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. 860
M. PAULK (deceased), one of the most
esteemed residents of Rockville, Tolland Co., Conn., was one of the pioneer
citizens who watched the wonderful but healthy growth of that place, and
materially contributed to its advancement. Mr.
Paulk was identified with the leading business interests of Rockville as
president of the People's Savings Bank for his last twenty-five years, a
director in the First National Bank, and as president of the Rockville Hotel
Co., which was incorporated in 1901 with a capital of $40,000.
Paulk, the great-grandfather of George M. Paulk, was an early settler in Tolland
county, and there married Kesiah Benton, Dec. 22, 1736.
Their children were: Dinah,
John, Lydia, Kesiah, Puhamah, David, Ephraim, Amri, and Jemima.
father of George M. Paulk, Eliakim by name, was a son of Ephraim, of the above
family, born in December, 1787. In
1816 he married Sally Craw, the children of this union being:
(1) Laura, born in 1818, married Charles Curtiss, of Meriden, later a Mr.
Dresser, lived in Meriden until 1853, returned then to Tolland, dying in Troy,
N.Y., leaving one son, George A. (2)
George M. (3) Julius, deceased.
(4) James, born in 1825, resides in Chicago.
(5) Sarah, born in 1827, deceased. (6)
Julius A., born in 1828, lived a time in California, but returned to Connecticut
and died in Tolland county. (7)
Edwin. The death of George M.
Paulk's father occurred in 1865. He
was one of the pioneers in the business of framing by squaring, instead of
fitting together, as was the old custom, and built frames for many of the
factories put up in Rockville in his day. In
politics he was formerly a Whig, later a Republican, and held many of the town
mother of George M. Paulk, Sally (Craw) Paulk, was a native of East Windsor,
Conn., and she with three sisters remained in the old home when the rest of the
family removed to "New Connecticut," as northern Ohio was then called.
Her death occurred in her sixty-sixth year and with her husband she was
laid to rest in the old South cemetery.
immediate subject, the well-known George M. Paulk, was born Feb. 8, 1820, in the
old Paulk homestead, in the town of Tolland, where his ancestors had lived for
generations. His educational
advantages were confined to the common schools, at that day not to be compared
with those of the present, and he remembered two of his teachers with regard,
Miss Lucretia Gager and A.M. Raymond. As
the oldest boy in the family he was called upon at an early age to make himself
useful, and the industry that was necessary in those youthful days assisted in
forming habits which advanced his interests later in life.
Under his father he was initiated into the carpenter trade and in 1841 at
the age of twenty-one came to Rockville to work for William A. Gager.
When the American Mills were being built George M. Paulk was one of the
workmen employed in construction, his wages being $16.00 per month, although he
had not completed his education in the trade.
It was in 1849 that Mr. Paulk began as a builder and contractor,
sometimes alone, again with others. He
either built or assisted in the building of nearly every mill in Rockville, and
did a large portion of the important construction work of that character in the
town. Mr. Paulk continued in
business as a contractor until 1870, having in 1868 embarked in the lumber
business, which he carried on extensively until 1888 when he sold out to Thomas
A. Lake, and retired from active commercial life.
Mr. Paulk had become a resident of Rockville when it was but a village
with two streets between Main and Prospect, those being Elm and Park, and when
there were but thirteen houses east of Park street towards Tolland.
early days Mr. Paulk was a Whig, but later identified himself with the
Republican party and in 1869 was elected sheriff of Tolland county, being
re-elected in 1872 and again in 1875. For
five years previously he had acted as deputy-sheriff under Col. Amos Pease, of
Somers, Conn., and also held various town offices, being selectman for a number
Jan. 5, 1848, Mr. Paulk married Miss Abby Smith, of Ellington, a daughter of
Chester and Betsey (Holton) Smith, who was connected by intermarriages with the
Holton and Walcott families, old and prominent people of Ellington.
No children came to this home to perpetuate an honored parentage, but Mr.
And Mrs. Paulk had a life of peace and happiness together for fifty-four years.
In 1863 Mr. Paulk built his elegant home on Prospect street where he
resided until his death, July 29, 1902.
a Lodge of the I.O.O.F. was started in Rockville, Mr. Paulk joined it, but later
it was abandoned. When the Rockville
Hotel was not a very attractive hostelry, Mr. Paulk was one of a quartet and the
prime mover in the project, to provide a creditable place of entertainment, from
which enterprise has arisen the Rockville Hotel Company.
Although nominally retired from business Mr. Paulk's temperament would
not permit him to break all business connection, and he continued for many years
to give his personal attention to large property interests.
Identified for over sixty years with the business life of Rockville, Mr.
Paulk's name stands before the public as a synonym for probity and uprightness.
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