Born in County Monaghan, Ireland, Edward Duffy came to Stamford as a young man of twenty and took a job in the Cove Mills where he worked until 1869. He also opened a grocery store in his Cove Road home. Later, his entrepreneurial spirit led to his starting a wholesale liquor business and saloon in a building he owned on Pacific Street. He sold the business in 1916 and it closed in 1919 when the 18th Amendment prohibiting liquor sales was ratified. He was an early investor in Pacific Street real estate.
A staunch Democrat, Mr. Duffy was the first Irish immigrant to be elected to public office in Stamford and he is credited with opening the door for all immigrants. After serving as Town Tax Collector he was elected one of the Second Ward’s two members in the Common Council in the city election of 1895. He was re-elected twice but declined further political nominations. He was an incorporator of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on Elm Street.
By the time of his death in 1919 Edward Duffy had become one of Stamford’s leading citizens.
Note: His portrait suffered damage when his grandson shot an arrow through it. The Society wishes to have this painting restored.
Image © Stamford Historical Society