XX indexVermont  




Walden lies in the western part of Caledonia county, in lat. 44º 28' and long. 4º 45', and is bounded north by Stannard, east by Danville, south by Cabot, in Washington county, and west by Hardwick. The township was granted November 6, 1780, and chartered to Moses Robinson and sixty-four others, August 18, 1781, by the Vermont legislature. It is six miles square, containing, by estimate of 1798, 23,040 acres, of which 320 acres are covered with water. Lying at the height of land between the Connecticut river and Lake Champlain, it has no large water privileges, streams or ponds. Cole's pond, the largest body of water within its boundaries, is situated in the northern- central part. It is nearly surrounded by forest and abounds in pickerel and pout. Joe's brook, its outlet, furnishes power for several mills. Lyford's pond, in the southern part, is formed by springs, covers about fifty acres, is very deep, and is stocked with landlocked salmon, pickerel and pout. Morrill brook, rising near the center of the township, flows westerly into Meadow brook, and with that into Hardwick, where it joins the Lamoille river. It was so named from Abel Morrill, who, before 1800, erected the first saw-mill in Walden, upon the falls where it crosses Hazen road. 

      The surface of the town is generally hilly, rising to its greatest altitude in the northern-central part. Slate and granite are the chief rocks found, while the principal trees are maple, spruce, fir, cedar, beech and yellow birch. In the northeastern part there is still considerable wood and timber, and in all parts of the town are large sugar orchards which yield a considerable annual income. The soil is deep and strong, though somewhat stony, yet the multitudes of stones which are too small and numerous to pick, yet rendering cultivation difficult and crops poor, are not found here as in some parts of the state. The number of smooth, well-fenced and highly productive farms to be found in various parts of Walden attest that judicious planning, labor and thrift, will make farming pay, even at this distance from markets.  Hay, grain, butter, maple sugar and potatoes are the chief productions. Corn culture is scarcely attempted, and few apples are grown, though a number of good sized apple nurseries have recently been set out. Large dairies are the rule, and several herd's of high grade or thoroughbred stock are found, notably that of D.S.Cox, whose herd of Jersey cattle includes fourteen head of registered pedigree. 

       In 1880, Walden  had a population Of 931.  In 1886 the town had ten school districts and ten common schools, employing four male and fourteen female teachers, to whom was paid an average weekly salary, including board, of $5.00 and $4.23 respectively. There were 196 scholars, ten of whom were attending private schools. The entire income for school purposes was $1,795.12, while the total expenditures were $1,800.73, with C.A. Stevens, superintendent. 

       Walden, a post village located in the eastern part of the town, consists of a dozen dwellings, a church (Methodist Episcopal), a school-house, store, saw-mill, feather duster shop, blacksmith shop, and a lumber-dressing and grist-mill put in operation this season. The village has long been known as Noyesville, an appellation which still clings to it from George and John Noyes, who established the manufacture of potato starch here not far from 1850. Two starch factories were built and burned one after the other, the latter a few years ago, and neither has been rebuilt. 

       North Walden (p. o.) is located two miles northwest of the center of the town. It contains a church (built by Congregationalists and occupied by the Methodists), a store, school-house and half a dozen dwellings. 

       South Walden (p. o.) village is made up of a church (Union, occupied by the Methodists), saw-mill, carriage shop, blacksmith shop, and twenty or more houses scattered for a mile and a half along the Hazen road. This road, built by General Hazen in 1779, is traced as roads 24, 27, 29 and 43, to the corner of 50, whence it passed southerly into Cabot. The site of Hazen's block-house is still pointed out, on the Perkins farm on road 43, about one mile from the corner of road 44. 

       Walden Heights is the local name for the region about the railroad station. 

       The Four Corners, a hamlet, is near the center of the town, and was at one time a post-village, with a store and mill, beside the school and dwellings still there. J. Farrar's saw-mill, at the outlet of Cole's pond, has a circular board, saw and shingle-machine, and does custom work. 

       M. Goslant's lumber and shingle-mill, on road 33, first built by Edward Sleeper, between 1808 and 1815, is fitted with a circular board-saw, planers and shingle-machine, employs eleven men, and produces about 1,000,000 feet of coarse lumber, and 400,000 shingles per annum. 

       J.D. Ordway's lumber-dressing and grist mill, on road 54, erected in 1885, has the best privilege on the stream. 

       E.P. Brickett's lumber and shingle-mill, on road 55, built by Benaiah P. Smith about thirty years ago, for a carriage shop, changed by William Brickett into a saw-mill, and purchased by E.P. Brickett in January, 1884. He cuts about 200,000 feet of custom lumber, and 700,000 shingles per annum, employing two or three hands. 

       B.F. Taylor's sawmills carriage-shop and cider mill, is the only mill now operated by Morrill brook.  Mr. Taylor bought it in 1882, and does custom sawing and cider-making, builds heavy wagons, sleds, and does repairing. 

       E.&T.Fairbanks's steam saw-mill, located on the east branch of Joe's brook, corner of roads 14 and 15, was established by them twenty-two years ago, to supply lumber for their scale works at St. Johnsbury. The timber is cut from a tract of over 4,000 acres lying in Walden and Stannard, and owned by them. At the first, both steam and water-power were put in the mill, and it was thus operated until 1875, when the water-wheel was removed. The mill is operated about three months in the year, producing about 800,000 feet of rough lumber. Ten men are employed in, running the mill, and ten men and eighteen oxen in hauling the logs in winter. 

       Stephen V. Meader's feather-duster- shop located at Walden village was established by him in 1877. He manufactures six hundred dozen dusters per annum, from assorted turkey feathers, employing four or five girls and boys most of the time. He has probably produced more feather dusters since he begun to make them, than all other manufacturers in the state. He makes several grades of these goods, and supplies jobbing and retail dealers at wholesale rates. 

       Charles D. Knight's machine-shop is located on road 23.  Mr. Knight began without apprenticeship or instruction, made his patterns and many of his tools, and has built, sold, and set in operation, three five horse-power upright stationary engines, and is prepared to build more to order. He also does machine repairing, and makes violins of a high grade.

       It is accepted as a fact that the first white inhabitants of Walden were a small garrison under command of a man named Walden, who was left in charge of the blockhouse built by General Hazen, through the winter of 1779-80, and it is said that from him the town derived its name. No attempt appears to have been made to effect a permanent settlement until 1789, when Nathaniel Perkins began a clearing, and built a log house near the block-house on Hazen road.  He lived in the block-house until his own was completed, and it afterwards afforded shelter for many of the first settlers, at one time being occupied by the family of Gideon Sabin, consisting of himself, his wife and twenty-six children.  In the block-house was born, November, 1790, Jesse Perkins, son of Nathaniel, the first white child born in Walden. He died April 26, 1881. In it also was preached the first sermon, by Elder Chapman, in 1794, and the first school was taught here, probably in 1796, by Nathaniel Perkins. The first death in town was that of Samuel Gilman, caused by the burning off and failing of a dead tree.   He was clearing land on the farm now owned by G.D. Lane, and left the house in the evening to roll together the remnants of the burning piles. Failing to return, his wife went out to look for him, and found his body crushed beneath a smoldering tree. The second death was that of a Mrs. Melcher, and the third that of Ezekiel Gilman. The latter was “rolling up” a log house, when one of the logs fell back upon him and killed him. But one centenarian has died in Walden, Sarah (Kidder) George, about 1822, who is said to have been 102 years old. The oldest person now living in Walden, is Elijah Corson, aged eighty-nine years. 

       The first marriage recorded was solemnized August 4, 1800, when Samuel Carr and Polly Dow were united by Amos Tuttle, pastor in Hardwick; but tradition says that Mr. Melcher's marriage was the first. The first saw-mill was erected by Abel Morrill, who bought the land April 30, 1796, and at his "mill-house" a school was kept in the winter of 1800, while by vote of the town, July 24, 1801, "Morrill's mill brook" became the first permanent dividing line between school districts. Morrill's mill stood where B. F. Taylor's now is. The first grist-mill was built by Nathaniel Farrington, Jr., upon the opposite side of the same falls. The first hotel was built and kept by Nathaniel Farrington, about 1800, where Alonzo E. Dutton now lives, and for nearly seventy-five years a public house was continued there. Who the first merchant in town was is a disputed point. Some say John Weaks first sold merchandise, where A. W. Eddy now lives; but Nathaniel Farrington, Jr., was undoubtedly the first to engage extensively in trade. The first postoffice was at the corner of roads 9 and 23, and Thomas W. Vincent was postmaster thirty-two years. He settled in Walden about 1808. Edmund Eddy was the first carriage maker. Dr. George C. Wheeler was the first physician, in 1828, and remained about one year. James Bell, Esq., who came in 1804, was the first and only lawyer who settled in town. 

       Walden was organized March 24, 1794. The first town meeting was warned by Lyman Hitchcock, justice of the peace, and was held at the house of Nathaniel Perkins. The first board of officers consisted of Lyman Hitchcock, moderator; Nathaniel Perkins, town clerk; Nathan Barker, Nathaniel Perkins and Joseph Burley, selectmen; Samuel Gilman, treasurer; and Elisha Cate, constable and collector. In 1795 the first grand juror was chosen, Samuel Huckins, and also the first representative, Nathaniel Perkins. In 1796, $10.00 worth of wheat was voted to defray town expenses, thirty bushels for "schooling," and thirty bushels for preaching. Nathan Barker and Nathaniel Perkins were appointed a  “committee to hire preaching," and it was voted to hold the "meetings for preaching" one-half the time at Nicholas Gilman's, and one-half at Ezekiel Gilman's. In 1797 there were sixteen votes cast in town for representative to Congress, and the valuation was $1,037.00. The first militia company was organized in June, 1808, with Noah Gilman, captain; William Montgomery, lieutenant; Nathaniel Gould, ensign; William Gilman, Than Smith and Joseph Mudgett, sergeants; William Dutton and John Rundle, corporals; and Stephen Currier, James Bell and John Burbank, privates. The same year Israel Page, Nathaniel Burbank, Jr., Thomas Farrington and Asa Kittredge, of Walden, were reported as belonging to the Hardwick company of "troopers."

WAR OF 1812

       A special town meeting was held June 1, 1812, to take action for the protection of the country and the citizens homes, when it was voted to raise one cent on a dollar of the grand list to provide military stores for the town. Daniel Duross was elected to take charge of them, and the soldier's pay was fixed at ten dollars per month, "from the time they marched until discharged." In September, 1814, a company consisting of William Montgomery, William Dutton, Jr., Major Robinson, Samuel Dutton, Dudley Haynes and a few others, started from Walden towards Lake Champlain to take part in the battle of Plattsburgh. They were joined by numbers of men on the way, but before reaching Burlington they were met by the news that the battle was over. It is said that they then organized by choosing officers and continued on to Burlington, where they drew rations and afterwards received pay for service. 

WAR OF 1861-65

       Few towns performed their duty in this great conflict better than Walden. The first vote recorded having especial reference to the war was passed August 10, 1862, when volunteers for three years were offered $25.00 bounty and it was voted to pay $7.00 per month "to such men as enlist for nine months, if the state does not." September 6th, it voted to raise $1,150.00, to be collected in ninety days, to pay bounties to volunteers under the nine months call. August 12th and September 1, 1863, the proposition to pay bounties to drafted men was voted down. December 4, 1863, it was voted to pay volunteers mustered into service $300.00, and instructed the selectmen to hire money for that purpose; but at the next annual town meeting the money to meet this loan was raised, and afterward each vote to raise men was followed by one to raise the money to pay their bounties, so that the end of the war did not find Walden encumbered with a heavy war debt. June 21, 1864, it was voted to pay volunteers $400.00 and others mustered in $300.00 each. August 13, 1864, it was voted to deposit $2,700.00 with the state treasurer to recruit forty per cent. of the quota of Walden, and the selectmen were directed to pay such volunteers as were not procured in the rebellious states bounties as follows: To one year men, $500.00; two years men, $750.00; three years men, $1,000.00; also $200.00 to drafted men mustered in. It was also voted that those who furnished substitutes be paid the same as volunteers. September 5, 1864, it was voted to pay each volunteer when mustered into service for one year $625.00. January 11, 1865, it was voted to instruct the selectmen to pay not exceeding $400.00 for one year, $500.00 for two years, and $600.00 for three years men to fill the quota under the last call for 300,000 men; and on February 20th, following, it was voted to raise the bounties for one year men to $650.00, and of drafted men mustered in to $500.00. 


       On June 18, 1825, a special town meeting chose a committee consisting of Nathaniel Farrington, Jr., Daniel Wooster and Joseph Perkins, "to wait on the canal engineers while surveying through the town and provide meats and drink for them at the expense of the town." 

       The growth of public sentiment on the temperance question is indicated by the following votes passed by the town for "license or no license:"  In 1847, license thirty-eight, no license, twenty-two; 1848, eighty to forty-two; and in 1849, thirty-two for and eighty-eight against license, gave the temperance cause the victory. People now living recall when one man brought forty barrels of rum into Walden and sold it out within the year, while it is now stated that two barrels will cover the amount used annually for all purposes. 

       The proposition to extend a railroad through the town found favor, and in April, 1868, it was voted to accept the act enabling certain towns to aid in the construction of the Lamoille Valley railroad, and on April 22, 1869, it was voted to subscribe for $30,000.00 of the stock of this road and issue bonds in payment for the same, and chose Samuel Harrington, T. H. Farrington, and E. R. Chamberlain, commissioners to carry out the provisions of this vote. The road was opened through Walden in 1872. 

       Nathaniel Perkins, a Revolutionary soldier, who served in the battle of Bunker Hill, was one of the first settlers in Walden, and came here from Northfield, N.H., in 1789, locating in the southwestern part of the township. His family then consisted of his wife, one son, Jonathan, and one daughter, Betsey, who became Mrs. Stevens. After he came to this town he had born to him children as follows: Jesse, Hannah, Nathaniel, George, Matilda, Susan, Martha, who married Lewis Hill, Sally, who married Frederick Whitcher, Augusta, who married Benjamin Durrell, and Irving. Jesse spent most of his life in this town, on the homestead, married Polly Lance, of Chester, Vt., and had born to him three children, William G., Charles, of Cabot, and Mary. William G. has carried on business as a manufacturer and merchant at the "Four Corners," where he was postmaster several years, and at Walden village, where he now resides. He represented Walden in the assembly of 1874-75. Eben S., son of Jonathan, served in the civil war. 

       John Perkins, brother of Esq. Nathaniel, came to this town, from Canada, about 1803, when his son Samuel was about two years of age, and first located somewhere on Hazen road. He was a hunter and trapper, and reared two sons, Samuel and Nathaniel, and one daughter, Mary. Samuel married Sarah Hodgdon, bought the farm where his son Charles now lives, in 1827, and reared two children, Charles and Mary D. (Mrs. Charles Whitcher), of Burke. Charles married Ruth Jackson, of Stannard; and has six sons and one daughter. Nathaniel, son of John, settled on the farm where A. Buck now lives, and only one of his children, Mrs. David Corson, is now living. 

       Joseph Perkins came to this town, from Deerfield, N. H., bought land here June 16, 1802, and in 1805 settled on a farm west of the school-house at Walden depot. He reared three sons and two daughters, and built the house where J. I. Chase now lives, in 1814. His son Hiram was born in this town, about 1809, and married Sally H., daughter of Huse and Hannah (Perkins) Smith. He held many town offices, served as town representative, was high sheriff, and was town clerk the last twenty years of his life. He died in January, 1878. Robert Merrill Perkins, son of Joseph, was born in 1807, married Hannah, daughter of Hanson Rogers, and reared seven children, five of whom are living, viz.: Mrs. J. Steele, living on the place where her father settled over sixty years ago, Flora, widow of Philander Morse, Mary (Mrs. John Osgood), of Danville, Hiram, of Northfield, and Brainard, of Tennessee. 

       Timothy Edwards came to this town, from Gilmanton, N.H., before 1796, as in that year he was elected "hogward." He settled on the farm where his grandson John now lives, and reared fourteen children. Of these, four are living, two daughters, who live in Cabot, one daughter, who resides in Hardwick, and one son, John L., of Newport. 

       Nathaniel Dow, with two brothers, Ira and Jonathan, came to Walden, from Gilmanton, N.H., in 1797, where he remained several years, then lived in Cabot a few years, and in April, 1813, he returned to this town, where he spent the remainder of his life. He married Esther Gilman, and reared children as follows: Rev. John G., Nathaniel, Zebulon, Hazen, Peter, Peaslee, Porter and James B.   J. G. was a Methodist minister. Hazen was a carpenter, married Mary A. Johnson, and his son Joel L. now resides in South Walden. Harvey, son of Nathaniel, Jr., who was a carpenter, lives in Walden.  Porter reared a large family in Walden, and died in Lynn, Mass. James B., the only son now living, married Amy Hodgdon, and has had born to him one son and one daughter. 

       Edward and Nathaniel Gould came to Walden, probably from Dunbarton, N.H. about 1800, as Edward was lister in 1801.  Nathaniel was a farmer, lived in Hardwick, on the county road, made wooden plows, and married Lydia Bachelder. Of his six children, Nathaniel W., the youngest, now seventy-three years of age, is the only one living. He married Sarah, daughter of David Page, and has four children. 

       Nathaniel Burbank, born in 1747, came to this town, from Sanbornton, N.H., some time before 1800, as he bought his land August 12, 1793, and located near where L. W. Farrington lives. He married Molly Durgin, who was born in 1754, and reared children as follows: John, Betsey, who married Daniel Johnson, Nathaniel, Sally, who married R. Eddy, Joseph, William, Polly, who married William Weeks, Hannah, who married D. Perkins, Jacob and Miles. Joseph, born in 1786, married Dorothy Laird, about 1812, bought the land where his son Nathaniel now lives some time before 1812, was captain of militia in 1818, '19 and '21, and died in 1863. He was the father of nineteen children, only three of whom are living, namely, Harvey, at West Danville, Nathaniel and Philura, widow of J. M. Hibbard.  Nathaniel became engaged in the whaling business when about twenty-one years of age, and served in the late war, in Co. H, 4th Vt. Vols., where he served about two years. He married Huldah J. Stone, has six sons, and now resides in Walden. 

       Thomas Farrington, born in Francestown, N.H., came to Walden about 1801, and bought the place where his grandson, Sawyer Farrington, now lives. He married Susan Gould, and reared eight children, only two of whom are living, Thomas Newton, and Susan, widow of Uz Cameron. He served as town clerk andtown representative. William Farrington was a shoemaker and a farmer, lived most of his time on the home farm, married Roxanna Whitcher, and reared three sons and three daughters, namely, Sawyer G., Thomas H., Alonzo W., Ruth E., widow of  J. F. Stephens, Lucretia W. (Mrs. J. C. Whitcher), of Peacham, and Fannie S. (Mrs. Hubbard Quimby), of Patton, P. Q. 

       Leonard Farrington was an early settler of Walden. His son David lives in Cabot village. He married Sophia Livingston, and located upon the farm where his son Lewis W. now lives, about 1840.

       Moses George came to Walden, from Strafford, Vt., about 1804, accompanied by his mother, Sarah (Kidder) George, who lived to be 100 years old, his wife, one son, Lemuel, and one daughter. He settled on a piece of land just north of where L. W. Farrington now lives. His children were as follows: Lemuel, Phila (Mrs. Sherburne), Rosmer (Mrs. Corson), Mary (Mrs. Powers), Sally (Mrs. Elliott), Jerusha (Mrs. Northrop), Fanny (Mrs. Hodgdon), and Moses. 

       Ebenezer Stevens bought land in Walden as early as 1796, and when his son John came here, in 1804, he owned nearly 1,000 acres. John first settled on the farm where his son George P. now lives, married, first, Alice Gilman, who bore him one daughter, Eliza (Mrs. Harvey Montgomery), of Hardwick. He married, second, Betsey, daughter of Nathaniel Perkins, and had nine children. Mr. Stevens was a staunch Methodist, a liberal supporter of religious teaching, lived to the age of eighty years, and Stevens' hill, on which he settled, is still occupied and owned by three families of his descendants. His children were Eliza (Mrs. Montgomery), Mary A. (Mrs. Gilman), Ebenezer, Nathaniel, who had five children, John Franklin, Emily (Mrs. Currier), of Boston, Daniel W., who died in 1878, Charles A., George P., and Moses. The last mentioned has four daughters, namely, Mrs. W. E. Sherrar, Mrs. E. H. Woods, Mrs. D. C. Farrington, of West Danville, and Francella. George P. married Martha A. Mayo, of Moretown, Vt., has always lived in Walden, has been lister five years, and has had six children, Carlton G., Nella E., Lillian C., May M., Emily A. and Leda B.   Charles A. married Mary A. Solomon, has two sons, has been superintendent of schools eighteen years, and served as selectman and justice.

       John Franklin Stevens was born in Walden, May 20, 1816. His educational facilities were those of the common schools, but he was a boy of active intelligence and inquiring mind, and this education was supplemented by a fund of general intelligence. He followed his father's calling, that of an agriculturist. He married, January 1, 1846, Elvira R. Farrington, and had one son, Charles Henry, who is a farmer, and a resident of Walden. Mr. Stevens was a Methodist in his religious belief, a Democrat in politics, became prominent in the community, and represented Walden three legislative terms. He served as justice of the peace, selectman, and overseer of the poor for twelve years, as lister eight years, and held these offices at the time of his death, which occurred suddenly, November 21, 1885. He was also administrator of many estates, and guardian of minors and insane persons. He was a man worthy of the responsible trusts confided to him, whose word was as good as his bond. Prompt and ready, his business affairs were executed systematically, and speedily, and he was a valuable and esteemed citizen. 

       William Montgomery, a native of Francestown, N.H., came to this town, about 1803, and settled in the southwestern part, where E. Houston now lives. He was a prominent man in the town, served as selectman, was captain of militia, and raised a company to go to the War of 1812. He died in April, 1850, aged seventy-five years. He married Mary Dodge, and reared seven children, viz.: Josiah, Arunah, who died at the age of eighteen years, Ira, who had three daughters, Mrs. C. Stafford, Mrs. Hannah Hovey, of Hardwick, and Mrs. Weed, of Stannard, Harvey, William C., Sereno and David. Sereno has always lived in Walden, has served as lister, selectman, was town representative in 1847-48, and was county judge in 1861-62. He married three times, first, Hannah, daughter of captain Enoch Foster, who bore him two children, Giles F., who was a missionary in Turkey twenty-one years, and Marshall, state’s attorney at St. Johnsbury; second, Caroline, daughter of Dea. Merrill Foster, who bore him two children, Mrs. Robinson Jennison, and Merrill F.; and third, Mrs. Angeline (Mason) Harrington. 

       Enoch Foster came to this town some time before 1802, as in that year he was town representative, married, first, Polly Guy, in 1793, who bore him three sons, Merrill, Ephraim and Perley, and second, Mrs. Susannah Gould, in 1810, who bore him one daughter. He was captain of militia, and lived at North Walden, where he died. His son, Dea. Merrill married Sally Gould, served as town representative, and reared children as follows: Caroline, Jane, Edward G., Philena, Harvey, Sally, Emily, Charles and Susan. Of these, Charles, Harvey, Philena and Susan, are living. Harvey married Mary F. Montgomery, has held various town offices, and was town representative three years. Ephraim Foster married Emily Perkins, and reared a large family of children, one of whom was Gen. George P. Foster, who served in the army as colonel, and afterwards was United States marshal. 

       Levi Knight, son of John came here, from Francestown, about 1807, and located on the farm where Paul D. Knight now lives, which was given to him by his father, June 28, 1810. He died in 1858, aged seventy-five years. His children were as follows: Nathaniel S., born in Francestown, in 1805, Paul D., born in Walden, in 1807, Gary, Tryphose and Ruth (Mrs. James Mann). 

       Esq. Adam Amsden, Jr., came to this town, from Tewksbury. Mass., bought land here, August 23, 1808, and first located where I. T. Farrow now lives. He kept hotel thirty years, was justice over thirty years, and was one of the first anti-slavery men in town. He married Pamelia Manning, of Tewksbury, and reared ten children, six of whom are living.  Burt B. married Amelia A. Walcott, and reared eight children, five of whom are living. Abel, sixth child of Adam, was born in 1823, married Elizabeth L. Hart, and has two children, Addie L. (Mrs. Alonzo J. Snow), of St. Johnsbury, and A. George, a druggist at Littleton, N. H.  Abel has lived in Lowell, Mass., ten years, where he was captain of the police, and served in the late war, in 1st Vt. Cav. Mark A. and Stephen C. also served in the late war, and the former is now deceased. James H. resides in Plainville, Kan.  Pamelia married Alpheus D. Jenne. 

       Esq. James Bell was born in Lyme, N.H., in December, 1776, married Lucy Dean, of Hardwick, Mass., in 1801, and came to Walden about 1804, settling on the place where his son James D. afterwards lived. He was a prominent lawyer, served the town as justice of the peace, was captain of militia, and was elected to the state legislature in 1815. He was again elected in 1818, and was a member for ten years in succession. He died April 17, 1852. His son, Hon. James Dean Bell, was born in Walden, 1808, married Caroline Warner, and his children were as follows: Alpha W., Charles J., Caroline M., Eliza W., Jane D., Katie and Julia A.  Mr. Bell attended the common schools, and was two terms at Peacham. He filled the offices of town representative, side judge, state senator, and assistant United States revenue assessor several years. He was trustee of Peacham Academy, Deacon of East Hardwick Congregational church, and was one of the directors of the St. J. & L. C. division P. & O. R. R. 

      William Dutton came to Walden, from Lyndeboro, N.H. about 1806, with a family of seven children, and settled where D. S. Ferguson now lives. Josiah, his fifth child, always lived in the same neighborhood, married Mary Hodgdon, and reared ten children, four of whom are living. Rev. Zalmon S. lives on the farm adjoining the one settled by his grandfather. He married Sarah Henderson, of Hardwick, and has two children. He has been connected with the Freewill Baptist church as a clergyman for twenty-five years. William married Amy Corson, settled where Myron Goodenough lives, and reared ten children, four of whom are living, viz.: Jacob, Joseph P., David, and Susan (Mrs. Kimball). William gave the land for the cemetery on road 41.  Jacob kept hotel ten years at the corner of roads 29 and 28, beginning in 1853, married Lucy Mann, and has four daughters, namely, Elizabeth F. (Mrs. A. E. Dutton), Georgianna W. (Mrs. Houston), Abigail L. (Mrs. Bradford), and Julia M.   Alonzo E., son of Josiah, was selectman in 1878, '79 and '80, served as constable and collector, and kept hotel five years.  Ephraim D. and Andrew J., sons of Josiah, served in the late war and the former now lives in Hardwick. 

       Joel Shurtleff, Jr., came here, from Reading, Vt., with his father, when fourteen years of age, and settled at the corner of road, 3 and 7. He married first, Melinda Sabin, who bore him two daughters, and second, Sarah Smith, of Greensboro, and had born to him three sons and three daughters. Of these, Samuel and Abial A. are living. The latter married Rachel Patterson, and has two children, Sarah J. Gilchrist and Robert J. 
Richard Downer, a native of Sharon, located at North Walden about 1817, married Catherine Barnes, and reared seven children, five of whom are living, namely, Joel, Ephraim, Clara, Sophia (Mrs. D. Smith), and Emeline (Mrs. William Putnam). Mr. Downer was a house builder, was taken prisoner by the Indians at the burning of Royalston, served in the War of 1812, and moved to Derby about 1830, where he died in 1835.  His youngest son, Ephraim, served two years in the Rebellion, and now resides in Walden, aged sixty-one years. He married Sarah Buswell, of Epsom, N.H., and reared  nine children, four of whom are living. 

       Abel Gile, Sr., a native of Northfield, came here in 1818, and settled upon the place where D. S. Cox now lives, having bought the land November 25, 1818. He married Stataria Forrest, had two sons, John F., born in 1818, now deceased, and Abel, who resides in town, and died at the age of seventy-three years.  Abel, Jr., has served the town as selectman three terms, has been lister twenty years, and town representative two years. He married Mary A., daughter of Robert White, and has had born to him nine children, seven of whom are living. 

       Hanson Rogers came here at an early day, but soon returned to Cabot, and again came here about 1820. He bought a farm at Walden depot, where he kept a hotel many years. He married Hannah, daughter of Benjamin and Judith Webster, and a cousin of Daniel Webster, and reared twelve children. He returned to Cabot, where he died in 1860, aged eighty-four years. His widow died September 23, 1867. His son Hanson was born in Cabot in 1812, and was engaged for thirty years, in connection with Newell Stocker, of Danville, in buying live stock. He married Marinda Noyes, and reared seven children, viz.: John B., Sarah F., Noyes C., of Nebraska, Albert J., Hanson E., of Colorado, Hollis G., of Nebraska, and Julia M. (Mrs. Charles H. Stevens). John B. is a merchant and postmaster, has served as selectman seven years, married Julia E. Hill, of Hardwick, and has four children. He carried on the manufacture of potato starch at Noyesville, from 1868 until the factory was burned, in 1875. 

       Simeon W. Cheever, born in Hardwick, in September, 1799, came here with his family, from Greensboro, in March, 1829. He married Millicent Powers, and reared three sons and two daughters, viz.: Alonzo, Ozias F., Simeon W., of Kansas, Millicent (Mrs. George Merrill), of West Danville, and Sarah (Mrs. Cornelius Scott). Mr. Cheever died January 3, 1880.  Ozias F. built a saw-mill on Joe's brook, where it crosses road 15, in 1849. 

       Elijah Mann, son of Samuel, was born in Orford, N.H., and came to this town about 1835. He was a carpenter and millwright, married Betsey Pierce, and reared eight children, six of whom are living. He died in Hardwick, aged sixty-seven years. Samuel Mann built the grist-mill at South Walden. 

       Stephen Meader lived in Newbury, and served in the War of 1812. His Son Hiram G. came to this town, from Ryegate, in 1837, and located on the place which Eli Metcalf now owns, His son Stephen V. married, first, Sarah Leighton, and second Priscilla Moyer. 

       Charles A. Kittredge, son of Benjamin F., and great-grandson of Samuel, was born in Walden, in March, 1838, spent his early life in farming and served in the late war, in Co. D, 4th Vt. Vols., and in 3d Vt. Bat. He has been engaged since 1882 in defending pension and bounty claims. He married Clarissa Capron, January 1, 1860, and has three sons and two daughters. 

      Samuel R. Cox came here from West Fairlee, Vt., in 1844. His son D. S. was born in West Fairlee, in 1838, and came to this town with his father. He married Zeruah (Folsom) Noyes, in 1865. He began in 1878 to breed registered Jersey cattle, obtaining his stock from W. D. Bronson, of Hardwick, and has kept his stock pure and up to the standard. He has two cows procured from the Fairbanks herd, of St. Johnsbury. 

       Joel Harrington, Jr., came to this town, with his father, from Kirby, Vt., about forty years ago, married Mary L., daughter of Jonathan Jenkins, and has three children, namely, Celia E., wife of Rev. A. J. Hough, Herbert E. and Florence E. (Mrs. Milo Chandler).  Alden, son of Joel, Sr., married Angeline Mason, had born to him two children. H. M. and Lillian M., and died in 1868. 

       Isaac Patterson, son of Ebenezer, was born in Peacham, in 1809, married twice, first, Rosella Johnson, and their daughter Elvira is the widow of R. Jenne, and lives in Albany. He married for his second wife Laura Locke, of Cabot, who has borne him one son, Charles W., and one daughter, Minda J.   Mr. Patterson came to Walden in 1844, served as selectman, justice of the peace, constable and collectorfor many years. 

       Jesse D. Ordway was born in Hookset, N.H., in 1830, learned the machinist trade, and went to Illinois in 1851, where he remained five years. He worked for the Fairbanks Scale Co., at St. Johnsbury, for a time, came to Walden in 1861, and, with the exception of about five years, has since been engaged in the manufacture of lumber in this town. 

      Irenus H. Collins, son of Elliott, and grandson of Benjamin, was born in Cabot, where he lived until 1867, when he came to this town. He married three times, first, Calista Jackson, who bore him one son, Orman R., now an undertaker in Cabot, second, Caroline (Race) Cook, and third, Emma Wheeler. 

       Benajah S. Carpenter was born in Cabot, in October, 1841, served in the late war, in Co. G, 3d Vt. Vols., and has lived in Walden since 1873. He married Martha A. Hovey. Seven of his nine children are now living. 

       Orvis Fitts, son of Luke, was born in Braintree, Vt., and moved to Brunswick, Vt., when eight years of age, with his father. He entered the railroad business about 1872, for the P. & O. R. R., Vermont Division, then building, and when it began to operate took the station at West Danville. In 1873, he assumed control of the Walden station, where he has since remained. 

       Benjamin F. Taylor, son of Josiah P., who was a miller at West Danville about sixty years ago, was born in Danville and served in the late war, in Co. H, 4th Vt. Vols. He married Almira Huntress, and has one son, Frank L. 

       Eli G. Metcalf was born in Irasburg, Vt., in 1837, served in the late war, and came to Walden, in March, 1884. 

       Joseph Gilman came to Walden, where he remained for a short time, and then returned to Concord, N.H.  His daughter Sarah married Israel Farrar, and reared children as follows: Joseph, James, who died in the army, Josiah, Osmore R., a conductor on the B. & L.R.R. Perley, who served in the late war, and was killed at Spotsylvania, Israel and Eliza, widow of John Horn. Joseph married first, Louisa Horn, and second, Amanda Lane, and has one son and one daughter, William L. and Flora B. He has been deputy sheriff twenty-five years. 

       Joseph Woods, a soldier of the Revolutionary war, moved to Barnet, from Springfield, Mass., and reared ten children. Zenas was a farmer, spent his life in Barnet, married Sophronia Stevens, and reared five children, viz.: Lemuel N., who served in the late war, in Co. C, 8th Vt. Vols., John S., of California, Augusta S. (Mrs. Cobb), of Springfield, Mass., Lucia M. (Mrs. Mariner), of  Portland, Me., and Celia (Mrs. Goss) of Barnet. 

       Tyler Cole married Mary Trow, in 1804. His son Tyler married Esther, daughter of Samuel and Polly (Dow) Carr, and reared four children, namely, Charles F., Seth L., John T. and Mary J. Seth L. was born in 1835, married Martha Dale, has three children, and is a florist in Dorchester. John T. was born in Walden, in 1843, and was a soldier in the Rebellion. 

       Hugh Wilson, a native of Peterboro, N.H., married Mary Coburn, in 1806, and reared ten children. He located in Walden when an old man, living with his son Orman H.  Three of his children are now living, viz.: Mrs. S. A. Bodwell, Sarah, widow of Harvey Burbank, and Mrs. Charles Wilson. 

       Abijah Jennison was born in Peacham, and, as his father died when he was but seven years of age, he was taken by Major Robinson and brought up in Walden. He married Mary Putnam, and reared five children, four of whom are living. He was overseer of the poor many years, and built a hotel on road 32, about 1848, which he kept until his death, at the age of seventy-two years. 

       John Sherrar was born in Canada, married Lucy M. Locke, and reared one son, William E. 

       Col. Jacob Davis was born at Oxford, Mass., September 14, 1741, married Rebecca Davis, and reared nine children. He died at Burlington, Vt., April 9, 1814, and is buried at Montpelier. When a young man he moved to Charlton, Mass., where he held the highest offices, was colonel of militia, and was one of three men who founded Leicester Academy. He removed to Vermont in 1786, where he had been one of a company of men who received the grant of land which comprises the present town of Montpelier. He named the town when granted in 1780, was prominent in proprietors meetings, built the first house on the site of the village, and his youngest child, Clarissa, born in 1789, was the first child born in Montpelier. He was moderator of the first town meeting, which was held at his house, built the first saw-mill in 1788, and the first grist-mill in 1789, and also the first framed house finished in town.  At this house Prince Edward, of England, Duke of Kent, the father of Queen Victoria, stopped the following winter, while on a journey from Montreal to Boston. Two sons, Jacob and Thomas, moved to Montpelier in 1887. The former married Caty, daughter of John Taplin, in 1791, this being the first marriage recorded in Montpelier. His oldest son, Jacob, was born July 3, 1792, married Sally, daughter of Solomon Nye, October 16, 1822, and reared seven children, viz.: Caroline M., Clara W., Eliza A., Solomon N., Mahlon E., Sarah L. and William H. H.  Solomon N., who served in the late war, married Patience, widow of H. H. Amsden, and resides at North Walden. W. H. H. Davis has been a member of the board of selectmen in Walden since 1877, and served as town representative in 1876-77-78-79. He married Jennie M. Alley, of Eden, Me. 

       The Methodist Episcopal church in the town of Walden consists of two societies. That which was originally the Walden M. E. church is now called the South Walden M. E. church, and holds services in the union meeting house, at South Walden, and the Congregational church at North Walden. The church building at Walden was erected in 1856, of wood, will seat 250 persons, and is valued at about $600.00. The first pastor was Charles S. Hamilton, in 1866. The church building at South Walden was erected in 1825, of wood, and was owned and occupied by the Methodists, Universalists, Free Baptists and Congregationalists. The present value of church property, including buildings and grounds, is, at North Walden about $600.00, and at South Walden about $800.00. 

       The Congregational church was organized in 1805, and was the first church organization in the town. Religious meetings were for many years conducted by Deacon Theophilus Rundlet, with the occasional aid of itinerant preachers, when the church lost its organization, and none of its records are now in existence. A new church was organized in 1828, and by the aid of the Vermont D. M. society, and other sources, it was supplied with the services of clergymen for a time, when it was essentially disbanded, most of its remaining members uniting with the church at Hardwick. 

       A Universalist society was formed in 1829, and a Freewill Baptist in 1837, with only occasional preaching. 

(Source: Gazetteer of Caledonia and Essex Counties, VT.; 1764-1887, Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child; May 1887, Page 355-368)

This excerpt was provided by Tom Dunn.