James Monroe Scofield (1824-1871) was the only child of Eunice Plumb Russell Scofield ( -1864) and Nathan Scofield ( - ). Eunice had two children by her first marriage to George Russell ( - ). Deserted by her second husband, she was forced to support herself by working as a housekeeper. James, born in East Haddam, Conn., had little education but evidently attended Brainerd Academy in Haddam, Conn. As a young man he established a newspaper, the New London Democrat and Daily Morning Star, in New London, Conn. Early in 1849 he sailed for California where he remained until the summer of 1857 (with the exception of a trip back East in 1853). He settled in Stockton, Calif., and established a store, Scofield & Company, which sold miners' supplies and, evidently, some household goods. At some point he went into partnership with a Mr. Keeler. Their business, Scofield, Keeler, & Company, was dissolved in January 1857. He was appointed Collector of the Customs for the District of San Joaquin and Inspector of the Revenue for the Port of Stockton by President Franklin Pierce ( - ), and he also invested in real estate in northern California. In 1854 he married his cousin Madilia Ney Houche (1830-1913) who had moved to Stockton with her sister Eunice from Mystic, Conn. Their first child, James Monroe Scofield, Jr. (1855-1878), was born in Stockton; their second and third children, Florence Madilia Scofield (1858-1936) and William Bacon Scofield (1864-1930), were born in Connecticut.
According to the manuscripts in this collection, Scofield left California in 1857 to return to his native state because he had achieved his goal in migrating to the West-he had "made his fortune." After he moved his family to Hartford, Conn., he established the Hartford Daily and Weekly Post, a Democratic newspaper. He was also very active in Democratic state politics. Scofield sold the newspaper in March 1864 and spent a brief time in Cincinnati, Ohio, as an agent for the Charter Oak Life Insurance Company. Displeased with Cincinnati, he decided to move to Worcester, Mass., where he acted as an agent for the same insurance company. He lived in Worcester the few remaining years of his life and was active in Worcester social circles and local politics. He also invested in Worcester real estate.
The three Scofield children were educated in the Worcester schools. Florence entered Wellesley College in the fall of 1876 but withdrew in 1877 to go to Europe with her family. In 1884 she married Edward Davis Thayer, Jr. (1856-1907), a successful Worcester woolen manufacturer. James Monroe Scofield, Jr. died during the family's trip to Europe of typhoid fever. William Bacon Scofield attended Harvard College and occupied several business positions in Worcester. An erratic, but evidently brilliant man, he increased the family's wealth with his business ventures and left an estate of one million dollars at his death. He wrote poetry that was privately published and studied with the sculptor Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941).
From the description of Papers, 1823-1923. (American Antiquarian Society). WorldCat record id: 191274940