1827 – 1897
Jedediah Wilcox was born in the Westfield section of Middletown in 1827 and moved to Meriden in 1845. During his 29 year in Meriden he founded and was involved with several businesses and companies, including Colt & Wilcox Carpet Bag Factory, J. Wilcox & Co., Meriden Tape Company, Wilcox Britannia Co./Wilcox Silver Plate Co., American Copper & Brass Co., American metal Co., and Meriden Steam Printing Co.
He was one of Meriden’s most determined businessmen for his time and his mansion at the corner of Broad and Camp Streets (site of The Beeches office complex today) was one of Meriden’s most iconic and memorable residences. Before his home was demolished in the 1970s, its front parlor and many furnishings were acquired by the metropolitan Museum of Art, where they remain on display today. He served on several boards of directors and was appointed to serve on a special town committee which secured a charter for the City of Meriden as well as establishing the city’s limits in 1867.
He was the unsuccessful mayoral candidate in the City’s first mayoral election in 1867.
His business contributions, impact on the future of Meriden’s industrial prestige, and commitment to the community are all part of his legacy. He passed away during a trip to Louisville, Kentucky in 1897.