OF THE TOWN OF
WHITINGHAM lies in the southwestern corner of the county, in lat.
42° 47' and long.' 4° 9', bounded north by Wilmington, east by
Halifax, south by Rowe and Heath in Massachusetts, and west by Readsboro
in Bennington county. There are four grants extant given by New York to
different persons, under the name of Cumberland, one grant being dated
December 3, 1766, and the others April 23, 1767. One, or all of these,
probably, was for the lands now known as Whitingham; but when Whitingham
had been organized a century, no person residing in the town knew by what
authority its charter was granted, and it was an open question as to whether
any charter of the town existed. On the 18th of August, 1880, the charter
in the possession of the town at the present time (which is a copy of the
original among the land records of at Albany, N. Y.,) was presented to
the town by Clark GILLSON, Esq., while delivering the Centennial address
in the old church on the hill near the center of the town. From it we learn
that the town was chartered March 1, 1-770, to Nathaniel WHITINGHAM (from
whom the town received its name) and his nine associates, by King George
III., in the tenth year of his reign, "By his Commissioners, Cadwallader
COLDEN, Esq., Andrew ELLIOT, Esq., Alexander COLDEN, Esq."
The surface of the territory is uneven, though there are many level
tracts, the soil being generally of a good quality and quite easily cultivated.
The native timber is beech, birch, ash, spruce and hemlock. Deerfield river
flows through the western part of the town, watering some excellent tracts
of meadow land, while there are many other smaller streams in different
parts of the town. Sadawga pond lies in the central part of the town, a
handsome little sheet of water, so named in honor of an old Indian who
formerly lived near it, and who is supposed to have been drowned while
passing down Deerfield river. There are also three other small bodies of
water lying in the northeastern part of the town, called Jacksonville,
Rider and Roberts ponds. The geological structure of the town is made up
almost entirely of rocks of gneiss formation, except in the eastern part,
where they are of talcose-schist formation. There are, however, several
beds of limestone which has been manufactured into lime to a considerable
extent. The mineral springs known as Sadawga springs, located near the
pond of that name, were discovered in 1822. Their waters are largely impregnated
with time, magnesia and iron, and are said to prove exceedingly efficacious
in cutaneous diseases. Lead and silver ores are said to exist in the southwestern
part of the town.
In 1880 Whitingham had a population of 1,240, and in 1882 had fifteen
school districts and contained sixteen common schools, employing nine male
and twenty female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $2,012.14
There were 352 pupils attending common school, white the entire cost of
the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $2,213.20, with A. A.
JACKSONVILLE is a beautiful little post village located in the eastern
part of the town. It has two churches (Methodist and Universalist), an
hotel, dry goods store, drug store, tannery, grist-mill, two saw-mills,
two butter box manufactories, cider-mill, and about fifty dwellings. The
beautiful glen in which the village is situated attracts many summer tourists
and interested visitors.
Sadawga Springs (Whitingham p. o.), is a small village located about
a mile west of the center of the town, at the foot of Sadawga lake. It
has two churches (Baptist and Universalist), two hotels, one store, two
saw-mills, blacksmith shop, wagon shop, about twenty dwellings, and the
famous Sadawga springs, whence the village derives its name. As early as
1822 it was discovered that the waters of these springs possessed unusual
curative qualities, especially in diseases of a cutaneous nature. This
led to a scientific analysis of the water, discovering the following minerals
held in solution; muriate of lime, carbonate of lime, muriate of magnesia,
and carbonate and peroxide of iron.
Sadawga Springs wool-carding mill, was built by Calvin BAKER in
1870, where he now carries on the business of wool carding and general
Z. WHEELER's grist-mill, located at Sadawga Springs, was built by
Houghton SAWYER, about fifty years ago.
G. L. ALBEE's steam chair factory, located at Sadawga Springs, was
built about twenty years ago. Mr. ALBEE, since that time, has manufactured
about 20,000 chairs.
Lincoln H. SAWYER's saw-mill, located at the foot of Sadawga take,
was built by Mr. SAWYER's father, J. W., in 1859. He now manufactures 300,000
feet of lumber per annum, though the mill has the capacity for turning
out 1,000 feet per hour.
George S. GOODNOW is largely engaged in the manufacture of lumber
in Whitingham, turning out about 4,000,000 feet per year, and giving employment
to about fifty hands.
A. J. HULL’s saw-mill and chair-stock factory, located on road 26,
was built about seventeen years ago.
George PORTER's saw-mill, butter-box, and chair-stock factory is
located at Jacksonville, where he carries on a large business, which was
established in 1880. Herbert G. PORTER leases shop of George and makes
butter boxes, and grain measures.
STETSON Bros'. butter tub and chair-stock factory and cider-mill,
located at Jacksonville, was established by George PORTER in 1856. They
manufacture 50,000 butter boxes, 1,000 barrels of cider, and 3,000 butter
tubs per annum.
Edwin E. PUTNAM's butter box manufactory, at Jacksonville, was established
by Willard FOSTER, in 1830. He manufactures about 100,000 butter packages
A railroad is being built from Hoosac Tunnel to Readsboro, passing
through the southwest corner of this town, by the bank of Deerfield river.
The settlement of Whitingham was commenced in 1770, by a Mr. BRATTON
and Silas HAMILTON. Mr. BRATTON's son John was the first child born in
the town, where his father settled on road 4, where C. WHEELER now lives,
and his father received a grant of land in consideration thereof. John
lived and died on the old homestead. The settlement thus started, according
to the census of Cumberland county, taken in 1771, increased during that
year and the year 1771, to fourteen souls, three of whom were males under
sixteen years of age four over sixteen, three females under sixteen, and
four over sixteen, making seven males and seven females. In 1773 the settlement
was increased by the arrival at Messrs. ANGEL, GUSTIN, NELSON, LAMPHIER
and PIKE, emigrants from Massachusetts and Connecticut. Mr. PIKE, among
the early inhabitants of the town, had a family of twenty-eight children.
The town was organized March 23, 1780, Eliphalet HYDE being chosen the
first town clerk. Silas HAMILTON was the first justice of the peace, and
also the first representative, in 1778. The house now occupied by Addison
C. TAINTER, on road 29, built by Eli STARKWELL, was the first framed house
built in the town. Benjamin DIX, aged eighty-five years, is the oldest
man in the town, and Sally KING, aged ninety-six years, is the oldest woman.
Brigham YOUNG, the Mormon saint, was born in Whitingham, on road 40, near
the center of the town. A part of the cellar walls of the old log house
mark the place of his birth. His father was a poor basket maker.
Absalom PIKE settled at an early day on road 41, in Whitingham,
and raised twelve children, four of whom are now living, Josiah, Sylvanus,
Willard and Eunice. Josiah is located on a farm adjoining the homestead,
and has five sons who are living in this town.
Nathaniel DAVIS came to Bennington, Vt.. from Ware, Mass., in 1762.
He removed to Whitingham at the age of sixteen years and settled on road
22, where he resided till his death. He built the first log house on the
farm on which he settled, and raised ten children, only one of whom is
living, Mrs. Phebe BAILY of Readsboro, Vt. His eldest son, Ebenezer, was
born in Ware, Mass., and was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He lived
on the homestead farm in Whitingham and raised seven children, two of whom
are living, Freeborn G. and Hannah, the former on the homestead farm. Ebenezer
DAVIS was a minister. He commenced preaching at the age of twenty, and
during the first twelve years of his pastorate was connected with the M.
E. church. He then united with the Wesleyan Methodists and continued his
ministerial labors in that denominational fold until his death, July 28,
Ira DAVIS, now dead, was a native of Whitingham. He married Polly
PERRY, of Woodstock, Conn., and settled on a farm on road 23, on which
he cut the first tree and built the first log house. He had six children,
Arad E., Jotham B., Perry N., Hannah I., Arad A., and Agnes T., four of
whom are living. Arad A., who married Rosetta P. BISHOP, of Readsboro,
resides on the homestead farm.
Jonathan DIX was born on road 3521, in Whitingham, in 1789. July
5, 1812, he married Polly REED, and resided in this town in various locations
till his death in 1860, except two years spent in Stamford, Vt. He had
eight children, five of whom are living, Alvira, Sybil, John P., Fauna
and Lestina P. One son, Freeman, lived many years on road 41. He was killed
instantly beneath a load of logs. Two of his three children are living,
Polly and Joseph, the latter on the homestead farm.
Abraham CHASE came to Whitingham, Mass., about 1798, and settled
on road 351, where he remained two years, when he removed to road 17, on
which he resided till his death, at the age of eighty-two. He was a volunteer
soldier in the war of 1812 and drew a pension. He married Betsey RICH,
of Massachusetts, and had five children, David, Samuel, Jacob, Ellis and
Elliot. Jacob and Elliott are still living. David, the eldest son, married
Irene KINGSBURY of Fairfax, Vt., and has five children living, -- Betsey
Upton, Joseph K., Caroline WHEELER, Adaline HATCH, and George A. Joseph
married Caroline BEEMAN, of Fairfax, Vt., and settled on the homestead
farm, where he still remains. David CHASE held many offices of trust in
Joshua NEWELL came to Whitingham in 1790, and after a residence
of two years on road 50, in the east part of the town, and of one year
on road 41, he located on road 46, on the farm now owned and occupied by
his grandson, Chester B. NEWELL, where he resided till his death. His children
were Frank, Baxter, Samuel, Joshua, Dwight, Mary, Luna, Sarah, and Martha,
of whom Samuel, Baxter, and Martha are living.
Zachariah WHEELER was born at Stowe, near Boston, November 15, 1777,
and came to Whitingham shortly before 1800. He located on road 22 and made
the first improvements on the farm on which he settled. He married Susanna
BRATTON, by whom he had two children, Whitman and Susanna, both of whom
are dead. Whitman married Polly FAULKNER, of Whitingham and settled on
road 3, on the farm now occupied by his son Cyrus W., who married Lestina
L. WHEELER, December 1, 1858. Four others of Whitman's eight children are
Daniel WHEELER, a native of Massachusetts, came to Whitingham in
1800, and settled on road 25. He subsequently removed to road 42, where
he resided till his death. He had ten children, five of whom are living,
Charlotte, Elizabeth, Lucy, Daniel, and Zachariah, the latter of whom owns
and occupies the homestead farm. Zachariah married Caroline J. ALLARD,
of Wilmington, in which town her father was a physician of long practice,
and her grandfather a pioneer settler.
Oliver REED was a pioneer in Whitingham, and was born on road 27
1/2. He settled and lived for forty years on road 41. He then removed to
Stamford, in Bennington county, where he spent the remainder of his days.
Two of his eight children are living, Marcena, and Nancy PECK. His son
Thomas was a lifelong resident of Whitingham. Of the latter's nine children,
Henry, the eldest son, who resides on road 41, is the only one left in
Whitingham. Henry married Fanny ATHERTON and has eight children living.
Deliverance WHEELER is said to have come from England in pioneer
times, with two brothers, and first located on a farm in the town of Stowe,
near Boston, whence he removed to Whitingham and located on road 25, where
he remained till his death. Not one of his nine children survives. His
son John married Hannah JEWELL, of Whitingham and settled on road 2, making
the first clearing and building the first log-house on his farm, on which
he resided till his death. He had numerous children, six of whom are living,
Ephraim, Roby F., Eli J., Harriet M., Henry F., and John. Ephraim lives
on road 16 adjoining the homestead farm.
Benjamin JEWELL, who was a hatter by trade, was an early settler
in Whitingham. He enlisted at the commencement of the Revolutionary war
and served till its close, when he returned to Whitingham. He married Olive
LAMB and settled on a farm on road 41, on which he built the first log-house
in district No 9. After a few years he removed to road 1, where he continued
to reside till his death. He was a member of the State militia during the
war of 1812. His children were David, Jonas, Samuel, Daniel, Aaron, Sally,
Hannah, Elizabeth, and Mary. Samuel, Daniel, and Aaron never married. The
latter two, imbued with the martial spirit of their father, were in the
Florida war, and died there. David was born November r, 1794, married Susan
FAULKNER, by whom he had nine children, pursued the vocation of a farmer,
and died in October, 1870. His wife died in December, 1869. Jonas married
Cynthia HARRIS, of Massachusetts, and lived in Whitingham a few years.
He moved to Minnesota and died there.
John FULLER came to Whitingham at an early day, from Douglass, Mass.,
in company with eight or nine families, most of whom settled in the north
part of the town. Mr. FULLER located on road 10, and made the first improvements
on his farm, on which he resided till his death. He raised seven children.
His son John married Polly McKNIGHT, of Douglass, Mass. Two of his seven
children, Alfred and Polly, are living, the former on the homestead farm
on road 8, on which he has resided from birth. He married Philinda HATCH,
of Halifax. He has been a representative of the town two years. Two of
his four children, Edward L. and Eliza W., are living, the former of whom,
residing with his father on the homestead farm, is president of the Wilmington
Savings Bank and has held many offices in the town of Whitingham.
Jacob PORTER was an early settler on road 38 in Whitingham, and
made the first improvements on his farm, on which he opened the first hotel
in the town. His son Jacob was a resident of this town for twenty-five
Willard FAULKNER was born on road gin Whitingham. He married Roxana
BOYD, of this town, and settled on a farm on road 5, on which he made all
the improvements. The homestead farm is now owned and occupied by his son
Willard R., who married Hattie HOWARD, of Wilmington.
William FAULKNER, several of whose descendants now live in Whitingham,
came to this town from Massachusetts about the year 1800. He reared five
daughters and three sons, and died at the age of sixty-five years. Shepherd
D., his youngest and only surviving child, is now residing on road 34,
at the age of sixty-five years. He has always resided in town, and has
been chosen to various town offices. His wife was Miranda GREEN, daughter
of Alfred GREEN, of Whitingham, and they have one son, William A., who
is cashier of the People's National Bank of Brattleboro. Their only daughter,
Emma M., married Henry H. HOLBROOK, and died December 16, 1882.
Ansel E. TOBY, now living on road 42, is a native of Whitingham,
and has four children now living, Henry A., John L., Ella F., and Cassius
E. Henry A. enlisted as a private in the late war, January 7, 1862, was
mustered into service February 18, 1862, and discharged June 27, 1862,
by reason of disease, which renders him a cripple for life, and for which
he draws a pension.
Phineas H. SAWYER came to Whitingham from Massachusetts about eighty
years ago and settled on a farm on road 21. He operated for about twenty
years the first saw-mill built in the town, in the vicinity of the present
village of Sadawga, and at the expiration of that time was succeeded by
his son Houghton, who occupied it about twenty-five years. During that
time Houghton SAWYER built the grist-mill now owned and occupied by Z.
WHEELER. He was a life-long resident of Sadawga village, and became a leading
citizen, holding many of the town offices a great part of the time. He
died in 1872, aged sixty-seven. Only three of his nine children survive
him, John W., Mary J., and Mattie A., the former of whom occupies the fine
homestead at the foot of Sadawga lake.
Timothy JILLSON was born in Guilford, Vt., and March If, 1796, married
Sylvia OGDEN, of Whitingham, locating upon a farm on road 46, where they
reared eight children, three of whom are living, Samuel C., David and Daniel.
Five were soldiers in the late war. Joseph died in Libby prison. James
resided on road 41 until his death, rearing seven children, six of whom
are living, Eli J., Ellen L., Uberto C., Emma S., Unray E., and Newton
S. He married Lestina P. DIX, who now lives on the homestead.
The CHASE family in Whitingham, and mostly throughout Windham county,
are descendants of one of the oldest families of England, the records of
which go back to about the year 1000, at which time they occupied what
was known as the Lord TOWNSLEY estate, one of the largest in England, and
held many offices of more or less importance, under the English government,
among them that of sergeant-at-arms to KING Henry VIII.
Three sons of this family came to America in 1639. Among them was
Aquila, who was born in 1618, and first settled in Hampton, N. H., but
soon moved to Newbury. David CHASE, a descendant of his in the fourth generation,
was born April 17, 1752, and married Jemima HUMES. He served in the war
of the Revolution in and about Boston. In February, 1815, he, in company
with his five sons, came to Whitingham from Douglass, Mass., and settled
on road 35 1/2; and by their energy, industry and untiring perseverance
contributed largely to the present prosperity of the town. He died October
20, 1841. His sixth son, Benjamin, who married Mary SPRAGUE, and came here
from Douglass with his father, located on road 20, where he died April
27, 1863, leaving six children, the fourth of whom, Abraham, was born January
5, 1820, married Catherine REED, of Whitingham, April 23, 1844, and has
resided nearly all the time on road 21. He had five children, four of whom
are living, as follows: Oscar R., a farmer, on road 19 in Whitingham; Augustus
L., a physician, living at present at Randolph, Mass.; Augusta L., wife
of Gilbert A. BOYD, of Wilmington, Vt.; and Charles S., attorney at law,
who married Carrie E. BRIGHAM, of Boston, Mass., January 19, 1881, and
now resides on road 27 1/2 in the village of Sadawga.
J. K. STAFFORD came to Whitingham from Coleraine, Mass., about sixty
years ago, and has pursued the vocation of a farmer. Russel A. STAFFORD,
now residing at Sadawga, is the only one of his six children living.
Waters GILLETT, M. D., was born in Wilmington, Vt., in December,
1801. He removed at the age of four years to Dover, and thence at the age
of fourteen to Wilmington, where he attended school. He attended medical
college at Castleton, Vt., and commenced the practice of medicine in Readsboro,
Vt., in 1834. In 1840 he removed thence to Whitingham, where he has since
practiced his profession. His grandfather, Timothy GILLETT, came to Dover
in this county about 1792, and was noted for turning woodenware from knots
for family use.
Nathan D. SHERMAN, who was formerly from Massachusetts, came to
Whitingham in 1840, and settled on the farm on which he now resides on
road 61. He commenced preaching in the Universalist church in 1855, and
has continued to officiate in that capacity to the present time.
Parley STARR was born in Colchester, Vt., August 20, 1813, and brought
up in Milton. At the age of twenty-one he left home, and by energy and
perseverance has won an enviable success. He found employment at the tanning
business in the village of Jacksonville, and in 1837 became proprietor
of the establishment. He continued the business till 1873, and on the incorporation
of the People's National Bank, at Brattleboro, Vt., he was elected president
of that institution, which position he retains to the present time, with
his home in Brattleboro. He enjoys, in a marked degree, the respect and
confidence of his fellow citizens, who elected him to represent the town
in the Vermont legislature, in 1832, '56 and '72, and to the State senate
in 1859 and '60. He was justice of Windham county eleven years, trustee
of the Windham Provident Institution for Savings five years, and a director
of the Brattleboro bank seventeen years. In 1862 he opened a recruiting
office for volunteers, and was appointed State agent to look after and
provide for the families of soldiers absent in the war.
Edwin C. STARR is a native of Milton, and has been a tanner and
merchant at Jacksonville, Vt., since 1840.
Calvin BAKER came to Sadawga in 1848, from Templeton, Mass., in
which State his father, Luther BAKER, was a pioneer.
Jesse HULL came to Whitingham, from Boston, and settled near the
center of the town, on road 38, where he resided till his death. His son
William, was a life-long resident of Whitingham. He married Samantha HALL,
October 25, 1825, and raised eleven children, five of whom are living,
Sanford, Martha, Azuba, Horace, and Andrew Jackson, the latter of whom
resides on road 26, and is a farmer and manufacturer of chair stock.
Horatio N. HIX, who resides in Whitingham, is a son of Gideon HIX,
who was born in Richmond, N. H., February 9, 1793, and removed to Readsboro
in 1816, residing there till his death, in 1859. Horatio N. HIX has practiced
law for twenty-nine years, and during two years of that time was State's
attorney. He was a representative one term, and a justice of the-peace
for thirty consecutive years.
The old church on the hill at Whitingham Center was cut down October
14, 1883, by some citizens residing in that vicinity. It was built by the
town in 1798, but was not finished till 1806. It was a strong, thoroughly
built edifice, and was occupied by different religious denominations. In
1833 a belfry was built by subscription, without regard to sect or creed,
a bell was procured and hung therein, and there remained for many years.
At length it was taken down rather surreptitiously, as was thought, and
concealed for long time. A church was built at Sadawga by the Methodist,
now owned by the Baptists, and by some arrangement the old bell was placed
upon that church, where it has since remained. Since the business left
the center of the town, the old church has been denuded of its outward
and inward finish by different persons, and for some thirty years has been
in a dilapidated condition, though occupied much of the time for town meetings.
It has withstood the violence of the tempest for well nigh a century, and
stood as a monument of the architectural skill and strength of former days.
At the centennial celebration of the town, August 18, 1880, a portion of
one side having been removed and extensive seating arrangements made in
and about the building, the largest assembly ever convened at the old,
honored edifice was gathered from this and adjacent towns and distant places,
and the interesting exercises well-nigh proved obsequies over the revered
relics of by-gone years; and this old-time landmark is now among the things
The Baptist church, located at Whitingham, was organized by its
first pastor, Rev. Paul HOLMES, in October, 1808, with twenty-one members.
Their first church building was erected in 1834, and the present house
in 1850, at a cost of $1,500.00. The society has at present forty-two members,
with Rev. Origin SMITH, pastor.
The Jacksonville Universalist church, located at Jacksonville, was
organized by twelve or more of the citizens residing in the vicinity of
Jacksonville, December 31, 1849, Rev. H. F. BALLOU, being the first pastor.
The church building, which is a wood structure capable of seating 250 persons,
was erected in 1850 at a cost of $1,200.00, and is now valued at $1,500.00.
The society has about fifty members, under the pastoral charge of Rev.
The First Methodist church of the Jacksonville and Sadawga charge,
located at Jacksonville, was organized by its first pastor, Rev. Moses
SPENCER, with fourteen members, in 1858. Their church building, a wood
structure capable of seating 300 persons, was built in 1865-'66, and dedicated
in December, 1866. It cost $2,200.00, though it is now valued at only $1,800.00.
The society has at present thirty-three members, with no regular pastor.
The Universalist Society of Sadawga, located at Sadawga, was organized
by its present pastor, Rev. Jeremiah GIFFORD, in 1862, with twenty members.
The church building, however, which will accommodate 225 persons, was built
in 1860, and is now valued at $2,000.00. The society has at present forty
and Business Directory of
County, Vt., 1724-1884.
and Published By Hamilton Child,
At The Journal Office, Syracuse, N. Y., July, 1884.
 – 304 .