St. Thomas's was founded in 1848. The original church building, as well as a larger replacement building, were located on Elm Street in downtown New Haven. The first rector, the Rev. Eben Edwards Beardsley, D.D. (shown at left), served the parish from 1848 until his death in 1891. He was a noted leader in the state and national Episcopal Church, and he authored an early history of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. His successor (and nephew) was the Rev. William A. Beardsley, D.D., who after retirement wrote History of St. Thomas's Church, New Haven, Connecticut, 1848-1941.