HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF BROOKLINE 

      BROOKLINE is a small, irregularly outlined town lying in the eastern part of the county, in lat. 43° 1' and long. 4° 25', bounded north by Athens, and east by Westminster and Putney, south by Dummerston, and west by Newfane and Townsend, being partly separated from Newfane by West river. Its name was derived from Grassy brook, which flows through the town in almost a straight line from north to south. The town is about eight miles in length and from one half to two and one half miles in width, and was incorporated October 30, 1794, being set off from Athens and Putney. On October 25, 1804, another part of Putney was annexed, and again, November 12, 1820, a small part of Newfane, on the easterly side of West river, was annexed, so that the town now has an area of about seventeen square miles.

      A  deep valley runs through the whole township from north to south, at the bottom of which flows Grassy brook, so named from an open meadow near its head that the first settlers found when they came here. The stream rises in Athens and falls into West river, near the southwestern corner of this town. An extensive freshet occurred on this stream on June 20, 1821. The first indications of a storm were a small collection of black clouds directly over Lilly pond hill in Athens. These clouds gradually collected and gathered into a large dark cloud and soon the storm broke, pouring torrents of water that passed north through Athens and south through Brookline, carrying devastation before it. This is said to be the greatest freshet ever known in this vicinity. Along the whole eastern line of the town is an extensive elevation, a peak east of the Baptist church rising to an altitude of 1,1 00 feet. The soil of the territory is generally rich and productive, though better adapted to grazing than tillage.

      The predominant rock entering into the geological structure of the town is calciferous mica schist, though there is considerable gneiss in the western part of the town. Upon the farm of Jacob BUSH, on road 12, there are springs whose waters are largely impregnated with medicinal qualities.

      In 1880 Brookline had a population of 205, and in 1882 was divided into three school districts and contained two common schools, employing two female teachers at an aggregate salary of $194.38. There were thirty-three pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $212.18, with C. P. STICKNEY, superintendent.

      BROOKLINE (p. o.) is a hamlet located in the central part of the town.

      L. W. BUSH's saw and gist-mill, located on road 9, was built in 1869. It is operated by water-power, fitted with upright and bench saws, and cuts about 75,000 feet of rough lumber per annum. The grist-mill has one run of stones for grinding meal and feed, and grinds about 2,500 bushels annually.

      The first settlement in Brookline was made about 1777, by Timothy WELLMAN, Lemach BLANDIN, Cyrus WHITCOMB and Jonah and Samuel MOORE, The first town meeting was held at the house of Ebenezer HARWOOD, March 17, 1795, when Peter BENSON was chosen moderator and the town was organized by electing John WATERS, town clerk; Peter BENSON, Lemaoh BLANDIN and Jotham STEBBINS, selectmen; Abijah MOORE, treasurer; Thomas WALKER, constable and collector; Ebenezer BUGBEE, William HILLS and John BLANDIN, listers; Benjamin FARMER, leather sealer; Ebenezer WELLMAN, grand juror; Benjamin FARMER and Ebenezer BUGBEE, tythingmen; Ebenezer HARWOOD, pound-keeper; Samuel BLANDIN, hayward; Jonathan ELLENWOOD, Benjamin FARMER. Cyrus WHITCOMB and Ebenezer BUGBEE, highway surveyors; Delnis BRIGGS, Jonathan ELLENWOOD and Joseph BOAL, fence viewers; and William HILLS, sealer of weights and measures. The first justice of the peace was John WATERS, in 1795. Benjamin ORMSBEE was the first representative, in 1823. The first school was kept in the dwelling of Cyrus WHITCOMB, and the town was first divided into school districts in 1796.

      The first grist and saw-mill was erected by Elijah DAVIS, and is still in service, though it was removed to the southern part of the town in 1866. Early in the history of the town there were two stores and a hotel located at the foot of Windmill hill. The stores were given up in 1823; but the hotel was continued until 1850. John WATERS established a store at an early date, but he failed in 1813 and left the town. The first dwelling destroyed by fire was that of Elbridge MASON, in 1866. There have been only two of Brookline's citizens whom it was necessary to imprison for crime, viz.: Benjamin FLINT, for passing counterfeit money, and William LEE, for incendiarism.

      In the early history of the town, John WATERS and Peter BENSON were the leading citizens. They left about 1813-'14. After them Dr. William PERRY and Thomas CEAVER were the most prominent in public affairs.

      Timothy WELLMAN, one of the first settlers, came from Norton, Mass. He reared a family of thirteen children. His descendants now residing in the town are two grandsons, Levitt K. and Allen O. WELLMAN. Darius, brother of Timothy, came to the town about the same time.

      Ebenezer HARWOOD, from Walpole, N. H., was also an early settler. Otis, his grandson, is the only one of the family now in town. He resides on the old homestead.

      Jotham STEBBINS, a Revolutionary soldier, was born in Brimfield, Mass., April 21, 1761, and came to Brookline in 1787. He married a Miss ELLENWOOD, reared three children, and died at the age of eighty-nine years. His son Samuel became a successful farmer and an influential citizen, rearing a family of five children.

      Christopher OSGOOD came to Brookline in 1793. Luther, one of his nine children, now resides in the southern part of the town. He is a prominent farmer and has held most of the town trusts. Luke B. OSGOOD, brother of Christopher, also located here about 1793, married Sally THOMPSON, and reared seven children.

      Thomas RISTE, from Sutton, Mass., came to Brookline between 1780 and 1790, and purchased of Jonathan BOYDON the most northerly farm in the town. He reared ten children. Anderson S. and William RISTE now occupy the old homestead.

      Peter DERRY was born in London, Eng., and when a young man was pressed aboard a British vessel and brought to America, where he deserted, became a settler and reared a family. Peter, Jr., was born June 6, 1755, married in 1774 and settled in Brookline, reared a family of children, and died September 4, 1824, aged seventy years. Tyler DERRY, his seventh child, married Betsey DAGGERT and reared nine children, of whom James D. the fourth, now resides in Townshend, at the age of sixty-eight years. Abner T. and Benjamin F., of Townshend, are also his sons. Betsey A. married Reuben GALE and also resides in Townshend. Mary C. married Thomas B. GOULD, who died in the late war. Ormando C., the youngest son, resides in Guilford. B. F. and O. C. DERRY both served in the late war. James D. married Sarah T. BIXBY January 16, 1838, and reared two children, Sarah P. and Judson B., of whom the latter married Abbie S. HASTINGS, daughter of Loren M. HASTINGS, and resides on the old homestead in Townshend. Parmelia S. married Rocius N. FAIRBANK, October 3, 1871, and died without issue.

      Jonathan CUTLER came to America with his brothers, Eben and Tarrand, from England, before the Revolution, and Eben served as a soldier in that struggle. Jonathan located in Fitzwilliam, N. H., where, in 1798, Ira was born, the youngest of eight children. In the following spring, 1799, Jonathan CUTLER bought and settled on the farm his grandson, C. A. CUTLER, now occupies on road 7, in Brookline. At that time it was a part of the township of Newfane. Ira grew to manhood here, and, October 19, 1823, married Eleanor ROUND, who bore him eleven children, of whom Lura, Mrs. Henry KIDDER, of Putney, Marshall, Charles A., Henry and Frank A., are now living. Jonathan CUTLER was one of the founders and one of the first deacons of the Baptist church. Of his sons, David and Jonathan were twins. The former became a Baptist minister and preached at Brookline, but later removed to New York. Jonathan went to Putney where he was a machinist, and is said to have made the first covered button machine in America. He died in Massachusetts. Isaac became a hatter and spent his life in New York. James became a physician and settled in New York. Samuel and Ira were farmers and spent their lives in Brookline, the latter on the old homestead. He was often chosen to do town business, trusts filled with uniform ability and fidelity. C. A. CUTLER married Celia M. WALDEN, June 22, 1864, having previously spent two years in the army, a member of Co. H, 8th Vt. Vols. He now lives on the old homestead on road 7, which has been in the family eighty-five years.

      Anthony MASON came to this town in 1796. The only one of his eleven children now living here is Elbridge G., aged seventy years.

      The Baptist church of Brookline, located a little south of the center of the town, was organized in 1785, Rev. Amos BECKWITH being its first settled pastor. The present church building was erected in 1836, at a cost of $1,700.00. It will accommodate 300 persons and is valued, including grounds, at $2,300.00. The society now has fifty-one members, with Rev. Charles FARRAR, pastor. At the raising of the church building an accident occurred, through the breaking of some of the timbers, by which thirty men were percipitated to the ground. None were killed however, though fifteen were more or less injured.

      The Brookline branch of the Athens Methodist church, located at the corner of roads 5 and 6, was organized by its first pastor, Rev. C. W. LEVINGS, about 1835. The church building was erected in 1838, in union with the Universalists, and is now valued at about $2,500.00. The Universalists, however, though owning half of the church, have never had stated preaching in town. The Methodist society has only seven members at present, and is under the charge of the Athens society.

Gazetteer and Business Directory of 
Windham County, Vt., 1724-1884.
Compiled and Published By Hamilton Child,
Printed At The Journal Office, Syracuse, N. Y., July, 1884.
Page 159-162.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004