OF THE TOWN OF
HARTFORD is one of the most important towns in the county. It lies
in the northeastern part, in lat. 43° 40' and long. 4° 37', bounded
north by Norwich, east by the Connecticut river, which separates it from
Lebanon, N. H., South by Hartland and West by Pomfret. This was the first
township granted by New Hampshire east of the Green Mountains after the
close of the French war, receiving its charter July 4, 1761. The grantees,
sixty-four in number, were principally from Lebanon, Conn., of whom Prince
TRACY, James PHINNEO, Jr., and Jonathan MARSH constituted the proprietors'
committee. It has an area of 27,000 acres. Within a few months after the
charter was obtained, sixty-four fifty-acre lots were laid out, one of
which was given to each proprietor to hold in severalty. In 1763 the township
was surveyed and proper marks placed at the corners and between the corners
at the end of every mile, while at the same time allowance was made for
highways and some of them partially prepared for use. These improvements
were made by ten of the grantees. From the time the town was chartered
until its organization, the proprietors displayed much energy in effecting
a settlement, and by their strenuous efforts the requisites of the charter
under which the lands were held were faithfully fulfilled.
Hartford has, like most other towns of the county, an uneven surface,
yet its river basins and many pleasant valleys afford a large area of level,
arable land, while nearly the whole township is susceptible of profitable
cultivation and possesses a warm, easily cultivated soil. The principal
water-courses are White, Connecticut and Quechee rivers, all of which afford
many valuable mill-sites. Connecticut river, as before mentioned, forms
the eastern boundary of the township, flowing through a valley that is
proverbial for its picturesque beauty. White river flows across the town
from the northwestern corner of the same to about the center of the eastern
border, where it unites with the Connecticut. This stream also flows through
a valley of incomparable loveliness. forming a beautiful picture as it
winds along, now rapidly over rock and pebble, then settling down to a
wide, sober current, as if to ruminate on its own loveliness, careless
alike of the picturesqueness of its path and the beautiful landscape scenery
surrounding it. Dotted along its course are the villages of West Hartford.
Centerville, Hartford and White River Junction. Quechee river flows a very
irregular course through the southwestern part of the town, forming for
a short distance the boundary line between Hartford and Woodstock. Upon
it are situated the villages of Quechee and Dewey's Mills. Just South of
Dewey's Mills the stream flows through the celebrated Quechee chasm. This
chasm is one of the most interesting natural curiosities in the State,
and no visitor to Hartford should miss seeing it.
The rocks entering into the geological structure of the town are
mostly of the calciferous mica schist formation. In the eastern part of
the township, however, extending from Hartland through into Norwich, bounded
by lines drawn about half a mile respectively east and west of Hartford
village, the rocks are of clay slate formation, while east of this, talcose
schist predominates. A bed of gneiss, forming the geological structure
of the western part of Hartland, extends a short distance into Hartford,
lying directly south of Quechee village. No minerals of importance have
ever been discovered. Quechee springs, located about two miles from Quechee
village, were discovered in 1840, and at one time were quite celebrated
for the medical qualities of their water, which is strongly impregnated
with muriate of soda and carbonate of lime, with lesser traces of carbonate
of soda and muriate of magnesia. Throughout the town are numerous specimens
of terrace formations. Along the valley of White river they are numerous,
though in the vicinity of Quechee chasm are found the most beautiful examples.
In a pasture just at the head of the chasm, opposite Dewey's mills, are
five, one above the other, all as clearly defined as though thrown up by
the hand of a skillful landscape gardener. Each side of the chasm there
can be traced an old river bed, marking two ancient courses of the stream
before it wore away the deep gorge that now serves as its channel. These
terraces and river beds afford conclusive evidence that an extensive pond
or lake once covered the land here, and that it was slowly drained as the
stream forming its cutlet wore its bed gradually lower and lower, cutting
out the schistose rock, until Quechee chasm was formed and the final process
of drainage completed.
In 1880 Hartford had a population of 2,955, was divided into fourteen
school districts and contained eighteen common schools, employing seven
male and twenty-three female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary
of $2,890.00. There were 580 pupils attending common school, while the
entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $4,459.00,
with N. B. HAZEN, superintendent.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION is a pleasant little post village located in
the eastern part of the town, at the confluence of White river with the
Connecticut, being one of the largest railroad centers in the State. It
has a fine, large union depot, four churches (Episcopal, Methodist, Roman
Catholic and Universalist), a large hotel, several stores of various kinds,
an extensive confectionery and cracker manufactory, and the usual compliment
of mechanics' shops, etc.
HARTFORD is a pleasant little post village located about a mile
west of White River junction, on White river. It has one church (Congregational),
a good hotel, several stores, a harness shop, rake factory, chair factory,
saw-mill, grist-mill, etc., and about a hundred dwellings. Pease's Hotel
is a fine, well-kept house, a great favorite with both traveling people
and summer sojourners. One of the old land-marks of the village, it has
been in the possession of the PEASE family for over half a century, and
the present proprietor, Charles W. PEASE, not only keeps up the good reputation
of the old hostelry, but constantly increases its popularity by adding
modern improvements from time to time, and in looking sharply after the
comfort and entertainment of his guests. No more genial, affable landlord
than Mr. PEASE exists, no pleasanter place than Hart-ford village can be
found for spending the summer, and no more comfortable, home-like public
house than Pease 's Hotel opens its doors to the stranger.
QUECHEE, a post village and station on the Woodstock railroad, lies
in the southern part of the town, on Quechee river. It has one church (Congregational),
several stores, a grist-mill, tannery, woolen factory, etc., and about
seventy-five dwellings. The river here affords an excellent water-power,
to, which the village probably owes its existence. This water-power was
utilized at a very early period of the town's history. In 1765 the town
voted a liberal grant of land for the building of a saw and grist-mill,
but it is hardly probable that they were built in accordance with this
vote, though the saw-mill was built previous to 1770. In 1783 the town
voted to grant Gov. Joseph MARSH certain privileges "so long as he, his
heirs or assigns should maintain a grist-mill on these falls in good repair,"
and it is probable that a grist-mill was erected at once, so as to secure
this grant from the town. One authority says it was built by Elisha MARSH,
and as Joseph and Elisha MARSH were associated in several business enterprises,
they may have built this mill together. The town records indicate that
a fulling-mill was erected here at some time previous to 1779, as a transfer
of a fulling-mill by Joseph and Elisha MARSH to John CARPENTER is recorded
in August of that year. This mill was probably used only for finishing
the home-made cloth brought in by the neighboring farmers. In 1788 John
CARPENTER deeded the property to Jonathan BURCH. In 1789 BURCH deeded it
to William STEWART, and during the same month STEWART deeded it to Elisha
It is said that the first woolen factory here was built in 1808,
by Capt. RAYMOND, of Vershire, Vt., although his name does not appear on
the land records as ever owning or conveying such property. It was a small
wooden building with a blacksmith shop in the basement. In 18o9 two brothers
by the name of HARWOOD -- Benjamin and Eleazer -- came to town and put
machinery in the mill. Their name was usually pronounced "HEROD," and many
of the old inhabitants remember them only by this name; but according to
the land records it is spelled "HARWOOD," which is undoubtedly correct.
Eleazer owned the real estate alone. These brothers made the first cloth
in Quechee, the wool being picked by hand, and the spinning was done by
hand-power. The yarn was put out around the neighborhood and woven by hand-looms.
The cloth was finished at the mill. In 1814 the HARWOODs built the first
brick factory, the basement of which was used for a tenement. In 1819 Eleazer
HARWOOD deeded it to his brother-in-law, Abel PENFIELD. In 1820 the HARWOOD
Bros. failed, after which PENFIELD continued the business for a short time.
In 1821 Samuel TYLER & Co. came from Smithfield, R. I., and started
the mill on cassimeres and satinets. The company consisted of Samuel TYLER,
Abel P. CHAMBERLAIN, James HARENDEEN and Daniel WINCHESTER. In 1824 Abel
PENFIELD deeded to Samuel TYLER & Co., and in 1825 TYLER & Co.
failed. The property then passed to John DOWNER, Elihu RANSOM, Chester
DAVIS and P. Beadford WOLCOTT, constituting the "Quechee Manuf'g Co." John
DOWNER was president, and Chester DAVIS manager. Le Baron PUTNAM subsequently
acquired an interest in the concern. This company enlarged the business
and put in new machinery for the manufacture of cassimeres. In 1828 or
'29 they took down the brick mill, built by the HARWOOD s in 1814, blasted
out a wheel-pit, laid the foundations, and built a small part of the walls
of the upper or main factory building that was carried off in the freshet
of 1869. In 1830 the company failed, leaving the building but very little
above the foundations. In 1831 the outside was completed, probably by the
creditors. In December, 1836, after several fractional transfers, arising
doubtless from executions against the Quechee Manufacturing Co., William
JARVIS, Daniel BOWEN, Lyman MOWER, G. H. MOWER, O. P. CHANDLER, Hampden
CUTTS, Francis K. Nichols and John CHASE, Jr., deeded to the MALLORY Woolen
Co. Probably no manufacturing was done here between 1830, when the Quechee
Company failed, and 1836, when the MALLORY Co. began. In 1832 the Middlebury
Bank, which was a creditor of the Quechee Co., deeded a two-thirds part
of the mill to Harvey WATERS, and in the same year Waters deeded to Peter
FARNAM, Lewis MILLS and John D. WHEELER. In 1836, the various fractional
interests were concentrated in the MALLORY Woolen Co. By the records this
company originally consisted of William JARVIS, Lewis MILLS, Francis K.
NICHOLS and John CHASE, Jr. The company made broadcloth's, starting with
a capital of about $50,000.00, and in less than four years it had about
all disappeared. William JARVIS advanced money to pay its debts and took
a mortgage on the property. In 1840 he foreclosed and took possession,
and the MALLORY Co. ceased its existence. In 1840 Francis K. NICHOLS &
Co. leased the mill, the company being Francis K. NICHOLS, John CHASE,
Jr., Daniel SMITH, Abraham STEARNS and Reuben DANIELS. The first shoddy
made in this county was made in 1840, in this mill, by this concern. They
continued until 1843, when they became embarrassed financially, but compromised
their indebtedness and formed a new partnership under the name of CHASE,
SMITH & Co., composed of the same parties that were in the firm of
F. K. NICHOLS & Co. They continued to manufacture shoddy into satinets
until the latter part of 1845. January 1, 1846, A. G. DEWEY & Co. leased
the mill and continued the shoddy business for nearly two years, Mr. Reuben
DANIELS being associated with Mr. DEWEY. From 1847 to 1857 the mill was
idle. In this latter year Denison TAFT and Joseph C. PARKER came from Barre,
Vt., and bought the mill of William JARVIS. They started it the same year
and began the manufacture of fine Quechee flannels, which has been continued
until the present time. In 1858 TAFT sold his share of the real estate
to J. C. PARKER, who thus became the sole owner. TAFT, however, retained
a half interest in the business of the mill, and the same firm name was
used. TAFT & PARKER ran the mill until 1866, when PARKER sold one-fourth
of the real estate to William S. DEWEY and one-fourth to William LINDSEY.
DEWEY and LINDSEY also bought TAFT's interest, and the name of the firm
was changed to J. C. PARKER & Co. October 4, 1869, a terrible freshet
carried away the grist-mill and the upper or main factory building, which
latter was built in 1831. In 1870 it was rebuilt. The new factory building
is of brick, larger and more substantially built than was the old one.
In 1876 Mr. DEWEY retired and was succeeded by a son of J. C. PARKER. Since
this time, there has been no change in ownership. The firm now consists
of J. C. PARKER, William LINDSEY and J. W. PARKER. The mill contains seven
sets of machinery, with the latest improvements, and produces 1700 to 1800
yards of flannel per day, giving employment to about eighty operatives.
In 1866 a pullery for pulling pelts and a tannery for tanning the skins
was established in the basement of the lower factory building. This business
has been continued to the present time. Upwards of forty thousand pelts
are worked yearly, and the wool used in the manufacturing of flannels.
J. C. PARKER individually rebuilt the grist-mill in 1870, and has run it
until the present time. It is a substantial brick building, standing above
the upper factory. It contains the best machinery for grinding all grains,
the wheat department being particularly complete.
CENTERVILLE is a hamlet located in the central part of the town.
WEST HARTFORD (p. o.) is a small post village and station on the
Central Vermont railroad, located in the northwestern part of the town.
DEWEY'S MILLS is a hamlet located in the southern part of the town,
the site of A. G. DEWEY & Co.'s woolen mills.
E. W. & E. MORRIS's chair factory, located at Hartford village,
was established in 1857. It gives employment to about forty hands, turning
out 12,000 dozen chairs per annum, most of which are shipped to South America,
Australia or Africa.
FRENCH, WATSON & Co.'s fork factory, located at Hartford village,
was established at Brookfield, Vt., in 1835, and was moved to its present
location in 1853. The factory is operated by water-power and gives employment
to about twenty hands, in the manufacture of manure forks, garden rakes,
shovels, spades, etc. Connected with the factory is a saw-mill that cuts
about 200,000 feet of lumber and 500,000 shingles per annum.
Jonathan BUGBEE's carriage and blacksmith shop is located at Hartford
village. Mr. BUGBEE manufactures light and heavy carriages and sleighs,
and does a general blacksmithing business.
Z. B. CLARK's tannery and saw-mill, located at Hartford village,
was built by E. F. LANE, in 1851. Mr. CLARK does a large business in the
manufacture of chair-stock and fork and hoe handles.
MOORE & PECK's grist and flouring-mills are located at Hartford
village. It has three runs of stones, with the capacity for grinding sixty
bushels of wheat and 200 bushels of coarse grain per day.
A. G. DEWEY & Co.'s woolen-mills are located about a mile below
Quechee village, on Quechee river. In 1836 the wooden structure was built,
by Jasper STRONG, of Pensacola, Fla., and was tenanted by Mr. DEWEY that
season, and in 1869 the brick portion of the mills was built and the old
wooden building re-constructed. The firm was then A. G. DEWEY, Justin F.
McKENZIE and William S. CARTER. In 1873 Mr. CARTER died, and in 1874 John
J. DEWEY was taken into the firm. In 1876 William S. DEWEY sold his interest
in the firm of J. C. PARKER & Co. and bought into the firm of A. G.
DEWEY & Co. This company employs ninety hands in the manufacture of
satinets, using six sets of woolen machinery, making about 2,200 yards
of cloth per day.
The Olcott Falls Co., P. T. Wilder, president, and H. A. WILDER,
secretary and treasurer, have recently completed one of the finest dams
in the State, at Olcott falls, on the Connecticut river, giving them a
water-power of 10,000 horse-power capacity. This firm intends to build
an extensive pulp and paper-mill here, which will prove a valuable acquisition
to the business interests of the town.
The first permanent settlement was commenced in the summer of 1764,
by Elijah, Solomon and Benajah STRONG, who emigrated with their families
from Lebanon, Conn. During the following year the settlement was increased
by the arrival of twelve other families, from which time the population
gradually increased until in 1771 there were 190 persons here, which population
had increased to 988 in 1791, twenty years later. The town was organized
and the first town meeting held, March 12, 1768, with Benjamin WRIGHT,
moderator, when Elijah STRONG was chosen town clerk and "highwayman;" Christopher
PEASE, Solomon STRONG and John MARSH, selectmen, and Daniel REID, constable.
The first representative was Stephen TILDEN, chosen in October, 1778,.Joshua
HAZEN was the first justice of the peace, in 1786. The first child born
was Roger, son of Ebenezer GILLETT, August 6, 1767.
Solomon STRONG was born October 6, 1730, married Mary WHITE about
1756 and came to Hartford, as above stated, in 1764. Mr. STRONG held many
of the town offices and for years was a leading spirit in public affairs.
He died at Hartford, December 12, 1799.
Elijah STRONG was born August 11, 1733, married Ruth LOOMIS, of
Lebanon, Conn., and came to Hartford with his brothers, Solomon and Benajah.
His farm of 360 acres he purchased for about seven cents per acre. He died
during the year 1775.
Benajah STRONG was born January 17, 1734, married Polly BACON, of
Lebanon, Conn., and for his second wife, Elizabeth WILSON, of Bethel, Vt.,
to which town he had moved and where he died, in March, 1815. Hon. William
STRONG, son of Benajah, was born in 1763, and married Abigail HUTCHINSON,
June 30, 1793. Mr. STRONG was high sheriff of the county eight years, twice
a member of congress, judge of the county court, eight years a member of
the State legislature, one of the council of censors of 1834, and also
held other offices of honor and trust. He died at Hartford, June 28, 1840.
Hon. Joseph MARSH was born in Lebanon, Conn., in January, 1725,
and came to Vermont in 1772, settled in Hartford, and immediately took
a prominent part in the affairs of the State. He was chosen a delegate
from Cumberland county, to the provincial congress of the colony of New
York, which assembled in the city of New York in February, 1776, but did
not attend. In July of the same year, he attended that body as a delegate,
the name of which, however, was changed from that of "the Provincial Congress
of the Colony of New York," to that of “The Convention of the Representatives
of the State of New York." On account of the unsettled state of the country,
and the position of the British army, the meetings of this congress or
convention were "rotary," and were held at White Plains, in the church
at Harlem, at Kingsbridge, at the house of Mr. ODELL, on Philip's manor,
or in the Episcopal or Dutch church at Fishkill, so as to permit communication
with the American army. In August, 1775, the provincial congress of New
York voted that the militia of the counties of Charlotte, Cumberland and
Gloucester should be formed into one brigade, to consist of three regiments,
the upper and lower regiments, and a regiment of minute men. On the 21st
of November, at a convention of representatives from the towns of Cumberland
county, Joseph MARSH was nominated colonel of the upper regiment, which
nomination was confirmed, January 4, 1776, by the committee of safety of
New York. During that year Colonel MARSH received orders from General SCHUYLER
and the New York Convention to enlist every fifth man in his regiment for
the purpose of assisting in the reinforcement of Ticonderoga. In compliance
with these orders he succeeded in collecting his men; and in marching them
to the place to which they had been ordered. Notwithstanding he had thus
been identified with the interests of New York, yet he was a member of
the convention. which assembled at Windsor, June 4, 1777, and adopted the
name of the State of Vermont, and which re-affirmed the declaration of
independence made at Westminster, the January previous, and "did renew
their pledges to each other by all the ties held sacred among men," and
was also a member of the convention which, at Windsor, in July of the same
year, adopted the first constitution of Vermont. On the 26th of March,
1778, the council of safety established a court of confiscation for the
county of Cumberland, in order to increase the revenues of the State, and
to punish Tories. Of this court Col. MARSH was a member. To them was given
power to confiscate and sell all lands which upon sufficient evidence should
be adjudged forfeited. In 1778, he was elected lieutenant (or deputy) governor,
which at this time he held only one term; but he was again elected in 1787,
and was reelected in 1783, and again in 1789. He was elected a representative
from the town of Hartford to the general assembly of Vt., at its first
session in March, 1778 but only served during the first day, having been
elected lieutenant-governor. He again represented Hartford in 1781, and
in 1782. At the session of the legislature in 1782, he was elected chief
judge of the Windsor county court, and was annually re-elected in 1783,
1784, and 1785. He was again reelected in 1787, and was re-elected each
year down to and including 1795. He was also member of the first council
of censors which assembled at Norwich on the first Wednesday of June, 1785.
This council held three sessions, the second being at Windsor, in September
of the same year, closing their labors at Bennington, in February, 1786.
They, among other things, proposed an amendment to the constitution, (which,
however, was not adopted by the convention which they called to consider
the proposed amendments, limiting the whole number of representatives to
fifty, and providing for their re-election, either by county conventions,
or by dividing the State into fifty election districts. Gov. MARSH was
for "many years a professor of the Christian religion, and died at Hartford,
in January, 1811, in the enjoyment of its hopes and consolations, at the
advanced age of eighty-five years." Rev. James MARSH, D. D., for many years
a professor in, and president of, the University of Vermont, was his grandson
(being son of Daniel MARSH), and was born at the house of his grandfather
in Hartford, July 19, 1794 He graduated at Dartmouth College in 1817, and
died at Colchester, Vt., July 3, 1842, in the forty-eighth year of his
The LYMAN family exerted a marked influence in the county during
the early religious and business era, making an important factor in the
society of Hartford. The puritan founder of the family in America was Richard
LYMAN. He was born at High Ongar, Eng., in 1580, and embarked with his
wife and children on the ship "Lyon," bound for Boston Harbor, in 1631.
Among the sixty passengers who made the voyage, were Martha WINTHROP, third
wife of Gov. John WINTHROP, and Elliott, the celebrated apostle to the
Indians. The "Lyon" reached Boston November 4th, of that year, and was
received by the colonists with every demonstration of joy. In November,
of the following year, Mr. LYMAN joined the company of colonists who made
the memorable trip across the wilderness of Massachusetts, to the banks
of the Connecticut, where they founded what is now the city of Hartford,
Conn. Here Mr. LYMAN resided until his death, in 1640, and his name is
inscribed on the monument raised to the memory of the founders of the city
of Hartford. His three sons were Richard, John and Robert. John removed
to Northampton, Mass., where he died in 1690. John's son, John, resided
at South Farms, Northampton, and there kept a public house. He was succeeded
by his son Elias, whose grandsons, Justin and Elias, first came to Hartford
Vt., establishing themselves in business at "The Point" in 1797-'98, where
they drove an extensive and prosperous trade for many years. The LYMAN
toll bridge, the brick factory and flume, at Hartford, now owned by E.
& E. W. MORRIS, the aqueduct at "The Point" which brings the water
from Casar's brook across the river, the old LYMAN homestead, the residence
of Dr. S. J. ALLEN, Sr., and that of Col. C. S. HAMILTON are among the
relics of the many enterprises these founders of Hartford were engaged
in. They also early engaged in the manufacture of cotton cloths-one of
the first in the State.
Justin LYMAN, the elder of the brothers, never made his home in
Vermont, but resided in Hartford, Conn., where the brothers maintained
a branch store. He was born at Northampton, October 17, 1765, and died
April 27, 1834. Neither of his three children survived his death. Elias
LYMAN was also born at Northampton, February 23, 1768. He married Anna
WHITE, of Hatfield, Mass., December 30, 1790, and died November 22, 1830,
aged sixty-two years. Mrs. LYMAN survived his death fourteen years, dying
at the age of seventy-two years. They had a family of fourteen children.
Elias left his father's farm and commenced life for himself at the age
of twenty-one, as a flat-boatman on the Connecticut river. His undoubted
integrity and fund of energy and enterprise, however, soon placed him in
the front, a position he ever after retained. Lewis LYMAN, Elias's eldest
son, was born at Hatfield, Mass., December, 17, 1791, received a business
education in his father's store, and ultimately became a partner in the
business. He married Mary Blake BRUCE, of Boston, Mass., March 1, 1821,
and died January 29, 1837, leaving a fine estate. He had a family of eight
children, four of whom, Mary, (Mrs. S. J. ALLEN, Sr.,) Lewis, of Waltham,
Mass., Anna and Maria, are now living. Dr. Samuel J. Allen, Jr., is the
only direct male descendant of the family now residing at "The Point."
Normand, the second son, was born February 23, 1795, and died February
j6, 1865. He was engaged in mercantile pursuits at Hartford, Conn., married
Elizabeth WALKER, of Providence, R. I., and had three sons and six daughters,
none of whom are residents of Vermont. Wyllys, the third son, was born
at Hartford, Vt., May 5, 1797. He was educated at Dartmouth and Yale colleges,
studied law at the Harvard law school, and commenced the practice of his
profession at Hartford village, but afterwards removed to Burlington, where
he died December 1, 1862, aged sixty-five years. His wife was Sarah, daughter
of Hon. Charles MARSH, of Woodstock. Elias, the fourth son, was born at
Hartford, July 8, 1800, and became a successful merchant, though feeble
health obliged him to retire from active business at an early age. He went
to Burlington in 1834 and remained there until his death. His wife was
Cornelia HALL, of Troy, N. Y. George, the fifth son, was born April 6,
18o6, and also became a merchant. He married Minerva BRIGGS, of Rochester,
Vt., December 30, 1828. He was postmaster at White River junction eighteen
years, and died at the old homestead July 11, 1879. Four of his daughters
and three sons are now living. Charles, the sixth son, was born at Hartford,
Vt., October 5, 1808. He began business for himself at Montpelier, Vt.,
he married Maria W. SPAULDING, December 6, 1837. He has been for many years
chief clerk in the dead letter office at Washington, D. C. Simeon, the
seventh and youngest son, was born at Hartford, Vt., August 16, 1810, married
Lucinda HALL, of Troy, N. Y., and died at Montpelier, Vt., October 1, 1855.
These sons have left many descendants living throughout the State and country,
not a few of whom have reached positions of eminence. Our space, however,
does not admit of further mention of this honored and numerous family.
Hon. Albert Gallatin DEWEY, son of John and Mary (WRIGHT) DEWEY,
who has built up the large manufacturing business at DEWEY's Mills, was
born at Hartford, Vt., December 16, 1805. At the age of eighteen years
Mr. DEWEY lost his father, and the care of his bereaved mother and four
younger brothers and sisters devolved upon his young shoulders; a task
he faithfully and cheerfully performed. He left the farm to learn the carpenter’s
trade, and at the age of twenty-six years entered the machine shop of Messrs.
DANIELS & Co., at Woodstock, who were engaged in the manufacture of
cloth making machinery. Here he was soon after sent out by the firm to
set up their machinery in different places, and traveled about thus until
1836, when he, with others, commenced building what is at present known
as DEWEY's mills, located on Quechee river, about one mile below Quechee
village, and which he has succeeded in developing to such large proportions,
amassing a fortune in the cloth manufacturing business. June 18, 1840,
Mr. DEWEY married Emily STRONG, daughter of Hon. William STRONG, and has
now two sons in business with him. He represented the town in the legislature
of 1850-'51 and 1863-'64, has also held most of the minor town offices,
and in 1869 and 1870 served the county as State senator.
Col. Samuel NUTT was born in Topsham, Vt., December 23, 1791. At
an early age he bought his time of his father, the family being poor, and
went to Hanover, N. H., remained there a short time, then came to West
Lebanon and commenced work for Erastus CHAMBERLAIN who then kept a hotel
there. From this he commenced boating on the Connecticut. Soon after he
became of age he was enabled, with the money he had laid up, to purchase
a flat-boat and begin business on his own account. Starting out from White
River village with his first cargo, a load of lumber for Elias LYMAN, his
craft soon struck a rock and went to pieces. This great disaster so overcome
the young navigator that he swam ashore, sat down and began to weep. Mr.
LYMAN discovered him in this situation and advised him to cheer up, promising
to lend him money to start again. This he did, and from that moment dated
his successful business life. In one season alone he built nine river and
two canal boats, and was also captain of the “John Ledyard,” the first
steamboat to navigate the Connecticut. He married Hannah KIBBE, of Hartford,
December 17, 1817, and reared eight children, viz.: Almena M., Amanda,
Adelia, Alonzo B., Almena 2d, Albert, Aurelia and Almira. He died in Randolph,
Vt., January 1, 1871. Mrs. NUTT died February 6, 1870. Alonzo B. NUTT now
occupies the old homestead at White River Junction.
Philip SPRAGUE, a captain in the Revolutionary war, came to Hartford
from Rhode Island at an early date, and located on road 10, where his grandson,
Israel G. SPRAGUE, now resides. He was the father of a large family of
children, only three of whom permanently located in Hartford. Philo lived
where his son Edward now resides. Jedadiah located on the homestead.
Captain Hophni KING came here from Northfield, Mass., at an early
date. He was a contractor and builder, and did much of this class of work
in this vicinity at that time. He was the father of four children. Asahel
located near the center of the town, where he died at the age of seventy
years. None of his tell children are living. Miss Eliza F. KING, great-granddaughter
of Hophni, is the only one of the name in the town.
Captain Phineas RUSS was an early settler upon the place now owned
by Peter McCABE. Mr. RUSS served as captain of militia during the Revolution.
He married Molly POWERS, of Woodstock, reared four children, and died on
the old homestead at the age of seventy-eight years. Mrs. RUSS died a few
months previous, aged seventy-eight years. Amasa, their eldest son, died
in Richford. Susan, the only daughter, married Jared DEAN, and died in
Canada. Levi married Lois WOODARD, and settled where his only son, Major
Darias RUSS, now lives. His farm is a portion of what was Governor Wentworth's
claim. The youngest son, Phineas, Jr., settled on the old homestead.
Nial RUSS, brother of Phineas, was also an early settler here. He
died in 1813, having reared a family of five children. His nearest descendants
now in the town are Darias, Eivin and Asa, great-grandsons.
John PERRIN, one of the early pioneers of Pomfret, came here at
an early date, locating in the western part of the town. He reared three
sons and died at the great age of ninety-five years. His eldest son, Epaph,
married Esther CHAMBERLIN, of Woodstock, Conn., reared eleven children
on the old homestead, and died at the age of seventy-eight years. Three
of his children, Calista, of Quechee village; Martha, (Mrs. SUTHERLAND,
of Iowa,) and Mrs. Esther KING, of Newport, N. H., are living.
Cornelius SHALLIES was an early settler in Hartford, locating on
the Connecticut, near White River junction. He subsequently removed to
the farm now owned by his grandson, Frank W. SHALLIES, where he closed
David BLISS was born in Lebanon, Conn., February 21, 1737, married
Mary PORTER, May 10, 1761, and soon after came to Hartford, locating near
the old town house. Later he removed to the farm now occupied by his great-grandson,
and where he died May 16, 1831, aged seventy-six years, the father of eight
children. Jabez, born here in 1778, married Abigail Cummings about 1800,
and died on the old homestead February 23, 1812, leaving six children.
John settled on the homestead, married Emeline COLBURN, who died May 30,
1874, and still resides here with his son, William C.
William BURCH came to Hartford at an early date, purchased about
600 acres of land located where Mrs. Sophia UDALL now resides. Here he
carried on a mercantile business for a number of years, but finally failed
and removed to the West.
Samuel UDALL, from New London, Conn., came to Hartford as one of
its pioneers and soon after opened a hotel which he run until his death.
James, the second of his seven children, located on the old FRENCH place,
now known as the James UDALL place, where his daughters, Sophia and Elizabeth
C. now live. He married Sophia CHAMBERLIN, reared ten children, filled
most of the town offices, and died at the age of eighty-eight years. His
eldest daughter, Lydia L., married Henry Kirke BROWN, the sculptor, of
Newburgh, N. Y.
Nathaniel DUTTON came to Hartford, locating on what was known as
Christiara street, about 1767, remaining here until the close of his long
life. He was the father of two sons and four daughters. One of the sons,
Elijah, married Susannah HOAR, of Littleton, Mass., and reared eleven children,
three of whom, Azro, Cornelia (Mrs. GILLETTE), and Jane (Mrs. John NEWTON),
are living in the town.
Israel GILLETTE came to Hartford, from Lebanon, Conn., in 1767,
locating near Olcott's Falls, though he subsequently removed to the farm
now occupied by his grandson, Daniel O. GILLETTE. He reared eleven children
and died at the age of ninety-one years. Before his death Mr. GILLETTE
was able to make the following statement relative to his family: "I have
forty grandchildren, as many great-grandchildren and one great granddaughter
who has had two children."
John GILLETTE, brother of Israel, came about the same time as the
latter, and subsequently built the house where Edward DUTTON lives. Upon
John's decease, his son Billa took the homestead, whose only surviving
children are Azro and Ruby, the latter a resident of Illinois.
Thomas HAZEN, born September 30, 1719, married Ann TENNEY, March
1, 1742, and came to Hartford in 1774, where most of his sixteen children
married and settled. His land, or that of the family, extended across the
northern part of the town, including about 1,000 acres around the present
village of West Hartford. Mr. HAZEN built the first two-story house in
the town, in the northeastern corner of the same. He died August 19, 1782.
Thomas SAVAGE, born December 15, 1714, married Martha WHITMORE,
February 24, 1744, and came to Hartford about 1774, locating where William
G. CHANDLER now resides. He reared a family of six children, three of them
sons, who lived and died in the town, Seth, Thomas, Jr., and Francis W.
Seth married Rhoda BACON, and reared seven children. Hazen N., son of John,
and grandson of Seth, has held the office of deputy sheriff and collector
for the past ten years.
David NEWTON, a Revolutionary soldier, came to Hartford in 1777,
and located in the northern part of the town, upon the farm now owned by
his grandson, Tyler J. NEWTON. He married Mary HAZEN and reared a family
of sixteen children, seven of whom permanently located in the town, though
none are now living. Andrew, son of David, was born here January 26, 1781,
married Lorena WATERMAN, when twenty-six years of age, who bore him four
children. For his second wife he married Catherine HAZEN, who was the mother
of Joseph NEWTON, the present holder of the homestead.
Luther BARTHOLOMEW came to Hartford, from Connecticut, about 1783,
locating upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Marcus F. BARTHOLOMEW.
He married Azuba FARNAM and reared eight children, dying at the age of
eighty-one years. His son Noah died in 1871, leaving the homestead in the
possession of his son, Marcus F. George K. is the only other surviving
child of Noah. He is a graduate of Dartmouth college and principal of the
Bartholomew English and Classical school, of Cincinnati, Ohio, which he
founded in 1875.
Walter PEASE, born in Enfield, Conn., August 18, 1787, married Eunice
DURKEE, of Tunbridge, Vt., in 1810, and came to Hartford, subsequently
locating upon the farm now owned by his son, George W. PEASE, where he
died in 1870. Mr. PEASE was the father of eleven children, all but two
of whom lived to have families of their own, viz.: Horace went west and
was a steamboat master for many years. Luther married Harriet CONE, who
now resides with her son Horace, and located at Hartford village, upon
the farm now owned by his son Charles W. He was an extensive farmer, kept
the hotel now run by Charles, and also owned an interest in the Quechee
Woolen Co. and a store at Hartford. He died in the spring of 1876, leaving
three sons, Allen L., a merchant of Hartford village, Horace C., of the
firm of FRENCH, WATSON & Co., and Charles W., before mentioned. Persis
married Samuel PRATT, of Woodstock, Vt. Edward W. resides in Kansas. William
H. is a resident of Illinois. John D. married Caroline PADDOCK and had
three children, two of whom now live here, and died in 1869. Charles A.
PEASE married Mary A. WARD, of Hanover, N. H., and is now a prominent citizen
of Lawrence, Kan.
Edward KNEELAND, from New Haven, Conn., came to Hartford in 1811,
and soon after put a set of machinery for carding wool into rolls in a
mill that stood upon the present site of MOORE & PECK's grist-mill,
the first of the kind in the county. He continued this business of wool
carding about ten years, then gave it up, following the carpenter trade.
He died in 1872, aged seventy-nine years.
Andrew TRACY came to Hartford, from Connecticut, about 1788, locating
where his grandson, Charles TRACY, now resides. He married a Miss BLISS,
of Lebanon, N. H., and reared seven children, none of whom are now living.
Abijah TAFT, son of Artemas TAFT, an early settler in Hartland,
came to Hartford about 1812, locating in the Russ neighborhood. He married
Betsey BUGBEE and reared a family of ten children, four of whom, Asaph
T., Orrin A., Sarah J. and Mrs. George L. TARBELL, now reside in the town.
Abijah died in August, 18J4, aged sixty-eight years. Mrs. TAFT died in
1871, aged eighty-one years.
Hon. Samuel Everett PINGREE, the present lieutenant-governor of
the State, son of Stephen and Judith (TRUE) PINGREE, was born at Salisbury,
N. H., August 2, 1832, and married Lydia M. STEELE, of Stanstead, P. Q.,
September 15, 1869. Mr. PINGREE graduated from Dartmouth college in 1857,
studied law with Hon. A. P. HUNTON, of Bethel, Vt., and was admitted to
the bar of Windsor county in December, 1859, and commenced practice at
Hartford village. In 1861 he enlisted a private in Co. F, 3d Vt. Vols.,
serving three years, during which time he was severely wounded, at Lee's
Mills, Va., and came home in command of his regiment, being mustered out
July 27, 1864. Since the war he has followed the practice of his profession,
at Hartford, and has twice been elected State's attorney, has been town
clerk a number of year, and September 5, 1852, was elected lieutenant-governor
of the State.
Justus Warner FRENCH was born at Hardwick, Vt., October 13, 1816,
the fifth child of Samuel and Tabitha (DOW) FRENCH, the latter being a
sister of the famous preacher, Lorenzo DOW. Mr. FRENCH received a good
practical education and went into business at Randolph Center, Vt. After
a few years he began the manufacture of hay and manure forks at Brookfield,
Vt., and in 1852 removed the business to Hartford, subsequently establishing
the firm of FRENCH, WATSON & Co. Mr. FRENCH was twice married, reared
a family of five children, and died September 5, 1874. His widow and one
daughter survive him.
The Congregational church of Hartford was organized, probably, a
few years before 1786. Previous to this, the first settlers had shown great
interest in the religious welfare of the town. As early as 1762, the year
before the town was surveyed, the proprietors reserved a lot "for the first
settled minister." At the organization of the town, in 1768, the people
were called "to see if they will agree to hire a minister to preach the
gospel some part of the next year and raise a tax for that purpose," In
1774 steps were taken "to build a meeting house as near the center of the
town as convenient." A tax of one hundred pounds was voted and committees
were appointed to purchase land and materials. But the building here contemplated
was not erected, probably, till near the close of the century. It had two
stories of windows, a gallery on three sides, and a sounding board. It
is still standing, having been used till within a few years as a town house.
For a long time the town as such exercised its function as a religious
society; but in 1805 "the broken situation of the inhabitants with respect
to religious order," many having withdrawn from the majority because of
different sentiments, led the town to form anew society, with Joseph MARSH,
as moderator, and Freegrace LEAVITT, as clerk. This organization continued
till the removal of the church to Hartford village. The second Congregational
society was organized December 25, 1827, at the village. Its present house
of worship was erected the next year and dedicated January 8, 1829. The
church and congregation at the Center were invited “to make the new meeting-house
their place of worship," which they did soon after. The parsonage was built
in 1848 and the chapel in 186o. The church building was remodeled and a
new organ purchased in 1872. The support of preaching has been mainly from
the first by annual subscriptions, these having been payable weekly since
1875. The present pastor, Rev. S. Ingersoll BRIANT, began his labors in
March and was installed May 20, 1875.
The Congregation al church of West Hartford was organized June 3,
1830, Rev. Mr. WHITE being the first pastor. The church building was erected
in 1834. The present pastor is Rev. Fred NEWPORT.
The Congregational church of Quechee was organized January 13, 1831,
with ten members, Rev. John P. STONE being the first pastor. The church
building was erected in 1833. The present pastor is Rev. N. F. CARTER.
St. Paul's Episcopal church, located at White River Junction, was
organized by Rev. James HOUGHTON, with twelve members, in 1868, Rev. Thomas
J. TAYLOR being the first pastor. The church building was erected in 1874,
a neat structure capable of seating 225 persons, and valued, including
other property, at $6,000.00. The society now has forty-seven members,
with Rev. A. B. FLANDERS, pastor.
St. Anthony’s Romany Catholic church, located at White River Junction,
was organized by Rev. M. PIGEON, with 150 members, in 1868. The church
building was erected during that year. It is a wood structure capable of
seating 300 persons and valued, including grounds, at $3,000.00. The society
has about 50o members, with Rev. D. LYNCH, pastor.
The Methodist church, located at White River Junction, was organized
by Rev. A. T. HOUGH, with six members, in 1877. The church building, a
wood structure valued at $3,000.00, was built the following year. Mr. HOUGH
still remains pastor of the society.
and Business Directory of
County, Vt., For 1883-84
and Published By Hamilton Child,
N. Y. Printed January, 1884.
by Karima Allison ~ 2004
List of Church Members of the Second Congregational