BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES FOR STERLING, CT

FROM
HISTORY OF WINDHAM COUNTY, CONNECTICUT

EDITED BY RICHARD M. BAYLES

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



Ambrose H. Bates - James Pike - Avery A. Stanton



AMBROSE H. BATES. - William Bates, who resided in Coventry, Rhode Island, married Mary Hopkins. To this union were born twelve children, of whom Ambrose H. is the subject of this sketch. His birth occurred February 21st, 1832, in Coventry, where he resided until his eighteenth year. He enjoyed but limited opportunities for acquiring an education, but in later years by careful and intelligent reading of the best literature, in a measure made amends for the want of early advantages, and thus possessed a well-stored and disciplined mind.

At the age of eighteen he entered the whaling service and for twenty years followed a seafaring life, cruising in various parts of the world on extended voyages. On abandoning.his vocation he settled in Oneco, in the town of Sterling, and began, a mercantile career as the proprietor of a country store. Mr. Bates continued thus employed for five years, and after an interval of of leisure again engaged in business as an undertaker, establishing a large and increasing patronage, which was maintained until his death on the 21st of February, 1885, in his fifty-third year. He enjoyed an extended acquaintance among public men throughout the state, was a man of progressive ideas, and active in the promotion of various useful enterprises. A democrat in his political views, he filled a number of local offices and in 1877 represented his town in the Connecticut legislature. Mr. Bates was also identified with the Masonic fraternity, in which he occupied a leading position.

He was, Augast 12th, 1861, married to Diana E., daughter of Orren Kenyon, of Coventry, Rhode Island. He was a man of strong personality, an indomitable will and rare natural gifts, and had he been possessed of the advantages of early education would have risen to a high position in the state. Mr. Bates during his life traveled over the greater part of the world. He spent several seasons in the Arctic regions, many times "rounded Cape Horn," and at various times lived in the Hawaian Islands. Entering the whaling service, as he did, in. 1850, at the time when it was most lucrative, as well as the most dangerous, his life was an extended series of adventure and peril. From the very bottom of the ladder he rose in a few years to the highest position in the service, that of owner and master of a vessel-a thing which rarely occurred.




JAMES PIKE - John Pike, the common ancestor of the branch of the Pike family residing in Connecticut, settled in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1664. He was the progenitor of Jonas Pike, of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, who married a descendant of Perigrine White, the first white child born in New England. Their four sons were: David, Ephraim, Jonas and Jesse. There was also one daughter, Amy. David married Elizabeth Pitrnan, of Newport, Rhode Island. Their children were two sons, William and James Pitman; and two daughters, Lucy, wife of David Bayless, and Nancy, who married Abijab Prouty. William Pike left Sturbridge in 1810 and settled in Sterling. He learned from his father, who was by trade a hatter, the art of coloring. In the year 1811 he began the dyeing of cotton yarns and later assumed the charge of the dye house of the Sterling Manufacturing Company. Removing to Pawtucket he introduced the bleaching of cottons by chlorine, and thus superseded the primitive method of bleaching in the sun. In 1814 he was employed by the Sterling Manufacturing Company, and a year later started the manufacture of pyroligneous acid for the use of the dyers' art. About this date he established the firm of William Pike & Co., for the manufacture of the above acid, in Sterling. He married Lydia Campbell, to whom were born five children, the only survivors being James, the subject of this biography, and William.

James Pike was born December 31st, 1826, in Sterling, the scene of his lifetime business experiences. After a season at the public schools he became a pupil of the Plainfield Academy and the Scituate Seminary. Soon after he found employment in the mills of the Sterling Manufacturing Company, and subsequently aided his father in the manufacture of chemicals. Meanwhile, by a series of experiments, he discovered a pro. cess of coloring black, which for permanency and general excellence was superior to any dye in use. He at once organized the Sterling Dyeing and Finishing Company, in which he holds the controlling interest and for which he is the agent. So favorably received was this new process that the capacity of the works was soon inadequate to the demand, and extensive additions have since been made, most of the buildings being substantial stone structures. To this business his time and attention are exclusively given.

Mr. Pike was married on the 10th of May, 1853, to Mary E., daughter of Abram Shepard, of Brooklyn, Connecticut. Their children were: J. Edward, who is engaged with his father in business; Lydia Campbell, wife of Claramon Hunt; Mary E.; Harriet E., wife of George Call; and one who is deceased. Mr. Pike is a republican in politics. He served as railroad commissioner from 1868 to 1871, has held various town offices and while a member of the state legislature served on the committee on banks. He is a member of Moriah Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Danielsonville, and a supporter of the Congregational church.




AVERY A. STANTON.-The subject of this sketch was born in Preston, Conn., in 1837, is a son of Lodowick Stanton, and the great-great-grandson of General Thomas Stanton, who came from England and settled in Stonington, Conn. His great-grandfather, John Stanton (known as Warrior Stanton), served in the French and Indian war and also fought in the revolutionary war, coming from battle with eighteen bullet holes shot through his coat. The mother of Avery A. Stanton was a daughter of Deacon John Stanton, who was a son f Joshua Stanton, whose father Washington also came from England. His brothers are Captain John L. (who fell at the siege of Port Hudson), Alburtus S. and Reverenci William E.

In 1848, Mr. Stanton and his mother removed to Voluntown, Conn., his father having died one year previous. He received his education at the schools of Voluntown, East Greenwich, R. I., and at the Connecticut Literary Institution, of Suffield, Conn. He taught school about eight years in Eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island, and in 1862 settled in the town of Sterling, Conn., where he has since resided, engaged in farming and the lumber business. In 1864 he was elected one of the school visitors of Sterling, which position he held for twenty-four years. In 1873 he was elected first selectman, and has held other important town offices, being town agent and auditor for a number of years. In 1874 he represented the town of Sterling in the state legislature. In 1884 he was appointed by the goyernor of the state county commissioner to fill an unexpired term, and was chosen by the legislature of 1884 to the same office for a term of three years. He still holds this position, having been reappointed for a second term of four years.

Mr. Stanton is married to Laura, daughter of Benjamin Gallup, of Voluntown, and has five sons - Walter A., John B., Benjamin G., William E. and Albert H. - and three daughters-Nettie E., Ella C. and Lottie E. Mr. Stanton belongs to a family that is able to trace 6,000 relatives.

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