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 Colonel Augustus George Hazard was born in Kingston Rhode Island on April 28, 1802. Hazard moved to Connecticut at the age of six, where he lived on the family farm until the age of 15. Colonel Hazard established himself in business in New York City in 1827. His principle endeavors were in the shipping and wholesale businesses. At the time, he also was the general agent of the gun powder business of the Loomis & Denslow Co.

The company was established in 1835 by Allen A. Denslow and three Loomis brothers, Parks, Allen, and Neelands Loomis in Scitico, near Enfield, Connecticut. In 1837 Col. Hazard purchased a 25% interest in this company. The firm was now called the Loomises, Hazard & Co. Eventually Hazard and Denslow bought out the Loomis family and in 1843 a joint stock company was formed under the name of The Hazard Powder Company. Prior to acquiring the powder company, Hazard traveled extensively throughout the south and lived in Savannah, Georgia for a number of years. During thus period he earned the title of Colonel in the Georgia Militia.

Col. Hazard decided to move his family to Connecticut in order to garner better control of the powder business. He built his mansion on Enfield Street. It was here that many prominent individuals were entertained at lavish parties. One of these was the Secretary of War, under Franklin Pierce's administration, Jefferson Davis.

The growth of the Hazard Powder Co. from 1845-1855 was enormous, but not without disaster. On April 4, 1855 Col. Hazard's son, Horace was killed in an explosion. His right arm was shattered and he died of multiple injuries within 12 hours of the blast. Shortly after this, the other son George died of consumption. Another explosion at the plant killed the Superintendent, John A. Garesche, on September 13, 1858. Garesche was engaged to one of Hazard's daughters.

During the early years of the Civil War, Col. Hazard was under suspicion by the federal government as being sympathetic to the Southern Cause. It was well known that he was a good friend of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and that he lived in the South and had developed many business relationships. Shortly before South Carolina seceded from the Union, it bought 80,000 lbs. of powder that was used to propel the first shots fired on Fort Sumter. In fact, much of the powder in the Southern Arsenals at the outset of the war was manufactured by the Connecticut company.

The rapidly increasing demand for powder products compelled Hazard to hurriedly expand their facilities to meet war time production needs. Soon Hazard Powder was supplying the Union Forces with 12,500lbs of powder a day. The mill at Hazardville was in operation 24 hours a day and produced 40% of all the gunpowder used during the Civil War by the Union.

On May 7, 1868, Col. Hazard died suddenly in New York City at the Astor House. On January 13, 1913, the Hazard Powder Company was destroyed in one massive final explosion. The blast was so powerful it either broke or cracked many of the windows in the village of Hazardville (including one of ours!). The explosion was so loud that it was heard in Hartford, CT 20 miles to the south.


GUN POWDER CANS & KEGS - Ted & David Bacyk, Tom Rowe and Richard Hazard - ©1998 - pgs. 117-120


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