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. 837
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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