HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF 
POMFRET

      POMFRET lies in the northern part of the town, in lat. 43° 42' and long. 4° 31', bounded north by Sharon, east by Hartford, south by Woodstock, and west by Barnard. It was chartered by Benning Wentworth, governor of New Hampshire, July 8, 1761, by the name it still bears, probably given in honor of Pomfret, Conn., where many of the proprietors resided, to Isaac Dana, and his associates. According to the charter deed the town was to contain 23,500 acres, divided into seventy-two shares and bounded as follows: 

"Beginning at the southwest corner of Hartford, thence sixty-two degrees west five miles and one half, then north thirty-four degrees east seven miles, thence south sixty-two degrees east five miles and one half to the northwest corner of Hartford, thence south thirty-four degrees west by Hartford line seven miles to the first bound mentioned."
      The township extends across the highland that separates the waters of Quechee river from those of White river; the northeasterly corner being on the northerly side of White river, and the southeasterly corner is on the northerly side of Quechee river; while the southwesterly corner is in the valley of Mountain brook, so-called, a branch of Quechee river, and the northwesterly corner is in the valley of Broad brook, a branch of White river. This ridge of highland passes through the township from northwest to southeast in a direction nearly parallel with the two rivers, and in some places reaches an elevation of nearly 2,000 feet above the ocean. In the northern part is a. somewhat extensive basin formed by two spurs of hills that extend northwardly from the main ridge, that on the west closing in on the northerly side and nearly intersecting with the more easterly spur. This basin, with the surrounding slopes, contains about twenty valuable farms that are exceedingly fertile. Here, too, a stream is found affording sufficient power for driving mills and other machinery, passing in an easterly direction through a deep and narrow gorge, and emptying into White river a short distance above the village of Hartford. The southerly part of the town, or the part that lies between the main ridge on the north and Quechee river and Beaver brook on the south, is divided by nearly parallel ridges or lines of hills that extend southerly from the main ridge. Along the valleys between these lines of hills we find some of the most productive farms in the township. The streams or rivulets that flow through these valleys are either branches of Beaver brook, which enters the town from Barnard about two miles northerly of the southwesterly corner and passes into Woodstock a short distance easterly of the middle of the southern boundary, or are directly branches of Quechee river, which flows through the southeasterly corner of the town. Mountain brook, so called by the first surveyors of the town, in 1761, flows through the southwesterly corner of the township. Between this stream and Beaver brook is an almost unbroken ridge of highland that rises to a considerable elevation above the valleys on either side, yet affording some of the most valuable land for farming purposes, being cultivated in many places to the higher summits. The town contains but few rocky ridges and where the surface rises too high for convenient tillage it is admirably fitted for grazing purposes or for the cultivation of the forests.

      The geological structure of the territory is composed almost wholly of calciferous mica schist; though there is a small bed of granite, syenite and protogine found in the southern part of the town. No minerals of importance have ever been discovered. The town is almost entirely an agricultural district, a fair idea of its being given by' census report as compiled by Melvin H. MILLER in 1879, which for that year was as follows: Hay, 5,695 tons; corn, 3,283 bushels; wheat, 1,677 bushels; oats, 9,580 bushels; potatoes, 13,785 bushels; apples, 20,977 bushels; wool, 39,994 pounds; butter, 100,333 pounds; cheese, 3,440 pounds; and maple sugar, 46,534 pounds.

      In 1880, the town had a population of 1,139, and in 1882 was divided into nine school districts and contained nine common schools, employing three males and twelve female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $1,148.75. There were 255 pupils attending common schools, while the entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $1,885.56, with Mrs. Jennie P. GIBSON, superintendent.

      POMFRET is a small post village located in the central part of the town.
      SOUTH POMFRET is a small post village located in the southwestern part of the town.
      NORTH POMFRET is a small post village located in the northeastern part of the town.
      The town poor-farm, consisting of 300 acres, is located in the western part the town on road 37. It has at present ten indigent ones under its shelter. The farm is managed by John C. KEITH.

      S. E. LIVINGSTON's chair-stock factory, located at South Pomfret, employs from ten to twelve men.

      Judd L. MAXHAM's saw and cider-mill, located at South Pomfret, turns out about 200,000 feet of lumber and 300 barrels of cider per year.

      Henry BABCOCK's saw-mill, located in the northeastern part of the town, on Mill brook, saws all kinds of soft and hard-wood lumber.

      The first meeting of the proprietors of Pomfret was held in Pomfret, Conn., at the house of Zachariah WALDO, on Monday, September 7, 1761, when Ebenezer WILLIAMS, Esq., was chosen moderator, and Isaac DANA, Jr., proprietors' clerk, who was "sworn to the faithful performance of his trust in said office before Timothy SABIN, Esq., one of his Majesty's justices of the peace in the county of Windham." At this meeting it was “Resolved to lay out one hundred acres to each proprietor according to quantity and quality as near the town plot as should be found convenient (exclusive of meadowland and mountains)." Also, "voted that Amasa SESSIONS, of Pomfret, in the county of Windham, William WINCHESTER, of Southborough, in the county of Worcester, Messrs. Simeon SESSIONS, Isaac DANA, and Seth PAINE, Jr., all of Pomfret, or William DANA, of Ashford, in case Mr. PAINE refuses, be a Committee to view, lay out and make partition as above." It was also "voted to grant eleven shillings lawful money on each proprietor's right in said property to defray the expenses of said committee in viewing, laying out and making partition as above." It was also resolved that the committee "should proceed on said business some time in the week after next (one fortnight after said meeting)." The meeting was then adjourned to meet at the same place on the fourth Monday (23d day) of November, 1761.

      Soon after this adjournment three of the committee, Isaac DANA, William WINCHESTER and William DANA, with Theophilus CHANDLER as surveyor, proceeded to the wilderness to locate the township according to the description given in the charter. They reached the town and began the survey about the first of October, 1761, commencing at the southwesterly corner of Hartford at a beech tree on the westerly bank of Ottaquechee river. That point was supposed to be the southwesterly corner of Hartford, the northwesterly corner of Hertford, now Hartland, the northeasterly corner of Woodstock, and the southeasterly corner of Pomfret, and is a few rods northwesterly of the iron foundry and scythe factory lately owned by D. TAFT & Sons. From this point they marked the southerly line five and one-half miles, in a westerly direction, crossing Mountain brook near the western terminus of the line. They then run the westerly line in a northerly direction seven miles, and at the northern terminus left a bound fully marked, bearing the date October 2, 1761. They next laid a road ten rods wide through the center of the town north and south, and laid out seventy "town lots" of one acre each, thirty-five on each side of the road at the center of the town. These lots were four rods wide on the road and extended back therefrom forty rods and numbered back and forth from the southwesterly corner, that lot being numbered 1, that on the opposite side being number 2, the western side containing the even numbers and the eastern side the odd numbers. They then proceeded to lay out what is now termed the first division of lots, agreeable to the vote of the proprietors, viz.: one lot of one hundred acres to each of the proprietors, one lot for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts, one lot for the first settled minister of the Gospel, one lot for the benefit of a school in said town, and one lot for a glebe for the church of England, as by law established. The committee then returned to Connecticut, drew a plan of the township, and of all the surveys thus made, which was laid before the meeting of the proprietors on the fourth Monday (23d day) of November, 1761, when it was accepted by a formal vote.

      To determine each proprietor's lot, a number corresponding with that each lot was written on a slip of paper in the presence of the meeting, and it was then "voted that the lots [papers] all be put into a hat together and delivered to the moderator of the said meeting, and that he shake them together and call the name of a proprietor and the clerk of said proprietor should put his hand into the hat and take out a lot and open the same, and set the number of said lot against the name so called, and so proceed till the whole were taken out, or drawn, entering the number of each lot to ye name called." This method was carefully observed and the number of each lot was entered to the name of the proprietor so called by the moderator. At this meeting it was also voted to levy an additional tax of six shillings on each proprietor's right, making in all seventeen shillings per right for laying out the town. It was also voted to allow each of the committee four shillings per day and expenses. The expenses of each was estimated at three shillings per day, as the whole cost of the survey amounted to £53 2d, which amount, was audited and allowed by the proprietors.

      It must be remembered that at this time all of the country north of No. Four, now Charlestown, N. H., was an unbroken wilderness. The old French war had been raging, terminating in 1760, only a year previous to the date of these proceedings. During the period of this war a military road was cut through the forest from No. Four to Crown Point, passing through what is now the southerly part of the township of Plymouth. This was the nearest approach of anything like civilization to Pomfret at the time of its survey and allotment. In the spring of 1762, Samuel SLEEPER began the settlement of Newbury, on the Connecticut river, and in 1763, Timothy LULL commenced the settlement of Hertford, now Hartland.

      In March, 1762, an effort was made by the proprietors of this township, to arouse a spirit of emigration, and at a meeting held on the last Wednesday (31st) of March, it was voted to pay £1 10s to each of any number of proprietors, not exceeding ten, who would enter upon their respective rights and labor three months, and £1 10s more to each one of them who should labor six months, to be paid when they had completed the labor. A tax of six shillings was laid on each right for paving this bounty. At a meeting held at Hollis, N. H., on the 15th and 16th days of June, 1762, additional inducements were offered by extending the time, or limit, in which the work could be done to one year from the first of December of that year, and by voting an additional sum of six shillings. At this meeting it was also voted to raise a tax of eighteen shillings on each right to defray the expense of procuring the charter.

      In September, 1763, a committee was appointed to lay out and make a road from the township to Connecticut river, at a point where it would be most for the interest of the township; but whether such road was marked we have been unable to determine, as no report of such a committee has been found. In November of the same year a meeting a was held at Oxford, Mass., and adjourned to meet at the same place on the 3d Monday of May, 1764; but it is not probable that a meeting was held at that time, for no report of it is found in the proprietors' book records.

      About this time the land title controversy between New York and the New Hampshire Grants arose. How much this miniature war affected the value of the rights in this new township of Pomfret, or how much it tended to check the spirit of immigration and impede the settlement of the town cannot now be known; but during the summer of 1762, fifteen shares or rights belonging to delinquent tax-payers were sold for non payment of taxes, bringing but a little more than two cents per acre. So much had the excitement of procuring the charter and effecting a settlement of the new township passed away that no meeting of the proprietors, as near as can be learned, from November 14, 1763, till January, 1770.

      Sometime during the year 1769, the subject of effecting a settlement of the territory was again agitated, and a few stern, hardy young men proceeded to the township to make the first necessary steps towards a settlement by throwing up the walls of their rude log huts, the humble beginning of their future happy homes. On December 11th of that year, a memorial signed by eighteen of the proprietors, representing thirty-six of the rights of the township, was presented to John Winchester DANA, proprietors' clerk, requesting him to call a general meeting of the proprietors on the last Wednesday (31st day) of January, 1770, at Woodstock, Conn. At this meeting Simeon SESSIONS was chosen moderator, and William DANA, clerk. The proprietors voted to go on and settle the township the coming summer, voted to clear a convenient road so far into and through the township as the committee chosen for the purpose should think best, voted to lay out a second division of one hundred acre lots, on to each proprietors' right, choosing Simeon SESSIONS, William DANA and David WILLIAMS a committee for that purpose, and also voted a tax of $2.50 on each proprietors' right to defray the expenses of the same.

      Early in the spring of 1770, preparations were made for effecting the settlement of the town, and some of the energetic young men resolved to proceed with their families to the site of their future homes in the forests of eastern Vermont. The first family to reach the township was that of Bartholomew DURKEE, from Pomfret, Conn., consisting of his wife and five children. Mrs. DURKEE was a daughter of Elnathan KEYES, of Pomfret, Conn., a woman of undoubted courage and great force of character, one well fitted to be the wife of a pioneer. Arriving at Hartford, Vt., they stopped at the house of a Mr. BURCH, who lived on the northerly side of Ottaquechee river, about one mile above Quechee village, on the residence of the late James UDALL, Esq. From this place the family proceeded on foot, following a snow-shoe path, drawing their furniture on hand-sleds. Late in the afternoon of March 6, 1770, they arrived at their destination, where the walls of a rude cabin had been thrown up the previous year, and in which, without roof, doors, or windows, they prepared for the coming wintery night. Bark was placed over one corner of the room, or enclosure, as a shelter for the bed, a fire was built upon the ground in another corner, logs were split for a floor, upon which was spread the first meal in their wilderness home, blankets were hung up for doors and windows and the preparations were completed for their first night's slumber in their new home in the midst of the dense, silent forests of Pomfret. As morning dawned, the mother, looking through the gloomy forest and over the full depths of the winter's snows, saw before her the sad, lonely and destitute home for her five helpless children, and her fortitude, for the moment, gave way and grief moistened her eyes and choked her utterance. The husband saw the distress of his beloved wife, and immediately exclaimed that she should not be made to live in that dreary forest, but that they would all return to Connecticut and spend their days with their friends. This thought aroused the energy, pride, and fortitude of the noble hearted women, and in characteristic language she utterly denounced the idea. This decision was never regretted. With the return of summer came the birds, the flowers and sunshine, prophetic of the glad future when they gathered their loved ones about them in their happy home, and gave thanks to Him who had kept them through the trials and vicissitudes through which they had passed, and changed the gloom of their first night's experience in the forest to the bright sunshine that then surrounded them. Thus began the first settlement in Pomfret.

      In the course of a few days the DURKEE family was joined by John CHEDEL and family. Mr. CHEDEL came from Ashford, Conn., March 8, 1770, and settled upon the place now occupied by O. M. CHEDEL. Mr. DURKEE's family only preceding him two days. At this time he was living with his second wife, his first wife having died, leaving him two sons, John and Timothy. The second Mrs. CHEDEL was Rachel ALLEN, and became the mother of nine children-three sons and six daughters. She died January 18, 1791, and Mr. CHEDEL attained an advanced age. His son John located in Providence, R. I., and Timothy settled in Barnard, Vt. The other sons, Asa, George and Daniel, all settled in Pomfret, where many of their descendants now reside. George succeeded his father on the homestead, where his son, O. M., as before mentioned, now resides.

      In 1771 the town had thirty-nine inhabitants, according to the census of Cumberland county, taken at that time. In 1791 this population had increased to 710, and many fine farms had sprung into existence. "The true test of civilization, however, is not found in the census returns, nor in the size of the cities, nor the crops produced; but in the kind of men turned out." Pomfret can brave this test with impunity, for during its first century the sturdy town turned out twenty-five clergymen, thirteen lawyers, twenty-five physicians, two or three editors, five or six professional teachers, and during the war of the rebellion fifteen commissioned officers.

      The first town meeting was held in March, 1773, when John W. DANA was chosen supervisor and town clerk; Abida SMITH, Benjamin BUGBEE, Darius SESSIONS and John BACON, constables. No selectmen were chosen. In addition, John W. DANA was chosen moderator, overseer of the poor, commissioner of highways, and one of a committee to lay out a burying-ground. The first justice was John THROOP, in 1773. John W. DANA was the first representative, in 1778.

      The first birth was that of Rachel, daughter of John and Rachel CHEDEL, November 18, 1770. The first male child was John DURKEE, December 25, 1770, and received one hundred acres of land from the proprietors. The fourth child born was Judah DANA, son of John W. and Hannah DANA, April 25, 1772. He married at an early age, removed to Maine, and occupied a seat in the U. S. senate. Rachel CHEDEL died April 27, 1777, the first death in the town.

      John Winchester DANA, son of Isaac DANA, one of the principal proprietors, came here in 1770, having, by his father's death, inherited Isaac's share in the town. He first built a log house, though the location is not known exactly. He next built a frame house on the site of the present residence of his granddaughter, Mrs. Persis C. (DANA) HEWITT. Later, he built a large dwelling in the immediate neighborhood, which was pulled down about thirty-two years ago. He also built a saw-mill, the first in the town, and manufactured brick for a time. He married Hannah P. PUTNAM, daughter of Gen. Israel PUTNAM, and reared a family of thirteen children, all of whom attained an adult age. At his death he left a large landed estate to be divided among his heirs. Isaac, son of J. W., died on the old homestead. Betsey married Jonathan WARE, a lawyer, who was a man of considerable literary talent. Benjamin died in Waterford, Ohio. Judah died in Maine. Israel P. removed to Danville and engaged in mercantile pursuits. Hannah P. married Zebulon LYON and died in Pomfret. John W., Jr., died in Cabot. Daniel died in Woodstock. Sarah W. became Mrs. Elisha SMITH and died here. David died on the old farm, where his daughter, Persis HEWITT, resides. Eunice died in Cornish. Schuyler died in childhood, and Polly died unmarried, at the age of thirty years.

      John THROOP was one of the earliest settlers in Pomfret. His deed of land from the proprietors was executed in 1769, and is recorded on page 1, vol. I, of Pomfret land records. He was town clerk from 1778, to 1789, was judge of probate for the district of Hartford from 1783 to 1792, and probate register from 1783 to 1786, and from 1791 to 1794, inclusive; was a judge of the supreme court in 1778, '79 and ‘80; was a member of the legislature in 1778, '79,'87 and '88, and held various town offices. He died in 1802, and the farm he lived on is now only occupied as a pasture.

      Thomas VAIL, from Long Island, N. Y., came to Pomfret in 1773, locating upon the farm now owned by his great-grandson, Homer W. VAIL. Mr. VAIL was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and was one of the company raised at the time of the burning of Royalton, in 1780. He married Hannah BROWN and reared ten children, all of whom attained a mature age, and died at the age of seventy-five years.

      John FRASER, a native of Scotland, was one of the early settlers in Pomfret. Daniel, the eldest of his family of nine children, settled in the southern part of the town, where Edwin MAXHAM now resides. He married Polly DIX, of Sudbury, Mass., and reared seven children, four of whom, James, Daniel, George and Mary (Mrs. ADAMS), are living.

      William WHITMAN, a Revolutionary soldier, was taken prisoner by a band of Tories about the time of the surrender of Cornwallis, and was held by the enemy at New York city until the close of the war. At an early date he came to Pomfret and settled upon the farm now owned by Austin HOWARD. He was twice married and reared a family of ten children, five of whom are now living, viz: Ozro, living in Cincinnati, Ohio; Charles R., a selectman of Hartford, residing in Quechee village; William, also a resident of Hartford; Jane (Mrs. Harry ALLEN), in Pomfret; and Sarepta, widow of Levi COWEN, a resident of Quechee village. Mr. WHITMAN died in 1842, aged eighty years.

      Ebenezer WINSLOW came here at an early date and was soon after joined by his father, Samuel WINSLOW. Ebenezer kept a tavern here for many years, and died here March 4, 1838, aged seventy-seven years. His son, Gordon, kept the hotel for a long time, represented the town three years, and was assistant judge of the county court several years.

      Jonathan REYNOLDS, another of the early settlers, located in the southwestern part of the town, where his grandson, Samuel R. GILBERT, now resides.

      Adam HOWARD came here at an early date and located in the eastern part of the town, where his great-grandson, F. O. PARKER, now resides. He married Polly MANN and reared a family of nine children, all but one of whom attained an age of seventy years and over.

      Elnathan ALLEN came to Pomfret, from Connecticut, at an early date. He reared a family of five children, none of whom are now living, and died at the age of eighty years. His representatives in Pomfret now are five grandchildren, as follows: John, Madison, Harry and Gilbert D. ALLEN and Mrs. Cyrus A. KEITH.

      Maj. Elisha SMITH was born on the SMITH homestead, June 5, 1776, married Sarah W. DANA and reared six children. His daughter Eunice married Alvin BURBANK. Only one of her six children, Dana BURBANK, now resides here.

      Isaiah TINKHAM, from Massachusetts, came to Pomfret in the autumn of 1779, made a small clearing and built a log house near the present site of the post office at North Pomfret. He then returned to Massachusetts, married Susanna ELLIS, of Middleboro, and the following season came back to his claim in the wilderness. Mr. TINKHAM occupied the log house until 1797, when he built the house now occupied by Humphrey W. COLBURN, which he retained until his death. In 1797 he was joined by his father and mother, and soon after built a grist-mill a short distance below the post office. Mr. TINKHAM died September 29, 1842, Ellis TINKHAM, the second son of Isaiah, was born here in January, 1793, married Lydia LEONARD, and now resides with his only son, Orville M., aged over ninety years. Daniel TINKHAM, third and youngest son of Isaiah, was born here in 1794, married Parmelia ATHERTON, reared a family of eleven children, became a prominent citizen, and died in 1873. His widow still survives him.

      Samuel SNOW, born May 21, 1752, married Betty PERKINS June 15, 1775, came to Pomfret, from Middlebury, Mass., in the winter of 1779 and spent the remainder of his life here. He reared a family of nine children, as follows: Bela, Eben, Samuel, Jr., Betty, Martin, Lucy, Cyrus, Nathan and Norman. Bela married Sarah THOMAS, April 3, 1800, reared six children, and died June 25, 1852. The children were Nelson, Philip T., Velina, Sarah, Bela, Jr., and Chauncey, only one of whom, Sarah (Mrs. H. SPEAR, of Randolph, Vt.,) is living. Philip T. married Surreptia HOUGHTON. He was well known, was a postmaster here for thirty years, and during the last twenty years of his life he kept a general store. He died in March, 1880. His son Byron M. is a prominent merchant of Cambridgeport, Mass. Nathan, son of Samuel, was born September 26, 1792, kept a general store here for forty years. When he first engaged in the business six or more teams were kept on the road to carry produce to Boston, returning laden with general goods. Isaac King, who now resides on road 14, was one of the teamsters.

      Jeremiah CONANT, in company with Barnabas WASHBURN, came here from Bridgewater, Mass., in 1780, and together bought one hundred acres of land in the western part of the town. They then returned to Massachusetts, married, and came back to Pomfret the following season. Mr. CONANT was a carpenter, and for a few years worked exclusively at that trade, while Mr. WASHBURN labored on their farm. Mr. CONANT was the father of eleven children, only two of whom, Seth, of this town, and Thomas, of Bridgewater, Mass., are living. He held many of the town offices and died at the age of seventy years.

      Seth HODGES came to Pomfret, from Ashford. Conn., October 15, 1780, the night following the burning of Royalton, his family sleeping in a wolf pit the first night through fear of the savages, and one of his sons, grandfather of Smith HODGES, who now lives here, joined the party who pursued the marauders. Mr. HODGES located near the center of the town and resided here until his death, April 1, 1809, aged eighty-seven years. Smith HODGES, son of Edward, who died February 27, 1864, was born May 24, 1824. He has been a trapper most of his life, and has dealt in raw furs and skins over forty years. His trapping expeditions have taken him from Maine to the Rocky Mountains, throwing him in the way of adventures and hardships both numerous and marvelous.

      Israel KEITH, from Bridgewater, Mass., came to Pomfret in 1780, bringing with him two sons, John and CHANDLER, aged respectively ten and twelve years. Soon after their arrival, Mr. KEITH joined a company to go to the rescue of Royalton, and directed his sons to return to Windsor where they had friends. The young lads set off alone, guided by marked trees, but instead of going to Windsor, returned to their home in Massachusetts. The next year Mr. KEITH brought his whole family to the town, locating on road 3, where he resided for many years, and finally died in Sharon. John was the only one of the family whose life was spent here. He resided or the old farm now owned by his son, Cyrus A., and died in 1863, aged eighty-seven.

      Robert PERRY, a veteran of both the French war and the war of the Revolution, settled in the northern part of Pomfret in 1780, where he resided until his death, in 1816, aged seventy-three years.

      Dr. Frederick WARE settled in Pomfret about 1782, the first physician in town. He was elected town clerk in 1789, held the office sixteen years, and will long be noted for the neatness and accuracy of his records. He was a half-brother of Horace EVERETT, of Windsor, who was a member of congress from 1829 to 1843. The Doctor died December 16, 1832. His son, Leonard, occupied the old homestead and is living at the age of eighty-two years.

      John DEXTER, from Mansfield, Conn., came to this town in the spring of 1804, locating in the eastern part of the town, on "Bunker hill," where he resided until his death, aged over ninety years. He was twice married and reared seven children.

      William PERRY was one of the prominent early settlers of Pomfret. He was a member of the legislature eight years, at various times from 1784 to 1800, and was judge of probate from 1794 to 1799, inclusive.

      Abial BUGBEE, a Revolutionary soldier, came to Pomfret in March, 1788, and located where his grandson, Adin BUGBEE, now resides. He reared a family of nine children, all of whom lived to have families of their own.

      Solomon KING came to Pomfret, from Dedham, Mass., in 1801. He reared a family of twelve children, most of whom lived to have families of their own, and died July z9, 1853. Mrs. KING died August 21, 1826.

      Laban CHAMBERLIN came to Pomfret in 1802, and located where his son, Otis, now resides, at Pomfret Center. He took an active interest in town affairs and died at the advanced age of eighty-four years. Otis was a merchant here for many years, has held the office of town clerk forty-eight consecutive years, was postmaster nineteen years, and has held most of the other town offices. He has also, as administrator, settled twenty-five estates, acted as commissioner on twenty-six estates, and as guardian for sixteen orphan children. In 1839 he was appointed a commissioner, by the legislature, to dispose of the convict labor, and also to settle the expense of building the court-house, at Woodstock.

      John BRIDGE, farmer, settled in Pomfret in 1804, was an active, influential man in town affairs, and was often in town office. He was a member of the legislature in 1812, '13, '16, '17, '25, and '26, and was assistant judge of the county court, in 1820, '21, '22, '23, and '24.

      Gideon MAXHAM came to Pomfret, from Middlebury, Mass., about 1805, and located in the southwestern part of the town, where he died at the advanced age of eighty-seven years. Only two of his twelve children now reside in the town.

      Crosby MILLER, born in Pomfret, June 6, 1811, was educated in the public schools and at the academy in Chester, Vt., was appointed postmaster in 1837, and held the office several years; was State senator two years, 1851 and 1852, a member of the house of representatives four terms, 1860, '61, '62 and '67; was county commissioner seven years, from 1858 to 1864; U. S. assistant assessor seven years, from 1863 to 1870, with a district of seven towns, assistant judge of the county court ten years, from 1872, and is a State trustee of the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College; he has also been a director the last seventeen years and president the last eight years of the Royalton National Bank; has been a director the last twenty years of the Vermont State Agricultural Society, and is a director of the Champlain Valley Agricultural Association, located at Burlington. He has also held nearly all the town offices, was for years a justice of the peace, and twenty-eight years town treasurer. He married, in 1835, Orpha HEWITT, daughter of Joseph D. HEWITT, and granddaughter of Capt. Stephen HEWITT, who settled in Pomfret in 1793. They have two sons and two daughters. The oldest son, Melvin H., is a farmer on the old homestead, and married Julia R. WARE, daughter of Leonard WARE, and granddaughter of Dr. Frederick WARE. Their second son, Crosby P. MILLER, graduated at the U. S. Military Academy, in 1867, and is 1st Lieut. in 4th U. S. Artillery. He married Laura, daughter of Gen. Joseph A. HASKIN, U. S. A. He was five years quartermaster at the Academy at West Point, N. Y., and is quartermaster at Fort Puble, Minn. Their oldest daughter, Ellen M., married Capt. A. B. CHANDLER, of the 1st Vermont Cavalry, who served through the war of the Rebellion, and died after its close, of disease contracted in the service. Their second daughter, Emma L., married Dr. H. H. McINTYRE, of West Randolph, Vt., who is general agent of the Alaska Commercial Company, and has had sole charge of the annual catch of fur seals since the seal islands were leased to that company by the U. S. Government, and is one of a company running a Salmon cannery.

      John MILLER, father of Crosby, was born in Peterboro, N. H., September 15, 1770, and was a grandson of Samuel MILLER, one of the first settlers in Londonderry, N. H., and is cousin of Gen. James MILLER of the war of 1812. He was married in 1799, to Hannah CROSBY, of Mansfield, Conn., and settled in Pomfret in February, 1804. In March, 1806, he was elected town clerk, and served in that capacity sixteen years, and on his retirement by resignation received a vote of thanks from the town for his faithful discharge of the duties of the office. He held many other town offices, was many years a justice of the peace, and for a long period deacon of the Congregational church. He died June 30, 1856.

      Remington KENYON came to Pomfret, from New Hampshire, about 1820, and settled on "Bunker hill," where he died in 1869, aged seventy-six years.

      Rev. Amos WOOD, a Congregational minister, was born at Lebanon, N. H., in May, 1763, graduated from Dartmouth college, and located in Pomfret about 1815. He reared seven children, three of whom are now living, viz. Mrs. J. W. DANA, Ellis S. and Mrs. R. W. NEWTON. He died at the age of seventy-two years.

      Elisha FULLER came to Pomfret, from Massachusetts, about 1820, and located upon the farm now owned by Charles HUTCHINSON. He reared five sons, and died at the age of forty-nine years.

      Dr. Kimball RUSS settled in Pomfret in 1827, and was in the active and continuous practice of his profession almost forty-eight years, his first professional visit being made in February, 1827, and the last in November, 1875. He died December 30. 1875. He was universally esteemed and trusted as a physician and citizen, and was favorably known to the profession throughout the State. He left to the town a legacy of $1,000.00, the income of which was to be given to the poor who are not paupers.

      Rev. Elisha HUTCHINSON, A. M., was born at Sharon, Conn., December 22, 1749, graduated from Dartmouth college in 1775. He studied divinity, and was ordained pastor of the Congregational church of Westford, Conn., in March, 1778, and was dismissed in 1783. December, 17, 1784, he was installed first pastor of the Congregational church of Pomfret, Vt., and was dismissed January 8, 1795. In 1800 he went to Massachusetts, and died at Newport, April 9, 1832, aged eighty-three years.

      The following Revolutionary pensioners were residents of Pomfret: Frederick WARE, John DOTEN, Joel PERKINS, Nathaniel RUGGLES, Daniel FRASER, Abial BUGBEE, Abial MORSE, Phineas RAYMOND, Robert PERRY, Thomas VAIL, Adam HOWARD, Samuel SNOW, Isaiah LINKHAM, Jonathan HOIT, Aaron BLANCHARD, John DEXTER, Jesse BRUCE, Nathaniel CARPENTER, Jeremiah CONANT, Isaac DANA, John DARLING, Bartholomew DURKEE, Increase HEWITT, John MILLER, Jeremiah PRATT, Christopher SMITH, Samuel SNOW, Benjamin THOMPSON, Chas. WOLCOTT, William WATERS and William WHITMAN.

      The following is a list of the soldiers of the war of 1812, who have resided in Pomfret: Moses ABBOTT, Levi ALLEN, Warren BLANCHARD, Daniel BOYNTON, John W. BOYNTON, Luther BUGBEE, Isaac CHURCHILL, Daniel DANA, Elias FALES, Franklin FALES, Martin D. FOLLETT, James TRUMAN, Richard GLADDEN, Calvin GREENE, Benjamin HILL, Oliver C. LEONARD, Alfred LEONARD, Alexander MILLIKEN, Walter MOORE, John MOONEN, Shelden PARKER, Jabez PARKHURST, Marcus PEAKE, Ephraim PERRIN, Levi PRATT, Aaron V. SMITH, Lewis SMITH, Samuel P. SNOW, Eben SNOW, Anson SNOW, Cyrus SNOW, Lemuel SPOONER, Hull VAIL, Jonathan WARE, Jonathan WARE, Jr., and Jonathan WEEKS.

      The First Congregational church of Pomfret, located at Pomfret village, was organized by John W. DANA and others, with twenty-five members, January 8, 1783, Rev. Elisha HUTCHINSON being the first pastor. The present church building was erected in union with the Christian church, in 1844. It will seat 200 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $2,500.00. The society has forty-two members, with Rev. Henry A. VAN DALSEN, pastor.

      The Christian church of Pomfret, located at Pomfret village, was organized August 17, 1826, by elders Seth ALLEN and Edward B. ROLLINS, with nine members, Rev. Edward E. ROLLINS, being the first pastor. The first church edifice, built in company with other denominations, was dedicated November 23, 1833, and was burned on the night of October 14, 1843. The present house was built in union with the Congregational church, and dedicated November 28, 1844. The present pastor of the society is Elder B. B. CHEDEL.

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 177-189.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004