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. 808
DEACON ALLEN TYLER BIXBY. As a maintainer of the honor and enterprise of one of the oldest families of Thompson, Deacon Allen Tyler Bixby occupies a unique and altogether enviable position in the community. A native of the town of Thompson, he was born March 27, 1825, and though at present living retired upon his splendidly cultivated farm, and seventy-eight years of age, his career has been crowded with much worth while, accompanied with unquestioned devotion to the best welfare of his neighbors and friends.
The Bixbys of the old town of Killingly descended from one Joseph Bixby, of Ipswich, Mass., about 1659, who removed to Rowley Village the following year. He served in King Philip’s war in 1676, and was made a freeman of Oxford, Mass., in 1689-90. He made an agreement of marriage, Oct. 15, 1647, with Sarah, widow of Luke Heard, then of Salisbury, but formerly of Ipswich; Mrs. Bixby was born a Wyatt. Her death occurred June 3, 1704, while that of Mr. Bixby occurred April 19, 1700. The children of this couple were as follows: Joseph, who married March 29, 1682, Sarah, daughter of John and Sarah Gould, of Topsfield (their children were Sarah, Joseph, Jonathan, George, Daniel, Benjamin, Marcey, and Abigail); Sarah; Nathaniel; Mary; George, the ancestor of the Oxford (Mass.) Bixbys; Jonathan, who married Sarah Smith, of Topsfield, where their descendants lived for many years; Daniel, who married Hannah Chandler, of Andover; and Benjamin, who married his wife Mary in Topsfield, and left many descendants.
There is a family tradition among the Thompson Bixbys to the effect that Daniel, Jacob and Jesse, brothers, came from Topsfield, Mass., to Thompson, and settled at Brandy Hill. From the Larned history of Windham county it appears that Benjamin Bixby, of Topsfield, was doubtless the first resident of Brandy Hill, where he built the house east of the road to Boston in 1719. It is further stated that Jacob Bixby, a nephew of Benjamin, settled north of Quinnatisset Hill between 1721 and 1726. Benjamin Bixby’s name appears on record as one of the original members of the Thompson Parish Church organized Jan. 18, 1730, and the name of Jacob Bixby is connected with the same church in 1732.
Daniel Bixby, mentioned above, was the great-grandfather of Allen Tyler Bixby, of Thompson, and his grandfather was Daniel’s son, Moses. Daniel and Moses Bixby, of Killingly, served during the Revolution in the 4th Connecticut Regiment, commanded by Col. Durkee, their term of service being from Aug. 16, 1779, to Jan. 15. Moses Bixby’s name appears among the United States pensioners of 1832.
Moses Bixby lived on a large farm in the Brandy Hill District of Thompson, where he had large landed possessions, and where he engaged in butchering and stock raising as well as general farming. He was a deacon in the Congregational Church, and a Federalist in politics. His death occurred in 1854, and he is buried in East Thompson cemetery beside his wife, formerly Mary Green, who was born in Thompson, and died on the old homestead. To this couple were born three children: Clara, who died unmarried; Lemuel, who died in Thompson; and Halsey.
Halsey Bixby, son of Moses, was one of the most prominent citizens of Thompson during his day. He was born on a farm, and made farming his life occupation, although he was also an educator, and spent nine winters teaching schools in different parts of Massachusetts. He was a well read man and took much interest in the public schools of his native town. With his brother, Lemuel, he became interested in stock raising and butchering, and this line of business brought in a considerable portion of his revenue. In 1850 he removed to the vicinity of New Boston, Conn., where he purchased a tract of land in the Payne District, near the Woodstock line, upon which his death occurred at the age of eighty years. He was a member of the East Woodstock Congregational Church, in which he was a deacon for a number of years, and in politics he was first a Whig and then a Republican. By his marriage with Esther Tyler, of Thompson, daughter of Rufus Tyler, eight children were born: Allen Tyler; Moses Nelson, deceased in 1900; Albert, who died while young; Loren, who died while young; Henry, who died in Webster; George, now occupying his father’s farm; Franklin, an officer of the United States customs department in Boston, an ex-soldier of the Civil war; and Esther, who died young.
Allen Tyler Bixby was born on the old Bixby homestead in Thompson, and was educated in the public schools of Thompson and Webster. When his father left the farm in 1850 he remained, and for more than half a century tilled its broad expanses and raised large numbers of stock, carrying on also a dairy. He has lived on his present place since 1842. He is one of the large land owners in his part of the county, and pays taxes amounting to a large sum. He has filled many positions of trust in the town, having been selectman, assessor, and representative of Thompson in the Legislature in 1870. He has ever been a staunch supporter of the Republican party, and his religious affiliations have been with the Baptist Church, of which he has been a deacon for many years. He has been superintendent of the Thompson Baptist Sunday-school for eighteen years.
On Jan. 1, 1851, Mr. Bixby married Georgiana Rhodes, daughter of Nelson Rhodes, and who died June 11, 1897, deeply regretted by her hosts of devoted friends. She was an admirable woman, and devoted wife and mother. Of the three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bixby, Esther, born Feb. 15, 1856, died Sept. 13, 1883; Cora, born Dec. 6, 1861, who was a teacher, died Feb. 28, 1902; and Herbert A., born June 30, 1868, now operates the homestead. The latter is engaged in farming and dairying, and sends his milk to Boston. Like his father he enjoys an exceptional reputation in the community, where he is valued for his enterprising methods, thrift, and high moral character. He married Oct. 12, 1898, Emma Chappell, born June 17, 1874, daughter of Edward Chappell; before her marriage she was a teacher in the public schools of Thompson and Rockville.
Linda D. Pingel
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