Dr. Henry Skelton House (1748)

September 17th, 2013 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Southington

Dr. Henry Skelton House

The colonial saltbox house at 889 S. Main Street in Southington was built in 1748. It was the home of Dr. Henry Skelton (or Skilton).

As related in Heman R. Timlow’s Ecclesiastical and Other Sketches of Southington, Conn. (1875), Dr. Henry Skelton

was the second resident physician of the town, and was a man of more than common ability in almost every particular. Not only did he successfully practice his profession, but conducted various business enterprises. At one time he had a store, hotel, mill, and two or three farms on hand.

He was born in the parish of St. Michael’s, Coventry, England, November 19, 1718, and entered the British navy at seventeen years of age, and his ship landing at Boston he left the service and remained in this country. In 1741 we find him married to Tabitha Avery [(1717-1797)], of Preston, and in 1748 he removed to Southington, and bought the farm that belonged to the late Avery Clark, Esq., at Clark Farms. He owned a large tract of land in the vicinity of the Merriman Burying Ground, and also the property now the site of the Atwater Manufacturing Company.

The time he began to practice medicine is unknown, but it is supposed that being intelligent and apt he began in the small way of extracting teeth and blood-letting; and by reading of some text-books in Surgery and Practice, he was able to treat ordinary cases. He gave himself, however, more to business than to the practice of his profession. It was probably his superior judgment that secured his professional success. In 1760 he removed to Woodbury, where he practiced medicine, and became a landholder. A son of his having been drafted to serve in the continental army, he took his place. He died at Watertown [to whence he moved in 1788] in 1802, aged eighty-four.

Concerning his military service, it is described in Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut, Vol. II (1911) [also repeated in New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Vol. IV (1913)]:

Henry Skilton took the place of his son Avery, who was drafted for the continental army, about the time of the battle of Bunker Hill, and was with a detachment stationed at Roxbury Neck, near Boston, Massachusetts. He is said to have rendered such service as a private soldied as to attract marked attention and to receive an appointment and commission as surgeon.

As related in William Cothren’s History of Ancient Woodbury, Connecticut, From the First Indian Deed in 1659 to 1854 (1854):

Dr. Skilton’s preferences in religion were for the Congregational or Calvinistic doctrines, but he did not approve some of the disciplinary customs of his brethren, nor did he accept the form of church government in use among them. Hence he became a ” Separate,” and held meetings at various places, teaching his followers in the “things of religion.” In Prospect, Conn., the remnant of a church of his organizing existed as late as 1831, in the person of an aged lady who still revered her former pastor’s name.

  1. 3 Responses to “Dr. Henry Skelton House (1748)”

  2. By Monica E. Jeppesen on Mar 3, 2014

    Please note that you have spelled “The” name wrong- it is spelled Skilton with an “I” not an “E” I know because Edna Skilton from Watertown was my Step-Grandmother.

    I posses a card table that was hers and now wish to sell it actually. If you are interested please contact me by telephone at 475-227-4754.

    I look for to hearing from you in the very near future.

    Sincerely,

    Monica E. Jeppesen

  3. By Daniel on Mar 4, 2014

    Specific spellings of names were not always definitive in the eighteenth century and the name is listed in the sources linked-to above as either Skelton or Skilton. The official spelling in the National Register of Historic Places listing is Skelton.

  4. By MONICA JEPPESEN on Aug 20, 2017

    I DONATED THE TABLE TO SOME ONE IN GREAT NEED OF A TABLE PLEASE NOTE.. THANK YOU EDNA SKILTON WHO I USED TO VISIT VERY OFTEN BACK WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE 1976, SHE WOULD ALWAYS SAY GRACE BEFORE DINNER.

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