,
the sales amounting to $50,000 per annum, re-
quiring the service of four experienced assistants.

Mr. Tillinghast is a native of Plainfield, Con-
necticut, and fifty years of age. He has been a
resident of Hartford since 1864, and for four
years was well known in insurance circles, which
business he conducted. Previous to this he was
a successful merchant in Attleboro, Massachu-
setts, which place he left on account of ill-health.
He is well-known in church circles and a prom-

Charles Soby, Fine Cigar Manufacturer,
No. 349 Main Street. — Tlie largest cigar manufactory
in Hartford, and, with two exceptions, the largest in
the State of Connecticut, is owned and operated by
Mr. Cliarles Soby, at No. 349 Main street. This
business was established by Mr. Soby in 1875, at
No. 10(5 Asylum street, where he remained for
tliree and a half years, removing thence to No. 64
on the same street, where he remained for four
years, and on April 1, 1882, to the elegant quarters
he now occupies.

Besides his store, which is about 20 x 50 feet
in size, Mr. Soby occupies a portion of the second
story of the building, where the stripping of
tobacco leaves is accomplished and a large factory
in the rear where the cigars are made. An average
of thirty skilled cigar-makers produce the million
cigars that are made yearly in this establishment,
and the services of about a half dozen girls are
required in the stripping department. Mr. Soby's
tratle is botli wholesale and retail, and extends to
various parts of New England as well as, in a lesser
extent, to portions of the Western States.

The choice brands of cigars for which Mr. Soby
has become famous are retailed by drug stores and
the better classes of hotels, and are in sucli active
demand that an enlargement of the factory and
the working force will soon become an absolute
necessity. Among the more prominent of the
favorite brands made are : "Elegantes," "Henry
Clay Conchas," "Speckled Beauties," "Hazel
Kirke," "Sports," " Old Bachelors," " Blue Rib-
bon, " ' ' Old Mill, " " Seal of Connecticut, R -galia, "
" Seal of Connecticut, Opera, "and others too numer-
ous to mention. Private lirandsare made to order,
and many leading houses have their cigars made at
Mr. Soby's factory.

Mr. Soby is a native of Suffield, Conn., born in
1854. He has been a resident of Hartford since the
establishment of his l)usiuess, and has w(m his
way to a first class position in the mercantile
world. He is a practical cigar-maker, and it is
largely due to his capable supervision tliat his
goods meet with the ready and extensive sale
accorded them.

Edward B. Dix, Hatter and Furrier, No. 347
Main Street. — The business now carried on by Mr.
Edward B. Dix was established about twenty years
ago by his uncle, Mr. C. R. Dix, and was con-
tinued l)y him until 1878, when the present propri-
etor succeeded him. The business is among the
largest in the retail line in the city and is carried
on in a store about 20x60 feet in size, eligibly located
on the westerly side of Main street, in the very
midst of the Ijusiness section and on the fasliionable
promenade. Tliree salesmen, besides a number of
workmen and girls are employed, and the seal
sacques, dolmans and other furs turned out have
won an enviable reputation among the l)etter classes
of Hartford's society. Mr. Dix also does a large
trade in hats, making the finest grades a specialty.
Mr. Dix is a native of Newington, Conn., and was
born in 1857. He has resided in Hartford for the
greater part of liis life and bears the reputation of
being one of its worthy and pushing business men.



The Hartford Chemical Works, Manu-
facturers of Lavine, 30 Union Place. — The word
•' LaWne " has obtaineil such a world-wide celeb-
rity that no history of the manufacturing in-
dustries of the State of Connecticut would l>e
complete without a somewhat detailed account
of the place where it was manufactured, and a
sketch of the men who has done so much to
lighten the labors of thousands of weary men
and women tbroughout the civilized world.

The factory where this admirable substitute
for soap and other cleaning agents is prepared is
situated in Union Place, opposit? the railroad
depot, and occupies an elegant five-story and
basement brick building, in which all the difl'er-
ent processes of mixing, drying, labeling and
packing ara performed, and whence issues the
vast amount of pictorial and other advertising,
for which the enterprising i)roprietors expend
thousands of dollars yearly. Here also are made
all the paper boxes used for packing "Lavine,"
the imjjroved machinery known as the Cleveland
Paper-i)ox Machines being used for that purpose .
Beginning with the basement, we find a huge
boiler of sixty-horse power, furnishing steam to
a large stationary engine of about the same
capacity, which drives, in addition to the nu-
merous and complicated machines used in the
business, a patent safety elevator, running from
basement to garret. In the front of this floor is
the tool, pipe and machine shop, where are
stored the various implements and parts of ma-
chines necessary for repairs and the new work
which is being constantly done to meet the de-
mands of the increasing trade. On the ground
floor is the office, salesroom and packing room,
in the latter of which is contained much of the
machinery for making boxes as well as for tilling
them. In the salesroom are piled, tier upon
tier, thousands of cases of "Lavine," their great
number attesting the claim of the manufacturers
that they are already making and selling more
than one million pounds of "Lavine" per annum.
The machinery for making the boxes for pack-
ing the one-pnuud packages of the preparation
is operated by a boy and girl, and turns out
with astonishing rapidity the comjjlete boxes f.t
the rate of 6,000 per day. The upper floors are
used for mixing — a process which is a secret —
drying and boxing, in which departments a
large number of hands are given constant and
profitable employment.

The growth of this business from its compar-
atively recent start in 1879, and its ramifica-
tions embracing, as they do, not only the United
States, England, South America, Au.stralia, and
all parts of the civilized world, where an ea.sy
attainment of cleanliness is deemed desirable,
prove the truth of the old .saying "good wine
needs no bush," although Mr. Oillett has pro-
vided his "wine" with a very considerable
"bush" in the matter of extensive and judicious

Mr. Gillett, the creator and supervising spirit
of this great business, is a native of Ellington
in this State, and is still a young man, having
first seen the light in the year 18-16. He has
made Hartford his home for about thirty years
of his life, and has grown to be favorably known

in the business and social communities. During
the war of the Kebellion he served in the Pay-
master's Department of the navy for two years,
resigning his position when the war was practi-
cally at an end, and thereafter embarking in the
manufacture and wholesaling of spices and gro-
cers' sundries, a business he continued until
August, 1882, when the growth of the Lavine
interest compelled him to dispose of the other
branches to Messrs. Allyn, Blanchard & Latimer,

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Select CommitteeThe historical, statistical and industrial review of the state of Connecticut → online text (page 42 of 51)