a local History of
all the Towns in the State,
Civil, Educational, Biographical, Religious and Military.
The Towns of Windham County.
Abby Maria Hemenway.
Mrs. Carrie E. H. Page,
Transcribed as it appears in the book with the exception of the last names changed to all CAPS.
ATHENS. BY Hon. Frederick C. ROBBINS, of Ludlow. Pages 357 - 376.
Athens is a town of about 7,628 acres, 43° 7´, bounded on the N. by Grafton, E. by Westminster and Rockingham, S. by Brookline and Townshend, and W. by Townshend. It was granted March 11th, and chartered May 3d, 1780, to Solomon HARVEY, John MORSE, Jonathan PERHAM and associates. The first start towards a settlement was made in the fall of 1779 by Jonathan PERHAM, Seth OAK, Joseph ROSIER, James SHAFTER, and Jonathan FOSTER, who chopped a few acres, erected a log hut, but all left. February 25th, 1780, Jonathan PERHAM and Ephraim HOLDEN came on with their families from Rindge, N. H., soon followed by Seth OAK and family from Winchendon. The snow being four feet deep when they arrived, they beat their path for eight miles through the woods. A small yoke of oxen was all the animals they took with them. The women all moved into the hut which the first settlers had built. The next May Mrs. OAK was delivered of a daughter, the first child born in Athens. The same month, Samuel BAGLEY, from Sterling, Mass., and Micah READ, from Westmoreland, N. H., arrived, and during the rest of the summer built, in company, a saw mill, and the next year a grist mill, for which they received from the proprietors 168 acres of land near the centre of the town. Simon EVANS, Ezra CHAFFEE and Jeremiah PINKHAM began improvements the same year. September 18th, 1780, Isaac, son of Ephraim PERHAM, died---the first death. November 25th, following, two men at work in a remote part of the town, alarmed by whoops and savage yells, spread the alarm. The people hurried away as fast as possible, expecting from each tree they passed to be met with an Indian tomahawk or scalping knife. Jonathan PERHAM'S family decamped with such haste they left their oven heating and their oxen chained to a tree. The report spread with the greatest rapidity through the neighboring towns that Athens was destroyed by the Indians. The country was immediately roused. Some spent the whole night in preparing their guns and ammunition, and fearful apprehension chased sleep from every eye. The hallooing of a hunter, aided by imagination and the fears of the Indians, amounted in a few hours to the destruction of a fine settlement and the massacre of the inhabitants.
Athens was organized March 4th, 1781. William BEAL was first town clerk, and Abel MATTOON representative. The religious denominations (1842) were Baptists, Christians, Congregationalists, Methodists, and Universalists. The M. E. church was formed in 1801. Several distinguished itinerant preachers have labored here, among whom were Jonathan NICHOLS, John BROADHEAD, William FISH, and H. GURNSEY.
The surface of the township is uneven, but not generally abrupt. The soil produces well, though it is better adapted to grazing than tillage. There is but one stream of consequence, and that heads in a pond about 30 acres of area, in the westerly part, and falls into Saxtons river in Rockingham. Lily pond, another small body of water in the southwestern part, derives its name from its quantities of white lilies.
The town is divided into three school districts, a schoolhouse in each. There is one saw mill on the site where the first mills were erected.---THOMPSON'S Gazetteer.
On account of the statements in Zadock THOMPSON'S History of Athens, as well as similar statements in the History of New England by A. J. COOLIDGE and J. B. MANSFIELD, that the first beginnings towards a settlement in this town were made in the fall of 1779 by Jonathan PERHAM, Seth OAK, Joseph ROSIER, James SHAFTER, and Jonathan FOSTER, I here insert a copy of the "first covenant and subsequent records of the first adventures and proprietors to the Township of Athens, in the County of Cumberland, and State of Vermont," that students of history may be careful how they accept statements as truth before they inquire into the sources from which all true history comes:
"Anno Domini 1779, November 24th. We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, being undertakers, professors, and occupants in a certain tract of land lying in the County of Cumberland and State of Vermont, adjoining the towns of Putney, Westminster, Thomblingson [Tomlinson], etc., do covenant, promise and engage severally, as follows, to wit: That we, and each of us, will meet at such times and places as a majority of us, the subscribers hereunto, shall agree to, being on said land, for the purpose of choosing a moderator and clerk, and appointing such departments; and we further promise and engage to comply with and fill each orders and regulations as we shall or as may hereafter be proposed by the major part of the subscribers hereunto, for the purpose of surveying and lotting out said land, and in acquiring a legal title to the same; and also to pay our several parts or proportions of the charges which shall necessarily arise from the prosecution of the measures herein mentioned; and also pay our several proportions towards making such roads as are necessary, and to observe such rules and orders as shall be prescribed relative to acquiring possession and property in and unto said lands. Dated Nov. 14, 1779."
The list subjoined is different from the original, for the reason that numbers of the first adventurers disposed of their right in the township before the charter came out to those whose names are now on it. The previous and original proprietors were:
Solomon HARVEY, John MOORE, Jonathan PERHAM, Seth OAK, Joseph ROSIER, Micah READ, Abial WHITMAN, Samuel NORCROSS, Nathaniel OAK, Calvin OAK, Joshua WARNER, James SHAFTER, Nehemiah PIERCE, Timothy BULLOCK, David DARBY, Noah WOODWARD, Benjamin PIERCE, Jr., Jonathan MOORE, Peter WILSON, John PERHAM, Timothy WALKER, Samuel BAILEY, Silas THOMPSON, Philip GOSS, John ALEXANDER, Nehemiah HOSKINS, Riverius HOOKER, Joel PERHAM, Jonathan F. HOLMES, Reuben ALEXANDER, Edward HOUGHTON, Hezekiah HAVEN, Ellis THAYER, Ephraim HOLDEN, Jeremiah TINKHAM, Daniel ASHLEY, William BEALS, Daniel HOOKER, Leonard PERHAM, Asa ALEXANDER, Elias TAYLOR, Andrew BARBER, Israel CHAPMAN, Azel HOOKER, Jabez WALCUT, Jesse WALCUT.
The rest in the charter did not come into connection with those in covenant till the first of March, 1780, whose names will be found in a list subjoined to the record of their public acts on said 1st of March.
Dec. 1779. The undertakers, possessors, occupants, etc., of that tract of land mentioned in the aforegoing covenant, agreeable to the directions therein contained, met at the house of Capt. Seth OAK, on the land mentioned in the aforegoing covenant, and for the first time proceeded to act according to the interest of their covenant.
"Chose to the following offices the following persons: Solomon HARVEY, moderator; David DARBY, clerk; Seth OAK, James SHAFTER and Joseph ROSIER, a committee to survey and lot out the land referred to in the covenant. David DARBY, surveyor to the above committee.
"Voted, That the aforesaid committee and surveyor should designate such of the pitch lots as ought, in justice to have an allowance in land to make them equal one with another.
"Voted, That Solomon HARVEY, Micah READ and Noah WOODWARD be a committee, with the aforesaid committee, to manage the prudentials of the society in the absence of the undertakers; to act with discretionary power.
"The procuration of title to the land aforementioned was committed to the care of the committee last mentioned; and the calling a meeting of the undertakers was left discretionary with the town committees above-named.
"Then the meeting was adjourned by vote. "Test,
SOLOMON HARVEY, Moderator."
Dec. 6th, 1779. Solomon HARVEY, Micah READ, Noah WOODWARD, and James SHAFTER, a majority of the undertakers' committee, relative to that tract of land since called Athens, in the County of Cumberland, State of Vermont, met at the house of Micah READ. Chose Solomon HARVEY chairman and clerk of said committee.
"Voted, That a request be sent in the name of the committee to the inhabitants of the lands on Grassy Brook (the present town of Brookline), to invite them to join with us, (the undertakers of Athens), in our endeavors to procure title to the land mentioned in the aforesaid covenant, and desire them to join two of their inhabitants as committee men with us, to assist us in the management of our affairs, and that any three of said committee be a quorum.
"Voted, That Micah READ be the treasurer to the committee to receive and pay all such moneys as are raised to defray necessary charges, and that Solomon HARVEY be clerk of the treasury; after which the meeting adjourned.
"Test, SOLOMON HARVEY,
Chairman and Clerk of the Prudential Committee"
On the 13th day of Dec., 1779, Micah READ, Joseph ROSIER, James SHAFTER and Solomon HARVEY, a majority of the Prudential Committee as above, met at the house of Micah READ.
"Voted, That $100 in Continental paper currency be paid into the treasury by the middle of January next, after which, as there was not more than fifteen persons who had undertaken as covenantors, the committee admitted in as undertakers. Silas THOMPSON, Jeremiah TINKHAM, John ALEXANDER, and all those persons formerly of the town of Winchester whose names are in the charter, except James SHAFTER, who was one of the first undertakers." In like manner were all the subscribers to the covenant admitted in, except the first fifteen, by the Prudential Committee, at several subsequent meetings of the Prudential Committee. The meeting was adjourned as usual by vote.
"Test, SOLOMON HARVEY,
Chairman and Clerk of the Prudential Committee."
"On Dec. ye 31st, 1779, we, whose names are affixed to this return, report as follows: That on the day of the date hereof in conformity to a vote of the Prudential Committee, at their meeting at the house of Micah READ, on Dec. 6th, last past, we held a conference with sundry of the inhabitants at Grassy Brook, relative to coming into connection with the subscribers to the foregoing covenant, and the said inhabitants proposed to take the matter under consideration for a time.
P'r us, MICAH READ,
"On Jan. 31, 1780, Seth Oak, Micah READ, James SHAFTER and Solomon HARVEY of the Prudential Committee aforesaid, met at the house of Micah READ.
"Voted, To substitute Jonathan PERHAM as Prudential Committee in the room of Noah WOODWARD, whose absence made it necessary; also admitted in as settlers, a number of which never came into connection, notwithstanding, therefore shall mention of their names, except Nehemiah HOSKINS, from Winchester, who was admitted at this meeting, and not on the 13th of December, 1779, as was mentioned.
"At a meeting of the inhabitants of a place called Grassy Brook, in ye State of Vermont, and County of Cumberland, and not yet incorporated with any town, on March ye 1st, 1780, at the house of Wm. SKINNER, on said land.
"Samuel SKINNER, 3 years' residence; Elisha AYER, 3 years' residence; Eliphalet SKINNER, 3 years' residence; Wm. HARTWELL, 3 years' residence; Jonathan BOYDEN, 1 year's residence; Abraham DERRY, part of a year; Fairbanks MOORE, Jr., 1 year; Fairbanks MOORE, 6 months; William MOORE, 1 year; Tim WELLMAN, 1 year; Tim WELLMAN, Jr., 1 year; Darius WELLMAN, 1 year; Abel MATTOON, 6 months; John CRAWFORD, 10 months; Ezra ORMSBEE, part of a year; Benjamin FLETCHER came Feb. 1st; Cyrus WHITCOMB, 3 years; Cyrus WHITCOMB, Jr., 3 years."
It is seen that constant meetings were held by the settlers in the town of Athens ever after the 24th of Nov., 1779, and that not only were there in the town Solomon HARVEY and Jonathan PERHAM, but Micah READ, Seth OAK, and James SHAFTER were there, Seth OAK and Micah READ both having houses where the meetings of the settlers were held as often as twice a week nearly all the winter of 1779-80, The first town meeting was held in the house of Seth OAK. The second and third meetings being held in the dwelling house of Micah READ on the 6th and 13th days of Dec., 1779, and the fourth and fifth meetings were also held at Micah READ'S dwelling house, Dec. 31st, 1779, and Jan. 31st, 1780, which clearly appears from the above record. Whether all of the names affixed to the covenant were actually on the tract of land at the time the covenant was adopted cannot now be determined, but it would seem that they were either there during the year 1780, or were fully represented, as they fully bind themselves to pay the quota of taxes assessed to them by the settlers on the tract of land afterwards called Athens.
In collecting the facts relative to the individual history of the early settlers in the town of Athens, the writer wrote to all the families whose residence could be found, and has waited till quite a late date, hoping that the PORTER family, SHAFTER family, TINKHAM family, DAVIS family, BLACH family, WELLS family, ALEXANDER family, OAK family, HOLDEN family, and PERHAM family would furnish sketches of their early history in Vermont.
[We here insert a narrative by Mrs. Betsey ROBBINS, mother of the Hon. F. C. ROBBINS of Ludlow, Vt., who was daughter of Ezekiel PERHAM, and moved into Athens, as the narrative discloses, in 1795. Ezekiel PERHAM was a cousin of the Jonathan PERHAM who was one of the first proprietors of the town.]
In March, 1795, my father, who then resided in Townshend, Mass., started with his wife and four children for the then new State of Vermont. We came with an ox team, consisting of one yoke of oxen and two yoke of steers, one cow and one sled, onto which was loaded what household furniture was necessary for immediate use, consisting of one chest of drawers, one desk, beds and bedding, together with such cooking utensils as were deemed absolutely necessary. My father drove the ox team, and my oldest brother, Asa PERHAM, rode the horse, and my mother, myself, and my two younger sisters rode on the ox sled. We only traveled as far as Rindge, N. H., the first day, and there stayed with a friend over night, my father having lived there at the time I was born, in 1789. The next day it was snowing, and we only drove to the middle of the town in Jaffrey, where we stayed with Judge PARKER, who married a sister of my mother, and who was the father of Judge Joel PARKER, formerly of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire.
On the next day, the air being mild and pleasant for a March day, we drove on through Keene to Westmoreland, where we again put up for the night, near a ferry across the Conecticut [Connecticut] river known as ROBBINS' Ferry.
The morning following we crossed the Connecticut river in a ferry boat, and were then in the town of Putney, Vermont
From Putney we came through Westminster West Parish. The road leading from Westminster to the south part of Athens at that time, passed through the premises of a Mr. COLTON, who lived at the first house south of the farm where David HITCHCOCK lived in 1830, thence running westerly to the top of the mountain east of Athens Hollow, coming out to where Sylvanus MATTOON then lived, and where George SKINNER afterwards lived. Along this rough road we came slowly with our ox team and household goods, and arrived in the town of Athens March 20th, 1795.
The highway coming into Athens from Westminster then passed on over the hill where Daniel FULLER, Esq., then lived, thence to where William BEALS then lived, the same place afterwards owned by Major Timothy WHITNEY, thence crossing the brook south to where Amos BALL now lives, across the farm now owned by Merrill POWERS, up onto the hill where Nelson OAK formerly lived, thence westerly up the brook (running from the SHAFTER Pond) to where Nathaniel OAK once lived, where stood, at that time, a large, unfinished one-story building, then used to hold town meetings in.
David EVELETH then owned the farm now owned by Merrill POWERS. Arriving in Athens, my father purchased the farm of Mr. EVELETH where Merrill POWERS lived in 1875
The names of some of the earliest settlers were Jonathan PERHAM, who lived on the Nathaniel POWERS farm, near the east line of the farm lately owned by Oscar L. PERHAM, but owned the whole of the Ivory MACK farm; Ephraim HOLDEN then owned the farm now occupied by Edward BALL; James SHAFTER owned the farm known as the SHAFTER place, but more lately owned by Amos DAVIS; Samuel BALCH lived where Austin HITCHCOCK now lives; Silas POWERS, lived on the farm more lately known as the Abner POWERS place, but was first owned and occupied by Silas CHAPMAN, the grandfather of the Hon. Clark H. CHAPMAN of Cavendish; David ROBBBINS was then the occupant of the grist mill that used to stand near where Dustin BALL now lives on the farm since owned by Nelson OAK; Ethalston BAGLEY'S father occupied the farm now occupied by his son Ethalston; Leonard PERHAM, son of Jonathan PERHAM, owned the farm now occupied by Lyman ALEXANDER, who, with others, made up the town of Athens in 1795.
Jonathan PERHAM, James SHAFTER and Seth OAK seem to have been the most prominent men, and their location in the town seems to have resulted in the permanent settlement and organization of the township.
THE SHAFTER FAMILY
[Judge Wm. R. SHAFTER, about ten years before his death, gave a paper on James SHAFTER, his father, and himself and family for Athens]
Paper on Hon. Wm. R. SHAFTER.
Townshend, April 14th, 1857.
Impressed with the importance of leaving some record of the origin and genealogy of our family, for the benefit of those who may succeed us, and who may have curiosity or interest enough in the subject to examine it, and learn from whence they came, I have collected and leave on record the few historical facts that I have been able to collect.
It seems that our paternal ancestors came from the west of England. On the mother's side is inherited pure Welsh blood. Our great grandfather, with his wife, emigrated to this country, landing at Boston. They either brought two children with them, or they were born in due time after their arrival---as they lived but a few years, and left no other issue. As they had expended all their substance in getting here, of necessity their orphan children were left dependent upon charity, and were sent to the almshouse, where it seems they remained a few years before they were of sufficient age to be otherwise disposed of.
A farmer from the town of Framingham, Mass., visited the almshouse for the purpose of procuring a boy to assist him in his business. The SHAFTER boy was recommended to him, and he decided to take him on trial. When they attempted to separate him from his sister, who was his only associate and relative, the evidences of attachment were so strong as to become overpowering, and the benevolent feelings of the good man, silencing all consideration of pecuniary loss, he charitably concluded to take them both. So James and his little sister Molly went to Framingham, though we have no knowledge of dates. The man with whom they went to live (we never learned his name) was satisfied with them. They lived with him until they were both married. James at the age of 19 or 20 married a young woman, Esther MCMELLEN. He continued to reside with his guardian until he became of age, and afterwards remained in the same vicinity, where most of his children were born, Simon, Lois, Molly, Esther, and Lydia. At this period he gathered up his little property and removed to Richmond, N. H., purchased a lot of land and commenced improvements. Here he had three more children born to him, James, Prudence, and Charity. He was a man of medium height, closely knit together, of high temper and indomitable perseverance. He continued the improvement of his farm as his means would allow for seven or eight years, keeping his large family together. At this time he was killed by the falling of a tree, leaving his family dependent on their own exertions. The eldest girls were then put out to places where they could support themselves, and Simon remained at home and took care of his mother and some of the younger children. He remained steady until he was about 19, when he became excessively fond of dancing, wrestling, and other kindred sports. About the age of 24 he joined the Continental army, holding the rank of captain. He died at Valley Forge of small-pox.
Molly, the orphan sister, married a man by the name of CHUBB, and is supposed to have removed to Vermont.
Lois, the eldest daughter, married John WHITE, and settled in Weathersfield, Vt. She had three sons and several daughters, one of whom married a Mr. HASKEL, and lived near what was called Weathersfield Bow.
Mollie, the next girl, married Ellis THAYER, and settled in Brookline, Vt. Subsequently they removed to Newfane, Vt.
Esther married Benjamin THRASHER and settled in Athens.
Lydia married Enoch PHYLIPS and settled in Essex, N. Y.
Prudence married Jeremiah BOWERS and settled in Richmond, this State.
Charity married Jabez WHIPPLE and settled in Athens.
The writer of this was well acquainted with his aunts, and known them to have been possessed of much more than an ordinary share of intellect, of unrivalled energy, and a perseverance that knows no discouragement.
The elder James SHAFTER and wife were buried in Winchester, Mass. Thus it appears that up to the third generation there was only one male child to perpetuate the name, bearing the name of his predecessor, James. As such, he alone would transmit to posterity, hence it becomes more important that a more particular and extended account of him and his family should be left on record for future generations, whereby they may be able to trace their family name to the same common origin, for it is not improbable that, years hence, this brief and simple narrative, trifling as it may seem in the day of its nativity, may be found copied into the genealogical records of many a family, who otherwise would have been unable to do so.
At the dispersion of the family at the death of their father James (the fifth child) was put to live with Mr. DODGE, who it seems proved to be a hard, unfeeling man. He was a tanner by trade, so he clothed James in sheepskin clothes, which was perhaps the best he could do for him, and not particularly injurious to the boy, as in the coldest weather he was not allowed to come near the fire, but was compelled to sit on the lowest round of the ladder. Short allowance of food, and that of the most simple kind, together with constant employment in the most servile drudgery, considering his age (only seven years) and his unprotected state, aroused the sympathies of the surrounding inhabitants. The result was, they took him away, and placed him in the family of Deacon JEWETT, who proved a kind protector, guarding his helplessness and giving him such counsel as his age and circumstances required. Subsequently he was to live with Mr. John ALEXANDER. He kept a public house in Winchester. James remained with him till he was of age. Mr. ALEXANDER was an easy, inefficient sort of a man, and preferred sitting in his chair and playing with his thumbs to engaging in any more active employment. His wife, however, possessed unusual conversational powers, which she not infrequently exercised for the special benefit of her husband, who would sit for hours apparently unmoved under the storm of words that would make a common man's hair stand on end. James' diligence and activity gave entire satisfaction to madam, so that he became an especial favorite with her, and in time became the efficient substitute for the old man in all the business transactions of the concern. At the age of 17 he was drafted into the New Hampshire Militia, and ordered to the defence [defense] of his country at Bunker Hill, but with his companions, arrived too late to participate in the memorable transaction of that important event. How long he remained enrolled I have no knowledge. He afterwards took an active part in the Battle of Bennington, and discharged his musket sixteen times before the enemy gave way, stormed and scaled the breastworks, behind which the Hessians were ranged, and drove them from the ground, and afterwards, in company with a few volunteers, fought and kept at bay 500 of them until the darkness of the night compelled them to quit the field. He was at the battle of the Cedars of Lake Champlain, but owing to the cowardice of the commanding officer the little troop were surrendered prisoners of war to the British and Indians, who stripped and robbed them of everything that was of any value. James had two crowns in his pocket which he was unwilling to part with for the benefit of the victorious yellow-skin. Watching his opportunity, and taking advantage of the general confusion, he crept carefully down into the cellar and covered them over with dirt in an obscure corner. At this point, turning his eye to the stairway, he beheld a stalwart Indian with his tomahawk raised, peering into the darkness. James, satisfied by his manner that he did not see him, suppressing his breath and keeping as much as possible in the shadow of the wall, approached as near his sable majesty as he could, then with a catamount spring, bounded by him, giving him at the same time a thrust in the stomach, whilst the click of the tomahawk against the wall possibly reminded him that his gait upstairs was in fact a "stitch in time." He was kept a prisoner for fourteen days, and, with others, was exchanged and furnished with guns. After his return to Winchester he continued in his former employment until he was 21 years of age, which was September 15, 1780.
There were several travelers put up there over night whom we may subsequently have occasion to mention. The minor, having now become a man, like other young men wishing to provide a home for himself, had intended to start the next morning for Otter Creek or the West side of the Green Mountains. It being cloudy in the morning, with strong indications of rain, he concluded to postpone his departure until fair weather. About nine o'clock, however, the vapors dispersed, and he shouldered his axe and his small wallet, and bade adieu to all the home he had, with a determined purpose to find and prepare a place for himself in the then wilderness of Vermont.
Being young and active, he overtook the elderly gentlemen who started in the morning, and very naturally fell into conversation with them, as to their destination and objects. He learned that they were from Winchendon, and were going to examine a gore of uninhabited land lying between Grafton (then called Tomlinson) and Westminster and Townshend. They persuaded him to join them, which he at last consented to do. Learning the name of the last settler on the route (where they intended to stop) he went ahead. On his arrival at the place agreed upon (the house of Mr. ELLIS), about two miles N. E. of the present "Cambridge Port," he found him engaged in building a stone chimney for a small log house. He cheerfully went to work to help back stone (as they had no team), and worked for his board till the rest of his party came up, when they all started for the promised land. After rambling over the territory, which was an unbroken wilderness, they concluded to stick their stakes and make their pitches, preference being given to seniority. Jonathan PERHAM (called after, Governor), being the eldest had first right. He chose a lot on the West line of Westminster, covering a handsome lot of meadow, also a number of acres of dry, sandy knolls, which proved valuable for its adaptedness to the growth of Indian corn. Samuel BAGLEY took the next lot West, which made one of the best farms in town. Seth OAK took the third lot in the same range, which was also a most excellent piece of land. He was the first justice of peace in town. Jonathan FOSTER took the next lot West, which made four in the same range. He died about 1790, and the lot was divided and fell into other hands. Eighty acres of it are still owned by the heirs of J. SHAFTER. James SHAFTER, as he was the youngest of the pioneers, came last for his turn. He chose the next range due North of the "FOSTER lot." It was a good situation, covered with hard timber, and the depth and richness of the soil gave assurance of a bountiful harvest.
They procured the assistance of a man from Westminster by the name of HOOKER, who was the fortunate possessor of a compass, with which, and the accompaniment of an elm bark chain, they were enabled to separate and designate claims. James commenced chopping, and felled about three-fourths of an acre, when a dry limb fell upon his shoulder and so disabled him that he returned to Winchester and remained all winter. The next year he returned, enlarged his operations, built a small house, sowed a nursery of apple trees, etc. In 1783 he was married to Miss Abigail JOHNSON, by Seth OAK, Esq. She came to Athens with Capt. Ezra CHAFFEE from Old Woodstock, having lost her parents when she was a child.
From the Letter of Mrs. Mary SHAFTER, Edminster, with the paper by her father:
Oscar died in Florence nearly five years since. My brothers, James McM. SHAFTER and William N. SHAFTER, are residents of this State. I wrote my sister, who lives in Galesburg, Mich., (Mrs. L. S. RANSOM). She is the eldest of the family, and I thought she might furnish some items. Rev. Edmund SHAFTER, of Boston, a few years since got up a genealogical account, and visited us in Townshend. He, as well as my father, thought the original name was SLAUGHTER, abbreviated for convenience, and that in after years it appeared as SLAFTER and SHAFTER; they came to the conclusion that they were second cousins.
My father represented the town many times, and was one of the judges of the courts. I cannot give you dates, but you can ascertain them from the records of Newfane.
James SHAFTER, born September 15, 1759; married Abigail Johnson.
James SHAFTER, died January 9, 1816, aged 57 years. Abigail SHAFTER, his wife, died March 14, 1830, aged 78 years. On the 10th of January, 1784, their eldest child was born and was christened Atalanta, after the noted vessel of that name. She married Caleb HALL, and died in Springfield, Vt., June 28, 1862, aged 78 years.
Wm. R. SHAFTER, born January 30, 1786; died March 1, 1864, aged 78 years.
John L. SHAFTER, born September 2, 1787; died February, 1868, aged 81 years.
Mary SHAFTER, born 1792, died at Grand Rapids, Mich., September 29, 1855, aged 63 years.
There were two other children born between John and Mary; both died in infancy.
As James had obtained some military skill, growing out of his experience in the war of the Revolution, he was promoted to the rank of major in the militia of Vermont. He was also a strong and devoted politician of the school of 1800, and denounced the war of 1812 as unnecessary. He was a prominent business man in all town affairs, and represented it for about twenty years in the Legislature of the State. He was the father and grandfather of the present SHAFTER generation, giving the name to all such as claim it, although it is spelled differently.
(End of Judge SHAFTER'S papers).
was one of five men, an advance party, who first came into the wilderness here to prepare the spot, a little before moving in their families. He helped to clear the first acre. He ever after made his permanent home in Athens. He lived many years, and died there. He was a man of large energy, courage and capacity. In the war of the Revolution he fought at Bunker Hill, Bennington and Saratoga, and for eighteen years represented his town in the Legislature of the State.
Hon. Wm. R. SHAFTER
was successively farmer, merchant, and County judge several years. He came of a patriotic stock, and "was a man of much force of character and large influence with his neighbors" in a wide neighborhood. "In religious faith and connections he was a Methodist." His wife is said to have been a woman of rare intelligence. The biographer of Hon. O. L. SHAFTER, their son, before the California Bar, speaks of her as "a woman of superior endowments, majestic in form, with a countenance of infinite expression, and possessing rare conversational and social qualities." She was also a member of the Methodist church. She died many years before her husband, while her son Oscar was but a boy. Judge SHAFTER removed from Athens to Townshend. He died in Townshend.
Judge SHAFTER was representative in the State Legislature for 1844 and in 1849, member of the Constitutional Convention in 1836, Judge of Windham County Court, candidate of the Liberty party for Governor in 1840, more than quadrupling the vote of his party, and also held various town offices.
OSCAR LOVELL SHAFTER
Memorial of Oscar L. SHAFTER, being words spoken at his Burial by Rev. Dr. STEBBINS. A sermon preached on the following Sunday by Rev. L. HAMILTON. A sketch of the life and character, given before the Supreme Court of California by Hon. John W. DWINNELLE. Lines to his memory from the New York Evening Post---SAN FRANCISCO, 1874.--Pamphlet 25 pp.
OSCAR LOVELL SHAFTER, L. L. D., late Associate Judge of the Supreme Court of the State of California; born in Athens, Vt., October 19, 1812; died in Florence, Italy, January 23, 1873; funeral at the First Congregational church, Oakland, Cal., March 24, 1873.
"Energy, endurance of labor and a kind of mountainous good sense that sees men and things as they are and goes free of all cant, were eminent in him. In his statement of principles, he could have had few superiors. He had that appreciation of the unity and generalization of truth that gives dignity to the intellect, and the perspective of moral grandeur to all principles. When theories of deep human interests were touched, his mind kindled along its summits with find enthusiasm of poetic feeling and right. It sometimes lay calm, silent, sullen as the sea and rolled with sleepy strength, and in all the manifestations of his intellectual activity, there was something of that repose which is the measure of reserved power and background of all greatness. He was a pleasant companion and good talker. A man with wide discourse of reason, unimpassioned, yet of fine sensibility, his whole nature, by the eternal weight of moral gravity, surging toward the truth. Thus I understood him.---Rev. Dr. STEBBINS
"Eminent among the higher order of minds stood the late Judge SHAFTER, a type of the time, he ran through the progress of the age in his own experience. His father was a man of much force of character and large influence with his neighbors. His mother was a woman of rare intelligence. At an early age death deprived him of her counsels, but he cherished her memory with a deep tender reverence. At about fourteen he was placed at a Methodist Academy in Wilbraham, Mass. He completed the course in his school, and finally graduated at the Methodist University at Middletown, Conn., studied law at Cambridge, and commenced practice in Vermont, where his powers soon placed him in the foremost rank of his profession. His coming to this State (California) in the Fall of 1854, then immediate recognition of his abilities, his law partnerships with the first legal talent of this State, his firm stand as an anti-slavery man, his self-consistent adherence to this stand through all the exciting scenes that had followed, his election to the Supreme Bench of the State in 1863, his unimpeachable and even unsuspected integrity as well as ability in that position for four years, then the sudden failing of his health, compelling his resignation, his efforts for recovery, the hope growing fainter till the final word flashed under the sea is well known. As a judge, his impartiality commended a confidence that was well nigh perfect. The suspicions of a bribe never rested on him. There was something in the man corruption dared not approach. He was also merciful. He gave without ostentation, but liberally and continuously. One who had the best opportunity to know, writes of him: 'I know personally of tens of thousands of dollars disbursed by him without any hope of return.' He was severely logical in his mental processes, but along with this went an endowment of the keenest sensibility. When thoroughly roused in his own utterances, the golden ingots of his logic would melt and flow in streams of burning emotion. There was a large measure of that 'sort of religious sensibility' which is said to have marked the speeches of WEBSTER'S prime. But it was in his own family that these tender qualities showed themselves in their fullest power. I think we may truthfully add, also, that he crowned his other virtues by walking humbly with his God." Rev. L. HAMILTON
The body was taken to the Oakland Cemetery and deposited in the family vault. Among those present, beside the family member friends, were a very large number of the San Francisco and Sacramento Bar.
From MEMORIAL SUPREME COURT
"He completed his law studies under Judge STORY at the law school of Harvard University; commenced practice at Wilmington, Vt., in 1836 or 1837; became a member of the Legislature; was the candidate of his party for Representative in Congress, Governor and United States Senator; married to Miss Sarah RIDDLE in 1840; six children survive.
Judge SHAFTER arrived at San Francisco November 13, 1854, without his family, and immediately entered upon the practice of his profession, in connection with the leading firm of HALLECK, PEACHY, BILLINGS & PARK. During the next ensuing year, until the arrival of his family, he kept a journal, in which he entered his impressions of the climate and the scenery of California, his views of the society and of the practice in the court, many current events, some biographical sketches and notices and analysis of the books which he read; but more especially was this brief diary remarkable for its manifestations of his deep affection for his family and other relations, for his diffidence of his own ability, and for the gradual growth of a self-confidence that he was equal to contend with the foremost of the bar. It was during this period that he received intelligence of the death of two children within the period of one month. [An only son of seven years, and an infant daughter that he had never seen.]
It was sometimes said of him while at the bar, that he was slow in the preparation of his cases. As a consequence he was very successful at the bar, and his decisions were rarely questioned. While at the bar nobody was more scrupulous than he in the respect with which he treated the judiciary, both in language and bearing, and when he came to the bench he magnified his high office in the same spirit.
He was very successful in gathering the material rewards of his professional labors, and by their judicious investments accumulated in an opulent fortune.
He was an ardent student of nature, and loved to be a boy again, amid mountains, forests, fields and waters. And on such occasions he showed an apt familiarity with the best poets of the English language, which caused it be said of him: 'He was a learned lawyer of an older school. Hon. John W. DWINNELLE
[Written upon receiving the letter communicating the death of his two children. Poets and Poetry of Vermont, 1858]
By OSCAR L. SHAFTER
I left them in their mountain home,
One sad, sad day---
I clasped them to my yearning heart,
Then tore myself away.
What cheered me in that hour of gloom?
What hope illumed the sea,
As o'er the boundless deep I sped---
That boundless of the free?
And then the far-off bourne was reached,
What gave to purpose power
To whelm me in the strife of men,
And gild each lonely hour?
The hope that when the strife was done,
The labor and the pain,
To clasp them, in my mountain home,
Unto this yearning heart again.
That hope's no more! My baby died,
Like flower upon its stem;
And now my boy---for him has pealed
The solemn requiem.
Oh! When across the wide, wide sea,
The winged death-knell come,
Then on my lips' high altar stone,
Grew dim the vestal flame.
The filial hope the heart possessed,
To cheer his parents' age
To stay their footsteps toward the tomb,
Their dying pangs assuage.
My son! My son! My only son!
My joy, my hope, my pride!
Oh! Life was severed from its ends,
And darkened when he died!
He's gathered to our early dead
In his exultant morn,
Before the mid-day strife came on,
Or rose disclosed its thorn;
The lust of gold---the heart of pride,
Ambition's fitful dream,
The monumental woes that rise
Above the ills between.
The broken hope, the exile's pain,
Temptation's trial hour,
And all the waste and wreck of life
And sin's destructive power,
By early death he's rescued from---
By early death set free;
And can I know the gain to him
And mourn the loss to me?
Father, console Thy smitten ones,
Forgive the tears that rise;
Our children---angels round Thy throne---
But win us to the skies.
By N. W. POWERS.
First, the substance of what a gentleman related by consanguinity, wrote in a manuscript to me in 1864, about my father's family and our genealogy.
The first POWERS we trace back to came into England with William the Conqueror in 1066, Sir Roger LE POWERS, who helped subdue old England. He then did considerable fighting in Ireland, being a fine commander, where I learn he stayed for life. He had a numerous posterity. The name is quite plenty in Ireland. Most likely we have the English, French, and Irish blood in us. All the POWERS family in England, Ireland and America are said to be descended from this Sir Roger LE POWERS. Three of his descendants, brothers, are understood to have come to America in 1660. One of these, I am told, put B on the beginning of his name instead of P, to see which name would increase the fastest, making his name BOWERS. There has been a good chance to see. The name POWERS is a hundred to one of the name of BOWERS. The christian name of the one that changed to a BOWERS I have not learned; the names of the other two brothers were Walter and Thomas. Our branch of the name, I am told, descended from Thomas.
CAPTAIN JOSIAH POWERS
Great grandfather of the Athens POWERS'S, lived in Greenwich, Mass., in 1754, and was a rich farmer. He had a large family. One son, Benjamin, was a surgeon aboard of a man-of-war in the Revolution, and died at sea. He was reputed a very learned man, and was writing an arithmetic, of which I have some of the manuscript.
SILAS, the oldest child in this family, had come to Athens a while before the family came.
JOSIAH, second son of Captain Josiah, was a Revolutionary soldier, and came to Athens almost 100 years ago, with his sons, Nathaniel and Stephen, and five daughters, from Chesterfield, N. H., where these children were all born. He became lame by freezing his legs in the war. He got lost in the woods in a snowstorm, when sent to carry despatches [dispatches] to some other part of the army. He once saw a Briton taking aim at Gen. WASHINGTON, and drew up his own musket and shot him down, as related by one of his nephews. He helped to throw up the intrenchment [entrenchment] on Bunker Hill, and, I believe, fought in the battle. He was in the battle at Bennington, and a grand-daughter of his says that she has often heard her grandmother say that he was at the taking of Ticonderoga.
He lies with Mercy, his wife, in the South burying yard in Athens. He died in March, 1808, aged 62 years. He was in many battles and skirmishes, but, as he says, "through the blessings of God not a bullet touched him."
My friend, Francis Volney POWERS, of Waterford, Vt., informs me he obtained much of his information of Nathaniel POWERS and family, of Athens, and from his grandfather, Isaac POWERS, who was first cousin to Nathaniel.
was considered as a brother to his numerous cousins, who always spoke of him as Uncle Nathaniel. He was born at Chesterfield, N. H., Nov. 29, 1774, and married Esther JOHNSON, of Phillipston, Mass. He died in Palmyra, Wis., August 13, 1846, and 72 years, 8 months and 14 days. His wife was born June 8, 1778, and died June 27, 1848. He commenced in the world without any outside lift, and when a child was without any shoes and stockings in winter. His Grandfather ROBBINS carried him home in winter, once or more, upon his back, when he had to stick his feet into his grandfather's coat pockets to keep them warm. He in turn took care of his grandmother in her old age, his grandfather having died when he was a youth. He was so poor, when a boy, that he had to wear tow trousers to school in winter, his father having become a cripple in the war, and having lost all his property through the Continental money. His grandmother had to spin and weave to keep the family alive, and he to learn to cypher without slate or arithmetic. The teacher set the scholars their sums on paper in those days, but he became quite expert in figures. His first business appears to have been getting out flax with his brother Stephen on one-tenth shares. When sixteen years old he had to go sixteen miles on foot to muster, and find his own equipments, besides having no spending money. He and his brother Stephen took care of an invalid father, a mother, and the younger children to a great extent from boyhood. As a Vermont farmer he became well off. He owned a good farm of 200 acres, cattle, horses, sheep, a good two-story house and out-buildings, with four miles of wall upon his farm, and had $1000 at interest, when the Episcopalians claimed that his farm was glebe land in Westminster. He fought them at law for 13 years, and proved his title clear by a re-survey of Westminster by a committee appointed by the Legislature, and proved his farm to be in Athens. Meantime he had been twice a year 50 miles to court with several witnesses, making $2000 cost. He lost his beautiful farm at last, through an Episcopal judge, who said it belonged to the Episcopals, and that it was foreordained so from all eternity. The person who is now writing this was present at the last trial.
At the first trial, the third year, when the Judge gave the case to the jury, they gave the case to Nathaniel POWERS without a dissenting voice. It had to be called up for trial again, and the next time the judge was not so careless, but decided it himself. Nathaniel also owned a saw and grist mill besides the property here referred to, but the lawsuit about ruined him. His family, which was quite large, was as follows:
EDITH, the oldest child, was born October 30, 1801, and married Warner COSS September 30, 1824.
ROXANA was born July 7, 1802, and married Warren RICHMOND December 2, 1824.
BETSEY was born May 10, 1804, and married William PARTRIDGE, a farmer, June 25, 1827.
NATHANIEL WHITCOMB was born February 23, 1806. He married his first wife, Selina F. MURDOCK, October 6, 1839, and his second wife, Jane LOWE, December 29, 1872. He is a self-taught clock and watch maker, and can make a town or mantle clock, one that will tell the time of day in every capital at the same time. He also got up his own patterns.
SAMUEL RANDALL was born on November 1, 1807, and married Hannah KIMBALL of Sanbornton, N. H., in December, 1838. He worked on a farm until he was 21 years of age, and then learned the machinist's trade. He earned $3,000 at his trade while working in Lowell, Mass., from which place he went to Wisconsin and built a flour mill in company with his brother David, giving the name of Palmyra to the town he settled in. He was the best read in history of any man ever raised in Athens. He died of cholera July 9, 1847. He was quite wealthy, and the widow, only son, and grandchildren occupy his homestead now, 1876.
JOSEPH was born May 9, 1809, and married Jane PETTY for his first wife and Lucretia HUNTINGTON for his second wife. He was a machinist of reputation, and made several important inventions. In 1832 he made the first revolver known in history, and sold it for $10. He was a member of the Wisconsin Legislature in 1864. Mr. POWERS was a poet of no mean gifts. Two hundred men have earned money enough while in his employ to buy themselves homes, and in 1876 he kept one hundred men constantly employed.
LEVI was born February 11, 1811, and on November 11, 1838, married Caroline KIPP. He worked three years of his early life in a cotton factory, and then a short time as a machinist. Later he went to New York, where he was a merchant, then to Whitewater, Wis., and afterwards to Madison, Wis., where he accumulated wealth and retired from active business.
ESTHER POWERS, born August 24, 1812, married first Philetus RANNEY, second Thomas CHURNEL, April 25, 1857, died of small-pox, in Wisconsin.
DAVID JOHNSON, born June 3, 1814. Was in 1865 an inventor of and dealer in agricultural implements and in merchandise, a dealer in landed property. He has been the means of two pretty villages springing into existence, has been secretary of the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, president of a Madison, Wisconsin, fire insurance company, and a representative in the Wisconsin Legislature, and since 1864 has become a noted lawyer. In patent right suits he is regarded the best help in Chicago, as he understands the patent laws completely and nearly all the mechanical devices of the day. He has taken out more than a dozen patent rights himself since 1864 (now 1876) and has a son at La Crosse, Wis., 36 years of age, machinist, who has taken out ten patent rights-D. J. POWERS. He has been commercial agent for the State prison in Illinois, to dispose of their manufactured goods. He married Flora HARRIS, of New Hampshire, December 11, 1837.
AMERICUS WINDSOR, born January 14, 1816, married Hannah FULLER first, Mary ROCKWOOD, second. Was a merchant first, and afterwards studied and practiced medicine with great success in Wisconsin; he also practiced dentistry. He now lives in California.
MELISSA ORETT, born June 15, 1818; died Dec. 13, 1839.
ENOS LOVELL, born February 12, 1820. He was a jeweller and engraver of the nicest kind, also silver plater and spoon maker. He died December 24, 1843, in Newark, Ohio, where he had established himself in his trades. He never married.
brother to Nathaniel and Seymour, and uncle to these latter, went to Minnesota first. He married Widow Sarah CHAPMAN, daughter of Deacon DUNHAM, of Westmoreland, N. H. She was married the first time at the age of 14.
After so long a family paper, let me tell you an anecdote out of the family.
Nathaniel OAK wanted a certain lass for a wife; Amaziah ROCKHAM wanted the bewitching beauty too. They had many quarrels over the matter, till, at last, the neighbors decided that they should fight for the prize, and that the one that whipped should have the fair maiden. Amaziah, being a very spry man, gave the other, who was slow and clumsy, a sound thrashing, but was so good-hearted, withal, and satisfied with his triumph over OAK, that he said, "Go and take her," and OAK went and lived with her long enough to twice claim a silver wedding.
MRS. POLLIE CARPENTER
lived in Athens when a child. She was a daughter of Jonathan PERHAM, one of the first settlers, and afterwards lived some time in Belvidere, and some times in Athens. She was mother of quite a family of children. She found herself in 1816, the cold year that no corn was raised, short of hay. She was then about 45 years old. She had a cow but could get no hay to winter her, hay being $20 per ton. What does this unconquerable woman do but go to work and gather grass enough by hand and carry it home in a bag. She gleaned it by the sides of the highway and round the woods, in this way getting enough to winter her cow. She was a widow at this time---the widow of a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and drew a pension in the last days of her life. She lived to be quite old.
I was ten years old in 1816, and remember every event of that year, and although no one starved to death many shuddered for fear.
was born in this town, but went to work in the Lowell cotton mills. About 1837 she married John JACKSON, a machinist, and soon after the company which owned the factory selected them to superintend the taking of machinery to Mexico for a cotton factory, which they did, selecting fifteen married couple as operatives to take with them. The Mexican war, in 1846, destroyed their plan of building up a manufacturing city. The Mexicans, being suspicious of them, they had to flee. Maria had two children, one born before her emigration, and the other in Mexico---a babe at the time of her flight---which she brought off in her arms, riding a mule over the mountains 300 miles. Mr. and Mrs. JACKSON afterwards went to Houston, Texas where she died suddenly, leaving five small children.
In closing, I am reminded of an anecdote of Stratton, the most mountainous, bleak town in the county. A great, bloated fellow, who was passing through Stratton, inquired of an old lady at her linen wheel, "What are the products of this town?" "Babies and shingles," she answered.
I married for my first wife Selina L. MURDOCH, of Townshend, cousin to Alphonso TAFT, the present United States Attorney General, and for my second wife, Miss Jane LANE, of Townshend. I wrote 600 pages for a man in Chicago, who left Windham County at the age of sixteen. At the end of forty years he called on me to post him up, and tell him what had become of all the heads of families that he had known forty years before.
Nathaniel Whitcomb POWERS.
TIMOTHY H. WHITNEY was one of the leading men of the town. He was a major in the war of 1812. He was the representative of the town fifteen times from 1810 to 1834, and was selectman and justice of the peace for many years.
Of the PERHAM'S, who were among the first settlers, we are unable to get much that would be of interest. The descendants of this family now living in and near the town show that they were a hardy and energetic people, and of much benefit in the first settling of the town.
ALVAN PARKHURST was born in Westminster, but in early life moved to Athens, where, with the exception of a few years, he resided until his death, September 10th, 1887. He was a farmer, and was held in high esteem by his townsmen, who elected him to represent the town in 1874. He was chairman of the board of selectmen from 1868 to 1877, and was superintendent of schools at different times.
NEAL BEMIS was born in Westminster, and came to Athens about 1848, where he died February 7th, 1890, in his 71st year. He served the town in nearly all its offices, and although his education was very limited, he was an able financier, reckoning interest and all mathematical problems rapidly and correctly without the aid of pen or pencil. At the time of his death he owned twenty-seven farms, besides several hundred acres of pasturage. He was an active member of the Grange from the time of its organization until his death.
REV. JOSEPH BULLIN was the first settled minister of the gospel, and school teacher, and occupied the position for three years and a half. Under an agreement entered into between Mr. BULLIN and the proprietors of the town, he was deeded, on March 7th, 1800, so much of the lot of land set apart for the first settled minister and school teacher as the inhabitants thought him entitled to. He was to have had a deed of 168 acres if he held his position for ten years.
From the earliest genealogical records of the BALL family we get the following: John BALL came from Wiltshire, Eng., to Concord, Mass., in the year 1640. From him has sprung, through his descendants, a numerous family. Abraham BALL, 2d, was born in Townshend, Mass., October 17th, 1786, and came to Athens with his father and mother when he was about eight years old. In December, 1807, he married Miss Hannah EDWARDS, of Athens, by whom he had fourteen children, five of whom are now (1891) living, two of them, Amos T. and Julia A. BALL, residing in town. Amos T. BALL is a shoemaker by trade, but for the past forty years has been a farmer. He has, during this time, been prominently identified with the interests of the town, being one of its selectmen during the stirring events of the civil war, and at numerous times since. He was for many years overseer of the poor, and has been a justice of the peace for more than thirty years.
JAMES BAYLEY was a prominent man in the early history of the town, being its representative in 1815 and 1825. He was town clerk from 1806 to 1831, and was one of the listers and selectmen for many years. Mr. BAYLEY was a merchant for a number of years, and it is said that he commenced his mercantile career when a boy by going on horseback to Putney, where he purchased a few small articles such as he could put in the old-fashioned saddle bags, and took them home to sell to his neighbors.
From Deming's Catalogue of the Principle Officers of Vermont.
Abel MATTOON, 1780, '81; Samuel BAYLEY, 1784; James SHAFTER, 1786, '87, '90, '92 to 1810, 1813; Joseph BULLIN, 1788, '91; Elijah ELMER, 1789; Willard EVANS, 1800; Thaddeus ALEXANDER, 1804, '06, '07, '12; Timothy H. WHITNEY, 1810, '11, '16, '17, '19 to '25, '27, to '31, '34; Thaddeus CHAMBERLAIN, 1814; James BAYLEY, 1815, '25; Abraham BALL, 1828; Lemuel WHITNEY, 1831; Joseph TINKHAM, 1832, '33; Lyman B. ALEXANDER, 1835, '36; Amos DAVIS, 1837; Comfort THRASHER, 1838, '39; Tisdale PORTER, 1840; Mark BALL, 1841; John AUSTIN, 1842; John R. BLAKE, 1847; Lyman ALEXANDER, 1849.
Mark BALL represented Athens in the Constitutional Convention of January, 1850. From then until the present time the dates and names of the representatives are as follows: Mark BALL, 1852; Lyman ALEXANDER, 1853; Amos DAVIS, 1855; Marvin W. DAVIS, 1856; Samuel B. WELLS, 1858, '59; Charles WHITNEY, 1860; Solon N. ALEXANDER, 1862, '63; Andrew A. WYMAN, 1864, '65; Samuel B. WELLS, 1866; Andrew A. WYMAN, 1867; George N. OBER, 1868, '69; Jerome O. KINGSLEY, 1870, to the Constitutional Convention in June and to the Legislature in October; Andrew A. Wyman, 1872; Alvan PARKHURST, 1874, Democrat; Stephen C. RANNEY, 1876; Othniel R. EDWARDS, 1878; George N. OBER, 1880, '86; Jerrie M. POWERS, 1882, '90; Jerome O. KINGSLEY, 1884; Granville F. BRIDGES, 1888, Democrat.
SOLDIERS IN THE WAR OF 1861
Ceylon J. BALL, John H. WELLS, Geo. W. SKINNER, Leroy A. BALL, Homer E. BALL, Phineas BEMAS, Fred'k SHATY, Noah S. CROWLEY, Henry DE PUTRIN, Phineas BEMAS, re-enlisted, Benj. F. DERRY, Noah CROWLEY, Ebenezer OAK, Jr., *John H. AUSTIN, Franklin OAK, *Albert E. COTTON, Chas. C. PENNIMAN, Bryant D. SKINNER, Curtis M. BALL, John WYMAN, Wm. BRIDGES, Jay READ, Lyman COOK, Edwin B. DODGE, Benj. H. JENKS, Oliver DODGE, Henry S. LELAND, Chamberlain DUNHAM, J. V. MC CARTNEY, Curtis W. DAVIS, Solon N. ALEXANDER, Gideon D. STILES, Willard J. BURR, and one soldier with no name given.
Athens is strictly a farming town. The only manufacturing industry that is worth mentioning is the manufacture of scythe snaths, the business being conducted by Jerrie M. POWERS, and the output being from ten to twelve thousand snaths per year. None of these are finished here, but are simply bent and planed and are then sold to another party who finishes them up for the trade. This gives employment to eight or ten men from six to nine months a year. We have one grocery store, W. C. ROBBINS, proprietor. We have neither lawyer, doctor, dentist, blacksmith or carpenter, and have but one minister, the Rev. Othniel R. EDWARDS, who is a Methodist. We have a very pretty church, in which service is held every Sunday.
Transcribed by a Volunteer List Member, VTWINDHA-L@rootsweb.com
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