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Windham County Connecticut
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The Willimantic Journal

An Independent, Local, Family Newspaper.

Published Every Saturday Morning

Office in Franklin Building, Up Stairs

985. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: For the Journal. Mr. Editor: The following notice, which I presume will be interesting to many of your readers, is from the Luzerne Union, a paper published at Wilkes-Barre, Penn, the late residence of Mr. Dyer. The subject of this notice was the son of Col. Thomas, and Elizabeth (Ripley) Dyer, grand-son of Hon. Eliphalet Dyer, and was born in Windham, Jan. 21st 1773; and was at the time of his death, in September last, in the 89th year of his age. W.L.W. The Late Thomas Dyer, Esq. When a man who has filled so prominent a place in community, as has the late Thomas Dyer, Esq., of Wilkes Barre, for more than half a century, it is fitting that his departure from among us should receive more than a mere passing notice. We therefore present the following brief biography and obituary, written at our request by an eminent gentleman of this borough, who doubtless knew Esquire Dyer as well as any one in our midst: The aged Thomas Dyer has departed from among us, and his body lies in the cold and silent tomb. The days of the years of his pilgrimage have been four score and ten years; and the labors and the trials of his life are no ended. His stately form, his form and bold step, his intelligent and pleasant countenance, illumined, as we love to remember it, by the bright and brilliant eye of his middle manhood, will be seen no more on earth forever. He was born in Windham, Connecticut, was the son of Major Dyer, an officer of the Revolutionary war, and the grandson of Col. Eliphalet Dyer, an eminent lawyer of that State when a Province, who in the early contest between William Penn and the Susquehanna Company relative to the right of territory in this North-Eastern section of Pennsylvania, was sent to England to defend the rights of the latter company, before the King in Council. Thomas Dyer was born in 1771, and from his earliest day, in the society and connexion in which he grew up became very familiar with what is now commonly known as the Pennamite and Yankee controversy. This knowledge with his early sojourn in this place enabled him actively in perfecting these borders. We have heard him say that he first visited this Valley in 1797, remaining only a short time, but again he returned and located himself permanently in Wilkes-Barre in the year 1800. He was at that time nearly thirty years of age, and commenced his active duties in this place, by taking charge of the Academy, pursuing also the study of law, and was admitted to the Bar in the month of _____ 1804. There are but few now here who can speak of his earlier days from personal knowledge. The writer of this notice looks back upon an acquaintance of upwards of forty years; even then the early frosts had begun to sprinkle the head which later years had shown so thoroughly whitened; he can personally tell of his intellectual ability, his unwearied industry, the kindness of his heart and the warmth of his affections. It was only to those who were intimately acquainted with him, that the true nature of his character was well known. There was in him ____ diffidence which he rarely overcame and which often in the accidental company of strangers, caused him to retire within himself, and prevented the exhibition of what was truly his character. In some gatherings of society mere tyros in acquirements, or sciolists in learning would, to a looker on have seemed to demand the honors of the moment; but in a meeting of his more intimate acquaintances, the diffident silence of his nature, would be broken, and the power of his own mighty mind be fully exhibited. Appointed at an early day a Justice of the Peace by Gov. McKean, he continued to hold that office, first by appointment, and afterwards by the election of the people it is believed for about forty-five years. Familiarly known among lawyers as the Chief Justice, he was often from his great experience consulted by his brother Justices, and even by Judges on the Bench, for his practice under, and construction of the Acct of 1810 and its supplements. There were in those days no Biau’s or McKinney’s Justice to appeal to, and the ipse dirit of Squire Dyer, upon such questions was regarded as safe and reliable authority. His duties as a Justice prevented his giving much attention to the practice of the law; yet he was a sound and thoroughly read lawyer. ______ questions in legal science delighted him much, and no ___ could give him greater pleasure than the suggestion of question vexata, or a disputed point, which would require investigation and search in the books. Fearne on Contingent Remainders was more interesting to him than the newest novel, or the light production of some celebrated writer, to an ordinary reader. He had no taste for works of more imagination; and as to fiction, we doubt if he never tho’t of it, except in connection with the legal inventions and forms connected with common recoveries or Feigned Issue. He was rather a terror to the young lawyer or student under examination, who with forwardness, or want of becoming modesty, threw down the gauntlet for his opposition; but to modest and diffident worth, which showed an enquiry after knowledge, the kindness of his heart opened with great satisfaction the gathered stores of his own acquirements. The Polemic or the Theologian, too, who in the days of his prime, rashly attacked him on doctrinal or disputed questions, found him a ready combatant and able disputant, and one from whom in such a contest, he would not often escape [unscathed?]. Bred in the school of the Puritans, he was ever a reader of the book of books, the Holy Bible; familiar with every part of it, its moral lessons, and its holy truths were always weapons of his argument. Sometimes when clients came to consult him on questions of man’s law of perhaps doubtful morality, he did not hesitate to answer by another significant questions. ‘What says the law of God?’ He was not one to take principles upon trust either in religion, law or politics; he was a teacher after the truth. He formed his own opinions upon deep, through, and careful study, and when thus formed neither the arguments of others or his own will often led him to change. Give him, what we call some new elementary work on law, and he would peruse it with great avidity; he was never however satisfied with the text of the author, but the reference were all examined by him to test the accuracy of the stated inference or principle. While thus engaged nominally in reading some one, book, the floor, the chairs, and the table in his vicinity would be at the same time strewed with others, to which he was constantly referring. The margins of his books are covered by his own brief annotations, and not always did those which were borrowed from a friend, in the deep abstraction of some particular subject, escape similar mementoes of his perusal. Lord Coke has said that tables and abridgements were the most profitable to the makers; but it was not so with Mr. Dyer. His wonderful memory, made him in truth a living index and table of the law open to the inquiry of every one who in a proper spirit sought for legal information; sometimes perhaps in the annoyance of business, the answer might be a rough one, but it would still be the truth – the index finger always pointing right. Mr. D. was a home man, he rarely for many years went abroad. Occasionally he had been accustomed to attend the sittings of the Supreme Court, and became well acquainted with the old Judges on that Bench; and they, we know, honored the honesty of his character, and the depth of his legal learning. An attendant upon our early Courts, and intimate with the former practitioners at the Luzerne Bar. Duncan, Huston, Hall, the Smiths, Ross and others from different counties, Bowman, Welles, Griffin, Maller, Graham, Evans, Scott, Overton of our own Bar, he had a fund of legal anecdote of times now gone by, with which he often amused his listening friends. But we for bear; he was well known among us and the estimation in which he was held by all, had been already appropriately and beautifully set forth, in the preamble and resolutions adopted at a meeting of the Court and Bar lately held on the occasion of his death. Mr. D., we may be permitted to add, was, we believe, a religious man – orthodox in his faith and sound in his belief, though not connected by profession with any particular church. He trusted in the merits of his Redeemer; and the submission of his latter life, in its great trials was a proof of his sincerity. He lived very long – old age with its infirmities seized upon his body with severity, but his mind remained clear and unclouded. A disease of the eyes brought on by his continued reading many years since, finally ended in his total blindness – he was so deaf too, that nothing but the accustomed voice of warm affection could be heard, yet he complained not; he lived so long "that the grasshopper had become a burden," yet was this burden lightened and his affliction lessened by the constant care and devoted affection of an adopted daughter, who served him faithfully, as a loving child would desire to serve a beloved father. Mr. D. had no children. He married late in life, an excellent lady, the widow of the late Silas Jackson, of Wilkes-Barre; she preceded him into the land of spirits about twelve years and when dying "cast the mantle" of her love and affection upon her daughter; who, as we have said, with singular devotedness in connection with her husband, ministered into the aged and soothed the weary and declining days of an old man’s pilgrimage. He has departed from among us full of years and has left behind him the name of an honest, worthy and excellent citizen. We call upon the young to remember him by this, his reputation; all others, who knew him personally will unite in assenting to ___ confirming the truth of his present brief tribute to the memory of an acquaintance, whom in his life they highly revered, and a man who stood high in the estimation of this community. He is gone where the weary shall fine rest form their labors. "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee." J.N.C. Wilkes-Barre, Sept. 26, 1861.

986. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: A Tribute to Connecticut. The Boston Traveler speaks of the patriotic zeal displayed in the action of our State, as follows: The action of the Connecticut Legislature is of a very warlike character. That State has behaved splendidly from the beginning of the war, and means to preserve in well doing unto the end. She doesn’t brag so much as some other States, but she does much useful work. She worships the Union, and believed that work is worship.

987. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: Fifty thousand loaves of bread are baked every day in the government oven in Washington.

988. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: Benefit Concert for the Lyon Rifles. We are pleased to notice that a concert is to be given at Franklin Hall, this (Friday) evening, by Charley Wheeler’s Minstrels for the benefit of the "Lyon Rifles" organizing under the lead of S.W. Rice and L.E. Braley.

989. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: Hurrah for Columbia. Mr. John B. Tickner of Columbia, raised ten pumpkins this year from one seed, weighing 370 pounds. If there is anything in this United States that can take it down, Secesh included we wish to know it and well go halves with them.

990. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: Col. H.C. Deming of the 12th Conn Volunteers, will address the citizens of the village on Wednesday evening, Nov. 6th, at Franklin Hall on the importance of renewed effort for the raising of troops for the present war. The bare mention of the name of Col. Deming is sufficient to call together a crowded house. With the acknowledged eloquence of the Col. We feel warranted in assuring our citizens, that they will enjoy a rare treat. With the cause at heart and his life in his hand, we trust his appeal will awaken in us a lively sense of our duty to the country. Maj. Hudson and Hon. A.A. Burnham will also be present and address the meeting.

991. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: Lyon Rifles. For the encouragement of cause of enlistment of volunteers for the present war for the maintenance and perpetuity of our glorious union a meeting will be held at Hampton Hill, on Monday evening next (Nov. 4th). The meeting will be addressed by Hon. C.F. Cleveland, Hon. D.P. Tyler of Brooklyn, and other able speakers who have been invited are expected to be present.

992. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: Sharp Shooters of Connecticut. By order of the Adjutant General A. Comstock, New Canaan, Conn. is authorized to raise a company of Sharp Hooters from Connecticut for U.S. service, for three years or the war. All are required to pass the test as established by Col. H. Berdan, which is given with ten consecutive shots with globe or telescope-sighted rifle, distance 200 yards, or opensighted rifle distance 100 yards, at rest to make the average measurement, from centre of Bulls-eye to centre of ball in each not to exceed five inches. Sharps Rifles will be furnished by the State, but whoever wishes to use his own can do so and will be compensated for it by government. A better opportunity was never offered the riflemen of Connecticut to prove their skill and their patriotism. We recommend all our good shots to join this corps, as it is a favorable arm of the service. The time for testing their prowess will be furnished in every Post Office through the State. Try them on! Old Willimantic.

993. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: Breach of Promise. In the Superior Court at Binghamton, N.Y., Miss Emily M. Perry, of Windham, Conn., has been awarded $1000 damages for breach of promise of marriage, by Hiram W. Miner, a native of Stonington, Conn., but now in business in Binghamton. Daniel S. Dickinson was counsel for plaintiff, and the testimony was published in full in the daily papers in Binghamton.

994. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: Washington, Oct. 30. It is understood that Gen. McClellan has issued an order for the shooting of four soldiers found quietly sleeping on the picket posts.

995. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: Major Alexander Warner, of Woodstock, has received and accepted an appointment as Lieutenant Colonel of the 13th Regiment. He served in the 3d with great credit to himself.

996. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: Deaths.
In Coventry, Oct. 27, Esther Sprague, aged 76 years.
In Lebanon, Oct. 27, S.M. Loomis, aged __ years.
In Coventry, Oct. 29, Mrs. Juliette M. Storrs, aged 33 years.

997. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: District of Mansfield, Probate Court, Oct. 28th, 1861. Estate of Fearing Swift, late of Mansfield, in said District deceased. Ordered – That the Administrator exhibit his administration account to this Court for adjustment at the Probate Office in Mansfield on the 6th day of November, 1861, at one o’clock, p.m., and that all persons interested in said Estate may be notified thereof, the Administrator will cause this order to be published in a newspaper printed in Willimantic, and post a copy thereof on the signpost in said town of Mansfield, nearest the place where the deceased last dwelt. Certified from Record, Oliver B. Griggs, Judge.

998. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: At a Court of Probate, holden at Windham within and for the District of Windham on the 28th day of October, A.D. 1861. Present, Justin Swift, Esq., Judge. L.W. Jacobs of Windham, in said District, having assigned his property to Jeremiah King of Windham, as trustee. This Court doth appoint the 4th day of November, 1861, at 9 o’clock; A.M., at the Probate Office in Windham as the time and place for the hearing relative to the acceptance approval and appointment of a Trustee; and it is ordered by this Court that public notice of such hearing be given by advertising this order in a newspaper printed in Windham previous to said day of haring, and return make to this Court.
Certified from Record. Wm. Swift, Clerk.

999. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: At a Court of Probate, holden at Windham, within and for the District of Windham, on the 28th day of October A.D. 1861. Present, Justin Swift, Esq., Judge. On motion of Frank M. Lincoln, Administrator on the Estate of Mrs. Hayden late of Windham, within said district, deceased. This Court doth decree that six months be allowed and limited for the creditors of said estate to exhibit their claims against the same to the Administrator, and directs that public notice be given of this order by advertising in a newspaper published in Windham, and by posting a copy thereof on the public sign post in said town of Windham nearest the place where the deceased last dwelt. Certified from Record. Wm. Swift, Clerk.

1000. TWJ Fri Nov 1, 1861: Lyon Rifles. Recruits Wanted for the above Company, to be attached to the Charter Oak Regiments, 12th Connecticut, Col. Henry C. Deming, for special service under Maj. General Butler. Compensation - $13 per month from Government; $100 bounty at end of War; $90 bounty from State; $6 per month for wife if any; $2 per month for children under 14 years of age, not exceeding five. Recruiting Office, Franklin Building, Willimantic. L.F. Braley, Wm. J. Baldwin.
[remainder of November 1861 issues are missing]

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