PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  837

RUSSELL THRALL, a retired farmer now residing in Ellington, Tolland county, is spending his last years in the well-deserved peace and comfort which fitly follow a long and active life.  The last of an old family in the town Mr. Thrall is one of its most honorable and successful representatives.  The family and ancestral history not found here is contained in the sketch of the late William Thrall which appears elsewhere.

Horatio Thrall, the father of Russell, was born in Ellington, April 20, 1793, and was reared as a farmer.  He erected a house on the old place, opposite that occupied by his father, upon attaining majority.  This farm he sold to his sons Russell and Norman, and bought the farm in East Windsor, then owned by his father-in-law Capt. Oliver Clark.  To this farm Mr. Thrall removed and made it his home the rest of his life.  The house and barn now standing he built and made other extensive and valuable improvements.  His death occurred when he was seventy-eight years old, and he was buried in Ellington.  Mr. Thrall was peculiarly gifted as a musician, playing almost any instrument; he taught singing school in many places in Tolland and Hartford counties, and he possessed a magnificent voice.  He accumulated a good property, enjoying a competence in his last years, and he had a large circle of acquaintances.

Horatio Thrall’s wife, Sybil Clark, was born in East Windsor, a daughter of Capt. Oliver and Azubah (Barber) Clark, the former of whom was a soldier in the Continental army.  Mrs. Thrall survived her husband four years, and died at the age of seventy-eight.  Their children were:  (1) Aurelia, who died young;  (2) Russell;  (3) Norman, who married Harriet Grant, daughter of Warren Grant, of South Windsor, is a retired farmer and lives in South Manchester, Conn.;  (4) Rueben, who married Lydia Parsons, was for years a farmer and is now a resident of Vernon;  (5) Moses, who married Adelaide Pinney, daughter of Loren Pinney, of Ellington, is a farmer in East Windsor;  (6) Edwin, who married Justina Grant, daughter of Horace Grant, is a farmer of East Windsor;  (7) Clarissa, who married Augustus Lancaster, of Tolland, died in East Hartford, her funeral taking place in Windsorville;  (8) Carlos, who married Rosetta Grant, daughter of Warren Grant, lived in Ellington and East Windsor, and was buried in Windsorville.

Russell Thrall was born in Ellington Oct. 4, 1825.  There he attended the district school during two and a half months in the winter, and worked on the farm during the busy season until he was seventeen years old.  After leaving school, he assisted his father on the home farm during a number of years, at the end of which time his accumulated savings – the result of the most careful and painstaking economy – amounted to $1,300.  This was the foundation on which he was to make a start in life, but reverses attended him at the very beginning of his career.  His money was lost, and this imperiled the home which he had intended for his young bride.  The young couple were made of heroic stuff, however, and undauntedly faced the future.  In five years Russell Thrall was able to buy out his brother Norman, and the farm which had thus come into his possession as the result of pluck and hard work was subsequently increased until at one time he owned 200 acres.  Mr. Thrall followed farming until 1888, when he purchased a home in Ellington Center and left the farm in charge of his son Judson H.  When his son died Mr. Thrall sold the place.

On Dec. 20, 1849, Mr. Thrall was married to Miss Charlotte S. Grant, who was born April 25, 1827, in South Windsor, a daughter of Hiram and Mary (Osmer) Grant, and a sister of Sheldon J. Grant, of Wapping and South Windsor.  To Russell Thrall and his wife came the following children:  (1) Ralph H., born Nov. 20, 1851, was married to Hattie Smith, daughter of Charles and Cornelia (Armstrong) Smith.  For years he was a well-known farmer in Ellington where he took a prominent part in the Grange, and for a time held the office of selectman.  He died Dec. 26, 1892, leaving children as follows:  Charlotte C., born Oct. 30, 1876;  Charles R., born Oct. 9, 1879 (graduated from the Rockville high school in 1898; then attended Eastman Business College at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and from 400 pupils at the latter institution he was recommended by the teachers for a responsible position with the American Express Co.  He held this position for two years, when failing eyesight necessitated a change.  He was then employed a year by the La Roach Electrical Co., and is now at his home in Ellington, in the hope that complete rest will restore his impaired vision);  Edna Alma, born Oct. 4, 1887, is attending the Rockville high school.  (2) Estella M., born July 12, 1853, died June 10, 1866.  (3) Eddie H., born May 10, 1856, died Jan. 12, 1866.  (4) Judson H., born July 27, 1858, married Emma Warner, daughter of Treat M. and Lucina (Lawrence) Warner, of Ellington; he farmed the old homestead until his death in 1894, and his widow now lives in Rockville.  They had one son Clayton.  (5) Ella May, born July 10, 1863, died Jan. 22, 1866.  (6) Merritt G., born March 6, 1868, died April 25, 1871.

Mr. Thrall is a Democrat.  He served as assessor for two years, and was a member of the board of selectmen three years, being chairman two years.  In 1879 he was elected to the State Legislature, where he was appointed on the committee on Insurance.  For a year he was on the board of relief and for several years on the school committee.  Mr. and Mrs. Thrall both belong to the Windsorville M. E. Church.  They are highly respected and successful, and in the good results of their years of industry Mr. Thrall feels that his wife has been an important factor.   

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel


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