People of Stamford

Abraham Davenport(1715-1789) 

was town surveyor and a judge. He served in both the Connecticut and Stamford legislatures.  Mr. Davenport is known for what he did during Connecticut’s “Dark Day” in May 1780. The sky was so dark that most people stopped working, afraid something bad was going to happen. Mr. Davenport said that he wanted to be found doing his duty if something bad did occur. People admired Abraham Davenport for this courageous act. (Davenport Ridge Elementary School).

Abraham Davenport sketch



John Day Ferguson (1833-1877)

was a lawyer and a strong supporter of education in Stamford.  He was elected to represent Stamford in the Connecticut State Legislature, and from 1871 to 1874 he served the district as a judge.  He left $10,000 in his will to help pay for a library for Stamford, and for that reason, The Ferguson Library carries his name. (The Ferguson Library)

 John Day Ferguson



James H. Hoyt (1809-1873)

began his career as a cabinet maker’s apprentice. Later he owned a big lumber yard.  He may have been the first to import coal to Stamford.  During construction of the railroad he built bridges and supplied fuel and rail ties.  He played a role in the organization of the Stamford Savings Bank, and was the bank’s president for several years.  He represented Stamford in the Connecticut State Legislature. (Hoyt Street)



George A. Scofield & Walter Keeler Scofield (brothers)

The Scofield brothers were soldiers for the Union (the North) during the Civil War.  George A. Scofield enlisted in 1861.  Walter Keeler Scofield was a physician and served as a naval medical officer.

(Scofieldtown Road and Scofield Magnet Middle School)

Scofieldtown Road and Scofield Magnet Middle School



Schuyler Merritt

served nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (Congress).  He was chairman of the board of two important companies, Yale & Towne and First Stamford Bank & Trust Company.  He also served as president of the Ferguson Library Association. (Merritt Parkway)

Merritt Parkway sign



William H. Holly (1798-1867)

was an editor and publisher of the Stamford Advocate newspaper.  He also ran a lending library (before The Ferguson Library was built).  He worked as an auctioneer, town clerk, community speaker, member of the state commission on the New York/Connecticut border, and judge.



John W. Holly (1762-1838)

was known as one of the founders of Cove Mills.  Mr. Holly and William Fitch built a dam between Stamford and Noroton and erected a grist mill powered by the trapped tides of the water.  There is a mural of Cove Mills at K.T. Murphy School.

(The Sanford-Holly House, now home of SoundWaters)

John W. Holly (1762-1838)



The Rich Family

moved to Stamford around 1908 and  began to work as general contractors, supervising construction projects. Around 1920, after serving in WWI, Frank D. Rich, Sr. started the F.D. Rich Company.  The company’s first major building was the Sacred Heart Church on Schuyler Avenue.  Later, F.D. Rich Company built many important structures in Stamford including Landmark Square Tower, the Stamford Marriott, Stamford Town Center, and St. John’s Towers.
(The Rich Forum is named for the Rich family)

The Rich Forum



General David Waterbury

supervised construction for the Navy near Fort Ticonderoga in New York and was second in command to General Benedict Arnold at the battle of Valcour Bay during the Revolutionary War.  Mr. Waterbury was also involved in building Fort Stamford.
(The city of Waterbury, CT)



Jackie Robinson

was a professional baseball player who broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947 when he became the first African-American player in the Major leagues.  He was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.  For years, Jackie Robinson and his family lived in Stamford on Cascade Road.
(Jackie Robinson Park)



William F. Buckley, Jr.

was a famous political commentator and author.  He is best known as a leader of the Conservative movement in America and as the publisher of National Review, a magazine he started in 1955.  He was also the host of a TV political show called Firing Line from 1966 to 1999.  Mr. Buckley lived in New York and Stamford, and he died in Stamford in 2008.



Andy Robustelli

played professional football for the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants in the 1950s and 1960s. He was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.  Mr. Robustelli was born in Stamford and went to Stamford High School.
(Robustelli Travel Agency was in downtown Stamford for many years)



Bobby Valentine

played Major League baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He was the manager of the Texas Rangers and the New York Mets.  He attended Stamford’s Rippowam High School. In 1980 he opened Bobby Valentine’s Sports Gallery Café in Stamford.
(Bobby Valentine’s Sports Gallery Café and Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy)



Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner

Gilda Radner was an actress and comedian best known for her characters on the TV show Saturday Night Live.  She lived in Stamford with her husband Gene Wilder until her death in 1989.  Gene Wilder, who starred in many films including the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory continued to live in Stamford after his wife’s death.

Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka



Gutzon Borglum: designer of the huge national monuments at Mount Rushmore and Stone Mountain.

Harry Houdini: famous escape artist. He lived in Stamford in 1905 before going on tour in Europe.

Eugene O’Neill: the well-known playwright.

Joseph Lieberman: United States senator and vice-presidential candidate.

Benny Goodman: famous jazz musician and bandleader.

Harry Connick, Jr.: a famous singer.

Rihanna: R&B and pop singer.

50 Cent: a rap star (his real name is Curtis James Jackson III).