town is almost purely an agricultural district and without villages of
a size entitling them to the name. The surface is diversified with hills,
mountains and valleys, and several considerable streams drain the town.
Otter Creek flows through the central part from south to north, and Tinmouth
River crosses the west part in a similar direction. Cold River, in
the north part, and Mill River, in the south, flow into the town from the
east and empty into Otter Creek. Numerous other smaller streams
give the town ample drainage and water-power. There are mineral springs
of extended repute in the town, and in the southwest part is a cave that
has gained considerable local renown.
Clarendon is bounded
on the north by Rutland; east by Shrewsbury; south by Wallingford and Tinmouth,
and west by Ira. The following figures show the population at the different
dates mentioned: 1791, 1,478; 1800, 1,789; 1810, 1,797; 1820, 1,712; 1830,
1,585; 1840, 1,549; 1850, 1,477; 1860, 1,237; 1870, 1,173; 1880, 1,106.
on the 5th day of September, 1761, was an unbroken wilderness. On that
day Benning WENTWORTH, esq., governor of New Hampshire, granted the charter
of Clarendon to Caleb WILLIAMS and others, dividing the town into seventy
shares, containing 23,600 acres.
Elkanah COOK, Randal RICE, Benjamin JOHNS, Elisha WILLIAMS, Samuel PLACE,
Gideon WALKER, Daniel WALKER and others came into town and selected locations,
bringing their families the next spring for a permanent settlement. RICE
and JOHNS and Stephen ARNOLD located near the central part of the town
on the east side of the creek; PLACE, COOK and WILLIAMS in the north part
of the town; and the same year (1769) came Jacob and Amos MARSH (brothers),
and Daniel and William MARSH (brothers), nephews of the former; and Whitefield
FOSTER and Oliver ARNOLD, from Rhode Island and Connecticut, selecting
each a lot of land on the east side of Otter Creek, being the six north
lots in Clarendon, which were afterwards included in the grant of Socialborough;
Jacob MARSH occupying what is now known as the STRONG farm; Amos MARSH
the NELSON farm ; Daniel MARSH the PLATT farm ; Oliver ARNOLD the WEBB
farm, and Whitefield FOSTER the CROFT farm. They left their families at
their former homes and labored here the first season, clearing land and
building houses on their lots. They brought with them a cow and such breadstuff
as they could, depending upon fish and game for their principal support.
They worked together, detailing one of their number each week to do their
cooking, milk the cow and procure the game and fish. That year they built
five log houses and cleared a piece of land near each for crops the coming
season, and on the approach of winter all returned to their former homes,
except William MARSH, who went north and was not heard of afterwards. The
five returned with their families and household effects the next spring.
1771 James ROUND and John HILL had settled on the west side of the creek;
therefore, there were ten families in the north part of Clarendon previous
to 1771. Several families had also settled on the south flats. As early
probably as 1772 or 1773 Ichabod WALKER, a Mr. NICHOLS and a Mr. OSBORN
had settled on East street.
the early settlers derived the title to the land they occupied from Colonel
John Henry LYDIUS, an Indian trader of Albany, who claimed to have purchased
of the Mohawk Indians, in 1732, a tract of land extending sixty miles southerly
from the mouth of Otter Creek, by twenty-four miles in width; which was
confirmed to him by a grant of Governor SHIRLEY, of Massachusetts, in 1744.
In 1760 LYDIUS divided the tract (on paper) into thirty-five townships
of thirty-six square miles each, or more, numbering and giving names to
each township. No. 7, which is supposed to be nearly identical with the
present town of Clarendon, he called "Durham." September 29, 1761, he granted
about twenty-seven square miles, covering a part of Rutland and Clarendon,
to James HAVEN, who leased farm lots to the settlers for the rent of one
pepper-corn a year for the first twenty years and 5s. a year thereafter,
for each one hundred acres of improvable land.
3d of April, 1771, Governor DUNMORE, of New York, issued the patent of
"Socialborough," which included Rutland, Pittsford and about four square
miles of Clarendon. In the summer of 1771 James DUANE, one of the New York
grantees, sent Will COCKBURN to survey the grant of "Socialborough," but
he was driven off by the threats of the settlers under the New Hampshire
The old military road
from Charlestown, N. H., to Crown Point, which passed through Clarendon,
had been frequently traversed by the citizen soldier on his way to and
from the scenes of strife near the lakes, and the beauty of location and
fertility of the soil being known, the settlement rapidly increased, and
soon the primeval forests became spotted with clearings and the settlers'
cabins were thickly scattered over hill and valley throughout the town.
The first settlers who had cleared and improved their land under the LYDIUS
title soon found themselves in a dispute with others who afterwards came
in and claimed the same land under the New Hampshire title; and the LYDIUS
title proving worthless, they were induced by the representation of the
New York land speculators to seek protection from the New Hampshire claimants
by obtaining a grant under the government of New York, although it was
well known that the king had in 1767 forbidden the issuing of any such
They accordingly made
an arrangement with Mr. DUANE to procure the patent of Durham, which was
issued by Governor TYRON on the 7th of January, 1772, and which purported
to grant 32,000 acres in shares of 1,000 each to thirty-two individuals,
by name, and which included all the land in Clarendon south of "Socialborough."
By agreement, Mr. DUANE and his New York city friends were to have 14,225
acres (nearly one-half of the land). DUANE's share was 4,740 acres. "By
this means the interests of the 'Durhamites’, as they were afterwards called
by the New Hampshire claimants, became fully identified with those of the
New York city speculators;" and both the New Hampshire and the New York
claimants attempting to occupy the same land, much controversy and frequent
collisions occurred between the "Yorkers " and the "Green Mountain Boys."
MARSH, on the 9th of January, 1772, two days after the issuing of the patent
of "Durham," purchased of James DUANE, William COCKBURN and sixteen other
New York grantees of "Socialborough," a tract of land containing six hundred
acres, being the six south lots in "Socialborough," extending east from
Otter Creek to "the Cockburn road," the Cockburn road being what is now
Main street in Rutland, running on a straight line into Clarendon. Marsh
paid three hundred pounds for the tract of land, which was divided between
him and his five associates who had settled on the same land in 1789 under
the Lydius title; Oliver ARNOLD paying thirty pounds for the WEBB farm,
and the others accordingly.
MARSH, having bought his land of the New York grantees, was appointed a
justice of the peace for the New York county of Charlotte which extended
over this section. He is said to have been the ablest "Yorker" in Clarendon,
and became foremost in advocating the New York and discrediting the New
SPENCER, who lived in the south part of "Durham," and who is represented
by Ira ALLEN in his history as "an artful, intriguing and designing man,"
was active as a York justice and assistant judge. He was one of the principal
actors in obtaining the patent of "Durham," his name heading the petition.
He was an active agent of the New York speculators in their attempts to
obtain the land and expel the Green Mountain Boys from their homes. His
efforts roused the hostility of the Green Mountain Boys and involved himself
in difficulty. In April, 1772, he wrote to Mr. DUANE that "the New Hampshire
men strictly forbid any further survey being made only under the New Hampshire
title . . . The people go armed and say they will not be brought to justice
by this province . . . One Ethan ALLEN hath brought twelve or fifteen
of the most blackguard fellows he can get double armed to protect him."
In May he wrote as follows: "The Hampshire men swear that no man shall
stay on these lands that favors the government in any shape whatever. The
people of Socialborough prevent any settlement at present, swearing that
they will shoot the first man that attempts to settle under the title derived
from New York."
These threats, made for
the purpose of intimidation, were never executed; but as SPENCER, MARSH,
BUTTON and JENNY continued their efforts, as New York officers, to exercise
authority and support the New York title, and new occupation of land was
made, the struggle grew more earnest and bitter and increased in importance
until the valley of Clarendon became the decisive field on which the adherents
of New York and the Green Mountain Boys struggled, not only for their homes
and firesides, but for the dominion of Vermont; for, had the Yorkers succeeded
here, they would have gained a position "that might enable them to overthrow
all the other New Hampshire charters, and Vermont would henceforth have
been a province of New York and all its glorious history as a separate
State would never have been written." Aware of the importance of the issue,
the Green Mountain Boys determined that none of the New York officers should
exercise authority over the disputed territory, and that the Durhamites
should separate their interest from New York and acknowledge the validity
of the New Hampshire title.
in the autumn of 1773 one hundred Green Mountain Boys, led by Ethan ALLEN,
marched to "Durham." SPENCER fled on their approach and was not, found.
ALLEN invited the Durhamites to repent of their New York attachments and
acknowledge the validity of the New Hampshire title, and threatened violence
if they did not comply within a specified time. Hoping they would comply
with his request, ALLEN and his party retired without doing any violence
to the Durhamites. But the justices continued to issue writs against the
New Hampshire men, and the Durhamites, led on by MARSH and SPENCER, more
loudly than ever advocated the New York title; and ALLEN and his party
soon after made them a second visit. In order to be sure of capturing SPENCER,
a party of some twenty or thirty men under the lead of Ethan ALLEN and
Remember BAKER went to his house about 11 o'clock Saturday night, the 20th
of November, and took him into custody. He was carried about two miles
to the house of one GREEN, and there kept under guard until Monday morning
when he was taken to the house of Joseph SMITH, of "Durham," innkeeper,
when he was allowed a trial in front of his own house, the place being
chosen by himself. By this time the Green Mountain Boys had increased to
about 130, all armed with guns, cutlasses, etc.
The people from "Durham"
with many from "Socialborough," were also assembled to witness the proceedings.
Before the trial ALLEN addressed the multitude saying that "the proprietors
of the New Hampshire grants had appointed himself, Seth WARNER, Remember
BAKER and Robert COCKRAN, to inspect and set things in order and see that
there should be no intruders on the grants," declaring among other things,
that "Durham had become a hornets' nest which must be broken up." After
his harangue the Green Mountain Boys, or "rioters," as the New York authorities
termed them, proceeded to the trial of SPENCER.
There was a scene worthy
the artist's pencil, a scene which has no parallel in the annals of history.
Beneath the clear sky of that autumn morning, on the green banks of the
Otter, in the valley of Clarendon, surrounded by the guardian mountains
in their robes of evergreen pine, stood Ethan ALLEN, at the age of thirty-six,
a very Hercules in form and stature, his brow as yet unlit with the glory
of Ticonderoga, but the “piercing glance of his eagle eye revealing the
chafings of the untamed spirit within, which could brook tyranny in no
form and under no guise." By his side, towering above ALLEN, rises the
manly form of Seth WARNER, at the age of thirty, his brow unblanched by
the snows of Canada, his sword undimned by the blood of Hubbardton; and,
there, too, was Remember BAKER, the resolute, undaunted soldier who died
for liberty, and Robert COCKRAN, as judges, surrounded by 130 Green Mountain
Boys, the men of Ticonderoga and Bennington, with the red woolen caps and
other homespun garments made in the rude cabins of the wilderness, their
faces bronzed with the tan of the woods, yet lit with the fires of liberty,
boldly bidding defiance to tyrannical power and maintaining at this outpost
on the frontier of freedom the right of man to self?government, years before
the guns of Concord echoed over the hills. And there, too, was the great
crowd of "Yorkers," viewing with anxious faces the proceedings of ALLEN
and his band. After taking the "judgment seat”, the judges ordered SPENCER
to stand before them, to take off his hat and listen to the accusations
charged among other things "with cuddling with the land-jobbers of New
York to prevent the claimants of the New Hampshire rights from holding
their lands, and with issuing a warrant and acting as justice of the peace
under New York," etc. His judges found him guilty, and declaring his house
to be a nuisance, passed sentence that it should be burned to the ground.
But upon SPENCER's pleading that his store of dry goods and all of his
property would be destroyed and his wife and children be great sufferers
if his house was burned, the sentence was reconsidered, and upon the suggestion
of Warner it was decided that the house should not be wholly destroyed,
but only the roof taken off and might be put on again, provided that SPENCER
should say that it was put on under the New Hampshire title, and should
purchase a right under the charter of that province. SPENCER having agreed
to these terms, the Green Mountain Boys took off the roof "with great shouting
and much noise and tumult."
MARSH, while passing through Arlington on his way home from New York, was
arrested and tried for his offenses at the house of Abel HAWLEY, November
25, 1773. After being threatened with the "beech seal," he was discharged
with this sentence, " upon pain of having his house burned and reduced
to ashes and his person punished at their pleasure," if he continued to
act as a justice of the peace under a New York commission. The judge gave
him a written certificate "so that our mob shall not medeal farther with
him so long as he behaves." On arriving at Clarendon he found some forty
or fifty men, led by Peleg SUNDERLAND and John SMITH, had unroofed his
house and done other damage to his property. Charles BUTTON, of Clarendon,
was arrested and tried for acting as constable under the New York authority,
and compelled to promise that he would never execute any precept under
the province of New York.
it was deemed necessary for the general security of the New Hampshire claimants
that the Durhamites should purchase their lands under that title, ALLEN
and his friends were determined that they should not be compelled to pay
unreasonable prices for them, and wrote as follows:
Benjamin SPENCER, and Jacob MARSH and the People of Clarendon in General:
On my return from what
you call the mob, I was concerned for your welfare, fearing that the force
of our arms would urge you to purchase the New Hampshire title at an unreasonable
rate, though at the same time, I know not but that after the force is withdrawn
you will want a third army. However, on proviso, you incline to purchase
the title aforesaid, it is my opinion you ought to have it at a reasonable
rate, as new lands were valued at the time you purchased them . . . . And
on condition Colonel WILLARD or any other person demand an exorbitant price
for your lands, we scorn it, and will assist you in mobing such avaricious
persons, for we mean to use force against oppression, and that only, be
it in New York, WILLARD or any other person, it is injurious to the rights
of the district."
days afterward he wrote, "an epistle to the inhabitants of Clarendon,"
Mr. Francis MADISON of your town, I understand Oliver COLVIN of your town
has acted the infamous part by locating part of the farm of said MADISON
. . . . I abhor to put a staff into the hands of COLVIN or any other rascal
to defraud your settlers . . . . I advise COLVIN to be flogged for the
abuse aforesaid unless he immediately retracts and reforms . . . . None
but blockheads would purchase your farms and must be treated as such."
of the proceedings of the Green Mountain Boys in "Durham," the New York
Assembly upon petition of Benjamin HOUGH offered a reward of one hundred
pounds for the apprehension of ALLEN and BAKER, and fifty pounds for either
WARNER, SMITH, SUNDERLAND, BROWN or COCKRAN; and on March 9, 1774, passed
the noted "most minatory and despotic act " against the Green Mountain
Boys; adjudging them if they did not "surrender within seventy days, to
be guilty of convicted and attempted of felony and punished with death
without trial or benefit of clergy." ALLEN and his associates returned
a bold and defiant answer to this law which terminated every prospect of
the Yorkers in Clarendon seem to have made any further resistance to the
Green Mountain Boys, except Benjamin HOUGH who, having, March 12, 1774,
obtained a commission as justice of the peace under New York, became so
troublesome that it was found necessary to silence and make an example
of him. On the night of the 26th of December, 1774, he was arrested by
a party of his neighbors and taken to the house of Colonel John SPAFFORD
in Tinmouth, and from there to Sunderland, where, on January 30, 1775,
he was tried for his offenses, Ethan ALLEN, Seth WARNER, Robert COCKRAN,
Peleg SUNDERLAND, James MEAD, Gideon WARREN and Jesse SAWYER acting as
judges, and sentenced to receive two hundred lashes on the naked back and
to depart the New Hampshire grants and not return again. The sentence was
executed with unsparing severity, and at HOUGH's request ALLEN gave him
a certificate to that effect and a free passport toward the city of New
York. The next day HOUGH repaired to New York, where he gave under oath,
before the chief justice, a full account of his trial and punishment, and
petitioned the council for protection against the rioters. The council
being unable to protect him and he being destitute of the means of support,
they gave him a license to beg in the streets of New York, and the New
York Assembly offered large rewards for the apprehension of the judges
in his trial.
the last effort of the colonial government of New York against the New
Hampshire grants. The Revolution soon afterward overshadowed all other
questions. The New Hampshire claimants were generally Whigs, while the
Yorkers, with few exceptions, were Tories. Thomas BRAYTON was the
delegate from Clarendon to the Dorset convention of July 24, 1776, and
the only one of that body of fifty members who refused to subscribe to
an association, pledging their lives and fortunes in support of the American
cause. He afterwards became an active Tory.
Clarendon was not represented
in the Dorset convention of September 25, as the majority of the inhabitants
were Tories and the "friends of liberty were directed to choose a committee
of safety and conduct their affairs as in other towns."
SPENCER represented Clarendon in the convention of June, 1777, at Windsor,
and united with the other members of that body in a solemn pledge to stand
by the declaration for a new State, and to resist by arms the fleets and
armies of Great Britain. He was appointed a member of the Council of Safety
by the Windsor convention of July, 1777, but on the approach of Burgoyne
he joined the enemy and is said to have died at Ticonderaga a few weeks
afterwards. Jacob MARSH left about the same time and is supposed to have
died at Saratoga.
the battle of Hubbardton the town was mostly deserted by its inhabitants.
Oliver ARNOLD remained and was taken prisoner by the British and compelled
to drive his oxen with a load of corn to the British army, from whence
he afterwards escaped by means of a forged pass.
the turmoil and unsettled state of things before and during the Revolution,
many "squatters," without any title, boldly took possession of the best
tracts of land they could find that was temporarily vacated, and after
the Revolution the returning settlers found themselves involved in many
law-suits and quarrels regarding the titles of their lands.
MARSH, who, it appears, took protection papers from the British and sympathized
with them, returned to Clarendon, and on December 16, 1782, the town "voted
to receive him as a good wholesome inhabitant." He attempted to get possession
of his old farm, a part of which he found occupied by Silas WHITNEY. A
law suit followed in which MARSH was twice beaten. He then appealed to
the Legislature, of which he was a member, which passed an act in June,
1785, giving him the possession of the farm "until he had an opportunity
of recovering his betterments;" for which act the Legislature was severely
censured by the first Council of Censors. Afterwards, MARSH, who was a
member of the Legislature five years, originated and advocated "a bill
which became a law known as the quieting act," that settled most of the
conflicting claims to real estate by giving the lands to those who occupied
them, and as all the land in Clarendon appears to have been occupied, no
governor, church or school lots remained.
grist-mills were early erected at the "South Flats " and at East Clarendon
on Mill River; in the north part of the town on Cold River, and at the
west side on Tinmouth River. Taverns, stores and shops sprung, up in various
places, and the population increased so rapidly that Clarendon was, soon
the leading town in Rutland county, the population in 1791, being 1,478;
Pawlet being second and Rutland third in numbers.
Clarendon had 1,797 inhabitants; from that time its population has gradually
decreased, as before shown, numbering in 1880 but 1,106. The change in
its relative political influence in the county and State has been greater
than in its population. Its history might be divided into two periods:
First, the period of its rise, extending from its first settlement to 1820.
Second, the period of its decline, from 1820 to the present time. During
the first period, one of its citizens was president of the Council of Censors;
three were speakers of the House of Representatives; two were judges of
the Supreme Court, eleven years; one was sheriff of the county three years;
two were judges of probate five years, and three were county judges eighteen
years. During the second period of sixty-five years two of its citizens
have been senators four years. During the last twenty-eight years none
of its citizens have held any State or county office whatever.
early period the people were industrious and economical, their garments
homemade, their habits simple. They cut down the forests, cleared the land,
made the roads, fences and houses, some of which remain to this day. They
raised large families of children, and to give them a good common school
education they built seventeen school-houses in the seventeen districts
in town. They had but little money and paid their teachers in barter, generally
worked cheap, sometimes for sixty-five cents a week; but they worked well
and trained up the boys that made their mark on the times. The children
went to school, the rich and poor alike. The school-houses were crowded.
About 1797 there were eight families living near the springs who had one
hundred and thirteen children, ninety-nine of whom were living and attended
the same school. Following are the names of heads of these families, the
number of children. born to them, and the number alive who attended the
school at one and the same time: James HARRINGTON and Polly (BATES) HARRINGTON,
12 children, 10 scholars. Theophilus HERRINGTON and Betsey (BUCK) HERRINGTON,
12 children, 11 scholars. William HARRINGTON and Amy (BRIGGS) HARRINGTON,
17 children, 13 scholars. George ROUND and Martha (HOPKINS) ROUND, 12 children,
12 scholars. John SIMONDS and Sarah (WESCOTT) SIMONDS, 12 children, 12
scholars. Charles SIMONDS and Mehitable (ESBORN) SIMONDS, 16 children,
16 scholars. Richard WEAVER and Judith (REYNOLDS) WEAVER, 13 children,
11 scholars. Jonathan EDDY and Temperance (PRATT) EDDY, 19 children, 14
scholars. In these eight families, no one had ever had more than one wife,
and there was but one pair of twins in the lot.
children and teachers were all interested in the schools, which made them
comparatively good schools. Now, in 1885, there are eight schoolhouses
in town and plenty of good books, maps, etc. The teachers are paid from
three to six dollars per week; but the schools are thinly attended. The
parents, children, and some of the teachers, manifest very little interest
in them; the schools are generally thought to be of little account, and
many parents send their children to higher schools in other towns. While
books and periodicals have increased a hundred-fold and the cost of education
four-fold, it is doubtful if the people are any better qualified for the
duties of life than formerly.
has always been noted for its closely contested elections. When the political
parties were not very evenly balanced, the contest has been between individuals
of the dominant party. From 1779 to 1784, Clarendon had two representatives
each year. From the first settlement to 1870 forty-eight persons had represented
the town; of that number sixteen, or one-third, were elected but one year;
eight others were defeated the second year, and afterwards re-elected.
Since the term was extended to two years, no one has been re-elected. From
1823 to 1885, a period of sixty-two years, but one person (Lensey ROUND,
jr.) has held the office over two years.
the first division of parties, known as Federal and Republican, the contests
were often bitter and exciting. It is related that in 1805 Daniel DYER
and James HARRINGTON at repeated trials received an equal number of votes.
From 1778 to 1885, a
period of one hundred and seven years, eight family names have represented
the town sixty-two years, over five-ninths of the time. The Smiths 12 years;
Harringtons 9; Stewards 6; Rounds 8; Marshes 7; Hodges 8; Spencers 6, and
. . . at
length DYER says to HARRINGTON: "'Squire, it don't look well for you and
I to be voting for ourselves; suppose you vote for me and I vote for you
at the next ballot." HARRINGTON agreed to the proposition and voted for
DYER, but when the votes were counted it was found that DYER had two majority
and was elected. When HARRINGTON's friends accused DYER of voting for himself
again, DYER replied: "Damn a man who won't try to help himself when his
friends are all trying to help him." The next year HARRINGTON was elected.
the names of parties were changed to Whig and Democrat the elections were
no less close and exciting. From 1832 for five years no one was re-elected.
In 1845 there was no choice. The election of 1847 may be given as a specimen
of some later meetings. It was held in the old dilapidated meeting-house
on the hill south of the BRIGGS farm. The doors, windows and most of the
pews were gone. On a table on the north side were placed the ballot boxes.
It was a pleasant autumn day. In front of the house several peddlers were
selling honey, apples, watermelons, gingerbread, cider, etc., while the
younger men were engaged as usual in wrestling to decide which side of
the creek had the champion wrestler of the town, which, on that occasion,
was decided in favor of the east side, Samuel HAYWARD being "bully." Walter
ROSS was the Whig and Dr. Calvin SPENCER the Democrat candidate; their
strength was nearly equal - about one hundred and thirty votes each. The
Liberty party, then rising in town, voted for John L. MARSH, who had sixteen
votes and held the balance of power. Several ballots were taken with about
the same result. Great efforts were made by the old parties, by personal
appeal and promise, to detach members of the Liberty party; but they fought
on with unbroken ranks. Late in the afternoon an appeal was made to MARSH
to resign and carry his friends over to the Democrats. He replied that
each one of the Liberty party did his own thinking and his own voting,
and that any man who had brains enough and backbone enough to be an Abolitionist
at that time was qualified to represent the town; and if the Democrats
were so anxious to defeat the Whigs, they might select any one of the Liberty
party for a candidate and when they cast their full vote for him, the Liberty
men would also vote for him and elect him. After consultation the Democrats
selected Rev. Charles WOODHOUSE and at one ballot gave him about two-thirds
of their votes, then fell back to SPENCER, and the struggle went on. Early
in the evening SPENCER came near being elected, when a Whig motioned that
the meeting adjourn; the house was divided and the moderator, who was a
Democrat, decided the motion lost; later in the night ROSS nearly gained
the election, when a Democrat motioned to adjourn; the house was again
divided and the motion declared carried. Whereupon, the constable took
the ballot boxes and with most of the Democrats left the house. The town
clerk, who was a Whig, remained, and a Whig who was a justice of the peace
took off his hat and called upon the people to vote in it. Some of the
Whigs were doing so, when a young Democrat, who was not a voter, pushed
through the Whigs and thrust a large handful of Democratic votes into the
hat. In the tussle that followed the lights were extinguished and the house
enveloped in darkness. Soon a large, stout Whig, Dr. Silas BOWEN, came
into the house with an old fashioned tin lantern in one hand, and a cane
in the other. Some of the crowd commenced to kick his lantern and hit him,
when one of his tall Whig friends, Rufus PARKER, rushing with out-stretched
arms in front of him to help him, was mistaken for an enemy, and fell,
groaning to the floor with a blow from the cane. The lantern was kicked
out and darkness again prevailed. -- Lights were again procured and most
of the crowd left except a few Whigs, who voted in the hat and declared
ROSS elected; he went to Montpelier and was given a seat. The next year
he was defeated and SPENCER elected. In 1849 a Whig; 1850-51, a Democrat;
1852, a Free-Soiler; 1853, a Whig; 1854-55-56, Free Soilers and Know-Nothings
were elected; then the Republicans carried the town for about twenty years
without organized opposition, but with bitter contests between candidates
in the party.
the Democrats had one and the Republicans five candidates. The balloting
continued throughout the day and night; many different men were voted for
and abandoned; it was a night long to be remembered for the slaughter of
candidates. When the morning sun of Wednesday shone on the mountain tops,
nearly all were weary of the protracted struggle and voted to adjourn.
A few, however, refused to adjourn and two or three tendered their votes
for Noel POTTER, to the moderator, demanding that he receive them, which
he refused to do, and taking the ballot box left the hall, followed by
most of the citizens. A few remained, and seven votes for Noel POTTER were
cast in a hat held by one of the selectmen. POTTER was given a seat in
the Legislature and held it through the term, although many of his opponents
went to Montpelier and made great efforts to unseat him. In 1882, the contest
was renewed with increased bitterness, although narrowed down to one Democrat
and two Republican candidates. After balloting all day, dreading a night
contest and determined to insure the defeat of the opposing Republican
candidate, the largest wing of the Republican party wheeled its solid ranks
to the support of R. F. POWERS, the Democrat candidate, and elected him.
In 1885 again was heard the conflict's roar all through the day and through
the night until Wednesday morning, when Seneca E. SMITH, a Republican was
elected by one majority.
town meetings have often been no less exciting than the freemen's meetings
in September. In 1885, after balloting all day, the meeting adjourned one
week and balloted all of another day to elect the necessary town officers.
The bitter quarrels and petty rings in the town, and the practice of pulling
down instead of helping their fellow townsmen, have destroyed their influence,
so that, although there are many able men in town, no one, as mentioned
before, has held any county or State office for twenty-eight years.
Light Infantry was organized at an early day. Colonel Nathaniel CRARY,
of Clarendon, was among the first who had command of the company; he was
succeeded by Rufus PARKER. About 1811 or 1812, Thomas TOWER commanded.
John BOWMAN, Ira SEWARD, Green ARNOLD, Ruel PARKER, Gershom CHENEY and
perhaps others, were captains of the company before it was disbanded.
1821 the "Union Military Band " was organized, most of the members residing
in Clarendon; Pliny PARKER, leader. This band carried one bugle, four clarionets,
two German flutes, two octaves, two violins, two bassoons, a bass drum
and triangle. After a few years this band was scattered and disbanded.
Guards " were organized September 10, 1842; first captain, Stephen FOWLER;
afterwards Captain Daniel WING, succeeded by Captain Cyrel CARPENTER. This
company kept up its organization nine years. These companies were all well
September 12, 1814, the news came that a British army was marching on Plattsburg.
Many immediately enlisted and started for the seat of war. Thus Clarendon
has ever responded to the calls for patriotic duty. Her sons fought on
the red fields of Mexico. They saw the rebel flag shine in the morning
sunlight of victory at Bethel, and they saw it furled on the night of eternal
defeat at Appomattox. Her brave boys are sleeping on the battle-fields
of the Republic from Gettysburgh to the gulf; yet Clarendon, as a town,
spreads no flowers on the graves nor writes on marble column the names
of her gallant dead.
are the names of some of the soldiers of the Revolution, who lived and
are buried in Clarendon: John SMITH, aged 80; William CROSSMAN, 38; Abel
TITUS, 80; Gideon HEWITT, 89 (had twenty children); Zebulon CRAM, 90; Nathan
late War of the Rebellion volunteers from this town played a conspicuous
and honorable part, as the following list of enlistments and the chapter
devoted to the military history of the county will show.
of Clarendon furnished the following named soldiers who valiantly aided
in the suppression of the Rebellion. No drafted men went from this town:
regiment, three months men, mustered into service May 2, 1861. Mustered
out of service August 15, 1861. -- William CROTHERS, Harrison COMBS, James
L. CONGDON, George LINCOLN, John W. ROSS, William H. SMITH, Gilbert STEWART,
co. G, William MCC. ROUNDS, John DONNELLY, Samuel H. KELLEY, Moses W. LEACH,
James W. ROSS, Alonzo E. SMITH, Henry WEBB, co. K.
substitutes. -- Willis BENSON, Barney RILEY, Henry C. ROUND, Lucien P.
SMITH, Edwin C. TAYLOR, William L. WYLIE.
for three years; credited previous to call for 300,000 volunteers of October
17th, 1863. -- Peter AVERY, Co. C, 10th regt.; George BALLARD, Co. B, 2d
regt.; Henry H. COBB, Co. C, 4th regt.; Harrison COMBS, Co. B, 7th regt.;
Henry C. CONGDON, Co. E, 2d s. s.; John CROTHERS, Co. H, 7th regt.; Charles
H. DANIELS and William J. DANIELS, Co. B, 7th regt.; Don C. DAVIS, Flavius
DAVIS, Solon D. DAVIS, Co. H, cav.; Thomas DAVIS, Co. I, 7th regt.; Charles
F. DORSETT, Co. G, 5th regt.; Edwin H. DORSETT, Co. B, 9th regt.; James
J. DOTY, Co. M, I 11th regt.; William DYER, Co. G, 5th regt.; Edward M.
EDGERTON, Co. B, 9th regt.; Don A. FASSETT, Co. G, 5th regt.; Steven B.
FLANDERS, Co. F, 1st s. s.; William FLANDERS, Co. B, 2d regt.; Abisha G.
GEE, Co. B, 7th regt.; Edward B. GEE, Co. H, cav.; Henry H. GIDDINGS, Co.
F, 1st s. s.; Philip GREGORY, Co. C, 10th regt.; Enoch C. HAGAR, Co. L,
I 11th regt.; William W. HARRINGTON, Co. B, 2d regt.; James B. HOLDEN,
Co. H, cav.; Lorin HORTON, Co. D, 7th regt.; Michael HUBBARD, Co. C, loth
regt.; Edward L. KELLEY, Samuel H. KELLEY, John LAZELLE, Co. B, 9th regt.;
George A. LANGLEY, Co. I, 7th regt.; Henry LEWIS, Co. G, 5th regt.; Lewis
S. MARANVILLE, Co. C, 10th regt.; Lensey R. MORGAN, Co. H, cav.; Ira C.
MONROE, Co. H. cav.; Charles A. PARKER, William H. PITTS, Co. B, 7th regt.;
Albert PERKINS, Co. A, 7th regt.; Jesse PLUMLEY, CO. I, 7th regt.; Darius
E. POTTER, Noel POTTER, Co. F, 1st s. s.; Daniel M. POWERS, Co. F, cav.;
William D. POWERS, Co. 1, 7th regt.; David QUINCY, CO. D, 7th regt.; John
Q. A. RHODES, Co. G, 5th regt.; James M. ROSS, Co. H, cav.; John H. SAVORY,
Co. B, 2d regt.; Merritt H. SHERMAN, Co. C. I 11th regt.; Montillion SMITH,
Co. E, 2d s. s.; Gilbert STEWART, Co. G, cav.; Nelson A. SUMNER, Co. B,
5th regt.; Reuben A. SUMNER, Co. M, I 11th regt.; Abel E. TITUS, Horace
TOWER, Co. B, 2d regt.; George W. WARDWELL, William H. H. WARDWELL, Co.
D, 7th regt.; David WELLER, Co. B, 9th regt.; Henry WESCOTT, co.'G, 7th
regt.; Charles H. WILDER, Co. I, 7th regt.; James R. WINN, Co. C, 11th
regt.; William WILKINS, Co. B, 7th regt.
Credited under calls
of October 17th, 1863, and subsequent calls for three years. -- Joseph
W. DARLING, Co. G, 5th regt.; Edward B. GEE, Co. B, 9th regt.; William
O. HOSMER, Co. C, 11th regt.; George H. HOYT, Co. D, 9th regt.; Franklin
IVES, Co. B, 9th regt.; Lucian B. PARKER, jr., Adrian C. PROCTOR, William
PROCTOR, Co. F, 10th regt.; Edwin M. SHERMAN, Minor B. SHERMAN, Co. C,
11th regt.; Azro A. SHIPPEY, Co. E, 2d s. s.; William H. SMITH, Co. I,
for one year. -- George F. ALDRICH, Co. B, 9th regt.; Peter L. BRECETTE,
Co. C, 1st art.; Martin D. CAVANAUGH, Co. F. 10th regt.; Lovell A. DAWSON,
Co. K, 9th regt.; Patrick KELLEY, Co. K, 10th regt.; Frank LAUNDRY, Co.
C, 1st art.; Daniel P. MARSH, Co. I, F, cav.; Lewis MARLOW, 2d bat.; Andrew
J. MOORE, Co. I, 11th regt.; William ROUND. Co. D, 7th regt.; Franklin
A. SHIPPEY, Co. C, 7th regt.; John J. STARKS, Co. B, 7th regt.; Myron H.
WARDWELL, Co. B, 7th regt.; Franklin A. WHITLOCK, Co. C, 7th regt.
re-enlisted. -- John CROTHERS, Co. K, 7th regt.; Robert Currin, co. G,
5th regt.; William J. DANIELS, co. B, 7th regt.; William DYER, co. G, 5th
regt.; Jesse PLUMLEY, co. I, 7th regt.; Anthony PORTER, co. B. 7th regt.;
William D. POWERS, co. I, 7th regt.
for nine months. -- Lewis E. ACKLEY, Andrew J. BARTHOLOMEW, Josiah W. CRAPO,
Edward B. GEE, Marshall W. GROVER, co. B, 14th regt.; Warren C. JACKSON,
co. K, 12th regt.; William W. KINSMAN, co. B, 14th regt.; Moses W. LEACH,
Thomas A. E. MOORE, Edgar S. NELSON, co. K, 12th regt.; George N. PITTS,
jr., co. B, 14th regt.; Aldis D. ROSS, co. K, 12th regt.; Elias SMITH,
William H. SMITH, co. B, 14th regt.; Myron H. WARDWELL, co. K, 12th regt.
under draft. -- Paid commutation, Richard BUTLER, George W. CROSSMAN, Winslow
S. EDDY, Charles EWIND, Merritt FISK, Edgar M. GLYNN, Nathan B. SMITH,
are the present officers of this town: Seneca E. SMITH, representative;
H. B. SPAFFORD, L. F. CROFT, Thomas BROWN, L. STEWARD, J. C. COLVIN, Erastus
KELLEY, B. F. CRIPPEN, justices of the peace; Edwin CONGDON, town clerk;
L. F. CROFT, treasurer; G. R. DAVIS, constable; E. L. HOLDEN, N. S. WALKER,
Barney RILEY, selectmen; N. M. POWERS, overseer of the poor; William CROFT,
John RIDLON, L. STEWARD, listers. The present postmasters of the town are
T. K. HORTON, at Clarendon; A. MOORE, at Clarendon Springs; J. C. SPENCER,
at East Clarendon ; S. N. MASON, at North Clarendon.
the early inhabitants of this town were Baptists, from Rhode Island, and
very soon after settlement began a Baptist Church was formed in the east
part and one in the west part of the town. Elder Isaac BEALS was the first
settled minister in the town. About 1800 a meeting-house was built near
the south flat, and Elder William HERRINGTON, a brother of Theophilus,
was settled over the church. Both of these organizations long since ceased
-- This church was organized February 18, 1822, by Rev. Henry HUNTER, who
was its first pastor and was dismissed in October, 1827. There were nine
original members. After the dismissal of Mr. HUNTER, Rev. N. HURD supplied
the church for a time, and Rev. Philetus for several years from 1830. The
next pastor was. Rev. Horatio FLAGG, settled in January, 1835, dismissed
in November, 1836. For about six years after January, 1837, the pulpit
was supplied by. Rev. S. WILLIAMS, and was succeeded for about two years
by Rev. S. P. GIDDINGS. The successors have been Revs. Ezra JONES, J. B.
CLARK, Moses G. GROSVENOR, William T. HERRICK and George H. MORSS, who
now serves the church. John C. SPENCER and James BARRETT are deacons. The
brick church was erected in 1824, and in 1860 was rebuilt inside; a bell
was placed in the belfry in 1869. The church has a flourishing Sabbath-school
and is earnestly supported.
is now no settled minister in the west part of the town; but occasional
preaching in the old meeting-house at Chippen Hook, attended by the various
sects alike. The old wooden church near the south flats disappeared piece-meal
about 1850. A flourishing Universalist Society existed here many years
ago, to which Rev. Charles WOODHOUSE ministered, and a brick church was
built at North Clarendon. This was demolished about 1868.
are no villages in this town that aspire to more than the dignity of hamlets.
Post-offices and some small business interests are located at Clarendon,
East Clarendon, North Clarendon and Clarendon Springs, as already noted.
The somewhat celebrated springs in this town were known to be curative
in the character of their waters several years before the beginning of
the present century. According to the statement of George ROUND, father
of the late O. H. ROUND, who settled at the springs in 1781, the waters
were first called medicinal in 1793, or 1794. At that time there was a
space of ten rods or more in extent upon which no green thing grew, from
the effects of the water. The water was heavily charged with a deposit,
so that a board lying in the spring for a hundred days would be completely
coated over with "a cinder-like substance " a sixteenth of an inch in thickness,
or more. As early as 1800 people began to visit the springs as a cure for
poisons and salt rheum. In 1781 George ROUND built a log-house near the
springs and took a few boarders. In 1798 he erected a frame-house and kept
it as a hotel.
It is said
that the first wonderful cure was made on a man named SHAW, who applied
the white clay about the springs to a cancer and cured it. Such reputed
cures soon gave the springs a great celebrity, and undoubtedly one that
was to a certain extent fictitious; although it is well settled that the
use of the waters is beneficial in many complaints. The number of visitors
seeking renewed health at these springs has led to the erection of hotels
and boarding-houses for their accommodation. The Clarendon House is the
largest of these and accommodates with its cottages about two hundred guests.
It is now kept by the MURRAY Brothers, and is open from June to October.
is very little mercantile business in the town at the present time. Among
those who have at various times traded here are Benjamin SPENCER, Moses
GODDARD, Oliver WHITNEY, Henry and Silas W, HODGES, Caleb HALL, Henry BROWN,
Lewis M. WALKER, Ruel PARKER, Henry HITCHCOCK, O. B. BARLOW, W. P. HORTON.
is now kept by J. P. MERRIAM at the springs, and J. C. SPENCER is in trade
at East Clarendon. Mr. SPENCER began business at his present location in
1852, succeeding GASKILL & WEEKS, who had carried on the business eight
or ten years; they were preceded by George and Almon BULLARD, and before
that Calvin CROSSMAN and George W. BULLARD were in business as the first
merchants here. John BOWMAN had a grocery some years ago, and James EDDY
kept one at the depot, where the post-office was located a few years. J.
E. SPENCER has been postmaster for twenty-four years, succeeding James
EDDY. The latter was preceded in the office by Harvey KINGSLEY, and he
by Newman WEEKS. Calvin CROSSMAN was a still earlier official.
grist-mill at East Clarendon was built for Nathaniel CRARY, who sold it
to Chester KINGSLEY about 1825; he sold it to Harvey and Harrison KINGSLEY
in 1839. Fourteen years later HARRISON purchased his partner's interest.
The mill was rebuilt while in the hands of the two KINGSLEYs, and is now
owned by Harrison KINGSLEY. The elder KINGSLEY also built a carding-mill
here, and a saw-mill, which were carried off in the great flood.
Clarendon B. E. HORTON carries on a large manufacturing business, embracing
a grist-mill, cider-mill, saw-mill, shingle-mill, cheese-box factory and
chair stock factory; all these industries are carried on in one large building.
Mr. HORTON purchased the lands in 1877 and the following year built the
saw-mill, grist-mill, etc., and thus started the entire establishment.
He began making cider here in 1877, and built the present cider-mill in
1882; about 1,500 barrels are manufactured annually. From 12,000 to 20,000
cheese-boxes are annually made and eight or ten men are employed. There
was in earlier years a saw and grist-mill on this same site and a carding-mill.
WALKER's cheese factory is in successful operation near Chippen Hook (a
hamlet in the southwestern part of the town).
is a marble deposit in Clarendon, but little has ever been done to develop
it. Dr. O. R. BAKER, of New York, and Thomas LYNCH, of Rutland, have recently
purchased a property lying on one of the low ranges of hills on the river
about half a mile from Clarendon Springs. A small opening was made here
some forty years ago, when the marble industry was in its infancy, and
a few blocks were taken out and sawed. The owner, a man named TAYLOR, stopped
the work because of the small promise of profits under then existing facilities
for carrying on the business. W. F. BARNES subsequently became the owner
of the property and held it at the time of his death. It was recently sold
to Gardner GATES, who transferred two-thirds of the property to the first
named gentlemen. Six large openings have been made up to the present time,
and the developments seem to warrant the richness and value of the deposit.
Test cores of 103 feet have been taken out, several of which are three
and one-half feet long. Several capitalists of New York, Philadelphia,
and Chicago have become interested in the enterprise and the work will
be rapidly advanced.
we cannot attempt to give anything like a complete biographical record
of all of the prominent men of early times in this town, it will not be
out of place to briefly refer to a few of them.
HERRINGTON was born in Rhode Island in 1762. He came to Clarendon
in 1786, but soon afterward went back to Rhode Island on business. On his
return to Vermont he saw a young woman named Betsey BUCK in a house which
he was passing. So strong was the impression made upon him that he stopped,
made suit to her and took her with him as his wife when he left the house.
They lived near Clarendon Springs and had a family of twelve children.
He represented the town seven years; was speaker of the house one year;
was chief judge of Rutland County Court three years, and was a judge of
the Supreme Court ten years and until a few weeks before his death. He
died the 17th of November, 1813, and was buried at Clarendon with Masonic
honors. "Judge HERRINGTON was not a lawyer; he was a plain, rough farmer
with no legal education, and but little learning of any kind; yet he was
an excellent judge; a resolute, acute, strong-minded man, caring little
for the forms of law, brushing away the quibbles and sophistries of the
lawyers with a strong hand and intent on doing substantial justice in every
case. He was a large man, six feet high, broad-shouldered and of great
muscular strength. His complexion was swarthy; his beard black, heavy and
generally unshaven; his hair black, coarse and rarely combed. His eyes
were small and keen and his face expressive." On the bench he usually appeared
as if he was half asleep, and apparently paying no attention to the case
on trial. Nothing, however, escaped his observation or his recollection
and, though the trial might last for days, it was found when he came to
charge the jury, that though he " had not taken a single note, he knew
the names of all the witnesses, the order in which they were introduced,
and the exact language in which they testified. Many anecdotes are told
of this extraordinary man and his decisions, but we have space to relate
but one: Judge HERRINGTON was applied to for a warrant for the extradition
of a negro, who was claimed as a slave. The claimant made out what he regarded
as a prima facie case, and then "rested," but the judge intimated that
the title to the slave was not satisfactorily established. Additional evidence
was put in, but the judge was still not satisfied. A third attempt was
made and proof was furnished that the negro and his ancestors before him
had "time out of mind of man," been slaves of the claimant and his ancestors.
Still the judge declared that there seemed to be a defect in the title.
"Will your honor then," returned the astonished claimant, "be good enough
to suggest what is lacking to make a perfect title." " A bill of sale,
sir, from God Almighty," was the reply. This extraordinary decision, made
at the time when many even of the Northern States held slaves, gave him
a national reputation and made his fame enduring. In the great debate in
Congress on the passage of the last fugitive slave law, the decision of
judge HERRINGTON was cited by the South to show the need of such a law
to regain their escaping slaves.
the Legislature of Vermont appropriated $400, and appointed W. G. VEAZY,
Seneca E. SMITH, Hannibal HODGES, and Lyman FISH, commissioners, to erect
a monument at the grave of Theophilus HERRINGTON in Clarendon, where
sleeps on the hills no slave ever trod,
claimant brought bills from Almighty God."
HERRINGTON, a brother of Theophilus, represented Clarendon in 1806 and
1807, was judge of probate in 1803 and 1804, and assistant judge of the
county court in 1806 and 1807. He was a man of good natural ability and
had influence in the town and county. He also had a habit of "sleeping
at the most unnatural times and places. Returning from court on horse-back
he would perhaps waken to find that his horse had strayed into some barn-yard
by the wayside, and was helping himself to supper." His style of living,
like that of his neighbors, was far from luxurious. A sea captain, hearing
that his old school-fellow had become a judge in Vermont, paid him a visit.
His visions of possible magnificence were quickly dispelled, and in nautical
terms more forcible than elegant, he pictured the simplicity of the judge's
hospitality. "For supper a pan of milk with 'Johnny cake,' which sunk as
quick as a lead sinker in the milk. Each person was provided with a spoon,
and gathering about the pan, one after another 'made a dive,' and finally
the captain made a dive, but failed to get anything. In the morning the
judge conducted him to a shed and brought him a gourd filled with water
in which to perform his ablutions. Breakfast was a repetition of supper,
and the captain departed a wiser man."
HERRINGTON, a younger brother, was a Baptist minister, and was judge of
probate three years, 1811-13.
MOSELY was a native of Connecticut, was a judge of the Supreme Court in
1784, and president of the first council of censors in 1786. He was a lawyer
and had been a judge in his native State; was "a man of staid mein and
stately form," and wore in court the old-fashioned powdered wig, while
Ebenezer MARVIN, the first assistant judge, wore a cocked hat.
BOWEN came to Clarendon October, 1822. He was born in Connecticut September
6, 1774. At the age of sixteen he went to Schodack, N. Y., with a scanty
wardrobe of homespun, and ten dollars, the only money his father ever gave
him. He was soon engaged in teaching in the day time, posting books for
a merchant in the evening, and rose before daybreak to study mathematics.
He became a famous physician, was an energetic, persevering, self-reliant,
influential man; a great friend of schools, public libraries and debating
clubs. He was one of the founders of the "Medical Society of the State
of Vermont." He was buried at Clarendon May 20, 1858, with Masonic honors.
Colonel W. T. NICHOLS pronounced his eulogy.
HODGES, a surgeon of Washington's army, came into Clarendon about 1783,
and settled on the farm where his grandson, Hannibal HODGES, now lives,
and died there in 1844. He was the progenitor of a large and distinguished
HODGES, the oldest son of Dr. HODGES, was born July 30, 1779, and died
November 27, 1840. He built the dwelling-house and owned the farm where
Edwin Congdon now lives. He was precluded from obtaining such an education
as he ardently desired, but all his life was a studious reader of well
chosen books, and thus became possessed of more than usual culture and
information. Few men in his day equaled him in the extent and accuracy
of his. historical information. He was widely known as a man of remarkable
ability. His courtesy was such as to compel his staunch political opponent,
judge HERRINGTON, to make the noted concession, "If there is a polite man
in the county of Rutland, Harry HODGES is the man." He represented the
town in 1819-20 and 1821, and was assistant judge thirteen years.
T. HODGES, the successful merchant, member of Congress and president of
the Bank of Rutland, was born in Clarendon, 1788.
Wylys HODGES, Dr. HODGES's second son, was born 1785, and died April 19,
1858. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, represented the town
two years; was town clerk fourteen years. His son, Hannibal HODGES, born
September 12, 1817, lives on the old homestead; has represented the town
and held most of the town offices.
Henry HODGES, the able lawyer, and U. S. commissioner of patents, was born
in Clarendon in 1804.
F. HODGES, also a distinguished lawyer, was born in Clarendon in 1816.
SPAFFORD was born in Temple, N. H., 1773. He settled in the northeast part
of Clarendon, where he died in 1860, aged eighty-seven. He was a descendant
of John SPAFFORD, one of the first settlers of Rowley, Mass., in 1638,
and of whom the following anecdote is told: During his residence at Rowley,
a drought was followed by a great scarcity of food, and he repaired to
Salem to purchase corn for himself and neighbors. The merchant to whom
he applied, foreseeing a greater scarcity and higher prices, refused to
open his store and supply his wants. Having plead in vain the necessities
of himself and others, he cursed him to his face; but on being immediately
taken before a magistrate, charged with profane swearing, he replied that
he had not cursed profanely, but as a religious duty, and quoted Proverbs
xi, 26, as his authority: "He that withholdeth corn from the hungry, the
people shall curse him." He was immediately acquitted, and by the summary
power of the courts of those days, the merchant was ordered to deliver
him as much corn as he wished to pay for.
a direct descendant of that Saxon family which occupied Spafford Castle,
one of the most ancient in England at the time of the Norman conquest.
Percy made a solemn feast,
Spafford's princely hall,
there came lords and there came knights,
chiefs and barons all.
wassail, mirth and revelry,
castle rung around;
Percy called for song and harp,
pipes of martial sound.
minstrels of that noble house,
clad in robes of blue,
silver crescents on their arms,
in order due.
great achievements of that race
sung, their high command,
valiant Manfred o'er the seas
led his Northern band.
Galfrid next, of Normandy,
venturous Rolla came,
from his Norman castle won,
the Percy name.
sung how in the conqueror's fleet
William shipped his powers;
gained a fair young Saxon bride,
all her lands and towers."
History, p. 290.
SPAFFORD, the oldest son of Eliphalet SPAFFORD (who had eleven children),
was born October 26, 1799; and died August 25, 1874. He was well known
as a blacksmith whose anvil rang in the northeast part of the town for
half a century.
B. SPAFFORD, born May 10, 1825, owns the old homestead; he is a wood-turner
and insurance agent; has served as town superintendent and textbook committee
several times, and justice of the peace many years; has two sons, Charles
A., and Irving, who reside in Clarendon.
ROUND was born in Clarendon, December 5, 1788, in the first house built
at the Springs. He lived to be nearly ninety and held every office in town,
except town clerk, and when he was in town no one else was thought of for
moderator of the town meetings; he was constable from 1817 to 1831; represented
the town in 1827-28; was a member of the Constitutional Convention about
the same time, and was captain in the militia. He was a man of great energy
and endurance and had a remarkable memory, and claimed that he never took
a chew of tobacco, smoked a pipe or cigar, never drank any spirits of any
kind, nor paid a lawyer a fee in his life.
other early settlers in the town may here be properly mentioned the following:
William CROSSMAN came in from Easttown, Mass., in 1777, locating first
in Brandon, but removed to Clarendon in 1781, settling on the farm now
owned by W. R. CROSSMAN. William was a Revolutionary soldier, and related
that Burgoyne's men came as far as his home in Brandon and took his oxen
and grain from him.
was an early settler from Washington, Conn., and located in Clarendon on
the farm now owned by John CLEVELAND in 1787. Newman WEEKS, of Rutland,
is his grandson.
PARKER settled in the north part of the town in 1785 and became a large
land-holder. James EDDY settled in the town at an early date. He was a
scout in Revolutionary times for the colonial army and was engaged in many
daring expeditions. Many of his descendants still live in the town.
WALKER came to Clarendon from Cheshire, Mass., in 1779, and settled on
the farm where he died in 1813. His son, Lewis, jr., was born on the homestead
in 1781 and became prominent in thetown.
the first selectman of the town (1778), came from Connecticut in 1770.
Isaac TUBBS immigrated
from Connecticut about 1780, locating on the farm now owned by Daniel TUBBS.
Isaac built a tannery on that farm and carried it on for more than forty
COLVIN came in 1780 and located on the farm now owned by the heirs of Benjamin
STEWARD, from Volney, Conn., settled in the southeast part of the town
Christopher PIERCE came
to this town from Exeter, R. I., in 1802 and settled on the farm now owned
by Hannibal HODGES; he subsequently purchased the farm recently owned by
his brother, Giles, where he died in 1811, leaving a large family.
WYLIE came in from Connecticut in 1777, locating on Otter Creek on the
farm now owned by W. L. WYLIE. After his death, in 1834, his son William
took the homestead, where he has since resided.
CHAPMAN came from Salisbury, Conn., in 1786, and occupied the house of
Silas SMITH, recently owned and occupied by Burr CHAPMAN and now in possession
of Josiah SEAMAN. This is one of the oldest houses in good repair in the
town. Mr. CHAPMAN purchased a farm in the north part of the town, and in
1786 built the house in which he lived and died; it stood just in front
of Joseph CHAPMAN's brick house; the old farm has remained in possession
of a representative of the family from the first.
Charles F. BUTTON was
an early settler and father of Frederick BUTTON, who was born in the town
in 1789, passed his life here and died in 1874.
DYER came to Clarendon from Rhode Island in 1798 and settled on the farm
now owned by his daughter, Mrs. Lydia.S. BRIGGS, widow of Philip BRIGGS.
CONGDON, father of George CONGDON, was a settler in the town previous to
SPENCER settled near the center of the town at an early date. His son,
Calvin, born in 1799, studied medicine at Castleton and practiced in Clarendon
until his death in 1870. He was father of J. C. SPENCER.
HITCHCOCK, who died in 1871, was a merchant at Clarendon Springs for some
ARNOLD was the first town clerk, his first record being made in 1778.
LEWIS was the first representative.
grandmother of Frederick BUTTON, is said to have been the first white woman
who came to the town. Her son, Durham SPRAGUE, was the first male child
born in town. Mrs. SPRAGUE died at the great age of one hundred and four
The first frame house
in the town was erected by Daniel BRIGGS in the year 1777; it is still
standing in the southeast part of the town.
The first mill built
in Clarendon was situated on the farm now owned by Timothy K. HORTON; the
mill-irons were brought from Albany in a two wheeled cart drawn by oxen.
POPE was one of the first tanners in the north part of the town; he also
did shoemaking as early as 1795. A furnace was operated at West Clarendon,
southwest of Chippen Hook, before 1817, and did a large business for those
days; stoves were cast there.
all of the early industries, except farming, as well as the mercantile
business, which for many years gave Clarendon a position as a leading town
in the county, have been given up, and chiefly since the building of the
railroads. The Rutland and Bennington Railroad crosses the town north and
south, and the Vermont Central crosses the northeast corner of the town;
but the consummation of these improvements only served to carry to other
points (principally to Rutland) the business of the locality.
of Rutland County Vermont with Illustrations And Biographical Sketches
of Some of Its Prominent Men And Pioneers
by H. Y. Smith & W. S. Rann, Syracuse, N. Y.
Mason & Co., Publishers 1886
OF THE TOWN OF CLARENDON.
by Karima ~ 2002
Gazetteer of the Town of Clarendon, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82
Business Directory of the Town of Clarendon, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82