Simsbury, Connecticut One Place Study

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This profile is part of the Simsbury, Connecticut One Place Study.

This is a One Place Study to collect together in one place everything about the people of Simsbury, Connecticut. Granby was part of Simsbury until 1786, when it became independent.


Simsbury, Connecticut

Simsbury is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The town was incorporated as Connecticut's 21st town in May 1670. Granby was part of Simsbury until 1786, when it became independent. Canton was part of Simsbury until 1806, when it separated.

Originally called Massacoe, the name was changed at incorporation to Simsbury. The precise origin of the name of the town is not known for certain. The town records covering the first ten years after incorporation were accidentally burned in 1680 and 1681. One possibility is that the name of Simsbury comes from the English town of Symondsbury. Joshua Holcomb, one of the petitioners, whose family originally came from Symondsbury. Another possibility is that the name was derived from Simon Wolcott. He was known familiarly as "Sim", and he was considered one of the prominent men of the town.[1]

Town of Simsbury Website.

Simsbury Town Seal


Simsbury lies in the northern end of the Farmington Valley. The east side of Simsbury, going toward the Capital city of Hartford, is flanked by Talcott Mountain, part of the Metacomet Ridge. This mountainous trap rock ridgeline stretches from Long Island Sound to nearly the Vermont border. Notable features of the Metacomet Ridge in Simsbury include Heublein Tower, Talcott Mountain State Park, Penwood State Park, and the Tariffville Gorge of the Farmington River. The 51-mile (82 km) Metacomet Trail traverses the ridge. At the western foot of the mountain, near the Farmington River, grows the Pinchot Sycamore, the largest tree in Connecticut.


Granby was part of Simsbury until 1786, when it became independent. Some of Simsbury's earliest folks settled north along Salmon Brook, and took that name when establishing their own church society in 1739. A half century later, Salmon Brook along with Turkey Hills became the town of Granby and was primarily a farming town, as cash crops were derived from apple orchards, dairy herds, and shade-grown tobacco.

In 1859, Turkey Hills separated from Granby to become East Granby.

Canton was part of Simsbury until they incorporated in 1806. Their industries were once dominated by resin, pitch, and turpentine making along with saw and grist mills. The town includes the villages of North Canton, Canton Center, Canton (Canton Valley), and Collinsville.

There are four census-designated places in Simsbury: Simsbury Center, Tariffville, Weatogue, and West Simsbury.


Bushy Hill Cemetery, 2 Wildwood Road.

First Church of Christ Memorial Garden, 689 Hopmeadow Street.

Jewish Cemetery.

Non-Sectarian (Tariffville) Cemetery, 76 Winthrop Street.

Plank Hill Road Grave (Also known as Mindwell Adams Gravesite), Plank Hill Road.

Pleasent Cemetery. 20 Ox Yoke Drive.

Russell Cemetery, Next to road east of Simsbury Cemetery.

Simsbury Cemetery (Also known as Center Cemetery, Hop Meadow Cemetery, Hopmeadow Cemetery), 16 Plank Hill Road (or 759 Hopmeadow Street).

Simsbury United Methodist Church Memorial Garden, 799 Hopmeadow Street.

Saint Alban's Memorial Gardens.

St. Bernard Roman Catholic Cemetery, 70 Winthrop Street.

Town Farm Cemetery, Between Simsbury and Tariffville.

Vale Cemetery. 20 Ox Yoke Drive.

Also, the following cemeteries have many graves from when these areas were part of Simsbury:

Baptist Cemetery, Granby.

Cosset Cemetery, Granby.

Granby Cemetery, Granby.

Lee Cemetery, Granby.

Vining Cemetery, Granby.

West Granby Cemetery, Granby.

Captain John Viets Cemetery, Newgate Road, East Granby.

Holcomb Cemetery, East Granby.

East Granby Cemetery, East Granby.

East Granby Smallpox Cemetery, on the crest of Hatchet Hill, 1.7 miles southwest of East Granby.

Hartford Mutual Society Memorial Park, Wolcott Road, East Granby.

Holcomb Cemetery, North Granby. Located on Old Newton Holcomb Farm in North Granby.

Canton Center Cemetery, Cherry Brook Road, Canton.

Canton Street Cemetery (Also known as Canton Baptist Cemetery, Canton Springs Cemetery), 6 Canton Springs Road, Canton.

Dyer Cemetery (Also known as Cherry Brook Cemetery, South Burying Ground - Simsbury), Dyer Cemetery Road, Canton.

North Canton Cemetery, North Canton.

Town Maps

Street Map of Simsbury.

Simsbury Street Map.

Simsbury Heritage Map.

Shop Simsbury Maps.

Simsbury on Google Maps.


Public high schools:

Simsbury High School (34 Farms Village Rd.; grades: 09 – 12)

Private high schools:

Ethel Walker School (230 Bushy Hill Road; grades: 7 – 12; Girls only)

The Master's School (36 Westledge Road; grades PK – 12)

Westminster School (995 Hopmeadow Street; grades: 9 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools:

Central School (29 Massaco St.; grades: PK – 6)

Henry James Memorial School (155 Firetown Rd.; grades: 7 – 8)

Homebound (933 Hopmeadow Street; grades: PK – 12)

Latimer Lane School (33 Mountain View Rd.; grades: KG – 6)

Squadron Line School (44 Squadron Line Rd.; grades: KG – 6)

Tariffville School (42 Winthrop St.; grades: KG – 6)

Tootin' Hills School (25 Nimrod Rd.; grades: KG – 6)

Private primary/middle schools:

The Cobb School Montessori (112 Sand Hill Rd.; grades: PK – 5)

St. Mary's School (946 Hopmeadow Street; grades: K – 8)

Historic Schools and Buildings

Horace Belden School (1907) (now the Town Hall/Police Station) and Central Grammar School. At 933 Hopmeadow Street and 29 Massaco Street in Simsbury.

Captain James Cornish House (1720). 26 East Weatogue Street.

Robert and Julia Darling House. Now the Cannon Building, 728 Hopmeadow Street. Built in 1927.

Amos Eno House, also known as the Simsbury 1820 House, 731 Hopmeadow Street. Built in 1822 by Elisha Phelps.

Eno Memorial Hall, civic building at 754 Hopmeadow Street. Built in 1932.

Ariel Ensign House. Federal-style house at 835 Hopmeadow Street was built in 1812 for Ariel Ensign. It was later the home of George Chester Eno. Today the building is the Simsbury ABC House.

Nathaniel Holcomb House (1720), 45 Bushy Hill Rd., Granby.

Amaziah Humphrey House, 42 East Weatogue Street, was built in 1775. Capt. Amaziah Humphrey (1754-1822) married Elizabeth Harris in 1774 and they moved into the house following its completion.

James Humphrey House (1790), Canton. At 285 Cherry Brook Road was built by James Humphrey Sr. between 1790 and 1800.

John Humphrey House, 115 East Weatogue Street. The house stands on land granted to Michael Humphrey in 1668 and is estimated to have been built about 1760, when the estate of his great-grandson, John Humphrey, was inventoried.

Loin Humphrey House, 124 West Road in Canton. Built in 1797 by Loin Humphrey (1777-1854).

Pettibone’s Tavern (1803). Now Abigail’s Grille, 4 Hartford Road. Built in 1780 for Jonathan Pettibone Jr.. The Tavern served as a stagecoach stop on the Boston to Albany Turnpike and was also a meeting place where Capt. Elisha Phelps met with Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys to plan the capture of Fort Ticonderoga. The original tavern was burned to the ground by Indians in 1800, but was soon rebuilt and reopened in 1803.

Capt. Elisha Phelps House (also known as "Phelps Tavern Museum & Homestead"), 800 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury. The colonial-era house was built by David Phelps in 1711. His son Capt. Elisha Phelps received the land from his father and expanded the house in 1771.

Simsbury Townhouse, historic municipal building at 695 Hopmeadow Street. Built in 1839, it was Simsbury's town hall until 1931.

Viets’ Tavern (1760), on Newgate Road, directly across the street from the Old Newgate Prison State Historical Site in East Granby. This 18th-century building was home for many years to the prison warden, who also operated it as a tavern. Dr. John Viets was granted a license by the town of Turkey Hills (now East Granby) to "keep a house of public entertainment." His son John also had a tavern keepers license, and served as warden at the prison until his death in 1777. Luke Viets, John's son, continued to operate the tavern until 1834, and it continued to be the site of traveler accommodations into the late 19th century.

Adelaide Wilcox House (1852), 880 Hopmeadow Street. Named for Miss Adelaide Wilcox, it was built in 1852-1853 and has been owned by a number of prominent families associated with the Ensign Bickford Company. Originally having an Italianate design, the house was altered to the Neo-Classical Revival style around 1900. Also added was a third floor with a grand ballroom. Since 1969 the house has been the Vincent Funeral Home.

Historic Churches

Saint Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church (1895), 7 Maple Street. Saint Bernard's parish was organized and built its first church, c.1850, to serve Irish immigrants who came to Tariffville as laborers. The current church was built on Maple Street where Bishop Lawrence S. McMahon blessed the cornerstone of a new church on September 25, 1892. It was later dedicated in 1895.

First Church of Christ (1830), 689 Hopmeadow Street. First Church of Christ Congregation in Simsbury was founded in 1697. The current church was built in 1830.

St. Mary’s Church, Simsbury (1936), 942 Hopmeadow Street. The first Catholic Mass celebrated in the Hopmeadow Street area of Simsbury was on October 5, 1902. Simsbury Catholics had previously been traveling to St. Bernard’s Church in Tariffville. The Church of the Immaculate Conception was soon built on the north side of Plank Hill Road and dedicated on May 29, 1904. The parish, organized in 1921, eventually outgrew this wood frame structure and a new brick church. Located at 940 Hopmeadow Street, it was dedicated to St. Mary on February 23, 1936.

Trinity Episcopal Church, (1872), 11 Church Street Tariffville. Trinity was founded as a “sister church” of Old St. Andrews in Bloomfield on June 29, 1848. It began holding worship services in Mitchelson Hall on Elm Street in Tariffville. In 1856 they bought an old church building that had been abandoned by the Presbyterians. The first resident pastor was the Reverend Henry H. Bates, who served until 1858. In 1871, the railroad came through and the Church property was seized to make way for the tracks. It was then that the present sanctuary on Church Street was built. Bishop John Williams laid the cornerstone in June 1872 and consecrated the finished building on July 8, 1873. The new Church was built of Portland brownstone. The bell was installed in 1876.

Simsbury United Methodist Church (1909), 799 Hopmeadow Street. Simsbury’s first Methodist church was built in 1840, centrally located in town on Hopmeadow Street. Remodeled and rededicated in 1882, it was eventually demolished in 1908 to make way for a new church building, designed in the Gothic style by architect George Keller. Built of red sandstone with terracotta roofs, and features stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany.


Massaco was a native settlement near the present-day towns of Simsbury and Canton along the banks of the Farmington River. The small, local Algonquian-speaking Indians who lived there in the 17th and early 18th centuries belonged to the Tunxis, a Wappinger people. The Massaco were first encountered by Dutch settlers at the beginning of the 17th century, who referred to the river where they dwelt as the Massaco. Over time, the term Massaco came to refer to the indigenous peoples, the river, the village they occupied, and the land adjacent to the river.

Early settlers came from Windsor seeking land and employment in the pitch and tar manufactory, supported by the abundant pine forests which covered the area. They settled the land on the Tunxis River (Farmington River) by 1663. In 1666 lots were laid out from Nod Meadow (Avon) to Hop Meadow.


The first grants of land, of which any record exists, were made in 1667. These consisted of meadow lands, bordering on the river, and were made to the following persons :

In Meadow Plain: John Gillett, Samuel Wilcoxson, John Case, Minister's lot, John Pettibone.

In Hazel Meadow: John Gillett.

In Terry's Plain: Terrys (family of John Terry).

In Hop Meadow: John Barber, Joseph Skinner, Minister's lot, Thomas Barber, John Drake, Samuel Pinney, Peter Buelll.

In location unknown (maybe The Falls - Tariffville): Joshua Holcomb,

In Weatogue, east: Joseph Phelps, Simon Mills, Nathan Gillett, John Moses, Micah (Michael) Humphrey.

In Newbury's, now, Westover's Plain: Adamses, Bissells, Simon Wolcott. (Captain Benjamin Newberry was an original Simsbury patentee; the land he owned became known as Newberry’s Plain and later as Westover’s Plain and Hoskins Station).

These persons did not immediately remove their families from Windsor to Massacoe, though it is believed that by 1669 all of them had become inhabitants of the new plantation. It is known that there were a few persons, whose names do not appear upon this list, who were among the early settlers of the place. Among them were Samuel Filley, John Griffin, Thomas Maskell, Luke Hill and John Buell.

The terms of settlement were: those who wished to secure their grants had to agree to: (a) plow, mow, fence, and build a habitation on their property within two years; (b) promise to live upon their land for three years before they could sell any of it; and (c) agree to allow a highway across their land if it should be needed for the good of the community.

There were a few exchanging and selling of grant lands over the next few years and new grants were offered. Many new and larger grants were offed in Salmon Brook Meadow to entice new settlers there.

From a return made in 1669, by order of the Assembly, of the names of freemen belonging to each town and plantation, it appears that the number belonging to Massacoe was thirteen. There names are Thomas Barber, John Case, Samuel Filley, John Griffin, Michael Humphrey, Joshua Holcomb, Thomas Maskell, Luke Hill, Samuel Pinney, Joseph Phelps, John Buell, Joseph Skinner, and Peter Buell.

By 1670, areas of Windsor called Weatoque, Hop Meadow, Terry’s Plain and The Falls (Tariffville), petitioned for town privileges. John Case, Joshua Holcomb & Thomas Barber, presented the petition to the General Court. The area was known as Massaco Plantation. In May 1670, the Court ordered that Massaco Plantation be named, Simsbury (or Simmsbury), but locally it continued to be known as Massaco until 1742.

The settlers fled during King Philip's War (1675–76), and the village was burned. It was rebuilt and grew.

In 1679 The Village of Simsbury entered into a contract with Thomas Barber, Ephraim Howard, John Moses and John Terry, to erect a grist and sawmill on Hop Brook.

At a December 17, 1701 Town Meeting, a special committee approved the building of the first schoolhouse in Simsbury. The school would teach the town’s children reading, writing, and arithmetic. There was much discussion as to the location of the school, since the Town is divided by the Farmington River. The decision was to have the first school open on January 1, 1702 on Terry’s Plain which is located on the east side of the river. From April 1 to July 1, 1702 the students would attended a second school house located in Weatogue on the west side of the river. There is a historic marker at the site of the first school house.

In these early days, Connecticut law required every citizen to attend religious services each Sunday and fast day. Because of the hardship and dissatisfaction of having to travel to the main meeting hall new "Ecclesiastical Societies" were formed in the separate areas and established in 1736. After the "First Society" they were the Wintonbury Society, the Turkey Hills Society, and the Northwest Society (Salmon Brook).

Simsbury c. 1736
Simsbury had a person serve the role of Sabbath drummer. The first person to serve this role was Thomas Barber and the last person to serve this role was Andrew Robe, Jr.

In 1723, there was a three day meeting held at the home of Andrew Robe, Sr. concerning division of land in Simsbury. By 1723, Andrew Robe, Sr. had 200 acres.

Simsbury thrived after copper was discovered at East Granby (then part of Simsbury) in 1705. The first colonial copper coins were minted there in 1737 by Samuel Higley.

The first house was built in Canton in 1737 by Richard Case, the first permanent settler of that area. He took possession of land on East Hill, granted to his father, Richard Case, of Weatogue (Simsbury).

The first area in Canton to be settled was Canton Center, which revolved around the First Congregational Church, founded in 1750.

The Pettibone Tavern was built in 1780 to serve as the first stagecoach stop outside of Hartford on the Boston to Albany Turnpike. The tavern was constructed for Jonathan Pettibone Jr. during the revolution. The Pettibone Tavern was a meeting place to exchange news of the war, and Captain Phelps of Simsbury used the tavern as a rendezvous with Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys to engineer the bloodless capture of Fort Ticonderoga in the nearby New York colony.

The families of Nathaniel Holcomb, Nicholas Gossard, George Hayes, and James Hillyer, were given the first land grants "at Salmon Brook" (Granby) toward the end of the 17th Century. The General Court allowed Salmon Brook to set up their own church society in 1736. In 1786, the state legislature incorporated them as the Town of Granby.

Early North Canton settlers came over the King’s Highway (Farms Village Road / West Ledge Road / Route 309) from West Simsbury. Gradually four different villages began to emerge—Canton Center, North Canton, Canton Village (formerly Suffrage), and Collinsville (formerly South Canton.) In 1806 a petition was made to the General Assembly, which was granted, establishing the Town of Canton.

Early Settlers

Thomas Bacon, son of Nathaniel Bacon, was a settler of Simsbury. He married Abigail Maskell, daughter of Thomas and Bethia Maskell. Thomas Bacon was taxed in Simsbury in 1694, but he was not among the first settlers. The name was then spelt, on the records, Backon.

Thomas Barber, an original patentee of Simsbury, was the son of Thomas Barber of Windsor. Thomas Barber, Jr. probably learned the carpentry trade from his father. He built the first meeting house, church and gristmill in Simsbury. Barber received the commission of Lieutenant in the local militia. A famous story told about him is the incident of the drum warning. Apparently he noticed Indians surrounding the town and went onto his roof with a drum and beat out a warning that was heard by the militia company in Windsor who then marched to Simsbury’s defense.

Sergeant Peter Buell of Windsor, third child of William Buell, of same place, was born there 19th August, 1644, whence he removed in 1670 and settled at Simsbury, where he became one of the pioneers and earliest settlers. He died at Simsbury, January 8, 1729, aged 84 years.

John Case was born about 1616 in Aylesham, England, and had settled in Windsor by the 1650s. By 1657 or 1658, Case had married Sarah Spencer, the daughter of William and Agnes Spencer of Hartford, CT. In 1669, the family “removed” to the “Weatogue area” of Simsbury. In 1669 John Case was appointed by the General Court as Constable for Massacoe. He was the first person, belonging to the place, who was invested with office. He represented Simsbury at the General Court in 1670 and several times afterwards.

Benjamin Dibble (1650-1712) was an early settler of Simsbury. In 1698 he purchased meadow land at Salmon Brook. He married Mary Benjamin. Benjamin Dibble's estate at Simsbury was administered in 1712. He had run away and left his wife and children by March 8, 1700. His son Abraham Dibble had 8 children recorded at Simsbury between 1725-42.

John Drake had a grant of land at Hop Meadow, Simsbury, in 1667. Just when John Drake Jr., took up his residence upon it we do not know, but the Committee empowered to lay out the land in Massaco (Simsbury) voted in 1668 that if the "oweners" of lots were not resident upon them by September next, the lots would be forfeited. John Drake's barn was near the site of the present Congregational Church and his name was given to a small stream known as Drake's Brook and to a hill. John Drake was buried in the old burying ground at Simsbury; his tombstone is still standing.

In 1669 James Eno acquired land from Indian tribes in what became Simsbury, in 1670, with its separation from Windsor and incorporation. James died in 1682, leaving a significant estate, much of it to his son, James Eno Jr.. Though still based in Windsor, James Eno Jr. also acquired land in Simsbury beginning in the 1670s. James Jr., like his father, was a farmer and active in community and civic affairs. He fought in King Phillip’s War in 1675 and petitioned for a grant of land in Simsbury in return for his service. James Jr. and his wife, Abigail Bissell, had nine children. When James Junior died in 1714, he left an estate twice the size of his father’s, and divided land holdings among three sons, William, John and David. David, who was only 12 when his father died, grew up at the Windsor homestead. In 1726, David married Mary Gillett of Simsbury and moved to Simsbury, acquiring a house located where St. Mary’s Church now stands.

Nathan Gillett Sr. was one of the first receivers of a grant of land in Simsbury. In the year 1687 or 88 Nathan Gillit of Windsor ... being disposed before his death to dispose of his land did in his lifetime make distribution to his children of said meadow lot in the township of Simsbury to each his proportion being personally himself present ... and is as followeth: "First to his son Elias being the eldest son living" three acres and three rood at Weatoug; to "Nathan Gillit Junior" one part of "Nathan Gillit Senior's" meadow in Simsbury; and to "Thomas Wapples of Hartford" Nathan being "his wife's father" meadow in Weatoug being approximately eleven acres and three roods. Although Nathan Gillett was an original grantee of land at Simsbury, and several of his children resided there, Nathan himself apparently never moved to Simsbury.

Nathan Gillett Jr. was one of the early settlers of Simsbury. From his father's will he received one part of the meadow in Simsbury. He married Rebecca Owen, daughter of John Owen.

John Griffin was among the first settlers having set up the business of making pitch and tar in that area in 1643. The first Indian deed of this territory was given in 1648, by Manahanoose, to John Griffin, in consideration that the grantor had kindled a fire which, in its progress, had consumed a large quantity of pitch and tar belonging to Mr. Griffin. The deed is informal, containing but a few lines, and purports to convey the right and interest of the grantor in all the lands at Massacoe. It is recorded on the town records of Windsor. Soon afterwards, three other principal Indians made a conveyance of their interest in these lands to Mr. Griffin. He is generally considered as the pioneer of the new settlement. He resided on the northerly side of the river, above the falls, and subsequently erected a mill at the falls.

George Hayes was one of the settlers of Simsbury. He removed from Windsor to Simsbury with his second wife, Abigail Dibble, in 1689. He died in Simsbury in 1725.

In 1707, Daniel Hayes, then aged twenty-two, was captured by the indigenous people and carried off to Canada. The capture was witnessed, and a rescue party raised, but the group did not catch up with the captors. He was tied up each night, and bound to saplings. It took thirty days to reach Canada, where Hayes was forced to run the gauntlet. Near the end of the gauntlet, he hid in a wigwam to avoid an attempted blow by a club. The woman in the wigwam declared that the house was sacred, and having lost a husband and son to a war, adopted Hayes as her son. He remained for several years, attending to the woman. Eventually, he was sold to a Frenchman, who learned that Hayes had skill as a weaver, so put him to work in that business. Hayes managed to earn enough to buy his freedom after two years. He then returned to Simsbury, settled down on a farm and married. He became prominent, both in civil affairs as well as the church at Salmon Brook (now Granby).[2]

John Higley became successful importing rum from the West Indies and manufacturing tar, pitch and turpentine. In 1684, he bought the Wolcott Homestead located north of present day Tariffville where he settled his family. Higley soon added huge adjoining tracts of land (the area was called “Higley Town” for more than 150 years in recollection of his purchases and the number of Higley descendants still in the area) and by 1705 was the richest landowner in Simsbury with holdings of approximately 500 acres. Higley held many town offices, was the first captain of Simsbury’s militia, the “Traine Band,” and active in the start up of the Turkey Hill copper mines in present day East Granby.

James Hillyer and Andrew Hillyer, sons of John and Ann Hillyer of Windsor, were two of the early settlers of Simsbury. Sergeant James Hillyer was listed among the Freeman of Simsbury.

Joshua Holcomb was the eldest son of Thomas Holcomb, who immigrated to Windsor and died there in 1657/8. Joshua was born in April 1640. By 1667, he was living at Massacoh (Simsbury); on April 23, 1687, he received a Simsbury land grant from King Charles II for property east of the Farmington River near present day Terry’s Plain. Joshua Holcomb married Ruth Sherwood with whom he had ten children. Holcomb was known to be “one of the sound, substantial men of his time;” he was active in both civic and religious affairs until his death on September 1, 1690, in Simsbury.

Robert Hoskins (1662-1729) was an early settler of Simsbury. He was the son of Anthony Hoskins and Isabel Brown. Robert was born in Windsor and was given the land in Simsbury that was owned by his father. (from the will of Anthony Hoskins: I give to Robert Hoskins, my son, all my land at Simsbury, the homelott, 4 acres, and 16 acres of meadow that I had of John Owen; also 4 acres, a homelott, and 20 acres of meadow which I purchased of Capt Benjamin Newbery, and 10 acres of upland the Towne gave me; also my share in the Commons). He was listed among the Freeman of Simsbury. He was also listed among those being taxed in 1694, 1696, and 1701. Robert married Mary Gillett, daughter of Cornelius Gillett and Priscilla Kelsey Gillett.

Michael Humphrey was another of the first setters. In 1643, John Griffin and Michael Humphrey, who subsequently became distinguished inhabitants of the town, commenced the manufacture of pitch and tar, and the collecting of turpentine, which business was continued, particularly by Mr. Griffin.

Thomas Maskill (Maskell) of Windsor was born in England. He married Bethia Parsons, daughter of Thomas Parsons and Lydia Brown of Windsor. Thomas Maskill, his wife, and his infant daughter, Bathia, moved to Massaco (Simsbury) in 1661. He was listed as a Freeman of Simsbury.

Simon Mills was one of the early settlers of Simsbury. He married Mary Buell, daughter of William Buell, and they had 11 children.

John Pettibone, whose marriage took place in Windsor in 1664 and whose first three children were born there, was one of twenty-five men granted land at Massaco, 29 April 1667. The location of each man’s land was decided by lot, with distribution to "begin at y‘ uper end of Nod Meadow, and so to go downward." John Pettibone drew lot #4 and was assigned the fourth lot from the beginning of the meadow. John Pettibone’s lot was "17 rods by the river and run westerly 40 rods."

Joseph Phelps, b. England about 1629, emigrated with his father to New England, settling with his father in Dorchester, Mass., removing to the settling of Windsor, Ct., in 1635-6. In 1667 he was among the first to receive grants of land in Massaco (Simsbury). In 1669, by order of the Assembly, in a record of the Freeman of each town, we find with others belonging to Massaco (now Simsbury), Joseph Phelps. During King Philip's War, on 13th March, 1676, it was ordered by the General Court that the people of Simsbury remove to the neighboring settlements or plantations with their cattle and valuables, and soon after their buildings were burned by the Indians. This took place Saturday, 26th March, 1676. Early in 1676, the danger being over, most of the settlers returned. May 4th, 1677, we find Joseph Phelps, with nine others, petitioning the General Assembly for assistance in taxing, on account of loss caused by the Indians, which was partially granted.

Andrew Robe, Sr. was also one of the early settlers of Simsbury, locating there from Windsor before 1701. He served as the first town treasurer of Simsbury, for thirty-one years. His son, Andrew Robe, Jr. inherited his land in Simsbury and upon his death in turn donated a parcel to the First Church of Simsbury.

Joseph Skinner was one of the early settlers of Massacoe [Simsbury] in 1667. He removed to Windsor with about 40 other families after the burning of Simsbury by the Indians on 26 Mar 1676. He was admitted to Old Windsor Church on 16 Feb 1678/9 and baptized on Mar 2nd of that same year.

John Terry was one of the early settlers. Terry's Plain takes its name from John Terry, who in 1677 bought land there formerly owned by Aaron Cook, the first settler. Since the entire town had been burned the previous year during King Philip's War, Terry could be considered the area's first permanent resident.

Dr. John Viets came from Europe to New York and in 1710 he removed with his family to Simsbury. He settled at Salmon Brook near the Falls. Dr. Viets left two sons, Henry and John. The life of Henry stretched from 1709 to 1779, the life of John from 1712 to 1777. From these two brothers have sprung all of the Viets name in East Granby, and, for the most part, throughout the country. His daughter Catherine married John Hoskins. His daughter Mary "Mercy" married Ephraim Goff. Dr. John Viets was granted a license by the town of Turkey Hills (now East Granby) to "keep a house of public entertainment." His son Captain John Viets also had a tavern keepers license, and served as warden or keeper at Newgate prison until his death by smallpox in 1777. Luke Viets, John's son, continued to operate the tavern until 1834, and it continued to be the site of traveler accommodations into the late 19th century.

Samuel Wilcox(son) was the sixth named patentee of Simsbury. He was a sergeant in the Simsbury militia, the “Traine Band,” serving with the militia periodically from May 1689 through May 1712. A distinguished citizen of Simsbury, he lived at Meadow Plain, and acted as town attorney in many land transfers. Samuel Wilcox(son) died in Simsbury on March 12, 1713. His branch of the family dropped the final “son” of their name to become the Wilcox family.

Simon Wolcott came to America about 1635 and was a freeman of Windsor in 1654, served in the 1st Conn. Cav. in 1658, received a grant of land at Simsbury 1667; in 1671 sold his land at Windsor and moved to Simsbury where he was Captain of Simsbury militia in 1673; when Simsbury was burned by Indians he returned to Windsor and settled on 200 acres on the South side of the river. One possibility of the name Simsbury is that the name was derived from Simon Wolcott. As he was known familiarly as "Sim" and he was considered one of the prominent men of the town.


1643 - In 1643, John Griffin and Michael Humphrey, who subsequently became distinguished inhabitants of the town, commenced the manufacture of pitch and tar, and the collecting of turpentine, which business was continued, particularly by Mr. Griffin. There is a historic marker commemorating this and other Simsbury historic dates.

1648 - The first Indian deed of this territory was given in 1648, by Manahanoose, to John Griffin, in consideration that the grantor had kindled a fire which, in its progress, had consumed a large quantity of pitch and tar belonging to Mr. Griffin. There is a historic marker commemorating this and other Simsbury historic dates.

1660 - The first house in Simsbury was built by Captain Aaron Cook. In 1677, he deeded the property to John Terry. There is a historic marker to mark this site.

1666 - In 1666 lots were laid out from Nod Meadow (Avon) to Hop Meadow.

1670 - The town was incorporated with the name Simsbury as Connecticut's 21st town in May 1670.

1676 - During King Philip's War In March 1676, the town of Simsbury was first pillaged, then burned to the ground. The settlers remained in Windsor until the spring of 1677, at which time most moved back to Simsbury, although some never returned. There is a historic marker commemorating this and other Simsbury historic dates.

1679 - The first mills erected in town were situated on Hop Brook, near the present site of Tuller's Mills, and were built in 1679. These consisted of grist and saw mills, and were put up by Thomas Barber, John Moses, John Terry, and Ephraim Howard, who contracted with the town to keep the mills in good repair, to grind grain for the tolls allowed by law, to sell to the inhabitants.

1683 - The first meeting house in Simsbury was built in 1683 on Hopmeadow Street and was located near the present center gate of Simsbury Cemetery. It cost 33 pounds to build and was used until 1739. A monument erected in 1935 marks its site. It acted as the church for religious meetings, a school, the court and for town community events.

1702 The first School in Simsbury is opened in Terry's Plain.

1705 - Copper was discovered in Simsbury. Copper mining and smelting begin. There is a historic marker commemorating this and other Simsbury historic dates.

1707 - First settlement east of the mountain in Turkey Hills.

1728 - In 1728, the first steel mill operating in America was located in Simsbury. There is a historic marker commemorating this and other Simsbury historic dates. John Christian Müller/Miller was a principal refiner for the early Simsbury mines.

1737 - The first copper coinage in America was started by Doctor Samuel Higley of Simsbury in 1737. There is a historic marker commemorating this and other Simsbury historic dates.

1737 - The first house was built in Canton in 1737 by Richard Case, the first permanent settler of that area.

1734 - The Weatogue Toll Bridge was built by order of the General Assembly. it was the first highway bridge across the Farmington River.

1780 - The Pettibone Tavern was built in 1780 to serve as the first stagecoach stop outside of Hartford on the Boston to Albany Turnpike.

1786 - Granby established as a separate town.

1806 - In 1806 a petition was made to the General Assembly, which was granted, establishing the Town of Canton.

1836 - Safety Fuse manufacture begins by the Ensign, Bickford & Company fuse factory. [There is a historic marker commemorating this and other Simsbury historic dates. There is an additional historic marker for the Ensign-Bickford Company on Hopmeadow Street.

1845 - Silver plating of spoons and forks begins by the Cowles Manufacturing Company. In 1845 the Cowles Mfg. Co. was organized with William Brown Cowles, Asa Rogers, James H. Isaacson and John D. Johnson. They used German silver as the base for their silver plated wares. The Cowles business led to the first real development in commercial silver plating in this country. There is a historic marker commemorating this and other Simsbury historic dates.


Three years after its founding Simsbury established a militia, then known as a "traine band" to protect against a potential attack from the Dutch. The Grand Committee of the Militia met in Hartford on August 11, 1673 to organize a militia against a potential attack. The Committee ordered the raising of 500 dragoones (calvary) from Connecticut. At that meeting, Simon Wolcott and John Griffin of Simsbury were appointed to command the Simsbury Traine Band, made up of 7 dragoones. The Committee also ordered that each dragoon be provided with a horse, sword & belt, and a musket & pouch with 1 pound of powder and 3 pounds of bullets.

On May 28, 1685 the Traine Band decided to have their training days divided equally between the west and east side of the Farmington River. John Terry was also chosen as Ensign. The land that the monument to the Traine Band is located on was purchased by John Terry in 1677. It is found on the east side of the river.

Men from the Town of Simsbury who served during the Lexington Alarm, April 1775.

Lexington Alarm List from the Town of Simsbury

Zacheus Gillett, Capt : Joseph Cornish, Lt. : Joseph Forward, Ensign : Samuel Booth, Sgt.: Simeon Lewis, Sgt. : Elijah Owen, Sgt. : Benjamin Thrall, Clerk : Matthew Griswold, Corp. : Nathan Gillet, Fifer : John Drake Jr., Private : Reuben Wolworth : Daniel Warner : Phineus Wolworth : Nathaniel Winchel : Aaron Phelps 3rd : Luke Thrall : Ebenezer Merriman : Eli Strong : Oliver Winchel : Levi Dibbel : Uriah Pease : Asael Holcomb, Esq. : Andrew Hyllier, Qr. Master : Richard Gay : Daniel Wilcox : Reuben Clark : Oliver Adams

Amos Wilcox, Capt. : William Wilcox, Lt. : John Brown, Ensign : Richard Case, Sgt. : Aaron Moses, Sgt. : Eliphalet Curtiss, Sgt. : John Foot, Sgt. : Saunders Moor, Corp. : Benoni Moses, Pvt. : Samuel Miller : Othniel Gillet : Abraham Barber : Joseph Wilcox : Peter Merritt : Elisah Graham : William Taylor Jr. : Reuben Barber : John Fletcher : Jedediah Edgerton : Gideon Curtiss : Charles Willcox : Jacob Barber : Ezra Adams : Eliphalet Curtiss Jr. : John Barber : Thomas Barber

Capt. Lemuel Roberts : Left. Abraham Pinney : Sgt. Aaron Pinney : Corp. Levi Pinney : Corp. William Adams : Roger Willcoks : Rubin Fullar : James Eno : Aaron Barnard : Amaziah Barber : Alaxandier Marshel

Militia of the Connecticut Colony during the American Revolution. Units that raised men from Simsbury:

First Regiment Connecticut Militia – Raised 1739. (Hartford, Windsor, Simsbury, Bolton, Tolland, Harwinton, Torrington, New Hartford, Barkhempsted, Hartland, Colebrook, Winchester, Farmington (First Society).

  • Hartford (West Side), Windsor, Suffield, Wintonbury *

Eighteenth Regiment Connecticut Militia – Raised 1774. (Simsbury (Formerly of the 1st Conn. Regt.), New Hartford (Formerly of the 1st Conn. Regt.), Hartland (Formerly of the 1st Conn. Regt.), Barkhamsted (Formerly of the 1st Conn. Regt.), Colebrook (Formerly of the 1st Conn. Regt.).

18th Regiment, Connecticut Militia, American Revolution.

MINUTE MEN OF SIMSBURY. - Simsbury men belonging to the 1st Company in the 18th Regiment of Militia, Abel Pettibone Captain, Jonathan Pettibone Colonel, who "inlisted to serve as Minute-Men for the Defense of this and the adjoining Colonies" June 11, 1776.

Ehud Tuller * Ahijah Pettibone * Noah Humphry Jr. * Isaac Alderman * Joel Tuller * Ozios Phelps * Joel Case * Isaac Willcocks * Richard Humphry * John Alderman * James Cornish Jr. * Aaron Willcocks * Sarrid Thomas * Elisha Willcok * Eli Alderman * Isak Allen * Elijah Tuller

(The following names found upon the back of the same paper appear to be a further record of inlistments.)

David Phelps * Sedose Willcoks * Joseph Foot * Joseph Goodwine * Dudly Pettibone * Caleb Case * Samuel Goodwine * Peres Maskel * Moses Case * Jonathan Case

(L. W. Bigelow, Simsbury),

Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, Volume 8. Simsbury Minute Men pg 164.

At Hop Meadow Cemetery, Simsbury at [ Memorial Plaque] was erected to men in the Revolution from Simsbury.

1775 - 1783

We, the people of the Town of Simsbury, do hereby recognized the many hardships and countless sacrifices made by all those brave American Revolutionary Soldiers; especially those from Simsbury, who died for our freedom from England. We hereby dedicate this bronze memorial plaque as an everlasting tribute to these American heroes, whose gallant and brave efforts brought us to the birth of the United States of America and adoption of the Constitution. To these courageous countrymen, we are eternally grateful.

Fifer Daniel Barber . Private John Fletcher . Ensign Oliver Humphrey . Fifer Jehiel Bidwell . Captain Abel Forward . Private Richard Humphrey . Private Benjamin Brewer . Major John Garritt . Private George Merrill . Captain John Brown . Private Dudley Hayes . Lieutenant Joseph Moore . Captain Jonathan Buttolph Sr. . Ensign Carmi Higley . Private Daniel Moses Sr. . Private Seth Case . Private Josiah Higley III(Higley II) . Private Uriah Pease . Private Josiah Clark . Corporal Jedediah Holcomb . Captain Jonathan Pettibone Sr. . Private Lemuel Colton . Private Thomas Holcomb . Private Samuel Pettibone . Lieutenant Joseph Cornish . Major Elihu Humphrey . Captain Elisha Phelps . Private Jesse Cosset . Sea Captain Elijah Humphrey . Private Zacheriah Prince . Private Roger Cossitt . Private Erastus Humphrey . Private Thomas Wright .

Simsbury Revolutionary War Memorial Plaque

217 men from Simsbury served in the Union army. Thirty-five of them died -- 10 in combat, 8 as prisoners of war and 17 of disease.

A Soldier's Monument was erected 1895 at 343 Hopmeadow Street, Weatogue in Simsbury to commemorate the Simsbury soldier's who served in the Civil War. One of the plaques lists 37 Simsbury residents who were lost in the war. (The following names are from the plaque and the units were added based on research by James Paxton).

Pvt. Thomas B. Andrus, 13th Conn. Inf., Co. D.

Pvt. Curtis Bacon (1839-1864), 1st Conn. Light Artillery.

Pvt. Robert Ballentine (1824-1864), 16th Conn. Inf., Co. A.

Pvt. Orlando Bringmid, 31st Colored Inf. Reg., Co. D. (amalgamated from the 30th Conn. Colored Inf.).

Pvt. Duwaine Brown, 8th Conn. Inf., Co. A.

Pvt. Albert Cann, 29th Conn. Colored Inf., Co. H.

Pvt. Hosea E. Case, 16th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Pvt. Oliver C. Case (1839-1862), 8th Conn. Inf., Co. B.

Pvt. Elisha Cleveland, 11th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Pvt. James Grugan, 16th Conn. Inf., Co. I.

Surgeon Wharton H. Godard (1830-1863), 25th Conn., Inf.

Pvt. Edward Gorman, 11th Conn. Inf., Co. D.

Pvt. Lucius E. Holcomb (1842-1862), 1st Conn. Cavalry, Co. A.

Pvt. Charles Hudson, 11th Conn. Inf., Co. C.

Pvt. William Jackson, 29th Conn. Colored Inf., Co. C.

Wagoner Christopher C. Johnson, 16th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Cpl. William Johnson, 16th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Pvt. John Jones, 11th Conn. Inf., Co. A.

Cpl. John R. Kilbourn (1842-1862), 10th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Pvt. William Mahar, 25th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Pvt. Felix C. Maine, 16th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Pvt. Lucius F. Marks, 25th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Sgt. James McKinney, 6th Conn. Inf., Co. G.

Pvt. John Meal, 11th Conn. Inf., Co. D.

Cpl. Edward D. Prindle, 1st Inf., Co. C / 25th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Pvt. Trowbridge Prindle, 5th Conn. Inf., Co. B.

Pvt. George A. Shepard, 11th Conn. Inf., Co. D.

Pvt. Miles D. Shepard (1843-1862), 16th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Pvt. Richard Sizer, 7th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Pvt. Gustavus Straubelt, 1st Reg. Conn. Heavy Artillery, Co. K.

Sgt. Thomas B. Tallmadge (1835-1862), 9th Conn. Inf., Co. K.

Pvt. Charles Tencellent, 7th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Cpl. Samuel Taylor, 10th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Cpt. Joseph R. Toy (1836-1862), 12th Conn. Inf., Co. H.

Pvt. Leroy "Laroy" Tuller (1822-1863), 25th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Pvt. James Wells, 16th Conn. Inf., Co. E.

Pvt. Orvil "Orville" M. Wison (1841-1862), 16th Conn. Inf., Co. G.

The monument has the names of the following Simsbury Civil War Veterans:

John L. Legeyt * Gavette B. Holcomb * Benajah E. Holcomb * Hubbard Hollister * Alexander M. Beard * Philip Bacon * James Bowen * Thomas Burke * Frank B. Cook * John Dickson * Joseph Dixon * Owen Downey * Thomas Gordon * Martin Andrews * Thomas Murphy * Morrison Bacon * Curtis Bacon * Eugene F. Bacon * Leroy Tuller * William Starrs * Andrew Winters * Wilbur B. Case * Henry Cook * James Crugan * Abraham Cope * Henry Shaw * John F. Wilson * John Bare * James Wells * Thomas B. Andrus * John Jones * William Johnson * Joseph Hazeltine * Hiram E. Stickles * Edward D. Prindle * Isaac Prindle * Henry F. Prindle * Trowbridge Prindle * John Ketchen * Andrew J. Ketchen * John Meal * William Ballantine * Daniel Ballentine * Lucius W. Bigelow * George M. Phelps * Miles D. Shepard * John Duane * James Quinn * Timothy Hayes * David Crosslev * John Doolen * James W. Dowd * William Mahar * Pierre Gagnon * William Lipsey * John H. Bailey * Lawrence Kelley * Hugh Crugin * Benjamin George * Harvey Tucker * Alexander Cook * Francis Becket * Francis McCraw * John Pratt * Hugh Munroe * Oliver C. Case * John E. Case * Hosea E. Case * John Fyfe * John Martin * James McKnight * John Kelley * Thomas Crossley * Lucius E. Holcomb * Watson M. Spring * Orlando Bringmid * William Jackson * George Brown 2nd * Albert Cann * Luther Harris * Sydney Kelsey * Henry Saunders

Officers of Simsbury who served in the Civil War taken from Report, Connecticut. Adjutant General's Office, 1863. Rosters of Connecticut Civil War Regiments.

2nd Lt. George McKew, Co. E, 10th Connecticut Infantry Regiment.

2nd Lt. David H. Holmes, 10th Connecticut Infantry Regiment.

Captain Joseph R. Toy, 12th Connecticut Infantry Regiment.

2nd Lt. Alonzo G. Case, 16th Connecticut Infantry Regiment.

Major Moses E. St. John, 25th Connecticut Infantry Regiment.

2nd Assistant Surgeon W. Horatio Goddard, 25th Connecticut Infantry Regiment.

2nd Lt. Robert T. Duncan, Co. E, 25th Connecticut Infantry Regiment.

General Thomas Scott Mather, Colonel of the 2nd Illinois Artillery. Then Chief of Staff to Maj. General John A. McClernand, then Acting Assistant Inspector General for the Dept. of the Susquehanna.

People in local Government

John Terry is assumed to be the first Town Clerk of Simsbury, appointed 1670. (the records were burnt within eight or ten years after this time).

John Slater, Town Clerk appointed 1680.

Andrew Robe, Sr., first Town Treasurer, appointed 1701. The office of Town Treasurer was created in 1701 to be chosen yearly and for the purpose of calling the tax collectors to account for their work and to sue them if necessary for the proper collecting of all the taxes. The first Town Treasurer was Andrew Robe, who received an annual salary of ten shillings for the thirty-one years he was in office.

John Slater Jr., Town Clerk appointed 1712.

John Humphrey, Town Clerk appointed 1717.

Nathaniel Holcomb, Town Clerk appointed 1720.

John Humphrey Jr., Town Clerk appointed 1732.

John Owen, Town Clerk appointed 1756.

Benjamin Farnham, Town Clerk appointed 1783.

Noah A. Phelps, Town Clerk appointed 1796.

Dudley Pettibone, Town Clerk appointed 1800.

Amaziah Humphrey, Town Clerk appointed 1805.

Benjamin Ely, Town Clerk appointed 1809.

Jonathan Pettibone, Town Clerk appointed 1818.

Moses Ensign, Town Clerk appointed 1824.

Elisha Phelps (1779-1847) was Postmaster of Simsbury 1837.

A. S. Chapman was Postmaster of Simsbury 1901.

Chauncey Hart Eno (1849-1926) was a First Selectman of Simsbury as of 1888.

William H. Whitehead was a First Selectman of Simsbury 1896-1904.

Morton Sanford was a First Selectman of Simsbury 1908-1910.

Andrew J. Welch (1870-) was a First Selectman of Simsbury 1911 and 1919-1922.

Harry N. Curtiss was a First Selectman of Simsbury 1926-1927.

Elbert H. Curtiss was a First Selectman of Simsbury 1947-1956.

Russell S. Shaw was a First Selectman of Simsbury 1957.

Mary A. Glassman was a First Selectman of Simsbury 2011-2012.

Andrew Robe, Jr. served in the Simsbury General Assembly in 1747, 1749-1751, 1753, and 1754.

Notable People

James Adams (1783–1843), lawyer and early convert to Mormonism. He was born in Simsbury, Connecticut to Parmenio Adams and Chloe Nearing.

Parmenio Adams (September 9, 1776 – February 19, 1832) was a businessman and politician from New York. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives. Adams was born in Simsbury, Connecticut to Parmenio Adams and Chloe Nearing.

Daniel Barber (October 1756-1934) was an American priest of the Episcopal Church who became a prominent convert to Roman Catholicism. Barber was born in Simsbury, Connecticut. Barber served two terms as a soldier in the Continental Army. At thirty years old, he was ordained a minister of the Episcopal Church at Schenectady, New York. He married Chloe Case, daughter of Judge Owen of Simsbury, Connecticut.

Levi Barber (1777–1833), U.S. Representative from Ohio.

Lucius Israel Barber (October 7, 1806 – February 16, 1889) was a politician in the Wisconsin Territory and Connecticut. Barber was born in Simsbury, Connecticut. He graduated from Amherst College and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Barber was a member of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature from 1838 to 1839, serving as Speaker of the Wisconsin Territorial House of Representatives in 1839. He was again a member of the Legislature serving in the Wisconsin Territorial Council from 1840 to 1844. Barber was a member of the Whig Party. He moved back to Simsbury, Connecticut. In 1850, he served in the Connecticut House of Representatives as a Whig and was a probate judge. Barber was also a historian and wrote books about the history of Simsbury, Connecticut.

Dudley Pettibone Ely (November 16, 1817 – July 9, 1895) was the first mayor of South Norwalk, Connecticut, beginning in 1870, when the city was first incorporated. He served from 1870 to 1872, was succeeded in office by Walter C. Quintard, and then returned to office from 1876 to 1877. He was born in Simsbury, the youngest child of Benjamin Ely, a graduate of Yale College in 1786. As a youth, he worked in a store in Simsbury, and by the age of eighteen, was a manager of a store in West Hartland, Connecticut. After a year, he went to New York City, to work with his brother as a bookkeeper.

Roger Enos (1729 – October 6, 1808) was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, the son of David and Mary (Gillet) Eno. At the start of the American Revolution, Enos was a major in the 2nd Regiment of Connecticut Militia. He joined the Continental Army and was commissioned lieutenant colonel of Connecticut's 22nd Regiment. He later commanded the Vermont Militia as a Major General.

Sarah Pratt McLean Greene (1856–1935), novelist, born in Simsbury. Sarah "Sally" McLean was born in 1856 in Simsbury, Connecticut, the fourth of five children of Dudley Bestor McLean and Mary Payne McLean. Her brother George P. McLean became a governor of Connecticut and U.S. senator.

Samuel Higley (1687–1737), reputed to have coined the first copper coins ("Higley coppers") in the colonial United States.

Friend Humphrey (March 8, 1787 – March 15, 1854) was an American merchant and politician from New York. He was born in Simsbury, Connecticut. In 1811, he moved to Albany, New York, where he engaged in the leather trade. He was a Whig member of the New York State Senate (3rd D.) in 1840 and 1841. He was Mayor of Albany from 1843 to 1845, and from 1849 to 1850.

Heman Humphrey (March 26, 1779 – April 3, 1861) was a 19th-century American author and clergyman who served as a trustee of Williams College and afterward as the second president of Amherst College, a post he held for 22 years. Humphrey was born in West Simsbury, Hartford County, Connecticut (which became Canton, Connecticut). His father's name was Solomon Humphrey, descended in direct line from Michael Humphrey, an immigrant who came from England some time before 1643. Heman's mother Hannah Brown Humphrey was the second wife of Solomon and was the eldest of the six children of Captain John Brown, who died on June, 1776, during the American Revolution in defense of New York. Heman's father Solomon was a farmer and moved from Simsbury in 1755, first to Bristol and then to Barkhamstead, where he died in 1834. Humphrey graduated from Yale University with an A.M. in 1805 and was ordained a Congregational minister on March 16, 1807. He was the father of U.S. Representative James Humphrey.

Reuben Humphrey (September 2, 1757 – August 12, 1831) was a United States Representative from New York. Born in West Simsbury, Hartford County, Connecticut on September 2, 1757, he completed preparatory studies and enlisted as a Private in the Connecticut Militia for the Revolutionary War. He took part in several actions, including the Battle of Long Island, and received his commission as an officer. Humphrey continued his military service after the Revolution and was discharged as a Major in 1796. He held several local offices, including serving in the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1779, 1791 and 1793. He was Keeper of Newgate State Prison in Simsbury, Connecticut for five years. In 1806 he was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the 10th United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1807 to March 3, 1809.

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968), worked on a tobacco plantation in Simsbury during the summers of 1944 and 1947 to earn money for college.

George Payne McLean (October 7, 1857 – June 6, 1932) was the 59th Governor of Connecticut, and a United States Senator from Connecticut. He founded the 4,200-acre (17 km2) McLean Game Refuge in Simsbury. McLean was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, one of five children of Dudley B. McLean and Mary Payne McLean.

John Owen Pettibone (October 22, 1787 – August 19, 1876) was an American politician. He was born in Simsbury, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale College in 1805 and was the last surviving member of the Class of 1805. He had spent his life in Simsbury, highly respected and honored. He had repeatedly been a member of both houses of the Connecticut State Legislature. He died at Simsbury, Aug. 19, 1876, at the age of 89.

Anson Green Phelps (March 24, 1781 – November 30, 1853) was an American entrepreneur and business man from Connecticut. Beginning with a saddlery business, he founded Phelps, Dodge & Co. He was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, Phelps was an active member of the Congregational Church, and he took an interest in a number of philanthropic causes. He contributed generously to the American Bible Society, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the American Home Missionary Society, the Colonization Society, the Blind Asylum of New York City, and served as the president of each at some point during his life. He also contributed to many other societies and charitable institutions both while he lived and through his estate. He gave his native town of Simsbury, Connecticut US$1000 to aid the poor. Among his other philanthropic activities was the creation of the Anson G. Phelps lecture series on early American history at New York University. Phelps married Olivia Egleston, daughter of Elihu and Elizabeth Egleston, on 26 October 1806 at the age of 25. He and Olivia had nine children.

Elisha Phelps (1779–1847), congressman from Connecticut. He was the son of Noah Phelps and father of John Smith Phelps, who was a United States Representative from Missouri and the 23rd Governor of Missouri. He graduated from Yale College and from Litchfield Law School. His home, which he built in 1820, has been renamed the Amos Eno House, after a subsequent owner. It still stands in Simsbury and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

John Smith Phelps (December 22, 1814 – November 20, 1886) was a politician, soldier during the American Civil War, and the 23rd Governor of Missouri. John Smith Phelps, the son of Elisha Phelps, was born in Simsbury, Hartford County, Connecticut. He attended common schools and then studied law at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, graduating in 1832. He was admitted to the bar in 1835 and commenced practice in Simsbury. After his marriage to Mary Whitney on April 20, 1837, he moved to Springfield, Missouri, and quickly became one of the leading lawyers in southwest Missouri. Phelps was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1840. Four years later, on March 4, 1845, he was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-Ninth Congress, and to eight succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1863). In 1857 Missourians honored him by naming the newly created county of Phelps after him. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Phelps returned to Springfield and enlisted as a private in Captain Coleman's Company of Missouri Infantry (Union). He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on October 2, 1861 and to colonel December 19, 1861. Following the Union defeat at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Mary Phelps cared for the body of General Nathaniel Lyon, killed during the battle, while her husband retreated with the Union army to Rolla. By special arrangement with President Abraham Lincoln, Phelps organized an infantry regiment which bore his name, Phelps’s Regiment, Missouri Volunteer Infantry. The regiment spent most of the winter of 1861—62 as the garrison of Fort Wyman at Rolla. In March 1862, Phelps led his regiment in the fierce fighting at Pea Ridge in Arkansas. He was mustered out May 13, 1862. In July 1862, he was appointed by President Lincoln as Military Governor of Arkansas, but he resigned the position due to ill health. In 1876 he was elected as the 23rd Governor of Missouri.

Major General Noah Phelps (January 22, 1740 – November 4, 1809) was born in Simsbury, the son of Lt. David Phelps and Abigail Pettibone Phelps. He was a Yale University graduate, a justice of the Peace, judge of Probate for twenty years, and was a Delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to ratify the Federal Constitution. Phelps raised a militia company mostly at his own expense, and was appointed captain. He served under Col. Ward, was at Fort Lee, joined General George Washington's army, and was at the battles of Trenton and Princeton. Later he acted as commissary, and after the war was chosen Maj. Gen. of militia.

Pauline Phelps (November 13, 1870 – January 6, 1963) was an American writer and playwright, known for writing short monologues for recitation, and for her collaborations with partner Marion Short. Pauline Isabelle Phelps was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, the daughter of George Mortimer Phelps and Abigail Case Phelps.

Gifford Pinchot (August 11, 1865 – October 4, 1946) was an American forester and politician. He was born in Simsbury, the oldest child of James W. Pinchot, a successful New York City interior furnishings merchant, and Mary Eno, daughter of one of New York City's wealthiest real estate developers, Amos Eno. He enrolled in Phillips Exeter Academy and graduated from Yale in 1889. At Yale he became a member of the Skull and Bones society and played on the football team under coach Walter Camp, He served as the 4th Chief of the U.S. Division of Forestry, as the 1st head of the United States Forest Service, and as the 28th Governor of Pennsylvania.

Eunice (Griswold Holcombe) Pinney (9 February 1770‒1849) was an American folk artist active in the towns of Windsor and Simsbury, Connecticut. The marriage of Eunice's parents, Simsbury natives Eunice Viets and Elisha Griswold, reportedly "brought together two of the most considerable families and estates in the town. Eunice was the fifth of the couple's eight surviving children. Her brother (the couple's second child) was Alexander Viets Griswold, who became the first and only Episcopal bishop of the Eastern States Diocese. Eunice married Oliver Holcombe of Granby (born 1769). Eunice had two children from this marriage: Hector and Sophia Holcombe (Phelps). In 1797, Eunice married Butler Pinney of Windsor (1766-1850). Eunice and Butler had three children: Norman, Viets Griswold and Minerva Emeline (Bright). Minerva also was an artist and taught painting at a school in Virginia for several years before her marriage. Eunice died in Simsbury at the age of 79. Although many of Pinney's surviving works are owned by her descendants, important examples have entered public collections, including the National Gallery of Art, Washington and the American Folk Art Museum in New York City.

Norman Pinney (October 21, 1800 in Simsbury, Connecticut – October 1, 1862 in New Orleans, Louisiana) was an American teacher, minister, and author. He was the son of Butler Pinney (1765–1850) and Eunice Griswold (1770–1849). He graduated from Yale College in 1823. In 1826 he became a tutor in Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, and in 1828, Professor of the Ancient Languages in the same institution. Pinney was admitted by Bishop Brownell to the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal Church. He was the author of a well known series of text-books for instruction in the French Language.


Simsbury Historical Society, 800 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT 06070.

Early Simsbury Connecticut Wiki Tree Free Space Page.

Connecticut Simsbury.

Connecticut Office of Tourism. Simsbury.

Connecticut Society of Genealogists. Simsbury.

Simsbury Public Library, 725 Hopmeadow St., Simsbury, CT 06070.

The Simsbury Free Library, 749 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, Connecticut.

Simsbury Town Clerk, 933 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT 06070.

Tariffville Village Association.

Salmon Brook Historical Society.

Canton Historical Museum.

East Granby Historical Society.

Connecticut Towns.

Family Search. Simsbury, Hartford County, Connecticut Genealogy.

LDS Genealogy. Simsbury Genealogy (in Hartford County, CT).


  • History of Simsbury, Granby, and Canton : from 1642 to 1845 by Noah A. Phelps, 1845. Simsbury.
  • Simsbury; being a brief historical sketch of ancient and modern Simsbury, 1642-1935 by John Edward Ellsworth, 1935. Simsbury.
  • Simsbury, Connecticut, births, marriages and deaths, transcribed from the town records, and published by Albert C. Bates. Simsbury records.
  • The memorial history of Hartford County, Connecticut, 1633-1884 by J. H. Trumbull. Simsbury pg 341.
  • The Brittle Thread of Life: Backcountry People Make a Place for Themselves in Early America by Mark Williams, Yale University Press, 2009. The Brittle Thread of Lide.
  • Record of service of Connecticut men in the I. War of the Revolution, II. War of 1812, III. Mexican War by Connecticut. Adjutant-General's Office; Johnston, Henry Phelps,, 1899. Eleventh Regiment of Militia officers pg 438.
  • Record of service of Connecticut men in the I. War of the Revolution, II. War of 1812, III. Mexican War by Connecticut. Adjutant-General's Office; Johnston, Henry Phelps,, 1899. Eighteenth Regiment of Militia pg 470.
  • Simsbury's part in the war of the American revolution by Charles Edward Stowe, 1896. Simsbury's Part.
  • Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the Army and Navy of the United States During the War of the Rebellion, Connecticut. Adjutant-General's Office, 1889. Rosters.
  • Genealogical notes, or Contributions to the family history of some of the first settlers of Connecticut and Massachusetts by Nathaniel Goodwin, 1856. first settlers of Connecticut.
  • Simsbury by Mary Jane Springman, Alan Lahue, 2011. Simsbury.
  • Records of the Society Or Parish of Turkey Hills, Now the Town of East Granby, Connecticut, 1737-1791. Society of Turkey Hills.
  • Genealogy of the first seven generations of the Bidwell family in America by Edwin M. Bidwell, 1884. Bidwell.
  • A Genealogy of the Curtiss Family: Being a Record of the Descendants of Widow Elizabeth Curtiss, who Settled in Stratford, Conn., 1639-1640. By Frederic Haines Curtiss, 1903. Peter Curtiss pg 65.
  • A Genealogy of the Curtiss-Curtis family of Stratford, Connecticut : a supplement to the 1903 edition by Harlow Dunham Curtis. Eliphalet Curtiss pgs 127-128.
  • The descendants of John Drake of Windsor, Connecticut by F. B. Gay and H. B. Drake, 1933. John Drake of Windsor.
  • Eno Family by Henry Lane Eno, 1920. Eno.
  • Thomas Maskell of Simsbury, Connecticut : his son Thomas Maskell of Greenwich, New Jersey, and some of their descendants by Frank D. Andrews, 1927. Thomas Maskell of Simsbury.
  • Andrew Moore of Poquonock and Windsor, Conn., and his descendants by Horace Ladd Moore, 1903. Andrew Moore of Windsor.
  • Historical sketches of John Moses, of Plymouth, a settler of 1632 to 1640 : John Moses, of Windsor and Simsbury, a settler prior to 1647 ; and John Moses, of Portsmouth, a settler prior to 1640. by Zebina Moses. John Moses of Windsor and Simsbury pg 25.
  • A genealogy of the Viets family with biographical sketches: Dr. John Viets of Simsbury, Connecticut, 1710, and his descendants written and comp. by Francis Hubbard Viets., 1902. Dr. John Viets of Simsbury, Connecticut.
  • A Genealogy of the Viets family with biographical sketches: Dr. John Viets of Simsbury, Connecticut, 1710, and his descendants written and comp. by Francis Hubbard Viets., 1902. Viets Family of Simsbury.


Simsbury Life.

Simsbury Post.

The Valley Press is a weekly newspaper delivered to homes in Avon, Burlington, Canton, Farmington, Granby and Simsbury.

The Hartford Courant is a daily newspaper that includes news about Simsbury, Granby, and Canton.

The online news service, Patch News, has pages for Simsbury and Granby news.

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Hello James,

Great study! I'm doing project maintenance and a check-in.

One Place Studies now has a Project Profile:

Please add it as a co-manager of this study page. wtoneplacestudies <at>

Thank you!


Project Leader - One Place Studies

posted by Azure Robinson
Thank you! Added as co-manager.
posted by James Paxton