CHARLES BACKUS POMEROY

ALONG WITH STARR & PALMER & WILLIS
FAMILY BRIEFS

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.  428

CHARLES BACKUS POMEROY  has an ancestral line notable for the strong character, industrial worth and intellectual activity that have marked its various representatives, and he is in the seventh generation from Eltwood Pomeroy, the emigrant ancestor of the family in the New World.  The line is as follows:  Eltwood, Joseph, Noah, Joshua, Samuel, Charles B., Sr., and Charles Backus.

(I)            Eltwood Pomeroy was born in England, and died in Windsor, Conn., in 1662.  In 1630, under the auspices of Gov. Winthrop, he came from England, and landed at Nantucket, Mass., in March of that year.  Very shortly he went to Dorchester, Mass., where he quickly rose to prominence in local affairs.  In 1633, when the town government was established, he was made chairman of the board, and five years later, with his family and many others from England, he removed to Windsor, Conn., where he owned two houses, one on the Palisade, and the other on the Sandstone road.  His was a large family, and Joseph Pomeroy, who was born in 1652, was his twelfth child.

(II)          Joseph Pomeroy, who died in 1734, married Hannah Lyman, who was born in Northampton, July 20, 1658, a daughter of Richard Lyman, and died in 1736.  Joseph Pomeroy was one of the eight original owners of Colchester, Conn., under a grant from the crown.  He was a farmer, contractor and builder, and was prominent in the business world of his time.  His was also a large family, and his twelfth son, Noah, was born in 1700.

(III)       Noah Pomeroy, who was born in Colchester, Conn., died in Somers, in 1779,  He married Elizabeth Sterling, of Lyme, Conn., who was born there in 1700, and who died in Somers in 1779.  Noah Pomeroy lived in Coventry, but in 1752 removed to Somers, where he owned a large tract of land in the east part of the town, and was extensively engaged in farming.  Both Noah Pomeroy and his wife were buried in the North Cemetery in Somers.

(IV)       Joshua Pomeroy, was born in 1737, in Coventry, live until 1823, in Somers, where he married Mary Davis, who was born in Somers in 1736, and died in 1815.  They were farming people of much character and industry.

(V)         Samuel Pomeroy was born in 1767, and he died in 1847.  Born and bred a farmer, he followed that occupation all his life, although in early life he taught school several winters.  The house in which he lived on the “mountain road, towards Stafford,” is still standing.  Both himself and wife belonged to the Congregational Church, and were buried in the North cemetery, in Somers.  Katharine Day, the first wife of Mr. Pomeroy, was born in West Springfield, Mass., in 1772, and died in 1838.  She was the mother of the following children:  Charles B., the father of Charles B., whose name appears at the opening of this article;  Samuel, who married a Miss Fuller, of Somers, Conn., and had one son, Samuel;  Katy, who died unmarried in Somers;  Lucinda, who married Orrin Pomeroy, who was fifty years a deacon in the Somers Congregational Church; and Mary D., who died, unmarried, in Somers.

(VI)       Charles B. Pomeroy, Sr., was born in Somers in 1806, and was reared as a farmer boy in his native town, where he was known by his middle name, as Backus Pomeroy.  Mary A. Hurlburt, his wife, was born in Somers in 1810, daughter of Capt. Job and Lucinda (Collins) Hurlburt, and the granddaughter of Jabez Collins.  When about twenty-five years old Mr. Pomeroy had a severe sickness, never entirely recovering his health, and remaining somewhat frail to the end of his life.  About 1840 he removed with his family to what was then known as “Sixteen Acres,” near Springfield, Mass., where he followed farming as his health permitted.  His death occurred in Ludlow, Mass., in September, 1846, and he was buried at Somers, Conn.  His good wife survived until Nov. 18, 1878, when she died in New Haven, at the home of her daughter, Sophronia H. Willis.  Their family were as follows:  )1) Sophronia H. married Stoddard Willis, a carpenter, and died in New Haven, the mother of five children:  Clarence B. (the secretary of the Y.M.C.A., at Milwaukee), Ashley (a resident of Fair Haven, Conn., for a time secretary of the Y.M.C.A. at New London, and now a traveling salesman), Fred Lucas (secretary of the Y.M.C.A., at Omaha, Neb.), Edward Morton (financial secretary of the general department of the Y.M.C.A., in New York), and Eugene S. (for several years secretary of the Y.M.C.A., at Brooklyn, and now at South Bend, Ind.);  (2) Charles B.;  (3) Edward Payson went to the Southwest many years ago, and when last heard from was a resident of Galveston, Texas; and (4) William S. is a mechanic at Wethersfield, where he has reared a family of children.  Mr. Pomeroy was a Whig, and belonged to the Congregational Church.  In the old Connecticut militia he served as Captain, and was a man very generally respected.

Charles Backus Pomeroy, a dealer in real estate and a prominent farmer in the town of Willimantic, has filled the office of Sheriff of Windham county, and is a well known and prominent citizen, descending from an old New England family, with connection by marriage with many prominent names in the old Colonial and early days of New England, among whom is the Bradford family, of which he is in the ninth generation from Gov. William Bradford.

Mr. Pomeroy was eight years old at the time of the removal of his parents to “Sixteen Acres,” where, as the oldest son of the family, his days at school were cut short, and he early applied himself to the help of his father, who at that time was in very poor health.  This was the reason why he had such limited advantages at school, a fact that caused him in later years to take much interest in popular education, and inspired him to the better education of his children.  From a boy of twelve years, Mr. Pomeroy was practically thrown on his own resources, and being industrious and pushing, soon made a place for himself as a worker.  The lack of education, however, he has felt all his life as a handicap, and yet it may be doubted if more schooling would have made him more successful in life, or given him greater influence in the community, where his sound character and honest nature have won him universal respect.  After the death of his father, he accompanied his mother to Somers, and they made their home with her father, Capt. Job Hurlburt, for some time.  While still a boy, Charles B. Pomeroy went to Rockville, and began an apprenticeship at the carpenter’s trade, under Augustus Truesdale.  As he possessed much more than the usual mechanical skill, the young man was able after working ten months at the trade, to earn journeyman’s wages.  For some years Mr. Pomeroy worked at this trade, always with much success.

Soon after his marriage Mr. Pomeroy settled in New Haven, where he followed the carpenter trade for several years, and then removed to Webster, Mass., where he was engaged in farming as well as at his trade for three years.  At the end of that time he bought a farm at Long Meadow, Mass., where he did both carpenter and farm work.  Later he bought a country store at Willington, Conn., in connection with which he filled the position of agent for the New London and Northern Railway at West Willington, being also postmaster.  Mr. Pomeroy was next located at Tolland where he bought a farm, and became a deputy jailer, serving under Sheriffs Pease and Falk, of Tolland county.  From Tolland, Mr. Pomeroy removed to Stafford, where he bought the “Springs House,” which he conducted for a year and a half.  At the expiration of that period, he disposed of this property, and in 1875 came to Willimantic, where he entered the real estate business.  In 1877 Mr. Pomeroy was made deputy sheriff of Windham county, and served under Sheriff Osgood, and nine years later was elected Sheriff by a plurality of 936 votes.  For twelve years he filled that responsible position and retired in 1899, leaving a record of efficiency seldom equalled or surpassed.  Mr. Pomeroy was elected a representative to the General Assembly from the town of Tolland, being one of the first Republicans elected in that town.  In the same town he filled the position of first selectman very acceptably.  His first presidential vote was cast for Gen. Fremont, and he has always been a prominent Republican, being regarded as one of the leaders of the party in Willimantic.

On May 27, 1852, Mr. Pomeroy was married to Mary E. Palmer, who was born June 18, 1832, a daughter of Harris and Amelia Ann (Starr) Palmer, of Webster, Mass., the latter of whom was born in Thompson, Conn., May 12, 1805, a daughter of Darius and Sarah (Wilson) Starr, a sister of William Starr (now the actuary of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.), and a granddaughter of Jonathan Wilson (born Dec. 25, 1747, served in the Continental army, and died in 1837).  Harris Palmer was in the seventh generation from Thomas Palmer, of Rowley, Mass., the line being through Thomas (2), Samuel, Samuel (2), Samuel (3), and Parker, to Harris; he was reared a farmer, and died March 14, 1835, at the untimely age of thirty-eight years, his burial occurring in Webster, Mass., where he was living; his wife died June 18, 1870, in Tolland, Conn., while making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Pomeroy.  Mr. and Mrs. Palmer were the parents of two children, Mary E., Mrs. Pomeroy; and William Harris, a corporal in Company I, 15th  Mass. V.I., who was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness, May 6, 1864, leaving a widow, Jane E. Hoyle, and one son, William F., the latter now a resident of Dorchester, Mass.  Mrs. Mary E. Pomeroy was but a child of three years of age when her father died.  After that sad event her mother with her two children went to Tolland, Conn., to make their home with her grandfather, Darius Starr.  She was reared in Tolland, where she went to school, going at a later period to Ellington Academy, and also attending school in Worcester, Mass.  When she was only sixteen years of age, she taught school in Tolland, and received a dollar and a quarter a week, being “boarded round.”  In 1902, surrounded by children and grandchildren, Mr. and Mrs. Pomeroy celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage.

Mr. Pomeroy belongs to Eastern Star Lodge, F.&A.M.; Trinity Chapter, No. 9, R.A.M.; Council No. 10, R.&S.M.; St. John’s Commandery, No. 11, K.T.; Sphinx Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Hartford; and Obwebetuck Lodge, No. 16, I.O.O.F., of Willimantic.  He also belongs to the S.A.R., and is eligible for membership in many of the Colonial Societies.  Mr. Pomeroy has filled the position of a director in the Willimantic Building and Loan Association.  He and his family are prominent members of the Congregational Church, and his wife is active in the Sunday School and the Ladies’ Society, as well as in the W.C.T.U.

Mr. and Mrs. Pomeroy have had the following family:  (1) Lizzie A., born April 14, 1853, in New Haven, was married Nov. 7, 1872, in Tolland, to John Bliss Fuller, who died in 1883 in North Carolina; to this marriage was born one son, Lucius P., who is a graduate of the Yale Law School.  Mrs. Fuller has since become the wife of L.L. Litchfield.  She belongs to the D.A.R. and the Mayflower Society.  (2) Minnetta J., born March 27, 1858, at Long Meadow, Mss., was married Nov. 20, 1878, to Theron M. Cooley, who died June 27, 1890.  She is living in Willimantic with her two sons, Norman P. and George Marion.  (3) Mary Eliza, born Nov. 28, 1860, in East Long Meadow, lives at home; she belongs to the D.A.R.  (4) Alice Catherine, born July 8, 1865, in Tolland, was married March 13, 1884, to C.A. Everst, of Willimantic, and they are the parents of four children:  Florence Gould, Mary Starr, Alice Catherine and Charles P.  (5) Charles B., Jr., born Nov. 17, 1871, in Stafford Springs, is a dairyman and farmer in Willimantic.  (6) Harris Starr was born June 30, 1875, in Willimantic, was educated in the schools there, and at the Academy in Bristol, Mass., where he prepared for Yale, spending two years in that institution and finishing his education in the University of New York, graduating from Bellevue Hospital Medical College in 1900; he is now located as a physician at Peabody, Mass.  In Taunton, Mass., Oct. 3, 1900, he was married to Adelaide Irene Crawford.

Mr. Pomeroy owns large tracts of real estate in and around Willimantic, where his energies and enterprising spirit has wrought out much good to the city.  Starting life with little or no resources save his own ability, he has won a very comfortable competence, and has received many evidences of his standing in the public mind.  His suburban home, on South street, where he located in 1884, has been transformed from a tract of wild land on which he has made all the improvements from the beginning, making it one of the most attractive residences in Willimantic.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel

 

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