Search billions of records on





The Township was chartered under the name of Medway, by Gov. Thomas CHITTENDEN, February 25th, 1781, to Hon. Joseph BOWKER and thirty-four associates, and then contained 8,890 acres. November 7th, 1804, a portion of land called "Parker's Gore" was annexed and the name of Medway changed to Parkerstown. (On November 6th, 1827, this was again changed to Mendon)

      Parker's Gore was a tract of land bought of the county by Jonathan PARKER, of Rutland, in 1804. This tract was to have been sold to the highest bidder by the high sheriff of the county, which office was then held by Abraham IVES, of Wallingford. On the day advertised for the sale to take place, Ives opened the sale a 12 o'clock at night, in the interest of certain Rutland men. PARKER therefore bought the land at a nominal value, making the sale of advantage to said sheriff. For this crookedness, Ives was obliged to resign his office and leave the State to evade prosecution. The township retained the name of Parkerstown until November 6th, 1827, when it was changed to the present one of Mendon. 

      The town was organized March 11, 1806, and the first town meeting held on this day at the residence of Johnson RICHARDSON, the first justice of the peace. At the meeting Darius SHIPMAN was moderator; John PAGE, town clerk, and Benjamin FARMER, Johnson Richardson and Daniel BRADISH, selectmen. 

      Of the first settlers of Mendon but little is known. In 1811 Mendon had only eleven voters. The first birth recorded in the town was Trowbridge Maynard RICHARDSON, son of Johnson and Sibel RICHARDSON, born November 17, 1800, and died May 6, 1803. The first marriage recorded was that of Simon PARKER and Lucy PERKINS, by Johnson RICHARDSON, justice of the peace, January 2, 1810. Johnson RICHARDSON was also the first representative, elected in 1812. 

      Jonathan EGGLESTON, from Pequomic, Conn., Johnson RICHARDSON and some of the first town officers, with their families, were the first settlers of the town. EGGLESTON settled in the northwest part of the town about the year 1792.  The first tavern was kept by Johnson RICHARDSON, in the northern part of town, near East Creek.

"Source, Annual Report of Town of Mendon, Year Ending February 1st 1941" Transcribed by: Joan Humphreys Bixby


History of Rutland County Vermont With Illustrations And Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men And Pioneers

      THE town of Mendon is situated a little northeast of the center of the county. Its surface is taken up mostly by the Green Mountains, which render the greater part of it non arable, although in the western portion of the town are to be found a few farms of considerable value, especially for grating purposes. The township is bounded on the north by Chittenden, on the east by Sherburne, on the south by Shrewsbury, and on the west by Rutland. The town is watered by numerous mountain streams, abounding in trout, and affording excellent mill-sites, the largest stream being East Creek, which flows westerly through the northern part of the town. The principal business is lumbering. On the 23d day of February, 1781, Governor Thomas CHITTENDEN, by and with the advice and consent of the Council and General Assembly, in pursuance of a petition presented by .the Hon. Joseph BOWKER and thirty-four associates, granted them the town of Medway, now Mendon. The conditions of this grant were as follows: Each proprietor of Medway, his heirs or assigns, was to plant and cultivate five acres of land, and build a house at least eighteen feet square (on the floor), or have one family settled on his right or share within three years from the first day of June, 1781. A violation of any of these conditions wrought a forfeiture of the right of the delinquent, and a reversion of the land to the freemen of the State. On the 7th of November, 1804, a tract of land called "Parker's Gore" was annexed to the town, and the name Parkerstown substituted for Medway.

      The first town meeting was held at the house of Johnson Richardson, by virtue of a warning signed by John FULLER, justice of the peace. The moderator of the meeting was Darius CHIPMAN. The following town officers were elected: Town clerk, John PAGE; selectmen, Benjamin FARMER, Johnson RICHARDSON, Daniel BRADISH; town treasurer, Benjamin FARMER; constable, Minot FARMER; listers, Nahum GODDARD, Minot FARMER, Philip PERKINS; Highway surveyors, Ira INGERSON, Minot FARMER, James CUMMINGS.

      The selectmen were at this meeting chosen a committee to receive from Jonathan PARKER, esq., a deed for a certain mill privilege for the use of the town.

      The first recorded birth in Parkerstown was that of Trowbridge Maynard RICHARDSON, son of Johnson and Sibil RICHARDSON, November 7th, 1800. The first marriage was that of Lyman PARKER and Lucy PERKINS, December 4, 1809. It is more than probable, however, that these were not the first birth and marriage in the town, but merely the first recorded.

      Concerning the first settlers in the town, but little is known. The first two families to settle here were probably Johnson RICHARDSON and his family, and Jonathan EGGLESTON and his family. The latter moved into the northwest part of the town about 1792, and many of his descendants are still residents there. In 1811 there were only ten freemen in town, viz.: Zidon EDSON, Joseph ROSS, Rufus RICHARDSON, Johnson RICHARDSON, Rogers EGGLESTON, James EGGLESTON, John SHAW, Eliphalet WEBSTER, William SHAW, Simeon RUSSELL. In 1812 the town had sixteen voters, and in 1823, twenty-eight.

      Zidon EDSON, another early settler, was born in Grafton, Vt., and in 1810 erected the first mill in town, which was destroyed by a freshet in 1811. He was an honest, rugged New Englander, well fitted by nature and inclination for the legal profession, but forced by untoward circumstances to pass his life on a farm. Cyrus EDSON, father of Ezra EDSON, came to Parkerstown in 1825. He was born in Bridgewater, Mass. He used to make wooden sap-buckets, plates and salt-cellars, the first things of the kind manufactured in Mendon. Ezra EDSON came into town with his father's family, but in 1838 moved away to learn the blacksmith's trade. He came back to Mendon in 1840.

      Some time after 1820 Sarah BENNETT, known as "Sally" BENNETT, lived over the Notch, and made baskets for a living. She resided there a number of years and then moved to Lowell. She was afterwards burned to death in Mobile, Ala.

      Mrs. Newton SQUIER was born in Rutland, August 25, 1821, came to Mendon to live in 1826; returned to Rutland in 1833; was married to Newton SQUIER on the 13th of September, 1841, at the hotel in Mendon, and has since then made this town her home. Newton SQUIER was born in Rutland on the 8th of September, 1811. Began to work in the old tannery in Mendon when he was nineteen years of age. From 1837 to 1841 he lived in Leicester, Vt.

      Parker's Gore was a tract of land purchased from the county by Jonathan PARKER of Rutland in 1804. It was to have been sold to the highest bidder by the high sheriff of the county, at that time Abraham IVES, of Wallingford. On the day advertised for the sale to take place IVES, in the interest of certain Rutland men, opened the sale at midnight and sold the land to PARKER at a nominal value, making the sale of advantage to himself. For this act he was obliged to resign his office and leave the State to avoid prosecution. The township retained the name of "Parkerstown" until November 6, 1828, when it assumed its present name of Mendon.

  "But one Indian ever lived in the town since the settlement of the whites; he was known as Indian John. He had, previous to coming to Medway, or Parkerstown, belonged to some tribe of Indians in the western part of New York. A number of families of whites made a settlement not far from the Indian settlement, and the Indians determined to plunder and destroy them. Indian John gave the whites warning and they prepared for them, so the project failed. The Indians mistrusted John and slit the rims of his ears, and he then found they were devising a harder punishment for him. He accordingly fled to the American army. They were about to go through the wilderness towards the lake to join some others there. He knew they would be waylaid by Indians and piloted them another route from what they had designed to go. They went safely and for the act the government gave him a reward. He had also a pension from the government. But the Indians were furious and determined on his destruction. He found his way, however, into the wilds of Parkerstown and built a camp not far from Johnson RICHARDSON's, where he used to make quite a home. Indians used to come lurking about, suspecting something of his whereabouts; sometimes they kept around many days; the family would keep him secreted till they were gone. Once three of them got on his track and followed on till they got a glimpse of him, but he got a glimpse of them also. He came to a brook and crossed it on a log. There happened to be a large tree turned up by the roots exactly in range of the log he had crossed. He fled behind the turned up roots and waited. They followed his track, came to the log, held a short talk, then all three started to cross; he, meantime, had made a hole through the dirt on the roots so that he could put his gun through and take good aim, when they were fairly in range, one after the other, he fired, killed two and wounded the third. He ran and took one of the Indian guns and shot the third, and then went to work and hid the dead Indians, took their guns and went to RICHARDSON's and told them what he had done. He was never molested after that, only some Indians once in Rutland made inquiry, but could learn nothing about him. He used to bring in pieces of lead which he said he found, and promised he would sometime tell where there was plenty of it. He lived to be very old: no one knew his age, but judged him to be over ninety years. He died very suddenly. He tried to tell something before he died, but could not make them understand."

Early Business

      The first public house in town was kept by Johnson RICHARDSON, and stood in District No. 1. The house is now gone and from the center of the old cellar a tree, two feet in diameter, stands like an immovable sentinel. This is the farm now occupied by Reuben RANGER, a little west of his home. Rufus RICHARDSON kept it after Johnson RICHARDSON; A. B. CAMPBELL followed him, and finally Ira W. SEWARD kept it until it burned. The second tavern here, in point of time, stood and still stands, though now unoccupied, about half a mile below the present residence of General Edward H. RIPLEY. The original proprietors were Asa HALE and Josiah HALE, about whom little or nothing is known. Thomas HOOKER bought it of them, and sold it to John and William SHAW. As early as 1810 they sold to Elisha ESTARBROOKS, who remained a number of years. Ebenezer MUSSEY purchased it of ESTARBROOKS, and Edward MUSSEY, his son, bought it of him in 1831. He kept this house for ten years. Then he purchased of Alanson MASON, Ambrose BROWN and James BARRETT the house now occupied by General Edward H. RIPLEY. He continued the entertainment of guests in this house until January 19, 1853, when he sold the property to William Y. RIPLEY. It was thereafter never used for hotel purposes. There has been no hotel in town in the past fifteen years.

      There have never been any grist-mills, asheries or distilleries in Mendon. In 1834 Draper RUGGLES, of Rutland, and his brother-in-law, Norman HURD, under the firm name of Ruggles & Hurd, built a tannery in the northwest part of the town, in the hollow opposite the present post-office. They operated it two or three years and failed. The property passed into the hands of Alanson MASON, James BARRETT and Ambrose L. BROWN. MASON soon tired of the business and went West. BARRETT secured the services of John OSBORN, of Danvers, Mass., to operate the tannery. Osborn carried on the business until 1850, and ran a store in the village at the same time. BARRETT then converted the mill into a pill-box factory in the spring of 1854, being for a time in company with Augustine D. WAYMOUTH and Isaiah L. AVERILL. In 1866 W. C. WALKER purchased the property and began to manufacture worsted. He organized a corporation called the Pioneer Worsted Company. All the looms and machinery and skilled workmen came from England. The company soon failed and the building was used for the manufacture of woven curtains. It was burned about twelve years ago.

      Post-Office -- Edward MUSSEY was the first postmaster in Mendon. He was appointed about 1841 and kept the office in his hotel, the building now occupied by General RIPLEY as a summer residence. In 1853 he was succeeded by Amasa NICHOLS, and he by A. G. BAGLEY. The next postmaster was Y James BLAISDELL, who, after a brief interval, deserted his family and ran away with another woman. His wife then kept the office until another appointment was made, and James FURMAN began the performance of post-office duties. Then, until 1880, William HALL kept the office, and was succeeded by John MOSS and Edward POMEROY. The present postmaster, Alonzo ORMSBY, was appointed on the 23d of February, 1882. There has always been a store connected with the post-office. The building now occupied by Mr. ORMSBY is the one that John OSBORN erected for mercantile purposes in 1840.

The Civil War

      During the Civil War, Mendon, scanty in numbers though her populations, was, furnished for soldiers more than one-half the number of legal voters in the town; paid in bounties the sum of $13,000; and in commutation money,$2,400. She furnished two men more than the number required to fill her quota. The following is a list of the soldiers credited to Mendon:

      Volunteers for three years credited previous to the call for 300,000 volunteers of October 17, 1863:  Anthony BARNEY, Co. E, 5th regt.; John BARROWS, jr., Co. G, 5th regt.; Josiah BROWN, jr., Co. B, 9th regt.; Franklin H. DOWNEY, Co. G, 2d regt.; Nelson DURKEE, Co. I, 7th regt.; Amos W. EDSON, Co. B, 9th regt.; Enos GOSLOW, Co. I, 7th regt.; Alonzo HOYT, Co. D, 7th regt.; John LAMBERT, Elijah H. MANN, Edward J. NEFF, Co. G, 5th regt.; Robert PEINO, Co. B, 5th regt.; Abel M. PETERS, Co. G, 5th regt.; Alfred PETERS, Co. I, 7th regt.; Harrison D. PETERS, Co. G, 5th regt.; John PLATH, Co. D, 7th regt.; Ebenezer H. RHODES, Co. D, 7th regt.; Christopher RICE, Co. C, 10th regt.; Luther RICE, Nelson A. RICH, Co. G, 5th regt.; Henry ROWE, Co. E, cav.; Henry H. ROWE, Franklin SANDERS, Isaac SAWYER, Co. G, 5th regt.; Isaac E. SAWYER, Co. C, 10th regt.; William H. SHEDD, Charles STEBBINS, Co. D, 7th regt.; William E. STONE, Co. H, 7th regt.; Joseph ST. PETERS, Co. D, 7th regt.; Joseph ST. PETERS, jr., Co. D, 7th regt.; Marcus E. TENNEY, Co. B, 2d regt.; Addison WEBSTER, Co. I, 2d regt.; Nelson E. WHEELER, Frederick W. WILCOX, Co. G, 5th regt.; Charles WILKINS, Co. B, 7th regt.; Wallace WILKINS, Co. G, 5th regt.

      Credits under call of October 17, 1863, for 300,000 volunteers and subsequent calls. Volunteers for three years: George Henry ROCK, cav.

      Volunteers for one year. -- William BUTTERFLY, Co. B, 7th regt.; Paul CLARK, 9th regt.; Edward 7. HOLBROOK, Co. 13, 9th regt.; Clark L. LONG, cav.; Lewis A. MARTIN, George F. SLASON, Orick SPRAGUE, Co. B, 9th regt.; Friend A. WEEKS, Co. F, 1st s. s.

      Miscellaneous -- Not credited by name, one man.

      Volunteers for nine months. -- Frederick CADY, Albert W. EDSON, Joel S. FRINK, Co. K, 12th regt.; Phineas R. RICE, Co. H, 14th regt.; William ROCK, Co. K, 12th regt.; Harlan Y. SHERWIN, Co. H, 14th regt.; George A. WILKINS, Co. K, 12th regt.

      Furnished under draft. -- Paid commutation, Harvey COREY, George EGGLESTON, William KIMBALL, jr., George PETTY, Reuben RANGER, Leland J. WILLIAMS. Procured substitute, Willard EDSON.


      The history of church organizations in Mendon is a narrative of tentative efforts which have not, with one exception, been entirely successful. The first preacher in Mendon, of whom mention is anywhere made, was Thomas HUNT, who was ordained an elder of the Methodist Reformed Church in Douglas, Mass., and came to Mendon in 1818. In 1819 Blackmer COOK, a blind preacher, brought a certificate from a Free Will Baptist Church in Burrillville, licensing him to preach and baptize, and to form a church. He lived "over the Notch," and in addition to his preaching, he used to peddle almanacs in winter. He did not succeed in establishing a church. In the latter part of the year 1835 a young man named CROWLEY preached here for a time. He would have been ordained and settled here but for a difference arising between himself and the inhabitants concerning the price of a lot reserved in the town charter for the "first settled minister of the gospel." He insisted upon having title to the land in fee, which they refused.

      On the 23d of January, 1836, the Union Evangelical Society was formed with the following members: Draper RUGGLES, Henry STRONG, Ira SEWARD, Rowell GIBSON, James K. PEARSON, E. MUSSEY, Rufus RICHARDSON, Samuel CALDWELL, Jeremiah GREEN, Ira W. SEWARD, C. C. BURDITT, Ira FELCH, Coomer H. BOORN, James K. FARNAM, Timothy GIBSON, F. B. TEMPLE, William FOSTER, David RICE, jr., Abraham M. GIBSON, Blackmer COOK (by his mark), Supply NIMS, all of whom but Samuel CALDWELL, now living in California, and Abraham GIBSON, still a resident of Mendon, have since died. The first officers were: Ira SEWARD, president; Edward MUSSEY, clerk; James K. PEARSON, treasurer; Roswell GIBSON, Timothy GIBSON and Rufus RICHARDSON, prudential committee. The first clergyman whom they procured to preach here was Rev. Elbridge WILMINGTON, who quit-claimed to the society the lot above mentioned, thus stopping himself from claiming title to it under the charter. He remained here about two years and went to Maine. From this time until 1858 preaching was done here in a desultory way. In 1858, owing to a revival in Rutland, considerable interest in religious matters was awakened here. A Sabbath-school was formed. In September of the same year a ladies' society was organized, and by the efforts of its members, a subscription was taken, land purchased, and the present church edifice was erected. It was finished in the summer of 1860 and dedicated on the first of August in that year. Services were afterwards held with considerable regularity in the church, and from 1863, when Rev. Mr. BARTON came to Mendon, down to the present time, the church has not been without a pastor, though most of the pastors have been of the Methodist denomination. The list is as follows, each pastor having been here but two years excepting the MARSHALLS, who were each here three years:  Revs. Mr. BARTON, M. D. HERRICK, F. S. LOVET, N. E. JENKINS, M. STEWART, H. BARNES, A. V. MARSHALL, Perry MARSHALL, J. S. MOTT, N. C. PARKER, R. OSBORN, and J. C. RICHMOND, the present pastor, who came in 1885.

      On the 26th of November, 1867, Rev. N. E. JENKINS organized a Wesleyan Methodist Church at the Union Chapel at Mendon. On the 28th of February, 1876, the Union Evangelical Society conveyed by deed the church property to the stewards of the Methodist church, viz., to Ira ORMSBY, Ezra EDSON, John C. THOMAS and Robert G. RICHARDSON. The present officers of the church are: Stewards, B. DIMICK, A. G. BISSELL; recording steward, Leland WILLIAMS; A. ORMSBY, secretary and treasurer; George SEWARD, Edward EGGLESTON, W. E. WOOD, William HAGAR and William KENNISON. The pastor, Rev. J. C. RICHMOND, came in July, 1885. The present value of the church property is about $1,100.

Manufacturing Interests

      The saw-mill of Dr. Orel COOK was originally built about 1829 or 1830, by J. D. ESTING, and rebuilt by Dr. COOK in 1871. 

      The Darius CARRUTH saw-mill was built about 1836 by Rufus RICHARDSON.  He ran it a number of years and then sold it to the present owners, the SHELDONs of Rutland, Mr. CARRUTH operates it. General E. H. RIPLEY's saw-mill, was erected in 1853 by William Y. RIPLEY. Freeman W. EGGLESTON built a waterpower saw-mill a short distance above the CARRUTH mill in 1884. It was first operated in April, 1885. It is estimated that the aggregate capacity of this mill is about 13,000 feet of lumber per day.

      The present officers of the town of Mendon are as follows: Town clerk, Newton SQUIER (for the last twenty-five years); selectmen, George W. SEWARD, Oscar WOOD, Osgood SARGEANT; town treasurer, L. A. GREEN; overseer of the poor, George T. KENNISON; constable and collector, H. H. SHEDD; listers, J. E. SEWARD, William JOHNSON, Edward POMEROY; auditors, J. E. SEWARD, M. FENNEY, William JOHNSON; trustee of public money, Ezra EDSON; fence viewers, Reuben RANGER, Robert MAGIN; town grand jurors, A. BENNETT, Brooks BENNETT, O. WOOD; inspector of leather, A. BENNETT; surveyors of highways, Patrick COONEY, H. H. SHEDD, Oscar WOOD, John PARKER, Peter STEBBINS, Lewis YOUNG, George SARGEANT, Charles HEMENWAY; town agent, Allerton BENNETT; county grand jurors, Ezra EDSON and Allerton BENNETT; petit jurors, Osgood SARGEANT, Aaron G. BISSELL, Charles RANGER, William J. HAGAR, Marcus E. TENNEY, Henry L. GLEASON, Edward POMEROY, John Cooney; superintendent of schools, Matthias KENYON.

      The figures below indicate the increase of population from 1791 to 1880: .1791, 34; 1800, 39; 1810, 111; 1820, 174; 1830, 432; 1840, 545; 1850, 504; 1860, 633; 1870, 612; 1880 629.

History of Rutland County Vermont with Illustrations And Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men And Pioneers
Edited by H. Y. Smith & W. S. Rann, Syracuse, N. Y.
D. Mason & Co., Publishers  1886
Chapter XXIX..
History Of The Town Of Mendon
(pages  635- 641)

Transcribed by Karima ~ 2002

Childs' Business Directory of the Town of Mendon, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82
Childs' Gazetteer of the Town of Mendon, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82