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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:


12/10/2020 - Warren Canfield Humphrey

YOUR SILENT NEIGHBORS, Warren Canfield Humphrey, Merchant, Public Servant
by David K. Leff
Town Poet Laureate and Deputy Town Historian  

Born in Canton Center where he grew up on the West Road family farm, Warren Canfield Humphrey (1811-1896) attended local schools and Westfield Academy.  Early in life, he displayed musical talent and became chorister for the Canton Center Congregational Church at age 18, a position he held for four decades.  He later played the violin in the church orchestra and sang in the choir for 60 years.   He served as a church deacon for a decade. 

Humphrey ran a general store in Canton Center, and became postmaster in 1867.  He was Canton’s state representative in 1859 and 1872, and was a justice of the peace for many years. 

An ardent abolitionist from an early age, he attended an 1835 anti-slavery convention in Hartford that was attacked by an angry mob.  He is said to have escaped the violence through a window, according to a piece written by the late Dr. Lawrence Carlton. 

When 40 men refused to pay annual church pew rents because of Rev. Jarius Burt’s sermons against slavery, drink, and Freemasonry, Humphrey bought up all the pews securing the minister’s salary and requiring the men to come to Humphrey to buy back their seats in church. 

Humphrey joined the Village Lodge of Masons during the Civil War.  He was married and was twice a widower.  His third wife, Henrietta R. Bidwell, lived until 1920.  He had no children. 

Warren Canfield Humphrey is buried in the Canton Center Cemetery. 

“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past.  It will appear on the 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 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