Morgan, 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 inhabitants. 

       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 five men. 

       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- seven years. 

       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- six years. 

       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 fifty-five years. 

       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 members. 

       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 society. 
 
 

(Source: Gazetteer of Lamoille and Orleans Counties, VT.; 1883-1884, Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child; May 1887, Page  288-29 to 288-31)

 This excerpt was provided by Tom Dunn.



1883 –1884 Morgan Business Directory