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Blast from the Past

• Jun 7, 2019 at 8:00 PM

Here are the top stories in the Norwalk Reflector on this date in 1881:


A surprise party

A pleasant little surprise party was arranged for Mr. C.E. Newman, last evening, by his wife, and daughter, Mrs. Shepherd, to commemorate the 61st birthday of the husband and father. 

A few old citizens and friends of Mr. N. were invited in to greet him and it was so well managed that the latter was kept in ignorance of the affair until the guests began to arrive. Indeed, when the first gentleman called, Mr. Newman supposed he had come to transact some business. He did not even suspect anything “wrong,” when his little grand-daughter suggested that “grand-pa” had better have his boots brushed.

It was a very pleasant and enjoyable occasion, certainly. Old memories were revived and discussed for some were there who came to Norwalk at a very early day. At about 8 o’clock, all sat down to an excellent and sumptuous repast.

The earnest wish of those present is that Mr. Newman may live peacefully, prosperously, happily, to enjoy many similar anniversaries, and that the last years of him and his may be overflowing with Heaven’s choicest blessing.


From Greenwich

Having seen no items from Greenwich in our paper for some time, and thinking it might be interesting to some of your many readers, I sent you a few lines relating to ourselves.

Our town is small (800 inhabitants) yet much business and enterprise is being exhibited by its citizens. This place, as the most of you know, was merely a R.R. Station a few years ago. It has virtually been made what it is at present within the last four years; and we can safely say that it is growing more rapidly this spring than ever before.

Quite a number of family have moved in within the past few months. Probably twenty-five or thirty dwellings have already been built this spring, and a number more are being built; a number of new lots have been sold, on which as yet no building has been done. The business part of the town has also been enhanced. Mr. Carr and son, gentlemen from Fairfield, have recently located here, in the grocery business and are doing very well. Eugene Benington, another business man, has recently located here, in the harness business, in competition with our old townsman, William Wells.

Quite an extensive brick school building has just recently been completed, and one of which the people of Greenwich may well be proud.



Mr. WIlliam O. Abbott, one our leading business men, died on Thursday evening, June 2d, 1881, at his residence on Monroe Street, aged 54 years. His disease was paralysis, from which he had suffered more than a year. Previous to that time his health was always good. He came  to Norwalk in 1849, having learned the hatter’s trade in his native state of Connecticut. Setting up here in business for himself he occupied for many years the east half of the well known store on East Main Street, afterwards buying out J.F. Dewey, who occupied the west half, and adding drugs to the hat department.

His three sons assisted him in the store until the death of Frank, two years ago, and the removal of Joseph B. to Iowa this spring. And now the father’s death leaves only one son, Wm. O. Jr., in business here.

Mr. Abbott also leaves a wife and one daughter to mourn his untimely decease. His character for honorable dealing and attention to business was the highest and the large attendance at his funeral Sunday afternoon witnessed the esteem and respect in which he was held by the city at large. We tender our heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved one.


A model brick yard

Such is indeed the brick yard of Dr. D.D. Benedict, on Benedict Avenue, which we visited the other day in company with its enterprising proprietor. The yard is located on the south end of the old fair grounds and covers perhaps three acres. For a number of years Dr. Benedict has been making brick there in the old fashioned way, beds of excellent clay being found on the spot. This spring he determined to put in steam power, new machinery, buildings, etc. and make brick by wholesale. He bought a Penfield brick and tile machine, made at Willoughby, O., a first class machine with capacity of 10,000 to 20,000 brick per day. To run it he purchased a 20-horse power engine and a 30-horse power boiler. The latter is one of the best and strongest ever set in Norwalk, and was made by David B. Kurn, at his works on Pros pect Street, Norwalk. It is a credit to our home manufacturers that such work can be done here.


Coming Friday — June 8, 1897: Very strict rules issued by Catholic bishop of Cleveland

— Compiled by Andy Prutsok

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