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David Humphreys House

The David Humphreys House is a historically important edifice located on Elm Street in Ansonia, Connecticut. The house was the birthplace of a future general, David Humphreys, who was the nation's first ambassador to a foreign country. General Humphreys also operated a woolen mill in Middlebury, Connecticut, constructed factories in Seymour, and served as an aide to George Washington during the War of Independence. The house now serves as a museum and displays items depicting the history of Lower Naugatuck Valley, from pre-colonial days through the federal period. In olden days, it was the town’s responsibility to hire and support a clergyman, and a house was necessary for him. Accordingly, the house in which Humphreys would one day be born was built. In old Derby records, it is referred to as the "Mansion House." The first resident was the Reverend John James, who served as town clerk and the first schoolmaster. Later, he sold the house to the Reverend Joseph Moss, and Moss remained there until his death in January 1732. The house was completely renovated in 1733. In 1734, the Reverend Daniel Humphreys took charge as the new minister; he bought the house from the widow Moss in 1735. During the Humphreys' stay, the house was beautifully furnished. Humphreys married Sarah Riggs in 1739, and David Humphreys, their fourth son, was born in July 1752. After serving as the town’s minister for 54 years, the Reverend Humphreys passed away in September 1787. The David Humphreys House stands directly across from the Old Episcopal Graveyard, where the first Episcopal Church was built in 1738. The church was later moved and attached to the Humphreys House when a new church was erected in 1799. The house became part of the City of Ansonia when the municipality was formed in 1889. In 1961, it was handed over to the Derby Historical Society by the Superior Court of New Haven. The house underwent an extensive restoration by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities in 1976. Presently, the house serves as the headquarters of the Derby Historical Society, which is devoted to the preservation and promotion of the Lower Naugatuck Valley’s history and culture.