Vermont Historical Gazetteer
A Local History of
ALL THE TOWNS IN THE STATE
Civil, Educational, Biographical, Religious and Military
THE TOWNS OF WINDHAM COUNTY,
WITH HISTORIES OF
SUTTON IN CALEDONIA COUNTY, AND BENNINGTON IN
ABBY MARIA HEMENWAY.
MRS. CARRIE E. H. PAGE,
Charles P. Stickney
Vermont Gazetteer Volume V Pages 377 Ė 405
TO THE LEADING FAMILIES OF BROOKLINE,
Who Gave an Order for each Inhabited House in Town.
OR "THE GRASSY BROOK REGION."
The town of Brookline comprises a valley six miles long, by two to three wide; and originally formed parts of Putney, Athens and Newfane, and contains nearly 17 square miles. Nearly three miles in length belonged to Athens on the northern part; the southern part, to Putney, and the south western part, on West river, to Newfane.
which has one source at Lily Pond and one on Hedge-hog Hill in Athens, flows through the length of the town and falls into West river. It derived its name from the open meadows in the northern part, producing a large growth of grass where the pioneers of the region went to cut their hay.
The town is, geographically, a little to the east and to the north of the centre of Windham county and seven miles west of Connecticut river, about equal distance from Bellows Falls, north, and Brattleboro, south, and the township seems to have been separated from others by natural divisional lines; a range of hills, east and west; the highest point in the eastern range 1,100 feet from the valley, below. It is a picturesque valley with its fertile meadows, verdant hillsides, and primeval forests, so alluring to the early settlers; and settlements were made, it is supposed, prior to 1777.
The record of the first births are as follows : Martha Whitcomb, April 29, 1777; Jonas Negus, Dec. 12, 1777; Cyrus Whitcomb the 3d, March 17, 1779. It is a matter of conjecture who was the first settler.
a few years before 1777, settled upon the lands now owned by John B. Stebbins, on the southern boundary, originally of the town of Athens.
Other early settlers were: Ebenezer Wellman on land of J. B. Stebbins; Apollos Austin upon land of Charles P. Stickney; Ebenezer Harwood upon the farm of Elbridge Mason ; Jotham Stebbins on the Rufus Stebbins' farm, and John Blandin upon the farm now owned by Allen O. Wellman.
who came here from Attleboro, Mass., is thought by some to have been the first settler. It is said he had his choice of all the lands for 20 cents an acre, and he made his selection upon the rise in the road a little south of Daniel E. Whitney's house. The wall of his cellar is to he seen at the present time.
Others who located early in this vicinity were: Timothy Wellman upon land now owned by Hiram Whitney ; Jonathan Boynton and William Skinner on land of Andrew S. Rist, to the south of this farm. Daniel Bixby and Richard Whitney, and Rosebrook Crawford, on what is called Whitney hill; Francis Drake on Bemis hill.
Those who settled early in the south part of the town were: Abijah Moore on the farm of Wm. P. Stebbins; Wm. Robbins on land of Everett P. Wellman; Daniel Benson south of this farm; Peter Benson upon the farm of Jacob Bush. Those who settled on the borders of West river were: Benjamin Flint, on the farm of Oscar C. Merrifield, the beautiful meadows in the forks of Grassy brook and West river ; Ebenezer Ober on the meadows of Timothy M. Albee ; Christopher Osgood on land of Luther Osgood, northeast of his meadow; Luke B. Osgood on land of George E. Ware, and James Walden upon the farm of Charles A. Cutler; all of whom are supposed to have come to this valley prior to 1780.
From 1780 to 1790 settlers came in fast. The population during this decade was larger than at any other period in the history of the town. It is safe to say, there was one family or more to every 50 acres. It may be a conjecture to the young today, how did these large families live?
The wood was cut and burned in a kiln and from the ashes salts of lye were made, packed in wooden troughs taken on their backs over the hill to Putney, where there was a settlement on the Connecticut river, and exchanged for the little necessaries of life.
Prior to 1794, the settlers grew dissatisfied with the lack of political rights as townsmen, inconvenient to the town meetings in the neighboring towns and none of their own; unnecessarily oppressed; they sought relief through the Legislature, and through an act of the session of Oct. 30, 1794, the south part of Athens and all that part of Putney lying west of an abrupt elevation of land, gave to the inhabitants residing therein, "all of the privileges and immunities " which the inhabitants of other towns have and enjoy, excepting electing and sending a representative to the Legislature and conventions ; receiving to the freemen of said parts of Athens and Putney the right of meeting with and voting with the freemen of the towns from which they had been respectively severed in all freemens' meetings for choosing a representative to the General Assembly and other purposes.
Peter Benson was moderator ; John Waters was chosen town clerk; Peter Benson, Lamach Blandin, Jotham Stebbins, selectmen; Abijah Moore, town treasurer ; Thomas Walkcr, constable and collector ; Ebenezer Bugbee, William Hills, John Blandin, listers ; Benjamin Farmer, leather sealer ; Ebenezer Wellmen, grand juror ; Benjamin Farmer, Ebenezer Bugbee, tithing-men ; Ebenezer Harwood, pound-keeper; Samuel Blandin, hayward; Jonathan Ellenwood, Benjamin Farmer, Cyrus Whitcomb, Ebenezer Bugbee, highway surveyors; Delvis Briggs, Jonathan Ellenwood, Joseph Root, fence viewers ; and William Hills, sealers of weights and measures.
To the organization of the town, 1794, there were no school-houses, or public place for worship. Schools were kept in dwelling-houses and such places as would best convene. The Sabbath was observed by groups gathered together with due solemnity, when the one most gifted would be appointed to conduct their worship.
From the organization, 1794, to about 1824, the land had become cleared, the rich soil yielded bountiful crops.
Roads were laid out and more business carried on than at any other period of the town's history, at the junction of the roads, leading through the valley and over the hill to Putney, and westward to Townshend, which was the seat of her commercial business.
The road leading eastward was the thoroughfare for towns westward to Putney, Westminster and Boston.
Within this period the town contained 3 stores, 2 hotels, 2 blacksmith shops, 3 saw-mills, 2 grist-mills, 1 tannery, 1 potashry, 1 doctor, and 1 counsellor-at-law.
Samuel Wheat, who lived in Putney, is supposed to have put in the first store, which was last occupied by Ephraim H. Mason.
Anthony Jones followed Mr. Wheat in the mercantile business, and Isaac Palmer, Mr. Jones Palmer ; failed about 1811. He was arrested and put in jail, but broke the jail and never was seen here afterwards.
The house of Walter S. Bennett is one of the oldest houses in town ; it was built for a hotel. At this place there was a public house from the earliest date to about 1853. Isaac Taft is supposed to have kept the first tavern, and also a store, which was a little to the east of his house.
Luke Atherton followed Mr. Taft, and Samuel Churchill, Mr. Atherton, and Oats Haven, Mr. Churchill.
Those who followed Taft in the hotel were : Samuel Churchill, Benjamin Ormsbee, Edson Higgins, Franklin Walker, Thomas Gordon, and Joel Codding, who took down his sign about 1852.
was between the houses of Rufus and Samuel Stebbins, and managed by John Bixby.
A saw and grist-mill was early put in below the bridge, by E. W. Bush's house, and occupied by John Benson.
A grist-mill was built on the meadow of William P. Stebbins, owned by William Moore.
A saw-mill was built upon the Blandin brook, by Jotham Stebbins, at an early date.
Elijah Davis of Athens, built a saw-mill and a grist-mill in the north part of the town, who was followed in possession by David Cotwell, Ben. Walker, D. E. Whitney, E. H. Mason, and Winchester Smith. In 1868, Lorenzo W Bush bought the mill and moved it where it now stands. Three times the freshets in Grassy brook swept out his dam, but being a man of energy he has rebuilt.
in town was Dr. William Perry, who came from Putney and settled here a few years before 1815. He first lived where Loren Ranney's house stands, but afterwards moved to the south part of the town. He was a successful practitioner and did much toward building up the business and prosperity of the town, and raised up a family of children who became useful citizens. He moved to Newfane in 1839, but is represented in town by his youngest daughter, the wife of Leverett K. Wellman.
practiced in town to some extent. He lived on the hill west of H. M. Whitney's. He was frozen to death about 1828; his house became unoccupied and was burned.
Sept. 20, 1819, a town meeting for that purpose was held:
"Voted to receive that part of the town of Newfane, lying on the east side of Wantastiquet or West river, to be annexed to the town of Brookline, as a part of said town of Brookline."
There was no bridge over the river in this vicinity at this time, and when the river was high it was impossible to pass over by fording. In attending a town meeting in March, the men passed over in the morning on the ice ; before night the river broke up, and there was no way to return, and their wives and children were doomed to a night of wretched fears.
On the 7th of October it was :"Voted to receive the following persons now residing in Newfane, to he annexed to and become a part of said Brookline, viz : Luke B. Osgood, Jonathan Cutler, Lot Holland, William Bently, Elisha Flint, Harvey Osgood, Anthony Mason and Christopher Osgood."
in June, 1821, nearly destroyed all crops of that year. A few fields of grain were saved by drawing ropes across the fields two and three times a day. To represent what hay and grass was destroyed in the town on the fertile meadows of John B. Stebbins, only about 3 tons of hay could be gathered. Trees and all green vegetation were stripped of their foliage.
June 20, 1821, marks the day the most memorable for adversity in Brookline :
In the morning the heavens were clear and sunshiny; a little past noon, around the summit of Lily Pond hill, the sky became dark and heavy, and soon terrific peals of thunder vibrated the air, and the rain came down in such torrents as to cover the ground with a complete sheet of water. Every bridge was swept away. The valley road in many places was completely destroyed, and many acres of the rich, loamy meadows made beds of stones and gravel. Huge stones were lifted up and carried like pebbles; nearly all growing crops in the valley were destroyed.
The people deeply felt the damage done ; the thoroughfare across the hills ceased, the stores were closed, small farms were sold, and the hillsides being deserted the population decreased. The building of roads up West river helped also to bring about this result.
The town had now been organized 30 years without the right to elect a representative. In 1823, this right was granted; and in 1824 Benj. Ormsbee was elected as the first representative. At this freeman's meeting, the number of votes for representatives to Congress were, Phineas White, 74 ; Wm. C. Bradley, 6; showing a poll of 80.
William Perry, moderator ; Benj. Ormsbee, town clerk ; Thomas Crane, Benj. Ormsbee, Lot Holland, selectmen ; Israel Whitney, town treasurer; Thomas Crane, Anthony Mason, Daniel Bixby, listers; Anthony Mason, constable; Asa Flint, John Blandin, grand jurors; John Blandin, Israel Whitney, Elisha Flin, fence viewers; Alvin Boyden, the pound-keeper; Isaac Wellman, Samíl. Stebbins, Thos. Wells, Christopher Osgood, Daniel Bixby, Isaac Whitney, Zephaniah Perry, highway surveyors ; Rufus Stebbins, sealer of leather; Samuel Stebbins, sealer of weights and measures; Christopher Osgood, Elisha Fairbanks, tything-men; Eben Pool, Willard Phillips, Joel C. Lee, Lewis Cady, Bradley Fairbanks, Ira Cutler, haywards; Eben Whitney, Jacob Burditt, grand jurors to court; Elisha Flint, Asa Flint, Amos Hale, Israel Whitney, John Phillips, Samuel Stebbins, petit jurors; Benj. Perry, Amos Hale, sextons.
For a few years prior to 1836, the subject of building a house for public worship was discussed, but an endeavor to unite did not succeed. On March 18, 1836, a meeting was held for that purpose, Ephm. H. Mason was elected chairman; Asaph Coy, clerk.
"Voted that it is the minds of this meeting to build a union meeting house in this town.
During the season the union church was built by Methodists and Universalists. The names of those who signed the covenant of the society were: Timothy Walker, Israel Whitney, Sam'l Rist, Rufus Stebbins, Ephraim Mason, Barzillai Stickney, Hiram Whitney, Asaph Coy, Benj. Walker, Franklin Walker, Daniel E. Whitney, Joel Ranney, Luke Rist, David Walker, Liberty Harwood, Sullivan Pollard, Joel Harwood, Eben Harwood, Colton Evans, Charles Evans, Amos L. Rist, Eben. Whitney, William Rist, Timothy H. Whitney, David Skinner, William Ranney, Jr., Benj. Ormsbee, David Kidder, J. L. Blandin, Philip Bemis, Jr., J. S. Osgood, William B. Root, Jr., Christopher Osgood, Wm. Perry, Wm. B. Root, William Hulett, John B. Turner, Jacob Burditt, Samuel Butterfield, Geo. Harvey, Norman C. Marsh, Asa Flint, Otis Harwood, Joel A. Harwood, A. A. Flint, Rev. Wm. Hodges preached the dedication sermon for the Methodists, and Rev. Mr. Hemphill, for the Universalists, and both were pastors of the church for many years.
For the first 25 years the church was prosperous.
Rev. O. R. Edwards, for the last 20 years, has occasionally supplied the pulpit for this church.
A. Baptist church was built the same year; Samuel Stebbins, Samuel Cutler and Ira Cutler contributed largely for its erection.
At the raising of the belfry, the wall being brick, the west bent of the belfry was raised and stayed and as the men commenced to lift the second bent, the supporters of the work gave way and precipitated 40 men a distance of nearly 20 feet below among fallen timbers and boards. The jar of the falling timbers loosened the stay of the bent that was raised and that started downwards, too; but seemingly by the hand of Providence, it was stopped by a projecting brick; had this fallen upon the men below; many would have been killed. Those who received injuries were Delius Wellman, Samuel Bennett, leg broken; Jasper Murdock, shoulder dislocated; Everett Wellman, struck in the back by a spike, and Ira Cutler and Benj. Derry, who received internal injuries. Although this accident seemed like a fatal blow, at first, in one week after the belfry was successfully raised.
From the advent of the two new churches to 1860, were years of general thrift and prosperity. Good schools and good society were sustained; Samuel Stebbins and Francis Merrifield took the lead in accumulating wealth.
When the Vermont and Massachusetts Western railroad was being agitated, these men took an interest in the enterprise and contributed to its building.
At the survey of the Vermont Valley railroad, a route was contemplated up West river through the valley of Grassy Brook and on to Chester. Had this been carried out as hoped, Brookline would have been the equal of her sister towns for business, and a village would have sprung up as a depot for the upper towns of the West River Valley.
the patriotism of her sons was second to none; when the Union's call for volunteers was given, many young men of promise were in her borders, and they promptly responded. So free and large were the early enlistments that near the close of the war, her quota was nearly filled, and it lessened the trouble many towns had to furnish men.
Of her noble sons, two were killed in battle, Henry Bush at Fredericksburg, and Marshall Wellman at or near New Orleans.
Two died in camp, Alvan Higgins at New Orleans, Alonzo P. Bush at New Orleans.
John S. Barrett died of disease contracted while in the camp.
Hibbard Holden was so severely injured by a minnie ball at Fredericksburg, which passed through his body, as to remain infirm for life.
William W. Perry was wounded in the head by a missile from a shell and has never fully recovered.
Of these brave and noble sons who have honored themselves abroad, J. W. Stebbins is now a Methodist clergyman in Minnesota.
Albert H. Merrifield is a successful business man in Mendota, Ill.
Hibbard G Holden is a railroad agent at Salem, N. Y.
W. B. Stickney, A. B., residence at Ann Arbor, Mich. Publisher of Johnson's Natural History.
E. A. Stebbins is a successful dentist at Shelburne Falls, Mass.
At the close of the war, the town had her treasury full and the expenses of the war all paid. But few towns have managed their financial business with greater success.
What had long been felt a necessity to bring her farmers to an equal position in the transaction of business was better communication to the outer world, and the advent of the Narrow Gauge railroad up West river and across her borders has secured her this position.
Though hotly contested to give aid through the capacity of the town, she had refused by a small vote; but two of her enterprising citizens, Luther Osgood and Oscar C. Merrifield, came to the rescue and furnished the sum of $1,000 more needed to complete the subscription.
For the last half century the inhabitants of the town have been gradually going out and farms consolidated; the meadows retained for tillage and the other lands for pasturage, much of which has grown to timber. The valley of Grassy brook inclines gently to the south and is so protected by nature's barriers that violent winds seldom occur; and the soil is quick and warm and yields good crops to the faithful husbandman. There is a
upon the hillside in the south part of the town, about a mile from the valley road. It has strong properties of iron, and is much resorted to in the warm weather of the summer, and if properly developed would, doubtless, become a popular summer resort, as the scenery around is fine; just beyond from an easy carriage road to reach, is a point of land unsurpassed by any in the State for beauty of scenery; looking south, at the west is the valley of the Wantasiquet, deep and narrow, and at the east, the valley of the Connecticut with her broad, fertile meadows ; at the west the high lands of the Green Mountains from Florida in Massachusetts, to Mt. Holly, with towering peaks at the north in this State. From this spot we survey Shatterack, Manickmung, Hay-stack and Saddle-back. At the east is seen the Connecticut valley from Holyoke to Ascutney and extending eastward over hill and valley, forest and meadow until the majestic summit of the Monadnock closes the view in that direction ; thence to the north is seen the line of the blue Highlands and onward toward the White Mountains. The scenery to allure, the soil quick and productive, the valley of Grassy brook is one of nature's secluded spots wherein man can enjoy the fruits of his own labor.
Schools were taught here at dwelling-houses in 1795. The first school teacher in town is said to have been Lucy Skinner, daughter of Samuel Skinner, one of the first settlers.
The first division of the town into districts was April 21, 1796, at a legal meeting warned and holden in Brookline, Peter Benson, moderator.
"Voted to divide the town into three school districts."
"Voted that Peter Benson, Richard Whitney, John Waters, Jotham Stebbins and Benjamin Farmer, be a committee for that purpose.
The school house built in District No. 1, was located very near the foot of Whitney hill.
In District No. 2, a little south of the Round school house. In District No. 3, near the house of Samuel B. Higgins.
The Round school house was built in 1822. "Old Thunderbolt,"* or Dr. Wilson, submitted the plan to the building committee, Dr. Wm. Perry and Samuel Stebbins, and it is the oldest school house now standing and is never forgotten by those who live in or pass through the town for its grotesqueness ; yet many gifted sons and daughters have passed from this to other places to win distinction as moral and intellectual educators.
* See History of Brattleboro, page 63, supposed to have been an accomplice of he robber Lightfoot, who was hung.
From the first settlement to 1837, there was no post-office in town, and our people were troubled sometimes, to find their mail at Athens, Putney, and Newfane.
Brazillai Stickney and Alvin Boyden became impressed that better facilities might be had, and applied to General Martin Field of Newfane, then one of the prominent men of Windham county, in their behalf, and in 1837, the following route was established : "From Bellows Falls, by Saxton's River Cambridgeport, Westminster West, Brookline, Fayetteville, Williamsville, to Dover, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 8 A. M. and 5 P. M., going ; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 8 A. M. and 5 P. M., returning. Otis Bardwell, contractor; and the route started, Aug. 29, 1837.
Nov. 27, 1841, it was ordered to commence the route at Cambridgeport, Athens, Brookline and Dover to Wilmington. This route continued till 1850, when it was discontinued, and Brookline given a side mail from Fayetteville.
for Brookline with date of appointment : Solomon Harvey, Aug. 9, 1837 ; Ephraim H. Mason, April 27, 1839 ; Joel Codding, Dec. 24, 1840 ; Barzillai Stickney, June, 1846 ; Joel Codding, Dec. 18, 1849 ; Barzillai Stickney, June 23, 1855 ; Walter S. Bennett, March 3, 1863; discontinued Sept. 14, 1868 ; Virgil W. Ranney, Feb. 27,1880; Mrs. C. P. Stickney 1891.
A COMPANY OF MILITIA
was formed in 1801. A commission at hand shows the appointment by his excellency, Isaac Skinner, Esq., of John Blandin, captain in the seventh company, the third regiment, first brigade, and first division, of the militia of this State. Mr. Blandin was discharged in 1803. This is the first company of which there is any account and may have been the one of which Francis Drake tells the story : " Where the office's had all been chosen and himself the only private left."
Our settlers that were soldiers in the war of the Revolution were : Jathan Stebbins, Timothy Wellman, Jonathan Wooley, Richard Whitney, Daniel Benson, Ebenezer Harwood and Samuel Rist. Harwood and Rist witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.
SOLDIERS OF THE WAR OF 1812.
Our soldiers in the last war with Great Britain were Maj. Timothy H. Whitney, John Holden, Lemuel Tyler Derry.
SOLDIERS OF THE CIVIL WAR, 1861-1865.
4TH REGIMENT, CO. F. :Hibbard G. Holden, Henry J. Bush, Samuel A. Fairbanks, Ira A. Higgins.
5TH REG., CO. E. :Joshua A. Shattuck.
8TH REG., CO. H. :Warren B. Stickney, Alvin G. Higgins, Albert H. Merrifield, Charles A. Cutler, Alonzo P. Bush, Marshall W. Wellman, William W. Perry.
8TH REG., CO. I. :Albro V. B. Ford.
9TH REG., CO. K. :Denny E. Mason, Thomas S. Crane, `John S. Barrett, Orlin N. Whitney, Lorenzo W. Bush, Everett W. Smith, Warren Allen.
11TH REG., CO. G. :Edwin A. Stebbins, Henry Cutler.
12TH REG., CO. G. :Albert Haywood, Lorenzo Rist, Winchester Smith, Everett W. Smith.
11TH REG., CO. I. :Herbert Mason, John Lamphear.
FIRST BATTALION, U. S. A. :Samuel B. Higgins.
BLACKSMITHS AND SHOPS.
The first blacksmith in the town is supposed to have been Delius Wellman, one of the first settlers.
A blacksmith's shop was also built at an early day by Ebenezer Wellman, and occupied till washed away by the June freshet, 1821; and his son Isaac was a blacksmith in the south part of the town.
In 1820, Jacob Burditt came from Putney and built a shop, near the house where Mrs. V. R. Ford lives.
He became a prominent citizen, and moved to Newfane about 1845.
Norman C. March, from Greenfield, Mass., in 1840; married Augusta Perham of Athens in 1843, and devoted the most of his time to blacksmithing, and has proved a useful citizen, holding the prominent offices of the town; representing it in the legislature in 1862 and '63.
The settlers of Brookline endured the numerous hardships and vicissitudes of life that accompanied the lot of those who first penetrated these unbroken forests; though the Indian's stealthy steps were no longer heard, there were the few cattle and the little flock to protect from the ravishing wolves, that on one of the prominent knolls in the south-western part of the town, their favorite resort - used to collect, " and make night hideous with their howls," and the occasional meeting with and dispatching of bruin.
A black snake, about 8 feet long was killed by Alvin Boyden, on his farm in 1829; and was preserved in the zoology cabinet of General Martin Field, of Newfane - the only one of the kind ever seen in town.
About 1800, a boy by the name of Frye, in the employ of Josiah Taft, in attempting to ford West river on horseback with bags of corn, was swamped and drowned.
About 1823, Holdrook Benson, son of Peter Benson, one of the first settlers, was frozen to death on the Windmill bill road.
In 1856, Elmore Fairbanks, a young lad of rather weak mind, fell upon an open jack-knife that he carried for self-defense; the knife entered his chest and ended his life.
In 1863. David Walker started for a trip to Dummerston; was frozen, and found dead.
In 1866, Andrew Blood was drowned while bathing in West river.
were little known to the early pioneer; marked trees were his guide-posts. The first passways or roads lead across the valley east and west; three of which have long ceased to be. The earliest business transactions took the people to Putney, as merchandise could be boated up and down the Connecticut river; therefore these roads were first sought for. The first valley road that was built followed close under the hill upon the east side, and has been rebuilt at different times.
The Windmill hill road was surveyed in 1818, and the road that now leads westward from this point to Townshend, in, 1819, and the country road, so called, was built in 1828.
John Waters, first town clerk, 1795, 96, 97, 99, to 1806, 09, 10, 11.
Delias Riggs, 1798.
Timothy H. Whitney, 1806, 7, 8.
Samuel Fairbanks, 1812, 13, 14.
Thomas Crane, 1815 to 20, 22.
Benjamin Ormsbee, 1820, 21, 24 to 28.
Alvin Boyden, 1828.
Jacob Burdett, 1829 to 35, 38 to 41.
Asaph Coy, 1835, 36, 37
Jacob Burdett, 1838 to 41.
Calvin T. Barrett, 1841.
Joel Codding, 1842 to 46, 47 to 60.
Edson Higgins, 1846.
William Adams, 1860 to 67.
Charles Farrar, 1867.
William Adams, 1868 to 91.
Abijah Moore, 1795 to 1806.
Jotham Stebbins, 1806 to 1811.
Samuel Stebbins, 1811, 17, 18, 19,28,
Daniel Bixby, 1812 to 17, 20, 21.
Israel Whitney, 1822 to 28, 29, 30.
Edson Higgins, 1831, 32, 33.
Amos Hale, 1834.
Isaac Walker, 1835.
Ephraim Parks, 1836, 7, 8, 9, 40.
Samuel Cutler, 1841, 42.
Hiram Whitney, 1843 to 49, 51 to 67.
Isaac Wellman, 1850.
Everett P. Wellman, 1867 to 84.
John B. Stebbins, first superintendent, 1850 to 1857.
Ephraim H. Mason, 1857.
Oscar C. Merrifield, 1858, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65.
Warren B. Stickney, 1861.
Charles Farrar, 1866 to 71.
Charles P. Stickney, 1871 to 86.
Isabelle Shattuck, 1886.
Benjamin Ormsbee, 1824, the first representative, and representative in 1826, 27.
William Perry, 1825, 28.
Jacob Burditt, 1829, 30.
Samuel Stebbins, 1831, 32, 54.
Edson Higgins, 1833.
Thomas Crane, 1834.
Ephraim H. Mason, 1835, 36.
William Adams, 1837, 38, 40, 51.
Ephraim Park, 1839.
Hiram Whitney, 1841, 42.
Hubbard Eastman, 1843.
John H. Osgood, 1844.
Asa Flint, 1847, 57, 58.
Joel Codding, 1848, 49.
Isaac Wellman, 1850.
Daniel E. Whitney, 1852, 53.
Samuel Cutler, 1855, 56.
John B. Stebbins, 1859, 60.
Norman C. Marsh, 1861, 62.
Chalmer W. Stebbins, 1863, 64.
Oscar C. Merrifield, 1865, 66.
Everett P. Wellman, 1867, 68.
Erastus Whitney, 1869, 70, 71, 80, 81.
Hiram M. Whitney, 1872, 73.
William P Stebbins, 1874, 75
William W. Perry, 1876, 77.
Samuel B. Higgins, 1878, 79.
Charles P. Stickney, 1882, 83.
[The manuscript of this history was sent to us in the spring of 1883, since which the town of Brookline has added to her list of officers.]
E. P. Wellman, 1883.
N. W. Ranney, 1884 to 91.
1857, Nathaniel Hill, aged 90 yrs.
1859, Joel Codding, " 74 "
" Anna Woolley, " 77 "
1860, Wm. B. Root, " 75 "
" Fanny Cutler, " 73 "
1861, Ephraim Park, " 80 "
" Daniel Benson, " 98 "
" Samuel Adams, " 80 "
1862, Calvin Barrett, " 92 "
1863, Ephraim H. Mason " 69 "
" Rufus Stebbins, " 73 "
" Wm. Ranney, " 89 "
1864, Betsy Whitney, " 97 "
1868, Lydia Follett, " 80 "
1871, Susan Codding, " 78 "
1872, Rebecca Crane, " 92 "
1873, Sarah Stebbins, " 86 "
" Edith Root. " 91 "
" Sarah B. Harwood, " 85 "
1874, Edson Higgins, " 79 "
" Elizabeth Ranney, " 86 "
1875, Wm. W. Perry, " 69 "
1877, Mary B. Higgins, " 78 "
1880, Mary Perry, " 83 "
1881, Daniel Walden, " 82 "
" Joel Rist, " 72 "
1882, Barzillai Stickney, " 89 "
1883, John Turner, " 84 "
1865, Huldah Benson, " 77 "
1866, Samuel Stebbins, " 83 "
" Dorcas Adams, " 84 "
" Isaac Wellman, " 76 "
" Sarah P. Stickney, " 66 "
" Mary Barrett, " 86 "
1867, Samuel Follett, " 89 "
" Ira Cutler, " 68 "
" Samuel Butterfield, " 80 "
" Keziah Wellman, " 75 "
" Patty Park, " 83 "
1883, John B. Turner, " 84 "
1884, Sullivan Pollard, " 87 "
" Deliverance B. Wellman, " 77 "
" Fanny S. Whitney, " 78 "
1885, Daniel Wellman, " 84 yrs.
" Temperance Pierce, " 87 "
" Mary E. Stebbins, " 58 "
1886, Hiram Whitney, " 82 "
" Wm. P. Stebbins, " 54 "
"Vermont is a good State to be born in; but one should emigrate young," as Stephen A. Douglass said, so it seems to be with the sons of Brookline; but her morals are of the first rank, and the home impressions that have been given are safe guides to honorable positions abroad.
Many of those who felled the first trees and sowed the first seed have left no other traces behind them. Among those who added largely to the prosperity of the early days were Daniel Bixby, Lamech Blandin, Rev. Isaac Wellman, Cyrus Whitcomb, Abijah Moore, John Waters and Peter Benson.
was justice of the peace for many years and moderator for town meetings and selectman. His opinions were often sought and his decisions were weighed with equal justice.
was an active business man, and undoubtedly the best educated of any of the early settlers; he taught schools and was very ready with the pen. He was the first town clerk and held the office many years; was many years a justice of the peace and selectman; and was identified with the business of the town more than any other man.
Of those who settled here about 1780 and left descendants still living in town are :
represented by his son, Joel Harwood, and grand-son, Otis Harwood, a worthy and respected citizen now 66 years of age, without children.
represented by his son, Daniel Wellman, who is now living at the age of 80, and grandsons, Leverett K. and Allen O. Wellman, and great-grandsons by Leverett: Arthur C. and George Wellman, and great-granddaughter by Allen, Helen B. Wellman.
represented by his son Daniel and granddaughters, Hannah Adams and Lucinda Flint, and great-grandsons, by Hannah, Ozro Adams; by Lucinda, John Flint.
represented by his son Asa Flint, and grandson Anson Flint, and great-grandson John Flint.
represented by his son, Isaac Wellman, who was a deacon of the Baptist church many years and a prominent business man in town ; and his grandson, Everett P. Wellman, also a prominent man, and his great-granddaughters, Abbie A. and Martha Wellman; the former was a very successful school teacher and married Judge Andrew A. Wyman of Athens.
represented by his three sons, Israel, Ebenezer and Timothy H. Whitney, and grandson by Israel and Daniel E. Whitney, who has held the principal offices in town; and by a great-granddaughter, Bertha Whitney, and grandson by Ebenezer; Erastus Whitney, a bachelor, 68 years of age.
THREE OLD HOMESTEADS.
There are three farms in town that with enlargements remain in the hands of the descendants of the original owners, the Rist farm:
came from Sutton, Mass., in 1788, and bought of Jonathan Boyden the now so-called Rist farm.
a few years after the close of the war, came and took possession of his brother's farm. He raised up a large family of children. His son, Andrew S. Rist, is a bachelor, who is now 66 years of age.
came from Fitzwilliams, Mass., in 1799 and bought of James Walden the now Cutler farm. He was represented by his son, Ira Cutler, who married a daughter of Iasiah Rounds, one of the early settlers. Ira in his prime was a strong, resolute man, and spent much of his time in winter in hunting. [See farther the geneology in sketch prepared by the family.] The Cutler family were prominent members of the Baptist church and added strength and wealth to the town.
settled on land now owned by his son Luther, about 1790. Luther married a daughter of Ephraim Park, and moved to the western part of New York state, with the intention of making it his home; but the declining years of Mr. Park brought him back to Vermont, when he took possession of the Park's farm, and of his father's, and bent his energies to build up a farm second to none in the valley of West river, and his broad fields of grass and well-filled granary indicate a successful farmer. He has taken an interest in the politics and prosperity of the town, and has held the chief offices of trust in the gift of the town. His sons are Ephraim P. and Fred L., and grandsons, Hermon and George.
THOMAS CRANE, ESQ.,
moved into Brookline from Richmond, N. H., about 1806, as the first generation of the settlers were passing away. He entered largely into the interests of the town; spent his winters in teaching, was town clerk six years; represented the town in the legislature; was selectman 18 years; died in his 57th year, 1836.
from 1802 to 1830 held a leading position in the town; town clerk, selectman, the first representative to the legislature.
was born in Dummerston, this county, in 1810. His father moved to Brookline in 1819. At an early age, William Adams entered into the politics of the town, and for the past fifty years has been closely connected with its history. He has been justice of the peace many years and qualified to draft legal papers which he has done for the people of the town. He has represented the town and has been town clerk 23 years.
was born in Jaffrey, N. H., Nov. 12, 1792. He passed his early life in New Hampshire, Northern Vermont and Western New York. He moved to Brookline in 1827, married Sarah Perham, the oldest daughter of Jonathan Perham of Athens, one of the first settlers of Athens. He was a carpenter and mechanic and located here with the view of improving the waters of Grassy brook, to prosecute his business; but the volume of water did not meet his expectation during the summer season, and he turned his attention to farming. He interested himself in supporting the best of schools, and held those who held office strictly accountable in rendering their accounts. He died in 1882, at the age of 89.
came to Bookline from Newfane in 1841, and bought the original Flint farm. He raised up a large family.
CHARLES P. STICKNEY
was born Oct. 10, 1840. His parents though in limited circumstances gave him time to attend school. He worked on his father's farm, taught school, and by industry fitted for college in 1861 ; but the war was then in progress and other causes arrested him in his purpose. In 1866 he went West, and was establishing himself in business when he was called to return to Vermont to care for those who had cared for him. In 1869 he married Frances A. Hastings ; a son was born to them in 1882, Carrol W. Mr. Stickney has held the office of constable four years. ( 1883 ), and town superintendent of schools 13 years, and represented the town in the legislature 1882 and 83. He is in the full vigor of life and enters with earnestness into whatever he undertakes.
TIMOTHY H. WHITNEY.
was born in Waltham, N. H., in 1777. His father, Richard Whitney, moved to Brookline soon after and settled upon the farm now owned by Otis Harwood. He made the first clearing upon the farm and built the house now standing. Timothy was an active boy and gained an education through the limited sources of those days, so that at eighteen, he taught school ; ( page 12.) At twenty he was elected constable and served several years, and has been town clerk and lister ; in 1798, married Abigail Blanchard of Waltham, N. H., and settled upon the farm now owned by his son, Hiram Whitney. He was prominent in the business of the town, and rose from a private to a major in the militia, and enlisted in the war of 1812 ; was promoted colonel. In 1815, he moved to Athens, where he represented the town in the Legislature several years, was in the Legislature at the time Brookline was granted the right to elect a representative. He was judge of the County Court. He died at the age of 82 years. He is now represented in town by his son, Capt. Hiram, a man of few words but to the point, and a much esteemed citizen. He was born in 1804, married to Fanny Perham in 1828, has represented the town at Montpelier, and held his share of its honorable offices with fidelity and honor.
HIRAM M. WHITNEY,
son of Captain Hiram, and grandson of Colonel Timothy, was born in 1829 ; has represented the town, and been one of the selectmen 14 years. His daughter, Laurett, brings up the honors of the family. Few women are more capable in the performance of the duties of a household, or deft in cunning work that graces the wall of the hall of a county fair, or adorns more pleasantly the rooms of her home.
ARTHUR B. STEBBINS,
son of John B. Stebbins, Esq., was born in Brookline, August 16, 1858. His minority was passed on the farm, gaining from his father the art of farming, and from his mother the culture for a noble manhood. He acquired a thorough academical education. In the spring of 1878 he was clerk in the store of his brother-in-law, in Rochester, Minn., and on account of the severe and prolonged sickness of his father and his family, he being the oldest son was called home. He at once returned and took charge of his father's business, and in the spring remodelled and constructed a new set of barns, and gave his father's business a new impetus. In the fall of 1880 he returned to Minnesota, as senior clerk of the same firm. While here he assisted one of the partners, unused to farming, in selecting stock for a farm he had bought out of the city. Arthur was often consulted about this farm. It gave him excellent opportunities for developing his genius in the Eden occupation. He made the herd books a study ; was sent to New England in the winter of 1882, by some prominent herdsmen of Minnesota, to make a selection and purchase of thorough breeds. His selections met with such hearty success, he decided to resign his position in the store and devote himself to agriculture.
He married Hattie Bell, daughter of Daniel Lyon, then of New York, Sept. 23, 1883. His father urged him to remain on the old farm, but ambitious to gain an independence by his own efforts, he and his wife left Vermont, Oct. 11, 1883 and upon the aired, fertile plateau of the Cumberland Mountains, Tenn., he bought a tract of land, known in the early history of the country as a favorite retreat of the red man, and in this delightful climate he had commenced to build up and beautify a home, and gain for himself a laudable notoriety in the agricultural world, but in the bud of his ambition he was in an instant cut down; - Jan. 19, 1886, he and his brother-in-law, George Lyon, were at work in a wood near the house, when a tall, oak stub, standing some 30 feet distant fell, and struck Mr. Stebbins to the ground, breaking the spinal column at the neck. So quick and sharp the deadly deed was done without even rupturing the skin. This sudden death seemed strange to all who knew him.
His remains were brought home to Brookline for interment. He rests in the family lot beside his mother and brother.
An early settler of the territory later known as the town of Brookline, was John Blandin, born at Attleboro, Mass., in 1764, of French descent. He early identified himself with the general weal of the new settlement in all of its various efforts at advancement. Educational and religious interests received his especial fostering care. He early became a clerk of the Baptist church, and in 1802, was with his brother Lamech, ordained as deacon, at the time Amos Beckwith was ordained for the pastor, which office he held as long as he lived, until his death in 1835. In 1784, he was married to Sarah Gray, at Brookline, and moved onto an unbroken forest tract of land, that afterward became the " Blandin farm," on which he spent the remainder of his life. There were 11 children by this marriage, 10 of whom settled in life with families, all leading and useful members of society. Mr. Blandin buried his first wife in 1821, and in 1823 married Mrs. Sally Hubbell, of West Westminster, by whom he had three children, two of whom are living and take active part in life's duties. She died in 1855.
Probably but few families have exerted a broader or more salutary influence in moulding the general welfare of this community than that of John Blandin
CHARLES W. BLANDIN,
the subject of the portrait-frontis plate of this history, was the twelfth child of John Blandin, and the first by his second marriage, born in Brookline, Feb. 18, 1824. His mother's maiden name was Sally Holden, of Scotch-English parentage. He has resided for the last 30 years in Rutland, Ill. He is engaged in the retail drug and book trade, and is regarded as a reliable business man.
He was married to Miss D. A. Johnson, of Elmira, N. Y., in 1850. They have one child, a son, Fremont C. Blandin, who has received a liberal education, and is a prominent lawyer and editor at Streator, Ill.
Denzel Crane was born in Brookline, Feb. 29, 1812, and died at his son-in-law's, Rev. I. R. Haskins, in West Acton, Mass, Sept. 4, 1879, aged 67. He was the third son of Thomas Crane, Esq. He early attended the district school of 10 weeks in summer and winter ; but when old enough to labor was limited to the winter term. Under the instruction of his father, an experienced teacher, he acquired the elementary branches of an English education. His evenings were spent at home in the family circle. Thus was the period of his boyhood and early youth passed. When 15, he united with the Baptist church. At the age of 18, he was impressed with the importance of the gospel ministry. He commenced study with Rev. Phineas Howe, and subsequently studied at Franklin and Pierce academies and Brown university, preaching and teaching to meet his expenses.
He married Bathsheba H. Phillips of Newfane, March 1, 1837, and was ordained in his native town the following June. He was pastor, successively, in Brookline, Grafton and North Springfield, Vt., Northampton, Boston and Dorchester, Woonsocket, R. I., Greenfield, Mass., North Springfield, Vt., again, Winthrop and Northampton. In nearly all of these pastorates revivals were enjoyed, resulting in the encouragement and rebuilding of the churches. The most extensive revivals in connection with his labors were during his first pastorate of three years at North Springfield, when 84 were baptized into the church, and at Boston, in six years, 189. His longest pastorate was 12 years, - it was his first in Northampton - during which he was elected 10 times a member of the school committee and for six years he was superintendent of the public schools, and, while thus engaged, the honorary degree of A. M. was conferred upon him by Amherst college. There his remains were tenderly laid away, with his three sons, and only grand-son.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH IN BROOKLINE
was constituted in 1785, and belonged to the Leyden and Windham Association in 1853, and has never failed to make its annual report. For several years the church had no ordained pastor. From time to time some brother was appointed to conduct public worship. We notice
was ordained pastor, June 2, 1802, and Bros. Lamech and John Blandin, deacons. The church having no house of worship, these ordaining services were held in Josiah Taft's new barn ; and the record says "with decency, order and great solemnity." Bro. Beckwith's pastorate continued a year and a half, when again the church was destitute until Nov. 3, 1808, when
REV. ISAAC WELLMAN
was ordained pastor and Daniel Bixby deacon. Elder Wellman was pastor 12 years. His salary ranged from $40 to $75 per annum. His other source of income was an 80-acre farm which he owned and cultivated.
In 1810 the church enjoyed a revival, in which 40 members were added, and in 1817 there was another revival. The church flourished under the care of Elder Wellman until 1821, when he embraced open communion. The church called an ecclesiastical council on this account, the result of which was the withdrawal of their fellowship from Bro. Wellman as a Baptist minister. Three years later, Bro. Wellman renounced his open communion sentiments and was fully restored by the church. After the dismissal of Elder Wellman in 1821. Elder Hibbard supplied the church eight months.
ELDER BELA WILCOX
was invited, Jan. 2, 1823, to preach, which he did with great satisfaction to the church for three years. March 17, 1826, the church voted to settle Bro. Wilcox with us for five years. April 26 the church gave him a call to be ordained, but he declined. Aug. 25, 1826, the church called
BRO. DAVID CUTLER
to the ministry, and just one year after ordained him as pastor. During the next year the church in East Townshend was organized, and about 70 members were dismissed from Brookline to Townshend, reducing the Brookline church about one-half. The church was prosperous while under Elder Cutler's care, his labors being very useful.
DEA. CALVIN BARRETT
was received from Windham church, July 7, 1827. His letter says " that he has served as deacon of that church over 20 years." He was chosen deacon of this church also, which place he filled with great acceptance until his death in 1862.
Feb. 25, 1828. The church voted to organize a Sunday school in town. Rev. David Cutler Thomas Crane and Alvin Boyden, superintending committee. This school has continued to the present time, with but short vacations.
was invited to preach Dec. 24, 1830.
from the Marlboro and Newfane church was called, and preached about one year, and was succeeded by Bro. George Phillips from the same church, who preached here until 1834.
BRO. DANA BROWN
succeeded Bro. Phillips. Bro. Brown's pastorate continued to 1836.
BRO. DENZEL M. CRANE
was then called and was ordained by this church, June 1, 1837, it being the same day the present house of worship was dedicated. Elder Crane continued his labors here till June 15, 1838. Rev. John Baldwin, from Jamaica, succeeded him, till the spring of 1841, when
BRO. SAMUEL KINGSBURY, JR.,
from Windham, was called to the pastoral care of the church, and ordained on the 18th of November following.
The church prospered under Elder Kingsbury's care till 1849. In the autumn of this year a fatal epidemic passed through the town, and this devoted servant of God, his wife and three children, the entire family, deceased within the short space of two weeks, and the wife's father and mother about the same time.
REV. RUFUS SMITH
accepted the pastorate in the winter of 1849-50, and was dismissed by letter, March 28, 1852. Sept. 21, 1851, Bros. Calvin T. Barrett, Francis Merrifield and C. W. Stebbins were elected deacons. Dea. Francis Merrifield left a legacy to the church of $250.
BRO. C. B. SMITH,
then principal of Leland and Gray seminary, Townshend, this county, was called to supply the desk in April, 1854, and February, 1855, he was ordained pastor and remained such till August 7, 1859.
From 1859 to 1862, the desk was supplied by Bros. Chas. Frost, Whitcomb, Wheeler, Burrows and others. In 1862 Rev. J. P. Huntington was pastor nine months, succeeded by Rev. Sem Pierce. Failing health obliged the latter to retire in the spring of 1865; he was succeeded by
REV. CHARLES FARRAR,
July 1st, the same year, whose pastorate continued to 1871, when he was dismissed to Warwick, Mass. During this time the house of worship was greatly improved, largely through the efficiency of the pastor's wife, Elizabeth Farrar.
REV. WM. A. A. MILLARD
was pastor from 1871 to 1873.
REV. J. D. DONAVAN
was next pastor from 1873 to 1876.
From May, 1876, to 1880, Rev. Charles D. Fuller was pastor. This pastor was stricken down with paralysis, resigned and moved to Brattleboro.
May 1, 1881, Rev. Charles Farrar was recalled as pastor, and served as such till June 1. 1884, when he retired and moved to California with his family, aged 85 years.
Since June 15, 1884,
RM. I D. BURWELT.
of Saxtons River, has supplied the desk half the time, and as acting pastor till May, 1887, when Rev. H. V. Baker of Rhode Island, accepted the pastorate, which continued two years. About 540 members have belonged to this church. It has ordained six ministers and licensed several others, among whom are Eliot P. and Austin A. Merrifield.
This church has had two meeting houses. The first, a temporary building, without floor or other finish, except a small desk, attached to the frame on one side.
In 1836-7 the present substantial brick edifice was erected.
Though often without a pastor, the church has always sustained discipline and the Christian ordinances. It has dismissed many members, who have become pillars of strength, to some of the churches in the large cities and in the growing West.
We cannot close this sketch without offering a tribute of love and respect for the faithful dead and absent, whose names and doings are here recorded:
William Thomas, Lamech Blandin, John Blandin, Daniel Bixby, Isaac Wellman, Harry Cary, Calvin Barrett, Jonathan Cutler, Luke B. Osgood, C. S. Boutwell, Francis Merrifield, Calvin T. Barrett, Chalmer W. Stebbins and O. C. Merrifield.
CLERKS OF THE CHURCHES.
Daniel Bixby, Archalas Bixby, John Blandin, Thomas Crane, Anthony Mason, C. W. Stebbins and John B. Stebbins.
Soon after the settlement of this town, the inhabitants of the northern part of the town, which lies in a deep and narrow valley, were startled one day by the report that the Indian war-whoop had been heard in the southern part of the town and along the hill sides. They all rush out and listen.
The most incredulous are satisfied that it is real. What shall be done? There rises abruptly on the easterly side of this town Athens and Newfane, 15 miles one unbroken line of hill, about 1,000 feet high above the main valley, and a range nearly as high on the west. They at once decide to do their best to escape across the mountain to the settlement in Putney.
But one man is sick and cannot walk; shall they leave him ? No, a litter is hastily prepared, the sick man laid upon it and placed upon the shoulders of the most athletic, and the mixed party of men, women and children move off hastily. Closely the mother clasped the hand of her trembling child at her side; she thought of the Dustan family, the massacre at Bloody Brook - scenes fresh in their minds - horror thrilled the nerves of the weaker, as they were startled by the crackling of dead limbs, or the creaking and groaning of some half fallen tree.
On and up, - the sick man is abandoned, - the summit is at last reached. The frightful foe has not yet closed in upon them. Two miles of gradual descent was between them and the residence of Captain Jewett; this distance was soon accomplished; the party hauled up before the captain's door. They quite took him and his family by surprise ; but their story being heard, they were told their alarm must have been occasioned by the shouts of a party of surveyors that had passed over the mountain that day. They treated the whole company to mush and milk for supper and stored them away as best they could for the night. The next day the party returned to Brookline and found their homes just as they left them; but these mothers felt almost as though their dear ones had been reclaimed from a terrible fate.
The sick man (Eliphalet Skinner) was found alive where he had been left the day of the flight. He regained his health and lived to a good old age.
As an eccentric person few are so generally known and remarked as our deacon and townsman, Calvin T. Barrett. A part of his life has been brilliant and noteworthy as a godly, upright man, acquainted almost to a line with the constructions of the Bible and other religious doctrines, also as a lover and instructor of music. The practice as a teacher of singing - schools, having brought him to an almost intimate acquaintance with a large part of the people in Windham county.
Some parts of his life have been a bewilderment from insanity, at which periods he wanders about, chart drawing, or giving concerts and other entertainments
Samuel Cutler was born in Fitzwilliam, N. H., Aug. 13, 1798.
In early life he came with his father to Brookline. He learned the trade of carpenter and builder, which he continued more or less during his life.
Feb. 17, 1817, he married Ruth Phillips, daughter of John Phillips, Esq. of Marlboro, this county, a very estimable woman. She died January, 1833, leaving three sons and one daughter.
June 5, 1834, he married for his second wife, Sally Phillips, a second daughter of John Phillips, and had by this union one son, John H. Cutler.
In 1828, he purchased a farm near the centre of the town, owned by Dr. William Perry, where he resided until the last two years of his life. In 1836-37 he built for him-self a substantial brick house.
In 1855-56 he was sent by his townspeople to the Legislature, being called the third time to an extra session caused by the burning of the State house.
In 1854, he sold his farm and moved to Brattleboro, to spend the remainder of his days. He died Aug. 3, 1866, aged 70 years.
Luther, his first son, died in infancy.
Jonathan, the second son, was a good scholar. At the age of 20, he went to Boston, where he was successful in business.
In 1848, he married Loretta E. Abbott from Windham, daughter of Deacon Hart B. Abbott. After some years he returned to Vermont and settled in Brattleboro, 1851.
He died in 1867 at the age of 45 years, leaving a son and daughter. The son, Fred A., for several years has been in the office of A. I. & L. E. Kelly, real estate agents in Minneapolis, Minn.
Samuel, the third son, left Brookline at the age of 20 for Boston, where he has been engaged in business till the present time, residing in Boston the first 10 years, since then at Somerville, Mass.
In 1851 he married Sarah Jane Bennett of Brookline.
They have four children, the oldest, Samuel Newton, a graduate of Harvard college, class of 1877 ; Frank Ernest, Ella Florence and Jane Ruth, all of Somerville.
Albert, the fourth son, in early life went to Minnesota, spending the most of his time in farming. He died Feb., 1883.
John H. Cutler, the youngest son, married Martha A. Fisher, daughter of George Fisher, Esq., and has since gone to Tracey, Minn., where he is engaged in farming. He has one daughter, Laura J., born in Brookline, who lives with him in his western home.
son of Benjamin and Jerusha Stebbins, born at Brimfield, Mass., April 21, 1761, married Phebe Ellenwood, who left children : Samuel, Rufus and Phebe. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary war. He moved into Brookline in 1787, and settled on a farm, where he lived till his death in 1850, aged 89 years. He was of English Puritan descent and very tenacious of his religious principles.
oldest son of Jotham, was 4 years old when his parents moved to Vermont. He married Sarah, the oldest daughter of Dea. John Blandin, and settled on a farm adjacent to his father's, where he lived until his death in 1866, aged 83. He was an enterprising farmer and prominent citizen of his town ; patriotic and public-spirited ; kept a close run of the State and National politics ; thrice elected to the Legislature, and holding many of the positions of trust. He had four sons and one daughter, who lived to maturity.
Eli M., the eldest son, died at Brown university at the close of his second year, 1839, aged 25.
Elvira, the only daughter, died in 1845, aged 25 years.
JOHN B. STEBBINS,
third son of Samuel, born in 1824, received a fair academic education at Leland and Gray seminary, and is now (1891) living on a farm near the centre of the town. He has ever been prominent among his townsmen, as a reference to the list of town officers will show, one of the corporators of Windham County Savings bank, and for several years one of its directors.
In 1847, he married Mary E. Barber, eldest daughter of Dr. Geo. W. Barber, formerly of Wardsboro. She died June 21, 1885, leaving two sons and one daughter.
Arthur, oldest son of John B. Stebbins was accidentally and instantly killed at Skene, Tenn., Jan. 19, 1886.-See previous notice by Mr. Stickney.
SAMUEL E. STEBBINS,
son of Samuel, born 1830, is now a section farmer in Dakota, and a member of the Territorial Legislature. He was a Union soldier in the war of the Rebellion, and since the close of the war has spent several years at land surveying in the Northwest for the United States government and the Northern Pacific Railroad Company.
Charles Q., the youngest son of Samuel, resides in Townshend, this county.
second son of Jotham, resided on the farm with his father. He married Clarissa, daughter of Dea. John Blandin, and raised a family of 11 children : Thomas, Clarissa, Chalmer, Adin, Sarah, Jonas, Christana, Vashti, William (William P. Stebbins, of Brookline, died March 12, 1886, aged 54 years), Edwin, Jotham.
Thomas is a farmer, Adin is an artist, Edwin a dentist, Jotham a Methodist clergyman, and Chalmer and William are well-to-do farmers in town ; they have both represented the town in the Legislature and held many other honorable positions of trust.
Clarissa and Vashti are settled in town ; Edwin at Shelburn Falls, Mass. ; the others are in Minnesota. Sarah and Christana are deceased.
Phebe, only daughter of Jotham, married Joab Holland of Townshend and raised a large and respectable family.
EDWIN ALONZO STEBBINS,
son of Rufus and Clarissa (Blandin) Stebbins, born in Brookline, July 10, 1837, passed his boyhood days on the farm, attending public school in the Round school house, and the academies in Townshend, Spring-field and Brandon.
He studied dentistry with Dr. E. M. Bissell, and began practice in the winter of 1860-61 in South Londonderry.
He enlisted in Co. G, 11 Reg. Vt. Vols., and was appointed corporal on being mustered into United States service, Sept. 1, 1862, and was promoted to sergeant, 1863 ; Company quartermaster-sergeant, Dec. 28, 1863 ; first sergeant, Jan. 28, 1864; first lieutenant, June 2, 1865.
The regiment was stationed in the defences of Washington. D. C., till May, 1864, when it was ordered to the front and joined the 2d Brigade (old 1st Vt. Brigade), 2d Div. 6th Army Corps, at Spottsylvania, Va., with which it served till the end of the war.
When the regiment was discharged a few hundred of its recruits were kept in service to do garrison duty, with a sufficient number of officers for command. This battalion was stationed at forts on the Potomac river, a few miles below Washington. Lieutenant Stebbins was post quartermaster at Fort Foot, and quarter-master of the battalion till they were ordered to be discharged Aug. 25, 1865.
He succeeded Dr. E. M. Bissell, dentist at Shelburne Falls, Mass.
Was elected president of the Connecticut Valley Dental Society, Nov. 5, 1885.
He was one of the organizers of the Franklin County Sunday School Teachers' Association (union) in 1876, being elected its president in 1877, and its secretary eight successive years, from 1879. He was a delegate from Massachusetts to the International Sunday School Convention at Atlanta, Ga., in 1878.
He married Jane P. Nutting of Groton, Mass., May 12, 1861, who died at Shelburne Falls, Mass., Sept. 15, 1877.
He married A. Adella Smith of Holyoke, Mass., Nov. 28, 1878. Children : George Edwin, born Jan. 27, 1882, and Lucy A., born June 8, 1883.
The doctor is also treasurer of the board of trustees of Shelburne Falls Academy, and a trustee of Arms Academy, completed and dedicated in 1880.
Francis E. Merrifield bought a farm on West river in Brookline, and moved on to it with his wife and 10 children in 1840. One son was born to him in Brookline, making 11 children in his family. At the time he came to Brookline no member of the family professed religion, but subsequently the parents and all the children, except Leonard, became active members of the Baptist church in Brookline, and Leonard joined the church of the same denomination in Dover. The father was for a long time deacon of the church in Brookline. They were all very regular and constant in their places in the choir (they all sang,) in the Sunday school, and wherever duty called. Mr. and Mrs. M. brought up their family to strict, orderly, moral and religious habits, and most rigid industry and economy. Yet they were very generous towards all religious purposes.
The children are all still living ; all are married and have families.
Elliot P. took full collegiate and theological courses, and is a Baptist clergyman.
Austin S. took a theological course. He has been for several years a State missionary in Kansas.
Emery E. studied medicine. He was an army surgeon, for some time in a rebel prison. He is now farming at Macon, Mo.
Edwin S. Sherman, is a very intelligent farmer, and an active church member. He has a son who is a Baptist minister.
H. I. Turner is a well to do farmer in Dover.
S. J. Greene, is a retired farmer. Charles S. White, is a farmer in Grafton.
Leonard B. Merrifield went to Mendota, where he engaged in a drug and book store, and traded in real estate for several years, and is now an organ manufacturer.
O. C. Merrifield remained on the homestead in Brookline till 1880, when he joined his brothers in the organ business at Mendota, Ill. He was a very active and useful citizen.
Charles Brooks, is a well educated Baptist minister.
Albert H., served in the Union army nearly through the war. He was a druggist at Amboy, Ill., for several years, but finally joined his brothers in the organ business at Mendota; since moved to Ottawa, Ill.
born at Lancaster, Mass., July 10, 1781, came to Dummerston, Vt., when a young man and learned the slater's business with Peter Willard.
Nov. 27, 1805, he married Dorcas Hale, who was born at Oakham, Mass., Jan. 13, 1782. She was a woman of great endurance, and devoted her life to the cares and interests of her family. She died in Brookline, July 15, 1866, aged 84 years.
Children Three sons, born at Dummerston :
Samuel N., born July 6, 1807 ; William, born July 15, 1810, and Chauncy, born Nov. 9, 1814.
February, 1819, the family came to Brookline, and settled on a farm near the centre of the town.
Samuel N., married Laura Ormsbee, of Newfane, where he owned and kept the principal hotel for several years, after which he kept a provision store in Boston, Mass. He died in Newfane, Sept. 1, 1851, aged 44 years, and his wife, Nov. 2, 1885. They had a daughter, Mary, who married F. W. Cole of Glencove, Y. N.
son of Samuel, married Sarah E., a daughter of Brown Osgood of this town, Oct. 2, 1834, and has resided on his father's homestead in Brookline, to the present time.
They had one daughter, Mary Elvira, born Oct. 19, 1835, and three sons.
James Henry, born August 8, 1837, died Jan. 13, 1840 ; Charles H. born, Nov. 23, 1839, died Jan. 12, 1840, of diptheria, and both buried together.
John C. born Nov. 25, 1842, died Nov. 25, 1844, from a scald by falling into a small kettle of hot water.
Mr. William Adams, although a farmer all his life, has by his diligent habits and early rising, been a man of extensive reading, and being of a legal turn of mind, has devoted much of his attention to legal and political subjects. This has made him a natural leader in politics. He has been Brookline's free lawyer, and for many years he has drawn up most of the legal papers for the town and its inhabitants. His official record will appear with his townsmen.
Chauncy studied law, married Catharine Brown of Jamaica, settled in Indiana, where he carried on mercantile business for a time. He received an appointment under President Polk, in the patent office at Washington, where he died Sept. 28, 1862, and his wife on Feb. 19, 1885.
Children: Geo. W. and John Q.
George was for some time a newspaper correspondent and reporter. Has now for several years been a journalist of considerable note, and is president of "The Star" Association at Washington, D. C.
GEORGE WILLIAM ADAMS,
son of Chauncy Adams, was born in Lima, Indiana, in 1839; was educated at the University of Michigan for the law, but entered journalism in Washington, D. C., in 1860, which profession he has followed ever since. He was the representative of the New York World in Washington for 19 1/2 years ; of the Chicago Times, 13 years; the Boston Herald, 14 years; the St. Louis Republican, 5 years, and at briefer periods of the New York Evening Post, Cincinnati Commercial, Louisville Courier-Journal, New Orleans Picayune, and Charleston News and Courier, and St. Louis Globe-Democrat. He is one-third owner of the Evening Star newspaper in Washington, one of the largest properties of its kind in the United States, and president of the company which publishes it. He served through the entire war as a correspondent, and was the witness of many eventful scenes in the nation's history, being present in the lobby of the theatre when Booth assassinated Lincoln, and in the room at B. and P. station, when Giteau shot Garfield. He has a wife and three daughters, has a fine residence in the most desirable portion of Washington. He holds from President Arthur a commission as president of the board of trustees of the Reform School of the District of Columbia, a United States institution. Mr. Adams is the last one of the male line of the Brookline family.
GEORGE W. ADAMS DEAD.
The accomplished journalist died at his home in Washington, D. C., Oct. 10, 1886.
LUKE B. OSGOOD,
born in Newfane, May 18,'1772, was one of a family of seven children, left orphans during the Revolutionary war, and through the privations and hardships attending that early period, arrived at the age of manhood. He married Sally Thompson of Hubbardston, Mass. They settled in the northeast part of Newfane which was subsebuently annexed to the town of Brookline, where they reared their family.
Wm. H. Osgood married Artelissa M. Rice, March, 1836. They both died in the spring of 1853, leaving three children:
Moses R., now a railroad engineer in Connecticut.
Caroline M., wife of I. R. Warner of Saxtons River.
Gertrude P., wife of Rev. C. A. Piddock of Middletown, Conn.
Sarah E., wife of Wm. Adams, for account of whom, see Adams family of Brookline.
WILLARD E. OSGOOD
married Hannah Park and moved to Minnesota in 1864. He engaged in lumber business and land speculation; he died suddenly at Minneapolis, Jan. 8, 1880. His widow and daughter, Frances H., now reside in Worcester, Mass., near her daughters, Marion, wife of Geon. Fisher, and Martha E., widow of Edwin R. Morse.
Mary Jane Osgood, wife of John A. Farnsworth of Saxtons River, adopted the two orphan daughters of Wm. H., with whom they lived until their marriage.
LUKE B. OSGOOD, JR.
married Cyntha Jones. He moved to Beloit, Wis., in 1846, and afterwards to Minnesota. He traded in land, and once made a journey to Pike's Peak, on a trading excursion. He was an extensive farmer, and had the reputation of being a kind neighbor, ready to help the unfortunate. He died at Garden City, Minn., Jan. 1, 1884.
HARRIET L. OSGOOD,
wife of Alonzo Damon of Hubbardston, Mass., was married Oct. 3, 1840. She and her youngest child (a boy four years old), were suddenly killed at a railroad crossing at Winchendon, Mass., Feb. 5, 1858. They with Mr. Damon were crossing the track when an engine came upon them. When the train had passed and Mr. Damon had recovered his consciousness, he found the head of his little boy lying at his feet. Its body was picked up in nine parts. The lifeless form of his wife was carried farther on by the engine. She left a son, Eugene A., who died in early manhood, 1875, and one daughter, Mary Jane, who resides at Hubbardston with her father.
Elizabeth L., wife of J. E. Ells, was married Jan. 1, 1846, moved to Rochester, Minn., where they lived 20 years; thence to Kansas City, Mo., in the vicinity of which place they still reside near their daughter, Alice, wife of J. Templer, grain dealer. Their son, James E.. Ells, a farmer, resides at Lake Benton, Minn.
Mrs. Wm. Adams and Mrs. J. A. Farnsworth having always resided in this vicinity, have been valuable members of society.
Luke B. Osgood, senior, spent his days in Newfane and Brookline, and died at the age of 74, his wife having died eight years previous; they became firmly convinced of the truths of the Christian religion in their early married life, and were, with other believers, baptized by his brother, Rev. Emory Osgood. (One of the early Baptist ministers of Vermont, and father of the late Rev. Sewell M. Osgood, who labored eight years in Burmah, under the direction of Rev. Adoniram Judson, and died in Chicago, Ill., after several years' service as district secretary of the Western States for foreign missions.) Mr. Osgood was an industrious, successful farmer.
The ancestors of the Bennett family came early from England, and settled in Rhode Island, and for several generations were mainly seafaring men.
Samuel Bennett, the grandfather of the writer, with three of his brothers, served as soldiers during the Revolutionary war. He held the office of drum-major.
Soon after the close of the war he, with his wife, whose maiden name was Rebecca Shaw, and several of his connections came to Putney, Vt., and he was one of the first settlers on Putney West Hill. Here he raised a family of five sons and seven daughters. His son,
my father, married Sarah Read, daughter of John Read of West Putney, a woman of most excellent mind and character. They lived on the home-place, and took care of grandfather and grandmother. He was a man of great industry and economy, and accumulated considerable property.
He was one of the worst sufferers in the accident that occurred at the raising of the Baptist church at Brookline. The bones of his legs were very badly broken and crushed, and ever after he was very lame.
About 1839 he bought the Dr. Perry place in Brookline, to which he moved his family and where he lived till his death in 1849.
He had a family of four sons and five daughters ; one son died in infancy.
He and his wife were staunch Baptists, and three of his daughters, Maria, Louisa and Ellen, married Baptist ministers.
Maria Bennett, the oldest, married Rev. Nathaniel Cudworth, who was educated mainly at Hamilton, N.Y., and was a very successful pastor and eminently a good man. He died some years since, and his widow, son and daughter now live in Boston, Mass.
Louisa Bennett married Rev. Samuel Kingsbury, who was the pastor of the Brookline Baptist Church at the time of his death.
In the fall of 1849 a terrible calamity came upon the Bennett family, a most malignant type of typhus dysentery ( ship fever) was brought into the neighborhood from the seaboard, and my father and mother and brother and sister Kingsbury, and their three beautiful children, the entire family, seven in all, took it and died in the short space of six weeks. Other members of my father's family had it, but recovered, though with broken constitutions, and Mary only survived a few years.
Jane Bennett married Samuel Cutler of Brookline, then a merchant of Boston, Mass., where they have since lived. He is a deacon in the Baptist church and a man of some wealth. They have two sons and two daughters.
Ellen Bennett, my youngest sister, married Rev. Luman Kinney. They have no children.
Of the three sons :
Walter married Vashti E. Stebbins, daughter of Rufus Stebbins, and he still lives in this town.
Warren Bennett and family live in Putney.
The writer of this fitted for college at the Lealand and Gray seminary at Townshend ; was at Waterville college, Me, now Colby university, three years ; graduated at Dartmouth in 1848, and went to Tennessee in 1849, where he was engaged in teaching till the war broke out, when his teaching South ended. In 1861 he removed to Iowa.
[ Continued by Mrs. Jane B. Cutler.]
Samuel Bennett died, with his son, Samuel Jr., Sept. 23, 1841, aged 83 years
Samuel Bennett, Jr., born in Putney, Aug. 30, 1791, married Dec. 14, 1819, Sarah Reed, born in Putney, Nov. 23, 1794. Their children, all born in Putney, were :
Maria, born Oct. 9, 1820 ; married Sept. 1, 1841.
Lemon, born April 8, 1822 ; married July 30, 1851.
Walter S., born June 5, 1824 ; married Jan. 1, 1850.
Louisa, born March 13, 1826; married Dec. 27, 1843.
Warren, born April 11, 1828; married Dec. 25, 1855.
Simeon, born March 2, 1830; died Aug. 8, 1831, aged 1 year 5 months.
Sarah Jane, born May 6, 1832 ; married May 13, 1851.
Mary E., born Jan. 29, 1834 ; died Oct. 27, 1854, aged 20 years.
Ellen C., born Oct. 14, 1836; married Dec. 17, 1856.
Samuel Bennett, Jr.; died Sept. 25, 1899, aged 58 years.
Sarah Reed Bennett died Oct. 17, 1849, aged 55 years.
DR. LEMON BENNETT
graduated at Dartmouth college and took a partial medical course. He was an excellent scholar and a successful teacher. He was principal of an academy in Eastern Tennessee for several years. He was also for a few years in the drug business in Chattanooga.
Being a thorough going abolitionist, when the war of the Rebellion broke out he was compelled to flee to the free States, and settled on 400 acres of land he had previously bought in the town of Murray, Ia. He is now a well-to-do farmer at that place. He married Elenor Wright, and has three sons and three daughters.
Walter S. Bennett, who still lives in Brookline, has four daughters.
Warren Bennett married Frances E. Morse. He resided on a farm in Brattleboro 15 years, and then purchased the Winslow stock farm in Putney, where he now resides. He has two sons and one daughter.
[This intelligent family, of a high moral and religious character, were a good acquisition to the society of Brookline. Mrs. Maria Bennett Cudworth, whose husband was pastor of the Baptist church in Ludlow, in our school days, is one of the women whom we have always remembered preciously. Of whom we shall speak more in the history of Ludlow.]
Jane, Mary and Ellen Bennett, inmates of Mrs. Cudworth's family, and students at the old Black River seminary some years, were classmates and friends. Mary Bennett was an estimable young lady. Even today, we regret her death in the fresh flower of young womanhood, and she stands in memory before us as we write.
We are happy today to open the leaves of our history for these friends, and to put them in there to live forever.-Ed.
was born in Putney, Dec. 31, 1831. His parents moved to Brookline the next year, and he passed his boyhood in that town. In 1851 he began his collegiate studies with Prof. Ward at Saxtons River, and continued them at Westminster until 1854, when he entered the University of Vermont, and graduated in 1858. He subsequently received the degree of Master of Arts in course from his Alma Mater. During his vacations he was engaged in teaching until 1863.
In 1862, he was married to Josephine N. Buffum, in Oxford, Mass., and the following year removed to Washington, D. C., where he has since resided.
From 1863 to 1868 he was in government employ, in the office of the Paymaster General of the army.
In 1868 he graduated from the Law Department of Columbia College and was admitted to the bar of the district. He has successfully engaged in the practice of law and in real estate business.
In 1869 he served on the school board of Washington city, to which position he was elected by the City Council.
George Mason was a son of Ephraim H. Mason, who was a prominent man here for more than 30 years, representing the town in the Legislature of 1835 and 1836, and grandson of Anthony Mason, who moved into town in 1796, and was one of the most stirring business men of the town.
Francis E. Merrifield, born in Newfane, Dec. 4, 1793, married Sarah C. Kimball, April 2, 1823. She was born April 22, 1800. He died in Grafton, aged nearly 90 years. She died in Brookline, June 27, 1847. Children, all but the youngest born in Newfane.
Elliott P., born Feb. 8, 1824 ; m. May, 1856, Judith S. Huntington of Chester, b. Dec. 24, 1830. Children: Betsey F., b. Oct. 28, 1859, d. Feb. 18, 1864. Flora L.
Sophia R., b. Mar. 30, 1825 ; m. April, 1849, Edwin F. Sherman of Dover, b. March, 1821 ; d. 1872. Children : Cyrus S., Lillie E., b. April, 1854, d. June, 1873 ; Gertie S., b. Aug. 24, 1857.
Emery A., b. 1826 ; m. 1855, Martha E. Morgan. One child, Frankie.
Mary Jane, b. 1828 ; m. 1851, Henry I. Turner, b. Putney, 1824. Children : Eva J., b. May 1853 ; d. Sept. 1856 ; Emma S., Charles H.
Sarah K., b. 1829, m. 1855, S. Jefferson Greene, b. Mass. Children: Willie A., Nellie, Carrie R. b. 1831, m. 1860, to Charles S. White. Children : Minnie C., Mattie S., Albert C., Arthur F.
Leonard B., b., 1834 ; m. Mary Cushman. Children : Albert, Louisa W., Lilla.
Oscar C., b. 1835 ; m. Marcia M. Cudworth. Children : Hattie J., Fred O., Annie S., Frank, Ida M.; Grace, d. an infant.
Austin S., b. Apr. 1, 1837, m. Aug, 1866 ; Lizzie Hills, b. in Brookline, 1843. Children : Irving, Alton, Cyrus, Beulah H.
Christina E., born June 20, 1829 ; married in Dover, Sept. 10, 1862, to Charles Brooks, born in Holden, Mass., Feb. 8, 1830. Children : Idella, b. Nov. 10, 1863 ; Albert L., b. Oct. 22, 1867 ; Alice C , b. Aug. 10, 1869 ; Mabel A., b. July 10, 1875.
Albert H., born in Brookline, June 1, 1842; married in Amboy, Ill., Aug. 25, 1867, to Lucia D. Tooker, born Nov. 17, 1850. Children : Albert W., born Oct. 7, 1869 ; Carrie M., born Jan. 9, 1872 ; Simeon A., born Jan. 18, 1874 ; Clara E., born July 18, 1876.
was born in Brookline, Dec. 3, 1837, fitted for college at Power's Institute, Bernardston, Mass.; entered Amherst College, 1859 ; enlisted in 8th Reg. Vt. Vols., Nov. 19, 1861 ; promoted to a lieutenancy in 99th Reg. U. S. C. I.; organized and was superintendent of first public colored schools in New Orleans, 1863, '64, and of Freedman's Bureau, in northwestern Louisiana, in 1865 ; principal of Greenfield and Chicopee, Mass., High schools, 1867, '68 and '69 ; received the degree of A. M. from Amherst College in 1868 ; elected superintendent of City schools and member of State Board of Education, New Orleans, La., 1869 ; was over four years in the army, participating in the sieges of Port Hudson, and Mobile ; while organizing and superintending the colored schools in New Orleans, matured a plan which resulted in giving the freedmen of Louisiana the best system of public schools organized for them in any State, and in 60 days after, appointed as superintendent of Freedman's Bureau of N. W. Louisiana, he put 32,000 colored laborers under contract, receiving for every one of the recently emancipated slaves some compensation for his or her labor. He married Sept. 28, 1865, Olive B., daughter of U. S. Darling of Leyden, Mass., who graduated under Hiram Orcutt, A. M., at Glenwood Ladies' Seminary at West Brattleboro, class of 1864, to whom one son, Clement R. Stickney, was born Oct. 14, 1866. At present, ( 1881,) Mr. Stickney is publisher of Johnson's Natural History, in two large royal octavo volumes of over 1500 pages, and 1500 engravings, with residence at Ann Arbor, Mich.
was born in Brookline, Feb. 25, 1822. He prepared for college at Townshend Academy ; at 22 entered Colby University, at Waterville, Me., and graduated in 1848. He then went to Brandon, Vt., as principal of the Seminary there, where he remained two years.
He commenced studying law in Brandon and finished with Boutelle & Noyes at Waterville. Me., and was admitted to the bar in November, 1851, and the same year went to Corrina, Me., and took charge of the academy there for two years. In 1853, he came to Newport, Me., and commenced the practice of law, and has remained in the practice of his profession here ever since.
He has held various town offices and in 1866 and 1872 represented the towns of Newport, Stetson and Plymouth, in the State Legislature of Maine, - these towns comprising a legislative class. In 1880, he was elected judge of the Probate Court and of the Court of Insolvency for Penobscot county for four years, and held the office until the close of 1884. He was nominated that year for reelection, but the political party by which he was elected failed to parry the county.
Mr. Walker married Sophronia B. Coffin of Waterville, Me., in 1852, who is still living. They had four children:
Sarah C., married Howard C. Atwood and lives in Fairfield, Me. She has two children living, a son and a daughter.
Jane W., married James T. Footman, and died in 1881 ; no children.
William E., married Florence Huntington ; lives in Bradford, Me., is a practicing physician.
Edwin C., died at the age of six years, at Newport.
Versal Jesse Walker was born on a little hill farm in Brookline, overlooking the richer farms in the meadows in the vale of Grassy brook ; born Feb. 22, 1824.
In a few years two other children had come to the home on the Brookline hill, but the dear boy, Versal, never lost the warm place he found in his mother's heart that cold morning he first came to earth. From his very childhood it was not he to win a choice thing and lose it again. At seven, at ten, he was an active and bright boy, did up the farm chores promptly, attended with much zeal the district school, but at 13 lost his father. It was a hard blow ; fortunately he had a mother of good courage and wisdom at the helm, and a judicious elder brother it was his ambition to equal. He followed him at Townshend at 19, at Colby University at 21. At college "He was particularly distinguished for proficiency in the sciences and mathematics, and took high rank in the languages." He was four years at the old Waterville college and graduated with the honors of his class.
He was principal of the New London academy in New Hampshire, and a few years later principal of the academy at China, Me. Here he found the lady who afterwards became his wife. He continued teaching in the Eastern States for some years, but in 1855 went to California, where he engaged both in business and teaching four years, and returned. The year 1859 he came back from California, married, located in Winona, Minn., and immediately commenced teaching there. He established the first High school in that city ; was afterward elected to the joint office of principal of the High school and superintendent of the city schools of Winona, which position he filled until elected to the professorship of the Latin language in the University of Minnesota, in 1869, which position he accepted and honored with marked ability and acknowledged success." "In Memoriam," published after the funeral, by the university.
"For several years Professor Walker was secretary of the State Educational association, and at one time its president. He was one of the few who never sought office, but who always gave character to positions of trust and responsibility. For three years he was a member of the Board of Education of Minneapolis ; secretary of the board, superintendent of the schools. Under his management the schools were prosperous. The governing principle of his life was to do well and thoroughly everything he undertook. The secret of his successful life was found in this, that he was ready to meet the demand of each hour. He brought few if any burdens from the past to oppress him in the present, and when on May 17, 1876, the summons came bidding him 'go up higher,' he was ready. His life work was completed faithfully and well. He approached the grave
"Sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust."
"Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him and lies down to pleasant dreams."
Thus far beautifully speaks his university for his Brookline professor.
Versal Walker had commenced to prepare for this event - the close of the earthly life - in Brookline. To look back, in the late autumn, we see a little party approach toward the waters of the valley of Brookline for baptism, the youth Versal, of 17 is there, comes to receive the first rite of Christianity. He has resolved to become a Christian man.
" He and C. W. Blandin and myself, were a trio of boys whose births occurred at very nearly the same date, and we always took a special interest in each other. He was baptized at Brookline, Nov. 30, 1841. From the 23d of November to December 12, there were six seasons of baptism, in which 26 persons were baptised and joined the Baptist church, among them several names familiar to you, viz : William Adams, V. J. Walker, C. W. Blandin, and five others on the same day, and between November 23 and December 12, E. P. Merrifield, (a Baptist minister,) Louisa Bennet, who subsequently became the wife of Rev. Mr. Kingsbury, J. B. Stebbins, Samuel Cutler, Sophia R. Merrifield, Francis E. Merrifield, his wife Sarah C., A. Judson Walker, and Emory Merfield, (now Dr. M.)"
At Boston, Prof. Versal J. Walker and Miss Susan P. Hanscome were united in marriage by Rev. Denzel M. Crane, Aug. 3, 1859. It is pleasant to see at the professor's marriage officiating, the friend of his youth from the dear, old birth-town. It is pleasant, Denzel M. Crane and Versal J. Walker were the two most gifted men ever born in Brookline. "Praise no man while alive." They are dead and we may praise them.
He did his last day's work at the University, May 11th; died a few days after; his old foe, neuralgia, met him ; went suddenly to the heart ; his wife and aged mother were with him. Few die so peacefully as the good professor.
The exercises at the University were suspended. It was the first death of one of the first officers; officers and students draped with black, professors were pallbearers; Winona, too, sent her mourners; he rests where he closed his labors.
He left an estate, $20,000, no children. His wife, still his widow, resides at La Cross, Wis.
Of Jesse Walker, father of Judge Elliot Walker and Professor Versal J. Walker, I know but little, except that he was a farmer of moderate means and had the reputation of being a very worthy man. He was born at Newfane in 1778, and married Waity, fifth daughter of Deacon John Blandin, in 1820. They owned a 100-acre farm in the south part of Brookline, where he died in 1837, leaving his widow with three sons, Elliot, Versal J., Andrew Judson, and one daughter, Waity Jane, on this poor farm.
The farm was sold for $800. With these small means, the widow by dint of good management, industry and economy of the whole family got the two oldest boys through college. See sketches of Hon. E. and Prof. V. J. Walker.
Andrew Judson, third son, born in Brookline, Jan. 20, 1829, obtained a good academical education and went to California . in 1849, which was just then being opened to the States. There he engaged in various enterprises. He made and lost fortunes, but finally returned to Vermont, about 1862, with a large property.
In 1863, he married Louisa daughter of Dr. George W. Barber and sister of Mrs. J. B. Stebbins. She was a young lady of grace and dignity. They have three sons: George Jesse, born in La Cross, Wis., 1864; Willis Judson, born in Brookline, Vt., 1866; Arthur Samuel Barber, born in Osborn, Mo., 1870 ; and one daughter, Jennie Louisa, born in Osborn, Mo., 1871.
For the last few years the family have lived at Hastings, Neb. George was offered a cadetship at West Point, but he preferred the life of a citizen to that of a soldier.
Waity Jane, the only daughter in the family of Jesse Walker, born 1835. She was a superior scholar, studied Latin with success at ten, graduated at Fairfax; died 1858, of a fatal epidemic at Newburyport, Mass.
Mrs. Waity Blandin Walker, the honored mother is living (1887) at the age of 88 years with her son, Hon. E. Walker of Newport, Me.
Thomas Crane, Esq., the father of Rev. Denzel M. Crane, was contemporary with the Blandins and the Stebbins and intimately associated with them all his life in the interests of the town. He was of English origin, and his children so resembled their ancestors my husband was often taken for an Englishman in his travels on the other continent, 1869.
Thomas Crane and his wife, Mrs. Rebecca Crane, when about 40 years of age, united with the Baptist church. They had eight children, of whom three sons and two daughters that reached maturity, married and were active men and women. The youngest was the wife of Deacon Chalmer W. Stebbins and the mother of his children.
Mother Crane at the time of her death, had reached the age of 92 years and retained her faculties, mental and physical, to a remarkable degree. The removal of her parents to town when a child of two summers was an event fresh in memory.
While pursuing his studies at Pierce Academy, Mr. Crane supplied the Baptist church in Raynham, and 47 united with the church through his teachings.
During his ministry of 42 years he baptized 458 persons, married 359 couples and attended about the same number of funerals.
a daughter of Ephriam H. and Prudence Hills Mason, was born in Brookline, and received a good academical education. In 1855 she married John M. Gibson, a native of Scotland, a gentleman of talent and culture. With him she removed to Canada West, where they spent their lives in the cause of education. She died in 1873, and her husband survived her a little more than a year. They left a large family of children, of whom the eldest, Miss H. E. Blanche Gibson, is the present efficient matron of the Vermont Asylum for the Insane at Brattleboro. A second daughter, Florence A. L. Gibson, is supervisor in the same institution. A son, John Mitchell Gibson, is a student in medical department of the University of Vermont.
May 25, 1886, parts of the Windham county Vol. V., including 16 pages of Brookline with the type, stock, paper, etc., were utterly consumed, and no insurance ; to refurnish, begin and reset work paid for the second time, all new help, good, but to get acquainted with the hardest of typographical work, a local and geneological history, filled with names, we have worked at a disadvantage, but believe us, Vermont, hard for you this time, so in the midst of otherwise deserved criticism remember mercy.