WAITSFIELD lies in the western part of Washington county, in latitude 44° 11' and longitude 4° 15', and is bounded northerly by. Moretown, easterly by Northfield, southerly by Warren, and westerly by Fayston. It was chartered February 25, 1782, to Roger ENOS, Benjamin WAIT, and others, in all numbering seventy, by the legislature of Vermont.  The charter was signed by his excellency Thomas Chittenden, then governor. The township was then supposed to contain 23,030 acres; but by an actual survey made in 1788 it was found to contain 23,850 acres. November 7, 1822, four tiers of lots were annexed to Northfield from the east side, and again in 1846 six lots more, an aggregate of 8,310 acres, and diminishing the area of Waitsfield to 15,540 acres. The tract set off to Northfield lies on the easterly side of the mountain, and all business matters are more conveniently transacted by its inhabitants at Northfield village than at any point in Waitsfield.  

      The first proprietors' meeting was convened June 30, 1788, in Windsor, but the record shows no transactions of importance. The next meeting was held in Woodstock, June 2, 1789, and eight of the proprietors were present, viz.: Zebulon LEE, who represented seventeen shares; Benjamin WAIT, five shares; Joel MATTHEWS, three; John MARSH, five; Ezra JONES, three; William SWEETZER, three; Anthony MORSE, one; and Reuben SKINNER, three; making a total of forty shares. The remaining thirty shares were sold at auction for taxes, and nearly all were bid off by Gen. WAIT, at  (pound sign), 10s. per lot.

      The first permanent settlement in the town was made in 1789, by Gen. WAIT and his family. At this time the General had no neighbors nearer than ten or twelve miles in any direction. In 1790 the legislature granted a petition to tax all land in town 2d. per acre, for the purpose of building mills and constructing roads and bridges. From the funds thus raised a saw-mill and grist-mill were at once commenced and soon finished, by John HEATON, where the little village of Irasville now stands.

      The soil of Waitsfield varies, but is generally a strong, deep, rich, and mellow loam. The extensive intervales along Mad river, with the adjoining uplands, are divided into many excellent farms, and the highlands, though rough and broken, have a good soil and make excellent farms. The highest summit in the range of hills in the eastern part of the town is Bald Mountain. From these hills picturesque and unobstructed views of the surrounding country and distant peaks are obtained.

      Mad river enters Waitsfield from Warren, flows entirely across the town rear its western boundary, and parallel with it, and falls into the Winooski in Moretown about seven miles below Montpelier. Its tributaries in Waitsfield are Mill brook and Shepard's brook from Fayston, and Fay's brook and Pine brook from the east.

      There is nothing peculiar in the geology of this town. It is underlaid entirely with talcost schist. There is a small bed of serpentine near the northeastern corner, and one of steatite near the center of the town.

      The leading industry of the people of Waitsfield is farming, and the staple productions are butter, cheese, maple sugar, and live stock. The farmers of Waitsfield are justly celebrated as breeders and growers of fine horses and cattle, and are not excelled by any town in the county.

      The town was organized March 25, 1794. Moses HEATON was the first town clerk. The first freeman's meeting was held in September, 1795. There were then but twenty-seven legal voters in the town, and they elected Gen. WAIT to represent the town in the legislature. The first church (Congregational) was organized June 27, 1796.

      Waitsfield had a population in 1880 of 938 souls. This town is organized under the town system, and in 1888 supported six schools, which were taught eighteen terms by two male and thirteen female teachers, at an average weekly salary of $7.08 for males and $7.31 for the females. The whole number of scholars in attendance was 218. The entire income for all school purposes was $2,019.33. The amount paid teachers, including board, was $1,536.95. The entire amount expended for all school purposes was $1,946.20, with H. N. BUSHNELL, superintendent.


      WAITSFIELD (p. o.) village is situated on Mad river, and is so located that it is the commercial center for both Waitsfield and the adjoining town of Fayston. Its nearest railroad station is at Middlesex, and it has the benefit of a daily stage. The village contains about a dozen merchants and dealers of all kinds, one hotel, a grist and saw-mill; three church edifices (Congregational, Methodist, and Universalist), a good school, three physicians, one lawyer, one photographer, the usual complement of mechanics, and about 250 inhabitants.
 



      IRASVILLE is located at or near the junction of Mill brook with Mad river. It is a thrifty hamlet, containing one shingle-mill, one saw-mill, one store, a blacksmith shop, and about 125 inhabitants.

      PALMER Brothers' grist and saw-mills were purchased by the firm in 1886. The grist-mill, with three runs of stones, does a large and flourishing business. The saw-mill turns out annually about 270,000 feet of clapboards and about 256,000 feet of other kinds of lumber.

      M.L. RICHARDSON's saw mill, located on Mill brook, manufactures about 400,000 feet of lumber per year. This mill was built by Ira RICHARDSON.

      Fred Parker's shingle-mill at Irasville was originally built for a woolcarding-mill. Mr. PARKER purchased the property in 1882. He manufactures about 1,200,006 shingles per year.

      Elmer O. TRASK's saw and shingle-mill is located in the northern part of the town. Mr. TRASK has owned the property since 1882. He turns out from 600,000 to 800,000 feet of lumber, 300,000 to 500,000 feet of clapboards, and 75,000 to 100,000 shingles annually.

      James S. NEWCOMB's carriage shop is located in the village of Waitsfield, where he and his son conduct the business of carriage making and general repairing.

      George W. OLMSTEAD's butter tub shop, established in 1884, is located in the village. He turns out about 400 butter tubs per year, and does a general repairing business.

      Gen. Benjamin WAIT, the first inhabitant, and after 1788 the owner of more than half of the township of Waitsfield, and in honor of whom the town received its name, settled here in 1789. The following sketch of him we extract from Thompson's Gazetteer of Vermont: 

"Gen. Wait, the first inhabitant of this town, was born at Sudbury, Mass., February 13, 1737. He possessed a firm and vigorous constitution, and early manifested a disposition and talent for military enterprise. At the age of eighteen he entered the service of his country, under the brave Gen. Amherst. In 1756 he was taken by the French, carried to Quebec, and from thence sent to France as a prisoner. On the coast of France he was retaken by the British and carried to England. In the spring of 1757 he returned to America, and in 1758 assisted at the capture of Louisburgh. During the two succeeding years he aided in the reduction of Canada. After the submission of Canada he was sent, by the command at Detroit, to Illinois, to bring in the French garrison included in the capitulation. He left Detroit December 10th, and returned on the first of March following, having performed this difficult service with singular perseverance and success. At twenty-five years of age he had been engaged in forty battles and skirmishes; and his clothes were several times perforated with musket balls, but he never received a wound.. In 1767 he removed to Windsor, in this state, and constituted the third family in the township. He acted a decided and conspicuous part in favor of Vermont in the controversy with New York. In 1776 he entered the service of the United States as captain, and fought under the banners of Washington till the close of the war, during which time he had been raised to the rank of colonel. After this he was made a brigadier-general of militia, and way for seven years high sheriff of the county of Windsor."

      He is described as a man of over medium height, straight as an arrow, stout, and with a very light complexion. And from what knowledge we gain we think he had a mind and will of his own. Tradition has it that the commissioners appointed to locate the state capital, finding Waitsfield near the geographical center of the state, stuck their stake for that purpose where the village now stands; but Gen. WAIT declared, "He would n't have his meadow cut up." He resided in Waitsfield thirty-three years, until the time of his death, June 28, 1822, aged eighty-five years.

      The following sketch of Jennison JONES, Esq., is by Rev. P. B. FISK, in Hemenway's Gazetteer:

"Jennison Jones, Esq., was born in Claremont, N. H., January 1, 1777, and removed in early life to Waitsfield; where, he resided until his death. He enjoyed only the common school advantages of those days, but was one of those ‘self-made men,' for which this country has been noted. As a young man he was a very successful teacher; He filled nearly every town office with perfect acceptance when in the prime of life, represented the town in 1827-28, and was especially interested in the history of the town, and accurate in dates and figures. He married, December 26, 1802, Miss Philany Holmes, and reared a large family. He died December 22, 1852, aged seventy-five years."

      Matthias S. JONES, Esq., was born in Claremont, N. H., April 12, 1778, and removed to Waitsfield at an early date. He was one of the more prominent men of the town, and held many of its offices of trust and responsibility -- was justice of the peace more than thirty years, town clerk for half that period, and represented the town in the legislature in 1825, '26, and '27. He was married twice, first, August 28, 1807, to Betsey JOYSLIN, of Waitsfield, and second, May 26, 1836, to Mary PRENTICE, of Weathersfield. He died June 25, 1851. He reared a numerous family, all by the first marriage. One son, L. W. JONES, became a successful merchant of Waitsfield, and was a man of decided public spirit.

      Edwin JONES, M. D., was born in Waitsfield, June 3, 1825, studied medicine with Dr. D. C. JOSLIN, attended one course of lectures at Woodstock, and graduated at Pittsfield, Mass.; practiced a few months at Orange, Vt., and at Vershire and Strafford the remainder of his life. October 18, 1852, he married Mary A., daughter of Rev. Elisha BROWN, of Montpelier, and died precisely two years later, at Strafford.'

      Hon. Hiram JONES, another son of Matthias S. JONES, was born June 26, 1808. He was educated in the common schools of his native town, and' made so good use of the scanty means afforded him for improvement that at an unusually early age he was called by his appreciating townsmen to fill many important places of public trust. He represented his town in the legislature of 1840, '41, and '42, was assistant judge of the County Court from 1855 to r857, and besides he almost continually served as justice of the peace. October 6, 1835, he married Laura L., daughter of Hon. Jason CARPENTER, by whom he had six children, only three of whom are now living, viz.: Charles E., Walter A., of Waitsfield, and Hiram E., of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

      Levi WILDER was born in 1772, and came from Shelburne, Mass., to Waitsfield, in 1792 or 1793, and settled on the farm where his son Orcas C. now lives. He was three times married, first to Lavinia SKINNER, second to Clarissa SKINNER, and third to Bernice BATES. He was the father of ten children, three of whom are now living, viz.: Levi C., in Minnesota; Orcas C., as before mentioned, on the homestead in Waitsfield; and Ann (Mrs. HARRINGTON), in Moretown. Mr. WILDER died in 1855. He was captain of militia and active in the interest of his town. Capt. Orcas C. WILDER was born in Waitsfield, in 1828. He served as captain in the war for the Union, and participated in the battle of Gettysburg. He has since taken an active part in town affairs, served as selectman, and in all has been lister about ten years. He married Mary E. HOLDEN, and they had seven children, viz.: Alice M. (Mrs. Orville H. RICHARDSON), of Montpelier; Fred F., who resides in Minneapolis; Levi O., Enos E., Allen F., Josie C., and Roy J., who reside with their parents.

      Dea. Moses FISK, from Shelburne, Mass., came to Waitsfield in 1795, and settled in the north part of the town, on the farm where Charles EDDY now lives, and where he resided until about 1810, when he removed to a portion of the farm now owned by Dea. E. A. FISK. He reared a family of twelve children, eleven of whom arrived to mature age, and three of them, Perrin B., Hawley, and Joel, became noted ministers of the gospel. Dea. FISK died February 5, 1847. His son Amos was born in Waitsfield, in 1806, and resided in town most of his life, dying in 1880. His wife was Joanna BARNARD, and their children were Fidelia J., who died at the age of twenty-two years; Carrie S. (Mrs. Orrin H. JOSLIN) ; Rev. Pliny B., who resides in Dakota; and Dea. Edward A., who resides on the homestead in Waitsfield. He served his country in the late war.

      Jonathan PALMER was a pioneer of Waitsfield. He came from Hill, N. H., and settled in the northeastern part of the town at a very early day. He reared a family of nine children, none of whom are now living. He died in this town. His son Jonathan was born in Waitsfield, in 1804, where he resided until his death, in 1869. His children are Jonathan H. and Mrs. Laura DAVIS, of Moretown; Julius I. and John W., of Waitsfield; and Mrs. Emeline BROWN, of Warren. Aaron Palmer, another son of Jonathan, and his sons Moses, William, and Hiram, all reside in Waitsfield. Moses and William are active business men.

      David BUSHNELL, of Saybrook, Conn., came to. Waitsfield about 1797, and settled in the eastern part of the town, where he cleared a farm. He died in 1861. Of his eleven children, all of whom lived to rear families, only his son Pardon is now living (1888). He was born in 1808, and always resided in Waitsfield. He represented his town in the legislature of 1859 and '60, and has served his town as selectman and overseer of the poor. In 1835 he married Miss Elmira WOODBURY, of Baltimore, Vt., and they had born to them six children. Those now living are Milo A., in Waitsfield ; Frederick O., who served in the late war, in Worcester, Mass.; and George and Oscar, who reside in Thompsonville, Conn.

      Jedediah BUSHNELL was born in 1797, and resided about one mile below the village, on Mad river, where he was located in 1830, at the time of the great freshet. He afterwards removed to the farm where his son Henry N. now lives. He was interested in the affairs of the town and held numerous offices. He married, first, Abigail TAYLOR, and second, Naomi JOSLIN, and by both marriages was the father of nine children, five of whom are now living, two, Henry N. and Elvira (Mrs. Walter A. JONES), in Waitsfield. Henry N. BUSHNELL was born in 1838. In August, 1860, he enlisted into Co. H, 6th Vt. Regt., as a private, and was mustered out of service in July, 1865, with the rank of captain. He was in twenty-five engagements, which covered a period of about fifty days' fighting, and escaped with but one slight wound, and in his whole term of four years' service he was sick less than one week. He represented Waitsfield in the legislature of 1872-73, and has served as selectman and lister.

      William WAITE was born in Waitsfield in 1797 and died there in 1886. He held most of the offices in the gift of his townsmen. He married, first, Persis GRANDY, and second, Laura CARROLL. His three children, all by the first wife, were Harvey M., William A., and Susan. Harvey M. and William are still living, and in Waitsfield.

      Samuel SAVAGE came to Waitsfield from Weathersfield before 1797. He was a man of influence in town affairs, and reared a family of eight children. Matthew C., son of Samuel, was born in 1808, and died in Waitsfield in 1880. His wife was Catherine E. DUREN, of Middlebury, and they had born to them nine children, seven of whom are living, three, Lucius D., Edward M., and Alfred W., in Waitsfield. Lucius D. SAVAGE enlisted into the Union army May 7, 1861. He was wounded at the battle of Savage Station, was taken prisoner June 29, 1862, released from prison July 30, and discharged November 29, 1862. Since then he has been prominent in town affairs, has served as lister, selectman, and member of the school board six years, was census enumerator in 1880, represented Waitsfield in the legislature of 1884, and was minor vice department commander, G. A. R., in 1880 and '81.

      Job HOUSE, from Abington, Mass., came to Waitsfield about 1798. He resided a few years in New York state, but returned to Waitsfield, where he spent the remainder of his long life, dying at the advanced age of ninety-four years. Three sons and four daughters grew to maturity, four of whom are now living, and all reside in Waitsfield, viz.: Jason, Nathan D., Edwin, and Lucy N.

      Joseph JOSLYN, son of Joseph, was born in Massachusetts. He emigrated to Waitsfield in 1798, and located on a farm in the wilderness in the eastern part of the town, where his youngest son, Alfred, now lives. He cleared a few acres, built a log house, and in 1800 married Miss Betsey CHAMBERLIN, of Weathersfield, Vt., and brought his bride to the home he had prepared. They occupied the log house many years, but eventually built a fine frame house, in which he resided until his death, aged nearly ninety years. Mr. JOSLYN was the eldest of a family of twelve children, and had born to him by three marriages thirteen children, eight of whom are now, living. The four children of the first wife are all living,. (November, 1887,) the sum of whose ages, is 336 years, viz.: Jennison, who resides in his native, town, aged eighty-seven; Luke, of Waterbury, aged eighty-five; Hiram, of Berlin, Wis., aged eighty-three; and Betsey, widow of Thomas WILDER, in Morrisville, Vt., aged eighty-one. His second wife, Nancy SPALDING, of Plainfield, N, H., was the mother of three children, of whom one is living. The third wife, Abigail TAYLOR, bore him six children, three, of whom are living. Alfred the youngest, as before mentioned, resides on the homestead, and in the house built by his father.

      Lyman FISK, son of Moses, born in Waitsfield in 1801, was a cooper and farmer. He resided during his whole life in Waitsfield, dying in 1884. He was a deacon of the Congregational church over forty years, was selectman, and held other positions of trust and responsibility. He married Mary POFFORD, of Moretown, and they were parents of five children, all now living, viz.: Rev. Perrin B., in Mount Dora, Florida; and four daughters, Augusta (Mrs. H. B. CROSS), Mary E., Anna B., and Hattie C., in Montpelier.

      Capt. John CAMPBELL, from New Boston, N. H., came to Waitsfield about 1802, and settled on road 32, on the farm where John WATERMAN now lives, and where he resided until his death, in 1852. He married Lois WHITNEY, of Morristown, and they had nine children, all deceased. Capt. CAMPBELL was a prominent man. He kept a public house many years, and was rough in exterior, but possessed good abilities and sound judgment. Col. John CAMPBELL was also a prominent man in Waitsfield. He, too, kept a public house, and was colonel of the militia, and filled acceptably several town offices. He died in 1880.

      Huzzial GLEASON was born in Langdon, N. H., in 1802, and came to Waitsfield in 1819, where he resided until 1828. In 1827 he married Miss Emily RICHARDSON, of Warren, and located on a farm in the eastern part of that town, where he resided the ensuing forty-two years, when, feeling the infirmities of approaching old age, he sold his farm and returned to the village of Waitsfield, where he now resides. Mrs. GLEASON died in 1882. Mr. GLEASON has been a public spirited citizen, and identified with the general welfare of the society of which he has so long been a worthy member. He held the office of selectman five consecutive years, and for three at another time, was overseer of the poor and justice of the peace, and also a deacon of the Congregational church of Warren. His three sons are R. J. GLEASON, the present postmaster and clerk of Waitsfield; C. J. GLEASON, a prominent lawyer and business man; and L. P. GLEASON, a prominent merchant and manufacturer, of the firm of L. P. GLEASON & Co., who reside in Montpelier; and one daughter, Emily, who resides with her father Richardson J. GLEASON was born in Warren in 1828. He was appointed postmaster July 11, 1861, which office he still holds. He has been clerk of the town since 1855, and treasurer the past twenty years. He married Mary L. MATTHEWS, of Waitsfield, and their children are Herbert C., a leading merchant of Montpelier, of the firm of L. P. GLEASON & Co., and three daughters, Mary E., Jennie M., and Louise R.

      Joseph JOSLYN, a native of Leominster, Mass., came to Waitsfield from Weathersfield, Vt., about 1809. He reared seven sons and four daughters, all of whom lived to raise families of their own, and all at one time resided in Waitsfield. He settled in the eastern part of the town, where he died at the age of sixty-six years. His son William was the leading physician of Waitsfield for several years. He came to this town in March, 1810, where he died in 1834, aged fifty-four years. Three of his six children are now living, viz.: Stephen P. JOSLIN, of Waitsfield; Hubbard JOSLYN, of Derby Line; and Mrs. Harriet JONES, of Barton, Vt. Stephen Y. JOSLIN was born in Newport, N. H., in 1808. February 6, 1837; he married Ruth PITKIN, of Montpelier, and settled where he now lives, and is one of the most successful farmers of the town. Mr. and Mrs. JOSLIN had born to them two sons arid five daughters. Those now living are Oramel S., Orrin H., and Sophia P., in Waitsfield; Mrs. Amelia WARD; in Johnson, Vt.; and Mrs. Dora W. CRANE, in Middlebury, Vt. Cyrus JOSLYN, son of Joseph, was born in Weathersfield, Vt., in 1796, and was twelve years of age when his father removed to Waitsfield. In 1824 he married Calista CAMPBELL, and reared nine children to maturity. Those now living are Gilman C., in Minnesota; and Roena L., Minerva M., Betsey M., David O., and Edward O., in Waitsfield. Cyrus JOSLYN was town clerk and selectman, and a prominent citizen. He died in 7866. Mrs. JOSLYN died in 1887, aged over eighty-five years. 

      Among the early settlers of Waitsfield was John BARNARD, who came from Shelburne, Mass., about 1791, and settled on and cleared the farm where his grandson, Rufus H., and his great-grandson, Orlo L. BARNARD, now live. He was one of the first deacons of the Congregational church of Warren. Deacon BARNARD was blessed with three children, viz.: Rufus, Lydia, and Cynthia. Rufus was two years old at the time his father located in Waitsfield. He married Jemima KELLOGG, of Brookfield, and settled on the homestead. Five of his ten children are living, viz.: Orlo, of Dakota; Milo, of Geneva Lake, Minn.; Lucius, of Galesburg, Ill.; Lucinda (Mrs. BURR), of River Falls, Wis.; and Rufus H., before mentioned, who resides on the homestead. Rufus H. married Mehitable, daughter of Benjamin LINFIELD, of Randolph, who bore him three children, Orlo L., Mary J. (deceased), and Cynthia (Mrs. Frank A. SAWYER), of Clinton, Mass. Orlo L., great-grandson of John the pioneer, married Emma BLAKE, of Northfield, whose children, O. Eugene, Cynthia E., Mary V., and Milo W., are the fifth generation sheltered by the "old roof-tree."

      Orange SMITH, M. D., was born in Brookfield, January 27, 1796. He graduated at Randolph Academy, studied medicine with Dr. Daniel WASHBURN, graduated from the Medical department of the University of Vermont, and also took a course of lectures at Dartmouth College. He commenced practice in Starksboro, but soon removed to Williston, and about a year after settled in Waitsfield, where he remained until near the time of his death, in 1863. He was a skillful physician, and an influential and prominent citizen.

      Henry DANA was an early settler and located in the southwestern part of the town, on the farm where John FERRIS now resides. Only two of his numerous family are now living, viz.: purvey in Iowa, and Samuel in Waitsfield, whose six sons, Chester S., Edwin H., Samuel J., Henry F., Stillman F., and Wesley E., all served in the war for our Union, returned with an honorable discharge, and are still living.

      Joseph WALLIS came to this town from Weathersfield, Windsor county; with his father, Jonathan, at an early date, and settled in the eastern part of the town. He married Mary CHURCH, and reared four sons and one daughter. He died in 1860, at the age of seventy-seven years. Three of his children are living, viz.: Otis in this town; Chapman in Worcester, Mass.; and Mrs. Maria CUSHMAN in Manchester, Conn. Otis was for eight years engaged in railroad bridge building, and has served his town as selectman and lister. 

      Hon. Roderick RICHARDSON, Sr., was born in Tolland, Conn., in 1779, and in early life removed to Waitsfield. By trade he was a saddler. He was for many years postmaster of the town and the owner of the principal store and was assistant judge of Washington County Court two years. He married Anna DAVIS. Two sons and two daughters were born to him. The youngest, Hon. Roderick RICHARDSON, Jr., a man of enterprise and wealth, was for many years a leader in the business of Waitsfield. He was born August 7, 1807, at Hartford, Conn., but obtained all his schooling at the common, school in Waitsfield. He was representative in 1837,'38, '39, '50, and '51, senator from Washington county four years, and assistant judge one year,, elected by joint assembly. He was an earnest Episcopalian, having united. with the church in 1853.

      Hon. Ira RICHARDSON, son of Ira and grandson of Lemuel, was born in. Waitsfield, October 6, 7816. His father was a native of Massachusetts, and an early settler in Waitsfield. Mr. RICHARDSON received his education in the common schools of his town, and had as many days at hard labor in his youth as he had days at school. Thus equipped for the active duties of life, he married Harriet CHAPMAN, of Fayston, who became the mother of six children, five of whom grew to maturity, viz.: Calvin C. and Ira E., who reside in Minneapolis, Minn.; Clarence M. and Meriden L., of Waitsfield; and Orville H., of Montpelier. Mr. RICHARDSON was one of Waitsfield's most prominent business men as well as one of her most reliable citizens. He was extensively engaged in the manufacture of lumber, was a dealer in merchandise, conducted a tannery, and managed all of his large and complicated business successfully. He also took an active part in public affairs, and received, as the testimonials of the high appreciation or his townsmen, the prominent position of representative in the state legislature two terms, and from the county of Washington the positions of senator and assistant judge of its courts. In early life Mr. RICHARDSON cast his political influence with the "old line" Whig party, and at the organization of the Republican party he marched in its ranks, where he did efficient service. He was an active member of the Methodist church, a large and cheerful giver, and was always foremost in aid of the charitable associations and societies and every enterprise for the public good. He died in 1877.

      John S. POLAND came to Waitsfield from Langdon, N. H, about 1820, and settled on the farm where his son Thomas D. now lives. In addition to farming he was engaged in manufacturing lumber. He married, first, Lucy DUNSMORE, and second, Julianna STODDARD. Six of his twelve children are now living. He died about 1848. Thomas D. POLAND, before mentioned, resides on the paternal farm. He was previously in the lumber business, but is now giving his attention to the cultivation of his farm. Another son, Benjamin, and a daughter, Susan (Mrs. P. T. CARROLL), reside in Warren. On the homestead in Waitsfield the iron works and hoe manufactory, of Messrs. RICE & SELLICK were built at an early date, but were swept away in the freshet of 1830.

      Russell DREW, a native of Connecticut, emigrated to Fayston from Charlotte in 1822. In 1848 he removed to Waitsfield, and located where he now lives. He is a farmer. His daughters, Mrs. Julius J. PALMER and Mrs. Josiah HOLDEN, also reside in town.

      Garinter HASTINGS was born in Swanzey, N. H. He removed from his native town to Charlestown, N. H., and thence to Waitsfield, in 1823, locating in Irasville. He subsequently kept a public house about a mile below Waitsfield village. He married Hannah Olcott, of Rockingham, and they had thirteen children, twelve of whom married and reared families. Those now living are Hon. Jonathan H., Yorick C. W., and Mrs. Fannie O. CAMPBELL, who reside in Waitsfield; Julius P., of Bedford, Mass.; and Mrs. Maria A. Dart, of Clinton, Mass. Hon. Jonathan H. Hastings was born in Waitsfield in 1824. In 1848 he married Ellen M. MERRIAM, of Johnson, Vt. Their children are Lucy H., wife of J. W. GREGORY, a lawyer residing in Waitsfield; Mrs. Abbie M. JOSLYN, of Minneapolis, Minn.; and Lewis E., of Indianapolis, Ind. Mr. HASTINGS, on account of his good judgment and rare business qualifications, has been closely identified with the interests of Waitsfield, and has held nearly every office in the gift of his townsmen, besides that of deputy sheriff twelve or fourteen years, sheriff of Washington county two years, state senator in 1869 and '70, and assistant judge of the County Court from 1880 to 1884, inclusive. He represented his town in 1862 and '63, and has been a director of the Waterbury National bank about thirty years.

      Amos HADLEY removed from Pomfret, Vt., to Warren, about 1826. He resided there only a few years, and then settled in Waitsfield, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died January 22, 1887. Only two of his eight children are now living, viz.: George in Morrisville, Vt, and Moses E. in Waitsfield.

      John WATERMAN was born in Royalton, Vt., in 1813, and removed to Waitsfield about 11826. In his early life he followed the occupation of carpenter, joiner, and wheelwright, and has been selectman and lister of his town.

      Thomas PRENTIS, from Weathersfield, Vt., settled in the eastern part of Waitsfield, in 1827, on the farm now owned by Nathan BOYCE. Besides giving his attention to his farm he found time to take part in town affairs. His townsmen called him to fill the office of selectman, and elected him to represent them in the legislature in 1832 and '33. Mr. PRENTIS died in 1877, at the advanced age of ninety-two years and six months. Five of his eight children who arrived to mature age are now living, viz.: Joseph C., Cheney, Roxy (Mrs. Orvis JONES), Susan (Mrs. Lyman PRINDLE), all of Waitsfield; and Mrs. Lucia NOYES, of Michigan.

      Elijah BERRY, of Vershire, settled in Moretown about 1837, where he resided the ensuing seventeen years. He then removed to Waitsfield, where he spent the remainder of his life. He married Clarissa HOLTON, of Thetford, and three of their children now reside in Waitsfield, viz.: George A., Leonard C., and Julius E.

      George W. OLMSTEAD, born in Elmore, Lamoille county, in 1837, is a farmer, carpenter, and manufacturer of butter tubs. Mr. OLMSTEAD has held the offices of deputy sheriff and collector of town taxes.

      William MCALLISTER was born in Brookfield, Vt., in 1804, and settled in Waitsfield in 1837. He conducted wool-carding in the building in Irasville now occupied by Fred Parker as a shingle-mill. He also kept a "tavern" at Waitsfield village several years. His sons Ziba H., Wesley G., and William W. reside in Waitsfield.

      Dr. James M. VAN DEUSEN was born in Middlebury, Vt., in 1822. He graduated from the Castleton Medical College in 1849, and began the practice of medicine in Warren in 1850. In 1868 he removed to Waitsfield, where he still practices his profession. In 1851 he married Jennette E. BOYCE. Their children are Ella F. (Mrs. Leslie REED) and Fred E., both residing in Omaha, Neb.

      The number of soldiers in the war for the Union credited to Waitsfield by the government is ninety-five. The number of different individuals who were in the service is eighty-seven. Ten died of illness, and eight were killed in action. Several died after they were discharged, from effects of the wounds they received and diseases contracted while in the service. Of the eighty-seven who went from Waitsfield, four were captains, two were second lieutenants, three sergeants, eleven corporals, fifty privates, seven sharpshooters, four cavalrymen, two batterymen, one on the signal corps, one surgeon, one hospital steward, one musician, and one served in the navy Most of these belonged to the famous "Vermont Brigade" of the 6th Corps. The town paid bounty for nine months' men, $575; for one year's men, $2,700; for three years' men, $6,202; for substitutes, $700; subsistence of volunteers, $18.10; transportation of soldiers, $38.50; services of selectmen and agents, $199.53; total, $10,433.13.

      The Congregational society was formed under the old law, in 1794, and a committee was appointed to lay out a meeting-house and yard. The site chosen is now known as "The Common," near the center of the township, and contained nine acres. Five acres of this site was the gift of Ezra JONES, Esq., on condition that "if the town should move the center from that place" the property would revert to his estate. When, therefore, the meeting-house was occupied at the village, and the town meetings were held there, his heirs took possession of their property. The remainder, containing four acres, is still a common. All the voters in the town, under the old law referred to, were members of this society, unless they filed with the town clerk the declaration of "that they did not agree in religious opinion with a majority of the society." This law was repealed in 1807.

      Waitsfield Congregational church was organized June 27, 1796, by a committee from the churches in the vicinity, Rev. Ebenezer KINGSBURY, of Jericho, presiding. The church then had eleven members. The first pastor of this church, Rev. William SALISBURY, was installed in 1801, and the first meeting-house was erected in 1807. It was constructed after the pattern of its contemporaries, with the usual box pews, high pulpit towering over the deacons' seat and supplied with the necessary sounding-board suspended directly over the preacher's head, and the spacious gallery, surrounding three sides, without paint inside, and destitute of any means of warning for several years. The expense of building was met by the sale of the pews, and the committee of construction recommended that a certain portion of the money be paid at the beginning to meet the expenses for "glass, nails, and rum for the raising." In 1845 a new church edifice was built, of wood, a little east of the village, and in 1874 it was taken down, and the present beautiful and convenient edifice in the village was finished in 1875, which has a capacity for seating comfortably 250 persons. The estimated value of the church property, including grounds and buildings, is $10,000. The membership is 140, with Rev. Elisha S. FISK, pastor. The Sunday-school numbers 150 scholars.

      The Methodist Episcopal church. -- About 1804 the itinerant preachers of the Methodist Episcopal denomination occasionally preached in Waitsfield It was sometime this year that Vershire circuit was divided and the new "Barre circuit" was formed, which included Barre, Plainfield, Middlesex, Montpelier, Northfield, Williamstown, Washington, Berlin, and Orange, and probably Moretown and Waitsfield. If the towns last named were not then included, they were subsequently. About this time (1804) a Methodist class was formed in Waitsfield, and the society has since been regularly supplied with ministers, at first no oftener than once in from four to six weeks. Among the early preachers may be named Wilder MACK, Abel HEATH, John CUMMINGS, and Nathan HOWE. Their first meeting-house was built in 1834. This was repaired, painted, and a spire added in 1853. In 1845 the circuit of Barre was abolished, and Waitsfield and Warren became a station, and in 1868 Waitsfield became a separate charge. The present house of worship was erected of wood in 1870, at a cost of $4,700. It will comfortably seat an audience of 300, and with the grounds and all other church property is worth $5,500. The membership is 111, with Rev. George O. HOWE, pastor. The Sunday-school is especially flourishing. Its officers number seven, teachers sixteen, and 150 scholars. The church edifice has recently been repaired, and the church is in a prosperous condition. The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor embraces both the Methodist and Congregational young people, and is doing good work.

      The Universalist society. -- This society was formed December 30, 1830, soon after the dismissal of Rev. Mr. CHANDLER from the pastorate of the Congregational church, by quite a number of the prominent men of the town who entertained liberal doctrinal views. They organized by electing Hon. Roderick RICHARDSON, moderator; Cyron BURDOCK, clerk; Roderick RICHARDSON, Daniel THAYER, and Matthias JONES, prudential committee. Rev. Mr. FULLER, who had held service with them as early as 1826, was their first preacher. They held their meetings in school-houses and wherever they could find suitable places. In 1836 this society, with the newly-formed Baptist society, united in building a good substantial brick meeting house in the village. The Universalists owned nearly three-fourths of it. The house will comfortably seat 250 persons. The present pastor is Rev. Perry MARSHALL. During the pastorate of Rev. C. C. THORNTON, who officiated from 1856 to 1862, a Sunday-school and Bible class were organized.

      The Baptist church existed only from its organization, in 1835, until the time of the excitement of Millerism, when it was broken up.

      The Protestant Episcopal church was organized by the efforts of Hon. Roderick RICHARDSON, in 1853, with fifty-two members, and the installation of Rev. John E. JOHNSTON as rector. They repaired and occupied the Universalist house, which that society was until 1855 not then using, and continued to hold services.

      The Wesleyans organized in 1853, with ten members, and increased to forty-four. They have an interesting Sunday-school, maintain their organization, but hold no service.
 
 

Gazetteer Of Washington County, Vt. 1783-1899, 
Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child,
Edited By William Adams.
The Syracuse Journal Company, Printers and Binders.
Syracuse, N. Y.; April, 1889.
Pages 462-475

Transcribed by Karima Allison, 2003