Ferdinand is a sparsely settled township in the central part of the county, and is bounded northeast by Lewis, east by Brunswick and Maidstone, southwesterly by Newark, East Haven and Granby, and northwesterly by Brighton. It received its charter October 13, 1761. On the same day an adjoining township was granted, under the name of Wenlock. The latter has gone out of existence, being divided up and added to other towns. Both of these towns were originally of a diamond shape, like Maidstone and Brunswick, while the adjoining town of Brighton was similar in shape to the present Ferdinand. The north part of Wenlock was annexed to Brighton, and the remainder, with the southern part of Brighton, annexed to Ferdinand. 

       The surface of the town in the northern part is comparatively level, while the southern part is mountainous. The whole territory, except a narrow strip along the line of the railroad, is densely wooded. 

       In 1880, Ferdinand had a population of forty souls. The town has no schools. 

      Wenlcok (p. o.), a station on the Grand Trunk railway, the only hamlet in the town, contains the mills of D.H. Beattie, and about ten dwellings. 

       David H. Beattie's steam saw-mill, at Wenlock, is the first of importance that has been erected in town.   Mr. Beattie first began here with a portable steam mill of forty horse-power, in 1881, to cut the timber from the large tracts of wild land which he owned in the vicinity. In 1882 another engine was added, and a third in 1885, aggregating 105 horsepower. The machinery operated was one board-saw, two heading mills, lath machinery and shingle machine. They cut 35,000 feet of rough lumber, and 8,000 feet of cedar, or 15,000 spruce shingles, and 24,000 to 30,000 lath per day. The timber cut is mostly spruce and cedar, employing forty-five men at the mill, and eighty men in the logging camps. D.H.Beattie's mill was burned in December, 1886, but it is expected to be re-built this season. 

       David H. Beattie, son, of James, was born in Ryegate, October 3, 1816. His father was born in Antrim, Antrim county, Ireland, but the original stock was from Scotland. His mother was Margaret J. Gillespie, a native of Londonderry, Ireland. James Beattie was a linen draper in early life, and coming to America went first to Virginia, and afterwards to Ryegate, where, in 1805, he married his wife. Here he became interested in the lumber trade, and did a large business for those days. He also leased the Passumpsic turnpike, which was then, and continued until 1838, a toll toad. James Beattie died December 31, 1866, aged ninety-one years. David R. Beattie has been engaged in the lumber business since 1848. For several years with his brothers he was engaged in running logs down the Connecticut. He was, interested in the South Lancaster mill, which D.H. & T.G. Beattie operated from 1877 to 1881, when it was burned, also in two mills in Brunswick, one from 1864 to 1876, and one from 1853 to 1876. Mr. Beattie served as county sheriff in 1855-56-57, state senator in 1861-62, assistant judge four years, presidential elector in 1881, was elected judge of probate in 1885-86, and reelected for two years at the last election. He married Harriet D. daughter of Thomas Carlisle, of Lancaster, N.H., and has four sons and two daughters. 
 

(Source: Gazetteer of Caledonia and Essex Counties, VT.; 1764-1887, Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child; May 1887, Page 443-444)

This excerpt was provided by Tom Dunn.