Biography of Hezekiah L. Reade
Connecticut Biographies





HEZEKLAH L. READE, JEWETT CITY: President Jewett City Savings Bank.

Hezekiah L. Reade was born in Lisbon, Oct. 1, 1827. He is the only child of Silas and Sarah (Meech) Reade. His ancestors emigrated from England to this country in 1640; settled at Ipswich, Mass., and subsequently came to Norwich, Conn., where they bought a tract of land one mile long by half a mile wide, of Owaneco, the brother of Uncas, on which the family has since continuously resided. The deed of this land bears date 1686. He was educated in the common schools of his town; in select schools in a near village - Jewett City - and in Plainfield academy. Spending his summers at work on the farm, he commenced teaching school winters at the age of seventeen, continuing this occupation with success for many years. In 1864, he added to his farm and other occupations that of manufacturer of paper. The business was successfully conducted, and at length grew into the "Reade Paper Company," which owned and profitably operated three paper mills. Of this company he was for a considerable time the business manager. Disposing of his interest in this business, he was called to the city of New York to take charge of the agricultural department of "The Hearth and Home" an illustrated paper published by Pettingill & Bates and of which both Donald G. Mitchell and Harriet Beecher Stowe were editors. He continued with this paper until it was sold to another leading NewYork journal. In r873, he was one of the projectors of the "Jewett City Savings Bank," and upon its organization was elected its president, and has been reelected at each annual meeting of the corporation since. The institutipn is one of the most prosperous in the state. At the age of twenty two he united with a Congregational church. He immediately began public speaking on temperance, Sunday schools, and on specially religious topics, and in 1874 began the work of an evangelist. His labors since that time have been in five of the New England states, and more or less elsewhere, beside stated ministrations for indefinite times to a large number of churches.

In 1880, he conceived the idea of "compulsory temperance teaching in public schools." He introduced the first bill into the legislature of Connecticut for a public act to this end that was ever presented before any legislative body. He procured letters commendatory of the idea from Noah Porter, D.D., LL.D., president of Yale College; Hon. Chief Justice John D. Park, D.D., LL.D., of this state; Leander T. Chamberlain, D.D., at that time pastor of Broadway church, Norwich, and others, which he published in leaflet form, and whose wide circulation prepared the way for the subsequent adoption of the idea in this state and elsewhere. In r883, he traveled extensively in the west and south in advocacy of this measure; had personal interviews with the governors of Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and other states; presented the matter to legislative committees, and through the columns of western papers to the people, sowing the seed that afterwards yielded a harvest. Subsequently, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union took up the matter, and he withdrew for work in other fields.

Mr. Reade has written a number of books: "Money, and How to Make it and Use it," 600 pages; "Boys' and Girls' Temperance Text Book"; "Reade's Business Reader"; " Story of a Heathen and his Transformation," and others, all of which have had and are having a wide sale. He has been a large contributor to the secular and religious press, and some of his sketches have, with others from kindred pens, taken permanent forms. His editorial connection with Connecticut journalism covers many years.

Mr. Reade was married to Faith B. Partridge in 1867. Having no children of their own, they educated a girl who subsequently became a missionary in Japan; and recently have helped to educate a Japanese who already fills a high place in his government, and whose future is one of great promise, both in secular and sacred lines in the " Sunrise Empire."

Mr. Reade is a republican in politics. Was assistant United States assessor during the last years of the war, and until the office was abolished.

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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