is considerably uneven. The western part is watered by New Haven
River, which is formed here; and several small branches of Mad River rise
in the eastern part. The timber is principally hard wood, with some tracts
of spruce . . . The settlement of this township was commenced about the
year 1790. The first settlers were mostly of the denomination of
Friends, or Quakers. There is at present a society of this order,
who have a house for public worship."
of Vermont, Hayward, 1849.
OF THE TOWN OF LINCOLN
LINCOLN is situated in the northeasterly part of Addison county,
in latitude 44 degrees 7' and longitude 4 degrees 5'; bounded on the north
by Starksboro, east by Warren, in Washington county, south by Ripton, and
west by Bristol, and is nearly inclosed by mountains and rugged hills.
It lies on the west side of the main ridge of the Green Mountain range.
On the south and west are detached portions of the same range with less
elevation, and on the north are abrupt, isolated hills. Mount Abram, more
commonly known as Potatoe Hill, is a lofty and symmetrical peak on the
east, just within the present limits of the town. It is 3,976 feet above
the mean surface of the ocean, and commands one of the finest views of
the surrounding country. From its barren and rocky summit nearly the whole
length of Lake Champlain may be seen, the many peaks of the Adirondacks,
the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and many of the villages of Vermont
and New York. On account of its altitude and prominence it has become a
popular resort for pleasure-seekers during the summer months, and on several
occasions the United States Coast Surveyors have located their signal stations
upon its summit.
Mount Pleasant, or Corbin Hill, is an isolated peak in the north
part of the town, which also commands a fine view of the mountains, Lake
Champlain, and the villages beyond.
Prospect Rock is a ledgy elevation in the southeast part, and from
its top an excellent view may be had of nearly the entire town.
Grant Mountain, Cobb Hill, and Flat Top are prominent elevations
of the Green Mountain range on the south. A portion of Bristol Mountain
lies within the limits of the town in the southwest part.
The town is broken and hilly throughout, gradually descending toward
the New Haven River, which flows through the town in a northwesterly direction.
This stream is replenished by Beaver Brook, having its source in the southwest
part of the town, and by Belknap and Cow Brooks from the east. A little
below the center it is joined by Downing's Creek, a stream of considerable
size, from the northeast, and at West Lincoln by the Isham Brook from the
north. These streams and their small and numerous tributaries form the
entire drainage. The water in them is clear and cool, their currents rapid,
their bottoms stony, and are frequently broken by descending over ledges
and precipices, forming many and excellent mill privileges.
The soil is generally gravel and loam, and in some places muck is
found. Clay exists only in the northwest part of the town, along the banks
of the Isham Brook. In some parts the soil is rather sterile, and in others
too rugged and rocky for arable purposes. Yet as a whole it is well calculated
for farming, and all the crops that are indigenous in the locality are
successfully raised, and seldom suffer from droughts. The hillsides, abounding
in numerous springs and streams of water, furnish most excellent grazing.
The rocks are of the talcose schist and conglomerate, and Green Mountain
gneiss, containing some iron ore, manganese, and other minerals, but not
in sufficient quantities to warrant working. Slate is found in the northwest
part of the town on land now owned by Reuben Cowles. Some good specimens
have been taken from there, that indicate that it may be valuable for roofing
purposes; but no attempt has ever been made to open a quarry. Bowlders
of from several hundred pounds' weight to several tons are quite numerous
in some localities.
The timber, wherein lies the principal wealth of the town, is on
the mountains mostly spruce, while the hard woods predominate in other
sections, with now and then considerable tracts of hemlock, especially
in the South part of the town. The rock maple is regarded as the most valuable
of the hard wood, and numerous fields or groves are preserved for the purpose
of manufacturing sugar, of which many tons are annually made.
The charter was granted November 9, 1780, by Governor Thomas CHITTENDEN,
in equal shares to Benjamin SIMONS, Ithamer HIBBARD, Oliver SCOTT, John
MANLEY, John WILLIAMS, Jonathan EASTMAN, Enoch EASTMAN, Calvin EASTMAN,
Henry HYDE, Shadrick HATHAWAY, Jesse SPAULDING, Ezra FELLOWS, Josiah TERRILL,
Jacob HYDE, David LEE, William BOARDMAN, Noah CHITTENDEN, Darias CHIPMAN,
Ebenezer HYDE, Joseph BOWKER, Reubin HARMON, jr., Oliver STRONG, John GRAY,
Andrew BARTON, William SLADE, Abiather WALDO, Noah SMITH, Joseph BARBER,
Reubin HARMON, Thomas TOLMAN, Elijah FAY, John KNICKERBOCKER, Dr. John
JOHNSON, Simeon HATHAWAY, Stephen MIDDLEBROOK, Zebulon PARMALEE, Ezra PAYNE,
Benjamin FOWLER, Ephraim INGRAHAM, John STEWART, Samuel BILLINGS, John
COCHRAN, James MEAD, John MEAD, John SIBLEY, Abner MEAD, Stephen MEAD,
jr., Timothy MILES, Nathan MANLEY, Stephen EASTMAN, Jonathan EASTMAN, jr.,
William GAGE, Thomas CHITTENDEN, David WELCH, Samuel BENTON, Levi TAYLOR,
Solomon LEE, Jonas FAY, Peter PIXLY, Stephen PEARL, William FITCH, Samuel
COMSTOCK, Elisha CLARK, Josiah SAFFORD, Joshua EMMONS, and William MARTHER.
In addition to the above rights or shares, one share was drawn to
the right of a county grammar school in the State, one for the settlement
of a minister and ministers, one for the support of schools in said town,
and one for the use of a seminary or college.
The township was described in the charter as follows, viz.: "Beginning
at the southwest corner of Starksboro, in the east line of Pocock, then
southerly in the line of Pocock and continuing the same course six miles,
then east six miles, or so far that turning northerly making a parallel
line with the east line of Pocock six miles, then west to the southeast
corner of Starksboro, then in the line of Starksboro to the bounds begun
at, containing twenty-three thousand and forty acres."
The charter was conditioned that each proprietor, his heirs or assigns,
should plant and cultivate five acres of land, and build a house at least
eighteen feet square on the floor, or have one family settled on each right
within four years next after the circumstances of the present war will
admit of a settlement with safety, on penalty of forfeiture of each respective
right or share; and if not so improved or settled, the same to revert to
the freemen of the State. All pine timber suitable for a navy was reserved
for the use of the State.
The first meeting of the proprietors, of which there is any record,
was called and held in accordance with the following notice:
"Whereas, application has been made to me by more
than one-sixteenth part of the proprietors of the township of Lincoln,
in the County of Rutland, and State of Vermont, to warn a meeting of said
proprietors; these are, therefore, to warn said proprietors, that they
meet at the dwelling house of Mr. Jonathan ROBINSON, innholder, in Bennington,
on the second Tuesday of September next, at one o'clock in the afternoon,
to act on the following articles, viz
choose a 'Moderator.
choose a Clerk.
see if the proprietors will vote to lay out, or make a division of the
whole or any part of said township in the mode the law directs.
transact any other business that may be for the benefit of said propriety.
Bennington July 16, 1783.
The proprietors met pursuant to the notice, and Colonel Benjamin
SIMONS was chosen moderator, and William SLADE, clerk. Noah SMITH, Simeon
HATHAWAY, William SLADE, John STEWART and Benjamin SIMONS were chosen a
committee and authorized to proceed and run the lines of the town and lay
out one hundred and five acres of the best land to each right. The five
acres was an allowance for highways. The meeting, after several adjournments
from time to time, convened at the dwelling house of Stephen PEARL, in
Pawlet, January 13, 1784. A vote was taken at this time to raise a tax
on each right of twenty-eight shillings, to be collected by the first day
of March next. It was also voted to allow any of the proprietors that were
dissatisfied with their rights, to take up a hundred acre lot on any of
the undivided and lay it out in such a farm, as to length and breadth,
as the other lots were laid, and return a survey bill of the same to the
proprietors' clerk within ten days. The meeting adjourned again to June,
and then to the third Tuesday of February, 1785. It is uncertain whether
the proprietors met in February or not, as no record of any further meetings
are to be found for several years. At some time previous to July, 1794,
it was discovered that the first division of lots, surveyed by the committee
and drawn by the proprietors, was not within the chartered limits of the
town, at least only a small portion of it. Another meeting was called and
held at the dwelling house of Henry MCLAUGHLIN, in Bristol, on the 22d
day of September, 1794, the record of which is as follows, viz.:
"BRISTOL, the 22 September, 1794.
"The proprietors of Lincoln met according to warning and acted as follows,
"1st. Chose John BISHOP moderator to govern meeting.
"2d. Chose Henry MCLAUGHLIN proprietors' clerk.
"3d. After a strict examination, find that the lands hereafter said to
be laid out in said town for a first division, was not laid in the town
of Lincoln, but a small part of them; therefore voted that there is no
legal first division in said town.
"4th. Voted to lay out a first and second division in said town to contain
one hundred and five acres to each division. Each lot to be laid in the
manner following, viz: The first division to lay on the west side of the
town; the length of said first division lots to be one hundred and sixty
rods east and west, and one hundred and five rods north and south. The
first division to run from north to south in said town; the second division
in the same manner and form of the first. The five acres above mentioned
in each lot, above one hundred acres, is an allowance for highways.
"5th. Voted that Nathaniel DEAN, John FURGUSON and Henry MCLAUGHLIN be
a committee for to superintend said business of lotting out said divisions,
and that the lotting of said land be completed by the first day of July
"6th. Voted fifteen shillings for to defray the cost of lotting each of
said lots throughout both of said divisions, except ten public lots which
they are to have laid without any costs, and that Phinneas SHELDON do the
work for the said proprietors for said sum of fifteen shillings on each
lot, and under the direction of the above named committee.
"7th. Voted to the following persons the lots they are on in lieu of their
draught, provided they are in actual settlement from and after the first
day of July next, otherways they shall take no part of this our vote. The
names of the settlers are as follows: Markus HEDDING, Elijah FERGUSON,
Loren ORVIS, Moses SCOTT, Lawrence DELONG and Shuable CLARK, which are
the only six in town.
"8th. Voted that the meeting be adjourned until the second Wednesday of
December next, at ten o'clock A. M., to the dwelling house of Henry MCLAUGHLIN,
in Bristol, aforesaid.
Attest HENRY MCLAUGHLIN,
At the adjourned meeting in December the committee chosen to lay
out the first and second divisions, having completed the survey, made a
report and presented a plan of the lots to the proprietors as laid out
by them. Henry MCLAUGHLIN was chosen to collect the tax of fifteen shillings
on each lot, as voted at the preceding meeting. It was also voted to lay
out the remainder of the undivided lands in the town, and a committee was
appointed to superintend the laying out of the third division. The surveying
of this division was assigned to Henry MCLAUGHLIN for the sum of eighteen
shillings per lot, he being the lowest bidder. This meeting was again adjourned
to the second Wednesday in October, 1795. The records are silent in regard
to any further meetings or transactions of the proprietors, and do not
indicate that any of them ever settled on their respective rights. A few
of the rights were transferred to the early settlers; others were forfeited
for not complying with the provisions of the charter, in settling and cultivating
a certain number of acres in the given time, and for the non-payment of
taxes that were assessed on each right to defray the expense of the survey.
There were seventy lots in each division. In the first they are
numbered from 1 to 70 inclusive, and in the second from 71 to 137 and from
146 to 148 inclusive. The survey and the numbering of the lots was commenced
in the northwest corner of the town, and seventeen lots were surveyed and
laid out, one hundred and sixty rods long east and west, and one hundred
and five rods wide north and south, along the west line of the town, in
accordance with the vote taken at the proprietors' meeting at MCLAUGHLIN's,
in Bristol, September 22, 1794. Then three lots were surveyed on the south
line one hundred and five rods wide east and west and of sufficient length
to fill the space lying between the south line of the town and the south
line of the seventeen lots north; then running north again another seventeen
lots were surveyed to correspond with the first, and so on throughout the
entire division, with one exception. In running north surveying the east
tier of lots in the second division, it was found that the last three lots
would be located on the top of the highest part of the mountain, where
the land was considered to be worthless, so they passed on seven hundred
and thirty-five rods, or the width of seven lots, and then laid out the
three remaining lots. There are twelve lots in the first and second divisions
on the south line of the town that were laid out one hundred and five rods
wide east and west; all the others are regularly laid out according to
the vote of the proprietors. The third division also contained seventy
lots, which were mostly on the east side of the mountain, and were laid
out one hundred and sixty rods long east and west, by one hundred and twenty
rods wide. Lots numbered from one to six in this division were laid out
near the top of the mountain, in that part of the town passed by in laying
out the second division. The remaining lots of this division cover a tract
of land six miles long and six miles wide.
The geographical position of the town, as described and bounded
by the charter, was such that an entire settlement under one organization
would have been almost impracticable. One-third of the town was situated
on the east side of the ridge of the Green Mountains, and the remaining
two-thirds on the west side. The west line of the town was at that time
only about one hundred and sixty rods west of the present site of the town
house. The Legislature, in the fall of 1824, annexed the third division,
excepting the six lots on the west side of the mountains, to the town of
Warren, in Washington county, leaving the present east line of the town
very near the top of the mountains. The same year an addition was made
on the west side by the annexation of a tract of land one mile in width,
containing 4,400 acres, from Bristol. Avery's Gore, a territory of several
thousand acres, was annexed in 1848. A portion of Ripton being so situated
that the inhabitants in that part could be better accommodated in their
business relations by belonging to Lincoln--therefore, in 1869, a strip
one and a half miles wide, containing 4,832 acres, was also annexed.
An account of the first settlement, for want of material will necessarily
be very brief and incomplete. Tradition lends a helping hand, but contributes
only a very little. And having consulted many of the older residents, some
of whom have memories extending back over the past four score years or
more, I am thus only enabled to arrive at a few brief facts relative to
the first settlers, their privations and hardships. The first permanent
and actual settlement was made in the north part of the town on what is
now known as Quaker or Mud street, in March, 1795, by Loren ORVIS, Lawrence
DELON, Marcus HEDDING, and their families. The settlement, however, was
virtually made during the summer previously the above named persons, and
Elijah FERGUSON, Moses SCOTT, and Shuable CLARK, who took up several rights
by clearing the land and building log houses; but do not find any account
of their families coming until the next spring. The proprietors at their
meeting in September, 1794, as previously stated, voted to these six individuals
the rights they were on at the time, instead of the rights drawn by them,
provided they were in actual settlement on and from July 1, 1795.
Loren ORVIS settled on the settled on lot No. 37, the farm now owned
by Hiram HAMNER. Marcus HEDDING settled on lot No. 34, his log house standing
near where the buildings now stand on the WRIGHT place. Afterwards HEDDING
built a house on the opposite side of the highway, on the farm now owned
by Reuben COWLES. Lawrence DELONG settled on lot No. 5, which is now owned
by William S. MORGAN and Gabriel H. PURINTON.
Elijah FERGUSON, Moses SCOTT, and Shuable CLARK did not permanently
settle the chartered limits of the town, or at least no evidence can be
found that they ever did.
ORVIS, HEDDING, and DELONG were the only three families residing
here until the spring of 1796, when James VARNEY settled on the farm now
owned by Irvin COLBY, and Samuel EASTMAN on the farm owned by Charles C.
LEE. Jedediah DURFEY settled on the place where Elihu PURINTON now lives,
the same spring or following winter. Samuel BROOKS and Wolcott BURNHAM
settled here in 1797, the former on the place, or very near, where the
school-house now stands in District No. 1. BURNHAM settled on the COWLES
farm near his west barn. Thomas LEE settled on the farm with Samuel EASTMAN
in 1799. Their houses stood very near the south side of the old orchard
above Charles C. LEE's dwelling house. Thomas GOODRICH first came into
town September 10, 1799, it being his nineteenth birthday, and resided
some time with Thomas LEE and Samuel EASTMAN, and then built a log house
and settled on the farm now owned by James BUTTERFIELD. Jonathan GOVE settled
in that part of the town known as Gove Hill, in 1800, at which time there
were only ninety-seven persons residing in town.
Chase PURINTON and family came from Weare, N. H., in March, 1803,
and purchased where Jedediah DURFEY settled, and is the same place where
his grandson, Elihu PURINTON, now resides. Asa MEADER, Nathan HOAG, and
Ebenezer DURFEY located in the east part of the town; the former in 1804,
the latter in 1801. They called their settlement Elder Hill, on account
of the abundant quantities of sweet elders which grew there. Nathan HOAG
settled on the farm now occupied by Hiram T. ATKINS, Asa MEADER where Nelson
CHASE now lives, and Ebenezer DURFEY on the farm on the opposite side of
the road. HOAG and MEADER kept bachelors' hall together the first year
in a log house on MEADER's place; their wives came the following spring.
James DEAN settled on the farm owned by Zeno PAGE, and David HAYES where
Nathaniel MORRELL now lives, in 1795. The places were at the time of the
settlement and until 1824 a part of Bristol, since then belonging to Lincoln.
The privations and hardships that the early settlers endured in
settling their farms and making for themselves homes in the mountain wilderness
can neither be imagined nor described by those who know little or nothing
of want and privation. The beautiful and well-cultivated fields and the
green pastures of today were then a dense forest, the unmolested home of
the wild beasts, with only now and then a small clearing, in the center
of which stood a log house, the home of the settler. Their houses were
not the well-built ones, nor were they equal to the log houses of the present
for comfort and convenience. These houses had floors, but not of planed
boards; logs were hewn on three sides and placed closely together on sleepers
or otherwise. The floors were mostly spruce, but the better ones were of
hard wood. The roofs were covered with bark and boughs. The stove, for
cooking purposes and warming the house, consisted of the most rude fire-place
with a pole chimney, which was plastered on the inside with mud or mortar.
The only boards that were used in the construction of their houses were
made into the front door, and generally the only one in the house. They
were neither paneled nor adorned with moulding nor stained glass, but a
rough cleet door with wooden latch and hinges, rarely as good as the doors
of the modern stables. Boards were too expensive to be used for any other
purposes, except for the doors and some of the better home-made furniture,
as there were no mills in town at that time, the nearest being located
at New Haven Mills, nine miles distant. The roads were mere paths, and
the only one from Bristol to Lincoln was over what is known as the Briggs
Hill. Samuel EASTMAN brought what boards he used in the construction of
his house, on his back from Bristol, up the great hill and over Quaker
street to his home on the LEE farm, a distance of some seven miles. Thomas
GOODRICH also brought boards on his back from Bristol over the same road,
then carrying them some three miles further over what is known as Elder
Hill to his place. Samuel EASTMAN purchased a caldron kettle at what is
now Starksboro village, and brought it home on his back over the hills.
Many more incidents of the same nature might be given, illustrating the
excessive burdens and the many inconveniences and deprivations that the
settlers endured. It was not all sunshine and fair weather with them during
the first fifteen or twenty years of their living in the wilderness and
among the mountains. The privations and hardships that they endured would
seem, for us, almost insufferable. They were not wealthy people who came
here to invest their money in wild, uncultivated lands from choice, but
were mostly energetic and courageous men and women, with sound minds, strong
hands, and determined wills, who were in the prime of life, and unable
for the want of means to purchase improved land, and were compelled from
necessity to purchase the unimproved, and by several years of hard labor
cleared for themselves farms. The women were by no means slow in their
duties, but were ever ready to lift a helping hand, either in their log
cabin, attending to the domestic duties, or in the out-door work, assisting
their husbands in clearing land, putting in and securing crops. Although
deprived of many of the privileges and conveniences that we enjoy, they
were by no means discontented or unhappy. Though poor, they were in some
respects more independent than many of the present time. The wool from
their sheep, and the flax, were carded, woven, and made into garments in
their own homes. Nearly every man was a cobbler and made the boots and
shoes for the entire family. If an article was wanted that they did not
possess, the Yankee ingenuity was brought into play and the thing was made,
though sometimes inelegantly constructed.
Deprivation and want was their common master for a number of years,
and poverty, that at times verged on starvation, constantly stared them
in the face; yet they did not falter at its ghastly countenance, nor yield
in despair. Notwithstanding all their trials and sufferings they were social,
unselfish, genial, kind, and hospitable. Their social visits were more
frequent, though living longer distances apart, than at the present, and
were made sources of greater joy and pleasure during the long winter evenings.
They were not the owners of fine carriages and sleighs. The rude ox-sled,
with its long runners hewn from some natural crook and shod with wooden
shoes, was a conveyance suitable for all occasions. It was the settler's
farm wagon in summer, his carriage and sleigh when the family attended
meeting at the log church, or made their neighbors an evening visit. The
family was snugly seated on the sled, and closely wrapped in such blankets
as the household afforded, except the father or one of the older boys,
whose duty it was to drive the oxen. Some of them, however, were not fortunate
enough to own an ox-team, and resorted to other methods. A large hand-sled
was a necessary appendant to every household, and was a substitute for
the ox-sled in nearly every place in drawing the fire wood, and when drawn
by the father and older boys, with the mother and smaller chi1dren seated
upon it, answered very well for making neighborhood visits of some miles
from their homes.
A few incidents will not, perhaps, be out of place, if narrated
here to portray some of the scenes of many years ago.
During the summer of 1813, while Nathan HOAG was from home at work
in haying, leaving his wife with the children to superintend the affairs
generally, she started out for the cows one afternoon, just before sunset,
leaving the three children at the house. She could hear the tinkling of
the bells at a distance in the dense woods. With a firm, quick step she
hurried forward into the forest, without even a thought but that she would
return with the cows in a few minutes. She had not gone far when the cows
lay down for the night, and the bells ceased to ring; but still, determined
to find them, she pushed on, and ere she was aware of it was overtaken
by night. After wandering about some time in hopes that she might find
her way, she put up for the night and engaged lodging in the top of a spruce
tree, about fifteen feet from the ground. The children became alarmed because
their mother did not return, and started for the neighbors, and met their
father coming home. He took the dinner horn and an old tin lantern, about
the size of a gallon jug, punched full of holes, giving about as much light
as a score of caged fire-flies, and started in pursuit of his wife. After
traveling a long distance, sounding the horn every few minutes, he heard
a faint response coming from nearly a mile distant. As he approached, the
response became stronger and stronger, until he came to her lodging-place.
They arrived safely at home about one o'clock the following morning.
The year 1816 was a gloomy one, and is well remembered by some now
living as the cold year. Every month was visited by a hard frost. On the
6th of June the ground was frozen solid and covered with several inches
of snow, which remained only a few days. The crops were quite or nearly
a failure. Those who depended on what they raised for a living were somewhat
anxious in regard to how they should live through the coming winter, which
began before the summer was fairly ended. There was a very little rye raised,
and a very small crop of potatoes, but not sufficient to carry them through
one-half of the winter. Every effort to avoid suffering was made that could
be. After their scanty crops were secured in the fall, the men and boys,
with their axes, toiled from the early dawn to late at night in chopping
down the forest trees and burning them into ashes, which were gathered,
leached, and the lye was boiled down to alkaline salts. The salts, or potash,
were then barreled, ready for market. 'Squire DURFEY and his boys were
coopers and made the barrels. Then a team or two was fitted out by the
settlers and loaded with the potash, and some one or more would go with
it to Troy, N. Y., or to Boston, Mass., and exchange it for flour, salt,
tea, tobacco, sweetsers or [?] for the women, and many other necessaries,
which could be attained only by purchasing. Thomas LEE often went to market
with venison and partridges and exchanged them for groceries.
The women were by no means indolent during this time. The mother
did the weaving for the family, and wove for others whenever an opportunity
occurred, and taught the daughters the very useful art of carding and spinning
wool and flax. Mrs. Esther HOAG, being very anxious to assist her husband
in the support of the family through the winter, wove for a man in Ferrisburgh
thirty-two yards of cloth in a hand-loom, putting in and beating up the
filling, thread by thread, for one bushel of rye. She went on horseback
to Ferrisburgh to deliver the cloth and get the rye, carrying with her
an infant only six months old (now Hon. Enos P. HOAG, of this town), and
came home by a grist-mill in Starksboro to get it ground. The miller, learning
how hard she had labored for it, and how very small the pay for the labor,
ground it without taking toll.
The woods abounded in game, the deer were plenty, rabbits and partridges
were quite numerous. In nearly every house might be found the flint-lock
musket, a necessary appendage to the furniture. The men and boys were trained
to use it in a practical method. Target shooting was too expensive a luxury
for those times. A sight at the deer at a reasonable distance was sure
death for him. They easily supplied themselves with the necessary amount
of venison, and much smaller game was taken, which was made available during
The settlers became sufficiently numerous in 1798 to organize the
town. Nearly every male citizen was honored by being elected to some office
at the first meeting. On the 26th day of February, 1798, a petition was
presented by the settlers to Henry MCLAUGHLIN, of Bristol, a justice of
the peace, requesting "His Honor" to warn a town meeting. The following
is a literal copy of the petition, warning, and proceedings of the first
meeting as they were originally recorded:
Feb the 26 day 1798
We the subscribers Humbly Request your Honour to worn a town meeting
for the in Habitance of the town of Lincoln on the Second tuesday of March
Next at the Dwelling house of Jedediah DURFEY in Said Lincoln. and we yours
are in Duty Ever bound to Henry MCLAUGHLIN justice of Peace in county of
ORVIS Lawrence DELONG
DURFEY Woolcott BURNHAM
EASTMAN Demarcerios HEDDING
DELONG John HEDDING
are to worn all the inhabitance of the town of Lincoln, to Meet at the
Dwelling house of Jedediah DURFEY in said Lincoln on the 2nd Tuesday of
March in the year of our Lord 1798 at ten oclock in the forenoon to act
on the following buziness, Viz.
choose A Moderator to govern said Meeting,
choose a Town Clark.
choose Select Men.
choose all other officers that the Law of this State Directs.
transact any other business that Concerns said town agreeable to Law when
28th February 1798
13th March 1798
Henry MCLAUGHLIN Esq moderator.
Howland DELONG town Clark.
Loren ORVIS, James VARNEY, Jedediah DURFEY Celect Men.
Samuel BROOKS town treasury.
Samuel EASTMAN first Constable.
that the rest of the town officers should Be chosen by- Nomination.
Loren ORVIS, Jedediah DURFEY, Woolcot BURNHAM Listers.
Samuel EASTMAN Collector of town rates.
Loren ORVIS Leather Sealer.
Samuel EASTMAN grand jury.
Jedediah DURFEY pound keeper.
Loren ORVIS tithing Man.
James VARNEY howard.
Loren Orvis WOOLCOT Burnham fens viewurs.
Jedediah DURFEY Highway soveir.
Loren ORVIS sealer of weights and measures.
that hogs should run at large With good and sufficient yokes.
men are under oath to sarve unto the Several offices whare untwo they ware
The principal source of revenue from which the earliest settlers
received their income was from the manufacture of potash from the red elm,
which was quite numerous in some localities; other wood was used for the
same purpose, but of less value.
Game was plenty, especially deer, which might be seen almost daily,
of which they supplied their own tables with venison and sent large quantities
to market during the winter months in exchange for groceries and other
Timber was nearly worthless, except for fuel and the manufacture
of potash, the demand being very small, and that local. The first saw-mill
was built near the Corners just below where the covered bridge now stands,
by a company of settlers for the purpose of manufacturing lumber necessary
for their own use. The next mill of any importance was built by Amos and
Joseph JONES where George A. THAYER's clapboard mill now stands. From 1825
to 1830 the old-fashioned "up and down" saw-mills became quite numerous.
The first circular saw was brought into town by Ariel HAWKINS in 1837 and
used by him in sawing shingles in the mill now owned by Seymour J. DAVIS.
Joseph BLANCHARD, Isaac HOUSTON, William and Andrew MITCHELL, came
from Acworth, N. H., and located in the west part of the town in 1827,
and put up a saw-mill and forge about forty rods above the Dean bridge,
and the next year commenced the manufacture of iron. About the same time,
or a year earlier, Henry SOPER and Philetus PIER built a forge where Hodijah
LINCOLN'S mill now stands, and at the time of the freshet it was owned
by Pier and O. W. BURNHAM. These two forges were destroyed by the freshet,
but were rebuilt soon after. O. W. BURNHAM built a forge some eighty or
a hundred rods below, where BARNUM formerly commenced to build a whetstone
factory. This forge was run by BURNHAM some eight or ten years. About 1840
he became sole owner of the other two, and continued the manufacture of
iron until about 1860. The ore from which the iron was made was brought
from the Adirondacks. The hauling of the ore and iron to and from the forge
gave steady employment to a great many owning teams. The coal was furnished
mostly by those who owned wood land and were desirous of clearing it. There
are many "well-to-do" farmers who settled in the wilderness and cleared
this land and at the same time were laying up money in selling the coal.
The wealth of the town previous to 1850 was to a great extent due
to the iron works, and it was the nucleus of a business, and about the
only one, in which large sums of money were annually paid to employees.
The forges when run to their full capacity were capable of turning
out three hundred tons of iron to each fire annually.
The first grist-mill in town, for grinding corn and provender only,
was built in 1806 by Chase PURINTON, on the privilege where Abel T. MORGAN's
saw-mill now stands. The stones were taken from the farm now owned by Charles
HEYWOOD. They are still in use in the mill now known as the "Hanks mill,"
and after eighty years of almost constant wear are apparently as good as
when first used.
The first store in town was kept by Joseph BLANCHARD, and was situated
in the west part of the town on the present site of Joseph MINER's dwelling
house. The first stock of goods was put in in 1828, which consisted of
groceries and West India goods. This was the only store in town for a number
of years, when A. C. ALLEN opened a store in the building now owned by
Ira W. WAKEFIELD, and occupied by him for a shoe-shop and post-office.
A small grocery store run by one Ira HUNTLY was located for a short
time where Hodijah LINCOLN's dry sheds are now situated.
O.W. BURNHAM commenced in the mercantile business about 1840 or
'42 on the same site of James L. LINCOLN's store. This was the only store,
however, that did any great amount of business in that part of the town,
and was the only one in town until the store at the Center was started,
on the present site of W. N. GOVE's, and was run as a union store for a
A bark-mill and tannery was built just below where O. S. H. BUTTERFIELD's
grist-mill now stands, and was owned and run by Manly S. WILDS for a time,
and afterwards by Porter THOMAS.
A foundry for the manufacturing of plows was built in 1832 by Russell
TABER, on the farm now owned by William EDDY, and was successfully run
by him about twenty years, when he removed the works to "Rocky Dale."
The land tax was quite heavy in proportion to the value of the real
estate on which it was assessed at that time. An acre of wild and worthless
mountain land was taxed the same as though it had been improved and cultivated.
The settlers, however, suffered very little inconvenience from the method
of taxation, compared with the non-resident land owners. The most of this
tax could be paid either in labor in making roads and building bridges,
or in money. The settlers, realizing the inconvenience arising from poor
roads, and in some places none at all, were not only willing but anxious
to have all opportunity to work out their taxes; for every dollar laid
out in the improvement in this way increased the value of their homes as
much if not more. The non-residents being the owners of most of the mountain
lands and the poorer lands below -- for the settlers had selected what
they considered the best -- were compelled to pay equally as much per acre,
and pay it in money at or before some specified time, or their lands would
be advertised and sold at public auction. The auction sales were of some
advantage to the settlers who wished to own more land, for it frequently
occurred that a fair kind of a lot was sold under the hammer for three
or four dollars. The rate of the land tax was fixed by the Legislature,
and it specified for what and how it should be appropriated. At its session
in October, 1802, at Westminster, a committee was appointed to survey and
lay out a post-road from Berkshire to Pittsford, which road was known as
and called in this town the "County Road." The committee was allowed fifteen
days to complete the survey through the town and six days through Avery's
Gore. To defray the expenses of laying and making the road, and building
the bridges in its course through this town, the Legislature in 1803 assessed
a tax of three cents an acre on all the land in the town, excepting those
sequestered for public, pious, and charitable purposes. This tax could
be paid in labor on the road under the direction of a committee appointed
to superintend it, or in money at a specified time. As it was not so paid
about sixteen thousand acres were sold by Jonathan GOVE at public auction.
The whole amount received from this sale, including costs of sale, was
$538.52. Another tax of four cents per acre was assessed in 1812, one cent
of which was to be paid in money to defray the current expenses of the
State, and the other three in labor or money for the purpose of making
and repairing roads. About one-fourth of the land in town was sold at this
time in consequence of the tax not being paid when due. The following notice
appeared in Volume I, No. 28, of the Vermont Mirror, a newspaper printed
at Middlebury Vt., April 7, 1813:
"Whereas the Legislature of the State of Vermont at their session at Montpelier
in the year 1812, assessed a tax of three cents on each acre of land (public
rights excepted) in the town of Lincoln, in the county of Addison, in said
State, for the purpose of making and repairing roads in said town, the
proprietors and land owners are hereby notified that they may pay the proportion
of said tax in labor at any time in the months of June and July by applying
to either of the subscribers who are appointed a committee to superintend
the expenditure of said tax.
Vt., March 10, 1813."
Several other land taxes were assessed, one in 1826 of four cents
per acre to build the road from the Thomas GOODRICH place to Bristol line.
Beside the land tax there was a poll and personal property one,
raised to defray current expenses of the town. A tax bill raised on the
grand list of 1820, by Ebenezer DURFEY, Thomas LEE, and James VARNEY, selectmen,
is still in existence, which foots up six dollars fifty-nine cents and
eight mills ($6.59.8). Only two cents were raised on the dollar of the
grand list. Moses GOVE paid thirty-two cents and five mills' tax, the largest
one that year, and Mehitable HEDDING paid only three cents, the smallest
one. Several paid only a poll tax of four cents. A number of the taxes
appear to be unpaid, which deficit amounts to thirty-seven cents. There
were fifty-one names on the bill, all of which have long since paid their
last tax. Moses HUNTINGTON, late of Buffalo, N. Y., was the last of the
survivors, who died in 1885.
I have been unable to obtain any complete or satisfactory account
of the first schools in town. The first school-house was built, undoubtedly,
near the south line of Elihu PURINTON's farm. It was a low log structure,
with only three small windows, of six lights each of seven by nine glass,
and a roughly hewed door whose top reached the eaves. The inside construction
was equally rude. The writing tables or benches were attached to the outside
of the room, with long seats on which the pupils sat facing the wall when
writing. The stove at one time consisted of a large caldron kettle inverted
on a stone arch. As late as 1818 there was only one other school-house
in town, and that was situated on what is known as Gove HILL. The first
school in town was taught by Miss Olive DURFEY, in 1797. I do not find
any evidence that there was any school-house at that time.
Moses HUNTINGTON taught school in the first mentioned house in 1819.
The school was a very large one; thirty-three boys and nineteen girls were
in attendance--about one-fifth of the entire population of the town, according
to the census of 1820. From the best information obtainable there are fourteen
now that attended the school, of whom five reside in town. In a letter
written by the venerable teacher, a few months previous to his decease
(1885), in speaking of the old log school-house he says: "I taught school
in this house two terms, in 1818 and 1819, for the usual wages of ten dollars
per month, and, according to the custom of the country, boarded around
with the scholars. I set the copies for those who wrote, and made all their
quill pens. There was a large class in Adam's old Arithemetic, and in the
English Reader. They used Webster's Spelling Book and Perry's Dictionary.
I do not remember whether I had any geography or grammar class."
I have in my possession the original roll containing the names of
all of the scholars that attended the school in the winter of 1818 and
'19, and will give them here, as it may not be wholly uninteresting to
the few that are now living and to their many descendants, and those of
Hezekiah HATCH, Abram HATCH, William LEE, Malchi LEE, Peter JOHNSON,
John JOHNSON, Moses VARNEY, John PURINTON, Sewell SARGENT, Elijah MEADER,
Nathan PURINTON, Nathan C. GOVE, Elijah VARNEY, Josephus HATCH, Thomas
LEE, Solomon LEE, Jarius JOHNSON, Benjamin PURINTON, Jacob PURINTON, Moses
SARGENT, Jesse MEADER, John HUNTINGTON, jr., Levi GOVE, Lucy LEE, Belinda
BUSH, Cynthia JOHNSON, Hannah MEADER, Lydia LEE, Ruth SARGENT, Lovina MEADER,
Lydia MEADER, Mary PURINTON, Mary HUNTINGTON, Eunice HEDDING, Achsah MEADER,
Sarah HUNTINGTON, Lydia HEDDING.
The following are now living, viz. Elijah PURINTON, John C. GOVE,
Damon HEDDING, Lewis TABER, Aaron LEE, Charles PURINTON, Daniel GOVE, Russel
TABER, Silas TABER, Content JOHNSON, Hannah HUNTINGTON, Mariam GOVE, Lydia
HUNTINGTON, Phebe C. GOVE.
A school was established in the north part of the town about the
year 1824, in a house that was built for a dwelling, and situated very
near where the school-house in district No. 1 now stands. The scholars
who attended the school in this district in 1824 have left a rhyme from
which a few historical facts may be drawn.
There are doubtless many living who were acquainted with some of
the circumstances narrated in this rude poem, and were more familiarly
acquainted with the young rhymsters, whose poetical genius began to develop
without any of the rules of prosody, except that the last syllables of
two or more lines should have corresponding sounds. At just what time the
house was built is uncertain, but it was occupied more or less for a dwelling
until 1820 as will be seen from a few extracts from the poem:
this great school-house I now mean to show
built by Dick Parmer, in what year I don't know,
like a hermit in this wilderness great,
he lived here no one can relate."
PARMER sold out to Samuel BROOKS and Brooks sold out to Dr. Benjamin
TABER in January, 1817. The Doctor lived in it until 1819.
old house to a doctor he sold,
house was fast decaying and growing old,
was so old, of falling he feared,
him another--two story we've heerd."
After the house was vacated by the doctor it was changed into a
year eighteen hundred twenty and four,
the old house with a rough cleet door,
a damsel, she was very fair,
them a school and take proper care."
The lady above referred to was Miss Rachel RHOADES. The following
winter Nathan SAWYER, of Weare, N. H., was engaged to teach the school.
the master I now will begin,
his folly and the state he lives in,
in this master I mean to tell
all the girls a little too well,
he is better and wiser if I may relate
of the gentlemen from Hampshire State."
Other school-houses were built within a few years after, and the
town divided into districts, of which there are now twelve, each supporting
at least six months' school per annum. It cannot be said that the school-houses
are all suitable and convenient now, but were, very likely, when built.
A few are very old and will be replaced by new and more commodious ones
soon. The thrifty and enterprising people of the district in South Lincoln
have recently built a school house with improved and modern furniture,
that is not only an honor to that district but to the entire town, and
leaves an example worthy to be imitated by other districts. A school-house
was built in the Downingsville district in the fall of 1885, and other
districts will follow in the wake soon. There are now enrolled in the schools
two hundred and eighty-five scholars, between the ages of five and twenty
years. The whole amount expended for schools in 1884 was $1,134.16, an
average of nearly four dollars per scholar. William W. POPE was the first
superintendent of schools and M. J. STEARNS is the present incumbent.
The first post-office was established July 23, 1835, by the appointment
of Luther M. KENT, M. D., postmaster, and was located near the Corners
on the place now owned by Watson MORGAN, and formerly known as the "Doctor
KENT farm." Previou's to this all the mail was deposited at, and received
from, the post-office at Bristol. The office was moved to the west part
of the town, "Acworth," May 4, 1849, and Erastus W. CHAPMAN was appointed
postmaster. His successors were Almon C. ALLEN, appointed January 24, 1851;
Enos P. HOAG, appointed January 25, 1854; and Franklin J.BURNHAM, appointed
January 7,1857 Samuel M. FISH received the appointment April 13, 1861,
and moved the office to the Center, where it has since been located. He
was succeeded by George F. POPE January 9, 1866; by James H. BATCHELDER
July 23, 1867; by Charles D. PEET September 5, 1876, and by Moses B. GOVE
December 6, 1877, who is the present incumbent. An office was established
at "Acworth" by the name of West Lincoln, May 15, 1878, with Milton J.
STEARNS postmaster; he was succeeded by Ira W. WAKEFIELD August 27, 1878,
who still continues in the office.
During the time that Enos P. HOAG was postmaster there were only
thirteen papers taken in town; at the present time there are over three
hundred taken at the two offices. The mail was carried to and brought from
Bristol only once a week until about 1850, then twice and three times a
week until 1867, when a daily mail was received.
Since July 1, 1881, the mail leaves sufficiently early in the morning
to connect with the Boston and New York mail, and returns at night with
The year 1830 is memorable on account of a severe and destructive
freshet. An unusual quantity of rain had fallen throughout the season,and
especially the week preceding. The ground was soaked full of water and
the streams were much swollen. Early in the forenoon of Monday, July 26,
dark, massive clouds hovered over the town. The heavy roar of the thunder
in the heavens, echoing and re-echoing among the hills and mountains, with
the frequent flashes of the forked lightning and the sulphurous odor in
the atmosphere, indicated that a terrible storm was at hand, but how terrible
and destructive no one then imagined. Later in the day, when the storm
commenced, the roar of the thunder was hushed by the descending rain. Those
who have vivid recollections of that stormy night say that it was unlike
any other storm that they ever witnessed. It seemed to descend in one continuous
sheet, like the water falling over a precipice. That night the New Haven
River rose to such unparalleled height that crops, trees, bridges, mills,
factories, and dwelling houses were swept away in its fury. Although no
human lives were lost or seriously injured in town, yet the suffering and
misery endured for a time by those momentarily, expecting death cannot
be portrayed or imagined. The traces of the freshet will remain visible
for years to come. The channel of the river was greatly changed in several
places, and it now runs where there were once meadows, gardens, and dwelling
houses. The crops along the borders of the stream were wholly destroyed.
Lemuel B. ELDRIDGE, in a little volume entitled The Torrent, says "that
one hundred acres of land in Lincoln, suitable for cultivation, were either
totally, destroyed or rendered useless for years."
A bridge crossing the stream near George A. THAYER's present mill
site, then known as the Jones bridge, was the first on the stream to be
swept away. Above this bridge but comparatively little damage was done,
as only the rocks and trees were exposed to its fury.
Aaron GOVE lived in a log house near, or just a few rods above,
where Jesse COTEY's house now stands. The family, had retired, and before
they were aware of it the house was entirely, surrounded by water, and
any attempt to escape -- the current being so swift and strong on either
side -- would have resulted in certain death. When the water came into
the lower part of the house the family, eight in number, went into the
chamber as a last resort. A portion of the lower part of the house was
washed away; a door-post, however, remained on one side undisturbed, on
which the upper portion rested. Had this given way the roof would have
fallen, and no doubt the occupants would have either been killed by the
falling timbers or drowned.
Daniel BUTTERFIELD lived a few rods below, nearly opposite William
H. HOAG's present residence. His loss was heavy; a large portion of intervale
meadow was carried away. The channel of the river was at that time near
the west side of the intervale; since then on the east side, where it now
Thomas TABER lived on the farm now owned by George GARLAND. His
house stood several rods below where Stephen C. VARNEY's saw-mill now stands,
and where the river now runs. His family, consisting of his wife and five
small children, remained in the house until the cellar wall fell in on
one side, and immediately following they heard the crash of the falling
bridge, a few rods above them, and then made a hasty retreat, barely escaping
with their lives. When but a short distance away they heard the house fall,
and on the following morning saw the main channel of the river where the
house stood the night before. One of those children now living says that
he carried the old- fashioned tin lantern, with perforated sides, to pilot
the family to the nearest neighbor's east. They took with them only such
clothing as they had on; all the rest, with their furniture, provisions,
and fifty dollars in money which Taber had that day hired for necessary
purposes, was destroyed in a moment's time.
A saw-mill, owned by John GOVE, situated a few rods below from where
O. S. H. BUTTERFIELD's grist-mill now stands, was carried away with all
the machinery, and all that remained to mark the spot were some fragments
of the dam.
About one-half mile below, the crops of Valentine MEADER were destroyed
and a bridge carried away.
Between this place and "Acworth," now West Lincoln, but very little
damage was done. The property destroyed at "Acworth" was of more value
than all the other property that suffered the same fate in the town. A
thrifty little manufacturing village had suddenly sprung up at this place.
A few men with small capital had invested it here in manufactories, and
it was fast becoming the business heart of the town. About three years
previous to the freshet Joseph BLANCHARD, Isaac HOUSTON, William and Andrew
MITCHELL came from Acworth, N. H., and built a saw-mill, and in 1828 built
a forge a few feet below. Some seventy-five or eighty rods below this forge
another one was built in 1827 by Henry SOPER and Philetus PIER, and at
the time of the freshet was owned by Pier and Oliver W. BURNHAM. Midway
between these two forges was a bridge, then and since known as the Dean
bridge. The river above the saw-mill was narrow, and the banks on either
side were very high and abrupt. In this narrow passage the water rose about
four feet per hour from dark until near midnight, when the saw-mill, forge,
and coal-house, with a stock of coal, ore, and iron, were carried off and
every trace of them blotted out in much less time than it takes to narrate
it. The saw-mill floated down the furious current bodily and lodged on
a small island opposite where Captain J. L. LINCOLN's store now stands,
and, with the flood-wood that had previously accumulated there, went over
the dam below. The lower forge yielded to the fury of the water nearly
two hours later.
Below this little village, on the east side of the river, is a tract
of land known as the Burnham Flat. At the lower end of this stood a small,
unfinished framed house, occupied by Prosper DURFEY and family. The roaring
of the water awoke Mrs. DURFEY, who was alone with her children, and on
examination found that escape was impossible, as the water had already
surrounded the house. The floors had not been nailed down, and the lower
one, with the beds occupied by the family, was raised to within about eighteen
inches of the upper one. Mrs. DURFEY parted the boards above, and, with
her children, went through into the chamber, where they remained until
morning, when they were taken ashore on a raft. It may seem almost miraculous
that the house stood in such a depth of water; and it would have been destroyed,
no doubt, if the lower floor had been nailed down. The main channel of
the river was some four or five rods west of the house. A large hemlock
log, two and one-half feet in diameter by thirty long, was thrown out from
the current in the main channel on to the flat, and rolled or floated sideways
to the house, protecting it from the flood-wood and debris. Below the house
there was a short bend in the river, which produced a back current against
the lower side, counteracting the one from above.
General BARNUM, of Vergennes, bad commenced to build a dam and factory
for the purpose of manufacturing whetstones, from a quarry near by, standing
below the big bend and within a few rods of the west line of the town,
and was the last to suffer destruction within the limits of the town. Another
freshet, in which a great amount of property was destroyed, occurred on
the 4th day of October, 1869. The first mill property on the river to suffer
was that owned by G. A. and O. H. THAYER, of South Lincoln, there being
only one mill on the river above at that time. The mill was started in
the morning with a fair run of water, and was run until about the middle
of the forenoon, when the river rose so rapidly that it was thought advisable
to shut down; and in only a few minutes the water was running through the
mill, and in another moment it was gone out of sight in the mad rush of
The next mill on the river to suffer the same fate was owned by
Elisha R. CAIN and situated only a few rods below.
A short distance below, the mills of James CAUGHLIN and Asa JACKMAN
were badly damaged, though not carried off.
A grist-mill and saw-mill owned by O. S. H. BUTTERFIELD, situated
on his present mill site, were totally destroyed and carried away. The
damage to roads and bridges was very great and travel was greatly impeded
for several days.
Revolutionary War -- Ebenezer DURFEY and Owen BRIGGS were in the
Revolutionary War and both were pensioned at the rate of eight dollars
War of 181 -- The following named persons were in the United States
service in the War of 1812 from this town, or who have since resided here:
Albert BEACH, Noah JENNINGS, James DOWNING, Prosper DURFEY, Thomas LEE,
Benjamin CLARK, Uriah BUSH, Alanson HAMNER, Daniel BAGLEY, and Oliver W.
War of 1861 -- The town has a soldiers' record of which her citizens
may justly feel proud. The quota under the different calls of the president
was promptly filled by brave and fearless men who were not afraid to face
the enemy on the field of battle, and were, mostly, men of intelligence
and good moral character. It is due to those who sacrificed the comforts
and pleasant associations of home, to endure the hardships of army life
in assisting to save the country, that their names and the memorials of
them be perpetuated on the pages of history. The following list, compiled
from the State records, gives the names of those who served in Vermont
Volunteers for three years credited previous to call for 300,000
volunteers of October 17, 1863:
G.H. ATWOOD, H. A. ATWOOD, S. BARNARD, A. BASSALOW, L. E. BRISTOL,
J. S. BUTTERFIELD, J. H. BUTTERFIELD, T. J. BYRON, E. CANFIELD, F. CLARK,
J. CLARK, J. CLARK, T. CLARK, K. CONNELLY, A. CUSHMAN, E. S. CUSHMAN, P.
DELPHY, E. C. DOW, L. DOW, E. R. GOVE, I. S. GOVE, O. A. GOULD, T. T. HAMNER,
R. S. HILL, L. J. HOADLEY, I. N. MAYO, S. W. MAYO, N. MINER, O. J. MOORE,
R. RICHARDS, S. J. SARGENT, G. SHEDRICK, D. H. STEARNS, F. STEVENS, J.
WALKER, J. F. WALKER, C. W. WEAVER, E. S. WHITTIER, J. J. WHITTIER, J.
W. WILLIAMS, D. H. YORK, G. W. YORK.
Credits under call of October 17, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers,
and subsequent calls:
Volunteers for three years. -- G. A. ATKINS, L. M. ATWOOD, A. J.
BARNES, C. B. CHAMBERLAIN, S. G. CHAPMAN, J. W. COBB, Jesse COTY, Nelson
CROZIER, P. DURFEY, A. B. GOVE, C. HAMNER, J. HUFSON, J. PERSON, F. SORIOL,
J. UBAR, W. WHEELER, W. J. WHITTIER, H. J. WOOD.
Volunteers for one year. -- A. D. ATKINS, G. BLANCHARD, C. W. CLARK,
E. KING, S. B. MORRILL, J. H. MURRAY, H. C. POWERS, D. C. UBEAR.
Volunteers re-enlisted. -- H. A. Atwood, P. DELPHY, J. J. WHITTIER
Enrolled man who furnished substitute.--G. F. Pope.
Not credited by name. -- Two men.
Volunteers for nine months. -- A. G. BABCOCK, J. COFFIN, L. J. DOW,
W. E. GOVE, W. E. GREEN, C. P. JONES, D. D. JONES, L. M. KENT, J. MOULTON,
W. E. NOYES, E. M. PERCIVAL, H. STENIOR, H. WOOD.
Furnished under draft. -- Paid Commutation, A. ATKINS, L. N. DOWNING,
O. Frank, J. JACKSON, D. JOHNSON, D. PALMER, N. PAGE, N. PURINTON, S. DANFORTH,
C. E. VARNEY. Procured substitute, C. E. BRISTOL, M. F. GOVE, O. STOKES,
E. B. TRACY.
The year 1878 was replete with memorable events. It will ever be
remembered by those who suffered, in consequence of an epidemic, of the
financial crisis, and a fire. Diphtheria in its unwelcome and direful visits
introduced sadness, sorrow, and gloom throughout the entire town. Twelve
deaths were chronicled as the result of this terrible malady from May 1
to August 1. It first made its appearance in the family of Samuel Miner,
in the west part of the town, then in the family of Dr. Almer A. HIER,
at the Center. Five deaths occurred in the short space of ten days, within
a few rods of each other. Dr. HIER, his wife, and three children were prostrated
at the same time. The brittle thread that so recently held together the
bright and happy family was snapped asunder, and Mrs. HIER and a little
boy only survived.
The financial troubles were unprecedented. Every one that desired
credit obtained it, and as the result business men trusted out their merchandise,
and obligated themselves by placing their names to commercial paper beyond
their capital. This was done hoping that times would change, business be
more active, and money more plenty. Property of every kind and description
was on the decline with very little prospect of ever rising. Things continued
thus until the 26th day of January, when several attachments were made
and the store of W. N. GOVE was closed. In the fore part of February the
union store and M. B. GOVE's boot and shoe store were closed. In June the
store of CAIRN & HARTWELL was also closed. With these parties many,
farmers and others suffered, being connected with them in their business,
either by loaning money or sign commercial paper. Men lost all confidence
in their fellow men. More legal processes were served during the year than
for several years preceding, and some of them upon parties least expecting
it. A large quantity of property was sold under the hammer at a great sacrifice.
Real estate on the average depreciated from thirty to fifty per cent in
value, while several places at a forced sale were bought for less than
one-third their former value. No less than ten sought relief under the
United States bankrupt and the State insolvent act.
On the morning of August 4 a fire broke out in the building owned
by E. I. HEWITT and M. B. GOVE. The lower part was occupied as a store
by FLANKS & JOHNSON, and the boot and shoe store of M. B. GOVE. The
post-office and town clerk's office were also on this floor. The second
story was occupied by the Grangers and Good Templars for their lodge room.
An ell was occupied by M. B. GOVE for a dwelling house. The furniture and
fixtures of the Grangers and Good Templars, and the contents of the two
stores were wholly consumed. The town records were in one of MARVIN's fire-proof
safes and were uninjured excepting the animal portions of the binding,
which were destroyed. The books were rebound and are apparently as good
Town Officers Elected March, 1886. -- Stephen M. COLBY, moderator;
Moses B. GOVE, clerk and treasurer; Wilber E. HANKS, Charles A. KINSLEY,
Isaac W. HATCH, selectmen; Samuel D. O'BRYAN, James WARD, Alfred C. MERRILL,
listers; George W. BURNHAM, Milton J. STEARNS, Alfred C. MERRILL, auditors;
Elisha B. CLARK, John H. BEANE, Walter S. COLBY, fence viewers; Howard
CLARK 2d, constable and overseer of the poor; Elihu PURINTON, trustee of
United States surplus fund; Abel T. MORGAN, town grand juror; Harvey FARR,
agent; George R. STONE, inspector of leather; Howard CLARK 2d, pound-keeper;
Stephen C. VARNEY, inspector of lumber; Stephen G. COLBY, sexton; Milton
J. STEARNS, superintendent of schools.
County 0fficers in Town. -- Howard CLARK 2d, sheriff; Charles E.
POPE, deputy sheriff; Moses B. GOVE, Stephen M. COLBY, Charles E. POPE,
Watson MORGAN, George W. BURNHAM, Charles G. BUTTERFIELD, William W. VARNEY,
justices of the peace.
Nearly all of the first and early settlers belonged to the Society
of Friends, and for many years it was the only society that sustained regular
religious worship. Those who did not belong with them were the exceptions.
The first organization of this society was July 16, 1801, at which time
James VARNEY was appointed clerk. Meetings for Worship were held about
two years previous to this, in a log house owned by Levi MEADER, situated
very near the north line of the town, on the west part of the farm now
owned by Hiram HAMNER. Their meetings were held for several years in private
houses. A log meeting-house was built on the land now owned by Thomas MOODY,
also one near where the town house now stands. I do not know when they
were built or how long they were occupied. In 1802 the society proposed
a plan for a house of worship to the Easton, N. Y., Quarterly Meeting,
of which the Lincoln Society was a branch, for their approval. They then
proposed to build a house twenty-four by thirty-six feet, with ten-feet
posts, at all estimated cost of $500. The report from this quarterly meeting
was not a very flattering one so far as regards their rendering any assistance,
as the following extract from the report shows: "That the Friends of Lincoln
had better for the present endeavor to accommodate themselves with such
a house as they are able to build amongst themselves."
The present house was built in 1810 and was the only one for worship
for Lincoln, a part of Bristol and South Starksboro for many years, and
was the only church building in town until about 1863, when two churches
were built at the Center. Large as the house now seems, it was often filled
and on special occasions would not accommodate all that attended.
The Society of Friends is now quite small, but they continue to
meet together twice a week for public worship.
The meetings of the other denominations for public worship were
held in dwelling and school-houses in the different parts of the town,
and sometimes for want of a more suitable place they were held in barns
The Methodist Society built a church in 1863, and the same year
a Union Church was built, which was occupied by the Freewill Baptists and
Freewill Baptist Church .-- A Freewill Baptist Church was organized
in town as early as 1832, and was admitted into the quarterly meeting conference
in January, 1834. Rev. Ziba POPE was the first pastor. Israel FREEMAN,
a colored preacher, was the recognized pastor in 1837. Samuel KENNISTON
preached here before the organization, and was the first Freewill Baptist
preacher ever located in town. Jarius DAVIS, Joshua TUCKER, and Mark ATWOOD
were pastors of the church at different times. The first quarterly meeting
was held in the upper part of Ziba POPE's barn, on the farm recently owned
by George H. BABCOCK, and now owned by Daniel and M. B. GOVE. Failing to
maintain its organization it was dropped from the quarterly meeting in
Another organization was effected November 13, 1862, with ten members,
by Revs. E. B. FULLER, S. W. PERKINS, and O. B. DIKE. Amos TUCKER was chosen
clerk, and John T. HILL deacon. The first monthly meeting was held in the
Corners school-house November 25, 1862. The present membership is thirty-four.
Rev. W. H. LYSTER is pastor, Alfred C. MERRILL, clerk, Nelson M. BROOKS
and John T. HILL, deacons.
Christian Church.--The Christian Church was organized November 13,
1840, at the dwelling house of Hermon BEMENT, with twenty members, by Rev.
Joseph D. MARSH, of Randolph, Vt. Rev. Merritt W. POWERS was the first
pastor, Benjamin CLARK first clerk, and Elisha BRIGGS and Davis TUCKER
were the first deacons. Six only of those who were members at its organization
are still living, but are not residents of the town. Enos P. HOAG was about
the first to unite with the church and has been a consistent member ever
since. There are now sixty-four members. Rev. Charles D. BURDICK is the
present pastor, Mrs. Ella M. BUTTERFIELD clerk, Loyal COLLINS and Cornelius
Methodist Church .-- The Methodist Church was organized in the spring
of 1836 by Rev. Nathaniel STEARNS and was for several years connected with
the church in Ripton, and was for a long time known as the Lincoln and
Ripton Mission. The present church edifice and parsonage was built in 1863,
through personal efforts of the late Rev. Caleb STEVENS, who was pastor
of the church at that time. Rev. Smith M. WILBUR is the present pastor.
Present membership, fifty-three.
Sabbath–schools -- A Sabbath-school is maintained at each of the
churches and at the school-house in South Lincoln throughout the year,
and each has a library of nearly three hundred volumes. Schools are maintained
at West Lincoln and Downingsville through the summer months. The first
Sabbath school in town was organized at Downingsville in June, 1843, through
the personal efforts of Mrs. Fanny M. PURINTON and Mrs. Emily POWERS.
Physicians – A. J. CUSHMAN, a resident of the town for twenty-five
years, has practiced medicine for the last three years, and is now attending
lectures at the medical department of the University of Vermont.
J.S. DODGE, a graduate of the University of New York city has located
in town during the last eight years.
Local Societies -- A lodge of Good Templars was organized in 1869
and flourished both financially and numerically. At one time the lodge
numbered over one hundred members. They continued to hold their meetings
regularly until August, 1878 when they lost their charter and furniture
by fire. Since then they have ceased to exist as a lodge.
A Grange was organized in 1875 or '76, but was not a successful
enterprise, and existed as an organization only a few years.
The Lincoln Cornet Band was organized in 1882 under the instruction
of S. W. HATCH. Leroy S. VARNEY is the present leader and Albert F. GOVE
drum major. It has now seventeen members.
Present Industries. -- The industries of the town are somewhat varied
in their nature. A portion of the inhabitants devote their attention to
agriculture, dairying, stock raising, and the manufacturing of maple sugar;
others give their whole attention to the manufacturing of lumber. The abundance
of timber on the mountain and the many excellent mill privileges render
the town practically a lumber manufacturing one, and it is at present the
principal source of its wealth. There are fifteen mills in town, in which
either coarse lumber, clapboards, shingles, or staves are made from the
logs. The mills have a capacity of cutting out several million feet per
annum, and give steady employment to over one hundred men. Nearly one-third
of the population of the town obtain their support either directly or indirectly
from this industry. Besides the hands employed in the mills, a still greater
number are employed in the woods on the mountains cutting the logs, and
with teams in piling and hauling them, and drawing the lumber, etc., away.
Only a few of these mills are confined exclusively to any one branch of
There are three mills for the exclusive manufacture of clapboards,
three for staves, and one each for shingles and butter-tubs. The mills
for cutting coarse lumber can economically make clapboards and shingles,
by sorting the logs and using such as are best adapted for those purposes.
A portion of the waste or slabs is worked into headings and laths. HEATH
Brothers' clapboard-mill is the first on the New Haven River, in that part
of the town formerly a part of Ripton, and known, as "Pope's Paradise"--a
name given to that locality many years ago, at which time Rev. Ziba POPE
built a saw-mill and dwelling house and cleared up a tract of land. They
manufactured during the year 1885 600,000 feet of clapboards and dressed
them ready for market. The next mill on the stream is owned by GREEN &
KELTON, and is situated in that part of Lincoln that was formerly a part
of Ripton. They manufacture dimension lumber, hardwood flooring, and clapboards.
G. A. THAYER's mill for sawing staves stands where the Jones mill formerly
stood. He occupies the Pope mill, a few rods below, for the manufacture
of clapboards. Mr. THAYER is the largest clapboard manufacturer in town.
During the year 1885 he sawed and dressed 1,000,000 feet, besides dressing
large quantities for others. James CAUGHLIN and A. A. JACKMAN & Son
each own mills on the same stream, near together, and both manufacture
coarse lumber, butter-tubs, and in addition JACKMAN & Son manufacture
clapboards and do custom planing. S. W. ALLEN's mill for sawing coarse
lumber, laths, and shingles is situated in the southeast part of the town,
on Beaver Brook. S. C. VARNEY & Son are located near the Center and
make all kinds of building lumber, heading, etc., and do custom work and
planing. Hodijah LINCOLN, at West Lincoln, gives his attention wholly to
the manufacture of staves. He does the most in the stave business, and
in fact more than all the others in town combined. Seth T. HILL's mill
for the manufacture of coarse lumber and staves is situated on the Downing
Creek, in the northeast part of the town. Mr. HILL owns more acres of land
in town than any other man, several hundred of which lie in one tract above
his mill. W. J. BROWN's mill for the manufacture of butter-tubs is the
next mill on the same stream. Below a few rods is the shingle-mill of Warren
BROOKS. The next is the stave-mill of Seymour J. DAVIS. George and Fred
G. BAGLEY saw all kinds of building lumber and clapboards; also do custom
sawing. Their mill is situated above the Corners, on the Downing Creek.
Abel T. MORGAN's mill for sawing coarse lumber and shingles, and Watson
MORGAN's mill for sawing and dressing clapboards, are both situated at
the Corners. W. E. HANKS and others own a mill still farther down the creek,
which has been used for the manufacture of clapboards and butter-tubs.
The upper part of the mill is used for grinding meal and provender. The
only grist-mill in town is owned by O. S. H. BUTTERFIELD, and is located
about one-half mile south of the post-office, on the New Haven River. It
is fitted for doing all kinds of custom grinding. The mercantile business
of the town is fully developed in all its departments.
Captain J. L. LINCOLN, at West Lincoln, carries a general line of
groceries, dry goods, notions, boots and shoes. GOVE & GREEN, at the
Center, carry a full line of groceries, fancy and dry goods, clothing,
and hardware. Milton J. STEARNS, at the Center, has a stock of dry goods,
crockery, meal, and feed. Moses B. GOVE gives his whole attention to the
sale of boots and shoes. E. M. WHITNEY commenced in the mercantile business
at South Lincoln April 1, 1886, with a stock of groceries. DODGE &
GOVE have worked up a good business as pharmacists, and are doing a fair
business in jobbing medicines, essences, flavoring extracts, etc., of their
own make. They employ several men on the road selling their goods. CLARK
& KINSLE do an extensive butchering, business at West Lincoln and supply
several markets with meat. During the year 1885 they dressed at their slaughter-house
500 beefs, 500 sheep, and 200 veal calves. The maple sugar business is
an important branch of the present industries. Many tons are annually made.
Though sold at low prices, yet it nets the farmers a fair profit. Ira W.
WAKEFIELD, at West Lincoln, and George R. STONE, at the Center, manufacture
custom boots and shoes, and do all kinds of repairing. A. F. GOVE, gunsmith
at the Center. V. W. MORGAN, at the Center, and Edgar R. SIPLES, at the
Corners, are manufacturers of wagons and carriages, and do custom repairing.
There are five blacksmith shops in town; Lorenzo DOW and Joseph MINER at
West Lincoln, V. W. MORGAN and Luther NUTTING at the Center, and Thomas
DUPOINT at South Lincoln.
Census. -- There has been a gradual increase in the population of
the town since its settlement, as will be seen from the follow table: 1800,
97; 1810, 255; 1820, 278; 1830, 639; 1840, 770; 1850, 1,057; 1860, 1,070;
1870, 1,174; 1880, 1,367.
Marcus HEDDING.--The Hedding families come from the vicinity of
Dutchess county, N, Y., to Starksboro, Vt. Marcus HEDDING, an uncle of
the late Bishop HEDDING of the M. E. Church, settled in the north part
of the town in 1795, and soon after his son John settled here. Marcus HEDDING
married Candace PRESTON for his first wife and Mehitable VARNEY for his
second. When they removed from Starksboro to Lincoln there was only a path
marked by spotted trees between the two places. They packed their goods
on a horse, which was led by a daughter riding one ahead. Harley HEDDING,
a son of Marcus, was born in 1795, and was the first child born in town.
John HEDDING died in 1815.
Lorenzo ORVIS was born in Norfolk, Conn. When quite young he came
to Bristol, where he married a Miss BROOKS. They settled in town on the
farm now owned by Hiram HAMNER, in March, 1795, and were the first that
made a permanent settlement. When he moved here from Bristol Flats he came
with an ox team and was two days making the journey over the hills of South
Starksboro. At the organization of the town he was chosen first selectman,
first lister, sealer of leather and weights and measures, fence viewer,
and tithingman. He died in Ferrisburgh, Vt., in the ninety-first year of
Wolcott BURNHAM came from Connecticut and settled in town as early
as 1797 on the farm now owned by Reuben COWLES; he was elected lister at
the organization of the town. His son, Oliver W. BURNHAM, resided in town;
he held the office of selectman three years, justice of the peace seven
years, and represented the town in the Legislature in 1827; was a prominent
business man, and was extensively engaged in the iron business. He died
June 20, 1860. George W., a soil of Oliver W., now resides in town.
Thomas GOODRICH was born in Lanesboro, Berkshire county, Mass.,
September 10, 1780. At the age of seventeen years he left his home and
came to Middlebury, Vt., where for two years he cultivated land on shares.
He first came to Lincoln September 10, 1799, on his nineteenth birthday,
and on the twelfth day of the same month he took a deed of the piece of
land where he afterward settled, and now owned by James BUTTERFIELD. He
married Esther FREEMAN, of New Haven, May 9, 1802, and died January 13,
1864. She was born September 17, 1781, and died September 6, 1846. Their
children were Lyman, born March 7, 1804; Phebe, born July 30, 1806; Julia,
born May 4, 1809; Alzina, born May 7, 1812 ; Moses, born April 15, 1815
; Esther, born November 23, 1819; Dinah, born May 22, 1823; Ruth, born
October 6, 1825. Alzina, Esther, and Ruth reside in town. He owned at one
time some seven hundred acres of land and paid the largest tax of any one
in town. He was quite eccentric in his ways. His team for general work
consisted of an ox and cow yoked together. He kept the first hotel in town,
and sold a few groceries to his townsmen; whisky, however, was the principal
article. The hotel business was not a success, although quite well patronized
by the fun lovers and dram drinkers. It was the seat of all the justice
courts of the town and a portion of Bristol. It is related of him that
he would drive his cattle into the woods without any yoke or harness, and
would construct a yoke, and by means of elm bark would draw out a good
load of wood.
Chase PURINTON was born in Kensington, N. H., April 27, 1757; he
afterwards lived in Weare, N. H., and settled in Lincoln in March, 1803,
on the farm now owned by a grandson, Elihu PURINTON, purchasing it of Jedediah
DURFEY, also purchasing two adjoining lots south, making in the total about
three hundred acres. He brought with him two yoke of oxen, a pair of horses,
and six cows. Three of his sons came with the cows and oxen, taking a load
of goods. The remainder of the family followed in a few days with the horse
team, bringing what goods they were able. He was a blacksmith by trade,
and the first that settled in town. On account of the uncertainty of the
roads through the new and mountainous country, he shod his cows as well
as his oxen and horses, before commencing the journey. The first mill for
grinding corn and provender was built by him in 1806 on the water privilege
near Abel T. MORGAN's saw-mill. The mill-stones were taken from the farm
now owned by Charles HEYWOOD, and are still in use. He had eight children,
Jonathan, born December 1, 1779, died in 1848; Elijah, born July 18, 1781,
died in 1864; James, born November, 1783, died in 1864; Judith, born April
19, 1786, died 1877; Elizabeth, born August 3, 1788, died in 1875; Chase,
jr., born July 19, 1792, died in 1872; Lydia, born October 1, 1795, died
in 1882; Mary, born September 7, 1799, died in 1845. Three of the children
of James Purinton now reside in town, viz.: Asa, Elihu, and Freeman. Two
of the children of Jonathan also reside in town, Elijah and Mrs. Huldah
PURINTON. The descendants of Chase are numerous throughout the United States
and Canada; over forty of them are now residing in town. They hold a family
reunion each year. The sons and daughters of Chase PURINTON lived to a
remarkable age. One died at the age of ninety-two years, five others lived
over eighty years. The average age of the eight children was seventy-eight
years. At the funeral of Elizabeth PURINTON there were present over one
hundred relatives, all of whom, with one exception, were her nieces and
Ebenezer DURFEY came from Connecticut and settled on "Elder Hill,"
so called, in 1804. He was a sharp, shrewd business man and quite prominent
among the settlers, and was always known as 'Squire DURFEY. He held the
office of town clerk nine years, selectman two years, constable three years,
justice of the peace twenty-one years, represented the town in the Legislature
thirteen times, and was a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1822.
He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and was pensioned eight dollars
per month during his life. He died in Westport, N. Y., at the age of ninety-three
years. He had four sons and four daughters. Sally, the oldest, married
Chase LAMOS, of Monkton, for her first husband, and Moses SARGENT for her
second, and was the mother of the late Daniel H. SARGENT. She died January
21, 1870, at the age of eighty years. Prosper, the oldest son, was in the
War of 1812; resided in town most of the time until his death, which occurred
in 1879, at the age of eighty-nine years.
Jedediah DURFEY, a brother of 'Squire DURFEY, settled in town about
1796 or '97, on the place now owned by Elihu PURINTON. The first town meeting
at which the town was organized, was held at his place in 1798. He was
chosen selectman, lister, pound-keeper, and the only highway surveyor,
at this town meeting. He was the first to represent the town in the Legislature,
which was in 1801. He resided in town only a few years, and sold to Chase
PURINTON April 24, 1802.
Moses GOVE, a son of Daniel and Mariam, was born in Weare, N. H.,
December 22, 1774. He married Hannah, his first wife, daughter of Nathan
and Phebe CHASE, of Weare, in 1799, who died September 15, 1831, and Martha
WORTH, his second, May 15, 1834. Moses GOVE died June 8, 1851. Their children
were Nathan C., born July 17, 1880, and died in Lincoln March 31, 1850;
Levi, born February 23, 1802, died in Lynn, Mass., August 12, 1885; John
C., born November 14, 1803, and now resides in New York city; Phebe (Huntington),
born November 26, 1805, resides at East Randolph, N. Y.; Daniel, born October
10, 1810, resides in town on the Ziba POPE farm; Mariam (Chase), born March
22, 1813, now a resident of Salt Lake City, Utah; Dennis, born May 28,
1816, died in the copper regions in Michigan August 1, 1854; Peltiah, born
June 10, 1818, and resides on the same farm on which his father settled
in 1803 or 1804. The children of Daniel are James T., born June 14, 1839,
and died April 10, 1862; Phebe (Batchelder), born December 28, 1841, now
resides in Middlebury, and Moses B., born September 28, 1847, now resides
in town. The only child of Peltiah GOVE lives near the old homestead, and
is now Mrs. Emily C. PURINTON.
Winthrop GOVE was born in Seabrook, Mass., July 27, 1773; married
Judith GOVE, of Weare, N. H., who was born January 1, 1780. They settled
in Weare after their marriage, where they resided a few years and then
settled in town, March, 1804, on the farm now owned by Mrs. Electa SHERMAN,
on what is known as Gove Hill. Their children: Richard, born in 1800; Lucy,
born December, 1803; John, born March 12, 1806; Eleanor D., born July 7,
1808, and is the only survivor and still resides in town.
Elisha GOVE was born in Weare, N. H., August 26, 1784. At the age
of twenty years he came to Montpelier, Vt., and there married Abigail RING
of Salisbury, N. H., May 11, 1806, who was born August 15, 1773. They moved
to Lincoln March, 1809, and settled on what is August as Gove Hill. She
died November 14, 1844. He died June 4, 1858. They had three children,
Azrias W., born November 27, 1808; Sarah F. W., born June 28, 1812, and
Winthrop G., born March 2, 1815. Azrias W. GOVE still resides in town and
for years practiced medicine (Thom*psonian school). He married Sophrona
Kelton, May 1, 1834. Their children were Peace A., now Mrs. Beaver, born
March 8, 1838; Mark A., born February 3, 1842; Webster N., born May 15,
1845 ; Emily J., now Mrs. G. A. Thayer, born June 30, 1849; Henry W., born
December 16, 1851, and Abbie R., born September 18, 1854, and died May
4, 1876. Mark A., Webster N., Emily J., and Henry W. reside in town.
Benjamin TABER, M. D., was born in Montpelier, Vt., June 30, 1785.
At the age of fifteen years he commenced study at the Friends' Boarding-school,
Nine Partners, N. Y., as a charity scholar, his parents being poor and
unable to bear the expenses. His father carried him about one-half of the
distance from Montpelier to Nine Partners; he walked the remaining distance.
His scanty allowance of money was exhausted before he reached the end of
his journey and he was compelled to dispose of his sleeve-buttons to procure
food. He remained at the boarding-school a number of years and studied
medicine. He married Phebe CARPENTER, of Starksboro, Vt., December 8, 1808,
and commenced the practice of medicine in that town. In 1817 he moved to
Lincoln and located in the north part of the town, on the place for years
known as the "Dr. TABER place." The dwelling house in which William EDDY
now lives was built by him in 1819. He was the first physician that settled
in town, and the only one for several years, and practiced until he was
over sixty years of age. He died June 3, 1866, at the age of eighty-one
years. They had seven sons and two daughters, all of whom are now living
with the exception of one son who died in his youth. The oldest, Russel,
was born November 8, 1809. He commenced in the foundry business on the
home farm and became successful in the undertaking; now resides in Iowa.
Louis, born September 2, 1811, resides in Mount Pleasant, 0. Silas B.,
born April 24, 1813, resides in lowa. Sarah, wife of Daniel GOVE, of Lincoln,
was born March 11, 1815. James was born December 21, 1817, and died March
23, 1832. Phebe L., wife of Peltiah, of this town, was born November 23,
1819. David C., born March 15, 1822, and Benjamin J., born November 8,
1825, both reside in Minnesota. Seaman, born November 14, 1872, resides
Dr. Luther M. KENT was born at Hinsdale, N. H., April 26, 1803.
At the age of nine years he came with his family to Warren, Vt. His father
immediately joined the military force then quartered at Burlington, and
there died; and in spite of all efforts to find the place of his interment,
he still sleeps in an unknown grave in or near by the now flourishing city.
By his own unaided efforts he educated himself in the ordinary branches,
completed his medical course and located in Lincoln in January, 1828, living
in a small "log-cabin," at what is now known as Kent's Corners. He engaged
in active practice, and continued to live on this same place up to 1859,
when he removed to Bristol and remained there up to the time of his death,
which occurred October 21, 1870. He was appointed first postmaster in Lincoln
(see account of post- offices on another page). Dr. KENT was married to
Abigail S. RICHARDSON, in Warren, January 20, 1827. Of four children born
to them one, Denslow M., died at eighteen years of age. The surviving are
Adah R. (Mrs. C. P. BUSH) and Dr. E. M. KENT, who now reside in Bristol,
and Lucy A. (Mrs. Jesse P. GREEN), in Chicago. The widow of Dr. L. M. KENT,
who with her husband was closely identified with the early history of Lincoln,
survived him some ten years and died at the home of her son, Dr. E. M.
KENT, in Bristol, in August, 1880, and side by side they rest in the little
cemetery just a little way from their old home and the scenes of their
Hon. William W. POPE was born in Hingham, Mass., October 12, 1807,
and was the only son of Rev. Ziba POPE, a pioneer preacher of the Freewill
Baptists. When six years old he came with his parents to Randolph, Vt.,
and lived there until 1830, and then moved to Lincoln, where he has since
resided. He married Miss Caroline KENT October 23, 1835, by whom he had
a son and a daughter; the latter died in its infancy. The son, George F.,
is the head of the firm POPE, BERRY & HALL, jobbers in tea and spices,
Burlington, Vt. His wife died October 19, 1841, and August 22, 1848, he
married Mrs. Mercy DOW, whose maiden name was FARR, by whom he had one
son, Charles Edward. William W. POPE was elected justice of the peace in
1834 and town clerk in 1839, which two offices he held until 1870, when,
on account of his age and partial loss of memory, he refused to serve any
longer. In 1836, and for five or six successive years, he represented the
town in the General Assembly, and again in 1850. As a legislator he was
careful and considerate, but a firm and earnest advocate of what he considered
right and justice, and equally as earnest in denouncing wrong. In 1860
he was chosen associate judge of the Addison County Court. In his prime
he was a man of more than ordinary mental ability and strength. His counsel
and advice on legal points were clear and concise. His familiarity and
knowledge of the statutory law of the State and the rulings of the higher
courts, with his sound and careful judgment combined, rendered him a safe
and able counselor. Until within about ten or twelve years, when his memory
became somewhat impaired, he was one of the principal men in the management
of the business of the town. Not a single position of trust or responsibility
that his townsmen could bestow upon him, but what he has held, and discharged
the duties pertaining to it in a satisfactory manner. The aggregate number
of years that he has held office in the town is far more than that of any
other man. He was a strict temperance man, and a strong advocate of its
principles; a constant attendant upon the public worship of God whenever
his health would permit; well versed in the sacred Scriptures, and for
many years an active member of the Sabbath-school, and a large portion
of the time the teacher of a Bible class. He died at his residence of Bright's
disease, April 16, 1880.
Hon. Daniel H. SARGENT, a son of Moses and Sally SARGENT, was born
in Lincoln February 26, 1821. He married Mary Jane HILL, of Starksboro,
by whom he had four children -- Sewell J., Lois (Mrs. Howard CLARK), Alson
M., and William H., all of whom live in town. His second wife was Mrs.
George (BROOKS) NICHOLS, daughter of Obed BROOKS, by whom he had four children,
Herbert C., George A., Mary J., and Wallace. Mr. SARGENT was at an early
age placed in positions of trust by his townsmen, and always faithfully
discharged the duties of his office. In 1845, at the age of twenty-four
years, he was chosen one of the selectmen of the town, and held that office
nine years. He was justice of the peace nineteen years; a member of the
Legislature in 1855 and 1860; assistant judge of the County Court in 1876
and '77. He died June 7, 1879, on the farm where he was born and where
he has ever since resided. No better eulogy can be given than the following
extract from an obituary of Mrs. Ellen JOHNSON: "In this afflictive stroke
from the hands of an all-wise Providence not only does a family suffer
the loss of a kind and indulgent husband and father, but a community has
lost a prominent and highly respected citizen. Mr. SARGENT has long been
looked upon as one of our most worthy men. His legal knowledge, careful
judgment, candor, and strict integrity combined to render him an able adviser,
and his opinion has been prized by such as have had occasion to seek advice.
It cannot be said of him, 'He had no enemies.' Such eulogies are for men
of less firmness and stability of character; but it may be truly said he
had many friends, and those most intimately acquainted with his character
esteemed him most highly."
Rev. Nathaniel STEARNS was born in Monkton in 1780. He came to Lincoln
in 1835, and established the M. E. Church of this place. He died in RIPTON
in 1852. His two sons, James L. and Joseph M., resided in town until their
decease -- the former March 17, 1874, aged fifty-four years, the latter
November 12, 1884, aged sixty-nine years. Three of the children of James
L. now reside here, Milton J., Mary S., and Wesley R., the former a merchant
at the Center. Four of the children of Joseph M. also reside here, Lovina
(Mrs. Zeno PAGE), Cynthia (Mrs. C. F. MURRAY), Sabra, and Elwood.
Rev. Zenas C. PICKETT was born in Hope, Hamilton county, N. Y.,
April 27, 1807. His first charge as an itinerant preacher was on the "Wells
Mission," N. Y. He was stationed on the Lincoln charge in 1870, where he
remained three years, and again in 1876, preaching another term of three
years. In 1879 on account of his health he located in town, having purchased
a small place. The fiftieth anniversary of his married life was celebrated
July 8, 1881. The following extract is from an address of the pastor of
the M. E. Church, Rev. Amos OSBORN, delivered at the wedding anniversary,
which seemed almost prophetic of his death, which came as a welcome messenger
only ten days later: "I congratulate you in view of the near approach of
your departure from earth heavenward. Your sun, aye, mine too, is in the
western sky; the shadows of evening are gathering. 'I brush the dews from
Jordan's banks; the crossing must be near.' Soon a voice will be heard,
'Come up higher.' I am quite sure you will answer, 'Come, Lord Jesus, come
quickly; I am prepared to go.'"
XXV, pages 481 - 512.
of the Town of Lincoln.
of Addison County, Vermont,
And Biographical Sketches
Of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers."
by H. P. Smith. Syracuse, N. Y.;
& Co., Publishers, 1886.
by Jan Maloy, 2002