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Re: William Fisk, Mansfield Center, CT: 1850-1860?
Posted by: Bryan Salai (ID *****9067) Date: September 25, 2008 at 06:55:20
In Reply to: Re: William Fisk, Mansfield Center, CT: 1850-1860? by Robert Birt of 749

Thank you Mr. Birt! great information. I assume, by the structure of the house, number of original buidlings on the property and number of homes in our village that he was associated with that William Fisk was rather well off while he lived here as well. In regard to the entry you posted, stating he financed the first silk mill, that isn't exactly true. The first silk mill in the US was also in Mansfield but wasn't the one Fisk financed. "The Hanks Silk Mill was built in 1810 by Horace and Rodney Hanks in Mansfield."

William Fisk assisted later on with the first mill that also produced the actual textiles:

"Progress Toward Successful Silk Processing

In 1827 or 1828, a young throwster named Edmund Golding came to America from Macclesfield, England. He arrived in Mansfield, which was then considered the center of the American silk industry, expecting to find ready employment. He was disappointed, however, to find that the American silk industry was far behind that of England. The doubling and twisting operation he was trained in was here crudely done on the hand spinning wheel.

Alfred Lilly took an interest in Golding and persuaded him to describe the machinery he had used in England. Believing that Golding's drawings were sufficient to produce workable machinery, he formed a partnership with Capt. Joseph Conant, William Fisk, William Atwood, Storrs Hovey and Jesse Bingham. The company was incorporated under the name Mansfield Silk Company in 1829."


Other than this listing for William A. Fisk, there is little info in town archives about him. Seems sort of sad actually because he seems as important as any of the Storrs - for whom most historical referrences in town are made (I.e. Univ. of CT in Storrs Village, Mansfield, CT).

I appreciate your information!

You have been a tremendous help.


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