"This town is watered by Lewis Creek and Huntington River, which are good mill streams.   The town is rough and mountainous. Hog's Back Mountain skirts its western border, and East Mountain passes through its center, and divides the waters of the rivers. 

     There is some good land in the town, but a large portion of the territory is too elevated for cultivation. Here are two pleasant villages, and the manufactures of iron are considerable . . . 

     The settlement was commenced in April 1788 by George Bidwell and Horace Kellogg with their families. John Ferguson and Thomas V. Ratenburgh came into that part of Monkton which has since been added to this township, about the same time. The first settlers emigrated principally from Connecticut and New York. Mr. Bidwell lived fifty-two years on the place where he settled, endured at first many privations and hardships, but by industry and economy acquired a handsome landed property, and died April 13, 1840, aged eighty-four. He was in his day one of the principal men in the town, and he is still remembered with gratitude and affection." 
 

Gazetteer of Vermont, Hayward, 1849.
 


HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF STARKSBORO

      The town of Starksboro lies in the northeastern corner of the county, and is bounded on the north by the north line of the county; east by the eastern county line; south by Lincoln and Bristol, and west by Bristol and Monkton. It was granted by Vermont to David BRIDIA and sixty-seven others, November 9, 1780. According to the charter deed it included a tract of 18,000 acres, which, with the usual five rights reserved for public purposes, was to be divided into seventy-three shares of 272 acres each. On March 4, 1797, however, this area was increased by the annexation of 2,726 acres from the town of Monkton, so that Starksboro now has within its boundary limits 21,226 acres. The surface of the township is rough and mountainous, many parts being unfit for cultivation for this reason. Upon its western border lies the long, lofty elevation known by the suggestive title of Hogback Mountain, which slopes abruptly into the valley of Lewis Creek. From this valley eastward the land rises by a series of gradually ascending hills to another lofty ridge in the eastern part of the town, known as East Mountain. This elevation extends in a broken, irregular manner through nearly the whole length of the town, having a precipitous descent on the east towards Huntington River, which flows for a short distance within the limits of the town. Lewis Creek has its source in the northern part of Bristol, whence it flows north through the western parts of Starksboro and Monkton into Chittenden county, where it finally turns south into this county again, and finds its way into the lake a short distance north of the mouth of Otter Creek. The stream affords some good mill sites here and drains a fine fertile valley. It has many small tributaries which come rushing down from the highlands of the east, upon one of which is located the village of Starksboro. This stream is formed by the confluent waters of three springs which are not more than twenty rods apart, and which unite after flowing a short distance. Not more than half a mile from its head this stream once turned the wheels of a saw-mill, fulling-mill, two forges, and two trip-hammer shops. These have long since passed away, though the village has several manufacturing interests to take their place. Baldwin Creek rises in the southeastern part of the town, and, enlarged by several tributaries, flows west into Bristol. These streams and mountains have exerted a large influence in the arrangement of the highway system of the town, which is very irregular, and the roads very crooked. The soil is mostly loam, and produces to a good percentage the grains and fruits indigenous to this latitude, and also furnishes pasturage for large herds and flocks, as wool growing and stock breeding are the principal occupations of the inhabitants. The timber is principally hard wood, with some spruce, hemlock, and cedar, and, owing to the many excellent facilities afforded, lumbering is carried on quite extensively. 


EARLY SETTLEMENT

      The settlement of Starksboro was begun by George BIDWELL and Horace KELLOGG. They located in the northern part of the town. Mr. BIDWELL resided on his farm fifty-two years. The farm is now occupied by F. N. HILL and owned by Mrs. Sarah A. STRONG, widow of the late I. L. STRONG, who was assistant county judge here from 1872 to '74. A portion of the old house, which served as the first hotel in the town, still remains, a part of the present farm house. 

      The following sketch of Mr. BIDWELL's settlement is furnished by his grandson, S. W. BIDWELL, of East Middlebury: 

    "George BIDWELL was born in Hartford, Conn., October 7, 1756, and was the fifth from the first emigrant from England--viz., first, John; second, John; third, David; fourth, Amos; fifth, George. At about nineteen years of age he enlisted in the Revolutionary War and was a baker, at Ticonderoga, N. Y. In the year 1782 he was married to Sarah SEDGWICK, born in Hartford, Conn., September, 1760. They had seven children---Chester, Lucy, Sarah, Nancy, Amanda, and George. George BIDWELL started from Connecticut in August, 1787, in company with Horace KELIOGG, to seek a new home in Vermont. They stopped in Starksboro, Vt. It was then three miles from the nearest dwelling in Monkton. They camped east of where the buildings are now, on the BIDWELL place where the old orchard is. They cut over two acres, laid up the body of a log hut, and then returned to Connecticut. In March, 1787, George BIDWELL started from Connecticut with his family, wife and two children, Chester and Lucy. They arrived at Monkton the last week in March, when a heavy fall of snow prevented their progress for two weeks. He then proceeded to Lewis Creek, over which he built a bridge. On the 7th of April, 1787, they arrived upon their pitch, taking the location where the house on the old place now is. They set up all the sled boards and some barks, which served them for two weeks, when a better shelter was provided. For four weeks after their arrival it snowed or rained every day, and during this time Mr. BIDWELL suffered from an attack of pneumonia. The next spring a small farm house was put up, and later an addition, which frame is that of the house now standing on the place. His purchase was three-fourths of a mile wide on the road and ran back to the mountain. Mr. BIDWELL was a cooper, and turned his ware to an account. The spring of 1788 was a hard one. Starvation stared them in the face. The crop of the previous year was cut off, and they had to resort to every resource for relief; the trout from the brook were a help, but there was no bread. I have heard my father say that he cried for bread. But some of his ware was carried to Vergennes, thirteen miles, where he obtained one peck of bran to make the sorrowing family rejoice. Mr. BIDWELL's father, Amos, had heard of his son's sufferings, and Captain STORRS, from Middlebury, was at Hartford, Conn., when Amos BIDWELL sought to cover the strait by sending his son George a woman's stocking filled with silver dollars. When Captain STORRS arrived at Middlebury he sent word to his son, who, not knowing the cause, left home at early dawn and reached Middlebury before dinner, twenty-one miles, by a marked road. On entering Captain STORRS's the stocking was presented, and he took dinner and returned to his suffering family. About 1795 his house was opened as a public "inn," where travelers were entertained until about I820. The landlord and lady were among the best of caterers. Chester, the eldest son, was married January 25, I806, to Cynthia ROSS, and lived three-fourths of a mile from his father, on the same tract of land, and raised nine children, of whom four are now living. Until 1840, parents and children and grandchildren all lived on the same land, and an hour's time could gather all together. George BIDWELL died on April 7, 1840, aged eighty-four; his wife in 1843, aged eighty-three; the former at his home where he had settled, the latter at her son Chester's, on the original pitch of land, which was kept in the family name for ninety years. The son Chester preceded her in death; he died February 27, 1842, aged fifty-nine. The subjects of this history left a good record. George was of the Puritan Congregational order, and his wife of the Methodist order. Mr. BIDWELL was a man above the ordinary height, and possessed force and enterprise. He shared in the town offices until he refused to serve his townsmen. He had an open, generous heart, and never let the poor leave him unrewarded. He would lay up a store of grain and deal it out to the poor, waiting until they could come (if ever) to work for the same. 

    "Horace KELLOGG, who came with Mr. BIDWELL, pitched on the farm south of BIDWELL's, known as the William HANSON farm, and now occupied by Mark G. HANSON." 

      At about the same date as the settlement of Bidwell and Kellogg, John FERGUSON located in the vicinity of the present village at Starksboro, building his house in what was the town of Monkton. He subsequently represented that town in the Legislature three years, and then, becoming impressed with the fact of the inconvenience it caused the people east of Hogback Mountain to reach the business center of that town, used his influence towards getting a tract lying west of the mountain annexed to Starksboro. His endeavors were successful, as mentioned on another page, making him a resident of this town. He was chosen the first representative in 1798, and was continued in the office many years. His original farm included a large part of what is now the site of the village of Starksboro, and the water privilege of the springs, to which he added the waters of a small stream by tunneling through a hill, and here erected the first grist-mill and fulling-mill in the town, and also operated a forge and trip-hammer shop. His descendants to the fifth generation are now occupying portions of the old farm. Among these are his grandsons, George W. and David FERGUSON. 

      Warner PIERCE, from Hollis, N. H., cleared a farm just north of BIDWELL's, where John A. BROOKS now lives, and was elected clerk at the organization of the town. He was a second cousin to President Franklin Pierce, and died here in March, 1812, aged forty-five years. His eldest daughter, Mrs. S. KINSLEY, now resides with a family in Monkton. During that year, also, Thomas V. ROTENBURGH commenced a settlement on the Monkton portion, these constituting the entire population in 1789. 

      Philander ORVIS, from Norwalk, Conn., purchased one hundred acres of land in the southern part of the town, upon which he settled soon after in the dense wilderness and began improvements. Subsequently he found that his title was not valid, and had to re-purchase his farm. He married Phebe CHASE, who bore him seven children, four of whom lived to maturity. The youngest, Joshua, now occupies the homestead, and Joel, the eldest, resides near by. Loren ORVIS, brother of Philander, was the first settler in Lincoln, locating upon the farm now owned by Hiram HAMMER. 

      Oliver WHITE, a pensioner of the Revolution, born in Canaan, Conn., July 25, I764, settled here in 1790, locating upon the farm now owned by John LADOO. At this time the nearest mills were at Vergennes, and the only road into town a blazed bridle-path. Among the early settlers land was considered of little worth unless the timber was entirely of a hard-wood growth. In passing through Bristol Mr. WHITE found land for sale very cheap, and some improvements made there; but for the reasons just stated passed on to the hills of Starksboro to make his home. His son Augustus was engaged in trade at Starksboro village for many years; also did business as a drover, and was deputy sheriff for a long time. Almon, brother to Augustus, born November 15, 1790, lived on the homestead until 1885, and now resides with his daughter, Mrs. Cornelius LADOO. 

      Richard WORTH was one of the early settlers, and drafted the first town plan on parchment. He was town clerk, constable, etc., many years, and died March 4, 1858, aged eighty-eight years. William WORTH succeeded to the estate, consisting of a large tract of land lying at the southern end of the village, and now divided into three farms. He also succeeded to his position as one of the principal men of the town, and was honored with most of the offices in the gift of his townsmen. He died March 14, 1881, aged eighty-two years. His widow, Mrs. Caroline WORTH, occupies the farms. Richard WORTH brought from Monkton and planted the first apple tree in the township. It was blown down in 1879, but a sprout from its roots is still growing. 

      Robert YOUNG, from Sheldon, Franklin county, Vt., came here in 1800, locating upon the farm now occupied by his grandson, Enoch H. YOUNG. Mrs. YOUNG was a descendant of an old New Hampshire family, and possessed a large amount of physical courage. This fact was frequently demonstrated in their early days, on one occasion by her defending their pig-sty against an attack by wolves, armed only with a pitchfork. 

      Charles PURINTON located in Lincoln in 1795, and built one of the first gristmills and the first distillery in that town. There are now thirteen families, numbering over 130 individuals, in Lincoln and Starksboro, who annually meet in a "Purinton picnic." 

      Samuel HILL, from Barnstead, N. H., moved his goods through the forest on a hand-sled in 1805, and located upon the farm now occupied by Patrick Leonard and the latter's son-in-law, John Welch, in the locality now known as "Hillsboro." Here, three miles from any human habitation, he cut the first stick of timber on that farm. During his long life in Starksboro he held most of the town offices and was the first captain of militia. His son Richard reared a family of eleven children, ten of whom survive, their aggregate ages amounting to over 566 years. 

      Jonathan DIKE, with his son, the late D. C. DIKE, came to Starksboro in 1839 and purchased the farm now owned by the latter's son, Ezra C. DIKE, of Bristol. The farm was originally settled by Captain David KELLOGG. The residence thereon was used for many years as a hotel, the first one in the town, by Elisha KELLOGG. 

      Crispin TAFT moved from Rutland to this town in 1830, locating upon the farm now owned by his son Samuel, where he died in June, 1868, aged seventy-four years. A short time previous to his death Mr. TAFT requested that his body should be buried on a beautiful sugar-loaf shaped hill near the residence, about fifty rods back from the highway. Here his body rests beside that of his wife; their united graves, marked by a fine marble shaft enclosed by an iron fence, overlook the highway for a long distance north and south. 

      Solomon HOLCOMB, who took an active part in the public affairs of the town, located about a mile south of the village, upon the farm now owned by Sylvester HILL. In 1822 he exchanged this home for the one now occupied by Mrs. Cynthia HOLCOMB, where he died, and where his son, Samuel D., resided for fifty-seven years. 

      Nathaniel CHAFFEE, born in Rhode island in 1758, served all through the Revolution, and afterwards received a pension until the passage of the act prohibiting from so doing all who possessed property above a certain value. Henry D. CHAFFEE has now in his possession some of the old Continental money paid Nathaniel by the army paymaster. He settled in Starksboro at an early date, near the farm located upon by George BIDWELL, where he died in 1826, aged sixty-eight years. Many of his descendants now reside in the town. 

      Anson HALLOCK came to Starksboro in 1830 and located far back in the southeastern part of the town, on the margin of "Big Beaver Meadow," the old farm being now included within that owned by his son, Ovet HALLOCK. Many remains of beaver dams are still to be found here, and in early days numbers of these industrious animals were killed here. Ira HALLOCK, third son of Anson, located upon the farm now owned by his widow. The streams from this farm find their way on the south to Otter Creek, and on the north into Onion River. 

      Edwin KNIGHT, from Farmington, N. H., located in 1807 upon the farm now owned by Hubert T. CASEY, where he resided until his death. Only one of his eleven children, Benjamin L., remained in the town, and was elected successively representative, justice, and selectman. He died in 1880, aged seventy-nine years. One of his notable characteristics was strong antipathy to Freemasonry, never losing an opportunity for assailing the order. 

      Joseph BROWN came to Starksboro from New Hampshire in 1807. His son Joshua was already here, having come on with Samuel Hill, for whom he worked one year and with the money thus earned purchased a hundred acres of land and built a log house upon it in 1807. William, Ephraim, Jonathan, and Jacob BROWN all came soon after, locating near Joshua; and this portion of the town was long thereafter known as "Brownsboro." 

      Samuel THOMPSON, from New Hampshire, came to this town in 1809, locating upon the farm now owned by John GARLIN. Six of his thirteen children are now living. 

      David MASON, from Northfield, Conn., came to Starksboro in 1817, locating on "Mason Hill," upon the farm now owned by Benjamin F. Ellison. Two of his nine children now reside in the town. Benjamin M. ELLISON, father of Benjamin F., came on from Northfield during the same year and still resides here with his son. 

      Asahel FULLER came to this town from Connecticut in 1807, locating upon the farm now owned by Myron SMALL. He was the first settler in the northeastern part of the town. His son Josiah occupied the farm nearly all his life, and Josiah's grandsons still reside thereon. 

      Jethro STOKES came to Starksboro in 1812, locating upon the farm now owned by his son Justus. Eight of his fourteen children now reside in the town. A. W. BOSTWICK's residence, built by Samuel HALL in 1792, is the oldest house in the town. 

      Among the early settlers other than those we have mentioned were the following, with the locations selected by them: Abram BUSHNELL, upon the farm now occupied by the widow of his grandson, Samuel D. HOLCOMB; Paul BLAZO, who located upon the farm now occupied by Carlton HILL (has no descendants in the town, though a granddaughter lives in Lincoln and a grandson in Bristol); James HEDDING, father of Bishop HEDDING, and grandfather of G. W. and David FERGUSON, located about half a mile south of the village, upon the farm now occupied by Rodman HILL; Abraham HALL, jr., lived on the farm now occupied by Hiram CHAFFEE; Ezekiel HILL about half a mile north of the village, where Sylvanus HILL now lives; Silas KNAPP located upon a farm on the Monkton line; Jairah SWIFT (married an aunt of G. W. FERGUSON, Hannah FERGUSON) located in the present village; Daniel HEATH located in South Starksboro; Ebenezer W. ALLEN lived in the village; Andrew MEEDER located upon the place now occupied by Henry DIKE; Joshua VARNEY located north of the village, upon the place now occupied by Justin HILL; Jacob LATHAM, about two miles north of the village; William LATHAM located at the village as a tailor; Aaron G.. BLODGETT located in the eastern part of the town, near Moses SMITH's; Daniel KELLOGG located about two miles south of the village, upon the place now owned by Ezra DIKE, of Bristol; Elijah KELLOGG, brother of Daniel, located upon the farm just north; Enos PERSONS, upon the place now occupied by Henry M. HILL; William WORTH located about a mile and a half west of the village, upon the farm now owned by John TEFT; Joseph S. BUNKER located on Gay Hill, upon the farm now owned by William BRIGGS; Ezra MAXFIELD, southeast of the village, upon the place owned by Patrick LEONARD; Captain Oliver DEXTER was a blacksmith at the south village; Joseph JACKSON located near Richard WORTH, to whom he was related; Andre E. HOLCOMB lived in the southern part of the village (left here for Iowa about 1870, and died there in 1885); Benjamin FARRAND, in the northeastern part of the town, upon the farm now owned by Myron SMALL; Samuel MUNGER located south of the village, upon the place now owned by David BOSTWICK; Shadrach BROWNELL located about two miles southwest of the village; Joseph CHASE settled in the southern part of the town; Gilbert BOSTWICK, about where David BOSTWICK now lives; Thomas TABER, in the locality known as "State's Prison," about a mile and a half north of the village; Francis CARLE, where John GRACE now lives; Asahel WENTWORTH kept a tavern in the village, where the widow STRONG now lives; Ebenezer CLIFFORD, where his nephew, Ebenezer STOKES, now lives; Ezekiel HUSTED, on the first farm north of the village; Artemas BASSETT, about half a mile south of the village, where Rodman HILL lives; Aaron WADLEIGH, on "Norton Hill," upon the place owned by Thomas BUTLER; Hibbard MORRILL lived on "Shaker HILL," in the northeastern part of the town, where Mr. HULETT now lives; John MAXFIELD, between "Brown Hill" and "Hillsboro"; Gideon SAWYER, in the northeastern part of the town, where Frank DRINKWATER now resides; Almon ATWOOD, uncle to C. W. ATWOOD, where Stephen HAUSEN now lives; Joel BATTEY lived on the place now owned by Henry M. HILL; Greenleaf RING located on " Mason Hill," where Frank ZENO lives; Elijah CUTHBERT, who lately died in Wisconsin, located about half a mile north of the village, upon the place now owned by Harvey HILL; Jarvis HOAG, about half a mile north of the village, where Henry DIKE now lives; and Elias HODGDON, in the northeast part of the town, upon the place now owned by Philip DOWER. 


TOWN ORGANIZATION

      The town was organized in March, 1796, when the following officers were elected: Warner PIERCE, clerk; Joseph BOSTWICK, Abram BUSHNELL, Luman BRONSON, selectmen; and Solomon HOLCOMB, constable. The first justice of the peace was Samuel DARROW, appointed by the State in 1790; the first representative, John FERGUSON, in 1798. 


EARLY MANUFACTURES AND BUSINESS INTERESTS

      Thomas C., David, and Ephraim MORRISON, brothers, came on from New Hampshire in 1808 and started a tannery on a branch of Baldwin BROOK, a short distance above the Bristol line. Subsequently they began the manufacture of rakes, doing all the work by hand, carrying their goods to market on horseback to Vergennes and New Haven. This was the commencement of the present rake factory. Nathan MORRISON, now occupying the old homestead at the age of sixty-six years, says he can remember quite distinctly of riding to New Haven on a horse behind his mother to vend their wares. Nearly all the inhabitants of South Starksboro at that time were " Friends." About 1819 Elisha FERGUSON and Samuel BUSHNELL built a forge below the village, upon the farm now owned by Hoel SAYLES, and also had a furnace about half a mile east of the village, on the place now occupied by David STEADY. Elisha also had a wheelwright shop in the dwelling now occupied by C. W. ATWOOD, where he also kept a store several years. David FERGUSON now carries on the furnace business having moved to his present location about twenty years ago. 

      John FERGUSON owned a large tract of land where the village now is, and early built a saw-mill and grist-mill here. The grist-mill stood where his grandson's present carriage shop is, and the saw-mill just above, where O. D. BALDWIN's saw-mill and butter-tub factory now is. 

      Samuel BUSHNELL as early as 1815 had a blacksmith shop where David FERGUSON's furnace is, and a forge where O. D. BALDWIN's cheese-factory now stands. 

      Asahel WENTWORTH at an early date kept a hotel, and a shoe shop and tannery, the latter upon the place where Milo SMITH lives. 

      E.D. HALL was an early trader opposite the present store of F. N. HILL. L. B. MUNSON and Mark MORE first occupied the building, coming from Bristol, and were succeeded by T. H. KIDDER, and he by HALL. 

      Augustus White was a merchant for many years occupying the present site of ATWOOD's store. He succeeded Zeno WORTH, who had succeeded SMITH & STOWELL. 


MILITARY

      Many of the early settlers of Starksboro had served in the Revolutionary War, and when the War of 1812 again called for patriotic deeds, they and their sons were not found wanting. In the late great war the town again responded to our country's calls, as is attested by the following list of her sons who served in the several Vermont regiments: 

      Volunteers for three years credited previous to call for 300,000 volunteers of October 17, 1863: 

H. M. BRISTOL, R. M. CARL, J. H. CHAFFEY, S. H. CLARK, L. DELONG, R. DELONG, A. J. ELLIOTT, W. C. W. ELLIOTT, Z. ELLIOTT, J. FULLER, D. HILL, W. D. HILL, H. IRISH, F. JAMES, G. W. JAMES, J. S. MCGILL, C. MONTGOMERY, L. NICHOLS, G. H. PAINE, W. S. PIERCE, J. P. RAVLIN, J. M. REMINGTON, S. ROUNDS, T. RUSSELL, J. SHELDON, C. SMITH, N. SPRAGUE, T. SWEENIER, S. TAFT, W. H. TAFT, G. W. VARNEY. 

      Credits under call of October 17, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers, and subsequent calls: 

      Volunteers for three years. --A. J. BROWN, J. CARL, A. J. CRANE, G. W. COBB, J. N. DOWNER, R. L. DOWNER, P. DWYER 3d, A. J. ELLIOTT, J, H. GRACE, J. KIMBALL, F. W. LABAR, E. L. SAWYER, H. SAYLES, W. SCARBOROUGH, J. SHELDON, N. H. SHURTLEFF, J. M. SMITH, J. M. SYNYER, B. E. STOKES, A. L. TART, F. C. THOMPSON, B. TUCKER. 

      Volunteers for one year.--S. B. BROWN, J. V. CARPENTER, J. COLBY, A. C. DEARBORN, G. W. GRIFFITH, J. HASKINS, E. H. JAMES, L. LIBERTY, J. S. MOODY, M. NOLAND, H. C. RUSSELL, C. SMITH, J. SWEET, W. P. THOMPSON, S. B. THOMPSON, H. WHITTEMORE, H. H. WRIGHT. 

      Volunteers re-enlisted.--R. DELONG, J. FULLER, J. GOLDEN, D. HILL, H. IRISH, F. JAMES, G. W. JAMES, W. S. PIERCE, L. SWINGER. Enrolled men who furnished substitutes. --B. W. BIDWELL, E. C. DIKE, F. W. HILL, G. SOMERS. Not credited by name.--Three men. 

      Volunteers for nine months. -- J. BARTON, G. O. CHAMBERLIN, P. COONETY, C. D. DELONG, H. C. DIKE, P. DWYER 3D, A. C. HILL, J. S. HILL, L. T. HILL, S. A. JACKSON, A. C. JACOBS, U. D. JACOBS, W. C. JACOBS, J. H. KNOWLES, S. J. RANDALL, J. J. RHODES, C. W. ROSS, M. ROSS, E. ROUNDS, M. RUSSELL, R. C. SARGENT, E. F. SAWYER, H. SAYLES, S. STONE, J. SNYDER, A. E. WHITE, D. WRIGHT. 

      Furnished under draft.-- Paid commutation, B. F. ELLISON, D. W. FULLER, C. JOHNSON, J. HILL, W. HINES, D. ORVIS, H. C. RUSSELL, H. SAYLES, M. SMITH. Procured substitute, G. W. BROWN, W. HILL, R. F. LIVERMORE, J. H. ORVIS. 


PRESENT TOWN OFFICERS

      The present town officers of Starksboro are as follows: C. L. ATWOOD, clerk and treasurer; Wallace N. HILL, J. G. FULLER, and E. J. PURINTON, selectmen; Rodman R. HILL, overseer of the poor; O. W. FERGUSON and J. W. ORVIS, constables; J. M. TYLER, P. J. SMITH, and Daniel H. ORVIS, listers; W. B. THOMPSON, Lester G. FERGUSON, and Benjamin E. STOKES, auditors; Sidney BUSHNELL, trustee of public money; Elisha ROUNDS, Nathan MORRILL, and Abner RAWLIN, fence viewers; Daniel H. ORVIS and William BRIGGS, town grand jurors; James HILTON, inspector of leather; Almon WHITE, jr., pound-keeper; O. D. BALDWIN, surveyor of wood, lumber, and shingles; Sidney BUSHNELL, agent; and Henry WADE, John ORVIS, Orange STOKES, B. F. ELLISON, Sidney BUSHNELL, and Andrew DILLON, school directors. 

      In the spring of 1885 the town had sixteen school districts and fifteen common schools; but at that time the town system of government was adopted, with directors as above. 


MUNICIPAL HISTORY

      The settlements made where the present villages of the town are, together with the early manufacturing and business interests, have already been spoken of. 

      Starksboro village is located just north of the center of the town, upon a tributary of Baldwin's Creek. It has a saw-mill, carriage-shop, two blacksmith shops, a foundry, two churches (Methodist Episcopal and Freewill Baptist), two stores, one hotel, a grist-mill, cheese factory, and about 100 inhabitants. 

      Isaac STOWELL, of the firm of SMITH & STOWELL, was the first postmaster here or at least the first one we have been able to trace. He was succeeded by August WHITE, who held the office for many years, or until about 1835, when Ansel M. HAWKINS became postmaster. He retained the office about four years, when he resigned, to be succeeded by Elisha FERGUSON, who retained the position until his death, and was succeeded by Lee TAFT. In 1852 Mr. HAWKINS again took the office, and has held it ever since. 

      C.W. ATWOOD keeps a general store, where he has been located since 1868, the building being a short time previous vacated by F. N. HILL. F. N. HILL began business in his present location in February, 1869, having previously occupied the building across the way about eighteen months. 

      James L. BROOKS opened the hotel here about nine years ago, previous to which time, for about eight years, there had been no hotel kept in the town, though Hoel SAYLES kept transient guests in the house he still occupies. The old hotel building is occupied as a dwelling by Mrs. Sarah A. STRONG. 

      O.D. BALDWIN's saw-mill employs two men and manufactures 5,000 butter tubs and 2,000 to 3,000 cheese-boxes annually, besides considerable custom sawing. Mr. B. has recently added a "provender-mill "for the accommodation of his townsmen, and also does some cooper work and operates a planning mill. The water power is good, coming mostly from two springs that never fail even during the severest drought. Mr. BALDWIN has also expended considerable money in building and stocking a trout pond. 

      George W. FERGUSON began the manufacture of carriages here in 1831. From. 1838 to '54 he had his cousin, Charles FERGUSON, with him. He built the present shop in 1868. 

      South Starksboro, or "Jerusalem," as it is locally known, is located in the southeastern part of the town, on Baldwin Creek. The post-office is located in the store of J. W. ORVIS, where it has been about eight years. Previous to that, for about twenty years, it was kept near S. R. CAIN's mill. The present postmaster is J. W. ORVIS. 

      S.R. CAIN's stave-mill was built by him in the autumn of 1885. About four years ago he leased the old mill built by HARLOW & Co. about twenty-five years ago, and on November 8, 1885, it was destroyed by fire, when he immediately put up the present mill on its site. It has a thirty-five horse-power engine, and he employs ten men, making about 12,000 staves per day. 

      J.H. ORVIS's rake factory, the only one in the county, was established in 1840 by P. & N. MORRISON. Mr. ORVIS employs five men and manufactures from 600 to 800 dozens of hand rakes and 100 dozens drag-rakes in a season, besides several hundred dozens of fork and hoe handles, etc. The larger part of the product is sold in the State of New York. 

      BUELL, THOMPSON & Co.'s tub manufactory was established in 1870, under the firm name of BUELL & MORRISON, since which time there have been various changes in ownership and firm title, till the adoption of the present. The business now employs seven men, manufacturing 10,000 butter-tubs annually, which are largely sold to Vermont and New York parties, though some are sent to the West. 

      Daniel ORVIS has a saw-mill near the store, and below it a grist-mill. 


THE PROFESSIONS

      Dr. Friend HALL in the early part of the century lived where Mr. KNIGHT resides, at the village. Dr. Alfred CLARK for many years lived here, where the Methodist Episcopal parsonage now is. Dr. Henry WADE, the present physician, was born February 20, 1852. He was graduated from the University of Vermont in 1879, and immediately began practice in Starksboro. He married Alice NORTON, of Huntington, Vt., in July, 1880. 

      Ansel M. HAWKINS was born in Georgia, Vt., August 14, 1808, and came to Starksboro in 1832, having been admitted to the bar of Franklin county in September of that year. He married Candice RISING, of Albany, N. Y., in 1833, who bore him three children and died in the spring of 1845. He subsequently married Sarah J. MEAD, of this town, who has borne him two children, E. W. J. and LOUISE, the latter Mrs. George L. WELLS. Mr. HAWKINS, besides attending to his law duties, represented the town in the Legislature in 1843-44, was town clerk from 1870 to '83, a justice of the peace thirty-five years, and has been postmaster a number of years. 

      E.W.J. HAWKINS, born here July 28, 1851, studied law with his father, and was admitted to the bar at the June term of 1873, since which time he has been in practice here. He married Jennie M. CARL, of Starksboro, September 2, 1873, and has two daughters, Jessie M. and Annie J. 


ECCLESIASTICAL

      The Methodist Church, located at Starksboro village, was organized by the first pastor, Rev. Joseph MITCHELL, in 1798. In 1839-40 the church was built, costing $2,400, with seating room for 240 persons. The society now has 100 members, under the pastoral care of Rev. George T. SUTTON, their property being valued at $4,000. 

      The First Freewill Baptist Church, located at Starksboro, was organized September 20, 1821, by Rev. Charles BOWLES and Rev. Sylvanus ROBERTSON, with seventeen members, Mr. BOWLES, a colored man, acting as their first pastor. Rev. M. B. MINARD became pastor of the society in 1866, there being at that time 113 members, and no church edifice. A house of worship was sadly needed, and in the face of adverse circumstances Mr. MINARD set to work to create a sentiment in favor of the project, and the result was that at the close of the year 1868 the present beautiful structure, costing nearly $7,000, with accommodations for 300 persons, was ready for occupancy, and has ever since been a source of pride to the society, which now numbers 163 members, under the pastorate of Rev. Francis REED, their property being valued at over $8,000. 

      The Congregational Church was organized August 7, 1804, and Rev. Henry BOYNTON installed as first pastor during the following year; but he preached only a few times. The society is now represented in town by but a handful of members, and holds no services at present. 

      The Society of Friends was organized by Joseph Chase, and a meetinghouse erected in 1812. In 1858 it was sold. In 1871 the present small structure was erected at South Starksboro, costing in the neighborhood of a thousand dollars. The society now has twenty or more members, the services being conducted by laymen. 
 
 
 

Chapter XXXIII, pages 628-639.
History of the Town of Starksboro.
"History of Addison County, Vermont, 
With Illustrations And Biographical Sketches
of Some Of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers." 
Edited by H. P. Smith. Syracuse, N. Y.;
D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1886.

Transcribed by Jan Maloy, 2002
 
 

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