PRESCOTT BARTLETT

 

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.  1047

PRESCOTT BARTLETT (deceased). Although descended from an ancient and honored line, the late Prescott Bartlett, of Putnam, Windham Co., Conn., needed no reflection from past glory to establish him in the esteem of his fellow-citizens, or to endear him to a large circle of personal friends.

All who bear the name of Bartlett are of Norman ancestry, the first family record being of one Adam Bartlett, who as one of the retinue of Brian, a Knight, came to England with William the Conqueror and fought so bravely at Hastings that he was given a grant of land in Sussex. On this vast estate was erected the ancestral Bartlett mansion in 1309, the old gray stones having resisted storm and tempest ever since, still remaining, with much land, in the possession of the Bartlett family to this day. In the old Norman Church near by are marble slabs, with inset figures of brass, showing a regular succession of Bartletts, from John, who died in 1428, to Col. George Bartlett, who died in November, 1872, aged eighty-four years. Sir Walter B. Bartlett, the present representative of the English branch of the family, was created a Baronet in 1875.

In the fifteenth century a castle appears as the crest of the coat of arms, which was granted by Edward, the Black Prince, to John Bartlett for taking the Castle of Fontenoy, in France. Since then has been added a swan and double castle. The original coat of arms of the Bartlett family, was: three open left-handed falconers’ gloves with golden tassels at the wrist. The coat of arms now in use is very elaborate, representing combinations of the coats of arms of the families with which the Bartletts have inter-married.

The earliest record of the Bartlett family which has been found in America was in the town of Weymouth, Conn., this reading: “John Bartlett, son of John Bartlett and Sarah his wife, born Feb. 11, 1666.” It is reasonable to suppose that the first John Bartlett came hither from his home in Surrey, England, with some of the early settlers.

The only record of the family of John Bartlett (2) is mention of his son Ezra, who was born April 4, 1703, and married Jane Lewis, Sept. 9, 1728. Ezra had a son Richard who was born Feb. 28, 1738, and had a wife named Kezia. The Killingly records tell of numerous land transactions in which Richard Bartlett took part. July 19, 1784, he bought 180 acres of land in Killingly; April 3, 1785, he bought eighty acres on the Rhode Island line, on the road leading from his home at Chestnut Hill to Providence; Dec. 19, 1785, he bought of Richard Tucker a tract of land in Killingly; June 1, 1794, he bought of A.Brown, of Killingly, a saw and gristmill, and June 20, 1797, he bought of Peltiate Mason another tract of land, and had other real estate transactions. On the land once his now stand three mammoth cotton mills with their villages of from 700 to 800 inhabitants. The mansion he erected still stands and has been the home of the Bartletts for five generations.

Rueben Bartlett, son of Richard and grandfather of the late Prescott Bartlett, was born Nov. 11, 1782, in Killingly, Conn., and died Aug. 19, 1849, in Killingly. He, like his father, was a large landowner and conducted a saw and gristmill. He married Polly Burgess, who was born March 22, 1784, and died Aug. 28, 1859. Their children were: Minerva, born Oct. 9, 1805; Richard, Jan. 29, 1807; Lawry, Feb. 28, 1808; Lillis, Feb. 17, 1810; Waldo, Nov. 15, 1811; Almira, Aug. 16, 1814; Marinda, Sept. 11, 1816; Caroline, Oct. 20, 1818; Charles, Dec. 25, 1821; Erastus, Nov. 9, 1823; and Harriet, March 4, 1826.

Waldo Bartlett, son of Rueben, was born Nov. 15, 1811, in Killingly, Conn., and died April 30, 1873, on his farm in Killingly, where he had spent the greater part of his life. He was a man of high repute and excellent judgement, a member of the Baptist Church, and for many years he held the position of selectman of his town. Sept. 13, 1832, Waldo Bartlett married Mary Ann Covell, born May 8, 1813, who died May 6, 1889, in Killingly. She was a daughter of Arba and Mary Ann Covell, both of Killingly, the former born in 1787, and deceased Jan. 7, 1857. The children of Waldo Bartlett and his wife were: Leonard, born July 13, 1833; Almon, Aug. 28, 1835; Elizabeth, Nov. 9, 1838; Prescott, Dec. 5, 1841; Kezia, April 21, 1844; Almira, June 23, 1847; Reuben S., Dec. 11, 1849; Henry, March 14, 1853; Charles F., Sept. 27, 1856. Henry Bartlett died Dec. 1, 1901. The marriages of this family were as follows: Leonard married Thirza Barber; Almon married Mary Reynolds; Elizabeth married G.Henry Law; Kezia married George Harris; Almira married J.N. Tucker; Reuben S., married E.M. Fairmon; Henry married Peoria Gardner; and Charles married Lillie Davis; and Prescott, married (first) Maria S. Bostoe, and (second) Josephine Matilda Kenyon.

Prescott Bartlett was born Dec. 5, 1841, in East Killingly, Conn., son of Waldo and Mary A. (Covell) Bartlett. His education was acquired in the public schools of his native town, where he later became a clerk in a general store, remaining in that capacity several years. At the age of twenty-three he purchased the Whitestone Company’s store, which he successfully conducted until the spring of 1879, when he disposed of it.

In 1880 he represented Killingly in the Legislature and in the spring of the same year, removed to Putnam, opening a clothing store in the Arcade block, having purchased the business from Hiram Brown. Mr. Bartlett continued in this business in the Hoyle and Hathaway blocks until the spring of 1884, when he sold the business to J.W. Church. In 1882 he purchased the slipper business of his brother, Almon Bartlett, and operated the same until 1889, at which date he sold out to Marshall Kenyon and retired from activity.

Mr. Bartlett was a staunch Republican and was a man of influence in his party. He probably served for a longer period as town assessor than any other person in the county, having acted in that capacity for several years in Killingly and thirteen years in Putnam, and was an authority on the values of real estate. During 1882 and 1883 he was the popular and useful representative of Putnam in the Legislature and at all times was regarded as one who had the best interests of his section at heart. When the Thompson Savings Bank was removed to Putnam he became a trustee and was also a director of the Putnam Power and Light Company.

Mr. Bartlett was first married to Miss Maria S. Bostoe, daughter of George Bostoe, of East Killingly. She died without issue, Aug. 7, 1887, in Putnam, Conn. Oct. 20, 1888, Mr. Bartlett married Miss Josephine Matilda Kenyon, daughter of Joseph and Lorinda (West) Kenyon, natives of Woodstock, Conn., where Mr. Kenyon was long a manufacturer of woolen goods.

On June 1, 1895, Mr. Bartlett was appointed deputy-sheriff of Putnam, which position he efficiently filled until within about two years of his death, resigning it when failing health warned him that he must seek a quiet life. In the Masonic fraternity he was an old and valued member, having been a Mason for thirty-three years. He was also a member of A.G. Warner Post No. 54, G.A.R., of Putnam. In religious feeling he affiliated with the Universalists and was mainly instrumental in having the present church edifice of that sect erected in Putnam.

In manner Mr. Bartlett was quiet, intellectual and home-loving, a man with hosts of friends and no enemies. For some years prior to his death he had been afflicted with heart trouble for which it had been his habit to winter in the mild climate of Savannah, Ga., and it was just after an early return from the South , that his death occurred, Jan. 28, 1901. He left his mark on his town as an example of integrity and uprightness in business and as the promoter of educational and moral reforms whenever he felt they would benefit his town.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel

 

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