The Bristol Press – PRIME TIME: Andrew Fuller Atkins, Bristol builder


Andrew Fuller Atkins (1828-1893)

“Andrew Fuller Atkins, son of the Reverend and Mrs. Irenus (Eunice Beckwith) Atkins, was born in Bristol in 1828. His father, an active Baptist minister and a prominent manufacturer, was involved in clocks, saws, turnings wood, wood faucets and machinery It has been said that he and his partners have experienced more bankruptcies than any other Bristol manufacturer.

“Plus, he worked at the same site for 60 years, running family businesses.

“As for his son, Andrew, after his early education in Bristol, he attended the Suffield Institute, after which he joined his father in the general store business. At the time, the Atkins property was located near the corner of West and Divinity streets in Bristol’s West End.

“On May 6, 1849, Andrew married Helen M. Welch, daughter of Elisha N. and Jane (Bulkeley) Welch. Elisha Welch was a major factor in the growth of Bristol during the 1800s, meeting phenomenal success as one of the city’s most successful people as the first millionaire.

“Around 1851, the young Andrew, who had developed a penchant for business, assumed the responsibilities of secretary and treasurer of the Bristol Brass Corp., a position he held until the death of his father-in-law, Elisha N. Welch. In 1887, he was promoted to president of the company and his foresight allowed the company to prosper under his administration until his death.

“A great man, Atkins was an individual everyone respected, even the poorest salesman was considered a friend. Although he never applied for public service, he was very interested in the welfare of Bristol.

“In 1889 he purchased eight acres of land from the Tracy-Peck Estate on West Street across from the ES Hollister property and before much of the work on the Brightwood Hall project had actually started Andrew died on May 9. 1893 at his winter residence in Hartford. He is survived by his widow, his daughter Fannie and his cousin, Judge Roswell Atkins. The ‘castle’ as many called it, was left to his widow to complete.

(Note: His widow died before the “castle” was completed. The building was unoccupied before Albert F. Rockwell bought it to reside there. Some time after Rockwell’s death, the mansion and surrounding property were purchased for residential housing development.)[piedbeforeAlbertFRockwellpurchasedittoresideinSometimeafterRockwell’sdeaththemansionandsurroundingpropertywerepurchasedforthedevelopmentofresidentialhousing)[piedbeforeAlbertFRockwellpurchasedittoresideinSometimeafterRockwell’sdeaththemansion andsurroundingpropertywerepurchasedforthedevelopmentofresidentialhousing)

Contact Bob Montgomery at [email protected]

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Sunday September 26, 2021 19:50. Update: Sunday September 26, 2021 7:52 PM.


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