City of Derby
New Haven County
Connecticut

History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut



The History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut, 1642 -- 1880.
by Samuel Orcutt and Ambrose Beardsley

Published: Press of Springfield Printing Company, Springfield, Mass., 1880.

Introduction


Introduction    Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4    Part 5    Part 6    Part 7    Part 8   
Part 9    Part 10    Part 11    Part 12    Part 13    Part 14    Part 15    Part 16    Part 17   


THE


HISTORY


OF THE


Old Town of Derby,


CONNECTICUT,


1642 -- 188O.


WITH


BIOGRAPHIES AND GENEALOGIES.



BY
SAMUEL ORCUTT,
Author of the Histories of Torrington and Wolcott, Conn.


AND
AMBROSE BEARDSLEY, M. D.


PRESS OF SPRINGFIELD PRINTING COMPANY,
SPRINGFIELD, MASS.
1880.




TO THE

MEMORY

OF THE

EARLY SETTLERS

OF THE

OLD TOWN OF DERBY,

This Work is Dedicated

BY THE AUTHORS.

And even now amid the gray,
The East is brightening fast,
And kindling to that perfect day,
Which never shall be past.




Thus once more our journey is ended; our track hath been centuries long;

We have heard the wild whoop of the savage, and the rude note of puritan song;

We have watched the bright wave of progression as it broke o'er our valleys and hills;

We've seen builded the castle of beauty by the lake, with its chattering mills;

E'en we've tarried a while in the present, (so soon to be counted the past!)

And have caught at the sparks of the furnace that holdeth the future in "blast;"

We've followed the thread of the story as traced up this history's page,

And have seen that forever the present was the rose that was crowning the age.

There were struggles, and crosses and trials; and days when the sun was withdrawn;

Yet forever there came in the morning the light of encouraging dawn;

Our men have been men with a purpose, and our maidens have been gentle and true,--

With a faith that was strong, and as rugged as the rocks where from childhood they grew.

Though the names that the.se pages have rescued, forgetfulness nearly had claimed,

Yet heroes were they that had borne them, as proud as our country e'er hath named.

So farewell, ancient pilgrims! we have sung to your memory our best song,

Which in the ages to come, may cheer the travelers on the journey so long.




CONTENTS:

INDIAN HISTORY.
PART 1
CHAPTER I.
Primitive Condition . . . xvii

CHAPTER II.
Ethnographic History . . . xxviii

CHAPTER III.
Chuse and the Last Families . . . xii

PART 2
CHAPTER IV.
Further Authentic Records . . . lvii

CHAPTER V.
The Indian as an Enemy, Indian Names & Places . . . lxxiv



HISTORY OF DERBY.

PART 3
CHAPTER I.
Paugasuck and Paugassett . . . 1

PART 4
CHAPTER II.
Derby, 1675-1680 . . . 45

CHAPTER III.
A Mill, a Meeting-house, and War . . . 75

PART 5
CHAPTER IV.
Education, Enterprise and Improvements . . . 102

CHAPTER V.
Dissenting Derby and the Episcopal Church . . . 134

PART 6
CHAPTER VI.
Derby in the Revolution . . . 165

CHAPTER VII.
After the Revolution . . . 201

PART 7
CHAPTER VIII.
The Town of Oxford . . . 228

CHAPTER IX.
Commercial Enterprises . . . 245

PART 8
CHAPTER X.
The First Church of Derby and the War of 1812 . . . 282

CHAPTER XI.
Roads, Bridges and Floods . . . 304

PART 9
CHAPTER XII.
Birmingham . . . 343

CHAPTER XIII.
The Dam and Shelton . . . 391

PART 10
CHAPTER XIV.
Ansonia . . . 413

CHAPTER XV.
The Town of Seymour . . . 442

PART 11
CHAPTER XVI.
The War of the Rebellion . . . 486

PART 12
Biographies . . . 521

PART 13
Biographies . . . 575 (continued)

PART 14
Biographies . . . 625

PART 15
Genealogies . . . 689

PART 16
Genealogies . . . 741 (continued)

PART 17
Appendix: Christ Church, Quaker's Farm; Naugatuck Lodge; Dentists; French War & Revolutionary War Soldiers; Selectmen; Representatives to State Legislature; Post Offices; Physicians; Gravestone Inscriptions . . . 785


ERRATA.

Page 16, 5th line from top, read Pomperaug for Pompesaug.
Page 87, 10th line from bottom, read 1688 for 1668.
Page 90, read Agur for Agar, etc.
Page 96, read Major for Mayor Johnson.
Page 158, read Shelton for Shelon.
Page 196, Nathan Mansfield is supposed to be a son of Dr. Mansfield, which is an error.
Page 197. James's Church of Hartford is an error.
Page 199, last line read 1781 for 1761.
Page 214, 3d line from top read credulity for incredulity.
PageĢ 248, 9th line from top, read 1773 for 1763.
Page 264, 23d line from top, read packets for pickets.
Page 442, H. B. Munson is said to have been Representative in 1850, which is an error as to the date.
Page, 488, read fires of evil passion, instead of fire's evil passion.


FURTHER CORRECTIONS.

Page 363, Isaac Lane should be Isaac Lum.
Page 373, read Truman Gilbert for Traman Gillett.
Page 353, third line from top, read Loomer for Louver.
Page 436, fourteenth line from top, read, as the Parish, for "New Parish."
Page 534, second line from bottom, read 1854 for 1834.
Page 553, read Ephraim for Agur Cnrtis.
Page 567, ninteenth line from top, read model for mold.
Page 608, eleventh line from top, read New Haven for New York.
Page 646. bottom line, read Post Master for Poor Master.
Page 703, first line from top, read Ruth Edwards Beardsley for Priscilla Silliman.
Page 748, ninteenth line from top, read Ball for Bell.


ILLUSTRATIONS.

Steel Engravings.

A. Beardsley . . . I
Samuel Orcutt . . . 1
John I. Howe . . . 366
Franklin Farrell . . . 420
Lewis Hotchkiss . . . 438
Joseph Arnold . . . 523
J. H. Bartholomew . . . 525
Royal M. Bassett . . . 528
Sharon Y. Beach . . . 533
Wm. E. Downes . . . 545
Almon Farrell . . . 547
Charles Pinney . . . 633
Thomas Wallace . . . 663
Wm. B. Wooster . . . 674


Lithographs.

Benjamin Hodge . . . 556
Willis Hotchkiss . . . 564


Artotypes.

Aeram Hawkins . . . 358
Sylvester Colburn . . . 364
Sullivan Colburn . . . 364
Josiah Colburn . . . 543
William Hawkins . . . 555


Photo-Electrotypes.

Zephaniah Hallock . . . 554
Zephaniah Swift . . . 659


Wood Cuts.

First Meeting house . . . 79
Second Meeting-house . . . 126
First Episcopal Church . . . 149


Illustrations.

Gen. Humphreys deliverlng the flags . . . 199
Oxford in 1836 . . . 242
Derby Landing in 1836 . . . 255
Old Stone Building . . . 258
The Schooner Modesty . . . 266
Train at High Rock . . . 317
Beacon Falls Dam . . . 318
High Rock Glen . . . 320
Sherman's Cut . . . 321
Birmingham in 1836 . . . 349
M. E. Church and Parsonage . . . 359
Birmingham Iron Foundry . . . 365
Sterling Organ Co . . . 368
[transcriber note: moved to pg 369]
Allis's Book Store . . . 370
St. James's Church . . . 374
Public Square, Birmingham . . . 376
Congregational Church and Parsonage, Birmingham . . . 379
Public School, Birmingham . . . 387
Residence of Geo. S. Arnold . . . 388
[transcriber note: moved to pg 389]
Ousatonic Dam . . . 390
[transcriber note: moved to pg 391]
Norway Iron Bolt Works, Shelton . . . 407
Wilcox and Howe Hardware, Shelton . . . 409
Indian Well . . . 411
[transcriber note: moved to pg 412]
Oshorn and Cheeseman Co, Ansonia . . . 421
Christ Church and Parsonage, Ansonia . . . 425
Rock Rimmon . . . 445
Humphreysville . . . 472
Falls of the Naugatuck . . . 481
Swan's Mills . . . 483
[transcriber note: moved to pg 482]
Gen. David Humphreys . . . 583
Edmund Leavenworth . . . 615
John Lindley . . . 617
Abiram Stoddard . . . 632
Stephen N. Summers . . . 657




iii

PREFACE.

History is the record of experiences in the ages that are past; and experience, while varying through the changing of circumstances, is a teacher worthy to be carefully studied, and to whose voice it is wise to listen.

The person who is indifferent to the past is too selfish to be of much benefit to the world in the present, and too heedless of wisdom to accomplish much for human good in the future.

One object sought in the writing of this book has been the promotion of reflection on the past, which would result, it is believed, in careful consideration of what shall be the life of the future, for it would be unpardonable to give a book to the world without some high motive of good, in the mind of the author. How well or poorly the purpose may have been attained is not a question now, the existence of the motive is the only fact of which we can be certain.

As to the completeness of the book, it may be said that no work of the kind which has fallen under the author's observation is more so in the amount and definiteness of the matter printed, and yet much remains

iv

unwritten that would be of great interest, while the time occupied in putting the material into form has been too short to allow perfectness in any single department.

The Indian History, for which the community as well as the authors are under great obligation to the Rev. Joseph Anderson, D. D., of Waterbury, and the preparation of which, so far as he prepared it (more than one-half), cost many weeks of study and research, -- he being peculiarly competent for the task, -- is but the outline of what might be, and it is to be hoped will be, some day, placed before the public in book form.

The Historical and Biographical parts are much more extended than was originally intended, or promised in the circular given to the community; and the Genealogies, although very incomplete, being confined almost wholly to the town records, except such items as different families have by their own effort placed in the hands of the authors, have been obtained by great effort and carefulness, and should give much satisfaction.

It is to be hoped that the subject will be taken up by a patient hand, for such only can succeed, and another volume secured to the memory of those who, otherwise, will soon be forever forgotten.

The authors present their thanks to the town for their generous purchase of a copy of the work, for without this aid the price must have been greater, or the book much abridged; and even now they are at their wit's

v

end to know how to work out of the undertaking without loss.

They are much indebted to those who have allowed their portraits to enliven the pages of the book, this being a very great addition, and one for which thousands will be thankful as well as the authors.

They are specially indebted to the Ousatonic Water Company for help in procuring a picture of the Dam; also to Mr. William E. Miller, photographer, for his generous and very satisfactory aid rendered in taking a number of pictures without charge; to the Town Clerk, Mr. D. E. McMahon, for his genial courtesy in the frequent and oft-repeated calls made upon him to search the records under his care; to Mr. Charles Reed who has greatly assisted in hunting up' the lost tribes of the benevolent societies, and for many other little attentions in obtaininor various items from the records, which were very highly appreciated; and to Mr. George W. Beach, who, in behalf of the Naugatuck Railroad, has furnished several illustrations for the book.

Special thanks are tendered to Mr. John W. Storrs for his poem, "The Story of the Years" (page 680), written at the request of the authors, the which they would not be without for a large consideration, and which, as a poem, would do honor, -- penned in a hurry as it was -- to many a well-read and celebrated poet.

The story of the book is thus: When the History of

vi

Torrington, Conn., had been completed, Mr. George W. Beach, Superintendent of the Naugatuck Railroad, seeins: it, remarked to the author, "If vou will write a like history of Old Derby, I will see that a portrait of my father is furnished for the work." He then recommended a call on Doctor A. Beardsley as being the source most likely to furnish proper information as to anything already done or likely to be done in the matter. Some six months afterwards this suggestion was followed, but the Doctor spoke discouragingly and the subject was fully dropped. After three months the author met the Doctor again on other business, at which time he urged somewhat the undertaking as very desirable; a proposition was made which was at once accepted and the next day the work was commenced. Whatever matter the Doctor has furnished, being written necessarily in great hurry, has been carefully rewritten but designedly left in the Doctor's style, which has heretofore been so agreeable to the community.

Samuel Orcutt.




Birmingham, June 1, 1880.

During a residence of nearly half a century in Derby many pleasant memories have been awakened and attach ments formed, while endeavoring to aid in beautifying the local surroundings and improve the advantages of the growing population of the town; and being familiar with so many households by reason of forty-four years' practice of my profession; and, withal, naturally fond of reviewing the historic past, I had gathered interesting reminiscences at the suggestion of many friends for twenty years, with a view, some day, of publishing them in book form; but had nearly abandoned the project, when the Rev. Samuel Orcutt called upon me and offered to join in the undertaking, and soon the work was commenced.

The researches into musty records, the work of inquiry for confirmatory evidence of traditions among the oldest families, and the varied correspondence to gain trustworthy information, have been far more onerous than at first was expected. Of this none can know but those who attempt to write a Town History. Much that had been written is omitted in the printing, for want of room. The authors have aimed at correctness, and have endeavored to make such selections as would be most interesting and appropriate in such a work, thus

viii

rescuing from oblivion many facts and traditions which would otherwise have slept in the ages of the past. Whatever has been contributed by the undersigned has been written by piece-meals, as Sallust wrote his history of the Roman Empire.

The genealogies are necessarily imperfect from the great difficulty in procuring facts and dates from reliable sources, but the authors have been faithful to this department, and as a whole have published a work far more extended than was promised to the subscribers.

With this brief statement of my connection with this book, I tender my cordial thanks to the town and those individuals who have aided and encouraged its publication; resting assured that when the hand that now writes is moldering in the dust, many will feel grateful to the authors who have given to the public this History.

A. Beardsley.




Yale College, New Haven, Conn., February 1, 1880.

This may certify that I have looked with much interest through the History of Derby, by Rev. Samuel Orcutt. It seems to me to have been prepared with great fidelity and thoroughness, and to take rank with the best town histories which are so interesting and valuable to every son ol New England.

Noah Porter.


History of the Old Town of Derby - End of Introduction

Introduction    Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4    Part 5    Part 6    Part 7    Part 8   
Part 9    Part 10    Part 11    Part 12    Part 13    Part 14    Part 15    Part 16    Part 17   


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