This page was last updated on 30 September 2021

Click here to 
Print this page

Biography finder





























Index of first names

Joseph W. Douglas 






Joseph W. douglas (1838- ) was the son of William Douglas, of Northford, Connecticut  , USA, and brother to William and Benjamin.


The second son of William, Joseph inherited from his father distinguishing traits of character that have ever been the pride of his Doulas ancestors, while from his mother's side he inherits the strong love of country and self sacrificing devotion to principle that have always characterized the Mansfields. He was born at Middletown on the 29th of January 1838. His early education was received at the public school, and subsequently at Professor Chase's school. At the age of 14, he entered his father's factory in the pattern maker's department, at the same time continuing his studies at night under a private tutor. He was quick to learn and displayed great executive ability. When he was but 18 years of age he was made foreman of the factory, acting under his father's supervision. At the age of 22, when President Lincolnissued his proclamation calling for volunteers to defend the Union, he was among the first to offer his services, and was foremost in organizing Company A. of the Mansfield Guards, of which he was elected first lieutenant. He was in the first battle of Bull Run, and continued with his company till it was mustered out of service with the other three months' troops. He would gladly have continued to serve his country to the end of the war, but the death of his father necessitated his taking charge of the mechanical department of the extensive works of W. & B. DOUGLAS, there being no one else in his father's family who was qualified to fill that position. Felling the great responsibility resting upon him, he devoted all his energies to the further development of the business, and proved himself a worthy son of his honored sire. He continued to make further improvements in the manufacture of the almost endless variety of pumps, several of which were covered by letters of patent, the result of his own inventions.

In 1878, he was elected mayor of the city on the republican ticket. His wise and judicious administration of public affairs receiving the approval of his fellow citizens without regard to party affiliations, he was nominated by his friends for a second term, but his other duties compelled him to decline the nomination. He was for six years a member of the Common Council, and was senior alderman for two years. He has been treasurer of Mcdonough Lodge, Knights of Honour, since its organization, is president of the Century Club, trustee of the Farmers' and Mechanics' Savings Bank, director of the People's Insurance Company, and of the corporation of W. & B. DOUGLAS, and is also an active member of Mansfield Post, G. A. R.

He is a man of fine physique, quiet and dignified in his manner, and a perfect specimen of the bon homme.

On the 1st of June 1859, he married Julia W., daughter of William Dabney, and a granddaughter of Captain Robert Johnson, a prominent manufacturer of fire arms during the war of 1812. By her he has had three children: Kate, born March 19th 1860; William B., born September 19th 1863; Grace, born February 15th 1872.

Kate, the eldest, was married on the 13th of October 1881, to William C. Wallace, member of the well-known law firm of Arnoux, Rich, & Woodford , New York city. William, the second child, is at the present time completing his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Douglas resides in the elegant brick mansion on Broad street, the internal arrangements of which indicate a refined taste and a just appreciation of the beautiful.



Any contributions will be gratefully accepted



Errors and Omissions

The Forum

What's new?

We are looking for your help to improve the accuracy of The Douglas Archives.

If you spot errors, or omissions, then please do let us know


Many articles are stubs which would benefit from re-writing. Can you help?


You are not authorized to add this page or any images from this page to (or its subsidiaries) or other fee-paying sites without our express permission and then, if given, only by including our copyright and a URL link to the web site.


If you have met a brick wall with your research, then posting a notice in the Douglas Archives Forum may be the answer. Or, it may help you find the answer!

You may also be able to help others answer their queries.

Visit the Douglas Archives Forum.


2 Minute Survey

To provide feedback on the website, please take a couple of minutes to complete our survey.


We try to keep everyone up to date with new entries, via our What's New section on the home page.

We also use the Community Network to keep researchers abreast of developments in the Douglas Archives.

Help with costs

Maintaining the three sections of the site has its costs.  Any contribution the defray them is very welcome



If you would like to receive a very occasional newsletter - Sign up!



Back to top


The content of this website is a collection of materials gathered from a variety of sources, some of it unedited.

The webmaster does not intend to claim authorship, but gives credit to the originators for their work.

As work progresses, some of the content may be re-written and presented in a unique format, to which we would then be able to claim ownership.

Discussion and contributions from those more knowledgeable is welcome.

Contact Us

Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024