HON. WILLIAM W. BACKUS, NORWICH.
William W. Backus, the son of James and Dorothy Church Chandler Backus of Woodstock, was the sixth of a family
of eight children, and at the time of his father's death was but thirteen years of age, - having been born October
22, 1803. His mother was the daughter of Charles Church Chandler, a member of the Windham county bar, and one of
the leading lawyers at the bar of the state. His whole life has been spent in Norwich, except part of the year
1819 spent in Marietta, Ohio, in the mercantile establishment of Dudley Woodbridge, Jr. Ill health necessitated
his return to Norwich, where, since 1819, he has resided at the home of his ancestors, completing seven generations.
His time has been spent mainly in farm operations, causing the old farm, with large additions, to bud and blossom,
raising large crops of corn, rye, potatoes, grass, etc.; keeping a large amount of stock annually fattening one
hundred head and buying and selling many more. His losses have been many and his gains considerable, some losses
and some gains all the time. An eager student, he worked days and studied nights after going to bed - sometimes
into the small hours. His genealogical researches have been tireless, and he has recently published an exhaustive
record of the Backus family in a book of about 400 pages, including memoirs, poems, and many other papers of general
interest beyond the limits of the family involved. Mr. Backus is a gentleman of large means, and his private charities
and public benefactions illustrate his wisely philanthropic disposition. His recent gift of $75,000 toward the
founding of the W. W. Backus hospital in Norwich is an example of his practical sympathy for the unfortunate and
distressed. He is now living quietly at his home in Norwich in fairly comfortable health, though bent under the
burden of nearly ninety years.
Illustrated Popular Biography
Compiled and Published by J. A. Spalding
Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.
Hartford, Conn. 1891
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