Thursday, May 23, 2013

Obituary of Alexander Catlin Twining, Class of 1820, in 1885 Yale College Obituary Record

Obituary of  Alexander Catlin Twining, Class of 1820, included in the June 1885 edition of the Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale College.  He was a man of many interests, including theology, civil engineering, inventing and astronomy, among others. See the transcript of the obituary for a more complete record.

The last few pages of this booklet are a Summary of the deceased graduates and an index, all pages of which appear at the end of this post.



Alexander Catlin Twining, son of Stephen Twining (Y.C. 1795) and Almira (Catlin) Twining, was born in New Haven, Conn., July 5, 1801.

He left College with the intention of entering the ministry, and soon after studied for one year in Andover Theological Seminary. In 1823 he returned to New Haven as tutor in the College, in which office he served for two years. Meantime he had decided to become a civil engineer, and now went to West Point to prepare himself for his profession. He was first employed upon the State works of Pennsylvania, and his earliest independent work was in 1835-37 as chief of the survey for the Hartford and New Haven railroad; he was subsequently employed either as chief or consulting engineer upon every railroad running out of New Haven (excepting possibly the Derby road). In like manner he was employed on the northern lines running up the Connecticut and through Vermont, on the Lake Shore road between Buffalo and Erie, and on other roads in Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan. Fro 1839 to 1848 he filled the chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Middlebury College, Vt.; this position he resigned to give himself the more fully to his engineering labors. He removed from Middlebury to New Haven in 1852, and resided here for the rest of his life. From 1856 until his death he was a deacon in the First Church, in which his father had filled the same office.

For several years after his return to New Haven his labor was mainly given to the development of his invention for the artificial production of ice on a large scale and with economy. The principle of his invention was widely adopted, but he failed to secure pecuniary recompense for it. He ade valuable original investigations in astronomy, mathematics and physics; and was equally interested in questions of theology and political science, both in their theoretical and practical aspects. In connection with the remarkable star-shower of November, 1833, he deserves the credit of first suggesting the correct theory of radiation of meteor tracks from a fixed point among the stars.

Early in October, 1884, he was attacked with congestion of the brain, and he died at his home in New Haven on the 22d of November, in his 84th year.

He married, March 2, 1829, Miss Harriet Amelia Kinsley, of West Point, N.Y., who died October 12, 1871. Their children were three sons (graduates of this College) and four daughters; they survive their parents, with the exception of one son who died in the war.

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]

The children of Alexander Catlin Twining and Harriet Amelia (Kinsley) Twining:
  • Kinsley Twining, born 18 July 1832 at New Haven, Connecticut; married 1) Mary K. Plunket 2) Mary Ellen Gridley; he died 4 November 1901
  • Harriet Anna Twining, born 27 December 1833; died 23 February 1896
  • Sutherland Douglas Twining, born 4 September 1835 (twin) at West Point, New York; married 1) Gertrude Maria Tenney 2) Mina Betsey Bebee; died 8 February 1918 at Amherst, New Hampshire
  • Theodore Woolsey Twining, born 4 September 1835 (twin) at West Point, New York; died 14 August 1864 at Tampa, Florida, while serving in the Civil War
  • Sarah Julia Twining, born 9 November 1837 at New York; died in 1902 at New Haven, Connecticut
  • Mary Almira Twining, born 23 April 1840 at Vermont; died 1902 at New Haven, Connecticut
  • Eliza Kinsley Twining, born 19 June 1843 at Vermont
If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly. Thanks!


Augustus H. Abernethy, Class of 1864
Adolph Asher, Class of 1872
Robert M. Baker, Class of 1856
T. Jefferson Bassett, Class of 1853
Henry C. Beardslee, Class of 1826
Lewis S. Benedict, Class of 1834
Michael D. Benedict, Class of 1836
Theodore H. Benedict, Class of 1840
Frederick N. Bennett, Class of 1841
James Berdan, Class of 1824
George W. Blagden, Class of 1823
David Booth, Class of 1819
Marius Brandegee, Class of 1843
C. Lewis Brent, Class of 1849
Daniel Chadwick, Class of 1845
Henry Childs, Class of 1846
James H. Clendenin, Class of 1872
George H. Coffey, Class of 1859
Thomas Cowles, Class of 1829
S. Sherwood Day, Class of 1827
Sherman Day, Class of 1826
John DeForest, Class of 1826
James T. Dickinson, Class of 1826
Richard V. Dodge, Class of 1840
George B. Dusinberre, Class of 1855
Aaron R. Dutton, Class of 1837
Barnabas M. Fay, Class of 1833
George W. Fisher, Class of 1859
Samuel A. Fisk, Class of 1844
Samuel H. Fletcher, Class of 1824
Thomas E. Franklin, Class of 1828
William Frazier, Class of 1832
Theodore Gilbert, Class of 1825
George Goodyear, Class of 1824
John M. Gordon, Class of 1830
George M. Hanners, Class of 1823
Winthrop B. Hawks, Class of 1882
Thomas R. Hubbard, Class of 1829
William Hutchison, Class of 1854
Joseph H. Isham, Class of 1865
Thomas H. Jackson, Class of 1850
Barclay Johnson, Class of 1882
Ross Johnston, Class of 1870
Francis E. Kernochan, Class of 1861
Alfred Lambert, Class of 1843
Frank A. Langworthy, Class of 1872
Cortland L. Latimer, Class of 1832
Edward A. Lawrence, Class of 1884
James N. Lea, Class of 1834
Charles A. Lewis, Class of 1829
Allyn C. Loomis, Class of 1883
Oliver E. Lyman, Class of 1876
Darius Mead, Class of 1828
Timothy T. Merwin, Class of 1827
Charles L. Mills, Class of 1835
Hiram Moses, Class of 1825
George C. Murray, Class of 1845
William Norton, Class of 1829
John J. Orton, Class of 1842
Lewis R. Packard, Class of 1856
Francis H. Palmer, Class of 1847
David C. Perry, Class of 1833
Stephen T. Robinson, Class of 1827
Charles M. Runk, Class of 1845
William H. Russell, Class of 1833
Murray C. Shoemaker, Class of 1864
Benjamin Silliman, Class of 1837
Jonathan Silliman, Class of 1817
Elbert J. Smith, Class of 1847
Charles G. Southmayd, Class of 1856
John B. Staples, Class of 1827
Hezekiah Sturges, Class of 1841
Frank H. Taylor, Class of 1878
John L. Taylor, Class of 1835
Chauncey M. Thompson, Class of 1854
Albert Todd, Class of 1836
Charles Tracy, Class of 1832
Alexander C. Twining, Class of 1820
David A. Tyler, Class of 1844
Leonidas C. Vinal, Class of 1880
Jonathan Wales, Class of 1871
Jacob K. Warner, Class of 1850
D. Ellis Willes, Class of 1850
William L. Williamson, Class of 1853
Leonard Withington, Class of 1814
Dexter Witter, Class of 1824
J. Hampden Wood, Class of p1866
Robert W. Wright, Class of 1842
Edward Wurts, Class of 1832

New Haven, Connecticut

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