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Asa Seymour Curtis House
2016 Elm Street, Stratford, CT 06615
The following obituary for Asa S. Curtis appeared in the Bridgeport Standard on
March 19, 1895:
There passed away at his residence on Academy Hill at noon yesterday, Asa Seymour Curtis, who for 60 years had been one of the most prominent figures in the history of this community.
Born in Stratford of one of our old families, the blood of a long line of Puritan ancestry developed in him, a strong personality and unflinching courage, which made him an outspoken and uncompromising advocate in whatever he believed to be right, however unpopular it might be. While still a young man, he espoused the cause of temperance and abolition, when to be an abolitionist, or a temperance man meant social ostracism and personal danger. It is related that when party feelings ran high on the temperance question he was attacked one night by a mob and barely escaped with his life by concealing himself under a pile of old lumber. He was an enthusiastic abolitionist during the turbulent times of the pre-slavery agitation, and his name and that of Louis Beers were synonyms for all that was dangerous and vile to a large majority of the town.
Mr. Curtis' home was one of the stations of the underground railway and a number of runaway slaves it is said found a safe refuge with him and were passed on their way to Canada. He was for years one of our most prominent and successful educators and possessed in an eminent degree the ability to teach, and some of our most prominent citizens today owe much of their success in life to the instructions received from him either in the district school or in the old academy which he taught for a number of terms. He was passinately fond of music and played the organ for years in the old Episcopal Church; but in this connection he is better remembered as a fifer, and for years he was the fifer of all this region and was in demand on occasion of military parades. He also enlisted as a fifer and went South with the army during the rebellion, though his term of service was of short duration.
He married Mary Curtis, a sister of Samuel E. Curtis, and had a large family, but only three daughters are living. He kept fully informed of the world's progress in science and education by extensive reading of the best publications, but his loss of hearing has been a source of much sorrow to him for years..