Thursday, May 3, 2018

I.W. Denison, Shopkeeper

The Mystic Press, 29 July 1890 page 3
from the archives at  The Westerly Public Library
1 May 2018 from Barbara Fallon and Nina Wright.
My ancestor, Dudley Wheeler Stewart (1822-1886) was a merchant shopkeeper in the town of North Stonington, Connecticut. He did not marry until he was 33 years old. 

His wife Eliza Fish Denison (1833-1909) was my 2nd great grandmother and in 1909 when she died, she was living in Pawcatuck, Connecticut with her only living son and his family. That family included my maternal grandfather, Evans Stewart, who listened to all the family stories. 

This man in the ad above, I.W. Denison (1817-1895) was Eliza's eldest brother. There are photos of this storefront in many books on Mystic that I own. This ad tells me that although his store was larger and served a bigger town, this store had the same type of goods to be sold as Dudley's store.

Ever since I learned of this store, I have wondered if I.W. and Dudley knew each other. There are not very miles between the location of both stores. I suspect that Dudley, the last child born in his family, was introduced to his future bride by this man, known as I.W. or Isaac Wheeler Denison.
Photo taken in the Dension Homestead in 2009 by Midge Frazel

Eliza was educated at Portersville Academy and at the age of 17, she was living in nearby Groton with her uncle Simeon Fish (1799-1863), attending school and probably helping out in the household. Simeon Fish and Eliza's mother Levina Fish, were close in age and for sometime, his occupation is listed as merchant.

That's three men who were merchants who knew each other. 

In this time period, women were expected to marry, become a school teacher, or to nurse aged family members. Eliza was wise to marry Dudley. They married in 1856 and lived near his store in North Stonington, Connecticut. 

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