CHARLES SETH BILLINGS

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.  415

CHARLES SETH BILLINGS, who has been foreman of the spool department of the Willimantic Thread Co. for the last thirty-five years, is an excellent type of the honest and straightforward New England citizen. Mr. Billings is one of the best known men in Willimantic, where he has filled creditable public positions involving ability and responsibility, and is prominent in the Masonic fraternity. His paternal ancestry is of New England, and his maternal of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Billings was born April 16, 1840, at Windham, Conn., and is the son of Charles and Hannah (Clator) Billings. The father was born in Montville, Conn., a son of John Billings, a seafaring man, who was once a resident of Windham. Charles Billings learned the stone masonís trade in his native town when a young man, and went to Eastern Pennsylvania. In the neighborhood of Easton, he met and was married to Miss Hannah Clator, a native of that portion of the State. For some years he was engaged at his trade in and about Easton, and then brought his family back to his native State, locating at Windham. In his early days he was a hatter, at that time a popular and profitable calling. Charles and Hannah Billings both died in their seventy-second year, and were buried in Windham. They were Christian people, and the mother was a member of the Congregational Church. Mr. Billings was a Jacksonian Democrat, and took much pride in the great party leader. They became the parents of seven children Ė five sons and two daughters. Two are now living, Charles S., and his sister, Mrs. James Hanna, of Willimantic.

Charles S. Billings was the second son and fifth child of his parents, and had his rearing in his native town. His first schooling was in the public schools, but later he attended a private school taught by Father Horton, of the Episcopal Church, at Windham Green, following this a district school taught by Porter B. Peck. When he was about eighteen years of age he attended his last school, which was taught by the well-known teacher, William Folly. From his earlier years Mr. Billings was accustomed to do such work as a stone mason as his age would permit, under his fatherís eye, and by the time he reached maturity he was a fairly competent stone mason himself. The trade, however, did not prove congenial, and in October, 1863, he entered the employ of the Willimantic Linen Co. For some two and a half years he was employed in the finishing room, and in 1866 he was put in charge of the spool shop, a position he has held to the present time, being one of the oldest department heads in that great institution.

Mr. Billings was married in Willimantic to Miss Caroline E. Harris, youngest of the five children of Nathan and Mary (Hall) Harris. Nathan Harris was accidentally killed while on a hunting expedition several years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Billings have one daughter, Louise B., who is now Mrs. H.A. Bugbee of Willimantic, and the mother of two children, Florence and Alice B. Mr. Billings cast his first vote for William A. Buckingham, and his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. For five terms he was burgess of Willimantic, and for two terms was warden of the borough, and for fifteen years he was on the town board of relief. For eleven years he was a member of the Willimantic Fire Department, being assistant to the chief for six years, and four years being chief of the department himself.

Mr. Billings became a member of Eastern Star Lodge, F.&A.M., in 1868, and has taken the various degrees that would admit him to Sphinx Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and Radiant Chapter, O.E.S. In these various branches of the order, excepting the Temple, he had passed through the official chairs, and is known as one of the most capable and popular Masons in the State. Mr. Billings was a charter member of the Royal Arcanum at Willimantic. Mrs. Billings is Past Grand Matron of the O.E.S. for Connecticut, being a member of Radiant Chapter, in which she has passed through the official chairs, and is widely known as one of the workers in that order. Mr. Billings has attained his present creditable and enviable position through his own energy and character. One of two heirs to his fatherís estate, he voluntarily passed over all that was coming to him for the support of his mother. His fine home on Pleasant street is the center of many devoted friendships, and he and his good wife are very much respected in the community in which their useful and well-ordered lives are passing.

Reproduced by:  Linda D. Pingel

 

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