Pomfret Connecticut Biographies

William Irving Bartholomew

William Bartholomew, second generation in America (see record of Bartholomew family), born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1640-41, was united in marriage to Mary Johnson. Their son, Joseph, a native of Branford.

Connecticut, where he was born in 1682, married Elizabeth Sanger, of Woodstock. Benjamin`, a son by this union, born in Woodstock June 23d, 1723, married Martha Carpenter, one of whose children was Leonard, born in Woodstock in 1758, and married to Sarah Perrin, of Pomfret. Their three children were William, Margaret and Mary. The birth of William Bartholomew occurred in Woodstock on the 23d of June, 1797. He was in 1820 married to Abigail G. Buck, of Killingly. Their children are: Edward Leonard, Simon, Annis Buck and William irving.

The last named and youngest of these children was born February 7th, 1831, in Pomfret, on the homestead farm, where he still resides. Like the farmers’ sons of that day he had no advantages other than those offered by the common schools, with two or more terms at a neighboring academy. The twelve succeeding years were spent mainly in teaching, after which this calling was abandoned for the congenial labor connected with the management of his attractive ” Locust Hill Farm.” The attention of Mr. Bartholomew was early called to the science of chemistry as applied to agriculture, and the analysis of soils and the food of plants was made by him a special study. The knowledge thus gained very soon established him as a local authority on all matters connected with that subject. He ardently embraced the idea of discovering the ingredients of soils and the needs of crops by the use of chemical fertilizers, and soon became a careful student of these subjects. He instituted, under the auspices of the state, a series of experiments each year for several years, to verify the truth or fallacy of prevailing theories. Some of these experiments have occupied considerable space in the reports of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and other periodicals. An eminent authority alluded to them ” as decidedly the most valuable ever made to his knowledge in this country.” They were translated into German and appeared in the station reports of that country. Mr. Bartholomew has always taken a prominent part in the Pomfret and Woodstock Farmers’ Clubs over which he has presided, and in the various agricultural societies of the county. He has frequently been called to address farmers in different parts of the state on subjects pertaining to agriculture. He was in 1887 appointed a member of the State Board of Agriculture.

He has not only been a close student, but an active citizen in matters pertaining to his town. He has for years been a justice of the peace and selectman, and as a republican represented his constituents in the Connecticut house of representatives for two years. He early became a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of West Thompson. Mr. Bartholomew on the 29th of April, 1858, married Mary J., daughter of Joseph S. Hassard, of Putnam. Their children are: Ada Louise, wife of Arthur H. Strahan; Anne H., married to David Chase; Abby Alice, and Mary Maud.

Charles And Benjamin Grosvenor

John Grosvenor, the earliest representative of the family in New England and the progenitor of all who bear the name in America, was born in 1641, and died in 1691 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where his burial occurred. His wife, Esther Clark Grosvenor, a woman of great strength of character and self-reliance, came with her family, consisting of five sons and one daughter, to Pomfret, where she engaged in the management of her landed property, and added the practice of medicine to her other attainments.

Her son, Thomas, born in 1687, married Elizabeth Pepper, and was the father of Amos, who married Mary Hutchins, and settled as a farmer in Pomfret. Among his children was a son, Benjamin, born in 1771, who married Chloe Trowbridge, to whom were born eight children, the two eldest sons dying in early life. John William, the third son, whose birth occurred in 1806, died in 1862, in Pomfret, where his life was spent in the pursuits of a farmer. He married Phebe G., daughter of Charles Spaulding, of Plainfield. Their children are: Hannah, deceased, wife of C. P. Grosvenor; Julia E., deceased; Charles W., born May 11th, 1839; and Benjamin, whose birth occurred September 21st, 1841.

Charles, the elder of these two sons, entered the army in 1862, during the late rebellion, as sergeant of Company D, Eighteenth Connecticut Volunteers, participating in all the important engagements in which his regiment bore a part. Mr. Grosvenor, as a republican, has twice represented his native town in the state legislature and once in the senate. On the 7th of March, 1866, he was married to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of George B. Mathewson, of Pomfret. Their children are three daughters, Mary M., Julia E. and Louise P.

Benjamin, the younger of the two sons of John William, was born in Pomfret, where his life, with the exception of five years in Nebraska, has been spent. In 1871 he purchased his present home in Pomfret. Finding pleasure in the pursuits of business and the ownership of land, he has from time to time added to his original property, until now he has over 700 acres under cultivation. He was married December 23d, 186r, to Miss Anna, daughter of George B. Mathewson, of the same town. Their children are a daughter, Charlotte M., and a son, John P.

Pomfret having through all its history been a farming town, has within the last twenty years, through the energy and ability of the Grosvenor brothers, preceded by that of their father-in-law, George B. Mathewson, made rapid material progress. Commencing with small things it has become a favorite resort for summer guests, and so rapidly has the popularity of the place increased that Mr. Grosvenor has had occasion repeatedly to enlarge his quarters, adding successive buildings and cottages to his domain. Attracted by the natural beauty of the adjacent country, the salubrious air, and the improvements constantly progressing, much capital has been invested in summer homes in the vicinity.

Rufus S. Mathewson

The name of Mathewson has for several generations occupied a prominent place in the annals of Windham county. Joseph Mathewson, the grandfather of the subject of this biographical sketch, married Mary Bowen. Their son Darius, whose wife was Mary Smith, became the father of seven sons and three daughters, of whom the eldest son, Rufus S. Mathewson, was born September 14th, 1802, in Brooklyn, and received his elementary training in the schools of his native town. He fitted for college with the intention of entering Yale, but yielding to the solicitations of his father, abandoned his purpose with reference to a classical education and devoted his life to the pursuits of a farmer. He also gave some attention to the study of medicine under Doctor Hubbard, of Pomfret, but relinquished this also in obedience to the filial devotion which influenced his future career. Joseph Mathewson, his grandfather, purchased the historic farm, formerly the home of General Putnam, where the subject of this biography was born and for eleven years resided. He afterward removed to Woodstock, where for thirty-three years he followed an agricultural career. After a year spent in Mississippi, Mr. Mathewson became a resident of Pomfret, where his death occurred on the 29th of May, 1886.

He occupied many positions of honor and trust, both of a civil and political character. His habitual adherence to principle -rather than policy sometimes provoked opposition, but left no room for doubt as to the strength and integrity of his character.

When the New York and New England railroad was projected he was appointed to the difficult task of appraiser of property along the route, while his services were invaluable in the offices of administrator and trustee, where soundness of judgment, no less than probity and rectitude, are invaluable qualities. No influence brought to bear was sufficiently strong to cause him to swerve from the line of duty or depart from his convictions. Mr. Mathewson represented his town in the Connecticut legislature in the years 1861-62, and was often called to the office of selectman and to other positions of trust. He was for many years bank examiner of the state, and one of the incorporators and a director of the Putnam Bank. He was actively interested in the Masonic fraternity as a member of Putnam Lodge No. 46. In early life he united with the Congregational church, to which he gave his firm allegiance and support, and contributed in a spirit not less of duty than of liberality.

Mr. Mathewson, on the 10th of March, 1828, married Faith Williams McClellan, daughter of John McClellan, of Woodstock, and granddaughter of General Samuel McClellan and Hon. William Williams, one of the signers of the declaration of independence. Their children are: William Williams, Harriet Cordelia, wife of Dwight M. Day; Mary Trumbull, married to Colonel Alexander Warner; John McClellan, deceased; Arthur, now residing in Brooklyn, New York, and Albert, deceased.

Charles Henry Osgood

Charles is the grandson, on the paternal side, of Winthrop Osgood, of Pomfret. His maternal ancestor was John Holbrook, of the same county and town. His parents were Charles and Lucy Holbrook Osgood, whose children were: -Mary M., Charles Henry, John H., Frances L. and Ellen E. The eldest of these sons, and the subject of this sketch, eras born in Abington, in the town of Pomfret, June 3d, 1841, and received his education at the public and private schools near his home. He has been, during the greater part of his business life, identified with the county in an official capacity. He first served as deputy sheriff, and was in 1871 appointed to fill the unexpired term as sheriff of Windham county. Mr. Osgood was later elected to the same office, of which he was the incumbent for a period of sixteen years. In politics he has been and is an advocate of the principles of the republican party. He is connected with Quinebaug Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. Mr. Osgood was in 1878 married to Miss Anna E. Hart, of Brooklyn, New York.

Colonel Alexander Warner

Asahel Warner, the grandfather of Colonel Warner, was a native of the state of Rhode Island, and later in life removed to New York, from which point he migrated to Connecticut and engaged in agricultural pursuits. His children were seven sons and one daughter, Mary, who became Mrs. Ross. The sons were: Asahel, Stephen, Thomas, John, Sabin, Benjamin and Daniel. Thomas of this number, also a native of Rhode Island, established himself as a manufacturer in Woodstock, where his death occurred in June, 1877. By his marriage to Amy Collins, of Rhode Island, were born children: Sarah A., wife of John Lake; Harriet S., married to Salem L. Ballard; Alexander; Mary F., wife of Samuel M. Fenner, and Edward T.

Alexander Warner, the eldest son, was born in Smithfield, Providence county, Rhode Island, January 10th, 1827, and at the age of eight years accompanied his parents to Woodstock. where he became a pupil of the Woodstock academy. He then entered the academy at Wilbraham, Massachusetts, and before completing his preparatory collegiate course was summoned to the assistance of his father in his business enterprises. Subsequently becoming a partner, the firm was, at the outbreak of the late war, engaged in the manufacture of cotton twine. When the bombardment of Fort Sumter called the North to arms, Colonel Warner was among the first to offer his services to the state. Enlisting as a private he was appointed by Governor Buckingham major of the Third Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, and participated with his command in the first battle of Bull Run. He was afterward made lieutenant-colonel of the Thirteenth Connecticut ‘Volunteers, joined the Department of the Gulf, and shared in most of the important engagements. Ill health compelled his temporary retirement from active service, when, reporting for duty, he was ordered by General Emery, commanding the Department of New Orleans, to raise and organize the Fifth Louisiana Regiment for the defense of New Orleans, which he commanded during that important crisis and until continued ill health compelled his retirement from the service. He was subsequently appointed by Secretary Chase special agent of the Treasury Department at New Orleans, and held the office until his return to the North, on which occasion he tendered his resignation.

In the autumn of 1865, Colonel Warner purchased in Madison county, Mississippi, a plantation embracing several thousand acres. Many other northern capitalists, attracted by the superior productiveness, had also located in the same neighborhood, and the energy, courage, sagacity and apparently exhaustless resources of the subject of this biography, caused him to be recognized from the beginning as a leader of the northern element. He employed at regular wages a large number of freedmen, which exasperated the natives, who were unwilling to realize the fact that slavery was ended. His innovations were denounced as certain to disorganize the labor of the country, and still deeper resentment was aroused as agent for the Freedmen’s Bureau, when he compelled on the part of the native planters, the fulfillment of the contracts made with the blacks. During this transitional period his life was often threatened, and always in danger, but he never faltered in the line of duty, nor hesitated to extend to the oppressed the full protection of the law. Colonel Warner was appointed secretary of state by the military commander, was trustee and treasurer of the State University, six years a member of the state senate, and part of that time its president and ex-officio lieutenant-governor, four years chairman of the republican state committee, and three times a delegate to the national republican convention. As chairman of the Mississippi delegation at the convention which first nominated General Grant, he cast the vote of the state, with the sentiment, ” Mississippi, the home of Jefferson Davis, casts her unanimous vote for U. S. Grant,” amidst tremendous applause.

In 1877 Colonel Warner, on returning to the north, purchased “Woodlawn,” in the town of Pomfret, embracing a ,highly cultivated and productive farm from which the blooded stock was a well known feature of the various fairs throughout New England. He, later, removed to “Sunny side,” the former home of Mrs. Warner’s family in the same town, where he now resides. The Colonel was in 1876 commissioner from Mississippi to the centennial exposition in Philadelphia and again from Connecticut to the exposition of 1887. He was in 188S commissioner to the Ohio centennial, and in 1859 to that held in New York. He was elected and served as state treasurer for the years 1887 and 1888, was a member of the state board of agriculture and has been appointed by the several governors to various national agricultural conventions. He was president of the Windham County Agricultural Society, and has held various local offices. He has extensive interests in the West and is president of the Baxter Bank, of Baxter Springs, Kansas. As a Mason he is connected with Putnam Lodge, “No. 46, and Montgomery Chapter. He is a member of Loyal Legion Commandery of Massachusetts.

Colonel Warner was married on the 27th of September, 1855, to Mary Trumbull Mathewson, daughter of Rufus Smith Mathewson and Faith Williams McClellan, of Woodstock. Mrs. Warner is the great-granddaughter of William Williams, one of the signers of the declaration of independence. Mr. Williams married Mary Trumbull, daughter of Jonathan Trumbull, the first colonial governor of Connecticut, the friend of Washington, and prominent during the revolutionary period. Colonel and Mrs. Warner have had two children-Benjamin Silliman, who was born September 24th, 1856, and Arthur McClellan, whose birth occurred April 13th, 1860, and his death September 4th of the same year. Benjamin Silliman, who is a resident of Baxter Springs, Kansas, in 1886 married Sarah L., daughter of Edward Trowbridge, of Brooklyn, New York, and has one son, Arthur Trumbull.

Source: History of Windham County, Connecticut, Bayles, Richard M.; New York: W.W. Preston, 1889

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Scroll to Top