Wolcott History
Wolcott Historical Society

Wolcott Historical Society News - May 2018

By Florence Goodman

Last month I introduced the idea of, "what's in a name and who were the people associated with that name?" beginning with the Lewis family. Their impact on our history was an intriguing one and very extensive so I'd like to continue with another member of that family, Appleton Lewis, the son of Nathaniel and Sarah. Again, I am grateful to Allison Black, a Lewis family relative for sharing her family history and genealogy, which was necessary to write this article.

Before I begin, I want to give a special thank you to Rachel Gallucci for finding an error in last month's article. Lewis School was closed in June 1980, NOT 1966. Rachel emailed our website to tell me that she attended Lewis School from 1975 to 1979 so it could not have closed on the date I mentioned. When I checked my records I realized I had put down an incorrect closing date. I immediately posted my error on Face Book and Wolcott Chats and was pleased with the outpouring of responses from residents who also attended that school. There were so many happy memories attached to Lewis School from the home cooked meals served in the cafeteria to the wonderful teaching staff; and I never knew that Brett Muccino broke his leg on the monkey bars on the playground when he was in first grade. It's sad to think that when the school was demolished in 1981 and replaced by four residential building lots that the "Lewis" name faded into the rubble. Thanks to everyone that shared a memory of those "wonder years" at Lewis School, which obviously hold a very special place in so many hearts.

As mentioned in my April 2018 article the Lewis family was a large one settling in the Wolcott/Southington area; Nathaniel and Sarah had eight children who grew up and farmed the land surrounding their parent's property. This month I'd like to share the story of their son Appleton mainly because it is through his marriage to Lois Hall and their daughter, Julina that Allison Black was able to trace her connection to the Nathaniel Lewis family.

Appleton Lewis was born on August 18, 1774 in the Southington portion of Farmingbury. He married Lois Hall on November 15, 1797 in Cheshire, Connecticut. They had nine children, six sons and three daughters and with the exception of Julina the rest of their children died fairly young.

In 1800 Appleton and his family were living in Wolcott south of and adjacent to his father's farm on what was then called Southington Mountain. Julina was born in Wolcott on October 22,1807 and lived in Wolcott until her marriage at age twenty-seven, which was considered to be very old in those days. Her father, Appleton died in 1820 leaving Julina to help her mother with her siblings and that is probably why she married so late in life. Appleton's last will and testament was signed and sealed the day before he died. It is quite extensive, but I would like to share one section with my readers. It stated, "I give and bequeath to my wife one third part of my estate both real and personal after my just debts are paid. It is my will that the rest of my estate be divided amongst my children in the following manner. My sons are to have nine hundred dollars each and my daughters three hundred dollars each, ... except my son Rufus who ... should have fifteen hundred dollars." The will includes pages of household items as well as farm products and items. It is obvious that the Lewis family was "wealthy" in the standards of that time.

Julina did not leave Wolcott until after her marriage to Truman Dailey in 1834. Truman's family was from Watertown and that is where they decided to live and raise their family, which they did. Sadly, they were only married fifteen years when Truman died of consumption leaving Julina with young children to raise alone. She had to be an amazingly strong woman of mind and body because she lived for 48 years as a widow, dying in 1897 at the ripe old age of ninety.

Julina was Allison Black's 3rd great grandmother. Allison is fortunate to have many family portraits and items of clothing from the Lewis family estate. These items were passed down to her from her grandmother and they are listed and pictured in the genealogy that Allison Black was kind enough to donate to the Wolcott Historical Society. Appleton and Lois Lewis are buried in the Southeast Cemetery, which is located on the Southington Reservoir property.

(Information for this article was taken from Family History of Nathaniel Lewis donated to the Society by Allison Black, a relative; The History Of The Town Of Wolcott, Connecticut From 1831 to 1874 by Samuel Orcutt)

Tombstone of Appleton Lewis

Tombstone of Appleton Lewis located in the Southeast Cemetery.

Tombstone of Lois Lewis

Tombstone of Lois Lewis located in the Southeast Cemetery.

Julina Lewis Dailey

Julina Lewis Dailey

Truman A. Dailey

Julina's grandson, Truman A. Dailey.

Lewis School 1956-57

Students in front of Lewis School 1956-57. (Photo from Brett Muccino) TOP ROW: Left to right. Mary Hall, Ken Benson, Joe Drignet, Ray Sehnal, Ronny Macinish (sp), Kathy Breen SECOND ROW: Camille DiDominzio, Kathy Matson, Linda Reed, Eileen McSherry, Brett Muccino, Bill Sehnal, Sue Vanasse THIRD ROW: Alice Kleckner, Elaine Daigle, Bill Tynan, Phil Sacco, Maureen Hanlon, Jeannette Deschesnes, FOURTH ROW: Janet Brewstat, Lorna Schmidt, Virginia Guild, Janet Reed, John Cuchiara, John Hellman FIFTH ROW: Carl Cyr, Bobby Vaillancourt

remaining Lewis house

A remaining Lewis house located at the bottom of County Road where it meets Meriden Road in Marion, Connecticut. I do not know which member of the Lewis family lived in this house.

To view past installments of the Historical Society News, click here.

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