21 October 2010

Frank Turner Newcomb (1861-1930)

From Commemorative Biographical Record of Tolland and Windham Counties Connecticut (Chicago IL, J.H. Beers & Co., 1903):

FRANK TURNER NEWCOMB, who is a man of prominence and influence in both financial and political circles, was born Nov. 21, 1861, in Tolland, Conn., where the family had lived for several generations.

Cordial Newcomb, the great-grandfather of Frank T., was born in Tolland, and was a life-long farmer. His reputation as a man of an exacting conscience survives in the tradition that under no consideration would he accept more than twelve cents a dozen for his eggs. In 1824, 1826, and in 1835, he was a member of the General Assembly, and for many years was a selectman in the town. He married Mary Deming, and by her had the following family: William C., Eliza, Albert, Charles, Laura, Ralph, Samuel, and Henry.

William Crocker Newcomb, son of Cordial, was born in Tolland, Conn., Oct. 24, 1806, and he died there Feb. 4, 1864. In his younger days he was a school teacher, and he lived on the Willimantic river until 1838, when he removed to the Lord farm. An active and enthusiastic Democrat, he represented the town in the General Assembly in 1842 and 1843, and was senator from the old 20th district in 1859. For many years he was first selectman, and from time to time held various town offices. In 1807 [sic] he married Maria Trumbull Merrick, a daughter of Samuel and Olive (Greenslit) Merrick, of Willington. They had the following children: (1) William Burt, who became a prominent lumber and brick merchant in St. Paul, Minn., where he was associated with the firm of Griggs, Newcomb & Hills, married Emily Brown, and died in St. Paul in 1872; (2) John Mortimer, died in infancy; (3) Trumbull, born Nov. 4, 1833, died in Rockville, Sept. 5, 1881, where he was in business as a hardware merchant; he married Jane E. Keeney, a native of Rockville; (4) Loren is mentioned below.

Loren Newcomb, son of William Crocker and father of Frank Turner, was born June 5, 1836. He acquired his education in the district school, and remained on the homestead farm until the spring of 1865, when he settled on the old Paulk homestead, located about a mile and a half south of the Centre, and there he lived until the spring of 1901. The farm contained 144 acres, and Mr. Newcomb carried on in connection with his general farming, a dairy establishment, selling his milk during that time to the Vernon Creamery. Mr. Newcomb is a Democrat and cast his first vote for Stephen A. Douglas in 1860, but he is not a silver Democrat. He has served on the board of selectmen three years, and was assessor several terms. For one term he was on the board of relief, for two years held the office of constable, and he has also been justice of the peace and collector of taxes. In 1868 and again in 1883 he was a representative in the General Assembly, serving on the Prison committee in both terms. He was also a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1902. On March 5, 1857, Mr. Newcomb was married to Anna Turner, who was born Aug. 7, 1838, a daughter of Orrin and Lydia (Edgerton) Turner, of North Coventry. They were parents of three children: Frank Burt, born Aug. 18, 1858, died Feb. 7, 1860; Frank Turner and Anna T., born Sept. 10, 1867. Mr. Newcomb and his family attend the Congregational Church.

Frank Turner Newcomb was born in Tolland and received his education in the district school and in the Brookdale Academy, finishing in the Rockville high school. At the age of seventeen he began teaching in the 7th and 9th Districts, which were combined, where he was employed during the winter term of 1878. Then having opportunity to enter the Tolland County National Bank, he left the schoolroom to become the teller of the Bank. This was in 1878, and in 1884, he was made cashier of the Tolland County National Bank, and treasurer of the Savings Bank of Tolland, the two banks being conducted in the same building. Two years later the Tolland County National Bank suspended business, and since that time Mr. Newcomb has continued to be the treasurer of the Savings Bank of Tolland, which was given by the Legislature the privilege of doing a checking business, and is the only one in the State doing business on that basis. Mr. Newcomb has been an official of the bank for twenty-four years, acting first as teller and then as treasurer.

In 1887 Mr. Newcomb purchased the old Elijah Stearns homestead on Tolland Street, and here he has since made his home. The farm buildings and the family residence have been greatly improved, and the acreage increase by purchase, until now Mr. Newcomb owns 293 acres, having at his first purchase only thirty acres, but in 1902 he purchased all the real estate in Tolland formerly owned by Charles Underwood. He started a creamery in the fall of 1898, in connection with his farm, keeping about forty cows and shipping his produce to the Vernon creamery. On his farm is transacted a general farming business of considerable magnitude, and it is said that he raises more corn than any two other men in Tolland; he has the largest herd in this section of the county, having in addition to the cows above mentioned about thirty-five head of other stock. With his family he attends the Congregational Church of Tolland.

Politically Mr. Newcomb is a Democrat, and devoted to Jeffersonian principles as enunciated by that great leader. In 1884 he was appointed a notary public by Thomas M. Waller, Governor of the State. He was appointed county treasurer in 1887 by a board of Republican commissioners and has been re-appointed each time by a like board, with an exception of the year 1895, when the board was Democratic, and he is still holding that position. The same year he was appointed town clerk and treasurer to fill an unexpired term, and he has been elected to that position continuously since that time. He has also acted as school visitor and has been treasurer of the school deposit fund since 1888. He was appointed postmaster of Tolland by President Cleveland, but resigned after a three years' term on account of pressure of private business. In 1886 and 1887 he represented the town in the State Legislature, where he served on the committee on Banking. Mr. Newcomb has been chairman of the Democratic town committee since he was twenty-two years of age, or since 1883.

On Jan. 27, 1886, Mr. Newcomb was married to Addie L. Millard, a daughter of Milo and Lucy A. (Chapman) Millard, of Mansfield, Conn. They are the parents of the following children: Harry Arthur, born Dec. 8, 1886; Philip Trumbull, born July 3, 1888; Pauline Louise, born May 3, 1891; and Lilla Adelaide, born Nov. 1897.

Mr. Newcomb has been one of the most successful men of Tolland of later years, and he is in every sense self-made.

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