Harwinton Men of Distinction
Early Years (continued)

George Smith Catlin
George was born here on August 24, 1808. He received an education at Amherst College, studied law at the famous Litchfield Law School under Tapping Reeve. (this was the first law school in America) Catlin entered the office of the Hon. William S. Holabird of Winsted and he was so proficient in his profession that, even as a mere lad he was entrusted with cases in the town court. He represented Harwinton in the General Assembly and, at the age of 23, he became executive secretary to Governor Peters. Later, he practiced law in Willimantic and he handled many important cases. He was the State's Attorney for Windham County New York in 1842 - 1843 and was elected to congress from the third district of Connecticut. In 1848 he ran for Governor but lost by a narrow margin. In 1850 he became a State Senator and was judge of the Windham County Court when he died in 1851 on the day after Christmas. He was known all over the country as a great orator and one of the intellectual giants of his time.

Lyman S. Catlin
Honorable Lyman S. Catlin, born here in 1841, made his name in Bridgeport Connecticut. He ran for State Comptroller in 1890 but lost the closely contested election. He was the treasurer of the United Illuminating Company of Bridgeport and also treasurer of the Mechanics and Farmers Saving Bank. He was a civil war veteran. Lyman, even in his later years, still owned the ancestral family farm in Harwinton and spent most of his summers living there.

Von Tobel's
Van Tobel is another old Harwinton name, Edward Von Tobel was born here and went on to become the judge of the City Court in Seattle Washington.
Edward had a brother who became a prominent physician in Manchester New Hampshire and another who was a well-known clergyman in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

Thomas Bristol
Born here in 1854 and raised on a Harwinton farm, Thomas would become a professor at an Iowa college

Rev Dr, Samuel Barker
Samuel was born in Harwinton in 1849 and educated in the Harwinton schools. He studied further at Carzensonia, New York and was graduated from a western college. Later he would become president of a college in Washington, D.C.

Abijah Catlin
Born in Harwinton on April 1, 1805, this man was no April Fools joke. He served this state very well and was honored with many offices of trust, honor and position by his fellow citizens. He was an early graduate of the Yale Law School and was admitted to the bar in New Haven County in 1827. He was Harwinton's representative in the General Assembly ten times, was a State Senator, Comptroller of the state for three years and the school fund commissioner. He was judge of the county court and was Chairman of the Bar Association. In 1880 he was a presidential elector and cast his vote for James Garfield. He practiced law in Georgia for a few years but, in 1837, he returned to his home town of Harwinton where he remained a prominent citizen until his death in 1891.

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