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Your Silent Neighbors: Albert Williams, Railroad Station Agent

October 15, 2018 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff                                                                                                                                                              Town Historian                                                                                                                                                                                    Born in New Hartford, one of ten children, Albert Williams (1828-1906) attended a one room schoolhouse there before moving with his parents at age 12 to Pleasant Valley.  He started work in a Winsted general store and was employed by several businesses, including in Georgia, coming to Collinsville in 1857 as station agent for the New York and New Haven Railroad, a position he held for about twenty-five years.  Afterwards, he went into the grain, feed, and coal business for over four decades.

Williams became a member of the Collinsville Congregational Church in 1858 and served as superintendent of the Sunday school and as a deacon.  Children of the school eagerly looked forward to winter sleigh rides with him.

Active in civic affairs, Williams served several terms on the board of selectman.  He was also a member of the Village Lodge of Masons.

Williams married Helen Graves of Agawam, Massachusetts in 1853 and the couple had three children, two boys and a girl.  Only this daughter survived him.  Williams died at home on Maple Avenue at the corner of River Road (where the used car dealership is today).  He had been stricken with “a paralytic shock” two weeks earlier while weighing a load of coal and had to be carried home where he gradually grew worse.

Albert Williams is buried in the Village Cemetery, Collinsville.

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.  It will appear on the first and fifteenth of each month.  Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.  Any suggestions, questions, or corrections should be addressed to Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net

Your Silent Neighbors: Ruggles Case, Village Blacksmith

October 1, 2018 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff                                                                                                                                                               Canton Town Historian

A lifelong resident of North Canton, Ruggles Case (1789-1881) was one of the town’s “most respected citizens,” wrote Sylvester Barbour in his 1908 book Reminiscences.  Case was one of ten children.

Around 1820 he built a shop for blacksmithing in North Canton, a trade which he carried on for many decades.  “I vividly remember,” Barbour wrote, “watching him many times shoeing horses and oxen I had ridden or driven there, a distance of three miles to be shod.  In those days a blacksmith made his own shoes and nails, a work largely done at the time of shoeing, and which kept the bystanders dodging the particles of red hot iron flying about while the iron was being hammered into shape for use.”  A relatively large man, late in life Case was permanently stooped and walked leaning forward from the many years spent bending over his work.  Late in life he became bedridden.

Case was a “truly hard working, ‘solid citizen,’” descendant Ruth V. Gracy wrote in The Lure of the Litchfield Hills in the 1950s.  He was a devout man and gave half the land for the North Canton church.  On Sundays he is said to have attended church in Canton Centerin the morning, Washington Hill in the afternoon, and North Canton in the evening.  He and his wife Cynthia had ten children.

Ruggles Case is buried in the North Canton Cemetery on Cherry Brook Road.

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.  It will appear on the first and fifteenth of each month.  Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.  Any suggestions, questions, or corrections should be addressed to Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net

Your Silent Neighbors: Howard A. Bristol, Lumber Company Owner

September 15, 2018 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff
Canton Town Historian

Howard A. Bristol (1875-1962) was born and grew up in Canton. He worked as a farmer and building contractor. For many years he ran a lumber, sawmill and ice company. In his role as a builder, he constructed many cottages on Long Island Sound and houses throughout the state.

Bristol was survived by his wife Bertha Case Bristol and two sons, Fenn and Kenneth, all of Canton. Funeral Services were held at the Charles H. Vincent & Sons Funeral Home on Albany Turnpike with Reverend Jerry Freiert officiating.

Howard A. Bristol is buried in the Canton Springs Cemetery on Canton Springs Road.

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.  It will appear on the first and fifteenth of each month.  Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.  Any suggestions, questions, or corrections should be addressed to Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net

Your Silent Neighbors: Lucie Case, A Life of Ministry to Others

September 1, 2018 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff
Canton Town Historian 

Lucie Case (1822-1908) was an active member of the Canton Center Congregational Church for sixty years.  She married Franklin Case in the church in 1842. “Hers was a life of ministry to others,” according to one newspaper, “and her name will long be a cherished one among the homes of Canton Center.” She was the mother of five children, all of whom survived her. She had 12 grandchildren.

“It is not given to many women to live 86 years and to retain their health and mental activity almost until their last days,” the paper acknowledged. Case died at home on a Thursday morning after an illness of a few days which left her unconscious and paralyzed. Her funeral was held at the church.

Lucie Case is buried in the Canton Center Cemetery beside her husband.

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.  It will appear on the first and fifteenth of each month.  Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.  Any suggestions, questions, or corrections should be addressed to Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net

Your Silent Neighbors: Howard Follert, Collins Company Official

August 24, 2018 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff
Town Historian 

Howard V. Follert (1896-1960) was born in Collinsville, attended local schools and Huntsinger Business College in Hartford.  During World War I he started working in the Collins Company forging department as a clerk. In 1920, he took a transfer to the main office and was appointed assistant secretary-treasurer in 1941. In 1953 he was appointed secretary-treasurer, a post he held until his death.

Follert lived at 162 Hill Street. He was a member of the Village Lodge of Masons, Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Cawasa Grange. His death at Hartford Hospital followed a long illness, and the family’s suggestion that donations be made to the Heart Fund suggests he had cardiac problems.

Funeral services were held at the Charles H. Vincent & Sons Funeral Home on Maple Avenue in Collinsville with Reverend John Lee of Trinity Episcopal Church officiating. Honorary bearers included several Collins Company notables, among them president Clair Elston, former president H. Bissell Carey, vice president Leonard B. Hough, and plant engineer Guy F. Whitney.

Howard V. Follert is buried in the Village Cemetery, Collinsville.

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.  It will appear on the first and fifteenth of each month. Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.  Any suggestions, questions, or corrections should be addressed to Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net

Your Silent Neighbors: Burton V. Chineis, Selectman

August 1, 2018 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff 
Canton Town Historian 

A lifelong Canton resident, Burton V. Chineis (1906-1962) attended local schools.  He served in World War II and later became commander of the local American Legion post.  Early in his career he was a developer and builder.  Later he became a salesman for the John Hancock Insurance Company.  He worked for Hancock about seventeen years and received a citation and admission to the company’s Honor Club for his excellent sales in 1961.

Chineis was also involved in local affairs, serving as third selectman for a number of terms and eight years as a justice of the peace.  He died after a long illness.  His funeral was held at the Vincent Funeral Home on Albany Turnpike with Reverend John Lee of Trinity Episcopal Church officiating.  He was survived by his wife Alma and his daughter Victoria.

Burton V. Chineis is buried in Dyer Cemetery, Canton.

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.  It will appear on the first and fifteenth of each month.  Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.  Any suggestions, questions, or corrections should be addressed to Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net

Your Silent Neighbors: Henry Napey, Farmer

July 15, 2018 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff
Town Historian 

Born in Germany, Henry Napy (1848-1919) came to the United States with his parents at age 11. He was employed by a dairyman in Hartford before coming to Canton and working for the Collins Company for about eight years. Afterward, he devoted himself to farming on land along Albany Turnpike near the Ned’s Brook Creamery. He ran a milk route in Collinsville “and he never missed a day, going the mile and a half through severe storms and deep snow,” according to the Hartford Courant.

Napey was killed at age 71 when his horse and wagon was struck by an automobile driven by a traveling salesman from Auburn, N.Y.  The accident occurred around 10 a.m. on April 22 near his home.  Napey was returning from his fields and turning into his yard.  The salesman blew his horn as he was about to pass, but Napey turned and the vehicle hit him. He was thrown from his wagon and suffered a fractured skull.  The salesman stopped to render assistance and Dr. George Eddy of Main Street in Collinsville was called to the scene.  Unfortunately, Napey was dead when the doctor arrived.

Funeral services were held at the Napey home.  He was married in 1869 to Caroline Ingram of Collinsville, and was survived by his wife of over 50 years.

Henry Napey is buried in Dyer Cemetery, Canton.

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.  It will appear on the first and fifteenth of each month. Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.  Any suggestions, questions, or corrections should be addressed to Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net

 

Your Silent Neighbors: Mildred V. Follert, Saleslady

July 2, 2018 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff
Canton Town Historian

Born in Collinsville, Mildred V. Follert (1898-1960) went to local schools and lived her entire life in the village. She worked at Lord & Taylor in West Hartford. She was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church and the Order of the Eastern Star, Ruby Chapter.

Mildred died at her home on Collins Road five days after the death of her brother Howard, who was the Collins Company secretary-treasurer. Services were held at her church with Reverend John Lee officiating. Calling hours were at the Charles H. Vincent & Sons Funeral Home on Maple Avenue in Collinsville.

Mildred V. Follert is buried in the Village Cemetery, Collinsville.

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past. It will generally appear on the first and fifteenth of each month. Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today. Any suggestions, questions, or corrections should be addressed to Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net

Your Silent Neighbors: Lewis S. Mills, Educator and Historian

June 15, 2018 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff 
Canton Town Historian 

Son of a parsimonious and severe Canton Center farmer, Lewis S. Mills (1874-1965) grew up on Barbourtown Road.  At age three he sustained an injury that caused him to wear a steel leg brace for the remainder of his life, but that did not stop his father from putting Lewis to work doing farm chores.  He attended the one-room Canton Center schoolhouse, Collinsville High School and the Willimantic Normal School.

Mills’ first job was teaching in a one room school in Woodstock, Connecticut from 1897 to 1900 where he had 40 students ranging in age from three to eighteen.  He was principal of the Plainfield Grammar School from 1902 to 1906.  Mills later became a rural schools supervisor in Burlington between 1916 and 1928, and in Harwinton from 1927 until his retirement in 1939.

A self taught and avid photographer, Mills used his talent with a camera to help put himself through Columbia University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1908 and a master’s degree in school administration in 1912.  He would pursue photography for the rest of his life, and was especially talented at capturing rural scenes and historic structures.  He is best known for his 500 images of one-room schoolhouses.  In 2011, the Canton Public Library featured an exhibit of his work. … Continue Reading

Your Silent Neighbors: Margaret Dyer, Candy Maker

June 1, 2018 History No Comments

By David K. Leff 
Canton Town Historian 

Born in Canton, Margaret Dyer (1893-1963) lived her entire life on the Dyer Farm in a rambling center chimney colonial house built in 1789.  For most of her adult life she operated a small roadside candy shop beside her home along what was then Albany Turnpike (now Dyer Cemetery Road).  She was famous for her fudge, salted nuts and handkerchiefs.  Customers delighted in her confections and the shop was a magnet for travelers and a regular stop for people from nearby towns.

A member of the Canton Center Congregational Church, Dyer never married and died at age 69.  Her funeral was held at Vincent Funeral Home on Albany Turnpike with Reverend Evans Sealand of her church officiating.

Margaret Dyer is buried in Dyer Cemetery, Canton.

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.  It will appear on the first and fifteenth of each month.  Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.  Any suggestions, questions, or corrections should be addressed to Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net

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