THEODORE HULBURT

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.  809

THEODORE HULBURT,  one of the prominent and respected citizens of Somers, Tolland county, descends from an old Somers family.

Job Hulburt, the grandfather of Theodore, was a farmer and shoemaker, and had his residence but a short distance from the present home of his grandson.  A hardworking and upright man, he died Jan. 11, 1826, at the age of seventy-six, being interred in the West cemetery, at Somers.  In ordinary circumstances, he had high ambitions for his family.  He married Dorcas, a daughter of Hezekiah and Mary (Root) Spencer, of Somers, who were married in 1739.  She died in 1822, and was buried in the West cemetery.  To them were born:  Job;  Justin, who married a Miss Gleason, and died in Somers;  Dorcas, who died unmarried;  Timothy, who married Dorothy (Dolly) Pease, and was a farmer in Somers;  Chauncey, who married Ruby Pease, a sister of Dorothy.

Capt. Job Hulburt, father of Theodore, was born in Somers in August, 1781, near the present home of Theodore, and received somewhat meager educational advantages.  He was reared mainly to hard farm work.  At that time shoemaking was a popular trade in Somers, and while still a boy he began to learn the trade.  In after years he made many boots and shoes for the Enfield Shakers.  His shop was located in his house after his marriage, and this trade he combined with farming the rest of his active life.  He lived to be over ninety years old.  He died Feb. 24, 1872.  For two terms he represented Somers in the General Assembly.  In early life he was a Whig and then became a Republican.  For many years he was a captain in the old Floodwood militia.  Mrs. Hulburt was a member of the Congregational Church, and he was associated with that body.

Capt. Hulburt married Lucinda, a daughter of Deacon Jabez Collins, one of the prominent citizens, who lived to be ninety-five.  Mrs. Hulburt died April 17, 1863, at the age of seventy-four.  It is said she appeared to be as young as her daughters at the time of her death.  To Capt. And Mrs. Hulburt were born:  Alpheus C., who married Lucinda Williams, was a farmer and died in Somers;  Mary, married to C. Backus Pomeroy, a farmer;  Lucinda, who married William Spears, lived for a time in Ellington, and later moved to Genesee county, N.Y., where both died;  Henry, who married Emaline Fields, and lived in Somers, where he died;  Benjamin Franklin, who married Cornelia Farmer, and resided in Hartford, where he was a tobacco merchant;  twins, who died young;  James, a farmer, who married Laurana Lathrop, and on her death was married in 1856, to a second wife, Dimmis Georgiana Hincklay, of Belcherton, Mass.;  Job, Jr., a farmer, who married Eunice Brace, on her death married Jane Simonds, and died in Somers;  Theodore;  William, a teamster, who was drowned in the Connecticut river near the Enfield bridge;  Emaline C., a twin to William, who married Frank D. Chaffee, of Wilbraham, Mass., and died in Springfield, Mass., where he was engaged in business as a carpenter;  Edwin, who married Henrietta Walker, and lived on the homestead, where he died in early life.

Theodore Hulburt was born Dec. 26, 1824, in the old house still standing about a quarter of a mile east of his present home, and was early set to work.  When he was eight years old he went to live with his brother Alpheus, but only remained with him a year, making his home for the three ensuing years with his uncle, C.Backus Pomeroy.  When he was sixteen he finished his schooling, having attended only the winter term some eight years.  When he was thirteen years old he cut, raked, bound, and set up an acre of rye, and was done before six o’clock in the evening, showing his strength and ability as a farmer at that early age.  At the present time he still retains that strength and ability as a mower that has marked him all through his life.

When Mr. Hulburt was fifteen he hired out for seven months at $65 for the season, and did all manner of farm work.  The two following summers he was employed by Oliver Pease, the first summer at $9.50 a month, and the second at $12.  Still later he worked for Elijah Billings, a farmer on Hall Hill, where he often put in fifteen hours a day.  For a time he was a teamster and an employee in the tannery of the Ninth district of Somers.  The output of the tannery was sent to Hartford, Springfield, and other points, and he was one of the teamsters employed in that service.

When Mr. Hulburt was twenty-two he took a farm on Hall Hill on shares with Parsons Hall, which he bought the following year, incurring a heavy debt.  The next year he was married and settled on the farm.  For thirteen years he successfully engaged in farming.  When he received a proposition of selling the farm at a good profit over its cost he did not hesitate to accept it.  In 1861 he bought a tract of fifty acres, a part of his present farm, of Daniel Webster, then warden of the State prison.  At the present time his farm consists of 100 acres, which he has extensively and thoroughly improved.  His years there he has spent in general farming, buying and selling of stock, and the handling of tobacco.

Mr. Hulburt was married March 28, 1848, to Florilla Gowdy, who was born Nov. 7, 1829, a daughter of William and Mary (Eaton) Gowdy.  She was a noble hearted woman, a devoted wife and mother, and died Nov. 1, 1899, her remains being laid to rest in the West cemetery at Somers.  Their oldest child, (1) Celia, born Jan. 24, 1852, married B.Franklin Wardwell, Sept. 24, 1878, and died March 24, 1880, leaving one child, Celia H., who was born Feb. 6, 1880, and now resides with her grandfather.  (2) Edwin T., born April 14, 1856, was married Jan. 16, 1879, to Ida E. Prevost, and is engaged in farming the home place.  He has the following family:  Alice M., born March 17, 1881;  Grace B., July 14, 1885;  Flora C., Dec. 26, 1889;  Theodore J., July 20, 1892;  (3) Hattie C., born March 10, 1859, married Gabriel A. Armstrong, July 28, 1886;  Mr. Armstrong is a well-known hotel man, who has a summer hotel at Avalon, N.J., and a winter hotel in Philadelphia; they have had Hulburt A., born Jan. 29, 1896, and Edward G., born Sept. 20, 1897.  (4) Gertie I., born Sept. 25, 1869, was married Aug. 23, 1893, to Charles W. Pendleton, who died Feb. 19, 1895.

Mr. Hulburt is a Democrat, but believes in selecting the best man for public position.  For two years he served on the board of selectmen.  He attends the Congregational Church, and his wife was a devoted member of the Methodist Church.  Many years ago, as no undertaker was near, Mr. Hulburt was called upon to prepare bodies for burial.  He is thoroughly self-made and successful, and he has many friends in the community, where he is known as “Uncle Theodore.”

Frank D. Chaffee, who married Emaline C. Hulburt, sister of Theodore, lived in Haddam, Stafford, Somers, Springfield, Mass., and Albany, N.Y.  He served in the Civil war three and one-half years in the 11th C.V.I., Co. B.  While he was away his family lived in Somers, Conn.  He was engaged in railroad work.

Frank W. Chaffee, son of Frank D. Chaffee, born Dec. 17, 1850, In Springfield, Mass., has been a railroad man for many years.  He began with the Connecticut River Railroad, and then went to the Wason Manufacturing Company of Brightwood; then he became general foreman of the Boston and Albany shops at Springfield, where he remained eight years.  Then about 1881 he took a position in Baltimore with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, where he continued some three years as general foreman of the passenger and freight work at Camden Station, near Baltimore.

After leaving the latter place he located in Albany with the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, where he was general foreman of the car department.  His next place of service was at the Albany Railroad shops, where he remained for nine years, when he was appointed superintendent of the car department, which place he held for seven years, afterwards becoming general car inspector for the entire New York system of the road, which position he still holds, with headquarters at Albany.

Mr. Chaffee was married May 22, 1872, to Elizabeth A. James, daughter of William and Ellen (Hollister) James of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel

 

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