Following the induction of the first group of
individuals this year, the City will annually select a limited number of
individuals to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in conjunction with the
celebration of Derby Day.
EBENEZER D. BASSETT
FIRST NATIVE BORN
|Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett was the
first African American to be appointed an ambassador to a
foreign country when President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him as
Ambassador to Haiti in 1877. He was born in Litchfield, but was
educated in Derby. He was also a nephew of Eben Tobias one of
several Black Governors of Connecticut from Derby.
"COACH" & TEACHER
1968 - 1982
W116 - L30 - T8
|"Coach" Lou DeFillipo was Derby
High School football coach from 1968 -1982. Though coaching one
of the smallest schools in the state, he led his teams to a
record of 116-30-8 including two state championships and five
|Frank Gates was one of the leading
philanthropists in Derby history. A talented businessman active
in a wide variety of civic activities, he left his fortunes in
trust for the continual benefit of the City of Derby and
DR. JOHN IRELAND
1793 - 1876
|John Ireland Howe was an inventor
and businessman famous for his work in automating the production
of the common pin. His "rotary machine" is still on display at
the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
WAR OF 1812
|Commodore Isaac Hull was one of the
greatest naval heroes in U.S. history. As commander of the U.S.S.
Constitution during the War of 1812,
he defeated the British frigate Guerriere marking the first time
in history that an English frigate had struck its flag to an
American ship of war.
SOLDIER & POET
1752 - 1818
|David Humphreys served as
side-de-camp to George Washington during the Revolutionary War
and had the honor of carrying the surrendered British colors
from Yorktown to the Congress in Philadelphia.
He was the
first U.S. Minister to Portugal and served as Minster to Spain.
He introduced merino sheep to the U.S. and established
Humphreysville which is today’s town of Seymour.
1876 - 1956
|Frances Eliza Osborne Kellogg was a
woman ahead of her time. She was a success in business, leader
in conservation and generous in philanthropy. Included in her
lasting legacy is Osbornedale State Park, the largest tract of
open space in Derby which she gifted to the State Of
1724 - 1820
|Reverend Richard Mansfield was the
first resident Church of England clergyman in Derby. He served
for 72 years, a period marking what may be the longest
rectorship recorded in the United States
EDMUND D. STRANG
1910 - 1995
PACK 3 DERBY
|Edmund Strang was simply "Mr.
Scout" in Derby. Though active in a variety of civic activities,
he is best known for his incredible work in Scouting. In 1927,
he formed Cub Pack 3 in Derby and was assistant cubmaster and
cubmaster for 68 years – the longest tenured cubmaster in
LT GENERAL CSA
MJ GENERAL USA
|General Joseph "Fightin’ Joe"
Wheeler grew up in Derby before graduating from West Point and
serving in the U.S. Army in the Mexican War. He resigned from
the U.S. Army and served in the Confederate Army as a Junior
Cavalry General during the Civil War.
After the war, he served
nine terms in the U.S. House of representatives from the state
of Alabama. He later served as a major general during the
Spanish American War. He was appointed a Brigadier General in
the U.S. Army by President McKinley.
His statue is on display in the U.S. Capitol in Washington as
a representative of the state of Alabama. He is buried in
Arlington National Cemetery.
PFC FRANK P WITEK
MEDAL OF HONOR
WORLD WAR II
|PFC Frank Witek is the only Valley
native to have earned this country’s highest military honor, the
Congressional Medal of Honor. He was awarded the medal for
conspicuous gallantry during the Battle of Finegayan at Guam on
August 3, 1944. Witek Park is named in his honor.