PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  930

WILLIAM DAGGETT RUBY.  This influential citizen of Willington, Tolland county, successful beyond ordinary measure in business, a farmer of large estate, thoroughly familiar with the affairs of the world, a leading spirit in local politics, enterprising and public spirited, is the representative of an old Connecticut family.

Mr. Ruby’s great-great grandfather James Ruby married Abigail Smith Adams, the daughter of John Adams, second President of the United States.

James Ruby, Jr., the great grandfather of William Daggett, was born in Nova Scotia.  He served as a soldier in the Revolutionary war.  He married June 19, 1777, Esther Howe who died Nov. 17, 1834.  To James and Esther (Howe) Ruby were born six children, namely:  James, who married Mary Lamb, of Ashford, Conn.;  Thomas, twin brother of James and the grandfather of William Daggett;  Polly, who married Jason Ferry;  John;  Esther, who married Chauncey Ferry;  and Lucinda, who married Daniel Steers.

Thomas Ruby, grandfather of William Daggett, was born in Union, Conn., Sept. 28, 1778.  He was a life long farmer and a man of active temperament.  He married Feb. 11, 1801, Betsey Fuller of Stafford, daughter of William Fuller a soldier of the Revolutionary war.  A family of fourteen children were born to Thomas and Betsey Ruby, namely:  (1) Orvilla, who married Paris H. Bowers, of Thompson, Conn.;  (2) Amanda, who married a Mr. Howard of Palmer, Mass.;  (3) Betsey, who married Nathaniel Sibley;  (4) Annis, who married Daniel Steers;  (5) James, father of William Daggett;  (6) Esther who died young;  (7) Thomas Howe, who married Almeda Potter, of Willington;  (8) Ariel Fuller, who died aged eighteen years;  (9) Achsah, who married William Harvey of Palmer, Mass.;  (10) Edmund, who died young;  (11) Julianne, who married Wakeman Sibley;  (12) Angeline, who married Samuel W. Moore;  (13) William, who married Leonora Burley;  (14) Harriet, who married Nathaniel Sessions.  The father of these children died Sept. 8, 1855, aged seventy-eight years.  His wife Betsey died July 1, 1860.

James Ruby, the father of William Daggett, was born in Union, Conn., May 13, 1807.  In his younger days he engaged in the work then common among ambitious and energetic young men, that of peddling tinware through the New England States.  His life pursuit however, was farming in connection with which he engaged in lumbering to some extent.  In politics he was a Democrat, but he never sought office.  In Union, however, he was elected to a number of the town offices.  He married Feb. 3, 1831, Nancy W. Daggett, who was born in Thompson, Conn., March 8, 1808, daughter of Jesse and Athenia (Witheral) Daggett, who had removed to Willington in 1812.  In 1831 James Ruby purchased the Jesse Daggett farm in Willington and there spent his entire married life engaged in farming.  He was a hard working man, possessing that jovial, cheery disposition which makes many lasting friends, and few if any men of his extended acquaintance were more popular than he.  His death occurred Nov. 12, 1855, and his widow is still living, a member of the family of her son, William D., the subject of this sketch.  The children born to James and Nancy Ruby were as follows:  Emily A., born Sept. 13, 1836, married John A. Brown of Willington and later of Tolland;  Julia F., born March 31, 1842, married Henry Edward Billings of New York and died in Lockport, N.Y., July 2, 1894;  William D., subject of this sketch;  Edmund J., born Sept. 24, 1847, engaged in mining in Nevada;  Thomas W., born Feb. 2, 1850, married Olah Leach of Union, and is engaged in teaming in Willimantic;  Minnie A., born April 8, 1853, married Eli Remmert of Stafford.

William Daggett Ruby, was born June 14, 1844, in the Willington residence which he now occupies.  He was a lad of eleven years when his father died and business responsibilities fell upon his willing shoulders at a very early age.  His education was received in the Willington schools but when sixteen years old he bade good-bye to school books and entered upon that active career which has made him one of the most prominent men of Willington.  He continued on his own account the lumbering business which his father had carried on and extended it to great proportions.  For many years he had a contract with the railroad and he supplied the Stafford factories with large quantities of wood for fuel.  He has bought and sold land quite extensively.  He early took up the care of the home farm of 200 acres and has since purchased several hundred additional acres of woodland.  Using a modern term, Mr. Ruby would be called a “hustler” and it is his energy and indomitable will that have won for him a signal financial success in life.  He has throughout his conspicuous career ever been ready to put his own shoulder to the wheel, and while at times the employer of many men he never shirked the arduous labor which his calling involved.

Mr. Ruby married March 13, 1872, Sarah E. Barrett, of Tolland, daughter of Corlis and Rhoda (Doolittle) Barrett.  Six children have been born to Mr. And Mrs. Ruby, as follows:  Lottie B., born Dec. 31, 1872, married Benjamin Arnold, of Harwich, Mass., and died June 10, 1897;  James W., born March 9, 1874, died May 22, 1892;  Wilbert C., born June 18, 1875, married Alice B. Fenton, of Stafford, and is engaged in business with his father;  Alphonso M., born May 2, 1877, is engaged in lumbering in Yantic, Conn.;  Herman D., born Oct. 22, 1879, died Jan. 27, 1882;  Hazel M., born Oct. 28, 1899, is at home.

Mr. Ruby is in politics a staunch Republican and has been prominently identified with his party in town affairs.  He has served as a member of the board of selectmen since 1885, and has also been on the board of relief.  For four years he was tax collector, and he has served as constable.  He represented the town in the State Legislature in 1875, serving on the committee on Highways and Bridges.  He is prominent in fraternal circles and is a member of the F.&A.M., and of the Ancient Order of United Workmen of Stafford, Conn.  He is an attendant at the M.E. Church of Moose Meadow, Willington, of which his wife is a member.  The family are prominent in the religious, educational and social affairs of the town and in public affairs.  Mr. Ruby is one of the recognized leaders.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel


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