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

. (page 80 of 94)
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 80 of 94)
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and died in Andersonville. (7) Charles W. died at
the age of eighteen years. (8) Lewis Monroe is
the gentleman whose name appears at the introduc-
tion of this article.

Ebenezer Phelps, father of Spencer, was born in
Northampton, and was in his lifetime a very prom-
inent farmer and large land owner. A large tract
of land which belonged to him is now the center
of the city of Xorthampton. He married Kezia
Parsons, and they had eight children. The Phelps
family descends from three brothers who came over
from England very early in the history of the
Colonies and settled in Vermont, ^Massachusetts
and Connecticut, respectively.

Lewis M. Phelps spent his boyhood and youth
in X'orthampton, ^lass., and obtained his educa-
tion under the shadow of Mt. Tom. At fourteen
he left school and went to work, on different farms,
three years later going to the West, and spending
two years in Illinois and Iowa. Returning to
N'orthampton, he set himself to the trade of car-
riagemaker, which he followed until he reached
the age of twenty-four. Mr. Phelps enlisted, in
August, 1862, as a member of Company C, 52d
Mass. V. I., and served until Aug. 14, 1863. He
was at Port Hudson, and in many notable battles
of the war.

Mr. Phelps began a contracting business when
he was twenty-four years old, and followed same
for about one year. At Springfield he was em-
ployed for six years by the Wesson Manufacturing
Co., where he was foreman in charge of a gang
of men. He held a similar position in the shops
of the New York, New Haven & Hartford

Railway Co., and in 1875 he came to Wallinrjfnrd
to open a tinning, plumbing, heating and stove busi-
ness, in which line he has accumulated a substantial
fortune. Twelve years ago he leased his present
store in the Wallace block, and purchased a half
interest therein. In 1898 he bought the other half
of the block. Mr. Phelps is largely interested in
real estate and owns several very desirable tene-
ment houses, which he has built in recent years.
Politically he is a Republican, and he is now serv-
ing as justice of the peace ; since his location in
the city he has had charge of the department of
weights and measures ; for two years he was a
member of the court of bureesses ; in October, 1901,
he was appointed electrical conmiissioner, for tliree

^Ir. Phelps was married, June i, 1864, to Aliss
Jennie ]\I. Hastings, of South Deerfield, Mass.,
daughter of Sanuiel Hastings. Air. Phelps is a
member of Arthur Dutton Post, G. A. R., and
Compass Lodge, F. & A. M. He is also a promi-
nent Odd Fellow, has passed all the chairs of the
Subordinate Lodge, and for a number of years has
been a member of the Grand Lodge of the State.
He is also a member of the Encampment, Rebekah
and Canton branches of the order. He was a prime
mover in the organization of Accanant Lodge, and
was its first vice-grand; has served as treasurer
of Friendship Encampment, and is now a member
of the board of tnistees.

GEORGE S. GILLETTE, a highly-esteemed
resident of the town of Milford, was born Jan. 14,
1850, in the house in which he resided until recently.
Benjamin Gillette, his great-grandfather, served
as a soldier during the Revolutionan,- war, and
the family has long been noted for the qual-
ities that go to the m.aking of good citizen-
ship. Garriet Gillette, our subject's grandfather,
was born in J^Iilford, and became a farmer by
occupation. He married X'ancy Piatt, and
had a large family of children, as follows:
John, a builder in Prospect, died in that town ;
George died in Xaugatuck; Garriet, a farmer, died
in Prospect ; Bennett, a carpenter, died at his home
in Prospect; Rtifus, a carpenter, is living in retire-
ment in Xaugatuck: William, our subject's father,
is mentioned more fully below ; Sarah A. married
Harry ]\Iorse. and resides in Prospect; Z^Iary (de-
i ceased) married Harry Smith, of Prospect; Abby
married Lucius Talmadge. of Prospect (both are
now deceased ) ; two died in childhood.

William Gillette was born in 1822, in Prospect,
and died April 14, 1878. After his marriage he
located on a farm on Long Island Sound, in the
I southern part of [Milford, the old homestead of the
I grandfather, where his remaining vears were spent.
j As a citizen he was much respected, and for years
: he took an active interest in local affairs as a mem-
i ber of the Republican party. He was also very ac-
I tive in the church. He married Susan Bucking-

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liati!, dauglitor of John Buckingham, a native of
Milford. She died Oct. 4. 1879. Of their six chil-
dren, the eldest, ^lary E., married N. Truman
Smith, a farmer in Milford; George S. is mentioned
telow ; Miss Martha X. resides in Milford ; Charles
W. conducts the old homestead ; Miss Susan C. re-
sides in Milford: and Xettie died in infancy.

George S. Gillette was reared on the old home-
stead in Milford, and after completing a course in
the neighboring district school attended the Mil-
ford high school and a private school conducted by
Jonas French. At the age of twenty-two he went
to Kansas and worked on a farm for a year, and he
spent the next five years in X'evada, in various em-
plo}Tnents. In 1878 he returned to the homestead,
a farm of thirty-eight acres, and made a specialty
of raising garden seeds. Recently he came into
possession of the old Buckingham homestead, the
place where his mother was born, and has taken up
iiis home there.

On Dec. 13, 1893, ^Mr. Gillette married Miss
Flora Belle Hanscome, of iMaine, daughter of Rev.
Alva H. Hanscome, and a member of an old fam-
ily of that State. They have one child, William
Buckingham. Mr. Gillette is a Republican in poli-
tics, and has served many years as assessor and a
member of the board of relief. He and his wife
"belong to the Congregational Church, and he is also
an active worker in the Roval Arcanum and of the
I. O. O. F. at Milford.

NATHAX W. GREEXMAX, a well-known
resident of W'aterbury, is a native of Connecticut,
born April 12, 1840. in Bozrahville, X'ew London

Prior to the year 1800 three brothers by the
name of Greenmah came to this country from Eng-
land, one settling in Xew York, one in the eastern
part of Connecticut, the third in X'ew London coun-
ty, Conn., the last named being James. Greenman,
the grandfather of Xathan W. ; he was a farmer
T)y occupation.

X^athan Greenman. father of X'athan W., was
born in 1815 in Xew London county, and for years
was superintendent of the cotton mills there. He is
now living retired near Xew Haven. At the early
age of seventeen years he married Julia A. Wilkin-
son, who was born in 1815 in Stonington, Conn., a
daughter of Jonathan Wilkinson, a farmer of that
locality. ^Ir. Wilkinson served in the war of 1812.
He married Ann Cranston, also a native of Ston-
ington, and descended from ancestry who came to
America early in the seventeenth century. Grand-
father Wilkinson was one of the "frontiersmen,"
but the Indians were very friendly to him and his
family, frequentlv abiding under their hospitable
roof. The Wilkinsons took active part in all the
■early struggles of the country, including the French
^nd Indian troubles, the Revolution and the war of
1812, as well a.- the Indian wars since that periofl.

After marriage Xathan Greenman and his wife

settled in Xew London county, at Bozrahville, and
there reared the following children: Anna E. (de-
ceased) was the wife of George Nettleton ; Jennie
E. (deceased) was the wife of Frederick A. Cook,
of Southington, Conn.: Xathan W. is our subject;
Ellen L. (deceased) was the wife of Samuel A.
Bayliss ; Charles A. died unmarried ; Imogene E.
is now the wife of Frederick A. Cook, mentioned

In 1842, when two years old, Nathan W. Green-
man, our subject, was taken by his parents to Green-
ville, a suburb of Norwich, this state, and at the
public and high schools of that place received a
liberal education. On May 15, 1853, he came to
Waterbury, which has since been his home. Tak-
ing up the profession of dentistry, he in 1858 fol-
lowed same in Charleston, S. C, and while there
saw slaves sold by auction. During the year 1859
he for some time sold books throughout [Michigan.
In 1862 he enlisted in the Union army, as will be
presently recorded; from 1865 to 1866 was a clerk
in the Waterbury postoffice, and then embarked in
the coal business, in which line he is actively en-
gaged at the present time.

In X'ovember, 1875, Mr. Greenman married
Edith G. Webster, a daughter of Chauncey B.
Webster, of Waterbury. X'o children have been
bor-n to this union. 'Sir. and Mrs. Greenman are
members of the Congregational Church. In politics
he is a Republican, and he has served his adopted
citv as ta.x collector, also on the board of relief.
Socially he is affiliated with the F. & A. M., I. O.
O. F., Concordia Society and G. A. R.

On Aug. II, 1862, Mr. Greenman enlisted in
the service of the United States in Company H,
20th Conn. V. I., for three years, or during the
war, and the following succinct war record, written
by himself, will be of interest :

"I was mustered as corporal at X'ew Haven,
Conn., Sept. 8, 1862, left the State Sept. 11, 1862,
served in the defence of Washington, D. C. ; from
Oct. 2, 1862, 2d Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Corps,
Army of the Potomac ; and Army of the Cumber-
land from June. 1863, ist Brigade, ist Division,
20th Corps; from April, 1864, 2d Brigade. 3dj Di-
xasion, 20th Corps, Army of the Cumberland ; trans-
ferred to the 3d Brigade, 3d Division, Armies of
the Cumberland and Georgia, May 29, 1864, re-
maining with last mentioned brigade, division and
corps, until the ending of the Civil war, April,
1865, holding the rank of sergeant until that event.
I was on duty with my regiment, in defence of
Washington. ID. C, until Sept. 29, 1862; moved
to Sandy Hook, thence to Harper's Ferry, Mary-
land Heights, Loudon Heights, Keys and Manning
Fords, on the Shenandoah river. \'a., then to Fair-
fax Station, \"a. Advanced on Fredericksburg,
during the cold and severe rains of December, 1862,
wh.en, from the depth of the mud. it was impossible
for men anfl trains tn move more than four or five
I miles a day. Not an article of apparel, outside or

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insiJe of the knapsack, but was thoroughly soaked
with the icy rain. For ten consecutive days and
nights these conditions were the experiences of all
in the command. The cold, wet ground served for
a bed, and a wet knapsack for a pillow. With all
these discomforts the men appeared to be cheerful
and in good spirits and health. I was with my
command during the Confederate Gen. Stuart's
raid, from Dec. 27 to Dec. 31, 1862, and in other
operations agains: the enemy, until ordered into
winter quarters at Staiiford Court House, Va., Jan.
19, 1863, there remaining until April 27, 1863.
During the latter part of the month of January,
1863, l)y order of Brig. Gen. Kane, commanding
our brigade, rriyself and a detail of six men from
my company ("each with three days' rations) were
ordered to take possession of and occupy Aquia
Creek church, some four or five miles distant from
our camp, to prevent its defilement by scouting or
other parties of soldiers. * * * We carried
into the church several cords of wood, built a fire
in the center of the floor with which we cooked our
rations, and kept warm (the weather being very
cold), remaining there nearly five days, the last
thirty-six hours without food, headquarters having
forgotten or overlooked the fact that we were on
duty there. The church at that time was between
the lines, and we were liable to capture by • the
enemy at any time during the period of our guard.
The waning of the fifth day brought to our ears
the sound of horses' hoofs upon the frozen ground,
and from our outlook within the church there
came into a view a regiment of cavalry which
proved to be the 8th New York, which not only
relieved our apprehension and anxiety, but also our
hunger. Through the dispatch of an orderly to
Gen. Kane's headquarters, we were ordered to re-
turn to our camp. '■' * * On April 26, 1863,
came orders to break up camp and march to the
scenes of battle in the coming campaigns of the
spring and summer of 1863. Eight days' rations
and eighty rounds of ammunition is the order. A
forced march of three days brought the command
to Germania Ford on the Rapidan river. Order to
strip off all our clothing, put them in a roll, and
wade through the rapidly flowing stream, where we
found foothold difficult to maintain. Lined up to
roll-call on the opposite bank of the river, prepara-
tory to imminent battle at Chancellorsville. Mrginia.
"This is to be my first important engagement,
and questions surge the mind, like the incoming
and receding waves of the ocean, that are un-
answerable until the conflict ends. Killed, wound-
ed or unscathed, and will you perform all of the
duties of a soldier, bravely and unflinchingly in the
coming contest, whatever the result? My fate
proved capture, the third day of the battle. Sun-
day. Mav 3, 1863. This was the only time I was
made a prisoner of war during my tlircc years'
service. I was confined in Liitln- pri~:in. and on
Belle Isle, in and opposite Richmond, \'a. Follow-

ing my confinement at Camp Parole, Annapolis,
Md., and my exchange during the month of Au-
gust, 1863, i joined my regiment and company at
Cowan, Tenn., and was promoted to the position
of sergeant April 22, 1S64, performing duty along
the line of the Louisville & Nashville railroad and
Chattanooga line of communications until the open-
ing of the Atlanta campaign, ^lay 4. 1864, partici-
pating in the following engagements : Buzzard
Roost Gap, May 8 and 9; holding Boyd's Trail.
May ID and 11 ; battle of Resaca, Mav 13 and 15;
Cassville, May 19; advance to Etowah, Ma\- 20
and 23, 1864. At this date I was detached for
duty in the Ambulance Corps, a duty I found to be
arduous, tedious and compassionate, constantly
drawing upon my sympathy, because of the mutil-
ation and suffering I witnessed during a series of
engagements that consumed one hundred consecu-
tive days of time when fighting in one contingent
or other of those armies took place. It has been
designated by some of those who endured the cam-
paign, the 'one hundred days' battle.'

"Entered Altanta, Ga., Sept. 3, 1864, and was
assigned to duty at the headquarters of Gen. H. ^V.
Slocum, commandant, in charge of ten of the am-
bulances used to convey the citizens of that city to
Rough and Ready (Confederate line), in accord-
ance with the order issued by Gen. Sherman, mak-
ing it imperative that all non-combatants should
be removed from within our lines. Citizens had
the option of going North or South, and from my
observation comparatively few went North. Sept.
20, 1864, was relieved from duty in the Ambulance
Corps, and ordered to join my regiment, then in
camp on the outlying hills east of the city. Nov.

15, 1864, started and marched through the State
of Georgia with Gen. Sherman's army, which ar-
rived at Savannah, Ga., Dec. 10, 1864, serving with
my company and regiment during the siege of that
city, entering it with our victorious army Dec. 21.

1864. I was on duty in that place until Jan. 3,

1865, crossed the Savannah river Jan. 4, and
camped on the rice fields on South Carolina soil,
opposite the city, for a week ; marched to Hardee-
ville, S. C, helped in the leveling of that place
with the ground; remained there some ten days,
marched to Sisters Ferrv. on the Savannah river, ■
then' accompanied Gen. Sherman's army in its fam-
ous march through the Carolinas. from January
to April, 1865. I was in the skirmish near Law-
tonville, Feb. 2, 1865, with a reconnoissance to
Silver River, N. C, ^March 14-15; fought in the
battle of Averysboro. N. C. ; was in action, March

16, near Taylor's Hole creek, N. C. ; also in the
engagement at Bentonville. N. C, March 19-20.
1865; was with a detail of thirty men (Capt. Ezra
Sprague in command) who were foraging, when
lost amongst the pines of South Carolina, for three
davs and nights, pursued by Gen. Joe \Mieeler'>
cavalrv. when capture meant instant death, as no
quarter was given to our foragers, if taken prison-


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frs. The battle of Bentonville, X. C, was tlie last
iought by Gen. Sherman's army in the Civil war.
I was on duty at Goldsboro, X. C. from March 31
to April 10, 1865 ; at Raleigh, the State capital,
April 13-22; guarding supply trains to Jones'
Cross Roads, X'. C. April 22-24; and at the sur-
render of Gen. Johnston's army to Gen. Shenrian,
April 26, 1865. Then left my company and regi-
ment, by order of the regimental surgeon. Dr.
Jewett, proceeded by rail to Beaufort, X. C., thence
by steamer to Fort Schuyler, X. Y.. there detailed :
as chief clerk in the muster-out department, by
Major Thieman of the United States Army, and |
was honorably discharged from the United States
service July 6, 1865. I never was wounded, ex-
perienced but little sickness (none of a serious
nature), an inmate of the hospital one week, at
Parole Camp, Annapolis, JSId., from hip injury that.
proved slight, acted as assistant steward in that
hospital after my recovery during the term of my
parole, returned to my citizenship July 8. 1865, in
a better physical condition than when I joined the

COL. JOHX B. DOHERTY was born at
Hard Ledge, Westmoreland Co., Xew Brunswick,
Sept. 10, 1853, a son of William A. and Matilda
G. Doherty. The mother died in 1895, aged sev-
enty-six years, and the father, who was born in
England in 1820, died in Waterbury in June, 1900.
aged eighty years. James G. Doherty, the grand-
father of Col. John B., was born in Colerain, Ire-
land, and was a farmer.

William A. Doherty when a boy left England
with his . parents, and went to Xew Brunswick,
where he engaged in shipbuilding after reaching
manhood. St. John's was for years his head-
quarters. He located for a time in Westmoreland
county, Xew Brunswick, engaged as a shipbuilder,
and then, returning to St. John's, was for a long
term of years superintendent in the shipyards of
Jewett & Scammel, a very large concern at that
time. About 1865 he came to Waterbury for a
time. He went back to Xew Brunswick, but his
home was in Waterbury after 1890. Mr;. Matilda
(Gallaway) Doherty was born in Colerain, Ireland,
a daughter of James Gallaway, who removed to
Thompson ville. Conn., when she was very young.
To Mr. and Mrs. William A. Doherty was born
a familv of ten children, seven of whom lived to
maturity: James G., William A., Eliza, John B.,
Anna, Rebecca and Mary J. James G. lives in
Waterbury, and Willian: A: in Green Bay. Wis.
Anna married Leonard Burr, and has her home in
Bridgeport. Conn. The other members of the fam-
ily live in Waterbury.

. Col. John B. Doherty spent his boyhood days
in St. John's, Xew Brunswick, and attended school
there. In 1865 he came to Waterbury. he
has Continued to live up to the present liiiie. He
commenced to learn the machinist's and toolmak-

er's trades, but did not finish his apprentice-Iiin.
preferring to take a position as clerk in the jewelry
store of C. H. Perkins & Co. In 1872 young
Doherty became entry clerk for Benedict, Merinian
& Co., and remained with them imtil they went
out of business, in 1875, when he bought the gentle-
men's furnishing store at the corner of Bank street
and Exchange place, and conducted it until 1878.
That year he closed the store and began keejjing
books for the A. Burrett Hardware Co., a concern
very extensively engaged in the mantifacture of
gas and waterpipe fittings. Mr. Doherty became
secretary of the company, disposed of the retail
store, built new factories, and started out on a
very ambitious career, but was caught by the panic
of 1884 and crowded to the wail. After the failure
of the Burrett Hardware Co. he secured a posi-
tion as corresponding clerk with the Holmes. Booth
& Hayden Manufacturing Co.. which he held until
the reorganization of Brown & Brothers, when he
went with them as chief bookkeeper, remaining
with them until they went into liquidation.

Mr. Doherty was elected second selectman in
ii885, and at that time was the only Republican
on the board. The next year he was made first
selectman, and on the meeting of the board be-
came its chairman. The Democrat who had held
the chairmanship was defeated by an adverse vote
of twelve hundred, and lost everv ward in the city
to ^Ir. Doherty. In October, 1887. the same ticket
was renominated and elected. In 1888 Mr. Doherty
declined a renomination, and announced himself as
a candidate for the position of postmaster. He
was appointed to the postmastership in 1880 by
President Harrison, and officiated in that capacity
four years and four months. From time to time
other flattering political honors have been extended
to Mr. Doherty. In 1888 and again in 1892 he
was asked to take the nomination for Congress.
He has been requested to become candidate for
sherit? of the county, but his business relations did
not admit of his acceptance. In 1890 he was of-
fered the nomination for the position of mayor of
Waterbury, but, much as he would like to sgrve
the people, his business relations again compelled
him to decline.

]\Ir. Dohertv was chosen secretary of the Con-
necticut Indemnity Life Insurance Co. in February,
1893. This company was not in good condition,
and its business had become very much nm down,
but under the new management — of which Mr.
Doherty was secretary and a director — it was in-
tended to change the basis of the company's busi-
ness from that of assessment to the legal reserve,
or so-called "old line." During his management the
business increased from four and a half million dol-
lars to more than twelve millions of insurance up
to July, 1898. when he resigned his office, and de-
voted himself to the real-estate, insurance and
brokerage business, with the same gratifying suc-

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Col. Doiiert> has bci.r. asiociatL-cl with the State
National Guard for many years. He became a pri-
vate in Company A, 2(1 Regiment, C. X. G., in Feb-
ruary, 1872, and gradually rose from one position
to another until July i, 1892, when ho was elected
colonel of the regiment. He served in that office
six years, and then asked to be placed. on the retired
list. Col. Doherty is a Mason of high degree, be-
longing to the blue lodge, the chapter, the con-
sistory and the Temple. He takes an active part in
the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the
Red Men, and wherever he is encountered he is
always the same genial and. polished gentleman.
The Colonel has always taken a leading part in the
affairs of the Republican party, and his is a fa-
miliar presence at county and State Conventions.
He was acting alternate delegate at the Chicago
convention which nominated President Harrison,
and a regular alternate at the 2\Iinneapolis conven-
tion which renominated President Harrison.

Col. Doherty has been twice married. His first
marriage was to Aliss Jennie !M. Barton, of W'in-
•chester, Conn., in 1875. ^l^rs. Doherty had very
■delicate health, and spent much of her married life
in the balmy South: she died in 1882. There were
no children by that union. In September, 1892, our
subject married Katherine Sedgwick Buel, of
Waterbury, daughter of Mrs. Cornelia A. Buel and
the late Theodore S. Buel, and niece of the late
Judge Norton J. Buel. To this union has come one
child, Cornelia Buel, born Aug. 15, 1896.

FREDERICK A. LINES, secretary and treas-
urer of the Ansonia Lumber Co.. at Ansonia, is one
of the leading business men of that town, and his
energy and sound jud.gment have been recognized
factors in carrying many enterprises to success. In
addition to attending to his lumber business he
served as president of the Ansonia Board of Trade,
vice-president of the Connecticut State Board of
Trade, and a director in the Ansonia Savings Bank
and the Ansonia Flour & Grain Co. As a citizen
he takes an active part in local afifairs.

Mr. Lines was born Oct. 25. 1849, ^t New Mil-
ford, Litchfield Co., Conn., where his family has
been prominent from pioneer times. Joseph Lines,

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 80 of 94)