River Rocher, or Rock River, rises in this township and falls into Missisco
Bay in Highgate. It is also watered by several small branches of
Missisco and Pike Rivers. A large pond lies near the centre.
This pond is three miles long and about one mile wide . . . The settlement
was commenced in 1789, by Samuel Hubbard, Samuel Peckham, David Sanders
and John Bridgman, mostly emigrants from Massachusetts."
of Vermont, Hayward, 1840.
OF THE TOWN OF
EDWIN RUTHVEN TOWLE
Franklin is situated in the northern part of Franklin Co., lat.
44° 58' and long. 4° 2'; bounded N. by St. Armand, C. E., E. by
Berkshire, S. by Sheldon, and W. by Highgate; contains 19,040 acres; in
form somewhat irregular, as the surrounding towns were surveyed first,
leaving this tract a little deficient in measure and outline.
The surface of the land is uneven, but not abrupt. There are only
two hills worthy of mention, Bridgeman Hill lying west of the Center village,
and Minister Hill about a mile north -- the former, according to Prof.
HITCHCOCK, being a peak or "uplift," of the Bed Sand-rock Mountains, a
distinct range, running through the N. W. part of the State.
The soil is mostly a gravelly loam, with an occasional mixture of
clay and sand, and is well adapted to all purposes of agriculture. The
timber consists of maple, beach, hemlock, pine, &c. There are several
swamps, abounding in cedar and ash, furnishing excellent fencing material.
There is also plenty of stone, but little of it is adapted to building
purposes. Slate and limestone are occasionally found. -- The only mineral
yet discovered is hematite, a species of iron ore. There are no streams
of importance, Rock River, a small stream that passes through the western
part of the town and several brooks, furnish the available waterpower,
which is, however, quite meager. -- There are at present in operation on
these streams, 1 grist-mill, 1 carriage-shop, 1 carding-mill and 6 or 8
saw-mills. A little east of the center of the town is Franklin Pond, a
pleasant body of water, pleasantly surrounded. about 2 1/2 miles long from
south to north, and 1 mile wide; connected with this by a brook, on the
east line of the town, is another body of water, known as the Little Pond,
surrounded on three sides by an extensive marsh, which is gradually extending
into the water -- the pond being only about one-half as large now, as at
the time of the settlement of the .town, In the north part of the town
is also an extensive marsh, containing 224 acres. There are no natural
curiosities worthy of mention.
This township was not inhabited by Indians, previous to its settlement
by white men; but the St. Francis, a Canada tribe, employed it as a summer
hunting ground, where, game being plenty, they procured their winter's
stock of provisions. They used to drive the moose and deer from the hills
adjoining the Little Pond, into the marshes, where they succeeded in killing
them, and then prepared their flesh, with that of other animals, for transportation,
by drying upon racks in the sun. There were plenty of deer, and even for
a time after the first settlement of the town, they were so tame as not
unfrequently to feed in the adjoining meadows. Bears and wolves also were
plenty, and committed their usual depredations upon the corn-field and
sheepfold, and afforded many occasions for the rally and the spirited hunt,
but these inhabitants of the forest have long since disappeared, and it
is rarely now one is heard of. Otter have been taken in this town, and
the remains of beaver-dams is conclusive evidence that that animal once
inhabited these regions. The mink, musk-rat, fox, and raccoon are still
occasionally found, but gradually disappearing, and perhaps, a generation
hence, will be curiosities, preserved only in the museum of the naturalist.
Franklin was granted Oct. 24, 1787, and chartered by Governor CHITTENDEN,
to Jonathan HUNT and his associates, March 19, 1789, by the name of Huntsburg.
The township was, according to charter, to be divided into 69 equal parts
and shared by the proprietors as follows -- with the reservations for public
purposes: Hon. Jonathan HUNT, 31 shares, Samuel HUBBARD, Esq., 18 shares,
Joseph FAY, Esq., 7 shares, John BRIDGEMAN, Jr., 4 shares, Hon. Ebenezer
WALDBRIDGE, 3 shares, Dr. Ebenezer MARVIN, 1 share. Three equal shares
were reserved for educational and two for religious purposes, making in
the whole, 69. At a meeting of the proprietors of the township of Huntsburg,
held at the dwelling-house of Joseph FAY, Esq., in Bennington, March 18,
1789, all being present, the following business was transacted, viz.:
The first and second division of lots among the proprietors, was
made at this time, according to charter. The first survey of the township,
I think, was made by a Mr. WALDBRIDGE, under the superintendence of Samuel
HUBBARD. Jonathan HUNT, of Vernon, Vt., the principal grantee, and from
whom the town derived its name, was never a resident, That he was a prominent
citizen of his native State may be readily inferred from the following
statistics, derived from Doming's Vermont Officers. He was lieut. governor
in 1791 and '95, councillor from 1786 to 1792, town representative in 1783
and '84, and member of the constitutional convention in 1791 and '93. Ebenezer
WALDBRIDGE and Joseph FAY, proprietors, were never residents of this town.
"1st, Made choice of Hon. Ebenezer WALDBRIDGE, Moderator.
2nd, Made choice of. Joseph FAY, Esq., Clerk.
3rd, Agreed to pitch the Public rights, or shares, according to charter.
4th, Agreed to allow Jonathan HUNT to pitch lot No. 2nd in the 8th range,
and No. 2nd in the 7th range; and John BRIDGEMAN, Jr., lots No. 2nd and
3rd, in the 6th range; to encourage them to make immediate settlement,
erect mills, &c.
5th, Proceeded to make a division of the township, as the law directs,
having sized the lots for the first division.
6th, Voted to adjourn without date.
EBENEZER WALDBRIDGE, Moderator.
JOSEPH FAY, Clerk."
The first settlement in town was made by Samuel HUBBARD, in 1789.
- He left Northfield, Mass., in March of that year, with 3 hired men, 1
yoke of oxen and 1 cow, and came by way of Skenesboro, down the lake to
Missisquoi Bay, C. E., where he found a few settlers, and 10 miles to the
eastward of here, in this town, selected the site now occupied by his son,
Hon. J. H. HUBBARD, where he commenced a clearing, sowed 10 acres to wheat,
and then returned to Northfield. The following spring he came again to
Missiquoi bay; this time accompanied by his wife (having been married in
the interim), and John WEBSTER and wife. Here the women remained until
suitable habitations could be constructed in the wilderness.
Mr. HUBBARD built the first log-house, frame-barn, grist and saw-mills,
took active part in all matters of private or public importance, and, being
a large landed proprietor, must have had business transactions with most
of the early settlers -- yet have never heard aught against his name.
John WEBSTER settled on lands at the center of the town, where his
descendants still reside. For facts relating to Mr. WEBSTER's life, see
Samuel PECKHAM settled a little to the west of Mr. HUBBARD, where
he built and kept the first public house. He remained here a few years,
and then with his son, Samuel PECKHAM, Jr., commenced a settlement at the
Center, where he resided until his death.
John BRIDGEMAN, Jr., proprietor, settled a little to the west of
the Center, near the hill that bears his name -- time unknown. Dr. Ebenezer
MARVIN, proprietor, was the first physician in town, and a very prominent
man. He built the first frame house, which is still standing -- a relict
of the past, about a mile north of Mr. HUBBARD's, near the Province Line,
now owned by Mr. Alvah RICHARD.
Uri HILL, of Tinmouth, and Stephen ROYCE, father of ex-governor
ROYCE, first came to town in the fall of 1789, and settled near the Province
Line, north of the center of the town. They did not remain here long, as
I find that Stephen ROYCE was the first representative of the town of Berkshire,
in 1796, and Uri HILL went either to Canada or Highgate.
They had quite an adventure upon first coming to town, in trying
to find their " pitch,' -- as related by Ebenezer HILL, Esq., of Highgate:
They came up on the north-west corner of the town, and proceeding a short
distance to the east, turned southward, passing through a low hemlock-timbered
region, thence over Bridgeman's hill, into the low lands now occupied by
the mill-ponds, in the vicinity of the Center village; taking a turn eastward,
they came to a "stand-point" in "Cranberry Marsh." Not liking the "lay
of the land," -- at least that portion through which they had passed, --
ROYCE ascended a tree for the purpose of making any discovery that might
lead them out of the seeming labyrinth of swamp and hill, in which they
had become involved. After surveying the surrounding prospect awhile, HILL
asked ROYCE "what he saw?" "I hardly know what I see," exclaimed ROYCE,
"but I know what I think: I wish the first man that ever visited Huntsburg
had had his tongue cut out before he had the opportunity of telling any
others what he saw, -- so vexed was he at the unfavorable country through
which they had passed, and perhaps, supposing the rest might be of the
same character. Taking a different course, they next passed over "Minister's
Hill," and finally emerged upon a hard-wood tract of land, the most beautiful
they ever saw, found their "pitch," and probably felt somewhat compensated,
in the great change of the landscape, for the fatiguing tramp they had
Paul GATES, a native of Worcester, Mass., came into town from Orwell,
this State, about the year 1790. He settled a mile south of the Center,
where his descendants now reside. -- He drove the first sleigh into town.
Samuel HITCHCOCK lived in town previous to June, 1792, as I find
the first proprietary meeting was called by him, as justice of the peace,
and runs as follows:
The Proprietors met according to adjournment, -- -but there is no
record of the proceedings of that meeting. As there is no record of any
further meeting of the proprietors, of interest, until 1807, I will now
proceed with, the early settlement of the town.
"Whereas, application has been made to me by more than one-sixteenth of
the Proprietors of Huntsburg, in the County of Chittenden, to warn a meeting
of said proprietors: This is therefore to warn them to meet in said Huntsburg,
at the house of Samuel HUBBARD, on the first Wednesday in October next,
at 1 o'clock, P. M., to act on the following articles, viz.:
1st. To choose a Moderator and Clerk.
2d. To see if they will establish the boundaries of the late survey and
draught of lots in said town.
3d. To see if then will vote an allowance to those proprietors, whose lots
have been drawn or laid, partially, in thee pond, or are otherwise deficient
4th. To see if they will provide ways and means to finish the survey, and
divide the commonage into severalty, and to do any other business proper
to be done when met.
Justice of the Peace.
12th of June, A. D., 1792.''
At said meeting as warned, -- Samuel PECKHAM, Moderator,
and Samuel HUBBARD, Clerk.
to establish the boundaries of lots agreeable to the late survey.
to establish the late draught of lots in said town.
an allowance to those persons who drew lots in the pond, by taking a like
quantity on the south and east sides of the Great Pond, so called, if there
is a sufficiency; if not, out of the other commonage on an average.
to complete the survey for the division of the commonage in said town.
to raise Six Pounds for the purpose of scaling the two ponds in said town.
to choose a committee of three, to procure a surveyor to scale the two
ponds and pay him.
to choose a Collector -- and made choice of Samuel PECKHAM.
to choose a Treasurer-and made choice of John BRIDGEMAN, Jr.
to adjourn this meeting to the last Wednesday in May next, to again meet
at this place.
The town was organized in 1793, Ebenezer SANDERSON, first town clerk,
and Paul GATES, first treasurer, Samuel PECKHAM first representative in
1794. There are no town records in existence previous to 1802, so that
possibly some matters of interest are thus rendered unavailable. Clark
ROGERS settled early at the Center, and built the first tavern-stand at
that place, near where the store of Alonzo GREEN now stands, where many
of the proprietary meetings were held.
DR. ENOCH POMERY, a native of Southampton, Mass., came to this town
in 1794, taught school and practiced medicine for a year or two. After
this he married Miss Mary TINNEY, of Bennington, and became a permanent
resident. He followed the occupation of a farmer, having made a "pitch"
where his son, Jesse POMERY now resides, and also practiced medicine, until
within 3 or 4 years of his death. In those days of "roads anywhere you
might happen to find them," the doctor used to visit his patients on horseback,
guided on his way by marked trees to the scattered settlements. -- He died
January, 1833, aged 62 years. His wife died August, 1863, aged 85 years.
HEZEKIAH WEED settled early in the south part of the town, about
where E. H. CLEAVELAND now lives. He was justice of the peace, and town
representative in 1811.
CAPT'. KENDALL. -- I find that Capt. William KENDALL settled on
what is since known as the John HAMMOND farm, in the S. E. part of the
town, as early as 1794, and that a man by the name of Robert YOUNG lived
on the same tract about that time. Capt. KENDALL was killed by the falling
of a building, used as an ashery, a little south of here in the edge of
Sheldon, in 1798.
WILLIAM FELTON, I should have mentioned previously, came into town
in 1806, and settled at the Center, where his son Alonzo FELTON now resides.
He was a prominent and respected citizen, and was seven times elected to
the state legislature, and twice to the constitutional convention.
The eastern part of the township was early settled by quite a number
of persons who only remained a few years and then removed to the West.
The time of settlement of each is not known, but probably extended from
1794, the year when Capt. KENDALL came into this part of the town, down
until 1800, or perhaps later. The most prominent of these early settlers
DANIEL DEAN, or, as be was more familiarly known, "Elder Dean,"
for the reason that he sometimes officiated on funeral occasions in the
absence of a regular clergyman. He lived on the place now occupied by William
SALMON WARNER, or Squire Warner, as be was called, lived on the
place now owned by Ai PEARSON. I think he was the first school-district-clerk
in this part of the town, and was representative to the legislature in
CAPT. LEMUEL ROBERTS lived on the place now owned by Dolphus DEWING.
He was in the Revolutionary war, and while a resident of this town published
an account of his life and adventures, It is to be regretted that a copy
of this work has not been preserved, as doubtless some matters of interest
would have been found therein.
The first permanent residents of this part of the town were Trustum
C. COLCORD, John HAMMOND, Reuben CURRIER, James STEVENSON, William SISCO,
Asa FAY, Eleazer OLMSTEAD, &c,
T. C. COLCORD died in 1800, and at so late a date no clergyman could
be obtained to attend the funeral services, and Elder Dean, previously
mentioned, made a prayer on the occasion.
The soil in some sections of the eastern part of the town, seems
to have undergone a considerable change for the better since its first
settlement; for, where quite a number of individuals became discouraged
at the uncertain prospect before them and disposed of their farms or clearings
for a small sum and emigrated -- some with ox-teams -- to the West, are
now our most prosperous farmers, who have, by their own exertions, transformed
the barren wastes and wilderness into fruitful fields, and secured a goodly
Having thus sketched, although but imperfectly, the early settlement
of the town, I will refer again to the records for such items of interest
as may deserve a place in this chapter. At the first proprietors' meeting
held in this town, Oct. 3, 1792, it was voted to choose a committee of
three, to procure a surveyor to scale the two ponds, and pay him.
I find at a meeting of the proprietors, held at the house of Clark
RODGERS, inn holder, May 26, 1807, Samuel HUBBARD of this town, Ebenezer
MARVIN, jr., of Sheldon, and Adolphus WALDBRIDGE, of Burlington, were appointed
a committee for the proprietors to scale the several ponds in town, to
ascertain the number of acres covered by each; also the number of acres
contained in the swamps and other lands unfit for cultivation, and to survey
all the undivided land in town for a 3d division.
This committee were also instructed to prepare a correct chart or
map of the town, with the allotments of the several surveys, divided into
69 rights or shares, with the different ponds, swamps, streams, &c.
At this meeting Ebenezer MARVIN, jr., was appointed agent for the proprietors,
to prosecute any trespass on the common, or undivided lands of said proprietors;
who was directed also to take suitable measures to ascertain if the proprietors
were in danger of losing any of these common lands, by reason of the "statute
of limitations," and to prevent any such loss by all means within his power.
Report of the Committee appointed to scale the ponds, &c., and
prepare a chart of the town: Quantity of land covered by the great pond,
1684 acres and 80 rods; by the little pond, 140 acres water and marsh ;
Cranberry marsh, 224 acres and 80 rods. Amos FAY surveyed the town for
the committee, 3d division of land, March 25, 1811. This closes, the proprietary
We find that quite a number of men have and are now residing in
town who served in the war of 1812, viz: John WEBSTER, Jabez KEEP, Erasmus
OSBORNE, William FELTON, William WRIGHT, Benjamin SISCO, Horace GATES and
Henry BOWMAN, the last two only of whom are now living.
The name of the town was altered from Huntsburgh to Franklin, Oct.
25, 1817. The legislative proceedings in relation to the change are as
Assembly, Oct. 14, 1817, Mr. HUBBARD, on motion and leave, introduced a
bill entitled 'an act altering the name of the town of Huntsburgh to that
of Franklin,' which was referred to the members of Franklin County.
The members aforesaid, made a report, that the bill ought to pass and become
a law. (Journal, page 63.)
The bill was read a second time, and referred to Dr. FARNSWORTH of Fairfield,
for amendment. (Journal, p 72.)
The bill was passed to be engrossed for a third reading, and Oct. 25, 1817,
it became a law."
Ebenezer MARVIN, jr., first attorney in town. First birth, John,
son of Samuel HUBBARD, August 4, 1791. First marriage, Nov. 29, 1792, by
Samuel PECKHAM, Esq. -- Paul GATES to Zeruiah SPOONER. First death, Susannah,
wife of Samuel PECKHAM, Jan. 30, 1796. First cemetery laid out in town,
the one adjoining the Center village. First person buried, Mrs. Susannah
PECKHAM. First highway surveyed, the one leading south, through the town,
from Samuel HUBBARD's to some point on the Missisquoi river in Sheldon,
-- time unknown. John WEBSTER kept the first articles of merchandise for
sale, composed of groceries, iron ware, nails, &c., which he brought
with him into town from New Hampshire. Thomas and Uri FOOT kept store in
a log building belonging to Samuel HUBBARD; and Thomas erected the first
building for this purpose about the year 1810. First military company formed
in 1808-- Samuel HUBBARD, Capt.; Ephraim JOY, Lieut.; Thomas FOOT, Ensign,
and William FELTON, Sergeant.
The inhabitants of Franklin are mostly farmers, and in general pretty
intelligent and successful. Sheep and horses are raised to some extent,
but dairying is the leading occupation, and in consequence, large quantities
of butter and cheese are yearly manufactured.
Farms vary in size from 100 to 1000 acres, and are generally under
a good state of improvement.
FRANKLIN CENTER, a Small and pretty village, is pleasantly located
and contains a tavern, two stores, four blacksmith shops, a harness shop,
a tannery, a saw-mill, a carding-machine, a furniture shop, two carriage
shops, two churches, an academy, post-office and about 30 dwelling-houses.
EAST FRANKLIN has a church, post-office, store, saw-mill, blacksmith
shop and several dwelling-houses.
Samuel PECKHAM, 1794, '96, '97, 1801, '04. Samuel HUBBARD, 1795,
'98, '99,1800,'0'2,'05, '07, '08, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16, '17, '19, '20.
Salmon WARNER, 1806. Samuel PECKHAM, jr., 1809, '10. Hezekiah WEED, 1811.
William FELTON, 1818, '24, '25, '26, '29,'31,'34. Joshua PECKHAM, 1821.
Reuben TOWLE, 1822 '23. Geri CUSHMAN, 1827, '28. Philip S. GATES, 1830,
'32, '33, '43. Elisha BASCOM, 1835,'36 Henry BOWMAN, 1837, '38. Jonathan
H. HUBBARD, 1839, '40, '41, '46. Dolphus DEWING, 1842. Isaac WARNER, 1844.
CHASE, 1845. 1847, '48, '49, not represented. Lathrop MARSH, 1850, '51.
John P. OLDS, 1852. Solon KINSMAN, 1853, '54. Charles FELTON, 1855, Vincent
HORSKIN 1856, '57. Alonzo GREEN, 1858. John E. WHITNEY, 1859, '60. Philo
HORSKIN, 1861, '62. John COLCORD, 1863, '64.
Ebenezer SANDERSON, 1794. 1794 to 1802 no record. Sam'l PECKHAM,
1802-'04. Samuel PECKHAM, jr., 1804-'12. Samuel HUBBARD, 1812-'27. Philip
S. GATES, 1827-'45. John ADAMS, 1845-'51. Alonzo GREEN, 1851-'53. Vincent
HORSKINS, 1853-'59. Alonzo GREEN, 1859 (present incumbent 1864.)
Ebenezer MARVIN, Chief Justice in 1796, '97, '98, '99, 1800,'01,
'02, and '08. Jonathan H. HUBBARD, Assistant Chief Justice in 1845,'46,
and '47. Ebenezer MARVIN jr., State's Attorney, in 1807, '08, '12, and
'15. Ebenezer MARVIN, State's Attorney in 1813.
Jonathan H. HUBBARD, 1843, '44, '48. Alonzo Green, 1859, '60.
Samuel HUBBARD, 1814; William FELTON, 1822; William FELTON, 1828;
Orville KEMPTON, 1836; John J. DEAVITT, 1843; Charles FELTON, 1850.
WITH TERM OF OFFICE.
Jonathan H. HUBBARD, 25 years; Philip S. GATES, 23 years ; Nahum
TEMPLE, 22 years; Enos PEARSON, 22 years; Peter CHASE, 19 years; John K.
WHITNEY, 15 years; Dolphus DEWING, 12 years.
1791 -- 46; 1800 -- 280; 1810 -- 714; 1820 -- 631; 1830 -- 1129;
1840 -- 1410; 1850 -- 1647 1860 -- 1781.
Owing to imperfections in the record of the grand list I have been
unable to obtain that of an early date.
Attorneys who have lived and practiced in town Ebenezer MARVIN,
jr., J. J. BEARDSLEY, ___ BASFORD, John J. DEAVITT, J, Eugene TINNEY, Romeo
Ebenezer MARVIN, Enoch POMERY, Geri CUSHMAN, George S. GALE, Enos
PEARSON, Sheldon S. SEARLES, C. N. BURLESON, E. J. POWERS, Geo. S. BRIGGS.
WAR OF 1812 AND THE SMUGGLERS
During the war of 1812, a pretty extensive business in the line
of smuggling was carried on by some adventurous citizens of this and adjoining
towns. Many droves of cattle were taken across the "lines," on which a
good price was realized, and numerous loads of merchandise found their
way "this side," notwithstanding soldiers were stationed along the border,
to prevent the illegal traffic. -- This being the case, there must have
been numerous exciting adventures between the United States officiate and
the "contraband dealers," some of which are still remembered, as related
by the participators. The "smuggler's road," as it was termed, extended
from some point on the Missisquoi river, in Sheldon, through this town,
on the east side of the pond, to the lines adjoining St. Armand, and the
whole distance was then an entire wilderness.
William McKOY, a Scotchman, who came to this town with John Hammond,
from Clarendon, about the year 1800, was a shrewd, wide-awake man, and
one just suited to this line of business, in which he took an active part;
and as a consequence, participated in some novel adventures, one of which
we will relate and style, The Smuggler's Stratagem:
At one time, preparations having been made to take a drove of cattle
across the "lines," a certain night, and it being necessary to divert the
attention of the Berkshire custom-house officer from the movement, McKOY
undertook this part of the proceeding. During the day he persuaded the
officer to accompany him to Franklin Center, for the ostensible purpose
of intercepting the drove that was to pass, he said, on that side of the
town. The officer was rather suspicions that all was not right; and, as
night came on, and no cattle made their appearance, he became uneasy, and
demurred at staying there, when the drove was probably passing on the other
side. McKOY thought it would soon be along, when they would secure the
prize;-but after remaining as long as he thought necessary for the safety
of his companions, he concluded he might be mistaken in the course taken,
and they had better correct the error at once. Proceeding with all haste
to the north end of the pond, -- when they reached the "smuggler's road,"
McKOY, being a little ahead, plunged into the path, and riding a swift
horse was soon out of hearing, in pursuit of his companions, leaving the
out-witted officer in the forest, three miles from home in the dead of
McKOY was once arrested for debt on the "other side" of the line,
taken to a tavern, and placed under a guard for safe keeping. Pretending
to be in no way alarmed or disconcerted, he removed his hat, coat and boots,
and seated himself by the fire, as it was winter, and cold. Some men and
boys getting up an excitement in the street, he asked permission to witness
the scene. Not expecting any attempt to escape in his exposed condition,
his request was granted. Watching his opportunity, when the guard was not
very vigilant, he took advantage of their remissness, and left, Taking
a bee-line across the fields, and being in a good condition "to run," he
distanced all pursuers, and escaped to "this side," freezing both feet
in the race. He effected numerous other escapes from officers and keepers,
some of an amusing character, -- being always in trouble with some one,
-- but their relation would fill a large space, and the above will suffice.
I notice a relation of Col. CLARK's excursion to St. Armand, and
attack upon the British at that place (see Burlington chapter, p. 502.)
The colonel, with a number of men, visited the same township on another
occasion, for the purpose of arresting a company of smugglers with a drove
of cattle they had taken across the lines. The latter, supposing the former
to be a British officer come to purchase their cattle, gathered around,
eager for a good bargain, when, upon a given signal, part of the company
were taken prisoners -- the others succeeding in escaping. The confiscated
cattle were now turned upon their back track, while their former owners
were obliged to assist in driving. This they did so cleverly, that upon
arriving in Sheldon, the Colonel having no further need of their services,
generously allowed them to proceed to their homes. After the conclusion
of the war, the smugglers were summoned to Rutland, to answer for their
misdoings. The father of the Hon. Geo. P. MARSH was employed as their counsel.
-- Upon his raising a question of law, "that driving cattle on foot was
not transporting beef," -- and the point being carried, -- they were released.
BY A. M. BUTLER
The men of this town were men of discretion anti intelligence --
not ignorant adventurers, seeking their own personal aggrandizement merely,
but men of sound practical knowledge -- men of prudence and foresight in
the establishment of schools, and the organization of churches.
Three grants of land were made for educational purposes, in the
charter of the town: one for the University of Vermont, one for the first
County Grammar School, and one for the schools in town.
In 1795 and '96 there was a school taught by Josiah ALLEN, in a
log house 1 1/2 miles north of the Centre, near the orchard of Esq. HUBBARD.
This school was small. The only persons now living who attended this school
are Ebenezer HILL, Esq., of Highgate, and Ex. Gov. ROYCE, of Berkshire
[Since deceased]. In the summer of '96, Miss Easton taught school in the
house of Esq. HUBBARD.
In the winter of 1796 and '97. Dr. Enoch POMERY taught in a house
in this vicinity. Scholars came from all parts of the town.
There appear to have been no other schools in town up to this period,
and no regular school-houses -- schools being taught in "back-kitchens"
and sometimes in small log-buildings. The houses of Esq. HUBBARD, Mr. COBURN
and Dr. MARVIN were each of them opened for this purpose. Those schools
were supported by voluntary contributions -- Esq. HUBBARD paying one-half,
and others the remainder.
I am not able to learn the amount of wages paid at this time, as
there are but few living who attended either of these schools.
In 1798, the town was divided into 2 districts called the North
and South Districts. The school in the South District was taught by Dr.
ROBINSON in a log-house, north of the present house, near the garden of
Dr. Enoch POMERY. This log-house was the first school house built in town.
In 1799, John VAN ORMAND taught school in the house of Samuel PECKHAM,
Esq., near HUBBARD's mills. This year two more districts were formed --
Centre and North-west Districts. In 1800 a log schoolhouse was built in
the North District. An elm tree standing on the west side of the highway-south
of Mrs. Letta PECKHAM's house-marks the spot. Judge BARNARD taught school
in this house. He is said to have been a "superior teacher-a man of liberal
education." Scholars from St. Albans and Vergennes attended this school.
In 1803 a log-house was built in the N. W. district, near where the North
and South road meets the east and west road-by HUBBARD's. This house was
known as the "Democratic School House." Mr. Geo. HOLBROOK and sister were
the first teachers -- afterwards Dr. Stephen COLE and others.
In 1806, three more districts were formed -- called the North, Middle
and South districts, east of the "Great Pond." No school appears to have
been taught in either of those districts until a much later period.
In 1809, a school was taught at Franklin Centre, -- in the house
owned and occupied by Wm. FELTON, sen. -- by John HUBBARD. A school is
said to have been taught in this district as early as 1794, by Mrs. John
BRIDGEMAN in a log-house near the residence of Mr. Charles FELTON. If this
be true, it was the first school taught in town, but I can find no persons
living who attended this school. The first school-house in this district
was built in 1800, and occupied the ground where the shop of Esq. TEMPLE
In 1809, a school was taught in the South district-east of the "Great
Pond," by Miss Almira WARNER. No school house was built until 1815. Three
families sent each 7 children to Miss WARNER, who taught in a private house.
In 1810, there were 5 districts containing 250 scholars. Amount
of public money for use of schools, $86.37.
In 1812, the districts were remodeled, but there appear to have
been no schools taught except in these 5 districts until 1823.
In 1820, the number of scholars returned was 227. In 1823, the first
school was taught in the North district, east of the pond by a Mr. STEVENS,
in a log-house north of the present house. In 1825, a school was taught
in a log house west of the residence of Mr. Samuel BLISS, by a Miss Betsey
In 1830, number of scholars returned 325. About this time a school
was taught in the S. W. part of the town by Miss Angeline BEACH. Some years
later the districts were numbered.
In 1840, No. of scholars 400. In 1850 No. of scholars 500, No. of
districts 12. In 1860, No. of scholars, 525, No. of districts, 14.
For the past
few years the schools have been making a constant but steady progress.
The public money for several years has been about $440. Annual expense
of schools $1250.
Franklin Academy was incorporated in 1849, and went into successful
operation the following year. Mr. SMITH was the first preceptor, since
which time there have been several changes. The school is increasing in
Average No, of students per term during the year 1863, was 72.
The present principal, A. M. BUTLER, M. A. has had charge of the
school four years.
List of Church Members of the First Congregational Church, Franklin, VT