Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fessenden Leverett Ives (1868-1949)

From Taylor's Legislative History and Souvenir of Connecticut, 1903-04.

   An obscure resident of the town of Goshen in Litchfield County, Connecticut, Fessenden Leverett Ives was a successful dairy farmer in the aforementioned town who also served terms in the Connecticut State House of Representatives, the first occurring in 1903. Born in Goshen on February 12, 1868, Fessenden E. Ives was one of four children born to Fessenden and Mary Cook Ives. A prominent figure in his own right, Fessenden Ives Sr. (1826-1910) served as a Connecticut state assemblyman in 1875 and was also a first selectman for Goshen for nearly a decade.
  Fessenden L. Ives began his schooling in Goshen and went on to study at the Goshen Academy. He married in his native town in April 1891 to Ellora Kimberly (1866-1944), with whom he would have three children: Fessenden Edward (1893-1903), Sylvia Esther (1899-1964) and Sherman Kimberly Ives (born 1902). Of these children, Sherman Ives is the most notable, as he became a distinguished member of the Connecticut State Grange (serving as its president for a time) and also represented Goshen in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1952-54.
  A farmer and dairyman for the majority of his life, Fessenden L. Ives is recorded by Taylor's Legislative History of Connecticut as operating "a fine farm, which has belonged to the family for nearly half a century." Ives is also noted as being a producer of "high-grade butter" which won him first prize at the Connecticut State Dairymen's Convention of 1896 and 1897.
   In November 1902 Ives was elected by the citizens of Goshen as their representative to the Connecticut General Assembly. Taking his seat in January 1903, Ives was named to the house committees on Expositions and served here for the remainder of his first term. Less than a month after taking his seat Ives suffered personal tragedy with the death of his eldest son Fessenden Edward, who was killed in a sledding accident on February 15, 1903. Described as a "bright child of unusual promise", Ives' son had just celebrated his 10th birthday a few days before his death, and a brief write-up on the accident appeared in the February 17th edition of the Lowell, Massachusetts Sun, shown below.

  Ives' term in the assembly concluded in 1905 and a decade later became a member of the Goshen town school committee. In November 1926 Ives was reelected to the state assembly, serving another two-year term. Little else could be found on the life of Fessenden L. Ives after 1928, excepting a Find-a-Grave page noting his headstone and death, which occurred in Goshen on his 81st birthday, February 12, 1949. He was interred along with his wife and son at the Goshen Center Cemetery in Litchfield County.

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