town was originally granted by virtue of a patent from George the Third
to the following named proprietors, on the 20th day of October, 1761:
POWERS, William KEYES, Boaz BROWN, David POWERS, Benjamin SHADOR, jr.,
Silas WETHERBEE, Jonathan REED, John FOX, William FARR, Levi FARR, Samuel
POOL, Nathan FARR, Stephen BROWN, David MUNROE, Walter POWERS, Joseph FULLER,
Phineas WILDER, Edward BROWN, David VERNAS, Nehemiah FULLER, Ezekiel WRIGHT,
John LAMSON, Aaron BROWN, John CANNING, Daniel POND, Jonathan HARTWELL,
Benjamin REED, Thomas MUNROE, Joseph REED, Amos LAMSON, Nathan FELLOWS,
Josiah POWERS, jr., Eliphalet FAILS, Nathan CHASE, Asa HOLYEST, Peter WRIGHT,
Joshua WRIGHT, Tilly WILDER, Ephraim BROWN, Nathan RUSSEL, esq., William
RUSSELL, Josiah ELWOOD, Thomas SAWYER, William FRY, Aaron BROWN, jr., Elijah
POWERS, Benjamin ROBBINS, David SPAFORD, Ezekiel POWERS, Benjamin POWERS,
David FAILS, Silas BROWN, Ezekiel POWERS, Theodore ATKINSON, esq., Joseph
NEWMARCH, esq., Titus SALTER, Ephraim SHATMAN, Ephraim SHATMAN, jr., Thomas
GIBBS, William SHADOCK, Timothy HAILD, Thomas BARRETT, Timothy FOX, Aaron
DAVIS, Captain Aaron BROWN, Silas LAMSON. His excellency Benning WENTWORTH,
esq., a tract to contain five hundred acres as marked B. W. on the plan
which is to be accounted two of the within shares, one share for the incorporated
society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign parts, one share for
a globe for the Church of England as by law established-one share for the
first settled minister of the gospel, and one share for the benefit of
a school in said town."
Previous to this time
application to Benning WENTWORTH had not been made very frequently or strenuously
urged, because of the hazard of settling upon a wilderness territory adjacent
to a province which formed a battle-ground between two so powerful enemies
as the French and English. When, therefore, Montreal and the whole Province
of Canada were surrendered, September 8, 1760, to the British, the fertile
but irregular tracts of land lying to the east of Lake Champlain were eagerly
sought after by speculators and those who from natural bent and training
had become the pioneers from their infant civilization on the Western Hemisphere.
There was usually an interval of several years, however, between the granting
of a charter and the beginning of a settlement in the respective towns;
for example, in ten towns of Rutland county the charters of which were
granted between the 26th of August and the 20th of October, 1761, settlements
were begun as follows:
Pawlet, 1761; Danby,
1765; Clarendon and Rutland, 1768; Castleton and Pittsford, 1769; Poultney
and Wells, 1771; Brandon, 1772.
Brandon was, it will
be seen, settled more recently than any of the towns south of it. For the
first twenty-three years after it was chartered it was known by its charter
name of Neshobe. According to J. Hammond TRUMBULLL, Neshobe means "double-pond,"
or " half-way pond." It was originally applied to that part of Littleton,
Mass., where the ponds are situated, and the name has reference to their
location. A tribe of Indians living there was called Neshoba Indians, and
Mr. ELLIOTT established a praying town on Neshoba Hill. In 1714 the Neshoba
lands were incorporated into a town, and the name was changed to Littleton
in December, 1715.
Neshoba or Neshobe seems
to have been selected by Captain Josiah POWERS for the newly chartered
town in the New Hampshire Grants. He was born in the "Garrison House" on
Neshoba Hill where he spent most of his boyhood days, until he moved to
Greenwich. After a few years he became possessed with a desire to speculate
in lands in the new county and presented his petition for a township. It
was a matter of but little choice to Governor WENTWORTH what the name of
the new town was, provided he got the benefit of the reservation of five
hundred acres. Any land speculator presenting a sufficient number of names
of petitioners could obtain a grant of a township. If the applicant presented
no name for his township, the governor usually named it after some of his
English favorite friends or places; but it seems that the birth-place of
Powers had some pleasant associations for him, which led him to select
Neshobe for his new home.
The original boundaries
of the town were the same as the present. It contains 22,756 acres of land.
It is bounded north by the town of Leicester, Addison county, east by Goshen
and Chittenden, south by Pittsford, and west by Sudbury. On the 20th of
October, 1784, the act of the Legislature confirming the organization of
the town gave it the name of Brandon. Mr. John A. CONANT is authority for
the statement that the name, like that of Clarendon, Rutland, Leicester,
Salisbury and other towns, was taken from an English nobleman, the Earl
of Brandon, instead of being a corruption of Burnet town, as previous accounts
have recorded. According to the statement contained on page 429 of Hemenway's
Vermont Historical Gazetteer, "the first tree felled in this town with
a view to settlement, was in the month of October, 1772, when Amos CUTLER,
then a single man, came from Hampton, Conn., made an opening and built
a cabin which he occupied alone during the following winter. April 5, 1773,
John AMBLER and David JUNE, his son-in-law, came into the town from Stamford,
Conn., and made their pitch jointly, south of and adjoining Mr. CUTLER,
and extending, as it was afterwards surveyed, to near the north line of
The next settlers came
just previous to or during the Revolutionary War, and are named so far
as possible in the order of their arrival. Josiah POWERS, Elisha STRONG,
Thomas TUTTLE, Joseph BARKER, John MOTT, George and Aaron ROBINS, Benjamin
POWERS, Jonathan FERRIS, Joshua GOSS and Samuel KELSEY. All but the last
two are supposed to have come here before the beginning of the war. The
first settler, Amos CUTLER, made his first clearing on the farm now owned
by Josiah ROSSETER. He died there on the t 8th of March, 1818. His wife,
whom he married November 23, 1773, was daughter of Jacob SIMONDS, of Hampton,
Conn. CUTLER was a blacksmith by trade, and worked at the business here,
with tools of his own manufacture. Owing to the restrictive measures of
Great Britain, compelling the colonies to purchase most of their necessities
of her, the scope of CUTLER's productions was very limited.
A fulling-mill was built
by James, son of John AMBLER, and stood on the small stream that crosses
the road between the farm now occupied by Otis F. SMITH and the one formerly
owned by S. B. JUNE.
David JUNE, a native
of Stamford, Conn., came to Brandon in 1773 with his father-in-law, John
AMBLER. They made a joint pitch in the south part of the town, which was
by Mr. JUNE's later purchases made to comprise 225 acres in the homestead
at his death. He built a log house and returned to Stamford in November
of the same year of his arrival, bringing back his wife and two sons. He
came with two horses, upon one of which the family, except himself, rode,
and the other carried the goods. They arrived safely after a most fatiguing
journey. Mr. JUNE was on the proprietors' committee to lay out roads "from
Pittsford to Leicester, and from Pittsford to Sudbury, and from Pittsford
to the mills, on the east side of the creek." He died in June, 1819. He
had four sons and three daughters. The sons were Daniel, Asahel, Stephen
Captain Josiah POWERS,
originally of Littleton and afterwards of Greenwich, Mass., was the leading
man of the proprietors. He became the most extensive land-owner in town.
He owned at one time about three thousand acres, but continued to sell
until at his death he had disposed of nearly all his former possessions.
He came here to reside in 1774, and settled on the place now known as the
GOODENOW farm. His log house stood about fifty rods southwesterly of the
present dwelling. He was drowned October, 1778, while attempting to ford
on horseback a stream swollen by a flood. He was returning, it is thought,
from attendance at the Legislature at Windsor.
Dr. Benjamin POWERS,
brother to Captain Josiah POWERS, came to Neshobe about the same time.
He was the first physician in town; was probably a single man. He died
towards the close of the war.
Captain Elisha STRONG
settled before 1774 on a lot called the Governor's lot, on the west side
of the creek, embracing the present Bardella marble quarry land. He was
moderator of the first proprietors' meeting held in town in September of
1774. Captain STRONG died near the close of the war. Noah STRONG, his eldest
son, began on what was formerly the "Goss Place," now the town farm. He
was among the earliest of the settlers and purchased of Samuel BEACH, then
of Rutland, for twenty-four pounds, the original right of Thomas SAWYER;
also of his father-in-law, Josiah POWERS, the right of William FRYE, and
other purchases. He had seven children, all but one of whom were born in
this town. He built the first mills, long known as STRONG's mills, on the
site of S. L. GOODELL's marble works. He sold his homestead, then containing
180 acres, to Joshua GOSS for 480 in 1796 and removed to Ohio.
Captain Thomas TUTTLE
came here about 1774 from Pittsford, although he had had formerly lived
in Tinmouth. He first settled on what has since been known as the Farrington
farm, owned by Franklin FARRINGTON; his log house stood near the creek
and the present road to Sudbury, a few rods from where the railroad crossing
now is. The original survey contained one hundred and ten acres. His house
was burnt by the Indians in 1779, as were also those of his son, and his
son-in-law, BARKER. He was killed in an attempt to escape from Fort Washington
after the surrender of that stronghold to the British.
Joseph BARKER came here
before the war and settled on land then adjoining that of Captain TUTTLE
on the south. His house stood on the north side of the road to Sudbury,
some distance from it, and near the present railroad crossing. He married
Martha, daughter of Captain Thomas Tuttle. He was taken prisoner by the
Indians in November, 1779, on their second hostile visit to Brandon. Feigning
sickness and keeping the Indians awake until the latter part of the first
night, when his guards were overcome by sleep, he effected his escape.
Meanwhile Mrs. BARKER had started to go to Noah STRONG's, a distance of
more than three miles. Night coming on and having gone as far as the deserted
log house of the ROBINSES, she there remained for the night; there, without
other attendant than the other child, a babe was born to her, and there
Mr. BARKER found her the next day; she was properly cared for and recovered.
The child was named Rhoda, and married and removed to western New York.
Thompson's Gazetteer gives the year of this incident as 1777; but it was
two years later. Mr. BARKER was a shoemaker; was twice chosen selectman,
several times constable and held other town offices. He removed to the
Deacon John MOTT came
from Richmond, Mass. He first purchased of Josiah POWERS, on the 8th of
November, 1774, one hundred acres for £15 on the right of David VERNAS.
He also made purchases of James STONE and Thomas TUTTLE. He came here in
1775, and remained until 1812, when he removed to Mount Vernon, Ohio. He
was a very prominent man in town. He built the house now standing on the
premises of his half-brother, Henry HARRISON.
Gideon MOTT purchased
of him in June, 1784, two lots of fifty-five acres each, for £11,
one adjoining Amos CUTLER and the other on the Gilbert, now the Locke Brook.
He pitched on the latter, and built a house on the north side of the road
leading from Albert WOOD's to the Cook farm; when he began here there was
north of him but one house, that of Noah STRONG. Samuel MOTT, brother of
John MOTT, bought land of Gideon in 1786. He began on the present farm
of J. Walton CHENEY, made his "opening" and erected his unpretentious blacksmith
shop a few rods south of the dwelling-house of Mr. CHENEY, and on the west
side of the present road.
George and Aaron ROBINS,
brothers and single, came a little before the breaking out of the war,
from Petersham, Mass., and built a log house on the place now owned and
occupied by Owen MORGAN. Their widowed mother kept house for them. They
were bold, fearless enemies of the Indians, and were killed by a band of
them in November, 1777.
Jonathan FERRIS, from
Stamford, Conn., purchased of John AMBLER, March 30, 1776, for £28
"York money," a tract of one hundred and ten acres lying on the north line
of Pittsford, the farm now owned by T. B. SMITH. He lived single and died
at an advanced age, having been for several years under the care of the
Joshua GOSS, from Montague,
Mass., settled here before the close of the war, on the west side of the
highway, and some fifty rods from it, about as far north as David JUNE's
house. In 1796 lie bought the well-known GOSS place, now the town farm,
of Noah STRONG, where he for years kept a public house. He died in December,
Samuel KELSEY came from
Wallingford before the close of the war and settled on the farm now owned
by Arnold MANCHESTER. He removed to the West.
Among the other early
settlers were Charles JOHNSON, a tailor, who lived in Brandon from the
latter part of the last century until his death in 1859, and John CONANT,
esq., a native of Ashburnham, Mass., father of Mr. John A. CONANT. He was
born February 2, 1773. He came to Brandon in 1796 and purchased of Simeon
KING and Joseph HAWLEY, "one-half of the mills and water-power in the village"
for £160. The deed was dated December 23, 1796. He was by education
a carpenter and joiner. By subsequent purchases he became proprietor of
the entire water-power of the village. In 1816 he erected the stone grist-mill
which is still standing at the head of the lower falls, and in 1839 he
built the brick mill below it. In 182o he erected a blast furnace in the
village, to which establishment the village owes the greater part of its
present prosperity and business activity. He died June 30, 1856.
Captain Nathan DANIELS
made a "pitch" in 1774, on the place since known as the DOUGLAS, and later
still the BLACKMER farm, now owned by E. D. THAYER, where he remained for
twenty-two years, when he removed to Paris, N. Y. He married Lydia, daughter
of Captain Thomas TUTTLE. The first proprietors' meeting held in the town
was at his house.
Deacon Jedediah WINSLOW
came in 1773 from Barre, Mass. He pitched on the northeast side of the
creek, near the road leading from the village to the Blackmer bridge; he
died April 9, 1794, aged sixty-nine years. John WHELAN also came in 1773
from Pittsford. He pitched on the place now owned by Elam FRENCH. He died
May 5, 1829, aged sixty-six years.
Nathaniel FISK was from
Danby. Although he purchased here in 1774, it is thought that he did not
make Brandon his place of residence until after 1784. Dr. Nathaniel SHELDON,
a large landowner, came before the war. He married Elizabeth, daughter
of Captain Josiah POWERS. He first lived in the house near the creek, built
by Captain POWERS, and more recently on the farm now owned by H. A. SUMNER,
on which he was the first to begin. Although a physician, he did not attempt
to engage extensively in practice.
Other early settlers
in Brandon were Nathaniel BACON, who purchased what is now known as the
BACON farm owned now by Harley BUEL (near the village), in 1778; Jacob
and Philip BACON, who came a few years later; Gideon HORTON, jr., who came
here from Colebrook, Conn., in about 1783, and purchased a farm, including
Hog Back, and extending westerly to the creek; Judge Hiram HORTON, son
of the foregoing, who came in 1784, and commenced on what has since been
known as the Deacon POWERS farm, in the south part of the town, now occupied
by Nelson BRIGGS; John SUTHERLAND, of Sutherland Falls (Proctor), which
were named after his father. He erected the first gristmill in town, at
the lower falls in the village. Roger STEVENS had previously built a saw-mill
on the same site, which the Indians destroyed in 1779. James SUTHERLAND,
father of John, purchased of Abel STEVENS, on December 18, 1779, for eighty
bushels of corn, 110 acres, being the first division on the original right
of Tilly WILDER, and "embracing the falls and mill privileges in the village."
He sold to John SUTHERLAND in March, 1781, for ten pounds. He returned
to Sutherland Falls, now Proctor, in a few years, and remained there until
his death. Deacon Joseph HAWLEY came from Rutland before 1790.
Deacon Edward CHENEY
came from Dublin, N. H., in 1783, and lived on the place since called the
Joseph DUTTON farm. George Olds came from Manchester in 1783, and began
on what has since been known as the Abel GOODENOW; farm, although his first
pitch was on the place which forms a part of the farm of the SEAGER brothers.
David JACOBS, a Revolutionary soldier, came, in 1783, upon the farm now
occupied by Carlos SMITH. Simeon BIGELOW was from Conway, Mass., whence
he came to Brandon (or Neshobe), in 1783. He settled on the farm of David
M. JUNE. David BUCKLAND, sr., came from Hartford, Conn., in 1783, and commenced
on the farm since called the Luther CONANT farm, now occupied by Aaron
VAIL. Captain Timothy BUCKLAND came about 1784. The farm is still known
among a few as the "Captain Tim BUCKLAND farm," and is now occupied by
his grandson, Hiram BUCKLAND. Deacon Moses BARNES, from Lanesboro, Mass.,
came immediately after the close of the war, and purchased lands which
embrace the present farm of Charles FAY. In 1806 he exchanged with Seth
CAREY for the farm on which he passed the remainder of his days, and which
is now occupied by the KNOWLTON brothers. Samuel Seeley SCHOFIELD came
about 1784 and built his house near the notch in the mountain on the westerly
part of the present farm of William MCCONNELL. His brother, Frederick,
began on the farm adjoining what is known as the COOK farm, on the south.
William DODGE, sen., began in 1784 on the place more recently known as
the Elijah GOODENOW farm, now owned by Otis F. SMITH. Jonathan, his son,
first bought of Nathaniel SHELDON in 1784, and in 1793 of Willard SEATON,
the latter purchase including lands which joined the north side of John
MOTT's home farm. He afterwards purchased the "Dodge farm," now occupied
by Clarence MARSH.
Ebenezer SQUIRES came
here from Windsor early in 1784, and resided on the road leading from the
town farm to the site of the BLAKE furnace in Forestdale. Joseph LARKIN
is said to have built the first house east of the river in the village,
near the site of the present dwelling-house of Joseph ROSSETER, esq. Lorin
LARKIN is supposed to have come from Dorset in 1784. He purchased of John
SUTHERLAND "a lot lying around and enclosing the mills, which afterwards
came to be known as " Larkins's mills." Stephen DURKEE came from Windham,
Conn., in about 1784, and settled in the south part of the village. Deacon
Benjamin STEWART came from Danby as early as 1784, and is supposed to have
been the first settler in that part of Sugar Hollow which is in the town
of Brandon. David FINNEY, jr., began on the place now comprising the easterly
part of the William MCCONNELL farm. Timothy GOODENOW settled, about 1784,
on a lot situated between the farms of Harmon L. BUCKLAND and the KNOWLTONS.
Daniel, the eldest son, came, in 1803, upon the place since known as the
Daniel GOODENOW farm, now in possession of Otis F. SMITH. Elijah, the second
son, left his father's house in 1792, and removed to the Dodge farm, on
the creek. Asa GOODENOW began, in 1787, on the farm where Charles CARR
now resides. He was a carpenter and joiner, and built the present dwelling
house of Mr. George BRIGGS. Abel GOODNOW purchased, with Luther DODGE,
of George OLDS, in September, 1792; in 1794 he bought out DODGE. The farm
is now in possession of Josiah ROSSETER. In 1805 Willis GOODENOW bought
the farm now in possession of T. B. SMITH, where Ichabod PAINE formerly
lived, joining the north line of Pittsford. Years later he purchased the
Daniel GOODENOW farm. Roger STARKWEATHER came from Shaftsbury in 1784,
and resided until his death in May, 1812, in the house which stood in the
hollow on the road leading westerly from David JUNE's. He was a Revolutionary
soldier and a very eccentric man. Flisha STARKWEATHER, his brother, came
from Shaftsbury in 1785, and was the first to begin on the Deacon BARNES
farm, now in possession of Mr. KNOWLTON.
Simeon KING came to town
about the year 1785. Stephen HALL, sen., made his purchase of forty acres,
of Nathaniel DANIELS, October 12, 1785, for £30. He enlarged his
possessions by subsequent purchases, embracing a large part of the farms
since owned by his sons, Stephen and Harvey, now occupied by Samuel HALL
and Charles SMITH. ** [see note below]
Captain Abraham GILBERT
came from Nobletown, N. Y., in 1785, and purchased of Captain Nathan DANIELS,
collector, the whole right, except the first division, of Thomas BARRETT.
He began the place known in later days as the Cook farm, now owned by Captain
COOK. The stage road was originally laid by this house. Captain GILBERT
was the first postmaster and remained in that office until his death; he
also kept an inn there. Nathan FLINT, sen., settled on the Potwine farm,
now owned by Daniel GOODENOW, in 1785; and remained there until his death
in July, 1816. Ephraim FLINT, son of Nathan, settled in 1785 on lands forming
a part of the farm now occupied by D. W. PRIME. In 1786 his brother, Nathan,
jr., began on the farm now owned by George W. PARMENTER. Another brother,
Roswell FLINT, began on the place afterwards for years occupied by William
DODGE, jr. William FLINT, long known as "Billy Flint," another son of Nathan,
sen., became an extensive importing merchant in Upper Canada.
Benjamin HURLBERT began,
in 1785, on the farm recently occupied by Joseph DAVIDSON, in Sugar Hollow.
Amasa POLLY came here from Suffield, Conn., about 1785. He was a carpenter
and joiner and was one of tile committee appointed to build a bridge over
Otter Creek near Captain DANIELS, and near the site of the present Blackmer
bridge. Joshua FIELD came from Winchester, N. H., in 1786, and purchased
of David JACOBS the first division of Peter WRIGHT, 110 acres, and the
second division of Ezekiel POWERS, the same extent. He lived there during
his long life, and was prominent in the church. He died in March, 1837.
Simeon AVERY came here from Norwich, Conn., in 1786, and afterwards, in
company with John CURTISS and James SAWYER, purchased of O. BLAKE for £100,
one-half of the forge and privilege in the village, CURTISS & SAWYER
owning a quarter interest each. The deed was dated July 3, 1792. AVERY
had the management of this forge until his death in January, 1803. Elijah
AVERY, his brother, had been clerk in a store in Hartford, Conn., and he
bought the first goods offered for sale in this town. His goods were kept
for a time at the house of his brother Daniel, but he opened a store soon
after in the village, on the site of the building afterwards known as KETCHAM's
store, which stood just west of the old Chase House. He sold a "coat's
cloth " to Jacob FARRINGTON for seven dollars per yard and took corn at
twenty-five cents per bushel in part payment, being twenty-eight bushels
of corn for a yard of cloth. Daniel AVERY, another and younger brother
of Elijah, succeeded in the possession of the farm on which the latter
resided during his life. Stephen AVERY, the other brother who was a resident
of Brandon, purchased of Lorin LARKIN on the 12th of March, 1793, for two
hundred and sixty-seven pounds, one-half of the grist-mill and privileges
in the village. He resided in town at different periods for a number of
years. John STILES came here in 1786, and lived on the west side of the
creek until his death.
Alexander BEEBE came
in 1786 and erected his house nearly opposite the Dodge brick-yard, now
owned by John A. CONANT. He owned half interest in the "Strong's mills,"
which he sold to Isaac STRONG in April, 1790. Jacob SIMONDS came here from
Hampton, Conn., about 1786. He had by two marriages six sons and twelve
daughters, all of whom but two sons, who died in infancy, lived to adult
age and became married. He died September 3, 1797 at the age of seventy-eight
years. Philip JONES came from Stamford, Conn., about the year 1786. He
resided for a long time and until his death on the farm subsequently possessed
by his son, Alvin B. JONES, and now in the hands of Sylvester MOULTON.
He was a blacksmith by trade and had a trip-hammer shop below the upper
falls, in the village. Jacob FARRINGTON came from Kings, Columbia county,
N. Y., and purchased one hundred and twenty acres of Asa EDDY, of Clarendon,
joining on Gideon HORTON, Joseph BARKER and Timothy BUCKLAND. Only a few
months before Eddy had purchased this parcel of land of Captain Thomas
TUTTLE, who began upon it. It is still in the hands of the FARRINGTON family.
Captain Daniel FARRINGTON obtained the property from his brother, Edward,
in February, 1796. Samuel BURNELL, esq., came here from Woodstock, Conn.,
in 1787, and resided in town for more than fifty years. He died July 5,
1838. Stephen TUCKER began here in March, 1787, on land which now forms
a part of the Asa BURNELL farm, a little northwest of the town farm. Samuel
TUCKER purchased of Nathaniel SHELDON, for forty pounds, fifty-five acres
of land, "near the town plat, being the south part of the lot George ROBINS
formerly lived on,"a part of the present farm of N. T. SPRAGUE.
Deacon Ebenezer WOOSTER
was the first to settle on the farm recently occupied by William KIMBALL,
but he afterwards exchanged with James WHELAN for the Riley HULL farm,
now owned by Dr. E. A. SMITH. Deacon MERRIAM came from Walpole, N. H.,
in 1787, and began the cultivation of the farm, which included the place
now in the hands of Robert JOHNSON. He was the first hatter in town. His
brother, Deacon Jonathan MERRIAM, in 1795 bought the farm which was afterwards
the property of Hon. E. N. BRIGGS.
Judge Hiram HORTON was
the first to begin work on this tract. Benjamin MERRIAM, brother to the
foregoing, and a merchant, came here about 1791, and first kept his goods
at the house of his brother, David. Vinton ARNES purchased of Hiram HORTON
in April, 1788, eighty-two and -half acres lying on the old Stage Road,
and being on the north contiguous with the south line of Leicester, recently
the farm of Joseph P. DURANT. Case COOK came here in 1788 and began on
a piece of land lying south of Arnold HOLLOW. He removed to the West. In
the same year Thaddeus COLLINS purchased of his brother-in-law, Deacon
David MERRIAM, fifty acres, being then wild land, now the property of Robert
JOHNSON. In the fall of 1798 he sold this place to Nathaniel HARRIS and
Jabez LYON came from
Woodstock, Conn., in the spring of 1787, and began the cultivation of the
well-known LYON farm. Here he resided until his death in 1843. Solomon
TRACY, from Walpole, N. H., purchased in 1788 seventy-five acres adjoining
the place of John STILES. John MCCOLLOM was a Scotchman, and served in
WOLFE's army. He came from Stamford, Conn., and settled on the farm since
known as the Samuel GRAY farm. His son David, in 1794, built the saw-mill
afterwards known as WOOD's, and later as JONES's mill. Solomon SOPER purchased
of Jedediah WINSLOW, in 1789, the first division on the right of Nathaniel
RUSSELL, also “1/8 of the forge, or iron works and privileges in the village."
It is thought that he came here as early as 1786. He traded several years
in the village, near the old KETCHAM store. Prince SOPER, brother of Solomon,
came from Dorset somewhat later, and resided a number of years in the village,
near the site of the present residence of Josiah ROSSETER. He kept here
the only tavern then in the village.
Colonel James SAWYER
came to Brandon about 1790. He was a merchant of much enterprise. Rev.
Enos BLISS, the first settled pastor of the Congregational Society here,
purchased in the fall of 1792 a little more than sixteen acres of land
south of the street leading from the old house of Lorenzo KIMBALL to Samuel
B. SPAULDING's old brick store, Jesse PROUT came here from New Milford,
Conn., in the same year. He was a blacksmith by trade. John PROUT, esq.,
attorney and counselor at law at Rutland, is his grandson. Josiah PARMENTER
came here from Northfield, Mass., in 1794, and bought land and buildings
near CURTISS's mills, in the village. Although a tanner by trade, he relinquished
the business soon after he came here. He was for many years an acting justice
of the peace. Captain Nathan PARMENTER, his brother, came from Northfield,
Mass. He was also a tanner and shoemaker, and carried on the business somewhat
extensively for several years. His shop was near the bridge in the village.
It is said that his first works were about fifty rods below the furnace.
He built the house in which N. T. SPRAGUE, esq., now resides. He died in
January, 1851, at the age of eighty--one years.
Daniel POMEROY came here
in 1794. He was a clothier, and purchased of CURTISS in December, 1794,
an acre of land (with a house, shop and horse-shed thereon), which was
situated in the village near the falls. He at the same time purchased water-power
for a fulling-mill, with the provision that he was not to injure the grist-mill
or saw-mill. Solomon HINES came from Greenwich, Mass., in 1795. He built
the mills now called BREZEE's mills, in process of which he met with a
fall which may have hastened his death. He died April 28, 1798. Benajah
DOUGLAS came here from Ballston, N. Y., in 1795, although he was probably
a native of Hancock, Mass. He purchased of Captain Nathan DANIELS, for
six hundred and twenty-five pounds, several parcels of land amounting in
all to three hundred and ninety acres, embracing the DOUGLAS or BLACKMER
farm, now owned by E. D. THAYER. He was a prominent man in town, having
been elected five times (during the first fifteen years of his residence
here) to represent the town in General Assembly, and as often a selectman.
He was also for many years a justice of the peace here. He has been described
as being "a man of much self-confidence and buoyancy of spirits, was always
ready in meetings, 'open to remarks,' with a ‘word of exhortation'; at
least, indeed, he was given to much speaking. He had a vein of humor which
he did not always retain within due bounds." He had nine children, of whom
the eldest, Stephen ARNOLD, a physician, was the father of the famous Illinois
senator, Stephen A. Douglas.
Joshua BASCOM purchased
of Solomon HINES, on September 20, 1795, for one hundred and forty pounds,
one hundred acres of land, being part of the "Governor's lot." Mr. BASCOM
was the first to cultivate this lot. He was killed by the fall of a tree,
which he was chopping, in June, 1797. Zephaniah HACK, of Greenwich, Mass.,
purchased in December, 1795, one hundred and twenty-five acres, which formed
also a part of the "Governor's lot," excepting BREZEE's mill privilege.
Mr. HACK remained here until his death, July 22, 1847. Arza TRACY came
from Hampton, Conn., about 1795. He was a carpenter and joiner. Salmon
FARR, sr., came here from Leicester in 1795 and purchased one hundred acres
of land of Nathaniel SHELDON, which are now occupied by Pascal. GIBBS.
Silas KEELER came from Chittenden on the 28th of September, 1796. He obtained
of Hiram HORTON, James SAWYER and Moses BARNES, selectmen, a lease of the
first division on the propagation right, one hundred acres, for "as long
as wood grows or water runs." He resided here until August 16, 1845, when
he died at the age of seventy-five years. Seth KEELER came also from Chittenden
in 1796, and served an apprenticeship with Deacon David MERRIAM, the hatter.
He died September 13, 1850, at the age of seventy-four years. Deacon John
ARNOLD came from Clarendon in 1798 and purchased sixty acres of land in
Arnold HOLLOW. In 1800 his brother Caleb purchased of Abner BUCKLAND one
hundred and ten acres adjoining John's tract. Nathaniel HARRIS bought the
present farm of Captain David MERRIAM, sixty acres, in 1798.
Rev. Ebenezer HEBARD
began to preach as a candidate for settlement by the Congregational Church
in May, 1 799, and was ordained on the following January first, and remained
in the pastorate of this church until September 7, 1821. Elam GILBERT came
toward the close of the last century. His residence was for a time on the
south side of the creek, and afterwards in the village. Walter SESSIONS
came here shortly before 1800, and originally settled on the farm now occupied
by William MCCONNELL, whose dwelling-house formerly stood about forty rods
northeast of its present site, on the old Stage Road, as first laid and
traveled past Mr. SCHOFIELD's and Captain GILBERT's. When the road was
changed to its present route, Mr. SESSIONS moved and fitted up the present
house for a tavern, which he kept for several years. He followed Captain
GILBERT as postmaster, until the office was brought into the village. Jonathan
STEARNS, sr., came from Hardwick, Mass., early in the present century and
resided on the farm adjoining Sugar Hollow on the south. He and his wife
both died in April, 1812, of the epidemic that prevailed with dreadful
fatality at that time. A. S. COOK was born in Addison county, January 18,
1816. He resided there until his eighteenth year; then a year in Shoreham;
then in Salisbury, where, on the 18th of October, 1837, he married Marilla
SMITH. He came to Brandon in 1852. He was a charter member of the old Allen
Grays, named after Ethan ALLEN. This company was organized in 1854, and
consisted of thirty-six members, all in gray uniforms. Captain COOK has
been marshal in New England fairs (town, county and State) for sixteen
years in succession. Has been acting justice of the peace fourteen years.
He owns what was formerly the LOCKE farm, one and one-half miles southeast
from the village. His wife died August 28, 1883.
Having thus given as
good an account of the early settlers here as can be obtained, the writer
now proposes to return to the organization of the town, and the early action
taken to improve and utilize the natural advantages afforded by the wilderness
lands and streams of that time, and perhaps to give some idea of the quaintness
of method and vigor of spirit of these giants of former days.
The organization of the
town was effected on the seventh day of October, 1784, The act of organization
being, however, illegal by virtue of the law requiring meetings for such
purposes to be held in the month of March, was rendered effectual and valid
by a special act of the General Assembly, enacting that "such proceedings
in the choice of town officers as were had and acted by the inhabitants
of the town of Neshobe on the seventh day of this instant October, 1784,
which would have been valid and according to law had the, same been had
and done in the month of March, as the law directs, be and they are hereby
established and confirmed as legal and authentic as though the same had
been had and done in the said month of March, and that the said town of
Neshobe shall be ever hereafter called and known by the name of Brandon."
Unfortunately, the record of the first meeting, though still in part preserved,
is so mutilated that a list of the first officers cannot be obtained from
it. The earliest obtainable are those elected in March, 1786. They are
as follows :
Thomas TUTTLE, moderator
of the meeting; Hiram NORTON, town clerk; Simeon AVERY, Abraham GILBERT
and Moses GRANNIS, selectmen; David BUCKLAND, treasurer; James AMBLER and
Joseph BARKER, constables; Edward CHENEY, Ephraim FLINT and Simeon BIGELOW,
listers; James AMBLER, collector of town rates; Ephraim FLINT, leather
sealer; Moses GILBERT, grand juryman with Gideon NORTON ; Captain Thomas
TUTTLE and William DODGE, tythingmen ; Samuel KELSEY, Peter WHELAN, Nathan
FLINT and Gideon MOTT, haywards ; Amos CUTLER, horse-brander; William DODGE,
sealer of weights and measures; David BUCKLAND, Peter WHELAN, Samuel SCHOFIELD,
Edward CHENEY, Nathan DANIELS, John STILES and Stephen DURKEE, surveyors
of highways; Nathaniel SHELDON, A. GILBERT, James AMBLER, Amos CUTLER,
Solomon SOPER, Moses BARKER, Simeon AVERY, Ephraim FLINT, Ephraim STRONG,
Alexander BEEBE, Captain Thomas TUTTLE and Amara POLLY, petit-jurors; Abraam
GILBERT, David BUCKLAND, Solomon TUTTLE, William DODGE and Stephen DURKEE,
fence viewers ; Lorin LARKIN, pound keeper.
It was voted at this
meeting that every man's yard be a pound for the ensuing year. In 1787
it was first voted to divide the town into districts (six in number) and
support schools. Joseph BARKER, Abraham GILBERT, Gideon NORTON, David JUNE,
Ephraim STRONG, Noah STRONG, and David BUCKLAND were appointed a committee
to undertake the division. At the same meeting, January 27, 1787, Jedediah
WINSLOW, Captain Thomas TUTTLE, and Simeon AVERY were appointed to procure
"Mr. Thomas Tolman as a minister of the gospel for the town, under directions
to offer him thirty pounds for the first year, and five pounds additional
annually until the amount should be sixty pounds, which he should then
receive as long as he should remain."
It was deemed necessary
in those days to encourage and foster private industry by public action.
Witness that on the 9th day of February, 1787, it was voted that mills
be built on the upper falls; Gideon NORTON, Simeon AVERY, John MOTT, Joseph
BARKER and Nathaniel DANIELS being appointed a committee to superintend
the construction of the same. At the same meeting it was voted "that the
five acre pitch which is the school falls be let to build iron works on
if there be found iron ore sufficient to supply the same," and chose Nathaniel
SHELDON, Nathan DANIELS, Hiram NORTON, a committee to search for the said
ore, and said committee are to lay out a 3d division to the school right
of 50 acres, or such quantities as they shall think best. Among the other
resolutions of this meeting were two prescribing the laying out of a road
from Pittsford line by Noah STRONG's, which was the east road to Leicester
line, four rods wide, and of the road from David BUCKLAND's to the town
plot. In the fall of 1787, it was "voted that hoggs shall run at large
the present fall provided that they have a good ring in their noses." Following
this, and in ludicrous proximity to it is a resolution that David JUNE,
Abraham GILBERT, Gideon HORTON, David BUCKLAND and Jacob SIMONDS act as
committee to "pitch" the most suitable place for the erection of a meeting-house;
but "moral suasion" alone was not then sufficient to curb the law-breaking
proclivities of a few of the inhabitants, and on the following March a
vote was passed that the signpost and stocks be set west of the bridge,
near by it, on the north side of the road just above the mills. It is probable
that this vote was not exactly complied with, for Mr. John A. CONANT remembers
distinctly the whipping-post, on the corner of Park and Main streets in
front of the site of the Brandon National Bank. Back of it was the five
acre, or school lot, which extended east as far as the site of the Brandon
House and twice as far north. It was for a long time leased to John CONANT.
Among the various internal improvements determined upon were the procuring
of a burial ground, for which purpose on the 25th of March, 1788, Solomon
SOPER, Gideon HORTON and Moses BARNES were chosen committee; and the building
of a bridge over Otter Creek (which it was necessary to repeat in November,
1789) ; and in November of the following year, the building of another
bridge over the little river by Alexander BEEBE's mills. Meetings were
frequently held in the meeting-house.
The bridge over Otter
Creek must have been constructed within a year or two of this time, for
on the first Tuesday in March, 1792, it was "voted to raise a tax sufficient
to pay Mr. James SAWYER and Elijah AVERY for the rum which was expended
in raising the bridge over Otter Creek, the sum of which is five pounds
and eight shillings lawful money, to be paid one-half in money and the
other half in wheat at 3s. 4d. pr bushel, or salts at 14s. per hundred,
to be collected by the 20th of instant March. Voted that Johnson FIELD,
Abraham STEWART and Benjamin HULBERT be exempted from paying their proportion
of said tax."This vote indicates not only the general sentiment at the
time in regard to the drinking of intoxicating beverages in a State afterwards
to become prohibitory against it; but further, the great scarcity of ready
money. A tax of about twenty-five dollars could be met by many only on
the condition that wheat and salts be held a legal tender. Another quaint
vote was passed at this meeting to the effect that Nathaniel FISK be a
district by himself to support a school peculiar to his own liking.
On the 3d of May, 1792,
it was voted "that the people of the Congregational order in said Brandon
have liberty to set up a meeting-house in the highway at the turn or corner
near Prince SOPER's." This may have been the earliest public recognition
of the Congregational Church as the ward of the town, but from this time,
if not from an earlier date, the tax payers were obliged to contribute
each his contingent to the support of this order. The separation of church
and state was in part effected on March 25, 1795, by the passing of a vote
"that any inhabitants of the town of Brandon that shall bring a certificate
from the deacons of the Baptist Church in said Brandon to the town clerk
in the month of August annually, they certifying that the person or persons
holding said certificate do actually to their acceptance assist in supporting
the gospel in their order, shall be exempted from paying taxes to support
the Congregational Church in said town." At the same meeting Nathaniel
FISK and John SETON were exempted from the payment of any tax whatever
for the support of the gospel " except they choose it."
The antipathy prevailing
at this time against inoculating for the prevention of the small pox is
manifested at this same meeting as follows: "Voted that no person in Brandon
shall after this time inoculate for the small pox during the present spring."
And on the 9th of September following, at a special town meeting, it was
"voted that all who would choose to have the small pox in Brandon by inoculation
the present fall are permitted the same, provided they will submit to such
restrictions as are [prescribed] by the selectmen." Again on the first
Tuesday of March, 1804, it was "voted that the selectmen be added to assist
a certain committee which was appointed the last fall to regulate the small
pox in town by ‘inoculation,' but one physician to be allowed to perform
the inoculation, and no one to be inoculated after April first." The physician's
fees were regulated by this committee.
No less curious are the
evidences in some of the records of an assumption by the town of fatherly
authority, or something akin to it, a species of sumptuary legislation.
For example, on the 20th of June, 1798, it was "voted that the selectmen
shall oppose _____ _____ in getting a bill of divorce from his wife."
On the fourth of March,
1800, a vote was passed providing that a pauper, therein named as a town
charge, be set up at public vendue to the lowest bidder for his support
for one year. John LULL "bought her," for the first quarter, at eight dollars
; and for the fourth quarter at seven dollars and sixty-six cents; Hiram
HORTON for the second quarter at eight dollars. Such was the method of
providing for all the town charges in those days.
We have now reached a
period within the memory of living man. Mr. John A. CONANT, one of the
oldest men now living who have passed the most of their lives in Brandon,
was born here on the 1st of December, 1800, being the third son of John
CONANT. His memory is distinct as far back as 1810, a time when the village
of Brandon had become pretty well settled. Indeed the place could well
be dignified by the title of village as early as 1805. As wehave seen,
the town was rapidly settled after the cessation of hostilities in 1783,
and that before 1800 nearly every farm was occupied. Mr. CONANT is authority
for the statement that there is a smaller population in town today outside
of the villages of Brandon and Forestdale than there was in 1810. He accounts
for this by the fact that though all the farms are occupied now, they are
larger than they formerly were, the small farms being merged into the large.
From the beginning to
a recent date the population has steadily increased. In 1791 this town
had a population numbering 637 souls. In 1800 it had grown to 1,076; and
in 1810, to 1,375. At this latter date nearly the entire village was on
the west side of the creek. Between the site of the Brandon House and that
of Mrs. HOWE's residence there was not a building, nor was there a building
between the site of the Methodist Church and the north and south street
at the end of Park street. Franklin street was opened about the year 1811
or 1812. The line of travel was about one and one-half miles east of the
present village, passing the tavern of Abraham GILBERT. The post-office
was kept there until about 1813. Among the early industries of the town
lumbering can scarcely be deemed prominent. No lumber was sawn beyond what
was necessary to supply demand. Pine was the prevailing timber. John CONANT
had two sawmills in town, one on the five-acre plot on the upper falls,
back of the Brandon House, and the other where the grist-mill now stands
on the lower falls. On the site of the marble mill now owned and operated
by S. L. GOODELL, was a grist and saw-mill owned by Ebenezer CHILDS. Before
1820 there were four grist-mills in town, one still called Brezee's mills,
from a former owner, which was built between 1795 and 1800 by Solomon HINES,
and which stood on the south side of Otter Creek, another on the lower
falls in Brandon village, owned and operated by John CONANT. This was the
first grist-mill erected in town. Mr. CONANT obtained possession when he
came here in 1797. The third mill stood on the upper falls in the village
and was owned by Penuel CHILD and his sons, Adolphus, John, Penuel and
Augustus. The fourth mill, that of Ebenezer CHILDS, has been mentioned.
In this period there
were four taverns in town outside of the village. Willis GOODENOW kept
one on the south line of Brandon on the old stage road; John MOTT kept
another about a mile further north; Richard GILBERT about a mile north
of MOTT; and Joshua GOSS ran one where the town farm now is. In the village
of Brandon were: the hotel which stood on the site of the Brandon House,
built before the beginning of the present century by Captain Jacob SIMONDS,
and kept after him by Matthew W. BIRCHARD, who began about 1810 or 1811;
the tavern built and kept by Penuel CHILD, being the present dewlling-house
of Mr. George BRIGGS, and after about 1818, the tavern known in later times
as the Chase House, from the last proprietor Captain John W. CHASE. This
house is still standing nearly opposite the residence of Mr. CONANT. Isaac
HILL first kept it; in 1853 and 1854 Captain A. COOK kept it, it being
then called the Eureka House. C. O. CHENEY followed him.
Among the merchants here
were Gideon HORTON, Harvey FULLER and Roger FULLER, his father, Silas R.
DEMING, Matthew W. BIRCHARD, John CONANT and Captain SIMONDS. Nearly all
of them made potash in considerable quantities. John CONANT's ashery was
about on the site of the flouring-mill tenement house. Matthew W. BIRCHARD's
was on the stream to the rear of his tavern. Probably the earliest one
was that run by Gideon HORTON, opposite the academy site, and almost adjoining
the present premises of John A. CONANT.
Whisky was also made
here in large quantities, and of a quality which cannot be excelled. John
CONANT ran it for a time; was followed by Allen PENFIELD, of Pittsford,
and he by the FULLERs. The building, a brick one, still stands on the south
part of Conant's square. It was continued until about 1836.
But probably no industry
in the history of Brandon has attained such prominence as the iron business.
Just when the first works were built here is not, we believe, positively
known, but we have seen, perhaps, the first movement toward their establishment
in the vote before mentioned, passed February, 9, 1787, to the effect that
a five-acre plot be leased for the purpose of furnishing a suitable site
for such works, if ore should be found in sufficient quantities. On the
25th of March, 1788, the "trustees for said Brandon" were authorized and
requested by the town to lease this site and the water power for the purpose
aforesaid. Simeon AVERY, John CURTIS and James SAWYER bought a forge here
as early as 1790 of O. BLAKE. Penuel CHILD was one of the first lessees,
and continued until about 1810. J. A. GRAHAM, in his descriptive sketches
of Vermont (p. 83), published in 1797, states that "Brandon has iron foundaries
and forges, at which they make good bar iron." Succeeding CHILD were Roger
FULLER and Harvey, his son, who began the manufacture of shovels, and soon
made it one of the greatest industries of the town. Mr. CONANT says that
shovels were made here as early as anywhere in the country. They had a
market in Boston and other New England towns and cities. The Messrs. FULLER
had two factories, one on the site of Forestdale, and one in Brandon village.
The ore used in making them was taken from a bed on the ground now occupied
by the paint works at Forestdale.
The most important industry
ever carried on in town, however, and the one which contributed most extensively
and permanently to the growth of the town, was the iron industry established
by John CONANT. In 1820 he built the first blast-furnace in town, beginning
operations in October of that year. At this furnace was cast the first
cooking-stove made in the State, although a few stoves with ovens but without
boilers had been previously made to some extent. The first "Conant cook-stove"
was made in the autumn of 1819, castings for the same having been obtained
from the Pittsford Iron Works. The work of erecting the blast-furnace in
Brandon was in prosecution at the same time. Unlike most of the furnaces,
the castings for stoves, potash kettles, and almost every variety of iron
castings, were made directly from the brown hematite ore of the regions,
taken from the bed near the site of Forestdale This bed was discovered
in 1811. In 1823 Mr. CONANT took his two sons, Chauncey W. and John A.
CONANT, into partnership with him, and continued the business under the
firm name of "John Conant & Sons" until 1844. When he retired, and
his sons conducted the business under the name of " C. W. & J. A. Conant."
In 1852 they sold out to HOWE, BLAKE & DARRICUT, who did not remain
here long. The buildings were situated on the site of the First National
Bank, and to this cause may be attributed the transfer of the principal
business of the village from the west to the east side of the creek. During
the period intervening between 1820 and 1840, when this industry was most
active, the town gained in population more rapidly than any other town
in the county. The population in 1820 numbered 1,495; in 1830, 1,946; and
in 1840, 2,194.
It is not easy for those
who cannot remember the early methods of transportation to appreciate the
difficulties with which the pioneer manufacturers and produce dealers had
to contend. Previous to the opening of the Champlain Canal in 1823, wheat,
the great staple, had to be shipped to Troy on wheels or runners, a distance
of about ninety miles. And even until the completion of the Rutland and
Burlington Railroad, in the fall of 1849, the expenditure of time and labor
in shipping was considerable. "Many a time," says John A. CONANT, "have
we carried a load of a ton or a ton and a half of produce to Boston, consuming
in going and returning thirteen days." One of their customers lived in
Maine, and in shipping stoves to him they were forced to send by the way
of Lake Champlain, the canal, Hudson River, in a packet to one of the rivers
in Maine and thence to their destination. The transportation of money was
equally slow and difficult. Another customer of John Conant & Sons,
at Fitchburgh, Mass., was once instructed by John A. CONANT to give the
sum of $1,500, due the house, to the cashier of the bank there, who in
turn was to send it to Brandon by stage. The currency was securely wrapped
in package form and forwarded. When it reached Brandon it had been handled
so much that the ends were worn open so that the bills were exposed; yet
not a dollar was lost, and the postage was only twenty-five cents.
Another important industry
for which Brandon has been famous is the Howe Scale Works, for description
of which see preceding history of the town of Rutland.
The unwavering loyalty
of Vermont to the Union in the troublous Civil War has never been called
in question. From every town, village and hamlet in the State, citizens
of every walk and occupation left comfortable homes and imperiled their
lives in the service of the nation. Brandon at once took her place amongst
the foremost. There is nothing of vital interest, however, in the town
records prior to August 1, 1863, when at a legal town meeting resolutions
were adopted authorizing and directing selectmen to pay to each single
man, resident in Brandon, who had been drafted into the service of the
United States, and had actually entered such service, the sum of one hundred
dollars; to the family of each man so drafted and entered, who had a family,
the sum of two hundred dollars, and to the family of every such man who
had a wife and more than one child, the sum of three hundred
in the last two cases the money to be paid in monthly installments. On
the 6th of the ensuing August resolutions directing the 'appropriation
of $10,000 from the treasury to be used for bounties for such as should
volunteer to the credit of Brandon to fill the quota under the president's
call for 500,000 men; and authorizing the selectmen to procure a sufficient
number of volunteers to fill the quota, to pay the bounties, and, if necessary,
to borrow not to exceed $10,000 to pay the expenses of recruiting, were
adopted with but two dissenting votes. On the 17th of September, 1864,
another resolution was adopted authorizing the selectmen to pay by January
r, 1865, the sum of $250 to each veteran recruit, credited to Brandon,
not deserting, who should enlist under the president's call for 500,000
men. On the 4th of February, 1865, the report was recorded that a bounty
of $600 had been paid to each man who had enlisted, excepting the cavalrymen,
who had received $150 each; whereupon a vote of thanks to the selectmen
was passed for their perseverance in filling the quota of thirty-six men.
Following is a list of
enrollments accredited to Brandon:
Volunteers for three
years credited previous to call for 300,000 volunteers of October 17, 1863:
Charles C. BACKUS, Co. G, 6th regt.; Hiram BAILEY, Co. B, 2d regt.; Samuel
W. BAILEY, Co. I, 2d regt.; George A. BAKER, and Loren H. BAKER, 2d bat.;
Wallace E. BALDWIN, Charles J. BARTLETT, William P. BARTLETT, Co. H, 5th
regt.; George BARRAS, Co. B, 9th regt.; Logro BASHAW, 2d bat.; William
BALL, Ebenezer G. BIGELOW, 2d bat.; Roger BLAKELY, Co. F, 6th regt.; Oliver
P. BOGUE, 2d bat.; William C. BOWEN, jr., Dana BRIGGS, Frederick W. BRILL,
Co. H, 5th regt.; Oliver BOURDEN, Co. B, 7th regt.; Andrew BROTHERS, Co.
B, 7th regt.; Niran BUCKLAND, Reed S. BUMP, Co. H, 5th regt.; Wesley N.
CAMPBELL, Carlos W. CARR, Co. E, 4th regt.; Joseph CAZARAN, Co. H, 5th
regt.; John CATON, Co. B, 7th regt.; John W. CHASE, 2d bat.; William H.
CHENEY, George CLARK, Co. H, 5th regt.; James G. B. CLARK, 2d s. s.; John
CLARK, 2d bat.; Charles H. CLEMENS, Co. M, 11th regt.; Philip CONNELL,
Co. F, 6th regt.; George H. CRAMER, Thomas CRONAN, jr., William CRONAN,
Co. B, 7th regt.; Thomas M. CUTTS, Lewis T. DALTON, George D. DAVENPORT,
Willard G. DAVENPORT, Co. H, 5th regt.; Charles DELPHA, Co. B, 7th regt.;
Joseph DESCHAMPS, Co. H, 5th regt.; Andrew J. DIMICK, Co. E, 4th regt.;
Charles R. DYAN, Jacob DYAN, Co. C, l0th regt.; Henry P. ELLIS, 2d bat.;
Thomas EVERETT, Co. B, 7th regt.; Jasper A. FALES, Co. K, 3d regt.; William
C. FAIRMAN, Co. K, cav.; George V. FARR, Co. F, 6th regt.; Joseph FAULKNER,
Hiram N. FIFIELD, Co. H, 5th regt.; Frank FINNEY, Co. B, 7th regt.; Levi
B. FOOTE, Co. B, 7th regt.; Cornelius H. FORBES, Charles A. FORD, Co. H,
5th regt.; Hadley P. FORD, Co. G, 2d regt.; John S. FORD, Co. C, 10th regt.;
Francis FORTIER, 2d bat.; Patrick FOX, Co. H, 5th regt.; Horatio GAREY,
Charles GEAR, 2d bat.; Charles GINGRAS, Co. B, 9th regt.; John GOODROAD,
Co. K. 7th rcgt.; Frank L. GOODNOUGH, Co. H, 5th regt.; Martin V. B. GOODRICH,
Co. B, 7th regt.; David GOULEY, Co. C, 10th regt.; Eugene A. GRISWOLD,
Co. H, 5th; regt.; Charles S. HALE, 5th, chap.; William A. HALE, Co. H,
5th regt,: Zeb HARPER, co. C, 9th regt.; Edward HARVEY, 10th regt.; Ira
M. HATCH, co. H, 5 th. regt.; Edwin M. HENDRY, co. B, 7th regt.; Moses
B. HILL, 4th, band; Patrick HOHON, co. C, 9th regt.; Vernon E. HOLLEY,
co. H, 5th regt.; Harrison HOLDEN,. co. E, 2d regt. s. s.; Nelson
K. HOLT, William T. HOWARD, co. H, 5th regt.; William HUNT, John HURLBURT,
2d bat.; Nathan HUSSEY, co. C, 6th regt.; Mont F. JOHNSON, co. H, 5th regt.;
Robert JOHNSON, co. B, 7th regt.; Edwin JONES, co. E, 4th regt.; Joseph
B. KELLY, 4th, band; Edward P. KIMBERLY, co. C, 10th regt.; William P.
KIMBERLY, co. H, 5th regt.; Charles C. Kinsman, co. E, 4th regt.; Andrew
LAFFIE, co. H, 5th regt.; John LAFFIE, 2d bat.; Thomas LAFFIE, co. H, 5th
regt.; Martin C. LAFFEY, co. F, 1st s. s.; Erastus LAIRD, co. H, 5th regt.;
George S. LAIRD, Stephen LAIRD, John LAROCK, 2d bat.; Henry LASSER, co.
H,. 5th regt.; Joseph J. LASHER, co. F, 6th regt.; Nelson J. LEE, co. K,
10th regt.; Dennis LEPINE, co. B, 9th regt.; John L'HEUREUX, co. H, 5th
regt.; Alonzo E. LORD, 1st bat.; Philip LUCIA, co. B, 7th regt.; John MAGUIRE,
co, H, 5th regt.;. Frank MATTOO, co. B, 7th regt.; Joseph MAYHEW, 2d bat.;
James L. MCDONALD, James MCGARY, co. B, 7th regt.; Robert MCGREGOR, Henry
MILLS, co. H, 5th regt.; William H. METCALF, co. B, 9th regt.; James R.
MORRISON, Thomas MORRIS, James MURRAY, William H. MURRAY, co. B, 7th regt.;
Martin MULCAHY, co. H, 5th regt.; John NAILER, co. G, 5th regt.; James
NOONAN, co. B, 7th regt.; Thomas NOONAN, co. G, 5th regt.; Edward E. NOYES,
co. H, 5th regt.; Franklyn NOYES, James F. NOYES, co. F, 6th regt.; John
H. NOYES, co. G, 5th regt.;. Charles J. ORMSBEE co. H, 5th regt.; Jackson
V. PARKER, co. B, 7th regt.; Philo F. PARKER, co. C, 9th regt.; Horatio
N. PARTLE, 2d bat.; Charles L. PETERS, co. B, 7th regt.; Albert W. PHELPS,
co. E, 4th regt.; John W. PITTRIDGE, Robert PRATT, co. H, 5th regt.; John
PLACE, John QUARTER, John A. QUILTY, 2d bat.; George A. QUILTY, Samuel
RENNIE, Michael REYNOLDS, Nelson RILEY, Cyrus S. ROCKWELL, co. B, 2d regt.;
William B. ROBINSON, co. H, 5th regt.; George ROSS, co. B, 7th regt.; William
H. SANDERSON, co. K, 9th regt.; Charles W. SEAGER, co. H, 5th regt.; Harry
G. SESSIONS, co. C, 10th regt.; Elijah B. SHERMAN, co. C, 9th regt.; James
T. SHEPSTONE, co. F, 6th regt.; James SHERIDAN, Co. M,. 11th regt.; Frank
SHORO, co. H, 5th regt.; Joseph SHORO, 2d bat.; Dorwin A. SMALLEY, co.
B, 7th regt.; Claudius B. SMITH, 2d, chap.; Rice SOPER, 2d bat.;
Eli H. STEARNS, Francis TATRO, co. B, 7th regt.; Moses TATRO, jr., Peter
A. TATRO, co. F, 6th regt.; John THOMAS, co. B, 7th regt.; Napoleon THROW,
co. H, 5th regt.; Stephen P. TRUMBULL, co. B, 7th regt.; Andrew VASSAR,
Francis VEDELL, co. C, 10th regt.; James WELCH, Ezra P. WEST, Patrick WHALON,
co. H, 5th regt.; John WELCH, co. B, 7th regt.; Patrick WHITE, 2d bat.;
Eugene WILLAMS, cav.; Francis E. WILLIAMS, co. B, 9th regt.; John WANDER,
Joseph WANDER, co. H, 5th regt.
Credits under call of
October 17, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers and subsequent calls. Volunteers
for three years: Niran BUCKLAND, 3d bat.; Elias DELPHA. co. H, 5th regt.;
Franklin DUCHARM, 7th regt.; Albert E. FALES, co. H, 5th regt.; John H.
FITZGERALD, co. F, 11th regt.; Levi GILDER, co. A, 5th regt.; William A.
GREGORY, co. F, 5th regt.; H. A. HAWLEY, U. S. A.; Lewis LAROCK, Joseph
MAYHEW, 2d bat.; Joseph MONTAY, co. B, 7th regt.; Jennis PLUDE, Lewis PLUDE,
2d bat.; William SIMES, 3d bat.; Patrick WALSH, co. B, 11th regt.
Volunteers for one year:
Henry LESSOR, Edward NAYLOR, James REED, Daniel SCANLAN, 2d battery.
Oliver BOURDEN, co. B, 7th regt.; Frederick W. BRILL, co. H, 5th regt.;
Andrew BROTHERS, co. B, 7th regt.; James G. B. CLARK, co. H, 2d s. s. ;
George H. CRAMER, Thomas EVERETT, 7th, n. c. s.; Gasper A. HALES, co. K,
3d regt.; Charles A. FORD, co. H, 5th regt.; Hadley P. FORD, co. G, 2d
regt.; Frank L. GOODNOUGH, co. H, 5th regt.; John GOODROAD, co. K, 7th
regt.; Charles F. GREENLEAF, co. K, 2d regt.; Eugene A. GRISWOLD, co. H,
5th regt. ; Edwin B. HENDRY, co. B, 7th regt.; William P. HOWARD, co. H,
5th regt.; Matthew HUSSEY, co. C, 6th regt.; Mont M. JOHNSON, William P.
KIMBERLY, Henry LESSOR, co. H, 5th regt.; John NAYLOR, Thomas NOONAN, co.
G, 5th regt.; William H. PITTS, co. B, 7th regt.; Robert PRATT, co. H,
5th regt.; Samuel RENNIE, co. B, 7th regt.; Francis TATRO, John THOMAS,
co. B, 7th regt.; John WANDER, Joseph WANDER, co. H, 5th regt.
Miscellaneous, not credited
by name: Six men.
Volunteers for nine months;
James M. BARTLETT, Hiram S. BATTLES, William L. BELKNAP, Edgar J. BLISS,
Robert CAHEE, jr., Jason K. Campbell, Edwin G. Carr, Lathrop J. Cloyes,
Herbert D. Crooks, Henry C. Cross, Henry H. CULL, George DANA, William
DUNLAP, Nathan B. DUTTON, Henry M. DYER, Albert FALES, Delano F. GOODRICH,
Samuel H. GREEN, Elbridge H. GRISWOLD, Samuel T. GROVER, Oliver B. HOWLAND,
Josephus JACKSON, Willard S. JOHNSON, Ira LANGDON, jr., Newell S. LORD,
David J. LYON, Azro MEACHAM, Wyman H. MERRITT, Gilbert C. METCALF, Ebenezer
J. ORMSBEE, Daniel R. PUTNAM, Wilbur F. PAGE, Frank J. QUINN, David T.
ROWELL, Carver W. SMALLEY, Lorison SMITH, Thomas J. TRUSS, William WALKER,
Johnson WESCOTT, Frank WINSLOW, Hiram E. WORDEN.
Furnished under draft.
Paid commutation: Henry H. BARTLETT, Edgar L. CARLISLE, Nathan W. CHURCHILL,
Freeman CULL, James H. FISH, Joseph HOWLAND, Henry E. HUNT, William KELLY,
James KNAPP, Marcellus LANDON, William LILLIE, Alanson D. PAINE, George
H. PLUMBLEY, John F. POTWIN, David W. PRIME, Alvinso D. THOMAS. Procured
substitute: Henry D. BRIGGS, Hayden P. CARLISLE, L. V. R. GOODELL, Charles
1791, 637; 1800, 1,076; 1810, 1,375; 1820, 1,495; 1830, 1,946; 1840, 2,194;
1850, 2,835; 1860, 3,077; 1870, 3,571; 1880, 3,280.
The present officers
of the town of Brandon, elected March 3, 1885, are as follows: Moderator
of meeting was Walter P. WHEELER; town clerk, George BRIGGS; treasurer,
Walter F. SCOTT; selectmen (Charles W. BRIGGS, chosen and excused), John
L. BARKER, Fred H. FARRINGTON, Josiah W. SYMONDS; overseer of the poor,
T. A. RICHARDSON; constable and collector of taxes, T. A. RICHARDSON ;
1st lister, E. J. ORMSBEE, 2d lister, Ozro MEACHAM, 3d lister, S. E. SEAGER;
1st auditor, D. C. BROWN, 2d auditor, C. H. HOLBROOK, 3d auditor, C. W.
BRIGGS; town agent, W. P. WHEELER; trustee of public money, N. H. EDDY;
1st fence viewer, J. S. STAFFORD, 2d fence viewer, W. P. WHEELER, 3d fence
viewer, J. M. CASARAN; superintendent of schools, C. M. WINSLOW; sextons,
George TODD, R. Thomas.
The village of Brandon,
it seems, began to be regarded as a village not far from 1790, although
the houses were of the primitive kind, and were nearly all surrounded by
stumps, for several years into the present century. The proprietors, who
planned the erection of a considerable village in the town, located it
on the hill north of the present village, at the upper end of what is now
Prospect street, and embracing the lands now comprising Mr. CONANT's farm
and garden; each proprietor, in the division of lots, reserved an acre
for himself. But, as can be plainly seen, their hopes of building a village
on that site were never realized; on the contrary, settlements began to
thicken west of the creek, and until the starting of the CONANT furnace
on the east side, nearly all the business of the place was transacted over
the river. After 1820 the business activity began to be transferred. The
early industries of the village have necessarily been more or less included
in the general part of this chapter, while the prominent professional men
of the past receive mention in the medical and legal chapters of this work,
and the sketches of present physicians and lawyers appear in subsequent
pages of this chapter.
The first post-office,
as has been stated, was in the old tavern of Abraham GILBERT, on the Stage
Road, nearly two miles east of the present village. Abraham GILBERT was
the first postmaster, and must have received his appointment about 1790.
He held the office until his death in November, 1807, when it was given
to Walter SESSIONS. The mail in those days did not amount to as much for
the whole town as it does now for every large business house in the place.
The office was removed to the village about the year 1813 and given to
John CONANT, whereupon SESSIONS and his followers raised a hue and cry
because it was taken so far away from the business part of the town. The
mail used to come from Rutland and Middlebury by coach. Mr. CONANT kept
the office in his store west of the site of Mr. James HASTINGS's house.
Seth KEELER followed Mr. CONANT about 1830. He was followed by Aaron KETCHAM,
and he in turn by Walcott H. KEELER. Keeler's successor was Edward JACKSON,
who remained in the position longest of all the postmasters excepting Mr.
CONANT. About the year 1858 he was superseded by J. E. HIGGINS. George
W. PARMENTER next received the appointment, and held it five or six years,
being followed by John L. KNIGHT, the last incumbent under a Republican
administration. The present postmaster, Dudley C. BROWN, received his appointment
on the 28th of July, 1885, and was commissioned on the 4th of August following.
The names of some of
the early merchants having been already given, it is deemed best now to
trace back the present mercantile interests of the village to their origin.
The oldest mercantile establishment now in Brandon is the general store
of Frank R. BUTTON, in the west part of the village. The building now occupied
by him was erected by his father, Ira BUTTON, in 1827. Ira BUTTON and his
younger brother, Nathan, conducted the store together six or eight years,
when Nathan withdrew and Ira continued alone until his death in 1863, with
the exception of about a year following 1850, during which his eldest son,
William D. BUTTON, was associated with him. The present proprietor has
kept the store ever since 1863.
Previous to 1827 Ira
BUTTON was well known here as a merchant of prominence. He began first
about 1820, and between that year and 1827 was part of the time in partnership
with Mr. HODGES. He also had a distillery in the brick building under the
hill on the west bank of the creek in the village, but on becoming convinced
that he was engaged in an evil business, relinquished it. D. & A. COLLINS
ran a store also from 1823 to 1850, on the site now covered by the Baptist
church, AND COLLINS's was the store of Edward JACKSON and Aaron KETCHAM,
who conducted business under the firm name of "Jackson & Ketcham."
The business next entitled,
chronologically, to mention is the drug store of F. N. MANCHESTER, which
was brought into existence in 1842, by Dr. Volney ROSS. In 1850 Dr. ROSS
was succeeded by Dr. C. L. CASE, who conducted the business without a partner
until about 1870. At that time he associated J. R. CHENEY with himself.
About five years afterwards C. A. MOTT succeeded to Dr. CASE's interest,
CHENEY having withdrawn before that. After the lapse of about two years,
Mr. MOTT sold out to C. S. BOYNTON, who continued the store alone two or
three years, and until Mr. MANCHESTER came in with him. They remained together
about five years, since when Mr. MANCHESTER has been the sole proprietor.
Of the three mercantile
interests still alive in town, the hardware business of BRIGGS Brothers
comes next in the order of establishment; Wesley MORRILL having laid the
foundation as early as 1844, and continued until January 1, 1868, when
the present proprietors, C. W. & F. E. BRIGGS bought him out.
The dry goods and grocery
store of C. H. ROSS & Co. had its origin in the enterprise of Dr. Volney
ROSS, l who started it in 1850, in company with his brother, under the
firm style of V. & E. Ross. In 1860 Dr. Ross bought out his brother
and associated with himself his son-in-law, Charles D. PITTS. This relation
subsisted until about 1868, when Dr. ROSS was followed by his son Charles
H. ROSS, the firm name remaining as before -- " Ross & Pitts." On the
1st of April, 1837, N. T. SPRAGUE, at that time at the head of the scale
works here, acquired an interest in the business, and the firm name was
changed to Ross, Pitts & Co. In just three years Mr. SPRAGUE withdrew,
leaving a vacancy which was filled by I. W. COPELAND, another son-in-law
of Dr. ROSS. The next and last change occurred in September, 1879, when
Dr. ROSS became successor to Mr. COPELAND, and the firm title acquired
its present form of C. H. Ross & Co. The business has been conducted
in the present building ever since its institution in 1850.
Z. CLARK began dealing
in tobacco and cigars in the hotel building now called the Douglas House
in 1852, and remained there until 1860. For the next five years he had
his stock in Burlington, and then removed to the Simonds block in Brandon.
He came into his present location April 1, 1882.
N. H. EDDY began the
sale of boots and shoes here in 1858, and carried on the business alone
until April, 1880, when his present partner, N. H. HAZELTINE, was first
associated with him.
Ozro MEACHAM & Son,
Charles O. MEACHAM (clothing and gents' furnishing goods), went into partnership
in April, 1882. The business was established in 1861 by the senior member
of the present firm. Ozro MEACHAM has been dealer in general merchandise
in Brandon from 1855. He came into his present quarters about 1867.
In 1861, too, Robert
FORBES started a drug store in Brandon which he carried on alone until
1876; then George A. CROSSMAN became his partner, and the firm name adopted
was Forbes & Crossman. Mr. CROSSMAN, who is now the sole proprietor
of the business, purchased Mr. FORBES's interest in 1879.
Charles C. SLASON, dealer
in books, stationery, wall-paper, music, etc., began here first in 1862
and continued until 1869. He then removed to Michigan but soon returned
to Brandon, and in March, 1874, opened the present store. His only partner
was the Rev. William FORD, who was with him from about 1862 to 1864.
The general store of
A. F. SMITH, on the west side, was opened in March, 1863, by the present
proprietor and Amasa COLLINS. In 1865 Mr. SMITH bought out his partner
and soon after associated with himself Charles D. COLLINS. They traded
about a year under the firm name of Smith & Collins. After carrying
on the business alone for another year, C. D. COLLINS returned and remained
in the firm about two years. This relation was then dissolved by the withdrawal
of Mr. COLLINS, and Mr. SMITH has been since then the sole proprietor.
There was a store burned on this spot in 1846, which at that time was owned,
but not kept, by David M. JUNE.
The origin of the hardware
and tinware store and shop of STAFFORD & PHELPS, dates back to April
1, 1863, and was the result of Mr. J. S. STAFFORD's enterprise, who began
by dealing in stoves, tinware and ordinary hardware, and soon afterward
added to his stock iron and steel, agricultural implements, etc. Mr. STAFFORD
was without a partner the first year, and then became associated with his
brother, W. H. STAFFORD. This relation was dissolved in about eighteen
months, Mr. STAFFORD carrying on the business alone until December 10,
1867. The present firm was then formed by the association of Mr. STAFFORD
with C. R. PHELPS.
The business of making
and selling harnesses was begun here in 1868 by G. V. FARR. D. R. PUTNAM
bought him out in 1872; in June, 1875, he sold out to A. R. DRAPER, and
on January 1, 1885, re-purchased his interest.
J. B. KELLEY started
the sale of books, stationery, musical instruments, etc., in Brandon about
1870 or 1871, in company with C. O. DYER. He parted with Mr. DYER in 1876.
KINGSLEY has had a
grocery store here since about 1871, when he and Frank SAVERY bought out
P. P. GIBBS. His present partner is Fred E. KINGSLEY.
B. B. HOWES and C. B.
WALKER, under the firm name of Howes & Walker, opened a boot and shoe
store in the village in 1871. In 1875 Mr. WALKER sold out to his partner,
purchased his present stone building and stock and has remained alone since
The grocery business
of F. W. SAVERY & Son was established about the year 1872, by the senior
member of the present firm. In April, 1883, his son, C. E. SAVERY, came
into partnership with him.
H. M. GIPSON started
his lumber business here in 1873, and added his butter and eggs department
E. D. THAYER began to
deal in dry goods and carpets in October, 1874. In March, 1883, having
purchased the stock and good will of W. C. SIMONDS, who had been conducting
a separate store, he consolidated the stocks and removed from the old stand
in the post-office block, where Mr. KINGSLEY's store now is, to his present
George W. OLMSTEAD and
Charles FARR bought out the jewelry store of C. M. WHITAKER in 1875. In
1880 Mr. OLMSTEAD succeeded to his partner's interest, and has since then
been sole proprietor of the business.
T. J. PARISH and I. R.
SERVISS, on the 1st day of September, 1881, formed a co-partnership and
bought out the furniture and undertaking business theretofore conducted
by H. H. HILL. The firm style is Parish & Serviss.
On the 19th of December,
1881, W. C. FLETCHER purchased the grocery stock of A. S. NEWTON and opened
a store near the bridge on the east side of the creek. He came to his present
location on January 1, 1882.
clothier, bought out John INGALLS in April, 1882, and started in the same
building that lie now occupies; Mr. INGALLS had a store here for about
six months previously.
September, 1885, Charles W. SPENCER purchased the stock and good will of
E. H. GRISWOLD, dealer in furniture, wagons, harnesses, robes, sleighs,
etc. Mr. GRISWOLD began dealing in wagons about 1882, and in furniture
in March, 1885.
The grocery store of
J. E. GRAVES & Co. was first opened on January 1, 1883, by the present
F. L. ROGERS bought the
grocery store of Charles FRENCH in February, 1883. Mr. FRENCH had been
here less than a year previously.
The boot and shoe store
of George JUNE is successor to the one formerly kept by W. H. BLACKMER,
Mr. JUNE buying it from the W. H. BLACKMER estate on January 1, 1885.
H. E. BARDY's grocery
store was started by Mr. BARDY in April, 1885.
H. L. BRANK began business
here as baker and grocer on the 10th of June, 1885.
Probably the oldest industry
which at present thrives in Brandon is the quarrying and sawing of marble.
According to Mr. CONANT, the first marble sawn in the county was with a
gang of saws at Brandon. E. W. JUDD, of Middlebury, commenced sawing Pittsford
marble here about the year 1811. He brought the marble from Pittsford on
the river. In 1828 Justus HYATT built a marble mill on the lower falls,
on the site now covered by the east end of the post-office block. After
a few years COWAN & HYATT succeeded Mr. HYATT, and later still, E.
D. SELDEN built a mill about a mile up the river from Brandon village,
where Mr. GOODELL's mill now is. In 1845 S. L. GOODELL ran the mill formerly
operated by COWAN & HYATT, and in about 1848 sold the property to John
A. CONANT. About 1840 HILL & DAVIS, of Boston, came here and bought
what is known as the HOUGHTON farm in the west part of the town, and in
1841 or 1842 Augustus BARROWS and Philip EDGERTON built a mill on the upper
falls and sawed marble from Pittsford. Shortly after this Mr. GOODELL purchased
the entire business and conducted it alone until 1847, when Knowles TAYLOR,
of New York, came in with him. In 1848 Taylor sold out to David SELDEN,
who, after acquiring the entire interest, ran the mills in company with
Mr. GOODELL until 1865. At that time Mr. Goodell bought the quarries and
all the mills, and formed a company called the Brandon Statuary Marble
Company, which erected a large mill on the upper falls at a cost of $48,000.
The company was composed of the following members: S. L. GOODELL,
H. S. WELLS and A. E. TILTON, of New York; Bradley BALLOU, of St. Albans;
John W. RICH and James MURRAY. No further change took place until September,
1884, when S. L. Goodell succeeded the company. Mr. Goodell is also superintendent
of the FLORENCE & WAKEFIELD Marble Company recently formed at Mallett's
Bay near Burlington, which works all the quarries in which its members
are interested. The works there cost about $400,000. The capital of the
company is $500,000. They have one quarry at Pittsford and one just north
of Mr. GOODELL's residence at Brandon, which latter quarry furnishes about
one-half of the marble for their mills. ,
The property now operated
by the Mutual Marble Company lies upon the belt extending through Rutland
and Sutherland Falls, which is celebrated for the superior quality of its
product. The property was purchased about the year 1867 by Edwin A. BILLINGS,
of Troy, N. Y., and sold by him to the Trojan Marble Company, by whom the
first quarry was opened, under Mr. BILLINGS's direction ; a six-gang mill
was also erected and the business continued for six or seven years. After
Mr. BILLINGS's death his son conducted the operations, and after that Mr.
WALDO was in charge two years. The works then lay dormant until October,
1883, when the property was leased by UPHAM & JACKSON, who organized
the present company, under whose control, with J. P. UPHAM as president,
the business is being vigorously pushed. A new quarry has been opened,
additional lands bought, a railroad from the main line constructed and
several new buildings erected. The product of the new quarry gives satisfaction
to the trade.
The Brandon Mining Company's
works were established for the manufacture of mineral paint and kaolin,
in 1855. The mineral was discovered by FULLER & GREEN, who commenced
the manufacture of wrought iron here many years ago, and by washing the
ore, the ocher, or paint pigment, was discovered. It is taken from the
mine in its crude state, mixed with refuse matter, and after being broken
up and thoroughly washed, it is with water carried down a sluice, the worthless
material, in the form of pebbles, iron ore, sand, etc., settles to the
bottom, and the substance valuable for paint is held in solution, and carried
by spouts and deposited in large vats. Here it is suffered to remain and
the paint settles to the bottom. The water is then drawn of and the process
is repeated until a sufficient deposit has accumulated in the vats to undertake
the drying process. This is accomplished by first allowing the sediment
in the vats to become, by the action of the sun's rays, of the consistency
of thick mud or clay, when it is cut or shoveled into pieces about the
size of bricks, and laid upon shelves to dry in buildings prepared for
the purpose. When perfectly dry it is run through a crushing-mill, and
packed in barrels for the market. This paint is very similar to the celebrated
French ocher, and has met with a very large demand from various sections
of the country. By placing the lumps . of yellow ocher in ovens and calcining
them, red ocher is made, of a quality closely resembling Venetian red.
Kaolin, or paper clay,
as it is sometimes called, in process of manufacture is similar to that
of ocher, except that it does not undergo the grinding process, but is
fit for market as soon as it is dry. The kaolin manufactured here is principally
used in the manufacture of paper for "stuffing," giving a smooth surface
and additional weight to paper; it is mixed with the pulp, and but a small
per cent is lost by the subsequent process of manufacture. This company
employs about thirty men, and manufactures about 1,000 tons of paint and
500 tons of kaolin per annum.
The Brandon Kaolin and
Paint Company's Works, about two miles east of Brandon village and one
mile south of Forestdale, were established in 1865. They manufactured about
1,000 tons per annum. The paint varied in color from very light yellow
to dark yellow and dark red, and light and dark brown. David W. PRIME is
president of the company, but the works are not now operated.
The stone building near
the present grist-mill of J. L. CAHEE was built in 1816 by John CONANT
for a grist-mill and used as such until 1839. In that year Mr. CONANT erected
the present mill building, and ran it until 1850, when he sold out to a
Mr. RICH. SPOONER & CAHEE followed RICH, and the proprietors since
then have been FREEMAN & CAHEE, CAHEE Brothers, J. L. CAHEE & Co.,
and the present proprietor, J. L. CALIEE. The site was first owned by Daniel
The harness and carriage
factory of H. D. BRIGGS, was started by his father, Sumner BRIGGS, in November,
1854. The work was done for the first five years in the scale works building,
and then brought to the present location. From 1866 to 1872 H. D. BRIGGS
worked in company with his father and then withdrew. Sumner BRIGGS died
in 1877, and H. D. BRIGGS has had sole charge since that date.
The Eagle Foundry was
established by PAYNE, CHRISTY & HENDRY in the year 1867. In 1875 the
present proprietor, John CHRISTIE, bought out his partners.
F. W. FLINT began cabinet
making here in the fall of 1879. H. O. LOWELL came here in February, 1880,
and bought the cabinet shop which William H. FLINT had had for several
The present banking business
of Brandon is done by the Brandon National Bank and the First National
Bank of Brandon. The former company was organized on the 26th of March,
1864. The first directors and officers were John A. CONANT, president;
E. N. BRIGGS, James K. HYDE, of Sudbury, Ebenezer J. BLISS, Frank FARRINGTON
and John HOWE, jr. The cashier was Lorenzo BIXBY. The original capital
was $100,000, which was increased on the 25th of June, 1864, to $150,000,
and again on the 10th of January, 1865, to $200,000, the present capital.
Cyrus JENNINGS succeeded Mr. CONANT in the presidency on the 9th of July,
1878, and was himself followed January 18, 1881, by the present incumbent,
Erastus D. THAYER. The cashiers have been as follows: Lorenzo BIXBY was
followed January 9, 1866, by Julius H. WHITE; November 7, 1867, Dudley
C. BROWN ; December 13, 1869, Frank E. BRIGGS; March 1, 1870, George R.
BOTTUM; August 27, 1870, Dorus C. BASCOM; January 26, 1878, Frank E. BRIGGS;
January 9, 1883, Walter F. SCOTT, the present cashier. There are now eighty-nine
stock-holders in the; company, most of whom are residents of the town and
county, and a few from other States. The present directors are: Erastus
D. Thayer, president; Cyrus
vice president; John J. Simonds, Robert Forbes, Ozro Meacham, w
Frank Farrington. Deposits on hand about $30,000
The First National Bank
of Brandon, although organized in December, 1863, did not begin business
until May 1, 1864. The original capital was $50,000, but before business
was begun it had been doubled, and on the 11th day of January, 1865, it
was increased to its present amount of $150,000. The first officers and
directors were Nathan T. SPRAGUE, president; Nathan T. SPRAGUE, jr., vice-president;
Ephraim ROSS, George W. PARMENTER and Chauncey L. CASE. In 1867 Nathan
T. SPRAGUE resigned the presidency and devolved the duties upon his son,
who, in January, 1868, was unanimously chosen to be his father's successor,
and has remained ever since at the head of the company.
On March 1, 1870, H.
C. COPELAND succeeded George R, BOTTUM, the first cashier, and on February
3, 1883, was in turn succeeded by the present cashier, F. E. BRIGGS. The
company is now composed of sixty stock-holders, and has a surplus of $115,000.
Although these are the
only banks in Brandon, several of her citizens are interested in banks
doing business in the West. Dr. W. H. WRIGHT is president of the Traders'
Bank of Kirwin, Kansas, and T. B. SMITH is its vice-presdent, while James
KNAPP, R. F. KIDDER, Mrs. C. J. WING and Rev. Walter RICE are stock-holders.
Mr. SMITH and Dr. WRIGHT are also respectively president and vice-president
of the Cloud County Bank, of Concordia, Kansas. These two associate banks
have negotiated loans on a security of real estate mortgages to the amount
of more than $200,000, without the loss of a dollar or the taking up of
The site of the Brandon
House has been covered by a hotel or tavern "time whereof the memory of
man runneth not the contrary." Jacob SIMONDS was the first one who kept
a tavern here, and his arrival here is dated the year 1786. Whether he
immediately began to keep a tavern is a question, but certainly he was
landlord here before the close of the eighteenth century. He left town
in 1812, and was immediately succeeded by Matthew W. BIRCHARD, who enlarged
the old house and kept a store in connection with it; he remained proprietor
of this old inn longer than any other man in its history. Drancis JUNE
followed him. Mr. CONANT remembers an interesting incident connected with
JUNE, which is worth relating. One of the governors of New Hampshire had
succeeded in raising an extraordinary crop of oats, and published a statement
that he had raised 125 bushels to the acre and defied the world to beat
him. JUNE had a splendid field in the north part of the town, where Mr.
SUMNER now lives, which in being threshed showed a yield of 134 bushels
to the acre. JUNE kept the hotel a few years and was followed by William
M. FIELD, now of Rutland, who enlarged the building to its present proportions.
He was also proprietor of the stage line from Rutland to Middlebury. His
successor was Janes HASTINGS who kept the house about ten years, through
the war period, then J. F. STINSON became proprietor. He sold the property
on the 1st of March, 1871, to a stock company composed of N. T. SPRAGUE,
G. W. PARMENTER, C. D. PITTS, Dr. V. ROSS. They, with the exception of
C. D. PITTS, whose widow has succeeded to his share, are still the owners
of the property. Immediately after they purchased the house, Riley DEMING
began to keep it. His successors have been W. H. MERRITT and, Delmore VAIL,
James, John, and Charles GARDNER, Frederick DEMING and L. COLLINS, whose
term began in the spring of 1883. The present manager, John HIGGINS, came
here April 13, 1885, from Arlington. He had had about fifteen years experience
in the business and keeps an excellent hotel. The house will accommodate
about 100 guests.
The Douglas House was
erected in 1850 by E. J. BLISS, for a storehouse It was converted into
a hotel in 1870, and opened in the fall of that year by Mr. BLISS who kept
it six or eight months. Albert MATTHEWS next kept it for a time, and was
followed by L. R. BARKER, in the spring of 1872. Barker soon sold it to
Frank BRIGGS who leased it to John RUTLEDGE. Ellroy ROGERS was with RUTLEDGE
during a part of the term. The present proprietor, H. C. WILLARD, came
here in December, 1883. This house has also a good reputation for order
and neatness, Mr. WILLARD's experience enabling him at once to anticipate
and supply the wants of the traveling public.
The Brandon Union, the
only secular paper now published in Brandon, was first issued on the 30th
of November, 1872, by A. N. MERCHANT. The office was then in Simonds block;
in 1873 H. M. MOTT and T. M. TOBIN took the place of Mr. MERCHANT. Norman
A. MOTT soon after purchased the interest of Mr. TOBIN, and later still
of his brother, Hiram M. MOTT. The latter in his turn became successor
to Norman A. MOTT. The present publisher and editor, Stillman B. RYDER,
bought out Hiram M. MOTT on the 15th of November. 1880. The paper was originally
independent in politics, and warmly supported Horace Greeley in that memorable
canvass, but it is now thoroughly Republican. It is a well-arranged, well-edited,
four-page, thirty-two column weekly, which succeeds in its aim to record
local news, furnish general intelligence and choice miscellany, and keeps
its columns so untainted that it can be taken without hesitation into the
The Vermont Baptist.
-- The State paper for that denomination is printed here by Mr. RYDER and
has been since May, 1885. The editor and proprietor is J. R. RICHARDSON,
formerly of Rutland, now of East Ballston. This paper is of the same size
as the Union. (For past history of the press in this town see Chapter XV.)
The attorney now of longest
practice in town is Hon. Ebenezer J. ORMSBEE. Mr. ORMSBEE was born in Shoreham,
Vt., on the 8th of June, 1834. He received his general education at the
Brandon public schools, the Brandon Scientific and Literary Institute,
and at the Green Mountain Liberal Institute at South Woodstock. He began
his law studies in the office of BRIGGS & NICHOLSON, Brandon, and was
admitted to practice in the Rutland County Court in March, 1861. He has
resided in Brandon since 1848. Among other public offices of importance,
he represented Brandon in the representative branch of the Legislature
in 1872, and was one of the senators from Rutland county in 1878. In the
fall of 1884 he was chosen lieutenant-governor of the State.
His associate, George
BRIGGS, is the son of Hon. E. N. BRIGGS, so well known to Brandon in the
past. George BRIGGS was born in Brandon on the 26th of April, 1844, was
educated at the Vermont Episcopal Institute at Burlington and at Hobart
College, Geneva, N. Y., receiving the degree of A. B. from the latter institution
in 1866, and of A. M. in 1869. He began his law studies with Senator EDMUNDS,
of Burlington, and continued with Briggs & ORMSBEE, of this place.
He attended a course of lectures, also, at the Albany Law School, and was
admitted to practice in the Rutland County Court in September, 1868. He
immediately formed a partnership with Mr. ORMSBEE, which has continued
without interruption to the present. He has been town clerk, clerk of the
village school district, and clerk of the fire district since 1868. He
represented the town in 1880.
Walter P. WHEELER was
born in Woodbury, Vt., on the 25th of September, 1854. He received his
legal education in the law department of the University of Michigan, Ann
Arbor, and in the offices of Hon. C. H. HEATH and Hon. H. W. HEATON at
Montpelier. He was admitted to practice in Washington county, Vt., in 1867,
when he went to Arlington with J. K. BATCHELDER. He opened an office in
Brandon in August, 1877. He has been chosen moderator of several town meetings,
and has earned a good reputation for industry and legal ability.
Edward S. MARSH was born
in Brandon October 13, 1857. He studied law with ORMSBEE & BRIGGS,
took a year in the Columbia Law School, New York city, and fterwards studied
a year in the Boston University Law School, from which he was graduated
in 1882. He was admitted to practice in the County Court of Rutland county
in the spring of 1882, went to New York city for eighteen months, and was
admitted to the bar of that State. In the fall of 1884 he was admitted
to practice in the Supreme Court of Vermont, and at once opened an office
Dr. Olin G. DYER was
born in Clarendon, Vt., on the 5th of December, 1822. He received an academical
education, and was on the 19th of June, 1844, graduated from the Castleton
Medical College. He also attended a course of lectures at the Berkshire
Medical College at Pittsfield, Mass. He practiced the first eighteen months
after graduation in Lexington, O., and after, that in Salisbury, Vt., where
he remained five years. In September, 1851, he came to Brandon, and practiced
for two years in company with Dr. A. G. DANA. Since that time he has practiced
alone. Since the war he has acted as examining surgeon for the pension
department, and has done a great amount of that kind of work.
Dr. C. W. PECK was born
in Clarendon, Vt., on the 23d of February, 1841. He was educated at Fairfax,
and at the Barre Academy, and received his medical education at the Long
Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, N. Y. He was graduated in June, 1861,
and has practiced in Brandon since that time.
Dr. A. T. WOODWARD was
born in Castleton, Vt., on the 7th day of July, 1827. He was educated at
the Castleton Seminary, and Castleton Medical College, from which later
institution he was graduated in 1847. The first four years of his practice
were passed at Whitehall, N. Y. Then, after a year in the city hospital
of Albany, he returned to Castleton, and practiced there nine years. In
1861 he came to Brandon, where he has won an enviable reputation.
Dr. J. J. TOBIAS was
born in Ferrisburgh, Vt., on the 8th day of June, 1847. He took an elective
course in the University of Vermont at Burlington, and was graduated from
the medical department thereof on June 16, 1868. For a year after graduation
he practiced in Belchertown, Mass., although prevented by sickness most
of the time from engaging in a very extensive practice. In the spring of
1870 he went to Vergennes, Vt., where he practiced five years. While there
he received an appointment to the position of physician and surgeon of
the Crown Point Iron Company at Hammondsville, N. Y. He remained there
until May 31, 1879, when he came to Brandon. He has succeeded, by dint
of strict attention to business and the exercise of his unusual caution
and skill, in establishing an excellent reputation in Brandon and vicinity.
Dr. J. H. WOODWARD, son
of Dr. A. T. WOODWARD, was born in Castleton, Vt., May 31, 1858. He was
educated in Brandon and is a graduate from Cornell University, N. Y. He
was graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York city,
in June, 1882, and in July of the same year received a diploma from the
medical department of the University of Vermont, at Burlington. He practiced
about two years in Bellevue Hospital, New York, and then removed to Brandon.
Dr. W. H. WRIGHT was
born in Addison county on the 25th of August, 1843. He received his dental
education in Middlebury and Brandon, having been an associate with Dr.
D. W. PRIME from February 1, 1866, until 1868, when he became the successor
of his senior partner.
Dr. F. W. HUDSON was
born in East Burke, Vt., on the 29th of July, 1857. He was educated at
Westfield and is a graduate from the Philadelphia Dental College. He began
to practice in Lindenville, Vt., in 1879; removed thence to Rutland in
1881, and from Rutland to Brandon in February, 1884.
On the evening of the
28th of July, 1878, Fire District No. 1 of Brandon, adopted resolutions
empowering and directing the prudential committee of that district to construct
a suitable aqueduct in the village of Brandon at an expense not exceeding
forty thousand dollars. The prudential committee (consisting of N. T. SPRAGUE,
Dr. V. ROSS, and H. ROBERTS), Henry KINSMAN and F. B. BUTTON, first and
second engineers, were appointed a committee to locate the aqueduct and
determine upon its size and character. The prudential committee was further
authorized to issue, sell and negotiate the bonds of said district for
the purpose of raising the funds required in such an enterprise.
Surveys were made from
HITCHCOCK's Pond to several points in the village with the following result:
The fall at Dana's corner is 139 53/100 feet; at the Brandon House, 153
11/100 feet; at the Congregational Church, 157 70/100; at the west corner
of the stone bridge, near the bank, 167 51/100 feet; and at the Baptist
Church 165 feet lower than the surface water of Hitchcock's Pond. The pressure
of water is 65 83/100 pounds to the square inch. Other surveys were made
of Hinkham Pond and "Loblol," resulting, on comparison, in the choice of
Hitchcock's Pond as the source of supply. Proposals for bids were sent
out and the contract was subsequently awarded to R. D. WOOD & Co.,
of Philadelphia who agreed to reduce the amount of their bid from $39,668.94
to an even $39,000. The agreement was dated January 6, 1879. Bonds were
issued to the First National Bank of Brandon for $40,000, work was at once
begun and in a short time the aqueduct was complete.
The first fire company
in Brandon was organized in about 1856, by the name of the Neshobe Fire
Company, and a single brake engine was then bought. There were about forty
members in the company, of which John HOWE was foreman and Charles W. BRIGGS
was clerk. Since that time the organization has been in existence without
interruption. The engine was disused when the water works were completed.
The present organization, Volunteer Hose No. 1, was effected on January
15, 1880. The charter members and first officers were as follows: Foreman,
C. S. BOYNTON ; 1st assistant, D. C. LUCE; 2d assistant, A. C. HALSEY;
clerk, F. H. WELCH; treasurer, C. O. MEACHAM; other members, F. C. SPOONER,
F. E. KINGSLY, Charles A. FARR, F. W. BACON, W. P. WHEELER, E. G. WHITCOMB,
George H. ROLFE, John CONDOR, W. F. SCOTT, Joseph PIPPIN, C. R. FISH, G.
W. OLMSTEAD, E. R. CAMPBELL, L. J. CAHEE, G. W. SCOTT, C. N. PRATT, F.
C. BLISS. The foremen since Boynton's term have been Walter P. WHEELER,
and Charles W. BRIGGS, the present foreman. The present officers are, foreman,
C. W. BRIGGS; 1st assistant, A. J. IVES; 2d assistant, W. C. FLETCHER;
clerk, W. F. SCOTT; treasurer, C. O. MEACHAM. The membership now numbers
twenty-five. The company possesses about 900 feet of hose and two carts,
besides two old engines used only in case of fire.
The town hall was built
in 1861 under the supervision of John A. CONANT, and was one of the finest
buildings in the county in its time. The basement is of stone, the walls
of brick and are from sixteen to twenty inches in thickness. The walls
in the interior are thirty feet in height. The cost of the structure was
For an account of the
Masonic lodge in this town see Chapter XVIII.
The history of the village
of Brandon would be incomplete without mention of Senator Stephen A. DOUGLAS.
The early town records contain among the list of births that had occurred
in the town within a recent date at the time of the writing, a statement
of the birth of Stephen Arnold DOUGLAS, on the 23d of April, 1813. The
house in which he was born is still standing under the eaves of the Baptist
Church. The father of the future senator was a physician and died with
the subject of this sketch in his arms, in June 1813. His mother retired
to the farm now owned by Henry L. LEONARD, which she had inherited in common
with her brother, the late Edward FISK. Young DOUGLAS remained on the farm
until he was fifteen years of age, acquiring a good common school education
at the Arnold school-house and at the old academy. Being thwarted by friends
in his desire to acquire a collegiate education, he engaged himself as
an apprentice to the trade of cabinet-making. He worked at this trade about
eighteen months, both with Mr. PARKER, of Middlebury, and with Deacon KNOWLTON,
of Brandon. He then further prosecuted his studies in the old brick academy
a year, and later still in Canandaigua, Ontario county, N. Y., whither
his mother and sister had gone as wives of a father and son named Granger.
There he began to study law, and in the spring of 1833, started for the
West, but was detained at Cleveland the whole summer by sickness. After
passing through various experiences and suffering various privations, he
opened a law office in Winchester, Ill., in March, 1834. His subsequent
career, his wonderful successes and final defeat, even his abilities and
characteristics are too familiar to the reader of this volume to need setting
forth. He died in Chicago on Monday, June 3, 1861.
It has already been stated that the first church organized in Brandon was
of the Congregational denomination, and that for a number of years it was
supported by a town tax. The organization of this church was effected on
September 23d, 1785, by the Rev. Mr. SELL, of Dorset, and it contained
five of each sex, as follows: Jedediah WINSLOW, William DODGE, Nathan FLINT,
David BUCKLAND and Moses BARNES; Mrs. Sarah LARKIN, Elizabeth WINSLOW,
Elizabeth DODGE, Mercy FLINT and Mary KING.
Jedediah WINSLOW was
the moderator of the organization and was chosen clerk, which he continued
for several years to be. There was no settled pastor until 1792, when Rev.
Enos BLISS was installed. It is supposed he was dismissed within a year.
In January, 1800, the Rev. Ebenezer HIBBARD was ordained in Brandon and
installed as pastor at a moderate salary. He remained here until September
5, 1821, when he was dismissed, after laboring in Brandon for almost twenty-one
years, and leading a number of revivals of religion. During the years 1816
and 1817 about 120 members united with this church. For a period of eighteen
months after Mr. HIBBARD's dismissal the church and society hired miscellaneous
preaching. Rev. Mr. PERRIN, Dr. BATES, president of Middlebury College,
and Professor John HOUGH, were the principal supplies.
In the summer of 1822
Rev. Beriah GREEN, fresh from the Andover Seminary, accepted an invitation
to preach as a candidate, and on the 16th of April following was ordained.
He was more of a preacher than a pastor, and remained here a trifle more
than six years, being dismissed on the 11th of May, 1829. Dr. BATES
and Professor HOUGH again supplied the pulpit until the summer of 1830,
when Rev. Ira INGRAHAM accepted an invitation to become pastor of this
church. His salary was $450 a year and the use of the parsonage, which
had been purchased during the pastorate of Mr. GREEN. He remained in Brandon
a little more than six years, when he was dismissed to engage as secretary
and agent of the Vermont Domestic Missionary Society. The whole number
of additions to the church during his ministry was 136. His successor,
Rev. Harvey CURTISS, afterwards president of Knox College in Galesburg,
Ills., was ordained on February 17, 1836, the day of Mr. INGRAHAM's dismission.
At this time Rev. Jedediah BURCHARD, an evangelist, began a series of protracted
meetings, in which all denominations united, and as a result, on the 20th
of the following March, forty-one new members were admitted to the church.
Dr. CURTISS was dismissed
on the 11th day of December, 1840, after filling the pastorate with such
success that on his retirement it was found that 152 additions had been
made to the church under his labors. Rev. Milo J. HITCHCOCK preached for
about three months after Dr. CURTISS left, and was given a call, but did
not accept. Again the professor of Middlebury College supplied the church
with preaching until the spring of 1842, when Rev. William H. MARSH, after
a short time, accepted a call to settle, and was ordained on June 29, 1842.
Though of fluent speech, he did not succeed, and, at his own request, was
formally dismissed on the 21st of March, 1843. On the following Sabbath,
in his farewell sermon, he avowed himself an Episcopalian, but made no
On the 4th of January,
1844, Rev. William G. T. SHEDD, having given satisfaction on trial, was
ordained pastor. He remained until August 19, 1845, when he began the discharge
of his duties as professor in the University of Vermont. The professors
of Middlebury College again supplied the pulpit until the spring of 1846,
when Rev. Moses CHASE, formerly of Plattsburg, N. Y., began to preach here,
and was consequently installed on the 3d day of December, 1846. He left
on the 8th of September, 1847. Rev. Mr. INGRAHAM then came here again and
engaged to preach for one year, but did not accept the call which was extended
to him. Early in the spring of 1850 Rev. Francis B. WHEELER accepted an
invitation from the church, and was duly installed its pastor on the 29th
of May in that year. He abode with this church until September 1854. From
this time on recourse was again had to the college faculty until the summer
of 1856. Rev. John D. KINGSBURY was then invited to visit Brandon. He was
installed on the 24th of September, 1856, and was dismissed on the 15th
of August, 1860. The church was now without a pastor for five years, though
the pulpit was supplied in the mean time by Rev. William FORD, a Methodist
minister residing in town, and Rev. William J. HARRIS. Rev. Franklin TUXBURY
succeeded to the pastorate on the 25th day of May, 1865. He remained here
until November 18, 1875. During his stay here nearly 125 new members were
added to the church, and the church manual was re-written, and the creed
abbreviated, as a result of his ideas. He was followed October 26, 1876,
by Rev. S. P. WILDER, who was pastor until April 18, 1880. During his pastorate
Rev. Mr. EARL conducted a revival of ten days' length and fifty-one persons
were added to the church. The present pastor, Rev. Walter RICE, preached
his first sermon here on the 22d of May, 1880.
The first meeting-house
was built of logs near the center of the town, a little west of the house
now occupied by Deacon J. H. VAIL. Beyond this Loren LARKINS's house seems
to have been a frequent place of meeting previous to 1797. At about that
date the second house was built on the site of the present church; it was
burned before it was entirely finished. A new structure was soon erected
on the old foundations, which was used until 1831, when it was demolished
and the present handsome brick structure erected at a cost of about 5,000.
The present officers of the church are: Deacons, John H. VAIL, Dennison
BLACKMER, Milton P. JUNE, John F. POTWINE; clerk, C. M. WINSLOW; treasurer,
John H. VAIL; financial committee (society), D. W. PRIME, Dr. W. H. WRIGHT,
F. H. FARRINGTON, C. M. WINSLOW and T. B. SMITH; treasurer of society,
Charles H. ROSS. The membership of the church is about 203. The choir,
as an organization, has been in existence nearly one hundred years, and
the greater part of the time the choristers have been three men, judge
JUNE, William M. FIELD and Dr. Volney ROSS, the present incumbent. The
present value of the church property is estimated at not less than $15,000.
The Sunday-school was organized about 1826 by Jonathan S. GREEN, brother
to the then pastor, in the Ladies' Seminary building, near the present
residence of Mrs. L. G. CASE. The present superintendent, Dr. W. H. WRIGHT,
has been either superintendent or assistant continuously since 1861, alternating
with Charles M. WINSLOW, the present assistant. The average attendance
at the Sunday-school now is about eighty-three.
Baptist Church. -- The
Baptist Church in Brandon was constituted in 1785, consisting of twelve
members. In September, 1789, Isaac WEBB, who had been with them a while
their preacher, was called to ordination and settlement as the first pastor
of the church. The council called to assist in the ordination of Mr. WEBB
included the Rev. Caleb BLOOD, of Shaftsbury, Rev. Henry GREEN, of Wallingford,
Rev. Isaac BEAL, of Clarendon, Rev. Elnathan PHELPS, of Orwell, and Rev.
Elisha RICH, of Pittsford. The pastorate of Mr. WEBB was short and followed
by the successive pastorates of Calvin CHAMBERLAIN, PECK, Moses WARE, Joshua
YOUNG, Abial FISHER, Elisha STARKWEATHER, Isaac SAWYER, Joseph SAWYER,
William HUTCHINSON, George B. IDE, C. A. THOMAS, D. R. WATSON and D. E.
POST. Rev. Dr. C. A. THOMAS was ordained and settled in October, 1835,
and remained until early in 1876, a pastorate of more than forty years
in duration. Rev. D. R. WATSON remained until April 1, 1881, and his successor,
Rev. D. E. POST, resigned in the fall of 1885.
The church in its infancy
held meetings for several years in dwelling-houses, with only occasional
preaching. In 1790 a log house was erected for their use, and in 1800 a
more commodious framed house was built, and occupied as a place of worship
until 1832; the present substantial brick edifice was then erected and
first occupied. It has since been remodeled and repaired several times.
The entire value of the property at the present time is said to be about
$14,000. The present officers are: Deacon Jacob POWERS; clerk, S. B. RYDER;
treasurer, Robert FORBES; Sunday-school superintendent, Levi N HAZELTINE.
The church membership numbers about 150, and the average attendance at
Sunday-school is from sixty-five to seventy.
Methodist Church. --
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Brandon was organized in 1801 by Daniel
POMEROY, with Elder HULBERT, pastor. The membership was very small; a class
had been formed on the 14th of August, 1798, with Major Gideon HORTON as
leader and circuit steward. The earliest meetings were held in Potato street,
now the MCCONNELL neighborhood. Dwelling-houses, barns and school-houses
were used for purposes of worship. Among the early members were Major Gideon
HORTON and his wife Thirza. Dr. John HORTON, Gideon MOTT, Henry and Eli
MCCOLLOM, Daniel HENDEE, Daniel POMEROY, Benajah DOUGLAS and Nathaniel
B. ALDEN. The church prospered for several years, and before 1808 arrangements
were made and materials collected to build a church near the site of the
present edifice. A bitter feud, however, between Benajah DOUGLAS and Gideon
HORTON, who were political rivals, created dissensions which caused the
abandonment of this enterprise.
In 1814 William CLARK,
a devoted Methodist, came to town, and with Eli MCCOLLOM established meetings
and made Brandon again a preaching appointment, which it has continued
to be to the present time. In 1817 a great revival was held in town. In
1831 and 1832 a camp-meeting was held near the village in Brandon, Elder
Tobias SPICER presiding at both. Bishop Elijah HEDDING at attended the
Rev. Peter Harrower
was appointed to this charge in 1834 and for the succeeding year. When
he came he found about thirty members. About the first of September a revival
began and continued for some eight months, about sixty converts joining
the church on probation and nearly all uniting with the society.
The First Methodist Sunday-school
was established by Mr. HARROWER the same year, and it had much to do with
the revival. The minister was superintendent for a time, and was followed
by Harry S. MCCOLLUM. Later superintendents have been Charles SULLINGS,
jr., Rev. William FORD, Henry L. LEONARD, J. S. STAFFORD.
A legal society was organized
for building a Methodist Church October 4, 1836, and on the 18th Levi BACON,
Edward FISK, and Lorenzo WASHBURN were chosen trustees and Daniel POMEROY,
building committee. The brick church was built in 1836-37. Rev. John W.
BELKNAP was appointed as the first pastor in the new church and through
his efforts, in connection with the pastors of the Baptist and Congregational
Churches, special services were held at Forestdale, the Arnold neighborhood
and in other districts; a great revival followed. A large number of converts
were also made at the Arnold school- house under the labors of Rev. Daniel
F. PAGE, in 1841. Rev. C. R. Ford was pastor in 1855-57, and the reports
show that many joined the church during his term. The largest number of
members ever reported to conference since Brandon became a separate charge,
was 131 members and eleven probationers, reported by Rev. B. D. AMES, in
The present church edifice
was dedicated on the 5th day of November, 1876, having been completed at
an expense of about $17,500. The building committee was composed of J.
S. STAFFORD, J. L. CAHEE, H. L. LEONARD, J. J. SIMONDS, A. J. INGALLS.
The parsonage was erected in 1877, at an additional cost of $2,350. The
present pastor, Rev. J. W. QUINLAN, came in the spring of 1884, as successor
to Rev. S. D. ELKINS. The present membership of the church is 160. The
present value of the church property is about $18,000.
The present officers
are as follows: Stewards, J. S. STAFFORD, J. L. CAHEE, C. C. SLASON, E.
FULLER, Luther BROWN, Benoni GRIFFIN, W. H. WILLIAMS, A. E. KINGSLEY, C.
R. PHELPS, Frank KETCHAM, J. L. BARKER, H. L. LEONARD; class-leaders, A.
COOL. F. W. BACON; Sunday-school superintendent, J. S. STAFFORD. The average
attendance at Sunday-school in 1884 was 100.
St. Thomas's Church.
– This parish was organized on the 15th of June, 1839, at the house of
Royal BLAKE, in Forestdale, by Royal BLAKE, Benjamin F. GREENE, Charles
BACKUS, Edward SHERMAN, Francis WEBB, James Briggs and Charles BLAKE. The
following officers were then elected: Charles BACKUS, senior warden; Edward
SHERMAN, junior warden; Royal BLAKE, Francis Webb, Benjamin F. GREENE,
Charles BLAKE, vestrymen; Edward SHERMAN, secretary. Services were held
for many years at the house of Royal BLAKE,., The first rector was Rev.
J. PERRY, succeeded by Rev. Samuel BOSTWICK.
The stone church is the
first and only Episcopal Church educe in the village and was erected in
1863. From September 1846 to 1850 Rev. A. H. BAILEY was rector. He was
followed by Rev. H. H. LORING, in 1857; Rev. J. Newton.FAIRBANKS, 1868;
the Rev. William SCHOULER, jr., 1872; the Rev. Daniel C. ROBERTS; the Rev.
J. M. FULTON; the Rev. Henry BEDINGER. The present rector, Rev. William
J. TILLEY, was called at Easter, 1883, and has officiated since April 1,
The present church officers
are: Hon. E. J. ORMSBEE, senior warden; Charles W. BRIGGS, junior warden;
John L. KNIGHT, secretary of vestry; George BRIGGS, licensed lay reader.
As reported to the annual convention June, 1885, the present number of
families is fifty-nine, comprising individuals, 229; individuals not included
in families, twenty-six, total, 225. Teachers in Sunday-school, six. Pupils
in Sunday-school, forty-nine.
The Church of our Lady
of Good Help. -- The first Catholic priest who is known to have visited
Brandon is Father O'CALLAGHAN, who resided in Burlington; he had come to
Burlington about the year 1830, and remained there twenty-two years. The
next was Rev. John DALY. His field of labor was very extensive, reaching
from Middlebury to the State line, and from Brattleboro to Lake Champlain.
He continued visiting the Catholics of Brandon until 1853. An Italian priest
from Whitehall, named Father OLIVETTI, also made occasional visits to Brandon.
In 1851 the French-speaking portion of the Catholic community addressed
a letter to Father MIGNAULT, of Chambly, Canada, who was then vicar-general
of this portion of the Diocese of Boston, asking him to send them a priest
from time to time. Complying with their request, he asked Father QUEVILLON,
a priest residing in Burlington, to visit the Catholics in Brandon. He
came here in the year 1851, and repeated his visits. He was wont to say
masses in the old town hall, and sometimes in private houses. It is related
that on one occasion he found so many children to be baptized that the
room was not sufficiently large; the children had to be brought into the
room six at a time to receive baptism.
This reverend clergyman
recommended the people to make a movement toward the erection of a church.
Accordingly in the month of February, 1852, a subscription list for the
building of a church was opened. The congregation at that time was small,
numbering about eighty families, which were living in Brandon village,
Forestdale, at the Old Quarry and Goshen. In the spring of 1852 the land
on which the church and graveyard now are was purchased. The names of the
committee which purchased the land are Francis BACHAUD, Joseph HARPER and
In October, 1852, the
church was dedicated, services being performed by Fathers MIGNAULT and
QUEVILLON. Father QUEVILLON continued to attend the Catholics of Brandon
until 1855, residing however in Burlington. In October, 1853, the Rt. Rev.
L. DEGOESBRIAND was consecrated bishop of Burlington. The whole State of
Vermont was detached from the diocese of Boston, and formed henceforth
the diocese of Burlington; in November, 1853, the bishop made his first
visit to Brandon, and in the following year himself began to attend the
parish. The records show that one of the first works accomplished was to
render the church more comfortable by lathing and plastering and the putting
in of pews. Father DRUON, now of St. Albans, then stationed at Rutland,
came also from time to time to Brandon during the years 1855 and 1856.
, Father RIORDAN, since deceased, came also from Burlington occasionally
to minister to the Catholics here. The bishop, however, continued his visitations
until November, 1856. From this time until 1857 the parish of Brandon received
the ministrations of two priests of the order of Oblates - Fathers KOOPMAN
and MALONEY, who resided in Burlington. In December, 1856, Father BOYLAN
was ordained in Burlington. The day before Christmas he came to Brandon,
and on Christmas day said mass to this church and administered his first
baptism. He was appointed to Rutland, and did not return to Brandon for
some years. In February, 1857, Father DUGLUE succeeded him, and was in
turn succeeded by him. Father BOYLAN's pastoral charge here was of nearly
nine years' duration. His successor, Father HALPIN, who came here in 1867,
was the first priest resident at Brandon. He conceived and carried into
execution the idea of enlarging the church edifice. In October, 1868, Father
CAISSY was appointed pastor. During his pastorate the priest's house was
erected. The present pastor, Rev. J. C. MCLAUGHLIN, came here in January,
1872. Since his arrival here a debt of $8,000 contracted for the building
of the church and parsonage has been paid, and a new cemetery lot containing
four acres purchased (1876) and improved at an expense in all of $1,000.
The brick chapel near the parsonage was built in I870 at a cost of $800.
Since 1876 the pastor has been associated with a curate. The list is as
follows: Revs. D. J. O'SULLIVAN, Charles PREVOST, Dennis LYNCH, P. J. BARRETT,
and the present incumbent, Rev. P. J. HOULIHN. The value of the church
property is estimated at about $10,000. One hundred and ninety families
attend the church and about one hundred children attend the Sabbath-school.
Father MCLAUGHLIN, in addition to the other improvements in his parish,
has erected a Catholic school of two departments, the corner-stone of which
was laid May 1, 1885. The building extends fifty by twenty-five feet.
The money to pay off
the debts and improve the edifices of this church has been raised largely
by fairs, to which the people of Brandon without regard to sect have generously
contributed. The last of these fairs was held in September, 1883, by which
the fund was increased $1,740.
The following brief account
of the higher schools of this town was prepared with care by C. A. THOMAS,
who has been a resident of the place fifty years: The inhabitants of Brandon,
aside from the laudable interest which they have taken in the organization
and maintenance of their district schools, have not been lacking in providing
means so that the young people who desired it could take up studies not
introduced into the common schools.
Early in the present
century the Brandon Academy was incorporated and organized; and the oversight
of its affairs committed to a board of trustees annually elected. The academy
building was located on the north side of Conant square; two stories in
height; the ground floor for the district school; the upper story for the
academy, and so arranged that the different classes might have separate
rooms for study. A Mr. MANLEY is said to have been the first principal
of the academy, and to have held the position many years, and to have been
very successful in building it up. He fitted many young men, both resident
and non-resident, for college; and did much to raise the standard of intelligence
and virtue in the community. After Professor MANLEY's retirement, Solomon
STEVENS, Ezra JUNE, W. J. PARKER and others followed as principals, until
the time came for the academy to be discontinued, and the edifice removed
to another locality and for another purpose.
Not long after the discontinuance
of the Brandon Academy a new institution, under the auspices of the Baptist
denomination in the State, was located Brandon. This institution
was organized and incorporated as the "Vermont Literary and Scientific
Institution," and combined in its first board of trustees some of the best
men of the denomination in the State, both ministers and laymen. This board
had several meetings to deliberate upon where in the State this institution
should be located. Finally, as the citizens of Brandon made the best offer
of aid in the erection of the building, it was decided that Brandon should
be the place. The citizens of Brandon village subscribed generously towards
the erection of the edifice; John CONANT, esq., and his two sons, then
in active business in Brandon, contributed very liberally.
Many of the Baptists
in Vermont at that time were desirous not only to have a school where their
children could take up some of the higher branches of study, but they were
especially desirous of an institution with a theological department annexed,
where the young men inclined to the gospel ministry might be helped on
in their preparation for it.
The funds that were obtained
by agents canvassing portions of the State were expended for more ground
and for the purchase of a library and philosophical and chemical apparatus
for the benefit of the school. And although the expectations of some of
the early benefactors of the school were much disappointed in not having
some provision made for the study of theology in connection with the school,
still the founders and patrons of it have occasion for thankfulness in
view of what has been accomplished. The substantial brick edifice, pleasantly
located on elevated ground, in Brandon; with a succession of teachers and
pupils occupying it whose main daily employment for thirty years was the
communicating and the receiving of useful knowledge and sound instruction,
must be considered an incalculable power for good in a community. Thus
it was in Brandon.
The board of trustees
of the Vermont Literary and Scientific Institution held its annual meeting
in Brandon October, 1833, with Hon. J. D. FARNSWORTH, the president, in
the chair. At this meeting the Rev. Hadley PROCTOR, of Rutland, was unanimously
elected principal of the institution. Soon after this the institution was
opened for instruction, and during the first years of its history it was
well patronized by the denomination that founded it, counting among its
students representatives from all parts of the State, and well sustained
by the community in which it was located. But in course of time, the Institution
not coming up to the high position which was anticipated, and good academic
schools multiplying throughout the State, the appellation, or title, given
to the institution fell into disuse and it was called and known by the
name of the "Brandon Seminary," and patronized and sustained mainly during
the last half of its continuance by the inhabitants of Brandon and adjacent
towns. And as former members of the board of trustees resigned or died,
the vacancies were filled from the community patronizing the seminary,
so that it had during the last half of its history a board about all composed
of citizens of Brandon, and mostly members of the different religious societies.
Mr. Proctor's stay as principal of the institution was short; but there
were those who followed, E. PARKER, S. KEITH, A. H. BINGHAM, C. B. SMITH,
and others, who remained long and did good service.
At last, about the year
1865, the subject of uniting the two village school districts into one,
and turning over the seminary building for its use, and having a graded
school, began to be agitated. On investigation it was found by the terms
of the charter that the seminary property could not be sold. So, after
much consultation of authorities, and several meetings of the trustees,
it was resolved by them to lease the building and grounds, on certain conditions,
to the united village district for a term of 999 years.
The contract being consummated
between the trustees of the seminary and the consolidated school district
of the village, the seminary building was enlarged, reconstructed and arranged
so as to have six large and well-furnished school-rooms, and also recitation
and reception-rooms and laboratory, all heated by steam and with all modern
improvements, at a cost of about $22,000.
The affairs of the Graded
School, as to finances and teachers, and whatever may pertain to the welfare
of the school, are committed to a prudential committee consisting of three
persons annually elected by the district for that purpose.
The school was opened
in September, 1868, with an efficient band of teachers, Professor J. S.
CILLEY, a veteran schoolmaster, at the head and principal of the school,
and this veteran retaining the position for twelve years, which brings
the school along almost to the present time.
The village of Forestdale,
which lies in the eastern part of Brandon, is in origin of comparatively
recent date. The very first evidence that can be discovered of a settlement
there was made by John SMITH in about 1823, when he started an iron establishment
there. About 1830 Royal BLAKE bought out the concern, and came there from
Woodstock, Vt. He built a blast-furnace and took ore from beds in the vicinity,
and south of the beds worked by John CONANT, and the Leicester beds. He
built, and until his death on December 2, 1857, resided in the house now
occupied by Alexander NEWTON. The iron business in Forestdale proved ruinous
to its owners. John A. CONANT is authority for the statement that Mr. BLAKE,
according to his own acknowledgment, lost the sum of $75,000 in a single
year. The entire property was finally sold to B. T. REED, of Boston, for
$17,000. The ore has not been worked for years. Royal BLAKE and his excellent
family really founded the village of Forestdale. Mrs. O. A. SMALLEY, who
has an accurate and intelligent memory concerning Forestdale in early days,
gives the following description of the place in 1839.
Mr. BLAKE had then built
quite a street under the hill near his house for his employees. Religious
meetings were held in his house for some time and afterwards in the hall
until he built the church. His wife and daughters, aided by his own efforts
and encouragement, fitted up a room in their dwelling to be used as a school
for young ladies. It was taught for a long time by a Miss MASON from Woodstock.
There was also a general school at the furnace. In 1841 Mr. SMALLEY had
a district set off and built a school-house on the present site of the
Methodist Church. It was finished and first opened in the beginning of
1843. The direct road from Brandon to Forestdale was opened about 1831
or 1832. In about 1851 Samuel BLODGETT, father-in-law to Royal BLAKE, built
the grist-mill now owned by Dr. SHELDON, of West Rutland, and run by James
KIMBALL. Mr. BLAKE had been running a store here since 1833. There were
no distilleries or asheries here, unless the wintergreen distilleries of
Nathan H. CHURCHILL and Daniel LINCOLN be worth mentioning. The only industries,
in fact, which were carried on were the furnace, and the saw-mills which
stood on the site of the factory of the Newton & Thompson Manufacturing
Company. These saw-mills were erected by Anthony BAKER.
The post-office was established
at Forestdale about the year 1850, and Dr. Charles BACKUS appointed to
the office. In 1867 he was succeeded by Stephen S. SAILS, the present postmaster.
The only industry of
importance now carried on at Forestdale is the woodturning establishment
of the NEWTON & THOMPSON Manufacturing Company. The business of which
this company is the exponent, was originated in Maine in 1849 by Edward
C. THOMPSON, who made match-boxes. In 1856 Alexander S. NEWTON began the
same business at Forestdale. The present company was incorporated in August,
1885, and has the following officers: Alexander S. NEWTON, president; Charles
H. BUMP, vice-president; Edward C. THOMPSON, secretary; Lewis J. FORTIER,
treasurer. It is successor to the firm of NEWTON & THOMPSON, which
bought out the original firm of HOWARD, NEWTON & Co. a number of years
ago. They now employ from seventy=five to one hundred hands.
On the 1st of April,
1876, the buildings were destroyed by fire, rebuilt and burned while in
process of construction, in July, 1876, about a mile south of the original
and present site. The works were then rebuilt on the present site, and
on the 19th of April, 1881, destroyed by fire the third time, and again
The other business is
represented by Jerome TENNIE, blacksmith and carriage-maker, who came in
1866; Adrian HENDRY, blacksmith and livery and feed stable, came about
1867; Almond BAKER, general store since about 1865; Joseph MOSS, general
store five or six years; and Mrs. E. J. WALTON, general store since 1881,
when she bought out Mrs. Emily PACKARD.
of Rutland County Vermont: with Illustrations &
Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers
by H. Y. Smith & W. S. Rann
& Co., Publishers 1886
of the Town of Brandon
by Karima 2002
** There is
apparently a mistake in the material Smith and Rann took from Abby Maria
Hemenway's "The Vermont Historical Gazetteer: A Magazine Embracing a History
of Each Town, ..." From page page 449 of Hemenway's work:
error was discovered by Karen Nilsen, who provided the Hemenway material
above. Thank you Karen! [11/7/03]
purchases of small tracts of land; the first was of Obadiah Wells, July
7, 1785, for L30, 55 acres. Also of Ebenezer Squier, June 23, 1786,
for L20, 38 acres, "joining said King." Also other purchases.
He married Mary, daughter of Capt. Jonathan Carver, author of "Carver's
of Nathan Daniels, Oct. 12, 1785, for L30, 40 acres; to which he added
by subsequent purchases, embracing a large portion of the farms since owned
by his sons, Stephen and Harvey. He had 4 children, three sons and
one daughter, two of whom, Stephen and Harvey, are still residents.
He died May 24, 1811, aged 49.
Gazetteer of the Town of Brandon, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82
Business Directory of the Town of Brandon, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82