HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF ROYALTON


      ROYALTON lies in the center of the northern tier of towns of the county, in lat. 43° 49', and long. 4° 28', bounded north by Tunbridge, in Orange county, east by Sharon, south by Barnard, and west by Bethel. It was originally chartered by New York, November 13, 1769, to George BANGOR, William SMITH, Whitehead HICKS and John KELLEY, and was by them surveyed and allotted in 1770. Under this charter the settlers came in and purchased lands, etc.; but in 1781 it became understood by the settlers that the legislature of Vermont was about to treat their township as vacant land, and grant it to Eliakim SPOONER and others, so they applied for and obtained a charter of the territory from Vermont, granting the same to Comfort SEAVER, Esq., and others, December 20, 1781. Under the authority vested in this charter the lands have since been held.

      The surface of the town is rather uneven, though the soil is good, especially along White river and its branches. This stream forms the principal water course, flowing through the center of the town from west to east. In the westerly part of the town it meets a ridge of highlands, curves suddenly to the south, forming a semi-circle, and pursues its course past the two villages of Royalton and South Royalton, to its final destination in the Connecticut, being one of the most beautiful of the large number of streams that find their source among the Green mountains, and their outlet in Lake Champlain and Connecticut river. It presents a most attractive aspect as it winds rapidly along over rock and pebble, careless alike of the picturesque beauty of its path and the exquisite landscape scenery on either hand. The steep acclivities and green slopes bordering it are covered with green pastures, with shrubs and forest trees, presenting a great variety of form, color, tint and outline, contrasting finely with the white cottages which are frequently located on rising grounds, high above the bed of the stream, the intervales of which are checkered in summer and autumn with large fields of billowing grain. Add to all this, then, the glamour that memorable historical events cast over a territory, and one will have a fair idea of what Royalton is.

      The principal rock entering into the geological formation of the town is catciferous mica schist, underly nearly the whole township. In the southwestern part, however, is a small bed of clay slate, near which have been discovered some traces of gold. The Central Vermont railroad passes through the center of the township, with stations at Royalton and South Royalton.

      In 1880 Royalton had a population of 1,558, and in 1882 was divided into fifteen school districts and contained fifteen common schools, employing three male and twenty-one female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $1,753.36. There were 309 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools for the year ending October 31st was $2,108.52 with S. R. B. PERKINS, superintendent.

      SOUTH ROYALTON is a post village and station on the C. V. R. R., located in the eastern part of the town. The first building therein was erected in July, 1808, the present store of BIXBY & JONES. The village now has two churches (Congregational and Methodist), about twenty stores, a hotel, a public hall and about fifty dwellings.

      ROYALTON, a post village and station on the C. V. R. R., located in the western part of the town, was formerly the only village in the town; but since the advent of the railroad much of its business and population has for some reason drifted to its younger sister. It has two churches (Congregational and Episcopal), a school-house, hotel, store and about thirty or forty dwellings.

      The South Royalton House, Charles H. WOODARD, proprietor, is located opposite the railroad depot at South Royalton. This hotel, which has accommodations for about fifty guests, is pleasantly located and is a popular resort for summer boarders.

      The Cascadnac House, G. A. BROWN, proprietor, is located in the center of the village of Royalton, in the midst of the beautiful scenery of this section of country, making a pleasant summer residence.

      The Royalton Academy, located at Royalton village, from which Salmon P. CHASE graduated, was chartered in 1808. Only one teacher is now employed.

      Martin ADAMS's saw-mill, located at South Royalton, manufactures about 800,000 feet of lumber per annum.

      H. C. SOPER's marble shop, located at South Royalton, is a branch of his shops in West Randolph. He manufactures all kinds of cemetery work, etc.

      Oscar N. STOUGHTON's saw and grist-mill, located on road 21, gives employment to three hands. The grist-mill has three runs of stones, while the saw-mill has the capacity for cutting about 5.000 feet of lumber per day. Mr. STOUGHTON has a cider and shingle-mill also.

      Ira B. SPAULDING's cider-mill, located on road 38, turns out about 300 barrels of cider annually.

      HOWLAND & YOTON's saw-mill, located at South Royalton, gives employment to from two to five hands, turning out 125,000 feet of lumber per annum.

      Frank W. BREADSTREET's saw-mill, located on road 44, gives employment to three men and turns out 200,000 feet of lumber per annum.

      The New York grantees surveyed and allotted the township of Royalton in 1770, the year following the issue of the charter, and in 1771 the first permanent settlement was made by Robert HAVENS and family, who located upon a farm on the First Branch of White river, near the Tunbridge line. In 1772 this family was joined by Elisha KENT and his family, from Connecticut, whence most of the early settlers came. Emigration became rapid from this time forward, the affairs of the settlers were in a prosperous condition and the population increased to 300, in 1780. This year, however, was a sad one for the youthful settlement, though its great event, the "Burning of Royalton," has made the town famous in Vermont's history. To give one a clear idea of this affair it is necessary to look back a little.

      The Revolutionary war was at its height, and the northern frontier of Vermont was entirely exposed to invasion by the British and Indians, and it had become a matter of comment among the settlers that they had not had more trouble from such invasions. But on the 9th of August, of this year, a party of twenty-one Indians visited the town of Barnard, and made prisoners of Thomas M. WRIGHT and Prince HASKELL. David STONE, of Bethel, was also captured at the same time, by the same party. In Bethel a small stockade fort had been erected the year previous, and to it the small garrison that had been quartered at Royalton was removed, commanded by Capt. SAFFORD. Immediately after the attack the inhabitants of Barnard decided to build a fort, which they did, and named it Fort Defiance. These events, the drawing of the garrison away from Royalton, etc., only left this township an easier prey and the blow soon fell.

      In July, 1776, an American officer, a certain Lieut. WHITCOMB, while out with a scouting party on the river Sorel, had mortally wounded Gen. GORDON, a British officer, as he was riding between Chambly and St. Johns, and had taken from him his sword and watch. The British had long desired to avenge this act, which they regarded as base and villainous, resulting wholly from a desire of plunder, and totally unworthy of an officer. To capture WHITCOMB was, with them, a controlling motive. Expecting, it is supposed, that they should find him at Newbury on Connecticut river, an expedition was planned against that town in 1780. Of the 210 men who were engaged in it, all were Indians, with the exception of seven white men who were refugees and tories. In the beginning of October, the party, under the command of Horton, a British lieutenant, and one LeMOTT, his assistant, started on their mission of plunder and revenge. Their guide, whose name was HAMILTON, had been made prisoner by the Americans at the surrender of Burgoyne, in 1777. He had been at Newbury and Royalton during the preceding summer, on parole of honor; and having left the latter place with several others, under pretence of going to survey lands in the northern part of Vermont, had gone directly to the enemy, to whom, no doubt, he communicated such information as served to assist them in executing their barbarous intentions. While proceeding up Onion or Winooski river, they fell in, near the spot where Montpelier now stands, with two white men engaged in hunting, who informed them that the people of Newbury had been expecting an assault from their enemies in Canada, and were well prepared for defense. The information, whether true or false, had the effect of diverting them from the primary object of their expedition, and to turn their attention towards Royalton.

      On reaching the mouth of Steven's branch, the enemy passed through the town of Barre to Jail branch, which empties into Stevens branch; and, after proceeding up this stream for some distance, crossed the mountains in Washington and Orange counties, and striking the first branch of White river, followed it down through Chelsea, and encamped at Tunbridge, where they remained during Sunday, the 15th of October, engaged, no doubt, in maturing their plan of attack. Leaving a strong guard at this place, they advanced the next morning before daybreak, towards the more settled parts of Tunbridge, and commenced depredations at the house of John HUTCHINSON, which was situated in Tunbridge, but adjoined the line of Royalton. Having made Mr. HUTCHINSON and his brother Abijah, prisoners, they plundered the house, crossed the first Branch, and proceeded to the dwelling of Robert HAVENS, which was not far distant. Mr. HAVENS, who had gone into his pasture, becoming aware of danger from the barking of his dogs, and beholding at the same time a party of Indians entering his house, lay down under a log and escaped their notice. His son, Daniel HAVENS, and another young man, Thomas PEMBER, who were in the house when the enemy approached, endeavored to escape by flight. HAVENS succeeded in throwing himself over an adjacent hedge, and, being protected by the bushes, crept down the bank of the stream and concealed himself beneath a log, over which the Indians passed a few minutes afterwards, as they pursued with impetuous haste their escaped prey. Coming up with PEMBER, one of them aimed at him a spear, which, striking him, inflicted a severe wound. He still continued running, but, becoming faint from loss of blood, was soon overtaken, killed and scalped.

      Having selected Mr. HAVEN's house as a place of deposit for their baggage and as a post of observation, a portion of the party were left there as guards, while the main body again sat forth to complete the work of destruction. On their way they overtook Elias BUTTON, a young man, who endeavored to avoid them ; but the Indians-fleet of foot, and made savage by the scant of blood, rendered his attempts useless, and his body was left by the roadside, weltering in its gore. Advancing silently and with great caution, they next entered the dwelling of Joseph KNEELAND, which was about a half mile distant from HAVENS's. Hare they made prisoners of KNEELAND and his aged father, also of Simeon BELKNAP, Giles GIBBS and Jonathan BROWN. Carrying devastation in their train, they finally reached the mouth of White river branch, where they made a stand and dispatched small parties in different directions to plunder the dwellings and bring in prisoners. They had already stolen a number of horses, and, thinking to facilitate operations, they now mounted them and endeavored to control them by yells and shouts The horses, unused to such riders, were rendered more unmanageable by the frenzied cries of the Indians, and served essentially to impede the execution of their plans. The alarm had now become general, and the frightened inhabitants, flying in every direction, sought such places as might afford a refuge from the barbarity of their pursuers. As a detachment of the enemy ware passing down the west bank of White river, they were perceived by one of the inhabitants, who immediately gave notice of their approach to Gen. Elias STEVENS, who was working in a field about two miles distant from his house. Unyoking his oxen, he turned them out, and mounting his horse started up the river. Ha had gone about a mile in the direction of his dwelling when he was mat by Capt. John PARKHURST, who informed him that the Indians ware in full pursuit down the river, and counseled him to turn back. Fearing for the safety of his wife and children, yet aware of the immanent danger which threatened himself, STEVENS changed his course, retracing his steps, in company with PARKHURST. On reaching the house of Dea. Daniel RIX, STEVENS took Mrs. RIX and two or three children with him on his horse; PARKHURST performed the same kind office for Mrs. BENTON and a number of children, and, with all the care and attention the occasion allowed, the party rode off to the field where STEVENS had first received the alarm, being followed by Dea. RIX and several other persons on foot.

      On reaching this spot the woman and children were left in charge of a Mr. BURROUGHS, while STEVENS, full of concern for his family, again sat out for his home. Ha had gone about half a mile when he discovered the Indians approaching. As they ware but a few rods distant, he instantly turned about, and coming up with the company ha had left, entreated them to take to the woods immediately. Following his advice, they ware soon concealed in the neighboring thicket, where they remained undiscovered by the foe. Passing down the road a half mile further, STEVENS came in sight of the house of his father-in-law, Tilly PARKHURST. Here he found his sister engaged in milking, and entirely unconscious of the approach of the foe. Telling her to “leave her cow immediately or the Indians would have her," he left her to secure her own retreat. By the time he had gained the house, the Indians were not more than eighty or a hundred rods in the rear. Fear had so taken possession of the half-crazed inhabitants that it was impossible to persuade or compel them to take refuge in the woods. Choosing the road, they kept it as well as their terrible fright and exhaustion would allow until they reached the house of Capt. E. PARKHURST, in Sharon. Here they halted for a few moments, but their pursuers appearing in sight, they were compelled to push forward in order to escape impending destruction. The few horses which the terrified inhabitants had succeeded in securing could carry but a small portion of those who had now assembled, and there was but little time for consultation or suggestion. Placing his mother and sister upon his own horse, and Mrs. RIX and her three children on another, STEVENS bade them ride on with all possible speed, while he should follow, with several others, on foot. Mrs. E. PARKHURST and her children; who were left at the house, expected nothing but instant death from the hands of the enemy. On their approach, however, having taken her eldest son prisoner, they ordered her and her five children to leave the house. Obeying these commands, she fled to the woods and there remained in safety until the foe had left the place.

      Soon after STEVENS had started with those who were on foot, his dog coming in his way caused him to stumble, and so impeded his progress that he was obliged to take to the woods to save his life. The Indians pursuing with frightful yells, soon overtook the unprotected pedestrians; but being too intent on plunder to be impeded by a large company of captive women and children, Gardner RIX, a boy about fourteen years of age, alone was made prisoner. Approaching the house of Mr. BENEDICT, and having noticed him on the opposite side of a small stream which flowed near by, the Indians beckoned to him to come over to them. Instead of seconding their wishes, he quietly stole away, and, secreting himself under a log, remained in safety till the danger had passed. While in this situation the enemy in pursuit of him were at one time standing on the very log which gave him concealment, and he learned by their conversation that they were resolved to tomahawk him should they find him. After going down the river about forty rods further, and capturing a young man named AVERY, they concluded to return. Coming to the house of Tilly PARKHURST, situated six miles from the place where they entered Royalton, they fired at his son, Phineas, who had just returned from the east side of the river, whither he had been to spread the alarm. The ball entered his back, and passing through his body lodged in the skin in front. Notwithstanding the wound, being able to ride, he pursued his course towards Lebanon, N. H., distant sixteen miles, and reached that place in safety, having during the whole journey been obliged to support the ball between his fingers to prevent irritation. Mr. PARKHURST subsequently studied medicine at Hanover, and practiced in this vicinity for many years.

      The Indians who went down the east side of the river, having gone as far as the house of Capt. GILBERT, in Sharon, made captive his nephew, Nathaniel GILBERT, and set out on their return. As they retraced their steps they fired every building within sight, devastated fields, destroyed cattle, wasted the garnered crops, and spread desolation and destruction with unsparing hand. They then retreated with their plunder and captives over the hills into Randolph, where they encamped for the night.

      As the attack had been so sudden and unexpected, the inhabitants had not only been unable to combine for resistance, but had in many cases, through terrible fear, failed to exert the ordinary means of self-preservation. So many hours now passed since the first appearance of the Indians, that the alarm had spread far and near, and had caused the most intense agitation. As the news was borne through the villages that border the banks of the Connecticut, the bold father and the impetuous son; the hired laborer and the flourishing farmer, all who could be spared with safety, left their firesides and homes without further warning, and marched directly to the scene of plunder and devastation. By evening several hundreds of resolute men had collected at the place where the attack was first commenced, ready to adopt such measures as the emergency demanded. A company was organized, and Col. John HOUSE, of Hanover, N. H., made commander. The Indians were followed to their encampment; but no blow was struck, as the savages threatened to kill all the captives, should they not be allowed to depart in peace, sending in the head of one to convince the company that they meant what they said.

      Upon a review of the day, it was found that the Indians had killed two persons, taken twenty-five prisoners, burned one house in Tunbridge, two houses in Sharon, twenty-one in Royalton, several in Randolph, and sixteen new barns, variously located, which were filled with hay and grain, that they had slaughtered about 150 head of neat cattle and all the sheep and swine they could find, and had destroyed all the household furniture they could not take with them.

      Many thrilling incidents of this occasion have been handed down to us, which there is not space to mention here, but the exploits of Mrs. HENDEE mark her as the heroine of the day. After the attack had been made upon her husband's house, she, by his advice, started for a neighboring dwelling with her little boy and girl. While on the road she was met by a party of Indians who took her son, but left her daughter with her. She determined, however, to rescue her son from the hands of his captors. Taking her little girl by the hand, she proceeded down the river on foot, until she discovered a large body of Indians stationed on the opposite shore. Wishing to find the officer in command, she set out to cross the river, and was prepared to ford the stream when she met an Indian who by signs asked whither she was going. Having made known to him her intentions, he in a fit of good humor or gallantry, or perhaps both, offered to take her over on his back. She refused his proposal, but allowed him to carry her child. The little girl protested against this proceeding, declaring that "she didn't want to ride the old Indian;" but becoming reconciled to the steed, the three entered the water. They had gone nearly half way across the stream, when the current becoming more rapid, the polite Indian, in order to reassure Mrs. HENDEE, patted her on the shoulder and signified to her his readiness to assist her to the other side when he had taken her child over, provided she would wait upon a rock near by, whose surface was above the water. This time she did not reject the offer. Clambering up upon the rock, she there remained until he returned. True to his word, he then took her upon his back, and carrying her to the other side, placed her in safety by the side of her daughter. 

      Hastening to Lieutenant HORTON, she implored him to restore to her the child. She was informed that he would not be hurt, but with others would be trained as a soldier. Not daunted at this reply, she continued her importunities until the British officer assured her he would release him. On the arrival of the company in whose charge the boy had been placed, Horton prevailed on the Indians to give him up to his mother. Having been successful in this undertaking, she endeavored to procure the release of her neighbor's children. At this juncture she was compelled, by the cruel threats and actions of one of the savage party, again to relinquish her son. A second time did she appeal to Horton for aid, and again succeeded in liberating her offspring. She now set out on her return, having in her charge her own little boy and girl, and eight boys whose freedom she had obtained. On reaching the stream, Mrs. HENDEE carried two of the children across it on her back, one at a time, as she a little while before had been borne by the Indian. The rest forded the river together, their arms being placed around each other's necks, that they might the better withstand the force of the current. She was welcomed with great joy on her return, and for many years after lived to receive the oft-repeated thanks of those whose children she had been the instrument of releasing from a captivity whose terrors were akin to those of death.

      The first record of a town meeting bears date December 1, 1778, and the next March 23, 1779. At this latter meeting, Comfort SEAVER was chosen town clerk; Elias STEVENS, constable; and Isaac MORGAN, Timothy DURKEE and Comfort SEAVER, selectmen. The first representative was Joseph PARKHURST, in 1788. Comfort SEAVER and Abel STEVENS were the first justices of the peace, chosen in 1786. The first born was Elias STEVENS, Jr., about 1777. The first grist and saw-mill was built under circumstances as follows: December 18, 1775, the original proprietors, under the New York charter, conveyed to Elias CURTIS a parcel of land known as “lot 35 in the Dutch allotment," on condition that he should build a grist and saw-mill thereon, and also loaned him £233 to carry on the work, taking a mortgage on the property to insure the payment of the loan. The mill was completed in January, 1777, and was destroyed by the Indians in 1780. In 1782 it was rebuilt by Isaac MORGAN and Huckins STORRS, of Lebanon, N. H., and with improvements and repairs at different times has been in use since, being now the property of M. S. ADAMS.

      The first bridge across White river in the town was built in 1785. It spanned the river just opposite the present residence of John B. BRALEY, on road 30. Such an important event as the opening of this “Great Bridge" was of course thought worthy of a celebration a little out of the usual routine. Accordingly, Gen. STEVENS, then Col. STEVENS, proposed to furnish a barrel of rum to lubricate the throats of the celebrationists, provided they would grant him the honor of carrying the first load across the structure, and would christen it "Steven's bridge." This boon was granted him, and when the eventful day arrived he was on hand with his barrel of "celebration water." The "first load " consisted of a buxom lass of some 200 advoirdupois, perched astride the Colonel's shoulders. An axe soon burst in the head of the rum cask and the rum went down as the cheers went up.

      Minot WHEELER came to Royalton, from Hollis, N. H., at an early date, keeping the old hotel at Royalton for a long time. He subsequently removed to Bethel, where he died in 1849, aged seventy-two years. Minot, Jr., the seventh of his ten children, born in 1814, settled on the old homestead, served the county as sheriff thirty-two years, was representative three terms and died in 1882. He reared a family of five children, only one of whom settled in the town.

      William PIERCE came to Royalton, from Connecticut, at an early day, locating about a mile south of the South village, where he died July 18, 1854, aged eighty-four years. Ira, the only one of his twelve children who settled in the town, died June 22, 1879, aged seventy-four years. One of Ira's two children, Mrs. Charles SLACK, settled in the town.

      Abijah BURBANK, with his father, was an early settler, locating upon the farm now occupied by Samuel ROBINSON. He died in 1842, aged sixty-eight years. Lyman, the fifth of his seven children, died here in 1866, aged sixty-three years. Two of Lyman's three sons settled in the town.

      Thomas BINGHAM, a lieutenant in the Revolutionary war, born in 1742, came to Royalton at an early date and located upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Harry A. Six of his twelve children settled in the town. Harry, the tenth child, died on the old homestead in 1862.

      Lemuel ROSS came here, from New Hampshire, at an early date locating upon a farm on the line between Tunbridge and Royalton, and died here in 1822, aged sixty-eight years. Snell, the fourth of his nine children, resided here until twenty-six years of age, then removed to Tunbridge, where he died in 1869, aged seventy-seven years. Freeman, his third son, born in Tunbridge in 1823, now resides in Royalton.

      Benjamin DAY came to Royalton, from Hebron, Conn., in 1774, locating in the northwestern part of the town, where he died at an advanced age. Four of his eleven children settled here. Sylvester, his ninth child, born in 1770, died on the old homestead in 1813, aged forty-three years. Two of his nine children settled here.

     Isaac PINNEY, from Strafford, Conn., came to this town in 1777, and in 1780 located upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Fordyce, where he died, in 1842, aged eighty-four years. Fordyce, born in 1817, is a son of Isaac, Jr., the second of Isaac's nine children. Isaac, Jr., died in 187o, aged eighty-four years,

      Daniel RIX came to Royalton, from Connecticut, 1778, locating near the present site of South Royalton, where he reared a family of seven children. He became a large landowner, a prominent business man and a deacon of the Congregational church. His son Elisha was an infant when the family came here. He also became a prominent man, was president of the "turnpike company" between Royalton and White River junction, and also held many of the town offices. Four of his family of eight children are now living, two in this town. William; the fifth child, born in 1810, removed to the south in 1834, and remained until 1865. Edward RIX, youngest son of Elisha, born in 1820, now occupies the old homestead, on road 32.

      Squire C. CLEVELAND came from Connecticut in 1795, and located upon the farm now owned by Seth Morley, 2d, whose wife, Anna, is a granddaughter of Mr. CLEVELAND.

      Philip HOWARD, from Bridgewater, Mass., came to Royalton in 1794, locating in the northern part of the town, where he died in 186o, aged ninety years. Two of his eleven children, Charles and Elisha, settled in the town. Silas W., sixth child of Elisha, born in 1845, now resides on road 45, corner 56.

      John ROOT came from Connecticut about 1795, and located upon a farm near the center of the town, and from there removed to the farm now occupied by his grandson, John T., where he died in 1834, aged seventy-three years. John T. is the fifth child of Stephen E. ROOT, born in 1829.

      Benjamin COLE came from New Hampshire in 1795, and located upon the farm now occupied by George HARRIS. He reared a family of seven children, and died in 1842, aged eighty-one years.

      John BLISS, born in 1772, came from Massachusetts in 1796. He first located upon a farm in the western part of the town, then removed to a farm on road 33, where he died August 29, 1859, aged eighty-six years. Two of his seven children settled in the town. Charles W., son of John A., born in 1814, now resides on road 33.

      Elisha PIERCE came to this town about 1800, and located upon a farm on road 22, where he died in 1830, aged sixty-three years. Only one of his seven children, Edwin, settled in the town. Edwin was born in 1800, and died here in 1873. His widow still survives him, aged seventy-seven years. Only one of their children, Mary M., is living.

      John HINKLEY, from Northfield, came here about 1800, and located in the southern part of the town, where he died in 1870, aged eighty-four years. Only one of his seven children, James M., settled in the town. He resides on road 21.

      James FAY, from New Hampshire, came to Royalton, previous to 1800, and located in the southern part of the town, where he died in 1832, aged sixty-three years. Charles, the eleventh of his twelve children, born in 1821, has always resided here. He has one child.

      Arunah ADAMS came from Connecticut to Royalton about 1800 and settled in the western part of the town, about three miles above Royalton village. He had a family of four children. Forest ADAMS, born in 1805, the second child of Arunah, was one of the leading citizens of the town, being elected town treasurer for thirty years. His death occurred in 1880. Of his family of four children, three are living, Frederick B., deceased. Martin S., engaged in the lumber trade, represented the town in 1878.

      Gideon CRANDALL, came to Royalton from Connecticut, previous to 1800, and located on road 3, near where his grandson, Douglass R., now resides. The latter's father was Tracy, one of Gideon's nine children.

      Thomas CLARK, born in England, came to Royalton about 1800. Two of his three children are now living, the eldest, Chester T., on road 47.

      Calvin GOFF came to Royalton from Pomfret, Vt., about 1803, reared a family of five children, and died in 1865, aged seventy-nine years. Phineas H., his first child, born in 1810, died in 1881. Harry B., twin brother of William, born in 1818, resides on road 41.

      Dr. Joseph A. DENISON, a native of Connecticut, came to Royalton in 1815, locating upon the place now owned by his son, Dudley C. He was one of the early physicians of the town, and was largely sought by neighboring towns. He died in 1855, aged eighty years. He had a family of six children, only two of whom, Dudley C. and Rachel C., are living. The former is a popular lawyer and has held many of the town offices.

      Reuben DODGE came to this town, from Claremont, N. H.. about 1820, and died here in 1860, aged sixty-eight years. Nine of his twelve children settled in the town. Denison D., his fifth child, born in 1827, resides on road 12. Chester B., the seventh child, born in 1835, resides on road 6.

      Craton BELKNAP, son of Chester, born April 14, 1821, now resides on road 32. He had a family of four children.

      Austin BROOKS came to Royalton at an early date and located upon the farm now owned by his son, Selden S., on road 20 1/2, where he died in 1880, aged eighty years.

      Benjamin SPAULDING, son of Azial SPAULDING, an early settler in Sharon, came to Royalton in 1823, and died in Canaan, Vt., in 185r. His nine children all settled in this town.

      William SHIRLOCK, born in Ireland, came to Royalton in 1831, and located upon a farm on road 9, where he still resides.

      James DAVIS came to Royalton, from Randolph, Vt., in 1837, locating on road 20, where he still resides. He was the town representative in 1849, and has also held other offices of trust.

      James DOYLE, a native of Ireland, came to Royalton from Woodstock, about 1847, locating upon the farm he still occupies. He has a family of seven children.

      The First Congregational church, located at Royalton village, was organized in the autumn of 1777, the first pastor being Rev. John SEARL. The first house of worship was erected in 1784, followed by another in 1790, and the present building was erected in 1839. It is a wood structure capable of seating 450 persons, and valued, including grounds, etc., at $5,000.00. The society has eighty-two members, with Rev. W. D. SMITH, pastor.

      St. Paul's Episcopal church, located at Royalton village, was organized in 1835, Rev. Nathaniel SPRAGUE being the first pastor. The church building was erected during that year, and is now valued at $1,600.00. Rev. M. P. STICKNEY is the present pastor of the society.

      The South Royalton Congregational church was organized February 14, 1868, with twenty-two members, Rev. D. W. FOX being the first pastor. The church building was erected during that year, a structure capable of seating 220 persons, and now valued, including grounds, at $5,600.00. The society now has sixty members, with Rev. W. D. SMITH, pastor.

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 205-216.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004