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Welcome to our news and history blog!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Obituary: Dr. Sylvester Mead (1894)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. December, 1894.

Almost everybody in Greenwich knew Dr. Sylvester Mead, and his death, which occurred on Friday morning at 1 o'clock, will occasion many expressions of friendly feeling and deep regard, showing the estimation in which he was held in this community. He died "in the harness," and was in his eighty-eighth year.

He was born in Greenwich, February 16, 1807, and was the son of the Rev. Mark Mead, a Congregational minister. He fitted to enter Yale College, and he was graduated from the Yale Medical School in 1829, being at the time of his death the oldest living graduate of that department of Yale College.

He first located in Wilton, Conn., and for many years was the leading physician of that town and the surrounding country. He came to Greenwich in 1864, where he resided and practiced medicine until his death.

His patients in the town were many. He was ready at all times to respond to the call of suffering; the compensation was an afterthought with him, and many, many, are the visits he made to the sick bedside, of which he made no memorandum on his books, his only compensation being that feeling which comes from a duty performed and in the doing of an act of kindness.

He had been in active practice for sixty-five years, thirty in this town, a long life of useful service to his fellow men.

In connection with his profession he was the proprietor of a drug store, and bought out Dr. Aicken who established the first business of this kind in Greenwich, and for a long time Dr. Mead's drug store was the only one in town.

Dr. Mead was unmarried and had resided on Lafayette Place for many years. He was a man of very kind disposition, who attended strictly to his profession, whose word was as good as his bond, and he was respected and held in high esteem by his many patients and friends. 

Funeral services will be held at his late residence, on Monday morning at 11 o'clock. 

*Note: Interred in Union Cemetery, Second Congregational Church of Greenwich, Milbank Avenue. 

Monday, December 30, 2019


Photo Courtesy: Greenwich Library

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, January 3, 1903. Page 1, Column 6.

Ten Acres is flocked with skaters. Merrily the skates clink as someone goes whizzing past. The bright steel glimmers in the afternoon sunlight. 

It is New Year's Day, and five hundred souls are merry as they softly fly over the icy surface. Hardly a safe on the pond which is not dotted with skaters.  The old winter sport is on. Everyone is enjoying it to the utmost. 

Here and there will be seen a trio coming along in a row. Swiftly a single flyer dashes past. There a couple with hands clasped come gracefully up, pausing for a moment to make a turn, then gliding away to some other part of the pond. In and out among these go the skaters in another direction. 

Not a moment is lost. It is a grand panorama. 

The eye first feasts itself upon one happy group and then another as each goes by. The bright coats of the ladies catch the eye. Now it is red, now blue. Sweaters are much in evidence. 

Here comes a hite one, and the graceful outline of the girl's figure is seen for a moment. Next comes a red, and from another direction one of brown. The variation bring rest to the eye. 

Bright hats are everywhere to be seen. Jauntily they sit upon the heads of the fair wearers. How well the colors harmonize. What a picture for an artist to paint! The rosy color of the fair one's cheek is heightened by the exhilarating exercise. 

Here comes a couple! It is worth while to watch them a moment. See how their blades move together; the same ray of light strikes one and the other. The flash comes together. The man's strength tells in that stride, but his fair partner is no hindrance. Away they go with a short glide and then to a catch-step which sends them away out to the side. Off they go again on the other tack. 

Now a single skater goes sailing by with hands clasped behind his back. 

Off at a distance some of the more inexperienced skaters are hovering about the shore, skating back and forth in the hope that no one will notice their poorer efforts. 

In the enclosure at the lower part of the pond two teams are playing the king of ice games-hockey. They are very much in earnest, as their shouts of "Here it is!" "Pass it here!" and other terms familiar to the sport would prove. 

Here and there on other parts of the pond a match game is on and the same earnest spirit is shown. Now and then someone gets a fall, but quickly rising is away again.

Occasionally a skate comes off, and the disgusted skater wanders to some secluded spot to put it on again.

A fancy skater is doing his "stunts," and an interested group looks on. Then the group breaks up. 

Everyone goes where fancy leads him. The bank of earth which crosses the northern side of the pond is covered with weary ones in groups or alone. No one stays there longer than is necessary for rest. 

Carriages come to the edge of the pond to bring fresh skaters or to carry others home. 

A car goes by and another crowd is dumped at the lower end. The car going the other way carries back those weary with the sport. Coming or going, skating or resting, all are happy, all are beginning a happy new year. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Obituary: Theodore F. Mead (1938)

Source: Greenwich Press. Thursday, March 3, 1938.

Funeral service for the late Theodore F. Mead, World War veteran with a distinguished service record, who died Monday at United Hospital, Port Chester, after a brief illness, were held this morning at 9:15 o'clock at the home of a brother, William L. Mead of 95 Putnam Avenue, Port Chester, followed by a requiem mass at the Church of Our Lady of Mercy. Burial was at the family plot, St. Mary's Cemetery, Greenwich. Mr. Mead, 51, who was born in Greenwich and spent most of his life here, had been residing with his brother in Port Chester.

Son of the late Peter and Catherine L. Mead, he enlisted in Greenwich in September, 1917, and was assigned to Company A of the Third Machine Gun Battalion. He was wounded in action several times and was decorated with the Order of the Purple Heart. For 20 years he had been employed as a shipping clerk at the Russell, Burdsall & Ward Bolt & Nut Company. He was a member of the Port Chester Post, No. 93, American legion.

Surviving, besides his brother, are two other brothers, Charles F. Mead of Greenwich and Walter B. Mead of Port Chester; and two sisters, Mrs. Mildred Brennan of Port Chester, and Mrs. John J. Neafsey of Greenwich. 

Engaged: Miss Lydia S. Ferris (1938)

Source: Greenwich Press. Thursday, February 17, 1938.

Miss Lydia S. Ferris and Granville K. Lester to Wed.

Mrs. William J. Ferris of Field Point Part announced the engagement of her daughter, Miss Lydia S. Ferris, to Granville K. Lester of Stamford at a Valentine party given at her home Monday night for a few friends.

Miss Ferris is the daughter of the late Judge William J. Ferris; and granddaughter of Oliver D. Mead, a lifelong resident of Greenwich. On her paternal side she is the granddaughter of the late J. Wesley Ferris and Sarah Murgatroyd. She is the niece of Mrs. Newell L. Mead of Greenwich and Mrs. Adam R. Guy of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Miss Ferris graduated from the Greenwich Academy, class of 1926. She also attended Howe Marot Junior College and was a graduate of the Pratt Business School of New York. She is owner and director of The Social Mart at 34 East Putnam Avenue.

Mr. Lester is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward O. Lester of Post Road, Stamford. 

Miss Louisa Mead To be 96 Monday (1938)

Source: Greenwich Press: Thursday, February 3, 1938.

Lifelong Resident of Greenwich Will Pass Day Quietly

Miss Louisa Mead will be 96 years old next Tuesday, passing another landmark in a life which has seen more changes in Greenwich than any other living native. Miss Mead was born before the Mexican war, was a young woman when the Civil War broke out, and has seen two other wars since then. More concerned with the history of Greenwich, where she was born in 1842, Miss Mead lives with her three younger sister in a house on West Putnam Avenue which stands on the same tract on which her ancestors settled in Greenwich.

No party is being planned, according to one of Miss Mead's sisters. Miss Mead will pass "a very quiet day," surrounded by her immediate family. Not as well as she was a year ago, she may receive a few friends if the family sees fit.

Miss Mead was born in the predecessor of the white house where she now lives, the daughter of the late Mary and Joseph Mead. A descendant of the earliest Mead's in Greenwich, she is the great-granddaughter of Capt. Matthew Mead, Indian fighter of Revolutionary times, after whom the local Sons of the American Revolution is named.

Miss Mead's home stands quietly among the industrial and commercial buildings which have grown up on all sides. Across the street is Pickwick Theatre, and yet Miss Mead has never been to a motion picture theatre. She is the last survivor of the women of Greenwich who sewed the flags displayed in greenwich during the Civil War, and who knitted socks and clothing for the boys at the front.

She resides with three sisters, the Misses Emma, Lillian and Eva Mead, four survivors of a family of eight. 

Caroline Mead, With Bolt Co. 40 Years, Notes Her 80th Birthday (1938)

Source: Greenwich Press. Thursday, January 13, 1938.

A lifelong resident of East Port Chester, kindly neighbor, and an employee of the Russell, Burdsall & Ward Bolt & Nut Company for about 40 years, quietly celebrated her 80th birthday at her home on Gold Street last Sunday. 

Miss Caroline Mead was born in 1858, daughter of the late Nathaniel Tyler and Abigail Merritt Mead. She was brought up in the family homestead on Byram Road. She attended the old Byram School, which then stood on the rocky summit near the intersection of the Post Road and Weaver Street. Not long after leaving school, she started work for the belt concern, which then stood near the bridge over he Byram River at Comley Avenue, Pemberwick.

Miss Mead did not have a birthday party but she received 123 greeting cards, besides flowers and other gifts from her many friends. The day before her birthday, the postman brought 70 cards at one time. One neighbor sent her a handsome cake.

Miss Mead lives at the house she owns on Gold Street. She takes her meals, however, at the home of her niece, Mrs. Sadie H. Smith, and her grandnephew and niece, Mr. and Mrs. George A. Smith, who reside next door. Mr. Smith is head of the Mathematics Department of the High School. Another next door neighbor is her brother, N. Tyler Mead. Still quite active and interested in the world around her, Miss Mead walks to town frequently. She does not go to the movies very often, although she voted in the last election.

Miss Mead's family has long been connected with the history of Greenwich. Her father, Nathaniel Tyler Mead, was captain of the sloop New York, which made the run to New York City from Port Chester harbor, laden with farm produce. He died almost 50 years ago.

When Miss Mead went with Russell, Burdsall & Ward, the bolts and nuts were threaded by hand. When she retired about 20 years ago, she had risen to the rank of forewoman of all the girl workers at the factory.

Miss Mead told a Press reporter shortly before her birthday that she had led a rather quiet life. She was too modest to tell of the many times she had visited friends in distress or poor health and brought cheer and happiness to brighten their days. Since she left the bolt and nut concern, there have been many instances where she visited friends and helped them through trying times. She is an active member of the North Baptist Church, Port Chester. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Merry Christmas 2019!

'Tis the season to wish one another 
joy and love and peace. 

Merry Christmas

Elkanah Mead Rites Tomorrow at 3:30 (1938)

Source: Greenwich Press. Thursday, February 10, 1938

Veteran Insurance Man Dies Yesterday in 87th Year.

Elkanah Mead, native of Greenwich and member of one of the town's oldest families, will be laid to rest in the family plot in Union Cemetery tomorrow afternoon following funeral services from his late home. The Rev. Daniel Bliss, pastor of the Second Congregational Church, of which Mr. Mead was long a member, will officiate at the service at 3:30 o'clock. 

For some time in failing health, Mr. Mead died at 10 o'clock yesterday morning. He had been confined to his bed for four months before his death. He was in his 87th year. 

Mr. Mead resided in the house he built on Milbank Avenue in 1881, shortly after his marriage to Esther L. Waterbury. He was born on June 23, 1851, the son of the late Elkanah  and Jane Mead Mead. He was born in the family homestead at the intersection of Stanwich Road and Guinea Road, now the home of the Yandell family. The house had been previously purchased by his father, who had formerly lived in the ancestral homestead on North Street, now the home of Edward McFarlan. The homestead has been built by Amos Mead (pictured below), Mr. Mead's grandfather. The land had been owned for generations by the family.

His mother was Jane Mead, daughter of Ephraim and Azuba Mead, the original owners of Bruce Park. 

Ephraim Mead built the first brick house in Greenwich, since torn down, the bricks for which were brought to Greenwich from Holland.

Mr. Mead received his education at the old Stanwich School located on Stanwich Road, near Dingletown Road; and at the Greenwich Academy, which his ancestors established. In 1880 he married Esther L. Waterbury, daughter of Aaron and Lava Waterbury of Pound Ridge, New York.

He was one of the first to cross the continent on the trans-continental railroad in company with his cousin, Ephraim Mead. He journeyed to California via the Isthmus of Panama and returned shortly after the railroad had been completed. On the trip, he saw immense herds of buffalo, wild antelope and tribes of Indians. 

For several years he was associated with Waterbury and June lumber business which was located on Steamboat Road. It was in 1891 that he established the real estate and insurance business which still bears his name. The business is now conducted by his daughter, Katherine, and his son-in-law, Carleton T. Bradley.

Always interested in the public affairs of Greenwich, Mr. Mead refused to hold public office until 1922, when he accepted the nomination as Republican candidate for the state legislature. He served one term, refusing to run again.

For many years an active member of the Second Congregational Church, he served in past years on many of the church committees. 

Surviving besides his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Bradley of 178 Milbank Avenue, is a daughter, Mrs. Winifred Smalley of St. George, Maine, and granddaughter, Jane Mead Smalley. 

Mead Paid Tribute by Masonic Lodge (1938)

Source: Greenwich Press. Thursday, March 24, 1938.

Honored for 33 years' Service As Organist of Chapter

Albert S. Mead, organist of Acacia Lodge, 85, A.F. and A.M. for 33 years, was paid honor for his services to the chapter at a meeting held Tuesday evening at the Masonic Temple. Mr. Mead tendered his resignation as organist last January. The ceremonies in honor of Mr. Mead were conducted by Albert Roth, master of the lodge.

The tribute was opened by Past Master Robert G. Collins, who presented Mr. Mead with the original apron which he wore as organist. A handsome set of engrossed resolutions, signed by the 21 past masters of the lodge under whom Mr. Mead served, was presented by Past Master Charles W. Pettengill. Past Master Charles H. Dayton completed the presentations with a watch feb, in lyre design with the Masonic emblem on a central field of blue, the gift of the lodge.

Following the ceremony and business session, Rexford Daniels gave an illustrated lecture on "Ancient Astronomy in Masonry." Following the meeting refreshments were served. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019


Source: Greenwich News, Greenwich, Connecticut: Friday, November 29, 1912. Page 1, Col. 6.



Snowfall Made It Unpleasant For Many Out-Door Pastimes, But Good Cheer Marked Many Home Gatherings-Stores And Business Places Closed – Some Family Gatherings And Reunions.

Thanksgiving was as generally observed throughout Greenwich as usual, and there were many pleasant home-gatherings of relatives in town yesterday. Friends and relatives who had not seen each other in years were united over the festive board, and good cheer was the rule of the day.

There were disappointments for many, however, because the day was not better suited to the holiday. We have had so many pleasant Thanksgiving days that the young people in particular associate with the day and after-dinner skating, automobile or walking party, but there was a little of these because of the weather.

Early dawn saw the first flights of snow and the white crystals continued to fall until about noon. There was no ice for skating, but pedestrians on streets or sidewalks found it difficult enough to keep from skating, for the coating of damp snow made it very slippery. An unusually small number of automobiles were out during the day.

Inside many Greenwich homes, however, there was no lack of good cheer and giving of thanks. A large congregation attended the Union Thanksgiving service at the Presbyterian church, and listened to good music and a sermon by Rev. Charles F. Taylor of the Second Congregational Church. The Methodist, Congregational and Presbyterian churches united. At Christ Church and at St. Mary's R. C. Church there were special services.

As usual a family Thanksgiving dinner was held at the old Mead Homestead in Cos Cob, over twenty members of the family been guests of Miss Catherine Mead for the day. All were seated at one table which was loaded down with good things. Among those present of the older generation were Miss Catherine Mead, Augustus Mead and Mrs. John G. Clarke of Bedford Hills. Seamen Mead was unable to be present, because of injuries received in an accident recently. This is the first family reunion he has missed in many years. Among the others were Mr. and Mrs. Merritt Clarke of Brookfield Center, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Williams and four children of White Plains, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Holmes of Katonah, Miss Louisa N. Mead, Miss Amelia W. Mead, Mr. and Mrs. Seamen M. Mead, and three children, Thomas A. Mead and Miss Mary Dominy of New York City.

At the home of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac L. Mead on Lafayette Place, there was another pleasant family re-union, an annual event. Among those present were Mr. and Mrs. Isaac L. Mead and Mr. and Mrs. Willis T. Mead and family, Mr. and Mrs. S. Warren Mead and family, Mr. and Mrs. George H. Mills and family, Mr. and Mrs. George Merriman of Bristol, Connecticut, Miss Lucy A. Mead and Miss Lucy A. Smith.

Bessie Mead, Missionary to Japan (1954)

Death Notice: Bessie Mead
Source: Greenwich Time, Greenwich CT. October 28 and October 29, 1954. Page 2, col. 1. 
MEAD-Bessie, at Tacoma, Washington. October 26, 1954, daughter of the late Henry W. and Emily C. Mead. Services at the New Burial Ground, Greenwich, on Saturday at 11 a.m.

OBITUARY: Miss Bessie Mead
Source: Greenwich Time, Greenwich CT. October 27, 1954. Page 2, col. 1.
Miss Bessie Mead, 85, a former resident of Greenwich who had been an Episcopal missionary to Japan from 1904 until 1934, died Tuesday in Tacoma, Wash., where she had made her home since returning from Japan. A native of Stamford, Miss Mead was born on Dec. 3, 1868, daughter of the late Henry W. and Emily C. Brush Mead. She is survived by three cousins, Mrs. Sarah E. Close, (scratched microfiche here-unreadable), and Helen _____ of Millerton, N.Y. While in Japan Miss Mead was stationed in Acita [Akita] and Yamagata. Notice of the funeral will be given later. Burial will be in New Burial Ground in Greenwich. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Mead Home Will Be Open To Sell Items (1975)

Source: Greenwich Time. June 19, 1975. Page 15, column 6.

One of Greenwich's historic homes will be opened to the public Friday and Saturday for the sale of items that have been in the family of Edgar and Emily Mead, Jr., for generations. The house is at 560 North Street.

The sale will begin at 10:00 a.m., and will include farm tools that date back 200 years, an Isaac Mead desk, Washington pictures, a trundle bed, 18th century chairs and a Potter Mead jar.

The house itself has been rebuilt and modernized by each generation of the Mead family, so much so that its exact origins are lost in the blurred history of the early 18th century.

Historians and visitors have often been misled by a plaque bearing the numbers "1796" over the front door. It is now evident that the was merely another periodic date of reconstruction. At least two other dates may be found scratched in stone by later remodelers. 

According to a book written in 1971 by Edgar and Emily Mead, Jr., 'The House on Lot and Drake's Corner,' the history of the Mead family in this area began when John Mead, son of William Mead, and grandson of Thomas, came from Hempstead, L.I., in 1660 at the age of 16. He purchased land near what is now Greenwich Point from Richard Crab.

After the Mead's settled in Old Greenwich, they spread out to other parts of the area, all playing an important role in the history of Greenwich. 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Suing Col. Thomas Mead: The Case of the State Against Him as Surety for E.J. Wright (1882)

Source: Greenwich Graphic, Saturday, December 2, 1882

“Yes, that is a very important case,” said Mr. J. B. Curtis, of Stamford, to a GRAPHIC representative, when questioned in regard to the suit brought by the State against Col. Thomas Mead, surety on ex-County Commissioner E. J. Wright’s bond.

“The great suit of Tweed against Ingersoll is similar to it, and you will remember that in that case the courts were obliged to go to the legislature to have special laws passed concerning it. In this case against Col. Mead, Mr. Wright is charged with being a defaulter for about $3,000, and the defense claimed that the bond was given to the State fir its sole protection and not as trustees for the towns. 

“This sum was in the nature of a tax collected from the inhabitants and paid into the treasury of the towns. The State had no control over it, and the surety was not amendable to the State for Mr. Wright’s performance of the duties to these several towns. 

“The bond did not cover the money, except for five per cent of the license money, $334.62, payable to the county of Fairfield, the county being an integral part of the State government. When Mr. Wright is alleged to have misappropriated the money he was holding an office that did not exist in the law. He was made treasurer of the board and all the moneys during the year of the alleged misappropriation were placed in his hands. During the time no account was rendered by him and no formal demand was made by other commissioners for an account, and no attempt was made to investigate his accounts. It was claimed that making him treasurer placed a liability upon him him that the law did not contemplate. 

The result of such action would be to place the responsibility of all the finances of the county on to one commissioner and his surety, and the others would escape. If there is any loss it should fall on all. The towns have authorized no suits by the State, but have brought suits themselves.”

The trial of the case came before the Superior Court at Danbury, Judge Beardsley, last week Thursday, and concluded Monday of this week. Messrs. Brewster and Tweedy of Danbury, appeared for the State, and J. B. Curtis of Stamford, and Levi Warner of Norwalk, for Mr. Mead. Decision is expected next week.