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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second in 1863; he served until the close of the war,
and died in 1885, aged forty-eight years. Isaac
B. Thompson enlisted in Company B, 15th Conn.
^ . I., in August, 1862, and was killed by a shell
in front of Fredericksburg, Va., Dec. 12, 1862, aged
twenty-one years.

After his marriage Air. Smith purchased the old
Samuel Chidsey farm in the Foxon District of
East Haven, where he lived for a year and a half.



and then went to New Jersey, locating near Jersey
City, where he made his home for four years. Re-
turning to East Haven at the end of that time, he
bought the place now occupied by Edward Ekl,
and after living- there two years purchased the farm
on which he now resides. Here he has since en-
gaged in farmhig with fair success. He is a
stanch supporter of the Republican party, and takes
a deep and commendable interest in public alTairs.
i He never withholds his support from any enter-
I prise which he believes calculated to advance the
I welfare of his town and county, and justly merits
; the high regard in which he is held. His estimable
I wife is a member of the Congregational Church.



AAIOS HENRY ALLING (deceased) was for
forty years one of Derby's most influential and hon-
ored citizens. He was descended from Roger
Ailing, one of a party who emigrated from Eng-
land in 1636, and who, after passing a winter m
Boston, settled at New Haven in the spring of
1637, making the journey from Boston by vessel,
the voyage occupying three weeks. Roger Ailing
I married Mary, a daughter of Thomas Nash, of
' New Haven, and became the father of seven chil-
'■ dren : Mary, Samuel, John, Sarah, Eliza, Susan

■ and James.

I Samuel Ailing, eldest son of Roger, was one of
the proprietors of the Colony in 1685. He died in

■ 1707. He was twice married, and was the father
of eight sons and three daughters, of which large

] family ten were living in 1709. His first wife was
Eliza, daughter of John Winston, who bore him
seven sons : Samuel, John, James, Roger, Roger
(2), Theophilus and Daniel. His second marriage
was to Sarah Chedsey, and the children of this
union were Caleb, Sarah, Elizabeth and Esther. The
line of descent to the late Amos H. Ailing comes
i through Daniel Ailing, the seventh son of Samuel,
i who became the father of Timothy, Silas and
Daniel (2). Silas Ailing, the great-grandfather of
1 Amos H. Ailing, married Dorcas Baldwin, of
I Woodbridge. Their children were Amos, Edward,
1 Silas, Lewis, Asa, Anna and Rebecca. Amos Ail-
ing, the first born, married Alillie Beecher, bv
whom he was the father of six children: Rebecca,
Charles W., Asa. Sheldon, Bela and Alfred.

Charles Wyllis Ailing, son of Amos, and father
of Amos H., married Lucy Booth, of Woodbridge.
They were the parents of seven children : The
eldest, Mary, who is yet living, married Reilly
Davis, of Oxford, Conn. Amos H., the subject
of the present memoir, was the second child and
eldest son. Charles B., a sketch of whose life ap-
pears elsewhere, is a successful and wealthy woolen
manufacturer of Derby. Sheldon, the fourth in or-
der of birth, died in infancy. Lucy married Nathan
Treat, of New Haven county. Leonidas. whose
biography may be found elsewhere, was the sixth
child. John W., the seventh, is an attorney at law
in New Haven. Charles W. Ailing, the father of



;l hi.



. - (.



992



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



this large family, for many years conducted the
business of carding wool and weaving cloth, his
principal trade being with the farmers of the neigh-
borhood. His home and factory were in Orange,
where he died April 6. i86S. His widow survived
until Dec. 9, 1890. Long before his death 'Sir.
Ailing leased his factory to his sons, Amos H. and
Charles B., under whose skillful management the
business developed until they took up the manu-
facturing of hosiery and underwear, the plant being
removed to Derby in 1858. A more detailed de-
scription of the growth of this enterprise may be
found in the biographical sketch of Charles U.
Ailing.

Amos H. Ailing was born in Orange Jan. 3,
1823. In his boyhood and youth he worketl in his
father's mill, and in 1845 formed a co-partnership
with his brother, Charles B., to lease and operate
the same as has been already said. The business
connection between the brotliers continued until th.e
death of Amos H., which occurred Feb. 6, 1898. In
1847 Mr. Ailing married Sarah E. Prudden, of
Orange, a direct descendant of Rev. Peter Prudden,
the first minister and founder of the church in Mil-
ford. They^ had three daughters, two of whom,
Louisa !Maria and Carolyn Elizabeth, survive.
Mary died in 1862. In 1874 Louisa M. married
Dr. George Lucius Bearddey, of Milford, and thty
have two children. Ailing Prudden and Elizabeth
Coley. In 1882 Mr. Ailing married, for his second
wife, Mrs. Harriet E. Griffin, who survives him.

Mr. Ailing was not only a successful man of
business, but also a public-spirited citizen, one
whose manly character, liberality and upright life
gained for him the esteem of the entire community.
He was one of the original proprietors and incor-
porators of the Housatonic Water Co. in 1866, and
one of the board of directors of same until his
death. Fraternally he was a member of the I. O.
O. F. In politics he was a stanch Republican, and
the temperance cause found in him a true supporter.
Early in life he joined the Methodist Church, of
which he was always a strong pillar. His religion
was more than a form — it was active Christianity,
governing his daily life, and entering into every
dealing with his fellows. His benefactions, though
liberal, were unostentatious. He will long be re-
membered as a man of Christian vigor, and one
always active in causes to advance the kingdom
of his Master on the earth, and to help lift the world
to a higher plane.

WILLIAM W. HUGHES has in his career
illustrated most forcibly the possibilities that are
open to the young man who possesses sterling busi-
ness qualifications. It proves that neither wealth
nor social position, nor the assistance of influential
friends at the outset of his career, are necessary to
place him on the road to success. It also proves
that ambition, perseverance, steadfast purpose and
indefatigable industr)-, combined with sound busi-



ness principles, will be rewarded, and that true suc-

.: cess follows individual effort onlv.

! Mr. Hughes, who is now engaged in farming in

I O.xford, was born in Southbury, New Haven county,

I Dec. 22, 1823, son of Reuben Hughes, also a native

I of Southbury, and a soldier of the war of 1812.

The paternal grandfather, William Hughes, was

iKirn in Wales, and as a soldier oi the Revolutionary

! war aided the colonies in gaining their independence.

He was with Washington's arm_\- during the dread-

! ful winter at \"alley Forge.

1 Our subject is a self-educated as well as a self-
' n.iade man. He was only twelve years of age when
I his father died, and he at once l)egan work on a farm
I in his native town for his board and clothes. At
' the age of nineteen he went to New Haven, where
I he learned house painting, which he followed for
i twenty years, several years of this time being spent
! in Naugatuck, the remainder in Xew Haven.

On Jan. i, 1862, Mr. Hughes enlisted, at Nauga-
tuck, becoming a private in Company F, 59th N. Y.
i \ . I., and was detailed as a musician, having pre-
I viously been a member of the 2d Regiment State
I Band for several years. During most of his service
j he was in and around Washington, D. C, and was
' discharged May 27, 1862. Returning to Naugatuck,
; he followed painting for two years, and then went
to New Haven with the firm of W. & E. T. Fitch,
a wholesale hardware firm, with whom he had a
contract for the manufacture of harness hooks
1 which he had patented. He received a royalty and
i interest in the business, and continued his connec-
; tion with the firm for fifteen years. Giving up his
I contract in 1877, he came to 0.x;ford, where he has
since lived. He purchased property and turned his
attention to fruit growing, and now has upon his
; place 300 plum trees, including six Japanese varie-
1 tics, several hundred pear tre;s and currant bushes,
besides ether small fruits of all kinds, all in a good
I healthy condition. His place, which is known as the
I Oxford Valley Fruit Farm, is one of the most de-
I sirable in the town.

Mr. Hughes has been twice married. His first
wife, who died in 1871, was Miss Martha Nettle-
i ton. of Prospect, Conn., by whom he had three chil-
' dren : Kate and Agnes, both deceased : and Harry
N., proprietor of a shoe store in New Haven. Mr.
Hughes' second wife was Miss Emily McEwen, of
Oxford, Connecticut.

Progressive and public spirited, Mr. Hughes
takes a deep interest in everything calculated to
I advance the moral, intellectual and material welfare
of his town and county, and his home has become
headquarters for literary, musical and other enter-
tainments in Oxford. He was instrumental in 01-
ganizing the Oxford Town Library, and volunteered
his services as librarian free of charge. This library,
has been in his house ever since it was organized,
and now contains nearly 900 volumes. Socially
Mr. Hughes is a member of Delphi Lodge, F. &
A. M., of New Haven; and L'pson Post, No. 40,



orri". J



_, -;■'




^::^iw 9r^^^/^



y-



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



993



,; A. K-, of Seymour; and politically he is a stanch
,ii|ilH)rter of tiie Republican party. He has been
«.i;ii-.! upon to serve in several local offices of honor
ami tru>t, liaving been tax collector one year; grand
mr^ir ami trial justice for several years each; and
l,f.t selectman of Oxford. He is widely and fa-
\,.raliiv known throughout the county, and merits
the liigli regard in which he is uniformly held.

JOSEPH F. GILPIN, whose widow now re-
sides in her pleasant and attractive home at No. 114
Soiitli Clift' street, Ansonia, was a native of Man-
clKsler, England, born July 18, 1837, a son of
lames Gilpin, a native of Fairtield, England. James
Gilpin was a carpenter, and followed that trade
ii|) to the time of his death, at the age of lifty-tive
wars. He married Sarah Hitchen, who was born
"in Norwich, England, and they became the par-
ents of thirteen children, three of whom are still
living: (i) Hannah, Airs. Sacheler, in New Zea-
land. (2) Luzetta, widow of Alfred J. Swick, liv-
ing ill Ansonia. (3j John E., who lives in Hart-
ford. Alice, -Mrs. Fielding, who resided in Lock
street. Ansonia, died Feb. 10, 1900. Joseph F. was
liie second child and eldest son. The mother
readied the age of eighty-two years. Both parents
were nieinbers of the Aloravian Church, in which
tliey were faithful workers.

Joseph F. Gilpin learned the machinist's trade
when a young man, and followed it until he came
u> the L'nited States. In 1864 and 1865 he worked
in .New \'ork, and then coming to Ansonia worked
witli the Ansonia Brass & Copper Co. as a ma-
ciiinist. He was faithful and industrious, possessed
of imiiiual executive force, and soon became fore-
man of a room. He continued to advance, and
presently became master mechanic and general su-
perintendent of the water and steam power work
of the four mills. Mr. Gilpin designed and built
the beautiful copper mill, one of the largest of all
the structures, and greatly admired by all who see
it. Hie works have continually increased in size,
and Mr. Gilpin directed the labor of one hundred
men. He was highly respected by all who knew
liini, commanding the confidence of his employers
and the good will and friendship of those whose
work he directed. For twenty-live years he was
with the A. B. C. Company, and was one of the
oldest men in the shops of the city; all the latest
designing in machinery, and all the new and novel
designs of custom work were done by him, as he
was confessedly the best mechanic in the shop. He
dii-d Jan. 11, 1892, at the age of fifty-four.

Mr. Gilpin was married in 1858 to Sarah Simp-
"n. who was born in Oldham, England, one of the
»ix children of Samuel and Anna (Blackburn)
.•^itiipM.n, and a granddaughter of James Simpson,
the latter a wholesale butcher in England, who
lived to he ninety-nine years old. Samuel Simpson
wn< a grocer, and dicd'at Manchester, England, at
the early age of thirty-eight vears. He^niarried

63 ^ o .



Anna Blackburn, who was born in Oldham, Eng-
land, one of the fourteen children of Anna Tarren,
a native of Yorkshire. Of the six children born of
this marriage, there are yet living Mrs. Gilpin, who
is the oldest in the family ; Ann Ogden, of Eng-
land; John, in Oldham, England; and Samuel, in
Southport, England. Airs. Anna (Blackburn)
Simpson died at the age of forty-four. Both she
and her husband were members of the Episcopal
Church.

To Joseph F. and Sarah Gilpin were born six
children, of whom three are living : ( i ) Charles
J., a master mechanic in the A. B. C. Co., who mar-
ried Carrie Colling, and has three children, Fred-
erick J., Bertha ancb Charles J. (2) Emma L.
married William Roberts, a tube drawer in the
Bridgeport Brass Co., and has two children, Clara
Louisa and Emma E. ( 3 ) Sarah married Edward
Harteniz, a cigarmaker in .\nsonia, and is the
mother of two children, Lillian G. and Flora Louisa.
(4) Frederick had learned the trade of wire-draw-
ing, and was twenty-two years old at the time of
his death. (5) Clara died when seven years old.
(6) One died in infancy.

Mr. Gilpin was a Alason, and held different po-
sitions in the local lodge ; was a working member
of the I. O. O. F., where he had passed the vari-
ous chairs ; and he also belonged to the Knights
of Pythias, in which he had filled several important
positions. In politics he was a Republican, and
was deeply interested in public affairs. He bought
the pretty home in which his widow is now living,
and found keen delight in its care and improvement.
Mr. and Airs. Gilpin were both members of the
Episcopal Church. They were highly respected and
popular in the social circles in which they moved.
She is still a great reader, and is an intelligent
and thoughtful lady, thoroughly familiar with her
fine library.

GEORGE COOK, an honored and venerable
resident of Yalesville, and one of the older settlers
of the town of Wallingford, was born in Plymouth
Hollow, Litchfield Co.. Conn., Oct. 10, 1823, a son
of Sylvester Cook, who was a native of Litchfield
county, where his boyhood and youth were spent.

On reaching adult years Sylvester Cook became
a farmer in Plymouth Hollow, where he remained
until 1824, when he removed to Aliddlesex coun-
ty, and located in Aliddletown. There he continued
farming, and lived until his death in 1874, at the
ripe age of eighty-five years. His remains rest in
Westfield cemetery. He was a Democrat in poli-
tics, but had little love for the intricacies of party
machinery. In religion he was a Universalist, and
lived a clean and upright life. Mr. Cook was mar-
ried to Aliss Alarietta Hall, who was born in
Aleriden, a daughter of David Hall, and died in
New Haven at the age of seventy-eight. Her re-
mains were buried in the New Haven cemetery.
To this union was born a family of eight children:



994



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



Elvah, who died young; IMarvin ; George; Lucy;
Ruth, who married George Higly ; Sarah, who mar-
ried C. Fiiikain, of New Haven; Sylvester, a sol-
dier in the Civil war; Josephine, who became Mrs.
Lincoln. All these are dead except Sarah and the
gentleman whose career forms the subject of this
article.

George Cook was an infant when his parents
came to Aliddletown, and there he grew to man-
hood under the parental roof. A common-school
education was afforded him, and his was the life of
the farmer lads of his day. From a very early age
he worked at farm labor, and while still a young
man spent some seven years in the employ of
Comfort Hall, a farmer. For two years he worked
for William J. Ives, and then bought a small farm
in Prospect, which he afterward sold, and was then
for five years on a farm which he had bought in
Westfield, Middlesex county. Selling this at the
expiration of that period, he came to Yalesville and
entered the box shop of the Charles Parker Manu-
facturing Co., where he spent the ensuing forty
^•ears of his life, the greater part of this time be-
ing assistant foreman and foreman of his depart-
inent. In 1898 he gave up active work and is now
living a retired life. To-day he is one of the best
known and most universally respected men of the
community. His long years of honorable labor,
his high character and his genial disposition com-
mand the confidence and retain the respect of the
people with whom he has lived a full generation of
years.

George Cook was married in 1846, in Westfield,
to Miss Cornelia P. Anthony, a daughter of Ab-
salom Anthony, and to this union have come eight
children: (i) George, a resident of Wallingford ;
(2) Maryette, who married Charles Schrader; (3)
Lorenzo, a dry goods merchant in Wallingford ;
(4) Charles, foreman of the Hallenbeck shop at
Wallingford; (5) Frank, who lives in Indiana; (6)
T^illie, who married Samuel Barnes, of Southing-
ton; (7) Cora, who married Charles Doolittle ; (8)
"William C, who is a bookkeeper for the Inter-
national Silver Co., of Meriden, and who married
Nellie L. Tyler, of Wallingford. i\Irs. Cook died
in 1887, and was buried in Wallingford. She was
a good woman, a faithful member of the Methodist
Church, and had m.any warm and devoted friends.
Mr. Cook was selectman of the town for two years,
constable for ten years, justice of the peace for
many years, and served as postmaster during Cleve-
land's first administration. A member of the
Board of Relief, and the Board of Education, he
has rendered his community lasting services. He is
a Democrat in politics, and was once nominated
by his partv for representative in the State Legis-
lature, but failed to be elected. One of the organ-
izers of the Methodist Church in Yalesville, his
name is associated with the history of its growth
and progress ; he was one of its first trustees and
steward, and is still continued in the last named



I position, chairman of the official board, class leader
and assistant superintendent of the Sunday-school.
I From the time of his union with the church he has
I been zealous in its behalf. Mr. Cook has many
I friends, who admire not only his upright character,
his long and useful life, but also his warm and sym-
I pathetic heart.

j FITCH SMITH (deceased), through years of
' his identification with. Derby, enjoyed the highest
i respect of his fellow townsmen by reason of his
! strict integrity, true manhood and progressive spirit.
j He was a gentleman of refinement and culture, a
i sincere, honest man, true to his word, his friends
i and his convictions. His devotion to the public
I welfare made him a valued factor in public life,
; and by his death the community was deprived of
j one of her best citizens.

j Mr. Smith was born in Derby Jan. 28, 1806, a

'\ son of Abijah Smith, who came here from Xorwalk,

; Conn., where he was born. For some time he was

i engaged in the coal business in Pennsylvania, and

is believed to have been the first in the L'nited

I States to mine coal. He married Eunice Chatfield,

j a native of Derby, daughter of Ebenezer Chatfield,

1 and sister of Caleb Chatfield, who was killed in

j the battle of Brandy wine, in 1777, during the Rev-

j olutionary war. After their marriage they located

1 in Derby. Thirteen children blessed their union.

1 Fitch Smith was twelfth in the order of birth

in tlie family. When a young man he went to

I Newark, N. J., where he married Miss Jane H.

Bouton, who was born in Salem, N. Y., a daughter

'. of John M. Bouton, of 'French ancestry. To this

j union were born five children, Wilhelmina, Fitch

I W., Wilson H., Estelle and Helen. Fitch W. is a

resident of New York ; Wilson H. is deceased ; and

the daughters reside in Derby in the old home left

them by their parents.

While a resident of Newark, Mr. Smith was a
member of the firm of Smith & Wright, extensive
leather manufacturers, doing business in the South,
and he spent his winters mostly in Charleston, S.
C. After several years devoted to the leather busi-
; ness he retired in April, 1843, and returned to
I Derby — Birmingham (now Derbv) being his place
of residence — where he was extensively interested
in real estate, owning the greater portion of the
small village, then in its earliest days. He was
president of the Naugatuck Transportation Co. dur-
ing its existence, a large owner in steamboats, was
possessor of many sloops, and did an extensive car-
rv-ing business. He was also a stockholder in many
other enterprises, but shortly after the close of the
Civil war he retired from active business life, giving
his attention principally to his real estate interests
He opened up streets in Derby, named them, and
made many other improvements in the property,
which is now covered with beautiful homes. Mr.
Smith was a man of high intelligence and a typical
gentleman of the old school.



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



995



Mr. Smith died Jan. lo, 1894, his wife passing i
;uvav on the 1st of the same month. They were
active members of the Episcopal Church, and he
.-ave the land on which the rectory and other build-
iiiRS of the church have been erected. He was first
a Whig and later a Republican, but took no active
part in political aftairs. He was very generous,
extremely public-spirited, and took an active part in
everything pertaining to the upbuilding of Derby,
especially during its infancy, being a liberal con-
tributor to the enterprises which insured its prog-
ress. It is to such men that the community owes ,
its prosperity and advancement, and to them it
owes a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid, j

MRS. ALl\nR,\ E. TURNER, of Woodbridge, '
is a worthy representative of an old and highly
esteemed family of New Haven county, which was |
founded here by Richard Sperry, who came from '
England about 1660. Her paternal grandfather,
Ebenezer Sperry, was a native of Woodbridge, born
July 27, 1773, on what is known as the Sperry
farm, and is still owned by the Sperry family. The ;
house standing thereon was built when he was a ;
child of five years. He wedded Mary Xewton
Booth, also a native of Woodbridge and a daughter
of Walter and Mary (Newton) Booth. He died
Oct. 26, 1850, and she departed this life Feb. 2,
1865, at the age of eighty-two years. They had
two children, of whom Calvin, the father of our
subject, was the youngest. Eunice married Edward
Hine, of Woodbridge, and to them were born three
children : Catherine Mary, who married the late
Riley Peck, of Woodbridge, and died Nov. 5, 1901,
aged seventy-four years ; Sarah Antoinette, widow
of Birdsey Bradley, of Hamden ; and Velina, wife
of Lewis Hitchcock, of Woodbridge.

Calvin Spern,- was born on the old homestead
Dec. II, 1S07, and there spent his entire life engaged
in agricultural pursuits. In addition to general
farming, he was also engaged in the milk business
for a time, and in his undertakings met with fair
success. He was a stanch supporter of the Re-
publican party and its principles, and was a con-
sistent member of the Congregational Church of
Woodbridge. After an honorable and useful career
he died May 28, 1871, in his si.xty-fourth year.

Mr. Sperry was married three times, his first
wife being Sarah A. Carrington, a daughter of
Liverus and Lowly Carrington. She died Jan. 23,
1853, at the age of forty-four years, and he next
married Cynthia Riggs, by whom he had one daugh-
ter, Eleanor, now deceased. The third wife was
Perentha Baldwin. There were three children by
the first marriage, namely: (i) Elizur L., born
Peb. 5, 1831, married Sarah L. Williams, and spent
the greater part of his latter years in Florida; he
died Aug. 16, 1901, aged seventy years. (2) Al-
mira E., our subject, was born in Woodbridge
March 28, 1837, and has been twice married, her
first husband being Charles Baldwin, son of Newton



and Esther Baldwin. After his death she married
George Turner, son of Orib and Nancy ( Corn-
stock ) Turner. She makes her home in Wood-
bridge and is highly respected by all who know her.
(3) Sarah x\ngeline, born Aug. 28, 1839, died April
19, 1849.

CHARLES H. STOWE. The first account we
have of the Stowes was during the time of the
Norman invasion. Whether they were in England
before this time we are unable to ascertain. Several



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 52 of 94)