PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  817

JOSEPH FERRY.  One of the representative citizens of Stafford, Tolland Co., Conn., who had long been known in connection with both industrial and agricultural life there, is Joseph Ferry, who is a native son of Connecticut, born in Staffordville, Oct. 7, 1836.

It was in Staffordville that the grandfather and great-grandfather of Joseph Ferry lived and died, the former passing away at the age of ninety-nine years.  By marriage great-grandfather James Ferry was connected with the Warren family, and he was well known as a reliable wheelwright and also as a farmer.  His children were:  James (2), who became the grandfather of Joseph Ferry of this sketch;  Cyrus, who was a blacksmith;  Jason, who learned the carpenter trade;  Chauncy, who also was a carpenter, moved West and died there;  Darias, who was a farmer, also was skilled in many trades, and who reared a family of fifteen children;  Cynthia, who became Mrs. Fuller and lived in Palmer, Mass.; and Clarissa, who first married Timothy Foskett, and second Jesse Foskett, of Stafford.

James Ferry (2), son of James, was born in Staffordville, Jan. 23, 1773, and was a carpenter and farmer, the only tradesman of the latter class in his vicinity in his time, and it was his business to make coffins, which he constructed for from one to two dollars apiece, this charge including the usual work of undertaking.  He married Polly Rogers, who was born Jan. 2, 1777, in Wales, Mass., and who died Nov. 2, 1840; the death of Mr. Ferry occurred in 1858, at the age of eighty-five years, and he was buried in the Hall District cemetery.  The children born to James and Polly Ferry were:  (1) Abigail, who was born March 9, 1798, and married Ara Tyler, of Willington, Conn.;  (2) Bathsheba, who was born March 23, 1800, and died Oct. 9, 1803;  (3) Bathsheba (2), who was born Aug. 2, 1804, and married Robert Needham, of Stafford;  (4) James, who was born Sept. 2, 1808, married Esther King, of Hawley, Mass. (by trade he was a moulder, working for many years in Stafford and the surrounding towns, and he still survives and remembers with pleasure the celebration which took place July 4, 1826, in rejoicing over the completion of the Hydeville Furnace, which he, with others, had commenced to erect April 4, 1826);  (5) Abner, who was born Nov. 19, 1810, in Stafford;  Alvin, who was born  July 23, 1813, in Stafford, Conn., and died on Jan. 12, 1884, having spent his life in Stafford as a moulder, and who was married Aug. 10, 1834, to Azubah Needham, born March 11, 1817, in Wales, Mass. (she now lives in Windsor Locks, with her daughter, her other children having been, Henry and Henry J., who died in infancy, George, a soldier of the Civil war, Almeda and William A., the latter now living in Stafford); and (7) Mary, who was born Feb. 6, 1822, and died in May, 1898, the wife of Horace Curtis, of Union, Connecticut.

Abner Ferry, the father of Joseph Ferry, was by trade a moulder and metal worker and followed the same during the major portion of his life.  After completing the course of instruction in the Hyde foundry, he worked in the foundries in South Coventry, Troy, N.Y., Worcester, Mass., and in New Jersey at Jersey City, everywhere being known as a man of skill in his trade and one whose reliable work was in demand.  

Abner Ferry married Polly Smith, who was born in Stafford, and died in Fiskdale, Mass., and her father was Joseph Smith, of Stafford.  Their children were:  Alonzo, who is engaged in the livery business, at Sturbridge, Mass., and married Jane Eaton;  Joseph;  Henry, who died in infancy; and Sarahette, who died unmarried.  

In Staffordville, Conn., which has been the home of his relatives for so long a period, Joseph Ferry was born and was educated; he remained in school until he was nineteen years of age and attended the winter sessions, having been engaged since he was sixteen years of age at work during the summers in the Nathan Washburn foundry at Worcester, Mass.  After leaving school he worked for one and one-half years in the spinning department of the E.A. Converse woolen mill and from there went to Bridgehampton, L.I., where he engaged for two years in extensive farming and fishing operations.  Coming back to Stafford, he spent the next year in the Converse mill in the spinning department, but in 1851 he purchased the Pardon Davis farm of the other heirs and took care of his parents until their death.  The tract comprised 155 acres of fine land and there Mr. Ferry has engaged in farming ever since, with the exception of about eighteen months during the Civil war, when he worked in the Staffordville mill.  But whether as farmer or mill worker, Mr. Ferry has won the esteem of all of those with whom he has been thrown in contact, and is one the representative citizens of his locality.  His farming operations are carried on in connection with some dairying, and he finds a sale for his fine butter in Stafford Springs.

On Oct. 25, 1859, Mr. Ferry was united in marriage to Jane Frances Davis, a daughter of Pardon and Hannah (Wheeler) Davis, a prominent farmer of West Stafford.  From this marriage there has been no issue.

Politically Mr. Ferry is a staunch Democrat and he has been called upon to serve in a number of prominent positions, having been assessor for two terms, for two years was selectman and is at present a member of the board, and in 1871 he most ably represented his town in the Legislature, serving on the committee on Cities and Boroughs.  He is of the Universalist faith.

Reproduced by:

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


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