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 HistoricDistrict Commission, Park Board, Recreation Committee, CemeteryAssociation, Historic Foundation, and as the Tree Warden. ‘Thesevolunteer positions coincided with his work as an employee of Comstock,Ferre & Co (1912-57), the nation’s oldest seed company in continuousoperation.
John Willard was Wethersfield’s most distinguishedmodern historian. He was well known as an author and scholar but alsopossessed the rare abilities of a master storyteller. He was a foundingmember of the Wethersfield Historical Society in 1932, and served aspresident from1939-42. He believed that “history is the story ofpeople.”
In 1971, Mr. Willard received an Award of Merritt fromthe American Association for State and Local History for over 50 yearsof service of the history of Wethersfield, Ct., and of earlyConnecticut.
(John Willard biography by Nora Howard, former Director Wethersfield Historical Society)