"The River Lamoille just touches upon the southern extremity of this township. Metcalf Pond is about one mile long from north to south, and one third of a mile wide from east to west . . . The surface of this township is considerably broken . . . This town was chartered to Moses Robinson, John Fay and others in 1781.  The settlement was commenced in 1784." 
 

Gazetteer of Vermont, Hayward, 1840.

HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF
FLETCHER.
BY BEN A. KINSLEY, ESQ.

      If the readers of the Gazetteer will look on the map of Vermont, in the S. E. corner of Franklin Co., they will behold this ill-shapen town. It was chartered Aug. 20, 1781, by Thomas CHITTENDEN, the then governor of Vermont, to Nathaniel BRUSH, David AVERY, Rufus MONTAGUE and others; none of whom, with the exception of Rufus MONTAGUE, ever had a residence in town. It is bounded W. by Fairfax, N. by Fairfield and Bakersfield E. by Waterville and Cambridge, and S. by the Lamoille 'River -- the south end being very narrow.

      Its area is estimated to be 24,040 acres. The river farms contain some excellent intervale; but in going back from the river, it becomes hilly and even mountainous, affording nearly every variety of soil; and, in some instances, several varieties are found on one farm.

      The first division of lots was surveyed by Benjamin FASSETT, in 1786, and the second division by John SAFFORD, in 1789.

      There is no record by which to determine by whom, or at what date, the first permanent settlement was made in town; but enough is known to warrant the belief, that the family of JOHN FULLINGTON were the first white inhabitants permanently settled within its limits, and probably in the autumn of 1788, or '89. Mr. FULLINGTON came from Deerfield, N. H. -- commenced clearing the farm now occupied by Loren C. LEE-worked one season -- put up a shanty, and returned to Deerfield for his family -- and the next fall, which was probably in the year 1788, with his wife and 4 children, began a wearisome journey through the wilderness to find their new home in Fletcher. They had one horse to ride and one cow to drive, and marked trees to guide them on their lonely way. Two men who had land in the S. E. part of Fairfax accompanied them. Whatever befell them on their way, until within the limits of Johnson, on the Lamoille, is now unknown to the living. Here they encamped for the night, and FULLINGTON, finding a yard of turnips near by, had the imprudence to eat one in a raw state, which induced a violent bilious cholic -- and there being no medical assistance to be had, he died in a few hours. He was buried next day by his companions, near the bank of the river, a hollow log serving for his coffin.

      His bereaved widow, with her four fatherless children, proceeded on their journey down the river, and found the home provided for them in the wilderness. Here the widow became the mother of the first child born in Fletcher. Being a daughter, it was named for the river upon the bank of which it was born -- Lamoille. She is still living near where she was born, but in the adjoining town of Cambridge.

      Mrs. FULLINGTON subsequently married Elisha WOODWORTH, and lived to the age of 95 years, when she died of small-pox, in Fletcher.

      Next in the order of time, is Lemuel SCOTT, who, about the year 1789, came from Bennington in the dead of winter, bringing his wife and one child on a sled drawn by a yoke of steers. From Burlington there was no road; but he found his way by marked trees, and settled on the farm now occupied by his grandson, George M. SCOTT. His children were Jonathan, Lemuel, [Who was the first male child born In Fletcher.] Seth, Levi, Abigail, Anna, Emily, Jefferson and Wait.

      The next inhabitant was Dea. Peter THURSTON; but where he was from is not known to this writer. He settled on the south side of Lamoille River, on the farm now owned by Ephraim BISHOP. * About the same time Elijah DAILY settled on the farm now owned by Sumner CARPENTER. In March, 1795, Daniel BAILEY moved from Weare. N., H. and settled with his family in. the N. W. part of the town, on the farm now owned and occupied by his grandson, Ebenezer BAILEY. His children were Haynes, Jonathan, Nathan, Achsah, Philip, Betsey, Sally and Polly. The men were prominent business-men in town, and large land-owners. The said Daniel BAILEY was the first representative of the town -- Was born Jan., 1748; died Sept. 6, 1832.


[* When the town was chartered, there was a small gore of laud on the south side of the river, contain in; the farms of Peter THURSTON, Peter CHADWICK and Seth WILLEY. Now -- in 1868 -- owned by Ephraim BISHOP, Sanford HOLMES and Harrison CADY -- belonging to the town, but being very inconvenient to get to the centre of the town, to attend town-meetings, they petitioned to be set off to the town of Cambridge. In 1845, in compliance with this petition the town voted to act off all the territory south of the Lamoille River; and, by an act of the Legislature, it was given to the town of Cambridge.]
      About the year 1795, Elias BLAIR, Reuben ARMSTRONG, John KINSLEY, Samuel CHURCH, Samuel CHURCH, jr., Joseph and James ROBINSON and Dewey NICHOLS, all of Bennington, moved into Fletcher, and settled as follows: Elias BLAIR on the farm now owned and occupied by his grandson, Noel BLAIR; Reuben ARMSTRONG on the farm now owned and occupied by his son Ira and grandson Reuben ARMSTRONG. John KINSLEY, on the farm east of it, now owned by Munroe BLAISDELL, the two Churches on the farms now owned by Abial WETHERBEE, (a grandson by marriage) and N. W. CHURCH, a great-grandson -- Joseph ROBINSON; where his son Demas now resides; James ROBINSON, on the farm now owned by his son Norman; Dewey NICHOLS on the farm now owned and occupied by his son Hilkiah P. NICHOLS.

      Another John KINSLEY came into town about the same time, (1795, being also a native of Bennington) and settled on the farm formerly owned by Levi COMSTOCK -- now by Willis D. LEACH. Other families coming in soon after, it was thought best to organize, which they did March 16, 1790. Lemuel Scott was appointed moderator, Elisha WOODWORTH, town clerk, Peter THURSTON, Lemuel SCOTT and Eljah DAILEY, selectmen -- and Elijah DAILEY first constable.


REPRESENTATIVES

      The town was first represented in the General Assembly in 1797, by Daniel BAILEY. He was succeeded in '98, '99, 1800 '01, '02, '03, '05,'08,'11,'13, by Lemuel SCOTT, in 1804,'06, '07, by John WHEELER; in 1810, '15, and '26, by Reuben ARMSTRONG ; in 1812 by Joseph ROBINSON ; in 1814, by Nathan L. HOLMES ; in '16, by Daniel BAILEY; in '18, '20, '22 and '23, by Zerah WILLOUGHBY; in '24 and '25, by Elias BINGHAM, sen.; in '28, 30, 33 and 84, by Ira ARMSTRONG ; in 1821 Ira SCOTT was elected: but refusing to serve, the town was not represented: but in 1831 he was again elected and served -- in '32. '35, '36. '50, '50, '51, by Guy KINSLEY ; in '37, '38, '40, by John KINSLEY, jr.; in 1839, by Howard WATKINS; in '42 and '43, by Joseph ELLSWORTH, jr.; in '44 and '45, by Lucas HOLMES ; in '47 and 48, by Joseph KING ; in '53, by Horace STEARNS; in '54 and '55, by Reuben ARMSTRONG ; in '56, '57 and '60, by Luther WELLS; in '58 and '59, by R. T. BINGHAM ; in '61 and '62, by E. O. SAFFORD; in '63 and '64, by Amos E. PARKER; in '65 and '66, by Lorenzo BLAISDELL; in '67 by V. D. ROOD, M. D.; in '68, by "honest" John KINSLEY.

      In 1833 Jonathan BAILEY was elected; but refusing to serve; Ira ARMSTRONG was elected, and served instead.


TOWN CLERKS

      Elisha WOODWORTH, the first clerk chosen in town, in 1790, was succeeded in 1791, by Lemuel SCOTT, who held the office until 1807, when he was succeeded by Joseph HOLMES. In 1809 Lemuel SCOTT was reinstated, and held the office 2 years. In 1811 Joseph ROBINSON was elected, and held the office 'till '21. He was succeeded by Zerah WILLOUGHBY, who was succeeded the following year by Elias BLAIR, who held the office until the year 1840, when John KINSLEY, jr., was elected, and kept the books 2 years ; then succeeded, in 1842, Dr. Cassander F. IDE; in '43, '44, Medad R. PARSONS; in '45, '46, '47, Medad P. BLAIR; in '48, '49, '50. '51 to 57, Demas ROBINSON; in 58, Dr. O. F. HAWLEY; in 59, the present incumbent, E. O. SAFFORD, Esq.


CONSTABLES

      Elijah DAILEY was appointed constable at the organization of the town in 1790, and Elias PALMER, in '91; Peter THURSTON, in '92; Levi COMSTOCK, in'93; Samuel KINSLEY, in '94; Reuben ARMSTRONG, in '95; William THOMAS, in '96; Haynes BAILEY, in '97 and '98; Reuben ARMSTRONG, in 99; Nathan BAILEY, in 1800; John KINSLEY, in 1801; Jonathan HAYNES, in 1802; James ROBINSON, in 1803; Ira SCOTT, in 1804; Joseph HOLMES, in 1805 and '06; Elias BLAIR, in '07. '08 and '09; Samuel CHURCH, in 1810; Daniel READ, in 1811, '12, '14, 15,'16 and '20; James ROBINSON, in 1513; Joseph H. LAW, in 1817; Ira ARMSTRONG, in 1818; Samuel TERRILL, in '19; Levi SCOTT, in '21 and '22; Lewis TERRILL, in '23. In 1824 John KINSLEY, jr., was elected, and held the office for 9 years in succession, and N. R. BINGHAM for the 2 years following; and in 1836 Albert KINSLEY was elected, and for the 9 succeeding years; then Reuben ARMSTRONG for 4 years, and H. P. NICHOLS for 3 years; when. in 1854, Reuben ARMSTRONG was re-instated to the office, and has retained it from that time until the present writing, (Nov., 1868.)


EARLY TIMES

      The early settlers experienced great inconvenience, and severe hardships on account of bad roads, The town is quite hilly and much of it stony, and for many years the people were few and. far between, so that good roads were among the things to be desired, but not enjoyed by the hardy pioneers. Yet by patient perseverance and much hard labor, most of the public roads are now good.

      It will not harm the present generation of Fletcher (and should greatly increase their respect and veneration for the heroes dead and gone) to look back 60 years, and see their ancestors toiling through the winter in the woods, for the double purpose of clearing a patch of ground to sow or plant in spring, and, also, to make ashes, with which to buy corn to subsist on through the winter. And when they visited their friends, they would yoke the oxen, hitch to the old sled, put in a little straw, and perhaps a bed-quilt or two, and tumble in, men women and children, and go two, three or four miles to make au evening visit, or to meeting; and as their way was generally through the woods for some of the first years, if they happened to have an adventure with some wild animal on the way, it only made them relish the ride all the better, and afforded them something to talk about. For it should be borne in mind that books and newspapers, now everywhere abundant, were at that time exceedingly rare, and the people had little besides their adventures to divert their minds from the monotonous round of daily life.

      Fast horses, dandy sleighs, buffalo-robes, and fancy wagons were things unknown to the early settlers of Fletcher; even horses, wagons, or carts of any kind were very scarce, many of the few inhabitants at that time possessing only a yoke of cattle and an ox-sled. A great many bushels of corn have been "toted" upon a man's back to Fairfax or Cambridge to be ground, there being no grist-mill in town. There has been a change, indeed, since then. A great majority of the people are well off now, besides having "rich relations." There are none very rich, and none very poor. There are no large villages, and but two small ones. There are no manufacturing establishments in operation now, but 25 years ago there was a potato-starch factory doing good business at the Centre, and there is now a tannery about a mile east of the Centre, which has turned out good work and received fair patronage. There are also several blacksmith's shops now scattered through the town. Charles MARKS does the blacksmithing at the Centre, and Sylvanus CHASE, has a shop for doing various kinds of wood-work, while Joseph LOUNETTE & Co. have a boot and shoe-shop.

      At the lower village, called Binghamville, Wm. K. LAMB runs a carriage-shop, and does some good cabinet-work. Horace WOODS does the blacksmithing, while H. W. SCOTT makes boots and shoes. N. R. BINGHAM has a carpenter and joiner's shop, and R. T. BINGHAM runs a saw-mill which boasts a circular saw.

      But tilling the soil, raising the various kinds of stock, and the manufacture of butter and cheese, is what gives employment to the community, and brings a comfortable wealth into the town. The town has never been wealthy enough, however, to make it an object for gentlemen of legal or clerical profession to settle within its limits; and men of eminence are to be looked for in some other locality. But for men of solid worth, men of stern integrity, men of unimpeachable character, Fletcher is by no means wanting, And although none of its inhabitants are collegians, there is a good degree of general intelligence among the people, a commendable zeal in the cause of education; desire for general information; and, probably, there are few towns in the State, whose inhabitants are more nearly on a level, than in the town of Fletcher.

      It is believed the first school in town was taught by James ROBINSON in the house of Lemuel SCOTT; but in what year this writer is not able to say. The town was early divided into school-districts, and new ones have been organized as the wants of the people demanded, until there are now ten in operation. The common schools are maintained by a tax on the grand-list, free for all, and several select schools have been supported in town by individual liberality, which have been a credit to the community; and although Fletcher has never been called on to furnish a governor or a member of Congress, it has furnished quite a number of excellent school-teachers, who have made their mark in the Southern, Western and Middle States, and there is no lack of material for the governor and congressmen, whenever they are called for.


SOIL, ETC.

      SOIL. -- A portion of the soil is somewhat sterile, but when properly cultivated yields the laborer a fair remuneration. Excellent crops of wheat were frequently raised while the land was new, but it is not so well adapted to the growth of wheat, as to corn and oats; still there are some of the more elevated farms that produce good crops of wheat and of excellent quality; but take the town together, it is best adapted to grazing. Large quantities of really excellent butter and cheese are made yearly. Some good oxen, horses, cows, sheep and hogs are raised for market, and since rail-roads have been introduced, although they do not come within our lines, they afford such facilities for transportation that our surplus produce finds a ready market at our doors, at remunerative figures.

      WATER. -- The town is well watered, having the Lamoille river for its southern boundary, and Metcalf pond in the northern part. The pond is about 1 mile in length, and half as wide, and some portions of it very deep. It discharges its waters at the south end, and after running about one mile, crosses the town line into Cambridge. and continues about a mile further in a southerly direction, when it turns north and runs into and through its native town into Fairfield, where it becomes Black Creek [or Fairfield River] affording some excellent mill-privileges in Cambridge, Fairfield and Sheldon, where it falls into Missisquoi river, and finally into Lake Champlain. About a mile west of the Centre is another pond of similar growth, called Half-moon pond, probably from its having some resemblance in its shape to that planet when but half its disk is revealed to our vision. It is, perhaps, half a mile in length and half as wide, discharging its waters easterly, and uniting with Stone's brook on the farm of Abial WETHERBEE. Some effort has been made to stock it with fish, but none have ever done anything except pickerel, and they are generally caught before half-grown. Stone's brook has its rise in the northern part of the town, on the farm of G. G. TAYLOR, and running S. and S. W. receives several smaller streams as tributaries, affording some good mill-privileges, and empties its waters into the Lamoille, half a mile below Fairfax Falls, on the farm of A. WILCOX; and there are other smaller streams in the western part of the town, capable of propelling machinery.


PHYSICIANS

      The people were dependent on adjoining towns for medical assistance until 1827, when Dr. Sanford EMERY located at the Centre, and announced himself ready to undertake the cure of any and every ill that flesh is heir to. Ho was a man of great energy, and some shrewdness, but he did not succeed, and abandoned the undertaking and went to Rochester, N. Y. His successor was Dr. SWAIN, who also staid but 1 month, and was then succeeded by Dr. Ira HATCH, who 3 years later (1837) was succeeded by an old school steam Dr. named JOHNSON whose successor was Dr. Cassander IDE, who staid long enough to gain the confidence and good will of the people, and the office of town clerk, and left the field to be occupied by Dr. DREW, who became so disgusted with the people because they chose not to be doctored while in good health, that he left them to their own destruction, which they escaped by the timely arrival of Dr. BENEDICT from Underhill; who, though not as popular as some, was very successful in his treatment of croup, canker-rash and many other diseases. But his stay was short, and after his departure came Dr. Andrew PARSONS, a young man of skill and energy, but who remained but 3 years. He began his practice of medicine here, and having become established as a physician and gained considerable popularity, sought a larger field in Fairfax, where he married, and then went West.

      Dr. C. F. HAWLEY came next, and commenced his first practice. He married and settled here, took an interest in society, and was one of the people by whom he was so well liked as a man, that we flattered ourselves we had at last obtained a physician who would be a permanent resident. But he must needs deem Fairfax better adapted to his capacity, or as offering greater inducements for his practice, and in 9 years from his coming, sold out and moved there, where he still remains, enjoying the confidence and respect of his patrons and fellow-townsmen.

      Dr. HAWLEY was succeeded by a young man from Massachusetts named ANDREWS. His stay was brief, and his practice limited; the more, however, he was known, the better be was liked.

      Our next resident physician was Dr. Sylvester WILSON, whose practice terminated with his death, April 6, 1866. His successor was a young man from Panton. Enoch W. KENT, who remained but 18 months.

      Then came a young man from Underhill, -- Darwin H. ROBERTS, of the Homeopathy School. He has made a fair beginning, and seems likely to do well, secure a permanent residence and be one of the people.

     VERNON D. ROOD, born in Fletcher, April 20, 1842, pursued his studies at New Hampton Institution, Fairfax, with a view to the legal profession, but subsequently studied medicine, and graduated at Burlington Medical University, receiving his diploma in June, 1867, and is now located at North Hydepark, having an extensive patronage.

     NORMAN F. WOOD, born in Fletcher Nov. 4, 1833, an earnest and ambitious scholar; taught one or two seasons in town; attended school at Johnson; married Miss Sarah Jane LEACH, of Fletcher, August, 1853, and went to the State of Georgia as teacher; returned in 4 years; pursued his studies at New Hampton Institution, Fairfax; studied law and was admitted to the Franklin County bar in 1859, and located at Bakersfield. He was elected state's attorney in '63, and county senator in '64, and died of consumption, April, 1865, aged 31 years and 5 months.

     CLINTON S. KINSLEY, born in Fletcher, September, 1840; attended school at Johnson, and studied law, and was admitted to the Franklin County bar in 186_, but has never practiced his profession at New Hampton Institution, Fairfax; studied law; admitted to the Lamoille County bar June, 1869; is now located at Cambridge Borough, Vt., in the practice of his profession.


MURDER AND SUICIDE

      Two men named Jefferson FULTON and Abial CHASE, living on the east side of Metcalf pond, on adjoining farms, had a difficulty about their lot line, which finally grew into an open quarrel, and on the 5th day of Sept., 1855, FULTON procured a pint of rum and a butcher-knife, and proceeded to the premises of CHASE, who with his son (a lad of perhaps 10 years) was making fence but a short distance from the-house.

      When within a few yards of CHASE, he thus accosted him; "Well, old Jeff. has come!" CHASE answered, "And what does old Jeff. please to want?" By the time CHASE had asked the question, FULTON had approached within reach, and, drawing his butcher-knife from his bosom, plunged it into CHASE's breast; whereupon CHASE turned and run; but as he turned to run, FULTON again plunged the bloody knife into his back so as to pierce the aorta, and then pursued his victim about ten rods, and the boy some three or four rods further, and would undoubtedly have killed him, if be could have overtaken him, so that he should not testify against him. He then turned back to his bleeding victim, who was already dead, gave the lifeless body two or three malicious kicks, and left the promises. The alarm was immediately given, and a search instituted for the perpetrator of the bloody deed. The highways were carefully watched, railway stations were guarded and telegraphic dispatches were sent in every direction. An army of men were searching the hills and ravines, at that time covered with timber and brush. and finally it was determined to search the cave, which was accordingly explored, but all to no purpose, and the search which commenced Wednesday afternoon was continued until the next Monday at sunset, when he was discovered in a little swamp near the highway just north of Michael MCGETRICK's, and about one mile and a quarter from where he had committed the terrible deed. Seeing himself fairly surrounded, with no hope of escape, he deliberately cut his own throat with his old and dull jacknife; which is proof positive that he was determined not to be taken alive. With regard to his whereabouts during all this time, there are various conjectures.

      Some are of the opinion that be went just as far away as he could and get back at the time he was found. Others think he kept himself hid in some of the many hiding places found among the mountains and ravines in the vicinity. Still another class are firm in the belief that he was hid in the cave. But wherever he was is of little consequence now that he is dead.


FATAL ACCIDENT

     June 16, 1860, Elias BLAIR, jr. left his home in Fletcher for Burlington, with a light express wagon loaded with two bales of hops, upon the top of which he was seated. In passing over a rough place in the road near Essex Centre, the fore-wheel became detached from the wagon and he was thrown violently forward, striking his head upon the axle-tree. He was conveyed to a hotel where he expired about 3 o'clock P. M., some 5 hours after the accident.

      He was 58 years of age, and the oldest son of Elias BLAIR, sen., one of the first settlers in town.


CASES OF DROWNING

      One Sunday, July 1858, two boys, residents of Fletcher, went to meeting as usual, and after Sunday school endeavored to persuade some of their comrades to go with them to bathe in Lamoille river, but failing in this they two went alone together. Their parents felt no anxiety about them, each supposing the other had gone home with his friend for the night, as they were quite intimate. Monday morning their clothes were found upon the bank of the river, on the farm of Lewis TERRILL, sen., just on the edge of Cambridge. Alarm was instantly given, and scores of men were soon searching the river. A few hours later their bodies were obtained. They were found lying several rods from each other. Their names were Henry CROSIER, aged 17 years, and John ST. JOHNS, aged 16 years. Neither of them could swim. Tuesday P. M. their funeral sermons were both preached at the same hour and place, at Fletcher meeting-house.


SERIOUS BUT NOT FATAL ACCIDENTS

      In the winter of 1852, “Honest" [An appellation given to him by his neighbors for proverbial honesty.] John KINSLEY slid from the top of a hay-mow upon a pitch. fork-stall, which entered the body at the lower part of the abdomen and extending upward 14 inches came nearly through at the pit of the stomach, impaling him alive. He was alone, but succeeded in withdrawing the fork, and his physician with the aid of time and a good constitution, succeeded in restoring him to health, and he has worthily represented the town in the Legislature the present year.


CASUALTIES

      In 1827, James CHASE, living on the farm now owned by Van Ness CHASE, was clearing a piece of land and drawing poles with an ox-team, when a pole got cramped among the stumps and flow around in such a way as to hit Mr. CHASE on the head, inflicting a severe wound, and fracturing the skull in a shocking manner, so that it was found necessary to trepan. After a long time he recovered and lived till the 7th day of Nov., 1833, when he, with his son Lyman and another young man, went into the woods to chop timber for rails, and felling a tree, or in attempting to fell it, it lodged against other trees in such a way that a piece of a large pole over 13 feet in length was hurled back several rods to where Mr. CHASE was standing and hit him upon the head, rendering him senseless. He lived an hour or two, but never recovered his consciousness. He was an industrious, hardworking man and worthy citizen.

      In the summer or autumn of 1840, a young man of Irish descent, named Nicholas OWEN was found, on the farm now owned by Charles ROBINSON, dead and half consumed by fire. He had been engaged burning off a piece of ground on which some dry trees were standing, and it being dry and windy the fire was blown into them; and it is supposed that one of them burned off at the ground and fell upon him, knocking him down, and falling upon him, where it was on fire, burned him as above stated. He had no relatives in town, but a brother living in an adjacent town being sent for, came and took charge of his remains. He was carried to Fairfield, and buried by the Catholics.

      In the month of April, 1850, four young men had been to a raising and were returning home through the woods. One of them named Thadeus CHASE, had a gun in his hand, and as one of the party named Thomas RISDON was passing over a tree fence, the gun in the hands of CHASE (who was several feet behind) was accidentally discharged, lodging its contents in the body of young RISDON, who survived but a little more than 24 hours.

      In December, 1850, two men named Julius D. SCOTT and John H. BAILEY, living in the same neighborhood, had a quarrel which resulted fatally to BAILEY. The origin of the difficulty is not known, and is of little consequence; it bad been festering a long time, and came to a head on this wise: It was a matter of convenience for BAILEY to go through SCOTT's sugar-bush with an ox-team after poles for fence; so he went and got a load, and SCOTT forbade his crossing his premises again. BAILEY swore h would, and defied SCOTT to hinder him. Accordingly he took his team and started for the woods, probably with a determination to go through or die in the attempt --  SCOTT was aware of his movement and prepared to meet him, and undoubtedly determined to prevent it or die in the attempt. Thus it was the belligerents met; but as no eye, except that which never slumbers, witnessed the sanguinary conflict, no description can be given. Suffice it to say, BAILEY was repulsed and driven from the field without materially injuring his antagonist, and survived only about four weeks. But the principal injury being in the head, he soon became delirious, so that little could be gathered from him in relation to what had taken place, except what his appearance indicated. After his decease, a post-mortem examination disclosed the fact that the skull was fractured, and a coagulum had formed upon the brain which was sufficient to produce death; but whether the contusion was caused by a blow received in mortal combat, or by a fall upon a rock, or upon the sled-beams upon which he might have been riding, we may never know for certainty. SCOTT was arrested by the civil authority on a charge of murder; but at the preliminary examination holden in Fletcher, that charge was abandoned and he was bound over for trial on a charge of manslaughter, and the testimony not being sufficient to convict for manslaughter, he was convicted of assault and battery, and fined $30.00. He has lived in town ever since, and has the reputation of being a quiet, law-abiding citizen.

      In 1850, Elias CHASE, living near Metcalf Pond, had occasion to cross in an old canoe in the night and was drowned.


SUICIDES

      The first case known to this writer is that of Francis WETHERBEE, by hanging himself with a small skein of shoe-thread, on the old Thurston place, on the south side of Lamoille river, in October, 1817. In 1849, Mrs. FREEMAN, the 2d wife of Erastus FREEMAN, hung herself in the wood-shed on the farm now owned by Loren C. LEE. In 1854, a French boy, called Charlie POTTER, hung himself in Mr. POTTER's barn, on the farm now owned by Ira RICKARD In 1858, Isaac FLOOD cut his own throat on the farm of John THOMAS. Sept. 13, 1863, Capt. Oren HOOK ended his mortal existence by tying one end of a rope around the bed-post and placing a slip-noose knot around his neck. He was found soon after, with his head barely raised from the floor-his neck resting on the rope. Cause, insanity-induced no doubt by an inordinate love of money, and want of energy and skill to accumulate it.


CRIME

      On the 3d of Dec. 1868, a party assembled at the house of Hiram BOOMHOUR for a dance, and being old folks, they stayed all night, and some of them nearly all the next day to play cards, and of course such business could not be done to advantage without rum and as the company was an amalgamation of Dutch, Irish and "Yankee," a spirit that was not ardent sprung up among them -- even a spirit of jealousy -- and in the afternoon of the 4th, which was Friday, a drunken row was indulged in, which resulted fatally to the man of the house, who, instead of being knocked down and dragged out, was knocked down and stamped out, and so effectually was it done that he died in less than 36 hours. A post-mortem examination disclosed the fact that he died of congestion of the brain, which might have been caused by the tramping to which he had been subjected, or it might have been induced by some other cause. At any rate somebody had been killed, and somebody had killed him, and thereby the peace and dignity of the State had been disturbed, and the case must be investigated and the majesty of the law vindicated. So three men were arrested, viz. Thomas RYAN as principal, and Patrick RYAN and Truman ELLIS as accessories. At the examination before R. T. BINGHAM, Esq., conducted by Ira S. BLAISDELL and M. A. BINGHAM of Cambridge for the State, and George BALLARD of Fairfax for the respondents, so much proof of guilt was shown that they were all held for tried at the county court, in the sum of $100.00 each.


BEAR STORIES

      We too have our bear stories, which if not thrilling with the jeopardy and bravery of old John STRONG 's bear traditions in Addison, yet have been very enjoyable and laughable to us.

      Oct. 6th, 1816, there being a fall of snow on the hills a foot deep, Mark FLOOD, Samuel MONTAGUE, Seth and Levi SCOTT, four fine young men, started out for a bear-hunt on the hills surrounding Metcalf pond. They soon started one and gave chase, but it was snowing fast, and their guns became wet and useless, and their dog could not be made to believe that bear meat was good raw; neither could they persuade the bear to climb a tree and wait for them to go and get another gun, so they followed him all day, and much of the time so near him that they could almost reach him with their guns; but bruin, though Hard pushed, remained master of the field, and the boys had their labor for their pains.

      In the summer or fall of 1818, another bear having committed some depredations on the MONTAGUE farm (now owned by Zina CHASE), a dead-fall trap was prepared, into which he carelessly entered, w as held for trial and executed. It weighed over 400 pounds.

      The next spring a bear was one day seen quietly eating sugar from a sap-bucket in the sugar-place of Samuel and Rufus MONTAGUE, a little west of where John MONTAGUE's house now stands. He was seen from the house of Samuel MONTAGUE, now Zina G. CHASE's. There being several young men present with guns and ammunition it was decided to have a fight, and the order of battle was arranged and charge made upon bruin. The bear reluctantly retreated under a heavy (if not well directed) fire, to a less exposed position; and the assailants retired to devise a more effectual plan of attack, when remembering the success of the previous year with the dead-fall trap, they decided to make a rude floor of boards near the boiling place where the battle had been so valiantly fought. So they made a figure four (4) trap, using the potash kettle for the fall, and what was left of the tub of sugar for bait. Thus far all things had worked together. The trap was set, and the expectant host retired for the night and to contemplate the victory that awaited them in the morning, when a new and unlocked for difficulty presented itself. There was no doubt but what the bear would be caught, but how was he to be got out from under the kettle? Who would volunteer to raise one side of the kettle and let the others fire under and kill the bear? The idea was preposterous! Especially when it was recollected how ineffectual the firing of the afternoon had been, when they were within a very few feet of him. No one. Well, at length the long looked for morning came, bringing with it no solution of the question. However the time had arrived when something must be done. The boat was marshaled and proceeded to the hunting ground, where they found the trap sprung and the kettle all right. And then followed an elaborate display of generalship in placing the men so that the bear must surrender, or die if he attempted to escape! When at this juncture the whole affair assumed a new complexion, by some reckless creature going to the trap, who made the important discovery that the bear had gone, after eating up the sugar. The kettle instead of falling over him had just rested on him while he took his fill of sugar, then backed out and evacuated the field, scraping off a handful of his hair upon the edge of the kettle, as proof of his having been there and gone.


WOLF STORY

      In the winter of 1829 and '30, a huge wolf came into Fletcher and began operations as inspector of muttons. And the people determined to hunt him down. They accordingly assembled at the house of James TINKER, where he had killed his last sheep, formed a line, and swept the mountain from west to east without success. Two men took his track and followed him for a week, when he killed another sheep -- I think for John STRAIT, and the people turned out again with dogs and guns, and after thoroughly scouring a large tract of territory, succeeded in capturing him upon the grounds now occupied by D. B. ROOD. Hiram CHURCH brought him down with a rifle ball at short range, and had the skin. The State bounty ($20.00) was divided among the captors. The wolf was minus one foot, but made good use of the three hie had left, judging by the business he accomplished and the manner in which he had eluded the vigilance of his pursuers.


SWINE STORY

      The following remarkable swine story will undoubtedly tax the credulity of those who may be ignorant of the fact that the hog and bear closely resemble each other in their ability to exist without food. The writer is urgently requested to give it, by several persons who can testify to its truthfulness:

      In January, 1838, a hog belonging to D. B. ROOD, of Fletcher, suddenly disappeared, Search was made and no trace being found, it was given up for lost property. But one morning, the next March, a very slim, sleek and smooth-looking hog was observed in the yard with the swine of Thomas TABOR, of Fairfax. The lost hog had been taken to Mr. TABOR's, the day previous to its having been missed.

      On looking about, it was discovered that the animal had been imprisoned in the hatch-way, which was off at an unfrequented part of the house. It was then remembered that the plank had been removed from the hatch-way the morning before, and replaced on the hatchway the evening after the hog was missed. The family had heard strange noises in the cellar during the winter, which were now easily explained.

      The straw, with which the hatchway had been packed weeks previous to the last plank being put on, was completely munched, being all the food the hog had tasted for forty-nine days. A long time to exist with neither food, drink nor light. It appeared well, but took very little food for a long time -- from 10 to 15 kernels of corn being all it would eat at first! It was driven to its owner's house the same day found, and raised 5 pigs the following summer, and dressed 250 lbs. the next fall


LONGEVITY

      Mrs. Sarah WOODWORTH, who has been mentioned as being the first resident in town, died in the spring of 1848, aged 95 years, Elizabeth FLEMING was born in Blanford, Mass., 1757; moved to Fletcher 1828, and died Sept. 14,1852, aged 95 years. Richard THOMAS died April 30, 1858, aged 94 years. Sukey, his wife, died April 8, 1858, aged 92 years. Samuel KINSLEY died in June, 1854, aged 85 years. His widow, Belinda, still lives at the age of 91 years, and is as smart in body and mind as many people at 70. Lucy KINSLEY died Feb. 11, 1850, aged 85 years, less one day. ____ GREGORY died in 1865, aged 88 years. Daniel READ died January, 1863, aged 87 years, Jonathan BAILEY died June 4, 1864, aged 87 years. Thomas MUNSELL commenced the first clearing on the farm now owned and occupied by Amasa WALKER, and also on the farm adjoining WALKER's now owned by Dudley B. ROOD. He was a Revolutionary pensioner, and died in October, 1855, supposed to be over 100 years. Abner BATES, a colored man, and Mr. Samuel PEIRRE (French), were citizens of Fletcher, and supposed to be over 100 years old. The former died October, 1864, the latter a few years previous to that. Briggs ROOD was born in Lebanon, Ct.; moved to Shoreham, Vt., in 1797, and to Fletcher in 1806; was a Revolutionary soldier, and died Dec. 30, 1849, aged 87 years, 2 months, 8 days. Cena CASWELL died Sept, 22, 1856, aged 85 years. Lota, widow of John STRAIT, died Dec. 20, 1863, aged 87 years. Sally CHASE died July 5, 1857, aged 82 years. Philura WOODWORTH died April; 1867, aged 80 years. Asenath, born in Thetford, Vt., widow of Ira SCOTT, lives in Fletcher, aged 86 years. George KING, still living, is aged 81 years. John RISDON died in 1862, aged 82 years. Sarah HUNKINS died May 29, 1866, aged 80 years Polly PARSONS died Oct. 31, 1866, aged 87 years. Joseph SMEDLEY died Jane 24, 1866, aged 87 years. Elias BINGHAM was born in Windham Ct., July 23, 1780; moved into Fletcher in 1809 and settled on the farm now owned and occupied by his son Benjamin F., where be resided until his death, June 28, 1860, aged 80 years. Dexter WOOD, died April, 1853, aged 82 years; Cyntha, his widow, died May 28, 1867, aged 83 years. Phebe Sibley, born in Sutton, Mass.; came to Fletcher in 1812; died October, 1845, aged 93 years. Daniel BAILEY, died Sept. 6, 1832, aged 84 years. Thadeus ELLIOT died June 22, 1844, aged 81 years, 4 months. Nancy WOODWORTH, now living, is aged 80 years. Sarah FLANDERS, now living, is supposed to be 87 years. Elias BLAIR died October 15, 1861, aged 85 years. Samuel Church, died June, 1831, aged 83 y ears.


ECCLESTASTIOAL

      The Ecclesiastical chapter in the history of this town is a sad one, indeed, to contemplate, and I enter upon it with feelings of sorrow. There was probably no particular demonstration of a religious character until the winter of 1817, when there was considerable interest manifested; and in the spring a man named Joseph WILCOX, living in the S. E. part of Fairfax, established religious meetings, and preached in the school-house at the Center once in 2 weeks for a year. July 5, 1817.


BAPTIST CHURCH

      A Baptist church was formed, 1817, by advice of council, comprising the following persons: Joseph WILCOX, James ROBINSON, Tisdale SPAFFORD, John HALL, Lemuel SCOTT, jr., Sarah ARMSTRONG, Lucy CHURCH, Polly HALL and Betsey BLAISDELL. Aug. 6, 1817, brethren from Fairfax, Georgia and Cambridge, met with them and gave the hand of fellowship as a sister church, wishing them Godspeed, -- and Lucy BRUSH, Dolly REMINGTON and Apha THOMAS were admitted, by baptism, into the little church thus duly organized. It was first represented in the Baptist Association, Sept. 1817. Mr. WILCOX was succeeded by Eld. David BOYNTON, from Johnson, who was with the church, alternate Sabbaths, for 2 years. And here I will state that the fact of its pecuniary inability to support more, and of its occupying a Union house, combined, has prevented the church from ever sustaining Baptist preaching more than half the time.

      In 1822, Eld. Ephraim BUTLER, of Fairfax, began laboring here, and united with the church by letter Sept. 17, 1825; was dismissed Dec. 10, 1842.

      A temperance society was organized in 1830: and while some members of the Baptist church espoused the cause heartily; others, with the minister at their head, opposed the movement with acrimony. Bitter feelings produced bitter words, and bitter words alienation of affection and Christian love; the adversary was not slow to take advantage of this state of affairs to sow discord; and it soon became apparent that the church was held together more by paper covenant, than love for each other.

      Aug. 21, 1841, Eld. Chester INGRAHAM, of Essex, united with the church as its pastor. In the winter of 1845, Rev. C. W. BABCOCK, then residing in Westford, came, and finding the difficulties existing in the church could not be amicably settled, it was thought advisable to disband, which was done April 12, 1845. The number when organized was 9. From the time of the church organization in 1817, to its disorganization in 1845, the whole number included in its membership was 98. James ROBINSON served the church both as deacon and clerk, during its whole existence, and June 26, 1846,

      A New Baptist Church was organized, consisting of 9 of the original members of the old church. Rev. Alvah SABIN, of Georgia, moderator, and Rev. C. W. BABCOCK, scribe; and subsequently, at different periods, 9 others of the original members united with the new organization. Alvah CHASE was chosen church clerk, which office he held until his death in 1851. In 1852, Willis D. LEACH was chosen church clerk, and in 1858, was appointed to fill the office of deacon.

      In the year 1847, Rev. J. C. BRYANT, then settled with the Baptist church at Cambridge Center (now Judge BRYANT of Enosburgh), began laboring here, also, and remained until the spring of 1851, when Rev. P. C. RIMES, from Wells, Me., came and settled at East Swanton, ministering to the Baptist church there and in this place, alternate Sabbaths. From Sept. 1852, until the spring of 1856, the Baptist pulpit was supplied by various theological students, together with Dr. SMITH from New Hampton Institution, Fairfax. Then Rev. George W. BIXBY was with the church a year. From that time until 1866* the church was again dependent upon students, with the exception of a few months, when Prof. Charles AYER, of New Hampton Institution was here. He gave much satisfaction, and would doubtless have accomplished great good, could he have remained. The last member admitted, was by baptism, May 14, 1865. From the time of its organization in 1846, the whole number included in its membership is 55. The members have always been scattered and unable to support a settled minister. Removals and deaths have reduced the church to a very limited number, and having no suitable house for public worship, there has been no Baptist preaching in the place since the summer of 1867, when Rev. J. C. SMALL, teacher at N. H. Institution, Fairfax (now Professor of the same), closed a year's labor with this people.


* A mistake. Prof. Comings, of N. H. Institution, Fairfax, was also connected with the church as its pastor, I think in 1858 or '59.
      Sept. 25, 1852, the church granted J. W. Buzzell license to preach. He studied theology at New Hampton Institution, Fairfax, and was ordained minister of the Baptist church at East Sheldon in the year 1856.

     July 7, 1855, Corwin BLAISDELL received: license from the church to preach. He studied theology and graduated at N. H. Institution, Fairfax, and was ordained minister of the Baptist church at Colton, N. Y., in 1862.

      The church has not been represented in the Baptist Association for 2 years, and is therefore no longer recognized by that body as a church -- but as extinct.


UNION CHURCH, OR TRUAIRISM

      In the year 1833, a Mr. TRUAIR, formerly Congregational minister of Cambridge, came among us promulgating a new doctrine; viz that all covenants and creeds were an abomination in the sight of God, and should at once be discarded, and all church organizations be blown away, and all Christians "see eye to eye," belong to one church, and that must be called the Union Church. Well, the thing was new and attractive, and many wondered they had never seen it before; and nothing was easier than to organize a new church which should be free for all, and what was better it would be free from sectarianism! So said, so done; the Union Church of Fletcher was organized, and went into operation; but, was as short lived as Jonah's gourd.


FREEWILL BAPTISTS

      There are some persons of this order living in town, and in the summer of 1851, a small church was organized in the school-house at Binghamville. Eld. FAY, of Jericho, and other ministers, whose names are unknown to this writer, were present. John SMITH of Fletcher, was appointed deacon, and Robert DARLING, of Georgia, ordained a Freewill Baptist minister, at the same time and place. The members were very few and scattered, and its existence brief.


METHODISTS

      Methodism 'has never been very popular in Fletcher, though it dates back to its first settlement. Dea. Peter THURSTON, one of the fast settlers, was a Methodist, and others came in later; but they were so few in number, so remote from each other, and the state of the roads was so bad, that no class was organized until the year 1850.

      In the winter and spring of that year there was quite a revival and several conversions. A Methodist minister, named FORD, laboring here at the time, formed a small class, which was increased, in 1858, to quite a respectable size, so far as numbers were concerned; but for some reasons of which the principal, and perhaps the only one, was want of love for God and each other, -- a predominating love for self and a strong sectarian spirit, -- the class in one, or less than 2 years, got into an inexplicable tangle, which seems likely never to be unraveled. It is now almost extinct, a faithful few being a time numbering 36.

      The names of those who have labored here in the ministry, as far as can be recollected, are in order as follows: Revs. Ford, Loveland, Mott, Gregg, Osborne, Puffer, Truax, HYDE, LYON, LAMPHEAR, FISHER, BROWN, BRAGG and SCRIBNER, The last named, living at Waterville, preaches here also, once in 4 weeks. "Hoping against hope."


THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

      The Congregational Church was organized in Fletcher, Jan. 8, 1826, by Rev. James Johnson, but of what place is not known to me. The original members were Rufus and Joseph MONTAGUE, Daniel FARRAR, Daniel KINSLEY, Chapin TAFT, Albert KINSLEY, Lucy, Sarah, Elmyra, Betsey and Nancy KINSLEY, Harriet TAFT, Nancy NICHOLS and Jannette BOYNTON, all from Cambridge; Hiram and Hannah HITCHCOCK and Polly LAMB from Fairfax; Lois BOYNTON from West Boylston; also Patty and Emily W. READ from Townsend; Cynthia WETHERBEE from Templeton, and Sally FLEMING from Brookline, all from the Congregational church in their respective towns.

      Some few additions were made subsequently, and the church enjoyed the labors of Rev. Mr. REYNOLDS of Fairfax, one-fourth of the time for a season. Also, Rev. Chauncey TAYLOR and Rev. Septemeus ROBINSON (since settled in Stowe, and more recently a missionary from Massachusetts), has labored here. Several of the members were aged persons when the church was organized, and were soon called to their rest. Some of them moved away, by which the number of the members was diminished still more, until at this present writing, Nov. 10, 1868, there is but one member living within the limits of the town.


MEETING-HOUSE

      In 1829, there being two organized churches and a number of professors of the Methodist persuasion and no church-edifice, it was deemed advisable to unite in building a meeting-house. Accordingly, the Baptist, Congregational and Methodist people united and formed a constitution, providing that the "house shall be the property of the Baptist, Congregational and Methodist Societies of Fletcher, to be owned and occupied by said denominations, in proportion to what each hall own in it." There was also provision made in the constitution for any one who desired to own property in it, subject, however, to the control and occupancy of said denominations, except on funeral occasions, when it should be open and free for all.

      On this constitution a commodious house was erected the following year, and dedicated July 7, 1831.

      There was a good degree of liberality manifested in building the house, and the proprietors enjoyed it much, for perhaps 3 years, when there began to be a declension in the churches, and some of those who had property in the house, not belonging to either of the above named denominations, at once declared themselves Universalists, and demanded the occupancy of the house by ministers of their own order, and finally succeeded in making their way into the house, and keeping possession of it until this day; but for that, or some other reason the house was struck by lightning and considerably shattered. It was repaired at the time, but the foundation has entirely failed, and the body of the building being of brick, it has cracked and the walls have bent and crumbled until it has become so dilapidated as to be now condemned as unsafe and unfit for use.

      And, what makes the matter still worse, the proprietors and people have become so divided and so irreligious, that it is very questionable if there will ever be anything done with the old house, or a new one built; at least by the present generation.

      Daniel KINSLEY and his wife Lucy moved from Cambridge, Vt., to Fletcher, in 1816. Their children were Clarissa, Hannah, Lucretia, Ben, Alvah, Elvira, Guy, Earl, Nancy, Samuel, Chellis and Calista.

      Said Daniel died in 1828; his widow, Lucy, survived him until Feb. 11, 1850, being 85 years of age, less one day.


BEN ALVAH KINSLEY*

     Ben Alvah KINSLEY was born in Cambridge, Jan. 11, 1796; in 1813, he served 6 months in the N. Y. State militia; and April 27, 1813, enlisted in the 2nd Co. 30th Vt. Vols., and served one year in the army commanded by Wade HAMPTON, Sen. Here, in common with other soldiers of that time, he endured such terrible privations and hardships, as would have appalled the soldiers of our late war, brave men though they were. In the battle at Lacole Mill, Odelltown, Ca., his hat band was cut off and a hole made in his hat (which was thick felt) 3 inches long, by a bullet which left its track of fiery red upon his head for the same length, without breaking the skin.

      In private life, also, he has had many hair-breadth escapes from instant death. Some thrilling incidents we briefly-record.

      In the early part of December 1823, Mr. KINSLEY was at North Hero, where his brother Guy was dangerously ill at their brother-in-law's [Dr. BUCK’S]; from whence he came to Fletcher to get Samuel MONTAGUE to go and take care of him.

      On his way back, arriving in the evening at St. Albans' Point, and failing to obtain a boat, Mr. KINSLEY undertook the hazardous task of wading over to Johnson's Island -- a distance of 60 rods -- on a ridge of gravel formed by the motion of the waves.

      His companion, having just recovered from small pox, not deeming it prudent to wet his feet got upon Mr. KINSLEY's back, until the water became so deep, that he was obliged to climb upon his shoulders to keep his feet dry, and with this heavy burden, Mr. K. succeeded in reaching the shore, following the ridge by the white caps or breakers, when he fell prostrate to the earth, his lower limbs perfectly paralyzed with cold and fatigue.

      Mr. MONTAGUE set himself to the work of vigorously rubbing his legs, until action was restored. For a time he was in an agony of pain, but finally was able to get upon his feet, and by leaning on his companion succeeded in getting through the woods to a house some 80 rods distant, and the next day they crossed over to North Hero in a boat.

      A few days later, he was called to St. Albans on business, which being done, he returned as far as Butler's Island, where, being headed by the wind, his boat was detained.

      During the night the wind ceased and the Lake froze over. The urgency of his business was such that he deemed it expedient the next evening to attempt crossing on foot; taking a stake in hand, to try the ice, which bent beneath his weight at every step.

     Being dark, he could not determine how far be had proceeded, but judged himself to be nearly half way across, when he found it was impossible to go further, and turned back; keeping at a little distance from the weakened track he had just passed over.

     Getting perhaps half way back to Butler's Island, he instantly dropped through and went down, but fortunately in coming up, his head and shoulders popped through the cavity just made in the ice, and throwing out his arms he drew himself from his unwelcome bath. In attempting to get upon his feet, the ice gave way again, and he went down a second time, and this was repeated thrice, but profiting by his experience, on coming up the fourth time, be spread himself out, and crawled off several feet from the spot, when he succeeded in getting on his feet and safe back to the Island.

      Here he waited a day, for the ice to strengthen, and the following morning started again on foot, accompanied by Lovina KNOWLTON, a young lady of 18, and a boy of 14 years, who were also icebound and as anxious as himself to go to North Hero. The ice was still very thin, but as far as they could see, there was a zigzag crack, extending into the lake through which the water bad oozed and mingled with a light snow which had fallen the night previous, thereby strengthening the ice for afoot and a half on either side of the crack.

      They left the house and going down the lake shore, perhaps the distance of half a mile, ventured upon this narrow bridge: Mr. Kinsley going in advance with a stake to try the ice, Lovina, following at a distance of 10 feet, and the boy bringing up the rear at an equal distance from her. Thus they started on their perilous journey and proceeded about a mile when they came to the end of the bridge.

      Here they counseled together as to what should be done. It seemed impossible to proceed as the ice could easily be broken by a blow with the stake, and equally impossible to go back, as their weight in coming had greatly weakened the bridge in many places. But the fearful peril to which they were exposed was made more imminent by an approaching storm of wind and snow, and something must be done at once. The danger of returning seeming greater of the two, Mr. KINSLEY started forward; but on taking the first step dropped through and out of sight, but rose immediately, where he went down, and the first thing he saw was Lovina coming to his rescue. With great vehemence he warned her back, as any attempt of that kind, would, as he imagined, bring greater peril to both. But doubtless forgetful of her own danger, having naught before her vision but his struggling form, she heeded not a word he said, but stepped forward and plunging her hand in his hair, and clutching it in her fingers, she drew him out upon the end of the ice-bridge, which sank so far beneath their weight, that the water came over the to of her bootees.

      Without a word being spoken by either of the party, they returned as they came, and when once more they set their feet on terra firms, but not until then, the brave girl was completely overcome, and yielded to a paroxysm of tears.

      While out upon the lake they discovered an open glade at the north of the Island, extending apparently to Long Point, North Hero. In the evening, Mr. KINSLEY and Miss KNOWLTON (the boy, unwilling to risk his life again, remaining behind), attempted to gain the other shore by passing through this glade in a boat. Breaking away the thin ice at the shore, he got his boat in open water and started, although surrounded by continual danger from floating ice which was driven about by a strong wind. Getting within perhaps 100 rods of Long Point, they found the glade extended no farther, and an attempt was then made to draw the boat upon the ice, as they could not leave it in the water, lest it should be drifted away, and they be left to find another opening, where they should need it.

      After long and tedious efforts, in which they exerted all their strength without success, they hallooed loudly for help, but failing to raise it, again seated themselves in the boat, and rowed back to the Island. This was Friday night, and on Sunday morning the ice had become so firm that the whole party ventured to start again on foot, and this time succeeded in reaching their destination in safety.

      Mr. Kinsley was married to Miss Catherine MONTAGUE of Fletcher, Feb. 24, 1824. Their children were Guy, Lucretia, Daniel, Rufus, Jason, Alonzo, Edgar and William L.


* Some remarkable incidents and circumstances connected with their eldest son and his family seem to call for record in the historic papers of this town, which he is writing for the State Gazetteer. If the like could have been written of any other family, he would certainly have recorded it; but is now reluctant that it should appear among them, lest it should be credited to himself. And we, therefore, state that this, and the paper concerning his sister Elvira, were furnished by an acquaintance and friend of both. Ben is not an abreviation of Benjamin, as some may suppose; but the name is Ben, and the surname is spelled without a g, as will be seen, wherever it is mentioned in these papers-
     For the last 14 years of her life, Mrs. KINSLEY was a great sufferer, being perfectly crippled in her lower limbs and obliged to use a wheel-chair. She endured this trying dispensation with much patience and fortitude. For many years the only daughter and sister took (in a great measure) her mother's place in the family. Mrs. KINSLEY's sufferings terminated Feb. 15, 1849, when her Heavenly Father said, "it is enough, come up higher."

      Sept. 1854, Mr. KINSLEY married Lucy, widow of M. P. BLAIR of Fletcher. The first year of the rebellion, four of his sons, viz. Alonzo, Jason, Rufus and William L. went forth to defend the Flag, and, the third year, a fifth, Edgar, enlisted under the same glorious banner. During the war it was suggested by one of the soldier-brothers that if they all lived to see its close they should have a family-gathering at the house of their father.

      This proposition was heartily acceded to by the other members of the family. At the time it was made Guy and Lucretia were in Iowa, Daniel in Worcester, Mass., Rufus in New Orleans, La., Jason in Texas, Alonzo in Annapolis, Md., Edgar and William L. in Virginia. This meeting took place, a brief account of which, published at the time, we here copy verbatim.

Fletcher, Vt., April 4, 1866.

To the Worcester Palladium: -- 

      Perhaps a more remarkable family gathering never occurred than one assembled in this town today. Remarkable, not on account of numbers, but because there were present five soldiers, all brothers who enlisted early in the war, from different parts of the country, and have served, in the aggregate, 17 years, All returned, one after another, war-worn, weary and wounded; but every one with body unmaimed and constitution unbroken. And here we have this day assembled around the fireside of our aged father (himself an old soldier), an unbroken family of seven sons and one daughter, with a large nuber of relatives, to make glad our hearts and to praise God for his preserving care over us.

      After Spending a good portion of the day in social conversation, war-stories, addressee from Rev. Edwin WHEELOCK, our father, and several of the soldier-boys, and doing justice to the bountiful collation prepared for us, we were invited to meet the people of this our native town, in the sugar-woods near by, where we feasted ourselves around a sugar-pan of hot sugar prepared for the occasion. After which we returned, and were treated to a few patriotic songs in the evening by a company of five sisters [daughters of Challis], and the following poem by one of the soldier-boys [Jason]: 


HOME FROM THE WAR

The cruel, bloody war at last, thank God is done; 
Slavery is vanquished now; Justice and Right have won. 
Father 'round thee to-night behold each wandering son
To-night we're gathered here, a happy, joyous band, -- 
A band of brothers dear, war-worn, and scarred, and tanned.

Yet each still bears aloft a strong and true right hand,
Ready to fight
for Truth and Right,
Justice and Liberty, God, and "Our Native Land."

We stood forth for the Right in danger's early hour, 
When first the clouds and storms round us began to lower,
When men, controlled alone by selfish pride of power, 
Would have Slavery's dark stain o'er all our land entailed;
And when the traitor-horde the dear Old Flag assailed; 
And men with craven souls grew sick at heart and quailed;
We sought the field of strife, in truth and justice mailed,
Each sworn to fight
For Truth and Right,
'Till Wrong was crushed to earth, and Truth and Right prevailed.

We can thank God tonight it hath not been in vain, 
These years of bloody strife, of weary toll and pain; 
The war, so fiercely waged, bath rent the Bondman's chain,
And Freedom site enthroned upon our victory;
From Slavery's blighting curse our land at fast is free; 
And as it is to-night, so shall it always be, 
The land of "Equal Rights" the Home of Liberty!
Here, God, to The.
We bow the knee
And swear we will maintain our law! forever free!

Then let us all rejoice, as we are gathered here,
Amid the scenes of youth to every heart so dear, 
Surrounded by old friends, so faithful and sincere, 
While every heart Is warmed with friendship and with love; 
Let no sad thought, to-night, of one, whose smiles we miss,
Coat one dark shade of gloom o'er this bright hour of bliss,
A Mother's fond caress, a Mother's loving kiss
Awaits each one,
When we have done
With this dark, weary world, and soar to worlds above.

Oh! how each heart doth thrill and start,
As so fondly we gaze round this circle so bright,
And return the glad welcomes that greet us tonight 
We're Home to-night!
All Home again, 
Safe from the fight;
And free from stain;
No tongue can tell, 
Nor voice reveal 
The heart's deep swell, -- 
What joy we feel.

All Home at last, 
Safe Home once more; 
Our dangers past, 
Our trials o'er;
Each heart to-night with joyful music rings,
A glad thanksgiving hymn to God the King of kings!

      Mr. KINSLEY is a man of good judgment, deep feeling and religious principle. Is noted for his eccentricities, originality and stern independence of thought and action, and has a vein of good humor underlying his whole character, which shows itself in everything he says and does. He still has a young heart, and has ever taken an active interest in all religious meetings, in common, select and singing schools, and in whatever pertains to the improvement and advancement of society in general. His house has always been open and free to entertain ministers of all religious denominations; and for many years he was superintendent of the sabbath-school.

      To say that he had no enemies would be to make him more than a god, or less than a man. Such a character as his always gains warm friends and bitter enemies; but the friends usually come from the more intelligent, and the enemies from the more ignorant portion of the community.

      It seems that the heart must greatly desire to pass the declining days of life amid the associations and friends of former years, and that after "life's fitful dream" is over, the form should be laid to rest among its kindred dust, but Mr. KINSLEY and his excellent wife are about to leave the town where they have spent the greater portion of their lives, and form new associations among strangers. They go amid the good wishes, but deep regrets, of those who knew them best.


MISS ELVIRA KINSLEY

      Miss Elvira KINSLEY was born in Cambridge, Vt., Jan. 6, 1798, and died in Fletcher July 3, 1859, at the residence of her brother, Guy KINSLEY. Her education at home was strict and reverent, at school, firm and obedient; and so diligently did she improve her opportunities, that she became a teacher at the early age of 16; pursuing this work with Christian devotion, for 35 years; keeping pace with the advancing knowledge of the times, by studying later books during vacations between the terms of school; not at academies or institutions of learning, as commonly practiced in these days, but by taking private lessons, being her own expounder and instructor.

      She taught her first school in a barn in Fletcher, and her parents moving here 2 years later; her home was here ever after, though she spent some time with her invalid sister, at North Hero, and with relatives in North Brookfield, Mass. The following extracts are taken (with his permission) from a eulogy delivered by Rev. Edwin WHEELOCK, of Cambridge, on the day of her funeral: Referring to her life-work as teacher, he says:


"Her religion enabled her to bring to this most useful and honorable work a rare combination of intellect and of heart, and to leave behind her a noble result, worth ten thousand worlds.” . . . . “But what I desire to note in her is what I would have as an example to all women. She had a love so great for her peculiar work, that her heart and mind were entirely absorbed into it. To instruct children was no mercenary employment with her. She thought the same thoughts, and loved the same likes with them. She breathed in their souls, and lived in their presence as one who had an interest in them, and all she was or did, was for their good." . . . "They found her prudent and fit to govern, because she governed herself; and yet open-handed and apt to reward -- a just exacter of their duty and a great rewarder of their diligence."
      Referring to her whole life and character, he says: "She was a most charitable soul, extremely fond of obliging others -- so free in all acts of favor, that she would not stay to hear herself thanked." . . . She was an excellent friend and sister." . . . “In her brothers house a pattern to the household." "She always lived a life of much bodily suffering, and of great inconvenience, but endeavored by patience 'in suffering, to have her life convey nothing but health, and a good example, and a blessing." . . . "She had not very much of the forms and outsides of godliness, but was extremely careful for the purity of it." . . . "She was tender of reputation. Of the pleasures of this world, she took small share -- as not loving to take her portion of good things here below." . . . "In prayers, she was fervent and constant. They were not improvised for a Sunday, but the sweet, every-day atmosphere of all the week." "She loved the Bible; she was a great reader of it" . . . " not for the purpose of vanity and impertinent curiosity, not to seem knowing and become talking, not to expound and rule ; but to teach her all her duty." “The glory of her religion was a rare modesty and humility of spirit -- and uadervaluing of herself. For though she had the greatest experience of things and persons, for one of her sex and circumstances; yet as if she knew nothing of it, she had the humblest opinion of herself; and, like a fair altar-lamp, when she shined to all in the room, yet round about her own station she had cast a shadow, and she shined to everybody but herself: But the perfectness of her prudence and excellency could not be hid; and all her humility and arts of Concealment made her virtues more amiable and illustrious. When death drew near, she was ready to die as if she were glad of the opportunity. . . . Amid the sufferings and solemnities of her late sickness, she was as calm as though angels conversed with her, and her Saviour was guiding her by his friendly hand; her head leaned upon His breast, and these things were not illusions with her," . .  "She lived as we all should live, and she died as I fain would die."  "Such was her death that she did not die too soon; and her life was so useful, that she could not have lived too long." . . . . “Death consecrates that person, whose excellency was such that though we mourn their loss sadly, yet think we can never commend them sufficiently."

MERCANTILE

      Nothing was attempted in the mercantile line until the year 1820; when Hon. Zerah WILLOUGHBY opened a store in his dwelling-house, on the farm now owned by Sumner CARPENTER, where he sold nuts, tea and tobacco to some -- tobacco, tea and gin to others -- for about 3 years; but was not dependent on the profits of his store for a living, as he owned and cultivated a good farm. In 1825 Lucus LATHROP & Levi CARLTON opened a small store at the Centre, and sold goods for a brief period, and were succeeded by Hiram HOPKINS, who was followed by HORTON & ARMINGTON; and they were succeeded by Martin ARMSTRONG. In 1837, M. P. BLAIR built the store now owned and occupied by E. O. SAFFORD and H. P. SEEGAR, filled it with goods, and looked for customers. Ira S. SCOTT & D. BAILEY kept a slobber-shop in the store opposite. H. M VILAS succeeded SEEGAR; but no man could be found to succeed SCOTT & BAILEY; so that institution failed. In 1848 Oel, and his son E. O. SAFFORD, began trade here, and did a lucrative business, until 1861, when Oel died, and E. O. has since conducted the store alone; and by energy, industry and economy has accumulated a good property, and is an honored citizen. In 1852 Elias BLAIR, jr., built a store on the corner at Binghamville; and it was occupied by different ones until 1861, when it was converted into a dwelling-house; since which time SAFFORD has had no competition in trade.


MILLS

      The first saw-mill was built by Elisha WOODWORTH -- but in what year, is not known to the present generation; but it is known to be of ancient origin, and occupied the same ground as that now owned by Hon. R. T. BINGHAM, of Binghamville. An accident, or incident, connected with this mill, while in its youthful days, may be worth recording: A Mr. FULLINGTON, who run the mill, left his home, where L. C. LEE now resides, in the morning, and came through the woods to the mill; and while engaged in cutting the ice from the wheel, so that he might start the saw, the wheel started unexpectedly and drew him under and held him there, while the water poured upon him its pitiless flood of cold, for several hours, when he was providentially found and rescued alive, and lived many years to tell the story of the saw-mill.

      No attempt was made to start a grist-mill until 1831, when John and Jesse CARPENTER erected one on Stone's Brook, on the farm now owned by J. B. LEACH: but the stream was quite too small at that point to run a grist-mill, and the enterprise was abandoned as unprofitable.


NATURAL CURIOSITY

      A little north of Metcalf's pond is a cave, which would be a great thing in some towns; but in Fletcher is scarcely known. It is situated in the side of a hill, a little west of the road leading from Fletcher to East Fairfield. -- The entrance is upon the south side of the hill, and near the base. The passage is narrow, but high, and is quite smooth and level for 75 or a 100 feet, when an opening at the right leads you down about 12 feet into an apartment of perhaps 12 or 15 feet square, with level bottom.

      From this apartment there are openings into other apartments on a level with this, and others still lower down --  some larger and some smaller. And though parties from Montreal, Boston, Troy, New York and other places, have visited this cave, it has never been any thing like thoroughly explored -- a sufficient reason why no perfect history can be given of it

      Report has it that FULTON, whose bloody deeds are recorded elsewhere, once kept a man who was a fugitive from justice concealed in this cave 3 weeks, furnishing him with food daily; and this circumstance has led many to believe, that he went directly there from the bloody field, and that he remained there through all the search, until just before he was found, and that he had then started for Canada -- though others think differently.

      The store built by Elias BLAIR, jr., was occupied successively by Dorman SMITH, Dr. JOHNSON, formerly practicing physician in town, Elias BLAIR, Jr. and Charles R. BLAIR.


SOLDIER GUY
BY VERNON D. ROOD

The sun has sought his nightly rest, 
Behind the curtains of the West, 
The farmer has returned from toil, 
And softly murmurs the Lamoille. 
The woodland wears a deeper shade, 
The tinted clouds begin to fade,
The wild birds rest among the trees, 
Rocked by the gentle evening breeze.

Within a farm-hones low and red,
The evening meal is deftly spread; 
The linen plain, but snowy white, 
The glass and silver sparkling bright; 
Two little girls are turning o'er 
A picture book upon the floor; 
Just at their feet in playful glee, 
Two pet Maltese roll joyously; 
Within his chair beside the hearth
The grandpa views his young pets' mirth; 
The house-dog stretched beside the door; 
The father looks the "daily" o er; 
The mother busied with her care, 
Can yet find time a smile to spare –
A "smile, that is not all a smile," 
But speaks a heart-ache all the while.

And now arranged around the board, 
To Heaven a fervent prayer is poured, 
As grandpa bows his hoary head 
To thank their God for daily bread. 
A name is blended with that prayer, 
The name of one who is not there.

Each bowed head still lower falls,
As on God's name he trembling calls.

Each bosom heaves, each eye grows dim 
Invoking God's good care of him,
Who tarries still they know not where; 
They offer up a hopeless prayer.

'God's ways are just, the mother said,
'But could I know that Guy had bread 
Like this to-night, or could I see 
Him smile, as oft he's smiled on me, 
Or could I know that he had rest
E'en though in death, 'twould ease my breast.
‘Wife,' said the husband, and his eye 
Grew dim as he made her reply, 
'A score of years have passed away, 
A score of years this very day, 
Since you with blush like maiden shy, 
Begged me to bless our baby Guy. 
Mother, be grew to man's estate 
With love for right, for wrong a hate. 
His intellect, his manly grace, 
The beauty of his form and face 
Were our just pride, but prouder far 
Were we when at the cry of war, 
He with a heart so [?] and true, 
Donned honer's garb -- the loyal blue! 
And whether he has gone to rest, 
Or whether still by foes oppressed, 
We'll not complain, submit we must; 
Our Country's saved, and God is just!

'For in the past, the grand sire said,
'Ere gray the locks upon my head,
When you were young as Effie here,
I left you and your mother dear,
And joined the others of our town 
To fight the hirelings of a crown;
On the west shore of Lake Champlain 
A battle put their pride to shame; 
The English crew were glad to flee 
And leave our Country proud and free. 
But now alas! -- he said no more 
For a faint knocking at the door
The sad words checked, the father rose 
And quickly did the door unclose,
And as the faint light glimmered through 
It brought a wasted form to view.

'Good evening friend,' the farmer said. 
The stranger raised his bowed head,
'Good evening sir; I'm on my way 
To yonder town, but now the day 
Has yielded to the shades of night, 
Weak with my walk, I saw your light 
And thought I'd call; mind will you prey 
Permit me for one night to stay!"'

'Come in, come in,' the farmer said, 
And through the door the stranger led. 
'I have a son, if not in Heaven, 
To whom a shelter one night given, 
Would make me grateful all my life, 
And more than grateful, my dear wife. 
He is our Country's, so are you; -- 
I see you wear the loyal blue.' '

Yes sir, three years 'tis now and more, 
Since last I crossed my father's door, 
Enlisted in our Country's cause, 
To save her flag, maintain her laws. 
One year with our brave men, I stood 
In open field, or in dense wood; 
But on a day, 'mid cannon's roar, 
They left me weltering in my gore. 
Since then, within a prison cell 
I've suffered what no tongue can tell 
Those Southern cells like vampires take 
Their victim's life, or sprits break.'

The soldier ceased, the farmer broke 
The silence, as he gently spoke, 
'But now at last the war is o,er, 
You will return to fight no more. 
I thank my God! that it is done, 
And victory at last is won, 
Be seated at our table here; 
Enjoy with us our evening cheer.'

The stranger came with feeble pace 
And out in Guy's accustomed place; 
His cheek so wan, his eye so wild, 
His mother had not known her child. 
He simply took whate'er they gave, 
Nor food, nor drink did seem to crave. 
The farmer, courteous and free, 
Still urged his hospitality. 
Kind sir, I pray, think me not rude 
That I decline this drink and food; 
They bring so plainly to my mind 
The quiet home I left behind 
When I want forth to meet my fate
In war, from this Green Mountain State,
Were hunger mine, I could not eat - -
As 'tis I'll no excuse repeat."

The eve wore on, the hour of rest
Had come, and still the stranger guest 
And farmer talked, with greatest zest. 
The wife, her evening labor done, 
sat dreaming of her absent son.
The little girls had hushed their mirth, 
And eat by grandpa near the hearth. 
And grandpa, with his kindling eye,
List'd to the talk nor made reply.
'It grieves me much,' the stranger said,
While on his breast he bowed his head,
To think perchance, I'll not be known 
By those most dear, when I get home.' 
The sorrowing mother made reply, 
Still thinking of her absent Guy, --
And soft she spoke, and sweet she smiled, --
'Your mother sure would know her child. 
A mother's heart can not forget; 
Nor time nor space has power yet,
From her fend bosom to erase
The magic of the form and face.
Eternity might pass, and I
Should ne'er forget my poor lost Guy.'
'No, not forget, but camp and field 
And prison cells make youth to yield
Its freshness up, and we grow old 
Ere our appointed time is told. 
Disease, despair, combined, will break 
The stoniest heart, -- hunger will make 
The cheek grow wan, and fade the eye; 
But if you still would know your Guy; -- 
He rose and went to her, ' bless me! 
For Guy is I, and I am he!"

~ Autumn of 1865 ~

JEFFERSON DAVIS
AN EXTRACT

Better have been some pebble small, 
Beneath Niag'ras mighty fall, --
Better have been some forest bird 
Whose lonely song men never heard. 
Better some flower man never knew 
Nor ever blest with rain or dew, --
Better have been the smallest drop, 
Within old Neptune's briny cup, --
Better have been some unearthed ore 
Or forest tree, where none explores, --
Than thus to thwart kind Heaven's plan 
And to the monster, change the man!

~ Vernon D. Rood ~

FOREVER WITH THE LORD
BY MISS MARTHA A. ROOD

Forever with the Lord!
So sang the poet olden,
And thus today, the choir above, 
Striking their harp-chords, golden.

Forever With the Lord!
So sings the ransomed sinner, 
Both in the life that is without, 
And in the spirit banner.

Forever with the Lord! 
When at His table meeting,
He at the solemn feast presides, 
And gives us gracious greeting.

Forever with the Lord! 
In all life's joys and trials,
In all the blessings which He gives, 
In all His firm denials.
 

Forever with the Lord! 
As ope' the gates of glory,
Through them shall come the glorious round 
Of that repeated story.

Forever with the Lord!
Join thou, my soul, the measure,
Forever with thy sovereign God; -- 
How great, how sweet the pleasure.
Forever with the Lord!
The soul's most ardent lover,
The sound rolls on, but still around
The echoed echoes hover!

Forever with the Lord!
Both here and o'er the river,
And while eternity shall last, 
Forever and forever!


 


"The Vermont Historical  Gazetteer: 
A Magazine Embracing A History of Each Town, 
Civil, Ecclesiastical, Biographical and Military."
Volume II, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille & Orange Counties.
Including Also The Natural History of Chittenden County.
Edited and Published by Miss Abby Maria Hemenway. 
Burlington, VT. 1871.
Page 200-217.

Transcribed by Karima Allison 2004.