Derby History Quiz

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William B. Wooster

William B. Wooster

Derby and the surrounding Valley towns sent more than their fair share of men off to fight in the "War of the Rebellion" as it was known at the time. Many of them distinguished themselves as did William Burr Wooster while others never returned home. The monument of the Derby Green pays homage to the men of Derby and Huntington for their sacrifices and lists some of the battles in which they fought.

William B. WoosterWooster was a direct descendant of Derby's first permanent settler and a local attorney when the war broke out, but he soon became a Lt. Col in the 20th Connecticut with many other brave Derby men. He commanded a regiment and was captured at Chancellorsville, but was exchanged for southern prisoners and fought at Gettysburg. He is best remembered as the Colonel of the 29th Regiment, C.V., Colored - the states black regiment which was formed in 1864 with white officers in charge. They distinguished themselves in several battles before the end of the war and proudly marched into Richmond when it fell.

Following the war, he returned to his very successful law practice in Derby. Prior to the war, he had represented Derby in the state legislature as both a representative and also as a senator. He was very active in Derby and was the First President of the Derby Gas & Electric Company and first clerk and one of the directors of the Birmingham Water Company.

At the time of his death on September 20, 1900, the Hartford Courant wrote, "His name has stood for many years on Connecticut's roll of honor. He was a patriot and a gentleman. He was Derby's first citizen."

William B. Wooster law firm

Col. Wm. B. Wooster (L) with three members of his impressive Derby law firm who went on to become judges - William H.  Williams, Chief Justice David Torrance, and Edwin B. Gager.

Picture courtesy of the Derby Historical Society

Our thanks to Carolyn Ivanoff  for her assistance on this quiz.

Correct answers were received from: Fred Grant, Jack Vagnini, Ann Searles, Nick from Terryville, Stephanie Anne D'Onofrio, Rick Schreiner, Mary Suess, Millie Fatterusso, Ken Dupke,  Jean Malone, Jim Bartlett, James Allaire, Marc J. Garofalo, Gregory J. Golski, ruth e. barnett, Joe Dedo, Pat Shelton, Margo Bondi, Joe Melewski,  John Whalen, Jenna, Kimberley Shelton, Ray Allen, Robert W. DeForest, Doug Adamson, Jimmy Ryan, Eileen Krugel, Robert Pasquini, Bradley Bowers, Bob Ahearn, Joseph Navin, Paul Comkowycz, and Howard Bradshaw. 

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