March 9, 1919 Hartford Courant
J. Benjamin Gehan of Hockanum Dead
Death Comes to Contractor, 81 Years Old
East Harford, Sunday, March 9
John Benjamin Gehan, 81, of No. 63 High street, Hockanum, died yesterday afternoon at 2 o’clock at his home. He was 81 years old. He had been in good health until a short time ago when hardening of the arteries developed, and yesterday he received a shock from which he did not recover.
Mr. Gehan was a well-known contractor and builder and for the past forty-five years he had erected many buildings. He was born in New York state. He was a son of the late John and Katherine Gehan. When 16 years old he left his home and went to Holyoke, Mass., where he became a millwright and held a responsible position. He had a natural ability for building dams and his work in the factory was in heavy construction. After spending ten years there he moved to New Haven, where he had charge of the repair work on a large estate. Mr. Gehan remained there for two years, when he moved to Meriden. At one time he was engaged in erecting several large churches, one of which was in Hudson, N. Y. In 1874 he came to this town, where he had lived ever since. He married Julia A. Wadsworth and to them were born four children. They are Norman W. and Fred W. Gehan, and Mrs. Benjamin Merrill. A daughter, Lydia Gehan, died when she was 19 years old. Mrs. Gehan died three years ago. There are nine grandchildren.
The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock from his home, No. 63 High street. Rev. H. W. Tillinghast, pastor of the South Congregational Church will conduct the service.