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Town of Canton >> Visitors >> Sight-Seeing >> Your Silent Neighbors >> Biographies

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Your Silent Neighbors

Take a tour through the past with “Your Silent Neighbors", which introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.

Readers are encouraged to visit these grave sites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today. Any suggestions, questions, or corrections should be addressed to Deputy Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net.

Choose a name from the list to begin your journey into Canton's Past:


8/31/2020 - Benjamin F. Jones
YOUR SILENT NEIGHBORS, Benjamin F. Jones, Collins Company Timekeeper 
by David K. Leff
Town Poet Laureate and Deputy Town Historian

 

Born in New Hartford, Benjamin F. Jones (1839-1909) moved with his family to Collinsville at age two.  The eldest of six children, he went to Canton schools.  In the late 1850s, Jones worked in various departments for the Collins Company.  He served in the Twenty-Second Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers during the Civil War.  After the war, he returned to the Collins Company and was appointed timekeeper in March 1867, a position he would hold for 42 years. 

The Collins Company had five presidents up to the time of Jones’ death and he worked under all of them.  He was called “faithful,” “efficient,” and “honest” in a newspaper report, and was popular “all over the works.”  After twenty-five years of service, employees presented him with a gold watch and chain.  When he turned 68, the office workers gave him a large bunch of chrysanthemums. 

Jones was twice married.  In 1865, he wed Elizabeth Frisbie who died two years later.  In 1869, he married Mary Clark who survived him.  As a wedding gift, thirty-nine fellow employees gave him “a generous sum of money.” The couple had three sons, one of whom (Carleton) became the Collins Company chemist. 

“A highly-respected citizen,” Jones was a member of the Collinsville Congregational Church, the Robert O. Tyler post of the Grand Army of the Republic in Hartford, and the Cawassa Grange. 

A few days before he died, Jones suffered a cerebral hemorrhage losing use of his left arm. He went to the office the next day, but the following day his entire left side became paralyzed and he was forced to stay at home.  Afterward, he gradually failed. 

Benjamin F. Jones is buried in the Village Cemetery, Collinsville. 

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.  It will appear on or about first and fifteenth of each month.  Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.  Any suggestions, questions, or corrections are welcome and should be addressed to Deputy Town Historian David Leff at onktaadn@comcast.net 




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Contact Us


Kathleen Taylor
Town Historian


David K. Leff
Deputy Town Historian


Office: (860) 693-5800(860) 693-5800(860) 693-5800Office: (860) 409-4205

Fax: (860) 693-5804(860) 693-5804(860) 693-5804Fax: (860) 693-0221

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Location: 40 Dyer Ave, Canton, CT 06019