Missionary teacher Abner Wilcox (1808-1869), who with his wife, Lucy Hart Wilcox, was stationed at the Waioli, Kauai Mission from 1846 until 1869, was born and raised in the home of his parents, Aaron (1770-1856) and Lois Wilcox, in Harwinton, Connecticut.
Abner Wilcox’s old boyhood home still stands and is now the property, since 1999, of Mr. Carl and Mrs. Martha Coppola.
Situated atop a knoll on about 12 acres on the Harwinton-Terryville Road, the Colonial-style house is considered to be one of the oldest houses in Harwinton.
The Coppola’s deed indicates that their home was built in 1750 on a homestead then owned by David Wilcox (1700-1781), a farmer originally from Hebron, Connecticut, and the great-grandfather of Abner Wilcox.
David Wilcox’s son, Moses Wilcox (1732-1803), also a farmer, continued to live on and farm the Wilcox homestead.
Then, on June 30, 1797, Moses deeded 43 acres to his son Aaron Wilcox.
Aaron and Lois Wilcox likewise farmed the homestead, residing in the house all their married lives and raising their 12 children within its walls, of whom Abner Wilcox was their sixth.
An elm tree planted in 1836 by Abner Wilcox, just before he set off on his missionary work to the Sandwich Islands, stood for many years at the entrance to the drive leading up from the road to the house.
When Aaron Wilcox died in 1856, his son Charles Wilcox (1815-1896), managed the farm for a few years before selling it and part of his land in 1863 to Deloss Bristol.
A number of different owners farmed the homestead until 1937, when John M. Humphries acquired the property, restored the house as a historical residence, and sold it in 1938 to Martha S. Bartlett, who in turn sold it in 1947 to Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Rubens.
Other owners followed until the Coppola’s acquisition.