town lies a little north of the center of Rutland county and is bounded
north by by Brandon; east by Chittenden; south by Rutland, and west by
Hubbardton and Ira. It contains about thirty-six square miles of territory.
Its principal stream is Otter Creek which flows from south to north across
nearly the center of the town. Furnace and Stevens Brooks are considerable
streams which empty into Otter Creek, the former on the east and the latter
on the west. Numerous small streams are found in different localities.
The valley of Otter Creek, averaging nearly a mile in width, is level,
rich in soil and very productive, while the easterly and westerly portions
of the town are hilly or mountainous, less productive and better adapted
The old military road, which has been
described in .an earlier chapter of this work, built about 1759, and extending
from Charlestown, N. H., to Crown Point, passed through this town. The
first or older branch, and doubtless the one traveled prior to 1759, leading
north from what is now Center Rutland, entered the present limits of Pittsford
a little west of Sutherland Falls, and followed a generally northwest course
across the town towards Crown Point. The second branch entered the town
farther east and near the line of the present highway, crossed Otter Creek
at a ford at the mouth of Stevens Brook and united with the earlier branch
before alluded to. This was an important military highway for the transportation
of military stores from "Numbe Four " (Charlestown) by the British provincials
to Crown Point.
Pittsford was granted October 12, 1761,
to Ephraim DOOLITTLE and sixty-three others, by Benning WENTWORTH, in the
customary form. The names of the grantees were as follows: Ephraim
DOOLITTLE, William NUTTING, Samuel BOWERS, Joshua HUTCHINS, Abraham NORTON,
John HUBBARD, Alexander SCOTT, Andred POWERS, Nathaniel MORE, jr., Robert
CROWFORD, Edward FLINT, Daniel MCFARLING, George ROBINS, Phinias HAYWARD,
Ezra SANGER, John OAKS, David OAKS, John JENKS, John BENHAM, Daniel THOMAS,
Elisha WHITTLESEY, Ashbel STYLES, Elish HALL, Samuel MANSFIELD, John HALL
the 5th, Lent MERIMAN, Daniel LORD, John LOOMIS, Richard WIBERT, esq.,
Daniel BOYDEN, Theodore ATKINSON, jr., esq., Joshua JOHNSON, Lucius DOOLITTLE,
Ebenezer HARVEY, Joseph BURT, Aaron BURT, Aaron DENIHO, David FIELD, John
ARMS, Josiah ARMS, Elisha HALL, jr., Charles WHITTLESEY, esq., Nathaniel
CHANCY, esq., Lucius HALL, Samuel WHITTLESEY, Chancy WHITTLESEY, Jedediah
WINSLOW, Timothy PATTERSON, David PURPAW, Nathan JEWETT, Benjamin HUNTLEY,
Daniel DREGGS, Amos JONES, Phineas NEWTON, Elisha FULLER, Samuel FULLER,
jr., Elkanah FOX, Elisha HARVEY, William STEWARD, Daniel WARNER, esq.,
Peter JOHNSON, Samuel BREWER, Samuel JOHNSON, Jacob HEMMINGWAY. None of
these grantees ever had a permanent residence in the town.
The proprietors' record of Pittsford
for the first ten years are lost, so that their organization and first
officers are not known. The township being divided into seventy shares,
it seems from the records that there was for a time a good deal of traffic
in these shares, and at one time Captain DOOLITTLE, who was undoubtedly
foremost in advancing the settlement, owned nearly one-fifth of the township.
A few brief extracts from the early records will be of interest and value.
The first existing records are of the
year 1771, and under date of March 19, we find the following proceedings:
by Gideon WARREN Proprietors' Clerk. A Proprietors' meeting Now Held at
the House of Ebenezer HOPKINS, Firstly Voted and Chose Ebenezer HOPKINS
Proprietors' Moderator to be Moderator for Sd Meeting.
voted and Chose Benjamin COOLEY Proprietors Clerk. Then Voted to lay out
the first Division of Lots and Number the Same. Then Voted and Chose Isick
ROOD First Committy Man. Then Voted and Chose James HOPKINS 2 Committy
Man. Then Voted and Chose Moses OLMSTEAD Committee Man. Then Voted to ad
Ten acres to every Loot in the first Division for Highways. Then Voted
that every Man should have his Hundred acres where he has Don his Work.
Then voted that all Lots be the same size. Then Voted to give the Committy
three shillings a Day. Then Voted to have the same Committy lay out the
This meeting was continued by adjournments
from time to time, with such intervals as were judged necessary by the
proprietors for the transaction of the public business.
the 9th of June, 1772, the proprietors "Voted to disannul a vote formerly
passed concerning sizeing Land by Sd Meeting in March 19th 1771. Then voted
to lay out one hundred acres for a meeting house Lot."
the 21st of July, "Voted that every man that lives in the town, and has
land in the town, shall pay the Committy for Laying out the Public Rites,
according to what Land they own in the town."
1st, "Voted that Benjamin COOLEY be a Committe man in the room of Isaac
ROOD to lay out land and highways."
8th, "Voted to lay out five acres to every Right amongst the pine timber,
where the Commitee shall think best for the public good."
1st, "Voted to give the Proprietors of this Place to the fifteenth day
of May next, to come and make their first Pitches. Then voted that William
WARD should git it put in the Publick Prints."
date of October 14, 1773, it was voted "for the Second Division Piches
to be drawn and number the same."
3, 1774, the meeting voted "to have Ebenezer LYMAN, P. CLERK in said town."
"Voted that Samuel ELLSWORTH, Stephen MEAD and Benjamin COOLEY be
sessors, Benjamin COOLEY, Collector."
an adjourned meeting December 19, 1774, the proprietors "voted Ebenezer
LYMAN Collector to collect the cost of laying out the township of Pittsford.
Voted 6 shillings on a Right to lay out town and Public lots and Pine lots
and town Plot."
The principal business transacted at
the other meetings of 1774, 1775 and 1776, was the voting on men and plans
for laying out the lands and their allotments, and need not be followed
In the long controversy with New York,
which has been described, the early inhabitants of this town were forced
to play a conspicuous part; but previous to 1771 no direct effort was made
to dispossess the proprietors and settlers of Pittsford of their lands;
extensive improvements were already being made and in January, 1771, they
felt called upon to present the following petition, although a previous
one had been unfavorably received :
his Excellency the Right Honorable John Earl of Dunmore, Captain General
and Governor in Chief of The Province of New York,
Petition of the subscribers Inhabitants on a Tract of land commonly called
Pittsford, on Otter Creek, about Twenty Six miles South Easterly from Crown
there is a certain Tract of vacant land now within this province, formerly
Deemed and reputed to be within the province of New Hampshire, lying to
the Northward of the Great Falls on Otter creek, commonly called Rutland
falls, and bounded as followeth: Beginning at a Maple Tree Marked P. P.
on the north line of Rutland, which line divides pitsford from Rutland,
as was granted by the Government of New Hampshire. Thence runs West five
degrees North, foure miles and ten Rods to a Beach Tree, from thence runs
North twelve degrees West, six miles to a Beach Tree, from thence runs
East five degrees South foure miles and ten Rods to a Beach Tree, from
thence runs South twelve degrees East six miles to the place where it began,
containing Fifteen Thousand acres, Which Tract of land was granted by the
Governor and Counsell of the Province of New Hampshire, in consequence
of which we your Excellencys petitioners have actually settled and made
considerable improvements thereon ; and are willing and desirous to com
the same. Therefore most humbly pray your Exceelncy will be favourably
pleased to grant us the same under the usual restrictions &c, and your
Excelencys Petitioners shall ever pray.
Cooley, Isaac Roode, James Meade, Samuel Waters, Felix Powel, Peleg Sunderling,
Asa Johnson, Daniel Johnes, William Marshall, Samull Cripper, Isaac Buck,
Jeams Hopkins, Gideon Warrin, Moses Umstead, Bless Willoughby."
According to Dr. CAVERLY's history,
"the early settlers of Pittsford acted with great unanimity in the struggle
to maintain their titles against the establishment of any claim under the
New York patent of Socialborough; though a few of the non-resident proprietors
were willing to relinquish their claims on condition that they should have
secured to them a tract of land of equal value in some other part of the
But all of these troubles were soon
swallowed up in the tide of the Revolution and were eventually settled,
as already described.
AND THE REVOLUTION
It was not until the year 1769 that
a single proprietor's right in Pittsford was disposed of to an actual settler.
In this year Gideon COOLEY bought of Ephraim DOOLITTLE one right in the
south part of the town, on which he had already made some improvements.
He was a son of Benjamin COOLEY; was a soldier in the French War, and had
passed through the valley of Otter Creek during his service. He came to
Pittsford in the spring of 1766 to more carefully examine the lands that
he had previously selected us a place for settlement.
For details of this patent and oilier
features of the controversy, see early chapters of this work, the history
of the town of Rutland and that of Clarendon.
After closely inspecting the vicinity
of Sutherland Falls, he discovered about seventy acres on the east side
of the creek, jutting in towards the falls and covered with shallow water,
retained there by an old beaver dam. He believed he could cut this dam,
drain the tract and have a fruitful field. He accordingly applied to Captain
DOOLITTLE for a deed of it. The latter, anxious to settle the town, promised
him one right of land free if he would improve it and become a bona fide
settler. Gideon then returned to Greenwich, worked one year for his father
in order to secure the release of his brother Benjamin, not yet of age,
and in the summer of 1767 the two brothers packed up the few necessary
tools and provisions and started on horseback for the spot in the wilderness
which was to be their future home. Arriving safely, they began a clearing
and built a log house. It stood a little northeast of the residence of
Samuel B. LOVELAND, on the east side of the present highway. In the fall
they returned to spend the winter in Greenwich. Owing to the fact that
Gideon had the possession of the land and improvements secured to himself,
some feeling sprang up between the brothers, and Benjamin went into the
township of Addison and took up a lot of land on the border of the lake.
Early in May of the next year Gideon returned to his possession and with
a hired man continued his improvements. Again in the fall he returned to
Greenwich, intending to remove his family the following year. In the mean
time Benjamin had suffered from fever in his new location and returned
to Greenwich. Gideon, perhaps actuated by sympathy, interceded with Captain
DOOLITTLE in Benjamin's behalf and obtained from him a pledge of a deed
of one hundred acres on condition that Benjamin should improve it. This
arrangement was satisfactory and early in the spring of 1769 the two brothers,
with Gideon's wife and five children, set out for the Vermont wilderness.
Thus began the settlement of Pittsford. Benjamin's land included what has
been known as the COOLEY farm; here he built a log house in 1771, which
stood about two rods west of the dwelling now on the farm. He married Ruth
Beach, then of Rutland, and a little later built his first frame house,
which was burned in 1802, when the second one was erected by him.
In 1770 seven families came into the
town, as follows: Roger STEVENS purchased a large tract of Captain DOOLITTLE
and built a house a little west of the present Gorham bridge, on the south
side of the old Crown Point road. Ebenezer HOPKINS came from Connecticut,
where he was one of the original proprietors of Harwinton. James HOPKINS,
who had made a tour of inspection to Pittsford in the previous summer.
He located two rights of land, the first one, being just south of the village,
and the other on the west side of the creek. His grandsons, Ebenezer and
Martin HOPKINS, came from Stockbridge to reside with him. No descendants
of these Hopkins families are left in town. Samuel CRIPPEN came from Connecticut
and purchased a right of James MEAD, and built his dwelling a little west
of the house recently occupied by Austin CHINGREAU. Felix POWELL, who was
the first settler in Dorset, Vt., and removed thence to Pittsford; he built
on land now owned by George WHEATON. His daughter was the first white child
born in this town, but she lived only a few weeks. Isaac ROOD came from
Windsor, Conn., and built a small house on the north side of the brook
opposite the residence of John RICHARDSON. He lived there until his death
in 1775. Isaac BUCK, from Connecticut, located on land now occupied by
Thomas D. HALL, bringing in his family the same fall.
In the next year but one family came
into the town, that of Moses OLMSTEAD. A part of the land he secured included
the present farm of Charles HENDEE.
In 1772 Thomas TUTTLE, Noah WAITE and
Samuel WATERS settled in the town; it is not known just where TUTTLE located;
WAITE's first division included land now owned by William E. HALL and others.
In 1773 three families came in, William
COX, Samuel ELLSWORTH and Stephen MEAD. COX was in the French War and served
as lieutenant at Lake George .in 1758. He came from Waltham, Mass., and
his tract included the farm now owned by Julia SARGENT, he built a house
on the east side of the creek. Samuel ELLSWORTH was from Connecticut and
purchased what is now the south part of the farm owned by George WHEATON.
He held some early offices and was a surveyor. Stephen MEAD was a brother
of the first settler of Rutland, James MEAD, with whom he resided a short
time before coming to Pittsford. His lot was north of Samuel CRIPPEN's
and included the present farm of J. B. DOUGLAS.
In the year 1774 a large number of
families came into the town, among whom were the following: Stephen JENNER,
from Stevenstown, Mass., purchased of James Mead land that included the
site of Hitchcockville and eastward The next year he built a house seventy
rods east of the site of the present academy. Jonathan FASSETT came from
Bennington, Vt., and originally Hardwick, Mass. His son Amos came to Pittsford
and built a house a the west of the village site. He was called Dr. FASSETT,
but he was not, probably, strictly entitled to the distinction. Ebenezer
LYMAN, bought land and made a clearing where Dennis SMITH resides. Caleb
HENDEE, from Coventry, Conn., came into the town and purchased lands a
part of which constituted the present farm owned by the Widow THOMAS. He
became one of the leading farmers. His son, Caleb, jr., was a prominent
citizen, born in October, 1768. He taught school in early life and afterward
followed surveying. He built the house in which he afterward lived in 1815.
He held the office of surveyor of Rutland county many years, and in October,
1817, was appointed surveyor-general of the State, and held numerous minor
offices; was appointed assistant judge of the county in 1806 and judge
of probate in 1809-10; was town clerk and treasurer in 1800 and held the
office about twenty-five years; was appointed ensign in the third company
of the third regiment, second brigade and second division of the State
militia in 1794, and in the following of year was elected captain of the
same company; he was afterward promoted to colonel and then to brigadier-general.
He represented the town in the General Assembly eleven years beginning
with 1803, and in 1814 commanded the company raised in this town for the
defense of Plattsburg. He died on the 4th of December, 1854, after a long,
busy and honorable career. His sons were. German F., Charles J., and Caleb
R.; the latter studied law in the office of John PIERPOINT, then of Pittsford,
went to Zanesville, Ohio, but returned in 1836, and married Mary Ann GRANGER;
they went again to Zanesville, but after two years practice there he returned
and devoted his attention to farming He died in 1842. German HENDEE, at
present living in the town, is a great- grandson of General Caleb. Samuel
HENDEE, son of Caleb, sr., located on the home farm with his parents in
1810, and died there a few years since after a long life of great usefulness.
Solomon HENDEE was a son of Deacon Caleb. He built the stone house on his
farm in 1828; died in 1863.
William WARD came to Pittsford from
Shaftesbury, Vt., and bought a farm on Otter Creek, which included the
farm now owned by George WHEATON; he remained here but a few years. William
WARD, now living in town, is descended from this family. David WARD came
to the town in 1826 and located where he spent the remainder of his life.
He belonged to the same family.
Joshua WOODWARD came to Pittsford in
1774 from Massachusetts and bought lands which included the farms of Joseph
NOYES, F. B. BARNES, Edwin LEONARD and James BUCKMAN. His eldest son was
John WOODWARD, who was in the Revolutionary War and lived for a time in
the house built by his father, and later where Joseph NOYES lives. He removed
to New York.
Benjamin STEVENS, brother of Roger
who has been mentioned, came into town in this year from Manchester, Vt.
He bought the land which forms the farm recently owned by Edward and Richard
HENDEE, northwest of the village. His eldest son was Daniel, who purchased
in 1793 the farm then owned by Benjamin STEVENS, jr. (his brother) and
lately owned by Benjamin 3d, now occupied by Edward HINDS. He died in 1829.
James was another son of Benjamin, also lived in town, his land being the
westerly part of the farm just mentioned. He removed to Canada in 1794.
Simeon, another son, purchased one hundred acres adjoining his father's
homestead; he died in 1847 at the age of eighty-four. Jonathan, still another
son, came here in 1787 and bought fifty acres of land; after some years
he removed to Canada. Others of this family will be mentioned further on.
Gideon SHELDON came from Duchess county, N. Y., and purchased lands including
the farm recently owned by Byron MORGAN, in Whipple Hollow, where he built
a house.; He had two sons, Gideon and Thomas, who were captured by Indians
near the close of the Revolutionary War, while returning to the barn with
grain. Indians took them and proceeded to the house where they frightened
away the mother and ransacked the premises. The boys were carried to Canada
where Thomas died; Gideon was returned home after a few months.
Samuel MONTAGUE, originally from Massachusets,
came to Pittsford in 1774 from Bennington, and pitched fifty-five acres,
including what is now the north part of the farm of Frederick WOODCOCK.
His sons Adonijah and Rufus came about the same time; they were weavers,
like their father, and served in the Revolution. None of their descendants
are in the town at present, as near as great-grandchildren.
The inhabitants of Pittsford were directly
interested and concerned in the Revolutionary War. When Ethan ALLEN was
making his preparations for the capture of Ticonderoga, he dispatched Major
BEACH through several towns of Rutland county and others to collect men
for the expedition. Beach passed through Pittsford and called at the home
of Captain Benjamin COOLEY and delivered his message. Captain COOLEY took
his gun and with him started Isaac BUCK, jr., John DEMING, Hopkins ROWLEY
and Ephraim STEVENS for the place of rendezvous. Thus citizens of Pittsford
joined in that memorable event. At that time there were thirty-eight families
within the limits of the town, and about one hundred and ninety-five persons.
The details of the great struggle for freedom need not be entered into
here, and the events in which Pittsford settlers were directly interested
can only be briefly touched upon.
On the day of the battle of Hubbardton,
great excitement prevailed in the town. Most of the inhabitants left their
houses on the night succeeding the battle, expecting immediate attack upon
their homes; and with the approach of morning the women and children and
a few of the more timid men fled away southward. Some of the families returned
to the towns from which they had emigrated, but the majority came back
to their homes as soon as it was deemed safe. On returning after the alarm
of the near approach of the army had subsided, the male inhabitants set
about preparing a place of refuge in case of another invasion. This resulted
in the building of "Fort Mott," of which the following description is given
by Dr. CAVERLY: "The place selected was theresidence of William COX,
on the east bank of Otter Creek. This was surrounded by a high breastwork
of hemlock logs set endwise in the ground, and on the west side this work
was carried down the bank into the channel of the Creek which supplied
the inmates with an abundance of fresh water. In form the enclosure was
nearly square, and contained about three-fourths of an acre of ground,
in the center of which was the log dwelling which took the place of a block-house.
This work was accomplished by the combined voluntary efforts of the neighboring
inhabitants for their mutual security against the sudden attacks of roaming
parties of Indians and British, piloted by the detestable renegade Tories,
familiar with every road, by-path, log-house and ambush in the settlements.
This was afterwards named Fort Mott, from Mr. John MOTT, who often acted
as commander of those collected within it."
The period from this time to the close
of the war was one of constant peril to the settlers of the town. We have
mentioned the capture of Gideon and Thomas SHELDON. Two other boys, Joseph
and John ROWLEY, were also carried into captivity, but they were returned
a few months later.
The battle of Bennington and its victory
left the inhabitants of the northern department a period of comparative
security; and the Committee of Safety kept a careful ward over the interests
of the people.
When the continental troops were withdrawn
from this State, the frontier towns were left at the mercy of an enemy
that was always ready to take advantage of their defenseless situation.
Rutland was the headquarters of the State troops, and a small garrison
was kept at Fort Mott. In May, 1779, the commander of the fort was informed
that a force was coming up Lake Champlain to harass the settlers. A scouting
party was thereupon sent out, consisting of Ephraim STEVENS (commander),
Benjamin STEVENS, jr., Ebenezer HOPKINS and Jonathan ROWLEY, jr. Although
ordered to not cross the lake, STEVENS did so at Ticonderoga, in a canoe.
After visiting the fort they embarked in their canoe and proceeded down
as far as Basin Harbor and landed. After reconnoitering the vicinity they
again entered their canoe, convinced that no Indians were about. They now
foolishly discharged all of their pieces as a sort of salute. In a few
moments a party of Indians appeared and ordered them to come ashore at
the peril of their lives. This was refused and STEVENS and his men pushed
out into the lake amid a shower of bullets, none of which took effect.
The Indians then jumped into another canoe and rapidly gave chase. An Indian
lay flat in the bow where he kept up a fire with deliberate aim. Soon young
ROWLEY was hit in the head and killed. Finding escape impossible, the party
surrendered, and after scalping the young scout, the Indians took the party
ashore and started into the wilderness. After enduring many indignities
and cruelties at the hands of the savages, the story of which is filled
with interest, the party was taken to Quebec, whence they escaped in the
following fall while engaged in harvesting, under a guard. They were recaptured
near the head waters of the Connecticut by a party of Indians, taken again
to Quebec and thrown into prison. After one fruitless attempt to dig through,
the walls of the prison, which was frustrated by an intoxicated prisoner,
their, second attempt, made in the winter of 1781, was successful; but
after getting within a day's journey of Vermont, amid much suffering from
cold and hunger, they fell in with a party of British and were again taken
back to Quebec. Their relatives had given them up for dead. In June, 1782,
Benjamin STEVENS, sr., learning that some prisoners were to be exchanged
at Whitehall, went thither hoping to hear of his son. The first to disembark
was his own son. Ephraim and Ebenezer HOPKINS were also exchanged on this
occasion. There are not many more heroic figures in the Revolution, as
far as relates to Vermont, than Ephraim STEVENS. (See Caverly's History
inhabitants of the town were frequently alarmed by the reported approach
of small parties of the enemy, and on all such occasions the women and
children repaired to the fort, where they remained till the alarm subsided.
In the month of November Deacon Caleb HENDEE, Elder Elisha RICH, of Clarendon,
and Deacon MURRAY, late of Orwell, went in company to Neshobe to view a
lot of land near the house of George and Aaron ROBBINS. After an inspection
of the land they called at the house of the Messrs. ROBBINS and then returned
to Pittsford. A few minutes after they left the house it was attacked by
the Indians and the two owners killed. Most of the other inhabitants of
Neshobe were made prisoners and their houses burned. About ten o'clock
that night the news of this attack reached Pittsford. The same hour Deacon
HENDEE, with the assistance of Elder RICH, Deacon MURRAY and Richard HENDEE
the deacon's brother, who happened to be there at that time, placed his
whole family (including his aged mother) on horseback, and traveled all
night as far as the town of Clarendon, where they arrived at the house
of Elder RICH early the next morning. A company of Colonel Gideon WARREN's
regiment was dispatched to the scene of distress, where it remained three
days, but the enemy having retreated the company was withdrawn. Captain
WRIGHT and the lieutenant being absent, Ensign BLANCHARD had command of
the force on this occasion. We find the name of Stephen MEAD, of Pittsford,
on the roll of this company.
Mott was ill adapted to shield the people from the protracted efforts of
a powerful foe. Accordingly, being roused by the startling acts of cruelty
and bloodshed which had been perpetrated, they resolved to have a fort
built that would accommodate a large garrison and afford them adequate
The subject was laid before the board
of war and the final result was the erection of what was called Fort Vengeance.
The following account of this fort was furnished to Henry HALL, of Rutland,
by General Caleb HENDEE, and is taken from Dr. CAVERLY's work:
site selected for its location was on the upland about a mile north easterly
from Fort Mott, and around the very spot then occupied by the dwelling
house of Caleb HENDEE, sr. The stage road from Pittsford village to Brandon
passes over the ground formerly occupied by this fort. Like all the other
forts in Vermont it was a picket fort; a trench was dug five or six feet
deep; the trunks of trees, mostly hard maple and beech, a foot or a foot
and a half in diameter, were sunk into the trench as closely together as
possible, extending sixteen or eighteen feet above ground and sharpened
to a point at the top; between each log a stake was driven to fill the
space left by the round unhewed logs; within the pickets a breastwork was
thrown up about six feet broad at the base, and composed entirely of dirt
and logs. At a height convenient for the garrison were loop-holes between
the logs and large enough at the center for the barrel of a musket to pass
through, and radiating outside and inside so that the soldiers within could
move the muzzles of their guns in the loop-holes and command a wide range
without, while the loop-holes were so far from the ground on the outside
that the enemy's shots coming through them would pass over the heads of
the garrison. The form of the fort was square, enclosing an acre or more
of ground. On each corner jutting outside was a flanker, with two stories,
that is, a floor was laid across each about eight feet from the ground
answering for a ceiling to the space below; above this floor or ceiling
was the sentinel's box with loop-holes above and below, from which the
musketeers could rake the approach to the fort in every direction with
a deadly fire. On the east of the fort was a large double gate of
oak plank, thickly studded with large headed nails or spikes so as to be
completely bullet proof, while on the west side of the fort was a wicket-gate;
within the fort, extending along the north side were the officers' barracks,
and on the south side the soldiers’ barracks. In the northwest corner was
the magazine for the munitions of war, a framed building; in the northeast
and southwest corners were wells, which were soon neglected and the garrison
supplied themselves with water from a spring thirty or forty rods east
of the fort. The space between the officers' and soldiers' barracks was
the parade ground. The fort was finished in June, 1780. After the war the
barracks were long used as dwelling houses, and one room of them may even
now be seen, standing at the west end of Samuel HENDEE's barn yard."
The new fort was doubtless in a condition
for occupancy early in June, 1780. After the fort was finished it was occupied
by Major Ebenezer ALLEN, of Tinmouth, and about one hundred and fifty men.
In 1780 the people of the State were
again left largely to their own resources for protection against the common
enemy, and measures were taken for strengthening the forts of the county.
Two companies of rangers were also raised and kept in constant service,
in which were a number of Pittsford men. No large body of the enemy appear
to have visited Vermont during this summer; but small parties of Indians
and Tories made constant incursions, which kept the inhabitants in a state
In midsummer Samuel CRIPPEN was captured
and a little later Betsey COX; the latter was, however, permitted to escape
to the fort. Mr. CRIPPEN was permitted to return from Canada in about a
year, and died in Wallingford in 1783.
In June, 1781, the Indians laid their
plans for a vigorous night assault on Fort Vengeance; but they were discovered
in the vicinity by some soldiers during the day previous and a well-planned
ambush, which fired on them during their approach, frustrated the assault.
Captain James BROOKINS was then in command of the fort, with a company
under him in which were a number of Pittsford men.
But the end came, practically with
the surrender of Cornwallis in October, 1781, and peace soon settled over
the distressed country. With the final settlement of the difficulties with
New York, the settlers again gave their attention to the improvement of
their farms, and others rapidly took up the land around them, as will be
AFTER THE WAR
During the last twenty years of the
last century numerous settlements were made in town, the more prominent
only of which can be alluded to except in the briefest manner. Jonathan
WARNER, who had been in the town in 1772 and bought two rights of land,
came in to settle in 1780; a part of his land included the farms now occupied
by his great-grandson, John WARNER and that of E. M. BAILEY; his first
clearing was made near where Mr. BAILEY now lives.
In 1780 Eleazer HARWOOD made a clearing
on land which he had pitched in 1776, including a part of the present farm
of John M. GOODNOUGH.
Jonathan DIKE settled in town in 1781,
but removed to Chittenden three years later. His son Jonathan was sheriff
of the county and otherwise prominent. Mrs. Capen LEONARD is a granddaughter
and Cyrus DIKE a grandson of the elder Jonathan.
Peter RICE settled here in 1781 and
in 1789 bought one hundred acres, which included the farm now owned by
Ransom BURDITT. Phineas RIPLEY, a Revolutionary soldier, came in the same
year and made his first clearing on the east side of the brook. He lived
there till 1802, when he built the house now owned by Carlos A. HITCHCOCK.
Several families settled in town in
1782. Eleazer WARNER was one of the more conspicuous of these; he came
from Granby, Mass., and located in the south part of Sugar Hollow; built
the first frame house north of the bridge and in 1792 bought the lot known
as the John BOOTH place; he died in 1835. His son Samuel located on the
farm now owned by the widow of Douglas BATES, where he resided until 1825,
when he went to live with his children. Samuel's son, Nathan Smith WARNER,
lived in town and in company with his brother-in-law, Marshall WOOD, became
the owner of the KINGSLEY tannery (elsewhere mentioned); he removed to
Rutland in 1852. Eleazer Chapin WARNER, another son of Samuel, was a farmer
of the town, and in company with his father and brother, purchased the
David CRIPPEN farm, and in 1841 bought their interests in the place. He
is still a respected resident of the town.
Amasa LADD came into the town in this
year and two years later purchased lands which included the farm now owned
by Joseph GAGNON. He built the present house there about 1790, which is
now one of the oldest in town; he afterwards removed to Malone, N. Y. The
Kellogg family settled in this year, when Amos, son of Joseph, came in
and located; the latter came from Weybridge, where he had lived with one
of his sons. About the year 1805 he came to Pittsford to live with their
son Amos. Amos was in the Revolutionary service and held a commission.
He located on the farm afterward occupied by his son, Samuel H., who was
born in 1798. Amos Cushman KELLOGG, son of Amos, located on the home farm
with his brother, Samuel H., where he lived till 1837, when he purchased
the place where he spent the remainder of his life. Newton KELLOGG, now
a prominent citizen and connected with the banks of Rutland, is a son of
Elisha RICH, a native of Massachusetts,
came here in 1783 and made the first improvements on what has been known
as "Furnace Flat." In that fall he built a grist-mill on the brook
above where the bridge now stands; Samuel ADAMS built a saw-mill a little
below the bridge. The land he obtained embraced three pieces, making 440
acres, including "the flat;" he built a small house near where the brick
house was afterward erected. In 1784 he sold his mill and one hundred acres
of land to Thomas and Samuel ADAMS. In 1785 he was settled as pastor of
the Baptist Church in Pittsford, where he continued in acceptable service
until 1803; he soon removed to Pennsylvania. Joshua MORSE settled in 1783
on a farm which embraced lands now owned by Capen LEONARD; he built a log
house a little northeast of the present dwelling of Mr. LEONARD and a few
years later a frame house west of this and near the road. Justus BREWSTER
settled in 1783 where Edward PHALEN now lives.
The BROWN family came in this year
and became prominent in the town. Elijah BROWN, jr., came to Rutland in
1780 and soon afterward to Pittsford; it is not known just where he settled.
Their son, bearing the same name, was born in Rutland. He became a tanner
and currier and in 1805 bought of Andrew PRINDLE a half interest in the
NELSON tannery, and in 1808 purchased the other half; the tannery place
is now owned by John HUDSON. In company with his brother, Samuel A., he
carried on business until 1827, when Elijah sold his tannery interest to
his brother and bought the Western Tavern, which he kept until 1839. He
was accidentally killed in Providence in 1860. Samuel A. resided on the
tannery property until his death in 1867. Willard C., a son of Samuel,
enlisted in the Second Berdan Sharp Shooters and now lives in New York
State. Oliver BROWN, son of Elijah, was a harness-maker and lived in the
village until 1842. Charles D., son of Elijah, jr., was connected for a
few years after 1847 with the furnace property, but removed from town not
The ADAMS family located here in 1784.
Elisha, the father, purchased the grist-mill and also built a saw-mill,
just above the furnace, which were both operated a number of years by members
of the family. The family first occupied the house built by Elisha RICH,
who sold them the property, but soon constructed another log house on the
hill. Samuel ADAMS, one of the sons, afterwards built the red house, owned
some years ago by A. G. ALLEN. Thomas, another son, located on the farm
now occupied by his son, Elias T. Arbela, another son of Thomas, removed
west many years ago.
Elias HALL came to Pittsford in the
spring of 1784 and purchased lands including the place now occupied by
George BATES; about 1795 he sold this and lived a few years in a house
which stood where the Baptist meeting-house is located; he removed to Williston
and died in 1820.
Prominent among the settlers of 1785
was John HITCHCOCK, a native of Connecticut; he located on lands covering
the farm now occupied by Elijah GIDDINGS; this he soon deeded to his son
John and purchased the lot forming the farm now owned by his grandson,
Captain Charles HITCHCOCK. His son, Remembrance HITCHCOCK, came here from
Brandon and lived with his parents about three years from 1797. He built
the house which is now the residence of Charles HITCHCOCK, and in 1800
the house occupied by Frank BRESEE, moving into the latter as soon as it
was finished. In later years he built the present residence of his son,
Allen HITCHCOCK, as well as that occupied by Mrs. Obers. His son Lyman
located on the farm now owned by George N. EAYRES, where his parents resided
for a time. He removed to Chittenden. Carlos A. HITCHCOCK, at present one
of the wealthiest men of the town, is a son of Lyman; has held several
town offices and represented the town in the Assembly. He now lives on
what is known as the SHELDON place, in the village. Moses Hitchcock was
a son of John, jr.; was a blacksmith, and moved to St. Lawrence county
about 1806. Chapman HITCHCOCK, son of John, was conspicuous in early years
as a singing school teacher and choir leader. Captain Charles HITCHCOCK
has occupied a prominent place in the town; has held the numerous offices
and represented the town two terms.
Thomas Hammond was given one hundred
acres of land in Pittsford by his father-in-law, Ichabod CROSS, and he
built a small house which stood near the Cox Fort (Fort Mott). After two
or three changes of residence he bought in 1814 the farm now owned by George
WHEATON, and built the large house there, in which he took up his residence.
He became a very prominent citizen; was six years assistant judge of the
county, beginning in 18 15, and four years from 1816 a member of the Executive
Council; was two years assessor under the general government. He was conspicuous
in the organization of the State militia and rose from captain to colonel.
Moreover, he was a devoted Christian. His son, Thomas Denny HAMMOND, born
in 1812, also has an honorable record; he was the first to respond to the
call for troops in 1812, and served as orderly sergeant. In 1820 he removed
to Orwell, where he was honored with several high offices. He died in 1841.
Augustus, son of Thomas HAMMOND, married a daughter of Sturges PENFIELD
and located on the home farm. In 1867 he purchased his father-in-law's
farm, on which he died.
In 1786 Jacob WEED settled in town,
coming from Massachusetts; his lot included a part of the farm now owned
by Cyrus DIKE. Jeremiah Powers, sr., settled in Sugar Hollow, but not until
1792, locating on a lot including the present farm of William NICHOLAS;
he died in 1801. His son Jeremiah had preceded him to this town in 1786,
locating on lands including the place now owned by E. M. BAILEY; he died
in 1845. Joab, son of the first Jeremiah, came here in 1799, and located
in Sugar Hollow, and died about 1830. Lot KEELER settled in the town in
1786 and made a small purchase which included the homestead now owned by
HILLS and Benjamin TAYLOR, where he built a log house. His son Lot, jr.,
spent his life in town and died in 1871. Abraham OWEN came in this year
and located on lands embracing the easterly part of the farm now owned
by Orlin SMITH; he died in 1813.
The name of Nathan WEBSTER appears
first on the records in 1785, when he purchased twelve acres of land, including
the site of the present Otter Creek House in the village; for this he paid
forty pounds. He cleared this spot and removed his family, probably in
1786. The site of the village was then covered by a heavy forest. The house
he built was the beginning of the village. The site was early known as
"Blackberry Hill," from the quantities of that fruit that grew thereabouts.
Amos WEBSTER was probably a brother of Nathan, and purchased lands in 1785
which embraced all the territory on which the village was built, east of
the north and south road, between the town hall lot and the road leading
to Hitchcockville, together with lands lying eastward of the village, now
owned by various persons. He built a house the following spring about where
Carlos A. HITCHCOCK's residence now stands, which was afterwards known
as the “Webster House."
In 1787 Reuben IVES, a native of Massachusetts,
came into the town and bought land of Richard HENDEE, including that now
owned by Volney BAIRD, Charles SMITH and others. Simeon PARMELEE also settled
in this year; he was a Revolutionary soldier and purchased a farm on which
he lived some years and removed to Westford. His brother Hezekiah, son
of Simeon, sr., located on the paternal homestead; after several changes
of residence he died in the town in 1853. Rev. Simeon PARMELEE, Rev. Ashbel
PARMELEE and Rev. MOSES were of this family and became distinguished in
the ministry. Simeon PARMELEE, son of Hezekiah, located in the easterly
part of the town on the farm of his father, and formerly devoted a large
share of his time to his trade, that of mason. He is a respected citizen
and deacon in the Congregational Church. The Jackson family were numerous
in the town in early years; David, son of David, settled in the south part
of the town and died in the War of 1812. Jonathan's purchase included the
farm now owned by Hiram BATES; he died :. on that place. James removed
to Pennsylvania. Samuel removed to Canada before 1812. Daniel settled in
the west part of the town. Anthony PHILLIPS' came to Pittsford in 1787
and purchased a lot including what is the farm now owned by his great-grandson,
Moses PHILLIPS. His son Jacob located on the home farm an died in 1848.
Orin W. was a son of Jacob, and also settled on the home farm, where he
died and left it in possession of his son.
Asa STEVENS came to the town in 1788
and bought a tract including the present farm of W. P. WARD, and other
lands; here he resided until his death in 1817. Dr. Abiathar MILLARD came
in this year and located in the village, building what was probably the
fourth house on "Blackberry Hill." Nathaniel FAIRFIELD settled in 1788
in the west part of the town, where he and his son Samuel lived for some
Ithiel BARNES came to Pittsford and
purchased of his cousin, John BARNES, in 1798, eighty acres of land in
Whipple Hollow. The following spring he built his house and went back to
Connecticut for his family. His father was James BARNES, and he followed
his son to this town in 1793, also locating in Whipple Hollow; he died
in 1809. Ithiel BARNES, jr., located in the town in 1830; he died in 1866.
John R. was the son of John, jr., and was born in 1822 and located on the
home farm with his parents. Nehemiah BARNES, son of John, bought a farm
in town in 1819, and the next year exchanged with Nathaniel K. ANDREWS,
for the farm now owned by Chauncey THOMAS; he lived there until 1865, when
he exchanged for the place where he afterwards lived. His son Charles,
now living in town, is one of the respected citizens. Franklin B. BARNES,
now a resident of Pittsford, is a son of Nehemiah. In 1855 he purchased
what was long known as the Abraham DRURY farm and resided there until his
death. Jeffrey BARNES, son of John, located on the home farm with his parents.
He made several changes of residence and finally in 1832 exchanged places
with David HALL and obtained the Mead farm, now owned by B. J. DOUGLASS.
In 1855 he purchased the place where he afterward lived. He was a leading
citizen and held various political offices; he died in 1861.
Stephen POWERS, son of Peter, a captain
in the Revolutionary army, had a son named Peter, who served in the navy.
In 1789 he came to Pittsford and bought a farm ; a part of this he sold
and in 1792 he bought one hundred and forty acres, which included most
of the present farms owned by George N. EAYRES and Marshall WOOD; he lived
in a small house near where Mr. EAYRES's house stands; he died in 1854.
His son, also named Stephen, located on the same farm; he died in 1862.
The town-plot lots were surveyed in
1785, in conformity to the vote of the proprietors, and these acre lots
were laid out on either side of the north and south road, thirty-four on
the east side, and an equal number on the west, and extending from a point
forty rods and seven feet north of the north line of the Baptist burying-ground,
to the south line of the Congregational meeting-house lot. In this plot
four acres were laid out for the Congregational meeting-house lot; two
acres and ten rods for the Baptist meeting-house lot, and two acres for
the North burying-ground. The whole town plot consisted of a little more
than eighty-six acres, but only about seventy-six acres were included in
the foregoing lots, consequently there remained in the easterly part of
the plot ten acres of common land which, according to the vote of the proprietors,
was reckoned a part of the second division of the school lot.
A few new settlements were made in
town in 1790, among them being Abraham and Calvin DRURY, Phineas HAMMOND,
who lived on the farm now occupied by John RICHARDSON, and Abraham CARPENTER,
who located in Whipple Hollow and did faithful service in the ministry.
In 1791, besides those mentioned, came
here Colonel Israel KEITH, who was a graduate of Harvard University; he
purchased three acres including the lot on which the old furnace building
now stands. In the fall of the same year he built the furnace and began
the manufacture of iron. He did not remove his family hither until 1800.
There are no descendants of Mr. KEITH now in the town; but he was for many
years a prominent figure in the early manufacturing interests. His brothers,
Scotland, Daniel and Alfred, lived for longer or shorter periods in town.
William BAXTER came here in 1792, bought
several acres of land on Furnace Brook, including one-half of the Adams
saw-mill, which has been described. He removed to Massena, N. Y., about
1830. The WICKER family came here in this year; Luther, Frederick and James;
James and Luther were both Methodist preachers. Marshall WOOD is a grandson
Jeremiah NEEDHAM came to Pittsford
in 1792, and in 1797 bought the north half of the farm first occupied by
Gideon COOLEY. He worked more or less at shoemaking in connection with
farming, and removed to Essex county, N. Y. in 1806.
Oliver BOGUE came to town in 1792 and
lived four years on the farm which had been occupied by Joshua MORSE and
one year on the Jonathan FASSETT farm. He afterward made several purchases
of real estate. He died on the farm occupied in recent years by Charles
MUSSEY, in 1828. Marcus Cook BOGUE, son of Alexander and grandson of Oliver,
came to Pittsford from West Rutland, where he had been a merchant, in 1859.
He followed mercantile business here until 1867, when he sold to Rollin
S. MEACHAM and bought the old Hopkins farm and followed that occupation;
in 1870 he removed to Sioux City, Iowa, where he now resides.
Abraham WALKER settled in town in 1794,
and shortly afterwards located in the village, where his son Tilly afterward
resided. James HEWITT came in about this time and located in the west part
of the town. After making his clearing he built the house in which he lived
until his death in 1858. His son Seth also located on the homestead. Benjamin
CHAFFEE came into the town in 1794 and located on the farm afterwards owned
by his son Demas; he died there in 1850.
Alfred BUCK, son of Isaac, the pioneer,
located in 1795 on the farm now, owned by German HENDEE. He built the red
house on the west side of the road in 1803, and there lived until his death
in 1842. His son Addison was a merchant in the village many years and postmaster
for a time. In 1795 Nathan GIBBS came here and purchased a one-fourth interest
in the furnace property. This he carried on in company with his brother
Cornelius, Edward KINGMAN and Luke REED; in 1797 he bought the KINGMAN
interest and soon afterward purchased the other two interests and managed
the whole for a period. John MILLER settled here in 1795 and bought land
which is now owned by George LEONARD; he died about 1832.
Samuel MORGAN bought a tract of land
in town in 1793 and settled here in 1796; he removed to Rutland in 18 12
and died there in 1830. His son, of the same name, located on the home
farm and lived till about 1835. William, a brother of Samuel, settled in
the west part of the town in 1799 and lived there until his death.
John PENFIELD, of Fairfield, Conn.,
after serving three years in the Revolutionary War, came to Pittsford in
1795 and bought of Ebenezer HOPKINS the grist-mill built by Nehemiah HOPKINS,
which has been alluded to, and some land in the vicinity. In the following
February he brought in his family and they lived in the house now owned
by William B. SHAW. In the next December he opened a public house there,
which he kept until 1811. He died in 1829. The PENFIELD family has been
prominently associated with the history of the town. John, jr., son of
John, came here in 1797, having previously learned the saddler's trade.
He opened a shop in what is now Meacham's store; he left the town in 1803
and died in Whitehall in 1848. Sturges PENFIELD, another son of John, sr.,
came in with the family, having learned the hatter's trade in Rutland.
He married Laura GIDDINGS and died in 1866. His daughter, Eleanor B., is
now the widow of the late H. F. LOTHROP. (See biographic sketch herein.)
Mr. PENFIELD was a leading man in the community, a man of the strictest
integrity and great energy. Allen PENFIELD, also a son of John, married
a daughter of Thomas HAMMOND and took his father's place in the tavern,
and in the following year occupied the house built by his father and now
owned by Asher BURDITT, where he lived until his death. He managed the
hotel until 1828, when he sold it and removed to Crown Point, where he
became conspicuous in the iron business. Abel PENFIELD, another son of
John, came with the rest of the family in 1796; he learned the clothier's
trade with Eleazer Harwood and first located in Hartford, Vt., in company
with Mr. Harwood, where they continued from 1812 to 1820; he then returned
to Pittsford and occupied his father's house (now the residence of Asher
BURDITT) until 1828, when he h built the house in which he afterward resided.
About the same time he purchased a third interest in the woolen factory,
the grist-mill and ten acres of land, the other two-thirds being owned
by his brothers, Allen and Sturges. In 1824 he sold his interest
in all of this property except the grist-mill, which he rebuilt, and the
same is now owned by Mr. BURDITT. He died in March, 1871. Charles L. PENFIELD,
a respected citizen of the town, was a son of Abel. The place is now owned
by the Rev. Mr. FOSTER.
Richard M. POWERS, son of Jeremiah,
in 1795 purchased and began improvement of what was known as the WRIGHT
place, where he built a house the same year. He soon afterward sold this
to Robert WRIGHT and bought the farm now occupied by his son, Artemas C.
POWERS; he died in 1848.
Christopher BRESEE came from Massachusetts
and in 1797 purchased the farm now owned by his grandson, Wallace E. BRESEE;
Jacob F., now living in the town, is another son of Christopher. Peter,
a brother of Christopher, also lived in the town. but subsequently removed
Oliver and Timothy MORSEMAN settled
in the town about the year 1797, their father having purchased land here
several years earlier. Oliver located on what was the WAIT farm, and Timothy
on land purchased by his father and built a house about where George MORSEMAN's
barn now stands; the latter had a son Timothy, jr., who resided in town.
Elisha WOODRUFF settled in 1797 about a mile north of the village, and
in 1798 built a saw-mill; a few years later he erected another mill a little
below the first; he operated both until 1811; he was accidentally killed
in 1820 by a log rolling on him.
Eli HUDSON came here in 1798 and bought
the farm recently owned by Manuel ACKLEY; in 1820 he purchased the Josiah
EDDY farm, now owned by Howard LEONARD; he died in 1821. His son Seth was
a carpenter and lived in the town. John W., another son, is still living
and the oldest living person in the town who was born here. Stephen AVERY
bought in 1798 of Benjamin COOLEY the place in the village now occupied
by Dr. SWIFT. His brother Elijah purchased in the same year a place in
the village; they afterward carried on mercantile business in the village
in company a number of years. Elijah died here in 1803, and Stephen, after
removing to Brookfield, where he remained about six years, returned and
in company with others, erected a woolen mill, which stood just below Mr.
BURDITT's grist-mill. Mr. AVERY retired in 1821 and removed to Brandon
where he died. Robert LOVELAND, from Connecticut, located here about 1798
and lived on the COOLEY farm until his death; his son, Bassett, now lives
on the homestead. Aaron Nelson LOVELAND, also a son of Robert, was born
in town and lives on what is known as the Barnes farm, which he has greatly
improved. Robert E. is a son of Samuel Babbet LOVELAND, and lives on his
Among those who located in the town
in 1800 we may mention Luke OSGOOD, who purchased land that included most
of the present farm of William CREED. He died here in 1853. Leonard RAWSON
Purchased of Israel KEITH what was known as the Eleazer HARWOOD farm, now
occupied by George PUTNAM ; he died here in 1816. Joshua KINGSLEY settled
on the premises now 'owned by John M. GOODNOUGH; He was a tanner and followed
the business in this town some years; he removed to Troy about 1830 and
died there in 1857.
Jirah BARLOW purchased in 1799 land
that formed a part of the estate of the late H. F. LOTHROP, lying east
and northeast of Penfield's mill lot, including the water privileges, “together
with the falling-mill, dye-house, two strings of tender bars, dwelling-house
and shop, and one pair clothier's shears, one iron screw and box, and one
clothier's plait." This property he bought of Chester POWERS who had it
from Noel William AVERY in 1797; the latter had built the mill the previous
year; the mill stood on the Ripley Brook, a little .way from its junction
with Furnace Brook. Soon afterward Mr. Barlow bought the water privilege
below Penfield's mill and built what formed a part of the straw-board mill;
here he had a grist-mill, saw-mill, oil-mill, distillery, and pot-ashery,
and once owned the farm now owned by C. A. HITCHCOCK (the Ripley farm);
he removed to Illinois about 1820.
Isaac WHEATON bought of Stephen Mead
in 1801 a tract which included part of the farm now owned by Ransom BURDITT.
In 1802, having sold this. place, he purchased what has since been known
as the WHEATON farm; he died there in 1851, and the place passed into possession
of his son, Isaac C. He made extensive improvements on the place and lived
there until 1868, when he sold it and bought the HAMMOND farm, which at
his death passed into possession of his son George, who now occupies it.
Isaac C. WHEATON was a worthy and respected citizen. Rufus WHEDON (as he
spelled the name) was a Revolutionery soldier and brother of Isaac. In
1828 he purchased the farm which had been improved by Ebenezer HOPKINS.
He died in 1840, and the place is now occupied by Edwin NOYES, son-in-law
of William WARD.
David HALL, son of David, was born
in Brandon in 1795, and in 1803; the family came to live in Pittsford,
locating on the farm now occupied by Alexander PARMELEE; he died in town
Thomas BURDITT, from Lynn, Mass., came
to Pittsford about the 1804, and located on land now owned by Ransom BURDITT,
on the easterly slope of West Hill; himself and wife both died in this
Jacob LEONARD was from Easton, Mass.
His children were Isaac, Jacob, Capen and Militiah. In 1801 he purchased
a tract of land a part of which lay in the northeast part of Pittsford
and a part in Chittendcn. In 1805 the Pittsford portion was deeded to his
son Isaac, who built a house and made the first improvements on it. In
1795 he (Isaac) had married Ruth FULLER and they came in and located on
this land, which is now owned by their grandson Isaac. Mr. Leonard died
in 1855. Caper LEONARD was a son of Jacob and a brother of Isaac; he removed
from Chittenden to Pittsford in 1815 and settled on the farm in the north
part of the town now owned by Charles HITCHCOCK; he died there in 18455.
Martin LEONARD was a son of Isaac; he located on the paternal homestead
and died there; his son Isaac now occupies the place. Hiram LEONARD, son
of Caper, located on the RAWSON farm, which he had purchased of Timothy
LESTER in 1827. He was quite well educated and taught school some years.
He removed to Mill village about 1840, bought the saw-mill now owned by
George N. EAYRES, and built his house. He died in 1885. Caper, another
son of Capen LEONARD, was born in Chittenden, June 25, 1808, and married
Mary Ann DIKE, granddaughter of Jonathan DIKE, elsewhere mentioned. He
resided some years in Chittenden and removed to Pittsford in 1852, occupying
the farm on which he still lives. He represented Chittenden in the Legislature
from 1837 to 1841 inclusive, and in 1843; represented Andover in 1860,
and was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1850. He was elected
senator from Rutland in 1868-69. Newell LEONARD was a son of Isaac and
located on a part of the John MILLER farm, where he died; his son now occupies
the place. Josiah, another son of Isaac, located on the farm now occupied
by his son Edwin.
Martin LEACH, from Easton, Mass., was
a blacksmith and worked at the trade with his brother in Pittsford as early
as 1798, and later in Middlebury. In 1808 he came here and occupied the
place where the widow of the late Asa NOURSE resides; his shop stood a
few rods west of the house. In 1809 he gave up his trade and bought the
farm now owned by Moses P. HUMPHREY; he died in 1855. His brother Andrew
came here in 1795 and worked for a time in the shop formerly occupied by
Elias HOPKINS. In 1805 he purchased what was long known as the LEACH farm,
and built a shop near where Thomas TENNIAN's shop now stands; in 1806 he
built the house now owned by Edward COTTING; he died in 1852. Rev. Cephas
Augustus LEACH, who became a prominent minister in Illinois, a graduate
of Middlebury College, was a son of Andrew LEACH.
Joseph TOTTINGHAM came to Pittsford
in 1805 and in the same year purchased a lot in the village. In 1813 he
bought a farm of Jonathan KENDALL, of which a part is now owned by German
HENDEE. He committed suicide in 1859. His son Joseph located on the same
farm and died in 1853.
Daniel SHERMAN came here in 1806 and
bought the place now owned by his son Henry. He was a wheelwright and worked
at his trade most of the time until his death in 1854. His son is also
a wheelwright, but has of late years devoted most of his attention to farming.
Zachariah RAND, a son of Colonel John,
who gained distinction in the Revolutionary War, settled in Pittsford in
1809; he located in Sugar Hollow, and died in 1826. His son, Ebenezer Blanchard
Rand, located on the home farm.
In 1840 he
bought the Ewings tavern and kept a public house until his death in 1851.
His son Newton located on the home place. Egbert B. Rand, now a resident
of the village, is another son of Ebenezer B. Nathan Hawley settled in
Pittsford in 1809, having purchased the Dr. Abiathar MILLARD place; he
died in the house now occupied by Miss Achsah LEACH, at the age of eighty
years, in 1849.
Oliver WOLCOTT, a Revolutionary soldier,
of Massachusetts, came here in 1810 and leased what is now a part of the
town farm; he changed his place of residence several times after that and
died in 1845. His son Joseph has spent his life in the town.
Ezra SPENCER lived here two years from
1811, removed to Pennsylvania, but returned and was one of the volunteers
in the Plattsburg defense. In 1815 he again went to Pennsylvania but returned
in 1819, bought the Simeon CLIFFORD farm and occupied it until 1843. After
that he resided near the marble quarry until 1865, then he removed to Hitchcockville
and there died. Consider BOWEN settled in Pittsford in the same year. He
was a Revolutionary soldier and after the war worked at his trade as carriage-maker,
in Hartford, Conn., for a time, and then removed to Chittenden, and thence
to this town. He died in 1834 on the farm a part of which is now owned
by Joseph NOYES.
John HALL, son of John, was a Revolutionary
soldier, and came to Pittsford about 1810. He never owned real estate here
and removed to Chittenden and thence to Luzerne, N: Y., where he died about
1842. One of his sons was Elias, who was father of Royal HALL, who located
in Pittsford in 1840 and lived here until his death. His widow survives
him. William E. Hall was the fifth son of Elias and came here in 1856;
he had been connected with the Troy and Schenectady railroad as treasurer
and superintendent, but gave up his position on account of impaired health.
In 1856 he bought what constituted a part of the old WAIT farm and gave
his attention largely to farming; he was justice of the peace for some
Jacob SHELDON settled in town and located
in the house now occupied by the daughters of Mrs. Elizabeth BOGUE. About
1848 he purchased the place now owned by C. A. HITCHCOCK, where he died
in 1851. His son, Jacob Vanhess SHELDON, located in town in 1850; was born
in town in 1823; he is a blacksmith and followed it some years. In later
years he purchased the Webster Hotel and kept it a number of years, selling
it to Lewis F. SCOFIELD; he then removed to Wisconsin.
Thomas BURDITT, of Lynn, Mass., located
here about 1812, settling in the west part of the town; he died in 1860,
after improving the farm on which he spent the greater part of his life.
His son Jonathan spent his early life on his father's farm and finally
bought the farm east of Marshall Thomas, near what was called the "Four
Corners." In 1852 he bought what was known as the MOSHER place, and died
there in 1868. Bradley BURDITT, another son of Thomas, settled on the farm
purchased of Orlin SMITH. In 1862 he removed to the village and lived there
until his death. Richard FLOYD and Charles BURDITT, sons of Jonathan, settled
on the home farm, where the former died; Charles now occupies the place.
Another branch of this family is descended from Asher BURDITT, son of Asher,
a Revolutionary soldier. He came to Pittsford in 1815 and settled on the
farm now owned by his son, Ransom BURDITT. In 1826 he purchased of Jason
HARWOOD thirty-three acres on the east side of the road, also now owned
by RANSOM; in the house on this tract he lived until 1846 when he bought
the place now occupied by the widow of his son, Franklin BURDITT, and died
there in 1855. Ransom was born in 1821, and still resides in the town.
In 1864 he bought the Rice farm, where he now lives, as one of the leading
farmers of the town. He is an energetic and public-spirited man. His brother,
Franklin, also became before his death one of the most thrifty farmers
in the town.
Charles G. BOARDMAN, a descendant of
Timothy, located in 1817 on the Abraham DRURY farm, now occupied by Frank
B. BARNES. Mr. BOARDMAN kept a public house there in connection with his
brother, Samuel W. In 1823 Timothy BOARDMAN deeded to Charles G. the tavern
stand and sixteen acres of land, and to Samuel eighty-four acres of the
north part of the DRURY farm. Charles G. removed to Rutland in 1837. Samuel
W. removed to West Rutland in 1836, and in the next year to Castleton,
where he lived until 1860, when he removed to Middlebury. In 1869 he returned
to Pittsford and died here in 1870. He was a writer of ability and greatly
respected. His son, Charles BOARDMAN, entered Middlebury College with the
class of 1850 and died in his sophomore year. His third son was Rev. Samuel
Ward BOARDMAN, graduated at Middlebury in 1851 and at Andover Theological
Seminary in 1855. After preaching a number of years he resigned his pastorate
and was appointed professor of rhetoric, English literature and intellectual
philosophy in Middlebury College. This he resigned in 1862 and again entered
the ministerial service. Rev. Simeon Gilbert BOARDMAN, the fourth son of
Samuel W., graduated from Middlebury in 1855, and became scarcely less
distinguished than his brother.
Junia SARGENT, son of Timothy, who
was a Revolutionary soldier, came to Pittsford in 1819 and located where
John RICHARDSON now lives. After several changes of residence he removed
to Hubbardton, but returned after several years and spent the remainder
of his life with his son Leonard. He died in 1869. His son Junia located
on the BARLOW farm and later bought the place where he now resides. Leonard
SARGENT, before mentioned, became a carriage maker and now lives in the
west part of the town, where he carries on that business.
Henry SIMONDS settled here in 1819.
He, with his brothers Josiah and John, bought what was known as the MERRIAM
store and traded under the name of J. Simonds & Co. Shortly afterward
Josiah sold his interest to his brothers and the firm became Simonds &
Co. In 1826 they bought the place now owned by German HENDEE; they had
a distillery at one period near the house. In 1834 John sold out to Henry,
who continued the mercantile business. Henry died in 1865. John died in
Brandon in 1869.
WAR OF 1812 AND OTHER MATTERS
We have now reached a period in the
town history where the record of settlements must be dropped for a time.
On the 11th of July, 1811, occurred the great flood. According to Dr. CAVERLY,
"Otter Creek rose to an unprecedented height, the waters overflowing the
intervale to a vast extent on either side. When at the highest pitch, they
washed the door-sills of the house of Stephen MEAD on the west side, and
boat! were propelled on the line of the highway from Milton POTTER's to
Mr. MEAD's. The bridge near Mrs. COOLEY's, as well as the Walker and Hammond
bridges on Otter Creek, were swept away; but the Mead bridge was, by great
exertions, saved, though its structure was greatly damaged. When it was
perceived that this was seriously endangered, the neighboring inhabitants
turned out, and having taken up the planks, piled heavy timbers upon the
rails, so that the superincumbent weight was sufficient to resist the force
and uplifting power of the water."
At a special meeting called on the
3d of September, the town “voted to raise two cents on a Dollar on the
list of 1811, payable in Grain first of January, 1812, and two cents on
a Dollar on the list of 1812, payable in Grain first of January, 1813,
to Rebuild and Repair the four large Bridges in sd Town carried off by
the late freshet and to defray other expenses. Voted that the Selectmen,
with the addition of Adget LATHROP, and Ashbel LEE, be a committee to superintend
the Building and Repairing the Bridges aforesaid."
In the War of 1812 it is known that
residents of this town played a conspicuous part; but the loss of records
renders it impossible to go very much into detail of the contest as far
as relates to this town. The following list of names are of those. who
are known to have served in the regular army during that period for longer
or shorter terms: John AXTELL, John BARNES, jr., Israel BURDITT, David
L, BEEBE, Rufus BUR, Enos BAILEY, jr., John BETTS, Elisha COX, Amherst
LEE, John LAMPSON, Samuel MILLER, Bildad ORCUTT, Amasa OWEN, R. M. POWERS,
R. M. POWERS, jr., Joab POWERS, Gardner POWERS, Zebulon POND, Nathaniel
RAND, William SPENCER, Gideon SHELDON, Lucas THOMAS, Abel WHEELER, Samuel
WHEELER, Arden WELLER, Edward WHEELER, Robert WRIGHT, Samuel COOK, John
DEAN, Asa DURGEE, Ezra DAY, Justin DARLING, Leonard FARGO, W. D. HITCHCOCK,
Samuel P. HAWES, Reuben JACKSON, Graton JACKSON, John H. Lincoln.
When the northern invasion was made
and Plattsburg threatened, Rutland county furnished two hundred and sixty-four
men to oppose the advance of the enemy, of whom one hundred and six were
from Pittsford. On the 10th of September the men who had assembled in response
to the call met in the village and unanimously chose General Caleb HENDEE
to command them. After organizing, which occupied the forenoon, the company
started for Burlington. Arriving at Vergennes the next day (Sunday), they
drew arms from the arsenal for those who were not supplied and continued
to Charlotte, which they reached that night. Monday morning they advanced
to Burlington, crossed the lake to Plattsburg, but arrived too late to
take part in the battle; they soon afterward returned to their homes.
David HALL, son of David, settled in
the town in 1820, and died on the farm which is now in possession of his
heirs, in 1860 -- a farm which he brought to a high state of cultivation
and made one of the best in town.
The name of German F. HENDEE has before
been mentioned; he was a son General Caleb, and located on the home farm,
and in 1839 bought the place which had been improved by Benjamin STEVENS,
sr. He died in 1863, and was a prominent and respected citizen. German,
Elisha Rich, Edwin II., and Charles J., are sons of his, and all have occupied
prominent positions in the community.
Thomas F. BOGUE, second son of Jeffrey
Amherst, who has been mentioned, located in town about 1829, and became
a leading citizen. He held various offices and died in 1864. Dan B. BOGUE,
now living in town and one of the oldest men, is a brother of Thomas F.
John COOLEY, son of Captain Caleb,
settled on the north slope of the hill and a little later where was situated
the "Pocket Furnace," as it was called; he there built the two-story house
occupied by Austin HEWITT, and afterward built the house now occupied by
his grandson. He carried on the manufacture of iron ware in the furnace
for a time, and died in 1856.
The GRANGER family have been quite
conspicuous in the town. Simeon, of Salisbury, Conn., purchased his real
estate in Pittsford in 1823, and became the head of the firm of Simeon
Granger & Sons, in 18224. In 1826 he removed his family to the town
and occupied what was known as the KEITH house. He died in 1834. His son
Lyman graduated at Union College and the Litchfield Law School, and began
practice with Moses STRONG, of Rutland. He became interested with his father
and his younger brother, Chester, in purchasing lands in Pittsford, and
in 1823 he and his brother bought the furnace property of Andrew LEACH.
He then located at the village and the firm was formed, as before stated.
He removed to Granville, N. Y., in 1837 and died in Utica in 1839. After
the death of the father, Simeon, the furnace property claimed by the heirs
was purchased in 1835 by Chester and his brother, Edward L., and the business
continued by the firm of C. & E. L. GRANGER until 1846, when the younger
member died, and the property was purchased by George HODGES, and the firm
of Granger, Hodges & Co., was formed; the property was later transferred
to the Pittsford Iron Company, and Mr. GRANGER went to Pennsylvania and
carried on the iron business. He finally returned and died in this town.
Edward L. died here in 1846, after a life of great activity and usefulness.
His son, Edward Myron, was attending the Military School in Norwich, Vt.,
when the Rebellion broke out. He enlisted at the age of sixteen and was
transferred to the Second New York Cavalry, where he was made orderly sergeant.
He was shot on the 19th of September, 1864, while acting as aid to General
Thomas H. PALMER, a native of Scotland,
came from Philadelphia, where he had worked at the printing business, to
Rutland about 1826, and in 1829 bought the Phineas RIPLEY farm in Pittsford;
he occupied for some time the RIPLEY house, now owned by C. A. HITCHCOCK,
and in 1832 built the brick house, where he resided until his death in
1861. Mr. PALMER became distinguished throughout the State for his interest
and effectual labor for the improvement of the schools. He held the office
of town superintendent, and finding the condition of the schools anything
but what it should have been, he set; vigorously to work for their improvement.
In this work he was eminently successful, and he was soon persuaded to
extend his labors and hold educational meetings in other towns. In 1844
he was invited by Governor SLADE to visit Middlebury to explain his views
to the college faculty, and it was there determined that the school laws
of the State should be remodeled. After this Mr. PALMER canvassed the State
in the school interest and started the scheme which resulted in memorializing
the Legislature and the passage of the necessary laws. He published a series
of books entitled the "Moral Instructor," for the use of readers in the
schools. In 1838 he was the successful contestant for a prize of five hundred
dollars offered by the American Institute of Instruction for the best essay
on a system of education, best adapted to the common schools, etc. In 1854
he published an arithmetic; and this brief enumeration conveys but a faint
impression of the great educational labor performed by him in various directions.
His sons, James N. and William H. PALMER, lived in this town and were respected
Orlin SMITH settled in Pittsford where,
in 1835, he purchased the farm now owned by. David HOLDEN; in 1846 he bought
the OWEN farm of Asahel WOOLCOTT, and still resides there. His son, Rollin
C., lives with his parents and has been honored by his fellow-citizens
with numerous political offices and other evidences of their confidence.
Levi WOOLSON came to Pittsford before
1820 and lived in the family of Thomas BURDITT until he was of age. In
1849 he bought the place where he passed the remainder of his life, and
where his widow still resides.
Eber THOMAS was a settler in Chittenden,
where he became the father of fourteen children, twelve of whom were sons.
One of these, Augustus, located in the north part of the town, where he
passed his life and died. His son now occupies the place.
Charles Thomas COLBURN became a resident
of this town in 1832. He was a descendant of Moses COLBURN, who was born
in Massachusetts, and died in Sheffield, N. B., in 1790. Charles Thomas
was a blacksmith and settled in Fairhaven, Vt., where he lived until 1832,
in the fall of which year he removed to Pittsford. The next year he purchased
the property now occupied by his son, judge Charles S. COLBURN. He died
April 22, 1878. Charles Shepherd COLBURN is the only son of Charles T.
He fitted for college at Burr Seminary and graduated at Middlebury in the
class of 1858. He studied law in the Harvard Law School and graduated in
1862, In the fall of that year lie opened an office in Rutland, but soon
laid aside his duties to accept an appointment as Clerk in the pay department
of the army. In February, 1866, he resumed practice in New York city. In
1877 he came to Pittsford, chiefly on account of his father's affairs,
and was elected town clerk the same year, which office he has held since
that date. He was probate judge in 1877-78, and senator in 1882-84.
John STEVENS, son of Simon, a soldier
in the French and Indian war, came to Pittsford in 1836; he married a daughter
of Asher BURDITT and located in the house now occupied by Asher BURDITT,
the younger. In 1837 he purchased of Abel PENFIELD one-third of the grist-mill
and privilege, and soon afterward another third; in November, 1838, he
acquired the whole property, which he successfully operated. He died in
The FENTON family located in town in
this year. Samuel T. bought the farm now owned by Jeremiah Leonard; he
sold that in 1859 and purchased the largest part of the farm now owned
by C. A. HITCHCOCK. He still lives near the village; has held many offices.
Asa NOURSE came to Pittsford to reside
with his brother Josiah in 1819; he taught school for several seasons.
In 1824 he purchased an undivided one half of the saw-mill north of the
Colburn bridge, and in 1830 he bought of Andrew LEACH some land and buildings
just east of Leach's blacksmith shop. In 1835 he purchased the other half
of the saw-mill, which had passed to the possession of his brother William.
In later years he gave most of his attention to farming. His widow survives
him. Several others of this name have been well known citizens of the town.
Amos HITCHCOCK located in town in 1838
and was a son of Chapman HITCHCOCK; he settled on the farm a part of which
is owned by Frank BRESEE, and died in 1852, in the respect of the community.
Charles HITCHCOCK is another son of Chapman and was born here in 1822.
They located on the paternal homestead, where he still resides, as one
of the respected citizens of the town. Elisha Pike HITCHCOCK is a son of
Amos, and located on the home farm in this town. He was active during the
War of the Rebellion in drilling recruits, for which lie was fitted by
education. He kept a store in Middlebury a few years, but returned to Pittsford
and gave his attention to farming.
John M. GOODNOUGH settled here in 1838;
he was the youngest son of Willis, son of Timothy. He has occupied a station
among the leading citizens and still lives to enjoy it.
Bishop P. BOOTH located on the farm
now owned by his widow in 1840, and died in 1866. Jeffrey A. RANDALL located
in 1840 in the village, where he is still engaged as a shoemaker with his
son Julius. Seba F. SMITH settled in town in 1840 and two years later bought
a part of what was the PARMELEE farm; he is still living. Forbes MANLEY
became a resident of this town in 1841. He bought the FENN farm in 1841,
which he, in connection with his son Benjamin; improved in the character
of its buildings and otherwise.
Warren CHAFFEE, son of Simeon, located
in Pittsford in 1842 on the farm formerly owned by Josiah PARSONS, in the
southeasterly part of the town, where he still resides. Robert R. DRAKE,
son of Alvan B., born in Castleton, located in the village about 1842,
where he engaged in the mercantile business; he died in 1885, and his son
now carries on the same line of business and is postmaster.
Samuel Dana WINSLOW settled here in
1844; he is son of Dr. Kenelm WINSLOW, and was born in the town. His father
was one of the early merchants here and in 1841 transferred his business
to the son, who continued it until 1852, after which he gave his attention
to farming and breeding of fine stock.
Henry W. MERRILL settled here in 18¢4,
coming from West Rutland, where he had carried on mercantile trade. In
Pittsford he purchased what is now the academy; he represented the town
one year and finally in his later years lived a retired life.
Marshall J. WOOD bought in 1844 an
undivided half of the KINGSLEY place, consisting of the tannery and twenty-five
acres of land. He carried on tanning and shoemaking in company with N.
S. WARNER. In 1855 he purchased the south part of the DOOLITTLE farm, where
he still resides.
Joseph Holt PEABODY located here in
1845. He is a son of Daniel PEABODY and located on the farm now owned by
Frank B. BARNES, where he lived until 1858, when he purchased the place
in Hitchcockville where he now lives. He carried on mercantile business
a number of years.
Thomas Denny HALL, son of David, resided
some years on the place afterward occupied by his brother Dan K. HALL,
at which time his father lived on the John BARNES farm west of Otter Creek.
By arrangement, Thomas D. and his brother Norman P. took that farm and
their father removed to the place east of the creek. In 1860 he erected
his new dwelling on the north pact, his brother having located on the south
William MITCHELL, now deceased, located
in 1848 on the farm which his father had lived on; the latter died in September
of that year. Mr. Mitchell erected all of the buildings there and enlarged
the farm by purchase; his widow now resides on the place.
Howard LOTHROP, of Easton, Mass., invested
while he was a young man in the property known as the Keith furnace, and
afterward became the sole owner. In superintending the operation of this
establishment he passed about twelve years here, though he kept his former
residence. He sold the property to GIBBS & Co. about 1809 and was here
but little after that. His son Henry F. came to Pittsford in 1844, to take
charge of property belonging to his father. In 1848 he married the daughter
of Sturges PENFIELD, and built the homestead where he resided until his
death in 1885. His widow survives him.
We need not go farther into the feature
of settlements in this town, except .to mention a few of those who are
still living; Pascal WHITAKER settled here in 1848, and carries on the
carriage-making business. James BUCKNAM located here in 1849 and now resides
on a farm he purchased in 1858. William B. SHAW, eldest son of William
R., came to Pittsford in 1848 and bought the brick store property at Mill
Village. Here he carried on a successful mercantile business. Artemas C.
POWERS, son of Richard Montgomery, located on the home farm and became
one of the prominent citizens of the town and held many offices. Willard
HUMPHREY, son of Joseph, moved into Pittsford in 1853 and bought the farm
now partly owned by Frank BRESEE; resided there until 1863, when he purchased
the place where his son lives; he died a few years since
Abner T. REYNOLDS bought the LADD farm
in 1853, and resided there since; he has been blind a number of years.
Daniel P. PEABODY, now sheriff of the county, located here in 1853; he
was in business for a few years with his uncle, Joseph Holt PEABODY, but
has held the office of sheriff several years.
Nathaniel WILLIS bought the Richard
HENDEE farm on the west side of the creek, where he now resides, and which
he has greatly improved. James T. GORHAM, son of James, purchased about
1855 the place now occupied by, Rollin S. MEACHAM, after trading here about
four years, he bought of Robert R. Drake a house and store in the village,
and later built a new store; he soon afterward removed to Ludlow, went
into the army and died in St. Louis. George N. EAYRES, now and for a number
of years superintendent of the House of Correction in Rutland, located
in this town in 1855; he still owns real estate here. Rollin S. MEACHAM,
a descendant of Isaac MEACHAM, who was born in Williamstown, Mass., and
son of Alanson, has resided in this town most of the time since 1859. In
1864 he entered the army as commissary clerk, but returned in 1864 and
settled in the village. (See mercantile interests.). Moses P. HUMPHREY,
son of Joseph, purchased in 1801 the LEACH farm of Stella HUMPHREY, which
she inherited from Ashbel HUMPHREY. Oliver T. BATES settled in the west
part of the town in 1862; he is a son of Hiram and now lives on the home
farm with his parents. Dr. A. M. CAVERLY (the town historian) located here
in the spring of 1863. He was descended from an English family which is
traced back to 1389. Later members of the family were conspicuous in the
old French and Revolutionary Wars. Dr. CAVERLY was a son of Moses 3d, and
born in 1817. He studied with Dr. R. J. P. TENNEY, of Loudon (later. of
Pittsfield), and with William W. BROWN, M. D., of Manchester; attended
lectures at Dartmouth College and the Philadelphia College of Medicine,
which institution afterward conferred on him the degree of M. D. He also
attended lectures in the medical department of Harvard College; was elected
principal of the South Grammar School in Manchester in 1846; resigned in
1852 and began practice with Dr. BROWN, his former preceptor. In 1853 he
located in Troy, N. H., where he practiced until 1863, and then removed
to Pittsford, where he resided until his death, his widow survives him
and lives in the village. His daughter is the wife of Dr. SWTFT, and he
has a son in practice of medicine t in Rutland. Judson J. SMITH settled
permanently in the town in 1867, and in 1870 bought of the town the farm
first owned by Frederick WICKER, where he still lives. Jacob Franklin BRESEE,
son of Jacob, married in 1863 and lived on the home farm with his brother
Wallace until the spring of 1863, when he removed to the Amos HITCHCOCK
farm, where he still lives. Samuel BUTLER, son of James E., came from Rutland
in 1863 and settled in Whipple Hollow, where he has since resided. Willard
S. HUMPHREY enlisted in the Second Vermont Regiment and was discharged
for disability in the fall of 1862; he settled on the home place and still
While the foregoing extended account
may not include all of those who have located in Pittsford, it is believed
that it names the greater part of those who have been chiefly instrumental
in building up the town. Those who have been and are connected with
the business interests and who have not been referred to, will be mentioned
in later pages.
In addition to what we have already
written relative to the growth of the town and its progress in material
interests, there is little which calls for attention. The railroad was
constructed through the town in 1849 and a train of cars came into the
town for the first time on the 19th of October. The depot was built
in 1850, and it appeared necessary to open a road from there across the
creek to the north and south road on the west side, and another from the
depot to the stage road on the east side of the creek. These roads and
the necessary bridge were not then constructed, on account of a determined
opposition. In 1853 a new board of selectmen laid out a road from the depot
in a northwesterly direction, then across the track and westerly, crossing
the creek a little north of the mouth of the Stevens Brook. In June of
the same year they laid out another road from the depot in a southwesterly
direction to the foot of "Town Hill," so-called. But a large portion of
the citizens were not in favor of these roads and applied to the court
for an injunction staying further work. The court appointed a committee,
consisting of Harvey SHAW, Silas W. HODGES and John BUCKMASTER, to examine
into the subject and decide the matter. They went over the different routes
and finally decided that the public good would be best served by opening
the road first laid out by the selectmen in 1851. The proposed roads of
1853 were discontinued.
The record of this town in support
of the government during the period of the great Southern Rebellion is
one of which its inhabitants may always be proud. Dr. CAVERLY wrote on
this subject as follows: "The great unanimity with which the people of
the town supported every effort to raise troops, pay bounties and aid the
families of the soldiers, was as gratifying as it was remarkable. It is
believed that the town fully met every obligation imposed upon her; and
the ladies, true to their noble instincts, did very much through their
Soldiers' Aid Society, for the comfort of the soldiers. The people of the
town contributed about two thousand dollars to the Sanitary and Christian
The following list shows the names
of the men who enlisted from this town in Vermont organizations, as compiled
by the adjutant-general of the State.
Volunteers for three years credited
previous to the call for 300,000 volunteers of October 17th, 1863.-- Thomas
ALCHIN, co. G, 5th regt.; Henry H. ALEXANDER, co. C, 7th regt.; Marcus
ATWOOD, George N. BADGER, co. C, 10th regt.; Elliott BEAN, co. M, 11th
regt.; James BLAIR, co. C, 10th regt.; James W. Blair, co. C, 2d regt.;
Elisha C. Blodgett, co. G, 5th regt.; Charles H. Bowers, co. I, 7th regt.;
Peter H. BOWLINE, co. G, 5th regt.; William H. BRACKETT, Co. C, 10th regt.;
William H. BREED, George BROWN, Co. G, 5th regt.; Willard C. BROWN, Co.
E, 2d 9. s. s.; Charles H. BURR, Co. C, 10th regt.; Henry A. BURR, Co.
H, cav.; John BUSHEE, Co. G, 5th regt.; James D. BUTLER, Co. B, 9th regt.;
Willard A. CHILD, 4th as.; Willard A. CHILD, 10th su.; Dunham CLARK, Co.
H, 5th regt.; Sandy COOK, Co. C, 4th regt.; James CONNELL, Co. G, 7th regt.;
William CONNELL, Benjamin S. COOLEY, Eugene A. COOLEY, Co. B, 7th regt.;
Patrick CORNEY, Co. A, 7th regt.; Thomas Cunningham, Co. C, 10th regt.;
Peter DEFORGE, Edward DIN, Co. B, 7th regt.; John W. DIKE, Co. C, 10th
regt.; James P. ELMER, Co. H, 5th regt.; James FALLON, Jeremiah FALLON,
Co. B, 7th regt.; Loomis C. FAY, Jesse GERARD, Co. B, 9th regt.; David
GREENOUGH, Co. H, cav.; John C. HART, Co. F, 1st s. s.; Charles HEMINWAY,
Co. C, 5th regt.; David C. HENNISY, Co. G, 7th regt.; Erwin V. M. HITCHCOCK,
Co. C, 7th regt.; Edwin S. HUDSON, Co. C, 10th regt.; Willard S. HUMPHREY,
George M. JOHNSON, Co. B, 2d regt.; William JOHNSON, Co. B, 2d regt.; Willis
F. KEELER, Co. H, 2d s. s.; Milton KEMP, Co. E, 2d s. s.; Curtis KIMBERLY,
Co. F, 1st s. s.; Francis LATTERBUSH, 2d bat.; Charles LEONARD, Co. C,
10th regt.; George H. LINCOLN, Michael MALONEY, Co. B, 7th regt.; Henry
A. MITCHELL, Co. G, 5th regt.; Willard H. MITCHELL, Co. I, 7th regt.;
Byron D. MORGAN, Co. C, 16th regt.; Charles MYATT, Co. G, 5th regt.; Thomas
O'BRIEN, Co. B, 9th regt.; William PEABODY, Co. C, 10th regt.; Edward PELKEY,
Jeremiah PELKEY, Co. G, 5th regt.; William PELKEY, Co. B, 7th regt.; William
PELKEY, Co. A, 3d regt; Joseph N. PERRY, Co. L, 11th regt.; Edward PHALON,
Co. B, 7th regt.; Rollin PHILLIPS, Co. K, 2d regt.; Amos POTTER, Francis
A. PREVOST, Co. B, 7th regt.; Julius J. PREVOST, Co. M, 11th regt.; Peter
PREVOST, Co. C, 7th regt.; Charles PREVOST, William H. ROWE, Co. G, 5th
regt.;Jerome SMITH, 2d bat.; William D. SMITH, Co. E, 2d s. s.; Joseph
SOULIA, Co. B, 7th regt.; Charles K. SPENCER, Co. K, cav.; Daniel W. TAFT,
Co. G, cav.; Henry TRUMBULL, Co. H, 5th regt.; Nelson VEVER, Co. I, 7th
regt.; William S. WALKER, Co. B, 7th regt.; Arnold F. WALLACE, 2d bat.;
Nathan N. WESCOTT, Co. E, 10th regt.; Seneca E. WHEELER, Co. 7th regt.
Credits under call of October 17th
1863, for 300,000 volunteers and subsequent calls. Volunteers for three
years. -- Augustus L. BREED, Co. B, 9th regt.; Charles F. CHURCH, Co. C,
11th regt.; Martin DUFFY, Co. I, 17th regt.; Nathan B. DUTTON, Co. C, 11th
regt.; Harvey GREEN, Co. C, 10th regt.; Samuel H. GREEN, Co. E, 2d s. s.;
Daniel HALEY, James HAMMERSLEY, Co. I, 17th regt.; Darwin JOHNSON, Co.
C, 11th regt.; Frank KING, Morris MURPHY, Edward Pelkey, Co. G, 5th regt.;
Orville H. PROUTY, Samuel SENICAL, Co. H, 17th regt.; Edmund R. STILES,
Co. C, 10th regt.; George H. SWIFT, Co. H, 2d s. s.; Joseph WHITE, Co.
C, 10th regt.; John R. WIGHTMAN, Co. G, 17th regt.; Henry E. WOOD, Co.
I, 17th regt.
Volunteers for one year. -- Albert
FREDETTE, John FREDETTE, Co. B, 7th regt.; Isaac ROOT, Co. A, 7th regt.;
Peter THOMAS, Co. B, 7th regt.
George BROWN, Co. G, 5th regt.; Willard C. BROWN, CO. E, 2d s. s.; John
BUSHEY, Co. G, 5th regt.; Benjamin S. COOLEY, Eugene A. COOLEY, Co. B,
7th regt.; Willia F. KEELER, Co. H, 2d s. s.; James MANSFIELD, Co. F, 4th
regt.; Charles A. NICHOLS, Francis A. PREVOST, Co. B, 7th regt.; Peter
PREVOST, Co. C, 7th regt.; Joseph SOULIA, Co. B, 7th regt.; Charles K.
SPENCER, Co. K. cav.; Nelson VEVER, Co. I, 7th regt.
Naval credits. -- Joseph C. BLAIN,
Lyman C. GRANGER.
Veteran Reserve Corps. -- Henry A.
Not credited by name, three men.
Volunteers for nine months. -- Stephen
A. ALLEN, George BARNARD, Albert BASSETT, Alexander BEAN, Cornelius BRADLEY,
Thomas CLARK, Henry S. DIKE, Robert ELLIOTT, Co. G, 12th regt.; Edward
F. FARMER, Albert W. FLETCHER, Co. H, 14th regt.; John FREDETTE, Daniel
S. GOULD, Hannibal L. GOULD, Co. K, 12th regt.; Isaac GATES, Co. H, 14th
regt.; George GRANGER, Dan R. HALL, Caleb R. HENDEE, Charles HUDSON, Rufus
C. JONES, Alvin S. KEMP, Milton V. KEMP, John KEOUGH, George H. MORSMAN,
William H. MORSMAN, William H. PALMER, Chig PORO, Felis PORO, Jock PORO,
Amos J. POWERS, Dennis SMITH, Ithiel B. WORDEN, Co. G, 12th regt.
Furnished under draft and paid commutation.
-- Wallace E. BRESSEE, Charles BURDETT, John CHAMBERLIN, James F. FISK,
William S. GRANGER, Charles J. HENDEE, Isaac M. LEONARD, Luther LEONARD,
John RICHARDSON, George R. SHAW, M. C. SPAULDING, W. H. H. STEVENS, Chester
G. THOMAS, Amos D. TIFFANY.
Procured substitute. -- William W.
GATES, Sardius MANLY.
Entered service. -- Joseph C. BLAIR,
2d regt, George F. DODGE, Co. C, 6th regt.; Nelson B. RUGG, Co. I, 3d regt.
The population of the town has fluctuated
less than in most other towns of the county. The following figures reveal
the number of inhabitants at the different dates given: 1791, 850; 1800,
1,413; 1810, 1,936; 1820, 1,916; 1830, 2,005; 1840, 1,927; 1850, 2,026;
1860, 1,839; 1870, 2,127; 1880, 1,983.
The present officers of the town are
as follows: Town clerk and treasurer Charles S. COLBURN; selectmen, T.
J. KETCHUM, E. R. HENDEE, E. C. GIDDINGS; constable and collector, W. T.
DENISON; listers, H. G. PEABODY, Junia SARGENT, E. D. HINDS; town agent,
R. S. MEACHAM.
For several years after the first settlement
of this town, the inhabitants were so few and scattered that no effort
was made to establish a Church. Several of the early settlers went to Rutland
to worship, the names of Ebenezer HOPKINS, sr., and Samuel CRIPPEN appearing
among the organizers of the first church at that place. On the 14th of
April, 1784, the Congregationalists organized the first church in the town,
with fifteen members as follows: Thankful DRURY, Tryphena HOPKINS, Abigail
MORSE, Molly FASSETT, Sarah ADAMS, Nehemiah HOPKINS, Simeon TUPPER, Joshua
MORSE, Elisha ADAMS, Eleazer HARWOOD, Ebenezer DRURY, Ebenezer HOPKINS,
Elias Hall, Jonathan WARNER, Jonathan FASSETT. Deacon Eleazer Harwood conducted
services by reading sermons and otherwise for about two years, when he
felt impelled to devote himself to the ministry, which he did, and served
the church most acceptably until near his death in 1807. Rev. Holland WEEKS
was the next pastor and was installed in December of the same year. The
succeeding pastors of the church have been Revs. Asa MESSER, John INGERSOLL,
1823; Willard CHILD, 1826; A. G. PEASE, 1842; Charles WALKER, 1846; Myron
A. MUNSON, 1865; Russell T. HALL, 1780. Rev. C. C. MCINTIRE is the present
pastor of the church, which has a membership of 218. The deacons of the
church are Simeon GILBERT, Simeon PARMELEE, Moses P. HUMPHREY, Charles
L. PENFIELD, Thomas D. HALL, Amos D. TIFFANY. The Congregational society
was organized in 1827. The present church edifice was begun in 1835 and
dedicated July 18, 1837. In 1879-80 a commodious lecture room was built
and a fine organ put in the church, at an outlay of $4,500.
The Baptist Church was organized December
2, 1784. The record is as follows: "On December 2, 1784, a number of the
Baptists met at the house of Moses OLMSTEAD to inquire into the state of
each other's mind in a spiritual sense considered; likewise to know each
other's thoughts concerning coming into church order, and so have the privilege
of watching over each other.
Elisha RICH, Caleb HENDEE, Abel STEVENS, Moses OLMSTEAD, Mary STEVENS and
Esther ROWLEY made declaration of their faith in Christ, and came into
covenant relation to watch over each other as God's word directs. Then
agreed to have Elder RICH serve us at present as a preacher. Agreed to
take the Scriptures as the only rule of faith and practice as well as government
On the 3d of January, 1785, the church
met at the house of Moses OLMSTEAD, stead, and William SUTHERLAND, Colburn
PRESTON and Joseph ROWLEY were received into fellowship. Others were soon
added. Elder Elisha RICH was the first pastor, beginning in 1785, and during
his ministry, nearly one hundred were added to the church. In January,
1808, the church, after having settled some serious dissentions which had
arisen in it, voted to request Elder William HARRINGTON to come and improve
his ministerial gifts at this place. He came and continued until 1817.
Soon after 1819 the church became so weakened by deaths, removals, etc.,
that it became difficult to sustain preaching and in October, 1824, it
disbanded. The present church was organized in 1841, Rev. L. B. STEELE
is the present pastor. The deacons are Allen MILLS and William WARD. Sunday-school
superintendent, Clarence SARGENT. The church building erected in 1802 became
very much impaired during the period when the church was disbanded; but
after the reorganizing it was remodeled and improved into substantially
its present shape.
The first preaching by a Methodist
in this town was in 1798-99. by Rev. Joseph MITCHELL, and as a result of
his labors the society was organized in 1799, under the labors of Elder
MCLAIN. The class at first consisted of only four members -- Israel LAKE,
Mrs. Colonel COOLEY, her daughter Mary, and a fourth whose name is not
known. The early meetings were held at Colonel Cooley's house. The church
building was erected in 1816, and at the present time the Rev. Marcus M.
Curry preaches one sermon here every Sabbath. The membership is about 175.
Following are the names of the stewards: A. A. HEWITT, F. W. ALEXANDER,
J. C. HOWE, Charles A. HITCHCOCK, G. A. TARBLE, Charles HITCHCOCK, James
E. LEONARD, J. H. PEABODY, Henry WALKER, B. W. INGALLS, S. K. BURBANK.
The Sunday-school superintendent is Charles HITCHCOCK.
The East Pittsford Methodist Church,
which is situated just over the line in Chittenden, was organized in 1851,
by Aruna LYON, the first pastor. During the same year a small church was
built. The society is not large and a pastor is sent there from other churches.
St. Alphonso's Catholic Church, located
at the Mills, was organized by their first pastor, Rev. Charles BOYLAN,
in 1870, and the church was erected soon afterward. Rev. J. M. GELOT, of
Rutland, now serves the church, which is in a prosperous condition. A society
is also in existence at Sutherland's Falls, of which Father MCLAUGHLIN,
of Brandon, has the charge.
The hamlet, or village, of Pittsford,
dating from the ,from the early establishment of mills and the other necessary
shops for the accommodation of the inhabitants, is nearly as old as the
town itself. Allusion has been made in our account of the early settlements
to most of the early interests of a business or manufacturing character,
in connection with the men who established them. The post-office was established
at Pittsford in January, 1808, with Oliver KEITH as postmaster. Since then
the following have served in the office: Joshua BROOKS, October, 1808;
Ozem STRONG, October 1, 1809; John BARNES, jr., January 18, 1815; Thomas
Tiffany, February 20, 1819; Asher SOUTHWORTH, November 22, 1821; Isaac
HAYDEN, January 2, 1823; German F. HENDEE, June 21, 1824; Whipple SPOONER,
January 6, 1827; Eli BROWN, Elijah BROWN, jr., March 4., 1828; Addison
BUCK, May 19, 1837; Samuel D. WINSLOW, May 28, 1841; Sidney P. GRISWOLD,
September 25, 1845; Samuel D. WINSLOW, May 4, 1849; Robert R. DRAKE, May
20, 1853; Henry SIMONDS, April 13, 1861; George H. SIMONDS, December 6,
1865; Dan K. HALL, January 10, 1870; L. F. SCOFIELD, July 1, 1872. Frank
C. DENNISON and the present official, R. H. DRAKE, recently appointed.
The first merchant in the town is supposed
to have been Augustine HIBBARD, his store being kept in the east room of
the house built by Nathan WEBSTER on the site of the present Otter Creek
House. Many of the other early merchants we have alluded to. In 1819 J.
SIMONDS & Co. bought what was known as the MERRIAM store and business
was continued there by some member of the family until 1870, the last one
being George H. SIMONDS. He was followed by P. BRISTOL & Co., who were
succeeded by the DENISON Brothers (W. T. and F. C. Denison) in 1878. They
are in business there at the present time. Addison BUCK purchased the place
now owned by Mrs. John STEVENS in 1827, built a store and began trade;
his store was burned in the next winter and he rebuilt on the site and
continued business until 1853. C. A. HITCHCOCK began trade here in 1876
and two years later took as a partner S. K. BURBANK, and they are now in
business. Dr. WINSLOW's mercantile business has been alluded to. In 1838
Seneca D. TOWNSEND and Ira BUTTON built the store afterward occupied
by Lyman ROCKWOOD, Thomas F. PALMER, James T. GORHAM, Marcus C. BOGUE and
Rollin S. MEACHAM. This store burned in 1879 and Mr. MEACHAM resumed trade
in the old PENFIELD store, the first one at the mills, which has been described,
and is one of the most successful residents of the town. George A. EAYRES
began trade in 1880 in the brick store built in 1849 by William F. MANLEY
and German HAMMOND; others also occupied the store at different periods.
Mr. EAYRES also carries on in addition to his store, a saw-mill, planing-mill,
makes cider-presses, shingles, etc., in a large factory built by him in
1883. In 1842 Robert R. DRAKE opened store in town and in 1861 bought the
present store occupied by his son, which had been erected the preceding
year by James T. GORHAM. Mr. DRAKE continued in trade until 1871, when
he was succeeded by DENISON & RICE, who were followed by the DENISON
Brothers, before mentioned. After they removed to their present location
Mr. DRAKE again took the store and carried on business until his death
in May, 1885. His son succeeds to the business and is postmaster. Joseph
PEABODY opened a store in Hitchcockville in 1858, which, he still continues.
He also manufactures moccasins, mittens and gloves for shipment, in which
he does a large business.
Saw and grist-mills are the first necessity
of pioneers in the way of manufactures, and it was one of the first acts
of the settlers in Pittsford to secure a grist-mill. At a proprietors'
meeting September 3, 1771, was " voted to give Samuel CRIPPEN fifty acres
of land upon his getting a mill first, to grind by the first of December
next." It appears that he did fulfill this requirement, as the proprietors,
at a meeting in April, 1772, voted to give him until the following September
to build the mill," upon the condition that he builds a good mill." Prior
to the fall of 1772 the nearest were at Bennington and Charlestown, some
sixty miles distant. Mr. CRIPPEN doubtless completed his mill in the fall
of 1772, and in December of that the proprietors voted to give him the
land, "upon condition that he keeps grill-mill in good repair ten years
from this time fit for grinding." This stood on "Mill Brook," or "Sucker
Brook" about where William C. COTTING's turning-shop afterwards stood.
The proprietors afterwards voted lands
to Roger STEVENS, jr., and to Felix POWELL for encouragement in building
saw and grist-mills. POWELL did not build his saw-mill, and the privilege
was voted to Jonathan FASSETT. There have been in all six grist-mills and
numerous saw-mills built in this town, to which more or less allusion has
already been made. The fourth one was built in 1795, by Nehemiah HOPKINS,
on the east branch on about the site afterwards occupied by the John STEVENS
mill; it has been mentioned as passing into the possession of John PENFIELD.
The John STEVENS mill was bought of him by Franklin BURDITT, and passed
into possession of Asher BURDITT, who now runs it.
The first fulling-mill and cloth-dressing
factory was built by Noel William AVERY in 1796; it stood on Ripley BROOK
a little above its entrance into East Branch. This is the factory we have
described as having been sold in 1797 to Chester POWERS and by him to Jirah
BARLOW; he continued the business until 1826. About 1811 Captain Caleb
COOLEY built a similar establishment on Ripley Brook. His son-in-law, Justin
DARLING, had the management of these works for some years. Daniel SHERMAN
bought the factory in 1823 and continued business until 1852, when it was
abandoned. In October, 1812, the Pittsford Manufacturing Company was organized
by Stephen AVERY, John PENFIELD, Sturges PENFIELD, Allen PENFIELD, Thomas
HAMMOND, Caleb HENDEE, jr., and bothers, for the establishment of a manufactory
of woolen cloths. The company carried on the business until 1820, WHEN
HENDEE, AVERY, HAMMOND and John PENFIELD retired and STURGES, ALLEN AND
Abel PENFIELD continued. Finally, in 1827 Sturges PENFIELD became the sole
owner and continued the business until 1860, when he retired and John STEVENS
purchased the factory property and converted it to other uses. About 1822
clothier's works were built on East Creek, in the southeasterly part of
the town (East Pittsford). They, changed hands several times and were abandoned
after a few years' operation.
The first tannery in town was that
built by Nathaniel KINGSLEY near the school-house site in district number
2; he was also a shoemaker, the two trades being often associated in early
times. After Mr. KINGSLEY's death his son Joshua carried on the business
until about 1835, when it passed to possession of Samuel WARNER & Son.
The last owner was Abraham BUTTERFIELD, but soon gave up the business and
the tannery went to ruin. Isaac and Kendrick BRESEE began tanning in 1804,
continuing until 1820, when KENDRICK removed from town. The brother continued
the business until 1852, when he removed away and the work was abandoned.
Frederick FREEMAN continued a tanning and currying works about 1805, which
passed through hands to Joseph TOTTINGHAM in 1812; they were soon afterward
The iron furnace, which for many years
constituted one of the most important industries of the town, has been
sufficiently described in foregoing pages.
The stock company called the Pittsford
Iron Company, which succeeded GRANGER, HODGES & Co., did a large business
for a few years; but owing to competition in more favored localities, the
profits were small and the business was suspended. In 1865 a new company
took the works, repaired the furnace and again began operations, but the
business was not sufficiently remunerative to warrant its continuance.
Two iron foundries have existed in
town, the first having been built in 1827 by Cyrus GIBBS and John COOLEY,
near the mouth of Ripley Brook; it was connected with a trip-hammer shop
which had been previously occupied by Amos CRIPPEN, and which has been
alluded to as the "Pocket furnace." The other foundry was built in 1829
by Simeon GRANGER & Sons, near the blast furnace. This was where the
manufacture of stoves, etc. was carried on, as before described.
Three distilleries have been operated
in this town, all of which were long ago abandoned. The first was that
built in 1811 by George WILSON and William HOUSE. After several changes
of ownership it was bought by John and t Henry SIMONDS and for a number
of years did a large business in making whisky. The second one was built
by Allen PENFIELD in 1819; this stood on the East Branch a little south
of the residence of Sturges PENFIELD ; the building was finally converted
into a dwelling by Sturges PENFIELD. The third one was built by Robert
WRIGHT in 1820 and stood on the west side of the creek; Mr. WRIGHT ran
it several years when it was abandoned.
It is probable that the first marble
quarrying in this county was done in the town of Pittsford, before the
beginning of the present century ; since that early date the industry has
possessed considerable importance, as it does today. In 1795 Jeremiah SHELDON
opened a quarry in this town, and four years later Eli HUDSON opened one
a few rods north of the "Pittsford Quarry Company's" opening. The third
quarry in the town, as it was also the third in the county, was opened
by Charles LAMB about the year 1806. The Pittsford Quarry Company was incorporated
in October, 1865, by William Fox RICHARDSON, Francis GARDENER N. H. HAND,
Thomas A. DEXTER, H. L. HAZELTON, George W. MESSENGER and R. S. WADE. The
company built a mill and operated a few years, until about 1872 or 1873
and suspended. The property is now owned by F. W. SMITH & Co.
The Central Vermont Marble Company's
quarry was opened by H. F. LOTHROP, German HENDEE, La Fayette HENDEE and
Oliver AMES in 1869. They operated about a year and leased the property
to George HALL, who organized the above company in 1870. The company worked
it about three years; but it is at present idle, although measures are
soon to be taken to resume the, business.
The Florence & Wakefield Marble
Company are successors to the Black & White Marble Company; the latter
succeeded the Wheaton Marble Company which worked a quarry in this town
from 1870 to 1873. It was then idle until 1882 and after that year until
1884. In the present year (1885) it has passed to the possession of the
Florence & Wakefield Marble Company, recently organized.
F.W. SMITH & Co. have been for
several years interested in the marble industry in this town. They have
a valuable quarry in the western part of the town, about three-quarters
of a mile from the Central Vermont Railroad, with which it is connected
by a switch. The first year of this quarry was 1880, and the product has
since that time been large. In 1883 the North Pittsford Marble Company
was formed, in which Mr. SMITH is a leading spirit. This company opened
its quarry and worked it until quite recently; but it is at present idle.
The other manufacturing interests of
this town are at the present time of a minor character. J. C. LEONARD carries
on carriage-making, in which he has been engaged in the town since 1852,
when he worked for WHITAKER & FISH; he began for himself in 1854. F.
WHITAKER is engaged in carriage-making, also.
In the old sash and blind factory of
Charles T. COLBURN is a wagon repairing and manufacturing shop now carried
on by N. S. WILLIAMS & Son, who succeeded WILLIAMS & HATHAWAY.
Martin SMITH and Edward RANDALL began the manufacture of butter tubs in
town quite recently, in which business Mr. SMITH has been interested several
years. Leonard SARGENT & Sons carry on wagon-making in Whipple Hollow.
Caleb HENDEE, jr., taught school in
Pittsford as early as 1786-87, and was the first teacher in the town as
far as there is an existing account. In March, 1781, the town voted to
appoint a committee to divide the town into school districts; the committee
were Amasa LADD, Thomas HAMMOND, Amos Kellogg, David GITCHELL, John BARNES,
John HITCHCOCK and James EWINGS. The division was made and the town laid
out into six districts. In three of these school-houses were built within
a short time, and others followed later. “Almost innumerable changes and
subdivisions have been made since, which need not be followed here. The
town now comprises fourteen districts and the schools are liberally maintained.
In 1882 the Pittsford School Association
was organized and chartered. Its object was the establishment and maintenance
of a high school, or academy, in the town. This school was first opened
in March, 1882, and before the charter was secured, the sessions being
held in district school-house No. 3; E. P. HITCHCOCK and his wife were
at the head of it. In September, 1882, tile school occupied its present
location in a building which had been a private residence, and the building
was subsequently bought. In December, 1885, the school was placed under
the direction of Mrs. Professor COMMETTE, a teacher of ability, and experience.
There are four cemeteries in this town,
the first of which was laid out in 1785, near the Baptist meeting-house.
There was a burial ground at an early day on the west side of the creek,
on lands formerly owned by James Hopkins, which were given to the town
by him for that purpose. This has been transformed into farming lands and
passed to private ownership. The third burial ground was laid out in 1793,
when the town "voted to lay out a burying place northeast of the meeting-house
plot, on the town plot." This ground was laid out by a committee
and in 1794 the town instructed the selectmen to fence the ground. The
first headstone put up here was in memory of Sally HAMMOND, daughter of
Captain Thomas HAMMOND, and Mrs. Hannah, his wife. In March, 1857, an association
comprising a large number of the citizens of the town was formed and given
the name of the Cemetery Association. The hill lot a little east of the
village, containing six acres, was purchased and in the following autumn
the association was incorporated by the General Assembly under the title
of the Pittsford Cemetery Association. This ground has since been beautifully
laid out in walks, drives and lots, trees and shrubbery planted, fences
built, and made into a spot around which the tenderest memories may willingly
center, as the resting place of the beloved dead.
In the latter part of 1865, the Catholics
of the town purchased two acres of land between the village and the mills,
which has been fenced and greatly improved for a burial ground.
In the spring of 1788 Dr. Abiathar
MILLARD, from Rehoboth, Mass., settled in Pittsford, relieving the inhabitants
of the town from the necessity of sending a long distance when sickness
entered their households. Dr. MILLARD removed from the town about
the year 1808. Dr. Alexander EWINGS settled here about 1792 and remained
until 1805 when he removed to Canada. Dr. William FRISBIE came here from
Middletown about the year 1803, and removed to Ontario county, N. Y., about
1820. He was eminent in his profession and an honorable and upright citizen.
Dr. Kenelm WINSLOW, who has already been mentioned, located here about
1811 and died in 1861, after a professional and private life of great usefulness.
Dr. Freeman H. MOTT settled in Pittsford in 1819, but removed to Ohio in
a few years. Dr. Aaron BAKER, a native of Rutland, came to Pittsford in
1819 and bought the house which had been built by Gordon NEWELL in the
village; he was a man of superior qualities and died here in 1825. Dr.
Peleg C. BARLOW, graduated at Castleton in 1822, practiced here most of
the time until 1838, when he removed to Illinois. Dr. Anderson G. DANA
studied his profession with his brother-in-law, Dr. Kenelm WINSLOW, with
Dr. Selah GRIDLEY, of Castleton, and Dr. Joel GREEN, of Brandon; graduated
from the Philadelphia Medical College; came to Pittsford in 1824. In 1843
he removed to Brandon, where he died in 1861. (See history of Brandon.)
Dr. George B. ARMINGTON located in Pittsford in 1831 and practiced until
his death in May, 1863. He was a well educated physician and had a large
practice. Dr. James S. SWINGS practiced here next and removed to Wisconsin
in 1847. Dr. George PAGE graduated from Middlebury College in 1840 and
soon afterward located here. In 1851 he removed to Crown Point. Dr. Ebenezer
H. DRURY graduated at the Castleton Medical College in 1842 and began practice
here in 1343, where he continued until 1863, since which he has retired,
with little exception. He is one of the oldest men in the profession in
Rutland county. Dr. Edson GIBBS located here about 1855 and practiced until
1864, when he removed to Brandon. Dr. A. M. CAVERLY has already been alluded
to in connection with other members of the family. He located here in the
spring of 1863 and continued in practice until near the time of his death.
He was a thoroughly educated man both in and out of his profession. Dr.
Thomas J. KETCHAM began practice here in 1868 and still continues it.
He was born in Sudbury in 1822; graduated at Castleton College in 1847,
practiced in Sudbury until 1849, when he spent three years in California
; he then practiced one year in Sudbury and two in Brandon, coming here
Dr. Henry H. SWIFT was born in Hadley
Mass., in 1854; studied medicine at the University of Vermont and graduated
in 1880. He came directly to Pittsford and has remained here since. Dr.
CAVERLY was his preceptor.
Dr. Charles Orson BRIGHAM was born
in Ogdensburg, N. Y., in 1848. He studied medicine at the University of
Vermont and is now practicing under a license; will graduate the coming
Dr. C. A. FLANDERS (homeopathist) was
born in Chelsea, in 1847; studied his profession in Waterbury and attended
lectures at the Hahnemann College in Philadelphia; he practiced one
year in Richmond, Vt., one year in Underhill Vt., and six years in Cornwall;
for the past six years he has practiced in Pittsford.
There have been comparatively few lawyers
in Pittsford. The first was Nathan B. GRAHAM, brother of John A., of whom
notice has been sufficiently made in the chapter on the bar of the county;
he removed to Rutland in 1796. Gordon NEWELL began practice here in 1804,
having been admitted to the bar in 1801. He represented the town in 1818-19
and was assistant judge of the county court in 1847-48; died in 1865. Ebenezer
N. BRIGGS located here in 1823 and two years later removed to Salisbury
and thence in 1839 to Brandon. (See history of that town.) Lyman GRANGER
began practice here in 1824, but two years later gave up the profession
for other business. John PIERPOINT began practice here in 1827, in which
year he was admitted to the bar. About three years later he removed to
Vergennes and became chief justice of the Supreme Court of Vermont; he
died recently. John G. NEWELL, eldest son of Gordon, practiced here from
about 1831, in which year he was admitted, until his health forced him
to cease; he resides in Boston. James R. NEWELL, his younger brother, practiced
in company with his father from 1832, but gave it up in a few years. Charles
S. COLBURN, of whom we have given a brief sketch, is now the only practicing
attorney in the town.
of Rutland County Vermont with Illustrations and
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 Pittsford
by Karima, 2002
History of the Town of Pittsford, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82
Business Directory of the Town of Pittsford, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82
Divided Loyalties of the Stevens Family
on Divided Loyalties - Benjamin Stevens