Elmer Risley, a farmer, built the house at 252 Naubuc Avenue in East Hartford in 1895. After his father Ralph Risley died in 1899, Elmer’s son Cassius married moved into his grandfather’s house at 266 Naubuc Avenue. Elmer’s daughter Nellie, who married Merritt Smart, owned the house at 252 Naubuc Avenue after her father’s death. The house has notable decoration on its front porch with a wave lattice pattern under the roof in which the carpenter utilized machine-made wooden balls at regular intervals. Elmer Risley and his family are described in the Commemorative Biographical Record of Hartford County, Connecticut (1901):
Elmer Risley, who was born on Main street, in Hockanum, attended his first school in that village, and then entered the East Hartford high school, from which he graduated in 1868. He then engaged in farming on the place now ocupied [sic] by his son, Cassius E., and has carried on agriculture ever since, with the exception of the year 1871, when he was employed in William Rogers & Co.’s plating works. On Dec. 3, 1872, he was married, by Rev. William A. Turkenston, to Miss Adelaide M. Selen, who was born Sept. 3, 1852, and is a daughter of John and Maria (Hills) Selen. To this union have been born two children: Cassius E., born Feb. 6, 1876, married Jessie Wadsworth, of Glastonburv, Oct. 10, 1898, is a very industrious, upright young man, and now occupies the farm formerly owned by his grandfather[;] Nellie S., born May 25, 1880, is a young lady of rare musical ability, and is giving instruction in her art.
Elmer Risley is Democratic in his political proclivities, but votes for the candidate he deems best fitted for office, rather than for a less worthy one that may happen to be the nominee of his party, He is a charter member of East Hartford Council, No. 1237. Royal Arcanum, has held several offices in the council, and is also past master in the East Hartford Grange. He aid his wife and daughter are members of the Hockanum Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Risley is a member of the board of trustees of that society. In addition to his farming operations, Mr. Risley acts as agent for Olds & Whipple’s fertilizers. He is enterprising, industrious and strictly upright, and no family in East Hartford town is more sincerely respected than that of Elmer Risley.
Brothers Solomon and Hiram Fox built houses on Naubuc Avenue in East Hartford c. 1824. Solomon’s has disappeared, but Hiram’s remains at 204 Naubuc Avenue. The house has later Victorian alterations probably made by later owner Ira Anderson and his son Harry.
The substantial house at 93 Broad Street in East Hartford was built by Capt. John Kentfield (1743-1804) between 1784 and 1792. He had earlier built the house at 119 Naubuc Avenue, not far away. A later owner of the house on Broad Street was Josiah White, from Gildersleeve in Portland. Josiah married Rebecca Hills of East Hartford; his brother George and cousin Daniel married two of Rebecca’s sisters. Josiah White moved to Oneida County, New York in 1812.
The Carpenter Gothic-style cottage, with board and batten siding, at 196 King Street in East Hartford was built by Spencer H. Burnham on land he acquired from his grandfather, Selah Burnham, in 1874. Burnham, a Civil War veteran, tobacco farmer and carpenter, who served as Selectman in 1878, probably built the house around the time of his marriage to Mary C. Anderson on January 11, 1881.
An early section (possibly the east end) of the house at 165 Maple Street in East Hartford may date to as early as c. 1702. The house was enlarged, probably in the 1780s, when it would have also acquired its gambrel roof. According to local tradition the house was built by Isaac Porter, who also built a house at 74 Porter Street in East Hartford.
The house at 142 King Street in East Hartford was built c. 1790 by Daniel Williams, who purchased the property around that time. In 1812 the house was inherited by Phineas Williams and had many other owners over the years. In the early nineteenth century the house was altered with Greek Revival design features.
Dudley Fox (1823-1889), a silversmith, built the house at 177 Naubuc Avenue in East Hartford in 1854. He then constructed a factory to the north were he manufactured silver plated ware. Fox served as the Hockanum postmaster from May 12, 1865, through November 27, 1867 and used a fancy stamp cancellation marking in the form of a Running Fox. (for more information see “Dudley’s Fox” by W.J. Duffney). Business did not go well and in 1869 Fox sold the house to his son-in-law. Read the rest of this entry »