a triangularly outlined town, lies in the eastern part of the county in
lat. 44º 50', and long 5º 5', bounded north by Holland, east
by Warner's Grant and Brighton, in Essex county, and southeast by Charleston
and a small part of Derby. It consists principally of what was originally
chartered by the name of Caldersburgh, to Col. Jedediah Elderkin and sixty-three
others, November 6, 1780. October 19, 1801, Brownington and Whitelaw's
Gore were annexed to this town, while the southeasterly portion was set
off to Wenlock, a long, narrow town then extending nearly across the center
of Essex county, but which has since been taken to form other towns. The
name of Caldersburgh was also changed to Morgan, the new name being given
in honor of John Morgan, one of the original grantees, of whom the first
settlers purchased their lands. That part of the town formerly Caldersburgh
contains an area of 15,000 acres, Brownington Gore 3,000 acres, and Whitelaw's
Gore 2,000, giving the township an area of 20,000 acres.
The surface of the town is in some parts comparatively level, or
gently sloping, while in others it is pleasantly broken into hills and
valleys, there being no very prominent elevations, the principal being
Elon and Bear hills. Elon hill received its name from a settlement
commenced by Elon Wilcox, and Bear hill received its name from the circumstance
of a bear having been seen upon it, by a passing stranger, before the settlement
of the town. Ferrin's river, Sucker brook, and Mill brook are the principal
streams, though there are many minor rivulets. Seymour lake, a beautiful
sheet of water about four miles long and two miles wide, lies in the central
part of the town. Toad pond is a small body of water lying in the northeastern
part of the town, and Mud pond, another small collection of water, lies
in the northwestern part. The soil is in general easily wrought and very
productive. The timber is principally maple, birch, beech, elm and ash,
interspersed with hemlock, spruce, fir, tamarack, and cedar. The rocks
in the eastern part of the town are almost entirely granitic, while in
the western part they are of the calciferous mica schist formation, cut
by a narrow vein, of hornblende schist. Some beautiful specimens
of crystal quartz have been found. No minerals of value are known to abound.
The Grand Trunk railroad crosses a small portion of the extreme eastern
part of the territory.
In 1880, Morgan had a population of 711, and in 1882, was divided
into seven school districts and contained seven common schools, employing
one male and eleven female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary
of $629.60. There were 138 pupils attending common schools, while the entire
cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $705.52, with
J. C. Cobb, superintendent.
Morgan Center, a post village located in the central part of the
town, on Seymour lake, contains one church (Union), one hotel, two stores,
blacksmith shop, tub factory, steam saw-mill, granite and marble shop,
and about 100 inhabitants.
Morgan (p. o.), a hamlet located in the western part of the town,
contains one church (Union), one store, a blacksmith shop, and about fifty
Joseph A. Gray’s saw-mill, located at Morgan Center, was built in
1879, and purchased by the present proprietor in 1882. He employs ten men,
and manufactures 1,000,000 feet of lumber per year.
Thompson & Howard’s saw-mills, located on road 8, were built
by that firm in 1880 and 1881. The first mill, erected in 188, manufactures
2,000,000 feet of coarse lumber, 560,000 feet of clapboards, and 300,000
feet of chair stock, per annum. The second mill, connected with the first
by a horse railway, cuts about 2,500,000 feet of lumber, 500,000 shingles,
2,500,000 lath, and 200,000 feet of chair stock per annum. They give employment
to from 50 to 150 men.
J. Williams & Son’s mills, located on road 19, cut about 1,000,000
shingles, 100,000 feet of clapboards, and 100,000 bobbins per annum, employing
W.S. Ransom's cooper shop on road 20, came into the possession
of the present owner in 1874, who makes about 2,500 tubs and 1,000 sap
buckets per year.
D.T. Turner's granite shop is located at Morgan Center. He manufactures
all kinds of granite work from granite of an excellent quality taken from
a quarry opened by him in this town in 1880. His business, owing to a fine
grade of granite, is constantly increasing.
J.M. Buttes's mills, located on road 27, were built in 1881, upon
the site of a mill previously destroyed by fire. The mills cut 5,000,000
feet of coarse lumber, 300,000 shingles, and 400,000 feet of clapboards
per year, employing seventy-five men.
Francis Elliott's saw-mill, located at Morgan Center, cuts about
250,000 feet of lumber per year.
Nathan Wilcox was the first settler. He moved his family here from
Killingsworth, Conn., in 1802. He was born in Killingsworth, Conn., November
16, 1757, married Rachel Bennett, of East Hampton, L. I., and died here
June 21, 1840, aged eighty-four years. His children were Benjamin, Calvin,
Jeremiah, Luther, Nathan, Jr., Deborah, Lydia, Thankful, Rachel and Lucy.
The next settler, Christopher Bartlett, came in 1805, with a family
of seven, viz: Lyman, Samuel, Jarvis, Austin, John, Artimitia and Polly
and two others, Zenas, and Byron, were born here. Three of his grandchildren
now reside here, From 1802 to 1807, the only legal voters were Nathan,
Benjamin, Calvin, and Jeremiah Wilcox, Christopher Bartlett, William D.
Weeks, and Ebenezer Bayley. The first town meeting was warned by Eber Robinson,
Esq., of Holland, March 25, 1807, which met in pursuance thereof, when
Christopher Bartlett was chosen moderator and town clerk; Elon Wilcox,
Nathan Wilcox, and Ebenezer Bayley, selectmen; William D. Weeks, constable;
Christopher Bartlett, grand juror; Benjamin Wilcox, Calvin Wilcox, and
W. D. Weeks, listers; and Christopher Bartlett, keeper of the keys. The
first justice of the peace was Nathan Wilcox, in 1807. The first representative
was Rufus Stewart, in 1811. The first birth was that of John Morgan Wilcox,
a son of Nathan and Rachel Wilcox, October 7, 1805. The first marriage
was that of Luther Wilcox and Lucinda Dean, of Grafton, N. H., the ceremony
being performed by Eber Robinson, Esq., of Holland, July 25, 1807.
The first death was that of Lucy, youngest daughter of Nathan and Rachel
Wilcox, March 1, 1809, aged thirteen years and sixteen days. The first
frame house was built by Maj. Rufus Stewart, about half a mile north of
the Four Corners. Dr. Nathaniel Ladd was the first physician in the town.
Christopher Bartlett was born in Stafford, Conn., February 26, 1767,
married Anna Buck, of Somers, Conn., born August 4, 1765, and came to Morgan
in 1805, locating at the head of the lake, upon the farm now occupied by
H. R.Chadwick, where he died December 27, 1842. He reared a family of nine
children, only two of whom, Austin, on road 4, and Byron, at the Center,
now reside in the town, though there are numerous descendants. Byron is
the present town clerk, has represented the town in the general assembly
twice, and has been a justice of the peace thirty years. John Bartlett
is said to have kept the first store in the town, at the Corners.
William Cobb came to Morgan, from Hartland,Vt., May 7, 1806, and
settled upon the farm now owned by his son William. He had a family of
seven children, four of whom are now living, and three, William, J.C.,
and Adalade, in this town. William, Sr., died February 18, 1852, aged sixty-
Ira Levens came to Morgan at an early date and located in the northwestern
part of the town. Squire Levens, as he was familiarly known, was one of
the prominent men of the town, held most of the town offices, and died
in 1842. His son Harrison, who died here about five years ago, came here
with his father, and also took an active interest in town affairs.
Jacob Taylor, a Revolutionary soldier, came to Derby at an early
date and subsequently located in Morgan where he died in 1841. His son
James came at the same time, but afterwards removed to Caledonia county,
where he died in 1864. Orrin, son of James, was born in 1821 and now resides
on road 11, corner of 17. He was assistant judge of the county court from
1872 to 1876, represented the town in 1876 and 1879, was sheriff of Orleans
county two years, and is the present constable and collector of the town.
David Hamblet came to Morgan, from Danville, Vt., at an early day,
and located upon the place now owned by WilliamWillis. He was thrice married,
reared a family of eighteen children, and died in 1862. Six of the eighteen
children are now living, one of whom, T.L. Hamblet, resides on road 14.
David S. Morse came to Morgan, from Barnet, in 1820, and located
upon the farm now owned by William Dimmick. He died in 1882, aged seventy-
William Wilson came to Morgan, from Danville, Vt., in June, 1823,
locating upon the farm now owned by Andrew Wilson, on road 22. He reared
a family of thirteen children, seven of whom are now living, and died in
Charleston September 16, 1866, aged seventy-six years. William D., son
of William, was three months old when his father came here. He married
Sophia Ingalls, and now resides in Charleston with a family of six children.
John Wilson, brother of William, came here in 1854, locating on road 22,
and died here August 20, 1863. Three of his thirteen children, Mrs. James
Dudley, Rufus L., and Andrew Y., reside in Charleston.
William Little, from Campton, N. H., came to Morgan in 1824. He
has resided on the farm he now occupies fifty-three years.
John Whitehill came to Morgan, from Ryegate,Vt., in 1829, locating
upon the farm now owned by his son, Matthew. He was twice married, reared
a family of twenty children, and died in 1850, aged sixty-four years.
Ithiel Cargill came to Morgan, from Brunswick, Vt., about 1834,
and located on road 19; but after a few years he removed to road 24, where
his son, George M., and grandson, Ithiel C., now reside, remaining there
until his death, in 1840. He was the first settler east of the lake, and
his son-in-law, Odlin Sanborn, was the first settler on road 27, locating
upon the farm now owned by M. Whitehill. William F. Cargill, residing on
road 12, is also a grandson.
Thomas H. Lord came here, from Derby, in 1836, with his son Samuel.
The latter now resides on the farm upon which he first located.
Samuel Daggett, a younger son of Nathaniel Daggett, an early settler
in Newport, married Emily Eager, daughter of an early resident of Derby,
came to Morgan in 1847, locating on road 5, and subsequently upon the farm
now owned by his son-in-law, W.F. Cargill, where he died in 1866, aged
James Dudley was born in Newport, N.H., January 17, 1821, and came
to Morgan in 1849, remained ten years, then removed to Charleston, where
he now resides. Three of his family of five children are living, — Mrs.
J. C. Page, John W., in Derby, and Ella, residing at home.
During the war of 1812, Ephraim Stiles and John Bishop, of this
town, were drafted to guard the frontier. Ruel Cobb, was drafted from Derby,
and after the war settled here. Maj. Rufus Stewart, of the militia, received
a captain's commission, and entered the regular service, and William Harvey,
Samuel Killam, Enos Bishop, Erastus Hatch, James H. Varnum, and Silas Wilcox,
of this town, enlisted under him. During the war of 1861-‘65 the town furnished
forty-seven enlisted men, thirteen of whom were killed or died from the
effects of wounds or disease contracted while in the service.
The Advent church of Morgan Center was organized by its present
pastor, Rev. Isaac Blake, with eighteen members, October 16, 1871. The
church building was erected during that year, in union with the Methodist
society. It is a neat wood structure capable of seating 170 persons having
cost $1,400.00, about its present value. The society now has twenty-five
The Methodist Episcopal church of Morgan Center was organized by
Rev.W. R. Puffer, with forty-eight members, April 18, 1876. The first regular
pastor was Rev. William Hackett, while the society now, numbering about
forty members, is supplied by Rev. W. S. Jenne, of Holland, on alternate
Sundays. The church building was erected in 1870, in union with the Advent
of Lamoille and Orleans Counties, VT.; 1883-1884, Compiled and Published
by Hamilton Child; May 1887, Page 288-29 to 288-31)
was provided by Tom Dunn.
–1884 Morgan Business Directory