996 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
BY MILTON CUTLER.
Guildhall is situated in the southern part of Essex County, nearly 40 miles from Canada line and, by the old stage road through Danville, about 70 from Montpelier and, by way of White River Junction, 150 miles bounded N. by Maidstone, E. by Connecticut river, S. by Lunenburgh, W. by Granby, and contains 19,477 acres. The soil on the plains and intervals is very good and easily cultivated on the hills strong and generally better adapted to grazing than grain growing. Newly cleared land formerly produced excellent crops of wheat, but of late years it has been by no means a sure crop, and our people depend chiefly upon the West. Most of our farmers, however, raise some every year, and occasionally get a fair yield. Agriculture is the almost exclusive pursuit cattle, horses, sheep, swine and poultry, corn, rye, oats, buckwheat, peas, beans, potatoes, maple sugar, &c., are the principal products.
There is a small village in the N. E. corner of the town containing the county buildings, Congregational meeting house, academy, postoffice, three stores, two public houses, a lumber and grain mill, one blacksmith's shop, one law office, and is connected with Northumberland, N. H., by a good toll-bridge. The best farms and principal wealth are in the south part, which is also connected with Lancaster, N. H., by a toll-bridge.
The market facilities are now good by means of the Grand Trunk railroad, which is, at the Northumberland depot, less than 4 miles distant but there are no streams, except the Connecticut, that afford water power of much account. Hence, the large quantities of lumber, especially pine, which this town and vicinity produced, have been drawn to the river and floated down to find a market in Massachusetts, Connecticut and some intermediate towns. There are several small streams upon which mills have been at different times erected. "Spaulding's Brook," which takes its rise in Granby and by a circuitous route runs through Maidstone and empties into the Connecticut, is the stream upon which the first mills were built from which circumstance it received its present name of "Mill Brook."
There have since been saw-mills upon this stream within the town of Maidstone, the last of which was built during the last summer (1861) by Z. K. Washburn & Sons. Somewhere about the year 1830, Gilbert B. Mann built a saw-mill on "Burnside Brook," about half a mile from the river, which did considerable business during high water. Said brook probably received its name from the circumstance of a Mr. Burnside, one of the first settlers of Northumberland, having lived on the river bank directly opposite its mouth and so the high hill around whose base the stream courses, was called "Burnside Mountain." Several mills have been erected on other small streams, but some years since became extinct.
Another mountain stands by or near Burnside mountain, and the two appear like twins, the second being named "Cow Mountain," which received its name from the following circumstance:
In the earlier days of the town there lived in that part of the same denominated the "North Road," a sable African called Bacchus, or "Old Bacchus," who resided in that neighborhood for a considerable number of years. He was physically powerful and fond of sport, usually good natured, but of sufficient amount of temper when offended. At last he broke up housekeeping and retired to the forest upon this mountain, taking with him another man's cow without leave, and for sometime sustained himself in the woods, baffling his seekers. But at last, having, like greater mortals, reached the end of his chain, was captured and imprisoned, and did not long survive his misfortune.
There are none of nature's wonders exhibited in this vicinity, more picturesque and grand—and our scenery is pleasant and even in many points beautiful, including the views of the hills of New Hampshire, and particularly the White Mountains, which are seen from many localities in this and other towns lying along side one of the most beautiful rivers—the Connecticut.
Our state geologists decide we are not located in one of the fields that are natural deposits of mineral wealth there is, however, a bed of iron ore in the west part of the town. though not thought rich enough to encourage capitalists to work.
This town was chartered by Governor Wentworth, of New Hampshire, Oct. 10, 1761. It was granted to Elihu Hall and 63
others.* These original proprietors appear to have been residents of New Haven County and vicinity, in Connecticut. Their first proprietary meeting was holden at New Haven on the last Wednesday of October, 1761. The first deed was given by John Blakeslee, Enos Todd, Giles Dayton, Sam'l Mix, David Thorp, Joshua Ray, Gershom Todd, Titus Tuttle and John McClure to John Hall, 5th, and dated Nov. 2, 1761 the second, by Daniel Mackey to John Hall, 5th, dated Nov. 6, 1761 but by whom the name of Guildhall was given to this town is not known. There is a town or locality in England, near London, of the same name, and, as far as known by us, the only one in the world.
The proprietors held frequent meetings and passed sundry votes preparatory to occupying their lands, but as appears did not themselves first settle, or perhaps not even visit the same, until men from another state (Massachusetts) had occupied portions thereof. The first actual settlement seems to have been brought about by other means.
It will be recollected that, during the French and Indian war, several unsuccessful expeditions were planned and attempted for wresting Canada from France. One of the means employed by the authorities of the Province of Massachusetts to induce young men to enlist in one of these expeditions, was an offer to apprentices of freedom from their indentures. One of those who accepted this offer was young Emmons Stockwell, an orphan, whose parents died when he was very young. Upon the failure of the expedition to which he was attached the soldiers composing the same became disorganized and separated into small parties and returned on their own account. It was winter, and the sufferings of these men proved so severe that many died by the way. It was the fortune of young Stockwell and his party to strike the Connecticut river near its head waters, and follow its course until they reached settlements, and by this means he became acquainted with much of this beautiful valley. Mr. Stockwell arrived home ragged and penniless, and returned to and completed his apprenticeship and, in the spring of 1764, David Page, David Page, Jr., aged 18 years, Emmons Stockwell,—now 23 years old— Timothy Nash, Geo. Wheeler, and a Mr. Rice left Lancaster, Mass., for the purpose of commencing a settlement in the Connecticut valley. They intended to locate their settlement on what has since been known as the Great Ox Bow, in Newbury but, on reaching that place, they found it already occupied by two men, a Mr. Johnson being one of them consequently they continued their journey northward, and, on the 19th of April, they crossed the stream since known as "Israel's River," in Lancaster, N. H., and, pitched their camps, on both sides of the Connecticut, on land since called the Stockwell place, on the New Hampshire side, on land now owned by Messrs. Allen and Small, on the Vermont side. They continued to occupy the lands on both sides of the river in common for some time, cutting and clearing off and planting to corn 17 acres the first season. This first product of Indian corn in this region was described by Mr. Stockwell as being full in the milk and standing 12 feet high, the ears as high as his shoulders, on the 26th of August, and the next morning was frozen through and completely spoiled. "But," he continues, "it was no worse here than in Massachusetts." His party took with them from Massachusetts 20 head of cattle, and in the course of the season added 20 more, all of which were kept through the next winter.
In journeying, horses and cattle were under the necessity of subsisting principally on "browse," or the foliage of trees, except when they were fortunate enough to find an open grass plot. David Page, Sen., we believe, never made a permanent residence here, but did much for its success as a new settlement, passing back and forth frequently, and in the course of the summer brought his daughter Ruth, then 17 years of age, to perform the indispensable housekeeping for these
* GRANTEES OF GUILDHALL.—Elihu Hall, Edmond Ward, Daniel Thomas, John Benham, John Benham, jr., Gamaliel Benham, John Hall, 5th, Adonijah Thomas, Ebenezer Blakeslee, Elihu Hall, jr., Ashbel Stiles, Enos Todd, Samuel Mix, Giles Dayton, Gershom Todd, Joshua Ray, Sam'l Whittlesey, Chauncy Whittlesey, Daniel Mackey, Sam'l Sharp Beadell, Walter Munson, Thomas Ray, Joel Thorp, Hester Mackey, Simeon Tuttle, Ithamer Tuttle, Aaron Tuttle, Titus Tuttle, James Paine, David Sharp, John Blakeslee, Timothy Barker, Oliver Dudley, Medad Dudley, Abram Kimberly, Nathaniel Chauncy, Esq., Charles Whittelsey, Esq., Damaris Hall, jr., Elisha Whittelsey, Edward G. Sutwyche, James Matthews, Jas. Matthews, jr, Peter Russell, Richard Wibird, Esq., Daniel Warner, Esq., Comfort Sage, Thomas Darling, Esq., Thomas Dodd, Philip Mortimore, John McClure, Samuel Mansfield, Thomas Ries, Charles Cook, William Prindle, Jonathan Blanchard, Rev. Samuel Hall, Theophilus Doolittle, Richard Alsop, Thomas Hart, Dr. Wm. Gould, Andrew Andross, John Moss, Benajah Thomas, John Herpon, jr.
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pioneers. She, not long after, became the wife of Emmons Stockwell.
The first houses of these settlers were rather temporary camps or cabins, and when Mr. Stockwell made a permanent location it was upon the New Hampshire side of the river, upon the same farm on which his son Emmons and family now reside. He was said to be a man of iron constitution, weighing about 240 pounds, and insensible to fear and Mrs. S. was in all respects qualified to be a companion and help, meet or suitable for him. In proof the following fact is adduced:
Indians were quite numerous in these parts and they frequently called in small parties at the houses of the settlers to stay all night, and frequently to have a "drunk," as they termed it. Their place of crossing the river was at this settlement, and the canoes of the white men their means when traveling by land, and their call, the "war-whoop"—not in hostility however. Many times has Mrs. Stockwell, on dark and rainy nights, on hearing the Indian whoop, gone alone, with her firebrand for a light, and taken the canoe over and brought the savages to her house. Their house was a general resort for the Indians, with whom Mr. Stockwell traded, purchasing their furs and giving various articles in return but his authority, or that of Mrs. S., they never disputed—the tapping of his foot upon the floor being sufficient to quiet them when most rude or riotous. They raised a family of 15 children, their third child—being their first son, David Stockwell—was the first child born in Guildhall, and when the youngest of the 15 had reached 21 years, not a death had occurred in the family.
Mrs. Stockwell lived till her 80th year, and when she died her family could count 130 of her descendants then living.
Timothy Nash was a hunter and trapper, and located his camp on the land that is now included in the farm of Hon. R. W. Freeman and son. George Wheeler, also a hunter, pitched his tent on the south side of Fisk's Pond. Mr. Rice, we are informed, commenced upon the meadow now owned by Mr. Fisk, and near the river.
We have no knowledge of any addition to this settlement until the year 1775. As we learn, Enoch Hull, Micah Amy and James Rosebrook had advanced northward as far as Colebrook, N. H. but, at the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, hearing of the battles of Lexington and Concord, they were uncertain of the future action of the Indians and tories, and concluded to return to their old homes but, on reaching the settlement in this vicinity, Mr. Stockwell and others prevailed on them to remain here, and they made their choice in this town.
In 1778 Eleazer Rosebrook, and Samuel Page joined the settlement, and, in 1779, David Hopkinson, Reuben Howe and Simon Howe were added. When, about these days, the proprietors proceeded by appointing and sending some of their number as a committee to look after their interests and to make surveys of the township, these "squatter sovereigns" were, of course, jealous of their rights, or, at least, their interests, and rather rude contention ensued, as will appear by the record which we now quote verbatim et literatim,—and please, Mr. Printer, to have a care that you do exact justice to this specimen of the literature of that day, or of those particular individuals:
at a meetimg of the Proprietors of the Township of gildhall—holden adjurnment on the 10 day of march AD—1777 at the hous of Doctor Walter munsons in North haven New haven County Timothy Andrus Chosin moderator Joseph Wooster Chosin—Clark for the Proprietors of said township—
Voted that thay would Locat & Lot the township of Gildhall—
Voted that Joseph Wooster—Abel Hull Sam'l Andrus should be a Committe for the a bove purpos—and a Cordingly persude our Beusiness till being drove off from said town by the Inhabetents on account of expence
our expence on the Road £18—0—0
to twenty Days each six shillings per Day 18—0—0
to hors hier 300 miles each 4—4—0
a true account of expence
test Joseph Wooster Clark for Gildhall
Joseph Wooster—Abel Hull Sam'l Andrus Committe £40—4—0
The first settlers of this town were from Lancaster and Lunenburgh, lying upon opposite sides of a river in Massachusetts, and they gave the same names to the two towns lying, as they intended, upon opposite sides of the Connecticut. According to their calculations, Lunenburgh was to embrace nearly or all that was afterwards found to be the south part of Guildhall and Guildhall was supposed to include what was afterwards the southern portion of Maidstone, so that in
their early records, Maidstone men figure as citizens of Guildhall, and men of Guildhall as people of Lunenburgh.
The first record of a town meeting of Guildhall is dated 1783, but the town appears to have been previously organized, as this meeting was called by their selectmen (who, of course, must have been previously chosen), Jacob Schoff, John Rich and Abijah Larnard, all really Maidstone men. At this meeting Col. Ward Bailey was chosen moderator John Rich, town clerk John Rich, Abner Osgood and John Hugh, selectmen Micah Amy, treasurer and Abijah Larnard, constable.
Meanwhile considerable additions had been made to these settlements, and the settlers had been confirmed in their possessions by the Assembly of Vermont. And here we will introduce an exact copy of the record of another proprietors' meeting:
at a Propriators meting of the township of Gilhall Legally warned and Convened at the House of mr James Roosbroock in said Gilhall then opened the meting and maid Choyce of Maj Jonas Wildow for a moderator and Joseph Wooster—Clark—
1 voated to adjurn this meting till wednsday next to be holden at the Hous of Mr Phillop grapes at two of the o'clock on said Day—then met a Cording to adjurnment first voated to Run the Lines Round the town and Locat and Lot the same—
2 voated that a Committe of seven be chosen to Lay out said town—
3 voated that Lieut Andrus be the first
4 voated that Maj Jonas Wildow be the 2
5 voated that Capt Luther Richardson be the 3
6 voated that mr Joseph Wooster be the 4
7 voated that mr Philow Treet be the 5
8 voated that mr John Rich be the 6
9 voated that mr Abel Hull be the 7
then voted to adjurn this meting till thursday till nine of the oclock in the Morning at the a bove menchend Place then met a Cording to adjurnment and opened the Meting voted to tax themselves—then voted to Lay a tax of tun dollars on each original right to defray the Charges a rising foil Loacating Lotting and Laying a roade threw said town—
voted that Lieut. Andrus be a Collector for said tax—
voted thay will assertain the quantaty of inter in said town and make a return of the same to sum feuter meting
Lastly voated to adjurn this meting to the first tuesday of November next at the hous of mr Philop grapes at one of the oclock in the afternon—
this meting is adjurned &c
JOSEPH WOOSTER. Clark"
Nothing appears to have been accomplished pursuant to these votes of the proprietors in relation to locating and lotting the town, and its actual boundaries were not established until the year 1785.
Gen. James Whitelaw, of Ryegate, Surveyor-General of the State, taking the mouth of the lower Ammonoosuc river as a starting point, and proceeding N. 30 miles, arrived at a point designated as the true one for commencing the southern boundary of Guildhall. Beginning at this point on the Connecticut river, a line was run in a due N. direction 6 miles thence in a N. E. course 6 miles, thence in a S. E. course to the Connecticut.
The intention seems to have been to lay out the towns in this region 6 miles square, and such towns contain 23,040 acres but the form of this town, necessitated by the angle formed in taking the first direction by the S. line and the river, together with the irregular course of the latter, making the north boundary line much less than 6 miles, reduces its area to 19,477 acres.
We will here introduce one more specimen of the literature of those days, and for the further purpose of showing the efforts of the early proprietors made tor the purpose of locating and lotting the town, and for settling disputes that had arisen. This is in form of an account, running through quite a series of years:
"Timothy Andrus ajant to the Assembly of Vermont holden at Charlestown for the townships of guildhall granby and Eight townships to the Northward
Expence 4 weaks my self and hors £15—0—0 in order to git the bounds Established between gildhall and Lunenburg
andrus paid to Devenport 3—0—0 Joseph Wooster ajant in the rome of Capt Elijah Hinman sent to the Assembly of Vermont holden at Charlestown for the townships of gilhall granby and Eight other towns Northerdly Expence 15—0—0 Timothy Andrus Elijah Hinman appointed ajents to settel the dispute with Colo groute relative to gilhall and granby at the assembly of Vermont holden at benington Expence 5 weaks my self and hors 18—0—0 Joseph Wooster Expence at bennington while in Capt Elijah Hinman absents agreed uppon by him self and andrus for him to serve in his rome Expence at that time 9—5—0 Timothy Andrus Expence in going to Coos to git the Committee that was appointed by the assembly of Vermont to assertain the boundares of sundry townships begining with gildhall as may appear—sum time in June—1780 Expence my self and hors 5 weaks 8 dollars to be paid to the Committe 20—0—0 another
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time sent to wate on said Committe Expence 8—3—0 all the a bove Charges Lyes a gainst the a bove menchend ten townships Except the first Committe that a gainst guildhall onely
March the 15-1799."
There were 12 settlers' lots in town, occupied at this time by 11 men, whose names we give, the number of the lots occupied by each and the present owners' names, viz:
No. 1—Col. Ward Bailey included the tract now occupied by the village, extending on the west to land now occupied by John Dodge, Esq., and northerly nearly or quite to Maidstone line. No. 2—James Rosebrook —including the farm now occupied by Alva Ditson, and extended to and included land now owned or occupied by Greenleaf Webb, Chs. Webb, John Dodge, John Emery and David Kent. No. 3—D. Hopkinson—included the farm owned by A, M. Blunt, and a considerable portion of the plain owned by Messrs. Haskell and Long. No. 4—Samuel Howe—now owned by Col. E. H. Webb. Nos. 5, 6— Eleazer Rosebrook—now owned by Stephen Ames and H. N. Allen. Nos. 7, 8—Col. Jona. Grout and Edward Bucknam, Esq.— now owned by Messrs. H. N. Allen, Jose & Small, and Chas. Benton. Nos. 9, 10—Reuben and Simon Howe—by Anson Fiske. No. 11—George Wheeler—now owned by John Smith. No. 12—Benoni Cutler—now owned by John and George S. Boyce, Horace Hubbard and Z. Woods. These grants to settlers contained 100 acres, and in the case of No. 12, 400. The occasion of this difference was the grant by the proprietors in 1787 to Abner Osgood and Ward Bailey of 300 acres, in consideration of extraordinary expenses incurred by Osgood and Bailey in building mills upon Spaulding's Brook, since known as Mill Brook. These were the first mills built in town, and appear to have been commenced by Mr. Osgood as early as 1779, and he was finally assisted by Mr. Bailey and, by the terms of the grant, Osgood was to have 200 and Bailey 100 acres extra.
Benoni Cutler bought out this tract, including the mills, and his name was given to the mills and the stream on which they were built, so that the stream was afterwards called "Cutler's Mill Brook."
Oliver Hancock is the first mentioned blacksmith and founder, and, in consideration of "his extraordinary ingenuity" in those arts, "Voted him 90 acres of the common land provided he, or any other person on the premises, do business 8 years."
Doctor Gott appears to have been the first physician, about the year 1785 and the second Zadok Sampson, 1790.
Col. Ward Bailey, one of the 12 first settlers, appears to have been a very active, prominent man, who assisted very materially in promoting the interests and convenience of this early settlement. He not only assisted Osgood in building the first mills, as has been mentioned, but, in the years 1786-87, built the first mills at the Falls on the Connecticut.
He also built, in these Revolutionary times, a "block-house," which would, in case of necessity, serve as a defensive resort. This building, which stood near where Mr. Cobb now resides, was composed of white pine logs of large size, being hewed 8 or 10 inches thick and it was afterward used as the first jail of the county.
The first school of which we have any knowledge was kept in this house by a Mr. Bradley, long after known as old Master Bradley. This was in the year 1788-89. How long Mr. Bailey remained in town is not known but we believe he was succeeded. in the ownership of lands, &c., by Dr. Eben W. Judd.
who joined the settlement in 1775, remained in town, we believe, as long as he lived. He attained to some prominence in the business affairs of the town, being intrusted with offices of importance. "The Old Duke," as he was usually styled, had the reputation of possessing the ability for telling a larger story than any other man, and we will give one specimen and leave the reader to judge whether he was entitled to bear off the prize:
A party of three or four men were one day sitting in front of the tavern, and, seeing Mr. Rosebrook approaching, the following conversation, in substance, ensued: Says Mr. A., there comes the Old Duke, the man that can tell a bigger story than any body else. This remark was rather directed to Mr. B. who, by the way, thought himself a champion at that sort of play. Mr. B. replied, I'll bet I can beat him.
Mr. A.—Well, we'll see.
When Mr. R. had joined the company, the contest was commenced by Mr. B.
Mt. B. says Mr. Rosebrook, as a number of us were passing along the road the other day, we saw an immense egg lying in the highway as it was so largo as to obstruct travel, we were obliged to remove it, and it took four men with levers to roll it out of the road!
I have no doubt of it, instantly replied Uncle James. I haven't the least doubt of it, for I saw the bird that laid that egg when she flew over, and she was so large that she darkened the sun for two hours!
joined the settlement in the year 1779. He was a man of good capacity and was quite prominent in the affairs of the town. He was chief judge of the county court for the years 1811, '12, '15, and '16. He had quite a family of children, and two of his sons were permanent settlers. One of them, David Hopkinson, jr., was for many years a prominent and influential citizen. He represented the town in the legislature of the state a goodly number of years, and was assistant judge of the county court for the years 1827 and 1830. His widow still survives him but his children are much scattered, none of his family having a permanent residence in town at the present time. He died, suddenly, Nov. 1837.
appears here about 1780. He married Mercy, daughter of Capt. Eleazer Rosebrook, and they both lived to a good old age, having brought up a quite numerous family, most of whom removed from this town some years since. There is, we believe, but one remaining—Abigail, wife of Col. Edward H. Webb, who lives upon the old homestead. Mr. Howe was for many years one of the most respectable, substantial and active of our citizens. He enjoyed the respect and confidence of his townsmen, being often entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of official stations. His eldest daughter, Lucy, married Ethan Crawford, of White Mountain fame, and also famous for his great strength, who could carry an old-fashioned potash kettle on his head for a long distance, or catch a young bear, tie his legs, swing him over his shoulders and carry him home and, if young bruin behaved too rudely, would unload and take him by the heels and rap his head on a rock or tree until he would hold still. Mr. Howe died April, 1842, aged 85.
CAPT. ELEAZER ROSEBROOK,
apparently one of the most active and useful of the early settlers, located in 1778. At first, we believe, he had his residence on the meadow of the Dennison or Cushman farm, and afterwards lived on what has since been known as the James Perkins farm, that is now owned and occupied by Stephen Ames, Esq. During the latter part of the Revolution, Mr. Rosebrook was employed in the military service of his country—not in the regular army, but as a scout and ranger. He, with a small party, went into Canada on a reconnoitering expedition at one time but, after remaining a while, were suspected of being spies, and learning this fact, fled for their lives. They were closely pursued, and obliged to resort to strategem to elude their pursuers. They halted beside a stream near the head waters of the Connecticut, built a fire, and then extinguished it with water then stepped into the stream and followed it for some distance, thus leaving the appearances of having been there so long ago that the enemy concluded it would be useless to continue the chase, and so returned.
Thompson, in his Gazetteer, states that the Indians were hostile and troublesome, killing and driving off the settlers' cattle, &c. but this is, doubtless, quite a mistake. They were usually friendly, and committed no arts of hostility, except in one or two individual instances, and were only troublesome in making pretty free use of the settlers' houses for the purpose of staying over night, and, occasionally, to "have a drunk." They took rather more liberty in calling at houses from which the man was absent, and as Mr. R. was much from home in these days, his house was a frequent resort.
On one occasion they became so troublesome that Mrs. Rosebrook drove them out of the house, except one squaw who was so much intoxicated that she appeared unable to move, and she caught her by the hair of the head and drew her out. This rough handling roused the squaw somewhat, and so improved her power of motion that she was able to throw her hatchet just as Mrs. R. was shutting the door, and cut off the wooden thumb-piece of the latch but, having recovered by morning, and recollecting her improprieties of the night before, the Indian
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woman came in, confessed her fault, asked pardon, and promised better manners in future, and ever kept her word.
COL. JONATHAN GROUT AND EDWARD BUCKNAM, ESQ.
are among the 12 first settlers but at precisely what time
they came into town is not known. Mr. Grout appears to have been a man of some
note, although we have been unable to learn very much of him. We learn, by some
of the records, that there arose a "dispute" between him and the
proprietors but what the cause or nature of
the contention might have been, we do not learn. Mr. Bucknam was one of a committee appointed to survey the town into lots, and he and Thomas Darling performed that important service in the year 1787. There are probably no descendants of either of these men residing in this town at this time.
REUBEN AND SIMON HOWE
settled in 1779. Reuben afterward occupied the farm since purchased by Pliny Rosebrook, and which is occupied by him and his sons. Joel C. Howe, son of Reuben, is at this time living in town. Capt. Simon Howe was one of the most substantial and independent farmers, and one of the pillars of society and the church. He had several sons, who for many years resided in this town and vicinity, but have since removed to the West. Asahel B. Howe, one of the sons, is a man of position and wealth in Beloit, Wisconsin. One of the daughters, Prudence, is the wife of Anson Fiske, Esq., one of the best and most independent farmers in town, and resides upon the old homestead.
was one of the very first who came into the place. He came as a hunter and trapper, but afterward became a farmer. He resided here for many years, but whether he died in town we do not know. No descendants of his are known to be living in this vicinity.
was formerly a resident and, we believe, a native of Killingly, Ct. He served as a soldier through the French and Indian war, and as Captain in the Revolution. About the close of the war he removed to Windsor, Vt., and in the spring of 1784 came to Guildhall resided at first on the meadow, near the river, where Mr. Rice first commenced, being on the farm now owned by Mr. Fiske. A year or two subsequently he purchased the 12th settlers' lot and the 300 acre grant to Osgood and Bailey, including the mills, &c. He was one of the first justices of the peace, and there was scarcely a year during his after-life in which he did not hold one or more important town offices. He brought up a family of sons, viz.: Charles, Theophilus, William, Joseph, Royal, Erastus and Zara and two daughters, Rebecca and Lucy. He was also one of the 7 persons composing the first church organization in town in 1799. He died in the year 1806, being between 60 and 70 years of age, and one of the first buried in the north burying-ground.
resided in this town many years, and had a family of two sons—Gerard and Calvin— and several daughters. He was prominent and active in the public affairs of town and church, holding frequently offices of responsibility. He finally removed, with most of his family, to the far West, where he lived to be upward of 90 years of age. His son Calvin was educated to the ministry, and settled over the Presbyterian church in Windham, N. H., and continued to sustain that relation for life.
resided in Guildhall the greater part of his life, and was a man of enterprise and business capacity. Was rather distinguished as a constable and collector of taxes. He raised a family of 5 sons and 3 daughters. He died at Lunenburgh, being more than 80 years of age.
an enterprising, resolute, active man possessing the confidence of his townsmen and of the church was chosen deacon in 1810, and held that office till his decease, which took place but little more than two years after. He had five or six children, but none are living in this region,
JOSEPH CUTLER died in early manhood and left no family.
was born at Windsor, Vt., in 1778. He was about six years of age when his father came to Guildhall, and the whole of his after-life was spent here. During his whole life he enjoyed the confidence of his fellow-citizens, as is shown by the fact of his having been con‑
stantly entrusted with offices of importance by the town and county.
As town clerk, selectman, lister, overseer of poor, treasurer for nearly 20 years, delegate to Constitutional Convention, justice of peace, assistant judge of County Court, and judge of Probate for six years, he was identified with the public interests of his fellow-citizens in all branches during his entire life. He died in May, 1856, in his 78th year.
born about the year 1783, died in April, 1832, aged 48 years, was a highly respected and useful member of society and of the church. He possessed the confidence of all his acquaintances was honored repeatedly by his fellow-townsmen and the church, of which he was for 13 years an active and useful deacon assisting his associates in sustaining meetings for religious worship on the Sabbath during such times as the church and people were destitute of a minister, and his premature death was much lamented. He left but one child, since Mrs. William H. Hartshorn.
born in Guildhall in 1786, was bred to the legal
profession, and removed to Conway, N. H., where he died in March, 1861, aged 75
years. He united with the church in 1807. We will make no other comment upon
his life and character than to refer to the
action of the Carroll County Bar on the subject of his decease:
"OSSIPEE, N. H., April 24, 1861.
At the recent term of the court in this place the following resolutions were passed by the Bar:
Resolved, That it is with deep sorrow the members of Carroll County Bar learn the decease of Zara Cutler, a member of this Bar, a man of sound judgment, discreet in practice, of strict integrity, exemplary in his deportment, and of irreproachable reputation."
And at this meeting of the Bar, F. R. Chase, Esq., of the same town, rose and, with accents of deepest feeling, alluded to his long and intimate acquaintance with the deceased—a friendship dating far back in early boyhood—in the Sabbath School in Conway, of which Mr. Cutler acted as superintendent for nearly 30 years. Mr. Chase paid a handsome eulogy to the character and many virtues of the deceased. And his Honor, Judge Doe, closed the solemnities of the occasion with a most appropriate eulogistic address.
Lucy Cutler married Dea. Joel Bassett and after removed to Granby, where they resided for a considerable number of years, and finally emigrated to western New York. They had several children, who are supposed to be residing in that vicinity.
Very few of the quite numerous descendants of the 12 first settlers are, at present, residing in Guildhall and no families bearing the name of Bailey, Hopkinson, Howe, Grout, Bucknam, or Wheeler.
Benoni Cutler has but one male descendant in town of the name. His family are probably as remarkable as any for longevity five of his children living, in the aggregate, 418 years, or an average of more than 83.
The oldest person who has died in town was, we believe, Calvin Hubbard, September, 1854, aged 93 years and 5 months. Anne, his wife, died September, 1857, aged 93 years 2 months.
who is mentioned as joining the settlement in 1775, pitched his tent on what is now the farm of John W. Webb, in Maidstone, as it proved, though. supposed then to be in Guildhall and unfortunately for him, farther proved, subsequently, to be included in the "Governor's Right" so that he lost his claim, improvements, &c. His sons—John, William, Micah, and Caleb—settled in Guildhall, and all brought up families in town but have since mostly removed, some to Canada, but more to the West. William, usually designated Esq. Amy, was noted as an excellent carpenter and millwright. Several of his children are new residing in this town and vicinity. He had a son William, more familiarly known as Capt. Amy, who was, we believe, the only one of the family that spent his entire life in this town. He was a most valuable member of the church, of unbounded public spirit, energy and decision. He died, of cancer, May 16, 1845, leaving but one child, now Mrs. Franklin H. Keyes, residing in Massachasetts. The death of Captain Amy was considered a heavy and, we may say, irreparable loss, particularly to the church. The clerk of the church in recording his death, speaks of him as "a valuable and beloved member of the Congregational church."
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long known as Maj. Amy, married Rebecca, daughter of Benoni Cutler, lived in this town 60 or more years, and then removed to Cattaraugus County, N. Y. Mrs. Amy is still living, at the age of 88, the only survivor of the family of Benoni Cutler. Major Amy was one of the most active militia officers, and a man of the greatest integrity, amiability and neighborly kindness, beloved by all.
SAMUEL R. HALL,
another of the early settlers and it very prominent man in town and church affairs, came here from Cornish, N. H. He was long known as Deacon Hall, and, besides holding for many years important town offices, was a practical surveyor, and much employed in surveying roads, &c. He removed from this town about the year 1812, and became a preacher and settled in Rumford, Maine. He had several sons and daughters brought up in Guildhall. Josiah B. Hall, one of his sons, was an active, independent farmer, and raised a quite numerous family but removed with his family to Oberlin, Ohio, in 1834, where his sons and daughters were educated. Heman Hall, one of his sons, is, or has been, a missionary in the island of Jamaica. Mr. Hall subsequently removed with part of his family to the south-western part of Iowa, where he died a few years ago.
SAMUEL R. HALL,
another of Deacon Hall's sons, is too well and favorably known in Vermont as a minister, teacher, author, geologist, &c., to require any comment from our pen.
At first there were no settlements nearer than Newbury, Vt. or Haverhill, N. H. and no roads for many years. Mills were so distant that no grain was carried hence to be ground although grain was sometimes purchased at a distant mill, ground and brought to their homes but most of their grinding was done with pestles in huge mortars, manufactured from short logs of large hard wood trees, sometimes two or three feet in diameter. Excellent crops of wheat were produced on the new land usually good corn, and almost any amount of potatoes were raised, which having passed through the furnace, or great coal beds of their kitchen fire-places, made many a not-to-be-despised meal. Those were not the days of "King Cotton," but then, linen, and tow-and-linen flourished, and in some instances, premiums were offered by towns to the family that produced the greatest number of yards in a year, and dressed flax was to some extent an article of export, and potash manufactured from the abundant forests, was, to a considerable extent, exported, principally to Montreal, Ca.
For a long time the river was, in winter, the principal highway. When the river road through the town was first laid out is not known, but it appears to have been permanently established in May, 1792, by Eben W. Judd, Benoni Cutler, David Hopkinson and Simon Howe, who were a committee appointed for that purpose by the legislature.
Granby road, which has since been considerably changed, was laid out in 1788 by Nath'l Herrick, Abner Curtis and Eleazer Herrick, and the first North road—some remains of which are still plainly visible—in 1794, the present North road by the selectmen—Samuel R. Hall, surveyor—in 1797. The "Northumberland Toll Bridge" Company was chartered by the Legislature of New Hampshire in the year 1802, and bridge built in 1806, by Maj. William Hewes—William Amy, master-workman Noah Sabin, Francis Wilson and John M. Tillotson directors and the second bridge in 1826 the third—blown down in December, 1854—in 1842 the fourth, and present one, in 1855 by Charles Richardson.
The North Burying Ground was laid out in 1797. The first election of town representative, according to records, took place in September, 1798—Hezekiah May, Esq. chosen 50 votes cast for State Officers—and at the March meeting following. 1799, the town was divided into two Pound Districts Theo. Cutler, keeper for the North, and William Rosebrook for the South.
It appears to have been the practice of Benning Wentworth—British Governor of the Province of New Hampshire—in granting town charters, to reserve for himself, in the S. E. corner of each town 500 acres, which was termed the "Governor's right." Being a loyalist, he was, in the time of the Revolution, under the necessity of abandoning the country including these "Rights," and in 1798, this Governor's Right, in this town, was sold at vendue for taxes portions of which were bid by the following individuals Haynes French, Eleazer Rosebrook, Jeremiah Eames, Jr., Jesse Hugh and Gerard Clark,
This tract afterwards became the property of David Hopkinson, Sen.; was subsequently owned by his sons, David and Joshua; and is the same as now occupied by Thomas H. Carbee, and William Hopkins.
There has not been the great increase of wealth and population exhibited by more highly favored towns as to soil and location, and the greater part of the once numerous families have removed, principally to the great West. The population in 1850 was 501, and it has not increased very much since. There has been a slight increase however in the number of voters; there being now above 125. The grand list stands about $1400.
The following individuals have been resident physicians: First, Dr. Gott, 1785; Dr. Zadok Sampson, 1790; Dr; Thayer, 1805; Dr, Geo. A. Bolton, 1810; Dr. McDole, 1820; Dr. Bernice Richardson, in this town and vicinity for a great number of years; Dr. John Dewey,* 1824 and many years subsequently; Dr. Walter Burnham, 1830; Dr. Samuel Curtis, 1835; Dr. James Bullock, 1838; Dr. Henry L. Watson, 1840 to 1860; Dr. B. W. Dodge, 1860, succeeded Dr. Watson; and Dr. N. S. Boyce, 1862. These dates generally express the time in which each individual was practicing medicine in the town and vicinity; but the precise number of years each remained, cannot, in many cases, be determined. Besides these, there were some others, of whom particulars cannot readily he obtained. Those who have represented the town in the Legislature, are as follows:
First, Hezekiah May, 1798; '99; Daniel Dana, 1800, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '08; Elijah Foote, 1807, '09, '10, '11, '13; Calvin Perkins, 1812; David Dennison, 1814; Chester Thayer, 1815; Joseph Berry, 1816; Seth Cushman, 1818, '19, '20, '27; David Hopkinson, 1821, '22, '23, '24, '26, '29; Erastus Cutler, 1825; John Dewey, 1828, '30, '36, '37, '38, '41; Allen Gould, 1842, '43; Oramel Crawford, 1844, '45. '54; Horace Hubbard, 1831, '40; Stephen Ames, 1846, '47; Jonathan Benjamin, 1848, '50,'62; John P. Dennison, 1849, '51; Pliny Rosebrook, 1852, '53; Richard Small, 1855; Henry L. Watson, 1856; George Hubbard, 1857; William H. Hartshorn, 1858, '59; Geo. N. Dale, 1860; Greenlief Webb, 1861.
John Dodge, the present town Clerk, has held that office, with the exception of one year, since 1832.
About 1799 a third district was formed of the west, or hill settlements, and the town made arrangements for leasing 150 acres of the school lands, valued at $2 per acre; rented at .06 per cent; to be paid annually, and this arrangement continues to the present day; 100 acres being occupied by the family of the late Daniel Keith, Jr.; and 50 acres by Amos Rosebrook. There are now 7 or 8 districts in which schools are taught from 2 to 6 or 8 months in the year, and at the present time philosophy, astronomy, algebra, &c. &c. are taught in our district schools. By the terms of charters of several towns in this county, reservations of land were made for the use of a "County Grammar School." Nov. 8, 1805, the "Essex Co. Grammar School" was incorporated, and located in Guildhall; and the first Academy building was erected at the south part of the town the following year. John Cushman, brother of Gen. Seth Cushman, was the first preceptor; has since been, for many years, a highly respected and honored citizen, and lawyer of Troy, N. Y. The second preceptor was a Mr. Leland, who, we believe, has since resided in Derby, Vt., but at the October session of the Legislature, 1823, Concord procured a division of the county school lands, by which that town was to have the benefit of rent accruing from so much of said lands as were situated in said Concord; these being the only lands from which any funds had been derived.
During how many years of the intervening time the Grammar School had been in actual operation, we have not ascertained; but between 1820 and 1830 it was sustained at least a part of the time, under the instruction of Rev. John Fitch, and others. The first Academy was burned during a term of the school; and the school was temporarily removed to the Falls and a second building erected on the same location as the first. Subsequently this, too, was destroyed by fire; after which, schools appear to have been discontinued until the year 1839, when they were revived, and have been kept in operation most of the time since—having one, or two terms per year, and varying in number at different times from 20 or 30 to 100; and of late years,
* Residence in Maidstone—at least in 1860—since deceased.—Ed.
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principally through the effect of the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad, some county school lands, lying in Brighton, or vicinity, have yielded a small income; but not sufficient to render it unnecessary to depend chiefly upon the tuition for supporting the schools.
COUNTY COURT MATTERS.
Essex County was organized in 1800; and the first term of the Court was holden at Lunenburgh in December of that year. Daniel Dana, of Guildhall, Chief Judge; Samuel Phelps, of Lunenburgh, and Mills De Forest, of Lemington, Joseph Wait, of Brunswick, 1st Sheriff; Haynes French, of Maidstone, 1st Clerk. There are 7 cases on the first docket, and the first case is John Hugh and Anna Hugh vs. James Lucas and Nancy Lucas, and was continued: John Mattocks, Att'y for plffs. and Elijah Foote, of Guildhall, for defts. The second case was also continued, and the third, Abner Woodsum vs. Joab Hugh, is the first in which a judgment was rendered—and that by default, by which the plff. recovers the sum of $46,86 damages, and $8,63 costs; and execution was issued thereon Jan. 1, 1801.
At this term but two verdicts were rendered, the second being in No. 5. Isaac Bundy vs Levi Fay, which was the first trial by jury in the county, and in this case the deft. recovers his cost, $7.00. The names of these first jurors were: James Mills, Gideon Bowker, Moses Quimbe, Charles Cutler, Simon Howe, Elijah Spafford, Joseph Parker, John Rich, jr., Jacob Granger, William Rosebrook, Royal Cutler, and Jacob Rich. Two tavern licenses were granted at this term,—to Ithiel Cargill, of Brunswick, and Nathan Cass, of Guildhall: assessment in each case, $1,00; Court fees, $0,67.
Although several individuals at different times, and in different parts of the town, had kept a sort of public house, yet we believe Mr. Cass was the first regular hotel keeper. This, it will be noticed, was in the year 1800 , and we think he had already "kept tavern" some years.
The second term of the County Court was holden at Brunswick, commencing on the third Monday of June, 1801; 23 new entries appear on the docket, and there was but one jury trial;—case of Hugh vs. Lucas continued from previous term; verdict for plffs. for $14,41 damages, and $60,70 costs; and at this term tavern licenses were granted to 11 different men in various towns in the county, among whom are, David Hopkinson, Nathan Cass, and John Dean, of Guildhall.
The third term was holden at Lunenburgh, in Dec. 1801. Meanwhile Guildhall had been made the county shire, and the 4th term of tho Court was holden here, commencing on the 3d Monday of June, 1802. There was but one panel of jurors at this term and but four jury dials. Jurymen, Tim. Ladd, Jedediah House, Moses Quimbe, Aaron Ames, Joseph Berry, Zephaniah Perkins, Lemuel Cook, Royal Cutler, Jacob Rich, Ithiel Cargill, Asa Gaskell, and Joseph Merrill.
In September, 1797, Eben W. Judd granted to the county land on which to build a courthouse, jail, and for a common. This grant included the hill back of the common, on which hill the first court-house was built. The first building used for a jail was Col. Ward Bailey's old block-house.
We are not certain in what year the first jail and court-house were built, probably soon after the appointment of a shire town; and, near as we can learn, the jail was built about 1808 or '09. In 1831 the court-house was removed down upon the common, in front of the hill on which it was first erected, and rebuilt, and was for many years used for the triple purpose of holding courts, a church, and district school-house. The present courthouse was built in 1850; the present brick jail in 1834; and for nearly 25 years after the county was organized, the three judges were appointed in the several counties, until the present arrangement for the chief judges appointed by the legislature.
A LIST OF CITIZENS OF THIS TOWN WHO HAVE BEEN COUNTY OFFICERS,
as nearly perfect as the incomplete county records and our other means of information will allow:
Daniel Dana, first chief justice, 1800 to 1807, and 1809, 1813 and 1814; second, David Hopkinson, 1811, '12, '15, '16; third, Joseph Berry, 1822, '23.
ASSISTANT JUDGES.—Noah Sabine, 1807, '08; Charles Cutler, 1810; Royal Cutler, 1819; John Dewey, 1826, '27; David Hopkinson, 1827, '30; Simon Howe, jr., 1831; Reuben W. Freeman, 1833, '34; John Dodge and Samuel Curtis, 1835; John S. Nelson, 1841, '42; Horace Hubbard, 1846, '47; Timothy Fairchild, 1849; Oramel Crawford,
1850, '51; John P. Dennison, 1856, '57; Milton Cutler, 1860, '62.
COUNTY CLERKS.—Noah Sabin, 1809; Anderson Dana, 1818; Timothy Fairchild, 1814, '15, '22, '23, '24; Lucius R. Webb, 1840; Allen Gould, 1841, '42, '43; Isaac Cummings, 1844, '45, '46, '48; William H. Hartshorn, 1847, '49,-'62.
STATE'S ATTORNEYS.—First, Joseph Berry, 1815, '17, '18, '23, '24; Seth Cushman, 1822, and an uncertain number of years; William Heywood, jr. '47, '50 '53, and probably several other years; William T. Barron, 1845; Wm. H. Hartshorn and George N. Dale, each several years. But the records are so imperfect it is impossible to do justice to all, and it is probable there were several others who filled this office.
SHERIFFS.—The first was William Hewes, 1806, '07, '08, '09, '10; John Dean, 1815, '16, '20; Henry Hall, 1817, '18; Greenlief Webb held this office 6 or 8 years; and, if we recollect right, George E. Holmes, and perhaps others. The county records are, in relation to this office, sadly deficient, and it is impossible to get a perfect history of it.
JUDGES OF PROBATE.—Daniel Dana from 1801 to 1809, and in 1813, '14; Chas. Cutler, 1811, '12; Isaac Cushman, 1815, '16, '17, '18, '19, '20, '21, '22; Royal Cutler, 1826, '28, '29, '30, '36, '40. William Heywood, jr., 1845; Isaac Cummings, 1846; Reuben W. Freeman, 1852, '53; Oramel Crawford, 1854.
LAWYERS.—The first lawyers of whom we have any information were Hezekiah May, Daniel Dana, Elijah Foot, and Joseph Berry; and, afterward, Seth Cushman, James Steele, John T. Wells, William Heywood, William T. Barron, William H. Hartshorn, Ira A. Ramsay, Geo. N. Dale, and Henry Heywood.
Hezekiah May, the first town representative, probably did not long remain in town, as his name does not appear as attorney upon the county court docket.
was from Connecticut, and came to this place as early as 1800, as he held the office of chief judge of the county court at its first organization, in that year, and continued to fill the same 10 years in all. He united with the Congregational church in 1803, and was chosen deacon in 1813; held many important town offices; was elected representative 7 years in succession, and afterwards another year. He had a numerous family—none of whom are now residing in this vicinity—and finally removed to the state of New York, since which we have no particular knowledge of him. But two of his grand-children are living in Maidstone—Mrs. Mary Carlisle Dewey, widow of Hon. John Dewey, and Mrs. D. H. Beattie; and a grandson, Charles A. Dana, has been prominently connected with the literacy department of the New York Tribune.
who first appears on the county court docket as a lawyer of Guildhall, seems to have been a very respectable attorney and esteemed citizen, and represented the town 5 years.
name first appears on record as one of the seven who were first formed into a church organization in the year 1799, and was appointed deacon in 1803. He represented the town in 1816; was state's attorney in the years 1815, '17, '18, '23, '24 ; and chief judge of the county court in 1822, '23. He removed with his family to Newbury, Vt.
HON. ISAAC CUSHMAN,
a descendant of Robert Cushman, who came over in the Mayflower, in the year 1620, resided in Connecticut, and married Sarah Paine, sister to the Hon. Elijah Paine. They had two sons—Seth and John—who were both bred to the law. Seth studied with a lawyer acquaintance who then resided in Vermont; and, at the close of his studies, was recommended to Guildhall, and came here about the year 1805. Not long subsequently his father removed here with his family and resided on the farm now owned and occupied by Messrs. Jose & Small. He was frequently entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of various town offices, and was judge probate from 1815 to '22. In his old age he went to live with his son, the Hon. John Cushman, who had, after remaining a short time in Guildhall, removed to Troy, N. Y.
GEN. SETH CUSHMAN
continued his residence in this town, with the exception of one year, till March, 1845, when he died, of paralysis, at the age of 63.
Probably few men in this state possessed a greater amount and variety of talent than Gen. Cushman; and, had his moral and religious principles equaled his natural abilities, he would have been the pride of his friends, a
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bright ornament of the Church and of his state and country. He was equally graceful and entertaining at home, in the social circle, at the bar, and as an officer in the field. At the bars of the several counties in this part of the state, he was the associate and peer of such men as John Mattocks, James Bell and Isaac Fletcher, all acknowledged "giants of their time."
The Hon. James Bell, in addressing the court and jury of Orleans County in a certain murder case, and referring to "his fallen brethren, whom his eye missed from their wonted seats" (see sketch of Mr. Bell in history of Walden, in No. 4 of Historical Magazine, Vol. 1), says:
"May it please your honor, and gentlemen of the jury:—I stood among giants, though not of them my comrades at the bar have fallen. Fletcher! the untiring and laborious councilor, the persuasive advocate, the unyielding combatant, is where? Eternity echoes, here! Cushman, the courtly and eloquent lawyer, the kind and feeling man, the polished and social companion and friend, where now is he? The world unseen alone can say. Mattocks lives, thank God; but is withdrawn from professional toil, from the clash of mind on mind, the combat of intellect and wit, the flashing humor and grave debates of the court-room," &c.
Soon after, Mr. Bell received from Gov. Mattocks a complimentary letter, in the course of which he says:
"You have justly called our two lamented friends giants; and, with the discrimination of a reviewer, have given to each the distinguishing traits of excellence," &c.
JOHN S. WELLS
was from New Hampshire, and practiced law in this place for some years—between 1830 and 1840—whence he removed to Lancaster, and subsequently to Exeter, N. H. He was a man of ability and eloquence, of high standing as a lawyer, and was, if we remember rightly, several times a candidate for the United States Senate, and received the votes of his party.
a native of Concord, Vt., removed to Guildhall about the year 1836, and continued to reside here about 20 years. He is esteemed a very sound, thorough and highly respectable lawyer, and had an extensive practice. He held the office of State's Attorney for a good number of years; was judge of probate for the year 1845; was several times a candidate for the legislature, and only failed of repeated election from the fact of the party to which he belonged being in the minority. He is residing at Lancaster, N. H., but still practices at the bar of this county.
WILLIAM T. BARRON
resided in this town and practiced law for several years between 1840 and 1850; was esteemed a promising young lawyer, and held the office of State's Attorney one or two years. He removed to Chicago, Ill., where he rose to the position of Judge. A few months since he was killed by accident on a railroad.
WILLIAM H. HARTSHORN,
a son of Colburn Hartshorn, of Lunenburgh, Vt., came to reside in town about the year 1841. Studied law with William Heywood, Esq., and practiced in that profession some 15 years. He has been a man of much public spirit, and has enjoyed the confidence of his fellow-citizens of this town and county in an unusual degree. He has constantly been in office, and has generally succeeded in meeting the approbation of his fellow-citizens. He has represented the town and the county, each two years, in the legislature of the state, and held the office of county clerk 15 years. He gave up his practice to Mr. Dale, and has been, for two or three years, a merchant.
GEORGE N. DALE
came into town in the autumn of 1856. He was from Waitsfield, and, if we mistake not, was educated at Thetford, and studied law with Mr. Durant. He represented the town in 1860; was State's Attorney three years, being esteemed a popular and promising young lawyer, and a man of many good qualities. In 1861 he received an appointment of deputy collector at Island Pond, and his present residence is at that place.
son of Hon. William Heywood, is the only practicing attorney at present in town—a highly respectable young man, and bids fair to follow in the footsteps of his father. He is elected State's Attorney for the coming year.
In conclusion, we would make our grateful acknowledgments to Hon. Moody Rich, R. W. Freeman, Timothy Fairchild, John Dodge, and Isaac Cummings, and Mrs. Hannah Cutler, for very valuable assistance in collecting material and facts contained in the foregoing, yet in some respects incomplete history.
At the annual town meeting in 1788, we find recorded:
"Voted to raise twenty-five bushels of wheat to hire a preacher, and horse keeping and board."
"24th. Voted Eleazer Rosebrook and Ward Bailey be a committee to hire a preacher."
In a warning for a town meeting July 25, 1789:
"To see what encouragement the town will give towards settling a minister of the gospel in conjunction with the towns of Lancaster and Northumberland."
"3d. To appoint a committee to meet and confer with committees of the other towns respecting the settlement of said minister."
"4th. To appoint a committee to petition to the general assembly to grant the town liberty to join themselves into a parish with the towns of Lancaster and Northumberland."
Ward Bailey, Esq., Benoni Cutler, Esq. and Capt. Eleazer Rosebrook were chosen as said committee.
"Voted to give Mr. Bell as a settlement three hundred and thirty-five bushels of good merchantable wheat provided he settles in the town of Guildhall."
"Voted Mr. Bell eighty bushels of wheat as a salary annually until there are eighty ratable poles at the age of sixteen years or upwards in the town where the said Mr. Bell settles, provided, he will settle in either of the towns of Guildhall, Lancaster, or Northumberland, and the said towns will agree to divide the distance of holding meetings of public worship according to each town's pay."
Similar action was occasionally repeated for some years, and in a number of instances the sum of $40 was voted for like purposes.
While this action of towns in raising money by tax for support of the gospel appears to have been authorized by law, it was nevertheless provided, that persons who differed from the majority in their religious sentiment, could, by causing a certificate of such difference to be recorded in the clerk's office, be exempt from payment of such tax.
Consequently we find recorded several such certificates; and finally one by "Elder Sabin" in the following words:
"To all people to whom these presents shall come, Greeting: Know ye, that I, Elijah R. Sabin, a traveling preacher of the sect of Christians known and distinguished by the name of the Methodist Episcopal Church, do hereby certify that Benjamin Cook, Lemuel Cook, John Crawford, jr., and Caleb Call, all of Guildhall, are of the same sect of the subscriber; and that I, the said E. R. S. am an ordained minister of the said sect in the town of Guildhall, in the county of Essex and State of Vermont.
Guildhall, Aug. 31, 1801.
Attest,— ELIJAH R. SABIN, minister."
After a time, through the influence of clearer light, and the advance of liberal sentiment by which our fathers were distinguished, this monarchical custom of uniting church and state was abandoned, and the more democratic practice of each individual voluntarily subscribing or contributing for the support of the gospel in accordance with his own particular views was substituted. But our statute law still provides for the formation of societies by the people of each or any one denomination, whose members are holden to guarantee, in case of deficiency of subscription, the payment of whatever salary their committee may pledge a minister; such deficiency to be assessed on and apportioned to the grand list. But the people of this town, we believe never formed such society, but have depended entirely upon voluntary contribution.
A decided majority of the people of the town have always been Congregationalists; and of the same sect, it appears, were the first preachers, who were missionaries, principally from Connecticut. Besides Mr. Pell, who is first mentioned, were Mr. Ripley, Mr. Nathaniel Waldo, Mr. Calvin Noble, during the earlier years before and immediately after the organization of the Congregational church; and Rev. Messrs. Nott and Hart from Connecticut, and Ainsworth from Jaffrey, N. H.; but for what length of time each may have supplied the desk, cannot now be ascertained, as the records are very meagre and imperfect throughout. And there has always been a considerable society of Methodists, and we shall depend upon some individual of that sect for a sketch of the same. There are also a few Universalists, but, we believe, there has never been a regular society, and but little preaching of that doctrine.
The Congregational church in Guildhall was organized April 1, 1799, by Rev. Seldon Church of Northumberland—formerly of Campton, N. H.—and Rev. Joseph Willard of Lancaster; composed of 7 members: Benoni Cutler, Joseph Berry, Samuel R. Hall, Elizabeth Hall, Sarah Berry, Mercy Howe and Hannah Amy. S. R. Hall, first clerk.
The next record bears date Nov. 24, 1803, at which time Samuel R. Hall and Joseph Berry were chosen the first deacons; also Heman Bassett, Daniel Dana and William Cutler
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a committee to assist the deacons in examining candidates for church fellowship. In the meantime 26 persons had been added to the church it appears while Messrs Bell and Ripley were preaching here. In 1805, the town and church gave Mr. N. Waldo a call to settle. Said call not accepted, and but four additions made in 1804, and but three more in 1807; when the church gave Mr. Calvin Noble a call, not accepted. In 1801 the town made provision for building a meeting-house, Capt. Simon Howe, William Cutler and Zephaniah Perkins, committee for the purpose, and Messrs. "Lemuel Holmes, William Amy and Samuel R. Hall" were chosen to draw the plan; the place fixed for the location being the center lot, and situated on the hill above the John Bothell farm, about one half mile from where Mr. Emery now lives. This hill has ever since been called the Meeting-House Hill. Such a place would now be considered very out of the way; but then it was central, besides the people of those days had much higher notions respecting the situation of their houses, and the location of roads than is usual of late years. Lemuel Holmes, Isaac Bundy, and Samuel Howe were the committee to sell the pews, and the building was set up at vendue to him who would build cheapest. Mr. Nathan Cass bid the sum of $2400, and it was struck off to him, and he built the house, furnishing all the materials. Completed in 1805, and July 8, 1808, the church gave the Rev. Caleb Burge "a call to be installed over us in the Lord,"—"voted unanimously." Mr. Burge was installed first pastor on the last Wednesday of August following; and sustained that relation with good success until Feb. 16, 1814, when he was dismissed for want of adequate support, consequent to the many removals, "deaths of many others, also the public calamities" resulting from the war with Great Britain. Additions during Mr. Burge's administration, 99,—74 united with the church in 1810, and 41 were admitted at one time. From 1814 to 1822 nothing appears upon the record but an occasional business meeting.
In 1822-3 Rev. Andrew Rankin labored among the people, and 45 were added to the church. He was invited in January 1823 to settle, but declined; and from 1823 to 1829 the church seems to have had no very regular preaching, and during that time but five additions; but about 1830, Rev. James Tisdale visited the place, and after laboring a few months, received and accepted the invitation to be settled as pastor over Guildhall and Granby churches, and was ordained Sept. 29, 1830, and continued to labor three-fourths of the time in Guildhall, and one-fourth in Granby, with faithfulness, and 28 were added to this church. He was dismissed May 5, 1836. And the following summer, Rev. Jonathan Blanchard, then, if we remember rightly, a student of Andover Theological Seminary, and latterly president of Knox College, Ill., supplied our pulpit for a few weeks, and six were added to the church by profession, and four by letter. The Rev. William E. Holmes, formerly of St. Johnsbury, next supplied the desk for a year, without much apparent result, though considered a pretty good preacher. Oct. 14, 1837, Francis P. Smith—formerly an attorney at law, and later a licentiate preacher, of New Hampshire— was invited to become pastor; and Mr. Smith removed his family to town, and continued preaching without further action in relation to his settlement until August 15,1838, when the society, or subscribers to his support, seconded the invitation of the church, and he was ordained pastor September 12, following; and continued his labors over 6 years with general satisfaction and so good success that 67 were added to the membership. But the pastoral relation has of late years become very subject to change. and that of Mr. Smith with this church and people was terminated by his dismission May 1, 1844.
At the time the old meeting-house was erected, though large and remote, it was better filled than some more modern houses, situated in a village upon a river road, and easy of access to many more people; but at length a different location became desirable, and about 1828 the house was taken down and removed to the plain at the most convenient spot for all then concerned; and the town assisted in rebuilding the house, in consideration of occupying it for the purposes of September elections and March meetings. For some years it was the only place of worship on the Sabbath. But for some years before its removal from the hill the people had held meetings more or less at the Falls; and about the time that Mr. Smith commenced his labors, it was decided to have the meetings upon the Sabbath one-half the time at that place, the court-house being used for that purpose; but
near the close of Mr. Smith's labors—in the spring of 1843—the Methodists, taking advantage of a temporary arrangement by which the Congregational society were holding meetings during the warm season at the old meeting-house, took possession of the court-house, and declined yielding thereafter its occupancy any part of the time; thus making it necessary for the Congregationalists either to contest titles or abandon the village altogether, or build a new house. The latter course was adopted, and the next year—1844—principally through the efforts and management of David E. Dennison, Esq., a persevering, energetic man, a good and sufficiently commodious house was erected at an expense of only $1200. And after the completion of the new house, the Rev. Thomas Hall, formerly of Waterford, Vt., was employed to preach, and in the course of the ensuing year to settle as pastor. He accepted the call, and arrangements were made for his installation, but, owing chiefly to the precarious state of his health, the matter was postponed, and, finally, abandoned. Mr. Hall remained in town several years, and, we believe, supplied the desk two or three years; but from that time to the summer of 1848, the desk was occupied most or all the time by Methodist preachers, sent by their conference.
In August, 1848, the Rev. Joseph Marsh became our minister, and sustained that relation with credit to himself, and to the satisfaction of church and society for nearly three years. And after Mr. Marsh left us, early in 1851, Mr. Hall rammed and supplied us again for about a year, we think. Afterward the place was occupied mostly by Methodists, there being little if any Congregational preaching till March, 1858.
For a distance of nearly one and a half miles the hills advance full to the river's side, admitting of no settlement; thus dividing the face of the township and the people into two parts, north and south; between which sections there had been for many years considerable rivalry and jealousy.
The village, including that upon the Northumberland side of the river, as being in one fact of business interest, is situated near the N. E. corner of the town; but containing the mills, stores, post-office, public houses, mechanics, &c., and being the center of business of Guildhall, Northumberland, Stark and Maidstone, had been claimed to be the point at which the interests of much the greater number could be served; while the agricultural wealth and importance was found chiefly at the south, and for some parts of the time in years past, the meetings for worship on the Sabbath had been divided between the north and south, and held at each alternately. And the opinion of clergymen who visited the town and observed impartially, as may be supposed, the situation of the population as regarding their religious interests, was generally expressed in favor of the Falls as the most important center; and there seemed to have been a growing conviction that sooner or later our meetings would have to become settled there. But the people of the south, feeling themselves required to perform too much travel, gradually leaned towards Lancaster, N. H., to which place they mostly became connected in their social, mechanical and trading pursuits. Finally, in March, 1856, most of the members of the church residing in that part of the town, including the two deacons, and the most wealthy and influential professors—from sense of duty, or inclination, or both, and influenced by convenience and the importunity of the clergy and people of Lancaster, virtually seceded from the church in Guildhall and united with the church in that town thus reducing most essentially, and very seriously weakening tho church they left. This secession, however, was not accomplished by rebellion, but peaceably and according to the forms of law, but was a severe blow from which the church has not recovered, and perhaps never will.
Early in 1857, however, the church and people, having been for some time destitute of Congregational preaching, began to feel the demands of spiritual hunger, and commenced a new effort by raising a subscription—the largest raised for many years—and endeavoring to find a man to settle with them. This effort, though continued for some time. did not prove successful; but during its continuance we were favored, for a few weeks or months at a time, with the services of Revs. Henry Loomis, jr., George Dustan, Mr. Dye, Mr. Jenkins, Mr. Fellows, Mr. J. A. Blauvelt of New Jersey, Mr. Underwood of Hardwick, and J. H. Beckwith. Some of these gentlemen were invited by the society, others were theological students, and others sent by the Vermont Domestic Missionary Society, it being hoped that some one would
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prove a settler. And some of these laborers were quite successful, and 12 were added to the church by profession, June 27, 1858, and 7 June 19, 1859.
During the winter of 1859-60 Rev. Josiah Morse, M. D. and Rev Mr. Adams, Methodist, supplied the desk alternately. April 1, 1860, Dr. Morse commenced to supply the society constantly, and has continued to do so until the present time (Sept. 1862), residing at Northumberland Depot, and is also a practicing physician.
Whole, or aggregate number of members, 318; average yearly additions, 5; greatest number admitted on one day, 41; present number of members, 56; present number of resident members, 40; present number of resident male members, 10; resident female members, 30.
The first efforts for Sabbath School instruction appear to have been made about 1816 or '17.
Mrs. William Farrar, of Lancaster, opened a school at her dwelling-house, and invited the young people of the south part of Guildhall to join it, and they did so. At or about the same time, Mr. Nathaniel Waldo was again residing and preaching in town, and Mrs. Waldo commenced a like school at the Falls. About 1821, a school was commenced at the south school-house, and, we believe, continued some years. This school had not the regular organization and classification of later times, but was a meeting for social, moral, and religious improvement; being conducted by a competent person who originated and proposed questions, bringing forward such as were suggested by whatever portion of Scripture they might have under contemplation, and inviting or requiring his pupils to do the same; and occasionally to give a written answer to some question, or opinion upon the doctrinal or practical import of a particular passage, and these efforts appear to have been continued more or less constantly until a regular organization was effected in 1830. The Rev. James Tisdale was ordained pastor the same year, the meeting-house had been rebuilt on the plain, as before mentioned, and this Sunday School organization was, we believe, kept up, at least during each summer season, as long as meetings were continued at this house.
The Hon. Reuben W. Freeman, who, for nearly 30 years was an active and influential deacon of the church, was elected superintendent of the sabbath school at its first regular organization, and held that office most of the time the same was continued. And much credit is due him in connection with deacons David Dennison, Erastus Cutler and perhaps others, for sustaining worship on the Sabbath, during those intervals when we were destitute of a minister. At times we have had several sabbath schools in different parts of the town; at the village, south school-house and in several other school districts.
At the time sabbath schools were first proposed, Dea. David Dennison, one of the fathers of the church, a man of strong mind and sound sense, questioned their desirableness, on the ground of the probability of their superseding family instruction. That this has, to a greater or less extent, been the result— that very many parents have committed their children almost exclusively to the care of the S. S. teacher, few if any will doubt, but how much has been gained or lost by this result, we leave to others to discuss.
One very great discouragement with us has been, the fact that very few adults—even of those who were professors of religion—have given them their influence by their personal attendance, and it is almost impossible to have very flourishing schools under such circumstances.
REV. CALEB BURGE.
Rev. Caleb Burge, first pastor of the church in this town, was, we are informed, born at Springfield, Vt., and educated at Middlebury; studied theology with Rev. Mr. Wines, of Newport, N. H., and came to Guildhall at about the age of 28, in the year 1808; left Guildhall 1814; had married the daughter of Dr. Chapin, of Benson; went from here to Brattleboro, where he preached some years; and from Brattleboro to Glastenburg, Ct., and from thence to the state of New York. He resided at one time at Sandy Creek, Oswego County, and finally died at Warsaw.
In person, Mr. Burge was tall and powerful, and possessed a corresponding mind; and the influence he exerted, was, probably, more the effect of strength of mind and will than of attraction and persuasion. Few opponents would long attempt to stem the current of his power—but yield, even though not convinced by his argument.
He was of the then approved Calvinistic school, and may, without impropriety, be said to be the founder of the church in Guildhall, being the author of their creed or articles of faith; and he labored to establish it in the soundest orthodoxy; believing it indispensable that a church should be firmly grounded in the Faith. During his ministry occurred the "great revival," as it was termed, in which on the first sabbath in Jan. 1810, 41 were admitted to the church; and in the course of that year, upward of 70.
Mr. Burge produced a work entitled "Burge on the Atonement," which was estimated by his friends equal, if not superior, to any that had been written upon that subject; but although a literary man, and talented preacher, he did not disdain physical labor, and owned and occupied a farm. A little anecdote is told, illustrative of his physical inclination and ability: One autumn, some of his parishioners collected to assist him in harvesting his potatoes. Upward of 100 bushels were taken from the ground in one day, and Mr. Burge insisted upon carrying them upon his shoulders in baskets to the cellar; and when one attempted to remonstrate with him, he replied, "Oh, it will do me good,—it will settle my bones together." It was remarked of him while at college, that he possessed little, pecuniarily, and wanted but little; and if any wag attempted to banter him, he would soon cause him to beat a retreat.
The results of the labors of Mr. Burge after leaving this town, are not particularly known to the writer; but the circumstances of his death at Warsaw, N. Y., were, we learn, as follows: He was on his way to a funeral, for which occasion he had prepared a sermon from these words—"Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh,"—and, his horse taking fright and running, he was thrown from his carriage with such violence as to cause immediate death.
REV. JAMES TISDALE,
second pastor of the church, was from Taunton, Mass.; graduated at Brown University in 1821; spent two years teaching in North Carolina, and after his return voyage—during which he was converted—turned his attention to the ministry; studied theology with Rev. Alvan Cobb, of Taunton; was sent into this region as a missionary, and after preaching in Burke and Granby for the space of a year, was invited to Guildhall, and, accepting a call of the church and society, ordained pastor, Sept. 29, 1830, and continued to sustain that relation with credit to himself and benefit to the church and people until May, 1836.
Mr. Tisdale was considered a faithful and, successful pastor, seeking and promoting the health and prosperity of the church. During his ministry, 28 were added to its numbers. When Mr. Tisdale left this town he went to Gilsum, and afterward we believe, to Dublin, N. H. It was understood that his ministerial labors were, for a while, suspended on account of a bronchial difficulty. We have since heard of him as preaching in Illinois,*
REV. FRANCIS P. SMITH,
our third pastor, a native of Gilmanton, N. H., and son of a clergyman, was educated at Dartmouth, and bred to the law, in which profession he practiced for some years in that state. Having experienced a change of heart, his attention was turned to the ministry, and after a short period spent in studying or reading theology, was licensed to preach, and for two years previous to coming to Guildhall supplied the people of Epsom, N. H. His labors with us commenced the first sabbath of October, 1837, and continued to May, 1844.
Mr. Smith was, as a lawyer, remarkable for his uprightness and integrity; as a man, artless, amiable, social and friendly; as a Christian pastor, meek, and zealously engaged in promoting the spiritual and temporal interests of his church and people. At the commencement of his labors, the church numbered about 60, and during his stay 67 were added.
It was principally through his efforts that the County Grammar School was revived and put in successful operation, from which time we have usually had one or two terms a year. He was also instrumental in forming a social library association, and lent his influence in behalf of common schools; and whatever would serve the true interests of his people was his delight.
Friendly, familiar, simply honest and unsuspecting, he in some degree fell a prey to the malice of some whose errors and enmity his zeal and faithfulness corrected or reproved, and in his moral character was most villainously traduced and grievously wronged; and at this distance of time it is difficult to resist
*Rev. Mr. Tisdale died at Tonica, Ill., Feb. 28, 1863. See Cong'l Quarterly, Vol. V. No. 3, p. 265.—Ed.
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the conviction that the church did not uphold and sustain him as it should have done,—in witness whereof it is a noticeable fact that the church has not, from that day to this, enjoyed anything like its former prosperity. On leaving Guildhall, Mr. Smith removed to Sebasticook Me., and has since been engaged by the Maine Missionary Society, and held some other agencies.
Says the council, in dismissing Mr. Smith, "We rejoice that, among the reasons assigned why brother Smith's pastoral relation should be dissolved, nothing was presented derogatory to his Christian character, or his standing as a minister of the Gospel; and could cheerfully recommend him to the churches of Christ as a faithful, devoted and worthy minister." We had anticipated a sketch of the Methodist society in this town, from some of their number,—but learn that we are to be disappointed; we are therefore under the positive necessity of omitting the subject altogether.*
BY ARTHUR T. HOLBROOK.
Lemington is situated on the Connecticut river, near the N. E. corner of the state; first surveyed by Eben W. Judd in 1786, and contained, by admeasurement, 23,040 acres, and about 600 acres have since been annexed from Canaan, making the present area nearly 24,000 acres; bounded N. by Canaan, E. by New Hampshire, S. by Bloomfield, and W. by Averill; chartered in 1762; by Benning Wenthworth, to Samuel Averill and 63 others.
The first proprietors' meeting was held at a place called Matincook, August 3d, 1762, and the first town meeting held March 28, 1796; James Larned chosen moderator; Mills De Forest, town clerk; and Noah Buffington, James Larned and Ward Bailey, selectmen. The surface of the soil is generally pretty rocky and uneven, with the exception of the intervals on Connecticut river.
Monadnoc mountain is situated in this town. Its height has never been exactly ascertained, but is supposed to be about 3000 feet. A great portion of this mountain has been burned over at different times, the fire destroying large quantities of fine spruce and cedar timber. A spring, strongly impregnated with iron and sulphur, issues from the easterly side of this mountain, showing that these minerals exist somewhere in the interior. This spring is considered valuable for its medicinal properties, having proved itself efficacious in several cases of salt-rheum, scrofula, &c.
An extensive view of the surrounding country can be obtained from the summit of the mountain, with the aid of a telescope. A slide from the easterly side of this mountain took place, in the summer of 1805, in the night. It filled a large pond at the foot of the mountain, and afforded a chance for building the county road, which is built over the place that the pond used to occupy. Lewis Smerrage lived on the banks of the Connecticut, at a short distance from the slide at the time it took place. He was so frightened by the tremendous noise made by the great quantities of rocks, trees, &c., which came down from the mountain, that he jumped out of his bed and scrambled under it—thinking, as he afterwards said, that the day of judgment had come. The next morning he found his meadow nearly covered with water, which had been forced out of the pond by the slide.
At the present time, pieces of timber may be found among the rocks which came down in the slide. A few years ago Mr. Thomas Holbrook attempted to dig a well in the vicinity of the slide, and after he had dug to the depth of about 6 feet, he came across a huge hemlock log, and was forced to abandon the job.
The early settlers of Lemington had to endure many hardships and privations. They were obliged to carry their grain to Guildhall, 25 miles distant, to be ground. Their chief article of manufacture were salts, which they were obliged to carry to Lancaster, about 36 miles distant, to sell. The first inhabitants were forced to depend partly upon hunting and fishing for a living. Fortunately for them game was abundant. Moose were plenty, and salmon have been caught in the Connecticut that would weigh 20 pounds.
The first framed house was built by Mills De Forest, in 1790, on the site where the house owned and occupied by Abdiel Blodgett now stands. The first saw-mill was built by Mills De Forest in 1795. The first grist-mill, in 1810, by the same person. There are 4 school districts in town with the same number of school-houses; about 60 pupils; average
* This church is hereby requested to prepare their history, and send in to the editor of this work in time for insertion in an appendix.—Ed.