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



      BROOKFIELD lies in the western part of the county, in latitude 44° 2', and longitude 4° 25', and is bounded north by Williamstown, east by Chelsea, south by Randolph and a part of Braintree, and west by Roxbury, in Washington county. It was granted November 6, 1780, and chartered August 5, 178f, to Phineas LYMAN and his associates, and contained thirty-six square miles, which territory it still retains. This town lies nearly on the height of land between White and Winooski rivers. The surface in some parts is broken, but it is mostly fit for cultivation, and the soil is very productive generally. It is well watered with springs and brooks, the principal stream being the second branch of White river, which rises in Williamstown, in conjunction with Stevens branch of the Winooski river, and flows through the eastern part of the town into Randolph. Near the northern part of the town, and running through North Brookfield village, is another stream of some importance. In the southwestern corner of the town is Ayer's brook, which derives its name, so tradition has it, from the fact that one AYER, some years previous to the settlement of the town, and during the French and Indian war, had made himself so obnoxious to the English that he was captured, and, after a short trial by an extemporized court-martial, proceeded to execute him, by tying a rope to his neck, making the other end fast to a tree bent down for the purpose, and then suffering the tree to return to its natural position. This is supposed to have occurred near this brook about 1755. Of natural ponds Brookfield possesses its full share, no less than seven lying within its limits, viz.: Rood, Pierce, Colt's, Lamson, North, South and Beaver Meadow ponds, all of them liberally stocked with fish.

      Geologically the formative rock is calciferous mica schist, while in the extreme western corner is found clay slate. Silicious limestone occurs occasionally, and several marl beds have been discovered, and some of them have been worked for lime, though it has been a work of little profit. Iron pyrites is also found, in the form of small cubes imbedded in the slate. A marked feature of the, geology of this town is the existence, in large quantities, of an ore of iron and arsenic called mispickel.

      The town was organized March 18, 1785, in pursuance of a warning issued at Norwich, by Peter OLCOTT, justice of the peace, and dated March 4, 1785. At this meeting Timothy COWLES was chosen town clerk; William WAKEFIELD, Nathaniel HUMPHREY and Hezekiah GAYLORD, selectmen; Jonathan PIERCE, treasurer; and Amasa HYDE, constable. In August, 1785, a meeting was held to decide whether the town should be represented at the county convention of that year, and if so to elect a delegate. This question was decided in the affirmative, and Shubael CROSS was accordingly elected as delegate. In 1786 the town was first represented in the legislature, by Jonathan PIERCE.

      For the past twenty-five years the town of Brookfield has paid all debts in full at the close of the year, and even during the war did not allow the accumulation of any debt.

      In 1830 Brookfield had a population of 1,239- In 1886 the town had thirteen school districts and twelve common schools, employing three male and twenty female teachers, who received an average weekly salary, including board, of $6.76 and $4.55 respectively. There were 243 scholars, forty-one of whom attended private schools. The entire income for school purposes was $1,978.85, while the total expenditures were $1,814.30, with Miss F. H. GRAVES, superintendent.

      BROOKFIELD is a post village beautifully located on the shore of Colt's pond, a little north of the central part of the town. It contains one church (Congregational), a good school-house, two general stores, a blacksmith shop, carriage shop, grist-mill, saw and planing-mill, harness shop, town library, a manufactory of hay and manure forks and hooks and garden rakes, a manufactory of patent clothes dryers, etc., and about 100 inhabitants.
      WEST BROOKFIELD is a hamlet located near the southwestern corner of the town, and contains a church (Union), blacksmith shop, saw-mill, and about a dozen dwellings.
      BROOKFIELD CENTER is a hamlet near the center of the town, at the junction of roads 56, 51 ½, 32 and 33, and contains about fifty inhabitants. Here was erected the first church in town (Congregational), and which is now (1887) one hundred years old.
      EAST BROOKFIELD is a post village located in the eastern part of the town on a branch of White river. It contains one general store, a saw and grist-mill, a union church, occupied by the Methodists and Congregationalists, and about a dozen dwellings.

      D.S. PATTERSON &' Son's rake factory, on road 38, was built by the present proprietors in 1884. They employ three men and manufacture about 30o dozen drag-rakes per year.

      Langdon MARSHALL's steam grist and saw-mill is located on road 38. He does a fair business in the manufacture of coarse lumber and shingles. A cider-mill is also connected with this mill which manufactures about 1,000 barrels annually.

      Benjamin F. BUXTON's saw and planing-mill, on road 34, near the outlet of Colt's pond, was built by the present proprietor in 1871. He employs four men in the manufacture of lumber and shingles, and in doing planing.

      BUXTON's grist-mill, on road 34, was built by Asa L. Abbott about 1838, and became the property of the present owner in 1870. He does custom grinding.

      A.W. FREEMAN's wheelwright shop was built by Col. EDSON about 1815, and was used as a clover-mill. It came into Mr. FREEMAN's possession in 1879. He does a general repairing business.

      Peck, CLARK &r Co.'s fork factory, in Brookfield village, at the outlet of Colt's pond, was built by the present owners in 1866. They employ twelve men and manufacture 2,000 dozen forks and garden rakes per year, which are sold wholly in the northwestern states.

      Harris S. FULLER's saw-mill, on road 25, was built by Joel PRATT about 1816, and become the property of the present proprietor in 1867. He manufactures shingles and about 75,000 feet of coarse lumber annually.

      The first settlement of this town began in 1779, by Shubael CROSS and family. Mrs. CROSS was the first woman who came into town, and on that account was presented, by the proprietors, with one hundred acres of land. Mr. HOWARD's family came in about the same time, and Caleb MARTIN, John LYMAN, Jonathan PIERCE, John and Noah PAYNE, and several others came in soon after. The early settlers were principally from Connecticut. Among the early settlers was also Ashel GROVER, who settled where Charles S. WILLIAMS now resides, on road 4 1/2. He used to take a bag of corn on his back and go to South Royalton to mill, returning the next day. One night while he was away his wife heard a disturbance in the pig-pen, and on investigating discovered a bear trying to get at her swine. She armed herself with a pitch-fork and climbed upon top of the pen, and as often as the bear came near she would prod him vigorously with the fork. She remained in this position until daylight and succeeded in "saving her bacon."

      Luke CLARK was born in South Hadley, Mass., and came so this town about 1785. He built the first log cabin in the western part of the town, on road 22, on the farm now occupied by his grandson, William C. CLARK. He remained upon this farm until his death, in 1841. He was married three times, first to Sarah SMITH, who bore him seven children, and died October 21, 1805; second to Lovina ABBOTT, who bore him one child, Urial A., the only one of his children now living; and third to Zerviah CUSHMAN, a widow, by whom he had three children. Urial A. was born in this town, where for twenty years he carried on the business of manufacturing hay and manure forks, and has followed the occupation of farmer all his life. For the past twenty-six years he has been deacon of the Second Congregational church in Brookfield village, to the support of which he has always been a liberal contributor. He has been twice married. His first wife, Betsey SAMSON, bore him seven children, of whom four are living, viz.: William C. and Urial A., Jr., in this town; Ann M. (Mrs. Charles WILCOX) in Milford, Mass.; and Charles H. in Charlestown, Mass. Mr. CLARK married for his second wife Lucy (JONES) MARTIN. He has always been one of the most highly respected citizens of the town, and few have more friends and less enemies than he. William C. was born in this town, and has always followed the occupation of a farmer, on a farm on road 22, where he settled soon after attaining his majority. He held the office of representative in 1872, was lister and high sheriff in 1879-80, and has been deputy sheriff for fourteen years. He was census enumerator in 1880, and has always taken an active part in town affairs. He is actively interested in church and temperance matters. He married, first, Ellen. L. BAILEY, who died in December, 1864, and second Eleanor T. ALLEN, in 1870, and has had born to him two children, Bessie L., who died November 27, 1886, and Minnie L. He has been engaged with Marcus PECK in manufacturing steel hay and manure forks and garden rakes -for twenty years. He is also engaged with Mr. PECK in stock raising, in Roxbury, Washington county, where they keep about one hundred head of cattle.
      Thomas PECK came to this town from Canterbury, Conn., about 1790, and located on a farm on road 20, where Cassius PECK now lives, and where he remained until his death. He married Priscilla HOWARD and reared a family -of nine children, as follows: Thomas K., Reuben, Newton, Sarah, Almyra, Priscilla, Mary A., Charity and Marcia. Mary A. married Stowell PAINE .and lives in Fairlee; Reuben married Hannah G. EDSON, who bore him four children, two of whom, Cassius and Marcus, are living in this town, and two, Aurelia B. and Marshall R., are dead. Marcus married Mary E. WILCOX, also of this town, and by her had four children, of whom Jessie M. and Bessie F. are dead, and two are living, viz.: Mary E. (Mrs. Arthur LYMAN), of Rutland, and Marcia L., who lives with her father. Mrs. PECK died in October, 1872, and he married for his second wife Mrs. Adeline WHEATLEY. He has held the offices of selectman, town lister, and town agent, was state senator in 1880, and is now a director of the Northfield bank. For the past twenty years he has been associated with William CLARK in the manufacture of hay and manure forks, etc.
      John WHEATLEY was born in Ireland about the year 1718, and came to this country when about fourteen years of age. His father was an officer in the British navy, and John held several military and civil offices. In 1763 he removed with his family to Lebanon, N. H., where he held several prominent .town offices, and represented the town in the legislature. In 1791 his third son, Nathaniel, removed with his family to this town, and purchased a farm of Capt. CROSS, the first settler in the town, where he resided until his death, July 23, 1824, aged seventy-two years. He was a consistent and persevering christian, and had the confidence and respect of his townsmen, which was manifested by the many offices of trust they were pleased to bestow upon him. Col. Nathaniel WHEATLEY was born in Lebanon, N. H., January 21, 1786, and came to this town with his father, Nathaniel, in 1791. He was a hotel keeper for a great many years. He represented his town in the legislature, and served one term in the senate. The WHEATLEY farm has been in the possession of this family since 1791, and is now owned by the third Nathaniel WHEATLEY.
      Barna BIGELOW was born in Shrewsbury, Mass., and came from Paxton, Mass., to this town, about 1793. He built a house and store in East Brookfield village, now owned by Jonah SPRAGUE, where he kept store for fifteen years. He then conducted the same business for ten years where William A. ROBBINS is now located, when he closed his mercantile business and followed farming the remainder of his life. At the time of his death he was the owner of five hundred acres of land. He was interested in the affairs of the town, and filled acceptably many offices of justice of the peace for many years. September 18, 1794, he married Nabby PRIDE, who bore him four children, Silas, Betsey, Abner and Charles, and died in 1808. The sons by his first wife all died in Virginia, Silas being a resident of Appomattox Court House during the war and at the time of Lee's surrender. Barna married for his second wife Lois GRISWOLD, by whom, he had three children, Nabby, Frederick and Samuel, of whom Nabby (Mrs. Joseph PARTRIDGE) is living in Oil City, Pa. Frederick was representative in 1860-61, selectman in 1841-43, and was a justice of the peace for twenty-five years. He married Philena PROUTY and had three children, Charles H. and William P., of this town, and one who died in infancy. He was in mercantile business at East Brookfield for seventeen years. He died January 29, 1884. William P., son of Barna, has been town clerk and treasurer twelve years, and has been in mercantile business fourteen years. He married Julia, daughter of Caleb LADD, of Calcutta, India, and they have one child, William F., who is a clerk in his father's store.
      Joseph MORSE came from Fitzwilliam, N. H., and located in this town in, 1819. Of his large family of children, only one is living, Mrs. Elizabeth PATTERSON, of Utica, N. Y., and eleven are dead, as follows: Joseph, Jr., John, Elihu, Jerusha, Elijah, Lavinia, Elisha, Hannah, George, Mary and Samuel.. Elijah was twice married. By his first wife, Olive HERRICK, he had seven children, viz.: Daniel A., Sarah, Elijah R., Orren M., Orra, John H. and David. His second wife was Fanny A. RICHMOND, by whom he had one child, Adeline F. Four of his children are still living, viz.: Sarah (Mrs. Sprague ARNOLD) and Daniel A. in this town; Elijah R., of Alexandria," D. T., and John H., of Deerfield, Minn. Daniel A. married Nancy LAMSON and had born to him seven children, of whom Abbie (Mrs. N. W. FRINK) and Clinton L. are dead, and five are living, viz.: Luella (Mrs. A. W. FREEMAN) and Julien in this town; Azro D., Walter and Ethel (Mrs. Frank MCWHORTEL) in Barre. Daniel A. has filled the offices of selectman, overseer of the poor, lister and trustee, and has been postmaster for six years.
      Hon. Sprague ARNOLD, son of Sprague and Rebecca (WALBRIDGE) ARNOLD, was born in Randolph, April 19, 1803. He received his education in the common schools, with several terms in the Grammar school at Randolph. He taught fourteen terms of school in this and adjoining towns. In 1825 he located in this town, and in 1829 married Sally CARLEY, by whom he had four children, only one of whom is now living, Annette (Mrs. Marshall CARPENTER), with her parents in this town. Mrs. ARNOLD died, and in 1840 he married Sarah MORSE, with whom he is still living. Mr. ARNOLD was appointed side judge in-1857-58, which office he creditably filled.
      Hezekiah WILLIAMS came to this town from Connecticut about 1826, and' located upon the farm now owned by Charles S. WILLIAMS, on road 41, where he -remained until his death. He married and had three children, Amaziah, Dorcas and Sarah. Dorcas lives with Charles S., in this town; Sarah is dead; Amaziah married and reared five children, of whom Ellen and Joseph W. are dead; George lives in Roxbury, Washington county; Ellen (Mrs. Henry SPAULDING) also resides in Roxbury; and Charles S. in this town, on the home farm.
      Edward SPRAGUE came to this town from Randolph in 1833. He first settled on the East hill, on road 72, where E. W. FAREWELL now lives. He was a religious and kind hearted man, and a deacon of the Free Baptist church for several years. He died in 1858. He married Aseneth CARLISLE, and reared a family of twelve children, of whom but two are living, Edward, Jr., in East Randolph, and John in this town. The latter, who is the largest owner of real estate in this town, married Ruth H. HIBBARD, and had born to him two children, Hovey, who died at the age of twelve years, and Hibbard, who resides in Brookfield. John has always refused to accept political offices. He is a very liberal man, and gave more toward building the church at East Brookfield than any other one.
      Captain Marshall CARPENTER, son of Austin and Harriet (WALBRIDGE) CARPENTER, was born in this town May 24, 1836. September 8, 1862, he enlisted in the 15th Vermont regiment, and at the organization of Company C, in that regiment, was made 1st lieutenant. In January, 1863, he was promoted to a captaincy. At the expiration of his term of service he returned to this town, and in 1866 married Annette, daughter of Hon. Sprague ARNOLD. He resides on road 48.
      Calvin FULLAM came to this town from Hartland, Vt., in 1836, and located in Brookfield village, where his son Frederick L. now lives, and where he remained until his death, in 1858. He married Nancy WALLACE, who died in 1864. They had six children, of whom Levi served in the 10th Vt. Regt., and was killed at Orange Grove, Va.; George was a merchant in this town, and died in 1869; Jane (Mrs. Maynard WINCH) resides in Jamaica, Vt.;. David is in Colorado; and Calvin, Jr., and Frederick are residents of this town. The latter married Sarah SMITH, October 16, 1867, and had born to him two children, Jennie B., born July 24, 187 4, and one who died in infancy. Mr. FULLAM has been employed in the fork factory, by PECK, CLARK & Co., and their predecessors, for thirty-two years. Calvin, Jr., served three years in the late war, in the 4th Vt. Regt., and was slightly wounded in the side by a fragment of a shell. He has been a resident of Brookfield village longer than any other person now living here. He married Mary A. READ, and they have four children, viz.: Charles W. and Clarence, of this town; Henry H., who has been connected with the "Raymond excursions" for several years; and Lucy (Mrs. Walter WILBUR), of Waterford, Caledonia county.
      Rodney W. WALBRIDGE, son of William and Maria (CARPENTER) Walbridge, was born in this town June 12, 1839. In 1861 he enlisted in the 4th Vermont Regt., and served three years. He was wounded in the first battle of Fredericksburg, and also at Funkstown, Md. He married, first, Augusta E. CARLEY, who died June 5, 1872, and second, Eunice W. CHURCH, by whom he; has two children, Rodney R. and Carley C.
      Samuel UPHAM. Jr., son of Samuel and Patty UPHAM, was born in Leicester, Mass., in 1794. His first settlement in this county was made at Randolph, in 1842. In 1855 he located in this town, in Brookfield village, and soon after removed to the house now occupied by his son Zenas. He was a captain of militia for several years, and a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Randolph. He died March 5, 1863. His son Zenas was born in Montpelier, August 3, 1821. In 1841 he removed to Milledgeville, Ga., where he remained until 1843, when he returned and located in Brookfield village, where he carried on the tailoring business for ten years. He was also engaged in the fork manufacturing business, being one of the firm of STEVENS, PECK & Co. This firm sold out in 1859, and Mr. UPHAM bought the farm now occupied by John A. REED, on road 17, and there resided until 1864. He then engaged in mercantile business where D. A. MORSE is now located, which he continued for one year, when he formed a -partnership with Col. Justus EDSON, in the same line, and located where W. P. BIGELOW now is. While in partnership with Col. EDSON he was appointed postmaster, which office he held until he withdrew from the firm. He then accepted a position as commercial traveler for a Boston firm, by whom he has been employed most of the time for the past twenty years. He held the .office of town clerk seven years, was state senator in 1860-61, and was assistant judge in 1876-77. He was twice married, first to Lucy C. EDSON, and by her has one child living -- Curtis M., of this town. By his second wife, Caroline C. CRANE, he has two children living-Lucy C. and Mary C. -- both of whom are graduates of Mt. Holyoke seminary, of Holyoke, Mass.
      Alanson L. FOLLANSBEE came to this town from Grafton, N. H., in 1862, and until 1867 followed the occupation of farming, when he entered the employ of PECK, CLARK & Co., in the fork factory, where he has since remained, and for the past fifteen years has been foreman of the shop. He was twice married, first to Harriet ALLIS, in July, 1864, who died October 28, 1882, and second to Sophia E. CLARK, May 21, 1883.
      Henry L. EDSON, son of Henry and Clarissa (CAPRON) EDSON, was born in this town. He enlisted in the First Vermont Cavalry in 1861, was taken prisoner and languished in Libby prison for a short time, when he was paroled, and for six months was detained from active service. He returned to his regiment and participated in thirty-five engagements. He is now a veterinary surgeon.
      Charles H. BIGELOW, son of Frederick G., is a native of this town. He married Louise LYMAN, and they have three children, Charles A., Louis L. and Arthur G. Mr. BIGELOW has been justice of the peace for the past six years, and-for five years he held the office of postmaster at East Brookfield. He is a leader in the choir and superintendent of the Sabbath-school at the Second Congregational church in Brookfield village.
      Ziba N. PAGE was born in Cabot, Washington county, November 30, 1833. When a young man he engaged in the manufacture of sash and blinds at South Northfield, Washington county, and later, in 1862, removed to Randolph. In 1863 he enlisted in the, 3d Vt. Regt., and during the late sanguinary struggle served in sixteen engagements. At the close of the war he removed to Montpelier, where for twelve years he was employed by George BENNETT and the Lane Manufacturing Co., in the manufacture of sash, doors and blinds. In 1877 he removed to this town, and located on road 3, where he now resides.
      Vernon C. GOODRICH, son of Sylvanus and Mary (WOOLSON) GOODRICH, was born in Burlington, Iowa, May 9, 1846. He studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, land also at the University of Vermont, at Burlington, at which place he graduated in 1873. He came here-the same year and began practice, and in 1886 was appointed postmaster at Brookfield village. He married Mary L. LAMPSON, of this town, October 1, 1874, and they have two children, Mary, born December 8, 1875, and Susie A., born November 24, 1878.
      Charles E. WYMAN, son of David and Almira (NEWTON) WYMAN, was born in Rochester, Vt., in 1833. In 1853 he removed to Randolph, and followed farming for about five years, was a clerk in F. B. SALISBURY's general store for three years, and also for H. C. & C. A. BADGER for a short time. While a resident of Randolph he held the office of constable and tax collector. In 1869 he removed to Wisconsin, and was successively proprietor of a saw-mill and meat-market at Waupaca. He was then employed by the Western Union Telegraph Company as lineman, and later was section master on the Chicago, Rock Island & St. Louis railroad. He returned to Randolph in 1876, and later came to this town, locating on road 56, where he now resides.
      Charles W. FULLAM, son of Calvin, was born in this town, and soon after attaining his majority went to New Mexico, where he engaged in herding sheep. Later he was employed in driving cattle from Salt Lake City to Denver, Col., and also drove the mail coach from Denver to Georgetown, Col. In 1873 he returned to this town, and for the past-thirteen years has had the contract for carrying the mails between Brookfield and West Randolph villages. He married Ella LAPORT, and they have four children, viz.: Zoe, Walter, Wallace and Avis.
      Abraham CURBY, a native of New Haven, Vt., learned the painter's trade at Nashua, N. H. In 1861 he enlisted in the 3d N. H. Regt., and served three years. May 15, 1864, at Drury's Bluff, Va., he was wounded in the left arm, and sustained the difficult surgical operation of having a portion of the bone removed and the ends brought together, making the arm four inches shorter. There are only fourteen similar cases on record at the office of the commissioner of pensions in the United States. He is unable to work, and draws a pension of $36 per month. He became a resident of this town in 1880.
      Amos C. Chase was born in Unity, N. H., April 24, 1819. In 1858 he removed to Waterbury, where he remained until 1884, when he became a resident of this town. In 1862 he enlisted in the 13th Vt. Regt., and later re-enlisted in the 17th Vt. Regt. September 30, 1864, near Welden railroad, Va., he was wounded in the left arm, two balls having struck him at nearly the same instant. His arm was amputated at the shoulder joint, and he was discharged June 12, 1865. He draws from the government a pension of $45 per month.
      The Church of Christ (Congregational), located at East Brookfield village, was organized January 16, 7883, by the Congregational council, with twenty-one members. The church building, a wooden structure, was erected in 1882, at a cost of $1,300, and is owned by the Congregationalists and Methodists together, who unite in supporting the pastor, Rev. Benjamin P. PARKER. The house will comfortably seat 200 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $1,800. The present number of members is twenty-three, and about forty scholars regularly attend the Sunday-school.

      The Second Congregational church, located at North Brookfield village, was. organized by the ecclesiastical council in 1848, and at its organization consisted of fifty-seven members. S. J. LORD was the first pastor. Their house of worship, the present structure, was erected in 1848, of wood, at a cost of $3,000, will comfortably seat 18o persons, and is now valued, including other church property, at $5,000. The society has 132 members, with Rev. William CARR, pastor. The Sunday-school has a membership of 180.

      The West Brookfield and East Braintree Congregational church was organized November 24, 1871, with thirty-four members, by Rev. Arthur T. REED, the first pastor. Their house of worship, a wooden structure, was erected in 1840, at a cost of. $1,400, and will comfortably seat 200 persons. The society is composed of five denominations, all working harmoniously together under the pastoral charge of Rev. George E. BOYNTON. The present number of members is sixty-two, while the Sunday-school has an average attendance of eighty-seven.

      The Freewill Baptist church, located on East hill, was organized July 20, 1817, by Rev. N. KING, the first pastor, with a membership of six. Their first house of worship, a wooden structure, was erected in 18J9, at a cost of $800, and will comfortably seat 200 persons. The society has no regular 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 212-220.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004