William A Atwood was one of the most prominent figures in the industrial interests of Killingly. His grandparents were Kimball and Selinda Colgrove Atwood. His father was John Atwood, who married Julia A. Battey. Their son, William Allen, was born August 4th, 1833, in Williamsville, in the town of Killingly, and received more than an elementary education. First entering the Danielsonville High School, he continued his studies at the Scituate Seminary in Rhode Island, and at Wilbraham, Mass., completing his academic education at Middleboro, Mass. He early entered the Williamsville mills, then under the superintendence of his father, and having made himself familiar with their practical workings, soon bore a conspicuous part in the management of the business. The failing health of his father threw much of the responsibility upon his son, and on the death of the former in 1865, the entire direction of this important manufacturing interest was placed in his hands. Under his watchful eye the business made rapid advancement, and at the date of his death, on the 26th of June, 1881, in New York city, had attained a high degree of prosperity.
Mr. Atwood was married October 4th, 1855, to Caroline A., daughter of Robert K. and Helen Brown Hargraves. Their four children are: Henry Clinton; Bradford Allen, who died in infancy; Mary Elizabeth, deceased, wife of G. W. Lynn, and William Edwin. Both the sons are interested in the Williamsville Manufacturing Company, Henry Clinton being the super.. intendent, assistant treasurer and secretary. Mr. Atwood was also a stockholder in the large mills at Taftville, and a director of the First National Bank of Killingly. He enjoyed not only the esteem of the community, but the affectionate regard of his employees. This was accomplished by a genial intercourse and a liberal and thoughtful management of his varied interests. In disposition he was retiring and unassuming, doing many kindly acts with such a quiet grace as to make them known only to the recipients of his favor. It has been justly said that he belonged to that class of men who
” * * * do good by stealth,
And blush to find it fame.”
The profound mourning his death occasioned was a just tribute to his usefulness and worth.