CHAPTER XXVI
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF 
RICHMOND

      THE town of Richmond, situated in the central part of the county, is bounded north by Jericho, east by Bolton, south by Huntington and Hinesburg, and west by Williston. Except South Burlington, it is the only town in the county the charter of which was not granted by New Hampshire. It has an area of about 20,000 acres, and was chartered by the Legislature of Vermont on the 27th of October, 1794, being formed from portions of the towns of Jericho, Bolton, Huntington and Williston, and on the 25th of October, 1804, receiving an addition from Bolton.

      Though the surface is generally uneven and broken, especially in the northern and western parts, the town contains an unusual area of level land, which increases the value of the territory for farming purposes. The soil is generally rich and productive. Along Winooski River it is a rich alluvial deposit, while in the uplands and other parts it is composed of clay, gravelly loam and marl. The timber is principally beech, birch, hemlock, pine, spruce, maple and elm, large forests of which originally covered the town. The water course is formed by the Winooski River, which flows in a northeasterly direction through the center of the town and receives additions from numerous tributaries which afford good mill sites. There are two ponds in town -- Jackson Pond, covering an area of about twenty-five acres in the northeastern part, and Gillett Pond, about a mile in length by eighty rods in width, lying in the southeastern part.


EARLY SETTLERS

      The first settlements made within the limits of the town were begun by Amos BROWNSON and John CHAMBERLAIN with their families in 1775, on what is called Richmond Flats, on the south side of Winooski River, in what was then the town of Williston. In the fall of that year they joined the ranks of those whom the fear of the British army was driving south, and did not return until the close of the War of the Revolution. In 1784 they returned to their farms, accompanied by Asa and Joel BROWNSON, Samuel and Joshua CHAMBERLAIN, James HOLLY, Joseph WILSON and Jesse McFAIRLAIN.

      The first settlements begun in the south part of the town, then included within the charter limits of Huntington, were made by Ozem BREWSTER and Daniel ROBBINS, about the year 1786. The first settlements along the south side of Winooski River, between the mouth of Huntington River at the site of Jonesville and the village of Richmond, were made by Amos BROWNSON, jr., Matthew COX, Jesse GREEN, William DOUGLAS, Parley and Comfort STARR, Clement HOYT, James and Peter CRANE, James HALL, and Nathaniel and Asa ALGER. The first in the west part of the town were made by Asa BROWNSON, Nathan and Henry FAY. Joseph HALL was one of the first to settle on the north side of the river. Among other early settlers was James WHITCOMB, who lived for a time on Richmond hill and finally removed to Bolton, where he died. James BUTLER, brother of Governor BUTLER, of Vermont, lived on the farm now owned by Cornelius RHOADS. He went to Ohio in 1816.

      Jonathan CLOSSIN came to Richmond from Connecticut at an early day, and settled on the farm now occupied by W. S. FREEMAN. He soon left town because of the Revolutionary troubles, and remained away two years, finding on his return that his land had been taken up by another. He then located on the farm next south of the place now occupied by Jesse HUMPHREY, his grandson. William HUMPHREY came to this town from Brookfield, Vt., in 1800, and settled on the farm now owned by his son Jesse. He served in the American army three years during the second war with Great Britain, enlisting as a private and receiving promotion to a corporalship.

      Henry FAY, son of John FAY, who was, killed at the battle of Bennington, was born at Bennington in 1774, and died in Richmond in 1818, leaving a family of ten children, one of whom, Jonathan, still resides in town. Henry and Nathan FAY were engaged for years as clothiers at FAY's Corners.

      Jesse GREEN came from Gordon, N. H., to Richmond about the year 1800. Many of his descendants now live in town. Dudley HIGLEY located in the southern part of the town about 1800, and reared a family of eleven children, only one of whom, Jerry, remained in town. Ebenezer FLAGG came from Orwell, Vt., to Richmond in 1800, and settled in the southern part of the town. Isaac B. ANDREWS settled in the same neighborhood fourteen years earlier, and remained there until his death in 1849. Of his family of nineteen children, three -- Ezra B., Elisha and Samuel -- now live here. Solomon BATES, from New Hampshire, settled previous to 1800 on the farm now owned by his grandson, Martin M., in the central part of the town. Benjamin FARNSWORTH was one of the first tavern-keepers, on the old turnpike road at the upper end of Richmond village. James NICHOLS lived on Huntington River between Jonesville and Huntington, about midway. He died in Bristol, Vt.

      Joel BROWNSON came from Sunderland, Sunderland, Bennington county, very early, as has been stated, and settled on the south side of the river on the place now owned by Mrs. Sarah MASON. Peter CRANE lived a little less than a mile east of Richmond village on the south side of the river. General Jacob SPAFFORD and his son Smalley lived on the very edge of Williston, on the old turnpike road. Benajah HALLOCK lived in the south part of the town on Huntington River. Clement HOYT lived on the farm now owned by HILDRETH Brothers. Charles STEPHENS lived and died on the first farm west of HOYT's. Benjamin BISHOP first settled on Richmond HILL, and afterwards removed to the place now owned by U. S. WHITCOMB; he finally went to Burlington. William EVERTS settled on Richmond hill, and thence removed to Bolton, and again to Burlington. Major Ezra SMITH lived very early about three-quarters of a mile west of Richmond village, where Thomas WHITCOMB afterwards kept tavern.

      Nathan FAY lived on Richmond HILL with his father. Nathaniel ALGER lived in the last house in Richmond, on the south side of the river near Bolton. He there kept a tavern and store. Martin and Elihu BARBER, brothers, lived on Richmond hill, the former between Fay's Corners and Huntington, and the latter on the farm which Benjamin BISHOP had left Ozem BREWSTER lived near Huntington line, where the TOWER brothers now live. Parley STARR lived on the south side of the river on the place now owned by Colonel Rolla GLEASON. Leonard HODGES was the first settler on the place now occupied by William S. FREEMAN. He afterwards removed to the foot of Williston hill, in that town. Most of the foregoing names appear on the records previous to the year 1797, except those to whom a definite date is assigned. In 1797 first occurs the name of Abel COOPER, who had been one of the judges of the Rutland County Court After he came to Richmond he lived on Richmond hill at the junction of the roads towards Huntington. His son, Amos B. COOPER, lived near him and a little west. Abram HOLLENBECK, who was first mentioned in 1798, though he was in town earlier than that, bears the distinction of being the father of John B. HOLLENBECK, the centenarian of Burlington. Others mentioned in that year are Asa LEWIS, who lived on the south side of the river about one and a half miles east from the village; William CHURCH, who kept the first tavern in town, on the farm now owned by John MASON. John RUSSELL lived in Richmond village on the north side of the river, and kept a tavern back of the present store of JACOBS & WOODWORTH.

      One of the most prominent families in town in early days, and whose descendants are still numerous and respectable, was that of Jabez JONES, the first of the name in Richmond. He first resided in Bolton, was its first town clerk, in 1794, and the first representative of that town in the Legislature. In 1797 he purchased two hundred acres of land of Ira ALLEN, in what is now South Burlington, and soon exchanged it with Jesse McFAIRLAIN, or McFARLAND, for the farm in Richmond now owned and occupied by Albert TOWN, near Jonesville. In 1799 he married Hannah, daughter of John FARNSWORTH, of New Hampshire. He died on the 9th of August, 1811, in the forty-third year of his life, leaving a widow and five children. Mrs. JONES afterwards married John RUSSELL, and died on the 25th of October, 1828, aged fifty-two years. The oldest child and only son of Jabez JONES, Ransom JONES, gave Jonesville its existence as well as its name. Of the four daughters of Jabez but one is living, Charlotte, who married Hiram KING, emigrated to the territory of Michigan in 1831, and lives there now, aged eighty years.

      Edward JONES, brother of Jabez, and one of sixteen children, was born in Claremont, N. H., on the 24th of January, 1775, married Lucy FARNSWORTH, sister of the future wife of Jabez, when he was twenty-one years of age, and went to live with his brother Jabez in Richmond. His wife performed the journey from Claremont on horseback, carrying in her arms her eldest and then only child (the mother of Henry GILLETT), who was born on the 6th of July, 1797. In 1800 Edward JONES removed to the farm on Richmond hill now owned by John McGOVEN, where he remained until 1811. He then went to the farm now owned by the TOWER estate, where, on the 19th of September, 1847, he died. He resided in town fifty years lacking four months, and was a prominent man. Among the important positions in which he was placed by the confidence of his townsmen, he was chosen to represent Richmond in the Legislature in 1821, 1822, 1830 and 1831. He had nine children, of whom but one, Milo, now lives, at Fort ATKINSON, Wis., whither he went in 1834 Ralph, the eldest son of Edward JONES, was born February 27, 1799, married Polly, daughter of David CASWELL, an early settler in Huntington, and died December 20, 1834. Of his five children, only two -- Edward R. and Ransom A.-are now residents of Richmond. Edward R. JONES was born October 8, 1822, in Williston, where his father lived for six years, and has passed an unusually eventful life, having been in Wisconsin as early as 1844, and in California during the historic period of its early gold excitement, and a member of its famous Vigilance Committee in 1856. He came to his present farm in 1881, the same farm on which Abraham TYLER, an early settler, died of small-pox in 1800.

      Colonel Rolla GLEASON was born on the first Tuesday of June (training day), 1807, in Richmond, about forty rods east of his present residence, and came to live in what is the rear part of his present dwelling house when he was two years old. He is known throughout the State as a sagacious and far-seeing politician and an uncompromising Republican. He was an active member of the old militia, and was promoted through the various degrees from quarter-master-sergeant to colonel. He was sheriff of Chittenden county more than forty years ago; was a delegate to the national convention in 1856; was provost-marshal from May, 1863, to October, 1865; sent more than three thousand men into the service of the North during the War of the Rebellion, and among still other offices has been county senator and the representative of Richmond. His father, Isaac GLEASON, came to this place in 1805 from Shrewsbury, Vt, and kept a store on the site of the cheese factory, succeeding Joshua CHAMBERLAIN and DODGE.


EARLY RECORDS

      We have given a list of settlers at the beginning of settlement, necessarily incomplete, including only such names as appear in the town records and are remembered by the oldest inhabitants now living. All that they did may never be told. They braved perils in coming here, they suffered untold hardships in clearing away the original forests and cultivating the rough soil of one hundred years ago, and died, most of them, without having harbored a thought of being remembered as heroes -- their principal incentive to labor and suffer as they did being to provide for those whom Providence had placed under their care. The best part of man's life, the domestic, is the hardest to inspect; but what was done by the early inhabitants as members of the town organization is more or less completely recorded. The town was organized in March, 1995, by the election of the following officers: Joshua CHAMBERLAIN, clerk; Constant C. HALLOCK, constable; Felix AUGAR, Benjamin FARNSWORTH, and Peter CRANE, selectmen; Joel BROWNSON, Asa BROWNSON, jr., and Benjamin FARNSWORTH, justices. The first representative, elected in 1796, was Jonathan CHAMBERLAIN. The records are rather meager for the first few years. The first accessible item of interest appears concerning a meeting held on the 5th of January, 1795, when it was voted to set up a sign-post and stocks opposite "Esquire Joel BROWNSON's." The first deed on record is a quit-claim of one-third of one hundred acres of land by Amos BROWNSON to Joshua CHAMBERLAIN, in consideration of twelve pounds, dated March 7, 1795. The second entry that appears is a deed of one hundred and twenty acres by Abram SMITH to Governor Thomas CHITTENDEN, for thirty pounds, dated April 23, 1795. In these records appears, too, an interesting document, dated November 12, 1777, in which is recited the fact that Heman ALLEN, of Salisbury, Litchfield county, Conn., in consideration of one thousand pounds, deeded all his interest in lands in the towns of Burlington, Williston, New Huntington, Hinesburg, Shelburne, Charlotte, Ferrisburgh, Monkton, Colchester, Essex, Jericho, Milton, Georgia, Swanton, and Highgate to Ira ALLEN, of Bennington. This reveals to some extent the wealth of the ALLEN brothers in lands in Vermont; and while it is not to be presumed that it explains their vigorous opposition to the claims of New York grantees, it is sufficient to suppose that the desire of protecting their possessions added considerable spice to their determined antagonism.


WAR OF 1812-15

      The general events of the war of this period having been written in a former chapter, need no mention in this place. Richmond was not behind her neighboring towns in sending men to the front at this time -- about sixty being the number of her volunteers. Prominent among them were Captain Roswell HUNT, Benoni THOMPSON, who went out as ensign, Captain MANWELL, who enlisted as lieutenant, and Elihu BATES, Nathan FAY, Jesse GREEN, Sawyer JEWELL, Abram SMITH and William RHODES. The following company is credited to the towns of Richmond, Jericho, and Williston during the War of 1812, and was commanded by Captain Roswell HUNT: Amos B. COOPER, Joshua WHITCOMB, Timothy THOMPSON, John KIMPTON, Artemas FLAGG, CLARK HILLGAR, Iddo GREEN, Joel BROWNSON, jr., Nathan FAY, Gershom FLAGG, Reuben SQUIRE, William REYNOLDS, Samuel T. BASS, John MACKWELL, Anson BOYINGTON, Jeremiah TERRY, Enoch NOBLE, Shubal BARBER, Josiah THOMPSON, Luther CURTIS, Barney SPOONER, John PAKE, Chester H. NICHOLS, Merrill FELLOWS, Nathan ARNOLD, Samuel DOUGLAS, Elijah HINKSON, Joseph HALL, jr., Joseph DOUGLAS, Daniel ROINS, jr., Asa GILBERT, jr., Isaac HULLOCK, Richard DOUGLAS, Jared C. SMITH, Ezekiel SQUIRE, John CHAMBERLAIN, Truman AVERILL, John THORNTON, Asa JACKSON, jr., Daniel GOODRICH, Silas HUNT, William DOUGLAS, jr., Billings STRAW, Jesse GREEN, jr., Harry BROWN, Stephen HULLOCK, jr., Anson HULLOCK, George SHERMAN, Adonson DEANEX.


BUSINESS INTERESTS

      There is at the present writing but one hotel in town, though it is thought there will soon be one opened at Jonesville. The early hotels have nearly all been mentioned in. the course of this chapter. Robert RUSSELL erected the old brick hotel in Richmond village at an early day, which stood diagonally opposite the present public house, and Charles HUNTINGTON, who was for years the mail carrier between Burlington and Montpelier, was the first one to keep it open for the public. J. H. RANSOM afterwards kept it a great many years. The last proprietor before its destruction by fire a number of years ago was R. B. COFFEY, who was also the first proprietor in the present hotel. His successor was George W. ORCUTT. In 1884 P. M. MANSFIELD succeeded Mr. ORCUTT, and on the 1st of February, 1886, was followed by the present proprietor, G. E. BARNUM.

      The hotel formerly open in Jonesville, which Henry GILLETT is now re-building, was built originally by Roswell HUNT as early as 1815, and perhaps earlier. After he left it it was used for a number of years as a tenant house, until 1843, when RANSOM JONES, then forty-three years of age, purchased it and repaired it. His first landlord was C. STEVENS, who remained there until about the time of the opening of the railroad. Mr. JONES then went in himself as proprietor and remained acting the part of mine host until his death, on the 18th of July, 1858. Since then the house has been kept by different men, and some of the time has been allowed to rest untenanted.

      Among those who were formerly engaged in the various manufacturing interests of the town may be named Nathan FAY, who carried on the business of carding wool and cloth-dressing at Fay's Corners, said to have been the first works of the kind in the county of Chittenden. Silas ROCKWELL early carried on the business of tanning and currying and shoemaking in the same neighborhood, and was succeeded by Asahel MURRAY. MURRAY and TALCOTT afterwards operated these works, and were followed by R. A. JONES and others until July, 1884, when the buildings were burned. The last proprietors were ELLIS Brothers. William RHODES, who has been mentioned before, was a blacksmith and manufacturer at this place more than seventy years ago (1804), on the site of the present residence of his son Nelson. On the north side of the river, near the station at Richmond village, WINSLOW & GAY were early engaged in trade, and were succeeded by D. P. LAPHAM & Co. One DUMFRIES also had a hatter's shop on the south side of the river as long ago as 1817, which was destroyed by fire. The first grist-mill was erected by John PRESTON, father of Noah PRESTON, in the beginning of the century, on the site of the present sawmill of S. & R. J. ROBINSON. In 1815 James H. HUDSON built a carding machine and cloth-dressing works in the same vicinity, which were destroyed by fire four years later, and afterwards rebuilt by Daniel FISK. The site of H. H. FRARY's spool factory was first covered by the saw-mill of Joseph WHIPPLE. Roswell STAPLES afterwards operated a woolen-mill on the same site, and was followed by Marcus ROBBINS & Co. Some time after 1850 MASON, JEWELL & GREEN started a steam saw-mill and furniture factory on the south side of the river near the bridge, and on the west side of the road, which after a number of years of successful operation was burned. George BROWN afterwards operated another on the same site, but was not so successful.

      The oldest manufacturing interest now in operation in Richmond is that of H. H. FRARY on Huntington River near Jonesville. Mr. FRARY manufactures spools and turned goods, a business which he has here carried on since 1866. At that time he bought out the old woolen-mill formerly carried on by Roswell STAPLES and others. In 1877 Mr. FRARY suffered a loss of about $6,000 by the burning of his mill, but in four weeks he had rebuilt and put in operation his present mill. His income is now about $10,000 or $12,000 per annum.

      The spoke factory and grist and cider-mill of S. & R. J. ROBINSON stands on the site of one of the first mills in town. In 1801 or 1802 John PRESTON erected there the first grist-mill in town, and was succeeded by his son Noah. After the death of Noah, John HAPGOOD operated it for some time, and was followed by Daniel PRESTON. The present senior partner, Samuel ROBINSON, bought the property in 1868, and in five years was joined by his son R. J. ROBINSON. The grist-mill is a custom mill. The spoke factory turns out about 1,400,000 spokes a year, while about 400 barrels of cider are manufactured every year in the other department of this varied industry.

      In 1857 the carriage manufactory at Richmond village was established, and came into possession of the present proprietor, Stephen FRESHETTE, in 1881.

      The creamery of H. C. GLEASON was started in the spring of 1885, by the present proprietor, who makes about 600 pounds of butter daily.

      A.E. CRANDALL first operated his saw-mill at Jonesville, in October, 1885, on the site of a blacksmith shop which had been used for twenty-five or thirty years previously.


PRESENT MERCANTILE BUSINESS

      Historically the oldest store in town is that of E. T. JACOBS and C. E. WOODWORTH, who under the style of JACOBS & WOODWORTH conduct a business established much more than half a century ago by Henry HODGES, who built the present store, soon, indeed, after the opening of the old turnpike road. Trade, which before that had been confined to the south side of the river, began to set in this direction, and Henry HODGES conducted a successful business for a number of years, being finally followed by his son, H. A. HODGES. After an experience of about thirty-two years in this building, Mr. HODGES gave place to E. T. JACOBS, who carried on a thriving trade until the formation of the present partnership in March, 1883. The dry goods and general stock of this firm is valued at about $12,000.

      Salmon GREEN has been in the mercantile business in town since 1858, when he went in with F. M. PIERCE, in what is now the hotel building. In a few years this relation was dissolved and a new one formed between Mr. GREEN and his father, I. GREEN, under the name of I. GREEN & Son. Soon after his father retired from the trade and since that time the present proprietor has been alone. He had a general trade there until 1876, when he removed to the part of the village near the station and confined himself to the grocery trade.

      The store building now occupied by SAYLES & EDDY, at Jonesville, was erected in 1856, by Amasa GROVENOR. I. W. SAYLES started a general trade in it in 1859, and two years later was joined by his present partner, A. EDDY. They now carry a stock of about $1,500; though in the palmiest days of Jonesville they transacted about $12,000 worth of business per annum.

      The firm of SAYLES Brothers & Co., composed now of I. W., H. L. and G. W. SAYLES, and Ansel EDDY, was formed in the spring of 1867, though at that time an older brother, E. M. SAYLES, was one of the partners, and died in 1897. They have occupied the present building from the beginning. It was erected by E. M. SAYLES and his father, Steven SAYLES, and finished in the fall of 1866. The firm now carry a stock of about $10,000 to $15,000.

      The business now conducted by HILTON & STEVENS was established, and the building which they occupy was erected, by HODGES & HUMPHREY, more than a quarter of a century ago. Mr. HILTON came here in 1867 as a member of the firm of FIRMAN & HILTON, the senior partner, R. FIRMAN, having been in business here some time previously. The present relations between Mr. HILTON and Nelson STEVENS were established in 1873. They now carry a stock valued at about $10,000.

      J.B. NORTON & Co., dealers in hardware, stoves, tinware, etc., formed their partnership on the 11th of February, 1885, succeeding D. J. BURLEIGH, who had carried on the business about five years. His predecessors, PLACE & YOUNG, were themselves preceded by G. E. BARNUM, who had been here nine years, and whose brother, Jerome BARNUM, built this block in 1871.

      George W. GREEN, dealer in furniture, succeeded Iddo GREEN in the business about 1876. Iddo GREEN was by trade a carpenter and builder, and for years had manufactured and dealt in furniture. He built a great many of the houses now in town.

      The boot and shoe store of E. E. MILLER has been under the care of the present proprietor since March, 1886. C. H. PINO was in the business here about two years previously, and was preceded by R. A. JONES, who had carried on the concern for some time.

      C.J. SHEDD began repairing jewelry in Richmond village in 1880.

      C.W. HOWE has been engaged in the hardware business in town about two years, and has occupied the present building more than half that time.

      J.F. WHITCOMB established his trade in groceries in Richmond village on the 1st of January, 1886. He carries about $2,000 worth of stock.

      The drug store of E. W. FREEMAN was established by the present proprietor on the 1st of January, 1886. The building was previously occupied by W. K. CHRISTIAN.


THE PROFESSIONS

      The first physician to practice in Richmond was Dr. Matthew COLE, who died in Burlington in 1809, and has been followed by Drs. Seth COLE, Sylvanus CHURCH, Reuben NIMS, William FOSS, Carlos ALLEN, James M. KNOX, G. P. CONN, George BENEDICT, Loren CHAMBERLAIN, William ROOT and others. The present practicing physicians are Drs. G. W. BROMLEY, M. L. POWERS and B. J. ANDREWS.

      Dr. BROMLEY was born on the 17th of September, 1818, at Pawlet, Rutland county, Vt., and received his medical education at the medical college at Castleton, from which he was graduated in the spring of 1844. He first practiced in Huntington until 1869, when he came to Richmond. He and Drs. CARPENTER, of Burlington, and FAIRCHILD, of Milton; are the three physicians of longest practice in the county.

      Dr. POWERS was born on the 18th of May, 1852, in Ripton, Vt. He received his medical education at the Homeopathic Medical College in Philadelphia, and was graduated from the Hannemann Medical College at Chicago, in the spring of 1877. He came at once to this town.

      Dr. ANDREWS was born at Jericho, Vt., on the 11th of January, 1850. He received an academical education at Fairfax, and prepared for the practice of his chosen profession at the medical department of the University of Vermont and in New York city, receiving his diploma from the University of Vermont in June, 1885. He began to practice in Richmond on the l0th of February, 1886. He is a grandson of Deacon Isaac ANDREWS who has been mentioned as one of the early settlers of Richmond.

      The legal profession has been represented in town by Harry BROWNSON, Wm. P. BRIGGS, Wm. S. HAWKINS, Edward A. STANSBURY, Aaron B. MAYNARD, B. E. B. KENNEDY, F. A. COLTON, Joseph W. ALLEN, P. K. GLEED, and at present by S. Homer DAVIS. Undoubtedly the most prominent of those who have gone was Wm. Penn BRIGGS, who was born at Adams, Mass., on the 14th of March, 1793. 

      S.H. DAVIS was born on the 5th of July, 1829, in Hinesburg, Vt. He attended the academy at Franklin for a time, and afterwards fitted himself for college at the Hinesburg Academy, but was prevented by illness from consummating his plans for an education. He first studied law with C. F. DAVEY, of Burlington, after which he studied successively with ROBERTS & CHITTENDEN of that place, L. B. CASWELL, of Fort Atkinson, Wis., and finally with Hon. E. J. PHELPS, of Burlington, with whom he commenced to practice after his admission to the bar of Chittenden county in 186o. He came to Richmond in October, 1861.


THE POST-OFFICE

      Just when the post-office was established in Richmond is not definitely known, though it was probably not far from the year 1800. The office was originally and until the opening of the turnpike road, on the south side of the river. We have not been able to obtain from headquarters at Washington the list of postmasters that we desired, and are therefore obliged to trust to those which are mentioned in Walton's “Register,” dating from the year 1824. That year was the last of the service of Moor RUSSELL, who was followed by Mrs. Sally BROWNSON. Her successors have been as follows: 1829 to 1831, Benjamin BISHOP; 1831 to 1837, Abraham SMITH; 1837 to 1841, Kilburn WHITCOMB; 1841 to 1843, Wm. RHODES, jr.; 1843 to 1844, Charles M. HUNTINGTON; 1844 and 1845, Kilburn WHITCOMB; 1845 to 1848, John DELAWARE, jr.; 1848 to 1849, Saul BISHOP; 1850, John KENNEDY; 1851 to 1853, Charles M. HUNTINGTON; 1854, Reuben NIMS; 1854 to 1862, Francis H. JOYNER; 1862 to 1869, J. L. MASON; 1869 to 1881, H. A. HODGES; 1881 to January, 1886, E. T. JACOBS ; and the present incumbent, A. B. EDWARDS.

      The office at Jonesville is first mentioned in 1852, with B. N. JONES as postmaster. He has been followed by Jabez JONES, 1853 to 1854; R. JONES, 1855 to 1856; A. H. GROVENOR, 1856 to 1860; H. McDONALD, 1860 to 1863; Ira W. SAYLES, 1863 to 1875; and Ansel EDDY, from 1875 to the present.


PRESENT TOWN OFFICERS

      The town officers for Richmond, elected at the annual town meeting of 1866, are as follows:

Salmon GREEN, town clerk; S. F. CUTLER, Edward HILDRETH and H. A. HODGES, selectmen; A. K. JACOBS, treasurer; Albert TOWN, overseer of the poor; R. M. CONANT, first constable ; Ezra STEVENS, S. F. ANDREWS, Frank F. FREEMAN, listers; U. S. WHITCOMB, F. F. GLEASON, H. C. GLEASON, auditors; Giles HOWE, trustee of the United States fund; Benton A. WILLIAMS, Henry L. BARNES, and C. W. HOWE, fence viewers; C. W. HOWE, and H. H. FRARY, grand jurors; Arthur ELLIS, C. W. HOWE, and Safford COLBY, pound-keepers; Edward BASSETT, surveyor of wood and lumber; R. M. CONANT, George H. FAY, and Safford FAY, street commissioners; Patrick HENLEY, inspector of leather; Henry GILLETT, agent to prosecute and defend suits in which the town is interested.

SCHOOLS

      At a town meeting held on the 5th of June, 1795, the town was divided into six school districts. Since that time the highest number of districts has been eleven, and latterly it was seven, until March, 1886, when the town system of schools was adopted. There are now, counting the grades, nine schools in town, three of the grades being in one building.


ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY

      The earliest mention of religious affairs in the records appears under date of December 6, 1796, when John HOLLENBECK, Asa BROWNSON, Ozem BREWSTER, Leonard HODGES, and Ezra SMITH were chosen a committee to find a place on which to build a meeting-house, and to report their action to the town. Their report cannot be found. It seems that there was no regular church edifice in Richmond until 1813, when the sixteen-sided church was erected on the south side of the river by the united efforts of all denominations, Wm. RHODES being the principal builder. Isaac GLEASON contributed the land for the site of the church at the same time that he gave land for a public common. It still stands a monument to the architectural ability of its builders. It is constructed of pure pine timber, and is furnished with interior galleries on all sides except at the side occupied by the pulpit, which is elevated to accord with old-time notions of acoustic propriety. The cost of its construction was about $2,500. It has not been used as a church for a number of years, but is, strictly speaking, the town hall. From its peculiar form it is known as the "Old Round Church."

      The Church of the Restoration, Universalist, was organized by Rev. S. C. HAYFORD in 1879, with a membership of seventeen. Their house of worship, a neat wooden structure, capable of seating 250 persons, was built in 1880, and is valued, including grounds, at $9,000. The original cost of building was $7,000. The society now has eighteen members, though between thirty and forty families contribute to the support of services. The present pastor, Rev. Edward SMILEY, succeeded Mr. HAYFORD in the spring of 1884. The Sabbath-school superintendent is Mrs. L. M. SMILEY, while the average attendance at Sabbath-school is about sixty-five, the regular membership being ninety. The present officers of the church are the prudential committee, which is composed of Henry GILLETT, C. P. RHODES, and Wm. FREEMAN.

History of Chittenden County, Vermont 
With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches 
of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers
Edited By W. S. Rann, Syracuse, N. Y.
D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1886
Page 655-666.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004


Richmond section of Hamilton Child's "Gazetteer and Business Directory of  Chittenden County, Vt. For 1882-83."