Selected Families and Individuals



The colorful James Pierpont was the author of "One Horse Open Sleigh" which was first published in 1857. In 1859, he reissued the song under a new name: "Jingle Bells." It was a "sleighing song" which was a popular topic of the time and had
nothing to do with Christmas, or for that matter, Thanksgiving.

James Pierpont was born in 1822, while his father served as the Unitarian pastor of the Hollis Street Church in Boston. His father, the Rev. John Pierpont (1785-1866) was an ardent abolitionist and noted poet. His mother was Mary Sheldon Lord,
the daughter of Lynde Lord, Jr. (1762-1813), and Mary Lyman. Together, they had six children. The Pierpont name has been traced back as far as Charlemagne and the invasion of England by William the Conquerer.

John Pierpont MORGAN

Stock Exchanged closed 2 hours for funeral

In 1846, a prosperous Hartford merchant decided his eldest son should attend a boarding school, one some distance from home and under male supervision.  The son, approaching his 10th birthday, had been going to a "dame's school" near his family's home in Hartford; but in the fall of 1846, he traveled with his father to Cheshire and enrolled in what was then called The Episcopal Academy of Connecticut.

The youth's father, Junius Morgan, was one of the most respected members of the Hartford community.  The Morgan family settled in the Connecticut River valley shortly after 1636, and included prominent farmers, landowners, hotel keepers, and merchants for over 200 years.  The younger Morgan, called Pierpont, aspired to take his place in the line of his successful New England ancestors.  He not only upheld this family tradition, but overshadowed it completely, becoming the most powerful and influential financier in American history.

On Dec. 10th, 1846, Pierpont left Cheshire and returned to Hartford because of ill health in his family.  His beloved Grandfather Morgan died in Hartford during July of 1847 and, by then, he and the youth had grown especially close.  At
Christmas 1850, Pierpont's father gave him a bound journal for the year 1851, in which the 13 yr old boy kept a careful record of activity and expense, inspired by the example of his grandfather who had long written daily journal entries.

One month after he began his journal writing, Pierpont returned to enroll once again at the Academy.  Eventually he boarded with the Rev. Paddock's family.  Living at the principal's house may have inhibited Pierpont, but he is remembered by his classmates as active and strong.  Pierpont seemed to enjoy his studies as well as other activities.

His biographers often retell one of the most repeated legends of Morgan's youth, a story that was not recorded in his diary.  One of the traditional feats, which was the ambition of every red-blooded boy at the Academy, was to carve his name on the frame of the old school-bell that hung in the belfry.  A good many boys had done this successfully and were correspondingly honored by their schoolmates.  The bell was supposed to have been on an old Spanish ship in Colonial times, but how and when it came to Connecticut no one knows.  It hung from a heavy oak beam, supported on a strong pine frame.  Of course, the exploit of carving one's name on this frame was not only forbidden and merited dismissal from the school, but it was dangerous.  It was necessary to climb up a waterspout or a lightening rod at the back of the school at night or very early in the morning when no one was around.  Pierpont and his friend, Joe Wheeler succeeded in doing this, and their initials can still be seen on the side away from the wheel - just where the shadow on the bell meets the frame.

Pierpont left the Academy in 1851 and attended the English High School in Boston, Massachusetts.  He took to it immediately; his time at the Academy had prepared him well for the ensuing parts of his education, which included study in both Switzerland and Germany.

Morgan held a strong interest in the Academy all his life and served as trustee from 1904 until his death in 1913.

Cheshire Academy Web Site Bio

John Austin AMORY

of Needham, MA


of Dedham, MA

Charles Stinchfield VAN DYKE

of Boston,MA

William VAN DYKE

VAN DYKE, William, lawyer; born, Detroit, Jan. 16, 1877; son of Philip J. D. and Sara Newcome (Beeson) Van Dyke; educated in Thompson's Private School, Detroit College and Detroit College of Law; married at Detroit, Oct. 3, 1903, Louise Stinchfield; children: Philip J. D., Charles S. Began practice in office of James H. Pound, 1900, later associating with George F. Monaghan, then E. Y. Swift; now practicing alone. Member Bar Association City of Detroit, Detroit College Alumni Association (ex-president), Lafayette Society (French). Served in 7th and 19th U. S. Infantry in Spanish-American War. Member Spanish War Veterans. Clubs: Country, Detroit Boat, Detroit Boat Club Yachtsmen, Detroit Racquet and Curling. Recreations: outdoor diversions. Office: Bank Chambers. Residence: Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.

The Book of Detroiters;. By Albert Nelson Marquis Published by A. N. Marquis & company, 1914

Charles B. AMORY

of Boston