JOHN H. BUELL

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903          P. 1202

JOHN H. BUELL, one of the progressive and influential citizens of the town of Hebron, Tolland county, where he is widely known as an industrious and upright man, belongs to a family whose history begins with the arrival of William Buell in 1630, and his subsequent settlement at Windsor. It is supposed that he came from Wales, and the name is said to appear on the first distribution of lands in Windsor, in 1639. His death is recorded on the church rolls as having occurred Nov. 23, 1688. According to the church records he was married Nov. 18, 1640, his wife’s given name being Mary. His sons were: Samuel, born in September, 1641; and Peter, born in 1644.

(II) Samuel Buell, noted above, was married Nov. 13, 1662, to Deborah, the daughter of Edward Griswold, and lived in Killingworth, Conn.

(III) William Buell, his son, born Oct. 13, 1676, was married in 1705 to Elizabeth Collins, a daughter of Joseph, and a granddaughter of William Collins, who came from England. Mr. Buell died April 7, 1763, in Lebanon, Conn., and his wife died Dec. 7, 1769, at the age of eighty-four.

(IV) William Buell, son of the William Buell noted in the preceding paragraph, was born Sept. 5, 1707, and married in Hebron, Conn., Jan. 2, 1737, Elizabeth, a daughter of Thomas Hollister, and a descendant in the fourth generation from John Hollister, who came from England, and was at Wethersfield, Conn., as early as 1642.

(V) William Buell was born April 17, 1746, and was married May 11, 1766, to Abigail Hosford, who was born in 1749, a daughter of Thomas Hosford, of Windsor. Mr. Buell died March 6, 1819; and his wife, the following April.

(VI) John W. Buell, the grandfather of John H., was born in the south part of the town of Hebron, June 10, 1783. He was a farmer and a large land holder, and spent the most of his life on the farm where he was born. In politics he was a Whig, and from time to time, held important local positions. In his religion he was a member of the Congregational Church. His death occurred Oct. 5, 1833, carrying him away at the apparent prime of his powers.

Mr. Buell was married to Mary Porter, who was born June 20, 1785, a descendant of John Porter, and who died Oct. 6, 1855. To this union were born: Mary, who married Benjamin Sumner, a farmer, and died in Gilead; Elihu Porter, who married Lucy Kellogg, followed paper making and lived in Hebron, where his death took place; John Williams, the father of John H,; Josiah M., a farmer, who married Susan Burnham, and became a prominent man in Hebron, where he held many offices, and at one time was elected county commissioner for Tolland county; David M., who married Louisa Robertson, and was many years engaged in business as a merchant in South Coventry, from which point he removed to Hebron, where he died; Charles G., who was a merchant at Hebron, and died unmarried.

(VII) John Williams Buell, the father of John H., was born in Hebron in 1813. His home was with his parents until after his marriage, when he moved to a farm in Gilead, where he lived for a time, and then moved to the farm of his wife’s parents, where the rest of his life was spent in the tillage of the soil, and where he died April 5, 1874. In early life he was a Whig, but became a Republican on the formation of that party. For one term he represented Hebron in the General Assembly, served on the board of selectmen several years, and was long a trial justice. His health was poor, and he was unable to do much hard work. In the Gilead Congregational Church he was known as one of its most faithful and active members.

Mr. Buell was married Sept. 21, 1836, to Mary Ann Post, who was born in Hebron in 1813, the only daughter of Diodate and Parmelia (Birge) Post. To this union were born: John H., whose name appears at the beginning of this article; Martha, born March 10, 1845, now living unmarried on the old homestead; Harley P., born Nov. 6, 1851, who was married June 7, 1877, to Loretta Tew, is a successful druggist, and is the present Judge of Probate; Hart E., born March 24, 1855, a farmer on the homestead, engaged with his brother, John H., in the lumbering business, who was married Jan. 5, 1897, to Mattie P. Winchenbaugh, of Hyde Park, Mass., has filled several town offices, and was a member of the State Legislature in 1896.

(VIII) John H. Buell was born Feb. 9, 1841, in the south part of Hebron, and was seven years old when his parents moved to Hebron, where he attended the district school. For two terms he was a student in Wilbraham Academy, in South Wilbraham, Mass. After leaving school he returned home and assisted at the farm work until he was twenty-seven, when in the company with C.D. Way, of Gilead, he bought a steam saw mill, which they set up and operated under the name of Buell & Way. With this engine, first located a short distance east of the Gilead Church, they sawed the first lumber ever worked out by steam power in the town of Hebron, if not Tolland county, theirs being the first steam engine of any description in the town. The firm did a large business, and much of their product was taken by the Cheneys of South Manchester, and used in their buildings. The Wasson Construction Company, at Brightwood, Mass., were also heavy patrons. Buell & Way continued in business for several years. When Mr. Way retired from the firm his place was taken by a brother of his partner, Hart E. Buell; the firm is still in business, and has bought and cleared many pieces of woodland in Hebron and the vicinity.

Mr. Buell bought his present farm in 1874, and has extensively increased as well as improved it, making his business both lumbering and farming.

Mr. Buell was married May 16, 1872, in Hebron, to Abbie E. Ellis, who was born Dec. 19, 1843, in Hebron, a daughter of William L. and Harriet N. (Sumner) Ellis.

This Ellis family, of which Mrs. Buell is a member, is one of the leading families of Hebron, and its history is more fully given on another page. William L. Ellis, the father of Mrs. Buell, was born May 11, 1819, at the Ellis homestead in Gilead, where he spent his life in farming and in stock dealing. He was accustomed to go to New York and Massachusetts and buy cattle to bring into Hebron, and was well and favorably known as a stock dealer. His death occurred Aug. 28, 1896. The house now occupied by his heirs was erected by him. His politics were Democratic, though he was no office seeker. He attended the Gilead Congregational Church. Harriet Sumner, his wife, whom he married Feb. 8, 1843, was a daughter of Henry P. and Polly (Geslee) Sumner. She was born De. 1, 1819, and died May 26, 1894. Their children were: Mrs. Buell; Mary S., born Aug. 29, 1848, unmarried; William S., born July 30, 185-, who married Maria W. Way, and is a lumber dealer and farmer in Gilead (he has one child, Mary Ida, born March 22, 1878, a teacher in the Brown School at Hartford); Hattie Maria, born Dec. 9, 1852, unmarried.

To the union of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Buell have come three children: (1) Elton W., born Jan. 6, 1874, was married Jan. 16, 1895, to Grace D. Lyman, of Marlborough, Conn., by whom he has Deems Hartwell, born Sept. 27, 1896, and Dorothy Isabelle, born June 9, 1898. Mr. Buell is engaged in the wood turning business near his father’s home. This business, which he established in its present location in 1897, has had a steady growth, and gives employment to several hands in the making of wrapping paper roll plugs and in small wood turnings. He is the only wood turner of the kind in the State, and also corresponds for papers. (2) Edith M., born Aug. 7, 1875, married Oscar O. Bailey, and resides in Buckingham, Conn., where her husband is a farmer. Their children are: Bernard Oswald, born April 6, 1898; and Muriel Birge, born May 8, 1900. (3) Robert E., born May 3, 1882, attended the Storrs Agricultural College, and the Agricultural College at Madison, Wis., and is now employed on his father’s farm.

Mr. Buell is a Republican, and at the age of twenty-one was elected constable, a position he held until 1866, when he became sheriff of Tolland county, a position he held for years and lost by a very small vote in what was decidedly an “off year.” Prior to his election as sheriff he was appointed a deputy by Sheriff William M. Corbin, of Union. In 1875 he was in the State Legislature, and served on the committee on Agriculture. In 1895 he was elected county commissioner, and was re-elected to a second term in 1899.

Mr. Buell is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and when Lyons Lodge, No. 105, at Columbia, Conn., of which he was a valued factor, went out of existence, he united with Columbia Lodge at Glastonbury. Mrs. Buell and her daughter belong to the Gilead Congregational Church, and this church Mr. Buell attends and liberally supports.

Reproduced by:  Linda D. Pingel

 

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