JOSEPH PARKER ROOT

& THE MARVIN FAMILY

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.  410 - 412

JOSEPH PARKER ROOT  was born in Berlin, Conn., Dec. 27, 1831, son of Joshua Root, who was born in Marlboro, Conn., July 22, 1787.

Joshua Root, Sr., the grandfather of Joseph P., was born in 1753, probably in Marlboro, where he followed farming.  His death occurred in Hebron, and he was buried in Gilead cemetery.  In 1777 he was married to Sarah Chapman, of Hebron, and their children were:  Elizabeth, Sarah, Lucy, Polly, Rhoda (who died in childhood), Joshua, Rhoda (2), Benjamin, Ira, Solomon and Jerusha Ann.

Joshua Root, son of Joshua, Sr., and father of Joseph P., was a farmer, and was extensively engaged in teaming.  About 1829 he came to Berlin, and followed farming until 1832, when he returned to Hebron to take charge of his fatherís place, where he remained until his death in 1871.  Joshua Root was a Democrat until 1856, when the Republican party was formed, and he at once united with it.  He held several minor offices in the town, but he was not a man to seek political preferment.  In the work of the Methodist Church, to which he belonged, he was very active.  In the war of 1812 he had enlisted, but was excused from service on account of serious sickness at home.  On Nov. 8, 1810, Joshua Root was married to Esther Ingraham, who was born June 8, 1792, in Marlboro, Conn., and who died Oct. 13, 1852, in Hebron.  Mr. Root was married to his second wife, Dolly Hough, April 3, 1853.  She was born in Middletown, Nov. 12, 1815.  To the first marriage were born:  (1) Stephen, born in Marlboro, March 12, 1812, died in Colchester, March, 1875.  In his early years he was employed in various factories, but in his maturer life was a farmer, and operated a saw mill and grist mill.  On Nov. 9, 1835, he was married to Lucinda B. Clark, a daughter of Dr. Clark, of Ledyard, Conn., and their children were Dwight, who died in early manhood;  Clarissa, who married J. H. Butler, and is now living in Catskill, N.Y.; and Mary, who is the wife of Edward W. Bull, of Hartford.  (2) Eliza, born Sept. 7, 1813, in Marlboro, married Samuel Finley, June 10, 1839, and died in Tolland, Nov. 27, 1893.  She was mother to Ransom J., of Missouri;  Annis J., wife of M.V.B. Pierson, of Norwich; and Esther, the wife of George P. Lewis, of Norwich.  (3) Austin, born Jan. 3, 1816, in Marlboro, Conn., was a farmer and a wood dealer in early life.  In 1869 he purchased the store of Reuben Allen, and conducted it for ten years, at Tolland.  After disposing of it to Charles Young, he removed to Rockville, where he died June 11, 1884.  On Dec. 9, 1839, he was married to Betsy M. Post; in 1880 he wedded Mrs. Frances (Metcalf) Edgerton.  The first wife was the mother of Esther A., a widow living in Stafford;  Ellen E., widow of Rev. F.W. Colver, of North Manchester;  Henry A., a lumber merchant of Michigan City, Ind.; and Emma M., the wife of Rev. W.F. Latham, of Michigan, now deceased.  (4) Esther, born Aug. 5, 1818, in Hartford, Conn., died Sept. 30, 1824.  (5) John, born Dec. 30, 1820, was a machinist in Hartford, and died Oct. 22, 1846, in Hebron.  (6) Jerusha A., born March 31, 1824, in Hartford, married Peter S. Smith, of Montville, and died Sept. 27, 1889.  (7) Joseph P. is mentioned below.  (8) Benjamin S., born July 6, 1838, in Hebron, was a carpenter by trade, and died in Tolland, July 26, 1893.  On May 18, 1862, he married Emily E. Brooks, and two children were born to them:  Arthur E., a merchant of Boston;  Edward I., a broker and patentee in Denver, Colorado.  To the second marriage of Joshua Root came one child, Samuel M., born Nov. 19, 1854, in Hebron, Conn., and now living in Moodus, where he follows the work of a mason and brick-layer.

Joshua Parker Root was taken by his parents when but a few months old to Hebron, where he received his education in the public school, and for three winters under Rev. Charles Nichols in a private school.  After leaving the school room he worked in a sawmill with his brother, Stephen, for three winters, devoting the summer season to farm work.  When he was twenty-one he secured a position in the Colchester Rubber Works, but a few days after beginning in the factory the works burned down.  The young man was somewhat versed in the carpenter trade, and was employed in the rebuilding of the plant, and when that was completed so enjoyed the carpenter life that he continued to follow it.  He remained in Colchester a year, and then removed to Montville, where he presently began to do contract work, having in charge the erection of a number of buildings in that town.  Mr. Root was also connected with the Uncasville Manufacturing Co. as a carpenter for nine years.  In 1872 Mr. Root removed to the city of New London, where he worked for Russell Burrows, a contractor and builder, and in 1874 he came to Tolland to take a place in his brotherís store, which he held for several months.  When it was sold to Charles Young he remained with that gentleman for about six months, and then bought the general store of Daniel E. Benton.  For the whole period since 1888, this establishment has been the only general store in Tolland.  One other store ran for a time only.  It has proved a remunerative enterprise to Mr. Root, who has become one of the substantial men of the town.  Mr. Root is a director in the Savings Bank of Tolland, and president and director of the Aqueduct Company of Tolland.  Strongly attached to the basic principles of the Republican party, he has served as selectman and as treasurer of the school deposit fund, and was appointed postmaster during Gen. Grantís first term, continuing until the advent of President Cleveland when he was removed for the installation of a Democrat.  Mr. Root is an active and devoted member of the Methodist Church, which he has served as steward and treasurer for a number of years.  He has also been superintendent of the Sunday-school many years.  Mr. Root has been very successful in business.  He is a careful conservative man, still progressive enough to be always interested in public matters.

On Nov. 21, 1853, Mr. Root was married to his first wife, Elizabeth Goff, who was born in Easthampton, Oct. 22, 1834, and who died May 23, 1877, the mother of the following children:  (1) John Herbert, born Feb. 1, 1855, in Montville, is a painter and a decorator in New London, and deals in supplies for the trade; he married in October, 1878, Lucretia Hobron, of New London.  Of their two children the daughter died in infancy; the son Herbert Jackson, born July 14, 1884, is living.  (2) Ira Wesley, born Nov. 11, 1860, died June 18, 1861.  (3) Annie Elizabeth, born Jan. 21, 1862, in Montville, died Jan. 6, 1870.  (4) Hattie Eliza, born Jan. 26, 1864, in Montville, died April 9, 1864.

On May 29, 1879, Mr. Root was married to his second wife, Lucy Catherine Marvin, a daughter of Ira K. and Julia (Young) Marvin.

THE MARVIN FAMILY  was first represented in Connecticut by Reinhold Marvin, who came to Hartford among the earliest settlers, and was given a share of the farming ground, but he, however, established himself in the town of Lyme, where he died in 1662, and where his descendants flourished for more than two centuries.

Ira K. Marvin was born in Hebron Sept. 6, 1796, son of Elihu and Clarissa (Kilbourn) Marvin.  When he was about four and a half years old his parents removed to Pennsylvania with their three children, all sons, and established themselves on what was then the frontier line of civilization.  For several years they did well, when misfortunes attended the family thick and fast.  The father was killed in an accident in his mill, when he was only thirty-four years old;  a young daughter was burned to death;  young Ira broke his leg.  The afflicted widow took Ira and his younger brother to Hebron, Conn., where they were taken into the home of their grandparents, and she returned to Pennsylvania, there only to lose the remnant of her little property.  She was soon after married to Daniel Lamb, of Mansfield, Pa., a very estimable gentleman, and her married life with him, though happy, was cut short by her untimely death, at the age of thirty-two, leaving him with an infant daughter.  All her children by her first marriage are now dead.

Ira K. Marvin, though somewhat advanced in years, was sadly behind in his education.  Schools had been wanting, and in Hebron his natural diffidence prevented him from making that progress he desired.  His lack of an education made him willing in after years to spare no pains to give every opportunity to his children.  In Hebron he early learned the carriage-makerís trade.  When he was eighteen years of age he went to Pennsylvania and brought back with him his younger brother Harvey, and his sister Lucinda.  In 1820 he came to Tolland and went into business for himself, and as he began upon a platform of honest work without regard to price he soon commanded a fine trade.  In 1842 he had a severe illness, from which his recovery was so slow that he gave up his business and purchased a farm in Tolland.  This was a great disappointment to him at the time, but his health gradually recovered its tone, and from the time he was sixty years of age until after seventy he could do as much out of door work as those accustomed to it from boyhood.  Some time before his death he became totally blind.  His earnings were not so great on the farm as in the shop, but he could support his family, and care for those he loved.

On Oct. 21, 1824, Mr. Marvin was married to Miss Julia Young, only daughter of Eliphalet and Sybil (Lathrop) Young, and the great-granddaughter of William Young, who, with three brothers, came to America from Scotland, by way of Londonderry, Ireland, in 1720, and they all settled on the Willimantic river, in Windham county.  To this union were born:  (1) Maria, the wife of William Butler, of Rockville;  (2) Julia Ann, the wife of G.W. Bartholomew, of Bristol, Conn.;  (3) Sybil Lathrop, the wife of E.B. Cole, of Cromwell;  (4) Harriet, who died at the age of four months;  (5) Edwin Eliphalet, who married Cynthia P., the daughter of Hon. Loren P. Waldo;  (6) Lucy Catherine, the wife of Joseph P. Root;  (7) Clara Kilbourn, wife of Chas. Hawkins; and (8) Samuel Harvey, an insurance agent, living in Columbus, Ohio.  The integrity and upright character of Mr. Marvin commanded the respect and confidence of his fellow townsmen, and he was called by them to local positions of trust and responsibility, and in 1851 was sent to represent the town in the General Assembly.  A sincere and devoted Christian gentleman, his religious life began very early, but it was not until the Nettleton revival of 1822, that he united with the Congregational Church.  In 1829 he transferred himself to the Baptist Church of Tolland, then a weak and feeble band, and when, in 1831, it was determined to build a house of worship, none were more ready to give and sacrifice than Mr. Marvin and his wife.  Mr. Marvin early espoused his temperance cause, and through his long life was always a ready worker in any undertaking to reclaim the lost.  It is doubtful if there was ever another man who did as much for religion, temperance and liberty in Tolland as Deacon Marvin.  In 1851 he was chosen a deacon of the Baptist church.

Mr. and Mrs. Marvin lived to celebrate their golden wedding, and her unexpected sickness, alone, prevented the reunion of all the children with their venerated parents to celebrate a beautiful half century.  She survived a little over four months after that interesting anniversary, closing her useful and noble life, Feb. 24, 1875.  By his death Tolland lost one of its most beloved and useful citizens.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel

 

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