Sterling, Connecticut Biographies

James Bailey came from Wales, settled in West Greenwich, R. I., and had four children. His son Titus, a captain in the revolutionary war, married Mary Fish and settled in Sterling. His son James married Eunice Bailey. They had five children, one of whom was James, who was a soldier in the war of 1812, and married Sabra Swan. They had eight children. The only one in Sterling is Charles H., born in 1832, and married to Ida Gordon. He was a member of the 8th Regiment, Connecticut volunteers.

Jerome Cahoone, born in 1838, enlisted in the Eighteenth Regiment, Connecticut volunteers, in 1862, served in second battle of Bull Run and other engagements, and was killed at the battle of Piedmont June 5th, 1864. He married Ruth Gibson, daughter of Harden Gibson, in 1856. The latter was a son of James Gibson. Mrs. Cahoone has one son, Frank E., born July 21st, 1861.

Benjamin Fenner came from Cranston, R. I., to Sterling about 1801. He married Mary Green, daughter of Colonel Christopher Green, and had nine children. Three of these children settled in Sterling. One of these, Jeremiah, married Elsie Barber and had five children, of whom John married Lydia F. Winsor. They have one son and two daughters. John Fenner has been selectman of Sterling several years and has held other town offices. David Winsor came from Glocester, R. I., to Sterling in 1797 and settled on the place now owned by John Fenner. He married Lydia Angel and had eleven children, one of whom, Ira, married Almira ‘A-lain. Their children were: Ira C., who was an assistant surgeon in the civil war Lydia F.: John, a member of the 26th Regiment, Connecticut volunteers, now a physician at Quidnick, R. I., and Emma.

Nathaniel Gallup was born in Sterling and is a farmer. He is a son of Nathaniel Gallup, who was born in 1798, and who was selectman in Sterling twenty-eight years, representative to the general assembly twice, besides holding minor town offices, and who was a son of Benadam Gallup, a soldier of the revolutionary war, and descended from John Gallup, who came to America in 1630, and married Christabel Winthrop. Nathaniel Gallup married Mary E. Mathewson, daughter of Bowen Mathewson, of Voluntown. They have five children: Nettie, Mary, Julia, Avis and George S.

Allen Gibson, son of Campbell Gibson and grandson of James Gibson, was born in 1810 in Sterling, Conn. His mother was Abigail, daughter of Asa Montgomery, the first town clerk of Sterling. Allen Gibson learned the trade of stone cutter, and became widely known as a builder and contractor, building many stone dams and mills in eastern Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He represented Sterling in the legislature of 1855. His children were: Amanda, Mary M., Oscar F., Lucy J. and Robie. Mary M. married Oliver W. Champlin, who enlisted in the 18th Connecticut volunteers, served three years, and was wounded.

Silas Griffiths, born in Sterling in 1837, is a son of George and Dorcas (Holloway) Griffiths, and grandson of Southward Griffiths, who was a soldier in the revolutionary war and came to Sterling about 1785. He was a son of Amos Griffiths, who came from Wales to Newport about 1750. Silas Griffiths was ordained as pastor of the Baptist church in 1874, and is also engaged in farming and dealing in agricultural supplies and lumber. He married Julia A. Boswell, of Killingly, in 1859, and has two children, Winfield S. and John E. Jared Griffiths, brother of Silas, born in 1826, was prominent in town affairs, enlisted in the 26th Regiment Connecticut volunteers, and died of sickness at New Orleans June 27th, 1863.

David S. Kenyon, born in Sterling, Conn., is a son of John W. Kenyon, one of twelve children, and grandson of Moses Kenyon, the first of the name in Sterling. Mr. Kenyon represented the town in the legislature in 1885 and 1886, and has held many town offices.

John Kinnie, of Voluntown, married Lucy Gallup and had nine children, one of whom, Freelove, married Richard Davis of Griswold. He died in 1882, leaving five children: John R., Albert E., Allen E., Judson, and Mary F., who married Charles E. Young of Voluntown, who died in 1876.

John Knox, son of John Knox, was born in Sterling, Conn., in 1807, and is a successful farmer. He married Caroline, daughter of John Young, a soldier of the war of 1812 and son of Joel Young, of Killingly. They have one son, John Knox, who married Susan, daughter of Philip Winslow, and is a farmer in Sterling.

Asa Potter was of English ancestry and fifth in line of descent from Roger Williams. He was born in Cranston, R. I., May 24th, 1782, married Ruth Stafford in 1803, lived in Providence and Warwick, R. I., until about 1812, when he settled at Thompson. Windham county, removing to Sterling in 1820 and living there till his death. He was one of the most prominent cotton manufacturers of his day, doing business and furnishing employment to many people at what was called the American Factory, which is still standing. His farm consisted of many acres on the Quanduck river, and he had many houses which furnished homes to his employes. His family consisted of ten children, six sons and four daughters. Edwin G. Potter„ the youngest of the family, married and went to Hartford, returning to the old homestead, when he came in possession of it in 1851. Here his two children were born and his life passed in peace and quiet until 18S3, when he became involved in a lawsuit which became an historic case. Silas Wait and A. A. Stanton came upon a portion of the Potter farm which they claimed was disputed territory, and cut off and carried away an acre of his most valuable timber. Consequently he brought an action of trespass which was fought with a vigor and tenacity rarely equaled. This case, with James H. Potter and Charles E. Searls as counsel for plaintiff, was tried before judge Stoddard at Brooklyn in May, 1885, before Judge Phelps in November of the same year, and before Judge Andrews in September, 1886, who rejected important evidence which the supreme court in March, 1887, at Hartford, decided was an error, and ordered a new trial before Chief Justice Park at Brooklyn in October, 1887, which resulted in judgment for the plaintiff, and the defendants were compelled to pay damages for cutting his valuable timber.

James L. Young, son of Jeremiah J. Young, was born at Smithfield, R. I., and came to Sterling in 1858. He enlisted in the 21st Regiment Connecticut volunteers, and served three years. He represented his town in the legislature in 1875 and 1876, and was town clerk eight- years. He married Maria, daughter of Newman Chaffee.

Additional Offsite Biographies

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

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