Frederick T. Stanley
Trenck Stanley was born in New Britain, Aug. 12, 1802.
His father, Gad Stanley, was a son
of Colonel Gad Stanley, an officer in the Revolutionary army and
a civil magistrate of note.
Frederick T. Stanley passed his
childhood on the farm in Stanley Quarter, attending school near
his home a part of the time.
At sixteen years of age he went
into a store in New Haven as clerk, and remained there until
1823, when he removed to Fayetteville, North Carolina.
At this place he was engaged in
mercantile business for three years, and then sold out and
returned to the North. For a year or two he was clerk on a
steamboat making trips from Hartford to New York.
After returning to New Britain he
was for a short time clerk in the store of 0. R. Burnham, and in
1829 was engaged in mercantile trade with Curtiss Whaples.
In 1830 he was associated with his
brother William B. Stanley, H. W. Clark, and Lora Waters, in a
small manufactory on Main Street, near the present railway
crossing. He bought out his partners in 1831 and commenced the
manufacture of locks, the first made in this country.
He also introduced the first
steam-engine used for manufacturing purposes in New Britain. In
1835 he became a partner in the firm of Stanley, Woodruff, & Co.
and entered more extensively upon the manufacture of locks of
In 1841 he sold out his interest in
the latter company, and for the next two years was in business
in the State of Mississippi.
Upon his return to New Britain he
engaged in the manufacture of bolts and hinges in a shop near
his house. The business increased rapidly, and in 1852 a
joint-stock company was formed, of which he became president. He
was continued in this office until his death, a period of more
than thirty years.
In business Mr. Stanley was
methodical, energetic, and progressive, but he never made the
acquisition of property his sole aim. His generous nature led
him to give liberally, both of time and means, for the benefit
of others. His public spirit, especially, led him often to place
the welfare of the town and city before his private interests.
He planned the city water-works,
and by unceasing energy and indomitable perseverance secured the
adoption of his plans and the introduction of Shuttle Meadow
water into the city. He was one of the prominent movers in
securing the town park and having it set apart for public uses.
He was active in promoting the
various railway enterprises which have so much benefited New
Britain, and the first engine run on the Berlin branch bore his
name. He earnestly advocated the system of sewerage finally
adopted for the city, and was personally active in making the
preliminary arrangements for its use.
He represented the town of Berlin
in the legislature in 1834, was in 1850 elected the first warden
of the borough of New Britain, and in 1871 the first mayor of
He was interested in the affairs of
the country, and though never an active politician, he was well
informed on all national questions. An ardent admirer of Daniel
Webster, he often travelled long distances to hear him speak.
Mr. Stanley was a consistent member
of the South Church, attending its services after his eyesight
had entirely failed and his steps had to be guided by another.
He was married, July 4, 1838, to
Miss Melvinia A. Chamberlain. There were three children born to
them, two of whom died in childhood. The surviving son, Mr.
Alfred H. Stanley, resides at the homestead, where his father
died, Aug. 2, 1883.