& JOHN F. RIVERS
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. 936
XAVIER RIVERS, one of Woodstock’s
substantial and time-honored citizens, who after years of toil, is now enjoying
a well earned competence, was born Dec. 22, 1827, in St. Ours, Canada, of
thrifty and highly respected parents, whose son has done honor to the name he
Rivers was born in Normandy, France, from which country he emigrated to Canada.
The children born to his marriage with Mary Lonswee were:
Henry, John, Leblanche, Katie, Joseph, Francis, and Mary Ann.
Rivers, the father of Francis X. Rivers, was born Jan. 3, 1793, in St. Ours,
Canada, and died Aug. 18, 1867, at Holden, Mass., aged seventy-four years.
During his early life he was a farmer, and was successful, accumulating
ample means. He was a man of great
height and weight, being six feet, three inches tall, and weighing 240 pounds.
Two years prior to his death he was afflicted with loss of sight.
At this time he was making his home with his son Edward, in
Massachusetts, where the remainder of his days were spent.
John Rivers first married Margaret Duherrmeel, who was born in St. Ours,
Canada, where she died in 1834. The
children by this union were: John
died in St. Mark, Canada, where he conducted a successful bakery business until
he was fifty years of age (he married Agnes Gregore, but had no children);
Peter, who was a stonemason in Manville, R.I., married Eliza Duherrmeel,
had a family of ten children, and lived to the age of sixty-nine;
Francis Xavier is mentioned below; Margaret
married Ethan Guyot, a mill operative at St. Annis Ayers, Canada, and died in
Holden, Mass., leaving six children. The
second marriage of John Rivers was to Mary Leclair, of Canada, who died in 1872,
at the age of seventy-three years. The
children of this marriage were as follows: Baptiste,
a farmer who resides at Holden, Mass., married Eliza Pappinnon, and they have
five living children; Edward, a
resident of Holden, an engineer by trade, married Eliza Hoyle, and they have
four children; Henry, who was
employed in the cotton mills, died in Holden, when thirty-six years of age (he
married Mary Duherrmeel, and they have four children);
Mary, who is the widow of Andrew Duherrmeel, resides with her four
children in Holden; Katie died at
the age of eighteen years.
Xavier Rivers attended the winter schools of St. Ours, Canada, his birthplace,
until he was seventeen years old, spending the summers in work on the farm.
Wishing to see something of the world, the young man then left home and
located in Providence, R.I., where he found work at the tailoring trade, which
he had partially learned in Canada. Later
in the year he went to Woonsocket Falls, where he remained until the following
December, and from there to Uxbridge, Mass.
In this pleasant locality he worked with Michael Manley and George Gunn
for five years. On March 18, 1850,
he went to East Woodstock with the idea of embarking in business for himself, if
the location pleased him. He soon
opened up a tailoring establishment which prospered so well that in 1853 he
built his shop, and in 1858 erected his present comfortable home.
Mr. Rivers continued active in this business until 1889, at which time he
laid aside business cares, and now employs his time in looking after his snug
little farm of eighteen acres. In
politics he is an ardent Republican, but has never sought any political favor.
With his wife he attends the Congregational Church, of which she is a
devoted member. Mr. Rivers is a
generous supporter of the same and is interested in its benevolent enterprises.
Rivers was married (first) Sept. 9, 1851, to Martha Knight Hibbard, of
Woodstock, daughter of Joseph F. and Parmelia (Burdick) Hibbard; she died Oct.
19, 1860, in East Woodstock. They
had children as follows: Martha
Adele, born Aug. 14, 1852, in East Woodstock, married Walter E. Cobleigh, a
piano finisher, of Leominster, Mass., and has had three children, Florence Mabel,
Grace Lillian (who died at the age of ten years) and Harriet Adele (who died in
infancy). Esther Parmelia, born Oct.
18, 1859, in East Woodstock, died there Aug. 10, 1860.
second marriage of Mr. Rivers, on Feb. 5, 1861, was to Esther Pamelia (**
see footnote) Hibbard, sister of his first wife.
She passed away Feb. 8, 1894, in East Woodstock.
Her four children were as follows: John
F., born Jan. 19, 1864; Harriet
Elizabeth, born July 27, 1866, in East Woodstock, who died Dec. 1, 1878;
Edward Fenton, born Oct. 21, 1867, who died in East Woodstock Dec. 8,
1893, unmarried; and Charles Edgar (unmarried) born Aug. 27, 1870, who is
connected with the Great Western Railroad Co., of Chicago.
third marriage of Mr. Rivers was on April 10, 1895, to Miss Susan Ellen Child,
daughter of Charles and Almira (Holmes) Child, of Woodstock, the latter a
daughter of Leonard Holmes, and a cousin of the celebrated Dr. Oliver Wendell
Holmes. Mrs. Rivers is a lady of
beautiful character, and is widely known through the community for her gentle
beneficences and charitable impulses. Mr.
Rivers is of genial, social disposition, and as a result is passing the evening
of his life surrounded with the comforts acquired by his early industry, and
enjoys the universal esteem of his fellow-citizens.
FRANK RIVERS was born Jan. 19, 1864,
in East Woodstock, where he was reared, and acquired his education in the
district schools. When about
seventeen years old he went to farming for his father, but two years later
decided to learn the blacksmith’s trade, and with that end in view entered the
shop of Francoise Foisey, at Putnam, remaining in that excellent place for ten
years. Opening a place of business
of his own in Putnam, Mr. Rivers successfully conducted it for three years,
selling out then to Mr. Foisey. Coming
to South Woodstock, he built a commodious shop, and a comfortable residence and
convenient barn, building up a most excellent trade in this locality, which he
carried on until Aug. 5, 1901, when his buildings were all destroyed by fire.
After this disaster Mr. Rivers, with renewed courage, located in West
Woodstock, and started in business again. In
March, 1901, he purchased the old Wilkinson homestead, comprising 208 acres of
land, and he has since been paying particular attention to the breeding of
blooded stock and the finest grades of cattle.
Endowed with energy and ability, there is every reason to predict a
prosperous future in this line for him. He
is more interested in business than politics, although he upholds the principles
of the Republican party.
Aug. 16, 1885, Mr. Rivers was united in marriage with Hattie Alice Willard, and
they have one son, Charles Frank, born July 4, 1887, in Ellicott, town of
this middle name might be Parmelia, but the publisher
has printed it as Pamelia.
Return to Main Page
This page was created by Linda Pingel on
April 7, 2008
copyright 2008 - all rights reserved