PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  727

SILAS B. COOLEY.  Among the prominent farmers residing in the northeast part of the town of Somers, Tolland county, near the Massachusetts State line, is Silas B. Cooley, who can trace his ancestry back to  (I)  Earl Cooley, who came to America from Denmark, whither he had gone from England because of the persecution that he and others were compelled to undergo on account of their religious belief.  An earl in England, by title, he was known by that name in America.  The “Blue Book” of England states that the Cooley family was very old and influential.

(II)            Benjamin Cooley appears to have been one of the first settlers in that part of Springfield called Long Meadow, and there he married his wife, Sarah, and both died about 1684.

(III)         Eliakim Cooley, the third child of Benjamin, was born in 1648, married Hannah Tibbals in 1679, had three children, and both died in 1711.

(IV)         Eliakim Cooley (2), son of Eliakim, was born in 1681, married Griswold Beckwith, of Lyme, Conn., in 1706; she died in 1754, and he in 1758; they had eleven children.

(V)            Capt. Luke Cooley, son of the above, was born in 1718, and in 1739 married Elizabeth Colton, a daughter of Thomas Colton, of Long Meadow, Mass.  Capt. Cooley died Jan. 1, 1777, and his wife Aug. 8 of the same year.  The house erected by Capt. Luke Cooley stood about forty rods east of the old Cooley homestead, now standing in North Somers.  The children of these worthy ancestors were:  Solomon;  Lois, who married Nathan Sikes, of Monson;  Eunice, who married John Billings, of Somers;  Joanna, who married Levi Brace;  Nathan, who lived in Somers;  Elizabeth, who died young;  Lovice, who married Ensign John Russell, of Somers;  Lucy, who married Stephen Jones;  Luke; and Dinah, who married Aaron Howard.

(VI)         Luke Cooley, son of Capt. Luke, was born about 1753, in the house erected by his father.  When a young man, in 1772, he built the old Cooley homestead, now standing in North Somers, very near the Massachusetts State line, and was a large land owner and prominent man.  He died Aug. 16, 1801.  His first wife was named Phebe; she died April 27, 1783, the mother of three children, Lula, Luke and Weston.  He married Margaret Marsh, a daughter of Rev. Jonathan Marsh, of New Hartford, Conn., for his second wife.  She died Dec. 26, 1819, aged sixty-seven, and is buried in Greenwich, Mass.  Two children were born to the second marriage:  Jonathan Marsh, the grandfather of our subject; and Harriet, who married John Warren, and lived in Boston, where she died, leaving two children, Franklin, who married his cousin, Margaret M. Cooley, and Marietta Belle.

(VII)      Jonathan Marsh Cooley was born Aug. 9, 1789, in the family homestead, and remained on the home farm all his life, becoming a man of ample means and large landed possessions.  His death occurred Oct. 11, 1857.  July 24, 1808, he married Naomi Hills, who was born Sept. 3, 1792, a daughter of Jacob and Naomi Hills, the former of whom was born Dec. 25, 1765, and died Sept. 12, 1848, while his wife was born in 1770 and died April 11, 1848.  Jonathan M. Cooley was “fife major” in the local militia for many years.  Since his death the old fife has been preserved by the family and is owned and cherished by his grandson, Silas B. Cooley.  The children born to Jonathan M. Cooley and his wife were:  Jonathan Luke, born Jan. 22, 1809;  Caius Marius, born Sept. 25, 1811, who married Louise Bodfish, June 6, 1838, was a farmer by occupation, and lived near Springfield, Mass., where he died Aug. 7, 1846, leaving three sons;  Naomi Elvira, born Oct. 27, 1812, who married Frederick Kibbe, and became the mother of A.F. Kibbe, of Somers;  Harriet Semina, born March 23, 1815, who married Benjamin F. Parsons, a carpenter, and died in Chicopee, Mass., April 30, 1848, leaving two children;  Erasmus, born Oct. 15, 1817, who married (first) Rachel Bartlett, and (second) Abbie C. Hitchcock, and by the latter union had one daughter;  Lucien U., born Oct. 14, 1819, who married (first) Aug. 22, 1850, Jemima Hubbard, who bore him two children, second, Marilla Church, and third, April 29, 1868, Margaret Weppert, and who died March 24, 1886;  Margaret M., born Jan. 21, 1822, who married Franklin C. Warren, of Boston, and had four children;  Louisa Maria, born June 14, 1824, who married Henry S. Herrick, and died in Chicopee, Mass., June 14, 1851;  Mary Almena, born Oct. 7, 1826, who married James A. Orcutt, and died in Defiance, Ohio, July 12, 1876, the mother of one daughter;  Jane Sabin, born Jan. 4, 1829, who married first Ashman R. Pease, and had three children, and second, Dennis Pease, and lives in Enfield, Conn.;  Eliza Sophia, born Feb. 14, 1831, married to Hosea Record, who died in Hampden, Mass., May 14, 1855, leaving one child; and Eunice Ursula, born June 19, 1834, who married Warren Hubbard, and died in Ludlow, Mass., Dec. 14, 1857, leaving one child.

(VIII)   Jonathan Luke Cooley was born in North Somers, where his early life was spent.  For several years when a young man he worked on the home farm and later bought a farm near (now inside) the city limits of Springfield, Mass.; there he continued farming for some six years, when he disposed of it and removed to Ludlow, Mass.  There he bought another farm which he continued to operate for about nine years, and later lived on rented farms in Wilbraham and Hampden.  In 1855 he bought of Deacon David Cady a farm in the northeast part of Somers, the one now occupied by our subject, where he followed farming for the rest of his life, dying there Nov. 25, 1862; he was buried in Center cemetery at Somers.  His death was caused by an accident, his team running away and throwing him to the ground.  He was an upright and honorable man, and his untimely death was a great loss to his community.  His principles in politics coincided with those of the Democratic party, but he never sought office.

On Jan. 29, 1835, Mr. Cooley was married by Rev. R.R. Dennis, to Sarah S. Kibbe, who was born Sept. 18, 1815, and died Feb. 26, 1887.  She was a native of Somers, a daughter of Silas and Sally (Watrous) Kibbe, and a granddaughter of Daniel Kibbe, the Revolutionary soldier.  The children of this marriage were:  Silas B., born March 1, 1836;  Irene S., born Jan. 17, 1838, who was married March 12, 1874, to John Watson Prentice, a carpenter residing in Somers, and who died March 30, 1894;  Lorett N., born July 21, 1839, who married March 25, 1864, to Merrick Langdon, a carpenter, lived in Springfield, Mass., and died April 18, 1890;  Redelia A., born Sept. 1, 1841, the wife of Merritt A. Davis, of Somers;  Luvann E., born July 30, 1844, who was married April 28, 1864, to Cyrus Kibbe, a carpenter, and resided in Springfield, until her death, Oct. 10, 1885;  Rocelia A., born July 3, 1846, who was married Aug. 19, 1869, to Frank Pease, a farmer, and who died in Stafford, Conn., March 20, 1883;  and Dallas L., born July 7, 1849, who died Oct. 1, 1864.

(IX)         Silas B. Cooley was born in Springfield, Mass., and attended the common schools of Ludlow, North Wilbraham and Hampden, Mass.  He was nineteen years old when his parents moved to Somers, and he there engaged in farm work, a part of the time for the community of Enfield Shakers, and he also worked in a brick yard.  At the age of twenty-four, he went to Pennsylvania as agent for the Hovey Silk Company, of Mansfield, Conn., and with a team, he peddled sewing silk, traveling through the coal regions, for two years following this business very successfully.  After his return to his home he was employed for a few months at the U.S. Armory at Springfield, when his father died and he returned home.  In the course of time Mr. Cooley bought the interests of the other heirs in the estate, has improved and added to the property and now has a farm of 125 acres, where he is prospering in general farming and dairying.

On Dec. 15, 1864, Mr. Cooley was married to Jane P. Hunt, of Somers, who was born in Monson, Mass., March 24, 1842, a daughter of Simon S. and Persis (Chaffee) Hunt and a sister of Deacon Comfort C. Hunt.  Mrs. Cooley died Aug. 13, 1882.  Three children were born of this union:  (1) Mattie J., born Feb. 26, 1866, attended the district schools and the Somers high school, and taught school for several years in Stafford and Somers; she married Everett Fletcher, a farmer in Stafford, and their children are Edna, Eunice, Helen, Celia, Eva and Marjorie.  (2) Burtie D., born Jan. 28, 1868, was educated in the district schools and the Somers high school and chose farming for his life work; he is associated with his brother-in-law, Everett Fletcher, and they together own the farm known as the “Alden Davis” homestead, of about 110 acres, where they carry on general farming.  They have also bought additional timber land.  Mr. Cooley politically is a Republican.  (3) Benton S., born Nov. 20, 1876, was also educated in the district schools and the Somers high school; he is a Republican politically and is an active member of the Somers Grange.  On Sept. 11, 1884, Silas B. Cooley married Elizabeth Luella Jones, of Ludlow, who was born Oct. 24, 1850, a daughter of Stephen Cooley and Mary (Hubbard) Jones.  Mr. Cooley is very liberal in politics, and votes as his judgement dictates but takes a great interest in local affairs, and has held the office of selectman of Somers for two years; he is also a member of the board of relief, and is assessor.  He belongs to Somers Grange.  Mr. Cooley was one of the organizers and has been director since the second year of its existence of the Somers creamery.  Religiously he is an attendant and liberal supporter of the Somers Congregational Church.  His success in life is the result of honest, persistent effort in the line of honorable and manly dealing. 

Stephen Cooley Jones, father of Mrs. Cooley, was born in Ludlow, a son of Stephen and Cathrin (Bliss) Jones, farming people of that town.  He passed his life there, and died in July, 1896, in his seventy-seventh year, on the farm where he was born.  His wife, Mary Hubbard, was the daughter of Warren Hubbard of Ludlow, who was a farmer who passed his life in his native town.  She died April 5, 1902, in her eighty-first year.  Both were members of the Methodist Church in Ludlow.  They had five children born to them:  (1) Amanda married Danford Sikes, of Ludlow.  (2) Albert E., lives in St. Paul, Minn., where he is in the meat business.  He married (first) Ida Meeder, of Springfield, Mass., and had two children, Albert and Grace Lilian.  He married (second) Miss E. Lilian Gove, of St. Paul, Minn., and by this marriage he has three children:  Frederick Harold, Myrtie and Ruth.  (3) Elizabeth Luella is Mrs. Silas B. Cooley.  (4) Ida married Frank Pease, of Monson, a farmer of that town, and they have one child, Lillian.  (5) William M., youngest child of Stephen C. Jones, Jr., resides in Springfield, Mass., where he is in the meat business.  He married Flora Alden, of Ludlow, Mass., and has two children, Bessie and Harry.

Reproduced by: 

Linda D. Pingel – great-great granddaughter of Cyrus White of Rockville, Ct.


Return to Main Page

This page was created by Linda Pingel on April 7, 2008
copyright 2008 - all rights reserved