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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Linda D. Pingel
Linda D. Pingel
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