HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF 

WILMINGTON

      WILMINGTON lies in the southeastern part of the county, in lat. 42° 52', and long. 4° 9', bounded north by Dover, east by Marlboro, south by Whitingham, and west by Searsburg and Readsboro, in Bennington county. This town was originally chartered by New Hampshire, April 29, 1751, to Phineas LYMAN and fifty-seven others, in sixty-four shares, and containing an area of 23,040 acres. But as the conditions of the grant were not fulfilled by the grantees, the charter, by its own provisions, became void. On the 17th of June, 1763, the township received its second charter from New Hampshire, its name being changed to Draper, and its proprietors being "His Excellency Francis BARNARD" and sixty-six others. The name Draper being disliked, however, it was subsequently changed to Wilmington again. A few years since the northern part of the town, known as "Wilmington Leg," was annexed to Dover.

      The surface of Wilmington is uneven and broken, though it has, especially in the valleys of the several streams, many fine tracts of level land, possessing an arable and easily cultivated soil. The east and west branches of Deerfield river, two quite prominent streams, unite in the western part of the town. There are several other good sized streams, the largest of which are Cold and Beaver brooks, the former in the northern and the latter in the southern part of the town. Ray pond, a handsome little sheet of water, lies in the eastern part of the territory, while Sylvan lake and Crystal pond, two other small sheets, lie in the northwestern part. The rocks entering into the geological structure of the territory are mostly of gneiss formation, except in the extreme eastern part, where they are of the talcose-schist variety. Beds of azoic limestone are also found in the western part.

      In 1880 Wilmington had a population of 1,130, and in 1882 had thirteen common schools, employing six male and twenty-one female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $1,565. 21. There were 265 pupils attending common schools, while the entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, $1,839.13, with E. A. FITCH, superintendent.

      WILMINGTON, a handsome post village located in the central part of the town, is the only village in the township. It was incorporated about twenty-five years ago, and now has four churches (Congregational, Methodist, Baptist and Universalist), one hotel, the Vermont House, P. G. WILDER, proprietor, three dry goods stores, a drug store, grocery store, two tin shops, two blacksmith shops, a grist-mill, saw-mill, planing-mill, about seventy-five dwellings and 300 inhabitants. Located in a lovely valley surrounded by verdant hills, the village is one of the most picturesquely beautiful to be found in the county. Its well-kept streets, neatly painted houses, and the general tidy appearance of the place, impresses the stranger with the idea of thrift and culture among its inhabitants. Annual fairs are held at the village which are well attended by people from this and Bennington counties.

      The Wilmington Savings Bank was incorporated December 6, 1853, with E. L. FULLER, president; CLARK CHANDLER, vice-president; and Hosea MANN Jr., treasurer.

      Charles C. CLARK's saw-mill, located on road 27, was built by F. J. STOWE, in 1848. It has the capacity for sawing 1,000 feet of lumber per day.

      MORRIS &- HARRIS's grist and saw-mill, located at Wilmington village, was built by Richard WASTE, in 1836.

      P. HAYNES & Son's saw-mill, located on road 31, was built by Samuel E. HAYNES, in 1807.

      ADAMS & HAYNES are manufacturers of patent liquid holders, watering troughs, gathering tubs, sap evaporators, etc.

      The insecurity of land titles, owing to the town having two charters, (or, as DEMING, in his "Vermont Officers" claims, three charters, one from New York,) greatly retarded, probably, the settlement of the town. Still, as early as the close of the year 1765, seven families had become inhabitants of the township, and others not yet residents had cleared and improved many acres of land, inceptive measures which gave great promise of future enterprise and activity. But, alas, the promise was not fulfilled, for in 1771, the town only had a population of seventy-one souls. In 1791, twenty years later, this population had increased to 645 persons. The first town meeting on record was held January 19, 1778, when Caleb ALVORD was town clerk. The first meeting for the choice of officers on record was held Marh 2, 1778, when Caleb ALVORD was chosen town clerk; John PIERCE and Caleb ALVORD, constables; and John GIBBS, Phineas SMITH, Samuel MURDOCK, Elihu BASCOMB, and Eleazer GOODMAN, a "committee of safety." April 9, 1778, John GIBBS, Phineas SMITH, Bezaleel WASTE, Josiah LOCKE, and Eleazer GOODMAN, were chosen selectmen. The first justice of the peace was Jesse COOK, in 1786. The first representative was Elijah ALVORD, in March, 1778. The first birth was that of Rev. Zephaniah SWIFT, January 20, 1771. It is related that one evening after Mr. SWIFT had retired a couple came to his door in the midst of a heavy thunder shower to be married. He called them to the window, from which he; had thrust his head in answer to their knock, and performed the ceremony with the following brief form:


“Under this window, in stormy weather,
I join a man and woman together;
Let none but Him who made the thunder, 
Ever put this man and wife asunder."
      Mr. SWIFT received as a birthright the two hundred acres of land set apart when the town was originally surveyed as a reserve for the first birth.

      Dr. Jeremiah PARMELEE, a native of Killingworth, Conn., and a Revolutionary hero, came to Wilmington in 1780, locating on road 45 on the place now occupied by T. F. DIX, where he resided till his death, August 24, 1833, aged sixty-four years. He raised a family of nine children, -- seven sons and two daughters. Among his numerous descendants are a granddaughter, Lucretia, widow of Frederick STANLEY, residing in Wilmington village, and grandsons, Loring G. and Henry W. PARMELEE, of Boston, Mrs. O. B. LAWTON, of Wilmington, Mrs. H. V. PINDER, of Middleburg, N. Y., and Ashley M. PARMELEE, who now occupies his father's homestead farm on road 45 in this town, are others of his grandchildren.

      Abram BOYD is said to have been one of the first five who settled in Wilmington. He located on road 56 and made the first improvements and raised six children, on the farm on which he was successively succeeded by his son Robert, James M. BOYD, and the latter's son E. M., the present occupant. He was a soldier of the Revolution and participated in the battles of Bunker Hill and Bennington. His son Robert made the first improvements on the farm now occupied by his son Warren, a grandson of the pioneer, on road 57. Abram BOYD, another grandson of the pioneer, settled and lived some thirty-five years on the farm now occupied by J. GRAVES, on road 69. He subsequently removed to road 66, to the farm now occupied by his son Gilbert A., where he died May 12, 1868. Seven of his eleven children survive him.

      Chipman SWIFT was a pioneer settler of Wilmington, and is said to have been one of the first nine to locate in the town. He commenced a clearing on the farm where Newland M. HASKILL now lives, on road 39, and there cut the first tree, and built the first log-house, which he shingled with spruce bark. He evinced the same patriotism as the other hardy pioneers of this region, and with many other volunteers started for the seat of war at the battle of Bennington. He raised a family of eight children, all of whom are dead. Alanson PARMELEE, who married his daughter Cynthia, succeeded to the homestead farm, on which he resided till his death, May 17, 1860. Two of the latter's seven children survive him, Clancy, a resident of New Jersey, and Chipman S., who married Achsa O. HASKINS, a resident of Wilmington from her birth, residing in this town.

      The CHILDS family is numerous throughout the town and State. Freeman, in his "History of Cape Cod," speaks of Richard CHILD as the son of Samuel CHILD, while Savage regards him as the brother of Samuel. If Richard were born in America, as the record of his birth (1624) would indicate, then we must conclude that Freeman is correct, and that Samuel CHILD was the emigrant and the first of the name who came to the colony of Massachusetts. In that case the Samuel CHILD slain by the Indians March 26, (Freeman says 25th,) 1675, would probably have been a brother of Richard, as the father would then have been too aged to go into battle. Obscure as Richard CHILD's ancestry is, it is quite probable that he was allied to the Roxbury and Watertown line of descendants. A large line of descendants are traced directly from his son, Richard, Jr., who are found in western Massachusetts and in Vermont. As Plymouth colony was first settled in 162o, Richard CHILD, if born in 1624, must have had for his father an emigrant of the Plymouth colony, and Freeman states him to have been Samuel CHILD, slain by the Indians. As no other person competes for the paternity of Richard CHILD, we must, therefore, accept Samuel CHILD as the head of this long Barnstable, Mass., line. Richard CHILD, the accepted son of Samuel, was born in 1624, married Mary LINNETT, of Barnstable, October 15, 1649. One son, Richard, Jr., was born to them. He married Elizabeth CROCKER. Freeman gives Richard, Jr., a second wife, and ranks him among Barnstable's most prominent citizens. He died January 15, 1716. Dea. Samuel CHILD, eldest son of Richard, Jr., and Elizabeth (CROCKER) CHILD, was born in Barnstable, November 6, 1679, and married Hannah BARNARD, July 7, 1709. She died May 16, 1727. He married again, about 1729, Experience ____, who died May 25, 1744. For his third wife he married, according to one record, Sarah Philip MATTOON FIELD, widow of Zachariah FIELD, of Northfield, Mass. She died March 21, 1752, aged sixty-three years. Dea. Samuel CHILD died March 18, 1756, aged seventy-seven years. At an early period he removed from Barnstable to Deerfield, where he was esteemed as a man of high character and influence. He was the father of eight children, all born in Deerfield. Jonathan CHILDS (in the Deerfield records the name is written with the terminal "s "), a twin brother of David, was born March 23, 17 18. He married Rebecca SCOTT, about 1739, and removed from Deerfield to Hardwick, Worcester county, where he died March 18, 1793, aged seventy-five years. His wife Rebecca, was a woman of marvelous health and strength, and died at the advanced age of 102 years. Twelve children were born to them. Major Jonathan CHILDS, the fifth son, was born in Hardwick, October 24, 1756. He married Deliverance FREEMAN, who died December 30, 1775, aged twenty-five years. In 1786 he married Anna THOMPSON, who died October 3, 1838. Major CHILDS left Massachusetts when quite young, and settled in Wilmington, Windham county. His pioneer home was the now productive farm upon the "lower intervale" and Deerfield's bank, two miles north of Wilmington village, since occupied by Dea. Ruel SMITH, deceased, and now by his son Francis R. SMITH. Major CHILDS planted the stately, graceful elms which render the place so attractive and restful. It was in this house that he dwelt the remainder of his long and active life, embracing the most thrilling and soul-stirring period in the history of the American Republic, when passing from colonial dependence upon Great Britain to the independent position of a separate and unique nationality. He possessed strong mental forces which made themselves felt for good. A true patriot, Major CHILDS took a most decided stand for the liberties of the young confederacy of American colonies. Possessed of the warm enthusiastic temperament characteristic of the name, Major CHILDS made his country's welfare his own, and was one of the "Green Mountain Boys" whose patriotism was a proverb. His commission as sergeant of the 5th company of Vermont Infantry, Judah MOORE, captain, and Josiah FISH, colonel, in command of the 3d regiment in the 2d brigade, is sacredly cherished by his venerating grandchildren. Major CHILDS had two children by his first marriage, of whom but little is learned beyond the fact that the daughter became a Mrs. SAGE. There were seven children (seventh generation) by the second marriage, namely: Betsey, born May 6, 1787, married Thomas Wait, February 9, 1815; Jairus, born February 19, 1790, married Betsey JONES; Clarissa, born February 5, 1792, married Spencer ALVORD, April 13, 1814; Jonathan, Jr., born August 4, 1794, married Cynthia LUSK, June 2, 1822; Freeman, born February 17, 1797, married Elizabeth ROOT, December 18, 1833; Adna B., born February 3, 1799, married Hannah LAMB, March 9, 1826; and William, born July 8, 1802, married Marilla LAMB, May 10, 1829. The last of the above named children of Maj. Jonathan CHILDS, "Uncle William," as he was familiarly called, died February 26, 1882, while the many grandchildren of Maj. Jonathan CHILDS are following varied occupations and are respected residents of the different States.

      Maj. Adna B. CHILDS the fourth son and eighth child of Maj. Jonathan and Anna Thompson CHILDS, born in Wilmington February 3, 1799, married Miss Hannah LAMB, daughter of Maj. Jonathan and Hannah HAMILTON LAMB, March 9, 1862. So admirable a sketch was given of the man and of his position in life, at the time of his decease, that we feel we cannot improve upon it, and can only say that such characters will not portray in words. The look and tone so frequent with humor and true-hearted sunshine, must have been seen and heard to be known. We give entire, therefore, the article referred to:

"Major A. B. CHILDS departed this life at his residence in Wilmington, on the 8th day of January, 1874, aged seventy-four years, eleven months and five days. The deceased was a native of Wilmington, and has been one of its most noted and influential citizens. He was the first merchant in the village, a prominent Free Mason, for fifty-three years, postmaster under every Democratic administration, beginning with President Jackson's, and holding the office twenty-four years. He was also deputy sheriff many years, and holds other places of trust, in all of which he performed his duties with great exactness and perfect fidelity. But in his social connection more especially, we feel to regret his loss. He was one of the original founders of the Universalist society in Wilmington, and afterward of the church connected therewith. He was decided, but not bitter, in his religious and political sentiments, and Catholic in his bearing toward all, strictly honest in his business transactions, and temperate in his personal habits. His home has been a favorite resort of bright and pleasant people, and there the penniless wanderer found abundance of cheer. His intercourse with the community was always cheerful and peculiarly genial. Mr. CHILDS married young, to a most estimable lady, Miss Hannah LAMB, also a native of Wilmington, whose death preceded his in August, 1870. They were blessed with a family of twelve children, ten of whom still survive to mourn their departure. In his family none could set better examples, or manifest more devotedness to the interests, moral and pecuniary, of all its members, and these children now rise up and bless his memory. Without a murmur or complaint, in perfect resignation to the Providence of God, and full of hope and faith in the universal redemption of the race, he passed away like one who folds the drapery of his couch about him and lies down to pleasant dreams. The appreciation in which the subject of this notice was held, was fully evinced by the multitude that gathered to pay their tribute of respect on the occasion of his obsequies. The CHILDS homestead in Wilmington village, where two members still reside, is still owned and cherished, for its sacred association, by the family."
      Medad SMITH, a soldier of the Revolution, was one of the first settlers in Wilmington. He located on road 12, in the north part of the town. His son Sylvester, a retired farmer, lives on road 42.

      Jonas HAYNES, formerly of Sudbury, Mass., came to Wilmington by marked trees soon after the close of the Revolutionary war in which he served as captain of a company, and was pensioned. He was the first occupant of the farm now owned by H. H. WINCHESTER, on road 12. His son Asher, who bought the homestead from his father, married Lovina MAYNARD of Marlboro, Mass., and raised ten children, six of whom are still living.

      Abraham HAYNES, a hero of the Revolution, was a native of Sudbury, Mass., and married Abigail CARR of the same place. About 1790 he removed to Wilmington and cut the first tree and raised the first log-house on road 19, on the farm now occupied by the youngest of his seven children, Ophir. He soon after installed a hog in an adjacent pen; but, like many of the early settlers whose stock suffered from the predatory raids of the wild beasts which infested the surrounding Wilderness, his claim to this addition to his worldly goods was soon disputed by a large bear, which entered the pen and carried off its porcine occupant in the presence of Mr. HAYNES's wife, who was powerless to prevent the bold theft. Henry L. HAYNES, son of Abraham, married Lydia PHELPS, of Sudbury, Mass., and on his removal to Wilmington, likewise settled on road 19, near the TEMPLE homestead, making the first clearing on his farm. He had nine children, three of whom are living.

      Benjamin HAYNES made the first improvements on road 28, on the place now owned and occupied by Lorin P. HARRIS, who married Mary Jane HAYNES and purchased the farm of the HAYNES estate. Mr. HARRIS's father, Samuel F. HARRIS, was called from church to take part in the battle of Bennington. He was elected drum-major, and served till the end of the war. He soon after came to Wilmington from Rowe, Mass., and settled on a farm on road 53, on which he lived twenty-five years, when he removed to a farm on road 28, which is also owned and occupied by his son Lorin P. HARRIS. Here the elder HARRIS died. He also took part in the war of 1812.

      Reuben HAYNES, whose descendants are residents of Wilmington, was from Gardner, Mass., and a soldier in the war of the Revolution. He participated in the battle of Bunker Hill.

      Daniel CUTTING was a native of Sudbury, Mass., soon after the close of the Revolution, in which his energies were enlisted. He married Mary WILLIS and removed to Wilmington, locating on road 11, making the first clearing on the farm which is still in the possession of his descendants. The fruit of his marriage was eight children, none of whom survive.

      Amos FOX, who was a native of Connecticut, settled in Wilmington at an early day and built, on road 59, the first frame house in the town, thus marking an important era in its history, where the harsh environments of pioneer life began to give place to the more commodious projections of thrift, skill and intelligence. Of his eleven children, Moses D. married Harriet LOWDEN and reared eight children, one of whom, Morris K., married Joanna E. HOUGHTON, and resides on road 38.

      Madison DICKINSON was a pioneer in Wilmington. He settled on road 54, on the most southwesterly farm in the town, which is now occupied by his son Orlando, and there resided till his death.

      Levi DICKINSON was a soldier in the war of 1812, and took part in the battle of Plattsburgh. For this service he received a pension, which is now drawn by his widow, Alma D., who is ninety-three years old.

      Oliver WILDER was an early settler on road 71. His son William was a soldier in the Revolution, and took part in the battle of Bennington. Their descendants still reside here.

      James CORSE, a native of Massachusetts, early settled on road 63, where his grandson, Oliver P. CORSE, now lives. He came in company with two brothers. He reared nine children, all of whom are dead.

      George WILLIAMS was in the battle of Bunker Hill. He soon after came to Wilmington and located a farm on road 69. He erected his log-house where J. GRAVES now lives, and in that vicinity built a saw-mill, which is said to have been the first in the town.

      James SMITH, a native of Suffield, Conn., came to Wilmington at an early day. He married Sally AUSTIN of this town and settled on road 16, making the first improvements on his farm. He raised eight children and is still represented here by his descendants.

      David MAY was the first occupant of the farm on road 15. He was twice married, first to Mary STODDARD, whose seven children are all dead, though some of their descendants survive.

      Nathaniel ADAMS, formerly of Connecticut, came to Wilmington at an early day. He married Abigail MILLER of this town, and raised six children, only one of whom survives, John, the youngest son, who married Lorinda A. FOX, of New York State, and after various settlements in the town located on road 28, where he now resides. John's eldest son, Newell, married Victoria M. LAWTON and occupies the old homestead.

      Thomas S. STOWE was a farmer in Wilmington. He settled on road 32, on the place now occupied by STOWE & MILLER, where he built the first circular saw-mill.

      Jonathan HASKINS was born at New Salem, Mass., January 7, 1757, and served in the Revolutionary war. He married Keziah BANGS, by whom he had six children, and early removed to Wilmington, settling on road 35. Freeman, his youngest son, married Louisa DICKINSON, of Springfield, Mass., and settled on road 29. He raised one child, Louisa, who married Jonathan H. CORBETT, now located on road 21.

      Joel MAY was a native of Spencer, Mass. June 21, 1804, he married, the fruit of his marriage being eleven children, four of whom are living,-Henry, Samuel, Harriet and Hahnemann. Samuel and his son Horace E. occupy the homestead farm on road 22.

      Thomas HASKELL came from Hardwick, Mass., at an early day, and was the first settler on the farm on road 67, where David BALLOU now lives. He raised three sons, Thomas, Roger and Andrew, the latter of whom served during the Revolution under Washington. Hiram HASKELL, son of Andrew, who had eleven children, was born in 1800, and now lives on road 36, in this town. He is the oldest surviving member of the family, which has numerous descendants.

      Leonard REED, (son of Joseph REED, who was high sheriff of Belchertown, Mass., which office he held for thirty consecutive years in Northampton county,) married Almira STRICKLAND, of Greenfield, Mass., and settled in Wilmington, where he pursued the vocation of a farmer till his death, which occurred May 16, 1874. Six of his seven children are living. January 1, 1863, his daughter, Emma S., married Curtis R. BARTLETT, who carried on shoemaking for many years until his death, May 4, 1863, in Wilmington village, where his widow now lives.

      George ROBINSON, a native of Massachusetts, was of Scotch descent. He was a Baptist minister at the age of twenty years, and was a soldier in the. Revolution. He married Aseneth CARPENTER, by whom he had three boys -- William, George and Sanford, the latter of whom married Mary STETSON, of Wilmington, and settled on road 16, where H. M. FITCH now resides. He raised ten children, five of whom are living. 

      John ADAMS, son of Nathaniel and Abigail (MILLER) ADAMS, of Ashburn ham, Mass., a resident of this town, married Lorinda A. FOX, of Broadalbin N. Y., in 1839. Their children are Newell, Nelson and Henry. Henry married Sarah J. SMITH, of Wilmington, March 1, 1866, and has, two children living, Walter and Leslie. Newell married Victoria LAWTON, of this town, and, has two children living, Harry L. and Dulcena R. 

      John WHEELER, a native of Whitingham, settled on road 2, and made the first improvements on his-farm, where he resided till his death. He married Hannah JEWELL and reared twelve children, six of whom are living, two in Whitingham and four in Wilmington. 

      Arial WARE was a native of Wilmington. He was twice married, first to Esther CHANDLER, by whom he had three children, and subsequently to Lovisa BOYD, who bore him five children. He settled on road 46, where Henry PEASE now lives, and made the first clearing on his farm. Three children and, many descendants survive him. Among the latter are Orrin O. WARE, a dry goods merchant and the postmaster at Wilmington village.

      Stephen BOYD was an early settler on road 55 in this town. He married Lucy CUSHMAN, of Wilmington, and leaves many descendants in the town.

      Supply CLARK, of Southampton, Mass., had four children. Sylvanus, his second son, married Content FIELD, and reared eight children. John L., Sylvanus's youngest son, married Eliza PHIPPS, of Wilmington. They have reared: six children -- all living -- Sylvanus, Luther, Zetta, Almina, Alta and Charles C., the latter of whom married Mary Ann BUFFUM, of this town, and has five children, John, Frank, Willie, Jessie, and Chester.

      William STOWE, a Revolutionary hero, was a native of Boston, Mass., married Lucy JENNINGS, of Brattleboro, Vt., where he first settled. John STOWE, one of his two surviving children, married Rachel W. WHITNEY, of Massachusetts, and made the first improvements on road 32, where Thomas MILLER now lives. John H., the only surviving child of John STOWE, now resides on road 34 in this town. He enlisted during the Rebellion, in 1861, for three years, and participated in the battles of Port Hudson, Camp Bisland, and Fort Donaldson, receiving an honorable discharge at the expiration of his term.

      Robert BOYD was born in the town of Wilmington. He married Susan WHEELER, of Whitingham, and settled on road 57, where E. T. BUTTERFIELD now lives, making the first improvements on that farm. He started in life with an ax, and, to use the expression of his descendants, "one lousy calf;" besides raising a worthy family of seven children, by intelligent industry he carved out a fortune, which, at his death, was worth $50,000. His grandson, Lorenzo M., son of James M., married first, Ruth CRAWFORD, and second, Jane M. PARKER, of Bennington, and resides on road 52.

      Chester HUBBARD was a native of Amherst, Mass. He married Dorothy KELLOGG, of the same place, and soon after, about 1800, removed to Wilmington. He settled on road 59, and here spent the rest of his life, rearing six children, three of whom, Horace M., Frederick G. and George C., are living, the latter of whom, with his sons Porter and Chester, now occupy the old homestead.

      William HASKELL was a native of Harvard, Mass. He married Mercy FARNSWORTH, of Groton, in that State. He was a Revolutionary soldier, serving at Bunker Hill and under Washington. In 1806 he came to Wilmington and settled on road 32, where H. and B. HOWARD now reside. Here he remained till his death, in 1828. He had one son and three daughters, the former of whom, Ephraim F., married Salina STETSON, January 9, 1823, and first settled on the homestead farm. He removed thence in 1836, and after two subsequent removals located on road 36, where he still resides. William B., one of Ephraim F. HASKELL's four surviving children, is a merchant at Wilmington village.

      Jonathan TEMPLE, a native of Worcester, Mass., married Sarah HAYNES, of Gardner, Mass., and about 1808 removed to Wilmington. He located on road 22, removing three years later to road 19, where he remained till his death. Willis H., his youngest son, married Dolly A. MERCHANT, of Montague, Mass., June 5, 1850, and settled on the homestead farm, where he still resides.

      Rev. Jeremiah GIFFORD, pastor of the Universalist church at Jacksonville, married Jane STAFFORD, of Monroe, Mass., January 1, 1844. Two of their six children, Russell C. and Eva A. (Mrs. Hosea MANN, Jr.,) are living. His son Eben enlisted in the war for the Union in 1861, and re-enlisted in 1863. He was said to be the best shot in the regiment, and was the only man from his company selected at Port Hudson to serve as a sharp-shooter. He was taken prisoner at Salisbury, N. C., and in three months starved to death. Russell C. married Etta T. AVERILL and resides here.

      Jabez SMITH, of Ashford, Conn., eldest son of Barak SMITH, was born at Dover, Mass., August 13, 1784, and March 5, 1807, married Chloe RICHARDS, of Dedham, Mass., with whom, in 1816, he removed to the town of Wilmington, locating the farm on road 11, where D. SPENCER now lives. His children were Mary, Ruel, Francis, Lewis, Isaac, Catharine E., and Chloe L. Francis R. SMITH, son of Ruel, who was born in Ashford, Conn., April 19, 181 r, and married Lucinda ADAMS, of Wilmington, was born January 30, 1839, married Elsie J. POWERS, of Marlboro, Vt., February 12, 1862. He is a prosperous farmer and successful breeder of Durham cattle on the "Elm Shade Farm," on road 36, where he has lived for thirty-two years. The other children of Ruel were Mary A., William Henry, and Lewis N. Barak's father was Caleb SMITH, born at Needham, Mass., in 1720.

      Horace ALVORD, a life-long resident of the farm he occupies on road 63, aged eighty-nine years, is the oldest male resident of the town of Wilmington. Miss Nancy COOK, who resides on road 55, is the oldest resident of the town. She is a native of Douglass, Mass., and was ninety-three years old October 12, 1883.

      John RICE, of Hardwick, Mass., married Sarah SWIFT, of Wilmington, July 13, 1817, and reared two children, Oliver M. and John S. John S. married Sally BRUSE, of this town, October 5, 1847. Mr. RICE is a prosperous farmer on road 37. For his second wife he married Fanny C. CUMMINGS, of Colorado.

      Josiah STEARNS married Lucy ALLEN, of Princeton, Mass., in 1800, and came to Wilmington, from Hubbardston, Mass., bringing his wife on horseback from Marlboro to their new home. His wife died about 1853. He married for his second wife, Eunice TORRY, of Jamaica. He died January 16, T867, aged ninety-four years. Three of his nine children are living, two daughters in the west, and a son, Rufus, at West Brattleboro. Rufus was born in Wilmington, September 3, 1804. He married Jane M. ROSS, of Massachusetts, and had six children, four of whom are living, three daughters in Brattleboro, and a son, Henry R., in Illinois.

      David WINSLOW came to Wilmington in 1789, and built on Beaver Dam Brook, about a half mile east of the village of Wilmington, the first grist-mill erected in the town. After operating it several years he sold it and built another at Wilmington village. That he also sold after conducting it several years, and built a third one at the outlet of Ray Pond, which he operated till his death. He had two sons and a daughter. His son Tisdale was born July 7, 1785, and came to Wilmington with his father. He married Philena THRASHER, and had six children, two of whom are living, George T,, in Plymouth, Conn., and William, in Brattleboro.

      Silas PETTIE came to Wilmington, from Hinsdale, N. H., about 1800. He was a miller, and built a grist-mill at the outlet of Ray Pond, in the north part of the town, about 1812. He was also a blacksmith, and had a small shop near his grist-mill. He had four sons and four daughters. His son Silas was born in Wilmington, in 1803, and lived here until 1839, when he removed to Townshend. He died in Guilford in 1870. Another son, Anson L., was born in Wilmington, in 1808. He graduated at Middlebury college, June 10, 1835, and practiced medicine about forty years. He was an eminent physician and enjoyed an extensive practice. He died in 1879. He married Clarissa SMITH, by whom he had two children, A. L., who lives in Brattleboro, and H. C., who resides in Brooklyn, N. Y.

      Rev. Mansfield BRUCE was born in Grafton, Mass., April 11, 1781. He united with the Congregational church, at Newton, West Parish, December 2, 1804, and in 1806, joined the Baptist church of Marlboro and Newfane, in which he served as deacon until September, 1809, when he was ordained as an evangelist. He soon after became the pastor of that church. He settled as pastor in Wilmington, in 1819, and served a useful and successful pastorate of twenty-four years. He was a humble, devoted christian, and an able, sound, and energetic preacher. His sermons were instructive and practical. He was esteemed as a man, christian, and able minister of Christ. He married Grace Goddard, by whom he had nine children. He died of hydrocephalus, February 5, 1843.

      Levi FIELD was born at Leverett, Mass., 1780. He was graduated from Williams college in 1799, and licensed to preach May 4, 1802, but never ordained. He studied law and practiced that profession in Wilmington, where he died July 12, 1820.

      Rev. Origin SMITH was born in Wilmington, April 9, 1812. His father was Azor SMITH, a farmer, schoolmaster, and justice of the peace, who died in Worcester, Mass. His grandfather Medad SMITH, was one of the first five settlers in Wilmington, he came at the age of eighteen years, guided by marked trees, carrying a bushel of meal and a five-pail iron kettle upon his back from Coleraine, Mass., a distance of seventeen miles. His mother was Betsey, daughter of Thomas HASKELL. He united with the Baptist church of Wilmington November 13, 1831, and was licensed to preach September 1, 1833. May 11, 1837, he married Betsey, daughter of Rev. Mansfield BRUCE, who died October 4, 1882, aged seventy-three. Her mother was Grace G. BRUCE, who died on her ninety-first birthday, in 1875. Mr. SMITH was ordained as an evangelist, May 17, 1837, and for seven years served as missionary to the Isles of Shoals under the patronage of the society for "propogating religious knowledge among the American Indians and others," the first missionary society formed in America. For nine years he was unable to labor in the ministry by reason of sickness. July 6, 1852, he commenced to labor in Dover, Vt., and for twenty and one-half years was pastor of the Baptist church in East Dover. He resided during this time in Wilmington, where for seventeen years he was engaged in the drug business. April 1, 1873, he commenced preaching in Guilford, Vt., and was pastor of the Baptist church six years. During the succeeding four years he was pastor of the Baptist church in Whitingham, Vt. March 29, 1883, he removed to Brattleboro, Vt., where has since made it his home with his only son. Irenius O. P. SMITH, at 22 Canal street.

      Wells H. FORD, now of this town, son of Stillman FORD, who was a native of Rowe, Mass., married Sophronia P. PIKE, of Readsboro, October 24, 1857, and has five children now living. Ambrose Pike, grandfather of Mrs. FORD, was a soldier in the war of 1812. He was a native of Whitingham.

      James WHITE, of Petersham, Mass., was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, being present at the battle of Bennington. His grandson, James L. WHITE, now resides in this town, on road 55.

      Rev. Hosea F. BALLOU was born at Dana, Mass., April 4, 1799, and died at Wilmington, May 20, 188 r. His parents were Rev. Hosea and Ruth (WASHBURN) BALLOU. No Wilmington citizen was ever held in more genuine esteem than this lamented gentleman. In every home his distinguished, blameless life is enshrined in the hearts of all who love nobility of character and still hold fast to manhood's best traits. Although adhering with unswerving fidelity to his chosen faith, Universalism, he mingled with every sect and creed, and his bearing was notably catholic toward all. During his long ministry, of some forty-five years, he attended from twenty to seventy-two funerals a year in more than twenty towns, and in the aggregate probably as many as 1,600. He preached a sermon at fully nineteen-twentieths of that number. It is estimated that he meantime officiated at 600 weddings. His physical activity kept apace with his mental faculties, and both make a record of usefulness which his multitude of acquaintances and associates may ever refer to with pride and supreme satisfaction. His valued and exceptional life covered the occupations of farmer, trader, and clergyman, and honorable laborer in other departments of life, in all of which he displayed manhood's first qualification-industry. He was Whitingham's town clerk for seventeen years; a justice of the peace fourteen years; a member of the legislature for two terms, and of the State constitutional convention for three septeneries. He was superintendent of schools twenty-one years, and with all his various cares and duties brought up a large family to usefulness. To the youth of the land Father BALLOU's life offers an example and enforces many precepts which, if followed, would surely bring an abundant reward of usefulness.

      The Union Congregational church, located at Wilmington village, was organized by Thomas HASKELL, Edward FOSTER, Perry SWIFT, and Nathan FOSTER, in 1780, Rev. Winslow PACKARD being the first settled pastor. The first house of worship was erected that year, while the present house was built in 1883, (replacing the house burned in 1882,) at a cost of $4,500.00. It is capable of seating 225 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $5,000.00. The society now has eighty members, with Rev. H. R. TITUS, pastor.

      The First Baptist church, located at Wilmington, was organized by its first pastor, Rev. Eli BALL, with forty members, September 1, 1806. A church building was erected the same year, which gave place to the present structure, in 1833, which will seat 300 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $3,000.00. The society now has 100 members, with Rev. A. W. GOODNOW, pastor.

      The Methodist Episcopal. church, located at Wilmington, was organized about 1825. The church building was erected in 1828, in the northern part of the town, and was removed to its present site in 1835. It will seat 250 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $3,500.00. The society now has eighty members, with Rev. H. F. Forest, pastor.

      The Universalist church, located at Wilmington, was organized by its first pastor, Rev. H. F. BALLOU, with fifty-one members, in 1835. The church building was erected the same year. It will seat 250 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $3,000.00. The society now has eighty-two members, with Rev. W. N. BARBER, pastor.

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 304 [84]-304 [96].

Abraham Boyd and his Descendants ~ Biography and photos