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Windham County Connecticut
WINDHAM COUNTY RECORDS
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. 841-843
NATHAN EXLEY, a prosperous farmer and influential citizen residing on North Society street, Canterbury, Windham county, is of English descent.
Nathan Exley's father, Nathan Exley, was born in Holmforth Yorkshire, England, Sept. 26, 1818. He learned the trade of hand loom woolen weaver, at which he later secured employment, working a loom in his own home. In 1854 Mr. Exley came to America. Being a man of energy, well equipped for life, he readily found employment; first at Lawrence, Mass., where he remained a year, and later in Woonsocket, R.I. He married in England Mary Fenton. About a year after his arrival in this country she, at his request, set sail with her children. The ship making unusually slow progress - requiring six weeks for the voyage - the food supply ran short; and Mrs. Exley denying herself for the sake of her children, finally sickened and died and was buried at sea. Mr. Exley later married Mary Bentley, and after her death, which occurred in about a year, he was married in Woodstock, by the Episcopal minister in September, 1856, to Jennette Ridell. Mr. Exley's third wife was born in Glasgow, Scotland, Sept. 27, 1829; she died in Plainville, now Woodville, R.I., in September, 1872, at the age of forty-three, and is buried in the River Bend Cemetery, at Westerly.
By his first marriage Mr. Exley had
five children: (1) Thomas B., a farmer, born Feb. 8, 1842, married
Mattie Morris and lives in Weir City, Kansas. They have six children:
Mary, Amelia, Ira, Grover, Grace, and Angeline. (2) Lydia, born Feb.
20, 1845, married William Morgan (deceased) of Westerly, R.I., and
has five children: Mary, George, William and twins, John and Nathan.
(3) Amelia, born April 28, 1847, married John Bedford, an Englishman,
and lives in Arlington, R.I. They have one child, Mary. (4) John,
born Oct. 28, 1848, lives at Norwich, Conn. (5) Ira, born April 15,
1852, married Sarah Thorp, and resides at Potter Hill, R.I. They
have one child, Frederick. By his last marriage Mr. Exley had six
children: (1) Ann Janette, born June 17, 1858, married Samuel Wibberley.
(2) Matthew Henry, April 22, 1860, married Mary Mahoney and lives
in Versailles, Conn. He has four children, Mary, Albert, Matthew
and Alice. (3) William, born Sept. 20,
For over twenty years after coming to Woonsocket, R.I., Mr. Exley followed his trade as a weaver; about four years at Millville, Mass., another four years at Westerly, R.I., three years in Carolina Mills, four years at Plainville, R.I., and six years at Greeneville, now a part of Norwich, Conn. In 1880 he came to Canterbury and purchased the farm now occupied by his son Nathan, and here he engaged in farming until his death, which occurred April 19, 1890. He is buried in the River Bend Cemetery at Westerly, R.I. As a thoroughly competent and industrious workman Mr. Exley won the esteem of all who knew him. He belonged to the Episcopal Church and endeavored conscientiously to follow its teachings. In politics a Republican, he evinced a keen interest in public affairs.
Nathan Exley (2) was born in Westerly, R.I., Jan. 5, 1866, but spent most of his boyhood days in Norwich, Conn., where he attended the graded schools for many years. When he was fourteen years old the family moved to Canterbury and he there attended the district schools for some time. On April 25, 1889, he married Anna Evenor Babcock, who was born Jan. 16, 1867, daughter of William S. Babcock, who is mentioned below. Mr. And Mrs. Exley have four children: William Stuart, born Jan. 14, 1891; Edith Main, Sept. 18, 1893; Florence Ridell, Sept. 27, 1896; and Lucius Morgan, Sept. 1, 1901.
Mr. Exley has for years carried on the family homestead, making a thorough success of general farming and dairying. As a man keenly interested in the diffusion of knowledge, he is a member of the board of education. He has also served on the grand jury and the board of relief. Socially and religiously he is well known. He attends the Congregational Church and has belonged to the Grange.
THE BABCOCK FAMILY to which Mrs. Exley belongs is one of considerable prominence, has possessed a coat of arms and has been represented in this country since early Colonial days. Three brothers - James, Jesse and Nathaniel Babcock - came from England and landed at Newport, R.I. Nathaniel, hearing that Stonington, Conn., offered excellent prospects for settlement, hired in Moosup a very powerful Indian, Moosuck, to carry him to that place. This feat the Indian accomplished by the aid of a stick basket, strapped to his shoulders. Little is known of the other ancestors preceding Nathaniel Babcock, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Exley. He married Mary Laricon, who was very well to do, owning real estate, now in possession of her great-great-grandchildren. Of this union there were three children: Jonas L., who was drafted to serve in the Revolution, fought under Washington, and was killed at the battle of White Plains; Stephen H., who is mentioned below; and Mary.
Stephen H. Babcock, the grandfather
of Mrs. Exley, was born in North Stonington, Conn., June 13, 1765,
and there received the training for his life work. He also made his
home in that place for most of his mature life. He engaged in farming
extensively, and also carried on a lumbering business, getting out
and selling timber for ship building. Stephen H. Babcock was married
three times. First to Mary Hinckley; after her death to Elizabeth
Stuart, who was born in Voluntown, Conn.; and later, Sept. 7, 1808,
to Mercy Davis, who was born in North Stonington, Conn., March 16,
1782. By the first marriage there were four children: (1) Eunice,
married Ethan Crandall, and had three children: Wealthy, Nancy and
Caroline. Mrs. Crandall died in her eighty-first year. (2) Stephen,
Jr. (died in his seventy-eighth year), married Amy Bentley and had
four children: Mary Ann, Frank W., Ira B., and Lucy G. (3) Samuel
H. (died at the age of seventy-three), married Caroline Slanton and
had four children: Samuel A.; Daniel H. (died at the age of twenty-one);
Horace S.; and Albert Clinton,
Hon. William Stuart Babcock, father
of Mrs. Exley, for many years a prominent citizen of Plainfield,
Conn., was a man of rare attainments and considerable genius. He
was born March 22, 1822, and attended the district and select schools
of North Stonington, where his alert mind and studious habits enabled
him to acquire a very thorough education. So ambitious was he that
as a young man he taught school in winter and worked on the farm
in summer. He later made farming the main business of his life. On
Oct. 4, 1859, he married at North Stonington, Conn., Frances E. Main,
and they had six children, born as follows: (1) William Payson, born
Feb. 5, 1862; he married May 11, 1892, Gracie A. Green, and they
have three children: Frances Eva, Lillian Carrie, and William Edwin
(born Nov. 3, 1901). (2) Nella, July 28, 1865; she married, Jan.
1, 1890, George L. Bradford, who is mention more fully elsewhere
in this volume. (3) Anna Evenor - Mrs. Exley - is mentioned above.
(4) Stephen Richard, Feb. 6, 1870; he married, April 6, 1898, Birdie
May Kenyon, and they have one child, Ella May (born Jan. 25,
Mr. Babcock purchased of the late Hon. Joseph Hutchins a splendid farm in Plainfield, containing 120 acres, to which he moved in 1865, and thereafter made if his home. Besides being extensively engaged in agriculture Mr. Babcock gave considerable time to inventions and secured patents for improvements on plows, wagons and other farm implements. He also invested in the Robinson & Fowler Foundry Co., and was its treasurer for several years. He died in Plainfield, Conn., May 18, 1899. William S. Babcock was president for many years of the Plainfield Cemetery Association, an office he held at the time of his death. He is buried in the family plot in said cemetery.
Mr. Babcock possessed those traits
of character that won him favors everywhere. At the age of nineteen
he was made lieutenant of a military
THE MAIN FAMILY. By her mother Mrs. Exley is descended from Ezekiel Main, who married and in 1670 came to Stonington, where he became a large land owner, receiving land grants in 1672 and 1680, and in the meantime making extensive land purchases. He died June 19, 1714. His wife's name was Mary.
Richard H. Main, son of Simeon X. (who was a descendant of Ezekiel) and Martha (York) Main, and grandfather of Mrs. Exley, was born in North Stonington, Feb. 24, 1808, and married Abbie S. Crandall. He died Sept. 26, 1901, at the advanced age of ninety-three, and she passed away Sept. 9, 1851, in her forty-sixth year. By her he had five children: George W., is an extensive farmer at Hop River, in the town of Columbia, Conn.; Charles H., born Jan. 3, 1837, resides at Milltown, in the town of North Stonington, Conn.; Frances E., June 15, 1840, mentioned above, is still living; Mary A., born July 26, 1844, married George Avery and resides in North Stonington; and John D., born in 1846, died Sept. 1, 1851.
Reproduced by: Linda D. Pingel - great-great granddaughter of Cyrus White of Rockville, Ct.
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