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Windham County Connecticut
WINDHAM COUNTY RECORDS
CHARLES P. BACKUS
AS RECORDED IN:
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES.
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903 P. 434 & 435
CHARLES P. BACKUS, the cashier of the Windham County National Bank, at Danielson, is one of the rising young financiers of eastern Connecticut. His present standing in banking circles, and the esteem and confidence that he commands, he has earned by his individual effort.
The Backus family is of English origin
and was founded in America by three brothers, two of whom located
in Canterbury, Conn., the third settling in Norwich. Stephen Backus,
one of the emigrants, located first in Canterbury, but later moved
to Eastford, which at that time was called Ashford, and there followed
farming for many years. Prior to his decease he returned to Canterbury,
where he died at the age of eighty-four years, and there his remains
lie. At one time in his life he was possessed of ample means, but
misfortune caused the loss of a considerable portion of it. The first
marriage of Stephen Backus was to Miss Susan Welch, daughter of a
minister. She left two children, Eunice and George. The second marriage
of Mr. Backus was to Esther (Jennings) Chapman, who died at the age
of seventy-two years.
Timothy Jennings Backus was born in Eastford, then Ashford, Conn., June 17, 1811. Like other lads in the vicinity, he attended the winter schools, but was early put to work at the shoe-making trade, a most excellent one in those days, before the establishment of the great factories. Later he became a peddler of Yankee notions, his stock including also silks and ginghams. With his wagon he covered almost all of the eastern part of Connecticut and western Rhode Island, his employers belonging to the latter State. For several years, until his marriage, he followed this business, locating then in Eastford where he bought a small farm in the south part of the town and engaged in tilling the soil for a number of years, also supplying the demand for shoes in his vicinity.
In 1884 Mr. Backus removed to Eastford Center, the home of his second wife, and resided there until her death. After a few years of boarding, he made his home at Eastford Center with his daughter, Mrs. Susan Smith, and there he died, Jan. 3, 1901, and was interred at Phoenixville. Although almost ninety years of age, Mr. Backus was remarkably vigorous and possessed a very retentive memory which made him a pleasant companion. His early political sympathies had been with the Democratic party, but later he became identified with the Republicans, He was a man of good business ability and had accumulated ample means.
The first marriage of Timothy J. Backus occurred July 15, 1838, to Sally Hill Wilson, born in Plainfield, Sept. 12, 1811, daughter of Nathaniel and Zilphia (Wheeler) Wilson; she died May 10, 1880, and was laid to rest at Phoenixville. Of the children of this marriage, (1) Susan Jane, born Aug. 19, 1839, married Samuel H. Smith and resides in Eastford. (2) Zilphia Wheeler, born June 21, 1842, married Henry Whittaker and died Sept. 25, 1877, in Phoenixville, her five children being: Charles W., who married Jennie Beebe, and resides in Springfield, Mass.; Henry J., who married Lillie Stone, and resides in Worcester, Mass.; Zilphia Ellen, who died single; Susan Jane, who married Q.V. Ball; and Abel E., who resides in Worcester, Mass. (3) Eli Nathaniel, the youngest son of this family, became the father of Charles Palmer Backus, of this sketch.
Eli Nathaniel Backus was born Jan. 11, 1845, in Eastford, and remained on the home farm until he was about twenty-two years of age. Going then to Willimantic, he learned the butcher trade and followed this business at various locations in the State, being for a long time a resident of New Britain. His death occurred in Putnam, May 31, 1899, and he was buried at Phoenixville. Mr. Backus returned to the old traditions of the family in his political opinions, and was a staunch Democrat. He took an interest in several secret organizations, and was a member of Harmony Lodge, No. 20, A.F.&A.M., of New Britain; was an Odd Fellow, and belonged to other orders.
On May 11, 1869, Eli N. Backus was united in marriage with Annie Elizabeth Palmer, born June 14, 1848, a native of Willimantic, daughter of Amos Burrows and Elizabeth (Freeman) Palmer. The children born to this union were two sons and one daughter, viz.: Charles P., of this sketch; Harry Burr, born Nov. 22, 1873, who died Feb. 8, 1882; and Annie Elizabeth, born Nov. 15, 1875, wife of Orean T. Babcock, of Hartford.
Charles Palmer Backus was born July 16, 1870, in New Britain, Conn., and was six years of age when his parents removed to Willimantic, where his education was received in the public schools. In the winter of 1886-87 he left school to accept a position as clerk in the Windham National Bank, at Willimantic, where he remained for six and one-half years, during four years of that time being teller of the bank. In August, 1893, he resigned this position in order to accept that of cashier of the Windham County National Bank, at Brooklyn, succeeding John P. Wood, who died in the previous month of June. In September, 1894, the bank was re-organized, and in May, 1895, it was removed to Danielson.
In 1894, Mr. Backus was elected
treasurer of Windham county, an honor which had never before been
bestowed upon so young a man. He has efficiently held the position
ever since. Since 1894 he has been one of the directors of the
Windham County National Bank, and is also the president of the
Uncas Knitting Company, at Danielson, having been one of the organizers
of the company. Fraternally he is prominent both in Masonic circles
and in the order of Knights of Pythias; in 1896 he became a member
of Moriah Lodge, No. 15, A.F.& A.M.;
he belongs also to Warren Chapter, No. 12, R.A.M., Montgomery Council,
No. 2, R. & S.M.; Columbian Commandery, K.T., of Norwich; Connecticut
Sovereign Consistory, of Norwich, and Sphinx Temple of the Mystic
Shrine, of Hartford. In the Knights of Pythias he belongs to
On Dec. 30, 1893, Mr. Backus was married to Bertha M. Adams, of Weathersfield, Conn., daughter of George W. Adams. A son and daughter have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Backus, namely: Harold Adams, born April 4, 1895; and Pauline, born Sept. 27, 1898.
Mr. Backus is a man who has a wide circle of both business and personal friends. His upright methods, as well as his business sagacity, have won him the confidence of investors, while pleasant manners and generous good fellowship have made him personally popular.
PALMER. The American ancestor of the
Stonington Palmers was Walter Palmer, a native of London, England,
where he was born about 1585. He was first married in England, and
as early as 1628, with his brother Abraham, a merchant of London,
and others, came to New England. For a time he was at Salem, Mass.,
then with others founded the city of Charlestown in 1629. In 1643
he removed to the Plymouth Colony, thence, with others, went to Rehoboth,
of which town he was a number of times selectman, held other public
offices, and was the first representative from the town, to the General
Assembly or Court. Finally in 1653 he removed to Stonington, Conn.
He married (second) in 1633, Rebecca Short, who came to New England
in 1632. Mr. Palmer died Nov. 10, 1661. Six children were born to
his first marriage
Amos Palmer was a native of Voluntown,
or North Stonington, Conn., where he became engaged in farming. He
removed to Willimantic when his son, Amos B., was about seven years
old. There he became possessed of property and Palmer Hill was
named for him. That was his residence for the rest of his life and
there he died at the age of eighty-one years. He was buried in Willimantic.
Mr. Palmer was a member of the Baptist Church. His first marriage
was to a Miss Lewis, and they became the parents of six children,
namely: Mary, who married Courtland Whitehead, and died in Willimantic;
Emily, who married Henry Benchley, and died in Willimantic; Sarah,
who married Edon Seaman, and died in Norwich, Conn.; Charles, who
went West in pioneer times, and all trace of whom was lost; Amos
B., who became the
Amos Burrows Palmer was born
Dec. 30, 1820, in Voluntown, and he came to Willimantic when a
mere boy, at a period when but few houses had been erected in the
present flourishing industrial city. He was reared in a school
of labor and when but eight years old went to work in the cotton
mill. From the lowest position he became at length superintendent
of the great Willimantic Cotton mills, serving for a long period.
When he resigned that position it was to enter into a partnership
with W.L. Harrington, under the firm name of William L. Harrington &
Co., in the operation of a clothing store in Willimantic. He was also
interested with Charles M. Palmer & Co. (his son) in the dry-goods
business in which he continued until his death, Dec. 5, 1887. He was
buried in Willimantic; as he was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity,
his obsequies were conducted by that order. During his whole life he
had advocated the principles of the Republican party, and
Mr. Palmer was married in Willimantic to Elizabeth Freeman, born in Colchester, Conn., in November, 1823, who died in Willimantic in September, 1887. Their family consisted of but two children. Charles M., born Aug. 6, 1844, married Emma Chaffee. At the age of eighteen he was overseer in the mill and followed factory life for a number of years. Later he went into the dry-goods business, in which he continued until his death in March, 1895. His widow and a son, Clarence C., reside in Willimantic. The second child was Mrs. Backus, the estimable and beloved mother of Charles P. Backus, of Danielson.
Linda D. Pingel great-great granddaughter of Cyrus White of Rockville, Ct.
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