RANDALL, SIAS, son of Thomas and Annie (BATCHELDER) RANDALL, was
born in Danville, Vermont, in 1822. His grandfather, Israel RANDALL, came
from Nottingham, New Hampshire, prior to the Revolution, and took up a
large tract of land near North Danville.
He reared a family of six sons and three daughters, and after the
manner of the times the sons all sought careers elsewhere, except Thomas,
the youngest son, who remained on the home farm, reared a family of eight
sons and three daughters, and died in 1830, at the age of fifty-one.
Sias, the youngest child, found a home with Judkins, his eldest
brother. After receiving a good common school education and one term at
Phillips academy, he taught two terms of school.
Four of his brothers were then settled in that neighborhood, and
three of them in company with Sias, and a brother-in-law, began the manufacture
of threshing machines, which was continued seven years. Not a single RANDALL
now remains in North Danville, and Sias is the sole survivor of this large
family. In 1850 he withdrew from the firm, moved to Paddock Village, and
there began the manufacture of threshing machines, founding the business
long conducted by B. F. ROLLINS. Mr. RANDALL helped make the doors, sash,
and blinds of the old Passumpsic House, which was erected on blocks in
the spring of 1850, just before the coming of the railroad. Paddock Village
was the business center and contained the J. H. PADDOCK iron foundry and
machine shop, Lindorf MORRIS' sash and blind factory, Hancock's furniture
factory, a sawmill and a gristmill. Mr. RANDALL erected in 1854 the nucleus
of RANDALL's block, 30x50 feet, two stories, and soon started, with Dr.
HOYT, the second drug store in St. Johnsbury, BINGHAM's being the first.
He carried the lines of paints, oil, and glass, and during the rapidly
growing period following the close of the war his business amounted to
In 1868 he rebuilt the block, making it fifty feet front on Railroad
street, with a depth of more than 100 feet, and from three to five stories
high, and at the present time there are fourteen tenements. In 1862 Dr.
HOYT withdrew, and Mr. RANDALL continued to successfully conduct the business
alone until 1884, when he sold to his son, George RANDALL, who died in
'87. Edson RANDALL, another son, soon engaged in the drug business and
conducted it for a dozen years.
Although practically retired since 1884, Sias RANDALL continues
to work in the store when occasion requires and carries his eighty-one
years bravely. He has served the town repeatedly as constable, collector,
and selectman, six years as overseer, and nearly half a century as surveyor
of wood and lumber.
Although a shrewd and successful financier, Mr. RANDALL has ever
been liberal to public enterprises, and of generous, kindly impulses, he
has helped many a man to his personal loss. During a period of half a century
he served as conductor to more than eleven hundred funerals, and always
without compensation. He is one of the eldest Odd Fellows in town and a
charter member of the Knights of Pythias. He was a member of the building
committee in the erection of Odd Fellows' block, and the rebuilding of
the M. E. church.
Sias RANDALL married, in 1846, Laura Ann WEED, who died twenty years
later, leaving four children, George, Clara (Mrs. P. J. NOYES of Lancaster,
New Hampshire), Frank of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Edson.
In 1867 he married Philura STEAMS of St. Johnsbury, who died in
1873, leaving one son, Arthur, a traveling salesman in Iowa. His third
wife is Mary Ann KENISON, widow of Lyman BABCOCK.
Edson N. RANDALL was born in 1859. He began in business for himself
to sell small wares at eighteen years of age. His store in Randall block
is really a department store, an exposition of almost everything used in
housekeeping, including a great variety of ladies' garments and dry goods.
Source: Successful Vermonters,
William H. Jeffrey, E. Burke, Vermont, The Historical Publishing Company,
1904, page 67-69.
by Tom Dunn December 2004