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 77 of 94)
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I land, Dec. 31, 1844, and received a broad and thor-
ough education along mechanical lines in his own
, country before ever setting foot on American soil.
Robert Tennant, his father, never came to this
country, but lived and died near West Linton,
j where he was born, and where all his life he fol-
' lowed farming, which was the occupation of the
Tennants for many generations back.

Richard Tennant spent his boyhood and youth
, on the Scottish homestead, and availed himself of
the opportunities of education presented by the local
i schools. After attaining his majority he went to
; Glasgow and served three years as an apprentice to
' the machinist's trade, at the Neilson Locomotive
' Works. Howden & Co., marine engineers, had the
! young man in their employ for two years, and he
j was then with the London-Glasgow Engineering
Co. one year. By this time Air. Tennant had be-
come an experienced and thoroughly efficient ma-
I chinist, and his services were in demand. King &
Co., a celebrated engineering house, counted him
among their ablest employes. Only the desire to
come to this country, where many of his compa-
, triots had already reaped a rich reward for their
courage and enterprise, induced him to break away
from this firm. In 1871 Air. Tennant came to the
United States, and located in Paterson, N. J., where
he was in the employ of the Rogers Locomotive
Works until the close of the \-ear 1873, and in the
following spring he came to Connecticut, working
for three months in Ansonia, and then for a year
m Seymour, with the Swan Bit Co. Air. Tciniant
then returned to Ansonia and engaged with Wal-
lace & Sons until January, 1888, in which month
he came to Waterbury to take a position with the
Scii\il! Manutacturinu C',>., where he is still ai
work. For a vear Air. Tennant was master me-



chanic for the Aluminum l^rass & Bronze Co., at
■ Bridgeport, and with that exception has been with
the Scovill Co. since coming to Waterhury.

On June 27, 1867, Mr. Tennant married Miss
Helen B. Duncan, who was born in Perth, Scot-
land, a daughter of Stewart Duncan, a merchant of
that city. Mr. and Mrs. Tennant are the parents of
four children : Mary D., Robert. George B., and
Agnes A. George graduated with the class of 1900
from the Academic Department of Yale College.
In political faith Mr. Tennant is a Republican. He
is a member of the Roxal Arcanum, and of the Con-
gregational Church.

citizen of Ansonia, now living in retirement, is a
worthy representative of the Irish race, from which
so many of the leading busine.-^s men of tiie day
are descended. He was born April 9, 1828, in DuId-
lin, Ireland, son of Thomas Kelley. and grandson
of Thomas Kelley. Thomas Kelley, the father,
■who was a farmer by occupation, died in Ireland
Aug. 15, 1832, aged forty years, and his wife. Julia
(Dane), a native of Dublin, died in Rhode Island
at the age of seventy. This worthy couple had but
one child, our jubject.

Mr. Kelley was only four years old when his
father died, and at the age of twenty he came to
America with his young wife, leaving Dublin Xov.
22, 1848, a week after their marriage. The voyage
was made on a sailing vessel, and it was not until
Jan. 27, 1849, that they landed in New York. On
March 27 our subject entered the employ of Gen.
Clark Wooster. in the axe factory at Humphreys-
ville. New Haven Co., Conn., where he remained
about fifteen years. He then spent two years and
three months in Collinsville, and later was em-
ployed in Colt's Armory, in Hartford. He was
one of those chosen to carry Col. Colt to his grave.
For a time he worked in the Colburn. axe factory
at Ansonia, remaining until the firm went out of
business, and after a short period with Wallace &
Sons he spent ten years in the clock shop. The
next seven years were spent with Wallace & Sons,
and in 1884 he retired, limiting his business in-
terests to the care of his real estate, his investments
in that line being numerous. His first purchase
was the Colburn house on High street, and later he
built his present residence, at Xo. 6 Franklin street,
and the house adjoining, while at various times he
has bought houses and stores in the town. Polit-
ically he is a Democrat, and he and his family are
members of the Catholic Church at Ansonia.

On Nov. 17, 1848, Mr. Kelley married Miss
Eliza Morriss, daughter of Capt. William Morriss
and granddaughter of William Morriss, a lifelong
resident of Ireland. Her father, who died aged
sixty-six years, was taken to sea during the re-
bellion of 1798. and after spending twenty-one years
on board a man-of-war Ixcanie captain of a coa.-t
guard. Her mother, Mrs. Alary A. (Blackburn)

Murriss, who died aged thirty-ciglit. was one of the
fourteen children of James and Mary Ann (Wall)
Blackburn, the former of whom was a well-known
resident of Dublin in his day, being an extensive
land owner and builder ; for many years he was
janitor of the Temple there. Mr. Blackburn died
in 1832, aged sixty years, Capt. William Morriss
and his wife had thirteen children, and their sons
were prominent shipbuilders. Of this family are
mentioned Isabella (deceased), who married Steven
Murphy; Eliza, Mrs. Kelley: Rebecca: Theresa,
who married Michael Kenny (deceased) ; Will-
iam: and Michael, who went to Australia in 1845.
The parents were devout members of the Catholic
Church, and the children were reared in that faith.
Ten children have brightened our subject's
home, nine of whom are living: ( i) Mary A. mar-
ried William McCarthy, a plumber in Ansonia,
and has had eleven children, of whom are living
William, Mary, Freddie, Sadie, Christopher,
Johnny, Albert. Lizzie, Rebecca and Agnes. Of
these, William married and has one son, Frederick,
so that our subject is a great-grandfather. (2)
Julia married Thomas Scallion, a machinist, and
has one child. Belle. (3) Lizzie married James
Beasley, of Rome, N. Y., and has three children.
William. James and Charlotte. (4) William, a
prominent physician in Flint, Mich., married Ella
Graham, of Xew York, now deceased. (5) Thom-
as is married and resides in Bridgeport. (6)
Christopher, Jr., is professor of Surgery and Clin-
ical Surgery in the Grand Rapids Medical College,
Grand Rapids, Mich. (7) Charles, a machinist,
in Ansonia, married Aliss Annie McGee, and has
six children, Bessie, May, Charley. Christopher,
William and Winnifred. (8) Frederick M. is a
bookkeeper in Grand Rapids, Mich. (9) Rebecca
resides at home.

(deceased), was one of the most honored medical
practitioners of this section, and was in active prac-
tice for forty years.

1 Dr. Beardsley was Ixirn Oct. 8, 1814, in Mon-

roe, -Fairfield Co., Conn., and was of English' de-

i scent. His father. Agur Beardsley, was a native
of Huntington, Conn., born June 12, 1791, and be-
came a farmer by occupation, much of his life hav-'
ing been spent in Monroe. He died Xov. 18. 1872,
at Easton. Conn., aged eighty-one years and five
months. For many years he was a deacon in the
Congregational Church of Monroe. His wife, Lu-
cinda Xichols, was born Sept. 8, 1794, m Trum-
bull, Conn., and died in Bridgeport, Sept. 8, 1864.
Dr. Beardsley was reared in Monroe, and as a'
young man taught school for some time. At twen-
ty-three he was grafluated from Yale Medical Col-
lege, and began practice in Milford, where he con-
tinued till his health failed, and he died in West
Haven Xov. 22. 1880. He had treated three gen-
erations, and was regarded as a father by many

.,.:[>!' t I 7.H hvv; :

•)'!■ .f. JJ,




to whom his wise niul Kiiullv counsel hail Lroui^ht
relief at some critical moment. His advice was
often sought by his fellow practitioners, and when
he finally retired at the earnest solicitation of his
wife he was obliged to leave town in order to se-
cure complete rest. For the last few years of his
life he went to the Southern states, or the Bahama
Islands in winter, and foimd in their milder climate
some relief from the lung trouble which conquered
him at last. His influence in local politics was
marked, as he was one of the stanch Republicans
of the town, and for many years he was postmaster
in Milford. In religious work he also took great
interest as a member of the Plymouth Church, of

Dr. Beardslex- married (first) Miss Betsey Ann
Coley, who was born in Xew York Citv May 30,
1815, and died in Miiford Nov. 24, 1861). She was
the daughter of Ebenezer and Amelia ( Sanford )
Coley, who were married Oct. 10, 1810. Her fa-
ther, who was a school teacher in Xew York, was
born in Redding, Fairfield Co., Conn., May 17,
1781, and died .April 5, 1816. By the Doctor's
first marriage he liad two sons and one daugh-
ter: Maria Elizabeth, born May 25. 1842. died
of scarlet fever March 10, 1847: George Lucius,
bom at Miiford May 12, 1848, is now practicing
medicine in Derby ; and W'illiam Ldgar. born at
Miiford Nov. 6, 1850, is a physician in Brooklyn.
X. Y.- For his second wife Dr. Beardsley married
at West Haven, Oct. 6, 1874, Mrs. Susan ( Prud-
den) Smith, whose record is given elsewhere in
this volume in the sketch of 5lrs. David Smith,
•of West Haven.

spected citizen and successful market gardener of
East Haven, was born in North Haven, this county,
Aug. 20, 1844. and is a son of Charles and Sarah
( Atwater) Smith, natives of X'orth Haven and
Hamden, Xew Haven county, respectively.

Sidney Smith, our subject's paternal grand-
father, was born in Xorth Haven, and was a cooper
by trade. He was married to Ruth Parker, and
they had four children : Henry, Horace. Sidney
and Charles. The maternal grandfather of Sidney
B. Smith was Stephen Atwater, a native of Ham-
den, and by occupation a market gardener. He
married Sarah Barker. Charles Smith, who is
mentioned above, is a farmer and resides in Xorth
Haven, where he has been very successful in his
business, and is now quite well-to-do. His family
consisted of three children: Sidne}' Barker;
Stephen A. ; and Elizabeth, who is now Mrs. Wal-
ter Bailey.

Sidney Barker Smith remained on the X'orth
Haven homestead until he reached the age of six-
teen, meantime receiving a very fair common school
education. In i860 he went to live with his grand-
father at Hamden, to learn the practical wijrk of
market gardening, remaining with iiim seven \ears.

For the last two years of that time he was a part-
ner w ith his grandfather, and wlien tiial genikniai'.
died he continued the business alone for twelve
years. In 1884 he removed to East Haven, to the
farm he now occtipies, which he purchased in 1882,
and where he has done a most successful business
in market gardening. He has made all the im-
provements on the property, buildings and barns,
and to-day owns one of the choicest places of the
kind in this part of the State.

.Mr. Smith was married April 4, 1867, to Char-
lotte J., daughter of Henry I. and Maryette
(Smith) Bradle\', of East Haven. By this union
there is one son, Charles S., who married Carrie
Louise, daughter of Frank W. and Jessie (HoUis)
Willoughby, of East Haven, ana has one son,
Charles Bates, born Xov. 25, 1900.

Mr. Smith is one of East Haven's leading and
progressive citizens, extremely industrious and in-
flexibly honest. He is a Democrat, and has served
as selectman of the town.

GEORGE T. CLARK, a thorough and skillful
farmer, and a wide-awake, energetic business man
of Beacon Falls, is a native of New Haven county,
born in the town of Bethany, Nov. 11, 1859, and is
a worthy representative of one of its old and highly
esteemed families.

Sheldon Clark, his paternal grandfather, was
' born in what is now Oxford, this county, Oct. 19,
j 1794, and died April 18, 1874. He married Miss
i Anna Freeh, a native of Bethany, and they lo-
i cated upon a farm in that town, where they reared
their family of four children, namely: David, born
bept. 28, 1819, was a farmer of Beacon Falls, where
he died Feb. i, 1877; Stiles, born March 16, 1821,
was also a farmer by occupation, and died March
' 7, 1873; Eliza Ann, born Sept. 21, 1823, died Nov.
I 13, 1851, unmarried; Charles F., father of our sub-
ject, was the youngest of the family.
I Charles F. Clark was born in Bethany, July 8,
I 1829, and was reared on the home farm. In early
life he followed the teacher's profession and con-
■ ducted a select school in Bethany, but later engaged
I in farming. Fie was a Republican in politics, and
' held some local offices. He died in September,
: 1880, and his wife, who bore the maiden name of
I Anna Perkins, and was a native of Litchfield, Conn.,
I died in August, 1882. Of the two children born
' to them our subject was the younger. Sheldon,
horn Sept. 21, 1855, followed farming in Beacon
Falls, and died (Jet. 19. 1887. Religiously the par-
ents were Episcopalians.

When only two years of age George T. Clark
was taken by his parents to the town of Beacon
Falls, where he was reared upon a farm. He pur-
sued his early studies in the public schools, and con- _
tinned his education at a select school in the town
of Redding, Fairfield Co., Conn. After leaving
fchool he returned tri the farm, and has since de-
voted the greater part of his time and attention to



agricultural pursuits. lie owns a -weil-improved
and valuable place of 150 acres in the village of
Beacon Falls, and in connection with its operation
is also engaged in the milk and ice business, and
does teaming to some extent. In business affairs
he is energetic, prompt and notably reliable, and
generally carries forward to successful completion
whatever he undertakes.

On March 24, 18&6, 'Mr. Clark was united in
marriage with Aliss Alary A. Relfelt, who was born
in South Coventry, Conn., June 8, iSij6, a daugh-
ter of Frederick Reffelt, who was of German birth,
and was foreman of a woolen shop. To this union
five children have come, namely: Frank T., born
Jan. 9. 1887; Eva I.. Sept. 14, 1892; George R.,
July 18, 1894; Ethel ]\I., Feb. 20, 1896; and Ros-
etta I., June 9, 1900. Mr. Clark and his family at-
tend the Aletbodist Episcopal Church, and he is a
member of the Grange. The Republican party finds
in him a stanch supporter of its principles. He has
served his fellow citizens on the scliool board and
as school visitor, and is now a member of the board
of selectmen. In all the relations of life he has
been found true to every trust reposed in him, and
he merits and receives the high regard of the en-
tire community in which he lives.

WILLIAM BARRON, a prominent farmer
and notable citizen of the town of Branford, whose
honorable and useful career well entitles him to
mention among the successful men of his com-
munity, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, April 4,
1844, a son of James and Marv (Reed) Barron.

James Barron was born and bred a farmer, fol-
lowing that occupation all his life. He lived in
Aberdeen, where he died in 1886. His widow,
Mrs. Mary (Reed) Barron, is still living (1901),
and has reached the venerable age of eighty-four
years. The children born to them were : Jane, the
wife of James ^Mitchell : William ; George ; Mary,
who married John Mason ; David ; John ; and !Mari-
ette, who married Robert Armstrong.

William Barron was reared in Scotland, where
he had his education in the excellent public schools
of his native community. In 1869 he turned his
face towards the United States — that land of prom -
ise to so many of his compatriots — and, crossing
the ocean, located in the town of Branford, where
he has since been successfully engaged in farming.
Mr. Barron has always retained a warm spot for
his old home, and during his residence of thirty-one
years in Branford, has made three visits to his na-
tive land.

In 1878 yir. Barron was married to Georgiana,
a daughter of John Mallroy, of New Haven, and
has become the fatlicr 1 >f fr.ur chiUlren bv this union :
, Mary T- ; John W . : Georgiana A. ; and .-\gnes F.
Mrs. Georgiana Barron died in 1894, and the fol-
lowing }'ear Air. Barron v>-as married to Mrs.
Catherine Ball, of New Haven. She is a lady ot
more than the usual accomplishments, and is a de-

voted home maker. Mr. Barron is a meniber of

i the Congregational Church, and his Hfe of hon-

j esty, integrity, industry and neighborly kindness

; brings no discredit to his religious associations, in

■ politics Mr. Barron Is a Republican, and socially
I he is connected with Woodlawn Lodge, No. 39, K.
; of P., where his manly qualities and genial dis-
i position command respect and retain friendship.

ELNATHAN A. CURTISS, a leading mer-
; chant of Ansonia, is a representative of one of the
; oldest families of Southbury, New Haven county,
! where he was born Feb. 19, 1859.
i Simeon Curtiss, his great-grandfather, was a
1 native of that town, and passed his life there.
Reuben Curtiss, our subject's grandfather, who
was also born there, became prominent as an edu-
cator, and for many years conducted a large school
at Southbury known as the Buck Hill Seminary,
where he fitted pupils for btisiness or college. He
owned a large farm, took an active part in local
affairs, and was identified with religious work as
a member 'of the Congregational Church. For
forty years he served as deacon, and every Sunday
. he collected his Sunday-school classes and took
i them to church in a wagon which held thirty peo-
I pie. He died at the age of eighty-seven, and his
wife, JNIinerva (AIcEwen), a native of Oxford,
died aged fifty-three. They had three children,
none of whom are now living.

Wales H. Curtiss, our subject's father, was
born and reared at the old homestead in Southbury,
and received a district-school education. Fie fol-
lowed farming upon a portion of the homestead.

■ and was regarded as one of the substantial citizens
of the town. In politics he was a Republican, and
in religious faith he was a Congregationalist. His
death occurred in 1886, when he was aged fifty-
nine. He married Aliss Mary Hammill, a native of
Brooklyn, E. D., who is still living at the old home-
stead. Of their eleven children ten survive : Will-
iam conducts the homestead; James M. is deceased;
Sarah M. married Cornelius AI. Hard, of South-
bury ; Charles H. resides in Naugatuck ; EInathaii

I A. is the next in order of birth ; Arthur E. resides
in Naugatuck ; Aliss Jessie H., a teacher, is at
home; Miss Isabella is also a teacher: Miss
Estella, twin of Isabella, is a trained nurse ; Bertha
married Charles Benjamin, of Bristol, Conn. ; and
Nellie C. married C. Ellison, a station agent in

Our subject's education was begun in the com-
mon schools of his native town, and at the age of
ten years he left home to work for a neighboring
farmer. At sixteen he engaged in the milk busi-
ness in Seymour, where he had a wagon route for
three years, and he then spent three years in Water-
bury as bookkeeper for J. E. Gaylord, and one year
in Naugatuck as clerk in the grocery and meat
market of Tolles & Bennett. In 1884 he went to
Ansonia, and after five years with J. H. Steinman

...^ ,.».



formed a partnership witli a brother and purchased
a meat market, at his present stand, which they
conducted tO£2:ether until i8qi. In 1893 our subject
sold the business, and six months later he bought
the store of E. H. Wakelee. He carries a large
stock of dry goods, notions, groceries and provis-
ions (inchiding a tine line of canned goods, jellies
and preserves), drugs, cigars, bicycles and every-
thing which one might expect to find in a metro-
politan department store. The establishment
boasts a complete modern set of fixtures, with
computing scales and cash register. The upper
story of the building is rented by a social organiza-
tion known as the West Side Club, of which our
subject is president. He also belongs to the Order
of Red Men and the Xew England Order of Pr.>
lection, and politically he is a stanch Republican,
although he has declined to seek official honors.
For some time he was a member of the Ansonia
Board of Trade. While residing in Waterbury lie
took an active part in the work of the Second Con-
gregational Church and Sunday-school ; his wife is
a member of the Methodist Church in Ansonia.

In 1888 Mr. Curtiss married JMiss Annie Has-
sard, who is one of the six children of Thomas
Hassard, now a well-known dealer in coal and wood
on North Main street, Ansonia. Three children
have brightened our subject's home: ^label H.,
born April 15, 1SS9; Raymond H., born Oct. 27,
1893 ; and Chester G., born Jan. 26, 1898.

JOHX KIRSCHBAUM is a quiet and uno'c^
trusive gentleman, who has little to say unless di-
rectly appealed to, but he is known as one of the
most expert machinists and skilled workmen in
Waterbun,-, where he has lived for many years.
His genuine manhood and real worth have been
long recognized and appreciated at their true value.

Mr. Kirschbaum was born in Wurtemberg,
Germany, April 29, 1844. Michael Kirschbaum,
his father, was a farmer and a shepherd, shipping
sheep to all parts of Europe. Michael Kirschbaum,
his father, was also a shepherd, and this was the
business of the family for many generations.
Michael Kirschbaum. the father of John, marrierl
Barbara Kromer, a native of the same community
in which he was born, and where she was born in
181 5. Michael Kromer, her father, was also a
shepherd, which business this family has also fol-
lowed for generations. Michael Kirschbaum died
in 1890, when about seventy-nine years old, his
wife in 1899. To them nine children were born :
( i) Samuel died in Waterbury, where he had been
employed in a brewery, and previously worked for
Valentine Eohl about eight years : he was a man of
remarkable strength. In the old country he had
been trained to the work of a shepherd. (2) John
is our subject. (3) Michael is a butcher in the'city
of Xew York. 1 4) Christian died at the age of
three years. ( 51 \\'i!Iiam lives in Germany, and is
a weaver. (6j Christian (_2) died at the age of

three years. (7) Barbara is married and lives iu
Germany. (8) George is a toolmaker in Water-
bury. (9) Carl is a surveyor in Germany.

John Kirschbaum received his early training in
Germany, and lived on the paternal homestead un-
til he was fifteen years of age, when he went into
a machine shop to learn the trade. Here he re-
mained five years, and was two years in a factory
devoted to heavy machinery. In July, 1866, Mr.
Kirschbaum came to New York City, and secured
work in the piano factory of the Steinway Co. He
spent two years in that city, and then went to
Naugatuck, Conn., where he worked for a time
in the AUerton Iron Works. In 1872, in company
with Thomas Fitzsimons, Mr. Putnam and Mr.
Blake, he formed the Novelty Manufacturing Co.,
and with the exception of ten months, which he
spent in Newark, N. J., he has been continuously
j identified with that concern, of which he is a stock-
! holder. In the fall of 1896 he made his first ap-
I pearance in Waterbury, and for nearly two years
i was employed by the Steele & Johnson Manufac-
; turing Co.

i In 1869 Mr. Kirschbaum married Miss Eliza-
i beth Brickel, who was born in the old country, and
was brought to this country in her mother's arms.
; She died in 1885, and was the mother of seven
children : Elizabeth, John, William, Lillian B.,
Carl, Joseph and Lewis. Miss Anna Brown, of
1 Waterbury, a daughter of John Brown, became the
second wife of John Kirschbaum, their marriage
taking place in 1886. They are the parents of two
children : Anna and Edward H. Mr. Kirschbaum
has been a Republican from his arrival in the coun-
try. He takes an active part in the Concordia Sing-
ing Societv, and is a member of the K. of P. and
the New England Order of Protection. He is also
active in the old German Harmony Society. He
attends the Episcopal Church.

LEROY C. BEECHER, one of the most pro-
gressive, skillful and successful agriculturists of
Woodbridge, belongs to a prominent old family of
N'.ew Haven county. His great-grandfather, Enoch
Beecher, was born in this county, and lived for a
time on George street. New Haven, but the greater
part of his life was spent in Woodbridge, where he
1 owned at one time some 300 acres of land, and was
' also a merchant, having a general store near the
; center of the town.

! • Amos Beecher, the grandfather of our subject,

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 77 of 94)