town is on elevated land, at the north-east corner of the county.
Some of the head branches of West River have their sources here. The lands
are too rough and high for much improvement . . . The settlement was commenced
by William Utley and family, consisting of a wife and six children in June,
1769, emigrants from Ashford, Ct."
of Vermont, Hayward, 1849.
OF THE TOWN OF LANDGROVE
By Hon. George
LANDGROVE is situated in the northeast corner of Bennington county
and is bounded north by Weston, east by Weston and Londondery, south by
Londonderry, and west by Peru. It is six miles long from north to south,
and about two miles wide in the northern part, and half a mile wide in
the. southern part. Captain William UTLEY with his son, Asa, were the first
settlers. They moved from Connecticut with their families in the spring
of 1769, and stopped in what was then the town of Andover, now Weston.
They there cleared a small piece of land and planted corn and potatoes,
but soon went about two miles farther west and made another stand on a
branch of West River now called the Utley Flats, supposing they were in
the town of Bromley, now Peru. After remaining here a few years they discovered
they were on a gore of land between Andover and Bromley. They then with
about twenty others made application and obtained a charter from the government
of Vermont in November, 1780 of all the lands lying between Andover, now
Weston, and Londonderry on the east, and Bromley, now Peru, on the west
-- 7,220 acres. They then proceeded to survey and allot the town, and establish
the west boundary of the town between this and Peru. After the town of
Peru became considerably settled the proprietors of that town became dissatisfied
with the Utley line, as they called it, and claimed further east some more
than two lots to the Munn line, which they claimed to be the original line.
This was the occasion of considerable excitement and litigation between
the proprietors of these towns. The inhabitants living on this disputed
territory, all but two, purchased under Landgrove titles, voted and paid
taxes in Land-rove. The two purchased under, and voted and paid taxes in
Peru, and remained in this situation many years without any interposition
of the towns until 1834, when the town of Peru by a vote caused all the
inhabitants living on such disputed territory to be set in the grand list
of that town, and enforced the collection of taxes, which immediately caused
suits at law to be commenced to be defended by the towns.
These suits were, however, discontinued by compromise between the
towns, and in 1835 the Legislature of the State, by the request and joint
petition of the towns, established the jurisdictional line a little west
of the center of said disputed territory, which has ever since remained.
The town was organized March 15, 1800.
Clarksville, a small village in the middle of the town, contains
one saw and grist-mill, blacksmith shop, post-office, and nine dwelling
houses. The saw and grist-mill was built about the year 1850. It is now
owned by the ABBOTT Brothers. There is one of the best water privileges
in this section, and has always been used quite extensively in the manufacture
of lumber and chair stock. Landgrove Hollow is a small hamlet of dwelling
houses in the southern part of the town on the old stage road from Chester
to Manchester. About the year 1820 Simeon LELAND opened a store in this
place, and in a few years after a tavern known in old stage times as the
"Leland Coffee House." About this time “Squire" LELAND established a line
of mail stages from Manchester to Charlestown, N. H. This line was, without
doubt, the most popular of any across the Green Mountains. Simeon LELAND
was the father, and the old Coffee House the birthplace of the LELAND brothers,
who with their sons have made a name as hotel keepers more widely known
than any other family in this county. The old Coffee House is still standing
unoccupied, and has been kept in repair by the LELAND family until recently.
The number of school districts in town is three. They were organized
1st, April 1, 1820; 2d, June 30, 1821; 3d, September 26, 1827, and none
have been added since.
The only religious denomination in town is the Methodist. The people
organized a society at an early date. Among the prominent members and leaders
were Elijah WOODWARD, Robert G. CLARK, Robert PARK, and Joseph FARNUM.
The church is at present, and has been since its organization supplied
by circuit preachers. The present church building was erected in 1857.
This church has always sustained a goodly number of members, and the society
and Sabbath-school has always exerted a healthy influence in the community.
Landgrove is noted in this locality not only for the enterprise
and industry of its citizens, its well cultivated farms, its many tidy
and pleasant homes, but also in a social, moral and religious point of
view as being second to none of its neighboring towns.
Grange was organized October 8, 1874. It has ever been in a healthy condition,
having a goodly number of members who meet regularly twice each month for
social intercourse and discussion of topics relating to the best methods
or farming, etc. They have a library of about forty volumes of choice literature
which afford its members profitable reading.
The first postmaster appointed by the government was Selah WARNER;
he held the office until about 1860, when Henry L. RICHARDSON was appointed,
who held until 1877. Warren W. WILEY held from 1877 to 1878, and from 1878
to the present time Mrs. R. R. WILEY has been the incumbent.
SKETCHES OF PIONEERS
Dr. Amori BENSON was born February 12, 1797. He was a resident of
this town for many years, and the only physician of this and the adjoining
town of Peru for a number of years. Being a man interested in all public
affairs he was honored with the more important town offices, and was a
justice of the peace nearly forty years, and one sought more generally
than any other in town to decide differences of opinion arising between
parties who could not themselves agree, and in the justices courts he was
looked upon as a fair and impartial judge. He raised a large family of
children, among whom can be named Amori, jr. and Darwin, who have each
gained for themselves prominent positions in business circles. Darwin has
for many years been treasurer of the Fitchburg Railroad system, and Amori
occupying a prominent position under his brother. A daughter, Abigail,
married Captain William ROBINSON, of Putney, who is an extensive paper
manufacturer. Dr. BENSON had one son killed in the late war, and the pioneer
himself died June 26, 1876, aged seventy-seven years.
John MARTIN, the first permanent settler in the south part of the
township, came from Warren, R. I. in 1801. He married Deborah WILSON of
Bristol, R. I. She went with him on horseback to Vermont. At that time
there were only footpaths across the mountains to Manchester and Chester.
Provisions were carried on the backs of horses. Bears were so numerous
that it was not uncommon to see one crossing the bridle path. John MARTIN
erected the first frame house in town. He accumulated a large property,
and died in 1843, leaving four children; William, who now resides in Chester;
John, who went to New York at an early age, entered into mercantile business
and died a millionaire in 1872; Nancy, who married Henry GODFREY and now
resides in the town of Will, Ill.; James, who married Lucy GRAY, of Weston,
daughter of the elder Dr. Henry GRAY, and grand-daughter of David CARPENTER,
resided in Landgrove many years, holding the usual town offices and representing
the town in the General Assembly and his county in the State Senate. He
died in Londonderry June 24, 1887, leaving three sons; John H. MARTIN,
a farmer of Richmond, N. H.; James L. MARTIN, a lawyer of Brattleboro,
Vt.; and Joseph G. MARTIN, a lawyer of Manchester, Vt. James L. MARTIN
removed from Landgrove with his father in 1868 to Londonderry. He represented
the town several times, was speaker of the house from 1878 to 1884.
One of the most wealthy of the early settlers was Barchias ABBOTT,
who settled in town in 1797. He belonged to the Society of Friends, and
was familiarly known as "Quaker" ABBOTT. He was several times elected to
represent the town in the State Legislature, but never attended it. He
held many of the important town offices, but never attended a town meeting.
He died at an advanced age upon the same place where he had first settled.
His son James lived on the old homestead and died there some years ago.
Another son, Elias, settled in town near the old homestead, and following
the example of his father accumulated a large fortune, and was considered
one of the wealthiest men in town. Two sons of Elias still reside in town,
James H. on the old homestead, and Warren W. near by. Both are respected
and influential citizens.
Gideon DAVIS and his son Gideon, jr., were among the early settlers.
Gideon, sr. died in 1834, at an advanced age. Gideon, jr. was one of the
most influential citizens of his time; he was justice of the peace for
forty years, and represented the town many times. He died January 3. 1857,
aged fifty-seven years.
Daniel TUTHILL was the first town clerk, and lived and kept a tavern
on the place now occupied by Leroy WOODWARD. He held the office of town
clerk and selectman nearly all the time up to the year 1816, when he moved
to Peru where, in company with his son Russell, he built the brick hotel
now known as the "Bromley House," after which he moved west where he died.
About the year 1807 Elijah WOODWARD moved to this town from Francistown,
N. H. His son Ambrose, now at the age of seventy-eight years, has always
resided in town. He has been its representative, and has held all the important
town offices. A younger son, Charles, has always resided in town until
a recent date when he moved to Massachusetts.
David WILEY was born in Hillsboro, N. H., August 10, 1776, and moved
to this place in 1797. He was a man that the people chose as their representative
to the State Legislature fourteen different times, and was otherwise honored
with various town offices during his long residence here. His son Warren
W., following in the lead of his father, is prominent among his towns people,
and has many times been elected to offices of trust and honor.
Among the early settlers was David CARPENTER, who was born in Connecticut
in the year 1759. He was in the Revolutionary War, was present and one
of the guards at the execution of Major Andre. Soon after the war he settled
in this town. His eldest child was the first recorded birth in this town.
David CARPENTER never had the advantages of even a common school education,
but although illiterate he was a man of such strong character and common
sense that he was elected to represent the town and held most of its other
important offices. He moved from this place to Keene, N. H., in 1807. Although
he was a poor man when he came to this town, when he died, in 1845, he
possessed a fortune of some forty thousand dollars.
Asa, eldest son of Captain William UTLEY, died in this town August
8, 1837, aged eighty-seven years. Mr. UTLEY held the offices: of justice
of the peace, town clerk, selectman, and various others for many years.
Oliver UTLEY died in Manchester in 1856, aged ninety-one years. Peabody
UTLEY, youngest son of William, served as colonel in the War of 1812. He
was constable or selectman from 1801'to 1813. He went West and there he
died. Asa and Henry UTLEY, sons of Ralph, grandsons of Asa, and great-grandsons
of Captain William, the latter the first settler in town, reside on the
old homestead and are the only living male members of the UTLEY family
now in town.
Volunteers for three years, credited previous to call for 300,000
volunteers of October 17, 1863: BENSON. William H., died October 10, 1862;
BLOOD, Oliver; BOLSTER, Daniel; BOLSTER, Jared, killed at Savage's Station
June 29, 1862; CHILDS, Samuel S.; DAVIS, Hymenius; DAVIS, Otis; DOWNING,
Ezekiel; HARLOW, Dexter I.; HILLIARD, Gilbert G., died September 14, 1863;
JENKINS, Amos L.; LYON, Albert, died February 23, 1862; PATTERSON, Abel
H.; THOMPSON, John M.; WARNER, Carmillus T., killed near Cold Harbor June
11, 1864; WILEY, Henry E., killed at Savage's Station June 29, 1862. Credits
under call of October 17, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers and subsequent calls;
volunteers for three years: ALLEN, Hiram; JENKINS, Amos H.; PECK, Hiram
H.; SHAW, George B. Volunteers re enlisted: CHILDS, Samuel S.; DAVIS, Otis
A.; WARNER, Carmillus T. Volunteers for nine months BOLSTER, Alfred; CHILDS,
Alfred; DAVIS, Hiram; DAVIS, Orgando; SPELL, Amos M. Furnished under draft;
paid commutation: BARTON, Joseph C.; BATCHELDER, John G.; LINCOLN, Henry;
MOORE, Frederick J.; ROWELL, Austin A.; STEVENS, James H.; WOODWARD, Herbert
of Bennington County, Vt.
and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
by Lewis Cass Aldrich.
N. Y., D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1889.
XXXIV. Page 496-500.
by Karima, 2004
provided by Ray Brown