Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Hartford

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HARTFORD, a city, capital of the State of Connecticut, port of entry and county-seat of Hartford co.; on the Connecticut river and on the New York, New Haven and Hartford, and the New England and New York railroads; 36 miles N. E. of New Haven. It is an important commercial and manufacturing city, and besides it is noted for its many insurance companies. Area, 17 square miles.

Public Interests. — The city is lighted by electricity, has a waterworks system with 115 miles of mains owned by the city, 115 miles of streets, of which 84 miles are paved, and 89 miles of sewers. It is the seat of Trinity College, Hartford Congregational Theological Seminary, American Asylum for the Deaf, Insane Retreat, Old People's Home, and the High School, Young Men's Christian Association building. There are a Roman Catholic Cathedral (St. Joseph's), and many elegant churches, a large free public library, and several valuable libraries connected with the educational institutions of the city. The City Hall and Capitol Buildings are the two most famous buildings in Hartford. The former was used as a State House for nearly 100 years and housed the famous Hartford Convention. Near the City Hall is the Center Church, which was constructed in 1807, and has adjoining a burying ground which was in use from 1640 to 1803. Opposite is the Wadsworth Atheneum, containing the Connecticut Historical Society, the Hartford Public Library, and the Morgan Memorial. These three are noted buildings in Hartford, and contain many works of art, rare collections of paintings and books. A few blocks away from the center of the city is a tablet which marks the site of the Charter Oak, a famous old tree, in the hollow of which was hidden the Connecticut Charter to save it from Sir Edmund Andros. The State House is an imposing structure completed in 1880 at a cost of $3,100,000, having its main approach by way of a bridge over Park river, on which bridge a soldiers' memorial arch has been built.

Business Interests. — The city's manufactures are varied and extensive, including machinery, tools, firearms, bicycles, carriages, sewing machines, typewriters, nails, boilers, engines, hosiery, brass goods, woolens, tobacco, silver and plated ware, stoneware, etc. In 1919 there were 4 National banks. The exchanges at the United States clearing house during 1919 amounted to $427,118,000.

History. — The first settlement was made by the Dutch in 1623, but it was not till 1636 that a permanent settlement, called Newton, was made by the English. The name was changed to Hartford in 1637. The Dutch were banished from Connecticut in 1654, and in 1687 an attempt was made by the English Governor Andros to seize the Charter, which was thwarted by hiding it in the Charter Oak. The city was incorporated in 1784 and became the State capital in 1873. Pop. (1910) 98,915; (1920) 138,036.