BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES FROM HAMPDEN, CT

FROM
HISTORY OF WINDHAM COUNTY, CONNECTICUT

EDITED BY RICHARD M. BAYLES

W. W. PRESTON & CO., NEW YORK 1889



EDWARD SPICER CLEVELAND - DAVID GREENSLIT - SAMUEL STRONG MOSELEY

EDWARD SPICER CLEVELAND. - The subject of this sketch was born in the town of Hampton, in Windham county, Connecticut, on the 22d of May. A. D. 1825. He was the son of the Hon. Mason Cleveland, who was a man of much influence, and universally respected throughout the state, having been both a representative from his town and a senator from his district, also comptroller of the state and subsequently school fund commissioner. He died in the year 1855, soon after the expiration of his term as school fund commissioner. E. S. Cleveland was a nephew of Hon. Chauncey F. Cleveland, also of Hampton, who was repeatedly elected to the legislature and served several terms as speaker of the house, and was governor of the state for two terms, from 1842 to 1844, and subsequently served two terms in congress from the Third congressional district.

Edward Spicer Cleveland received a common school education, with a brief period at the Thompson Academy in the same county. At the age of sixteen he entered upon a mercantile career in Hartford, the capital of the state, as a clerk. At the close of this engagement he opened a dry goods establishment on his own account. Soon after, he was married to Miss Caroline Lucinda Bolles, daughter of Mr. Edward Bolles, one of the leading merchants of Hartford. This occurred in 1846. Mr. Cleveland continued in mercantile business until the year 1861, when he was appointed postmaster at Hartford by President Lincoln. At the expiration of his term of four years he was re-commissioned for another term by Mr. Lincoln’s successor. After eight years’ service in this position he resumed his residence in Hampton, which town he represented in the state legislature in the years 1875 and 1876. In 1877 he returned to Hartford, where he has since resided. In 1888 he was elected to the lower house of the legislature, and in 1885 to the senate, and re-elected in 1888. He was the candidate of the democratic party for governor of the state in the year 1886, by a unanimous nomination, receiving a plurality of 1,898 of the popular vote, there being four candidates in the field. He would have been inaugurated but for that familiar clause in the constitution, dating back to 1818 which requires a majority instead of a plurality to elect. This provision required that the names of the two highest’ candidates should be sent to the legislature for choice, and that body, being republican by a small majority, decided in favor of the republican candidate, who lacked nearly 9,000 votes of a majority. Mr. Cleveland, by the courtesy of the senate, of which he. is still a member, is a visitor for the term of two years to the Scientific School at New Haven, and a state trustee of the Connecticut Insane Hospital at Middletown, for four years from July 1st, 1889.

On the 8th of March, 1889, Mr. Cleveland sustained an irreparable loss by the death of his wife, who was a lady of the highest excellence, always devoted to the household of which she was the light and joy. She was the mother of three children, two of whom survive her, Edward Mason and John. George Henry, the second son, died in 1865. Mr. Cleveland has retired from active pursuits, dividing his time between his country residence at Hampton in the summer, and his home in Hartford during the winter. The care of the household since the death of Mrs. Cleveland has devolved upon the estimable wife of his younger son, John; and her children, named respectively Chauncey Fitch and Edward Spicer; 2d, are the especial care and pride of their grandfather.



DAVID GREENSLIT. - Elijah Greenslit, a farmer and the landlord of one of the early taverns of the town of Hampton, married Mary Burnham. His children were: David, Elijah, Henry, Ebenezer, and one daughter. His son David spent his life in Hampton, the town of his birth, where he was an industrious an. prosperous farmer. He married Nancy, daughter of William Foster, of Canterbury. To this union were born nine children, of whom Lucius, William F. and David grew to mature years.

David Greenslit was born June 2d, 1817, in Hampton, and spent his early years at the schools in the vicinity of his home. At the age of sixteen he became useful as an assistant in the work of the farm, and was thus occupied until his nineteenth year. Leaving the paternal roof he then removed to Brooklyn, the adjoining town, and was for nearly two years engaged as a teacher. Soon after, he purchased a farm in Windham, but preferring a home in his native town, was influenced to dispose of this property and locate as a farmer in Hampton. He was on the 26th of May, 1840, married to Elizabeth, daughter of John Searis, of Brooklyn. Their only daughter, Charlotte E., died in 1866 at the age of twenty-two years.

Mr. Greenslit was in 1844 made a deputy sheriff of Wiudham county, and was for nine years the incumbent of the office. He was then appointed by the legislature to fill the unexpired term as sheriff, and ubsequently elected for two terms to the same office. In 1866 he was elected to the state senate from the Thirteenth senatorial district, and appointed chairman of the committee on state prisons. In 1878 he was elected to the Connecticut house of representatives, and made chairman of the same committee. He has served several years on the republican state central committee, and had much experience in political matters pertaining to the state. Mr. Greenslit is a director of the Windham County National Bank, and has been for ten years president of the Windham County Mutual Insurance Company, as also adjuster of losses for that corporation. He is a director of the Willimantic Dime Savings Bank. Mr. Greenslit, though not a professional man, has given much attention to the study of law, his occupation as a business agent requiring him to be. well versed in legal rules and practices. His services are much sought in the settlement of estates and in kindred offices involving great responsibility and well balanced judgment. Among other positions of trust he was in 1866 appointed by the legislature a member of the board of equalization for the Thirteenth senatorial district.



SAMUEL STRONG MOSELEY. - The Moseley family are among the oldest and most prominent in the town of Hampton. The father of the subject of this biography, Ebenezer Moseley, was a preacher of considerable repute in his day. His son, Samuel Strong Moseley, was born at the homestead of the family in Hampton, in 1786, and in his native town the whole of his active life was spent. He received an academic education, and early embarked in mercantile pursuits, to which he later added farming. In both of these branches of industry he brought to bear the ability and thrift which were the inevitable precursors of success. He was also a large dealer in cattle and sheep, these operations proving extremely profitable. Mr. Moseley. was actively identified with the public affairs of his county, and bore a prominent part in its political conflicts. He represented his constituents for srccessive terms in the Connecticut house of representatives, and filled numerous offices of lesser importance in the town.

He was united in marriage to Harriet Bulkley, of Colchester, Connecticut. To this union were born four Sons: Edward S., who served two terms as state treasurer; George, William and Henry; and two daughters; Eliza and Mary, the first named daughter being the only survivor of these children. Mr. Moseley died in 1866.

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