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Articles From The Community Home > The Wethersfield Elms > About the Authors: Jared B. Standish & John C. Willard

About the Authors: Jared B. Standish & John C. Willard

By Wethersfield Historical Society on September 5, 2011 1:08 PM

JARED BUTLER STANDISH (1866-1961) was a nationally known wood engraver and student of early Connecticut history.  With Mrs. Standish he was instrumental in reorganizing the Wethersfield Village Improvement Society (later Wethersfield Park Board) and contributed to the development of recreational areas in the town and was active in the acquisition of the Mill Woods property for a park. 

He was one of the founders of Wethersfield historical Society in 1932.

Jared Standish's interest in the heritage of Connecticut sustained a lifetime avocation of gathering local folk lore, anecdotes, and genealogical and historical data.  He wrote many pamphlets and articles on Wethersfield's early industries, buildings, historical sites, and activities, engaging in such projects as tracing the route of the Boston Post Road.  He was largely instrumental in historical marking and dating of old buildings and renaming of some ancient streets.  He also complied and published a detailed historical guide to Old Wethersfield.

JOHN WILLARD's (1892-1976) contributions to his native community of Wethersfield, Ct., were many, and included his work on the Historic District Commission, Park Board, Recreation Committee, Cemetery Association, Historic Foundation, and as the Tree Warden. 'These volunteer positions coincided with his work as an employee of Comstock, Ferre & Co (1912-57), the nation's oldest seed company in continuous operation.

John Willard was Wethersfield's most distinguished modern historian. He was well known as an author and scholar but also possessed the rare abilities of a master storyteller. He was a founding member of the Wethersfield Historical Society in 1932, and served as president from1939-42. He believed that "history is the story of people."

In 1971, Mr. Willard received an Award of Merritt from the American Association for State and Local History for over 50 years of service of the history of Wethersfield, Ct., and of early Connecticut.

(John Willard biography by Nora Howard, former Director Wethersfield Historical Society)

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