“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Danbury in Fairfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)

Danbury Firsts

Danbury, Connecticut

— The Museum in the Streets® —

Danbury Firsts Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, December 30, 2013
1. Danbury Firsts Marker
• First recorded census taken in 1756, Danbury’s population: 1,527.
• Danbury’s first mayor, elected in 1888, was Lewis LeGrand Hopkins.
• The first train arrived on the tracks of the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad on March 1, 1851.
• Wakefield Dibble set up the town’s first grist mill on Beaver Brook in 1702.
• Danbury’s first newspaper was The Farmer’s Journal published in 1790.
• The first fire companies organize in 1829. The first engine was purchased in 1889 and the first ambulance in 1890.
• The Kohanza Reservoir was Danbury’s first public works project.
• The first grocery store was opened by L.S. Benedict & D.P. Nichols in 1838 on Main Street.
• The first trolley to Lake Kenosia ran on June 24, 1895.
• The first licensed female physician in Connecticut was Dr. Sophia Penfield. She practiced in Danbury for over 50 years.
• The first large scale hat manufacturing firm was Oliver Burr & Company established in 1787.
• The first hippopotamus was brought to the U.S. by Danbury resident and circus proprietor George F. Bailey. His was also the first American circus
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• In 1861, The Wooster Light Guard, our only existing military company, was the first unit in the state to volunteer for service before the governor issued a call for troops at the onset of the Civil War.
• The United True and Assistant Society of Hatters was Danbury’s first union established circa 1800.
• Danbury was the first city in the State of Connecticut to switch from trolley to bus service.
• The first telephone was introduced to Danbury in 1879.
• When Danbury Library opened at 254 Main Street in 1879, Mary Elizabeth Dickens Taylor, a cousin of Charles Dickens, was the first librarian.
• First Courthouse and Jail erected in 1785.
• Thomas Robbins, Danbury’s first historian, delivered his Century Sermon at the Congregational Church on January 1, 1801.
• In 1927, the first radio station in Danbury was broadcast from the lobby of the Hotel Green on Main Street.
Erected by The Museum in the Streets®. (Marker Number 23.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the The Museum in the Streets®: Danbury, Connecticut series list. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1867.
Location. 41° 23.594′ N, 73° 
Danbury Firsts Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Herrick, December 30, 2013
2. Danbury Firsts Marker
27.148′ W. Marker is in Danbury, Connecticut, in Fairfield County. Marker is at the intersection of West Street and Foster Street, on the right when traveling west on West Street. Located next to St. James Episcopal Church. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 25 West Street, Danbury CT 06810, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Danbury Women of Note (within shouting distance of this marker); The Sporting Life (within shouting distance of this marker); Danbury City Hall Wall (within shouting distance of this marker); To Our Brothers (within shouting distance of this marker); Sybil Ludington (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Settling of Danbury (about 300 feet away); Old City Center Square (about 300 feet away); Kenosia & Candlewood (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danbury.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 19, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 795 times since then and 10 times this year. Last updated on July 17, 2020, by Ray Gurganus of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 19, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.

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Mar. 2, 2024