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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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sonic Fraternity. Airs. Edward Morris Leete be-
longs to an old family, and is a lady of unusual at-
tainments. She is' an extensive dealer in antique

Edwin A. Leete became a cabinetmaker, learn-
ing his trade under John Kimberly, with whom he
spent four years. For a time he worked as a
journeyman with Jonas H. Bowditch, of New Ha-
! ven, manufacturer and dealer in furniture. After-
I ward he came to Guilford and worked two years in
I the shipyards at East River, for Eber Hotchkiss.



For several years lie dealt in hardwood timber for
the New York market.

Mr. Leete donned the Union blue in 1862. be-
coming a member of Company I, 14th Conn. V.
I., under Col. Dwight Morris and Capt. Isaac Brim-
son. He was in the service six months, taking part
in the battle of Antietam, and was discharged at
Alexandria on account of serious disability. Re-
turning from the war he resumed the cabinetmak-
ing business, in which he has been continuously
engaged for thirty-seven years, and is known as the
leading undertaker and furniture dealer on the shore

Mrs. Leete descends from Deacon Daniel Leete,
eldest son of Deacon Pelatiah Leete. He married
Rhoda Stone, a daughter of Caleb and Sarah
(Meigs) Stone, and resided on Leete Island. He
was a deacon of the Fourth Congregational Church
of Guilford. He died in 1772, his wife in 1769.
They were the parents of five children : Rhoda,
who married Noah Rogers ; Daniel, who married
Charity Norton ; Ambrose, who is mentioned be-
low ; and two who bore the name of Abraham, both
deceased in infancy.

Deacon Ambrose Leete in 1773 married Miranda
Chittenden, a daughter of William and Rachel
(White) Chittenden, of Guilford. He was made
a deacon of the Fourth Church of Guilford in 1784,
and of the First Church in 1801. He died in 1809,
his wife in 1838. Their children were: Ambrose,
Miranda, Minor, Abraham and Wealthy. Minor
married Lucinda Norton.

Ambrose Leete was born in 1774, and in 1802
married Catherine Ward, who was born in 1780,
a daughter of Thelus and Sarah (Shelley) Ward.
They had the following children : Sidney Wash-
ington married Susan Atwater; Albert Augustus is
mentioned below ; Harriet married John Fowler ;
Ambrose Ward married Abigail N. Leete : Cather-
ine Ward ; Miranda Cornelia married Hezekiah
Parmelee ; Charles Frederick, born in 1820, mar-
ried Martha H. W. Lay.

Albert A. Leete, the father of ^Irs. Edwin A.
Leete, was born Oct. 11, 1805, and married June
6, 1825, Betsy A. Parmelee, of Fair Haven. She
was born Dec. 23, 1805, and died Oct. 14, 1S81.
Albert A. Leete was made a deacon of the First
Congregational Church in Guilford in 1832, and
served forty-three years in that capacity. The fol-
lowing children were born to him and his wife:
Mary Ann, bom Sept. 20, 1827, married Edwin A.
Leete; Sidney Ward, born April 7, 1833, married
Isabelle H. Clark: John Fowler, bom ^lay i, 1838,
died in 1840; Martha Elizabeth, born June 4, 1841,
married Samuel S. Parmelee; Harriet Cornelia was
born April 3, 1848.

DENNIS BARNETT, one of Ansonia's pio-
neer citizens, was l)orn in Ireland in 1831, son of
Patrick and Ellen (O'Brien) Bamett, both natives
of the Emerald Isle. His father, who was a farm-

er by occupation, died in Ireland, and the mother
is also deceased. Of their six children our subject
is now the only survivor.

On coming to America, in 1850, IMr. Barnett
located in Ansonia, where he has since remained ■
almost continuously, making but few visits, even
out of town. In 185 1 he entered the employ of the
A. B. C. Co., in whose service he was retained for-
ty-three years — longer than any other man in the
factory. Since retiring from that work he has car-
■ ried on a grocery store at No. 72 Central street, An-
' sonia, the active management being in the hands
i of his daughter Ellen, and he also owns three lots
upon which he built two houses. I\Ir. Barnett has
seen Ansonia develop from a village of one thousand
inhabitants to its present proportions, and his in-
telligent observation and excellent memory enable
him to give most interesting and instructive ac-
counts of the early days. At the time of his arrival
there were but one store and only a few houses on
Main street, and none on the west side of the river,
where there are now five hundred houses. Exten-
sive farms have been transformed into residence
' tracts under his eyes, and two generations have
passed before him, there being now only two or
: three men who were here on his arrival. In 185 1
^Ir. Barnett married Ellen Hannagin, who was
born in Ireland, daughter of Thomas Hannagin,
and of their twelve children three are now living:
(i) Patrick has been employed for some time in
the clock shop in Ansonia. (2) Thomas, who is now
I with the A. B. C. Co., married Mary A. Driscoll,
' and has had eight children, six of whom are liv-
ing, Ellen. Timothv. Mary, Geneva. Dennis and
Thomas. Jr. (3) Ellen was married in 1884 to
James Cotter, shoe manufacturer of Philadelphia,
who died two years later. Mrs. Cotter now man-
ages the store for her father. Politically Mr. Bar-
nett is a Democrat, and he has always been a de-
vout Catholic, his parents having reared him in
that faith. He was one of the first members of the
Catholic Church in Ansonia, and is the only one
now living who took part in the organization of
the society. Temperance reform has claimed his
warm support for many years, and he is now the
only living charter member of the Father jMatthew
Temperance Society, organized in 1868, and later
known as the St. Joseph Temperance Society.

GEORGE SCARD. one of the most prosperous

dairy farmers and stock dealers of East Walling-

ford. was born in Dorchester, England, May 9,

1838. Robert Scard, his father, was a native of the

same place, and was a tanner by occupation. The

latter part of his life was spent in farming, and

j his closing days were passed in the homes of his

I children in Whales, where he died at a ripe old age.

In his religious belief he was an Episcopalian. He

was a man of good character, and is remembered as

a gentleman of high standing with those who knew

, him best. Sarah Mores, his wife, was born in Dor-




Chester, and was the mother of his thirteen children,
of whom six died young. Those who grew to more
mature life were : George ; Moses, dead ; Robert,
who resides in Newport, South Wales ; Simeon, who
was drafted for service in the Bristol police (Eng-
land), and remained several years, but now has a
store in Newport, South Wales, selling groceries
and other goods ; Henry, deceased ; Sarah, who mar-
ried a Mr. Anthony, and is now deceased ; and Char-
lotte, deceased.

George Scard had a common school education
in the national schools of England. When he was
ten years old his parents took him to Newport,
South Wales, where he became errand boy for his
brother Simeon, working in the beginning for his
board and clothes. After some years he saved
enough to buy a team and go to farming. That
was his occupation for several years, when he
turned to trade. In 1871. having a strong desire to
see the New World, he came to New York, whence
he went- on west to Qiicago, at that time just rally-
ing from the great fire. He went to work as a
hod carrier at three dollars and fifty cents a day,
and put in something over nine months in that way.
After the expiration of this time he returned to
New York, and, locating in INIeriden, secured a po-
sition with the Malleable Iron Works, being em-
ployed here for four years at one dollar and fifty
cents a day. Here he was joined by his family,
and all united their energies in farming, first in
a small way, and then as they began to know their
power, they moved into Wallingford, and bought
the Terry farm in 1876. Here they started in the
dairy business, and as circumstances improved,
bought the William Every place, and still later the
Robinson farm. Here they have a fine home, which
Mr. Scard built, and this with other buildings cost
more than $10,000. Mr. Scard keeps more than
forty cows, and is known as the most extensive dairy
farmer and stockman in the town of Wallingford.
This entire family is noted for the industry and
thrift of all its members. They are all enterprising
and progressive people, and richly deserve the good
fortune that has waited on their labors.

In July, 1859, Mr. Scard was married in New-
port, South Wales, to Ellen Gammon, who was
born in Barnstable, England, and was a daughter
of George and Hannah Gammon, both of whom are
now deceased. To this union were born nine chil-
dren : Alary Jane, who married James Prin, and
is now deceased ; Lavinia, who married David A.
Crouch, of Middletown, and is the mother of two
children, Frances and Etta Mabel : Emily, who mar-
ried Albert Beaumont, of Wallingford ; George,
who is a partner of his father; Eliza, who died
young; Closes and Simeon are both at home; Char-
lotte, who married John Mead, of North Haven ;
and Rosanna, unmarried and at home.

The sons aie interested with their father in the
dairy business. All the family attend the Congrega-
tional Church. Mr. Scard is independent in his

politics. Known as a man of most temperate
habits, and as a hard worker, and a good neighbor,
he is much respected in the town. With his sons he
belongs to the Grange, and is much interested in
all questions that pertain to the welfare of the

George Gammon, the grandfather of Mrs.
Scard. was a native of Devonshire, England, where
he followed farming, and died at the venerable age
of one hundred years. George Fishley, the ma-
ternal grandfather of Mrs. Scard, was a native of
Thornington, Devonshire, England, where he was
engaged in the making of pottery ; he owned a farm,
and lived to be more than one hundred years of age.
Both her grandfathers were members of the Church
of England. The mother of Airs. Scard died wh-jn
she was very young.

WILLIAM G. AIITCHELL. the well-known
manufacturer of Milford, was born in Paislev,
Scotland, Dec. 3, 1827. His family has long been
identified with manufacturing interests, and his
father, William W. Alitchell, was engaged in the
manufacture of carpets in Scotland before coming
to this country. An uncle, James W, Alitchell, pre-
ceded the other members of the family and carried
on the same business in New York City. Hand
looms were then in use. Later he removed to Yon-
kers, N. Y., and in 1849. after the introduction of
power looms, the establishment there was bought
by Alexander Smith, who continued and enlarged
the business. It is now the largest carpet manu-
facturing concern in this country.

William W. Mitchell came from his father's
(David Alitchell's) carpet factory in Kilmarnock,
Scotland, in 1829, and brought with him a colony
of workmen for the carpet works of Orrin Thomp-
son, at Thompsonville, Conn. The descendants of
this worthy colony are now numerous in that place.
About 1835 he went to New Haven to take a po-
sition with Galpin & Robertson, carpet manufac-
turers, each member of which firm was called in
turn to serve as mayor of New Haven. In 1836 he
returned to Scotland and took charge of a cotton
factory belonging to his brother George, and his
death occurred in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1888. He
married Agnes Dunlop, and had three children, of
whom onlv two lived to mature age. Tanet and Will-
iam G. Janet is the widow of David Mitchell, and
resides in Manchester, England.
. William G. Mitchell went to Lovell's Lancas-
terian school in New Haven, and, spending a por-
tion of his youth in Glassfow, went to school there
until 1841. On completing his course he entered
the office of a friend in Glasgow as a clerk, and
he was afterward emploved bv his father for a
time. For two years he was in the office of a whole-
.sale commission house, without pay, his experience
being regarded as a sufficient recompense, and later
spent six months in a Scottish Marine Insurance
office. For nine years he was employed as a book-

i(-v// :,r'



keeper by Oliver F. Winchester, of Xew Haven,
and in 1857 he went to Milford as bookkeeper for
Flagi'g & ISaklwiii, manufacturers of straw goods,
continuing with the liouse through various changes
of name. The firm became known as Fiagg, Bald-
win & Co. in 1859; N. A. Baldwin & Co. in 1865;
Baldwin, Rice & Read in 1867 ; Baldwin & Hills in
1872; The Baldwin Manufacturing Co. in 1S74; X.
A. Baldwin in 1878; and the business has since
1886 been conducted in the name of our subject.
The factory is composed of very large brick and
.frame buildings, and in the season about 250 hands
are employed in making various kinds of straw hats
for men, women and children. During the half
century of its existence the business has been a rec-
ognized factor in the development and prosperity
of Milford, millions of dollars having been put into
circulation by it.

On Jan. 11, 1853, ^Nlr. Mitchell was married, in
West Granby, Conn., to Miss Harriet A. Kasson,
of Granby, born July 4. 1830, in Hartford county,
daughter of Thomas A. and Amelia (Holcomb)
Kasson. They have had two children, Hattie and
Amie, both at home. The family is identitied with
the Episcopal Church, and Mr. ^Mitchell also be-
longs to Ansantawae Lodge. Xo. 89, F. & A. M.,
of Milford; Solomon R. A. Chapter, F. & A. M.,
at Derby, Conn. ; and City Lodge, X'o. 36, L O. O.
F., of Xew Haven. In politics he is a Democrat,
and he takes interest in local affairs, though he has
been a business man, rather than a politician. He
served about twelve years as judge of probate, while
his interest in educational advancement is shown
by his continuous service on the board of education
since 1862.

prominent citizens of Guilford. ser\-ed as an officer
during the Civil war in two Connecticut regiments,
and is the representative of one of the oldest and
most influential families of the State. He is of the
seventh generation from ^lichael Griswold, who
was one of the first settler.^ of ^^"ethersfield. About
the time the founders of the family in America
migrated to the X'ew England coast close relatives
had become prominent in English history. In 1600
the Malvern estate came into the possession of
Humphrey Griswold, a "lord of the manor," and
the heritage still remains with the English branch
of the family.

The American branch of the Griswold family
claims as its first known English progenitor ]\Iat-
thew Griswold, Esq., of Kenilworth, Warwickshire,
an uncle of Humphrey Griswold, first Lord of the
Manor, above named. He had three sons, Thomas,
Edward and Matthew. Of these, ^ilatthew. the
youngest, was the first to come to America. While
yet very young he joined a company of pilgrims col-
lected from Warwickshire, W'orcestershire, Somer-
setshire and Devonshire, under the leadership of
Rev. John Wareham, who left England during the

reign of Charles I, and landed on the shores of
Massachusetts Dec. 20. i'i30. Xine years later
Edward Griswold joined his brother Alatthew, and
they removed from Massachusetts to Connecticut,.
Edward settling at Windsor, and the younger broth-
er at Saybrook.

In 1645 another member of the Griswold fam-
ily, ^vlichael by name, emigrated from England to
Connecticut, and settled at Wethersfield. He was
born in 1610. His descendants are numerous, and
many of them are among the most prominent citi-
zens of that section of the State. He himself mav
be reckoned among Wethersfield's pioneers. He
bought land, and, being by occupation a mason,
erected thereon a fine house, besides making other
improvements. There he passed the remainder of
his days, dying Sept. 26, 1684, highly esteemed for
his many admirable qualities. The children of
Michael and Ann Griswold were as follows : Thom-
as, born Oct. 22, 1646 ; Hester, born May 8, 1O48 ;
Michael, born Feb. 14, 1652 (died young) ; Abi-
gail, born June 8, 1655; Isaac, born Sept. 30, 165S
(died June 18, IJ2~) ; Jacob, born in April, iGOa
(died July 28, 1737) ; Sarah, born Sept. 30, 1662;
r^Iichael, born Jan. 7, 1667 (died Sept. 9, 1741).
The line of descent to our subject is as follows:

(II) Thomas Griswold, son of Michael, was
born in Wethersfield Oct. 22, 1646. He and his
wife, Alary, whom he married Xov. 28, 1672, had
children as follows: Thomas, born June 11, 1674.
is next in the line; Jacob, born Feb. 5, 1676, mar-
ried Abigail Hand ; 5lartha was born Aug. 20, 167S ;
Michael, born Jan. 28, 1681, married Mary Gilbert;
Samuel married Mary Francis, and died in Septem-
ber, 1733.

(ill) Thomas Griswold (2), born June 11,
1674, in Wethersfield. removed to Guilford in 1695,
and was the first settler of the name in that town,
where he spent the remainder of nis life. He died
Oct. 19, 1729. He married. May 9, 1697, Sarah
Bradley, who was born in Guilford Oct. 17, 1676,
daughter of Stephen and Hannah (Smith) Bradley.
The children of Thomas and Sarah Griswold were :
Alary, born Sept. 28, 1700, married Samuel Fitch;
Experience was born Alay 9, 1703; Sarah, bom
Jan. 15, 1706, married Samuel Post; Thomas, born
March 26, 1708, died Jan. 11, 1754; Submit was
born Sept. 26, 1710; Anna, born April 4, 1713, mar-
ried John Hall.

(IV) Thomas Griswold (3), born at Guilford
March 26, 1708, married Feb. 17, 1735, Ann Graves,
who was born April 12, 17 15, daughter of Johrr
and Elizabeth (Stevens) Graves, of Guilford. She
died May 29, 1801. The children of Thomas and
Ann Griswold were as follows : Miles, born Jan.
2, 1736, married Sarah Crittenden, and died March
20, 1821 ; Thomas was born Sept. i, 1737; John,
born June 17, 1742, married Mary Burgis, and
died May 10, 1777; Ezra, born Dec. 10, 1753, mar-
ried Mehitabel Cleveland, and died March 4, 181 5.

(V) Thomas Griswold (4), the great-grand fa-





94 S

thtr of our subject, was born in Guiiford Sept.
I \-]~. It is said he served as a private in the
Ki-v')iutionar\- war. He died Jan. 7, 1821. He
married, Dec. 17, 17G1. Hannah Crittenden, who
was born Au^. 22. 1740. daughter of Joseph and
Liicv (Spencer) Crittenden. She died ^larch 31,
1816. The children of Thomas and Hannah Gris-
wold were: Thomas, born April 26. 1763, mar-
ried Miner Crittenden, and died March 8. 1846;
Joel, born Dec. C, 1764, is mentioned below: Han-
nah, born May 26. 1771, married John Hall, and
(lied Xov. 10, 1840: Amos, born Jan. i, 1780, mar-
ried Rachel Bushnell, and died Aug. 21, 1876.

(VT) Joel Griswold, the grandfather of onr
subject, was born in Guilford Dec. 6, 1764, and
died July 19, 1835. He married Lucy Lee, who was
born July 8, 1770. daughter of Capt. Samuel and
Agnes Lee, and died }vlarch 24, 1854. The chil-
dren of Joel and Lucy Griswold were : Joel, born
Feb. 27, 1796; Clarissa, born Jan. 7. 1791, who
married Abram F. Scranton, and died Dec. iS,
1881 ; and Lucy Ann, born Sept. 19, 1808, who died
Dec. 22, 1816.

(VH) Joel Griswold, the father of our subject.
was born in Guilford Feb. 2J, 1796. He luarried
Jan. 5, 1820, Sally Bartlett, who was born Xov.
2<). 1801, daughter of Xoah and Sally Judson Bart-
lett, ;wul granddaughter of Joseph and Sarah (Crit-
tenden) Bartlett. She died Xov. 14, 1876. Chil-
dren were bcirn to Joel and Sally Griswold as fol-
lows: Lucy Ann, born Xov. 16, 1820, is the widow
i>t D. Loper Davis, of Guilford. Clarissa Judson.
burn Dec. 9, 1822, died Sept. 2, 1826. Henry
Bartlett, born Xov. 25, 1824, married Polly E. \\"il-
co.x. Clarissa Judson (2), born Xov. 10. 1827, is
the widow of Henry X'. Davis, of Guilford. Thom-
as, born March 10, 1832, married Sophia F. Bishop.
Joel, born Jan. 2, 1836, first married [Margaret
Coan ; Mrs. Carrie (Walters) Griswold, his widow,
is yet living in Guilford. Mary was the twin of
Joel. Edward, born June 30, 1839, married Anna
E. Dudley. Charles, born July 26, 1841. married
Mary Griswold. Joel Griswold, the father of these
children, was a man of unusual intelligence. He
received a good education in his younger days, and
taught school for a number of terms, but his prin-
cipal occupation was farming. He was an extensive
land owner, and ranked as one of the leading citi-
zens of Guilford. His sage counsel was frequently
sought, and his good judgment and business ca-
pacity often led to his selection as administrator
of estates and guardian of orphaned children. In
politics he was a Whig and later a Republican.
He served the town of (juilford as selectman and
filled various other local offices. During the Civil
war he was an active defender of the Union, and
'm\y his advanced age prevented him from enlist-
'ug in the army. However, he gave to his country
three -sons, all of whom survive, and two of whom
are now business men of Guilford. He was hon-
orable in all his dealings and scrupulouslv honest.


He lived a good Christian life, and died Aug. 29,
1879. mcurned by a wide circle of friends.

Charles Griswold, }-oungest son of Ji^el and
Sally ( Bartlett) Griswold, was bcrn at Guilford
July 26, 1841. He was reared in his native town,
and was in his }"outh when the war of the Rebellion
began. He enlisted Aug. 5, 1862, becoming a pri-
vate in Company E, 15th Conn. \'. I., was made a
sergeant, and later was transferred to the 29th
Conn. \'. L, as captain of Company B. During his
service he was in \irginia and Xorth Carolina, and
later through Marxland. South Carolina and Texas,
and in the latter State was stationed along the Rio
Grande to enforce the Monroe Doctrine. .Among
the men in command were Gen. Shafter and the
late Gen. Lawton. Among the battles and sieges
in which Capt. Griswold participated' were Fred-
ericksburg (where he was under Gen. Burnside)
and the siege of Richmond, his regiment being the
first to enter Richmond after the surrender. In the
siege of Richmond Capt. Griswold lost twenty-two
men, killed and wounded, out of his company of
sixtv-six. He was mustered out of the service Oct,
24, '1865.

At the close of the war Capt. Griswold returned
to Guilford and engaged in business, so continuing,,
with the exception of four years, up to the present
time. In 1875 he helped to establish the Guilford
Savings Bank, and in 1880 was elected its treas-
urer, remaining in that position until 1889, the time
of his appointment as bank commissioner of the-
State. After four years in this position he was-
again elected treasurer of the Savings Bank. In.
1900 he promoted and organized the Guilford Xa-
tional Bank, of which he is cashier and general,
manager. Among Capt. Griswold's other accom-
plishments may be mentioned surveving, in whicli
line he has done much work in his own and neigh-
boring towns. His father was a mathematician, and
had intended to educate his son for the business of
civil engineering. The Captain is very methodical
in his business affairs, and his annual reports while
he was bank commissioner were prepared with great
care, and were published in a volume of some 300
pages. During this time he traveled over 20.000
miles, visiting many States. While out of business
in Guilford he was interested in real estate in X'ew
Haven. He has been made conservator, guardian
or administrator in a number of cases.

In local affairs Air. Griswold has taken a promi-
nent part, and has been an active worker in the
ranks of the Republican party. He has held a
number of town offices, was school visitor for
twenty years, has been president of the Board of
Education, and is justice of the peace. In 18S7 he
was elected to represent his district in the State As-
sembly, and was chairman of the committee on
Manufactures, and a member of the committee on
Engrosied Bills. At present he is trustee of the
Guilford Institute. In religious connection he is
a member of the Congregational Church, and at

'11 1 "rJ T I ■ , /



present trustee of the society. Socially he belongs
to the Loyal Legion, of New York, the Sons of
the American Revolution, the .\rmy and Xavy Club,
and Parmelce Post, G. A. R. (of which he was the
tirst commander).

Mr. Griswold was married, Feb. i8, 1864, to
Aliss Mary E. Griswold, who was born ]March
13, 1841, daughter of Russell B. and Mary (Jones)
Griswold, of Guilford. To them were born two
children : Anna L., born Oct. 4, 1866, married Rev.
Edmund Vittum, D. D., of Grinnell, Iowa, May 16,
1889; and Alfred Russell, born June i", 186S, is
engaged in business with his father. I

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 40 of 94)