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Encyclopedia of Connecticut biography, genealogical-memorial; representative citizens; (Volume 10) online

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vember 9, 1667, in Groton. The Christian
name of his wife was Mary and they were
the parents of seven children, the fourth
of whom was Zachariah.

(III) Zachariah Parker, son of Eleazer
and Mary Parker, was born January 29,
1699, in Groton. In later life he settled
in Mansfield, Connecticut, and was twice
married, his first wife being Rebecca
Parks. They were married at Weston,
Massachusetts, August u, 1731, and she
died June n, 1748.

(IV) Ephraim Parker, second son of
Zachariah and Rebecca (Parks) Parker,
was born in Newton, Massachusetts, Oc-
tober i, 1/33, and was a small boy when
his parents removed to Mansfield. He

married Deborah Sargent, and they were
the parents of Ephraim.

(V) Ephraim (2) Parker, son of Eph-
raim (i) and Deborah (Sargent) Parker,
was born November 10, 1770, in Mans-
field, where he was educated and worked
on the homestead during the vacation
periods. He removed to Willington,
Connecticut, and was engaged in the busi-
ness of manufacturing clocks and spoons.
In 1818 he was living in Dobsonville, Ver-
non, Connecticut, where for many years
he was proprietor of a hotel, and there
died. He married Lucy Prior.

(VI) Lucius Parker, son of Ephraim (2)
and Lucy (Prior) Parker, was born in Wil-
lington, Connecticut, November 27, 1807,
and attended the district schools there. At
an early age he entered the employ of
Peter Dobson, a pioneer in the cotton mill
business, coming to America from Pres-
ton, Lancashire, England. Subsequently,
Mr. Parker was in business on his own
account, located at Hop River, Connecti-
cut, and later at Manchester, where he
founded the Mutual Manufacturing Com-
pany, and also built the Pacific Knitting
Mills at Manchester Green. Yarn, twine,
cotton warps, and sheeting, were the
goods manufactured by his mills, and the
business was large and flourishing for
many years, until his death in 1888. Mr.
Parker married (first) Bathsheba Bel-
cher, descended from an old East Wind-
sor family. They were the parents of
two sons : Rienzi B., of further mention ;
and Adelbert C.

(VII) Rienzi Belcher Parker, son of
Lucius and Bathsheba (Belcher) Parker,
graduated from the Ellington High
School, and subsequently entered the
mills of his father in Manchester. Seven
years later he was engaged in similar
business in Vernon, Connecticut, where
he remained until 1890. In that year he
removed to Hartford, Connecticut, and





three years latei was elected to the presi-
dency of the Hartford Life Insurance
Company. Mr. Parker conducted the
duties incumbent on this office in a most
creditable manner until 1900, when he
retired. He was a director in several of
Hartford's financial institutions, a public-
spirited citizen and respected member of
the community.

Mr. Parker married, in September,
1865, Emma S. Dobson, daughter of Hon.
John Strong Dobson, and granddaughter
of Peter Dobson, previously mentioned.
John Strong Dobson was the first Dem-
ocratic Senator elected in the Twenty-
first District, as it was then (1852) known.
Mr. and Mrs. Parker were the parents of
the following children : John D., Julia W.,
and Lucius R.

BEATON, Captain Charles H.,

Retired Merchant, Civil 'War Veteran.

The Beaton family was founded in
America by Henry Thomas Beaton, father
of Charles H. Beaton of New Britain,
Connecticut. The name "Beaton" was
originally derived from location ; that is,
some remote ancestor's home was near a
bee yard or apiary. This was a very
common way of deriving a surname in the
early days, as was also the derivation
from the occupation of a man. The
grandfather of Mr. Beaton was Alexan-
der Beaton. He was a mason contractor,
and lived in Edinburgh and Glasgow,

His son, Henry Thomas Beaton, was
born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and after
receiving a good grounding in the funda-
mentals of an education, he learned the
trade of mason. An older brother, Alex-
ander, had emigrated to Canada, where he
followed his profession of artist. Henry
Beaton joined him there, and later went
to Boston. After working at his trade

for a time he engaged in his own busi-
ness as a contractor, and was very suc-
cessful. After a lapse of time, he removed
to New York City and engaged in the
same business. His home was at the cor-
ner of Broadway and Bond street. In
New York Mr. Beaton also did interior
decorating, and made imitation Italian
marble, specializing on fine residences.
Among his patrons were numbered many
of the leading citizens of New York at
that time. Mr. Beaton's successful and
active career was cut short by death in
1857, while he was still in his early "for-
ties." He married Margaret Wilkins, a
native of St. John, New Brunswick, and
they were the parents of three children :
Allan J., a sketch of whom follows ; Nor-
man W., resided in Washington, now de-
ceased ; Charles H., of further mention.

Charles H. Beaton was born in Boston,
August 30, 1842, and was educated in pri-
vate schools, including a military school
at Peekskill, New York. The Civil War
broke out when he was at school, and
May 24, 1861, he enlisted in Hawkins'
New York Zouaves. Mr. Beaton always
regretted the interruption to his formal
education caused by the Civil War, but
by travel and wide reading, he has more
than made up for the lack of a regular
college training. He has a large and well
selected library and has always been a
deep reader. History, economics and
sociology are his favorites, and these sub-
jects enable him to keep abreast of mod-
ern thought.

On the tenth of the following June
after his enlistment, Mr. Beaton was in
the battle of Big Bethel and Lee's Farms,
and not long after this time, he was
stricken with typhoid fever, also suffer-
ing a partial sunstroke. His condition
was so bad that he was sent home and
discharged. He had scarcely recovered
his strength when his brother, Norman,



enlisted as a drummer boy in the I3th
Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, and Mr.
Beaton reenlisted in Company E, of that
regiment. Just before they started away
he was made orderly sergeant. This reg-
iment was sent to New Orleans, and there
Mr. Beaton was provost guard of Gen-
eral Butler's personal guard. He came in
close contact with the General, and learned
at first hand the many sterling quali-
ties and great ability of the man, who
afterwards was so much in the public eye
and who has been much maligned. Shortly
before the close of the war, Mr. Beaton
was discharged as lieutenant. Upon his
return to Connecticut, he organized Bat-
tery E of New Britain, and was made cap-
tain of the battery which was known as
Sheridan's Light Artillery. It never
reached the front. The statement in
Camp's "History of New Britain," re-
garding this, is not correct.

During his service in New Orleans,
Captain Beaton was wounded in the leg,
and for sixteen years carried the ball.
Captain Beaton has two mementoes of
the war, which will be greatly valued by
his descendants. In order that the state-
ments may be preserved in case the pa-
pers themselves should be destroyed, they
are given herewith verbatim :

Headquarters, Second Brigade, Second Division,
igth Army Corps, October 25, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded, Approved.
Lieutenant Beaton has been mentioned in my
report for bravery in the field.

(Signed) E. L. MOLINEUX,

Another by Homer B. Sprague :

Madison, New Jersey, January 8, 1898.
The Thirteenth, though intended by General
Weitzel to operate in the rear of several other regi-
ments in the general assault that day (June 14,
1863), had with unspeakable difficulty worked its
way past innumerable obstacles, and in the face of
a heavy fire, to a small ravine lying almost directly
under the enemy's breastworks. Some of our best

men had fallen, among them several officers. The
approaches to our practically shattered position
were ploughed by shot and shell, and rendered well-
nigh impassable by logs, gullies, tangled brush,
trenches and every sort of obstruction the enemy
had been able to devise. Yet, a goodly number of
the Thirteenth had reached the spot, in compact
though broken mass. About a thousand men in all,
fragments of different regiments, were huddled in
positions where the felled timber or the irregulari-
ties of the ground afforded slight temporary shel-
ter. The senior officer in command of the Thir-
teenth being away for an hour or two, I was the
ranking captain at the spot. I immediately got the
Connecticut men by themselves, each company with
its own commissioned or non-commissioned officer,
as far as possible. During this rearrangement we
were excessively annoyed by the rebel sharpshoot-
ers from the long line of their fortifications, and
particularly from a redoubt which we had come
to know as the "Priest's Cap." There was need of
brave men under a cool-headed daring officer to
put a stop to that sharpshooting.

Beaton was present, and I pointed out to him a
partial shelter on high ground near us, and ordered
him to take his company swiftly to that shelter of
logs and silence the scattering fire of the enemy. I
had known and admired Beaton before, though I
sometimes thought he had too much of the dare-
devil in his makeup. He with his company occu-
pied the designated spot in the twinkling of an eye,
and soon stopped the singing of bullets in our ears,
and the irregular firing which sounded like explod-
ing fire-crackers on the top of the enemy's ram-

Soon the ranking captain of our regiment, Cap-
tain Comstock, arrived, and he withdrew Beaton
from his dangerous post, though I think Beaton
would have enjoyed staying there longer.

The commanders of several regiments, whose
broken and scattered ranks lay all about us within
a few rods of the hostile breastworks, arrived, one
after another, now that the fusillade had been sub-
stantially suppressed. Colonels Gerard, Hubbard,
Morgan, Day, Major Burt, Major De Forest, and
other officers were among them. Hour after hour
we lay under scorching sun. At least three times
preemptory orders came from General Banks to
the senior officer to move instantly upon the Con-
federate works, and penetrate them at all haz-
ards. But the two senior colonels disobeyed these
commands greatly to the disgust of Beaton and
myself, who thought it the duty of a soldier to
obey orders.





"Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why."

General Banks at last sent Lieutenant Francis,
formerly adjutant of Wilson's Zouaves, calling for
two hundred volunteers to form a storming col-
umn to press with all speed and energy into the
Confederate works at this point. The regimental
commander present, still held aloof, knowing the
terrible nature of the struggle that was required of
them. Colonel Hubbard, brigade commander, pro-
mulgated the order, however. I ventured to appeal
to the officers and men of the Thirteenth Connecti-
cut. Lieutenant Beaton leaped to his feet and in a
loud voice declared his readiness to go in. The
example was quickly followed by other members
of our regiment and from other battalions. Every
man present of my own company ("H"), Thir-
teenth Connecticut Volunteers, promised to stand
by me, Private Blackman being the first. In spite
of the discouraging remarks of every regimental
commander, the number of two hundred volunteers
was nearly completed ; when an aide-de-camp came
from General Banks countermanding the order for
this forlorn hope.

I have never heard a word in disparagement of
Beaton's splendid bravery on that eventful day, nor
on any other occasion. I have always believed that
had the thousand officers and men at that critical
time and place been animated by a like heroism, we
should that day have carried the Confederate
stronghold at the point of the bayonet.

I wish that some suitable recognition, though
tardy now, might come to show that his distin-
guished services are not forgotten, not unappre-

This is my only motive in making the fore-going


Once Captain of the Thirteenth Connecticut
Regiment, Volunteers.

After the war, Captain Beaton became
bookkeeper and clerk for the man who
became his father-in-law, and was given
charge of the hardware business until Mr.
Bulkley died. He then retired from active
cares, and has since been enjoying well-
deserved rest. He has been very fond of
travel and has been abroad four times
and has also made a tour of Northern

Captain Beaton is a Republican and has
ever been keenly interested in public

matters. He was water commissioner for
six years, and during his term built the
new dam for the water works. For over
twelve years he was chairman of the Fire
Board ; for some years he was a member
of the Council and was a leader in the
movement to reorganize the fire depart-
ment, changing it from a volunteer force
to a salaried one. He is a member of
Stanley Post, No. 11, Grand Army of the
Republic, of which he has been com-
mander several times ; is a member of the
Loyal Legion of Boston. He is affiliated
with Harmony Lodge. Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons ; Giddings Chapter, No.
25, Royal Arch Masons ; Washington
Chapter, Knights Templar; Connecticut
Consistory, and Sphinx Temple, Mystic

Captain Beaton married Mary Ann
Bulkley, daughter of William J. Bulkley,
of New Britain, and they were the par-
ents of two children, of whom one is Min-
nie L., born August 31, 1868, now the
widow of Samuel Sloan, residing in Bran-
ford, Connecticut, and she is the mother
of two children, Grace Mabel and Wil-
liam. Mrs. Beaton died in 1906, at the
age of sixty-four years.

BEATON, Allan J.,


Allan J. Beaton, son of Henry Thomas
and Margaret (Wilkins) Beaton, whose
ancestry precedes, was born in New York
City, and was educated in the public
schools there. In 1862 he came to New
Britain, Connecticut, and found his first
employment with a manufacturer of
spring needles. This business was later
removed to New Jersey, and at this time
Mr. Beaton formed a partnership with
his brother, Captain Beaton, and they
engaged in the manufacture of cigars,
which they sold both wholesale and retail.
After a few years Mr. Beaton sold his



interests to his brother, and engaged in
business as a steam-heating contractor.
He built up a large business for a town
the size of New Britain at that time, and
employed as many as thirty or forty men.
While in this business, Mr. Beaton began
the manufacture of steam heating sup-
plies, and was also successful in this ven-
ture. In fact his success was great
enough to enable him to retire from the
contracting work, and devote his entire
time to the manufacturing business. The
contracting work was sold to Samuel
Beers, and the new business was con-
ducted under the name of A. J. Beaton
until Hezekiah Corbin was admitted a
partner and the firm name became Bea-
ton & Corbin. Subsequently Mr. Beaton
withdrew, and formed a partnership with
two brothers named Bradley, under the
firm name of Beaton & Bradley. This
company was engaged in the same line
of manufacture, and carried on business
in the neighboring town of Southington.
For several years this arrangement con-
tinued successful and prosperous, and
then the Bradley interests were bought
by William H. Cadwell, and at the same
time the business was removed to New
Britain. This new arrangement neces-
sitated a change of the firm name which
became Beaton & Cadwell. A factory
was purchased and the business increased.
In 1917 Mr. Beaton sold his stock in the
company, of which he had long been presi-
dent, and organized the company of which
he is now the executive head, the A. J.
Beaton Manufacturing Company.

The product is steam heating and
plumbing specialties, marketed all over
the United States through jobbers, and
also a large export trade. When Mr
Beaton was in the heating business as a
contractor, he did work for practically all
the New Britain manufacturers, and also
for the citv water works. Mr. Beaton is

a member of the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows, of which he is past grand,
and at one time was a member of the En-
campment and Uniform Rank.

He married Mary E. Boone, of New
Brunswick, New Jersey, and they were
the parents of two daughters : Jessie,
married Harry Shibles, of Hartford, and
has two children, Allen Beaton and Bar-
bara Isabelle; Belle, married Dr. W. W.
Christian, of St. Paul, Minnesota, and they
are the parents of a son, Stuart. Mr. and
Mrs. Beaton are regular attendants of the
Congregational church.

PURNEY, John, M. D.,

Physician, World War Veteran.

A native of Nova Scotia, representative
of a family long resident there, Dr. Pur-
ney left his Canadian home in young
manhood and has, since the completion of
his professional studies, been a practi-
tioner of New Britain, Connecticut. Only
once has this association been broken
when Dr. Purney returned to his Canad-
ian home to offer his services with the
sons of the Dominion against the com-
mon enemy in the World War.

Dr. Purney is a son of Dr. John Alex-
ander Purney, and grandson of Captain
John Purney. Captain John Purney was
born in Sandy Point, Shelburne, Nova
Scotia, and as a young man commanded
a packet ship, later engaging in mercan-
tile dealings. He was the leading busi-
ness man of the community, and an in-
fluential factor in political affairs. He was
a devout Episcopalian, built the church
for that denomination, and was its prin-
cipal financial support throughout his life.

Dr. John Alexander Purney, son of
Captain John Purney, was born in Shel-
burne, Nova Scotia, in 1845, ar >d died in
1 88 1. His preparatory studies were pur-
sued at a collegiate academy of Windsor,


Nova Scotia, and he was subsequently a
student in the Harvard Medical School,
after one year transferring to the College
of Physicians and Surgeons of New York
City. Here he was graduated Doctor of
Medicine in the class of 1865, and at once
entered the Union service as a contract
surgeon, a position he filled until the close
of the Civil War. Then returning to his
home in Nova Scotia, he was engaged in
professional practice until his death at the
early age of thirty-six years. He was a
warden of the Episcopal church. In pol-
itics he was a Liberal and throughout the
period of sharp discussion concerning the
annexation of Nova Scotia by Canada he
favored annexation. He filled various
local offices, but refused to become a can-
didate for the provincial parliament. His
fraternal affiliations were with Albert
Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons. He
married Amelia (Muir) Fraser, daughter
of Samuel Muir, both natives of Shel-
burne. Samuel Muir followed the chief
industry of the town, shipbuilding, and
was a man of standing in his community.
Of the five children of Dr. John Alex-
ander and Amelia Purney, four grew to
mature years: Jessie Jameson, married
Rupert Metzler, of Montreal, Canada ;
Willard Parker, a resident of Halifax,
Nova Scotia ; John, of whom further ;
Gladys, married L. O. Fuller, M. D.

Dr. John Purney, son of Dr. John Alex-
ander and Amelia (Muir-Fraser) Purney,
was born in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, De-
cember 5, 18/8. After attending Shel-
burne Academy and the provincial normal
school of Nova Scotia, he taught school
for a time, then, following the course of
his father, came to the United States for
professional study. He was graduated
Doctor of Medicine from the Baltimore
Medical School in the class of 1906, and in
that year established in professional
practice in New Britain, Connecticut, the

place of his present residence. Dr. Pur-
ney is a member of the staff of the New
Britain Hospital and the City Contagious
Hospital, has an excellent practice, and
is well and favorably known in medical

In the latter part of 1917 Dr. Purney
enlisted in the medical corps of the Can-
adian army and was commissioned cap-
tain. Until August, 1918, he was detailed
to transport duty, then being assigned to
duty with different units in England and
France. In September, 1919, after an
honorable discharge from the army, he
returned to New Britain, resuming his in-
terrupted work. Dr. Purney holds the
thirty-second degree in the Masonic order,
affiliating with Hiram Lodge, Free and
Accepted Masons, of Yarmouth, Nova
Scotia ; Giddings Chapter, No. 25, Royal
Arch Masons, of New Britain ; Doric
Council, No. 24, Royal and Select Mas-
ters, of New Britain ; Washington Com-
mandery, Knights Templar, of Hartford ;
and Connecticut Consistory, of Norwich ;
Sphinx Temple, Ancient Arabic Order
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and the
Knights of Pythias. He is a member of
St. Mark's Episcopal Church. Dr. Pur-
ney has confined himself closely to the
pursuit of his calling but, while he has not
entered public life, has been interested in
progressive movements and is a supporter
of works of improvement.

Dr. Purney married Mary Elizabeth
Brandegee, daughter of William Sylvester
and Elizabeth A. (Reed) Brandegee. Dr.
and Mrs. Purney have two children, John,
Jr., and Elizabeth Muir. William S.
Brandegee is a prominent manufacturer
and citizen of Berlin, Connecticut, well
known as a sportsman.

The surname Brandegee is spelled also
Brundig, Brandig, Brandish, Brandiger,
Brondigee, Brandigat, Brandisley, Bron-
dish and Boundikee, and all these spell-



ings are found relating to John Brandigee,
who was in Wethersfield as early as 1635.
He was doubtless of English birth,
though the name is possibly German or
Dutch originally. He died before Octo-
ber 27, 1639, the date of the inventory of
his estate. He left a widow and five chil-
dren. It is believed that he was killed by
the Indians in the massacre of 1637. He
was at Watertown for a short time before
coming to Wethersfield and was a free-
man there. His widow Rachel married
Anthony Wilson.

John Brandegee, probably a son, was a
settler in Rye, New York, and signed the
declaration of loyalty to Charles II., July
26, 1662, spelling his name Brondish, but
in January, 1663, he spelled his name
Brondig. He was the first town clerk of
Rye ; was deputy to the General Court in
1677 and 1681 ; died in 1697. In the ac-
counts of those days he is called "Stout
Old John Brundig." He was in 1662 one
of the original proprietors of Manursing
Island, Rye, and of Poringoe Neck. He
left four sons, John, Joseph, David and
Joshua, and they have had many de-
scendants in Westchester county, New

Jacob Brandegee, believed to be son of
John Brandegee, of Rye, grandson of
"Stout Old John Brundig," of Rye, settled
in Stepney, in the town of Wethersfield.
According to family tradition he ran away
from home. He is said to have been born
in 1729, and to have come from Nine
Partners, New York, to Great Swamp,
when thirteen years old. He was by trade
a weaver, and at one time kept a store in
Great Swamp Village, now Berlin. He
married, at Newington, Connecticut,
October n, 1752, Abigail Dunham. He
owned the covenant in the Newington
church, July 27, 1755. In later life he was
engaged in the West India trade, sailing
vessels from Rocky Hill, and died at sea

on a return voyage from Guadaloupe,
March 25, 1765. His widow married
(second) Major Eells, son of Rev. Edward
Eells, of Upper Middletown, Connecticut,
now Cromwell. She died January 25,

Elishama Brandegee, son of Jacob
Brandegee, was born in Berlin, Connecti-
cut, April 17, 1754. He was also a sea
captain and engaged in the West India
trade and had a store at Berlin. He was
a soldier in the Revolution, enlisting in the
Second Company, under Captain Wyl-
lys. He was recruited in Middlesex
county, and took part in the battle of
Bunker Hill, after which he was de-
tached and assigned to Captain Han-
chett's company, September i, I775i
taking part in the Arnold expedition
against Canada. After the assault on
Quebec he was taken prisoner. The Sec-
ond Regiment was organized under
Colonel Wyllys as a continental regiment.
He married, March 10, 1778, Lucy
(Plumb) Weston, widow of Jeremiah
Weston, daughter of Samuel and Patience
(Ward) Plumb. She died February i,
1827; he died February 26, 1832.

Elishama (2) Brandegee, son of Cap-
tain Elishama (i) Brandegee, was born
in Berlin, Connecticut, November 5, 1784,

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