OF ORANGE COUNTY, VT.
OF THE TOWN OF
STRAFFORD is located in the southeasterly part of the county, in
latitude 43° 52' and longtitude 4° 39', and is bounded north by
Vershire, east by Thetford, south by Sharon, in Windsor county, and west
by Tunbridge. The town was chartered August 12, 1761, to Solomon PHELPS
and sixty-three others, distributed into seventy shares, and contains 23,040
acres. The surface is uneven, but the soil is generally good. The principal
stream in the town is the west branch of Ompompanoosuc river, which pursues
a serpentine course from its source in Vershire southerly nearly to the
south line of Strafford, where it turns abruptly eastward and passes into
Thetford. Across the southwest corner of the town flows a small stream,
in the valley of which is the union meeting-house and district known as
the "Robinson neighborhood." This stream unites with White river, in Sharon.
Miller's pond, the only considerable body of water here, lies upon the
high-land about one mile from the north and east lines of the town. Its
outlet flows south and joins the Ompompanoosuc in Thetford. Between these,
principal water-courses the surface is cut up into countless hills, though
none of them attain the dignity of mountains. The western line is upon
or near a, high ridge, or divide, which, like a wall, separates the town
from Tunbridge. Many beautiful views are discovered from easily accessible
points in Strafford, while Old City falls, little more than a mile from
the north village, is considered a special point of interest because of
natural scenery, and also from its connection with the events of the early
The rocks underlying this town are of calciferous mica schist formation,
In the southeastern part is the celebrated Elizabeth copper mine, of which
mention has been made in the County Chapter.
The first meeting of the proprietors for choice of town officers
was held at Hebron, Conn., February 16, 1768, and adjourned to June 2,
1768, at Strafford. The first selectmen, chosen in March, 1778, were William
BRISCO, Joshua Tucker and Jonathan RICH. The first town clerk was David
CHAMBERLIN, which office was subsequently held by Samuel Bliss from 1784
to 1811, and by Stephen Morrill from 1812 to 1848.
In the wars of this country Strafford has given a member of her
bravest sons. The following were Revolutionary pensioners: Capt. John POWELL,
Ezra BLAISDELL, Elias CARPENTER, Guy YOUNG, Frederick SMITH, Samuel BLISS,
Jacob KIBLINGER, Samuel EASTMAN, Joseph SMITH, Azel PERCIVAL, Jonathan
RICH, Capt. Gray YOUNG, and David RICH. Those who served in the War of
1812 were Ebenezer WHITE, Jr., James POWELL, Perley POWELL, Nicholas WELLS,
Aaron BEEDE, Samuel MCMASTER, Samuel HAYES, Joab YOUNG, Robert SARGENT,
Mansel HAZELTON, George ROBERTS, William SMITH, Levi SMITH, Freeman W.
SMITH, Joseph ROBERTS, Thomas NEWMAN, Nathaniel BROOKS, James P. BLAISDELL,
John MCNELLY, Clark SARGENT, William KEYES, Elisha NORTON, Josiah AVERY,
Thomas HAZELTON, Jared ROBINSON, Ebenezer GEORGE, Cyrus ROBINSON, Walter
HINES, Alfred SLOAN, Jonathan CLARK, Kneeland CARRIER, Joseph SANBORN,
and Nathan YOUNG. Nearly every man in town, whether liable to military
duty or not, was a Plattsburgh volunteer. They were Frederick SMITH, Jr.,
Jed H. HARRIS, Daniel COBB, Abraham BROWN, Smith MORRILL, Joseph MORRILL,
Nathaniel MORRILL, David MORRILL, Stephen MORRILL, Joseph BARRETT, Thomas
HAZELTON, John BLAISDELL, Uriah H. STEVENS, Cyril CHANDLER, Rufus CHANDLER,
Freeman WALKER, Lathe HYDE, Lemuel CHANDLER, Samuel BROWN, Abner GRAVES,
Parker CARPENTER, and Ephraim CARPENTER. In the Mexican war Lieutenant
William A. NEWMAN lost an arm, at Cherubusco. During the civil war 110
of Strafford's sons went to the front and fought for the maintenance of
the Union, and many of them never came back.
In 1880 Strafford had a population of 1,181. In 1886 the town had
thirteen school districts and the same number of common sclools, taught
during the year by two male and seventeen female teachers, who received
an average weekly salary, including board, of $7.12 and $4.42 respectively.
There were 233 scholars, thirty-six of whom attended private schools. The
entire income for school purposes was $1,725.79, while the total expenditures
were $1,671.05, with J. S. STAPLES, superintendent.
STRAFFORD (p. o.), or the "Upper Hollow," is a little gem of a country
village occupying nearly a central position in tile town. A beautiful maple
and elm shaded common, of triangular form, with the base toward the north,
within which, upon a sugar-loafed shaped hill, is the town house -- formerly
the house of worship of the Congregational church. Along the streets bounding
the common and radiating from it are situated the present Congregational
church building, the hotel, two stores, R. A. HATCH's bedstead factory,
Harris library, the town clerk's office, a lawyer's office, a saw-mill,
several shops, and from thirty to forty dwellings. The west branch of Ompompanoosuc
river, flowing from north to south, is here bordered by level and beautiful
meadows, which extend to South Strafford, two miles south.
SOUTH STRAFFORD (p. o.) village, or "Lower Hollow," is composed
of two churches (Free Baptist and Universalist), two stores, a hotel, grist-mill,
and about thirty dwellings. A physician also has his office here.
COPPERAS HILL (p. o.) is a hamlet near the southeast corner of Strafford,
and was formerly occupied by the busy host employed in mining and reducing
copperas; but most of the houses and the works are now unoccupied.
Harris Library was established in 1856 with funds ($500) left for
that purpose by Hon. J. H. HARRIS. The library was kept in the house of
Nathan B. COBB until 1883, when it was removed to the building it now occupies,
which was presented to the town by Hon. J. S. MORRILL. In 1883 the library
consisted of 1,000 volumes, and a fund of $800 was raised by the friends
of the institution, the interest on which is used to purchase new books.
There are now 2,200. The library is the depository for the second Congressional
district of Vermont. The present librarian is John W. BRADBURY.
Royal A. HATCH's bedstead manufactory was established by R. HATCH
& Son in 1854, and when built were about half their present size. The
machinery was operated by water-power, furnished by the west branch of
Ompompanoosuc river. In 1879 Mr. HATCH put in a twenty-five-horse-power
engine. The main building is of wood, 30x70 feet, with additions 20x30
feet and 24x24, and a paint shop 20x40. The engine-house is built of stone
and is 24x24 feet. At the outset this firm manufactured the turned post
bedstead wholly; but have since added new machinery and patterns in keeping
with the times, and now manufacture modern French bedsteads, cribs and
cradles, which are supplied to the trade in the white or finished. Twelve
to fifteen men are employed, and from 6,000 7,000 bedsteads are produced
annually, besides a quantity of other work.
John L. BARRETT's grist and planing-mill, at South Strafford, was
built by the present proprietor's grandfather, Martin BARRETT, about seventy
years ago, and was first used for a woolen factory. Enoch DOW carded wool
and dressed cloth here from 1812 for a number of years, and later put in
a provender-mill, which lie operated until his death in 1869. Hiram BARRETT
owned it for a time and added another run of stones. In February, 1875,
when John L. BARRETT purchased it, it contained a provender-mill and a
corn-mill. He renewed the corn-mill, and in 1886 added a wheat-mill and
bolt of approved pattern. He sells from two to three carloads of flour
and from ten to twelve carloads of corn per year, employing one man. He
has also in the same building a cider-mill, and makes about 1,000 barrels
of cider annually.
E. P. HYDE's saw, grist and cider-mills, on road 22 near 23, have
been owned and operated by the present proprietor since October, 1881.
He does merchant work, produces 100,000 feet of manufactured hard wood
lumber, 25,000 to 50,000 feet of dimension timber, and 100,000 shingles
annually. The grist-mill does custom grinding, and he also manufactures
from 400 to 500 barrels of cider per year. The mills are run by steam-power,
are operated about six months in the year, and give employment to four
or five men.
D. K. WHITE's saw-mill, on road 1, was built by J. C. BUZZELL, who
operated it many years. It is run by water-power, has an upright board
saw and circular cut-off and splitting saws, is usually operated about
six months in the year, and manufactures from 40,000 to 50,000 feet of
lumber per year.
L. A. CLARK's saw and grist-mill, located at Strafford village,
does custom work, sawing about 200,000 feet of rough and dressed lumber,
lath, etc., per year, besides doing a good business at custom grinding
and merchant work. Mr. CLARK bought the saw-mill in 1875, and the same
year added the grist-mill. It is operated by water-power.
J. F. & J. D. WOOD's cider-mill, on road 2o near 15, was built
by Jesse WOOD over fifty years ago. It does a fair business in custom cider-making.
Charles F. AVERY, undertaker and carriage-maker, commenced business
in this town in 1864. He manufactures carriages and sleighs, and does all
other work in his line in an acceptable manner.
Chester B. DOW's greenhouse was established by the present proprietor
in, 1879. He gives special attention to the cultivation of flowers, potted
James PENNOCK settled in Strafford in 1768, and, if not the first
settler, was the first who broke the soil, and it is so recorded on his
tombstone. Peter THOMAS, a negro, came into town the same year. In the
fierce controversy which the "New Hampshire Grants" had with New York,
relative to land titles and jurisdiction, some of the PENNOCKs and BEANS
espoused: the cause of New York, and finally became so much alienated from
their fellow townsmen in the struggle against British rule, as to be identified
with those who called themselves "loyalists," and were called by others
"tories." During the invasion of Burgoyne, in 1777, a few of these men
abandoned their homes, and, it is supposed, joined the enemy. In March,
1779, it was
At the same meeting it was also voted to have a committee of safety,
composed of David CHAMBERLIN, Silas ALGER and John POWELL, the latter obtaining,
late in life, a Revolutionary pension for his services as captain. The
quota of men raised at a later period (1782) were voted the pay of "ten
bushels of wheat per month."
That those tories and their families, that this town had leave to send
away, should not return and inhabit in this town again."
Party violence was extreme, and men and women fled for shelter when
tory, Indian or British raids were apprehended. At the time when Royalton
was burned, in August, 1780, a town meeting was at once called to take
some means of defense against the enemy, then on a march down a branch
of White river, through Tunbridge to Royalton, and the news of whose approach
quickly reaching the town, struck every householder with terror. Under
a projecting rock below the mill at what is called Old City falls, Mrs.
Frederick SMITH, Sr., took refuge with her infant son for several days
and, nights, while her husband was away on a scout.
James PENNOCK was a man of more than ordinary abilities and influence.
March 16, 1770, he was appointed justice of the peace under the authority
of New York; and on the following day, March 17, received a commission
as assistant justice of the superior court of common pleas for Gloucester
county, and in that capacity attended a session of the court at Kingsland
(now Washington), held May 29, 1770. For eight years he was the only justice
of the peace in Strafford. Six of Mr. PENNOCK's sons* came herewith him,
and several of them occupied important public positions in town.
Among other notable pioneers who early located in this town were
Col. Nat. GOVE, Samuel EASTMAN, Jonathan and Able RICH, Leonard and Freeman
WALKER, Dea. Moses BROWN, Esquire Ben. PRESTON, Col. Asahel CHAMBERLIN,
Elijah BEAMAN, Moses SANBORN, Capt. John POWELL, Willard CARPENTER, Elder
Aaron BUZZELL, Smith MORRILL, Thomas CLOGSTON, Sr., John ROWELL, Samuel
and Levi ROOT, Henry BLAISDELL, Frederick SMITH, Sr., Silas ALGER, Rev.
Joab YOUNG, Samuel BLISS, Sr., the BARRETTs, Ben. TUCKER, Ebenezer WHITE,
Sr., Rev. Jordan DODGE, Philip JUDD, Peter PENNOCK, Levi BACON, Sr., and
of this family were William, Samuel, Aaron, Peter, Heman, Oliver, Jesse,
James, Jr., and Jeremiah. The last one named never came to Strafford. The
daughters were Amy and Elizabeth.
The same year Mr. PENNOCK and family settled here Ezekiel PARISH,
Frederick SMITH, William BRISCO, John WEST and his son Daniel and Peter
THOMAS, also came in. The next, or second year after, William CHAMBERLIN
came, with his four stalwart sons -- Amasa, Elias, Isaac and Asahel, who
all afterwards became men of note. In a few years, and before the war of
the Revolution began, Silas ALGER, John ALGER, Jonathan RICH, Eliphalet
ROBERTS, Levi ROOT, Joshua TUCKER, Enoch BEAN, Hezekiah MAY, David CHAMBERLIN,
Solomon CALKINS, and others, had settled in the town.
During the Revolutionary war this locality was often visited by
marauding bands of Indians and tories, and kept the early settlers in a
continual state of fear for the safety of their lives and property. On
Saturday, October 28, 1780, soon after the burning of Royalton, the town
"voted to raise eight men to serve one month in guarding and scouting in
the state," and the pay of each should be "forty shillings per month, in
wheat at five shillings per bushel." Lieut. Frederick SMITH was to be the
provider, and his wife cooked the food. He was to furnish "meat, bread
and sauce, and a gill of rum per day, suitable for soldiers."
A log fort, or block-house, was at once erected at Old City, and
several families resorted to it for safety. The men raised by the vote
of the town garrisoned, Lieut. SMITH being placed in command. Much of the
time the little band was absent on the "scout." When all the men were gone
Mrs. SMITH took the sentinel's post. It was probably while the fort was
being built that Mrs. SMITH, her child Waitstill, then nine months old,
and Philip JUDD were secreted in the fir thicket on the ledge over the
falls. (A part of the time, as before mentioned, they were hid in a cave
beneath the falls.)
At the time of the invasion of Plattsburgh the town of Strafford
sent forward some of her best citizens as volunteers. Hon. Jedediah H.
HARRIS was captain of a Light Infantry company, and at Burlington drew
and receipted for arms and rations for the whole squad, although some,
as regimental officers, outranked him, and all preferred to carry guns.
Hon. Daniel COBB, although lame with a crooked knee, was a prompt volunteer,
and when about to embark at Burlington for the place of conflict, it was
suggested by the party that he, being lame, had better not take a gun.
He replied "I shall need it more than any of you, good G-d. The rest of
you can run." And when he went to receive his equipments, the quartermaster,
seeing his limping movements, again remonstrated with him, saying, "You
can't march or run with such a load" COBB replied, "I didn't come to run;
I came to fight!"
Smith MORRILL, then between sixty-five and seventy years of age,
and quite lame, went with a two-horse team to carry baggage and those who
could not go on horseback. At Burlington he wanted a gun as much as either
of his four sons, (Joseph, David, Stephen and Nathaniel,) who were all
on the spot, and when told it would be necessary for him to remain to guard
the team and other horses and luggage, the disappointment showed itself
in the old man's tears.
Lieut. Frederick SMITH, one of the original proprietors* [*Of
the original grantees of Strafford, only two, Frederick SMITH and William
BRISCO, settled here.] of this town, was born in '1744, in Hebron,
Conn., it is supposed, and afterwards removed to Colchester, in that state.
He possessed much energy of character and business tact, and had a better
education than most men of his time. On this account several persons in
Connecticut who owned tracts of land in Vermont employed him to visit these
lands, and look after their interests here generally. He came to Strafford
several times between the years 1761 and '68, before its settlement by
the PENNOCKs, and settled here himself in 1768. A year or two later he
removed his family, then consisting of a wife and two children, into the
town. They entered the state at Thetford, crossing the Connecticut river
in a boat rowed by a girl named Sarah Sloan, of Lyme, N. H. Mr. SMITH was
a zealous Whig, and was active in his country's cause. In October, 1780,
the next day after the burning of Royalton, he hastened to Thetford and
Norwich to notify and arouse the people. On his return he had a narrow
escape. One of the tories of the town, regarding him as a public enemy,
lay in ambush for him, about half a mile below the site of the upper village,
and, as SMITH passed by, he cocked his gun and aimed it at him; but, as
he afterwards confessed when "reconstructed," his heart failed him and
he did not fire.
Lieutenant SMITH was twice married, and had six sons and three daughters.
By his first wife he had Isaac and Betsey; by his second (Sarah SLOAN,
widow of Lieut. Benjamin GRANT, of Lyme, N. H.) he had Waitstill, Frederick,
Jr., Esther, Hannah, George and Weltha. Waitstill SMITH was an extensive
farmer upon the farm settled by his father, and also worked at building.
He was a captain of militia. He married Lucy HUNT, by whom he had ten children,
nine of whom lived to maturity, viz.: Emily, Maria, Alanson G., Burleigh
H., Sarah, Waitstill, Jr., Enoch H., Frederick and Joseph H. Alanson G.
SMITH is one of the substantial farmers of Strafford, served as representative
in 1866-67, and has been selectman fifteen years. He married, first, Susan
GILMAN, and their children were Lorenzo K., a lawyer in Arizona; Alanson
G., Jr., of Mississippi, a manufacturer of turpentine; Sarah (Mrs. Carlos
GILMAN); Susan E. (Mrs. D. M. WODBURY); and Belle, widow of Charles BRUCE.
For his second wife he married Mahala BALDWIN. Frederick SMITH, jr., son
of the pioneer, Lieutenant SMITH, kept the hotel at Strafford for many
years, owned a large farm and was general of militia.
Phineas WALKER, from Woodstock, Conn., came to Strafford about 1775
or '76, and built a saw-mill and log house where Mr. HAMMER now lives.
Later he returned to Connecticut, where he died. His sons Leonard and Freeman
also located in this town Leonard, in 1797, about half a mile north of
where his father had settled, and Freeman just south of this, in 1792.
Freeman, who was a major of infantry, married Betsey CHANDLER, by whom
he had ten children, of whom Mahala (Mrs. Phineas WALKER) is the only one
now living. Leonard, who was a justice of the peace for twenty years, married
Chloe CHILD, and they were the parents of thirteen children. Charles, the
eldest, and Aldace, the youngest, were eminent Congregational clergymen;
Leonard was a farmer in New Hampshire; George, a blacksmith, and the inventor
of a furnace for house heating, died in Connecticut; Freeman, 2d, a blacksmith,
removed to Connecticut; Lewis, also a blacksmith, died in Strafford; Phineas
was a farmer and in the bedstead factory here for thirty years. He married
his cousin, Mahala WALKER, by whom he had one son and two daughters, of
whom one daughter, Susan M. (Mrs. Perley CHANDLER), of Barre, Washington
county, is living. Phineas WALKER served as selectman two years, justice
of the peace ten or twelve years, and was a deacon of the Congregational
church about sixty years. He was one of the builders of the present church
in 1832. He died in September, 1887, aged over eighty years. His sister
Susan, widow of Dea. Luther CHILD, is the oldest person in town, aged ninety-five
Zenas MOREY, from Massachusetts, probably from the town of Dedham,
was an early settler in Fairlee, and about 1780 located in the northern
part of this town. He served in the Revolution, was wounded at the battle
of Ticonderoga, and carried a bullet in his shoulder until his death, October
11 1821, aged eighty-four years. His son Reuben, who was born in Fairlee
in 1779, married Martha FRIZZLE, by whom he had eight children, of whom
there are now living -- Philemon, a merchant in Boston; Albert, a farmer
in Durand, Ill.; Andrew J. and Mrs. Calma MOREY, of this town, and Amelia
(FISK), Reuben MOREY was one of the Plattsburgh volunteers. He served as
selectman and justice of the peace, dying in 1870, aged ninety-one years.
His wife died in 1878, aged 102 years, and her mother, Martha FRIZZLE,
died in 1841, aged 101 years. Andrew J. MOREY married Sarah HARRIS, and
reared one son, Arthur P., who served as captain and major for four years
in the late civil war, and is now a resident of Sedalia, Mo.
Philip JUDD was an early settler in Strafford. He located here in
1780, .and worked for F. SMITH. His son John was born on the place now
owned by Arthur KITTREDGE, in 1790. His son Philip served in the War of
1812, and was killed near Buffalo, N. Y. John married Sarah, daughter of
Nathaniel KILBORN, of Thetford, who was the mother of nine children, three
of whom are now living, viz.: Luman in this town, Sarah (SIMONDS) in Hartford,
Windsor county, and Cyrus in Thetford.
Nathaniel BROWN, with four sons, -- Absalom, Nathaniel, Jr., Heman
and Josiah, came from near Sandown, N. H., and located in this town about
the time of the Revolution. They were among the founders of the old Free
Baptist church, about 1790, the first church of this denomination in Vermont,
and of which Josiah was deacon. Absalom married, in 1779 or '80, Abigail,
daughter of Enoch BEAN, and they were the parents of fourteen children,
of whom six sons and six daughters attained adult age. One son, Rodolphus,
married, first, Lucy WILEY, by whom he had one daughter, Sarah A. By his
second wife, Polly, daughter of John DIMOND, of Vershire, he had three
children, viz.: Charlotte D. (Mrs. William R. HAYES), Eveline P. and Dimond
M. Four of Absalom BROWN's children removed to the West; the others passed
their lives in this vicinity. Nathaniel BROWN, one of the four sons of
Nathaniel, became a Free Baptist clergyman, was ordained at Vershire in
1802, and was the pioneer preacher of this denomination in Bethany, Genesee
county, N. Y., where he and his brother Heman located. Rodolphus BROWN
died in 1856, aged seventy years.
James HYDE served in the Revolutionary war nearly seven years. He
owned a farm in Connecticut, which he sold for a large sum of money, and
located in Strafford soon after the war. He was a tailor by trade.
Robert and Eleazer HAYES, from Connecticut, were among the first
settlers of Strafford, locating on Hayes hill about one hundred years ago.
Their brother David settled in Hanover, N. H., about the same time. Robert
had served in the Revolution, and in later years received a pension. He
married Abigail Merrill and they had twelve children, of whom ten attained
mature years. Their children were James, Samuel, John, David, Sally, Lydia,
Rosannah, Irena, Elvira, and Savilla. Samuel, the second son, served in
the War of 1812. David, born in 1802, went to Piermont, N. H., when sixteen
years of age, and there married Mary B., daughter of John RICHARDS, whose
father was a pioneer in that town. In 1833 they removed to the old homestead
in Strafford, where Mrs. HAYES still resides with her son William R. David
HAYES and wife reared two sons and three daughters. He was an active member
of the Free Baptist church, and died October 9, 1878. Their youngest son,
Chauncey E., is a merchant in New Durham, N. H. One daughter is the wife
of Lucius D. PARKER, of this town. John HAYES, son of Robert, married,
first, Susannah CLARK, by whom he had eleven children. By his second wife,
Susan ORDWAY, he had five children, of whom James R. and Helen reside in
Andrew CHANDLER, from Woodstock, Conn., with his wife, Relief HAVEN,
and children, located in Strafford previous to 1787. He was a farmer, and
the father of nine children, viz.: Rufus, Lemuel, Charles, Anna, Elizabeth,
Joseph, Perley, Eunice and Lucy. He died is 1802, aged forty years. Rufus
married Clarissa TUCKER, by whom he had eight children, viz.: Lucretia,
Andrew, Dana, Huldah, Eunice (Mrs. Lucius CARPENTER), Orson, Hamelia and
Carlos. Dana married Caroline G. PATTERSON, and their children were Clarissa
H., Rufus A. and Hazen H. Lemuel, second son of Andrew, married, first,
Electa FELLOWS, and second, Hannah AVERY, was a farmer in this town, and
later removed to Johnson, Lamoille county. The children by his first wife
were Nathan, Adaline, Harriet, Charles, Loretta, Horace, Lemuel A. and
Electa A. Charles CHANDLER married Hannah Mary FERGUSON, of Sharon, and
they have one son and two daughters. He was for many years in partnership
with his brother Lemuel A., at Nevada City, Cal., but returned to Strafford
in 1865, where he has extensive farming interests, and owns a steam saw-mill,
doing a large business, in Norwich. Windsor county.
Moses BROWN, from Poplin, N. H., with his wife, Mary HOBBS, and
six children, came to Strafford in 1788 and located on the place now occupied
by his grandson, Stephen F., four or five acres of which farm had been
previously cleared. Six children were born to them after settling here,
but in the whole number there was but one daughter. Three of the sons,
Abraham, Samuel and Enoch, were Plattsburgh volunteers. Moses was born
in 1750, and died in 1832. Moses, Jr., born in 1784, passed nearly his
whole life upon the farm now owned by his son Stephen F., was known as
the oldest man in town, dying here in 1880, aged ninety-six years. His
wife was Keziah KIMBALL, whose father, Caleb, settled in this town before
1780. Five of the eight children of Moses and Keziah BROWN are still living,
viz.: Harry, Harriet (Ladd), John S., Harrison and Stephen F.
Enoch BROWN, born in 1786, married Sally HAZELTON and located where
his son, Mansel H., now lives, about 1817. He was a Plattsburgh volunteer
and received a government land warrant in consideration of his services.
He died in 1856. Three of his five children are still alive, viz.: Lucia
(BALDWIN), Sarah E. (WHIPPLE), and Mansel H., the latter being the present
first selectman in this town.
Joseph BARRETT, from Strafford, Conn., came to this town before
his marriage, and made a clearing where the copper furnace now is, on which
he raised in one season 500 bushels of wheat. He married Nancy JOHNSON,
and their children were Cyrus, Alpha, Lester, Alvin, Hiram, Eliza and Cyrel.
He was captain of a company of troopers in 1814, and led them as far as
Burlington on the way to Plattsburgh. In 1818 he bought of Israel CONVERSE
a small house at South Strafford where the present hotel stands, which
he kept improving and adding to until his death in 1849. This hotel has
been known as the Barrett House since 1818. Lester BARRETT, now living
in Strafford, has passed his life as a stage proprietor and job teamster.
Hiram BARRETT, when fifteen years of age, began driving team to Boston
for his father, and at the age of twenty-one drove a six-horse team for
himself. He kept hotel from 1835 to 1838, and in 1842 engaged in trade,
continuing with different partners until 1853. He was postmaster several
years, was senator two years, and represented the town in the state legislature
in 1862-63. In 1870 he removed to Cleveland, Ohio, where he has since resided,
for the last three years having been president and treasurer of Rocky River
R. R. He is: also an extensive dealer in real estate. He revisits his native
town every year and passes some time here. His wife is the only living
child of Joshua MOORE, of Strafford, and they have one son, Curtis S.
Benjamin GEORGE, a Revolutionary soldier, came from Westmoreland,
N. H., to this town, about 1790, and settled on the farm now occupied by
C. W. PRESTON. His family consisted of three sons and five daughters. His
second son, Ebenezer, who served in the War of 1812, married Betsey KIBLING,
and reared nine children, four of whom are living. He lived to the age
of ninety-one years. Benjamin, Jr., a farmer, married and reared two sons
and two daughters. Alonzo, son of Ebenezer, was for some time a merchant
at Post Mills, in the town of Thetford, and is now president of the Second
National bank of Aurora, Ill. Benjamin, son of Ebenezer, is a farmer at
Aurora. Francis K. owns a bakery at Batavia, Ill. Royal W. GEORGE, son
of Benjamin, is the only one left of this family in Strafford.
Thomas HAZELTON, from Westmoreland, N. H., came to Strafford at
a very early date, and settled where his great-grandson, Lewis P., now
lives. He served in the Revolutionary war, and fought on Bunker Hill. His
family consisted of four sons and three daughters. Thomas HAZELTON, Jr.,
his oldest, and Mansel, another son, were Plattsburgh volunteers. Thomas,
Jr., passed his life upon his father's farm, dying there in 1865. His wife,
Sylvia KIBLING, was the mother of his thirteen children, ten of whom are
still living, viz. Finnette (BROWN), Harlow, Sylvia K. (MORRILL), Lorenzo
D., Clarissette (AVERY) Harriet M. (WALLACE), Lucy C. (STODDARD), Henry
C., Hiram and Walter S. Harlow married Maria R. PENNOCK, and has two sons,
Lewis P. and Harvey. He has been selectman, lister, etc.
Cornet John BLAISDELL came from England with his wife and five children,
about 1685, and settled in Amesbury, Mass., his son John, Jr., being then
about two years old. John BLAISDELL, son of Harvey, grandson of Ezra and
great-grandson of John, Jr., became an early settler in Strafford, where
he cleared a farm which is now included in the Tyson mining property. John
BLAISDELL, the Strafford settler, married Rebecca KENDALL in 1796, their
union resulting in a family of three sons and one daughter. He died in
1842, aged seventy-two years. Jefferson BLAISDELL, born in this town May
19, 1805, served in various town offices, dying on the homestead farm,
where he passed his entire life, in 1853. His wife, Eliza, daughter of
Jacob KIBLING, bore him two sons, Frank (deceased), and John K., a merchant
and postmaster at Union Village, in the town of Thetford.
Levi BACON was an early settler in this town, where he bought a
large tract of land which included A. P. BACON's present farm. He came
from: Connecticut; and his children were John, Elmer, Levi, Jr., Israel,
Enoch and Hiram. His son John, then a lad of ten years, drove a yoke of
oxen from Connecticut to this town when they settled here, about 1791.
He was one of the Plattsburgh volunteers, and drew a pension for his services.
He lived to the age of eighty-three years. His wife was Betsey WEST, and
their children were John, Enoch, Henry, Willard, Samuel E., Jedediah, Betsey,
Lovina, Polly, Fanny and Nancy. Samuel E. has lived on the farm he now
occupies for thirty-one years. He married Sophronia S. CAVERLY, a native
of Wolfboro, N. H., and their children are Ella F. (Mrs. M. A. PRESTON),
Frederick E. and Mabel G. Hiram BACON, son of Levi, built the house where
his son Alfred P. now lives, and there lived until his death. He married:
Roxana COMSTOCK, by whom he had four children. His son Hiram, Jr., served
through the civil war, and died from disease there contracted. Alfred.
Pierce BACON now owns the farm on which his grandfather settled.
Willard CARPENTER, from Woodstock, Conn., married Polly BACON, February
23, 1791, and soon after came to Strafford and bought a lot of wild land
in the northwest part of the town, which he cleared and occupied until
1818, when he bought the farm now occupied by E. T. WEST, where he afterwards
lived. He was a captain of militia. Mr. and Mrs. CARPENTER were the parents
of eight sons and four daughters, of whom Lucius, Alvan B. and Lucia (Mrs.
GILBERT) are now living. Of their other children, Ephraim was a physician
and merchant; Harvey was a tanner in Connecticut; John was a merchant in
Troy, N. Y.; Willard, Jr., was a merchant in Indiana; Joseph was a merchant
in New York. Lucius has been a. farmer, and kept hotel at Strafford for
twelve years. He married Eunice CHANDLER, and they have three children.
Alvan B. resides in Beloit, Wis.
Jeremiah DOW came to Strafford from Poplin, N. H., in 1795, and
located on the farm where James TYSON, Jr., now lives. From the time of
his settlement here until 1871 the place was owned in the family, first
by Jeremiah, then by his son Chase, and then by Chase's son, Chester B.
Jeremiah had six sons and four daughters. The sons all settled in this
town, and their names were Jeremiah, Jr., and Chase (twins), David and
Daniel, also twins, Asahel, and William, who died young. All these sons
were farmers, except Jeremiah, who opened the copperas works in Strafford,
acted as agent for the Vermont Copperas Co., and afterwards removed to
Shrewsbury, Rutland county. Chase DOW married Lucy WALKER, was captain
of militia, and was best known by his military title until his death, which
occurred in 1868, on the farm settled by his father, and where he had spent
his entire life. He lived to the age of seventy-seven years, and his wife,
who died in 1880, attained the age of eighty-seven. They had five children,
viz.: Simon C., Elvira W., Lucia, Frances E. and Chester B. The latter
is the only one remaining in Strafford. He served as postmaster at Copperas
Hill seven years, and at Strafford Hollow thirteen years; was town representative
in 1857-58 and 1868-69; was door-keeper of the House of Representatives
in 1880, and of the Senate in 1882. He has been deputy sheriff most of
the time since 1857.
Edward PRESTON came to Strafford about 1795 and located on the farm
now occupied by M. F. PRESTON, and on which he cut the first tree. He was
born in 1773, married Thankful BIDWELL, and had born to him six children,
four of whom lived to adult age, were married, and reared families. He
was buried upon the farm upon which he settled. His son Edmund, born in
1802, was a farmer, carpenter and blacksmith, and lived to an advanced
age. He was captain of the Strafford militia, removed to New York, and
finally to Michigan, where he died. He married Sally BENSON, by whom he
had three daughters and three sons, of whom two daughters and three sons
are now living. John PRESTON, the eldest son, is the only one of these
children residing in Strafford. He is a successful farmer, and has filled
with credit such offices as -usually fall to the lot of a Democrat in a
Republican town. He married Philinda, daughter of Amos and Hannah (WINSLOW)
FULLER, and they have -two daughters and one son.
David RICH was an early settler in Strafford, probably from Connecticut.
Olin A. RICH, son of Abel and grandson of David, is the only descendant
bearing the family name now in Strafford.
Dea. Jacob KIBLING, or KIBLINGER, as formerly spelled, was born
in Germany in 1753, where his father died, his mother emigrating to America
when he was an infant, and lived in Walpole, N. H., until Jacob became
of age. He married Sarah COOLIDGE and removed to Strafford where he bought
the farm now occupied by J. A. ROSS. He served in the Revolution, was a
deacon of the Christian church, and died in 1839, aged eighty-six years.
His mother, Katharine, died in this town in 1820, aged ninety-one years
and five months. His children were Jacob, John, Samuel S., Nancy, Sylvia,
Betsey, Katharine and Sarah. Jacob, Jr., married Sally SLYFIELD, of Lyndon,
where he resided -for a few years, when he returned to Strafford about
1811 and occupied the -farm where his father settled until a short time
before his death. He had born to him two sons and six daughters, of whom
Eliza married a Mr. BLAISDELL and resides in Thetford.
Jesse WOD was born in Andover, Mass., and his wife, Judith TEWKSBURY,
in Weare, N. H. They were married and lived in Hartland, Vt., in 1799.
He bought the farm in this town now occupied by his grandsons Jesse D.
and John F., which he cleared and upon which he built a log house where
the present house now stands, and into which -he moved his family in 1800.
He -lived to be eighty-four years old and his wife sixty-two. He was a
captain of militia and one of the Plattsburgh volunteers. Mr. and Mrs.
WOOD reared a family of four sons and three daughters. Isaac T., their
second son, born in 1808, married Ann D. MARSH, a native of Gilmanton,
N. H., passed most of -his life in Strafford, and in 1869 died upon the
farm settled by his father. They had four sons and four daughters, of whom
three suns and three daughters are now living.
Josiah KENDALL, from Plymouth, Windsor county, moved to Strafford
in 1805 and settled where Royal BURNHAM now lives. He married, first, Millicent
SLACK, by whom he had eight children, and second, Lucy PATTERSON, who bore
him six children. He was a well-to-do farmer, and died at the age of about
seventy years. His eldest son, Josiah, married Bedora WELLS, and two of
their children, Mrs. J. M. FLINT and. George H., reside in Strafford. Oliver
married, first, Matilda KIBBLING, and second, Angeline PRESTON, and now
lives in this town. His son Josiah E. now keeps the BARRETT House. Jonathan
also resides in this town. Jedediah H. KENDALL, son of Oliver, is -foreman
of R. A. HATCH's bedstead shop.
James L. ROBERTS, a farmer, passed most of his life in Strafford,
and died here in 1876, aged sixty-sever years. He married Betsey, daughter
of Nicholas WELLS, and they had seven children, of whom three sons and
one daughter lived to adult age. George W. ROBERTS, the oldest son, has
been -for thirty years engaged in the mining business with the old Vermont
Copperas Co., and its successor, the Strafford Mining Co. His wife is a
descendant of the old SWIFT family who were early settlers in Thetford.
John G. CLOGSTON came to Strafford from Goffstown, N. H., when a
young man. He married Eunice ROBERTS, served in the War of 1812, and died
in 1876, aged eighty-one years. Two of his sons, Luman and Henry H., served
in the civil war, Luman in Nims's Battery (Mass.) and Henry in Co. G, 9th
Daniel ROBINSON, from Foxbury, Mass., came to Strafford and lived
with his sons. Daniel, Jr., and Zadok, in a house which stood where the
common now is, in the north village. He was a Revolutionary patriot, and
though he did not serve in the war he enlisted five times. His sons Zadok
and William both participated in that sanguinary struggle. He lived to
an advanced age, and died where his grandson Hiram now lives. His son Daniel
married Betsey BUELL, of Sharon, and after living on various farms, in
1817 located where Hiram ROBINSON now lives, and where he reared five sons
and six daughters. The sons were Roswell, Harry, Hiram, Cyrus, and Jared.
The first four of the brothers lived at one time with their families on
adjoining farms in this district, which was afterwards, and is stilt, called
the "Robinson neighborhood." They were all substantial farmers. Hiram ROBINSON,
aged eighty-one, and Betsey, wife of E. BALLARD, of Norwich, Windsor county,
are the only ones of this family of eleven now living. Hiram has served
as selectman six years, lister ten years, and is now the only man living
who helped to build the union church in his neighborhood.
Alba GREEN, son of Simeon, was born in Strafford in 1821. He enlisted
in Co. C, 4th Vt. Vols., in which he served fifteen months. He died December
21, 1863, at Brandy Station, Va., while in the service. His widow, Apphia
GREEN, resides at South Strafford.
Solon F. FRARY, son of Jonathan and Lydia C. (BLAISDELL) FRARY,
was born in Strafford in 1822. When fifteen years of age he entered the
employ of* M. N. RUSS & Co., as clerk in their store at Thetford Center,
and three years later was employed by HARRIS & RUSS, at South Strafford,
in the old store which occupied the site and is a part of the present one.
In 1843 he became a member of the firm of RUSS, FRARY & Co., which
was changed to HARRIS &FRARY two years later. Since 1845 Solon F. FRARY
has been the active manager of the business, and the sole owner from 1855
to 1873. He has served as postmaster twenty-eight years, town auditor sixteen
years, and was representative in 1882-83. In December, 1854, he married
Adaliza E. GILMAN, and their children are Gertrude (Mrs. BUELL) and Bessie
J. Capt. Jonathan FRARY, father of Solon F., was born in Strafford in 1795.
He was a merchant for several years at South Strafford, and served as deputy
sheriff. His father, John, and grandfather, Jonathan, were early settlers
here, and owned a. large tract of land where South Strafford village is
John M. FLINT, born in Brookline, Windham county, in March, 1819,
came to Strafford when seven years of age, and with the exception of ten
years at sea, and eleven years as station master and postmaster at Pompanoosuc,
has resided here all his life.
Walter S. KITTREDGE came to Strafford from Lowell, Mass., in 1842,
and with the exception of twelve years in Norwich has lived here since.
His wife was Caroline TUCKER, of Tunbridge, and they had eight children,
two sons and three daughters of whom are living. Rodemah K., their eldest
son, enlisted in the civil war, was a recruit of the 9th Regt., but died
the day the company started for the front.
Daniel REYNOLDS was born in Tuftonborough, N. H., and while in his
infancy his parents removed to Hanover, N. H., where he attained maturity
and married Susan EVERETT, who bore him ten children. In 1851 he went to
California with the gold-seekers. In 1858 he located in this town, dying
here the same year. Three of his six sons -- William A., Daniel H., and
Charles C. served in the civil war. Daniel H. enlisted twice and served
five years, was twice in rebel prisons and several times wounded. He is
a machinist and resides in Lowell, Mass. William A. served two years and
two months. Charles C., now a resident of Vershire, served three years.
Franklin M. TOWLE, son of Nathan and Betsey (MORRISON) TOWLE, was
born, in Piermont, N. H., in 1814. His parents settled in the eastern part
of Piermont in 1800. His life has been that of a practical farmer except
that he taught school thirty-five terms, and in 1859 visited every town
in Vermont to introduce the Progressive readers and spellers for schools.
In 1860 he located where he now lives, since which time he has been several
times honored as the defeated candidate of the Democratic party for representative.
He married, first, Percy A, daughter of Rev. E. B. ROLLINS, who bore him
five children, none of whom are living. His second wife, Abbie G. (CARTER),
widow of John W. HARRIS, has one son, Eugene G. HARRIS, by her first marriage.
Freeman Stark HEWES came to Strafford from Orford, N. Y., in 1861.
He is the youngest of five sons of Moody HEWES, and was born in Lyme, N.
H., in 1835. His father was a son of Nathaniel and Sarah (FREEMAN) HEWES,
who settled in Lyme in 1766, the seventh family in that town. Moody HEWES
married, first, Susan HURLBUTT, who was the mother of Nathaniel HEWES,
of Thompsonville, Conn., Newton, of the same place, and Norman, of Lebanon.
His second wife was Lydia CHAPIN, whose children were Frank, who died young,
Freeman S. and Susan L. Freeman S. has been engaged principally in farming,
although for several years he worked at the trade of millwright. His wife
is Roxana, daughter of Hazen CARR, of Orford, and their children are William
W. and Frank W.
Benjamin W. STILL was born in Waitsfield, Washington county, and
early in life worked at shoemaking. At the age of forty-four he enlisted
from Claremont, N. H., in Co. L, of the 1st Rhode Island Cavalry, and served
one year, when he was severely injured by his horse falling upon him, since
which time he has been an invalid. His father was Duran STILL, and his
grandfather STILL, who was impressed into the British service when a youth
of fourteen, deserted to the American side as soon as possible and fought
for the independence of the colonies. Benjamin W. has lived in Strafford
since 1862. He married Clara B. PIXLEY, a native of Lebanon, N. H., and
has reared six sons and five daughters out of a family of fourteen.
Horace YARRINGTON, son of Halsey, was born in Norwich, Windsor county,
in 1839. His mother died when he was seven years old, the family was broken
up, his father dying in California. In 1862 Horace enlisted in Co. B, 6th
Vt. Vols., served through the war, and was wounded three times. Soon after
the close of the war he located in Strafford, where he has served as selectman
three years and also as lister. He married Dorcas HARRIS, and they have
two children. Merrill E. YARRINGTON, brother of Horace, served three years
in the 9th Vt. Vols.
Charles J. SLEEPER, born in Hartford, Vt., in 1839, enlisted in
Co. H, 16th Vt. Vols., and served until mustered out. He settled on his
present farm in Strafford in 1867. He has been selectman two years. He
married Mary Durkee, of Tunbridge, and they have one son, Charles W.
Rev. Harvey F. J. SCRIBNER, son of Ebenezer and Polly (JOHNSON)
SCRIBNER, was born in Enfield, N. H., in 1823. In his early life he taught
school and sold dry goods on the road. He subsequently engaged in the carpenter
and joiner business, and has followed that more or less since. In 1858
he was ordained as a clergyman in the Wesleyan Methodist church, and for
twenty years or more preached in various towns in New Hampshire and Vermont.
He settled in Strafford in January, 1867, where he now lives. He has served
as lister, notary public, etc., and for some years has been engaged in
procuring pensions for soldiers. For forty-three years he has for his own
information kept a record of the snow-fall each winter, and for thirteen
years has been a voluntary observer of the United States signal service
for the rain and snowfall, direction of the wind, and temperature. The
snow-fall of 1886-87, the largest in forty-three years, was eighteen feet
Rev. Henry CUMMINGS was born in Royalton, Mass., September 12, 1823.
He graduated from Amherst college in 1847, from Andover Theological seminary
in 1850, and was ordained at Newport, N. H., in 1851, where he continued
as pastor fifteen years. In 1866 he was installed as pastor of the Congregational
church as Rutland, Mass., and from that place came to Strafford, where
he was installed in July, 1874. He married Mary A. BEAMAN, of Princeton,
Mass., in 1851, and they have two sons and three daughters, viz.: Henry
B., George H,, Mary E., Anna M., and Sarah R.
Frederick F. CHAFFEE, M. D., was born in Rochester, Windsor county,
June 29, 1855. He was educated at Randolph Normal school, studied medicine
at the University of Michigan, graduating from the University of the city
of New York with the class of 1877, in June of which year he located in
this town, where he has since lived and built up a large practice. In 1879
he married Nellie S., daughter of Chester B. DOW. In 1884-85 he represented
this town in the legislature.
Strafford was without regular preaching until the establishment
of the Baptist church in 1791. Yet from its earliest settlement the people
were devoted to religious observances; and though no towering church spire
directed their thoughts heavenward, Nature furnished them a fitting temple.
The mother of James PENNOCK came here to reside with her son, and brought
with her a prayer-book and a volume of sermons. The people resolved to,
maintain public worship in some form, often met on the Sabbath at a retired
spot in the forest, where one of their number would conduct their devotions,
by reading appropriate prayers and a sermon from Mrs. PENNOCK's collection,
while at proper intervals hymns of praise were sung by the entire congregation.
Later a barn belonging to Lieut. F. SMITH was occasionally used for religious
meetings. But, usually, meetings were held in private houses; and, if,
perchance, a visiting or itinerant clergyman passed a Sabbath in town,
it was an event to be hailed with joy by the whole community. As the appointed
hour of service drew nigh, from every direction the people wended their
way to the place of meeting. Thus they worshipped and who can say that
their devotion was not as pure and acceptable to the All-wise as that which
ascends from costly temples, furnished with all the modern appliances of
taste and ease ?
The Freewill Baptist church of Strafford was organized in 1793.
The first settled pastor was Elder Aaron BUZZELL. A letter dated Strafford,
Vt., September 10, 1791, and addressed "To the Baptist church in New Durham,
N. H.," was duly received. It was written by Samuel RICH in behalf of others,
and said, "We now think it expedient to come into church order; as the
word of God directs; and being informed by brother Dickey of your standing
and order, it being agreeable to our minds, we request some of the elders
of your church to come, as soon as possible, to our assistance, as we are
exposed to many snares, and are alone as to sentiment in this part of the
It was not until the next July that-Elders Benjamin RANDALL and
John BUZZELL made a tour to Vermont. They bore with them letters of commendation,
and were gladly received. It appears that a young man by the name of Robert
DICKEY, from Epsom, N. H., and a member of the New Durham church, was in
Strafford in the employment of a relative, as a hired laborer. After mourning
over the profanity and general wickedness of the people, Dickey began to
exhort them to repent and flee from the wrath to come. Having an excellent
gift of exhortation, and having had the confidence and encouragement of
Elder Benjamin RANDALL, he continued to warn the people; and many were
wise enough to heed the admonition, notwithstanding the scoffs of the wicked.
About thirty were hopefully converted, and happily engaged in the worship
of God. The converts were divided in their doctrinal views; but being filled
with the spirit, they believed it possible to live in peace. Without objections
they were allowed to make the trial, and, were recognized as an independent
church. In this condition RANDALL and BUZZELL left them, fearful that they
could not walk together, because they could not agree in the doctrines
of communion, election and final perseverance. Their fears were soon realized.
The brethren could not let the difference in doctrinal views rest, neither
could they discuss those views in love and forbearance. A spirit of alienation
soon crept in, and a mutual council was called. RANDALL, accompanied by
a lay brother, visited them again in 1793, and met in council six others
from the Calvinistic Baptist churches in the vicinity, for the settlement
of their difficulties. As the division involved principles that neither
party could surrender, the council advised a separation. But some were
undecided with which division to go; and, to make a. finality of the matter,
it was agreed that William GROW, a Calvinist, and Elder RANDALL should
each preach a discourse, embodying his own views of the five points of
Calvinism, and then they would poll the house. The sermons were accordingly
preached, after which GROW, standing on one side of the house, and RANDALL
on the other, the members were called upon to follow the minister of their
choice. Ten stood with GROW and fifteen with RANDALL. RANDALL, on his return,
informed John BUZZELL of the tried state of the brethren in Vermont, and
advised him to go to their relief, which he immediately did, and found
them not only at -variance with the Calvinists, but divided among themselves.
He labored assiduously to create harmony among them, at first without success,
but finally partially succeeded, and nine persons entered into a covenant
engagement, and thus was constituted the first Freewill Baptist church
among the green hills of Vermont the first west of the Connecticut river
in 1793, in 1860 a new church building was erected at the South village,
and the church is now in a prosperous condition.
The Congregational church. Eleven years after the settlement of
the town, December 28, 1779, the town voted to choose three men to select
a site for a meeting-house. The site selected was just beyond the "Old
City" bridge. In due time timber was drawn; but fears of a raid by the
Indians led the people to use the materials provided for a meeting-house
in building a blockhouse for their protection. As early as April 3. 1792,
at a town meeting, a vote was taken to settle a Congregational minister,
and a committee of three was appointed to confer with Mr. Abishai COLTON
in reference to such settlement. About the year 1815 more than usual religious
interest was awakened through the labors of a Mr. RUSSELL from Dartmouth
college. The need of a -church organization was felt, and on the Lord's
day, November 19, 1820, eighteen persons-two males and sixteen females-were
constituted a church. For some time they were unable to support a pastor
regularly. Rev. Mr. BASCOM supplied them, occasionally, for a season extending
from the organization of the church. They sometimes met in the old union
meeting-house, but more often in private houses. In January, 1830, Rev.
Harvey Freegrace LEAVES began his labors here. Near the close of the second
year of his labors he encouraged the people to move with reference to the
building of a house of worship. To this end a Congregational society was
legally formed "for the purpose of building a meeting-house and supporting
a minister." 'The site for the house of worship was selected and purchased,
the foundation laid, the amount pledged by the society, $800, was raised,
the balance needed, $675, was obtained, some gratuitous labor was performed,
and so the house was built, being completed near the close of the year
1832, and did service until 1868, when extensive alterations and repairs
were made. The church building was again repaired and refurnished in 1882,
at a cost of about $975. Since the organization of the church it has had
but four pastors whose terms of service have ranged from two to ten and
one-half years in length. It has had six acting pastors whose terms of
continuous service have been for periods varying from one to eight years.
The present pastor began his work with this church in May, 1874, and was
installed in July of the same year. In the office of deacon six persons
have served; and there is reason to conclude that the church owes, in no
small degree, its prosperity to their faithfulness. The following are their
names: Moses LANE, Sylvester MORRIS, Ziba LYMAN, Phineas WALKER, Daniel
GOVE, and William PATTERSON. At its organization the church had eighteen
members; in 1830 the number was forty; in 1840, fifty-five; in 1850, fifty-six;
in 1860, twenty-six, in 1870, thirty-four; in 1880, fifty-six. The present
number of members is sixty, under the pastoral charge of Rev. Henry CUMMINGS.
Their house of worship and parsonage are valued at about $2,500. The church
has derived much benefit from the income from a small fund given by thoughtful
members of the church. The fund now amounts to $3,500, and was bequeathed,
or has been donated by the following persons and in the sums indicated:
Miss Eunice D. WALKER, $1,000; Mrs. Adaline KIBLING, $500; Gen. F. SMITH,
$1,000; Seth C. CHANDLER, $500; Dea. Phineas WALKER, $500. The society,
also owns a parsonage. The beautiful communion service was the gift of
Mrs. E. M. CARPENTER and the late Mrs. Lizzie S. HOUSE, of Troy, N. Y.
The clock was placed in the audience room by Hon. J. S. MORRILL. The first
Sunday-school was held before the organization of the church, about 1816.
The present number of members is seventy, with a library of 370 volumes.
The Christian church. -- In the year 1811 Elder James SPENCER began
to preach in town, and awakened a general interest in the views of this
order. The brethren met in conference and social meetings, benefiting by
the occasional preaching of Elders Frederick PLUMMER and Jasper HAZEN till
1814, when Elder Abel BURK became their minister. May 2, 1815, a church
was organized. In June, 1817, Elder Edward B. ROLLINS commenced laboring
with the church. During his ministry there was an extensive revival, and
a large accession to the membership-twenty-four being received into church
fellowship. In 1839, under the labors of Elders J. KNIGHTS and G. L. GOULETTE,
the church was blessed with a revival. In 1842, during the ministry of
Elder Jared L. GREEN, many were converted and eighteen baptized. Since
the organization of the church, in addition to those above named, Elders
Rufus HARVEY, C. W. MARTIN, Amos STEVENS, Daniel HAZEN, Abiel KIDDER, Leonard
WHEELER, Seth ROSS, and Jonathan ASHLEY have labored to good acceptance.
The Methodist Episcopal church. -- Rev. Eleazer WELLS preached the
first Methodist sermons in town, about the year 1812. In 1813 Rev. Nathaniel
STEARNS became a resident here. The first, or among the first, class members,
were Asahel NEWTON and wife, Elias CARPENTER and wife, Ira PENNOCK and
wife, and Jeremiah BALDWIN and wife. Rev. Salmon WINCHESTER was the minister
in 1820 and 1821. He died here March 9, 1821, mourned by the entire community.
Isaac BARKER was stationed here in 1825. During his ministry there was
a reformation, and the church received numerous accessions. After him,
and nearly in the order named, were Joel STEELE, John LORD, John FOSTER,
Silas QUIMBY, Job DINSMORE, John CUMMINGS, James CAMPBELL, Richard NEWHALL,
James SMITH, Ira BEARD, James L. SLASON, James H. STEVENS, Eleazer WELLS,
Lyman WING, H. P. CUSHING, A. J. COPELAND.
The Universalist church was formed in Strafford in the year 1798,
under the auspices of Rev. Joab YOUNG, who preached to the people of this
town a part of the time for two years, or thereabouts, previous to the
formation of said society. Rev. Joab YOUNG was born in the year 1758, in
the state of Rhode Island. He was moved into Strafford by Elisha MAY and
Ira PENNOCK, in the year 1799, from Grantham, N. H., where he had lived
for some time previous to his removal to Strafford. He settled near the
center of the town, and became the first settled minister in said town,
in consequence of which he came into possession of a grant of land from
the state. In 1799 the inhabitants erected a large .and commodious meeting-house,
which the Universalists occupied their share of the time, and as their
pastor, Mr. YOUNG, was an effective and very popular preacher, he attracted
large numbers to hear him; and all denominations worshipped together around
one common, altar. The society became quite popular under the ministration
of Mr. YOUNG, and, in 1802, a general convention of the Universalists was
held at Strafford, under very favorable circumstances, at which time and
place Zebulon STREETER, George RICHARDS, Hosea BALLOU, Walter FERRIS and
Zephaniah LATHE were appointed a committee to form a plan of faith and
fellowship for the acceptance and union of the fraternity at large. The
plan of faith and fellowship which they reported, and which was afterwards
adopted by the convention at Winchester, N. H., in 1803, and which is now
world-wide known as the “Winchester Confession of Faith," was as follows:
Mr. YOUNG continued his ministrations in Strafford until 1812 or
'13, when he retired from the ministry -- his usefulness having been somewhat
impaired; and owing to his indiscretion the Universalist society in Strafford
was partially broken up, and was continued in an indifferent manner, with
occasional preaching, until July 29, 1826, when it was thought advisable
to form a new Universalist society. About this time, under the direction
of Rev. J. E. PARTNER, there was a church formed of more than thirty members.
Rev. John MOORE and Rev. John C. BALDWIN joined said church, both of them
being natives of this vicinity, and men of irreproachable character. Rev.
Mr. MOORE continued to live and preach in Strafford until March, 1828,
when he moved to Lebanon, N. H., and in September, 1833, to Danvers, Mass.
In May, 1849, Mr. MOORE returned to this town, where he had commenced his
ministerial labors twenty-five years before. During the year 186o the Universalists
bought out the claim of the Freewill Baptists, and thoroughly repaired
the meeting-house at South Strafford, built in the year 1833, by the Universalists
and Freewill Baptists, and the house was re-dedicated to the service of
God in the month of December, 1860.
We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament contain
a revelation of the character of God, and of the duty, interest and final
destination of mankind.
We believe that there is one God, whose nature is love, revealed in one
Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of Grace, who will finally restore
the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness.
We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected;
and that believers ought to be careful to maintain order, and practice
good works; for these things are good and profitable unto men."
The Advent Christian church of Strafford, located at Strafford village,
was organized in October, 1875, by George F. EARLE, who was the first pastor,
with about twenty-five members. The first preaching of this doctrine was
by J. H. HARDING, upon his coming to Strafford in 1876, and the church
has prospered since. The present number of members is thirty-one, under
the pastoral charge of Rev. Gorge C. HAYNES. The Sunday-school has an average
attendance of from forty to fifty. Services are held in HAZELTON's hall.
A union meeting-house was erected in the "Robinson neighborhood"
in 1838, by an association, in twenty shares, the PRESTON, ROBINSON and
TYLER families each taking five shares. Hiram ROBINSON is the only one
of the original builders now living. It is a wqoden structure, cost $1,400,
and will comfortably seat 200 persons. No regular preaching is now held
here. The Methodists, Christians, and Freewill Baptists have occupied the
building more frequently than other denominations.
Of Orange County, Vt. 1762-1888.
And Published by Hamilton Child,
Journal Company, Printers and Binders.
N. Y., 1888.
by Karima Allison ~ 2004