PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P. 355

EPHRAIM KINGSBURY TAFT, who was in his lifetime one of the most respected and useful members of the community of Stafford Springs, Tolland Co., Conn., was born in Webster, Mass., Jan. 7, 1834, and died Jan. 6, 1898, in Stafford Springs.

Evander Taft, the father of Ephraim K., was born in Uxbridge, Mass., Dec. 27, 1801, and died in Willington, Conn., March 7, 1863, having been in the employ of the Willington Glass factory for a number of years.  Personally he was a man of quiet and unassuming habits and was much respected for his sterling worth and character.  In early life he was a Whig, but became a Republican on the formation of that party.  In religion he was a pronounced Methodist, and his good life cast no shame or discredit upon his faith.  Evander Taft was married Feb. 14, 1827, to Lydia Kingsbury, who was born in Uxbridge, Mass., June 9, 1809, and died Aug. 16, 1867, in Stafford.  To them were born the following children:  Joanna, born April 26, 1830, who died July 1, 1867, unmarried; Ephraim K.; Evander, born July 6, 1836, in Webster, Mass., a plumber in Norwich, who married first, Sarah Corbin, of Willington, and second, Jennie Brigham, of Norwich; Ellen M., born July 14, 1846, who married Rev. S.O. Benton, and is living in New York city.

Ephraim K. Taft was born in Webster, Mass., and attended school at Willington, to which point his parents removed when he was quite young, and at Wilbraham Academy, which institution he left when he was about eighteen years old, to take a clerkship for William A. Foster, in his store on Stafford street.  In his later youth he also clerked for Lyman W. Crane and Francis A Harwood.  In 1865 he purchased an interest in the dry goods store of James Medbery, the two doing business under the firm name of Medbery & Taft, and continuing together for some two years.  At the end of that time Mr. Taft retired from the partnership and started in business alone as a druggist, following this line until his death, and making a great success of the enterprise.  Much of his knowledge of the drug business came from the instruction of his brother-in-law, Dr. Albert Field, a practicing physician, but he studied and experimented for himself, and his mastery of the drugs he sold came largely from his indefatigable energy and determination to know what he was doing.

Mr. Taft was a charter member of Winter Post, No. 42, G.A.R., of which he was chaplain at the time of his death.  His military experience was gained with Co. D, 25th C.V.I., in which he enlisted Aug. 27, 1862, and was first sergeant.  After making a gallant and creditable record, he was wounded at Irish Bend, La., April 14, 1863, and the effects of this wound necessitated his discharge, Aug. 26, of the same year.  Mr. Taft was a very active and devoted member of the Methodist Church, of which he was steward and Sunday-school superintendent for many years.  In his political relations he belonged to the Republican party but was not an office seeker in any sense of the word.

Mr. Taft was married April 27, 1866, to Frances Augusta Field, a daughter of Abizer and Asenath (Every) Field, of Hamden, N.Y.  To this union were born:  (1) Mary Field, born April 25, 1867, who on Aug. 15, 1892, married Francis Asbury Bagnall, superintendent of the city schools of Adams, Mass., and who has three children, Katherine, Frances and Margaret;  (2) Ernest Kingsbury, born Jan. 4, 1870, who graduated from the local high school, in 1893 completed the course of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, and is now in charge of the store at Stafford.  Mrs. Taft is also a licensed pharmacist.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel


Return to Main Page

This page was created by Linda Pingel on April 7, 2008
copyright 2008 - all rights reserved