OF ORANGE COUNTY, VT.
OF THE TOWN OF
CHELSEA, the shire town, is situated near the center of the county,
in latitude 40°, and longitude 4° 30', and is bounded north by
Washington and Williamstown, east by Vershire, south by Tunbridge, and
west by Brookfield. It was first granted by the province of New York, under
the name of Gageborough, but no settlement having been made under that
grant and name, the legislature of Vermont granted to Bela TURNER and associates,
November 2, 1780, and gave it a charter by the name of Turnersburg, August
4, 1781. By the charter it contained 23,040 acres. The charter was signed
by Thomas CHITTENDEN, governor, and countersigned "by his excellency's
command, Thomas TOLMAN, deputy secretary to the governor and council."
The name was altered to Chelsea, October 13, 1788. Among other reservations
the charter appropriated to the public uses "one share or right for the
use of the seminary or college within the state; one share or right for
the use of the county grammar schools throughout the state; one share or
right for the use of the first settled minister of the gospel in said township,
to be disposed of for that purpose as the inhabitants thereof shall direct;
one share or right for the support of the ministers; and one share or right
for the benefit of the school or schools within said township." The charter
also provided "that each proprietor of said township and his heirs shall
plant and cultivate five acres of land, and build a house of at least eighteen
feet square on the floor, or have one family settled on each share or right
of land within the term of four years, next after the circumstances of
the war will admit of it, on the pain of forfeiture of the land, that all
pine timber suitable for a navy shall be reserved for the benefit of the
Before Chelsea was settled, and before it became the shire town,
the provincial government of New York erected the county of Gloucester,
of which Orange county was a part, in or about 1769, and Kingsland (now
Washington) was made the county seat. Courts of common pleas and quarter
sessions were organized by the judges appointed, at Kingsland, May 29,
1770, although that township was then wholly unsettled, and not a road
was opened, nor a house built, save a simple log hut hastily constructed
for a court-house and jail. It will be seen by reference to the sketch
of the town of Washington that the "court" became lost in the wilderness,
on one occasion, and failed to hold its anticipated session. The courts
were continued at Kingsland until August, 1772, when they were held alternately
at Newbury and Kingsland until February, 1774, which was the last term
ever held for Gloucester county, and no courts were held within that territory
until June, 1781, when the first term for Orange county was held at Thetford.
Orange county courts were held at Thetford till 1785, when they were removed
to Newbury, where they continued to be held till the December term of 1796.
when Chelsea became the permanent county seat for Orange county.
The township is well watered, being traversed from north to south,
through nearly its center, by the "First branch" of White river. This branch
is a considerable stream, affording some very fine mill-privileges in its
course, although very few of them are within the town of Chelsea. The township
is quite hilly, but mostly of good soil. All kinds of grain common in the
state are raised with tolerable success. The timber is of various kinds,
maple, elm, beech, birch and hemlock predominating. Pine was formerly abundant,
but has almost entirely disappeared. The geological structure of the territory
is made up entirely of rocks of the calciferous mica schist formation,
which, owing to their rapid disintegration, constantly add depth and strength
to the soil.
The population of Chelsea in 1880 was 1,462. In 1886 the town had
seventeen school districts and the same number of common schools, employing
five male and twenty-eight female teachers, to whom was paid $9.74 to the
males, and $4.45 to the females. There were 305 scholars, fifteen of whom
were attending private schools. The entire income for school expenses was
$3,048.97, while the total expenditures were $2,479.82, with Miss A. A.
CHELSEA, the county seat, a beautiful little village, is located
near the central part of the town, upon First branch of White river, twenty-two
miles south from Montpelier. The nearest railroad station is South Royalton,
on the C. V. R. R., thirteen miles distant, to which daily stages are run.
Daily stages are also run to Barre and Thetford. The first court-house
was erected here in 1796, and was located on Main street. This gave place
to a more commodious structure at the head of South Common, in 1810, and
in 1847 the present building, nearly on the same site, at the east end
of South Park street, was built. The jail is on Vershire street. The village
contains a national bank, two churches (Congregational and Methodist),
Orange County Hotel, Chelsea academy, four general stores, one drug store,
two groceries, two furniture stores, two undertaking establishments, three
milliner and fancy goods stores, a boot and shoe store, two harness shops,
four blacksmith shops, a wagon shop, flouring-mill, saw-mill, feed store,
hardware store, photograph gallery, jewelry store, dentist, merchant tailor,
livery and sale stable, tannery, six lawyers and four physicians. The "Old
Cemetery" is situated nearly in the center of the village, on the west
side of Main street, where many of the pioneers of the town are quietly
sleeping, oblivious to the many changes which have taken place since they
passed away. The new cemetery is in the southern part of the village, and
contains many fine monuments, among which is one in memory of those who
laid down their lives in defense of their country.
George HUTCHINSON's saw-mill, in the northern part of the village,
on the North branch of White river, was built about 1820. It has the capacity
for cutting 8,000 feet of lumber daily.
A. H. POWERS's grist-mill is located on the North branch of White
river. It has three runs of stones, with the capacity for grinding 200
bushels of grain per day.
ALLEN & BACON's cider-mill, located north of Chelsea village,
on the North branch of White river, was built in 1881. It manufactures
about 1,200 barrels of cider annually.
P. W. ROGERS's wagon shop, shingle-mill and planing-mill, located
on Main street, on the Second "branch of White river, was established in
1876. Mr. ROGERS manufactures wagons, sleighs and shingles, and does planing
and general repairing.
Orange County Hotel, located in the village of Chelsea, is a large
and commodious house where guests or summer visitors may enjoy the homelike
comforts of country life. It will accommodate one hundred guests, and is
in charge of the genial proprietor, E. D. BARNES.
The First National Bank of Chelsea. A recent report gave this bank
a capital stock of $150,000; circulation $135,000; surplus $3,041.33 deposits
$34,827.07; profits $3,869.92. Aaron N. King is president; J. B. Bacon,
vice-president; and C. S. Emery, cashier.
The first settlement of the town was commenced in 1784, by Samuel
MOORE, Thomas MOORE and Asa BOND, the first two named being brothers, and
the last a brother-in-law. It is stated in Thompson's Gazetteer
that the three gentlemen named came from Manchester, N. H., which improvements
were made here by them in the spring of 1784, and that the next year they
brought their families with them. It has also been stated, by good authority,
that four brothers by the name of WILLS settled on the West hill, in this
town, in 1784, where they cleared and occupied land, that they came by
the way of roads leading through Brookfield, and knew nothing of the other
pioneers who came up the branch from Royalton. They supposed that they
were the only settlers in the township, and probably the families who first
settled here in the valley knew nothing of the settlers on West hill. They
were soon followed by Dea. Enos SMITH and many others whose descendants
still reside in the town, and in 1791 the population had increased to 239
souls. The first house in the township was built by Thomas MOORE, near
the central part of the “old burying-ground," and where was born the first
child in town -- Thomas Porter MOORE. Thomas P. MOORE lived a long and
useful life, and now lies buried within a few yards of the place of his
birth. He was born October 16, 1785, and died in May, 1867, having spent
his entire life in the town.
The first town meeting was held and the town organized March 31,
1788, pursuant to the following warning, which we copy literally:
The following are the minutes of the meeting, copied from the early
March 14, 1788.
to notify and warn all the inhabitants of Turnersburgh, who are legal voters,
to meet at the dwelling house of Samuel MOORE, on the 31st day of this
instant March, at 9 of the clock, to act on the following articles, To.
wit: To choose a Moderator to govern said meeting; 2d, to choose a Town
Clerk and all other necessary town officers, as the law directs, and to
do all other bisness which may appear necessary at said meeting.
At a meeting held September 29, 1788, it was voted to petition the
assembly to change the name of the town, and call it Brookline. At the
next town meeting, held March 3, 1789, the warrant begins with the date
of Chelsea, alias Turnersburg, thus proving that the suggested name of
Brookline was not accepted, but that that of Chelsea was. The town was
first represented in the legislature of Vermont in 1791, by Theophilus
HUNTINGTON. The first justice of the peace was Samuel HUNTINGTON, appointed
to the above warning, at a time and place, Thomas PORTER, Esquire, according
to the acquirements of the law, opened sd. meeting. First. Chose Mr. Roger
Wales Moderator to govern sd. meeting. 2d. Voted and chose Enos SMITH Town
Clerk. 3dly. Voted and chose Mr. Asa BOND First Selectman for the year
ensuing. 4thly. Voted and chose Mr. Joshua Lathrop Second Selectman for
the ensuing year. 5thly. Voted and chose Mr. Roger WALES Third Selectman
for the year ensuing. 6thly. Voted and chose Mr. Thomas MOORE, Esq., Grand
juror for the year ensuing. 7thly. Voted and chose Enos SMITH Treasurer
for the town for the ensuing year. 8thly. Voted and chose Mr. Ivory DOUGLASS
Sealer of Weights and Measures for the year ensuing.
appeared the above named persons that were elected to office,.and took
their engagements by oath before Thomas PORTER, Justice Peace.
ENOS SMITH, Town Clerk."
Jonathan WILLS, with three brothers, Joel, Jacob and Jesse, from
Windham, Conn., located on the West hill, as previously stated, in 1784.
Jonathan and Joel had served in the Revolutionary war. Jonathan, the only
one married at the time of their settlement here, brought his wife and
two children, a son and daughter, Reuben and Lucinda, the latter dying
a few days after their arrival, which was probably the first death in the
town, although it can not positively by stated as the fact, as a daughter
of Thomas MOORE died about the same time at the other settlement. Jonathan
had born to him six sons and five daughters. He removed to Randolph, where
he died, and where his son Anson now resides, at the age of eighty-six
years. Joel never married, and died in Brandon, Rutland county. Jacob had
born to him four children, equally divided as to sex, and died in Tunbridge.
Jesse was born in 1766, and married Emma, daughter of Jacob PERKINS, in
1796. Of their eight children-five sons and three daughters-Abigail married
Hiram STANLEY, and had four sons and three daughters; Perley C. was born
April 5, 1798 ; Lee N. had two sons and two daughters, and died in Castleton,
Vt.; Joseph C. had one son and one daughter, and died in Oswego, N. Y.;
Hiram never married; Aurelia (Mrs. Alfred WELLS) has four sons and six
daughters, and lives at Johnsburgh, N. Y.; Aaron P. had four sons and four
daughters, and resides at Fort Edward, N. Y.; and Orpha died at the age
of three years. Perley C. married Sally, daughter of Oliver and Lizzie
(MARTIN) SMITH, in 1824, and had born to him children as follows: Elvira,
who died in 1871; Orpha (Mrs. L. W. BACON), who died in 1884; Frances (Mrs.
Orville BIXBY), who resides in this town; Zerua (Mrs. Stillman SEAVER),
of Williamstown; Sarah E. resides at home; Merrill P. died at the age of
two years. The wife of Perley C. WILLS died June 19, 1886. Mr. WILLS, the
oldest resident of the town, who was born here, resides on road 36.
Thomas MOORE was one of the first settlers, and the father of Thomas
P. MOORE, the first child born in town, as has been previously stated.
The latter was born October 16, 1785, and married Polly, daughter of Andrew
and Polly (Bliss) TRACY, and had born to him ten sons and five daughters,
of whom Sarah B. (Mrs. Erastus BUGBEE) died in 1848; Andrew W. is also
dead; Thomas P., Jr., married Laura PUFFER, and resides in this town; Cyrus
T. resides in Sturbridge, Mass.; Dr. Nathaniel D. died in Massachusetts;
Salmon H. died in California; Horace D. married Elizabeth E.. COKE, and
,has two daughters; Edson J., a Congregational clergyman, married Margaret
TOULMAN, and resides in Norfolk, Mass.; William H. died young; Nancy A.
(Mrs. Capt. Charles M. TEWKSBURY) is a resident of Winthrop, Mass.; Alma
A. married Solon M. DAVIS, of Canaan, N. H., in 1856, and has two daughters,
Ellen F., who resides at home, and Laura J. (Mrs. John HAZLET); Zuar E.
was killed at the battle of Bull Run in 1861; one child died in infancy,
and Francis died at the age of eleven years. Mr. DAVIS, mentioned above,
enlisted in 2d Regt. N. H. Vols, in which he served three years. He is
a live stock dealer in Beloit, Iowa.
Ichabod BIXBY, son of Ichabod, was born in Tolland, Conn., in 1784,
and in 1787 came to this town with his parents, and located on West hill.
In 1809 he married Sukie LEWIS, who bore him five sons and five daughters,
of whom F. P. was born in 1811; Mary (Mrs. O. S. WALKER) resides in Williamstown;
Martin lives in Plattsburgh, N. Y.; Harriet in this town; Sarah is the
widow of F. D. HEMINGWAY; George F. resides in Plattsburgh, N. Y.; H. L.
is a farmer and photographer, and resides on West hill in this town. The
latter was town representative in 1886-87.
Caleb and Dea. Ivory DOUGLASS, brothers, came to this town in 1789.
They were sixth in descent from Dea. William DOUGLASS, who emigrated from
Scotland in 1640, and settled in New London, Conn. Caleb married Grace
MORGAN, and had born to him seven sons and three daughters, only two of
whom are now living -- Guy in Danville, Caledonia county, aged eighty-eight
years, and Edward in this town, where he was born in 1804. He spent his
early life upon a farm, and later taught school for ten terms. He married
Esther M., daughter of Buel and Betsey (CAMP) BARNES, in 1834, and had
born to him five daughters, of whom Louise E. (Mrs. William MARSTON) and
Ellen M. reside in this town. The latter married Willie SCALES in 1871,
and they have one daughter, Mary Ellen, born in 1883. Edward DOUGLASS is
still living, and owns a farm on road 21 corner 22. Hon. Stephen A. DOUGLASS
was a lineal descendant of Dea. WILLIAM, mentioned above.
Solomon ANNIS was born in Lebanon, N. H., in 1764, and in 1789 came
to this town and located upon the farm now occupied by his grandson, Holton
S. In 1791 he married Susanna BUEWORTH, and reared four sons and five daughters.
One son, Solomon, born in 1808, married Climenia, daughter of Ebenezer
ALLEN, in 1831, and had born to him one son and three daughters. The son,
Holton S., was born in 1844, and in 1868 married a daughter of Thomas and
Rhoda (RENWICK) MILLER. Mr. ANNIS owns and occupies the homestead upon
which he was born.
Amos Hood was born in Topsfield; Mass., in 1769, and came to Chelsea,
in 1794, where he followed the occupation of carpenter and joiner. In,
1792 he married Sally RAMSDELL, by whom he had four sons and four daughters,
all of whom are dead except Ira. His wife died in 1822, and for his second
wife he married Rachel May COBURN, a widow, by whom he had two sons, Albert
and Thomas. Ira HOOD was born in this town in 1810. He is a shoemaker by
trade, and married Achsah M. GREEN, in 1833, who died in 1879, when he
married for his second wife Ellen A., daughter of Lyman and Hannah (FRENCH)
TITUS, in 1881. Mr. HOOD is proprietor of a boarding-house on North Main
street. Amos R. HOOD, son of Amos, was born in this town in 1804. He married
Abigail, daughter of Jacob CELLEY, by whom he had two sons and two daughters,
viz.: William F., who resides in this town; Julia (Mrs. ROGERS), of Lowell,
Mass.; C. I., much noted for his sarsaparilla and other medicines, also
of Lowell; and Arcelia. William F. married Maria BURGESS, and they have
two children, Julia and Abigail. He is a druggist on Main street in Chelsea
village, upon which street his residence is also located.
Dea. Samuel Lincoln came from Windham, Conn., to Chelsea, about
1798, and located in the southern part of the town. He was married, and
his children were Samuel, Elihu, Shubael, Oshea, Levi, Mary, Phila, Achsah,
Ruth and Betsey. Oshea married Polly SMITH and reared six sons and three
daughters, of whom two sons and three daughters are living, viz.: Urial,
John A. and Ruth (Mrs. Daniel B. HOWE), of Massachusetts. John A. was born
in this town in 1813, and spent his early life upon his father's farm.
He married Parmelia S., daughter of Jeremiah and Jane (MAHEW) WEBBER, in
1848, and had born to him five sons and two daughters, viz.: George A.,
Ruth A. (Mrs. C. DODGE), William and Herbert, who died in infancy, Carrie
A. (Mrs. Rinaldo HOOD) and Charles O. Mr. LINCOLN is a farmer, and resides
in the southern part of the town, on road 57.
Lement BACON, son of Ebenezer and Lucy (BENTLEY) BACON, of Woodstock,
Conn., was born in 1789. He was married and had three children, viz.: Christopher
B., Lement, Jr., and Lucy E. For his second wife he married Celia, daughter
of John and Sarah (FISH) BUTLER, and had born to him children as follows:
Sarah F. (Mrs. George S. HARRIS), Mary B. (Mrs. Royal HATCH), and Josiah
D., who reside in Nebaska; Charles C., of Boston, and. John B., of this
town. The latter married Sarah P., daughter of Masa H. and Persis (AUSTIN)
MOREY, in 1858, and had born to him three children, viz.: Sarah F., who
died in infancy, John L., a bank cashier at White River Junction, Vt.,
and Mary S., who died February 1, 1883, aged seventeen years. In 1848 Mr.
BACON engaged in the mercantile business in Chelsea village, where he held
the office of postmaster for twenty-four years, his term of service ending
in 1885. He has also been county treasurer and president of the. First
National Bank of Chelsea. His residence is on Church street.
Nathan Flint was born in Windham Conn., April 17, 1762, and removed
to this town about 1789. In 1783 he married Olive REDINGTON, by whom he
had five sons and four daughters. One son, Nathan B., was born on the homestead
in this town, August 25, 1798. He married Sylvia, daughter of Jonathan
W. and Sylvia (HASTINGS) HEMENWAY, in 1836, and reared a family of three
sons and two daughters, viz.: John M., Joseph N., Abel R., Martha R. and
Olive G. John M., the only one of these children now living, married Harriet
M., daughter of Theron and Rebecca (WHITNEY) THAYER, in 1864, and they
have three daughters, Martha Edith, Mary Alice and Emma Florence. Mr. FLINT
owns and occupies the old homestead, which has never been out of the possession
of the FLINT family.
John BAILEY, from Massachusetts, settled in Chelsea at an early
day. In 1843 he married Bernice SMITH, who bore him two sons and four daughters,
of whom George was born in 1846, and spent his early life upon a farm.
He married Sarah P., daughter of Joseph and Rhoda (WHITCOMB) KENERSON,
and has two children, Dean H. and Ethel M. Mr. BAILEY is a dairyman, and
resides on road 61.
Robert ANDRUS, who was born in Lebanon, N. H., in 1783, came to
this town at an early day. In 1813 he married Roxiana BARKER, by whom he
had three sons and three daughters. For his second wife he married Betsey
WOODWORTH, in 1829, who bore him children as follows: Alma M. (Mrs. Henry
LEWIN); Lucy, who died young; Elizabeth J. (Mrs. George F. FULSOM), who
died in 1875; and Calvin N. The latter married Lavinia H., daughter of
Jacob and Rachel (LARNED) YOUNG, of this town, in 1849, and had born to
him three daughters, viz.: Ella M., Sarah L. (Mrs. J. F. HEMENWAY) and
Frances. He died April 6, 188o, on the place where he was born, and which
has always been in the possession of some member of the ANDRUS family.
Captain Wilder DEARBORN, son of Asa and Anna (EMERSON) DEARBORN,
was born in Chester, N. H., in 1794, and removed to this town with his
parents in 1800, where he spent his early life upon a farm. He married
Persis, daughter of Joseph HAMILTON, in 1820, and reared a family of three
sons and four daughters, of whom Nancy resides in this town; Julia died
in 1849, aged twenty-four years; Catharine died in 1850, aged twenty-three
years; Franklin and H. W. reside in this town; Azuba (Mrs. J. F. STONE)
resides in Claremont, N. H.; and Calvin died in 1863, aged twenty-five
years. Dea. Franklin was born on the homestead farm in 1829, and there
spent his early life. In 1859 he married Sylvia F., daughter of Joshua
and Lucy (ANDRUS) FOLSOM, and reared a family of one son and three daughters,
viz.: Frank H., Persis S. (Mrs. John M. COMSTOCK), Minnie L. and Hattie
H. Mr. DEARBORN has been a deacon of the Congregational church since 1872,
and has filled acceptably the office of selectman. He owns and occupies
the old homestead where he was born, on road 39.
Ebenezer PERKINS was born in Massachusetts in 1788, and in 1806
settled in Chelsea. He married Lucy HOOD and had born to him one son and
two daughters, viz.: Louisa (Mrs. Isaac SLACK), John H., of Washington,
and Sarah J. H. (Mrs. Fifield BOHONON), of Chelsea. John H. was born in
this town in 1816, and was reared upon a farm. At the age of nineteen he
removed to Mexico, and started the first cotton-mill in that country. After
remaining here five years, he settled in Washington, in this county. He
married Silence CASWELL, and had born to him three sons, viz.: Fernando
M., Nathan H., of Washington, and Carson F., of Iowa. Fernando M. was born
in 1845, and spent his early life upon a farm. In 1865 he removed to Gloucester,
Mass., where he followed the occupation of book-keeper. He married Anna
J., daughter, of Charles H. and Ellen J. (POLAND) MARSDEN, in 1870, and
removed to Washington, where he lived on a farm until 1895, when he returned
to this town and bought the Daniel FULLER farm on road 39. Mr. PERKINS
has one son, J. Oliver, born in March, 1871.
Daniel WYMAN was born in Sullivan, N. H., in 1787, and came to Chelsea
in 1810, locating on the farm now occupied by his daughter, Sarah A. (Mrs.
Foster GROW). He was twice married, first to Susannah DAGGET, in 1811,
who bore him one child, and died the same year of their marriage, and second
to Anna WILSON, daughter of John and Ann (UNDERHILL) WILSON, in 1814, by
whom he had four sons and two daughters. Mr. WYMAN was a carpenter and
joiner by trade, and died August 14, 1870, his wife having died in 1863.
Of their children, Sarah Ann married Foster GROW, a jeweler of this town,
who died in 1892; Thomas W. resides in Stanstead, Canada; John is a banker
in Des Moines, Iowa; Charles is a jeweler in St. Albans; George D. is collector
of customs at Derby Line; and Mary A. married James E. MORRIS, of Lowell,
Mass., in 1848, and resides with her husband and sister, Mrs. GROW, on
the homestead where the sisters were born.
Harry and Nathaniel HALE, sons of Col. Nathan HALE, a Revolutionary
soldier, settled in Chelsea in 1807. They were born in Rindge, N. H., and
came to this town from Windsor, Vt. Harry married Phebe ADAMS, of Rindge,
and had born to him thirteen children, viz.: Polly, Phebe, Louisa, Henry,
Safford, John G., William, Matthew, Mark, Thomas, Abigail G., Robert S.
and Laura C. His first wife died in 1855, and for his second wife he married
Lucinda EDDY, a lineal descendant of Miles STANDISH. Nathan and Harry were
engaged in mercantile pursuits in this town for many years, and both were
engaged in keeping tavern. Nathan HALE's family consisted of three sons
and two daughters. He died in this town January 10, 1849, at the age of
seventy-seven years. Harry died June 2, 1861, aged eighty-one years. In
speaking of the latter, Rev. Abner MORSE, in a genealogical history of
the Grant family, thus writes:
Jonathan W. HEMENWAY, born in Petersham, Mass., in 1784, came to
this town about 1810, and located where J. F. HEMENWAY now lives. He married,
first, Sylvia HASTINGS, who bore him three sons and four daughters, and
second, Sally HIBBARD. By his second wife he had two sons, Alpheus H.,
of Worcester, Mass., and Rev. Francis D., who died in 1884. For his third
wife he married Achsa, daughter of Nathan and Elizabeth (LINCOLN) HOOD,
in 1840, who bore him one son and two daughters, of whom J. Frank was born
in 1841., and married Sarah L., daughter of Calvin N. and Lavinia (YOUNG)
ANDRUS, in 1877, and has two daughters, Sarah A., a teacher, and Florence
L. (Mrs. George B. Colby). Mr. HEMENWAY is a breeder and dealer in pure
registered Jersey cattle and Merino sheep, and owns and occupies a farm
of 250 acres, upon which he was born.
HALE has been no office seeker, but has been much sought for office. In
1807 (the year he came to Chelsea) he was urged by members of the legislature
from Orange county to accept the office of sheriff, but he utterly refused
in deference to older residents of the county. In 1814 he accepted the
appointment (then made by the legislature). By the town of Chelsea he was
chosen very many times lister, selectman, treasurer, justice of the peace,
overseer of the poor, grand juror, trustee of the United States surplus
fund, and, in 1828, 1832 and 1836, representative to the legislature. In
1832 and subsequently he was appointed clerk of the supreme and county
court for Orange county, and the same year chosen by the legislature a
bank commissioner, and by annual elections continued in this responsible
office for five years. At the organization of the Mutual Fire Insurance
Company of Orange county, in 1840, he was chosen a director, and held the
office ten years, serving as president the last five years. He has long
been a life director of the American Bible society, actively engaged with
other benevolent institutions, and held a high place in the regards of
good men and the public at large."
William CARPENTER was born in Taunton, Mass., in 1781, and located
in this town in 1811. He was twice married, first to Hannah SEAVER, who
bore him four sons and five daughters, and second to Polly SMITH, in 1828,
by whom he had four sons -- SMITH M., Daniel, Nelson and Alva. SMITH M.,
who was born in 1829, spent his early life upon a farm. He married Catharine,
daughter of Israel and Olive (ANDREWS) BRYANT, in 1855, and had born to
him six sons and four daughters, viz.: William, Jason M., Mary M., Annette
O. (Mrs. William AUSTIN), of Brookfield, Adelbert B., Walter W., Edwin
H., Meda A., Daniel H., who died at the age of six years, and Minnie I.
Mr. CARPENTER died in 1881. His widow survives him, and resides on the
old homestead, on road 51. Their son Jason M. married Ellen J. TUBMAN,
of St. Johnsbury, in 1883.
Josiah ROBBINS was born in Alstead, N. H., in 1776. He settled in
Randolph, and in 1805 married Fanny GOSS, by whom he had seven sons and
four daughters. He came to this town about 1816, and located on West hill.
Of his children only two are now living, viz.: Maria R. and George W. Maria
R. was born in this town in 1818. She married Elijah COBURN, son of Micah
and Sarah (GEER) COBURN, in 1836, and had two sons, Warren E., who died
in infancy, and Charles J., who was born in 1845 and died in 1868. She
also bad an adopted son, Curtis A. COBURN, who died in 1866, aged twenty-four
years. Elijah COBURN died in 1877, and Mrs. COBURN resides in Chelsea village.
Daniel HILDRETH and wife were among the early settlers in Chelsea.
He purchased a farm in the northeastern part of the town, and located upon
it in 1814. Mr. HILDRETH was of Puritan stock. He was born in Pepperell,
Mass., May 2, 1783, and died on his farm in Chelsea, November 16, 1858,
aged seventy-five years. On June 9, 1814, he married Clarissa TYLER, daughter
of Jonathan TYLER, of Piermont, N. H. She was born in Piermont, July 5,
1794, and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Harriet N. PORTER, in
Vershire, April 16, 1870, aged seventy-five years. She was the mother of
six sons and six daughters, all born upon the old homestead in Chelsea.
Of these children only four are now living, namely: Azro B. F., the oldest,
born February 29, 1816, now living in Iowa; Albert Gallatin, born February
25, 1829, now living in Lowell, Mass.; Almira Maria, widow of Edward NASON,
of Corinth, born February 10, 1818; and Harriet NEWELL, wife of Lyman PORTER,
of Corinth, born April 25, 1831.
In 1642 Richard HILDRETH came, with a small colony of Puritans,
from the north part of England, and first settled in Woburn, near Boston,
Mass. He afterwards lived and died in Chelmsford, and now lies buried in
the cemetery there, near the Merrimac river, three miles above Lowell.
This Richard HILDRETH was the progenitor of all the HILDRETHs in this country.
The orthography of the name has undergone several changes. It came from
Switzerland several centuries ago when, during religious persecutions there,
certain ones of that name fled to England. The records of the general court
of Massachusetts state that, on two different occasions, lands, in what
is now Chelmsford, were granted to this HILDRETH, one time to Richard HEILDREICH,
and another time to Richard HEILDRETH. Richard HILDRETH, the historian,
and at one time editor of the Boston Atlas, was a cousin of our Daniel
The TYLERs were also of English origin. The first family of that
name came from England in 1682, and settled in Connecticut. Afterwards
two of the sons removed to Piermont, N. H., while another went to New Jersey,
and subsequently to Virginia. President John TYLER was of the Virginia
Daniel HILDRETH was a man of much energy and force of character,
and was very industrious. When be located upon his farm in Chelsea it was
mostly covered with dense, heavy timber. Year by year the forest was cut
away and the land brought under cultivation. Stock raising and wool growing
was his principal business. In all his business transactions Mr. HILDRETH
was a man of the strictest integrity. His word was as good as his bond.
Besides the four children now living, three others were married.
Daniel ELBRIDGE, born July 18, 1822, died at South Newbury, July 22, 1874,
where his wife and one son now reside. His two grown-up daughters died
at that place within a few years after the death of their father. Mary
Caroline married Charles MCCOY, of Peterboro, N. H., and was the mother
of six sons and one daughter. She was born in Chelsea, August 5, 1824,
and died in Lowell, Mass., April 15, 1886, where her husband, three sons
and one daughter now reside. Amelia B., born October 24, 1837, married
Samuel BURT, of Corinth, and died in that town, in childbed, May 19, 1861,
aged twenty-three -years.
All the other children of Daniel HILDRETH were unmarried and died
in youth or infancy. The elder son, A. B. F. HILDRETH, married Liveria
A. KNIGHT, oldest daughter of Josiah KNIGHT, of Fryeburg, Me. They had
but one child, a daughter, who died in Iowa, in her seventh year.
Almira Maria HILDRETH married Edward WASON, of Corinth, and is the
mother of two daughters, now living; one is married and the other single.
Her husband died in Corinth, March 11, 1883, aged eighty-one years.
Albert Gallatin HILDRETH married Mary M. BARNES, in Montpelier.
She was the mother of four sons and one daughter. She died in Lowell, Mass.,
December 17, 1874. On February 24, 1876, Mr. HILDRETH married Mrs. Abbie
R. LAWRENCE, in Lowell, where they now reside.
Harriet NEWELL HILDRETH married Lyman PORTER, of Corinth, February
6. 1855. She was the mother of three sons and four daughters, only one
of whom is living, John L., a young man of much promise, who is now a bookkeeper
or teller in a bank in Boston.
Azro Benjamin Franklin HILDRETH has been a newspaper editor many
years. From 1842 to 1852 he carried on the printing and publishing business
in Bradford, in this county. He there edited and published a weekly newspaper
called the American Protector, which advocated protection to American industry,
and supported Henry Clay for President. After the defeat of Mr. Clay he
eschewed politics, and changed the name of his paper to Vermont Family
Gazette, and made it a literary family newspaper. He also published a monthly
magazine called the Green Mountain Gem, which had a wide circulation. Besides
these publications he printed for Asa LOW, of Bradford, several school
books, such as readers and spellers, and also the Youth's Almanac, the
astronomical calculations of which were prepared by that youthful prodigy,
Truman H. SAFFORD, of Royalton, then but nine years old. In 1852 Mr. HILDRETH
sold his entire printing and publishing business in Bradford, and in the
spring of 1856, with his wife and daughter, removed to Charles City, Iowa,
where he again established himself in the printing and newspaper business.
In that new western state he has held various public offices of honor and
trust. He has been especially identified with the educational interests
of Iowa. As member of the State Board of Education a legislative body created
by the new constitution he exercised a marked influence in framing the
laws that are now in force for establishing the superior educational system
of that state, a school system hardly equaled by that of any other state
in the Union. Today the percentage of illiteracy in Iowa is the least of
all the states. Mr. HILDRETH was instrumental in the enactment of a law
which opened the doors of the State University at Iowa City for the admission
of young ladies to that institution upon equal terms in all respects with
the young men. He was also the author of a law which provided that the
Bible shall not be excluded from the public schools: While a member of
the general assembly at Des Moines, in 1864, Mr. HILDRETH, by his own individual
exertions, procured the passage of a memorial to Congress by which he obtained
from the general government a liberal grant of lands to aid in the construction
of a railroad on or near the 43d parallel, from McGregor, on the Mississippi
river, and passing through Charles City to Chamberlain, on the Missouri
river, in Dakota. This road is owned and operated by the Chicago, Milwaukee
& St. Paul Railway Company, and is, now doing an immense business.
Mr. HILDRETH has for a number of years been president of the school board
of Charles City, and has held various• other offices of trust and responsibility
at that place. In 1870 he sold out his newspaper and printing business
there, and retired to private life.
Levi THOMPSON, with his wife, Sally OAKS, and family, came from
Strafford to this town in 1819. Of his children, LEWIS, who was born in
1801, learned the shoemaker's trade. He married Melinda, daughter of David
and Hannah (MASTIN) SANBORN, and reared a family of four sons and three
daughters, of whom Ira was born in this town and adopted the occupation
of his father. He married Nellie E., daughter of Josiah and Sybil A. (ROBERTS)
MINARD, in 1876, and their children are Fay L., Eva M., Leonard I. and
Silas A. Mr. THOMPSON resides in Chelsea village, on Maple street.
Charles H. PERKINS, son of David, was born in Chelsea in 1824. He
married Martha A. SYLVESTER, a native of Maine, in 1854, and had born to.him
one son, Charles D., and one daughter, Carrie E., who died in 1875, aged
twenty years. Charles D. was born in 1858, and in 1883 married Celia. H.,
daughter of Moses and Mary (WOODWORTH) HACKETT. He worked at the wheelwright
trade in Northfield, Washington county, for two years, and later bought
a farm of ninety-six acres on road 22, where he now resides.
Thomas GODFREY, son of Henry and Ruth (PINNOCK) GODFREY, was born
in Washington in 1809, and in 1824 became a resident of Chelsea. He is
a, carpenter and builder by trade, and has erected many dwellings, and
also the Orange County Hotel and several school houses. In 1830, in company
with several other gentlemen, he opened the Vershire copper mines. Mr.
GODFREY married Sarah F., daughter of Jonathan and Chloe (UPSON) EMERSON,
of Chelsea, in 1834, and had born to him four sons and three daughters,
of whom Olivia S. (Mrs. Hamilton W. DEARBORN), Charles E. and Dr. Frank
H. reside in this town. Mr. GODFREY is prominent in the administration
of town .affairs, and held the office of justice of the peace a number
of years. He resides. in the village on North Main street.
Captain William H. H. HALL was born in Randolph, April 8, 1823,
and came to Chelsea at the age of two years. He was educated at the Norwich
(Vt.) university, and graduated in military science in 1847. He taught
school for a time in Kentucky, and in 1848 removed to California, and later,
in 1850, to Oregon, and thence, in 1860, to Warren, Vt. In 1861 he organized
a company of volunteers, and was mustered in as captain. He remained
in the service until 1862. In 1855 he married Sarah A., daughter of Samuel
and Phebe (LEONARD) FOSTER, of Sharon, and had born to him a son and a.
daughter, Sarah A. and Henry E., the latter of whom was killed by the accidental
discharge of a gun in October, 1881. While in Oregon Mr. HALL was engaged
as pilot and captain of a steamboat. After the close of the war he spent
seven years in the oil fields of Pennsylvania, and in 1874 returned to
this town, where he now resides, on South Park street.
Stephen MONTAGUE, son of William (a Revolutionary soldier) and Persis
(RUSSELL) MONTAGUE, was born September 3, 1804. He married Betsey D., daughter
of Joshua and Mary (POOLE) DAVIS, in 1829, but had no issue. An adopted
daughter married, first, Charles R. COMSTOCK, and second, Elijah Ware,
of Canada. Stephen MONTAGUE located in this town in 1831, where he engaged
in the tailoring business. In 1855 he was employed by a New Haven, Conn.,
publishing firm, and for fourteen years was employed by the publishers
of the Boston Cultivator. Mr. MONTAGUE and wife reside in Chelsea village,
on Maple street.
Benjamin GATES, a native of Barre, Mass., was a captain in the Revolutionary
war. His son Jonas also served with him, and the father and son participated
in the battle of Stillwater, and were at West Point when Arnold made his
escape. They were also present at the execution of Major Andre. Benjamin
received a wound al New York, from which he suffered during the remainder
of his life. Jonas married Annie ROBINSON in 1786, and four years later
settled in Hardwick. In 1811 he served as lieutenant in the recruiting
service, and also served in the War of 1812. In 1833 he located in Chelsea
on the place now occupied by his son Alanson, where he died in 1864. His
was among the last names stricken from the pension roll of Revolutionary
heroes. He had born to him six sons and five daughters, viz.: Benjamin,
Arthusia, Susan (Mrs. John NELSON), Alvin, Angeline, Lloyd, Annie, Alanson,
Oscar, Moses, and Arthusia, 2d, the latter of whom married George WHITNEY.
Alanson, born in 1804, married Ruby, daughter of Daniel and Mary (PEABODY)
MARSHALL, in 1830, and had nine children, of whom Mary Ann married a Mr.
BLAISDELL; Electa A. and Eugenie died YOUNG; Fordyce was a member of Co.
K, 105th Ill. Vols., and died in the service in 1863; Marshall died in
infancy; Jane married a Mr. MOXLEY; Marshall O., born in 1847, married
Irene F., daughter of Henry J. W. and Edna N. (ROBINSON), FLANDERS, in
1881, and has two sons, Henry F. and Frank M. MARSHALL O. GATES resides
with his father on the homestead, on road 59.
Elisha MATTOON, son of Ezekiel, was born in Northfield, Mass., in
1761. In 1796 he married Abigail FULLER, of Chelsea, and had born to him
three sons and four daughters, of whom Emery W., of this town, was born
in 1817, and in 1840 married Sarah NORTON, of Strafford, who bore him two
sons and four daughters, of whom Ellen (Mrs. E. BLAISDELL) and Henry C.
are dead; Florilla (Mrs. R BIGELOW) resides in Nebraska; Julia A. (Mrs.
D. MILLS) and Ida M. reside in Manchester, N. H.; and Willima M. in this
town. In 1826 Mr. MATTOON had the misfortune to lose his left leg. He is
a merchant tailor, and is located in Chelsea village on Vershire street.
Hamilton W. DEARBORN, son of Wilder and Persis (HAMILTON) DEARBORN,
was born in this town in 1834. He married Olivia S., daughter of Thomas
.and Sarah F. (EMERSON) GODFREY, August 5, 1860, and they have three sons
and two daughters, viz.: Nellie A. (Mrs. Elisha BURGESS), Calvin N., Edith
S., Thomas G. and Wilder H. Mr. DEARBORN is a carpenter and builder and
undertaker, and resides in Chelsea village on North Main street.
Hubbard CORWIN was born in Mattituck, Conn., in 1759, and died in
Tunbridge, this county, in 1833. He married Lydia HAZEN, and their children
were Mary, William, John, James, Sarah, Philura, Hazen, Russell, Lydia
and Spencer. Russell was born in Tunbridge in 1802, and in 1830 married
Mary PERKINS, daughter of Amos HOOD. Their children were John Amos, Russell,
Jr., Marcus Hubbard, and a son who died in infancy. Mrs. HOOD died in 1854,
and Russell married for his second wife Lucy Ann, daughter of Daniel and
Susan (HOWE) PECK, in October, 1855, and had born to him one son, who died
in infancy. Marcus H. CORWIN was born in this town in 1839. He was educated
at Chelsea academy, and studied medicine with Dr. N. W. BRALEY, of Chelsea.
He graduated from Dartmouth college in 1863, and immediately commenced
the practice of his profession in Corinth, where he continued for seventeen
years, when he located in this town. He married Ellen L., daughter of Lyman
K. E. and Mary L. (HEATH) COLLINS, in 1865, and their children are Carl
Henry, Lucy Ellen and Alice Louise. Dr. CORWIN's office and residence is
on North Main street, in Chelsea village.
Capt. Orville BIXBY, son of Nathan and Lydia (LANTHROP) BIXBY, was
born in this town in 1834, and spent his early life upon a farm. He later
engaged in the produce trade, and was employed in the store of H. P. ALLEN
& Co., .at South Royalton, Vt., for about six years. In 1861 he enlisted
in Co. E, 2d Vt. Vols., and died May 9, 1864, from wounds received at the
battle of the Wilderness. He was a gallant soldier, and had served as 2d
lieutenant, lieutenant, and captain, and was acting lieutenant-colonel
at the time of his death. Capt. BIXBY married Frances, daughter of Perley
C. and Sally (SMITH) WILLS, in 1858, by whom he had one son, Herbert O.,
born October 7, 1861, who married Grace M., daughter of Alonzo NOYES, September
14, 1886, and is a salesman in the employ of J. B. ATWOOD, in Chelsea village.
Daniel ATWOOD, son of James and Pauline (TAGGETT) ATWOOD, was born
in Atkinson, N. H., and came to this town in 1837. Of his four children,
Mary (Mrs. Horace CARNES) died in 1862; Hannah died at the age of seven
years; James C., born in 1849, is still living; and John B. is a resident
of this town. The latter, who was born in 1841, spent his early life upon
a farm, until September, 1862, when he enlisted in the Army of the Potomac
and served till the close of the war, participating irk the battles of
the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Winchester, Cedar Creek, and
many others. After the close of the war he was employed as a salesman in
different stores until 1881, when he engaged in mercantile business in
company with E. R. HYDE, which firm was recently dissolved, Mr. ATWOOD
continuing the business alone. He married Jennie E., daughter of Archibald
and Sarah (EASTMAN) MILLS, in 1871, and they have two sons, John M. and
Fred E. Mr. ATWOOD resides on Maple street, in Chelsea village.
Isaac W. WHITNEY, from Alstead, N. H., settled in Randolph about
1811. He married Polly BLOOD, who bore him two sons and six daughters,
of whom two sons and two daughters are now living, viz.: Lucy (Mrs. James
FLANDERS) in New Hampshire; Sarah (Mrs. Simon FRENCH) in Massachusetts;
Andrew J. in Iowa, and Alva W. in this town. The latter was born here in
1833. He married, first, Mahala M., daughter of Barnard JONES, by whom
'he had a son and a daughter, Frank I. and Minnie B., and second Maria
E., daughter of Stephen and Mary (DEWEY) LEWIS. Mr. WHITNEY purchased the
Orange County Hotel, at Chelsea village, in 1870, and conducted the same
until 1887, when he sold to L. D. BARNES. He also owns and operates a farm
of 350 acres on road 22, about one mile north of the village.
Story N. GOSS, son of Abel and Amanda (HIBBARD) GOSS, was born in
Waterford, Vt., February 7, 1831. His early life was spent upon a farm.
He studied medicine with Doctors BANCROFT and NEWELL, of St, Johnsbury,
graduated from Dartmouth college in 1856, and from the Medical university
of New York in 1857, after which he was employed in the Charity hospital
on Blackwell's Island. In 1858 he removed to Georgia, Vt., where he remained
in practice until 1862, when he was commissioned assistant surgeon of the
9th Vt. Regt. In September, of that year, he joined his regiment, at Norfolk,
Va., and remained in the service till the close of the war, when he resumed
practice in Georgia, and in 1870 located in this town, where he is still
practicing his profession. He married Ann Eliza, daughter of Stephen and
Phebe (HALE) VINCENT, January 4, 1858, and reared three sons and one daughter,
viz.: Arthur V., born in 1859, is a graduate from Dartmouth college, class
of '82, and from the medical department of the University of Vermont, class
of '86; Harry H., born in 1866, is a student at Norwich Military university,
class of '88; Walter S. was born in 1869, and Ann Eliza February 21, 1875
Mr. GOSS resides on Maple street, in Chelsea village.
John A. R. CORWIN was born in Lowell, Mass., May 6, 1831, and came
to Chelsea in 1839. In early life he evinced a desire for mercantile pursuits,
and entered the employ of G. E. HYDE & Co., and G. H. LANTHROP. In
1865 he engaged in business on his own account, the firm name being J.
A. R. CORWIN & Co. In the fall of 1868 Mr. CORWIN became sole proprietor
of the business, which he still continues in the CORWIN block, in Chelsea
village. He married Fannie J., daughter of Harry W. and Henrietta (AUSTIN)
HATCH, November 1, 1854, and they have four sons and two daughters, viz.:
Charles R., of Boston, Harry J., Nellie M., Ernest A., Vinton A. and Flora
Maria. Mr. CORWIN has been selectman and town clerk, and has held other
offices of trust. He resides in Chelsea village, on Main street.
Dr. Frank H. GODFREY was born in Chelsea in 1859. He studied medicine
with Dr. J. M. TEMPLETON, of Montpelier, and in 1880 graduated from the
New York Eclectic Medical college. After graduating he spent the next three
years with Dr. TEMPLETON, when he located in this town, where he has since
been in practice. He married Sarion, daughter of Russell A. and Thankful
(TRACY) WILSON, of Montpelier, July 7, 1883. He resides on North Main street,
in Chelsea village.
Lewis Skinner married Mary FULLER and reared a family of seven sons
and one daughter, of whom Austin L. resides in Washington; George A. in
Lowell, Mass.; Daniel T. was killed at the battle of the Wilderness; Francis
A. served in Co. A, 4th Vt. Vols., and died in Andersonville prison, August
15, 1864. The latter was born November 30, 1833, and married .Clara, daughter
of Moses and Mehitable (YOUNG) SCALES, in 1860, and had born to him two
children, a son, Charles E., who died in 1874, and a daughter, Mary Ellen.
Mrs. SKINNER resides on Vershire street, in Chelsea village.
Burleigh H. SMITH, son of Captain Waitsdel and Lucy (Hunt) SMITH,
was: a farmer and cattle drover by occupation. He married Julia Ann, daughter
of Peter and Polly (HOVEY) BISHOP, and they had four sons and one daughter,
viz.: Jesse B., Arthur B., Levi B., Lucy and Frederick W. Arthur B., the
only one of the children now living, was born in 1851, and in 1887 married
Clara, daughter of John ALLEN. He studied medicine with Dr. Fred, FLETCHER,
and graduated at Dartmouth Medical college in 1874. He commenced practice
at East Burke, in Caledonia county, where he remained three-years, when
he removed to this town, where he has since resided. He married Nettie
J., daughter of C. C. and Olive (KIBBE) AMIDON, November 18, 1876, who
bore him a daughter, Zilla N., and a son, Fred B., the latter of whom died
in infancy. Dr. SMITH's wife died March 28, 1885. He resides on North Main
street, in Chelsea village.
Jacob FARWELL, son of William and Mary (WILDS) FARWELL, was born
in Topsham in 1818. He married Sally, daughter of William and Sarah (HALL)
SMITH, in 1840, and had born to him three sons and two daughters, of whom,
Sarah married Thomas UTTON; Reuben L. served in Co. B, 3d Vt. Vols., and
is now a resident of Montana; Henry W. died of wounds received at the battle
of the Wilderness; Addie E. (Mrs. Benson SANBORN) resides in this town;
and George H. resides in Minnesota. Mr. Farwell is a carpenter and millwright
by trade, and resides with his daughter, Mrs. Sanborn, on road 21.
George F. D. FRENCH, son of George and Dorotha (MAGOON) FRENCH,
was born, in Washington in 1849. His early life was spent upon a farm and
later he worked at the sash and blind business. He married Nellie M., daughter
of H. C. and Carrie (TOWNSEND) BIRCHMORE, in. 1872, and, they have one
daughter, Addie M., born in 1876. Mr. FRENCH carries on his father's farm,
upon which is a fine sulphur spring, which is continually flowing, and
is fast becoming a popular resort for health and pleasure seekers. It is
situated .among the beautiful hills about three miles north of Chelsea
village, on road 9.
Joshua Dickinson was born in Amherst, Mass., in 1785. He married
Prudeuce STONE, and reared a family of eight children. One son, Benjamin
F., was born February 19, 1819, and spent his early life as clerk in his
father's store. He married Lucy A., daughter of Judge Daniel and Lucy (PEPPER)
PEASLEE, in 1844, and reared a family of two sons and two daughters, viz.:
Charles P: and Laura J. (Mrs. Oscar TRACY.), of this town, Edward F., of
St. Paul, Minn., and Emma M. In 1847 Mr. DICKINSON removed to this town,
where he resided until his death, February 13, 1887, Soon after his settlement
here he was appointed deputy sheriff which office he held continuously
for twenty years. He was elected sheriff in 1868, and from that time until
1886 had charge of the county jail.
David COMSTOCK was born in Strafford, Vt., in 1822, and at the age
of eighteen years settled in this town. He kept hotel at East Randolph
for about two years, and the Gulf Spring House at Williamstown for about
fifteen years. He married Margaret, daughter of Peter and Catharine (LAIRD)
LAIRD, in 1851, who bore him one son, John M., born in 1859. John M. was
educated at Goddard seminary, at Barre, and at Dartmouth college, graduating
from the latter institution in 1877. He was principal of Chelsea academy
for four years, was in Springfield (Vt.) one year, and teacher of languages
in the Vermont Episcopal Institute for one year. He returned to Chelsea
and married Persis S., daughter of Franklin and Sylvia (FOLSOM) DEARBORN,
in 1881, and they have two sons, Harold DEARBORN and Donald .Laird. Mr.
COMSTOCK is principal of Chelsea academy, and resides on Main street.
Caleb Hackett SCRIBNER was born in Washington in 1815. His parents,
Samuel and Catharine (MARSTIN) SCRIBNER, natives of Andover, N. H., settled
in the southeast part of Washington before 1800, where they reared ten
children, of whom Caleb H. was the ninth. He married, in 1837, Miss Sophia
F. BEAN, who became the mother of two daughters -- Hannah Alma, who died
at the age of fourteen, and Eunice Adelia (Mrs. B. H. ADAMS). Mr. SCRIBNER
bought and occupied for six or seven years the farm of his father; afterwards
passed a number of years in Corinth; after 1854 resided in Chelsea for
fifteen years on a farm he purchased from Elias LANTHROP; and since 1869
he has resided in the village. Here he owned the grist-mill for four years,
and was also a large owner of real estate. Possessing a giant frame and
muscles of a Hercules, he was the hero of many tales of wrestling and other
feats .of strength. He was equally warm in sympathy and kind in heart.
Avoiding rather than seeking office, he was still called to fill places
of trust. His death and that of his wife occurred only three days apart,
she dying of paralysis, May 2, and he of pneumonia, May 5, 1887.
Abel MERRILL, son of Abel and Sarah (Henry) MERRILL, was born in
Stowe, Vt., in 1811. He was reared upon a farm, and at the age of twenty-two
years had taught school five terms. He fitted for college at Meriden, N.
H., and. graduated from Dartmouth in 1839. He studied law at Cambridge
Law school, and was admitted to practice in 1842. He commenced the practice
of his profession at Hartland, Windsor county, where he remained three
years. In 1856 he went to Kansas and built a saw-mill, which he conducted
for several years. In 1869 he located in Chelsea. Mr. MERRILL married B.
Anna, daughter of William and Barbara (BUCKLIN) BALLOU, of Tunbridge, in
1873, and they have one daughter, Maud Sarah, born in 1875.
Moses ORDWAY, son of Moses, was born in Tunbridge in 1798. He married
Rhoda HOVEY, and settled in Williamstown, where he engaged in farming.
He had two sons and one daughter, viz.: Charlotte (Mrs. John EDSON), of
Northfield, Franklin, who died in this town in 1864, and Martin F. The
latter married Mary Diana, daughter of Arial BURNHAM, of Brookfield, and
reared one son and three daughters, of whom Addie S. (Mrs. W. P. TOWNSEND)
and Fred A. reside in this town.
Jesse DARLING, son of Stephen, was born in Bradford in 1796, and
removed to Corinth when young. He married Rebecca, daughter of Israel WHITTAKER,
and they had born to them four sons and one daughter, viz.: Eben, Betsey,
Stephen, Joseph K. and Eben O. Mrs. DARLING died in 1843, and he married
for his second wife Harriet, widow of Pearly HUMPHREY, who bore him one
son and two daughters, viz.: Perley H., Many A. and Rebecca. Mr. DARLING
died in 1873.
Charles W. HOPKINS, son of Joseph and Hannah G. (EASTMAN) HOPKINS,
married Mint E., daughter of Henry and Electa (FULLER) CLARK, in 1866,
and they have four children, viz.: Etecta M., Mary E., Charles J. and Albert
H. Mr. HOPKINS served in the army of the Union, in Co. H, 4th Vt. Vols.
He now occupies the old Morey homestead, on road 44.
William L. CHURCHILL, son of William L. and Eliza (LAMPHIER) CHURCHILL,
was born in West Fairlee in 1812. He spent his early life upon a farm,
and in 1837 married Minerva, daughter of Hezekiah and Lavina (CHILDS) NICHOLS,
and reared children as follows: Sophia D., Emily Hamilton Howard, Pamelia
J., who died at the age of seven years, and an adopted son, George Edward.
Mr. CHURCHILL located in Chelsea in 1861r, and followed the occupation
of a miller. He died February 20, 1885.
Joel W. ORDWAY, son, of Oliver, was born in Tunbridge in 1809. He
married Sophronia, daughter of Jeremiah and Mary A. (COBURN) GOODHUE, of
Berlin, Washington county, in 1840, and reared four sons and two daughters,
as follows: George B. served in Co. G, 2d Vt. Vols., and now lives in Maine;
Henry A. served in Co. B, 4th Vt. Vols., and died in the service December
21, 1861; Charles H. was a member of Co. C, 8th Vt. Vols., and after the
expiration of his term of service engaged in bridge building, and was drowned
at Bolton, Vt., in 1869; Francis died from injuries received while
employed on a railroad in 1880; Mary (Mrs. Samuel STEARNS) resides in Tennessee,
and Ellen (Mrs. William G. BUMPS) in Lowell, Mass. At the age of twenty-three
years Mr. ORDWAY had the misfortune to lose his sight by the premature
explosion of a blast. He settled in this town in 1860, where he died in
1874. Mrs. ORDWAY resides in Chelsea village, on Maple street.
Samuel J. AKERMAN, son of Joseph and Sarah (HALL) AKERMAN, was born
in Farmington, N. H., in 1828. He married Eliza, daughter of Joseph and
Hannah (SHAW) VERRILL, of Alexandria, N. H. in 1853, and had born to him
six sons and three daughters. Mr. AKERMAN was reared upon a farm, and early
in life learned the shoemaker's trade, which he followed for twelve years,
when he again engaged in farming. After his marriage he resided seven years
in Alexandria, when, in 1861, he removed to this town and purchased the
JONES Clark farm. He is engaged in breeding Devon cattle and Merino sheep
on his farm of 290 acres on road 15.
Martin V. B. DAVIS, son of Moses and Lydia (DODGE) DAVIS, was born
in Tunbridge in 1839, and two years later removed with his parents to this
town, where he learned the miller's trade. In 1861 he enlisted in Co. E,
2d Vt. Vols., and served to the close of the war, being discharged as first
sergeant, June 18, 1865. He was wounded in three different engagements,
first, at Mary's Heights, May 3, 1863, when he was struck in the left side
by a minnie ball, fracturing a rib, and which would undoubtedly have caused
death had not the ball struck a memorandum book which he carried in his
pocket. He was next wounded at the battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 1864,
when he was again struck in the left side and sustained a fractured rib.
In the battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864, a minnie ball entered his
left side and passed entirely through his body. He married Philena, daughter
of Martin and Sophronia (BLISS) PUFFER, of Richford, Franklin county, in
1865, and had born to them two sons and one daughter, viz.: Bert F., Laura
B. and Georgie M. In 1872 Mr. DAVIS purchased the Joseph HATCH farm, on
road 14, where he still resides.
Joseph P. TRACY, son of Elisha and Martha (Partridge) TRACY, was
born in Washington, this county, in 1830 He spent his early life upon a
farm, and at the age of twenty-one years came to this town and learned
the tinner's trade. At the age of twenty-eight he engaged in the tin and
hardware business with his brother Ezra O. He married Mary, daughter of
John and Margaret (CUNNINGHAM) HASSETT, in 1860, and they had one son,
George A., born April 5, 1870, and an adopted daughter, Ella JONES. Mr.
TRACY represented his town from 1882 to 1885, dying in the latter year,
respected by all who knew him. His widow still resides in Chelsea village,
on South Park street.
Frank I. WHITNEY, son of A. W. and Mahala (JONES) WHITNEY, was born
in this town in 1856. He married Ada M., daughter of John B. and Lovica
(Hamlin) BLAKLEY, in 1877, and they have one daughter, Florence E., born
October 27, 1879. Mr. WHITNEY is engaged in the grocery business, and .resides
on South Park street, in Chelsea village.
Daniel TITUS, son of Joseph, was born in Vershire, July 1, 1794.
He married Abigail, daughter of Joseph GREEN, April 14, 1816, and had born
to him four sons and five daughters, of whom Edson, who resides in this
town, was born in 1818, and married Chastina, daughter of Henry and Charles
(BATCHELDER) RICHARDSON, of Vershire, and had born to him one daughter
and three sons, viz.: Ella Frances, Willie H., Frank J. and Alfred E. Mr.
TITUS owns and occupies a farm, on road 38.
Capt. Thomas WORTHLEY, a soldier of the War of 1812, was born in
Weare, N. H., in 1770. He married Elizabeth DOW, and by her had two sons
and six daughters, of whom Betsey married Peter M. LOUGEE, who served in
the War of 1812, and died in Randolph, and for her second husband James
D. CROCKER, in 1859, who was also a soldier in the War of 1812. Mr. CROCKER
died in this town in 1861. Mrs. CROCKER survives him, and is a resident
of Chelsea village, on Main street.
Ezra O. TRACY, son of Elisha and Martha (PARTRIDGE) TRACY, was born
in 1835, and spent his early life upon a farm. He learned the tinsmith’s
trade, and engaged in the tin and hardware business, in Chelsea village,
with his brother Joseph P., who died April 18, 1885, since which time Mr.
TRACY has conducted the business alone. He married Laura J., daughter of
B. F. and Lucy (PEASLEE) DICKINSON, May 6, 1872, and they have one son,
Oscar D., born May 6, 1877, and a daughter, Laura Lyle, born in March,
1882. Mr. TRACY has held the office of selectman, and is prominently interested
in the .affairs of the town. He resides in Chelsea village, on South Park
Jonathan EMERY came from Chester, N. H., and located in Washington,
Vt., in 1830. He brought with him his wife, Nancy EATON, and six sons and
two daughters, viz.: Eaton, Daniel, Amos, Alpheus, Charles, Benjamin, Love
A. and Melissa. Amos, the third son, married, first, Almira, daughter of
Oliver and Nancy (HOVEY) HIBBARD, who bore him two sons, George A. and
Albert E,, and second, Sarah M., sister of his first wife, who also bore
him two sons, Curtis S. and Wilson S.
Andrew B. PETERS was born in Hebron, Conn., from which town he removed
with his parents and located in Bradford. He married Keziah GANETT, of
New Hampshire, and they had two sons, Joseph H. and Edmund F. The latter
was born in 1822, spent his early life upon a farm, and later engaged in
the express business in Boston. He married Mary Ann SLACK, and by her had
one son and two daughters, the son, Edmund Frank, being their only child
now living. Mr. E. F. PETERS served in Co. C, First Mass. Cav., three years.
He located in Chelsea in 1883, and August 31, 1885, married for his
second wife Elvira, daughter of Charles W. and Charlotte M. (MAGOON) BAGLEY,
who has one son, Elmer E. BRADBURY, by a former marriage. Mr. and Mrs.
Peters reside on Vershire street, in Chelsea village.
Willard P. TOWNSEND was born in Williamstown, in 1848, and in 1867
removed to this town and entered the employ of J. B. BACON, as clerk in
the latter's store. Later he became a partner with Mr. BACON, and the firm
carried on a general merchandise business until 1886, when Mr. BACON retired,
and C. P. DICKINSON became a partner in the business, the firm name being
TOWNSEND & DICKINSON. Mr. TOWNSEND married Addie S., daughter of Martin
F. and Mary D. (BURNHAM) ORDWAY, in 1881, and they have one daughter, Mary
Blanche, born November 9, 1882.
Barney COSGROVE, son of Thomas and Nancy (DONNELLY) COSGROVE, was
born in 1799, and in 1822 married Isabell, daughter of Francis and Nancy
(NEWELL) BAILEY, by whom he had one daughter, Jane, and a son, Thomas,
who came to America with their parents in 1826. Mr. and Mrs. COSGROVE located
on a farm in Barre, Washington county, where was born to them three sons
and three daughters, of whom Nancy M. died young; James B. resides in Chelsea;
Nancy, 2d, died at the age of thirty years; Francis served in Co. B, 4th
Vt. Vols., and died in 1872; Joseph was killed by a horse at the age of
six years; and Sarah (Mrs. George WISE) died at the age of thirty-two years.
Mr. COSGROVE removed with his family to this town in 1866. James B. was
born in 1835, and in 1863 married Edna A., daughter of Farnham and Mary
(FLANDERS) BARNES, by whom he has one son and two daughters, viz.: Charles
J., Ida May, and Lillian Isabell. Mr. COSGROVE owns and occupies a farm
on road 37.
Rev. Edward E. HERRICK, son of Elisha and Samantha (MARTIN) HERRICK,
was born in Randolph in 1835, graduated at the University of Vermont in
.1856, and in 1859 entered Andover seminary. September 3, 1862, he enlisted
as a private in 15th Regt. Vt. Vols., and was subsequently promoted to
2d lieutenant, and in 1863 to 1st lieutenant. He was ordained in 1864,
and preached at Rochester, Colchester and Wilmington. In May, 1870, he
located in this town, where he has since remained.
Edwin M. COLLINS, son of Moses C. and Joanna (CARR) COLLINS, was
born in Washington, this county, in 1832. He spent his early life upon
a farm, and later, in company with L. M. TABOR, engaged in mercantile pursuits
at West Topsham, where he held the office of postmaster from 1854 to '57.
In 1862 he was appointed deputy sheriff, and in 1870 was elected sheriff
of the county, since the expiration of which term of office he has been
deputy sheriff. He removed to Chelsea village in 1886, and now has charge
of the county jail. He married Luthera J., daughter of Anson and Lorenda
(CURRIER) WOOD, of Topsham, in 1856, and they have two sons and one daughter,
viz.: Frank E., a druggist at Worcester, Mass.; Nettie D. (Mrs. A. F. SMITH),
of Topsham, and Carl C., who resides at home.
Charles W. BAGLEY, son of David and Sarah (Andrews) BAGLEY, was
born in Topsham in 1810. He married, first, Elvira HYDE, in 1830, who died
in 1843, and second, Charlotte M., daughter of Jonathan and Dorothy (EASTMAN)
MAGOON, in 1844, by whom he had children as follows: Charles, who served
in Co. G, 9th Vt. Vols., and died in Hampton hospital, April 11, 1864;
Elvira (Mrs. E. F. PETERS), of this town; Sophia (Mrs. E. B. DICKINSON),
also of this town, and Maria (Mrs. Fred LACY), of Adams, Mass., the last
two daughters being twins. Mr. BAGLEY resides on Court street, in Chelsea
Nathaniel Gilbert MOORE, son of Willard and Sally (SANBORN) MOORE,
was born in Chelsea in 1839. He married Alma, daughter of John and Polly
(BACON) GRANT, of Tunbridge, in 1858, and they had one daughter and two
sons, viz.: Jennie Elizabeth, John W., a student at Tuffts college in Massachusetts,
and Willard G., who resides at home. Mr. MOORE is a farmer, and resides
on the farm where Samuel MOORE and Asa BOND first settled, in the southern
part of the village.
Farnham BARNES came from Connecticut and located in Chelsea, about
1827, near where Azariah BARNES now lives, on West hill, where he cleared
a farm. He married Mary FLANDERS (widow BEAN), who bore him two sons and
two daughters, viz.: Azariah, Edna A. (Mrs. James COSGROVE) and Elgin D.,
of this town, and Jennie (Mrs. George FILEAN), of Hanover, N. H. Elgin
D. was born in Chelsea in 1846, and married Carrie O., daughter of Samuel
and Laura (DICKINSON) HATCH, in 1875. Mr. BARNES kept the Gulf Spring.
House in 1885, and is now owner and proprietor of Orange County Hotel,
at Chelsea village.
The Congregational church, the first religious society in town,
was organized April 10, 1789, by Rev. Isaiah POTTER, of Lebanon, N. H.,
Rev. Asa BURTON, of Thetford, and Rev. Stephen FULLER, of Vershire, five
years after the settlement of the town. For twenty years the church was
small and weak; though the town had rapidly filled up with settlers, they
were mostly not of a religious turn of mind. For six years (or to 1795)
religious meetings were maintained with some degree of regularity in dwelling
houses and barns, but seldom conducted by an ordained clergyman. In 1795
a town: house was built on the site now occupied by the store of John B.
ATWOOD, and the hall therein was occupied on Sundays for purposes of worship
till 1810. During the summer of 1795 it appears on record that preaching
was maintained at the expense of the town, the preacher being Mr. James
HOBART -- then a theological student with Rev. Asa BURTON, of Thetford.
In 1799 an ecclesiastical society was formed, and Rev. Lanthrop THOMPSON
was settled over the church as pastor, his salary being fixed at $334,
"payable in wheat, rye or Indian corn, at cash price." The arrangement
did not prove a happy one, and after much friction it was dissolved by
mutual agreement in 1805. In March, 1807, Mr. Calvin NOBLE, a graduate
of Middlebury college, began preaching here, and was ordained over the
church in the following September. This pastorate, which was terminated
by his death, in 1834, was one of great acceptability, and it is from the
date of his settlement that the subsequent prosperity of the church takes
its beginning. In 1810 the county court-house was built, and was used by
the society for religious services until in the next year a disagreement
as to its use with a new society of the denomination called Christians
led to the wise decision to build a house of worship of their own, which
was begun October 4, 1811, and dedicated in June, 1813. This building,
a wooden structure, was repaired and remodeled in 1848, and again in 1876,
and will now comfortably seat about 400 persons. A brief list of Mr. NOBLE's
successors in the pastorate may be of interest. They are Rev. Tames BUCKHAM,
1835-41, now living in Burlington, in his ninety-second year; Rev. Benjamin
B. NEWTON, 1842-46; Rev. Thomas S. HUBBARD, 1847-54, still in the active
work of the ministry, and now preaching in Tunbridge; Rev. James C. HOUGHTON,
acting pastor, 1857-65; Rev. Salem M. PLIMPTON, acting pastor from January
1, 1866, till his death, September, 1866; Rev. William A. JAMES, 1867-69;
and Rev. Edward E. HERRICK, the present pastor, who has preached here from
May, 1870, having been installed pastor February 14, 1871. The first revival
of religion in this town was in 1809, under Rev. Mr. NOBLE's preaching,
when forty-two persons united with the church; again in 1819 there were
forty-seven additions, and in 1831 seventy-three, these all being in Mr.
NOBLE's pastorate. The greatest reception of members, however, was in 1842,
when Rev. Mr. PARKER, an evangelist, labored here, at which time one hundred
and four were received. In 1867-68, during Mr. JAMES's pastorate, there
was a notable in gathering, and there have been several seasons of special
religious interest during the present and other pastorates. The Sunday-school
has a membership of 150, with an average attendance of about 100.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The Methodist Episcopal church, located at Chelsea village, was
organized in 1825, it being included in a circuit embracing in its territory
Chelsea, Tunbridge, Royalton, Vershire, Corinth, Washington and Orange.
This circuit was continued until 1839, when Chelsea was set off as a separate
station. A part of the time the church on West hill has been united with
this. In 1877 it was annexed to the church at East Brookfield, which arrangement
continued until 1885, when it was again included in the Chelsea village
charge, the same pastor administering to both societies. The first house
of worship, the present wooden structure, was erected in 1835, at a cost
of $2,100. It will comfortably seat 300 persons, and is valued, including
grounds, at $4,000. In 1860 the society purchased a commodious parsonage,
built of brick, which is now valued at $1,500. The church is in a prosperous
condition, with 174 members, including probationers, under the pastoral
charge of Rev. James E. KNAPP. The Sunday-school has a membership of 125,
with an average attendance of seventy-five.
Of Orange County, Vt. 1762-1888.
And Published by Hamilton Child,
Journal Company, Printers and Binders.
N. Y., 1888.
by Karima Allison ~ 2004