PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  1257

WILLIAM WALDO LATHROP, deceased.  Among those who helped to make Stafford, Tolland county, an enterprising business center, must be numbered William Waldo Lathrop, the popular druggist, now deceased, who was born at Bridgeport, Conn., April 10, 1863.

Ferdinand Lathrop, father of William W., died March 31, 1878, in Coventry, Conn.  In business life he was a manufacturer, and although at the time of his death he was but forty-five years of age, he had attained considerable success.  His first wife, Harriet A. Waldo, died Oct. 16, 1863, aged thirty years.  To this union had been born:  George A., who died March 15, 1861, aged seven months and seventeen days;  and William Waldo.  For his second wife Ferdinand Lathrop wedded Maryette Fuller, who died Aug. 30, 1883 aged forty-one years, having borne her husband one child, Mary, who married Benjamin Fessenden.  The grandfather's name on the paternal side was John Lathrop, but nothing further is known of him.

William Waldo Lathrop was born in Bridgeport, and brought to Tolland county in his infancy.  He received his education first in the neighboring schools of his home, then in Coventry, and later he attended Willimantic high school.  After leaving school, he entered a grocery store in South Coventry, where he remained a short time, and then went to South Manchester and clerked in a drug store for several years.  In 1889 he came to Stafford Springs, and started in the drug business, in which he continued until his death, which occurred Sept. 11, 1897.

In establishing himself in the drug business in Stafford Springs, Mr. Lathrop really acted in opposition to the advice of several whose familiarity with the business situation at the time was not to be doubted.  His first place of business was located where his later success was achieved, and he succeeded from the start.  Fire destroyed his first store, but not until a time when he knew the possibilities of a well-kept and up-to-date drug store in Stafford Springs.  He at once began the construction of a larger store, in which he placed the most modern and elaborate fixtures, so that when it was reopened the town could claim the finest store of its kind in the county, and certainly one finer than any drug store in a town of the size in New England.  Mr. Lathrop's business foresight and judgement in this enterprise were very much in evidence by the success which came to it.  In business matters generally, or in matters of finance, his opinion carried weight, and not infrequently was sought.  His was a foremost position among the representative business men of his town.  In politics he was a Democrat, but was not a politician, never desiring or seeking office.

On Feb. 3, 1887, Mr. Lathrop was married to Harriet West, a daughter of Mrs. F.M. West of South Manchester, Conn., and to this union were born:  Frank Waldo, born Dec. 5, 1888;  and Dorothy West, born June 19, 1891.  Mrs. Lathrop is a consistent member of the Episcopal Church.

The following is clipped from the Stafford Press under the date of Sept. 16, 1897, and demonstrates the high esteem in which Mr. Lathrop was held by his fellow-townsmen:

“The business ventures of Mr. Lathrop always proved fortunate, as he had talent combined with push and energy.  He sold his business in Manchester and came to Stafford Springs in 1889.  He built up and retained a good business here.  He invested his surplus money in real estate here, and at the time of his death owned many single and double houses on Grant avenue, besides his own residence.  He was of a happy, genial disposition, and had a host of friends.  He was fond of practical jokes, and was never more happy than when planning or taking part in any kind of an escapade that promised good-natured fun.”

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel


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