Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Milford Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Wednesday

The Milford Hall of Fame Committee will induct five new members into the Hall of Fame on Sept. 19 at 5:00 p.m. in the Parson's complex.

This year's inductees are: William Fowler, Charles Hobby Pond, George W. Coy, Thomas Tibbals and Henry Augustus Taylor.

Among the committee members are Milford's five living former mayors: Alberta Jagoe, Alan Jepson, Joel Baldwin, Ed Kozlowski, and Jim Richetelli.

This year's featured speaker is Michael C. Dooling, a children's book illustrator best known locally for his publications An Historical Account of Charles Island and Milford Lost & Found.

Mayor Ben Blake is also scheduled to appear as a guest speaker.


Bios of inductees:

William Fowler was among the original founders of Milford in 1639, one of the “seven pillars of the church” upon which the Milford colony was built. Fowler’s mill business, located on the banks of the Wepawaug River near where the Milford Library stands today, was the first such mill in New Haven Colony. It lasted as a going concern at or near that location for the next 250 years under nine generations. Fowler was also one of the original founders of Newark, NJ.

Thomas Tibbals was a sergeant in the Wethersfield militia in colonial times who is credited with taking note of the lands in Milford while fighting in the Pequot War in the 1630s. His favorable reports of the lands in and around the Wepawaug River led to the area’s founding in 1639 by the group led by the Rev. Peter Prudden. Tibbals helped lead that group and its possessions over land from the New Haven Colony to Milford.

Charles Hobby Pond was a lawyer. While serving as Lt. Governor, Pond became the 20th Governor of Connecticut after his predecessor resigned to become ambassador to Russia. During his life, Pond was also a sea captain and judge, and was known for his political acumen. One prominent admirer of the day cited Pond’s “intellectual strength and generous heart,” large factors in making him a much sought-after counsel in his day.

George Willard Coy is remembered for his invention of the telephone switchboard, a pursuit he began during his rehabilitation after being wounded in the Civil War. Among his many accomplishments, he founded the District Telephone Co. and was among those who helped Milford erect its Civil War Monument on the Milford Green.

Henry Augustus Taylor made his fortune in insurance and railroads in the 1800s, and his legacy remains in Milford today in that he was instrumental in the construction of the Mary Taylor Methodist Church on the Green and the original Taylor Library serving Milford until well into the 20th century. He also lived at the mansion that today is the all-girls Catholic High School, Lauralton Hall.

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