Amos Sherman Treat, who died at Bridgeport on April 24th, 1886, within a few hours after his return from a trip to Mexico for health and relaxation, was born in Bridgewater in this state, February 5th, 1816. He was a lineal defendant of Robert Treat, the famous warrior in the days of King Phillip, and for many years governor of Connecticut.
On the maternal side Mr. Treat belonged to a branch of the Sherman family, including Gen. William T. Sherman, and John Sherman, former secretary of the treasury, and at this writing, United States senator from Ohio.
He entered Yale College, after leaving which, he taught school in South Carolina and later New Jersey. He studied law in Morristown with Jacob W. Miller, afterwards U.S. senator from New Jersey.
He was admitted to the bar in Litchfield in 1843, and commenced practice in Newtown, in Fairfield County, a locality which had gained no little fame for astute lawyers there educated and trained, and where this new aspirant soon developed qualities which made his subsequent professional career successful.
He held various local offices there, including that of judge of probate, member of the board of education, and during one administration, postmaster.
In 1854 he removed to Bridgeport, where he was a clerk of the courts until 1859. He was appointed by Governor Buckingham, member of the U.S. Peace Congress in 1861. He represented Bridgeport in the Connecticut General Assembly in the years 1858, 1862, 1869 and 1879, and the town of Woodbridge in the same body in the years 1871, 1872 and 1873. In 1872 he was a speaker of the House, and at its adjournment was presented with a testimonial in recognition of the dignity, courtesy and fairness with which he had filled the position.
His residence for a time in Woodbridge followed upon his marriage, December 15, 1869, with Mary Treat Clark, daughter of Treat Clark of Woodbridge, who with her daughter, Mary Clark Treat, survives him.
Mr. Treat, as has happened to others, made his highest professional mark late in life, for, in its mediaeval period--so to speak--he was much engrossed in side affairs of politics, and largely interested then, as always, in other business enterprises, which brought him such material returns as the mere lawyer seldom realizes. Later, as legal contemporaries somehow gave place, he was perforce, as it were, brought to a front position at the bar of his county, which he was fully endowed and equipped to hold.
He loved politics, was prominent in the councils of the republican party from its inception, and his directing hand was always seen, or at least felt, in the shaping of affairs, state or local, in which he took an interest. He had ambition for place, for which he had accorded capacity, and was favorably mentioned often for high judicial, legislative and executive position. Whatever antagonisms in later life he had, grew out of a disposition--rather common and forgivable--to have his own way in the conduct of things.
Aside from the routine of duty Mr. Treat was a most genial and companionable man. He was bright at repartee, fond of anecdote, and could always come up with the next good story, over which his own laughter was contagious.
He was very fond of the Masonic fraternity, and had held its highest places and honors; and as an illustration of his genial and social character, was always glad to lend an hour to participate in its ceremonies, public or private.
He was a noticeably kind and paternal friend to younger members of the profession.
He was not formally connected with any church communion, but was a regular attendant at the First Congregational Church in Bridgeport.
In person Mr. Treat was tall, stately and dignified. Quite untrained in certain graces of oratory, he was nevertheless sure to be remarked and heard with attention whenever and wherever he spoke.
His sudden decease, although at a ripe age, created a general shock in his immediate community, and a visible vacancy in domestic, social, political and professional circles, not in his own generation to be filled by any other.