HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF WESTON

      WESTON lies in the southeastern corner of the county, in lat. 43° 19' and long. 4° 14', bounded north by Ludlow and Mount Holly, the latter in Rutland county, east by Andover, south by Landgrove, in Bennington county, and Londonderry, in Windham county, and west by Landgrove and Mount Tabor, the latter in Rutland county. Originally Weston formed a part of Andover. Extending down through the center of that town, as originally chartered, there arose a ridge of highlands known as Mt. Terrible and Markham mountain, rendering communication between the eastern and western portions of the township exceedingly difficult and tedious. This was endured by the inhabitants for many years, or until 1799, when, on the 26th of October of that year the legislature divided the township, making this highland the dividing line, erecting that portion of Andover to the west of it, together with a tract of 5,000 acres, known as Benton's Gore, into the township of Weston. For this reason the early histories of Weston and Andover are indivisible; hence, to the early history of Andover we refer the reader for the early history of this town.

      Weston lies entirely upon the eastern slope of the Green mountains, thus rendering its surface exceedingly broken and uneven. Still, though the land is rocky, there are many farms containing a fine, fertile soil; but, in general, the land is much better adapted to grazing than agricultural pursuits. The grains and grasses grown, and the natural growth of timber, are of the varieties indigenous to most of the towns of the county, and yield a percentage in about the same ratio. The scenery, climate, and commanding views are exceeded by few in any of the Windsor county towns, so that West river flows through the center of the town from north to south, and with its numerous tributaries from the east and west, forms the watercourse of the territory. The Indian name of the stream was Wautasticook written also Wautastiqueg, and Wautastiquet. It rises in the northern part of the town and flows south into Londonderry. Near the south line of that town it receives Winhall river, from Winhall, and then takes a southeasterly course through Jamaica, Townsend, Newfane and Dummerston, uniting with the Connecticut in the northeastern part of Battleboro, having received the waters from 440 square miles of territory. The rocks that enter into the geological structure of the territory are almost entirely of gneiss formation.

      In 1880 Weston had a population of 987, and in 1882 it was divided into nine school districts and contained ten common schools, employing three male and twelve female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $1,136.79. There were 234 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $1,240.08, with C. H. WALTER, superintendent.

      WESTON, a post village located in the southern-central part of the town, has three churches (Congregational, Methodist and Baptist), a good graded school, three general stores, a tannery, two butter tub manufactories, a chair-stock factory, saw-mill, grist-mill, and carding-mill, and a carpenter shop, harness shop and cabinet shop. In 1797 the village consisted of three buildings, viz.: a saw-mill, dwelling and barn.

      FOSTER & JAQUITH's chair-stock factory, located on a branch of West river, was established by W. H. & W. S. FOSTER in 1867. The firm now does a prosperous business.

      Elbridge C. FRENCH's saw-mill, located on West river, was built in October, 1882, and turns out about 25,000 feet of lumber per month.

      Weston grist-mill, J. B. & O. S. OSBORN, proprietors, has three runs of stones, and grinds flour, feed and meal.

      Bryant's Mills, located at Weston village, C. J. WILLARD, proprietor, are used for the manufacture of chair-stock, toys and turning and scroll sawing. They are operated by both steam and water-power, turning out about $8,000,00 worth of goods per aunum.

      BRIGGS Bros.’ butter tub factory, located at Weston village, turns out about 1,000 butter tubs per month.

      Matthias HAYNES's chair stock manufactory, located on road 42, gives employment to four men and turns out about $3,000.00 worth of stock per year, and saws 60,000 feet of lumber.

      Merrill GRAVES's saw-mill, located on road 2, was originally built about twenty-nine years ago, destroyed by fire March 19, 1883, and rebuilt the same spring, as a steam mill.

      Nelson L. WAIT's butter-tub factory, located on Cold Spring brook, turns out from 4,000 to 6,000 butter tubs per annum.

      Henry W BALL's tannery, located on Cold Spring brook, was built in 1881, upon the site of an old tannery that was destroyed by fire in September, 1880. Mr. BALL employs six men, and tans 3,500 sides and B00 calf skins per year.

      Franklin MANSUR's saw-mill, located at Weston village, was built by a Mr. PEASE, about seventy-five years ago, and has been in Mr. MANSUR's hands about twenty-five years. He manufactures about 300,000 feet of lumber per annum.

      The first settler came into Weston in 1775, a man by the name of UTLEY. He obtained a grant of a portion of the town of Landgrove, and supposed he was settling thereon, but in reality got over the line into what was then Andover, locating on the river, just below the present site of Weston village. Here he erected a log house and made a small clearing; but it was not long before he discovered his mistake and realized the fact that he could have no title to the land. He then removed to a location on what has since been known as Utley's branch. The next to come into the town was a Mr. GEAR, who also remained but a short time. The next following Mr. GEAR was John SIMONS, who came here in June, 1776, and came to stay; hence, to Mr. SIMONS is accorded the honor of having been the first permanent settler in the town. He located in the southern part of the town, where he reared a large family of sons, one of whom, Alvin, was the first town clerk and first representative, while another son, Major Edward, was the first child born in the town. Following Mr. SIMONS came the PEASEs, TIDDERs, HALLs, DALEs, SPAFFORDs, WAITEs, CARPENTERs and others, locating in various parts of the town.

      The town was organized and the first town meeting held, March 3, 1800, when Amasa PIPER was chosen moderator; Alvin SIMONS, town clerk; Amasa PIPER, Augustus PEASE, and Deacon Henry HALL, selectmen; Augustus PEASE, town treasurer; David SPAFFORD, Jr., Oliver FARRER and Gideon PEASE, listers; and Joseph BULLARD, constable. The first frame house was built in 1788, and the first store and school-house in 1797. The first burial in the cemetery at Weston village was that of Mrs. James COMBS, in 1800.

      Jacob FOSTER, a native of Temple, N. H., came to Weston at an early day, traveling on horse back. He reared a family of twelve children, and died at the age of eighty years. Jeremiah, born here, died at the age of thirty-six years, leaving three sons, Jerry M., Edwin R. and Wells H. Jerry M. and Wells H. still reside here, and Edwin R. is a resident of Corinth, Me.

      Samuel PEABODY came to Weston at an early day, from Wilton, N. H. He married Lucina PEASE, held most of the town offices, and died at the age of seventy years. Samuel, Jr., has held the office of town clerk, with the exception of ten years, since 1844, and has also served in most of other town offices.

      John WAITE, a veteran of the Revolution, came to Weston from Mason, N. H., among the early settlers, and died here in 1830. Amos, son of John, born here, owned the farm now occupied by his son James G. Five of his eight children are living.

      Thomas PIPER, a native of Massachusetts, came to Weston with his parents when three years of age, and resided here until his death, in December, 1879, aged eighty-eight years. David A. PIPER was born in the house now occupied by his widow on road 35, and died here in 1875, aged fifty-five years. The house was built by Thomas seventy-two years ago, and has been occupied by members of the family since.

      William FULLER, born in Lynn. Mass., came to Weston about 1808, locating where his grandson, Henry M. FULLER, now resides, and where he died, about 1853, aged seventy-six years. Lewis, son of William, now seventy-five years of age, sixty of which he has been blind, still resides in the town, with his son-in-law, John G. WADLEIGH. Henry H. is a son of Lewis.

      James and William TAYLOR, brothers, came to Weston, from New Ipswich, Mass., in 1808, locating where John MATTOCKS now resides, on road 27. James married Mary TOWN, reared seven children, and died February 29, 1859, aged seventy-nine years. Mrs. TAYLOR died August 7, 1878, aged ninety-two years. Five of their children are now living, though only one, James M., in Weston.

      Simeon SPAULDING came to Weston, from Hollis, N. H., in 1814, and located where Robert WALLACE now resides. He reared a family of eight children, and died while on a journey to New Hampshire, December 28, 1839, aged fifty eight years. Mr. SPAULDING held many of the town offices and was highly respected. Simeon D., who now resides at the village, was born in Weston. He held most of the town offices, representing the town in the legislature of 1866-'67 and 1874-'75.

      Orville BUSS, born in Rockingham, Vt., came to Weston at an early day, and located on road 16, where he died in 1881, aged seventy-five years. Herbert M., son of Orville, was born here. He is now engaged in the tannery business, located on road 12.

      Ezekiel LOVEJOY, from Wilton, N. H., came to Weston at an early day, locating where Frank LOVEJOY now resides, and died in 1840, aged fifty-eight years. Ezekiel Harvey, son of Ezekiel, now resides on road 10. Lyman, another son, was killed here, November 20, 1879, by falling under the wagon while drawing a heavy log to the village. His son Frank occupies the homestead.

      David STERLING, born at Woodstock, June 19, 1788, died July 25, 1880. He was justice of the peace over twenty years. Benjamin F., son of David, born here November 2, 1820, married Caroline J. ABBOTT and reared four children, one of whom, Marriette (Mrs. Harvey K. AUSTIN), resided in Weston. Benning K. ABBOTT, father of Mrs. STERLING, came to Weston at an early day, and died in Rutland August 30th, 1865, aged-eighty-one years.

      Sewell HALE, born in Temple, N. H., came to Weston in 1826, and died here in 1863, aged seventy-six years. Sewell, Jr., born here, married Laura S. COLBURN, of Alstead, N. H., has reared three children, John T., James W, and Charles F. The latter died June 4, 1863, aged six years and six months. Sewell, Jr., died March 20, 1869.

      James HESELTON, from Wilton, N. H., came to Andover among the early settlers, and at an early day settled in Weston, and died in Mount Tabor where lie had gone to reside with his son Semon. Semon came to Weston in 1870.

      Caleb FENN, born in Ludlow, Vt., came to Weston about 1830, and now, at the age of eighty-two years, resides with his son Seymour P., who was born in Weston in 1833. Winslow S., son of the latter, is engaged in mercantile pursuits.

      Ira HEALD, born in Temple, N. H., came to Ludlow at an early day. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was the last pensioner of that war in Weston, having located here in 1833. He died July 1, 1882, aged ninety-one years. Luke H., son of Ira, came to Weston with his father, and has since resided here. Melvin E., son of Luke H., born in Weston, is correspondent for the “Vermont Tribune,” “Vermont Journal,” and “Windham County
Reformer.”

      William W. MANNING, the present town representative, came to Landgrove with his parents when an infant, where he resided until thirteen years of age when his father removed to Massachusetts and died there. William then came to Weston to reside with his uncle, Harmon Holt, and has since resided here.

      Henry A. STEPHENS, from Temple, N. H., came to Weston with his father, Henry, when two years of age, locating in the northern part of the town, and both resided here until the war of the Rebellion. Henry A. enlisted in Co. I, 2d Vt. Vols., serving about two years, being discharged July 11, 1862, for wounds received. His father also enlisted and died in hospital.

      Charles W. SPRAGUE, son of Charles, who was an early settler in Plymouth, came to Western in 1838. He subsequently took charge of the union store at the village, being salesman for the company nine years, then with Solon RICHARDSON bought the goods, and continued the business seven years, when the partnership was dissolved. In 1876 he resumed business under the firm name of SPRAGUE & RICHARDSON. Mr. SPRAGUE has been postmaster a number of years, and has held many of the town offices.

      Franklin N. MARBLE, born in Whitehall, N. Y., came to Weston, from Sunderland, Vt., at the age of seventeen years, and now resides on road 10 and 22. Eli S., brother of Franklin, has also resided here since 1870.

      James BRYANT, born in Cornish, N. H., came to Weston in 1839, building Bryant's mills during that year. He was a justice of the peace here about twenty years, represented the town in 1858-'59, held several other town offices, and died in Hyde Park, Mass., May 16, 1881, aged eighty-two years. Five of his thirteen children attained a mature age, viz.: John T., William B., James H., Edward D. and Adin E. The latter represented the town in 1880-'81.

      Rev. Moses ADAMS, a Methodist clergyman, was born at Corydon, N. H., and came to Weston November 29, 1843. He has preached since 1839, mostly in Weston and surrounding towns, though he is now superannuated on account of failing health.

      Samuel B. LEONARD, son of Shepard LEONARD, an early settler in Andover, came to Western in 1843, locating at the village, and is now living on road 25, with his son, Calvin S.

      Ryland„ R. SPAULDING, son of Phineas W. SPAULDING, an early settler in Ludlow, came to Weston in 1842, locating on road 30, where he now resides. He has four children, Romayne, William R., Fred A. and Ruby Ann, all living in the town.

      Charles G. C. HOSLEY, born in Troy, N. Y., came to Weston and located as a harness manufacturer. He has worked in the village twenty-four years. His father, Curtis HOSLEY, born in Townsend, Vt., died in Mt. Tabor a few years since, aged eighty-nine years.

      The Congregational church, located at Weston village, was organized September 4, 1799, with thirty members, Rev. Stedman MORGAN being the first pastor. The society used the Union church and town hall for holding services, until 1839, when their church building was erected, a wood structure capable of seating 200 persons and now valued, including other property, at $4,000.00. The society now has thirty-eight members, with no regular pastor.

      The Methodist Episcopal church, located at Weston village, was organized at an early date, and also used the Union church for services. In 1867 the society purchased the upper half of the building, thoroughly repaired it, and have used it since. The society has eighty-seven members, with Rev. W. R. DAVENPORT, pastor. It has also a Sabbath-school with 150 scholars and thirteen efficient officers and teachers.

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 250-255.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004

Congregational Church, Weston, Vermont ~ 1884