Reminiscences of Oxford
Homes and People
By B. H. Davis
Published 10-19-1913 in THE SEYMOUR RECORD

Chapter 4

Leaving the Treat homestead, the next we come to is the old colonial house which for many years was owned and occupied  by George Sperry of Bethany.  He purchased this place some time about 1850. He married Mary Ann Cable of Oxford, a Sister of Glover W. Cable. There was but a small portion of land belonging to the place and Mr. Sperry worked for the nearby farmers.  For many years he was in the employ of Burrett Davis, engaged in getting ship lumber. During the September gale in ?? a tract of lumber on the Davis farm was blown down and Mr. Sperry was employed to convert this fallen lumber into railroad ties and lumber for the Naugatuck R. R. which was build about that time.  Some of the timber was used to build the railroad bridge over the Naugatuck at Seymour. After the fire which burnt the Davis farm, Mr. Sperry gave the family shelter until the new house was completed the following May. He was a good hearted man and a good neighbor. He died about 1861. His wife afterwards married a Mr. Doolittle of Seymour who lived on his farm on the Skokorat road. Some time after his death she went to Oswego, N.Y., where she died.

Next we come to the old schoolhouse, where the writer graduated and many were the floggings he received at the hands of those whom he thought to be cruel masters, whether he deserved them or not. Most of those who attended the school at that time are now sleeping their last long sleep in many different parts of the United States. Only seven are now living who were school.mates way back in 1849.  Of the many teachers who wielded the birch in the old schoolhouse, there are but two left, Miss ?an Tucker of Oxford and E. G. ?eeler of Seymour, who taught one term, and I will say he was the best teacher that I ever received instruction from.   I still remember with pleasure those halcyon days in the old schoolhouse which has withstood the storms of more than three quarters of a century and is still in a fair state of repair.

Passing on to the Stephen Thompson house, anyone who has traveled over Chestnut Tree Hill in rears past, could not help notice the old low-? roof structure situated on one of the highest elevations on the h ill. Thompson and his wife, Amy, lived here most of their lives. He followed the business of hatting in his early life at the time of the hatting boom which happened in Oxford back in the forties.  After the hatting business closed he returned to his farm. He was a very genial disposition and played the violin, during the long winter evenings it was quite a pleasant pastime for the neighbors to assemble at Uncle Steve's for a social time. He was a charger member of Morning Star Lodge, F. & A. M. in Oxford, which met in the building at the upper end of the green. Amy, his wife, died about 1857. He died in 1862. They had three children, one daughter, I forget her name or who she married, and two sons George and Lewis. George went to California and was gone several years, returning to Oxford about 1856, and spent the rest of his life in Oxford.

Lewis located at Lake Mahopac, N.Y, and was the proprietor of a summer hotel in that place, where he died many years ago.

Nearly opposite the Thompson place is the old original Cable homestead which was owned and occupied by Roswell Cable. He came to Oxford from Monroe about the time the hat shop started. He married Hannah Chatfield of Oxford and located on the farm and learned the hatter's trade and also ran the farm by the aid of hired help. He kept the town's poor for many years and those who were able helped in the farm work towards paying for their keeping. The old house, which is still standing, was built in the latter part of the 17th century, by whom I am not able to mention, but it was considered a very old house fifty years ago. Ten children were born to Roswell and Hannah (Chatfield) Cable.

Of the ten children only three are living. Frederick O. now in his 83rd year, lives at Yorkville Heights, N. Y. with his daughter, Mrs. Lincoln PIerce; Herman J. lives in Oswego, N.Y., and Glover W., the youngest son, who has lived on the old homestead most of his life.  Several years ago he purchased the Stephen Thompson farm lying opposite the old place and removed the old structure, enlarged the cellar and built one of the finest residences in this part of the state.  The location is one of the bet and from the spacious veranda one has a view of the surrounding country of many miles, and on clear days one can see Long Island Sound and the vessels sailing thereon.

Mr. Cable learned the carpenter trade with the late Frederick Beecher and John Davis of Seymour and has worked at that business in connection with his farm work. He is one of the foremost in town affairs and has represented the town twice in the Legislature, has been selectman a number of years, and tax collector and has at various times filled most of the minor offices in town.  Eight children were born to Glover W. and Elizabeth (Hatch) Cable -- Betsy, Henry, Fred, Nelson, Julia, Horace, Emma and Lillian.


NOTE after Chapter 4 -- commenting and correcting Chapter 1:

In the Chapter 1, you say -- The first house on "the hill" was owned and occupied by Otis Davis a son of Col. John Davis. It should have read John Davis; he married Laura Riggs. Their four sons were John Riggs, Isaac, Otis and William Hart. Otis died young.

Children of Enos and Roxy Chatfield:
1. Mary Almena, m. Harpin Davis
2. Enos Beecher, m. Elizabeth Seymour
3. Harriet Crittenton, m. Egbert L. Warner.
4. Emily, m. Lucius Perkins Sperry
5. Charles Smith, died, aged 19 years, not married.
6. Alfred Bennett, m. Cornelia Smith
7. Edward Wales, m. Jane Clark
8. Heber, m. Jane Wooster
9. Julia, m. William W. Thomas

Am very glad to know who occupies the house on Chestnut Tree Hill


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