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
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