Horatio Upton 1863-1922


Bethel Citizen Nov 16 1922


Mr. Upton’s death, on November 5, 1922, though he had entered his sixtieth year seems untimely so youthful he was so many beneficent plans it leaves unfulfilled. He had apparently died of heart failure and had recently been under a doctor’s care.  Funeral services for Mr. Upton were held at his home, the beautiful place which was built for Eliphaz Chapman on the Northwest Bethel Road.

Horatio N. Upton was born in Carmi, Illinois, July 26, 1863, the son of Tilden and Martha Newell Upton. His father was a successful teacher. His mother, the daughter of one of the pioneer families of Bethel, was a woman of unusual strength of mind and character.  He was reared in the home of his uncle and step father on the beautiful ancestral farm of the Chapman family. His education was in the schools of Bethel and the academies of Essex, Vermont, and Parkesburg, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Upton’s father, Tilden Upton was born in North Reading, Mass., and he died there September 6, 1866.  His widow the former Martha Barnard Newell married Timothy H. Chapman of Bethel on October 13, 1867.  Horatio Upton, then three years old, was raised in the Chapman family.

In 1890 Mr. Upton, then 27, served on the Bethel Superintending School Committee with Dr. John Gehring.  At the end of the year the report submitted by this committee was highly critical of the quality of Bethel schools and urged more financial and professional support be devoted to the town schools.

On December 8, 1892 he married Clara F. Twitchell, daughter of the late Alphin and Roxanna Twitchell. They had one son who died in infancy.

Mr. Upton was elected a Selectman of Bethel in 1894, serving with Henry Farwell and J. C. Billings.

When the Riverside Cemetery Association was formed in 1905, H. N. Upton was elected Secretary and Treasurer.

Horatio Upton (1863-1922) was a step-son of Timothy Hilliard Chapman.  His mother was Martha Newell Upton Chapman, T. H. Chapman’s second wife.  Her father was Seth Newell who also lived on the Northwest Bethel road.  On the 1880 Bethel map, T.H. Chapman’s name appears as the resident of the burned house.


In July 1911, Horatio Upton bought the very large Birchmont Farm in West Bethel from A.S. Bean’s widow, Lucinda.  News of July 1911 reported that Mr. Upton had a large crew haying at the farm. In May 1916 Mr. Upton sold Birchmont Farm to a New York party. (See Edmund C. Smith)

At the time of his death in 1922 he was a deacon of the Congregational Church.



Birchmont Farm buildings located in Mason Township—photo from 1931 Bethel Citizen

Chapman home which burned in 1937.  Home of Horatio Upton at time of his death in 1922.  Originally built for Rev. Eliphaz Chapman between 1800 and 1804.


The house was one of the oldest in town and was built near the site of the original log house by Rev. Eliphaz Chapman who gave the town its name. The farm on which it was located is said to have been the second cleared in that section of town, the first being the Moses Mason place, now known as Bethhaven. The place was for some time owned and occupied by the late Horatio N. Upton and is familiarly known as the Upton place.


PO BOX 763