GAZETTEER OF TOWNS
GAZETTEER OF ORANGE COUNTY, VT. 
1762-1888.
HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF 
BRAINTREE


      BRAINTREE is situated in the southwestern corner of the county, in latitude 43° 58', and longitude 4° 19', bounded north by Roxbury, in Washington county, and Brookfield, east by Randolph, south by Rochester, in Windsor county, and west by Granville, in Addison county. This township was granted November 2, 1780, and was chartered by Vermont, August 1, 1781, to Jacob SPEAR, Levi DAVIS and sixty-three others, and by the terms of its charter was to contain 23,040 acres. By act of the legislature November 10, 1824, a portion of the territory of the town was taken from the southwest corner and annexed to Rochester, leaving its present area about 35.5 square miles, or 22,720 acres.

      The rocks entering into the geological structure of the town are principally of the talcose schist and clay slate formation, the latter underlying about one third of the entire territory, in the northeastern part. Gold in alluvium exists along the third branch of WHITE river, and on Riford's and Thayer's brooks, extending through the southern and central parts of the town. Granite, syenite and protogene are found in the extreme northern part, and a bed of steatite in the western part. On Braintree hill, in this town, is the wonderful rocking bowlder, of seventy tons weight, which was so perfectly poised on its foundation that at one time a person could rock it with the strength of one finger; but owing to the continual wearing away of the rock upon which it rests, it is now only possible to move it by using a lever.

      The surface of the town is very uneven. The valley of the third branch of the WHITE river known as the "Branch," through which runs the Central Vermont railroad, divides the town into two principal divisions. That part south and west of the Branch is rough, rocky, with many bold and precipitous peaks, much of it being incapable of tillage. All settlements are confined to the eastern half. Riford's brook, named for Joseph RIFORD, who first settled near it, and Thayer's brook, similarly named for Joel B. and Zeba THAYER, both tributaries of the Branch, are its largest streams. The Branch flows southeasterly through the whole width of the town. The part north and east of the Branch is nearly equally divided by the high ridge, commonly called Braintree hill, extending north and south through the town, just east of its center. Spurs jut out eastward and southward from it, diversifying the surface. The chief points in the ridge are Nevins's hill, named for Alfred NEVINS, who early settled at its foot; Belcher hill, similarly named for Samuel BELCHER; Oak hill, so-called from the oaks growing upon it; Quaker hill, named by Ebenezer WATERS while surveying the town, who, with his assistants, dined one day at the corner near Braintree hill meeting-house. Waters, it is said, jocosely remarked: "We will sit down here and eat dinner with our hats on, and call it ' Quaker hill."' Its highest point is also called Alban's hill, for William ALBAN, who lived there many years. The largest streams are Ayer's brook, through Snowsvllle, and Spearís brook, its tributary. According to tradition, Ayer's brook received its name from one AYER, who deserted the English and became a guide to their enemies during the French and Indian war. He was caught and hanged on this stream about 1755 Spearís brook was first called Bass's brook, for Deacon Samuel BASS, who first settled on it; then Mill brook, from the numerous mills for which it has furnished water-power; and Spearís brook, for Nathaniel SPEAR, who settled and for many years owned mills on it. It is the outlet of Mud pond, which is some five or six acres in area, and the only natural pond in the town. It is peculiar in having great depth and in being filled with a light mud, which, when water is abundant, is overflowed, and in a dry time can be walked on in some places.

      The population of Braintree in 1880 was 1,051. In 1886 the town had twelve school districts, with eleven common schools, employing three male and seventeen female teachers, to whom was paid an average weekly salary, including board, of $6.34 to the former, and $4.59 to the latter. There were 240 scholars, twenty-five of whom attended private schools. The whole income for school purposes was $1,451.36, while the total expenditures were "$1,355.20, with C. E. WOODWARD, Jr., superintendent.

      BRAINTREE (locally known as Snowsville) is a post village located in the extreme northeastern part of the town, on Ayer's brook. It contains a church, hotel, one general store; a carriage shop, two blacksmith shops, a harness shop, grist-mill, and about twenty dwellings. It is five miles from West Randolph village, with which it is connected by daily stage.
      WEST BRAINTREE is a post village situated on the third branch of WHITE river, and on the Central Vermont railroad, six miles north from West Randolph. It contains one church, a large steam saw-mill, blacksmith shop, two general stores, a hotel, livery stable, and about thirty dwellings.
      PETH, once known as Hutchinson's village, is a hamlet in the eastern part of the town on Spearís brook, and about two and one-half miles southwest from Snowsville. Here were formerly the Braintree post office, a church, a dry goods store, carriage shop, clover-mill, oil-mill, carding-mill and blacksmith shop ; but no traces of them remain. A freshet destroyed most of them, and they were never rebuilt. It now contains about fifteen dwellings.
      BRAINTREE HILL was once the business center not only of Braintree, but of several other towns as well; but all that remains are several pleasant farm dwellings and the old Braintree Hill meeting-house.
      George L. SPEAR's steam saw-mill, located on the third branch of WHITE river, at West Braintree, was built in 1867, and was conducted by SPEAR & STEARNS until the spring of 1869, when George L. SPEAR, a son of the senior member of the firm, bought Mr. STEARNS's interest ; and later, at the death of his father, Levi, he became proprietor of the entire business. He manufactures spruce, hemlock and hard wood dimension lumber, shingles and lath, and does planing and matching. The mill is run by both steam and water-power, turns out about 1,500,000 feet of, lumber and 2,000 cords of wood annually, giving employment to twenty-five men.
      George TARBELL's saw-mill, on road 26, was built by Albert HAWES, but. never operated by him. It was run by Daniel TARBELL for a number of years, and in October, 1868, was purchased by George TARBELL, the present proprietor, a son of Daniel, who has since conducted the business. The mill turns out about 1,000,000 feet of lumber and 1,000 cords of wood annually, giving. employment to twenty men. 
      Theodore B. KENDALL's lumber and wood yard is located about one mile north of West Braintree village, on the ground formerly used by the coal kilns. The business was established in 1879. Mr. KENDALL gets out about 1,000,000 feet of lumber in the log, and 1,000 cords of four-foot wood annually.
      Hosea M. BLANCHARD's grist-mill, located at Snowsville, on road 11, has been operated by the present proprietor since 1882.
     M.D. LAPORT's carriage and repair shop, located at Snowsville, was built by the present proprietor about 1875. His principal business is general repairing.
     J. A. & V. L. SPEAR's cider-mill is located on road 16. The proprietors manufacture about 500, barrels of cider annually, besides a large amount of boiled cider and cider jelly. The boiled cider and jelly department has been running about four years.
     W.C. HOLMAN's shingle-mill, located on road 25, is operated by Charlie F. FLINT, and cuts from 50,000 to 100,000 shingles per year.
      On the 6th of August, 1783, two years after the date of the charter, the first proprietors' meeting was held, at the house of Ebenezer BAKER, in Brook line, Mass. At this meeting James BRACKETT was chosen chairman; David HOLBROOK, proprietors' clerk; Jacob SPEAR and Jonathan HOLMAN were appointed a committee to lay out the rights in the town. The first proprietors' meeting in Braintree was held September 19, 1786, at which meeting James BRACKETT was elected chairman; Elijah FRENCH, clerk; Jacob SPEAR, treasurer, and Samuel NICHOLS, collector. The town was organized April 7, 1788, upon a warrant issued by Asa EDGERTON, justice of the peace, of Randolph, who served as first moderator. Elijah FRENCH was elected first clerk and treasurer; Jacob SPEAR, Ebenezer WHITE and Stephen FULLER, selectmen and listers; and Edward BASS, constable. The first representative of the town was Isaac NICHOLS, elected in 1791.

      The first settlement in the town was made in February, 1785, by Silas FLINT, who came from Hampton, Conn.; but before moving into this town lived for a time about two miles north of Randolph Center. He lived in a. log cabin in the eastern part of the town, believed to be the first dwelling-house erected in the town. His wife was the first woman to come to Braintree, and she received in consequence 100 acres of land from the proprietors. Samuel BASS was the next of the sturdy pioneers of this town to arrive. He settled here about the last week in May, 1785, and built a log cabin, in. which he lived for a time, when he erected a more commodious frame structure. His son Hiram was the first child born in the town, and received from the proprietors 100 acres of land. Jacob and Samuel SPEAR were among the next early settlers. They came from Braintree, Mass. Jacob was the principal agent in procuring the charter, and in honor of him, it is said, the town was named after his first residence. Nathaniel SPEAR, from the same place, came to Braintree in 1790, and three years later built a saw-mill on Spearís brook. About the same time, or sooner, Isaac NICHOLS, Henry BRACKETT, John HUTCHINSON, Maj. William FORD, Ebenezer WHITE, and others, became residents of Braintree. All were prominent, substantial men.
Jonathan FLINT, one of the early settlers of this town, was born in Hampton, Conn., November 17, 1775. He married Mary AMIDON, who bore him four sons and three daughters, of whom two daughters are now living in this town, viz: Polly (FLINT) SUMNER, aged eighty-nine years, and Sally (FLINT) ABBOTT, aged ninety-one years. Augustus FLINT, fourth child of Jonathan, was born September 22, 1792. He married Nancy VINTON, October 29, 1813, who bore him four children, as follows: Zachariah B., born March 18, 1815; Samuel Minot, born August 4, 1818; Mary Ann, born May 14, 1821, and Russell Adams, born. January 12, 1823. The latter, who is the only survivor of the family, married, first, Mary M. SPEAR, January 1, 1849, who bore him one child, Mary M. (Mrs. Selva H. THAYER), of this town, and second, Ellen M. SPEAR, June 9, 1859, by whom he has had two children, Ella May, who married Eugene S. ABBOTT, and lives near her father in West Braintree, and Carroll LANGDON, now attending school at West Randolph. Mr. FLINT has always lived in Braintree, where he has been engaged in shipping live stock to market, and had charge of the coal kilns of CHAFFEE &CUMMINGS, of East Cambridge, Mass. His principal business, however, has been farming, by which he has accumulated a handsome property. He has been prominent in town affairs, and has held many offices of trust. He has the esteem and confidence of his neighbors, and is ever ready to aid the deserving, and substantially assist those who are in need.

      John HUTCHINSON, son of Bartholomew, was born in Salem, Mass., July 18, 1766. He married, in February, 1792, Lucy KENNEY, of Sutton, Mass., and in the fall of 1793 removed to Braintree and settled on a farm in Peth. He built one of the first saw-mills in the town, and was one of the prominent public men of the times, having represented the town in the general assembly seventeen terms. He reared a family of nine children, dying May 29, 1845.

      James HUTCHINSON, son of John, was born in Braintree, February 27, 1797 He married Sophia BROWN, of Randolph, November 16, 1820, and settled in that town on the farm now owned by his son Lyman. He was always one .of the most active business men of the town, dying October 2, 1881. He reared a family of eight children, all of whom were born in Randolph, and grew to maturity. Of these children, William was born January 24, 1823, married Helen M. FISH, of Randolph, March 3, 1847, and now lives in Washington, D. C.; James, Jr., was born January r, r826 (see sketch following); Henry was born October 27, 1827, married Laura M. PARISH, of Braintree, October 3, 1852,, and resides in Randolph, Wis.; John was born March 27, 1830, married Lydia A. FOWLER, of Yates county. N. Y., October 1, 1857, graduated from Dartmouth college, and is a lawyer, in Chicago, Ill.; Sophia was born March 26, 1832, married Harvey SPALDING, a lawyer, January 9, 1854, and lives in Washington, D. C.; Ruth was born October 12, 1834, married Henry LEIS in 1865, and lives in Lawrence, Kansas ; Lyman was born August 12, 1837, married Paulina M. READ, of DeRamsey, P. Q., November 22, 1859, and resides upon the farm where his father settled ; and Edwin was born November 2, 1840, and died in Kansas, October 26, 1864. Lyman HUTCHINSON has five children, namely, Edwin V., Leonard R., Carrie, John and Mary.

      James HUTCHINSON, Jr., was born January 1, 1826. His education was obtained in the common schools, with two terms at a select school in West Randolph. He was married November 2, 1847, to Abby B. FLINT, daughter .of Elijah and Patience (NEFF) FLINT, and settled as a farmer on the old John HUTCHINSON farm, in this town, where he lived until 1869, when he removed to West Randolph. He was elected delegate from Orange county to the state constitutional convention, in November, 1856. He was elected associate judge of the county in 1864, and re-elected in 1865. He served as state senator in 1868 and 1869, and in 1870 was chosen delegate to the national convention at Philadelphia, which nominated General Grant for president. He was appointed postmaster at West Randolph in 1871, which office he now holds (1887). Before being appointed postmaster he was an earnest and active Republican, and in the early days of the antislavery movement he was a member of that organization, and his home in Braintree was the home of all the principal abolitionists while they were in that; part of the state. William Lloyd GARRISON, Samuel MAY, H. C. WRIGHT, Pillsbury REMOND, Lucy STONE, and others were frequently welcomed to his home.

      Col. Isaac NICHOLS, a Revolutionary soldier, son of Isaac and grandson of Isaac, was born in Sutton, Mass., May z4, 1737. He married Dorcas SIBLEY, of Sutton, who died May 9, 1841, aged nearly 105 years, by whom he had eight sons and two daughters. He came to Braintree in 1787, and located on Alban hill, where he followed the occupation of carpenter and farmer. His son Abner married Molly, daughter of William NICHOLS, by whom he had four sons and two daughters, viz.: Polly (Mrs. Nathaniel FLINT), now living (1887); Abner, Jr., died in Braintree; William, born in 1796; Ammi, died in 1863; Isaac died in Randolph; Naomi (Mrs. Arba SHERMAN) resides in Royalton, Mass. William married Betsey, daughter of Ebenezer and Lucretia (PARTRIDGE) WHITE, in 1825, and their son William II., born in 1829, graduated at Middlebury college in 1856, studied law with J. B. HUTCHINSON, and was admitted to the bar in 1857. He was a sergeant in Co. K, 3d Iowa Vols., and served until the close of the war. He married Ann Eliza, daughter of William A. BATES, in 1856, and they have three sons and one daughter, viz.: Henry H., of Mexico; William B., of Nova Scotia; Edward H. and Anna G., who reside at home. Mr. NICHOLS was assistant judge in 1872-73, judge of probate in 1874, and has held the office by successive elections to the present time (1887). He owns a farm of 200 acres in the town of Randolph, where he how resides, with his office in Draper & Fales block, at West Randolph village.
      Samuel C. SUMNER was born in Hampton, Conn., and came to Braintree at an early age, settling in the northern part of the town. He married Polly FLINT, who bore him five sons and four daughters, of whom one daughter and four sons are living, viz.: Jennie (Mrs. Martin V. B. RICHARDSON), Benjamin and Jonathan F. reside in this town, William in the West, and Godfrey R. in Warren. Jonathan F. married Hannah LINFIELD, who bore him nine children, .eight of whom are living, viz.: Sarah (Mrs. Vilas C. FLINT), and Newton J., in this town; Abby O. (Mrs. Avery RICHARDSON), in Roxbury, Washington county; Emma E. (Mrs. Hamlet BARROWS), and Jennie (Mrs. William BARROWS), in Irasburg, Orleans county. The remainder of the children live at home, with the exception of Charles E. Nettie M. is housekeeper for her father, and George works on the farm.
      Dr. Samuel CRAIG was born in Rumney, N. H., August 15, 1777. He was a son of Col. Alexander CRAIG, who, at the age of twelve years, came from Scotland with his father. He kept a hotel in Rumney many years, and removed to Exeter, N. H., when Samuel was sixteen years of age, for the purpose of educating his children (four sons and two daughters), who attended school with the Hon. Lewis CASS, Daniel WEBSTER, and other distinguished men. From there he went to Tunbridge, Vt., and read and practiced medicine with Dr. COPP. In 1805 he settled in Braintree, and continued the practice of medicine until his death, April 13, 1861, aged eighty-four years. He married Miss Matilda PARISH, of Brookfield, October 1o, 182o, and their children were Cornelia Manorra, Huldah Jane, Betsey Matilda, Samuel George Parish, and Mary Juliett -- the first three named being the only ones now living. Manorra (Mrs. FLINT) and Jane (Mrs. SPEAR) reside in St. Paul, Minn., and Betsey (Mrs. HOOD) in Winooski, Vt. But few men, if any, now have the constitution -to undergo the exposure, by night and by day, through snowdrifts and storms, for nearly sixty years, that Dr. CRAIG had -- never refusing the calls of the poor, though he knew he could never be compensated for his services. His father, Col. Alexander CRAIG, was commissioned lieutenant of militia at Portsmouth, N. H., in 1773, and promoted to captain in 1774, which commissions bear the seal of His Majesty King George the Third. He was also commissioned by the Congress of the Colony of New Hampshire, as second major of the 11th regiment of militia, in 1775, and by the state of New Hampshire in 1776, as first-lieutenant for Continental service. All of said commissions are in a good state of preservation, in the possession of A. O. HOOD, Esq., of Winooski, Vt.
      Jacob A. SPEAR, son of Jacob and Clarissa (FOSTER) SPEAR, was born in Braintree, September 1, 1811. He married Caroline F. FLINT, September 24, 1835, who bore him children as follows: Salmon E., born March 20, 1841, died May 10, 1851, from injuries received at the hands of a brutal school teacher; Emily Ann, born April 26, 1846, died November 22, 1861; and Victor I., born September 20, 1852. Mr. SPEAR has, since the spring of 1836, lived on the farm where he now resides, combining various branches of business with farming and stock raising, his specialty being registered Merino sheep, owning at present, with his son Victor, 300 head. Mr. SPEAR is seventy-six years of age, and his estimable wife seventy. About two years ago they celebrated their golden wedding, now having enjoyed fifty-two years of married life. Victor I., their youngest and only surviving son, fitted for college at Randolph academy, entered Dartmouth, and graduated with the class of '74. He taught school several years, but more recently has been engaged in business with his father, as mentioned above. He was one of the committee of three appointed to "edit and secure the publication of a history of the town," and has filled acceptably several town offices. He represented his town at Montpelier in 1880, and in 1886 was elected state senator. He married Abbie M. DAVIS, of Randolph, December 29, 1886.
      Lewis H. SPEAR was born in Braintree, August 16, 1822, where he spent his early life, engaged in the farming and nursery business with his brother Jacob A. From 186o to 1874 he was engaged in fruit and meat preserving: in New York, Texas and Buenos Ayres, S. A. Since 1874 he has carried on farming and fruit growing in this town, having an orchard of 3,000 trees.. June 20, 1882, he married Cornelia J. SAMPSON, of Chicago, Ill.
      Levi SPEAR, Jr., eldest son of Levi and Charlotte (HUNT) SPEAR, was born' in Braintree, December 9, .18 17. His early life was spent upon a farm, and was marked by no especial incident. When he was seventeen years of age his father died. He was the oldest son of quite a large family, his father having had two daughters, however, by a former marriage, one of whom was dead and the other married. Upon Levi, Jr., then, with the aid of his mother, devolved the responsibility of managing the farm and keeping the family circle united. Many boys would have shrunk from this duty, arduous even for a man; but boys of seventeen were men in those days, and he went manfully to work, and by close application and energy, which in later years characterized the man, he succeeded not only in keeping the home farm, but in adding to it many acres of valuable timber land in this town and in Granville, becoming an extensive lumber manufacturer as well as farmer. In 1867, in company with a Mr. STEARNS, he built a large steam saw-mill at West Braintree, continuing the business thus till 1869, when his son George L. bought Mr. STEARNS's interest, and he conducted the business with his son until his decease, in 1880. He never aspired to office, preferring rather the quiet of his home and the management of his own affairs, which required his personal attention. Mr. SPEAR married Mary L. RANO, formerly of Hancock, and their union was blessed with two children, Charlotte Ellen (Mrs. George A. WELLS), of West Braintree, born December 13, 1840, and George L.
      George L. SPEAR, son of Levi, Jr., was born April 22, 1842, and lived on the farm with his father until he was twenty-one years of age, when he went to California and remained there one year. He then engaged in gold mining oh the John Day river, in Grant county, Oregon, where he remained four years. Returning to Braintree in the spring of 1869, he purchased W. STEARNS's interest in the saw-mill, and with his father carried on the lumber business until the latter's death, since which time he has conducted the business alone. In 1884, on account of the increase of business, he put a steam engine into the mill, which had before been run by water-power only. September 1, 1870, he married Mina M. PARISH, of Brookfield, and one daughter has been born to them, who died in infancy. Unlike his father, he has taken an active interest in political affairs, representing his town in the legislature in 1876 and '78, serving on the committee on railroads, and had the honor of being the first Democrat elected in Braintree during a period of thirty years. He was a member of the Democratic state committee from 1880 to '84, was a delegate to the Democratic national convention at Chicago in 1884, and was the member from Vermont on the committee to notify Cleveland and Hendricks of their nomination. In May, 1885, he was appointed collector of internal revenue for Vermont, and performed the duties of that office creditably until July, 1887, when Maine and Vermont were consolidated with New Hampshire, with the main office at Portsmouth, N. H. Soon after the closing of. the internal revenue office he purchased a large tract of timber land on the line of the Canada Atlantic railroad, in Canada, and in company with C. E. WAITE, of Swanton, is doing an extensive lumber business. As a citizen he has the respect and confidence of all who know him, and the poor always find in him a friend. He is industrious, persistent, honest, courageous and ambitious. In social life he is genial and companionable, warm in his attachments and firm in his friendships, a gentleman, liberal in all his views.
      Ira MANN was born in Braintree, July 23, r811. His parents were job and Matilda (FULLER) MANN, who were among the first settlers in the town. Mr. MANN came here from Randolph, Mass., and settled on the farm now occupied by his son Ira, about the year 1794, the "farm" at that time consisting of unbroken forest, while the only highways were marked trees. Ira married, first, December 3, 1833, Polly MORSE, of Roxbury, who bore him six children, one son, Ira, who died when three years old, and five daughters, three of whom are living, viz.: Julia M. (Mrs. Francis WRIGHT), of Northfield; Lucy .Helen (Mrs. Ira O. THAYER), of Roxbury, and Minora A. (Mrs. David B. ADAMS), also of Northfield. By his second wife, Mrs. Harriet K. THAYER, he had three children, one son, Ira, who died in. infancy, and two daughters, viz.: Ella V. (Mrs. Wilmouth TERRY), who has three children, and lives on the home farm with her father, and Flora M. (Mrs. Edward H. DUNHAM), who has one child, and resides in Greenfield, N. Y. Mr. MANN has always followed the occupation of farming. He has held many offices of trust in the town, being lister for twenty-eight years, and constable since 1862, with the exception of one year. In 1862-63 he represented his town in the state legislature. Mr. MANN is seventy-six years of age, and attends to his farm, besides doing much business connected with the affairs of the town. His residence is about one and one-quarter miles from Snowsville.
      Addison COPELAND, son of Zion and Polly (HARWOOD) COPELAND, was born in Braintree, May 22, 1817, and spent most of his life in this town. He married Angeline CLARK, December 8, 1839, and they had born to them five children, viz.: Zion C., born May 21, 1841, resides in Bridgewater, Windsor county; Adeline, born March 22, 1843, died August 31, 1862; Charles L., born February 25, 1845, died in the army at Newburn, N. C., July 3, 1864; Mary E. (Mrs. Sheldon DIMICK), of Bridgewater, born May 9, 1850; and Elna, born May 18, 1852. Mr. Copeland died October 14, 1883. His widow resides in this town with her children.
      Henry BASS, third child of Seth and Mary (WHITNEY) BASS, was born in Braintree, May 11, 1814. He married Mary P. CADY, of Randolph, March 25, 1847, and had born to him children as follows: Henry Royce, born September 1, 1848, married Carrie L. SIMMONS, at San Diego, Cal., October 4, 1883, died April 1, 1884; Mary F., born November 28, 1849, married Warren E. WHITE, May 14, 1871, died January 31, 1872; Selvy A., born May 12, 1852, married Clara S. FOWLER, June 13, 1883, and is a physician at Elkader, Iowa; Julia A., born May 24, 1854, married Fred H. PACKARD, August 15, 1877, resides in this town; Hattie L., born January 10, 1858, resides with her parents. Henry Royce, by dint of great energy and industry, secured a liberal education, graduating from Oberlin (Ohio) college with high honors, but with broken health, which he never fully recovered. He taught school for a time, but his last work was in gathering material for a history of his native town, which work shows his ability as a writer and compiler, and reflects much credit upon its author. In his early death the town lost an able and public spirited man, his large circle of relatives and acquaintances a true friend, and his wife a devoted husband. Henry BASS is a well preserved man of seventy-three years. His business has been that of farming, and his pleasant home is on Braintree hill. Mr. BASS is a devoted christian, and in the absence of a clergyman conducts services at the old church near his home, reading sermons and in other ways doing the Master's work.
      Daniel FLINT was born in Braintree, February 19, 1826. He married Sarah E. LINFIELD, March 9, 1854, and they have had eight children, one of whom, Flora E., died in 1860, at the age of two years, and seven are living, viz.: Lora M., of Randolph, born April 13, 1855, married Albert C. PAUL, March 22, 1875; Charlie F., of this town, born August 18, 1856, married Ada M, HOLMAN, February 27, 1883; Minnie F., born June 18, 1860, married Waldo F. FLINT, September 19, 1883, and has one child, Nina E., born August 1o, 1884; D. Hale, born December 13, 1863; Sherwin M., born January 7, 1866, married Jessie A. PRINCE, of West Randolph, May 12, 1887; Irving A., born May 21, 1868; and Marion L., born May 20, 1872. Mr. FLINT's business is that of a carpenter and farmer, and he has lived on the farm where he now resides, on road 19, for thirty-three years.
      Joshua B. FORD, son of Micah and Sally (GOOCH) FORD, was born in Braintree, February 18, 1825. He married Rebecca B. BROWN, October 29, 1854, and they have one child, Minnie M., born December 29, 1867, who married Carroll R. DUTTON, June 1, 1887, by whom she has had one child, and resides in this town. Mr. FORD was in the commission business in Boston from 1846 to 1852, when he bought the farm on road 40, in this town, where he has since resided.
      Francis E. FLINT, son of Elisha and Huldah (CARPENTER) FLINT, was born in Braintree, October 30, 1832. He married Lucy A. KILLAM, July 19, 1853, and their children are as follows: Sarah I., born February 12, 1855, married Lester WATSON, November 4, 1875; Waldo F., born September 16, 1857, married Minnie F. FLINT, September 20, 1883; Minnie C., born April 14, 1860, married Julius M. MONTGOMERY, July 4, 1878; Nettie A., born February 23, 1863; Lillie L., born November 18, 1864, married Ernest E. FISH, of West Randolph, June 4, 1884; Lester A., born October 28, 1868; a son, born March 2, 1872, who died in infancy; and Harry N., born June 15, 1874. Mr. FLINT, when twenty-two years of age, went to Wisconsin, locating at River Falls, where for one year he engaged in the business of carpentering and building. Returning to this town he engaged in the same business until 1879, when he purchased the farm on road 19, where he now resides, and where he has since carried on the business of farming.
      George HUTCHINSON, sixth child of Rufus and Abigail (BRACKETT) HUTCHINSON, was born in Braintree, March 6, 1833. He married Rosina M. CRAM, December 19, 1853. Of their three children, Mary Inez was born April 30, 1854, married Joseph S. CARPENTER, September 2, 1874, has one child, Clyde N., born March 23, 1882, and resides in this town; Anna M. was born October 7, 1855, married Jonathan E. TILSON, August 2, 1877, has one child, Annie Eliese, born July 12, 1878, and lives in Rutland; George S. was born June 10, 1869. Mr. HUTCHINSON's parents moved, at an early day, to the farm where he resided until his death, and which is now owned by his widow, Rosina M. His business was that of a farmer and live stock dealer. He never sought public office, although he sometimes accepted such positions of responsibility and trust. He died October 3, 1881, of malarial fever, contracted while returning from a western trip, at the age of forty-seven years and seven months.
      George W. FLAGG, son of Austin and Mary E. FLAGG, was born in this town April 9, 1839. He was the second child in a family of eleven children, nine .of whom were sons, and two daughters. His father died January 24, 1874, aged sixty-eight years, and his mother resides at Snowsville. George W. entered the army at the age of twenty-two years, as a private, and served during the late war. He was promoted to a lieutenancy, and later brevetted captain, but owing to the close of the war did not receive his commission as such. He married Adelia A. HOWARD, of this town, May 16, 1865, and they have two children, Lester G. and Bert C. Mr. FLAGG's business is farming. He has gained a national reputation as a "collar and elbow" wrestler, and when he was in practice was open to all comers for sport or money; but he has retired from active training, content to rest on the laurels he has already won. He holds the championship belt for the United States. In politics he is a staunch Republican, has held many offices of trust in the town, and in 1886 was elected representative. His pleasant home is located about one .mile from Snowsville, in the northeast corner of .the town.
      Charles E. WOODWARD was born in Roxbury, Vt., March 15, 1835, and came to this town when sixteen years of age. He married Mary E. FLINT, March 26, 1857, and their union has been blessed with two sons and five daughters, all of whom are living, viz.: Mary O., born April 30, 1858; Anna E., born March 26, 1860; Charles E., Jr., born July 4, 1862; John R., born September 2, 1865; Ida A., born April 4, 1868; Izza E., born August 14, 1872; and Flora E., born October 28, 1878. Charles E., Jr., John R., Mary O. and Anna E. are graduates of the State Normal school at Randolph, where Ida A. is a student at the present time. Mr. WOODWARD is a farmer on road 33 1/2. He is a very kind hearted man, and has never found it necessary to inflict physical punishment upon any of his seven children, the eldest of whom is twenty-seven years of age.
      Samuel R. BATCHELLOR, youngest son of Chester and Sarah (RICHARDSON) BATCHELLOR, was born in Roxbury, Vt., April 12, 1818. He married, first, Sarah M. CLARK, by whom he had one child, who died in infancy, and second, Lucinda M. PEARSONS, by whom he has had six children, as follows: Ida M., born September 30, 1854; Ella, born September 5, 1856, died in infancy; Lillian E., born December 15, 1857; Frank C., born February 18, 1861; Minnie F., born January 3, 1865; and Bertha M., born March 29, 1869. Mr. BATCHELLOR came to this town May 9, 1854, where he has since been engaged in farming and lumbering. He has held several town offices, and has been justice of the peace for twenty-five years. In 1862 he was appointed by the governor of the state to care for the destitute families of soldiers, which duty he faithfully performed. He resides in the western part of the town, on road 30.
      David P. MUDGETT was born in Sandwich, N. H., April 9, 1833, and came to this town in 1860. He married, first, Eliza B. BEAN, by whom he had one child, who died at an early age, .and second, Mary M. FITTS, March 4, 1863, which union was blessed with three children, namely: Lilla M., born April 4, 1865; Ella F., a teacher, born October 15, 1867; and George D., born October 7, 1872. Mr. MUDGETT, who was a farmer, was a devoted husband and father. He died June 13, 1880, since which time Mrs. MUDGETT has conducted the farm, and has had the presence of all her children to assist and cheer her. She resides on road 18 1/2.
      Jason A. FRENCH was born in Westford, Vt., February I9, 1832. He married Emma M. HATCH, of Montpelier, February 12, 1861, and settled in this town in 1862. They have had five children, namely, Perry H., Perry M. and Ruth E., deceased, and Mary E. and Celia, now living. Mr. FRENCH is a Republican, and held the office of postmaster at Snowsville from 1863 to 1886 twenty-three consecutive years.
      Asahel WAKEFIELD married Sally BYAM, December 6, 1792, and reared a family of six children. James, the eldest son, married Lucy WELLINGTON, December 14, 1820, and resided in Braintree about fifteen years. He died in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1879, aged eighty years. Of his children, George W. married Clara FISK, and resides in West Brookfield; Calvin lives in Flint, Mich.; Luther in Northfield, Vt.; Jefferson in Linn, Mich.; Matilda in. Des Moines, Iowa; Mary, deceased; Jasper resides in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Lava died in the Federal army; Augusta lives in Towas City, Mich.; and Dana was killed at the battle of Gettysburg.
      Gideon and Rachel MARTIN came from Connecticut to Randolph, and were among the first settlers in that town. They reared a family of nine children -five boys and four girls-all but one of whom lived to mature age and were married. Jesse MARTIN, the youngest in the family, was born February 3, 1792. He married Betsey FISH, February 4, 1813, by whom he had seven children -- four sons and three daughters-of whom Melissa, the eldest, was born December 3, 1814; the second child died in infancy; Saphira was born April 15, 1817; Norman F., September 10, 1819; Nelson H., September 9, 1821; Eliza E., October 6, 1827; and Jesse W., February 3, 1832. Jesse W. has always lived in Randolph and Braintree, in the latter town since 1863, where he has followed the dual occupation of painter and farmer. He married Louisa B. FALES, of Pomfret, Windsor county, November 29, 1854, and they have had born to them five daughters and one son, as follows: Ida Edith, born January 20, 1856; Emma Alice, born May 11, 1858; Ida Emma, born March 9, 1861; Minnie Edna, born October 6, 1863; Jessie Eliza, born August 1, 1870; Elwin Fales, born August 31, 1872. Ida Emma and Elwin F. are the only ones now living. Mr. MARTIN is deacon of the Congregational church at Snowsville. He resides just outside of the village, on road 10.
      Heman A. POWERS, son of Heman and Isabel POWERS, was born in Montpelier, June 22, 1827. Until he was twenty-seven years of age he worked in and traveled through New England, and as far west as Pennsylvania. In 1868 he settled in Braintree, on the farm where he now lives. He married Sarah J. SHORT, of Montpelier, in March, 1850. Of their eight children, two died in infancy; Laura married Howard GILBERT, of Randolph, and died at the: age of thirty-one; Betty M. (Mrs. Charles FORD) resides in Randolph; Alice lives with her parents; Sadie (Mrs. Monroe BRUCE), in Roxbury; Elsie and Heman EARL reside at home with their parents. Mr. POWERS has held the office of selectman for five years, and was representative of the town in 1884-85. He does an extensive dairying business, keeping from fifty to sixty cows, besides young stock, and teams to carry on his large farm on road 14. The products of his large dairy go to supply the Narragansett House, of Providence, R. I. He owns several other farms in Orange county, and one in Plainfield, Washington county.
      James P. MUDGETT, who was born in Sandwich, N. H., October 1, 1844, located in Braintree about 1866. He married Elna COPELAND, March 1, 1871, and they have two children, Bessie Elna, born June 23, 1884, and Mark J., born April 19, 1886. Mr. MUDGETT is engaged in farming, stock raising and lumbering.
      Leonard FISH, son of Peter and Anna (PARSONS) FISH, was born in Randolph, November 11, 1806. His grandfather, Ellis, a native of Sandwich, Mass., located in Randolph about the year 1795, with his family of seven children, of whom Peter was the second son. Leonard is the only survivor in a family of six children-three girls and three boys. His early life was spent upon his father's farm, in his native town, and at the age of fourteen years he took entire charge of this farm during his father's absence. He managed the farm successfully until he was twenty years of age, when he took an extensive western trip. Not liking the western country he returned to Vermont and engaged in farming. He also engaged in a manufacturing business in Barnard, Windsor county, for a few years. In 1871 he purchased the hotel at West Braintree, where he has since resided. He married Lucia M. CUMMINGS, of Barnard, daughter of Rev. John and Susanna (CLAPP) CUMMINGS, December 25, 1827, and the union was blessed with six sons and one daughter, of whom Susan Abbott died in Minnesota; Hannah died in Barnard; Leonard A. served in Co. K, 7th Vt. Vols., and died in hospital at New Orleans, La.; Jane married Captain Silas B. TUCKER, and resides in Barton, Vt.; Maria married Oliver R. DUTTON, and resides in Nashua, N. H.; Florett D. resides at home with her parents. Mr. and Mrs. FISH are well preserved, both mentally and physically, the former having attained the advanced age of eighty-one years, and the latter seventy-eight.
      Leonard K. FISHER, son of Alden and Sophronia FISHER, was born in Ripton, Addison county, October 29, 1839. He served in Co. F, 12th Vt. Regt., during the late war. February 26, 1874, he married Lucy LATHAM, of Randolph, and they have one child, Dwight L., born March 16, 1877. Mr. FISHER has been a resident of Braintree for thirteen years, where he has conducted' the business of farming and stock raising. His farm, which is one of the best in town, is located on road 16.
      Benjamin L. SUMNER, son of Samuel C. and Polly (FLINT) SUMNER, was born May 26, 1826. He married Emeline MARTIN, January 1, 1862, by whom he has had four children, viz.: Rockwell T., born October 22, 1853; Alma A., born March 9, 1854, married Rev. William BRUNTON, October 9, 1873, and they have one child, Herbert R.; Charlie R., born February 9, 1857; and Frank R., born May 22, 1862, married Abbie M. Abbott, July 5, 1879, and they have two children, Maud A. and Zella B. Rockwell T. and Charlie R. died in childhood. Mr. SUMNER followed the occupation of a carpenter until about eight years ago, when he purchased the farm on road 31, where he now lives, and where he has since resided.
      Rev. William M. BRUNTON was born in Sheffield, Eng., January 29, 1844. He graduated from college in Manchester, Eng., and since coming to this country graduated from Harvard. He married Alma A., daughter of B. L. SUMNER of this town, is a Unitarian clergyman, at present located in Portland, Me. He was for nine years pastor of a church in Brighton, Mass.
      Frederick Francis THAYER, son of Abel and Lydia (CLEVELAND) THAYER, was born in Granville, Vt., where he resided until he was seven years old. He was of a family of twelve children, equally divided as to sex, and of whom only one daughter and four sons are living, viz.: Laurena (Mrs. George TILSON), in Randolph; Horace A. and Ira O., in Roxbury, and Levi and Frederick F. in this town. The latter married Ruth H. FLINT, and settled in Braintree, on the farm where he now resides, in the spring of 1856. They have three children, viz.: Ruth Frances (Mrs. C. H. MANN), of Randolph; Levi F., who married Lizzie BEVINS, and resides near Saratoga Springs, N. Y.; and Belle Mina, a school teacher, who resides with her parents in this town.
      The East Braintree and West Brookfield Congregational church was organized October 24, 1871, with thirty-four members, by Rev. Arthur T. REED, the first pastor. The society has two church buildings. The one at West Brookfield, a wooden structure, was erected in 1840 at a cost of $1,000, and will seat 200 persons. That at East Braintree was built of stone and wood, with a slate roof, in 1852, cost $2,000, and will comfortably seat about 250. The present value of the church property is $3,000. George E. BOYNTON is the present pastor, and ministers to its ninety members. The church, in its formation, was composed of five denominations, and to the present time there has been no doctrinal jar. The society is not strong financially, is not able to have regular preaching, and occasionally receives aid from the Vermont Missionary Society. The Sunday-school has an average attendance of eighty.
      The Baptist church, located at Braintree Branch, was organized March 5, 1799. Rev. Elijah HUNTINGTON was the first pastor. The church building, a wooden structure, was erected in 1815, will comfortably seat 200, and is valued, including other property, at $1,000. The present membership is twenty-six, with Rev. J. A. Pierce, acting pastor.
 
 

Gazetteer Of Orange County, Vt. 1762-1888.
Compiled And Published by Hamilton Child,
The Syracuse Journal Company, Printers and Binders. 
SYRACUSE, N. Y., 1888.
Page 198-211.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004