Connecticut State Library with state seal

Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 61, page(s) 601-602


WILLIAM SUMNER GOSLEE, a member of the bar of Hartford County, died at his home in Glastonbury on March 31st, 1892. Mr. Goslee was born in that town on August 15th, 1832, and with the exception of the time spent in attending school and in preparation for his admission to the bar, he always resided there. After attending the common school and the academy in Glastonbury, he was for a short time in Williston Academy at East Hampton, Mass. He afterwards entered Wesleyan Academy at Wilbraham, Mass., where he studied several terms. He was for several years engaged in teaching school - an occupation common to the average New England young man of ambition, whose scanty purse compels him to seek employment to defray the expenses of his education. He studied law at Tolland with the late Judge Loren P. Waldo, and was there admitted to the bar in 1857. After his admission he opened an office in Glastonbury, where he always practiced.

As a lawyer Mr. Goslee was careful and painstaking. He studiously looked after every fact and detail that might affect the interests of his client. His tastes however inclined him to the quieter part of practice. For many years he was counsel for his town. He acquired a numerous clientage, and was especially well versed in matters relating to the powers and duties of towns - a branch of the law in which he took much interest. He acquired a considerable general practice besides.

Mr. Goslee was a good citizen. He was interested in public affairs and in every question which affected the community where he lived, whether it related to the church or to the town. His fellow townsmen honored him with numerous local offices. He was clerk of the House of Representatives in 1858, and in 1870 was elected to the state Senate, where he served his constituents with fidelity.

He had a natural literary taste, which he kept fresh by constant reading, extending over a variety of subjects. His love for his native town was a distinctive feature of his character. Its broad streets, its quaint houses, its wide meadows and noble river, its ancient and majestic elms, had an irresistible charm for him. He had an accurate knowledge of the history of the town, and he left some valuable manuscripts, which he had prepared, relating to it and to its ancient families. He had a decided taste for historical matter connected with colonial and later times, and was an authority on that subject.

Mr. Goslee married Mary S. Storrs, of Mansfield in this state, who with a son survives him. He was a member of the Congregational Church in Glastonbury, having joined it in his early manhood.