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Windham County Connecticut
WINDHAM COUNTY RECORDS
FRANCIS XAVIER RIVERS
AS RECORDED IN:
COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES.
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903 P. 936
FRANCIS XAVIER RIVERS, one of Woodstocks substantial and time-honored citizens, who after years of toil, is now enjoying a well earned competence, was born Dec. 22, 1827, in St. Ours, Canada, of thrifty and highly respected parents, whose son has done honor to the name he bears.
Francis Rivers was born in Normandy, France, from which country he emigrated to Canada. The children born to his marriage with Mary Lonswee were: Henry, John, Leblanche, Katie, Joseph, Francis, and Mary Ann.
John Rivers, the father of Francis
X. Rivers, was born Jan. 3, 1793, in St. Ours, Canada, and died Aug.
18, 1867, at Holden, Mass., aged seventy-four years. During his early
life he was a farmer, and was successful, accumulating ample means.
He was a man of great height and weight, being six feet, three inches
tall, and weighing 240 pounds. Two years prior to his death he was
afflicted with loss of sight. At this time he was making his home
with his son Edward, in Massachusetts, where the remainder of his
days were spent. John Rivers first married Margaret Duherrmeel, who
was born in St. Ours, Canada, where she died in 1834. The children
by this union were: John died in St. Mark, Canada, where he conducted
a successful bakery business until he was fifty years of age (he
married Agnes Gregore, but had no children); Peter, who was a stonemason
in Manville, R.I., married Eliza Duherrmeel, had a family of ten
children, and lived to the age of sixty-nine; Francis Xavier is mentioned
below; Margaret married Ethan Guyot, a mill operative at St. Annis
Ayers, Canada, and died in Holden, Mass., leaving six children. The
second marriage of John Rivers was to Mary Leclair, of Canada, who
died in 1872, at the age of seventy-three years.
Francis Xavier Rivers attended the
winter schools of St. Ours, Canada, his birthplace, until he was
seventeen years old, spending the summers in work on the farm. Wishing
to see something of the world, the young man then left home and located
in Providence, R.I., where he found work at the tailoring trade,
which he had partially learned in Canada. Later in the year he went
to Woonsocket Falls, where he remained until the following December,
and from there to Uxbridge, Mass. In this pleasant locality he worked
with Michael Manley and George Gunn for five years. On March 18,
1850, he went to East Woodstock with the idea of embarking in business
for himself, if the
Mr. Rivers was married (first) Sept. 9, 1851, to Martha Knight Hibbard, of Woodstock, daughter of Joseph F. and Parmelia (Burdick) Hibbard; she died Oct. 19, 1860, in East Woodstock. They had children as follows: Martha Adele, born Aug. 14, 1852, in East Woodstock, married Walter E. Cobleigh, a piano finisher, of Leominster, Mass., and has had three children, Florence Mabel, Grace Lillian (who died at the age of ten years) and Harriet Adele (who died in infancy). Esther Parmelia, born Oct. 18, 1859, in East Woodstock, died there Aug. 10, 1860.
The second marriage of Mr. Rivers, on Feb. 5, 1861, was to Esther Pamelia (** see footnote) Hibbard, sister of his first wife. She passed away Feb. 8, 1894, in East Woodstock. Her four children were as follows: John F., born Jan. 19, 1864; Harriet Elizabeth, born July 27, 1866, in East Woodstock, who died Dec. 1, 1878; Edward Fenton, born Oct. 21, 1867, who died in East Woodstock Dec. 8, 1893, unmarried; and Charles Edgar (unmarried) born Aug. 27, 1870, who is connected with the Great Western Railroad Co., of Chicago.
The third marriage of Mr. Rivers was on April 10, 1895, to Miss Susan Ellen Child, daughter of Charles and Almira (Holmes) Child, of Woodstock, the latter a daughter of Leonard Holmes, and a cousin of the celebrated Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. Mrs. Rivers is a lady of beautiful character, and is widely known through the community for her gentle beneficences and charitable impulses. Mr. Rivers is of genial, social disposition, and as a result is passing the evening of his life surrounded with the comforts acquired by his early industry, and enjoys the universal esteem of his fellow-citizens.
JOHN FRANK RIVERS was born Jan.
19, 1864, in East Woodstock, where he was reared, and acquired
his education in the district schools. When about seventeen years
old he went to farming for his father, but two years later decided
to learn the blacksmiths trade, and with that end in view
entered the shop of Francoise Foisey, at Putnam, remaining in that
excellent place for ten years. Opening a place of business of his
own in Putnam, Mr. Rivers successfully conducted it for three years,
selling out then to Mr. Foisey. Coming to South Woodstock, he built
a commodious shop, and a comfortable residence and convenient barn,
building up a most excellent trade in this locality, which he carried
on until Aug. 5, 1901, when his buildings were all destroyed by
fire. After this disaster Mr. Rivers, with renewed courage, located
in West Woodstock, and started in business again. In March, 1901,
he purchased the old Wilkinson homestead, comprising 208 acres
of land, and he has since been paying particular attention to the
breeding of blooded stock and the finest grades of cattle. Endowed
with energy and ability, there is every reason to predict a prosperous
future in this line for him. He is more interested in business
than politics, although he
On Aug. 16, 1885, Mr. Rivers was united
in marriage with Hattie Alice Willard, and they have one son, Charles
Frank, born July 4, 1887, in
**footnote: this middle name might
be Parmelia, but the publisher has
Linda D. Pingel great-great granddaughter of Cyrus White of Rockville, Ct.
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