The house at 44 Church Street, across from the Green in West Haven, was built in 1897. It served until around 2005 as the rectory of Christ Episcopal Church, during which time it was named the Samuel Johnson Memorial Rectory in honor of the parish’s first rector, Rev. Dr. Samuel Johnson (1696-1772). The nomination form for the West Haven Green Historic District mentions John Barnett, who had close association with the church, under its listing for this house. He may have been the original owner. In 1905, Martha J. Prudden purchased the former home of Catherine Sherwood to give to the parish in honor of Dr. Samuel Johnson. This may be the same house at 44 Church Street or an earlier rectory.
The house at 331 Main Street in Bristol, built c. 1910, is listed as the Curtiss House in the nomination for the Federal Hill Historic District. Around 1918, Charles H. Curtiss, 331 Main Street, was secretary of Local No. 50, Order of Railway Conductors of America. Curtiss had earlier (c. 1910 to c. 1914) lived at 265 Main Street in Bristol. Charles H. Curtiss (1864-1922), a Democrat, served in the state house of representatives from 1919 to 1920.
At 82 Bellevue Avenue in Bristol is an American Foursquare house built c. 1920. It was originally the home of Roger S. Newell (who also once lived in the house at 101 Bellevue Avenue). As described in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Hartford County, Connecticut, Vol. I (1901):
Roger Samuel Newell was born in Bristol, Oct. 18, 1867, and received his academic education in the public schools of that town and of Hartford. He graduated from the Hartford Public High School in 1886, from Yale University in 1889, and from Yale Law School in 1891. He then read law in the office of John J. Jennings, Esq., of Bristol, and in 1891 was admitted to the Bar, after which he continuously practiced his chosen profession as a partner with his preceptor until the latter’s death, April 1, 1900. He was the first clerk of the borough of Bristol, in 1895 was elected judge of the town court, and in 1896 was elected judge of probate, to succeed Elbert E. Thorpe, on the latter’s decease. Socially he and his family are prominent, and he is a member of Franklin Lodge, No. 56, F. & A. M., and Pequabuck Chapter, R. A. M. In politics he is a Republican, and in religious belief a Congregationalist. Mr. Newell was, married in Bristol, Sept. 25, 1895, to Miss Adaline Birge, daughter of Senator John and Mary A. (Root) Birge.
Edward W. Morley (1838-1923) was a famous scientist and a professor of chemistry at Western Reserve College (now Case Western Reserve University) in Ohio from 1869 until his retirement in 1906. He is best known for his work with physicist Albert A. Michelson on the Michelson–Morley experiment (1887), which measured the speed of light, and for his research on the atomic weight of oxygen, which he published in 1895. Upon his retirement, he moved into a house he had had constructed at 26 Westland Avenue in West Hartford, the town in which he had grown up. He built it using dividends on stock he held in the Dow Chemical Corporation. The stock had been payment for his consulting work for the corporation. He continued his scientific research in a laboratory he built in his back yard. He lived in the house until his death in 1923. An elementary school in West Hartford was also named in his honor. Read the rest of this entry »
At 330 Main Street in the village of Hanover in the town of Sprague is a Craftsman-style American Foursquare house. It was constructed in 1913 by builder Peck McWilliams. The house was a wedding gift for William Park (1889-1971) from his father, mill-owner Angus Park, at the time of William’s marriage to Ruth Standish. The William Park House has stuccoed walls with Tudor-style decorative half-timbering and a porte-cochere on the north side.
Born in Galashiels, Scotland, Angus Park (1859-1929) emigrated with his family to Canada, where over twenty years he grew successful in the wool textile industry. As related in Men of Mark in Connecticut, Vol. V (1910):
He was employed there until 1894, when he came to East Lyme, Connecticut, and became secretary of the Niantic Manufacturing Company, being associated with an uncle, D. E. Campbell, and with a brother, William Park. He remained there until August, 1899, when he severed his connection with that concern and purchased the Allen Mill and properties at Hanover, Connecticut, which property is now known as the Airlie Mills. This mill had been closed for some time, and consequently was in poor condition. Mr. Park remodeled the mill and installed new and modern machinery at a great outlay of money. The mill is now one of the best in this region, and the product is a high grade of woolen and flannel suiting. In March, 1903, when the Assawauga Company, of Dayville, Connecticut, was organized Mr. Park became its manager, and one of its largest stockholders. In 1907, Mr. Park purchased the properties of the Crosby Manufacturing Company, at East Glastonbury, Connecticut, and organized the Angus Park Manufacturing Company, of which he is the treasurer and general manager.
The house (pdf) at 191 Woodruff Avenue in Watertown is thought to have been designed by Griggs and Hunt of Waterbury. The house was built for Frank B. Noble, corporate secretary of the Chase Brass and Copper Company in Waterbury. According to an obituary that appeared in Metal Industry, Vol. 18, No. 11 (November, 1920)
Frank B. Noble, who died at his home in Watertown on July 2, 1920, was, up to the time of his death, secretary of the Chase companies for a number of years. He was 55 years old and his connection with the Chase companies extended over a period of 35 years. He had been a resident of Watertown all his life, attending the public schools there. Later he studied at the Waterbury High School.
Mr. Noble always took an active interest in his native town, and was usually foremost in all projects having for their object the betterment of his birthplace. He was president of the Watertown library, treasurer of the Episcopal church, trustee of the cemetery association and a member of the Civic Improvement League. He is survived by two daughters and a son, all of Watertown.
His family lived in the house until 1924. It was then the home of Waterbury attorney, John H. Cassidy and his family until 1963.
At 206 Tower Avenue is a house constructed in 1928. It was the home of Wilfred Xavier Johnson (b. 1920) from 1966 until his death in 1972. Johnson’s family came north from Georgia in 1925 and settled in Hartford. Johnson worked as a “runner” (messenger) after school for the Hartford National Bank. After World War II, in which he served as dental technician, Johnson returned to work for the bank. In 1955 he was promoted to teller, the first African-American to hold the position in the state. He held that position until his death. In 1958, Wilfred X. Johnson became the first black candidate to be endorsed by the Democratic Party in Connecticut. He served four terms as the first black representative in the state assembly. His wife, Gertrude Johnson (b. 1927), was also active in city politics. She served as treasurer of the Young Democrats in 1957.