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Town Hall Across Wepawaug River 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 
CONNECTICUT 

1639-1939 



COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY THE 
FEDERAL WRITERS' PROJECT OF THE 
WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION 
FOR THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT 



1939 



Copyright, 1939 

by 

The Milford Tercentenary Committee, Inc. 



WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION 

F. C. Harrington, Administrator 

Mrs. Florence Kerr, Assistant Administrator 

Henry G. Alsberg, Director of the Federal Writers' Project 

Frank Manuel, Regional Director of the Federal Writers' Project 



PRINTED IN U. S. A. 



PRESS OF 

BMUNWORTH Be CO.. INC. 

BUILDERS OF BOOKS 

BRIDGEPORT. CONN. 



FOREWORD 

In August, 1939, Milford, the sixth oldest town in 
Connecticut, will celebrate the three hundredth anniversary 
of its founding. In preparation for this anniversary, the 
citizens of the town, on November 9, 1936, authorized the 
Selectmen to appoint a Tercentenary Committee to formu- 
late and carry out plans for an appropriate observance of 
this important event in the life of the town. 

Although the outstanding facts concerning the settle- 
ment of Milford and its history, growth and development 
are well known to many of the present generation, no at- 
tempt had ever been made to compile those facts into a 
historical work dealing with Milford alone. Many excellent 
historical sketches and papers concerning the town and its 
people have been written from time to time, and Milford 
has always had its place in the chronicles of Connecticut and 
of New Haven Colony, but no complete history of Milford, 
assembling into one volume a systematic account of events 
affecting the town, had ever been written and published. 

The definite need, indeed positive demand, for an au- 
thentic history, which should cover the three centuries of 
the town's life, prompted the Tercentenary Committee to 
undertake the preparation of this book as one of its first and 
most important projects. As a part of this Tercentenary 
observance, there could be no more appropriate gift for the 
Milford of the Present to hand to the Milford of the Future 
than an accurate account of the Milford of the Past. 

The Tercentenary Committee was fortunate in obtaining 
the services of the workers and writers of the Federal 
Writers' Project of the Work Projects Administration, first, 



FOREWORD 

to do the vast amount of necessary research workj then, to 
assemble the material, discriminating between fact and fic- 
tion j and, finally, to compose and complete this first History 
of Milford. 

The Committee expresses the thanks of the townspeople 
to the Federal Writers' Project for this valuable contribution 
to the Milford Tercentenary. 




Chairman of Milford 
Tercentenary Committee. 



July i, 1939. 



VI 



PREFACE 

On this Tercentenary, the people of Milford have reason 
to be proud of the length and serenity of their history. In 
writing this brief account the Federal Writers' Project has 
made use of Lambert's History of the New Haven Colony 
written a hundred years ago, of Barber, of Trumbull, and of 
the various works mentioned in the Bibliography. Mostly, 
however, we have followed the lines of the Town Records 
which constitute an unusually full and valuable body of in- 
formation concerning events in Milford from the time of its 
founding. Here in gnarled authenticity, in sometimes refrac- 
tory spelling, is revealed the sturdy grain of the ancestral 
stock. The things which they took care about in their town 
meetings, their interests, their judgments are matters of con- 
cern and precedent to their grateful descendants and to all 
who live in Milford and are susceptible to its traditions. 
There could be no more fitting act of commemoration than 
to remove their words from the crumbling edges of the 
original volumes and to publish them for the use of his- 
torians. Few towns can have such important material to offer 
the legal scholar, the historian, and the antiquarian. It is 
greatly to be hoped that a memorial volume may be brought 
forth containing the Town Records from 1639 into the 19th 
Century, as well as selected deeds, land records, and other 
documents of prime importance. If the writing of this his- 
tory should pave the way for such a publication, it will have 
served perhaps its most useful purpose. 

The Federal Writers' Project wishes to thank the citizens 
of Milford who have given us this opportunity and have 
helped us to live up to it. In particular, thanks are due to 

vii 



PREFACE 

the Tercentenary Committee, Inc., and its committee on pub- 
lication, who have been of all possible assistance to us in this 
work. The following Milford residents, under the chair- 
manship of the Reverend Roy M. Houghton, composed the 
committee on publication: Norman S. Buckingham, Fred- 
erick S. Gorham, Mrs. Morris W. Abbott, Mrs. C. Robert 
Chase, Miss Annie D. Nettleton, Mrs. H. Franklin Norton, 
Mrs. Frederick M. Smith. 

We are indebted to Mr. Paul Reilly of the Federal Art 
Project for his pen-and-ink drawing of the Old Academy; 
to the Yale University Press and Prof. Leonard W. Labaree 
for a map cut; and to Mr. J. Frederick Kelly, who has read 
the section on Old Houses and Churches. 

The following members of the Federal Writers' Project 
contributed to the making of this book: the Milford staff of 
C. Lay Roosevelt, Supervisor, Walter Carleton, the late 
Joseph B. Carroll, Byron A. Guthrie, and Louis R. Tierney; 
the State editorial staff of William H. Garrigus, Virgil 
Geddes, Iveagh H. Lewis, and Grace T. Shailer; Elmer D. 
Keith, architectural editor; Russell Piatt, who made the in- 
dex and bibliography, and Harry Terrill; William T. Stack, 
photographer; Albert Macmullan and Arnold Kriger, map- 
makers. 

July 4, 1939 John B. Derby, State Director 



Vlll 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Foreword v 

By Judge Omar W. Piatt, Chairman of the 
Milford Tercentenary Committee, Inc. 

Preface vii 

By John B. Derby, State Director, 
Federal Writers' Project 

CHAPTER 

I. A. Little Republic — 1 639-1 643 ... 1 

II. Milford in New Haven Colony — 1644- 

1665 18 

III. Milford in the Connecticut Colony — 

1666-1783 33 

IV. The Early National Period — 1 783-1 848 . 6$ 
V. The Mid-Nineteenth Century — 1849- 

1873 • • 89 

VI. The Beginnings of Modern Milford — 1874- 

1916 108 

VII. The Last Quarter Century — 1916-1939 128 

Old Houses and Churches . . . .159 

Appendix 171 

Bibliography 193 

Index 197 



IX 



ILLUSTRATIONS AND MAPS 

Town Hall across Wepawaug River . Frontispiece 



FACING 
PAGE 



South View of First Meeting House and Ground Plan 1 4 

Robert Treat House 15 

Jonathan Law House 15 

Robert Treat Tablet 34 

Milford Academy 82 

Two Churches and Academy and Bridge . . . . 83 

Church of Christ, Congregational 86 

Plymouth Church 87 

St. Peter's Church 104 

Mary Taylor Memorial M. E. Church . . . .105 

Memorial Bridge in 1889 112 

Milford Green 112 

St. Mary's Church 113 

Lauralton Hall 113 

Taylor Library 122 

Old Town Hall (191 5) 122 

High School 123 

D. A. R. Chapter House 123 

Milford Savings Bank Building 130 

Milford Trust Company Building 130 

Street Scene at Devon 131 

Street Scene at Beach 131 

Weylister Junior Secretarial College . . . .136 
Milford School Administration Building . . .136 

Court and Office Building 137 

United States Post Office 137 

Milford Fire Headquarters 146 

xi 



ILLUSTRATIONS AND MAPS 



FACING 
PAGE 



Milford Hospital 146 

River Street Scene 147 

Connecticut Oyster Farms 147 

Town Hall 154 

Fowler Memorial 154 

Stockade House 160 

Eells-Stowe House (Historical Society) . . . .160 

Buckingham House 161 

Garret Van Horn DeWitt House 161 

Ford House 166 

Whitmore House 166 

Sanford House 167 

Richard Piatt House 167 

Plan of the Original Town Plot of Milford in 1646 . 10 

Map of Milford at its Greatest Extent, 1 703-1 784 . 56 

Map of the Town of Milford in September, 1835. . 88 
Map of the Town of Milford in 1868 . . end of book 



Xll 



Chapter One 

A LITTLE REPUBLIC 

i 63 9-1 643 

In the summer of 1637, when the Connecticut and Mas- 
sachusetts militia were pursuing the remnants of the 
Pequot tribe along the Connecticut coast, most of the sol- 
diers were interested only in the whereabouts of the Indians, 
but Sergeant Thomas Tibbals noticed the region about the 
mouth of the Wepawaug (Wepowage) that is today Mil- 
ford, and appraised it as an ideal spot for a settlement. 

The river wound through meadow and woodland, spill- 
ing its waters, by way of a deep, rocky gorge, into a long 
arm of the sea. Though not navigable above the gorge, 
the stream was large enough to furnish abundant water for 
livestock and the necessary power for turning mill wheels. 
A half mile farther to the east was another small stream. 
Their two inlets almost completely surrounded a triangular 
neck of land. The inlet of the Wepawaug River formed a 
natural harbor for more than a mile upstream, sufficiently 
deep to permit the entrance and anchorage of vessels. The 
other inlet, very shallow and at low tide a wide expanse of 
mud and marsh, formed the mouth of the East (Indian) 
River, later the eastern boundary of the settlement. The 
shore line with its sweep of curving beach extended west- 
ward from the mouth of the harbor to the Housatonic River. 
A long narrow peninsula at the extreme west, now Milford 
Point, had been for many years the site of a large Indian 
village and the scene of many an Indian oyster feast. The 
shells were scattered thickly over nearly twenty-four acres. 

i 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

A mile and a half southwest from the mouth of the har- 
bor, an island of about fourteen acres, partly wooded and 
partly open meadow, rose from the sea; a rocky bar awash 
at half-tide connected it with the mainland. The beaches 
abounded with clams ; the harbor and the East River, with 
blue crabs j and the waters of the Sound, with lobsters and 
fish of many kinds. 

Game was plentiful in the surrounding forests. There 
was an abundance of both hard and soft woods — oak, chest- 
nut, butternut, hickory, maple, red cedar, hemlock, and elm. 
Wild beach plums, growing in profusion along the shore, 
offered fruit for preserves and jelly. 

Who were the first settlers in Milford? Where did they 
come from? During the reign of Charles I, increasing num- 
bers of people were migrating to New England because they 
were no longer willing to accept the tenets of the estab- 
lished Church of England, and had been persecuted by the 
prelates of the English Church for their non-conformity. 
In May, 1637, the Hector sailed from London to Boston, 
carrying a company gathered by John Davenport and Theo- 
philus Eaton of London. Five weeks later another ship 
arrived with a group headed by Peter Prudden, a native 
of Hertfordshire. Among the original Milford settlers 
known to be of this company were Edmund Tapp, James 
Prudden, William Fowler, Thomas and Hannah Bucking- 
ham, Thomas Welch, Richard Piatt, Henry Stonehill, and 
William East, all from Hertfordshire. The new arrivals 
stayed in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for almost a year, 
and were considered such desirable colonists that efforts were 
made to induce them to settle there permanently. 

Davenport and Prudden, however, desired to establish 
their own colony, and when the potentialities of the region 
at the mouth of the Quinnipiac River in Connecticut were 
verified by an expedition made in August, 1637, by Eaton 

2 



A LITTLE REPUBLIC 

and several others of the Davenport company, they decided 
that was the place to found their colony. Seven of Eaton's 
group stayed through the winter to hold the territory for 
the others. In April, 1638, Peter Prudden and a number of 
his followers sailed with the Davenport group from Boston, 
bound for the Quinnipiac. 

From April, 1638, to the fall of 1639, the Prudden group 
was a part of the New Haven Colony. A separate allotment, 
known as the Hertfordshire section, was granted to them. 
They cleared the land, built houses, and planted crops. 

During the summer of 1638 Mr. Prudden preached 
at Wethersfield, and there attracted a devoted following, 
many of whom wished to found a new settlement where he 
would be their pastor. This crystallized the movement to 
found a separate colony among the Hertfordshire group in 
New Haven. 

Of the original settlers of Milford, Thomas Tapping, 
Robert Treat, John Sherman, Thomas Tibbals, John 
Fletcher, George Hubbard, Richard Miles and Andrew 
Benton were Wethersfield recruits. Zachariah Whitman, 
Benjamin Fenn, and Thomas Sandford, from Dorchester, 
Massachusetts, and John Astwood, John Peacocke, Thomas 
Baker, Jasper Gunn, John Burwell, and Thomas Uffot from 
Roxbury, joined the Prudden group and went to the mouth 
of the Wepawaug. The Milford Colony was thus a settle- 
ment of Mr. Prudden's followers, recruited from towns in 
England and NevvEngland where he had preached, and 
held together by personal devotion to their leader. <£: 

Sergeant Tibbals suggested the region about the mouth 
of the Wepawaug River, ten miles west of New Haven, 
for their plantation. On February 12, 1639, Edmund 
Tapp, William Fowler, Benjamin Fenn, Zachariah Whit- 
man, and Alexander Bryan from New Haven, journeyed 
to the Wepawaug and purchased land from Ansantawae, a 

3 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

sachem of the Paugusset Indians who had a village on the 
banks of the river. The price was six coats, ten blankets, 
one kettle, twelve hatchets, twelve hoes, two dozen knives, 
and a dozen small mirrors. 

The tract bought was bounded by the East River, the 
Housatonic River on the west, the Sound on the south, in- 
cluding Poquahaug (Charles) Island, and by the "two mile 
Indian path that goeth to Paugusset (Derby)," on the north. 
The location of the "two mile" path is a matter of conjec- 
ture.* A study of the boundaries and acreage in subsequent 
purchases of land for Milford indicates that the northern 
boundary of the original purchase was the road which today 
leaves New Haven by way of Fountain Street, passes through 
the lower part of Woodbridge, and runs west to meet the 

* In his History of the New Haven Colony (1838), Edward R. Lam- 
bert does not attempt to locate that two mile path in any way. "The 
first purchase was made of the Indians on the 12th of February of that 
year (1639). ^ comprehended the tract of land lying between the East 
river and the Housatonnuc, and the sea with the Island south, and the 
two mile Indian path to Paugusset (Derby) north." 

In his History of Connecticut (1797), Dr. Benjamin Trumbull says, 
"They first purchased of the Indians all the tract which lies between New 
Haven and Stratford river, and between the sound on the south, and a 
stream called two mile brook on the north which is the boundary line 
between Milford and Derby. This tract comprized all the lands within the 
old town of Milford, and a small part of the town of Woodbridge." 

Trumbull does not use the two mile Indian path as the boundary, but 
a brook called Two Mile Brook. This is a much more definite boundary, 
as the Two Mile Brook is still in existence, and is located in the western 
end of Orange. 

Edward L. Clark of Orange has traced the path or road as follows: 
"It extended from the northwesterly section of New Haven, perhaps over 
what is now called Long Hill, past the house of Newton J. Peck, to a 
point now within the present limits of the City of Ansonia, thence in a 
southwesterly direction until it reached that section of Derby formerly 
called the 'narrows.' " This road would go through the lower part of 
Woodbridge. 

The two mile path, according to Lambert, is used as a boundary in 
three different purchases of land. In the first purchase, 1639, xi 1S tne 
northern boundary; in the second, 1655, the eastern boundary; and in 
the third, 1685, the southern boundary. 

4 



A LITTLE REPUBLIC 

Two Mile Brook. From this point to the Housatonic River 
the brook served as a boundary. The first purchase included 
nearly all of the present towns of Orange and Milford, and 
part of the town of Woodbridge. 

Deeding the land to its new owners was effected with the 
old English "twig and turf" ceremony. After the customary 
signing of the deed by both parties, Ansantawae was handed 
a piece of turf and a twig. Taking the piece of turf in one 
hand, and the twig in the other, he thrust the twig into the 
turf, and handed it to the English. In this way he signified 
that the Indians relinquished all the land specified in the 
deed and everything growing upon it. The Paugusset In- 
dians sold the Wepawaug land in the hope that they would 
enlist English protection against the Mohawks, who were 
continually raiding their territory. 

Title to the region was based solely on land purchase 
from the Indians and not upon any grant from the English 
Crown. The later purchases of 1655, 1659, 1660, and 1661, 
rounding out the boundaries of the settlement over a period 
of six years, were also made directly from Indian posses- 
sors.* As Isabel M. Calder, in her recent History of the 
New Haven Colony points out, "The hodge-podge of Indian 
deeds by which the greater part of the lands of the colony 
were held would have received no recognition outside of 
New England, and would never have stood the scrutiny of 
an English Court of law." 

Several months of planning and labor followed the pur- 
chase of the Wepawaug land before the settlers took actual 
possession of their new home. On August 22, 1639, while 
they were still living in New Haven, those intending to 
move to Wepawaug met in council in Robert Newman's 
barn and formed the First Church of Milford. The organ- 

* These purchases are referred to in an Indian deed of 1682. See 
Appendix. 

5 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

ization followed the plan adopted by the New Haven Church 
that same day. "Seven Pillars" were chosen as the govern- 
ing body, the idea being derived from the Scripture, "Wis- 
dom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven 
pillars." The "Seven Pillars" of the Milford Church were 
Peter Prudden, Zachariah Whitman, William Fowler, John 
Astwood, Edmund Tapp, Thomas Welch, and Thomas 
Buckingham. Upon them rested the responsibility of exam- 
ining and passing upon the qualifications of all members. 

As part of the ceremony of organization, these men ap- 
peared before the council of the church, gave a detailed 
account of their religious experience, made a profession of 
faith, and ended by reciting the covenant, written by Peter 
Prudden.* 

The church was not only a dominating first cause for 

*This appears in the first book of church records in Prudden's own 
handwriting: "Since it hath pleased ye Lord of his infinite goodness and 
free grace to call us (a company of poor miserable wretches) out of ye 
world unto fellowship with himselfe in Jesus Christ, and to bestow himself 
upon us by an. everlasting covenant of his free grace sealed in ye blood of 
Jesus Christ, to be our God, and to make and avouch to us to be his 
people, and hath undertaken to circumcise our hearts, that we may love 
ye Lord our God and feare him, and walk in his wayes; we, therefore, 
do this day avouch ye Lord to be our God, even Jehovah, the only true 
God, the Almighty Maker of heaven and earth, the God and Father 
of our Lord Jesus Christ; and we do this day enter into an holy covenant 
with ye Lord and one with another, through ye grace and help of Christ 
strengthening us (without whom we can do nothing), to deny ourselves 
and all ungodliness and worldly lusts, and all corruptions and pollutions 
wherein in any sort we have walked. And do give up ourselves wholly 
to ye Lord Jesus Christ, to be taught and governed by him in all rela- 
tions, conditions and conversations in this world; avouching him to be our 
only Prophet and Teacher, our only Priest and Propitiation, our only 
King and Lawgiver. And we do further bind ourselves in his strength, 
to walk before him, in all professed subjection to all his holy ordinances, 
according to ye rule of the gospel, and also to walk together with his church 
and ye members thereof, in all brotherly love and holy watchfulness, to ye 
mutual building up one another in Faythe and Love. All which ye Lord 
help us to perform, through his rich grace in Christ according to his 
covenant. Amen." 



A LITTLE REPUBLIC 

settlement, but also the controlling force in colonial govern- 
ment, education, and social life. The leaders in the church 
were the leaders in civil affairs. Except for allegiance to 
the English Crown, which did not weigh too heavily upon 
the Fathers, they acknowledged no authority but the word of 
God, and "combined into a little republic." Their constitu- 
tion was the Scriptures. 

Prolonged discussions had occurred as to whether or not 
voting and office-holding should be confined to church mem- 
bers. The policy of excluding non-members from civil rights 
was finally adopted. The first General Court (town meet- 
ing), held on November 20, 1639, granted forty-four church 
members the franchise as "free planters." Following is the 
list taken from the town records: 



Zachariah Whitman 
Thomas Welsh 
Thomas Wheeler 
Edmond Tappe 
Thomas Buckingham 
Richard Miles 
Richard Piatt 
Thomas Topping 
Mr. Peter Prudden 
William Fowler 
John Astwood 
Richard Baldwin 
Benjamin Fen 
Samuel Coley 
John Peacocke 



Henry Stonhill 
Nathaniel Baldwin 
James Prudden 
Thomas Baker 
George Clarke, Senr. 
George Hubburt 
Jasper Gunn 
John Fletcher 
Alex. Bryan 
Frances Bolt 
Micah Tomkins 
John Birdsey 
Edmond Harvy 
John Lane 
William East 



Thomas Lawrance 
Thomas Samford 
Timothy Baldwin 
George Clarke, Jr. 
John Burwell 
Henry Botsford 
Joseph Baldwin 
Philip Hatly 
Nicholas Camp 
John Rogers 
Thomas Uffott 
Nathaniell Briscoe 
Thomas Tibballs 
John Sharman 



The following persons are recorded immediately after, 
but not as free planters. 



Robert Plum 
Roger Terrel 
Joseph Northrupp 



John Baldwin 
William Slough 
Andrew Benton 



William Brookes 
Robert Treat 
Henry Lyon 



Lambert adds the name of John Fowler to this second list, 
but the name does not appear in the town records. 

7 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 



The following is a list of the principal after-planters, 
with the year of their settlement in Milford: 



Henry Allyn * 

Edward Adams 

Joshua Atwater 

Joshua Ashburn 

Hants Albers 

Thomas Andrew 

Thomas Bayley 

Thomas Beardsley 

John Brown 

Roger Betts 

Thomas Betts 

Thomas Beach 

Thomas Campfield 

Robert Denison 

Gilbert Dalison 

Charles Deal 

Robert Downs 

Samuel Eell 

Thomas Farman 

Nathaniel Farrand 

Samuel Fitch f 

John Ford 

Thomas Ford 

Stephen Freeman 

John Fisk, physician 

Nathaniel Gould 

Joseph Guernsey 

Thomas Hine 

Richard Haughton 

Thomas Hayes 

Richard Holbrook 

Richard Hollingworth 

Jonathan Ingersoll, joiner $ 

Walter Joye, 

Jesse Lambert 



645 Jonathan Law 1664 

646 Simon Lubdell 1645 

655 Miles Merwin 1645 

650 Miles Moore 1646 

645 Jonathan Marsh 1649 

673 Thomas Mecock 1658 

646 Samuel Nettleton 1645 

647 Mr. Roger Newton 1659 

648 Frances Norton 1660 

658 James Prime 1644 

658 John Prindle 1645 

658 Joseph Peck 1645 

648 Roger Pritchard 1653 

645 David Phillips 1660 

647 Edward Riggs 1640 

656 William Roberts 1645 

660 Thomas Read 1647 

664 Joseph Sill 1648 

658 Richard Shute 1642 

645 John Smith 1643 

644 John Stream 1646 

646 John Stone 1650 

646 Vincent Stilson 1646 

658 Peter Simpson 1654 

695 Edward Turner 165 1 

646 Henry Tomlinson § 1652 

673 Tho. Talmadge 1656 

646 William Tyler 1670 

Edward Wooster|| 1651 

645 Edward Wilkinson 1645 

658 Thomas Ward 1657 

John Waters 1658 

698 John Woodruff 1685 

650 Andrew Warner !053 

680 



* Ancestor of Colonel Ethan Allen, the hero of Ticonderoga. 

f Removed to Norwalk. He was ancestor of Governor Thomas Fitch. 

$ Came with New Haven Company. He was the ancestor of all the 
Ingersolls in this town and in New Haven. His son Jared was a lawyer, 
and located himself in New Haven. 

§ Governor Gideon Tomlinson was a descendant of his. 

|| He was ancestor of General David Wooster, of New Haven, who 
was killed at Danbury in 1777. 

8 



A LITTLE REPUBLIC 

The General Court declared: "The power is setled in 
the church to chuse persons out of themselves to divide the 
land into Lotts, as they shall have light from the word of 
God, and to take order for the timber." The town chose 
five men "for Judges in al civill affaires [who] Are to try al 
causes Between man and man as A Court to punish any of- 
fence and Sin against the commandments." The judges 
named were William Fowler, Edmund Tapp, Zachariah 
Whitman, John Astwood, and Richard Miles, all but Rich- 
ard Miles being "Pillars of the Church." Until a body of 
laws should be established, the judges were "to observe and 
Apply them Selves to the rules of the written word of god." 

With land purchased and church organized, the main 
body of planters migrated from New Haven in the late sum- 
mer or early autumn of 1639.* Lambert, who probably had 
access to documents which we do not possess, gives this ac- 
count of the migration: 

The body of planters moved from New Haven by 
land, following the devious Indian foot-path, driving 
their cattle and other domestic animals before them, 
while their household and farming utensils, and the 
materials for 'the common house' were taken round 
by water. Serg. Thomas Tibbals piloted the com- 
pany through the woods to the place, c he having been 

there a number of times before.' 

All safely arrived, the planters erected their common 
house at the head of the harbor, on the west side, 
and a few rude huts for temporary residence. 

The second General Court was held in March, 1640, 
and the foundations of the settlement were laid. Since 
the settlers were in immediate need of a mill to grind their 
grain, the following vote was passed: 

* C. M. Andrews, Colonial Period of American History, vol. 2, pp. 
158, 159 (note). 

9 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

It is Agreed between William Fowler and those of 
the Bretheren that he shall build A Mill and A house 
for it and to doe all the worke to her for Stones and 
Iron-worke and all other Materialls fit for her: and 
substantially done and to be goeing By the last of 
September. When it is finished the towne is to take it 
off if they will For 1 8o£ or else the Brethren Are to 
appoynt what towle he shall take: compareing the 
profits of the Mill, and the land Allowed, with the 
money disbursted. 

In recompense, William Fowler was granted the land for 
a mill site on the Wepawaug River and was later given 
perpetual use of the stream. Mr. Fowler had taken upon 
himself no small task. He had to build a mill dam, erect 
the mill, have the iron fittings forged in New Haven, and 
find the proper rock from which to hew the millstones. 
The mill dam was built just above the rocky gorge through 
which the Wepawaug rushed to the harbor. The original 
millrace is still in existence, running under the present New 
Haven Avenue and into a pond which empties into the har- 
bor. The mill, the first gristmill in New Haven Colony, 
was built just to the west of the raceway, and if standing 
today would be in the middle of New Haven Avenue, just 
east of the Memorial Bridge. The town's right to purchase 
the mill was never exercised, but the judges did establish 
the miller's fees which were to be three quarts of raw grain 
for every bushel brought to be ground. A sawmill, built 
soon after on the other side of the millrace, was operated 
for only a short period. 

Throughout the spring and summer of 1640 roads were 
made along both banks of the Wepawaug and of West End 
Brook and house lots were laid out facing the roads. Forty- 
one plots, long narrow strips of land, averaging three acres 
each, were staked out on the Wepawaug, and twenty-four on 

10 



PLAN OF THE ORIGINAL TOWN PLOT OF 
MILFORD 

(After Lambert) 

a, part of fresh meadow; b, part of dreadful swamp; c. part of Eastfield 
common line fence; d, part of Westfield common line fence. First 
Congregational meeting-house against lot No. 9; second Congregational 
meeting-house against No. 38; Episcopal Church against No. 17; and 
Town House against No. 15. 

The location of the house of each first planter, as they were recorded 
in 1646, is seen on the plan of the town, by finding the same number 
which is prefixed to the name of each individual in the following list. 
The exact quantity of land in the house lot of each person, is here placed 
against his name: 



1 John Astwood 

2 Richard Baldwin 

3 Benjamin Fenn 

4 Samuel Cooley 

5 John Peacocke 

6 Henry Stonhill 

7 Nathaniel Baldwin 

8 James Prudden 

9 John Sherman 

10 Thomas Baker 

1 1 Stephen Freeman 

12 John Fletcher 

1 3 John Baldwin 

14 Frances Bolt 

15 Micah Tompkins 

16 John Birdseye 

17 Edward Harvey 

18 John Lane 

19 William East 

20 Thomas Lawrence 
(sold to Wm. East.) 

21 Thomas Sandford 

22 Timothy Baldwin 

23 Alexander Bryan 

24 Jasper Gunn 

25 Tomas Hine 

26 Henry Lyon 

27 John Stream 

28 William Slough 

29 James Prime 

30 Thomas Reed 

3 1 Robert Denison 

32 Zachariah Whitman 

33 Thomas Welch 



a. 


r. 


P- 






a. 


r. 


P- 


7 


2 





34 


Thomas Wheeler 


3 








3 








35 


Mr. Edmond Tapp 


7 


2 





2 


1 1 


3 


36 


Tho. Buckingham 


2 


3 





2 


1 


20 


37 


Robert Plum 


5 


3 





1 


3 





38 


Richard Piatt 


4 


1 





2 


3 


20 


39 


Thomas Tapping 


1 


1 


20 


3 


2 





40 


Mr. Peter Prudden 


7 


2 





2 








41 


Mr. Wm. Fowler 


7 


2 





4 








42 


Thomas Lawrence 


1 








3 


2 





43 


George Clark, Junr. 


4 


1 





2 








44 


John Burwell 


2 





20 


2 


3 


30 


45 


Henry Botsford 


2 


2 





2 


1 


10 


46 John Smith 


1 


3 


20 


2 


1 


20 


47 


John Rogers 


1 


3 


20 


2 


1 


20 


48 


Philip Hatley 


3 


3 


20 


2 


3 


20 


49 


Roger Tyrrell 


2 


3 


20 


2 


3 





50 


Nicholas Camp 


6 


1 


20 


2 


2 


20 


5i 


John Fowler 


1 


2 


20 


2 


3 





52 


Joseph Baldwin 


2 


1 


20 


2 








53 


Thomas Tibbals 


1 


2 


20 








54 


Wid. Martha Beard 


4 


1 


00 


2 


3 





55 


Thomas Campfield 


3 








4 








56 


Thomas Ford 


3 








4 





25 


57 


William Roberts 


3 











3 





58 


John Smith 


4 








3 








59 


Thomas Bailey 


3 








3 








60 


William Brookes 


3 








3 








61 


John Brown 


3 








3 








62 


Nathaniel Briscoe 


3 








3 








63 


Edward Riggs 


3 








3 








64 


Andrew Benton 


3 








3 








65 


George Clark, Senr. 


4 


2 





7 


2 






66 


George Hubbard 
(sold to John Stream 


4 
) 


2 





4 


2 





A LITTLE REPUBLIC 

West End Brook. Each lot owner was required to build a 
substantial home within three years, or his land reverted to 
the town. The extent of each man's land was determined 
by the "rule of persons and estates," that is, by the relative 
size of his estate, by the amount he contributed to the 
initial general expense of the colony, the number of persons 
in his family, and his standing in the community. On these 
homelots, the settlers built their first homes and barns and 
made their first plantings. All the expenses incident to the 
running of the settlement were paid by a property tax. 

Life in the little village during its early years was simple, 
though one of arduous toil. There were no extremely 
wealthy settlers, neither were there any who were very poor. 
No man asked any other man to do work which he himself 
was not able and willing to do. The majority were farmers, 
but every farmer had to be a "Jack-of-all-trades," to cut his 
own timber and mill it, to build his own house and barn and 
fences, and to make many of his own tools and equipment. 
Practically all of the food consumed by his family was raised 
on his own land or obtained by hunting and fishing. There 
were few skilled artisans in Milford, only one carpenter, 
George Clark, Sr., one cooper, Nathaniel Baldwin, and one 
tailor, John Baldwin. Not until 1643 did a blacksmith, 
John Smith, join the colony. Prior to that date, all forging 
had to be done in New Haven. 

The first church services in Milford are believed to have 
been held in the "common house." The Reverend Peter 
Prudden served as preacher and pastor from the time of the 
organization of the church in August, 1639. Mr. Prudden 
had previously been ordained in England as a priest of the 
Church of England. His ordination as pastor of the Milford 
church took place in New Haven, probably because Milford 
lacked the proper building in which to meet. He was or- 
dained by Zachariah Whitman, William Fowler, and Ed- 

n 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

mund Tapp as instructed by the Milford church. The 
Reverend John Davenport, the Reverend Samuel Eaton, 
and the Reverend Ezekiel Cheever were present at the 
service. 

Mr. Prudden was both leader and advisor of the little 
flock, taking a keen interest not only in affairs of the church 
but in everything that concerned the life of the community. 
There is no record that he ever received a salary. The 
people raised and gathered his crops and carted his firewood. 
He paid his taxes and, though exempt from regular military 
duty, kept his arms and ammunition in good order. 

Extensive commerce with other ports was not developed 
until later in the century, but trade with the Indians dates 
from the earliest days of the settlement. One colonist was 
quick to capitalize on the value of the furs received in trade. 
"In 1640, Ensign Bryan sent a vessel to the Bay (Boston) 
laden with beaver, otter and other precious furs and in re- 
turn brought back such goods as were needed by the planters 
for their own use and for trade with the Indians."* 

The third General Court met on November 24, 1640. 
Up to this time the cluster of dwellings had been called 
"Wepowage" from the Indian name of the river that flowed 
through the village. It was now voted to change the name 
to Milford and adopt as the official seal of the Colony the 
letters "JVF." The need for a meeting-house for religious 
worship was urgent, so the Court instructed the five judges 
to let out and build a meeting-house thirty feet square "after 
such manner as Shall be Judged most convenient for the 
publique good." 

Following the lead of New Haven which had adopted a 
standard of weights and measures to prevent the use of short 
weight by unscrupulous traders, the Milford court adopted 

* "Alexander Bryan of Milford, Connecticut, his ancestors and his de- 
scendants," By Charles Candee Baldwin. Cleveland, Ohio, 1889. 

12 



A LITTLE REPUBLIC 

the standard in use in New Haven and appointed Jasper 
Gunn, the town's first physician, sealer of weights and 
measures. A fine of five shillings was imposed for selling or 
buying from an unsealed measure. The administration of 
the five judges had been so satisfactory that, with one excep- 
tion, they were again chosen to act in the same capacity until 
the following October. John Sherman was chosen to suc- 
ceed Richard Miles. 

Although the river was not navigable, it was too deep to 
cross except by fords, of which there were many. The cross- 
ing was easy for riders on horseback or in wagons, but the 
slippery "stepping stones" made it difficult for those on foot. 
During spring freshets the stream was not fordable. The 
Court, therefore, instructed the judges "to consider in what 
place, and after what manner, a bridge may conveniently be 
made over the mill [Wepowage] river, and let it out to be 
don with convenience and Expedition." A site for the church 
had already been selected about one hundred and fifty feet 
south of the present church building at the junction of West 
Main and West River streets. Nearby was a small island, 
suitable for the location of bridge piers. The bridge afforded 
easy access to the church for those living across the river, and 
successive bridges at this point have been appropriately called 
"Meeting House Bridge." 

In 1 64 1 a young surveyor of uncommon ability, Robert 
Treat, was called upon to assist in the laying out of the land. 
He was destined to become one of the most colorful and 
prominent figures in the affairs of New Haven Colony and 
later of Connecticut. 

The original grant of homelots sufficed only for the first 
year or two, while the settlers were occupied clearing the 
land, building homes and barns, and raising crops. Soon a 
further division of land was demanded, and twice before 
1 643 additional grants were made in the outlying sections of 

13 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

the purchase. The original plan of allotting acreage in pro- 
portion to a settler's wealth and importance was again fol- 
lowed. 

As all of the land was not equally desirable, the lots 
were "sized" according to value ; if a piece of land were rocky 
or a long distance from the homelot, the settler who received 
it was given a larger portion than the man who received a 
piece of well-watered, easily accessible bottomland. A map 
of Milford for this period would show the rectangular strips 
of each man's land-holdings scattered here and there about 
the settlement. 

In this manner, two tracts, called Eastfield and West- 
field, lying southeast and southwest of the village center, 
were allotted. The next division covered other lands south 
of the homelots and other sections to the north and east. 
A large tract of meadow, south of Westfield, called the Great 
Meadow, was also apportioned among the settlers and en- 
closed by a common fence. Each landowner was compelled 
to keep up that part of the common fence which bounded 
his land. Each section was marked with a landowner's 
initials on an end stake and a penalty of two shillings sixpence 
was imposed for failure to keep this initialed stake in place. 
The owner of a section of fence was required to repair any 
break within sixteen hours or pay a fine of five shillings. 
Certain designated individuals built and maintained gates 
instead of a specified footage of fence. 

Early in 1641 the building of the meeting-house was 
begun. It was a two-story frame building, forty feet 
square, with a four-sided peaked roof, topped by a small tur- 
ret. The structure was framed of huge timbers, and covered 
with clapboards. The single door was on the west side of 
the building. An aisle led to a high pulpit, in front of which 
was a place for the ruling elder. Below this, just behind 
the communion table, were seats for the deacons. Crude 

14 





] 1 w# 

South View of First Meeting House and Ground Plan 
A, the pulpit; B, deacon's seat; C, D, guard seats; E, gallery stairs. 




Robert Treat House 




Jonathan Law House 



A LITTLE REPUBLIC 

benches, each accommodating four or five persons, stood on 
either side of the aisle. Long benches flanked the side walls, 
and there were short seats on either side of the pulpit. No 
provision was made for heating the church in winter, except 
individual foot-stoves filled with live coals before the 
parishioners left home. As in other Connecticut churches 
of the day, there was no church bell. Rolling drumbeats 
called the settlers to church and to town meetings. 

The long, tedious Sunday services, one in the morning 
and one in the afternoon, afforded a chance to exchange 
pleasantries and gossip. As outlying sections were settled, 
those who came from a distance brought lunches and spent 
the recess between morning and afternoon services visiting 
with their neighbors. During services, guardsmen in butter- 
nut-dyed homespun, wearing knee-breeches, long woolen 
stockings, and buckled shoes, with powder horn and bullet- 
pouch slung over their shoulders, and matchlock muskets in 
hand, were seated near the door, prepared to repel Indian 
attacks. 

There is little on record about schools in the first few 
years. Higher education was important chiefly as prepara- 
tion for the ministry. Ministers, usually the best-educated 
men in a colonial community, served as teachers. Jas- 
per Gunn, credited with being the first Milford school 
teacher, in 1642 conducted a school at his house, near the 
"common house" at the head of the harbor j he was assisted 
for a time by the Reverend John Sherman. 

In comparison with other towns Milford suffered few 
attacks from the Indians. The Milford Indians were 
friendly, but the Mohawks were so hostile that the planters 
lived in constant dread of them. In 1624 the Dutch had 
settled at New Amsterdam, and in 1633 had established a 
trading post on the Connecticut River at the present site of 
Hartford. The Dutch continued to claim all the interven- 

15 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

ing land after the English were in possession of the territory. 
There were many disputes and minor clashes between the 
Dutch and the English and their Indian allies over the own- 
ership of the region. To guard against surprise attacks from 
the Indians, and to be ready in the event of armed conflict 
with the Dutch, palisades, ten to twelve feet high, were built 
around the homelots, and for further protection the settlers 
organized a train band. 

The band, commanded by Captain John Astwood, was 
composed of every able-bodied male citizen between the ages 
of sixteen and sixty. Members were required to train six times 
each year, or oftener, at the discretion of the authorities. 
Every male citizen over sixteen was ordered to have in readi- 
ness "a pound of powder, and two pounds of bullets or shott, 
and two fathoms of match, for a matchlock, on penalty of 5s. 
a month for such default." 

Drastic regulations stipulated that 

It is likewise agreed that no man shall either give or 
trucke with any Indian powder, shott, pistolls or any 
sort of gunns, sword, daggers, rapier, Iron Brass, or 
any other weapon or Ammunition as alsoe gold Silver, 
upon the paine of five pound loss and if any under 
goverment either Child or Servant Shall without 
their parents or master knowledge brake this order 
shall be liable to the whipp or any other sentence of 
the court. 

For some time settlers in Massachusetts and Connecti- 
cut had urged the formation of an alliance of Massachu- 
setts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven Colonies, 
in order that they might more effectively resist Indian attacks 
and present a united front against the claims and encroach- 
ments of the Dutch. In May, 1 643, this confederation of the 
New England colonies was consummated. Each colony kept 
its separate identity and government, but was bound to help 

16 



A LITTLE REPUBLIC 

the other members of the confederation in case of attack or 
invasion. 

Milford was still a separate colony and not included in 
this confederation. The majority realized the advantages of 
joining the larger, stronger colony of New Haven and thus 
securing the protection of the New England Confederation. 
The town therefore applied for consolidation, but difficulties 
arose over the question of the franchise. The town had 
given full privileges in civil affairs to six persons who were 
not members of the church. This liberalism shocked the 
stricter Puritans of the New Haven Colony, and they refused 
to permit Milford to join with them, unless the six non- 
churchmen were disfranchised. Milford refused. A com- 
promise was finally reached, whereby the six were allowed 
to keep their civil rights in purely local affairs and to vote 
for deputies to the General Court at New Haven, but were 
not permitted to vote for magistrates or to hold office "for 
the Combination. ,, Milford also agreed to admit only church 
members as freemen in the future. Under this agreement 
Milford sent deputies, William Fowler and Edmund 
Tapp, to the General Court at New Haven on October 27, 
1643, and thus voluntarily ended its existence as an inde- 
pendent colony. 



17 



Chapter Two 

MILFORD IN NEW HAVEN COLONY 

i 644-1 665 

During its first four years Milford developed from a 
wilderness, inhabited by wild animals and Indians, to a 
healthy, thriving village. The settlers had built dwellings, 
mostly of the "lean-to" type, with rent oak shingles and 
diamond-pane windows.* The church, the backbone of every 
New England community, had been organized, the meeting- 
house raised, and Peter Prudden ordained and installed as 
pastor. Trade was established, mostly coastwise to the east- 
ward, although a few voyages are reported to have been 
made to far-off Virginia. The Fowler gristmill was busily 
engaged in converting the harvests of corn, buckwheat, and 
rye into flour and meal. 

The town founders welcomed newcomers to the com- 
munity, but they were careful to see that only those who 
had the proper qualifications were admitted. Applicants for 
residence had to present credentials of good character and 
godly life. They were required to join the church and to 
possess sufficient property to insure the town that they would 
not become public charges. Once admitted, the newcomers 
were granted land on equal terms with the other planters. 

The early settlers were mostly farmers. Their first can- 
't 1 This is Lambert's description of the early houses. Probably only the 
better houses had glass in their windows at this time. The earliest houses 
built by the pioneers had oiled paper in place of glass for windows. 

18 



MILFORD IN NEW HAVEN COLONY 

cern was to provide food for the community. As more land 
was cleared and the planters managed to produce a food 
surplus, artisans were in demand to meet other requirements 
of the town, and they were encouraged to come to Milford. 
Since the town was without anyone who knew the art of 
dressing skins and hides, Edward Adams was urged to learn 
the tanner's trade and to follow it in Milford j as an induce- 
ment, he was granted on March 1 6, I 646, two acres of land 
in Mill Neck, with a proportionate piece of meadow land. 
In December, 1652, Henry Tomlinson, a weaver, made ap- 
plication for a homelot so that he might settle in the town 
and follow his trade. In return for agreeing to set up a 
weaver's shop, the town granted him a plot of land from 
the "elders' lot," with the proviso that if he should move 
away, he would surrender it to the town. He was also 
granted some farm land. A second tanner, Miles Merwin, 
set up his business in Milford in 1654, the town granting 
him an acre of land on the west side of Dock Lane, next to 
Alexander Bryan's warehouse. 

Fowler's Mill continued to hold a prominent place in 
the simple economic life of the town. In the fall of 1645, 
when a freshet partially destroyed the mill, the town, realiz- 
ing what a loss this meant to the community, voted at a 
meeting held on December 22: 

. . . that all the town shall help Mr. Fowler to 
repair the mill, and he is to call for them everyone 
a day, till he have gone through the towne and these 
he is to have when he needs. If it goeth not thorow 
the town in one year the same is granted him till he 
hath gone through the towne. 

The only gristmill in New Haven was destroyed by fire in 
1 662 j during the rebuilding, the farmers brought their grain 
to Fowler's Mill. 

Milford soon developed a thriving trade for so small a 

19 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

village. Alexander Bryan and his son Richard, the town's 
first merchants, who had been engaged in fur-trading with 
the Indians from the beginning of the settlement, carried on 
a rapidly growing commerce with Boston, New York, and 
the West Indies. The elder Bryan's reputation and credit 
standing was so high that his notes of hand passed as cur- 
rency in Boston. He is said to have had as large a business 
as any merchant on the American coast outside of Boston. 

In May, 1650, the town granted Alexander Bryan a plot 
of land for a warehouse site at the head of what is now Fac- 
tory Lane. He erected a building, sixty feet long by twenty 
feet wide, on the west side of the lane at the corner of Broad 
Street. At the same time he built a wharf at the foot of the 
lane where his ships took on and discharged their various 
cargoes. In October, 1653, he offered to relinquish all right 
and title to the wharf, provided the town kept it in repair. 
The town accepted the offer and for many years this was the 
public wharf. 

On December 13, 1655, the town granted Richard Bryan 
leave to build another warehouse, thirty by eighteen feet, 
near his father's. Sergeant East also was permitted to build 
a warehouse between Ensign Bryan's and the house of Miles 
Merwin, the tanner. These items indicate not only a grow- 
ing trade in Milford, but also that the town regulated such 
details as the size and location of buildings to be erected. 

The planters experimented with new crops. Charles 
Deal requested and received permission from the town, 
March 17, 1657, to purchase Poquehaug or Milford Island 
(Charles Island) from Richard Bryan, who had acquired the 
island from George Hubbard to whom it had been originally 
allotted. The town specified that he must use the island only 
for tobacco-raising, that he should not "sell or truck with 
either Indians, English or Dutch nor suffer any disorderly 
resort of meetings of seamen or others there." This is one 

20 



MILFORD IN NEW HAVEN COLONY 

of the earliest recorded instances of tobacco-raising in Con- 
necticut by white men. The venture was a failure. 

Local prohibition of trade with the Dutch resulted in the 
arrest in April, 1654, of Captain John Manning, charged 
with "trading with the Dutch and furnishing enemies of the 
Commonwealth of England with provisions." 

Trumbull relates the story with some detail: 

One captain Manning, master of a ten gun ship, had 
been apprehended for an unlawful trade with the 
Dutch, at the Manhadoes. While the affair was up- 
on trial before the court at New-Haven, his men 
ran off with the ship from Milford harbour. The 
people completely armed and manned a vessel, with 
so much dispatch, that they pressed hard upon the 
ship before she could reach the Dutch island. The 
men, perceiving they must be taken, unless they im- 
mediately abandoned the ship, made their escape in 
their boat. The ship, thus left adrift, was recovered, 
and brought into Milford harbour, and, with all her 
goods, condemned as a lawful prize. 

The Court at New Haven found Captain Manning 
guilty, fined him twenty shillings and costs, and ordered that 
his ship and all her goods be sold at public auction in Milford 
on "Tuesday next" at three o'clock in the afternoon. "By an 
inch of a candle he that offers most shall have her, and that 
the price as it shall fall, shall be paid in Beef, Pork, Wheat, 
pease, of each a like quantity, all of it good and merchant- 
able and at current price as it goes at time of Payment." 
All the costs of seizure and auction were paid out of the 
proceeds of the sale, and twenty shillings was awarded to 
each Milford man who had taken part in the ship's capture. 

In one instance the early Milford settlers resorted to 
agricultural control measures. A town meeting held No- 
vember 27, 1645, "ordered that the major part of any quar- 

21 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

ter may make agreements between themselves for the Sowing 
of their crops, And the minor part to yeeld unto what they 
so agree, Or to bear all damages that may be by their 
decenting (sic)." 

Raising hops for yeast and ale was another agricultural 
experiment. On April 22, 1652, the town granted Edward 
Worster "a peece of land up the Mill River about an acre 
or an acre more or less for an hopp garden which peece of 
land the town gave to the said Edward Worster according 
to his desire therein." 

An early record shows an attempt at conservation of 
natural resources. So much timber had been destroyed by 
a fire set by the Indians in 1646, that by 1655 the planters 
feared a shortage of building material. 

Upon Information given to the court of the great ex- 
pense of timber ... It is ordered therefore that no 
man that is not either a planter or A Covenant Servant 
for a year within the town of milford shall not here- 
after fell any timber or make any Improvement Being 
felled for either pipe staves heading barrel staves or 
Shingles under the penalty of ten shillings fine to the 
towne of Milford for every tree. 

Economic development through this period depended 
upon territorial expansion. When the first tract was pur- 
chased from the Indians, it seemed large enough for many 
years to come. But increase in population, together with 
an insistent demand for greater acreage, made necessary addi- 
tional purchases from the Indians, and further divisions by 
action of the town. 

A fourth division in 1 646 granted to the planters all the 
land that was still available. In 1655, when the demand, 
"more land," was again heard, Mr. Fenn, Ensign Bryan, 
Sergeant Baldwin, and Sergeant East were appointed to act 
as agents in the purchase of additional territory. On June 

22 



MILFORD IN NEW HAVEN COLONY 

10, 1655, they bought from the Indians, for five pounds, the 
region between Paugusset and the "two mile path," giving 
the town more acreage to the north. By 1659 tne popula- 
tion had increased to over five hundred, and again there were 
demands for more land. Robert Treat and Ensign Bryan 
negotiated with the Indians for the tract lying between the 
Indian River and the New Haven line, and extending from 
the New Haven-Derby path on the north to the Indian 
path to Oyster River on the south, and purchased it on 
December 20, 1659, for twenty-six pounds in goods. In 1660 
Indian Neck, lying between the Indian River and the Sound, 
was bought, the Indians reserving twenty acres for planting 
ground, agreeing "to defend the land, with the swamps, 
timber, trees, and all the privileges, from the claims of any 
Indian whatsoever." This twenty-acre reservation was 
bought from Ansantawae and his son on December 12, 1661, 
for six coats, three blankets, and three pair of breeches. The 
town then sold it "by an outcry" for twenty-one pounds six 
shillings to Thomas Welch, for whom the point was named. 
This established Milford's territorial bounds as they are to- 
day, with the inclusion of the present town of Orange. The 
local Indians were granted the right to fish in their old 
waters, and protection was promised for Chief Ansantawae 
and his family. 

Constant disputes over the boundaries of the grants made 
to the settlers accompanied the rapid division of the land of 
the community. "Boundary fixers" were in constant de- 
mand. To clear up the confusion, in 1646 the first map of 
the town was made, showing the location of each homelot, 
the name of the owner, and the number of the lot. In the 
same year laws were passed regarding the sale and transfer 
of property. Owners were forbidden to sell or transfer land 
to anyone not a resident, without first filing the name of 
the prospective buyer. If the sale was not approved within 

23 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

twenty days, the town was required to buy in the property. 
Residents were allowed to transfer land among themselves 
without restriction. 

On December 24, 1646, it was ordered by the General 
Court that every transfer of property, whether by sale, gift, 
or inheritance, should be recorded in a special book. The 
fee for recording the transfer was to be twopence, and two- 
pence for a copy of the deed. Two months was the time 
limit allowed for recording a land transfer, with a fourpence 
penalty for failure to comply with the law. A report of land 
transfers was made by the recorder at each meeting of the 
judges, so that proper tax assessments could be levied. The 
record for December 24, 1646, reads: 

. . . and he who is appoynted to enter the afforesaid 
lands, or Meadow, shall give into the next particular 
court, after such Allianations Exchanges or gifts, a 
copie of such allianations, exchanges or gifts, as have 
been before, that accordingly the court may levie, or 
dispose such rates as are due upon the right and proper 
owner of the land, from time to time, and may cause 
the treasurer to require, that which is Just upon every 
man . . . 

Thus the early court of five judges was not only the first 
board of selectmen, as the body is known today, but also the 
first board of assessors. 

Communication between Milford and other colonies was 
usually by way of the old Indian trails. Within the town, 
instead of first laying out roads, and then apportioning land 
with reference to the roads, the land was laid out first. The 
planters then made their own paths or wagon tracks to meet 
their needs, using Indian trails as much as possible. Broad 
Street was originally forty rods wide, with the land between 
it and the harbor left in common as a drill ground for the 
train band. While the opening up of roads and paths was 

24 



MILFORD IN NEW HAVEN COLONY 

left largely to the planters to suit their own convenience, in 
one instance the town took a hand in the matter. On Febru- 
ary 7, 1643: 

It is Agreed that a footway to the meeting house 
(shall be alowed and mayntayned with Convenient 
Stiles) from the west end. The Stiles to be main- 
tayned by bro: Nicholas Camp at the west end, and 
by bro: Thomas Baker at the meeting house for the 
outside Stiles, and for the Inward fence each man 
shall maintayne their severall Stiles in the most con- 
venient places. 

The building of more bridges across the lesser streams 
and the establishment of a ferry across the Housatonic River 
facilitated communication. When Milford joined the New 
Haven Colony, there was but one bridge across the Wepa- 
waug River, the "Meeting House Bridge." At certain times 
of the year the journey to the mill was difficult for those 
living in the West End. To benefit these planters, 
Fowler built a wooden bridge over the river on the site of 
the present Memorial Bridge. The town assumed responsi- 
bility for maintenance of the bridge in 1648. 

Beyond the Indian River lay the section of land pur- 
chased in 1659. Planters in this region found the Indian 
River impassable at high tide. In 1662 the building of the 
Indian or Great Bridge on the BurwelPs Farm road made 
the region more accessible. 

Beyond the Housatonic River to the west, a settlement, 
Cupheag, later named Stratford, was founded in September, 
1639. On May 18, 1648, Roger Ludlow, in behalf of 
Moses Wheeler of Stratford, petitioned the General As- 
sembly for a charter to operate a ferry between Milford 
and Stratford. The next court sitting at Fairfield granted 
the request, and the ferry started in 1649 or 1650 with a 
flat-bottomed scow for the transportation of animals and a 

25 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

canoe for foot-passengers. The fare was a halfpenny for a 
person and twopence for a horse or beast. Milford had no 
part in the operation of the ferry for many years. 

To improve communication between the towns of the 
New Haven Colony, on May 25, 1653, tne General Court 
ordered that: 

twelve horses shall be kept in the five townes in this 
jurisdiction that are upon the maine, vizd: foure at 
Newhaven, two at Millford, two at Guilford, two at 
Stamford & two at Brandf ord j with sufficient furniture 
for travell, and to bee allwayes in a readines as the 
publique occasions of the cuntry may require j and for 
the hire of the horses, the owner shall have from 
Newhaven to Connecticote tenn shillings, from Mill- 
ford to Stamford ten shillings, from Newhaven to 
Millford two shillings eight pence, or foure pence a 
mile, according as it is usually accounted. The charge 
of keeping the horses is left to every towne to con- 
sider j the hazard of the horse to be upon the owner, 
but the charge of hiring men, whether messengers or 
others, to bring horses backe againe, to bee at the 
publique charge, as the authority of the place from 
whence they are sent shall agree with them. 

By 1645 th e "common house," which was still used for 
town meetings, was not large enough to accommodate all 
who were entitled to attend. In that year a larger structure 
was erected on approximately the site occupied by the present 
municipal building, and was called the "East Town House." 
This building was used not only for town meetings, but also 
for the sessions of the first public school. After the erection 
of the new town hall, the "common house" became guard 
quarters until June 22, 1648. Then it was sold for twenty- 
one shillings to James Rogers for use as a warehouse. 

The church strengthened its organization by the election 
of two new officers. Zachariah Whitman, one of the "Seven 

26 



MILFORD IN NEW HAVEN COLONY 

Pillars" was "pitched upon" as presiding elder of the 
church in January, 1645. On January 26 he was ordained 
with solemn ceremony by a council composed of the elders 
and messengers from the churches of New Haven and Strat- 
ford. The office of deacon went unfilled for a time because 
the church could not decide between Benjamin Fenn or 
George Clark, Jr. Fenn was finally chosen and installed 
in 1647. 

In 1646 the Indians went on the warpath and tried to 
burn down the town by setting fire to the countryside. For- 
tunately the settlers managed to check the fire at the swamps 
that lay to the west and north before any damage was done 
to the palisades, but much valuable timber was destroyed. 
After this evidence of Indian hostility, sentries were posted 
along the entire line of palisades. Each household was 
required to furnish one watchman, who did sentry duty every 
fifth day. The planters did not venture outside the pali- 
sades, except in armed parties. While at work on the farm 
one of the men would stand guard against a surprise attack. 
In spite of the hostility of the Indians there is no record of 
any fatalities in Milford at any time due to Indian attacks. 
Nevertheless, the whole colony of New Haven lived in con- 
stant fear. 

In the summer of 1648 the Mohawks, who had been 
quiet for some time, attacked the Milford Indians in an at- 
tempt to capture their fort on the Housatonic River, but 
were driven off with heavy losses. The story goes that one 
of the settlers had sighted the invaders hiding in a swamp 
about a mile from town, and had warned the Milford 
Indians that the Mohawks were waiting to make a surprise 
attack on the fort by night. Thus prepared, the Milford 
Indians were able to meet the Mohawks with such war 
whoops and volleys of arrows that the enemy fled, leaving 
behind many dead and several prisoners. 

27 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

One of these Mohawk captives was tied to a stake on 
the salt meadows and left to die. He was found unconscious 
the next morning by Thomas Hine, who released him, fed 
him, and put him ashore on the other side of the Housatonic 
River. For this act of mercy the Hine family were ever 
after venerated and respected by the Mohawks. 

It is a tribute to the hardiness of the settlers, and perhaps 
to the skill of Dr. Jasper Gunn, that there were no deaths 
in the community for the first five years. The first death, 
that of Solomon East, the year-old son of William East, 
occurred on June 18, 1644. The first death of an adult was 
that of Sarah, wife of Nicholas Camp. "She had twins on 
the second of September, 1645, and was doing well till the 
night of the fourth, when she was taken very ill with a cold. 
She died on the sixth (being the last day of the week) in 
the morning and was buried the evening after, in the garden 
of Mr. Peter Prudden, Pastour." Mr. Prudden's garden, 
used as the first burying ground, was situated about a hun- 
dred feet east of the former residence of Samuel L. Bald- 
win now the home of Dr. DeWitt B. Nettleton on Prospect 
Street. John Astwood, one of the original "Seven Pillars" 
and one of the first five judges, died in 1654 while in En- 
gland on a mission for the colony. 

The town was deeply grieved in July, 1656, by the death 
of its beloved pastor, the Reverend Peter Prudden, at the 
age of fifty-six. For almost seventeen years he had been the 
leader and advisor of the little flock. Cotton Mather paid 
the pastor a tribute which has been inscribed on a tablet, 
erected in the Church of Christ in Milford by Prudden's 
descendants. 

Peter Prudden — Founder and Pastor of this Church 
from its establishment in 1639 till his death in 1656. 

I am sure 'tis a blessed child of God whose name is 
before us 5 who besides his other excellent qualities 

28 



MILFORD IN NEW HAVEN COLONY 

was noted for a single faculty to sweeten, compose, 
and qualify exasperated spirits, and stop or heal all 
contentions — whence it was that his Town of Milford 
enjoyed peace with truth all his days. 

He continued an able and faithful servant of the 
churches until the 56th year of his age when his 
death was felt by the colony as the fall of a pillar 
which made the whole fabric to shake. 

The First Church of Milford remained without a settled 
pastor from the time of the death of Peter Prudden in 1656 
until 1660. The congregation finally agreed upon the Rev- 
erend Roger Newton of Farmington, who was "received" 
July 29, 1660. Of his ordination it is recorded: 

Aug. 22 of the same year, he was ordained Pastour 
with praise and fasting and ye layeing on of ye hands 
of Zach. Whitman, Elder, John Fletcher, Deacon, 
and Mr. Robert Treat, Magistrate — though not as 
magistrate and deacon, but as appointed by ye church 
to assist ye Ruling Elder in ye layeing on hands in 
ye name of ye church. 

The town government kept a regulatory finger upon the 
tavern and inn, where travelers and their mounts sought 
accommodation and townsmen gathered of an evening to 
discuss affairs over a mug of ale. Milford had been without 
a tavern until June, 1654, when Henry Tomlinson, the 
weaver, made application to the judges for permission to 
open an "ordinary." The town was both willing and anxious 
to grant the request, but neither Tomlinson's house nor its 
location was suitable for the venture. On West Main Street, 
then the main road through the town, was a house near the 
present "Grey Court" apartments owned by Richard Bryan 
that was better situated for the purpose. 

Tomlinson opened the tavern late in 1654, but his inn- 
keeping was not to the satisfaction of the town. He served 

29 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

meagre and unappetizing meals and overcharged his cus- 
tomers. Furthermore, he allowed the young people of the 
village to congregate there to dance and play cards. In 
1655 the town sold the property back to Richard Bryan and 
William East, with the understanding that they maintain it 
as a tavern. Since Tomlinson refused to give up the prop- 
erty, claiming it as his own, a court order was necessary be- 
fore he could be evicted. 

This non-conformist community was sympathetic to 
Cromwell's rebellion and gave protection to two of the regi- 
cides, William Goffe and Edward Whalley. After the 
Restoration they had fled from England to escape arrest 
and execution, arriving in Boston on July 27, 1660. When 
it became dangerous for them to remain any longer in 
Massachusetts, the two left secretly for New Haven, arriving 
there March 7, 1661. The Reverend John Davenport wel- 
comed them and hid them in his house until April 30. In 
May agents with warrants for their arrest left Boston for 
Hartford and New Haven, arriving in New Haven on May 
13. Warned by friends, the regicides took refuge in hideouts 
near New Haven, moving frequently to escape capture when 
the search came too close. The most famous of these hide- 
outs was Judge's Cave on West Rock, which sheltered the 
men from May 1 5 to June 1 1 . 

During the summer of 1661 the people in New Haven 
who had harbored the regicides became uneasy about pos- 
sible dangers to the Colony because of their defiance of royal 
orders, and Whalley and Goffe went to Milford on August 
19, 1 66 1. Here they were given shelter by Micah Tomp- 
kins in his home on West River Street, on the site now 
occupied by the High School. A bronze tablet marks the 
spot where the house stood. 

Their secret was kept so well that for more than two 
years only a few of the townspeople were aware of the 

30 



MILFORD IN NEW HAVEN COLONY 

regicides' presence. Benjamin Fenn knew their secret and 
was friendly to them. He was one o£ the two delegates 
from New Haven to the New England Confederation. 
When the commissioners of the Confederation offered a dec- 
laration at their meeting of September 5, 1661, urging a 
thorough search for Whalley and Goffe, and the punishment 
of their protectors, Fenn stayed away and refused to 
sign the declaration. The regicides remained in Milford 
until July, 1664, when they were again forced to flee; this 
time to Hadley, Massachusetts. 

In 1662 Charles II conferred a charter upon the Con- 
necticut Colony, with its General Court at Hartford, grant- 
ing it all the territory of the New Haven Colony. This 
led Connecticut to claim jurisdiction over its neighboring 
Colony, and to invite all the towns within it to send deputies 
to the General Court of October 9, 1662. All but New 
Haven, Branford, and Milford accepted. Milford wished 
to join the Connecticut Colony, but New Haven and Bran- 
ford bitterly opposed the union. The Reverend Davenport 
of New Haven and the Reverend Pierson of Branford were 
"jealous that a union would mar the purity, order, and the 
beauty of their churches and have an ill influence on the civil 
administration," and used all the power at their command 
to block the proposed consolidation. 

Officially, New Haven still had jurisdiction over all the 
seceding towns and resisted the Connecticut claims to them. 
The struggle that ensued lasted almost two years. When 
Robert Treat was elected magistrate from Milford to the 
New Haven General Court on May 25, 1664, ne refused 
the office because he was in favor of union with Connecticut. 
On March 12, 1664, King Charles granted his brother, the 
Duke of York, all the recently acquired Dutch settlement at 
New Amsterdam and most of the territory involved in the 
dispute between Connecticut and New Haven. On July 20, 

3i 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

1664, four royal commissioners with extraordinary powers 
arrived in Boston to inquire into the affairs of the New En- 
gland Colonies, threatening their self-government. 

New Haven and Branford still held out against the union 
with Connecticut which would have strengthened both 
colonies in any resistance to royal encroachments. At this 
point Milford grew impatient at the delay and, through 
the efforts of Benjamin Fenn and Robert Treat, severed all 
ties with the New Haven Colony and united separately with 
Connecticut. After months of further negotiations between 
New Haven and Connecticut, the differences of the two 
colonies were finally adjusted, and on May 11, 1665, New 
Haven gave up its independence and merged with Connecti- 
cut. By this act New Haven abandoned its adherence to 
the principle of absolute union of church and state. The 
ecclesiastical character of civil government was modified. 
Property rather than church membership became the basis 
on which the franchise was granted. 



32 



Chapter Three 
MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

i 666-1 783 

Milford in 1666 was an extensive township stretching 
nearly fourteen miles north of Long Island Sound, but with 
the community center still behind the palisades. Dwellings 
sprawled along the banks of the Wepawaug River and West 
End Brook, the little church sheltered a goodly multitude on 
the Sabbath, and the East Town House served as a public 
school. The town boasted three bridges, many miles of 
rough roads, a tavern, and several commercial establishments 
for preparing grains, hides, timber, and the necessities of life. 
Alongshore, wharves, warehouses, fish pounds, oystermen's 
huts, and heaps of shells testified to the industry of the plant- 
ers who had found treasure in and beyond the sea. 

Dissatisfaction was voiced by some men who had 
not approved of Milford's union with the Connecticut 
Colony, or who were displeased with the division of lands. 
These Milford residents had twice sent Captain Robert 
Treat to New Jersey to negotiate with the Dutch governor 
for a prospective settlement site. Accompanied by Ben- 
jamin Fenn and Deacon Gunn, the Captain was taken on 
a tour of inspection on the Governor's private barge to 
examine the harbor now known as Newark Bay. In the 
spring of 1 666 Captain Treat and thirty pioneers from Mil- 
ford, Connecticut, sailed into the Passaic River and settled 
at Four Corners, later called Milford. The Yankees bought 
practically all of the lands now included in Essex County 

33 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

by giving the Indians 50 double hands of powder, 100 bars 
of lead, 20 axes, 20 coats, 10 guns, 20 pistols, 10 kettles, 
10 swords, 4 blankets, 4 barrels of beer, 10 pairs of breeches, 
50 knives, 20 horses, 1,850 fathoms of wampum, 6 ankers 
of liquor, and 3 troopers' coats. Milford, New Jersey, was 
christened Newark in 1 667, in honor of the English home of 
the Reverend Abraham Pierson, of Branford, who was the 
spiritual leader of the party. 

Robert Treat was the prime mover, not only in the found- 
ing of Newark but also in all phases of its early develop- 
ment. He played a leading role in the life of the town until 
1672, when he returned to Milford where he had retained 
his property. Several of his children remained in Newark 
and took a prominent part in the affairs of that community. 
A statue of Treat, erected by that city, stands on his original 
homelot there. 

Before his departure for Newark, Robert Treat had 
served Milford in many capacities — as its first surveyor, 
one of the five judges, captain of the train band, deputy to 
the General Court at New Haven, and later as magistrate 
of the Colony. When Winthrop secured a charter for 
Connecticut from Charles II in 1662, Treat, whose father 
and brothers-in-law were named as patentees, vigorously 
advocated the union of New Haven with Connecticut 
and refused election to the General Court at New Haven. 
After his return to Connecticut from Newark he was again 
active in Milford affairs and became one of the most distin- 
guished men of the Colony. Appointed a major in the 
colonial militia in 1 670 and a colonel in 1 674, Treat was in 
command of the Connecticut forces in King Philip's War, 
and was second in command of all New England troops. 
His forced marches, resulting in timely arrivals at Spring- 
field and Hadley, turned rout to victory and are credited 
with having saved those towns from destruction. At the 

34 



•ROBERT TREAT- 

THE DOMMNI^PmmiN THiSETTlEHE^TOFNEWARKlNieee 
I CHOSE THIS Sitt FOR HIS.HOME: 

IN RECOGNITION OF HIS SERVICES . 
! '^NEIGHBOURS FROM M1LF :LY GAVEWAY 

| THAT CAPTAIN ROBERT/ TREAT SROULD CHUSE EIGHT 

ACRES FOR MS HOME LOTT: 
r HE'WASTOWN MAGISTRATOHEmRSTTOWNCCLERK, 
ONE OF THE TWO DEPUTIES TO TRE PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLY, 
i AND IN THE GENERAL AFFAIRS OF THE YOUNG 
, SETTLEMENTS FOUNDATION BECAME AJRUSTF.&LEADER . 
" IN 1672 HE RETURNED TO CONNECTICUT 
AND LATER WON HONOUR ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE 
IN'KIKG PHILIPS WAR. HE WAS GOVERNOR FOR THIRTEEN 
YEARS AND WAS ONE OF THAT DAUNTLESS COMPANY'WRO 

REFUSED TO SURRENDER THE COLONY* CHARTER 
: AND CONCEAL:; ,' THE CHARTER OAR.; - ■ 

IN A LARGE DEGREE IT. WAS HIS WISDOM IN COUNSEL 
: : AND FORCEFULNESS IN ADMINISTRATION 
: ; : THAT MADE THE TOWN ON THE PESAYACK" 
S THE WORTHY FORERUNNERS OFTHE GREATER NEWARK ; 



■■■-:■•;. ••■- . ERECTED BY. ::->■.:. ; ' ' 

;. the scsooi;men:s cub ■■■'•.■; . 

ASSISTED BY THJ ?U?US OF ~m-. sfiWARK ?VS'-;C SCHOOLS ■ " 
'SEWASK:DAY..KO.V.£f5BER'.4:.l : S*U .' ' .\ '; 



Robert Treat Tablet 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

Great Swamp Fight near Kingston, Rhode Island, where 
3,500 Narragansett warriors were concentrated within the 
Indian fort, Treat's men assisted by Mohegan Indians gained 
entrance to the fort from the rear, opening the way for the 
assault of the Colonial troops. Of the 4,000 warriors and 
squaws within the fort only 200 survived. 

Thereafter Treat served the Colony as governor and 
deputy governor for a period of thirty-two years. While 
governor, his tactful and shrewd delays and evasions of 
Andros' demands helped to preserve Connecticut's rights. 
When the impatient British Governor-General finally ar- 
rived at Hartford to demand that the charter be surrendered, 
it was Treat who courteously pleaded at such length that 
darkness fell, giving his associates an opportunity to extin- 
guish the candles and whisk away the charter. 

Despite his occupation with colony affairs, Treat was con- 
tinually relied upon for guidance by his townspeople. He 
was frequently called upon to act as executor, trustee or 
appraiser and his name appears on the majority of land 
records between 1672 and 1700. Again and again he was 
called upon to settle boundary disputes between various 
towns and asked to arbitrate between ministers and dissatis- 
fied parishioners. Robert Treat died July 12, 1710, and is 
buried in the Milford cemetery. 

The Indian fort on the Housatonic, which had been at- 
tacked by the Mohawks in 1648, was burned down by boys 
in 1 67 1. This wanton destruction angered the friendly 
Milford Indians, who protested to Benjamin Fenn and 
Robert Treat asking for redress. The guilty boys were ar- 
rested and fined ten pounds in the General Court at New 
Haven. The Indians rebuilt the fort, complained that as 
they had sold all of their lands they had no place to live and 
to hunt, and asked the white men to set aside a place for 
them. One hundred acres at Turkey Hill, in the western 

35 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

part of North Milford, on the Housatonic River, were 
thereupon reserved for the exclusive use of the Indians. 
Ephraim Strong, Esq., Joseph Woodruff, Esq., and Colonel 
Benjamin Fenn were appointed to look after the land and 
to see that it was not encroached upon by outsiders. 

Milford's part in the Indian wars was slight, but the 
train band was kept in fighting trim to meet possible attack 
and to furnish aid to other colonies when called for. Com- 
pulsory military training was enforced by means of numerous 
fines and penalties. Many men found that the drilling in- 
terfered with other occupations and would gladly have 
evaded the irksome duty. 

Though none of the battles of King Philip's War in 
1675 were fought in Milford territory, Milford men were 
mustered in the Connecticut quota. Following this war the 
townspeople ceased to feel the need of palisades, and Mil- 
ford had little trouble with the Indians until 1700, when 
two houses were fortified — Prudden's house in the cen- 
ter of the town and George Clark's house in the West End. 
The settlers on BurwelPs Farms had "liberty to fortify a 
place among themselves." On March 15, 1704, the Gen- 
eral Court in New Haven passed the following ordinance: 

It is ordered and enacted by this court that the civill 
and military commission officers of each town shall 
take all due care concerning the friend Indians be- 
longing to their towns, and assign them their limitts 
to the intent that none of them be exposed or the 
enemies escape under the pretense of being friends 
and that the said officers do strictly charge said friend 
Indians not to move out of their respective limitts or 
bounds assigned them without order in writing under 
the hands of such officers as they tender their own 
safety and at their perill and all friend Indians are 
hereby forbidden to hold any communication with or 
harbor or conceal any of the enemy Indians, requiring 

36 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

them to seize and secure all such as may come among 
them, and to deliver them up to justice, and for their 
encouragement they shall have ten pounds for every 
enemy Indian they shall so seize and deliver up. 

In May of the same year the Court decreed that 

For the encouragement of our forces, gone or going 
against the enemy, this court will allow out of the 
publick treasury, the sum of five pounds for every 
man's scalp of the enemy killed in this Collony, to 
be paid to the person that does the service over and 
above his or their wages and the plunder taken by 
them. 

When Captain Kidd, the pirate, cruised up Long Island 
Sound in 1699, according to legend he put in at Milford at 
about seven o'clock one evening, strode up the street, and 
boldly kissed a young lady. A letter found in the garret of 
one of Milford's oldest houses records this unexpected visit. 

^y Aunt Prudence has told you of the visit from Capt. 
Kidd, from the craft wh. was seen to come in the har- 
bour at 7 of the clock in the evening. He stayed in 
the house till in the early morning and sat all the 
night by the fire with Jacobeth and Thomas Welsh 
carrying himself in an uncivil and bold manner. I 
told Aunt Prudence that he will come to trouble in 
the sinful way, wh. he has done, — for Zachariah Whit- 
man has told us all about him. I asked Jacobeth the 
next day if that Robert Kidd was to come in the 
town of Milford any more — for noe one will have 
him in this plantation. I want to tell you, cousin 
Thankful, what he did: when he came in the room 
he put his arms about my waiste, and kyssed me, wh. 
made Jacobeth laugh and Thomas Welsh cough. 
Jacobeth says that Capt. Bob is not so bad as the 
folks say, and that he was a little wild. But Aunt 
Prudence will not hear any good word spoken of him 
whatsoever, and has told Thomas Welsh what she 

37 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

heard about him. I overheard Jacobeth say that 
Kidd was going on a long cruise, and that he had left 
some things with him. I am going to tell Aunt Pru- 
dence all about it, and find out what they are. . . . 
Your cousin, Patience Tuttle. 

During the last quarter of the seventeenth century and 
to the end of. the colonial period, Milford was still 
primarily an agricultural community. The thrifty Milford 
farmers had horses, cattle, pork, beef, mutton, flour, and 
corn meal, as well as furs obtained in Indian trade, barrel 
and pipe staves and fish to ship away in exchange for sugar, 
rum, and molasses from the West Indies, manufactured 
goods from England, and wines from France. The well- 
protected harbor was navigable for the good-sized vessels 
which tied up at the wharf to load and unload. 

The need for ships in which to carry these goods made 
Milford a busy shipbuilding port. The first shipyard was 
built just east of Fowler's Mill, where the sloping banks 
provided a suitable place for building and launching. An- 
other shipyard was later established between Factory Lane 
and the present Town Wharf, and still another on the banks 
of the Housatonic River near the ferry at the foot of 
Oronoque Road. 

The first ship on record to be built and launched in Mil- 
ford was a 150-ton brig, constructed for Richard Bryan 
in 1690 by Bethuel Langstaff. In 1695 Langstaff built 
a brig for Elisha Bennill of Boston. Richard Bryan added 
another vessel, the Sea flower, to his fleet in 171 7. 

From that time until 1820 many ocean-going and coast- 
wise ships were constructed for Milford, New York, and Bos- 
ton traders. In 1762 the Sarah Ann, a 35-ton schooner, was 
built and launched by Jonas Green, captain and owner. The 
57-ton sloop Sea flower and the 20-ton schooner Nancy built 
and launched in 1763, the 45-ton schooner Easter which slid 

38 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

down the ways in the local shipyard in 1764, the 18 -ton 
sloop Betsey, and the 18 -ton sloop Sea flower, all belong on 
the list of ships known to have been built and launched in 
Milford. During this period more than forty vessels, most of 
which were Milford-built, were owned and sailed by Milford 
skippers. 

Interest in shipbuilding brought about an early attempt at 
conservation of Milford's natural resources. The timber 
used in the construction of the vessels was cut in the sur- 
rounding forests. To protect the supply the town voted on 
March 2, 1696, to prohibit 

... all and every man from getting any sort of 
timber usefull for the building of any sort of boats 
or vessells fitt to goe to sea in, without the consent of 
the town or the major part of the sellectmen of the 
town, . . . this above order not to extend to those 
vessels upon the stocks. 

Richard Bryan and William East, business partners, both 
with warehouses on Dock Lane, still held their positions as 
the town's leading merchants. They owned two brigs and 
a sloop making regular trips to Boston and the West Indies. 
Business prosperity attracted new merchants, among them 
John Maltbee. In 1696 Mungo Nesbitt made application 
to become a resident of the town, was accepted, settled here 
and opened a trading business with New York. In 1714 
Samuel Clark purchased Richard Bryan's warehouse, and 
continued to carry on the business. Peter Pierett, a wealthy 
Huguenot, built a wharf on the site of the present town 
wharf about 1730, and a few years later gave it to the town 
with the provision that it be kept in repair. One of his 
vessels returning from Bordeaux with a cargo of wine was 
wrecked in Fisher's Island Sound. This is the only record 
of a vessel lost by a Milford merchant, although a number 
of seafaring men who sailed from Milford lost their lives 

39 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

at sea. Another merchant, John Gibbs, opened a commercial 
trade with Holland in 1 73 1 . 

One of the adventurous spirits of this period was Peter 
Pond, born in Milford on January 18, 1740. He early 
listened to the song of the bugles when in 1756 a few 
British survivors of Braddock's unfortunate adventure were 
quartered in the village and recruited colonials for the expe- 
dition against Crown Point. Young Pond enlisted, received 
a regimental coat, bounty money, and was forbidden to ap- 
pear at his home again. Fortified by gingerbread and small 
beer, the young adventurer left for the Lake George and 
Champlain country by way of the Hudson Valley, cam- 
paigned for a year, experienced severe hardships, and re- 
turned to Milford in 1757. Again in 1758 some 18,000 
British and provincial troops were in the field against Ticon- 
deroga, and Peter Pond signed on for the campaign and 
fought French and Indians with the ferocity of a trained 
frontiersman. He was present at the slaughter of one war 
party of five hundred Frenchmen, witnessed the defeat of 
the British by an inferior force, but survived the disastrous 
campaign and returned to Milford. In 1759 another expe- 
dition against Fort Niagara was recruited; no Connecticut 
troops were included, but Pond repaired to Long Island and 
enlisted with the New York contingent. After this cam- 
paign the lad again returned to Milford where he passed the 
winter. 

Veteran Pond received a commission in 1760 and 
joined the army at Oswego under General Amherst. The 
following year the adventurer made a voyage to the West 
Indies, returning to Milford to find that his father had gone 
to Detroit on a trading expedition and that his mother had 
died of a fever. For three years Pond remained in the little 
village, the only three years that he had spent in one place 
since his sixteenth birthday. Restlessness and desire for ad- 

40 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

venture again possessing him, he went to Detroit, traded for 
six years in many parts of the country, fought a duel, went 
into the West Indies trade, shipped up the Mississippi and 
the Missouri, traded in the Great Lakes region, and retraced 
his steps back to Lake Champlain and Montreal. Trader, 
organizer, explorer, Peter Pond's formation of a pool with 
Henry Cadotte and Joseph and Henry Frobisher in 1783 
was his greatest exploit. This pool was the initial unit of 
the powerful Northwest Fur Company, comparable to the 
East India Company in financial strength and influence. 
Pond left the pool in 17875 the Hudson Bay Company 
absorbed the Northwest Fur Company in 1824. Peter Pond 
died March 6, 1 807. 

Together with trading and shipbuilding, other business 
activities in Milford expanded and became more varied until 
weaving and fulling of cloth, tanning of hides, brewing, 
harness-making, tailoring, building, blacksmithing, and coop- 
ering were among the well-established industries. 

To meet growing needs, on September 29, 1674, the 
town authorized the building of new mills. 

It was propounded to the town by Major Treat, Elder 
Buckingham, Lieut. Fowler, and Thomas Hays to 
build a Fulling Mill and Saw mill in the Most Con- 
venient Place near the Island in the Town and to 
have the Liberty to make use of all sorts of timber 
for the use of the Inhabitants of the Town, and that 
if they sell any sawen Timber out of the Timber it 
shall be of Timber taken upon their Own ground or 
purchase of other men — which was Granted to them by 
the Town. 

On May 27, 1689, permission was granted to Timothy 
Baldwin, Captain Samuel Eells, and Samuel Couch to erect 
another fulling mill on Baldwin's property. This mill 
was built on Beaver Brook in the western part of the town, 

4i 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

near the site of the reservoir of The Milford Water Com- 
pany. These fulling mills were necessary because the home- 
spun cloth of the time was loosely woven. The process of 
"fulling" was devised to wash away the grease and to thicken 
the material after weaving. The finished product was much 
superior in appearance and wearing qualities to the rough 
homespun that was produced by the hand looms. 

On December 7, 1702, the town ordered Robert Treat, 
Elder Buckingham, Lieutenant Fowler, and Thomas Hayes 
to erect a gristmill near their fulling mill, and to provide two 
sets of stones, one for English and one for Indian grain, also 
a "good boult" so that the men of the town could bolt their 
own flour. They selected a site at the rear of the town house, 
on the bank of the river. 

On Rose's Mill Road, about a half mile from the New 
Haven Turnpike, on East or Indian River, are the remains 
of a mill that was built in 1707 by John Plumb, Sr. The 
first of several mills built on this site was a gristmill ; in 
authorizing the building of the mill, the town required that 
Plumb complete the structure in twelve months and that 
he build a good causeway over the river "for foot, cart and 
horse, and to be always maintained in good repair." 

Milford's only tide mill was built at the mouth of the 
Indian River just north of the present Gulf Bridge. At a 
meeting of the voters held February 18, 1714, the town 
granted the privilege of using the stream to any inhabitants 
who, within a period of eight days from the date of the vote, 
would sign their names to a copy of the grant. There were 
several provisions embodied in the franchise: the mill to be 
built within twelve months j the cost of erection to be borne 
proportionately by the subscribers ; the grain of Milford 
inhabitants to be ground before that of outsiders ; and any 
damages to the highway or meadows adjoining the Indian 
River to be made good. About forty names were signed to 

42 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

the grant and the mill was erected, but it never was a pay- 
ing investment. 

Oystering did not develop as an industry until about 
1752. In that year some fifty oystermen lived through the 
winter at Milford Point in small huts banked with seaweed. 
The industry was considered of sufficient importance for the 
town to pass a law in 1763 which imposed a penalty of one 
pound, "lawful money," on anyone taking oysters from Mil- 
ford waters between April and September. Those who were 
sick, however, were permitted to take oysters out of season, 
provided they obtained special permission to do so from a 
committee appointed to enforce the oyster laws. In 1767 
the fine for taking oysters out of season was raised to five 
pounds, and at the same time the use of a rake or tongs was 
made unlawful. In 1768 the exclusive right to plant and 
take oysters in a limited area in Indian River was granted to 
"certain persons." 

Fishing, especially in the Housatonic River, was an in- 
dustry of importance. A dispute between Stratford and Mil- 
ford over fishing rights in the Housatonic River was carried 
to the General Assembly in 1768, when Milford petitioned 
the Assembly to grant a certain section of the river for a fish- 
ing place to Israel Curtiss and others. 

Milford did not differ much from the rest of New En- 
gland in its attitude toward hired labor. There were a few 
negro slaves, and some indentured servants — persons who 
sold their services for a period of years, usually for passage 
money from England ; but these two sources of cheap labor 
were never used as generally in New England as in the 
southern colonies. Marked class distinctions were not notice- 
able j everybody worked, and the social life of the town was 
democratic. Labor was scarce and wages relatively high. 
The housework was done by the women of the family, and 
farming by the landowners and their families. 

43 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Milford grew rapidly during the latter part of the seven- 
teenth century. Prior to 1666 only the Deacon George 
Clark house had been built outside the palisades. Others 
soon followed Deacon Clark's example. Samuel and Nathan 
Burwell, in 1690, started the settlement known as Burwell's 
Farms 5 in 1700 Richard Bryan, Jr., settled in North Mil- 
ford, beginning a settlement that for years was called Bryan's 
Farms j in 1705 Joseph Wheeler settled to the north in the 
district still known as Wheeler's Farms. The town popula- 
tion had increased to about 800 by the beginning of the 
eighteenth century, and was 1,633 m r 75^- 

One of the old houses still remaining in Milford was 
built in 1750 by Garitt DeWitt, a rich merchant of Dutch 
extraction, who was so confident that the town would "build 
up" rapidly that he refused to put windows on one side, 
because he thought that "soon his neighbors' dwellings 
would close up the view." A line on an attic window pane 
of this house reads: "Patty Pond made a hoop-skirt in this 
room, 1782." 

The East Town House or Town Hall, built in 1645, 
had become so dilapidated after eighty-nine years of service 
that a new and larger hall was erected in 1734. According 
to tradition, one night in the winter of 1757-8, when British 
soldiers were drinking and carousing in the building it 
caught fire and burned to the ground. The British govern- 
ment paid an indemnity of fifty pounds, and the money was 
applied toward constructing a new town house, the third in 
the history of the village. A town record of December 10, 
1759, tells the story: 

The Town agreed and voated to lay out the fifty 
pounds granted by the Government to buld a Town 
House. 

The town agreed and voated that Mr. John Harpin 
Junr Should buld the Town house so far as the above 

44 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

sd fifty Pounds Shall go. Mr. Harpin is to have no 
reward for his Troble. 

Agreed and voated that Mr. Robert Treat & Capt 
Joseph Woodruff should be a Committee to direct 
Mr. Harpin in the bulding of the Town house & to 
inspect his Acounpts and to curtail the Same if they 
think them to be Unreasonable. 

Three new taverns were licensed during this period. John 
Camp opened the second "ordinary" in 1705 in a building 
on West Town Street. On the corner of West Main and 
High Streets stands an old house, gray from exposure to the 
weather and almost hidden from view by the large trees 
that fill the yard, which is credited with being the third 
tavern or "ordinary" in Milford, opened by Samuel Miles in 
171 0. Ini76i Peter Hepburn, ferryman, was granted the 
right to keep a public house and tavern at the ferry. From 
that time until the building of the present Washington 
Bridge in 191 9, there was always a tavern at that location. 

With town expansion came a demand for more bridges 
and roads. One over the Wepawaug was built in 1723. 
The town voted, December 9, 1723, "that there shall be a 
cart bridge over the pond from the point of land by John 
Fowlers to Samuel Oviatts." According to Lambert this 
bridge was located a short distance to the south of the Epis- 
copal Church, crossing the river to a point called Blue Rock. 

Construction of two bridges, one over the Mill River and 
the other over the East River, was voted December 10, 
1764. 

The Town agreed and voated that they wold have 
a Bridge bult ove the Mill River in the parrish of 
Amity in the Country Road from New Haven to 
Derby below Major Allins Saw Mill provided these 
Conditions be fulfiled that Major Allen Give the 
Sawing all the plancks for sd bridg and that sume 

45 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

other person or persons Give all the timber for sd 
bridg and do the work of sd bridg by Highway 
Worke. 

Further attention was given to the need for bridges in 
January, 1768: 

Agreed and voated by the Town that the Serveyers 
Should buld a bridg a crosse the Guile that runs be- 
tween the bridg against Capt Fenns and the Lain by 
Jehiel Bryans in the Most Convienant place. 

Agreed and voated by the Town that they would have 
a foot Bridg bilt a crosse the River against the House 
formerly belonging to John Baldwins in the Most 
Convenient Place. 

A new layout of the road from BurwelPs Farms to 
Oyster River, "right where the path now goeth toward 
Oyster River," was ordered in 1750. In 1756 the selectmen 
were ordered, "with others to assist," to lay out a highway 
to the Oyster Banks at Stratford Point (Poconoc or Milford 
Point) at the mouth of the Stratford or Housatonic River. 

The General Assembly, in October, 1723, granted 
Zachariah Baldwin of Oronoque, in the township of Strat- 
ford, "liberty to set up a ferry at the said Oronoque, being 
about four miles northward of the ferry called Stratford 
ferry. The fare shall be the same as Stratford Ferry." The 
landing on the Milford side of the river was at the point 
where Oronoque Road goes down to the river bank. 

As early as 1674 the town had taken the first step to- 
ward establishing a ferry house and boat on the Milford side 
of the Milford-Stratford ferry, when it sequestered forty 
acres of land for the purpose. The house was not finished 
until 1 76 1, although repeated attempts were made in the 
intervening years to complete it. On December 10, 1759, 
a tax of a halfpenny on the pound was levied and collected 

46 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

"on all the poles and ratable estates" for "finishing the ferry 
house." 

A boat was provided in 1759, Peter Hepburn being the 
first Milford ferryman. The fare to be charged was set by 
the General Assembly, as follows: "Man, horse and load, 
four pence j led horse, two pence ; footman, two pence j ox 
or neat kine, five pence j hog, one penny j sheep or goat, one 
half penny." 

It was about 1772 that the first New York to Boston 
stagecoach, carrying mail and passengers, stopped at Milford. 
The arrival of the stagecoach and the delivery of the mail at 
the inn was always an important event in the quiet life of 
the town. 

From the earliest days funds for town use had been raised 
by a tax levied in proportion to the property ownership of 
the residents. In addition to taxation, Milford had a novel 
source of public revenue — the profits from a large flock of 
sheep owned by the town. The flock, numbering sometimes 
as many as fifteen hundred, was cared for by hired shepherds 
and pastured on "common land," since sheep-grazing had 
proved ruinous to the pasture lands. To preserve the "com- 
mon land" for cattle grazing, a special allotment two miles 
wide was made on January 11, 1675, as an exclusive pasture 
for the sheep. 

The town records having become worn and fragile after 
ninety-six years of handling, it was decided in 1736 to have 
them transcribed by John Fowler, Town Clerk. The town 
desired that only those things that the clerk "might think 
necessary and proper" be included in the transcript. The 
result was the loss of some records. This may have seemed 
trivial at the time; but these lost records would now be of 
great value to historians. 

A curfew law in 1759 instructed the sexton to toll the 
bell at "nine o'clock o'nights." This local law was adopted 

47 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

because of an act passed by the General Assembly which inv 
posed a severe penalty upon any person found after nine 
o'clock at night in a house where strong drink was sold, and 
a more severe penalty upon the owner of the house. 

Milford women sometimes held town office. In January, 
1768, it was 

Agreed and voated by the Town that the widow 
Rebeckah Clark the profites of that Pound which Leiut. 
George Clark bult in the westend of the Town So 
Long as She Shall Keep the Same in Repare So that 
it answers the End for a pound. 

The first ordinance relating to public health was passed 
in 1774, when smallpox broke out, and a pest-house, 
eighteen by forty feet, was ordered built. 

Whereas the Small Pox is at Present in this Town 
and many persons are with it infectioned and the in- 
habitants are put in great Fear . . . Voted, to keep 
a constant watch around ye infected places at this 
Description and to punish all disorderly persons leav- 
ing without leave first obtained by the Authority of 
Selectmen aforesd. 

Price-fixing to combat profiteering was adopted in 1777. 
Under date of March 27, Milford citizens voted, "that we do 
agree to abide by and Strictly to adhere to the Law of this 
State that Regulates the Prices of the necessaries & Conven- 
iences of Life, & that we will Prosecut every Breech thereof." 

One of the town's problems that steadily became more 
important was provision for a school system. As early as 
1696 an appropriation of thirty pounds was made from the 
treasury to support a school the entire year. The matter was 
left in the hands of the selectmen who were instructed to 
provide an able teacher. As the existing schools taught only 
the rudiments, a desire for more advanced instruction led 

48 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

the town on December 27, 1697, t0 appropriate thirty-five 
pounds 

... to maintain a Latin School if it can be attained 
and the matter of a school and the providing of a 
school master is left to the Selectmen to act therein 
on the advice of the Honorable Governor and the 
Revd. Mr. Samuel Andrew and to see that the school 
is daily attended by a good master and by scholars 
that need learning. 

Expansion to the westward by 1699 made necessary a 
school in the west end. The schoolhouse was erected on 
Beaver Road west of the present site of the Seven Gables 
Inn. The school in the east end, or the center of the town, 
was maintained throughout the year and the one in the west 
end during the winter months only. On December 29, 
171 8, it was voted to keep the two schools three winter 
months only, for that year. 

During 1748 a petition was presented by Josiah Piatt, 
John Merwin, and other residents of the section called East 
Farms or Burwell's Farms, which "prayed for a part of the 
school money." After lengthy discussion at a town meet- 
ing, the petition was granted "provided that the same be 
used for the schooling of children." 

The Colonial Assembly early assumed partial respon- 
sibility for providing adequate schools for all Connecticut. 
In 1700 the Assembly passed a law that the constables in 
each town were to collect a special school tax. They appar- 
ently had difficulty in collecting, because on May 11, 1711, 
the Assembly provided that the above amount was to be 
paid to the towns out of the Colonial Treasury. On Decem- 
ber 10, 1750, it was 

Agreed and Granted by the Town that if the money 
granted by the Generall Assembly to the Town for 
the support & maintenance of a sufficient School, in 

49 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

the Town with the forty shillings raised upon Every 
Thousand pounds in the Grand levy falls short in sup- 
porting and maintaining sufficient schools in the Town, 
that the Remainder thereof shall be paid out of the 
Town Treasury j always Provided that such a part of 
the money as shall be raised on any of the poles and 
ratiable estates of any of the Inhabitants Either in the 
Parish of Amity, and the Bryans Farms, and Burwells 
Farms & the whelers Farms by any rate or rates & 
shall be by the School Committee in the Town, shall 
be Returned and Delivered to such Committee as shall 
be by Either of the Farms appointed to receive their 
proportion in each & Every of sd Farms if they do 
keep a school among them. 

This item indicates that a common school was maintained in 
each of the districts by the year 1750. 

In 1766 four schools were maintained in Milford during 
the "winter season." On December 8 of that year an addi- 
tional appropriation was favored: 

Granted by the Town a Rate of one farthing on the 
pound to be aded to the Town Rate and Gathered 
by the Same Collector and to be Drawn out by the 
Schools Committee and Improved for the use of the 
Schools as the publick Money was before. 

The Reverend Samuel Andrew, a Harvard graduate and 
the third pastor of the First Church of Milford, found his 
flock divided and distracted when he arrived in 1685, but he 
soon united the various factions and served with distinction 
until his death on January 24, 1738. A town meeting of 
March 4, 1685, granted the pastor thirty-two acres of land as 
an inducement to settle in the parish, and also provided an 
initial salary of one hundred pounds, two-thirds in provisions. 
Reverend Andrew was one of the original projectors, found- 
ers, and trustees of Yale College, and served as rector pro 

50 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

tempore of the institution from 1707 until 1719. To assure 
personal supervision and instruction by this learned gentle- 
man, the senior class of Yale College removed to Milford 
until a permanent rector was installed at New Haven. 

The town still regulated many church affairs. The 
records are filled with items relating to such matters as allot- 
ment of land for the preacher's use, appropriation of money 
for his salary, tax assessments for church repairs and altera- 
tions, and penalties imposed for such offenses as changing 
one's seat in church. 

The seating capacity of the meeting-house, erected in 
1 64 1, had been enlarged by the addition of galleries, but by 
1727 it was no longer large enough to accommodate the 
congregation. In 1728, therefore, a new, larger church was 
built, eighty-four by fifty-four feet, and three stories high, 
with a tower and spire ninety feet high. A tax of seven 
pence on the pound was voted to defray the expenses of 
building the church j the profits from the town's flock of 
sheep were also used for this purpose. In 1729 the tax rate 
was raised to nine pence on the pound. 

About 1740 the original bell placed in the new First 
Church cracked j in 1742 it was replaced by one weighing six 
hundred pounds, the old bell being accepted by the foundry 
as part payment. The old bell was brazed and sold to a society 
in Waterbury; later it hung in the belfry of the church at 
Salem Bridge and was considered the best bell in the State. 
Ebenezer Parmelee of Guilford installed a brass-wheeled 
clock in the First Church steeple, but payment for it was 
withheld by the residents for two years, "to determine if it 
was a good one." The clock was finally paid for, persons 
living in Amity not being required to contribute towards its 
cost "on account of the distance they lived from the church 
and could not see the clock anyhow." 

In 1736 the Reverend Samuel Andrew, then eighty 

5i 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

years of age, being somewhat infirm, the congregation wished 
to find a suitable person to act as his assistant. The majority 
of church members were in favor of calling Samuel 
Whittelsey, a tutor at Yale and son of the Reverend Samuel 
Whittelsey, Sr., of Wallingford, but a strong minority op- 
posed him on the ground that he was not evangelical, and 
that he did not preach the gospel but rather a "system of 
morals." They accused Mr. Whittelsey of leaning toward 
the Arminian theory which espoused universal redemption, 
and the belief that man might fall from the state of grace 
but be regenerated by a renewal of faith, whereas the 
Calvinists rigidly adhered to the doctrine of the preserva- 
tion of the saints, total depravity, and irresistible grace. 

The debate over Samuel Whittelsey's ordination created 
such feeling that fists were doubled during the council pro- 
ceedings, which lasted three days and nights. Finally, as 
many influential men, including Jonathan Law, deputy gov- 
ernor, and several ministers of the council, favored 
Whittelsey, a compromise was reached. The minority agreed 
to the ordination with the proviso that they would hear 
him for six months "with view to obtaining satisfac- 
tion with respect to his doctrines and manner of preaching, 
and that, if they did not in that time obtain satisfaction, that 
then the church and town should call and settle another man, 
whom they should choose, as colleague with Mr. Whittelsey 
to preach one-half the time." Samuel Whittelsey was there- 
upon ordained December 9, 1737.* For the time being, the 
minority was placated and "continued to hear Mr. Whittel- 
sey" for nearly two years. Occasionally they asked to have a 
minister of their own selection to preach on the Sabbath, but 
their requests were continually refused. "Becoming more 
fixed in their opinion of his unsoundness," the dissatisfied 
members finally asked Mr. Whittelsey to air their grievances 

* Church Records. Lambert gives November 9, 1738. 

52 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

before the church membership, but he declined. The next 
action is recorded as follows: 

Two of their number waited upon the Reverend As- 
sociation of that County in their session at Durham, 
in May 1 740, for advice and council in their distressed 
and uneasy circumstances, and for answer were told 
that they had no advice to give. Thus did their Rev- 
erend Fathers in the ministry slight them in their dis- 
tressed and afflicted state. 

Another attempt to obtain a more acceptable minister as 
associate to Reverend Whittelsey was made at a town meet- 
ing in December, 1 740, when the town was asked to consider 
the matter and to provide relief. The attempt was unsuccess- 
ful, as Jonathan Law, moderator of the meeting, was not 
pleased with the request and put it aside. The Calvinistic 
group then demanded that the church and town fulfill the 
agreement made at Mr. Whittelsey's ordination. The offi- 
cials declined to act and advised the members that they had 
waited too long before making the request. 

The rebuff was followed by an open break on November 
30, 1 741, when the minority group seceded from the First 
Church, professed belief in the Presbyterian faith, and an- 
nounced their intention of organizing a separate assembly. 
On the first Sunday in December they held their first service 
at the home of George Clark, Jr., and on the last Tuesday 
in January, 1742, appealed to the county court in New 
Haven, where twenty-four Milford men were qualified as 
dissenters under the Connecticut Toleration Act of 1708. A 
few days later fifteen others were qualified. 

The First Church refused to admit their right to form a 
separate society, and peace was not realized for many years. 
Ministers who were invited to preach to the dissenters 
were either fined, imprisoned, or expelled from the town. 
Benajah Case, A. M., a licensed preacher of the gospel in 

53 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Simsbury, who preached to them at the home of George 
Clark, Jr., on January 17, 1742, immediately found 
himself in difficulties. Governor Jonathan Law issued a 
writ for Mr. Case charging him with violating a law of the 
Colony, "An Act for preventing disorders in the public wor- 
ship of God." His trial, which lasted two days, created a 
sensation in the Colony. 

The accused pleaded "Not guilty in the manner and 
form as complained of," and informed the court that in his 
opinion, "he had not been 'disorderly' on the Sabbath, be- 
cause he had not transgressed the Law of his Lord and Mas- 
ter, Jesus Christ — inasmuch as he had not gone beyond the 
commission given by Christ to the faithful preachers of the 
Gospel." The Governor replied that he was not aware that 
the accused or anyone else had a commission to preach the 
gospel before being ordained, and advised Mr. Case that he 
was not on trial for violating the laws of Christ, but the Law 
of the Colony. Warning Mr. Case to "keep to the point," 
Governor Law said, "Your business is to prove the place 
where the meeting was attended to be a lawful place for such 
a meeting." Benajah Case unsuccessfully sought to vindicate 
himself and was sentenced to imprisonment in the county jail. 
Another preacher, George Whitefield, whom the dissenters 
wished to hear, was denied the use of the church by Reverend 
Whittelsey, and conducted service from the doorstone to 
what must have seemed a multitude, for a thousand people 
gathered to hear him. 

"Presbyterians" were forced to contribute to the support 
of the First Church until released by the General Assembly 
in 1750. Not until 1760, when men of more liberal views 
became members of the Assembly, were the dissenters rec- 
ognized as a legal society vested with the privileges enjoyed 
by other ecclesiastical societies. 

The new society built a meeting-house in 1743, but had 

54 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

no regular preacher until May, 1747, when the Reverend 
Job Prudden, a great-grandson of the Reverend Peter 
Prudden, became its minister. He served the Second Church 
for twenty-seven years, until his death in 1774. 

The Episcopal Church in Milford was formally organ- 
ized and established in 1764. Services had been held 
intermittently since 1736 by missionaries from the Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel. Dr. Samuel Johnson, 
of Stratford, the father of the Episcopal Church in New 
England, commenced holding services in 1737 at the various 
homes of the parishioners. Dr. Johnson left Stratford in 
1754 to accept the presidency of King's College (Columbia) 
in New York, then recently chartered by royal grant. He 
held this position until 1763 when he returned to Stratford. 
During his absence Milford was served by various other mis- 
sionaries. Donations of money, land, and materials, led to 
the erection of a church building in 1770; it was consecrated 
in 1775 as St. George's in honor of St. George Talbot, the 
principal donor of money. The following year, 1776, Dr. 
Johnson became the rector, preaching both at Stratford and 
Milford. By this time a more liberal attitude toward reli- 
gion prevailed in New England, with the establishment of 
a new church society being taken much as a matter of course. 

The first library in Milford, established in 1745, be- 
longed to the First Church and was made up of books of 
sermons, copies of the "Saybrook Platform," a few books of 
travel, fewer of history, and still fewer of philosophy. The 
library was considered of such value and importance that 
everyone using the books was required to give a bond of 10 
pounds as security. 

Members of the Second or Plymouth Church established 
a second library in Milford in March, 1761, the "Associate 
Library," which was in existence until 1820. Like those of 
the First Church Library, the books were largely theological. 

55 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

In 1685 Milford received a patent from Robert Treat, 
Governor of the Colony, confirming the title of the town to 
all the land within the boundaries of Milford. The Con- 
necticut Charter, received from Charles II in 1662, had 
confirmed by royal grant the territorial rights of the Colony 
as a whole, but title to the lands held by the towns was 
based solely upon purchases from the Indians. When the 
Dominion of New England was established in 1685, and 
was placed under Governor Edmund Andros, threatening 
Connecticut with the loss of its charter, Governor Treat 
granted patents to all the towns in the Colony in order to 
safeguard their titles. Following Milford's receipt of its 
patent, a vote on January 3, 1686, confirmed and legalized 
all land grants made to individuals. 

To settle a boundary dispute with Derby, Milford pur- 
chased, on the 17th of June, 1685, a narrow tract, about a 
mile and a third in width, extending northward about six 
miles, from the path between New Haven and Derby, and 
bounded on the north by Bladen's Brook. 

On February 29, 1700, more land was bought. This ad- 
dition, commonly called the "Two-Bit Purchase," was of a 
narrow strip, about a mile and a third wide, extending in a 
northerly direction, bounded on the south by Bladen's Brook 
and on the north by Lebanon Brook. Lebanon Brook is 
just south of Beacon Falls and flows into the Naugatuck 
River. Still another purchase, commonly called the "One- 
Bit Purchase," was made on the 23rd of February, 1702, 
extending north to Beacon Hill River at the Waterbury line. 
This tract was the same width as the two previous purchases, 
about one mile and a third, and was the last purchase of land 
within the patent bounds of the town. 

The "Two-Bit Purchase" and the "One-Bit Purchase" 
differed from earlier acquisitions in that the purchase money 
was raised by voluntary subscription. Although the town 

56 




Imui 



GROWTH OF COMMUNITIES FORMED OUT OF 
PARTS OF MILFORD TERRITORY 

Boundary of Milford at its greatest extent, 

1703-1784. 

1. One Bit Purchase. Divided in 1769. 

2. Two Bit Purchase. Divided in 1728. 

3. Northrup's Farms, nucleus of Woodbridge. 

4. Bryan's Farms, nucleus of Orange. 

5. Wheeler's Farms. 

6. Merwin's Farms \ Nucleus of the 

7. BurwelPs Farms J Borough of Woodmont. 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

authorized the transactions, ownership and control remained 
with the proprietors — that is, those who had subscribed the 
necessary funds. 

The purchases of 1 700 and 1 702 having added territory 
not included in the patent of 1685, a committee, headed by 
Jonathan Law, was appointed, to draw up a new patent to 
confirm title to all lands then within the bounds of the town 
and to give the name of each landowner. The new patent 
dated May 22, 171 3, was signed by Gurdon Saltonstall, 
Governor, and Abraham Wyllys, Secretary. The names of 
235 freeholders or proprietors were attached. 

In 1703 Colonel Robert Treat, with representatives of 
in Milford persons, had secured a patent to 84 square miles 
of New Haven County land at Weantinogue (Weantinock) 
at the surprising low cost of eight mills per acre. This 
area, together with Bridgewater and parts of Brookfield and 
New Preston, became the present town of New Milford, 
and received its name in October, 1703. The first set- 
tler, John Noble, came into the region from Massachusetts 
in 1 707 j the first town meeting was held in 1713 (a year 
after incorporation), all meetings prior to 171 5 being 
held in Milford. Although the names of many Milford 
people are prominent in town affairs, only two Milford 
planters, Samuel Prindle and Isaiah Bartlett, were first set- 
tlers within the limits of New Milford plantation, an area 
that enjoys the distinction of being Connecticut's largest 
township. 

New Milford, Pennsylvania, and Talmadge, Ohio, were 
settled largely by Milford pioneers, while many went to 
Greenwich, Durham, Newtown, and Watertown in Connect- 
icut. Milford was also to contribute land as well as settlers 
to Woodbridge, Bethany, Orange, Derby, Seymour, and An- 
sonia townships. 

With the growth of Milford and of the neighboring 

57 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

towns, disputes over boundaries arose. The boundary lines 
given on Indian deeds were vague, and as a result claims 
often overlapped. Milford became involved in disputes with 
both New Haven and Derby. 

Three great chestnut trees formed a disputed corner 
boundary monument between New Haven and Milford 
townships; legend has it that these trees were known as the 
"Three Brothers." The area in dispute was supposed to be 
haunted by evil spirits. The quarrel was carried to the 
Governor of the Colony of Connecticut for adjustment, but a 
satisfactory decision was not rendered. The townsfolk there- 
upon agreed to settle their differences by physical combat. 
Elimination contests were held to determine the town cham- 
pionships in 1673, and the two champions battled beneath 
the "Three Brothers" from ten o'clock until sundown. The 
contest was even. Both towns agreed to include the chest- 
nuts in their land descriptions. As this area from time 
to time came under the jurisdiction of nine different town- 
ships in the interchange of lands, the "Three Brothers" were 
as famous in Milford and New Haven as the "Washington 
Elm" in Wethersfield. The dispute with New Haven was 
finally settled and the boundaries agreed upon in 1674. Not 
until after several years of fruitless negotiation, however, 
was an agreement reached on the Milford-Derby boundary, 
the marks being set up in 171 9. 

In the dispute between Connecticut and New York over 
the boundary line, Jonathan Law, born in Milford in 1674, 
and educated at Harvard College, was a member of every 
commission named by Connecticut from the opening of the 
dispute in 1713 until the settlement in 1731. He was the 
only member continuously appointed. Law gave public ser- 
vice to the town in many capacities. He was in turn Clerk 
of the House, Judge of the County Court, Judge of the Su- 
perior Court, Chief Justice of the Superior Court for seven- 

58 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

teen years, and was made Governor of the Colony in 1742. 
He died in office November 6, 1 750, at the age of seventy-six, 
having established an outstanding reputation as a counselor- 
at-law. 

At the outset of the struggle for independence from 
Great Britain, Milford gave whole-hearted support to the 
measures adopted by the Continental Congress at Philadel- 
phia. A committee of fifteen was chosen to enforce the 
recommendation of the Congress that "foes of the rights of 
British America" be ascertained and their names published, 
"so that they may be shunned and condemned as enemies 
of American Liberty." 

Before the outbreak of hostilities, when the Boston Port 
Bill, enacted by Great Britain as a retaliatory measure to 
punish the colonists for the Boston Tea Party, was causing 
great hardship to the inhabitants of Boston because of the 
complete tie-up of shipping, Milford in the town meeting of 
November 29, 1774, 

Resolved unanimously, that a subscription be forthwith 
opened for the relief and support of such poor inhabi- 
tants of the Town of Boston as are immediate suf- 
ferers by the Boston Port Bill. 

In April, 1775, Captain Peter Pierett of Milford re- 
cruited a company of seventy- three Rangers from Milford 
and surrounding towns and, after the Lexington alarm, 
marched to Boston, where the company engaged in action 
during the siege. The muster rolls show an expenditure of 
one hundred and thirty-eight pounds, eleven shillings, four 
pence, for services rendered by this company of light 
infantry. 

Feeling ran high between "Sons of American Liberty" 
and Tories j townsmen formerly living together as good 
neighbors became bitter enemies. Captain Stephen Stow, 
owner of pew number two in the Episcopal Church, attending 

59 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

service as usual one Sunday in 1776, was so enraged when 
the minister preached a sermon on the subject of "Loyalty 
to the King" that he arose and stalked angrily from the 
church. He never again attended services in that church. 

Milford took an active part in the struggle for inde- 
pendence in contributing men, money, and supplies. The 
town did not escape the occasional raids from Long Island 
organized by Tories, Britishers, and renegades who traded 
with the enemy. Captain Jehiel Bryan and Captain Orlando 
Beach commanded the guard on the shore and they were so 
efficient that the British considered their capture imperative. 
One enemy officer with two men, having rowed across the 
Sound to Milford just at dusk, approached the Bryan home- 
stead. With drawn sword, the raider entered, but upon 
meeting the doughty Captain Bryan in the hall he was so 
thoroughly trounced and shaken that he fled with his men, 
leaving the sword behind. Later, retaliatory fire was di- 
rected on some of the Bryan property near the shore, but 
the British missed their target by a wide margin. The 
sword remains one of the most valued relics of the Revolu- 
tionary War and is still in the possession of one of Captain 
Bryan's descendants, Mrs. B. T. D. Merriman. 

Recruiting troops was started at once. Equipment was 
put in readiness, large guns were brought from New Haven, 
mounted on carriages and put in commission for coast de- 
fense. 

On May 1, 1775, it was 

Voted that the great Gunns be mounted . . . 

Voted that the Gunns be mounted on Trucks 

Voted that the Select Men be a Committee to take 
Care & provide for the mounting the Gunns . . . 

Voted that the Select Men provide powder &c& 
every thing needfull respecting the great Gunns at 
the expence of the Town . . . 

$0 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

Voted that the Select Men provide Guns, Bayonets 
& provisions for such as are called forth for the defence 
of the liberty of America & are unable to provide for 
themselves 

Voted that a Minute Post be Supported in this Town 
at the expense of the Town, to be continued untill next 
monday under the direction of Ct Isaac Miles 

Fort Trumbull was built at West Point and armed by a 
Mr. Herpin, of Milford, who received £95: os. iod. for 
his services on February 1 1, 1776. The garrison at the Mil- 
ford fort consisted of one company of twenty men, com- 
manded by a lieutenant, an ensign, a sergeant, and a corporal. 
Benjamin Hine was appointed ensign. The soldiers-of-the 
line were paid but forty shillings per month. Companies 
of soldiers were also kept at Burwell's Farms and Poconoc 
Point. 

On February 22, 1776, a law against wasting ammuni- 
tion was passed: 

Voted that Whereas at a time when our Sea Coasts 
are threatened with Invasions by our Enemies, a mis- 
use of Powder may prove very prejudicial not only to 
the publick in general but to this Town, therefore Re- 
solved that no Person or Persons whatsoever shall by 
Sporting or Fowling fire away any of that necessary 
Article within the limits of sd Town, upon Penalty of 
one Pound lawful Money for every Offence. The 
one half of sd sum to belong to the Person or Persons 
that shall Prosecute to effect the other half to the 
Treasury of sd Town. 

On August 21, 1776, the town voted, "that the harbour 
of Milford be supplied with six cannon now at New Haven, 
if to be obtained." Under the same date it was voted 

. . . that a Lieutenant, one sergeant and fifteen pri- 
vates be detached from the company under command 

6l 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

of Captain Thomson at Black Rock in New Haven 
and go to Milford and there to assist the inhabitants 
in building a fortification at the harbour in that place j 
and that the Selectmen of Milford have liberty, at the 
expense of said town, to take four of the colony's 
cannon from the furnace at Salisbury, viz; three nine- 
pounders and one twelve-pounder, if such are on hand 
or as soon as they can be obtained, and also one ton of 
shot suitable for said cannon, to be used in said fort till 
further orders from the General Assembly or the Gov- 
ernor and Council. 

Included in the same day's proceedings was an item which 
read: 

Voted and ordered Isaac Doolittle and Co., owners 
of the powder mill at New Haven, to deliver three 
hundred weight of powder into the hands of the 
Selectmen of Milford, taking their receipt to account 
with the Colony for the same. 

Late in the afternoon of January i, 1777, some of Mil- 
ford's residents sighted a British man-of-war, flying a flag 
of truce, putting into harbor in the vicinity of Fort Trum- 
bull. A heavy fog and waning light soon obscured the ves- 
sel from view, and it was never seen again. That same 
evening Captain Isaac Miles, who lived near the shore, heard 
the sound of tramping feet and many voices. He found 
his front yard filled with ragged, shivering men, most of 
them desperately ill. They were prisoners of war who had 
been set ashore from the man-of-war when it was discovered 
that they were sick with small-pox. With no thought for 
his own or his neighbors' safety, Captain Miles made hasty 
arrangements to shelter the men from the intense cold, and 
to give them such medical care as was then available. The 
two-hundred were housed in private residences until the 
town hall could be converted into an emergency hospital. 

62 



MILFORD IN THE CONNECTICUT COLONY 

Captain Stephen Stow, a resident, knowing full well that he 
was endangering his own life, offered to nurse these sick 
men. Dr. Elias Carrington volunteered his services as physi- 
cian. Captain Stow made a will, put his affairs in order, 
bade farewell to his family and friends, and began his task 
of mercy. Within a month he and forty-six of his patients 
had succumbed to the dread disease. The full extent of 
Captain Stow's heroism can be appreciated only when it is 
considered that in 1777 little was known about fighting this 
plague, and its death toll was appalling. After a lapse of 
seventy-five years his heroism was suitably commemorated 
in Milford by a monument erected with funds appropriated 
by the State Legislature. 

Provision for soldiers' families was made on March 27, 
1777, when it was 

Voted that a committee be chosen agreeable to the 
direction of his Honor the Governor and his Commit- 
tee of Safety to provide for the families of those that 
have or shall engage in the Continental Service at the 
prices by law stated, they lodging or remitting money 
for that purpose. 

In 1777 the British vessel Swan accompanied by three 
tenders arrived off Pond Point and landed a foraging party 
of about forty rifles. This hostile force approached the 
home of Miles Merwin in search of cattle and, finding that 
the farmers had driven their livestock away, spent about 
twenty minutes breaking glass, destroying furniture, and 
wrecking the interior of the Merwin house. Mistress Merwin 
ran from the kitchen with a baby under her arm and a copper 
pot in her hand; harnessing a horse, the brave lady drove 
to the village, beating her kettle to sound the alarm. The 
defense force gathered and came so promptly to the rescue 
that the British secured only two hogs and a few cheeses 
from the Merwin buttery. 

63 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

On September 22, 1777, it was "voted that the Select- 
men for the time being be a committee to provide clothing 
for the Continental Soldiers agreeable to the requisition of 
the Governor and his Council of Safety." 

On July n, 1780, it was 

Voted that the Town will give the sum of thirty 
pounds to each able Bodyed Recruit, as an encourage- 
ment, that will Inlist into the Continental Service 
during the War. 

Voted and granted the sum of six Pounds lawful 
Money to each able Bodied Recruit that shall Inlist 
for the Term of six Months into the Service of the 
united States either of the Militia or Troop of Horse. 

Voted and granted the sum of twenty shillings per 
Month lawful Money to those of the Militia, Alarm 
List or Troop of Horse that have been, since the first 
of May, or shall hereafter be called to serve upon 
Tours out of Town. 

Many Long Island patriots came across the Sound to 
reside in Milford during the Revolution ; after the war a few 
Tory refugees from the village removed to Nova Scotia. 
Abraham Carrington of Milford, accompanied by his wife, 
embarked on the ship Union in 1783 for St. John, New 
Brunswick. 



64 



Chapter Four 
THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD 

1783-1848 

"In this place there is but one Church, or in other words 
but one steeple, but there are Grist and Saw Mills, and there 
is a handsome Cascade over the tumbling dams." General 
George Washington thus described Milford in his diary, on 
October 17, 1789. 

"Set out about sunrise and took the upper road to Mil- 
ford it being shorter than the lower one thru West Haven. 
Breakfasted at the former . . . ," the General wrote on No- 
vember 11, 1789. On this occasion President Washington 
asked for a bowl of milk and some bread at Andrew Clark's 
innj the serving maid brought the order and with it a broken 
pewter spoon. Host Clark's service tableware was not satis- 
factory to the distinguished guest, who requested a silver 
spoon. The innkeeper informed the General that the 
humble establishment afforded no such luxury, but that it 
might be possible to borrow a spoon from the household of 
the Reverend William Lockwood, next door. General 
Washington produced two shillings and sent the serving maid 
to get a silver spoon. The girl returned with a piece of 
Mrs. Lockwood's wedding silver. After breakfast the 
President of the United States and General of the Armies 
sent his thanks to the minister's wife and continued his jour- 
ney toward New York. 

65 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Other distinguished travelers passed through Milford 
during the early days of the Federal period. Some paused 
to refresh themselves and to admire the mill dam and the 
little community center. Many took away a pleasant mem- 
ory of their brief visit, but others had cause to complain of 
the meager fare at the taverns, the rough highways, or 
peculiar regulations governing this independent village. 

In the candle-snuffer belfry of the Second Church, the 
tithing man, Samuel Higby, drowsed on a sunny Sabbath 
day. Suddenly he sat bolt upright and through a cloud of 
dust sighted a carriage with postilions and outriders hur- 
riedly approaching from the east. The guardian of the peace 
descended from his observatory and officiously halted the 
party. The gentleman in haste was Aaron Burr, Vice- 
President of the United States, who protested that he had 
business in Philadelphia demanding his immediate attention. 
In reply Higby said that "If the work of a man was of more 
consequence than the work of God, that was one thing ; but he 
did not think so." He therefore sent Burr to the tavern to 
put up until sundown. 

Milford people were ever reverent of the past and slow 
to accept change. A country lad once came down from Litch- 
field County to work for a Milford farmer, hauling grain. 
Along the road, a rock more than a foot in height bounced 
one wheel of the cart so violently that several sheaves of 
grain fell from the load. The lad proposed to the farmer 
that they remove the stone and make the passage smoother. 
"Well," said the farmer, "I'll think of it." After several 
minutes of thought, the farmer told the boy that his father 
had always driven over that rock, and that the removal of 
the stone was unwise. The obstruction remained in the 
wheeltrack. 

During the years immediately following the Revolution- 
ary War, Milford experienced a gradual change and read- 

66 



THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD 

justment in commerce and agriculture. Encouraged by the 
modest success of colonial traders who had prospered in 
coastwise, Caribbean, and European commerce, some busi- 
nessmen sought profit and adventure on the high seas. 
Others turned hopefully toward the development of home 
industries and domestic trade. 

Returning soldiers brought tales of bumper crops raised 
in the heavy loams of rich bottomlands in western New 
York and Pennsylvania. They viewed the limited agricul- 
tural opportunities in Milford with mild displeasure, remem- 
bering broader fields where the fences were of chestnut and 
not of stone, and they prophesied a granary to the west that 
would eventually flood New England with wheat, barley, 
and rye. 

The older residents of Milford, men who owned the 
better lands, listening to these stories, realized that it was 
necessary to replace the trial-and-error method of farming 
by a more efficient system. More agricultural produce was 
being consumed at home by an increasing population. A 
steadier demand for livestock was developing and dairy 
products found a ready market, resulting in a trend toward 
forage crops for dairy and beef animals. Opportunities for 
employment in agriculture, however, decreased as former 
croplands were converted into pasturage and hay fields. 

When the Secretary of State issued reports of the eco- 
nomic status of Connecticut in 1839 an< ^ 1 %4-5i Milford was 
listed as having only 150 men employed in agriculture, 
although the census of 1840 enumerated 2,455 residents in 
the township. These reports likewise stated that livestock, 
especially neat cattle and swine, together with hay, oats, and 
corn for fodder, were Milford's leading agricultural prod- 
ucts. Profits in specialized agriculture were discouraging di- 
versification. Connecticut farm land was increasing in value 
and could no longer be profitably utilized for bulk cropping. 

67 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Connecticut's grain and flour came from the West by way of 
the new Erie Canal. 

Privateersmen and skippers of letter-of-marque vessels, 
returning from the Revolutionary War, brought tales of 
great fortunes made in overseas trade. They had sold prize 
cargoes in Europe and knew the nature of foreign markets. 
Seeking an opportunity to obtain a foothold in commerce, 
they encouraged Milford shipwrights to lay the keels of 
staunch vessels to carry cargo, and secured financial backers. 
Between 1784 and 1824 some fifty ocean-going vessels were 
built and launched in Milford. During the War of 18 12, 
Isaac Jones built privateersmen, and cargo and fighting ships, 
at his Milford shipyards. 

American commerce suffered attacks from both the En- 
glish and French during the Napoleonic Wars, and was seri- 
ously handicapped by the retaliatory measures adopted by the 
United States government culminating in the Embargo Acts 
of 1807 and 1809. The War of 18 12, currency fluctuations, 
and the tariff of 1 8 1 6, dealt successive blows to the shipping 
industry, and Milford suffered with other New England 
ports. The town's romantic shipping era came to a close with 
the failure of Pond, Baldwin & Company in 18 14, the dis- 
astrous bankruptcy of Miles, Strong & Miles in 1821, and 
the closing of Pond, Fowler & Company in 1823. 

Milford seafarers were further discouraged in 1 843 when 
a torrential spring freshet burst several mill dams on the 
Wepawaug River and washed tons of mud, stone, and debris 
into the harbor and anchorage basins. Federal aid for dredg- 
ing the channel was not obtainable, and the task was too 
great for local effort. Wharves and warehouses fell into 
disrepair, and the shipyards turned to the construction of an 
occasional schooner or sloop for oystermen or the fisherfolk 
who netted menhaden for the oil works and the fertilizer 
factory. 

68 



THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD 

Captain Charles Pond, trader, soldier, privateersman, 
and a younger brother of Peter, the "Soldier of Fortune," 
was among the many brave men of Milford who made ship- 
ping history. It was on the sloop Schuyler •, commanded by 
Captain Pond, that Nathan Hale was ferried across Long 
Island Sound to Huntington in 1776 on the secret mission 
that ended in his execution as a spy. Afloat and ashore, 
Captain Pond was a gentleman unafraid. As a guest at a 
tavern in 18 12, Captain Pond, recently returned from a 
European voyage, addressed the assembled Milford Gren- 
adiers relative to the prospect of war: 

Gentlemen, with your permission, I will give you 
something directly to the point. On my passage out 
I was boarded by a British frigate, and four of my 
seamen taken from me. On my arrival at Lisbon I 
learned that Sir Arthur Wellesley, Viscount Welling- 
ton, was there in command of the British forces. I 
hastened to his quarters and asked an interview as an 
American citizen. He received me very courteously, 
and I briefly stated my grievance, and in reply to his 
inquiry I frankly avowed my belief that a continua- 
tion of those offenses would inevitably lead to a decla- 
ration of war by my country. He asked what part 
of America I represented. I replied, 'I am a native 
of Milford, in Connecticut.' Our interview was brief. 
He looked disturbed, and, as we parted, he took my 
hand and said, 'Captain Pond, we are now engaged in 
war with France, but I have no fears of the result. 
I shall vanquish Bonaparte, nor do any of the compli- 
cated questions with Eastern powers trouble me, but 
heaven save us from a war with the United States so 
long as the Milford Grenadiers retain their reputed 
efficiency, discipline, and bravery.' 

Captain Pond was vitally interested in Milford trade and 
in the welfare of the firm of Pond, Fowler & Company. He 
framed a petition to have the road from Wheeler's Farms 

69 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

extended in a direct line to Broad Street at a point near 
Wharf Lane, so that all traffic passed the company store. 
The road is now High Street. 

When Captain Pond was seventy years of age (in 1814), 
the store was broken into by thieves who came ashore from 
a boat. He called his younger partners to confer about pos- 
sible recovery of the goods. They were fearful but the 
Captain mustered two or three trusty followers and em- 
barked in pursuit aboard the sloop Sally, setting a course 
toward the Long Island shore. Overtaking the robbers' 
sloop, the old man boarded her, subdued the crew, sailed 
home with the captive vessel, and legally advertised the con- 
ditions of his capture. He recovered all the loot and a sea- 
worthy vessel as well. 

The Captain was elected Milford's representative to the 
General Assembly six times from 1780 to 1800. During 
the controversy over the separation of Orange from the 
township, the legislature appointed him chairman of the 1 805 
town meeting. 

Adam Pond, the Captain's second son, at the age of 
twenty-one shipped out of New Haven on a vessel West 
Indies bound j on his return, Captain Pond gave the young 
man command of the Theresa, 80-ton burden. Out of 
Milford, February 10, 1804, the Theresa unloaded cargo 
at Augra Bay, Terceiva, on February 25th and netted a 
profit. Taking on oranges and lemons, Captain Adam Pond 
made New York on May 3rd, and again realized a substan- 
tial profit. The embargo acts of 1807 and 1809 ruined 
trade, but the young man took command of a revenue cutter 
and remained afloat. During the War of 18 12 Captain 
Pond commanded the Sine qua non, Milf ord-built privateer, 
and was fortunate to be in Bordeaux during the excitement 
of Napoleon's escape from Elba. Seventeen days out of 
Bordeaux, with a cargo of brandy, Captain Pond reached 

70 



THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD 

New York by sailing from blockaded Sandy Hook to the 
easterly entrance to Long Island Sound and thence westward 
to New York, with a brief stop at Milford to see his wife 
and spread the startling news. Dropping anchor at the foot 
of Beekman Street, he ran uptown with hair flying to tell 
the merchants about the "Escape." 

Blockade running by sea, arms shipments to South 
America, and the smuggling of tobacco into Ireland were 
among the many exploits of Captain Pond. Once when he ar- 
rived off Montauk with a cargo of sugar and found the 
Sound blockaded at both entrances, his ingenuity was further 
tested. Putting in at Providence, the Captain discharged his 
cargo and hauled it overland to Haddam for reshipment to 
New York by water. The sugar cost him six cents a pound; 
he sold it for twenty-six cents. 

Captain George Cogswell made eighty voyages between 
1799 and 1844 to "all oceans." Commanding the Milford- 
built letter-of-marque schooner David Porter, 200-ton bur- 
den, he made an 1813-14 voyage to France. At Lorient 
(1814) he secured command of the 3 20- ton Leo, and sailed 
into the British Channel to capture three English vessels, a 
brig, a schooner, and a cutter, two of which he manned with 
prize crews and dispatched to America. Losing his foremast 
eighty miles from Lisbon, he went in for repairs and was 
captured by the English frigate Granicus; he was sent to 
Gibraltar, escaped, and made a precarious journey to New 
York. The Cogswell voyages, the marine traditions of the 
family, the saga of sturdy young George Cogswell who sailed 
on a Pond vessel, are all a part of Milford. 

While overseas shipping was declining, manufacturing 
was developing as Connecticut's economic stand-by. At the 
time of the American Revolution, the colonies depended 
almost entirely on overseas markets for their manufactured 
goods and luxury articles. Imports from England ceased 

7i 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

after the War of 1 8 1 2, but a population increase in the new 
western settlements created a vast new market for eastern 
manufactures. Southern New England accordingly turned 
to manufacturing in order to supply domestic needs. 

Carriages, boots, and shoes were among the earliest 
articles of manufacture. In 1830 the Beach Brothers estab- 
lished a carriage factory, east of the river at the Maple Street 
Bridge, which operated successfully for several years. These 
buildings were later used successively by Beecher and Miles, 
carriage manufacturers, the American Hat Weaving Com- 
pany, and the J. H. Fisher Company, straw hat-makers. 
In 1833 a special town meeting voted: 

That the selectmen be directed to lease to Canfield, 
Curtis and Company such site or sites upon the vacant 
commons westerly of the Mill Stream, between Jef- 
ferson's Bridge, (so called) and the Episcopal Church, 
for a term of 999 years . . . for carrying on the busi- 
ness of carriage making . . . 

In 1836 the firm of Marshall and Ferris petitioned the town 
for ground south of the Episcopal Church to establish a car- 
riage factory. The site was never used for this purpose, but 
Ferris Brothers did operate a carriage factory on Cherry 
Street for a number of years until it was destroyed by fire. 
In 1838 the firm of Rogers, Gardner and Davis tried the 
same business, indicating that Milford endeavored to become 
a carriage manufacturing center to replace the lost shipping 
industry. After 1800 the manufacture of horse-drawn vehi- 
cles became one of Connecticut's major industries. That 
Milford was not able to compete with other towns in this 
field very long is indicated by the statistics in the Secretary 
of State's reports on Milford industries for 1839 and 1845. 
The report for 1839 lists the value of carriages and wagons 
manufactured as $75,000. In 1845, while the number of 
factories is listed as four, the total value of the output is 

72 



THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD 

given as only $4,940 and the number of persons employed 
as only eight. 

The making of boots and shoes was an important occupa- 
tion in Milford during the first part of the nineteenth cen- 
tury. At one time it was the fourth shoe-producing center in 
the State. The 1839 report gives 700 pairs of boots, value 
$3,500, and 50,000 pairs of shoes, value $45,900, with 60 
males and 30 females employed j the 1845 report lists 
55,224 pairs of shoes manufactured, value $41,706, and 
2,135 pairs of boots, with 75 males and 100 females em- 
ployed. 

The boot and shoe industry was a handicraft, not carried 
on in large factories but in the homes of the workers out- 
fitted as small shops. The cutting of the uppers was done on 
a large scale by the proprietors, and the materials made into 
finished products by the workers in their home shops. The 
following excerpt from the manuscripts of Nathan Stowe, a 
local resident, gives a picture of the shoe industry in Mil- 
ford about the middle of the century. 

It was the custom of the shoemakers to take out a 
'seat of work' from New Haven, and, hiring seat room 
in a shop or home in Milford, place therein their 'kit' 
consisting of a cobbler's bench and tools, and being 
thus installed, begin the plying of their trade . . . 
The stock drawn consisted of the uppers, already cut, 
and soles and other materials in the rough. The 
journeymen had the seams stitched and the binding 
sewed on by women of the Town who did such work, 
and, when ready, he made them up and returned them 
to the employer and received in turn another 'seat of 
work' — to repeat the operation. 

There were a number of other enterprises whose output 
was so small that their products were primarily for local con- 
sumption. In 1 8 15 the Plumb mill site was sold to the 

73 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Milford Marble Company, which began operating a plant 
for cutting serpentine limestone and marble. In 1825 the 
Milford Marble Company shipped "Verde Antique" marble 
to Washington, D. C. Three fulling mills and three card- 
ing mills are listed as of 18 19, indicating that Milford was 
taking its part in the growing textile industry of the State. 
In 1 845 there were three saddle, trunk, and harness factories, 
but the value of their manufacture is given as only $3,000 
and the number of persons employed as six. In addition 
there were manufactories of corn brooms, chairs, and cabinet 
ware. The gristmills and tanneries, started in early days, 
were operating to supply local needs. The town made a 
grant of one hundred and fifty dollars in 1 843 to aid in re- 
building Fowler's Mill, after it had been partially destroyed 
by a freshet. 

The westward migration of those Milford men who pre- 
ferred to be independent farmers rather than factory workers 
contributed to the decline of Milford as an industrial center. 
The population in 1800 was 2,41 7 ; in 18 10, 2,6745 in 1820, 
2,785; in 1830, 2,256; in 1840, 2,455; an d in 1850, 2,465. 

Oystering continued to hold its place as a local industry. 
Four ordinances passed at the opening of the nineteenth 
century indicate the possible exhaustion of the oyster beds. 
In 1 801 the fine for taking oysters out of season was set at 
seven dollars; another ordinance of the same year specified 
that "anyone who obtained a license to gather oysters should 
first pay, or secure to be paid, to the committee or any of its 
members, the sum of 2 cents per bushel for every bushel 
specified in the permit." This permit, incidentally, was good 
for only a period of forty-eight hours from the time issued. 
In 1802 a law was passed prohibiting any inhabitant from 
taking oysters or clams for the purpose of vending or trans- 
porting them to anyone not a resident. Beginning with 
1843, a number of instances are recorded where groups of 

74 



THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD 

individuals were granted the privilege of planting oysters in 
town waters and monopolizing the yield within designated 
bounds. The real expansion of the industry, however, came 
later in the century. 

Shad-fishing in the Housatonic River afforded another 
seasonal occupation. Shad were caught by the thousands 
during April, May, and June. Between 1838 and 1840 as 
many as 1 2,000 fish were caught in a single day. 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century road im- 
provement became a matter of public concern. The cost of 
keeping in good condition roads connecting one town with 
another was met by a pay-as-you-go plan, and the tollgate 
turnpike came into general use. In 1802 a group of Mil- 
ford and New Haven men, anxious to improve the condition 
of the Milford Turnpike as a profitable enterprise, applied to 
the State legislature for the right to incorporate as the Mil- 
ford and New Haven Turnpike Company. The petition was 
granted. The charter of the Turnpike Company authorized 
tolls in return for improving and maintaining the highway. 
A tollgate was constructed about two miles west of the top 
of Allingtown Hill, and a gatekeeper was paid ten percent 
of receipts for his services. The rates were set by the legis- 
lature in the charter, which also specified these exemptions: 

. . . that persons travelling to and from Public Wor- 
ship, funerals or Society, Town or Freemen's meetings 
— Persons obliged to do military duty traveling to and 
from training — Persons going to and from Grist Mills 
with Grists and farmers who shall pass through the 
same to attend to their ordinary farming business, shall 
not be liable to the payment of said Toll — and pro- 
vided that loaded and empty ox-carts with fellies of 
7 inches in width j and loaded and empty waggons 
with fellies of 5 inches in width shall pay only one-half 
the rate of Toll affixed to each respectively. 

75 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

The rates specified were: Cents Mills 

Each person and horse 4 o 

Each Chaise, sulkey or chair with horse and 

person 12 5 

Each 4 wheel pleasure carriage, driver and 

passengers 25 o 

Each Stage and Driver with passengers 25 o 

Each 2 horse loaded) or pleasure sleigh, driver 

and passengers 6 2 

Each one horse pleasure sleigh, driver and 

passenger 4 o 

Each loaded sleigh or sled 8 O 

Loaded Ox-Cart or Waggon and driver 12 5 

Empty Cart, or waggon and driver 6 3 

Empty Sled, Sleigh, horse cart and driver 4 o 

Every single horse cart loaded and driver 6 3 

Horses, Cattle and Mules, each 1 o 

The charter also specified that 

... as soon as the aforesaid Toll shall reimburse to 
said Company their heirs and assigns, the Sums by 
them advanced in paying Damages and making and 
maintaining said Road together with an annual inter- 
est of twelve percent thereon, the said Road shall be 
discharged from said Toll. 

The Milford Turnpike was maintained as a toll road until 
1875, when the company returned its charter to the State 
and sold the toll gate property to the Town of Orange. 
The Derby Turnpike Corporation, organized in 1798, laid 
a toll road from New Haven to Derby through North Mil- 
ford (later Orange). Tolls were charged on this road until 
1897. 

By 1800 the Milford-Stratford ferry had become inade- 
quate to care for the traffic across the Housatonic River. 
Plans were made to replace the ferry with a bridge. A peti- 
tion to incorporate the Milford and Stratford Bridge Com- 
pany, later called the Washington Bridge Company, was 
presented to the General Assembly in April 1802, and 
granted in October of the same year. According to the char- 

76 



THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD 

ter specifications, the bridge was to have a thirty-two foot 
draw, and for eighty feet above and below the draw, piles 
and piers were to be constructed at which vessels could be 
moored while they were waiting to be warped through the 
draw. The bridge on the Stratford side was a causeway or 
crib made of wood and filled with earth and stone ; the draw 
was on the Milford side. The bridge was to be lighted at 
night by two lanterns, "unless the moon shall give sufficient 
light." 

Toll charges, set by the charter, ranged from ten cents, 
eight mills, to seventy-five cents, varying with the type of 
vehicle and animal crossing the bridge. No charge could be 
levied for opening the draw. When the company had re- 
ceived tolls amounting to the original investment, plus 
twelve per cent interest, the schedule was to be subject to 
revision. 

When the bridge was ready for use, the ferry was dis- 
continued, Joseph Hopkins, ferryman, being paid a sum of 
money to compensate him for his loss of revenue. He and 
his family were allowed to use the bridge free of any tax 
or toll. The town of Stratford, which had an interest in the 
ferry, was likewise compensated by the bridge company. 

The people of Derby bitterly opposed the building of 
the bridge, as Derby was at the time a thriving river port 
enjoying a brisk trade with the West Indies. In addition 
to this, they had extensive fishing rights on the river. Trad- 
ers from Derby objected to the bridge on the grounds that it 
was an unwarranted obstruction, and the fishermen, on the 
grounds that it would interfere with the run of shad. Their 
opposition proved unavailing. 

In the spring of 1 806 the break-up of the ice tore away 
part of the structure. The Derby objectors were so over- 
joyed at this disaster that they staged a celebration ; but their 
rejoicing was short-lived. Since the bridge company lacked 

77 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

the funds to rebuild the bridge, the General Assembly gave 
permission to conduct a lottery which netted $8,000. By 
1808 the bridge was again in operation. 

When old Captain Bartemy, an impulsive French ship- 
master from Derby, arrived off the mouth of the Housatonic 
River from one of his trips, with a cargo of rum, sugar, coffee, 
and molasses, and signaled for the opening of the draw to 
allow passage, the bridge sentinel demanded the skipper's 
papers as a pass to the port of Derby. The captain objected 
to such officious action and sent his men over the side to pry 
the draw open. Captain Bartemy's sailormen knew nothing 
of the mechanism of the draw. "Stand clear!" ordered the 
Captain, and the men scampered out of range as the skipper 
opened fire on the drawbridge with an old cannon loaded 
with nails and assorted scrap iron. When the last splinters 
had fallen, the bridge tender hastily opened the draw and 
Captain Bartemy sailed triumphantly up to Derby. 

At the close of the Revolution, the pleas of the parishes 
of Bethany and Amity for local autonomy were finally 
granted. The Connecticut General Assembly in 1784 in- 
corporated the two parishes as the Town of Woodbridge. 
Milford appointed a committee to meet with one appointed 
by the General Assembly for the purpose of "dividing the 
town stock" between Woodbridge and Milford. By an act 
of the Assembly in 1822 the section of Milford once called 
Bryan's Farms and later North Milford was joined to the 
parish of West Haven and incorporated as the Town of 
Orange. Thus Milford's boundaries were considerably con- 
tracted. 

In the early nineteenth century many regulations were 
passed for the care of the poor and unfortunate. On Jan- 
uary 18, 1802, it was 

Voted, that the Selectmen be authorized and impow- 
ered to procure a sutable place for the reception of 
those that have or may become expensive to the Town, 

78 



THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD 

and to supply Materials for their imployment and a 
sutable person to oversee and inspect their labor. 

Milford's first poor farm was established on December 
8, 1823. The town voted 

. . . that the Selectmen be directed to purchase the 
Burwell house and land so called provided it can be 
don for a reasable [sic] compensation and provide as 
soon as may be to prepare said house for the recep- 
tion of the Town Poor and to place them there any 
time in the course of the coming year and cause them 
all to be provided for in that place alone under the 
care of a propper Overseer who shall be allowed a 
reasonable compensation for their Trouble. 

On December 13, 1824, it was voted: 

. . . that the Selectmen be impowered to collect in 
monies belonging to the Town and appropriate it to 
discharge the Debt against sd Town incurred by the 
purchase of the farm at Burwels Farm not exceeding 
the sum of 600 Dollars. 

. . . that the Selectmen have discretionary power to 
superintend the Farm at Burwells Farm for the ensu- 
ing year. 

In 1825 the town purchased a hearse and a horse to draw 
it. Previously it had been the custom to carry the dead for 
burial upon biers borne by the pallbearers, the mourners 
and others of the funeral procession following on foot. 

Milford's fire department dates from 1838. On May 
28 of that year the Milford Fire Company, later the 
Arctic Engine Company, was organized by authority of the 
General Assembly. This company has functioned contin- 
uously to the present day as part of Milford's Fire Depart- 
ment. 

The first meeting of the company was held in the home 
of Nathan Merwin on August 28, 1838, and Theodore 
Buddington was unanimously elected foreman to serve for 

79 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

the ensuing year. By-laws were drafted, and a slate of offi- 
cers to serve with Buddington was elected. Each member 
agreed to contribute seventy-five cents toward the purchase 
of a fire engine. 

On December 10, 1838, it was voted to purchase a fire 
engine and hose, and a tax of two and a half cents was levied 
on the grand list of 1838. A "goose-neck" type of engine was 
procured from New York, but was returned when it proved 
unsatisfactory. When another engine from New York also 
proved a failure, a group of local men, under the supervision 
of Mark Tibbals, decided to build a machine themselves. 

In recognition of the fact that the duties of secretary of 
the company took time and effort, it was voted at the same 
meeting to pay him an annual salary of seventy-five cents. 
Meetings of the company were held in the homes of the 
various members until June 20, 1840, when a small build- 
ing in the rear of the Town Hall was given over for their 
use ; this was Milford's first firehouse. 

With the establishment of a Milford Probate District by 
act of the State legislature in 1832, the Probate Court of 
Milford began to function. The personnel consisted of a 
judge and a clerk. The first judge was William Strong who 
served from 1832 to 1838, and in 1846, 1847, 1850 and 
1 851. The first clerk was David L. Baldwin who served 
from 1832 to 1842, from 1855 to 1863, and from 1865 to 
1877, dying in office at the age of ninety-one. 

Even before the close of the colonial period, the scope 
of the functions of the town government was being curtailed. 
Narrowing of town jurisdiction was most noticeable in educa- 
tion and in church affairs. Control of education was given 
over to the School Society, and church affairs and church 
support became matters for the various church societies to 
control. Both these changes were effected by the State gov- 
ernment. 

80 



THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD 

In November, 1797, control of the town schools passed 
into the hands of the School Society, which was organized 
in that year in accordance with State laws. The first duty 
of the Society was to name officers to receive money due the 
town from the interest from the proceeds of the sale of the 
Western Reserve. The School Society continued supervision 
of the schools until superseded by a Board of Education on 
April 1, 1875. The details of school management were at- 
tended to by the school committees, with one committeeman 
for each school district. The committeeman was empow- 
ered to procure a suitable teacher and schoolhouse in his dis- 
trict. 

Interest in education was at low ebb in the early part 
of the nineteenth century. This has been attributed partly 
to the fact that schools could be maintained from the State 
funds and from the small tuition fees charged per pupil, so 
that the towns felt little responsibility. The policy of pro- 
viding only such educational facilities as could be secured 
without town taxation, and of leaving school administration 
to committeemen who were often unfit for their task, tended 
to produce a far from excellent school system.* A receipted 

* Mr. Lambert, writing in 1838, gives this comment on education of 
the period: 

The town is at present divided into ten school districts, and the public 
money received, by being expended in the most parsimonious manner, 
supports the several schools, about nine months in the year. There is in 
Milford a town school fund, raised by the sale of pieces of sequestered land, 
the annual interest of which is expended for schools, by being added to 
the money received from the State. The schools are as good, perhaps, as 
can be expected, for the wages paid the teachers. But if the town would 
raise annually, by a tax, a sum half as much as is received from the school 
fund, and add to it, and pay such wages as would engage teachers of 
scientific acquirements, and make it an object for them to instruct in 
reality, instead of having an inefficient form, the community would be 
gready benefitted. But so long as a paltry pittance is grudgingly paid, so 
long the standard of the public schools will be depressed. 

8l 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

bill dated December 12, 1836, shows the low cost of educa- 
tion at that time: 

Mr. Ford Dr to Alma L. Williams $2.57 cts. 

Sir Elizabeths Tuition for 8 weeks at 14^ cts a week 
is 1 dollar 16 cts Nelsons is the same 1 dollar 16 cts 
the Tax for wood is 12^ cts each. Amount $2.57 cts 

District school teachers received very little for their 
services. Records of 1824 disclose an attempt to hire a Mrs. 
Betsey Fowler at "$8}4" per month. If she refused the offer, 
the committeeman was instructed to "obtain such teacher as 
his wisdom shall direct." In 1825 a school teacher's salary 
in Milford was $25 per month, and in 1870, only $30 per 
month. 

The School Society, in 1828, voted ten dollars to each of 
the school visiting committee, "provided they visited all the 
schools throughout the year, and altered and arranged the 
school districts and gave consideration to establishing a high 
school by naming a committee to report on a plan for a school 
of a higher order if they in their opinion shall deem it proper 
and expedient." 

Because of the deficiencies of the public schools, a num- 
ber of private schools were established to provide better edu- 
cational opportunities for those who could afford to pay. 
The first of these was the Milford Academy, founded in 
1797, which continued in existence until after the Civil War. 
Classes in the Academy averaged twenty students. In the 
early years there was only one book for the entire class, and 
this was passed around from scholar to scholar. The older 
students were seated next to the walls, the younger children 
occupied seats in front of them, and the teacher sat at a desk 
in the center of the room. 

Another private school was conducted by the Reverend 
Bezaleel Pinneo, a pastor of the First Church, from 1 800 to 

82 



THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD 

1845 in his home at West Main and West River Streets. 
The building, greatly remodeled, is now the home of the 
Weylister Secretarial Junior College. 

On February 14, 1842, the School Society met to dis- 
cuss establishment of a high school and reported: 

Whereas education tends to strengthen the mind and 
enlarge the capacities to soften the heart, to endear 
the affections and to improve the manners and thus 
prepare its possessor for greater usefulness and hap- 
piness 5 and, as the law makes provision it is therefore 
voted j that we establish a school of higher grade 
according to the provision of the 9th section of the 
Common School Law. 

A high school accordingly was established in the Town 
Hall, or "East Town House," where it was conducted until 
the present high school was erected in 1908. Students of 
both sexes from thirteen to sixteen years of age were admit- 
ted ; those under thirteen were accepted at the discretion of 
the Board of Directors, while those over sixteen, and non- 
residents, were admitted upon paying a tuition of two dol- 
lars. No pupil from the public school was admitted for 
less than a term, and no one not entitled to public money was 
admitted for less than half a term. The school year was di- 
vided into two terms of twenty- two weeks each. 

On April 8, 1844, the First School District voted to hire 
two teachers : "one to teach in the schoolhouse and Miss Tib- 
bals to teach a part of the small scholars at home on the best 
terms the committee can obtain." This was the first graded 
school in the town. 

Even before the liberals in Connecticut won their battle 
for religious equality incorporated in the Constitution of 1 8 1 8 
and thereby ended compulsory support for the Congrega- 
tional Church, a broader attitude toward religion had been 
adopted by the average person. The First and Second 

83 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Church Societies made their first attempt at cooperation on 
April 7, 1795, when they agreed to hold union services while 
the Reverend William Lockwood of the First Church was 
away, the First Society contributing forty-five pounds to the 
Second Society toward paying for the services of their pastor, 
the Reverend David Tuller. Another evidence of better 
feeling was seen in 1823, when through the generosity of the 
Episcopal Church Society, the First Society was permitted to 
hold its services in the Episcopal Church while its own meet- 
ing-house, which had been shown to be unsafe, was being 
razed and a new one built. 

The growing indifference to religion that followed the 
liberalization of the church was perhaps a very natural devel- 
opment in an age absorbed in business and money-making. 
To combat this indifference, some of the churches resorted 
to revival meetings to stir up religious fervor and bring in 
new members. The first series of revival meetings on record 
for Milford were held by the Plymouth Church in 1797 and 
1798. Methodist revivals occurred in 1835, and Baptist 
revivals in 1842. 

Milford church records of this period contain numerous 
detailed reports of trials of members, both men and women, 
accused of such offenses as intemperance, violent language, 
lying, un-Christian spirit, and graver sins. At a trial, after 
witnesses had been called upon to testify for and against the 
accused, a vote of the church was taken to determine his guilt 
or innocence. If the vote was guilty, and if the offense 
was of a minor nature, the pastor was requested by the con- 
gregation merely to admonish the offender. If the accused 
were found guilty of a serious offense, he was excommu- 
nicated from the church by a vote of the congregation. 

Four new church buildings were erected in Milford be- 
tween 1820 and 18505 the new First Church in 1823, the 
Plymouth Church in 1834, the Methodist Church in 1844, 

84 



THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD 

and the Baptist Church in 1 845. In each instance the build- 
ing of the new church stood out as a major event. 

In the history of the First Church the outstanding fea- 
ture for the first half of the nineteenth century is the 
pastorate of the Reverend Bezaleel Pinneo, which lasted 
from 1796 to 1840. The inscription on his tablet in the 
meeting-house reads: "To the memory of the Reverend 
Bezaleel Pinneo, minister of God who rejoiced in 200 re- 
vivals, 323 baptisms, 2,400 marriages and 3,500 funerals. 
He died happy in the Lord." This church was not only 
blessed in the long pastorate of Mr. Pinneo, but apparently 
was free from the financial difficulties and troubles which 
bothered other churches. Since the First Church was the 
established church, and had been supported by town taxation 
until 1 81 8, it had a decided advantage over those that had 
to support themselves by voluntary contributions. 

The section known as North Milford applied to the State 
Legislature in 1804 for a charter to form a church of its own. 
In 1796 it had been permitted to put up a small building in 
which pastors from the First Church conducted services — 
six the first year, ten the next, and twelve annually there- 
after. Although there was strong opposition from Milford 
as a whole to the formation of a separate church society in 
North Milford, the Legislature granted the charter in Octo- 
ber, 1804, and the North Milford Ecclesiastical Society came 
into being. On March 4, 1805, the Reverend Erastus Scran- 
ton was appointed its first pastor. In 1842, since this church 
society had become part of the Town of Orange in 1822, it 
changed its name to the Orange Ecclesiastical Society. 

The Episcopal Society for many years was harassed by 
financial difficulties, and in 1805 petitioned the General As- 
sembly for permission to operate a lottery to raise $2,500. 
In 1806 permission was granted to raise not more than 
$1,500 by lottery. Not long afterwards considerable money 

85 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

was spent in repairing the church, and it may be assumed 
that the lottery was successful in raising the necessary funds. 
Again in financial difficulties in 1831, the church voted on 
January 6 of that year. 

... to rent the seats of the church to the highest 
bidders and to use the money thus derived for hiring 
a preacher — also to pay $1.75 for a Prayer Book and 
$2.00 to Reverend W. Judah. 

In December of the same year it was voted to spend "not 
more than $6.00 for a stove." 

The Episcopal Church building was moved twenty feet 
directly back (toward the river) in June, 1834, and a gallery 
built across the west end. Evidently contributions from out- 
side sources assisted in this work for on November 20th it 
was voted 

. . . that the thanks of this Society be tendered to the 
Episcopal Society at Stratford and also to the Episco- 
pal Society at Bridgeport for their very liberal contri- 
butions in aid of the repairs of this church. And also 
to Mrs. Hoffman of Stratford for her donation to the 
Society of two silver cups for the use of our com- 
munion. Voted that the thanks of the Society be ten- 
dered to our brethren of the other denominations in 
this town for their donations in the aid of moving and 
repairing our church. 

The early years of the Methodist Church in Milford 
were troubled ones. From 1789, when a group of the Meth- 
odist faith held its first services in a private home, until 1 844, 
when the first small frame Methodist church was dedicated, 
the Methodists had no church home and no regular pastors. 
A Methodist Society was not formed until 1836. From 
1835 to 1 841 services were held in the "Bristol Shoe Shop;" 
then for a short time in the Baptist church. During the five 
years when meetings were held in the shoe-shop, the wor- 

86 




Church of Christ, Congregational 








Plymouth Church 



THE EARLY NATIONAL PERIOD 

shippers were frequently disturbed by the hurling of 
stones and other objects through the windows. It fre- 
quently became necessary to have a constable at evening 
services to maintain order. The building of the church in 
1 842 burdened the Society with a debt that lasted for years, 
and made it impossible to employ full time regular pastors. 

A Baptist Church was organized in Milford in 1831, 
under the supervision of the Reverend J. E. Linsley of 
Stratford, with an initial membership of about twenty-five. 
Services were first held in the Town Hall. In 1832 upon 
the completion of the new Town Hall, the Baptist Society 
bought the old building for $152. By 1845 the Baptist 
congregation had grown to such an extent that a new church 
was necessary. The old church (the former Town Hall) 
was moved to the corner of Daniel and River Streets, and 
a new church was erected on the old site. As the Town Hall 
was only about 1 50 feet distant, the architecture of the new 
church edifice was made to conform to it. 

A United States post office was opened in Milford in 
1796. William Durand was appointed the first postmaster, 
and the post office is said to have been operated in his home 
on Cherry Street. 

With the establishment of the Federal Government, local 
military defense no longer occupied Milf ord's attention. The 
War of 1 812 was unpopular in New England because of 
its injurious effect on shipping, and Connecticut's part was 
confined to the operation of privateers and letter-of-marque 
vessels. The militia refused to be sworn in under the Fed- 
eral Government, and the State even threatened to secede 
from the Union. 

Nevertheless, attachment to the old colonial train band 
persisted sufficiently to bring into being a number of tem- 
porary volunteer military organizations which seem to have 
existed primarily for parade purposes. The most colorful 

87 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

of these, and the one that endured longest, was the Milford 
Grenadiers, organized in 1 796. It had an enlistment of some 
seventy men, not one of them less than five feet nine inches in 
height. In dress uniform of scarlet coat with buff facings, 
heavily decorated with gold braid, drab knee breeches with 
buckles, high tasselled boots, and a high plumed cap of red 
and buff, the Grenadiers were a resplendent addition to the 
State occasions at which they appeared. The company 
existed forty years, finally disbanding in 1836. 

State-owned firearms were deposited with the various 
towns, and were kept and cared for by an agent appointed 
by the commanding officer of the militia. At a town meet- 
ing on December 9, 1839, it was voted that this agent be 
granted "a reasonable compensation for his services, in addi- 
tion to what the State allows for keeping them (the fire- 
arms) clean." Items in the records of later years indicate 
that the care of these firearms was a burden, and steps were 
taken to rid the town of this obligation. 

Edward R. Lambert, wishing to compile a history of 
Milford, requested permission in 1834 to examine the town 
records. A meeting of October 6, 1834, voted 

. . . that the Petition of Edward R. Lambert, to 
have the privilege of examining and also to take from 
the Records of the Town, for the purpose of examin- 
ing them in order to aid him in making out a history 
of said town j be granted. 

Lambert's history of Milford appeared in 1838 in the 
volume entitled History of the Colony of New Haven and 
has been the standard work for the last century. His 
transcription and repairing of the town meeting records, 
which had become nearly illegible, was an additional service 
to the town. 




LONG ISLAND SOUND 



MAP OF THE TOWN OF MILFORD IN SEPTEMBER 1835 



Chapter Five 
THE MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY 

i 849-1 873 

Early in the morning of May 25, 1849, the silence of the 
Milford waterfront was broken by several pistol shots, and 
residents along Wharf Street flung up their windows in 
alarm. Samuel Tibbals, a descendant of the Sergeant Tibbals 
who guided the first settlers, was celebrating the start of his 
journey to the California gold fields. His "grubstakers," 
William G. Cornwall and Jonas French, were on hand to see 
him off and to remind him of the agreement that he must 
share with them every ounce of the yellow dust. 

Many Milford men were members of the Brothers Min- 
ing Company of New Haven, one of the several gold com- 
panies promoted in the Elm City during "the Hungry For- 
ties"; and with Tibbals, they owned a share in the bark 
7. Walls, Jr., booked out of New Haven for a voyage around 
the Horn to San Francisco and the new Eldorado. Aboard 
ship, the adventurers called on the president of their little 
company to produce his books and give an account of his 
stewardship. This he was unable to do; the loss of their 
stake of $1,500 was unexplained. Their total resources con- 
sisted of thirty picks, sixty shovels, a share in the bark, and 
abundant hope. Seven months out of New Haven, the bark 
raised the Golden Gate, and Milford was represented among 
the "forty-niners." A few letters from California eventually 
reached Milford, bringing news of prosperous diggings, and 
then no more was heard of the Argonauts. 

89 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Milford was being brought into closer contact with the 
rest of" the world by means of improved communications. 
Most important was the building of the railroad ; construc- 
tion was begun in 1 846 and the single track was completed in 
1848. The first scheduled train left New Haven for New 
York on December 29, 1848. Milford was represented by 
William G. Mitchell who was a passenger on the first trip. 
The service was inaugurated with only four trains a day, two 
in each direction, and Milford was not included as a regular 
stop. The New Haven Palladium for March 8, 1 849, stated 
that "The New York and New Haven Railroad inaugurated 
an accommodation train which will stop at all stations be- 
tween Bridgeport and New Haven. This is a genuine ac- 
commodation to all people living along the road and will no 
doubt be deeply appreciated." The first locomotives were 
wood burning and required frequent replenishing with fuel. 
The huge piles of wood at each station were a familiar sight 
until 1859, when coal replaced the wood as fuel. The hard- 
riding, dusty little trains rushed along at the then incredible 
speed of twenty to thirty miles an hour. 

Engineers having solved the mystery of bridge trussing, 
the railway construction alongshore crossed the broad tidal 
inlets and rivers and proceeded on a straight, economical, 
water-level, east-and-west route, linking the seaboard towns 
with New York City. Offshore, in Long Island Sound, un- 
wieldy steamboats were operating on schedule between New 
Haven and New York, independent of the vagaries of wind 
and tide. Highway transport had improved with the breeding 
of speedier harness horses and the introduction of light, easy- 
draft vehicles. 

A significant change in the community center of this 
period was the fencing of Milford Green in 1853. Public- 
spirited Levi Langridge and several associates peti- 
tioned the townsfolk for permission to fence the Green and 

90 



THE MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY 

agreed to perform the service at no expense to the town. 
Remembering that in 1846 New Haven had replaced the 
two-rail wooden fence around New Haven Green with an 
enclosure of masonry posts and iron railing, Langridge went 
to New Haven with Nelson Carrington and brought the sec- 
ond-hand fence on an ox-cart to Milford where it was erected 
and gave public service for many years. 

Milford contributed her third governor to the State in 
1 853 — Charles Hobby Pond, attorney and seafarer. He had 
been elected Lieutenant Governor in 1850 and again in 1852 
and 1853. On October 13, 1853, Governor Thomas H. 
Seymour resigned his office to become minister to Russia, and 
Pond became Governor to serve out the unexpired term. 

Recovery from the financial distress of 1837 inspired 
men to venture their savings in manufacturing and retail 
trade establishments to serve the 2,4.55 people residing in 
the community. The manufacture of straw hats became one 
of the major industries. In 1852 a straw hat factory was 
established by Nathan A. Baldwin and Elisha Flagg. Miss 
Mary Mills (later Mrs. Isaac Green) was brought from 
England to teach the workers to sew the straw braid. This 
business gradually expanded until in 1867-8 as many as 
seven hundred hands were employed. 

Carriage-building continued for many years after the 
coming of the railroad. The Beecher and Miles Company, 
just north of the Jefferson Bridge, when running at capacity, 
employed several hundred men. Milford carriages are re- 
ported to have had an enviable reputation in southern and 
western markets. In addition to carnages, in 1868-9 Beecher 
and Miles manufactured a wooden frame, direct-drive 
bicycle similar to the present two-wheel bicycle. 

The manufacture of boots and shoes continued to hold 
an important place in Milford trade, although the center of 
the shoe industry had shifted to Massachusetts. In 1852 

9i 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Leonard Davidson introduced the sewing machine in the 
manufacture of shoes in a shop on West Main Street, and 
the hand-made method was abandoned for large-scale pro- 
duction. Albert A. Baldwin began the manufacture of high 
grade shoes on Golden Hill Street in 1855. From a small 
beginning the business prospered so that by 1865 the latest 
improved machinery was installed. Ten years later the com- 
pany moved to a new building erected on Broad Street, 
which is now used by the Waterbury Lock and Specialty 
Company. In the building now occupied by Harrison and 
Gould, Inc., army shoes were manufactured for a time dur- 
ing the Civil War by the J. O. Silliman Company. 

On May 5, 1873, the Milford Steam Power Company 
was organized. In the hope of attracting new industries to 
Milford, this company built a factory and rented space there. 
A number of firms have since used the plant, which has been 
occupied since 1906 by the Rostand Manufacturing Com- 
pany. 

A new industry started in Milford when the George W. 
Miles Company leased part of Charles Island in 1868 to 
set up a plant for the manufacture of fish oil and fertilizer 
from menhaden, a bony fish found in great quantities in the 
Sound. The Miles Company made a superior product and 
received many awards in both America and England for the 
excellent quality of their oil. 

Shad-fishing in the Housatonic River continued to be 
an important occupation, but the pollution of the waters by 
sewage and refuse from the factories in Derby and Ansonia 
and other places farther up the river finally resulted in the 
disappearance of the fish. 

By 1857 oystering began to assume the character of a 
major industry. In that year William M. Merwin experi- 
mented with planting oysters in the Gulf Pond. Because 
of the shallow water and the accumulating sediment which 

92 



THE MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY 

smothered the seed oysters, the venture was a failure. Un- 
daunted, Merwin placed a bed in the outer waters of the 
harbor. Once again he was unsuccessful because a severe 
storm ruined the entire set by washing sand over the beds. 
After three years of reverses, Merwin focused his efforts on 
oyster cultivation in deeper water. Although his neighbors 
and friends gave no encouragement, he went on with his ex- 
periments, and within a few years had developed a healthy 
crop of native oysters. This was the beginning of an industry 
which in later years, under the name of William M. Merwin 
& Sons (Dumond P. and Merritt W.), employed many 
hands and a large fleet of oyster boats. 

An early "back to nature" movement, undertaken by 
eleven well-known local young men, in the summer of 1861, 
is recorded in a pamphlet that may be found in the Milford 
Public Library. Seeking health, tranquillity, and happiness, 
these lads secured a boat, a tent, and the use of a secluded 
stretch of beach owned by Daniel Buckingham, Esq., formed 
an association known as "The Buckingham Rangers," and 
pitched a camp in a well-screened grove. Living like In- 
dians, detailing the ordinary tasks of camp life in an orderly 
manner, securing food from forest, sea, and stream, the boys 
proved their ability to subsist without the garb of civiliza- 
tion to cloak their sun-tanned, weather-beaten bodies. The 
youths obtained passing publicity and suffered no ill effects 
from exposure. 

Following the attack on Fort Sumter, on April 12, 1861, 
President Lincoln's call for volunteers to fight to preserve 
the Union brought a prompt response in Milford. The 
town records tell the story of recruiting for the Civil War as 
follows : 

At a special meeting of the inhabitants of the town of 
Milford, legally warned and held at the Town Hall 
on the 29th day of April, 1861, at 2 o'clock p.m. for 

93 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

the purpose of making an appropriation for the sup- 
port of the families of such persons as shall in obe- 
dience to the call of the President, volunteer for the 
defense of our National Government — also to make an 
appropriation for the encouragement of such persons 
as shall organize a military company in this town: 

Voted that the sum of eight dollars per month shall 
be appropriated from the Town Treasury for the 
benefit of each unmarried man, and twelve dollars 
per month to the family of each married man to- 
gether with a life insurance policy to the amount of 
one thousand dollars payable to his family during 
continuance in service, to all such as shall volunteer 
and be accepted in a Military capacity in obedience to 
the call of the General Government. 

Voted that whereas a military company, properly 
organized and officered, shall be formed in Milford, 
numbering not less than 50 nor more than 64 privates 
— that the officers of said company be impowered to 
draw the sum of twelve dollars for each man from 
the town treasury, for the purchase of uniforms for 
said company, and that the said company be subject 
to the laws of this state. 

Voted that a committee of three persons be appointed 
to organize the company just voted to be raised for the 
protection of this town and that the said committee 
be composed of Isaac T. Rogers, Nathan C. Smith, 
and John Burns. 

Cash bounties were also offered by the town in an effort 
to stimulate recruiting during the early days of the war. 
The amount was originally set at one hundred dollars per 
man; later this sum was increased, indicating a gradual les- 
sening of interest as the conflict dragged on. 

Under date of August 2, 1862, is the following item: 

Whereas the Governor of this State has called for six 
or more regiments of volunteers to constitute its quota 

94 



THE MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY 

of troops to assist the National Government in crush- 
ing a rebellion which is threatening its very existence, 
and — 

Whereas the town of Milford owes it to itself, to 
the State and to the Country, to do her part in this 
great contest in which we are engaged and to furnish 
its full quota of men as soon as possible, therefor voted 
that the Selectmen of the town of Milford be and they 
are hereby authorized and instructed to draw this 
order on the Treasurer for the sum of one hundred 
dollars in favor of L. N. Beardsley and George Corn- 
wall, 2nd, and as often as may be required, to pay said 
sum of one hundred dollars to each and every soldier 
who has or who may, within the next thirty days, en- 
list from this town into any of the Volunteer Regi- 
ments of Connecticut to serve the United States for 
the term of three years or during the war, under the 
late call of the President for three hundred thousand 
more troops, said money to be by the above men- 
tioned L. N. Beardsley and George Cornwall, 2nd., 
paid to each volunteer, when he shall have been mus- 
tered into the service of the United States. 

At the same meeting an amendment was passed adding 
fifty dollars to the bounty, provided the entire quota of the 
town was raised. 

On August 30, 1862, each soldier who enlisted for the 
term of nine months was offered one hundred dollars and 
an additional one hundred dollars if the town's quota was 
filled. 

A year later, on August 1, 1863, the bounty and the 
hiring of substitutes again came up for discussion, and it 
was 

Voted, that the Selectmen are hereby authorized to 
pay out of the Town Treasury, as a bounty, the sum 
of three hundred dollars, to each and every resident 
of the Town of Milford who, having been duly en- 

95 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

rolled as liable to service under the Act of Congress, 
approved March 3rd, 1863, entitled 'an act for enroll- 
ing and calling out the National Forces and for 
other purposes' shall have been, or shall hereafter 
be drafted into the military service of the United 
States under said act — provided such person so 
drafted shall not be exempt by reason of the Second 
Section of said act, but shall be accepted into such 
service — or shall otherwise comply with the provi- 
sions of said act, by enabling the United States author- 
ities to procure a substitute in his stead pursuant to the 
13th section of the act aforesaid. Provided that any 
person who shall procure a substitute for less than 
three hundred dollars — such person shall only receive 
the amount paid to the substitute. 

A total of two hundred and forty-five Milford men 
served with the United States forces. At the close of the war, 
the survivors returned to their homes in Milford and took 
up peace-time pursuits. The charter of the George Van 
Horn Post, No. 39, of the Grand Army of the Re- 
public, now hanging on a wall of the Taylor Library, is 
dated at Hartford, April 15, 1871, and bears the following 
names, as original members: Oramel G. Abbott, Edwin B. 
Baldwin, John W. Buckingham, Edward W. Burleigh, 
Joseph R. Clark, Frederic Cornwall, Shirland H. Hitchcock, 
Charles L. Loueden, Silas L. Manse, and Thomas Williams. 

Milford's part in the Civil War was not confined to 
action on the battlefield. Despite the cost in men and 
money, the town prospered by furnishing supplies. The 
difficulty experienced in filling its enlistment quota was un- 
doubtedly due in part to the demand for labor to carry on 
wartime manufacturing. 

Between 1850 and 1870 the town showed a slow but 
steady growth in population. The census figures for 18 50 
are 2,465 and for 1870, 3,405. The increase in popula- 

96 



THE MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY 

tion, though not large, compares favorably with that shown 
in other small towns in the State. 

In 1868 Milford had one sawmill and five cider mills 
in operation, one broom shop, a sorghum mill, a shoe shop, 
a children's carriage shop, two fish-oil and guano factories, 
a box shop, two carriage shops, an oyster wholesaler, two 
straw hat shops, a "silver-plated carriage ware" factory, a 
hat presser, a hat dyer, two shoemakers, a marble cutter, a 
machinist, a cooper, a "manufacturer," ten carpenters and 
joiners, three hotels, a saloon, a sash and door shop, and a 
livery stable. Four seed growers and one gardener com- 
pleted the industrial roster of the village. 

Place names with the flavor of an earlier day persisted 
in Milford in 1868. Ten Pin Alley, Great No Lots Creek, 
Calf Pen Meadow, Pumpkin Delight, Squabble Hill, Bak- 
ers' Lots, Burnt Plain, Stubby Plain, Bow Lane, Frog Lane, 
Fence Shott, Pond Shott of Lots, Bilberry Swamp, Dreadful 
Swamp, and Spring Shott were a few of these. 

A few changes in the general appearance of the town war- 
rant mention. The Town Hall, built in 1831, was a plain 
two-story building. In 1848, to improve its appearance, a 
group of public-minded citizens headed by Wallace C. Wil- 
cox added a cupola and bell to the building at their own ex- 
pense. The Town Hall and the Baptist Church stood on a 
triangle of land formed by the Wepawaug River, River 
Street and West River Street. While the two buildings 
were similar in appearance, their location in relation to each 
other was not pleasing. A group of citizens, David L. Bald- 
win, John Smith, Hammond R. Beach and others, obtained 
permission to move the Town Hall north a short distance so 
that the fronts of the two buildings would be in line. This 
they did at their own expense. In appreciation of their pub- 
lic service, the lawn in front of the two buildings has been 
kept as a public green. The Baptist Society disbanded in 

97 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

1865, and in the following year the town purchased the 
church building. Thus the whole triangle, with its two 
buildings standing side by side facing the green, became pub- 
lic property. 

The Revolutionary War Memorial commemorating 
Stephen Stow and the forty-six patriots buried in Milford 
Cemetery was erected over their resting place in 1852. Built 
of Portland brownstone the monument is thirty-five feet 
high. The column, which consists of but two blocks of stone, 
has the State coat of arms and motto carved upon it. On the 
plinth the names of the unfortunate victims are carved, to- 
gether with the story of their sacrifice. The inscription reads : 

IN HONOR OF Forty-six American Soldiers who 
sacrificed their lives in struggling for the Indepen- 
dence of their Country: this MONUMENT was 
erected in 1852 by joint liberality of the General 
Assembly: the People of Milford and other contribut- 
ing friends. Two hundred American Soldiers, in a 
destitute, sickly, and dying condition, were brought 
from a British Prison Ship, then lying near New York, 
and suddenly cast upon our shore, from a British 
cartel ship, on the first of January 1777. The Inhabi- 
tants of Milford made the most charitable efforts for 
the relief of those suffering strangers: yet notwith- 
standing all their kind ministrations, in one month, 
these forty-six died, and were buried in one common 
grave. Their names and residences are inscribed on 
the MONUMENT. Who shall say that Republics 
are ungrateful. 

In 1848 the Milford post office containing about fifty 
letter boxes was located in John W. Merwin's store on 
Broad Street. When William Brotherton was appointed 
postmaster in 1854, the office was moved to the corner of 
Daniel and River streets. The new administration at Wash- 
ington in 1 861 brought a change in postmasters in Mil- 

98 



THE MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY 

ford. Thomas Cornwall, the appointee, moved the post 
office to the building on River Street now occupied by The 
Theron Ford Company, where it remained until the new 
Federal Post Office Building was erected in 1932. 

On April 26, 1851, the Milford Fire Company changed 
its name to the Wepawaug Engine Company No. 1, and 
adopted new by-laws. Article nine reads: 

Each member shall within thirty days after enlist- 
ment provide himself with a uniform — to consist of a 
Black Glazed Hat (termed a Sou' Wester) the rim to 
be five inches wide behind and two and one-half inches 
wide in front with the figure 'i' painted white in front. 
The pantaloons dark and worn without suspenders. 
The shirt to be red flannel, collar to be four inches 
wide and the bosom to be buttoned on the right breast 
with three black buttons. The Foreman's hat to be 
white with black numeral. Under a penalty of 25 
cents for each time the company may be called to- 
gether and he neglect to be so equipped. 

The appointment of a fire warden by the town officials 
on December 13, 1852, was at first decidedly unpopular with 
the members of the Wepawaug Company, as in their opinion 
the duly elected officers of the company were better quali- 
fied than any outsider. John K. Bristol was made fire war- 
den to marshal the citizens and organize "Bucket Brigades." 
But on December 28, 1853, the company voted: "to procure 
and present to the Fire Warden of this town, a hat, a shirt 
and belt, symbolic of his office." 

By 1854 the company had outgrown the little firehouse 
behind the town hall. On December 11 of that year the 
town voted to erect an engine house. The building was 
completed in the summer of 1855, and in September the 
Wepawaugs held their first meeting in it. On April 11, 
1856, the company decided to change the style of its uniform 

99 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

and to wear "the new style cap with red band and guilt 
buttons — and White Patent Leather Belts." At a meeting 
held August 29, 1857, a committee of five men was ap- 
pointed to obtain a new fire engine, hose and other neces- 
sary apparatus. An engine was procured from the New 
Haven Fire Department on trial. After a successful demon- 
stration, money was appropriated to pay for the engine. The 
newly acquired apparatus was first named "The Wave;" at 
a later meeting the name was changed to "The Arctic." The 
primitive engine had a pump capable of throwing no more 
water than an ordinary-sized hand pump. Additional by- 
laws were adopted by the Wepawaug Company on March 
1, 1858, and its name was changed to the Arctic Engine 
Company No. 1, after the new engine. The company has 
kept this name ever since. Regular drills, maneuvers, and 
exercises were instituted on meeting nights. 

Law enforcement in Milford was entrusted to constables 
elected annually. The original number was two, but by 
i860 the number had been increased to seven. In the next 
few years a series of disorders impressed the town with the 
need for better protection and a regular police force. 

On Lincoln's Birthday, in 1867, a prize fight at Milford 
Junction was followed by a free-for-all contest that caused 
a general disturbance throughout the entire township. Press 
comment about the lax enforcement of the law, threats of 
legislative investigation, and calls for assistance from out- 
side the town to suppress lawlessness, followed. 

Three years passed before quiet Milford streets again 
echoed to the shouts of a crowd of toughs who assembled, 
on April 12, 1870, to celebrate what was expected to be a 
lightweight contest on Charles Island. When only one of 
the fighters made his appearance, the promoters staged a 
contest between two lesser lights of the profession. In Mil- 
ford streets, on April 11 and 12, windows were smashed 

100 



THE MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY 

and the populace was terrified as fight fans poured into the 
little village. 

The county sheriff decided on immediate action. A spe- 
cial train at New Haven depot was loaded with five militia 
companies under command of Colonel Bradley and des- 
patched to Milford. Captain Catlin and twenty-two New 
Haven policemen also joined the relief expedition. Nearly 
two hundred armed men departed for the scene of the com- 
bat j Governor Jewell ordered the Sheriff and his men to ar- 
rest every possible violator of the law, in an effort to stamp 
out prize fighting in Connecticut. 

About a mile and a half from the Milford depot, the 
contingent detrained and proceeded to the scene of action. At 
double-time, the military advanced on the scattering sports- 
folk and after a flurry of combat, the crowd surrendered. 
Eighty-eight men were detained, eighty-one were locked 
up, but only seventy-four answered their names when they 
were arraigned the next morning and bail was set. Prac- 
tically everyone managed to furnish bond and only a few 
of the less fortunate actually spent more than the single 
night in jail. The military disbanded, and Milford returned 
to normal and the replacement of broken window glass. 

Later in the year 1870, the murder of Nathan Fenn, a 
merchant, by burglars discovered in the act of breaking into 
his store, created great excitement in town, and rewards 
were offered by both State and town for the arrest and con- 
viction of the murderers. Resulting agitation for better po- 
lice protection led to the selectmen being empowered on Oc- 
tober 19, 1874 "to appoint two or more suitable persons from 
within or without the ranks of constables, as special police 
for the purpose of preserving order in our public streets for 
the night season." In 1875 it was voted "that our Police 
Force consist of two persons for the ensuing year — Resolved 
that J. R. Furman and Castelle O. Isbell, constitute said 

101 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

force." Both of these men were duly elected constables and 
constituted the first salaried police force in Milford. 

The custom of receiving bids for the support of the town 
poor still prevailed in 1849. Paupers were cared for at the 
town farm, the produce raised contributing to their sup- 
port. On December 12, 1864, a committee of four was ap- 
pointed to "make proper inquiry and report at a future meet- 
ing, some plan for building a suitable almshouse and also 
an estimate of the probable cost." The committee made its 
report on January 26, 1865, but nothing further is reported 
in the records. 

The Milford Savings Bank was chartered in 1872 and 
commenced business in 1875 in the building now occupied 
by the Williams Real Estate Office on Broad Street. The 
beginning was very modest ; a cigar-box in the safe of the 
treasurer was the first repository for the deposits of the cus- 
tomers. The bank's first president was Isaac T. Rogers j 
its first treasurer, Phineas S. Bristol. 

The first newspaper to be published in Milford was the 
Milford Telegram; its initial issue was printed in 1873. 
Three years later the name was changed to Milford Sen- 
tinel. 

Until the formation of the Board of Education in 1875, 
Milford retained its district school system. The high school, 
established in 1842, and the Milford Academy offered op- 
portunities for secondary education. Although a State law 
abolished the School Society in 1856, and returned the con- 
trol of the schools to the town, the Milford School Society 
continued to function until 1865, the last entry on its records 
being dated December 1 1 of that year. 

Statewide agitation for better schools resulted in the 
establishment of the Board of School Visitors in 1 854. Orig- 
inally called the School Inspection Committee, it visited the 
district schools, examined the teachers and issued certificates, 

102 



THE MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY 

inspected buildings, and required that the committeemen 
administer school details properly. There were eight mem- 
bers on the Board of Visitors, of whom several were usually 
ministers. In 1862 the board appointed two "acting school 
visitors" to do all the actual visiting of schools and perform 
the duties and exercise the powers of the board, subject to 
its approval. 

From 1797 to 1854 throughout Connecticut there were 
no town taxes to maintain the schools. Funds for their sup- 
port were furnished by the income from school "funds," 
tuition fees and rate-bills. In 1854 tne General Assembly 
passed a law that each town should levy a school tax of one 
cent on the dollar on the grand list. In i860 this levy was 
changed to three mills ; in 1866, to four mills j in 1868, 
to not less than one mill} and in 1869 it was specified that 
the rate was to be high enough to provide thirty weeks of 
school annually. In 1 870 this law was changed so that thirty 
weeks of school were to be kept where twenty-four or more 
children were enrolled, but only twenty-four weeks of 
school, where there were fewer than twenty-four scholars. 

Public school pupils in Milford frequently received a 
dividend from a surplus in the school fund either from public 
money or the fees charged the pupils for their education. 
On March 23, 1864, a sizable dividend was declared when 
each pupil received $2.25 as his share of $772.80 received 
from the Comptroller out of public funds and from other 
sources of revenue. 

The free-school law was passed by the General Assem- 
bly in 1869, making it mandatory for towns to maintain 
schools by public taxation. The first compulsory attendance 
law was passed in 1872, requiring all children between the 
ages of eight and fourteen to attend school at least three 
months each year. 

Evidence of early recognition of the need for school 

103 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

playgrounds is found in the dispute between the Episcopal 
Church Society and the First School District Committee. 
The First District schoolhouse stood on the present site of 
St. Peter's Church Rectory. The Church Society erected a 
fence in 1857, presumably to keep the school children off 
the church premises. The School Society lodged a com- 
plaint against the church, claiming that the fence en- 
croached on school land and cut down the children's play 
space. After considerable controversy, and an attempt to 
have the town remove the fence, the hard feeling subsided. 
In fact, the following resolution was passed by the School 
Board: 

Voted that we do not regard the present railing 
erected by the members of the Episcopal Church 
around their lot, an obstruction or hindrance to the 
children using the same for a playground but rather 
as a protection to them in their play. We also re- 
gard it as an ornament to the place and a real benefit 
to those living in the vicinity as furnishing a pleasing 
view unobstructed by building, etc. 

The Reverend George H. Griffin, a school visitor, in his 
report of a visit to the 12th District School on December 2, 
1873, made the following notations: "Yesterday I exam- 
ined Miss Ellen Sherman for the 12th District. All satis- 
factory, except the schoolhouse itself, the door of which is 
without a latch and the stove door off its hinges. Can you 
do anything about it?" Apparently the Board could, for on 
October 12, 1874, it notified the officers of the 12th School 
District that unless their school was repaired they would not 
receive any more money. 

The little wooden schoolhouses operated under the oJd 
district school system were located in 1868 as follows: Dis- 
trict 1, River Street; District 2, West Town Street; District 
3, Gulf Street; District 4, Plains Road opposite the "Lily 

104 




St. Peter's Church 





Mary Taylor Memorial M. E. Church 



THE MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY 

Pond"} District 5, West Main Street} District 6, "Wheeler's 
Farm," at the junction of Herbert Street and Wheeler's 
Farm Road} District 7, North and Walnut Streets} District 
8, "Burwell's Farm," New Haven Avenue and Chapel 
Street} District 9, Governor's Avenue} District 10, Morn- 
ingside Road} District 11, Beaver Road} District 12, Tory 
Park at the head of Seaside Avenue. Several of these have 
now been converted into dwellings. 

The First Church was repaired and remodeled in 1859, 
and in 1 868 it was enlarged and again remodeled, and a new 
organ purchased. In 1869 the Plymouth Church was exten- 
sively remodeled. While the First Church was being re- 
paired, its services were held in the Plymouth Church, and 
while the Plymouth Church was being altered, its services 
were held in the First Church, in a spirit of mutual help- 
fulness. 

The congregation of the First Church was saddened, in 
1849, by the death of its pastor, the Reverend Bezaleel 
Pinneo. His pastorate had been one of the most noteworthy 
in the history of the church. Although not a Yale alumnus 
he had been prominently mentioned for the presidency of 
Yale College after the death of President Dwight. Because 
of the infirmities of age, he had not been active in his minis- 
terial duties since 1840, but his interest in church affairs had 
never flagged. 

The Reverend James D. Carder became the rector of 
St. Peter's Church early in 1848. He was a man of dynamic 
personality, and it was under his leadership and energy that 
the present church edifice was erected. The old wooden 
building had outlived its usefulness, and further repairs were 
unjustified. Dr. Carder raised $1,500, and John Fow- 
ler contributed a like amount to build a new church. When 
the old building was torn down, material that could be used 
in the construction of the new church was salvaged. Dur- 

105 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

ing the interval when the church society was without a build- 
ing, services were held in the Town Hall. The cornerstone 
of the new church was laid in May, 18493 tne building was 
completed in 1851, and dedicated on July 2 of that year by 
the Bishop of the diocese. At the dedication the name was 
changed from St. George's to St. Peter's. The brownstone 
used in the construction of the church was brought to Mil- 
ford by boat from the famous quarries at Portland, Con- 
necticut. The beams are all of native butternut. The build- 
ing in Middle English Gothic style of architecture is one of 
the best examples of this type in New England. 

The Baptist Church enjoyed only a brief period of pros- 
perity after it began holding services in its new church built 
in 1 845 on the triangular plot near the Town Hall. The con- 
gregation gradually dwindled until it had so few members 
that the church society was forced to disband in 1865. The 
few remaining members joined other denominations ; the 
town bought the church building. 

The Methodist Church in 1850 still had no regular 
minister, but relied on non-resident preachers. In 1852 the 
Methodist Conference supplied the church with a full-time 
pastor, the Reverend A. S. Hubbell. During his two-year 
pastorate decided progress was made, new members were 
acquired, a debt of $900 paid off, and land on High Street 
purchased for a parsonage. During the ministry of his suc- 
cessor, the Reverend M. Olmstead, the parsonage was built. 

The employment of Irish workers on railroad construc- 
tion in 1848 brought a number of Roman Catholics to Mil- 
ford. From 1848 to 1853 mass was solemnized occasionally 
in the homes of communicants. The first priests to admin- 
ister the sacrament in Milford were from St. Mary's parish 
in New Haven. One of these priests, the Reverend Edward 
J. O'Brien, realizing the need of a church for his growing 
congregation, in 1850 bought a small piece of land on Gulf 

106 



THE MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY 

Street, a short distance north of the present railroad bridge. 
On this plot of land Milford's first Catholic church, Milford 
Mission — later St. Mary's Church — was built in 1853. l n 
1856 the mission passed into the care of St. James parish in 
Bridgeport. Six years later St. Mary's was once more made 
a mission of St. Mary's, New Haven. In a short time it 
was transferred again to the jurisdiction of St. Mary's, East 
Bridgeport, and in 1872 to St. Mary's, Derby. 



107 



Chapter Six 
THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN MILFORD 

1874-1916 

In the trying years of depression and slow national re- 
covery that followed the Civil War, Milford had cause to 
be thankful for its diversified industries, its agriculture, and 
its bountiful supply of seafood. When business began to 
improve, its straw hats, shoes and seeds became more in de- 
mand. 

Seed had been raised for market in Milford since 1840, 
when Enoch Clark and his sons, Albertus and Clifford, de- 
veloped a small business. In 1856 Everett B. Clark raised 
a crop of cabbage seeds which he cured and stored in the 
parlor of his home. By 1883 the seed industry had attained 
such proportions throughout the country that the American 
Seed Trade Association was organized. One of its founders 
was Everett B. Clark, whose business had grown rapidly 
since his trial effort in cabbage seeds in 1856. In 1890 
Clark took his sons into his business as partners. The firm 
continued under the name of Everett B. Clark & Sons after 
the death of the father in 1907. A few years ago it was 
merged with other seed companies into the Associated Seed 
Growers, Inc., with offices in New Haven. 

Another Milford concern of national importance in the 
seed industry, F. H. Woodruff & Sons, Inc., was estab- 
lished in 1903. Frank H. Woodruff, who was born in 
Orange in 1849 an d died in Milford in 1927, had spent the 
greater part of his life farming and growing sweet-corn for 
seedsmen. In 1903 he decided to go into business for him- 

108 



THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN MILFORD 

self, taking with him his two sons, William H. and 
Harold F. The business was begun in a barn on the home 
farm, with billing and bookkeeping done by lamplight at a 
desk in the dining-room of the farmhouse after the day's 
work. From this simple beginning the business grew rapidly 
until today the concern has branch warehouses in several 
States, with its main warehouse in Milford. Although the 
company specializes in vegetable seeds, in recent years it has 
developed notable lawn grasses and has added flower bulbs 
to its list of products. 

The success of the William M. Merwin & Sons Com- 
pany with deep sea oyster beds led to a boom in the oyster 
business. In 1878 the town issued forty-one permits, each 
for a two-acre oyster grant, sixteen of them to women. In 
that year the Merwin firm secured a permit to stake out 
two hundred acres of oyster grounds near Pond Point in 
water varying from twenty to fifty feet in depth. The firm 
continued to expand until by 1888 its oyster beds had in- 
creased to a thousand acres, yielding about a million bushels 
yearly. Merwin seed oysters were of such high quality that 
orders for "stock" were received from firms abroad as well 
as in this country. The Merwins maintained a "shucking" 
plant in Milford on the site of the present plant of the Con- 
necticut Oyster Farms Company. A force of from fifty 
to seventy-five employees opened from 150,000 to 200,000 
bushels of oysters a year. In 191 1 William M. Merwin & 
Sons sold their interests to the Sealshipt Oyster System which 
reorganized in 191 3 as the Connecticut Oyster Farms Com- 
pany, a subsidiary of the North Atlantic Oyster Farms, Inc. 
In 1929 the Connecticut Oyster Farms Company was taken 
over by the Bluepoints Company, Inc., a subsidiary of the 
General Foods Corporation. 

Milford's population was only 3,347 in the 1880 census, 
a drop of 58 from the previous tally. By 1889 Milford had 

109 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

705 children of school age (four to sixteen years), a grand list 
of $1,162,430, funded indebtedness of $41,500, and a float- 
ing debt of $10,661.54. The chief industry was agriculture 
and seed raising ; the chief manufactured products were 
straw hats and shoes. The Miljord Times, an independent 
news journal, was distributed every Thursday. The chief 
financial institution was the Milford Savings Bank, then pay- 
ing interest at the rate of four and a half per cent per year 
on deposits of $207,269.78, and claiming a surplus of 

$8,157-72. 

At sunrise on August 31, 1888, a fifteen-gun salute, flag 
raising, joyous pealing of church bells, and shrill blasts of 
factory whistles, ushered in the day set aside for the unveil- 
ing of the Civil War Memorial. Three thousand dollars 
had been raised for this memorial by the Milford G.A.R. 
Post and by private subscription. At nine fifty a. m. cannon 
again roared in a thirteen-gun salute announcing the arrival 
of the G.A.R. Department Commander and his staff, fol- 
lowed by another thirteen-gun salute on the arrival of Gov- 
ernor Phineas C. Lounsbury and his staff. Three signal 
guns announced the hour for the forming of the line of 
march, while a final shot was the signal for the starting of 
the parade. 

The procession marched to the bunting-trimmed Green 
where hundreds of townspeople and visitors were gathered 
to witness the unveiling of the granite shaft surmounted by 
an heroic figure of a soldier in the field uniform of 1861-65 
standing at parade rest. On the base of the monument are 
carved the inscriptions: 

GETTYSBURG 

A Tribute 

To the Bravery of the Men 

Who Risked Their Lives That 

The Nation Might Live 

1861-1865 

JIO 



THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN MILFORD 

FORT FISHER PORT HUDSON 

APPOMATTOX 

Erected by 

George Van Horn Post 

No. 39, G.A.R. 

And Friends 

In preparation for the 250th anniversary of the found- 
ing of the First Church, committees were appointed by the 
town and by Plymouth Church to cooperate with the First 
Church committee in planning a celebration for the summer 
of 1889. The joint committee agreed that as part of the 
observance of the anniversary, "a substantial mark should 
be made in honor of the Founders of the town" . . . and 
. . . "that such a mark should unite utility with the pic- 
turesque and at the same time be typical of the men and 
time of settlement." It was decided that this purpose could 
best be accomplished by building a stone bridge over the 
Wepawaug River, "upon whose banks their first habitations 
were placed and the first mill erected." 

A special town meeting voted to appropriate $3,000 with 
which to build the Memorial Bridge. Construction was be- 
gun in the fall of 1888 and completed in time for the three- 
day celebration in August of the following year. Built of 
large, rough blocks of Leete's Island granite, and dominated 
by a forty foot turret tower topped with red Spanish tile, 
the bridge includes a commemorative stone for each indivi- 
dual founder. Each memorial block is engraved with the 
name of a settler, the name of his wife, and the date of his 
death. The cost of the inscriptions was paid by descendants 
of the founders, many of whom were living in distant parts 
of the world. On the Prudden boulder at the southwest 
end of the bridge is engraved the text of the first sermon 
he preached in the New Haven Colony. At the southeast 
end of the bridge is a boulder in memory of Captain Thomas 
Tibbals "in consideration of his helpfulness at the first com- 

iii 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

ing to Milford to show the first comers the place." On 
the keystone of the bridge is carved an idealized Indian head, 
and on one block is the old Indian name "Wepowage," on 
another in raised polished letters, "Wepowaug River." At 
the east end, a stone seat is inscribed: 

In Memoriam 

Jonathan Law, Governor of the Colony of Connecticut, 

from 1742 to 1750 

this stone once his doorstep. 

On heavy blocks which cap the buttress of the tower are 
carved: "Law," "Order," "Morality," "Liberty," "Char- 
ity." On the keystone of the tower doorway is carved 
an idealized head of the Indian chief Ansantawae, and 
the mark — a bow and arrow — with which he signed the deed 
of the Milford land purchase. The tower door hangs on 
arrow-pointed hinges, and the knocker is bow-shaped. A 
seat at the end of the buttress is made of a millstone reputed 
to be the first used by William Fowler in his mill on this 
site in 1 640. The stone was donated by William Fowler of 
the eighth generation. 

Day-long services, with a recess at noon, were held in 
the First Church on Sunday, August 25, 1889, at which his- 
torical addresses were delivered, reviewing the important 
events in the development of the town. On Monday, Au- 
gust 26, a social reunion was held, followed by a program 
in which resident pastors, visiting ministers, and members 
of the Church took part. 

Residents continued the celebration with a program of 
festivities on August 28, beginning at sunrise with the firing 
of a forty-two-gun salute and the ringing of bells and blow- 
ing of whistles. A parade from ten o'clock until noon was fol- 
lowed in the afternoon by a program of sports on the Town 
Hall Green. At three o'clock exercises were held in the First 
Church with the Governor of Connecticut as guest speaker. 

112 




Memorial Bridge in 1889 




Milford Greet 




St. Mary's Church 




Lauralton Hall 



THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN MILFORD 

A feature of the evening entertainment was the "Grand 
Illumination of the Broad Street Park," as the Green was 
designated on the printed program of the festivities, a band 
concert and a fireworks display. 

The construction of the electric street railway in 1898 
through the region then known as Great Meadows and 
Meadows' End started a boom in shore property, and the 
summer resort business became one of the town's most im- 
portant enterprises. Prior to this the swampy marshland 
had been considered of little value ; but after the railway 
made it accessible, its proximity to Long Island Sound turned 
it into profitable land for real estate promoters. One small 
section of a thirty-eight acre farm sold for $2,800 in 1 898, al- 
though the entire farm had been acquired in 1897 through 
foreclosure of a mortgage for only $4,000. Building, main- 
taining and servicing beach properties along Fort Trumbull, 
Silver, Myrtle, Laurel, Wildermere, and Cedar Beaches, 
and supplying their summer residents with food and general 
merchandise, grew to be a major source of income for Mil- 
ford business men and farmers. The tremendous increase 
in property values in the beach areas contributed greatly 
to the increase in the town's grand list from $1,925,740.66 
in 1900 to $6,453,859.23 in 1910. Appropriations for town 
expenditures amounted to $81,807.37 in 1910 as against 
$22,027.60 for 1900. Taxes from new real estate develop- 
ments swelled the town funds appreciably, enabling Milford 
to finance its expanding government functions. 

A number of important industries continued during the 
last twenty-five years of the nineteenth century. The firm 
of Baldwin and Lamkin which in 1875 had moved to larger 
quarters on Broad Street and there installed modern ma- 
chinery and a sixty horsepower engine, employed about two 
hundred workers and was so successful that it again enlarged 
its quarters in 1885. The company eventually met with 

"3 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

financial difficulties, however, and by 1903 ceased to do 
business. Another shoe factory, owned by Walp & Com- 
pany, was started in Milford in the plant on West Main 
Street which Payne and Todd had operated for a few years 
as a paper-box factory. In 1890 the business was removed 
to Lynn, Massachusetts, a center of the New England shoe 
industry. 

Straw hats were made in Milford until after the World 
War. The Mitchell Manufacturing Company, another straw 
industry, incorporated May 28, 1888, produced floor mat- 
ting with the Doherty loom designed in Milford. The own- 
ers believed that the machine-made product of the Mitchell 
Company could compete successfully with the cheap hand- 
made products of China and Japan, the chief source of the 
straw matting supply. Because of the narrowing of the mar- 
ket for its product after the turn of the century, and the 
keen competition from cheaper Chinese and Japanese mat- 
ting, the company discontinued operation in Milford. 

The famous Fowler Mill property passed out of the 
hands of the Fowler family in April, 1901. The mill was 
demolished two hundred and sixty-one years after William 
Fowler built his first gristmill on the spot in 1640. 

The Milford Citizen, a weekly newspaper, was first pub- 
lished in 1894. For forty-five years its publication has con- 
tinued under a succession of owners. In 191 5 the newspaper 
was purchased by Fred W. Lyon, formerly of Greenwich, 
who continued to publish it until his death in 1936. His 
sons, Roger S. and Augustus F. Lyon, are now the proprie- 
tors of the paper, which is issued every Thursday. 

The management of the Washington Bridge was taken 
over by Fairfield and New Haven counties in 1889. In 
1872, rather than comply with an order to rebuild the 
bridge issued by the State Legislature in 18 70, the bridge 
company turned the bridge over to a commission composed of 

114 



THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN MILFORD 

representatives of the three towns most interested, Bridge- 
port, Stratford, and Milford, and this commission rebuilt the 
bridge at a cost of $19,000. By 1895 increased traffic neces- 
sitated a stronger and more modern structure. An iron 
bridge with a center draw replaced the old wooden trestle, 
tolls being abolished. 

The trolley company at first was refused permission to 
lay tracks on the new bridge because of the narrow roadway, 
but in 1897 the prolonged dispute was settled and the rails 
were laid and completed to Milford the following year. A 
petition of the Milford Street Railway for a right of way 
across the town meadows was granted in 1897, and to aid 
in the building of the railway, the town voted in 1898 to 
build a new "iron or steel" bridge over the Wepawaug at the 
Jefferson Bridge site on River Street. The first trolley to 
reach Milford from Bridgeport was received by a brass band 
and a general celebration. The same year, 1898, the tracks 
were extended to Woodmont, where connections were made 
with the West Shore Railway. Milford then had trolley ser- 
vice to both New Haven and Bridgeport. The company 
provided hourly service j the running time was fifty minutes 
to Bridgeport and seventy minutes to New Haven. 

The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad 
Company progressively improved its service and equipment. 
In 1 88 1 a new station was erected at Milford. The "four 
tracking" of the railroad from New Haven to New Rochelle, 
started in 1892, was completed through Milford in 1896. 
In the company's annual report of 1892 the following nota- 
tion appears: "If electricity as motive power becomes com- 
mercially practicable the two interior tracks of the four . . . 
will prove especially adapted for its use." The electrifica- 
tion of the railroad between New Haven and New York 
was later undertaken and completed on January 22, 19 14, 
at a cost of $20,000,000. 

ii5 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

The first rural mail routes were established on June i, 
1898. A steady increase in yearly postal receipts advanced 
Milford to the rating of a second-class post office in 1906, 
and to a first-class office in 1926. Regular city delivery ser- 
vice was inaugurated on February 1, 1909. 

In 1874 the Town Hall and the Baptist Church were 
made into one building by the erection of a central connecting 
section. The colonial type building was in the shape of an 
H with an auditorium on the east side. The central part 
and the west side were two stories high and housed the town 
offices, as well as the graded and high schools. The jail and 
lodgings for transients were in the basement. The row of 
fluted pillars across the front was approached by steps run- 
ning the entire width of the building. The central part was 
topped by a cupola, containing the school bell. 

Fire destroyed this remodeled Town Hall in the early 
morning hours of February 19, 191 5. Five vagrants who 
were lodged for the night in the basement were awakened 
by the distressed mewing of a cat. They battered their way 
through the basement ceiling with a pipe wrenched from the 
wall, made their escape from the burning building, and 
sounded the fire alarm. With help from neighboring towns 
and cities, the local fire department fought desperately, but a 
high wind defeated all attempts to check the blaze. The 
loss was estimated at $50,000. Fortunately the town rec- 
ords, as well as the valuable silver communion service of the 
First Church, which were stored in a fire-proof vault, 
escaped destruction. 

As the town increased in population and its governmental 
problems became more complex, the old method of budget- 
making and appropriation of funds directly through town 
meetings proved inadequate. To bring about more efficient 
administration of fiscal affairs, the establishment of a Board 
of Finance was proposed in 19 10. Milford's representatives 

116 



THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN MILFORD 

in the next General Assembly introduced a bill which was 
enacted into law on April 4, 191 1, creating a department 
of finance. The act became effective July 1, 191 1; it was 
amended in 1921 and again in 1929. The Department of 
Finance was created (1) to conduct hearings with respect 
to the needs of each department of town government; (2) 
to make estimates of the moneys adequate to finance each 
department} (3) to submit its recommended appropriations 
to town meetings for approval} (4) to estimate the rate of 
taxation needed to meet the appropriations recommended. 

A recommendation of the newly-created Board of Fi- 
nance that $500 be appropriated for sheriffs' and constables' 
fees called forth heated argument in 191 1, and the appro- 
priation was tabled. By 19 13 town sentiment in favor of a 
paid police force had developed sufficiently to decree 

. . . that the Selectmen are hereby authorized to ap- 
point such number of Deputy Sheriffs, Constables, or 
other persons, as they may deem proper, to act as 
patrolmen under section 1825 of the General Statutes 
of Connecticut. On condition that all officers' fees in 
criminal cases in the Town Court, where arrests are 
made within the Town of Milford, shall be paid into 
the Town Treasurer. 

A year's trial of special police proved unsatisfactory, since 
certain residents demanded more adequate protection. A 
special committee was therefore appointed in 19 14 to in- 
vestigate the feasibility of maintaining an organized police 
department, and made the following report on January 8, 
1915: 

. . . that a Board of Police Commissioners be pro- 
vided for and regular patrolman appointed, and that 
said Board of Police Commissioners be given authority 
to regulate and license auctions, peddling, sports, exhi- 
bitions and public amusements .... 

117 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Accordingly, the State Legislature in 191 5 created the 
Board of Police Commissioners and authorized a police force 
in Milford. The budget prepared by the Board of Finance 
for 1915-1916 appropriated $5,700 for the department with 
an additional $580 for equipment. Quarters were tem- 
porarily set up in the parish house of St. Peter's Church. 
Three Police Commissioners appointed Chief James M. 
Maher and five police officers. In the first year sixty-three 
cases were brought to trial. 

Justices of the Peace had served the community ade- 
quately as judges in minor cases, with Grand Jurors serving 
as prosecutors. This handling of minor cases was changed, 
however, when a town court was established in Milford by 
an act of the State Legislature on June 29, 1901. The first 
Judge, appointed by the General Assembly, was the Honor- 
able Richard R. Hepburn, also Town Clerk and Judge of 
Probate. One of his first official acts was the appointment 
of Omar W. Piatt, Esq., a former Grand Juror, to the post 
of Prosecutor. Piatt is still the Prosecutor of the Town 
Court, as well as Judge of Probate, and Chairman of the 
Board of Education. Roger S. Baldwin, a former Justice 
of the Peace, was the first Deputy Judge. The first case, on 
July 5, 1 90 1, was for the "theft of a keg of beer, valued 
at $2.50" — evidently a Fourth of July prank, because the 
Judge discharged the accused after a short continuance. The 
second case, also heard on July 5, was that of two young 
men charged with "riding a bicycle on the sidewalk." Both 
pleading guilty to the charge, Judge Hepburn suspended 
judgment. 

Violations of the "Sunday Liquor Laws" headed the list 
of cases coming before the Town Court until 1906, when 
violations of the motor vehicle laws became frequent. On 
October 8, 1906, ten motorists were charged with "Viola- 
tions of the Speed Laws" in a drive to check speeding within 

118 



THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN MILFORD 

the town limits. The speed limit at that time was fifteen 
miles per hour. 

Court sessions were held in the old Town Hall until 
it was destroyed by fire in 191 5. Then court was held 
temporarily in St. Peter's parish house, while the present 
Town Hall was being erected. Robert C. Stoddard, Esq., 
is now Judge of the Town Court. 

For almost sixty years the Arctic Engine Company 
served as the town's only fire-fighting organization. On 
May 9, 1882, when the volunteer fire company had been 
called to a fire in Buck's Drug Store, the old engine was out 
of order, and the fire was fought by a bucket brigade. This 
incident led to an ultimatum to the selectmen that unless 
the town supplied a new fire engine the company would 
disband. A new machine was procured on May 21, 1883. 
Horses were first used to haul the engine in 1892, and later 
bicycles helped to get the volunteers more quickly to the 
scene of a fire. For several years the engine company had 
been asking for an electric fire-alarm system. A fair held 
in April, 1898, netting the company $700, work on installing 
the electric fire alarm was begun at once. The money on 
hand, however, being insufficient, the town appropriated 
an additional $500. A disastrous fire in Woodmont in 1896, 
another in Meadow's End in 1905, and still another at Cedar 
Beach in 1907, demonstrated the need of local fire-fighting 
organizations in the beach areas. Consequently volunteer 
fire companies were organized in all the outlying sections. 
Usually a group of neighbors organized themselves into a 
bucket brigade and applied to the State for a charter of in- 
corporation. The Woodmont Fire Company was organized 
in 1897, the Walnut Beach Company in 1905, the Fort 
Trumbull Beach Company in 1909, the Devon Volunteer 
Fire Department in 19 10, and the Myrtle Beach Fire Com- 

119 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

pany in 191 2. The headquarters of each of the volunteer 
units became miniature community centers. The rivalry 
among the companies added interest and color to routine fire 
fighting. 

In 1 9 1 5 Milf ord built a new central firehouse on Factory 
Lane south of Broad Street. In the same year two full- 
time paid firemen were appointed from the ranks of the 
Arctic Company, one of whom was Lewis F. Stowe, now 
Milford's Fire Chief. An act of the State Legislature in 
1 91 7, created the present Board of Fire Commissioners with 
supervision over all the fire companies in town. 

The Woodmont Association, originally a community im- 
provement organization started in 1901, was incorpo- 
rated by a charter from the State Legislature on June 18, 
1903. At this time Woodmont became a borough within the 
town of Milford. Duly elected officers were empowered by 
the charter to levy taxes, control health and sanitation, build 
roads, sidewalks, and drains, appoint special police and do 
anything to improve the borough of Woodmont which did 
not specifically encroach upon the powers exercised by the 
town government. A share of the town taxes with which to 
carry on public works was paid to the association. 

Another development was of importance in changing the 
character of Milford. On November 1, 191 3, the name 
of Naugatuck Junction, a railroad station in the western 
part of town, was changed to Devon, by which name the 
locality is now known. About 19 14 Devon building and 
real estate developed rapidly to provide housing for workers 
employed in the Bridgeport munitions and allied industries, 
and the area became a community in itself. 

Taking advantage of an act of the State Legislature 
passed in 1863, the town consolidated its school districts into 
one system, and on December 30, 1874, created a Board of 
Education of twelve members, one from each of the former 

120 



THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN MILFORD 

school districts. Each year, four members are installed for 
a three-year term, so that the Board is never composed 
entirely of newly-elected members. A six-room graded school 
was set up in the Town Hall building to provide for the 
children who had been attending the districts near the center 
of Milford. Schools were maintained for outlying districts 
as formerly. Supervision of all schools passed from the 
school districts to the central Board of Education or Town 
School Committee. The practice of levying a special tax to 
raise school funds was discontinued in 1878, and thereafter 
an annual appropriation from regular town funds was made. 
On November 15, 1876, A. M. Drummond became the 
first principal of Milford High School. In 1883 Herbert 
I. Mathewson was made principal of the High School. He 
later became Superintendent of Schools and served faithfully 
in this post until his death in 1927. 

The first of Milford's modern school buildings was 
erected in 1907 at Devon. The rapid development of that 
section of town had made this new two-room school im- 
perative. By 1 913 it was necessary to build a four-room 
addition. In 1908 a twenty-one room school building was 
erected on West River Street opposite the Town Hall for 
the central graded school and the high school, both of which 
had been housed in the Town Hall building. Complaints 
were made at the time that the new school building was 
much too large for the needs of the town, but soon every 
desk was occupied. A four-room school at Walnut Beach 
was erected in 19163 nine rooms and a kindergarten were 
added in 1923. 

Lauralton Hall, also known as The Academy of Our 
Lady of Mercy, a private boarding and day school for girls, 
with elementary and high school departments, was estab- 
lished in 1 905 by the Sisters of Mercy of the Roman Catholic 
Church. The school has a twenty-three acre campus of 

121 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

rolling lawns, bordered by beautiful shade trees and shrubs, 
the estate formerly of Charles H. Pond and later of Henry 
Augustus Taylor. The buildings are a quarter of a mile 
from the High Street entrance to the grounds. In 1938 
the school had an enrollment of one hundred and thirty-five 
students. It is affiliated with the Catholic University of 
America and is approved as a secondary school by the Con- 
necticut Education Commission. 

In 1894 Henry Augustus Taylor offered to build a me- 
morial library if the town would furnish the land and agree 
to appropriate a fund for maintenance each year. Milford 
was quick to grasp the opportunity and purchased a plot of 
land at the corner of Broad and River streets for $3,400, 
and agreed to set aside a thousand dollars each year to pay 
the expenses of operation. The Taylor Library was com- 
pleted at a cost of $25,000 and dedicated on February 2, 
1895. There are two branches, one at Devon and a chil- 
dren's department on River Street, with approximately 
twenty thousand volumes available. 

The Woodmont Union Chapel, non-denominational, 
was built in 1886 to provide a house of worship for people 
of all faiths. Similar union chapels were built at Walnut 
Beach in 1895 and at Devon in 1908. The small chapel 
built in Devon served the congregation until an increase in 
population required the building of a larger church in 191 7. 

The present St. Mary's Church building was erected in 
1 88 1, and a new rectory was acquired in 1899. For a time 
St. Mary's became the parent church for missions in Stratford 
and West Haven, but in 1892 the West Haven mission be- 
came independent and in 1906 the Stratford mission sepa- 
rated from Milford. In 1906 St. Agnes Chapel, a summer 
chapel at Woodmont, was built j in 1910 St. Gabriel's, for 
the west-end beaches. 

122 




Taylor Library 




Old Town Hall (191 5) 






r I 



fifii* ; ; if tf,rt 





pg^yi. 1 if if it if I if 




si i 







D. A. R. Chapter House 



THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN MILFORD 

The cornerstone of the Mary Taylor Memorial Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church was laid on October 3, 1892. The 
church, completed and dedicated June 25, 1893, was the 
gift of John Howard, Margharita, Mary Elizabeth, and 
Henry Augustus Taylor, Jr., as a memorial to their mother, 
Mary Meyer Taylor. 

The Baptist Colored Church was organized in Milford 
in 1893. Previously the colored people of Milford had been 
without their own place of worship. In 1893 a group of 
men who had been members of the Emanuel Baptist Church 
of New Haven organized the First Baptist Church of Mil- 
ford. At first, services were held in the old Methodist 
Church on River Street. The congregation had no paid 
minister, and a deacon or visiting clergyman conducted the 
services. The church moved in 1896 to a redecorated shop 
just above King's Bridge (Maple Street), which served as 
its meeting-house until 1900, when the present church on 
North Street was bought. 

The Freelove Baldwin Stow chapter of the Daughters 
of the American Revolution was formed in 1896, with Mrs. 
Mary Hepburn Smith as the first regent. The Chapter 
House on Broad Street was erected in 1907 on land given 
by the regent, the chapter raising the money for the building. 

About a mile east of Washington Bridge, on the north 
side of Bridgeport Avenue, resting on a ledge somewhat 
above and plainly visible from the highway, stands "Liberty 
Rock," a boulder about ten feet in diameter. This boulder 
was formerly known as "Hog Rock," the following stanza 
explaining the origin of the name: 

"Once four young men upon ye rock 
Sate down at chufHe board one dayej 
When ye Deuill appeared in shape of a hogg, 
Ande frighten'd ym so they scampered awaye, 
Ande left Olde Nick to finish ye play." 

123 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

On one side of the rock is cut in capitals "LIBERTY, 
1776," done by Peter Pierett, Jr., at the time of the Revolu- 
tion. The rock is said to have been a signal station during 
Revolutionary days. 

On September 6, 1897, the Freelove Baldwin Stow 
Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, fol- 
lowing appropriate ceremonies, raised an American flag on a 
pole erected on the rock. A flag has since been maintained at 
the rock, which from that time has been known as "Liberty 
Rock." 

The Schermerhorn House was built in 1904 at Point 
Beach by the New York Protestant Episcopal City Mission 
Society, with funds made available by a legacy received from 
Sarah Schermerhorn. The institution was established to pro- 
vide fresh-air treatment and other necessary care to convales- 
cent mothers from the slums of New York City. The most 
recent report shows that 499 "fresh-air" children were ac- 
commodated and 1,678 convalescents were treated during the 
course of one season. 

Telephones were first installed in Milford in 1881, with 
twenty-two listed. Milford was a part of the New Haven 
exchange until 1896 when a switchboard was installed in 
a drug store near the Milford Green. About a year later 
the switchboard was located in Frank Brown's bicycle shop, 
Brown acting as the operator. The number of subscribers 
steadily increased until by 191 2 there were 800 telephones in 
Milford. The present two-story, brick telephone building 
on High Street was erected in that year, and the subscribers 
were given the benefit of "common battery" service, with 
current supplied from the telephone office instead of from 
batteries for each telephone. Subscribers no longer needed 
to turn a crank to signal the operator. In 1938 there were 
3,100 telephones in Milford. George W. Coy of Milford 

124 



THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN MILFORD 

was the inventor of the switchboard used by the New Haven 
exchange, the first commercial telephone system in the world. 

The developer of the first street railway system and the 
originator of the electric elevator was also a Milford man, 
Frank Julian Sprague, born July 25, 1857. The electrical 
equipment designed by him became standard for elevated 
railways and subways throughout the United States. Sprague 
received many awards in recognition of his distinguished 
achievements in the field of electrical science. He died in 
New York City in 1934 at the age of seventy-seven years. 

Until 1898 Milford had no community water supply. 
In October of that year, Moses Joy and David J. Greene 
organized the Milford Water Company under a charter 
granted in 1895 to George M. Gunn and others, and built a 
reservoir, stand-pipe, and pumping station on Beaver Brook, 
near the point where the brook crosses Bridgeport Avenue. 
This was the location of a fulling mill, built in 1689, later 
known as Prince's Mill. In 1907 the New Haven Water 
Company acquired a controlling interest in the Milford 
Water Company. For the past three years the Milford res- 
ervoir has been kept in condition for emergency use only, all 
of the water for Milford consumption coming from the sup- 
ply of the New Haven Water Company. 

Illuminating gas was piped to Woodmont from New 
Haven in 1 901, but was not available for Milford center 
until 1909, when a gas storage tank was erected on New 
Haven Avenue. Gas street lamps were installed that same 
year and were used in some sections as late as 1919. 

The Village Improvement Association, formed in 1908 
and incorporated in 1909 for the betterment and beautifica- 
tion of the town, was the pioneer in many movements for 
civic improvement, such as tree spraying, street cleaning, bet- 
ter lighting and parks. It was instrumental in 1 909 in get- 
ting the United States Government to present to the town the 

125 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Rodman Gun, which mounted on a concrete base adorns the 
Green in front of the Soldiers Monument. The purchase of 
Gulf Beach in 191 2 was another of its accomplishments. At 
about the time of the World War the Association ceased to 
function. 

Wilcox Park, a wooded area of about twenty acres, on 
the east bank of the harbor, was added to the park system 
on August 28, 1909, by deed from Clark Wilcox. This 
spot was affectionately known to many generations of young- 
sters as Harbor Woods. For many years it was a favorite 
spot for picnics and outings. Wilcox Park is part of the 
original grant to William Fowler, the first miller, and had 
been owned by the Fowler family until purchased by Mr. 
Wilcox in 1908. A pleasing entrance was constructed, com- 
prising two stone posts, each surmounted with a wrought iron 
lamp. Roads were laid out winding among the trees, the 
underbrush cleared away and shrubbery planted. The Vil- 
lage Improvement Association undertook the task of keeping 
the grounds clean and the trees and bushes trimmed. The 
Milford Garden Club now maintains a bird sanctuary there, 
placing food in feeding stations throughout the winter. The 
club has also set up many bird houses in the park. 

Stimulated by the activities of the Village Improvement 
Association, George Hare Ford presented to the town a 
Memorial Fountain erected on the Green and unveiled on 
August 27, 1 9 10. Dedicated to Thomas Ford, one of the 
founders of the town, the fountain is constructed of fieldstone 
from the farm that has been occupied by the Ford family 
since the early settlement. A lantern hung above the foun- 
tain was modeled from the Paul Revere lantern. 

Milford's first commercial bank, the Milford Trust 
Company, was organized and incorporated in 1912, and a 
building was erected on River Street next to the Library. 

On August 22, 1 9 14, Milford celebrated its 275th an- 

126 



THE BEGINNINGS OF MODERN MILFORD 

niversary. Churches, public buildings, private residences, 
and places of business were gaily decorated with flags and 
bunting. The day was declared a local holiday, and a fes- 
tive air pervaded the whole town. It was estimated that 
about 20,000 persons, residents and visitors, attended. 

The program began at sunrise with a cannon salute fol- 
lowed by ringing of church bells, fire bells, and the tooting 
of factory whistles. At nine o'clock athletic events began 
on the Green. The ceremonial laying of the cornerstone for 
the Memorial Mill took place at eleven o'clock under the 
auspices of the George Van Horn Post, G.A.R. 

After a light luncheon served in the Town Hall and on 
the lawns of some of the residences, came a parade followed 
by speeches by a number of prominent men. Then came hose- 
laying contests between the fire companies. In the evening 
an historic pageant was presented on a large stage especially 
built for the occasion on the brilliantly illuminated Green. 
The pageant, written and produced by Miss Julia Rogers 
Beach, presented scenes from the history of Milford, begin- 
ning with the first purchase of land from the Indians. 

The Bridgeport Sunday Post of August 23, 1914, said 
of the affair: 

Demonstrating that when Milford attempts anything 
it succeeds admirably, the entire day's events running 
smoothly and without interruption, exhibited beyond 
a doubt that every member of each committee had 
done his share exceptionally well. 



127 



Chapter Seven 

THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

1916-1939 

Milford in 191 6 was a sequestered New England com- 
munity of colonial dwellings around a shady, four-acre 
green, with the Wepawaug winding through the village, 
dipping beneath the Memorial Bridge and spilling into the 
shallow harbor. Modest shops served a thrifty people who 
sought good government by the election of a town ticket 
of conservative citizens. The busy Boston Post Road ran 
through the village, bringing heavy week-end traffic dur- 
ing the summer months when vacationists sought the water- 
ing places alongshore. Trolley cars, horse-drawn vehicles, 
and cyclists, together with the noisy motor cars of the period, 
added to the bustle along Milford's streets. 

Early in 191 6, when Pancho Villa raided Columbus, 
New Mexico, and the United States Regular Army pushed 
far below the Rio Grande, Connecticut militia promptly mo- 
bilized. With the exception of the New Haven Grays, State 
troops were mustered into the Federal Service and hurriedly 
transported to Nogales, Arizona, for patrol duty. Twenty 
Milford men went with this contingent, and served on the 
Mexican Border from early in July until November, 191 6. 

Late in the autumn, troop trains rolled eastward on the 
way to New Haven, New London, and other New England 
points. On the sides of dusty "Tourist" coaches, banners 
proclaimed that "The Boys Are Home, Safe and Sound!" 
. . . "Thank God for Wilson!" ... and "He Kept Us 

128 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

Out Of War!" Mexican Border veterans, sun- tanned, lean, 
and fit, waved to the girls on the depot platforms and 
shouted at bystanders. Milford was soon to become familiar 
with men in uniform, as these same troops were called for 
further service on February 20, 191 7, to guard railway 
bridges, water works, and munition plants. 

When European powers obtained American credit and 
placed their largest orders for war materials in the United 
States, the town of Milford participated in the industrial 
activity which swept across New England. Bridgeport be- 
came "the Ruhr of America ;" New Haven likewise enjoyed 
rapid expansion. Neither of the neighboring cities had 
ample housing, and part of the overflow sought accommoda- 
tions in Milford where rents were reasonable and school 
facilities better than average. 

On February 12, 1917, the Connecticut Military Emer- 
gency Board caused a census to be taken of all able-bodied 
men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. After the 
formal declaration of war against Germany and the Central 
Powers on the 6th of April, many of the young men scanned 
recruiting posters, sought the sergeant-in-charge, and signed 
on "for the duration;" others, imbued with the seafaring 
heritage of their ancestors, enlisted in the navy. Congress 
passed the Selective Service Act on May 31st, and men who 
had not already enlisted "received their numbers" at the St. 
Peter's Parish House. More than seven hundred Milford 
men eventually saw service with the United States Army, 
Navy, and Marine Corps. 

The sinking of a West Haven built schooner, the Lyman 
M. Law, by a German U-boat in the Mediterranean, was 
headlined in newspapers on the morning of February 15, 
1 91 7. That night, Milford residents 

Voted: That the citizens of the Town of Milford in 
town meeting assembled hereby pledge our support to 

129 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

President Wilson in his administration to vindicate 
the honor of our flag. Milford's record in past crises 
is a guarantee of its stand at the present one. 

That a telegram be sent to our President, also the 
Senators and Representatives, of our action at this 
meeting. 

That the Town Agent be instructed to communicate 
with the Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Herbert I. 
Mathewson, on the question of assembling the chil- 
dren on the Green on Saturday morning and there 
instructing them relative to the patriotic question of 
the day and the raising of the flag. 

The Milford Red Cross Chapter had been formally or- 
ganized on February 2nd, and Milford women were already 
learning to roll bandages. Rumors of impending partici- 
pation in the European War had long been a topic of earnest 
conversation. Real estate experienced a lively boom, rents 
were scarce, building lots sold at inflated prices, and the 
community of Devon (formerly Naugatuck Junction) ex- 
panded rapidly with an influx of new residents employed in 
Bridgeport factories. Agents from Winchester, Marlin, 
and Avis Arms combed the village for "barrel straighteners," 
toolmakers, jig and fixture men, and common labor. News 
that the Bridgeport cartridge shops were hiring female help 
prompted many Milford women to don aprons, pack lunches, 
and join the ranks of the gainfully employed. Wages were 
high but so were retail prices ; supplies of basic commodities 
dwindled as the world took young men from factory and 
field and yet required larger quantities of goods. 

Carpenters had more orders for dwelling houses than 
they could fill, as pasturelots became building lots and work- 
ers from Bridgeport and New Haven sought "a little place 
in the country" or by the sea. To prevent "jerry built" 
structures, Milford, on October 3, 191 7, appointed its first 

130 




Milford Savings Bank Building 




Milford Trust Company Building 




Street Scene at Devon 




Street Scene at Beach 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

building inspector, Clarence V. Sewell, who assisted in the 
preparation of Milford's Building Code. 

The Stanford Steel Products Company opened a factory 
in Milford on February 14, 191 6. The R. N. Bassett Com- 
pany of Ansonia and Derby, manufacturers of metal goods, 
sent a representative to Milford to select a branch factory site 
and to determine whether fifty girls could be engaged. As a 
local news correspondent wrote: "It will be a great boon to 
Milford if the people can secure work which many of them 
lost by the closing of the Milford Straw Hat Factory." Only 
about half the required number of hands applied for work, 
because wages in Bridgeport cartridge shops were too at- 
tractive. This company came to Milford in 1 9 1 7 and oper- 
ated here for about a year. 

The Argonaut Salvage Company, one of the several Simon 
Lake ventures, was organized for marine salvage, submarine, 
and engineering missions, and many Milford residents were 
employed at the Lake Torpedo Boat Company of Bridge- 
port. Simon Lake, a naval architect and mechanical engi- 
neer, and one of the best-known designers of submarines in 
the world, made his home in Milford. Lake, who is credited 
with eighty United States patents, was the designer and 
builder of the first even-keel submarine (1894); made the 
first trial run with a submarine in the open sea (the 
Argonaut j 1 897) 3 first used an internal combustion engine in 
underseas craft (1897) j and served both the United States 
and foreign governments in perfecting and developing equip- 
ment that made submarine navigation possible. Shipping 
the Protector to Russia during the Russo-Japanese War, 
furnishing the designs used by the German Krupp works 
in the fabrication of U-boats, and equipping the Nautilus 
for Sir Hubert Wilkins' voyage beneath the ice fields of 
the Arctic, are but a few of Simon Lake's notable accom- 
plishments. 

131 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Throughout the war period, substantial payrolls con- 
tinued to come to Milford. The Milford Tool & Engineer- 
ing Company opened a plant for the production of tools, 
gauges, jigs and fixtures j the Atlantic Manufacturing Com- 
pany, noted for fine screw machine products, left Bridgeport 
for the lower tax area of Milford. These new arrivals pros- 
pered and endured through boom, readjustment, and reces- 
sion. 

At the branch of the Goodyear Metallic Rubber Shoe 
Company, established in 191 7, girls adept at needlework 
found employment on war orders for gasmasks; the Simon 
Lake Experimental Laboratories were busy designing new 
periscopes, ballast tanks, and air locks for submarines. 
Everybody with a backyard machine shop had sub-contracts 
from the larger firms on work that often paid "cost plus 
ten percent." 

Milford still made straw hats. The Crofut & Knapp 
Company purchased the former plant of the R. N. Bassett 
Company on March 27, 1920, but in 1925 transferred its 
straw hat business to Norwalk, and its cap and felt hat pro- 
duction to New York. Newspapers soon printed the wel- 
come news, however, that the company would resume 
work in Milford on January 1, 1927, with between 75 and 
125 employees. Representatives of the firm stated that un- 
favorable labor conditions in New York City forced them to 
return to Milford. On June 26, 1930, Crofut & Knapp 
sold the Milford plant to the Henry Stuart Co., Inc., metal 
products manufacturers. 

Buildings, schools, and highways that had been satisfac- 
tory during the era of slower, more moderate growth proved 
entirely inadequate for the boom period of Milf ord's devel- 
opment. 

On June 17, 191 6, more than a thousand people 
gathered beneath lowering skies to participate in the cer- 

132 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

emony of the laying of the cornerstone for Milford's new 
Town Hall, the fifth municipal building on the same site. 
Prominent citizens made appropriate addresses, the Milford 
Band furnished music, and Selectman Manley J. Cheney 
wielded the silver trowel. Within the stone of Lee marble 
a copper box contains many documents, photographs, min- 
utes of town meetings, reports, a telephone directory, various 
programs of Milford events, specifications, three arrowheads, 
and other trophies. 

The one-story red brick structure with a trim clock tower, 
in modern colonial style, was completed late in the autumn 
of 1 91 7, at a cost well within the appropriation of $151,000. 
The auditorium in the center of the structure seats seven 
hundred. In the west corridor are the offices of the Town 
Clerk, Judge of Probate, Tax Collector and Assessors, with 
the record vaults ; in the east corridor, the offices of the Se- 
lectmen, Welfare Department, Old Age Assistance Depart- 
ment, and the Recreation Commission. The beautifully 
landscaped grounds form an attractive setting for this mod- 
ern civic center. 

At a special town meeting of June 19, 1 9 1 6, it was 

Voted: That the voters of the Town of Milford, in 
town meeting assembled hereby adopt the official seal 
of the Town of Milford, an emblem in the shape of 
an octagon, in the center of which there shall be a 
shield bearing the letters 'M?,' being the seal 
adopted by the original settlers in 1639 ... in the 
strap of the octagon the following words to appear: 
'Sigillum oppidi Milford in republica Connecticutensi,' 
also the date '1639' and the bow and arrow of Ansan- 
tawae. 

The octagonal shape is adopted in memory of Robert 
Treat, one of Milford's most eminent citizens, and 
for thirty-two years either Deputy Governor or Gov- 
ernor of Connecticut, whose seal was of that form. 

133 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

When news of the Armistice reached Milford, church 
bells pealed, prayers were offered, the community celebrated, 
and the munitions workers saw the last of swollen overtime 
pay envelopes. The period of readjustment was less painful 
than in many nearby communities, but the financial strain 
on the town was severe. 

The men from overseas arrived home early in 191 9 and 
were extended an enthusiastic and spontaneous welcome, 
though the rejoicing was clouded by the memory of the 
twenty-two local men who had died in service. Both Mil- 
ford and the Woodmont Association erected honor rolls. 

Ten years after the Armistice, the Milford World War 
Memorial, a bronze figure of an infantryman on a granite 
pedestal, was dedicated on the plaza in front of the Town 
Hall. The tablet on the front of the pedestal is engraved 
with the names of Milford men who died in service and 
bronze tablets on the sides bear a list of over seven hundred 
local residents who were in uniform. A bronze plaque on the 
back is inscribed, "Erected by the Town of Milford in grate- 
ful recognition of the services of its citizens who served in the 
World War." 

Milford's grand list increased from $10,750,000 in 1916 
to $13,468,842 in 1 91 9. When all real property of the 
township was reassessed in 1920, an increase of more than 
$5,000,000 in the grand list provided vitally needed tax 
revenue. The population increase to 10,193 was ample proof 
that Milford was developing into a selective residential area 
for a home-loving people. 

The growth of the village was dramatically demonstrated 
in 1923 when the General Assembly passed "An Act In- 
corporating the City of Milford." In a referendum at a 
special town meeting held August 6, the act was rejected 
the majority of the voters believing that the town form 

134 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

of government was more economical and better suited to the 
needs of the community. 

Requirements for increased educational facilities in the 
outlying districts were met by the erection of a new two- 
room school at Woodmont in 19185 successive additions to 
the Devon school from 191 9 to 1927, which provided twelve 
new rooms, an auditorium, and a kindergarten; an addition 
of nine rooms and kindergarten to the Walnut Beach School ; 
and the erection of a four-room school at Fort Trumbull 
Beach in 1923. Because of the increased number of pupils 
at the center of the town, the Central Grammar School, the 
town's largest educational institution, a modern building with 
twenty-four classrooms, a kindergarten, and large audito- 
rium, was constructed in 1930. The West Main Street 
School, near the Boston Post Road, was built in 1932 to pro- 
vide instruction from the kindergarten through the sixth 
grade. 

In 1939 Milford's 3,197 pupils in graded, grammar 
and high schools occupy five graded schools, one grammar 
school and a high school. Transportation from outlying 
districts is by bus. The town employs 69 graded school 
and 26 high school teachers, and has an annual school budget 
of about a quarter of a million dollars. The budget pro- 
vides education at a cost of $72.20 per graded school pupil, 
and $111.59 per high school pupil. Dr. Carl W. Mad- 
docks, the present Superintendent of Schools, has served in 
that capacity for the past twelve years. 

Scholarships for higher education available to Milford 
students are provided by the George Miles Gunn Scholar- 
ship established in 1925 just before the death of Mr. Gunn, 
who had been Chairman of the Board of Education for forty 
years, to assist a Milford High School graduate toward an 
education at Yale University j two one hundred dollar Wey- 

135 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

lister Scholarships j the Herbert I. Mathewson Scholarship 
Fund j and the Delphian Scholarship Fund. 

Two private schools enroll both day and resident pupils. 
The Weylister Secretarial Junior College, a resident and day 
school for girls, now conducted by Mrs. Marion W. Skinner 
Beach, was founded in 1927 in a colonial building on West 
River Street where the Reverend Bezaleel Pinneo had con- 
ducted a private school from 1800 to 1845. On a five acre 
estate shaded by lindens, magnolias, and tulip trees and 
provided with sports fields, the five buildings of the insti- 
tution have accommodations for pupils who come from all 
parts of the United States and from Hawaii and Porto Rico. 
By a special act of the General Assembly in 1939, the Wey- 
lister Secretarial Junior College is empowered to award the 
degree of Associate in Science. This institution prepares for 
the highest type of secretarial positions and has won recogni- 
tion in national contests for the excellence of its work and 
its high standards. 

The Milford School, a preparatory school for boys, was 
established by Samuel H. and Harris Rosenbaum in 191 6, 
on the former William S. Pond estate on Gulf Street, the 
site of the Howe School for boys in the late nineteenth cen- 
tury. The Pond Mansion is used as the administration 
building, with the fourteen acre homelot as the campus. The 
addition of a detached twelve acre tract, two classroom 
buildings, two dormitories and a gymnasium, improved the 
facilities of the institution. The school offers a four year col- 
lege preparatory course and limits classes to about six pupils 
each. The institution is on the list of the New England Col- 
lege Entrance Certificate Board. 

Churches, too, felt the increased growth of the town. 
The First Church was renovated in 1 9 1 8 through donations 
made by Clark M. Wilcox. The pulpit was moved to the 
north end of the building, facing the door, and the church 

136 




Weylister Junior Secretarial College 




Milford School Administration Building 




...... 

Court and Office Building 




United States Post Office 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

organ and choir loft were placed at the rear of the pulpit. 
The year previous the Reverend Frederick A. Sumner had 
resigned to become president of Talladega College in Ala- 
bama. The Reverend Leslie B. Briggs who succeeded him, 
asked for and received six months' leave of absence to serve 
as Chaplain with the Red Cross overseas. 

As the outlying communities continued to develop, the 
Myrtle Beach Methodist Chapel needed larger quarters, and 
a portable structure was erected on Maplewood Avenue and 
dedicated December 18, 1921. Formerly a branch of the 
Mary Taylor Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, the 
Chapel became an independent church in 1929 and adopted 
the name of Community Church of Myrtle Beach. 

The Fort Trumbull Christian Union, a neighborhood 
organization which met in the members' homes, had so in- 
creased in numbers by 1920 that the Fort Trumbull Union 
Church was organized in December and a building obtained. 
Under the leadership of the present pastor, the Reverend 
William R. Vivrett, the church has prospered. 

St. Peter's Church organized a boys' vested choir in 1923. 
During the following year an addition to the church for a 
choir room completed the cruciform design of the edifice. 
For the convenience of increasing numbers of members who 
lived in Devon, this church established the Mission of St. 
Andrew in that community. On March 26, 1927, Mrs. 
George Miles Gunn presented to the church a chime organ 
as a memorial to her late husband, a distinguished citizen 
and a lawyer of note, who served as president of the Milford 
Savings Bank and of the National Tradesmen's Bank of New 
Haven for many years. 

Under the leadership of the rector, the Reverend George 
E. Knollmeyer, St. Peter's Church will celebrate the 175th 
anniversary of its founding with appropriate services on Au- 
gust 27, 1939. 

137 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

The Catholic Mission of St. Ann's, at Devon, became an 
independent parish, with the Reverend Edward Curran as 
pastor, on November 24, 1924. The mission is now asso- 
ciated with St. Gabriel's at Wildemere Beach, under the 
care of one priest. The transfer of Father Peter H. 
McClean, pastor of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, to 
Bridgeport in 1924 was a distinct loss to Milford. He had 
taken a keen interest in civic affairs and had served for many 
years as a member of the Board of Education. Father Den- 
nis R. Moran is now pastor of St. Mary's Church. 

An outstanding event of 1926 was the consolidation of 
the First and Plymouth Congregational churches. At a 
union service on March 14 the two congregations worshipped 
as one for the first time since 1741. The formal union of 
the two churches took place at the First Church on March 
28, 1926, and the name adopted was "The Church of Christ, 
Congregational, Incorporated." The Reverend Charles F. 
Atkins, pastor of Plymouth Church, was called to the pulpit. 

The Christian Science Society in Milford, formed early 
in 1913, established a meeting hall on Broad Street, and in 
193 1 purchased a house at 28 High Street. In 1932 the 
society became a branch church of the First Church of Christ 
Scientist, in Boston. 

The Mary Taylor Memorial Methodist Episcopal 
Church is in a prosperous condition under the leadership of 
the present pastor, the Reverend Franklin McLain Bass. 
The churches of Milford enter 1939, the Year of the Ter- 
centenary, with their affairs in excellent order and member- 
ship rolls at encouraging levels. 

Writers and historians seeking information about the de- 
parted sons and daughters of this village frequently visit 
Milford Cemetery, a well-shaded fifteen acre reservation 
just north of the railroad tracks in the center of the com- 
munity. Originally a part of Peter Prudden's garden, 

138 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

where the first white adult to die in the settlement was 
buried in 1645, the town burying ground was laid out on 
March 7, 1661, and was enlarged by the acquisition of fur- 
ther land in 171 2 and later purchases. Graves were at first 
made in the order of deaths rather than by family plots. 

Here is the final resting place of such distinguished 
personages as Governors Robert Treat, Jonathan Law, and 
Charles H. Pond. Ancestors of three signers of the Declara- 
tion of Independence (Abraham Clark, Robert Treat Paine, 
and Roger Sherman) rest beside Brigadier-General George 
W. Baird, U. S. A., who attained his rank from the grade 
of private soldier and won the coveted Congressional Medal 
of Honor in an 1877 action against the Nez-Perce war- 
riors at Bear Paw Mountain, Montana. Milford's first 
citizens, leaders of church and State, have been buried here 
since the cemetery was first established. 

Epitaphs of rugged colonial dignity are found on slate 
and sandstone headstones, and on the slabs supported by 
short columns sculptured on the Ionic or Doric order. In 
the old graveyard, 479 stones have been identified by Nathan 
G. Pond in a pamphlet entitled, Inscriptions on Tombstones 
in Milford, Connecticut (1889). The oldest stone now 
standing is on the grave of William Roberts and bears the 
date August 6, 1 869. Near the center of the cemetery stands 
a beautiful receiving vault of granite, a gift of Anson Treat 
Downes as a memorial to his son. Elms and evergreens pro- 
vide ample shade in the older section of the cemetery ; three 
miles of drives offer easy access to the fifteen acres ; and the 
natural beauty of the ground has been retained through effi- 
cient landscaping and maintenance. Since 1901 the care of 
this cemetery has been in charge of the Milford Cemetery 
Association. An additional plot of twenty acres on US 1 was 
recently purchased by the Association, and is now in use as 
King's Highway Cemetery. 

139 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Milford's 16,290 acres of varied topography present a 
complex highway problem, especially in the region of con- 
gested traffic leading to the beaches and on the Boston Post 
Road to the densely populated cities to the east and west. 
Construction of wider, straighter roads and new bridges on 
the trunk lines must be accomplished without interruption 
of the traffic flow. In 191 8 Broad Street was widened and 
several new streets were opened. During the following year 
outlying districts and seaside communities, by that time 
thickly populated, made earnest requests for better high- 
ways, improved schools, and more efficient fire protection. 
The town also authorized the resurfacing of a highway from 
Devon Station to follow Naugatuck, Electric, and Walnut 
Beach Avenues to East Broadway, as well as several other 
new roads along the various beaches. A new highway was 
laid on New Haven Avenue to Memorial Bridge, and an- 
other from the end of the Woodmont cement road to the 
top of Eells Hill. 

At nightfall on March 14, 191 9, Milford streets, pre- 
viously dimly lighted by flickering gas lamps, were suddenly 
illuminated by electric lights which gleamed along both sides 
of the Green, and stretched from Cedar Beach on the west 
almost to Woodmont on the east. Never before had the 
town been so brightly lighted, for March 14 marked the 
last night of the town's contract for gas street-lighting and 
the trial night for the newly installed electrical system. 

Traffic on the Boston Post Road had long been handi- 
capped by the narrow steel Washington Bridge over the 
Housatonic River. A survey at this point on a busy week- 
end tallied 42,000 motor cars passing in one direction during 
a six hour period. In 191 8 a legislative act authorized a 
new $1,500,000 bridge to be financed jointly by the State, 
Fairfield and New Haven Counties, and The Connecticut 
Company. Work was started in June, 191 9, with plans 

140 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

specifying an 870-foot, five-span, reinforced concrete and 
steel structure about 38 feet above the river. A 125-foot 
draw allowed the passage of shipping ; the 40-foot roadway 
between the two 8 -foot sidewalks provided for anticipated 
traffic increases. The piers for this bridge have a bedrock 
footing 75 feet below the surface of the river j about 75,000 
barrels of cement were poured to make the bridge a substan- 
tial, freshet-proof structure. On concrete obelisks along each 
side of the span, clusters of three-globe lights furnish illumi- 
nation. 

At eight o'clock in the morning on November 1, 1921, 
the busy traffic of the Boston Post Road began crossing the 
new Washington Bridge over the Housatonic. On Armistice 
Day, 1 92 1, the span was formally opened and dedicated, just 
one hundred and thirty-two years from the day when Wash- 
ington last crossed in 1789. State and town officials, and 
Milford and Stratford citizenry listened to speeches by visit- 
ing dignitaries. 

An appropriation of $10,000 was authorized on August 
28, 1928, for the construction of a bridge over the Wepa- 
waug at West Main Street on the site of the Meeting House 
Bridge. This reinforced concrete structure, replacing an un- 
sightly iron bridge, greatly enhanced the beauty of the civic 
center. 

When the trolleys were replaced by busses, the State 
Highway Commission proposed the building of a new con- 
crete structure to replace the old Jefferson Bridge over the 
Wepawaug River. The town committee insisted on a stone 
bridge and after several conferences with the Highway Com- 
mission carried its point. Work was started in May, 1935, 
and the bridge completed in August of the same year. 

The broad, modern trunk highway, US iA, or the Bos- 
ton Post Road, constructed by the State Highway De- 
partment in 1932, re-routed through traffic and relieved 

141 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

congested conditions in the center of Milford. US i, the 
old Boston Post Road, still passes the Milford Green but is 
used chiefly by local traffic. 

Another noteworthy highway improvement was the ac- 
quisition of the trolley right-of-way along East Broadway 
upon its abandonment by the traction company. In 1937, 
with an appropriation of $195,000, work was started on the 
West Shore Boulevard along the waterfront from Surf Ave- 
nue at Fort Trumbull Beach to Naugatuck Avenue. Bulk- 
heads were erected to protect the road, and the two-lane 
highway, divided by a safety island of greensward, was com- 
pleted June 27, 1938. 

National recognition of Milford's shell fisheries came in 
the summer of 191 8, when the United States Bureau of 
Fisheries established an experimental laboratory at the har- 
bor's edge to observe conditions of oyster and clam culture. 
In 1932 Dr. Victor L. Loosanoff, government biologist, was 
assigned to the Milford laboratory, and the State Shellfish 
Commission cooperated with him by donating the use of the 
boat Shellfish. Charles E. Wheeler, production manager of 
the Connecticut Oyster Farms Company, furnished the as- 
sistance of an experienced commercial oysterman and conser- 
vationist, and the laboratories of Yale University offered the 
use of their facilities to Dr. Loosanoff in his effort to recover 
this source of revenue. 

During the year 1932 there was no oyster set in Milford 
waters j the last good set had been obtained in 1930. For sev- 
eral years local oyster grounds had failed to produce a set and 
experiments had been conducted annually by the Connect- 
icut Oyster Farms Company, on grounds within the harbor 
leased from the town, to determine a method of more suc- 
cessful artificial propagation. The Oyster Pest Control, 
created by the Federal Government in 1935, for the elimina- 
tion of starfish, was of great assistance to the industry. In 

142 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

addition, Dr. LoosanofPs experiments, using calcium oxide, 
480 pounds to the acre, have proved 80 per cent effective, but 
he advises that "until experimentation is completed" cal- 
cium oxide be used only in seasons when "no larvae of com- 
mercial species of fish are found in the water." 

Opportunity for more extensive research will be provided 
by the completion of the new laboratory for the Bureau of 
Fisheries. This two-story, fireproof brick structure in mod- 
ern colonial style, will include offices, laboratories for chemi- 
cal, physiological, and biological experimentation, a chemical 
stock room, an aquarium, and a library. Improved wharves 
and outdoor tank facilities will be provided. 

Milford's oyster grounds are still capable of production 
after more than three centuries of use by white men and un- 
counted years of harvest by the Indians. The last of the red 
men came to Milford Point from faraway Lake Champlain 
in 1 83 1, to camp at the site of the fire pits of their forefathers, 
to feast on shellfish, and to exchange tales of the chase and 
tribal wars. Today, about 2,000,000 bushels of oysters are 
removed from the local waters in a normally good year, 
transplanted to purer waters to remove the stains of indus- 
trial pollution, and then harvested for market. The largest 
local operator in this industry is the Connecticut Oyster 
Farms Company, owner of more than 25 percent of Mil- 
ford's 8,000 acres of submarine shell-fisheries, employer of 
64 oystermen, and operator of seven boats. 

Milford's prehistoric memorial to the fertility of local 
oyster fields, an extensive shell heap covering twenty-four 
acres at Milford Point, is distinguished as the largest Indian 
kitchen midden in New England. Visitors interested in In- 
dian lore presumed that the great piles of oyster shells had ac- 
cumulated from the countless visits of inland Indians who 
annually came down the Housatonic River to "salt" and to 
feast on sea food. Not until 1921, when Claude C. Coffin 

143 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

of Wheeler's Farms, Milford, member of the Connecticut 
Archaeological Society, conducted explorations here, was it 
discovered that Milford Point once had been the site of one 
of the largest and most important Indian villages in New 
England. Coffin secured the cooperation of the Archeo- 
logical Survey of New England which conducted explora- 
tions here in 1922. 

Digging from the tidal flats to the crest of Ceremonial 
Ridge, the workers unearthed many rare specimens "charac- 
teristic of all the so-called cultural horizons postulated for 
New England, including the Pre-Algonquian Slate Culture 
and the Algonquian Culture, both in its pure stage and with 
the southern and Iroquoian admixtures." Excavating at the 
site, continued through 1923, uncovered more than fifteen 
hundred separate choice artifacts, slender bone needles, drills, 
awls, antler tips, harpoons, yellow jasper flakes, sinker stones, 
discoids, and fine pottery. Evidence of torture and human 
sacrifice were found in one pit which contained many de- 
tached toe and finger bones and many skeletons with crushed 
skulls. Almost every known type of artifact from crude bone 
arrow tips to metal trade goods was discovered, and the 
silent record of several hundred years' occupation of the site 
unfolded as the shovelers labored through the tortures of 
"Indian itch" (caused by the potash in the old fire holes) 
and carefully sifted the earth from blackened pits and wig- 
wam sites. 

The scattered graves at Eagle Hill yielded but few relics 
and the exploration failed to locate the cemetery used by the 
Indians. In 1939 excavations in Stratford for a new factory 
of the United Aircraft Corporation uncovered many bones 
that may have marked the location of the burial ground. 
Whether or not the graveyard is ever found and properly 
explored, the Indians of this region have left a lasting im- 
pression on the archaeology of New England. Their relics 

144 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

have been preserved in museums and private collections in 
Hartford, Andover, Massachusetts, and New York. 

In 1935 twenty acres of Milford Point, at the mouth of 
the Housatonic River, including the sites of many of the 
excavations, were given to the State of Connecticut for a Wild 
Fowl Sanctuary by Mrs. Elizabeth H. Ford and Mrs. Mary 
Louise Warner. 

Until 1 9 1 7 all volunteer fire companies of Milford oper- 
ated as independent units under individual chiefs. To con- 
solidate the companies under one executive department, the 
Milford Board of Fire Commissioners was created by legis- 
lative act in 1 91 7. The volunteer companies turned over 
their apparatus to the new Board and pledged themselves to 
abide by the rules established. Frank H. Stevens was ap- 
pointed the first Fire Chief of Milford in the following 
year. A modern concrete fire station for the Devon Hose 
Company was officially opened on December 9, 191 8, and 
on the same day the town purchased a truck with a chemical 
tank for the protection of Devon property. For more effi- 
cient service to the beach communities, the Myrtle Beach and 
Walnut Beach Fire Companies were consolidated in 1919 
and established in a new firehouse on Naugatuck Avenue 
at Stowe Avenue. In February, 1920, the headquarters of 
the Fort Trumbull Beach Fire Company No. 2 were de- 
stroyed by fire. A temporary firehouse was used until the 
present concrete structure on Charles Street was completed 
in 1924. 

The opening of the Central Fire Station, July 13, 1929, 
was the occasion of a housewarming by the Arctic Engine 
Company No. 1 . The station is a two-story, red brick build- 
ing with white trim; on the first floor is the equipment, 
office switchboard, signal room, machine shop, and an in- 
sulated "smoke room" for gas mask drill. In the rear, a 
55-foot drill tower is used by the Training School. On the 

145 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

mezzanine floor are card rooms, lockers, and showers. The 
second floor has a spacious clubroom, locker room, dormitory 
with 12 beds, store room, five offices, and five single bed- 
rooms for officers. In the basement are the battery room, 
hose dryers, two bowling alleys, kitchen, and a banquet hall 
with a capacity of one hundred persons. Paid firemen are 
now on duty in all Milford firehouses, although the person- 
nel of the department is still largely volunteer. All mem- 
bers of the paid department are former members of volunteer 
companies. 

The Visiting Nurse Association of Milford was formed 
in April, 191 9, through the earnest efforts of the "Minute 
Women," a war-time organization composed of Milford, 
Woodmont, and Devon residents. Starting its public nursing 
work in that year with a part-time nurse, the activities of 
the association have gradually expanded during the twenty 
years of its existence until they now embrace many phases 
of public health service in addition to bedside nursing. The 
work of the association is supported in part by voluntary 
contributions and appropriations from town funds. At present 
a staff of three full-time nurses is employed. The associa- 
tion was incorporated in 1931 under the name of Milford 
Public Health Nursing Association, Inc. 

The Milford Hospital Society, incorporated by an act 
of the General Assembly approved May 10, 1921, opened 
a modern well-equipped hospital on June 5, 1924, erected on 
a site donated by Charles W. Beardsley. Physicians on the 
Hospital Staff in 1939 are: Doctors Clinton J. Hyde, Harry 
W. Stetson, Albert E. Harrington, John R. Lee, Oliver B. 
Andrus, William J. H. Fischer, Carleton K. Heady. The 
institution has fifty beds, fifteen bassinets, and a nursing staff 
of nine. Miss Edith M. Oddie, R. N., serves as superinten- 
dent, and Omar W. Piatt, Esq., is president of the society. 

On March 17, 1928, the Milford News, an independent 

146 




Milford Fire Headquarters 




Milford Hospital 




River Street Scene 




m 



Connecticut Oyster Farms 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

weekly, started publication under the management of J. A. 
and Gordon A. Goldsmith. The newspaper has grown in 
both circulation and local influence. 

Fifty new families came to Devon in March, 1924, on 
the completion of a modern steam-driven electric generating 
plant for the Connecticut Light & Power Company. The 
plant produces primary current for distribution throughout 
southwestern Connecticut. 

In March, 1928, building activity in Milford greatly in- 
creased. Many new homes were constructed at Pearl Hill, 
Point Beach, Rivercliffe, and Devon. Most of these dwell- 
ings were of frame construction and of the one family type, 
a large proportion being built for home owners or for 
customers who purchased them immediately on completion. 
Smaller construction projects and the building of one family 
houses gained impetus as Milford's population increased. 

In 1930 Milford published a series of "Building Zone 
Regulations" as adopted by the Commission on Town Plan, 
in accordance with the General Statutes. This code, allow- 
ing for the industrial and commercial buildings already 
erected in the community and the chaotic growth of certain 
summer colonies, is designed to prevent future congestion 
and the erection of unsightly buildings, and to regulate the 
growth of the town. 

A special legislative act in 1931 created a Board of 
Sewer Commissioners, following local agitation dating back 
to 1 91 8 concerning the lack of a proper sewage disposal 
plant. About 100 private sewers served approximately 5,000 
people. Under the direction of the new board a modern 
sewage disposal plant, built through the timely assistance of 
Federal grants, went into operation on April 13, 1938. The 
plant now serves 2,500 people, in the center of the town. 

Improvements in the vicinity of the civic center con- 
tinued. The movement for the erection of a Service Men's 

147 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Memorial building in Milford, started at a special town 
meeting on April 13, 1920, finally achieved its objective in 
1928. Meanwhile the Milford Post No. 34 of the American 
Legion had established headquarters in the Fowler Memo- 
rial Mill, built by the town in 19 14 to commemorate the first 
mill erected by Milford planters. In 1928 the town received 
from the State Highway Department the sum of $7,000 in 
return for permission to raze the mill and the adjacent old 
Fowler Homestead, in order to widen the highway north of 
the Memorial Bridge. This sum, with an additional $23,000, 
appropriated by the town, financed the erection of the Fowler 
Memorial Building for the use of veterans' organizations. 

The building of red brick and white trim, with a shingled 
gambrel roof in modern colonial style, on the site of the 
Fowler homestead, near the eastern end of Memorial Bridge, 
was opened on August 16, 1930. The first floor provides 
an assembly room, forty by twenty feet, two lounging rooms 
and an office; on the second floor are two small meeting 
rooms, janitors' rooms, bathrooms and showers. In the base- 
ment are a banquet hall, kitchen, and shooting gallery. The 
building was furnished through a generous gift of the Hon- 
orable William H. Woodruff ; the American Legion has 
charge of maintenance. 

The Milford Savings Bank opened its new, modern red 
brick structure on Broad Street in 1930. Dating from its 
incorporation in June, 1872, this financial institution has en- 
joyed the confidence and patronage of Milford residents. 
Harry M. Merwin now serves as president, Henry C. Peck 
as treasurer. 

In 1926, when Milford's Post Office attained a first- 
class rating, agitation was started for a new building. By 
1 93 1 annual receipts mounted to $65,810.90, and in June 
the United States Postal authorities authorized the construc- 
tion of a brick and limestone building on a seventy foot River 

148 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

Street lot, diagonally across the way from the new Town 
Hall. The cost of the land and building totaled $140,0005 
the building has 10,782 square feet of floor space, and was 
first occupied on May 1, 1932. Postmaster George S. Clark, a 
descendant of an early planter, served as acting postmaster 
from November 7, 1935, and became postmaster on January 

23, 1936. 

Milford's new Court and Office Building on West River 
Street was opened on March 27, 1937. This thoroughly 
modern community building, erected under the Public Works 
Administration program, provided offices for the Police De- 
partment, Town Treasurer, Health Officer, Engineering De- 
partment, Sewer Commission, Building Inspector, and Zon- 
ing and Planning Board, relieving the congestion in the 
Town Hall across the way. This building was but one of the 
several local improvements financed through Federal as- 
sistance during the last few years. 

Following the financial panic and tightening of credit 
during the nationwide depression, the Unemployment Com- 
mittee of Milford, with funds raised by private donations 
and with town money, cared for the unfortunates and in- 
digents through 1932 and most of the following year. In 
November, 1933, the Civil Works Administration was in- 
strumental in relieving the load, and the Civilian Conserva- 
tion Corps also assisted by furnishing employment to quali- 
fied young men and World War veterans. When the Federal 
Emergency Relief Administration was organized in 1934, 
the local relief burden was lightened by various projects 
employing Milford residents, and the distribution of surplus 
foods and clothing to the needy partially relieved the drain 
on town funds. In September, 1935, when the Works 
Progress Administration assumed the duties of the Federal 
Emergency Relief Administration, many of the village 
streets, drains, sewers, and town buildings were improved 

149 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

by local labor paid from Federal funds. The Welfare De- 
partment of Milford was created in 1934 with George F. 
Weed as supervisor. 

Financed by the Federal Emergency Relief Administra- 
tion, work started May 24, 1935, on a project of grading 
Prospect Park, removing mud and silt from the Wepawaug 
River, and building riprap walls on the river bank. This 
work, completed October 31, 1935, stood the severe test 
imposed by the flood waters that rushed down the little river 
during the excessive rainfall which preceded the hurricane 
of September 21, 1938. 

Milford's grand list of $30,457,722 in 1929, an increase 
of $2,125,000 over the previous year, shows the amazing 
growth of a semi-agricultural town supported by local indus- 
tries and a thriving residential development on the shore. 
When the 1930 census takers found that 12,660 individuals 
lived along the banks of the Wepawaug and in the environs 
of Milford, only a portion of the story of Milford's growth 
was recorded. Summer people, cottage dwellers who came 
to the shore for either the week-end or the season, more than 
doubled the population. With the coming of the depression, 
many cottagers occupied their seaside residences the entire 
year. 

Beach colonies now form an almost continuous settlement 
along the Milford shore. East of the harbor are Gulf Beach, 
Welch's Point, Pond Point Beach, Point Beach, Morning- 
side, Farview Beach, Burwell's Beach and Woodmont. West 
of the harbor stretch Fort Trumbull Beach, Silver Beach, 
Myrtle Beach, Wildermere Beach, Laurel Beach, Cedar 
Beach, and Milford Point. Of these Welch's Point is a 
private residential area, Gulf Beach is for public use, and 
Milford Point is a State bird sanctuary, while the remainder 
are residential communities. 

150 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

Seventy-seven new single family houses, forty garages, 
and more than $100,000 worth of residential alterations 
were listed by the building inspector as new construction for 
1938. Building and plumbing permits issued in Milford 
during March, 1939, total $65,000, all for residential dwell- 
ings and alterations. 

Milford's social life embraces old-time organizations 
such as the Milford Club and the Milford Wheel Club, as 
well as many lodges with rosters retaining the names of 
many of the town founders. Two Milford social organiza- 
tions, the Milford Wheel Club and the Grandfathers' Club, 
contribute much to the life of the community, attract national 
attention with their unusual names and activities, and furnish 
many lively news items for the local correspondents. 

Interest in preserving the historic Eells-Stow House, 
stimulated in 1930 by the Freelove Baldwin Stow Chapter of 
the D.A.R., resulted in the organization of the Milford His- 
torical Society, May 19, 1930. Contributions were solicited 
from members and from descendants of the early owners of 
the house, making possible the purchase of the building on 
November 8, 1930. 

The building, now open to the public as a museum, stands 
on High Street (formerly called Wharf Street) where it was 
built by Captain Samuel Eells shortly after the town deeded 
to him the plot of land in 1669^ Captain Eells came to 
Milford about the time of the arrival of the fleeing regicides, 
Goffe and Whalley, whom he is believed to have known 
intimately in England. He became prominent in town af- 
fairs and served in King Philip's War. The town records, 
copied at that time from the old worn book, are in his hand- 
writing. Several generations later this house was occupied 
by Captain Stephen Stow and his wife, Freelove Baldwin, 
four of whose sons served in the Revolutionary War. Among 
distinguished descendants of the Eells and Stow families 

151 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

are Edward Eells, one of the founders of the Society of 
the Cincinnati, and John Pierpont Morgan. 

The Milford Yacht Club, organized largely through the 
efforts of Dr. Willis S. Putney, who became the first Com- 
modore in 1903, has a membership of 293 and a fleet of 66 
boats, including ten "snipes," ranging from a 14-foot out- 
board craft to a 57-foot motor cruiser. Every week-end in 
season, club races are held for the smaller craft. In 1932 the 
Wepawaug Yacht Club, was formed by several young snipe 
racing enthusiasts 5 an old schooner was purchased and 
moored off Spencer's Wharf about halfway up the harbor to 
serve as a clubhouse. In 1934 the two yacht clubs were 
merged under the name of the older club. The combina- 
tion grew financially and socially. Dr. DeWitt B. Nettleton 
is the present Commodore. 

Milford Harbor has tides of about six and one-half feet, 
and is sheltered from all but southerly and southeasterly 
winds. Extensive harbor dredging is scheduled for 1939. 
The sand and mud from the harbor will be deposited on 
shore near the present Wilcox Park, and the new, deeper 
channel will attract many new boat owners to the enlarged 
anchorage basins. The town wharf is under reconstruction, 
the Milford Yacht Club's headquarters have been rebuilt 
and modernized, and a new float for use as a boat landing 
has been provided. 

In 1923 the School Committee budgeted $5,000 which 
was used for the purchase of an athletic field on Washington 
Street. On November 12, 1934, Milford established a Rec- 
reation Commission of five members empowered to employ 
a Recreation Director and assistants as needed. The follow- 
ing year this commission was increased to nine members. Su- 
pervision of playgrounds, the encouragement of adult sports, 
and the formation of leagues for competitive play, especially 

152 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

in Softball, are among the varied accomplishments of this 
commission. 

Milford's first little theater movement started in 
January, 1936, when the Board of Trustees of the Church 
of Christ, Congregational, authorized the alteration of the 
Plymouth Church building (now known as the Plymouth 
Auditorium) for use as a playhouse. The Connecticut Play- 
ers, Inc., organized by Marcus Merwin of Milford, gave its 
first performance at the Plymouth Auditorium during the 
following summer, with a professional cast, and has con- 
tinued to present a series of plays annually throughout each 
summer. Wepawaug Players, local amateurs, were organ- 
ized July 13, 1936, to further community interest in dra- 
matics and to raise a fund to establish a scholarship for train- 
ing local high school pupils who demonstrate their ability. 
This group produces several plays each winter in the Ply- 
mouth Auditorium. 

A Works Progress Administration Educational Program, 
organized in 1936, with headquarters in the basement of the 
Town Hall, has offered training in such a diversity of sub- 
jects that by 1939 its classes have an average monthly enroll- 
ment of 3,200 pupils and a staff of thirty-four instructors 
and officers. The program of activities is open, gratis, to 
adults and out-of-school youths. Two murals, completed 
in 1939 by the art department, represent "Goldilocks and 
the Three Bears," placed in the West Main Street School, 
and "The Purchase of Milford from the Indians," placed in 
the Devon School. The dramatics department successfully 
writes and directs plays, constructs the scenery and makes 
the costumes. 

The Milford Post No. 34 American Legion Junior Drum 
Corps, formed in June, 1929, with a roster of forty members, 
made its first public appearance on Memorial Day, 1930. 
In competition with other junior corps, these young people 

153 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

have won thirty-two cups, including the coveted Treadwell 
Trophy for State Champions. The Corps won this honor 
in 1934, 1935, and 1937, has attended every State Legion 
Convention, and marched in the National Legion Conven- 
tion parade at New York in 1936. 

Milford is the home station of Battery E, 242nd Coast 
Artillery, the only unit of anti-aircraft artillery in the Con- 
necticut National Guard. Captain Kenneth Fagan, Battery 
Commander, maintains a high efficiency rating in his organ- 
ization of fifty-eight enlisted men. The battery has one three 
inch Type M-4 gun. 

About 850 wage earners are employed in local mechan- 
ical establishments. Small manufacturing plants are the rule; 
locks, corset steels, candlesticks, hose supporters, rivets, and 
screw machine products roll from the production lines as 
once the bright new carriages were lowered down the ramps 
from the second floor paint-shops. One of the only two 
ear-muff manufactories in the United States, that of the A. J. 
Donahue Corporation, employs more than 200 in their Mil- 
ford plant and annually produces about 50,000 pairs of ear 
warmers. The five-and-ten cent stores throughout the coun- 
try sell these ear muffs, as well as the garters and hair curlers 
made by the same company. 

Among the several substantial manufactories now operat- 
ing in the village are those of the Waterbury Lock & Spe- 
cialty Company, producing locks and metal specialties ; the 
Rostand Manufacturing Company, noted for brass and 
bronze fabrications such as andirons and candlesticks; the 
Pruven Composition Products Corporation, plaster moul- 
ders; the Devon Metal Goods Company, manufacturers of 
hose supporters; the Watkins Manufacturing Company, a 
screw machine products firm; the Henry Stuart Company, 
Inc., producers of pyroxlin covered corset steels; the Peer- 

154 




Town Hall 




Fowler Memorial 



THE LAST QUARTER CENTURY 

less Tool Company, making special tools; and the Milford 
Rivet & Machine Company. 

Milford is the home of two of the largest seed producing 
concerns in the United States. Visitors to the New York 
World's Fair will walk on smooth velvet turf grown from 
Milford seed of the F. H. Woodruff & Sons Company, Inc. 
Both the Woodruff Company and The Associated Seed 
Growers, Inc., maintain laboratories in Milford and have 
made great strides in the production of a hybrid sweet corn. 
This will prove very valuable to the canning industry as it 
will produce an evenly maturing crop and will give a larger 
yield per acre. The stock seed is grown in Milford and is 
then shipped to the west to be used in producing the main 
crop. 

More than one-third of the total land area of Milford, 
6,106 acres out of 16,290, is devoted to agriculture. The 
crops produced for local markets are green vegetables, small 
fruits, poultry products, and fluid milk; the individual farms 
are small with a relatively high proportion of tillable land. 
The farmers are 37 percent of old American stock, 37 per- 
cent of Polish origin, 1 7 percent Italian, 6 percent German, 
and one percent Jewish. 

Through the years, Milford citizens have requested 
legislation creating various voting districts in the outlying 
sections. This movement started in 191 5, but it was not 
until 1 93 1 that final settlement of the political subdivision 
of the township was accomplished. This legislation desig- 
nated the first voting district as the center of the village, 
the second as Devon, the third as the beaches, and the fourth, 
the Borough of Woodmont and adjoining territory. 

Milford now has 15,126 people who are classified as all- 
year residents. Although only 4,121 are of full native par- 
entage (1930 census), the 6,620 people of foreign or mixed 
parentage and the 3,549 foreign-born individuals seek their 

155 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

leadership from the old native stock. Sixteen family names 
in the community are identical with the names of the 
pioneers. Among the town officers are many men and 
women, serving faithfully and conscientiously, who can 
trace their lineage back to the pioneers of 1639. A descen- 
dant of William Fowler, who built the first town mill in 
1640, serves as Town Clerk in 1939, and is the fourth of 
that family to hold the office. 

The unity and social consciousness of Milford people is 
noteworthy as the community observes the 300th Anniver- 
sary of its founding. On February 12, under the leadership 
of Dr. Roy M. Houghton, pastor, the Church of Christ, Con- 
gregational, opened Milford's observance of the anniversary 
with a service commemorating the first purchase of lands 
from the Indians on February 12, 1639. Judge John L. 
Gilson of New Haven addressed the congregation of five 
hundred and extended the felicitations of the New Haven 
Colony Historical Society. At Welch's Point, where dusky 
warriors once sighted the first approach of the white man's 
sailing vessels, five hundred worshippers gathered at five- 
thirty o'clock in the morning of April 9, for the first com- 
munity-wide Easter sunrise service sponsored by local 
churches. 

Milford in 1939 has a conservative town government, a 
low tax rate, excellent schools, the healthful atmosphere of 
a seaside community free from large industrial establish- 
ments, ample room for recreation, a pleasant fraternal life, 
efficient communication and transportation facilities, and a 
progressive, alert group of local businessmen. Milford citi- 
zens look forward to the fourth century of the town's exis- 
tence with a confidence born of the heritage of ordered living 
recorded in this chronicle. 



156 



MILFORD OLD HOUSES AND CHURCHES 



MILFORD OLD HOUSES AND CHURCHES 

The old houses of a town are the best visible record of 
its history. If they are preserved anywhere near intact, they 
tell more of the life of their builders than anything else they 
have left. In Milford their number is not large, as in Guil- 
ford and Madison, for instance, but there are a number of 
unusual features, some found in Milford alone, which have 
attracted attention from an early date. 

"The house is terribly old . . . over two hundred years 
old . . . that I know for a fact. You can tell that it's old 
by the big cracks in the floor." In the eyes of their owners 
many houses are "over two hundred years old." The 
farther back one goes in the records, however, the greater 
is the uncertainty as to dates of erection. Neither the senti- 
mental nor the genealogical approach that the last genera- 
tion made would be considered adequate today. In Mil- 
ford, as in every old town in the State, the number of houses 
credited with very early dates has grown considerably in 
recent years. The State Tercentenary helped to create both 
supply and demand. But taking the State as a whole, 
scarcely a quarter of the dates claimed can survive architec- 
tural analysis and a check from the records. 

It was not until the present century that a scientific ap- 
proach was made to the subject. Miss M. Louise Greene's 
articles in the Connecticut Magazine of 1899 describe what 
was known of Milford houses before 1900, and Norman 
M. Isham, in the first book to deal with the old houses 
of Connecticut in a scholarly manner, takes two Milford 
houses, the Eells-Stowe and Benjamin Houses, as represen- 
tative of their periods. 

159 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Scarcely a seventeenth-century house in Connecticut has 
come down unaltered. It is but a scrap of seventeenth-cen- 
tury work at best that survives the remodeling energies of 
two hundred and fifty years of American restlessness. To 
judge adequately, one must have a wide knowledge of other 
seventeenth-century structures in New England and the con- 
ditions that governed their erection. 

The builders, for the most part, were of English descent, 
and accustomed to contemporary English methods of con- 
struction. Certain materials such as timber and stone were 
almost embarrassingly prevalent j while secondary materials, 
such as nails and glass, were at premium. 

While timberwork was found in some counties in En- 
gland, it was by no means as prevalent there, even in the 
meaner grade of houses, as it became over here. To the 
majority of the settlers, the English cottage or manor house 
had to be expressed over here completely in wood, instead 
of in wood and in stone. 

It was natural that rooms should be large, as they had 
been in England, where in a milder climate they could be 
fairly easily heated from the cavernous fireplaces, which 
were the center of family life. It was natural, too, that the 
framing of oak should incline to be heavy, not only because 
of the abundance of primeval trees, but because it was taking 
the place of the English stone, which was a sturdier material. 
This framing was usually visible in the room and consisted 
of four heavy corner posts, the girts and plates that con- 
nected them at ceiling height, and a broad beam across the 
center of the room, called a "summer." This usually ran 
from the chimney girt to the end girt. These girts, that 
support the summer, were ordinarily heavier than the plates 
or girts at the front or rear. Brick and plaster were used, 
but the average wall was of wood, sheathed in a type of 
"bevel and bead," called "featheredge." 

1 60 




Stockade House 




Eeels-Stowe House (Historical Society) 




Buckingham House 





Garret Van Horn DeWitt House 



MILFORD OLD HOUSES AND CHURCHES 

The chimney was the center of the house in every sense 
of the word. It was ordinarily close to the center of the 
floor plan, built of stone, and of dimensions equal to those 
of a small room. All the fireplaces were large, although 
sometimes bedrooms were not heated at all. Fireplaces were 
often so large that stone could not span them, and a heavy 
lintel of oak was laid across. Stone did not begin to replace 
these oak lintels until the fireplace itself began to be made 
smaller, around 1 725-1 750. Oak lintels can be found as 
late as 1789. About 1800 the very common fireplace, so 
often seen in old houses, came in; this is made of brick, 
with an iron bar supporting the masonry above. Brick 
ovens, however, seem to have been built from an early date, 
and very often were at the back of the fireplace. 

Many of the earliest houses remaining show that only 
the structure to one side of the chimney was built at first, 
and the other side was added, as means, or the family, grew. 
The house expanded further by means of a leanto at the 
back, continuing the rear slope, often at a slightly different 
angle. Milford once had many of these added-leanto salt- 
box houses. The Buckingham, Clark ("Stockade"), and 
Whitmore Houses, and the Clark Tavern, have lost their 
original additions. It was once believed that the Eells 
House was an example of this, perhaps the earliest, type. 
But further examination shows that the framework of the 
Eells House, perhaps the most problematical early house in 
the State, was built all at one time. The final stage in the 
evolution of the "saltbox" came after 1700, when the rear 
rafters were made all in one piece, making the rear roof of 
one unbroken slope. The two Peck Houses, now owned by 
the Benjamin and De Mezzo families, are of this eighteenth- 
century style. The "saltbox" form was abandoned entirely 
when the rear part of the house was raised so as to make 
the whole structure two-and-one-half stories tall and two 

161 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

rooms in depth. This was the solid, typical "Colonial" 
house. The Clark ("Stockade") House shows this transition 
in a very interesting way in the attic, and it was evident 
even in the shingles on the ends until the recent remodeling. 
The final step came around 1750, when houses began to be 
built around two chimneys, resulting in a central hall, and 
a more hospitable and accessible interior. The Stephen Gunn 
and Garrett Van Horn DeWitt Houses are examples of this 
stage of development. 

The Milford house that is usually given the earliest date, 
the Buckingham House on North Street, can be looked upon 
as almost an architectural history in itself. Practically all 
the interior woodwork is the result of remodeling in the 
middle of the eighteenth century when Jehiel Bryan, car- 
penter and real estate operator, married the daughter of 
Captain Samuel Buckingham in 1753, or by owners from the 
early nineteenth century down to the present day. Only 
the framing, the rear kitchen fireplace, and the featheredge 
boards now inserted around it, a door upstairs, and possibly 
the front clapboards, are original. The window arrangement, 
the handsome front door with its crossed panels, and the 
brick chimney top, date from the time of Jehiel Bryan, as 
does the exceptional corner cupboard within, with its Prince's 
feather motif. Even the cellar under half of the house 
has been modernized. 

The land was first granted to Thomas Buckingham, as 
recorded in the records of 1643. He died fourteen years 
later, leaving his second wife with five children to rear. 
Though a leader in the church, Thomas Buckingham was 
not rated a wealthy man, and it is probable that his house 
was not exceptionally large — as this house would have 
seemed at the time. It is more likely that this is the house 
of his second son, Samuel, the grandfather of Captain Samuel 
who died in 1 749, to whom the house can be definitely traced 

162 



MILFORD OLD HOUSES AND CHURCHES 

in the land records. Previous to that, it is a matter of infer- 
ence, particularly from wills. 

At first glance, the marker date, 1660, of the Clark 
Tavern on West River Street seems entirely at variance 
with the Victorian house one can see from the street. It 
illustrates perfectly, however, the difficulties and pitfalls of 
dating an early structure. This land, though apparently 
adjacent to the Newtons, was sold to Samuel Andrew, 
3rd, grandson of Mr. Newton's successor. He died in 1728, 
and left a house on the plot. Andrew Clark, the inn-keeper, 
secured it in 1789. Within the house are found many primi- 
tive characteristics in spite of its central hall and outside re- 
modeling. The cellar is under only the north part of the 
house j the rooms above were originally large and fairly low, 
and are intersected by broad, flat summer beams, 17^ inches 
wide. No other framing shows, since the walls were "taken 
in" during a remodeling, after Captain William Davidson 
bought the place in 18 10. In 1874 the old stone chimney 
was removed, and further additions made. An examination 
of the attic shows that the house was built all at one time, and 
that a leanto, now gone, was added later, giving it a "saltbox" 
line. 

The house at present bearing the name of the Reverend 
Samuel Andrew, on the northwest corner of North Street 
and the "Kissing Bridge" is a consistent and well-preserved 
example of an early nineteenth-century dwelling, with a 
wide overhanging roof and Doric portico of a still later 
nineteenth-century date. The house is of the fully de- 
veloped two-story type, with squarish rooms, cellar under 
the whole, and chimney and fireplaces of brick throughout. 
No framing shows except corner posts of a moderate size. 
There are nineteenth-century mantels, and the sparse panel- 
ing is of a nineteenth-century variety, called sunk paneling. 

The first mention of this site that can be found is on 

163 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

April 27, 1 801, when the Proprietor's Committee gave a 
999-year lease of this property, up to that time common or 
undivided land, to Nehemiah Bristol, for the sum of $45. 
It is probable that Bristol, who had already taken a chance 
by occupying it, had built the small shop by the bridge which 
some people remember as stocked with everything that a 
country store can manage to handle. He would not have 
built so large and important a house on it without owning 
the property 5 but after buying it in 1801, he appears to 
have put up a somewhat ambitious house, intending to enter- 
tain on a larger scale. The second-floor rooms could be 
thrown open by folding partitions to make a dance hall across 
the whole rear side, overlooking the river — another feature 
characteristic of the early nineteenth century. 

A study of the records shows that the Reverend Samuel 
Andrew lived on West River Street, in a house he bought 
in 1685, which his heirs later sold to Dr. Abraham Tomlin- 
son. Henry J. Bristol lived for more than twenty years 
on that site and then removed, in the 1880's, to the house 
his family had built across the river on North Street. 

Isham speaks of one Milford house as among the most 
interesting in New England, that of Sergeant Samuel Eells, 
which is now, fortunately, the home of the Milford His- 
torical Society. It is interesting because of two peculiarities 
that mark it as almost unique: the coved cornice (of which 
only one other example exists today in Connecticut) and the 
famous "dog-legged" stair, of which again but one other 
example (and a very much later one) has been found in 
Connecticut. The north end shows light framing and no 
summer beam: the south room, though not original, is un- 
doubtedly near the position of the original chimney. The 
narrow central hall with its odd stairs is apparently original, 
and the north rooms across it were probably not heated. 
This very unusual design is paralleled in the old Stevens 

164 



MILFORD OLD HOUSES AND CHURCHES 

House in Clinton, which dates back to 1699. The pecu- 
liarity of the stairs — that the rails, both upper and lower, 
both fit into but one post at the turn — is no doubt occasioned 
by the narrowness of the hall. The balusters, which are low 
and primitive, undoubtedly an early type, are broken into 
by this arrangement, and the effect is not a happy one. On 
the second floor this is avoided by twisting the upper rail so 
that the two overlap. 

The history of the house has been well written in a short 
pamphlet published by the Daughters of the American 
Revolution. All the evidence with regard to the date of 
the house is not given, however, for it is now known that 
Eells lost his original home, on West River Street, to Alex- 
ander Bryan in 1679, though he continued to rent it. His 
wife died in 1687, and he moved away from Milford. The 
house must have been built within those eight years. 

There are other old houses with seventeenth-century 
dates, but only one that can be securely assigned to that 
period: the Josiah Whitmore House (1698), at the corner 
of West Main and Gunn Streets. Its record is easily traced, 
and, although in poor condition, it is the most authentic 
building of the period left. The cellar is under the west 
end only. None of the old fireplaces are now open, for the 
building is in use as a grain store. The framing is heavy, 
especially in the girts over the fireplaces and the end walls, 
and in the wide summer beams that connect them. The 
stairs are simple, enclosed in plain boards, and ascend by 
winders without rail or ornament of any kind. 

One block east, on West Main Street, stands the Ford 
House, one of the best of the town's early houses. It has 
been in the Ford family from the beginning j first mention 
of it is in the will of John Ford (1704-60). It was prob- 
ably built a full generation later than the Whitmore House 
a block away, and retains something of the same form, but 

165 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

in a larger and more expansive version. There are nine 
windows now on the front instead of five, as in the earlier 
house ; and the house is deeper, two full rooms deep and 
two stories in height. It is in the very wide overhang of 
the attic framing all round, and the broad shallow chimney- 
that the old lines persist. It is possible that the house once 
had a coved cornice, like that of the Eells House. Until 
recently it had a small one-story leanto across one-half of 
the rear, but it was never a saltbox. The main lines of the 
structure are of 1730, the paneling and staircase perhaps 
twenty years later. 

The house that of late years has been named the 
Stockade House reminds one in many ways of the Ford 
House. It has been given the varying dates of 1659, 1660, 
1689, 1695, and 1700. Fortunately, however, the architec- 
tural evidence is clear, and though the house shows a diver- 
sity almost equal to that of the dates, the transitions in its 
structure can easily be traced and are its chief interest today. 

The first mention of the building is in a deed of Novem- 
ber 1, 1708, from George Clark, husbandman, to Nathan 
Clark, his son, transferring the "pasture lott eight acres more 
or less with every part and parcell ye of with all ye house 
housing and barn Standing upon or being." Nathan died 
in 1729, his father in 1734. That it was originally a saltbox 
type of house, with a leanto added at the rear, is evident 
from an examination of the attic. This could formerly be 
readily seen from the outside, where the lines in the older 
clapboards were very distinct from those used to piece out 
when the rear was raised to a full two-story height. This 
remodeling probably took place around 1750 during the 
ownership of the first Jonathan Clark, son of Nathan. 

The beauty of the house is in its wall end of paneling 
in the west room, unspoiled by either paint or varnish, with 
tall pilasters flanking the fireplace much like those in the 

166 




Ford House 




Whitmore House 




Sanford House 







Richard Platt House 



MILFORD OLD HOUSES AND CHURCHES 

Ford House. The rooms are almost exactly the size of those 
of the Ford House. The stair, too, is similar, but of an 
open stringer variety, with low rails and no balusters. The 
fireplaces have all been made smaller by brick, and are not 
original. A most unusual built-in bookcase and cupboard 
is in the east room and must certainly date from Jonathan 
Clark's remodeling. 

One other house, sometimes given a seventeenth-century 
date, is the story-and-a-half peak-roof house on the north 
side of Broad Street Green, where Golden Hill Street 
branches off. It might appear to be an exceptionally attrac- 
tive and well-preserved cottage of the early nineteenth cen- 
tury, did it not prove to have older work in its fireplaces. 

One group of later houses belongs to a definite type, 
with two variations, characteristic of Milford. The three, 
two-chimney, story-and-a-half houses on Gulf Street repre- 
sent one variation. They have a piazza across the front, 
under a flaring roof which rises in a gambrel on the front, 
but slopes back behind in a long graceful curve. Two of these, 
the Elijah Bryan and the Stow Houses, date from around 
1790. The David Clark House (1789) is similar, though 
it lacks the piazza. The other variation, probably somewhat 
earlier, has a stone central chimney. The Jonah Clark 
House on Governor's Lane, and the Samuel Sanford House 
on North Street, later extended and given a second chimney, 
are of this type. The Downes House (1797) was originally 
in this style. The Durand House is similar, but has a 
straight roof in the front. From its architecture and a search 
of the records it appears to be of about the same date. 

Of the type which followed the saltbox — two stones 
high both front and back — there are no better examples than 
the house usually known as the Ebenezer Downes House on 
the Post Road, and the David Ingersoll House to the west 
of it, with a beautiful cross-panel door. 

167 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Another interesting house, but this time with a gambrel 
roof, is the stately home of Garrett Van Horn DeWitt, the 
merchant who came up to Milford from New York after the 
Revolution. The house, on the south side of Broad Street 
Green, lent an urban touch to the Connecticut village. The 
elaborate doorway and sidelights belong to the sophisticated 
period of the Greek Revival that was beginning to make 
itself felt in the centers. The Stephen Atwater Treat House 
(1798) on Gulf Street, is a more orthodox specimen of this 
period. The heavy piazzas are more modern than the rest 
of the house. 

A perfect example of the Classical Revival house at the 
height of its effect on New England is the second Stephen 
Gunn House (1821), now an antique shop at the junction 
of US 1 and US iA. The open pediment portico and simple, 
consistent detail give it an atmosphere of the early Federal 
period that is still authentic and unspoiled. A house of 
later date, in the fullness of the Greek Revival, is the 
Richard Piatt House, the second house to the east of the 
Stephen Gunn House. Here the gable end faces the road, 
with a hip-roofed porch of perfect proportions over the door 
in the left corner. The fluted Ionic columns, the delicate 
detail of cornice and pediment remain. It is pleasing to find 
no details wiped out by asbestos shingling or other modern 
incongruity. Further to the east, a still later house, similar 
in plan but plainer in detail, reflects the growing simplicity 
of the later period of the Classic Revival. These three 
houses very aptly summarize its development. 

Beyond question, the architectural distinction of Milford 
lies in its three old churches. It has an unusual number of 
houses of the Victorian period, from the Dennis Beach to 
the Harvey Beach Houses, which have fumbled through all 
sorts of experiments in form, some happy and some more or 
less bizarre. But in the two Congregational Churches (1 823 

168 



MILFORD OLD HOUSES AND CHURCHES 

and 1834) and the stone Episcopal Church (1850) the early 
Federal period and Classic and Gothic Revivals found an 
expression at once happy and pure. 

Tradition has always assigned the name of David Hoad- 
ley as architect of the First Church. The church records 
mention Michael Peck of Milford as builder, and contain 
the testimonial given him at the completion of the edifice. 
However, the church does employ some of Hoadley's favor- 
ite devices, and we know he built the church in North Mil- 
ford (now Orange) at about the same time. It is probable 
that Peck obtained the plans from Hoadley. 

The First Church occupies a strategic place in the his- 
tory of Connecticut church architecture. Three other 
churches were patterned closely after it, a compliment never 
before nor since accorded any church in the State: Cheshire, 
built in 1826; Southington, built by Levi Newell in 1828; 
and Litchfield, by the same builder a year later. The First 
Church was not only widely admired, but that very ad- 
miration helped to crystallize certain tendencies which came 
to characterize the culminating period of our early archi- 
tecture. 

One of these was in the placing of the tower. In the 
eighteenth century the tower had stood at one end of the 
church proper, attached, but practically a building apart. 
Then it began, so to speak, to be drawn into the edifice of 
the nave, as in Gibb's churches j and then to have a front en- 
trance pediment thrown out around it, lower and smaller 
than the main gable of the church, but repeating the same 
lines. Half of this projecting portico is enclosed, half an 
open colonnade j and it is from this dividing line that the 
tower rises, centered over the front wall of the main roof. 
Four reeded and fluted Ionic columns support the pediment 
over a shallow open portico. Behind these are three 
doors of equal height, each with a fanlight with a pattern of 

169 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

delicate leaden tracery. At the center of the festoons is the 
unusual feature of a spread eagle. These features were re- 
peated over and over in the first half of the nineteenth 
century. 

If the First Church is a fitting illustration of the best 
of the post-Colonial period, the building of Plymouth 
Church represents just as strikingly the final and logical out- 
come. It was built in 1834, in the Doric, rather than the 
Ionic Renaissance style, and sacrifices grace and charm for 
solidity and simplicity. The First Church was in no sense a 
Greek temple: it was a New England building, drawing in- 
spiration for many details from Greek precedents. The ar- 
chitect was free to design his steeple in ways that pleased 
himself and descended directly from eighteenth-century 
practice, as in the use of an open stage in the belfry. Plym- 
outh Church was, however, a Greek temple transplanted to a 
totally different climate effectively but a little incongruously, 
since the necessity for a steeple led to a compromise. The 
building is less a unit than First Church, though it does have 
its own dramatic quality. The two together make a composi- 
tion such as no other town in New England, save New 
Haven, can display. 

The Episcopal Church of St. Peter (1850), though later, 
is perhaps the best of the Victorian Gothic edifices in the 
State. It belongs to what might be called the Stoke-Poges 
variety of early Gothic, but has a tall spire that reminds one 
of Stratford-on-Avon. If St. Peter's were situated on the 
verdurous banks of a stream like the Avon, it would easily 
become one of the most admired churches in New England. 
The simplicity and sincerity of the design entitle it to this 
esteem. 



170 



APPENDIX 



OFFICERS OF THE TOWN OF MILFORD 

June i, 1939 

ELECTED 

Selectmen 

Harry M. Merwin 
Cornelius A. Stowe Frank M. McCarthy 

Town Clerk 
Clarissa M. Fowler 

Treasurer 
David A. Clarke 

Collector of Taxes 
William G. Bissell 

Board of Assessors 

Frederick M. Smith 
Arthur B. Chapin James E. English 

Board of Relief 

Karol Dudzinski Richard Jaspers 

Frederick J. Boni 

Constables 

George E. Mallory Austin F. Dawson 

Wilbur B. Chase John F. Roach 

William McGirr Allan M. MacTaggart 

Leslie I. Keller 

Registrars of Voters 
Harold L. Pickett Henry S. Ryan 

173 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Town School Committee 

Omar W. Platt Caroline T. Platt 

Bessie Powell Jervis D. Brown, Jr. 

J. Henry Anthony John J. Nowicki 

Claude A. Cox Levi E. Alling 

Ephriam E. Sinn Marion R. Daly 

Mary A. Kast Julia M. Coffey 



APPOINTED BY THE SELECTMEN 

Board of Finance 

Peter N. Landine Albert P. Stowe 

John J. Toomey John J. Reardon 

Robert H. Clemence Frank C. Brotherton 

Board of Police Commissioners 

William A. Ford John A. Hall 

J. Burton Smith William Ashworth 

Albert P. Barrows Bernard J. Fagan 

Board of Fire Commissioners 

William M. O'Hara Robert M. Treat 

Moses E. Harris Frank W. Hunter 

Joseph J. Carroll Lewis P. Baldwin 

Town Plan and Zoning Commission 

John N. Foehr Trubee J. Doolittle 

Harold S. Hawkins Henry C. C. Miles 

John W. Cannon James F. Cavanaugh 

Zoning Board of Affeals 

Arthur W. Eade Edward J. Maher 

David J. Greene Albert C. Tingley 

Arnon D. Thomas 

Board of Sewer Commissioners 

Elbert N. Clark Berton L. Wright 

Hans Zwiebel Max W. Weir 

Ezra G. Mitchell 

174 



OFFICERS OF THE TOWN OF MILFORD 

Recreation Commission 

Robert H. Clemence Harry E. Petersen 

Frank C. Brotherton Frank H. Nettleton, Jr. 

Frank DeMateau Frank S. Wargo 

Frank M. McCarthy Levi E. Alling 

Trubee J. Doolittle 

Fowler Memorial Building Committee 

Robert C. Stoddard Trubee J. Doolittle 

Arthur L. Baldwin Harry M. Merwin 

James E. Toocker David J. Greene 

Cecil H. Trowbridge Morris W. Abbott 



175 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 



INDIAN DEED OF 1682 

Whereas the predecessors as underwritten namely An- 
nacowset Washoise Nansantaway Anshootta Potaquatton 
cataconnacouse pychiamah Askwhout Amantoneek Mana- 
matque pamatacouse pacommon Towtanramay Tewackhecg 
Napahisset & others haveing formerly sold unto William 
fowler Edmund Tapp Zachary Whitman Robert Treat & 
Alexander Bryant for and in behalfe of the Town of Mil- 
ford certain parcels of land & Meadow & c with all appurte- 
nances for which they have severall deeds or writing under 
the hands of our say d predecessors, the hands of some to 
one deed or writing & the hands of some to others according 
their severall rights and power of disspose which severall 
parcels of land & meadow & c layd together reach from New 
Haven Bounds westward to Stratford River & the west of 
the Islands therin sold to them & from the sea & the South 
of that island in the sea Northward to the Two mile Brooke 
near paugoset or Derby And the path that goeth from 
paugoset to New Haven, so that the sayd Lands Mead- 
owes & Islands are Bownded as afoarsayd all which former 
sales Bargaines & agreements, made by our sayd predecessors 
we underwritten doe hereby allowe of & rattifye the same 
to the sayd englishmen & their successors for the use & benefit 
of the Towne of Milford afoarsayd according to the True 
Intent thereof one of which writeings beareing date February 
1 2 th 1638 another dated December 20 th : 1660: another 
January 2 d 1660 another December 12 th 1661 : 

& we doe for o'selves heires & successors utterly disclaime 
any right title or Interest (to) the sayd Lands or priviledges 
mentioned in the sayd deeds or writeings or any part thereof 

176 



INDIAN DEED OF 1682 

& farther we doe upon farther Good consideration & for sat- 
isfaction in hand received doe freely alienate & make over 
all our right title and Interest to the sayd lands that we or any 
of us ever had have or might have or to any part thereof 
unto the englishmen affoarmentioned for the use benifit & 
behoofe of the Towne of Milford & their successors for ever 
all which forementioned Lands with all the priviledges & 
appurtenances thereunto belonging to the sayd Town of 
Milford & their successors are to have & to hold to them 
their heires & successors forever, & we doe hereby engage our 
selwes, heires & successors to secure the Town of Milford 
from any clayme of any Indian or Indians to the sayd lands 
or any part there of In witnesse whereof we have hereunto 
set our hands this 2 d day of October 1682 

Witnessed by us Cockapatanna his marke 

Ketassomen his marke Nanshutta his marke 

Ebenezer: Johnson Ackenach his marke 

Samuel: Eales Awowas his marke 

James Briscoe Mughshittin his marke 

witness Thomas Bishop, his marke Sowahous his marke 

The Interpreter. Chippanck his marke 

Tehunques his marke 
hughsson 
Keucksen his marke 

The above written Instrument was 
acknowledged by all the subscribers 
to be their acts and deeds this 2 d day of 
October 1682 before me 

Robert Treat Dep : Gov r 

The above written is a True coppy of the originall being 
examined & compared therewith this 7 th of October 1685 per 
John Allyn Secy: 



177 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 



NAMES OF REVOLUTIONARY PATRIOTS 
BURIED IN MILFORD CEMETERY. 

The Milford Cemetery contains the identified graves of 
the following Milford Revolutionary patriots: 



Baldwin, Lieut. Nathan 
Bristol, Nathan 
Brush, Abraham 
Bryan, Elijah 
Bryant, Lieut. Jehiel, Sr. 
Bryant, Sergt. Jehiel, Jr. 
Buckingham, John 
Budington, Walter 

Carrington, Dr. Elias 
Clark, George 
Clark, Isaac 
Clark, Isaac 
Clarke, David 
Clarke, Samuel 
Coggeshall, William 

Davidson, James 
DeWitt, Garret V. H. 
Down, John 

Fenn, Lieut. Benjamin 
Fenn, Lieut. Daniel 
Ford, Amos 
Ford, John 
Fowler, Lieut. John 

Gibbs, John 
Gillette, Benjamin 



Glenny, William 
Green, Samuel 

Higby, Samuel 

Mallory, Moses 
Munson, Joseph 

Nettleton, Caleb 
Nettleton, Thaddeus 

Parsons, Samuel 

Pond, Captain Charles H. 

Sackett, Daniel 
Sanford, Elisha 
Smith, Cabb 
Smith, John 
Smith, Samuel B. 
Stow, Samuel 
Stow, Stephen 
Stow, Stephen 

Treat, John 
Treat, Samuel 

Wells, Nathan 
Wire, Sergt. Samuel 
Woodruff, Enoch 



There were other Milford citizens who served in the 
Revolutionary War, whose final resting places are not iden- 
tified in the cemetery. There were also many men whose 
place of residence appears in the records as Milford, but who 
are buried elsewhere than in Milford Cemetery. 

178 



NAMES OF RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN OF 

MILFORD WHO SERVED IN THE 

CIVIL WAR 1861-65 

Compiled from records furnished by Nathan Stow, a Civil 
War veteran and a descendant of Stephen Stow, the Revolution- 
ary Patriot. 



Abbott, Oramel G. 
Amesbury, Marvin H. 
Andrews, Gilead T. 

Baird, George W. 
Baird, Jas. W. 
Baker, Edward E. 
Baldwin, A. V. H. Dewitt 
Baldwin, Charles W. 
Baldwin, Chauncey S. 
Baldwin, Dennis E. 
Baldwin, Edwin B. 
Baldwin, Elliott H. 
Baldwin, John H. 
Baldwin, Roger S. 
Bartlett, Chas. H. 
Bassett, Mark 
Batchelor, Henry E. 
Beach, Calvin 
Beach, Dennis 
Beach, Elliott H. 
Beach, Fuller W. 
Beach, George Marvin 
Beach, Oscar C. 
Beard, Wm. Addison 
Beecher, Henry M. 
Beecher, R. Frank 
Beers, Ira S. 
Benham, Chas. H. 
Benham, Geo. W. 
Benjamin, David W. 
Benjamin, J. M. 
Billings, Peter 



Bishop, Willett M. 
Booth, Joseph W. 
Botsford, Chas. H. K. 
Brill, William F. 
Bristol, Edwin 
Bristol, Julius A. 
Bristol, Lewis B. 
Bristol, Lewis D. 
Bristol, William M. 
Bristol, William T. 
Broadwell, Commodore M. 
Bronson, Wm. S. 
Brown, James P. 
Buchanan, J. J. 
Buckingham, George F. 
Buckingham, John W. 
Burleigh, Edward W. 
Burnett, Thomas 
Burns, Benjamin Walter S. 
Burns, Geo. Nelson 
Burwell, Arnold T. 

Cairoli, J. S. 
Canfield, Smith 
Chase, Wallace 
Christian, Carle 
Clark, Albertus N. 
Clark, Almon E. 
Clark, Arthur N. 
Clark, Arthur W. 
Clark, Augustus N. 
Clark, Edwin W. 
Clark, Everett B. 



179 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 



Clark, John G. 
Clark, Joseph R. 
Clark, Marshall A. 
Clark, Nathan 
Clark, Samuel 
Clark, Samuel B. 
Clark, Sydney E. 
Clark, Theodore M. 
Coleman, William 
Collins, George C. M. 
Colter, Charles 
Cornwall, Chas. E. 
Cornwall, Frederic 
Coy, Geo. W. 
Curtiss, Chas. E. 

Dahl, John W. 
Dayton, George H. 
De Garmo, John L. 
Dickinson, Sylvanus 
Dodge, Jeremiah R. 
Dowd, Martin V. 
Downs, Henry A. 

Eaton, Shepard F. 
Edwards, Harmon T. 
Elkins, George. 
Ells, William 

Ford, Charles W. 
Ford, James E. 
Fenn, William S. 
Ferris, James L. 
Foster, Francis A. 
Fowler, Joseph 
Fowler, William 
French, Burr H. 
French, Smith B. 

Gabriel, John 
Gabriel, Joseph Peter 
Gabriel, Theodore 
Gage, Robert B. 
Gall, John 
Gammel, William F. 
Gauche (or Dauche) 
Gavin, Patrick J. 



Glenney, George H. 
Glenney, Samuel C. 
Glenney, Stephen W. 
Graham, John L. 
Graham, Wallace W. 
Graham, W. L. 

Haley, Thomas 
Harris, Theodore 
Harris, William 
Harris, W. H. 
Hawley, Wm. H. 
Hephim, Richard 
Higby, George O. 
Hill, Daniel 
Hine, Aaron 
Hine, Abner 
Hine, George W. 
Hine, James R. 
Hine, Lewis 
Hitchcock, Shirland 
Hopper, Charles 
Hooghkirk, William 
Horigan, Patrick 
Hyde, Samuel D. 

Jackson, Charles S. 
Jackson, Gilbert 
Jackson, Homer 
Johnson, Guernsey 

Keeshan, Dennis 
Keifer, Daniel J. 

Larrabee, Edwin H. 
London, Charles 
London, Horace 

MacGuinness, James 
Manville, George W. 
Marks, Hobart 
Marks, Treat A. 
Marshall, Henry G. 
McBride, Wm. T. 
McCarthy, James 
Merwin, Chas. W. 
Merwin, John H. 



1 80 



RESIDENTS WHO SERVED IN CIVIL WAR 



Michel, Carl (Chas. Michel) 
Morris, Charles J. 
Murphy, Lawrence 

Nolan, Andrew 

Northrup, W. A. 

Nettleton, Elliott W. 

Nettleton, Harvey S. , 

Nettleton, Henry 

Nettleton, Lewis J. 

Nettleton, Samuel A. 

Overton, Edward W. 
Oviatt, Edward L. 
Oviatt, Erasmus 
Oviatt, John M. 
Oviatt, Willis S. 

Peabody, Joseph N. 
Peck, Chester D. 
Peck, F. Henry 
Peck, George T. 
Peck, Ira Abbott 
Peck, Ralph 
Peck, William H. 
Peet, Lauren 
Pike, George W. 
Piatt, Albert C. 
Plumb, Albert 
Plumb, Edwin W. 
Plumb, Sydney H. 
Plumb, Wm. Elliott 
Pope, Julius J. 
Porter, Albert A. 
Prince, Alvin C. 
Prince, George W. 

Rallis, Dwight 
Ricks, William 
Roberts, Frank H. 
Rogers, George E. 

Sanford, Chas. H. 
Sanford, Chas. W. 
Sanford, John F. 
Scofield, John E. 
Scott, William O. 



Scranton, Alonzo 
Sherman, Henry 
Shine, John 
Slade, Frederic C. 
Smith, Andrew 
Smith, Brainerd 
Smith, Caleb 
Smith, Elliott N. 
Smith, Henry E. 
Smith, Henry Herbert 
Smith, Hezekiah P. 
Smith, James H. 
Smith, Joel 
Smith, Miles 
Smith, Sam'l B. 
Somers, Dwight 
Somers, Joseph 
Somers, Levi 
Sonnewald, August E. 
Spencer, Rufus 
Stowe, Edgar P. 
Stowe, Luke 
Stowe, Nathan 
Stowe, Nelson L. 
Stowe, Sydney 
Sullivan, James 

Taft, Lowell 
Tibbals, Albert C. 
Tibbals, George W. 
Tibbals, James S. 
Tinkham, L. Enos 
Tinkham, W. H. 
Totten, Charles A. 
Treat, Noyes A. 
Treat, Thelus C. 
Trowbridge, Wm. D. 
Trowers, Wm. 
Tucker, Henry A. 
Tuthill, Thomas C. 

Van Horn, Edgar 
Van Horn, George 

Warburton, Samuel 
Welch, Lewis M. 
Whitcomb, Russell 



I«I 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Wilcox, John W. Woodruff, Stiles 

Williams, Thomas Woods, Francis Victor 

Williston, Josiah F. Word, Thomas J. 
Wilson, Joseph 

Wilson, William L. Yale, Ed. 

Woodbury, Joseph S. Yale, Merrit A. 



182 



LIST OF MILFORD MEN WHO SERVED IN THE 
WORLD WAR 

(As given on the Milford World War Memorial) 



* Died in Service. 



Abbey, Frederick J. 
Ahrens, William H. 
Alcott, George E. 
Allan, James J. 
Allen, Everett W. 
Allen, George A. 
Allen, John H. 
Allen, John J. 
Anderson, James 
Antaya, Albert M. 
Appleton, William B. 
Armitage, Lawrence 
Auburn, Harry 
Augat, August 
Avery, John P. 

Babcock, Carl A. 
Bachand, Joseph T. 
Badeau, Alton A. 
Bahan, Charles A. 
Bailey, Chester N. 
Bailey, William C. 
Baird, Charles E. 
Baldwin, Arthur L. 
Baldwin, Clarence H. 
Baldwin, Harold W. 
Baldwin, Warren C. 
Banks, Jesse 
Banta, Lewis E. 
Barnes, George E. 
Barnes, Harry G. 
Barnes, Harry M. 
Barnes, Joseph B. 
Barnes, Truman S. 



Barney, Edward J. 
Barney, John J. 
Barrell, Edward A. 
Barry, Edward P. 
Basden Leland A. 
Basile, Silvester 
Bassett, Prentice P. 
Bassett, Royal M. 
Battel, Fredrick 
Beach, Edward H. 
Beard, Charles 
Beard, R. Miles 
Beatty, Albert 
Beatty, William E. 
Becker, William E. 
Bellows, Ernest M. 
Benham, William M. 
Benjamin, Hugh H. 
Benjamin, Percy E. 
Bennett, Leroy, P. 
Bentze, Frederick J. 
Bentze, John J. 
Berchem, Charles 
Bernard, Clinton 
Bernatowski, Frank 
Bissell, Raymond W. 
Blackhall, Frederick S., Jr. 
*Blackhall, George B. 
Blackman, Chester 
Bogaers, Mariner 
Bolan, Francis J. 
Bond, George A. 
Boni, Fred J. 
Boni, Stephen J. 



183 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 



Bonyai, William J. 
Booth, Gerald D. 
Booth, I. H. 
Booth, Leo M. 
Bosworth, Albert 
Bouteiller, George 
Bowden, William 
Boyd, Edward D. 
Boyd, George 
Boyd, Joseph 
Bray, Harry T. 
Bray, James S. 
Bremier, Leonard G. 
Bridge, Edward 
Bridge, Lucien L. 
Bridge, Richard W. 
Briggs, L. 
Brill, Clarence H. 
Broadbent, George H. 

Brockenbury, Arthur C. 

Bronson, Albert C. 

Brotherton, Edward B. 

Brouck, George B. 

Brough, Joseph W. 

Brower, Frank J. 

Brown, Harvey B. 

Brown, James O. 

Brown, Roger N. 

Brown, Royal W. 

Brown, Walter P. 

Browning, Herbert 

Bryan, Charles H., Jr. 

Bull, Clarence H. 

Burnaker, Antony 

Burns, John A. 

Burns, William T. 

Burr, George 

Burwell, Harold E. 

Burwell, Hildreth M. 

Bush, William S. 

Butler, Joseph F. 

Buxton, William A. 



Campbell, Edward A. 
Capobianco, Alfred 
Capocci, S. 



Carbone, Vincent 
Cardonell, Melvin A. 
Carlson, Arthur E. 
Carnright, H. 
Casanelle, Jencie 
Casey, Joseph P. 
Cashow, Ernest J. 
Castle, Orren F. 
Cedarholm, Neil S. 
Chadwick, Stuart 
Chapell, Alexander R. 
Chapell, Andrew P. 
Charles, Reuben 
Clapper, Charles A. 
Clapper, Matthew F. 
Clark, Arthur L. 
♦Clark, Charles S. 
Clark, Everett B. 
Clark, L. H. 
Clark, Lewis T. 
Clark, Stanley T. 
Clarke, Chester N. 
Clarke, Tracy L. 
Cleary, William F. 
Clemence, Robert H. 

Cogguilla, James 

Coles, John 

Collins, Edward J., Jr. 

Compton, James 

Comstock, Chester E. 

Comstock, James B. 

Conklin, David A. 

Conklin, John 

Connell, Daniel P. 

Connell, R. Hugh 

Connelly, James 

Connelly, Maurice J. 

Connelly, Michael A. 

Conrad, Clifford T. 

Coolahan, William T. 

Cooper, James E. 

Copeland, James P. 

Cordova, Edmund M. 

Cornwell, Frank S. 

Costello, Harry A. 

Coulson, Silas 

Coulson, William P. 

184 



MEN WHO SERVED IN THE WORLD WAR 



Cowan, John C. 
*Crary, Frederick W. 
Creary, William E. 
Cronin, Charles D. 
Crosby, Henry H. 
Cunneen, John J. 
Cunningham, Albert W. 
Cunningham, Eugene E. 
Cunningham, George 
Curran, Thomas W. 
Cyphers, Clarence 

Daley, Peter J. 
Damsky, John P. 
Darragh, Richard J. 
Darwin, Frederick 
Daughney, Chase B. 
Davidson, Douglas R. 
Davidson, Elmer 
Davidson, Raymond B. 
Davies, Samuel A. 
Davis, Aimer 
Davis, Frederick E. 
Davis, Samuel 
Day, Rupert S. 
Dayton, Percy H. 
Dewhurst, Thomas H. 
Dixon, Georgianna 
Dizdul, Michael 
Dooling, Dennis 
Doolittle, Clarence L. 
*Doris, Thomas G. 
Douglas, John A. 
Downs, Edwin P. 
Drew, Edwin, Jr. 
Drinkwater, Charles F. 
Dubiel, Frank J. 
Dudley, Penlie W. 
Dumraese, Frederick W. 
Dumraese, George F. 
Duncan, J. 
Dwyer, Robert J. 
Dzadul, Wladislaw 

Ebel, Martin A. 
Edwards, John K. 
Ellicott, Irving C. 



Ellis, Thomas 
*Ellison, Roy 
Ellison, Walter 
Emerson, Charles 
Emigh, Archie M. 
Emmons, Paul S. 
English, James E. 
Enochie, Peter 
Erlandson, Carl R. 
Erlandson, Ernest B. 
Evasick, John G. 
Everson, Harry C. 

Fairhurst, Thomas B. 
Famman, Thomas G. 
Farley, James T. 
Farnen, Frank H. 
Farnsworth, Alfred 
Fenstermacher, George W. 
Fiederlein, F. G. 
Finney, J. Merwin 
Fischer, William J. H. 
Flack, John E. 
Flaherty, Thomas P. 
Fleming, James J. 
Flynn, William J. 
Foehr, Charles D. 
Foehr, Frank N. 
Foehr, Herman T. 
Forbes, Charles J. 
Ford, Albert W. 
Ford, Donald C. 
Ford, Edmund H. 
Ford, Edwin N. 
Ford, Elbert L. Jr. 
Ford, George R. 
Ford, Harry S. 
Ford Herbert A. 
Ford, Walter C. 
Forgan, Stephen 
Forman, R. 
Fowler, Herbert G. 
Fowler, Mark L. 
Fowler, Wallace S. 
Fox, Frank 
Fox, James 
Fox, Philip 



I8 5 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 



Freeman, Burton A. 
French, George J. 
Friedlander, Joseph 
Friel, Daniel M. 
Fuller, Robert H. 

Gale, Warren S. 
Galinsky, Joseph 
Gariepy, Arthur H. 
Gariepy, Clarence D. 
Garley, Andrew W. 
Geoghegan, John 
Gibson, Stephen J. 
Gilbert, Russell L. 
Gillespie, Leo J. 
Gillette, William B. 
Gillingham, Ernest W. 
Gillingham, Harold H. 
Gilmore, Jesse L. 
Glenney, John G. 
Glynn, W. J. 
Goldstein, Abraham 
Goodrich, Roy P. 
Goodwin, Clinton C. 
Gorbacz, Bronek 
Gordon, Charles H. 
Gotch, Edward J. B. 
Gottsegen, Harold, W. 
Gould, Henry I. 
Gould, Wesley, E. 
Gould, William E. 
Graffan, Walter F. 
Greene, George M. 
Greene, James P. Jr. 
Gregory, N. Winthrop 
Griggs, Hayden J. 
Griswold, Horace, H. 
Grotzka, August 
Guest, William J. 
*Gunn, Leon L. 

Hale, Rockwell F. 
Halliday, Harry 
Hannigan, Thomas P. 
Hansell, Raymond N. 
Hanson, Ragnar 
Harper, William G. 



Harris, Frederick W. 
Harris, John W. Jr. 
Hartenstein, Karl 
*Hartman, Charles 
Harvard, William A. 
Hawkins, Adelbert K. 
Hawkins, Newton S. 
Hawley, William L. 
Hayden, Raymond W. 
Head, Raymond S. 
Heady, Carlton K. 
Heckman, Fred D. 
Hellenberg, Carl E. 
Helwig, Albert A. 
Helwig, William F. 
Henry, Arthur J. 
Heppenstall, Arthur 
Heppenstall, Joseph 
Herbert, William J. 
Hermanson, Frank R. 
Hevey, Hector A. 
*Higginson, LeRoy C. 
Hile, Edwin M. 
*Hiltz, Floyd 
Hines, Edward 
Hoffman, George 
Holloway, Franklin A. 
Holloway, Frederick W. 
Holmes, George 
*Holmes, Thomas D. 
Honiker, Raymond 
Hooghkirk, Robert C. 
Hopkins, Fred E. 
Hopkins, Robert W. 
Hosford, George D. 
Howell, Carl W. 
Hoxley, Arthur E. 
Hoxley, Frank E. 
Hoyt, Charles D. 
Hubbard, Clarence 
*Hubbell, Harry R. 
Hull, Ralph G. 
Hunt, Irving W. 
Hurd, Lawrence, N. 
Hurd, Rowan G. 
Hurley, Philip 
Hyzen, Paul R. 



186 



MEN WHO SERVED IN THE WORLD WAR 



Jackson, Alfred D. 
Jackson, Joseph A. 
James, C. J. 
Jandro, Francis L. 
Jensen, Robert H. 
Johnson, C. L. 
Johnson, William E. 
Judd, Wallace L. 
Julin, Allan E. 
Jziadul, Walter 

Kane, Edward 
Kane, John 
Kannia, Joseph P. 
Karl, Joseph A. 
Kartzmark, Roy- 
Keating, Harold T. 
Keatinge, Cyril S. 
Keatinge, John H. 
Keatinge, Richard S. 
Keatinge, Robert N. 
Keatinge, Thomas F. 
Kelley, Richard J. 
Kern, Frederick 
Kerr, John A. 
Kerr, Robert S. 
Kiely, Matthew J. 
Kinsella, Francis 
Klinswig, Antonie 
Knapp, Chester 
Koch, John F. 
Koles, John 
Kolodzie, Felix 
Kosachz, M. 
Krouze, Harry 
Kruse, Joseph H. 
Kulise, Tony 
Kunkel, Jacob F. 

Lacativo, Joseph 
Lagner, Carl F. 
Lagner, Edward F. 
LaHar, Howard A. 
Larkins, George F. 
Lauritzen, Frederick 
LaVallee, Rolland A. 
LaVerne, Dominico 



Law, John 
Lebedz, Joseph 
Lebedz, Victor 
Ledgerwood, Guy T. 
Ledwith, C. J. 
Legge, Harry A. 
Legge, James K. 
Leitz, Harold 
Lemly, Edmund T. 
Levy, Benjamin 
Lewis, Arthur T. 
Lewis, James 
Libby, Roland C. 
Linehan, Patrick 
Litsky, Abe B. 
Lockwood, Belden V. 
Lockwood, Howell E. 
Long, Elmer T. 
Lord, Leonard 
Loveday, Clifton 
Luddy, Joseph L. 
Ludlow, Edwin F. 
Ludwig, Andrew J. 
Lussko, Nikodan 
Lyon, Elmer R. 
Lyon, Homer B. 

MacDermott, Ralph E. 
MacTaggart, Andrew F. 
Madden, Roy 
Maher, Edward J. 
Maher, Edward P. 
Maher, Edward T. 
Maher, Richard J. 
Maher, Stephen F. 
*Maher, Thomas M. 
Maher, William E. 
Mars, John F. 
Marsh, Fred E. 
Marsh, S. F. 
Marshall, Charles G. 
Marshall, William C. 
Martin, Grinnell 
Martin, John N. 
Marvin, Donald 
Masevecz, Zgmont J. 
Mathews, William O. 



I8 7 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 



Mathewson, Harold B. 
*Matson, George E. 
Mattoon, Merwin A. 
Mattoon, R. Treat 
Mazeau, Camille 
Mazeau, John Y. 
Mazeau, Richard T. 
McCarthy, Alfred A. 
McCarthy, Daniel 
McCarthy, Dridel 
McCarthy, John B. 
McCarthy, Richard W. 
McCarthy, Walter 
McCarthy, William F. 
McCoy, Edmund J. 
McCuen, Raymond J. 
McCullum, David 
McCullum, George 
McDaid, Bernard J. 
*McFarland, Frank J. Jr. 
McGrath, John J. 
McKendry, William J. 
McKenna, John F. 
McNeill, Clarence A. 
Meade, Stephen M. 
Merwin, Earl A. 
Miles, DeWitt, B. 
Mileyko, Joseph 
Millar, James M. 
Miller, Daniel 
Miller, Earl F. 
Miller, Harry 
Miller, John H. 
Miller, John J. 
Miller, Samuel A. 
Miller, William G. 
Moe, Howard J. 
*Moody, David J. 
Moody, Frederick J. 
Mooney, Jerry 
Moore, Clifford 
Moore, Daniel J. 
Moran, Charles J. 
Morgan, John 
Morris, Harold C. 
Munson, Edwin S. 
Murphy, George P. 



Nairn, William 
Nash, Arthur L. 
Natoli, Christopher 
Need, Stanley 
Nelson, Edward 
Nelson, Frank G. 
Nettleton, Leroy A. 
Neven, Albert 
Newhall, William 
Newton, Albert 
Ney, James P. 
Nichols, George F. 
Noble, Robert B. 
Nolan, Frank J. 
Nolan, Harry 
Nolan, Walter E. 
Nolan, William H. Jr. 
Normandin, William O. 
*Norris, James D. 
Norris, John B. 
Norris, Russell H. 
Norris, Thomas A. 

Oakley, Ralph M. 
O'Hara, Lester W. 
Oliewski, Tony 
Oliver, Daniel F. 
Oliver, John J. 
Olsen, Walter H. 
Otis, Ernest E. 

Page, Horace T. 
Paine, John 
Palmer, Ernest B. 
Palmer, Joseph L. 
Palmer, William C. 
Paquette, Fred. 
Parmelee, Raymond G. 
Patton, Clifford E. 
Peck, Clifford M. 
Pelepzuk, Denis 
Pelham, George 
Pellet ier, Archie O. 
Perkins, Charles A. 
Perkins, Irving H. 
Perlowski, Walter 
Perrella, John D. 



MEN WHO SERVED IN THE WORLD WAR 



Perry, Arthur L. 
Perry, Ernest E. 
Phelps, Emory F. 
Pickering, Henry T. 
Piatt, Clarence I. 
Piatt, Fred M. 
Piatt, James C. 
Poli, Anthony A. 
Powers, John F. 
Prager, Charles H. 
Pratt, Allen T. 
Preston, Thomas F. 
Prima, John 
Pulver, C. Homer 
Pulver, Leigh J. 
Putney, Edward W. 

Qualman, Alfred B. 

Rabideau, Frank D. 
Radel, William S. 
Ranne, John 
*Rathburn, Roland J. 
Rauscher, Harold W. 
Rauscher, Thomas F. Jr. 
Rawson, Edward A. 
Ray, Hanlon 
Rea, John 

Reardon, Harold H. 
Redfield, H. Earl 
ReiUy, James P. 
Reilley, Sam 
Resnick, J. 
Reynolds, Frank L. 
Richards, Frank 
Rici, John 
Rideout, Alfred R. 
Ridout, Victor 
Ritchie, Harold 
Roberts, H. Fuller 
Roberts, Mark W. 
Robertson, Howard S. 
Robinson, Amos 
Robinson, James L. 
Rock, Charles C. 
Rock, Clifford 
Roder, Albert F. Jr. 
Rogan, Charles H. 



Rogers, Loren A. 
Rohlman, John E. 
Romick, John S. 
Romo, Cosmo 
Roosevelt, Calvin L. 
Rosenbaum, Hyman 
Rosh, Charles C. 
Ross, Earl F. 
Routh, Edwin R. 
Royden, Harry S. 
Royden, Herbert N. 
Rudock, Frank 
Ruell, Ulric, J. 
Ruland, Fred J. 
*Ruland, Urquhart J. 
Rusell, Norton A. 
Russell, Harold D. 
Russell, James M. 
Ryan, Clifford L. 
Ryder, Gifford L. 

Salmon, Thomas G. 
Sanford, Dayton 
Sanford, William A. 
Sax, Joseph A. 
Scanlon, Roy H. 
Schell, William 
Schlosser, John J. 
Scott, J. H. 
Scranton, Harold C. 
Scranton, Leverett M. 
Scully, George A. 
Scully, Joseph L. 
Seevan, Thomas W. 
Shalkop, Bertram L. 
Shanley, William H. 
Shay, Stephen J. 
Shea, John P. 
*Sheehan, James J. 
Shepard, Charles G. 
Shepherd, William I. 
Shores, Nordell W. 
Simmons, Gunnar W. 
Simmonsen, Frederick W. 
Skapchinski, Lucian 
Skiff, Walter S. 
Smith, Alvin C. 



189 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 



Smith, Carleton B. 
Smith, Charles H. 
Smith, Courtland H. 
Smith, D. Edward Jr. 
Smith, Donald D. 
Smith, Duncan 
Smith, Fred E. 
Smith, George H. 
Smith, Howard E. 
Smith, Howard L. 
Smith, James E. 
Smith, Kenneth E. 
Smith, Lamberton 
Smith, Leon W. 
Smith, Mark 
Smith, Oscar R. 
Smith, William E. 
Somers, Frank D. 
Somers, John F. 
Spadola, Vincinzo J. 
Spaulding, William H. 
Spears, Edward 
Spencer, Elmer A. 
Spender, Raymond N. 
Sperry, Eliot W. 
Springsteen, William A., Jr. 
Stammers, Thomas F. 
Standen, George H. 
Standen, William H. 
Stanford, Raymond 
Staples, John P. 
Starr, Royal T. 
Stead, Wilfred C. 
Stedelman, Philip F. 
Stevens, George A. 
Still, Wendell S. 
♦Stillman, William T. 
Stockin, Robert F. 
Stoltz, John H. 
Stoppoloni, Umberto, 
Stovell, William H. 
Stowe, Charles L. 
Sturges, Charles H. 
Subenski, Joseph 
Sullivan, Daniel J. 
Sullivan, Eugene W. 
Sullivan, Francis M. 



Summons, Elmer R. 
Susman, Jacob 
Susman, Louis J. 
Sweeney, Bernard J. 
Sweeney, Thomas J. 
Swiatoka, August 
Swiderski, Antoni 
Swift, Stanley J. 
Syrett, Robert H. 

Talmadge, George P., Jr. 
Tashlein, Henry G. 
Tellier, Albert 
Terry, Ernest 
Thayer, Albert W. 
♦Thayer, Charles D. 
Thomas, John F. 
Thomas, William F. 
Thompson, Clifford J. 
Thompson, Henry M. 
Tibbals, Edward A. 
Tingley, George T. 
Tingley, Harold K. 
Tobin, Joseph T. 
Tomkins, George E. 
Toocker, James E. 
Totten, Denis B. 
Totten, James 
Trefry, Homer H. 
Trowbridge, Cecil H. 
*Tucker, Harley L. 
Turner, William H. 
Tyler, Joseph D. 

Vance, Joseph 
Vanderbilt, Merritt D. 
Van Horn, Edgar W. 
Vergari, Frank 
Viola, Nicholas P. 
Vito, Alfonso 
Von Hacht, Harry A. 
Von Hacht, Rudolph M. 
Voors, Harry 
Voytershark, Frank P. 
Voytershark, John G. 
Voytershark, Stanley 
Voyvanovicz, Jan 



190 



MEN WHO SERVED IN THE WORLD WAR 



Wakelee, Harold S. 
Wallace, Harold A. 
Ward, Leon K. 
Ward, William W. 
Watkins, Arnold 
Watkins, Morris H. 
Watrous, Charles F. 
Watson, Daniel 
Weaver, Harold C. 
Weed, George F. 
Weimer, William H. Jr. 
Welch, James J. 
Weller, John H. 
Wells, Harold J. 
Werner, Carl 
Wheeler, Harold C. 
Wheeler, Robert C. 
Whelan, Martin F. 
Wheway, Albert 
Whipple, Leslie O. 
Whipple, Royce H. 
White, Linford C. 
White, S. Harrington 
Whittier, Basil M. 
Whittier, Irving M. 
Whittier, Sumner C. 
Whittier, Winthrop E. 
Wicks, William 
WidinghofF, George W. 
Wiggin, George A. 



Wilcox, George Jr. 
Wilder, A. E. 
Wilder, Edward V. 
Willard, George 
Williams, Carleton, K. 
Williams, George M. 
Willing, Arthur 
Willmouth, Fred 
Wilson, Andrew E. 
Wilson, John A. 
Wipchougji, John 
Wiscias, Joseph 
Witham, Leonard 
Wittekock, William A. 
Wlacek, Fred 
Wolkin, Morris A. 
Wood, Clarence W. 
Woodsworth, Frederick R. 
Worden, Raymond F. 
Worden, Robert E. 
Works, Wallace C. 
Worroll, Charles, Jr. 
Wypychoski, Joseph 

Youngquist, Adolph 

Ziewski, Michael 
Zimmerman, Irving E. 
Zimmerman, Roy A. 
Zurba, John M. 



191 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



Records and Documents 



Miljord Town Records, 1 639-1 939: Minutes of Town Meet- 
ings, Land Records, Minutes of Meetings of Selectmen, 
District School Records, Board of Education Records, 
Treasurer's Reports, Grand Lists. 

Church Records: The Church of Christ Congregational, Plym- 
outh Church, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, and Mary 
Taylor Memorial Church. 

Colonial Records of Connecticut, 16 53-1776. Charles Jeremy 
Hoadly, ed. 

Diaries of Samuel Nettleton, 1 879-1 894. In the possession of 
Warren F. Burns, Milford. 

Letters of Samuel Tibballs, 1 849-1 852. In the possession of 
C. Lay Roosevelt. 

Military Enrollments of Milford. Town Clerk's Vault, Mil- 
ford. 

New Haven Colonial Records, v. 1, 1638-1649; v. 2, 1 653-1 664. 
Charles Jeremy Hoadly, ed. Hartford, 1857-58. 

New Haven Colony Historical Society Collections. New Haven. 

Orange Historical Collections. MSS. Edward L. Clark, 
Orange. 

Public Records, State of Connecticut. Charles Jeremy Hoadly, 
ed. Hartford, 1 849-1922. 

Register of Vessels, U. S. Customs. New Haven and Bridge- 
port Customs Offices. 

Statistical History of Milford. Erastus Scranton. MSS., Town 
Clerk's Vault, Milford. 1835. 

Books and Pamphlets Relating to Milford 

Andrews, Charles M. The Rise and Fall of the New Haven 

Colony. New Haven, 1936. 
Atwater, Edward Elias. History of the Colony of New Haven. 

Meriden, 1902. 

193 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Baldwin, Charles Candee. Alexander Bryan of Mil ford, Con- 
necticut, his ancestors and his descendants. Cleveland, 1 889. 

Barber, John Warner. Connecticut Historical Collections. New 
Haven, 1856. 

Beers, Frederick W. Atlas of New Haven County. New York, 
1868. 

Brace, Jonathan. The Origin and History of the First Con- 
gregational Church, Milford. (A Discourse) New Haven, 
1852. 

Calder, Isabel MacBeath, The New Haven Colony. New 
Haven, 1935. 

Eells, Emma Seymour. History of the Eells-Stow house in 
Milford, Connecticut. Milford, 1930. 

Elmer, Mrs. A. Genealogy of the Andrews Family. Ansonia, 
1889. 

Ford, George Hare. Historical Sketches of Milford. New 
Haven, 19 14. 

Ford, George Hare. Robert Treat, Founder, Soldier and Gov- 
ernor. New Haven, 19 14. 

Harris, Edward D. A Genealogical Record of Daniel Pond 
and his Descendants. Boston, 1873. 

Labaree, Leonard Woods. Milford, Connecticut: The Early 
Development of a Town as Shown in its Land Records. 
New Haven, 1933. 

Lambert, Edward R. History of the Colony of New Haven. 
New Haven, 1838. 

Levermore, Charles H. The Re-public of New Haven. Balti- 
more, 1886. 

Mitchell, Mary Hewitt. New Haven County, Connecticut. 3 
vols. 

Peck Publishing Co. Souvenir History of Milford. Stratford, 
1912. 

Pond, Nathan Gillett. Inscriptions on Milford Tombstones. 
New Haven, 1889. 

Pond, Nathan Gillett. Story of the Memorial Bridge. Mil- 
ford, 1889. 

Pond, Nathan Gillett. Genealogy of the Gunn Family (in 
MSS., Milford Families). New Haven Colony Historical 
Society. 

194 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Prudden, Lillian Elizabeth. Peter Prudden, a Story of his 
Life, with Prudden Genealogy. New Haven, 1901. 

Stowe, Nathan. Sixty Years 3 Recollections of Miljord. New- 
ton Harrison, ed. Milford, 19 17. 

Tibballs, Mary Merwin. A Bit of Connecticut History: Mil- 
ford, iyyg. Washington, D. C. 1909. 

Treat, John Harvey. The Treat Family Genealogy. Salem, 
1893. 

Trumbull, Benjamin. A Complete History of Connecticut. 2 
vols. New Haven, 1 81 8. 

General Works 

Atkinson, Joseph. History of Newark. Newark, N. J., 1878. 
Clark, George Larkin. A History of Connecticut. New York, 

1 9 14. 
Connecticut. Register and Manual, 1938. 
Connecticut State Department of Labor. List of Connecticut 

Factories. Hartford, 1936. 
Crofut, Florence S. M. Guide to the History and Historic Sites 

of Connecticut. New Haven, 1937. 
Day, Clive. The Rise of Manufacturing in Connecticut , 1820 

1850. New Haven, 1935. Tercentenary Pamphlet. 
DeForest, John William. History of the Indians of Connecti- 
cut. Hartford, 1853. 
Federal Writers' Project of Connecticut. Connecticut: A Guide 

To Its Roads j Lore, and Peofle. Boston, 1938. 
Hinman, Royal Ralph. A Historical Collection of the Part Sus- 
tained by Connecticut during the War of the Revolution. 
Hartford, 1842. 
Isham, Norman Morrison. Early Connecticut Houses: A His- 
torical and Architectural Study: Providence, R. I., 1900. 
Lake, Simon. Submarine in War and Peace. Philadelphia, 

1918. 
National Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. 15. New 

York, 1898. 
New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, 

1 847-1904. 
Norton, Frederic Calvin. The Governors of Connecticut. 
Hartford, 1905. 

195 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 

Rockey, John L. History of New Haven County. 1 vols. 
New York, 1892. 

Stiles, Ezra. A History of Three of the Judges of King 
Charles I. Hartford, 1794. 

Washington, George. The Diaries of George Washington, 
1 748-1799. vol. 4. J. C. Fitzpatrick, ed. 

Welles, Samuel A. The History of the Regicides in New En- 
gland. New York, 1927. 

Wood, F. J. The Turnpikes of New England. Boston, 19 19. 

Newspapers and Periodicals 

Bridgeport Post, February 27, 18935 November 13, 1921, and 

passim. 
Bridgeport Telegram, December 15, 19165 June 26, 191 8, and 

passim. 
Connecticut Journal, January 8, 1777. 
Connecticut Magazine, March, November, 1899. Articles by 

M. Louise Green. 
Milford Citizen. 
Milford News. 
Milford Times. 

New York World, June 15, 18905 November 6, 1921. 
New Haven Journal Courier, various dates. 
New Haven Register, various dates. 



196 



INDEX 



Abbott, Oramel G, 96 
Adams, Edward, 8, 19 
"After-planters", list, 8 
Agriculture, 38, 67, 108, 155; control, 

21 
Albers, Hants, 8 
Allen, Major, 45 
Allin's Saw Mill, 45 {see Allen) 
Allyn, Henry, 8 
Almshouse, 102 

American Hat Weaving Company, 72 
American Legion, 148 
American Legion Junior Drum Corps, 

153. 154 

American Seed Trade Association, or- 
ganized, 108 

Amity, 50; granted autonomy, 78 

Andrew House, Samuel, Reverend, 163, 
164 {see Clark Tavern) 

Andrew, Samuel, Reverend, 49, 51; 
granted land, 50 

Andrew, Thomas, 8 

Andros, Edmund, Governor, 56; Connec- 
ticut Charter, 35 

Andrus, Oliver B., Doctor, 146 

Ansantawae, 3, 23 

Ansonia township established, 57 

Archaeology, 144 

Architecture, 159-170 

Argonaut Salvage Company, 131 

"Argonauts", 89 

Arminians, 52 

Ashburn, Joshua, 9 

Associated Seed Growers, Inc., 108, 155 

Astwood, John, Captain, 3, 6, 7, 9, 16, 28 

Atkins, Charles, F., Reverend, 138 

Atlantic Manufacturing Company, 132 

Atwater, Joshua, 8 

"Back to Nature" movement, 93 
Baird, George W., Brigadier-General, 

i39 
Baker, Thomas, 3, 7, 25 
Bakers' Lots, 97 
Baldwin and Lamkin, 113 
Baldwin, Albert A., 92 
Baldwin, David L., 80, 97 
Baldwin, Edwin B., 96 
Baldwin, John, 7, 11, 46 
Baldwin, Joseph, 7 
Baldwin, Nathan A., 91 
Baldwin, Nathaniel, 7, 11 
Baldwin, Richard, 7 
Baldwin, Roger S., 118 
Baldwin, Samuel L., 28 
Baldwin, Sergeant, 22 
Baldwin, Timothy, 7, 41, 42 
Baldwin, Zachariah, 46 
Baptist Society, 97 
Bartemy, Captain, 78 
Bartlett, Isaiah, 57 

Bass, Franklin McLain, Reverend, 138 
Bassett, R. N., Company, 131 
Battery E., 242nd Coast Artillery, 154 
Bayley, Thomas, 8 
Beach Brothers Carriage Factory, 72 
Beach, Hammond R., 97 



Beach House, Dennis, 168 

Beach House, Harvey, 168 

Beach, Julia Rogers, 127 

Beach, Marion W. Skinner, 136 

Beach, Thomas, 8 

Beaches, 113 

Beardsley, Charles W., 146 {see Hos- 
pital) 

Beardsley, L. N., 93 

Beardsley, Thomas, 8 

Beaver Brook, 41, 125 

Beecher and Miles, 72, 91 

Benjamin House, 159 {see Peck House) 

Benton, Andrew, 3, 7 

Bethany, 57; granted autonomy, 78 

"Betsey" (sloop), 39 

Betts, Roger, 8 

Betts, Thomas, 8 

Bibliography, 193-196 

Bilberry Swamp, 97 

Birdsey, John, 7 

Bladen's Brook, 56 

Bluepoints Company, Inc., 109 

Bolt, Frances, 7 

Boston Port Bill, 59 

Boston Post Road, 128 

Boston Tea Party, 59 

Botsford, Henry, 7 

Boundaries, 1, 4, 33; Disputes, 23, 56; 
Adjustment, 58 

Boundary Fixers, 34 

Bow Lane, 97 

Box Shop, 97 

Branford opposes union with Connecticut 
Colony, 31 

Bridges 

Amity, 45; Jefferson. 141; Mill River, 
45 ; Washington (Milford-Stratford), 
45» 76, 77, 78, 114, 140, 141; toll 
charges, 77; Derby opposes bridge, 
76, 77; bridge damaged, 77; lottery 
to rebuild bridge, 78; bombardment 
of bridge, 78 

Bridgewater, 57 

Briggs, Leslie B., Reverend, 137 

Briscoe, Nathaniell, 7 

Bristol, Henry J., 164 {see Reverend 
Samuel Andrew House) 

Bristol, John K., 99 

Bristol, Nehemiah, 163, 164 {see Rever- 
end Samuel Andrew House) 

Bristol, Phineas S., 102 

Bristol Shoe Shop 86 

British Indemnity, 44 {see Town Hall) 

British Man-Of-War, 62 

British Prison Ship, 98 

British Raids, 60 

British Soldiers, 44 

British Survivors of Braddock's Expedi- 
tion, 40 

British Vessel "Swan", 63 

Broad Street, 24, 70, 140 

Brookes, William, 7 

Brookfield, 57 

Broom Shop, 97 

Brothers Mining Company, 89 

Brotherton, William, 98 



197 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 



Brown, Frank, 124 

Brown, John, 8 

Bryan, Alexander, 3, 7, 20; Warehouse, 

Bryan, Ensign, 12, 22, 23 

Bryan House, Alexander, 165 (see Eells 

House) 
Bryan House, Elijah, 167 
Bryan, Jehiel, Captain, 46, 60 
Bryan, Richard, 20, 38, 39; Tavern, 30; 

Warehouse, 39 
Bryan, Richard, Jr., 44 
Bryan's Farms, 44, 50 
Bucket Brigades, 99 
Buck's Drug Store, 119 
Buckingham, Daniel, Esq., 93 
Buckingham, Elder, 41, 42 
Buckingham, Hannah, 2, 6, 7 
Buckingham House, 161, 162, 163 
Buckingham, John W., 96 
"Buckingham Rangers", 93 
Buckingham, Thomas, 2, 6, 7 
Buddington, Theodore, 79 
Building Activity (1928), 147 
Building Zone Regulations, 147 
Burleigh, Edward W., 96 
Burns, John, 94 
Burnt Plain, 97 
Burr, Aaron, 66 
Burwell, John, 3, 7 
Burwell, Nathan, 44 
Burwell, Samuel, 44 
Burwell's Beach, 150 
Burwell's Farms, (East Farms), 36, 44, 

49, 50, 61 



Cadotte, Henry, 41 

Calf Pen Meadow, 97 

Calvinists, 52 

Camp, John, 45 

Camp, Nicholas, 7, 25 

Camp, Sarah (wife of Nicholas Camp), 

28 
Campfield, Thomas, 8 
Canfield, Curtis and Company, 72 
Carder, James D., 105 
Carding-mills, 74 
Carpenters and Joiners, 97 
Carriage Building, 91 
Carriage Shops, 97 
Carrington, Abraham, 64 
Carrington, Nelson, 91 
Cartel Ship, 98 
Case, Benajah, 53, 54 
Cash Bounties to Stimulate Recruiting 

(Civil War), 94, 95 
Causeway over Indian River, 42 
Cedar Beach, 150 
Celebrations — 2 5 oth Anniversary, 112; 

275th Anniversary, 126, 127; 300th 

Anniversary, 156 
Census of 1840, 67 
Charles Island, 20, 92, 100 
Cheever, Ezekiel, Reverend, 12 
Cheney, Manley J., 133 
Churches 

Baptist, 85, 87, 97, 106, 116, 123 

Christ Scientist, 138 

Community Church, Myrtle Beach, 137 

First Church, Congregational, 5, 6, 13, 
IS, 26, 29, 33, 50-54, 82-85, 105, in, 
136-138, 168-170 

Fort Trumbull Christian Union, 137 

Mary Taylor Memorial, Methodist- 
Episcopal, 84, 86, 106, 123, 137, 138 

Plymouth, 54, 55, 66, 84, 105, 138, 168, 
170 



Churches — Continued 

St. Agnes's 122 

St. Andrew's, 137 

St. Ann's, 138 

St. Gabriel's, 122, 138 

St. Mary's, 107, 122 

St. Peter's, 2, 11, 55, 84-86, 105, 106, 
137, 169, 170 

Woodmont Union Chapel, 122 
Cider Mills, 97 
Civil Affairs, 7, 9 
Civil Rights, 7 
Civil War, 93-96, no, 127, 179-182 (.see 

War) 
Clark, Albertus, 108 
Clark, Andrew, 65 
Clark, Clifford, 108 
Clark, Edward L., 4 
Clark, Enoch, 108 
Clark, Everett B., 108 
Clark, Everett B., & Sons, 108 
Clark, George, 48, 139 
Clark, George, Jr., 7, 27, 53, 54 
Clark, George S., 149 
Clark House, Andrew, 65, 161, 162 (see 

Clark Tavern) 
Clark House, David, 167 
Clark House, George, Deacon, 36, 44 
Clark House, Jonah, 165 
Clark, Joseph R., 96 
Clark, Rebeckah, 48 
Clark, Samuel, 39 
Clark Tavern, 161, 163, 164 
Clarke, George, 7, 11 (see Clark) 
Clubs, 126, 151, 152 
Cobbling, 73 (see Industries) 
Coffin, Claude C, 143 
Cogswell, George, Captain, 71 
Coley, Samuel, 7 
Commerce, 67, 68 
Common House, 9, n, 26 
Common Land, 47 
Communication, 24, 25, 26 
Connecticut Colony; Charter, 31, 34, 56; 

Milford unites with, 33 
Connecticut Light & Power Company, 147 
Connecticut Oyster Farms Company, 109, 

142, 143 
Connecticut Toleration Act, 53 
Conservation of Natural Resources, 22, 39 
Controversy, Separation of Orange, 70 
Cornwall, Frederic, 96 
Cornwall, George, 95 
Cornwall, Thomas, 99 
Cornwall, William G., 89 
Couch, Samuel, 41, 42 
Court Sessions, 119 
Covenant of the First Church, 6 
Coy, George W., 124 
Crofut & Knapp Company, 132 
Croplands, 67 

Cupheag (Stratford), Settlement, 25 
Curfew, 47 

Curran, Edward, Reverend, 138 
Curtiss, Israel, 43 



Dalison, Gilbert, 8 

Daughters American Revolution; Freelove 

Baldwin Stow Chapter, 123, 124, 151 
Davenport, John, Reverend, 2, 12, 30, 31 
Davidson House, William, Captain, 163 

(see Clark Tavern) 
Davidson, Leonard, 92 
Deal, Charles, 8, 20 

Declaration of Independence, signers, 139 
Deeding of Property, 5 
Deeds, Recording, 24 



198 



INDEX 



Delphian Scholarship Fund, 136 
DeMezzo House, 161 (see Peck House) 
Denison, Robert, 8 
Derby, "Narrows," "Paugusset," 4, 22, 

45) 56, 57; West Indies Trade, 77 
Derby Turnpike, 76 
Devon, 120, 130 
Devon Hose Company, 145 
Devon Metal Goods Company, 154 
DeWitt, Garitt, 44 
DeWitt House, Garrett Van Horn, 162, 

168 
Division of Land, 13 
Dock Lane, 19 

Dominion of New England, 56 
Donahue, A. J., Corporation, 154 
Doolittle, Isaac & Company, 62 
Downes, Anson Treat, 139 
Downes House, Ebenezer, 167 
Downs, Robert, 8 
Dreadful Swamp, 97 
Drill Ground, 24 
Drum Corps, 153, 154 
Durand House, 167 
Durand, William, 87 
Durham, 57 
Dutch Traders, 15 
Dwellings, description, 18 

Eagle Hill, 144 

East, Sergeant, 20, 22 

East, Solomon, 28 

East, William, 2, 7, 28, 39; Tavern, 30 

"Easter" (schooner), 38 

Easter Sunrise Service, 156 

Eastfield, 14 

Eaton, Samuel, Reverend, 12 

Eaton, Theophilus, 2 

Education, 15, 33, 48, 49, 50, 80-83, 102- 
104, 120, 121, 13s, 138 

Eell, Samuel, 8 

Eells, Samuel, Captain, 41, 42, 151 

Eells-Stowe House, 1 59-161, 164-166; 
Smallpox Hospital, 62 

Electric Street Railway, 113 

Embargo Acts, 70 

Episcopal Society, 85, 86 

Essex County, New Jersey, Yankee Pur- 
chase, 33 

Expansion, Territorial, 22, 49 

Expedition Against Crown Point, 40 

Factories (see Industries) 

Factory Lane, 20, 38 

Fagan, Kenneth, Captain, 154 

Fairfield, 25 

Farming, 18, 67 

Farnam, Thomas, 8 

Farrand, Nathaniel, 8 

Farview Beach, 150 

Federal Emergency Relief Administra- 
tion, 149, 150 

Fence Shott, 97 

Fences, 14 

Fenn, Benjamin, 3, 7, 22, 27, 31, 32, 33, 
35. 36 

Fenn, Nathan, murder, 101 

Ferris Brothers Carriage Factory, 72 

Ferry (Milford-Stratford), 25, 38, 45; 
Charter, 25; House, 46; Rates, 46; 
Replaced, 76; Discontinuance, 77 

Fertilizer Factory, 68 

Fire Department (see Milford) 

Firearms, 88 

Fires, 72, 119 

First Society, 84 

Fischer, William J. H., Doctor, 146 

Fisher, J. H., Company, 72 



Fisheries, Bureau, 143 

Fishing, 43, 68, 75, 92 

Fish-oil Factory, 97 

Fisk, John, 8 

Fitch, Samuel, 8 

Fitch, Thomas, Governor, 8 

Flagg, Elisha, 91 

Fletcher, John, 3, 7, 29 

Foraging Party, 63 

Frobisher, Henry, 41 

Frobisher, Joseph, 41 

Ford, Elizabeth H., 145 

Ford, George Hare, 126 

Ford House, 165-167 

Ford, John, 8 

Ford, Mill River, 13 

Ford, Thomas, 8 

Fort Trumbull Beach, 150 

Fort, Indian, 27 

Fort, Mohegan, 35 

Fort Trumbull, West Point (Milford), 

61, 62 
Four Corners, 33 
Fourth Division, 22 
Fowler, Betsey, 82 
Fowler Homestead, 148 
Fowler, John, 7 
Fowler, John, 45, 47 
Fowler, Lieutenant, 41, 42 
Fowler Memorial Mill, 148 
Fowler Mill Property, 114 
Fowler, William, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, io, 11, 

17, 112, 156 
Fowler's Mill, 18, 19, 38, 74 
Freeholders, 57 
Freeman, Stephen, 7, 8 
"Free Planters," 7 
French, Jonas, 89 
Fresh-air Home, 124 
Frog Lane, 97 
Fulling Mill, 41, 42, 74 
Fur-trading, 20 
Furman, J. R., 101 

Garden Club, 126 

General Court, 9, 24; Deputies, 17 

Gibbs, John, 40 

Gilson, John L., Judge, 156 

Goffe, William, 30, 31, 151 (see Regi- 
cides) 

Gold Fever, 89 

Goldsmith, Gordon A., 147 

Goldsmith, J. A., 147 

Gould, Nathaniel, 8 

Grand Army of the Republic, George 
Van Horn Post, 96, 127 

Grand Jurors, 118 

Grand List, 113, 134, 150 

Grandfathers' Club, 151 

Great Meadow, 14 

Great Meadows (Meadows' End), 113 

Great No Lots Creek, 97 

Great Swamp Fight, 35 

Green, Jonas, 38 

Greene, David J., 125 

Greenwich, 57 

Griffin, George H., 104 

Gristmill, 42 

Gristmill (New Haven) destroyed, 19 

Guernsey, Joseph, 8 

Guilford, 26 

Gulf Beach, 126, 150 

Gulf Bridge, 42 

Gunn, Deacon, 33 

Gunn* George Miles, 125; Mrs., 137 

Gunn, George Miles Scholarship, 135 

Gunn House, Stephen, 162, 168 

Gunn, Jasper, Doctor, 3, 7, 13, 15, 28 



199 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 



Hale, Nathan, 69 

Harbor, 1, 2, 21, 38 

Harbor Woods (Wilcox Park), 126 

Harpin, John, 44, 45 {see Herpin) 

Harrington, Albert, E., Doctor, 146 

Harrison and Gould, Inc., 92 

Harvy, Edmond, 7 

Hatly, Philip, 7 

Haughton, Richard, 8 

Hayes, Thomas, 8 

Hays, Thomas, 41, 42 

Heady, Carleton K., Doctor, 146 

"Hector" (ship), 2 

Hepburn, Peter, 45, 47 

Hepburn, Richard R., n8_ 

Herpin, Mr., 6 {see Harpin) 

Hertfordshire (England), 2, 3 

Hertfordshire Section (New Haven), 3 

Higby, Samuel, 66 

Highways, 23, 24, 42, 45, 46, 75, 140, 142 

Hine, Benjamin, 61 

Hine, Thomas, 8, 28 

Hitchcock, Shirland H., 96 

Hog Rock, 123 

Holbrook, Richard, 8 

Hollingworth, Richard, 8 

Homelots, 10, n, 13 {see Division of 

Land) 
Honor Roll, 134 
Hoop-skirts, 44 
Hop Raising, 22 
Hopkins, Joseph, 77 
Hopp Garden, 22 
Hospital, 146 

Houghton, Roy M., Doctor, 156 
Houselots, 10, 11, 13 
Houses, fortified, 36 
Hubbard, George, 3, 20 {see Hubburt) 
Hubburt, George, 7 {see Hubbard) 
Hudson Bay Company, 41 
Hyde, Clinton J., Doctor, 146 

Illuminating Gas, 125 

Indentured Servants, 43 

Indians : 
Attacks, 27; (Chief Ansantawae), 3, 
23; Culture, 144; Deeds, 5, 58, 176; 
Fort, 35 ; Grain, 42; Graves, 144; 
Lands, 23; Indian Neck, 23; Oyster 
Harvest, 143, 144; Indian Path, 4; 
Protection, 23; Reservation, 23, 35, 
36; Restrictions, 36; Rights, 23; 
Trade, 12; Trails, 24; Tribes: Pe- 
quot, 1; Mohawk, s> ij>> 27, 28, 35; 
Mohegan, 35; Narragansett, 35; Pau- 
gusset, 4; Indian Village, 1 

Industrial Census (1868), 97 

Industries, 4, 19, 41, 67, 72, 73, 74, 91, 
92, 108, no, 113, 132 

Industry encouraged, 42 

Ingersoll House, David, 167 

Ingersolls, Jared, 8 

Inscriptions, Memorial Bridge, in 

Inscriptions, Tombstones, 139 

Intemperance, 84 

Isbell, Castelle O., 101 

Jail, 116 {see Fires) 
efferson Bridge, 115, 141 
Johnson, Samuel, Doctor, 55 

Jones, Isaac, 68 
oy, Moses, 125 
Joye, Walter, 8 

Judah, W., Reverend, 86 
udge of Probate, 118 
Judges, 9, 34, 118 
Judge's Cave (West Rock), 30 
Justices of the Peace, 118 



Kidd, Robert, Captain, 37, 38 
Kindergarten, 121 
King Philip's War, 151 {see War) 
King's College (Columbia), 55 
King's Highway Cemetery, 139 
Knollmeyer, George E., Reverend, 137 

Lake, Simon, 131 

Lambert, Edward R., 4, 7, 45, 81, 88 

Lambert, Jesse, 8 

Land Allotments, 13, 14 

Land Purchases, 5, 57 

Land, Title, 5, 16, 56 

Land, Transfer, 23, 24 

Lane, John, 7 

Langridge, Levi, 90 

Langstaff, Bethuel, 38 

Lauralton Hall, 121 

Laurel Beach, 150 

Law Enforcement, 100 

Law, Jonathan, Governor, 8, 52, 53, 54, 
57, 58, 59, 139 

"Law, Lyman M." (schooner), 129 

Lawrence, Thomas, 7 

Lebanon Brook, 56 

Lee, John R., Doctor, 146 

Legend, "Three Brothers," 58 

Legend, "Stone in Road," 66 

Lexington Alarm, 59 

Liberalism, Church, 17 

Liberty Rock, 123, 124 

Libraries, 55, 122 

Linsley, J. E., Reverend, Stratford, 87 

Livery Stable, 97 

Lockwood, William, Reverend, 84; Wed- 
ding Silver, 65 

Long Hill, 4 

Loom, Doherty, 114 

Loosanoff, Victor L., Doctor, 142 

Loueden, Charles L., 96 

Lounsbury, Phineas C, Governor, no 

Lubdell, Simon, 8 

Ludlow, Roger, 25 

Lyon, Augustus F., 114 

Lyon, Fred W., 114 

Lyon, Henry, 7 

Lyon, Roger S., 114 

Maddocks, Carl W., Doctor, 13s 

Maher, James M., 118 

Maltbee, John, 39 

Manhadoes (Manhattan), 21 

Manning, John, Captain, 21 

Manse, Silas L., 96 

Manufacturing, 72, 91, 92, 96; World 

War, 132 
Map, first, 23 
Marsh, Jonathan, 8 

Marshall and Ferris Carriage Factory, 72 
Massachusetts Bay Colony, 2 
Mather, Cotton, 28 
Mathewson, Herbert I., 121; Scholarship 

Fund, 136 
Matting, floor, 114 
McClean, Peter H., Father, 138 
Mecock, Thomas, 8 
Meeting-house, 12, 14, 15, 51, 54 
Meeting-house Bridge, 13, 25 
Meeting-house Footway, 25 
Memorial Bridge, 10, 25, in, 112, 148 
Memorial Building, 148 
Memorial Fountain, 126 
Memorial Library, 122 
Memorial Mill, 127 
Menhaden, 68 {see Fishing) 
Merwin, Harry M., 148 
Merwin House, Miles, 63 
Merwin, John, 49 



200 



INDEX 



Merwin, John W. (store), 98 

Merwin, Marcus, 153 

Merwin, Miles, 8, 19, 20, 63 

Merwin, Mistress, 63 

Merwin, Nathan, 79 

Merwin, William M., 92, 93 

Merwin, William M., & Sons Company, 

93, 109 
Migration, 74 

Miles, George W., Company, 92 
Miles, Isaac, Captain, 62 
Miles, Richard, 3, 7, 9, 13 
Miles, Samuel, 45 
Miles, Strong & Miles, 68 
Milford (1916), 128 
Milford Academy, 82, 102 
Milford Cemetery Association, 139 
Milford Citizen, 114 
Milford Club, 151 
Milford Green, 90, 97, 128 
Milford Grenadiers, 69, 88 
Milford Harbor, 1, 2, 21 
Milford Historical Society, 151 
Milford Hospital Society, 146 
Milford in Connecticut Colony, 31, 32, 

33 
Milford in New Haven Colony, 23 
Milford Marble Company, 74 
Milford (New Jersey), 34 
Milford News, 146 
Milford Point, 1, 43, 46, 144, 150 
Milford Post Office, 98, 148 
Milford Public Health Nursing Associa- 
tion, Inc., 146 
Milford Rivet & Machine Company, 155 
Milford Savings Bank, 102, no, 137, 

148 
Milford School, 136 
Milford Sentinel, 102 
Milford Shipyards, 68 
Milford Steam Power Company, 92 
Milford-Stratford Ferry, 76 
Milford Street Railway, 115 
Milford Telegram, 102 
Milford Times, no 
Milford Tool & Engineering Company, 

132 
Milford, Town of 

Board of Education, 81, 102, 120, 138, 

152 
Board of Finance, 116-118 
Board of Fire Commissioners, 120-145 
Board of Sewer Commissioners, 147 
Court and Office Building, 149 
Fire Department, 79, 80, 99, 100, 119, 
145 
Central Fire Station 
Devon Hose Company 
Fort Trumbull Beach Fire Company 
Myrtle Beach Fire Company 
Walnut Beach Fire Company 
Police Department, 100-102, 117 
Selectmen, 46, 60, 61, 64, 72, 78, 95, 

96, 117, 133 
Schools, 13 s 

Central Grammar School 

Devon Grammar School 

Fort Trumbull Beach Grammar 

School 
High School 

Walnut Beach Grammar School 
West Main Street School 
Woodmont School 
Welfare Department, 150 
Milford Trust Company, 126 
Milford Turnpike, 75, 76 
Milford Water Company, 125 
Milford Wheel Club, 151 



Milford World War Memorial, 134 

Milford Yacht Club, 152 

Military Company (Civil War), 94 

Military training, 36 

Militia, 1 

Mill Bridge, 25 

Mill Dam, 10 

Mill Neck, 19 

Miller's Fees, 10 

Millford, 26 

Millrace, 10 

Mills, 9, 10, 19, 41, 42, 74, 125 

Mills, Mary (Mrs. Isaac Green), 91 

Ministers, 55 

Mitchell Manufacturing Company, 114 

Mitchell, William G., 90 

Mohawk Captive, 28 

Mohawks, 5, 15, 27, 35 

Mohegan Indians, 35 

Moore, Miles, 8 

Moran, Dennis R., Father, 138 

Morgan, John Pierpont, 152 

Morningside, 150 

Myrtle Beach, 145, 150 

Narragansett Warriors, 35 

"Narrows", (Derby), 4, 45, 56, 57 

National Tradesmen's Bank of New 
Haven, 137 

Natural Resources, 39 

Naugatuck Junction, 120 

Nesbitt, Mungo, 39 

Nettleton, Samuel, 8 

New Amsterdam, 31 

Newark (New Jersey), 34 

Newark Bay, 33 

New England Confederation, 16, 31 

New Haven Colony, 3, 9, 17, 31, 32 

New Haven Turnpike, 42 

New Jersey, 33 

Newman's barn, Robert, 5 

New Milford (Connecticut) (Pennsylva- 
nia), 57 

New Preston, 57 

Newspapers, 102, no, 114, 146 

Newton, Roger, Reverend, 8, 29 

Newtown, 57 

New York, 67 

New York, New Haven and Hartford 
Railroad Company, 115 

New York and New Haven Railroad, 90, 

Noble, John, 57 

North Milford, 36, 44, 78, 85 

Northrupp, Joseph, 7 

Northwest Fur Company, 41 

Norton, Frances, 8 

O'Brien, Edward J., Reverend, 106 

Oil Works, 68 

Old Houses, 157-168 

"One-Bit Purchase", 56 

Orange, 4, 5, 23, 57, 70, 78 

Orange Ecclesiastical Society, 85 

"Ordinaries", 29, 30, 45 

Oronoque, 46 

Oronoque Road, 38, 46 

Overseer of Poor, 79 

Oviatts, Samuel, 45 

Oyster Huts, 43 

Oyster Industry, 42, 43, 74, 75, 92, 93, 

97, 109, 142, 143 
Oyster Pest Control, 142 
Oyster River Road, 46 

Palisades, 16, 27, 44 
Parmelee, Ebenezer, 51 
Patent, 56, 57 
Patentees, 34 



201 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 



Paugusett (Derby), 4, 22 

Paugusett Indians, 4 (see Indians) 

Payne and Todd, paper-box factory, 114 

Peacocke, John, 3, 7 

Peck, Henry C, 148 

Peck House, 161 (see Benjamin House) 
(see DeMezzo House) 

Peck House, Newton J., 4 

Peck, Joseph, 8 

Peerless Tool Company, 154, 155 

Pennsylvania, 67 

Pequot Tribe, 1 

Pest-house, 48 

Phillips, David, 8 

Physician, first, 13 

Pierett, Peter, Captain, 39, 59 

Pierett, Peter, Jr., 124 

Pier son, Abraham, Reverend, 31, 34 

"Pillars of the Church", 9 

Pinneo, Bezaleel, 82, 85, 105, 136 

Pioneers, 57 

Place names, 97 

Planters, New Milford, 57 

Piatt House, Richard, 168 

Piatt, Josiah, 49 

Piatt, Omar W., Esq., 118, 146 

Piatt, Richard, 2, 7 

Plum, Robert, 7 

Plumb, John, Sr., 42 

Plumb Mill, 73 

Plymouth Auditorium, 153 

Poconoc (Milford Point), 46 

Poconoc Point, 61 

Point Beach, 150 

Police Department (see Milford) 

Pond, Adam, Captain, 70, 71 

Pond, Baldwin & Company, 68 

Pond, Charles, Captain, 69, 70 

Pond, Charles H., Governor, 139 

Pond, Charles Hobby, 91 

Pond, Fowler & Company, 68, 69 

Pond, Nathan G., 139 

Pond, Patty, 44 

Pond, Peter, 40, 41 

Pond Point Beach, 150 

Pond Shott of Lots, 97 

Pond, William S., 136 

Poor Farm, 79 

Population, 23, 44, 57, 74, 96, 132, 134, 
155 

Poquahaug (Charles) Island, 4, 20 

Post Office, 87, 99, 116 

Pound, 48 

Powder Mill, New Haven, 62 

Presbyterians, 53, 54 

Price-fixing, 48 

Prime, James, 8 

Prince's Mill, 125 

Prindle, John, 8 

Prindle, Samuel, 57 

Prisoners of War, 62 

Pritchard, Roger, 8 

Privateersmen, 68 

Prize Fight, Charles Island, 100; efforts 
to stamp out, 101 

Probate Court, 80 

Proprietors, 57 

Prospect Park, 150 

Prudden, James, 2, 7 

Prudden, Job, Reverend, 55 

Prudden, Peter, Reverend, 2, 3, 6, 7, n, 
12, 18, 28, 36, ss, 138 

Pruven Composition Products Corpora- 
tion, 154 

Public Health, 48 

Public Revenue, 47 

Pumpkin Delight, 9 



Putney, Willis S., Doctor, 152 



\X 



Railroad, 90, 115 
Rangers, 59 
Read, Thomas, 8 
Real Estate, 120, 130 
Recreation Commission, 152 
Recruits, 40, 94 
Red Cross, 130 
Regicides, 30, 31, 151 
Religion, Profession of Faith, 6, 15 
Renegades, 60 

Reservation (Indian), 23, 35, 36 
Residential Areas, 150 
Revival Meetings, 84 
Revolutionary War, 59, 60, 61, 64; 
Memorial 98, Patriots, 178 (see War) 
Riggs, Edward, 8 
Rivers : 

Beacon Hill, 56; Housatonic (Housa- 

tonnuc), 1, 4, 5, 35, 36, 38, 43, 46; 

Indian (East River), 1, 2, 4, 24, 42, 

43, 45; Mill River (Wepowage) Wepa- 

waug), 1, 3, 5, 10, 13, 22, 25, 33, 

45, 68, 141, 150; Naugatuck, 56; 

Passaic (New Jersey), 33; Quinni- 

piac, 2; Stratford, 4 

Roads: {see Highways) 

Boston Post, 140, 142; Country, 45; 
Derby Turnpike, 76; Milford Turn- 
pike, 75, 76; New Haven Turnpike, 
42; Oronoque, 46; Rose's Mill, 42; 
"Two Mile Path," 23, 24; U. S. 1, 
142; West Shore Boulevard, 142 



Roberts, William, 8, 139 

Rodman Gun (Memorial Gun), 126 

Rogers, Gardner and Davis, 72 

Rogers, John, 7 

Rogers, Isaac T., 94, 102 

Rogers, James, 26 

Roman Catholics, 106 

Rosenbaum, Harris, 136 

Rosenbaum, Samuel H., 136 

Rose's Mill, 42 

Rostand Manufacturing Company, 154 

Roxbury, Massachusetts, 3 

Rural Mail Routes, 116 



Sale of Lands, 23 

"Sally" (sloop), 70 

Saloon, 97 

Saltonstall, Gurdon, 57 

Samford, Thomas, 7 (see Sandford) 

Sanctuary, Bird, 126, 150 

Sandford, Thomas, 3, 7 (see Samford) 

Sanford House, Samuel, 167 

"Sarah Ann" (ship), 38 

Sawmill, 10, 41, 42 

Schermerhorn House, 124 

Schools, (see Education) (see Milford 

Town) 
"Schuyler" (sloop), 69 
Scranton, Erastus, Reverend, 85 
Seafaring Men, 39 
"Seaflower" (ship), 38, 39 
Sealshipt Oyster System, 109 
Seed Growers, 97 
Seed Industry, 108 
Seed Oysters, 93 
Seeds, 108 
Selectmen, 46, 60, 61, 64, 72, 78, 79, 95, 

96, 117, 133 
Sentries, 27 

Sermon, "Loyalty to the King", 60 
Service Men's Memorial Building, 147, 

148 
Settlement, New Jersey, 33 



202 



INDEX 



Settlers, (Milford), i, 3, 18 

"Seven Pillars", 6 

Sewage Plant, 147 

Sewell, Clarence V., 131 

Seymour, 57 

Seymour, Thomas H., Governor, 91 

Sexton, 47 

Shad-fishing, 75, 92 {see Fishing) 

Sharman, John, 7 {see Sherman) 

Sheep, 47 {see Town Flock) 

Sherman, Ellen, 104 

Sherman, John, 3, 7, 13 {see Sharman) 

Sherman, John, Reverend, 15 

Sherman, Roger, 139 

Shipbuilding, 38, 39, 68 

Shipping, 71 

Ship Wreck, 39 

Shipyards, 38 

Shoemaking, 73, 97 

Shute, Richard, 8 

Sill, Joseph, 8, 

Silliman, J. O., 92 

Silliman, J. O., Company, 92 

Silver Beach, 150 

Simon Lake Experimental Laboratories, 

132 
Simpson, Peter, 8 
"Sine Qua Non" (ship), 70 
Sisters of Mercy, 121 
Skippers, 39, 68 
Slaves, 43 
Slough, William, 7 
Smallpox, 48, 62, 63 
Smith, John, 8, 97 
Smith, Mary Hepburn, 123 
Social Life, 43, 151 
Society, Second, 84 
Society for the Propagation of the Gos- 

„ P? 1 ' 55 

Society of Cincinnati, 152 

Soldiers' Families, 63 

Soldiers' Monument, 125 

"Sons of American Liberty", 59 

Sorghum Mill, 97 

Sound, (Long Island), 23 

Sprague, Frank Julian, 125 

Spring Shott, 97 

Squabble Hill, 97 

Stagecoach, 47 

Stanford Steel Products Company, 131 

State Militia, 101 

State Shellfish Commission, 142 

Statue, Robert Treat, 34 

Stetson, Harry W., Doctor, 146 

Stevens, Frank H., 145 

Stevens House, 164, 165 

Stiles (Footway), 25 

Stilson, Vincent, 8 

"Stockade" House, 161, 162, 166, 167 

{see Clark House) 
Stoddard, Robert C., 119 
Stone, John, 8 

Stonehill, Henry, 2, 7 {see Stonhill) 
Stonhill, Henry, 7 
Stow House, 167 

Stow, Stephen, Captain, 54, 63, 151 
Stowe, Lewis F., 120 
Stowe, Nathan, 73 
Stratford, 55 
Stratford Ferry, 46 
Stratford Point, 46 
Straw Hat Factory, 91, 97 
Straw Hats, 114, 132 
Stream, John, 8 
Street Illumination, 125, 140 
Strong, Ephraim, Esq., 36 
Strong, William, 80 
Stuart, Henry, Company, Inc., 154 



Stubby Plain, 97 

Sumner, Frederick A., Reverend, 137 

Surveyers (Surveyors), 34, 46 

Swine, 67 

"System of Morals", 52 

Talbot, St. George, 55 

Talladega College, Alabama, 137 

Talmadge, Ohio, 57 

Talmadge, Tho., 8 

Tanneries, 74 

Tanning, 19 

Tapp, Edmund, 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, 17 

Tappe, Edmond, 7 {see Tapp, Edmund) 

Tapping, Thomas, 3 {see Topping) 

Taverns, 29, 30, 45 

Taxes, n, 24, 47 

Taylor, Henry Augustus, 122 

Taylor Memorial Library, 122 

Telephones, 124 

Ten Pin Alley, 97 

Tercentenary, 156 

Terrel, Roger, 7 

Theron Ford Company, 99 

Thieves, 70 

Thomas, Arnon D., 119 

Tibballs, Thomas, 7 {see Tibbals) 

Tibbals, Mark, 80 

Tibbals, Samuel, 89 

Tibbals, Thomas, Sergeant, 1, 3, 7, 9 

{see Tibballs) 
Tide Mill, 42 
Timber, 22, 39 
Title, Land, 5, 16, 56 
Tobacco, 20, 21 
Toll, rates, 75, 76, 77 
Toll Road, maintenance, 76 
Tomkins, Micah, 7 
Tomlinson, Gideon, (Governor), 8 
Tomlinson, Henry, 8, 19, 29 
Tompkins, Micah, 30 
Topography, 140 

Topping, Thomas, 7 {see Tapping) 
Tories, 59, 60, 64 
Town Agents, 22 
Town Band, 133 
Town Burying Ground, 139 
Town Farm, 79 
Town Flock, 51 
Town Government, 80 {see Milford 

Town) 
Town Hall, 44, 62, 87, 97, 116, 133 
Town House, East, 26, 33, 42, 44 
Town Meeting, 59, 60, 61, 62, 64, 69, 

78, 93 
Town Officers, 24, 46, 48, 60, 61, 64, 72, 

78, 79. 95, 96, 117. "8, 133, 173-175 
Townships established, 57 
Town Patent, 56, 57 
Town Poor, 78, 79, 102 
Town Records, 47, 51, 88 
Town Seal, 12, 133 
Town Wharf, 20, 38, 39 
Trade, 12, 18, 20, 21, 39, 67, 68 
Traffic, 140 
Train, 90 

"Train Band", 16, 36 
Training School (Firemen), 145 
Transportation, 90 
Treadwell Trophy, 154 
Treat, Robert, 3, 7, 23, 29, 31-35. 4i» 42, 

45, 56, 57, 133, 139^ 
Trumbull, Benjamin, Doctor, 4 
Tuller, David, Reverend, 84 
Turkey Hill, 35 
Turner, Edward, 8 
Tuttle, Patience, 38 
"Twig and Turf" ceremony, 5 



203 



HISTORY OF MILFORD 



"Two-Bit Purchase", 56 
"Two Mile Brook", 4, 5 
Tyler, William, 8 

Uffot, Thomas, 3, 7 (see Uffott) 

Uffott, Thomas, 7 (see Uffot) 

Union Services, 84 

"Union" (ship), 64 

United Aircraft Corporation, 144 

United States Bureau of Fisheries, 142 

United States Post Office, 87, 99, 116 

Veterans, World War, 183-191 

Village Improvement Association, 125, 

126 
Visiting Nurse Association, 146 
Vivrett, William R., Reverend, 137 

Walls, J., Jr., 89 

Walnut Beach Fire Companies, 145 

Walp & CompanY, 114 

War 

Civil War, 93-96, no, 127, 179-181 

King Philip's War, 34, 36 

Revolutionary War, 59-61, 64, 98, 178 

War of 1812, 67, 87 

World War, 130, 134. 183-191 
Ward, Thomas, 8 
Warehouse site, 20 
Warner, Andrew, 8 
Warner, Mary Louise, 14s 
Washington Bridge, 45, 76-78, 114, 14°. 

141 
Washington Bridge Company, 76 
Washington, George, 65 
Waterbury, 5 1 „ 

Waterbury Lock & Specialty Company, 

92, i54 

Waterpower, 1 

Water Supply, 41, 42 

Waters, John, 8 

Watertown, 57 

Watkins Manufacturing Company, 154 

Weantinogue (Weantinock), 57 (see Mil- 
ford) 

Weaving, 19, 41, 4 2 

Weed, George F., 150 

Weights & Measures, 12 

Welch, Thomas, 2, 6, 7, 23 

Welch's Point, 150, 156 

Welsh, Jacobeth, 37 

Welsh, Thomas, 37 

Wepawaug Engine Company, 99 

Wepawaug Players, 153 

Wepawaug River, (Wepowage) (Mill), 
3, 13, 22, 45, 141 



Wepawaug Yacht Club, 152 
"Wepowage", (Wepawaug) 



(Milford), 



West End Brook, 10, 33 

Western Lands, 67 

Westfield, 14 

West Indies, 39 

West Shore Railway, 115 

Wethersfield, 3 

Weylister Secretarial Junior College, 83, 
136 

Weylister Scholarship, 136 

Whalley, Edward, 30, 31, 151 

Wharf, 20, 39 

Wharf Lane, 70 

Wharves and Warehouses, 68 

Wheeler, Charles E., 142 

Wheeler, Joseph, 44 

Wheeler, Moses, 25 

Wheeler, Thomas, 7 

Wheeler's Farms, 44 

Whitefield, George, 54 

Whitman, Zachariah, 3, 6, 7, 9, n, 26, 
27, 29, 37 

Whitmore Houses, 161 (see Josiah Whit- 
more) 

Whitmore, Josiah, 165 

Whittelsey, Samuel, Reverend, 52, 53, 

54 
Wilcox, Clark M., 126, 136 
Wilcox Park (Harbor Woods), 126 
Wilcox, Wallace C, 97 
Wild Fowl Sanctuary, 145 
Wildermere Beach, 150 
Wilkinson, Edward, 8 
Williams, Thomas, 96 
Winthrop, 34 
Woodbridge, 4, 57, 78 
Woodmont, 150 
Woodmont Association, 120 
Woodruff, F. H, & Sons, Inc., 108, 155 
Woodruff, Frank H., 108 
Woodruff, Harold F., 109 
Woodruff, John, 8 
Woodruff, Joseph, Esq., 36, 45 
Woodruff, William H., Honorable, 109, 

148 
Wooster, David, General, 8 
Wooster, Edward, 8 
Works Progress Administration, 153 
World War, 130, 134, 183-191 
Worster, Edward, 22 
Wyllys, Abraham, 57 

Yale College, 51, 142 
Yankees, 33 



204 




MAP OF THE TOWN OF MILFORD IN 1868 



PROPERTY INDEX— MILFORD— 1868 



I. D. Merwin 


42. 


E. T. Peck 


2. Colonel A. R. Hine's Estate 


43- 


J. Bristol Store 


3. D. Bristol 


44. 


Sanford & Burns 


4. J. Flynn 


45- 


M. Ford 


5. L. Benjamin 


46. 


Carpenter Shop 


6. T. C. B. 


47- 


H. Hitchcock 


7. G. Betts 


48. 


J. Carrington 


8. S. W. Downs 


49. 


H. Miner 


9. J. Benjamin 


50. 


S. Strong 


10. Miss C. Durand 


5i. 


Miss S. E. Woodcock 


11. Chair Shop 


52. 


J. Benjamin 


12. S. Strong 


53- 


H. M. 


13 Shoe Shop 


54- 


C. B. 


14.. D. H. Durand 


55- 


H. Hitchcock 


15. J. Welch 


56. 


J. Follows Estate 


16. J. Beardsley 


57- 


G. W. Baldwin 


17 Dr. Beardsley 


58. 


Mrs. Smith 


18. J. B. 


59- 


J. Carrington 


19. D. B. Piatt 


60. 


I. Somers 


20. J. B. B. 


61. 


R. Tomlinson 


21 J. B. 


62. 


J. Bristol 


22. Mrs. J. A. Mallett 


63. 


J. Porter 


23. A. R. H. 


64. 


C. B. 


24. L. B. Mallett 


65. 


S. s. 


25. Nathan Smith 


66. 


American Hat Weaving Co, 


26. N. Woodruff 


67. 


L. F. Baldwin 


27. L. Burns 


68. 


H. F. 


28. S. C. Durand 


69. 


N. B. 


29. Mrs. Mallett 


70. 


H. P. Botsford 


30. J. B. 


7i- 


J. C. 


31. E. W. Peck 


72. 


S. Gunn 


32. Mrs. E. Beach 


73- 


D. Beach 


33. S. Davidson 


74- 


L. Oviatt 


34. W. Downs 


75. 


W. F. 


35. W. E. Downs 


76. 


1st Cong. Parsonage 


36. S. Beach 


77- 


Mrs. Marshall 


37. Cooper Shop 


78. 


Miss Bryan 


38. H. J. Bristol 


79- 


Mrs. Bailey 


39. Captain E. H. Stone 


80. 


H. S. Ford 


40. H. R. Beach 


81. 


N. Bolsford 


41. S. Strong 


82. 


E. Sanford 



83. A. R. Hlne Estate 


J3i- 


M. F. 


84. J. Carrington 


132. 


W. F. 


85. Mrs. Buckingham 


133. 


W. Piatt 


86. I. C. Smith 


134. 


School 


87. G. S. Oviatt 


135. 


Plymouth Cong. Church 


88. M. T. Baldwin 


136. 


J. Short 


89. W. M. Miles 


137- 


L. Nettleton 


90. A. Clark 


138. 


W. Glenney 


91. J. s. 


139- 


Store 


92. J. Clark 


140. 


J. Strong 


93. G. S. Hand 


141. 


Mrs. Green 


94. C. Kingsley 


142. 


L. S. Blake 


95. School No. 5 


H3. 


A. S. 


96. C. P. Strong 


144. 


Mrs. Wheeler 


97. Store 


145. 


Miss M. P. & S. Strong 


98. Miss D. M. & E. C. Miles 


146. 


A. French 


99. W. Ford 


147. 


W. B. Bristol 


ioo. W. Ford 


148. 


H. O. Pineo 


101. Mrs. S. B. Ford 


149. 


S. Somers 


102. M. B. P. 


150. 


H. E. & A. N. Clarke- 


103. W. M. Miles 




Silver Plate Shop 


104. Store 


151. 


Mrs. Lee 


105. J. Maher 


152. 


D. S. Ford 


106. J. Wilson 


153- 


Parsonage 


107. School No. 9 


154. 


H. Manville 


108. M. B. Plumb 


155- 


Mrs. Ford 


109. Miss Strong 


156. 


C. B. Peck 


1 1 0. J. C. Buckingham 


157- 


S. Higby 


in. Captain J. W. Sanford 


158. 


G. Baldwin 


112. L. F. Welch 


159. 


A. Smith 


113. C. W. Ford 


160. 


E. B. Smith 


114. C. Tuttle 


161. 


Mrs. Fairchild 


115. S. Shop 


162. 


Trimming & Store Room 


116. C. Baldwin 


163. 


Mrs. Sanford 


117. Mrs. Davidson 


164. 


W. E. Plumb 


118. W. Bush 


165. 


Carpenter Shop 


119. S. Glenney 


166. 


Carpenter Shop 


120. Mrs. Plumb 


167. 


W. D. Smith 


I2i. T. Davidson 


168. 


J. Kilpatrick 


122. Downs 


169. 


C. Peck 


123. Harness Shop 


170. 


B. Sanford 


124. E. Smith Store 


171. 


B. Bradley 


125. C. Botsford 


172. 


Mrs. N. Plumb 


126. T. D. 


173- 


Dr. L. N. Beardsley 


127. S. Shop 


174. 


Store 


128. F. Pope 


175- 


J. S. Ferris 


129. 1st Cong. Church 


176. 


L. S. B. 


130. W. B. 


177. 


S. B. F. Estate 



178. J. Stowe 


224. L. Beers 


179. Dr. L. N. B. 


225. J. Miner 


180. Beecher & Miles Carriage Factory 


226. M. E. Parsonage 


181. N. Fenn 


227. Blacksmith Shop 


182. A. L. Train 


228. C. W. Cornwall 


183. Paint Shop 


229. I. W. Goldsmith 


184. Blacksmith Shop 


230. L. Smith 


185. Wagon Shop 


231. C. Burton 


186. S. G. Higby 


232. D. Nolan & D. Haley 


187. W. S. Pond & Co. 


233. N. Roydan 


188. C. H. 


234. M. Oviatt 


189. Miss Starr 


235. L. B. 


190. E. Oviatt 


236. S. O. 


191. Grist Mill 


237. G. Ford 


192. C. Oviatt 


238. M. Mervin 


193. R. Victor 


239. S. W. D. 


194. Dr. L. N. B. 


240. E. Clark 


195. M. Stowe 


241. D. Finland 


196. S. Buckingham 


242. N. Clark 


197. J. Dempsey 


243. N. A. Baldwin 


198. I. Hyatt 


244. T. Cornwall 


199. Town Hall 


245. P. Ryan 


200. School 


246. T. Bahon 


201. E. P. Munson 


247. Mrs. N. Fowler 


202. C. B. Peck 


248. Cath. Church 


203. Store 


249. S. Scofield 


204. I. P. 


250. C. H. Pond 


205. M. B. Plumb 


251. Mrs. H. S. Rogers 


206. D. L. Baldwin 


252. P. E. Church 


207. J. Connor 


253. W. Fowler 


208. C. H. 


254. Mrs. Stone 


209. W. P. 


255. N. A. Baldwin 


210. Miss Tibbals 


256. E. Mallory 


211. (Drug Store — J. T. Higby— Post Of- 


257. H. Ells 


fice) (Tin Shop — Hardware; — S. B. 


258. W. P. 


Gunn & Co.) 


259. R. W. Chidsey 


212. L. Powell 


260. J. N. B. & E. C. 


213. C. Hine 


261. N. Kelsey 


214. C. Oviatt 


262. I. Glenny 


215. J. Nettleton 


263. C. E. Smith 


216. C. P. 


264. School No. 3 


217. C. Davidson 


265. J. Green 


218. H. C. Miles 


266. Fire Engine House 


219. N. R. Ford 


267. J. H. 


220. Hearse House 


268. W. Fowler 


221. M. Brennan 


269. C. Oviatt 


222. G. Plumb 


270. W. G. Mitchell 


223. Mrs. Hine 


271. Geo. B. Wheeler 



272. N. C. Tomlinson 


320. Ford 


273. H. Mallett 


321. S. W. Dickenson 


274. Office Livery 


322. J. W. Fisher 


275. A. H. A. 


323. Wm. Brooks 


276. Blacksmith Shop 


324. Dr. H. Allen 


277. J. Parsons 


325. Milford Hotel 


278. J. N. B. & E. C. 


326. H. A. Street 


279. N. Clark 


327. Barber Shop 


280. L. Curley 


328. N. A. B. 


281. D. Bassett 


329. Store — W. G. Cornwall 


282. Passenger Station 


330. Mrs. Johnson 


283. J. W. F. 


331. Mrs. N. 


284. School No. 2 


332. J. Camp 


285. Mrs. Haley 


333. Mrs. Carder 


286. N. G. Pond 


334. J. Piatt 


287. Market and House — I. C. Smith 


335- J- c. 


288. Mrs. Nettleson 


336. Dentist — J. A. Dibble 


289. W. S. P. 


337. R- B. 


290. C. B. Bassett 


338. A. Nettleton 


291. N. G. Pond 


339. T. Shop 


292. C. E. Church 


340. W. Brooks 


293. Mrs. Driver 


341. N. G. Pond 


294. D. S. Ford & Bros. 


342. Store & T. Shop 


295. N. Y. & N. H. R. R. 


343. W. S. Pond 


296. W. S. P. 


344. W. S. Pond 


297. E. Curtis 


345. A. Stowe 


298. Saloon 


346. J. W. Merwin 


299. F. E. E. 


347. N. A. B. 


300. Store House 


348. Mrs. T. Baldwin 


301. E. M. Clark 


349. C. Stowe 


302. N. C. Tomlinson 


350. J. W. Fowler 


303. Shoe Shop — C. H. Peck 


351. M. Curley 


304. Grist Mill 


352. C. Cornwall 


305. E. E. Burnt 


353. Boarding House 


306. S. Brown 


354. S. Baldwin 


307. Dr. A. H. 


355. Mrs. A. Baldwin 


308. Store 


356. W. Brooks 


309. Saw Mill 


357. D. W. Smith 


310. S. C. Peck 


358. T. Smith 


3". J- W. F. 


359. A. Nettleton 


312. J. W. Fowler 


360. L. M. 


313. J. N. Buckingham 


361. Mrs. J. Smith 


314. E. Clark 


362. J. W. Smith 


315. A. Stowe 


363. C. W. Beardsley 


316. C. Durand 


364. Store — P. S. Bristol 


317. J. Fowler 


365. Gas Factory 


318. J. N. B. &E. C. 


366. N. A. Baldwin & Co.— 


319. A. Green 


Straw Hat Factory 



367. 


J. Conner 


415. 


G. W. Plumb 


3 68. 


G. & M. Tibbals 


416. 


D. & J. Beard 


3^9- 


Shop 


417. 


D. L. Hubbell 


37°. 


Store — J. W. Buckingham 


418. 


T. B. Merwin 


37i- 


W. B. Clark 


419. 


Cooperage Shop 


372- 


Beard & Tibbals 


420. 


C. Baldwin 


373- 


A. Kelsey 


421. 


Store House 


374- 


Mrs. Buckingham 


422. 


P. Burns 


375- 


Mrs. Wilson 


423- 


D. Plumb 


376. 


J. Tibbals 


424. 


Z. Gorman 


377- 


G. Cornwall 


425. 


A. Plumb 


378. 


T. Fowler 


426. 


Wm. Fowler 


379- 


C. W. Merwin 


427. 


Miss Tibbals 


38o. 


N. G. P. 


428. 


I. J. Green 


38i. 


R. A. Beard 


429. 


A. A. B. 


382. 


C. A. Bassett 


430. 


M. Baldwin 


383. 


J. Stowe 


431- 


S. L. Burns 


384- 


C. H. Peck 


432. 


Mrs. Stowe 


385. 


Mrs. B. 


433- 


Mrs. Baldwin 


386. 


N. C. Tomlinson 


434- 


J. Merwin 


387. 


S. C. 


435- 


J. B. Baldwin 


388. 


S. N. Beecher 


436. 


D. Peck 


389- 


D. Merwin 


437- 


Store House 


390. 


L. Langridge 


438. 


Mrs. Jones 


39i. 


S. Clark, Sr. 


439- 


Cooperage Shop 


392. 


P. Baldwin 


440. 


C. R. Baldwin 


393- 


D. T. Plumb 


441. 


S. Clark 


394- 


Mrs. Franklin 


442. 


A. Bristol 


395- 


Box Factory 


443- 


Mrs. Merwin 


396. 


Captain H. Treat 


444. 


M. Davidson 


397- 


Plumb & Beard — Sash & Blind Factory 


445- 


C. Piatt 


398. 


J. Burns 


446. 


D. Buckingham 


399- 


A. H. Ailing 


447- 


Mrs. Bristol 


400. 


Mrs. M. Ford 


448. 


S. B. & A. B. Baldwin 


401. 


C. Ford 


449. 


D. Bristol 


402. 


J. Smith 


450. 


Mrs. Camp 


403- 


A. Mallett 


451. 


H. Cornwall 


404. 


A. Fowler 


452. 


A. Beard 


405. 


S. R. Beard 


453- 


D. & J. Beard 


406. 


Kingsley 


454- 


A. A. Baldwin 


407. 


Mrs. Carrington 


455. 


E. S. Stowe 


408. 


T. B. B. 


456. 


Episcopal Parsonage 


409. 


Store 


457- 


G. H. Osborne 


410. 


S. B. Gunn 


458. 


Hon. I. T. Rogers 


411. 


L. Burns 


459- 


H. Clark 


412. 


Mrs. M. Mallett 


460. 


W. Tibbals 


4i3- 


J. Bristol 


461. 


Carpenter Shop 


414. 


E. Diggin 


462. 


T. Camp 



463. N. G. Pond 

464. J. Cornwall 

465. L. Haley 

466. J. Bahon 

467. Store 

468. School No. 12 

469. B. Winne & J. G. French 

470. A. W. Burns 

471. Wm. F. 

472. W. Peck 

473. B. Clark 

474. W. T. 

475. J. Dotson 

476. L. Beard 

477. G. Flagg 

478. W. Fenn 

479. T. Camp 

480. O. Clark 

481. N. C. Tomlinson 

482. J. Bristol 

483. Dr. J. Sweet 

484. J. Baldwin 

485. W. H. Cox 

486. M. Clark 

487. D. Miles 

488. C. M. Tibbals 

489. M. Tibbals 

490. L. Piatt 

491. D. L. H. 

492. I. Somers 

493. D. L. Baldwin 

494. M. T. 

495. W. Brotherton 



496. E. 

497- D- 
498. D. 

499- J- 

500. M 

501. H. 

502. G. 

503. c 

504. N. 

505. G. 

506. P. 

507. D. 

508. J. 

509. M 

510. D. 

511. C. 

512. N. 

513. w. 

514. c. 

515. M, 

516. C. 

517. G. 

518. N. 

519. W, 

520. C. 

521. w, 

522. J. 

523. s. 

524. M. 

525. P. 

526. c. 

527. M. 

528. C. 



C. M. 
L. H. 
L. H. 

F. Clemants 
, Stowe 

Beardsley 

Mallett 

W. B. 

A. Baldwin 

Osborne 

Baldwin 

Miles 
Netdeton 
. T. 

L. H. 

Durand 

A. B. 
. Glenny 

Prince 
, McGown 

Miles 

L. Tibbels 

A. B. 
, Coggeshall 

D. 

, M. M. 
Nolan 
Parsons 

T. 
Feltus 

Baldwin 

Merwin, 2nd 

M. 



«* 



y