William C Gilman.

The celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of the town of Norwich, Connecticut, and of the incorporation of the city, the one hundred and twenty-fifth, July 4, 5, 6, 1909: online

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Online LibraryWilliam C GilmanThe celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of the town of Norwich, Connecticut, and of the incorporation of the city, the one hundred and twenty-fifth, July 4, 5, 6, 1909: → online text (page 17 of 19)
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held the office until his death.


1754; died 1834. Was the half brother of Jedi-
diah. After Jedidiah removed to New Lon-
don his house was occupied by Ebenezer. He left
Yale College when the war commenced and served
until the troops were disbanded in 1783. In 1810 and
in 1817 he was elected a member of Congress. Major
General, Conn, militia, over thirty years. His four
unmarried daughters were "the Ladies Huntington."


died 1821. Married in 1771 Hannah, daughter of Col.
Hezekiah Huntington. He was in business at the
Landing, but at the call to arms he followed his
brothers in giving himself to the service of his cpun-
try. He was high sheriff of New London county
and had charge of the first United States census
(1790) in this region. He lived in the house on
Huntington lane now owned by Mrs. Theodore F.


died 1786. Graduated at Yale College 1741. "The
house in the lane" is to-day practically unaltered from
its condition when it was occupied by General Jabez


Huntington, who as the head of the Connecticut
troops did much for American freedom. It surely in-
cludes a portion or the whole of the house of his father,
the first Joshua Huntington, and may include the house
built by the founder, John Bradford. General Jabez
Huntington was the father of Jedidiah, Andrew,
Joshua, Ebenezer and Zachariah. "If the annals of the
Revolution record the name of any family that con-
tributed more to that great struggle, I have yet to learn

63 COLONEL JOHN DURKEE. Born in Windham
1728; died May 29, 1782. Leader of 500 men who
compelled Ingersoll to resign the office of stamp mas-
ter for Connecticut. Colonel at Long Island, Harlem,
White Plains, Trenton and Monmouth. He was in
Sullivan's Indian expedition. Durkee's tavern at
Bean hill was "opposite the home-lot of Mr. Samuel
Abell." He was known as "the Bold Bean Killer."

Meeting Houses and Burying Grounds.

64 The first meeting-house stood near the southeast cor-

ner of the Green "with the open Common around it."
Of its erection there is no record. It was probably
built by a "general turn-out of the inhabitants." In
1668 a small rate was collected to pay Samuel
Lathrop "for repairing the Meeting-house." It was
in use only twelve or fourteen years. Opposite
present Norwich Town postoffice.

65 In 1673 tne town contracted with John Elderkin to build

"forthwith a new meeting-house." The building com-
mittee were Deacon Hugh Calkins, Ensign Thomas
Leffingwell, Ensign Thomas Tracy, Simon Hunting-
ton and William Backus. It was completed in two
years. Elderkin contracted to build it for 428.
This building was repaired and a "leanto" added, in


which several new pews were made. These improve-
ments being completed in March, 1698, five of the
oldest and most respected inhabitants were directed
"to seat the people with due regard to rank." The
site of this second meeting-house was on the summit
of the hill. It was to serve as a watch-tower, and a
garrison post, as well as a house of worship.

66 December 6, 1709, a vote was passed to build a third

meeting-house, the dimensions not to exceed 55 feet
by 45, to be modeled by a committee of the church,
and completed by March I, 1712. This building was
on the rocks near the site of the second meeting-
house. John Elderkin, 2d, son of the old church
builder, was the architect. It was completed in De-
cember, 1713. A vote was passed to sell the old
edifice, which had lasted forty years.

67 The site of the fourth meeting-house was at the corner

of the Green, under the rocks, where the present
church stands. It is said to have been a "squar build-
ing, with a front porch or platform," with doors on
three sides. It was voted for in 1748, but was not
begun until 1753; it remained unfinished for several
years. It was completed in 1770. On the 7th of
February, 1801, it was destroyed by fire, with several
other buildings. The present building, the fifth meet-
ing-house, was built partly by subscription and partly
by a lottery.


the town bought this land for a common burial-place.
Many of the proprietors and early settlers were in-
terred in this "regular oblong plot," n rods long and
7 wide. The last interment was in 1740. In 1872 the
present monument was erected to the memory of
Major John Mason and the other proprietors. It is
on West Town street, half a mile above the Up-town
Green. No traces of graves remain.



At Norwich Town through Old Cemetery lane near
the corner of Town street (the River road), and the
Up-town Green; a portion of the home-lot of Rev.
James Fitch.


1796. On East Town street, adjacent to the Governor
Huntington house, through the Hubbard gates, in-
scribed by Faith Trumbull Chapter, D. A. R., with
names of soldiers of the Revolution buried within. A
portion of the home-lot of Simon Huntington.

Public Buildings.

71 COURT HOUSE, 1762. In 1735 the first court house

was erected on the south side of the parsonage lot.
In 1762 a new one was built on the Green near the
present watering trough. This was moved across the
street in 1798 near the present school, used until 1833
when courts were moved to the landing, and then
used as a school building until 1891.

72 TOWN AND COURT HOUSE, 1829. Built on north

side of Church street. Burned April n, 1865.

73 JAIL, 1759. First jail was at southeast corner of Green.

About 1759 a new one was built back of old brick
schoolhouse. This was burned in 1786 and rebuilt
and used until 1815.

74 JAIL, 1815. A third location was chosen in 1815, when

the Perit house on the opposite side of the Green was
purchased for the county house, and a jail was built
on the adjoining lot a short distance back of where
the store now stands. This lasted until the courts
were moved to the Landing, in 1833.

75 OFFICE OF TOWN CLERKS. The first Town Clerk

was John Birchard. We have no record of his ap-


pointment. He was in office eighteen years. Chris-
topher Huntington, appointed 1678, was in office until
his death, 1691. Richard Bushnell, 1691, for seven
years. Christopher Huntington, Jr., 1698, for four
years. Richard Bushnell again in 1702, in office for
twenty- four years. Isaac Huntington 1726, till his
death, 1764. Benj. Huntington 1764, in office nearly
two years. Benj. Huntington, son of Isaac, 1765, in
office thirteen years. Samuel Tracy 1778, in office
one year. Benj. Huntington, 1779, in office until his
death, 1801. Philip Huntington 1801, until his death
in 1825, and his son, Benjamin, born 1798, was in
office nearly continuously until 1830.

bridge, in 1774, purchased of Ebenezer Lord his house
and shop on the Green, north and next to where the
present chapel stands. He sold goods of every de-
scription, groceries, shoes, dress goods, hardware, etc.
In 1782, the first post-office was established, in Nor-
wich, Dudley Woodbridge was the first postmaster,
and held the office until 1789. The mails had pre-
viously been delivered by post riders. Mr. Wood-
bridge removed to Ohio in 1789 or 1790.

In 1790, Gurdon Lathrop occupied this store, as a
general trader. In 1791, it was sold to Joseph Hunt-
ington and he formed a partnership with Joseph
Carew. After October, 1800, the business was car-
ried on by the firm of Joseph and Charles P. Hunting-
ton. On February 7th, 1801, this store and the meet-
ing-house with several other buildings were burned.
The Huntington Brothers moved their goods to the
store "a few rods N. E. from the Court House." In
August they moved to the large, new brick store,
which they had had built on the site of the old Wood-
bridge shop. This building is now the chapel of First
Congregational Church.


77 TRACY & COIT'S STORE. About 1780, Uriah Tracy

and Joseph Coit leased from Thomas Leffingwell
land upon which they built a shop 50 x 32, in which
they carried on for many years an extensive business.
It was a long gambrel-roofed one-story and half
structure. Uriah Tracy bought in 1790 the Benedict
Arnold house, where he lived until his death. Tracy
& Coit's store was one of the representative stores of

78 AARON CLEVELAND SHOP. This building for-

merly stood the next but one below the meeting-
house, Bean hill. It was the shop of Aaron Cleve-
land in which he carried on the business of hat
making. It was moved across the road and is now
known as "Adam's Tavern." President Cleveland
was his great-grandson (see No. 48).

79 WILLIAM CLEVELAND SHOP. This building was

the one used by William Cleveland as a goldsmith
shop, 1830-1837. It stood between the schoolhouse
and the Johnson home facing the Green (see No. 49).

80 BRICK SCHOOL HOUSE. On Norwich Town Green.

Founded by Doctor Daniel Lathrop in 1783. Now
occupied by the Noah Webster Literary Associa-

81 BRICK SCHOOL HOUSE. On Washington street.

Built in 1789. The first school attended by Lydia
Huntley (Mrs. Sigourney). Now used by the School-
house Club.

82 LEFFINGWELL ROW. Sometimes called "the long

shop," built by Christopher Leffingwell about 1780,
was burned in 1882 with the red store adjoining. Its
position near the fork of the roads opposite the resi-
dence of General Edward Harland made it a con-
spicuous land mark. It was occupied at different


times by Leffingwell's stocking factory, various small
shops, by the Judge of Probate and by the post-office.

83 THE TEEL HOUSE, "Sign of General Washington."

Built for a hotel in 1789 on Chelsea Parade; after-
wards occupied for a school by William Woodbridge,
now the parsonage of Park church, for many years
the residence of Gen. William Williams, who
was distinguished for his benevolence and for
his interest in the Mohegan Indians. He and his wife,
Harriet Peck Williams, gave five acres now the
grounds of the Norwich Free Academy, and she
founded the Peck Library now in the Slater Memorial
Building. He was born in 1788 and died in 1870.

Early Industries.

84 STOCKING WEAVING. The business of weaving

stockings was begun in 1766 by Christopher Leffing-
well with two or three looms. In 1791 nine looms
were in operation producing 1,200 to 1,500 pairs of
hose annually.

85 GRIST MILL. A grist mill built by John Elderkin at

No Man's Acre about 1661 ; was removed about 1667
under agreement with the town, to the Yantic river
below the Falls, and a large tract of land was granted
to him as compensation in the vicinity of the Indian
burying place on Sachem street.

86 IRON WORKS. The first iron works were established

at Yantic in 1750 by Elijah Backus. He manufac-
tured bloom and bar iron for anchors, mills and other
uses. The Backus Iron Works obtained great repute
and during the Revolutionary War all kinds of iron
work for domestic uses and warfare were made and
repaired here.

87 POTTERY. A pottery was established in 1766 at Bean

Hill and continued in operation far into the igth cen-


tury. Specimens of this pottery are among the treas-
ured possessions of some of the old residents of Nor-

88 LINSEED OIL MILLS. The first linseed oil mill was

established at Bean Hill, in 1748, by Hezekiah Hunt-
ington, and at a later period the manufacture was
carried on extensively at the Falls.

89 COTTON MILL. A cotton mill was established by

Joshua Lathrop in 1790 on Lowthorpe Meadows with
one carding machine, five jennies and six looms. This
machinery was gradually increased and a great va-
riety of goods manufactured. In 1793 the firm was
Lathrop & Eells.

90 CHOCOLATE MILL. The first chocolate mill was es-

tablished in 1770 by Christopher Leffingwell on the
Yantic flats below the Falls. In 1772 Simon Lathrop
erected another. This industry was of considerable

91 PAPER MILL. In 1766 Christopher Leffingwell began

to manufacture paper at his mill on the west side of
the Yantic above the Falls, near what are now called
Paper Mill rocks. This was the first paper mill in
Connecticut. The annual output was about 1,300

92 CLOCKS AND WATCHES. Clocks and watches

were manufactured by Thomas Harland in 1773. He
employed ten or twelve hands and made annually
two hundred watches and forty clocks, which were
pronounced equal to any imported from England.

93 FULLING MILL. A fulling mill with clothier's shop

and dye house went into operation near the present
site of the Falls mill in 1773.



94 Caleb Abel, the third innkeeper of Norwich, probably

came from Dedham ; he bought the Wade lot in 1677 ;
was constable in 1684, townsman in 1689, and often
thereafter; enrolled among the dignitaries with title
of Sergeant in 1702; married Margaret, daughter of
John Post, 1669, and after her death married Mary
Loomer; died Aug. 7, 1731. He was appointed inn-
keeper under date of Dec. 18, 1694, as follows : "The
towne makes choise of caleb abell to keep ordinari or
a house of entertainment for this yeare or till another
be choosen."

95 Deacon Simon Huntington, the first of four successive

generations of deacons, was the second innkeeper of
Norwich. He was married to Sarah, daughter of
Joseph Clarke, of Saybrook, in October, 1653; ap-
pointed innkeeper 1690; died 1706, leaving an estate
valued at 275 pounds, including a library of fourteen
or fifteen volumes, of the value of about 30 shillings,
which we are told was probably a fair library for a
layman at that time.

96 Joseph Reynolds, son of John Reynolds, the Founder,

kept the ordinary in 1709. He was born in Norwich,
March, 1660; married Sarah Edgerton 1688.

97 Thomas Waterman, born 1644, came to Norwich in

1659 with John Bradford, whose wife's nephew he
was; only townsman in 1675, '81, '84; made a freeman
in 1681 ; died June i, 1708; buried in Society Burial
Ground. He was appointed innkeeper in 1679.
"Agreed and voted by ye town yt Thomas Waterman
is desired to keep the ordinary. And for his encour-
agement he is granted four akers of paster land
where he can conveniently find it ny about the valley
going from his house to the woods."


98 Eleazer Lord's tavern on the corner of Town street and

the New London turnpike was built about 1770 and
for many years was frequented by the lawyers who
came to Norwich to attend court.

99 Joseph Peck's tavern on the east side of the Green,

overshadowed by a large elm tree, among whose cen-
tral boughs an arbor was formed and seats arranged,
to which on public days friendly groups resorted and
had refreshments served a plank gallery being ex-
tended from a window of the house to the bower as
a means of access.

100 Thomas Leffingwell, the fourth innkeeper of Norwich,
was given liberty to keep a "publique house of enter-
tainment of strangers" in 1700. This tavern was
continued for more than 100 years, and was at the
east end of the town plot, and was a noted place of
resort in war times. Married Mary Bushnell, Sept.,
1672; died March 5, 1723^24, leaving an estate of
nearly 10,000 pounds. The interesting features of
this quaint old house, within and without, are re-
markably well preserved.

101 On the site of the present "Jlmson home" was lo-
cated Lathrop's tavern. Built in 1737 by Nathaniel
Lathrop, its prosperity was maintained by his son,
Azariah. From here was started the first stage coach
to Providence in 1768. In 1829 the property was sold
to the Union Hotel Company, who erected the pres-
ent building, which was later used for a boarding

102 Jesse Brown's tavern was erected in 1790 and its pro-
prietor established a stage route from Boston to New
York via Norwich. On August i, 1797, President
John Adams and wife stopped over night here. In
1855 the property was purchased by Moses Pierce,
who later gave it to the United Workers for the
Rocknook Children's Home.


103 It is said that Capt. Samuel Bailey was jailor about
1800, and the accommodations for the jail were on the
second floor, and that on the first floor the captain
kept what was called, "Cross Keys Tavern."

Presidents of the United States.

104 MILLARD FILLMORE. Capt. John Fillmore, son

of John Fillmore, "Mariner" of Ipswich, Mass. ; born
March 18, 1702. He married Nov. 24, 1724, Mary
Spiller, and removed to Norwich West Farms; died
there Feb. 22, 1777. Capt. John's grandson was
Nathaniel, whose eldest son was Millard, born Jan. 7,
1800, in Summer Hill, N. Y.

105 ULYSSES S. GRANT. On the site of the house of

Herbert L. Yerrington stood the original Christopher
Huntington homestead. After the death of the first
Christopher this was inherited by his son, John (born
1666) who married in 1686 Abigail, daughter of
Samuel Lathrop. John had three daughters and two
sons. One daughter, Martha, was married to Noah
Grant, of Tolland, and became the ancestress of
Ulysses S. Grant.

Martha Huntington married June 12, 1717, Noah
Grant, born Dec. 16, 1693. Their son, Noah, Jr., born
July 12, 1718, married Susannah Delano, Nov. 5,
1746. Their son, Noah, 3d, born June 20, 1748, mar-
ried Rachel Kelly, March 4, 1792. Their son, Jesse,
born Jan. 23, 1794, married Hannah Simpson, June 24,
1821. Ulysses S. Grant was born April 27, 1822.

106 RUTHERFORD B. HAYES. George Hayes left
Scotland in 1680 and settled at Windsor, Conn., 1682.
His great-great-great-grandson, Rutherford Hayes,
settled at Brattleborough, Vt., and married in Sept.,
1813, Sophia Birchard. Her ancestry on the male
line is traced to John Birchard, one of the thirty-five


founders of Norwich. Both of her grandfathers were
soldiers in the Revolutionary War. Rutherford
Hayes removed in 1817 to Delaware, Ohio, where he
died five years later, leaving two children. On Oct.
4, 1822, Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born three
months after his father's death.

107 JAMES A. GARFIELD. Was descendant of Major
John Mason and Reverend James Fitch, who are
recorded among the founders of Norwich (see Nos.
14 and 23).

108 GROVER CLEVELAND. William Hyde. Samuel
Hyde married Jane Lee. John Hyde married Experi-
ence Abel. James Hyde married Sarah Marshall.
Abiah Hyde married Rev. Aaron Cleveland. Wil-
liam Cleveland married Margaret Falley. Richard
Falley Cleveland, born at Norwich, 19 June, 1805.
He married Anne Neale, 10 Sept., 1820, of Baltimore.
They removed to Holland Patent, New York, where
he died ist Oct., 1853. Grover Cleveland was born
at Holland Patent, 31 July, 1835 (see Nos. 48, 49, 78
and 79).

Carow, born New York, Aug. 6, 1862, daughter of
Charles and Gertrude Elizabeth (Tyler) Carow. She
was married at St. George's Church, Hanover square,
London, England, 1886, to Theodore Roosevelt. Her
grandfather was General Daniel Tyler of Norwich
(see No. 143).

Other Men of Distinction.

110 REV. HIRAM P. ARMS, D. D. Pastor and pastor
emeritus First Congregational church 1836-1882.
Born in Sunderland, Mass, 1799. Died at Norwich



Born in Hartford, Aug. 25, 1825. Died in New York,
July i, 1888. In the war for the Union he passed
through the successive ranks from Major to Brevet
Major-General. He rendered distinguished services
at Irish Bend, in the Red River campaign, and led the
forlorn hope at Port Hudson, and was actively en-
gaged in battles of Winchester, Fisher's Hill and
Cedar Creek.

112 ISAAC HILL BROMLEY. Born Norwich, March 6,

1833. Captain i8th Regt. Conn. Volunteers. Provost
marshal. First editor Norwich Bulletin. Journalist.
Humorist. Chief editor New York Tribune 1891-
1898. Died at Norwich, Aug. n,


in Lebanon, Conn., May 28, 1804; died in 1875. Mayor
of Norwich 1849-1850; 1856-1857. Presidential elector
1856. Governor of Connecticut 1858-1866. U. S.
Senator 1869-1875. Merchant, manufacturer, philan-
thropist, generous benefactor of Yale University, the
Broadway Church and Norwich Free Academy.

114 THOMAS FANNING. Born at Norwich, Conn., July

18, 1750; died May 24, 1812. Soldier in the Revolu-
tion. Merchant. One of the donors of Chelsea Pa-
rade 1791.


Franklin, Conn., Nov. 22, 1806; died in 1880. Gradu-
ated Brown University 1828. Mayor of Norwich,
I 85i-'53- Speaker Connecticut House Representa-
tives 1847. United States Senator 1854-1866. After
death of President Lincoln, acting Vice-President of
the United States. Professor of Law at Yale 1868.
Judge Supreme Court of Connecticut 1870-1876.
Benefactor of Yale University, Free Academy and
Otis Library. "Great citizen, incorruptible senator,
wise counsellor, eloquent advocate, righteous judge."


116 DANIEL COIT OILMAN, LL.D. Born in Norwich,

July 6, 1831 ; died in Norwich, Oct. 13, 1908. Gradu-
ated Yale 1852. Professor Yale College 1856-1872.
President University of California 1872-1875. Presi-
dent Johns Hopkins University 1875-1901. President
Carnegie Institution 1901-1904. Delivered historical
address at Norwich bi-centennial celebration in 1859.


N. H., 1795 ; died in New York 1863. Came to Nor-
wich 1816. Established nail factory at the Falls. Ex-
tended cotton manufacture from the Falls to Greene-
ville and Bozrah. Identified for thirty years with the
most important manufacturing, financial, educational
and religious enterprises in the town. First president
Norwich and Worcester railroad. Mayor in 1839.

118 HON. CALVIN GODDARD. Born at Shrewsbury,

Mass., 1768. Mayor of Norwich 1814-1831. Judge
Supreme Court 1816. Member of Congress 1801-1805.
Died in 1842. He lived on the corner of Washington
street and Sachem street and owned several acres of
land including the Indian burying place, and mill
property at the Falls.


ton 1795; died in Norwich 1864. He was graduated
at Harvard in 1814; removed to Norwich in 1824;
became largely interested in manufactures at the
Falls and Greeneville and in the Norwich Water
Power Co. He was Mayor in 1842 ; first president of
Thames Bank ; original corporator Norwich and Wor-
cester railroad ; second president and liberal benefac-
tor of Norwich Free Academy.


Boston in 1819 ; died at Andover, Mass., 1894. Yale
University 1840. D.D. Iowa University. President
Knox College. Professor Andover Theological Semi-


nary. Twenty years pastor Broadway Congrega-
tional Church. Held in honored remembrance as chief
promoter of the Norwich Free Academy.

121 RUSSELL HUBBARD. Born Norwich 1785; died

1857. Proprietor of Norwich Courier. Paper manu-
facturer at Norwich Falls and Greeneville. A founder
and vice-president of Norwich Savings Society. First
president and generous benefactor of Norwich Free

122 THOMAS STERRY HUNT, LL.D. Born at Nor-

wich in 1826; died Feb. 12, 1892. Professor of chemis-
try at McGill University, i862-'68. Prof, of geology
at Massachusetts Institute of Technology i872-'78.
Presented with cross of the Legion of Honor at Paris,
1855. Honorary member Royal Society of London
1859. He invented a permanent green ink, first used
for "'greenbacks."


non, Conn., 1767; died in Norwich 1848. He was
president of the Norwich Bank and of the Norwich
Savings Society. He and Hezekiah Perkins bought
the land now known as the "Little Plain" on Broad-
way in 1811 and gave it to the city for a park. His
house is now Mrs. H. H. Osgood's.

124 CHARLES JAMES LANMAN. Born in Norwich,

June 14, 1795. Yale graduate 1814. Receiver of pub-
lic money for Michigan 1823-1831. Founder of Te-
cumseh, Mich. Mayor of Norwich 1838. Died in New
London, July 25, 1870.

125 JAMES LANMAN. Born in Norwich, June 14, 1769;

died Aug. 7, 1841. Yale graduate 1788. United
States Senator 1819-1825. Judge Supreme Court of


126 DOCTOR DANIEL LATHROP. Born in Norwich

1712; died in Norwich 1782. Yale College 1733. St.
Thomas's Hospital, London, 1737. As an importer

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 19

Online LibraryWilliam C GilmanThe celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of the town of Norwich, Connecticut, and of the incorporation of the city, the one hundred and twenty-fifth, July 4, 5, 6, 1909: → online text (page 17 of 19)