OF THE TOWN OF
BRATTLEBORO lies in the southeastern part of the county, in lat.
42° 52' and long. 4° 25', bounded north by Dummerston, east by
the left bank of Connecticut river, south by Guilford and a small part
of Vernon, west by Halifax, containing an area of about 21,760 acres. The
fact of Brattleboro being the site of the first permanent civilized settlement
in the State, the causes that led to its territory, with other lands, being
bought of the colony of Connecticut, as part of the “Equivalent Lands,"
etc., have all been stated on pages 58 and 59, to which we refer the reader.
From the points therein laid down, we will now proceed to briefly state
how the present township sprung into existence, and how the land comprised
within its units came to be a royal grant, through Benning WENTWORTH, the
"Royal Governor of the Province of New Hampshire."
After these lands had passed from the hands of the government of
Connecticut, in 1716, they were held by "gentlemen from Connecticut, Massachusetts,
and London." Two years later, upon application of five of the proprietors
to Samuel PARTRIDGE, of Hatfield, Mass., one of His Majesty's justices
of the peace, desiring him, in his official capacity, and in accordance
with the laws of the Province, to appoint a meeting of all the proprietors,
Maj. John STODDARD, of Northampton, Mass., was, on the 26th of March of
that year, directed to make the appointment. In obedience to this order
Maj. STODDARD issued the following notification on the 28th, which was
posted "at some public place in the county of Hampshire":
It was at this meeting, probably, that the Equivalent Lards were
allotted, by mutual agreement, the portion thereof which we have under
consideration falling in the partition to William DUMMER, afterwards lieutenant-governor
of Massachusetts, Anthony STODDARD, William BRATTLE and John WHITE, and
to whom a "deed thereof" was made by Gurdon SALTONSTAIL and others.
may certify all persons concerned, but more especially the several and
respective proprietors of the Equivalent Lands, so-called, lying in the
county of Hampshire: That pursuant to a law of the Province, and at the
desire of five of the proprietors of the said lands, the Hon. Samuel PARTRIDGE,
Esq., hath appointed the first Wednesday of June next, at two o'clock in
the afternoon, at the Green Dragon tavern, in Boston, to be the time and
place for a meeting of the said proprietors, in order to the choosing of
a proprietor's clerk, the appointing a committee to be selected out of
their number for such purposes as shall be agreed on, the dividing or disposing
of their said property or any part thereof, the choosing an agent or general
attorney to represent, manage, and act for them, to regulate meetings for
the future, etc. I do, therefore, hereby, in obedience to a warrant directed
to me for that end from the said justice, inform and give notice to all
the proprietors of said lands, there will be a meeting at the time and
place, and for the ends aforementioned, and they are hereby desired to
give their attendance accordingly."
Between the years 1744 and 1750, when attention was first aroused
to the subject of settling the lands on this section of the Connecticut
river, the idea was prevalent that Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire,
had received advices from Great Britain, instructing him to give the inhabitants
of Massachusetts who were proprietors under that Province within the specified
limits, the privilege of the first choice of lands; and in case they should
refuse to take out charters under New Hampshire, then to extend the privilege
to whoever should next apply. In 1750 Joseph BLANCHARD, of Amherst, N.
H., was sent to survey the territory. His survey having been completed,
the old proprietors of the Equivalent Lands, petitioned the governor for
a grant of that tract, and a portion of the adjacent territory. Accordingly,
on the 26th of December, 1753, the Equivalent Lands, together with "a considerable
quantity of other lands, was formed into three townships, beginning at
the North bounds of Hinsdale, [now Vernon] on the west side of the river,
and extending back about six miles, and so far up the river," as to enclose
the required amount. Previous to this the Equivalent Lands had been known
by the name of Dummnerston, and, accordingly, the proprietary of Dummerston,
with the territory added by New Hampshire, was now divided into the townships
of Fulham, Putney, and Brattleboro, the name Fulham being subsequently
changed to Dummerston. Receiving its name in honor of the first mentioned,
Brattleboro was granted to the following proprietors: William BRATTLE,
Jacob WENDELL, James READ, Isaac BRADISH, Owen WARLAND, William LEE, Ebenezer
SMITH, William GAMMAGE, John HICKS, Ebenezer BRADISH, James WHITEMORE,
William MANNING, Thomas SHERREN, Thomas HASTINGS, Jonathan SPRAGUE, John
WARLAND, Benjamin LYNDE, Andrew OLIVER, Jr., William BOWLS; Cornelius WOODBURY,
William WILLARD, Oliver WILLARD, Samuel ALLEN, Moses WRIGHT, Sampson FRENCH,
Joseph FRENCH, William FESSENDEN, Stephen PALMER, Stephen PALMER, Jr.,
William BARRETT, Daniel PRENTICE, Caleb PRENTICE, Ebenezer STEDMAN. Edward
MARRETT, Jr., Abner HASEY, Benjamin FRENCH, Thomas BLANCHARD, Thomas BLANCHARD,
Jr., Jacob FLETCHER, Samuel SEARLE, Samuel FRENCH, Sampson WILLARD, Oliver
COLEBURNE, Jeremiah COLEBURNE, Peter POWERS, Daniel EMERTON, William LAURENCE,
Abel LAURENCE, and Mather LIVERMORE, the lands being deeded to them by
the following, an exact copy of the original charter. [*As the
Wentworth charters were all filled out after the same form, a copy of the
charters of the other towns will be omitted.]:
The surface of the town is broken and hilly, though not so much
so but that there are left many acres of fine, arable land, and in the
river valleys large areas of terrace formations that well repay the labors
of the husbandman. This brokenness, however, lends a charming variety to
the natural scenery of the town, which, perhaps, is surpassed by that of
no other in the county. The smiling valley and placid, dignified course
of the Connecticut, could not fail to attract notice in any clime, while
at this point its charms seem, if possible, to have been heightened. Overlooking
the town, and ascending steeply from the opposite side of the river, rises
Chesterfield. or Wantastiquet mountain to a height of 1,600 feet, covered
with a forest of beech, maple and dark pines, amidst which are many frowning
precipices of rock, over whose faces the silver thread of many a foaming
cascade may often be seen falling, in the season of melting snows. The
rays of the morning sun just rising over the mountain and cool valley,
with the smoke curling silently up from the chimneys of the villages, present
a very picture to the early riser, who will linger long on the beautiful
scene. The rosy light of the setting sun, too, tinges the top of Chesterfield
long after the valley is wrapped in gathering gloom, while the moon, rising
among the pine trees, that crown the mountain's summit, will detain the
lover of the beautiful till her full orb at length lights the placid bosom
of the river, as it glides below.
GEORGE THE SECOND, 1753.
OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
George the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland,
King, Defender of the Faith, etc.
persons to whom these presents shall come, greeting
that we, of our special grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, for the
due Encouragement of settling a new plantation within our said Province,
By and with the advice of our trusty and well-beloved Benning Wentworth,
Esq., our Governor and Commander-in-Chief of our said Province of New Hampshire
in America, and of our Council of the said Province, have, upon the conditions
and reservations hereinafter made, Given Granted and by these Presents
for us our Heirs & successors, Do Give and Grant in equal Shares unto
our Loving subjects, Inhabitants of our said Province of New Hampshire
and his Majesty's other Governments and to their heirs and assigns forever,
whose Names are Entered on this Grant, to be divided to and amongst them
into fifty-six shares, Two of which shares to be laid out in one Tract
of the contents of Eight Hundred acres for his excellency Benning Wentworth,
Esq., and is in full for his two shares, which Tract is bounded as follows,
at the rocks at the upper end of the Fort meadow so-called, Thence up Connecticut
River Two hundred and forty rods, & to carry that breadth back West
ten degrees North so far as to contain Eight Hundred acres. All that Tract
or parcel of Land situate, lying & being within our Province of New
Hampshire containing by admeasurement Nineteen Thousand Three Hundred and
sixty acres, which tract is to contain five miles and one-half mile square
& no more, out of which an allowance is to be made for highways &
unimprovable lands by rocks, mountains. Ponds & Rivers, one thousand
and forty acres free according to a plan thereof made and presented by
our said Governor's orders & hereunto annexed, Butted & bounded
as follows, viz.: Beginning at the mouth of Venter's Brook, so called,
where it empties itself in to Connecticut River, & runs from thence
six miles or thereabouts to the Southeast corner of Marlborough, thence
five miles, North ten degrees East by Marlborough aforesaid to a stake
& stones in said Line; Thence East ten degrees south to Connecticut
River aforesaid, then down said River to the bounds first mentioned at
Venter's Brook, Except a Tract of land lying in the said East corner of
said Township containing about Two Hundred acres as the same is now fenced
in and improved, which is hereby granted & assigned to Oliver WILLARD
and to his heirs and assigns, one of the within Grantees, He having heretofore
cleared and improved the said Tract and is to be in full for his share
& proportion of the said Township; said Two hundred acres are bounded
as follows, viz: Beginning at Venter's Brook and runs West 10° North
sixty rods to a Hill, & then runs under the Hill round as the Hill
runs to the rocks at the upper end of the Meadow called fort meadow, thence
down the river to Venter's Brook, and that the same be and is incorported
into a Township by the name of Brattleborough, and that the Inhabitants
that do or shall hereafter Inhabit said Township are hereby Declared to
be Enfranchised with and entitled to all & every the privileges &
Immunities that other Towns within our said Province by law exercise and
enjoy, and further that the said town as soon 'as there shall be fifty
Familys resident and settled therein shall have the liberty of holding
Two Fairs, one of which shall be held on the first Thursday in October
annually, and the other on the first Thursday in February annually, which
Fairs are not to continue & be held longer than the respective Saturday
following the said respective Thursday, and as soon as said town shall
consist of fifty familys a market shall be opened and kept one or more
days in each week as maybe tho't most advantageous to the inhabitants.
Also that the first meeting for the choice of Town Officers agreeable to
the laws of our said Province shall be held on the fifteen day of Jan'ry
next, which meeting shall be notifyed by Josiah WILLARD, Esq., who is hereby
also appointed Moderator of the said first meeting which he is to notify
and govern, agreeable to the laws and customs of our said Province, and
that the annual meeting forever hereafter for the choice of such officers
of said Town shall be on the first Wednesday in March, annually. To have
and to hold the said Tract of Land as above expressed, together with all
the Privileges and appurtenances to them and their respective heirs &
assigns forever upon the following conditions, viz.: That every Grantee
his heirs or assigns shall Plant or cultivate five acres of land, within
the term of five years, for every fifty acres contained in his or their
share or proportion of Land in said Township, and continue to improve and
settle the same by additional cultivations, on Penalty of the forfeiture
of his Grant or share in said Township, & its reverting to his Majesty
his heirs and successors, to be by him or them regranted to such of his
subjects as shall effectually settle and cultivate the same. That all White
or other Pine Trees within the said Township, fit for Masting our Royal
Navy, be carefully Preserved for that use, and none to be cut or felled
without his Majesty's Especial Lycence for so doing first had and obtained,
upon the penalty of forfeiture of the right of such Grantee his heirs or
assigns to us our heirs & successors, as well as being subject to the
Penalty of any act or acts of Parliament that now are or hereafter shall
be -enacted. Also his Fort Dummer & a Tract of land of fifty rods square
round it, viz: fifty rods West, twenty five rods South & and twenty-five
rods North of said Fort. That before any Division of the land be made to
and amongst the Grantees a Tract of Land as near the center of the Township
as the land will admit of shall be reserved and marked out for Town Lots,
one of which shall be allotted to each Grantee of the contents of one acre
yielding and paying therefor to us our heirs & successors for the space
of ten years, to be computed from the date hereof, the rent of one Ear
of Indian .corn, only, on the first day of January, annually, if Lawfully
Demanded, the first payment to be made on the first day of January after
the first of January next ensuing the date hereof, and every Proprietor,
Settler or Inhabitant, shall yield and pay to us our heirs and successors
yearly & every year forever from and after the expiration of the ten
years from the date hereof. Namely on the first day of January, which will
be in the year of Our Lord Christ one thousand Seven Hundred & Sixty-four,
one shilling Proclamation money for every hundred acres he so owns, settles
or possesses, and so in proportion for a Greater or Lesser Tract of the
said Land, which money shall be paid by the respective persons above said
their heirs or assigns, in our Council Chamber in Portsmouth, or to such
officer or officers as shall be appointed to receive the same, and this
to be in lieu of all other rents and services whatsoever, in Testimony
whereof we have caused the seal of our said Providence to be hereunto affixed.
Witness, Benning Wentworth, Esq., our Governor & Commander-in-Chief
of our said Province, the Twenty-sixth day of December, in the year of
our Lord Christ
in the Twenty-seventh year of our Reign.
Excellencys command with advice of Council.
and Recorded according to the original under the Province Seal, this 27th
day of December, 1753. Per. THEODORE ATKINSON, Secty.
were also the following reservations.] -- His Excellency Benning
Wentworth a Tract of Land to contain Eight Hundred acres, which is to be
accounted Two of the within mentioned shares and Laid out and bounded as
within mentioned, one whole share for the Incorporated Society for the
Propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts, one whole share for the first
settled Minister of the Gospel in said Town, one whole share for a Glebe
for the Ministry of the Church of England, as by law Established. Also
his Majesty's Fort Dummer, and a Tract or Land fifty rods round it, viz.:
fifty rods West, twenty-five rods South & twenty-five North of said
from the Back of the Charter for Brattleborough the 27th day of December,
A fine view of the town may be had from the cemetery, south of the
village, whence the smooth stream of the Connecticut may be seen for several
miles pursuing its course through the rich meadows, or between the remarkable
terraces which in many places form a striking feature of the scene. These
terraces, which are generally about seventy to one hundred feet above the
level of the river, occurring at different distances from its banks, are
so regular as almost to appear like the work of art, and doubtless in ages
long gone adown the pathway of the centuries, when the huge birds existed
which have left their footprints in the enduring stone of other portions
of the valley, were banks of the mighty river which then rolled its waters
to the sea.
Another beautiful valley is that of West river. Turning to the left
from the northern part of the village, and passing the beautiful meadows
below it, on the edge of which stands the Vermont Asylum for the Insane,
one will come to the mouth of the narrow valley, through which West river
makes its way to the Connecticut. It is lined on both sides with steep
and well-wooded hills, and is sometimes so narrow that it fairly hems in
the stream, and some times broadens into meadow lands. About four miles
up this valley is Black mountain, a mass of black slate rock, scantily
covered with pines, and rising to the height of nearly a thousand feet,
immediately from the bed of the stream, and forming one side of a natural
amphitheater, which, in other lands and in ancient times, might have witnessed
the strife of gladiators or the bloody combat of wild beast. Other scenes
and views, in many parts of the town, equally attractive, might be mentioned,
did space permit.
The Connecticut and West rivers and Whetstone brook, with their
tributaries, form the water-courses of the township, affording some good
mill-privileges. West river flows a southeasterly course through the northeastern
part of the town, falling into the Connecticut about a mile above the village.
Whetstone brook rises in Marlboro, and flowing an easterly course through
this town, through the villages of West Brattleboro, Centerville and Brattleboro,
falls over a precipice at the latter village and drops into the Connecticut.
It is a small stream, but affords some excellent mill-sites.
The soil is similar to that generally found along the Connecticut,
consisting of intervale, sand, loam and gravel, with such timber as is
naturally adapted to them. The rocks are mostly of schistose formation.
In the eastern part, extending west, perhaps as far as Centerville, the
rocks are made up of clay-slate. All west of this, except a bed of hornblende
schist extending north and south through the center of the town, they are
what are classed as calciferous mica schist. These general formations,
however, are subject to the usual modifications and changes into formations
of other classes, such as argillaceous slate steatite and small quantities
of granite, the latter probably being deposits of the drift period. No
deposits of mineral or metals of importance have been discovered, though
a small amount of lead and gold is said to have been found in the valley
of Whetstone brook. Actinolite is found in the steatite, in very perfect
capillary crystals grouped together in different forms. Sometimes radicated
mica is found, of rose-red color with schrol in quartz, and abundance of
schrol in beautiful crystals.
In 1880 Brattleboro had a population of 5,880, and in 1882 its eleven
school districts contained eleven common schools, employing two male and
twenty-four female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $7,900.
There were 750 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of
the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $9,150.00, with G. E.
BRATTLEBORO is a beautiful village, located in the eastern part
of the town, at the junction of Whetstone brook with the Connecticut river,
being the eastern terminus of the Brattleboro & Whitehall railroad,
the northern terminus of the Vermont & Massachusetts, and the southern
terminus of the Vermont Valley railroads. It is irregularly laid out, on
uneven ground, the Main street running parallel with the river, about seventy
feet above its surface, till it descends to the bridge across the Whetstone.
At right angles with it, and running up the valley of this little stream
are Elliot, Green and High streets, making the principal avenues of the
village. Aside from its public buildings, its fine rows of business blocks,
its several manufacturing establishments, and many beautiful private residences,
the village has two hotels four banks, the extensive buildings of the Vermont
Asylum for the Insane, two enterprising weekly papers -- the “Vermont Phoenix,”
and the “Reformer,” - -two literary journals, six churches (Congregational,
Episcopal, Baptist, Universalist, Methodist, and Roman Catholic), and about
5,000 inhabitants. The village is well supplied with illuminating gas and
with water of an excellent quality. The abundance of the latter article,
supplied from numerous springs upon the surrounding hills, together with
the beautiful and healthful surroundings, early led to Brattleboro being
selected as a health and summer resort, and finally to the establishment
of that once famous institution.
This Water Cure, or Brattleboro Hydropathic Establishment, it is
claimed, had much to do with building up the village, drawing thither many
visitors from all parts of the Union. The facts relative to its establishment
are mainly as follows: During the latter part of the first half of the
present century Mr. John GRAY, a wealthy invalid of Boston, Mass., went
to the water cures of Europe to recover his health, which he succeeded
in doing. Becoming much impressed with the value of this hydropathic mode
of treatment, he returned to Boston, in 1844, determined to establish in
New England an institution similar to those he had visited in Europe. After
due deliberation, he decided upon Brattleboro as its site, and, in 1845,
purchased two adjoining dwellings of Ashbel DICKSINSON, located on Elliot
street, to be converted into an institute, which, in company with Dr. Robert
WESSELHOEFT, he immediately did, being ready to receive patients May 29,
1845. Soon after, these gentlemen were joined by Dr. Charles GRAU, a very
learned man and celebrated surgeon, from Germany. The success of the enterprise
seems to have been assured from the first, and, in 1846, the "Brattleboro
Hydropathic Establishment" was incorporated by an act of the legislature.
The influx of visitors was so great that increased accommodations immediately
became necessary, and the two houses were united and much enlarged. The
accommodations being still insufficient, an additional building was erected
in 1846, containing a dining-hall 26x86 feet, and a large number of chambers.
Other additions and new buildings were from time to time erected, until
there were accommodations for three hundred patients, the establishment
being at times filled to its utmost capacity. In 1853, however, Dr. WESSELHOEFT,
the main spirit of the concern, died. Various changes were then undergone,
until 1859, when the original property was purchased by Mr. P. B. FRANCIS,
and the remainder by the same gentleman in 1870. He conducted the enterprise
until the latter year, when it was abandoned and the buildings converted
into tenements, for which purpose they are still used by Mr. FRANCIS.
The Organ Business. -- The extensive organ business in Brattleboro
has made for the village a world-wide fame, and the music of its organs
probably is heard to-day in every civilized country on the earth. The infancy
and growth of the great business, as far as we have been able to learn,
are briefly as follows :
On December 1, 1842, Samuel H. JONES, now of Needham, Mass., being
just out of an apprenticeship to the cabinet trade and not of age until
the following spring, went to Winchester, N. H., to run the business of
manufacturing melodeons. Mr. JONES had never seen but one melodeon, and
when he arrived at the works in Winchester the only indications of the
business he could see were a few patterns, the manufacture of pipe organs
for church and parlor being the real business then carried on by the firm,
Foster THAYER, the melodeon business remaining yet to be developed. The
first melodeon was made to be held in the player's lap, or upon a table,
the bellows being worked with the elbow. It could be folded and carried
under the arm with as much ease as could an ordinary bass viol, and was
often so taken to church and other meetings. The compass of the key-board
was usually three octaves, with ivory keys similar to those now in use.
The reeds were made of common sheet brass, the sockets being stamped into
form so as to fit slots made with a saw. The tongues, or vibrators, were
made of the same soft metal, cut into suitable strips, and with hammer
and anvil brought to the required form and temper. These were fitted and
rived to the sockets and brought to the proper pitch by hand tools.
Mr. JONES remained with this firm until the summer of 1844, when,
by mutual consent, the firm of Foster & THAYER dissolved partnership,
Mr. FOSTER removing to Keene, N. H., where he established the organ and
melodeon business. Mr. JONES remained in Winchester, manufacturing instruments
in a small way on his own account. In 1846 Mr. JONES, having formed an
acquaintance with Riley BURDETT, a singing master, early in June came to
Brattleboro, beginning business in a small apartment of the upper story
of SMITH & WOODCOCK's flouring mill, at what is now called Centerville,
under the firm name of S. H. JONES & Co., John WOODBURY and Riley BURDETT
being half owners and managing the sales department at their music store
which was in Steen's building, corner of Main and High streets.
The first specimens of the manufacture were completed in November,
and were taken to Boston, where arrangements for selling were effected
with E. H. WADE, then a prominent dealer in musical merchandise at No.
176 Washington street. During that winter Mr. BURDETT gave his attention
to learning the art of voicing and tuning. During the following year he
concluded to exchange his interest in the firm of WOODBURY & BURDETT
for Mr. WOODBURY's interest in the firm of S. H. JONES & Co., Mr. WOODBURY
continuing the manufacture of his celebrated violins, in Steen's building.
The new firm of JONES & BURDETT soon removed to the unoccupied
office of J. B. BLAKE, Esq., at the corner of Main and Elliot streets,
upon the site afterwards occupied by the Revere House. In the autumn of
1848, the manufactory itself was removed from the flour mill to the "Typhographic
Buildings," occupying a part made vacant by the removal of HOLLISTER's
silk factory to Connecticut. These buildings afforded the room that increasing
business made necessary, including the office, salesroom, etc. September,
1850, Mr. E. B. CARPENTER, a farmer in the town of Guilford, who had been
devoting some of his leisure time to selling the instruments, became desirous
of securing an interest in the business, eventually purchasing Mr. JONES's
The new firm of BURDETT & CARPENTER soon after moved into a
buildingowned by Mr. Jacob ESTEY, who afterwards bought out Mr. BURDETT's
interest in the concern. The next change was of Mr. CARPENTER's interest
sold to I. HINES, the firm name being changed to I. HINES & Co., remaining
thus until 1855, when Mr. ESTEY became sole owner.
In the meantime, September 13, 1853, Mr. CARPENTER and Mr. JONES
began to manufacture melodians, over "Clark's planing-mill," near the depot,
and were soon after joined by George WOODS, under the firm name of JONES,
CARPENTER & WOODS. The firm was dissolved and the business abandoned
in January, 1856, Mr. WOODS accepting a position in Boston, whither Mr.
JONES followed him in July following.
It is, however, to the great energy, tact, and perseverance of Mr.
Jacob ESTEY that Brattleboro owes the credit of the great organ trade for
which she is so justly celebrated.
Mr. ESTEY was born at Hinsdale, N. H., September 30, 1814, and was,
when four years of age, adopted by a wealthy family in the neighborhood.
After remaining with them until 14 years of age he ran away and walked
to Worcester, Mass., where a brother lived, and went to work on a farm,
and attended the Worcester High school. At the age of seventeen he engaged
with T. J. SUTTON, of Worcester, as an apprentice, to learn the plumber's
trade, including the manufacture of lead pipe, and remained with them four
years. In February, 1835, he came to Brattleboro, having saved sufficient
means to purchase the business, tools and real estate of a plumbing and
lead pipe concern, and hired a shop on premises opposite the Brattleboro
House. In this business he continued until he purchased the organ, or melodeon
business, as previously stated. When he took the concern it only employed
a half dozen men or so, but under his management the business rapidly increased.
His factory was burned in 1857, but he erected another on the site
of the Brattleboro House. This factory also burned in 1864. Rebuilding,
he continued in successful operation until 1866, when he received into
partnership his son-in-law, Levi K. FULLER, and his son, Julius J. ESTEY.
In October, 1869, a flood swept away a part of their buildings, involving
slight embarrassment, but not entire cessation of work. The firm now bought
a tract of sixty acres, and erected new buildings. The number of these
has since been increased, until they now number, of factory buildings proper,
eight, fronting on Birge street, each one hundred feet long by from thirty
to thirty-eight feet wide, with several more in the rear, and three stories
in height. There is also a large dry-house one hundred and forty feet long
by fifty feet wide, together with other buildings in which all the wood
that make up the cases and the inner parts of the organ is thoroughly dried,
after a long seasoning in the open air, by a process patented by Col. FULLER.
Of black walnut alone four car-loads a week are required for the cases.
There are also a storehouse, one hundred feet square; an engine-house,
containing seven large boilers and a Corliss engine of one hundred and
fifty horse-power; and other out-houses for various purposes, including
a building in which is kept, for ready use, two steam fire-engines, the
property of the firm, and are manned by a company of the employees who
are regularly exercised in their use twice a month. Each building is also
supplied with fire-buckets and extinguishers.
Mr. ESTEY was married to Desdemonia WOOD, of Brattleboro, May 2,
1837. Their surviving children are Abby E., born September 21, 1842, and
married to Levi K. FULLER; and Julius J., born January 8, 1845, and married
to Florence GRAY, of Cambridge, N. Y. Mr. ESTEY represented the town of
Brattleboro in the Vermont legislature in 1868 and 1869, and the county
in the senate of 1872 and 1873. The firm is now the ESTEY Organ Company,
being incorporated by an act of the legislature approved November 26, 1872,
Jacob ESTEY, president, Levi K. FULLER, vice-president, and Julius J. ESTEY,
secretary and treasurer.
On the 11th of March, 1853, was begun the first large Reed organ
made in Brattleboro, which was finished the 18th of the following month.
It had two sets of reeds in the usual position below the key-board, and
two sets above the keyes, in an inverted reed board, about three feet above
the key-board and operated by rods reaching up from the rear end of the
keys. Some idea of the increase in the business may be estimated from the
fact that up to the present time, March, 1884, Mr. ESTEY has manufactured
nearly 150,000 instruments.
The E. P. CARPENTER Organ Co. -- Mr. E. B. CARPENTER, after being
connected with various organ companies throughout the country, at last
located in Mendota, Ill., where he now is. His son, E. P. CARPENTER, inherited
a capacity and liking for the business, and has been largely known in the
trade for many years, being located at Worcester, Mass. During the winter
of 1883-'84 he was induced to come Brattleboro, where he organized the
E. P. CARPENTER Organ Co., of Brattleboro, in the spring of 1884, for the
manufacture of organs and organ actions, aid has now gotten fairly started
in a flourishing business in the place where his father was a pioneer in
the organ manufacture.
J. D. WHITNEY & Son, organ reed manufacturers. -- Josiah DAVIS
WHITNEY was born in Ashby, Mass., November 7, 1818. When old enough to
use tools (perhaps fifteen or sixteen) he began to work in the shop of
his father, Jonas P. WHITNEY, who was a manufacturer of church organs.
When twenty-one years of age he was taken into partnership and continued
to make church organs until 1844, when he removed to Springfield, Mass.,
and engaged in the manufacture of melodeons, pianos, and church organs.
In 1851 he removed to Fitchburg, Mass., where he was employed by his father
in making melodeons or reed organs. He removed to Worcester, Mass., in
1853, where he formed a partnership with Messrs. RICE & ROBINSON, for
the manufacture of organ reeds. He remained in Worcester only one year
and then went back to Fitchburg, and soon after got up a set of reed machinery
and commenced making reeds. In 1865 Messrs J. ESTEY & Co., of Brattleboro,
purchased the machinery, and Mr. WHITNEY was hired by them to run it. He
remained with ESTEY & Co., until 1874, the last eight years working
by contract, when he sold them the machinery he had invented during his
stay with them, and for a year or two went out of business. About 1876
he commenced a new set of machinery, with which he began to make reeds
in 1878, in Harmony block. July 1, 1879, he took his son, Edwin D. WHITNEY,
into partnership, under the firm name of J. D. WHITNEY & Son. They
are now located in Harmony block and manufacture over half a million organ
reeds a year, which are almost entirely used by the WILCOX & WHITE
Organ Co. of Meriden, Conn. They employ two men, the machinery being so
nearly automatic as to require very much less help than formerly to do
the same amount of work.
VINTON's paper-mill. -- The first paper-mill in Brattleboro was
built in 1811, by Joseph CLARK. Samuel DICKSINSON, Francis GOODHUE, Joseph
FESSENDEN, Joseph FESSENDEN, Jr., William FESSENDEN, and Caleb LELAND,
Jr. In 1813 Joseph CLARK, Samuel DICKSINSON and Francis GOODHUE sold their
interest to William FESSENDEN. In December, 1816, the mill was destroyed
by fire, but was soon rebuilt. About this time John HOLBROOK became interested
in the mill, the business being carried on under the firm name of HOLBROOK
& FESSENDEN for a number of years, passing from father to son, or until
1836, when a company was formed under the name of The Typographic Co.,
who bought out Frederick HOLBROOK and Franklin H. FESSENDEN. In connection
with the paper-mill, printing was started about 1832, and when the latter
company took the property they increased the business, until they became
embarrassed, when they sold the property to E. H. THOMAS and William G.
CUTTING, who carried on the business of paper making until 1847. Nathan
WOODCOCK and Timothy VINTON then took the mill on a lease for five years
and then bought of N. B. WILLISTON, into whose hands the property had come
on a mortgage. In September, 1857, the mill was again burned, but immediately
rebuilt and operated by WOODCOCK & VINTON, continuing thus until the
death of Mr. WOODCOCK, when Mr. VINTON bought out the heirs, and is now
running the mill. When the paper-mill was built all paper was made by hand,
continuing thus until about 1829, when there was put into the mill a small
cylinder machine for making paper, but no dryers. Some years after there
was put in a larger machine, with dryers heated by steam. After WOODCOCK
and VINTON bought it they put in a larger machine and dryers and when they
rebuilt the mill they put in a Fourdrinier machine, with dryers, and cullenders,
which are still used. When the mill was first built the capacity was from
150 to 200 pounds of paper per day, and now it is from 2,000 to 2,500 pounds
per day. There is employed in the mill eight men and eight women.
The Brattleboro Sewing Machine Co. -- As early as 1859 Charles RAYMOND
came from Bristol, Conn., and established here the business of manufacturing
sewing machines; but, in 1863, he gave up the enterprise and removed to
Canada. Col. Levi K. FULLER established the second sewing machine factory,
immediately after Mr. RAYMOND's removal, but his shop was burned at the
time of the ESTEY fire, June 4, 1864. He then started a new factory, but
sold out the business and the works were removed to Lowell, Mass., in 1866.
In 1864, Messrs. SARGENT & DENNISON started another sewing machine
factory, and, in 1865, John and David ABBOTT established a third manufactory,
while, soon after, Mr. DAVIS started another; but, failing to make satisfactory
arrangements with the sewing machine monopoly which had at this time secured
the control of the leading sewing machine patents, all of these parties
retired from the business. In 1876 the present company was organized for
the manufacture of knitting machines and other small wares, and, about
1878, they commenced the manufacture of sewing machines, at Centerville,
in the building erected by the New England Furniture Company, on the site
of the old Wheeler axe works, and later on they purchased the property.
In 1883 Col. Levi K. FULLER came to the head of the concern and immediately
set about designing a new model machine, which should take the lead of
all the machines before the public, and experts pronounced the result of
his labors all that the most sanguine could have anticipated. The company
now employs about forty hands.
SMITH & HUNT's children's carriage manufactory. -- This business
was established by Alvah SMITH & Son, in 1863-'64, being located in
that part of Guilford locally known as Weatherhead. In the winter of 1870
the works were destroyed by fire. A new company was then formed, EDWARDS
& SMITH, .and the business removed to East Guilford; but during the
following summer the old works were rebuilt, being operated in connection
with those at East Guilford, about twenty-five hands being employed, where,
at the beginning, only one was necessary. In August, 1873, the old firm
was dissolved, in favor of S. A. SMITH, son of Alvah, who, in June, 1874,
associated with him in the business S. S. HUNT, forming the present firm
of SMITH & HUNT. In the summer of 1880 the larger part of the business
was moved to Brattleboro, though it was still maintained at both places,
giving employment to from fifty to eighty hands.
C. E. ALLEN's green-house and seed and flower gardens, located at
64 Canal street, were established by Mr. ALLEN in 1868. Commencing in a
small way, his business has gradually increased until Mr. ALLEN is now
the largest seed grower and dealer in the State. His hot houses cover an
area of nearly half an acre, while he has several acres of strawberries,
and has twenty .acres of land under cultivation. He employs twelve hands,
which force, during the berry season, is increased to fifty.
C. L. BROWN & Son, furniture and casket manufacturers. -- Chester
L. BROWN was born in Wilmington, Vt., December 4, 1825, and worked at home
with his father until he was eleven years of age. He then left his home
and went to work upon a Connecticut river farm at Westminster. There he
spent several years, working upon the farm summers and attending school
winters; but getting a taste for learning, he aspired to an attendance
upon a select school, at Walpole, and afterwards at Keene, N. H., where,
through the kindness and assistance of the late Commodore DORR, he was
enabled to take a higher course of study in the schools of Keene. Not long
was he permitted to enjoy this good fortune. His father, not sympathizing
with him in his desire for an education, and he being the oldest son, was
called home to assist in caring for the family. This duty done, he again
attended school, at Putney, and again went home to assist his father on
the farm. But at the age of nineteen he persuaded his father to let him
go to Brattleboro, to learn the cabinet making trade, and on one November
morning he started on foot from his home in Westminster, to walk to Brattleboro,
where he arrived a little before sundown, on the nineteenth day of November,
1844, with a cash capital of less than one dollar. His energy and perseverance
secured for him a situation with the late Anthony VAN DOORN, in the making
and finishing of cabinet furniture. There he staid some five years, and
at the end of that time he was able to take a responsible position in the
manufacturing of melodeons and organs, an industry which had just started
in town, he being the sixth man employed in it. He worked in this organ
shop for twelve years, and by prudence and economy saved enough to start
himself in business. In the mean time he had married an estimable lady
of Brattleboro, Fanny Sophia SARGENT, who greatly aided and assisted him,
not only in his efforts to do business for himself, but all through those
first struggling years, in which she proved a helpmate, indeed. He began
in the furniture and undertaking business on a small scale, in September,
1859, and when the next year the civil war broke out, although he was bodily
disabled from going himself, he encouraged his half dozen men to enlist,
to put down the rebellion. This crippled his trade for the time being,
but he gradually came out of it, and in the next few years had built up
a good paying business, which continued to increase so that in 1875 he
felt obliged to build a block to accommodate it, and the spot upon which
stood the shop into which he, a poor boy, went to learn his trade, coming
into market at that time, had charms for him that no other spot had. He
bought it and erected thereon the block with a French-plate glass front
in the first and second stories, standing so conspicuously at the head
of Main street in full view of all passers by railroad. Mr. BROWN's unique
arrangement of goods in his spacious glass front has proved so successful
as an advertising medium that the plan has been copied in other sections
of the country. He moved into this block in 1869, and associated with him
his youngest son, Cyril F. BROWN, who was brought up in the business, and
whose efforts in so ably seconding his father. have been largely instrumental
in increasing their growing trade, and the firm of C. L. BROWN & Son,
in retrospection since entering their new block, have the proud satisfaction
of seeing their sales nearly doubled, and with considerable pride, they
expect to win even greater success in the future than in the past. In the
undertaking branch of his business. Mr. BROWN has furnished nearly three
thousand burial outfits, his work and services being in demand for many
miles around. He is called upon to embalm, preserve, and carry hundreds
of miles to their homes, to be buried in their own cemeteries, the bodies
of those who happen to die in his neighborhood. For this kind of work he
has received from surviving friends and relatives many flattering letters
in grateful recognition of the value of his services at such a time, which
he prizes highly, as testimonials to his faithfulness as a friend, and
to his skill as a funeral director. Mr. BROWN was one of the most active
members in organizing the New England Undertakers' :association at Boston,
in September, 1880, he being appointed on the committee to prepare the
constitution and by-laws, elected as one of the vice-presidents, and also
on the executive committee. So well did he perform the parts allotted to
him that he was again re-elected, and at one of its sessions he acted as
president. He was also called upon to deliver an essay before the same
society at its annual meeting at Boston, in 1884. The essay elicited a
vote of thanks from the society and a request that it be published in the
society's journal. Mr. BROWN is a self-made and progressive man, who is
esteemed by the profession as one who has done much to elevate it.
William A. DUTTON's marble and granite works, located on Depot street,
were established at an early date. In 1848 the firm name was ESTEY &
McDonald. About 1850 it was changed to DUTTON & ESTEY, which partnership
lasted about four years, when the firm name became ESTEY & KATHAN,
remaining thus until 1869, when the present owner, William A. DUTTON, became
sole owner. Mr. DUTTON employs six men in the manufacture of all kinds
of marble and granite work.
The HIGBEE Sewing Machine Company, located on Elliot street, was
incorporated March 30, 1882, and commenced business the first of the following
April. The machine seems to be constructed on principles that are thoroughly
practical, and although the business is in its infancy, it is one of great
The Brattleboro Iron Foundry, located on Flat street, was established
by A. R. GREGG, its present proprietor, in 1878. Mr. GREGG does a general
business in this line, employing twelve men.
The Brattleboro Tool Company, located on FROST street, was organized
as a stock company in April, 1883, Hon. J. L. MARTIN, president, and C.
F. THOMPSON, secretary and treasurer, with William STEER, superintendent.
The firm bids fair to do a large business in the future, and is now extensively
engaged in manufacturing iron carpenter's planes and extension bits.
E. E. FLAGG's manufactory of FLAGG's “shaving soap" and "Japanese
pain relievo," located at 14 Prospect street, was established in 1873,
the latter article not being added, however, until 1881. Mr. FLAGG began
business in a small way, but it has been steadily increasing since.
John H. ORTON's works for the manufacture of furniture, picture
frames, book cases, cabinets, and all kinds of cabinet work, located in
the Harmony block, were established in 1880. The works are operated by
steam-power, and give employment to from two to five men.
A. F. WILDER's job slam, located on Main street, near Tyler's block,
was established in 1873, where he now manufactures book cases, desks, picture
framer and swifts, and does a general business in light wood work.
Henry FLETCHER's saw-mill, located on Birge street, cuts about 400,000
feet of lumber and 400,000 shingles per annum.
William GOULD, located on Clark street, is a practical plumber and
gas fitter, and is also engaged in the manufacture of pumps. His business
was established in 1830.
LEONARD Steam Job Printing House. -- In 1875 Dewitt LEONARD purchased
the old “Recorder” job office, in Harmony block, taking possession March
1st. Soon after, he purchased O. A. LIBBY's job office and consolidated
the two, since which time his business has steadily increased, so that
he now employs twelve hands, having one of the largest job offices in Vermont.
He does a large business in show printing, a line done by no other country
office in New England.
J. A. CHURCH's sash, blind, and house finishing manufactory, located
on FROST street, has been carried on by him since 1874. He employs fifteen
hands, and has attached a feed-mill, with one run of stones.
LEONARD & ROESS's cigar manufactory located on Main street,
was established by the present firm in 1868, who now employ fifty hands,
manufacturing about 50,000 cigars per week.
Chauncey B. DICKSINSON began the bakery and cracker business, at
57 Main street, in April, 1880, where he has since conducted the business,
building up a large trade, so that he has lately employed seven hands,
and two teams oil road. He sold the business to A. E. Thurber, April 1,
1884, by whom it is now conducted.
John H. MARTIN's carriage factory is located on Flat street. He
employs five men in the manufacture of carriages, wagons and sleighs.
Rockwell SHERWIN's carriage shop, located on Elm street, was established
by J. T. HILDRETH, in 1874. The present firm gives employment to ten men,
in the manufacture of all kinds of wagons, carriages and sleighs.
C. H. EDDY & Co, located on Flat street, are largely engaged
in the manufacture of birch and tonic beer, giving employment, during the
summer season, to ten men. The business was commenced by Mr. EDDY; in 1877.
Charles E. BARRETT's special and paper machine shop, located on
Main street, was established by WOODCOCK & THOMAS, in 1831, and came
into Mr. BARRETT's hands, as successor to NEWMAN & TYLER, in 1880.
He employs fifteen hands in the manufacture of paper-mill and special machinery
and screen plates.
J. B. RANDALL's knitting machine needle factory, located in the
Harmony block, was was established by Mr. RANDALL, at Centerville, in 1876.
In 1880 he removed to his present location, where he employs twenty hands,
manufacturing 1,500,000 needles per year.
The WELD Machine Shop, located on Asylum street, was established
by Luther WELD in 1830, who carried on the business until 1863, when the
present proprietor, Calvin J. WELD, purchased the property and has since
carried on the business. He manufactures planing machines, lathes, and
hand saws, and is also the patentee and manufacturer of the WELD shingle
machine, and the WELD self-regulating water-wheel, employing five men.
The Valley Mill Company, whose mill is located near the depot, is
a stock company, organized December 8, 1881, with John W. FROST, president;
James F. ESTEY, vice-president and superintendent; W. H. MINOR, manager;
and E. G. FROST, secretary and treasurer. The mill is a merchant grist-mill
and grinds 10,000 bushels of grain per month.
Charles H. PRATT, cigar manufacturer, located at 61 Spring street,
has manufactured cigars in Brattleboro since 1853. He employs three men,
and was the first manufacturer of cigars in the State.
G. H. NILES, patentee of Nile's telephone, for short distances,
manufactures the same on Elliot street.
D. H. MARSH's brickyard, located on road 41, turns out from 300,000
to 400,000 brick per year.
Eugene FROST's fish ponds are located at Brattleboro village. These
ponds, two in number, are fed by springs and cover about an acre of ground.
They are stocked, one with trout and the other with German carp. He is
prepared to stock fish ponds for others. The ice supply of the village
is also taken from these ponds.
J. E. JACOBS’s folding furniture manufactory. -- This establishment,
located on Elliot street, was begun by NASH & JACOBS, in June, 1882,
for the manufacture of folding furniture for use of camps, on lawns, etc.,
and also for the drawing-room. March 12, 1884, Mr. JACOBS bought Mr. NASH's
interest and is now conducting the business alone. The furniture he manufactures
is quite new and novel in its construction, being invented and patented
by Mr. NASH.
Frank A. SARGENT's cigar manufactory, located on road 11, was established
by F. A. SARGENT and Joseph BOYCE, in 1880, and has been conducted by Mr.
SARGENT since 1883. He employs three men and manufactures about 10,000
cigars per month.
The first bank established in Brattleboro was called the Brattleboro
Bank, incorporated in 1821, with Hon. Jonathan HUNT, president, and Epaphro
SEYMOUR, cashier. The institution enjoyed a high character, the president
and cashier retaining their positions until their death, Mr. HUNT dying
in 1832, and Mr. SEYMOUR in 1854. Deacon John HOLBROOK succeeded Mr. HUNT
in 1832, and upon the death of Mr. HOLBROOK, Epaphro SEYMOUR was chosen
president. It was during the administration of the next president, Capt.
Samuel ROOT, that the institution was changed into what has since been
known as the Vermont National Bank, chartered July 13, 1865. The cashiers
from its first organization, in 1821, to the last charter, in 1865, were
as follows: Epaphro SEYMOUR, Henry SMITH, S. M. CLARK, Horatio NOYES, Phillip
Wells and Frank WELLS, George S. DOWLEY being the present cashier. The
present capital of the institution is $150,000.00, and the present officers
as follows: William P. CUNE, president; George S. DOWLEY, cashier; and
Edward F. BROWN, teller.
The Windham Provident Institution for Savings was chartered in 1846,
and. went into operation in January, 1847. Application was made for a charter
in 1844 and in 1845, but without success, as but little was then known
about savings banks in this State, and it was thought no more banks were
needed in Vermont. In 1869, with liberty granted by the legislature in
1867, the directors erected a substantial brick building, three stories
in height, a fine, well arranged structure. On October 2, 1872, the name
of the institution was changed to the Vermont Savings Bank, the present
officers, of which are Hon. Frederick HOLBROOK, president; Francis W. BROOKS,
vice-president; N. F. CABOT, treasurer; and Malcolm MOODY, assistant treasurer.
The First National Bank of Brattleboro. -- The history of this institution,
which was ruined through the rascality of its president who is now suffering
the penalty of his wickedness, is mainly as follows:-
The legislature of 1856, incorporated by special charter, the Windham
County Bank. Its capital stock was to be $150,0000 00 to be divided into
three thousand shares of $50 each. Asa KEYES, Edward KIRKLAND, Ferdinand
TYLER, Oramel R. POST, of Brattleboro, William HARRIS Jr., of Windham,
marshall NEWTON, of Newfane; George W. GRANDY, of Vergennes; Jarvis F.
BURROWS of Vernon; William H. JONES, of Dover, and Thomas WHITE, of Putney,
were appointed commissioners for receiving subscriptions, and for calling
the first meeting for the election of directors. Its capital stock was
fully subscribed for, and on January 13, 1857, the bank was duly organized,
by the election of N. B. WILLISTON, Ferdinand TYLER, O. R. POST, Edward
KIRKLAND and Alfred SIMONDS, of Brattleboro; J. P. BURROWS of Vernon; George
PERRY, of Rockingham; John CAMPBELL, of Putney; and Dan MATHER, of Marlboro,
as directors. On the same day N. B. WILLISTON was chosen president, and
Silas M. WAITE, cashier. Mr. SIMONDS declined to serve as a director, and
on March 5, 1857, Franklin SAWYER, of Newfane, was elected in his place.
At the annual meeting in 1859, the same board of directors were chosen,
with the exception of S. M. WAITE, in place of Mr. PERRY, and Simeon ADAMS,
of Marlboro, in place of Dan MATHER. The next change in the board was in
186x, when W. P. RICHARDSON, of Putney, was elected in place of John CAMPBELL.
In March, 1864, the stockholders agreed to convert their stock in the Windham
County Bank into shares of capital stock in a banking association to be
organized under the national bank act. Articles of association were signed,
and filed with the comptroller of the currency, forming a banking association
under the laws of congress, to be called the First National Bank of Brattleboro,
with a capital of $300,000.00. The assets of the Windham County Bank were
to comprise $150,000.00 of the aforesaid capital, and the balance was to
be subscribed in money. Books of subscription were opened, and the requisite
amount of stock subscribed for. May 17, 1864, the stockholders met and
organized by the election of the following board of directors, viz.: N.
B. WILLISTON, Ferdinand TYLER, Edward KIRKLAND, O. R. POST, and S. M. WAITE
of Brattleboro; J. F. BURROWS, of Vernon; W. P. RICHARDSON, of Putney;
Simeon ADAMS, of Marlboro, and Franklin SAWYER, of Newfane. N. B. WILLISTON,
was chosen president, and S. M. WAITE, cashier. Edward KIRKLAND declined
the election for the reason that he was ineligible, not owning ten shares
as required by law, and May 26th Jacob ESTEY was elected to fill the vacancy.
The directors all qualified by taking the oath of office, prescribed
by the laws of congress, making their certificate to the effect that the
association was fully organized, and that $100,000.00 of its capital stock
had been paid in, and on June 30, 1864, the comptroller of the currency
authorized them to commence business. Their capital stock was increased
to $200,000.00, September 14, 1864, and to $300,000.00, December 19, 1864.
Bonds to the amount of $300,000.00 were therefore deposited from time to
time, with the treasurer of the United States, and in return national bank
currency to the amount of $270,000.00 was furnished them for issue. The
same board of directors was continued in 1865 and 1866, but in 1867 Jacob
ESTEY, J. F. BURROWS and Simeon ADAMS were retired, and Charles F. THOMPSON,
Francis GOODHUE, and D. S. PRATT were elected in their places.
In June, 1871, at mid-day, when no one was in the bank except Col.
SAWYER, the assistant cashier, the bank was robbed of some $30,000.00 in
currency and United States bonds, by sneak thieves, supposed to belong
to a gang of New York desperados. No part of this fund was ever recovered.
At the annual election, in 1872, F. A. NASH and H. C. WILLARD were elected
directors, in place of Messrs. SAWYER and PRATT. The next change in the
board was made in 1873, when J. M. TYLER and Addison WHITHED were elected
directors in place of Chas. F. THOMPSON and Francis GOODHUE, who declined
further service. In 1874 Mr. POST declined a further election, and Warren
PARKER, of Putney, was put in his place.
It is fair to state, as evidence of the unsoundness of this bank,
that most of the above named directors, as they severally declined further
service as directors, that they almost invariably disposed of their shares
of stock in the association and severed all their connections with the
In 1877, C. J. AMIDON, of Hinsdale, N. H., was elected director
in place of Ferdinand TYLER, deceased. In 1879, Mr. WILLISTON, having disposed
of all of his stock, with the exception of five shares, W. F. RICHARDSON
was chosen one of the directors, so that in 1880, when the bank was closed,
its directors were W. P. RICHARDSON, F. A. NASH, J. M. TYLER, Warren PARKER,
Addison WHITHED, C. J. AMIDON, W. F. RICHARDSON, H. C. WILLARD, and S.
M. WAITE. From its original organization to 1879, Mr. WILLISTON was president
of the institution, and S. M. WAITE, cashier. From 1879 to the date of
its suspension, S. M. WAITE was president and N. C. SAWYER assistant cashier.
May 19, 1880, Hon. George W. HENDEE, national bank examiner of Vermont,
made his first examination into the affairs of this bank, and Mr. WAITE
made an exhibit of its resources and liabilities at that time. During the
examination certain paper was shown, as comprising a portion of the assets,
which excited the suspicion of the examiner, and after he left town he
set about verifying the genuineness of an exhibit of $70,000.00 represented
to be on deposit with Messrs. VERMYLIA & Co., private bankers in New
York. Having ascertained that that firm owed the First National Bank of
Brattleboro nothing, Mr. HENDEE returned to Brattleboro, June 8th, and
laid the matter before Mr. WAITE, who protested that it was all right,
except that probably VERMYLIA & Co. had entered the deposit to his
individual credit when it should have been made to the credit of the bank.
The assertions of Mr. WAITE were so earnestly and positively made, and
with such apparent honesty, that he gave him a few days in which to verify
his statements. Mr. WAITE, however, instead of attending to the business
in hand, took what available funds there were in the bank, and on the early
morning train, of June 10, 1880, absconded to parts unknown. The bank was
closed by the directors on the 15th inst., and on the 16th of June Mr.
HENDEE came and took possession of the institution. June 19, 1880, Linas
M. PRICE was appointed receiver, and on the 21st of the same month he took
possession of the bank.
Upon an examination of the institution's affairs it was found that
of the $310,813.67 resources represented by Mr. WAITE as being the property
of the bank at the examination of Mr. HENDEE, May 19th, $283,442.00 was
made up of forged paper, and that the institution never had been in a sound
financial condition; that instead of having a paid up capital of $300,000.00
its actual available capital never was but a little over $125,000.00, that
its directors had long ceased to have any control over the affairs of the
bank, and that the same was conducted entirely by Mr. WAITE and according
to his own will; and that during its latter years some of its directors
never were stockholders of the association, but had accepted their election
upon the assurance of Mr. WAITE that he had made over to them the necessary
number of shares of its stock to make them eligible to an election as directors.
In fact, further examination showed that Mr. WAITE, at the time of the
organization of the national system and his own election as a director,
did not own but four shares, instead of the ten which the law required
as a qualification for an election to a directorship.
It would appear, therefore, and such was the fact, that with the
circulation issued to the institution upon the deposit of the first $100,000.00
of United States bonds, other bonds were purchased, to obtain the additional
circulation, and so on until the full $300,000.00 of bonds had been deposited.
It further appears, upon examination, that without the knowledge of the
directors, Mr. WAITE engaged in several enterprises and speculations, using
the funds of the bank, with a real purpose on his part, no doubt, to retrieve
the fast failing fortunes of the institution he was endeavoring to manage,
and thereby save the stockholders from loss and himself from ruin and disgrace.
An assessment of twenty-five per cent. was laid upon the stockholders,
to pay the directors of the bank, nearly all of whom promptly responded,
so that the bank's creditors have all been paid in full.
The Brattleboro Savings Bank was incorporated by an act of the legislature
approved November 1, 1870, and commenced business January 1, 1871, with
John HUNT, of Vernon, president; R. W. CLARKE, vice-president; and S. N.
HERRICK, secretary and treasurer. The present officers are B. D. HARRIS,
president; O. D. ESTERBROOK, vice-president; C. W. WYMAN, treasurer; and
C. A. HARRIS, assistant treasurer.
The People's National Bank of Brattleboro was organized September
18, 1875, with a capital of $100,000.00, and with Parley STARR, president;
Julius J. ESTEY, vice-president; and William A. FAULKNER, cashier; all
of whom retain their respective offices. The bank now has a surplus fund
of $20,000.00. The average deposits for 1882 were $144,500.00, an average
increase over 1881 of $26,100.00.
The BROOKS House, which was opened on the first of June, 1872, is
situated at the corner of Main and High streets, and is within three minutes'
walk of the depot, and but five hours by rail from Boston, and seven from
New York. It is provided with all the modern improvements, and no expense
has been spared in furnishing and fitting it out so as to make it, in every
respect, a pattern home for our city families. The proprietor, Mr. F. GOODHUE,
is determined in every way to sustain the enterprise of the gentleman,
Mr. George F. BROOKS, to whom the traveling public are indebted for the
erection of the noble edifice. The building, which cost $150,000.00, is
of modern style of architecture, three stories high, surmounted by a FRENCH
roof and towers. The length on Main street is one hundred and seventy-five
feet, and on High street one hundred and twenty feet, while the depth is
seventy feet. The building thus forms nearly a right angle, whose total
length is almost three hundred feet. A spacious veranda, ninety feet in
length, fronts the center on Main street, beneath which is the main entrance
of twenty feet front and seventy feet depth. The parlors, dining-rooms
and sleeping apartments are all spacious, handsomely furnished, and arranged
for the complete accommodation of guests. All the rooms are in electric
communication with the office, are heated by steam, and are mostly arranged
in suits, parlor and bed-room adjoining.
The first school meeting of which we have any record was held by
the "voters of the eastern part of Center school district," December 11,
1797. At that time money to defray the expenses of a term of school was
"raised on the poles" and ratable estates of the district, the fuel and
teacher's board being furnished by the pupils. Sometimes, however, half
the expense was raised on the poles and ratable estates and the remainder
by the pupils, each pupil paying a certain share. The teachers received
nine dollars per month and "boarded round," or were allowed 7s. 6d, per
week to pay their own board.
The first school-house built in the village is supposed to have
stood where Dr. Wm. H. ROCKWELL's dwelling is now located, and to have
subsequently been removed to "the common," and still later to Chase street.
In 1827 Charles FROST accepted the position as its teacher, and under his
management it made considerable progress, he introducing many improvements.
In 1827 or '28, Eastman SANBORN, at the request of some of the citizens,
established a classical and scientific school, his school-room being located
in the second story of a building that occupied the site of the present
In 1831 a high-school was established by private individuals; but
it was never very prosperous, and, in 184?, the building was sold to the
In 1841, as Brattleboro had increased in wealth and population,
the long agitated question of establishing a new school system was brought
to a final issue, by the appointment of Joseph STEEN, L. G. MEAD and C.
DAVIS as a prudential committee, with power to reorganize the school system
on a new plan. They adopted the Massachusetts system, and purchased, for
the use of advanced scholars, the high-school building, to which, in 1858,
a north and south wing were added. The expenses for the first year, under
the new system, were $2,000.00.
In April, 1883, the new high-school building was commenced, and
is to be completed, according to contract, July 1, 1884. It is a two story
building, 124x96 feet, built of brick, with marble trimmings, its entire
cost being about $50,000.00. It contains a high, grammer and intermediate
department, having accommodations for 650 pupils. Benjamin F. BINGHAM is
the principal. There is now, also, six primary schools scattered through
the village limits, employing seventeen teachers. There have been several
private schools established here at different periods, though there are
none at present.
ASYLUM FOR THE INSANE
This well managed institution is beautifully located in the northern
part of the village, the main buildings having a frontage to the south
about 500 feet, with several rear wings, all three stories in height, and
all substantially built of brick. A detached building, likewise of brick,
and three stories in height, is located upon the opposite side of the highway,
having a frontage to the east of l00 feet, in the rear of which is a picturesque
pleasure park of thirty acres, of comparatively recent development. The
main buildings, as seen by the annexed engraving, are surrounded by twenty
acres of pleasure grounds, ornamented, and interspersed with walks, fountains,
etc. About a mile up the West River valley is an estate of twenty acres,
having upon it extensive buildings which have been fitted up for a summer
retreat, with the object of affording to some of the patients a change
from the accustomed and often wearisome routine of every day life. This
is the latest addition made to the property and resources of the institution
for the treatment of its inmates, and is believed to be one of the most
important. The farm embraces about 600 acres of land, well cultivated,
and affords to some of the inmates healthful occupation and recreation
in developing its resources.
The asylum was founded upon a bequest of $10,000 from Mrs. Anna
MARSH, of Hinsdale, N. H., who died in the year 1834. In accordance with
the provisions of her will it was incorporated by the legislature, November
3, 1834. The trustees named in the will of the founder, and also in the
act of incorporation, were Samuel CLARK, John HOLBROOK, Epaphro SEYMOUR
and John C. HOLBROOK, all of Brattleboro. They held their first meeting
at Colonel CHASE's stage tavern, pursuant to a notice signed by Samuel
CLARK and published in the Vermont “Phoenix” of September 11, 1835, and
organized by choosing Samuel CLARK, chairman; Epaphro SEYMOUR, treasurer;
and John C. HOLBROOK secretary. On the 3d of October, following, at an
adjourned meeting, the legacy of Mrs. MARSH was paid into the hands of
the trustees, by Asa KEYES, one of the executors of the will of the said
Mrs. MARSH. The legislature of Vermont passed an act November, 9, 1835,
appropriating $2,000 annually for five years, “To enable the trustees the
more effectually to promote the benevolent designs of the institution;
provided that said trustees should take no benefit from the provisions
of the act, until they had so far elected the building and organized said
asylum as to receive patients therein; and provided also, that any future
legislature might alter, amend or repeal this act."
A purchase was concluded with Nathan WOODCOCK, May 25, 1836, embracing
the location of the present buildings, (about six acres of land, with dwelling
house thereon,) and with Ebenezer WELLS for forty-five acres of meadow
land, adjacent and additional to the site above mentioned. The work of
remodeling the dwelling was then commenced, and at a meeting of the trustees,
held June 28, 1836. Dr. William H. ROCKWELL, of Hartford, Conn., for several
years previously assistant physician at the Connecticut Retreat, was chosen
to the superintendency, to enter upon his duties as soon as the premises
were ready for the reception of patients, which was December 12, 1836.
Besides the remodeling of the dwelling house, an extension of a wing containing
eight rooms was made to it, the whole being designed for the accommodation
of twenty patients, and the necessary officers and employees, the cost
of the whole, the purchase, refitting and furnishing, absorbing nearly
the whole of the MARSH legacy.
Nov. 15, 1836, the legislature granted an additional appropriation
of $2,000. Three subsequent appropriations were made by the legislature
for extending accommodations, during the seven following years, two of
$4,000 each and one of $3,000, aggregating a total of $23,000. These last
grants were made with certain provisos in the interest of the State, securing
to citizens of Vermont a preference in the matter of admissions over those
of other States, and stipulating that in case the institution should cease
to exist, the real estate should be held as security to the State for the
total amount granted. The aid thus rendered to this institution represents
the total amount yet appropriated by the legislature of Vermont, toward
providing accommodations for the care and treatment of the insane of the
The growth of the asylum from its unostentatious beginning to its
present state of development, has been slow but constant. The average number
at present is 450 patients. With the exception of the State aid referred
to, it has been self-sustaining and self-creating, through the sagacious
foresight and sound practical management of its board of trustees and superintendent.
Its success has been in no small degree due to the pursuance of a steady
and uniform policy, which has been rendered practicable under its charter
which preserved it from those frequent changes of management that are incident
to political revolutions in institutions under ordinary State control.
The asylum is a chartered institution, but not a stock corporation. It
is simply a property in trust for a specific object, and its management
is wholly vested in its board of trustees. The following are the changes
that have occurred, by death or resignation: In 1838, John HOLBROOK, deceased;
Asa KEYES was elected his successor. In 1839, John C. HOLBROOK removed
from the State; Nathan B. WILLISTON was elected to succeed him. In 1847,
Epapro SEYMOUR resigned; J. Dorr BRADLEY was elected in his place. In 1852,
Samuel CLARK resigned; Frederick HOLBROOK was his successor. In 1862, J.
Dorr BRADLEY, deceased; Daniel KELLOGG was chosen to fill the vacancy.
In 1874, Daniel KELLOGG and Asa KEYES resigned; William H. ROCKWELL and
James M. TYLER were elected in their stead. In 1875, Nathan B. WILLISTON
resigned; Richard BRADLEY was chosen in his place. There have been two
changes in the superintendency of the asylum. In 1872, Dr. W. H. ROCKWELL
resigned, and was succeeded by his son. In 1873, Dr. W. H. ROCKWELL, Jr.,
resigned, and was succeeded by Dr. Joseph DRAPER, who entered upon his
duties February 16, 1873. The present entire list of officers is as follows:
Board of Visitors. -- Hon. Homer ROYCE, Hon. Timothy P. REDFIELD, Hon Jonathan
ROSS, Hon. H. Henry POWERS, Hon. Russell S. TAFT, and Hon. John W. ROWELL.
Board of Trustees. -- Hon. Frederick HOLBROOK, William H. ROCKWELL, M.
D., Hon. James M. TYLER, and Richards BRADLEY, Esq. Resident Officers.
-- Joseph DRAPER, M. D., superintendent and physician; S. E. LAWTON. M.
D., first assistant physician; L. F. WENTWORTH M. D., second assistant
physician; Miss H. E. B. GIBSON, matron; Porter C. SPENCER, steward; and
Asa GILKEY, farmer.
The Brattleboro Telephone Exchange, F. W. CHILDS & Co., managers,
was established in June; 1881, and now has 180 subscribers. There is probably
not another exchange in this country that can boast of a set of telephone
instruments to every thirty-two per cent of its inhabitants. They also
have forty "private line" instruments, not connected with the exchange.
All their lines are constructed in the most thorough manner, and their
offices equipped with most approved apparatus. They have about 160 miles
of pole lines," connecting subscribers in nearly every town and hamlet
of two hundred inhabitants in Windham county, and in Cheshire county, N.
H. With one exception it is the only exchange in New England not owned
and operated by the N. E. Telephone and Telegraph Co. They furnish employment
to four persons. The central office is located in Crosby block, Main street,
open night and day, with branch pay offices in Esteyville, West Brattleboro
WEST BRATTLEBORO is a handsome little POST village located in the
central part of the town, on Whetstone brook. It was formerly, owing to
its geographical center, the larger, and at one time the only village in
the town, where the church privileges, town-meetings, June trainings, etc.,
were held. But owing to the navigation of the Connecticut, which forms
the eastern boundary of the eastern village, and the enterprising character
and efforts of William FESSENDEN, John HOLBROOK. Francis GOODHUE and others,
the East village received an impulse, early in the present century, which
caused it to far surpass the West village in business and population. It
now contains two churches (Baptist and Congregational), Glenwood Classical
Seminary, two stores, a meat-market, blacksmith shop, etc.
Glenwood Classical Seminary. -- In 1801, under an act of the legislature,
was organized and established, at West Brattleboro, a school known as Brattleboro
Academy, with a board of trustees of whom, at a meeting held December 17,
1801, Rev. Gersham LYMAN was elected president. The school was opened in
1802, in the old academy building, and was continued with a good degree
of success for many years. At a meeting of the board of trustees, held
January 6, 1851, a committee was appointed to secure funds for the erection
of a new academy building. The means were found and the present building
erected and opened in 1853. In 1863 was erected the building since known
as East Hall. In 1876, by an act of the legislature, Brattleboro Academy
became Glenwood Classical Seminary. It has three. courses of study, a classical,
an English and a business course. The classical course, of three years,
prepares young men for college. The English course, of four years, gives
a thorough education in the English department, while the business course,
of three years, is designed for those who desire a briefer, yet systematic
drill in the more practical of English studies. In September, 1881, Prof.
H. H. SHAW became the principal, since which time the courses of study
have been adopted and diplomas granted those completing the course in any
CENTERVILLE is a hamlet located between Brattleboro and West Brattleboro,
on Whetstone brook. It has a blacksmith shop, grist-mill, Brattleboro Sewing
Machine Co.'s works, tannery, school-house, etc., and a small cluster of
Alonzo E. DOOLITTLE, located on Western avenue, has been engaged
in the manufacture of lumber since 1860, manufacturing about 1,000,000
feet per year, and also cuts 3,000 cords of WOOD per annum, giving employment
to from twenty-five to thirty men.
J. ESTEY's saw-mill, located on Whetstone brook, was built in 1871.
It has the capacity for turning out 1,000,000 feet of lumber per year.
WORDEN & MOORE, located near Centerville, manufacture from ten
to twelve barrels of soft soap per week.
The cider-mills of W. M. CHAMBERLAIN, on road 4, Edward C. DUNKLEE,
on road 4, O. H. CARPENTER, on road 3, and L. D. THAYER, on road 48, each
manufactures about 200 barrels of cider per year.
F. S. WHITAKER's saw and, grist-mill is located on road 22, on Whetstone
brook. The grist-mill has one run of stones, and the saw-mill cuts about
200.000 feet of lumber per annum.
L. J. JOHNSON's cider-mill and jelly manufactory, located on road
21, was built in 1880. The first year Mr. JOHNSON made 1,000 barrels of
cider and nine tons of jelly. He has since made from eight to ten tons
of jelly per year.
J. NESBIT's cider-mill, located on road 45, has the capacity for
manufacturing ten barrels of cider per day.
J. S. WOOD's cider-mill, located on road 45, was built by Aaron
WOOD, in 1843. It has the capacity for making eight barrels of cider per
Henry F. GOODENOUGH's cider-mill, located on road 39, was built
about seventy-five years ago, by Jacob STODDARD. It has the capacity for
making ten to twelve barrels of cider per day.
John P. LISCOM's soap manufactory, located on road 42, was established
in 1870. He manufactures both hard and soft soap. Mr. LISCOM has also a
fruit farm, having 1,400 peach trees, besides apple and other small fruit
Centerville tannery, S. H. WARREN, proprietor, is located at Centerville,
the only tannery in the town. He manufactures card leather, giving employment
to three men.
The GOODENOUGH Mills, located on road 32, on Great brook, occupy
the oldest mill-site in the town, mills being erected here previous to
1760, where the early settlers of the county came to have their grain ground.
The property came into the possession of the present proprietor, J. P.
GOODENOUGH, in 1851, who has made many improvements. The grist-mill has
one run of stones, the shingle-mill cuts 100,000 shingles, and the saw-mill
about 200,000 feet of lumber per annum.
The early settlement of Brattleboro has already been spoken of on
page 59 in connection with the early settlement of the county. In the lives
of those whose biographical sketches follow, also, may be traced the history
of the town; not that we have given sketches of all who are now, or have
been, prominent actors in “making their town's history" -- this, in our
limited space would be impossible. We have simply given such facts as we
have been able to procure, and even have rejected many that will possibly,
by some, be considered unpardonable omissions, until they pause to consider
that the history of some of the lives whose memories are dear to the people
of Brattleboro, are so familiar as to make it almost seem superfluous to
recount their good deeds. Many of these, who have been distinguished in
the annals of the State and have been men of influence here, and also some
0f the pioneers of the town, are mentioned in the following: John ARMS,
Samuel WELLS, Samuel KNIGHT, Samuel GALE, Henry WELLS, Samuel STEARNS,
Micah TOWNSEND, .Stephen GREENLEAF, William WELLS, John STEWART, Royall
TYLER, John NOYES, Lemuel WHITNEY, John W. BLAKE, Francis GOODHUE, Oliver
CHAPIN, William FESSENDEN, Joseph CLARK, John HOLBROOK, Samuel CLARK, Samuel
ELLIOT, James ELLIOT, Jonathan HUNT, Jr., Thomas G. FESSENDEN, Joseph FESSENDEN,
Jonathan D. BRADLEY, Edward A. KIRKLAND, C. TOWNSLEY, L. G. MEAD, Paul
CHASE, Jacob SPALDIN, Abner SCOVELL, Oliver HARRIS, Josiah WHEELER, Thomas
CUMPTON, William M'CUNE, William BRALL, Richard PROUTY, Dr. DICKERMAN,
John HOUGHTON, Elisha PIERCE, Ebenezer HOWZE, Wm. ELLAS, Benjamin GORTEN,
Joseph WHIPPLE, David CHURCH, Lemuel KENDRICK, Seth SMITH, Joshua WILDER,
Ebenezer HADLEY, Jonathan HERRICK, Silas HOUGHTON, Joseph BURT, Ebenezer
FISHER, O. COOK, John GRIFFIN, Samuel WARRINER, Daniel JOHNSON.
After the establishment of a garrison at Fort Dummer, as mentioned
on the above cited page, nothing was done towards the settlement of the
locality for a number of years, or, indeed, not until after the charter
was granted, in 1753, by reason, probably, of the disturbances consequent
upon Indian wars and depredations. Leave was once or twice asked and granted
to have the time of filling the conditions of the charter extended; but
of any deed issued, or other town business transacted, if there was any
such deed or business in those early days, we have no account. Nor does
there seem to have been any town clerk until Dr. Henry WELLS was chosen
such, some fifteen years after the town was chartered. Among the original
records of the town the earliest bears date the first Tuesday of March,
1768, and speaks of the meeting as being called in accordance with an act
passed in 1750, by which the "freeholders of any town in the colony of
New York are empowered to assemble for town business at such time and place
as shall be appointed by any two of his Majesty's justices of the peace."
Under date of December 27, 1768, is also found a record of an intention
of marriage, signed by Henry WELLS, town clerk. The first representative
to the legislature was Samuel WELLS, in 1780.
The settlement of the town, however, after the fear of Indian depredations
had subsided, was rapid, as is shown by the reports of the first census
of Cumberland county, taken by New York, in 1771, which gives Brattleboro
a total population of 403 souls, seventy-five of whom were heads of families;
103 were males under sixteen years of age; 102 were males between the ages
of sixteen and sixty; eight were over sixty years of age; 110 were females
under sixteen; seventy-nine were females above sixteen, and one was a colored
John SARGENT, erroneously called "David" in Thompson's Gazetteer,
was one of the earliest settlers in Vermont. His home for a time was at
Fort Dummer, where he arrived about 1730 or 1731. His family at this time
consisted of a wife-and two children, Daniel and Abigail. In after time,
say up to 1742, there were born to them John, Thomas, Abigail, (her name-sake
having died) Rufus and Mary. In March, (here the record is not legible,
but probably 1742 or 1743,) while he and his son Daniel were a short distance
from the fort, looking for timber to make paddles, they were ambushed by
Indians, the father killed and scalped and the son carried into captivity.
This son, Daniel, remained for quite a time with the Indians, adopting
their habits and manners; but finally he returned, and, in company with
the youngest son, Rufus, bought a section of land on the Connecticut river,
lying in the southeastern corner of Dummerston, where each made a home
and reared a family.
John SARGENT, Jr., generally known as Col. John SARGENT, was born
December 4, 1732, at Fort Dummer, and, so far as is known, was the first
white child born within the present limits of this State. He, with his
brother Thomas, bought a tract of land comprising 460 acres, lying in the
northeast corner of Brattleboro. The deed of this land, now in possession
of G. P. SARGENT, residing on road 11, is legible in every respect, being
dated as follows: "Brattleboro, April twentieth, Seventeen hundred and
seventy, County of Cumberland, Province of New York." The consideration,
"Two Hundred & Eighty Six Pounds Lawful Money of New York." On the
site now owned and occupied by J. H. SARGENT, a lineal descendant, Col.
John erected a commodious dwelling, wherein he, for many years, dispensed
a generous hospitality to the weary traveler, and elevated the spirits
and patriotism of his friends with liberal potations of the fluids of the
time. Here, also, he reared two sons and two daughters. Col. John was noted
as a thorough farmer, a genial landlord, and a spirited and efficient colonel
of the State militia. He died July 30, 1798, in his sixty-eighth year.
Thomas SARGENT, or "Lieutenant Tom," as he was usually designated,
was also born at Fort Dummer, Feb. 23, 1734. As previously stated, he bought
land with Col. John, and selected for a home a situation about seventy-five
rods north of the Colonel, where he built a substantial farm dwelling and
other necessary structures. Here the forest gradually melted before his
sturdy axe, and he soon had sufficient arable land to meet the necessities
of an increasing household, but in the midst of usefulness and near the
meridian of the allotted time, when all seemed fair, bright and hopeful
before and around him, death knocked at his door, April 19, 1783. At his
death his family consisted of his wife (formerly Miss Anna LEE), eight
sons, Elisha, Thomas, Calvin, Luther, Erastus, Roswell and Harry W., and
four daughters, Anna, Lecta, Susannah and Roxanna. Elisha, his son, who
married Molly KATHAN, and ultimately possessed the homestead, clearing
from it the remaining surplus of wood and timber, besides adding to its
acres and otherwise improving it. He died December 1, 1833. To him was
born Elisha, Molly, Caressa, Thomas, Alexander, Chester and George. Of
these none attained any special note, excepting Thomas, who was a famous
pedagogue of the times, and George, who stood at the head as a bass drummer.
Such was the latter's skill with the "padded stick," that he and his favorite
tenor, W. M. KNAPP of Dummerston, were often employed in the adjoining
States of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He married Roxanna PRATT, succeeded
to the estate of his father, and died January 25, 1859. His widow still
survives him, aged eighty-five years, and resides on the old place. To
him were born George B., Chester H., Herbert C. (deceased), Lucy R. (deceased),
and Charles W. George B. SARGENT married Miss M. A. FRENCH, and now owns
and occupies a portion of the original farm. He has two children now living,
Mrs. Lodema A. SARGENT, Prescott, and George H.
Dr. Willard ARMS, the third in line of descent from Maj. John ARMS,
was born in Brattleboro, December 2, 1880, and studied medicine with Dr.
William S. WILLIAMS, of Deerfield, Mass. February 8, 1803, he married Susan
ARMS, of Deerfield, and went immediately to Stukely, Canada. After about
a year he was called back to settle the estate of his father, Josiah ARMS,
who died in possession of the meadow farm, now the property of the Vermont
asylum, which had belonged to the Major, his father. Dr. ARMS remained
in practice in his profession in this place about fourteen years, and he
built the house at the East village which was owned and occupied by the
late N. B. WILLISTON, Esq. In 1818 he sold his house and practice to Dr.
Artemas ROBBINS, conditioned that he should not practice in this town for
ten years, and followed his profession the most of this time in Northampton,
Mass. In 1833 he returned and settled in the West village, where he remained
thirty years, and died September 25, 1863, aged almost eighty-three years.
He practiced sixty years, forty-four in this town, where in many branches
of his profession his counsel was often sought. He was considered the leading
authority in obstetrics, smallpox, etc. "When I am sick," said he, "I don't
want medicine; but I live on corn-meal hasty-pudding until the disease
gets disgusted and leaves me." His long life and good health was owing,
in no small degree, undoubtedly, to excellent care, good habits, and a
large share of good common sense.
Dr. Jonathan A. ALLEN and his family lived on Main street as early
as 1816, but how long before we are not able to state. Dr. ALLEN is spoken
of in high terms of commendation by the few aged citizens in the village
who remember him as an honor to the profession, gentlemanly, prudent and
considerate in his intercourse and dealings with his fellow men. He left
this place at some period from 1822 to '24, for a wider field, and satisfactorily
did he prove his capability for the same in the way he long and faithfully
fulfilled the duties he accepted, as professor of chemistry in Middlebury
Hon. Jonathan Dorr BRADLEY, son of Hon. William C. BRADLEY, of Westminster,
Vt., was born in Westminster in 1803; was a graduate of Yale college and
was fitted for the legal profession; married Susan CROSSMAN in 1829, and
first practiced law at Bellows Falls, though about thirty years of his
professional life was spent in Brattleboro, where he died, in September,
1862, leaving his widow and four children-William C., a graduate of Harvard
college in 1851, Richards, Stephen Rowe, and Arthur C., a graduate of Amherst
in 1876. Mr. BRADLEY was a profound legal scholar; he represented Brattleboro
in the legislature in 1856-'57, and was one of the board of directors of
the Vermont and Massachusetts railroad, and exerted a powerful influence
in forwarding the construction of the road to Brattleboro.
Hon. Oliver CHAPIN was a member of General Washington's body-guard
during the Revolution, and early in the present century came to Brattleboro,
from Orange, Mass. He became one of the county judges and held other offices
with credit to himself and honor to his constituents, being an eminently
capable, enterprising and persevering man. Not only did he build several
houses on Main street, destroyed by fire in 1869, but he was chiefly instrumental
in building the first bridge connecting Brattleboro with New Hampshire.
Application for the charter was made in 1801, and the bridge and Hinsdale
turnpike were completed in 1806. He died in 1811, aged -fifty-one years.
His widow died in 1849, aged eighty-four years. Dr. Charles, son of Oliver;
was born at Orange, Mass., July 10, 1803, was fitted for college by Rev.
Dr. COLEMAN, and graduated from Harvard University in 1823, when twenty
years old. He went through the usual course of studies for the medical
profession, under the direction of the celebrated Dr. BIGELOW, of Boston,
and commenced the practice of medicine in Springfield, Mass., in 1826.
In 1827 he married Elizabeth B. BRIDGE, of Charlestown, Mass, by -whom
he had one child, Elizabeth Alice, who married Joseph CLARK, in 1846 or
'47. In 1830, his first wife having died, he married Sophia Dwight ORNE,
of Springfield, by whom he had five children -- Lucinda Orne, Oliver Howard,
Mary WELLS, William Orne and Charles Jones. In 1831 Dr. CHAPIN removed
to Brattleboro, and soon after gave up the practice of medicine, and thereafter
devoted himself to business and public affairs, filling many public offices
with credit and fidelity. He was a member of the legislature in 1833, and
was for a long time deputy sheriff and the most active officer of that
kind in the county. He was United States Marshal during the administration
of President Pierce, and for many years was one of the efficient directors
of the Vermont Mutual Insurance Company. He was one of the first members
and organizers of the Unitarian Society of this place, and for twenty-five
years was a favorite moderator and presiding officer at town meetings and
other public gatherings, and his services were in frequent request to conduct
funerals. For many years, and until infirmities forbade, he was the very
acceptable and efficient chief engineer of the fire department; also a
director of the Vermont Valley Railroad Company when their road was being
constructed, in 1850, and at the same period a clerk of the company. He
died January 6, 1878.
Hon. Samuel CLARK, of Brattleboro, who was, through his mother,
Sarah CUSHMAN, a lineal descendant, in the seventh generation, from Robert
CUSHMAN, the puritan, was born at Lebanon, Ct., February 28, 1777. He remained
at home until the age of eighteen, when his health proving insufficient
for the labors of the farm, he left, and most of the time until 1815, when
he removed to West Brattleboro, was engaged in mercantile pursuits in the
towns of Guilford and Dover, Vt. He continued in business at West Brattleboro
about fifteen years, when, having gained a competence, he retired from
business but continued to take an active and prominent part in the public
affairs of the town. For four years, 1820, 1821, 1825, and 1826, he represented
Brattleboro in the legislature. In 1827 he was chosen a member of the senate,
which office he held three years. In 1833 he was the first assistant, or
side judge of the county court. In 1836 he was a delegate from Brattleboro
to the State convention to revise the constitution of Vermont. For several
years he held the office of selectman and lister, was a trustee of the
Vermont Asylum for the Insane, and of the Brattleboro Academy, which school
owes much to the interest he always took in its welfare, and to his timely
and liberal gifts. He was for twenty years a director of the Bank of Brattleboro,
and justice of the peace fourteen years. In all these various positions
he proved himself worthy of the confidence reposed in him. He was for many
years an active member of the Congregational church,. of West Brattleboro,
and did much to sustain the institutions of the Gospel both at home and
abroad, and at his death left large legacies for benevolent objects.
His wife was Susan, daughter of Captain Daniel JOHNSON, of Dover,
by whom he had four sons, Lafayette, Amandrin, Samuel Cushman, and Stamford
Russell, two only of whom, Lafayette and Samuel C., survive him. He died
April 19, 1861, at the age of eighty-four years, greatly beloved by those
immediately about him and highly esteemed by all.
Lafayette, the oldest son of Samuel CLARK, was born at Dover, Windham
county, Vt., June 7, 1801, and came to West Brattleboro with his father
in 1815. After he became of age he entered his father's store, where he
remained as clerk and later as partner until 1831. Though of a modest and
retiring disposition his townsmen learned to appreciate his sterling qualities
and sound judgment, and for many years lie was made prominent as an officer
of the town, and as a member of the community in which he lived. He represented
the town of Brattleboro in the legislature in 1843-'44, was town clerk
from 1814 to 1862, and was selectman and lister several years. For seventeen
years he was town treasurer, for a time trustee of the public money, and
for forty-five years justice of the peace. He was one of the trustees of
the Windham Provident Institution for Savings, now Vermont Savings Bank,
from its commencement until 1869, and for some time previous to leaving
the board, its president. From 1869 to 1878 he was a director of the Vermont
National Bank of Brattleboro, and, the last four years of which time its
For many years he served as clerk of the Congregational church at
West Brattleboro, of which he was a member and an earnest supporter. He
took an active interest in the welfare of Brattleboro Academy, and was
a member of the board of trustees about fifty years, and about forty years
clerk of the board. In every position to which he was called, he proved
himself worthy of trust and honor, an efficient and faithful public servant,
and was regarded by all as, a sincere friend. He died August 22, 1881,
aged eighty years. In private his life was remarkably noble and unselfish,
and none regarded him with more honor than those nearest to him and who
turned to him for counsel or help.
Wrangler W. CLARKE, of Brattleboro, son of Elam and Cynthia CLARKE,
was born at Williamstown, Vt., in 1816. His studies preparatory to entering
college were pursued at Black River Academy, at Ludlow, Vt., and at Randolph
Academy, Vermont. He entered Dartmouth college in 1838 and graduated in
1842, when he became principal of Black River Academy for three years;
and in the meantime he read law with the late Gov. P. T. WASHBURN, completing
his law studies in the office of the late Hon. J. Dorr BRADLEY, of Brattleboro,
and was admitted to the bar at the September term of Windham county court,
1846. Since then he has practiced his profession in Brattleboro. He held
the office of State's attorney in 1851-'52 and 1854 was a member of the
constitutional convention in 1858; was State senator in. 1858 and 1859;
was one of the presidential electors of Vermont in 1868. He held the office
of Postmaster at Brattleboro from January, 1871, to January, 1879; was
register of probate for the district of Marlboro in 1861-'62, when he resigned
that office, and in June, 1862, was appointed assistant quartermaster of
United States volunteers, and remained in the United States military service
till October, 1865. His official ranks in military service have been those
of captain, major and colonel. He has been and now is prominently connected
with the Brattleboro Savings Bank, of which he was for several years the
president. For more than twenty-five years past he has held the offices
of United States commissioner and master in chancery. In 1882 he was elected
assistant judge of Windham county court, which office he still holds. In
May, 1849, Mr. CLARKE married Lucy C., daughter of the late Judge John
WILDER, of Weston, Vt. She died in 1864, and in 1868 he married Susan O.
WILDER, a sister of his first wife.
Joseph CLARK, of Brattleboro, son of Joseph CLARK, who came from
England to Auburn, Mass., at an early date, and died in 1800, married Freedom
ALEXANDER, of Northfield, Mass., by whom he had seven children, and died
September 6, 1834. Henry; the eldest, married Electa, daughter of Jonathan
GOODENOUGH, in 1808. She died in 1810, and he afterwards married Eunice,
her sister. Eunice died in 1823, and for his third wife Henry married Sophia
DENNISON, daughter of Judge DENNISON, of Brattleboro. Henry died March
19, 1855. The fruits of the second marriage were three children. Electa,
the eldest, born February 20, 1814, married Dr. Reuben SPAULDING, of Montpelier,
Vt., reared three children, Henry G., Frederick and Edward, only one of
whom, Henry G., a Unitarian clergyman of Boston, Mass., is living. She
died in February, 1856. Joseph, the second child, was born in February,
1816, married Elisabeth, daughter of Dr. Charles CHAPIN, of Brattleboro,
and had three children, Oliver C., William O., and a daughter who died
in infancy. Only one, Oliver C., now of San Francisco, Cal., is living.
Joseph was for many years engaged in the hardware and drug business, on
Main street, and died in October, 1870. George H., the youngest son, was
born January 12, 1818. He was educated in the common schools of Brattleboro,
studied surveying with Addison BROWN, and with his father, who was also
a surveyor, and has been engaged most of his life in that occupation and
in farming. He married Sarah, daughter of Col. Erastus HUBBARD, of Vernon,
Vt., November 7, 1842, and has resided in Brattleboro all his life. Their
eldest son, Henry G., born October 14, 1843, is now engaged in the dairy
business at Brattleboro. Henry G. married Josephine WOOSTER, of Brattleboro,
December 16, 1865, and has four children, Mary J., born January 6, 1866;
Sarah L,, born December 22, 1867; Alice C., born February 23, 1870; and
Charles H., born January 17, 1872. Their eldest son, born May 14, 1847,
died November 15, 1852.
Watson CROSBY was one of the early settlers of Brattleboro. His
genealogy is traced in a direct line to John CROSBY, once Lord Mayor of
London. His first ancestry in this country was another John CROSBY, who
settled in Cambridge, Mass., in 1635. Watson was one of the seven children
of Miller and Rebecca CROSBY, and was born at Cape Cod, November 7, 1776.
In 1787, in company with his widowed mother and the rest of the family,
he came to West Brattleboro, locating on a farm adjoining that of an old
Cape Cod neighbor, Manassah BIXBY. November 28, 1804, he married Desiah
BANGS, daughter of Hon. Joseph BANGS, of Hawley, Mass., by whom he had
ten children, viz.: Olive, Ruth, Miranda, Abigail Cobb, Joseph Bangs, Henry
Barrett, Jeremiah Mayo, Charles Howard, Frances Hayes, and a daughter who
died in infancy. Five of the children are now living, viz.: Mrs. Olive
ROBINSON, at Washington, D. C.; Mrs. Ruth MILLER, at Toledo, O.; Abigail
C. PUTNAM, at Brattleboro; Henry Barrett, at Patterson, N. J.; and Charles
Howard, at Boston, Mass. Watson died November 10, 1857, aged seventy-two
years. Mrs. CROSBY died September 24, 1859, aged eighty-three years.
Hon. James ELLIOT was a representative in Congress from Vermont,
from 1803 to 1809. His name, with that of judge CHAPIN and others, is recorded
as one of the corporators of the first joint stock company that originated
in Brattleboro. His company built the first bridge connecting the east
village with New Hampshire, in 1804, when Mr. ELLIOT was but twenty-six
years of age. He remained in Brattleboro about twenty-five years, then
removed to Newfane, where he died, November 10, 1839, aged sixty-four years.
He was a native of Gloucester, Mass. In early life he came to reside in
Guilford, where he enlisted under General WAYNE at eighteen years of age,
and served in the Indian wars three years, quartered most of the time in
the western part of Ohio, then a wilderness. He studied law and was admitted
to the bar of Windham county. In the war of 1812 he held a captain's commission.
His later life was variegated with different scenes and services. Besides
his attention to the practice of law, he served several years as register
of probate and clerk of the courts, and the two years previous to his death
was State's attorney for Windham county.
Hon. Samuel ELLIOT was born in Gloucester, Mass., August 16, 1777,
and died at West Brattleboro, December to, 1845. With the exception of
Hon. John W. BLAKE, he and his brother were the first to establish a law
practice in Brattleboro, and he spent the largest share of the last forty
years of his life in the East village. Elliot street is so named because
he formerly owned the land and erected the first house thereon, a brick
building of two stories. His one-story wood law office stood, as late as
1830, on the site afterwards occupied by the Revere house. In or near 1835
he sold the site to Ashbell DICKENSON. A large share of, if not all, the
land on the south side of Green street was once in his possession. He was
the successor of Hon. John W. BLAKE as Postmaster, but, becoming a Federalist,
and prominently advocating the principles of that party during the presidency
of Jefferson, he was succeeded in 1810, by Asa GREEN, Esq., who uninterruptedly
held the office until after the inauguration of Harrison, in 1841. He was
judge of probate for this district, and repeatedly represented the town
in the legislature, was candidate for congress, and also associate judge
of this county, where he was widely known as a man of marked ability, unquestioned
integrity, and not surpassed in his devotion to charity and mercy.
William FESSENDEN, the pioneer business man of Brattleboro village,
was a son of Rev. Thomas K. FESSENDEN, of Walpole, N. H. He was born at
Walpole, in 1779, and came here about 18o3, soon after learning the trade
of printer, in his native town, where he served his time with Messrs. THOMAS
& CARLYLE. He married Miss Patty, daughter of Dea. John HOLBROOK, October
9, 1807, who was left a widow in 1815, with four children, Mr. FESSENDEN
dying of apoplexy. The village had scarce a dozen dwellings when Mr. FESSENDEN
commenced publishing here a newspaper, called “The Reporter,” in 1804.
Fresh from his apprenticeship, With no capital, but a mind fertile in resources,
and active hands to execute his designs, he bravely labored under great
disadvantages. Often did he make a journey on horseback, to some distant
paper-mill, and return with just sufficient paper bound upon the back of
the horse to issue the “Reporter” one week. While he was engaged in this
enterprise, Anthony HASWELL was trying to establish at Bennington the publication
of Webster's spelling book. Mr. HASWELL did not succeed, and his effects
were sold. Mr. FESSENDEN, in some way, came into possession of the plates
and fixtures for the spelling-book. Under his economical, sagacious management
the publication of this work caused the land, once called "Governor's Farm,"
to assume a very different appearance. Houses sprang up rapidly, and the
population very soon doubled.
Jesse FROST was born at Billerica, in 1736, married Johanna SPAULDING,
of Chelmsford, May 6, 1760, and had six sons and two daughters. Just at
what time he came to Brattleboro is not known, but an old deed shows that
he was here previous to 1770. He purchased a farm of Lemuel HENDRICK which
has been in the possession of the family ever since. His son William, who
came into possession, of the property in 1801, married Susannah MANN, and
had one son, Zenas, and three daughters. Janes B. FROST, son of Zenas,
was born February 8, 1835, married Lucy C. BURNAP, of Newfane, March 29,
1857. In 1871, he took legal possession of the old homestead, though he
had always resided thereon.
Charles, son of James FROST who came to Brattleboro, from Paxton,
in 1799, was born in Brattleboro village, November 11, 1805. He was by
trade a shoemaker, which business he followed all his life, except during
the winter months of a few years in his early manhood; when he taught school.
He married Roxanna SARGENT and reared three sons, Charles S., WELLS S.,
and Henry B. S. Mr. FROST early manifested an aptitude for mathematics
and the sciences, though he attended only the common schools. But through
his own exertions he finally became a man who probably knew more about
plants than any one else in New England,-perhaps than anyone in the United
States. He read scientific books equally well in four different languages,
and had, besides, a very great deal of scientific knowledge beyond botany,
-- in one department of which he was an authority for scientific men on
two continents-perhaps the highest authority since the death of Rev. Dr.
CURTIS, of North Carolina. His knowledge was wide and accurate. He had
habits of the closest observation and description, and was honored by being
elected a member of different societies in America and Europe, though he
never gave up his occupation of village shoemaker.
FRANCIS GOODHUE, one of Brattleboro's most enterprising business
men, was born October 26, 1768, married Polly BROWN, daughter of Rev. Joseph
BROWN, in 1778. He moved from Swanzey, N. H., to Wethersfield, Vt., where
he came into possession of the famous "Bow Farm" of about 1,000 acres,
being of the most fertile and desirable meadow lands of the Connecticut
river valley. In 1810 he sold this valuable farm to Hon. William JARVIS,
soon after that gentleman resigned his office as United States Consul to
Spain, and who was ever afterwards known as "Consul JARVIS." Soon after
selling this farm, Mr. GOODHUE settled in Brattleboro, in 1811, and this
place was his home the remainder of his life, which closed in 1837. At
the time of his death but two of his five children were living, viz.: Col.
Joseph GOODHUE and Wells GOODHUE. Joseph GOODHUE was born in 1794, married
Sarah EDWARDS, of Northampton, Mass., a descendant of Rev. Jonathan EDWARDS,
in 1815. The then small settlement of east village, having extensive meadows
north and south of it, attracted the attention of Mr. GOODHUE, and he made
purchases of said lands north and south, and also a large portion of the
land on Main and other streets of the village, containing, in some localities,
buildings thereon. Hon. John W. BLAKE, who was living here before 1790,
was a large owner of real estate in this village at that time, and he conveyed
his title to the same to Mr. GOODHUE in 1811. About the same time, Deacon
John HOLBROOK sold to Mr. GOODHUE the water-power and buildings east of
the south bridge on Main street, containing a saw and grist-mill and some
machinery for other purposes. He carried on wool-carding and cloth-dressing,
saw and grist-mill, cotton spinning, distilling, and a large store of such
goods as were sold from country stores at that time. He was also erecting
a building of some kind every year, and largely at the same time engaged
in farming, yet his note was never worth less than 100 cents on the dollar.
No man of property who has settled here manifested more real confidence
in the future of the village than did Mr. GOODHUE. He completely identified
himself with its private and public interests, and was ever ready to listen
to and assist in any project presenting a reasonable prospect of tending
to the public welfare. His hopefulness and cheerfulness were a constant
inspiration to those with whom he came in contact, and the encouraging
grasp he gave the hand of honest industry can be seen, in its effects at
the present day. He was generally successful, and he was always gratified
to learn that others were so; and was a young man unfortunate in business,
instead of accelerating his misfortunes or downward course, he had a hopeful
word to say, and could generally find some employment for him until he
could do better. His -public liberality was apparent in several instances.
He gave valuable locations upon his lands on Main street for the old Brattleboro
Bank, chartered in 1821, and for the Unitarian and Congregational church
Col. Joseph GOODHUE, soon after his marriage, came into possession
of the large meadow farm, occupied in early times, before the war of the
Revolution, by John ARMS, one of the earliest settlers. Col. GOODHUE was
a model of industry, and during a large portion of his life occupied various
town offices, and was the chief in command of the regiment in this vicinity.
Being one of the most economical, successful, cautious men in this town,
yet he was one of the largest investors here in the first railroad enterprise-the
Vermont & Massachusetts railroad-and was one of the board of directors
during the remainder of his life. At the time of his death, in 1861, his
children were all married, settled mostly in this place, and constitute,
with their families, a very important and influential part of this community.
His wife Sarah died November 11, 1883. Mary Ann was married to William
P. CUNE, president of the old bank, chartered here in 1821 and renewed
in 1863. Harriet was married in 1835 to ex-Governor HOLBROOK. Lucy married
Dr. HALL, of Northampton, Mass., in 1836. Sarah married first, Albert H.
BULL, Esq., of Hartford, Ct., who before 1860 gave $2,000 to the Brattleboro
Library Association. Her second husband, Dr. E. R. CHAPIN, was, for fifteen
years, superintendent physician of the Asylum for the Insane, at Flatbush,
near the city of New York. Francis, the only son, married Mary BROOKS,
daughter of Captain William BROOKS.
Wells GOODHUE, the only brother of Joseph, was ten years of age
when he came here with his father in 1811. He fitted for college and continued
his studies about a year after he entered college, and came back to Brattleboro
to engage in trade with his father. He was married to Laura BARNARD about
1828. They had three children -- Lucy, Charles and Julia. Lucy married
Rev. George DRAPER; Julia, Thomas WALTER, of New York; Charles B., a lady
from Pomfret, Ct. Mr. GOODHUE passed the most of his life in Brattleboro.
He was a careful, prudent man, and never manifested any desire for office,
though he was a man of excellent administrative ability and sterling honesty.
His quiet, sagacious comments and remarks to those with whom he was
familiar, respecting public movements and passing events, gave evidence
of much reflection and discrimination. Above all things he dreaded contention,
and rarely would discuss exciting questions. His wealth constantly accumulated
by real estate transactions and judicious management of his capital. Late
in life he was elected president of the first bank here. Much to the regret
of those most interested in the institution, however, he could be retained
in said office but a short time. A few months after his resignation he
died, in 1874, at the home of his only daughter, Mrs. DRAPER, near the
city of New York.
Epaphro SEYMOUR, the youngest son of Maj. Moses SEYMOUR, of Litchfield,
Conn., was born July 8, 1783. He received a good academical education at
the Morris Academy, South Farns, Conn., and afterwards was thoroughly trained
in the business and duties of a merchant's clerk in a mercantile establishment
at Brooklyn, Conn. Horatio SEYMOUR, the eldest brother, was educated for
the legal profession, and settled in Middlebury, Vt. He became a distinguished
lawyer in western Vermont, and for twelve years represented the State in
the United States senate. Near the close of the last century, Henry SEYMOUR,
an older brother of Epaphro SEYMOUR, came to Guilford and was extensively
engaged in mercantile business. Subsequently Henry SEYMOUR, about 1802,
induced his brother Epaphro to come to Guilford and engage in trade, although
he was less than twenty years of age when he commenced business. At this
time Guilford was the most populous and prosperous town in Vermont. Zadock
THOMPSON, in his “Gazetteer of Vermont” published in 1820, speaks as follows
of Henry SEYMOUR and others, formerly residents of Guilford: "Among the
early settlers of Guilford, since 1796, was Hon. Royall TYLER, Hon. James
ELLIOT, Hon. Micah TOWNSEND, Hon. John NOYES, Hon. Henry SEYMOUR, and others
of lesser note, who were identified with the history of the State, but
who have since removed from the town." After Epaphro SEYMOUR was established
in business in 1802, Henry SEYMOUR removed to Pompey, Onondaga Co., N.
Y., and engaged largely in trade ac cumulating a handsome property. Subsequently,
in 1819, he removed to Utica, N. Y., and was appointed one of the canal
commissioners of that State, and while supervising the construction of
the canal, he acquired a large fortune by successful investments in real
estate. Epaphro continued in mercantile business in Guilford until 1814,
when he removed to Brattleboro, and was associated with Geo. F. ATHERTON
in mercantile business. He continued in trade in Brattleboro some three
or four years, after which he resided alternately at Guilford and Brattleboro.
He spent the winter of 1820 at Middlebury, Vt. He was regarded as a discreet
business man of most excellent judgment, and could readily and correctly
estimate the value of all kinds of property that passed under his observation,
and while sojourning in Brattleboro, Guilford, or elsewhere, he was constantly
investing his money in a great variety of enterprises, which uniformly
proved productive. In the fall of 1821 the legislature of Vermont chartered
a bank at Brattleboro, which was organized the following year, and Mr.
SEYMOUR was chosen cashier thereof by the directors, in March, 1822, and
continued to hold the office until January 1, 1837, when he was elected
president of the bank to fill the vacancy made by the resignation of John
HOLBROOK. Mr. SEYMOUR continued to hold the office and faithfully discharge
the duties thoreof until his death, June 10, 1854.
and Business Directory of
County, Vt., 1724-1884.
and Published By Hamilton Child,
At The Journal Office, Syracuse, N. Y., July, 1884.
Brattleboro History Scrapbook
Original Articles from Old Newspapers
Brattleboro Historical Society