|MRS. MARY E. FITCH, for many
years a highly esteemed resident of Norwich, was a daughter of Dr. Elias
W. and Mary Ann (Hillhouse) Williams. Her paternal grandfather was the
Rev. Joshua Williams, a native of Middletown, Conn., and a man of great
personal worth. He married Mary Webb, who died in middle life some years
before her husband. They had six children, two sons and four daughters.
Dr. Elias \V. Williams was born in Harwinton, Litchfield County, Conn.,
September 16, 1797. He was skilled in his profession, and was a man of
cheerful disposition and genial and courteous manners. His career of usefulness
was cut short in his thirty-first year, his death occurring September 16,
1828. His wife, who survived him many years, died in 1885, at the home
of her daughter, Mrs. William Fitch, at the advanced age of eighty-nine.
They had two children — Mary E., and a son who died in infancy.
Mary E. Williams received careful home training
and as good an education as in those days was readily obtainable by women.
On October 14, 1857, she was married to William Fitch, a member of the
family for which Fitchville was named. His father, Colonel Asa Fitch, who
was born in 1755, at one time operated an iron furnace in the town of Boz-rah.
His sons subsequently built, owned, and operated a cotton-mill in that
town. This mill was three times burned, and twice rebuilt by Asa Fitch,
Jr. In February, 1781, Colonel Asa Fitch married Susannah Fitch, who bore
him five sons and five daughters. After her death he married for his second
wife, in January, 1816, Mary House, who survived him some years.
William Fitch was the ninth child and youngest
son of Colonel Asa and Susannah Fitch, and was born in the town of Bozrah,
October 27, 1800. He became a member of the firm of Fitch Brothers, commission
merchants and importers of New York City. Having inherited from his father's
estate a goodly patrimony, he added to it from the results of his successful
business career. A fuller account of his life and ancestry may be found
in his own personal sketch, immediately preceding this article. Mr. and
Mrs. Fitch had six children, of whom four are now living. Their record
in brief is as follows: William died at the age of twenty months in 1860;
Fanny, a young lady of great promise, died February 21, 1890, at the age
of twenty-two years; Marian Hillhouse is the wife of Elihu G. Loomis, an
attorney-at-law of Boston, Mass., and the mother of four children; Susan
Lee is Mrs. William R. Jewett, of Grand Rapids, Mich., and has three children;
Flizabeth Mason is the wife of William N. Wilbur, a manufacturer of Philadelphia,
Pa., and has three children; and Sarah Griswold, the wife of Francis Hillhouse,
of New York City, has musical talents of a high order, and is a skilled
performer upon the piano.
Mrs. Fitch died at her home in Norwich town
on July 12, 1897. The spacious stately looking house in which she resided
is built in Southern Colonial style, and dates back more than a hundred
years. It stands back from the street, and is reached by a wide and beautiful
private driveway leading from the foot of Norwich town green. The extensive
grounds are beautifully cared for, and are shaded by tall old trees, which
give one a feeling of being in the country, far from the rush of city life.
The mistress of this beautiful estate was a modest and genuine lady, unaffected
and easily approached; and visitors to her home, however humble, were always
Biographical Review Volume
Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens
of New London County Connecticut
Biographical Review Publishing Company
pgs 11 - 12
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