In the 1880s, my second great grandfather Aaron Treadwell, a cattle broker in Redding, CT, donated 12 acres of land to create the Putnam Memorial State Park at the site of the winter encampment of Gen. Israel Putnam and his troops in 1778-79 during the Revolutionary War. Treadwell’s family had lived in Redding for several generations. In 1850, he and two other men walked from Ohio to Bridgeport, CT, with 150 head of cattle. He was a member of the Connecticut legislature in 1864, and a trustee of Hill Academy, the first public high school in Redding, funded by private citizens, which opened in 1878. Treadwell (1828-1886) married Lois Rebecca Mead (1830-1888) and had four children, including my great grandmother Selina (“Lina”) Elida Treadwell (1852-1934).
The land which held Treadwell’s slaughterhouse at 30 Putnam Park Road was originally owned by John Read, a founder of Redding. After Treadwell’s death, the land was owned by Maurice Pate, the founder of UNICEF, who in turn donated the property to a retreat center, now the Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace, which continues to operate. So, cattle…UNICEF…Buddhism!