SAMUEL BRAINARD WEST

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.  983

SAMUEL BRAINARD WEST, a prosperous farmer and leading citizen of Columbia, Tolland county, is a worthy descendant of a long line of highly honorable ancestors, one of a family whose record is without blemish.  The first of his family in America was Francis West, who came from England and settled at Duxbury, Mass., where he died, aged eighty-six.

Grandfather Col. Samuel West, Jr., was born in Lebanon, Conn., and died on the West homestead in Columbia, Oct. 16, 1863, aged eighty-seven years, six months, and five days.  Col. West was married four times, his first wife, Rebecca Little, being the grandmother of Samuel B.  The other wives were Ruby Bliss, Lucy Manning and Amanda Woodward.  His first marriage occurred Nov. 18, 1798, and his first wife died May 8, 1821, aged forty-seven; the second wife died July 8, 1831, aged forty-nine; Lucy (Manning) West died Aug. 29, 1861, aged seventy-six; while his fourth wife died Aug. 11, 1878, aged seventy-four.  By his first marriage Col. West had the following children:  Elizabeth Dorchester, born Sept. 18, 1799, deceased Oct. 9, 1818;  Cynthia Maria, born July 18, 1801, deceased Jan. 15, 1816;  John Orlando, born Dec. 5, 1803, deceased March 9, 1820;  Marietta, born Feb. 4, 1806, deceased March 7, 1817;  Malvina, born April 12, 1808, deceased Oct. 21, 1817;  Milinda, born Sept. 2, 1810, deceased May 14, 1894, wife of a Mr. Morgan;  Samuel Ferdinand, born Dec. 13, 1812, deceased Feb. 27, 1897;  William Wellington, born July 17, 1815, deceased Nov. 3, 1817;  Harriet Lucinda, born Sept. 23, 1817, deceased Jan. 26, 1901, the wife of a Mr. Woodward.  By his second wife Col. West had the following family:  Henry Bliss, born Feb. 15, 1823, deceased Sept. 21, 1831;  Eliza Malvina, born Dec. 27, 1824, deceased Oct. 6, 1891; the wife of Edwin Little;  Cynthia Maria, born Sept. 26, 1827, deceased Jan. 23, 1831.

Samuel F. West, the father of Samuel B., married Sept. 28, 1837, Charlotte Porter, of Columbia, and had the following family:  Henry Porter, born Oct. 2, 1838, deceased May 22, 1840;  an infant son, born July 28, 1840, and deceased the same day;  Samuel Brainard, born Aug. 5, 1841;  Gelon Wilbreforce, born Aug. 31, 1845, deceased Jan. 17, 1890;  Catherine Parmelia, born March 3, 1847, deceased Jan. 2, 1900, who married and had two daughters, Kate R. and Bertha M.;  Robert Irwin, born Nov. 5, 1848, deceased Nov. 24, 1849;  Mary Niles, born Oct. 7, 1851, deceased July 6, 1889, who married William E. Hawkins and had, Claude B., born Jan. 18, 1876, and Enid May, born June 21, 1878;  Carrie Ellen, born April 6, 1857, who married Thomas Sprague McGlaulin and has a daughter, Maude Louise, a teacher.  Mrs. Samuel F. West died Nov. 10, 1897, in her eighty-first year.

The farm where Samuel B. West was reared and now resides and where three generations of the family have lived before him, is located in the western part of the town of Columbia on West street, and is now the largest farm in the town.  This property was purchased by the great-grandfather, Samuel West, Sr., who came from Lebanon and settled there, having been a soldier in the Revolution; while his son, Samuel West, Jr., saw service at New London in the war of 1812.  The latter was an extensive farmer and a member of the Congregational Church.  Samuel West, the father of Samuel B., and the third Samuel in the West family, was born on the West homestead, received his education in the district schools, and during a short period at a select school, and worked upon his father’s farm during the summer months.  As soon as old enough he taught school, during the winter of 1830-31, and also in the winter of 1835-36.  In November, 1835, he left home and went west to Ohio, and stopped at Delaware, in that State.  In the spring of 1836 he formed a partnership with Nathaniel W. Little, of that place, under the title of Little & West, in a mercantile line, continuing thus until the spring of 1841.  In the fall of the same year, at the earnest solicitation of his father, he returned to his native town and managed his father’s farm, remaining there until his death.

Samuel Ferdinand West, the father, was first a Whig and later a Republican, and always took an active part in political matters.  During his life he served as selectman, justice of the peace and held other minor offices.  In the spring of 1847 he was chosen to represent the Twenty-first Senatorial district in the Connecticut Legislature and faithfully performed the duties of that position in the General Assembly during its session in May, 1847.  In 1855 he was county commissioner for Tolland county, and also during the following year, and bore a large part in overseeing the erection of the excellent jail at Tolland.  In December, 1864, he was appointed assistant assessor for the ninth division of the first district of Connecticut, which position he filled until July, 1868.  This division embraced the southern part of Tolland, including the town of Willington.  In addition to his other interests he was president of the Tolland County Agricultural Society and a member of the State board of agriculture, and was a director in the Willimantic Savings Institute and a trustee in that institution for many years.  Prior to their marriage, he and his wife united with the Congregational Church in Columbia, in 1831, but in 1838 removed their relationship to the Presbyterian Church at Delaware, Ohio.  Upon their return to Columbia they renewed their association with the Congregational Church of that town.  Mr. West was a live, active, energetic citizen, interested in all the advancements and improvements of the times.

Samuel Brainard West was born in Delaware, Ohio, but when he was only a baby the family returned to Columbia, and he attended the West street school, and also had two years at the Ellington high school.  For a short time he traveled for a Hartford book company, then began teaching his first school, at Elktown, Cecil Co., Md., which he continued until the spring of 1861, when the sectional feeling became so strong that he came north and reached New York City the day Fort Sumter was fire upon.  Aug. 9, 1862, he enlisted as sergeant in Co. E, 1st Conn. Cav., and was discharged June 5, 1865.  During his term of service he was with Sheridan in the Virginia campaign; participated in the battle of the Wilderness, Cold Harbor and all of the fighting in the Shenandoah valley, including Winchester and Cedar Creek, also in many minor engagements, and was present at the surrender of Lee at Appotomattox.  He was one of Grant’s escorts and accompanied him to the front on that memorable day.

After his return from the war, Mr. West settled down on the old homestead, where he has since been engaged in farming, and he now owns the largest and best cultivated farm in Columbia.  In addition to general farming, he is largely interested in dairying and has a fine herd of Devon cattle.

In politics Mr. West is a Republican and has represented the town in the Legislature of 1882; served on the Humane committee; was selectman five years and chairman nearly all of that period; also assessor, grand juror, etc.  Both Mr. and Mrs. West are members of the Columbia Congregational Church, in which Mr. West has been a member of various committees and was superintendent of the Sunday-school from 1881 to 1883.  They are also charter members of the Columbia Grange, having joined in March, 1892; and members of Frank S. Long Post, G.A.R., No. 30, of Willimantic.

On Nov. 14, 1866, Mr. West was married to Hannah E. Thompson, a native of Hebron, and a daughter of Royal Ansel and Sarah Jane (Warren) Thompson.  Royal A. Thompson was born in Columbia, Sept. 7, 1814, and died Feb. 2, 1894, while the mother was born Oct. 16, 1819, in Westville, Conn., and died May 16, 1894; they were married in Hebron, Sept. 7, 1837, by Rev. William Geer.  Of their children, George Warren, born July 12, 1838, died June 5, 1883.  He was a member of Co. B. 7th C.V.I.  (He was married Oct. 18, 1866, by Rev. B. Peters to Adelia Ticknor);  Francis J., born June 21, 1840, a resident of Kansas City, Mo., was married by Rev. F.D. Avery, Jan. 1, 1866, to Amelia Yeomans;  Hannah E. (Mrs. West), born March 17, 1843, was married by Rev. F.D. Avery, of Columbia;  Frederick J., born July 31, 1850, deceased Aug. 30, 1881, was married by Rev. F.D. Avery to Walter C. Thompson, and had a daughter, Fredrica J., born in 1881;  Royal H., born Oct. 9, 1855, died Sept. 7, 1856.

The maternal grandfather of Mrs. Samuel Brainard West, Anson Warren, was a native of Massachusetts, and married Betsy Sperry, of Woodbridge, Conn., a descendant of one of the old colonial families, which provided food for and housed the regicides, in “Judges’ Cove” in the town of Woodbridge, which is still pointed out as a place of interest, and it was owned by the Sperry family.  Grandfather Warren’s children were:  William, who married Maria Everets, and died in Hartford;  George, who died in Hartford, leaving a wife, Mary;  Sarah Jane, deceased in Columbia;  Ann, married to John Blythe, of Winsted, Conn.;  Louise, who died in Hartford, married;  Matilda, married to Leverett Wright;  Andrew Thompson, a resident of Winsted, married to Hancy Beers;  Mary Ann, deceased in childhood;  Elizabeth, married to James Clarke, of Hartford, Conn.  The Warren family is descended from Gen. Warren, of Bunker Hill fame.

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