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Trails to the Past

Hartford County Connecticut

Biographies From the Men of Mark in Connecticut
Source:  Written by Colonel N. G. Osborn editor of "New Haven Register" in 1906

 

 

 

 

HALE, JOHN HOWARD, popularly known as the "Peach King of America," is one of the foremost horticulturists and pomologists of our day, as well as owner and manager of the greatest peach industry in this country. He is a descendant of Samuel Hale who came from Wales, England, in 1634, and later joined the Connecticut Colony. In 1838 he bought the farm in Glastonbury that Mr, Hale now owns. He served in the Pequot War. Mr. Hale's parents were John A. Hale and Henrietta S. Moseley. He was born in Glastonbury, Hartford County, Connecticut, November 25th, 1853. His father was general agent of the Etna Insurance Company of Hartford, and most influential in building up that company. He was a man of great mental and physical strength, whole-souled, liberal, kind-hearted, and always doing for others. His legacy to his son was one of character rather than fortune, and Mr. Hale was obliged to leave school at a very early age, and help in the support of the family.

At fourteen John Howard Hale went to work by the month on a farm in New Britain, earning $13.50 a month for fourteen hours labor, seven days in the week. In eight months he spent but seven dollars on himself; the rest he sent home except $16.00 spent for fruit trees— the nucleus of the great Hale Nurseries. He considers the hard work and poverty of his youth a great blessing. His mother was a noble woman of high ideals. Of her, Mr. Hale says: "She kept tabs on me with such jolly good fellowship that there were no secrets between us."

Mr. Hale was determined from his childhood to be a horticulturist. His incentive in this grew out of his mother's love of fruits and flowers. His career had a most humble beginning; for apparatus, a shovel, a spade, a hoe, and a push-cart; for results, a small strawberry bed; proceeds, $8.00. To-day Mr. Hale has three thousand acres of highly cultivated orchard lands at Fort Valley, Georgia, South Glastonbury and Seymour, Connecticut, and the push-cart has grown into a huge electric express system of fruit shipments with scores of refrigerator cars. This great progress has been effected through his energy, optimism, and executive ability.

Mr. Hale is now sole owner and manager of the J. H. Hale's Nursery and Fruit Farms at Glastonbury, president of the Hale Georgia Orchard Company, at Fort Valley, Georgia, and president and general manager of the Hale and Coleman Orchard Company at Seymour, Connecticut. He was the first American orchardist to sort, grade, and pack fruit, and label and guarantee it according to its grade. He was the first in America to use trolley transportation in the fruit business, and is one of the very few Americans who ship peaches to Europe. He is fittingly called the "Father of Peach Culture in New England." Mr. Hale has also initiated many now ideas in fruit advertising. Another novel feature introduced by him is that of having an orchestra play in the packing rooms at the Georgia orchards. Aside from bettering and developing horticulture all over America, Mr. Hale has done a valuable service to his state in making many acres of so-called "abandoned" hill lands of Connecticut and New England to bloom with beautiful orchards.

For the past fifteen years Mr. Hale has lectured on horticulture and kindred subjects before agricultural institutions, granges, colleges, and both state and national horticultural meetings. From 1894 to 1899 Mr. Hale was president of the Connecticut Pomological Society. In 1895 he was president of the American Nurserymen's Association. Since 1903, he has been president of the American Pomological Society, which office is the highest honor in the gift of the fruit growers of America. As horticultural agent for the Eleventh Census of the United States he initiated several special investigations never before attempted by the Government; notably, floriculture, nurseries, semi-tropic fruit, nuts, and seed farms. He has recently started the revival of apple planting on the hill lands of Connecticut, which promises to do much for that valuable industry.

Mr. Hale has written numerous articles on horticultural topics for the World's Work, Country Life in America, and other periodicals. For twelve years he was associate editor of the Philadelphia Farm Journal, and for fifteen years he edited the agricultural column of the Hartford Courant. He has had important positions in the State Grange, and has sacrificed a great deal of time and money in strengthening that organization, being at tlie head of same from 1886 to 1890, and now chairman of the executive committee. He was also first president of the Glastonbury Business Men's Association.

In politics Mr. Hale is a Republican, "with a conscience, a fair memory, and a sharp lead pencil on election days." He represented his party in the Connecticut General Assembly in 1893-4, serving as member of Judiciary committee and chairman of committee on agriculture. His creed is the "Golden Rule." His favorite recreation is riding in the country "with eyes and ears open." He is exceedingly fond of a good horse.

In his advice to others can be formed the reasons for his own well-earned prosperity After recommending promptness and adherence to agreement he says: "Do not take up any work or profession that you cannot find real enjoyment in. No one can fully succeed who does not love his work. Try to find Joy in all you do; the world will reward you when the right time comes. Be loyal to your ideals, your town, and state, and your friends. Be regular in all your habits. Get some fun every day. You can get the most by making others happy."  Men of Mark Index


HAMERSLEY, WILLIAM, was born at Hartford, Connecticut, September 9th, 1838. He was the son of William James Hamersley and Laura Sophia Cooke. His mother was a daughter of Oliver Dudley Cooke, of Puritan descent, who was for a few years after his graduation from Yale, a Congregational clergyman, and, afterwards, in 1800, founded the publishing house of O. D. Cooke. He is fourth in descent from William Hamersley, an officer of the British ship of war, "Valeur,"—which was stationed at New York in 1716,—who resigned his commission and married a wife of Dutch descent, settling in New York. The father of William Hamersley was, for many years, a distinguished citizen of Hartford, and at one time postmaster of the city. He was for a term of years editor of the American Mercury, which paper was later sold to, and incorporated with, the Independent Press of Hartford.

After passing through the grammar and high schools of his native city, Mr. Hamersley entered Trinity College in 1854, but was never graduated He entered the law office of Welch & Shipman and was admitted to the Bar in 1859, and at once began the practice of law independently in Hartford.

Mr. Hamersley made his entrance into official life as a member of the Court of Common Council in 1863. Three years later he was chosen vice-president of that body, and for the year 1867-1868, served as its president. From 1866 to 1868 he held the position of City Attorney for Hartford, and then resigned to accept an appointment as State's Attorney for Hartford County. This position he filled for twenty years with great acceptability. Mr. Hamersley was appointed on the commission which, in 1878, framed the Practice Act, and the Orders and Rules of Court and Forms, under that act, which were adopted by the Judges. In 1886 he represented Hartford in the State House of Representatives, and served on the committees on judiciary and federal relations. In 1893 Governor Morris appointed Mr. Hamersley an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Errors, and this appointment was met with approbation throughout the State. In 1901 he was reappointed to this position. He was a lecturer on constitutional law at Trinity College from 1875 to 1900, and has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Trinity since 1884. In 1893, Trinity College, proud of her son, conferred on him the honorary degree of LL.D.

Mr. Hamersley was one of the founders of the Connecticut State Bar Association, and with Richard D. Hubbard and Simeon E. Baldwin, constituted the committee of the association, through whose efforts the American Bar Association was formed. Through this agency much of the most important legislation during almost a quarter of a century has been achieved. He was instrumental in improving the jury system in Connecticut. Mr. Hamersley's whole life has been given to the practice of his chosen profession, and to work relating to reform in the state law proceedings.  Men of Mark Index


HART, WILLIAM HENRY, president of the Stanley Works and of the Young Men's Christian Association, and director in many other enterprises, traces his ancestry from Deacon Stephen Hart, born about 1605 at Braintree, County of Essex, England, who came to Massachusetts Bay about 1632 and located for a time at Cambridge, Massachusetts, being one of the fifty-four settlers at that place. He became a proprietor at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1639 and was one of the eighty-four proprietors of Farmington, Connecticut, in 1672, Stephen Hart (5), son of Stephen (4) and grandfather of William Henry Hart, was born in New Britain, October 21st, 1775.

Prominent among the men to whom the city of New Britain owes its existence because of the industries that they have created, is William Henry Hart, son of George and Elizabeth (Booth) Hart, who was born in New Britain, July 25th, 1834.

The boy's hereditary birthright was rich in those qualities which have always marked the strong men and women of Connecticut. Industry, thrift, business foresight, and the Yankee trick of being handy at all sorts of practical work were his inheritance. Along with it went an upright and healthy soul which carried Lim safely through the usual temptations of youth. His immediate surroundings gave direction to his tastes for practical life, rather than for academic culture. His father was the owner of an express and stage business and the boy was given his share of personal responsibility as soon as he was able to bear any part in the world's work. He was also sent to private and public schools and later to the New Britain High School, where he is registered in the class of 1854. During the last four years of his school course he had gradually worked into practical business life, and his academic training was interrupted by the numerous calls made for his service as assistant to his father in the stage and express business, as well as acting agent in the local station of the Hartford, Providence and Fishkill Railroad.

He might have enjoyed the advantage of college training, but his natural aptitudes and interests were for business life, and he went on in the direction of those native promptings.

In August, 1853, the Stanley Works was organized with a capital of $30,000, to engage in the manufacture of hinges. In May, 1874, William H. Hart was elected secretary and treasurer of this corporation. He was a young man of nineteen, but so close had been his attention to business under his father's direction, and so thoroughly had he won the confidence of the officers of the corporation that he was given this important position.

The industrial situation of the Stanley Works at this time was this: They were located in an inland city, where freight rates were high, and the distance to fuel and raw material great, while their older and far stronger competitors were situated in New York State, where rates of transportation by water through the natural channels or by canals were far cheaper. Two problems were before the corporation, and upon their successful solution depended the success of the organization; the processes of manufacture must be brought to the highest pitch of economy and perfection, and a market must be created for the industrial output. This involved inventive skill in the suggestion of new processes, ability to inspire confidence and borrow money, and tact, patience, and unyielding pluck in meeting all the demands of a competitive market.

The corporation employed about twenty men at this time. Industry in a small and growing factory was not specialized then as it is today, and the young secretary and treasurer not only kept records and books and received and disbursed money but also purchased supplies, packed and shipped goods, carried on correspondence, and acted as traveling salesman for the factory. This condition called for a range of industrial versatility, and creative skill, which, while it added labor and responsibility, stimulated the mind to self-reliant and resolute enterprise.

The young officer grasped the situation and formulated his policy. The intrinsic worth of the goods manufactured and the economy of the processes employed must overcome the geographical difficulty involved in the location of the factory and the undeveloped character of the corporation. Mr. Hart's mind was fertile in suggestions whereby machines were built, the number of processes simplified, and a more perfect product put on the market. The range of product was gradually increased, so that bolts, butts, and steel brackets are now made in addition to hinges.

The policy of the corporation, however, has been intensive rather than extensive; perfection in a few lines rather than multiplication of different products. The obstacles in the way of success were many. Repeatedly there came critical moments when the resolution and courage of the young manufacturer were tested almost to the point of yielding. He held tenaciously to the enterprise, however, with that plucky determination that in the end has won out with so many founders of great industries. The practical character of his policy was seen in his personal contact with the market. He traveled observantly and widely until he understood the needs of the consumers. Then he returned, to make the factory output more perfectly meet those needs. Step by step, Mr. Hart saw his efforts crowned with success. The corporation employing twenty workmen now affords industrial opportunity in all its branches, including the department of hot and cold rolled steel, to twenty-two hundred wage-earners. Mr. Hart became its president in 1884.

To what an extent the difficulty in the inland situation of New Britain has been overcome can be seen in the fact that, although the Stanley Works markets about one-half the product of its factories in territory west of Pittsburg, it can pay transportation upon its metal from Pennsylvania, manufacture its products in New Britain, reship them, and successfully compete with the western manufacturer in his own district. This result is the issue of years of painstaking, faithful devotion to the task on the part of Mr. Hart.

While thus devoted to his life work in industrial lines, Mr. Hart has not suffered himself to become so engrossed with his tasks that he has ceased to be alert in civic and social interests. He has traveled widely in Europe and America on business and for pleasure. He has been for over half a century with slight interruptions officially connected with the New Britain Institute, the agent in all the best literary enterprises of the city; he also has been president of the New Britain Club; a director of the New Britain National Bank since 1866, and, for the past five years, president of the Young Men's Christian Association. He has held many official positions in the South Congregational Church, of which he is a member. Mr. Hart's benefactions have been many, the chief of which has been the unstinted gift of his own personal service to every good cause in the city. This is especially evident in his devotion to the work of the New Britain General Hospital of which he was an incorporator and director, and is now vice-president. He has been influential in civic life, having served in the Common Council and on the board of street commissioners. Mr. Hart is a Republican in politics.

On September 19th, 1885, Mr. Hart married Martha, daughter of Elnathan and Mary (Dewey) Peck of New Britain. They have five sons and a daughter, all of whom are married. Mr. Hart's sons have served with him their business apprenticeship with conspicuous success, and are now engaged in large enterprises. George P. Hart is vice-president and general manager of sales; Edward H. Hart, manager of the export department; Walter H. Hart, manager of the mechanical department, and E. Allen Moore, who married his daughter, Martha Elizabeth, is second vice-president and general superintendent of the manufacturing department of the Stanley Works. Howard S. Hart is president and general manager of the Russell & Erwin Manufacturing Company and vice-president of the American Hardware Company; Maxwell S. Hart is vice-president, treasurer, and general manager of the Corbin Motor Vehicle Corporation.

Between May, 1904, and September, 1905, Mr. Hart celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his election as treasurer of the Stanley Works, his seventieth birthday, and the fiftieth anniversary of his marriage with Mrs. Hart. At the last anniversary there gathered the twenty-six children and grandchildren, in whose love and welfare Mr. Hart finds his supreme joy and satisfaction.

In his simple tastes, industry, rectitude, and fraternal interest in his fellow men, he represents without assumption the noblest type of the indomitable, successful, high-minded Connecticut manufacturer.  Men of Mark Index


HENNEY, WILLIAM FRANKLIN, lawyer and mayor of Hartford, was born in Enfield, Hartford County, Connecticut, November 2nd, 1852. His ancestry is Scottish on both sides, being traceable to John Henney, a Presbyterian clergyman who came from Scotland and settled near Philadelphia in 1816, and to John Barclay, who came from Scotland to America some fifteen years later. Mayor Henney's father was John Henney, a mechanical engineer, a native of Paisley, Scotland, who came to Connecticut about sixty years ago. He was superintendent of the Hartford Light and Power Company in 1865. He was a man physically powerful, mentally strong, and morally courageous. The mayor's mother was Mene Barclay, a woman of equally great mental and moral strength. Her recitations of the old Scottish classics are among her son's earliest and fondest recollections, and probably had a great influence upon the formation of his decidedly literary bent of mind. Since his early boyhood he has always read omnivorously—poetry, science, history, philosophy, biography, Greek, Roman, and English classics, and also the Bible, He had no regular work to do in his early youth and there was therefore ample time for the exercise of his studious inclinations.

After preparing for college at the Hartford Public High School Mr. Henney entered Princeton University with the class of 1874 and took the degrees of B.A. and M.A. He then studied law with the Hon. H. C. Robinson and was admitted to the bar in 1876. He entered upon his legal profession with the double equipment of adequate training and natural mental powers, and his practice has been distinguished and successful. The year following his admission to the bar be was made a member of the Hartford Common Council. He was clerk of the Hartford police court from 1877 to 1883 when he became judge of that court. He held that office until 1889 when he was made city attorney, remaining in that office two years and being reappointed to it in 1895. During the time he served his city as its attorney he conducted much important corporation litigation with the singular success that has characterized his professional work as a whole. In 1904 he was made mayor of the city he had served in so many official capacities, and he fills this his highest position with his usual judgment and capability. He has always upheld the principles of the Republican party with consistent loyalty.

Judge Henney is prominent in many fraternal and social organizations, the chief among them being the Knights Templars, the Sphinx Temple, the Royal Arcanum, Scottish Clans, the Hartford Club, the Hartford Country Club, and the Twentieth Century Club. He is a Presbyterian in his religious views. His favorite sports are walking, riding, and boating, and he has been prepared for the utmost enjoyment of these by a thorough gymnasium training in physical culture.

As a lawyer Judge Henney is placed high among the men of his profession for his clear-sightedness, his sagacity and eloquence, and his masterful success in his cases. As a public man he is honored for his astute judgment, his dignity, and his conscientious devotion to the state he serves. As a man he is admired for his cultured mind and clean, industrious, public-spirited life, and for many other qualities which make his advice to others of rare weight: "Cultivate a genuine public spirit—an interest in all the affairs of the city, state, and nation, an ardent love of country, a disposition neither to seek or shirk public office and, if it comes, a disposition to use it as an opportunity for service and not for the salary it offers."  Men of Mark Index


HOLCOMB, MARCUS HENSEY, attorney at law, judge of probate, Speaker of the House, and president of the Southington Savings Bank, was born in New Hartford, Litchfield County, Connecticut, on November 28th, 1844, the son of Carlos Holcomb and Adah Bushnell Holcomb. His father was a farmer who held many public offices including those of selectman, assessor, and member of the board of relief. He was the executor and administrator of many estates, being particularly fitted for this work by his great executive ability and his highly judicial temperament. He was a man of strong individuality, devoted to public matters, and of high place in the esteem of his fellow men.

Marcus Hensey Holcomb spent his early days in a country village and worked out his education on a Litchfield County farm. He attended public and private schools and Wesleyan Academy and would have gone through college, but for a sunstroke which impaired his health at the time he would have entered college. He studied law with Judge Jared B. Foster of New Hartford and was admitted to the Bar at Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1871. In the meantime he had been supporting himself by teaching school for a number of years. In 1872 he went to Southington and commenced to practice law and he has remained there ever since. He is recognized as one of the leading lawyers of his county and he has been as prominent in public as in legal affairs. For thirty years he has been judge of probate for the district of Southington and he is also judge of the town court of Southington. Since 1893 he has been treasurer of Hartford County and in 1893 he was senator from the second district. In 1902 he was a member of the Constitutional Convention and in 1905 he was Speaker of the House. He is at present a member of the commissioners of State police and chairman of the Lewis High School committee. He is president of the Southington Savings Bank, a director in the Southington National Bank, in the Peck, Stow & Wilcox Company, the Southington Cutlery Company, the Etna Nut Company, and the Atwater Manufacturing Company, and the receiver of the Cooperative Savings Society of Connecticut.

Judge Holcomb left the Democratic party, in 1888, on the tariff issue and has since cast his vote with the Republican party. In religious views he is a Baptist and he has been superintendent of the Sunday school of the First Baptist Church of Southington for several years and chairman of the board of trustees of that church. He has many fraternal ties, being a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the Order of the Mystic Shrine, of the Knights of Pythias, of the Order of Elks, the Order of Red Men, the 0. U. A. M., and the Foresters. In 1871-2 he was worshipful master of Northern Star Lodge, No. 58, F. and A. M. He finds hunting and fishing in the Maine woods the most beneficial and pleasurable relaxation from professional and business cares.

In 1872, the year after his admission to the Bar, Judge Holcomb married Sarah Carpenter Bennett, who died in 1901. One child was born of this union, who died some years ago. Judge Holcomb states very concisely and forcibly the practical advice he gives to others when he says that the three essentials of success are "honesty, industry, and sobriety."

Mr. Holcomb was nominated for attorney-general at the Republican State Convention in New Haven, September 20th, 1906, and was elected by 21,000 plurality.  Men of Mark Index


HOLCOMBE, JOHN MARSHALL, president of the Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company and of the Fidelity Company, both of Hartford, lecturer at Yale University, bank director, and a prominent factor in the city government of Hartford, was born in that city on the eighth of June, 1848. The Holcombe ancestry is very interesting and distinguished and embraces men of note in every walk of life. John Marshall Holcombe is a descendant of Thomas Holcombe, who settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1635 and was later a settler and deputy in Windsor, Connecticut. He is in the same line of descent as Amasa Holcombe, the distinguished scientist, and Rev. Frederick Holcombe, the eminent divine and founder of Trinity College. Among Mr. Holcombe's ancestors were three Revolutionary soldiers and many other men prominent in early American history, including John Webster, one of the early Colonial governors of Connecticut; William Phelps, magistrate and deputy to the General Court for many sessions; Edward Griswold, also magistrate and deputy for thirty-five years; Captain Joseph Wadsworth, who hid the charter in the oak, and Gen. Nathan Johnson, an officer in the War of 1812, who was also State senator. These and many other ancestors came from England and were early settlers and proprietors in Colonial and later times. Mr. Holcombe's father was James Huggins Holcombe, a lawyer, who was clerk of court and of the House and Senate of Connecticut. He was characterized by the usual New England traits of rectitude, fidelity, and thrift. Mr. Holcombe's mother was Emily Merrill Holcombe.

The city of Hartford has been Mr. Holcombe's home and the center of all his interests from his earliest days and he is now living there in the house in which he was born. He attended the Hartford Public High School and then entered Yale College, where he received his B.A. degree in 1869 and his M.A. degree three years later. In 1869 he began his career as an insurance man in the office of the actuary of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, and in 1871 he became actuary of the insurance department of the State of Connecticut, which office he held for three years. In 1874 he became assistant secretary of the Phoenix Mutual Life, the following year he was made secretary and, in 1889, vice-president of the company of which he is now the president. He is also president of the Fidelity Company, a director in the American National Bank, in the Connecticut Fire Insurance Company, in the Mechanics Savings Bank of Hartford, and in the National Surety Company of New York, In addition to these interests he has been a lecturer at Yale University, in the insurance course. This last named position shows, even more than his many other business positions, what a capable authority he is on the important subject of life insurance. He has also written valuable articles on life insurance for the North American Review.

In the municipal affairs of Hartford Mr. Holcombe has taken as important a part as he has in the business life. He brought about the organization of the board of health and served on it for many years. In 1883 he was a member of the common council and, in 1885, he was a member of the board of aldermen, and he was president of both of these branches of city government. He is a director of the board of trade and of the Retreat for the Insane. In politics he is a Republican and in creed a Congregationalist, being a member of the Center Church of Hartford. He has been president of the Yale Alumni Association of Hartford, is a member of the University Club of New York, of the Sons of the American Revolution, of the Society of Colonial Wars, the Society of the War of 1812, of the Hartford Club, and a fellow of the Actuarial Society of America, another evidence of his high place among the life insurance "captains" of today. Mrs. Holcombe was Emily Seymour Goodwin, whom he married January 29th, 1873, and by whom he has had three children, a daughter and two sons: Harold Goodwin Holcombe, Emily Marguerite Holcombe, and John Marshall Holcombe, Jr. Mrs. Holcombe is as much a leader in social, intellectual, and patriotic circles as her husband is in business and public affairs.  Men of Mark Index


JOHNSON, PROFESSOR CHARLES FREDERICK  was born May 8th, 1836, in the house of his maternal grandfather, William W. Woolsey, at the comer of Rector and Greenwich streets. New York. The lot is now occupied by one of the tall office buildings which add to the convenience as much as they detract from the beauty of the lower part of the city. At that period Canal Street was the upper limit of the closely built part of New York, and many of the old New Yorkers lived in the lower part of Broadway. Through his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Dwight, daughter of Mary Edwards Dwight, Professor Johnson is descended from Jonathan Edwards. His paternal grandmother was Katharine Livingston Bayard, daughter of Nicholas Bayard. His grandfather on his fathers side was William Samuel Johnson of Stratford, the president of King's College, now Columbia University. While he was still very young his parents moved to Owego, Tioga County, New York, where he lived till he went to college. The country was then undeveloped and the journey of nearly a week was made in a carriage to Albany. Even when the road was made southwest through Pennsylvania to the Hudson at Newburgh, the journey by stage to New York occupied three days and two nights. The neighborhood was much in the condition so well described by Cooper in the "Pioneers." The facilities for education were very meager and confined largely to the family. Professor Johnson's mother was a woman of refined literary taste and taught her children French and Spanish and read to them the English classics of the period, making them learn much of Scott's poetry by heart. An English clergyman, stranded by chance in the back country, taught Latin and Greek, paying more attention to the translation and scanning than to the grammar. Euclid and algebra were taught largely by the father. At the age of sixteen, however, the lad was able to enter the sophomore class of Yale College and to maintain a fine standing, especially in mathematics. After graduation he became an apprentice to a machine shop in Detroit, Michigan, and reached the dignity of a journeyman.

A malarial fever injured his health so much that he returned and studied law in an office in Owego. The practice of the profession was not agreeable to him and, in 1865, he became assistant professor of mathematics in the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Here he remained for six years and then engaged in the manufacture of steam engines and agricultural implements at Owego. In 1883 he became professor of English literature at Trinity College, Hartford, where he has remained ever since. For some time previous he had done considerable literary work in the magazines of the day.

While living in Hartford Professor Johnson has published a small volume of verse and a number of text-books and a volume of literary essays. His "Outline History of English and American Literature" has met with a large sale, especially in the West. For some time he acted as literary editor on the Hartford Gourant and contributor to the editorial page. He also contributed for several years, up to 1885, to the editorial page of the Hartford Times and frequently to other journals. He is at present engaged on a history of Shakesperian Criticism, though it may be considered doubtful if he finishes it.

Professor Johnson married, in 1871, Elizabeth Jarvis McAlpine, who died in 1881, leaving two children, Woolsey McAlpine and Jarvis McAlpine, now of Hartford. Two years later he married Ellen Wadsworth Terry of Cleveland, whose parents, Dr. Charles Terry and Julia Woodbridge, both of Hartford, had gone to the Western Reserve in early life. She, too, died in 1896.  Men of Mark Index


 

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