LYMAN FREDERICK ABBOTT

      ABBOTT, LYMAN FREDERICK was born at Holders, Worcester county, Mass., on the 13th day of January, 1839, and was the youngest of eight children born to Asa and Sarah (MORSE) ABBOTT. The father was a farmer by occupation at Holders. When Lyman was about nine years old the family moved to Worcester, Mass., at which place at the age of fourteen years the young son was put at work as a clerk, and was thus employed about two years, when the family again changed place of residence, this time moving to Bennington. Here Lyman entered the factory of his brother-in-law, Henry E. BRADFORD, working in various departments, and by diligent application becoming acquainted with the business in every detail. 

      The faithful services rendered by young ABBOTT were not left unrewarded by his employer, for in 1863 he was taken into the firm, and upon the occasion of the death of Mr. BRADFORD in April, 1878 Mr. ABBOTT became the senior partner in the business, while the sons of the deceased manufacturer represented the interest of their father, but never disturbed the old firm name of H. E. Bradford & Co., it being too well and favorably known in business circles to be thrown aside by the successors in the factory.

      Upon the death of Mr. BRADFORD our subject practically succeeded to the management of the extensive business of the firm as it then existed; this business was exceedingly large, but under the charge of Mr. ABBOTT and his associates it lost nothing of its magnitude, and the new firm is still one of the leaders in the vicinity in the manufacture of knit goods. While this manufacture has received from Mr. ABBOTT close attention and care, he has not been so fully engaged by it as to prevent him from taking part in the various enterprises looking to the welfare and improvement of his town and its people, and once do we find him in the political arena, though against his every inclination, and only to gratify the wishes of his personal friends and party followers. In the fall of 1880 he consented to become the Republican nominee for representative in the State Legislature. He was elected by a large majority, although the town is so equally divided as to require that each party put forth its strongest candidate.

      Mr. ABBOTT is a member of the Bennington Historical Society, and as such has been elected by that body to membership in the Battle Monument Association, the object of which is well known to every resident of the county. Also he has been connected with the First National Bank of Bennington since 1879 as director and vice-president. On the 20th day of May, 1868 Lyman F. ABBOTT was married to Laura Tirza HANCOCK, the daughter of Frederick HANCOCK, of Bennington. Of this marriage two children have been born, both of whom are now living. Mr. ABBOTT is today numbered among the substantial business men of the town of Bennington, having the companionship of a large circle of friends, and enjoying the reputation of entire honesty in business transactions, generosity in all good causes, and a citizen whose moral character is above suspicion.


HENRY E. BRADFORD

      BRADFORD, HENRY E. In the portion of this volume that is devoted to a description of the past and present manufacturing interests of Bennington the statement appears that Henry E. BRADFORD was the pioneer of the knit goods industry in the village. His operations in founding this industry began in 1853, when he became the owner of the WILLS and FAIRBANKS property, and soon afterward in the spring of 1854. Put it in operation in the manufacture of woolen cloths. This was continued until 1857, at which time George S. BRADFORD, a brother of our subject, became interested in the business, and the firm of H. E. Bradford & Co. was established and has continued until the present time, although neither member of the original partnership is now living.

      Henry Edwards BRADFORD, the senior partner of the firm above referred to, and its principal member, was a native of Southbridge, Mass., born September 19, 1819. His parents were Elisha and Sally BRADFORD, and of their eight children Henry was the youngest. At the age of nine years the lad Henry was put at work at wool sorting, that occupation being at that time a trade, and so continued for several years until he became a practical and reliable sorter. In the course of time he accumulated some little means, and then about 1847, in partnership with John TENNEY, he engaged in the manufacture of woolen cloths at Millbury, Mass.; but at the end of four years Mr. BRADFORD sold out to his partner and went to North Amherst, where he again engaged in business, this time in partnership with Thomas JONES, the latter furnishing the necessary capital for the firm, while Mr. BRADFORD was the practical man in charge of the manufacturing department. Their product was cloths, principally Kentucky jeans, and their business was conducted with reasonable success for a period of about three years.

      During the time of his business operations, both at Millbury and North Amherst, Mr. BRADFORD had a desire to establish a business for himself, but he lacked the requisite means, and therefore was obliged to work with others until his own capital was sufficient to warrant an investment of it; and the latter part of his three years partnership at North Amherst seems to have found him sufficiently well possessed for his purpose, or at all events he then determined to make the venture. Looking about for a desirable place to locate Mr. BRADFORD discovered an opening at Bennington, and he thereupon purchased the old WILLS and FAIRBANK property that had formerly been a cloth factory, but the business had not been conducted with any great degree of profit. This property, as has been stated, Mr. BRADFORD purchased in 1853, and in the spring of 1854 took up his abode in Bennington. For the next three years the mill was run as under the preceding firm, but at the end of that time its character was changed and the first mill for the manufacture of knit goods was established in Bennington. The business of the firm was soon made a successful and profitable one and enlargements were necessitated to meet the increasing demands for their product. Other persons saw too that the BRADFORDS were on the road to prosperity, and they in turn commenced similar manufactures until the village acquired the reputation of being an extensive knit-goods manufacturing center.

      In the year 1863 George S. BRADFORD and Henry E. BRADFORD dissolved partnership and divided the property formerly held and operated in common; but the retirement of George S. BRADFORD did not affect the firm name, as Lyman F. ABBOTT, whose sister Henry E. BRADFORD had married, at once succeeded to the vacant place. John KELSO also became interested in the business, and continued in the firm until about the year 1884. George S. BRADFORD took what the former firm had always called their "upper mill," and there he conducted business until the time of his death.

      Henry E. BRADFORD was a stirring, energetic and thorough business man, and while he was a practical workman he also had the capacity of managing the entire business in the office as well as at the work-bench. Thus was Mr. BRADFORD engaged at the time of his death, April 10, 1878.  By his death the village of Bennington lost not only one of its most prominent business men, but one who had at heart the interests of the town as well as his personal affairs, and one whose influence for good in the community was remarkable. While the turmoil of politics had no charms for him he nevertheless was not backward when his friends requested him to represent the people in local offices, but beyond this he would not consent to go. Mr. BRADFORD, too, was a generous man, and gave liberally of his means to the support of the church of which he was a member -- the Methodist Episcopal -- as well as to all other worthy objects. He was an earnest advocate of the graded school for the village, and when that institution was erected Mr. BRADFORD generously donated to the trustees some desirable apparatus for experiments in the scientific department.

      After Mr. BRADFORD's death the business of the firm was continued without changing its name, although several changes in partners have been made. As now conducted the persons interested in the firm of H. E. Bradford & Co. are Lyman F. ABBOTT, Willlam H. and Edward W. BRADFORD, sons of Henry E. BRADFORD.

      Henry E. BRADFORD was twice married. He was first married on the 16th day of August, 1843, to Lucy Ann PROCTOR, of Fitchburg, Mass., at which place Mr. BRADFORD was then working at his trade as a wool sorter. Of that marriage one child, Frances Ann, was born. She died during childhood. Lucy Ann BRADFORD died May 9, 1847. Again on the 8th day of November, 1849, at Millbury, Mr. BRADFORD was united in marriage with Eleanor ABBOTT, the daughter of Asa and Sarah ABBOTT, then residing at Worcester. There have been born of this marriage seven children, viz.: Herbert Waldo, who died September 8, 1857; Frederick, who died March t9, 1859; William Henry, of Bennington; Carrie Frances, who died September 10, 1859; Edward Walling, of Bennington; Lizzie May, the wife of Chester J. REYNOLDS, of Chicago; Emma Amelia, wife of Charles Henry DEWEY, of Bennington.


SAMUEL H. BROWN, MAJOR

      BROWN, SAMUEL H., MAJOR. In the township of Bennington there was probably no man longer engaged in business pursuits, or who had a more extended and favorable acquaintance throughout the vicinity than Major BROWN; for, during the better part of sixty years he was in a greater or less degree directly interested in mercantile or manufacturing enterprises in the town; and during all his long and varied business life and intercourse with his fellow men no man ever had just cause to doubt his honor and probity. Although he began life with not limited means, his prudent habits, excellent judgment, and firm adherence to the rule that "whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well," brought to him most gratifying success and enabled him to accumulate a comfortable fortune Of quiet disposition, kind of heart, and generous to all good causes, he won the respect and esteem of all to whom he was known. But in no way did the qualities of the man appear so strongly as in the citizen, friend, and neighbor, in the more private walks in life, and as the parent and husband within the sacred precincts of home. His commanding personal appearance, agreeable manners, and scrupulous attention to the common civilities of life, endeared him alike to old and young.

      Such were the characteristics of Major Samuel H. BROWN, who, after an exemplary life of eighty-three years, changed the mortal for immortality, and was laid at rest on the 1st day of June, in the year 1887.

      Samuel Hinman BROWN was born in the town of Bennington on the 2d day of May, in the year 1804, and was the son of Samuel and Betsey BROWN. Very early in life was he deprived of a mother's tender love and care, for she was stricken and died when Samuel was but seven years old; and eight years later he was left an orphan through the death of his father. But kind friends interposed, and young Samuel, under the guardianship of Captain Jonathan NORTON, was placed in the family of Dr. Noadiah SWIFT, with whom he lived most of the time till his majority was reached. He then formed a partnership with Benjamin FAY, and commenced mercantile business at Bennington Center, as successors to General Henry ROBINSON, but in 1829 the partner retired, and the business was continued by Mr. BROWN for some time longer, when, having acquired an interest in a tin business at East Bennington, he again took a partner, Ray R. SANFORD, a relative of the family.

      It would indeed be difficult to follow the many and varied business enterprises in which our subject was from time to time engaged after his first venture in partnership with Mr. FAY and his successor, Mr. SANFORD, until his final retirement in 1870; but there may properly be made, as a part of this sketch, some mention of the leading of these enterprises as they are noted in the obituary, written soon after Mr. Brown's death and published: Major BROWN was interested in two cotton-mills here. The first stood upon the site of the Stewart block, and the other on the site of the present novelty works and known as the Doolittle factory. About 1838 he sold out his store at the Center, and entered the bank of Bennington as cashier, remaining there four years. After leaving the bank he exchanged his farm for business property in Troy, and came to East Bennington to reside in 1842. He engaged in the grocery trade in Troy, but not liking it there returned to Bennington and built the stone grist-mill on North street, which he furnished with fine machinery and conducted for about twenty-five years. A foundery was also run in connection with the other business. This foundery was the Aaron Grover Works, and was purchased about 1846.

      From this time Major BROWN became prominently identified with the iron interests of the county. The iron mines east of the village were worked, and this business was a leading industry of Western Vermont at the time. One of his partners in this business was Resolvy GAGE, now a resident of East Boston, Mass. In 1860 Olin SCOTT succeeded Mr. GAGE.

      In 1867 Mr. BROWN sold his grist-mill and appurtenances to Henry W. PUTNAM, and began work on his Troy property, which occupied his attention for about two years. In 1870 he retired from active participation in business pursuits, and devoted himself to the management of his investments.

      In his daily meeting with friends and fellow townsmen Mr. BROWN was generally addressed as "Major." This title became his by virtue of his appointment in 1829 as brigade major and inspector of the second division of Vermont militia, and by it was he ever afterward designated. Besides this Major BROWN was variously honored with offices, the gift of the electors of the town and county, but he was by no means an office-seeker; and whatever of political holdings were his the duties of office were faithfully and honestly administered. In 1853 he was elected associate judge of the County Court of Bennington county, and served in that capacity two terms.

      An event that proved an important factor in Major BROWN's success in life was the faithful and devoted companionship of a most estimable wife, the sharer of his fortunes and reverses in business, and who survived him at the time of his death in 1887. Samuel Hinman BROWN and Sarah Maria BROWN, the latter formerly of Southbury, Conn., were united in marriage on the 10th day of October, 1826. Of this marriage five children were born, as follows: Hinman Samuel, now of Bennington; Sarah Maria, who died at the age of twenty-five years; Francis Raymond, who died at the age of twenty-seven years; Helen Elizabeth, who became the wife of William E. HAWKS, and Cordelia, who died an infant of one year and eleven months.


HON. ELIAS BLACK BURTON

      BURTON, ELIAS BLACK, HON., was born in the town of Rupert on the 3d of May in the year 1816, and was the fourth of nine children born to Nathan and Charlotte (GRAVES) BURTON, both of whom were highly respected residents of Rupert, the mother being a daughter of Dr. GRAVES of that town, a leading physician of his time. Young Elias was given the advantages of a good education in the district schools of the town at first, but afterward was under the instruction of judge AIKEN, then of Manchester, afterward of Massachusetts, by the latter preparing for college. He also attended one term at the Royalton Academy, and later at the Bennington Academy, and in 1833 entered the Middlebury College for a regular classical course of four years. In 1837 he was graduated from that institution. He then went South and passed about a year, engaged in teaching at Carrolton, Ala., but at the expiration of that time returned to his home in Rupert.

      The next year, 1839, our subject is found in Troy, in the office of Lawyer WILSON as a student, determined to enter the legal profession, but after four months he went to Salem, N. Y.; and there entered the law office of Allen & Blair, with whom he continued until his admission to the bar at the General Term of the Supreme Court held in May, 1842. In 1843 the young lawyer came to Manchester and formed a law partnership with Counselor A. L. MINER of that place, with whom he was associated until the year 1851, Mr. MINER then leaving off practice to enter upon the duties of the office of representative in Congress, to which he was in that year elected. From that time until 1854 Mr. BURTON practiced alone, but in the year last named he took a partner in the person of Samuel Seward BURTON, the cousin of our subject, who afterward became prominent as one of the leading and most successful lawyers and business men of LaCrosse, Wis., to which place he emigrated in 1857. Then, after a period of practice alone Mr. BURTON formed a partnership in 1866 for law practice with Loveland MUNSON who had then but recently been admitted to the bar of the State, and who had prosecuted his legal studies in the office of our subject. This latter co-partnership relation continued until the spring of 1888, when the senior partner felt justified in retiring from the onerous and burdensome duties of active professional life.

      As has already been stated it was in the year 1843 that Elias B. BURTON began his professional career in Manchester, the north half-shire town of Bennington county, but his subsequent practice was not by any means confined to this locality alone. As a lawyer, whether young or old in the profession, he always applied himself diligently to its labors, and at an early day assumed, and to the time of his retirement maintained a leading position among the profession's ablest members. In the conduct of his legal business he was methodical and cautious, without being laborious. He discountenanced rather than promoted litigation, and in his intercourse with his clients mature deliberation always preceded council. He rarely indulged in rhetoric and never in ostentatious display, but addressed himself to the understanding of his hearers instead of appealing to their passions, and approached whatever subject he had in hand with dignity, self-possession, and in the light of principle and common sense. Upon all the political issues of the times he has entertained clear and well settled convictions and is perfectly frank and outspoken in the expression of them. His sentiments have been and are emphatically conservative -- naturally inclined to adhere to the established order of things, and not easily drawn into the advocacy of any of the isms of the day.

      Naturally enough a man of his prominence could not well avoid being drawn into the arena of politics, yet he has by no means been an office-seeker. In 1849 he was elected State's attorney for Bennington county, and held that office one year. In 1855 he represented the town of Manchester in the State General Assembly, and in 1836 and 1857 in the Sate Senate. In 1865 he was elected to the office of Probate judge, and filled that position for twelve consecutive years. In 1860 John W. STEWART and Elias B. BURTON were appointed delegates to represent the first Vermont Congressional District at the National Republican Convention held at Chicago, and at which Abraham Lincoln was nominated for the presidency of the United States, and it is to this last named event anti his connection therewith that Judge BURTON looks back with feelings of the greatest pride and satisfaction.

      On the 13th day of December, in the year 1842, the same year in which he was admitted to the bar, Elias B. BURTON was married to Adeline M. HARWOOD, of the village of Bennington. Of this marriage there have been born six children, three of whom are now living, the other three having died in infancy.


WILLIAM B. BURTON

      BURTON, WILLIAM B. The subject of this sketch was born in the town of Manchester, on the farm now owned and occupied by his brother, George G. BURTON, on the 3d day of July 1820. His father was Joseph, and his mother Anna (BENEDICT) BURTON, and of their six children William was the eldest but one. The father, Joseph BURTON, was a farmer, and on the farm William was brought up at work, attending school in season, until he reached the age of about twenty years, when, having been educated at the Burr and Burton Seminary at Manchester, he began teaching school, which occupation engaged his attention for several years.

      About the year 1848, in copartnership with F. W. HOYT, Mr. BURTON embarked in the mercantile business at Manchester village, but three years of experience in trade brought the firm no gratifying results, and the establishment was closed. But Mr. BURTON settled the affairs of the unfortunate firm, and accepted a clerkship or managing position in connection with a union store gotten tip and stocked by the farmers of the vicinity, and located at Factory Point (now Manchester Center), which business Mr. BURTON conducted for about eight years.

      In 1862 our subject formed a partnership with Samuel G. CONE of Manchester, and succeeded by purchase to the mercantile business formerly conducted by Franklin H. ORVIS; and about five years later the firm added to their interests another store at Factory Point, in both of which enterprises they have been engaged to the present day. It is no flattering comment to state that the business of this firm has been entirely successful, or that the members of the firm are both counted among the most honorable and fair dealing men in the community. From 1862 to 1875 Mr. BURTON also held the office as postmaster.

      William B. BURTON has never been an aspirant for political honors in his town or in the county, but has been content to busy himself with the affairs of his own interests; still there is no man that has been more closely identified with the various measures looking to the benefit and welfare of the town than he. In matters pertaining to the church, with which he has for upwards of thirty years been connected as a member, Mr. BURTON has taken a deep interest, contributing both of his time and means for the advancement and prosperity of the Congregational Society. The office of treasurer of that society he held for many years, and insisted on being retired from the duties of the same at the last annual meeting, but still he holds the office of deacon. For more than forty years he was leader of the choir in the Congregational Church.

      On the 16th day of August, 1846 William B. BURTON was married to Angeline M., the daughter of Abraham B. STRAIGHT, of Manchester. Of this union three children were born, only two of whom grew to maturity. His wife died on the 13th day of December, 1877. On the 15th day of June, 1880 Mr. BURTON was married to Elizabeth T. MORGAN, the daughter of a highly respected and prominent pioneer resident, Colonel A. W. MORGAN, of Glens Falls, Warren county, N. Y.


CHARLES COOPER

      COOPER, CHARLES was born in Nottingham, England, in January, 1835. He was the fourth child, and one of the twelve children born to James and Ann (GLOVER) COOPER. The father, James COOPER, was a very skillful mechanic, and made the inside work of knitting machinery a specialty. He manufactured for the trade all kinds of knitting needles, and the various forms of the sinkers for the knitting frames. Into this business Charles COOPER was very early inducted, and before reaching his minority had acquired considerable skill in many of the operations that constitute the process of this manufacture. In 1847 James COOPER, the father of the subject of this sketch, came to America, first to Germantown, Pa., at that time the seat of the greatest knitting industry in the United States. After a few months he went to Thompsonville, Conn., to enter the employ of the Enfield Manufacturing Company of that place, pursuing the calling to which he had devoted his life, making needles and sinkers, and the delicate inside work of knitting frames. In 1848 the family left by him in the old English home came across the water to join the pioneer husband and father, and, being soon domiciled, began the working out of their several destinies in the new world. The COOPER family are a gifted race in the line of mechanical design and invention. A sister of Mr. COOPER, Madam GRISWOLD, of New York City, has invented and manufactured some of the most popular designs of corsets and other articles of ladies' underwear. She has made for herself an enviable reputation and secured a competency. George COOPER is known as a most skillful and ingenious machinist, and his patents are numerous, and have won for him great distinction as an inventor.

      While living at Thompsonville Charles COOPER was married to Miss Annie SEMPLE, daughter of Alexander SEMPLE, whose brother is now the superintendent of the Broad Brook Woolen Company's Works. To Charles and Annie COOPER have been born five children, three daughters and two sons, one son and two daughters are now living; the younger son, a remarkable boy, died at the age of twelve years.  The middle daughter, Mrs. Mabel E. GRAVES, but recently passed away. Charles COOPER, having previously purchased of his brother George all his right in the, flat rib knitting machine patent in: 1868, came to Bennington to put one of his machines to work in the mills of H. E. Bradford & Co., bringing with him George DAKIN, an expert knitter, to run. In the fall of the same year Charles COOPER brought his whole needle plant to Bennington, and began here his extensive business in that line. He manufactures all kinds of knitting needles for all kinds of machines, also the sinkers for the same. This was his father's business, and lie has been trained in it since his youth. In 1870 Mr. COOPER took his brother-in -law, Mr. Eli TIFFANY, into partnership with him, and the year following they commenced the manufacture of their patent flat rib knitting machine, and so great were their sales that their output went as high as $75,000 per year. In 1886 the firm was dissolved, and Charles COOPER began the manufacture of the same machine in a shop of his own, and the output of the new shop equals the number of machines made by the old company. His machine works are supplied with the most improved machinery and tools, and are under the superintendency of Mr. Daniel HURLEY. In 1883 he started the manufacture of knit goods of a very fine quality and diversified patterns, and this branch of his business has increased to such an extent that the Cooper Manufacturing Company ranks as one of the leading industries of southern Vermont. Of this company the capital stock is $100,000, Charles COOPER, president, and his son, A. J. COOPER, is vice-president and treasurer, and Benjamin F. BALL secretary and superintendent.

      Mr. COOPER is essentially a self-made man, a good example of America's opportunities and rewards of talent and energy. He began life with no capital save a thorough knowledge of his trade, and this he has utilized to exceedingly good purpose. Substantial returns are the reward of his energy, industry, and perseverance.

      Devoted to his business, Mr. COOPER has not found time to enter into local or general politics to any great extent than should every prudent and patriotic citizen. He has, however, very decided political opinions, and is a thorough protectionist from conviction of the imminent disaster that must come to American industries if, by lowering the present tariff rates, American operatives and manufacturers are brought into too sharp competition with the cheaper labor and massed capital of Europe.

      He knows the more favorable condition of the American operative and mechanic as, compared with the same employment in Europe. He knows this from observation and experience on both sides of the Atlantic, and is therefore the more pronounced in favor of the American system of protection.

      In social and society matters Mr. COOPER. takes great interest. But he finds his greatest pleasure in the relaxation from business by devotion, to church work. He is an official member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is the superintendent of the Sunday-school. He is an earnest and reliable helper in all good enterprises.


Hon HILAND HALL, L.L.D

      HALL, HILAND Hon, L.L.D., ex-Governor, ex-Member of Congress and ex-Controller of the United States Treasury, was born in Bennington July 20, 1795. Nathaniel HALL, his father, was an industrious farmer, and his wife, whom he married in Norfolk, Conn., October 12, 1794, Abigail (HUBBARD) HALL, a worthy companion. The ancestors of both, John HALL of the father and George HUBBARD of the mother, were from England, who after being over fifteen years at Boston and Hartford became in 1650 large landholders, and the first settlers of Middletown, Conn. Nathaniel HALL was a deacon of the Baptist Church in North Bennington. He and his wife were worthy communicants of that church, and respected members of society. Of their seven children, two sons and five daughters, all of whom lived to be married, Hiland, the subject of this sketch, was the oldest. His education was obtained in the common schools of the day when he could be spared from the labor upon the farm, with a finishing term of three months at the academy in Granville, N. Y.  He early exhibited a taste for reading, and any books he could borrow in the neighborhood were read, and on many occasions by the use of the light from coals on the hearth of an old fashioned fireplace, candles being at that time among the often forbidden luxuries. History and biography were his choice, and as soon as his age would allow he began teaching during the winters in the districts schools. When eighteen he was interested in the formation of the "Sons of Liberty," a society of the young men of Bennington for a vigorous prosecution of the War of 1812 with England. He was admitted to the Bennington county bar in 1819, and always resided in Bennington, only as he was absent on official positions of trust. He began his political life as a national Republican, voting for John Quincy Adams for president in 1824 and 1828. The party afterwards took the name of "Whig," with which he acted until it became merged in 1856 in the new Republican party, the name under which he began his political career. He represented the town in the General Assembly of the State in 1827, and was chiefly instrumental in obtaining a charter for the first bank located in the county. In 1828 he was clerk of the Supreme and County Court for Bennington county, and was elected State's attorney for the county, and reelected the three succeeding years. Mr. HALL was naturally generous, and his sympathies sometimes led him in answering the claims of the needy to be more liberal than his income would allow, and he was for years in straitened pecuniary circumstances. In later life, however, after his family had grown so as to care for themselves, his income was ample for his mode of living and for expressing in a tangible way many of his benevolent desires. In January, 1833 he was elected to Congress to fill the vacancy made by the death of Hon. Jona HUNT, and at the same election was chosen a member of the Twenty-third Congress. He represented this district for ten successive years as a Republican and Whig, when he declined longer to be a candidate, and closed his Congressional course the 3d of March, 1843. In Congress Mr. HALL served upon several important committees, and being a working rather than a talking member his services were often laborious and severe, especially on that of post-office and post-roads, and afterwards on that of Revolutionary claims, his printed reports upon the latter covering several volumes of public documents. In May, 1834, he made a speech against General Jackson's removal of the government deposits from the United States Bark, and another in May, 1836, in favor of the distribution of the proceeds of the public lands among the States, by which Vermont received nearly seven hundred thousand dollars as her portion, to be added to the school fund of the towns. Both the speeches were printed as campaign documents, and extensively circulated by his political friends, and the former was reprinted in New York prior to the succeeding election. In March, 1836, while a member of the post office committee, he presented a minority report on “incendiary publications," in opposition to the message of the president and the advice of the postmaster-general and in answer to a re report made in the Senate by Mr. Calhoun of South Carolina. but as the majority of the committee failed to present theirs it did not become a public paper, but was published in the National Intelligencer at Washington, and other papers through the country. He took an active part in procuring the act of July 2d, 1836, by which in the reorganization of the post-office department a system for the settlement of accounts was established, which inaugurated an economical administration of its affairs.

      Mr. HALL was successful in putting a stop to the payment of claims which had for years been made by Virginians, called commutation claims, half pay and bounty land claims. These had been numerous, and had passed through Congress with little opposition, as many influential Virginians, governors, and members of Congress were and had been interested in them, and were founded on alleged promises of the State of Virginia or of the Continental Congress to Virginia officers of the Revolutionary army. There had been over three millions of dollars paid by the United States on fictitious claims for supposed services of deceased officers, and their numbers were continually increasing. By patient examination of Revolutionary archives at Washington, and information gleaned from public records at Richmond, he prepared a report as chairman of a select committee for the purpose of such investigation, which was approved by the committee and presented to the house on the 27th of February, 1839. By dilatory motions and efforts in obstructing the action of the house, participated in by Mr. Wise and others of the Virginia delegation, it being near the close of the session, the designed object was effected of smothering the report for that Congress. At the next session, on the 24th of April. 1840, Mr. HALL made a report as a member of the committee on Revolutionary claims, upon these claims of the Virginians, which showed by authentic evidence that every one was unfounded. The efforts of the Virginians to obtain allowances being continued, Mr. Stanly, of North Carolina, on the ground that the claimants could not otherwise have a fair hearing, on the 10th of June, 1842, offered a resolution that a select committee be appointed to examine and report on their validity. On the 16th Mr. HALL spoke an hour, vindicating his course and showing that the claims were, every one, either gotten up in fraud or were clearly unfounded on any service to sustain them, and closed by giving a list of sixty-four of the latest of such claims, amounting to over two hundred thousand dollars, which were before the house, and had been recommended for payment by the executive of Virginia. He offered to withdraw his opposition to the claims if any member would satisfy the house that any single claim was well founded. His speech was commented upon by many of the Virginians, some of whom were personally interested in the payment of them, among them Messrs Goggin, Goode, and Gilmer, the latter of whom while governor of Virginia, had already received over twelve thousand dollars by a law of the State entitling him as agent of the half-pay claimants, to one per cent on all that should be paid by the United States on this class of claims. The debate occupied the morning hour, of several days, and having the large delegation of Virginia on one side and a single member from another State on the other, and being in a great degree of a personal character, it attracted very general attention. Members of both houses of Congress were present during much of the debate, and the lobbies and galleries were filled with spectators. Mr. HALL triumphantly sustained every position he had taken in debate, and so discomfited his assailants that besides being highly complimented by many senators and members of the house, among them ex President Adams, his vindication was the subject of general newspaper notice through the country. This thorough exposure of these claims, followed soon after by a report in detail of the select committee, prepared by Mr. HALL, operated as a final suppression of them. May it not be said this capturing of the Virginia delegation was really the first taking of Richmond by evidence, much of which was taken from the State archives and brought to bear with irresistible force upon the fortified plans and schemes of its greedy speculators.

      He was president of the large "Whig" Convention held in Bennington in 1840, and made the opening speech introductory to his presenting Hon. Daniel Webster at the famous "Stratton Whig Convention," held on the top of the Green Mountain on the 16th of August of the same year. 

      He was bank commissioner of Vermont for four years, from 1843, judge of the Supreme Court for the like period until 1850, when he was appointed Second Controller of the United States Treasury. While acting as controller, he took the ground that he should, if satisfied of the illegality of an expenditure, though ordered by the head of a department representing the president, reject it, although in opposition to a labored written argument and sanctioned by the published opinion of three former Attorney-Generals. He showed conclusively that judicial authority had been designedly conferred on the accounting officers as a check upon lavish expenditures in the several departments, and a second edition of his published opinion, which has since been followed in the department, has recently been printed for government use.

      In 1851 he was appointed by President Fillmore with General James Wilson, of New Hampshire, and Judge H. I. Thronton, of Alabama, a land Commissioner for California, resigning his position as controller, and recommending for his successor Hon. E. J. PHELPS, a prominent lawyer of Burlington, and since United States minister to England. Mr. HALL was chairman of the commission, and wrote the opinion in the famous Mariposa claim of General J. C. Fremont, which included, almost without exception, all points that would be liable to arise in the adjusting of land claims under the treaty with Mexico. After the election of President Pierce he remained for a time in San Francisco with the law firm of Halleck, Peachy, Billings & Park as general adviser and to assist in the preparation of important papers.

      In the spring of 1854 he returned to Vermont, and, resuming his residence on the farm in North Bennington on which he was born, retired from the further practice of his profession.

      Mr. HALL was possessed of the qualities which go to make up a statesman; a good mind stored with good common sense, a retentive memory and a practical mode of thinking. His flow of language as an extemporaneous speaker was deficient, but at the desk he excelled, as formulated thoughts and correctly molded ideas flowed as freely as could be readily written; and in whatever position he was placed lie was found equal to any exigency which arose, as his fund of information extended to all branches of national, constitutional or international research.

      Mr. HALL was a member of the convention which met in Philadelphia in 1856, and gave the Republican party a national character by nominating candidates for the presidency and vice presidency, and he presided at the Republican convention held in North Bennington on the 16th of August of the same year.

      In 1858 he was elected by that party governor of the State, and re-elected the next year by a like large majority. In his first message, after calling the attention of the Legislature to the local affairs of the State and speaking in condemnation of the attempt by a decision of the Supreme Court to legalize slavery in the Territories, he pronounced the decision in the "bred Scott" case as "extra judicial, and as contrary to the plain language of the constitution, to the facts of history and to the dictates of common humanity:" and in his last message in 1859 he announced his determination to retire from further public service. He, however, acted as chairman of the delegation from Vermont to the fruitless "Peace Congress," which on the call of Virginia met in Washington in February, 1861, on the eve of the rebellion. On the breaking out of the rebellion in April, 1861, he felt it his duty to do all in his power to up hold the unity and integrity of the government, and his tine, energies, and means to a large extent were devoted to aid in crushing it out. His association and intimate relations with such men as Webster, Clay, Adam, Giddings, Stevens, and others, when the doctrine of nullification or disunion was being advocated by Calhoun and his associates, that slavery and States rights might be sustained and perpetuated, had prepared him for immediate action, and his anxiety ceased only on the final surrender of Lee to Grant.

      Mr. HALL always took a deep interest in the history connected with the territory and State of Vermont. He delivered the first annual address that was made before the Vermont Historical Society, and for six years, from 1859, was its president, and was afterwards active in the preparation of the materials for a number of the volumes of its collections, and otherwise promoting its success. He read several papers at the meetings of the society, some of which were published; among them one in 1869 in vindication of Colonel Ethan ALLEN as the hero of Ticonderoga, in refutation of an attempt made in the "Galaxy Magazine" to rob him of that honor. He has contributed papers to the "New York Historical Magazine," to the Vermont Historical Gazetteer," to the "Philadelphia Historical Record," and also to the "New England Historic Genealogical Register." In 1860 he read before the New York Historical Society a paper showing "why the early inhabitants of Vermont disclaimed the jurisdiction of New York and established a separate government."

      In 1868 his "Early History of Vermont," a work of over five hundred pages, was published, in which is unanswerably shown the necessity of the separation of the inhabitants from the government of New York; their justification in the struggle they maintained in the establishment of their State independence, and their valuable services in the cause of American liberty during the Revolutionary War. In it the loyalty of all the important acts of the leaders is so firmly established by documentary evidence, that he was confident no aspersion could be maintained reflecting upon the patriotism of any of the early heroes.

      Governor Hall was prominent in forwarding the centennial celebration of the battle of Bennington during the week of the 16th of August, 1877; in securing for it the aid of the State Legislature, and in advancing its successful accomplishment. He had a little before prepared a full and concise description of the battle, with an account of its far-reaching consequence, which was extensively published, and has also a place in the official record of the celebration.

      Being deeply interested in the erection of a suitable monument for commemorating the battle of Bennington, he was sorrowfully surprised at the report of the committee on design, of which Hon. E: J. PHELPS was chairman, made in December, 1884, of an artistic structure about sixty feet high, and in June, 1885, having reached the age of ninety, he addressed an open letter of twelve printed pages to the Bennington Battle Monument Association, giving his views of monuments and their form in relation to different historic events, critically reviewing the design of the committee recommending the small, low structure, and advised the erection of a tall, large, bold and commanding shaft. The letter, written with the vigor of earlier years, was extensively circulated and read, and as a result at the annual meeting of the association the same year at Bennington, which was very largely attended, the "report of the committee on design" was withdrawn, and it was unanimously voted to erect a monument of magnitude and grandeur.

      The honorary degree of L.L.D. was conferred on him by the University of Vermont in 1859. He was a life member and vice-president for Vermont of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, a member of the Long Island Historical Society, an honorary member of the Buffalo and corresponding member of the New York Historical Societies.

      He married in 1818 Dolly Tuttle DAVIS, of Rockingham, Vt., who, after over sixty years of happy and useful married life, died January 8, 1879, having been a consistent member of the Congregational Church in Bennington about fifty years. Their golden wedding, with "no presents received," was celebrated October 27, 1868. There were about three hundred present; of the gentlemen forty-five were over sixty years old, and one, a former teacher of his, aged eighty-five years. Mrs. HALL's parents, Henry DAVIS and Mary TUTTLE, lived together sixty years lacking three days. He was at the battle of Bunker Hill under Colonel Stark at the line of rail fence, and also served at West Point at the time of Arnold's treasonable attempt to surrender it to the enemy, being in the Revolutionary service over three years. At a family reunion in North Bennington July 20, 1885, in honor of Mr. HALL, at the residence of his granddaughter, on which day he was ninety years of age, there were present fifty-one of his descendants, there being five others who were detained from the interesting gathering. The difference in the ages of the oldest and youngest was eighty-nine years and four months. He had eight children, six sons and two daughters. Of the sons there are now living, viz.: Henry D., of Bennington; Nathaniel B., of Jackson, Mich.; and Charles, of Springfield, Mass. The deceased were, Eliza D., wife of Adin THAYER, who died in 1843; Hiland H., in 1851; Laura V., wife of Trenor W. PARK, in 1875; M. Carter, in 1881, and John V. in 1888.

      Governor HALL died in Springfield, Mass, at the house of his son, with whom he was spending the winter. December 18, 1885. Retiring on the 17th in usual health, he was heard in the morning to open the register for more warmth, as was his custom, when a fall called the family to his room. He was unable to rise, but gave directions for the care of himself, living about two hours, the machinery of the body seemingly having worn out, he being in his ninety first year. The funeral was in North Bennington, the services being largely attended by the people of the vicinity, with the county bar; also friends from Manchester and Rutland, and other parts of the State were in attendance. Rev. Isaac JENNINGS, the pastor of the First Church, officiated, and the casket was borne and lowered into the grave by his remaining children, Henry D., Nathaniel B., John V., and Charles, who had a few years before in like manner, gently laid away the loved form of the wife and mother. The interment was at Bennington Center in the family lot he had prepared years before, anal where his beloved wife and many of his descendants are buried.


WILLIAM EDWARD HAWKS

      HAWKS, WILLIAM EDWARD, the son of Alvah and Julia Ann (PRATT) HAWKS, was born in Bennington, on the 27th day of January, 1832; therefore he is now just past his fifty-seventh anniversary of birth. His father and mother were also natives of the town of Bennington, and on both sides his ancestors have: been pioneers of the county. The father of our subject was a farmer by occupation, and on the farm William was brought up at work and attending school in season, until he attained his eighteenth year, at which age he went to New York City and took a clerkship in the house of Hunt Brothers, importers and jobbers of dry goods. With this firm young HAWKS continued about four years, when they suspended business, whereupon he entered the dry goods house of Richards & McHarg, in the capacity of salesman, and with whom he remained from 1854 until 1857, when this firm also was obliged to suspend.

      Having now been some years in the city of New York, and having acquired a pretty thorough knowledge of the business with which he had been connected, and what was of equal value to him, having saved as much as possible of his salary, Mr. HAWKS joined his accrued capital with that of Charles C. HURD, and entered into active business life at 13 Park Place, as importers and jobbers of hosiery and notions, under the firm name and style of HURD & HAWKS, which business was continued with indifferent success until 1860, when the senior partner went out of the firm and our subject was left to close out the stock as best he might.

      In the year next preceding this, or in 1859, on the 2d day of February, William E. HAWKS was married to Helen Elizabeth, daughter of Major Samuel H. BROWN, of Bennington. Of this marriage five children were born, all of whom are still living.

      Again, in 1864, our subject ventured into business in New York, this time as a dealer in ladies' and gentlemen's furnishings. This proved far more profitable than his previous undertaking at the metropolis, and his endeavors were rewarded with abundant success. And during the same period, or from 1864 to 1870, Mr. HAWKS was engaged in other business enterprises, and these, too, were fortunate and brought satisfactory returns. But in 1870, or about that time, the capitalists of the East were giving much attention to Western investments, and our subject saw for himself that these promised better returns than any Eastern enterprises offered at that time; he therefore closed out his mercantile business in New York, and "turned his face toward the setting sun," and there, in the main, has he been interested from 1870 until the present time; but not to the prejudice or neglect of his native town – Bennington -- for here has been his acknowledged home notwithstanding the magnitude of his interests in other localities. And he has been, and now is, largely interested in investments in Bennington and elsewhere in its vicinity; he is director and stockholder in the Bennington County National Bank, vice-president of the Bennington County Savings Bank, the owner of a large amount of real and personal property in the county; also, he was one of the chief advocates of the graded school enterprise, and connected with the Monument Association in their most laudable undertaking. Mr. HAWKS, too, is known to possess much public spiritedness and generosity, and no worthy charity has ever appealed to him in vain.

      But, turning for a moment to some of Mr. HAWKS's Western investments, we find him, in 1872, one of the organizers and directors of the First National Bank of Marseilles, Ill.; later he becomes president of the Marseilles Water Power Company, and the largest stockholder of the concern; he was also at one time vice-president of the Joliet Water Works Company; is president of the Plymouth Rock Cattle Company, a corporation having a capital stock of $250,000; also president of the Leadville Water Company, the capital of which is $300,000; also president of the Soda Springs Land and Cattle Company, capital stock $300,000. In each of these enterprises Mr. HAWKS owns a very large and controlling share of the stock.

      Such, then is a brief resume of the principal business operations of William E. HAWKS. If it indicates anything it is that he is a remarkable man in his capacity to grasp and successfully direct great enterprises. In such undertakings, the detail of which would distract and paralyze the powers of men less favorably constituted for such operations, Mr. HAWKS has seemed to observe the end from the beginning. He looks over his ground, forms his judgment with rapidity and almost unerring accuracy, and then proceeds to the execution of his plans with the serene confidence that all will end according to his expectation. And he is, as must be seen, a very busy man; but his manifold interests never seem to worry him; in all these his power has been found sufficient for any emergency, and his time adequate for all requirements. And he has found time too, for other duties than those confined to his business operations; indeed, to every improvement that has promised to add to the welfare or beauty of his native place he has given the same care and efficient attention that is bestowed upon his own affairs. His personal connection with the Congregational Church covers a period of twenty years, and this, and other religious institutions, have received his sympathy and material aid. In short, he has not only succeeded in erecting a business and financial fabric of large proportions. but is in all respects the useful citizen, to whom the confidence and respect of his townsmen are not the least appreciated of his rewards.


GENERAL JOHN G. McCULLOUGH

      McCULLOUGH, GENERAL JOHN G. The subject of this sketch was born in Welsh Tract near Newark, in the State of Delaware. His ancestry is of Scottish blood on the paternal, and of Welsh extraction on the maternal side of the house. His early educational advantages were of a meager character, but such as they were he diligently utilized them with considerable credit to himself. His father died when John G. was only three, and his mother when he was only seven years of age; but friends and relatives extended kindly and considerate care to the youth, whose pluck, persistence and unwearied industry placed him in command of the resources of a good education before he had attained his legal majority. His scholastic career ended in Delaware College. where he graduated with the first honors of his class before he had reached his twentieth year.

      Selecting the profession of law, Mr. MCCULLOUGH began to prepare for its practice immediately after his graduation. Repairing to Philadelphia he entered the law office of St. George Tucker Campbell, who for many years was one of the brightest and most successful jury lawyers at the Philadelphia bar. There he zealously prosecuted the necessary studies for the next three years, and also attended the law school of the University of Pennsylvania. From the latter institution he received the diploma of L.L.B., and was also admitted to the bar of the Supreme Curt of Pennsylvania in 1859. Thus thoroughly equipped for the contests of the courts the young lawyer found himself apparently doomed to exclusion from them by the declining condition of his health. Of naturally weak constitution he was now seized by a grave pulmonary complaint, and was obliged to turn aside from the pleasing local prospects before him. The preservation of life itself demanded speedy change of climate and surroundings. Having tried and won by his maiden effort the first and only case entrusted to his management in Philadelphia, he sailed for California. The outlook was not promising. More dead than alive, the probabilities of the health, fortune, and fame, of which he was in eager quest, were neither numerous nor flattering.

      When Mr. MCCULLOUGH landed in San Francisco he was unable to remain there because of the severity of the winds. He at once went forward to Sacramento. There he was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of California. But physical necessity was upon him, and he again moved onward to the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, in order to profit by the dry and exhilarating air of the mountains. When the stage stopped at the end of its long route, in Mariposa county, he disembarked, and stood face to face with all the new and untried possibilities of the situation. This was in 1860. Opening an office for the transaction of business, he rapidly acquired a full share of legal practice. The fame of a patriot, rather than that of a legist was, however, what awaited him in his new and unaccustomed home. Before he had established any close and extended acquaintance with the people he was unwittingly swept into the thickest of the forensic fight for the preservation of the national union. The outer currents of the eddying war-storm that had gathered over the Cotton States, and that threatened destruction and death to all who stood in its pathway, made themselves felt in the remote coasts of the Pacific. There in Southern California the Secessionist from Alabama lived in close proximity to the Unionist from Vermont. It was by no means certain that the State would not become the theater of internecine war. The arrival of General Sumner on the scene was remarkably opportune. By a coup d'etat he superseded Albert Sidney Johnston in command of Fort Alcatraz, and thus frustrated the scheme of the Southern sympathizers to separate California from the Union. He found a ready and efficient supporter in the young MCCULLOUGH, whose heart was too hot, intellect too swift, and eloquence too effective to permit him to be an inactive spectator of passing occurrences. Stranger as he was, he ascended the stump, and from that popular rostrum did splendid service for American nationality and freedom. Although barely qualified according to local law, he received the nomination for the General Assembly. A coalition of the Republicans and Douglas Democrats triumphantly elected him, despite the efforts of Secessionism, and sent him to Sacramento in 1561.

      In the Legislature of California Mr. MCCULLOUGH so manfully and successfully advocated the cause of the Union that in 1862 his constituents returned him to the Senate. The Senatorial district was large, and composed of many counties, and had for many years previously been under the control of the Democrats. Senator MCCULLOUGH displayed such legal acumen and such judicious vigor in shaping Legislation, that, notwithstanding the fewness of his years and the recency of his citizenship, he was nominated in the following year by the Republican State Convention for the office of attorney-general, and was elected at the polls by an overwhelming majority. This office he continued to hold for the next four years, in which he resided at Sacramento. Much important litigation, in which the commonwealth was interested, thus fell to his management, and was so skillfully and satisfactorily conducted that he was again nominated by his party in 1867. But popular sentiment had veered. In the election his name stood at the head of his ticket in the reception of general favor, but nevertheless both himself and co-aspirants failed of success.

      After the close of his official career General MCCULLOUGH settled in San Francisco, and there established a law firm, of which he was the head. From the commencement of its operations, and throughout the more than five years of his residence in that city he was a prominent member of the bar, which included men of the keenest and most cultured intellect from every State of the Union. His practice was highly remunerative, and his reputation with court, counsel, and client that of a practitioner who is scrupulously precise in statement and in action, and who is always governed by the nicest sense of professional honor. In 1871 he visited the Eastern States and Europe, and returned in company with a gifted and accomplished lady, whom he had espoused in Vermont. The latter auspicious connection was the controlling cause, aided by the fact that he had already acquired an ample fortune, of his permanent removal to Vermont in 1873.

      In the full prime of manhood, and endowed with a restless, energetic, and self-controlled temperament, General MCCULLOUGH could not content himself with the enjoyment of what he had so nobly and honorably won. Although he has not again taken up exclusively legal labors, he has distinguished himself in commercial, banking, and railroad affairs. For the past twelve years he has been vice-president and manager, in great measure, of the Panama Railroad Company. He is now the president and directing genius of that corporation, having consented to hold such relation at the urgent solicitation of M. De Lesseps and its French owners. He is chairman of the board of directors of, the Erie Railway Company. He is also the president of the First National Bank of North Bennington, president of the Bennington and Rutland Railway Company, and a director of several banking and other institutions in Vermont and New York. Belonging to the Bennington Battle Monument Association, he was an active member of the committee charged with the selection of a design for the fitting memorial of that celebrated engagement.

      Politics, as an applied science, have never failed to enlist the warmest sympathies of General MCCULLOUGH. Whether on the Pacific or the Atlantic slope of the continent he has exhibited the liveliest interest in all the public questions of the day. No political campaign since 1860 has passed away without having heard his voice, ringing out in no uncertain tones, in advocacy of the principles and men that challenged his support. Under ordinary conditions the better and more fruitful portion of life is still before him. His beautiful home in Southern Vermont is the abode of elegant and cordial hospitality, and the center whence radiate the manifold energies which class him with the ablest and most influential citizens of the Green Mountain State.

      John Griffith MCCULLOUGH was married in 1871 to Eliza HALL, the oldest daughter of Trenor W. PARK, and grand-daughter of ex-Governor Hiland HALL. Four children, named Hall Park, Elizabeth Laura, Ella Sarah, and Esther Morgan, are the fruit of their union.


TRENOR WILLIAM PARK

      PARK, TRENOR WILLIAM, the son of Luther and Cynthia (PRATT) PARK, and the grandson of William PARK, was born in the town of Woodford, in this county, on the 8th day of December, 1823.

      When two or three years old Trenor W. PARK moved with his parents to Bennington. There his meager educational advantages were utilized in such irregular manner as the poverty of the family would allow. Pluck, perseverance, and industry, however, enabled him to surmount all obstruction. From 1830 to 1836 he was known as the bright, precocious, keen witted boy, who peddled molasses candy to supply the necessities of the household. He also performed such acts of service as he was capable of doing. Among these he carried letters to and from the post-office at Bennington, which was then located in what is now called Bennington Center. This penny postal establishment between the present village of Bennington and that of Revolutionary fame was among the earliest harbingers of cheap postal service.

      When fifteen years of age Trenor W. PARK had prospered so much as to be the proprietor of a small candy store on North street. But his aspirations were to much higher ends than any associated with so humble a branch of commerce. He resolved to become a lawyer. Entering at sixteen the law office of A. P. LYMAN, he there studied for admission to the bar, and with such success that he was received into the legal fraternity soon after the attainment of his majority.

      Beginning practice in the village of Bennington, he continued to prosecute it with great success until the spring of 1852. He was also interested in the lumber trade of that section of the State, and contributed largely to its subsequent development. In controversy or argument his talents were strikingly apparent. In the village lyceum he was one of the most conspicuous figures, and judging from his success in later life, was doubtless one, of its most able and brilliant debaters.

      The appointment of Hon. Hiland HALL by President Fillmore in 1851 to the chairmanship of the United States Land Commission of California, brought an entire change into the plans of Mr. PARK, who was the son-in-law of Mr. HALL. The commission was constituted to settle Mexican land titles in the new acquisition to the territorial domain of the country. In the spring of 1852 Mr. PARK and his family migrated to the Pacific coast. Arrived in San Francisco he commenced the practice of law, and displayed so much ability in the successful management of his first case that he attracted the attention of the law firm of Halleck, Peachy & Billings, which firm he was soon thereafter invited to join, and did so, the style thereupon becoming Halleck, Peachy, Billings & Park, the leading law firm of California.

      Mr. PARK's professional practice at San Francisco was not unattended by personal danger. Pistols were favorite arguments with disputants. But he scoffed at pistols, and relied on principles and precedents. He was counsel of Alvin Adams, of Boston, president of the Adams Express Company, throughout the long and intricate litigation in which that company was involved in California and Oregon. In the historic reform movement of 1855 he aided "James King of William" in establishing the San Francisco Bulletin. When that daring reformer was assassinated in the street for sternly upholding law and order, the memorable "Vigilance committee" sprang at once into being, and assumed the local government. Mr. PARK was its attorney. Five of the more prominent ruffians were hung. The worst of their companions were deported to Australia.

      In 1858 Mr. PARK visited Vermont. He was then the possessor of what was justly regarded as a fortune. But this was unexpectedly diminished in his absence by a commercial panic at San Francisco. Real estate greatly depreciated in value. Yet although his available resources were suddenly circumscribed, the ability and zeal to make the must of opportunities remained intact. Not only was he a brilliant and successful lawyer, but he was no less distinguished for judgment and skill in real estate operations. Politics attracted his energies. He failed of election as United States senator from California by a few votes only. Next he became associated with Colonel John C. Fremont in the control of the celebrated Mariposa mine, and administered the affairs of the Mariposa estate. Prosperous himself in all his undertakings, he also made the fortunes of those who were connected with him in business.

      In 1864 Mr. PARK retired from business and returned to Vermont: Inaction was too wearisome for one of his temperament, and he soon emerged into active life, and established the First National Bank of North Bennington, built a fine residence, and connected himself with various business enterprises. He also embarked in State politics, was elected to the Legislature, and wielded great power in that body. One of the original corporators of the Central Vermont Railroad Company at the reorganization of the Vermont Central under that title, he furnished much of the capital required on that occasion. Not all his railroad enterprises were as remunerative as he had expected. The Lebanon Springs Railroad was one of these. Commencing its construction in 1868, he hoped thereby to make Bennington an important railroad town, and to place it on a through route from New York to Montreal, but almost ruined his finances and also impaired his health in the undertaking. He wished to supply the great want for transportation experienced by Southern Vermont, but did not meet with fitting co-operation. Prior to this he had purchased the Western Vermont Railroad. Works showed the sincerity which his opponents have so freely and fully admitted.

      In 1872 Mr. PARK was united with General Baxter in the ownership of the celebrated Emma Mine, and while he managed it the payment of dividends was regular. Positive, energetic, and accustomed to operate on a large scale, he did not escape criticism and litigation. In the legal controversy which sprang out of the Emma Mine he was the victor. His sagacity and legal acumen were marvelous. After a jury trial of five months he was fully vindicated.

      Neither trials nor claims were impending at the time of his decease, nor did any stain rest upon his character. His administration of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, of which he was for years a director, was characterized by his wonted shrewdness and force. He purchased a controlling interest in the Panama Railroad, and was elected its president in 1874, and so continued until his decease. As manager in connection with General J. G. McCullough, he, through favor of circumstances, saw the value of its stock rise from below par to three hundred cents on the dollar; at the rate it was sold to the De Lesseps Canal Company. His was the dominant mind in the old Panama corporation, and to him the felicitous close of its affairs were mainly due. The transfer of its property and the accompanying negotiations were only completed a few months before he sailed for Panama on the trip on which he died.

      Tremor W. PARK was warmly and deeply attached to the locality in which the years of his youth arid early manhood had been passed. He was, with E. J. PHELPS of Burlington, ex-Governor PRESCOTT, of New Hampshire, and ex-Governor RICE, of Massachusetts, one of the committee on the design of the Bennington Battle Monument, which is intended to perpetuate the memory and preserve the spirit of Revolutionary patriotism. He was also a liberal giver. When one of the trustees of the University of Vermont he conceived the idea of donating the Gallery of Art which now bears his name. Benefactions whose good was apparent in the improved health of hundreds of poor New Yorkers (beneficiaries of the Tribune Fresh Air Fund) he delighted in. To these he gave some months of delightful rural experience at Bennington. The Bennington Free Library is also a splendid monument of his munificence.

      His last and largest contemplated gift was that for the ample endowment of a "Home" at Bennington. The "Park Home” for destitute children and women is one of the most impressive memorials of the man. It reveals his heart. It was intended by him to be monumental of his sainted wife. The Hunt property north of the village was purchased, and the Home incorporated by act of the Legislature of 1882, but soon thereafter Mr. PARK died. Since his death the heirs, knowing his intense interest in the welfare of Vermont's soldiers, have donated the property to the State where is now established the "Soldiers' Home."

      Paralysis seized him on the 13th of December, 1882, while a passenger on board the Pacific mail steamer San Blas. His remarkable career closed suddenly. In itself it is not only an illustration of the possibilities of youth in this country, but also of the intrinsic value of shrewdness, energy, and perseverance. Nurtured in poverty, he died in affluence. Reared with scanty advantages, he died an able and astute legist, a general of industry, a monarch of finance. Of course he had enemies. Such men necessarily make opponents. But he also made and kept hosts of warm and devoted friends. Short and slight of figure, head bent forward as if in deep thought, eyes small and restless, manner nervous and restrained, chin and mouth strong and firm, quick and decided in expression, a great reader and a powerful thinker -- this modest and unobtrusive man was one whose memory neither Vermont nor the world will permit to perish. His funeral took place from the Collegiate Reformed Church, Fifth avenue and Forty eighth street, New York, and was attended by many political, financial, and railroad dignitaries. His remains repose in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, N. Y.

      Trenor W. PARK was married on the 15th of December, 1846 to Laura V. H., daughter of ex-Governor Hiland HALL. Lovely and beloved, a woman who through life showered sunshine on all around her, she died in June, 1875. Two daughters and one son survive their parents. One of the daughters is the wife or General J. G. MCCULLOUGH, and the other of Frederick B. JENNINGS, a prominent young lawyer of New York City. The son, Trenor L. PARK, is also a resident of the city of New York. On the 30th of May, 1882 Mr. PARK was married to Ella F., daughter of A. C. NICHOLS, esq., of San Francisco, Cal., who now survives him.

"History of Bennington County, Vt. with 
Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some 
of Its Prominent Men And Pioneers."
Edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, 
D. Mason & Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N. Y., 1889.
CHAPTER XXXVII, BIOGRAPHICAL.
Page 501-529.

Transcribed by Karima, 2004
Material provided by Ray Brown.