township was originally covered principally with hard wood. The surface
is uneven, but very little of it so broken as to be unfit for cultivation.
The soil is generally good . . . The first settler of this town was Mr.
JosephWheeler. He moved into it with his family in March, 1788. In
1789, Hubbard Barlow and Andrew Bradley, with several others, moved into
the town. Smithfield Beadeu, was the first child born here, in the
part called Smithfield."
of Vermont, Hayward, 1840.
OF THE TOWN OF
BY COL. SAMUEL
Aug. 18, 1763, Samuel HUNGERFORD of New Fairfield, Ct., obtained
for himself and associates, Wm. LIBBEY, James NEVIN, Ezekiel HULL, Benjamin
ELLIOT, Benjamin OSBORNE, Jonathan CUTTER, Samuel BENNETT, Joseph NEWMART,
James STEWART, Abel JENNINGS, Ebenezer OGDON, Thomas NORTHROP, Peter BLACKMAN,
Samuel WALLOW, Jabez HUBBELL, Moses WAKEMAN, Ebenezer BARTRAM, Stephen
HULL, Benjamin DIMON, Thomas STAPLES, Peter BURR, Nathan PRICE, Ebenezer
BURR, Elnathan WILLIAMS, Samuel BALDWIN, Sleepe HULL, Abel PLATT, George
BURR, Joshua JENNINGS, Benjamin ELLIOT, Jr., Andrew STURGES, John OGDON,
Jr., Albert STONE, Hezekiah DE FORREST, Job BARTRAM, Samuel STERLING, Eleaser
OSBORN, Abraham GOULD, Benjamin BANKS, Haines HANDFORD, Joseph LYON, Peter
BETTS, Ephraim NICHOLS, Thaddeus BANKS, Samuel SMITH, Moses BULKELEY, Noah
ROCKWELL, Samuel WATERS, Samuel OGDON, John BANKS, Gideon WELLS, Abraham
HAYS, James BRADLEY, Daniel BELDIN, Egor WILLIAMS, Benjamin WYNKOOP, Davis
BARLOW, Daniel WARNER, Daniel SMITH, Andrew JENNINGS, Ebenezer SILLIMON,
James HUNGERFORD, Richard WIBORG, Ephraim HAWLEY, Daniel JACKSON, obtained
of Gov. Wentworth, grants of 3 townships on the N. E. of Lake Champlain,
chartered by the names of FAIRFIELD, SMITHFIELD and HUNGERFORD.
The first meeting of the grantees was held at Fairfield, Ct., Feb.
16, 1774, at the house of Gershom BRADLEY, L. C. OSBORN, moderator, meeting
adjourned 'till the 17th, at the house of John HUBBEL, same town -- Stephen
HULL, moderator; John BANKS voted proprietors' clerk; "Samuel HUNGERFORD,
Capt. Abraham GOULD and Daniel Smith, committee to manage the prudence
affairs of the township, and warn meetings from time to time. Voted, John
CAMPS, Hezekiah BRADLEY, John HUBBELl, Gershom BRADLEY to set up notifications.
Voted, to proceed to survey and lay out the township." At a proprietors'
meeting, April, 1774, "voted every proprietor pay Azariel WARD of Wellstown,
and David IVES of Goshen, lawful money, on each single right, or give a
quit-claim deed of one-eighth part of said right, to said WARD and IVES,
for their trouble for laying out said township." "Voted that the committee
for said township shall have power to agree with some suitable person to
go and see said township, in order to see what sort of land it is; and
to be paid by proprietors, and to return in a reasonable time." Aug. 22,
1774, "voted to lay out the township into 78 equal shares -- Arah WARD,
David IVES and Stephen HULL a committee for that purpose." "Voted, that
the town should be surveyed by the first day of January, 1775; each lot
bounded and numbered, and a plan of the same returned to the proprietors."
March 14 1715, George BURR, John BANKS and Stephen HULL, were chosen selectmen,
and Benjamin WYNKOOP as an additional selectman for the new township. Dec.
22, 1780, "voted to send an agent to the State of Vermont, to apply to
his Excellency and his Council, or to the General Assembly of said State,
for liberty to sell so much of delinquents' lands in the above township,
as would raise a sum sufficient to pay the expenses of said township; Stephen
HULL chosen agent for that purpose. The first meeting of the proprietors
in the State of Vermont was held at Pawlet, Sept. 5, 1783. The meeting
adjourned to Pownal, Sept. 8th, when it was voted to lay out one division
of land, containing 160 acres, to each proprietor, James STEWART, Stephen
HULL, Ebenezer WAKEMAN, Beach TOMLINSON and Wakeman HULL, a committee for
that purpose; and May 17th to lay out a 2nd division of 100 acres to each
proprietor, to be drawn according to the statute laws of the State of Vermont
-- Beach TOMLINSON, Isaiah HUNGERFORD and Hubbard BARLOW, chosen for the
Pownal, Sept. 6, 1786 -- voted "to accept the plan or plot of the
1st and 2nd division exhibited by Capt. Beach TOMLINSON and Hubbard BARLOW,
with a survey-bill of the same for recording." Voted "to draw for the 1st
and 2nd division lots, and that one draught should answer for both, and
that the number any proprietor shall draw shall be the number of both his
Pawlet, Feb. 13, 1787 -- "Hubbard BARLOW, Ralph GREGORY and Isaac
LUCE, chosen a committee to lay out roads.”
At a meeting in Georgia, Oct. 2, 1788, Joseph WHEELER, moderator:
"voted to accept the doings of the committee for laying out roads." "Voted
to raise a penny half-penny per acre for cutting roads. John LEECH, Hubbard
BARLOW and Andrew BRADLEY, chosen committee. Voted to adjourn the meeting
to the dwelling-house of Hubbard BARLOW, in the town of Fairfield, County
of Chittenden, State of Vermont, April 3, 1789. April 21, 1789, Joseph
WHEELER, moderator; Hubbard BARLOW, proprietors' clerk; John LEECH, collector;
David HOIT, Hubbard BARLOW, Bradley BARLOW, committee for laying out roads.
Sept. 21, 1789, Beach TOMLINSON, moderator; "voted to lay out a 3d division
of 50 acres, Andrew BRADLEY, committee, a 4th division of 140 acres --
Hubbard BARLOW, committee; and a 5th division of 4-acre lots in the cedar-swamp.
The object of this division that each proprietor might have his
share of cedar and pine for fencing, immense quantities of which have been
taken from it annually in the time of sledding, the swamp being impassable
at any other time. This tract lies in the westerly part of the town, on
a stream called Dead Creek, and many an exciting scene has been enacted
among the rail-splitters in this dismal-swamp, in the olden time. Hooking
rails seemed to be a business of frequent occurrence. Hundreds of miles
of fence have been made from the rails of this bog. The stage-road now
from St. Albans to Bakersfield passes directly through the marsh, and its
annual calls for repairs severely tries the patience of the Fairfield tax-payers.
Besides the 6th division, there was also "a town-plot" Set off intended
for city-lots: the site is a rocky hill about 2 miles S. W. from the present
centre of the town, and the first building has not yet been erected in
the innascent city, though three-fourths of a century have elapsed since
Proprietors' meeting, June, 1790. "voted to draw for 3d and 4th
In 1792, Smithfield was, by act of Legislature, annexed, and Fairfield
by this acquisition became the largest township or the county. It is situated
nearly in the centre, and bounded N. by Sheldon, E. by Bakersfield, S.
by Fletcher and Fairfax, and W. by St. Albans and Swanton, with an area
of about 60 square miles now.
The surface of the township is generally very uneven, but mostly
susceptible to cultivation. The principal stream is Black Creek, which
rises in Fletcher, and entering the town at the S. E. corner, after a course
of several miles in a N. W. direction, enters the Missisquoi in the town
of Sheldon. Fairfield river is a small stream which also has its source
in the town of Fletcher, and running north through the centre of Fairfield,
unites with the Black Creek. Dead Creek is a dark, sluggish stream which
rises in the cedar-swamp before described, and running several miles empties
into the outlet of Smithfield pond -- a beautiful sheet of water in the
N. W. part of the town, whose outlet runs east into Black Creek.
The first deed of any portion of the new town was given Jan. 29,
1765, by Abraham DAVENPORT of Fairfield, Ct., to Samuel HUNGERFORD of New
Fairfield, Ct. There does not appear to have been any permanent settler
here before Joseph WHEELER, in 1787. John SUNDERLAND and John MITCHELL
appear to have settled in 1788, also Gabriel SHERWOOD, Wm. BEADEN and James
HAWLEY from Huntington, Ct.; Ebenezer LOBDELL and David and Nathan HOYT,
from Bridgefield, Ct., Samuel ROBERTS and John LEACH, from Now Fairfield,
Ct.; Lucius HALL, from New Milford, Levi WAKEMAN from Norwalk, and Edmund
TOWN and Joel BARBER from Simsbury. 1789, Andrew BRADLEY, Hubbard BARLOW,
Clark BURLINGAME, from New Fairfield, settled, and Jabez BURR from Reading,
Ct. 1790, Samuel HOLLISTER, Samuel GILBERT, Dimon BARLOW and Jebiel SMITH
settled. 1791, Joseph SOULS, from Dover, N. Y., settled. The sons of Joseph
SOULS were Isaac Newton, Timothy, Salmon, Joseph, Hiram and Harry. 1792.
Francis STORY, Reuben. CROW and Isaac LUCE settled in this year; in which
year also Smithfield waS annexed to the town.
Among the names of other early settlers were Joe. D. FARNSWORTH,
Bates TURNER, Solomon BINGHAM, John CHANDLER, Benjamin WOOSTER, ___ STURTEVANT,
Dyer SHERWOOD, Morse WARNER, Ezra SHERMAN. Eli SHERMAN, Ezekiel BRADLEY,
Nathan LOBDELL, Sherwood WHITNEY, Amos THOMPSON, Abraham NORTHROP, Bradley
DAVIS, Dimon, Samuel and Ebenezer BARLOW, Joab SMITH, Job HURLBURT, Samuel
PAYNE, Isaac WAKEMAN, Noah DIMOND, Solomon NELSON, Ezra STURGES, Ezra,
Samuel and Nathan GILBERT, Abner WRIGHT, Whittemore and Nathaniel BEARDSLEY,
Wm, MORSE, Benj. and Andrew KENDRICK, ___ STORY, Martin PRINCE, Orange
HALL, Westover BARBER, Norman BARBER, Benjamin FAIRBANKS, John ABOTTS,
Joseph BOWDITCH, and Johiel HULL.
Smithfield BEADEN was the first child born here, in the part called
Smithfield. The proprietors made him a present of 100 acres of land.
March, 1790, the town was organized and first town-meeting held-Edmund
Town, town clerk. [ Deming gives the first representative as Clark BURLINGAME,
in 1791 -- -Ed.]
There were several other Proprietors' meetings up to 1804, when
the proprietory government seems to be about ended.
We have a few more statistics.--Ed. An academy building was
erected and the Institution incorporated in 1808.*
old Academy, which was among the early academic institutions of the State,
we have been informed, was at one time quite popular, especially tinder
the administration of Ira HILL, preceptor; during which time the students
numbered, some terms, from 100 to 150. It was a school for both young men
and young ladies. Mr. HILL, we understand, was principal for a number of
years. After the departure of Mr. Hill, its history is similar to that
of most, if not all similar institution in the State. It was not founded
on a rock of gold, and its glory waned. It is at present, and has been
for the last 23 years, unoccupied as an academy. Mr. HILL was the first
teacher, and John R. KENDRICK the last.]
Upon Black Creek, Fairfield river and Smithfield pond, 3 miles long
and 1 and a half wide -- already mentioned -- are many excellent mill-sites.
-- The surface of the town is uneven, yet the most part good for cultivation.
The town is divided into 26 school-districts with school-houses in each.
The public buildings are a town-house, Congregational, Baptist, Episcopal
and Catholic churches, and an academy: there are 3 stores, 4 grist-mills,
9 saw-mills and 2 tanneries.
ANDREW BRADLEY, ESQ., came with his family through the unbroken
wilderness to the place in the south part of the town which he had selected
for their home. The first season he planted corn for their bread in the
coming winter, but the early frost so injured the crop it was hardly fit
for food, and but a scanty supply. Knowing that his family could not survive
the long winter without some increase of provision, he was driven to the
painful necessity of leaving his young and tender family, a wife and three
young children, for an indefinite space of time. Their only sustenance
during his absence was the frost-bitten corn which they had to cut from
the cob. The husband having been gone some time, his anxious family were
beginning to feel the intensity of privations. They watched in vain for
many days, for the desired relief. No human being came. At length, as the
family, one day, were peering into the wilderness for the long desired
appearance of their protector, they saw a number of men approaching with
knapsacks upon their shoulders. They were panic-stricken at first, with
fear that they were going to be assaulted by Indians; but soon, to their
indescribable joy, the husband and father was with them.
The following spring the family was prostrated with sickness. Mrs.
BRADLEY and one or two of the children died of the canker-rash.
On the day preceding the last anniversary of our once "glorious
Union," (July 3. 1863,) the writer called to see an aged lady, widow of
John B. MITCHELL, whom she had survived for about 30 years, and who had
arrived at the extreme old age of 106 years. She retains her mental and
physical faculties to an astonishing degree.
I learned from her that her father, John SUNDERLAND came with his
family in 1788, and that at one time, they had to subsist on the buds of
the base-tree, for a number of days. She told me she knew all about it,
and that if I would call in a day or two she would tell me many things
about the first settlers. But the third day from my visit I met one of
her grandsons, and, inquiring for the health of the old lady, was told
that she was dead, and that he was then making arrangements for the funeral.
So the facts which might have been gained from her were forever buried.
The writer was three days too late.
REV. BENJAMIN WOOSTER was born in Waterbury, Ct., October 29, 1762,
and died at his residence in Fairfield, Vermont, Dec. 18, 1840, in the
78th year of his age. When but 14 years of age he enlisted into the army
for 4 months, under the command of his great-uncle, Gen. WOOSTER. In his
15th year he offered himself a substitute for a neighbor who had been drafted
for the defense of the sea-coast, and having served out the time for which
he volunteered, went down to New Haven-then in his 16th year-and enlisted
as a regular soldier for 3 years. The regiment to which young WOOSTER was
attached, joined the army in the Jerseys under Washington, and shared dreadfully
in the hard-fought battles and extreme sufferings, from sickness, and wait
of food and shelter, which that army heroically sustained.
Having completed his time of service he returned home to his mother
in 1780, with no other reward for his perils and hardships, but the consciousness
of having discharged a high duty to his country. All his wages were paid
in the currency of the government, "which sunk in my hand and came to nothing.
The pay which- I received for 9 months' service I carried home, and with
it bought a shirt worth one dollar! So fared it with those who achieved
the revolution. Nor did we murmur: we felt that the country was doing as
well as it could by us."
Having spent 3 or 4 years after he left the army, in assisting his
mother, he went to the academy at Lebanon, with the view to supply the
deficiency of his early instruction. While here he had an interview with
the minister of the town, Mr. BROCKWAY, who advised him to seek a collegiate
education; and having made the necessary preparation, he entered freshman
at Yale College, in 1788.
After leaving college he studied theology with the Rev. Jonathan
EDWARDS, D. D., of New Haven, and in due time received license to preach
from the New Haven Association, and was persuaded by the Rev. Mr. MILLS,
of Torringford, who was bound on a mission to the northern part of Vermont,
to accompany hem as an assistant. In 9 months they traveled 800 miles,
preaching only once in a place; and then hastening forward to meet another
appointment. This mode of life he pursued for 4 years, preaching in seven
states. In the year 1797, he was ordained pastor of the Congregational
church in Cornwall, Vt.; but after a pleasant and successful ministry of
5 years, was, at his own request, dismissed, and 3 years were, spent in
supplying various destitute congregations. He was installed in Fairfield
July 24, 1805. His labors were most abundant and to an uncommon degree
successful. During the 29 years of his active ministry in this county,
from 1804 to 1833, he preached not less than 4100 sermons-attended a vast
number of other religious and church-meetings, and assisted in more councils,
probably, than any other man in the State, with the exception of the venerable
Dr. SWIFT, and received into the church not much less than 500 persons.
The whole number of sermons he preached during his ministry, it is believed,
will not fall short of 6000. Revivals were enjoyed under his preaching
in St. Albany Bakersfield, Enosburgh, Montgomery, Berkshire, Sheldon, Franklin,
Highgate, Swanton and Georgia.
As a preacher, he was instructive and impressive, his sermons were
uniformly well studied, abounding in thought, and full of apt and striking
The heroic conduct of Mr. WOOSTER, in the celebrated battle of Plattsburgh,
is widely known, and enthusiastically applauded. A meeting of the people
was called in Fairfield, as in ether towns near the lake, to persuade the
militia to fly to the aid of the army. Mr. WOOSTER, perceiving the men
irresolute, or disinclined to go, promptly presented himself as a volunteer,
and called on his people to follow their minister to the rescue of the
country. That company was soon filled, and the hero of the revolution chosen
captain. His church were assembled at the time to a preparatory lecture,
some expressed their doubts of its being proper for the minister to go.
It is said he referred them to the scripture denunciation of the doubting.
He met his flock-commended them to God, and, with tears, bade them farewell.
Before sunset be and his company were far on their way. They arrived in
Plattsburgh to witness the awful encounter between the fleets, and to share
whatever of danger and glory awaited the troops en the land.
Gen. Tomkins, duly appreciating the patriotism of Mr. WOOSTER, presented
him an elegant folio gilt bible, containing the following letter written
on one of its blank pages:
"General STRONG, who commanded the intrepid volunteers of Vermont, on the
memorable 11th of September, 1814, has made me acquainted with the distinguished
part you bore in the achievements of the day. A portion of your parishioners,
roused by the danger which hung over our invaded country. generously volunteered
in her defence, and chose you, their pastor, for their leader. You promptly
obeyed the summons, and placing yourself at the head of your little band,
repaired with alacrity to the tented field. There you endured with patient
fortitude the vicissitudes of the camp, spurning the proffered indulgencies
which were justly due to the sanctity of your character. In the hour of
battle you were found with your command, in the ranks of the regiment to
which you were attached, bravely contending for the imperishable honors
of victory. The invaders being expelled, you quietly returned with your
small but patriotic troops to your duties of sacred calling, and there
inculcated by precept those principles of morality, patriotism and piety
of which you bad just given a practical demonstration.
“At a period, Sir, when principles inconsistent with what we owe to ourselves,
our country, an our God, had gone abroad, your example on the occasion
alluded to, could not fail to carry with it an irresistible influence.
It illustrated the perfect compatibility of the injunctions of patriotism
with the duties of religion, and was a striking and affecting instance
of that attachment and self-devotedness to the cause of a beloved country,
which ought always to distinguish the conduct of the virtuous and pious,
in times of peril and of war.
"As a memorial of my veneration for your distinguished, noble and patriotic
conduct on the 11th of September, 1814, and of my grateful sense of the
eminent benefits which the State and Union have derived from your example
and exploits, I request your acceptance of this sacred Volume; and, by
you, to convey to your brave associates the assurance of my high estimation
of their patriotism and signal services.
Rev. Benjamin WOOSTER,
Franklin County, Vermont"
Mr. WOOSTER represented the town of Fairfield 1 year in General
Assembly, and twice in the Septennial convention, convened by the Council
of Censors. He married, first, Miss Sarah HARRIS, daughter of Captain Israel
HARRIS, of East Rutland, in 1796; they had 11 children. She survived seven
of them, and died in 1824, universally esteemed as a discreet and pious
woman. In 1825 he married, second, Miss Sally COOPER, of Sheldon, who now
survives him In person he was of a tall, erect and commanding figure, of
blue eyes, light and florid complexion. His mental powers were of a superior
order; his many sallies of wit are fresh in the minds of many of his survivors.
His Excellency Daniel D. Tompkins,
of the State of New York.
"Sir: Last evening my sensibility was awakened by the reception of Browns's
Gild FAMILY BIBLE, which your Excellency was pleased to forward by the
politeness of Colonel Anthony Lamb, Aid-de-camp to your Excellency
"If the stores of heaven had been unlocked, your Excellency could not have
found a more precious gift than the Word of God, except you could have
bestowed the very God of the Word. And as if it were possible to enhance
the value of the present, your Excellency is pleased, in a letter dated
Albany, April 21, 1815, to bestow many encomiums on me and my intrepid
band, for our conduct at Plattsburgh, on the memorable 11th of September,
"You are pleased to observe that General Strong, who commanded the intrepid
volunteers of Vermont, had made you acquainted with the part I bore in
the achievements of the day. I did not, sir, expect to be particularly
noticed by Gen. Strong, nor by the Governor of the first State of the Union;
but, by this, I have another assurance that our patriotic fathers delight
to search out and reward the honest attempt to deserve well of our country.
Should a candid public consider your very handsome encomiums too freely
bestowed, I hope they will also believe, that nothing but the speedy flight
of the invaders could have prevented our deserving all which your Excellency
has been pleased to say.
“The calls of a sister State for help in a common cause, wafted to our
ears by the western breeze, were powerful. The Governor of Vermont called
for volunteers. Fourteen thousand British pressed upon Plattsburgh; the
shock was like electricity, and the language of the brave was, 'I will
go.' The act looked like temerity in the eyes of the over-prudent: the
event was dubious and hung in awful suspense; but life had no value when
our country was in disgrace.
"My aged brethren and sisters, whom I loved as my life, then collected
to hear a sermon, preparatory to the sacrament, from my lips, expressed
their fears that I was depriving them of a Pastor forever. They said 'Will
you not preach with us this once? We expect to see you no more; come, go
with us into the house where the church are collected.' Fearing what effect
so tender a meeting might have upon my mind, I bade them a tender adieu,
embraced my family in tears, kissed my clinging babes, and set out immediately
for Plattsburgh. The conduct of my men on that hazardous expedition will
endear them to me while my heart beats for my country, or the blood remains
warm in my veins.
“Your Excellency is pleased to observe, 'that I obeyed the summons -- repaired
to the tented field, and there endured the vicissitudes of the camp --
spurning the proffered indulgencies which were due to the sanctity of my
character,' The sanctity of my station, sir, I would sedulously preserve.
But I have yet to learn, that sanctity of character will make bondage sweet,
dangers unbecoming, or justify idleness, when it is the duty of every man
to act. Law and custom rendered me exempt; but my conscience and my country
forbade such an appeal. Hard, indeed, had been my lot, to be chained by
custom to a bed of down, when General Strong and his men were braving the
dangers of the field of honor. How could my heart endure, where my people
were in danger, and yet could not find me dividing their danger by their
side. I grew up with the principle, sir, that danger lessens by being divided
– that states are strengthened by union, and that regular armies and fleets
are invigorated by seeing citizens contend by their side for the honors
of victory. Hard is the lot of the soldier, when they who should be his
friends, whose battles he fights, whose property he defends, are idle and
regardless of his fate.
"The sacred Volume alluded to above, your Excellency is pleased to present.
as a memorial of your veneration 'for my distinguished conduct on the 11th
of Sept„ 1814.' Gratefully I receive it as such, and beg leave to remind
your Excellency, that this same Holy Book taught me to march for Plattsburgh,
and told me how to behave when I was there.
"You were pleased to request me to convey to my brave associates the assurance
of your high estimation of their patriotism, and signal services. It shall
be done; and your Excellency may be assured, that should such a day as
the 11th of September, 1814, ever return while we have life, the same men
-- nay, more, will appear in the field as volunteers from Fairfield.
June 15, 1815."
Some few instances are here given:
On an occasion of the annual March meeting in the election of town
officers, some waggish fellow nominated Mr. WOOSTER for hog-ward, and he
was voted the office; whereupon he very coolly and calmly arose and said,
" Gentlemen, when you were sheep I was your shepherd; and now as you choose
to be hogs, I will be your hog-ward -- I accept the appointment."
We have also from the Rev. Bonnet Eaton another anecdote. The minister
was one time driving calves-very perverse calves, which went all ways but
the right -- perhaps he was at the corners of 4 roads-but the calves would
take any but the right road, and seemed obstinately bent on so doing; till
at length, the patience of the good man giving way, he was heard to exclaim:
don't see why the devil never set Job to driving calves." -- Ed.
excuse for the “waggish fellow" and the citizens, it should be stated,
that this nomination and appointment was in accordance with an old-time
rule among the settlers, to put in at town-meeting for hog-wards, such
of the men as had been married during the year; and though the ministers
were, probably, from the great respect of their people, generally exempt,
it was a joke the first citizens accepted and submitted to with grace.
Mr. WOOSTER's appointment was received the March Meeting after his second
On another occasion some one saying that a class-leader of rather
doubtful piety, had expressed to his class that he feared he had lost his
religion, Mr. WOOSTER replied that he hoped no one had found it.
In the eastern part of Fairfield lived an old revolutionary pensioner
by the name of Capt. BOBWOOD. He occasionally came to the Centre, to the
store kept by Joseph SOULE, for the sake of conversation, and frequently
came in contact with his brother pensioner; Mr. WOOSTER. On one occasion,
while sitting is the store, be saw Mr. WOOSTER come over the green from
his house, towards the store, when he says to Mr. SOULE, "I will give Mr.
WOOSTER a poser, when he comes along." Mr. SOULE told him that if he knew
when he was well off, he would let Mr. WOOSTER alone; but the caution unheeded,
as Mr. WOOSTER comes along, says Mr. BOBWOOD, "How shall we cheat the devil?"
"Humph," was the reply, "I know of no better way than to give you to him."
But three children of Mr. WOOSTER survive him; Sarah, wife of Hon.
Harmon NORTHROP, Benjamin Horn WOOSTER, the only son, residing in Swanton,
and Charlotte, wife of Mr. COMSTOCK, of Shelburn.
He died, as before stated, in 1840, leaving a name which is cherished
with the highest veneration and respect ; and which, like the names of
all who have been prominent in deeds of virtue, and for heroism, increase
in luster with increasing years.
HON. J. D. FARNSWORTH was born at Middletown, Ct., Dec. 22, 1771.
When he was 6 years of age his parents removed to Bennington, Vt. From
6 to 8 years after this, he spent a considerable portion of his time in
Connecticut attending school; at 14 completed his classical course at "Clio
Hall," Bennington, under Amos MARSH, Rev. Win. HASKLEY and Rev. John SWIFT,
D. D. Clio Hall was the first literary institution ever incorporated in
Vermont, and was then the most distinguished institution in the State.
On leaving this institution, he went to Weathersfield, Ct., and commenced
the study of medicine under Dr. OLCOTT, with whom be remained one year;
then spent about 18 months with Dr. OSBORN of Middletown and Dr. HOPKINS
of Hartford. In the fall of 1789 -- having received a diploma though not
quite 18 years of age -- commenced practice at Addison, Vt.; in 1790, removed
to Plattsburgh, N. Y.; for a time was the only physician in Clinton County;
after a very successful practice of 2 years returned to Vermont; engaged
in business in Pownal; April, 1793, was united in marriage with Miss Catharine
WHEELER, and during the same year united with the Baptist, church at Pownal;
in 1795 removed to Fairfield, and nearly 30 years was one of the principal
physicians of Franklin County; in 1801, was elected a member of the legislature,
an appointment he often received during the time he resided in Fairfield;
in 1807, was appointed one of the judges of the court for the county of
Franklin, and the year following appointed chief judge, which appointment
he held with one year's interruption, till 1824, when he removed from Fairfield
to Charlotte in Chittenden Co. During the time that he resided in Fair
field the most important events of his life occurred. Here be buried 3
wives, and here the most of his children were born. During his residence
in Fairfield he was very successful in his profession, and shared largely
in the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens, and here the larger
part of the labor of his life was performed. In 1836 he left Charlotte
and removed to St. Albans, and in 1839 came to Fairfax, where, Sept. 9,
1857, he died, and on the 11th, his remains were carried to Fairfield and
placed by the side of his wives and children, that had gone before him.
Judge FARNSWORTH has had a long and eventful life-his history stretches
almost the entire history of Vermont. -- He was 22 years old, and had been
in active professional life 2 years when Vermont was admitted into the
Union, He was a student at the first literary institution incorporated
in Vermont. He was a member of the legislature 8 years before the capital
was established at Montpelier, and a member of the first Baptist church
organized in the State. He has been too long and too favorably known to
require a single word of eulogy, His parents and last wife survived him
about a year, and were buried at Montpelier,
CAPT. JOAB SMITH the so called "Father of the town," was horn in
Oakham, Mass., Sept. 7, 1774. In his 20th year be came to Fairfield, and
was married May 5, 1808, to Sarah MERRIT, who survives him, with three
daughters who are married and live near the old homestead. During his long
life he w as a constant attendant upon divine worship, toward the support
of which and to other beenevolent objects he gave liberally. He was a kind
and obliging neighbor, a social peace-maaker and a strenuous upholder of
law and order, under all circumstances a just and upright man. His word
was always to be relied upon, and his integrity never suspected. He held
several important civil and military offices for an unprecedented length
of time. He was elected chief selectman of the town of Fairfield, for 9
successive terms, and was town treasurer for many years, holding that office
at the time of his decease- He was chosen justice of the peace for 49 successive
years, and was 11 times elected to represent the town in the General Assembly.
He was endowed with great intellectual power and activity, and if he had
been favored with early educational advantages might have attained an elevated
professional position. In his opinions he was particularly conservative
and high-toned, and in all the relations of life exemplary. In the discharge
of the many trusts which devolved upon him by reason of his intelligence
and probity, he was eminently prudent and faithful. Always guarding the
interests and welfare of the town with more jealousy, if possible, than
So lived and so died Capt. Joab SMITH, leaving to his children and
to society the rare legacy of a spotless name and a bright example; and
these few flowers are thrown upon his grave by one who long since was taught
to respect, and even venerate a man who was enabled to live more than four-score
years without reproach, and to die without an enemy.
He died June 25, 1858, in his 84th year.
Jos. D. FARNSWORTH,
died in Fairfax.
John L CHANDLER,
died in St. Albans.
died in Fairfield.*
died in Fairfield.
KEYES, died in Fairfield.
died in Burlington.
W. ADAMS, died in Montpelier.
David H. BARD,
died in South Troy, Vt.
died in Swanton.
SOULE, living in North Fairfax
Myron N. BABCOCK,
living in Saratoga Spr'gs
I. O. CRAMTON,
living in Fairfield.
L. L. CUSHMAN,
living in Highgate.
R. R. SHERMAN,
living in St. Albans.
Dana R. MORRILL,
living in Swanton.
living in Waterbury.
living in Fairfield.
killed at a hunting party.
Bates TURNER, David READ, Luther B. HUNT, John MATTOCKS, Charles
ADAMS, Anson SOULE, John R. SKINNER, Pallas PHELPS, I. Allen BARBER, Mr.
LAW, Mr. BOARDMAN, Frank M. MCENTYRE.
WHO HAVE OFFICIATED
CONGREGATIONAL. -- Revs. Benj. WOOSTER, Tertius REYNOLDS, A. J.
SAMSON, C. C. ADAMS, Jas. BUCKHAM, E. I. CUMMINGS, Daniel WILDE.
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL. -- Revs. Mr. SABINE, BRAINERD, BALDWIN, SABINE,
HARD, SPOONER, Dr. CLAPP, S. B. BOSTWICK, Edward F. PUTNAM, Sylvester NASH,
Moore BINGHAM, E. H. SAYLES, F. W. SMITH, Richard CADLE,* Dr. Josiah SWETT.
METHODIST. . -- Revs. Isaac HILL, Mr. BALDWIN, Mr. KIMPTON, Mr.
COREY, Mr. TODD, Mr. CRANE, John KEARTON.
BAPTISTS. -- Revs. BUTLER, SAWYER, ARTHUR, FLINT, BALDWIN.
CATHOLIC. . -- Father O'CALLAGHAN, MCGOWAN, WATERS, REARDON, CAISSEY,
UNIVERSALISTS. . -- Revs. Lester WARREN, John C. BALDWIN, H. P.
CUTTING, Mr. PAYNE, Joseph BAKER, S. W. WAKEFIELD.
with an unfinished paper upon the murder of Mrs. CLIFFORD, by her husband,
Eugene CLIFFORD, which may he found in the history of the Courts in St.
Albans, ends the papers left by Cal. Samuel PERLEY. -- Ed.]
BY HON. A.
Joseph SOULE was born Oct., 1779, in Dover, Dutchess Co., N. Y.
He was the 4th son of Joseph and Eunice (HUNGERFORD) SOULE, and with his
parents and 5 brothers and 2 sisters removed to this town in 1791. In his
early years he endured all the privations and hardships incident to life
in a new country, and although at that time the means of obtaining an education
were limited, yet, being possessed of a good share of natural ability,
he managed by dint of perseverance and application, to gain a large stock
of useful information. He was an insatiable reader, and a deep thinker
-- was in short a self-made man. He was engaged for many years in mercantile
business, and that he enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his fellow townsmen
is evident from his having filled almost all the various offices of importance
and trust in town. He was elected several years representative, and connected
with all its local and business interests; was town clerk 39 consecutive
years -- elected for the 40th time in 1863, the year of his death.
He was among the number of those who volunteered to go to Plattsburgh
at the time of the invasion of that place by the British, in 1814. He married
in January, 1809, Esther WHITNEY, (daughter of Sherwood and Abigail WHITNEY)
who still survives him.
[The change in the times and in market prices since the settlement of Joseph
SOULE, and for years after, is not poorly illustrated in a little incident
narrated by Harmon SOULE, nephew of Joseph SOULE. When a boy, says Mr.
S., I recollect my mother making more butter at one time than was required
for family use, sending me with a portion of It to St. Albans for sale.
The butter I carried In pails attached to the sap-yoke, as I need to carry
sap, and I remember I was rather tired before I reached the village where
I was to sell my butter, and anxious to dispose of my burden. But although
I tried at every house in the village of St Albans, I could find no sale
for it. My mother had told me that I must not dispose of It for lees than
eight cents a pound, and to "bring it home first." I did not like to carry
my butter all the way home; I had quite enough of it bringing it, and after
I had tried at all the private houses, tried the stores. They would not
buy at any price and pay in money, and I was about turning home discouraged,
when, at the very last, one store-keeper -- in this to-day great butter
market -- took pity on me and bought my butter, paying me in groceries
at the rate of eight cents a pound. -- Ed.]
BY HON. HARMON
The Congregational Church was organized in Fairfield, Vermont, September
22d, A. D. 1800, by Rev; Nathaniel TURNER, a missionary from Massachusetts.
Rev. Benjamin WOOSTER, the first and only settled minister in town, was
installed pastor July 24, 1805, --the church at that time consisting of
34 members: between this time and 1813, there were added at different times,
70 members; 36 in 1812, and 55 from 1813 to 1840, and it was at the commencement
of 1840 reduced to less than 30 resident members, Rev. B. WOOSTER remained
pastor of the church until his death, Feb. 18, 1840, aged 77 years. Rev.
T. REYNOLDS preached from Dec., 1837, half of the time, to March, 1842,
when Rev. A. J. SAMSON came to this town, and was installed pastor, Feb.
15, 1843 ; he was dismissed Feb. 1, 1849, and the same year Rev. Calvin
C. ADAMS came to this place, and was installed pastor Sept. 5, 1850; dismissed
Sept., 1856. Nov. following, Rev. James BUCKHAM was hired from year to
year to labor with the people until June, 1863, and the church was without
stated preaching till April, 1864, when Rev. C. J. COMINGS was employed
to April, 1867. -- In June following, Rev. Daniel WILD came to this place
and is still remaining here. This church was without a meeting-house until
1840. Since which time there have been additions to the church at different
times -- 21 in 1842, 17 in 1864. The church is now reduced by deaths and
removals, to 25 members. The first Sabbath-school was organized in 1818.
TRINITY CHURCH RECORDS.
Among the first settlers (1788) were several families belonging
to the Prot. Epis. Church. The Rev. Bethuel CHITTENDEN was probably the
first clergyman who visited them. The first lay reader was Mr. Nathan LOBDELL.
In June, 1803, the church was organized by the Rev. Russell CATLIN,
of Connecticut. Nathan LOBDELL and Hubbard BARLOW were elected wardens,
and Major Bradley BARLOW, clerk. The Rev. Barzillai BUCKLEY was the first
minister who officiated regularly in the parish. -- He remained a part
of the year 1806. In 1808-9 the Rev. Charles STEWART of St. Armaud, C.
E. (afterwards Bishop of Quebec), and the Rev. Abraham BRONSON, of Arlington,
officiated occasionally. In 1811-12, J. P. K. HENSHAW (afterwards Bishop
of Rhode Island), who was then a candidate for orders, spent 6 months here,
to the great edification of the church.
In 1813 the Rev. Parker ADAMS was invited to the charge of the parish.
He came, but owing to a previous engagement, remained but a few Sundays.
June, 22d, 1814, the State Convention of the Church met in Fairfield;
the Rev. Mr. HENSHAW presided. In the year 1814, Bishop GRISWOLD visited
the parish and confirmed 30 persons. In the fall of 1814, it was resolved
to build a church. The frame of the church was raised Sept. 5th, 1815.
The Rev. Stephen BEACH commenced his labors in this parish Dec. 24, 1815,
preaching in this parish and in Sheldon. In 1818, Sept. 20th, the church
was consecrated by Bishop GRISWOLD, and the Rev. Stephen BEACH instituted
rector. The; number of persons confirmed on the same day was 47. In 1822,
the Rev. Stephen BEACH left the parish, and in December of the same year
the Rev. Elijah BRAINARD commenced officiating occasionally until July
1823. In Nov., 1823, the Rev. Nathan B. BURGESS commenced to preach-remained
here only a few months; after this until 1826, there were no regular services;
a few visits were received in the meantime from the clergymen of the adjoining
towns. March 27th, 1826, the Rev. Moore BINGHAM was engaged to take charge
of the parish in connection with that of Sheldon who remained until 1828.
In July, 1829, the Rev. Anson B. HARD took charge of the parish, and April,
1831, resigned the same.
January 23, 1833, the Rt. Rev. John H. HOPKINS, Bishop of Vermont,
made his first visitation to this parish and confirmed 5 persons. In June
1833, the Rev. John T. SABINE began to officiate here and in St. Albans,
and continued to do so about 1 year. In Nov. 1838, the Rev, John A. SPOONER
was chosen rector and continued his labors until 1840. In the fall of 1840,
the Rev, E. H. SAYLES took charge of the parish in connection with that
of "Buck Hollow," in Fairfax, and remained here until 1813. In 1844 the
Rev. Edward F. PUTNAM commenced his labors in Fairfield and "Buck Hollow,"
and remained in charge of those parishes until 1847. In 1851 (Jan. 1) the
Rev. Richard T. CADLE took charge of the parish and remained 1 year. The
Rev. John A. FITCH officiated in the parish half of the time from August
1853, until the following Easter. In 1856, the Rev. E. H. SAYLES renewed
his connection with the parish and remained until 1860. In 1860, services
were suspended in the church, and were held at the north part of the town,
in a school-house-the Rev. E. H. SAYLES officiating. July 7, 1861, the
Rev. Francis W. SMITH began to preach in the church, at first once in 4
weeks, and afterwards on alternate Sundays, and continued in charge of
the parish until December, 1866. In 1864 the old church was taken down
and a new one erected in its place. Jan. 1, 1865, the new church was first
opened for public worship-and consecrated by Bishop BISSELL, Aug. 31, 1868.
The church society, which was formerly a large one, has decreased
by reason of the death and removal from town of many of its members; but
there is reason to hope that it may survive all opposing influences, and
its condition be improved. In 1868 there were 20 confirmations, and the
present rector, the Rev. Dr. J. SWETT, hopes there may be others who, at
the next visitation of the Bishop, will go forward for that purpose.
IN EAST FAIRFIELD.
BY J. N. POMEROY
Mrs. Laura LEACH, aged 73, who lives now in Bakersfield, and is
a sister of Rev, Isaac HILL, who left Sheldon several years ago for the
West, said that Father MITCHELL, about 1804, was the first preacher in
Fairfield. He preached in school-houses in different parts of the town,
and quarterly meetings were held in barns. After Father MITCHELL, came
Elder BROMLEY, J. B. STRATTON, Samuel DRAPER, Daniel BRAYTON, Isaac HILL,
one Harris LYON, Phineas DOANE, Elijah CRANE, Orville KIMPTON, William
TODD, Solomon STEBBINS, Chas. LEONARD and John CLARK.
In the earliest days mentioned, the circuit comprised all Northern
Vermont west of the Mountains and into Canada. Nicholas WANGER was the
first class-leader that Mrs. LEACH remembers, James TODD the second. Preaching
meetings were held in the town-house after one was built; prayer and class-meetings
at the house of James TODD. She does not remember the names of all the
members of the first class, but a few I can give you besides the above,
viz., Zimri HOYT, Eli SHERMAN and wife, Raggles SHERMAN and wife, Marshall
SHERMAN, Medora TODD, William SIMPSON, Thompson SIMPSON, Benjamin, Eliza,
Mary Ann and Laura NYE, Laura SHERMAN, Eliza SHERMAN, Caroline SHERMAN,
Mrs. Elizabeth HOPS, Miss E. Hops, the wife of Nicholas WANGER, Betsey
WANGER, Joseph CROFT and wife and Elizabeth CROFT, now COBURN, living near
this place aged 54 years, and from whom I gained a part of this information,
and the only person of all who formerly belonged to the M. E. Church in
this town, now living in town.
There were several very powerful revivals during the ministrations
of these old pioneers, especially one in 1816; after which time there was
a very strong and powerful church for several years, but they never built
a meeting-house, and the consequence was that when a few of the strongest
ones came to emigrate west and to other places, they all seemed to scatter
and vanish away like dew before the morning sun.
In the winter of 1854, Rev. S. W. CLEMENS, then preaching in Bakersfield,
came to this place and held a series of meetings, which resulted in the
formation of a class; but for some reason, in two or three years most of
them were missing. There is now a small class belonging with Bakersfield,
and we are supplied with preaching from that place, in a union meeting-house,
built in 1867.
The first sabbath-school under the auspices of the M. E. Church
was formed about the year 1859. It is now, since our union church was built,
a sort of union school, with books mostly from the M. E. Book-room, N.
Y., some 250 to 300 volumes; about 6 or 8 teachers; some 75 different scholars;
average attendance from 35 to 45 in different years. The different classes
of the M. E. Church were so broken up, I have not been able to get the
aggregate membership, but I should think it may have been 50 or more since
the first class was formed.
TOWN CLERKS. -- Edmund TOWN, first town clerk of Fairfield, elected
in 1791; James D. FARNSWORTH, 2d, elected in 1801; Benjamin WOOSTER, 3d,
elected in 1813; James D. FARNSWORTH, 4th, elected in 1814; Joseph SOULE,
5th, elected in 1824; A. G. SOULE, 6th, elected in 1864.
NAMES OF FIRST SETTLERS. -- Joseph WHEELER, in 1788 and '89; Nathan
HOIT, Andrew BRADLEY, Hubbard BARLOW, Ebenezer LOBDELL.
Name of first
child born in town (at that time called Smithfield) was Smithfield BEEDEN,
-- and the proprietors of the town granted him 100 acres of land, thereupon.
Polly BARLOW was the name of the first child born in town, in 1789,
daughter of Hubbard BARLOW, Esq., and his only child, who survived but
a short period.
FIRST JUSTICES, -- Hubbard BARLOW, Clark BURLINGAME, Andrew BRADLEY,
Edmund TOWN, Elisha BARBER.
FIRST LAWYER, -- Bates TURNER.
First district school taught in Fairfield was by Joshua MILLER,
FIRST POSTMASTER, Bradley BARLOW; 2d, Julius CARLISLE; 3d, Bradley
BARLOW, jr.; 4th, A. G. SOULE; 5th, R. K. BARLOW; 6th, Ormond BRADLEY ;
7th, Joseph NORTHROP.
Perley had not completed his papers at the time of his death. Ho removed
from Fairfield to Reading, Mass., in July 1865, and died at his new home
in March, 1866]
Embracing A History of Each Town,
Ecclesiastical, Biographical and Military."
II, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille & Orange Counties.
Also The Natural History of Chittenden County.
and Published by Miss Abby, Maria Hemenway.
by Karima Allison 2004
Cemetery, Fairfield, VT
Cemetery, Fairfield, VT
Cemetery, Fairfield, VT
Cemetery, Fairfield, VT
Fairfield Cemetery, Fairfield, VT
Cemetery, Fairfield, VT
Village Cemetery, Franklin, VT
Rock's Cemetery, Fairfield, IL
Cemetery, Fairfield, VT
Patrick's Cemetery, Fairfield, VT
Cemetery (formerly Kirley Cemetery), Fairfield, VT