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SUDBURY lies in the northeastern corner of the county, and is bounded on the north by Whiting in Addison county; on the east by Brandon; on the south by Hubbardton, and on the west by Orwell in Addison county, and a part of Benson.

      It was chartered by Benning Wentworth, governor of New Hampshire, on the 6th of August, 1761, and contained 13,426 acres. The surface is mountainous and broken and is made a watershed by a range of hills which extend north and south through the town, sending the waters on the eastern slope into Otter Creek, and on the western side into Lake Champlain. The soil is generally a rich loam, well adapted to the production of wheat, oats, rye, buckwheat, Indian corn, potatoes and hay. The numerous valleys of the streams abound in excellent farming lands, and the more hilly regions afford the best of pasturage for sheep and cattle. Many smaller streams, and a portion of Otter Creek which enters the northeastern corner of the town and flows for some distance along the eastern boundary, constitute the drainage. The scenery is diversified by the hills and forests not only, but by numerous handsome ponds, notably High, Burr and Huff Ponds, and Lake Hortonia. The last named sheet of water is in the southwest part of the town, extending into
Hubbardton, and is about two miles in length by half a mile in width.

      Immediately after the granting of the town in 1761, the host of land speculators commenced the purchase and sale of land in Sudbury in the hope of creating an interest that would increase the price of real property in town. As early as 1763, land situated within the present limits of the town was transferred by deed from Benjamin FOX, of Nottingham, in the province of New Hampshire, "Yoeman," to Thomas TOSH, of New Market, in the same province. The name Benoni FARRAND appears at this early date in many of the land records as "town clerk," and continues at various intervals to appear thus until 1791 -- over a period of twenty-eight years. No complete explanation of this seems to be obtainable, though it is naturally conjectured that in his signatures he persisted in stating his official title as clerk of some town which was his ante-revolutionary residence. He was certainly one of the earliest settlers in town, and a man of considerable prominence.

      Among the other names of persons appearing to have settled in town by 1789 are those of Platt KETCHAM, Aaron JACKSON, Simon GOODWARD, Joshua TRACY, Jeremiah GATES and John HALL. The earliest record extant of a regular meeting for the conduct of town business is dated January 15, 1789. The earlier leaves of this book of records are missing, and thus we are unable to state even the date of the organization of the town.

      Sudbury was represented in the Dorset convention of July 24, 1776, by John GAGE. At this meeting, however, John HALL was chosen moderator. The other officers are not mentioned. Some of the earliest officers of the town were as follows: Shaler TOWNER, John GAGE, Zebina SANDERS, fence viewers; John RICKE, William BUCK, Jeremiah STONE, Joseph WARNER, William PALMER, Timothy MILLER, surveyors of highways; John HALE, esq., sealer of weights and measures; at a meeting held on the 2d of May, 1793, Benoni FARRAND, Timothy MILLER and Joseph WARNER were chosen a committee to hire preaching. FARRAND at this time was town clerk.

      One of the earliest settlers in Sudbury was Noah MERRITT. He came to Brandon immediately after the close of the War of the Revolution. He was in the battle of Bunker Hill, and was one of the nine last men to leave they fort. He there received a ball in the instep which knocked off the buckle from his shoe. He was in many of the principal battles of the Revolution, and was one of the guards over Major ANDRE on the night before the execution. He married Eunice METCALF, of Templeton, Mass., and, as soon as the war was over, he and his wife and child (Noah D.) made the journey from Templeton to Brandon, Vt., in winter. A single ox drew them and their effects all the way in six weeks. They lived in Brandon for four years and then moved to Sudbury. He died in 1842, and his wife survived him until 1845, when she died at the age of ninety-four years. The farm which he occupied was in the east part of the town, called "Spunkhole." 

      Thomas KETCHAM, born February 8, 1748, immigrated from Duchess county, N. Y., to Sudbury at a very early date. Major Barnard KETCHAM, one of his sons, married a daughter of Aaron JACKSON, another early settler. Thomas KETCHAM died on the 19th of May, 1834. 

      Benoni GRIFFIN, from Simsbury, Conn, came to Castleton, whence in 1799 he removed to Sudbury and settled on the farm now owned by his son, Benoni, jr. The house still stands which he built more than eighty years ago. There was a house on the place when Mr. GRIFFIN came, built some time before b. Andrew GATES, who owned several hundred acres of land in this vicinity.

      The old military road, elsewhere described, traverses this town in a north-westerly direction, from the southeast to the northwest corners. Near this road on the farm of Mr. GRIFFIN is a famous spring of clear cold water, called "Cold Spring." It is related that on one occasion a party of Indians passed through the town with two prisoners, one of whom was very large and the other very small. The larger one was afflicted with a sore foot, upon which his red captives, out of pure malice, would jump and stamp. This so exasperated his small companion that he warned them in not very choice language that it would not be well for them to attempt the same experiment with him; at this one of them, stung by his taunts, attempted it, and was immediately knocked down by the plucky little fellow. This act was loudly applauded by the discomfited Indian's companions, and the prisoner was molested no more. They soon after arrived at Cold Spring, and while several of them were stooped down to drink, the small man suddenly picked up a dog belonging to the Indians, and from an eminence of several feet, hurled it upon their heads. For these acts of bravery he was much petted by the Indians and finally allowed his liberty. A little south of the spring there was once an Indian camp, where many Indian relics have since been found -- arrow heads, finished and unfinished, stone pestles for pounding corn, many of them decorated with antique designs, stone images, etc. Cold Spring is also the site of an encampment of the Continental army, many relics having been plowed up, consisting of bayonets, ramrods, knives, and upon one occasion a large copper camp kettle. It is also related that many years ago, an old Revolutionary soldier named Enos, journeyed hither from a distant part of the State just for the purpose of once more drinking from the old spring.

      Peter REYNOLDS also came here in early times, by the way of Otter Creek, traveling on the ice. He erected a tent on the line between Sudbury and Brandon, subsequently settling in the latter place. The high water in Brandon drove him out the next spring, and he crossed the creek on a raft and made Sudbury his home. He was justice of the peace here for a number of years.

      David LAYTON came here before 1800 and settled on the farm originally cleared by David SMITH, in the north part of the town. He operated a tannery, manufactured potash and carried on the trade of hatter for a number of years. In 1804 he adopted John C. SAWYER, who was born in Brandon in 1800, and on his death, no issue surviving, the property came into Mr. SAWYER's hands. LAYTON's business was carried on a little south of the famous "Sawyer Stand," in the early part of the century a place of wide and pleasing notoriety. It was the "half-way house" between Brandon and Orwell, and a station on the old stage road from Vergennes to Whitehall, and from Rutland to Lake Champlain. All the products of the iron works of Brandon and Pittsford passed through here on their way to the lake.

      Aaron JACKSON's name appears in the records of 1789 and he certainly resided in town at that time. Evidence seems to establish as a fact the claim that he built the first framed house in town, rafting the lumber from Sutherland Falls to Miller's Bridge, and thence conveying it through the wilderness by "blazed" trees. He is also accredited with having been the owner of the first oven in town, wherein was baked bread from the first wheat grown in Sudbury, and of having made the first cheese made in town. He entered the Continental army at the age of sixteen years in company with his father and a still younger brother. They took part in the battle of Bunker Hill.

      Captain PEARSE settled in early days on the farm now owned by M. H. LANDON. His old log-house stood just back of the present site of the barn.

      Charles YOUNG immigrated to Sudbury about the year 1805, from Athol, Mass., and settled on the farm now owned by his son. Timothy MILLER was from Massachusetts and settle, in 1771, on the farm now owned by Andrew STEELE. He afterwards located at the west end of what is now known as Miller's Bridge, where he built a log house, in which he resided three years. During the Revolution the Indians became so troublesome that he, in common with the then few inhabitants of the town, retreated to some more thickly-settled part of the country and did not return until after the Revolution. He was justice of the peace for many years; he died in 1825 at the age of seventy-five years.

      Isaac HUFF came to Sudbury from Nine Partners, N. Y., in 1790, being then in his forty-sixth year. The first year he resided on land covered in later days by Steele's cider-mill; meanwhile he cleared land or premises now occupied by his grandsons, and erected a log house there in which he dwelt until 1812, when he built a framed house near the old one. He died in 1821. 

      Gideon MORTON was born in Orwell, Addison county, in 1789, and died on the 2d of April, 1870, in Sudbury. He came here in the early part of the present century and settled on the farm now occupied by Solon BRESEE. Here he resided until 1843, when he removed to the farm now occupied by his son, Benjamin L. MORTON. Gideon MORTON was probably the first physician in Sudbury.

      Reuben ALLEN came to Sudbury also at an early date, and started for Plattsburg during the war of 1812, although he was much too old for military service.

      Deacon Eli ROYS cleared the farm now occupied by C. C. SELLECK in 1790. He was a famous trapper and hunter, and it is related he once caught a wolf on the site of the present meeting-house.

      Joseph WARNER came here as early as 1789, and attained at once a prominence which he never afterwards relinquished. He and his sons, John L., Jason, Fordyce, Joseph, Hiram, Warren and Almon, manufactured potash in the middle of the town and ran a store near the ashery. Judge WARNER also kept a tavern in the northeast part of the town, on Sudbury Hill; he was one: of the most prominent men in the town. He represented Sudbury in the Constitutional Convention of 1791 and 1792, and in the General Assembly from 1805 until 1822. He was assistant county judge of the Rutland County Court in 1821-24, and councilor in 1821 and 1822. Joseph WARNER, jr., was a merchant in town after his father until 1832, when he became cashier of the bank in Middlebury, which position he retained until his death.

      Roger BURR was born November t, 1755, in Athol, Mass., whence he came to Sudbury about the year 1773, and settled on the farm now occupied by his grandson, Mason BURR. He built a log house on the ground now used on the old homestead as a garden. His wife, Jennie RICH, was born July 20, 1762. They came from Athol on horseback. They had seven children, of whom Asahel, father to Mason, was the third. Asahel BURR was born on the 8th of July, 1793, and died here at the age of ninety years and ten months.

      Roger BURR built the first mill in town in 1784. Its work was done, of course, with the old-fashioned "up-and-down" saw. The building is still, standing on the farm, although it has been once rebuilt. There was then no grist-mill in town and the family flour consisted of pounded corn. Before 1810 Mr. BURR erected a cider-mill, and from the accounts taken from an old journal which he kept, and which contains, among others, the names of John HURLBERT, Asa SMITH, Elisha SMITH, Noah MERRITT, Thomas WHITE, John RANSOM, Nahum CLARK, Alvin GRISWOLD and Walker RUMSEY, it can be seen that it was customary to buy apples at six cents per bushel and make cider for ten cents per barrel.

      Mason BURR was born on the 23d of October, 1822, in the house he now occupies. He has a curious relic in his possession, in the shape of two human skeletons found buried on the BURR farm, which, from the mode of burial and structural evidences, have been pronounced the remains of an Indian and squaw. In view of the fact that there have been no Indians in Sudbury since the Revolutionary War, it is easy to conjecture them the victims either of a White man's wrath or of disease of more than a hundred years ago. When first exhumed the skeletons were in a perfect state of preservation, every bone and joint being still in its proper place, and every tooth complete and perfect. Exposure to the air, however, has softened and displaced them so that they are no longer anything but a mass of almost indistinguishable bones. 

      The first tavern in town was kept by a Mr. MILLS in the latter part of the last century, and sold in 1801 to Pitt W. HYDE. He was born in Norwich, Coon., December 29, 1776, and was the fifth son of Captain Jedediah HYDE by his first wife, Mary WATERMAN. The family originally came from England. Before 1801 Pitt William HYDE was all inn-keeper in Hyde Park, Vt., and gave that place its name. On the 19th of October, 1796, he married Mary KILBOURNE, of Litchfield, Conn. He died May 29, 1823. James Kilbourne HYDE, father of the present proprietor of Hyde Manor, was born on the 19th of November, 1801, at Morristown, Conn., and was brought to Sudbury in the same year. On the 15th of February, 1824, he married Lavinia GAGE, and continued the hotel until he died, September 21, 1870. This house, both under Pitt W. HYDE and the Hon. James K. HYDE, was one of the most celebrated hostelries in New England, situated as it was at a convenient resting-place on the old stage route between Canada and Northern Vermont, and Whitehall and Rutland. Hyde's hotel became widely known, not only for the excellence of the fare and the comfort which the very rafters of the house seemed to shed upon all guests, but also for the genial welcome extended to all alike, the rich and the well-dressed, and the poor and humble. James K. HYDE was also town clerk for thirty years, and justice of the peace thirty-four years. He represented the town in the General Assembly in 1833, 1834, 1835 and 1840, and was senator from Rutland county in 1850 and 1851. He was elected assistant judge of the Rutland County Court in 1869.

      Arunah Waterman HYDE, the present proprietor of the hotel, son of James K. HYDE, was born May 14th, 1842; married on the 3d of January, 1866, to Miss Elizabeth EDDY, of Whitehall, N. Y. In 1862 the old hotel was destroyed by fire, and the present house erected by James K. HYDE in 1865. A. W. HYDE has had the entire management of the business in his hands since that time. The hotel has capacity to accommodate two hundred guests. The Hyde Manor fame as a perfect resort for families with children has long been established. Mr. HYDE well sustains the reputation of the family name for genialty and heartiness, and will undoubtedly educate his only son, James K. HYDE (born March 14, 1874), to carry on the business for the fourth generation.

      With reference to the early condition of the town, Colonel H. H. MERRITT, now of Brandon, briefly gives the following information: In 1820 there was a grist-mill in the north part of the town, with one run of stone; there was no distillery here, the nearest one being operated by Mr. BRESEE, of Hubbardton. Judge WARNEr's ashery, store and tavern have already been mentioned. David LAYTON had an ashery in the north part of the town. Isaac HUFF and Roger BURR ran the only saw-mills in town, the one at the outlet of Huff's Pond, and the other at the outlet of Burr's Pond.


      To prove that Sudbury did her share in the war of the Rebellion, the following names alone will suffice: 

      Volunteers for three years credited previous to the call for 300,000 volunteers of October 17, 1863. -- Peter BAKER, Schuyler BAKER, 2d bat.; Tuffel BROTHER, co. L, 11th regt.; Nathaniel BUCKLIN, co. H, 5th regt.; John M. CHASE, co. L, 11th regt.; Charles V. COOL, co. H, 5th regt.; Lewis GONYAW, Erskine S. GRAVES, 11th regt.; Mason K. GOODELL, 2d bat.; Anthony JACOBS, Milton LANDEN, James F. LILLIE, co. H, 5th regt.; Alonzo MARTIN, co. B, 7th regt.; Franklin MERCHANT, co. H, 5th regt.; Julius K. MORGAN, co. K, 2d regt.; Henry J. NICHOLS, co. C, 11th regt.; Julius REIVERS, 2d bat.; Charles M. SHAW, 5th regt.; James L. SLASON, John C. Slason, co. B, 9th regt.; Alphonzo F. Smith, co. C,.; t 11th regt.; Edward H. SMITH, co. H, 5th regt.; James SULLIVAN, co. M, 11th regt.; Julius M. WALACE, John N. WELCH, co. H, 5th regt.

      Credits under call of October 17, 1862, for 300,000 volunteers and subsequent calls. Volunteers for three years. -- Augustus P. CHASE, co. E, 11th regt.; Luther GROVER, co. K, 2d regt.; Moses C. HUNT, Frank J. MAYHEW,; Clarence MCARTHUR, 2d bat.; Julius S. MORGAN, co. K, 2d regt.; Daniel SMITH, Erasmus D. THOMPSON, 2d bat.; Charles C. WARD, co. H, 5th regt.

      Volunteers for one year. -- Alva M. ALLEN, Rial F. CART, 11th regt.; William R. DERBY, co. B, 8th regt.; Volney W. JENKS, co. F, 1st s. s.; Wallace SAWYER, Harrison M. WILLIAMS, co. H, 5th regt.

      Volunteers re-enlisted. -- Nathaniel BUCKLIN, Charles V. COOL, Jonathan LARRABEE, James F. LILLIE, co. H, 5th regt.; Peter MAY, George OAKLAND, Julius RIVERS, 2d bat.; Charles M. SHAW, co. H, 5th regt.; Morrill SHEPPARD, 2d bat,; John N. WELCH, co. H, 5th regt.

      Volunteers for nine months. -- Abram C. ACKERMAN, Lorenzo G. BARRETT, Albert F. BURR, David W. CLARK, William GOODROW, Martin KETCHUM, German LANDEN, Charles P. MORTON, co. G, 12th regt.; Harrison T. PETTEE, Sherrard SAWYER, Charles C. WARD, John L. WOOD, co. G, 12th regt.

      Furnished under draft and paid commutations. -- Franklin T. LANDEN. Procured substitute. -- Edward J. JOHNSON.


      The first Congregational Church of Sudbury was organized in 1803, with Silas PERSONS for its first pastor. Land was soon afterwards donated by Apollos ROLLO, and the church edifice was erected in 1807. The church property is valued at about $1,500. A great many deaths have depleted the membership of the church in later years, so that the present membership is very light. The present pastor, Rev. Mr. GROUT, has passed fifteen years of his ministerial life in Africa. He came to Sudbury in June, 1885.


      The first postmaster within the memory of living men was Joseph WARNER, who kept the office near the ashery. The present postmaster, N. A. BUCKLIN, was appointed in 1879, as successor to R. W. PITTS, who had held the office for fifteen or twenty years. Jefferson GOODRICH preceded him. Mr., BUCKLIN has had a general store here since the year 1878.

      The following table shows the variation in population which has fallen to the lot of Sudbury since the year 1791: 1791, 258; 1800, 521; 1810, 754; 1820, 809; 1830, 812; 1840, 766; 1850, 794; 1860, 606; 1870, 601; 1880, 562.

History of Rutland County Vermont With Illustrations And Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men And Pioneers
Edited by H. Y. Smith & W. S. Rann
Syracuse, N. Y.
D. Mason & Co., Publishers  1886
Chapter XXXIX..
History Of The Town Of Sudbury
(pages 812 819)

Transcribed by Karima, 2002

Childs' Business Directory of the Town of Sudbury, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82
Childs' History of the Town of Sudbury, Rutland County, VT., 1881-82