Welcome to our news and history blog!

Welcome to our news and history blog!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Obituary: Deacon Obadiah Mead (1878)

Source: Greenwich Observer. February 28, 1878.

Deacon Obadiah Mead who died at his residence in North Greenwich Feb. 20th, was the oldest person in town, being nearly 93 years of age. He is the last of the large family most of whom lived to an advanced age. Deacon Mead was a man of remarkable power of body and mind and he had never known a day's until his last sickness -his erect form and intelligent conversation would have done credit to a younger man and he totaled his remarkable memory till the last. There are few men who have so great knowledge of Scripture as he. He was very apt in his quotations and if asked where to find a certain passage could usually tell the chapter and verse and would repeat the connection, and his life showed his knowledge to be practical. No hurry of business caused him ___________ the family altar. Never did he __________ sanctuary when it was possible ______ be there. During his illness he _______ facing was borne with the most __________ patience, and he always had _______ thanks for every act of kindness ______. His funeral was attended by a ______ course of people. The services ______ -ducted by the Rev. Mr. Winter ________ fitting tribute to one so greatly ___________ respected. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Greenwich Pupil is Prize Winner (1930)

Source: The Greenwich Press. May 8, 1930. Page 14

Aubrey Mead, of Greenwich High school, and Elizabeth G. Block, of Bulkeley High school, Hartford, were among the Connecticut state prize winners in the list of 400 selected from more than 30,000 student entries by the judges in the National High School Awards, 40 South Third Street, Columbus, Ohio. This annual scholarship contest brings together the best short stories, essays, poems, articles and plays written by students in High schools throughout the country. The Greenwich and Hartford pupils have submitted the best one-act plays.

The other Connecticut state prizes were awarded to Rachel Mittlestein, Commercial High School, New Haven, for the best short story; to Minter Somersville, Miss Porter's School, Manchester, for the best poetry; to Elizabeth Hendee Rice, Oxford High School, Hartford, for the best book review; to Clayton Hansen, High school, Manchester, for the best sports story.

The three national prizes for the short stories were won by Frances LaPorte, St. John's Cathedral High, Fresno, Calif.; John Moomaw, Central High School, South Bend, Ind.; Constance Olsen, High School, Stoughton, Wis. 

In the essay group first prize was awarded to Sophie Fox, High School, Webster Grove, Mo.; second prize, to Ferne Quillen, High School, Pontiac, Mich.; third prize, to Andrew Hilen, Garfield High school, Seattle, Wash. 

In the field of poetry the national prize winners included Margaret Demorest, Scott High School, Toledo, Ohio; Dorothy Price, Central High school, Tulsa, Okla.; and Elizabeth Snell, High school, Oak Park, Ill. 

The contests were jointly sponsored by a group of leading standard magazines. The jury of awards included the editors and representatives of the Atlantic Monthly, Bookman, Current Literature, Forum, Harper's, Ladies Home Journal, Saturday Review of Literature, Scribner's, World's Work, World News and Elsie Singamaster, Sterling A. Leonard, Max J. Herzberg, Elias Liberman and Karl S. Bolander, Diretcor Columbus Gallery of Fine Art.

In announcing the awards, Harrison M. Sayre, Director of the National High School Awards, stated, "This contest clearly shows that our schools are developing creative minds. The quality of the works submitted speaks volumes of the high type of training given in both private and public schools. Our congratulations go to the winners. Our honest complements to the many contestants whose work fell short of winning a prize. It should be a consolation to know by how narrow margin some of the winners excelled losers. The nation-wide endorsement given to this scholarship contest has been so enthusiastic that I am glad to announce that the National High School Awards will be continued next year."

In addition to the cash prize to each winner, handsome loving cups will be presented to the schools attended by the first and second prize winners in each contest.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Captan Matthew Mead Branch, Sons of the American Revolution (1930)

Source: The Greenwich Press. Thursday, May 8, 1930. Page 10.

Captain Matthew Mead Branch, No. 11, Sons of the American Revolution, has been organized in Greenwich at a meeting of nearly 20 eligible members. Th Sons of the American Revolution is a companion organization to the Daughters of the American Revolution, of which there is a strong chapter in Greenwich, although there is no actual affiliation between the two.

Captain Mead was one of the most important figures in the early history of Greenwich, of which he was a lifelong resident, born in 1734 and dying in 1812 at the age of 78 years. He married Miss Mary Bush in 1759, and to them were born 12 children.

Even before the Revolution started, he was active in military affairs. On May 13, 1773, we find him commissioned captain of a new company, or "train band," as it was called. With the outbreak of the war he was made captain of the 13th Company, Ninth Regiment, Connecticut Militia, commanded by his brother, Lieut. Col. John Mead, whose date of marching was August 13, 1776. He was discharged on September 23, 1777, and on December 19, 1778, was made a member of the committee of safety.

It is indeed fitting that his name should be perpetuated thus by the Sons of the American Revolution in Greenwich. The D.A.R. is an organization that has long played an important part in the life of the community, and there is every indication that the new organization will play and equally important role. It certainly will not lack historic background.

Willis T. Mead Will Revoked (1930)

Source: The Greenwich Press. Thursday, May 8, 1930. Page 2.

The will of the late Willis T. Mead, who died on March 4, 1930, at the age of 71 years, has been revoked by Judge Steven L. Radford because since the date of the will, Dec. 18, 1878 the deceased married and had three children. The estate is therefore declared intestate, and S. Warren Mead, a brother, has been named administrator. 

The will left all of the real and personal estate of the deceased to Alice Acker, daughter of Abrahim Acker, of Greenwich. Julian B. Curtiss was named as executor, Mr. Mead's wife died several years ago. He leaves three children, Adele Kendrick, of Miami, Florida; Truman Mead, of Mount Vernon New York and Harold Mead, of Flushing, L. I. The petition filed with the will sets forth that the personal estate does not exceed $300.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sorrows of a Mother: Mrs. Trumpy's Long Fight for Possession of Her Boy. A Sad History.


*I wish to express my appreciation to Teresa Vega for bringing this story to my attention. 
Jeffrey Bingham Mead

The Lennox House, at Greenwich, Conn., was occupied yesterday afternoon by Judge Elisha Carpenter, of Hartford, in hearing the Trumpy divorce case, which has been in the Connecticut courts since 1874. The following is a brief history of the case: –

In August, 1869, Benjamin F. Trumpy married Mary, the daughter of Mr. Sanford Mead, a well-to-do farmer of Greenwich. The couple were united in the last named place, but soon after the ceremony came to the city. From here they returned to Greenwich. In 1874 the wife left the husband on the ground of great and long continued cruelty. Acts of cruelty were particularly charged to have been committed two weeks previous to the birth of their youngest child. There had been for children, two of them twins, who died, and two others – Sanford and Benjamin F., Jr.   Colonel H. W. R. Hoyt, counsel for Mrs. Trumpy, in the fall of 1874 filed a petition for absolute divorce. Mrs. Trumpy had possession of her two children, but shortly after Christmas Day Trumpy, with his brother-in-law, H. R. Bailey, and others, forced a way into the house of Alexander Mead, Mrs. Trumpy's brother, and took away Benjamin F., Jr., the elder boy. In 1875 the case was tried in Bridgeport. Mrs. Trumpy charged her husband with habitual drunkeness and intolerable cruelty. He made a simple denial. The case was dismissed. In the summer of the same year Colonel Hoyt and George H. Watross, of Norwalk, filed a second petition with the old charges and an additional one of adultery. State Attorney Olmstead, of Norwalk, was thereupon retained by Trumpy. On the 23rd of May, 1877, the case came up before Judge Carpenter, in Greenwich. Mrs. Trumpy was the first witness called. She testified to her husband's intoxication, acts of cruelty and brutal treatment during the first part of their married life; she said he broke his promise not to drink although that promise had gained her hand. He was even intoxicated during their bridal trip. When one of the twins was dead, and before the other had died, he wrote an obituary notice of both for the newspapers, and said it was a good advertisement for his business. On the return to Greenwich Trumpy was given a grocery store by her father. When Mr. Mead died, soon after, and left her $7,000 dollars, her husband was displeased because she loaned it to her brother on a mortgage security. He threatened to shoot her or himself two weeks before their youngest child was born. Judge Carpenter urged upon both sides the wisdom of reconciliation, on account of the children. Mrs. Trumpy did not press the charges, and he consented to have an absolute divorce granted her. He was to have the oldest child, who, however, was to remain with his mother one third of the year. The youngest was to be entirely under the control of the mother.

The decree was passed in June, 1877. Mrs. Trumpy went to the house of Mr. Bailey, her husband's brother-in-law, and asked the promised possession of the elder boy. Benjamin F., Jr. She was repulsed with insults. For three years he had not been with his mother, and she had only seen him once in a while during all that time. When he was taken sick his mother was kept in ignorance of the fact. Between 29th of June, and 20th of September, 1877, she visited Bailey's house about twenty or thirty times to get possession of her child, but each time was met with rebukes and sneers. At the same time Trumpy had free access to the younger boy, Sanford, who was with his mother at the house of her brother, Alexander Mead. The last effort made by Mrs. Trumpy to see her oldest boy was on the 20th of September. She was then told by her husband, it is said, that there was no use of her coming to the house as she couldn't have her child, anyway. On the 27th of September, 1877, Colonel Hoyt filed a petition in the Superior Court, which alleged the insults and reproaches heaped upon the wife and asked the court to change the order so that the mother could have custody of both of the children. On the 19th of September, 1877, and habeas corpus was filed and a writ asking the custody of Benjamin F. Trumpy, Jr. The matter rested and court for a few days, during upon which a hearing was held, and then Trumpy filed a counter petition and application for the other child.

In January, 1878, Judge S. B. Beardsley, before whom the case was called, referred the matter to Elisha Carpenter, who is judge of the Supreme Court of Errors, to hear and report all the facts. The first hearing was had at the 3d and 4th of February last, at the Lennox House, in Greenwich. It was adjourned on 12th of June, and also on the 13th and 14th. The testimony showed the treatment received by Mrs. Trumpy and the unfitness of Mr. Trumpy to take charge of the children, as shown by his violence of temper and cruelty to his wife and children. On the last day two witnesses testified that Trumpy had committed adultery with a mulatto woman in his employ. The witnesses were Alexander Mead and the woman herself, Fanny Green.

Alexander Mead testified that on the 4th July, 1873, he came home late; there had been company; Trumpy was not at home; he heard the thumping of a key on the outside door; Fanny opened the door and walked away; Trumpy followed her into the dining room; there witness heard Fanny exclaim, "Let me go – let me go, or I will call Mr. Mead;" witness took off his shoes and went downstairs; he heard Trumpy exclaimed, "Make less noise, I hear someone walking;" witness wished to tell this in the first divorce case, but was not permitted to do so; he never said anything to the principals as to his knowledge of the adultery; he was positive that adultery have been committed.

Fanny Green testified that her name had been Spears but that she had married and lived in Hangroot; she lived in Mead's family in 1873; lived there for one year and nine months; she remembered Trumpy meeting her one night in the dining room, and it was after 11 o'clock on the 4th of July; she let the gardener him and was returning when met by Trumpy, put his arms about her; she started for the kitchen door, but was pulled back by him; she told him to let her go; he cautioned her to keep still and not make so much noise; he said he wouldn't let her go; she replied that she would call Mr. Mead; she told him to go up to his wife; he accomplished his purpose, and she told him she'd tell his wife next morning; he asked her not to; he was under the influence of liquor.

The case was that adjourned until yesterday. A twelve o'clock Alexander Mead and Fanny Green, the colored women, were cross-examined. They told the same story as above related, with a few fuller explanations. They did not vary from their first statement. The mulatto is under thirty-five years of age. She is neat looking, and was quite an attractive looking girl when at Mead's. She came here from the South. She swore yesterday the Trumpy was the first man she ever was criminally intimate with. She is married to a hard-working colored man.

Thomas G. Ritch, a New York lawyer, by consent of counsel, testified to the exemplary character of Trumpy; witness had seen him attending church in Stamford for a period of two years.

Joseph B. Hustead testified to driving up one night from the village with Trumpy, who was intoxicated, and talked about his (Trumpy's) children; he told witness that they were sick and that if they were going to die he didn't see why they were not permitted to die; that if plots were needed this is trumpet could go up and cultivate some kittens that were in the stable. Abraham Henderson testified to getting intoxicated quite often with Trumpy. Colonel Hoyt closes his case today.