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Compiled from the manuscripts of Erastus Bostwick, Esq. and others.
BY REV. C. E. FERRIN.
Hinesburgh lies in the south part of Chittenden county, having Charlotte on the west, between it and Lake Champlain; Shelburne, St. George, Williston and Richmond on the north; Richmond, Huntington and Starksboro on the east; Starksboro and Monkton, in Addison county, on the south. Its shape is a regular square, containing 23,040 acres. The village of Hinesburgh is about 13 miles from Burlington, 33 from Montpelier, and 22 from Middlebury. The border lines of the town extend within 4 miles of the railroad station in Richmond, within 4 of the station in Shelburne, and 5 of the station in Charlotte.
The soil of the western part of the town is mostly clay and very fertile. The rock of this part is limestone, on the western border quite pure and sometimes nearly white, though none of it has been successfully worked as marble. There are no mountains here; but the limestone in many places has been thrown up into small ridges or hillocks, some of which are very rough and precipitous.
The soil in the eastern part of the town is a sandy or gravelly loam, and the rock underlying it is talcose, like that which forms the central portion of the Green Mountains. The line in which the lime and talcose rocks meet runs nearly through the center of the town from south to north. West of this line the surface is low, from 300 to 500 feet above Lake Champlain; but east of it the surface rapidly rises in large and sometimes broken ridges to the height of 1200 to 2000 feet. Some portions of these ridges, even to their summit, are covered with a strong and arable soil, and make very good dairy farms.
From some points on the public roads in this part of the town, the traveler catches the finest views of rural scenery ever beheld from positions so easily reached. With one sweep of the eye he can take in Lake Champlain, from Alburgh to Ticonderoga, with its numerous islands, bays and headlands, the fine farming country on this side, and the long chain of the Adirondac mountains beyond. These places are richly worth visiting, especially by tourists who do not wish to encounter the fatigue of ascending mountains.
Near the south-east corner of the town this mountain ridge is cleft from its summit to its base by a chasm, from one-quarter to one-half a mile wide, through which flows, from Huntington, a branch of Lewis creek, the largest stream in town. The other streams in town are the Laplot river which rises near the south-east part of the town and flows north-westerly; and Pond brook, rising in the north-east part of the town, principally from Hinesburgh pond—lying partly in Williston—and flowing south-westerly. These two unite a little west of the village and flow on through Charlotte and Shelburne into Shelburne bay. On the Laplot, extending almost from one corner of the town to the opposite corner, are meadows from one-half mile to two miles wide, of great beauty and fertility, which add immensely to the agricultural wealth of the town. The industry of the people is chiefly devoted to the raising of horses and sheep and the products of the dairy.
The original forests of the town were mostly of the common varieties of hard timber found in Vermont, with some scattering pines and small swamps of cedar. A few beaver meadows, one containing more than 100 acres, were of some value to the early settlers, by furnishing considerable quantities of hay, though of a poor quality.
The town lying back from the lake and on no one of the larger rivers of the state, has no authentic Indian history worth recording, though her small streams were evidently visited by the aborigines for the purpose of fishing and hunting; and through the chasm, in the south-east part of the town, was one of their thoroughfares from the Otter creek to the Winooski river. Near the debouche of this chasm is a tract of dry, sandy land, which was considerably occupied by them as a camping ground, and perhaps sometimes for a more permanent residence; arrowheads and other relics have been there turned up by the plow.
THE CHARTER of Hinesburgh was granted by Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire, and signed June 24, 1762. The grantees were David Ferris, Samuel Canfield, Benjamin Gaylord, Abel Hine, John Carrington, Samuel Comstock, John Brownson, Thomas
Miller, Asahel Noble, Zachariah Ferris, Tilly Weller, John Warner, David Bostwick Jr., Abel Weller, Martin Warner, Thomas Oviatt Jr., Ebenezer Hotchkiss, Orange Warner, Wm. Goold, Jared Baldwin Jr., Thomas Darling, Moses Johnson, Abel Camp, Partridge Thatcher, Benjamin Brownson, John Comstock, Jas. Bradshaw, Isaac Canfield, Samuel Hitchcock, Thomas Noble, David Hall, John Hitchcock, Wm. Vaughn, Josiah Brownson, Isaac Hitchcock, Joseph Wooster, Samuel Brownson, Asahel Hitchcock, Andrew Burritt, Samuel Brownson Jr., Zadock Noble, Isaac Bostwick, Noble Hine, William Van Wick Jr., Daniel Burritt, Hugh Rider, Job Goold, Job Goold Jr., Wm. Field, Jos. Pearsall, David Goold, Thos. Pearsall, Amos Bostwick, Benj. Ferris, Joseph Underhill, Hon. John Temple, Esq. Lieut. Governor, Edward Burling, Theodore Atkinson, Esq., Samuel Underhill, Andrew Underhill, Thomas Underhill, Wm. Van Wick, Mark H. Wentworth, Esq., John Nelson, Esq., mostly resident in New Milford, Conn., where tho proprietors' meetings were held from time to time for the transaction of business.
It is a fact worthy of note that while, according to the proprietors' records, meetings were frequently held up to May 16, 1776, and at that date an adjournment was voted to "the first Monday of September, 1776," there is no record of that adjourned meeting, nor of any other until the 8th day of May, 1783. This is one, out of the many proofs we have, to show how instantly and completely the whole interest and enterprise of the men of the Revolution were engaged in carrying on the war while it lasted.
ABEL HINE acted for many years as proprietors' clerk, and for him the town was named. ANDREW BURRITT was the only one of the proprietors who removed to this town. He settled upon his original right of land, where he lived to a very old age. His son, Tilly Burritt, now owns and occupies the same farm, with additions, and his descendants to the 4th and 5th generations occupy several other farms near—all of them who are now residing in town are living in the same school district.
Some of the provisions of the charter— though not perhaps differing greatly from charters given to other towns—are of sufficient interest to find a quotation's place in this sketch: "And further, that the said town, as soon as there shall be fifty families resident and settled thereon, shall have the liberty of holding two fairs, one of which shall be held on''—&c.
"And that as soon as the said town shall consist of fifty families, a market may be opened and kept one or more days in each week, as may be thought most advantageous to the inhabitants." . . . .
The charter provides that "The first meeting for the choice of town officers . . . shall be held on the last Friday in July next." . . . "And that the annual meeting forever hereafter for the choice of such officers for the said town shall be on the second Tuesday of March, annually."
There were five conditions in the charter:
I. "That every grantee, his heirs or assigns, shall plant and cultivate five acres of land within the term of five years for every fifty acres contained in his or their share or proportion of land in said town, and continue to improve and settle the same by additional cultivations on penalty of forfeiture," &c.
II. "That all white and other pine trees within the said township fit for masting our Royal Navy be carefully preserved for that use, and none to be cut or felled without our special license," &c.
III. "That before any division of the land be made to and among the grantees, a tract of land as near tho center of the said town as the land will admit of, shall be reserved and marked out for town lots, one of which shall be allotted to each grantee, of the contents of one acre."
IV. "Yielding and paying therefor to us, our heirs and successors, for the space of ten years, to be computed from the date thereof, the rent of one ear of Indian corn only, on the twenty-fifth day of December, annually, if lawfully demanded."
The fifth condition provides that after the first ten years, as above, each settler or proprietor shall pay "One shilling proclamation money for every hundred acres he so owns, settles or possesses."
Although only one of the original proprietors settled in the town, the names of 28 of them are represented in the families now resident here, which are doubtless in most cases descendants of the original proprietors.
The first meeting of the proprietors was held at New Milford, Conn., on the last Fri‑
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day of July, 1762. The last meeting of the proprietors at New Milford, according to the records, was held May 9, 1783. One week later, viz., May 16, 1783, a notice was issued through the "public papers," signed by Ira Allen at Sunderland, warning the proprietors "to meet at the house of Abner Chaffee in said Hinesburgh on the fifth Monday of June next." The meeting so warned was held. Noble Hine was chosen moderator and Isaac Hitchcock, clerk, and then adjourned to meet at the house of Isaac Lawrence, July 7, 1783. At this adjourned meeting, and others held en the 9th and 10th of the same month, several votes were taken and recorded, some of which are as follows:
"Voted to lay out a second division of land consisting of two lots each to the original proprietors, each lot to consist of 102 acres." Ira Allen, Isaac Hitchcock and Noble Hine were appointed a committee to lay out said division of land, and when complete to make a draft to each proprietor.
"Voted to rescind the vote passed at New Milford, Jan. 10, 1775, giving to Col. Ethan Allen and others 400 acres of land for making road—as they did not do it."
"Voted to give Isaac Lawrence, John McNeil, Elnathan Hubbell and John Bishop, Jr., 100 acres of land each, for making road, they paying for surveying the same."
"Voted to raise a tax of $4,00 on each original right of land, to pay for laying out the second division, to be paid by the first day of November next"
Elnathan Hubbell, Jr., of Bennington, was appointed collector.
The only settlers known to have resided in town previous to the Revolution were ISAAC LAWRENCE, from Canaan, Conn., and ABNER CHAFFEE. At a meeting of the proprietors at New Milford, Conn., Jan. 10, 1775, Mr. Lawrence was voted 100 acres of land, with the liberty to make his own selection of it, in consideration of labor done by him and at his expense in making roads. He selected lot number 26, in the second division. Mr. Chaffee lived on the place at the south end of the village, near the plat now owned by W. J. Douglass. At the beginning of the war they both left. Mr. Lawrence returned at the close of the war. His family endured some of the severest hardships, so well known to the first inhabitants of Vermont. Mrs. Lawrence has said that she lived 10 months at one time without seeing the face of any other woman, and that for a while one season the only food used by the family was dried pumpkins with the little mouldy flour that the children scraped from the inside of a barrel that had been wet. In 1793 Mr. Lawrence sold out to Epaphras Hull, from Wallingford, and moved to Canada.
In 1784 Mr. Lawrence was joined by Jacob Meacham from Rutland, Hezekiah Tuttle from Williamstown, Mass., and Amos Andrews.
In 1785 the town was further occupied by George McEuen from New Milford, Conn., George Palmer from Stonington, Conn., Elisha Meech, Eliphaz and George Steele, Thomas Place, Thomas Butler, Joseph Wilcox, Thomas McFarland and Elkanah Billings.
In 1786 there were added to the settlement, viz.: Alfred Smalley, Job Spafford, Azariah Palmer, Elisha Barber, Zadok Clark, Andrew Burritt, Jonathan Green, David Gates, Nathan Leavenworth and Nathan Leavenworth; Jr., James Gates, Zalmon Wheeler, Cornelius Hurlbut and Enoch Haskins.
In 1787 were added Elijah Peck, James Comings, Seth Basset, Jonathan Marshal, Knaptaly Bishop, Lemuel Bostwick, Joseph Farrand, David Hill, Nathan Stuart, Thaddeus Stuart, Abraham Stuart, Eleazer Sprague, Lockwood Mead, Alpheus Mead, Simeon Hine, Robert McEuen, David Weller, Samuel Dorwin, Stephen Spalding, Ezbon Noble, David Spencer, Ebenezer Stone, Moses Smalley and Jonas Shattuck.
The foregoing is a full list, so far as we have been able to ascertain, of all the settlers of the town before its organization.
The first town meeting was warned by Isaac Tichenor, Esq., of Bennington, and holden on the third Tuesday of March, 1787, at the house of Eliphaz Steele. Josiah Steele was chosen moderator, Elisha Barber, town clerk; Elisha Barber, George McEuen, Eliphaz Steele, selectmen; Jacob Meacham, constable. Lemuel Bostwick was the first representative in the legislature.
The first military company was organized in 1788. Nathan Leavenworth, Jr., was then chosen Lieutenant. There were not enough men in town subject to military duty for a Captain's commission. The next year,
however, Mr. Leavenworth was appointed Captain. It is mentioned, as indicative of the generous spirit of those times, that Mr. Leavenworth, in compliment for his election, on the "training day" in September for that year, invited the whole town to dine with him, which invitation the people were not backward in accepting. Nevertheless the tables were so well supplied that there was enough and to spare and "all went of well." It would seem also that Capt. Leavenworth thoroughly established his reputation for liberality, and as well his popularity with the people, for he was raised in the military service, by regular promotion, to the rank of Brigadier General; and in the civil service of the town, besides other posts, was elected to a seat in the legislature 21 times.
A company of light infantry was formed, and equipped at their own expense, about the year 1800. The first officers were: Daniel Barnum, Captain; Erastus Bostwick, First Lieutenant; Edmund Baldwin, Ensign.
A company of light horsemen was formed in the county of which Daniel Patrick, of Hinesburgh, was Captain, and Erastus Meech, of Hinesburgh, was at one time Major. About the year 1840 the military spirit seemed to die out entirely, and no organization of the kind existed until the great southern rebellion of 1861 culminated in the bombardment and reduction of Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, S. C., on the 11th and 12th of April. During the war against the slaveholders' rebellion, the record of the aid furnished to the Government is as fellows: Volunteers for 3 months, 7; 9 months, 28; 1 year, 22; 3 years, 91; for the Navy, 3; for the Veteran Reserve Corps, 1; entered the Regular Army for this war, 2; volunteers who re-enlisted, 7; credits to the town, but not by name, 9; drafted and served in the army, 1; drafted and furnished substitutes, 3; drafted and paid commutation, 7; four men who were not drafted furnished each a substitute, 4; whole number, 185. In this summary, however, a number of names are counted more than once. A company of in fantry was also—under the encouragement and aid of Gen. Heman R. Smith—formed and uniformed; and a little after a company of cavalry. They did not enter the U. S. service.
The people of the town have always given much attention to the means of education and general instruction. Common schools were established at an early day in every neighborhood. There are now 13 school districts, with a school-house in each, which sustain a school from 6 to 9 months in the year.
A literary society was formed in 1810, and in a few years collected a respectable library, which was used as a circulating library among its members. The society became of so much importance that it was incorporated by act of the legislature in 1822. It has continued an influential means of instruction and discipline for most of the time since its organization, not only to its active members, but to the citizens generally. By the aid it has furnished through its library to young men thirsting for knowledge; by the inspiring conflict of debate; by bringing before the mind the leading topics for thought in science, literature, history, politics and religion, and by its essays and lectures and rules of order and debate, it has contributed greatly to fit the young men who have been raised here for useful and influential positions in society at home or as residents elsewhere,
Hinesburgh academy was incorporated in 1824, and has been one of the most permanent and successful institutions of its class in the state. By the act of incorporation the following persons were constituted trustees: Rev. Otto S. Hoyt, Rev. Peter Chase, Jedediah Boynton, Nathan Leavenworth, Wm. Hurlbut, Daniel Goodyear, John M. Eldridge and Edmund Baldwin.
The succession of principals of the academy since its foundation have been: Asa Brainard, John A. Edgell, Otto S. Hoyt, Archibald Fleming, Peola Durkee, J. A. B. Stone, —— Wood, A. J. Sampson, Homer H. Benson, Peola Durkee, Geo. Lee Lyman, Frederick W. Powers, Ira O. Miller, John D. Kingsbury, Geo. Lee Lyman, A. E. Leavenworth, Hiram Carleton, P. F. Leavens. The academy is a commodious two story building, situated in the center of the village, on the west side of the street and a little elevated and back from it, and fronted by a grove of maples and locusts. It was neatly repaired and furnished in 1859.
The following persons born in town, or who came here with their parents in childhood, have been educated for the ministry and have labored in that profession: Eben
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W. Leavenworth, Adolphus Taylor, James F. Taylor, Chauncy Taylor, Justin Taylor, Veran D. Taylor, Eli W. Taylor, Homer H. Benson, Ira M, Weed, Ezra H. Byington, Geo. P. Byington, Congregationalists; Perley Work, Carleton E. Miles, John S. Beecher, Baptists; Byron Alden, Justin Alden, Cabot M. Clark, Methodists; and Ephraim Adams, Episcopalian.
The following, from Hinesburgh, have been graduated at the University of Vermont:— Davis Stone, Robert Steele, Jared Kenyon, Henry Leavenworth, Ephraim Adams, Ira M. Weed, Chauncy Taylor, Homer H. Benson, Ezra H. Byington, Frederick H. Baldwin, Charles J. Alger, Geo, P. Byington; graduated at Middlebury, Wm. A. Howard.
THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
in Hinesburgh was organized on May 20, 1789, in the very infancy of the settlement of the town, and only two years subsequent to its first town meeting. The church was organized by the Rev. Nathan Perkins, laboring under the direction of a missionary society in Connecticut, and consisted at first of the following members: Josiah Steele and his wife, Eliphaz Steele from the church in West Hartford, Conn., Nathan Stevens, Eleazur Sprague and his wife, Elisha Barber and his wife, Samuel Dorwin and his wife from the church in Lanesborough, Mass., and Thankful Stewart, received by profession of faith. Josiah Steele was chosen the first deacon. In 1791, Feb. 23d, the Rev. Reuben Parmalee, from Connecticut, was ordained the first pastor of the church. He was dismissed, by advice of an ecclesiastical council, Oct. 9, 1794. From this time to the spring of 1818, the church had only occasional preaching and administration of its ordinances. Among the names of those who administered the ordinances for the church during this period are Rev. Joseph Marshal, Rev. Job Swift, Rev. Jedediah Bushnell, Rev. Holland Weeks, and Rev. Josiah Hopkins, Rev. Otto S. Hoyt was ordained pastor on the 29th of September, 1818, when the church consisted of 47 members. Mr. Hoyt was dismissed Feb. 3, 1829, and reinstalled Feb. 29, 1838, and finally dismissed April 18, 1854. Mr. Hoyt was a man of scholarly attainments, an able preacher, a faithful pastor, and an active and useful citizen. The church and the town are largely indebted to his labors for their good character and prosperity. Rev. Mason Knapen was installed pastor Oct. 12, 1831, and dismissed Dec. 25, 1832. After the dismissal of Mr. Knapen, Rev. Brainard Kent preached for the church, without installation, for 3 or 4 years. After the dismissal of Mr. Hoyt in 1854, the church was supplied by Rev. John B. Perry, Rev. John Wheeler, D. D., and others. Rev. C. E. Ferrin, the present pastor, commenced to labor for the church in Oct. 1855, and was installed pastor Feb. 6, 1856. The whole number of those who have been received into the church is 414; the present number is 105, some 20 of whom are non-residents. A sabbath school was begun about the year 1826 by this church, and has been sustained with little or no intermission to the present time. The number now connected with the school and Bible class is 112 (July, 1861).
The meeting-house is a commodious building, built of brick, and is situated on a pleasant common at the south end of the village. The society has also a lecture-room well located near the center of the village.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH
in Hinesburgh was organized May 10, 1810. The council assisting was called by the church in Monkton, and consisted of delegates from the churches in Cornwall, Bridport, New haven and Charlotte. Elder Henry Green, of Cornwall, was moderator, and Elder Starkweather, clerk. Eighteen members united in the organization of the church. viz.: John Beecher and his wife Lydia, Asa Moon and his wife Hannah, John Miles and his wife Mary Ann, John Beecher, Jr. and is wife Clarissa, Elisha Booth and his wife Elizabeth, Stephen Post and his wife Hannah, Amos Dike, Mercy McEuen, Anna Willard, Rhoda Bostwick, Hulda E. Booth, Lydia Andrews. The church has had the services of a large number of different preachers, most of whom have served it for only a few years. The longest pastorate was that of Rev. Peter Chase, eight years. Other pastors were Revs. Ephraim Butler, Alanson Covill, Sylvester S. Parr, John Ide, Wm. Arthur, Amasa Brown, W. G. Johnson, A. H. Stowell, M. G. Hodge, Wm. S. Picknell, Archibald Wait and Truman Gregory. The church is now supplied by Rev. Reuben Sawyer (1866). The
church has a large and commodious house, built in 1826, after the fashion of that day with spire, and has a fine bell. The audience room is high, with galleries on three sides, and is well finished. The whole number received into the church from the first is 430. Present number of resident members, 70; whole number connected with its sabbath school, 50. The church has enjoyed many seasons of religious interest and some extensive revivals. Many of its early members were men of good ability, strong character and earnest piety. Among these might be mentioned John Beecher, John Miles, Edmund Baldwin, Elisha Booth, Asa Moon, Philo Ray, Shubael Clark (colored), Stephen Post, Joseph Stearns, a faithful, ardent Christian and about as odd as Eliphaz Steele. He now lives in St. Lawrence county, N. Y. Lyman Beecher, of whom Mr. Bostwick says: "He was a very respectable inhabitant, a kind neighbor and a good man." He died in 1842, from injuries received by falling from a load of hay. He was the father of Senator Elmer Beecher. The descendants of four of these names — Baldwin, Beecher, Miles and Post—are still among the main supporters of the Baptist church.
A class was formed here in 1799, consisting of 6 or 7 members. They have been supplied with circuit preachers, and for most of the time for many years have had a resident minister and constant preaching. They had a good chapel built of brick in 1837, and neatly repaired in 1858, with convenient rooms in the basement for class and prayer meetings, lectures, sabbath schools, &c., and it is furnished with a good bell. The society also owns a convenient parsonage, well situated in the central part of the village. The present number of communicants is about 90. The sabbath school is flourishing, with about 100 members including teachers. The present preacher is Rev. A. J. Ingalls (1862). Some of the earliest members who did most to sustain the church and give it character, were Alpheus and Lockwood Mead, mentioned eleswhere; David Norton, a valuable citizen and good man, and Jared Byington, who was a member of the Methodist church, and for a while a local preacher. He was a man of intelligence and strong mind. In the later years of his life he had some controversy with the Conference, but it is believed that his Christian character was not impeached. He was withal an inventive genius. He was the first inventor of the steel hay-fork, that has since come into universal use, and of some other implements, from which, however, he is said to have derived little pecuniary benefit.
Nahum Peck, Esq. gives, in addition to the above, the following remarks "Daniel Norton, Esq., Lockwood and Alpheus Mead were not only among the fathers of the town, but were foremost among the laymen in building up and sustaining this young and small society of Methodists. Mr. Norton was for some years one of the principal business men and office holders in town, and highly esteemed and beloved by all classes in society, as far as he was known. In the latter part of his life, such were his fears of the abuse of power by the Episcopacy, at some future time, in the Methodist Episcopal church, that he was prevailed upon to attend as a delegate the convention at Baltimore and assist in organizing the Methodist Protestant church, of which he became a member and continued such to his death. But such was his catholic and Christian character and spirit that he still lived in harmony and Christian love with the members of all evangelical churches.
These fathers all lived to a good old age, and to see the several churches in town increased to respectability in numbers; and, when full of accumulated years, departed in great peace and the triumphs of faith, leaving respectable families to imitate their worthy and benign examples."
A FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH
was organized in town Dec. 18, 1817, with 19 members. Its meetings have been held mostly in a school-house in the north-east part of the town, at a neighborhood familiarly known as Rhode Island Corner, from the fact that many of the early settlers of that section came from Rhode Island. The church and congregation are made up partly from adjacent parts of Williston, Richmond and Huntington. The church has had preaching only a portion of the time, latterly one-half. It has employed different elders, and never has had a permanent and resident pastor. The present minister is Rev. Mr. Minard. The church consists of about 70 members, and
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has a sabbath school of about the same number. A very neat and convenient house of worship was built for it in 1859, 30 feet by 40, near the school-house, where it has for a long time worshiped. The church has been greatly indebted to Mr. Moses Dow for its prosperity. He was long and deeply devoted to its interests and welfare, and he contributed much more than any other man, in various ways, to the building of its house of worship. He was a man of positive character, laborious life, and a zealous Christian. He died in July, 1860, aged 77.
There have been a few believers in the doctrine of UNIVERSAL SALVATION ever since the first settlement of the town. The first stated preaching of this order was by Walter Ferris, who preached one-fourth of, the time till his death. In 1846 a society was organized with 18 members. After this for two years they had regular preaching for one- fourth or one-third part of the time. Besides this they have had preaching only occasionally. This order has embraced some very excellent and worthy citizens, among whom are Daniel Patrick and Calvin Murray and their descendants.
A class was formed here some years ago, but it does not seem to have prospered, and has been given up—the members who remain worshiping with other denominations.
In the early history of the town there were quite a number of Episcopalians here, and for a time they sustained public worship with preaching on the sabbath. But they have had no settled ministry, nor any house of worship. Those who professed that faith have usually and with great harmony cooperated with and sustained the existing churches.*
THE. POPULATION of the town, as declared by the different census returns, has been as follows : In 1791, 494; in 1800, 933; in 1810, 1238; in 1820, 1322; in 1830, 1669; in 1840, 1682; in 1850, 1834; in 1860, 1701. From 1830 to 1850 the town lost many of its best inhabitants by the emigration to the west, and, since 1850, the commercial and manufacturing interests have suffered in consequence of the railroads running through the adjacent towns and changing the centers of business. About one-third of the present inhabitants are recent immigrants, mostly French from Canada and Irish from the old country, many of whom are becoming industrious, intelligent and worthy citizens.
The following are some of the citizens who have held the more important public offices: TOWN CLERKS,—Elisha Barber, Geo. McEuen, Lemuel Bostwick, Wm. B. Marsh, Erastus Bostwick, Wm. B. Viele, John F. Miles, Elmer Beecher. JUDGES OF THE COUNTY,—Mitchell Hinsdill, Joseph March, Stephen Byington, Francis Willson. GOVERNOR'S COUNCILOR,— Nathan Leavenworth. STATE SENATORS, Joseph Marsh, Francis Willson, Elmer Beecher. TOWN REPRESENTATIVES,—Lemuel Bostwick, 1789, '90, '92, '94, '95, '97, 1801; Elisha Barber, 1791; Thaddeus Munson, 1793, Nathan Leavenworth, 1796, '99, 1800, 1802, '03, '04, '05, '06, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '15, '17, '18, '21, '22, '27, '28; Wm. B. Marsh, 1798, 1807, '08; Edmund Baldwin, 1814, '16; Erastus Bostwick, 1819, '20; Mitchell Hinsdell, 1823, '24; John M. Eldridge, 1825, '26; Nahum Peck, 1829, '30; 'Joseph Marsh, 1831, '32; Amos Clark, 1833, '34; Nathaniel Miles, 1835, '36; Stephen Byington, 1837, '38; Jedediah Boynton, 1839, '40; Heman P. Smith, 1841, '42; John S. Patrick, 1843, '44; Lyman Dorwin, 1845, '46; Bial Boynton, 1847, '48; Rufus Patrick, 1849, '50; none 1851; Peter J. Boynton, 1852, '53; Austin Beecher, 1854, '55; Alson H. Post, 1856, '57; Clark E. Ferrin, 1858, '59; James Miner, 1860, '61; J. F. Miles, 1862, '63; M. H. Baldwin, 1864, '65.
The members of the Constitutional Conventions were Elisha Barber, Lemuel Bostwick, Wm. B. Marsh, Nathan Leavenworth, Edmund Baldwin, Stephen Byington, Lyman Dorwin, Elmer Beecher.
Those who have received the appointment of Postmaster are Erastus Bostwick from June 7, 1803, to March 31, 1812; successors, Mitchell Hinsdill, Samuel Hurlburt, Thomas W. Gibb, Edward W. Gibb, Marvin Leonard, Nathaniel Miles and L. Andrews.
The Physicians who have pursued their profession in town are W. B. Marsh, Sylvester Church, who came in 1811 and died in 1812; George Dudley, who died in 1822; Daniel Goodyear came from Cornwall in 1816, and still resides here; David C. Deming, John Work, Hugh Taggart, Hector Tay-
* See page 741
lor, Carleton E. Miles, died in 1848; Elmer Beecher. The last three were brought up in town, as were also the two physicians now practicing here, John W. Miles and John F. Miles. The following have been raised here and are pursuing the profession elsewhere: Mason Mead, Daniel Stearns, Harmon Benson, and Warner Van Steenburgh.
Hinesburgh has not for some years afforded very great encouragement for the residence of Attorneys. The only names who have resided here as members of the Chittenden County Bar are Nahum Peck, John M. Eldridge, John E. McVine, Joseph Adams, Mitchell Hinsdill, Newell Lyon, Elisha F. Mead, and Edward Vansicklin. Most of these were residents of the town only for a short period; and, for the last dozen years, Nahum Peck has been the only member of the bar resident here.
The young men who have been raised here and entered upon the practice of the law elsewhere are Philo Calkins, Harvey Paine, Wm. A. Howard of Michigan, John W. Weed, Charles J. Alger, Wm. Weller, Seaman Davis.
The health of the town has always been comparatively good, and the instances of longevity have been somewhat numerous. Among others may be mentioned the widow of Benj. Rarto, who died at the age of 102 years and 8 months; Hannah Weller, 101; Rebecca Hurd, 92; Benj. Barto, 90; Anna Bostwick, 92; Andrew Burritt, 96; Eunice Burritt, 95; George Palmer, 94; and Joseph Degree, 96. Within the last 6 years 10 persons have died in town who were over 80; 21 who were over 70, and 38 who were over 60. The whole number of deaths during this period has been 114.
of Hinesburgh is a little west of the center of the town, on a plateau slightly elevated above the Plott, and is built principally on one street running nearly north and south. It consists of 66 dwelling-houses and 76 families. The public buildings are three meeting-houses, a town-house, academy school-house and one tavern. The building erected for a factory, on the canal, is now used for a grist-mill. It has three dry goods stores, one stone and hollow-ware store, and one grocery. There are blacksmith and mechanic shops sufficient for the wants of the inhabitants, but no manfactures of this kind for exportation. There is also one tannery, doing considerable work, and two harness shops, each doing a somewhat extensive business.
On Pond brook, one mile north-east of the village, are heavy falls, extending half a mile along the stream. On these falls are several shops or mills for various manufacturing purposes, the principal of which are a foundry and plow factory, cheese-box factories, a woolen factory, employing 16 hands, a machine shop, cooper shop, wagon shop, saw-mill, planing-mill, and grist-mill. Near the lower line of the falls is Factory Village, containing about 25 dwelling-houses, with a large and commodious school-house.
On Baldwin's brook, about two miles south-east of the village, are two saw-mills—one a circular saw for preparing building Iumber,— a cheese-box factory, a mill for grinding provender, and a tannery and bark-mill. The town being off from the lines of lake and railroad travel, most of its mercantile and mechanical business is done to meet home wants, and most of these wants are met at home.
The first child born in town was a son of Mr. Jacob Meacham, born on the 1st day of April, 1787. He was named Hine.
The first death was a child of Elkanah Billings, who settled here in 1785.
In the winter of 1787 Mr. Thomas Place sent two sons to fodder his cattle upon some hay near a beaver meadow. The day time was spent by the boys in trapping sable, and the night in a cabin near the meadow. One night, while they were asleep, the cabin took fire. One of the young men awoke with his clothes in a blaze. He rushed out and by throwing himself down and rolling upon the snow, he succeeded in quenching the flames. He then returned to rescue his brother, but his utmost exertions were fruitless. The brother perished in the fire, and he was terribly burned in his efforts to save him. Then, in attempting to make his way to the nearest house—two miles away— through the woods and snow, he was severely frozen and only escaped death after a long confinement, with the almost total loss of his hands and a fire-scarred face.
JOHN WEED built a log-house in the north part of the town and moved into it in 1792. In November, 1797, it was burned with his
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winter's provision and most of the clothing for the family. At night, while the ruins were yet blazing, his neighbor, Epraphas Hull, mounted his horse and before morning had visited most of the families in town and invited them to come to Mr. Weed's assistance. They did come, bringing timber, boards, nails, tools, provisions, clothing and skillful, willing hands. Before the sun shone, the material for a small house was on the spot, and at night the house was built, finished and furnished. We cannot say how well, but it served the family many years, and is still occupied as a tenant house on the farm. Mr. Weed raised a family of 11 children, none of whom died before 40 years of age. They were much respected. One is a graduate of the University, and a minister of the gospel. Mr. Weed died at his old home aged 77, and his wife aged 85. Two sons still reside on or near the old homestead.
A similar instance occurred some years later. Mr. Andrew Bostwick's barn, 30 by 40 feet, filled a few days before with wheat, was burned by lightning. His loss was felt by all the people. On an appointed day they came together and, under the superintendance of Austin Beecher, mechanic, a new barn was framed and raised in a day. And then, while their spirit was up and their hands in, they determined to try again. So on another day, under the same master-workman, they cut down the timber, hewed it, framed and raised it into a house 30 feet square. Mr. Beecher says that was the greatest day's work of his life. It may be proper to add that Mr. Beecher is still (1861) living in a vigorous old age, and also that his benevolent feelings and labors have not been confined to his own neighborhood and to house-framing. For 40 years he has been a zealous and untiring friend of the slave, ready at all times to act or to speak for the African's freedom and equal rights. He has been an active Christian of the Baptist denomination, and has one son a missionary in Burmah.
Still another instance is remembered. Mr Stephen Hollister's barn was burned in 1796 by sparks blowing from a neighbor's clearing. The neighbors who rallied at the burning determined that he should have a new frame. They scattered to invite others and to return with tools, teams, provisions, etc., next morning. Under the superintendance of Mr. Abel Leavenworth, of Charlotte, the timber was cut, hewed, framed and raised in a day; and, before the ruins were done smoking, a new barn-frame 30 by 40 feet was ready for covering.
Wild animals were very plenty at the first settlement of the town, of which the sable, mink, muskrat, and a few others, were profitably hunted for their furs. The deer was sometimes found, it is not known that the moose was ever taken or traced within the limits of the town. Foxes were always plenty, the rough hills in the eastern section and the rocky ridges in all parts affording them the finest protection. They are still considerably hunted with hounds. The black bear is the only wild beast that has ever been known here to attack a human being, and perhaps there is no instance recorded or remembered where he has done this except in defence of his young, or after he had been first wounded. The earlier inhabitants, for want of pasture, were wont to let their cows run in the woods. Sometimes they would stray far back into the forest, and it not unfrequently occurred that the owner, in hunting for them, would confront a bear which seemed not at all inclined to run, but rather to fight.
In 1786 Mr. James Gates, while out in search of his cows, thus met one who not only stood her ground, but made after him, and he only escaped by running round a large tree. After two or three bouts the bear gave it up and marched off a few rods and erected herself on her haunches, where she stood till a team, who heard Gates halloo, came a mile and shot her. On examination of the premises they found three cubs in the tree around which Mr. Gates had run, which they secured.
In 1788, a very similar affair occurred. Gershom Bostwick, while in the woods look for his cows, came upon a bear which seemed to show a purpose to stop him from going further in the direction he was moving. Not liking to have his path thus blockaded, and being near a ledge, he thought, like the old man in the fable, be would try what virtue there was in stones. With these be drove her back some rods till she came to a large tree by the side of which she stopped, and raising herself on her hind legs, defended herself with her fore paws, warding off his stones with great dexterity. While pelting
her he discovered two cubs in the tree over her, and beginning to think the odds were against him, he called at the top of his voice and succeeded in bringing a brother to his aid. The bear stood her ground till she was shot. The cubs also were killed.
In a neighborhood, in the south-east part of the town, the growl of a bear was heard just at evening. The men rallied and the bear was soon treed. A musket ball lodged in one shoulder, breaking the bone; the bear thereupon dropped to the ground and made for the woods, the men pursuing. Mr. Asahel Dewey, a stout, resolute man, with an ax in his hand, followed close after. Presently the bear turned, raised on her hind feet, and prepared to defend herself. Dewy struck with his ax, but she knocked it off and out of his hand. Dewy then closed in with her bare-handed. The bear got one of his arms into her mouth, but with the other Dewy succeeded in getting hold of his ax and killing her just as his friends came up, one of whom—having an eye mainly to the profits —called out, "Don't hurt the skin!" Mr. Dewy was severely injured, and was carried home on a litter made of two poles, united together with a web of bark. He recovered, however, without losing any of his courage, and was always just as ready to fight a bear, if an occasion offered.
In 1796 an incident is said to have occurred which, if true, is well worth recording, as it shows the bear, in one instance at least, to be something else than a savage beast. Joshua Laisdell had made a beginning three-fourths of a mile back easterly from any other settler. He sent two small boys through the woods to school. They came home one night and told how they met right in the road a great black woman with two little papooses. They said they were not afraid, for she did not offer to hurt them nor speak to them; but she took up one of them in her arms and set him out on one side of the road, then she took up the other carefully and set him on the other side, and then went along and the little papooses followed her. Mr. Bostwick says that there are persons now living who recollect the story as it was told and believed at the time; and also, in coroboration of the story of the boys, that a person saw a bear and two cubs the same day and nearly in the same place as described by the little boys.
REV. OTTO S. HOYT
was a native of New Haven. He graduated at Middlebury, and was for a time after tutor in his alma mater. Soon after beginning to preach he was invited to Hinesburgh, and was ordained and installed pastor of the church in 1818. He was dismissed in 1829, and again invited back and reinstalled in 1838, where he remained till 1854. Of Mr. Hoyt, Prof. Joseph Torrey, of the University of Vermont, writes as follows:
"My acquaintance with Mr. Hoyt began soon after I came to reside at Burlington, in 1827. He was a member of the corporation which appointed me to my professorship in the University. But I knew him by reputation before, through the good people—relatives of his—in whose family I lived at Royalton, who often spoke of him in a way that led me to think of him as a man whose friendship would be worth cultivating. Accordingly, when I had the opportunity, I did cultivate it as far as it lay in my power, and I can truly say the more I knew of him the higher he rose in my esteem. There was something peculiarly winning in the gentle sedateness of his manner of appearance at all times. It was always a pleasure to me to visit him in his family, where his amiable character appeared to the greatest advantage. How well I remember some of these visits and the things which most struck me—particularly the helpless little son, the object of so much kind and affectionate care in the household, the social slate by means of which his parents had taught him how to enjoy his share in that intercourse with friends of which he must otherwise have been deprived, thus making him one to beloved rather than pitied, and showing the power of Christian affection to convert what many might deem a sore trial into a real blessing.
But perhaps I do wrong to intrude on these sanctities of home; yet such little things often leave the most abiding impression on our minds of the inner character of those we have learned to love and respect.
In the more public walks of life, and particularly as a minister of the gospel, Mr. Hoyt held a high place in the estimation of all who knew him. An impressive earnestness of manner characterized his style of preaching. His sermons, carefully composed, were full of good and solid Christian instruc‑
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tion. He was in doctrine strictly evangelical, clear and lucid in his expositions of divine truth, close and pungent in his application of it. In hearing him, you felt that his whole heart was in the work. His preaching generally was of that kind which preserves a constant healthy state of religious feeling in a community, and the fruits of which are apt to be most abiding. How highly it was valued by his people appears from the fact that after he had left them to enter into another field of labor, he received and accepted a second call to settle among them as their pastor.
Mr. Hoyt was greatly beloved by all the brethren belonging to the circle of ministers with whom he was accustomed to associate while he lived in this part of the state. We always felt enlivened by his presence at our associational meetings. On all the matters brought up there for discussion, he argued soundly, advised judiciously, criticised modestly but discriminatingly; by his whole manner he set an example of gravity and moderation which was infectious, and gave tone to every deliberation.
I have always felt that the removal of Mr. Hoyt from our immediate neighborhood was a loss to the religious community around here not easy to be made good again, and I sincerely hope that he finds in the place where divine Providence has now cast his lot a pleasant and useful situation in which to spend the declining years of a life which has already been a blessing to so many souls."
REV. PETER CHASE
came to Hinesburgh on invitation of the Baptist church in May, 1821, and continued to preach for the church till August, 1828. During the years of 1823 and '24 he taught a select school in the Masonic hall, and the success of this school led to the origin of the academy, and in its organization and in the erection of the building Mr. Chase took a very active and successful part, as also in the erection of the Baptist meeting-house. He had commenced study of the languages and the higher branches of academical education at the age of 21, and pursued his studies with great diligence and success for 4 years, mostly in Philadelphia. He is said to have acquired the ability to read with considerable ease Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldee, German and French. He has now in his possession a Chaldee grammar which he transcribed from the only copy he could find in Philadelphia in 1820. He went from Hinesburgh to Williston in 1828, and is now living in West Enosburgh (1862.)
was a native of New Milford, Conn., and came to Hinesburgh with his father in 1787, at the age of 23 years. He was among the pioneers of the town and made it his home for three score years. His early life having been spent among the stirring scenes and patriotic struggles of the Revolution, of which, though a mere boy, he was an intelligent and interested observer, his character was formed on the best model of those times. He showed in many ways the reality and the strength of his regard for his country. He was never absent from the polls at the annual state election from his first residence in town up to his last sickness. Rev. O. S. Hoyt thus spoke of him in a sermon the sabbath after his burial:
"As a member of this community for 62 years, how many and conspicuous were the social virtues he exercised ! How high a degree of moral worth did he unfold ! What an example did be furnish of enterprise, industry, prudent economy, contentment, meekness, sincerity, truthfulness, affability, kindness, liberality, honesty. His integrity was proverbial. His business transactions were extensive, but I have yet to learn that he ever resorted to the litigations of the law for their final and full adjustment. His distinguished worth did not go unappreciated. He received from this community and from his fellow-citizens at large unequivocal tokens of their confidence. From 1796 to 1830 he was chosen at 21 different times representative in the legislature. He was with emphasis the man whom the people delighted to honor. He was a member of the Senate of Vermont two years, and once an elector from Vermont of the President and Vice President of the United States. And when we contemplate his history in the more domestic relations he sustained, how much rises to view most commendable and worthy of imitation!
But there are other and higher grounds of interest in him. In the year 1831 he was led to feel, as never before, that no external morality however elevated, no amiability of
native disposition, no affections merely instinctive, did meet the whole demands of the divine law. That momentous declaration of the Saviour, "except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God," came with a new and mighty power home to his soul. He publicly avowed his confidence in the Saviour, and his supreme attachment to Him by connecting himself with the Episcopal church. Still he was most free and liberal in aiding us in sustaining all the institutions of the gospel among this people. (There was no Episcopal church in Hinesburgh.) There was nothing sectarian or exclusive in his spirit or in his efforts. He loved all who bore the image of the Saviour. With them he was at home around the communion table, in social conference and in the prayer meeting, as well as in all the more public movements of the church. Punctually and habitually he honored the sanctuary. Humbly and prayerfully there in the Bible class he studied the oracles of God. And at last death had no terrors. He who is the resurrection and the life was his refuge, and he was at rest."
He died in September, 1849, aged 85 years. He was twice married—his last wife and two daughters survive. One of them—the wife of Hon. Francis Willson, with the widow,—lives on the old place first settled by her grandfather, about one mile west of the village.
DR. WM. B. MARSH.
Of Dr. Marsh, Dr. David Goodyear writes as follows:
"Wm. B. Marsh was the first resident physician. He was born in Windham, Conn., May 23, 1769, the son of Joseph Marsh, and the youngest, save one, of 11 children. At Worthington, Mass., to which his father moved, he received a common school education, and read medicine with Dr. Starkweather. In 1788 he came to Hinesburgh to practice his profession—a small stripling of 19 years. In 1792 he was married to Esther Holcomb, a native of Canaan, Conn., who had come with her parents to Starksboro two years before. The party came by wagon to Whitehall, thence by water to Charlotte, thence to Starksboro. Esther rode on horseback, balancing on a man's saddle over rough roads, and attended by a gallant youth who had just made his residence in Hinesburgh, where both still reside. As the party passed on they came to a fallen tree which quite blocked up the path. Over it Esther's horse leaped briskly, chopping off the rider's bonnet for another gallant gentleman who was of the party to pick up. During this ride a friendship was begun which has never abated. To this day—after each has raised a family and been left companionless, that venerable father, aged 94, tottering slowly and cautiously on his two staves, may often be seen coming over the way to visit that other worthy relic of the old settlement, aged 88, where years and events long since gone are brought sometimes to pleasant and sometimes to sad remembrance.*
Our youthful doctor, endowed with native shrewdness and sagacity, soon became eminent in his profession. His time was almost entirely occupied in laborious services in this and adjoining towns, climbing the rough hills, threading the muddy vallies, by night or by day, in sunshine, rain or snow. Many thrilling incidents might be given of his adventures, illustrating his rank and the character of the times,—we have room for only one: Riding through a forest on a black, dark night, along a new pathway, his faithful horse suddenly stopped and could not be made to budge an inch. He dismounted and then the horse would not go. Searching for the cause, he found one foot fast between two large roots. He was too far from any house to call assistance, and feared to leave his horse lest it should injure itself. There was no alternative but to cut the roots apart with his pocket knife. After laboring assiduously for two hours or more the horse was safely liberated and the journey resumed.
In the early part of his professional life he was inoculated for the kine pox—the only preventative then known for the small pox. But after carrying through the pest-house two classes, and while attending the third he was attacked by the disease and came very near losing his life. His business was many times exceedingly pressing, but most specially so in the epidemic of 1812 and 1813. His treatment of this disease was thought to be peculiar and eminently successful. His calls came from far and near, and he could obtain
* This venerable father, to whom allusion is here somewhat facetiously made by the compiler, was the late Erastus Bostwick, of whom a biographic sketch will appear to end the paper of Hinesburgh in this volume.—Ed.
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no rest day or night save as he slept in his carriage or stole away for a few hours beyond the knowledge of any one. He was sustained only by an iron constitution, which seemed to gather vigor from exposure and hardship. Even in later life he would ride miles in the intensest cold, wrapped only in his worn out buffalo robe, and laugh at the young men muffled in flannels and furs, with their frost-bitten ears and noses. Dr. Marsh had an active, independent mind. Entering his profession while very young, without aid from medical schools, with a limited library, and having little opportunity for the benefit of counsel, be was often compelled, in cases of imminent peril, to rely on his own resources and to decide and act promptly. This contributed greatly to that readiness which became a characteristic of him. He was besides an active citizen and shared largely in the confidence and good will of his townsmen. He was chosen three times to the legislature, and filled other offices of trust to the satisfaction of his constituents. He died Dec. 2, 1827, aged 58. His widow and one daughter—the wife of Dr. Daniel Goodyear—are the only descendants of his in town. Two brothers of Dr. Marsh came soon after he did and settled in Hinesburgh—Thomas and Daniel. Thomas afterwards removed to Ferrisburgh. Daniel was a farmer and accumulated a handsome property upon which a son, Hon. Joseph Marsh, still resides. He was a respected citizen and died in 1838, at the age of 74. His wife died at. the age of 85.
came into this town from Shelburne in 1807, and established his residence on a beautiful little eminence in the center of the village. He built a store convenient and large for those times, and was for several years the principal merchant in this town and vicinity. He was a man of great enterprise, a kind neighbor, a liberal citizen, and generously devoted to the growth, prosperity and honor of the town. He became the owner of considerable land in and near the village, and disposed of building lots on favorable terms to purchasers, and encouraged liberally all improvements upon them by mechanics and others. In company with Mitchell Hensdill he opened the canal from Pond brook to the north end of the village, and built on it a factory for cotton and woolen goods, which added greatly to the productive industry of the town. He made liberal donations for public purposes. He gave deeds for the land occupied as a graveyard in the village, for that occupied by the academy, and that occupied by the Baptist church. He was involved in pecuniary difficulties near the close of his life, and died in 1848, aged 74 years.
LOCKWOOD and ALPHEUS MEAD came from Greenwich, Conn., and settled near each other in 1787. They were industrious, economical and thrifty farmers. Each has a son still occupying the old homestead, and no less than five male descendants are householders, of similar character to their fathers, and in the same neighborhood.
GEORGE MC EUEN
and his wife Mercy, came from Shaftsbury in 1785, and settled on the bank of the Plott, a little south of the center of the town. It is said that the first meal in their new house was partaken from the inverted bottom of the wash-tub. They shared largely in the hardships and privations of pioneer life, but met them all with such courage, cheerfulness and kindness as insured prosperity at home and high esteem among their neighbors. Mr. McEuen served as proprietors' clerk for several years, and afterwards as the town clerk. In the autumn after they came into town Mrs. McEuen, leaving her husband alone to keep the house, clear up the fallow and sow the seed from which they hoped to reap a harvest for their subsistence the coming year, set out alone and on horseback to visit her friends in Shaftsbury, though the road for much of the way was little more than a bridle path, to be traced by marked trees, and the streams were not bridged. She accomplished the journey safely, and in the early part of the winter returned upon an ox sled, bearing in her arms her first born child, an infant a few weeks old. In the absence of physicians at that early day, she was much employed in visiting the sick and in liberally ministering to their wants. Their children and descendants have been among the most industrious and opulent citizens of the town.
came from New Milford, Conn , in 1788. He served through the Revolutionary war, first
as recruiting sergeant and afterwards as lieutenant.
Edmund and Orange Baldwin, brothers, came from New Milford, Conn. to Hinesburgh in February, 1797, and settled on the first division of which their father was the original proprietor. Their talents and character soon secured for them the respect and confidence of their fellow-citizens. Orange held for some time the office of first constable and collector, which duties he discharged with fidelity and to the satisfaction of the town.
Of Edmund, Fred. H. Baldwin, Esq., a grandson, writes as follows:— "Edmund Baldwin was born in New Milford, Conn., July 6, 1774. His father died in early manhood, leaving to the widowed mother the care and support of a large family. Edmund was apprenticed to a tanner of his native town, whom he served seven years—the appointed period at that time for learning a trade. At the expiration of his apprenticeship he married Susanna Stowe, of New Milford, and removed to Hinesburgh in 1797. He was a prominent man in the early history of the town—one of that sturdy band of first comers who by their enterprise, disinterestedness and endurance have laid posterity under lasting obligations. Exhibiting a marked interest and enthusiasm in the settlement and improvement of the town, he was entrusted by his fellow-citizens with the various offices within their gift, the duties of which he performed with care and fidelity. He was once elected a member of the state constitutional convention, and twice a member of the general assembly. He was early appointed a justice of the peace, and soon acquired considerable distinction as a trier of cases. For many years he was the standing court of the town, while his decisions in important cases obtained a much wider reputation. His cool, clear judgment, his shrewd discernment and his grasp of mind enabled him to bring out the strong points of the case and lay open to the jury the more difficult matters involved. Still he ever maintained the character of a peacemaker, and as such was often selected as arbitrator or referee, for which his superior discretion and acknowledged ability admirably fitted him. While he held the office of justice he was often called to perform pleasanter duties than those attending litigation. He married 71 couple. Mr. Baldwin took a deep interest in the morals and education of the town. There was nothing worth knowing that he did not take pleasure in. Possessed of a retentive memory he was able by reading and observation to repair many of the deficiences of his early education. He took an interest in all the great questions of the day, and his earnest advocacy of the temperance and anti-slavery cause will long be remembered. He was one of the founders of the Baptist church in this town, and continued through life an active and influential member of that denomination. Ever a zealous and devoted servant of his Master, he was looked up to for counsel and example. He died Feb. 25, 1856, aged 82—leaving a good name and blessed memory." Two sons and a large number of the third and fourth generation are among the most respectable citizens of the town.
and family Came to Hinesburgh from Bennington, on the 9th of March, 1785. Traveling in a wagon over the rough roads in the latter part of their journey, the wagon was overturned and Mrs. Meech and a child were seriously injured. In the spring the horses died for the want of suitable food. In the following summer the corn was frost-bitten on the 25th of August. There was no mill nearer than Burlington or Vergennes. Mr. Meech prepared a spring pole and pestle over the hollowed stump of a tree in which he pounded the frost-bitten corn from which the only bread for the family was prepared. In the sugar season their only cow was killed by drinking syrup. In the summer following the family suffered much from sickness. Such were some of the trials and hardships of the earlier life of Hon. Ezra Meech, late of Shelburne, one of the princely farmers of Vermont, son of Elisha Meech, and of his father's family. The family has been somewhat noted for the penchant, in many of its members, for hunting. Years ago they made no little money from the furs taken in these hardy and exciting sports. At present there is no opportunity in this part of the state for indulging this Nimrodic passion, save now and then in the fox-chase. The name has now but one representative in
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town. One daughter of Elisha Meech still remains, in a very advanced age, and quite a large number of her descendants. Further notice of Ezra Meech properly belongs to Shelburne.
was a soldier in the Revolution. He came to this town from Stonington, Conn., in 1785. He was a member of the Methodist church, and lived in town 71 years, dying March 15, 1856, aged 94 years, 4 months and 8 days. His descendants were 9 children, 39 grand-children, and 34 great-grand-children.
may be called the father of, the Congregational church. He was prominent in securing its organization. His name stands at the head of its roll of members, and he was its first deacon. He did much to sustain meetings on the sabbath when the church was without a pastor, and at all times to support the ordinances of the gospel. He died in 1801, aged 77.
ELIPHAZ STEELE, son of Josiah, came with his father from East Hartford, Conn., in 1786. He was clerk of the Congregational church from 1802 to 1818, during all of which time the church had no pastor and only occasional preaching. The life and prosperity of the church during this period depended very much on Mr. Steele's faithful and pious labors. He was a man of consistent, simple and unbounded piety, and at the same time of remarkable eccentricity. Religion was always the common theme of his conversation, and in the later years of his life almost the only one. His quaint remarks and exhortations and his oddly expressed prayers would often excite the smile of the serious, and the laughter of those not so serious — though all respected his devout life. The Rev. Mr. Hoyt says of him:— "I lived in his family the first year of my ministry. He was one of the oddest men I ever knew, and one of the most Godly. He had not much to do with town matters. This was not his sphere ; but he had much to do with things divine and eternal, in his family and every where else. Often and often did he come to my room and beckon me to go with him to pray. Many and many a sabbath morning do I recollect when I felt depressed in spirit, feeling that I could not preach on that day. At such times I would wait till I saw the good old man start for church, and then I would join him in the walk of a half mile or more. He had a stentorian voice and a step like a giant. I wanted to be silent and listen to his Godly conversation. And he did so talk of Abraham, Moses, Paul, the Saviour, and of heaven, that by the time our walk ended I felt it a most precious privilege to enter the sanctuary and preach the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ. While I sojourned with a brother of his, a minister from Maine, visited him. After spending a few days with him, the brother told me that he had about made up his mind to advise his brother not to pray in his family, he was so odd. I begged of him not to do so, I did not believe it would be right. Moreover it would do no good, for I was confident that neither he nor any other living man could prevent it." He died in 1839, aged 81.
son of Eliphaz Steele, was also a member of the Congregational church. He was an active and useful citizen, and rose by regular promotion to be colonel of the militia. He died in 1846, at the age of 53.
came from New Milford in 1787. He had previously been the master of a coasting vessel, which business he left, and with a wife and one child came to try his fortunes in the wilderness. He settled on a lot of which his father, Isaac Bostwick, was the original proprietor. In 1790 he shifted his situation to Pond brook, the most important water-power in town. There he erected the first saw-mill in 1791, and a small grist-mill in 1793, and soon after a carding-machine, which he occupied till 1814. In 1816 he sold out and removed from town.
He was a man of good ability and polished address, a gentleman of the old New England type. He was the first representative to the state legislature, and held the office of justice of the peace while he resided in town.
came also from New Milford ; and, with a large family of sons, mostly of adult age, settled here in 1788. The father is said to have been a man of peaceful and industrious habits, and much respected. The mother a woman of firm constitution, commanding
aspect and great fortitude—having never known a sick day. One son, Ebenezer, was a soldier during the whole war of the Revolution, holding the post of orderly sergeant. In 1795 he prepared an establishment for making brown earthen-ware, which was worked for some time. Salmon also served in the war three years. He was here as a merchant about two years. The family left the town in 1806, for New Connecticut, now Ohio.
Three brothers Dorwin came from Lanesboro, Mass., to Hinesburgh.
SAMUEL DORWIN came to town in 1785. He was born in Lanesboro, March 16, 1747, and died in Hinesburgh in 1800. His children were Samuel, Jr., who lived in Fairfax, and died in 1815 ; Urana, who married Calvin Murray, lived in Williston and died in 1793; Laura, who married Nathaniel Newell, of Charlotte, and died in 1812 ; Dolly, who married Paul Whitney, lived in Hinesburgh and died in 1814; Lyman, who was born in Lanesboro, March 25, 1783, and married Patty Hill about 1807, and had four children. Lyman Dorwin was a man of good mind, intelligent, liberal and faithful in all the relations of life. He was an active member of the Congregational church, and ever ready to do his full share to advance its interests. He had very largely the confidence of his fellow-citizens, and twice represented the town in the legislature. He died April 23, 1848. His widow is yet living.
AMASA DORWIN came here before 1800, the precise year I am not able to learn. He staid a few years and left in 1802 for Pennsylvania.
THOMAS DORWIN came in 1805, with two sons, Canfield and Thomas Milton, the oldest of which had just attained his majority. He was an industrious and thrifty farmer. He died in 1810, and his wife died of the epidemic in 1813—the first or second death of that disease in town. Thomas Milton removed to Onandago, N. Y., in 1823, where he recently died. Canfield has ever lived upon the old farm and yet survives. The father, Thomas, was the oldest of a family of 10 sons and 4 daughters, whose descendants are widely scattered throughout the States and Canada—comprising nearly if not quite all of the name in the new world. The original name was probably Darwin. It is so spelled on the older tombstones— and thus, it is believed, where the name occurs in England.
came to Hinesburgh from Worthington, Mass,, at which place he was born in 1767. His mother dying when he was very young and the family being partially broken up, Amos was sent to live with an uncle. He learned the trade of a carpenter, and soon after he was of age came to Hinesburgh and worked for a time at his trade with Thomas Marsh. But having a preference for farming, he soon bought a piece of land and ever after was a farmer. In February, 1799, he was married, by Gen. Leavenworth, a justice of the peace, though a man younger than himself, to Lucy Meech, only daughter of Elisha Meech, with whom he first became acquainted while building a barn for her father. He was a man of quiet, industrious and thrifty habits, and much respected by his townsmen. He accumulated a handsome property, and died in 1850, aged 83. His widow survives, aged 86, and is yet hale and strong for one of her age. She frequently walks to the neighbors, enjoys company, and tells many a tale of the hardships of the early settlers. While her father lived at Bennington, a few miles north of the village, during the summer that the American army retreated before Burgoyne, the inhabitants were sometimes annoyed by the Indians. At one time, she says, while her father was at Castleton, all the men in the neighborhood, save the boys and the old men, were away, a drunken Indian frightened some of the families by entering houses and threatening to "let the moonshine through them," unless they gave him some meat. Her mother, hearing of his thus entering a neighbor's house, caught her infant, only four weeks old, and ran with it in her arms, herself, Lucy, and her brother Ezra following on foot for a mile and a half. But the old Indian was after all no very dangerous character, for though he flourished a gun, on examination it was found to be an old musket without any lock. Some of the citizens soon stopped his career, gave him a thorough whipping and sent him away. Mr. and Mrs. Leonard had two children—Harriet, who married Gen, Heman R. Smith, recently deceased, and Marvin, both of whom have always resided in town.
808 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
came from New Milford, Conn., in 1802, and made his residence on a lot of new land. His first log house was within reach of standing trees on either side, if they should fall in that direction. He resided in town till his death in April, 1857, aged 84. He was a devoted and active Christian, and deacon of the Baptist church for many years. He has many descendants still resident here. One son, Nathaniel, has twice represented the town in the legislature, and for many years was justice of the peace, doing a large share of the justice business in the village. He now holds the office of postmaster. Another son, Carleton E., was a physician and also a preacher of the Baptist denomination. He resided for a while in Monkton, and while there represented the town in the legislature two years. He died in Hinesburgh in 1848. The two principal practicing physicians now in town are the one a son and the other, a grandson of Dea. Miles.
At the annual, town meeting in March, 1860, it was voted to request Mr. Erastus Bostwick, the oldest survivor of the first settlers of the town, with Elmer Beecher and Heman R. Smith, to collect the facts and incidents of the history of the town, so far as it could be done, for preservation. Mr. Bostwick, with only incidental assistance from the other gentlemen, entered upon the work with great diligence and enthusiasm. A large part of his time for more than a year was devoted to the work as faithfully as the infirmities of his great age would permit. He had been an active participant in nearly the whole period of the town's history, and his close observation, sound judgment and retentive memory, together with his familiarity with the documentary records of the town, have enabled him to collect an amount of matter that is invaluable—most of which is written in his own bold and intelligible hand, and is deposited in the office of the town clerk for permanent and safe keeping. From these papers a large part of this history has been compiled; and it is only a fitting tribute to the worth of this venerable father of the town, that this sketch should close with a short biograpical notice of himself.
moved into Hinesburgh in 1806, from Williamstown, Vt. He was a deacon in the Congregational church, a man of rigid integrity, solid character, active and punctual in his religious duties. His name would stand prominent rather in the history of the church than in that of the town. He remained in town only 8 or 10 years ; then removed to Bristol, and subsequently to north-western New York, He is better remembered as the father of ministers than by any thing else. He raised four sons who became preachers of the gospel, two of whom are still living and laboring at the west.*
[ * My father removed to Hinesburgh from Williamstown. Vt., my native town, before my remembrance, I think in 1806. From all that I can learn, I suppose that he was a very active, efficient, and influential member of the Church, as he was every where, where he resided, till his death, in Ohio, when he was over fourscore years of age. But he resided in Hinesburgh only 8 or 9 years, and I cannot learn that there was anything connected with his residence there, which is worthy of note in your Gazetteer. In a minute history of the Church it might be different. The same may said of the family. All that is worthy of note respecting the family is that all the sons, five in number, who arrived at years of maturity, engaged in the ministry, and as I believe, all were respected as ministers, but none of them particularly eminent. None of them ever published anything, except occasionally a newspaper article, and I suppose I have done more at that than all the other four. Three of them long since went to their rest. My own history is more nearly identified with Hinesburgh than that of any of the rest of the family. I was so young when the family moved there, that so far as the formation of my character is concerned, that may be considered my native place. I resided there some in later years, and fitted for college at the academy there. I had one brother born in Hinesburgh, Justin B., born Oct. 2, 1807. Graduated at the University of Vermont, in 1834, entered the ministry, preached mostly in St. Lawrence Co. N. Y., and died in 1852.
It is possible that some sketch of my father might be more appropriate in the history of Williamstown than Hinesburgh. He must have gone to Williamstown not far from the year 1795, when the town was very new, there first united with the Church, was somewhat celebrated as a teacher of vocal music, and I think also taught district schools. I think there are persons still living who knew him then.
My own history is more nearly identified with that of Chittenden, in Rutland Co. than any other place, as I spent the greater portion of 20 years of my ministerial life in that place. You are probably aware that there was another family by the name of Taylor in the town of Hinesburgh, which sent out two or three ministers, of whom Eli W. Taylor was one. That family were permanent residents in the town. I think the father was not a professor of religion.
I knew nothing about any poet by the name of Taylor, in Chittenden Co., or anywhere e1se. One of my brothers was accustomed to write some poetry, that circulated some in the family, but I think none ever was published.
I have as yet had time to read but a small portion of the two numbers you sent me, but am very much interested in them. I was well acquainted in several of the towns, and with many individuals mentioned. I have a brother still living, born in Bristol, and named Ezekiel Dunton, after General Dunton, mentioned in your sketch. He is at present preaching in Claridon, Ohio. Never graduated at any college, and, therefore, did not necessarily require any notice in it sketch of that town. My father led the singing at the dedication of the meeting-house built in 1819, and myself, and I think one or two of my brothers were among the singers. In the sketch of Starksborough, Deacon Hall might with propriety have been mentioned in connection with the Congregational Church, as he conducted their meetings, read sermons, &c., for about 20 years, only occasionally having a minister to preach for a Sabbath. Sometimes a little assistance from students from Middlebury, or others, but almost the entire responsi-
was born in New Milford, Conn., on the 31st day of Aug.
1767. He was bred to the trade of a carpenter. On the 24th of May, 1790, in
company with two others of the name, Austin and Noble, he left New Milford, on
foot, with a pack on his back, and reached Hinesburgh on the first day of June.
After a journey to Waterbury and Jericho he returned to Hinesburgh and hired
himself to Abel Leavenworth, for four months as journeyman carpenter. His time
being out, he returned to Connecticut again on foot. In Feb. 1793, he engaged a
passage in a sleigh to Hinesburgh, with the whole stock of his worldly goods,
which consisted of a broad ax, square and compasses, a few pod augers, a
handsaw and two pairs of chisels. He at once entered upon the business of
building barns. Feb. 10th, 1795, he was married to Miss Sally Welch, the only
daughter of Rev. Whitman Welch, who was the first settled minister of
Williamstown, Mass., and who died at the siege of Quebec, in the Revolutionary
War. A few days after his return with his wife, he was at the annual March
meeting elected first constable, and from that time to 1838 he was not for a
single year free from official duty in the town, holding
every office in the gift of the town, save that of grand juror.
He was town representative 2 years, postmaster 9 years, justice of the peace 22 years, town treasurer 35 years, and town clerk 40 years.
On delivering over his historical papers to the town, he accompanied them with the following note:
"To the Town of Hinesburgh Gentlemen, — I am not insensible to the many and repeated tokens of confidence which I have received by being often and repeatedly elected to offices of respectability and trust, in the active part of my life. And now I receive this last appointment as a compliment of respect, having been named as one of a committee to gather up the facts of the early history of this town. I entered into this duty under the embarrassments natural to old age, and now present to you this document as the result of my diligent researches. I have the honor to be your humble servant."
Erastus Bostwick, aged 93 years, six months this first instant (March 1861), the fifth child and third son of Jonathan Bostwick, which was the first son of Bushnell, which was the first son of John junior, which was the first son of John, who came from Cheshire, England, with his father Arthur and two brothers Arthur and Zachariah, before 1668. They were of Scotch extraction."
Mr. Bostwick has taken the prescribed oath on entering upon the duties of offices ninety-one times. He has long been an exemplary member of the Congregational church, and still retains a good degree of health and vigor (Oct. 1861.)
Erastus Bostwick died in Hinesburgh, March 3d, 1864, aged 96 years, 6 months and 4 days.
The closing paragraphs of the discourse at his funeral are quoted as an expression of the estimate his pastor and his fellow-citizens put upon his character and usefulness. The text was, Prov. xvi. 31: "The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness."
"As I have pictured the good man whose hoary head was a crown of glory because it was found in the way of righteousness, you must have noticed that many lineaments of this sketch accord with the life and character of him whose body we have to-day borne to its last resting place. Yet I have attempted no eulogy. I could not do this with propriety before these, many of them old men, who have known him from their childhood. I have, as best I could, traced the features of a good man, as God and my own judgment have given the elements of his character for our admiration and our example. If here and there in these features you have noticed resemblances to the life father Bostwick has borne before you, it is because he thus approached near to my ideal of a perfect man. We do not claim that he was perfect, and he least of all would have claimed it. But I may say that I have never known a man so universally esteemed as he, or with a reputation so entirely unspotted and perfect as his. Since I have known him I have seen nothing to disapprove have found nothing lacking for which I have sought. I have never known an old man, altogether retired from public and social life, in whom his fellow-citizens continued to hold
bility of sustaining meetings depended on Deacon Hall. But he has been dead so long that probably Mr. Worth did not think of him. Letter of Rev. C. Taylor. — Ed.]
810 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
so strong and fresh an interest. I have never heard a word that expressed disapprobation, dislike or disrespect for him. He has received more frequently the suffrages of his fellow-citizens, and has held more trusts for them, than any other man I have ever known, and yet I have never heard it hinted that he was vainly ambitious of such preferment ; or that he failed to fill faithfully and competently every official duty ; or that any man ever envied the honor given to him.
"The freedom from vanity of his own spirit, and the position he held in this town, is seen in the manuscript copy of the town's history which he completed in his ninety-fourth year. In this he has given a sketch of each of the prominent early citizens; all of them are highly appreciative and kindly—some of them highly eulogistic. His own is brief and unadorned—yet thus most adorned.
"Such is the record—but his acts of public and private virtues, who can tell ? Of him we can heartily and truthfully say: 'The hoary head is a crown of glory, because it is found in the way of righteousness.'
"I will only add, he became a member of the Congregational church by profession, Oct. 13, 1831. The most distinct image on my memory from my first pulpit labor in Hinesburgh, is that of his venerable form listening so reverently to the service. Since then he has loved the house of God, and attended more or less every year as he was able, always preferring the communion Sabbaths. My visits with him have been most pleasant and profitable—always bearing away, as I left him, some new views of christian experience learned from him, and new encouragement in my work. The character of his piety, and the grounds of his faith, may be learned from one of his favorite psalms, which at one of my last visits he repeated with great distinctness throughout, giving it such peculiar and heartfelt emphasis as opened to me new beauties in it, and left no doubt that his soul rested in its truths, and was sustained and comforted by them:
"Lord, what is man, poor feeble man, born of the earth at first!
His life's a shadow, light and vain, still halting to the dust!
O, what is feeble dying man, or any of his race,
That God should make it his concern to visit him with grace !
That God who darts his lightnings down; who shakes the world above;
And mountains tremble at his frown; how wondrous is his love!"
Such were the thoughts, comfort and trust of this man, who had lived almost a century and received such honors and respect from men."
Written by ELECTA BOSTWICK, afterwards wife of Leonard Slater, and sung at the dedication of the Congregational Meeting-House.
As Israel's ancient king
Before the people stood,
He raised his hand on high
And blessed the Lord his God—
There's none like thee in heaven above,
Thy nature and thy name is love.
Thy mercy will not fail,
Thy covenant standeth sure
To all who keep thy law
And through thy grace endure;
There's none like thee in heaven above,
A God of justice, truth and love.
But will our God come down
And dwell with men below
Behold the heaven of heavens
Cannot his glory know;
He can descend on earth to bless
The contrite soul and give him peace.
We ask thy presence, Lord,
Within this house to dwell;:
O, here inscribe thy name,
And here thy power reveal;
Let sinners here repentant be,
And saints thy love and glory see.
Accept the Sacrifice
To-day thy people bring ;
Let holy fires descend
And bless our offering;
We'll bow and worship thee our Lord,
Forever be thy name adored.
By Mrs. M. E. LEAVENWORTH, a native of Hinesburgh.
The sunshine glad'neth the darkened earth,
The song-birds carol in glee their mirth,
The smell of flowers is borne on tho gale
Over the hill-tops, down in the vale.
The syringa and rose, with the wild eglantine,
Pinks, pansies and snowballs, with many a vine,
Lichnidies, gay lilies and graceful lupine,
The sweet lonicera and bright columbine,
All these in their beauty the garden adorn ;
While from the fields the fragrance is borne,
Of the spring-grass, sweet-scented, with clover combined;
And tree, shrub and flower of every kind
A fresh, joyous sense of beauty impart,
While of God's goodness they speak to the heart,
The school girl and boy go bounding along,
Waking the echoes with shout and with song;
She thinks of red strawberries nestled away
In the green grassy meadow down by the bay,
And he of the trout which all day play
In the mountain brooklet over the way.—
Teacher, wending thy way to the school,
Go not thither as goeth the fool,
Without thought or care of the wisdom displayed
By Him, the Great Teacher, who kindly bath made
The lovely and useful to grow side by side,
And pleasure by toil, her sister abide.
Learn thou a lesson from His handi-work,
Beauty of soul in uncouth forms may lurk,
Strive thou to develop and polish the gem
Till, all pure and meet for His diadem,
It may lighten the earth with its lucid ray,
Then sparkle forever in endless day.
NEVER GROW OLD.
By Mrs. L. H. STONE, a native of Hinesburgh.*
A friend complains that, while most people are like music-boxes, which you can wind up to play their set of tunes, and then they stop, in our society the set consists of only two or three tunes at most. That is because no new tunes are added after five-and-twenty at farthest. It is the topic of jest and amazement with foreigners that what is called society with us is given up, so much into the hands of boys and girls. Accordingly it wants spirit, variety and depth of tone, and we find there no historical presences.
Sometimes we hear an educated voice that shows us how these things might be altered. It has lost the fresh tone of youth, but it has gained unspeakably in depth, brilliancy, and power of expression. How exquisite its modulations, so finely shaded, showing that all the intervals are filled up with little keys of fairy delicacy, and in perfect tune !
Its deeper tones sound the depth of the past, its more thrilling notes express an awakening to the infinite, and ask a thousand questions of the spirits that are to unfold our destinies, too far reaching to be clothed in words. Who does not feel the sway of such a voice ?
The human eye gains in like manner, by time and experience. Its substance fades, but it is only the more filled with an ethereal luster which penetrates the gazer till he feels as if
"The eye were in itself a soul."
We have scanned such eyes closely; when near, we saw the eyes were red, the corners defaced with ominous marks, the orb looked faded and tear-stained; but when we retreated far enough for its ray to reach us, it seemed far younger than the clear and limpid gaze of infancy, more radiant than the sweetest beam in that curly youth. The Future and the Past met in that glance.
We, too, have seen such eyes—such faces, and sometimes the experiences of life will call up such a face from the grave which for years has covered, to haunt us by its sweet and wise reproaches or to aid and strengthen the failing heart and hands in the performance of some uncongenial but appointed task. To a person of active, self-reliant habits, who has passed the meridian of life, there is, perhaps, no thought more unwelcome than that of an imbecile useless old age. But to rebuke such fears, to encourage to continued efforts for a mental growth, that shall introduce some new melodies into life and prevent a barren old age, there often rises before me one face, wrinkled, embrowned with toil, and withal deeply scarred with small pox, and which vet I recall as young, and fresh, and beautiful, in the impression it made and left upon my heart.
I knew something of Mrs. N. from a child, but at a period, when circumstances introduced me to real acquaintance with her, she was seventy-five years old. In her youth she had been beautiful, and the sparkle of wit and vivacity like hers, must have rendered her charming; but few have ever had more to blight beauty, or tame vivacity than hers.
She had had two most uncongenial and unfortunate marriages. Her first husband's habits of intemperance reduced her, with a family of dependent children, to abject poverty. The country neighborhood in which she lived, affording no resources for employment, congenial to her tastes, she was compelled to resort to any labor that would furnish food for her children. Thus the prime of her life was passed under the burdens of the most heart-crushing sorrow and the most soul-exhausting cares, in the performance of any work her head could devise or her hands find to do—obliged sometimes to endure what, in after-life, she said, had been harder than all the rest, to see children bound to hard masters, and to try to cheer and encourage them, when her own heart was breaking with sorrow for them.
After the death of her first husband, who had been worse than dead to her for many years, a second marriage promised a home for her, and at least a simple competence; but a sickness, reducing him to a state of mental as well as bodily imbecility soon laid him a helpless burden on her hands, so that how she bore up under this new burden was, as the neighbors said, a mystery beyond what they could explain; but that she did bear up with cheerfulness, and ever growing patience, all were witnesses.
Her eldest sons, meantime, had made their way to fortune in a distant city. They had provided for the youngest, educated their youngest sister, the only one who remained unmarried, and surrounded their mother's old age with every comfort. The second son had married a lady of rare beauty, intelligence and accomplishments, but died, leaving her a widow within four years from their marriage. It was during the second year of her widowhood, when she and the daughter whom the deceased brother had adopted and educated came to spend a year with their mother, that I became acquainted with old
* A teacher in the Kalamazoo Academy, Michigan, in 1860 or 61, we have not heard from her since. Her old lady who didn't grow old, moreover, we were informed at the time was a true character—one of the mothers of Hinesburgh, or a neighboring town, Charlotte, we think.—Ed.
812 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
Mrs. N. The daughters were both accomplished pianists, and they brought with them their piano as well as books, and everything that could minister to their truly cultivated tastes.
Their mother loved music, and no cares or trouble had ever been able to crush the love of it out of her soul. She now had leisure to enjoy it, and she did enjoy it. But she was not content with their playing, she wanted to render accompaniments to her favorite songs herself, and at the age of seventy-five, and after a life of toil, such as few have ever been subjected to, she trained her fingers to bring forth from the keys of the piano the music that was in her soul.
Visiting there one day, she came into the parlor in the interval of some domestic employment in the morning, and dropping into her arm-chair and folding aside her apron, she said: "Now, girls, you know what I want to rest me." One of the daughters immediately seated herself at the piano, and, occasionally changing places with each other, at her request they continued for a long time to play whatever she suggested, while the varying expression of her countenance and the sparkle of her black eyes afforded to me by far the most touching and effective passages of the music and poetry. At length, rising from the piano, the daughter-in-law said: "Now, mother, it is your turn to play." "No, no, not my turn after such music as that!" she replied. "Yes, yes," they both insisted, "Miss —— must hear some of your songs—your favorite, at least." Addressing me, the daughter said, playfully, "Mother renders the sentimental for us." So the old lady seated herself at the piano and played and sung with simple and most touching tenderness, "Love's Young Dream." Turning to me, the daughter-in-law said: "Sister N. and I play well enough for a performance, but when mother plays it is like Nebuchadnezzar's sackbut and cornet, and we all fall down and worship."
So into all their pursuits, she entered with the enjoyment and enthusiasm of youth. They were much engaged in botanizing, and she equally so, directing them to places where the flowers they sought were to be found, describing the habits of the plants, and deducing sprightly lessons of life from every object of pursuit, and every subject of conversation. I never spent an hour with her that I did not bear away in my memory some timely epigram, which was to me as a text, invoking sermons from a thousand little occurrences of daily life. How her black eyes sparkle upon me now through the mists of the past; distinct as of yesterday are the remembrances of the tones of her voice, into which was gathered such a richness of experience, as she laid her hand kindly on the shoulder of a young friend, fretting under some recent misfortune, and said, "Let me tell you, don't, don't cry over trouble like that, it is so much better to grow by it.
"The Future and the Past met in that glance," and sounded through the tones of that voice.
Oh, for more such eyes! oh, for more such voices! "The vouchers of free, of full and ever growing lives!"
BY JAMES JOHNS.
TOPOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL REPORT OF THE TOWN OF HUNTINGTON, CHITTENDEN COUNTY, VT.
Huntington, a post township in the S. E. corner of Chittenden Co., is bounded N. by Richmond; E. by Bolton, Duxbury, and on the E. line of Avery's Gore by Fayston; S. on the main town line and on the S. W. line of Buel's Gore by Starksborough, and W. by Hinesburgh. S. of Buel's and Avery's Gore, four miles of which is included in the town precincts, it is bounded by the unincorporated residue of said gore not included in any town. The town in its original grant was chartered by Benning Wentworth, governor of the then province of New Hampshire, to Edward Burling and others, original proprietors, named in said grant, by the name of New Huntington, as early as June, 1763. This original township charter included so much of the south part of Richmond as is comprised in the tract of land 4 miles in length from E. to W. by from 3 to 2 miles in width N. and S., extending W. from Winooski river to within one mile of Hinesburgh line (by which it was separated by the intervening tract of land called "Williston Leg," running between that annexed portion and the retained charter part of the town 5 miles S., ending in a point nearly a mile from the S. W. corner of the town, where that portion of the W. line of New Huntington joined the E. line of Hinesburgh) while so much of the N. E. part of the original grant of the town as includes a tract of land 4 miles in length from N. W. to S. E. by about 2 in width, extending along Winooski river from Richmond S. E. line to the lower line of Duxbury, is now comprised in that part of Bolton lying on the N. W. side of said river; between that and the east line of Huntington, as since established by authorized survey. The two portions of the original charter of New Huntington, above designated, were severally annexed to Richmond and Bolton by act of legislature in