Vermont Historical Gazetteer
A Local History of
ALL THE TOWNS IN THE STATE
Civil, Educational, Biographical, Religious and Military
THE TOWNS OF WINDHAM COUNTY,
WITH HISTORIES OF
SUTTON IN CALEDONIA COUNTY, AND BENNINGTON IN
ABBY MARIA HEMENWAY.
MRS. CARRIE E. H. PAGE,
Pages 271 – 336
BY A. H. WASHBURN, ESQ.
AND HIS WIFE
LUCINDA W. B. WASHBURN.
The Town that Claims the Oldest Charter in the State
Whose Second Centennial Anniversary was Aug. 13, 1872.
A township, including a part of Vernon named Squakheag, Province of Massachusetts Bay, was granted in the year 1672. A deed was given (see Barber’s Historical Collections, p. 265.) by four Indians of the place to William Clark and John King, agents for the proprietors of Northfield, Aug. 13, 1687.
was granted (see Centennial Addresses by Lt. Gov. Henry W. Cushman at Barnardston, Mass.), June, 1736, by the Provincial Legislature of Massachusetts, on petition of Samuel Hunt (son of Samuel Hunt who was in the Falls fight) and others of Billerica, Mass., for services rendered at the battle and sixty years after the battle of Turner’s Falls.
On surveying the north line of Massachusetts in 1763, it was found, about half a mile in width belonged to New Hampshire, now Vernon, taking about 3 miles from the owners of Fall Town Township.
VERNON INCLUDED IN HINSDALE.
Hinsdale, Cheshire Co. was chartered Sept. 3, 1753, by Benning Wentworth, Provincial Governor, which included a part of Vernon. The charter was altered, or another issued, Sept. 26, 1753. The inhabitants manifested their disapprobation and the King, on the 19th of March, 1768, re-established the County of Cumberland by letters patent, under the great seal of the Province of New York, again changing its limits. By act of Legislature of New York, passed Mar 24, 1772, the boundaries were again changed.
UNITY COUNTY – CUMBERLAND.
April 1, 1775, other alterations were made. At the first session of the General Assembly of Vermont, Mar. 4, 1778, divided into two counties, that on the east side of the Green Mountains called Unity county, being Gloucester and Cumberland counties. This latter name was changed on the 21st of the same month, and that of Cumberland was substituted.
FOUR CLAIMS BEFORE CONGRESS
In 1779, four different claims were before Congress, to the same tract of country (now Vernon) Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York. Sept. 27, 1780, Congress took under consideration the settlement of the New Hampshire grants. The inhabitants residing in the western portion of New Hampshire expressed a wish to be received into Vermont. Another proposition was at the same time received from them which made the land into towns, rendering this Hinsdale, Cumberland Co., Vermont, although still claimed by New York.
Vermont (Hall’s History of Vermont.) was claimed, anciently, both by the Province of New Hampshire and that of New York. The Governor of New Hampshire began to make grants in 1749. A violent contest ensued between the two Provinces, which was not settled till 1764, when it was decided by the King of England in favor of New York. Connecticut River west bank to be the western boundary of New Hampshire (Thompson’s Vermont.), Decree of George the III, July 20, 1764. So Hinsdale west part was Hinsdale, Vermont, and so remained until 1802, when it was Vernon.
By act of Legislature (See Hall’s History of Eastern Vermont.) of New York, the boundaries of Cumberland Co. were established July 3, 1766, including a part of Vernon. June 26, 1767, the King disallowed and declared void, the previously established boundaries, and the Governor of New York was ordered to act in accordance with the decision; New York adherents, residing in Cumberland and Gloucester Counties. Oct. 1, 1780, a union was effected, and again dissolved, Feb. 23, 1782.
WINDHAM COUNTY FORMED.
By act of General Assembly of Vermont, Feb. 1781, the county of Cumberland was subdivided into counties of Windham, Windsor and Orange. Feb. 19, 1781, by act of General Assembly, Windham County was divided into half shires called Westminster and Marlborough, and the courts were held alternately in the shire towns of the same name. Vernon is situated in the southeast corner of the state.
PHINEAS MUNNS’ SURVEY
The boundary of the town from Phineas Munn’s survey, 1777, Fall Town Gore being on parchment: Beginning at the northeast corner on the west bank of Connecticut river at the mouth of a small brook, called Venter’s brook, near the south end of Dummer meadow, about one-half mile south of Mr. Brooks’ house, the site of old Fort Dummer; thence, W. 10 deg. N. on Brattleboro’ south line, 224 4-10 rods to the northwest corner: thence S. 10 deg. W. on Guilford east line 1972 3-10 rods to the southwest corner: thence E. 10 deg. S. on Massachusetts state line and N. line of Bernardston and Northfield 1692 rods to the southeast corner on the west bank of Connecticut river : thence northerly following the west hank of the river and west line of Hinsdale, N. H., to the place of beginning.
The average width of the town is about three miles and it contains 18 square miles and 1.08 acres.
It joins Bernardston 792 rods and Northfield 900 rods. A straight line drawn from the southeast to the northeast corner, is 2404 rods or 7 1-2 miles; 4 rods in length, and crosses the river 4 times and divides the land into two nearly equal parts between the two towns, giving to Vernon all south of Stebbins (formerly Carey’s) island and nearly all north to Hinsdale. Richard Hazen’s survey in February and March, 1741, cut it off after remaining a part of Northfield 69 or 81 years, till chartered by New Hampshire, Sept. 5, 1753.
It was called Northfield 69 years; Bridgman’s Fort 12 years; Hinsdale 49 years; then Vernon to the present time.
By diversity of claims and lines, Vernon has successively been in Northfield, Hampshire Co., Mass., Hinsdale, Cheshire Co., N. H., Hinsdale, Cumberland Co., N. Y., Hinsdale, Windham Co., VT, and since 1802, it has been called Vernon, Windham Co., Vt. In that year the voters in town instructed their representative, Jonathan Hunt, to name this town Huntstown; but at the suggestion of his wife it was incorporated by the name of Vernon (A pleasant change to a very fair name; and the only town in the State, we now remember, named by a lady.-Ed.).
PYNCHON – SQUAKHEAG.
In 1672, a township was granted to John Pynchon, a Mr. Pearson and other associates at Squakheag, now Northfield, Mass., and the following year a few people from Northampton, Hadley and Hatfield commenced a plantation at that place.
The township was laid out on both sides of the river and included an area of 6 miles by 12, extending several miles into the present States of New Hampshire and Vermont, including a valuable tract of interval land. The northern boundary of Massachusetts was then unknown, but the grant was supposed to be within the limits of the Province. A deed to William Clark and John King of Northampton, agents for the proprietors of Northfield, covering the grant, was made Aug. 13, 1687, by Nawelet Gongegua, Aspiambelet, Addarawanset and Meganichcha – Indians of the place, in consideration of 200 fathoms of Wampum and £57 value of trading goods. It was signed with the marks of the grantors and witnessed by Jonathan Hunt (Grandfather of Lieut. Gov. Hunt of Vermont) Preserved Clap, William Clark, Jr., Peter Jethro, Joseph Atherton and Israel Chauncy (See Barber’s Historical collections.).
In June, 1736, the General Court of Massachusetts, J. Belcher, Governor, granted Fall Town to the soldiers and their descendants, who fought the Indians May 18, 1676, at Turner’s Falls, Gill, Mass.; hence its name. It extended north into Vernon as far as Northfield did.
The name of Fall Town was changed to Bernardstown, Mass., in 1764. The part in Vernon, west of Northfield old line, was called Fall Town Gore, and north of this was called Hinsdale Gore. Fall Town, Fall Town Gore and Hinsdale Gore were all allotted and surveyed by Phineas Munn.
ORIGINAL PROPRIETORS OF THE WEST PART OF VERNON.
“Know all men by these presents, that I, Orlando Bridgman of Hinsdale in the County of Cumberland and State of New York, Gent’m, for and in consideration of the sum of five pounds current money of said New York to me in hand paid before the delivery hereof, by Jonathan Hunt and Arad Hunt both of Hinsdale aforesaid Husbandmen, have remised released and forever quit claim and hereby remise release and forever quit claim unto the said Jonathan and Arad their heirs and assigns forever, all my right, title claim, interest, property, estate and demand of in and unto the said Jonathan and Arad their heirs and assigns forever all my right title claim interest property estate and demand of in and unto all that tract or parcel of land lying in said Hinsdale ( now Vernon) on the west side of Connecticut river which was granted by the charter of said Hinsdale Sept. 5, 1753, under the seal of the Province of New Hampshire to Fourteen Proprietors who lived within the Province of New Hampshire at the time said charter was given, viz: Ebenezer Hinsdale, Orlando Bridgman, Benoni Wright, Robert Cooper, Caleb Howe, Daniel Shattuck ( now deceased ) John Sargent’s Heirs, Peter Evans, Samuel Burr, John Evans, Hezekiah Elmore, Joseph Stebbins and Moses Belding, which land has since been surveyed and allotted and planned by Phineas Munn, Surveyor. To have and to hold the said remised and released premises with all the appurtenances to them the said Jonathan Hunt and Arad Hunt their Heirs and assigns forever to their sole use, benefit and behoof, so that I the said Orlando Bridgman from my right, title, interest reclaims, challenge or demand of or unto the premises shall hereby forever be excluded, precluded and debarred. And I the said Orlando Bridgman do covenant to and with the said Jonathan and Arad Hunt, their heirs and assigns, against the lawful claims of any person or persons, claiming under me, my heirs, or Samuel Burr, one of the fourteen Proprietors before mentioned. In witness whereof, I the said Orlando Bridgman have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty-sixth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-seven.
ORLANDO BRIDGMAN, [L. S.]
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of DAN’L JONES, CALEB LYMAN.
Windham Co., ss. – June 16, 1795.
Personally appeared Orlando Bridgman, subscribed to the within written instrument and acknowledged the same to be his free act and deed, before me.
JOHN BRIDGMAN, Justice Peace.
The above is a true copy taken from the original and recorded December ye 25, 1795.
Attest, JOHN BRIDGMAN, Town Clerk.
(Copy from Vernon Town Records.)
This township contains some good alluvial meadows, a proportion of pine, plain land, and some rough and rocky mountains. Some of the hillsides are susceptible of high cultivation and upon them are some fine farms. There was originally, a heavy growth of timber, a large part of which has been cut down, and in many places a second growth has sprung up.
In the west part of the town, there are large quantities of argillite slate, though it has not been extensively quarried. In the northwest part, glass sandstone abounds; large quantities of which have been carried to Warwick, Mass., and Keene, N. H.
The Connecticut River (the Quonckticut of the Indians and which in their language means long river) forms the eastern boundary. At the spring freshets it frequently rises 30 feet above low water-mark. In 1763 it was 37 1-2 feet. At this time, Lower Salmon Brook was higher than ever known, and the embankment on the north side of the mill-pond gave way beside two dams above, and thousands of tons of earth were washed through the meadow below. Sept. 6, 1828, it was 32 feet, 6 inches. In April 27, 1854, the Connecticut River was 34 feet above low water-mark after a four days’ rain. Feb. 20, 1857, the ice dammed the river at Rock Island, and the water stood 35 feet. Apr. 12, 1862, no rain had fallen, but from 3 to 4 feet of snow melting by the sun, the river reached the same height as 99 years before, 37 1-2 feet. Oct. 4, 1869, 8 1-2 inches of rain had fallen and the river was 35 feet from low water mark. In Sept. 1870, it was 37 1-2 feet below high water mark, 2 feet more than usual, being 2 feet, 2 inches, below the top of a boulder with a fissure in it, lying in the small eddy a few rods below the mouth of Lower Salmon Brook.
The reason for the great rise of the river in Vernon, more than above or below, is, undoubtedly, that it is at the foot of swift water. Between Brattleboro and Vernon, a distance of 7 miles, the river has a fall of 13 feet, and yet the track of the railroad that passes through Vernon is 70 feet higher at the middle of the town than at Brattleboro.
Salmon and shad were formerly abundant in the waters of the Connecticut River in this vicinity, and furnished food to the early settlers. The two best fishing places were at Rock Island and at the foot of Stebbins Island.
Connecticut River for about three-fourths of a mile above and below the middle of the town has been forming almost a complete circle of 70 or 80 rods in diameter, called Cooper’s Point, which belongs to Hinsdale, N. H. According to a recent survey by John Stebbins, Esq., the river on the west side of this Point in high water, is only 12 rods 6 feet distance across the peninsular at the narrowest place, where for several rods the current of the river runs almost exactly north and then resumes its general southerly direction.
Broad Brook, Upper and Lower Salmon Brook, Island Meadow Brook, and Belding’s Brook are the principal streams, and all are small.
in the westerly part of the town, covers about 100 acres. Pickerel, pout, and some other fish are found in its waters.
(so called) is a mineral spring, on the land of Alonzo Stebbins, formerly owned by Ensign Samuel Stratton, was occasionally used by some of the early inhabitants, and considered beneficial in scrofulous and cutaneous diseases. By request of John Stebbins, Esq., some of its waters were analyzed in 1851, by C. H. Hitchcock, Vermont State Chemist. He called it a compound chalybeate, containing carbonic acid, sulphuretted hydrogen, per oxide of iron and a bare trace of lime. The spring is of the same nature as the noted springs of Newburg, Williamstown, and in other parts of the state.
Sartwell’s Fort was built, in 1737, by Josiah Sartwell. It was situated nearly opposite Fort Hinsdale in Hinsdale, N. H, about two miles south of Fort Dummer in the southeast part of Brattleboro, and about three miles north of the present centre of the town of Vernon. Its walls were of hewn timber with a hewn plank outside door (the door is still preserved). It covered an area of almost 38×20 feet and was a story and a half high. At the top of the first story, the timbers projected about three-fourths of their thickness, so that port-holes, over the door and elsewhere, were conveniently made from which those within were enabled to fire down upon their assailants.
The public road ran east of it. It was taken down in 1837, having stood 99 years. Some of the timbers, being sound, were put into a new house, erected on the site of the old fort, and occupied by the late Hon. Ebenezer Howe, (a great, great, grandson of Josiah Sartwell and a great grandson of Caleb Howe who was killed by the Indians in 1755,) and which is still occupied by descendants of Mrs. Jemima Howe and owned by two young men, George Ebenezer (son of George) and Warren Maynard (son of Arad) grandsons of Hon. Ebenezer Howe, and great, great, great, great, grandsons of Josiah Sartwell, or the 7th generation.
Bridgman’s Fort was of similar construction and was probably built the same year by Orlando Bridgman. It was situated on the east side of the road, one-half mile south of Sartwell’s Fort, and with the exception of Fort Dummer was the only place picketed and considered secure in that vicinity. June 24, 1746, a party of 20 Indians burned the fort and killed (See Hoyt’s Indian Wars, page 236.) William Robbins and James Parker while working in a meadow near Bridgman’s Fort; wounded Michael Gilson and Patrick Roy and took John Beeman , and Daniel Howe prisoners, but not until the latter had killed one of his captors. It was soon afterward rebuilt and strongly picketed.
In 1755 another attack was made by the Indians, who killed several, and captured three families, viz: Mrs. Jemima Howe and her 7 children, Mrs. Submit Grout and her 3 children and Mrs. Eunice Gaffield and her daughter, 14 persons in all. After plundering and firing the place, they proceeded north with their captives.
Aug. 20, 1756, Capt. Joseph Stebbins of Hinsdale (now Vernon) and two children, Tabitha and Elijah, were harvesting wheat upon his farm on the plain above the meadow, when they were surprised by the Indians and would have been taken, had not his brother Zebediah and Reuben Wright come along and discovered the savages. The Indians fired upon the two men, wounding Wright, and the party at work fled. An Indian skeleton was found, Aug. 1869, buried near the side of the old Stebbins road on the border of the brook on land of Geo. M. Lee, and from its near proximity to the place where the Indian fell, and at the time as they tracked the Indian by blood a short distance, it is probably the one shot by Zebediah Stebbins. The bones immediately crumbled on exposure to the air, having been buried 115 years. Several bushels of stones were used in walling the sides of the resting place where the skeleton was found deposited.
In July, 1698, a small party of Indians killed a man and a boy in Hatfield meadow on Connecticut River, and captured two lads, Samuel Dickinson and Charley. They put them on board of canoes and proceeded up the river. The intelligence thereof being received at Deerfield, 13 miles above, 12 men were detached from that place to intercept them. Advancing about 20 miles, they chose a favorable spot on the west hank of the river, within the present town of Vernon. Here they lay until morning when they discovered the Indians coming up the river near the opposite bank with the captured lads in two canoes. The whole party gave the Indians an unexpected fire, by which one was wounded. The others with one of the lads leaped from the canoes and gained the shore. The Indians then attempted to kill the lads, but receiving another well-directed fire, they fell back, and the lad on the shore joined his companion in the canoe and both escaped across the river to their deliverers. Five or six of the party then embarked with the design of seizing the other canoe which had lodged on an island a little below. Two Indians, who lay secreted below, fired and killed Nathaniel Pomeroy, one of the party. The Indians then retired into the woods and the English returned to Deerfield. The island was called Pomeroy’s Island.
The first settlers of Vernon were from Northampton and Northfield, Mass. They suffered all the discouragements and horrors incident to frontier location and Indian wars and barbarities. For many years the inhabitants resided in forts and labored in armed companies from farm to farm. But with all their care and prudence they were subject to frequent incursions of the Indians and were several times driven back with the settlers of Hinsdale and Northfield, alarmed by the fight at Beers Plain, in the destruction at Deerfield, and Turner’s contest with the Indians at the Falls which bear his name.
The first church was built in 1802, for the use of the Congregationalists and Baptists, each society to have the privilege of occupying at alternate months. It was situated on a hill between Upper and Lower Salmon brooks, and from it there was a fine view of the river, islands and adjacent country for many miles. To defray the expense of building, a tax of 10 cents on a dollar on the grand list of the town was assessed. The building committee were Arad Hunt, Timothy Bascom, Isaac Johnson, Isaac Pratt and Daniel Goss. Total cost of building and painting was about $1050. The dedication sermon was written by Rev. Bunker Gay of Hinsdale, N. H., but owing to necessary absence, it was delivered by Rev. Mr. Wood of Chesterfield, N. H. In 1844, the house was sold at auction for $160.
A second church was built about one-fourth of a mile east of the first by the Unitarian and Universalist societies, each to have the privilege of occupying it one-half of the time. Building committee: Marshall Whithed, Jarus F. Burrows, A. H. Washburn and Elijah Stebbins. It was raised in 1844, finished in 1845, and cost $3300. Capt. Elijah Stebbins, Marshall Whithed, and Mrs. Sally Hunt, widow of Arad Hunt, Esq., gave a bell. The names of the donors are cast upon it.
THE ADVENT CHAPEL
was built in 1860. Located about one mile south of the middle of the town on the south or city road. Funds were raised by subscription and it cost about $1000. Preaching has been held there most of the time with a good attendance.
Rev. Bunker Gay (England) Trinitarian, began to preach in 1763, and continued about 10 years.
Elder Simeon Combs began to preach in 1804.
Elder Choate began to preach in 1804.
Elder Snow began to preach in 1805.
” Levi Hodge ” 1805.
” David Newman ” 1806.
” Moses Goodwin” 1809.
” Wm. Riddle 1810.
Rev. T. F., Unitarian Congregational, began to preach one-fourth of the time in 1825, and afterward by himself or others, half of the time for about 20 years.
Rev. Charles Woodhouse began to preach in 1836, and preached a fourth of the time for 7 years. Rev. Mr. W., Universalist. Elder David Newman was Baptist.
Rev. Wm. S. Ballou, Universalist, began to preach in 1845.
Rev. John H. Willis, Universalist, began to preach in 1848.
Rev. John Smith, Methodist, preached here from 1852 to ’54.
Rev. Edwin Davis of Hinsdale, N. H., Universalist, preached in 1853, 54.
Rev. H. B. Butler, Universalist, preached from 1856 to ’60.
Rev. Wm. T. Stowe has preached here. Rev. Mr. Danforth and Revs. M. H. Harris, E. W. Whitney, all Universalists.
Rev. John S. Lee, Univ., preached his first sermon here, Feb. 22, 1846.
Rev. E. Davis preached his first sermon here, also Rev. Josiah Mason, Universalist clergymen.
Organized, Apr. 10, 1827, with 25 members. A Sabbath school was founded, previously, by Miss Hannah Wells, daughter of John Wells, D. D., of Brattleboro, formerly from Liverpool, England, she leaving books in each school district. Twenty-seven children were baptized.
This church has been supplied by Rev. T. F. Rogers and by exchanges or otherwise, by Rev. Messrs. Thomas Macon, Daniel Huntington, Addison Brown, Preserved Smith, E. S. Gannet, Mr. Bailey, Samuel Willard, George C. Channing, Mr. Field, Alpheus Harding, Dr. Thompson, Mr. Moore, A. M. Bridge, George Hosmer and O. C. Everett, up to 1845.
The church has been assisted from the first by the American Unitarian Association of Boston. Some few years after 1845, it was supplied by Rev. Addison Brown of Brattleboro.
THE FIRST UNIVERSALIST SOCIETY
was organized May 8, 1858, with about 25 members. Rev. H. B. Butler supplied the desk a portion of the time during the next 4 years. Rev. D. H. Ranney, Wm. T. Stone and others received what money the society could raise for preaching.
In May, 1866, the services of Rev. N. C. Hodgdon were secured at an annual salary of $700, which was raised by the aid of a general subscription.
Mr. Hodgdon resided in town nine years and preached most of the time.
There is a Sunday school of about 75 members connected with the society and a library of 400 volumes.
THE MARSH FUND.
Anna Marsh, daughter of Lieut. Gov. Hunt, and widow of Dr. Perley Marsh of Hinsdale, N. H., bequeathed by her last will $2000 to Vernon, her native town, the annual interest to be expended for public preaching of the gospel in Vernon. Three agents received this fund in 1835.
The interest has been divided among the different denominations according to the number of legal voters who signify their choice by subscribing to a paper annually for that purpose.
The Methodists held meetings in their dwellings and at the school-houses in various parts of the town.
There never was a regular Methodist church organized, but Methodists here connected themselves with the church at Brattleboro.
Rev. Ebenezer Washburn, a brother of Dr. Washburn, did much to aid the denomination in Vermont and preached here occasionally. There has been Methodist preaching in town a considerable portion of the time and the denomination has regularly received its portion of the Marsh fund.
THE VERNON JUVENILE LIBRARY.
The Vernon Juvenile Library commenced in 1827, and from that time to 1848 there was raised by subscription $100, and expended for 400 volumes.
Cost $105; purchased by 21 members or shareholders, about 1865.
DR. CYRUS WASHBURN
was born Nov. 5, 1774, in Hardwick, Mass. He was the fifth of a family of seven children, three sons and four daughters, all of whom he survived. One of his brothers, Artemas, died while a member of the senior class in Harvard College, in 1792. The other brother, Ebenezer, died in Wisconsin in 1857, having been for more than sixty years an able minister of the gospel. Two of his sisters, Susan and Hannah, died young. Another sister, Dolly, was for many years a successful teacher, and died in Hardwick, Mass., in 1835. The other sister, Clarissa, married and had a large family of children, and died in Bangor, Me., in 1848.
The Doctor’s ancestry may be traced back to John Washburn, who settled in Duxbury, Mass., previous to 1663, and from him through succeeding generations of the Washburn family, to the Doctor’s grandfather, Joseph Washburn of Bridgewater, Mass., who married Mary, the daughter of Ben Johnson of that town, a relative of Ben Johnson, the celebrated English poet and dramatist. They had five children, viz: Joseph, jr., Seth, Ebenezer, (the Doctor’s father,) Abiah and Sarah; and with their family, they moved in 1749, to Middletown, Ct. A few years subsequently, they, with the exception of their oldest son Joseph, jr., who remained at Middletown, Ct., removed to Leicester, Mass., where at an advanced age, they died in 1780.
<>the father of the Doctor, married Dorothy Newhall, daughter of Jonathan Newhall, Esq., of Leicester, Mass., in 1757; lived for a short time in Spencer, and then moved to Hardwick. He was a teacher for more than forty years.
He served in the expedition to Crown Point, and, subsequently, in the army of the Revolution.
He died in 1795, and his wife in 1807.
CYRUS WASHBURN, the subject of this memoir, remained at home, assisting his parents till he was 16 or 17 years of age, and was trained to habits of industry and economy. He enjoyed the advantages of the common schools of those days. He was fond of books and study, and eagerly sought for knowledge.
His parents being in limited circumstances, he immediately engaged in school-teaching, to procure the means of prosecuting his studies. He taught in several places in Massachusetts and pursued his academic studies at Leicester Academy in the same state.
Dr. Washburn studied medicine three years with Dr. Spencer Field, of Oakham, Mass. Medical schools were rare in those days, and he received his Medical Diploma in Vermont.
He was thrice married. His first wife was Electa Stratton, daughter of John Stratton, of Hinsdale, Vt., whom he married in 1800. She was a niece of Dr. Field, with whom he was pursuing his medical studies. By her he had two children, who died young. She died suddenly in Vernon. His second wife was Rhoda Field, daughter of Henry Field, of Northfield, Mass., with whom he lived 20 years. She died in 1826. They had six children, four are now living. His third wife was Lucy Hathaway, daughter of Timothy Hathaway, of Hardwick, Mass. She died in 1837.
But he was not left alone; an affectionate and self-forgetting daughter was ready and willing to devote the best years of her life to the comfort and happiness of his old age.
He did not forget his obligations to society, but met and performed every duty, professional, or otherwise.
After completing his medical studies, he settled in Hardwick his native town, in 1800, and practiced medicine successfully for about three years.
In 1803, yielding to the solicitation of the people of Vernon, he removed to that town, and a cordial reception greeted his coming.
When he removed to Vernon a church edifice had just been erected, but there was no settled minister, and no organized society of church members. At the time of the Doctor’s death, March 2, 1860, there were living in the town only a few (32) persons who were residents when he came there 57 years before. And it is a fact worthy of notice that Dr. Washburn performed professional business in five generations in five families, and in one other family of six generations.
As a physician he had a long and successful career. He was fond of his profession, and pursued it with energy and untiring industry. In a few years, he became the leading physician of the town. He practiced not only in Vernon, but more or less in all the adjoining towns; his practice extended many miles in all directions. He was frequently called to advise with other physicians in dangerous and difficult cases.
Dr. Washburn was for several years President and a censor of the Medical Society of Vermont. He was also appointed, by that society, a delegate to the American Medical Association, whose first meeting was held at Boston.
Dr. Washburn continued in the full and successful practice of his profession till age and infirmities compelled him to resign the field to younger hands.
In addition to his labors as a physician, he took a lively interest in the affairs of the town, and bore an active and prominent part in town offices. The office of town clerk he held 28 years; and with but few exceptions, he was superintendent of schools, or one of the school trustees, for a period of over 50 years.
In 1810 he was elected to the following town offices: town clerk; first selectman; lister; overseer of the poor; and one of a committee to report on the subject of establishing a House of Correction.
In 1812, in 1831, and in 1840, he was elected representative to the General Assembly of Vermont.
In 1814, he was chosen delegate to the Convention at Montpelier, for revising the State Constitution.
In 1824, he was chosen delegate to the Convention at Newfane, for locating the shire town of the county. In addition to these offices and trusts, the Doctor held a commission as justice of the peace every year but one from 1805 to 1861.
“THE GRETNA GREEN OF VERMONT.”
Among the duties which he performed as justice of the peace, there was none more agreeable to him, and we may also, presume, to the other parties concerned, than that of performing the marriage ceremony. He joined in marriage 853 couples, a larger number than any other man in that part of the country.
His manner of performing the ceremony was characteristic and somewhat peculiar. It was almost as varied as the appearance of the candidates for marriage. Of the many forms of ceremony used by the Doctor the following may serve as a specimen:
BY DR. CYRUS WASHBURN, Esq.
Parties and relatives, being agreed,
To solemn joyous rites we will proceed. Worthy and much respected Groom and Bride,
That you by nuptial ties may be allied, In preparation for the endearing bands, In token of united hearts; join hands.
Considering this union of hands expressive of a reciprocal interchange of heart and affection, do you mutually espouse and avouch, each the other, to be your betrothed, your married companion for life, solemnly promising, covenanting and engaging that you will, forever hereafter, according to the best of your powers and abilities, whether in the pleasing scenes of health and prosperity, or the more trying ones of sickness and adversity, provide for, support, comfort, nourish, and sustain each other, as a kind, provident, indulgent husband and as a loving, prudent, submissive wife ought to conduct toward each other in the marriage relation; and that you will ever with trust and fidelity demean yourself each to the other, and to all else in reference to this your marriage covenant, by the known strict rules of duty, law, and love to each other so long as you shall both live ? Do you thus promise and engage?
Then by authority as law requires,
And in accordance with your just desires,
I pronounce you married – Husband and wife.
Be each to each a loyal spouse through life:
May smiles from Heaven and men on you await,
And may your joys be numerous, pure and great.
While these fond subjects through your bosoms move,
And you resolve to please and live in love.
Your friend will now in simple verse draw near
And wish you joy through many a happy year.
Let no discordant jars your bliss destroy,
But virtue, peace and love your lives employ.
May Gospel faith and works be well combined,
Adorn your lives and regulate your mind.
Where’er you dwell, let virtue be your guide,
And God, above, will bless both Groom and Bride.
To good old age may Heaven protract your span,
The kind assuagers of each other’s pain.
Remember, too, all earthly joys must end,
And each be severed from your dearest friend;
But death, itself which earthly joys removes
Still heightens virtue and true love improves.
Then keep the goal of happiness in mind,
And what you lack on earth in Heaven you’ll find;
Where none are married, none in marriage given,
But are, as are the angels, pure in Heaven.
LECTURES AND ADDRESSES.
In addition to his professional and official duties, the Doctor was frequently summoned to other labors. He was invited to give orations on the 4th of July, lectures before lyceums, and addresses on various occasions.
During his long practice, riding by day and by night, he was exposed to accidents, and experienced many hair-breadth escapes. In 1817, while riding in a chaise, his horse became unmanageable and ran off a steep embankment. His escape was considered as almost miraculous; but he crept from the wreck with only slight bruises, and with a new outfit, was soon on his way to visit his patient.
In 1818, during a severe rain storm he mounted his horse, and suddenly raising his umbrella, his horse reared and fell over backwards upon him, severely injuring one of his legs, from the effects of which he never fully recovered.
In February, 1826, while he was rapidly driving, the king-bolt to his carriage broke, and he was thrown violently to the ground, breaking his left shoulder, which confined him to his house for several weeks.
In 1841, after visiting a patient, he stepped into his gig, when his horse, a high spirited animal, started off upon a run. The horse took the road to Brattleboro, and after running about a mile the Doctor was thrown from his gig a distance of about twenty feet, striking upon the right side of his head and shoulder. He was taken up insensible. He immediately received medical aid from Doctors Dickerman, Hyde and Rockwell of Brattleboro, and Dr. Twichell of Keene, N. H. The deltoid muscle of his right shoulder was severed from the bone, and he never recovered the free use of his right arm.
In all relations of life, private and public, Dr. Washburn had the confidence and respect of those who knew him. A prominent trait of his character was hospitality. He received his friends, and also strangers, with frank cordiality. His power of interesting his visitors by wit and anecdote was quite uncommon.
He was not wanting in the higher sentiments of religion. His seat at church was never vacant except at the call of duty, and he contributed cheerfully, his full share to the support of public worship.
Dr. Washburn was not wanting in a clear and earnest faith; faith in God, in duty, in immortality, in the great truths of religion, and the vital truths of Christianity. This faith was vividly portrayed in the last days of his earthly existence. He died in 1859, aged 85.
NOYES BARSTOW, M. D.
moved into town in 1846; married Mary Caldwell of Northfield, Mass., had two sons and two daughters; resided here 14 years and was successful in the practice of medicine; moved to Bernardston, Mass., thence to Chicopee, thence to Indian Orchard.
L. M. TUTTLE, M. D.
came to Vernon in the spring of 1860; enlisted in the war as assistant surgeon in 1862; afterward resided in Springfield, Vt., then in Holyoke, Mass.
WM. S. SEVERANCE,
eclectic physician from Shelburne Falls ; married Martha Lyman of Vernon ; moved here in 1862 ; after a few years of successful practice moved to Greenfield, Mass , where he continues his profession.
JOHN LEARNED, M. D.
a young physician, came to town next; his wife died within a year and he moved to Readsboro, Vt., thence to Florence, Northampton, Mass.
THOMAS GOODWILLIE, A. M., M. D.
born at Barnet, Caledonia Co , Vt., June 28, 1840 ; fitted for college at Caledonia Co. Academy, Peacham ; entered Dartmouth College, Sept. 1859 ; graduated in 1863 ; studied medicine with Prof. Dixi Crosby and his son Prof. A. B. Crosby at Hanover, N. H.; attended two courses lectures at Dartmouth Medical College, 1863 and 1864 ; went to New York City and attended a course of lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 126th St. and 4th Ave., during winters of 1864 and 1865 ; returned to Hanover and having studied medicine during the last year of his college course with Prof. Crosby, he was admitted to examination and graduated at Dartmouth Medical College in May, 1865; practiced his profession at Fayetteville, this county, till the fall of 1865, and then returned to New York and attended a second course of lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1865 and 1866 ; came to Vernon, June, 1866, where he has since resided and practiced medicine. (1884.)
A society was organized, Jan. 1836, and two years afterward it numbered 101 members. Another society was formed in Aug. 1841, consisting of 69 members, and still another organized in 1849, with 110 members.
A society of Young Temperance Volunteers was formed in 1865, consisting of 155 members. The Order of Good Templars established a lodge here known as Mt. Vernon, No. 60, Sept 9, 1867.
MILLS AND MANUFACTURES.
There have been several steam mills in town. The first one was built about 1852, near Vernon depot, by a company known as Mossrs. Ely, Newkirk & Frink, who did an extensive business in clearing up land and manufacturing lumber. Their mill was burned about 1864, and the company dissolved. Another was erected on the same site and burned, and yet another was built and is now standing.
A steam saw and grist mill at South Vernon also did a thriving business until burned about 1874. There is now a saw and grist mill near South Vernon depot on Belding’s brook, also one at the centre of the town, built by Messrs. Whithed and Ball at a cost of $7000. It has a stone dam and wheel-pit and a 25 feet overshot wheel. There are two other saw mills in the west part of the town; one on a tributary of Fall River does some business. In former years, over a million feet of lumber have been shipped from Vernon depot, annually. Matches and chair stuff have also been manufactured quite extensively.
There are three hotels and two stores in town.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.
Col. Eleazer Patterson appointed by Governor Clinton of New York, June 5, 1788. John Bridgman, 1805, 27 years; Abner Harris, 1803, 3 years; Cyrus Washburn, 1804, 55 years; Jonathan Hunt, jr., 1811, 1 year; Zadock Wright, 1813, 1 year; Arad Hunt, 2d, 1814, 2 years; Israel Johnson, 1816, 1 year; Isaac Johnson, 1827, 1 year; Samuel Sykes, 1817, 10 years; Levi Stoddard, 1822, 2 years; Nathan Wood, 1829, 25 years; Jesse Lee, 1830, 5 years; Joseph Franklin, 1830, 8 years; Elijah Stebbins, 1830, 9 years; Ebenezer Howe, Jr., 1832. 14 years; John Stebbins, 1832, 14 years; Eli Lee, 1832, 12 years; Sumner Titus, 1838, 9 years; Artemas H. Washburn, 1838, 32 years; Lorenzo Brown, 1839, 46 years; Joseph E. Franklin, 1843, 38 years; Thomas Johnson, 1844, 2 years; Jarvis F. Burrows, 1842, 10 years; Noyes Barstow, 1851, 8 years; R. S. Wood, 1860, 20 years; Ashly Bartlett, 1832, 1 year; Timothy Bascom, 1832, 1 year; Isaiah W. Johnson, 1833, 2 years; Willard Johnson, 1839, 1 year; Vinal Thayer, 1840, 1 year; Alfred Alford, 1840, 2 years; William Johnson, 1842, 7 years; William Heard, 1842, 1 year; Chester Lee, 1842, 4 years; Asa Peeler, 1842, 4 years; J. B. Green, 1842, 4 years; Alonzo Newton, 1843, 4 years; Francis N. Snow, 1844, 4 years; Alexander Perry, 1844, 3 years; Horace Wood, 1850, 3 years; George W. Kenedy, 1853, 3 years; Israel Johnson, 1857, 3 years; Porter Adams, 1853, 3 years; Wilder H. Fairman, 1858, 3 years; E. O. Lee, 1862, 18 years; Wm. S. Severance 1863, 2 years; John Hunt, 1861, 3 years; Thomas Goodwillie, 1872, 13 years; M. I. Reed, 1880, 5 years; J. C. Allen, 1882, 3 years.
John Bridgman was town clerk to March, 1804 ; Cyrus Washburn from 1804 to 1817, 1818 to ’19, 1823 to ’31, 1834 to ’37, 1839 to 42; Levi Stoddard, 1817 to ’18 ; Samuel Sykes, 1819 to ’23 ; M. Whithed, 1831 to ’34, 1837 to ’39, 1842 to ’48, 1856 to ’57 ; Addison Whithed, 1857 to the present time, Dec. 1884.
Arad Hunt, 1804 to 1810, inclusive; Jonathan Hunt, jr., 1811; Cyrus Washburn, 1812, ’31, ’40; Zadock Wright, 1813 ; Arad Hunt, 1814, ’15, ’19; Israel Johnson, 1816; Isaac Johnson, 1817; Samuel Sykes, 1818, ’20, ’22, ’23, ’25; Elijah Stebbins, 1821; Benj. Lee, 1824; Nathan Wood, 1826, ’27, ’29 ; Joseph Franklin, 1828; Eli Lee, 1830, ’34, ’35, ’45, ’46, ’48; John Stebbins, 1832, ’33, ’39, 41; Ebenezer Howe, jr., 1836, ’37, ’38, ’42, ’50, ’51, ’60, ’61; J. F. Burrows, 1843, ’44, ’52, ’53, ’62, ’63; Joseph E. Franklin, 1847, ’49, ’58, ’59; Wm. Johnson, 1854, ’55, ’68, 69; John Hunt, 1856, ’57, ’70, ’71; Lorenzo Brown, 1864, ’65; Wilder H. Fairman, 1866, ’67; Addison Whithed, 1872 to ’75. Dwight
Johnson, 1876 to ’77; R. S. Wood, 1878 to ‘ 79; J. M. Morrill, 1880 to ’81; F. W. Johnson, 1882 to ’83; M. I. Reed, 1884, to ’85.
Appolas Root, appointed January, 1821, resigned July 1, 1824.
Cyrus Washburn, appointed July 1, resigned Apr. 1, 1828.
Marshall Whithed, appointed Apr. 1, 1828;
Amos Washburn, Jan. 1852, the 14th;
Marshall Whithed reappointed Sept. 3, 1852, died in February, 1860.
Addison Whithed, appointed February 29, 1860, is yet in the office, 1891.
SOLDIERS OF VERNON IN THE WAR OF 1861-65. THREE YEARS MEN.
Credited previous to the call for three hundred thousand men:
Oct. 17, 1863.
VOLUNTEERS. REG. CO. AGE.
Bemis, Warren S. 11 E 36
Blanchard, Abner L.
Brooks, Uriel, Vt. Cav. F
Burrows, Hunt, W. 11 Adj.
Clark, Herbert S. ” E
Colgrove, George, ” 21 (killed at Petersburg, June 23, 1864.)
Dickenson, Wm. O. 11 E 26
Doolittle, Charles ” E k’ld.
Fairman, Edward J. ” E (died in hospital.)
Field, George A. 9 K
Graves, Albert L. 2 C (taken prisoner at Bull Run. In prison 5 months, 14 days at Richmond.)
Harris, Austin A. Vt. Cav. F
Heath, Jesse S. Cav. F
Holton, Chester, 11 E 16
Hubbard, Geo. H. ” E 19 (Corp. Sergt.)
Hunt, John (Capt.) 11 E 32
Jackson, Charles (Sergt.) 9 K 26
Johnson, Charles S. 11 E 24
Lee, Geo. M. 26
Marsh, Evander G. 9 K 44
Newton, Edward E. 11 E 18 (Died at Fort Slocum, 1864.)
Newton, Wm. E. 11 E 20 (Prisoner 4 mos. in Libbey prison.)
Peeler, Geo. A. 11 E 19 (Killed at Winchester, Va., Sept. 19, 1864.)
Peeler, James M. (Corp.) 11 E 21
Pike, John W. ” ” 18
Sartwell, John H. 9 K 18 (Died Feb. 1, 1863.)
Stanford George W. 11 E 26
Stebbins, Elijah, Jr., 1st Srgt. 9 K 42
Stoddard. Levi A. ” ” 20
Streeter, Daniel G. 11 E 20
Streeter, Densil M. ” 35
Streeter, Esmond 9 K 18
Streeter, Philander 2 C 20 (Prisoner 1st Bull Run battle 5 m. 14d.)
Streeter, Seymour D. 11 E 21
Sweetland Enoch, ” 40
Tuttle, Lyman M. 6 Asst Sur.
Tyler, John E. 11 E
Witt, Theodore Cav. F (Died in prison.)
Wood, Mason 11 E 18
Credits under call Oct. 17, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers, and subsequent calls:
VOLUNTEERS FOR THREE YEARS.
VOLUNTEERS. REG. CO. AGE.
Braynard, Joseph A. 10 K 18
Bunker, Clark 4 D
Cobleigh, Solomon W. 11 A
Elgar, William H 7 E 18
Foster Edwin 10 K
Griffin, John D. 10 K 32
Harris, Wentworth N. 11 E 24
Sugland, John H. Col. 54 Mass.
Vorce, William H. 11 H 21
VOLUNTEERS FOR ONE YEAR.
Chase, Wm. S. Cav.
Cook, F. F 9 B 21
Holton, Chester A. 9 K
Lawson, Alfred N. 9 K 27
Peeler, Albert S. 9 24
Streeter, Uriel 9
Streeter, Lucien 9
Moody, Charles E. 1 S. S. F.
Heath, Jesse S. Cav. F
Jones, William B. 4 F
ENROLLED MEN WHO FURNISHED SUBSTITUTES.
Brooks, George M.
Dickinson, Henry H.
Gould, Gilbert F.
Scott, Alvah E.
Not credited by name, three men.
UNDER DRAFT, PAID COMMUTATION.
Allen, Clark R.
Johnson, Lewis J.
Brown, F. P.
Tyler, Edson O.
Johnson, Fred W.
Whithed, Clinton S.
CREDITS REPORTED SINCE SEPT. 30, 1864.
Volunteers for one year.
Merrill, Ira 2 F. C.
Newton, Harvey F. 2 F. C.
Nutting, William 1st Corps.
Rice, George W. 2nd F. U.
Volunteers for three years.
Norton Elliott, Vet. Reserve Corps. Hannaford, Benj. F.
Hunt, John, Capt. Co. E. 11th Regt., Com. Aug. 14, 1862; resigned Aug. 10, 1863.
Burrows, Hunt W. Adj. 11th Regt. Com. Aug. 22, 1862; transferred 1st Lieut. of Co. B., Dec. 10, 1862; promoted Capt. Co. M., Jan, 21, 1864; resigned Sept. 1, 1864.
Dickinson, Wm. O. 1st Lieut. Co. H.; Com. Dec. 2, 1864; wounded Mar. 25, 1865; mustered out of service June 24, 1865.
Bemis, Warren S. 2nd Lieut. 11th Regt., Co. E.; Com. Dec. 28, 1863; resigned June 11, 1864.
Wright, Rensalaer, 2nd Lieut.; Com. Aug. 11, 1863; honorably discharged, Dec. 15, 1864, for disability.
Hubbard, Geo. H. promoted Cor. Jan. 11, 1864; promoted Sergt. June 8, 1864.
STATE MILITIA, 12TH REGIMENT.
Hunt, John, Col., Com. Feb. 9, 1865.
Stebbins, John, jr., Capt., Com. Apr. 29, 1865.
Hubbard, John E., 2nd Lieut., Com. Dec. 31, 1864.
RESIDENTS OF VERNON ENLISTED IN OTHER PLACES.
Aldrich, James Dwight, enlisted Sept. 8, 1861; mustered out Nov. 18, 1863; age 21.
Aldrich, Henry, enlisted Sept. 8, 1861; mustered out Nov. 18, 1864; age 27.
Aldrich, Leonard J., enlisted Sept. 8, 1861; age 35.
Sweetland, Artemas, enlisted from Marlboro; died in service.
Cooley, Henry G. enlisted from Brattleboro, May 1, 1861.
Lee, Henry G., enlisted from Michigan, 1864, Vet. Vols. B. S. S.
Peeler, David L. jr., enlisted from Northampton, Mass.
Peeler, Albert S. enlisted from Northampton, Mass.
WHOLE EXPENSES PAID BY VERNON
for War of the Rebellion, exclusive of State taxes, $17,396.64.
Whole number of soldiers furnished as above record, 77.
IN THE FLORIDA WAR.
Clark Sweetland went from Vernon and Chester Holton from Northfield, since a resident of Vernon.
In the war of 1812, Oliver Cook, jr., Salem Streeter, Alpheus Taylor and Chester Wright went from Vernon. Elmer Wait from Northfield has since resided in Vernon.
WAR OF THE REVOLUTION.
Jerijah Thayer, Jabez Clark, Jacob Lawton, John Jacob Peeler, John Williams, taken prisoner but released; John Dresser, Andrew Parsons, Sylvanus Harris, Stephen Johnson, David Lee, Isaac Pratt, Ebenezer Scott, was taken prisoner in French war, released and served in the Revolutionary war; Isaac Johnson, John Fairman, Thomas Sweetland.
VERNON TOWN RECORDS.
were burned Sunday, June 11, 1797. Book 1st, p. 128. The oldest deed recorded and re-recorded Mar. 16, 1790, by John Bridgman, first Town Clerk in Vernon (or Hinsdale), County of Cumberland, Province of New York, was dated May 21, 1749, to Joseph Stebbins, jr. by the Merrimans and acknowledged (in the 22d year of his Majesty’s reign King George the 2d) by Seth Field, Justice of the Peace; whose commission from King George II, is now in the possession of his great nephew, A. H. Washburn. 2nd deed on record, Mattoon and Field deed to Ensign Samuel Stratton, June 29, 1719, page 60. 3d oldest deed dated 26th year of his Majesty’s reign (George 2d) Titus Belding to Joseph Stebbins, Feb. 2, 1753, p. 286. Three Strattons of Northfield, June 7, 1756, sell to Samuel Stratton of this town their right to land called Strattonfield – given by will of Hezekiah Stratton, the father of Samuel and his three brothers, for £600, Aug. 23, 1757. Book 1st, p. 54.
STEBBING OR STEBBINS GENEOLOGY.
The name of Stebbing is of great antiquity. The earliest mention of the name in history is John de Stebbing in Chancery rolls, in the 3d year of the reign of King John of England, A. D. 1201. Rowland Stebbing, the ancestor of the name in America, was born in 1594, town of Stebbing, Essex Co. England, 34 miles N. E. of London. In 1634 (when he was 40 years of age, his wife Sarah, 43. Children: Thomas, age 14, Sarah, 11, John 8, and Elizabeth, 6.) Sailed in the ship Francis from Ipswich, Suffolk Co., and landed the same year at Boston, when the town was but four years old, settled in Roxbury, Mass.
In 1636, he went with a company through the wilderness to Springfield. Mass., and was one of the first settlers of that town. John, his son, m. when 20, widow Anna Munden, had 6 children: Benoni, b. July 23, 1655; killed in 1704, when Deerfield was burned by the French and Indians. His wife died 1657. John and his father Rowland moved to Northampton and John married a second wife, Abigail Bartlett, Dec. 17, 1657, by whom he had 10 children born in Northampton. Thomas witnessed the deed of Northampton given by the Indians to the English in 1653.
Br. Daniel Stebbins died Oct. 7, 1756, aged 90 years, 6 months. He erected a granite monument to the memory of Rowland Stebbins, who died Dec. 14, 1671, age 77. The name was written Stebbing until after Deerfield was taken, when g was dropped and s added.
Thomas, 9th child of John, married Elizabeth Wright, Sept. 26, 1684; had 9 children; Joseph, their 5th child, born Mar. 30, 1697, married Mary, 1718, and moved to Northfield; had 9 children.
Joseph, their 2nd child, born Jan. 13, 1721, married Thankful Belding, had 7 children. He was one of the early settlers and one of the 14 proprietors of Fall Town Gore and Hinsdale Gore; died Feb. 6, 1784, age 63.
Eliakim, their 5th child, born Nov. 17, 1753, married Aug. 1785, Rebekah, daughter of Col. John Hawks of Deerfield Mass., who obtained in history the title of Hero of Fort Mars, for his defense of the same in the French and Indian war of 1746. He died 1785.
Eliakim settled in Hinsdale, N. H., (now Vernon) and was found dead sitting in his chair, July 28, 1836, age 82. Their children were Solomon, Eliakim, jr., Rebecca, John.
Rebecca m. Maj. Eli Lee. There are two things in relation to this couple, quite singular. She died Mar. 19, 1862, age 70 years, 19 days, never having but 16 genuine birthdays, born Feb. 29, 1792, being a leap year. The name Eli Lee contains only three different letters.
Their children: Amanda m. R. S. Wood, had 4 children, 1 died. Rev. John Stebbins m. Elmina Bennett of Westmoreland, has 6 children. He is Prof. of Ecclesiastical History in the Theological School at St. Lawrence University, Canton, N.Y.
Marshall m. Elizabeth Lyman of Northfield, had 5 children, four of whom are dead. Editha m. Addison Whithed, had three children, one dead. Harriet unmarried. Diana, dead.
John Stebbins, b. Jan. 15, 1794, m. July 19, 1825, to Harriet Houghton, who died Jan. 5, 1864. John Stebbins resided from 1819 to 1825 in Louisiana and Mississippi, had 8 children: Alonzo, Lorenzo, John, Jr., Harriet, Calista, Alfred, Melissa, and Lydia Houghton.
Alonzo Stebbins in. had 4 children, 1 dead; resides at the old homestead. Lorenzo, machinist of firm Newhall & Stebbins; resides at Hinsdale, N. H.
John Stebbins, Jr., Capt. of State Militia, app., Apr. 1865, has 2 daughters, Alice and Alma; died on the old farm.
Harriet Stebbins m. Henry A. Goodrich, merchant; resides at Fitchburg; 2 children.
Calista Stebbins m. Charles Lyman, Northfield, Mass., resides at Petaluma, Cal.
Alfred Stebbins, b. Sept. 4, 1834, graduated at Amherst College, Aug. 9, 1860; spent several years teaching at the South and West; went to California, 1863; was employed in custom house; afterward deputy collector of internal revenue; was afterward a mounted rifleman in frontier service; has traveled many thousand miles; married Edith P. Large of Dubuque, IA. He was also, when in California, librarian of the Mercantile Library at San Francisco.
Melissa Stebbins, born July 29, 1837, m.; resides at Stockton, Cal. Lydia H., born July 14, 1839, m. Lambert J. Bristol of New Haven; has 4 children. Elijah Stebbins, son of Joseph Stebbins , died Jan. 3, 1821, age 70; was nearly suffocated when his son’s house burned and died 12 days later. He m. Beulah Dickinson of Hatfield, Mass.; had 11 children: Mary 1st, Mary 2d, Thankful, Rebekah 1st, Rebecca 2d, Elijah, Gideon D., George R., Harriet, Samuel and Williams.
Mary died Apr. 8, 1841, aged 63 years. Zadoc Wright, her husband, died Sept. 14, 1839, aged 70 years, children: Ahimaz, Osmond, and Beulah Minerva, who married Col. J. F. Burrows of Bernardston, Mass., Mar. 31, 1830. They lived on the Wright farm in Vernon; built a large hotel and made extensive additions to the real estate of the Gov. Hunt farm. They had two children. A daughter died young, and a son, Hunt W., married Isabelle Warner of Bernardston, had 4 sons, – 2 dead; was Capt. in the War of the Rebellion, who was drowned July 2, 1874.
J. F. Burrows died Oct. 1875. Thankful, daughter of Joseph and Thankful, died Nov. 11, 1798, aged 18 years. Rebecca 2d, daughter of Joseph and Thankful, married Judge Louewell Johnson. He died Aug. 12, 1859, age 76, and Rebecca died Aug. 14, 1859, age 75; his estate was valued at $150,000.
Capt. Elijah Stebbins, born May 30, 1786, died Sept. 10, 1868, age 82; m. Roxana Parmenter, who died Aug. 28, 1848, ago 59 years. Their children were: Valonia, Roxana, Mary, Charlotte, Elijah, Joseph, Thankful, Laverna and George Parmenter.
Capt. Stebbins’ 2d wife, Abigail Elmer, died Sept. 4, 1856, age 67. Valonia married Thos. W. Titus; had 8 children. Roxana m. Leavitt Hall; both dead; had 8 children. Mary died, age 20. Charlotte married McNeil; resides at Hinsdale, N. H. Elijah, born Oct. 9, 1819, married Bathana Knight, two children, Ella and Elijah, – Ella dead; Elijah, merchant at Fitchburg.
Joseph married Lucy Bond of Guilford; had one daughter, Lucy. Joseph died. Thankful m. Franklin Streeter. She is dead. Laverna, unmarried; George P. m. Caroline Severance; has 3 children.
Gideon D. Stebbins married Betsey Dickinson; both dead; left a family of daughters.
Geo. R., brother of Gideon, married Sarah Perry; both dead; had 11 children; Chandler H., eldest, resides in Vernon, (1884). Harriet m. Stephen Perry; both dead; had 4 children. Williams m. Nancy Newell; both dead; had 4 sons.
Lieutenant Governor Jonathan Hunt
Jonathan Hunt, born 1637, married Sept. 3, 1662, Clemence Hosmer. Jonathan, (3d son of Jonathan,) born June 20, 1639, died July 1, 1738. He married Martha Williams, then 5th child, born 1703, was Samuel, who died Feb. 1770; he married Ann Ellsworth. Their children were: Samuel, Anne, Jonathan, Elisha, Arad, Sarah, Martha.
Jonathan, 3d child of Samuel and Lieut. Gov. of Vermont, was born Sept. 12, 1738; married July 15, 1779, Lavinia Swan of Boston. Their children were: Anne (who married Dr. Marsh), Jonathan, Helen, Fanny, Jonathan 2d, and Arad.
OBITUARY OF ARAD HUNT.
Arad, Gen. (son of Samuel) born July 31, 1743, died Feb. 18, 1825. He was the youngest of four brothers, all men of superior abilities. He took a prominent position in any business pertaining to the welfare of his neighbors and the early settlers, gradually accelerating the growth of the southern part of Vermont to what it has now become. The enhanced value of 5000 acres of land in Albany, Vt., which he donated to Middlebury College, has proved a substantial testimonial of his wisdom and liberality.
General Hunt was courier from a convention in Vermont to the General Assembly in New York in 1775, also was a delegate from Hinsdale to a Convention called at Westminster, June, 1776. At his death, he was buried in the Hunt cemetery in this town.
Arab, (son of Jonathan) born Sept. 22, 1790, married Sally Newell; children: Arab, Frances, Levinah, Martha, Sarah N., Roswell, John, John 2d, and Rowland. Mrs. Hunt, born at Coleraine, Mass., died Sept. 15, 1846, aged 52. 1st daughter married Goveneur Morris ; 2nd daughter m. Henry Seymour of Litchfield, Conn.; 3d daughter m. George Seymour, M. D., of Litchfield, Conn.; Roswell, died at Elmira, unmarried ; Rowland died at Brattleboro, unmarried ; John 2d m. Leonora Johnson, Mar. 10, 1851.
DEATH OF MR. HUNT.
OBITUARY BY CYRUS WASHBURN, M. D.
Died at Vernon, Vt., Aug. 30, 1833, Arad Hunt, Esq., aged 43. While in the first bloom of manhood, he was assailed by a disease, which neither admitted of cure, nor scarcely the hope of mitigation. During the last 8 years of his life he was confined almost exclusively to his bed. He possessed intellectual power which, if developed under happy auspices, would probably have led to distinction in any congenial walk of life. A love of books solaced him in the tranquil hours of his confinement. His reading was various, and in some departments of knowledge, his information was extensive and accurate. In the education and welfare of his family, his abundant means was liberally and judiciously dispersed.
Upon the final settlement of his estate, his residence, with a large share of his lands, passed into the possession of his son. This place, situated a short distance north of Vernon depot, was long famed for its good cheer and the antique domicile was always welcome to the wayfarer and its many visitors. Col. Hunt retained possession of the place until 1871, when he sold it to Hon. E. L. Norton of Boston, Mass., and Mr. Hunt removed to Brattleboro and finally bought the Dummer farm (so called) where he now lives his children : Ellen Morris married C. W. Hubbard of Vernon; Arad; Leonora, married C. M. C. Richardson, Brattleboro.
HON. JONATHAN HUNT, M. C.
HON. JONATHAN HUNT, (son of Gov. Jonathan) born Aug. 12, 1780, married Jane Maria Leavitt; his children were: Jane, William Morris, Jonathan, Richard, and Leavitt.
He graduated at Dartmouth College, 1807, studied law and engaged extensively in practice at Brattleboro, was member of Congress 1827-32. He died at Washington, D. C., May 15, 1832.
House of Representatives. Mr. Everett, of Vermont, addressed the House as follows:
“Mr. Speaker: It has become my painful duty on behalf of my colleagues to announce to this House the death of one of their number, the Hon. Jonathan Hunt. On this occasion I may be permitted to say that he has long been a member of this House and that the talents and assiduity with which he executed his duties in this place were alike honorable to himself, to this House and to his constituents. I have known him long, I have known him well, and a purer spirit never inhabited mortality. His place in this House may indeed be filled, but the void in the affections of his family and friends can never be filled.”
Mr. Everett then submitted the, following resolution:
” Resolved, That the members of this House will testify their respect for the memory of Jonathan Hunt, deceased, late a member of this House from the State of Vermont, by wearing crape on the left arm for the remainder of the present session of Congress.”
A resolution was subsequently adopted by which Messrs. H. Everett, Choon, Slade, E. Everett, Taylor, Choate and Candish were appointed to superintend the ceremonies at the funeral, which should be attended on Wednesday by the Speaker, officers and members, according to usage. The House then adjourned to Thursday.
“The news of the death of the Hon. Jonathan Hunt, which took place in Washington City, on the morning of the 15th inst., will probably have been generally known among the readers, ere the reception of this paper. By this sudden and unlooked for event the state has been deprived of an able and faithful representative in the National Legislature, and our community of a member who was very generally and very highly esteemed in all the relations of social life. We speak to those who knew him well, when we say that the character of Mr. Hunt for professional uprightness, political independence and unsullied integrity in his private affairs was not surpassed by that of any man in the community. Attended from early youth by all the allurement which wealth can furnish, few men have arrived at the meridian of life through a course of more uniform industry and perseverance.
LIEUT. GOV. JONATHAN HUNT.
BY CYRUS WASHBURN, D.
Lieut. Gov. Jonathan Hunt was born at Northfield, Mass., Sept. 12, 1738, died in Vernon Vt., June 1, 1823, in his 85th year. In early life he shared in the fatigues and anxieties incident to the perilous state of those who plant themselves in the wilderness, liable to the depredations, of savages. Persevering industry, and well deserved promotion to many honorable offices, civil and military, to that of Lieut. Governor of the state, rendered him a distinguished character during the struggle of the New Hampshire Grantees and the New York claimants, during the Revolutionary war, the formation of this State, its union with the United States, and the foundation of our State Government.
LOVINA SWAN HUNT,
widow of Lieut. Gov. Hunt, was born at Boston, Mass., Aug. 12, 1749 ; died at Vernon, June 29, 1834, aged 85 years. In her youth she attended school at Worcester, under the tuition of the late President John Adams. She early attained, and through life possessed superior intellectual endowments. June 1, 1823, after a happy union of 50 years, her husband died, and since, both of her sons, the Hon. Jonathan Hunt, M. C., at Washington, and Arad Hunt, Esq., at Vernon. Both were gentlemen of superior attainments and great mental powers, often promoted to posts of public trust.
Gov. Hunt and his lady, with ample pecuniary means, with social and cordial manners, animated and sweetened with pleasantry, were entertaining and delightful companions with their numerous friends and acquaintances, among whom I should name Rev. Bunker Gay, the philanthropic Wells, the devout Hubbard, the Hon. Messrs. Bridgman, Jones, Knowlton, Bradley, and their ladies, with hosts of other worthies from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and young Vermont. As a wife, mother, friend and Christian, she was a pattern worthy of commendation, illustrating the happy effects even in this life, of that gospel which she long ago professed.
Of Mrs. Abijail P., wife of Rev. Bunker Gay,
who died July 15, 1792, AE. 52 years.
To rise again the sun goes down,
And in the furrows grain is sown,
Beauties that sleep through winter’s reign,
When spring returns revive again.
Shall then the friend for whom we mourn.
Never again to life return?
Great source of light, life, love and joy,
Let no such thought our hope destroy;
Our lively hope that sometime hence
Through the Redeemer’s influence,
Shall burst the tomb in sweet surprise,
And in our Saviour’s image rise,
Ascend to where God holds his throne
And immortality put on.
REV. BUNKER GAY.
Trinitarian Congregationalist was ordained over Hindsdale, including Vernon, in 1764, and remained pastor until 1802; he died Oct. 20, 1815, aged 80 years. His text on the Sabbath following the death of his wife is recorded in Ps. 88-18.
TO MRS. URIEL EVANS.
BY REV. BUNKER GAY.
Industrious, temperate, frugal, just:
In God through Christ she put her trust
And kept habitually in view
His precepts and example too.
TO URIEL EVANS
ON THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE.
BY REV. BUNKER GAY,
(aged eighty years.)
And my yoke-fellow from me fled,
Cut down and numbered with the dead,
And now, alas! it is your turn,
A loss akin to mine to mourn.
Can it be greater? Yes ’tis true,
‘Tis greater far; that is to you;
For so our own experience shows,
We can’t sustain each other’s woes;
But every mortal everywhere
Must his own destined burden bear.
Pity from all you now bespeak,
For God has touched you to the quick.
My cordial pity sure you have,
I almost chide the cruel grave
That tore from your unfolding arms
Your virtuous spouse in all her charms
And in its rough and cold embrace
Hath thus usurped her bed-room-place:
Still you’r not left devoid of props,
Your cup retains some precious drops,
Better than wealth or golden mines
The mother in her offspring shines.
The Rev. Bunker Gay wrote some rather famous “poetry!”-Ed.
BY REV. BUNKER GAY,
CAPTIVITY of MRS. JEMIMA HOWE,
TAKEN BY THE INDIANS AT HINSDALE,
N. H. JULY 1775.
As Caleb Howe, Hilkiah Grout and Benjamin Gaffield, who had been hoeing corn in the meadow, west of the river, were returning home a little before sunset, to a place called Bridgman’s Fort, they were fired upon by 12 Indians who had ambushed their path. Howe was on horseback with two young lads, his children, behind him. A ball which broke his thigh, brought him to the ground; his horse ran a few rods and fell likewise, and both the lads were taken. The Indians in their savage manner, coming up to Howe, pierced his body with a spear, tore off his scalp and left him in this forlorn condition. He was found alive the next morning, by a party of men from Fort Hindsdale and being asked by one of the party if he knew him, he answered, yes I know you all.” These were his last words, though he did not expire until his friends had arrived with him at Fort Hindsdale. Grout was so fortunate as to escape unhurt. But Gaffield in attempting to wade through the river at a place which was indeed fordable at that time, was unfortunately drowned. Flushed with the success they had met with here, the savages went directly to Bridgman’s Fort. There was no man in it and only three women and some children – Mrs. Jemima Howe, Mrs. Submit Grout and Mrs. Eunice Gaffield, – their husbands I need not mention again; and their feelings at this junction I will not attempt to describe. They had heard the guns of the enemy but knew not what had happened to their friends. Extremely anxious for their safety they stood longing to embrace them, until at length, concluding from the noise they heard without, that some of them were come, they unbarred the gate in a hurry to receive them, when lo! to their inexpressible disappointment and surprise, instead of their husbands, in rushed a number of hideous Indians to whom, they and their tender offspring became an easy prey, and from whom they had nothing to expect but either an immediate death or a long and doleful captivity. The latter of these, by the favor of Providence, turned out to be the lot of these unhappy women, and their still more unhappy, because more helpless, children. Mrs. Gaffield had but one, Mrs. Grout three, and Mrs. Howe seven. The eldest of Mrs. Howe’s was 11 yrs. old and the youngest but six months. The two eldest were daughters which she had by her first husband, Mr. William Phipps, who was also slain by the Indians, an account of which is given in Mr. Doolittle’s history.
It was from this woman that I lately received the foregoing account. She also gave me, I doubt not, a true, though to be sure a very brief and imperfect history of her captivity, which I here insert for your perusal: The Indians, she says, having plundered and put fire to the fort, we marched, as near as I could judge a mile and a half into the woods where we encamped that night. When the morning came and we had advanced as much further, six Indians were sent back to the place of our abode, who collected a little more plunder, and destroyed some other effects that had been left behind, but they did not return until the day was so far spent that it was judged best to continue where we were through the night. Early the next morning, we set off for Canada, and continued our march 8 days successively until we reached the place where the Indians had left their canoes, about 15 miles from Crown Point. This was a long and tedious march, but the captives, by divine assistance were enabled to endure it with less trouble and difficulty than they had reason to expect. From such savage masters in such indigent circumstances, we could not rationally hope for kinder treatment than we received. Some of us, it is true, had a harder lot than others, and among the children, I thought my son, Squire, had the hardest of any. He was then only 4 years old and when we stopped to rest our weary limbs, and he sat down on his master’s pack, the savage monster would often knock him off, and sometimes with the handle of his hatchet. Several ugly marks, indented in his head by the cruel Indians, at that tender age, are still plainly to be seen. At length we arrived at Crown Point and took up our quarters there for the space of near a week. In the meantime some of the Indians went to Montreal, and took some of the weary captives along with them with a view of selling them to the French. They did not succeed, however, in finding a market for any of them. They gave my youngest daughter to the Governor DeVandreuil; had a drunken frolic, and returned again to Crown Point with the rest of the prisoners. From hence we set off for St. Johns in four or five canoes, just as night was coming on, and were soon surrounded with darkness. A heavy storm hung over us, the sound of the rolling thunder was very terrible upon the waters, which at every flash of lightning seemed to be all in a blaze. Yet to this we were indebted for all the light we enjoyed. No object could we discern any longer than the flashes lasted. In this posture we sailed in our open tottering canoes almost the whole of that dreary night. The morning indeed had not yet began to dawn when we all went ashore, and having collected a heap of sand and gravel for a pillow, I laid myself down, with my tender infant by my side, not knowing where any of my other children were, or what a miserable condition they might be in. The next day, however, under the wing of that ever present and all powerful Providence which had preserved us through the darkness and imminent dangers of the preceding night, we all arrived in safety at St. Johns. Our next movement was to St. Francois, the metropolis, if I may call it, to which the Indians who led us captive, belonged. Soon after our arrival at that wretched capital, a council consisting of the chief Sachem and some principal warriors of the St. Francois tribe was convened, and after the ceremonies usual on such occasions were over, I was conducted and delivered to an old squaw whom the Indians told me I must call my mother. My infant still continued to be the property of its original Indian owners. I was nevertheless permitted to keep it with me a while longer for the sake of saving them the trouble of looking after it. When the weather began to grow cold, shuddering at the prospect of approaching winter, I told my new mother that I did not think it would be possible for me to endure it, if I must spend it with her, and fare as the Indians did. Listening to my repeated and earnest solicitations, that I might he disposed of among some of the French inhabitants of Canada, she at length set off with me and my infant, attended by some male Indians, to Montreal, in hopes of finding a market for me there. But the attempt proved unsuccessful, and the journey tedious indeed. Our provision was so scanty as well as insipid and unsavory, the weather so cold, and the traveling so very bad that it often seemed as if I must have perished on the way. While we were at Montreal, we went into the house of a certain French gentleman, whose lady being sent for and coming into the room, where I was, to examine me, seeing that I had an infant, exclaimed with an oath, I will not buy a woman with a child to look after. There was a swill pail standing near me in which I observed some crusts and crumbs of bread swimming on the surface of the greasy liquor it contained. Sorely pinched with hunger I skimmed them off with my hands and ate them and this was all the refreshment which the house afforded me. Somewhere in the course of this visit to Montreal my Indian mother was so unfortunate as to catch the small pox, of which distemper she died soon after our return, which was by water to St. Francois.
And now came on the season when the Indians began to prepare for a winter’s hunt. I was ordered to return my poor child to those who still claimed it as their property. This was a severe trial. The babe clung to my bosom with all its might, but I was obliged to pluck it thence, and deliver it shrieking and screaming enough to penetrate a heart of stone, into the hands of those unfeeling wretches whose tender mercies may be termed cruel. It was soon carried off by a hunting party of those Indians to a place called Messiskon (Missisquoi, probably. There was an Indian village by that name on both sides of the river and small bay of Missisquoi, in Swanton at the foot of Canada, next north of St. Albans. See in Vol. iv, this work, page 960. Mr. Perry who gives the Indian History of this vicinity states that one of the children of Mrs. Howe lived here.), at the lower end of Lake Champlain, whither, in about a month after, it was my fortune to follow them, and here I found it, it is true, but in a condition that afforded me no great satisfaction, it being greatly emaciated and almost starved. I took it in my arms, put its face to mine, and it instantly bit me with such violence that it seemed as if I must have parted with a piece of my cheek. I was permitted to lodge with it, that and the two following nights, but every morning that intervened, the Indians, I suppose on purpose to torment me, sent me away to another wigwam which stood at a little distance, though not so far from the one in which my distressed infant was confined but that I could plainly hear its incessant cries and heartrending lamentations. In this deplorable condition I was obliged to take my leave of it, on the morning of the third day after my arrival at the place. We moved down the lake several miles the same day, and the night following was remarkable on account of the great earthquake which terribly shook that howling wilderness. Among the islands hereabouts we spent the winter season, often shifting our quarters, and roving about from one place to another, our family consisting of three persons only beside myself, viz : my late mother’s daughter, her sanhop and a papoose.
They once left me alone two dismal nights and when they returned to me again, perceiving them smile to each other, I asked them what is the matter? They replied that two of my children were no more, one of which, they said, died a natural death and the other was knocked on the head. I did not utter many words, but my heart was sorely pained within me, and my mind exceedingly troubled with strange and awful ideas. I often imagined, for instance, that I plainly saw the naked bodies of my deceased children hanging upon the limbs of the trees, as the Indians are wont to hang the rawhides of those beasts which they take in hunting. It was not long, however, before it was so ordered by kind Providence that I should be relieved in a good measure from those horrid imaginations, for as I was walking one day upon the ice, observing a smoke at some distance upon the land, it must proceed, thought I, from the fire of some Indian hut, and who knows but that some of my poor children may be there. My curiosity thus excited, led me to the place, and there I found my son Caleb, a little boy between two and three years old, whom I had lately buried in sentiment, at least, or rather imagined to have been deprived of life and perhaps denied a decent grave. I found him likewise in tolerable health and circumstances, under the protection of a fond Indian mother, and moreover had the happiness of lodging with him in my arms one joyful night.
Again we shipped our quarters, and when we had traveled 8 or 10 miles upon the snow and ice, came to a place where the Indians manufactured sugar, which they extracted from maple trees.
Here an Indian came to visit us whom I knew and who could speak English, He asked me why I did not go to visit my son Squire. I replied that I had lately been informed that he was dead. He assured me that he was yet alive and but two or three miles off, on the opposite side of the lake. At my request, he gave me the best directions he could to the place of his abode. I resolved to embrace the first opportunity that offered, of endeavoring to search it out. While I was busy in contemplating this affair the Indians obtained a little bread, of which they gave me a small share. I did not take a morsel of it myself, but saved it all for my poor child, if I should be so lucky as to find him.
At length, having obtained of my keepers leave to be absent for one day, I set off early in the morning, and steering as well as I could according to the directions the Indian gave me, I soon found the place he had so accurately marked out.
I beheld, as I drew nigh, my little son without the camp, but he looked, thought I, like a starved and mangy puppy, that had been wallowing in the ashes. I took him in my arms, and he, spoke to me these words: “Mother are you come!” I took him into the wigwam with me, and observing a number of Indian children in it, I distributed all the bread, which I had reserved for my own child, among them all, otherwise I should have given them great offence.
My little boy appeared to be not very fond of his new mother; kept as near me as possible while I stayed, and when I told him I must go he fell as though he had been knocked with a club. But having recommended him to the care of Him who made him, when the day was far spent, and the time would permit me to stay no longer, I departed, you may well suppose, with a heavy load at my heart.
The tidings I had received of the death of my youngest child had a little before been confirmed beyond a doubt, but I could not mourn so heartily for the deceased as for the living child.
When the winter broke up we removed to St. Johns, and through the ensuing summer our principal residence was at no great distance from the fort at that place. In the mean time, however, my sister’s husband, having gone with a scouting party to some of the English settlements, had a drunken frolic at the fort. When he returned his wife who never got drunk, but had often experienced the ill effects of her husband’s intemperance, fearing what the consequences might be if he should come home in a morose and turbulent humor, to avoid his insolence proposed that we should both retire and keep out the reach of it, until the storm abated. We absconded accordingly, but it so happened that I returned and ventured into his presence before his wife had presumed to come nigh him. I found him in his wigwam, and in a surly mood, and not being able to revenge upon his wife because she was not at home, he laid hold of me and hurried me to the fort, and for a trifling consideration sold me to a French gentleman whose name was Saccapee. It is an ill wind certainly that blows nobody any good.
I had been with the Indians a year lacking 14 days, and if not for my sister, yet for me it was a lucky circumstance indeed which thus at last snatched, in an unexpected moment, out of their hands and placed me beyond the reach of their insolent power.
After my Indian master had disposed of me in this manner, and the moment of sober reflection had arrived, perceiving that the man who bought me had taken the advantage of him in an unguarded hour, his resentment began to kindle, and his indignation rose so high that he threatened to kill me if he should meet me alone, or if he could not revenge himself thus that he would set fire to the fort. I was therefore secreted in an upper chamber and the fort carefully guarded until his wrath had time to cool.
My service in the family to which I was advanced was perfect freedom in comparison with what it had been among the barbarous Indians. My new master and mistress were both as kind and generous toward me as I could reasonably expect. I seldom asked a favor of either of them but that it was readily granted. In consequence of which I had it in my power in many instances to administer aid and refreshment to the poor prisoners of my own nation, who were brought into St. Johns during my abode in the family of the benevolent and hospitable Saccapee. Yet even in this family difficulties awaited me I had little reason to expect, and I stood in need of a large stock of prudence to enable me to encounter them. In this I was greatly assisted by the governor and Col. Schuyler, who was then a prisoner. I was moreover under unspeakable obligations to the governor on another account; I had received intelligence from my daughter Mary, the purport of which was that there was a prospect of her being shortly married to a young Indian of the tribe of St. Francois, with which tribe she had continued from the beginning of her captivity. These were heavy tidings and added greatly to the poignancy of my other afflictions. However, not long after I had heard this melancholy news, an opportunity presented of acquainting that humane and generous gentleman, the commander-in-chief and my illustrious benefactor, with this affair also, who, in compassion for my sufferings and to mitigate my sorrows, issued his orders in good time and had my daughter taken away from the Indians and conveyed to the same nunnery where her sister was then lodged, with his express injunction that they should both be well looked after and carefully educated as his adopted children. In this school they continued, while the war, in those days between France and Great Britain, lasted.
At the conclusion of which war, the Governor went home to France, took my oldest daughter along with him and married her there to a French gentleman whose name was Cron Lewis. He was at Boston with the fleet under Count de Estang (1778) and was one of his clerks.
My other daughter continuing in the nunnery. A considerable time after my return from captivity had elapsed, when I made a journey to Canada, resolving to use my best endeavors not to return without her. I arrived just in time to prevent her being sent to France. She was to have gone in the next vessel that sailed for that place. And I found it extremely difficult to prevail with her to quit the nunnery and go home with me. Yea, she absolutely refused, and all the persuasions and arguments I could use with her were to no effect, until after I had been to the Governor and obtained a letter from him to the superintendent of the nuns, in which he threatened, if my daughter should not be delivered immediately into my hands, or could not be prevailed with to submit to my parental authority, that he would send a band of soldiers to assist me in bringing her away. But so extremely bigoted was she to the customs and religion of the place, that, after all, she left it with the greatest reluctance, and the most bitter lamentation, which she continued as we passed the streets and wholly refused to be comforted. My good friend, Major Small, whom we met with on the way, tried all he could to console her, and was so very kind and obliging as to bear us company and carry my daughter behind him on horseback. But I have run on a little before my story, for I have not yet informed you of the means and manner of my own redemption, to the accomplishing of which, the recovery of my daughter, just mentioned, and the ransoming of some of my other children, several gentlemen of note contributed not a little, to whose goodness therefore I am greatly indebted, and sincerely hope I shall never be so ungrateful as to forget it. Col. Schuyler, in particular, was so very kind and generous as to advance 2700 livres to procure a ransom for myself and three of my children. He accompanied and conducted us from Montreal to Albany and entertained us in the most friendly and hospitable manner a considerable time, at his own house, and I believe entirely at his own expense.
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF ENSIGN SAMUEL STRATTON.
BY THE REVEREND BUNKER GAY.
Would you on rural dainties fatten, Be sure to pattern Ensign Stratton : Of those who on earth's surface dwell, Few lived so long and lived so well. Placed in that class that props the nation, (For farming was his occupation) In this 'tis owned by those who knew him, But few could equal, none outdo him. Healthy and strong the tools to wield To clear and cultivate the field, He, by the vigor of his arm, Soon realized a fertile farm. With good success furnished his house, First with a virtuous, loving spouse, Then with a likely, sturdy son, Greatly beloved; they had but one- He in due time procured a wife, The crown and comfort of his life: In course three lovely daughters came, For each a sacred love the same. Thus did this family increase; All lived together and in peace. With this fond group encompassed round, The good man felt his joys abound, And cheerfully his toil pursued, Inspired with love and gratitude. A hunter bred he loved to run, Equipped with powder-horn and gun, When he'd return with a huge pack Enough to break another's back; Yea, oft from hunting the wild bees Come laden from the honey'd trees. In such amusing hunting tours, He only spent his leisure hours, So that in this there was no harm, . Since in good time he kept his farm And raised enough of farmer's fare, Both for his own and some to spare. He kept a hospitable hall, Free to refresh and comfort all Who visited his friendly dwelling, If rich, or if not worth a shilling; His liberal heart and bounteous hands Were always open to his friends. Thus uniformly kind and steady, To every social duty ready, They took delight in doing good As every honest Christian should; Of pure religion ne'er thought lightly; Chose wisdom's ways and walked uprightly. But hitherto my pen displays Only his bright and happy days, Others replete with clustering woes, As we proceed we shall disclose. This world wherever fancy ranges Is liable to frequent changes. Grief may endure a night. forlorn, And gladness crown returning morn; Joy reign to-day and yet to-morrow Be dashed with overwhelming sorrow; This latter mortals not a few By sad experience find too true; Thus was our hero often tried; In him this truth was verified : Who without weeping can relate The story of his dismal fate; A train of evils then begun When death deprived him of his son, His only son, his Absolom, The joy and sunshine of his home. One woe is passed, another comes; No flower on earth for ages blooms; Many still fade in every clime, Cut down and withered in their prime. With many of the human race: So to be sure it fared with one, Who tasted death as has been shown So too with his all lovely widow. Ah! what is life? a fleeting shadow, As sketched above you've seen the end Of her unhappy bosom friend; The tears for him were scarcely dried, Death took and lodged her by his side; And by this sudden, awful stroke, Their parents hearts were almost broke; And thus he twice severely tried, Still other trials had to abide: For soon the Almighty with a stroke His wife, his long loved object took. From his dim eyes and withered arms. This world appeared to have no charms, But though of almost all bereft, He'd still one precious comfort left, His Roxalana, lovely one! Daughter of his deceased son, But, Oh! what earthly joys abide? To him this comfort was denied. The seasons oft grow dark and rainy, Alas! the lovely Roxalan Came like a flower that blooms in May And like a shadow passed away. Of this sweet comfort thus bereft, No brother dear or sister left. The world's enjoyments fast decrease, Death's harbingers alone increase. When nearly all earth's joys had fled In death he bowed his hoary head, To him a crown of glory here, No friend for him need drop a tear.
REV. T. F. ROGERS.
A full biographical notice of this worthy minister was written soon after his decease by one who knew him well and appreciated him truly, Rev. A. M. Bridge. From his account we shall make some extracts, and speak of Mr. Rogers more particularly in connection with his labors in Vernon. He was born in Tewksbury, Mass., Mar. 18, 1781. In childhood he was surrounded by circumstances favorable to forming a character of virtue and goodness. He was not a strong child, and perhaps for that reason was more under the care of his mother (who was many years a widow) of whose goodness and counsel he ever spoke in terms of grateful remembrance. He attended the common schools; fitted for college at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., and entered the university at Cambridge in 1798.
A classmate and intimate friend speaks in high terms of the rare purity of his character. He had been brought up in the orthodox faith, in the most rigid forms, but by further inquiry and closer examinations of religions subjects, he was lead to adopt a more liberal faith. At the close of his collegiate course he studied theology, a profession that had always been his aim and choice.
He preached acceptably in Bernardston, Mass., and was ordained pastor of the society there Sept. 20, 1809.
In May, 1810, he married Miss Mary Pierce of Woburn, Mass. For several years his ministry was prosperous, and his home the abode of quiet and happiness. Then he was called to endure severe trials. His wife was afflicted with mental derangement, more or less severe for 30 years, up to the time of her death in 1846.
In 1822, the spirit of division, then so general, entered his society and Mr. Rogers was charged with having changed his sentiments and not preaching the gospel. He met this charge in his customary calm, forbearing manner, being conscious of having preached the same gospel he ever did. But all were not satisfied, eleven families withdrew and formed themselves into a new society.
It was found necessary to remove their meeting-house and build it anew. It was dedicated Jan 12, 1828. The old society became too enfeebled to give their pastor an adequate support, therefore he cheerfully sought employment for a part of the time elsewhere, and went forth a welcome missionary to many destitute places within twenty miles. He was also employed more than sixteen years by the Massachusetts Evangelical Missionary Society and by the Society for propagating the gospel among the Indians and others in North America.
In 1825, he commenced preaching in Vernon; his services were continued many years. His pastoral connection and labors in Bernardston remained unchanged.
In the autumn of 1843, an attack of paralysis compelled him to relinquish his labors. His life of devotedness cast a radiance of glory on the clouded days of debility and pain. He died Jan. 26, 1847.
was born Apr. 17, 1730, and died aged 60 years. He was a man 6 feet, 7 in. in height, broad shoulders and of well developed form, athletic and of strong mind and good features. He married Mrs. Jemima Howe on her return from captivity, who retained her youthful beauty to so great an extent that she received the appellation of the fair captive. They had two children whom they buried. Mr. Tute belonged to a company of rangers stationed at Hinsdale Fort in 1757. In 1768, he was appointed coroner for Cumberland County by a commission from Cadwallader Colden, Lieut. Gov. of the Province of New York, which office he held until the breaking out of the War of the Revolution. He is said to have shouldered 4 1/2 bushels of salt, standing in a half bushel, to show his strength.
In Memory of
Mr. Amos Tute
Who died April 17th
1790 in the 60th
year of his
Were I so tall to Reach the Pole
Or grasp the ocean with my span;
I must be measured by my soul,
The mind’s the standard of the man.
MRS. JEMIMA TUTE
Successively relict of Messrs.
William Phipps, Caleb Howe & Amos Tute.
The two first were killed by the Indians
Phipps July 5th 1743
Howe July 37th 1755
When Howe was killed she & her children
Then seven in number
Were carried into captivity
The oldest, a daughter, went to France
And was married to a French Gentleman
The youngest was torn from her Breast
And perished with hunger
By the aid of some benevolent Gentlemen
And her own personal Heroism
She recovered the rest
She had two by her last Husband
Outlived both him and them
And died March 7th 1805 aged 82
Having passed through more vicissitudes
And endured more hardships
Than any of her cotemporaries
No more can Savage foes annoy
Nor aught her wide spread fame destroy
The first white male child born in Bernardston (now Vernon) Sept. 18, 1742, was taken by the Indians when 3 years old, together with his mother and three brothers ( one an infant ), carried to Montreal and sold to the French, and was taken from there to Quebec jail, where his mother and brothers died, prisoners of the French.
He returned to his father in Bernardston when 8 years old and had lost our language and spoke French. He married Miss Love Fairman, from Conn., Mar. 12,1772 ; served in the War of the Revolution, and drew a pension therefore. He settled, lived, and died Mar. 4, 1826, on the place now occupied by his grandson.
one of the early settlers, lived in the west part of Vernon. He was a tall, athletic man. The Indians had many times chased him, with the hope of getting him alive, to torture, according to their custom. While men were picketing Fort Hinsdale in 1755, they were attacked by the Indians, one man was captured, two killed and scalped, and two reached the fort, and Mr. Wright and his companion saved themselves by flight. At another time, Mr. Wright was surprised by Indians while at work in Pe Chague meadow; both running at full speed, the foremost Indian said, “me got you this time.” Mr. Wright, reaching the gate of the fort, placed his hand on the top, and cleared it at one leap,. but the Indians could not do it. Abishai, his son, died in 1860, aged 88 years.
JOHN JACOB PEELER
died Mar. 24, 1815, in his 70th year. He enlisted in the British army for 5 years. He and two others left the fort commanded by Gen. Campbell, without receiving their discharge; were pursued by John Hare, captured, brought back, tried by court martial, and sentenced, each, to receive 999 lashes upon the naked back, with a cat-o-nine tails, and after a blow the lashes were straightened before another was given.
One of the three died before he had received the complement and the rest were inflicted afterward; the other died three days after his chastisement.
Mr. Peeler said he should have died, if he had not crawled from his bunk around the floor. His comrade said he could not do it. Mr. Peeler told them he should desert when he recovered, and when he was sent to a swamp with a boghoe, he left again and was not again found. He then enlisted in the American army in the Revolutionary War. At the battle of Bunker Hill, he took a powder-horn from a British soldier, which is now in the possession of A. H. Washburn. His daughter said his back was one solid scar.
CAPT. JERIJAH THAYER,
born in Bolton, Conn., Apr. 22, 1762, came to Vernon in 1787. During the Revolution, when his elder brother enlisted in the American army, he was but 14 years old, and being short and small of his age could not be accepted. He was much disappointed and impatiently waited two years when they could not refuse him. On his 16th birthday, his weight being but 90 lbs. he left home for camp, joined the army and served his country three years, until it was freed from British rule. When twenty-two, he married Cynthia Case of Coventry, Conn., and moved to Gill, Mass., and three years after to Vernon; stopping at a little clearing in the “Basin,” among the hills, where he built him a framed house. He lived here and reared a family of seven children and died June 15, 1857, aged 95 years. He was for some time the only surviving Revolutionary pensioner in Windham county.
DEA. JOHN LEE
was born in Killingly, Conn., during the reign of George 3d, in 1771; died Feb. 13, 1868, aged 96 years 8 months. He came to Vernon with his parents when eight years old. Polly Peeler (daughter of John Jacob Peeler) was born in Walpole, N. H., in 1777; whence she removed to Greenfield in early life; thence to Vernon, Vt.; was married to Mr. Lee, March 9, 1798, by Judge Bridgman; had 12 children, – three died in infancy; one went to Michigan; one to Connecticut; two to Massachusetts and four lived in Vermont; one, Eli, while traveling in Wisconsin was murdered. There were 46 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren (1869).
Mr. Lee resided most of his life on the homestead now owned by his son, George W. For 20 years he followed boating on the Connecticut River and voted at every presidential election except the first, until his death. When Mrs. Lee was 83 years old, she went to the residence of her youngest daughter, then 40 years old, and taught her to spin. March 9, 1864, the 66th anniversary of their wedding-day was celebrated by the assembling of 150 persons, mostly relatives, at the homestead. Mr. Lee wished for death, made arrangements for his funeral, and quietly passed away. Mrs. Lee died a few years after.
JUDGE LOVEWELL JOHNSON.
Lovewell Johnson, son of Isaac and Dinah Johnson of Vernon, resided in town until about 1812, when he went to New York. He married Rebecca Stebbins of this town, daughter of Elijah and sister of Capt. Elijah.
Judge Johnson and wife, Rebecca, spent most of their time in Vernon for several years previous to their deaths in 1859. The following was taken from a central New York paper:
“Died at Vernon, August 12, Lovewell Johnson, aged 76 years, 5 months. Thus has suddenly passed from our midst one of the most talented, wealthiest, and most remarkable men in Central New York. His immense estate accumulated by his frugality, energy and sagacity, without the aid of ancestral wealth or lucky speculation, affords the most positive proof that he was no ordinary man. Judge Johnson removed from Hoosic to Palermo at so early a day as to be ranked among the early settlers of that town. He located upon a farm, but studied and engaged in the practice of law.
His previous studies, though prosecuted mainly without a teacher, embraced those branches usually pursued in an academic education. His acquaintance with them was distinguished for its thoroughness and qualified him well for the work of teaching, which he for a time pursued. As a lawyer, he manifested clearness of perception, sound common sense, and indefatigable perseverance. For several years he held the office of county judge and discharged its duties with ability. He would unquestionably have attained a wide celebrity as a lawyer had not his increasing property demanded his principal attention. The later years of his life were given to the management of his estate, to the entire abandonment of all legal practice. His business accuracy and integrity we never heard questioned, and he certainly manifested a commendable lenity to his debtors, so long as he was satisfied of their disposition fairly to acknowledge and discharge their obligations. He abhorred laziness and was intolerant of fraud; was himself simple in habits, unobtrusive in manners, energetic in business, prompt and remarkably exact in the performance of his slightest promises as well as his obligations, was scrupulously honest, kind in his feelings and actively sympathetic with those in distress. The day of his death afforded us a striking illustration of the frailty of man and the sudden vicissitudes of life. On Friday morning, we took from the post office a letter from Judge Johnson indicating his usual health, and while we were reading it a telegram announcing his dangerous illness was received, and yet later, we learned of his death the same day. Willard, his only surviving son, reached the bedside of his father on the morning of his death. His wife died two days after, August 14th, aged 75 years, 4 months.
son of Rufus, grandson of Reuben and great-grandson of Jacob Elmer, one of the early settlers of Vernon, died at San Francisco, Jan. 8, 1870, of heart disease. A letter states that he was conscious to the last; said he was prepared to die. No man has lived in this city for the last generation who was more widely known, or that had the confidence of the community to a greater degree than Rufus Elmer. He was emphatically a radical on all subjects, generally living ahead of his age and always ready to defend his cause. Those who did not agree with him, could but respect his earnestness and integrity to what. he believed right. He was born in Vernon, moved in early life to Woodstock, Conn., where he engaged in shoe manufacturing.
eldest son of Hon. Ebenezer Howe,. jr., and great-grand-son of Capt. Moses Howe, who was taken by the Indians when a lad, and great-great-grandson of Caleb Howe, killed by Indians, July 27, 1755, and the husband of the “fair captive,” and great great-great-grandson of Josiah Sartwell (the builder of Sartwell’s Fort, 1737) was born in Vernon, July 4, 1824.
In 1845 he entered the law department of Harvard University and graduated in 1847, with the degree of Bachelor of laws; closed his preparatory studies as a law student in the office of Hon. W. C. Bradley at Westminster; was admitted to the bar of Windham county, 1847; spent several years in California ; on his. return located at Brattleboro and commenced the practice of law in 1853; was admitted to the bar of the supreme court of the United States in 1856; was States Attorney, 1858-59; was appointed U. S. Attorney for the district of Vermont by President Lincoln in 1861; has also held many other offices and positions of trust; succeeded in obtaining an appointment in the Pension Department of the Government, and removed from Brattleboro about 1880.
EBENEZER MILLER, M. D.,
born in Vernon, Oct. 4, 1822, son of Ebenezer and Ama Miller, and the youngest of eight children. His great-grandfather was Isaac Miller, one of the early settlers of Dummerston, Vt. His father died when he was seven years of age. He obtained a good scientific and classical education, attending the academies at West Brattleboro, Northfield and Shelburne Falls, obtaining means to pursue his education by teaching, which he successfully did in the towns of Guilford, Vernon and Hinsdale, N. H. He commenced the study of medicine in 1838, with Dr. Cyrus Washburn; attended medical lectures at Hanover, N. H,, New York City and Castleton, Vt.; graduated from Castleton Medical College in 1843; married Lucia A. Whithed of Vernon, and commenced the practice of medicine in Guilford in 1844; removed to Halifax soon after and remained 11 years; removed to St. Paul, Minn. Oct. 1857. He opened a drug store in Natches, Miss., in 1863; after the close of the war, left his store in care of his eldest son; went to New Orleans, and thence with a large stock of goods to Homer City, on a branch of the Red river, where in a few weeks he was taken with a disease peculiar to that climate and died July 21, 1865, far from home and relatives, yet his last hours were cheered by the presence of friends and his wants ministered to by members of the Masonic order to which he belonged. His widow and four children still reside at St. Paul; his sons, Nelson D. and Charles M. are civil engineers. Clinton C., a physician in the city, and his daughter principal of one of the city schools.
SAMUEL LUKE PARSONS,
born Oct. 30, 1831; his grandfather, Andrew Parsons, the son of a British sea captain, and a nephew of Chief Justice Theopihilus Parsons, was an early settler of Vernon; coming from Connecticut at the close of the war of the Revolution, in which he was a soldier, he purchased a portion of the Howe grant and cleared himself a home. He there reared a large family of children, the youngest of four sons, Samuel being the subject of this sketch. His children were Hannah, Samuel, Luke and John. At 15 years of age, Luke went to the academy at Bernardston, Mass. He also attended school at West Brattleboro, teaching school winters; at twenty he was prepared to enter the Sophomore class at Amherst; receiving an offer from his cousin, Andrew Parsons, acting governor of Michigan, to become his successor in legal practice, when admitted, he commenced the study of law and did not go to Amherst. At twenty-three he was admitted to the bar, and the following year elected Circuit Court Commissioner, an office having the powers and duties of Judge at Chambers and Master in Chancery. At this time he was married to Miss Sarah Cook, daughter of Madison Cook of Ypsilanti, Miss.. In 1858, Mr. Cook died, leaving a large property in Detroit. Mr. Parsons was made attorney of the estate and resigned his office and went to Detroit where he was attacked with a disease common to that climate. He then returned to Vermont to regain his health, and resided with his father until the outbreak of the war of the Rebellion. He first enlisted in the 16th Vt. Vols. and was immediately promoted to Sergeant, and afterwards to 1st Sergeant for meritorious conduct at the battle of Gettysburg. When this. regiment was disbanded, he entered the service in the Gulf Department at Quartermaster Sergeant. He went to New Orleans, touching at Cuba. He met Senor Don Bernards, Master of the Knights of Freedom (or defenders of the Monroe doctrine). He wrote at this time an epic poem, entitled, “Atlantis on the Heiress,” in ten cantos, being a story of the island of Cuba and tropical America, which he has read in several cities and been very favorably mentioned by the press. His corps was then transferred to the Shenandoah valley. He was disabled at Cedar Creek and conveyed to Annapolis, where on his recovery, he was given charge of a ward at the Navy Yard Hospital; having care of the sick and wounded soldiers from Libby and Andersonville. He remained here until the expiration of his term of service and the war closed, when he returned to Michigan, purchased a farm near Detroit and resumed his practice at the Detroit bar.
HIRAM E. JOHNSON,
son of Hiram Johnson, born at Vernon, Dec. 17. 1834; fitted for college under the instruction of Prof. L. F. Ward at Saxtons River and Westminster; began the study of medicine with Dr. E. C. Cross at Brattleboro in 1854; attended medical lectures at Berkshire Medical College, Pittsfield, Mass.; graduated at Castleton Medical College, June 17, 1857; began the practice of medicine at Halifax where he remained eight years, (excepting some time which he spent in hospitals in vicinity of Washington, D. C., also at Belleuve Hospital, N. Y. City, where he gained a thorough knowledge of practical surgery); in spring of 1865, removed to Hale, Ill; two years later went to Weston, Ill.; built the first house in town ; opened a drug-store and had a remunerative practice, also held the office of postmaster and land agent.
SOLOMON THAYER STREETER,
born May 28, 1841, in Vernon, son of Noyes Streeter, who has always lived in Vernon, fitted for college at Bernardston, Mass., and Exeter, N. H.; entered Amherst College in 1863, and graduated, 1867 ; having paid his way chiefly by his own labors. His health failed and he immediately went to Europe to regain, if possible, in travel his failing health. He visited Scotland, England, France, Switzerland and Germany, and returned in the autumn, restored to health; began the study of law at the Columbia College Law School and was admitted to the New York bar the following May. He graduated from the Law School, 1869, and began the practice of his profession in New York City, and still continues at the same place.
EDWARD EASTMAN FROST, D. M. D.,
born at Vernon, Nov. 8, 1849. In 1864, he went to New York and attended Thomson’s Business College one year, and the 13th St. High School two years. In 1869 he commenced the study of dentistry with Dr. J. B. Walker, at Worcester, Mass.; entered Harvard Dental School 1870 ; graduated, 1874; returned to Worcester and practiced one year with Dr. Gould ; opened an office, Mar. 18, 1875, himself, and is still practicing his profession at Worcester.
He traveled in Europe extensively in 1878, visiting the most noted places of interest in England, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and France.
HAMILTON LEE WHITHED, A. B.,
born at Vernon, Mar. 6, 1854; fitted for college at Dean Academy, Franklin, Mass.; entered Tuft’s College at Medford, Mass., 1873, and graduated 1877 ; entered Boston Law school, 1877, and graduated therefrom, 1880; admitted to Suffolk bar, Nov. 1880; practiced his profession till March 1883, when he went to Grand Forks, Dakota, and entered the office of the Vermont Loan and Trust Company at that place.
GEO. F. BARBER, D. D. S.,
born at West Northfield, Mass., Dec. 1, 1854, came to Vernon in 1865 ; attended school at Power’s Institute, Bernardston, Mass., and Goddard Seminary, Barre, Vt. He entered the Philadelphia Dental College, Cor. 10th and Arch Sts., and graduated therefrom 1881 ; commenced the practice of his profession at Fitchburg, Mass., May, 1881, and remained till Nov. 1883, when his health failing him, he came to Vernon, an now, 1885, is in successful practice of his profession here.
A large portion of the merchandise and productions of the eastern part of the State were formerly transported in flat bottomed boats upon the Connecticut river from Hartford, Conn., to the northern part of Vermont. Their capacity for many years was from 10 to 20 tons, until they were increased in size to carry from 30 to 40 tons. Three men would take the boat from Hartford to the foot of swift water, at the foot of Clary’s Island, then it required 10 extra men to take the boat the next 10 miles over swift water. These swift-water-men were a hardy, energetic, jolly set of men, ready at a moment’s warning, and each received for pay $1.50 to Brattleboro, or $2.00 up to Leavitt’s Rock, except during a few years just before the cars began to do business, when the pay was increased 50 cents to each place. They used white ash setting-poles with a heavy spike in the end, and when there was a strong south wind they could sail a large part of the way. At “Brattleboro tunnel” they drew the boat with a windlass, and at Leavitt’s Rock with oxen. The pay was always the same, and when the wind was favorable, they could make two trips a day to Brattleboro. There was also another set of men on the New Hampshire side of the river. They usually returned in a skiff loaded to its full capacity. Erring brothers were often tried by a court of swift watermen, in the usual form of sheriff, judge and jury, and the charge to the jury was sometimes given in this way:
“Gentlemen of the jury – You have heard the testimony of the witnesses and the pleading of the counsel on both sides. You will retire to your room, and after due consideration if you find the accused guilty, say guilty, and say no more, and on the other hand if you find him not guilty, say not guilty and say no more.”
So the accused was brought in guilty, and fined one gallon, and his accomplice, as appeared by the testimony having a hand in the offense, would be fined two gallons. As this town is the only one in this state having need of the services of swift watermen, we append a list of those who served during the last years of flat-boating.
Capt. Moses Howe ; Ebenezer Howe ; Ebenezer Howe, Jr. ; Josiah Howe ; Samuel Brooks ; Samuel Brooks, Jr. ; Capt. Rufus Brooks ; Simeon Bishop ; Capt. Benj. Bishop ; Ezra Clark ; Hosea Clark ; Samuel Clark, Jr. ; Zenas Cutler ; Rufus Elmer ; Sude Fairman ; Zerah K. Fairman ; Asa Fairman; Elijah Fairman; Jonathan B. Green ; Sylvester Hynes ; Austin Harris ; Sylvanus Harris, Jr. ; Charles S. Harris ; I. W. Johnson, Esq. ; Wm. Johnson, Esq. ; Willard Johnson, Esq. ; Dea. John Lee ; Jesse Lee, Esq. ; Eli Lee, Esq. ; Joel Noyes ; Levi Ray ; Luther Streeter ; B. A. Streeter ; P. H. Streeter ; James Streeter ; Wm. Stebbins; Barney Smith; Capt. Sumner Titus; Erastus Tyler; Abishai Wright.
The first steamboat, called the Barnet, (Rufus Robinson, Pilot) was built in 1827; was 75 feet long, 14 1-2 feet wide and was to run from Hartford, Conn., to Bellows Falls. It ran only about 2 years. The John Ledyard was built in 1830, of still greater power, and next the William Holmes, Capt. James Davenport of Hinsdale, N. H. Rufus Robinson pilot the first year and Capt. Sumner Titus the second year – it ran in 1831 and 1832. About the same time Capt. Blanchard built a steamboat to run from Bellows Falls to McIndoes Falls, called the Vermont. It was 80 feet long, and 14 wide and drawing only 12 or 15 inches of water. The stroke of the piston was horizontal and the power of the engine 120 horse. These steamboats were intended to tow the fall boats, where the water was not too swift ; and they would take along three at once.
Hon. Ginery Twichell of Massachusetts was proprietor of the stage route through this town and from Worcester, Mass., to Greenfield, Keene, N. H., and to Brattleboro, from 1837 until the Vt. and Mass. R. R. came into operation, and about 12 years after.
The first ground broke in Vernon for the Vt. and Mass. R.R. was Nov. 12, 1847, on the Col. Patterson farm now owned by Nathaniel Brooks, Jan. 1, 1849. Three engines and cars came to South Vernon on the Conn. R.R.R. from Greenfield, the first in town, Jan. 16, 1849. An engine crossed Northfield bridge to South Vernon on the Vt. and Mass. R.R., Jan. 30. An engine came to Vernon Center, Feb. 12, then went to Brattleboro, and the 20th was the opening celebration of the road. Two engines and fifteen cars came from Boston, and one engine and three cars from Greenfield. Three or four thousand people came from adjoining towns, making five or six thousand people in all.
A REMARKABLE INCIDENT.
A few years previous to the running of the Vt. and Mass. R. R. through Vernon, Marshall Whithed, merchant of this place, in company with a Hartford, Conn., man and another at White River, Vt., did most of the boating upon the Connecticut river for several years. The proprietor at Hartford furnished one Quin, a skipper of one of the company boats, money sufficient to bear the expenses, lockage, etc., to Vernon. When he was crossing the fishing-ground near Suffield, Conn., he reported to his comrade that he had lost his pocket-book overboard, money and bills of goods. When Mr. Whithed settled with him, he paid him minus the amount paid him at Hartford. Quin then sued Whithed, and the court was in session when a messenger brought into court the identical pocket book tied with a string and a stone tied to the end of the string. It was discovered by fishermen, attached to their seine while fishing for shad, having lain in the river through the winter. The bills were all correct, but no money was found. Quin immediately disappeared and absented himself for many years.
In May, 1808, a wolf was discovered in Vernon, by the havoc he made among sheep. One Saturday night he killed and wounded 14 sheep. Sunday morning he was seen by Wm. Newhall in the edge of a forest two or three miles from where he killed the sheep. Newhall gave the alarm, and by two o’clock he was surrounded by the people of Vernon and vicinity. Dr. Washburn and Gen. Hunt rode around the ring and gave the orders to march and each man to keep his right and left comrades in view. The circle grew rapidly smaller and three shots hit him. John Chase and Jonathan Parks of Gill, secured the skin and it was made into two drum heads. After the hunt, the people gathered at Dr. Washburn’s and partook of a substantial collation.
A HEMLOCK TREE.
In 1809 or 1810, Eli Lee cut a hemlock tree and in felling it discovered within three or four inches of the heart that the bark had been hewed off and the wound closed over it. Outside of the wound he counted 190 rings.
THE VERNON CANNON
was a twenty four cylinder revolver invented by Cyrus Dodge of Dummerston. The proprietors were Col. J. F. Burrows of Vernon, Col. Geo. B. Kellogg and Col. S. M. Wait of Brattleboro. It was cast by Cyrus Alger of Boston, Mass., and made at the machine shop of Geo. Newman and son of Brattleboro, under the supervision of Jacob Marsh, and put together at Vernon in 1859. It was tested by a committee of investigation, (sent by Congress under the direction of Jefferson Davis, chairman of the Military, Committee of the Senate of the U. S. and Gov. Floyd, Secretary of War), consisting of Maj. Thornton, Capt. Manerdin, and Lieutenant Balch. It cost $6,000 and weighed over twenty tons.
FALLS FIGHT TOWNSHIP
The first settled minister of Fall Town was the
REV. JOHN NORTON,
from Windham, Conn., ordained in 1741, and on account of the unsettled state of the times, was dismissed 1745. While afterwards, acting as chaplain at fort near Hoosie, he was taken captive by the French and Indians and carried into Canada.
The French war began in 1755 and as the inhabitants resided mostly in Burke’s Fort, there was no minister until 1761, when
REV. JOB WRIGHT
was settled. In 1762, the town was incorporated Bernardston. During the Revolutionary war the town furnished its full quota of men and Mr. Wright’s salary was much neglected. A tax was raised, and the constable paid off Mr. Wright in continental bills depreciated in value to nearly 0. Mr. Wright asked compensation for this depreciated value of his salary during seven years of hard labor as pastor, and the town refused and by his own request he was dismissed.
In December 1783,
REV. AMASA COOK
was ordained; when the ministers were assembled in session the evening previous to the ordination, it was ascertained the minister selected to preach the ordination sermon was absent. This duty was placed upon Rev. Bunker Gay; said he: “I have made no preparation for this occasion;” but it was decided not to excuse him, so he officiated and took for his text: “There is death in the pot,” II Kings, 40, (presumably on account of an acquaintance with Mr. Cook).
When Mr. Cook had officiated until the people were satisfied of his general habits and character, they convened a council for his dismission. Mr. Wright, still a resident and present at the council, and in company with some of his former brethren of the clergy who were acquainted with the circumstances of his separation from his people, enquired if, in their opinion, he ought, with other members of this church and congregation, to clothe himself in sackcloth and sprinkle ashes on his head, in mourning, at the prospect of their being left destitute of a minister, or whether he was not rather entitled to a song of exultation over his neighbors, in remembrance of the circumstances of his separation from them.
Rev. Bunker Gay replied, “Sing, Sing.”
Mr. Wright observed that be was no singer; but only spoke metaphorically, and had no song prepared for the occasion.
Mr. Gay said, “then sing this and we will assist you:”
Reduced to want with lantern jaws,
My people, I forsook,
And to avenge my righteous cause,
God sent them Parson Cook
CHEST AND DRAWERS: This old relic was probably made in England, of English oak, the grain being finer than American. It was split and shaved and the outside elaborately carved and fastened together with wooden pins. It was repaired by Mr. Dwinnell of Brattleboro, who said he thought it to be 200 years old. The letters, J. E. N. are carved upon the center panel (for John and Elizabeth Nims). They being the great-grand-parents of the late John Stebbins, Esq., who owned it and to whom it was given by his mother (daughter of Col. Hawks of Deerfield) and to her by John and Elizabeth Nims. Mr. Stebbins gave it to his son on his 38th birthday the late John Stebbins, Jr. John Stebbins, Esq., also had in his possession, two testaments; the oldest has on its title page the following:
” The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by Wm. Tyndale, the Martyr..
The original edition 1526,
being the first vernacular translation from the Greek with a memoir of his life and early writings, to which are annexed the essential variation of Coverdale ; Thomas Mathews; Cranmers the Genevan, and the Bishops’ bible as marginal readings. By J. P. Dabney.”
It is divided into chapters, but not in verses.
MRS. LUCY PATTERSON PEELER,
daughter of Eleazer Patterson and grand-daughter of Col. Eleazer Patterson, who received the appointment of Colonel in the Southern Regiment in Cumberland county from the council of appointment of the State of New York, Aug. 18, 1778, and also received a commission as assistant justice at the same time by virtue of the constitution of the State of New York; also appointed justice of the quorum and also of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, June 5, 1782.
Col. Patterson’s first wife died Apr. 14, 1761, aged 47; her’s being the first lettered gravestone in town Mrs. Peeler was the wife of Allender Peeler, son of John Jacob and the mother of 16 children. She died Apr. 21, 1871, aged 91 years.
From an obituary in the “Vermont Phoenix,” Brattleboro, we add:
“Six of her children were twins; thirteen lived to an advanced age. There is now living a daughter, Mrs. Lucretia Brooks, who is over 70 and nine sons yet remain to cherish her memory, six of whom and Mrs. Brooks were present at her funeral, which was attended by Rev. M. H. Harris of Brattleboro. She has 33 living grand-children and 16 deceased; 24 great-grandchildren and 8 deceased; 1 great-great-grandchild and 1 deceased, making 97 lineal descendants, 65 now living. George A., son of George, was killed at the battle of Winchester, and Chas. A., son of Allender, was killed one month after at Cedar Creek, in the war of the rebellion. From the home experience of Mrs. Peeler in caring for the sick, her presence was always sought and freely given among her neighbors, and many remember her acts of kindness with gratitude. Much tender care was bestowed upon her declining days by her son, Allender and his wife, where she resided, and all her descendants are worthy, industrious, citizens, and respected in the community where they reside.”
MRS. POLLY LEE,
wife of John Lee and daughter of John Jacob Peeler, was the oldest person in town at the time of her death and for some years previous. She lived with her son, George W. Lee, spending her time knitting and by her cheerful conversation enlivening all with whom she associated. She died 1879, aged 92.
Lillian E. and Francilia A., children of C. E. Davis, born 1859 and 1861, had six living grandfathers, viz: Amos Davis, I. W. Johnson, Jr. The great-grandfathers were I. W. Johnson, Taylor Briggs, Amos Davis and Anthony Combs.
Isa, daughter of Wm. A. Newton, born 1856, had six grandmothers, viz: Mrs. Lavinia Newton, Mrs. Lydia Tyler, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers, Mrs. Sabra Newton, Mrs. Harriet Tyler, Mrs. Willard and Mrs. Dolly Frost.
Taken from the day-book of the late Dr. Cyrus Washburn during 14 years from and after Jan. 1, 1826: whole number of deaths 140. Just one-half (70) died passing their 20th year ; 30 between the ages of 20 and 50, of whom 16 were males and 14 females. The remaining 40, of whom 22 were males and 18 females, lived to an average age of 70 years.
Five of them, two males and three females, averaged 90 years, 7 months; the oldest., Mrs. Mary Harris, being 95 years old. The largest number of deaths in one year (1826) was 15; seven being adults and eight infants. The smallest number in one year was five in 1830; one adult and four infants. The last year, 1839, ten died, seven males and three females; eight adults and two minors. The average number of deaths per year being ten. The census of the town in 1840 was 681; therefore the ratio of deaths was one in sixty-eight per annum.
No prevailing epidemic afflicted the town during this period. Those facts give the probabilities of life as follows: Of those who are born one-half die in infancy, or before 20 years of age, three-fourths during the next 30 years; the remaining two-sevenths live to be 50 years old and upwards and to an average age of ” three score and ten.”
Reuben Elmer died May 9, 1841, aged 87 years, of exostosis of the ring-finger. It was caused by an injury received on his finger while sculling a boat in his youth, making a bunch the size of a chestnut between the second and third joint, which gave him no trouble until about a year before his death, when it increased rapidly in size and for some days previous to his death was larger than his head. He was the son of Jacob Elmer, who died Nov. 11, 1815, aged 87 years.
This epidemic, in 1813, was very distressing in this town, about one-fifth of the inhabitants were afflicted with it and about one-thirtieth part died. There were 21 deaths, mostly of children, in the course of a few weeks; four died in the course of 24 hours.
There are three public burial-grounds; one at South Vernon, one in the vicinity of the Lilly Pond and one two miles north of Vernon Centre, called the Hunt burial ground. There is a family burying-ground on the Col. Patterson place (so called). Another on the Ensign Samuel Stratton place, a mile and a half below the center of the town, and the Stebbins burial-ground in the bow of the river. There are many quaint epitaphs found upon the more ancient tombstones in these grounds, some of which we give. Rev. Mr. Gay was the author of most of them.
INSCRIPTION (OF MRS. ROBINSON.)
The unfortunate Miranda, daughter of John and Ruth Bridgman, whose remains are here interred, fell a prey to the flames that consumed her father’s house on ye 11th of June, 1797. Aged 29.
The room below flamed like a stove
Anxious for those who slept above
She ventured on ye trembling floor
And fell. She sunk and rose no more.
died, Jan. 11, 1804
Tranquil and silent here lies Dill,
What gifts ho had he managed well.
He did his best to merit fame
And left behind him a good name.
Remember Dill and do the same.
Upon a tombstone in the old yard at Hinsdale, N. H., near the former residence of Rev. Bunker Gay, is the following inscription:
“Underneath Deposited is the body of Col. Ebenezer Hinsdale, who for his supernatural endowments, extensive learning and usefulness, not only in private life but in various important public offices he sustained was far known and admired. After a long illness, he died, Jan. 6, 1763. There also lies buried the body of Mrs. Mary Beal, the mother of Col. Ebenezer Hinsdale, who was home on her return from captivity in Canada, with whom she lived a widow at the time of his death, which is thought to have brought on hers, the morning after she died Anno AEtatis 83. Her husbands were Lieut. Mehuman and George Beal
By the first she had two sons, Samuel and John – after this, whose only child, Mrs. Abigail Hinsdale, died at Hinsdale, Aug. 10, 1789 – was interred at Deerfield.
His still surviving partner, Mrs. Abigail Hinsdale, daughter of Rev. John Williams of Deerfield and worthy relict of Col. Ebenezer Hinsdale now mourning the absence or her dear deceased relatives has caused their names and destinies to he recorded together on this stone, June 2, 1764.
FROM THE HUNT BURYING GROUND.
In Memory of Mr.
Caleb Howe a very
Kind companion who
was killed by the Indeans
June ye 27th
1755 in ye 32 year
Of his age. his wife Mrs.
.Jemima Howe with 7
Children taken captive
at the same time.
The family descends in a direct line from, – 1st, Richard Belding, England, and one of the founders of Weth ; 2d, Samuel, son of Richard, who was killed by Indians in the attack on Hatfield, Sept. 19, 1677 ; 3d, Stephen, son of Samuel, born in 1658, died Oct. 6, 1720 ; 4th, Jonathan, son of Stephen, born in 1694, in Hadley, and a lieutenant in Rulle’s war in 1724. He received a grant of 12 acres of land, on condition of building a saw-mill at Northfield, in 1717. He died July 6, 1778. 5th, Jonathan, son of the preceding, born in 1729, in Northfield. This gentleman was an invalid for years. He was careful of his health, methodical in his habits, and was never known to run. No emergency could hasten his regular pace. Of imposing appearance, in the cocked-hat and careful costume of a gentleman of the olden time, with his deliberate movements on the street, he is remembered as a striking figure by the boys of his day. 6th, Elijah, son of Jonathan, born in 1774, married Mar. 18, 1810, to Lois S. Stevens, of Warwick. Their children were Lois S., born May 2, 1811, died Sept. 23, 1814 ; Elijah E., subject of this sketch ; Jonathan, born Aug. 16, 1815, a large owner of real estate in Fitchburg, Mass. ; Lois S., born Sept. 15, 1818, died Dec. 13, 1862 ; Maria A., born Oct. 2, 1820, married June 1, 1843, to Elijah M. Dickinson, a large real estate owner and manufacturer in Fitchburg.
ELIJAH E. BELDING
was born in the town of Vernon, Vt., Apr. 18, 1813, the 2d child of Elijah and Lois S. Belding.
He passed his minority at home, working on his father’s farms in Vernon and Northfield. His education was received in the district school of the neighborhood, supplemented by an attendance at the academy schools of West Brattleboro’, Vt., and Westfield, Mass. He was married, Mar. 22, 1836, to Eliza, daughter of Jacob and Dolly Frost, of Vernon. At the time of his marriage, his father gave him about 50 acres of land, upon which he settled at that time. Mr. Belding still points with pride to the little old house still standing near his fine residence in which he and Mrs. Belding commenced “keeping house.” From the first Mr. Belding devoted particular attention to the growth of hops, and has raised altogether 41 successive crops. He has also dealt largely in cattle. To the original 50 acres given him by his father he has added other lands, until at the present time his farm comprises 270 acres. In addition to carrying on the farm, he established in West Northfield a general store, which was the only store for many years in
that portion of the town. By careful and prudent management in all his undertakings, seconded by the efforts of his excellent wife, who has been truly a helpmeet, Mr. Belding has been enabled to build one of the most convenient and comfortable farm houses of Northfield, to furnish his children with an education the best the schools of the country afford, to render them all needed assistance in the start in life, and has, moreover, ample means left for the comforts of old age.
He has filled various offices of public trust. Was selectman 11 years, justice of the peace 5 years, and post-master at West Northfield 23 years. Was elected a representative to the Legislature for the session of 1873, and served on the committee of agriculture. For many years he was a trustee of Power’s Institute, of Bernardston, and is at present a trustee of the Greenfield Savings Bank. In politics he is a Republican, and in religious belief a Unitarian.
Mr. and Mrs. Belding have children as follows : Edward E., born Jan. 2, 1837, married, Oct. 15, 1861, to Mary A., daughter of Phineas Steadman, of Chicopee, Mass., agent at Chicopee Junction of the Connecticut River railroad; Eliza E., born May 11, 1842, died Apr. 3, 1849 ; Elijah, born Apr. 1847, married, June 14, 1870, to Hattie E. Overhiser, of Hudson, N. Y., educated at Powers’ Institute, Bernardston, and graduated at Eastman’s Business College, New York. He is now one of the proprietors in the firm of McIntosh & Co., boot and shoe jobbers, in Springfield, Mass. He has for the last two years been a member of the common council of Springfield. Has two children, John Eastman and an infant.
Edgar F., born Jan. 17, 1850, graduated at Yale College in 1872, and is now a member of the firm of E. M. Dickinson & Co., boot and shoe manufacturers, at Fitchburg, Mass. ; Everett R, born May 25, 1854, died Oct. 9, 1854.
JARVIS F. BURROWS.
Mr. B. was no ordinary man. By nature he was gifted with a keen perception, a great memory and a power of attraction, the equal of which, but few men can boast. He was a strong, whole smiled man, contact with him always left a strong impression. Men who knew him in prosperity, who were the recipients of his lavish purse in former years, who date their start in life – their position – to his advice, are not a few. His acquantance was large, and he made himself known wherever he was. His loss will be greatly felt – none more so in the town. His funeral was largely attended. Peace to his memory.
THE VERMONT PHOENIX,
Friday Evening, Feb. 24, 1871.
About a score of the friends of Lafayette Whithed, and Mr. and Mrs. Hale of Bernardston, Mass., the parents of Mrs. Whithed, gave them an agreeable surprise on the occasion of the 33d anniversary of his birthday, last Monday evening. After exchanging greetings, he was presented with a nice carriage blanket, and a copy of Prof. J. S. Lee’s new book, then each guest presented him a pipe, being considered by the aborgines an emblem of peace, and one coming in late presented him a pipe in due form, not knowing that he had received any. A sumptuous feast added to the enjoyments of the evening. The great-great-grandfather of Mr. Whithed, Ensign Samuel Stratton, purchased of Westmoreland Field, the farm of Mr. Whithed, 122 years since, and seven years after, in addition, three Strattons of Northfield sold to Ensign Stratton their right to land called Strattonfield, given by will of Hezekiah Stratton, the father of Samuel, and his throe brothers, for £600. Said farm has been in the possession of his lineal descendants to the sixth generation. There was read for the entertainment of the guests, an elegy on the death of Ensign Samuel Stratton, written by Rev. Bunker Gay, the first settled minister of Vernon.
THE VERMONT RECORD AND FARMER.
Jan. 10, 1873.
A WOODEN WEDDING.
On Wednesday evening, Jan. 1st, the house of Mr. and Mrs. George H. Hubbard of this place suddenly became filled with their relatives and many friends, who, wishing to give them a New Year’s call, had come to offer congratulations and celebrate the fifth anniversary of their marriage. After the company had been assembled about an hour, and the many gifts from their friend had been displayed, Rev. N. C. Hodgdon, in behalf of those present, made a short presentation speech, and remarks were called for from Roswell Wood, Esq., M. I. Read, Wm. F. Johnson, Chester Lee, Henry Trask and E. F. Belding. Then Miss Hattie Wood read beautifully a very interesting epistle written by Artemus Washburn, Esq.:
An Epistle of Artemus the Scribe from the Book of Chronicles, to George surnamed Hubbard.
And it came to pass in the year 1737, in the county Hampshire, Province of Massachusetts Bay, town of Squakheag, in the valley of the Fresh, or Quon-ck-ticut river was built a fort by Orlando of the tribe of Bridgman. Now this fort was considered a safe protection for the inhabitants thereof against Indian and French invaders. And men who feared the Lord and kept his commandments, came from other Provinces and dwelt in the fort and in its vicinity, and had great possessions. And after many years it became the possession of George of the tribe of Hubbard, which was the son of Erastus the Colonel, which was the son of John, a devout man, and a Ruler of the House of God, who married Anne, a sister of Jonathan the Lieut. Governor who was of the tribe of Hunt. Now Erastus the Colonel had a brother, a governor in the Province of New Hampshire, who ruled wisely and well.
And behold the cry of war resounded through the land, and George, a valiant man, able to bear buckler and sword, skillful in war, went out to the war of the Rebellion. And the enemy were beaten and driven back, for the Lord was on our side. And it came to pass when he returned, there were great rejoicings among his brethren and kinsfolk. Now Fanny, the mother of George, (which was the daughter of Dolly and Jacob of the tribe of Frost) spake unto her son; hearken now unto my voice, and choose thee a wife from among the fair damsels. Now this son behaved himself wisely, and departed unto the town of Ethan Allen notoriety, where dwelt the French, and although in the habit of taking prisoners, was himself captivated by Hattie Maria, which was the daughter of Mary Foster and Chester W. of the tribe of French, which was the son of Nathaniel the Captain, which was the son of Nathaniel, which was the brother of “William who was shot by the hands of Cruel Ministerial tools of George ye 3d, at Westminster, March ye 13th, 1775.” And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came at first to defend the principles of freedom, and found written therein the name of William of the tribe of French, the first victim who fell a sacrifice for American Liberty.
Now George made peace with the fair maiden and took her to wife, and she abode with him for the space of five years, and he dealt wisely.
Now Hattie was found by him, his kindred and neighbors, to excel in wisdom and knowledge and in understanding.
Now these friends took counsel together and with one consent brought them gifts of household utensils, of the wood of the trees of Lebanon, of locust, of sycamore and a great variety of “not walnuts” carved by cunning artificers. And when they had made an end of examining the presents they gave thanks unto the Lord. And they took a Psalm, and brought the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. And on this day of feasting they blew the trumpet, and joy and harmony prevailed, and none were silent. And it came to pass that the day advanced far into the eve, when the people gathered together, and returned thanks.
Here lies cut down like unripe fruit,
A son of Mr. Amos Tute
And Mrs. Jemima Tute his wife
Called Jonathan of whose frail life
The days all sum’d (how short the account)
Scarcely to fourteen years amount
Born on the 12th. of May was he
To Death he fell a helpless Prey
April the five and twentieth Day
In seventeen hundred seventy-seven
Quitting this World, we hope for Heaven
But tho’ his Spirit’s fled on High
His mouldering body here must lie.
Behold the amazing alteration
Effected by innoculation
The means employed his life to save
Hurried him headlong to the grave
Full in the bloom of youth he fell
Alas! what human tongue can tell
The Mother’s Grief her Anguish show
Or paint the father’s heavier woe
Who now no nat’ral offspring has
His ample fortune to possess
To fill in his place, stand in his stead
Or bear his Name when he is dead
So God ordained. His ways are just
Tho’ Empires Crumble into dust
Life and this World mere Bubbles are
Set loose to this for Heaven prepare.
ONE HUNDRED AND ONE YEARS OLD.
THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE BUILDING
OF THE JESSE LEE HOUSE
Five Generations born in the same House. An Interesting Historical Sketch of the Town and Its First Settlers, by Rev. J. S. Lee, D. D., of St. Lawrence University.
The meeting at the celebration of the centennial of the Jesse Lee house at Vernon, Aug. 4, 1883, was a grand success. A large number of the Lee family, not only from Vernon, but from Brattleboro, Northfield, Orange, Bernardston, Greenfield, Leyden, Hampden, Somerville, Conn., and Fitchburg, were present, as well as many of the town’s people not of this family. The music was furnished by the choir led by Fred and Lowell Brown, aided by George Fairman, Mrs. Fred Brown, S. Titus,, Esq., Mrs. Aurora, T. E. Wood, and Miss Minnie Lee, and added to the interest of the occasion. Chester Lee called the meeting to order and nominated Addison Whithed president of the day. Rev. A. B. Truax of Brattleboro offered prayer. The principal address was delivered by Rev. J. S. Lee, D. D., professor in St. Lawrence University, and was substantially as follows:
After extending hearty welcome to those present he gave a brief history of the old house, whose frame was erected in 1782. Jesse Lee purchased the farm in 1780 and two years later began to clear the land and erect the building which was not finished till the following year. At this time it was a wilderness in that part of the town. As early as 1760, or a little later, settlements had been made along the river road, from Brattleboro to So. Vernon, by Amos Tute, Samuel Stratton, Joseph Stebbins, Eleazer Patterson and others, and in 1780, the Eliakim Stebbins house was erected in the west part of the town. The house built by Jesse Lee was occupied by his family during the winter of 1782-3. The wind whistled through the cracks and wolves howled in the forests. Jesse Lee, son of Jesse and father of Chester Lee, who still lives on the farm, was born here, Apr. 12, 1783, and died in the same room, Nov. 16, 1838. Eli Lee, the father of the speaker, was born here, Dec. 1785, and died in the town, Nov. 12, 1881. Caleb Lee was born July 1787, the youngest son of the ten children of Jesse Lee, who died here July 11, 1816, aged 74 years. His father, John Lee, who moved from Connecticut in 1780, died here in 1784, aged about 73 years. After his father’s death in 1838, Chester Lee occupied the house until he erected a new house on the same farm and now the old house is owned and occupied by Charles H. Newton, whose wife’s mother was John Lee’s daughter, and whose children are the fifth generation of Lees born in the house. Three children were present at the celebration, who constitute the seventh generation from John Lee who was born in Thompson, Conn., in 1711. The first grant made to proprietors of Vernon was in 1672, as a part of Northfield, the Massachusetts line being supposed to run as far north as the Howe place near Brattleboro. In 1753 the Governor of New Hampshire set apart a township, six miles square on both sides of Connecticut River, embracing the present towns of Vernon and Hinsdale, when the territory west of the river was claimed by New Hampshire. The town was named from Ebenezer Hinsdale, one of the proprietors. In 1764, the king decided that the west shore of the river was the boundary line between New Hampshire and New York. Hence arose the local contest between the people of the different sections which resulted in the declaration of the independence of Vermont at Westminster, Jan. 13, 1777. The state was admitted into the union Mar. 4, 1791. “If New York had not demanded pay of the settlers for their lands the second time, no doubt we should belong to that state at the present time, and there would have been no Vermont.”
Among the early settlers of Vernon were Joseph Stebbins, Samuel Stratton, Col. Eleazer Patterson, whose three frame houses were all raised the same day in 1763. The town was settled as early as 1737, when Sartwell’s fort on the Howe place was erected, but settlers outside the fort did not occupy their farms until the Indians disappeared about the year 1760. In 1771, there were 19 heads of families in town and 107 inhabitants. The name of the town was changed from Hinsdale to Vernon, Oct. 21, 1802. The latter name was suggested by Washington’s Virginia residence.
The speaker gave a graphic sketch of the mode of living, the habits, character and occupations of the inhabitants one hundred years ago, illustrating it by various incidents and anecdotes. It was what Dr. Bushnell calls the age of homespun. The men were engaged in clearing up the land and preparing it for grain and grass, and the women used to cook, spin, knit, sew, patch and mend. Both sexes wore home-made dresses and lived chiefly on the products of the soil. None were ashamed to work. Schools were maintained and religious meetings held in private houses or rude school-houses until 1802, when the first church was erected at the center of the town.
Rapid sketches of some of the prominent early settlers were drawn, including the eccentric clergyman, Bunker Gay, Amos Tute whose curious epitaph in the north burial ground has been so often copied, Dr. Cyrus Washburn, the faithful physician of the town from 1803 to 1860, Lieut. Gov. Jonathan Hunt and his brother Arad, Ensign Stratton, the great hunter, Col. Patterson the military man, Joseph and Eliakim Stebbins, Capt. Jerijah Thayer, a revolutionary soldier. Dr. Washburn was for many years postmaster, town clerk and justice of the peace. He married 853 couples during his life time.
The address closed with an appeal to the people to reverence the memory of their forefathers, imitate their sturdy virtues and hand down the rich legacy which they have bequeathed to us, not only unimpaired, but improved.
After the address a bountiful repast, provided by the ladies, was partaken of and appropriate remarks, embracing incident, fact, anecdote and moral reflection, were made by Cyrus Lee of Hampden, Maas., a native of Vernon and son of Caleb Lee. O. L. Davis of Connecticut, Noyes Streeter, Sumner Titus, Esq., Lorenzo Brown, Esq., Dr. T. Goodwillie, Hon. Nahum F. Bryant, Dr. Lee, J. Alex. Brown, Samuel B. Houghton and Rev. Mr. Truax. The addresses were interspersed by singing “Auld Lang Syne,” “Gather Once Again,” “Our Country ’tis of Thee,” “The Republic Battle Hymn,” “Sweet Home,” “Building for Eternity” and “Old Hundred.”
The day was pleasant and all passed off harmoniously.
ELI LEE – OBITUARY.
Eli Lee was born in Vernon, Dec. 16, 1785, and died Nov. 11, 1881, at the age of 95 years, 10 months and 27 days. Mr. Lee was the youngest but one of 10 children of Jesse and Eunice Lee. His father removed to Vernon from Killingly (now Thompson,) Conn., in June, 1781, and 97 years ago erected the house, now standing, where five generations of the family have since lived. He lived during the administration of all the presidents, from Washington to Arthur, and first voted at the presidential election of 1808, when Madison was elected, and at every election since – last in 1880, when he was the first in town to deposit his vote in the ballot-box. Mr. Lee always enjoyed the confidence of his neighbors and friends. He never sought office, but was often chosen to fill the responsible positions of lister, selectman and justice of the peace, and from 1830 to 1840 was sent some half-a-dozen times to the legislature, until he declined the nomination when urged to accept it, saying others were more worthy to fill it.
He was humble in his disposition and views, honest, industrious, temperate, generous and charitable. He was married to Rebecca Stebbins in February, 1816, and they lived in affectionate and happy communion together for 46 years, until her death in March, 1862. Six children were horn to them, five of whom are living – Amanda A. (Mrs. R. S. Wood); Rev. John Stebbins Lee, D. D., professor of clerical history in St. Lawrence University, Canton, N. Y.; Marshall Lee, with whom he lived ; Editha (Mrs. A. Whithed) ; and Hattie R. Lee, who now resides in Vernon. His youngest daughter, Diana E., died at the age of 20 years. Mr. Lee’s father was a Baptist, but in early life Eli embraced liberal views, for many years enjoyed the ministrations of Rev. T. F. Rogers (Unitarian), and at his death was a member of the Universalist church. He was for many years the oldest person in town. He belonged to a family noted for its longevity; the average age of five of his father’s children was 90 years, and of six, 88 years. About a year since, when his son, John S., was taking leave of him, he told his father he hoped that he would live to be a hundred. His father replied that he did not wish it; he did not dread the future and was ready and willing to go whenever his Heavenly Father should call him. His funeral was largely attended at the Universalist church on Tuesday afternoon.
REV. JOHN STEBBINS LEE,
son of Eli Lee, born in Vernon, Sept. 23, 1820, fitted for college in the common schools in town and at schools in Brattleboro, Deerfield and Shelburne Falls, Mass. He entered Amherst College, July, 1841; graduated in 1845 with a standing among the first 10 in a class of 30 ; taught in 1845-6 in Swanzey, N. H., as principal of Mt. Caesar Seminary ; Ordained June, 1847 ; Principal of Melrose Seminary, W. Brattleboro 1847-8 ; preached in Lebanon, N. H. 1849-50, teaching one term there Assistant Editor of the Christian Repository, and resided in Montpelier, Vt., 1851-52 ; in March, 1852, moved to South Woodstock and was principal of Green Mountain Institute over five years ; was pastor of the Universalist society, Woodstock, 1857-58-59 ; April, 1859, moved to Canton, N. Y., and was Principal of the collegiate department, St. Lawrence University – a new institution in which ladies as well as gentlemen receive a complete classical and scientific education. July 8, 1868, worn down by excessive labor in the college, the trustees granted him nine months leave of absence, and he started for Europe. He traveled in Ireland, Scotland, England, Holland, Belgium, up the Rhine to Switzerland and among the Alps crossed the Simplon pass into the northern part of Italy to Milan and Venice where he embarked for Egypt; visited Alexandria, up the Nile to Cairo, the Pyramids, thence to Jaffa in Palestine, to Jerusalem, the Jordan, the Dead Sea, Hebron and Bethlehem; thence up through the central part of Palestine to the sea of Gallilee, Tyre, Sidon and Beyroot, where he took a steamer and visited the isles of the Mediterranean, Smyrna, Constantinople, Athens, Corinth and other places in Greece ; crossed the isthmus of Corinth ; visited other Greek islands and landed at Brindisi, Italy; crossed the Appenines to Naples ; visited Pompeii, Vesuvius and Rome, where he attended the Christmas ceremonies at St. Peters, thence to Florence, to Bologna, Turin, over the Mt. Cenis pass to Geneva, through Germany to Berlin, thence to Cologne, Paris, London, Liverpool, and Boston, arriving Mar. 12, 1868; having traveled 20,000 miles and returned with renewed health he was chosen Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the Theological School and entered upon his duties Apr. 1, 1869.
[Since the above was in print we have received the following additional information:
REV. DR. LEE AND FAMILY.
JOHN STEBBINS was the oldest son in his father’s family. His mother was Rebecca (Stebbins) Lee.
He evinced, in early childhood, an intense love for books, and read everything he could get hold of. He determined to obtain a college education and enter upon a profession. He attended the common school until he was sixteen, and besides the common English branches, commenced the study of Latin. He was then qualified to teach school, but his parents thought it not best for him to commence until he was eighteen, at which age he taught his first school in Guilford, and afterwards taught two terms in Vernon, in 1839 and 1840. He completed his preparation for college at the age of 24. In July, 1846, he commenced his Theological studies with Rev. Dr. Hosea Ballou, 2d, at Medford, Mass., first President of Tuft’s College. He was ordained and settled as pastor of the Universalist church in West Brattleboro, June, 1847, and soon took charge of Melrose Seminary. For two years the Seminary was largely patronized under his management. In February, 1849, he removed to Lebanon, N. H, and became pastor of the Universalist church, teaching a portion of the time during which he remained there. In 1851 he resigned his charge and removed to Montpelier, Vt., where he continued to preach and aided Rev. Eli Ballou in editing the “Christian Repository.” He was Principal of the Green Mt. Institute, (see above), taught 21 terms in succession and preached in the towns of Woodstock and Bridgewater, and performed double duty during this period. Wearied out by continuous labors, he resigned his charge May, 1857, and became pastor of the Universalist church in Woodstock where he preached, also taking private pupils and performing the duties of Superintendent of Schools. In April, 1859, he accepted an invitation as Professor of Latin and Greek languages in St. Lawrence University, (see above) where he labored as Professor and acting President of the College. The summer of 1868, exhausted by his severe and unremitting labors of nine years, he took a journey to Europe and Palestine. He left Canton July 8, 1868, and returned March 19, 1869. His journey was rapid, but he reaped rich fruits from it by reason of his previous extensive reading in history and the classics. He lectured extensively on his travels in New England and New York, and published articles in many periodicals. At the request of friends, he prepared and published in Jan. 1871, a book entitled, “Nature and Art in the Old World, or Sketches of Travel in Europe and the Orient.”
He prepared and published a series of lectures which he delivered to the Theological students and afterwards collected in book form entitled, “Sacred Cities, narrative, descriptive, historical,” which treats of 15 Biblical places from Jerusalem to Rome. He has also written elaborate articles for the “Repository” and “Universalist Quarterly,” and other periodicals on literary, theological, and scientific themes, during a period of nearly half a century. In April, 1869, Mr. Lee accepted the position of Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Biblical Antiquities in St. Lawrence University, which he has ever since held. His tour in the East was a special preparation for this position. He lectured frequently before his students on subjects connected with his observations there.
In Feb. 1848, Mr. Lee was married to Miss Elmira Bennett, of Westmoreland, N. H., and their silver wedding was celebrated in Canton, N. Y., Feb. 22, 1873. Their children are six, one of whom died in infancy. Of those living, all are graduates of the classical department, St. Lawrence University.
Children of Rev. Dr. John Stebbins Lee:
LESLIE ALEXANDER LEE, born in Woodstock, Vt., in 1852, graduated at St. Lawrence University, classical department, in 1872; received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, 1885; studied at Harvard University. Professor of Biology and Geology in Bowdoin College since 1876.
JOHN CLARENCE LEE, born in Woodstock, Vt., 1856, graduated at St. Lawrence University 1876, received also the degree of A. B. from Harvard University 1878, where he pursued an elective course for one year, graduated from St. Lawrence Theological school in 1880, had pastorates at Perry, N. Y., and St. Albans, Vt., and since 1885, Professor of Homiletics and English Literature at Lombard University, Galesburg, Illinois.
FREDERIC SCHILLER LEE, born in Canton, N. Y., 1859, graduated at St. Lawrence University 1878, pursued a Post-Graduate course of study in Biology at Johns Hopkins University four years, from 1881 to 1885, and received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, spent a year in special study of Biology at Leipsic University in Germany. Associate Professor of Physiology in Bryn Mawr College since 1887 ; has accepted the position of Demonstrator of Physiology in the Medical Department, Columbia College, and enters upon his duties in October, 1891.
FLORENCE JOEPHINE LEE, born in Canton, N. Y., 1862; graduated at St. Lawrence University 1882 ; student in vocal music for three years in Leipsic Conservatory of Music, 1885-8, and under private teachers in Leipsic, London and New York; now instructor of vocal music, Knox Conservatory of Music, Galesburgh, Ill.
LULU GERTRUDE LOTTIE LEE, born in Canton, N. Y., 1864, graduated at St. Lawrence University, 1885; took a three years special course at the Students Art League, New York, 1888-90, now Teacher of Drawing in the State Normal School at Fredonia, N. Y.
In 1875, Mr. Lee received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Buchtel College, Akron, Ohio.
STEBBINS’ BIRTHDAY VISIT,
About 40 of the relatives of John Stebbins, Esq., met at his residence, in the bow of the river, to give him a surprise on his birthday, Jan. 15, 1873. Relics of the past were exhibited; the wedding suit of fifty years since, in good condition, and a facsimile of the old English Stebbins coat of arms, painted by the wife of Prof. J. S. Lee, of Canton, N. Y.
Good cheer reigned, the house rung with old-time tunes, and heartfelt speeches were made. The address was by A. H. Washburn, Esq., from which we hereby extract:
Mr. Stebbins is of the 7th generation, from Rowland Stebbing of Stebbing, Essex Co., England. He has made good use of his opportunities and held many offices of honor and trust in Vernon, and several times represented the town in the legislature. The loss of his worthy companion, at the time when they were looking forward to years of freedom from care, and the enjoyment of the fruits of united industry and fidelity is irreparable. His writings in consequence of much travel and observation, are clear and forcible, also instructive and entertaining, and mostly of a historical character; and he is one of those men who never grow old in thought or manner of life.
Mr. Stebbins is a man of the most absolutely strict integrity, and no one can mistake the sentiment he entertains toward men or measures. He shuns general society, but is a genial and delightful companion with the few whom he admits to close friendship. He believes in doing with all his might whatever he undertakes, and is as faithful to that idea in the ordinary amusements of his family as in making pecuniary operations involving thousands. He has living, seven children, all respectable and respected in the communities where they reside; and grandchildren (who are the ninth generation from Roland,) who give promise of future usefulness, and all are blest with a good supply of this world’s goods.
Mr. Washburn was followed by L. Brown, Esq., who made some excellent remarks, followed by Sumner Titus, Esq., R. S. Wood, Esq., and by the oldest man in town, Eli Lee, Esq., brother-in-law of our host, with interesting retrospection.
WINDHAM COUNTY REFORMER.
DIED : In Hartford, Conn. Mar. 18, 1884, George Bell Washburn, aged 26 years.
A TERRIBLE FALL.
George B. Washburn, son of A. H. Washburn, of Vernon, for the past two years employed by the Southern New England Telephone Co., at Hartford, Conn., fell Monday morning, receiving fatal injuries. In opening the scuttle the ladder broke, and he fell from the fourth story of the building to the first floor. The building was in process of repair and the hatchways were open from ground to roof. Mr. Washburn struck on a timber, receiving the blow between his shoulders, injuring the spinal column. The lower portion of his body and limbs were paralyzed, but he was conscious and asked to be taken to the hospital.
All that physicians could do, was done. But he died at one o’clock, a. m., Tuesday. Two friends, representatives of the Telephone company, came from Hartford to Vernon to accompany the remains to his. home. The funeral was held at the Union church in Vernon, Thursday, Rev. Mr. Whitney officiating.
Mr. Washburn was unmarried.
HON. NAHUM FRANKLIN BRYANT,
son of Col. Nahum Bryant, was born in New Salem, Franklin Co. Mass.,. Mar. 24, A. D. 1810. His educational advantages were good. He was fitted for college at the New Salem Academy, but did not enter college, and soon began the study of law with Aaron Brooks, Esq., of Petersham, Mass. ; attended the Dane Law school at Cambridge, Mass., when Judge Story presided and completed his law studies with Elisha H. Allen in Bangor, Me. He began the practice of law in Bangor, but on account of the illness of his parents, he returned to Massachusetts and located at Barre, Worcester Co., where for more than 25 years he had an extensive practice and stood in the front ranks of the lawyers of that time. About the time of his entering professional life, he married, June 2, 1855, Miss Roxana Stratton Washburn, daughter of Dr. Cyrus Washburn of Vernon. She was an accomplished scholar and lady. She outlived him. They had no children. Mr. Bryant’s younger brother, Walter A. was associated with him as law partner for a short period at the outset as, subsequently, was also Judge P. Emory Aldrich for about two years, but for the greater part of his professional career, he was alone.
Being a prominent lawyer and of distinguished ability, he was sought as a counselor by large corporations, especially railroad, in one of which he was retained with a good salary. During the Clay campaign in 1844, he started a newspaper, which exerted a wide influence at that time and subsequently he purchased the “Barre Gazette,” merging the two papers into one. By these means his literary ability became known extensively. In 1847-8, he was elected to the Senate of Mass., where he played a prominent part. He was the author of a measure changing the administration of the insolvency laws from the numerous Masters in Chancery to one Judge of Insolvency in each county. He was soon after the candidate of his party, and came within one vote of a nomination for Governor of the State. In 1858-9, he also published a magazine called the “Household Monthly,” devoted to general literature for family reading, which reached the beginning of the fourth volume when his health failing, Mr. B. was obliged to relinquish all business for a time.
His duties as editor and lawyer taxed his endurance too much and for two years he was an invalid. After a rest which restored him somewhat, at the solicitation of Hon. Ginery Twitchell, president of the Boston and Worcester R. R., he consented to act as counsel and he removed to Boston and soon after became superintendent of the Grand Junction division of that road, In this capacity, he served about 10 years, when in 1870, his health again failing, he resigned his position and removed in 1872, to Vernon, to seek improved health in agricultural pursuits. He occupied the farm of his wife’s father, Dr. Cyrus Washburn, where he resided till his death, Aug. 17, 1884, caused by being thrown from his wagon in the hay-field, and striking on his head, which injured the spine to such a degree as to cause complete paralysis below the neck.
In society Mr. Bryant was known, a polished gentleman, well informed and entertaining in his conversation.. He had a poetic taste and composed easily. He could repeat much from his favorite authors. He was a, pleasing speaker at the bar, using a correct diction, and never using slang in public debate. His argument was forcible and his conclusions well drawn. He had a keen sense of humor and a ready wit. He was an earnest advocate of all that ennobles and fits the youth for a noble and useful career in life. The cause of education, religion and morality were his favorite themes. During the last few years of his life, his great study was the Bible.
LONGEVITY OF VERNON.
DECEASED PEOPLE SEVENTY YEARS OF AGE OR MORE.
1771 Capt. Orlando Bridgman, AE 70
1784 John Lee, ” 70
1788 Thankful Stebbins, ” 71
1789 Martha Wait, ” 77
1798 Enoch Streeter, ” 77
1801 Eleazer Patterson, ” 85
1803 Abel Ray, ” 73
” Samuel Stratton, ” 85
1805 Jemima Tute, ” 82
1806 James Streeter, ” 80
1814 Esther Streeter, ” 78
1815 Jocob Elmer, ” 87
” John Jacob Peeler, ” 70
” Amasa Wright, ” 80
1816 Jesse Lee, Sr., ” 74
” John Williams, ” 80
1817 Fanny Ray, ” 82
1819 Benjamin Sweetland, ” 78
1821 Elijah Stebbins, ” 70
1823 Jonathan Hunt, ” 85
” Polly Williams, ” 70
1824 Abner Stebbins, ” 84
” Eunice Lee, ” 77
1825 Arad Hunt, ” 82
1826 Abner Perry, ” 74
” Gideon Briggs, ” 75
” Annah (Holbrook) Perry, ” 74
1826 Ebenezer Scott, ” 83
1826 Love (Fairman) Scott, ” 80
1827 Sylvanus Harris, ” 82
1828 Prudence Cook, ” 70
” John Dresser, ” 76
” Merideth Cook, ” 70
1829 Samuel Torrey, ” 80
1832 Isaac Johnson, ” 71
” Elisabeth Johnson, ” 73
1833 Hodges, ” 94
1834 Lovina Hunt, ” 85
” Oliver Cook, ” 79
1835 Ruth Elmer, ” 76
” Mary Tyler, ” 71
” Stephen Johnson, ” 78
1836 Noah Perry, ” 88
” Eliakim Stebbins, ” 83
1838 Israel Johnson, ” 71
1839 Josiah Newell, ” 79
1841 Reuben Elmer, ” 86
” Simeon Barrett, ” 77
” Elisabeth Clark, ” 82
” Rhoda Elmer, ” 82
” John Gould, ” 71
1842 Lydia Clark, ” 79
1843 Elisha Elmer, ” 87
1844 Archelaus Howe, ” 81
1844 Mra. Kilburn, ” 84
” John Tyler, ” 84
1845 Chloe Brooks, ” 73
” Cynthia Thayer, ” 80
1146 Col. Erastus Hubbard, ” 85
1848 Cynthia D. Barrett, ” 72
1846 Thankful Wright, ” 73
” Jabez Clark, ” 92
” Allander Peeler, ” 75
1851 Abigail Hubbard, ” 80
1854 Nehemiah Houghton, ” 87
” Ebenezer Howe, ” 82
1855 Rachel Perry, ” 77
” Calina Howe, ” 82
” Samuel Brooks, ” 81
1856 Alexander Perry, ” 71
” Paul Streeter, ” 78
1856 Demis Titus, m.
Hall Titus, Elmerhad three
husbands, died, ” 73
” Catherine Lucia (French), “100
” Sabra Newton, ” 83
1857 Jerijah Thayer, ” 95
1858 Betsey Crouch, ” 76
” Anna Streeter, ” 73
” Levi Ray, ” 77
1859 Lovina Bishop, ” 77
” Lovewell Johnson, ” 76
” Rebecca ” 75
1860 David Ayers, ” 75
” Abishia Wright, ” 88
” Cyrus Washburn, ” 85
1861 John Ray, ” 77
1862 Abner Stebbins, ” 77
” Sarah Tyler, ” 82
” Rebecca Lee, ” 70
” Jeremiah Brown, ” 72
1863 Clarissa L. Brooks, ” 83
” Polly Lee, ” 75
” Fanny A. Ray, ” 75
” Rebecca Clark, ” 76
1864 Silas Logan, ” 83
” Joseph Elmer, ” 79
” Sobriety Perry, ” 74
” Nancy Harris, ” 79
1866 Ama Miller, ” 79
” Lucy Streeter, ” 88
Taylor Briggs, ” 72
” Joseph Franklin, ” 85
1867 Ezra Clark, ” 78
” Betsey Stebbins, ” 81
” Dolly Frost, ” 81
” Martha Wright, ” 91
1868 Sarah J. Noyes, ” 79
” John Lee, ” 96
1869 Polly Lee, ” 97
” Phoebe Houghton, ” 79
” Sarah N. Stebbins, ” 75
1870 Jacob Frost, ” 89
1870 Hannah Ray, ” 83
” Abraham Blanchard, ” 71
” Samuel Brooks, ” 79
” Isaiah W. Johnson, ” 79
1871 Nathan Wood, ” 84
1875 Nehemiah Howe, ” 78
” Mary Peeler, ” 75
” Asa Fairman, ” 71
” John Stebbins, ” 81
” Hiram Johnson, ” 75
” Polly (Peeler) Lee, ” 98
” Lucy (Patterson) Peeler, ” 91
” William Hurd, ” 7G
1876 Samuel Parsons, ” 77
1877 Lovina (Slate) Colgrove, ” 75
” Charles Bemis, ” 70
” Mary (Gould) Streeter, ” 70
” Emily (Thayer Newell) Logan 81
1878 David Ball, ” 84
” Elisabeth S. Wood, ” 88
1879 Rodolphus Peeler, ” 76
” Elixis Newton, ” 75
” Isaac Pratt, ” 76
1880 Mary(Caroline Perry)Brown 71
” William Litchfield, ” 80
1881 Lucreta (Peeler) Brooks, ” 80
” Samuel Hall, ” 70
” Maj. Eli Lee, ” 95ys. 10 mos. 27d.
” Mary Elvina(Clark)Brooks ” 70
” Lucinda (Field) Slate, ” 90
” Lydia Clark, ” 80
” Hiram Doolittle, ” 78
“. Mary Mortell Lillis, ” 77
1883 Sally(Goss Johnson) Brown, ” 84
1884 Isaiah Webster Johnson, ” 70
” Nahum Franklin Bryant, ” 74
” Dennis Gould. ” 77
PERSONS SEVENTY YEARS OLD AND UPWARDS,
Living in Vernon A. D. 1885.
Miss Lydia Peeler, Jan’y 86
Dan Kendall, 81
Wid. Mary Ann Smith,
Wid. William Johnson,
Wid. Samuel Lee, ”
Wid. Jarvis F. Burrows, May 17,”
Wid. Ebenezer Howe,
Lewis Brooks, ”
Wid. Erastus Tyler, Feb. 12, ”
Dea. Robert Allen, Apr. 16, 80
Nathaniel Brooks, Aug. 8, ”
Sumner Titus, Apr. 21,
Charles Slate, Aug. 15,
Noyes Streeter, Mar. 10, 1879
Mrs. Sumner Titus, Dec. 5, ”
Mrs. Charles Reed,
Mrs. Charles Slate, 78
Mrs. Rodolphus Peeler,
Elijah Fairman, Oct, 2,
Lorenzo Brown, 77
Mrs. Nahum F. Bryant, July 2,”
Squire Blanchard, 77
Mrs. Oliver Doolittle, Sept. 9, 76
Mrs. Sidney S. Miller,
Mrs. Chester Lee, July 4,
Cyrus Washburn Peeler, 75
George W. Lee, July 9,
Mrs. Thomas W. Titus,
A. H. Washburn,
Alexander Peeler, 74
Mrs. Allender Peeler, 73
Chester Lee, Feb. 17, 74
Miss Bemis Titus, 72
Sidney Harris, 70
Mrs. Robert Allen, Feb., 73
Nelson Dunklee, 72
Dea. Lewis F. Gould,
Mrs. James Mack, 71
Solomon Thayer, Nov. 16,
Mrs. Samuel Clark,
Mrs. Franklin Barber, 70
FROM C. H. DAVENPORT
ADDIE F. DAVIS
is the daughter of C. E. and Fannie S. (Johnson) Davis, and was born in St. Johnsbury, Dec. 20, 1860. The Johnson family, on her maternal side, is one of the oldest in Vernon, and it included some of the earliest settlers, so that her genius may be fairly regarded as indigenous to the meadows and the groves of our historical soil. On her mother’s side also, she traces her ancestry from the Wilburs of Rhode Island, who have a complete record in wills of eight generations back to the landing of the ship Ann from England.
Very soon after Addie’s birth, her parents moved back to Vernon, where they have lived ever since; and she received her education in the common schools of the town, at Powers’ Institute, Bernardston, Mass., the St. Johnsbury Academy, and in the best school of all, the 11 terms’ experience as a district school teacher. She commenced teaching at the age of 14, and from the beginning, her schools were successful. At the age of 18, she entered the St. Johnsbury Academy with the purpose of fitting herself for college, but her plans were frustrated by the loss of her health, and for two years afterward, she was a constant invalid.
In 1882, the Brattleboro Reformer, attracted by the high capacity shown in her fugitive poems, in the newspapers, invited her to accept a position in its editorial rooms, and she has since been constantly employed on that newspaper and its extensive branches, steadily advancing until she now occupies the most responsible position in the office. The news department of the state edition is entirely under her charge, as are the literary, scientific, religious, home and society, and general miscellany departments of the four newspapers published by C. H. Davenport & Co., and the comprehensiveness of her treatment of these great currents of human thought and progress, justly rank her as among the most efficient of New England journalists. But the ceaseless and wearying treadmill of newspaper life have not worn away any of the brightness of her poetic genius. Like the bird, she sings because she cannot help it, and she realizes that cultured thought and reading must improve her notes. She has a wide and deep vein of sentiment and religious feeling, from which she brings the choicest nuggets of poetry, and in which she will win her greatest fame, but she has also turned off some brilliant parodies on political and local subjects which have been extensively quoted. Notable among these were Hubbell’s plea to ” Rock Me to Sleep,” in 1882, the “Call of the Politicians” in 1884. Among her best productions of a more permanent value are “The Sermon from Flowers,” “A Link with the Past,” and several Christmas poems which have appeared richly illustrated in the Reformer for the past three years.
[from the poems of Miss Davis we make the following selections :
A SERMON IN FLOWERS.
Just beyond this field of clover is a pasture rough and rocky.
Where the golden rod and thistle and the trailing woodbine grow;
There one day, I heard this sermon, most pathetically simple,
Yet so fraught with truth and wisdom that it set my heart a-glow.
” I am just a little flower, – just the plainest, wildest flower
Growing here upon a rock with very little soil or shade;
I am staunted, pale and crooked, quite unlike my brothers yonder
With their tall, green stalks and yellow plumes that never droop or fade.
“But I care not ; – He who planted knew just how much soil and sunshine,
How much rain and wind were needful to unfold the flower He planned:
So He gave them ; and I grew, to tell my story with its lesson ;
What am I that I should murmur at His wise and just command?
” Quite enough for me to know that I am just as He designed me;
So I never loose my joy in sighs for what I might have been;
God looks down in love and mercy – I look up in perfect trusting.
And I love the earth and air, the pain as well as joy therein.”
A. F. D.
BECAUSE HE CAME.
Because He came, one day from out the year
Is filled with feasting and with joyful song,
The church bells chime; the Christmas greens are hung
And merry laugh the children, all day long.
There is no room, this day, for strife or blame
Because He came.
Because He came the poor are not forgot,
The weary, aching shoulders are relieved
Of burdens, hard; and tender words of cheer
Are whispered to the sorrowing bereaved,
And lips forget one cruel word to frame
Because He came.
Because He came the prosperous and gay
Pause from their pleasures for a little space;
Remembering God’s bounty unto them,
They share it with the poorer of their race.
Love reaches to the depths of sin and shame
Because He came.
Because He came, we who are sad at heart
Look on our griefs to-day, and find them sweet;
Sorrow was His and we who find it, step
But in the Heavenward prints of His dear feet.
Sorrow or joy, we know ’tis all the same
Because He came.
A. F. D.
STEBBINS FAMILY CHRONCLE [1824 Addison Withed’s 50th Birthday Celebration]
And it came to pass one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four years after the birth of Christ, in the seventh year of the reign of James, surnamed Monroe, who was ruler of the great Republic, and dealt wisely, and in the second year of the rule of Cornelius P., surnamed Van Ness, who was Governor of the Province of Vermont, in the first month and thirtieth day of the month, behold thee children of Jerijah, of Zadok, of Jonathan, of Zephaniah, of Paul and Apollos, of John, Jacob, of Reuben, of Jonah, of Benoni, of Abner the Judge, of Amasa, the swift of foot, of Garshom, of Jude and Ziba, and Noah, and Othniel, were assembling themselves together at the inn of Marshall of the tribe of Whithed, to feast, dance and make merry.
Then spake Marshall with a voice of great joy : “Ruth, the wife, God has given me, bare unto me a son. And his name shall be called Addison. Go thy way in peace.” And they departed joyful, with a glad heart and said, “he shall be unto us a lawmaker, a scribe, a distributor of good tidings, a keeper of the treasury, a director of the money changers.” And it was so.
Now Ruth, who was the daughter of Job and Thankful, surnamed Wright, who was the mother of Addison, said unto him, go up into the mountain, for there is a fair maiden, the daughter of Eli, the major, surnamed Lee, and Rebekah his wife.
And Addison loved Editha above all women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the maidens, and he took her to wife, and dwelt in the land of Vernon. And a fair daughter and two sons were born unto them ; and one of them is not, for the Lord called him hence.
Now when the years of Addison numbered two score and ten, which was the thirtieth day of the first month, he said unto his near neighbors to the number of seven, “Come up I pray thee unto my dwelling to-night, for the number of my days are many.” Now his friends did privily council together and they said to Julius O. of the tribe of Frost, take a journey, I pray thee, unto one J. H. Eldridge of Springfield, Mass., and say unto him, make, I pray thee, a suitable chair for our friend Whithed, for a message has gone out for the friends of Addison to the number of two hundred, who wish to pay their respects at that time. And as the evening drew near, there came rulers of the house of God, law-givers, doctors, merchant-men, inn-keepers, musicians with instruments, mechanics, and tillers of the ground, and brought with them their fair wives, daughters and sweet-hearts, to pay their respects to this worthy family. Also came their son, Hamilton L., and a fellow student from Tufts College, Somerfield, Mass. And there came friends to the number of two hundred and more, from St. Louis, Mo., Lowell, Boston, Springfield, Holyoke, Fitchburg, Greenfield, Bernardston and Northfield, Mass., Canton, N. Y., Hartford, Conn., Guilford, Brattleboro, Dummerston, Chester and Vernon, Vermont.
Then Marshall I., the tax-gatherer, surnamed Reed, came before the assembled multitude and said : Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning this man. Therefore be it known unto you, as a neighbor, ever kind ; as a friend, a better, seldom found ; as post-master, kind and obliging ; as a host, most entertaining ; as town-clerk, clear and correct ; as treasurer, honest and faithful ; as a representative, an honor to his town and constituents ; and I rejoice, therefore, that I have confidence in him in all things. Hear, O people, the words of Lorenzo, the Deacon, surnamed Brown:
Respected friends, ladies and gentlemen. The citizens of South Vernon and vicinity, learning that the friends of our worthy host were about to observe this, his fiftieth birthday, and that they had made ample provision for the wants of the body, thought they could in no way better express their appreciation of his worth and the esteem in which he is held by them, than in presenting to him a copy of “Cassell’s Illustrated Bible.” And I, in their behalf, present you this book. It holds out its glorious promises and invitations ; and if you prove as faithful in the service of the Divine Master as you have in the discharge of the trusts committed to your care, though you may be called to walk through the valley of the shadow of death you may fear no evil.
Then was presented a gold headed cane from seven gentlemen of North Vernon; a dressing gown from seven ladies of North Vernon; a silver fruit-dish from three gentlemen of Brattleboro.
Response by Dr. Goodwillie: Generous donors and friends of Mr. and Mrs. Whithed, and to all who contributed toward this entertainment, I feel authorized to say in behalf of both Mr. and Mrs. Whithed, they return their heartfelt gratitude, and desire to receive these gifts in the same hearty manner in which they were given, and this day will always be recalled with the greatest pleasure, as one of the happiest periods of their lives.
Died in Fitchburg, Mass., Dec. 13, 1862 Miss Lois S., daughter of Elijah and Lois Belding, age 44 years. Carried to Vernon for burial.
Thus passed from our number one who has walked among us in health and usefulness for so many years, that the knowledge of her death seemed impossible, as the sudden removal of some support we had hitherto deemed unfailing.
As a woman, she was true and irreproachable; as a teacher, earnest and beloved.
FRANKLIN BRYANT WASHBURN,
son of Edwin Darwin and Elizabeth Bascom Washburn, grandson of Dr. Cyrus Washburn, was born at Vernon, June 22, 1846. After a preparatory education, he studied dentistry, 2 years with O. R. Post, D. D. L. of Brattleboro, finishing with Dr. Daniel Harwood of Boston, Mass., and in 1867, moved to Racine, Wis., where he now, (1885) resides. He married Lizzie C. Moody, a lady of education, and an excellent teacher, a daughter of the late Mr. Edwin Moody, and a sister of D. L. Moody, the Evangelist, of Northfield, Mass. They have four children.
PERCY FITCH WASHBURN,
son of Edwin D. and E. B. Washburn, grandson of Dr. Cyrus Washburn, was born at Vernon, Nov. 22, 1866. He is in mercantile business in Racine, Wis.
ANOTHER MODEL WOMAN.
Miss S. C. Washburn, youngest daughter of Dr. Cyrus Washburn, died of heart disease in Vernon, Oct. 2, 1870, aged 63 yrs. She was sacrificing, quite and gentle in manner, for some years a successful teacher. After the death of her mother, and later of a step-mother, she devoted herself to the care of her aged father. The last years of her life were spent with her oldest brother in caring for his motherless children.
GAZETTE AND COURIER, GREENFIELD,
DEC. 25, 1882.
We announce in another column the marriage of Dwight H Washburn, son of A. H. Washburn, Esq., of this town. The bride was the only daughter of Capt. E. Allsworth, U. S. A., who is so well known in army circles. Mr. Washburn’s journeys during the past three years may be of interest to many of our readers. Leaving New York in 1880, he spent a few days in England, Scotland and Ireland as a representative of the Edison Telephone Co.; from London to Vienna, Austria, and then to Budapest, Hungary, where he spent some six months, returning to London via. Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany and Belgium ; from thence to Belgium to put in practical use an underground cable for telephone lines. He clearly showed the successful working of his cable, but was unable to bring it into general use by reason of some English capitalists who owned patents covering the process of manufacturing the cable. After spending a month in Holland he took a pleasure trip in an 18 foot row boat with three others (an Englishman, Hungarian and Servian,) down the Danube, called here ” blue ” but in Hungary and Servia, “the blonde Danube,” owing to the peculiar color after the heavy rains, which wash the yellow dirt into it. Passing through Hungary, Servia, Roumania, into Turkey, they put the boat on board a steamer and returned to London via. Vienna. From London he was sent to Warsaw, formerly in Old Poland but now Russia. During his stay there he went as far north as St. Petersburg, visiting Moscow and other large cities. Resigning his position in the Telephone Co., he returned to New York and accepted a position in the Edison Electric Light Co. He was the first to put an electric light in an elevator while working at Hotel Vendome, Boston. While in London he assisted to put in use in the house of Sir William Thompson, the eminent electrician, the Faure accumulator or storage battery. This we believe was the first practical use of it made in England. Mr. Washburn is now located in Philadelphia, Pa.
NATURE AND ART IN THE OLD WORLD ; OR SKETCHES OF TRAVEL.
BY THE REV . PRES. J. S. LEE, D. D.
1871, 12 MO. PP. 441. [EXTRACTS.]
The Florentines are intelligent and refined. They are an art-loving people. Nature has done much for them. You can not look out upon any of the hills that rise up gently all around Florence without beholding a beautiful and picturesque landscape. And the river Arno, flowing so smoothly and gently between smiling fields and green sloping banks, and on through the city, adds greatly to the beauty of the view. These natural features educate the taste of the Italians, which is further gratified by the fine specimens of architecture, the stately bridges across the Arno, the squares, avenues, and gardens adorned with statues of gods, goddesses, and heroes, in different parts of the city; and the fresco paintings and basreliefs on the outside walls and doors of the churches and public and private buildings. The churches are filled with statues and paintings of scriptural characters and scenes, and of the public men and nobles who have contributed to make the history of Florence, for the last five hundred years, so illustrious. The bronze doors of the Baptistery, the tombs of Galileo, Michael Angelo, Dante, and Giotto, in the San Croce church, the tombs of the Medici family, and the statues of “Day and Night,” ” Dawn and Twilight,” in San Lorenzo church, are studied and admired by tourists and artists.
But the galleries of sculpture and painting are among the finest in Europe. You pass through the Vecchio Square and the Uffizio Place, lined on each side with statues of nymphs, goddesses, historical characters of Florence, including Amerigo Vespucci, from whom our country was named, and enter a spacious building; ascend two flights of stairs, and a scene of beauty and splendor bursts upon your sight. Some twenty large rooms and corridors are filled with the productions of ancient and modern sculptors and painters, Correggio, Guido, Rubens, Raphael, Michael Angelo, and others. In one room, called the Tribune, are five pieces dug up from the ruins of Rome and other ancient cities, including the celebrated “Venus de Medici,” the Wrestlers, the Dancing Fawn, or Satyr; and the Scythian Knife-grinder; while on the walls of the room are hung master-pieces of painting by Correggio, whose exquisite coloring seems the very perfection of beauty. He and Titian are probably the finest colorists in the world. The gems, the libraries, the manuscripts, and the tapestry are worth seeing.
From the Uffizio gallery you can walk over a covered bridge, lined with objects of art on both sides, across the river to the Pitti Palace, half a mile distant, now the residence of Victor Emmanuel. Here, in a splendid suite of rooms, are multitudes of other works by the master artists. You can walk through these two galleries, and find objects to interest you for weeks and months. Few places in Europe afford so many interesting objects for the study of a connoisseur in the arts.
The Boboli Gardens, situated back of the Palace, with their numerous walks and drives, fountains, groves and statues, furnish a pleasant place for recreation and amusement to thousands of the overworked people of Florence on Sundays and festival days. Nobles and peasants alike mingle together here on a common platform.
But the studios of the sculptors are the chief objects of interest to an American. As an ideal sculptor, Hiram Powers stands at the head of the profession. He is a native of Woodstock, Vt., whence he emigrated, in early life, to Ohio. He went to Italy thirty-one years ago. Having a letter of introduction from a relative of his, I called at his studio, within the walls of the city, a few rods from the Porta Romana. His son, who is an eminent photographer in Florence, at first met me, and showed me through the rooms. The father soon came in, and received me cordially, and invited me into his house, adjoining his studio. He still retains a love for his native town. Unlike some Americans, residence in a foreign land does not un-Americanize him, but tends only to increase his interest in his native country. . . . He expressed his belief that he should live and die in the land of his adoption. He employs twenty or thirty men to aid in chiseling out his figures from the rough marble. One moulds the hand ; another the face; and each one perfects himself in his particular part ; while Mr. Powers models the statue in plaster, and puts on the finishing touches, and superintends the whole operation. His Greek Slave, his Eve (before and after eating the apple) , his Proserpine, his ideal heads of Christ, Faith, Hope, and Charity ; busts and statues of many Americans, living and dead, his Psyche, Penserosa, California, and America – all partaking of his peculiar genius – are justly admired. His last work is one of his best. It is “The Last Indian,” – the figure of a woman with one foot raised, as in the act of running; her face – dark despair depicted on her features – turned over her right shoulder, looking to discover some one of her race. It is the very personification of despair. Judging from the rate at which the native Indians disappear in the far west, Powers’ prophecy will speedily become history.
He is modest, yet dignified ; and the many Americans who call at his studio find in him a cordial and sympathizing friend. He has erected an elegant villa outside the city walls, whither he is soon to remove. Here we hope he may be permitted to enjoy in peace the last days of a life made illustrious by his creations of art and his zealous and patriotic efforts to honor his native land and perpetuate her glory abroad.
Florence is one of the most interesting cities I have visited. It is full of sunshine, music and art. Her past is glorious; her future full of promise.
The Howes (Caleb and family) lived at Sartwell’s Fort, but at the time they were captured they were at Bridgman’s Fort visiting, or for some other purpose. Bridgman’s Fort was picketed, hence there was a gate to pass through before they came to the door of the fort. Sartwell’s Fort stood where the Howes now reside (1884). Bridgman’s Fort stood about ten rods easterly of where Judge Bridgman’s house stood at the time it was burnt with the town records in 1797.
Mrs. Fanny F. Stevens and Geo. Hubbard now reside on the site of the Bridgman house. The distance from Sartwell’s Fort to Bridgman’s Fort was about one-fourth of a mile.
COMMUNICATION FROM JOHN HOWE OF PROVIDENCE. R. I.
John Howe, born Dec. 21, 1825, in the old fort, built by Josiah Sartwell, finished his academic education at Mt. Cesar Seminary, Swanzcy, N. H., in 1846. He left home for Boston in November, 1847, to study music and joined the Boston Museum Dramatic Co., Aug. 13, 1849, with which he continued for a year, during which time Junius Brutus Booth, the father of Edwin Booth, played two very successful engagements at the Museum. In 1850-51, Mr. Howe played at the Lowell Museum. He finished in Worcester, Mass., and left the stage in Jan. 24, 1852, and commenced the study and practice of civil engineering in Lowell, with Beard & Butterfield, February, 1852, and immediately, commenced the building of the Medway branch railroad; and Nov. 27th, 1852, was engaged on the Hampshire and Hampden railroad, running from Connecticut State line to Northampton, Mass. He remained on the road during its construction, and Oct. 24, 1853, was married to Louise J. Russell, youngest daughter of Benjamin and Hannah Russell, a Quaker family of New Bedford, Mass. He went from Westfield, Mass. (railroad headquarters), March 15, 1854, to Providence R. I., and opened an office for surveying and civil engineering, where he has carried on a successful business to the present time, April, 1885. He was commissioned brigade engineer on Brig. Gen. Rhodes’ staff of the R. I. Militia, by Gov. Chas. C. Van Yandt, July 9, 1879, with the rank of captain, and reappointed for five years from March 5, 1885. He was appointed instructor and acting inspector of rifle practice of the R. I. Militia. Oct. 2, 1884, by Gov. Augustus O. Brown.
STRATTON — WRIGHT — WHITHED.
BY THE WHITHED FAMILY.
In preparing this biographical sketch it is not our purpose to over-estimate the merits of our worthy ancestors, but to present a brief record of those who have been identified with the early settlement, growth and prosperity of the town.
An account of our early ancestry is gleaned from the History of Northfield, Massachusetts, commencing in 1592, and extending to the time when the Strattons became the earliest permanent settlers of that place in 1715.
With the record intervening between these dates, our genealogy to the present time, 1891, covers a period of 299 years.
Samuel Stratton was born in England in 1592. He came to America about 1648. He settled at Watertown, Mass., in 1652, where he died, Dec. 20, 1672.
We have no record of his first wife.
His second marriage dates Aug. 28, 1657, to Mrs. Margaret Parker, at Boston, Mass., who died Dec. 7, 1676, aged 81.
SAMUEL STRATTON, [ II ].
Samuel 2d, son of Samuel 1st, of Watertown, Mass., was born in England. He married Mary Frye, May 25, 1651, and later settled in Concord, Mass.
Shattuck, the historian, thinks that his second marriage was in 1675, to Hannah, daughter of Moses Wheat.
SAMUEL STRATTON, [ III].
Samuel Stratton 3d, son of Samuel 2d, was born March 5, 1661, in Concord, Mass., and died in 1717.
He married Elizabeth _____, who died in Concord, Mass., April 17, 1762, aged 100 years.
Hezekiah, son of Samuel 3d, was born in 1689; removed to Deerfield, Mass., in 1713, and to Northfield, Mass., in 1715, where he remained one of the earliest permanent settlers.
He married Elizabeth Hawks, daughter of Eleazer Hawks of Deerfield, Mass., July 12, 1717. He was wounded in the attack of the Indians upon Northfield, Oct. 11, 1723.
He died Dec. 28, 1756, aged 67.
His wife died April 19, 1788, aged 00 years.
ENSIGN SAMUEL STRATTON.
Samuel, familiarly known as Ensign Samuel Stratton, second son of Hezekiah Stratton of Northfield, Mass., was born Feb. 8, 1720. He served in the French and Indian war, and settled in that section now known as Vernon, Vermont, where he purchased large tracts of land which were occupied by himself and descendants for six generations.
At an early period, he and one or two others having built log-houses, were the first white men to take up their residence there, and it is not improbable that our ancestor was the first white man to lead the settlement of the town, as the earliest deed of land to him in that section was given in 1746, in his Majesty’s reign, King George II.
This deed antedates others that are claimed as being the oldest.
The next deed, which was given June 29, 1749, records the transfer to Samuel Stratton, by Nathaniel Mattoon and Gaius Field for £250, old tenor.
As an intrepid and courageous man Ensign Stratton was well calculated to cope with the hardships and dangers incident to a pioneer’s life.
As to his merits, the elegy written by Rev. Bunker Gay eulogizes him as a man worthy of imitation.
This biographical elegy, a quaint tribute to his memory, was published for the first time in the Vermont Phoenix at Brattleboro.
The oil portrait, taken in his advanced years, is an heirloom treasured by the family, and though bearing the impress of time is well preserved.
His will, bearing date of 1797, together with a collection of thirty-live “Deeds for Land” to him, are in the possession of the family.
Of these deeds, five were given in the reign of King George II; fifteen in the reign of King George III, and the remainder after the Declaration of Independence.
Asahel Burt, the subscriber to the first deed was killed by the Indians at Pauchaug hill, April 15, 1747.
According to the town regulations of Northfield, Mass., the meadows were pastured only in the fall; but as the Indians were known to be in ambush in the adjacent woods during the fall of 1746, the owners did not venture to graze in Pauchaug meadows until spring. On the 15th of April, Asahel Burt with another settler, started upon horseback to drive the stock from the meadow. When ascending Pauchaug hill they were fired upon by the Indians. Burt’s horse was killed; his companion shot and scalped.
Burt, in attempting to escape by returning to the meadow, was overtaken by the Indians and also scalped.
The river meadows were all named, and the names are landmarks in history, found in early grants and deeds, and in many instances perpetuated to the present day.
The number of acres specified in the deeds to Ensign Samuel Stratton amount to 1,442, exclusive of the above deed and five others, in which the number of acres is not stated.
The Vernon town records were burned in 1797, and probably some dates lost, relating to the genealogy of the Stratton family.
Ensign Samuel Stratton married Ruth, daughter of Benoni Wright.
She died Dec. 16, 1800, aged 61.
Ensign Stratton lived to the age of 83, dying September, 1803.
In the Whithed burial ground, which marks the resting place of six generations, lie the remains of this worthy Pioneer and his beloved wife.
The following epitaphs, copied from the Stratton tombstones, were written by Reverend Bunker Gay, ordained in 1764. Their quaintness has often attracted much attention.
EPITAPH of ENSIGN SAMUEL STRATTON.
Reader, deny it if you can,
Here lies interred an honest man,
By Pope denominated rightly
The noblest work of the Almighty.
To men of all denominations,
Acquaintances, neighbors and relations,
The rich and those who stood in need,
He proved himself a friend indeed.
He kept the faith, he kept his heart,
And well performed the Christian’s part,
Had much to do, and did his best,
Fulfilled his charge and’s gone to rest.
The path he trod with care pursue,
And you’ll be crowned with glory too.
EPITAPH of RUTH STRATTON,
Wife of Ensign Samuel Stratton.
To rise again the sun goes down,
And in the furrows grain is sown,
Beauties that sleep through winter’s reign
When spring returns, revive again.
Shall then the friend we mourn,
Never again to life return?
Great Source of life, light, love and joy,
Let no such thoughts our hope destroy.
Our lively hope that sometime since,
Through the Redeemer’s influence,
In whom she placed her hope and trust,
She’ll burst this tomb, shake off her dust,
Ascend to where God holds his throne,
And Immortality put on.
John, the only child of Ensign and Ruth Stratton, was born Jan. 28, 1756, and was drowned, June 1, 1785, in the Connecticut river at Bellow’s Falls, where he had gone with a party to spear salmon.
He married Roxana P., daughter of Paul Field of Northfield, Mass.
She died, Aug. 14, 1786, aged 30.
Children: Thankful, Electa, Roxana.
Electa married Cyrus Washburn.
Roxana died in 1803, aged 21.
STRATTON – WRIGHT.
Thankful, daughter of John and Roxana Stratton, and grand-daughter of Ensign Samuel Stratton, was born, May 9, 1776. She married Lieut. Job Wright, son of Rev. Job Wright of Bernardston, Mass., Aug. 20, 1795, and remained with her grandparents, under whose protection she had been since the death of her parents.
Her aged grandparents died a few years after her marriage, and this bereavement was soon followed by the death of her husband, April 26, 1806, aged 34.
By these afflictions, the care and responsibility of a young family rested alone upon her. She was known as a woman of worth and ability. She inherited the homestead of her Grandfather Stratton, and remained beneath the roof-tree, until impelled by the infirmities of age to remove to the home of her son-in-law, Marshall Whithed, where she passed away, May 24, 1849, aged 73.
Children: Samuel S., John S., Ruth Maria.
Samuel S., born Aug. 13, 1796, was supposed to have been drowned in crossing the Connecticut river to Northfield, Mass., in 1828.
John S., born Sept. 1, 1708, died April 24, 1846. He married Tryphena Moore of Warwick, Mass., the youngest daughter of a large family. She was gifted with a superior mind. She was born Sept. 25, 1796, and died December, 1871, aged 75.
Children: Leonora T., Roxana S., Oscar A.
Leonora T. was born Aug. 18, 1823. After the death of her mother in 1871, she removed to Augusta, Ga., where she now resides.
Roxana S., born March 30, 1826, married Henry C. Lund of Nashua, N. H., Nov. 14, 1848, and removed to Georgia a few years after her marriage, where her husband died in 1877.
Children: Louis Henry, Hattie Tryphena, Nellie Lucretia.
Louis Henry, born at Nashua. N. H.. Dec. 24. 1854, married Lena Wilcox, of Buffalo, N. Y. Wife and child deceased ; resides at Augusta, Ga.
Hattie Tryphena, born at Nashua, N. H., Dec. 6, 1857, married William W. Hack of Richmond, Ga., Sept. 19, 1883.
Their children: Maud Winter and Josephine Augusta, the sixth lineal descendants of Ensign Samuel Stratton, representing the seventh generation.
Maud Winter, born July 28, 1884. Josephine Augusta, born Jan. 11, 1886, died Nov. 17, 1886.
Nellie, the second daughter of Henry C. and Roxana S. Lund, was born at Augusta, Ga., July 18, 1867; married William Johnson of Manchester, N. H., July 11, 1888, where they now reside.
Oscar, the only son of John S. and Tryphena Wright, was born Aug. 31, 1833; married Eliza J. Ferry, daughter of Addison Ferry of Chicopee, Mass., Sept. 26, 1861. He died in the prime of life, Aug. 14, 1876, lamented by loving friends.
Ruth Maria the only daughter of Job and Thankful Wright was born July 31, 1801.
In her were embodied the highest and noblest traits of character.
She married Marshall Whithed, May 20, 1823, and lived near the home of her childhood until her death, Oct. 14, 1840.
Marshall Whithed, son of Gad and Thankful Whithed, and grandson of John and Abigail Whithed, was born at Lincoln, Mass., July 31, 1797.
His father removed to Phillipston, Mass., where his boyhood was spent, and later his father removed to Northfield, Mass.
His grandfather, John Whithed, was one of the famous Boston Tea Party of 1773, who evinced the spirit of resistance to British taxation by throwing the historic tea overboard. Our tradition of this fact is well authenticated.
He was in the battle of Lexington, and served four years in the Revolutionary war. He died soon after leaving the army.
The name Whithed was formerly spelled Whitehead, but the “e” and “a” were dropped by our ancestors.
Marshall Whithed was the oldest of nine children.
He located in Vernon in 1820, where he engaged in the mercantile business.
He married Ruth, only daughter of Job and Thankful Wright, and great-grand-daughter of Ensign Samuel Stratton, May 20, 1823.
The store and hotel of Mr. Whithed were the only ones in town for several years.
The commodious hall in his house was occupied from time to time by the different societies for public worship. It was also used for lectures and other entertainments, and all the town business was transacted there.
The many civil offices that were held by Marshall Whithed, attest the trust reposed in him by his towns men.
Mr. Whithed was postmaster nearly 32 years, town clerk 12 years, and town treasurer a number of years, and filled other town offices. He was public spirited and enterprising, and his sterling qualities and good judgment caused his counsel to be sought in matters of importance. He was chairman of the committee when the new church was erected. The large mill built at the centre of the town in 1856 by himself and Mr. Ball of Winchester, N. H., was under his supervision. He engaged in the lumber business, which with his extensive farms gave employment to many persons. In his earliest business life when merchandise was conveyed up the Connecticut river in flat boats, he and one or two others had control of most of the transportation from Hartford, Ct., to Bellows Falls, Vt. He was a liberal contributor to the church of which he was a regular attendant, and the hospitality of his house was generously extended to the clergy.
Rev. H. B. Butler rightly said of him: “He was a man whose word was as good as his bond.” He died February 3, 1860.
Children of Marshall and Ruth Maria [Wright] Whithed: Addison, Isabella, Josephine, Lafayette, Lucia Ann, Adaline, Sylvina, Clinton Stratton.
Addison Whithed, born Jan. 30, 1824, inherited the homestead and succeeded his father in the mercantile business, also as postmaster, town clerk, and town treasurer. He has held the office of town treasurer 36 years; town clerk, 32 years; post-master, nearly 30 years. These offices he holds at the present time.
The post office has been held by Addison Whithed and his father over 61 years, and the combined services of father and son as town clerks exceed 44 years; as town treasurers over 40 years. He represented his town in the State Legislature in 1872, ’73 and ’71. He married Editha Lee, daughter of Major Eli Lee of Vernon, Jan. 5, 1847. In 1868, he was elected a trustee of the Vermont Savings Bank at Brattleboro, and in 1879 he was placed on its investment committee; holding these positions at the present time, 1891.
Children : Isadora Elmina, Hamilton Lee, Earnest Addison.
Isadora Elmina, born June 22, 1849, married Charles F. Kenney of Danvers, Mass., May 14, 1878 ; resides at Danvers.
Hamilton Lee, born Mar. 6, 1854; married Nellie, daughter of Charles C. Houghton of Worcester, Mass., Sept. 3, 1885 ; resides at Grand Forks, Dakota.
Children: Houghton Hamilton, born, Mar. 5, 1888; Ruth Whithed, born, Mar. 11, 1891, only grand-daughter of Addison and Editha Whithed; the youngest lineal descendant of Ensign Samuel Stratton of Vernon, representing the seventh generation, and the eleventh lineal descendant of Samuel Stratton of England.
Ernest Addison, youngest child of Addison and Editha Whithed, was born, Oct. 18, 1856; died, Oct. 16, 1871.
WHITHED – MILLER.
Lucia Ann, daughter of Marshall and Ruth Whithed, born August 4, 1825; married Dr. Ebenezer Miller of Vernon, June 20, 1843, and settled in Guilford.
Dr. Miller was born, Oct. 4, 1822, and graduated from Castleton Medical College, June 6, 1843.
He was a man of high intellectual attainments.
His skill soon won for him an extensive practice; but the West presenting many attractions, he removed to St. Paul, Minn., Nov. 3, 1856, where his family now resides.
During the Civil war, he went south and established himself in the drug business at Natchez, Miss. in 1863. Two years later, while attending to some interests at Homer, Louisiana, he died after a brief illness, July 21, 1865.
Children: Nelson Dana, Charles Marshall, Lucia Maria, Clinton Clarence.
Nelson Dana, born June 25, 1845, married Annie L., daughter of Robert Patterson of St. Paul, Apr. 30, 1875.
Their children, representing the seventh generation of Ensign Samuel Stratton, were born, Nelson Eben, Aug. 19, 1876; died May 2, 1889.
Susie Maud, born Nov. 19, 1880.
Charles Marshall, son of Dr. Ebenezer and Lucia A. Miller, was born July 17, 1847.
Lucia Maria, born Aug. 2, 1850, has held the position of principal, several years in the City schools.
Dr. Clinton Clarence, born Feb. 2, 1854, located in St. Paul.
Isabella, daughter of Marshall and Ruth Whithed, was born Jan. 30, 1828. Lived at Vernon until after the death of her father. Resides at Cambridge, Mass.
WHITHED – CONE.
Adaline, daughter of Marshall and Ruth Whithed, born Feb. 25, 1830, married Charles F. Cone of Boston, Mass., Dee. 20, 1853.
Children: Frank Whithed, Adah Lelia. Residence, Cambridge, Mass.
Frank W. was born Sep. 16, 1854.
Adah Lelia, born Jan. 28, 1860, married Frank E. Brock, of Cambridge, Mass., Dec. 12, 1883.
Their daughter, Edna Pearl, born Mar. 25, 1885, is the 6th lineal descendant of Ensign Samuel Stratton, and represents the 7th generation.
WHITHED – HALL.
Josephine, daughter of Marshall and Ruth Whithed, born Mar. 15, 1833, married Theophilus Hall, of Winchester, Kentucky, Dec. 1871; died Apr. 21, 1874.
A true-hearted woman. Her life speaks to us as nothing else can.
SYLVINA – WHITHED.
Sylvina, daughter of Marshall and Ruth Whithed, born Jan. 14, 1835, has engaged in teaching since 1853. Residence, Cambridge, Mass.
Lafayette, son of Marshall and Ruth ,Whithed, born Feb. 20, 1837, married Frances Cornelia, daughter of John F. Hale of Bernardston, Mass., Sept. 3, 1861. They reside in Bernardston. Their children, Marshall Fayette and Aimee Matilda, represent the sixth generation of Ensign Samuel Stratton.
Marshall Fayette, born May 16, 1862.
Aimee Matilda, born Sept. 25, 1866; teacher in Bernardston.
son of Marshall and Ruth Whithed, born Aug. 15, 1839, married Julia S., daughter of Jesse Frost of Vernon, Jan. 20, 1863. Their only child, Minnie Bell, representing the sixth generation of Ensign Samuel Stratton, born Oct. 19, 1866. Died Nov. 5, 1883.
LONGEVITY OF THE STRATTON FAMILY.
Elizabeth Stratton, aged 100 years.
Elizabeth Hawks Stratton, 90 ”
Ensign Samuel Stratton, 83 ”
Margaret Stratton, 81 ”
Samuel Stratton 1st, 80 ”
Hezekiah Stratton, 67 ”
Ruth Stratton, 61 ”
Samuel Stratton 3d, 56 ”
Roxana P. Stratton, 30 ”
John Stratton, 29 ”
Roxana Stratton, 21 ”
LONGEVITY OF THE WHITHED FAMILY.
Marshall Whithed, aged 62 years.
Dr. Ebenezer Miller, ” 42 ”
Josephine W . Hall, ” 41 ”
Ruth M. Whithed, ” 39 ”
Minnie Bell Whithed, ” 17 ”
Earnest Addison Whithed, 15 ”
Nelson Eben Miller, 12 ”
LONGEVITY OF THE WRIGHT FAMILY.
Tryphena Wright, aged 75 years.
Thankful Wright, ” 73 ”
Henry C. Lund, ” 52 ”
John S. Wright, ” 48 ”
Oscar Wright, ” 44 ”
Lieut. Job Wright, ” 34 ”
Samuel S. Wright, ” 32 ”
Josephine A. Hack, ” 10 months.
EPITAPH of JOHN
Son of Samuel & Ruth Stratton.
Here lies interred where silence reigns,
Mr. John Stratton’s sad remains.
In January, ere the sun
Had eight and twenty courses run,
Samuel and Ruth once happy were
In him, their only son and heir.
In Seventeen Hundred Fifty-six,
With mortals here on earth to mix
He first began ; but lost his life
In Seventeen Hundred Eighty-five.
The first of June while on his tour
Where Walpole Rapids foam and roar,
He to a rock went down too nigh
To pierce the salmon passing by.
The rock’s smooth, glossy, sloping side
His feet betrayed, and let him slide.
Plunged down into a watery tomb,
No more to see his native home,
His tender parents, lovely spouse,
Or those bright beauties of his house,
Three little hapless female heirs,
Left to bedew his grave with tears.
EPITAPH OF ROXANA PHILENA,
WIFE OF JOHN STRATTON.
When from her side her partner failed,
Huge grief and cares her mind assailed.
Her children’s youth, her parents age,
Her fond attention did engage.
None who beheld but understood,
Her trials great for one so good,
So meek, so lovely, and resigned,
So pious, merciful and kind,
God saw her sorrowful though chaste,
And sent an angel down in haste:
To earth he flew on wings of love,
And bore her to the realms above.
[The historic epitaph of MARSHALL WHITHED amid the Stratton and Whithed tombs may be]
The iron fence inclosing the Whithed burial ground was erected by him a few weeks previous to his death; soon after completing this work, he was borne to his final resting place within this hallowed enclosure.
In this yard, on the tombstone of Roxana, daughter of John and Roxana P. Stratton is the following tribute from Rev. Bunker Gay:
What though on earth her days were few,
She now begins her life anew,
Disjoined and sheltered here,
In the deep grave her mortal part
Secure from guilt, and grief, and smart,
Will rest from year to year,
Until that all important day,
When death shall yield up all its prey,
And from this putrid tomb.
Divinely polished she will rise
A spotless nymph to grace the skies,
Clothed in immortal bloom.
On the stone of Lieut. Job Wright, author unknown:
Honor and honesty, good sense,
True kindness and benevolence,
His frail and feeble life adorned:
Alas ! how soon to dust returned;
Great is the loss his friends sustain,
Great and eternal too his gain.
On the stone of Thankful [Stratton], wife of Lieut. Job Wright:
True virtue did her time engage,
In doing good from youth to age;
Her soul has gone to realms above,
In ceaseless joy and boundless love.
Whithed Family Marriages
MARSHALL WHITHED m. RUTH M. WRIGHT.1823.
Lucia A. Whithed m. Dr. Ebenezer Miller. 1843.
Addison Whithed m. Editha Lee. 1847.
Adaline Whithed m. Charles F. Cone. 1853.
Lafayette Whithed m. Frances C. Hale. 1861.
Clinton S. Whithed m. Julia S. Frost. 1863.
Josephine Whithed m. Theophilus Hall. 1871.
Nelson D. Miller, (Son of Lucia A. Miller.) m. Annie L. Patterson. 1875.
Isadora E. Whithed, (Daughter of Addison Whithed.) m. Charles F. Kenney. 1878.
Adah L. Cone, ( Daughter of Adaline Cone.) m. Frank E. Brock. 1883.
Hamilton L. Whithed, (Son of Addison Whithed.) m. Nellie Houghton. 1885.