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ols, Jr. In December, 1704, Joseph Nichols, being nineteen years of age, married Mary Curtiss, whose family had lands adjoining the Nichols homestead in Unity. In May, 1726, he "was made Lieutenant of the company or train band of the parish of Unity," and in May, 1738, he was made " Captain of the 4th company or train band in the town of Stratford," which was the Unity company. He died in 1742, aged 57 years.
Hezekiah Nichols" son of Andrew Nichols, was born at Nichols' Farms and succeeded to the old Nichols' houses at the " head of the Farm," and a goodly portion of the estate. He married Prudence Polly Shelton, cousin to the Rev. Philo Shelton, the first Episcopal clergyman ordained in America, the marriage ceremony being performed by the Rev. Ashbel Baldwin, one of the four clergymen of Bishop Seabury's first ordination class. Hezekiah Nichols was first cousin to the Rev. Philo Shelton; Lucy Nichols, the wife of the latter, being a distant relative. Hezekiah Nichols became a member of the Congregational Church of Trumbull, but his second wife, Avis Peet, retained for many years her fondness for the Episcopal Church, in which she was born and reared, and the Rev. Mr. Rutledge, rector of Christ Church, Stratford, held mission services in the " north and south rooms" of Hezekiah Nichols' house at Nichols' Farms, which aided in preparing the way for the present Trinity parish of that place. Hezekiah Nichols was connected by marriage with the Rev. E. Edwards Beardsley, D.D., LL.D., the historian of the Episcopal Church, Connecticut. At the time of Mr. Nichols' death his estate, in addition to tracts of land in Stratford and Huntington, extended from Huntington turnpike to Bear swamp road, a distance of nearly a mile. The greater portion of his lands at Nichols' Farms is now in possession of his eldest son, William Grandison Nichols.
George Kneeland Nichols, the great grandson of Capt. Joseph Nichols and son of Hezekiah Nichols and Avis Peet, was born in the old Nichols house at Nichols' Farms, January 23, 1818. He married Armina deLyon Seeley, eldest daughter
From Manuscript of C. W. deLyon Nichols, by permission.
of Munson Seeley, formerly of Easton, Conn., descended from John deLyon and the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorn. Mrs. Nichols, through both of her grandmothers, who were cousins, is a lineal descendant of Lady Jane Stuart. On her father's side she is in direct line from Col. Seeley, who held the military occupancy of Long Island under the British crown. She is distantly related to ex-Governor Seeley, of New Jersey, and through the Osborne-Seeleys connected with Albert Bierstadt, the celebrated painter.
With the patrimony inherited from the Nichols estate, George R. Nichols embarked with his brother, David Stiles Nichols, in the manufacture of coaches at Nichols' Farms, their business relations being mostly with Texas and the Southern States. David S. Nichols was succeeded by James K. Nichols, a brother of George K. Nichols, and who married Elizabeth Seeley, the sister of Mrs. George K. Nichols. The firm of Nichols and Brother, whose business was of large proportions and of wide repute, encountered heavy losses in the war of the rebellion. Before the war Mr. George K. Nichols, who had successfully conducted a carriage repository in Broadway, New York, in the interest of the firm, had to return to Nichols' Farms to help supply the demand for carriages from the South. The Mexican coaches made by the firm were of high repute.
After the financial losses at the outbreak of the war, the business was revived on a much smaller scale, the present stock company being formed under the name of Nichols, Peck and Company, but Mr Peck soon died, since which time the business has been chiefly owned by the Nichols brothers. In 1862 George K. Nichols went to Rochester, N. Y., remaining through the war in charge of the repository of the firm in that city, and while there was president of a paint manufacturing company formed in that city. Nichols, Peck and Company had all along received orders for carriages from Australia, and a large and lucrative trade with that country ensued for years. In 1873 the Nichols Brothers removed their business to Bridgeport, of which city Mr. George K. Nichols remains a resident. His brother, James K. Nichols, died about 1883, and since then the business has been chiefly owned and managed by Mr. George K. Nichols, the trade being almost exclusively with New York City. Mr. Nichols was in former years somewhat active in gold and silver mining stocks, and also in the invention of a spring perch for carriages.
The children of George K. and Armina (Seeley) Nichols are: Charles Wilbur deLyon Nichols and Lavinia Armina Nichols; the latter deceased in 1872.
Trinity Church at Nichols' Farms in Trumbull, was organized September 30, 1848, by the election of the following officers: Senior Warden, Prosper Nichols; Junior Warden, Charles E. Booth; Vestrymen, David Curtis, Lewis B. Curtis, John H. Pardee, John C. Beardslee, Andrew Clark, James R. Curtis, George E. Peet; Clerk, L. B. Curtis; Treasurer, David Curtis. A meeting was held at the house of David Curtis, March 8, 1856, and at this meeting Prosper Nichols was appointed a committee to give the Rev. Collis I. Potter a call to preach in Trinity Church one year, onehalf of the time. It was also voted to pay quarterly the salary of one hundred and fifty dollars, and on May 30, 1857, it was ordered to have a tea-party in order to raise twentyfive dollars in addition, to enable the society to pay Mr. Potter $175.
The rectors of Trinity parish have been the Rev. I. N. Marvins, who held services in the parish for some time before a rector was regularly called; the Rev. Collis I. Potter, the Rev. Luther Gregory, the Rev. Charles H. W. Stocking, the Rev. Charles Husband, the Rev. J. H. H. DeMille, the Rev. Dexter S. Lounsbury, the Rev. George P. Torrence.
The parish united with Huntington during the rectorship of Mr. Gregory, and with Ansonia during that of Mr. Stocking, which was the most flourishing period of the history of the parish. Mr. Lounsbury served not only the parish of Nichols' Farms, but held service as assistant in the Coit Memorial Chapel, in West Stratford, and in the Church of the Nativity, North Bridgeport. He was an earnest worker; was held in high esteem, and had resigned his rectorship and accepted a call to Christ Church, Stratford, only a few months previous to his distressing death, which was caused by a pistol ball from the hand of his wife, who shot him while he was sleeping. She was declared by legal authority to be insane. During the rectorships of the Revs. Charles Husband, J. H. H. DeMille, and the present rector, George P. Torrence, the parish has united with Grace Church at Long Hill.
The Methodist Episcopal Class of Nichols' Farms was continued some years in connection with the Stratford M. E. Church. Efforts*began in 1847 for building a house of worship, and the Rev. J. H. Frost, preacher in charge of the Stratford church, appointed a board of trustees for the Nichols' Farms class, as follows: George Nichols, William G. Nichols, Ira Curtis, David Nichols, E. F. Andrews, James K. Nichols, and Elliot P. Curtis. The building committee were Samuel E. Hurd, George Nichols, and William Grandison Nichols. The house being completed was dedicated December 12, 1848, the Rev. Charles Pitman, D.D., of New York, preached the sermon on the occasion. The Rev. J. M. Oakley, a local preacher, was placed in charge of the society, as pastor, and he was followed by Rev. Monson Seeley. He was succeeded by the Rev. O. Sykes and the Rev. Lewis Penfield. In 1849 the Rev. S. P. Perry, a local preacher, took the place of Mr. Sykes. The society increased rapidly under his labors, and a class was formed at Booth's Hill. He was followed by the Rev. Mr. Worth, Rev. G. Waterbury, Rev. P. Chamberlain, and Rev. G. Hubbell. In 1857 Rev. Samuel C. Keeler was appointed here by the Presiding Elder, and during his administration the house was injured by lightning, and in repairing it an addition to its size was made. The successors in the pastorate to Mr. Keeler, have been: Revs. David Osborn, John L. Peck, Robert S. Mathison, Th omas R. Laine, A. B. Pulling, D. S. Stevens, H. Scofield, William T. Gilbert, William H. Stebbins.
There was a society of Methodists formed in the northern part of the town of Trumbull, probably, just before the year 1800, and sometime afterward a house of worship built, at a place called Daniel's Farms. It was at that place, probably, where the following persons united, with others, in church fellowship, these certificates having been recorded in the ecclesiastical society book of North Stratford.
March 31, 1794. Widow Sarah Beach certified to the North Stratford parish that she had '* put herself under the care of the Methodist Church of North Stratford," and refused to pay ministers' rates to any other church.
April 7, 1812. Nathaniel Beach, Jr., of Trumbull, joined the Methodist society.
Sept. 17, 1816. James Beers gave notice that he should support the Methodist society. ,
Old Burial-place at Nichols' Farms, established in 1S06.
Frances Amelia, daughter of Ezra
In memory of
26, 1834, JE. 60 years.
Ilttldah, widow of Chauncey Beards,
In memory of
died Feb. 17, 1821, aged 80 years. Hetty, their daughter died Sept. 22, 1793, aged 10 years.
In memory of
7, 1835, aged 43 years.
Leri Beardslee, his son, died June
Theodore B. died Sept. 2, 1835, M.