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Reverend Thomas Hauley

1689 – 1739


The Hawley House
Main Street, Ridgefield, CT

The Hawley family figures prominently in the settling of New England. They were involved in King Philip's War and helped settle the towns of Stratford and Newtown, Connecticut.

Before Norah Webster's time, individuality in spelling was common practice. As an adult, Thomas Hawley chose to spell his name with a “u” instead of a “w”. He graduated from Harvard College in 1709 and married Abigail Gold of Fairfield, CT. In 1713, the Reverend moved his family from Northampton, Massachusetts to become Ridgefield's first minister. Because he was regarded as the most educated man in town, he also had the additional jobs of Town Clerk and schoolmaster.

In thanks for agreeing to move to their newfound village, the Original Proprietors gave the Hauleys 1/27th of all the land in town. Also, they built for them a fine residence in a choice location across from the town green. This building, which remained in the Hawley family for 200 years, still stands today at the corner of Branchville Road and Main Street and is the oldest residence in the village. Legend has it that there is a secret door somewhere in the interior leading from the dining room to the cellar.

Reverend Hauley ministered to the religious needs of the early settlers for 25 years. He died in 1739 and is buried in the Old Town Cemetery, where his marker is easily found. He and Abigail had 10 children, who went on to be prominent people in their own right.

Search:
Join Our Community:
Watch for these Programs:
  • Astronomy Series
  • Birding Series
  • More 'Ghosts' in October
  • Snowshoe events when it snows!
  • Animal Encounter Series
  • 'CT Trail Day' Hike in June