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 11 of 94)
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Connecticut, October 25, 1898.

Barlow S. Honce.
Capt. 1st Conn. Vol. Artillery, Commanding the Battery.
Countersigned :

M. W. CR0FT0>r,

1st Lieut., 1st Infty., Mustering Officer.

EARL SAIITH was born in Oxford, Xew
Haven county, Aug. 8, 1829, and is a son of Abra-
ham Smith, who is supposed to have been born at
the same place as his son. and died in the city of
New York. Concerning Aloses Smith, the grand-
father of Earl, nothing definite is now known by
the family.

Abraham Smith spent his boyhood and youth on
his father's farm, and learned the tanning and shoe-

making trades, which he carried on in conjunction
with farming. He married Emily Candce, who was
born in Oxford, and was a daughter of Aloses Can-
dee, a farmer. She died in June, 1833. To Air. and
Airs. Smith were born four children : Burritt A.,
Charlotte AL, Earl and Jerome C. Burritt A. was
a graduate of Yale, and became a Congregational
minister, holding pastorates in Alassachusetts,
Connecticut and Illinois; he died in Worcester,.
Alass. Charlotte AI. married William Baldwin, of
Xew Haven, where she died. Jerome C. became
a physician, had a tine practice in the city of Xew
York, and died in Germantown, Pa. Abraham
Smith was a Whig, and on the dissolution of that
party joined the ranks of the Republicans. In re-
ligion both Air. Smith and his wife were members
of the Congregational Church.

Earl Smith attended an academy in Alassachu-
setts, and finished his schooling at the age of nine-
! teen. He began life for himself as a worker in
I a factory, and held positions in Woodbury, Xauga-
tuck and West Haven. In 1855 he came to Water-
bury, and entered the employ of the Waterburv
Buckle Co.. and in 1865 was put in charge of the
business: in 1895 he was elected president and is
still acting in that capacitv.

In 1850 Earl Smith married Ellen Scott, daugh-
ter of Jonathan Scott, and they became the parents
of four children, Alice L., Archer J., Xellie G. and
Alabel. X^ellie and Alabel are deceased. Alice mar-
ried George L. Swift, of Waterbun-. Archer J. is
secretary and treasurer of the American Alills Co.,.
of which Air. Smith is president, as he is of the
Smith & Griggs Co., of Waterbury. Archer J.
Smith married Aliss Susan Alaltby, a daughter of
Douglass J. Alaltby. of Waterbury. Earl Smith
is a man of character and standing. In religion he
! is a member of the First Church.

A. BREX'X'AX''. The career of Air. Brennan is
full of interest, and the story of his life is replete
with instruction and encouragement for younger
generations. He has seen the sun rise and set on
the sixty-eighth anniversary of his birth, and while
clear in mind and vigorous in body he awaits the
close of life in the calm confidence which is born
of an earnest religious faith and the memory of long
years well spent.

Air. Brennan is a son of William and Alary
(Lackey) Brennan, and was born Dec. 15, 1833, in
County Kildare, Ireland, of v.-hich his parents were
also natives, and where his father was a peasant
farmer. William Brennan was born Dec. 15, 1801.
Our subject crossed the water in 1854, and his
father came to-X'augatuck, Conn., in 1864, working-
for two years as a foundryman, and dying there
April 18. 1866. Eight years afterward, in 1874. his
widow passed away. Andrew was one of a family
of ten children, four of whom died in infancy, the
others being Alargaret. who married James AIc-
Dermott, of Xaugatuck ; Julia, the wife of John

f," ■{ li



Brennaii, of the same town ; William, a journeyman
niolcler of recognised skill ; Patrick, a foreman in
the Malleable Iron Works, of Xaiigatuck ; and Bar-
tholomew, a valued member of the police force of
Springfield, Ohio.

The first year after coming to America Andrew
Brennan spent in Stanhope. X. T-. working upon a
railroad, and in 1855 he came to Hamden, Conn.,
where he entered upon an apprenticeship to the
iron molder's trade in the works at that time known
as the Hamden Foundry. On June 7, 1857, he be-
gan work as a journeyman in Union City, and for
exactly twenty years continued in the employ of the
same concern, quitting the establishment June 7,
1877. On Jan. i, 1880, he organized the Union City
Coal Co.. with Peter Scadden, of Waterbury, and
the City Lumber & Coal Co., of Waterbury. About
six months afterward he bought out Mr. Scadden,
and in 1888 he bought out the City Lumber & Coal
Co. In 1888 he reorganized the company with the
following ofificers : iVndrew E5rennan, president ;
Thomas W. Ahern, treasurer and secretary. In
1894 his son William was made treasurer and gen-
eral manager, and held that position until his death,
Aug. 16, 1900, when Andrew C. Brennan was made
general manager and treasurer of the company.
Mr. Brennan also deals largely in real estate, and
owns much valuable property in Waterburv. In
fxjlitics he is independent of parties. In religious
faith he is a Catholic, and he and his family attend
St. Frances Church of Naugatuck.

Mr. Brennan married. May 16. 1858, Elizabeth
Martin, who was born in Kings County, Ireland.
Mr. and Mrs. Brennan have been blessed with ten
children: William (deceased), Ellen, Andrew C,
Mary, Elizabeth (i), Elizabeth (2), Catherine,
Margaret, Francis and Florence. Three of the
daughters married residents of Xaugatuck, Ellen
being the wife of Thomas W. Ahern, and Mary the
wife of Patrick Daly; Elizabeth (2) is the widow
of Edward P. Xoonan, a merchant, who died Dec.
7, 190 1. Andrew C. is general manager and treasurer
of the City Lumber & Coal Co. The four younger
children live at home. Francis is the manager of
a bottling works in X'augatuck.

inently identified with the horticultural and agri-
cultural interests of New Haven county is the firm
of C. E. Evarts & Son. of which Charles E. Evarts
is the senior partner. He is a man of standing in
the community, and one of its most respected citi-

Charles E. Evarts was born in Guilford, this
county, Aug. 27, 1839, ^"<i his ancestors were
among the oldest settlers of that historic town.
Abraham Evarts. his grandfather, was a native of
Guilford, where he became a large land owner
and well-known farmer, in the Xut Plains Dis-
trict, and- there he lived a busv and useful life.
and reared a family which has reflected

credit upon the name. Jason Evarts, his son,
was born in the Xut Plains District, where
he grew to manhoo<l on a farm, and he also spent
the greater part of his life in his native place, re-
moving in advanced age to the town of Branford.
i He spent his last days, in Yalesville, at the home of
! our subject. His death occurred in 1888, and his
remains lie in the old Branford cemetery. During
\ early life he had been a pronounced Whig, later
\ adopting Republican ])rinciples. He was a leading
j member of the Congregational Church. Jason Ev-
arts married in Killingworth Rosette Hull, the
daughter of Aaron Hull, one of the old settlers of
'■ Killingworth, and to this union were born : Charles
i E., subject of this sketch: Horatio; Joel; Sarah,
who married Edwin Clark ; Reuben, deceased ; and
Frances, who married Stephen Terhune. The be-
i loved mother of this family died at her home in

Charles E. Evarts grew up in the village of Guil-
ford, and attended the district school. While still
a lad he removed to Killingworth and worked with
I his uncle, Ellsworth Hull, for eight years. He then
; returned to Guilford, and occupied the succeeding-
j year upon the farm. His ne.xt employment was
teaming, in the town of Madison, and from there
he made a trip to Illinois and farmed for himself
two years in Cook county. On his return East he
took up his residence in Clinton, Conn., for a brief ;
season, going from there to Meriden, where he ;
found profitable employment in the sash and blind
factory, and later with Stephen Parker, at coffee i
mill manufacturing. |

When the Civil war broke out Mr. Evarts was
one of the gallant men who immediately re- 1
sponded to the call for help, and enlisted in April, 1
1861, in Meriden. joining Company E. (Capt. Bix-
bee) 1st Regiment, and served through the three
months' ttrrri of that enlistment, taking part in the
battle of Bull Run and other engagements. In Oc-
tober, 1861, he testified to his patriotism by re-en-
listing, joining the 1st Connecticut Light Battery,
under Capt. Rockwell, and for two vears served
faithfully in the Department of the South. The
third enlistment of this brave and loyal soldier was
in the ist Connecticut Light Battery, and he con-
tinued to serve to the close of the war, being mus-
tered out at its termination at Richmond, Va. He
returned home after four years and three months
given to the service of his country.

One among the many defenders of his country,
bearing the marks of war and exposure. Mr. Ev-
arts returned to Connecticut and turned again to
peaceful pursuits. Until 1866 no suitable opening-
presented itself, but in that year he removed to the
town of Branford and started in the butcher busi-
which was a successful venture. He was thus


occupied six years, and in 1872, desiring a larger
field, he removed to Xew Haven, and there con-
ducted the same business for two years more. For
two vears after leaving Xew Haven he was in Meri-

."'.Jl,'. i - l



den, employed as carpenter and joiner. Thence going
to Branford, he remained six months, and then went
to JNIt. Carmcl, in the town of Hamden, as foreman
of the anneahng department of tlie carriage works
of the W'oodrnff Co. This position he held t\vo
and one-half years, and remained in Mt. Carmel six
years, the latter part of that period engaged. at his
trade of carpenter and joiner. Removing to Sey-
mour, Conn., he worked there for a short time at
his trade, but in 1887 he came to the town of W'all-
' ingford and located near Yalesville, determined to
return to agricultural life. Here he purchased a
valuable tract of land, consisting of 160 acres,
known as the \\'atson farm, and immediately en-
tered the business of market gardening and fruit
Rowing, becoming so prosperous in this line that
his name is already known all over the county and
Avherever horticultural or agricultural topics are
■discussed. In his son Wesley Mr. Evarts has a
most efficient assistant, and he is now a partner in
the firm. In 1891 this firm engaged in peach cul-
ture, and they now own seventeen acres in peach
trees, which yield enormously, and in which Mr.
Evarts sees a reward for his labor and scientific
study of this branch of horticulture.

In 1863 Mr. Evarts was married in Guilford,
to Miss Emma J. Resing, who died June 17. 1874,
in New Haven, leaving four children : Sarah, who
■married Elmer E. Holmes ; Xellie, of Massachu-
setts; Alice Gertrude; and Charles, of Meriden.
The second marriage of 'Mr. Evarts was to Mary
E. Rhodes, a native of Indiana, who passed out of
Hfe in 1895, a good and worthy woman. Her chil-
dren number four, three of whom survive: Wes-
ley, Ruby and Effie. The first named is a partner
in the firm of C. E. Evarts & Son, proprietors of
the Highland Farm, fruit growers and market gar-
deners, and is one of the enterprising and progres-
sive young men of this community, possessing nat-
ural mechanical talent which he has displayed in
the construction of several wagons, and bids fair to
give him future prominence.

In politics Mr. Evarts is a Republican, but no
office seeker. His business interests and his do-
mestic life have engrossed his time, leaving little
leisure for public life, and no doubt he feels that
enough of his life has already been given to public
service. As a man and as a citizen he enjoys the
esteem of the community.

death at Waterbury, Xov. 27, 1898, removed one of
the city's most useful professional men and rioe
scholars, was born June 23, 1854. in Calais. Maine,
son of Job Holmes, M. D., a physician of creditable
standing in the eastern part of that state.

Dr. Holmes was graduated from Bowdoin Col-
lege in 1875, ranking tiiird in his class, and being
rated as one of the most able men in college. He
devoted a great part of his time to literature, and
educated himself to such a degree that he was able

to repeat longf quotations from Greek and Latin
authors, and from famous authors in other tongues.
After leaving college he spent one year in Calais
with Dr. C. E. Swan, who had been a partner of
his father. Young Holmes was so well fitted for
the study of medicine that he entered the second-
year class of the Harvard 2^Iedical School, from
which he was graduated in 1879. From 1878 to
1880 he was connected with the Boston City Hos-
pital, for six months as "medical externe," and for
one year as "surgical interne" and house surgeon.
He was one of the leading men in his class at the
Harvard Medical School, and was graduated with
distinguished honors, securing coveted prizes and
displaying abilitv far beyond his years. He came to

' Waterbury in March, 1880, and in Xovember of the
same year formed a partnership with Dr. Gideon L.

I Piatt, whose daughter he subsequently married. Dr.

I Holmes at once assumed a high place in the com-
munity, at first having much to do with the prac-
tice of Dr. Piatt, but gradually acquiring a large

i clientele of his own, and becoming one of the lead-
ing physicians of Waterbury.

The Doctor's interest in literature did not be-
come absorbed in his professional work, as the fol-
lowing little anecdote will show : He had secured
a valuable copy of a work by Lucian. a celebrated
Greek satirist and humorist who flourished about
120 to 200 A. D. He was an ardent Greek and
Latin scholar, reading the latter language as easily
as English, and as his beloved Lucian was printed
with alternate pages of Latin and Greek, he used
to cover the Latin pages with a paper, in order that
he would study it out for himself in the Greek rather
than have recourse to the easier Latin. Once, when
reading this Lucian, he came across a passage so
ambiguous in form that he felt he was unable to
translate it satisfactorily. He consulted a local
scholar, who was obliged to admit his inability to
help him, but referred him to a prominent Greek
instructor at Yale. Dr. Holmes wrote to the latter,
and received a reply stating that the passage re-
ferred to was rendered obscure by a typographical
error, and at the same time giving the correct read-
ing, which was identical with that of the Doctor's,
before he had sought assistance. His elation at the
explanation may be easily imagined. Later the same
Yale instructor made inquiries concerning his cor-
respondent to find whether he was a young man in
search of an instructorship, and was very much
astonished to find that he was a very busy physi-
cian, who found his recreation in the study of dead
languages. Intellectually he was one of the ablest
of men. and in addition to his nhenomenal memory
he possessed to a remarkable degree the ability to
grasp instantlv and to solve accurately difficult prob-
lems. To these qualities was added a wealth of im-
aginative power which would have enabled him,
had he devoted himself to literature, to have created
a name which would have been known wherever the
Ensrlish language is read.

\i::-. ■:i^' .

ii<aaiaaaBMtfiiriWiirFffi1i rifeigi&iiaMa<ililfeMH ^^

/jcbU^ /Y , AwJ^^,^



On April 6. 1881. Dr. Holmes was married to
jMedora Caroline, only daujjhter of the late Dr.
Gideon L. Piatt, of Watcrbnry, who survives him.
Dr. Holmes' health becjan to fail in 1892, and in
1894 he was compelled to sjive up his practice. He
died Xov. 27, i8y8. a sacrifice to his profession, his
death resultinrr from blood poisoninq- bv inoculation
through a pricked finger during an operation on a
patient. Dr. Holmes" charities were many and un-
obtrusive. He freely gave his services and very
often substantial offerings to the poor, and many a
AVaterbury family can testify as to his goodness in
this respect. It is related of him that he kept in his
■office a supply of just the things that poor people
might need in time of illness. He knew in such
cases that everv penny counted, and he often loaned
the necessities of the needy. Occasionally his faith
•in human nature was rudely shocked, and. at such
times his distress v>-as acute. He was honest to a
fault, and expected others to be. While in college
he was a member of the D. K. E. Greek Letter
Societv. He was a member of the Waterbury Club.
and of various medical societies. On philosophical
and theological subjects he was an independent
thinker, but thronglwut all intellectual vicissitudes
remained faithful to the Unitarian faith — the faith
of his childhood.

In the course of his remarks in the payment of
the last sad rites to his friend and parishioner, Dr.
Anderson said :

Dr. Holmes was a man worth knowing, a man whose
friendship was well worth cultivating. To those who met
Tiim casually, or in the range of his practice as a physician.
he may not have seemed so. but he was an exceptional
man. His commanding stature represented a man tower-
ing above the average in regard to mental characteristics
and moral qualities. .^ man who is large physically chal-
lenges the admiration of the best people, provided he is
large in other wavs. and all who knew Dr. Holmes
recognized this quality of largeness in him. Here was a
Tnan of broad and rich nature, through whom the bounty
■of God and the world flowed easily for nourishment and
comfort. He was especially interesting to us as a man
of intellect! In these days the successful pursuit of a
■profession necessitates almost exclusive devotion to pro-
fessional roiuine. and this involves a narrowing process —
so that the average lawyer is simply a lawyer, the clergy-
man, simply a clergyman, and the physician, simply a
physician. To be a thorough-going and busy practitioner
and at the same time a broad and rounded and cultured
man is by no means easy. It indicates early training on
a broad basis; it indicates dominating tastes larger than
the limits of a profession: it indicates fullness of manhood.
It indicated all this in Dr. Holmes. There is nothing to
suggest that he was not in love with the profession of
medicine ; but he seemed to view that profession in its
relations to science as a whole, yes, and in its relations
to scholarship as a whole. He certainly possessed a
scientific cast of mind, but he was not in the least con-
scious of that conflict between science and letters of which
some have had so much to say. If he had the mind of a
scientist, he had the tastes of a scholar. And so. for a
few bright years, we had before us I" not very common
in this busy community) the spectacle of a man who
combined in himself the utilitarian and the scholarly
qualities, and showed us that it is possible, even yet. to
do one's daily work well and earn an honest living, and
at the same time be loyal to the intellectual and artistic

ideals of earlier days. In thinking of Dr. Holmes I find
that the mental qualities merge into the spiritual, that his
tastes were closely allied to virtues. In attempting an
estimate of him, it would be more difiicult than in most
cases to confine one's self to any one department of his i
life. I shrink from processes of analysis on such occasions
as this — even as I shrink from being analyzed myself — '
but I do wish to say a word concerning these deeper and
more central qualities of our friend's nature. I wish to
say that he seemed to me a very genuine and sincere
person, that he was exceptionally free from affectation and
pretence, that his honesty was not simply commercial,
but spiritual. It is not always that a man impresses you
with being precisely what he seems to be; but that was true
of him. This was not, however, the result of any blunt
frankness on his part, such as some men take pride in;
it was the product, rather, of a certain transparency of
nature, the entire absence of duplicity. The impression
01 sincerity was not secured by the sacrifice of geniality
and sweetness ; his kindliness, on the contrary, was a
constant and pervasive quality.

I have seldom met with a layman more ready to talk 1
upon religious themes than he was. and his outspoken ;
sincerity did not allow a moment's doubt in regard to the j
position he occupied. He came to us representing a type
of Christian belief which is not common in Connecticut,
and when, in an early interview, he told me that he was a
Unitarian, he evidently feared that he might grieve me.
But he could not think of holding anything back, and wc
were at once on terms of mutual consideration and amity.
He was proud of his faith, as all Unitarians are. and
could not hide his contempt for "obscure dogmas," but
his attitude was not by any means merely critical ; it was
receptive and friendly. His was a deeply religious nature,
and whatever nourished his deeper life he welcomed, no
matter from what source it came, or in what form it was
offered him.

After speaking at length in regard to the Doc-
tor's last illness, that tragedy of death in life. Dr.
Anderson adds :

To those who were called to look on, whether day by
day or at intervals, it must seem a mysterious thing that
this noble man — this man of sweetness and charity —
should have been led down, as he was, into a "valley of
the shadow of death" more dreadful than Bunyan ever
saw in vision, and held captive there so many years in
fierce conflicts with spirits of evil ; and it must seem all ,
the more mysterious when we consider that his life-long 1
training had been such as to leave no place in his normal |
mental processes for any thought of evil spirits, but rather ;
to bring him face to face with divine benevolence. Let '
us think of him as swiftly emerging, on that tempestuous
Sunday, from all the gloom and discord of these inex-
plicable years, into the calmness and peace and felicity of
those elect souls who "after life's fitful fever" sleep well,
and then awake with God.

At the close of his remarks Dr. Anderson re-
peated Edwin Arnold's beautiful poem, '"After
Death," a favorite of Dr. Holmes' :

He who died at Azan sends
This to comfort faithful friends :

Faithful friends I It lies I know,
Pale and white as cold as snow.
And ye say, ".-Vbdallah's dead!"
Weeping at my feet and head.
I can see your falling tears.
I can hear your cries and prayers,
Yet I smile and whisper this :
"I am not that thing you kiss :
Cease your tears and let it lie;
It was mine; it is not I.'

:j:^ j:!S



'Tis a tent which I am quitting,

'Tis a garment no more fitting,

'Tis a cage from wliich at last.

Like a hawk my soul has passed.

Love the inmate, not the room :

The wearer, not the garb ; the plume

Of the falcon, not the bars

Which kept him from the splendid stars.

Loving friends! be wise and dry
Straightway every weeping eye ;
What ye lift upon the bier
Is not worth a wistful tear.
'Tis an empty seashell, one
Out of which the pearl is gone.
The shell is broken, it lies there ;
The pearl, the all. the soul is here.
'Tis an earthen jar whose lid
Allah sealed, the while it hid
That treasure of His treasury.
A mind which loved him ; let it lie !
Let the shard be earth's once more,
Since the gold shines in His store!

Farewell friends, yet not farewell,
Where I am ye too shall dwell.
I am gone before your face
A heart-beat's time, a gray ant's pace.
When ye come where I have stepped
Ye will marvel why ye wept ;
Ye will know, by true love taught.
That here is all, and there is naught.

Weep awhile, if ye are fain —
Sunshine still must follow rain!
Only, not at death, for death
(Now I see) is that first breath
Which our souls draw when we enter
Life that is of all life center.

Know ye Allah's love is law.
Viewed from .\llah's throne above.
Be ye firm of trust, and come
Faithful onward to your home !

He who died at .\zan gave

This to those who made his grave.

cestry from William Chittenden, who came from
England to New England in 1639, thence in the
same year to Guilford, Conn. He was born in
Kent, England, and married Joanna, daughter of
Dr. Edmund ShaefFer, of Cranbrook, in Kent. A
man of ability, he filled many important offices in
the Colony.

Thomas Chittenden, son of William, was born
in England, married Joanna Jordan, daughter of

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 11 of 94)