CAPT. RUFUS THOMPSON HASKINS
BIOGRAPHY 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. 656
CAPT. RUFUS THOMPSON HASKINS, one of
the prominent and influential citizens of Scotland, Windham county,
is a man who holds a unique place in the community in which he resides.
Although not a native of the town, he has won a place in the hearts
of his neighbors which might be envied by many an
older resident. He was born Dec. 29, 1839, in Rochester, Mass., a
descendant of one of New Englands time-honored and representative
(I) Thomas Haskins, the great-grandfather
of Capt. Haskins, was a prosperous and thrifty farmer of Rochester,
and reared a family of several children, among whom was a son, Daniel,
who served in the Colonial army during the war of the Revolution.
(II) Job Haskins, also son of Thomas,
was born in Rochester on the home farm, where he grew to manhood.
He removed to Plymouth, where he was engaged in the shipyards, but
after a few years he returned to Rochester and again engaged in farming,
finally settling in Middleborough, Mass., where
the remainder of his useful life was spent, and where his death occurred
at the ripe old age of eighty-five years. His remains rest in peace in
the old burying ground of that place. In politics he was a staunch old
line Democrat. He married Susan Hackett, daughter of George Hackett,
of Middleborough, where she died and is buried. They were devout Christians,
and were well known as charitable, self-sacrificing people. Their children,
all now deceased, with the exception of Charles H., were: Clarissa, who
married Willard Bump; Job; Phineas, who died in infancy; Susan, who married
Benjamin Johnson; Betsey, who married James Bacon; Polly, who died unmarried;
Phinea (2); George; Sebra; and Charles H., father of Rufus T.
(III) Charles H. Haskins was born Jan.
28, 1816, in Middleborough, Mass., where he grew to manhood; later
he removed to Rochester, Mass., and for eighteen years was engaged
in the iron foundries of that town, ten years of which were spent
by him in puddling. He then settled on a farm, which he
successfully conducted until 1878, when he disposed of it, and removed
to Scotland to spend the autumn of his well spent life with his son,
Rufus T. He is still (1903) living, at the advance age of eighty-seven
years, retaining to a marked degree all his faculties, together with
a rugged constitution. In early life he cast his lot with the principles
of Democracy and cast his first ballot for Andrew Jackson. He continued
vote for the candidates of that party until 1896, when he became a Republican,
casting his vote for William McKinley. He has always possessed a quiet,
unassuming disposition, yet holds his own opinion on matters of importance.
In 1835 he married in Rochester, Mass., Almira Haskins, who was born
April 16, 1818, daughter of Thomas Haskins, who was a soldier in the
war of 1812. She died in Scotland, Conn., at the home of her son, and
is buried in the Scotland cemetery. To this happy union nine children
were born: Charles F., of Middleborough, Mass.; Rufus T., our subject;
a son that died in infancy; Lucy, who is now the widow of William Benson,
and resides in Brockton, Mass.; Almira, who died at the age of five years;
Job; Ellen, who married William Snell, and resides in Rochester, Mass.;
Andrew, now deceased; and Almira, who married George Parish, and resides
(IV) Rufus T. Haskins was born
Dec. 29, 1839, in Rochester, Mass., on the home farm, and received
his schooling in the district schools of his native town. At the
age of fifteen years, having a desire to follow the adventurous
life of a seaman, he sailed from New Bedford, Mass., on the bark Newton, Capt.
George Sherman, as a common seaman, and after a thirty-four month
voyage of adventure and hardship the vessel was stove in the ice
in the Ochotsk Sea, and the crew was compelled to leave her, reaching
home on various vessels many months later. Notwithstanding his hazardous
experience, the young seaman again set sail on a whaling voyage on
the ship Onward as boat steerer, under Capt. W.H. Allen,
and after three seasons sailing in the same sea wherein the Newton was
lost, they reached port
with over 6,600 barrels of oil. Having still a desire to visit foreign
countries he shipped as mate on board a British merchant vessel, and
visited many European ports. Returning home he later shipped on board
under Capt. Allen as third mate. After making two voyages on that ship,
for the latter of which he sailed as mate, he accepted the same berth
on board the Contest. After succeeding in obtaining about
1,400 barrels of oil on this voyage, the ship, together with thirty-one
other vessels, was caught in the ice and the crew was compelled to abandon
her, taking to the small boats, and for days the men were forced to cut
and break their way through the ice for over twenty miles before reaching
open water and then cruised for forty miles farther, experiencing untold
hardships before they were
finally rescued and taken to the Sandwich Islands. From there Mr. Haskins
sailed to San Francisco, and came home overland.
After a few months he again set
sail on the ship Jerry Pery to the Arctic Ocean. While on
this voyage, they found the ship Helen Snow lodged in
the ice and abandoned. The crew of the Jerry Pery was
divided and Captain Haskins, taking command of the Helen Snow, after
completing a successful
season, brought her to San Francisco. Having spent over twenty years
of his life on the sea he abandoned that career for a less perilous one,
and coming to Scotland in 1869 he purchased the old Tyler homestead and
farm of 130 acres, then owned by Egbert Bass, and now known as the Hillcrest
farm.Here Mr. Haskins has since been successfully engaged in agricultural
pursuits. On July 11, 1867, Capt. Haskins was united in marriage with
Miss Mary Ellen Anthony, daughter of Caleb and Acineth (Grammans) Anthony.
The children born of this marriage were five in number: (1) Rufus Caleb
born July 24, 1871, in Scotland, Conn., where he attended the district
schools. He later learned the trade of blacksmith, and is now successfully
engaged in conducting a shop of his own near the homestead farm.
(2) Leander Owen born Feb. 29, 1876,
in Scotland, Conn., received his education in the district schools
of his native town, and in the Willimantic grammar school. After
leaving the latter he was engaged in teaching for a term in Scotland.
His father, retiring from the active management of the farm, has
turned the same over to him, and he is now conducting one of the best
cultivated farms in the town of Scotland. He has taken an active part
in the agricultural matters, being a member of Shetucket Grange of Scotland,
of which he was overseer and master as well as of Pomona and State Granges,
in the latter of which he is a lecturer. He is a staunch Republican,
takes an active part in the ranks of the party, and has served his town
as tax-collector. He is a member and liberal supporter of the Congregational
Church, and he is public-spirited and alive to the interests of his town.
(3) Jessie Almira, born July 13, 1877, in Scotland, married Elwin B.
Inman, of Scotland. (4) Flora May, born Nov. 26, 1880, in Scotland, married
Daniel Knickerbocker, of Stamford, Conn., where they now reside. (5)
Edith Abby, born Jan. 30, 1884, in Scotland, resides at home. She, as
well as her sisters, has taken a very active part in the Grange work,
and is now serving her second term as secretary of the local Grange.
Mrs. Haskins is a noble
Christian woman, an ideal wife and a devoted mother, possessing those
higher qualities which endear her not only to her immediate family but
to all who know her. She is a member of the Christian Church of Hampton,
Conn., in which she is a faithful worker. She has also taken an active
part in the Grange work, being a member of Shetucket Grange of Scotland.
Capt. Haskins is a man possessing qualities
of integrity, sound judgement and business sagacity; a man of upright
character, who thinks and speaks for himself. He has always been
a consistent and staunch Republican, and his counsel has been sought
by members of that party. He has served his town
acceptably as a member of the board of selectmen for eight years,
assessor for a like number of years, and has held minor offices of
the town. He represented his town in the General Assembly in the
session of 1884, serving on the important committee on Claims. He
was one of the original incorporators and stockholders of the Scotland
Creamery Association of which he was first president, which position
he held for ten years. He is socially affiliated with the Masonic
Lodge, having joined Social Harmony Lodge, No 7, A.F. &
A.M. of Wareham, Mass. He is also a member of Shetucket Grange, of Scotland,
in the organization of which he is active, and which he served as gate
keeper, steward, and overseer. He is also a member of the Pomona and
State Granges. He also served two years as president of the Windham County
Agricultural Society. His religion is of the character which finds good
in all. Capt. Haskins and his family represent one of Scotlands
most honored families and bear the respect and esteem of all who know
Linda D. Pingel great-great
granddaughter of Cyrus White of Rockville, Ct.