|Solomon Stoddard Mead|
A HISTORY OF THE HYDE BRANCH READ BY ONE OF THE DESCENDANTS
On October 8, the old Mead Homestead, on Quaker Ridge, now the property of Mr. Solomon S. Mead, was the scene of a very interesting family reunion. In a family as large as this one, it would be well-nigh impossible to have all the members present at the same time, so on this occasion only the Hyde branch was there.
After full justice has been done to a most satisfactory luncheon, Dr. Frederick E. Hyde read an interesting paper, suitable to the occasion, from which the following facts are collected:
The founder of the family in this country, John Mead, emigrated from Greenwich, England, about 1630. He settled in Massachusetts, and some years later, with his two sons, John and Joseph, moved into the western part of Connecticut. Joseph died unmarried, leaving John to become the progenitor of all of the name of Mead in this is vicinity, from whence they have spread to all parts of the United States.
|The Benjamin Mead House, circa 1728. Photo taken in 2017.|
In the first dwelling there was born to Benjamin the purchaser, a second Benjamin, whose children were one son and four daughters, viz., Obadiah, Mary, Theodosia, Anna and Phoebe, all probably born in the old house.
During the Revolutionary War, when the Cowboys and the Tories, who were neighbors for and against the war, had their encounters, and when the British were continually making raids upon the farms and their ships in the Sound, a raid was made a calm this place a raid was made upon this place. The son, Obadiah, hid himself on a neighbor's barn, standing just south of the southeast orchard. Some one of the Tory neighbors, knowing the fact, informed the red-coats who surrounded the barn, threatening to set fire to it and to smoke him out. To escape their clutches, he ran from the barn across the orchard to jump down the rocks to "Dyspepsia Lane." He was followed, however, by the soldiers. Seeing the impossibility of escaping, surrendered. He was then at once shot, the ball passing through his left arm and entering his side, killing him instantly. The coat he wore, showing the bullet holes, which has been so carefully preserved all these years, was inspected by all the company present.
After killing the only son, the miscreants entered the house, demanding of the mother to know where her husband was hidden, as they wanted to do the same to him. They then cut the hopples from the horse that was grazing near by, killing all the geese, and went off, taking horse and geese with them.
The daughter, Theodosia, was married to Edmund Mead of Stanwich, their children were Solomon, Benjamin, Sarah, Obadiah, Ralph, Staats, Polly and Brockholst.
The Obadiah Mead who was shot by the British was a young man and engaged to be married to Charity Mead. His father Benjamin, having now no son, adopted his grandson Obadiah, the son of Edmund and Theodosia of Stanwich, then under 8 years of age, and who was brought to live with the grandparents in the old house down at the corner.
Theodosia's husband, Edmund, desiring to seek his fortune, left home to go west, and was never afterward heard from. Thereupon her father, Benjamin, brought her and all the rest of her children from Stanwich to the old house at the corner.
Of the children of Edmond and Theodosia, Obadiah, the third son, inherited the old farm and his son, Solomon S. Mead, is the present owner. The fourth son, Ralph, had a daughter, Elizabeth, who married Edwin Hyde, and their children, grandchildren and great grandchild were present at this gathering.
When the father of Mr. Solomon S Mead, familiarly known as "Deacon Obadiah" was eight years of age the present house was built; this was in 1793. He enjoyed riding the horse that was his.
The eldest, Mr. Edwin Hyde, in his 84th year, and the youngest, his great grandchild, Ralph Underhill Hyde, in his second year, the son and grandson of a Ralph Mead Hyde.
The party left the old farm about four o'clock and drove down to Port Chester, where they dispersed to their several homes, after spending a most enjoyable day in visiting the many places associated with the happy hours of their childhood, and talking over the many experiences of past years.
ARTHUR P. STANLEY HYDE