Friday, September 27, 2013

Amatus Robbins Bigelow (1853-1906)

From Taylor's Legislative History and Souvenir of Connecticut, 1903.

   A distinguished son of New London County, Connecticut, Amatus Robbins Bigelow was a resident of the town of Colchester, and during his short life of 52 years was one of that town's prominent public men, being elected to numerous local offices and later represented his town in the Connecticut State House of Representatives.
  Born on September 18, 1853, Amatus R. Bigelow was the son of David Skinner (1829-1905) and Abby Mandana Usher Bigelow (1833-1913). Amatus is believed to have been bestowed his unusual first name in honor of Dr. Amatus Robbins (1789-1854), a native son of Colchester who later became a physician of note in Troy, New York, practicing medicine here for over forty years. Amatus Bigelow's education commenced in schools local to Colchester and he later went on to attend the Glastonbury Academy. He married in June 1877 to Ms. Lina Cone Brown (1857-1924) and later had three children, Abby Elizabeth (1879-1941), Leon Ray (died in infancy in 1888) and Ruth Lina (1891-1944).
   Bigelow's life prior to service in the Connecticut legislature was centered mainly in the private sector, and Taylor's 1903 Legislative History and Souvenir of Connecticut notes that he "cultivated a small farm, and is engaged in mechanical pursuits" in addition to holding  a number of town offices in Colchester, including being town assessor, constable, grand juror and was a notary public for over a decade. In November 1902 he was elected by the citizens of Colchester to be their representative in the Connecticut General Assembly and took his seat in January of the new year. During his one term in the legislature, Bigelow held a seat on the committee on Insurance, and his service was later remarked by Taylor's Legislative Souvenir as one that was "very satisfactory to his constituents."

The Connecticut House Insurance Committee of 1903, Amatus Bigelow pictured on the extreme left.

 Bigelow's term in the legislature concluded in January 1905 and he died a little over a year later at age 52 on April 1, 1906 in Colchester. He was survived by his mother, wife and two daughters and was interred at the Westchester Cemetery in Colchester. Also buried in Colchester (albeit at a different cemetery) is another oddly named Connecticut Representative, Hoxie Brown (1819-1906) who served in the legislature in the session of 1879.

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