812 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

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HUNTINGTON.

 

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 unincorpoュrated residue of said gore not included in any town. The town in its original grant was chartered by Benning Wentworth, govュernor of the then province of New Hampュshire, 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 inュcluded so much of the south part of Richュmond 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 Hinesュburgh line (by which it was separated by the intervening tract of land called "Wilュliston 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 origュinal 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 Wiュnooski 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 Richュmond and Bolton by act of legislature in

 

 

 

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1794. As a compensation for this loss of territory, occasioned by the annexation thus made from the N. and N. E. parts of the original limits, it was provided by the same act that the remaining portion of the town should be extended to include that portion of the leg of Williston intervening between the original charter line of the town from where the present N. line of Huntington struck the east line of said leg, lying S. of its range, W. to Hinesburgh line. And from the S. E. part of the original charter line from, where it left the N. E. corner of Starksュboro, E. to the top of the Green Mountains. It includes, as we remarked before, the whole width of Buel's and Avery's Gore to the exュtent of 4 miles S. The boundary limits of the town being thus changed, the original name, New Huntington, given it in the charter, was thought to be no longer proper, and was accordingly altered by net of legisュlature, in 1795, to Huntington. Nevertheュless it has been the practice, in referring to the original proprietorship of rights of land and taxes thereon, to consider them with the annexed portions of Richmond and Bolton, ender the old charter of New Huntington.

 

NAMES OF THE ORIGINAL GRANTEE PROPRIETORS OF NEW HUNTINGTON,* ACCORDING TO CHARTER:

 

Edward Burling, Samuel Treadwell, Jesse Lawrence, John Underhill, Joshua Hunt, Thomas Bowne, Cornelius Davoe, Charles Hunt, Benjamin Cornell, Uriah Travis, Wm. Giffers, Benjamin Bowne, David Guion, Oliver Besley, Jr., Joshua Antunes, James Antunes, John Angwin, George Antunes, Jacob Coutant, Samuel Crawford, Thomas Oakley, Isaac Oakley, Marmaduke Palmer, Peter Huggeford, James Davis, Marmaduke Hunt, James Ferris, Thomas Ferris, James Ferris, Jr., John Ferris, John Ferris, Jr., William Ferris, Aaron Quinby, Aaron Quinby, Jr., Israel Honeywell, Jonathan Fowler, John Fowler, John Cornell, Joseph Cornell, John Burling, Hugh Rider, Jonathan Pinkney, Gilbert Pinkney, Charles Pinkney, David Pinkney, Joseph Cornell, Jr., Wm. Cornell, Benjamin Ferris, James Ferris, son of Benjamin, Benjamin Ferris, Jr., Matthew
Franklin, Thomas Howland, Richard Titus, Caleb Griffin, Edward Burling, Jr., Samuel Averill, the Hon. William Temple, John Nelson, Thomas Atkinson, Maj. Jona. Moulュton, Christopher Tappan. Esq., Col. Clement Marsh.

 

The surface of the town is mostly hilly and mountainous, excepting the tract of interュval lying on the river. Most of this hill land, not immediately on the steep mountュains, is under good cultivation, and bears good grass, grain, and Indian corn, and affords besides (when not too rocky), excellent pasture for cattle. The simple statement of this fact, which by the way can be vouched for by all who live in or visit the town with eyes wide open enough to see it plainly by daylight, is a sufficient vindication of it from the uncomplimentary libel cast on it in Thompson's Gazetteer, in its article under the head of Huntington. The town is watered by Huntington River, which traverses it through its entire length (gores included), taking its rise near the foot of the Green Mountains, south of the gores, and by six tributary brooks emptying into it from the mountains east, and by nearly the same number from the west. On the river and most of the considerable tributaries are erected mill-seats用rincipally saw-mills. That hitherto in operation at the north village was ruined in the summer of 1858 by an unprecedented and destructive freshet, which carried away the dam and two of the machine buildings.

The principal mountains in the town are "Camel's Hump," the summit of which stands within the eastern boundary of Huntュington and is one of the most prominent peaks of the Green Mountains; and North Mountain. lying just within the north line of the town, east of Huntington River. A range of hill of inconsiderable height also skirts the western edge of the town. All these eminences on the surface of the town are mostly covered with timber to their tops, except the summit of Camel's Hump, which is a bare mass of rock, and even this is not entirely destitute of vegetation. This famous peak of our green hills is visited yearly by people from the surrounding country, who delight to climb its steep sides, and from this high elevation survey the surrounding scenery, of Which it commands a view for many miles in each direction. Of late the spirit of enterprise has erected a frame house on the summit of the Hump, where

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* As it was first chartered. A part of which original grantees' rights, it will be understood, were transferred to Richmond and Bolton on the alteration of the town limits by act of legislature in 1794.

 

 

 

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visiting parties can rest and refresh themュselves after the fatiguing labor of the ascent.

The first settlement made within the limits of Huntington, as it now stands, was comュmenced in the spring of 1786, by Jehiel Johns (father of the writer of this article), who emigrated hither from Manchester, Benュnington Co., in this state, in the month of March of that year, bringing his wife and movables by way of Otter Creek to Lake Champlain, following it down to Burlington and from thence by land up Winooski river to what was then the south part of Williston, now known as the Onion* River Flat in Richmond, and here leaving his companion and effects in the hospitable care of Joel Brownson, one of the new settlers there, he proceeded, with axe on shoulder and such other necessaries as new settlers require, by marked trees, through the woods to his pitch in the then unbroken wilderness of New Huntington, which he had purchased the fall before, being lot number 58, original right of Isaac Oakly, lying on Huntington River, where he proceeded to fell the trees over some two or three acres, and then to lay up the body of a log-cabin葉he first erected in the limits of Huntington羊olling together, notching and laying up the timbers of the lower half unassisted by other human mortal. While engaged in this preュliminary labor of making his first opening as a pioneer in the till now unbroken wilderュness, it was his practice, as a means of passュing the lonely nights which he was obliged to spend in these woods (when he did not return to Brownson's), to kindle a fire beュtween two logs, and, laying down near it on a quantity of soft brush with a blanket and the sky over him, thus sleep till returning day called him from his homely couch to take his rural breakfast and resume his labors. It was thus that he succeeded by degrees in subduing a portion of the till then unbroken forest, clearing off the timber felled, and converting the available part thereof into fence to inclose his fields, and in preparing and sowing and planting the ground thus redeemed, in addition to comュpleting his rustic log-cabin and rendering it habitable擁n raising the upper part of which he had the kind assistance of Stillman and Samuel Bradley, who paid him a visit at this out of the way location. It was thus, I say, that Mr. Johns installed himself as the first white settler in Huntington, and his wife as the first white woman, house-keeper of course.

He was followed, the same year, by Elisha Bradley, from Sunderland, who came on and began the first clearing and erected the first log-hut on the farm now owned by Saymour Caswell, one mile north of the north or lower village. He proved, however, but a temporary squatter, as he abandoned the place the following winter and removed to Williston, and Johns was thus left sole inhabitant till the spring sucュceeding, when Charles Brewster and Ebenュezer Ambler, with their families, came on from Tinmouth and began settlements in the vicinity. Ambler on lot No. 59, next north adjoining Johns, and Brewster on that next north of Ambler's, lot No. 60; and next north of Brewster's, partly adjoining the present town line, came on in a year or two Asa Gillet and began settlement on lot No. 61. Next in order were John Martin, who made his pitch upon the hill in the west part of the town, the first beginner there; and Jacob Snider, who came on and began the first settlement in the west part of the town, being on what was then called Williston Leg. These three last mentioned settleュments were begun about 1788, and the four first, including Johns, were located along the river. Following these were John Thomas and Rufus Williams, who made each their pitch on the east hill葉he one north and the other east of John Martin, and both adjoining his. The first settleュments made in what is called Buel's Gore, in the S. E. long corner of the town, were made by Abel Turner, John Fitch and Samュuel Fargo, about 1789. The first in Avery's Gore was by Zebediah Joslin, somewhat later; while in the N. W. part of the town, on what one might have termed the thigh of Williston Leg (so far at least as relates to as much of it as falls within the present limits of the town), the first settlement was began by Stephen Squires, about 1789 or 1790, on a lot about half a mile or more S. E. of the N. W. corner line of the town. This locality is known generally by the name of the Hollow, sometimes called Sherman Hollow; while nearly cotemporary with Mr. Squires'

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* Winooski葉he original and present name of the river. There was an intermediate time when this stream was known as the Onion River. Ed.

 

 

 

 

HUNTINGTON. 815

 

beginning, we learn of another man by the name of Page as having made a second onュslaught in the woods as a squatter, but who it appears did not remain long, leaving it soon for other parts. Finally, to sum up all further mention of the earliest settlers of the town, and taking 1794 as the limit of the first period of that settlement, we may mention among the pioneers the names of Joseph Carpenter, Jacob Fairman, Lawrence Ravlin, John Raymond, Jonathan and Elisha Shepard, Jabez Fargo, Elias Farr, John Tefft, Oliver Russell and David Caswell. Some of these were but temporary squatters, "pulling up stakes" soon after and leaving for other parts. The settlement of the town, though it doubtless progressed as rapidly as most other back country locations, was necessarily slow, and it was near 40 years before any portion of it began to assume the appearance of a village and place of busiュness.

The first organization of this town, which it will be observed by the way was under the old charter, including those portions afterュwards annexed to Richmond and Bolton, was effected in 1790, the meeting being called and holden at the house of Owen Brewster, when Jehiel Johns was chosen moderator, Charles Brewster (father to the Charles Brewster mentioned as one of the first settlers), town clerk; Amos Brownson, Jr., constable; and Ebenezer Ambler, Ozem Brewster and Parley Starr, selectmen. Jehiel Johns was the first appointed justice of the peace for the town, and till 1796 the only one who held that office. At the freemen's meeting, held in 1791, Jehiel Johns was elected representative for the town, the first who had the honor of a seat in the legislature of the state, as such. He was again elected a member in the subsequent alternative years of 1793 and 1795, his place being filled in the other two intervening years by James Hall in 1792, and by Amos Brownson, Jr., in 1794.

The town, since its name was altered to Huntington, has been severally represented as follows, viz.: by Sylvester Russell in 1796 and '97; by John Fitch in 1798; by Sylvester Russell again in 1799 and 1800; by Elias Buel in 1801, '02, '04, and '14; by Jesse P. Carpenter in 1803; by John Fitch again from 1805 to 1811, inclusive; by Jas. Ambler, Jr., in 1812, '13, '17, '19, '23, '24, '26, '27, and '23; by Benjamin Derby in 1815, '16, '18, '20. '21, '22, and '25; by Selah Amュbler in 1831, '32, '42 and '43; by John Judュson in 1828, '29, '30, and '38; by Benjamin Allen in 1834 and '35; by John Snyder in 1837, '46, and '47; by Alexander Ferguson in 1840 and '41; by George Eddy in 1844 and '45; by Wm. S. Hurlbut in 1848 and '49; by Geo. W. Bromley in 1850 and '51; by Jacob Rood in 1853 and '54; by Royal Firman in 1855 and '56; by Anson. J. Crane in 1858 and '59; and by Leonard C. Snyder in 1860 and '61; in 1836, '39, '52, and '62, by Eli T. Judson; in 1857 by A. H. Loveland, though illegally elected.

The following named individuals have been successively chosen to and exercised the function of town clerk subsequent to the first organization of the town, as before menュtioned, viz.: Jehiel Johns, Ebenezer Ambler (term of service not ascertained), William Hill, clerk from 1796 to 1815; James Amュbler, Jr., clerk from 1815 to 1845; Alexander Ferguson, clerk, 1846, '47; Royal Ferguュson, clerk from 1848 to 1852; Joel M. Johnson, clerk from 1853 till the present time.

The following persons comprise most of those of whom I have any knowledge as having exercised the office of constable of the town, viz: Sylvester Russell, John Fitch, Samuel Buel, John Martin, Timothy Bull, Benjamin Derby, Leman E. Loveland, Samュuel Fargo 2d, Lyman Hall, Frederick Amュbler, Selah Ambler, John Judson, Amos Dike, Alexander Ferguson, Jonathan B. Dike, Orin Carpenter and Henry Brewster. In the foregoing list I have doubtless unintentionュally omitted others whose names do not occur to me at this time and who will therefore (whoever of them are living) excuse the inadvertence.

The first company of enrolled militia mustered and paraded in Huntington was organized in June, 1794, near the house of Ebenezer Ambler, where the north village now is, when John Raymond was chosen captain, Abel Turner, lieutenant, and Amos Brownson, Jr., ensign,葉he company being first led to the choice by Jabez Fargo, who commanded the company in Tinmouth, whence he last emigrated hither. The comュpany at length having become disbanded, a reorganization was attempted and John Martin was chosen captain. This company

 

 

 

816 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

was kept up until the law abolished militia musters altogether. Those who succeeded as captain in turn were Abel Turner, John Martin, Darius Fargo, Artemas Farr, James Ambler, Jr., Jacob Williams, Robert Cook, Amos Dike, Comfort Brewster, Aaron A. Fairman, Joseph Mix, Hiram Brewster, Ebenezer Buel, Joseph Johnson, Solomon Rood, Cyrus Johns, and Orsamus Eddy. Thomas Mix was at one time chosen captain, but soon after going out of the town and state on a visit and not returning in season for the next muster, the company chose another man in his room. A volunteer company, called the Huntington Light Artillery, was organized in May, 1825, of which John Derby was chosen captain, and Sylvester Derby and Chester Buel 1st and 2d lieutenants.

The field-piece which was supplied to this company was a double-fortified iron four-pounder. More recently they had procured an old brass four or six-pounder, said to have been taken from the Mexicans in the late war with that nation. This company, though it continued to hold its musters till within a few years, has become also disbanded.

Succeeding captains: Amos H. Gonton, Stilュman Ellis, Sylvester R. Snider, Joel Remington, Adam Ring, Otis Swift and John B. Ellis. Captains under the new militia law reviving trainings: Henry M. Judson, Hiram Cook. Lieutenants: George P. Burnham, George L. Williams.

The first physicians, who made Huntingュton their residence and field of practice for any space of time, were Doctors Wm. Ambler, brother of Ebenezer Ambler, and Wm. Hewュett. The scanty settlements, however, and the almost uninterrupted good health of the inhabitants affording them little practice, they soon left for other parts. Those who have since made the town their residence and theatre of practice successively are Jesse P. Carpenter, Winter Hewett, Seth Hitchcock, Samuel Fargo 2d, Gail Nichols, Enoch A. Smith, Matthew Cole, Pliny P. Green, Charles H. Swift, Rial C. Stevens, Reuben Nims, Pierce Standish, John Work, George W. Bromley, Chauncy L. Case and Abel Sweet. Of these above mentioned physicians Drs. Bromley and Sweet, together with Dr. Alvin H. Chesmore, a young graduate recently established, are the present resident men of the faculty in town. Besides these there was many years ago, two others who professed to administer medicine on botanic principles, viz: Ebenezer Lamb and Richard Estes. To which we may add Dr. Ira Hodge, who resides in town at this time, and who doctors on the Indian, root and herb system. Dr. Standish was a pracュtitioner on the Thompsonian botanic system. Of the above named catalogue of our town physicians, the following died in town, viz.: Ebenezer Lamb, Gail Nichols, Enoch A. Smith, Rial C. Stevens, Pierce Standish and Abel Sweet.

Those who as professed ministers of the gospel first came to reside in Huntington and practice their calling were, first, Elias Farr, of the Baptist persuasion, who preached here a few years, but the people not deeming his example as a good one, and not caring to hear him, he relinquished it for more worldly pursuits, still continuing, however, to reside in town till his death, which took place in 1807. Besides him we have an account of Mr. 覧 Page, before spoken of as one of the early settlers in the "Hollow," as having preached occasionally. He too was, as I learn, of the Baptist sect. The next earliest resident preachers, of whom I have any knowledge, were Thomas A. Carュpenter and Thomas Ravlin, both originally Methodists, but Ravlin afterwards left the Methodists and united with the Baptists, and in 1817 went to Westford to take charge of the church and society there. Next after these two sprung up as a preacher George Carpenter (a cousin of Thomas A.), who was of the Chrisュtian persuasion, so called, who preached here three or four years, and won a few to his way, but owing to difficulties arising among them about the organization of a church, none was formed, and he left town for the north part of the state, and afterwards went into Lower Canada, where he died a few years ago. Before Carpenter left, Giles Rood, from Morristown, came into town and took up his residence, and here he preached a number of years, when circumュstances constrained him to relinquish the calling, continuing however to reside in town till his death, which occurred in 1854. In the summer of 1817 Charles Bowles, a colored man, of the Freewill Baptist persuaュsion, came into town and preached a number of times, off and on, and produced something of a stir in the way of making converts,

 

 

 

HUNTINGTON. 817

 

gathered the first church of that order known in this town. He finally became blind, went into New York state and died there. He drew a pension from government as a soldier of the Revolution, under an act of Congress to that effect, for many years before his death.

Succeeding Elder Bowles, the following other preachers of the Freewill Baptist conュnection have made the town their residence for a longer or a shorter period of time, Benajah Maynard, Josiah Wetherbee, Orange Dike, Joshua Tucker and Ezra B. Fuller. At present (1862) there is no resident preacher either of the Freewill or Calvinist Baptists, or Methodists in town; the Freewill Baptists having the stated services of Elder Mark Atwood of Starksborough, the Methodists those of Elders Z. H. Brown and David Ferュguson, from the same town, and the close comュmunion Baptists those of Elder Wm. S. Hurlュbut, from West Bolton, who by the way was settled in Huntington in 1841, where he conュtinued to reside and preach part of the time till 1852, when he removed to West Bolton, where he now officiates as pastor. In 1848 Elder Martin B. Gregg, a Methodist on the circuit of Starksboro' and Huntington, came in and made the town his residence during that and part of the year following, when he left for other parts. In 1847 the Uniュversalists, of which there are a number, called in and settled on part engagement Dennis Chapin, a preacher of that order, who preached for them a few years; but though still a resident of the town, he is conュstrained to find his field of labor elsewhere, his people here feeling too poor to employ him at his rates of service. The four denominations mentioned as having preaching comprise all the religious church-going commuュnity of the town. The first converts made to Methodism here were brought out under the preaching of the famous eccentric charュacter known as Lorenzo Dow, who made his advent to town about the year 1795, as appears by the entry in his journal, in his biography published by him many years since.

As it respects men of the legal profession, attorneys-at-law, Huntington, with all its propensity for litigation, has never had the harboring of but two of that description, which were, first, Wm. S. Hawkins, who, if I remember right, came into town about 1831 or '32, and left about 1839; and, second Daniel B. Hale, who made his advent into town in 1848, and left in 1850. Parties inュterested in lawsuits here prefer employing legal counsel from out of town, or else homeュmade pettifoggers.

The first school opened in Huntington was set up in the summer of 1794, in the log-barn of Ebenezer Ambler, of which Mrs. Betsey Fargo, wife of Darius Fargo, was the teacher. The first winter school was opened the winter following, in one of the rooms of Ebenezer Ambler's log dwelling-house, of which Dr. Wm. Ambler, his brother, was the teacher, and the winter season succeeding this a school was kept in a log-house erected on what was subsequently the farm of David Caswell, now owned by Seymour Caswell, his grandson, of which school Dr. Wm. Hewett was employed as instructor. Other schools were soon after established in other parts of the town, according as the progress of the settlement of the town and the convenient accommodation of the scholars demanded. There are at present 10 school districts in town.

The first frame buildings erected in town were a dwelling-house and barn built for Charles Brewster, Jr., in 1795. The next a barn built for Ebenezer Ambler in 1796, which three first edifices are yet standing, the first with a two story addition built in 1808; the last mentioned was removed in 1821 from its original site and forms one of the out buildings belonging to the north village hotel. The other early frame buildings put up were a dwelling-house each, built for Sylvester Russell and Jacob Snider, both located in the west part of the town, and both still standing葉he latter, with some addition, repaired and painted white. And one for David Caswell, located on the river road between Brewster's and Snider's, since superseded by a new one. In the south part of the town, just within and near the line of Buel's Gore, the first frame buildings were those put up for Abel Turner and Joseph Carpenter. All the above last mentioned buildings were erected near the close of the last and about the beginning of the present century. The earliest frame buildings in the central and east parts of the town were those built for Jabez Fargo, Samuel Fargo, and Elias Farr, about the beginning of the present century. The first frame erected on the east hill was a barn for John Martin;

 

 

 

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the next a dwelling-house for John Thomas, the latter built in 1807. Some of these origュinal frames are still standing.

The first water works or mill buildings were a grist and saw-mill for Abel Turner, about the beginning of this century, located on Huntington river, in the lower part of Buel's Gore. Another saw-mill was erected, not far from the same period, by Samuel Buel upon one of the tributary brooks emptying into the river from the east, further up the gore. Turner's mill was ruined in 1804 by a great freshet, which tore away the banks around the dam, rendering the water of no avail. Another grist-mill was built about this time for Orin Polly, in the west part of the town, on a brook which enters the town here from Hinesburgh, discontinued 1819, and the water power at the site used for a saw-mill.

The first frame school-house was erected in 1806, and stood on the top of the high ridge over which the road formerly passed between David Caswell's and the Sherman Hollow, and opposite the ox-bow bend of the river below, by which the road now runs. It was accidentally burnt in 1808, and we have no knowledge of any other being built till 1816, which is the one at the south village, and that has been removed some 30 or 40 rods south from its original location.

The first carding-machine and clothing-works erected and run was built for Roswell Stevens in 1821, on the river immediately above the bridge at the north village. Another was built in 1830 on Brush's brook, so called, near the south village, for Sayles & Whitehorn, which had however but a short run, being entirely ruined in its operation by the great freshet of July that year, which cut away the dam and the earth around it.

The first house was built expressly for public worship in 1836, at the north village, and owned chiefly by Methodists and shared in by Freewill Baptists, and is supplied with a bell. Its dimensions, 40 by 52, surmounted by a square cupola. Another smaller house of worship, without cupola, was erected at the south village in 1841, owned chiefly by Calvinistic Baptists. Its use shared in part of the time, however, by the Methodists and Freewill Baptists. There has been a new meeting-house built in this town at the south village owned and occupied by the Baptists, Methodists and Freewill Baptists (April, 1864.)

The first bridge across the river in Huntュington was built, according to what I can learn, in 1794, on that side of the fiat over which the road passes between the north and south villages, near the house of John Ellis, where the river formerly flowed. This chanュnel the river long since left and formed one on the west side of the flat, where it is now spanned by a good covered bridge.

In the foregoing account of the first frame buildings I have inadvertently omitted to mention, that the first frame dwelling-house, erected in what is now the north village, was erected for Ebenezer Ambler in 1804, and the next for Jehiel Johns in 1806. That of Ambler's occupied the site in part of the Green Mountain House, the present village hotel,羊emoved in 1826 across the road south, where it stands as the nucleus of the dwelling-house of Judge Sayles. The latter having been sold, with the land adjacent, to other than the heirs, and being out of repair, has been lately demolished.

The first who as residents of the town wrought as shoe-makers, tailors, blacksmiths, carpenters and joiners, turners, &c., were, first, Josiah and Thomas Miller, carpenters and joiners; Jonathan Terry, who put toュgether chests, tables, and such furniture, and turned out wood in a lathe; Asa Gillet, who made large spinning-wheels; and Jonathan Dike likewise wrought at wood-turning and was the first, if I mistake not, who made kitchen-chairs and hand hay-rakes in this town; Joseph Chandler was the first who did any thing here in the way of blacksmithing, though it does not appear that he did much in that line; James Wells was the first who set up and made a regular trade of it as a custom blacksmith, which occupaュtion he followed either as boss or journeyュman till the infirmities of age obliged him to relinquish it; Benjamin Brownell was the first shoe-maker; and Rufus Williams was the first tailor who cut and made men's clothes.

The first tavern or public house of enterュtainment opened and kept in town was by Jabez Fargo, in his new frame house before mentioned, which was about the beginning of this century, and which he kept up till the beginning of 1827, in which year he died. The next, and the first built and

 

 

 

HUNTINGTON. 819

 

opened at the north village was by Gordon Taylor in 1826, and which, with an addition added in 1840, has been kept up with little interruption by various occupants to the present time, and is the only house of the kind kept in town. Another house of entertainment formerly kept at the south village, principally by John Derby, has been discontinued of late years.

The first introduction of mercantile store trading into town was opened at the house of Jabez Fargo, on consignment as a branch concern by John Thorp, of Charlotte, about the commencement of the present century, though I had been previously informed that it was Ezra Meech & Co. who headed the concern. This was kept up till about 1805, in the fall of which year another new conュcern was started in that line in a room of Ebenezer Ambler's then new frame house by Ross & Conger, from Monkton, and was the first establishment of the kind opened at the locality known at present as the north vilュlage. Here it was kept two years. In the fall of 1807 it was transferred to a new building erected partly for the purpose on the east side of the river; here, having in the meantime passed through the sucュceeding firm of Ross & Ambler into the hands of Ira Ladd, of Monkton, it was kept up till 1809, when it was relinquished, and there was no further trading done (save by traveling peddlers) till the fall of 1822, when Gurdon Taylor, after an absence of several years, came round into town again and set up a few goods in a room of John Ambler's house, transferred in 1823 to a building in the present village, prepared for the purpose. Trading in dry goods and groceries was opened and carried on in other places in the south part of the town early in the present century; in Buel's Gore and at what is now the south or upper village, by Nathan Stewュart, Ephraim Randall and Amos Dyke. It did not continue long, however. There are at present three stores in town, two at the north and one at the south, village. One of the two former is on the N. E. Protective Union plan, Division 212.

The first post-office opened in town was established near the commencement of this century, kept at the house of Jabez Fargo, of which Fargo was postmaster. As it did not quite pay its expenses, however, it was soon discontinued, and no other was established here till 1828, when one was opened at the south village, of which Amos Dike was postmaster. In the fall of 1829 it was, on application to the general department, removed to the north village, and Alexander Ferguson appointed postmaster. And here it has remained ever since.

Here I deem it proper, before proceeding to give further particulars of the past history of the town, to present some of the present statistics of the same, as I am able to gather from an enumeration and by a footing up of particulars, as set down to each tax-payer in the list of last year (1860). There are, it appears, between 150 and 160 dwelling-houses in Huntington, including some that are at present unoccupied; 202 horses, 1195 cows, 296 sheep, and 38 pairs of oxen. This is given exclusive of colts and young cattle. There are 7 saw-mills, 1 grist-mill, 1 shingle-factory, 1 cheese-box manufactory, 4 blackュsmith shops, and 2 carriage makers. There are also about 40 dairies in town, from which are made large quantities of cheese, and which generally commands a good price in market.

Those persons who, as residents of the town, attained the greatest age before their death, were Mrs. Sherman, relict of David Sherman, who was 97; Mrs. Moses, relict of John Moses, 98; John Fitch, 95; Mrs. Anna Brewster, 95; Joshua Remington, 94; Mrs. Rebecca Estes, 92; Mrs. Hannah Joslin, 91; Levi Knapp and Margaret, his wife, each over 90; Mrs. Mary Canfield, 88; Mrs. Sally Gillet, 89; Mrs. Polly Scofield, 91. Besides these several of the other old settlers of the town, who have all taken their departure to the tomb, were upwards of 80, at the time of their decease. Among these were Jehiel Johns and his wife Elizabeth, both 84 at the time of their death; David Caswell, John Thomas and Abel Farr, each over 80; and Mrs. Mary Farr, relict of Elias Farr, 82.

The oldest persons at this time (186) living in town are Mrs. Abigail Pierce, who is 92, and Simon Sherman, who is upwards of 80.*

Those persons who, as inhabitants of the

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* Since deceased; so reported in a communication to the writer, April, 1864: "Since my article giving the history of Huntington was furnished, some of the indiュviduals named there have passed away to the slumber of the dead. Simeon Sherman and Mrs. Abigail Pierce, two of the most aged last living are gone. Sylvester R. Snider and John Judson and, lastly, Elder Dennis Chapin, the Universalist clergyman, who died in Berkュshire, Franklin Co., April 23,1864, aged 54."

 

 

 

820 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

town in their day, were most remarkable for their personal appearance were, first, Ebenュezer Hart, who was conspicuous among us from the circumstance of one side of his face being white, and the other black, or the color rather of a dark mulatto, such being the natural color of the skin; and, second, David Sherman, Jr., who was remarkable for having scarcely any neck, his head apュpearing as if set immediately upon his shoulders, so that he often went by the nickュname of Shortneck Sherman; his wife, Mrs. Hannah Sherman, was noted, too, for having been in her palmiest days the largest woman in town, weighing over 300. Jacob Snider and Abel Turner were the largest or most bulky men in size. Jehiel Johns was about the largest framed man耀tanding, as he did, 6 feet 2 inches in height.

The first couple married in this town were Samuel Fargo and Lydia Johnson, at the house of Abel Turner, by Wm. Barber, Esq., of Hinesburgh, in 1789. The first child born in town was Peleg Bradley, son of Eliュsha Bradley, in 1786. In regard to the subュject of the first death occurring in town I have not been able to learn any thing very definite. It was rather thought by Mrs. Johns (my mother) to have been a child of Ralph Shepard, which Must have been late in 1789, or early in 1790. This much is cerュtain, that the first adult person who deceased here was Mrs. Keziah Brewster, wife of Dea. Charles Brewster, who died April 10th, 1790, aged 66 years.

Having endeavored, to the best of my ability, to present the foregoing synopsis of the antecedents and some of the present statistics of Huntington, it will not be amiss, inasmuch as they constitute a proper portion of the town's history, to advert to and preュsent a brief passing chronicle of some of the most prominent occurrences which have attended the progress of its settlement, such at least as are proper to insert in a work like this, including some of the fatal acciュdents which cut short the life of sundry of the inhabitants.

The first of these occurrences, next to the opening of the first clearing and erection of the first log-house, within its present limits, and its occupancy by my honored parents, Jehiel Johns and wife, aforesaid, was the appearance in his door-yard, just at nightfall, at the close of a day in November, 1786, of a bear, which having seized one of Elisha Bradley's oxen that together with his mate and a cow had strayed up through the woods to my father's lands, and essayed to make a prey of him, was dragged by the ox, as being the strongest of the two, into the clearing and up nearly to the very door of the house, followed of course by the other cattle. Their advent hither was first observed by my mother who, having just finished milking her cow in the field near the house, was about getting over the fence with her pail of milk as the cattle and the bear, fast hold on the neck of the ox, came up (the presence of bruin among them being indicated both by the unusual bellowing they made and by the glimpse she caught from under the belly of the ox of his black, shaggy understandings), and hastening into the house with her milk she acquainted her husband with the fact, who, taking his gun, went out to shoot the intruder; but it was not till he had twice fired at and finally wounded the savage foe that the bear was driven off. The ox thus attacked was found to be severely wounded in the neck, so much so that it did not get healed entirely under a year from that time.

It was about 1794, as near as I can learn, that the first fatal accident, of which I have been able to obtain any account, occurred. Joseph Carpenter, Jr., a young man 21 years of age, being at work with his father in a falュlow chopping, was felling a large tree, a limb of which struck another and came down striking him on the forehead and breast. He died in about 12 hours from the effect of the blow.

In August, 1799, during a thunderstorm that arose in the middle of the night, a large hemlock tree that grew on my father's farm, distant some 80 or 90 rods west from the house, on a ridge or bank much higher than the level where the house stood, was struck by the electric fluid and completely riven, from top to bottom, into slivered fragments, much of it finer than oven-wood. It also tore up the very roots, and ploughed the surface of the ground to the verge of the bank and partly down it, throwing the dead leaves and earth towards the interval below. The concussion of the explosion was treュmendous, shaking the house and bursting in the paper on the windows.*

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* Window-panes were usually made of oiled paper in those early cabins, Ed.

 

 

 

HUNTINGTON. 821

 

In the winter of 17991800 was heard the dreadful howling of a pack of wolves, which made night hideous as they at one time passed up the river on the ice, by and
near our house. Fotunately, however, they kept on their course without turning aside to molest the cattle and sheep, as was feared.

Early in the spring of 1801 the log dwellュing-house of Lawrence Ravlin, in the southュeast part of the town, was consumed by fire in the day time, and, what is more sad to reュlate, his wife, Mrs. Ravlin, was burned to death in it. This disaster was occasioned by sparks of fire communicating with a quantity of unbroken flax that lay in the chamber near the chimney-way. On discovering the flax on fire, Mr. and Mrs. Ravlin attempted to quench it by pouring on cold sap. Not succeeding in this, Mr. R. turned and went down again, supposing that his wife was folュlowing him; but she, it would seem, intent on combatting the fire, became bewildered, and, suffocated with the smoke and heat, failed to find the way down, and consequentュly perished in the house. Possibly, however, she might have been rescued but for the misュtaken supposition entertained for the time that she might have gone out to try to raise some of the neighbors, and when on going to inquire for her there, it was found she had not been seen. The delay thus caused them to find out the mistake too late to save her. Her remains were found amid the smoking ruins, which, owing to their having thrown on quantities of snow to quench the flames, were but partially consumed.

In 1801 a son of Lael Bump, a little boy about 7 years old, was instantly killed by the fall of a tree upon him, which some other careless boys whom he accompanied to the field with an ax (unbeknown to the parents, who were absent at the time), were cutting down, which coming upon him as he stood in its way, struck him down dead.

In January, 1805, Rufus Williams (spoken of before as one of the first settlers) was instantly killed by the fall of a tree blown down upon him in a high wind, as he went out at night to fodder his cattle.

In March, 1806, a son of Samuel Bunker, a little boy 7 years old, was drowned in the river in attempting to cross it on the ice.

In June, 1807, Mr. Elias Farr, having beュcome deranged through declining health and trouble of mind, attempted to commit suicide by drowing himself, and actually did throw himself into the river, from the string-piece of an old bridge, where the water was 8 or 10 feet deep. He was taken from thence by Thomas A. Carpenter, who promptly repaired to the spot on hearing the alarm, apparently lifeless, but was conveyed to the house and restored. He lingered on after this till the latter part of August, when he died.

In December, 1824, occurred a remarkable instance of preservation of life, amidst a fearful accident involving manifest danger of its sacrifice. Charles Swift, son of Lot Swift, then a lad 12 years old, on remounting a horse (which his father had borrowed to send him to mill with) on his return, to take him home (the horse having on a saddle one of the stirrups of which being lost off, had a looped leather strap to supply its place), a pair of bars intervened between the horse and the road, over which the horse, impatient as he was, made a bolt, ere they could be all let down, and by the sudden leap threw the boy from his seat clear, except unluckily his foot hung fast in the looped stirrup, by which he was dragged head downwards, the horse going at a brisk jog, for the distance of 100 rods, and this over a road lined on either side with stumps and trees. Fortunately for him, Mr. Swift's dog, which accompanied him, with the sagacity peculiar to that faithュful animal, on seeing Charles thus dragging, seized him by the collar of his coat, and thus in a manner kept him from the ground; and it was probably owing to this interference of the dog that his life was saved, as well as his limbs, and he escaped without a bone of him broken or otherwise harmed.

In March, 1834, a child of Selah Ambler's, an interesting little girl 5 years old, was drowned in the river, in attempting to cross it on a foot-bridge to a neighbor's opposite.

The winter of 1812-13 was remarkable, not only from its severe cold and depth of snow, but from the singular circumstance of several cattle freezing their hind feet so that the hoofs came off in the spring; a mishap which we have not known to befall any of those domestic animals in our coldest winter weather since.

In 1839 a girl 9 years old, daughter of Alanson Hamner, in Buel's Gore, was drowned in the river in attempting to cross it on a pole; and in July, of the same year, Noah Johnson, a man 57 years of age, re-

 

 

 

822 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

siding near the north village, was fatally hurt by a blow on the abdomen, from a stick of timber, used as a pry, whilst assisting in removing a building, of which he died in about 56 hours.

On the morning of the 4th of July, 1842, Seneca Carpenter, a young married man of 26, son of Thomas Carpenter, was shot in the thigh by the accidental discharge of a rifle in the hands of his father. The ball fractured the bone, and inflammation took place, followed by mortification, of which he died on the fourth day.

In August, 1844, Andrew Ring, son of Eliュjah Ring, was instantly killed by being thrown out of and under the wheels of a cart in which he was riding at the time.

In January, 1847, Solomon Rood, a man 40 years of age, was killed by the fall of a tree upon him, while at work alone in the woods cutting timber.

The spring and fore part of the summer of 1849 was rendered memorable for the great numbers of pigeons which, making their roost in the woods on the mountains east of Avery's Gore, issued forth and made such havoc with the then newly sprouted corn fields, that had been planted in the town, that farmers were under the necessity of watching their fields for several days to save the crop from being totally destroyed.

In December, 1853, John Chatfield, a man 36 years of age, met with an accident while at work in his barn, which terminated his life, being impaled on the handle of a pitchュfork, as it stood up against the mow, as he was descending. He died in about 36 hours.

On the 27th of August, 1856, one of the flues of the boiler in Johnson Shattuck's steam-mill, at the north village, in operation at that time, burst out, and instantly killed a lad 15 years old by the name of James G. Crane, who was at work before the furnace as fireman at the time, in the basement of the building. And on the night between the 19th and 20th of September, following, the building itself was destroyed by fire, supュposed to have been the work of an incendュiary.

Huntington river様ike all other fresh water streams having their rise among the mountains and in their course fed by tribuュtaries from the same, is generally subject to freshets, caused by heavy and continued rains, or thaws in the winter and spring was, on the afternoon and evening of the 3d of July, 1858, the scene of the greatest and most destructive flood ever witnessed since the town was first settled. It was about 3 o'clock P. M., of that day, that the heavens, after a dry and sultry spell of several days, became overcast with heavy clouds, rising out of the west and north-west, which soon began to discharge themselves in rain; gently at first, but fast increasing in vioュlence, accompanied with electric discharges, and which continued to pour down with a density scarcely exceeded by tropical storms for two hours and a half without cessation; and when, at length, the storm did abate, it was soon renewed for a shorter space. The effect of such a protracted out-pouring of the liquid elements from above was soon made apparent in the waters of the river and its subordinate tributaries, which had, until now, become quite low; but which began to rise very rapidly, and at sunset had reached a formidable and threatening height傭earュing on its surface driftwood, and even whole trees. It was 10 o'clock in the evening when the waters had reached their greatest height, and the spectacle presented was awful, and the result what might be expected from such an unparalleled accumulation of rushュing water power. Bridges and all the fences adjacent to the sweep of the swollen current were swept away; besides, in some places, cutting away large portions of the land adュjacent to the river, and flowing portions of meadow洋ore or less溶ever before reached by the highest freshets hitherto known. At the north village, besides sweeping away the bridge (90 feet long, and covered at that), it tore away the dam, and undermined, overュturned and carried off two of the buildings immediately contiguous to the river熔ne of them a machine building, bricked outside and three stories high, 60 feet by 46 (leaving scarcely a vestige of wall standing); while the banks and low intervals, along the borュders of the stream, were strewed with the driftwood and timber of bridges and buildュings thus dismantled. The grass, grain and corn were beaten down, and in many places covered with sand and gravel. I have said the bridges on the river and tributaries were all swept away, and so indeed most of them were, all except one covered bridge on the river, and one on Brush's brook, which owed their escape solely to the waters leaving the

 

 

 

HUNTINGTON. 823

 

channel above and taking a sweep across the low flat outside of the bridge, over the interュvening road and fields. Fortunately, the storm causing this unexampled flood did not extend its violence quite to the source of the river, nor into Richmond. As it was, howュever, the damage occasioned was immense, amounting to many thousand dollars.

The greatest freshets preceding this were those of 1804, '15, '19, '30, and '44. The most singular, because apparently the most seemingly unaccountable flux of water in the river, considering the absence of any sensible cause therefor, which we have witュnessed, occurred on the afternoon of the 30th of June, 1840. It had rained a little in the forenoon and about noon that day, in the valley along the river; but so gently, briefly and inconsiderably that no one expected or dreamed of any thing like a flood in conseュquence; when, lo! about 4 o'clock, or a little past, P. M., the water in the river, till this time low and flowing quietly on, began all at once to grow muddy and to rise rapidly, and by 6 o'clock had attained a height scarcely inferior to the great flood of 1830, and bearing on its surface quantities of small saplings and bushes with their roots on, a description of driftwood which I never saw in a very high freshet before or hardly since. This sudden flux of the river, unaccountable as it seemed, was further distinguished by a lawless caper it cut up at the carding-machine works at the north village預 trick which even the flood of 1830 failed of comュmitting. In that, it took advantage of an unguarded place at the west end of the mill dam, immediately above the upper waterward corner of the building, to pour over the bank, which here abruptly descended by the upper end, and run round it in front, cutting and gullying out the earth opposite and penュetrating into and through the basement-room, used in its season as a clothier's shop, carrying in stones and gravel, and seemed for the time to threaten the submersion of the building; but which luckily escaped, only making a bridge afterwards necessary to enter the carding-machine door above. This sudden and apparently unaccountable raid of waters aforesaid proved, from what was observed by some persons in that quarter, to have been occasioned by the meeting of two heavy clouds on the mountains east of the head of the river, which here breaking loose precipitated their watery contents down their sides, and taking their way to the river beュlow, like an avalanche, caused the sudden rise we have described.

It would doubtless be expected of the writer, in furnishing this historical sketch of the antecedents of his town, that he will folュlow the example set by his brother town reporters in giving some account of the most distinguished men who have figured as setュtlers therein, presenting by the way some specimen of their writing.

On this head I am not able to promise much that is likely to be edifying to the reader, inasmuch as Huntington has not, to my knowledge, in the course of the 70 odd years that have elapsed since its first settleュment, presented any characters remarkable for their talents or learning, as statesmen or authors. Some of them have, of course, been honored with the principal offices of the town, as a matter of necessity, and three or four have received and exercised trusts bestowed on them by the people of the county. Alexander Ferguson (since removed from the town) was for two years member of the state senate from this county; and Stephen, Sayles and Dr. John Work have each served the county two years, in turn, as assistant judges of the court for Chittenden county.

A cursory reference to some of the princiュpal old settlers of the town, with an account of their nativity, as far as known, and the offices they filled, must serve for this department of our history, in lieu of a more exュtended notice, which neither our resources nor our fidelity as a truthful historian admits of our furnishing here. First in order of these, who came in for their share of notice as men of Huntington, is

 

JEHIEL JOHNS,

who was born in Amenia, Dutchess Co., N. Y., Feb. 19, 1756. He was the son of Benjamin Johns, Jr., who died in 1761 of small pox. His mother, whose maiden name was Eunice Rowley, afterwards married Major John Lloyd, by whom, in addition to 5 children by Mr. Johns, her first husband, she had 8 more children, 4 sons and 4 daughュters. Of the 5 first, 4 were sons and 1 a daughter. Of these children Jehiel was the second; the others were Joel, Phebe, Silas and Benjamin. Jehiel, the subject of this sketch, did not remain long with his step-

 

 

 

824 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

father, but went afterwards to live with his uncles Stephen and Daniel Johns in West Stockbridge, Mass. From thence he came to Clarendon, in Vermont, residing with his grandfather awhile. Lastly, he took up his sojourn, previous to his emigration to this his final permanent abode, in Manchester, Benュnington Co., where he was married, Feb. 19, 1786, to Elizabeth Sexton, daughter of Geo. Sexton (Sen.), with whom he removed, as we stated before, in March following, to the vicinity and finally into his first pioneer cabin amid the wilds of New Huntington as their future abode. Of them were born 6 children, 5 sons and 1 daughter葉he latter being the eldest預nd who are all of them yet living and all in Huntington, except one. As we before stated, in the former part of our sketch, Mr. Johns was early chosen to sundry important offices in the town; being, as we have seen, moderator of the first town meeting, first justice of the peace, and first representative; besides which he filled various other town offices, especially selectュman and town treasurer. He was a man of strong mind, general sound judgment, rather excitable temperament, and rather eccentric and independent in his views on some points.

That he was, in his vigor of manhood, industrious and persevering, may be readily inferred from his being the leading pioneer in the opening settlement of the town, an undertaking for which no other class of men are qualified. He was for a while in the American service in the Revolution, though not engaged in any action. He died Aug. 12, 1840, in his 85th year; Mrs. Johns, his widow, March 25, 1851, aged 84.

Of the nativity and antecedents of

 

ELISHA BRADLEY,

the next following settler of Huntington, I am not able to give any account here; but that deficiency, I presume, will be supplied, in a measure, by the furnisher of the history of Williston. All I can say here is I have seen the man occasionally in his life time and, from what I could learn, he was originュally from Connecticut. He seems to have adopted very peculiar views of religion towards the latter part of his life, somewhat like the Quakers, only more ultra, but was withal an honest and exemplary man.

 

EBENEZER AMBLER,

whom, I learned, was a son of John Ambler, was born April 26, 1756, in West Chester Co., N. Y. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Deacon Charles Brewster, in Tinmouth, Vt. and, as we observed before, removed from thence to Huntington in 1787. They had only two children, a son named John, born Oct. 29, 1784, and a daughter named Elizaュbeth, commonly called "Betsey," born May 29, 1794, both of whom are living. Mr. Ambler, besides being first selectman of the first board chosen at the original organizaュtion of the town, was for several years one of the justices of the peace in the town. He was in the American service in the Revoluュtion, and was at one time taken prisoner by the Hessians. He died April 26, 1826, aged 70 years.

 

CHARLES BREWSTER, JR.,

son of Dea. Charles Brewster, was born, if I mistake not, in Connecticut in 1755. He married Anna Turner by whom he had ten children, four of whom only are living. He first came from Connecticut to Tinmouth, where he resided a few years, from whence he next emigrated, as we have seen, to New Huntington in 1787. He died March 15, 1809, aged 54 years. His brother Ozem, born May 29, 1794, who occupied the first farm in Richmond north, adjoining the town line, died in April following. Mr. Brewster was an industrious man, a good farmer, and possessed a handsome property for those days.*

 

JACOB SNYDER

was born of German parents, in Rhinebeck, Dutchess Co., N. Y., April 12, 1758. His father's name was John Snyder. When quite young his parents removed to Pittstown, Renselaer Co., where he lived till a man grown, when he married for his wife Rebecca Hart, by whom he had 12 children, 8 of whom are living. Owing to his removal from his native place to what was then a new settlement, where they lost the advantュage of a school for the children, Mr. Snyder missed the opportunity of receiving even an English education, and was therefore an unlettered man; but he was withal a man of good judgment and unimpeachable honesty, a good neighbor, and sincere Christian. He also served a short term in the American cause in the war of the Revolution(a piece of service for which I forgot to give credit, by the way, to Mr. Brewster).

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* See closing remark憂acob Snyder, also.Ed.

 

 

 

HUNTINGTON. 825

 

JOHN FITCH, ESQ.,

a native of Coventry, Conn., was born in December, 1754. Was a soldier in the American service in the war of the Revoluュtion, for which he latterly received a pension from government, up to the time of his death. He was representative to the legisュlature from this town several years, and for some years justice of the peace, and also constable of the town. In other respects, he was not a man of much mark, being quiet and unobtrusive in his ways. He married Anna Buel, daughter of Major Elias Buel, original proprietor of Buel's Gore, and had several children. He died in 1850, aged 95, his wife having preceded him several years.

Respecting the rest of the old settlers, perュmanent or otherwise, I can give no more particular account than that they most of them came from Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island.

 

JOHN THOMAS

was a native of Staffordshire, in England, came over as a soldier in the king's service in the time of the Revolutionary war; but, not liking the idea of fighting his American kin, deserted and betook himself to more peaceable employment. After the war was over, and independence acknowledged, he married Mary McDonald, stopped in Tinュmouth awhile, then emigrated to this town in 1789, where he settled for life. He died in December, 1836, aged 80 years. He had three children預ll daughters, the two youngュest married, all living on the same old farm.

 

LAWRENCE RAVLIN

also was of foreign birth, either Irish or Scotch, I cannot determine which, as I have heard him designated both ways.

 

WILLIAM HILL,

our first long-standing town clerk, was an Englishman, born in Yorkshire, near the borders of Scotland, came over to America during the Revolutionary war or before. He was latterly somewhat of a Quaker in his religion. Had a good education; had two children only, a son and daughter. Removed to Farnham, Lower Canada, in 1820, where he died a few years after. His wife before her marriage was Patience Carpenter, a sisュter of Joseph Carpenter.

It is here that your humble servant, the writer of this sketch, would beg permission ere taking leave of this part of the historical reminiscences of his native town, as one of the immediate descendants of its principal first settlers before named葉o be indulged in a little variety on his own account; since, being somewhat in years, he must, ere long, be called to follow the fathers of the town to a last resting place, he would desire to be remembered in a record which may survive him, after he shall be no more, as the eccenュtric individual at present noted as the penner and publisher of the little manuscript newspaper issued for many years under the title of "Vermont Autograph and Remarker," executed in imitation of type-print, and as being the first also who introduced a sufficient fount of type and a small press, on which was executed the first compact typographic matter issued in town, among which were three several small works, in form of books; being, 1st, "A Brief Record of Fatal Acciュdents in Huntington;" 2d, "Green Mountュain Tradition, or Book of Bears;" and, 3d, "Remarkable Circumstances," which works, though inconsiderable in themselves and indifferently executed, he feels are sufficient to entitle him to somewhat of fame, on which to be remembered among the native inhabitants of Huntington.

On the whole, I know not that I can betュter bring to a conclusion the foregoing sketch of the Topographical and Historical Sketch of Huntington, than by subjoining the reュlation of a facetious circumstance which transpired some 18 years since in the way of a supposed catamount hunt and its ludicrous termination.

It was on the afternoon, of a damp and "muggy" day in July, 1842, that the ears of sundry of the inhabitants at the north vilュlage were greeted and their interest aroused by a strange, unearthly screeching sound that seemed to proceed from the mountain west of them, which, from its resemblance to the cry of a catamount or panther, of which they had heard, they thought might possibly be utュtered by some wild animal of that description then on the hill. Acting on the impulse of such a possibility, some of the most adventurous, comprised of young men and boys, rallied out with guns and dogs and started for the hill in quest of the presumed catamount, resolved if possible to secure him as a trophy of their bravery. Arriving at the spot, they disposed themselves so as make a complete sweep of the field, and began the reconnoitre, making their way over rocks, logs and fallen timber,

 

 

 

826 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

and plunging through bushes, until at length the advance party coming out upon a small run of water or brook that here made its way down the side of the mountain, where they brought up the whole posse standing at the spectacle of the game they were after, which here presented itself in shape of a wooden waterwheel! which the owner of the land had sometime previous placed at a fall, with a view to test the capacity of the water for sawing wood; the axles of which, where they rested on the supports, not being greased, gave forth the dismal, plaintive sounds taken for the cry of the catamount! Of course our hunters not deeming the game worth the powder, or its hide a prize to be coveted, slunk away for home, satisfied with their trip. It was in reference to this affair that the following rhythmical touch was got off, by the writer of this, at the time:

 

'Twas on one summer afternoon,

The sixth of month July,

A scream was heard that pretty soon,

Brought man and guns near by.

 

They thought it was a catamount,

Upon the mountain west,

Which chose to give them his account,

In this his speech address'd.

 

With nimble heels the hunters run

To find the creature's roost,

And bring him down with ball from gun,

And o'er the victory boast.

 

O'er rock and log they scour the hills,

Ransacking every quarter,

Until at length they came upon

A little run of water.

 

And here it was they found the cat

Which sent forth all this screeching,

Who in the shape of waterwheel,

Complain'd he wanted greasing.

 

And here it seems they left the imp,

Who still at them was grinning;

No doubt they thought he was so fierce,

He might be dangerous skinning.

 

Wild beasts like this 'tis said, tho' fierce,

And ever bent on slaughter,

Are scared at fire; but this, it seems,

Was most disturb'd by water.

 

HUNTINGTON, January, 1861.

 

 

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YE SONS OF FREEDOM.

 

BY A. A. FORBES,

 

A native of Hinsesburgh, now a resident of Huntington.

 

Ye sons of Freedom I see the watchfires

Now blazing on Virginia's hills,

???ing the stars with lambent spires,

And ??????????? the ?????? rifle;

 

The beacons of the North are gleaming,

They blaze against the ruddy sky,

Filling the air with brilllancy,

Like meteors in the heaven streaming.

 

Shout, sons of Liberty in chorus,

Let music strike the starry arch,

Our glorious banner floating o'er us

As o'er the Southern plains we march;

Let maidens fair their laurels twine,

On patriot brows the garlands throw,

Who merit what their hands bestow,

Their names on glory's page shall shine.

 

While from the rainbow arches bonding,

Across the cataracts of storm,

In glory bright we see descending,

Sweet Liberty's returning form;

With bugle's blast and cannon's thunder,

To Freedom's final victory,

We pledge our Northern chivalry,

And tread the recreant rebels under.

July 2, 1861.

 

HUNTINGTON, June 21, 1864.

Well, Miss Hemenway, your , letter of the 17th inst. is received, in which you solicit information on the question as to who was the first minister who came to Huntington, froth Oat of town to preach, together .with s list of all.:thasalof various denominations) Who have vaintegnietty preached here from out of town since. On thisheid I have to plead inability, for want of access to whet would have been the proper sources whence to derive it, to furnish that full, complete inュformation on those heads which a faithful historical record in this department would require. The fact itself that all the old original settlers of the town have passed away, from whom much of the information desired might have been gleaned, must of itself be a sufficient apology for the impracticability of furnishing all the facts in the case. Hence it is from those of their oldest descendants who remained that we can hope to gain aught of information concerning those who first officiated in the town in its early days. As it is, I have made inquiry of one whose memory extends back to the early days of the town, respecting the first item in your inquiries. According to what I can learn from her, it would seem that the first minisュters who came into Huntington to preach were a Mr. Sabin, of the Methodist persuasion, and Mr. Abraham Hall, a Congregationalist, who擁f I understood rightly溜were from Starksboro. Besides these two, that noted eccentric character, Lorenzo Dow, at that time a member of the Methodist persuasion, paid the town a visit and preached several times, and it was probably by his

 

 

 

HUNTINGTON. 827

 

means and Mr. Sabin's that the first seeds of Methodism took root here, though how many were gained for the church at the time we do not learn. The precise date of the first advent of these evangelical missionaries in our then new settlement I am not informed about, but it appears to have been about the years 1793, '94, and '95. Respecting those who have subsequently since that time came and preached in town, either statedly or occasionally, it would be impossible, in the want of the required written record and the frailty of off-hand recollection of memュory, to furnish a complete catalogue. If what I am able to recall to recollection as having preached in town in years past of the various religions denominations熔mitting those who attended the more special general yearly and quarterly meetings幼an be of any service to insert in your Magazine, under the article of Huntington, I will just say that my earliest recollections of church attendュance, extending back 60 years, presents to view one Mr. Elisha Booth, of the Baptist persuasion, who used to preach here statedly once in two, three or four weeks, in such buildings as could be afforded, sometimes in a barn, if in summer time. He was a man of very plain appearance in look, person and dress. He then resided in Hinesburgh, but some 20 years later removed to Huntュington, where he died about 1825, having, however, previously pretty much relinquished preaching.

Of the Congregational ministry, none of whom ever settled in town, I know not how many, besides the Mr. Hall aforementioned, had previously preached here before my remembrance. Thus much I know of as remembering attending meetings where they preached. Messrs. Simeon Parmelee from Westford, J. Byington from Williston, Asaph Morgan from Essex, John Denison from Jerュicho, Silas L. Bingham (residence then not known), Ralph Robinson, James Parker, Underhill; Jonathan Hovey, Jr., Waterbury; Otto S. Hoyt of Hinesburgh, Wm. Hurlburt of Williston, have preached here on one or two occasions.

Of Baptists (close communion) we have had Elders Ephraim Butler, Peter Chase, Daniel Bennet, Samuel Parr, Samuel Churchill, Phineas Culver, Columbus Green, John Peck, 覧 Ames, Pearly Work, and several others whose names I cannot recollect.

Of Methodists, Episcopal and Protestants, we have had quite a long list, local, circuit &c., of many of which I can recollect and give the names as follows: Elders Samuel Draper, Stephen Sornburger, 覧 Lyon, 覧 Beeman, 覧 Landon, Almon Dunbar, Harvey De Wolf, James Youngs, 覧 Grisュwold, 覧 Crawford, Ira Bently, Robert Labour, Samuel Young, 覧 Jones, A. C. Rice, A. Kingsbury, Bishop Isbel, John B. Foster, Martin B. Gregg, R. Washburn, G. C. Simmons, Zina H. Brown, David Ferguュson, E. Howe. Since writing the foregoing a further consultation and reckoning has reュcalled to mind, from the farther past, the names of Elder O. Pier, Aruna Lyon, all of which were of the old Episcopal Methodist school.

Formerly, that is to say, 30 years since and upwards, there was occasional preaching by what were called the Protestant Methodist. Of these I can only recollect Elder Josiah Jones.

Then there are the Freewill Baptists, the first preacher of which order I have already in my report of Huntington as having been the colored preacher, Elder Charles Bowles. Of these the number of church members, as just furnished the by Elder E. B. Fuller, their present pastor, is 65. The preachers of this order who, besides those named in my report, have preached in Huntington in years past, were Elders Samuel Webster, Samuel Lord, Porter Thomas, Nathaniel Ewers, Daniel Batchelder, Mark Atwood, Jairus E. Davis, John Gould.

Of Universalists, besides the late Elder Dennis Chapin, resident in the place, there have preached in town, more or less times, Paul Dean, Walter Ferris, Jonathan Walュlace, Thomas Browning, Joseph Bradley, John E. Palmer, John Gregory, Eli Ballou, and Silas N. Wakefield.

Of the sect calling themselves Christians, there have held forth in town, besides George Carpenter, elsewhere mentioned, Elders 覧 Marshall, Stephen Blaisdell, Nathan C. Streeュter, James Welton, 覧 Sylvester, and Merrit W. Powers.

Of the Quakers or Friends, meetings have been appointed and attended in Huntington, and addressed by Valentine Meader, Joseph Chase, Joel Batty, and others.

Besides the foregoing, I have heard of there being gospel ministration once held in

 

 

 

828 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

Huntington, many years ago, by Bethuel Chittenden of the Episcopal church, brother to Gov. Thomas Chittenden.

Lastly, if it be allowed to mention such an outre sect as the Mormons, the people here (such as chose to attend) were once adュdressed by Solomon Humphrey, a preacher of that order, one evening in March, 1832.

Of the number of members in the Methュodist and Baptist society in this place I have not had time to ascertain from the proper authorities. Probably it would not be much wide of the mark to put the relaュtive number down at from 15 to 20 or 25.

All of which is respectfully submitted by

Your humble servant,

JAMES JOHNS.

 

[At the close of this history of Mr. Johns' native town, so well portrayed by his hand, may properly appear a specimen, so far as we are able to give, of his "Vermont Autoュgraph and Remarker," a limited edition of which he has for some years past issued from time to time, and a complete file of which would truly be an acquisition to the collecュtions of the State Historical Society. We only regret we cannot give his antique pen-print as a fac simile. Otherwise the followュing is an et literatim specimen of the sheet edited, printed and published by our valuュable historical contributor, Mr. Johns Ed.)

 

 

"VERMONT AUTOGRAPH AND REMARKER.

 

HUNTINGTON, Vt., April 27,1864.

 

ON POPULAR SENTIMENT, AND HOW FAR IT IS TO BE ADMITTED TO INFLUENCE INDIVIDUAL ACTION.

 

It being laid down as a principle of govュernment by political writers who favor the democractic republican system, that the maュjority must decide and rule, it will be well for us to look our ground over and see whether that hackneyed maxim can be reaュsonably considered as applying in all cases and without qualification. It is true that in a republican government founded on the will of the people, a. majority of votes cast is made to decide in elections held, and on the adoption of a measure proposed where the question is put in a legislative body. The reason of which is, as we know that men differ so much in their opinions and interests that they can scarcely ever be brought unanimously to agree on what is proper to be done, or who ought to be chosen to office, and goverment is too important a matter to be set aside for want of unanimous assent. In all general matters of course where society is interested in its safety and protection from common danger and unnecessary wanton annoyance it is just and right that the popュular will should rule and have proper weight, though, at the same time, the multitude are too apt sometimes to be actuated by foolish, unjust prejudice against things more obnoxious to their local or chance interests than really harmful to them on the whole, which is the case with the mobs and riots that sometimes arise in the cities. Further than this consideration of common safety and order, I do not think that popular drift aught to be allowed so much influence.

There are certain matters concerning which a man ought to be considered as having a right to choose and act for himself indeュpendent of others. Among these is custom and fashion in what we wear about us. It is not necessary to our safety or our comfort that a man should conform himself to a preュvailing fashion or custom worn or observed on certain occasions, and he ought. not to be proscribed nor ridiculed for differing in these things from the common run of things in those matters. All that community need require of us in this matter is neatness, order and cleanliness. Nor need it exact of us that we profess to believe all that is taught and observed in a religious way. For my part, I do not like the idea of having to let my assent to these things be took for granted as a condition of being well received.

 

 

HISTORY; AND ITS ERRORS.

 

That the writing and publication of the history of any nation or country inhabited and of any great and important event occurュring therein, having a bearing on its destiny, is not only desirable, but proper and necesュsary to our knowledge of the past of manュkind, is a point which no reasonable man will deny. It only requires research, faithfulness and impartiality to enable a qualified writer to get up a tolerable reliable history, so far as the ascertained facts can be got at and collected. On this head I presume it will be admitted that it is not to be expected that every fact relative to the local history of any kingdom or state, or its subdivisons, can be reached by persevering research, While then we cannot well set aside the importance of history as a key to the knowlュedge of the far gone past, candor and justice constrain us to say what many a reader before now has observed, that with all its importance and general credit, it embraces more or less of error in the details which detracts in a measure from its merits and reliability as a faithful record of facts. Of this liability of published history to error as to true fact, I myself have seen numerous proofs in historical accounts purporting to relate to what I am cognisant of as having known to occur, or to matters which, were before put on record. So that I know that history does often fail of exact truth. These errors may proceed from two causes, some-

 

 

 

JERICHO. 829

 

times by the writer himself being misinュformed or his memory being at fault, and not unfrequently it is because the writer is prejudiced for or against a party or cause, and so studies to give a color to things to suit his notion and feelings.

He or she therefore who sets about comュpiling a history, either general or local, out of other printed or solicited contributions, must not expect infalibility in what is there found communicated.

 

A FAMILY IN AFFLICTION.

 

It is not every day, if indeed every week or month, that an affliction falls so heavily on a family so little prepared for it as has just befallen that of Elder Dennis Chapin, residing in this place, who received on Monday the heart-rending intelligence of his death, which took place in Berkshire, Frankュlin county, on Saturday, the 23d inst., of the small pox. What lends particular poigュnancy to the event is that they could not, under the circumstances, either go to him while sick nor have him brought home to enable them to pay the last duties to his remains. My sympathies are with them in their sorrow.

 

DEATH OF A BROTHER.

 

It falls to my own sad lot to have to record the death of my eldest brother, Silas Johns, who died yesterday morning at a quarter past one o'clock. He was 76 years old the 26th day of January last. Leaves a widow and 6 children, besides other near relatives to mourn their lose.

 

INQUIRINGLY.

 

Not having heard from our editress friend, Miss Hemenway, or her was-to-be-continued work, the Vermont Quarterly Gazetteer, for a long time, although I mailed an Autograph to her some time ago, I take this method to institute an inquiry as to what has become of her and her promised next number of the Quarterly, whether the lady is living and well, or the latter likely to be at all forthcoming?

Respecting these two points of inquiry I would like to be informed, and that without delay by somebody. In the meantime I would take this opportunity in view of the bare possibility that something in the last Autograph may have something to do with the failure to hear from it, that should be very sorry to find any one so sensitive and intolerant of dissent from what is popularly received, as to cut my acquaintance on finding me disposed to be independent in my views on things held out. I claim the right, in publishing the paper, to give my views just as they ARE, be they popular or not, and I care not for any favors that are to be got at the sacrifice of that right.

I wish it to be understood, in regard to clergymen alluded to, that I don't use "Rev." to their names.

 

 

覧覧覧覧覧覧覧

 

 

JERICHO.

 

BY GEORGE LEE LYMAN, M. D.*

 

Chartered by Gov. Wentworth, June 7, 1763, to Edward Burling and 66 others, to contain 23,040 acres, in a rhomboidal form, each side to be 6 miles and no more.

Sept. 23, 1792, Nathan Moore "surveyed and run the division line," which runs E. 5ー S., cutting between 4000 and 5000 acres off the south angle; to form, with parts of Wilュliston and Bolton, the town of Richmond.

 

FROM TOWN RECORDS.

 

The first town meeting, warned by John Fasset, Judge of Supreme Court, was held March 22, 1786. "Chose Jas. Farnsworth moderator; Lewis Chapin, clerk; and Peter McArthur, constable."

June 13, 1786, "Chose Dea. Azariah Rood, Capt. Joseph Hall and Jedediah Lane, selectュmen."

Nov. 29, 1786, "By a permit from the General Assembly, in Rutland, October last, this town have liberty to choose a member to attend Assembly at their adjourned session in Bennington, February next. Accordingly was chosen, Mr. Jedediah Lane, representaュtive."

March 12, 1787. "David Stanton chosen tavern-keeper."

March 20, 1788. "Chose Azariah Rood and Esquire James Farnsworth committee to hire a candidate, and voted that we will raise money to pay a candidate for preaching two months."

Sept. 28, 1789. Town tax granted to pay Mr. Reuben Parmelee, for preaching the past season, 」6 5s. 10d.

Sept. 7, 1790. "Chose Martin Chittenden representative, and voted to give Mr. Ebenュezer Kingsbury a call to settle in the minュistry."

Nov. 18, 1795. "Chose Noah Chittenden, Esq., superintendent to take care of and superintend the building of meeting-house."

March 8, 1798. "Voted that the pole now ready to be raised be the town sign-post."

March 2, 1801. "Voted to give liberty to the town to set up the small pox next fall under the direction of the selectmen."

A register of Freemen was begun in 1785, with 6 names, an addition of about the same number was made in 1786; more the next year, and so on.

覧覧

* Since deceased. Ed.,