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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IX)litics, and was a great worker in the Episcopal
Church. In 1869 he came to the L'nited States,
and set up in his business atWestboro, Mass., and
also at South Framingham. same State, for a num-
ber of years being engaged in it, but finally remov-
ing to Cheshire. Conn., where he lived on a farm
several years before his death. Aug. 18. 1888. His
remains were interred at W'allingford. Conn. Han-
nah Norman, of Buckingham county, England, born
March 11. 1810. became his wife in 1837. arid died
in Dunstable, England, June i, 1850. and was bur-
ied in the cemetery at that place. To them were
born two children: Richard; and Charles \V., now
living in Leominster, Mass., where he is an etcher
on cutlery.

George J. Talbot, father of George and grand-
father of Richard, was engaged as a house decora-
tor in London, and had his place of business on
Drury Lane. Born In 1784. he died at the early
age of thirty-four. Fannie Paul, his wife, was of
the familv to which John Paul Jones, the great
sailor, belonged. Their children were: Marv M.,
Mira B.. John G. ("who died at the age of sixteen
years), George and Fannie. George John Talbot,
father of George J., was a man of independent
means, which largely came to him as an inheritance.
His wife's Christian name was Mary ^Martha, and
thev had two children. George J. and James. The
family sprang from one of the youngest branches
of the Shrewesbury family, and is one of the oldest
names in England. Its ancestrv can be traced
farther back than 1412. when John Talbot was
kniehtcd and made an Earl.

Richard Talbot was educated at Dunstable,
England, and left school at the age of thirteen

years, to become an apprentice at the shoemaking
trade in Northampton, where he remained seven
years. He then worked at his trade in London and
in Northampton until he came to this country.
Leaving Liveri>ool, Jan. 19, 1861, he crossed the
ocean, and immediately came to Wallingford, em-
ployment being secured by him with L. C. Ryerson,.
where he worked as a boot-maker for about a year.
On May 2, 1862, he began business for himself in
the Lewis building, on North Main street, where
he remained eleven years. For about five vears h..^
was on Fair street, and then he built his present
store on Centre street. ]\Ir. Talbot is a very skill-
ful workman, and in former days made a specialtN'
of fine custom work, and had several men working
for him. At the present time he is devoting his
attention to fine repairing, and is carrying a first
class stock of boots and shoes.

The oldest business man in Wallingford, hi.s-
reputation as a boot and shoe maker is second to
none in the State.

Mr. Talbot is a member of Accanant Lodge,
No. yj, I. O. O. F., where he has passed through
I the various chairs, ancil is now chairman of the
I board of trustees, and he is a member of Atlantic
; Encampment, No. 28, of Meriden ; he is also iden-
i tified with the Red Men. He has been treasurer of
j Compass Lodge, No. 9, F. & A. M., since 187S,
i and has risen to high standing in the Masonic fra-
i ternity in the intervening years, having attained
i the 32d degree. He is enrolfed in Keystone Chap-
ter, No. 27, R. A. M. : Hamilton Council, No. 22.
R. & S. M. ; St. Elmo Commanderv, No. 9, K. T. r
\ the jMystic Shrine : and LaFayette Consistory, S.
i P. R. S., Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. 321!
dbgree. Politically Mr. Talbot is a Republican,.
1 and in his religious belief is a Methodist.
I On Nov. 29, 1858. Mr. Talbot was united iir
' marriage with Miss Elizabeth James, of North-
amptonshire, England, a daughter of Joseph
i James. They have had the following children : ( i I
George J., connected with his father in business
' at Wallingford, married !May Chapman, and is the
\ father of Arthur R. : G. Vernon ; Earl C. : Milton
I A. and Hazel M. (2) Fannie E. died at the age
' of thirteen months. (3) Frank W.. a silver smith
with R. Wallace & Sons, married Mrs. Sarah
i Shrives, of Kansas, f 4 ) William A., a railwav mai!
, clerk on the N. Y., N. H. & H. R. R.. betweeir
! Springfield and New York, has his home in Spring-
field : he married IMiss Hattie M. Wilcox, of New-
Haven, and has two children : Frank E. and Louise
j W. (5) Harrie J., born Tan. 12, 1869, is employed
i at the factory of R. Wallace & Sons ; he married
Miss Emma .A^. Williams, of Wallingford, who dieil
J May 2, 1900. (6) Frances A. died June 29, 1872.

WILBUR W. SMITH. One of the best known-
citizens of Seymour is its genial and popular post-
master, the subject of this sketch. For many years
he has resided in that flourishing little city, and by

■;i :w.r Ji^if



Jiis fellow citizens he has been frequently honored
at the polls. He was a veteran otiicer of distinction
and merit.

Captain Smith was born in Westville, Conn..
Jan. 9, 1829, a son of Sylvester and Henrietta
(Cadwell) Smith. The father, a prominent paper
man.tifacturer, was born in Springfield, Mass.. in
1808, and in 1832 removed to Seymour. There
lie found work in a paper mill, following- it for a
number of years. Later he began the manufacture
of paper and continued the business successfully
until 1869. At that time he was the oldest paper
manufacturer at Seymour. He was also engaged
in the manufacture of strawboard, employing a
large number of hands. Sylvester Smith was a
man of unusually forceful character. He was ar-
dent in his political convictions, a prominent church
worker and in every sense public spirited and en-
terprising. In politics he was a Republican and
twice he was elected a member of the State Leg-
islature, first in 1850 from the town of Derby,
which then included Seymour, and later in 1865.
from the latter town. Himself and wife were prom- '
inent members of the M. E. Church ; in fact Mr.
Smith was a leading spirit in the denomination and
often conducted religious services, preaching in
every village within a radius of twenty miles. He
accumulated considerable real estate, the rewards
of his manufacturing business. He was a member
of Mechanics Lodge, L O. O. F., serving many
years as chaplain of the Lodge. He died in 1892.
aged eighty-four years. His worthy helpmeet died
aged eighty-two years. To Sylvester and Henri-
etta Smith were born twelve children, four of
whom, our subject; Mary, wife of Seth Warner:
Martha, wife of William B. Bissell : and Robert
N., a paper maker of Seymour, are still living.

The education of Wilbur W. Smith was re-
ceived in the common schools, and he then began
work in his father's mill, in which service he con-
tinued with increasing responsibility and duties un- j
til his enlistment in 1862 in Company H, 20th Conn., :
V. L It was largely through the efforts of Capt.
Smith that the company was enlisted. He was '
commissioned its first lieutenant, and in January,
1863, was promoted to captain of Company C,
same regiment, serving in that rank until the close
of the war. The 20th Connecticut was first assigned
to the 1 2th Army Corps, First Division, and later
to the 20th Corps. Our subject participated in a
number of severe engagements, including Chan- ■
cellorsville. Gettysburg and about twelve battles
fought by Gen. Sherman in his march from Atlanta
to the Sea. At Chancellorsville Captain Smith was .
taken prisoner and confined for a time in Libby ,
Prison, rejoining his regiment when exchanged. ;

When mustered out as captain at the close of the
war, Capt. Smith returned home and resumed his 1
connection with his father's paper mill, until the lat- \
ter's retirement in 1869. He then assumed charge •
of the business and conducted it until 1890, when

he closed the mill. In 1891 he was appointed post-
master at Seymour, serving four years. In 1891) he
was re-appointed and is now filling his second term.
The office has steadily risen in importance, atul is
now a third class office, handling 3,000 letters per
day, and Postmaster Snfith has two assistants. In
1896 he was elected first selectman and town agent
and re-elected in 1897 and 1898, successively, serv-
ing until October, 1899. Among other local offices
he has filled are those of assessor and member of
the school board.

In 1850 Mr. Smith was married to Miss Jane
^I. Wooster, one of the seven children of Mark and
Eliza ( Lake) Wooster, the former a farmer of
Oxford, and at one time sheriff, and a member of
an old and influential family that took an active
part in public aft'airs. To Mr. and Mrs. Smith
was born one daughter, Jennie W., a young lady of
many accomplishments, who is now officiating as
the efficient assistant of her father in the postoffice.
The estimable wife of our subject died June 4, 1899,
aged sixty-nine years. She attended the Episcopal
Church. To her surviving parent Miss Jennie is a
most devotetl daughter and helper, both in the office
and at home.

Captain Smith is a stanch Republican in poli-
tics. He is a member of the Morning Star Lodge,
F. & A. M., of Seymour, and for two years has
been its secretary. He is also a prominent member J
of Upson Post. Xo. 40, G. A. R., and for four years
has served as its commander. Possessing that kind-
liness and courtesy which mark the gentleman, and
that camaraderie which invites respect and friend-
ship. Capt. Smith has a warm place in the hearts
of his fellow men. He has a large circle of friends
and is widely popular. With his genial manners
are associated a high integrity, a public spirit and
keen business judgment, which make him one of
Seymour's most valued citizens.

AXSOX F. ABBOTT, one of the most prom-
inent and influential citizens of Waterbury, and a
man intensely interested in every good work and
word, was born in Middlebury, this county, April
23, 1830.

Alvin Abbott, his father, was born in the same
place ^lay 7, 1794, and died in Waterbury Jan. 23,.
1861. Robert Abbott, the ancestor of the familv
on these shores, was one of three brothers from
England. He came to Wethersfield. Conn., abmit
1640, thence moving to Xew Haven, and in 1645
to Branford, where his son Daniel was born.
Stephen Abbott, son of Daniel, married Hannah
Frishie in 1725, and moved to Middlebury, Conn.,
in 1750. His son. Daniel Abbott, was born in 1720.
and married Lois Smith, and their eldest son was
David, the grandfather of Anson F. The Smiths
were of Wallingford, Connecticut.

David Abbott, the grandfather of Anson F.,
was born June 6, 1764, in ^Middlebury, where he
died. On May 30, 1786, he married Sarah Tyler,




daughter of James Tyler, and sister of Rev. Ben-
nett Tyler, D. D., at one time president of Andover
Theolog-ical Seminary, and a noted man of liis time.
David Abbott and his wife settled on the old farm
in Middlebury, where they reared the following-
family: Eben, born in ijSo: Philomelia, born in
1791, who died young; Alvin, born May 7, 1794,
the father of Anson F. ; David, born in 1797; Salh',
born in 1799. who died young; Anna, born in 1800;
Philo, born in 1802: Philomelia {2). born in 1805;
Emma, born in 1807; Ruth, born in 1810; Iva. born
in 1813; and Sarah, born in 1817. Those who
reached maturity married and reared families. Ira
was a Methodist minister, and the other sons were
all farmers.

Alvin Abbott, the father of Anson F.. was
reared in IMiddlebury, and studied for the ministry.
"but was prevented from following it as a life work
by long-continued ill health, followed by a perma-
nent nervous infirmity. He married Fanny W'oos-
ter, who was born in Oxford. Conn.. April 3. 1794.
and died Feb. 3, 1884. Thomas \\'(X)ster. her
father, was captured by the Indians when a young
man and carried oft to Canada, where he suttered
manv hardships. At the close of the Revolutionary
■war he returned from Canada and settled in O.x-
ford. Conn., where he died at the age of forty-three.
He married Elizabeth P.ishop. Thomas Wooster,
father of this Thomas, was a grandson of a W'oos-
ter who. according to famil\- traditions, came from
England and settlecl at Derby. Conn. After mar-
riage Alvin Abbott and his wife settled on a part
of the old homestead farm in ^iliddlebury. and
there lived until 1840, when thev moved to Xew
Haven, in 1846 coming to W'aterbury. They had
eight children: (!) Larmon \\'., born Tan. 11,
1818. died April 12. iqoo; he was a Methodist min-
ister. (2) F)enjamin. born Aug. 19. 1820. was a
farmer, and died in Nebraska March 21, i8q8. ('3)
Charles S., born Dec. 12. 1822. is now living in
Bridgeport, Conn., where he is a printer, and owns
an office. (4) Lochinvar. bom Jan. ii. 1S25. was
a carpenter, and died in W'aterbury May 14. 1888.
(5) Alvin v., born Dec. 12. 1827. is now a Meth-
odist minister. (6) Anson F. is mentioned below.
(7) Xathan P... born Feb. to. 183.^. is a contractor
in Columbus, Ohio. (8) James M.. born June 12.
183^. was a manufacturer in W'aterhury. and died
at Noroton. Coim.. June 15. 1893.

Anson F. Abbott spent the first ten vears of his
life in Middlebury, two vears in Xew Haven, and
five years on a farm in W'atertown. Conn. He at-
tended district school, and the academy winters,
and when his school days were over, served three
years as clerk in the stores of Amos A. (Iridley and
Eli Curtiss, removing to W'aterbury in 1850. As
■ a bookkeeper and salesman he worked six vears in
the store of the Benedict & Burnham Mfg. Co..
and with the Benedict & Scovill Co., of which latter
companv he was secretary and then became secre-
tary and treasurer of the Waterburv Building and

Loan Association, which ceased to do business in
1867. Since that time Mr. Abbott has been exten-
sively engaged in real estate, insurance and invest-
ments. In September, 1901, he admitted Howard
T. Parker to a partnership in his business, which is
now conducted in the name of Abbott & Parker.

Mr. Abbott and Miss Xancy H. Merriman were
married Sept. 28, 1S52, and to this union seven

■ children have been born: Mary M. is a graduate
of \'assar College, and is now a teacher in the W'at-
erbury high school. Anna E. is the wife of Rev.

: T. M. Peck, an Episcopal minister. Frederick C.
is in the real estate business and president of the
Southern States Trust Co., in Charlotte, X. C.
George Benjamin has a fruit farm in Corning, Cal.
Kate B. married Frank B. Deane. and died July 2;^,
1894. Burton H. died in infancy. John V.'is a
surveyor in Waterbury. Airs. Abbott was born in
\\'atertown. where the family of her father, George
F. ]\lerriman, a farmer, had been long established.
Air. Abbott is a Republican of independent pro-
clivities. He and his family are members of the
Methodist Church, of which he was trustee and
treasurer for twenty-five years and superintendent
of the Sunday school for twenty-seven years. Air.
Abbott was the first secretary of the local Y: M. C.
A. From his pen has come a historv of his church
in Waterbury, which appears in a history of that
city. In 1858 he organized a Band of Hope in
W'aterbury, and, always active in temperance work,
lent assistance in organizing the Waterbury Wo-
men's Christian Temperance Union, and other tem-
perance societies. As a man, a citizen and a gentle-
man of the old school he is highly respected bv all
who know him.

WILLIAM SKIXXER (deceased), in his life-
time one of Guilford's leading citizens, than whom
none was more highlv respected, was a member
of one of the old settled families of X'^ew England,

^ ranking among the Iiest.

' (I) John Skinner, the first of the name in Xew

England, was a native of England, born in Brain-

' tree. County of Essex. There is a family tradition
that after the revolution in England three brothers
bv the name of Skimier came to America, one set-

' tling in \'ermont. one in Maryland, and the third
in Connecticut, but of this there is no reliable rec-

i ord. (i) John Skin.uer was a member of the
Rev. Thomas Hooker companv that settled in Hart-
ford, Conn., and he became one of the original pro-
prietors. He died in Hartford in 1650. In Wind-
sor, Conn., he married Alarv. daughter of Joseph
Loomis, and after the death of Mr. Skinner she
wedded. Xov. 13. i'''54. Owen Tudor, of Windsor,
in which town she passed the rest of her flays, dying
Aug. 19, 1680. Children born to John and Marv
(Loomis) Skinner: (i) Marv, born Dec. i. 1638,
married Robert Reeves, of Hartford: (2) Ann.
born in 1639. married John Colt, the ancestor of
the Colts of Hartford: (3) John, sketch of whom


f,:i ■;•'.





.fe .^ai..^:^.^i.fegfct^gv.^;il^-.-'-y'^^^^^'^>^^^^


•••- UAi ;.■ 7/



follows; (4) Joseph, born in 1643, married Mary
Filley, of Windsor; and (5) Richard, born in' 1646,
removed to Colchester, Conn.

(II) John Skinner, son of (I) John, was born in
1641 in Hartford, and passed all his life there,
dvinor Sept. 15, 1600. In 1662 he married Mary,
daughter of Joseph Easton, and they had seven chil-
dren, as follows: ( i ) Mary, born in 1664, married
Joshua Carter; (2) John, sketch of whom follows;
(3) Joseph D., born Aug. 26, iW'x), married Mary
Grant, of Windsor; (4) Xathaniel, born April 5,
1672, married Mary Gillette, of Windsor, May 13,
1706 (he removed to Colchester, and was the fa-
ther of Rev. Thomas Skinner, pastor of Church
at Westchester) ; (5) Richard, born Jan. 16, 1674,
married Sarah Garrie ; (6) Sarah, born Xov. 4,
1677; and (7) Thomas, born Xov. 15, 1680, mar-
ried Sarah Grant. The mother of this family died
June 18, 1695, and sh; and her husband were both
buried in Hartford cemetery.

(III) John Skinner, son of (II) John, was
born March i, 1666, in Hartford, and there passed
his entire life, dying Oct. zj, 1743. On Feb. 22,
i6<j3, he married Rach.el Pratt, who died Aug. 17,
1748. Their children: (i) Rachel, born Feb. 2,
KXJ4, and died Jan. 18, 1787, married. May 19,
1726, Ebenezer \Vells. who died Dec. 2~. I'lT, (2)
John, sketch of whom follows; (3) Daniel, born
Jan. 19, 1699, died Jan. 15, 1701 ; (4) Timothy,
boriv Feb. 8. 1701, married. May, 1738, Ruth Col-
son ; (5) Mar\ , baptized 2\Iay 26, 1704; (6) Han-
nah, born June 2~, 1707, died Oct. 23, 1707.

(I\') John Skinner, son of (III) John, was
born July i, 1697, and died Aug. 14. 1773;. mar-
ried. Dec. 24, 1724, Mary Turner, of Hartford; she
<lied Aug. 15. 1771. Their children: (i) John,
"born March 29, 1726. married (first) Mary Whit-
ing, Xov. 21, 1748; she died ]\Iay 2}^, 1772, he on
May 19, 1794. (2) Mary, born March 22, 1727,
married James Steele Dec, 7, 1749. (3) Deliver-
ance, baptized March 8, 1729, married March 26,
1752, Jarcd Seymour. (4) Ephraim, born Aug. i,
173'!, died in infancy; (5) Rachel, baptized Oct.
9. 1737, married Jan. 9, 1757, Ashbel Steele. (6)
Ephraim, baptized Feb. 24, 1737. (7) Elizabeth,
baptized Aug. 22. 1742. married Oct. 9, 1765, Joseph
Gladings, of Windham. (8) Xathaniel sketch of
whom follows.

(V) Xathaniel Skinner, son of (I\') John, was
liorn in Hartford July 28. 1745, and passed all his
days there. It is supposed that he fought in the
Revolutionary war. Twice married, for his first
wife he wedded July 28, 1769, Rebecca Bigelow,
•'"id for his second he married, in 1781, Margaret
Hunt. The names and dates of birth of his chil-
dren are as follows: (i) Xathaniel. 1782. died
'784: (2) Crosby, 1783; (3) Xathaniel Leonard.
.-ketch of whom follows": (4) Alexander, 1787: (5)
J;;lin, 1788; (6) Samuel H., 170,0; (7) Charles
^'^'"b. '79-; (8) George, 1793, died in infancy; (9)

George (2), 1795; (10) Thomas Chapman, 1800;
(II) William Thomas; and (12) Crosby.

(VT) Xathaniel Leonard, son of (V) Xathaniel,
and father of the subject of these lines, was born
in 1785, in Hartford, and there educated. He was
a man of prominence and considerable literary abil-
ity, being at one time editor of a newspaper in
liridgeport, where he died in 1826, in middle life.
By his wife. Abigail (Weller). of Boston, he had
nine children, their names and dates of birth being
as follows: ( 1-2) Abigail Weller and Crosby
(twins), born 181 1; (3) Sarah Copeland, born
1813. married John Worstell. of Ohio; (4) Maria,
born in 1814, died in infancy; (5) William, sketch
of whom follows; (6) Xathaniel, born 1818, dier/
in 1873; yj) Abigail, born 1820, died in early life;
(8) George, born 1823, died in Xew York, 1900;
and (9) Charles, born 1825, died in Xew York,
i8go. The entire family were members of the
Episcopal Church.

(\T1) William Skinner, the subject proper of
this memoir, was born, in 1816, in Bridgeport,
Corn., and was ten years old when his father died.
Removing then to Philadelphia, to live with his
uncle. Rev. George Weller. he received his educa-
tion there. On his return to Connecticut he learned
the printing trade with Sidney Babcock, in Xew
Haven, later becoming engaged in the stationery
and music Inisiness in that city with a Mr. Sperry.
of W'oodbridge, Conn., under the firm name of
Skimier & Sperry. In 1876 the partnership was dis-
solved, and ^Ir. Skinner retired into private life,
making his home in Guilford, where he passed the
rest of his days, dying Oct. i, 1896; his remains
were laid to rest in (jrove street cemetery, Xew

Mr. Skinner was a lifelong Democrat, but never
an aspirant for official preferment. In matters of
religion he was a member of the Episcopal Church,
for many years was a vestryman of St. Paul's
Church, Xew Haven, and for ten years was warden
of Christ Church. Guilford. Sociallv he was affil-
iated with the F. & A. M.. and I.' O. O. F., at
X'ew Haven. Fidelity to duty was one of the pre-
dominating traits of his character, and in ail the re-
lations of life he was found true and faithful to
the trusts reposed in him, thereby winning the con-
fidence and high regard of all.

In Xew York City, in October, 1857, William
Skinner married Artemisia Meigs Scranton, who
was born in Madison, Conn., a daughter of Col.
Ichabod Lee Scranton. mention of whom is made in
the sketch of Capt. Ichabod Lee Scranton else-
where. Five children graced this union, namely:
(i) William Scranton. born Sept. 23, 1858. is en-
gaged in the lumber business in Xew York City ;
he married Bertha Anderson Booth, of Xew Ha-
ven, and they have one" child, Theodora Booth. (2)
Elizabeth Augusta, born Aug. 23. i860, married
Frank Elbert Piatt, and they reside in Scranton,

I r.nj. r;





Penn. ; they have four children — Margaret Scran-
ton, born Jan. i). 1886; Joseph Curtis, Nov. 18,
1887; PhiHp Skinner, Nov. 26, 1889; and Leonard
Scranton, June 12, 1900. (3) Alice Weller, born
Dec. 18, 1862. (4) Artemisia Hand, Aug. 2, 1868,
and (5) George Edward Hand, Sept. 3, 1878; all
three reside in Guilford.

DANIEL H. GRANNISS, a leading and rep-
resentative citizen of New Haven, has for many
years been identified with the oyster business. He
has done much to promote the commercial activity,
advance the general welfare and secure the material
development of his town, and is recognized as one
of the most -useful and valued of its citizens.

Mr. Granniss was born Nov. 23, 1821, on the
farm in East Haven where his brother Lyman now
resides, and comes of good old Revolutionary stock.
his grandfather, Samuel Granniss, having aided the
Colonies in achieving their independence. His
great-grandfather was Joseph (jranniss. The
father of our subject, who also bore the name of
Joseph, was born in the town of East Haven. July
24, 1791, and by occupation was a farmer and oys-
ter dealer, being one of the first to establish him-
self in the oyster business in his locality. He was
engaged in tlie wholesale trade. On Nov. 26. 1812,
he married Miss Louie Luddington, who was born
July 22. 1794, and they became the parents of thir-
teen children, namely: (i) Almira, born Aug. 22,
1813, died March 11, 1888. On April 4, 1833, she
married John Lindsey, by whom she had three chil-
dren — Maria, born Oct. 17, 1833, died April 7,
1878; Olive A., born June 25, 1836, died Oct. 29,
1859; and Hannah A., born June 11, 1838, died
April II, 1897. By her second husband, John
Foote, she had two — Harriet Emma, born Sept. 2,
1846, living; and Henry H., born March 16. 1850.
(2) Josepli A., born ^May 25, 1815, died May i,
1895, in Mount Carmel, Conn. On May 16, 1838,
he married Eliza Tuttle, daughter of Edward Tut-
tle, and they had three sons and three daughters —
Leander C, born May 29, 1841. died Sept. 17, 1847;
Adelia S., born April 14, 1843; Charles W., born

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 42 of 94)