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Dwight C. Kilbourn collection


Identifier: 1929-18-0

Scope and Contents

The Dwight C. Kilbourn collection (1929-18-0, .83 linear feet) consists of a wide range of Litchfield, Conn., historical materials collected by Kilbourn, some of which relate to him and other Kilbourns, particularly his distant cousin Eliada Kilbourn (1809-1883) and Eliada’s family, and many that do not. Of particular interest are research files Dwight Kilbourn assembled regarding the involvement of Litchfield men in the American Revolutionary War and the American Civil War. The collection includes correspondence; railroad and other types of tickets; accounts, receipts, bills, and other business records; book plates; an inventory of Kilbourn’s pamphlet collection; an 1801 issue of the Litchfield Monitor and other newspapers; news clippings; 1884 Kilbourn Gathering documents; deeds and leases; ephemera; fire insurance policy documents; United States Internal Revenue documents; obituaries and memorials; writs and other legal documents; notary commissions; and miscellaneous papers. In addition, there are the handwritten diaries in Series 11, folders 3 & 4 (2011-159-0 and 2011-162-0) that Kilbourn kept while a soldier in the Civil War in 1863 and 1864.  The brief, regularly recorded entries include comments on the weather, company activities and movements, and notations on what Kilbourn was doing, news on the war, and copying verses and witticisms.  There is also a book, Dedicatin of the Equestrian Statue of Major General John Sedgwick which has an introduction by Kilbourn, plus a regimental pass and three newspaper clippings. 1 bound volume is housed separately in 3A Box 24.


  • created: 1801-1920
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/01/1929


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical or Historical Information

Dwight Canfield Kilbourn was born at Litchfield, Conn., October 9, 1837, the son of William P. Kilbourn and Caroline (Canfield) Kilbourn. He received a public school education and pursued his professional studies with Hon. Origen S. Seymour and Henry B. Graves at Litchfield. He was admitted to the bar in his native town in the year 1866. In 1887 he was appointed clerk of the Superior Court for Litchfield. Before his admission to the bar he served in the Civil War, attaining the rank of lieutenant in the Second Conn. Heavy Artillery. After the war, Kilbourn was secretary of his regiment for 47 years. When the Connecticut Regimental Veterans' Association was organized January 28, 1891, he was elected president and was its president for life. He was a member of the Seth F. Plumb Post, G.A.R. of Litchfield. He was a member of the Sedgwick Monument Commission, appointed by Gov. Baldwin to erect an equestrian statue of Maj. John Sedgwick at Gettysburg. He was appointed secretary of the Veterans Association of Connecticut in 1907 and held the office since. He was a member of St. Paul's Lodge, F. and A.M. and of Darius Lodge, R.A.M. of Litchfield. He was secretary of the Litchfield County Bar Association. As an author his best known work was The Bench and Bar of Litchfield County, 1709-1909, the result of years of painstaking research. His home was filled with books and pamphets relating to Litchfield County. He was a member of the Connecticut Historical Society, member of the Kansas Historical Society, and vice president of the Litchfield Historical Society. For many years he was Postmaster at East Litchfield, the Post Office being in his home. He married, July 5, 1866, Sarah M. Hopkins, of Litchfield, daughter of Edward Hopkins and Melissa (Alfred) Hopkins. They had no children. Kilbourn died on October 28, 1914. (excerpted from The Judicial and Civil History of Connecticut, 1895, and The Waterbury American, 1914)

Note written by


0.83 Linear Feet

2 document boxes; 1 bound volume other_unmapped

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Mrs. Dwight C. Kilbourn

Method of Acquisition


Accruals and Additions

Gift of D.C. Kilbourn in 1908, acc. #1380. Music book ca. 1805-1807 that had belonged to Joel Bostwick.

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

Dwight C. Kilbourn 1885 diary is housed in 3A Box 2. [Small Acquistions 1971-58-2] Sarah Hopkins Kilbourn (Mrs. Dwight) 1888 diary is housed in 3A Box 2.  [Small Acquisitions 1971-58-1]

Other Descriptive Information

This collection was processed with support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Dwight C. Kilbourn collection
Leith Johnson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Litchfield Historical Society Repository

7 South Street
P.O. Box 385
Litchfield CT 06759
860-567-3565 (Fax)