HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF 
CAVENDISH

      CAVENDISH lies just south of the central part of the county, in lat. 43° 23' and long. 4° 25', bounded north by Reading, east by Weathersfield, south by Chester and Baltimore, and west by Ludlow. It was granted to Amos KIMBALL and his associates, in seventy-two shares, by New Hampshire, the charter being issued October 12, 1761, and was rechartered by New York, June 16, 1772. Its original area was about seven miles square; but October 19, 179J, the southeastern corner, containing about 3.000 acres, was incorporated into a new township, by the name of Baltimore. This was done on account of Hawk's Mountain, which formed a natural barrier, preventing convenient communication between the two sections.

      The surface of the town is rather uneven, yet not sufficiently so, except in certain localities, to retard cultivation of the soil, which is, in most parts, of an excellent quality. Black river, which flows across the town from west to east, and twenty-mill stream, which flows in a southerly direction and unites with it about a mile and a half north of the village, are the principal streams, though they have many tributaries. The scenography and surface geology of the valley of Black river at this point are among the most interesting and beautiful in the State.

      From Chester the railroad enters the town through a valley that was doubtless, in the early ages of the earth's history, the bed of Black river. Following this valley, soon after entering Cavendish, a deep gorge between Hawk's mountain and Dutton's hill is found. In this gorge abundant evidence is presented, in the water-worn appearance of the rocks and in the numerous pot-holes, that a large stream of water once had its course through this gulf. Sections of pot-holes, fifteen and twenty feet in diameter, and those of smaller dimensions, are numerous. A small brook, sustained by the waters from a few springs, winds along through the gorge, a diminutive representative of the powerful current that cut clown this deep abyss and left in it such fantastic markings. Emerging from the north end of Duttonsville gulf, Cavendish village breaks in upon the view, with Black river flowing through the fertile valley and suddenly disappearing in a deep, dark gorge, the rocky walls of which are more precipitous than those in the gulf just passed. The numerous terraces that skirt the valleys, and the high rocky walls that rise on either side of the deep gorge through which the river now escapes, give evidence that before that rocky barrier was cut asunder by the stream a lake or pond existed in the valley, the outlet of which lay through Duttonsville gulf.

      About half a mile east of Cavendish village are Cavendish falls. The waters of the river go dancing down through the deep ravine as though rejoicing in their liberty and exulting at the great victory they had won in the remote past over the adjacent rocks by cutting that yawning and cavernous gorge through them. Here is one of the most interesting cases of erosion ever recorded by the hand of time, not even excepting the far-famed gorge below Niagara Falls. The prediction that the chain of lakes above Niagara will ultimately -- but at some far distant day -- be drained through the deep worn channel that will extend to them, is in this case verified. The chain of lakes that once existed in the terraced basins of Black river valley -- where are now located the pleasant and thriving villages of Cavendish, Proctorsville and Ludlow -- had an outlet through Duttonsville gulf. A high rocky barrier extended along the eastern end, through which the stream finally found a passage at a lower level, by which the lakes were ultimately drained and pleasant village sites afforded.

    "Varnum's Point" is the name given one point affording a magnificent view. The origin of the name is somewhat amusing: In 1841, as Varnum LOCKWOOD was quarrying limestone from the ledge near the southern brink of the river, by springing hard upon his iron bar he lost his balance and was thrown over the precipice into the whirling eddy, forty-five and one-half feet below. His companions, rushing to the brink, beheld him buffeting with the high swelling waves, which ever and anon would engulf him, in spite of his frantic efforts to escape. At last he succeeded in securing a hold upon a jutting rock, by which he drew himself from the water in an almost exhausted state. He was beyond the reach of his companions, who, solicitous for his welfare, but unable to descend to his assistance, made earnest inquiries whether he was much injured by the fall. Looking up, and intently feeling in his pockets, while the water ran in torrents from his drenched person, he replied: "The fall didn't hurt me much, but I'm darned 'fraid I've lost my jack-knife."  Varnum's Point" the spot has ever since been called. Mr. LOCKWOOD is still a resident of the town. His great fall injured him considerably, so much so that it was weeks before he was able to be out.

      Passing down the southern bank a distance of forty rods, "Lover's Leap " is reached. Here the jutting mica schist stands out in an angle of the stream, affording one who has the nerve to stand upon a perpendicular precipice a hundred feet above the foaming current that lashes itself to a foam in the abyss below him, one of the wildest and most romantic scenes in nature. To the west is seen, amid the giant bowlders, the rushing waters flowing on apace, as though in haste to reach the base of "Lover's Leap;" then, turning abruptly at right angles down the stream, they speed their way directly to the north, and often hide their foamy caps beneath the gigantic bowlders that are thrown together in stupendous heaps, and, in low water, bridge the deep-worn channel.

      A  few steps further east and “Prospect Point " is reached. Here is not only shown the picturesque surroundings seen from “Lover’s Leap," but the modus operandi by which the gorge was made is also here suggested. A deep and long extended crack across the strata is visible at this point, and, if we conjecture aright, through this the water first escaped from out the chain of lakes before alluded to.

    "Eureka Cave" is also an interesting point. From “Prospect Point," passing down some fifty rods on a rustic footpath, one will find himself near the entrance to the cave, in the “Rotunda." This, as its name implies, is a circular enclosure surrounded by a smoothly worn and water-washed ledge, the top and sides of which are arranged in that drapery which nature uses to decorate her wildest and most secluded haunts. Just around a jutting point of rock is the entrance to the cave. No pendant stalactites are found upon the roof of this spacious cavern, for the roof is mica schist and solid; but the smooth, rounded outline of its walls, proclaims the fact that water was the agent employed to scoop out its deep recess.

      Less than half a dozen rods from the cave, upon the verge of the stream, the pre-Adamic waters scooped out a pot-hole that ;s now elevated about twenty feet above the river bed, of a size to admit a dozen persons. Leaning over the western edge of this rock-basin, one of the most beautiful of views is opened to the spectator. As far up and down the stream as the eye can reach are seen gigantic bowlders piled together in great profusion, with high and overhanging rocks on either side, in which are deep indented niches and fantastic carvings made by water, which bring to the mind of the beholder the descriptions he has read of ruined amphitheatres and the old city of Petra, cut by man out of the solid rock. Years were required to perfect and bring to ruin those works of art-but untold centuries rolled around while water was at work in this sequestered glen in giving the final touch to this master-work of nature.

      The rocks of the eastern part of the territory are mostly of gneiss formation, while in the western part they are principally calciferous mica schist. There are, however, in various parts of the town beds of steatite, serpentine and limestone. Before the introduction of the railroad, considerable lime was manufactured here.

      In 1880 Cavendish had a population of 1,276, and in 1882 it was divided into ten school districts and contained eleven common schools, employing three male and twenty-two female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $1,555.49. There were 242 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $1,790.73, with George E. SMITH, superintendent.

      CAVENDISH is a fine little post village and station on the Central Vermont railroad, located in the southern part of the town, on Black river. It formerly was known as Duttonsville, and did a large manufacturing business; but its two large woolen mills were destroyed by fire a few years since. It now has two churches (Baptist and Universalist), a fine school building, a town house, three stores, and about fifty dwellings. Here is also a fine soldier's monument, presented to the town by ex-Gov. Redfield PROCTOR, a native of this town, but now of Rutland, in May, 1883.
      PROCTORSVILLE, a post village and station on the C. V. R. R., is also located on Black river, in the western part of the town. It has two churches, (Methodist and Catholic), two stores, a hotel, a good school building, the Cresent Woolen Mills, and about fifty dwellings.
      WHITESVILLE is a hamlet located on Black river about a mile north of Cavendish village. It has a grist-mill, saw-mill, bobbin factory and about a dozen dwellings.
      S.P. TODD's wagon shop, located at Proctorsville, was established by him in 1863. He manufactures heavy wagons and does a general repairing business.

      Eagle Cheese Factory, Anson W. DUNN, manager, was built by a stock company in 1878. The building, 30x60 feet, is located on road 42. This factory uses milk from 300 cows.

      ADAMS' saw-mill, located on Twenty Mile Stream, is supplied with a circular saw and cuts from 100,000 to 300,000 feet of lumber per year.

      Joseph S. BOND's saw and grist-mills are located on Twenty Mile Stream. The saw-mill is furnished with an upright saw, and the grist-mill with two runs of stones.

      BELKNAP & KINGSLEY's cider-mill, located on road 35 corner 33, has the capacity for manufacturing twenty-five to thirty barrels of cider per day.

      E.H. ATHERTON's saw and grist-mill, located at Whitesville, turn out 500,000 feet of lumber annually, while the grist-mill operates three runs of stones.

      George M. R. HOWARD's bobbin factory is located at Whitesville.

      The Fletcher Library, located at Cavendish village, was established by Richard FLETCHER, who gave to the town 2,600 volumes and the interest accruing from $4,000.00. By a vote of the town, November 16, 1870, a branch library was established at Proctorsville, giving thereto five-thirteenths of the books and securing to it the same proportion of all additions, stipulating, however, that the Proctorsville people should furnish a suitable building for the books and defray all expenses. By this means both villages have an excellent library which is annually being increased in value.

      The Proctorsville Library Association was organized in 1858. The first funds were raised by an entertainment given by a dramatic society of the village; to which sum ev-Gov. Redfield PROCTOR added a like amount. This library and the Fletcher library are kept in the same building. It now has over 1,300 volumes. Kendall TAYLOR is librarian for both libraries.

      The National Black River Bank, located at Proctorsville was established as a State bank in 1845, with a capital of $50,000.00, E. F. PARKER, president, and D. A. HEALD, cashier. In 1865 the bank was re-organized under the national system. The capital has not been increased, though the institution has a surplus fund of $24,750.00. George S. HILL is president and Charles W. WHITCOMB, cashier.

      Cavendish Town Farm, for the support of the poor, is located on road 20, with Wallace S. RIST, superintendent. It contains 160 acres and at present has seven indigent occupants.

      Proctorsville Mills. -- A wooden mill was built at Proctorsville in 1834-'35, by a company formed for that purpose. This was burned in 1844, and rebuilt in 1844-'45, being operated by GILSON, SMITH & Co., until 1849, when they were succeeded by SMITH & BALCOM, who carried on the business until 1856. The mill was then operated for a few years by William SMITH, and afterwards by George L. BALCOM & Co., until 1864, when a corporation was formed under the title of the Proctorsville Mills. They owned the property until 1877, when it was sold to William E. HAYWARD and L. H. TAFT, of Uxbridge, Mass., and A. S. BURBANK, of Proctorsville, who are the present owners and occupants. This firm also purchased the chair-factory one mile west of Proctorsville, in 1880, and converted it into a shoddy and flock factory and box shop. Both this mill and the woolen mill are under the management of A. S. BURBANK, who has had charge of the woolen mill twenty years. This mill now contains six sets of cards, twenty-five broad looms, and conjunctive machinery for manufacturing cassimeres, flannels and ladies' dress goods, employing about one hundred hands.

      In 1762, a number of the proprietors visited the township, surveyed it, allotted the shares in severalty, and, according to their own account, “were in great forwardness, when disputes arose," which caused them to abandon the undertaking. A disposition to renew the attempt was manifested in 1765; but no settlement was actually made until 1769, when, in the month of June, Captain John COFFIN located his farm and built a dwelling in the northern part of the township. During the Revolution his hospitable residence afforded shelter and refreshment to the American soldiery while passing from Charlestown to the military posts on Lake Champlain. In the northwestern part of the town was a similar stopping-place, known as the "Twenty-mile encampment," giving the name to Twenty-mile Stream. In 1771, Noadiah RUSSELL and Thomas GILBERT joined Captain COFFIN in his settlement, sharing with him his wants and privations, as for many years they struggled hard for a scanty and precarious subsistence; so few were the mills that at this period they were sometimes obliged to travel sixty miles to procure the grinding of a single grist of corn." In 1775, Capt. COFFIN was made a captain of militia, whence he gained his title of captain. He lived to see the town all settled and organized, and to take an active part in its public concerns. In 1791, the population amounted to 491.

      It is not known when the town was organized, as the first book of records, tradition has it, was lost. The first meeting recorded, however, was March 12, 1782, when Josiah FLETCHER was chosen town clerk; Noadiah RUSSELL, constable; and Solomon DUTTON, Ephraim FOSTER and John FLETCHER, selectmen. That this was not the first meeting is confirmed by the fact that the book of land records contains the name of John RUSSELL as town clerk, May 26, 1781. This is also further confirmed by the fact that John COFFEIN settled here in 1769, and represented the town in March, 1778. The first justice of the peace was Solomon DUTTON, in 1786. The first deed recorded was from Jesse REID to John COFFEIN, March 29, 1781. The first grist-mill was built by Samuel WHITE, about a mile east of Cavendish village, on Black River. The second mill was erected about 1800, by Nathaniel RUSSELL. It stood on the farm now owned by Richard RUSSELL, on road 35.

      Many of the residences built in the infancy of the town are still standing, venerable old structures that the hand of time has dealt lightly with in order that they may remain to remind us of the vicissitudes and self-sacrifices endured by our fathers. The dwelling of Mrs. Sarah DUTTON, at Cavendish village, was built by Solomon DUTTON in 1782. Five generations of the DUTTON family have been born under its roof, and five generations have lifted its old-fashioned latches on its doors when their infant stature was scarcely equal to the task, and to many of them was lifted the same latch, years since, as they entered upon that "long journey whose end we know not of." The building was used for many years as a hotel, the first in the town. Upon the farm of Joseph S. ATHERTON is a house that was built about one hundred years ago. This building was also used as an hotel. Upon J. H. ADAMS's farm, on road 34, there is a house that was built by Noadiah RUSSELL, supposed to be the second frame house built in the town. The present residence of George W. WHITE was built by his grandfather, Samuel WHITE, over ninety years ago. A house standing upon the farm of L. E. WRIGHT, on road 25, has on its chimney the date "1794." F. H. WHEELER's residence, on road 4, was built in 1797. The residence of Dan. STEARNS, corner roads 17 and 28, was built by a Mr. PELTON, in 1795. The house owned by Surry ROSS, at Proctorsville, was built by John PROCTOR about eighty years ago. It has no less than six old-fashioned fire-places. The old residence of Asaph FLETCHER, at Proctorsville, was built by him over ninety years ago. It was his home until 1828, then was occupied by his son, ex-Gov. FLETCHER, until 187J. It is now owned by Henry A. FLETCHER. When Mr. FLETCHER came to this farm, in 1787, there was a house on this place, which is still standing, though it has not been occupied for some time. Many other old landmarks might be mentioned, but space forbids.

      Several destructive fires have visited Cavendish village, greatly retarding its business interests. The first was the burning of the "stone factory," as it was called, November 12, 1873. This factory was built in 1832, by a company under the firm name of the Black River Canal and Manufacturing Company. The factory went into operation in 1835, making a fine quality of broadcloth, under the management of Henry N. FULLERTON. In time it passed into the hands of Nathaniel FULLERTON, of Chester. In 1854 it was leased by a company under the firm name of FULLERTON & Co.; they manufactured cassimeres until about the close of the rebellion. In 1869 the property passed into the hands of F. W. WHIPPLE, of Providence, R. I., and was occupied by James WHIPPLE up to the time it was destroyed. Alonzo HASKELL's mills, together with the Baptist church, were destroyed April 27, 1875.

      Robert FITTON's factory was burned September 6, 1875, his storehouse was destroyed February 28, 1877, and his boarding house June 24, 1878. He also had five dwelling houses burned October 5, 1881, and another dwelling November 7, 1881. Carlton H. GOWRAN's tannery burned January 16, 1880, and Thomas GORDAN's hotel and Mrs. Caroline CHASE's dwelling were destroyed by fire March 14, 1882.

      The second settlement was made in 1771, when Capt. COFFEIN was joined by Noadiah RUSSELL and Thomas GILBERT. Mr. RUSSELL located on road 34, upon the farm now owned by J. H. ADAMS. There is an old apple tree yet standing on the place, which was planted by him, the first in the town. Mr. RUSSELL died in May, 1832, aged eighty-eight years. His son, Nathaniel, born on the old homestead, married Patty HARDY, and reared a family of eight children, three of whom, Urial, Richard and Millie (Mrs. H. D. SPARK), are now living, all in this town. Nathaniel died February 5, 1871, aged over eighty-five years. Urial, born July 5, 1823, married Angeline A. WILSON and has been blessed with three children, Addle L., Mattie B., and Alice R., the latter deceased. Richard was born in 1826 and married Mary A. WHITNEY.

      John and Daniel PECK were among the first settlers. They located in the eastern part of the town. John died in Weston about 1850, and Daniel died here in 1852. Oliver, son of John, born here in 1797, married Lucy AUSTIN, reared a family of eleven children, ten of whom are now living, and died December 1, 1878.

      Ebenezer FULLMAN, another of the early settlers, located on road 23, upon the farm now owned by Rufus SPAULDING, where he reared nine children. His son, Sullivan B., born in 1805, married Roxana ORDWAY and reared nine children, seven of whom are living.

      James HALL, a British officer and afterwards a soldier of the Revolution, came to Cavendish soon after the war, and about 1800 located near the old SMITH farm, where he died in 1812. He had two children, James W. and Belinda.

      William BOND made the first clearing on the farm now owned by Luther O. WEEKS, on road 3. He reared four children and died about 1840. William, Jr., born on the old farm, reared eight children, and died in February, 1861. His widow and four of the children, Gilman, Joseph, William O. and Catherine (Mrs. O. I. SPAULDING), reside in the town.

      David SAUNDERS, one of the early settlers, came here from Jaffrey, N. H., and located upon the farm now owned by his son-in-law, Ambrose E. GRAVES. He married Hannah WHITNEY and reared nine children, two of whom, Louisa (Mrs. A. E. GRAVES), and Maria (Mrs. Henry C. EARLE), reside here. He died November 3, 1860. Mrs. SAUNDERS died December 30, 1857.

      Jonathan ATHERTON came to Cavendish, from Harvard, Mass., at an early date, and located upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Joseph V. ATHERTON, on road 32. He married Nancy BRIDGE, reared five children, and died in 1826.

      John HARDY, an early settler, came to Cavendish, from Massachusetts, and located upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Ryland HARDY, on road 34. He had a family of eight children and died about 1835.

      Jesse ADAMS, one of the early settlers, located upon the farm now owned by Julia K. ADAMS, on road 36, which has ever since been retained in the ADAMS family.

      Captains Joshua, Isaac and Ebenezer PARKER, three brothers, were early settlers. Capt. Joshua located in the northern part of the town and reared five children, Polly, Betsey, Levi, Abner J., and Joshua. Betsey, aged eighty-seven years, is the only one now living. Joshua, Jr., settled on the farm now owned by his son, C. D. PARKER, and died August 22, 1879. C. D. is the only direct male descendant in the town. Isaac located on road 42, and subsequently removed to Weathersfield. His daughter Sallie still resides here, aged eighty-six years.

      Jedakiah SPAULDING came here from Massachusetts in 1780, and located in the eastern part of the town, where he reared four children. His son, Aaron W., married Dolly IVES, of Ludlow, and reared three children, Ozro I., Sarah L., and C. F. He died in February, 1870, aged seventy-two years.

      Timothy PROCTOR, born July 29, T762, came to Cavendish about 1788, and located upon the farm now owned by Andrew WILEY. He reared six children, only one of whom, Stillman, is now living, and died July 21, 1834. Mrs. PROCTOR died November 22, 1843, aged eighty-one years. Stillman was born September 25, 1801, married Harriet SEAVER, locating upon the farm he still occupies.

      Salmon DUTTON, from Massachusetts, came here in 1781, locating at Cavendish village, and soon after built the house now occupied by Mrs. S. F. DUTTON, taking up a large tract of land in that vicinity. Mr. DUTTON was an enterprising man and did much to advance the growth of the town. He died May 27, 1824, aged eighty years. His wife, Sarah PARKER, died March 7, 1831, aged eighty-three years.

      William SPAULDING, born September 11, 1739, came to Cavendish, from Westford, Mass., in 1783. He married Esther DUTTON. Jedekiah, son of William, came here with his father. His family was as follows: John, William, Mary, Esther, Asa, Joseph, Jedekiah, Betsey, and Zaccheus. Allen, son of Zaccheus, born September 3, 1805, married Cynthia GODDARD, of Reading. He resided in Reading thirty-five years, but now lives in Cavendish. Marcus, son of Allen, is the present representative of the town of Ludlow, and Laura G., his only other child, is the wife of F. M. ROBINSON, of Dubuque, Iowa.

      Josiah FRENCH, from New Hampshire, came to Cavendish about 1785, and located about a mile north of Proctorsville. Only one of his five children, Calvin, permanently located in the town. Calvin married Valeria BLOOD, and reared six children, three of whom are living.

      Samuel WHITE, from Massachusetts, came to Cavendish in 1785, and located upon the farm now owned by his grandson, George W. WHITE. He reared nine children, and died March 24, 1823, aged seventy-nine years. Four of the children, John, Samuel, Joseph and Dorothea (Mrs. Edmund INGALLS), settled in the town.

      Dr. Asaph FLETCHER, born at Westford, Mass., June 28, 1746, married Sally GREEN, daughter of Jonathan GREEN, and in February, 1787, came to Cavendish and resided here until his death, January 5, 18J9, aged ninety-two years, having reared a family of nine children. Mr. FLETCHER was almost entirely a self-made man, yet he was a thorough scholar and a skillful physician, following his profession from the age of twenty-two years until age compelled him to relinquish active service. He was a member of the convention that framed the application to Congress for admission of Vermont into the Union, a member of the convention to review the constitution of Vermont, and several times a member of the State legislature. He was also a judge of the county court many years, a member of the council of censers, and was one of the electors when Monroe was made president. Aside from all these lie was for a time president of the county medical society and held other officers.

      Asaph FLETCHER, Jr., was born in Westford, Mass. June 26, 1780, and came to Cavendish with his father in 1787. He subsequently removed to Woodstock and became a general of militia, high sheriff of the county, etc.

      Richard FLETCHER, son of Asaph, Sr., was born here June 8, 1788, graduated from Dartmouth college in 1806, studied law with Daniel WEBSTER and was admitted to the bar.

      Addison FLETCHER, another son of Asaph, was born August 28, 1790. He married Maria INGALLS, June 21, 1819, and for his second wife Mary INGALLS, cousin to the first. He was a successful business man and died January 8, 1832.

      Dr. Alpheus FLETCHER, son of Asaph, Sr., was born July 17, 1793, married Adaline E. CHITTENDEN, practiced medicine here a number of years, and died May 25, 1839.

      Horace FLETCHER, son of Asaph, was born October 25, 1796, married Harriet MAY, of Westminster, was admitted to the bar, practiced law for a time, and then studied theology and was a Baptist clergyman many years.

      Hon. Ryland FLETCHER, son of Asaph, was born February 18, 1799, married Mary A. MAY, June 11, 1829, and still resides here. Mr. FLETCHER was elected lieutenant-governor of the State in 1854, and was made governor of the same in 1856. In 1864 he was one of the presidential electors, and has been a delegate to two national conventions, and represented Cavendish in the legislature of 1862-'63. He has been a member of the Baptist church over fifty years. Henry A., the only one of his three children now living, occupies the old farm and has represented the town in the legislature five terms.

      Benjamin ADAMS, from Massachusetts, came to Cavendish in 1789 and located upon the farm now owned by Otis HEMENWAY. He reared a family of seven children, the only one now living being Joseph, and died in Clarendon, Rutland county, in 1830, aged seventy-eight years. Joseph has been in the tanning business, was proprietor of the Cavendish hotel seventeen years, and has held many of the town offices. His wife, Marinda FRENCH, died April 6, 1873.

      James SMITH, from Peterboro, N. H., came to Cavendish about 1790, and built a store near Captain COFFEIN's place. About 1794 he removed to Twenty Mile Stream, where he spent the rest of his life, dying in 1842. He reared a family of eight children, and was for many years a selectman and representative. William, son of James, was born July 31, 1800, where he still resides. He married Rhoda BATES, at the age of twenty-eight years, the union being blessed with one daughter. Mrs. SMITH died August 8, 1844. For his second wife he married Isabel PAGE, daughter of John PROCTOR, by whom he has had three children. Mr. SMITH has successively engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods and starch, and in farming.

      Edmund TAYLOR came to Cavendish, from New Hampshire, in 1790, locating upon the farm now owned by his grandson, J. H. TAYLOR. He reared a large family of children and died in 1836.

      Abel BURBANK was born in Haverhill, Mass., March 4, 1797, and removed with his parents to Cavendish when six years old. He resided in town, with the exception of a few years spent in Boston, until his death, which occurred in May, 1877. He carried on the saddle and harness business in Proctorsville for about thirty years, and was also a merchant for several years; was one of the founders, and always a pillar of the Proctorsville M. E. church, and filled various town offices. He married Almira BLOOD, of Proctorsville, and had six children, viz.: Augusta, Valeria, Albin S., Henry L., Samuel K. and Clara E.

      David WHEELER, from Jaffrey, N. H., came to Cavendish in 1804. In 1829 he located on road 4, upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Frank H. WHEELER. He married Mary POWERS, and reared three children, Mary L., Daniel H., and Peter P. David died in 1870, aged eighty-two years. Daniel H. married Susan DAVIS, reared two children and now resides on the farm with his son, Frank H. His other son, Daniel D., is a captain of artillery in the regular army.

      Jonathan CHAPMAN, from Connecticut, came to Cavendish about 1800 and located on road 18, upon the farm now owned by William WILSON. For his first wife Mr. CHAPMAN married Huldah PECK, in 1801, by whom he had one child, Alona. For his second wife he married Polly ADAMS and reared five children, two of whom, Friend and George A., are living. His third wife was Patty ADAMS, who died without issue, and his fourth wife, Betsey PARKHURST, also died without issue. Mr. CHAPMAN died July 13, 1858, aged eighty-two years. Friend CHAPMAN married Rozilla WHITCOMB, and resides in Cavendish village.

      John SMITH came to Cavendish from Boston, Mass., in 1801, and located on road 48, upon the farm now owned by his son Ryland. Two of his three children, Ryland and Elliott J., are living. The latter married Malinda W. HOWE, of Chester, Vt., and celebrated his golden wedding in 1879. They have four children.

      Zaccheus BLOOD came to this town from Massachusetts, in 1804, locating at Proctorsville, where he carried on the saddlery business for many years. He died in 1841, aged sixty-six years. His son, Albin G., born May 28, 1816, occupies the old homestead.
Stephen STODDARD came to Cavendish in 1812, locating on road 45, upon the farm now owned by his son Cheselton. He reared six children, and died 1858. His wife died May 16, 1849. But three of the children, Mrs. P. BAILEY, Charles and Cheselton, now reside in the town.

      John STEARNS, from Massachusetts, came to Cavendish in 1815, locating on road 18, upon the farm now owned by his son, Christopher W. He reared eight children, and died August 12, 1848, aged fifty-nine years. But three of the children, Luke, John H., and Christopher W., are now living.

      Dan GROUT was born in Baltimore, Vt., in 1791, and at the age of twenty-four years came to Cavendish and located upon the farm now owned by his son, W. W. GROUT, on road 13. He reared a family of six children, and died in 1854. His widow resides with her son Henry, aged eighty-one years.

      Asa WHITCOMB, from New Hampshire, came to Cavendish in 1817, locating on road 18, upon the farm now owned by Henry BELCHER, where he died January 5, 1835, aged seventy-one years.

      Otis ROBBINS was born in Templeton, Mass., June 13, 1805, came to this town, from Cavendish, in 1822, entering the store of INGALLS & FLETCHER, as clerk. In 1827 he became a member of the firm and continued in trade until 1881. He has been town clerk and selectman a number of years. Mrs. ROBBINS died February 24, 1883.

      Ivory BLOOD, from Massachusetts, settled on road 18, in 18J5. He married Susan LINDSEY and has had six children, three of whom are living.

      John DAVIS, a native of Massachusetts, came to Cavendish, from Reading, Vt., in 1837 and remained here until his death, September 4, 1847. His wife, Elizabeth HERRICK, died in April, 1849. Only three of their eleven children are now living. The youngest, Gen. George F., born December 20, 1815, came here in 1838 and built a store at Cavendish, remaining in trade fifteen years, since which time he has been engaged in farming. He was cashier and director of the Proctorsville Bank, State senator in 1856-'57, and during the latter year was appointed quartermaster-general of the State militia, holding that position seven consecutive years. He represented the town in 1859-'60 and has held most of the other town offices. He married Addie R. COBB and has had five children, three of whom are living. For his second wife he married Bertia CARPENTER, who was born in Brockport, N. Y., and has been somewhat noted as an advocate of the abolition of slavery, woman's rights, etc.

      Roswell SMITH, son of Elijah SMITH, an early settler of Windsor, came to Cavendish in 1836, where he has since resided.

      Kendall TAYLOR came to this town, from Weston, in 1839, engaging in the manufacture of boots and shoes, which business he followed until 1861, since which time he has been postmaster. He married Lorinda McCLELLAN and has one child, Martha S.

      John F. DEANE, born in Weathersfield, Vt., June 29, 1817, came to Cavendish village in 1840. He studied law with Salmon F. DUTTON, was admitted to the bar in 1814, and has practiced his profession here since that time. He was State senator in 1878-'79, States' attorney in 1865-'67, represented the town ten years, was a delegate to the constitutional convention in 1850, and was court reporter three years.

      Edward BARRETT came to Proctorsville, from Ludlow, in 1846, and remained here until his death, of heart disease, in June, 1849. His widow, Abby BASSETT, died in February, 1971. They had a family of four sons, Edward S., Charles F., Daniel K. and Joseph H., three of whom are now living.

      The First Baptist church of Cavendish, located at Cavendish village, was organized by Rev. Aaron LELAND, with forty-six members, in 1803. Rev. Jonathan GOING, Jr., being the first pastor. The first church building was a wood structure located at the center of the town, built in 1801. In 1834 a brick structure took its place, and in 1878 the present wood building was erected, at a cost of $4,500.00. It will comfortably seat 250 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $6,000.00. The society now has sixty members, with Rev. Fester HENRY, pastor. In 1870, by the will of the late Hon. Richard FLETCHER, of Boston, a native of Cavendish, the church came into possession of a valuable parsonage, a pastor's library of 200 volumes, and a fund of $4,000.00. The income accruing from $1,000.00 is to be annually expended in increasing the pastor's library, while the interest on the remaining $3,000.00 is to be annually expended, either in repairs upon the parsonage or for the support of preaching.

      The Methodist Episcopal church of Cavendish was organized at an early date, many of the earliest settlers being Methodists. The society formerly worshipped at the old union church, built in 1801, holding their meetings there until 1840, when they built a church at the village. In 1882-'83, mainly through the perseverance of the pastor, Rev. A. B. ENRIGHT, the society built a new edifice, a fine wood building costing $4,300.00. It was thought by many that the money could not be raised, but subsequent events proved how vain were their fears. Liberal donations came in from every side, Hon. Redfield PROCTOR sending his check for $1,250.00, the Crescent Mill Co. $650.00, ex-Gov. FLETCHER & Son $300.00, etc., until not only was money enough donated to place the society entirely out of debt, but also enough to leave some yet in the treasury. The whole property is now valued at $5.500.00. The society has sixty members, with Rev. A. B. ENRIGHT, pastor.

      The First Universalist church of Cavendish was organized at an early date, Rev. Warren SKINNER being the first pastor. Their church building, a stone structure, capable of seating 250 persons, was built in 1844, and is now valued, including grounds, etc., at $2,500.00. The society has twenty members, with Rev. J. S. GLEDHILL, pastor.

      St. __ary's Roman Catholic church, located at Proctorsville, was organized by Rev. Charles O'REILLY, with 100, members, in 1860. Their church building was erected during that year, at a cost of $2,000.00. The society now consists of thirty families, with Rev. Father LANE, acting pastor, services being held once in four weeks.

Gazetteer of Towns
Gazetteer and Business Directory of 
Windsor County, Vt., For 1883-84
Compiled and Published By Hamilton Child,
Syracuse, N. Y. Printed January, 1884.
Page 101-113.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004


February 11, 1848 Letter to Mrs. Amey French, care of Calvin French, Esq., Proctorsville, VT
VT Genealogy Resources -- Cavendish, Windsor Co.
Virtual Vermont - Cavendish
Cavendish Historical Society Museum
Cemeteries near Cavendish, VT
Cavendish Vital Records (Windsor Co.)
1797 Will of Deacon Jonathan Wheelock of Cavendish
1790 Census of Cavendish, VT, abstracted by Ann Mensch