Name: Benjamin Doolittle
Birth: 9 MAR 1798 in Pond Hill, Wallingford Ct.
Death: 19 FEB 1868
They settled at Woodbury, built a house about 1823 which ever remained their home. Benjamin was in the War of 812 as a drummer boy in the "New Haven Grays." In early life he manufactured chairs at Litchfield. Later he was proprietor for many years of several express routes out from New Haven to Woodbury, Waterbury and other points. The line between the last two places was established in 1854 and trips were made each Friday. He died in routeat New Haven in 1868 at age 70 years. He was an earnest member of the Episcopal church.
His descendants take much pride in their Collier blood line.
Benjamin joined King Solomon's Lodge, No. 7, of Free and Accepted Masons at Woodbury and was ever a staunch member. At the centennial celebration of its organization Past Master Alonzo N. Lewis, in his eloquent address, referred to Past Master Benjamin Doolittle, who was marshal on this occasion, in these words:
"It may seem invidious to speak of the living, where so many are worthy of praise. When the anti-masonic tempest of 1828 had well-nigh extinguished our "three lesser lights", when "the love of many waxed cold," and to acknowledge oneself a mason required more courage than to storm a battery; when mobs proscribed and churches excommunicated the known or suspected Mason; prominent among a faithful few, a brother who sits before me, was untiring in his efforts to keep the Masonic flame a-light upon the altar of King Solomon's Lodge. Unlike too many he never "renounced Free Masonary" at the bidding of party or sect. Filling, as necessity required, every office, from the chair in the East to the Tyler's station "without the door"; for many years the faithful and effcient Treasurer; twice elected Worshipful Master; present at nearly every meeting of the Lodge since his affiliation more than 44 years ago; King Solomon's Lodge is indebted for its present existence, to no brother, living or dead, more than to Brother Benjamin Doolittle."
In 1900 a very handsome memorial window was dedicated at St. Paul's church in Woodbury to the memory of the late Benjamin and Betsey Doolittle, "both of whom," the newspaper remarked, "are affectionately remembered by many of our townspeople." It was presented to their children and grandchildren. The window was designed by Elmer Garnsey, an artist distinguished as the designer of the mural decorations in the U. S. building at the Paris Exposition and for other notable work in the Congressional Library at Washington. The consecration of the window consisted of a brief prayer by the Rev. Robert Sheffield which was characteristically simple and effective.
With the following article Judge James Huntington of Woodbury writes: "Whatever I may say in this sketch (of Benjamin Doolittle) rest assured, from my intimate personal acquaintance with him, from my knowledge of what he did as a man and a Mason, of his abilities in the lines which I have indicated, are not overdrawn; . . . his judgment upon all moral questions and all questions and disputes that were submitted to him proved to me that had he possessed the advantages of early education and pursued the law for a profession he would have made a great judge. He had that keen perception between right and wrong, of the eternal fitness of the things, that moral courage, and all the other elements that enter into making of a great jurist; and in the humbler walks of life which he travelled those qualities aiways presented themselves."
"Benjamin Doolittle removed from Litchfield to Woodbury about 1822 where he built him a house and made his home for the remainder of his life, forty-six years."
"He was a cabinetmaker by trade and carried on that business for several years. He afterwards, for about twenty years, conducted an Express business between Woodbury and New Haven. In the conducting of this business he enjoyed so much of the public confidence that large sums of money and great responsibility in business affairs were entrusted to him."
"During all the time he resided in Woodbury he proved himself a man of marked character by reason of his strict integrity and his rare, good judgment, in all matters of interest that arose in his own and adjacent towns. He possed in a high degree the faculty of determining right from wrong and had a judicial cast of mind in coming to right conclusions upon all questions submitted to him. So that he, more than most any other man in his town, was called upon to adjust and settle contentions and quarrels that arose in the Church, the Lodge, and among his neighbors. Of him it can well be said "Blessed are the Peacemakers.""
"He was of dauntless courage, strong and fearless in expressing his convictions and opinions and when once his mind was made up he fearlessly declared them."
"In politics he was a Democrat of the Jeffersonian - Jackson school; and though no more personally and deservedly popular man lived in his town, and though often urged to become his party's candidate for office he always refused to accept any political office; and when urged to become a candidate and when a nomination would mean an election his answer would invariably be, "No, in all political matters I perfer to train in the ranks""
"He was one of the leading Free Masons in Western Connecticut. He affiliated with King Solomon's Lodge No. 7, of Woodbury, in 1822, and from that time to the last communication of the Lodge before his death his name is found upon the records of nearly every regular and special communication. During this time he was seven years Master of the Lodge. Fearless in the defence of what he belived to be right, he was properly the Master of the Lodge in 1837 and 1838, the years of the fiercest onslaughts upon Masonry by the Anti-Masonic Crusade. He was a signer of the Masonic Declartion of 1832; and during all the years of the Anti-Masonic Declaration of 1832; and during all the years of the Anti-Masonic excitement his name is found as present at every communication of the Lodge.And mainly by his courageous defence of Masonry this old Lodge held its communications throughout all the years of the excitement. He was authority uponMasonic Jurisprudence, was frequently called upon by sister Lodges to give instructions in Masonic work and to decide questions of Masonic law and usage."
"He was for many years a pillar of support to St. Paul's Church and Parish of Woodbury and for the last fifteen years of his life was one of its Wardens."
"He lived and died one of the most respected citizens of his adopted town; and to show the respect and esteem in which he was held by the community in which he had spent his life, a large concourse of people were present at his funeral besides Masons from all the surrounding Lodges that united with King Solomon's Lodge to give Masonic burial to his remains."
Father: Benjamin Doolittle b: 15 JUL 1753
Mother: Sarah French b: 1765
Betsey Collier Moore b: in Litchfield, Ct.
- Miranda Doolittle b: 9 FEB 1821
- William Hobart Doolittle b: 16 DEC 1822
- Frances Elizabeth Doolittle b: 30 AUG 1824
- Mary Jane Doolittle b: 6 MAY 1827
- John Henry Doolittle b: 27 APR 1829
- George Doolittle b: 30 OCT 1831
- Harriet Preston Doolittle b: 28 SEP 1834
- Thomas Collier Doolittle b: 16 MAY 1837
- Thomas Benjamin Doolittle b: 30 JUN 1839
- Merritt Evelyen Doolittle b: 16 JUL 1842
- Mortimer Doolittle b: 24 JUN 1848