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 91 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 91 of 94)
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manhood established himself upon the farm given
him by his father. For many years he managed this
property with such skill that he was recognized as
one of the township's most successful farmers. As
he grew older, however, he abandoned active toil
and surrentlered the control of his farm to his son
Howard, and retired to a home in Orange village,
where he still lives. He is a Republican in politics,
and has always taken an active part in public af-
fairs, having served as selectman and a member
of the school board, and for thirty years as. acting
schcx>l visitor. His religious creed is that of the
Congregational Church. He married INIary J., a
daughter of Capt. Merritt Barnes, who passed his
life of ninety-four years as a farmer in Water-
town, loved by his friends and respected by all who
knew him. He was noted for his untiring activity.
Whether bound on an errand of business or pleasure
he always drove two fleet horses. He was a man
of broad, enlightened public spirit, and inherited
a martial disposition from an ancestor. Jonathan
Barnes, who was a soldier in the war of the Revo-
lution. He was for many years a captain in the
militia, and was always recognized as a capable, ef-
ficient officer. He was the father of eleven chil-
dren, of whom Mary J., the wife of Isaac P. Treat,
and the motlur of the weil-known citizen of Orange



whose life is uiiilor review, was the ninth. To
Isaac P. and his wife three children were born,
all of whom are yet living: Emma married Henry
Beers, of New Haven ; ^\rthur is a prosperous ma-
son and builder, and a member of the firm of Sperry
& Treat; and Howard P. is our subject. The
mother of this family died before she was thirty
years of age, leaving her youngest born, Howard
P., bereft of a mother's care when but ten days old.
After her death her husband married again, taking
for a second wife Sarah Booth, of Woodbury. She
bore him one child, Flora Bell, who married Well-
ington Andrew, of Orange, who owns and success-
fully manages a large farm. The second wife of
Mr. Isaac P. Treat is also deceased.

Howard P. Treat was a pupil in the common
schools and the Orange high school. At the age of
nineteen he went to tlie city of New York, intend-
ing to learn the trade of a plumber ; not finding
that pursuit to his taste, he returned to the farm
within a few months, where he continued to remain
as his father's assistant and lieutenant for many
years. Since he has succeeded to its sole manage-
ment he has carried on general farming.

On Dec. 2, 1880, Mr. Treat was married to
Isabclle Rogers, who was born in New Haven, an
adopted daughter of John Rogers, a Milford farmer.
Four daughters and two sons have blessed this
union: Lottie B., a high school graduate; Arthur
P., an electrician in Newark, N. J., in the employ
of the Crocker Wheeler Co. ; Laura, a pupil in the
high school ; Howard B. ; Helen, who died in in-
fancy ; and Alice.

Air. Treat's disposition is genial, generous and
wholesouled ; yet his character does not partake of
frivolity. He wins friends readily through affa-
bility, and retains them through his moral force.
He is a consistent member of the Congregational
Church of Orange. Politically he is a Republican,
and though he can not be called an active partisan,
he has been honored by election to important local
offices through the suffrages of his fellow towns-
men. For three years he was registrar of voters,
and in 1896 was chosen selectman, to, which office
he was re-elected in 1897 and 1898. He became a
member of Harmony Lodge, I. O. O. F., of New
Haven, in 1S78, and of the Grange, as well as a
member of the Orange Agricultural Society.

GUSTA\'E CORXELIS is one of the import-
ant factors in the business circles of Wolcott, and
his life is an exemplification of the term "the dignity
of labor." He has utilized the possibilities that
.\merica offers to her citizens, for coming to Amer-
ica in limited circumstances he has steadily and
perseveringly worked his way upward, leaving the
ranks of the many to stand among the successful
few. He is now engaged in the silver plating busi-
ness, and is also interested in the breeding of fine
trotting horses.

Mr. Cornciis was born near Brussels, Belgium,



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COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



1155



April 2/. 1840, a smi iif C'hp.rks Loui* and Celleta
(I'oppej Cornelis, lite-long residents of that coun-
try. The father, who was a merchant, died at the
age of forty-nine vears. Only two of the eight
cliildren reside in America, viz. : Gustave, our sub-
ject ; and Clement, a merchant of Woodtick, town
of Wolcott, New Haven coimty. Religiously the
family were all members nf the Catholic Church.

During his boyhood Gustave Cornelis attended
the schools of his native land, was quite a student,
and became an expert in arithmetic. After his fa-
ther's death, which occurred when he was quite
■\oung, he was throwtt upon his own resources, and
worked for an uncle for a time. At the age of
eleven he obtained a position as bookkeeper with a
grain dealer, and soon became quite proficient in
that line, although he had previously no knowledge
of the business. He went to Paris, France, at the
age of eighteen years, and found employment at a
railroad depot, where he remained until 1872. He
then resolved to try his fortune in America, where
he believed better opportunities were attorded am-
bitious and industrious young nien. He sailed from
Liverpool, England, and landed in New York with-
out mone}- or friends, but he possessed a stout heart,
willing hands and a determination to succeed. Go-
ing to \\'inchester, Conn., he found employment at
cutting- wood and making charcoal, for which he re-
ceived $40 per month, and trom there came to
\\'aterbury, where lie learned the silver-plating busi-
ness. He continued to work for others until iSSi,
when lie embarked in the same business on his own
account at Woodtick. and in the undertaking has
met with well-deserved success, although his factory
was destroyed by fire in 1800. With characteristic
energy he at once rebuilt, and now has a fine plant.
He is also engaged in the breeding of horses and
owns some fine blooded stock, including a trotting
stallion. "True Roseman." His place is known as
the Applewood Stock Farm.

In 1875, in Waterbury, 2\[r. Cornelis married
INIiss Julia Bernier, a native of Quebec, Canada, who
died in May, i8q8, and was buried in St. Joseph's
cemetery, Waterbury. She was a member of the
Catholic Church. To that union were born two
daughters, Laura ^L and Emily, young ladies of
culture and refinement ; they are still at home with
their father. Although Mr. Cornelis takes a deep
interest in local aftairs he has never been an office
seeker and is not identified with any particular
party. He is strictly a business man, and the pros-
jierity that has crowned his efforts is certainly
Well merited, as it is due entirely to his own un-
aided efforts.

WILLLVM C. SHARRE. well known as an
historian and as publisher and editor of the Sey-
mour Record, is one of the representative men of
Seymour, and a descendant of an old Connecticut

laniily, his line of ticsccu: being tracetl fri>in
Thomas Sharpc, who was one of the original thir-



t\-eight grantees of the town of Xcwtown, in 1708.
Air. Sharpe received a g(X)d education in the
public schools of Seymour, completing his studies
at Wesleyan Academy, Wilbraham, Alass. -Vfter
leaving school he engaged for some time in teach-
ing, his last experience being as principal of the
sc'hool at East Derby. In 180S he opened a print-
ing office in Seymour, and three years later estab-
lished the Record, which was enlarged in 1S87 to
its present size — eight si.x-coluann pages — and is
one of the best weekly papers in the State. His
work as an historian has been crowned with suc-
cess. "The History of Seymour," in two volumes,
is from his untiring pen, as well as "The Aniials of
the Seymour M. E. Church'' and "South Britain
Records and Sketches,'' and he has also compiled
several genealogical works. In all the aft'airs of
tne town Mr. Sharpe takes an active interest, especi-
ally in educational matters, and for nine years he
I was a member of the board of education, during
i which time he served as secretary and as acting
school visitor. In religious connection he is a mem-
I ber of the Congregational Church, of which he has
' been clerk for about ten years. He is also a mem-
ber of New Haven Commandery. Knights Templar,
[ of the Connecticut Historical Society, and of the
1 following orders: Odd Fellows, Knights of Pyth-
j ias. Red Men, New England Order of Protection
I and the Temple of Honor.

FREDERICK J. WOOSTER, whose business
ability, mechanical skill, and executive force are at-
tested by the facts of his personal history well-
j known to many of his Waterbury fellow towns-
I men, was born in Naugatuck July 8, 1854, a son
^ of Horace B. Wooster, who was also born in that
( town in 1827, and wjio died in Seymour, Conn.,
I in 1883. Albert Wooster, his father, a native of
I Connecticut, married J^Iiss Mitty Chatfield, and
reared a family of four children : Horace B. , Let-
'; some T., Emma E. and William H. H. Letsome
I T. is superintendent of the Seymour ^Ifg. Co.'s
! brass and German silver mills, and is mentioned
elsewhere ; Emma E. is unmarried ; and William H.
H. is a member of the Seymour Brass Co. Albert
Wooster was a farmer, and died many yeai:^ ago.
His widow died April 24, 1898, at the age of ninety-
two years.

Horace B. Wooster, the father of Frederick ].,
grew up in Naugatuck, and was a millwright by
trade. For many years he filled the position of
superintendent of the Brass \\'orks at Seymour.
Tlie brass mills there were built hv him, and it was
in them that he was accidentally killed. Miss Nancy
E. Riggs, who became his wife, was born in Ox-
ford, Conn., a daughter of Stephen Riggs. a farm-
er. The death of tliis excellent lady left Frederick
J. motherless at the tender age of two and a half
vcars. To Mr. and ^Irs. Horace B. Wooster were
b'lrn three children: .Martha, .M;irv r.nil l-'rcdorick
J. Martha married W. .\. Church, uf Derby, Conn.,



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COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



and Mniv hecame tlic wife of C. J. \\'aliacc. of
W'ater'uury, Conn. Horace IS. was a strons; Re-
publican, and belonged to the M.thudi.-t Cluirch.

Frederick J. Wooster spent the greater j^art of
his early youth in \\'atLrbiir\'. whither his parents
had come when he was very young. In the public
schools of this city lu- laid the foundations of his
education, and acquireil a very good preparation
for practical life. As a young man he worked a
year on a farm, and tlien canie back to W'aterbury.
where he and his father were in the cuncrete busi-
ness, and the two worked together for some eight
years. Then Frederick J. betook himself to An-
sonia, Conn., where he learned the brass rolling
trade of his uncle. L. T. Wooster. of the Osborne-
Cheeseman Co. Having mastered this trade, he
joined his father in building the Seymour Com-
pany's plant, and remained in that enterprise about
two years. Mr. Wooster learned much about the
business, and liked it so well that after keeping
books for a year in a grocery in Waterburv he took
a position as roller for the Waterbury Brass Co.
His promotion was rapid, and he was soon put in
charge of the shipping department. The charge of
the mill was given him July 8, 1886. and he is now
general superintendent of the rolling, rod and wire
mills.

Mr. Wooster and Miss Carrie M. Buckland, a
daughter of A. J. Buckland, formerly of Springfield,
Mass.. were married July 8. 1875. To this union
were born seven children : Mabel B. : Henry M. ;
Edward H., deceas<;d : Jennie M., now deceased;
Horace B. : Frederick J., Jr. : and Florence E.
Mabel B. married Dr. George A. Faber. and lives
in Waterbury. Mr. Wooster is a Republican, and
belongs to Xosahogan Lodge, I. O. O. F.. and the
A. O. U. W. Mr. and Mrs. Wooster attend the
Methodist Church.

FREDERICK X. SFERRY, M. D. Among
the young professional men of the citv of New
Haven none have brighter prospects of attaining an
exalted rank in medicine and surgery than Dr. h'red-
erick X. Sperry.

As far back as Mansfield Sperry. his great-
grandfath.er. v.-e find an honorable family record of
industrious and energetic citizens bearing the fam-
ily name. Mansfiekl Sperry was a stone mason, a
trade which he had learned from his own father,
and passed on to his son Lewis, who was also born
in the family homestead, m Woodhridge. Conn.
Lewis Sperry reared a family of several children.
one of whom was Alfred, the father of our subject,
born in Westville, in 1843. who still survives, hav-
ing for twenty-five years been connected with a
large factory in Xew Haven, as a contractor. Dr.
Sperry"s mother. Lois E. ( Ryerson ) Sperrv. who
was born in Abljingtcn, Mass., was a daughter of
William and Rhoena (Whitmarsh) Rverson. na-
tives of Suinr.er. Maini. and Dii^luon. Ma - ., re-
spectively. Mrs. Sperry still surviv.es. She was



the mother i.f .\ltreil \\'illiani, who is a civil engi-
neer in Xew Haven : and Frederick X.

Dr. Frederick X. .Sperry was born Dec. 29,
1872, and attended the pui)lic schools of his native
city, .graduating from the high school in i8yi, and
from Yale Medical School in 1894. For the fol-
lowing year and a half he was an interne at the
X'ew Haven General Hospital, and in October,
1895, began his career as a practitioner. Dr. Sperry
has been well received by his brother physicians,
and is a member of the city, county and State medi-
cal societies, and of the American Medical Asso-
ciation. In the Vale Medical School he has been
an assistant in the clinics, and at present operates
in the ear and throat clinics, and is demonstrator of
anatomy. Dr. Sperry is a valued member of the
Masonic fraternity, being a thirty-second-degree
Mason, Knight Templar, and a member of the
Mystic Shrine. Socially he is a member of the
Greek letter college society, D. E. I. : and in his
religious belief he is' a Congregationalist. C)n ac-
count of his pleasing personaHty, the Doctor is
popular in X'ew Haven, and is successful in his
chosen profession.

REV. JAMES LAWREXCE WILLARD. D.

D. (deceased), for over thirty-eight years the be-
loved pastor of the Westville Congregational
Chtirch. needs no eulogy at our hands. His con-
secrated Christian life tore the evidences of high
character, firm faith, unfaltering purpose, culti-
vated intelligence, knit and strengthened by a spirit
of tolerance and unmistakable kindliness of disposi-
.tion which wen him friends on every side, in everv
walk of life. For a minister to occupy one pulpit
continuously and satisfactorily for over thirty-
eight years implies continued energy, as well as
development and progress not possible to everv
mind. That Dr. Willard possessed these traits in
large measure was apparent to all who came within
the sphere of his influence.

James L. Willard was born Oct. 11. 1825, in
Madison. Conn., where the family has long been
settled. His father, James Willard. was also bom
in Madison. The latter married Susan Chan-
ning, who was Ixirn at Xewport, R. I., of Scottish
ancestry, and seven children blessed this union,,
namely: Sophia W. : John A.; William B. : James
L., our subject; Capt. Samuel, who was killed in
the Civil war. at the battle of Antietam ; Amelia ;
and Edward X.. a former judge of the supreme
court at Scranton. Pennsylvania.

In 1852 Dr. Willard married Miss Mctorine E.
Hopson. who was born in Madison. Conn., daugh-
ter of Xathan W. and Lucy (Hand) Hopson. and
their union was blessed with one child, Katharine,
now the widow of S. Arthur Marsden. Their only
child, Arthur W., born Sept. 16, 1880, is a law
student in Coluniliia College.

James L. W illard grew tn manhood on the
paternal farm in .Mailis(.in. and prepared for college



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COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



1157



in the Idcal schools. Eiitfriiin^ Yale College, he was
jrradiiatcd from the Academic Department in 1S49.
and immediately thereafter took his three years"
theological course at the Yale Seminary, complet-
ing same in 1852. Ills classmatci included many
men who later became famous in the various pro-
fessions. He was in the seminary when Dr. Tay-
lor, though ])ast his prime, was still the ruling
spirit, and the impre.-s of that nohle life was a last-
ing influence in the life of Dr. Willard. Our sub-
ject had gained renown as a preacher before his
preparatory days wer? over, and immediately after
their close he preachetl in the Congregational
Church at Seymour. Conn., remaining there nearly
three years. He then received a unanimous call
to the Congregational Church at W'estville. where
lie was ordained pastor on Oct. 17, 1855. and he
continued in that charge until his death, Jan. 7,
1894. Several times during the latter part of this
long pastorate, realizing that his strength was fail-
ing, he had thought of laying aside the heavy
burden of pastoral work, thcugh reluctant to give
lip the labors so dear to him. and he had decided
to hand in his resignation the very Sunday on which
the bond between him and his congregation was
severed by a higher power. As preacher, as pas-
tor, as friend, he ministered lovingly to the many
Avith whom he came in contact in all those years,
and though not an ostentatious man under any cir-
cumstances his influence for good was widespread
and deep, a quiet but potent force among a wide
circle of parishioners, friends and acquaintances. Dr.
Willard received several calls to fields wider and
affording greater opportunity for one of his am-
bitious nature, but he could never -bring himself
to sunder relations which had become so dear to
liim. or to shirk- responsibilities exacting, though
often self-imposed. The Doctor was sociable and
friendly to all ; kind and considerate to the bereaved
and distressed : benevolent to the needy ; tolerant
to the weak; and possessed a tact in his relations
with everybody which made his presence an ever-
welcome one. However, with all his desire to give
ofifense to no man. he was positive in his. convic-
tions of right, and never yielded an inch to ex-
pediency or popularity in defense of a righteous
cause or wdien attacking an evil. The Doctor was
an ardent patriot, and his political views were
those of .the Republican party. He was public-
spirited to the last degree, and. believing that the
material, moral and intellectual Vvtlfare of a com-
munity throve side by side, strove ever to uphold
advancement in one line with due reference to its
effect on the other. His love for literature was
among his most prominent intellectual traits, and
was manifested in his conversation and sermons.
The Doctor's degree, conferred upon him by Mary-
ville (Tenn. ) College, was never more worthily
bestowed. Dr. Willard never neglected his pastor-
al duties to prepare iiimself for ornate jnilpit ora-
torv; he never indulged his tastes for literature at



the expense nf the studies and research necessary
for his effective work as a preacher; but he never-
theless succeeded in keeping fully abreast of the
times, both as theologian and a thinker en all up-
to-date subjects, and it is this fact which accounts
for his continued success, over so long a period, in
one pastorate, conditions which cause many an able-
botlied man to rust. That he never fell into a rut,
that he could appreciate and adopt the best in both
the old and new. without inconstancv to the one
or an eager desire for the other, was recognized
especially by his brethren in the ministry, all of
whom loved and revered him. Many a home and
many a friendly circle were sorelv 'bereaved bv his
death, and his remains were followed to their last
resting-place in Westville cemetery by a large con-
course of people besides those of his congregation.
The ministers of the various local churches of all
denominations vied with each other in tributes
of respect and love.

CHARLES YOUNG WOODRUFF, a well-
known resident of Ansonia. is one of the leading
contractors and builders of that locality, many of
the largest and most important buildings of the city
having been constructed by him. Among these we
may -mention the Gardner block ; the Foresters Hall
block, occupied by the Foresters and Ansonia Fur-
niture Co. ; front on the Lindley block and Fellows
clothing store ; the Episcopal parsonage ; the addi-
tions to the Farrell foundry ; all the buildings of the
Schneller. Osborne & Cheeseman Co.. one being 325
feet long and three stories high ; the Stillson House
blocks, across the river; and several additions for.
the Ansonia Electrical Co.. including one 40x90
feet, and 40 feet high, with an office forty feet
square.

Air. Woodruff was born Feb. 22. 1859. in
Sharon, Conn., and comes of an excellent family
which has been identified with that section for manv
years. Daniel S. Woodruff, our subject's father,
spent his life in Sharon, following the shoemaker's
trade, and his death occurred there at the age of
sixty-one. He and his wife, Harriet Benton, who
died at the age of seventy-eight, were devout and
consistent members of the Congregational church.
They had three children : Jane, who married Henry
S. Lindsey. of Ashley Falls, Mass. ; Charles Y.. our
subject; and Gilbert H., a tinner, who died in
Sharon, aged twenty-seven.

Charles Y. Woodruff was but eleven years old
when his father died, and he remained at home un-
til he reached the age of eighteen, receiving a com-
mon-school education. At fifteen he began to learn
the carpenter's trade in Sharon with L. "\'an Aletyne
and at eighteen he located in Ansonia, the first year
being spent in work under instruction for Charles
TI. Stillson. of the firm of Powe & Stillson. Later,
as a journeyman, he worked two vears for this firm
and four years for F. A. Lines & Co.. where he wns
made foreman. In 1883 he formed a partner^hii)






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II58



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



with W. R. Mott, and bought out the business of
Lines & Co., and they continued a general con-
tracting business until the death of Mr. Ivlott in
1895. They built up the largest business in their
line in that section, employing from ten to twenty-
five men, and under ^Ir. Woodruff's management
there has been no decrease of prosperity. He con-
tracts for brick, wood or stone work, and completes
the entire building from cellar to roof, and much
of his draughting is done bv him. He has won
praise b}- his fine cabinet work in interiors, and in
many of the stores in town the fittings, as well as
the building, have been completed under liis su-
pervision. His office is located at No. 3 Mechanic
s/treet, where he has a shop and improved machinerv,
and he also owns a house which he rents. He is a
'charter member of the Ansonia Board of Trade,
and he is active in municipal affairs as a member of
the Republican party, having served as councilman
from his ward on the first board elected after An-
sonia became a city. For sixteen years he has been
a prominent worker in the I. O. O. F., in which he
has filled all the chairs, and he is a leading member
of Eagle Hose Co.. in which he has held various
offices, including those of steward -and second as-
sistant foreman. He attends the Congregational
Church, of which his wife is a member, and at pres-
ent he is a member of the Ecclesiastical Society.

In 1888 Mr. Woodruff married Aliss Emma J.
TifTany, who was born in Ansonia, the only child
of Joseph Tiffany and his third wife, Margaret
Davidson. Her father, who was a weaver by occu-
pation, was an early settler in the town, and his
death occurred there in 1868. Her mother now
makes her home with our subject. Mr. and Mrs.
Woodruff' have had three children, of whom two
are living, Margaret H. and Elsie T.

GEORGE BEAUMONT is a noteworthy de-
scendant of the Beaumont family, which is of
F'rench origin remotely, during the days of William
the Conqueror entered England, and has long been
settled in Hartford county.

Deodate Beaimiont, the grandfather of George,
was born in East Hartford, and was the first of
that name in W'allingford. He was a son of Ed-
mund Beaumont, who was a native of East Hart-
ford, and was a soldier in the French and Indian
war and the Revolutionary war. He spent his life
in East Hartford. During the latter part of the



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 91 of 94)