HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF 

WEST WINDSOR

      WEST WINDSOR lies in the eastern part of the county, in lat. 43° 29' and long. 4° 28', bounded north by Hartland, east by Windsor, south by Weathersfield and west by Reading. This town was originally a part of Windsor, chartered by New Hampshire, July 6, 1761, and re-chartered by New York March 28, 1772. In 1793 Windsor was divided into two distinct parishes, and in 1814 it was erected into two towns, Windsor and West Windsor. This division, however, only lasted one year, when they were re-united, only to be severed again, October 26, 1848. The subject of this division, however, is treated in detail in connection with the history of the town of Windsor, so it would be superfluous to go over the ground again at this point. The early history, first settlement, etc., of West Windsor is necessarily identical with that of Windsor, therefore, for the early history of West Windsor, we refer the reader to the history of Windsor, following this chapter.

      This surface of West Windsor is pleasing and picturesque, though in some portions quite rocky, yet affording many fine, arable farms. Mill brook flows through the southern part of the town, in an easterly direction, into which flow many minor streams from the north. The prevailing rock entering into its geological structure is of the gneiss formation.

      In 1880 West Windsor had a population of 690, and in 1882 the town was divided into eight school districts and contained eight common schools, employing three male and ten female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $785.87. There were 153 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $985.70, with A. P. DUNSMOOR, superintendent.

      BROWNSVILLE, a post village located in the southern part of the town, on Mill brook, has two churches (Methodist and Union), one saw-mill, a grist, cider and planing-mill, blacksmith shop, and about seventy-five inhabitants.

      SHEDDSVILLE is a hamlet located in the central part of the town.

      C. W. STEARNS's saw-mill, located on a branch of Mill brook, was built by Mr. STEARNS in 1875. It cuts about 200,000 feet of lumber per year.

      Jacob SYKES's saw-mill, located at Brownsville, was purchased by him in 1875, and he now manufactures about 200,000 feet of lumber and 200,000 shingles per year.

      Wilburt SYKES's wooden-ware mane factory, located at Brownsville, was established in 1880, where he does all kinds of turning and job work.

      The Windsor Woolen Mills, located on road 42, were built by Josiah PERKINS, in 1831, and were purchased by the present proprietor, Samuel H. LELAND, in 1880. The mill has 180 spindles and four looms, turning out about 25,000 yards of plain and fancy cassimeres per annum, employing twelve men.

      Ira C. SMALL's grist, cider and planing-mill, located at Brownsville, was built many years ago for a woolen-mill, and about twenty-five years ago was converted into a grist and planing-mill, coming into the present owner's possession in 1878. The grist-mill has two run of stones, grinding about 20,000 bushels of grain per year, while the cider-mill turns out 1,000 barrels of cider and five tons of apple jelly.

      Samuel ROOT was one of the earliest settlers in the town. He came from Connecticut and located about three-quarters of a mile east of the center of the town, upon the farm now owned by his grandson, Walter J. KENDALL, where he reared a family of nine children. His son Rufus was about eight years of age when the family came here. He subsequently served in the Revolution. One of his three children, Melinda (ROOT) KENDALL, is still living, aged eighty-seven years. Rufus kept a hotel here many years, served as a justice of the peace, and died in 1845.

      Richard WAITE came to West Windsor at an early day in its history and spent the remainder of his long life here. Allen, son of Richard, was born here and, with the exception of three or four years, spent his life in the town, dying at the age of eighty-four years. Allen's son, Giles, also died here, aged seventy-eight years. Galen, son of Giles, now occupies the old homestead built by his great-grandfather.

      David HALE was also one of the earliest settlers. He came here with his three brothers and located where his great-grandson, Martin C., now resides. David, Jr., born here, died in 1875, aged ninety-four years. Olin, son of David, Jr., died June 4, 1875, aged sixty years.

      Abail SPAULDING came to West Windsor, from New Ipswich, N. H., locating where his grandson, Wilbur, now resides. He died in 1846, aged eighty-eight years. Abial, son of Abial, was born on the old farm and died in 1872, aged eighty years. Wilbur was also born on the old place.

      Rial BLANCHARD was an early settler. He came from New Hampshire and located about a quarter of a mile south of the farm now occupied by his grandson, Adolphus, and died in 1859. Seth, son of Rial, was born here, reared a family of five children, four of whom are living. He enlisted in the late war, and died at Newburn, N. C., in 1865.

      Abel HERRICK, from Massachusetts, came to West Windsor at an early date and died here in 1845. Abel, Jr., was born here in 1800, and died here in 1859. His widow now resides on road 23.

      David LOMBARD came from Boston, Mass., and made the first settlement in the eastern part of the town, locating upon the farm now owned by his grandson, C. J. LOMBARD. Asaph, son of David, reared six children, and died here in 1868.

      Stephen CADY was an early settler here. His son Stephen P. was born here about 1809 and died in 1843. Two of his sons, Charles P. and John W., now reside here.

      Abel ADAMS came from Massachusetts at an early day and purchased the four original lots numbered 47, 48, 49 and 50, containing fifty acres each. He first built a house where George RICH now resides, then built where Mrs. SPAFFORD now resides, and where he died. His only daughter married Bezaleel BRIDGE, and was the mother of thirteen children. One of these, Sarah, married Horace SPAULDING.

      Rufus LEAVENS came from Killingsly, Conn., about 1783, to reside with his uncle, Charles LEAVENS. He died here in 1853. Only two of his children are living, a daughter, aged eighty-seven years, and Orange LEAVENS, on road 41, aged eighty-two years.

      Asa WORCESTER came to West Windsor, from West Groton, Mass., in 1775, and died here in 1817. He was a soldier in the French war and served a short time in the Revolution. Asa, Jr., came here with his father at the age of four years, and died here in 1846. He married Mary DELANO in 1799, and reared seven children, two of whom are living, viz.: Mrs. Maria NORTH, of Broad Brook, Conn., and Chauncey, on road 40. Chauncey has three children, one a doctor in New York, one a mechanic it Boston and one, a daughter, at home.

      Capt. Zachariah STORY, the second son of Jeremiah STORY, was born at Ipswich, Mass., in November, 1741. At an early age he went to sea as a cabin boy, and followed the sea until he became captain of a West India merchantman. Finally, however, he married Susannah LOW, of Essex, Mass., and removed to Hopkinton, N. H., where he engaged in farming, and where the following children were born to him: Jemima, Isaac, Zachariah, Susannah, Charlotte, Mary, Asa, Samuel and Dyer. In the autumn of 1789 he removed with his family to Windsor, settling in the part of the town that was erected into the West Parish in 1793. Here he purchased two hundred acres of land, twenty acres of which was improved and contained a log house. This large farm he cleared, and after a time built a brick house which was his home during the remainder of his life, and which is still standing. He died May 12, 1831. Portions of the original two hundred acres are now included in the Asa STORY and Campbell BARRETT farms.

      Of Capt. STORY's sons, Isaac studied medicine in Westmoreland, N. H., practiced his profession for two years in Windsor. Vt., and died of consumption November 12, 1801; Zachariah died at the age of twenty-one years, as he was about to begin the study of medicine; Asa settled upon a portion of the home farm, and died there at an advanced age, his children being Paschal, Rhoda, Carlos, William, Charles, Katherine anti Julia; Samuel removed to the State of New York, where he died at the age of fifty-five years; and Dyer, who was born May 17, 1789, received such common school education as the first settlers were enabled to give their children. When very young, however, he determined upon the study of medicine, and as a means to that end engaged in school-teaching through the winter months. In the autumn of 1813 he completed his medical studies at Hanover, N. H., and in the following spring went to Bridgewater, Pa., where he practiced briefly in company with Dr. DENNISON. Not liking the country however, he soon went to Rushford, N. Y., a township that had been chiefly settled by families from Windsor and vicinity. Here he remained for three year; having a large practice, and being held in high esteem by the people. In 1817 Dr. STORY was prostrated by a severe illness which continued three months, and upon recovering sufficiently to endure the journey he determined upon a visit to his friends in Windsor. Here he was induced to settle permanently, living with his father upon the home farm for many years. In 1847 he built a house nearer Brownsville, which was his home during the remainder of his life, dying November 13, 1868, aged seventy-nine years, fifty of which had been in the practice of his profession. He married Susan LAWRENCE, of Nelson, N. H., October 22, 1818, and their children, all born in West Windsor, were Darwin R., Henry L., Susan L. and Charlotte M. Darwin R. studied medicine with his father, practiced at Brownsville eleven years, and removed to Proctorsville, Vt., in 1854, where he is still located. Henry L. is a farmer in Windsor. Dr. STORY passed a long and useful professional life, his practice extending into all the surrounding towns. In the years 1846 and '47 he was a member of the legislature from Windsor, the town at that time not being divided.

      John BLOOD came from Groton, Mass., about 1.785, locating on road 3. He subsequently located upon the farm now owned by Aretas B. He was a pensioner of the Revolution, and died in 1848, aged eighty-nine years. Sylvester, son of John, was drowned in Boston Harbor while out with a pleasure party. Aretas B., his son, occupies the old homestead built by his grandfather. A large elm tree, eighteen feet and two inches in circumference, now standing near the house, was a sapling when John came here.

      Thomas ROE came to West Windsor from Connecticut, about 1795, and died here in 1859, aged eighty-eight years. The only surviving member of the family is Mrs. Amy HERRICK, residing on road 23.

      Abram TAYLOR came to West Windsor sometime previous to 1800, locating in the northwestern part of the town, where he reared a family of eleven children. His son Levi, born in 1785, died here in 1865. Two of his three children are living. Mrs. Joseph BOWERS, in Weathersfield, and James M. in this town.

      Henry BOWERS came to West Windsor about 1800, and located in the northern part of the town, where he reared a family of eleven children, two of whom are living, and died in 1822. His son Henry was born in 1807 and died in 1876. Two of his six children are living, Charles B., in this town, and James H., in Hartland.

      John PERSONS came to West Windsor, from Reading, about 1808. He located upon the farm now owned by his daughter Mary, and died here in 1862, aged eighty-three years.

      Elisha BANNISTER, born in this town, died here June 20, 1882, aged seventy-three years. Melvin E., son of Elisha, was born in the house he now occupies, on road 48.

      William PRICE came to Weathersfield, from Massachusetts, in 1812, locating about two miles from Ascutneyville. Three of his nine children are living, and one, Lemuel A., in this town on road 26.

      Charles SAUNDERS was an early settler in Weathersfield, where he reared a family of eleven children. Charles C. SAUNDERS of this town is a grandson of Charles.

      Benjamin WARREN, residing on road 30, is a grandson of Benjamin WARREN, an early settler in Ludlow.

      Olin S. DENSNMORE, residing on road 31, is a grandson of Abram DENSMORE, an early settler in Cavendish.

      John F. COLSTON, residing on road 6, is a grandson of William COLSTON, one of the early settlers of Hartland.

      Horace SPAULDING came to West Windsor, from Cavendish, in 1842, and here in 1878. His son Eugene H. came here in 1842 and now resides at Sheddsville. He is the present town clerk and representative, having held the office of representative five terms.

      The Methodist church of Brownsville was organized in 1810, Rev. Chester W. LEAVENS being the first pastor. The first house of worship was a brick structure, erected in 1831. The present edifice was erected in 1860, a wood structure, valued at $2,000.00. The society now has eighty members, with Rev. W. H. WIGHT, 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 255-260.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004