HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF WINDSOR

      WINDSOR, one of the most important, most populous, and possessing one of the most interesting histories of any of the towns in the county, lies in the eastern part of the same, in lat. 43° 29' and long, 4° 29', bounded north by Hartland, west by the Connecticut river, which separates it from Cornish hills of New Hampshire, south by Weathersfield, and west by West Windsor. It originally contained an area of about 23,600 acres, chartered by New Hampshire to Samuel ASHLEY, Jacob CUMMINGS and fifty-seven others, July 6. 1761. After the passage of the king's order in council of July 20, 1761, declaring the western bank of the Connecticut to be the western boundary of New York, the people became alarmed for the safety of their land titles, and obtained another charter, from New York, July 7, 1766, and with it eight hundred acres of land additional. Still, though the second patent was bestowed on the motion of some of the most influential citizens of the place, many of the inhabitants were opposed to the jurisdiction of New York, and denied the authority of the courts which were afterwards established by that province. This led to complications, and on the 2d of March, 1772, the territory was re-granted by the same province, to Zehekiah and David STONE, and their associates. A third and last grant of the township made by New York, was to Nathan STONE and twenty-two other grantees, March 28, 1772. The first three paragraphs of the latter charter, which is too lengthy to print in full, read as follows:
"Whereas, our province of New York, in America, hath, ever since the grant thereof to James as Duke of York, been abutted and bounded to the east in part by the west bank or side of the Connecticut river; and whereas, of late years. a great part of our said province lying to the westward of the same river, hath, nevertheless, been pretended to be granted by divers instruments under the great seal of the province of New Hampshire, as though the same lands had then belonged to and were within the bounds and limits of the province of New Hampshire, and within the powers and. Jurisdiction of the government thereof; and, whereas, among others, the tract of land by these presents hereinafter granted, part of our said province of New York, as aforesaid, hath been so pretended to be granted and to be erected into a township of the said province of New Hampshire, by the name of Windsor, and, whereas, our loving subjects, Zehekiah STONE, Nathan STONE and David STONE, the same in behalf of themselves and twenty other persons, by their humble petition presented unto our trusty and well-beloved Cadwallader COLDEN, Esquire, our Lieutenant-Governor, and then our commander-in-chief of said province of New York, and read in our council for our said province of New York, on the twenty-ninth day of October, which was in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-five, set forth among other things, -- That there was a certain tract of land lying in our said province of New York, commonly called and known by the name of Windsor, a little more than six miles square, beginning at a black ash tree standing on the west bank of Connecticut river, marked with the figures two and three, and runs from thence west, sixteen degrees north, six miles; then north, six degrees east, six miles and fifty-six rods; then east, sixteen degrees south, six miles and a quarter, to a maple tree standing on the said bank of the said river, marked with the figures three and four; then down the said river to the first mentioned, bounding easterly on the said river, southerly on a tract of land commonly called and known by the name of Weathersfield, westerly on a tract of land commonly called and known by the name of Reading, and northerly on a township known by the name of Hartford. That the petitioners and their associates held the same by the said pretended grant of the government of New Hampshire, and thinking their title good, settled about sixteen families thereon. That they were willing and desirous to secure their property, possessions and improvements, by holding the same under the government of our said province of New York, and make further settlements upon the said tract; and therefore the petitioners did, in behalf of themselves and associates humbly pray that our said Lieut.-Governor would be favorably pleased by our Letters Patent to grant to the petitioners and their associates, their heirs and assigns, the said tract of land containing upwards of 2;,600 acres, and that the same might be erected into a township, by the name of Windsor, and vested with the same powers and privileges as other towns in our said province of New York had and did enjoy. Which petition having been thus referred to the committee of our council for our said province of New York, our same council did, afterwards, on the same day, in pursuance of the report of the said committee, humbly advise our consent that our said Lieut.-Governor, should, by our letters Patent, grant to the said petitioners, associates and their heirs, the tract of land aforesaid, under the Quit-rent provisos, limitations and restrictions prescribed by our royal institutions.
"AND, WHEREAS, the said Nathan STONE and our loving subject William SWAN, in behalf of themselves and their associates, by their humble petition presented unto our trusty and well-beloved William TRYON, Esquire, our Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief in and over our said province of New York, and the territories depending thereon, in America, chancellor and vice-admiral of the same and read in our council for our said province of New York, on the twenty-ninth day of January, now last past, writing the proceedings aforesaid, did set forth, among other things, in substance that, since the above proceedings, the several parties who were formerly associated with the petitioners, save Mary STONE, the wife of the petitioner Nathan STONE, had relinquished all their right, title and interest to the said lands, as by the instruments in writing presented with the said petition might appear, and that the petitioners and the person named in the schedule to the said petition annexed were the only persons interested in the said lands; and therefore the petitioners did humbly pray that our Letters Patent so directed to issue, as aforesaid, might pass in the names of the petitioners and their associates, mentioned in the schedule aforesaid. On due consideration of which last recited petition our same council did humbly advise that, when our Letters Patent should issue for the said tract of land called Windsor, our said Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief should issue agreeable to the proceedings aforesaid, of the twenty-ninth day of October, 1765; but that, instead of the grantees therein mentioned or referred to, our said Letters Patent should issue in the names of the petitioners, the said Nathan STONE and William SWAN, and of their associates named in the schedule to the last recited petition annexed, and that the several shares of the said tract of land which, by the pretended grant or charter from the government of New Hampshire, were intended for public uses, be granted in trust as follows-that is to say: one such share for the use of the society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts; a like share as a Glebe for the use of the minister of the Gospel in communion of the Church of England, as by law established, for the time being, residing on the premises; a like share for the first settled minister of the Gospel in the said town, and one hundred acres for the use of the school-master residing on the premises. That the share of the said tract of land formerly allotted to Benning WENTWORTH, Esquire, should remain vested in us, and that the whole of the said tract of land should be erected into a township by the name of Windsor, with the usual privileges.
IN PURSUANCE WHEREOF, and in obedience to our said royal instructions, our commissioners appointed for the setting out all lands to be granted within our said province of New York, have set out for the said Nathan STONE and William SWAN and for their associates named in the schedule aforesaid, to wit: -- Waldron BLAARE. John ABEEL, William PUNTINE, Michael NARL, John McGINNIS. Richard McGINNIS, Robert McGINNIS, Patrick WALSH, James ABEEL, Edward COLLOM, Marinus LOW, Edward PATTEN, Andries RIEGHER, George KLEIN, Thomas LUPTON, Duncan ROBERTSON, Samuel STEVENS, John PESINGER, George LUCAM, Francis GROOME, and James COBHAM, All That certain tract or parcel of land by the name of Windsor, situate, lying and being on the west side of Connecticut river, in the county of Cumberland, within our province of New York, beginning on the west bank of the said river, at the distance of five hundred and six chains and twenty links south from the south bounds of the township of Hartford. This tract runs from the said place of beginning, north 74 degrees, west 480 chains: then north, six degrees east, 494 chains; then, south 74 degrees, east along the said south bounds of Hartford to Connecticut river; then down along the west bank of the said river, as it winds and turns, to the place where this tract began, containing 24,500 acres of land and the usual allowance for highways, and containing, exclusive of the five several lots or parcels hereinafter described, 23,000 acres of land and the usual allowance for highways; one of which said lots or parcels of land distinguished by the name of the First Lot, is to remain vested in us, and is bounded as follows, that is to say: Beginning on the west bank of the Connecticut river, at the south-east corner of the above mentioned larger tract, of which this first lot is a part. and runs thence along the south bounds of the said larger tract, north 74 degrees, west 136 chains; then north, 16 degrees east, 40 chains; then, south 74 degrees, east to Connecticut river; and then down the west bank of said river, as it winds and turns, to the place where the first lot began, containing 500 acres of land and the usual allowance for highways. And, also, our said commissioners have set out to be granted in trust for the uses and purposes hereinafter mentioned, the following four lots of land, parts and parcels of
the said larger tract to set out as aforesaid, that is to say: For the use of the incorporated society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts, all that certain lot or parcel of land distinguished by the name of the Second Lot and which begins in the south bounds of the above mentioned larger tract at the south-east corner of the said first lot and runs thence along the said south bounds, north 74 degrees, west 79 chains; then north, 16 degrees east, 40 chains; then, south 74 degrees, east 79 chains, to the said first lot, and then along the west bounds of the said first lot south, 16 degrees west, 40 chains, to the place where this second lot began, containing 300 acres of land and the usual allowance for highways. For a Glebe for the use of the minister of the Gospel in communion of the Church of England, as by law established for the time being, residing on the said larger tract, all that certain lot or parcel of land distinguished by the name of the Third Lot, and which begins in the south bounds of the said larger tract at the south-west corner of the said second lot, and runs thence along the said south bounds, north 74 degrees, west 70 chains; then north, 16 degrees east, 45 chains; south 74 degrees, east 70 chains, to the fourth lot hereinafter described, and then along part of the west bounds of the said fourth lot and the west bounds of the said second lot south, 6 degrees west, 45 chains, to the place where this third lot began, containing 300 acres of land and the usual allowance for highways. For the use of a school-master residing on the said larger tract, all that certain lot or parcel of land distinguished by the name of the Fourth Lot, and which begins at the north-west corner of the said second lot and runs thence along the north bounds of the said second lot, south 74 degrees, east 79 chains, to the fifth lot, hereinafter described; then along the west bounds of the said fifth lot north, 16 degrees east, 13 chains and 40 links; then, north 74 degrees, west 79 chains; and then south, 16 degrees west, 13 chains and 40 links, to the place where this fourth lot began, containing 100 acres of land and the usual allowance for highways. And for the first settled minister of the gospel on the said larger tract, all that contains lot or parcel of land distinguished by the name of the Fifth Lot, and which begins at the north-west corner of the said first lot, and runs thence along the north bounds of the said first lot, south 74 degrees, east 63 chains; north, 16 degrees east, 50 chains; then, north 74 degrees, west 63 chains, and then south, 16 degrees west, 50 chains, to the place where this fifth lot began, containing 300 acres of land and the usual allowance for highways. And in setting out the said larger tract and the several lots and parcels of land last described, our said commissioners have had regard to the profitable and unprofitable acres, and have taken care that the length of any of them doth not extend along the banks of any river, otherwise than is conformable to our said royal instructions, do by certificate thereof under their hands, bearing date the twentieth day of this instant month of March, and entered on record in the Secretary's office for said province of New York, may more fully appear; which said tract of 24,500 acres of land and the usual allowance for highways so set out as aforesaid, according to our said royal instructions, we being willing to grant to the said Nathan STONE and William SWAN, and the other persons mentioned in the schedule aforesaid, their heirs and assigns forever (except as hereinafter described), with the usual powers and privileges, and to and upon the several and respective use and uses, trusts, intents and purposes, limitations and appointments, and under the several resolutions, exceptions, provisions and conditions hereinafter expressed, limited, declared and appointed of and concerning the same and every part and parcel thereof respectively."
      It seems that the people deeded their lands in trust to Col. Nathan STONE, who surrendered them to Gov. TRYON, of New York, and received in turn the above mentioned charter. Under the allotment of shores of the first charter, the public rights were so located as to be of some use to those for whom they were intended; but under the last charter, by the operation of some different mode of allotment resorted to, all the public rights were located upon almost inaccessible portions of Ascutney mountain, and ore utterly worthless.

      By an act of the legislature, passed in 1793, the town was divided into two distinct parishes, and, in 1814, the two parishes were erected into two distinct towns, named respectively Windsor and West Windsor, with the right in each to send o representative to the legislature. During the next year, however, the party excitement which induced the measure having in some degree subsided, the towns were again united, under the ancient name of Windsor. This unity was continued until October 26, 1848, when the town was again divided. The following record, pertaining thereto, appears in the town book of records, under date of January 15, 1849:

"Whereas, The legislature of the State of Vermont by an act passed October 26, 1848, divided the then town of Windsor, and incorporated the same into two distinct towns, by o line drawn from the northerly to the southerly line of said town, between the seventh and eighth ranges of lots in said town as allotted and marked on the original plan of said town then in the town clerk's office in said town : We, the freeholders and inhabitants of said town of Windsor, by said act incorporated, lying easterly of said line, do hereby make application to you to notify and warn o meeting of the inhabitants of said last mentioned town of Windsor, to be holden at the court-house in the said town on Monday, the 15th day of January, 1849, at one o'clock in the afternoon, to organize said town.

“To Warren CURRIER, J. P."

      At this meeting Warren CURRIER was chosen moderator; Thomas BOYNTON, town clerk; E. C. TORREY, treasurer; and David HUGGINS, Peter HOUGHTON, and Warren CURRIER, selectmen. From the date of their election dates the existence of the present town of Windsor, which contains on area of 11,062 acres of arable lands, so fortunately laid lout by nature as to present one of the most pleasing landscapes in the county. The whole territory is beautifully variegated by hill and dale, upland and meadow, river and streamlet, while high over all towers old Ascutney and his humbler offspring, Little Ascutney, like Don Quixota and his squire on the planes of La Mancha.

      This mountain lies in the southeastern corner of the town, partly in Weathersfield and partly in West Windsor, commanding from its summit a beautiful panoramic view, bringing to the eye of the beholder the valley of the Connecticut for many miles north and south, with the river itself, "a line of silver mid a fringe of green," coursing its way in serpentine windings towards its resting place in the sea. The peculiar and interesting theory of the geological formation of Ascutney has already been mentioned on page 29. The origin of its name is somewhat obscure. Zadock THOMPSON, in his "Gazetteer of Vermont" says,-- "The name is undoubtedly of Indian origin, but writers are not agreed with regard to its signification. Dr. DWIGHT says that it signified the “three brothers,” and that it was given in allusion to its three summits. KENDALL tells us that the true Indian name is Car-cad-nac, and that it means a peaked mountain with steep sides." Mr. HAGAR in his "Report of the Geology of Vermont," says, -- "Tradition informs us that Ascutney is an Indian name, signifying `three brothers' and was applied to the Mountain in consequence of the three deep valleys which resemble each other in size, and course their way down its western side, from near the top quite to its base." But which of these traditions, or if either, gives us the true origin of the name of the mountain, no one now can tell; but the changes in form which the name has undergone might be an argument against them. In Morse's “American Gazetteer,” published at London in 1798, the name is given, Ashcutney, while in his “Universal Geography,” published a few years later, it is given Ascheutney, though in one place at least he has given it in its present form. In Worcester's Universal Gazetteer, published m 1817, and in MORSE's “Universal Gazetteer,” published in 1823 and in later works, the name is given as it now appears. Several laborious admeasurements have been made to determine the height of the mountain, the last, made by Mr. Hosea DOTON, of Woodstock, in 1874, seeming to have verified the fact that its height is 3065 feet above the ocean.

     From this great altitude the country on all sides appears to be a vast amphitheatre scooped out to lift Ascutney, and with the various shades presented by the forests, seeming in some places to be mere patches of dark-green moss, the yellow fields of ripened and partly ripened grain, and the green pastures, flecked here and there with the shadows of passing clouds impress upon one's mind, a picture of beauty rare as it is lasting. Looking to the east, over the village of Windsor,-where gleam the white walls of the prison, and the Old South church rears boldly up, the venerable structure, seeming to one's fancy a "monument upon the shores of time," -- almost in the eastern horizon glimmers Sunapee lake among the serrated hills of New Hampshire. To the north, following the silvery thread of Connecticut river, nestle the villages of Hartland, Hartland Four Corners, North Hartland, White River Junction and West Lebanon, beyond which rise to view the blue peaks of the White Mountains, a clear day revealing Mount Washington to the glass quite distinctly. In the west rise Killington, Pico and Shrewsbury peaks, while to the south the entranced eye takes in the historic village of Charlestown, N. H., and the heavenward pointing spires of the village churches away through to Bellow's Falls. Though the ascent of this mountain is difficult and tedious, the journey once made, while gazing upon this beautiful scene, all tremulous with the golden and purple mists of a summer afternoon, the various colors, lights and shades, blending in a woof more rare than ever came from the looms of Isphahan, one cannot but exclaim with the disciple of old: "It is good for us to be here."

      The geological structure of the town is made up almost entirely of rocks of calciferous mica schist formation, except in the northwestern and southwestern portions. In the former locality there is a bed of gneiss extending over from West Windsor, while in the latter locality there is a considerable bed of granite, sighting and protogine. The terrace formations along Mill brook and Connecticut river are well-developed and beautiful specimens, nearly the whole of Windsor village being located upon one of these formations. No minerals of importance have ever been discovered.

      In 1880 Windsor had a population of 2,175, and in 1882 it was divided into six school districts and contained ten common schools, employing two male and twelve female teachers, to whom was paid an aggregate salary of $2,946.20. There were 511 pupils attending common school, while the entire cost of the schools for the year, ending October 31st, was $3,281.32, with F. L. MORSE, superintendent.

      WINDSOR is a beautiful, compactly built village, lying in the eastern part of the town on the banks of the Connecticut and on Mill brook, which here affords a fine mill privilege. It has, aside from its rows of fine business blocks and several manufactories, six churches (Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist, Roman Catholic and Unitarian), a good hotel, an academy, town hall, United States court-house and post office, a fine brick structure built in 1857-'58; a fine depot and about 250 dwellings, many of them fine, handsome structures. The Vermont State prison, is also located here. Windsor is now noted among other things, as the summer home of ex-Secretary of State, William M. EVARTS, as still containing the old Constitution House, wherein was framed the constitution of Vermont, mentioned on a previous page, and also as the place where was broken the first ground in the State towards the construction of a railroad.


THE CONSTITUTION HOUSE

      This old structure is naturally the central attraction to those interested in Vermont's history. As the stranger approaches Main street from the railroad station, he discovers on his left, in the rear of a large two-storied brick block, a plain wood building, two stories in height, with a half-story basement beneath on the east side. The structure is forty-eight feet and six inches long, and eighteen feet six inches wide; contains three rooms on the first floor and two on the second, and although in fair external condition it bears an aspect of having seen better days, as it surely has. Its windows are of the ancient 7 by 9 style, and modern improvement leaves it to-day, excepting slight variations, with the exterior of a century ago. This building is the old "Constitution House." Its natal history, like that of Roman and Grecian shrines of classical fame, is enshrouded in what, at this writing, appears to be impenetrable mystery. It is known to have been in existence in June and July, 1777, -- thirteen years only after the first permanent settlement of the town -- and to have been the welcome resort of weary travelers, brave patriots, valiant soldiers and distinguished statesmen. Its original site was nearly directly in front of its present location, lying on Main street. An extension eastward, from near the center, of fifty to one hundred feet, in the second story of which were sleeping rooms and a hall, was at some time made. The ground on which it then stood was so low that, in process of time, it was necessary to raise it, at three different periods, in order to preserve it from encroachments of the rising street by accumulations of washings from the highway. It is related that Capt. Elias SAVAGE, a noted builder of his day, used to say he had helped to elevate the building from its foundation “three times to save it from burial." The lower floor of this ancient inn was divided into three rooms, with a large hall entry from the front, in the middle. The north room, in the northeast corner of which was an outer door, was devoted to the uses of a bar-room of the ancient order, and next to it was another room. The south room was used by guests as a sitting-room, in which also the villagers occasionally met for social or business purposes. In the second story were also two or more rooms-the south being a large one occupying the entire space of about 16x18 feet. At the time of the constitutional convention at Windsor, in July, 1771, it is pretty well established that a Mr. WEST occupied the premises as proprietor, and that he was the host of those glorious heroes, the ALLENs, CHITTENDEN, FAY, BOWKER, MARSH, and others, who convened at Windsor at that time to complete the organization of the first Independent State Republic on the American continent. It is related that this inn-keeper, Mr. WEST, had a daughter born to him in that memorable year, 1777, and that her name was Sophia. At the bewitching age of nineteen she took, one evening, a brief but rather unexpected walk with a mature bachelor of some forty years, to the parson's residence at the north end of the village, and returned as the bride of her escort, Mr. Allen HAYES-a thriving merchant of the village and father of Augustus A. HAYS, the celebrated analytical chemist of Boston. In regard to the particular room in this building occupied by the convention at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, there is some discrepancy in the traditions. Some aver that it was in the hall, extending eastward. Others report that it was the north room of the second story, and a third account says it was the lower south room. The preponderance, we think, favors the statement that it was the south room of the second story. Small as this room would appear to be, in these days, for a State constitutional convention, it should be observed that the size was ample for the convenience of the small number of men, hardly forty at most, comprising the July convention of 1777, at a time when patriotism meant something more than political and personal ambition, and independence and love of liberty something better than stubborn self-will and unbridled license. Then, it must be considered, there were reasons for meeting in a retired and close assembly. It was a most extraordinary emergency to which they were come in their struggles for freedom and unity. Foes assailed them on all sides. A convention of persons in the interest of New York was at about the same time in session at Westminster. Many of the towns had been re-chartered by the New York authorities, and the New Hampshire charters surrendered, among them Windsor itself, and the prevailing sentiment in some of them was so opposed to the plan of independency that no delegates to that convention had been sent. Even here in Windsor, spies from other parts, it is said, were watching the movements of the convention, while the army of Burgoyne was known to be sweeping down from Canada. Dangers beset them in every direction; and wise councils, close lips and resolute and brave hearts, hand to hand and shoulder to shoulder, were their only safety. An upper room then, even as with the select twelve of old in the infancy of Christianity, in a place remote from the public eye-not the "meeting-house," not the "town house" nor even the public room of a village inn-seemed the most fitting for the requirements of the hour. They met, therefore, in that memorable south room of the second story, where, without interruption from either friendly or unfriendly spectators, they could proceed with their business most speedily and successfully. It was there, probably, that these men were busily engaged in deliberating upon the proposed articles of the constitution and in laying the foundations of the republic, which they had named Vermont, when the courier from Col. Seth WARNER arrived, with the news of the evacuation of Ticonderoga, and the retreat of the little band of American soldiers towards Castleton and Hubbardton, and a call for fresh troops to be hurried on towards Bennington, which produced a consternation of which we, at this distance in time, can have but the faintest conception. Of its effect, and a remarkable providential interposition, Ira ALLEN says, in his History of Vermont:

“In this awful crisis, the convention was for leaving Windsor, but a severe thunder storm came on, and gave them time to reflect; while some member, less alarmed at the news, called the attention of the convention to finish the constitution, which was then being read, paragraph by paragraph, for the last time. This was done, and the Convention appointed a council of safety to act during their recess, and adjourned."
      The next occupant so far as we can learn of this ancient tavern, was Samuel PATRICK, the elder, who successfully maintained its honorable reputation for many years, and then passed it into the hands of his son Samuel. He died at the age of seventy-five years, in the year 1825. The son, Capt. Samuel PATRICK, succeeded well in his patrimony of the tavern, which still held ample patronage, even though the Parmelee House, at the south end of the village, and Pettes's Coffee House, on the present site of the Windsor House, became enterprising rivals. About 1840 the failing health of Capt. PATRICK compelled his retirement from the active management, and Thomas BOYNTON undertook it. It is related that it was at this time that the old "PATRICK" inn received its now historically canonized name -- "Constitution House." Several individuals then successively occupied the premises, but nothing could save it from the hand of time and the evident coming doom of deterioration and final desertion. Messrs. Hadley, DURGIN, S. R. FITCH, and Thomas ENSWORTH, did their best, as temporary occupants, until finally, about 1850, the tavern succumbed to the inevitable, and Albert TUXBURY vacated the premises, and they were given up to various uses, widely remote from their primitive purpose and ancient fames. At one time there was a photograph saloon, a tinman's shop, a hardware store, a shoemaker's shop, and an indefinite number of private families in possession; and how many other strange and notable things came to possess its deserted rooms, we will not venture to assert, suffice it to say that the remorseless changes of time finally demolished the famous ell containing the hall,-removed the front structure to the eastward some two hundred feet, and placed it on the brow of the light descent to the old meadow, where the railroad station now stands, and at the same time allowed modern enterprise to erect a large brick block for business purposes on the ancient site; while it still struggles to look respectable in the rear of its former glory, and in uses to which the ALLENS, CHITTENDENS, MORRIS and ENOS, of Vermont, the CHASEs of New Hampshire, and Gov. COLDEN and sheriffs, of New York, could never have dreamed it would ever have been put.

OLD HOUSES

      Aside from the old Constitution House there are a number of very ancient buildings in the village. Mr. EVARTS's farm house, located on Main street, was the first frame house built in the township. It was erected by Steele SMITH, the first settler in the town, and is now in a good state of preservation. The old mansion on State street, now owned by William SABIN, was built by Dr. Benjamin GREEN, between 1780 and 1790. Dr. GREEN removed to Montreal in 1807. E. E. LAMSON's residence, on Main street, was built by Wm. LEVERETT, in 1790 The house owned by Geo. WARDNER, Esq., on Main street, was built by Dr. GREEN in 1791. Capt. LEONARD, of the U. S. army, built the house now occupied by Wm. SABIN, in 1791 or previous. The house on State street, owned by Mrs. Dr. PHELPS, was built at an early date, though the exact time is not known. The house now owned by Wm. BATCHELDER, Esq., was built by Dr. Nahum TRASK, in 1796. The STEVENS house, on Main street, was built by one GREEN, a shoemaker, previous to 1800. The house now owned by Mrs. Thomas FULLERTON, on Main street, was built by judge J. H. HUBBARD, in 1800. Joshua SIMONS house, on Everett lane, was built previous to 1800. The old Horace EVERETT mansion, on Everett lane, now occupied by L. V. HASKELL, was built in 1810. Thomas SEARSs house, on EVERETT lane, was built by CUMMINGS, the bookseller, previous to 1800. The HAWLEY house, on Main street, now owned by Mrs. Samuel STONE, was built by Josiah HAWLEY, in 1801. Mrs. I. W. HUBBARD's residence, on Main street, was built by S. CONANT, previous to 1800. Dr. F. L. MORSE's residence, on Main street, was built previous to 1800, by Alden SPOONER. The residences on Main street now owned and occupied by Hon. William M. EVARTS, were built as follows: The Abner FORBES house, in 1796, by Mr. FORBES; the CURTIS mansion was commenced by Nathan COOLIDGE and finished by Zebina CURTIS, in 1796; the William JOHONNOT house was built by Mr. JOHONNOT in 1798. The old JACOBS mansion, opposite the prison, now owned by the William GAY estate, was built by Stephen JACOBS, previous to 1800. The present residence of C. H. FITCH was built by Elkanah PHELPS, brother of Dr. Elisha PHELPS, in 1800. The brick church was built in 1800. This completes our list of a few of the older houses in the village, though there are many other venerable and stately structures that might he mentioned.


FIRES

     Destructive fires have at different periods visited the village, effacing many old landmarks and destroying many dollars worth of property. The first that occurred in the village, and probably the first in the township, was in 1767, when the substantial log house of Capt. SMITH, the first settler, was destroyed, together with ail its contents. Not long after, a new frame house, nearly finished, occupying the present site of the EVARTS farm house, was destroyed. It belonged to a Dea. THOMPSON. The third fire of any special note occurred in 1800, when Capt. Joseph PETTES's Hotel, occupying the site of the present Windsor House, was destroyed. In 1801, Capt. PETTES advertised his "new coffee house" as completed, showing the building to have been immediately rebuilt. He also erected a wood building upon the site of the journal building, called the Pettes block. Martin CHENEY kept a jewelry store in the "chamber," and John and Frederick PETTES used the basement for a general store. The fourth notable fire occurred on Wednesday morning, November 25, 1818, about half-past one o'clock, destroying what was known as the Tontine building, and the above mentioned Pettes block. The :Journal” of the following week said it "roused the citizens of the village from their slumbers and gilded the sable canopy of night with the flames of desolation." The Tontine is described as being "91 ½ feet long, 40 feet wide, and three stories high." The report says: "The store of F. & J. PETTES, on the south, and the store owned by the estate of Wm. LEVERETT, on the north, of the Tontine, were also consumed. The exertions to save the buildings were continued to so late a period as not to leave sufficient time to remove any property except from the lower story and cellers of the Tontine, one article excepted -- it was ascertained there was in the third story a barrel of powder; a ladder was placed to the window, and Mr. Ziba TOOT, of this place, went up, burst in the window, and brought down the powder in safety. Still and calm as it was, the buildings on the opposite side were in great danger. It was extremely difficult for the persons on the roofs to keep their places on account of the heat. Blankets spread and kept wet were scorched to a coal; and one store, (SMITH & DUTTON's) [now TUXBURY & STONE's,] was once on fire." Messrs. POMROY & HEDGE kept a book and stationery store in one portion of the Tontine, and their loss was heavy. One member of this firm, Lemuel HEDGE, requires a passing notice. He possessed extraordinary skill as an inventor, although, in a pecuniary sense, it was of little or no account to him. It was here that he invented the ruling machine,-a machine that is now, with slight alteration, used by paper makers throughout the world. Another machine -- his invention also -- was that for marking boxwood rules or measures into inches and fractional parts. The celebrated band saw, so extensively used by workers in wood in our time, was also the result of his ingenuity. The next great fire that raged in Windsor occurred in the afternoon of Wednesday, August 23, 1848, destroying that portion of business blocks lying between the Nathan COOLEDGE building and S. WARDNER & Son's store, The U. S. court-house and HUBBARD's block now occupy the "burnt district." In 1869 a block occupying the present site of the building on the north corner of Depot avenue and Main street was burned. The village now has an efficient fire department and a good water supply. The supply is furnished by the Windsor Aqueduct Company


THE WINDSOR AQUEDUCT COMPANY.

      This company was organized as a corporate body under the laws of the State, in 1849, the first meeting for such purpose being held at the office of Dr. Edward E. PHELPS, April 5th of that year. Roswell SMITH was chosen president and Samuel R. STOCKER, secretary. The construction of the works was immediately begun, and completed during that summer. Water was taken from a stream about a mile west of the center of the village, in a pasture now owned by Hiram HARLOW. The supply at this point was soon found to be inadequate to the demand, so the stream was tapped nearer its source, where the reservoir is now located, upon the farm of Ryland ELY, giving a head of about 200 feet. The reservoir is about twelve by eighteen feet and fifteen feet in depth, into which the springs forming the brook are filtered. The company now supplies water for the railroad at this point, the hotel, most of the stores, the gas works, and a large portion of the dwellings. The present officers of the company are Hiram HARLOW, president, and S. R. STOCKER, secretary and treasurer.


GAS WORKS.

      The Windsor Gas Light Company was organized in the autumn of 1862, with a capital of $10,000.00, which was subsequently increased to $20,000.00. Daniel C. LINDSLEY, one of the heaviest stockholders, immediately set about completing the enterprise, and the village has since been blessed with a good medium of illumination, the company now having about two miles of mains, the works being located on Depot avenue. Rosin was first used for manufacturing the gas, but owing to the war this commodity soon became too expensive, and petroleum was substituted in its stead, which has since been used. Hiram HARLOW is now the president and manager of the company.


TOWN HALL.

      The town hall of Windsor, located on Court street, was built in 1881-'82. The building is of brick, has a solid granite foundation, and with its slated roof will undoubtedly stand the pressure of time for years to come. It is of the Queen Anne style of architecture, eighty-one feet long and forty-eight feet wide, being arranged within for the greatest convenience of all who may use it. The basement is divided into a cellar, with cemented floor, forty-five feet square, in which are placed two Barstow furnaces for heating purposes. The west end of the basement is arranged for coal closets, storage rooms, and water-closets. East of the cellar is a large room forty-five feet by twenty feet, and eleven feet high. The main hall is divided into an auditorium, gallery, stage and rooms adjoining. The approaches are by means of the main entrance, on the west end, through a side entrance to the stage, and basement at the south side of the building, near the east end. The outer vestibule of the main entrance has a tiled floor of red slate and black and white marble. The inner vestibule, eight feet by twenty-five feet, has approaches to the ticket office and janitor's room, to the stairway leading to the gallery and to the selectmen's room, the latter a fire-proof room thirteen feet by fourteen feet south of the entrance, in which the town records are kept. The entrance to the auditorium is through two double doors. This room, forty-five feet square and twenty-two feet high, having a seating capacity of 400, is well ventilated by ventilators in the ceiling and flues. The gallery is forty-five feet by twenty feet, has a floor rising by steps, and a seating capacity of 200. The stage is seventeen feet by twenty feet, with a sloping floor. Rooms open to this from each side and there is a clear passage-way in the rear. The general finish of the interior of the building is of black ash, and presents a handsome and rich appearance. The ceiling of the main room is broken by projecting trusses cased with black ash and terminated by corbels. The hard-finished walls are ornamented by two lines of stucco work, with stucco arches over the windows. The trimmings of the doors are all solid bronze, and with the quaint windows, wainscoting, and other finish, add much to the general effect. The entire building is piped for gas. In the vestibule is a handsome tablet with the following inscription:


Windsor Town Hall,
Built 1881-'82.
Building Committee,
Charles C. BEAMAN, Jr.,
Hiram HARLOW, Rollin AMSDEN,
Henry D. STONE, Horace WESTON.
Architects,
APPLETON & STEPHENSON, Boston, Mass.
Builder,
Hira R. BECKWITH, Claremont, N. H.
      The building is thoroughly constructed, the best material being used in every part, and the most skillful workmen employed; the entire cost being
$121000.

LIBRARY

      The Windsor Library Association was formed December 12, 1882, with about twenty-five members, for the purpose of "promoting literary and scientific knowledge among its members by establishing a library at Windsor." Hiram HORTON was elected president; H. P. McCLARY, secretary. Shares were soon after taken, at five dollars per share, to the amount of $2,000.00. At the next town meeting the town voted $300.00 per year towards the expense of the library, and the people were in turn accorded the privilege of drawing books free of charge. In the autumn of 1882, Messrs. William M. EVARTS and C. C. BEAMAN, Jr., offered to jointly give $1,000.00 towards establishing a library fund, and to give $150.00 per year thereafter towards the purchasing of new books, providing the citizens would raise a like sum by subscription. This offer was accepted and carried into effect. The association now has 3,500 volumes, the library being very pleasantly located in the "reading-room" of the town hall. The original officers, mentioned above, are still in office, though the association is really under the control of a board of directors, made up of the following named gentlemen: C. C. BEAMAN, Jr., Gilbert A. DAVIS, E. E. LAMSON, M. O. PERKINS, H. P. McCLARY and Charles TUXBURY.


BANKS

      Several applications to the legislature were made by Windsor for a bank, but none of them were successful until 1816, when the old Windsor Bank, a State institution, was established. This bank continued business until April, 1838, when it failed, and for ten years thereafter Windsor had no banking institution. In the autumn of 1847, however, the old Ascutney Bank was chartered by the legislature, with a capital of $50,000.00, and it commenced business the following spring with Allen WARDNER, president, and Jason STEELE, cashier. In 1865 the bank was changed from a State to a National institution, and the capital increased to $100,000.00. The only change of officers made until the bank was closed, in the autumn of 1881, was the succession of Henry WARDNER to the cashiership, in 1853, and the succession of Harlow HALL to the presidency, in 1870.

      The Windsor Savings Bank was incorporated by the legislature in 1847, and commenced business January 3, 1848, with Shubael WARDNER, president, and Samuel H. PRICE, treasurer. Alfred HALL is now president, and L. C. WHITE, treasurer. The bank has nearly 2,000 deposits, representing over half a million dollars.


CEMETERIES.

      The village has three cemeteries, the Old South church cemetery, Ascutney cemetery, and the third located near the Capt. HOUGHTON place. The Old South church cemetery is located on Main street, surrounding the Old South church, and is the oldest in the town. It has many beautiful monuments, but that which is most interesting is a rough, time-worn slab of mica slate, bearing, in uncouth letters, the following inscription 


IN MEMORY
OF
MRS. ELIZABETH, WIFE OF CAPT. WILLIAM DEAN,
WHO DIED DEC. 22, 1766,
IN THE 64TH YEAR OF HER AGE,
THE FIRST DEATH IN WINDSOR.

Although I sleep in dust awhile
Beneath this barren clod,
Ere long I hope to rise and smile
To see my Saviour God.

      The Ascutney cemetery has an area of twenty-one acres, located upon the farm of Hiram HARLOW, just west of the village. The land was donated by Mr. HARLOW, with the understanding that all burial lots should be purchased, though the purchase money should be devoted to the improvement and embellishment of the cemetery.

MANUFAC'T'URES

      While the trade of Vermont passed principally east, to Boston, Windsor was the center of business for this section, a flourishing, busy town. But the building of the Whitehall canal threw the commerce towards New York, and the business of the village naturally declined. The public spirited men of the town saw it would be necessary to cast about for some new enterprise in order that the village might hold its own. It was then conceived that Mill brook might be made available for operating extensive manufactories. Accordingly a company was formed and the construction of the stone dam commenced, in 1834, with Allen WARDNER superintendent of the work, which was completed the following year. It is 360 feet in length, fifty-six in breadth at the base, twelve at the top, and forty-two feet in height, forming a reservoir of water nearly one mile in length, with a surface of one hundred acres. The dam is built on the arc of a circle, over which, in flood time, the water flows in an unbroken sheet 102 feet in length.

      The armory, for the manufacture of fire arms, by ROBBINS, KENDALL & LAWRENCE, was the first important manufactory established, in 1845. This firm did a large business, employing upwards of 300 men, being one of the largest manufactories of the kind in the world at that time. But through branching out heavily in other factories, they failed, in 1859. Efforts towards reorganization were made, but they proved abortive, though the contracts or hand were finished by the ROBBINS & LAWRENCE Company, successors, who also built considerable gun manufacturing machinery, the first machinery for the Enfield armory, in England, being built by them. In 1856 the property was sold to LAMSON, GOODNOW & YALE, who, at the breaking out of the Rebellion, resumed operations. During the war there were about 60,000 guns manufactured here. From 1865 to 1869 nothing much was done in the buildings, except in the machine shops. In 1870 the main buildings were purchased by JONES, LAMNSON & Co., and converted into a cotton-mill, which now has 13,000 spindles and 224 looms. The business of manufacturing machinists' tools was also continued by JONES, LAMSON & Co., until 1878, and since that time by the JONES & LAMSON Machine Company.

      HUBBARD & McCLARY. -- This firm, located on Main street, first commenced business in 1877, manufacturing a patent coffee pot. To the manufacture of this article they have since added the manufacture of family scales, patent glaciers' points and driver, and patent cutting nippers for tinsmiths. All of these articles are the invention of George W. HUBBARD, the senior member of the firm. The company now employs eight hands.

      The Windsor Coffin Company, located on Union street, was established in 1878, the firm being R. L. PATRICK and William and John G. LACY. They employ ten men in the manufacture of all kinds of coffins and caskets.

      HARLOW & KELSEY's machine shop and foundry, located on Main street, turns out all kinds of' castings and does all kinds of machine work. The firm was established in 1876 and now employs five men.

      A. W. HARLOW's brick yard, located on road 26, was established in 1847. Mr. HARLOW manufactures about 250,000 bricks per annum.

     Rollin AMSDEN, who does an extensive business here, built the Amsden block in 1873. He now uses a portion of the block as a grist-mill and machine shop. The mill has one run of stones, with the capacity for grinding thirty bushels of grain per hour. The machine shop turns out general machine work, employing two men.


EARLY SETTLEMENT.

      The Indian name of Windsor is Cushankamaug. Capt. Steele SMITH began the first improvements in the town by clearing the trees from the site of the old Congregational parsonage, now known as the Jason STEELE place, about three-fourths of a mile north of the United States court-house, in 1759. He came from Charlestown, N. H., in a canoe, bringing seed wheat enough to sow the three or four acres he succeeded in clearing. The following spring he returned with three or four others and made further improvements and in all probability annually repeated the visit until August, 1764, when he brought his family on from Farmington, Conn., from which month properly dates the first permanent settlement of the town, though Solomon EMMONS and his wife had resided here in a hut several months, but not owning their land nor making any improvements. Mrs. EMMONS proved very useful to the early inhabitants as a nurse and doctress. She was for many years supported by the town and died in 1833. In the spring of 1765 Capt. SMITH was joined by Maj. Elisha HAWLEY, Capt. Israel CURTISS, Dea. Hezekiah THOMPSON, Dea. Thomas COOPER, and some others, so that at the close of that year the number of families in the new settlement amounted to sixteen. In 1771 the population had increased to 203 souls, and in 1791 the population amounted to 1,542.

     Capt. SMITH died about 1812, at a good old age, having lived to see a village spring up about the site of his first settlement, ranking second to few in New England. In the “Vermont Journal,” March 17, 1823, the village is described as follows:

“It is situated about a quarter of a mile from the river, a little elevated, and the principal street running north and south, parallel with the river; it contains about eighty dwelling houses, mostly well built and commodious; and the shops, stores, etc., are many of them of brick, and large, so that the business part of the town has an air of dignity rarely met with in the country. Here are employed three physicians, eight attorneys, two printers, three booksellers, two bookbinders, several merchants and druggists, three cabinet makers, one chair maker and painter, four boot and shoe makers, one hatter, one coach and chaise maker, one wheelwright, two coopers, two tin plate workers, one watch maker, one jeweler, two tailors, one milliner and mantaumaker, two masons or brick layers, one barber, one grist-mill, carding machine and woolen manufactory. There are also two excellent houses for public entertainment. The public buildings are a Congregational meeting house, a Baptist meeting house, St. Paul's church, academy, court-house, and State penitentiary, and the office of discount and deposit for the Bank of Windsor."
      The date of the organization of the town is not known, the first meeting recorded being that of February 17, 1786, when Bryant BROWN was elected clerk; Benjamin CADY and Oliver BARRETT, constables; and Briant BROWN, Benjamin WAIT, Stephen JACOB, Charles LEAVENS and Thomas COOPER, selectmen. "It is not to be presumed" says DEMING, in his “Vermont Officers,” "that this was the first meeting, for Zadock THOMPSON, in his “Vermont Gazetteer,” says the town was rapidly settled and soon organized, and that Thomas COOPER was the first town clerk." The first justices of the peace were Thomas COOPER and Briant BROWN, in 1786. Ebenezer CURTIS and Thomas COOPER were the first representatives, in 1778. The first birth was that of Samuel, son of Capt. SMITH, July 2, 1765. He died in 1842, aged seventy-seven years. The first female born was Polly, daughter of Nathan and Mary STONE, April 26, 1767. The first death was that of Elizabeth, wife of Capt. William DEAN, December 22, 1766.

      The establishment of Windsor as a shire town, the erection of a court-house, the court riots, etc., have all been mentioned, on pages 31-34, and 140-143. We shall here give a few brief biographies, the limits of the work not allowing us space to mention many of the prominent sons of Windsor who have, in times gone by, won names that would grace the pages of any history, while the few that we do mention must be noted only in a too brief manner. Pertinent to this topic we quote the following from the address of Sewell CUTTING,. D. D., delivered at the centennial celebration held at Windsor, July 4, 1876:

"How many memories of Windsor characters now crowd upon my mind, and ask for records which I have not space to give, How the men re-appear who walked these streets more than fifty years ago, and impressed the imagination of my boyhood. General CURTIS, restless, eager man of affairs; General FORBES, whose quiet, natural dignity led every man that met him to give him the walk; John LEVERETT, gentleman and scholar, whose old-fashioned coach, opening at the rear, brought, every Sunday, the family to church, leaving him and one or two daughters at the Baptist, and depositing Mrs. LEVERETT and the rest at the Old South; Judge HUBBARD, whose thoughtful face told the world of law he carried in his head; Dea. COOLEDGE, grave, sagacious and honored citizen; Dr. Isaac GREEN, who dispensed prudential maxims with his healing drugs; Captains LORD and INGERSOLL, the one sturdy and bluff, the other, an urbane and polished sailor; Judge HUNTER, in whom it did not require the eye of a grandchild to see a serene and majestic nature. Drs. TRASK and TORREY belonged to this class of elder and old men, a class which might include other names as well. Horace EVERETT, Asa AIKENS, Carlos COOLEDGE, Frederick and John PETTES, Shubael and Allen WARDNER, the latter your patriarch to-day, the others all dead, were in their vigor or prime. Edward and George CURTIS, William Gay HUNTER, Charles FORBES, Isaac Watts HUBBARD, Francis E. PHELPS, Simeon IDE, the last, in old age, honoring us with his presence at this hour, the rest nearly all departed, were younger or young men. Some of them were wits who made Windsor resound with their humor. Edwin EDGERTON had just come to town from Dartmouth; Thomas S. FULLERTON and Albert G. HATCH came a little later. All were well-known Windsor characters-and how easy to extend the list. How, too, events come to my memory, -- the burning of the old Tontine in 1818, and the solemn patrol of the village when incendiaries were about. A recollection more agreeable than that of these conflagrations is the visit of La Fayette, in 1825. Near the Cornish bridge I stood by the side of the barouche * in which he entered Vermont, when Col. Jesse LULL, the most courtly man in Windsor, mounted on a bay horse, gave him a welcome, and then, leading the escort, brought him through thronging multitudes to the balcony of Pettes's Coffee House, and, in the sight of the great crowd, presented him to Cornelius P. VAN NESS, governor of the State, who had come from Burlington to receive him. But I must not run the risk of wearying you with personal recollections which have their interest for a few only who linger from departed generations."

[*This carriage was built at Baltimore in 1824, for Gen. La Fayette's special use, and is now owned by Mr. Frank Dennison of Syracuse, N. Y.]

     Dea. Hezekiah THOMPSON came to Windsor among its first settlers, in 1765, locating about a mile north of the village, where he died in 1803. He was a deacon of the Congregational church from 1768 until his death. He reared a family of three sons and four daughters.

     Ephraim, Josiah and Nathan STONE, three brothers, sons of Joseph STONE, were among the early pioneers of this section, and were all held in high esteem by their associates. Ephraim located in Windsor, and Josiah subsequently located in Cornish, N. H., and Nathan in Barre. Samuel STONE, another brother, was born in Stoughton, Conn., November 24, 1756. His father died while Samuel was yet a boy, and he then resided with an uncle until sixteen years of age. Soon after this he was pressed on board a British vessel and taken to the West India Islands, where he was kept a prisoner six months. Before he was twenty-one years of age he came to Windsor to visit his brothers, who induced him to remain here. He married Anna, daughter of Deacon THOMPSON, and died here in 1837. The only one of his nine children now living is Mrs. Jonathan SMITH, of Brattleboro, Vt. Samuel STONE, Jr., born in 1801, married Lucy SHATTUCK, and for his second wife, Mrs. Z. HAWLEY. He died August 16, 1864. Seven of his children are now living, four in this town.

     Ebenezer HOISINGTON, whose descendants are now reckoned among the prominent families of Windsor, came here among the earliest settlers. He became a large landowner, held many of the town offices, reared a large family of children and died about twenty-five years since. His wife, Hannah WILSON, died about 1830. Elias HOISINGTON settled at an early date upon the farm now owned by his grandson, David H., where he reared a large family. Elias, Jr., married Phebe HUGGINS, reared seven children, and died in 1830. Three of his children are now living.

     Jonathan HALL, from Sutton, Mass., came to Windsor at an early date and located upon the farm now owned by his son, Alfred. He married Mercy CADY, December 11, 1785, and soon after built the old homestead occupied by Alfred. Alfred and Sophia (Mrs. S. BLOOD, of St. Louis. Mo.,) are the only surviving members of his family of seven children. Mr. HALL died September 24, 1845. Mrs. HALL died December 19, 1860, aged ninety-two years. Alfred was born in 1804. He has held many positions of trust, among them the office of selectman for twenty-five years.

      Seth SABIN made his way to Windsor on an ox-sled, from Pomfret, Conn., at an early date. He was a tanner by trade and located in the northern part of the town. William, son of Seth, was born here and died in 1864. He married Rachel STEVERS, of Hartland, and reared seven children, two of whom, Louisa M. and William H., are living. The latter has been twice married, to Mary C. KRAUS and Lucy E. PETTIS. His only son, George K., is now a physician of Brookline, Mass.

      Aaron ELY, from Springfield, Mass., came to Windsor in 1774, locating at Windsor village for a time, then removed to what is now West Windsor. Abisha, son of Aaron, was three years of age when his father came here. He married Isabel CADY and reared a family of eleven children. He owned a large farm in West Windsor, where his son Frederick now resides. He taught school thirty-one winters in the same district in West Windsor. Rev. Richard M. ELY, son of Abisha, became a Baptist clergyman, and it is said, baptized and married more people than any other minister in the association. His death occurred June 10, 1861.

      Samuel RUGGLES, from New Braintree, Mass., came to Windsor in 1783, locating on road 24, upon the farm now owned by his grandson, S. H. RUGGLES. He reared four children, -- Betsey, Polly, Jonathan F., and Samuel, Jr., and died in April, 1818. Samuel, Jr., married Flora HOISINGTON, reared eleven children, and died June 2, 1856. Mrs. RUGGLES died in 1868. Cyrus F., third son of Samuel, Jr., occupied the old farm until 1883, when he sold it to his son, Samuel H.

     Nathan SAVAGE came to Windsor about 1783, and made the first clearing on the farm now owned by his grandson, Ira B. SAVAGE. He reared three children, -- Ira, Lucy and Belinda, and died in 1814. Ira was born in February, 1784, and reared seven children, four of whom are living. Ira B. was born here September 19, 1817.

     Dr. Nathan TRASK, a veteran of the Revolution, came to Windsor soon after the close of the war and practiced medicine here until his death, March 5, 1837.

     Dr. Isaac GREEN, born in Leicester, Mass., March 11, 1759, came to Windsor in 1788. He married Ann BARRETT, slaughter of Hon. Samuel and Elizabeth (SALSBURY) BARRETT, reared four children, and died here in 1842. Dr. GREEN was one of the first directors of the Ascutney Bank, a director of the Cornish Bridge Company, was instrumental in getting the prison located here, was a merchant here for a long time and also practiced medicine. His son, George B. GREEN, born April 4, 1798, married Mary Hatch JONES and still resides here.

     Jonathan Hatch HUBBARD was born at Tolland, Conn.. May 10, 1768, and when ten years of age removed with his parents to Claremont, N. H. He studied law at Charlestown, N. H., and when about twenty-five years of age married Elizabeth HASTINGS, of Charlestown, and located in Windsor about 1795, where he became one of the oldest and most esteemed citizens of Vermont, and distinguished as a jurist. He was a representative in congress from 1809 to 1811, and for many years was one of the judges of the supreme court of Vermont. He closed his life here September 20, 1849. His only child, Marie E., is the wife of Thomas S. FULLERTON and resides at the old homestead.

     Joseph PETTIS, from Amherst, Mass., came to Windsor in 1793. He purchased the property where the Windsor House now is, where he kept a hotel for many years. In 1835 he moved to the farm now occupied by his son, F. D., where he died in 1868.

     Benjamin SKINNER, from Wilbraham, Mass., came to Pomfret in 1780, the first blacksmith who located in the town. He lived in this vicinity for many years, and died at Windsor at an advanced age. Benjamin, Jr., served in the Revolutionary war, and in 1799 came to Windsor, locating upon the farm now owned by C. H. DUDLEY. Sarah HARRIS, one of his six children, born June 6, 1790, now resides with Ryland F. ELY, and is the oldest person in the town.

      Silas CADY came to this town, from Cornish, N. H., previous to 1800, locating upon what is now known as the CADY farm. He married Mary CHASE, of Cornish, reared nine children, and died about 1858. Mrs. CADY died in 1848. Two of their children are living, Henry B., in this town, and Edward P., in Massachusetts.

      Allen HAYES came to this town about 1800 and in partnership with I. W. HUBBARD, entered into mercantile pursuits. He reared three children and died in 1830. His only son, Dr. Augustus HAYES, became a noted chemist of Cambridge, Mass.

      Watts and Eldad HUBBARD, brothers, came to Windsor, from Meridan, Conn., about 1800. Eldad located as a farmer, while Watts established a distillery at the village. He reared nine children and died in 1827. Isaac Watts HUBBARD, son of Watts, came here with his parents. He was a merchant here for forty years, was for a time superintendent of the State prison, and died May 16, 1871, aged seventy-six years. His widow now occupies the old homestead.

      Allen WARDNER, whose father, Joseph, was an early settler in Reading, was born at Alstead, N. H., in 1786. In 1800 he came to Windsor, from Reading, and entered the store of Dr. Isaac GREEN, as a clerk, where he remained until twenty-one years of age. He then spent one year in the Naval Academy at West Point, and in 1809 entered into partnership with Dr. GREEN. This connection was kept up about ten years, after which, with various partners, he continued the business until 1848, when he retired. Mr. WARDNER was treasurer of the State one year, represented Windsor in the legislature, and held numerous other offices; was one of the directors of the Windsor bank, president of Ascutney bank about twenty years, one of the building committee for erecting the new State House, a large stockholder and actively interested in building the stone dam, a director of the Cornish bridge, etc. Mr. WARDNER married Minerva BINGHAM, in 1814, reared a family of twelve children, seven of whom are living, and died August 29, 1877. Mrs. WARDNER died in 1841. Of the children, George and Edward reside in Windsor; Henry in Springfield, Mass.; Helen M. is the wife of Hon. William M. EVARTS; Charlotte, widow of A. G. JOHNSON, resides in Brooklyn, N. Y.; Elizabeth, widow of T. B. HARRINGTON, resides at West Chester, N. Y.; and Martha is the wife of E. E. LAMSON, of this town.

     Prof. Edward E. PHELPS, M. D., LL. D., son of Dr. Elisha, was born in Peacham, Vt., April 24, 1803, and came to Windsor with his parents when quite young. He attended Mrs. SEATON's private school at Cornish, N. H., studied with Parson CROSBY, of Charlestown, N. H., and graduated from the military school of Captain PARTRIDGE, at Norwich, Vt., before he was eighteen years of age. He then entered Dartmouth Medical College, studied two years with Dr. Nathan SMITH, of New Haven, Conn., and finally graduated from Yale College with the class of 1825. In 1828 he commenced the practice of his profession at Windsor and died here in November, 1870. Dr. PHELPS married Phebe FOXCROFT Lyon, of Boston, Mass., who, with her daughter, Mary A., now occupies the old homestead.

     Moses WHITE, from Watertown, Conn., came to Windsor in 1806, locating on road 19, upon the farm now owned by George F. DAVIS, and built the house now occupied by Mr. DAVIS. Mr. WHITE reared three children, and died in 1811. Henry, his only son, born in 1792, married Eliza CLARK, reared ten children, and died in 1862. His son, Luther C., is now treasurer of the Windsor Savings Bank.

      Isaac TOWNSEND, born in Boston, Mass., came to Windsor in 1809 and established a jeweler's business, and died here three years after, in 1812. The only one of his ten children now living is Sarah A., widow of I. W. HUBBARD.

Caleb KENDALL came to Windsor, from Woodstock, Vt., about 1812, establishing a jewelry business at the village. He held the office of town clerk several years, and died in 1847. His only son, Caleb P., born in 1819, died in 1853.

      Hon. Carlos COOLEDGE, son of Nathan, who came to Windsor from Watertown, Mass., was born June 25, 1792. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1811, studied law two years with Hon. Peter STARR, of Middlebury, Vt., and completed his studies at Windsor with Hon. Jonathan H. HUBBARD. He was admitted to the bar and practiced law at Windsor. He was speaker of the house of representatives in 1836, and subsequently held the same position four years, also being returned several years to both branches of the legislature. During the years 1848-49 he was governor of the State. Mr. COOLEDGE was an eminent lawyer, and often acted as master in chancery, and as referee in the decision of important cases. Mr. COOLEDGE married Harriet BINGHAM, who died June 6, 1877. He died August 15, 1866.

      Hon. John H. COLTON, born at Middletown, Conn., in 1779, was in public here for a period of nearly half a century, dying May 1, 1850. Mr. COLTON was a lawyer by profession, a judge of the county court, represented the town in the legislature a number of years, and was superintendent of the State prison twenty years.

     Lyman S. MCLNDOE was born at Barnet, Vt., June 17, 1819, and while yet a young man came to Windsor and purchased the “Vermont Journal,” which he published until his death, December 25. 1873. Mr. McINDOE was twice married, his first wife being Miss L. PORTER, of Lyme, N. H., and his second wife Miss Abbie B. LOCKE, also of New Hampshire. By his first wife he had one son, Robert, who now resides in Windsor. His second wife bore him four children, two of whom, Clara A., wife of Marsh O. PERKINS, and Florinda, now reside here.

     Rollin, son of America M. AMSDEN, was born in West Windsor in 1829. Mr. AMSDEN has been a deputy sheriff thirteen years, and in 1880 was elected county sheriff. During these years he has executed three persons and assisted in executing seven others. He married Mary A. WILDER and had three sons, two of whom, Frank W. and Charles, are engaged in mercantile pursuits with him at Windsor.

      William HARLOW, son of Levi, was born in Rockingham, Vt., in 1785, and removed to Springfield, Vt., with his parents when quite young, where he died January 27, 1873. Hiram, one of his twelve children, was born in Rockingham, October 16, 1810, and in 1829 removed to Springfield, where he learned the wheelwright trade. He represented the town of Springfield in 1843, '44 and '45, and in December, 1845, was appointed superintendent of the State prison, a position he held eighteen years. Mr. HARLOW represented Windsor in the legislature of 1849, '50, '51 and '59, was State senator in 1866-'67, and has been a selectman twenty-two years.

     George S. YOUNG, son of Sanford, was born in Cornish, N. H., September 17, 1826, and now resides on road 7. His grandfather, Thomas YOUNG, a native of Brookfield, Mass., was a United States soldier nine years, serving all through the Revolution. George S. is a breeder of Jersey cattle.

      Samuel Russell STOCKER is one of the oldest inhabitants of the town, and has been closely identified with the interests of the town for many years. He was born in Windsor, November 12, 1815, and at about the age of twenty commenced clerking for his brother in the town of Hartland, and after a few years he was taken into partnership. He moved to Windsor in December, 1847, and commenced a business, which he successfully continued until his failing health compelled his retirement to private life, in 1878, being in active business in town over thirty years. For many years he served the town as selectman, and the corporation as school committeeman, warden; etc. In his capacity as selectman he enlisted many men during the late war.

      Hon. William M. EVARTS, ex-secretary of State, has a summer residence here, spending his winters in New York city. His large family, with retinue of servants, etc., occupies several houses. Mr. EVARTS was born in Boston, Mass., in 1818, and in 1837 was for a time in the law office of Horace EVERETT, at Windsor. He was attorney-general under President Johnson, and was sent abroad in 1862. Under President HAYES he was secretary of State, and is now at the head of the well-known law firm, EVARTS, SOUTHMOYD & CHOATE. Mr. EVARTS has a beautiful river farm here, upon which he spends many thousands of dollars each year. One point on his estate, just northwest of the village, he has converted into a beautiful park -- a miniature Central Park, which has been named Paradise. In the northern part of the village limits there was formerly quite an extensive marsh of low land, through which flowed Pulk Hole brook. This marsh, by darning up the brook, he has lately converted into a beautiful lake.

      Hon. Horace EVERETT, one of Vermont's great lawyers, was born in 1780, and at an early date settled in Windsor, becoming one of the most successful jury advocates in Vermont. He served in the legislature in 18i9, '20, '22, '23, '24, and '34; was State's attorney for Windsor county from 1813 to 1817, and was a prominent member of the State constitutional convention of 1828. He was also a representative in congress, from 1829 to 1843, and had the title of LL.D. conferred upon him. He died here January 30, 1851.

      The part that Windsor has taken in military affairs is very ably set forth in the following quotation from the centennial address of Rev. Dr. Sewall S. CUTTING, delivered in 1876. Dr. CUTTING now resides in Brooklyn, N. Y., though he was formerly a citizen of Windsor, Vt. His address runs as follows :

"The military history of Windsor belongs among the essential themes of this day. I could wish my knowledge of it more complete. The fame of Seth WARNER's regiment was shared by men of this town. After the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill, after the capture of Ticonderoga by ALLEN, Capt. John GROUT, of that regiment came in the summer of 1795 to Windsor for recruits. Among those who enlisted under him were Asahel SMITH, John HEATH, Zenas LULL, Joshua SLAYTON, and William HUNTER, the last named enlisting as sergeant, and becoming the orderly of the company. Laying down their sickle, -- for an old narrative says it was 'reaping time,' -- they proceeded to join their regiment at Crown Point, and, descending the lake to Canada, took part in the brilliant operations which resulted in the capture of St. Johns and Montreal, and in the flight of Carlton to Quebec. Young HUNTER, then twenty-one years of age, was attached to the person of General MONTGOMERY, and for his good conduct at the siege of St. Johns, received a commission as first lieutenant. The time for which the men had enlisted having expired, HUNTER came back to Windsor in December of that year for more recruits. There were already militia companies in the town, and there is a record of the drill of one of them by Lieutenant HUNTER after his return at that time. His mission was successful. Early in January, 1776, on the broad eastern slope of `the hill' of the West Parish, where to-day green fields smile under the summer-sun, the snow was lying deep. There, at the house of Samuel ROOT, HUNTER mustered his recruits, of whom are preserved the names of Ebenezer HOISINGTON, Phineas KILLAM, John HEATH, Joel BUTLER, Asa SMEAD, Jonathan HODGMAN, and `an elderly man named EMMONS.' These, with perhaps as many more, he marched away on snow-shoes to Skeensborough, now Whitehall, whence, descending the lake on the ice, they reached the army destined to Quebec, and finally encamped on the Plains of Abraham.

"In the disastrous retreat of the ensuing spring, WARNER's regiment was the last on the field, and kept the rear. It was on this retreat that Lieutenant HUNTER, discovering a sick Cornish soldier who had laid down to die, inspired with hope the despairing man's heart, and, lifting him on his back, carried him three miles to the bateaux and saved his life. During the remainder of the war the military of Windsor were perpetually on the alert, and were frequently called into service. Under Capt. Benjamin WAIT and Major Joab HOISINGTON, they were of the troops who kept back the English and Indians from the northern towns, and when Royalton was attacked and burned, marched in such numbers to repel and punish the invasion, that most of the women of Windsor, left unprotected, fled with their children to Cornish, `until the return of the men.' Declining a captaincy in the Continental service, HUNTER became lieutenant of the Windsor company, under Capt. Samuel Stow SAVAGE, and succeeded him as captain in the year 1789.

"In the war of 1812 this town contributed its share of officers and men to the armies who fought our battles. CHURCHILL, already referred to, and Matthew PATRICK remained in the public service to the end of their lives. A few veterans of that war remain to this day to have their fitting recognition by an appropriate place in our festivities. The Jefferson Artillery, significant, politically, by its name, came into being in 1810, amid the omens of the coming war. Its organization was not, however, complete till the ensuing year. William TILESTON was its first captain. My father's commission as lieutenant bears the date of 1811. About 1820 there were four companies in the town, one of artillery, one of light infantry, and two ununiformed, reproachfully termed "floodwood." Harry WHITE was one of the village captains, as was, likewise, David SMITH, the brilliant and popular merchant whom Windsor lost by a sudden calamity; Capt. BACK commanded the light-infantry of the West Parish. Training days were holidays, and General Musters were great events. The boys caught the military infection of the time, and under the command of John A. SPOONER, now a venerable and honored clergyman, marched beneath a banner which bore a patriotic and impressive legend.

"That Windsor was true to her historic principles and renown in the late struggle which saved the Union, and gave us a country unstained by slavery, is fresh within your knowledge, and eulogy from one so unfamiliar as myself with your later history, would for that reason be inadequate and unsatisfactory." 

      The First Congregational church of Windsor, or Old South church. -- The first church organized in Windsor was called the church of Windsor and Cornish. The covenant was adopted at Windsor, September 21, 1768, four years after the permanent settlement of the town was commenced, and at Cornish one week later, at which time an ecclesiastical council publicly recognized the church according to Congregational usage, and installed Rev. James WELLMAN as pastor. The church consisted of ten members, four of whom, Israel CURTIS, Ebenezer HOISINGTON, Joab HOISINGTON and Hezekiah THOMPSON, were residents of Windsor. It was arranged that the pastor should preach one-third of the time in Windsor and the remainder in Cornish, receiving as a settlement two hundred acres of land, and an annual salary of 740, in currency of New Hampshire, one-third of which was to be paid by the people of Windsor, to secure which payment a bond was given, signed by ten citizens of Windsor. The payment was to be made in October, either in money or "in Grains, or Pork, or Beef, or Day's Labor," the engagement to expire in five years. On the third of April, 1774, eleven members of the church requested and received letters of dismission, for the purpose of forming a separate church here. Soon afterwards we find the church of Windsor in existence, but we have no record of its organization, and there is no evidence that a council was convened for that purpose. It is not improbable that it was assumed that the church of Cornish and Windsor had now become two distinct bodies, and that no further organization was thought to be necessary. The church building was erected in 1798, a wood structure capable of seating 350 persons, and is now valued, including grounds, at $15,000.00. The society has 153 members, with Rev. William GREENWOOD, pastor.

      The First Baptist church of Windsor, located on the corner of Main and River streets, was organized December 3, 1785, by "eleven members of the Woodstock church, residing in Windsor," Rev. Roswell SMITH being the first pastor. The first church building was a wooden structure, erected in 1802, and in 1815 it was replaced by a brick edifice, which in turn gave place to the present wooden edifice, in 1874. This structure, including grounds and parsonage, is valued at $14,500, and will comfortably accommodate a congregation of 400 persons. The society has at present 141 members, under the pastoral care of Rev. J. Mervin HULL.

      St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal church, located on State street, was organized in the autumn of 1816, with twenty-five members, Rev. George LEONARD being the first rector. The church building was consecrated November 20, 1822. It is a brick structure, capable of seating 325 persons, originally valued at $6,000, but through remodeling, etc., is now valued at $10,000. The society has at present seventy-five communicants, with Rev. Edward N. GODDARD, rector.

      The First Unitarian Society of Windsor was organized by its first pastor, with forty members, in 1836. Their first church building was erected in 1838, and was superseded by the present structure in 1847, which is a wooden edifice capable of seating 350 persons, valued, including grounds, at $6,000. The society is now under the pastoral charge of Rev. C. E. CHURCHILL, of Hartland.

      The Windsor Methodist Episcopal church was organized April 25, 1870, Rev. David MEGAHY being the first pastor. The society now has about one hundred members, with Rev. P. M. FROST, pastor. They have no house of worship, but hold their services in a hall in the Amsden block, on Depot avenue.

      The St. Francis Roman Catholic church, located at the village, has about seventy-five families in its membership, under the charge of Rev. Patrick CUNNINGHAM. The church building was not erected until 1882, though there has been a society in existence here about forty years. The building is a wooden structure, capable of seating 350 persons, and is valued, including grounds, at $6,000.

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 260-285.

Transcribed by Karima Allison ~ 2004 


Old Newspaper Notices and Gleanings from the early editions of Spooner's Vermont Journal