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The USGenWeb Project Fairfield County, Connecticut


Isaac Selleck "Isaac Selleck, fourth and youngest son of Joseph and Phebe Selleck, was born in Stamford, CT, where his parents were old residents, in 1807. His ancestors were Puritans, and his parents were brought up in the Congregational belief. In middle life they were converted to the Methodist faith, and were among the first to join the first Methodist Episcopal organization in the town of Stamford. Their house was for many years the home of the weary and worn itinerants of early Methodism, and they also entertained some of the eminent preachers in the connection, among whom was Bishop Asbury, first bishop of the church. They lived many years honored and beloved, and died in the fullness of time, worthy members of the church of their choice.

Isaac Selleck was educated at the common schools of Stamford, and followed his father's avocation, a farmer, and all of his life occupied the old homestead, and, what is worthy of note, died in the same room where he was born, after sixty-seven years' residence in the same house.

Mr. Selleck married, Nov. 7, 1830, Phebe, daughter of Ebenezer and Phebe (Todd) Webb, also of an old Stamford family. She was born Aug. 15, 1808. For forty-four years this Christian couple lived happily together, when death canceled their bond of earthly union, leaving the partner of his youth and riper years to lay down the endearing appellation of wife and assume the lonely one of widow.

Mr. Selleck was a man of strong character, of slow and deliberate action, quiet and retiring in his nature, and only accepting positions of honor and as matters of Christian duty, and it was mostly in connection with his church that his greatest activity was shown. The inheritor of a comfortable estate, his industry and economy, supplemented by the care and prudence of his wife, placed him in circumstances where he was able to contribute largely to the church he loved. He was in politics and unswerving advocate of right, and on the organization of the Republican party became a member of it. From a personal sketch of the life and character of Mr. Selleck, prepared by Rev. H. F. Pease, a former pastor and friend of years' standing, we abstract the following:

"At eighteen years of age Mr. Selleck was converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in its days of feebleness in Stamford, and soon became to it an element of strength. He was early made an officer and for years was steward and trustee, discharging the duties with fidelity and acceptability. When appointed to Stamford charge, in 1847, I first met Brother Selleck, and found him one of the most regular attendants on Divine worship, and one of the most liberal supporters of the church. An appeal to save the church from a crushing debt was responded to in a most liberal manner, but by none with greater liberality than Mr. Selleck. The society by this day is largely indebted for its prosperity to that liberality in the days of its feebleness. Mr. Selleck's piety was not demonstrative. It had little of the noisy element in it, yet for principle, sincerity, constancy, and true God-fearing, not many at the present day excel it. It has been said that he was not progressive,--did not keep up with improvements in this fast age of the world. In reply we would say no man should be progressive in the way some are, for their progressis away from policy, principle and truth. Neither should all be progressive in the sense in which it is proper for others to be. Mr. Selleck's progress was not one always in the direction of the last popular wind, but rather that of the prophet Jeremiah: "Stand ye in the ways, and see and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." That cannot be bad progress that brings to Christ, to rest, and to heaven. For sixty-seven years he was an epistle known and read of all men, and his neighbors and fellow townsmen will bear witness that he was a man of the strictest veracity and most unbending integrity, his word as good as his bond, neither needing legal process to enforce their obligation. His death was sudden, but who that knew him doubts that it was safe? That in his case sudden death was sudden glory?"

His death occurred Nov. 6, 1874. Mrs. Selleck, with her sister, still resides at the old home, maintaining the same Christian hospitality that was ever dispensed there, and waiting, patiently, the summons to join her husband in the "land beyond the river."

SOURCE: Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of Fairfield County, Connecticut. Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co. (1881).

* NOTE: This biography was published in 1881 and does not offer "proof" of family history. This information should be used only as possible clues to other sources.

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