Open W-F, 12-4pm, Sat 10am-2pm | (860) 364-5688

Open W-F, 12-4pm, Sat 10am-2pm | (860) 364-5688

The Gillette Brothers

The Gillette Brothers, Henry Martin and Edward Franklin, were from Canaan, Conn. The fact that Hiram Weed had married their sister, Abigail, probably influenced their coming to Sharon.

Tradition has it that Henry M. Gillette and Hiram Weed were partners in the furniture business, somewhere in Calkinstown. It is known however, that Elisha Knight and Henry M. Gillette were together in the Calkinstown store, in 1859, under the firm name of Knight and Gillette. It is not shown how long the partnership had existed, but it is known that it did not last long after that date, for soon after that time, Elisha Knight left Sharon, to reside in Danbury.

On Sept. 1, 1860, the Gillette Brothers purchased of Samuel J. Prindle, the store at the head of Main Street, Sharon, which ever since has and is still known as “The Gillette Store.” Here they conducted a flourishing business in hardware and furniture, in addition to an assortment of other goods, usually kept in a retail store. Henry M. removed the old house which stood on the corner, to a point farther west, where it was occupied by one Charles Ieorc, a tailor, whose widow is still living in a small house near the site upon which the old house was placed. He then built the house which has always since been known as the Gillette House, and which is now owned by Mrs. Clarence H. Eggleston, the youngest child of the late Edward F. Gillette.

The Gillette Brothers Store became popular at once. The post office was removed from Patterson’s Law office into it, where it remained until its removal to its present quarters, in the Town Hall. The firm continued until 1865, when Henry M. left Sharon, to live in Salisbury, where, in company with Hiram J. Bissell, who had been a clerk in the Gillette Store in Sharon, they opened a store and began business under the firm name of Gillette and Bissell, and so continued until Mr. Gillette’s death, in 1870, at the early age of forty-three.

When Henry M. Gillette left Sharon, his brother, Edward F. sold the house he had built on the corner of New Street and went to the one vacated by his brother, where he continued to reside until his death in 1903. In 1893 his son, E.F. Gillette, Jr., became a partner in the store with his father, and assumed active control of the business. The firm name then changed from E.F. Gillette to that of E.F. Gillette and Son. E.F. Gillette, Jr., has since died, and the property has passed into the ownership of his sister, Mrs. Clarence H. Eggleston, who with her husband, is carrying on the business under the name of E.F. Gillette and Son.

This seems but little to say of a family such as the Gillette’s have been. Prominent both in church and society, it is doubtful if any family has ever lived in the place, who have left a more lasting impression for good than they. There were no black sheep among them, to mar an otherwise clean record. The name was never associated with a movement that had not for its end the betterment of Sharon and its people. What more need be said of any family?

E. Franklin Gillette, Frank Gillette, as he was known and called by all, was the last to go from among us. His illness only lasted a few days, and when the word went around that Frank Gillette was dead, the community received a shock it will long remember. It was a long time before the people of Sharon could realize that Frank Gillette was dead, and longer still before the responsibilities he had assumed could be shifted to other shoulders.

From back of photo: "1860's Gillette Furniture Store w/ Columns Dr. Knight, physiclan, pharmacist his brother was a dentist in same building."

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