Chicago Beers (J.H.) & Co..

Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. (Volume 1, pt.3) online

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Online LibraryChicago Beers (J.H.) & Co.Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. (Volume 1, pt.3) → online text (page 1 of 94)
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Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens,
AND OF Many of the Early Settled Families.




J. H. Beers & Co.


■ . 'I




ten weeks, and became what was in those days 1
called a husbandman, while it also appears on the ;
records of a petition on a bill in Boston, Mass., that
he was a merchant some time in the year 1637. To- 1
"ether with Eaton and Davenport and others he
came to New ilaven in the interests of the Colony,
to choose a suitable location for settlement, and
Quinnipiack, in what is now the town of North Ha- ;
ven, was selected as the most suitable spot. They
built some log houses, and left seven men in charge, i
to remain over the winter, the remainder of the party j
returning to Boston. In 1638 this William Tuttle
came with his family to what is now New Haven \
and settled on a lot of land on the square now
bounded by Grove, State, Elm and Church streets, it
being one of eight allotments into which the square
was divided ; and it was on a part of this purchase
that the subject of our sketch was living at the time
of his death.

Jonathan Tuttle, son of William, was born, it is
supposed, in 1637, and the church records of his
birthplace, Charlestown, !Mass., show that he was
ba]>tized July 8, that year. About 1670 he began a
.settlement at what is now the town of North Haven.
I'or many years the planters there attended church
and buried their tlead at New Haven. Jonathan
Tuttle built a bridge, known as the "Tuttle bridge,"
over the Ouinnij)iack river at North Haven, and by
a decree of the coun he was allowed to collect two-
pence in money for each man and horse crossing the
bridge, and threepence in barter, exceptions being
made in the cases of deputies going to and from
court. He was also permitted to take moderate
compensation for refreshments of any kind (except
strong drinks) furnished by him to travelers. In
February, 1704-05, he consigned to his brother Jo-
seph a one-sixth part of three divisions that were
left to him by his father in a land grant. Jonathan
Tuttle died in 1707, and in the following year his
son Simon was appointed administrator of his es-

Simon Tuttle, mentioned in the foregoing, was,
according to various Nonh Haven records, bom
March 11, 1671, and his gravestone is the oldest in
the North Haven burial ground. He died July 6,
1725, the owner of eighty-four acres in the Blue
Hills, near JMt. Carmel. and his estate was valued
at £847.

Isaiah Tuttle, son of Simon, was born July 10,
1704, was an ensign in 1737, a deacon of the Con-
gregational Church, a justice of the peace, and much
employed in settling estates. He lived in New Ha-
ven for thirty-five years.

Jonathan Tuttle. son of Isaiah, born May 19,
17-8, settled in the southwest corner of the town of
Wallingford, near the foot of the Blue Hills. He
died May 29, 1793, aged sixty-live years.

David Justus Tuttle. son of Jonathan, and the
grandfather of our subject, was Ixjrn Jan. 27, 1765,
in the town of Hamden, New Haven countv, in the

vicinity of Mt. Carmel. He married Polly Tuttle,
and their soii, Jesse, served in the war of 1812.

Julius Tuttle, son of David J., and the father of
our subject, was boni Dec. 2, 1798, in the town of
W'allingford, and died in February, 1888. lie
built the Tuttle homestead in New Haven, and lived
there for years. This home is one of the oldest
brick houses on the street. In the forties Julius
Tuttle removed to Hamden township, after having
suffered the loss of his house on College street, New
Haven, by fire. His infant son, Charles F.,'was in
the cradle at the time, and in the fright and hurry
was forgotten. Several Yale students entered the
burning building and rescued the child, and, taking
him to the old North College, cared for him until
he was returned to his distracted family.

Charles F. Tuttle (son of Julius), whose name
opens this sketch, at an early age entered the John
E. Lovell school, and finished his education at the
"Gunnery," at Washington, Conn. On completing
his studies he entered the grocery store of Howard
Ensign, brother of the late Wooster Ensign. Sub-
sequently he was clerk for John B. Beecher, an old
merchant of Broadway, and later of the Ives-Beech-
er Co. of New York. In 1848 the Tuttle business
was established in Broadway by ^^'illiam Tuttle
(brother of our subject), who died several years
ago. Charles F. Tuttle was then clerk. In a few
years William Tuttle was succeeded by another
brother, Allen, who died in 1861. Allen Tuttle re-
tired in 1856, and Charles F. Tuttle became the
sole proprietor and continued the business for for-
ty-five years.

Mr. Tuttle died of paralysis Sept. 30, 1899, at
his residence. No. 122 College street. He was a
conservative business man, upright in his dealings
and well-liked : contributed much for charity ; but
never favored having his name exposed in connec-
tion with his giving; and gave largely to Christ
Church, where the family attend, and to other insti-
tutions. He was kind-hearted, and helped finan-
cially many who were experiencing business re-
verses. Sociallv he was a meniiber of the F. & A.
M.. Hiram Lodge, and also of New Haven Com-
niandery, Knights Templar. Mr. Tuttle took much
pleasure in driving, and made frequent trips to his
large farm in Hamden. while nearlv every day, for
several >'ears. during the summer, he would visit
his summer home at Stony Creek, among the Thim-
ble Islands, where his family was sojourning. In
1856 Mr. Tuttle, in company with Philip Pinker-
man and Jas. King, an aeronaut, ascended in a bal-
[Toon from New Haven "Green;" thev sailed over the
Sound and drifted to a point of land on Governor's
Island, one of the Thimble Islands, which Mr. Tut-
tle subsequently bought, and which is now in the
' possession of the family. This was the first ballcn^n
seen in New Haven.

In 1857 Mr. Tuttle married Mary C, daughter
of Clark Sperry, and they had one child, Charles



Allen, born Nov. 30, 1858, who, with his mother, is
now living at the old home, which is surrounded by
Yale College. This land, or allotment, was where
Yale College was first founded, and for thirty years
^v■as the only land owned by the Yale Association ;
in fact it was one of a long series of purchases ex-
tending through a period of one hundred years.
This land has been in the possession of only five
.parties since its original purchase from the Indians.
William Tuttle being the last before it went into
the possession of Yale College.

Chakles Allen Tuttle, son of Charles F. Tut-
tle, was born Nov. 30, 1S5S, and educated at the
Episcopal Academy, Cheshire, Conn., from which
institution he was graduated in 1878. He was a
member of the class of 1884 at Yale College. In
1882 he was one of the founders of the Xew Haven
Morning A'cxi's, and was associated with that paper
three years; then was engaged as a general broker
in New Haven from 1885 to i88g, after which he
v/as associated with his father in business. He
is now retired.

Charles A. Tuttle has been twice married. On
April I, 1888, he wedded Florence I. Graham, of
New Haven, who died Jan. 12, 1890. On Oct. 15,
1893, Mr. Tuttle married (second) Juliet Vibbert
Gibbons, of Middletown, Conn. Mr. Tuttle has
traveled extensively, and is of a literary turn of
mind, very popular, and, withal, public-spirited and

ALBERT FORBES, a well-known market gar-
dener and dairy farmer of East Flaven. was born in
, that town on the farm where Alexander Richmond
•now resides, July 15, 1825, and is a son of Samuel
Forbes, who was also born in East Haven, in 1790.
The grandfather, Samuel Forbes, Sr., was a na-
tive of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a sea captain,
commanding a vessel running between this coun-
try and the West Indies. He married Elizabeth
Auger, and was lost at sea when the father of our
subject was but eight years old. In his family
were three children, the others being Amy and
Mary. Throughout life Samuel Forbes, Jr., fol-
lowed the occupation of a fanner, and soon after
his marriage removed to the farm where our sub-
ject was 'born. He married Betsey Forbes, daugh-
ter of EH Forbes, both of whom were natives of
East Haven, and she was third in order of birth
in a family of five children, namely: Morris,
Isaac, Betsey, Almira, and Sally, who died young.
She died in 1873, ^t the age of eighty-three years,
and her husband in 1874, at the age of eighty-
four. They had five children: Albert, our sub-
ject; Sarah, wife of Isaac Culver, living near Fair
Haven; Jennette, who died in 1883; Jemme. who
died young; and Jerome (2nd), who died in 1884.

The subject of this sketch attended the com-
mon schools of East Haven and Joseph Rodgers'
private scliool on Townsend avenue. He remained
with his father upon the home farm until thirty-

' two years of age, and in 1854 erected the house
which he still occupies. He has successfully en-
gaged in market gardening and dairy fanning, and
m 1849 was owner of the sailing vessel "Friend-
j ship," which was destroyed by fire at sea while on
a voyage to the Sandwich Islands that vear.

^Ir. Forbes was married, April 8, 1857, to Miss
Harriet C. Hemingway, of Fair Haven, who was
born in 1832, and they had two children: Eliza-
beth A., now the wife of Clift'ord Street ; and Sarah,
I who died in 1882, at the age of thirteen years.
! Politically Mr. Forbes is a Jacksonian Democrat,
I and has filled the office of selectman in a most
I creditable and satisfactory manner. Honorable
1 and upright in all his dealings he has met with
! well-deserved success in life, and can say what few
men can, that he has never borrowed a dollar dur-
ing his entire life. He is highly respected and
esteemed by all who know him for his sterling
worth and strict integrity.

I JAMES TOOTHE, foreman of the soldering
' department of the Meriden Britannia factory, is one
■ of the city's best known and highly esteemed citi-
zens. A native of England, he was bom Feb. 12,
1842, in the great industrial city of Birmingham,
son of Thomas and Jane (Ward) Toothe, the
former of whom was a son of James Toothe, also
; of Birmingham, who in turn was a son of a Thom-
as Toothe, who followed the trade of shoemakir
in that city, where he was known as a respected
citizen and consistent member of the Church of

Thomas Toothe, son of James, was born in 1802,
and learned the trade of metal spinner, at which he
worked for a number of years. In his native city
he married Jane Ward, who was born in Birming-
ham, daughter of William Ward, a bricklayer,
both of whom died in Birmingham. There were
ten children born to Thomas and Jane Toothe,
namely : William, who is vice-president of the
Nathan ^lanufacturing Co., of New York, whose
daughter, Jennie Ward Toothe, married Dr. O. J.
D. Hughes, consul general at Coburg, Germany;
Charles, who is a metal spinner and resides in
\\'allingford; James, of this biography; Henry, a
traveling salesman, who resides in Brooklyn, N.
Y. ; Thomas, who died in infancy; Thomas (2),
who diied in infancy; Mary, who died young;
Sophia, who died unmarried ; Sarah ^Maria Eliza-
beth, who died at the age of eight vears : and Al-
fred, who died young. The mother of these chil-
dren was a consistent and worthy member of the
Church of England, and was ever a devoted wife
and loving mother. After her death, in her native
city, Mr. Toothe with his sons emigrated to Amer-
ica and located in Meriden. Conn., where the re-
mainder of his life was passed. Here he died in
1882 after some years of retirement from active
life, and his remains repose in West cemetery. He
was a devoted member of the Established Church



in his native country, and always attended the Epis-
copal Church in Meriden. His simple, gentleman-
ly demeanor won the respect of all who knew him.
James Toothe, son of Thomas, received his
early education in the school conducted b\" the Bap-
tist Church, experience, however, completing- his
in-truction. At the age of fourteen years he start-
ed to learn the Britannia business, and served an
apprenticeship of seven years, following w'hich he
worked as a journeyman in his native land, -re-
ceiving excellent wages as he was competent to do
g-ood work. His brothers were already established
in America, and in 1871 he came also, spending
a short time in New York City, and coming thence
to Meriden, where he has resided for the past thirty
years. Mr. Toothe has been all this time identi-
fied with the Britannia Co., of that city, his effi-
ciency being recognized by his appointment, in
1895, as foreman in the soldering department, and
for the past seven years he has capably filled a
position requiring close and careful attention, com-
plete knowledge of details, and considerable ex-
ecutive ability.

In 1864 Air. Toothe was married, at St. Ann's
Church, in Birmingham, England, to Lucy Baker,
who was born in that city, daughter of \\'illiam
Baker ; the latter lived to the advanced age of
ninety years, dying in his Birmingham home. Mr.
Toothe owns a comfortable home which he built
on Linsley avenue, in 1884. and here he and his
most estimable wife pass a life of happiness and
contentment, the center of a large circle of friends.
Both are members of All Saints' Episcopal Church,
Meriden. Air. Toothe has taken part in the political
life of the city to some extent, and in 1S86 was
elected, on the Republican ticket, a member of the
city council, from the Third ward, serving most
efficiently on the Park and License committees.
Fraternally he is connected with Enterprise Lodge,
No. 880, K. of Honor, and has been treasurer of that
organization. He is a very pleasant, agreeable
gentleman, domestic in his tastes and a lover of his
• home. Both he and his wife delight to offer its
hospitality, and they number among their personal
friends the best people in Meriden.

DANIEL COLWELL. one of the originators
of the great social and benefit order of the Roman
Catholics, the Knights of Columbus, is a well-
IvHown business man and public servant in New
Haven, Conn. He was born in North Adams,
Mass., July 7, 1848, a son of Bernard and Cath-
erine (Reiily) Col well.

Bernard Colwell was born in County Leitrim,
Province of Connaught, Ireland. With a firm belief
m the glowing tales of the opportunities offered
to young men in the New World, Mr. Colwell
determined to make an effort to secure a new home
in America. Accordingly he crossed the Atlantic
and located at various places, finally moving to
Troy, N. Y., and in 1846 moving thence to North

Adams, Mass. In his early life in Ireland he was a
weaver, but after coming to this country he worked
. at the trade of stone mason. When the Civil war
threatened to disrupt the L'nion he promptly shoul-
, dered his musket, and went forth to battle for his
I adopted land, being assigned to the 13th \'t. \'. I.
1 Before leaving Ireland Mr. Colwell married Cath-
erine Reiily, who passed away in North Adams, in
1 1865, the mother of six sons and one daughter.
Of these children we have the following record :
Patrick, born in Ireland, resides in Plymouth,
Mass. ; Mary A., born in Montreal, Canada, died
, in Pittsfield, Mass., in 1870; John, born in Mon-
I treal, died in Pittsfield, Mass., in 1893 ; ' Bernard,
i born in Millerton, N. Y., was killed in battle June
18, 1864; Reiily, born in Schaghticoke, N. Y.,
; served in the 49th Mass. V. I. in the Civil war,
■ and lives in Pittsfield. Mass. ; William, born in
. Schaghticoke, N. Y., resides in Pownal, \'t. ; Daniel
Colwell is the subject of sketch. Bernard Colwell.
j the father, died in 1886, highly respected for his
I many sterling qualities. His family ancestry can

be traced back a thousand years in Ireland.
; Daniel Colwell received his education in the
j public schools, and when quite young took up the
burden of life for himself by working in a cotton
i factory. At the age of fourteen he went to Wash-
I ington Co., N. Y., and there was apprenticed to the
I boot maker's trade. On July 15, 1865, he came
to New Haven and began work at his trade. He
prospered from the start, and for years kept a shoe
store in Congress avenue.
I Mr. Colwell has always been interested in
public affairs, and since attaining his majority has
I taken an active interest in politics. He was elected
I town constable in 1876, and was continued in of-
{ fice until he resigned seven years later. For years
he was court officer of the Superior Criminal
Court, and had charge of many noted prisoners,
including the Malley boys. Anderson, the mur-
I derer, and many others. He was one of the or-
I ganizers of the Sarsfield Guard, and was also iden-
I tified with' the social order known as the "Red
Knights," from which sprang the great Catholic
order Knights of Columbus. This last order, now
so well known and so strong throughout the coun-
try, was organized for the purpose of giving the
men of the Church of Rome a social and benefit
order like the Masonic fraternity of the Protest-
ants. In Mr. Colwell's office was held the first
meeting to perfect an organization ; he it was who
I drafted the articles of incorporation, and he was
chairman of the committee that filed the consti-
1 tution and report of the order. He was also chair-
i man of the committee on Ritual, and prepared
I the original three degrees, and ceremonies of insti-
I tution and installation. In 1884 Mr. Colwell was
; elected general secretary of the order, and has ever
since held that position. He is also prominently
I identified with the Knights of St. Patrick, of which
I he is at present the eflficient president.



On Dec. 28, 1868, Daniel Cohvell was united
in marriage with Miss Catherine B. Mullen, daugh-
ter of Hugh Mullen, of Xew Haven, where she
was born. Seven children have shed their bright
sunshine on this happy liome : Edward B., born
Oct. 28, 1871 ; Margaret M., May 14, 1873; Daniel,
Jr., in 1875 (^died in 1878) ; William, in 1878 (died
the same year) ; Francis A., in 1881 : Catherine ].,
March 9, 1883 ; and Alice, Aug. 4, 1885.

JAMES C. KEXWORTHY, foreman of the
shipping department of Manning, Bowman & Co.,
and fire commissioner of the city of Meriden, was
born May 26, 1851, in Tariffville, Conn.

James Kenworthv, his father, was a native of
Leeds, Yorkshire, England, where he learned the
trade of silversmith, and was engaged in the manu-
facture of German silver ware. There he married
Elizabeth W'orsley, who bore him six children, all
of whom are residents of Aleriden, namely: Sam-
uel ; Eda. widow of George Xoble ; Mary, wife of
James Morris Tolles, a police officer : Annie, wife
of William Tyler: Sarah (Sadie) and James C.
The last two were born in Connecticut. About
1842 he left his native home, with his wife and
four children, crossed the Atlantic on a sailing ves-
sel and landed at New York. Proceeding at once
to Hartford Co., Conn., he located at Spoonville,
in the town of East Granby, and began the produc-
tion of German silver forks and spoons. He was
the first to introduce figures on these goods' in this
countr}', but did not protect his invention by tak-
ing out a patent, and was shortly driven out of
the business by other manufacturers with large
capital. Selling out his business to Charles Parker,
of Meriden, about 1857, 'he took charge of the lat-
ter's spoon shop at Yalesville for some years. For
a short time he worked in the Parker shop in Meri-
den, and then went to the Meriden Silver Plate
Co., as a burnisher. His last years were spent in
the service of Manning, Bowman & Co., and he
continued to work every day up to the time of his
death, which occurred in August, 1899,* at the
age of eighty years. On the morning of the day
he died, he rose and prepared for work as usual,
but feeling somewhat weak, returned to his bed,
where his life passed out before the dav was done.
His body was interred in Walnut Grove cemetery.
His life was modeled by Christian standards, and
he was universally respected as an honest man. In
political matters he affiliated with the Democratic
party. His wife died Dec. 31, 1891, and was buried
in Walnut Grove cemetery. She was a member of
the M. E. Church, a devoted wife and mother, a
good. Christian woman.

James C. Kenworthv was an infant when his
parents removed to Meriden, where he attended
the district schools. At an early age he began to
learn the trade of painter under Capt. Barrio, with
whom he spent three years. After working as a
journeyman painter at Middletown three years, he

returned to Meriden and entered the factory of
the Meriden Silver Plate Co., and became a burn-
isher, continuing in this employ five years. His
connection with Manning, Bowman & Co. began
in 1877, and for two years he was engaged in
burnishing. Since that time he has been in the
shipping department, holding the position of fore-
man during the past twenty-three years. His uni-
form courtesy and fair dealing have made him alike
pofKilar with employers and employes, and he en-
joys the good will and respect of a large circle of

On June 4, 1871, Mr. Kenworthy married, in
Aleriden, ^liss Sophia Williams, who was bom in
Westfield, Conn., daughter of the late William and
Anna (Hughes') Williams, the former a native of
England, the latter of Wales. Mrs. Kenworthy is
a sister of Mrs. Hubert Little, elsewhere men-
tioned in this work. Only the last of three children
born to Mr. and Mrs. Kenworthy is living. Will-
iam H. died in infancy, and Maude W. in girlhood.
Ivy June is a student at the public schools.

The upright and industrious nature of ^Ir.
Kenworthy naturally attracted the attention of his
fellow citizens, and he has been called upon to
serve in a public capacity. Elected on the Demo-
cratic ticket a member of the City Council, from
the Fifth ward, he served on the Fire and Street
committees. He was appointed a member of the
Fire Commission by Mayor Ives and re-appointed
by Mayor West, still holding that position. His
previous experience had well fitted him for the
duties of this responsible station, as he was one
of the first members of the Charter Oak Volunteer
Fire Company, in which he served upwards of six
years. His wife is a member of the Broad Street
Baptist Church, with whose faith and work he
is in sympathy, and both are esteemed as honest,,
industrious, useful citizens of the "Silver City."

ROYAL M. BASSETT. The Bassett family,
long one of the most prominent and influential in
Xew Haven county, traces its lineage through an
unbroken chain, extending through two hundred
and fifty years, to John Bassett of England, and its
history is indissolubly connected with the story of
the virtues and the faults, the trials and the tri-
umphs, of the early Xew England Colonists, as well
as with the growth and development of Connecti-

Several generations of BassevS have been
born in Derby, with the building up of which city
thev have been prominently and honorably identi-
fied. More than two and one-half centuries have
elapsed since Robert Bassett, son of John, sought
a home in the Xew World. The precise date of his
immigration cannot be stated, but he is known to
have been a resident of Xew Haven in 1643. He
was a shoemaker by trade, and held the now ex-
tinct office of "town drummer." From X'ew Haverr
he removed to Stratford. He reared a family



"s^k- ^"Kf^:^



'"^: - .:-





of several children. Full details of his life history
are wanting, but he appears to have been a man of
iiniiound conviction and pronounced individuality.
lie was one of a number of citizens of Stratford
.-iiid Stamford who caused not a little commotion in
tlieir clay and generation through their vigorous
protest against the denial of the right of sutTrage
to non-church members ; and it is believed that the
woman who bore his name and was executed for

Online LibraryChicago Beers (J.H.) & Co.Commemorative biographical record of New Haven county, Connecticut, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the early settled families .. (Volume 1, pt.3) → online text (page 1 of 94)