surface of this township is pleasantly diversified with hills and valleys;
but the soil is better adapted to the production of grass than grain. It
is well watered by Missisco River and by Trout River . . . These streams
afford numerous and excellent mill privileges . . . The settlement of this
township was commenced in the spring of 1797 by Amos Fassett, Stephen House,
Martin D. Follett, and others, mostly emigrants from other townships in
of Vermont, Hayward, 1840.
OF THE TOWN OF
Enosburgh, so named from Roger ENOS, a post township
in the eastern part of Franklin Co., bounded N. by Berkshire, E. by Montgomery,
S. by Bakersfield, and W, by Sheldon, is about 20 miles east from St. Albans,
and about 50 miles north-westerly from Montpelier. Granted March 12, 1780,
and chartered. May 15, the same year, by Gov. Thomas Chittenden, to Roger
ENOS, our worthy friend and his 59 associates, being a 6 miles square town
and no more -- on the following conditions and reservations, viz:
"That each proprietor of the town of Enosburgh, his heirs and assigns shall
plant and cultivate 5 acres of land, and build a house at least 18 feet
square on the floor, or have one family settle on each respective right,
or share of land in each township, within the term of four years next after
the circumstances of the war will admit of settlement with safety, on penalty
of forfeiture of his grant or share of land in said town: the same to revert
to the freemen of this State, to be by their representatives re. granted
to such persons as shall appear to settle and cultivate the same. -- Secundo:
That all pine and oak timber suitable for a navy be reserved for the use
and benefit of the freemen of this State."
Proprietors' first meeting: at the house of Joseph
BAKER, Esq. in Bakersfield, Sept. 8, 1795, at which time,
"Chose Jedediah HYDE, Stephen HOUSE, Samuel D. SHELDON, Levi HOUSE, Amos
FASSETT, Joseph BAKER and Martin D. FOLLETT, a committee to allot said
township at their discretion, after they have reviewed said township thoroughly:"
"Adjourned to meet at five o'clock this P. M., at the house of Jonathan
FISK, Esq. in Cambridge. Attest, Jededah HYDE, Moderator, Martin D. FOLLETT,
Clerk." "Met agreeably to adjournment. Adjourned till tomorrow at
six o'clock, A. M., then to meet at this place." "Sep. 9, proprietors met
agreeably to adjournment. First -- Voted that said Committee lay out 10
acres in centre of said town of Enosburgh, for a public parade, or as near
the centre as the land will admit of; taking into view every other circumstance
relating thereto: which 10 acres to be laid in square form. Adjourned until
the 24th of October next, at seven. A. M., at the house or Joseph BAKER,
in Bakersfield." -- "At which time the proprietors first voted to give
Stephen HOUSE the privilege of pitching 400 acres of land, as the law specifies
for building a saw-mill and grist-mill in said town; which mills are to
be completed at a time to be agreed upon by said proprietors at their next
meeting; said House to give bonds for the performance of the business.
-- Adjourned until the 5th day of May next, at nine o'clock, A. M. at this
Thus, meetings of the proprietors were holden by adjournment, from
time to time, in a large number of instances, doing no business but adjourning-keeping
their meetings alive until Jan. 29, 1823, which is the last record (so
far as appears) although they then adjourned till the last Wednesday of
Jan. next, at the house of Solomon WILLIAMS, in Enosburgh, -- Solomon WILLIAMS,
Clerk. It is not known that any of the grantees ever settled in town.
The organization of the town occurred March 19, 1798, at the house
of Samuel LITTLE, in Enosburgh. Warning of the meeting, dated Cambridge,
Dec. 12, 1797. Signed by Stephen KINSLEY, Justice of the Peace. At which
meeting Jonas BRIGHAM was chosen Moderator, Isaac B. FARRAR, Town Clerk,
and Charles FOLLETT; Samuel LITTLE and Martin DUNNING, Selectmen.
"Voted, that Moses FARRAR be Constable -- that Benjamen FOLLETT be surveyor
of highways -- that Josiah Terrell be hog-reefe. Voted, that the swine
shall not run at large from the 6th of May until the 20th of October. Meeting
This last vote was doubtless designed to give all swine the privilege
of beach-nutting, which was quite an object in those days.
The first business of the selectmen, as appears on record, was 8
days after their appointment, to wit:
certify, that we do approve of Mr. Lewis SWEATLAND entertaining, and retailing
liquors by small quantity, as an inn-keeper, at his house in Enosburgh;
for one year from the date."
March 27, 1798."
by the Selectmen.
Machinery now in running order, The first freemen's
meeting was warned Aug. 19, 1799, and holden Sept. 3, 1799, when 28 persons
appeared and took the freeman's oath. Of these, the descendants of only
Stephen HOUSE, Martin DUNNING, Henry HOPKINS, Edward BAKER, Amos FASSETT,
Talme HENDRICK and Joshua MILLER, are now living in town, Dec. 19, 1868.
Hereafter in this History, the time "now" will refer to the above date.
At this meeting William BARBER was chosen Representative to the Legislature.
On counting the votes for State officers, there were 17 votes for Israel
SMITH, Esq., for Governor, and 16 for Isaac TICHENOR, Esq. Whereupon, it
is said, the Constable arose and announced to the town, that they had made
choice of Israel SMITH, Esq., for Governor.
As per record, "June 4, 1798, Anna F. Farrar, daughter
of Isaac B. FARRAR and Anna his wife," appears to be the first child born
in town. Although report has it, and it is believed, that Enos Balch was
the first child born in town, -- was named Enos in consideration of that
fact, and was cradled in a sap-trough- It is claimed that his father and
mother constituted the first family that wintered in town-the -- winter
of 1796 and '97, on the Hoyt farm, so called, now owned by Bradley BLISS,
situated on a swell of land in the west part of the town; then and now
called Balch Hill. It is interesting to know that this first son of Enosburgh
became a very worthy minister of the Gospel, of the Methodist persuasion,
and is believed to be still living.
As per record, Joshua MILLER and Patty ROZIER were
the first couple married in town, by Wm. BARBER, Esq., March 25, 1802.
Mrs. MILLER is still living. George ADAMS and Arvilla STEPHENS were the
first couple married in town, which were both born in town. They were married
by Rev. John SCOTT, February, 1833. Mrs. A. died May 13, 1843.
THE BODY. -- At town meeting June 20, 1804, duly warned, voted --
"to raise a tax of half per cent. on the dollar, for the purpose of defraying
the expense of procuring necessaries for the relief of the family of David
DAVIS, to be collected and paid into the treasury, on or before the 1st
day of March next. Chose Messrs. Wm. BARBER, Amos FASSET, and Nathaniel
GRISWOLD, a Committee to superintend the expenditure of the same." -- The
family no doubt were all cared for.
THE SOUL -- In March 7, 1804, at a meeting duly warned, for, among
other things, "to see if the town will raise money to compensate ministers
of the Gospel who shall preach occasionally in this town: voted, not to
raise money to pay preachers."
About the middle of October, 1804, Rev. Job SWIFT,
D. D., from Bennington, then on a missionary tour in this part of the State,
while preaching at the Centre, complained of illness, stopped the services,
and was taken to the residence of Capt. HOUSE, now owned by Henry H. ELDRED,
where he died. He had a son, Erastus SWIFT, then living in town. Dr. SWIFT
was buried in the graveyard north of the Centre, and on his tombstone is
"This stone points the traveler to the spot where is deposited the body
of Rev. Job SWIFT, D. D., who died in this place on the 20th day of Oct.,
A. D. 1804, on a tour to proclaim the glad tidings of Salvation to his
fellow-men. Aged 61 years and 4 months."
The first Deed on record bears date April 1, 1797, by Amos FASSETT,
to Benjamin FASSETT -- executed at Bennington, from which town several
families emigrated to Enosburgh, in that and the few following years.
This town is in the third range of towns, east from Lake Champlain.
A range of the Green Mountains runs nearly the entire length of the eastern
boundary. The north part is well watered by Missisquoi and Trout rivers
-- the south and interior, by small streams, and one small natural pond;
affording numerous and valuable mill privileges; only needing railroad
facilities to develop their power. There is a valuable saw mill, grist
mill, plaining machine, cheese box factory, chair factory and blacksmith
shop, at the ripper falls on Missisquoi river, called Samsonville.
At Enosburgh Falls, there is a valuable woolen factory,
saw and grist mills, plaining machines, 3 carriage shops, tannery, 3 stores,
1 harness shop, 1 tin shop, 2 blacksmith shops, 1 shoe shop; 1 Union. Church,
1 Catholic Church and a hotel. At West Enosburgh, there is a grist mill
with 4 run of stones, 2 stores, 1 cabinet and furniture shop, l blacksmith
shop, 2 shoe shops; Methodist chapel and hotel.
Two miles south, are a saw mill and other machinery. A short distance
east from West Enosburgh is a carding machine; still further east is Dexter
GILBERT's tannery. At East Enosburgh there is a Baptist Church, 1 blacksmith
shop, and a shoe shop. In the south-east part of the town, is a newly erected
and valuable circular saw mill In the south-west part of the town, is a
seventh-day Baptist Church, carriage shop, and 1 store. At the Centre are
a Congregational and an Episcopal church, an academy, 1 store, 1 blacksmith
shop, carriage shop, 2 shoe makers and a hotel.
One half mile east from the Centre, is a cheese factory capable
of working the milk of 800 cows, and has done more. At N. Enosburgh there
is also a cheese factory of nearly equal capacity with the first named
one. This town excels as a dairy town. Some of our largest and best dairies
being on the highest swells of land; butter, cheese and pork being our
chief articles of export.
ENOSBURGH CENTRE, from having no benefit of water power, is destined
to remain about as it is, as to size, having diminished in business to
about the necessities of the place. There used to be a tin-shop, pot and
pearlash Factory, comb factory, harness-shop, cabinet shop and a tailor's
shop; but the loss of business is not without, to a certain extent, its
counterbalancing effects, which was indicated in a remark, (founded alike
in wisdom and experience) made by the late Ex-Gov. ROYCE, at the first
meeting of the trustees of our academy: his being one of the names contained
in the act of incorporation, which was; "It is the sheet anchor of such
an institution, to be located remote from scenes of dissipation and vice.
The mail was first carried on horse back, through Cambridge to Burlington,
once a week. Theron P. PARKER first carried the mail in carriage, on the
same route. The postage on letters being 25 cents, payable on delivery,
and money hard to be obtained, people would wait long for opportunity to
send by private conveyance, to save imposing a burden on their friends.
The PERKINS friends here had a sister die in the spring of the year, in
Leomister, Mass. They heard the sad tidings the next fall. Now we have
5 post-offices in town, and daily mails -- Enosburgh, North Enosburgh,
Enosburgh Falls, West Enosburgh and Bourdoville -- four more than in Boston.
"Perhaps" the mails are not as large.
Our school districts number 17, although 3 are disbanded, or not
in operation at present; and two parts of districts are connected with
Sheldon. Our school fund for division is $489.89, obtained from State school
tax, interest on surplus revenue, and rents on school lands. The population
in 1820 was 932, in 1860, 2066, varying but little from the census of 1850.
The town was the 5th in the county, as to population, in 1860, and the
grand list was 5090 in 1868. In all our dairy towns, large farms are the
rage, and emigration the result. The next census will probably show a gain,
owing to an increase of business at the Falls, and the cultivation of a
tract of land on the eastern slope of the mountain, by the French, which
tract has been until recently an unbroken wilderness. They bare large families,
and two school districts, in which English schools are kept.
Sugar is something of an article of revenue. Since the high prices
occasioned by the war, great improvements have been made in the process
of manufacture. Two considerable sugar orchards are in use: one by Virgil
BOGUE, and one by James KIDDER, where grain was once grown. Among all the
improvements in this business, whether in theory or practice, the most
novel is in that of tapping, proposed by one of our first settlers, Isaac
B. FARRAR, who settled on the lot on which V. BOGUE lives. Mr. FARRAR was
a son of Priest FARRAR, of New Ipswich, N. H. -- had a liberal education,
and doubtless thought it best to bring his knowledge to bear on his business,
and pursue a kind of "scientific farming." He brought with him a large
quantity of wooden faucets. When inquired of, what he designed these for,
said "he had formed a favorable opinion of the manufacture of maple sugar;
and, upon inquiry, thought the method then pursued of tapping with an axe,
gouge and split spouts, must occasion great waste, as well as hurry in
gathering and boiling, when it run rapidly." Said his "plan was to obviate
both difficulties, by tapping with an auger, and putting in a faucet; and
when he wanted sap, to draw a pailful, and take it leisurely." He afterwards
moved to Fairfax, and established himself in the pottery business. Whether
his improved manner of tapping was generally introduced, I have never learned.
There seemed to be no lack of military zeal in an early day. The
regular militia was a matter of law, of course, of necessity. Very early
there was a company of troops, or horse formed; and later, an artillery
and a rifle company For the war of 1812, there was a company raised of
23, of which Martin D. FOLLETT was Captain; so that it came to be the case
that nearly all our men were dignitaries of more or less note. You could
call nearly every man Esquire, with safety, whom you did not know to be
Captain or Lieutenant. In 1807, the town voted to raise a tax of $50.00,
"to fill a magazine with powder, lead, &c."
We complied with all the requisitions upon us for men to aid in
suppressing the Rebellion-paying as did other towns, large bounties. Of
our soldiers, the following named lost their lives in the held, prison,
H. PIXLEY, 2d Lieut.
JEFFORDS, Priest DOMINIA,
WHEELER, Nelson PERRY,
CORSE, Homer C. FLETCHER,
LONGLEY, Harlow C. SMITH,
RING, Henry H. DAVIS,
This, like other towns, adopted the practice of electing representatives
for two successive years, and have generally adhered to it; and in three-score
and ten years, have not been troubled to find those deemed competent to
represent us in the Legislature, as also in constitutional convention and
the State Senate; have never heard complaint of being slighted in regard
to county offices. We have furnished a Governor, Lieut. Governor, and State
superintendent of common schools, in the person of our lamented Horace
EATON. Ten of our young men have graduated at different colleges in New
England; and we have furnished a large and able corps of physicians. It
is claimed, also, that Enosburgh is the native place of the present Governor
of Utah Territory, the Hon. Charles DURKEE. His father lived on the old
Mr. KIDDER place, adjoining the Chester WALKER farm, on the south. The
very worthy and successful book publisher, Henry HOYT, of Boston, 9 Cornhill,
lived with his parents, in his early childhood, at the west part of the
town, on the Ellison MAYNARD farm.
The first store of goods, of any amount, in town, was that of Dea.
Thomas FULLER, at what is now called North Enosburgh. His goods were drawn
from Boston by an ox-team -- a hogshead of rum being one of the articles.
Mr. Thomas M. POLLARD, living where S. H. DOW now lives, and a Mr. JONES
-- where John P. BARKER now lives, emigrants from New Ipswich, having an
opportunity to send their keg home, 200 miles, by a person from the same
town, improved the opportunity. On learning that their obliging friend
had returned, they went four miles through the woods for their keg. The
family not being at home, but finding their "treasure," they ventured to
take it. Pollard, “the poet of these days,“ wrote on a piece of bark
with a nail, and stuck it on the door, as follows:
Sir, we 're come
brush sod wood,
us good.’ ”
We had two distilleries in town -- one in W. Enosburgh, one half
a mile east from the Centre. Rev. T. SKELTON used to exchange grain for
whiskey; and it is said that a few old people used to visit him Sabbath
noons, and "take a little” with their pastor, for their mutual benefit.
A Mr. SHEPHERD, some 40 or 50 years old, taught school in the Wm. BARBER
district; the school-house was just south of where Ephraim PERKINS now
lives. SHEPHERD always kept a jug of rum with him; kept a horse, and "boarded
around." One day his jug got empty, and he prevailed upon one of the boys
to go to Charles STEARNS, at North Enosburgh, (4 or 5 miles) to get his
jug filled -- furnishing his horse for the boy to ride. On returning, the
teacher met him in the entry, and took a drink, and at night carried the
jug to his boarding-place, Mr. Jonas BOUTWELL's. Not quite certain that
the jug would be as cordially received as the boarder, buried it in the
snow, just before coming to the house. As it had been a thawy day, and
the weather changing before morning, on going to get his morning dram,
he found his jug frozen, and was obliged to get hot water to loosen it.
A farm, now owned by Gardner HEZER, was once bought
and paid for, in whiskey; the notes given specifying that article. A good
man took whiskey to sell on commission, of a Mr. DANA, of Peacham, until
by trusting, collecting and using the pay, such a debt occurred, that he
was obliged to mortgage his farm to secure it; which, at his death had
to be sold, leaving but little for his family.
My first recollections of officiating at a funeral, as bearer, are:
we four very small boys were invited into the pantry, and treated with
some sort of spirits, made quite palatable to our tastes, by those who
knew bow to do it. All which fairly indicates the early habits of the people.
To narrate the evils resulting, would be to repeat what every one knows.
Like other towns, this took the alarm and instituted a Temperance
Society. Most of our prominent men signed the pledge of total abstinence,
and organized by choosing David I. FARNHAM, Pres't, Austin FULLER, V. P.
&c. FARNHAM was a young lawyer just commenced practicing in town. Having
never had such a dignitary, we were disposed to pay him all due respect.
Soon it was whispered around that the president had been drinking, in fact
that be had drank the night he was chosen to office. A meeting was called
to see what to do about it, the vice-president taking the chair. In their
haste and honesty too, the society had neglected to frame by-laws, and
of course, could now make none to reach the case. Mr. F., after listening
awhile, and seeing their dilemma, arose and said: "He would be glad to
help them get rid of a bad penny, but saw no way to do it;" and, by way
of apology for what was charged against him, said "he was sincere in joining
them as he did, having drank just before he left the tavern -- his boarding-place
--"did not feel as though he should want to drink again; but on getting
home, felt differently, and of course drank;" and closed his remarks by
saying, "his being elected to office was not a matter of his, at all."
Meeting broke up in no good humor. Gov. EATON, then a young man whose whole
soul was in the work, drafted the constitution of "The Enosburgh Young
Men's Temperance Society," [Since altered to "Total Abstinence Society]
limiting the age of the leading offices to 30 years, but all ages joined.
Gov: EATON was the first president, Bennett EATON, first secretary, and
annually ever since Jan., 1830, the Society have elected their officers
of young men, and had an adjourned meeting, at which a written report has
been presented by their Secretary, and an address given -- usually by some
person from abroad. Gov. EATON's last public address was before this Society,
the winter previous to his death. A great good is the result of the organization.
The young lawyer soon left, and we have not been blest much with lawyers
since. The longest unbroken history is claimed for this organization, of
any similar organization in the State.
Dr. Caleb STEVENS early located at North Enosburgh -- lived
but 10 or 12 years; a skillful physician. Dr. Eliphas EATON located at
the Centre in 1805 or 1806, and with his two sons, Horace and Rollin, and
our present Dr. Wm. R. HUTCHINSON, have successively and successfully ministered
to the physical wants of the sick ever since.
Our proximity to Sheldon springs, together with one at East Enosburgh,
three at Enosburgh Falls, and two or three others in town -- all just coming
into note, will, doubtless, make this a very healthy and desirable place
in which to live.
There have been four; one by drowning, one by shooting, one by hanging,
and one by cutting the throat.
For want of time, I will only speak of four families contiguous
to each other. First, Mr. Jonas BONTELLE, where Mr. T. P. BAKER
now lives. Mr. B. was barely saved from drowning while working on
a dam at the Falls, in a very early day; also, hurt by the fall of a tree
while at work with Mr. Eli BELL, browsing cattle, quite a distance from
home. He was reported dead, and neighbors rallied to bring him home. When
they arrived he was breathing; his eldest con, James, quite young, being
left with his father, had blowed in his mouth, causing him to catch breath;
and, with remarkable presence of mind, had been a few rods to a spring,
obtained water, wet his father's face, and put a little into his mouth.
Mr. B. was not fully conscious until Dr. HALL had operated oh his skull,
and dressed the wound. He recovered; but is thought failed earlier than
he would, but for this injury, always having a stiff neck. The distance
travelled to get the Doctor to and back, was 42 miles. A little daughter
of his, while engaged picking up chips, near where the hired man was chopping,
came so near as to receive a stroke of the axe on her head; living but
a short time. James, just named, while carrying a bush-scythe, fell and
struck one hand on the scythe making a severe cut, and nearly bled to death
before help could be obtained to do it up; has a crippled hand. The second,
Mr. G. S. FASSETT, lost a daughter about one year old, from swallowing
into the lungs an inch and one half screw -- living but three hours. The
third, Mr. Eph'm ADAMS (my father) had a little daughter so badly scalded,
her life was despaired of for many weeks. My mother died suddenly, from
injuries received from jumping from a horse. The fourth', Dea. L. NICHOLS'
oldest son Levi, badly scalded, and life despaired of for a long time-losing
the sight of one eye, Another son, James, fell into a sap-pan of boiling
syrup, and lived but a few days. A very long list of accidents might be
mentioned, equally severe and afflicting.
It is not proposed to give a biographical sketch of my father, but
merely such incidents in his experience, as will give the reader a fair
view of the disadvantages under which our first settlers labored. My father,
with three other young men, all from New Ipswich, N. H., in the Spring
of 1796, purchased 1000 acres of land in Knights Gore, now- in the east
part of Bakersfield; worked three seasons; kept "bachelor's hall;" went
back to N. H. each winter, and taught school, returning in the spring.
They cleared land, raised winter wheat, and had wheat to sell. People cane
from the-lake towns to purchase, and called their settlement Little Egypt.
-- They had a cow which ran in the woods -- kept from straying by slash
fence. As soon as wheat would do to cut, they boiled and ate it with milk;
went to Cambridge to mill; built a stone oven and plastered it with mud.
Each slept in, an elm bark, warped into about the shape as when on the
tree; said when they went to bed, they were well tucked up. One of them
was waked by a mouse making a nest in his hair.
Their threshing floor consisted of hollow basswood logs, halved,
the edges straightened, and laid side by side until the floor was large
enough for their purpose. Then hooks, made by cutting off one of the prongs
of a crotched stick, were driven into the ground, so that the hooks would
catch oh the edge of the outside logs-thus holding them all securely. The
grain, being laid in the hollows, was well confined for threshing; which,
when done, was scraped out at the ends and cleaned in the following manner:
not having a clearing sufficiently large to admit the wind for that purpose,
the "mother of invention" called out their wits. They took a small tree,
split it into quarters, a little past the middle, and slipped some elm
barks into the slits, to the centre of the stick; thus forming four wings
or fans. Then confining the quarters of the stick together with a withe,
and attaching a crank to each end, which, supported by two crotches, all
is ready. With a man operating at each crank, and a man to turn the grain
before the wind, it is fitted for use.
An old man by name of WALBRIDGE told me his father
kept tavern, I think in Royalston, Vt. where these four young men used
to stop in their journeys, back and forth; always on foot. He said, "your
father would carry a pack nigh about as big as folks would think it safe
to put onto a one-horse wagon now-a-days." The fourth year, my father married
Sally BOUTELLE, of Leominster, Mass. Her father, a well-to-do farmer for
those times, fitted out his daughter with a set of pewter crockery, and
other necessaries for house-keeping; also a library of valuable books.
They buried their first-born, a son; had to go to Cambridge for a Doctor.
They visited her father's, each on horseback, a journey of 200 miles, carrying
a babe in their arms, once letting it fall in the sandy road, to the annoyance
of all concerned; especially the little equestrian, who fell face downwards.
These four pioneers -- Ephraim ADAMS, Isaac ADAMS, Nathan WHEELER
and Charles BARRETT, expected to make the centre of a town on their purchase;
and, not until the second or third year, did they get a clearing sufficiently
large, so as to look out and see their dreams in this respect dissipated
by the discovery of a range of mountains on two sides of them, so that
they must ever be at the end of the road. They were so disappointed that
in a few years all had left.
I will relate an incident alike creditable to these young men and
Priest FARRAR, under whose ministry they were raised. On one occasion,
while in the presence of Esquire BAKER, a tanner in Bakersfield, a remark
was made that "they found Sabbaths passed rather heavily with them, being
entirely shut out from meeting." Mr. B. replied, "he had a volume of very
good sermons, and if they were disposed. to come to his place, Sabbath
mornings, he would read a sermon or two," to which they assented. So the
next Sabbath they dressed up, by putting on a clean shirt for the following
week, as was usual, and walked nearly five miles through the woods to meeting,
and enjoyed it much. They continued to do so, until one morning, being
a little earlier than usual, they discovered the Esquire in his tan-yard,
overhauling some hides. As soon as they were discovered by the old gentleman,
he quickly changed his apparel, and took his place as usual for their reception.
As was common in those days, when they rapped he said "walk," They walked
in. He was quite glad to see them, and was ready, book in hand, to commence
services. They staid to meeting, but the charm was broken, and they gave
the Esquire no further visits on the Sabbath.
Isaac ADAMS returned to New Hampshire and took charge of the homestead.
Charles BARRETT moved to Bakersfield Centre, where he lived several years,
and then returned to New Ipswich. Nathan WHEELER went to Grafton, Vt.,
engaged in the mercantile business, and was quite successful, My father
sold to Thomas CHILDS, moved to the east part of this town (where I now
live) in the fall of 1804. He bought of Erastus SWIFT. There was a log-house
and a few acres cleared. The Spring following he dug troughs and carried
them to the trees on the crust, and tapped and boiled in the first run.
While siruping off, the young man tending went to the house, and when he
returned found it burned up. The snow went off gradually, by the influence
of the Sun, and not freezing nights ho had no more sap that year. He was
subject to depredations from bears and wolves, in common with other settlers.
The bear was the more decent of the two, being generally satisfied with
a full meal; while wolves seemed to delight in mischief; gratifying their
propensity usually among the sheep; destroying in one night 13 for my father-and,
repeatedly, less numbers; and to my present recollection, as high as 22
for one of his neighbors, C. COMSTOCK. My father once got up in the night
and drove a wolf from his barn-yard, where the sheep were, and left a lantern
burning on the place of entrance, to keep guard while he returned to bed.
About 1807, my father commenced to make preparations to build a
framed-house. He had to get his lumber at the Falls, some five miles distant.
He would do his chores before day, light; and, with oxen and sled, with
good success, would get home about dark; do his chores, and by lantern-light,
thresh till near midnight; then take his sleep, and repeat the same from
day to day. -- Just so he worked in getting his brick from Trout river,
near where Wm. CUMMINGS now lives. And, after spending two winters in collecting
materials, he commenced building a two story house over the same cellar,
and the same size, of the upright part of the house in which I now live,
He had finished the outside, the chimneys were built, the windows in, and
nice pine lumber inside for finishing it, when in the morning, after having
backed said lumber from the barn, while at breakfast, the house took fire,
and all was gone as in a mo ment, The joiner, Mr. Comfort BARNES, of Bakersfield,
had fire in the fire-place near his work-bench, which is supposed to have
communicated with the shavings; only a hand saw and hammer were saved from
the fire. --Although my, father had thought it impossible to winter again
in his log house, he was thus obliged to live in it several years before
he could re-build, having to clear land and make ashes to procure the means
to purchase again the cash materials. About this time my parents buried
a little daughter, their fourth child. He re-built in 1813, finished just
enough to live in comfortably, and in July 29,1814, was called to bury
the companion of his joys and sorrows.
COLD SEASONS, which soon followed, are remembered by all. My recollections
are mainly of "browsing cattle," and potato-bread, made by boiling and
mashing potatoes, and mixing with corn meal or flour in such proportions
as circumstances would warrant, and eaten by us children in milk, when
it was to be had; but often with vinegar weakened and sweetened. Some less
fortunate children remember those seasons from eating the root of wild
turnip in the spring of the year; which, when roasted, looses its exceedingly
high flavor, and is said to be quite mealy and palatable, most likely,
however, if the children had been consulted, they would have replied as
did a poor man in the neighborhood having but one cow-who, fearing he was
short of hay for the coming winter, asked and was granted the privilege
of going to a neighbor's beaver-meadow to cut a little hay to piece out
with. In the winter the neighbor granting the favor asked the other, "how
the cow liked the beaver-hay?" He replied," she eats it very well when
she can't got nothing else." One summer my older brother, James, [Deceased
since this writing.] slept in a barn nearly a mile from home, to guard
his father's sheep from wolves; having a high fence in connection with
the barn, for their protection. He would obtain the company of a neighbor's
boy; so the nights were not so tedious as they might be.
In 1818, this same brother went for the cows at night, half a mile
through the woods. He met this sheep and cattle on the way, some lastly
wounded, and all frightened. He reported at once to head-quarters. With
the help of his father and a neighbor, a wolf which was the cause of the
trouble was driven from the herd and these premises; whose actions were
such as to create suspicion that he was insane; as is the case now-a-days,
when one acts strangely. The wolf continued to make trouble in the neighborhood,
during the night; wounding or killing cattle, sheep, dogs and hogs, and
one horse. At daylight the next morning, he was shot while in an encounter
with a large dog, at Mr. MILLER's, where Mr. James MILLER now lives; nearly
three miles from where he was first discovered the day before. The evidences
of madness were so strong, that the dogs, sheep and animals of small value,
that had been bitten, were killed, but cattle were so scarce in those days,
that the most valuable were saved. They all, however, became mad and were
killed. I shall never forget their appearance: especially the horse and
a two year-old heifer. One must see to know it.
Soon after the last event, one winter, after suffering from depredations
by the wolves in this and the adjoining towns, it was agreed upon to have
a kind of "Jubilee hunt." Preparations were made accordingly -- two men
went from this town, starting from a given point., and diverging, marked
trees as they went, encircling the immense wilderness of mountains east
of us, and meeting at night at some point south of Montgomery Centre; stopping
for the night, as is believed, at John JOHNSON's. At the time agreed upon
the inhabitants of all the surrounding towns rallied, The men were stationed
on the line of marked trees. When the word went round the "the line was
closed," the marching in and closing up, was all done as previously agreed
upon, When a wolf was seen, the word, "look out, wolf in the ring," went
round, and all were in for the battle. In short, success was on our side;
seven wolves were destroyed, and peace was declared for that season. A
word of explanation is due, perhaps. The wolves destroyed consisted of
one pair of old settlers, entitled to a bounty of $20 each, from the State,
and their little family of five; which would have been entitled to a bounty
of $10 each, but for the unfortunate word "sucking" previous to "whelps,'
in the statute. The 5 little wolves not coming quite up to that standard,
we lost the $30. "Count not your chickens before they are hatched.”
Our early settlers were much troubled for markets Far their produce,
depending; upon Montreal, attended with many annoyances, to say nothing
of an occasional loss of a team end load in the St. Lawrence River. Two
of our townsmen thus suffered, Mr. Perley end Samuel Todd. It is related
one of them, after leaping upon the ice, continued to hold to the reins,
crying, "whoa! whoa! whoa!" until his team was entirely out of sight.
When an embargo was laid on this market, as in the war of 1812,
it is not to be wondered at (although all were loyal) that some so far
winked at smuggling. as not to be of any great service to the government
as witnesses, in enforcing the law against their neighbors. It was of frequent
occurrence, that considerable droves of cattle were driven on our beck
roads, and partly in the woods. We boys wondered why they had so many men
-- they often having a man to every six or eight head of cattle, so as
to drive quietly and rapidly, and be prepared for any emergency. It will
serve to show with what tenacity some pursued the business, notwithstanding
the risk of being detected, to quote a few lines from a kind of Chronicles
-- gotten up in those days, suited to the times, in which all smugglers
in these parts came in for a share.
old Sorrel Barber,
they'd go a smuggling
In a very early day, daring a very severe wind, late one afternoon,
Sol. DIMICK, living near where Stephen GATES now lives, being in his house,
which was built slightly of light logs, discovered that the roof of his
house had taken its leave; and soon his chamber floor followed. He directed
his wife and children to get into bed, and cover themselves with the clothes.
The logs soon commenced moving, and Mr. D. would seize and guide them so
that none fell inside; and not until they were removed to a level with
the family in the bed did the wind cease. In the S. E. part of the town
a kind of tornado or whirlwind, besides doing other remarkable things,
so operated on a house that the joists supporting the floor over a room
where were two old people in bed, (Mr. Ezra WEDGE and wife) loosened from
the gains, the whole floor dropped into the room- One door of the room
being open and swinging in, the head of the bed and mantle-shelf held up
the floor, giving the inmates a chance to crawl out on their hands and
knees unharmed, but badly frightened.
A Mr. RANNEY, living on the branch road, in a log-house,
on the west side of the brook, just before crossing Sheldon line, during
a freshet, while in the darkness of the night, seated with his family around
his own hearth, enjoying a blazing fire; was in an instant left destitute
of hearth, firs and chimney. One corner of-the house standing near the
brook, the water in a stealthy manner, had gradually undermined the chimney,
until it was obliged "to cave in." I never heard of any suit being brought
for damages in either case (perhaps there was no lawyer at hand;) and,
doubtless after getting cool, they acted wisely, repaired the damage, and
saved their dwellings-
An amusing incident is given, also, of a Mr.- Samuel
STILES, who was always poor, but rather intelligent and witty. He conceived
the idea of rhyming his grand list, which is doubtless one of the best
specimens of poetry, for the amount of stock In trade. It was under the
old law requiring each individual's list to be handed to the listers in
writing, dated and signed. I have it from Gov. EATON, who was then one
of the listers. He laughed when relating it, laughed after it, laughed
again, and closed, as Old father WOOSTER used to say in giving out his
last hymn, "with a doxology suited to the metre.” It was this:
First harness maker- Mr. Ebenezer BOGUE established himself in this
business; made one, not exactly a buggy-harness, but rather a horse-sled-harness,
made entirely of elm bark Not meeting with ready sale; used it himself;
and quit the business. Mr. B. then started a tannery near D. GILBERTS,
the first in town; had a trough dug out of a large hemlock log for a vat,
and pounded his bark by hand; but not finding it a very lucrative business,
sinking near the entire amount of capital invested, turned his attention
to agriculture, and lived to become a well-to-do-farmer.
The second tannery by Eli BELL, hear the Center cheese factory,
is worthy of note. He ground his bark with a large stone wheel about 6
or 7 feet across and 5 or 6 inches thick; with a hole in the center into
which a sweep was inserted, one end of which was connected with an upright
post or shaft; at the other end was attached a horse. The sweep was of
sufficient length so that the horse in going round would describe a circle
of 20 or 25 feet in diameter. A curb was formed just between the path of
the horse and the path of the stone, The bark being placed in the stone's
path, and a man following the horse with a rake, constantly raking the
large pieces in reach of the stone. As it went round and round the bark
became in time ready for use, to obtain water for his vats, he made a small
pond where the brook crosses the road, and clipped water in a pail and
poured it into spouts or troughs, supported by crotches sufficiently high
to get a fall to carry it to his vats some 8 or 10 rods distant.
The first mills as per contract with House, were at the Falls; the
first school-house was made of logs covered with bark, and a bark floor;
the first school was kept by Betsey LITTLE; the first cart was owned by
Capt- Stephen HOUSE; and the first wagon by Ephraim ADAMS. The first saw-mill,
in the east part of the town, was built by T. M. POLLARD; the first grist-mill,
in the south-east part of the town, by Joseph WRIGHT in 1812-an honest
miller, he used to measure every grist in his half bushel, stop the mill
between each grist if bolted; after stopping the mill, he would turn the
bolt by hand with a crank for that purpose and clean it all out-thus giving
each man his own grist and all of it. An old Dutchman once employed to
tend his mill, being annoyed by the frequent lack of marks and strings,
on the bags, gave his customers appropriate notice by writing on the door
in bold hand:
and hear de miller sing;
bags, and put on de good string,
be one good ting."
The first framed school-house, at the Center, seems to have, been
a kind of union house, answering the purpose of town, court, school and
meeting-house, but called "town-house." Entrance to it was obtained by
quite a flight of stairs, made of hewn square timbers, reaching nearly
across the end of the house-some 7 or 8 steps, and a wide platform of the
same. The first Sabbath it was occupied, a kind of dedicatory poem was
found posted on the rear of the house, and attracted considerable attention.
It seems to have been divided into three subjects, as in the mind of the
writer most applicable to the several purposes for which the house was
designed. It was credited to Thomas M. POLLARD, I quote one verse touching
the house as a meeting-house, -- rather addressed to the preachers, with
the desired results hinted:
preach good sermons,
short prayers, --
they get down stairs."
Mr. POLLARD experienced religion, and was a most trustworthy and
reliable Christian man, and with his wife united with the Congregational
church. The family emigrated to Boonville, Miss., in 1833. Mrs. P. was
a sister of the WATERMANs, early settlers in Johnson, Vt.
The oldest person ever living in town is believed to be Mrs. Asenith
CORSE, who died a few years since in her 99th year. The oldest person now
living in town is Mrs. Margaret MCALLISTER, aged 94. The next oldest is
Mrs. Talma HENDRICK, aged 93 [Since deceased]. The oldest man living
in town Mr. John WHITCOMB, aged 88 years- The first generation have nearly
passed away. This town early adopted, and continues the practice, of ‘paying
as we go' -- consequently have no debt.
The Congregational Church was organized Oct- 11, 1811, by Rev. James
PARKER and Rev. John TRUAIR, consisting of 10 members, viz: Solomon WILLIAMS,
Mrs. Cynthia WILLIAMS, Joseph WRIGHT, Elias LAWRENCE, Levi NICHOLS, Hannah
HOUSE, Anna FASSETT, Polly FARRAR, Sally ADAMS and Sally STEVENS. The next
Sabbath, Oct. 13, the record says, "Ephraim ADAMS was received to full
communion, Baptism administered to James BOUTELLE, and George, sons of
Ephm. and Sally ADAMS, and Alvin (19 years old), Anson and Pliney, sons
of Anna FASSETT."
We give the following brief notice of first members:
SOLOMON WILLIAMS, of moderate pecuniary ability, but a power for
good in the church, the first deacon and leader of the singing, read sermons
when there was no preaching.
He acted an important part as one of the building-committee in building
our meeting-house in 1820-21, and finally fitted for the ministry, and
removed. He was an efficient and worthy preacher, until disabled by infirmities
of age- He died some years since- All his children became pious, and one,
if not two of his sons, became ministers. His wife Cynthia WILLIAMS was
a helpmeet to her husband. None of their descendants are now living in
town, but their influence for good will long be felt.
JOSEPH WRIGHT moved from Pittsford, Vt. He was very strenuous for
order, and often in church-meetings would say, in connection with business
matters, " hat was not the way they done in Pittsford." On the admission
of members, one of the questions put to the candidate by him would be "Do
you regard the Sabbath as holy time? " He went about 3 ½ miles to
meeting for 20 years, on foot, and was there all weather-which is characteristic
of his descendants still with us. All his children were pious. His children
and grandchildren have been, and are, members of this church, and his great-grand
children are members of the Sabbath school. His wife belonged to the Baptist
ELIAS LAWRENCE. -- But little is known of him except that he was
the oldest of the 10 soldiers, and soonest discharged from service. "His
works do follow him." He left one son here who united with the church after
his father's death. He had 9 children, one died while preparing for the
ministry. All united with this church save one, who died when a child.
Also 4 great-grandchildren -- two of the latter are settled in the West,
having great-great-grand-children of the old soldier.
LEVI NICHOLS, who came to Enosburgh from Leominster, Ma., a young
man of decided Christian character, the second deacon, married some 4 years
after the church was organized, to Rachel SMITH, of Cornish, N. H. -- a
lady of energy and decided piety, well calculated for pioneer life. They
had a family of 11 children: one died young; the rest, together with two
adopted daughters, all united with the church of their parents. They lived
to maintain a family altar in the same house, for half a century; were
pillars in the church and Sabbath school; forward in all benevolent enterprise,
making all their children honorary members of the American Board by a donation
of $700- They were particularly afflicted in the death of a son, on whom
they were leaning for support in the decline of life, who was scalded by
falling into a sugar-pan of boiling syrup, living but a short time after.
But he was a decided Christian man, and left cheering evidence to his friends
that what was their loss, was his gain: Saying, just as be was leaving
this world, with his hands and eyes raised upward, “I see Christ's robe
of righteousness spread out for me-all spread out." The father survived
but few years, The children now living are widely scattered- The widow
is now living with her son Dr. B. S. NICHOLS, in Burlington. They are represented
in the church by grandchildren, nephews and nieces.
HANNAH HOUSE, wife of Capt. Stephen HOUSE, who lived at the Center
of the town; in connection with Mr.- Joseph WALLET (afterward an efficient
member and deacon of the Baptist church), established the first religious
meetings -- they two being the only professing Christians then in town,
her house was a minister's home. My recollections are that she was an excellent
Christian lady -- "a mother in Israel." Her husband never made a profession
of religion. She had 7 children, 5 of whom united with this church two
are now living in town.
ANNA FASSETT, a widow lady. Her husband, Judge Amos
FASSETT, died in 1810 while attending court at St. Albans. Had 12 children,
all I think making a profession of religion and uniting with this or the
Methodist church -- Alvin, the first presented for baptism by his mother,
as per record, became a deacon of the Congregational church in Sheldon,
and was a member of this church at the time-of his death, in 1862- One
grandson of hers became deacon of this church, and is now deacon of the
Congregational church in Irasburgh. Another is the present clerk of this
church, and one great-grandson is a member of the Sabbath-school.
POLLY FARRAR -- Mrs. F.'s maiden name was DUNNING; her husband,
Mr. Samuel FARRAR, was son of Priest FARRAR of New Ipswich, N. H. He had
a liberal education and united with the church a few years after his wife.
They had 6 children -- all, I think, making a profession of religion, and
I have been informed that two became preachers at the West. The family
are all gone. Mrs. F- died early: her husband married again, and removed
to Richford, where he died, leaving quite a family by his- second wife.
AND EPHRAIM ADAMS
My mothers maiden name was BOUTELLE, from Leominster, Mass. My father,
as already seen from the record, united with the church the first Sabbath
after its organization. They had 6 children; three died young and the others
united with this church. My mother died suddenly in July, 1814; grandchildren
of theirs are members of this church, and one great-grandchild in the Sabbath
school. Having no distinct recollections of my mother, I can best give
an insight to her Christian character, by quoting from a letter to her
younger sisters in Mass., a few weeks before her death she being then in
health: "We anticipate much satisfaction in the expectation of the Rev.
Mr. PARKER settling with us. A week ago last Saturday, he dined with us,
and in the afternoon preached a preparatory lecture: When we returned home
we found Rev. Mr. GAYLORD a missionary from Connecticut: he tarried with
us until meeting time the next day. Mr. P. preached in the forenoon and
Mr. G. in the afternoon; then Mr. P. administered the ordinance and they
staid with us that night. Mr. G. preached at our house on Monday and staid
ever night. It was such a feast of good things as we have not had for many
months." She then exhorts her sisters; "Dear girls, do not put off attending
to religion till another time, for 'now is the accepted time and now is
the day of salvation.' God has so ordered it that we should not see each
other often here; may we accept Christ's invitation, and meet when we are
called to exchange worlds and sing praises to God and the Lamb forever
My father married again a younger sister of my mother, Polly BOUTELLE,
They had 6 children; 3 of them are deceased, one of which went as missionary
to Africa and joined the Gaboon mission in 1854. He donated $200 to the
Am. Board a short time before his death, in August 1856, but when in health,
being the amount then due on his salary from the Board leaving him less
than $30 of available funds. He died a most triumphant death. For further
particulars see "Brief Memorial of Rev. Henry Martin Adams," by Rev. Albert
Bushnell, published by the Mass. S. S. Society.
Her maiden name was AUSTIN; her husband was a physician. He died
leaving four children, one son and three daughters: all of them became
pious. The son, Austin STEVENS, is a Methodist preacher, laboring successfully
in Chittenden county. The family long since removed from this place. Mrs.
S. again married a Mr. RISDEN; had several children, and died in Fletcher
a little more than a year ago, the last survivor "of the first members
of this church." I cannot forbear also to notice Deacons Challis SAFFORD
and Abijah RICE, who, although enlisting late in the Master's service,
seemed prompted to "redeem the time" by unremitting and untiring effort
to advance Christ's kingdom here.
Rev. James PARKER [Deceased] came from Underhill in 1814,
Reverends Thomas SKELTON [Deceased], John SCOTT, Moses PARMELEE
- found dead in his bed], J. T. PHELPS, J. C. WILDER, Moses ROBINSON
C. H. KENT, and Alfred B. SWIFT (acting pastor). These were not
all formally settled, but lived here with their families. Besides these,
others preached here for short periods. I will mention only Rev. Benjamin
WOOSTER, of FAIRFIELD. For the first 20 years or more of our history, subscriptions
for preaching, stipulated for a certain portion to be paid in "grain or
provisions," and about one fourth in money. I have now in use the grain-bin
that Rev- Mr. SKELTON procured in which to store his grain while with us.
It will hold about 200 bushels. Father WOOSTER usually came here Saturday
and preached on the Sabbath, returning the first of the week; generally
with grain to compensate him for his Sabbath services.
BUILT IN 1820 & 1821
The second belonging to our order in the county: such an effort
is not often made by a people in building a meeting-house. There were but
four men able to furnish any cash material, and three of the four uniting
to take one religious paper, "The Boston Recorder," which they continued
to do till the commencement of "The Vermont Chronicle," when they Stopped
"The Recorder" and united in taking "The Chronicle" for several years,
when they commenced taking one copy each, and continued to do so while
they lived. Before and at this time, this was the only stated place of
meeting in town, except the Baptist, in the east part of the town. People
came on ox-sleds in winter, and in ox carts in summer, but more on horseback
and still more on foot, and we had no stoves in the meeting-house for several
years except the ladies' foot-stoves.
There were few wagons at that time. Since my recollection, people
came from the CHILD's place in the east part of Bakersfield, Samuel BASSET's
south of West Enosburgh, Luther HURLBURT's, near Sheldon line, Benjamin
PETINGILL's on the road from HURLBURT's to the branch, and from the MCALLISTER's
-- seldom if ever riding; also three families from Trout River. Mr. FOLLETT's
where Harding ALLEN now lives; the family of H. D. HOPKINS and brothers
across the river opposite, and Robert Anderson's at Trout River bridge,
-- some of each family being members of this church.
This church has never suspended meetings on the Sabbath when without
a minister. -- Annually, for 40 years, collections have been taken for
foreign and home missions, the Bible, Tract, and Education societies, and
various other benevolent objects, from time to time. For many of these
objects the church have contributed for a much longer time.
The meeting-house was re-modeled and re-dedicated, in 1849-50. Total
number of members 451, -- present number 121. As fruits of a recent revival,
18 persons -- seven of which being heads of families -- are expected to
unite with the church, Jan. 3d, 1869. Officiating deacons are S. H. DOW
and Geo. G. WILLIAMS.
Miss Fidelia ADAMS, daughter of Deacon John ADAMS, went from here
as missionary teacher to the Indians in western New York, under the patronage
of the American Board. She sent two Indian children home to be educated,
who lived among her friends for several years; both became hopefully pious,
united with this church, and returned to their people. Their names were
Franklin CROW and Julia PIERCE.
Our Sabbath-school is one of the earliest organizations of the kind
in the State; attended by all ages, comprising nearly all the congregation,
and has ever been emphatically the "nursery of the church." Twelve young
men have gone from this school and church, as ministers of the gospel --
of the Congregational order -- and are widely scattered.
A few incidents, in the history of two of the three
men who united in taking one religious paper, are worthy of record as in
contrast with the present: 1st, Deacon NICHOLS; I once inquired of his
oldest son if he ever knew of his father's buying a dollar's worth of anything
by way of speculation -- that is, just for the purpose of selling again,
hoping to gain thereby. After reflection, he replied "I think he never
did." Having ever been his nearest neighbor, my opinion would be the same
-- Dea. N. was town treasurer a greater number of years than any other
man during his active life. 2d, Jonas BOUTELLE: Once in conversation with
him, he said, "I have always been a borrower of money; started in life
with a determination to keep my promise good, and have done so; when I
wanted money, I could find it; and have thought I was just as well off
nas though I had a bank of my own to go to, and even better off, for while
I have always been able to command money for my necessities, other men
have had all the trouble and risk of keeping it for me." After his death,
having access to his books, there appeared in his account-book a space
devoted especially to benevolent objects, where, under date, a creature
described by age, and color, as red, brown, line-backed, speckled, white-faced,
&c., -- whether heifer or steer -- and to be kept one or two years,
and when sold the avails to go to benevolent objects. When sales were effected,
the price was set down on opposite page, and an account kept with the objects
to which it was paid out. This system was commenced in 1831, and was continued
for a series of years. He commenced on his farm in 1805, then all a wilderness,
lived to have it spoken of as the best upland farm in town -- the model
farm -- under the best state of cultivation, and the best fenced. He represented
the town two years in the legislature, at the time when the Temperance
cause began to ask for legal suasion. In committee to whom this subject
was referred, he took occasion to remark, "I would not be deprived of the
assurance I have that I shall not die a drunkard, for all the world,” a
member asked, "in what that assurance consisted” -- he replied, "in the
fact that I drink nothing that will intoxicate." -- He was selectman, --
think generally first, -- also trustee of the surplus fund, more than any
of his contemporaries. I have heard him say, "No man has a right to take
office, unless he first makes up his mind, whenever individual and official
interests clash, the sacrifice must fall on the individual." How would
his example operate at present.
I deem it a duty, alike to my fellow townsmen and myself, to say,
in closing, that when applied to by Miss Hemenway -- late in the fall --
to undertake to do in a few weeks what had been in other hands for years,
I consented, with the expectation of finding the material collected, and,
to some extent at least, arranged -- being referred particularly to the
papers of the late A. H. BAKER, Esq., and Rev. John BAKER. I have not been
able to find any thing from the pen of Rev. John BAKER.
The friends of A. H. B. have kindly given me access to his papers,
but upon examination, I concluded, as I was limited to Jan. 6, in which
to accomplish the work, to confine myself to much narrower limits than
that ordinarily pursued in such cases, and have done but little, and that
imperfectly. I was once interrupted, by being called to a distance to attend
a brother on a sick, and as it proved, a death-bed; and then abruptly broken
off again by sickness. But having advised the friends of Mr. BAKER to send
his papers to Miss Hemenway, or compile some thing from them themselves,
and, by correspondence and personal calls solicited several biographies
of early settlers, and also histories of the different churches in town,
I hope we may have a history that will be acceptable.
Jan. 8, 1869.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
By Rev. H.
"The first Methodist preaching in this town,"
writes the Rev. Bennett EATON, "was in the early part of the Fall of 1812,
at the dwelling-house of Mr. HAWKINS, in the west part of the town, by
a stranger whose name cannot now be recalled. The next sermon was by Rev.
Isaac HILL, about the last of October in the same year, at the house of
Mr. Daniel CHILLSON. Mr. HILL continued his labors here at brief intervals;
and in February, 1813, he formed a class of about a dozen members, six
of whom lived in this town, and the rest in Sheldon and Bakersfield. The
names of those in this town were as follows; Jairus EATON, and Lucy EATON,-
his wife; Samuel BESSEY, and Hope BESSEY, his wife; and a Mr. HOLDEN and
his wife The first four persons just named remained in town and lived to
see large numbers associated with them in this church fellowship ; and
one of them -- Mrs. EATON -- is still living (February, 1869), though for
a few years past in another town (Warren.)”
Till 1856 the town formed a part of a circuit in union with other
towns; but since then has been a station, having services at two or three
places each Sabbath. A meeting-house was erected at the West Village in
1839, which still stands, and a few years later a Union house was built
at the Falls, in which they had a share and now own one-half. The prosperity
of the society has had its ebbs and flows like many country churches. In
the period from 1826 to 1840 it had frequent revivals and many accessions
to its membership and among others some scores of the French emigrants
from Canada. Subsequently, however, the most of this last class became
connected with the Baptists.*
In 1842-3 a secession occurred, and some of the most zealous and
devoted of the society joined the Wesleyan Methodist Church, then just
organized, on the basis of opposition to the M. E. Church on the questions
of Slavery and lay delegations, which church has ceased to exist among
us. The number of members is about 140, and the church property near $7,000.
|* And since
the erection of a Catholic church at the Falls, have very generally, if
not entirely, returned to their old home. -- Ed.
For intelligence, wealth, and social and moral worth, the membership
will compare well with other societies of its size, here or elsewhere.
It is too early in its history to insert notices of its honored dead, as
most of those it has delighted to honor are still living.
It has given to its ministry and that of the church at large, the
following: Samuel BESSEY, jr., John FASSETT, Jairus EATON, jr., Bennett
EATON, (now Presiding Elder of Burlington District, Troy Conference), and
his two sons, Joel W. and Homer EATON, Stephen B. and Joel B. WHITNEY,
Caleb A. STEVENS, Fernando C. and James E KIMBALL, and Austin SCRIBNER
-- most of them natives of the town.
In the long season of 50 years since it arose as a society, it has
been served in the ministry by some of the ablest and best men of the Troy
and Vermont Conferences, and it looks forward in faith to a brighter and
FROM A LETTER OF
"In the early part of Rev. James PARKER's pastorate
of the Congregational Church in. town, I remember that Mr. PARKER used
to preach occasionally in the same house, -- the following incident has
fixed this in my: mind: At one of Mr. P.'s meetings there, he gave out
a hymn to be sung which many thought was designed to apply to the new,
doctrines, peculiar dress, sanctimonious look, and kneeling posture in
prayer of those early Methodist preachers. The hymn was the 136th of the
let book of Watts' collection (which see), particularly the 2d and 3d verses:
but truth, before His throne,
hypocrites are known,
the disguise they wear.
eyes salute the skies,
knees the ground;
abhors the sacrifice
the heart is found."
"Methodist members in West Enosburgh, according to
my own recollection, were Samuel BESSEY, Hope BESSEY his wife, and a Mr.
HOLDEN and wife. I think Daniel CHILLSON was on probation at the same time,
but he did not become a member till many years afterwards. Connected with
this class were persons living in Sheldon and in Bakersfield. I united
on probation in Nov., 1827; was soon appointed class-leader, and when I
gave up that office to go out as a traveling preacher, I had in my possession
the class-book on which my name was first entered, and on which were the
names of these who composed the first class wholly in the town of Enosburgh.
When I joined, many of the class lived in Bakersfield.
"What preachers have labored here?" Well, a great
many, Enosburg was part of a large circuit for many years, and there were
always at least two preachers on the circuit, and they changed often. I
will give you the names, so far as I can recall them: Daniel BRAYTON, Isaac
HILL, James COVIL, Samuel COVIL, John J. MATTHIAS, a Mr. DOANE, a Mr. BROWN,
a Mr. AMIDON, Salmon STEBBINS, Elijah CRANE, Wm. TODD, Hiram CHASE, Jacob
LEONARD, Joel SQUIER, Adam JONES, Luman A SANFORD, Stephen STILES, Orville
KIMPTON, Benjamin MARVIN, Josiah H. BROWN, J. F. CHAMBERLIN, Alanson RICHARDS,
Jairus EATON, jr., William RICHARDS, George MCKILLIPS, John HASLAN, Thomas
KIRBY, Bishop ISBELL, Aaron HALL, Barnes M. HALL, W. W. ATWATER, Oren GREGG,
Martin B. GREGG, D. H. LOVELAND, George C. SIMMONS, A. C. ROSE, John S.
MOTT, Zina H. BROWN, John S. HART, Salisbury S. FORD, D. W. GOULD, Bennett
EATON, E. N. HOWE, H. F. TUCKER, D. B. MCKENZIE, G. SILVERSTON, Micajah
TOWNSEND, H. N. MUNGER, C. R. HAWLEY, W. H. HYDE, A. H. HONSINGER, Win.
R. PUFFER, Wm. C. ROBINSON, H, T. JONES. I presume I have omitted some,
and have not placed them in the exact order in which their appointments
"When was the church organized, and when the first
meeting-house built?" I am not certain as to what is meant precisely by
the first part of this question. The M. E. Church sent laborers there,
as to other places; sinners were converted, joined the church and thus
became a part of this connectional church; and the Methodists in that town
have constituted a part of an organized charge ever since. I think Enosburgh
first became a pastoral charge by itself in 1856. The first Methodist meeting-house
in town was that at West Enosburgh, which was built, as the slab over the
door testifies, in 1839. It was dedicated in-February, 1840.
"Who have entered the ministry -- itinerant or otherwise?
I suppose this means the ministry of the M. E. Church. And if it means
those born in the town, they are as follows, according to my best recollection:
James EATON, jr., Samuel BESSEY, jr., John FASSETT, Bennett EATON, Caleb
A. STEVENS, Joel W EATON, Homer EATON. The following entered the Methodist
ministry from the town, though not born there: F. C. KIMBALL, Harvey S.
SMITH, J. E. KIMBALL, Stephen B. WHITNEY Joel B. WHITNEY, Austin SCRIBNER.
I am not certain but that the last named was born there. I can think of
no others. As for otter facts, I think of none of importance."
"Jairus EATON was born in Enosburgh, Dec. 8. 1808;
married to Hannah GIDDINGS of Bakersfield, July 4, 1832, and died in Warren,
Dec. 25, 1861. He was representative from Warren 3 years. As for my humble
self, I was born in Enosburgh, Dec. 31, 1806, and married to Betsey Maria
Webster, of Bakersfield, Jan. 21, 1830. Of the history of the Methodist
ministers who originated in Enosburgh, I have said nothing of them, but
to give their names, and the conferences to which they now belong. I know
something of the particular history of every one of them -- especially
of my brother, myself, and my two sons; but I cannot persuade myself that
it is of any importance for me to say any thing more on this subject. It
is perhaps sufficient to say that they are all (except my dear brother
who has recently deceased) now in the full and active work of the ministry,
approved by their respective conferences, which I have given above, and,
so far as I know, by the churches they have served and are now serving."
By H. A. Crampton
The articles of association, drawn up with a view to organize a
Protestant Episcopal church in Enosburgh, bear date Dec. 19, 1821, and
about 40 signatures. The church was organized May 6, 1822, by the election
of wardens and vestrymen. The wardens were William BARKER and Nathaniel
W. GRISWOLD. The clerk was Edward BAKER, who was also lay-reader. Religious
services were maintained from the first with considerable regularity. The
place of meeting was the school-house at the Centre of the town. The Rev.
Joel CLAPP, rector of Trinity Church, Shelburn, and missionary at large,
held occasional services at this time in Enosburgh, as did also the Rev.
Jourdan GRAY, of East Berkshire. The sudden death of Mr. GRAY in April,
1823, (drowned in crossing Trout river,) was a great loss to this,
as well as to the parishes of which he was the settled pastor. After the
death of the Rev. Mr. GRAY, the Rev. Mr. CLAPP resumed charge of Berkshire
and Montgomery, coming to these parishes once in 2 months, from Shelburn.
On these visitations he would usually hold a service in Enosburgh. He continued
this arrangement till 1827. From this year till 1834, the Rev. Richard
PECK of Sheldon, officiated in Enosburgh, probably not oftener than once
in three weeks. From 1834 -38 the Rev. Louis MCDONALD had charge of the
parish; from 1838-39, the Rev. J. OBEAR. This year (1839) the society took
the name of "Christ Church, Enosburgh;" From 1839-45, the Rev. Moore BINGHAM
was the rector. In 1839 preparations were made for building a church edifice
at West Enosburgh. It was consecrated Jan. 29, 1840. From 1845-50, the
Rev. John A. FITCH was in charge of the parish. He was succeeded (1850-56)
by the Rev. E. H. SAYLES.
The church building at West Enosburgh having been badly constructed,
and repairs upon it having been neglected, was now unfit for use, and,
in 1837, was disposed of and taken down. The services had been previously
removed to the Centre, by Mr. SAYLES. From 1856-58, there was no clergyman
In the fall of 1858 the Rev. Thomas L, Randolph, residing in Franklin,
was engaged to officiate half of the time. This engagement lasted a year,
when there was another vacancy till March, 1860. At this time the Rev.
Francis W. SMITH became the rector, who continued in charge till April,
1865. In 1861 a new church building was erected at the Centre. It was opened
Feb. 9, 1862, and consecrated. May 25, following, Mr. SMITH was succeeded
by the Rev. A. R. BAILEY, D. D., who remained till Oct., 1868. At this
time (Dec., 1868,) the vacancy has not been supplied. The number of communicants
in 1822, was 11; at the present time is 44. For the last few years the
church has been in a very flourishing condition.
By HON. S.
This church at Enosburgh Falls was organized in 1830, with 29 members,
and during 10 years following had increased to over 100 members ; and within
some 10 years the church set apart for the gospel ministry Oliver BABCOCK,
Nathaniel MARTIN, Palmer C. HIMES and Joseph MURRAY, all of whom were duly
ordained, as evangelists, about the year 1845; Elder MURRAY was ordained
in 1842 and a number of members took letters from the church, and, with
others who were late converts from the Roman Catholic Church, were organized
into a Baptist church at West Enosburgh, known by the name of the French
Baptist Church of West Enosburgh. Elder GREENWOOD was ordained in 1850,
Elder SHANNON in 1851.
Mr. Adams will find by the records of the Baptist church at the
east part of the town, when that church was organized and when the Church
at Enosburgh Falls was consolidated with the church over East, and thereby
forming one church.* What I have written, I think comprises all the information
I have that I think would interest the public.
church at East Enosburgh was organized Oct. 26, 1810, consisting of 11
members -- 6 males and 5 females; Joseph WALLER first deacon. Elder Luther
COLE was ordained in 1823 –t he two churches, as aforesaid, were consolidated
in July, 1858. -- Geo. Adams
|[ It appears
there have been three distinct organizations of Baptist churches in the
town. 1st, the Baptist church organized at East Enosburgh in 1810 - see
Mr. Adams' note; 2d, the church at Enosburgh Falls, organized in 1830;
3d, the French Baptist church (which is the one referred to in the Catholic
history, page 148), organized in 1858 -- Ed.]