Welcome to our news and history blog!

Welcome to our news and history blog!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

MODEL PUBLIC SCHOOL: Down in St. Petersburg-Solomon S. Mead Sees Southern Sights With Northern Eyes

Source: Greenwich Graphic. May 16, 1903. Page 1.

Solomon Stoddard Mead

Editor of the Graphic:

I told you I would give you a description of my visit to St. Petersburg. I went by the Atlantic Coast Railroad from Tampa to Port Tampa, some ten miles or more. Port Tampa is on the east side of Tampa Bay and the water is so shallow you could wade over many acres of white sand. The locomotive and the full train run down to the steamboat wharf with freight and passengers. About all the wharfs are built out over the water from a half to a full mile in order to reach the steamboat. The steamboat came over from St. Petersburg in about two hours sail.

While waiting for the boat my attention was directed to a large bird flying single over the water and often would turn its head down and make a sudden dive for a fish. I enquired about the bird and was told it was a pelican fishing for a living. I noticed that the bird was successful in every dive he made and would take his time to swallow its catch before rising from the water, and then set sail for another fish.

I arrived at St. Petersburg about 10.30 and looked about the city until noon, and dined at the Cole hotel and had a very good dinner and well prepared. After I went through the town I saw a number of men digging a sewer through one of the principle streets. It was about 8 feet deep and composed entirely of white soft sand. At the bottom of the sewer work was a ____ of water. I asked how it came there and was told it came in from the bay just outside, say one-eighth of a mile through this white sand and was pumped out by hand in order to let the men work. I asked the foreman of the work where they came from, one said from Texas, one from Alabama, and one from Massachusetts.

St. Petersburg is the city well laid out, its streets are very straight and wide and planted with trees on both sides. Its houses are nice and comfortable looking, and its churches was of good and substantial architecture, and its public schools surprised anything I had seen before in the buildings, their equipment and management. There was a lake close by and a steam engine was at work forcing the water into a high tank to be distributed through the school and elsewhere that it was needed. As a joke I asked the principal Mr. Gunsinger if the pupils used the lake for a skating pond during the winter which caused him to laugh most heartily, as he thought I was in earnest, seeing that they never have a frost at this point. I cannot describe the school as it should be done, but there was everything that could be in any school. A cooking room and a sewing room for girls and a work shop for boys containing a work bench for each boy well stocked with all the tools to be used in that department and every other department. There was some very prominent rich man who took a great interest in the schools and who had spent his money with a liberal handed to bring them to a high standard of perfection. I often heard his name but I would not write it for I might not get it just right. The man had given the young cadets their uniforms and also all the girls of good age were dressed in uniforms according to the position they occupied.

On May 5, 6, 7, Tampa gave a May festival of 3 days duration. There were three steamboats that brought from St. Petersburg the schools and over one thousand scholars came and rode all over Tampa in the trolly cars and finally paraded through the streets and to the Tampa Bay Hotel, on foot all in uniform where they gave an exhibition of their training, both the cadets and the girls in uniform. The Tampa Bay Casino was filled and the ticket taker said to me there were over fifteen hundred persons in the building. Tickets were 50 cents each and there were several hundred dollars taken in all for the benefit of the poor children's home. Every one seemed to be well pleased with today's showing. On Thursday there was a matinee of the Sons of Ham which was well rendered and in the evening there were many unusual performances, songs and instrumental playing, a scene of hay makers, etc. These performers were of the schools of Tampa, young men and maidens and Mrs. and were very interesting for all young old and young. 


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Silas Merwin Mead's Will (1903)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, April 11, 1903.

Putnam Cemetery, Parsonage Road, Greenwich. 

Silas Merwin Mead's will has been filed at the Probate Office, and is as follows: 

In the name of God, Amen. I Silas Merwin Mead of the town of Greenwich Countu of Fairfield and State of Connecticut, being of sound disposing mind, memory and understanding; Do therefore make, ordain, publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament in manner and form following, that is to say: 

First. I order and direct my executrix herein after named to pay all my just debts and funeral expenses as soon after my decease as may be practicable. 

Second. I give and bequeath to my daughter Anna R. Mead, wife of Nelson B. Mead, the sum of five hundred ($500) dollars. 

Third. All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate of whatever kind or nature, whether real or personal, I direct my said executrix to sell and convert into money. 

Fourth. And of such remainder or the avails thereof, I give and bequeath as follows: Four twentieth thereof to the Congregational Home Missionary Society of the City of New York. Three twentieths thereof, to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. One twentieth thereof, to the American Missionary Association of the city of New York. 

And, whereas the Ecclesiastical Society of the Congregational church of New Fairfield in said County of Fairfield has within the last few years suffered the loss by fire of its parsonage. If at the time of my deceased its society shall not than have a parsonage of its own, then I give and bequeathed to said society three twentieths of such remainder to be applied as followed: two thirds thereof, to go towards the building of such new parsonage, and the remainder of such legacy is to be used towards the improvement of a tract of some ten acres where the parsonage formally stood. 

And it is my wish that the said society or the members thereof should contribute an amount equal to this legacy to be expended for the same purposes. If however at the time of my decease said society shall then have a parsonage of its own, then and in that case instead of three twentieths of such remainder, I give and bequeath to society, one twentieth part of such remainder to be applied in the improvement of said ten (10) acre tract above referred to. 

Fifth. All the residue of my estate including any elapsed legacies I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary Louise Brush wife of Alexander B. Brush, of said New Fairfield, to her and to heirs and assigns forever.

Lastly I do hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my said daughter Mary Louise Brush to be the executrix of this my Last Will and Testament and direct that no bond be required of her for the settlement of my estate. 

I hereby revoke, cancel and annul any and all form by me made.

 In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal at said Greenwich, this thirtieth day of January, A. D. 1902. 


Signed, sealed published and declared by the above named Testator as and for his Last Will and Testament in our presence and we at his request, in his presence, and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses. 

ELSIE M. DECKER of South Norwalk, Conn.
F.A. HUBBARD of Greenwich, Ct.
GEORGE G. MCNALL of Greenwich, Conn. 

Famous Paintings: On Exhibition At Mead's Stationery Store This Week (1912)

Source: Greenwich Press. Friday, August 2, 1912. Page 1

Image credit: AllPosters.com

Scores of people are visiting Mead's Stationery Store to see the two mammoth $15,000 historical paintings,"The Birth of the Flag" and "Ring! Ring for Liberty" by Henry Mosler, which are on exhibition there. The paintings are probably the finest that have ever been on exhibition in Greenwich.

The first painting shows Betsy Ross and three other young women engaged in making the first American flag. The coloring, lighting and perspective are wonderful.

It was Betsy Ross who made the first flag of the United States, and she made flags for the government for several years. The first flag was made in the little Arch street house in Philadelphia, which still stands; and it was ordered of Betsy Ross, in May, 1777, by a Committee of Congress, consisting of George Washington, Robert Morris and Colonel Ross. It is a scene of supreme significance to our country that Mr. Mosley has chosen for his great painting and the picture is a fitting companion for Mr. Mosler's "Ring! Ring for Liberty." In that picture the old bell ringer, in the cupola of Independence Hall, showed what the men of the Colonies had done to determine the destiny of the nation. This pairing portrays the part the women played.

Mr. Mosler has addressed himself to the subject with his accustomed intelligence and with real affection. He based his work on careful sketches made in the Betsy Ross House, and on through historical research. The scene lives for us, on the canvas, as only the genius and imagination of a great painter can replicate it.

Mr. Mosler's great painting "Ring! Ring for Liberty!" depicts, in thematic form, the moment of the making of our nation. It celebrates the way on which was announced to the world the great fact of American Independence. It is the scene of which the poet sang:

That old State House bell is silent,

Hushed is now its glamorous tongue;
But the spirit it awakened
Still is living—ever young;
And when we greet the smiling sunlight
On the fourth of each July,
We will never forget the bellman
Who, between the earth and sky,
Rung out, loudly, Independence;
Which, please God, shall never die!

The painter of "Ring! Ring for Liberty!" and "The Birth of the Flag" was born in New York City, June 6, 1841, and has enjoyed an artistic career of great distinction. He studied first in Cincinnati under the tutelage of James H. Beard. He served through the Civil War as a staff officer, and made many sketches and drawings of the scenes of engagement in which he took part. After that he worked for year or two in Dusseldorf, under Mucke and Kineger; also under Wagner in Munich. He spent some time, likewise, in Paris, under the instruction of Herbert. As early as 1874 Mr. Mosley won a medal at the Royal Academy of Munich, and this was followed by many medals and other prizes in Europe and America. He was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1892. He won the distinction of obtaining the Thomas B. Clark prize of our National Academy of Design, in 1896, and has received many signal tokens of distinction since that time. 

He came to be known as one of the leading American artists who, in addition to his masterly skill, revealed a ready sympathy for the people at a strong national feeling. This is found expression in a number of distinguished paintings of an historical and patriotic character, of which the present paintings are the most notable. 

Mead's store have several fine reproductions of the paintings for sale.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Letter to the Editor: SEAMAN MEAD WAS THERE: Skating Across Long Island Sound in the Winter of 1857 (1912)

Source: Greenwich Press. Friday, March 1, 1912.

*NOTE: See also my article published by Greenwich Time in its March 27, 1994 edition.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE SUN – Sir: The recent frozen condition of the Connecticut harbors brings to mind a little incident that occurred many years ago. Long Island Sound was frozen over, from the Connecticut to the Long Island shore, in the winter of 1857. Many of the young people of Milford enjoyed skating on the ice near the shore, and trips were frequently made to the lighthouses on the islands offshore. Some of the young men, with a spirit of bravado, decided to skate across the Sound. Their preparations were quietly made, for they well knew that it would not be possible to obtain the consent of their parents, and at the time and place appointed by their leader twenty-five young fellows gathered.

Each was equipped with a piece of stout rope, about thirty feet in length, and a pair of skates. The trip to Long Island was safely made. On the return trip the boys landed on one of the small islands off Port Chester, N.Y. One of the twenty-five boys who made the trip is still living, the Hon. Seaman Mead of Greenwich.

Milford, Conn, February 21, H.Y. P. – NEW YORK SUN.


Source: Greenwich News. Friday, February 2, 1912. Page 1.

Has Created a Volume Dealing with This Town from Indian Days to the Present – Illustrations of Residences and Portraits of Citizens – Map of Greenwich in 1787. Shows Houses and Names of Occupants.

Self-committed to a single task, which began many years ago Historian Spencer P. Mead, author of "Ye Historie of Greenwich," the first copies of which arrived in Greenwich less than a week ago, has produced of work which is abundant in the credit due the writer and invaluable in its worth to the people of Greenwich and neighboring sections. It stands as the complete history of the town of Greenwich from the days of the first white settler to the present day, one of the best local histories ever compiled for the instruction and edification of any community.

Spencer P. Mead's gravestone is at Putnam Cemetery, Greenwich. 

To trace the course of the crossing and recrossing threads, diverging road and faintly blazed trails, was the work which Mr. Mead set before himself many years ago. He had dreamed the dream of a complete history of Greenwich; one which might be authentic and in every detail, and setting up this high conception as his ultimate goal, he has sacrificed many other interests and bent every endeavor to consummate the high purpose to which he dedicated himself, knowing well how year would drag on after year before the cloth he was weaving would be spread out for public inspection; before even he might call this pattern complete and begin first to weave together the thousands of slender threads.

How well the historian has succeeded cannot be told by saying that the public is offered a volume of seven hundred and sixty-eight pages 8vo and illustrated, nor even can it be conveyed by lightly touching upon its many facts in a review of this nature. It can only be appreciated by reading from cover to cover. Not a person who is a present living in Greenwich or who has ever lived in Greenwich, whether grown-up or still young, who cannot find it much that will interest and instruct, much that will seem almost unreal to some of us of the present generation, but which is so carefully drawn from all the available old records and so conclusively presented that one will readily accept as true and authentic this authors fullest detail. Those most familiar with the records of our town will be the first to testify that Mr. Mead's exhaustive study, for which he had earlier proved himself especially well fitted, has brought to earth almost hopelessly entangled traditions and many romantic legends to place them in their proper positions, as a part of history, unbiased and stripped tho they may often be of their more romantic features.

Mr. Mead's history of Greenwich contains a short account of the occupation of the land by the Indians; some of the less authenticated of the legends of the Indians; a graphic account of the battle between the Indians and the combined Dutch and English settlers at Strickland Plains at Cos Cob in 1644; descriptive accounts of the early settlers and their dealings with the Indians, and accounts of the French and Indian Wars as far as they pertain to the history of Greenwich.

Coming down to the last of the eighteenth century, the deeds of the colonists and their participation in the great war for freedom from England are amply portrayed. Greenwich with debatable ground during much of the period in which the Revolutionary war was fought, and Mr. Mead interestingly relates many stirring stories of exciting escapes of the patriots from the Tories and cowboys, who frequented the town. Tryon's raid and General Putnam's escape are presented in a new light and some of the old traditions are thoroly shattered.

Mr. Mead has briefly chronicled the part taken by Greenwich in the building of the new federal and state governments under the charters by which they are covered today. He has inserted a particularly interesting history of the old turnpikes, tracing themselves thru the town, and the story of the toll-gate, located on what is now Toll Gate Hill, just west of Horseneck Brook which was shortly west of old Horseneck. In history each section of the town, Olde Greenwich or Old Town, Mianus, Cos Cob, Horseneck, Byram, Stanwich and other settlements are given the full measure of their importance to the whole town. By the earlier accounts it can be seen that Horseneck, or that part of the town which is now incorporated into the Borough of Greenwich or is closing adjoining it, was of much less importance than several other parts of the township. Mianus and Cos Cob with their trading packets and village stores were once far larger and more impressive places than were Rocky Neck and Horseneck.

No vivid contrasts are allowed at the matter-of-fact historian, but may be permitted the reviewer, who sees only the realities of to-day. One who is accustomed to seeing the long lines of double lamped automobiles racing up Greenwich avenue from the Greenwich station shortly after a late afternoon train arrives, can hardly help wishing to be carried back for a moment to the time when "it was not an unusual sight to see a line of carts, each containing fifty bushels of potatoes, extending from the landing at Cos Cob to the Hub, waiting for a chance to unload." Those were the days when a Greenwich man's wealth was measured by the bushel and not by the acre. The Dun and Bradstreet reports of those days were kept on the pads at the docks in Mianus, Cos Cob and Rocky Neck and what Wall street knew or thought it knew had no bearing on the individual's position in social life.

The historian has thoroly searched the records of the nineteenth century, setting forth much that is important. A very valuable work has been the compiling of records of the town's enlistments in the Civil War. With this is given a brief, but very interesting history of the several of the regiments in which Greenwich men went through the great struggle. The accounts of the 10th 17th and 28th Connecticut Volunteer regiments are most complete.

Church history is begun almost with the early settlers and brought down to date. Important real estate transfers begin with the Indians and are traced thru many generations. Governmental history begins with the early disputes between the Dutch and English and is brought to date. Resolutions passed at some of the earliest town meetings may be found, as well as resolutions passed in town meetings only a year or two ago. Of the later important doings chronicled are the centennial celebration of General Putnam's ride, the burning of Alexander Mead's barns, he unveiling of the Soldiers and sailors monument, the unveiling of the Putnam monument, the dedication of the Town Hall and the dedication of the Putnam cottage.

One chapter is devoted to the incidents and modes of life of the early settlers, a journey by stage in 1826, market boats, steamboats, railroads and trolleys. Business centers and industries are traced from the early days to the present. A sketch of each lawyer and doctor who has practiced or is at present practicing in town is given, sketches of the various newspaper publications which the town has seen, histories of the fire companies, libraries, hospitals, public schools, private schools, churches, hotels and societies are also given.

An invaluable aid to attorneys or others, who have occasion to search the records is given in an alphabetical list of landowners from the first Indian deed in 1640 to 1752.

One of the great features of the new work is the genealogies of the early families of Greenwich. Few can comprehend the vast amount of work which was required to complete even one of these family genealogies – and there are fifty seven in all. It has meant almost infinite pouring through musty records, some of which are in the possession of the town, others scattered through various probate districts and town clerk's offices. Often the trail has a lead through vast bundles of private papers, which their possessors have kindly granted Mr. Mead permission to investigate. Days and weeks have been spent in church cemeteries and private grave yards in Greenwich and elsewhere, where the only records left obtainable are sometimes been almost obliterated.

The book is amply illustrated. In it are half-tone engravings of six of Greenwich is oldest residences, to which some history is attached; five other old building such as taverns and mills, six modern dwellings, four new manufacturing plants, several landscapes showing historic spots, portraits of ten persons who are connected with the history, several sketches, and a reproduction of the map of the old Greenwich, now owned by F. W. Lyon, editor and proprietor of the GREENWICH NEWS, which was found only a few years ago and which has proved to be the most valuable of all maps ever made of the town.

The history is copyrighted by Mr. Mead and was published from the Knickerbocker Press. Bound in cloth the price is $5.00. An edition de luxe bound in levant and width Gil top will be sold at $10 per copy. Clarkson H. Mead and Richard Mead of 240 Milbank avenue are the agents for Greenwich.

Spencer P. Mead, LL. B., the author of the new "Historie of Greenwich," is a native of the town of Greenwich; one of the honor men, class of 1893, of the New York Law School; was admitted to the New York bar in June, 1893; is a member of the New England society; Son of the Revolution in the state of New York, and the Society of Colonial Wars. In 1901 he published the "History and Genealogy of the Mead Family," which is one of the most comprehensive genealogies ever published, and contains many interesting incidents relative to the beat family.  Mr. Mead is at present a real estate lawyer in the city of New York.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Advertisement: James R. Mead, Attorney and Councellor-at-Law (Greenwich Press 1912)

Source: Greenwich Press. Friday, May 17, 1912. Page 4. 

IN NEW QUARTERS: Mead's Stationery Store Now Occupying Building Near E. Elm Street (1912)

Source: Greenwich Press. Friday, May 17, 1912. Page 1.

Mead's Stationary store is now installed in its new quarters at 249 and 251 Greenwich avenue near East Elm street, which can safely be said to be as fine and commodious quarters as any store in town has. It has more than three thousand square feet of floor space and is one of the best lighted business places anywhere hereabouts.

The display windows are of oak finish and the most artistic the community has ever seen here. Close to the windows in either side of the store are large mirrow-backed cabinets, one to be used for the display of kodaks, and one for writing papers and materials.

Running lengthwise of the store are eight find large "salesman" showcases. Large bookcases is capable of holding two thousand volumes have been installed. These bookcases like all other woodwork in the store are a super gray oak, the new finish which is becoming popular.

At the rear of the store is a large sound–proof room which will be used as a Victor Talking Machine salesroom. Just outside is a series of cabinets in which are stored the four thousand or more Victor records which the store carries.

There are many other new, interesting and pleasing things about the store and one will find it worthwhile to visit and inspect them.

Obituary: Zenas Mead Worden (1912)

Source: Greenwich Press. Friday, April 12, 1912. Page 1.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Private Mead Home: Plucky Greenwich Soldier Who Lost a Leg in the War (1919)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. March 21, 1919. Page 1.

With his right leg amputated above the knee, and hobbling about on crutches, Private "Eddie" Mead, of Company M. 313th Infantry, 79th Division, who has been enjoying a forty-eight-hour furlough at the home of his sister, Mrs. Irving R. Moshier, Greenwich avenue, told in a modest way how a German sniper wounded him, while performing his duty as scout despatch runner, after he had relieved a comrade who had been shell-shocked.

He had going over the top in the Argonne Forest drive on the morning of September 26, 1918, with other members of this company, and at 3 o'clock in the afternoon he started through the woods to ascertain the nearest route of a barb wire entanglement. Another despatch, who probably would have gone on this route was wounded, and it fell to Private Mead's lot to take his place. He had gone but a short distance, when the snipers high explosive bullet hit him in the leg. For two days and two nights he remained there, with the hundreds of wounded dead soldiers lying all around him. Finally he was taken to a base hospital, where it was at first believed that the leg had only been fractured, but after seven operations had been performed by the attending physicians, it was found that the bones in the leg had been so horribly shattered that the leg had to be amputated just above-the-knee. Until he returned from overseas, he was confined in the hospital and while there he made a beaded necklace, which he has since presented to his sister, Mrs. Mosier. It is a splendid piece of workmanship and Mrs. Mosier prices it most highly, not only because of its beauty, but for its sentimental and historic value.

On March 12, Private Mead arrived on the USS Steamship Mercy, which came by the way of Bermuda. He was taken to the Grand Central Palace hospital in New York and returned to that institution on Tuesday morning. In his section of the hospital he says there are 158 soldiers, each of whom has lost a leg. The men show no signs of despondency, but on the contrary are in a happy frame of mind and are congratulating themselves that they suffered no worse hardships. It probably will be a year before "Eddie"will receive his discharge and it may be necessary for him to undergo another operation.

Private Mead went overseas on July 7, 1917 and his Division, which probably saw more of the actual fighting than any other, not excepting the 27th division, was cited for bravery in the Argonne Forest Drive, and he showed a reporter a cross, presented to each man, which represents a gold Liberty Bell upside down, with the Lorraine cross in blue. Private Ernest Nolan and Carl Palmer, of Greenwich were also in the same Division.

There were some ten Indians in his Division whose services proved invaluable, since the Germans easily learned the American code, but it was a difficult matter to send messages for this reason. The Indians had a code all their own which baffled the Huns. The despatchers would go out all night, for the purpose of finding the nearest barb-wire entanglement, and they encountered much danger, from German snipers, who were always on the lookout for them.

"I just gave my leg to some poor German as a souvenir," said Private Mead, with a smile on his face. "It was a great experience and I would go back to the firing line tomorrow, if my country called me. I got through pretty lucky, for it would have been much worse had I lost an arm or my eyes like many of the other poor fellows."

Eddie was according to most hearty welcome by his numerous friends here, and Mrs. Moshier entertained a number of his friends at her home on Sunday and Monday nights in his honor.

Mrs. Nath. Webb and "The Boys" Get Royal Greeting at Reception in Second Congregational Church (1919)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. February 14, 1919. Page 1.

 Mrs Nathaniel Webb and more than thirty soldiers and Marines, who have been in the service or at the call of the government, were the guests of honor at a "Welcome Home" reception, given in the memorial chapel of the Second Congregational Church on Tuesday evening. It was a patriotic occasion and was largely attended by the families of the boys and other members of the church. The chapel was attractively decorated with the National colors and the flags of the Allies.

Popular selections were played on the piano by Mrs. Frederick C. Studwell and Mr. Studwell opened the evening's program, and to the strains of "Keep the Home Fires Burning," Mrs. Webb and the boys were escorted by members of the Council from the parlors below to the chapel at 8:15. As Mrs. Webb, with Stuart Mead, of the U.S.N., followed by the soldiers and Marines entered the chapel, the audience rose to its feet and burst into loud and prolonged applause, which lasted until all had taken the seats reserved for them in the front ranks.

Following the singing of "America," Rev. Dr. Oliver Huckel, as presiding officer of the occasion made a few introductory remarks, telling Mrs. Webb and the boys are glad they were to have them all back again. He lauded them for the part they have played in the great war and told how those at home had "kept the home fires burning" during their absence by "doing their bit" to help America win the great war. Dr. Huckel then called upon Corporal Everett Schofield, as the first speaker of the evening.

The corporal told of an incident that occurred during the Argonne drive, when so many American soldiers were wounded. He said that these men, although suffering great pain, never murmured or complained and the thought came to him at the time that if the General and the people all over the world and have seen those men as he saw them, they would be able to realize that no country in the world could ____ a nation, whose soldiers had such "pep" and grit as the American "C_____ies."

Lieutenant George Hubbard, who sustained a broken leg, fractured skull and other injuries while in the flying corps, related some of his experience as an aviator, taking his audience with him from the time he enlisted, through the course of training, which had he had to undergo in order to become an experienced flyer. Landing, he explained, was the hardest part of flying. The best flyers he stated were under 21 years of age and he attributed this to the fact that these men were more daring than men of more advanced age.

While stationed with his Battalion at Camp Merritt, Lieutenant Pierpont Minor told how Mrs. Nathaniel Webb paid a visit to the camp one day and brought the men a number of sweaters. After they arrived oversees, the Major of the Battalion, speaking of Mrs. Webb's visit said, "She is certainly a wonderful woman." In speaking of the pluck of the American soldier, the Lieutenant Minor told of a British soldier who complained greatly in a hospital, where he had been taken, suffering from wounds. An American soldier who had also been wounded was brought in and placed on a cot beside him. This man he said showed much courage and never ordered a groan, although suffering much pain. It was a lesson to the British soldier, who changed to be patient and more courageous than he had been theretofore.

As secretary of the Church Council Walter M. Anderson said in part, "I think every member of the church feel that it is an honor to pay tribute to those who participated in this conflict. It is highly fitting that a tribute should emanate from the church at this time."

In mentioning Mrs. Webb as the last speaker selected, Dr. Huckel said that she had told him that she would rather die then say anything, so he would ask her to sing some of the songs she sang to the boys "Over There." Mrs. Webb, who prior to her enlistment in the Red Cross service was the soprano soloist of the church, sang in an excellent voice, "Dear Old Pal of Mine" and "The Long, Long Trail."

Mrs. Webb was followed by Henry Dayton, who delivered an eloquent address. "Welcome is lodged in every heart to greet you boys," said he, "many of whom have been on the firing line in the trenches and in No Man's Land. I personally am glad to greet everyone of you boys tonight. You wanted to go over on the firing line. You wanted to meet a certain Mr. Wilhelm Hun and excellent Mr. Hahn and Mr. Gott. The Red Cross, Salvation Army, Y.M.C.A., Hebrew Benevolent society and Knights of Columbus all have joined, hand-in-hand, in helping to win this war. Never before has this country been so committed. Religious creeds have been set aside and political creeds suspended.

The speeches were interspersed by a _____ rendered by Mrs. Studwell and Mr. Tilley, vocal solos by Mr. Tilley, Mr. Studwell and Mrs. ____, all members of the church choir.

Ice cream and cake were served at the close of the program.

Those included in the welcome home were Mrs. Nathaniel Webb, Lieutenant Pierpont L. Minor, Lieutenant George F. Hubbard, Bugler Everett H. Schofield, Corp. William Myles, Hobart R. Mead, Harry B. Libra, Sidney O. Thompson, Arthur W. Howard, Lieutenant William J. Crichton, Stuart A. Mead, Wm. A. Bridge, Ensign Paul B. Tubby, Ensign Wm. B. Tubby, Jr., Roger M. Judd, Lieutenant Nelson B. Mead, Jr., Douglas S. Mead, Thomas R. Waterbury, Harry S. Brundage, E. Howard Baker, Jr., Walter L. Eddy, Eric A. Erickson, Ensign Richard O. Mead, Harry Bunton, Joseph L. Crawford, Hervey M. Mead, E. Leighton Lent, Sylvester S. Mead, Lloyd T. Mead, Guy F. Pullem, Frederick Pray, L. Foster Day, J. Frederick Close, Frederick Abrams, Alfred James Chahmers, Lieut. Ralph Cameron, Dr. Stanley Knapp, Lester Reynolds. Of this list the last three were special guests, not formally on this honor roll, but brought up in this church and in service; several years detained by illness or were out of the town on business; but the large majority were present. Thirty-five out of the seventy-five names on the roll of honor of this church have returned, only three have died. As soon as another large group has returned, the church will give another similar reception.

Saunterings Around Town: A New York Correspondent... (1916)

Greenwich News and Graphic. Source: August 22, 1916.

A New York correspondent, who has been reading in the NEWS AND GRAPHIC of the development of the Higgins tract on Putnam avenue writes for information.

He wants to know if this land was not owned forty years ago by the late Solomon Mead who used it as a farm before it was sold to Frank Shepard, Francis Tomes and finally Mr. A. Foster Higgins.

The undulating territory north of Putnam avenue, including the Higgins property and the land occupied by numerous houses along Maple avenue and lower North Street, is suggestive of pre-Revolutionary days. The land records furnish the strongest incentive to a play of the imagination, but so many actual facts are resent that it is unnecessary to call upon the imagination to embellish an interesting story.

Here was the "Main Country road," the Putnam avenue of to-day. The little white wooden country church occupied a position near the present stone church.

The Putnam Cottage, then without the stone ell was the Tavern of Israel Knapp.

To the west and north were the farm houses of James Mead, who died in 1783 and of Samuel Seymour, who was born in 1730 and lived to realize the results of two wars, departing this life, at re old homestead in 1818.

Long after the cessation of hostilities the Knapp tavern was a popular stopping place.

Two generations of the same name-Israel Knapp- were in control. Daniel Merritt Mead in his history of the town, published in 1857 but long since out of print states that the members of this family were "the most inveterate Tories" and then he goes on to tell the story of the tragic death of the son of the first Israel-Timothy-to whom his father bequeathed twenty-five pounds sterling but the unfortunate Timothy died before his father and the legacy then considered a large sum went to his three sisters.

The impulse is to omit the details of Timothy Knapp and yet, possibly as true facts are unwound they may come out.

But before they are reached it is pleasant to contemplate those old sweepback farm houses, on the hill occupied by James Mead and Dr. Amos Mead, the latter being active on the committee of safety during the revolution and finding it convenient to "retire into the country for the whole winter" as Major Mead, the historian writes: Territory of more than one hundred and fifty acres, north of the country road with the exception of a small piece, known as the rock lot, was under cultivation. The two houses backed up against the superb view of the land and water and what little might have been seen from the kitchen windows was shut out by thrifty apple orchards or an imposing array of barns. In those days little regard was had for a view.

The settlement was decidedly think and when we read that Dr. Amos Mead had to go back "into the country," for safety from the enemy, it was fair to assume that Stanwich, Banksville and Round Hill were then a hovering wilderness.

The little triangle where the soldier's monument stands was for many years the center of the town's activities. before and during the Revolution it was he site of the village Smithy's shop. Here the oxen and horses were shod and artistic door hinges and latches were made for the carpenter and joiner. Possibly when the first meeting house for the Second Congregational church society was built, about 1705 that building was used for town meetings as was usually done throughout New England. The church members were the voters and the voters had to be church members in order to hold office.

Although the town records were kept at Cos Cob, this diminutive triangle, now called "Monument Park" was the center of activities in the west society.

The column is filled and yet the purpose with which it was begun has been sidetracked. It s so easy to ramble among the facts of other days, because there are so many of them that are interesting and some of them are instructive. And therefore the New York correspondent met wait t hear about the little farm of thirty-eight acres, which Solomon Mead's mother bought in 1823. He died eighteen years ago and most of his contemporaries have disappeared from view.

But Solomon Mead will always have a place in local history, as a man of honor, integrity and good judgment, and the only native of Greenwich who started with nothing, remained here all his life and left a million.


Saunterings Around Town: Solomon Mead (1916)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. August 22, 1916. Page 4.

Solomon Mead when asked his occupation stated that he was a farmer. His ninety years of life in Greenwich indicate that his outdoor occupations and his love for nature of which he was so observant were conducive to a long life; while his accumulations of a million dollars, indicates that he was a careful, shrewd financier. He was only fifteen years old when his mother, Hannah Mead, whose praises he was always sounding, bought of Ruben Holmes-the farmer, shoemaker, school teacher-, thirty-two acres of the tract under discussion last week. This parcel included land now owned by the Parmalee J. McFadden estate and the site of the old Titus Mead homestead where Timothy Knapp met his tragic death.

Hannah Mead was the widow of Joshua Mead who died early in life and Solomon was Hannah's only child. While the son was always unstinted in the praises of his mother we have reason to assume that she had an equal admiration for her only child.

It was here that Solomon learned to be a farmer and as his wisdom increased with his years he studied and worked and observed, becoming finally one of the most intelligent and well read of our local farmers.

He had the trait also of accretion and long after his mother's death he was adding to the little farm. He made many improvements upon the property. The blind ditches he laid for drainage purposes still remain to attest his skillful, scientific handling of the property.

Finally the Solomon Mead possession extended south to the Post road and west to Maple avenue.

Forty years ago Francis Tomes and Frank Shepard appear as buyers and Mr. Mead began to realize the difference between buying low and selling high.

And yet the prices he obtained were insignificant compared with the price which the new real estate company is said to have paid.

At the time Mr. Mead disposed of his holdings there was an old potato cellar located on what is now the rear of Dr. Hyde's property.

Potatoes being the principal and profitable crop of the farmers a century ago, no farm was without a storage place. The old cellar was built so many years ago that it was probably the work of Samuel Seymour, when he owned and cultivated the entire tract, as well as land on the west side of Maple avenue.

But the memory of the old potato cellar is bound to recur to every Academy scholar who in those bygone days imagined that it was a robbers cave and gathered there with his playmates while scheming for mischief.

Probably in the entire career of Solomon Mead nothing interested him more than the construction of the stone house on Maple avenue still in possession of members of his family. 

The old farm house from which every field of the one hundred and fifty acres was visible stood just inside the south entrance of the main house. Possibly Henry Bush built it for in the spring of 1755 he sold it to Samuel Seymour and it remained in the family till 1830 when Solomon Mead bought it with eight acres of land.

This included the two acres, now the cemetery near the church, where lie the remains of Solomon Mead. 

The old Seymour farmhouse was a fine example of the Connecticut houses built between 1675 and 1700.

When the Saunterer first saw it, it had a comfortable "sit down" appearance characteristic of all the old gray shingle, low-studdd sweep backs of that period of construction.

Near its north end was the well house in which an empty bucket hung over the curb.

Under its small front windows, that looked out from the porchless house, bunches of phlox and marigold nodded in the summer breeze. It was overshadowed by the great stone house, then just completed and it was only a short time after that the family moved into the new house and the old one disappeared. 


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Silas E. Mead Died At His Home Wednesday Last (1916)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. Friday, August 26, 1916. Page 1.

End Came After Extended Illness in His 73rd Year-A Prominent Citizen

A complication of diseases, the result of old age, caused the death on Wednesday afternoon of Silas E. Mead at his home, 124 Putnam avenue, in he 73rd year of his age. The death of Mr. Mead removes from the community one of its best known and most prominent citizens, one who was born and lived here practically his entire life and a man who has held many positions of public trust.

While those intimate with Mr. Mead have realized for some time that his health was such that recovery was unlikely, the news of his death came as a shock to his many acquaintances. Mr. Mead had a wide acquaintance in Greenwich and he was loved and respected for his upright and honorable administration of affairs, both in his private life and while a servant of the public in positions of trust which he held during his long and useful career. He knew Greenwich, as few men have known it, and when he became reminiscent many interesting bits of early local history ere enjoyed by those who were fortunate in hearing him.

He is survived by a widow, and a brother, Ezekiel Mead of Greenwich, and one daughter, Mrs. George Feltus, of Elmwood, L.I.

Silas E. Mead was born on March 15, 1844, in the old Clapboard Ridge school district and he received a common school education during the early years of his life. A son of Silas D. Mead and Althea Close he was a descendant of one of the oldest families in the country, the Mead's having been among the original colonists. Later, Mr. Mead received a course of training at North Greenwich Academy after which he lived as a farmer until August 14, 1862, when he enlisted in the First Connecticut regiment, 10th Co. C.V.I. in the Civil war.

Silas E. Mead's home, Clover Farm, John Street Greenwich. 
He served with honor and credit throughout the war and saw much active service during the campaigns of that struggle. He was honorably discharged at Richmond, Va., on June 20, 1865, and returned to his home in Greenwich. He married Miss Cornelia Wilcox on September 12, 1867, and lived on Round Hill at his father's estate for many years.

He was a deacon in the North Greenwich Congregational church and an active member all his life. He served on the Greenwich school committee for years and also on the board of assessors and board of burgesses.

The funeral will be held form his late home Saturday at 3 P.M. and Rev. Levi Rogers will officiate. Internment will be at Putnam cemetery. [Note: Internment was held in the cemetery adjacent to the Second Congregational Church, not Putnam Cemetery). 

E. Belcher Mead Estate Valued at $240,000 (1916)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. December 29, 1916. Page 1.

Will Names Widow as Chief Beneficiary-Children Also Provided For

The will of the late E. Belcher Mead, one time representative to the state legislature, who recently died while on a pleasure trip to Havana, Cuba, has been admitted to probate by Judge Stephen Radford. According to the petition filed the deceased left real setae valued at $40,000 and personal property to the value of $200,000. The widow is the chief beneficiary under the provisions of the will.

A sister, Elizabeth H. Mead, will receive $2,000 and a brother, Abram Mead, will receive a life amount. Another brother, Elkanah Mead, will receive $5,000.

The widow is named as executrix in the will to serve without bond. She is directed to deposit $100 in the Greenwich Trust Co., the income from which will be used for the upkeep of the burial plot of the family.

Twenty-five thousand dollars is to be held in trust for the support, education and enjoyment of each of the two children of th deceased, E. Maud Mead, thirteen, and Bradford B. Mead, ten. The income from the funds will be used for the purpose mentioned above and when the beneficiaries attain the age of thirty they will receive the trust fund.

The remainder of the estate is left to Mrs. Mead, widow of the deceased. Judge F.A. Hubbard, a close friend of the deceased, and who was with him when he died, is named as attorney for the estate in the will. The will was drawn November 22, 1916, a few days before Mr. Mead left on his southern cruise and it was witnessed by Bessie S. Sims, W.S. Boswell and D.W. Wood. 

Senator James R. Mead Unanimously Renominated (1916)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. Friday, October 13, 1916. Page 1

The Republican Senatorial convention for the twenty-seventh district was held at Town Hall on Tuesday, and Senator James R. Mead, of Greenwich, was unanimously renominated as a candidate for the office. The name of Judge Mead was placed in nomination by Judge Charles Cameron who reviewed the record of the nominee and urged his denomination as an able and trustworthy representative of the district.

A.A. Steele of Stamford was chosen chairman of the convention. Attorney David Brelley, from Stamford, seconded the nomination of Judge Mead. There was no other candidate.

When the convention was over the delegates assembled at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club, where dinner was served.

Senator Mead is a prominent attorney of this town and was born and has always lived in Greenwich. He has been identified with the interests of Greenwich for many years, having served as town clerk for seventeen years. He was a member of the General Assembly in 1903, being chairman of the insurance committee and also a member of the once famous committee appointed to divide the congressional and senatorial districts. Mr. Mead was judge of the Borough Court from 1899 to 1901; assistant prosecuting attorney for about ten years; warden of the borough for two terms, member of the board of burgesses for ten years, and is the present judge of the Borough Court. Aside from the political honors bestowed upon Judge Mead, he is president of the Putnam Cemetery Association, vice-president of the New C____ Water Company, and was vice-president of the Mianus Manufacturing Company for many years. Being a large real estate owner in Greenwich, Mr. Mead has always been deeply interested in the welfare of the town and ____  highly honored and respected by all who know him. Two years ago he was elected senator from this senatorial district, and his work during the last session of the General Assembly was highly satisfactory to his constituency. The NEWS AND GRAPHIC predicts that Senator Mead will be re-elected  to represent this district by a larger majority than he received two years ago. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

E. Belcher Mead Stricken At Sea Dies in Havana (1916)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. December 12, 1916. Page 1.

Death Follows Attack of Pneumonia While on Voyage to the Tropics

Cable dispatches from Havana, Cuba, on Saturday, brought news of the death of E. Belcher Mead, former representative to the legislature and a prominent and wealthy Greenwich resident, which occurred there early on that day. Mr. Mead with Judge Fred A. Hubbard was on a pleasure trip to the Indies when he was stricken with with an attack of pneumonia and his condition grew steadily worse after he was taken to a hospital at Havana where death occurred early Saturday. He was in his 67th year.

News of the death of Mr. Mead came as a great shock to the entire community as he was apparently enjoying his usual good health when he departed on the southern cruise about a week ago. He is believed to have suffered from a cold while aboard the ship enroute from New York to Havana and the ailment developed into an acute attack of pneumonia which owing to his advanced age and resultant weekend condition, caused death quickly.

The remains are being brought to Greenwich by Judge Hubbard and it is expected that they will arrive sometime tomorrow. The uncertainty as to the arrival has made impossible definite arrangements for the funeral to be made.

Mr. Mead was a descendent of one of the oldest families in this section, his ancestors have them come to this country early in the sixteenth century. He was a son of Captain Elkanah Mead and Jane Mead and one of eight children. Two brothers, Elkanah and Abram, and one sister, Elizabeth Mead, survive him besides a widow and two children, a son and daughter.

Mr. Mead was born in Greenwich and was a lifelong resident of the town. When still a young man he became identified with the Standard Oil Company and in later years he was one of the really successful men in the oil business. He retired from active service a few years ago.

While Mr. Mead was always a public spirited citizen and deeply interested in the affairs of Greenwich he refused to hold public office until 1914 when he accepted the nomination as candidate on the Republican ticket for the legislature and he was elected. He refused a renomination and served only one term. He was recently elected a director of the Greenwich National Bank to succeed the late Willis H. Wilcox.

Mr. Mead was for years a member of the Second Congregational Church and he served faithfully as a worker in the ranks of the congregation.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Greta Garbo and the Lyman Mead House, Cos Cob

Several years ago an article was published about the Lyman Mead House in Cos Cob. The house was on the market at the time. It has since been sold and remains as-is near the Cos Cob Railroad Station.  
An excerpt of this article featured this interesting history. The house was at one time owned by Joseph Buhler -Greta Garbo's attorney. According to the piece she was a guest here: 

Upstairs is a bedroom that was used as guest quarters for Greta Garbo, the famed Swedish actress, when visiting her attorney, Joseph Buhler, who owned the house from 1921 to 1950. Buhler, a senior partner in the firm Buhler, King and Buhler in Manhattan, was also the attorney and friend of other theatrical lights of the era — actor H.B. Warner and Jack Whiting, a song-and-dance man, among them.

In World War I, Buhler was a captain in military intelligence and founded the Men from the Front Section of the Committee on Public Information. Before World War II, he organized the Wake Up Committee to alert the public to the dangers of the military plans of the Axis powers. 

He received citations from U.S. presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt and was decorated by England in 1947 for distinguished service in the cause of freedom, according to The Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich.

Judge Mead Dines With Cities and Boroughs Committee

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. September 15, 1916.

James R. Mead of Greenwich.

Judge Mead Will Again Be Choice For Senate (1916)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. September 1, 1916. Page 6.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Miss Mead Returns: Had Served Three Months in Devastated France (1919)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. Friday, June 6, 1919. Page 1.

Miss Belle Mead returned aboard the steamship Canada on Monday, after serving ten months as representative for Mount Holyoke college in reconstruction work in France and also engaged in work with the Society of Quakers at Verdun and the devastated regions of France. While on her way overseas, an attempt was made by German submarines to blow up the steamship Campania, upon which Miss Mead was a passenger, but without success. The was practically the last effort on the part of the Huns on the seas.

Miss Mead, who is the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Mead is now stopping in Greenwich. 

Will of Emma F. Mead Probated (1916)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. Friday, June 4, 1916. Page 1.

Deceased Bequeathes Estate Estmated at $3,600 to Sister, Sarah Mead Mead

The will of Emma F., daughter of the late Lyman Mead, has been admitted to the Greenwich Probate Court. The petition shows that the deceased left an estimate sum of $3,500 or which $3,000 is in Greenwich real estate, the other $500 being in personal property.

Sarah M. Mead, a sister of the deceased, is named as executrix of the will and is also the sole beneficiary. 

Burglars Enter Mead Stationary Store Sunday/Police Find Good Taken From Mead's Store Here (1916)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. October 17, 1916. Page 1.

Several Kodaks and 300 Fountain Pens Taken By "Key Workers"

A burglary which the police believe is the work of youthful outlaws, was reported on Monday morning when employees ofnthe Mead Stationery Store discovered that about three hundred fountain pens and a number of kodaks were missing. A thorough search of the premises failed to reveal any windows by which an entrance may have been gained and the olive are of the opinion that thieves entered the store by means of a key to one of the doors.

The fountain pens were taken from a large stock which is carried at the Mead store and some of them are valuable. The kodaks are first-class machines and are expensive photographic equipment.

The police are working on the case and have a clue which may lead to arrests before the end of the week.

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. October 20, 1916. Page 1.

The police have succeeded in recovering all of the loot that was taken from the Mead Stationery store on Saturday or Sunday night, and it is probable that the thief will be arrested in a few days. An anonymous telephone message lead the police to take up the search in the right direction, and true fountain pens and kodaks have been returned to their owners.

The original opinion of the police that the burglary was the work of an amateur key worker seems to have been correct, according to reports. It is believed someone who was familiar with the store obtained a key and made the entry in a bold manner, probably some time Sunday night.

Chief Talbot declined to say where the loot was found, but intimated that some interesting disclosures may be looked for in the early future. 

Judge Mead Would Jail Speeders/Judge Mead Threatens Jail Sentences (1916)

Source: Greenwich News and Graphic. Tuesday, August 15, 1916 Page 1

After fining William Hardwick of Stamford $10 and costs for speeding, when he was arraigned in Borough Court Saturday morning, Judge Mead threatened to impose jail sentences upon offenders who came before him on similar charges in the future. 

James R. Mead of Greenwich. 

The practice of speeding on the Post road in Greenwich is becoming too common, in the opinion of the court, and nothing will be left undone to insure the safety of the public. 

Hardwick was arrested last week by State Officer McMurty while burning up the Post Road near Cos Cob. 

Judge Mead, of the Borough Court, threatens to impose jail sentences on speed maniacs. This will be good news to the careful driving public. There are altogether too many accidents on the Post Road. A fine of $10 or $25 does not seem to deter those who delight in burning up the highways. A few six month sentences behind prison bars might cause others to travel at a moderate rate. Some drivers seem to think that they own the highways, and that those who obey traffic regulations have no business on the public thoroughfares. Judge Mead would be safeguarding the public by imposing jail sentences on those who are brought before him on charges of speeding. 

James R. Mead of Greenwich.