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 93 of 94)
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church, and with his wife teaches in the Sunday-
school. Both are prominent people, much esteemed
for their good character, kindly spirit, and un-
swerving integrity.

WILLIAM J. STANLEY is an expert ma-
chinist, and holds an honorable position in Water-

■ bury. The Scovill ^Manufacturing Co., that has,
an eye for men of mechanical genius, early dis-
cerned the kind of a man he was and gave him
work, pushing him forward, until he now occupies
a responsible place in their factory. Mr. Stanley
was born in Bergen, Hudson Co., N. J., Sept. 2.
1858, and is a son of James A. Stanley, whose
biography and family history appears in connection
with the sketch of his son, F. E. Stanley, a sketch
of whom may be found elsewhere.

William J. Stanley came to Hopeville, near
Waterbury, when a child, and lived there until he
was five years old, when his parents moved into
the city, and here has been his home to the present
time. His education has been largely acquired at
odd moments, but it is surprisingly good, and
covers a much broader field than one would imag-
ine, considering the very limited schooling he
has had. He is a wide reader, and a close student
of the world about him. At the age of ten years
he became the second messenger boy for the West-
em Union Telegraph Co., and at an early age he
entered the factory of the Carrington Alanufactur-
ing Co., and has made rapid progress in indus-
trial matters. Mr. Stanley was with the ^latthews
& Stanley Co. from 1873 to 1875, ^"'1 since that
time has been associated with the Scovill Manu-
facturing Co.. where lie has achieved a large suc-
cess as a tool maker. For fifteen years he has been
the foreman of a department, and has a thorough
mastery of every one of its details.

.\t the early age of ten Mr. Stanley manifested
a decided musical gift. In 1876 he became a
student of Prof. Baier, and studied with him for
■several years, and in 1877 became the organist at
the Old Baptist Church, where he officiated until



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COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



1 163



1881. From 1881 tu 18S3 he played the organ
in the Thoniaston Congregational Chureh ; from
1883 to 1886, in the \\ aterbury Baptist Church;
from 1886 to 1888. the CongregatiLHial Church in
Watertown ; from 1888 to i8yy. the I'irst Baptist
Qiurch of W'aterburw

On April 28, 1887. Mr. Stanle}: was united in
marriage with Miss I'lora Brown, who was born
in Ashland, Mass.. a daughter of Benjamin G. and
Ella (Hudson) Brown, natives of Ashland and
Framingham, .Mass., respectivel}'. Mr, Brown is
living, but his wife died Oct. 31, 1894. The Hud-
son family are of Scotch extraction, while the
Browns came from England. To ^Ir. and Mrs.
Stanley have been born t-\vo children : ( i ) Louise
and (2) Ada. In politics Mr. Stanley is a Repub-
lican. Socially he has been a member of Xosa-
hogan Lodge, Xo. 21, L O. O. F., for more than
twenty years, and is also affiliated with Waterbury
Lodge, Xo. 95, A. O. C. W. He is a Mason of
prominent standing, and belongs to Harmony
Lodge, Xo. 21, F. & A. M.. Eureka Giapter, and
Clark Commanderv, Xo. 7, K. T. Mr. Stanley and
his family are all Baptists, and lie has taken an
active and efficient part in the musical affairs of
that church. • . ■.

EMMETT A. CARLEY, a well-known citizen
of Cheshire, who is successfully engaged in the
express- business between Cheshire and Xew Haven,
was born in Xew Mllford. Litchfield Co., Conn.,
Aug. 28, 1846, a son of Eli A. and Laura (Hub-
bell) Carley, and grandson of James and Betsy
(Dawson) Carley. The grandfather was also a
native of Litchfield county, was a farmer by oc-
cupation, and was a great hunter and trapper. He
died in Xaugatuck. Conn., his wife in Danbury,
this State. To them were born three sons, John,
Eli A. and Hugh.

Eli A. Carley, father of our subject, was born
in Litchfield county April 9, 1809. and was reared
and educated in the town of Kent, that county.
He was a builder and millwright by trade, and
continued to follow the latter occupation through-
out life. In 1855 he came to Oxford, Xew Haven
county, where he died Jan. 18. 1867. His wife
died in Shelton, Fairfield Co.. Conn., in 1890. In
their family were nine children: James F., who
died young; James F. (2); Lucv Ann, widow of
Julius W. Munson, of Wallingford. Conn.; Ellen
Sophia, >[rs. Curtis H. Dodge, of the same place;
Horatio H., who died in Wolcott in i88<): Eli Al-
fred, superintendent of the Housatonic Water Co.
at Shelton; John, a resident of Waterbury; Em-
mett A., our subject; and Charles W., who died
in Oxford at the age of nine years.

The boyhood and youth of Emmett A. Carley
were passed in Oxford, where he attended school
and where he continued to make his home until
thirty years of age. In early life he drove a stage
in Connecticut and later in Pennsylvania, having



charge of a line running from Mauch Chunk, but
he was obliged to leave that State during the
troubles with the "Molly Maguires." For a time
he was engaged in the livery business in Bristol
and Xew Haven, and in 1895 he located on a farm
in Cheshire, and engaged in the milk business and
in dealing in horses and cattle. He had a large
milk route in \\'aterbury.

In 1878, in Bristol, Mr. Carley married Miss
Frances Lane, a native of Wolcott, Xew Haven
count}-, and a daughter of Asahel and Harriet
(Mansfield) Lane, both of whom are deceased. To
this union have been born four children, three of
whom are now living, namely: Mabel F., Julius
M., and Russell Henry. Politically Mr. Carley is
a stanch Prohibitionist, and he is a member of the
Zklethodist Episcopal Church of Cheshire. He
served as constable of Oxford at one time, but has
never been an office seeker, though as a citizen he
is always ready to discharge any duty that de-
volves upon him.

JOHX F. McGR.VIL. well known to those
familiar with the operating force of the Winchester
Repeating Arms Co., at Xew Haven, as a man of
high character, unswerving integrity, and unwearied
industry, was born at Mt. Carmel, Conn., May 22,
i860, son of John ^IcGrail, who was born in
County Limerick, Ireland, Dec. 4, 1831. Ste-
phen JNIcGrail, the grandfather of John F., was a
farmer in Ireland, came to the United States, and
died seven days after first setting foot on the Amer-
ican shore.

John McGrail came to this country in 1844.
landing in Boston, Mass. In 1856 he married
Eliza Rourke, an Irish compatriot. Two of the
five children born to them are living: John F. ;
and Annie M., who married James R. Mercer, of
Xew Haven. The father was engaged for twenty-
one years in Mt. Carmel as an axle maker.

John F. McGrail spent his boyhood and youth
at Mt. Carmel, where he attended school, and very
early began the labor of his own support, going
into a bolt shop while still a lad of only eight years.
In Xew Haven he attended public school three
years, and then secured a situation in the factory
of the Winchester Repeating Arms Co., where his
industrious habits, intelligent nature and trust-
worthiness brought him forward step by step; he
now holds a responsible and profitable connection
with the Company as a contractor in the bullet
room.

Mr. McGrail was married Oct. 22, i8<;)0, to
Elizabeth A. Shannon, of Xew Haven, a daughter
of James Shannon, a native of Ireland. To this
union were born a family of six children : Gert-
rude; Estella; Sylvester and Mncent, twins; Ray-
mend; and Clement. 2\Ir. McGrail has always been
a Democrat, and has a very vivid comprelicnsinn
of tiie political issues of the hour. Socially he be-
long.s to the X. E. O. P., and in religion is a mem-



'1 164



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



her of St. Mary"? rariMi. Lathullc Cluirch. His
summer liome, at Farviow Beach is a very pleasant
spot, and while not as costly as some, it is in good
taste, and presents an inviting- appearance.

DENNIS H. TIERXEY, one of the most
prominent business men of W'aterbury, at present
■engaged in the real-estate, insurance and bond and
surety business, is a native of Ireland, born at
Abbeylei.x, Queen's County, in the year 1846.

John Tierney, father of our subject, was also
:a native of Queen's County, born at Portarlington,
a son of Matthew Tierney, who carried on the sale
of timber and lumber at that place. John Tierney
married IMargaret McDonald, and si.x children
were born to them, all of whom are now deceased
except our subject. One died in Ireland. Michael
died of fever in Mississippi, while serving in the
United States regular army. Margaret passed
away at the age of seven years. In 1S48 the par-
ents, with five children, emigrated to the United
States on a sailing vessel, the voyage — which,
owing to storms (the masts and rigging being
twice carried away), lasted fourteen weeks — being
made via Quebec. Fever having broken , out
among the passengers, the ill-fated ship was quar-
antined at or near Quebec, and a large shed, pro-
vided with roof only, the sides and ends being open,
■was utilized as a temporary hospital. Here the
father died shortly after lanriing. leaving a widow
and five children, two of whom also died at or near
Quebec. Mrs. Tierney journeyed to \\'aterbury,
Conn., where she had two brothers and one sister
living, but as their means were not sufficiently
ample to afTord much aid to their widowed sister
and her three children, she was confronted with
tlie vital necessity of providing some immediate
means of support. So she bravely set her face to
the task, and, laundry work being thi.' most avail-
able .at the time, for six long years, day and night,
the. brave woman industriouslv labored, washing
and ironing. At about the end of that time she se-
cured a position in the Hotchkiss & Merriman web
shop (now known as the American Mills), inspect-
ing and pressing webs. She died in \\'aterburv in
1888.

Dennis H. Tierney, the subject of this memoir.
■was about eighteen months old when the family
came to W'aterbury, and here he received his ele-
■ mentary education, partly in the district schools and
partly, by the advice of his mother, at night school.
At the age of nine years he was employed in the
buckle factory, and afterward in manv of the fac-
tories of W'aterbury, becoming somewhat skilled
in the manipulating of metals. When about eight-
een years old he began work in the thimble depart-
ment of the Scovill Manufacturing Co.. remaining
three years : and while there, under the guidance of
B. .S. Curtiss, of W'oodburv. Conn., he learned the
craft of toolmaking, also the machine Ini.siiic'is. in
a limited wav. After three viars' service in W'ater-



bury, h.i\ iiiQ- decided that New York offered a more
extended field for advancement, he took his tool
chest and traveling bag into the big city, with high
hopes of learning something new, yet not without
grave fears and misgivings lest he should be un-
able to cope with the greater mechanics of the city,
which fears and misgivings were overcome only
after many sleepless nights. During the years
1867-6S he took a course of instruction in the
Cooper Union for Advancement of Science and
Art, particularly in the mechanical drawing depart-
ment. He divided his time between this and the
common evening school of New York City. At
the Cooper L'nion he graduated with the class of
1808. and took a first-class certificate for superior
ability. Afterward he had e.xperience in various
machine shops, and in perfecting machinery for
Ketchum Brothers. McDougal & Co., New York,
for the makinsr of silver thimbles from a solid disk
of silver. He invented a bevel and tapering gauge,
a necktie fastener, and a lathe chuck by the use of
which work may be adiusted to the one-thousandth
part of an inch in the lathe.

After a residence of three years in New York
Mr. Tierney worked for a short time in Danbury,
Conn., in a sewing-machine factory ; then went to
Forestville. Hartford county, where he made dies
in the Bristol Brass & Clock Co., in the burner de-
partment : and after ten years there he invented
what is known as "Tierney's Diamond Dust Hard-
ening Powder," for hardening steel, and which af-
terwards proved a great success. He also invented
a tov that gained considerable popularitv.

Returning to W'aterbury. Mr. Tiernev in the
year 188 1 opened the Naugatuck \'alley Patent
Agency, shortly afterward adding the real-estate,
general insurance, and bond and suretv business.
His first office, a room about 4x9 feet," made from .
a small hallwav, was at No. 59 Bank street : he was
then on East Main street, and later moved to No.
167 Bank street, where he is now located. In addi-
tion to his regular business interests he was presi-
dent of the Globe Publishing Co.. W'aterbury (who
publish the Evening Globe), and a stockholder in
the Conimcrcial Record, published in New Haven.
In T893 he was chairman of the Central school dis-
trict financial committee.

Mr. Tierney has been tliree times married, first

time, Jan. 28, 187,^. to Julia -A. Smith, who was

born in County W'estmeath. Ireland, whence she

came to W'aterluiry in childhood. She died in 1875,

! the mother of one child, Henry S., who was in

! Cuba, as chief engineer of the governinent steam

I launch "Percy." In 1885 our subject married

! Annie Fisher, of Danbury, who was born in the city

of Cork, Ireland, whence she came to this country

I in childhood. She died June 20, 1887, without

issue. In 1889 Mr. Tierney married Margaret E.

' Cassid}-, who was Imrn in Creenwood. X, Y., and

seven ciiildren came to this imion : [ohn D..

; Mathcw D., May M., Mark, Madeline "C, Gcr-



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COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



1 165.



aU'inc J., and Luke (ckcea.-ed). The family are
identified with the Church of the Immaculate Con-
ception, and Mr. Tierney is very prominent in
Catholic circles, as well as in all matters of public
interest, irrespective of creed or politics.

Socially ^Ir. Ticrncv is a member of the
Knights of Columbus, and was <jrand knight of
Carrolltr.n Council, lie was ])resident of the Sec-
ond Division, A. O. H., and was chairman of the
Reception committee, which liad in charge the care
and feeding of thousands of Hibernians who came
from all parts of Connecticut, as wdl as other
States, to the centennial celebration on May 23,
1898. He is president of an association organized
for the purpose of erecting a monument 10 the
memory of James Reynolds, the Irish patriot, and
he was treasurer of the committee in raising funds
to send the remains of Stephen J. ^leany (another
Irish patriot) to Ireland. He also belongs to the
Amsrican-Irish Historical Society. In 1S80 he was
president of the Young Men's Catholic Institute, of
Xaugatuck, Conn., and he was one of the fore-
most to advocate the use of its books to the public
without regard to color, creed, or nationality, and
the Institute sO' voted. In 1882 he organized a
Father Matthew Total Abstinence and Benevolent
Society, in Bristol, Conn., and was its first presi-
dent, and he has adhered to the principles of total
abstinence from that time to the present. Our
subject was one of the active workers, treasurer as
well as a member, of the "Manila Testimonial Com-
mittee," representing the people of W'aterbury in
showing their appreciation of her loyal citizens by
presenting a highly embellished sword to a lieuten-
ant, and a gold watch and chain to a common sea-
man, both of whom were with Commodore Dewey
and took part in that memorable engagement in
Manila, May i, 1898; through the same committee
the town presented a solid silver medal to each and
every one of the Waterbury people who served their
country in the Spanish-American war. Mr. Tier-
ney has been active to aid the Boers in South Af-
rica. He was chairman of a mass meeting com-
posed of all classes of citizens, held at \\'aterbury
March 6, 1900, which adopted resolutions of sym-
pathv with the Boers in their struggles for liberty.
These resolutions were sent to many prominent
men, including the President of the United States.
Our subject is intensely patriotic, and is loyal to
his native land. Like all true Irishmen, he is a
lover of liberty. In politics Mr. Tierney is a Demo-
crat, and as a man of refinement- and sterling
qualities of character he is most highly esteemed.

JAMES CLIFFORD DOOLITTLE, an en-
ergetic and progressive farmer and lumber manu-
facturer of West Woods, Hamden, Xew Haven
county, was born there, on the Doolittle homestead,
Feb. 22, 1874, and is a worthy representative of one
of the hnnnred old fr.n'ilic-; nf the cmintx. His
great-grandfatlier, Daniel Doolittle, was born in



the town of \\'a!lingford, but when a vniuig man
came to Hamden and purchased a farni. on which
he spent the remainder of his life, engag&d in gen-
eral farming and stock raising. He married Miss
Druce Chattcrton. who also died in Hamden, and
both were laid to rest in the Mt. Carmel cemcterv.
They were consistent members of the Congrega-
tional Church and most estimable people. In their
family were six children: Lura, who died unmar-
ried; Julia, wife of William Ellis; Percy; Arilla ;
Heman and Morris.

Henian Doolittle, the grandfather of our sub-
ject, was born in Hamden, ?ilarch 19, 1799, and
was educated in the district schools of the town.
He 'Spent his entire life in Hamden, ' where he
owned and operated a large tract of land, was suc-
cessfully engaged in general farming, and also
dealt in wood quite extensively. He died upon his
farm, July 26, 1875, and was buried in Mt. Carmel
cemetery. On Nov. 11. 1824, he married Julia
Allen, who was born in ^\'allingford, Dec. 24, 1802,
a daughter of Ernest Allen, and died July 26. 1854.
She was an earnest member of the Baptist Church.
In their family were eight children : Emilv. born
Sept. 2, 1826, died Dec. 30, 1885; Amanda, born
May 18, 1828, was married, Sept. 8, 1852. to Anson
Doolittle ; Oswin, the father of cur subject, was
next in order of birth; Julia A., born Oct. 9, 1832,
was married, Sept. 9, i860, to Lewis Joyce, of
Hamden; Samuel D., born ^larch 12, 1835, was
married, Nov. 28, 1861, to Cornelia A. Sanford;
Caroline, born April 20, 1836, died Sept. 19, 1836;
Ellen M., born March 30, 1840, died Oct. i. 1843;
and Sarah J., born Oct. 5, 1844, married Jerome
C. Munson.

Oswin Doolittle, father of our subject, was born
in West Woods, Hamden, July 30, 1830, was reared
upon a farm, anil educated in the district schools.
Throughout life he followed agricultural pursuits,
and o,wned and operated a fine farm of seventy-five
acres, upon whicli he made many useful and sub-
stantial improvements. He also owned a sawmill
and was engaged in the manufacture of lumber. He-,
was a stanch supporter of the Republican party,
but never a politician in the sense of office seeking.
On May 10, 1865, he married Sarah Josephine
Root, widow of Capt. Henry Gerrish, and to them
were born five children, namely: Howard, a resi-
dent of Torrington, Conn. ; Sherwood, of New
York State; Warren; Christina, wife of Edward
Haynes; and James C, our subject. The father
died in 1893, the mother in 1886, honored and re-
spected by all who knew them, and were laid to
rest in the Mt. Carmel cemetery.

James C. Doolittle obtained his education in the
district schools of Hamden, and a business college
of New Haven. During his youth he aided his
father in the labors of the farm and mill, and re-
sided upon the old homestead until 1896. when he
;)!jrcha-;ed the farm of 100 acres, in Hamd.en, upon
'ivhich he now resides. In connection with farm-



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ii66



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



iiv.r, he is also en,c;ai;ed in t!;e 'lairv business and
carries on the miU once owned by his father. He
is one of the most enterprising and progressive
jxung men of the town, is industrious and ener-
getic, and carries forward to successful completion
whatever he undertakes. In September. 1S99, he
was married, in Hamdcn, to Miss Mabel Oilman, of
Glover, Vt., a daughter of ^Marshall Oilman. Po-
litically he is identified with the Republican party,
and religiously is an active and prominent member
. of the Congregational Church, in which he serves
as a teacher in the Sunday school.

THOMAS F. McORATH, proprietor of the
cigar manufactory at No. 119 Soutli Main street,
W'aterbury, was born in County Limerick. Ireland,
May I, 1856, son of Thomas and I^Iargarel (Pow-
■ ell) AIcGrath, of whcm mention in full is made
elsewhere.

Thomas F. AIcGrath was about five years of age
when brought by his parents to Waterbury, and
there he attended school until eleven years old,
when he went to work in the. old woolen mill, well
known at that day. After laboring there for a
short time he started out on a tour of the country,
sight-seeing and working in various towns and
cities, and was gone about fifteen years, during
which period he was employed chiefly in silk fac-
tories.

On his return to Waterbury, in 1882, Mr. Mc-
Grath sold cigars for T. J. Jackson for a while, and
then handled beer and cigars together. In 1890 he
began the manufacture of cigars on his own ac-
count, and this has been his business ever since. He
employs ten or fifteen men, and his sales are made
largely in the neighboring towns, as well as at
home. He makes private brands a specialty, and
his product is principally of thii: higher grade, cigars
that retail at ten cents apiece.

In 1889 Air. McOrath married Miss Margaret
E. Lynch, who was born in Wallingford. Conn.,
daughter of John Lynch, a native of Wallingford.
Two children have blessed this union, Florence and
Irene, who are being reared in the faith of the
Catholic Church, of which the parents are mem-
bers.' Mr. McOrath is a member of the Ancient
Order of United Workmen; of the Catholic Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, of Waterbury ; and
also of the L'nion club. In politics he is independ-
ent, and casts his franchise for the candidate he
deems best fitted for office. He is an industrious
and sagacious business man, and is respected
wherever known.

JAMES G. CURTISS, the well-known livery-
man of Ansonia, is a representative of a prominent
family of the town of Woodbur}', Litchfield Co.,
Conn., where he was born Sept. 13, 1863. His an-
cestors located at Woodburv at an early day, and
his grandfatlier, I'avid H. Curtiss, was a native of
the locality and spent his entire life there, his home-



stead being located on the main road between
Woodbury and Southbury. This worthy citizen
died at a good old age. the father of tuo children.
James O. Curtiss, Sr., our subject's father, was
born and reared at the old homestead in Wood-
bury, where he still resides at the age of sixty-sev-
en, having followed farming all his life. He is re-
spected by all who know him for his intelligence,
culture and sound judgment, and has taken an ac-
tive part in political affairs, being one of the leading
Republicans of the town. His fellow citizens have
frequently chosen him to office, and he has served
two terms as selectman and two as representative
in the Legislature. For many years he has been
an active worker in St. Paul's Eoiscopal Church,
Woodbury, in which he has held numerous offices,
including tiiose of superintendent of the Sunday
school and teacher of a Bible class. In the ab-
sence of the rector he has read the service in the
Church for months at a time. His estimable wife,
Mary J. Styles, who died in 1894, was born in
Southbury, and was one of three sisters of whom
Xellie and Alice still reside at their old family
homestead. To James G. Curtiss, Sr., and his
wife seven children were born, of whom four are
living, namely: Henry S., Annie M. (Mrs. Som-
ers, of Woodbury), James 0., Jr., and Flora P.
(Mrs. L. N. Carrington. of Woodbury). Nellie,
now deceased, married H. E. Barnes, of Water-
town.

The common schools of Woodbury afTorded
James G. Curtiss his early educational opportun-
ities, and at the age of seventeen he werft to Water-
bury, where he was employed for three years by
Megg & Trott as a clerk in a bakery. He then
spent a year in Iowa, after which he went to Chi-
cago, and then returned to the homestead, where
he was engaged in farming for two and a half
years. For two years he was employed as a clerk
in H. M. Heine's grocery and meat market in
Chicago, and on his return to Connecticut he
spent two years on a farm in Woodbury. In



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 93 of 94)