Biography of Edwin A. Buck
Connecticut Biographies





EDWIN A. BUCK, WILLIMANTIC: Wholesale and Retail Merchant.

The subject of this sketch was born in Ashford, Conn., February 11, 1832, and received in addition to a common school education one term at the Ashford Academy. At the age of eighteen he commenced teaching and for six years followed the business of teaching in winter and working on a farm in summer. In 1855 he married Delia Lincoln, also a native of Ashford. In 1856 he commenced business in sawed lumber, which soon grew into a large trade in car timber, plow beams and handles, and also chestnut finishing lumber, large quantities of which were shipped to New York. In this business he used several water power sawmills and employed a large number of men. In the year 1865 he purchased at bankrupt sale the property of the Westford Glass Company, and associating with him the late Capt. John S. Dean and Charles L. Dean, also residents of Ashford, commenced the manufacture of glass under the firm name of E. A. Buck & Co. This firm employed in various capacities about one hundred and fifty men, and made a large addition to the business interest of the town; and so successfully was the business carried on that it became necessary to establish houses in both New York and Boston, not only for the sale of the firm's goods but other lines of goods not manufactured by them. In 1874 he sold out his glass business. For several years he was a director in the Stafford National Bank and one of the original corporators of the Stafford Savings Bank, and also became president of that institution. In 1875 he became interested in real estate in Willimantic and removed to that place in the autumn of that year, resigning his offices in the Stafford banks. In the year 1877 he formed a partnership with the late Allen Lincoln of Willimantic and Everett M. Durkee of Ashford for carrying on a grain business, and soon after purchased the hardware business of Crawford & Banford at Stafford Springs and located his oldest son at that place to take care of the business. This business is still in the same firm name of E. A. Buck & Co., and he has also two other firms of E. A. Buck & Co., one in oil the other in hardware, in Painter, Mass. In addition to the Willimantic firms of E. A. Buck & Co., dealers in hard wood lumber, of which firm Col. Marvin Knowlton is a member, he is also the head of the firm of E. A. Buck & Co., wholesale and retail dealers in flour and grain, of which firm W. A. Buck, the son, is junior partner. In 1885 he was elected a director and the following year president of the Willimantic Savings Institute, holding the position two years through a very critical time in its history caused by the irregularities of its treasurer, but finally placing it on a sound financial basis. He was elected to his first political office, that of constable of the town, soon after his admission as an elector, and in 1856, at the age of twenty four, was elected by the republican party a member of the legislature, being the youngest member in the house. In 1862 he was again elected to the legislature by a coalition of union democrats and republicans by a very large majority. He was also appointed by the town to fill its quota of soldiers, and was a firm friend of the union cause, furnishing money to pay for enlisted men which was afterwards paid by the town. He has always been a firm friend of the soldiers; assisting many of them in obtaining pensions from the government. In 1864 he joined his fortunes with the democratic party, and the town having previously been republican, was carried by the democrats, and in 1865 he was again elected a member of the legislature. He has held nearly all of the town offices, selectman, assessor, town clerk, and judge of probate. In 1874 and again in 1875 he was re elected to the legislature, and during both sessions served on the judiciary committee. In the spring of 1876, after his removal to Willimantic, he was elected to the senate, it being the last session in the old state house, In the autumn of that year he was nominated and elected treasurer of the state, which office he filled for two years. He was renominated for the same position in 1878, but shared the fate of the rest of the democratic ticket. He has always been active in politics, filling the position of town committee and state central committee of the democratic party, and also a member of the finance committee for the last two years.

From:
Illustrated Popular Biography
Of Connecticut
Compiled and Published by J. A. Spalding
Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co.
Hartford, Conn. 1891


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