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 84 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 84 of 94)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


,r ■!.■■! ' :<'


1 125

The Doctor's ancestor' on the maternal side
were old residents of Liuilford. and can be traced
as far back as his great-grandfather, Russell Fris-
Lie, who was born near Uranford, Conn., and mar-
ried Eunice Redtield, of Guilford. For many years
he resided in Georgetown, S. C, where he was a
.^.uccessful merchant until the declining years of his
life, which were passed at his home on F'air street,
Guilford. His family consisted of one son, John,
and five daughters. Julia, Sarah. Amanda. Mary
Ann and Eunice. The last named died in infancy.
Sarali married George C. Bradley, of Guilford, and
their children were : Richard, who died when quite
3'oung; and Cornelia Elizabeth, who married Benja-
min C. West.

Dr. West received his degree of Doctor of
Medicine from the University oi the City of Xew
York, in February, 1879, after a thorough course of
study at that institution. He then for several years
practiced medicine at Xo. 7 Abingdon square, Xew
York City; later at Xo. 222 Shawmut avenue, Bos-
ton, Mass. ; and still later at Xo. 163 York street,
A'ew Haven, Conn., from there removing, in 1892,
to his native town, Guilford, where he has since
<pntinued in the practice of medicine. In 1894 Dr.
West was appointed, by Gov. Morris, State chem-
ist; reappointed by Gov. CofHn in 1896; again by
■Gov. Cooke, in 1898: and by Gov. Lounsbury, in
1900. In 1897 he was appointed town health officer
for Guilford, and also medical examiner same year.
He has been successful in chemical researches, hav-
ing in 1899 and 1900 been granted letters patent
for improvements in photographic. printing.

While a resident of Boston, Mass., Dr. Redfield
B. West was united in marriage with Edith May
<jOudey, of that city, daughter of Henry T. and
Lois A. Goudey.

GEORGE ROBBIXS, a gallant ex-soldier of
the Civil war and at present a well-known real-
estate and fire insurance agent in Waterbviry, was
Taorn Sept. 12, 1844, in the village of Plainville.
town of Farmington, Hartford Co.. Conn. Jehiel
Robbins, his father, was born in Rocky Hill, same
county, and was baptized Aug. i, 1793. Zebulon
Robbins, father of Jehiel, was born in the same
place Oct. 14, 1744, and was a son of Zebulon, who
was also a native- of Connecticut.

The name Robbins was originally — that is, prior
to 1600 — spelled Ro-Bynes, then was changed to
Robins, and finally to its present form, Robbins.
The progenitor of the family in America was John
Robbins, who came from England and settled in the
Connecticut valley about 1638. He married Mary
Wells, a daughter of Thomas Wells, governor of
the Colonv, and from him the present Robbins fam-
ily are lineall}- descentled.

Zebulon Robbins. grandfatlier of the subject. of
this sketch, was a fanner. He married Hannah
Holmes, settleil on a farm at Rucky Hill, and there
reared two children, Roderick anil Jehiel. Roder-

ick became a pliysieian. and practiced in Rocky Hill,
Glastonbury and Waterbury.

Jehiel Robbins, father of our subject, was
reared on the home farm in Rocky Hill. In early
manhood he was a school teacher, and then took up
farming permanently, in 1842 removing to Plain-
ville. where he died in 1873. He married Mrs.
Dorothy (Edgecomb) Tucker, a widow, who was
born in South Glastonbury, daughter of Joshua and
Lydia (Hough) Williams, natives of the same
place. Joshua Williams was a ship carpenter. His
father, Joshua Williams, was born July 18, 1749,
enlisted in the patriot army ]May 8, 1775, and re-
enlisted, becoming corporal, in 1777. He was at
Danbury, Conn., was under Gen. Israel Putnam up
the Hudson river, served also in Xew Jersey, and
was promoted to sergeant in 1780. Robert Will-
iams, the founder of this family in America, was
born in England in 1593, and came from Yarmouth
to Roxbury, Mass., in 1635. He was a member of
the Ancient & Honorable Artillery of England,
and was also a member in America. The family
drifted into Connecticut, where its members became'
quite prominent in social and religious affairs. The
founder of Williams College, in Massachusetts,
was a descendant of Robert Williams, as was also
William Williams, a signer of the Declaration of
Independence, and Gen. Warren, of Bunker Hill
fame ; many others took part in the war of the
Revolution ; many also were prominent in the
church, as bishop, preachers, etc.

After their marriage Jehiel Robbins and his
wife settled on a farm in Plainville, Conn., where
were born their two children, Lewis W. and
George, the latter the subject of this sketch. The
former is a plumber in Marshalltown, Iowa. The
father was a Republican in [xjlitics. but never an
office seeker. He was deacon in the Congregational
Church, in the faith of which he and his wife passed

George Robbins, the subject proper of this
sketch, passed his youthful days on his father's
farm, and attended the district school until sixteen
years of age, when he went to Hartford to learn
the machinist's trade. However, about this time
the Civil war broke out, and Mr. Robbins joined
the gallant boys in blue, enlisting Aug. 11, 1862, in
Company K, i6th Conn. \'. I., and serving until
mustered out, June i, 1865. He took part in many
severely fought battles during his term of service,
including those of Antietam, Fredericksburg, twi>
engagements (including siege) at Suffolk, Va., and
several others of lesser note. At the siege of Ply-
mouth, X. C, he was taken prisoner, and was con-
lined in the prisons at Andersonville, Ga., and Flor-
ence. S. C. about ten months.

After the close of tlie war Mr. Robbins took a
cotirse in Bryant & Stratton's Business College,
at Hartford. Later he clerked two years in a hotel
in Xew York City, and then became bookkeeper for
the Plainville Manufacturing Co., with which he


1 , \


■:■■'■■)!■ '■] _.


/-.M'vH ;i. -f

<lrh J

r, ,,

1 126


remained several years : for tlie next three years lie
was assistant superintendent for the Bristol Manu-
facturing Co., and then changed to Waterville,
where he was superintendent for the Welch Hosiery
Co. for a considerable length of time. In 1879 Mr.
Robbins came to Waterbury, and for four years was
in the employ of the Waterbury Clock Co. He then
engaged in the crockery and glassware trade about
ten years, and in 1893 embarked in his present
business, real estate and fire insurance, in which he .
has met with unqualified success.

Mr. Robbins was united in marriage, Xov. 10,
1869, with Miss Lucy J. Botsford, of Plainville, a
daughter of Orrin L. and Fannie L. Botsford.
This marriage has been graced with two children:
Catherine, now a teacher in Xew Britain ; and Ar-
thur W., in the employ of the Connecticut Light &
Power Co., of Waterbury.

Mr. Robbins is in politics a Republican. Fra-
ternally he is a Freemason and a member of the
Grand Army of the Republic, in which latter he
has served as commanaer of his post two years.
Socially he and his family mingle with the best
circles, and as a business man his name stands
■ without reproach.

DANIEL W. BURKE was born June 12, 1857,
in New Haven, son of Daniel Burke, who was born
iri Providence, R. L, and died in Xew Haven, where
he was engaged in the teaming business. Daniel
Burke married Catherine Hayes, who was born in
New Haven, daughter of Richard Hayes, and they
had three children : Anna, who married C. B.
Squires, a clerk in the railway mail service ; Mar-
garet, who married Willis E. Piatt, of South Brit-
ain, now engaged in farming: and Daniel W.

Daniel \V. Burke was reared in Xew Haven,
and attended school there until he was fourteen,
when he went to Southbury to spend the ensuing
three years on a farm, and also attended a select
school. While still in his teens he entered the em-
ploy of Bradley, Hoyt & Co., in the woolen mill, and
remained with them five years, at the end of which
time he bought out a general store m company with
W. H. Summers, under the firm name of Summers
& Burke. L'nder the administration of President
Garfield Mr. Summers was made postmaster, and
Mr. Burke his assistant. At the expiration of the
term Mr. Burke sold out to Mr. Summers and re-
moved to Wallingford, taking a position as ship-
ping clerk with the Maltby, Stevens & Curtiss Co.,
with whom he remained three years. At the ex-
piration of this period he was made assistant super-
intendent for G. ^L Hallenbeck, in his German
silver flatware factory, and for ten years remained
with that gentleman, only giving up his connection
with the business when it was absorbed by the
"combine." In January, 1900, he was made super-
intendent of the borough water works, a position
with a three-years' tenure of ofiice.

Mr. Burke belongs to Ivy Lodge, K. P., and is

a member of many Masonic bodies, including Com-
pass Lodge, Keystone Chapter, Hamilton Council,
St. Elmo Commanderv', Scottish Rite Consistory,
and the 32d degree. He is also a member of Court
Wallace, Foresters. Politically Air. Burke is a
Republican, and has served as a member of the
town committee.

Daniel W. Burke was married, Oct. 21, 1885,
to Miss Harriet Lord Bryant, a daughter of Sidney
Bryant, and a sister of Judge Samuel J. Bryant, of
Orange. This union has been blessed with three
children: Bryant L., born Xov. 25, 1887; Edmund
S., born Julv 28, 1893; and Catherine, born Dec.
29, 1898.

Waterbury, born Jan. i, 1840, and has spent the
greater part of his active life in that city, where he
has attained a high standing by industry, hard
work and the faithful performance of all the duties
that come to him. ' There is a certain heredity of
mechanical genius that has descended to him, but
his industry and reliability have made him what
he is.

Joseph Shipley, the father of Alfred J., was
born in Birmingham, England, May 7, 1814, and
died in Waterbury, Conn., Aug. 12, 1866. Ralph
Shipley, the grandfather of our subject, was also
Ijorn in Birmingham, Xov. 15, 1788, and died
]\Iarch 22, 1835, in Paterson, X. J., where he was
engaged in the manufacture of small tools and ma-
chinery. He married Mary Rollinson, who was
born in Birmingham, England, and they had only
one child, Joseph, already mentioned as the father
of Alfred J. Ralph Shipley married for his second
wife Hannah Saunders, who was born March 19.
1795, and by her had eight children: Sarah, Mary,
Hannah, Amos, Percilla, Martha, Naomi and
Ruth. Amos was a silver-plater in Xewark, N. J.
— where his sisters married and settled.

After the death of his father Jospeh Shipley re-
moved to Waterbury, where, with the exception of
a few }-ears — between 1850 and 1857, when he was
engaged in the machine business in Xewark, X. J.,
hespent his active life. He became interested in
the invention and building of machinery for mak-
mg pins, hooks and eyes and other brass goods for
which Waterbury has been famous, and at the time
of his death he was engaged in building machinery
for the Scovil! Manufacturing Co. Personally he
was of a retiring and diffident nature, but firm in
his convictions of right and justice. He was a
strong supporter of Republican institutions, and
early placed himself on record as opposed to human
slavery. On March 11, 1839, Air. Shipley was
married, in Waterburv, to Sarah James, who was
born Feb. 17. 1808, and died Aug. 8, 1SS2. Her
first husband, William Stanley, a native of Birming-
ham, England, was brought to this country as a
skilled brass worker. To Mr. and Mrs. Stanley
were born three children, Ann M., William and



1 127

James, descendants of \vh->in are now living; in
VVaterbury. To Mr. qnd Mrs. Shipley were born
two children: Alfred John, whose name introduces
these lines; and Ralpii J., a resident of Milford,
this State, who is well known as a skulfiil mechanic.

Alfred J. Shipley spent his boyhood days in
Waterbury until he was nearly ten years of age,
when his parents inoved to Newark, X. J., where
they remained nearly seven vears. There he con-
tinued to attend the public sciiools, havina; already
begun his schooling- in Waterbury. The family re-
turned to Waterbury in 1857. Alfred served an
apprenticeship at the machinist's bench under his
father's supervision, and when he had mastered the
trade went to work for Henry A. Matthews & Co.,
continuing with that firm until 1862, in which year
he entered the employ of the Scovill Manufacturing
Co. He has now been with them nearly forty
years, for years holding the position of master me-
chanic in the button department.

Mr. Shipley and ^liss Ann J. Robinson were
married Aug. 20, 1862. Mrs. Shipley was born
in Waterbury, daughter of Edward and Maria
(Baxter) Robinson, both natives of Birmingham,
England. Her parents were rfiarried in England,
and shortly afterward came to this country, lo-
cating first at Middletown, and very soon removing
to Waterbun- Here they lived and died, her fa-
ther's death occurring Jan. 12, 1881, and her
mother's May 12, n%7. They were the parents of
ten children, of whom si.x survived to reach ma-
turity, Edward A., Horace E., Ann J., Rose A.,
George L. and Fannie E. Edward A. married
Harriet A. Waters, and is now deceased : Horace
B. is a retired mechanic in Waterbury ; Ann J. is
the wife of our subject: Rose A. married Harry L.
Lott, of \vaterbury, anil is the mother of three chil-
dren, Willie, Lena and Etta. Mr. and Mrs. Ship-
ley have no children. In political sentiment Mr.
Shipley was originally a Whig, and is now a Re-
publican. He is a public-spirited man, and takes
much interest in all movements looking to the gen-
eral good. For a number of years he served as an
alderman in the city council from the First ward
of W^aterbury, and for two years was a member of
the board of education.

Mr. Shipley is deeply interested in the mystic
work of the Masonic fraternity, and is among the
most conspicuous Masons in the State. In 1864
he united with Harmony Lodge. No. 42, F. & A.
M., at Waterbury, and since that time has jour-
neyed far into the mysterious country. He has
been master of Harmony Lodge, No. 42. F. & A.
J\L, and high priest of Eureka Chapter, No. 22,
R. A. ^L. of Waterbury. He belongs to Water-
bury Council. No. 21. R. & S. M., at Waterbury; is
past commander of Clark Commandery. No. 7, K.
T., at Waterbury ; a charter member of Doric Lodge
of Perfection, fourteenth degree, at Waterbun,-;
member of Lniic Council. Princes of Jerusalem, six-
teenth degree; Waterbury ;M. W. and P. M. of Cor-

inthian Chapter. Rose Croix, eighteenth degree, at
VVaterbury ; member oi LaFayette Consistory, S. P.
R. S.. thirty-f.econd degree, Bridgeport; Pvraniid
Temple, A. A. O. N. M'. S., Bridgeport; and P. P.
Naomi Chapter, No. 23, O. E. S., Waterbury. He
was the first president of the Masonic Club of' Wat-
erbury. ;Mrs. Shipley is also much interested in so-
ciety work, and is now past matron of Naomi
Lodge, No. 23, O. E. S., and past R. AI. of Ever-
green Court. No. 2, C. of A. She belongs to the
King's Daughters, and is, with her husband, a mem-
ber of the First Baptist Church, of which he has
been a deacon since 1871. He is a member of the
board of trustees of the Baptist State Convention,
and was vice-president of the Y. M. C. A. for vears.

G. FRED BARNES, foreman of the flask de-
partment in the Waterbury Brass Co.'s factorv.
Waterbury, is a native of the State of New York,
born in Harpursville. Broome countv.

German Barnes, his grandfather, was born in
Plymouth Hollow (now Thomaston), Litchfield
Co., Conn., and lived there until he was twenty-
one years old, when he married Roxv Painter.
They then moved to Harpursville, Broome Co., N.
Y., making the journey with an ox-team and sled.
There he purchased a large tract of land, engaging
extensively in the lumber business, and later in
farming and cattle raising. He and his wife reared
a family of four children: George B., a sketch of
whom follows : Laverett. who was a merchant in
Harpursville, N. Y., but died in Washington, D.
C, where he had a married daughter living: Har-
per, who farmed the old homestead, and died there ;
and Burton, a carpenter and joiner in Harpursville,
New York.

George B. Barnes, father of G. Fred, was born
in Harpursville, N. Y., and passed his entire life
in that locality, engaged in agricultural pursuits.
He married lantha Perry, who was also born in
Harpursville, a daughter of Samuel Perry, who was
a farmer by occupation, and had served as a soldier
in the war of 1812. Three children were born to
this union : G. Fred is our subject ; Levi H. lives
in Peekskill, N. Y., where he is in the employ of
the New York Central Railway Co. ; Sarah A. is
the wife of S. F. Main, of Thomaston, Conn. The
father of this family died Jan. 2, 1877. the mother
Nov. 19. 1872. Mr. Barnes was a Democrat in
politics. He served as a captain in the State militia.

G. Fred Barnes, our subject proper, attended
the district schools near Harpursville, and was
reared on the home farm. At the age of fourteen
he entered the employ of Howard D. ?iIontgomery.
driving stage until he was twenty-one years oM,
at which time he returned to the farm, and there
remained until the death of his father. After that
event he went to Milford, Conn., and entered the
employ of George B. Grinnell, working on bis
large estate, and continuing there siinie three nr
four years. On Oct. 9, 1880, he came to \\atiT-



bury, and to ^k a positio;' with \'\^ Plume & Atwond
Mfg. Co., with wliich tirm he continued until the
followins;- Februar\ ; then was in the employ of the
Steele & Johnson Co. two \ ears ; after which he
was with the Scovill Mfg. Co. seven years; with
the American Ring Co. two vears ; and at the end
of that time went to the W'aterbury Brass Co., as
foreman of their flask department, and has been
with that firm twelve vears.

On Oct. 9, 1880. Mr. Barnes was married to
Miss Jennie E. Carter, dau;:jhter of Dan S. Carter.
of Thomaston ; no children have beeti born to this
union. Mr. and }ilrs. Barnes are members of St.
John's Episcopal Church. They reside in their
elegant residence on the corner of Roseland avenue
and ColuiTibia boulevard, built in iSgg by our sub-
ject. Socially Mr. Barnes is a member of Xosahog-
. an Lodge, Xo. 21, I. O. O. P.. and of Ansantawae
Encampment. Xo. 20, and has passed all the chairs ;
he was grand patriarch of the State of Connecticut
for the term of 1889-90. and he was junior grand
representative of the Grand Encampment of the
Sovereign Grand Encampment that met in Rich-
mond, \'a., in September, 1900. He is affiliated
with Speedwell Lodge, Xo. 10, K. of P., and Tun.xis
\ Tribe, Improved Order of Red Men. In politics
Mr. Barnes is a Republican! He is held in the
highest esteem in the community in which he lives,
being among the most popular of W'aterbury "s

ful agriculturist of the town of Milford, was born
Feb. 24, 1841, at his present homestead in Wood-
mont. His ancestors were early settlers in the town
of Orange, this county, and he traces his ancestry
back to Thomas Beach, from whom he is descended
through John, Tliomas (2) ( w-ho married Hannah
Atwater), Landa (who married Abigail Ann Bald-
win), Samuel and John. Our subject's grandfa-
ther, Samuel Beach, was born in Orange, and fol-
lowed farming as an occupation. He married Bet-
sey Ward, by whom he had two children: John,
■ our subject's father; and Betsey (deceased), who
married Lanson Piatt, a farmer in Milford.

John Beach was bom and reared in Orange, but
settled at the present homestead after his marriage.
He married Frances Fenn, also a native of Orange,
daughter of John Fenn, a farmer of that town.
Our subject was one of a family of eight children,
as follows; Mary (deceased) married Horace
Burwell, a carpenter of Milford; John F. was a
carriagemaker in Milford, and died in California;
Elliott, a carriagemaker, died in X'ew Orleans ;
Susan (deceased) married Hiram Smith, a car-
penter of Orange, and later a policeman in X'ew
Haven ; Abigail died agerl si.xteen ; Dennis, a ma-
chinist and engineer, died in Xew Haven ; Elmina
is the widow of John H. Knapp. a machinist and en-
gineer, and lives in Xew Haven; Theodrire Elliott
was the youngest. The father died June 21, 1S60,

ami the mother did not lor.g survive, passing away
Feb. 10, 1861.

Theodore Elliott Beach has always resided at
his present homestead, and since taking charge of
the place has made a specialty of seed growing.
The place contains fifty acres, with new buildings
and modern improvements, and his new residence
is one of the best in the vicinity of Woodmont.
In politics he is a Republican, and he and his fam-
ily are much esteemed socially. On May i, 1861,
Mr. Beach married Miss Emily P. Fenn. and five
i children have blessed the union. Elliott Fenn, born
i Jan. 3, 1863, a machinist and railroad engineer,
I married Miss Fannie Alice Gardner, and resides in
! Xew Haven ; Frank J., born Aug. i, 1865, a farmer
I on the homestead with our subject, married Miss
j Eda Maud Rhodes; Fannie Elizabeth, born May
j 4, 18G6, and Ida Louise, born Feb. 2, 1868, are
i both teaching school ; and Harry Xorton, born
i Dec. 9. 1875, is a typewriter and stenographer in
! X'ew York.

The Fexx F.\mily is well known in this county,
I and Mrs. Beach was born in Orange, daughter of
I Eliakim T. Fenn, of Orange, and granddaughter
of Col. William Fenn. Her mother whose maiden
name was Elizabeth Ann Piatt, was born in Mil-
ford, daughter of Capt. Joseph Piatt. Eliakim T.
Fenn and his wife had ten children, as follows :
Richard Treat, deceased; Richard, deceased; Sarah
Edwards, deceased ; Frances Ann ; Mary Elizabeth,
deceased ; Elizabeth Gertrude ; William Stone ;
Emily Piatt ; Mary, deceased ; and Heman White,

MRS. FRAX'K E. STEELE, a highly-esteemed
resident of Ansonia, is a member of a prominent
pioneer family of that town, and occupies a house
which was built by her tnaternal grandfather, Willis
Hotchkiss, over forty years ago. It is located at
the corner of State and L'nion streets, being one
of three houses erected by Mr. Hotchkiss in that
block, and is a substantial structure, suggesting
durability. i\Irs. Steele, who was reared in An-
sonia, is the widow of the late Frank E. Steele, a
well-known citizen, and resides with their only son,
Frank Willis Steele.

Frank E. Steele was born Aug. 20, 1848, in
Seymour, this county, son of John B. and Emeline
( Stuart) Steele, both of whom are now deceased.
Fie was the younger of two children, and the elder,
Celestia, is the wife of E. B. Bradley, of Ansonia.
Mr. Steele was reared at the family homestead in
Seymcur, a fine estate of 100 acres, and as he was
hilt six vears old when his father died he took
charge of the place at an early age. For a number
of years he devoted special attention to raising
blooded horses. In 1885 he removed to Ansonia,
but he continued to superintend the farm until his
death, which occurred in Ansonia Sept. 10, i8i;8.
While he had received only a common-school edu-
cation he was well-informed on the issues of the day





, '-vi^f ^v-'^'


.^,^^„,ii^ (2P vsuL^iM-^-


1 1 29

niul be took much interest in local attairs. being an
active worker in the Republican party. During- his
rc-idence in Seymour he served several years as
selectman and at times held other offices. In relig-
ious faith he was a ConqreCTationalist.

In 1881 Mr. Steele married INIiss Lillic J. Chat-
fiold, daughter of Clark Chattield, and a native of
Xew York City. Her grandfather, Joel Chattield,
was born in Seymour, and for many years was a
farmer and merchant in that place, where he died at
the advanced age of ninety-two years. He married
Lucinda Hitchcock, who died in early womanhood.
I'.oth were devout members of the Episcopal Church.
They had two children: Clark, father of Mrs.
Steele ; and Lucinda, now Mrs. Tuttle, of Xew

Clark Chatfield was born in Seymour, -and was
reared upon a farm, receiving a district-school ed-
ucation. When a young man he followed farming
for a short time, and then went to Xew York, where
lie was employed as manager of a store. Later he
went to Iowa, and then to Kingston, X. Y.. and
while there he held the office of city surveyor. He

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 84 of 94)