Isaac Edwards

When Isaac Edwards, my gr. gr. gr grandfather, was born in 1815 in Connecticut, his father, Albert, was 27. He had one son with Louise Shaw in 1837. The 1860 Federal Census records his age at 45 and his occupation has a teamster and the following people living in the household.
Isaac Edwards 45
Louisa Edwards 43
Edwin Edwards 23
Augusta Edwards 21
Edwin Edwards 3
Polly Gilbert 49
Eliakine Gilbert 28

1860 Federal Census

1860 Federal Census

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Louis Renoud Edwards

Louis Edwards and brother

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The Connecticut Line

The Connecticut Line was a formation within the Continental Army. The term “Connecticut Line” referred to the quota of numbered infantry regiments assigned to Connecticut at various times by the Continental Congress, the size of its allocation determined by the size of its population in relative to that of other states. These, together with similarly apportioned contingents from the other twelve states, formed the Continental Line. The concept was particularly important in relation to the promotion of commissioned officers. Officers of the Continental Army below the rank of brigadier general were ordinarily ineligible for promotion except in the line of their own state.

In the course of the war, 27 infantry regiments were assigned to the Connecticut Line. This included the eight provincial regiments of 1775, Wooster’s Provisional Regiment (formed by consolidation of the remnants of the original 1st, 4th, and 5th Regiments), the five numbered Continental regiments of 1776, the eight Connecticut regiments of 1777, S.B. Webb’s Additional Continental Regiment, which later became the 9th Connecticut Regiment, and four new regiments created by consolidation in 1781.

Not all Continental infantry regiments raised in a state were part of a state quota, however. On December 27, 1776, the Continental Congress gave Washington temporary control over certain military decisions that the Congress ordinarily regarded as its own prerogative. These “dictatorial powers” included the authority to raise sixteen additional Continental infantry regiments at large.

Early in 1777, Washington offered command of one of these additional regiments to Samuel Blatchley Webb, who accepted. Webb had formerly served as one of Washington’s personal aides. Webb’s Regiment was allotted to the Connecticut Line on July 24, 1780, and officially designated the 9th Connecticut Regiment. The 9th Connecticut Regiment was consolidated with the 2d Connecticut Regiment on January 1, 1781.

Half of Sherburne’s Additional Continental Regiment was drawn Rhode Island and half from Connecticut.

Still other Continental infantry regiments and smaller units, also unrelated to a state quota, were raised as needed for special or temporary service. Elmore’s Regiment, raised in 1776 for the defense of Canada, was an example of such an “extra” regiment.

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Mrs Edith May Edwards Whiting

From: North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000
Daughters of the American Revolution
Lineage Book: NSDAR: Volume 023: 1898

Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Wife of Russell Whiting.
Descendant of Nehemiah Webb Lyon, of Connecticut.
Daughter of Louis Edwin Edwards and Hattie Frances Beers, his wife.
Granddaughter of Edwin Edwards and Augusta Sherman, his wife.
Gr granddaughter of Louis Sherman and Clarissa Rowell, his wife.
Gr.- gr.- granddaughter of William Rowell and Clarissa Lyon, his wife.
gr.- gr.- gr.- granddaughter of Nehemiah Webb Lyon and Sarah Tredwell his wife.
Nehemiah Webb Lyon, (1759-1860), was placed on the pension roll of Fairfield Co. 1831, for service of private in the Connecticut Continental Line.
Also Nos 8669, 13186, 15439,

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4 Generations – Edwards Family

This was a photo that I got from Martha and Gordy when we were visiting. The photo was about to be thrown away – it shows 4 generations of Edwards starting with my grandfather Louis R Edwards.

4 Genertions of Edwards – Mom’s Dad

From right to left: Louis Renoud Edwards (my grandfather) born 28 April 1877 and died 4 September 1967, Edwin Edwards (my great great grandfather and owner of Livery stables) born 28 May 1837 and died 14 April 1898, Louis Edwin Edwards (my great grandfather) born 16 May 1857 and died 28 September 1899, and Issac Edwards (my great great great grandafather) not much information on him yet. His father may have been Albert Edwards.

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Francis Kellogg Fuller

My Great grandmother – mother of Elizabeth Fuller Leeds (Mimi)

Francis Kellogg Leeds – my great mother

Born: April 3, 1876 – Cleveland Ohio
Sister born: Daphne Campbell Fuller – July 20, 1877 – Cleveland Ohio
Sister born: Emily Lyon Fuller – April 20, 1880 – Ontario Canada
Death of Mother: Julia Elizabeth Clark – April 22, 1880
Death of Father: Samuel Augusta Fuller – October 23, 1891

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Ralph Barker and Florida Pre-1929

A statement provided by my father George Robinson Barker about what he knows or remembers about his grandfather who died a year before he was born.

Partner: Only reference, Captain Inglis. Based in Savannah where my aunt Eugenia spent many of her summers. Must have been good friends as well as business partners.

The Barker’s (I believe) had a beautiful home in Jacksonville, I think in the Riverside area right on the St. Johns River. It may be near or where the current memorial Park is. It would have been interesting if they new the likes of Henry Flagner, or any of the many rich carpetbag Yankees that invaded Florida and “helped” in the early development.

Business enterprises as (as far as I have been told or remember). Cotton brokerage in Madison FL.

Phospahe: I suspect that the cotton brokerage lasted until the beginning of the 20th century and perhaps into the 20th. At that time, phosphate mining became a profitable option in FL. first in extracting river-bed phosphate pebbles then by 1920, with the introduction of diesel engines and electricity, huge drag-line rigs were developed to remove 15 to 50 foot over-burden to get to the phosphate rich layer. This completely revolutionized the phosphate extraction business and really attracted investors.During this period, the partners saw opportunity and began phosphate mining operations in the Dunnellon area of Florida. I say this occurred early in the century because my father George,(1899) remembers the Withlacoochee River during boyhood visits to the area. He was born in 1899, so the first decade of the new century seems to logical. That was also the time of maximum river-pebble operations, which finally ceased around 1908(I looked up phosphate mining on the internet). I also know that my dad was in the army for a year or so at the end of WWI(1917-1918). Actual dates I don’t know, but I remember seeing a picture of him in uniform.

I tried Inglis FL on the internet hoping to find some history and perhaps who the town was named for, hoping to get a handle on Ralph’s colleague. Nothing much except the town was made famous on CNN when they conducted a town-wide exorcism to rid the place of Satin. Other than that, just real estate listings and things to do. For, example, Yankeetown, on the Gulf just west of Inglis was the western terminus of the Florida Barge Canal. That boondoggle was fortunately killed, but the route was well laid out. It is now know for the Cross Florida Greenway. The lake that was formedjust off the Gulf, has become a wildlife management area with lots of trails(bike, walking and equestrian).

I am afraid this isn’t much, but it’s all I know without personally visiting the area archives. I don’t think I could add any more.


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Deaconess – Sarah Kirtland Barker – Obituary

August 28, 1859 to September 28, 1944

Sarah Barker

Sarah Kirtland Barker
08-28-1859 to 09-28-1944

Deaconess Sarah Kirtland Barker died in Newtown Connecticut on September, 28 1944, following a long illness. She was in her 86th year. The funeral service was held in Trinity Church, Bridgeport CT on September 30th, the Rev. Joseph A. Racioppi, officiating. She was a graduate of the New York Training School for Deaconesses, and served on the staff of the Grace Church in New York for 20 years, becoming Deaconess Emeritus in 1916. Her niece sent the following poem, written by Deaconess Sarah Barker and published in the Churchman in April 1931.

Grace Churc New Yorl where Sarah worked for 20 years

Father, the years they pass slowly now,
The days are often drear;
My Spirit waits thy call with joy,
Without a doubt or fear.

I long to see the mansions fair,
Within the house above:
How beautiful that life will be,
All light and peace and love,

I miss the dear ones gone before
To join the heavenly throng;
I long to clasp their hands again
And join them in song.

Father, the light of thy great love
Illuminates the way;
Support us through the darksome night
Until the radiant day.

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Discovery of Phosphate in Florida

My Great grandfather Ralph Barker moved from Connecticut to Florida to open a phosphate mining business and I am researching how he found out about more about the origins. Here is some of what I found

Some three decades after phosphate rock was first mined in England to be used in fertilizer, Dr. C. A. Simmons, who owned a rock quarry for building stone in Hawthorne, near Gainesville in Alachua County, had some of his rock sent to Washington, D.C. in 1880 for analysis. The rock was determined to contain phosphate.

Dr. Simmons launched the earliest attempt in Florida at mining and using phosphate in 1883. His attempts were short-lived, but by 1883 phosphate was also reported at other locations in Alachua, Clay, Duval, Gadsden and Wakulla counties.

Although Dr. Simmons is credited with the first discovery of phosphate in Florida, the Florida phosphate boom of the late 1800’s was triggered after the 1889 discovery of high-grade phosphate hard rock by Albertus Vogt near the new town of Dunnellon in Marion County. Mr. Vogt had noticed fossil remains of prehistoric animals in a nearby spring that reminded him of similar finds near phosphate deposits from years earlier when his family had lived in South Carolina, where phosphate was first found in the United States. Rock samples taken while sinking a well on his property were determined to have very high phosphate content. Vogt and a few other local citizens began buying up land in the area and the first hard rock production began in 1889 by the Marion Phosphate Company. This was followed by the Dunnellon Phosphate Company, in which Vogt had ownership interest, in 1890.

News of this great find spread. Thousands of prospectors and speculators flooded the area and the great Florida phosphate boom had begun. By 1894 more than 215 phosphate mining companies were operating statewide.

The boom brought wealth. Land that had been selling for $1.25 to $5 an acre sold as high as $300 an acre. It was written in 1891 that “many a cracker homesteader who went to bed a poor man woke up in the morning to find himself a capitalist.” The boom, however, was short lived. In 1892 there were 215 mining companies. By 1900 this number had dwindled to about 50 due to consolidation and over-capitalization.

Meanwhile, while surveying for a canal in 1881, Captain J. Francis LeBaron, chief engineer of a detachment of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, discovered river pebble in the Peace River, just south of Fort Meade, Polk County. Analysis of samples of this pebble confirmed the presence of phosphate. This discovery, though, did not draw much attention at the time.

In 1886 John C. Jones and Captain W. R. McKee, of Orlando, discovered high-grade phosphate on land along the Peace River between Fort Meade and Charlotte Harbor while on a hunting trip. This led to the formation of a syndicate known as the Peace River Phosphate Company by Jones, McKee and a close group of associates. They devised a scheme whereby they could acquire as much land as they wanted while keeping land prices low. The group decided to tell local landowners that the roots of the saw palmetto bushes, that covered the land for miles around, were rich in tannic acid. Their story was to tell landowners that they intended to need to buy their land to remove the bushes and extract this tannic acid from the roots. They would then sell the land back to them for a song. Their plan worked so well that they had soon acquired forty-three miles of riverfront property.

Mining activity along the Peace River proceeded both in the river itself and on the adjacent land. So-called “river pebble mining” was the first to be exploited. In 1888, Arcadia Phosphate Company launched the first tentative mining operation in Bone Valley and made the first shipment of Peace River phosphate pebble about a year ahead of the Peace River Phosphate Company.

The Peace River Phosphate Company and DeSoto Phosphate Company came in 1889, but this phosphate discovery was kept relatively quiet. Rumors of phosphate in Central Florida spread, drawing prospectors and even a New York newspaper reporter. The reporter was told there was no phosphate, and his newspaper published the story.

As a result, Polk County’s phosphate deposit took a back seat the first 15 years to the hard rock region to the north, and the men who gave the reporter the misinformation were buying all the central Florida land they could afford.

There were only two mining plants in the land pebble district in 1890: The Florida Phosphate Company at Phosphoria and the Pharr Phosphate Company at Pebbledale. Pharr made the first shipment of land pebble in May 1891.

Because of its high cost of production, river pebble mining could not compete with land pebble and hard rock. As a result, river pebble production, which peaked in 1893, ceased entirely by 1908.

Hard rock mining, which dominated the early years of the industry, also had high production costs relative to land pebble. In the early years, however, because of its high quality, it was able to demand higher prices from the export market. This market began to diminish in the early years of the century to such an extent that, by 1906, land pebble production had overtaken hard rock. Hard rock production continued to dwindle until mining finally ceased in 1965 in the Ocala-Dunnellon region. The mining of land pebble continues today in central and north Florida.

Phosphate mining did not come to north Florida in any significant way until the 1960s when Occidental Petroleum Company, like many petroleum companies at the time, was looking for a way to get into the fertilizer business because it was considered a profitable way to diversify. There were no land or acquisition opportunities available to get started in the central Florida mining district, but there were north Florida phosphate reserves that were close enough to the surface to make the area equally attractive as mining sites. Occidental went north and opened a mine in White Springs where it mined phosphate until 1995, when the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS) purchased the operation.

Today, after decades of consolidation and market changes in Florida’s industry, three phosphate companies maintain mining operations: Mosaic (a company formed when IMC Phosphates Company and Cargill Crop Nutrition merged in 2004), PCS Phosphate – White Springs, and CF Industries, Inc. A fourth company, U.S. Agri-Chemicals has fertilizer production operations in central Florida, but does not mine.

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Historic Buildings of Connecticut

The house at 66 Marina Park Circle in Bridgeport is a Shingle-style cottage built in 1892 for Charles B. Read. It was acquired by the University of Bridgeport in 1947 and served as Linden Hall, a women’s dormitory. The above picture shows the side of the house. Charles Barnum Read (1858-1912) was the son of David M. Read and Helen Augusta Barnum, the daughter of P.T. Barnum‘s half-brother, Philo Fairchild Barnum. According to Men of Mark in Connecticut, Volume 4 (1908):

Historic Read House

Mr. Read has from his earliest years been closely identified with the social and civic life of Bridgeport, having resided there his entire life. He attended the public schools, and graduated from the high school in 1877, going from there into the mercantile house of his father where he occupied a position in the financial department and became thoroughly acquainted with the details of the business. In 1884 The D. M. Read Company was founded, and he became associated with his father, David M. Read, and his brother, David Farnum Read, in that corporation. […] He is a lover of horses, an automobilst, and greatly enjoys different forms of sport, but perhaps finds his greatest relaxation in golf and squash. He is a member of the vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church, and is always interested in any movement which may arise for furthering the interests of Bridgeport in social or municipal affairs.

Charles B. Read died on July 4, 1912 at his country home in Greenfield Hill in Fairfield. The water supply to his house was pumped in by a gas engine, 100 feet away. There was a break in the gas pipe and the gardener, John Ruhl, went to investigate. When he did not return, his wife went to find him and shrieked when she found his body. They were both overcome by the gas, as was Read, who suffocated while trying to bring the two bodies out himself.

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